On Swearing: Alexander Wollcott, Liz Gilbert, & My Dad

16th April 2014

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Today, in honor of grown-up words, I will share with you my absolutely favorite historical writerly reply on the subject of cursing.

It comes from the great Jazz Age wit Alexander Wollcott (photo below). In 1941, Wollcott was starring in the hit play “The Man Who Came to Dinner”. After a performance in Washington DC, he received a letter from a disgruntled audience member, complaining that the play would have been much more entertaining, and much more appropriate for respectable audiences, had it not contained “three unnecessary Goddamns.”

Wollcott wrote back: “My dear Mr. Martin. This is to acknowledge your letter of March 6th, which really shocked me. When you speak of ‘three unnecessary God damns’, you imply that there is such a thing as a NECESSARY God damn. This, of course, is nonsense. A God damn is never a necessity. It is always a luxury. Yours most sincerely, Alexander Wollcott.”

Ah, the luxury of the right word at the right time!

How sweet it is.

- Liz Gilbert

Amazing! I love a good curse word much to my dear mama’s dismay and my father’s glee. My dad is a big curser…but it only adds to his charm because half the time it is in Italian (“TESTA DI CAZZO!” a phrase my siblings and I could all recite by the time we were five) and it really only makes sense for his lively, larger than life personality. Also, he doesn’t give a fuck where he is or who is around him which only makes him funnier. With the exception of the elderly or I suppose, quite proper company, he doesn’t hold back with his words. After being around him all my life, I’d take a daily swearer ANY DAY over an occasional swearer — occasional swearers kind of freak me out because they usually only swear when they’re angry which is scary. Like someone who unexpectedly drops F bombs in a fit of road rage. Ugh, how pedestrian.

To me, cursing is complex, passionate (duh), hilarious, fun, unpretentious, and beautifully gritty ! I also love the contrast it can provide! Like in the case of Liz Gilbert, here’s this beautiful, fair blonde, educated, incredibly brilliant, articulate, world-renowned author who loves to throw around some ‘fucks.’ It’s all the more thrilling watching someone like her swear, because it shatters a lot of our stereotypical ideas (that we’ve perhaps been conditioned to believe) of what a person who curses looks/acts like! And what’s even better is, I’ve never heard her use curse words in an aggressive manner…unlike a lot of people who swear (aka those ‘occasional’ road rage swearers)!

HOWEVER, in writing, I think it can fosh lose it’s punch and should be using sparingly/moderately. That being said, I know a lot of doods who don’t like hearing ladies curse, at least in excess. Understandable. I’ve heard it from several guys myself however I have yet to raise the issue with my dad whose opinion I totally revere, just like any other self-respecting daddy’s girl. I can already hear his answer though. “Fuck em,” he’d say.

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THIS VIDEO IS THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!!! So so sweet. God, I adore him.

Pharrell Cries Tears of Joy While Watching the World Dance to ‘Happy’

Here’s the article from Elite Daily!

Pharrell is so “Happy” that he’s crying tears of joy.

The legendary singer/producer/style icon/large hat wearer/all-around good dude sat down with Oprah to discuss all things “Happy.”

While sitting with her and watching fan-created videos to his song, Pharrell broke down in tears. Why? Because the song is beautiful, the videos are incredible and people all over the world love it.

Pharrell created a unifying song that knows no boundaries. Held together by an infectious melody, feel-good lyrics you can’t help but love and an energy that can’t be surmised in words, Pharrell has created something incredible and timeless.

The seven-time Grammy winner has been in the game and seen success for decades, but he is still managing to reinvent himself, even at age 41.

In his interview with Oprah, the gravity of his hard work finally sinks in, and you can feel a sense of relief wash over him. Pharrell proved to the world, and himself, that he still has it and that he’s actually better than ever.

Between Robin Thicke’s summer anthem “Blurred Lines” and “Happy,” Pharrell has held the number one slot a total of 19 weeks and counting since June 2013. In addition to his work with Daft Punk, Pharrell shows no signs of slowing up, and even his giant hat can’t weigh him down!

