Three things I’m loving this month


@historycoolkids on Instagram

The @historycoolkids Instagram account is my new favorite thing. It’s full of rare photographs of famous people when they were young (like Sylvia Plath above).

“6-year-old Michelle Obama”

Usually accompanied by some breathtaking quote.

“Charles Bukowski // I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from…They call it ‘9 to 5.’ It’s never 9 to 5… And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? … An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? … Now in industry, there are vast layoffs…They are laid off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: ‘I put in 35 years…It ain’t right…I don’t know what to do…’ They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this…I figured the park bench was just as good…Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away…the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy… I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember…how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself.”

And photos of stories from not that long ago but nearly lost in time.

“A knocker-upper was someone whose sole purpose was to wake people up during a time when alarm clocks were expensive and not very reliable. In this photo, Mary Smith earned six pence a week using a pea shooter to shoot dried peas at the windows of sleeping workers in East London, 1930s. She would not leave a window until she was sure that the workers had woken up.”

And they’ll just casually drop stories into your Insta feed that will make your heart stop a beat—sending it remembering, mourning, raging.

“Black children look at a white-only playground from behind the fence, 1956 📸: Gordon Parks”
“George Gillette, Chairman of the Tribal Council of the Three Affiliated tribes, weeps as he witnesses the forced sale of 155,000 acres of land for the Garrison Dam and Reservoir, dislocating 900 Native American families, 1940.”

Then something that reminds you why we haven’t given up on each other…

“Freddie Oversteegen was a Dutch teenager when she joined the Council of Resistance to sabotage Nazi military presence in the Netherlands. She and her sister would use dynamite to destroy bridges and railroad tracks and smuggle Jewish kids out of the country. They would also shoot at Nazis while riding their bicycles and even lure then into the woods by seducing them, and then kill them when their guards were down. Freddie Oversteegen died on September 5, 2018, one day before her 93rd birthday.”

Convinced? Follow @historycoolkids on Insta here.


UFC champion Amanda Nunes

Speaking of fighters… check out Amanda Nunes. Nicknamed The Lioness, Nunes is a mixed martial artist best known for retiring Ronda Rousey in under a minute. However, girlfriend just CRUSHED Cyborg, a reigning UFC badass that competitors (understandably) seemed afraid to fight. But not Nunes. She walked into the cage on Saturday without a hint of fear in her eyes. In fact, she looked happy to be there. She knew she was going to win!

And she did. Again, in less than a minute. She’s now the first female fighter in the sport (and third fighter, regardless of gender) to simultaneously hold two titles (bantamweight and featherweight champ). Moreover, she’s an underestimated underdog who continues to prove everyone wrong. How can you not love that?


“Big Mouth” on Netflix

Starring the hilarious voice talents of Nick Kroll (co-creator), Fred Armisen, and the incomparable Jenny Slate, “Big Mouth” quickly and unapologetically slid in to my list of favorite TV shows I watched in 2018 (though it premiered on Netflix last year, and the second season was released this October).

The series follows a group of seventh graders who are starting to navigate puberty—all with the “help” of their “hormone monsters,” horny, one-track-minded little creatures that the kids are finding they just can’t shake.

The brilliance of “Big Mouth” is how it creates characters that represent emotional experiences we all share—and THEN, nails the landing. For example, Shame Wizard.

This show juggles humor and empathy to create totally endearing storylines, memorable characters, and zingy one-liners I’ll annoyingly repeat to my husband for at least three more months.

“LUCKY MALALA!”

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