Friday, September 30, 2011

The Art of Understanding People

Many of you probably recognize this image as Hannibal Lector, psychopath extraordinaire from the movie Silence of the Lambs.  Thanks to Anthony Hopkins amazing acting talent, I could no longer walk in the dark down our driveway to the garbage can shortly after I saw this film.  Later, I got over it.  But for about a week or two the world seemed a much scarier place.

I've been studying psychology off and on now for many years.  And the Hannibal Lectors of this world are rare.  He was a true psychopath, and those are a little bit hard to find.  Although not as rare as we might like to think. 

Sometimes I wonder why people fascinate me so much and why I really want to be a counselor.  But they just do

Because I also love interior design and art and furniture and color so much, some people have suggested I should stick with those things and focus my energy there.  I'm back in school pursuing a degree in psychology, and it seems I don't always get a lot of support for that idea.  There's a lot of "yeah, I think you'd be good at that, but have you thought about doing this _____(insert pet idea of person giving me free advice here)______________.  I've decided this response is probably multi-faceted.  First off, I think a lot of people are actually put off by the idea of psychiatry and psychology.  They've never been to a counseler, or they didn't like it the one time they did try to go, and they are really uncomfortable with the idea of psychology as a career.  So I get a lot of "hmmmm, have you thought about interior design?"

Well, yeah, I do love that.  But as a career choice, not really.  AND it's even less practical than pursuing an advanced degree and becoming a counselor or psychologist.  It would actually be much more difficult for me at this age, to become a successful designer, than if I were to pursue a Phd!  (and I'm actually not even trying to pursue a Phd right now, just a Masters).

Oh yeah, and I do have that business I'm working on right now with bridal gowns and prom dresses and evening gowns.  And I REALLY enjoy that.  And I would love it if I can keep that going as long as possible.  But ulimately, I probably will end up hiring someone to run that for me when it becomes impossible for me to do that and counseling at the same time. While I'm still in school, I can make it all work.  

I guess here is what I would like everyone to know.  I love beautiful things where ever I can find them.  I love art, and design and photography and color and fashion.  But the other thing I really love are people.  People are fascinating. And they are beautiful and complicated and like a big kaliedescope of fascinating contradictions.  There is an art to understanding people. What motivates them, what makes them happy, or sad.  I can see things in people that they often have difficulty seeing in themselves.  I could no more give up that pursuit than I could give up loving color.

Trying to understand people, to support people, to help people understand themselves is the one constant thing that motivates me to succeed more than anything else in my life besides my children. (who will always be the best thing I ever did, or could hope to do).

I can't paint.  I can't draw. 

But this art of understanding people is one thing I truly excell at. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I love beautiful images.  I don't always know what I'm going to do with them, or how they'll become important (though they usually do become useful or important somehow), but much in the same way that I really enjoy art, I love keeping track of great images of things that I find inspiring.

This girl is ridiculously attractive.  I love the color of her hair (might want to copy that), I really like her makeup and I love the combination of colors she is wearing.  

I'm kind of obsessed with these lace jackets right now.  These are so right now.  Plus, you know Black & Yellow is a great combination right now too. And also, it doesn't hurt that it's Oscar De La Renta.

I just loooove all these colors together AND I wish I owned all these awesome chairs. 

I'm sure it's possible, but doesn't it seem that if you lived here you could never ever be sad about anything? 

I hope to go to Provence someday.  In the meantime, I just have facial cream that comes from there, and that has to suffice for now. 

I think this color combination is sooo genius and gorgeous and different.

People are often afraid to mix red and pink.  After you saw this image why would you ever be afraid to do that ever again?

The Maldives, at sunset.  enough said. 

I just love the style of JCrew, everything they do is usually something I love.  And I think that coat is adorable, and I love that color combo. 

I'm really interested in how longer sleeve styles have become more popular lately, and I think this orange is to die for.  

Do you collect images of things you love?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Black Celebration

It takes me quite a while to save up enough black interiors I like to warrant a blog post.  Here are my favorite black rooms from 2011.  It's tricky to pull off, but when it's done well, it looks fantastic.  Someday I shall have at least 1 black wall. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Feminism & Happy Homemakers...Mutually Exclusive? What 3rd Wave Feminism brings to the table.

I was cooking dinner the other night and I don't remember how it came up or exactly what was said but I made a crack about some statement from one of my children not being very "feminist" and all my kids looked at me weird.  And then my daughter said "'re not a feminist are you?"  and she eyed me very suspiciously as she said this. 

This bothered me on multiple levels. 

