Tag Archives: Kate

A Different Kind of Writing

I didn’t write anything about fathers on Father’s Day.

I’ve written about my dad before, “My dad taught me a lot of things: how to find the North Star, how to make a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, how todrive in a New England winter. He taught me to value diversity of opinion and honesty of expression, to choose good, smart people to be in my life, to believe that I can do and be anything I want.”

Do I call my parents enough? Of course not; I’m in my twenties and epically self-involved. When I do, it takes half an hour of rambling about work drama or explaining why they must read this blog or that blog (they obviously don’t read blogs) before I get around to asking about them, at which point, I inevitably need to get on a bus, or talk to my roommate, or make a sandwich.

But I try. I really do. I show them pictures of my friends and draw them maps of my neighborhood. I throw links and clips their way to try to bridge a 1,000-mile, five-state gap that I created and solidified. Calling with good news, or bad news, or just to tell them about a book I’m reading and eventually ask about their homes and work and friends and activities, that’s what I can do right now.

I don’t mean that that’s all I can do right now. Rather, I mean that I am lucky enough to be able to do that, and so I should. More.

Also learned from my Dad: be unabashedly dorky

My friend Kate wrote an amazing essay about her first Father’s Day since her dad passed away in November. “For those who have lost a father, Father’s Day is a day for everyone else to remember what you think about every day.” It’s about the luxury of taking one’s father for granted.

Yesterday, I wrote a short obituary for my uncle, who I admired and respected with all my heart. He was the definition of a family man, and his warmth, good cheer and sincerity were such beacons of optimism in an increasingly cynical and sarcastic world. How does one even begin to encapsulate a life’s worth of children and homes and golf and love and laughter and talk in something a newspaper charges you $8 a line to print?

One word at a time, I learned. Just like you write anything else.

Related Post: Hometowns are hard to let go of, even when you put 5 states between you and it.

Related Post: Dads in advertising.


Filed under Family

Sunday Scraps 13

1. DATING/GEOGRAPHY: An artist joined 20 online dating sites and then created a map called “A More Perfect Union” that maps the United States based on how we describe ourselves in profiles. City names are changed to reflect regional differentiators. New York is “Now,” Chicago is “Always,” Omaha is “Steak.”

2. COMEDY: Is Groupon supporting the next generation of Chicago comic masterminds? Smart Girls, Stupid Things writer Kate reports for WBEZ on the relationship between the Chicago mega-company and the city’s improv community.

3. FOOD: “America Feasts” is a photo series documenting America’s relationship with food, from drive-thrus to BBQs.

4. BOOKS: The Atlantic reports on why adults love apocalyptic young adult fiction. As someone who was recently obsessed with The Hunger Games, I can get on board.

5. THE FRENCH: I’m not usually a super fan of Maureen Dowd, but her column this week about French politics and sexual culture is pretty great. And the title, “Non means Non” isn’t half bad either.

6. EDUMUCATION: How relevant is student testing to measuring teacher performance? I don’t know. You probably don’t know. But here are a ton of smart people talking about it, which is pretty much about the most I can ask right now.

Related Post: Scraptastic links for Chelsea Handler, sex education, art vs. childsplay and other fun stuff.

Related Post: Scraptastic links for Charles Barkley, pubic hairs, prison food and tv scheduling.

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Education, Food, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Why Bother Talking About Anything Else?

Liberals get confused too

As someone not directly touched by the tragedy of 9/11, I was surprised by the depth of my own relief last night when the internet exploded with news of Bin Laden’s death. Since, rightly, this is all we will be talking about today, I will not attempt to pivot to something comparatively trivial. We can talk about bikinis in advertising, or the latest feminist travesty (there’s always a new one), tomorrow.

In summary:

  • Read this excellent post at Smart Girls, Stupid Things by someone who was in New York in 2001, about her complex feelings watching the news last night.
  • On a lighter note, CopyRanter has a gallery of Osama related advertising (Hint: There’s one for condoms).
  • Coverage of his death on AlJazeera English.
  • My favorite tweet of the evening: “‘I loosened it’ – Bush”
  • I’m not a fan of the party culture that erupted last night, though I guess we all express our relief in different ways. NYMag has a gallery of party shots at Ground Zero.

Related Post: Gail Collins’ excellent response after the Tucson shooting.

Related Post: More good words from Smart Girls on Planned Parenthood funding.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Media, Politics

Words Are Hard

This is what happens when you google image "incoherence"

Today is one of those days where I have lots to say, but none of the energy to say any of it. I turn in times like this to exceptionally smart people who also like words and maybe just maybe have more energy than me.

Case in point: budget, shut down, abortion, Planned Parenthood, gender, war on women, semantics, back the F up people. Were I feeling up to it, that would be a thoughtful, coherent series of sentences that would hopefully have a point, a persuading argument and a conclusion. Tough cookies. So I give you Kate, founder of Smart Girls, Stupid Things, who says things like this:

“Abortion isn’t the issue; it’s the tip of the iceberg. These people aren’t going to go halfsies with you on a PB&J; they want all or nothing, and they’re not going to stop until they can refuse women the right to purchase Plan B, or birth control, or anything that lets women take control of their own bodies.”

See, look at those beautiful sentences! With nouns and verbs in all the right places! Go read the rest of her post about the current brouhaha so I can go back to sleep.

I will hopefully be back to the world of the living later today. After coffee. And a bagel. And coffee. And a nap. And maybe some cake.

Related Post: Back when I was articulate, here’s my infographic take on the conservative roadmap to your reproductive future. It was even on Jezebel.

Related Post: I’ve written a bit for Smart Girls, Stupid Things on subjects like James Deen’s feminist porn credentials and the problem with lady sex on TV.


Filed under Gender, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People

Featured on Jezebel Today!

A post that I originally wrote for Kate’s blog was republished by Jezebel today! So exciting! Double digit comments and counting!


Filed under Gender, Media, Republished!