Monday, May 10, 2010

Is it ADD or Menopause?

I'm in the middle of reading The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith and jumped to Black Widow by Marion Collins. I'm listening to Paula Deen's It Ain't All About the Cookin' in the car and David Sedaris' Live at Carnegie Hall on a CD player. ADD or menopause? Or being laid off for over a year?

A Not-So-Secret Indulgence

My doctoral candidate (and now ex) husband once told me I was better read than he was. He was a writer and I was a reader. (Actually I'm a compulsive reader.) I love literature and especially southern lit - I believe Truman Capote and Eudora Welty are the greatest American authors. But every now and then I have to read a true crime book. Don't know why but I can devour one in a day or two.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Books On Tape

I'm listening to the funniest author to be on tape - David Sedaris, Live at Cargegie Hall. I walk down the street with ear buds in, laughing my head off. It's cheaper than therapy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Salon Web Site

Salon is an award-winning online news and entertainment Web site. It combines original investigative stories, breaking news, provocative personal essays, and highly respected criticism along with popular staff-written blogs about politics, technology, and culture.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bas Bleu the Catalog

My inspiration came from this catalog. It started in Atlanta but has moved out of state. The catalog offers books and gift items.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

From Wikipeida: The Blue Stocking society had no membership formalities or fees but was conducted as small to large gatherings in which talk of politics was prohibited but literature and the arts were of main discussion. Learned women with interest in these educational discussions attended as well as invited male guests. Tea, biscuits and other light refreshments would be served to guests by the hostesses.

The New York Times archives contain an article published on 17 April 1881 which describes the Blue Stockings Society as a women's movement away from the "vice" and "passion" of gambling which was the main form of entertainment at higher society parties. "Instead however, of following the fashion, Mrs. Montagu and a few friends Mrs. Boscawen and Mrs. Vesey, who like herself, were untainted by this wolfish passion, resolved to make a stand against the universal tyranny of a custom which absorbed the life and leisure of the rich to the exclusion of all intellectual enjoyment... and to found a society in which conversation should supersede cards."
(1881, The New York Times).

Many of the Blue Stocking women supported each other in intellectual endeavors such as reading, artwork, and writing. Many also published literature. More notably, author Elizabeth Carter (1717-1806), was a Blue Stocking Society advocate and member who published essays and poetry, and translated Epictetus. Contemporary author Anna Miegon compiled biographical sketches of these women in her Biographical Sketches of Principal Bluestocking Women.
From Wikipedia: The Blue Stockings Society of England emerged in the middle of the eighteenth century, around the year 1750, and waned in popularity at the end of the eighteenth century. It was a loose organization of privileged women with an interest in education to gather together to discuss literature while inviting educated men to participate. The Blue Stockings Society leaders and hostesses were Elizabeth Montagu and Elizabeth Vesey. The women involved in this group generally had more education and fewer children than most English women of the time. During this time period only men attended universities and women were expected to master skills such as needlework and knitting: "It was considered “unbecoming” for them to know Greek or Latin, almost immodest for them to be authors, and certainly indiscreet to own the fact. Mrs. Barbauld was merely the echo of popular sentiment when she protested that women did not want colleges. “The best way for a woman to acquire knowledge,” she wrote, “is from conversation with a father, or brother, or friend.” It was not till the beginning of the next century — after the pioneer work of the bluestockings, be it observed — that Sydney Smith, aided, doubtless, by his extraordinary sense of humour, discovered the absurdity of the fact that a woman of forty should be more ignorant than a boy of twelve." (XV, Cambridge History of English and American Literature). The group has been described by many historians and authors such as Jeanine Dobbs[3] as "having preserved and advanced feminism" due to the advocacy of women's education, social complaints of the status and lifestyle expected of the women in their society, seen in the writings of the Blue Stocking women themselves:

“ In a woman's education little but outward accomplishments is regarded...sure the men are very imprudent to endeavor to make fools of those to whom they so much trust their honour and fortune, but it is in the nature of mankind to hazard their peace to secure power, and they know fools make the best slaves. ”