February is a challenging month in the Midwest — we’re not done with winter for a couple more months, and the warm days are few and far between. In February, inspiration needs to be mined. So here are a few things I’ve been thinking, talking about and enjoying this week.
LEARN: How we learn to do things:
What if we all tried new things? In an essay in Real Simple, author Ann Leary shared her experiences learning to play the banjo, and explained it through four stages of competence in learning a skill. These are: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and unconscious competence. More here.
DISCUSS: Team Claire:
I finally finished ‘House of Cards’ this weekend and can read all the reviews now! The best: No, Claire Underwood is not a role model and Feminism, Depravity, and Power in House of Cards But to be clear, Team Claire — not because she’s a great feminist, but because in Season 2 she becomes a much more complex, interesting character.
Gabrielle Reece is interesting:
I’m an avid listener of Aisha Tyler’s podcast ‘Girl on Guy’ and this week I listened to the podcast conversation with her and former pro athlete/Olympian Gabrielle Reece. A perspective (a controversial one) on femininity and yielding to your spouse was discussed — there’s a similar quote here: “I think because women have the ability to set the tone that the ultimate strength and showing real power, I believe, is creating that environment,” she explained. “I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness I think it’s a sign of strength.” Reece also says she often ‘yields’ to others — even in the grocery store with a grocery cart — to make life easier for those around her. You may disagree with a term like ‘submission,’ but we can all be a little kinder to everyone around us.
DO: I can’t stop dancing:
I’ve found a direct correlation between amount of time I spend dancing — anywhere — and my mood. Saturday morning I went with a friend to a dance/aerobics class called Body Jam, and I’m hooked. I went again this morning.
SEE: 'In Secret':
The Olsen sister who acts, Draco Malfoy, Jessica Lange and some other people are in this dark movie about obsessive love and self destruction based on the Emile Zola 19th century novel. It got so-so reviews, but I thought it was great. It’s at Fleur Cinema until Thursday in Des Moines.
LISTEN: Young Man:
This band opened up for the Walkmen when I saw them in Minneapolis, but it’s perfect Sunday afternoon listening.