Browsing Tag

Jennifer R. Cote

Movies and TV

Makers

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who've made America what it is today

Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes founded Ms. Magazine in 1971 and are just a few of the women who’ve made America what it is today

Have you seen this fascinating documentary yet? It’s a three-part series titled “Makers: Women Who Make America” and, even though I first discovered it this past winter, I’ve found myself thinking about the amazing women it introduced me to a lot lately. When I first watched the documentary I was amazed (and admittedly a little embarrassed) by some of the things I never knew about the women’s movement in the United States, and the series left me feeling truly inspired to make the world better — to continue the work of the women who have given me the chances I have now, and to improve the chances for women and other minorities of future generations. PBS’s editing keeps the pace of the documentary energetic, entertaining, and often humorous, and Meryl Streep’s narration lends the piece the kind of comforting, smooth patter that allows you to forget you’re actually learning a ton while watching…

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Inspiring Tidbits

Two Feet

Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1966

Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon in 1966

Forty seven years ago, Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. By taking those figurative and literal strides in a time when females were not yet allowed to officially race, Gibb not only helped change the rules of this famous sporting event, but she changed public perception about what women were capable of accomplishing with both their bodies and minds. She did this simply with her own two feet and a whole lot of determination, and she continued running even when marathon officials and protesters tried to stop her.

Growing up in Boston, it was this kind of story that always struck me with awe whenever the marathon rolled around each year. After all, the race has come to symbolize the fact that –no matter our skin color, nationality, gender, or religion– as humans, we have the power to go great distances by merely using our own two feet. Furthermore, the marathon shows us that if we don’t have the use of our own two feet we can cover great distances by using our arms to propel a wheelchair, and if we don’t have use of our arms the human spirit can propel us along in the form of a loved one running behind us and pushing our chairs…

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Inspiring Tidbits, Movies and TV

Kubrick and the Craft

Stanley Kubrick's camera on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Stanley Kubrick’s camera on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Last week my husband arrived home from a lengthy Taiwan trip just in time for my birthday. We celebrated by playing hooky, eating ice cream along with all three meals, and attending the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibit was beautifully curated (complete with red-carpeted floors in the gallery room that was devoted to “The Shining”), and my favorite part was getting to glimpse some of Kubrick’s earliest works and influences. It was particularly inspiring to me to see snapshots from his early career as a photojournalist, and to learn about how admittedly embarrassed he was of his first films…

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Travel

Love from Laguna

Vibrant flowers grew all along the cliffs of Laguna Niguel, CA

Vibrant flowers grew all along the cliffs of Laguna Niguel, CA

When reading Jane Austen novels, I used to crack up whenever stodgy, Victorian doctors recommended their cure for everything – time at the beach. It didn’t matter if a girl was suffering a broken heart, a broken limb, public shame, or terminal illness, the prescription was almost without fail, “Take her for a spell in Bath.” Silly as this has always seemed to me, I must admit that when my husband and I made an impromptu escape to Laguna Niguel this weekend I could feel my stress and body aches melting away. Even though I had to work most of the time we were there, I felt instantly soothed by the smell of salt air and the sounds of ocean waves. Perhaps there really is something to be said for the healing properties of time at the beach…

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Art and Architecture

Street Femme

Street art by Becca in Beverly Hills, CA

Street art by Becca in Beverly Hills, CA

Street art tends to be a very masculine medium. Is this because women don’t like sneaking around in the dead of night with spray cans, because they prefer rebelling against the traditional art world in other ways, or because stuccoed walls and grimy lampposts simply lend themselves best to stark lines and male subject matter? I’m not sure what the answer is, and I had honestly never put much thought into this phenomenon until yesterday, when I spotted these ladies on the side of a building in Beverly Hills. I had been passing through an alleyway in the famous Rodeo Drive shopping district, and something about seeing these two paintings in the dumpster-filled underbelly of one of the most iconically female realms of our planet seemed so perfect and unique. There was dirty sewer water trickling down the concrete drive and the smell of chicken grease in the air, and I had a hunch that the scent of garbage and the fresh memory of Chanel shop windows were all a part of what the artist hoped people would experience when viewing her very feminine work. Although I cannot recreate the smells and sounds of that alleyway, I just couldn’t resist sharing these paintings with you…

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Sweet Nothings, Travel

Just Go

How can this image of gnomes and a wiener dog peering out of a trailer not inspire wanderlust?

How can this image of gnomes and a wiener dog peering out of a trailer not inspire wanderlust?

I’ve had this unshakable urge to do something irresponsible, err spontaneous, lately. I’ve been itching to pack up my car on a moment’s notice, hit the road with my sweet, and just go. Go where? I’m not sure, but I know even the simplest trip up the Pacific Coast Highway would prove to be a fabulous adventure. This feeling of wanderlust has even entered my dreams, and I’ve woken up several mornings convinced that I’ll find an Airstream trailer or old Volkswagen bus parked in my driveway along with keys in the ignition and a note that reads “Drive Me.” In one such dream, I ended up road-tripping in a trailer that had a spinning cupcake on top of it (a la these kitschy trailers), so my love and I went with the flow and sold cupcakes all the way from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo…

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Inspiring Tidbits

Languid Language Loveliness

On a good day, writing feels as magical as screaming into a blasting fan on a sticky linoleum floor in the dead of summer

As I wade through a sea of deadlines, very little pay, and the labyrinthine bank of escalators that may or may not one day lead me to a successful career as a writer, I find it’s vital to take a step back every now and then to remind myself why it is I do what I do in the first place. It can be so easy to forget and to get caught up in the stresses (and, heck, even to toy with quitting because of those stresses), but when I give myself a moment’s pause I’m always reminded it’s love, innocence, and dreams that are at the core of what I do, not what’s waiting at the top of this pesky elevator bank. Since it’s such a good exercise to think about this kind of stuff, I figured I’d share just a few more of the reasons why I write…

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