Every time I go to Maryland, my mother, who manages a day spa, gives me half a dozen magazines to read on the trip back to New York. It seems that magazines, eager to get in front of the consumption-oriented eyes of her manicure-drying audience, just get sent to the spa en masse.

My mother, being a nice Southern lady, rejects quite a number of them on the basis of what she perceives to be their vulgarity (e.g. the word "sex" on the cover), and so she sets them aside for me. I suppose this is because I curse a lot, still smoke around my parents (even though formally I quit years ago) and talk about social equality and universal health care plans at the dinner table. Anyway, the weekend before last, I came back stacked.

My roommate came home tonight and asked me if I wanted a copy of Harper's Bazaar. It seems her mother thought she was buying Harper's, and was pretty displeased with the mix-up. I replied that I probably couldn't take it off her hands as I had just gotten a bunch of magazines from my mother, felt about 15% less smarter, and didn't know how I would regenerate all the brain cells I burned reading about Gwen Stefani's skinny new ass.

Fortunately, I just checked in with ms.musings, which I hadn't read in a few days. I immediately felt -- dare I say it? -- at least 15% brainier, and I can't recommend a visit highly enough if you haven't stopped by lately for the latest feminist news and views.


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