Currently No. 7

It's been a moody start to the summer... with Mars in retrograde and all. So, while I'm still digging the oxblood trend, a little turquoise and brass to lighten the mood never hurt anyone.

I'm off to Las Vegas today for the National Charter School Conference, so I'm hoping to catch up on some serious reading and podcast listening during downtime. You can follow the highlights on my Instagram.

Currently No. 7


Recommended Articles

I've been making an effort to read a lot more this year: a goal of 50 books, a subscription to The New Yorker and The Atlantic, and generally checking Google News for interesting articles. Sometimes all you need for a change of perspective or a quick refresher is a good article. 

Recommended Articles

Here are snippets from a few that have caught my eye recently and one of my favorite travel articles from a few years ago:

1. Perrottet, Tony. "O’Keeffe’s Hawaii." The New York Times 30 Nov. 2012
Then there were the coastal hikes. “Georgia did like to walk!” Patricia had told me. And she memorialized what she found in her work. O’Keeffe painted two lava bridges — natural arches formed over the crashing waves of the ocean below. Finding the first was not hard: it’s visible from the parking lot on the cliffs of Waianapanapa Beach. But to find the second, I set off on the Coastal Trail south of Hana township, where I was whipped by sea spray as I traversed several farms where cows stared at me and dogs yapped at my heels. After about 45 minutes, I spotted the lava bridge. A Hawaiian family was camping next to it, with teenage boys casting fishing lines from precarious rocks nearby.
2. Nussbaum, Emily. "Snowbound." The New Yorker 23 Jun. 2014
Maybe I’m burned out on bloodbaths. But “Fargo,” FX’s adaptation of the great film by the Coen brothers, created and written by Noah Hawley, left me feeling a thousand miles away, despite its strong cast and shrewd beauty. It also raised a question that’s become a cable-drama default: How good does a violent drama need to be to make the pain of watching worth it? “Breaking Bad,” thumbs up; the brilliantly nightmarish “Hannibal,” too. Other shows—“The Walking Dead,” say—have seemed like a bad bet. As the critic James Poniewozik tweeted recently, “TV’s not a chili-pepper-eating contest.”
3.  Esfahani Smith, Emily. "Masters of Love." The Atlantic 12 Jun. 2014
There are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise. Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. They know that they have to exercise it to keep it in shape. They know, in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work. 
“If your partner expresses a need,” explained Julie Gottman, “and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes in when a partner makes a bid, and you still turn toward your partner.”


Currently No. 6

A few things that have caught my eye this June...
Not technically diamonds, Herkimer diamonds are actually a variety of quartz crystal. Harder and with more sparkle and clarity than most quartz varieties, these unique gems are found only in Herkimer County, New York.
Currently No. 6


Recommended Reading

Lately I've been gravitating toward short stories and biographies. I love getting a glimpse of different perspectives and particularly the powerful influence of one's childhood.
What has piqued your interest lately?

Recommended Reading No. 3

Here are snippets from all four:

1. “Goodbye, My Brother” (John Cheever) – "I have grown too old now to think that I can judge the sentiments of others, but I was conscious of the tension between Lawrence and Mother, and I knew some of the history of it. Lawrence couldn't have been more than sixteen years old when he decided that Mother was frivolous, mischievous, destructive, and overly strong. When he had determined this, he decided to separate himself from her. He was at boarding school then, and I remember that he did not come home for Christmas. He spent Christmas with a friend. He came home very seldom after he had made this unfavorable judgment on Mother, and when he did come home, he always tried, in his conversation, to remind her of his estrangement. When he married Ruth, he did not tell Mother. He did not tell her when his children were born. But in spite of these principled and lengthy exertions he seemed, unlike the rest of us, never to have enjoyed any separation, and when they are together, you feel at once a tension, an unclearness." (P. 16)

2. Blue Nights (Joan Didion)
"I continue opening boxes.
I find more faded and cracked photographs than I want ever again to see.
I find many engraved invitations to the weddings of people who are no longer married.
I find many mass cards from the funerals of people whose faces I no longer remember.
In theory these momentos serve to bring back the moment.
In fact they serve only to make clear how inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here.
How inadequately I appreciated the moment when it was here is something else I could never afford to see." (P. 46)

3. Grace: A Memoir (Grade Coddington)  "Yves Saint Laurent was one I never skipped. He was modern. He proposed an entirely different couture, one that reflected the influences of youth, popular music, and what was happening in and around the streets of Paris's Left Bank. It was not at all for little old ladies. Cardin and Courrèges were modern too back then, but theirs was a different kind of modernity: It was futuristic, and I don't usually "get" futuristic, because I think it's just an effect. Dior I found a bit shocking. There was always one point in the show where they sent out three exotic fur coats together in a group for les petites bourgeoises and they were usually made from some extremely endangered species like snow leopard. I considered it rather disgraceful and didn't care for Dior at that time." (P. 100)

4. Roasting in Hell's Kitchen: Temper Tantrums, F Words, and the Pursuit of Perfection (Gordon Ramsay) – "We spent a lot of time practising our menus. We always trial new dishes over and over until they are perfect. As a result, the menu at Claridge's was, and still is, exquisite. You can start with a beautiful dish like a smoked eel and celeriac soup with crushed ratte potatoes and poached quail's eggs; follow it with a roast cannon of new season's Cornish lamb served with confit shoulder, white bean puree, baby leeks and rosemary jus; and finish with a classic carmelised tarte tatin flavoured with cardamom, and vanilla ice cream. Or, if you fancy something a little lighter, you could start off with a chilled Charentais melon soup served with a Cornish crab vinaigrette, followed by baked baby sea bass served with roasted fennel and confit garlic, and finish with blood orange semi-freddo with an Earl Grey tea sorbet and glazed pink grapefruit." (P. 177-178)