I felt it was a "given" that I'm a feminist.  And I felt it was a given that I shouldn't have to explain why.  These kids grew up in my house and they know how I feel about pretty much any particular topic and yet somehow my thoughts and feelings - who I am and feminism did not seem particularly compatible to them.  It also bugged me a little that my 14 year old daughter seemed to have this very out-dated idea of what feminism represents.  Show me pretty much any teenage girl and I'll show you a feminist (okay, not all of them, but an overwhelming majority I think are feminists without even knowing it). 

So here I am "bandanamom" - clearly a pretty feminist mother, explaining my feminism in case anyone cares to understand.  Really, I'm explaining it so that my daughter might understand.  If you already know all about this stuff just skip this post.  I'll get back to pretty paint colors shortly.  But if even you aren't sure what you think about feminism, stick with me for a minute. 

There are 3 "waves" of feminism throughout history.  The first wave was really about women's voting rights.  Think the women's suffragist movement. 

The 2nd "wave" started after World War II.  The Equal Pay act of 1963 being a big part of that wave, but as well there were other legislation which helped women gain equal footing with men, both in the work place and in their personal lives.  We could get into a whole debate about whether the world really was a happier place when women stayed home and baked and the men worked. 

But that's beside the point.  During World War II things began to shift - women in many cases were needed to assist in the war effort and many began working outside the home.  The question became do women have the right to work and be paid the same as a man when doing the same job.  Did women have equal educational rights?  Did women have a right to not be abused by their husbands?  (marital rape wasn't outlawed until 1978).  Although the Equal Rights Amendment failed to gain traction, many other areas of women's lives had rights granted through-out the second wave.  The Civil Rights act of 1964 barred discrimination on the basis of not only race, but sex as well. 

By the 1980s much had been achieved, and in-fighting among feminists began and feminism of the 2nd wave effectively ended by about 1990.  During this whole 2nd wave the perception of many people was very negative in regards to feminists.  I grew up listening to people say "those women's libbers" as though it was one of the worst things a person could be.  And yet...

My mother worked part time and later full time in a job traditionally held by a man, she belonged to a union and she received equal pay.  Weird.  So we benefited from feminism directly in my family and yet a feminist was a bad thing?  Confusing. 

You couldn't turn a conservative radio station on in the late 80s early 90s without listening to Rush Limbaugh call them "feminazi's".  (has he finally quit doing that?  I wouldn't know, I've avidly avoided Rush Limbaugh for at least a decade or more).  So much hate for the feminists. 

But what I suspect is that people actually didn't like a particular feminist.  They probably didn't stop to think too much about what the movement was really about.  Or they didn't like the stereo-typical feminist.  You know, the one who doesn't really exist, but embodies every negative thing you've ever heard about a particular group. 

Well, the old school feminists are kind of like dinosaurs now.  We see the remains, but that's about it. 

We're now on the 3rd wave.  2nd and 1st wave are so "over".  Because of the perceived failures of and backlash against the initiatives of the 2nd wave, the 3rd wave was born sometime in the 1980s.  The 3rd wave is my kind of feminism.  The 3rd wave embraces contradictions.  There is no all encompassing single feminist ideal.  Instead, it seeks to accommodate all women.  3rd wave feminism allows women to define feminism for themselves by incorporating their own perspective.  Being truly liberated means not having to copy what came before.  Girls today can embrace any aspect of the feminine that they would like in a way that's genuine to their own generation.  Many 3rd wave feminists would prefer to get rid of the term feminist.  The word itself can be seen as having negative connotations in regards to it's embrace of everyone - it can sound elitist and it can be misconstrued, and 3rd wave feminists are all about getting rid of that. 

In the 3rd wave, women seek to re-claim what was lost.  Bust magazine (which is pure awesome by the way) is a 3rd wave feminist perspective and many pages are often devoted to empowerment AND crafts. 

As a mormon woman I sometimes appreciate the group "feminist mormon housewives" tag line "angry activists with diapers to change".  :)  It embodies everything that third wave is all about. 

What would you like to be when you grow up little girl?  A lawyer?  Feminism is all about giving you that chance on equal footing with the boys.  Want to stay home and be a mom?  Okay you can do that too. 

I hope the fact that my daughter thought the idea of me being a feminist was ridiculous means that she just takes so much of this stuff for granted we don't even need feminism anymore.  She can be part of the 4th wave, and they will get to decide what that means on their own terms.  

 In the meantime, I'm thankful for all the gains made just in my lifetime, and I'm happy to be a 3rd wave feminist. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Art Crush, Big Time...

I am absolutely dying over this art right now.  For the first time in a looong time I really wish I had enough money to buy an original piece of art by this artist.  I love it so much!

The artist name is Kelly Reemtsen and you can see for yourself how truly awesome it is.  I don't think I really need to say anything else except to just show you so you can experience them for yourself:


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