Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Parents Magazine: Why I Have A Love/Hate Relationship With You

(Note: This was picked up on Mothering Magazine's site in December for their 'What People Are Saying About Mothering' section.)

(That sometimes tends to gravitate towards the I-Really-Don't-Like-You-At-All end of the scale)

Occasionally, I'll read Parents Magazine. It's a little bit too mainstream for me, but it's the only parenting magazine at the library that stays current in subscription issues. It comes in handy when I just want to flip through something quickly.

As a side note, the library also has a Mothering collection, but that seemed to stop around 2005. A shame, I think. But-that's a whole other post in itself.

There are several reasons why I have a love/hate relationship with this mag. I love the recipes and craft ideas. I definitely enjoyed the Groceries Go Postal Review in the November 07 issue. I've actually been considering this.

I don't love how incredibly mainstream it is. I wouldn't subscribe to a magazine that uses Shrek as an advertisement on the FULL COVER of their November 07 issue. That's a little disturbing to me.

I'm certainly not too thrilled with their Best Toys of 2007 List (Nov 07), particularly when I saw that this made the list.

I have a problem with it. The Smart Cycle is marketed to 'combat obesity' in children. Yeah, that is smart marketing. This from Fisher Price, a company that has recalled more than 1 million toys back in August, and the number keeps rising.

Eh...why don't you have them run around outside? Too cold, weather bad? Puzzles? Reading? Laps around the living room? Also, the fact that it comes with different cartridges portraying 'their favorite' TV characters (Dora, Sponge Bob, Barbie, Hotwheels, etc.) is incredible-extreme target marketing. This could well be another post in itself as well....You'd think the TV would be enough...

Another thing I don't love is their advertising onslaught both in the magazine and on their website. I'm not too keen on advertisements for pharmaceuticals, including Keppra and Vyvacse in a parenting magazine. I'm all for birth control, but Mirena is not something I would ever consider using. Seems as if Parents subscribes to the Medicinal Culture in a way that I just cannot.

Of course, all of this is just my opinion, and perhaps the readers of Parenting Magazine feel the same way about Mothering Magazine. And that's their opinion.

Still, I don't see any insane, overboard Shrek advertising between the covers of Mothering Magazine...

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Harper's "Perilous" Request

I got this in the mail the other day. I almost threw it away, but at the last minute, decided to see what it had to say. It was not what I expected.

"The perilous state of your subscription."

I don't think my subscription is in any sort of "perilous" state. If anything is in a "perilous state", it's the publishing industry. With the advent of e-books and on-line publishing, it's possible that the printed book, magazine, etc. will be on its way out. Culture and time might slow down the process, but the possibility remains intact.

As for the "Renewal Index", the data collected does not make me want to renew anything from Harper's.

I'm going to burst the bubble and say Harper's is not the only publication delivering "Intellectual stimulation". The general intellect of America may be on the slide, but that doesn't mean you can't find a decent magazine to get the mind going. Some examples: Women's Review of Books, The Nation, Literary Journals such as Hunger Mountain, Indiana Review and Bellevue Literary Review.

I guess the percentage that chooses not to renew their subscription isn't as clever? How insulting. Could you get any snootier?

I'll get 5 additional reminders to renew my subscription (not including the 5 I've already received)-what a waste of paper! What happened to Eco-consciousness?
Also, badgering your existing subscribers to renew is not the way to go about it.

I thought Poetry's renewal forms were bad!

Harper's just lost a renewal.

Perhaps Harper's needs to revise their approach in getting their readers to renew their subscription.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Unofficial Guide To All The Holiday Guides Out There (Well, Some)

Cool Mom Picks Holiday Guide

Another holiday with the Moms at Cool Mom Picks: These felt ice cream play foods are awesome. So are these masks. Check out the lion, elephant and bird too. I think they may go on the list this year... Also, great stocking stuffers -$10 or less-towards the bottom of the page.

All sorts of fabulous stuff for mom and dad, kids and baby as well as an amazing give-a-way...

Eco-friendly Treehugger.com-Check out their Holiday Gift Guide and a Just-because gift guide (useful for any holiday, really).

The Under $20 Holiday Gift Guide @ Absolutely Bananas

Holiday Gift Guide @ In The Trenches of Motherhood

Friday, November 23, 2007

Post Turkey Day Post

This year was the first time in about.....Oh....10 or more years that I've watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It looks as if I haven't been missing much.

