Veil-Induced Fascination With Your Neighbor’s Interior Life

Let me tell you about something lovely that happened to me in real life: I was at supper at church, and I met this lady who could out-trad all the trads.  I was glad to finally meet her, because I love her wardrobe and never get a chance to say so.  Anyway, she comes up and says hello and chats for a bit, and voices a few opinions on matters which Catholics are free to disagree about it, and which not everyone at the table shared.Can you guess what happened?Try to guess.It's cr … [Read more...]

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One for the Watchlist: Mid-August Lunch

Elizabeth Scalia's essay on the Eternal City reminded me of a film I've been meaning to mention.  Mid-August Lunch (Pranzo di Ferragosto) is a desultory Italian film in which the reluctant hero does the thing you probably don't want to do either.  It's a lovely tribute to virtue and friendship, without even a wisp of Hallmark-y sugar anywhere in it.Here's the description from Wikimedia, which doesn't include the worst of the spoilers: Gianni (Gianni Di Gregorio), a broken man with mounting c … [Read more...]

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3 Ingredients for Parental Sanity in Kids’ Competitive Sports

So I developed a new rule this weekend: If watching your child play sports causes you to spew f-bombs at your own child's team, it's time for family counseling.Thomas Wurtz has a great article up at CatholicMom.com on signs that competitive athletics are turning you into a monster.  After bouncing a number of thoughts off my daughter over the past several months, I'd like to suggest a few things I've identified that keep sports sane. 1. The Decision to Play is a Decision for Today … [Read more...]

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Can Land’s End Be Saved? Three Strategies

I thought I was done with this topic, but no b-school case study is complete until the student has proposed solutions.  I've got three.1. New management.  I realize political and religious tests are popular in certain quarters, but I don't hold with that for a moment.  If Frederica Marchionni is capable of leading an American retailer, by all means keep her on.  It appears she's generated massive mistrust from all quarters, and that she lacks either a grasp of her customer base or a grasp of … [Read more...]

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Land’s End Postscript: Sexism in Business & Politics

I've been further puzzling over the Gloria Steinem interview in the Land's End catalog, and I've come to a second conclusion: It's sexist.My thinking began by mentally reviewing the other catalogs I receive.  None of them ever feature prominent political leaders in them.  To wit:Duluth Trader (they'll tell you about the model's horse farm or blacksmith shop, but politics are right out) Vinyard Vine (they'll tell you what department the pictured employees work in, but still no p … [Read more...]

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Bad Business: Land’s End Goes Over the Edge

I haven't written up a business case study in ages, but the latest Land's End fiasco was fodder for discussion among the family this evening.  A few quick points that I think shed light on Steinem debacle.As my beloved finance professor always said, financial reports contain no answers, only questions.  Still, you can take a look at Land's End's financials here, and the Q3 2015 earnings report is chilling.  All is not well.The brand has been losing itself for years.  My husband (tall, thi … [Read more...]

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On the Forming of Young Christians

The plan, if all my paperworking comes to fruition, is for 4/4ths of my children to undertake radically different modes of education next year.  Said plan involves one parochial school, one public school, and one homeschool (mine).This is by no means the first time my husband and I have changed tack in our children's formation.  One would hope that my 15-year-old is not receiving the same sort of formal education we started with when he was five (though there are fascinating similarities).   … [Read more...]

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