By Julia McKinnell - Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 4 Comments
A trip meant to heal old mother-daughter wounds proves trying
Jane Christmas remembers in high school carrying the painful secret that she and her mother didn’t get along. Other girls’ mothers “were their best friends. I could never talk about it,” Christmas said in a phone interview last week from her home in Hamilton. “When everyone was saying all these glowing things about their mothers, I thought, ‘Why don’t I have that kind of relationship with my mother?’ ” Thirty-odd years later, Christmas is talking openly about her lifelong effort to win her mother’s approval. “She was always critical. She had a harsh way of dealing with me,” Christmas said.
Two years ago, an opportunity arose to take her widowed mother to Italy for six weeks. “One of the things Mom and I discussed when we first planned this trip was to use our time together to air past grievances and come to an understanding and acceptance of our stormy past. I had asked her to come up with three things about me that had gnawed at her over the years. I said I would do likewise about her,” she writes in her new memoir, Incontinent on the Continent: My Mother, Her Walker, and Our Grand Tour of Italy. Continue…
By Jaime Weinman - Monday, July 20, 2009 at 5:24 PM - 3 Comments
You may have heard that next season’s Big Bang Theory will feature Leonard (remember him?) and Penny “pursuing a relationship,” which could mean anything from three episodes to a full season. (Big Bang seems to have a habit of making announcements that don’t completely pan out; remember the announcement about this time last year that Sara Gilbert would be a semi-regular in the second season?)
What interests me more is the habit some shows have of clinging to the remnants of their original premise, even when that premise has become irrelevant. Leonard/Penny thing has never worked, but it’s been in the show since the pilot and the writers can’t quite give up on the idea that it’s an important aspect of the show, even though Leonard’s relationship angst continues to provide most of the weakest moments. This is the flipside of the idea that shows often abandon their original concepts: sometimes a show, even a successful one, will keep on trying to milk the original concept even after the audience has moved on. It doesn’t bode particuarly well for hopes that BBT will make the leap from “good” to “great” in its third season.
While I’m on the subject of BBT, the show’s lukewarm Emmy reception — Jim Parsons got nominated, of course, but hardly anyone else did — is interesting because it is sort of a reality-check to the idea that traditional sitcoms are on their way back, at least in terms of the prestige/admiration they get from the industry. BBT is pretty well-respected by insiders, but in a strange reversal for a Chuck Lorre show, it may actually be more popular with critics (particularly younger critics to whom the stripped-down, minimalist storytelling comes as a refreshing change from over-plotted single-camera shows) than with insiders. Penny’s actress, Kaley Cuoco, was probably the most unfortunate Emmy omission; since the Sheldon/Penny relationship is at the heart of what makes the show work, she deserves recognition almost as much as Parsons does, and the very fact that she’s created a likable, reasonably intelligent female character on a Lorre show is achievement enough.
By Cathy Gulli - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 at 4:43 PM - 5 Comments
Loneliness can hurt like hell. A new book by researchers at the University of…
Loneliness can hurt like hell. A new book by researchers at the University of Chicago says that loneliness, like pain, is an important signaller to people about the danger they’re in. They found that loneliness is just as bad for your health as smoking, obesity or high blood pressure.
If you think you’re safe from loneliness because you have lots of friends, guess again. Surprisingly, the number of intimate contacts a person has in their life does not determine their likeliness to feel lonely; it’s more about how positive their relationships with others are.
And if you’re feeling lonely today, the research suggests you’re likely to feel even more lonely in a year. The best way to overcome that awful feeling is to start volunteering as a way of socializing with others in a positive realm.
Have a look of this video. The lead researcher explains.
By Cathy Gulli - Thursday, August 7, 2008 at 1:54 PM - 0 Comments
When it comes to women’s health, topics that go undiscussed often relate to one…
When it comes to women’s health, topics that go undiscussed often relate to one of two things: intimate body parts or intimate relationships.
First case in point: There’s a fascinating recent study by the American Sociological Association showing that women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer often face a double burden—the disease and then its impact on loved ones. They struggle to relinquish the role of caregiver, can’t bring themselves to talk about their own fears and needs, and all that limits their opportunities for receiving support from others. This, obviously, can make treatment and recovery all the more difficult for them.
Then there’s this news from the Mayo Clinic, which found that many women have never been screened for colorectal cancer, even though it’s the third biggest cancer killer among females after lung and breast cancer. One of the biggest reasons is that women think of it as “a man’s disease.”
The message is clear, even if we don’t want to admit it. All kinds of cancer happens to all kinds of people. It could happen to you. Get tested and get help however and from whomever you can.