The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this, because it is the key to making art and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper (which, let’s face it, was once a towering tree crowned with leaves and a home to birds), I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe that, more than anything else, this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can’t write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself.
It’s Chicago Ideas Week! I love that city and I wish I could be there for some of the events. Cheers to my Chicago friends—enjoy!
Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) is about the sharing of ideas, inspiring action and igniting change to positively impact our world. People who come to CIW are artists, engineers, technologists, inventors, scientists, musicians, economists, explorers-and, well…just innately passionate.
Our new Good Line website launched about a month ago. Isn’t it lovely? I’m thrilled to be able to head up the curation of our Travel Log as we gather stories from people all around the world. Stay tuned for upcoming posts and gems of goodness.
An English major is much more than 32 or 36 credits including a course in Shakespeare, a course on writing before 1800, and a three-part survey of English and American lit. That’s the outer form of the endeavor. It’s what’s inside that matters. It’s the character-forming—or (dare I say?) soul-making—dimension of the pursuit that counts… . The English major is, first of all, a reader… . The English major reads because, as rich as the one life he has may be, one life is not enough. He reads not to see the world through the eyes of other people but effectively to become other people. What is it like to be John Milton, Jane Austen, Chinua Achebe? What is it like to be them at their best, at the top of their games?
English majors want the joy of seeing the world through the eyes of people who—let us admit it—are more sensitive, more articulate, shrewder, sharper, more alive than they themselves are. The experience of merging minds and hearts with Proust or James or Austen makes you see that there is more to the world than you had ever imagined. You see that life is bigger, sweeter, more tragic and intense—more alive with meaning than you had thought.
I’m not an English major, but I always thought it would be fun to study English
This isn’t a beauty blog by any means, but since I’m interning with the Hair Care department at Target headquarters this summer, I’ve gotten a lot more exposure to various hair care and cosmetic products lately. This is a list of the products I’ve purchased or received as samples this summer and my take on them.
Catwalk Curls Rock Curl Amplifier ($13)I really like this product. I have fine, kinda wavy hair and when I use this on wet locks and diffuse them it gives me volume, texture, and beach-type curls.
Tesseumme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo ($4)Love this stuff for the busy days when you don’t have time to wash and re-style. You can also use baby powder as dry shampoo (since I’m blonde it doesn’t show in my hair), but the Tresseumme stuff smells ways better.
Chi Straight Guard ($14)I’ve only used this a few times when I’ve straightened my hair and haven’t noticed much of a difference. I think the product is probably meant for people with curlier hair that’s harder to straighten or that won’t stay straight throughout the day.
Sonia Kashuk Tinted Lip Balm-Hint of Pink ($9)Awesome. The color is enough but not too bold and goes on smoothly without the cakey feeling you sometimes get from lipstick. Plus rumor has it that it’s produced in the same factory as Burberry lipstick…
Too Faced Boudoir Eyes Eye Shadow Collection ($36) Too Faced is definitely my go-to brand for eye shadows. The shadows are smooth and long-lasting, and I love the how-to cards included with each palette. I bought the Return of Sexy palette ($48) back in December and I’ve been using it nearly every day since then. This brand is pretty spendy, but definitely worth it for me because I use it so much.
This summer I’ve been interning at the Target headquarters in my lovely homestate of Minnesota. I work in the Hair Care department within the Merchandise Planning pyramid, which basically means that our team is in charge of making sure the right hair care products get to the right stores in the right quantities at the right times. It might sound simple, but for a retailer as large as Target that’s a lot of work.
Target has a fantastic internship program, so this summer has been both fun and challenging as I’ve worked together with the other interns on my team to analyze mountains of data in order to find opportunities for Target to improve. At the end of next week we present our findings to several directors and managers, so I’ll post another update then. In the meantime, enjoy some pictures of the awesome headquarters building in downtown Minneapolis!
P.S. That sparkly mosaic painting of the Target Bullseye dog is about 20 x 20 ft!)
Happy 500th Episode to my favorite radio show, This American Life—the show that taught me that NPR can be cool and that radio done right is an incredibly powerful form of communication.
Some of my favorite episodes:
What Doesn’t Kill You: interesting stories of people almost getting killed, including a woman who compulsively swallows nails, knives, and other lethal objects.
Mr. Daisy and the Apple Factory followed by Retraction: Stories and truth about Apple supplier factories in China. You HAVE to listen to both of them together or you’ll go on thinking everything in the first story is really true. Plus you get to hear Ira Glass pissed off, which is kind of entertaining.
Switched at Birth: An amazing story of two girls who were accidentally switched as infants and how they grew up in the same town together without knowing it
The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar: Super interesting story about a kidnapping and its repercussions three generations later. The story was engaging, but I especially loved hearing how the boy’s original family and descendants react to meeting the posterity of the kidnapper.
Disclaimer: The following post may the most controversial of any I have ever written. I felt strongly impressed to write it. It may be triggering for some, as it is about sex and uses the word sex (and others) many times. If that makes you uncomfortable, don’t read more. Enjoy the gifs. Otherwise:
Last year I highlighted the company’s unique (if staged) security cameras piece. This year they’ve done it again with this spot on the tension —and potential connection—between India and Pakistan. Like I said last time, I admire Coca Cola’s creative approach to advertising and I’d love to see more of the talent behind these spots going into marketing social causes.
"The way the Potholes series came about was that my wife Claudia and I were driving and hit a large pothole. We started complaining about the amount of potholes in our city and then joked about seeing a woman washing her laundry in one. After imagining a few scenes that could happen in a pothole we looked at each other and knew we had a great idea for a photography series.”
Here’s a neat thing I stumbled across on GOOD today: Light Lane is designed to project a bright green bike lane on the road around cyclists as they move. A clever way to improve safety for motorists and cyclists alike.
The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love).
The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck. When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.