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Fragments and Shrapnel and X Chromosomes

I have never been very good at being a woman.

Hmm.. that sounds wrong.

Let me start over.

I have never been very good at being the type of woman society wants me to be. When I was 16 I used to care about designers and fashion (and I still do.. I mean, I do watch Project Runway!) and would never leave the house without taking a shower and doing my hair. Now that I’m older and more jaded, I sometimes remember to put on makeup when I leave for work and occasionally remember to pack feminine hygiene products. I sometimes (gasp!) put a hat on in the morning and run my errands without makeup or matching socks. I can’t walk in high heels and prefer tights to pantyhose. That being said, I am vain enough to have a decent haircut and sometimes remember to remove my chipped nail polish. What I tend to focus on more these days is quality rather than quantity. So, when I got the opportunity to see the documentary Who Does She Think She Is? At a local art gallery, I jumped at the chance.

The documentary follows five women artists and their struggles to balances their artistic passions with mothering and raising families. It also focuses on the concept of the female muse in ancient times and more modern times where most people can’t name 10 female artists. The documentary is uplifting and inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. A couple of people cried at the screening I attended. I saw too many of my friends and relatives in these five women as they try to feed their souls and their families at the same time. It made me grateful for the strong women in my life and my husband supports my creative endeavors. Here’s the trailer:

In other kick-ass female news, the Library of Congress recently released some rare color photographs of depression-era rural America. Many of the pictures are of farmers and families and towns just scraping by. Some of my favorite are of the women working in the factories getting their faces dirty and showing they can conquer the world while using a pressure washer and wearing a coat of nail polish.

I had originally intended on switching gears and writing about a random blog I found but then my friend Amy posted this video on Facebook and it really struck a nerve with me. I often do things alone because I can but I have noticed how hard it is for people to be alone. They constantly text or check their cell phones for messages. I admit I bring a book or something to distract me if I go to a restaurant by myself, but I do like just being by myself and being quiet for a few minutes. This is a simple video with a poem written about how to be alone. It made me smile.

OK. Now for the random bits. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon KCRW. For those of you who don’t live in southern California, this public radio station produces an eclectic mix of news, information, cultural programming and the best damn music there is. Whenever I listen to the streaming music station (KCRWmusic.com) I end up buying music. I have found more interesting and exciting music from listening this station than any other music resource out there. I don’t have buckets of money but I do support the station when I can. This week I found their blog page KCRW’S 5 Things. It’s random lists of this and that and you all know how I am about lists. I love it because it’s so unique and different and you never know what you’ll get. Much like the station.

Well, that’s it for me this week. Until next week, be fabulous!

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About Anna Alexander

I am a freelance writer and producer living in the Pacific Northwest. My husband and I live with our cat Grendel who lets us pay his mortgage.

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