Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I finished James W. Pennebaker’s book Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions. This is the book on which Louise DeSalvo (Writing as a Way of Healing) draws much of the suggestions she makes in her book so I was enthusiastic about reading this book. I was not at all disappointed and much of what I found interesting can be found in my other blog.
On a more personal note, I don’t know that I necessarily learned much from reading this book. I knew most of this from my own experience. I have used writing so often to work my way through understanding things that I frankly consider it a cliché when I hear myself encourage someone else to journal. I enjoyed reading how Pennebaker’s personal experiences helped him come up with ideas for his research. It was fun for me to see how creative the act of research can be. Life hands you a question and now you have to find a way to answer it by creating a test that will produce a reasonable answer while being as balanced and thorough as possible.
On a purely academic level, this is a good book. Not quite as dry as some academic books can be. Not nearly as dry, in fact, as it could have been. It is remarkable that Pennebaker was able to lay aside his academic voice and make this information so inviting.
With that said, for the average person, DeSalvo’s book is perhaps more accessible and easier to read than Pennebaker’s. However, depending on the reader’s reason for wanting to learn more about the subject of writing as a means of healing, I would still recommend Pennebaker’s book. Perhaps I would recommend it for the person who is academically inclined anyway, who is not convinced that writing matters, or to the individual who has been writing and doesn’t see that it makes a difference. Both books are excellent resources. Pennebaker’s, however, is more provocative in my mind and the one to which I would turn for encouragement while DeSalvo’s is more practical. Me? I get off on both so I love them both and I think most people would enjoy both but would probably prefer one more clearly than the other. It all depends on what your questions are: “Why write?” or “How write?” Neither focuses only on How over Why but Pennebaker does fall more on the Why side of things while DeSalvo more on the How.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Well, I can honestly say that I could have predicted who would be gone but who would cry came as a surprise. Not because I had expected anyone in particular not to cry but this was the first year I felt sad for the one who was crying. In years past, whenever they do the make-over episode, the girls squeal with delight. They can’t wait to get their hair done over. And every year one or more girls is shown bawling over how her hair has been shaved or cut severely short.
So when they had to cut off all of Bianca’s hair, not because that is what would look best but because her hair was so damaged that was literally all they could do, her tears had a pathos that I had not seen in previous seasons. And in the end, she looked amazing. They arranged for her to have a wig so that she would not be forced to make the shorter hair work, so that she could have more flexibility with her look at a photo shoot but in the end, the very short hair just looks better. Much better.
As for who went home . . . who didn’t see it coming? Victoria didn’t have the personal drive to be a model, admitted herself that she hadn’t even thought seriously about modeling until a few weeks ago, and then had to mouth off to the judges whenever they tried to offer advice.
And her pictures were not mind blowing. If you went by looks alone, I think she would have and definitely could have lasted longer because she has that kind of quirky look at that the camera loves. But she had to open her mouth and, what’s worse, mouth off to Twiggy. Not cool. And not at all like Natasha from last year’s cycle who, when hearing even the most harsh statements made about her performance, would take it all in with a smile and a charming acceptance.
Truth is, I think Victoria will be happier now doing something else. What else? Who knows! She’s a teenager. She has years to figure it out. In the meantime, she’s gone from the show and now it is just the usual. I personally am most interested in the make over show (which is now behind us), the first going to a new location episode (which, if I were to go online I could probably find out where it is but I’d rather be surprised), and the go sees. Otherwise, the rest of the show is just a blur of whatever and waiting to see who is going to come up as the biggest bitch of the season.
So far, there is none and I have to admit that I am liking that far more than the usual cattiness. I’m guessing that this makes for dull television but not for me.
And barely and Lisa or Heather this episode. *sigh* At this rate, we’ll never have another lap dance or hear some bizarre geek wisdom.
Aries Horoscope for week of October 11, 2007
I'm not necessarily recommending that you read Stanely Seigel's book The Patient Who Cured His Therapist. But I do think you should regard the title as a suggestive metaphor for your immediate future. It's possible that you'll be helped by a person you've been helping, or be given gifts by person to whom you've given gifts. Could it be that you'll be healed by someone you imagine you're superior to, or taught a beautiful lesson by someone you don't understand? Meditate on the ways you might be the beneficiary of a role reversal.