An excellent response piece to Bee Shapiro’s NY Times piece on “Mom Hair…”The idea that moms make things uncool just by liking them certainly isn’t new. When moms started wearing higher waisted jeans to cover up their postpartum tummies, those jeans suddenly became “mom jeans.” When moms realized how practical minivans are, suddenly those became “mom cars.” The same thing is happening to yoga pants, wine, bootcut jeans, crossover SUVs, and apparently any haircut that doesn’t look like you get style advice from Rapunzel.”

That study on child-free people being much happier than their parenting peers has a lot to do with the lack of US family-friendly social policies…“Based on data from 22 countries and two international surveys of well-being, that American parents face the largest happiness shortfall compared to people who don’t have children. The happiness gap between parents and nonparents in the United States is significantly larger than the gap found in other industrialized nations, including Great Britain and Australia. And in other Western countries, the happiness gap is nonexistent or even reversed. Parents in Norway, Sweden and Finland — and Russia and Hungary — report even greater levels of happiness than their childless peers…They discovered the gap could be explained by differences in family-friendly social policies such as subsidized child care and paid vacation and sick leave. In countries that gave parents what researchers called “the tools to combine work and family,” the negative impact of parenting on happiness disappeared.”

After accepting the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards, activist and actor Jesse Williams took to the mic with an impassioned speech addressing Black Lives Matter,  Equal Rights and Freedom…”What we’ve been doing is looking at the data, and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s gonna happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country, or we will restructure their function, and ours.”

If your are looking to elevate your Twitter feed…
In other news, while not perfect, Pope Francis addressed the Orland shooting victims with a call for an apology from Christians to those they have offended..”I believe that the church not only should apologize to the person who is gay whom it has offended,” the pope told reporters, “but has to apologize to the poor, to exploited women, to children exploited for labor; it has to ask forgiveness for having blessed many weapons.”


A loving breakdown of what it means to to hold space for someone and not try to jump in and fix their pain…“4. Keep your own ego out of it. This is a big one. We all get caught in that trap now and then – when we begin to believe that someone else’s success is dependent on our intervention, or when we think that their failure reflects poorly on us, or when we’re convinced that whatever emotions they choose to unload on us are about us instead of them. It’s a trap I’ve occasionally found myself slipping into when I teach. I can become more concerned about my own success (Do the students like me? Do their marks reflect on my ability to teach? Etc.) than about the success of my students. But that doesn’t serve anyone – not even me. To truly support their growth, I need to keep my ego out of it and create the space where they have the opportunity to grow and learn.”


Minimalism isn’t for everyone. In case you followed that Marie Konde book and did not find joy in getting rid of your things, this piece is for you…”Minimalism is hot, culturally, and for years, science has assured us that it was also the path to maximal bliss. The prevailing wisdom is that people who want the most happiness for their buck should buy experiences, not things. The idea is that the joy of an experience begins before it even starts, and continues when you look back on the fancy dinner/vacation/afternoon of LARPing fondly. Experiences provide, in other words, both more happiness and afterglow happiness. But a recent study complicates that picture, suggesting that sweaters and iPhones might make you just as happy, in a way, as cruises and concerts do. There is a third type of happiness—momentary happiness—and it tends to last longer with material goods because people use them for more time than they typically experience their experiences for.” 


WWJDOF…“Jesus, who has not generally been active on Facebook, made a rare appearance on the social network on Monday to announce His decision to ignore the presumptive Republican nominee’s request for a personal relationship with Him. In a brief post, Jesus offered the following explanation: “Just everything.”


A little something for the grown-ups at the zoo…

Photo cred: Cassie Fallon

Photo cred: Carol Hansen Francis


No, this is not an article in The Onion. Accident? What do you think?…”A G-rated audience got an R-rated preview by mistake at a theater in Concord, Calif., this month when families expecting to watch a tale about finding a forgetful fish were first shown an animated potato being skinned alive while screaming obscenities. A theater full of parents and children at the Brenden Concord 14 took their seats to watch “Finding Dory” but were first shown a preview of R-rated “Sausage Party,” Seth Rogen’s CGI comedy that anthropomorphizes food on the dinner table. It’s likely some of the parents and children in attendance had difficult conversations about the food chain and whether or not spuds and hot dogs have feelings following the clip.”

Found on etsy
If you are looking to dodge the heat, the Annenberg Space for Photography has a breathtaking exhibit, Refugee, that is FREE this Wednesday – Sunday. There are also some fantastic art exhibitions around town including Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life at The Broad and James Turrell’s Light Reignfall at the LACMA. Picnic-goers and theatre-lovers can check out the FREE Griffith Park Shakespeare Festival starting June 25 with Richard III or the FREE Shakespeare by the Sea productions happening around Los Angeles. More Shakespeare festivals include Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum lineup.  Romeo and Juliet set in East Jerusalem will kick off its 2016 summer repertory season.  For a dose of historical fiction rooted in the hostile politics of the 1960s, Home Sick  is currently running at the Odyssey Theatre along with Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy ApeAlso be sure to check out revival production Ajax in Iraq at Greenway Court Theatre or the world premiere of Blueprint for Paradisebased  on the true story set in 1940s Los Angeles about a wealthy American couple who employ an African-American architect to design a Nazi Sympathizer training ground and compound in Pacific Palisades. For something more upbeat, check out Sam Harris’s HAM: A Musical Memoir at the Pasadena Playhouse.  At ICT. Tony-award winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang is now running. For the kiddos consider All Shook Up at the Laguna Playhouse. For some outdoor cinema in a truly spectacular location, check out Cinespia’s lineup at the Hollywood Cemetery or for Long Beach residents check out Moonlight Movies on the Beach and for Westside residents there is Cinema Under the Stars at Westwood Village.  
NYC parents looking for a fun, delicious festival this holiday weekend can check out the Festival of Independence at the South Street Seaport. Be sure to also mark your calendars for The Rubin Museum of Art’s Block Party on July 17 celebrating Nepalese seasonal festivals.  NYC theatre-lovers can pack your picnics for the 54th Annual Shakespeare in the Park festival at Central Park starting with The Taming of the Shrew or Socrates Sculpture Park’s International Film Festival this summer. Another must-see is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible starring Saoirose Ronan at the Walter Kerr Theatre through July 17. Also be sure to check out the Hallett Nature Sanctuary – four acres in Central Park – reopening after a massive restoration project. The section has been closed since the 1930s. If it gets hot, check out Edgar Degas’s lesser known printmaking career at the MoMA or MADreads at the Museum of Art & Design.