Monday Snax

Moon-blinking
Jonathan and me on the downtown mall.

We had a great weekend with Jonathan at the Virginia Film Festival. We all agreed that “Melancholia” was the best we saw, although we would caution you not to watch it when you are feeling sad.

Snax:

The Birth Control Solution. “Contraceptives no more cause sex than umbrellas cause rain.” An important and illuminating article by Nicholas D. Kristof. The efforts of conservatives to block birth control measures have paradoxically increased the number of abortions over time: “When contraception is unavailable, the likely consequence is not less sex, but more pregnancy.” The goals of family planning and Christian morality are not opposed to one another. (New York Times)

Bright Young Things. The winner of TIME magazine’s photo competition, Andrea Morales, presents a simultaneously moving and troubling glimpse into the lives of girls growing up poor in Glouster, Ohio. (TIME, LightBox)

Lessons Learned: How to Wear a Sari. Ugh! My little sister is so beautiful. And her sari is incredible. (Como Say What?)

Dresses of Tsarina Alexandra Romanova. I’ll take them all! (Retronaut)

In Praise of Memorizing Poetry–Badly. Robert Pinsky, a big fan of Guion’s work, reflects on why memorizing poetry is important, even if you’re not very good at it. (Slate)

Monday Snax

This weekend has been a whirlwind, as we are house/dog-sitting for friends, and because we bought this:

Our new car

So. Yes. It is a lot of fun. Driving to work this morning was actually very exciting. Lots happening! Guion also got the part-time job he wanted at the Wine Guild, so we are thrilled about that. I’m still feeling a bit blurry and hazy from the weekend, so here are some Snax with a lot of caffeine:

A Night with Nettles. Grace took some photos of Nettles‘ recent concert at the Tea Bazaar. A very good show. (Grace’s other photos from the family trip to town can be seen here. For all the Baby Charlie fans out there, there are some amazing shots of him.) If you’re in town, come see Nettles on Friday night at JohnSarahJohn. They’ll be performing for an art opening by Matt Kleberg. (Como Say What?)

Yet More Charts That Should Go with Debt Discussions. Yes, the economy is tanking again, but we should cut down on the griping. See exhibit 1: Americans pay some of the lowest taxes of any developed country. (The Atlantic Monthly)

God’s Blog. God wrote a blog post and is subsequently subjected to all of the crazies on the Interwebs. Not even God can catch a break from those virulent commenters… (The New Yorker)

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga and Why It’s OK to Suck at It. Nina, who is so sweet, makes me feel better about being terrible at yoga. I should start practicing again. (Naturally Nina)

Mariachi Band Serenades a Beluga Whale. This is all over the Cool Lady blogosphere, but I will join them in adding my delight over this clip. It will make you happy. I promise. (Door Sixteen)

Felix’s Felicis. Natalie got a bunny, named him Felix, and broke my heart. I want a bunny! Not as much as I want a dog, but almost! I think Felix and Frances should meet and fall desperately in love. (Peregrinations of NJM)

The Last Thylacine. This is one of the strangest-looking animals I’ve ever seen. It’s a marsupial, but it looks so much like a proto-canid. Those stripes! Sad that it’s extinct. (How to Be a Retronaut)

How to Achieve Uncluttered Without Going Bare, Cold, or Minimal. Such clear and salient advice for people like me, who will be living in small spaces for a while longer. Highly recommended for renters like us who don’t want to live in a place that still looks like your college dorm. (The Small Notebook)

The Filming of Breathless. Guion is a huge Godard fan and this is one of the first of his films that I saw. It’s magnificent and these behind-the-scenes photos are really enchanting. (A Cup of Jo)

Document: Woolf’s Letter to a Young Poet. Virginia Woolf writes a brief review and encouragement to her nephew on his poetry. (The Paris Review)

In Which Vladimir Nabokov Navigates Hell for Lolita. Yes, the protagonist is very icky, but I think it’s one of the greatest novels of all time. Even Nabokov had a hard time convincing people of this, though, as you can see from his letters about the book, compiled here. (This Recording)

To Go-To Snacks of Literary Greats. A series of cute illustrations of what the big writers liked to eat while writing. I don’t think Michael Pollan can be called “a literary great,” but it is interesting that he likes to drink his tea in a glass. I remember seeing that on Food, Inc. and wondering about it. (Mod Cloth blog)

Good News for Wombs: U.S. Paves Way for Free Birth Control Everywhere. All I can say is: It’s about damn time. Look at you, America. Finally catching up with the rest of the developed world! (Good)

Hot-button issues

I love finding people who keep their Issues and Causes very close to themselves; the people who start long, passionate conversations if you are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to mention a word that triggers them. You said the word “corn” and all of the sudden you’re locked in an hour-long conversation about the evil machinations of the FDA and big agribusiness. I like finding these people because they make me feel a bit less alone. They remind me that maybe I’m not the only person who has to rein herself in (often unsuccessfully) during conversations.

I probably care too much about things that I don’t know that much about. I was realizing this today. I am too quick to express my quickly formed opinions.

And so I write this list to caution you. These are the things that could trigger a brutally long and vehement conversation with me. You have been warned.

  • Any permutation on the topic of dogs. (Dog breeds, training, health, adoption, behavior, psychology, etc.)
  • Why Ayn Rand isn’t worth a second of anyone’s time.
  • Law school.
  • Homeschooling.
  • Mega-churches fixated on growth.
  • Reproductive rights.
  • Why paper and ink books still matter.
  • Christians judging other Christians for being on birth control.
  • Sororities and fraternities.
  • What I’ve been reading lately.
  • Anti-women policies and practices of conservatives.
  • Childhood obesity.
  • Dolphins.
  • Underpaid teachers.

Anyone else? Do you have “hot-button issues” that invariably embroil you in desperate, heated discussions–almost against your will? I hope I’m not the only one…

Half-hearted snax

I’m still feeling a bit swamped, so here’s the digest version of snax!

Pup links. You can read the dog-related things that interested me this week. How adorable. (Doggerel)

James: A Computer Hacker. This interview should scare you. This is from the project 100 Interviews, in which young journalist Gaby Dunn interviews 100 interesting people. It’s a very enjoyable blog to follow, but this story in particular really caught my eye. I’m inspired to change all of my passwords right now. And I’m glad I don’t have a space phone. (100 Interviews)

Around Home, Random Shots. I’m a sucker for dreamy domestic photographs. (Jolly Goo)

You Know What Sucks? Ugh. What’s sad is that I know so many people who think this. (STFU, Parents)

This Photo Made My Day. Mine too! You go, girl. (And baby.) (Marvelous Kiddo)

Annoying Words. A list of banned words from NY Mag editor Kurt Andersen. I concur! (A Cup of Jo)

Hormone-Free Birth Control. If only it were that easy. Or maybe it’s not easy to swat a stork from your apartment window. (The Hairpin)

President Obama Has No Idea What Year It Is. I laughed so hard over this. It’s just… delightful. (Daily Intel)

Goat Busters. Apparently, Charlottesville has this wonderful service for people with lawn problems. Temporarily hire a flock of goats to take care of your weeds for you! I would totally do it if I had some land to clear. (Scout Charlottesville)