Lean In

Have you heard of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In”? Sandberg is the COO of Facebook, and she gave an inspiring TEDTalk in 2010 about the lack of women leaders and how we’re unintentionally holding ourselves back. “Lean In” continues that dialogue, “combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women.”

The release of “Lean In” spurred a social media tie-in, under the question ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ Women of all ages have answered on the movement’s Tumblr page, with answers ranging from, “Ask for more money” to “Become a professional salsa dancer.” I’ll admit I don’t entirely get how either of things will propel women to the top of their field and grasp the typical career achievements Sandberg preaches in her TEDTalk, but I get that we’re (women and men) generally afraid of going after what we want.

Needless to say my interest has been piqued and I’m planning to use one of the many coupons B&N sends me to pick up a copy of the book this weekend. I’ll report back when I finish! Have any of you read it yet?

And what would I do if I wasn’t afraid? I would quit my job, move to Paris, and write. What about you?

Feeling (Pea)Cocky

A few years ago, Jamal and I went to an animal rescue/petting zoo in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. Of course it was in New Jersey. This was before we adopted Fitz, thereby inviting more insanity into our lives than we were prepared for, and we were looking at any and all dog rescues in the area. Oh! How young and naive we were. This particular rescue had just received a large group of beagles who had been taken from a test facility in North Carolina. Let me just tell you that you shouldn’t even go near an animal rescue unless you are prepared to weep over every single animal in every single cage. It’s torture to walk in and not be like, “I’LL TAKE THEM ALL!”

But that’s not the point of the story, the point is that before we even got into the actual building, we realized that the grounds of the park were packed with peacocks. They were everywhere! Heaven for me, since I love peacocks the way I love all other animals, in a full-on Elmyra Duff kind of way: “I’m gonna hug you and squeeze you and love you forever and ever!” I even took a picture with one, so enthused was I:

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Apparently, it wasn’t so heavenly for Jamal. After he snapped this shot, I said, “Okay! Your turn!” and he just stood there, looking at me as though I’d just cuddled a giant hobo. “Your…turn?” I tried again, walking over and taking the camera from him. Once I got closer to him I realized he was staring past me….at the peacock. With a look that could only be described as hate-fear.

“Is something wrong?”

“I don’t like peacocks.”

“WHAT?! How could you not like peacocks?! They’re so beautiful and majestic and colorful!”

“….I got chased by one as a kid.”

“…”

“Stop laughing, it was really scary. I don’t like them.”

I mean, okay. I’m marrying someone who is terrified of one of the least violent and evolutionary harmless birds ever, a bird whose only defense is to open a giant fan tail of royal blue feathers and be like “BACK IT UP I AM TOO PRETTY FOR THIS NONSENSE.” It could be worse. I’m just not sure how we’re going to handle taking a future kiddo to the zoo and not instilling in him/her a lifelong fear of peacocks. “GET AWAY FROM THE KILLER BIRD!” is not really a scenario I want to inflict on my child.

Anyway, he’s clearly in the minority, because peacock themed goodies are everywhere. While it’s unlikely I’ll be able to bring any of these things into my house without potentially triggering a flashback to his traumatizing peacock experience, I couldn’t resist making a round-up.

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1. Candle / 2. Tray / 3. Pillow / 4. Earrings / 5. Scarf / 6. Phone Case
7. Figurine / 8. Painting / 9. Tea set / 10. Rug

Like It’s 1999

See this bag?

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It’s an Alexander Wang Prisma Tote. It’s a normal, everyday tote, right? WRONG. Turn off the lights, and:

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IT GLOWS IN THE DARK. Gone are the days of using your cell phone as a flashlight to see in a dark bar, or using candles in a blackout. Just pop out your Prisma Tote and voila, instant light!

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I just cannot. It’s on sale from $825 to $578, which is a total steal to be able to walk around like you’re living in a rave. If it dropped another $500 I might consider it, just for the fun I would have turning off the lights everywhere I went and becoming a human glow worm. Would you buy it? Yea or nay.

Peonies

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Friday was a good day. We had stinky bleu cheese and baguette for dinner, I bought and blazed through Maria Semple’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” (finishing it after a mere 8 hours combined over the weekend. I highly recommend it!), and I finally found peonies. I found them! And I spent the majority of the weekend photographing them and staring at them lovingly. The light in our all-white guest room (slash my writing room) is unbelievable in the mid-afternoon, so I snuck down there yesterday and had a mini photoshoot with these beauties. Yes, they smell as gorgeous as they look. I actually had a hard time leaving the house (this morning included) because I really don’t want to miss them opening and becoming even more beautiful. That’s not weird.