Here's "Healthy" Mr. Potato head:

Eh..."Healthy"? And Santa Claus is TOO GODDAMN FAT!!!!!!!!
*Originally heard of this from Mama- Noire*
This is so ridiculous. The Healthy Mr. Potato Head and Santa being "too fat". What the hell is wrong here?
By the way, Mama-Noire makes an excellent point of culture attitudes needing to be adjusted instead of the need for "Slimmer Santa's". Well Said!

And the "Spirit of America" float:

Not the clearest picture, but good enough. My thoughts on this: It's a huge, garish, golden eagle, wings spread wide-looking as if it's in attack mode, about to swoop down on its prey and devour them whole-being pulled by a massive, gas guzzling SUV.

Yeah. That's the spirit of America, all right.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Currently Reading

I'm currently reading A Woman In Berlin: Eight Weeks In The Conquered City by Anonymous.

I've barely cracked the surface-only about 20 pages in. The real horrors have not begun yet. Still going back and forth between bomb shelters and home, and the identity of people Anonymous shares "The Cave" with.

I'm sure this will be a hard read (another hard to swallow: Overtreated, Susan Brownlee, just finished a few days ago) , but will also hold my interest.

Expect more unofficial discussion here at WITM when finished.

I have finished this book-expect something on this soon, officially or unofficially.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safe Mama

It seems as if everyone is gathering their own 'safer toy guide' this year. And why not? 2007 has been labeled as the 'Year of the Recall' by many and it has barely begun. The more informed we are, the better choices we make, right?

Have you visited Safe Mama yet? If not, you should.

What they're all about

Safe Mama should serve mothers, fathers and all parents as a resource to find information to help them protect their kids. With the onslaught of toy problems, lead paint and other health concerns popping up in the news, I wanted to create a site where parents can go to find what they need to make educated and informed decisions.

So, be sure to stop over for another fabulous resource, a "One-stop child safety, product recall, health and well-being resource for parents" and say hello.

Interested in contributing? Have an article to share? Or a product you'd like to see reviewed?
Drop them a line.

Grab a button to show your support and pass the word along:


Books Added To My Library Recently

Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfeld (Recently Reviewed on Mother Talk)

Catherine the Great: Love, Sex and Power, Virginia Rounding

The Unraveling Archive, Essays on Sylvia Plath, Edited by Anita Helle
Expect More discussion here.

Death Warmed Over: Funereal Food, Rituals and Customs From Around the World, Lisa Rogak

Mama Knows Breast: A Beginners Guide To Breastfeeding, Andi Silverman (Recently Reviewed on Mother Talk)
My review here.

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life, Julia Briggs
My unofficial review here.

What Mothers Do, Especially when It Looks Like Nothing-Naomi Stadlen (Recently Reviewed on Mother Talk)
My review here.

The Daring Book For Girls, Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz (Currently Being Reviewed on Mother Talk. )
My review here

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Review of Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life by Julia Briggs

cross-posted from Motherverse Blog: Mothering Out Loud

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life
Julia Briggs (2005)
Hardback $30
527 pgs.

The old familiar quote “A room of one’s own” most certainly applies to all writers, but takes on special significance when you are writer and mother.

That room of one’s own becomes essential. A place to get away from the kids;a place where nobody is allowed but you and your writing, and perhaps, on occasion, your literary agent.

Woolf has survived into the 21st century as a literary great, holding her place among the men of her time and still, among the writers of today.

Briggs focuses more on the writing itself: the process of it, the woman who wrote it, etc., a biography of her words, if you will, rather than churning out well-known biographical content and the social aspect of her life, familiar to Woolf readers.

What’s interesting about this book is how the individual chapters chronologically correlate with each book published by Woolf, following events and ‘inner thoughts’ concerning the book of that particular time. Throughout the book, copies of drafts, letters and dist jackets are dispersed, offering revealing glimpses into Woolf’s writing processes.

Scrupulously researched and well laid out with a fresh perspective, Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life should be on every woman’s bookshelf, in a room of her own.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Post Over at Moms Speak Up

Looking for shopping alternatives to Wal-Mart, plastic and imports, etc. this holiday? Try these.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Friday, November 02, 2007

An Overdue Discovery via Poetry Magazine

I got my November issue of Poetry a few weeks ago. I open it and find Kevin Young's From "Book Of Hours" on the first page. I had heard of him throughout the years, but never fully read his work.

How is it that I never read Young's poetry until now?

He handles language quite well, to say the least. I think it's time to pick up a book or two....

Hear excerpts from Jelly Roll here.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Winner of WITM's First Giveaway!

The winner is Caryn!


Thanks to all who participated and to Andi Silverman for offering a free copy of her fabulous book!