Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Solstice

Today is the Winter Solstice - the shortest day/longest night of the year. Here, the sun came up at 9am this morning and it's going to set at 5pm, rising again tomorrow around 9.
But today is sunnier and warmer than it has been lately, and because of the ice fog we had earlier this weekend, everything in town is covered in beautiful hoar frost. I just had to go out and take some photos of my beautiful frosty town.











Happy Winter Solstice!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Yes Please By Amy Poehler Review


Yes Please by Amy Poehler is part memoir, part humour, part essay, and part self-help/advice book.
I really, really loved it. I love Amy Poehler's work. I think she is a very funny lady. I've loved her since she was on SNL, and I love her on Parks and Rec and I love her work with Smart Girls and I just think she seems like a stellar person, so I couldn't wait to read her book.
I read it slowly, savouring it, and finally finished last night. 

Yes Please tells stories from Poehler's life, from her childhood and youth, and her journey trying to make it as a comedian, actor, and writer as an adult. Some of the stories are funny, some of them are sad, and a few are startlingly honest. Poehler does not try to portray herself as perfect by any means. She comes across as very self-aware and reflective in the stories, and skillfully and humorously connects events from her past with anecdotes, and life lessons she's learned. 

Parts of the book reminded me of the writing of David Sedaris and other humour essayists, but mostly I was reminded of other autobiographies written by women in comedy: Bossypants by Tina Fey, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, Girl Walks Into a Bar...  by Rachel Dratch, and Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. In all of these books the women write about their lives and their jobs with humour and honesty, and because they are all professional writers their voices and personalities come across. There's a section in Yes Please where Poehler admits she read all of these and other books to gain inspiration to write her own. I love all of those women, and I love all of those books, so of course I loved this one, too. 

My favourite parts (in no particular order):
- the apology chapter
- The essay on Parks and Rec annotated by Mike Schur
- the guest-author chapter
- the beautiful chapter about Tina Fey, which I loved so much I actually photocopied it to share with a friend.
- the part about time travel
- the wonderful advice throughout, including but not limited to: 
"...The motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! not for me."
(which Poehler applies to childbirth but can also apply to anything in life involving other people)

"Forget the facts and remember the feelings."

"Other people are not medicine."

"if you...start crying in an argument and someone asks why, you can always say, "I'm just crying because of how wrong you are.""

and one I loved so much I had to share it on my instagram:

If you are a fan of Amy Poehler you have to read this book. If you enjoyed any of the books I listed above, you will like this one. If you're a fan of humour, biographies, women, or self-help, I think you'll like this one. 

It's a great book, I loved it. You should read it.