Monthly Archives: September 2015

Things that I am supposed to like but I do not like all that much

Massages (too “handsy”)

Museums (it’s the pace of them, really, that draggy walking around only to stand still while others jockey for space around me)

Short stories (I’ve only just glommed on to who’s who when it’s over. Even worse are short story collections, where the experience repeats itself 8 or 10 or 12 times)

Articles about “content marketing” (here is where we wonder: given my career am I compelled to read them?)

Most concerts (I spend much of my time wondering how soon they will be over)

The Opera, the ballet  (as above)

Twitter (never follow @dianedico unless you like the sound of silence, then please do)

Lobster (allergic but even if I wasn’t they freak me out)

Oysters, clams, crabs (ditto, ditto, ditto)

Gardening (buggy, sweaty and isn’t always easier to go buy a carrot or whatever?)

Meditating (oh please)

but maybe not such a good idea either?

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Why A Nude Photo Session in Your 50s Is Not Such a Bad Idea After All

If you get those Living Social emails, you surely have received offers of discounted “boudoir photography” sessions. While I like a deal as much as the next underpaid editor, I’ve always viewed them as a spectacularly bad idea.

Take off your clothes for some stranger in a second-floor studio on Canal Street? Not sure I want to live that social.

Delete. (Come to think of it, this pretty much describes my Living Social bikini wax experience, but I’m almost positive there were no cameras involved.)

Another reason boudoir photography has held no appeal: Mine is not a body built for the boudoir. Not that I’ve ever, knowingly, visited a boudoir, but I’m pretty sure the ladies you’d find there would be womanly, curvy, Rubenesque. By contrast, I possess super-sturdy legs, broad shoulders, narrow hips and a not-narrow waist. I have what I call a Man Back which makes for a bra size that starts, alluringly, with the number 36, only to be followed by a demure “A.” Practically a Man Front, in other words, at least above the waist.

I know in describing my body I’m revealing my body image as well, but the truth is …

Read more at >

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automatic things that are not at all helpful

The iphone’s autocorrect functionality (famously)

Self-scanning at the grocery store (makes me want to steal stuff)

Google’s autopopulating search field (so much criminal intent/content)

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 2.57.25 PM

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let’s have no more

Football metaphors in the workplace, OK guys?

Moving the chains (a good thing I found out)

Blocking and tackling

Calling an audible

Huddles (yew, no, we’re co-workers)

Third and goal; first and ten; fourth and ballgame, etc.

I don’t really know what you’re talking about, for starters. Also: seriously?

First and goal

First down and goal to go

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injured party

no party at all.

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More on forgiveness

“There was love, an abundance of it; we just had to respect and accept that it was not the love of happily ever after. No, we would not be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary, or even our sixth, but we would always be celebrating our children and the physical and emotional bond that brought them into being.

As it turns out, the world of moral absolutes is ill-suited to divorce. It isn’t a question of good/bad, success/failure, right/wrong. It is a recognition that what existed is irretrievably broken and that something else must be built in its place.

The decision to end a marriage is not about quitting; it is about letting go of one relationship in exchange for another. The equation isn’t love/not love. Divorce, at its best, is a love reborn — birthed from heartache and rage and despair and ultimately, forgiveness — that creates a different kind of family.”

Such a good essay. I read it, in the cool sunshine of my porch, the church up the street tolling its bells on the hour. Around me, fall is obligingly fall like: clear sky, dry leaves rattling in the breeze, the haze of summer dispelled.

Also, apropos of nothing, her characterizing child-rearing as feelings of love (of course) but also “corrosive boredom.”

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the forgiveness project

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Frederic Luskin, a psychologist and the head of the Stanford Forgiveness Project, offers thoughts about forgiveness when “when you’ve been harmed by someone you’re close to and must work through all the conflicting feelings to get to a place of dignity and peace.”

Reading even these words gives me the thrill of coming upon something that can help me. A project! I love projects because I love plans and focus and work. More to the point, I am so uncomfortable with indecision. Much like Caroline “it’s not that I can’t make up my mind, it’s that I can’t stop making up my mind,” that’s how much she is troubled by indecision.

Dr. Luskin’s advice is standard: honestly apologize (no “I’m sorry but”), ask for forgiveness, practice forgiveness. Here’s what reading it triggered in me: forgiving is not the same thing as reconciling. You can let go of the blackness of blame — forgive in other words — but still decide to step away from the relationship, for awhile or forever. Maybe, even, you can’t know if reconciliation is possible until you forgive?

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the always available elsewhere

“When you sense that a lull in the conversation is coming, you can shift your attention from the people in the room to the world you can find on your phone…You can put your attention wherever you want it to be. You can always be heard. You never have to be bored,” From the NY Times article, “Stop Googling, Let’s Talk.”

We see families at restaurants or even — if we’re honest —in our own living rooms lost to their own devices. In each others’ company but communing with others: texting, posting, Instagarmming. The Times laments the rising generation and its inability to converse. But it’s just as prevalent among my generation and in the company of my own husband. He needs to know something that, in his mind, will add to the conversation, bringing up a relevant fact or YouTube clip. But it’s distracting and even the kids hate it: “Stop Googling,” they say.

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days of awe

I like the sound of this much better than Days of Repentance, which is what I thought the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur was called.

In fact, the two appear to be synonymous, which makes me wonder how much awe I find in repentance. I read that: “it is common to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year.” Further: “to atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible.”

Interestingly, I felt terrible this week that a friend found that a rug was damaged after he lent us his studio for a photo shoot. I wasn’t aware of the damage but that he felt ill of me made me feel ill. I contemplated how hard it is for me to hear criticism, to learn that I’ve let someone down. I know this must be rooted in a precarious sense of self-worth — more about how I feel about myself than how others feel about me. Regardless, I felt swamped by self-recrimination. But then the words “an honest apology, sincerely offered” came to me. Is this a quote? Something I myself have written? Not sure. But I did it, was forgiven, felt better.

My own Days of Awe experience

Yamim Noraim (in Hebrew)

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This is what 81 looks like

Sophia Loren, on the occasion of her 81st birthday

Sophia Loren, on the occasion of her 81st birthday

There’s nobody more beautiful than Sophia as a young woman — the very archetype of the Italian bombshell.

Portrait of Sophia as a young woman

Portrait of Sophia as a young woman

As with so many icons, Sophia is being celebrated at age 81 — and employed, with a Dolce & Gabbana lipstick all her own. But the signs of extensive work she has had done make it hard to look at her: the beestung lips, the waxy cheeks, the drag queen makeup. I’m conflicted.

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