Archive for the stimulist

She’s Just Not That Into You

I found this awesome post from The Stimulist titled “She’s Just Not That Into You” (the title is a play on words of the movie that came out earlier this year) that paints a harsh-reality picture for a relationship where the guy actually becomes the one that’s strung along (I’ve only really heard of situations that are the other way around, but it gives good perspective).

If you haven’t seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, you should. I’ve heard complaints and worries that it’s too depressing for women but I wouldn’t say that’s the case at all – there are several different stories lines in the movie, each with its own ups and downs that are all very believable.

This article is a great read – it’s written in sort of a mocking and sarcastic tone, but it sheds light on the insensitivities, miscommunications, and assumptions that happen all too often.

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

I made my one of those Smilebox scrapbooks I wrote about a few days ago. They’re a simple gift – just a few pictures put into digital “frames” that you can flip through electronically. All these years, I rarely actually buy my parents physical presents, mostly because I know they hardly use them. I’ve bought earrings and wallets and things like that, and my parents enjoy them for a few days, but nothing much more than that.

But every occasion, I send some sort of e-card or picture message, and they love it, much more than anything that I would have spent money on. For Christmas last year, I made a powerpoint of photos from the winter cruise we got back from, and my family loved it.

Hallmark usually has a lot of free e-cards that are simple, but come with pretty music and text. Smilebox is even better because it gives you so much more space for photos and words, and there are actual “pages” to flip through. My mom is big into scrapbooking at home, and I love to look at the layouts she spends hours making – the online version is the closest I can get to creating a real one, especially since I’m not actually at home and don’t have the supplies. The time I spend with them makes the finished product lots of fun to look through. I could give my family these for the rest of my life and they wouldn’t get sick of them haha.

On another note, here’s a Father’s Day message from the editor of The Stimulist.

He talks about why his father meant so much to him: “Not just because we shared a love of politics and good stories, and not just because he’d sneak me out for a double feature on the weekends…I loved my dad because he loved me. I knew from the start that even in the most dire situation he would stand by me…

….there’s a comfort in knowing your dad, or someone else playing that role, has your back…”

A Whitewashed China

Take a look at the guy who designed the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, a Beijing based artist with more than just artistic ambitions. The article says some fascinating things about him and China that I never knew:

…”In the West, he’s probably best known for the design of Beijing’s Olympic stadium, a mesh of giant steel beams known as the Bird’s Nest. He may have designed it, but Ai refused to attend the opening ceremony, criticizing the Olympics for presenting a fake, whitewashed China to the world.

Last December, Ai took on a new controversy. He announced he was putting together a list of schoolchildren killed during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake – a sensitive topic for China’s leaders. While the Chinese government maintains that shoddy construction had nothing to do with the school buildings collapse during the quake, not everyone is buying their story, least of all Ai. With a network of volunteers, he’s already collected over 5,000 names and estimates that the final tally will be well above the government-released number of 5,335.”

That comment about a “whitewashed” really shocked me. I never thought of the Olympics that way. Sure, I had heard the phrase “all eyes on China” being tossed around in the months leading up to the games, but my perception of that was always positive, rather than critical. Maybe I’m too ignorant – I wish I was more familiar with the culture and government within China to comment further.

This is Ai Wei Wei’s blog. Maybe one of these days I will be able to read and understand it.

Unemployed = Funemployed? Really?

First post about an article from The Stimulist. The article was taken from The LA Times, and falls into category number 2: “Idea to Consider.” The idea is this: seeing unemployment as an opportunity to live life differently – more freely, more spontaneously, and possibly even more happily.

The story interviews a few people who were “freed” of their 9 to 5’s, all of whom have realized that the unemployed life may not be so bad after all. Rather than being a hole out of which one must quickly dig, unemployment becomes more like a vacation or opportunity, where individuals can take more time to travel, figure out what it is they really want to do, and enjoy life. I love this quote: ” ‘Recession gives people permission to be unemployed,’ said David Logan, a professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business. ‘Why not make use of the time and go do something fun?’ ”

One of the positive things that I also agree with is that being unemployed gives one the new perspective that being tied down at work for the majority of the day and week isn’t healthy. It’s the perspective that Life isn’t necessarily defined by Work, and that one might have even more meaningful goals in other things, whether that be Family, Love, or Hobbies. It’s true – Americans are known to be more engrossed in their work than, for example, people in France who are known to work less hours with more vacation days. And it could be seen as a problem for people’s overall health: stress in work can contribute to weaker immune systems, less resilience in times of illness, unhealthy emotional states, and just overall unhappiness.

My complaint is not necessarily with the article as much as it is with the people the article quotes. Sure, unemployment can be seen as an opportunity of sorts – take some time to travel, recharge, come back with a new perspective. But the fact is that having a job provides financial stability, a comfortable and secure living, and mental exercise, not to mentioned overall benefit to society (in most cases haha). Too much fun or relaxation might take away the sense of responsibility that we feel when we work, or the sense of drive that we have in accomplishing our goals. This article just sounded like it was encouraging laziness more than merely taking some time to enjoy life.

Clearly, we shouldn’t lie on either extremes – too much work OR too much play. Maybe this is naive from my perspective, with all the opportunities that I’ve been privileged enough to have, but I would think that (at least for these people the article quotes), finding a job that one enjoys and uses to compliment life and energize it is a balance that is attainable.

Hopefully one doesn’t have to be unemployed for long to realize this…