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Thoughts on Food | Man Repeller

13th April 2014

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BECAUSE ‘FOOD FOR THOUGHT’ FELT TOO CLICHÉ: 

Growing up, eating well meant eating low-fat; I felt good about a snack of instant oatmeal and Diet Coke. When I started to gain weight in college, the concept of looking at a food label for ingredients instead of calories was altogether foreign, and later, while living in New York, I swung between street meat, my aunt’s macrobiotic home cooking and an uncomfortably tight waistband.

I currently split my time between NYC and Northern New Mexico, surrounded by small farms and fresh food. In this new life with little conveniences or nearby McDonalds, I basically have no choice but to eat well. Ironically, once I stopped worrying about calories and started focusing on actual health, numbers on the scale became a non-issue.

21 year-old me was a different story — I’d basically eat sugar-free crap all day so long as I consumed no more than 1250 cal. Counting calories felt like a good way to be health-conscious, because every woman I knew was keeping track in one way or another.

At some point in the last few years, though, actual health became more important than dress size. For me, the shift came thanks to a few wise women and herbalists who helped explain what my body actually needed. Once I realized how well I could function with the right fuel, the seed was planted for a larger overhaul. And while it got me down to a steady, healthy weight, that was no longer as important to me as the improvements I was seeing in overall health.

What’s more, I’m seeing a similar trend among friends and relatives. Ten years ago, the women in my family opted for aspartame and low-fat milk in their coffee; now, the few who still drink coffee wouldn’t touch Sweet-N-Low. Meals are as delicious and joyful as always, but very little comes pre-packaged. Part of that is motivated by the awareness of sickness that comes with age. However, it seems there’s also a larger cultural change — while it still costs a fortune, organic food is no longer reserved for conspiracy theorists and the uber-wealthy.

The organic food market is expected to grow 14% per year over the next 4 years, and organic food production in the US increased 240% between 2002 and 2011. While healthful eating isn’t solely about eating organic, the increased production is a good measure for interest in eating well. It may be optimistic, but I don’t think we’re that far off from a time when girls are less worried about their weight and more aware of their waning energy post-candy bar.

To be clear, this isn’t an “I lost weight and you can do it, too!” post, or a plea for everyone to start gardens on their roof. (Though that would be amazing.) Nor is it a celebration of some great personal accomplishment — I will always want a pack of Twizzlers when I see them. But the sense of constant deprivation, and the embarrassment or hubris that comes from either succumbing to or resisting temptation no longer exists.

So, I guess my question is: have you felt a cultural change in the approach to food and calories? What about among your friends? Has it affected you or your habits? Does it feel like just another diet? Or is it finally a healthy, sustainable life-change?

Read the rest here!

I’ve come to a lot of the same realizations as of late! I italicized my favorite bits!

Health > Calories/Diets/Sugar-Free Shit/Blah Blah Blah 

Health baby, HEALTH! 

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9th April 2014

“The ego uses perfection to keep itself employed. It coyly assumes that if we stay focused on striving and the future, we will forget to notice the happiness that’s already available to us. Being happy for no reason is our birthright. Happiness is always available to us and when we’re quiet, when we stop thinking, we experience it.

The Critic thinks we need to have it all together to be happy, and the Dreamer imagines a future moment when we “arrive,” when the years of work that we’ve done on ourselves finally pay off, and our dream of a “perfect me” comes true.

According to the Critic, to get from our current, flawed “me” to the glorious realization of a “perfect me,” we have to be vigilant, tyrannizing ourselves every time our humanness shows up.”

- Laura Katleman-Prue

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The unlimited Creative Principle within you is the source of all art and wisdom. Awaken initiative, which is the creative faculty within you- a spark from the divine Creator. With unflinching steadiness go forward on your path, knowing that the Infinite Power sustains you.

- PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA
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