An internet diet.

Ms. Lippman claims to be on an internet diet. As she is a very disciplined person, I believe it. (I add that I’m honored she includes this site in her restricted surfing, particularly considering it has no supplemental vitamin or minerals.) What’s more, I think she’s on to something. I didn’t miss the internet (too much) during our vacation, and I’m thinking I want to be more analog for a while.

So I’m going on a diet. I will not be neglecting this site. Too much. Same daily updates, perhaps less bloggage. Maybe you won’t notice it at all, but I’m going to restrict my time spent a) blogging and b) looking for things to blog about to 45 minutes a day, 60 at most. I have a few writing opportunities I want to explore, and if the mile of tombstones* this year has reminded me of anything, it’s that we don’t have all the time in the world, just some of it. Wouldn’t it be stupid to lie on your deathbed and think, “I spent it all blogging”? I think so.

Also, I need to do more video. Even though I am unemployable by traditional media, I like to keep the skills sharp.

What I mainly think I’m going to do is stop reading the sites that bug me. While there’s a certain scab-picking satisfaction in seeing What That Idiot Has to Say Today, it’s just, alas, a waste of time. So long, Jim Lileks. Au revoir, Rod Dreher. Farewell, about a dozen other blogs. It was fun while it lasted, and besides, I’m still reading Roy, who will keep us updated on the highlights.

* turn of phrase borrowed from Thomas McGuane, who used it as the title of an essay about a rash of deaths in his family

OK, then. What a nice weekend. Spent it at Eastern Market (July! Time for corn, peaches, snow peas, bok choy, sugar snaps, tomatoes, beets, weensy little carrots and yes I made two trips to the car), sailing, moviegoing (“Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which will go on my parental-duty roster in the plus column, but otherwise be entirely forgotten in a matter of days) and, Sunday, a Tigers game. As a recent transplant, I really don’t give a crap about the Tiger Stadium demolition, despite the Free Press’ dedication to covering every swing of the wrecking ball, and besides, Comerica is hardly a dump. It was hot and sweaty in the sun, but the seats were great (thanks, Michael and Diane) and the Tigers won. Pudge Rodriguez went four-for-four — a Hot Pudge Sunday — and there were a couple of nice homers. And the heat wasn’t even that bad; fortunately, there was beer.

Friday night at the movies was something else, however — we went to the 5 p.m. show and came out in the midst of Macomb County Friday Night, a vast gathering at a new “lifestyle center” mall up in the northern ‘burbs. “Lifestyle center” = open-air. Their gimmick is, they allow dogs, and every time I go there I wonder if this will be the day disaster strikes. Because there are an awful lot of stupid people in the world, people who think dogs “enjoy” a Friday night spent strolling at the mall, in the company of hundreds of people and dozens of strange dogs, some of which are barely under control in the first place. Since we were last there the mall added an outdoor splash fountain and climbable play area, so add a bunch of toddlers to the mix, too. Every time I go there I witness at least one dog argument barely avoided, sometimes between, oh, an 80-pound boxer and a 100-pound lab, both straining at the ends of their leashes, which are held by 110-pound women who simply don’t have a clue. About anything.

Also, these trips enable me to see how many people think it is normal and admirable to put clothes on dogs. I’m not talking a bandanna around the neck, either. I ask you.

So, a little bit of bloggage:

Mitch Albom, I beg you, take the buyout. A grateful readership would thank you. I would, anyway.

And one final housekeeping note: This week is when I’m collecting the last of my doctor’s 50th-birthday presents, the one that requires a special diet, Miralax and general anesthesia. So if I disappear for a couple of days, please try not to picture what I’ll be doing. ‘kay?

Posted at 10:11 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

37 responses to “An internet diet.”

  1. Dorothy said on July 28, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Speaking of dogs, how’s Spriggy since last week?

    48 chars

  2. nancy said on July 28, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Better, thanks. Plumping back up, still eating like a little hog. I don’t think we’ll leave him for that long again. He’s just not up for it anymore.

    149 chars

  3. LAMary said on July 28, 2008 at 10:47 am

    I love seeing dogs dressed in Juicy Couture outfits, carried through Nordstroms either in little Louis Vuitton doggie totes or under their mistress’s arm. I’m thinking of doing this with Max if I can find Juicy Couture doggie clothes for 140 pound boxer/dane mixes.
    People, dogs do not want to be carried around or walked through shopping malls unless they can scavenge the food court.
    Two years ago I went to the LA Auto show with the kids and inhouse Brit. In the ladies’ room there was a woman with a chihuahua. The dog had crapped all over the interior of the pricey doggie carrier and the woman was washing it out into the ladies’ room sink. Dog diarrhea in the sink where I needed to wash my hands. This is just wrong. I love dogs a lot but I wouldn’t take them to the auto show and I wouldn’t expect people to tolerate my dumping their crap into the sink.

    867 chars

  4. Sue said on July 28, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Daisy the German shorthair mix is currently visiting us while her owners are up north for a week. Compatible households, of course: Daisy will be sleeping with us and hogging the couch just like she does at her real house. If you don’t mind the long drive to drop him off, Spriggy is welcome here anytime. He won’t lose weight, I promise.

    342 chars

  5. coozledad said on July 28, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Roy’s a good one to stick with. I’m still laughing at the image of Jonah Goldberg in a press box with a bat up his ass.

    119 chars

  6. ellen said on July 28, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I had that “birthday gift” a couple of weeks ago. Best advice someone gave to me: Make the “special drink” the night before and chill it in the fridge. Keep it as cold as possible and drink it over a lot of ice. It goes down a lot easier that way. Also, if you are lucky, you will be done in 3 liters, instead of the full 4. The actual procedure was nothing. A pleasant nap, just like a previous commenter here (LAMary? Dorothy?) said it would be. And the rest of the afternoon was a nice haze, too. I have no memory of that day at all.

    536 chars

  7. Julie Robinson said on July 28, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    General anesthesia? It was just a local when a certain significant other in my life had it done. That’s what I was counting on when it’s my turn in September. General anesthesia scares the crap out of me. No pun intended.

    225 chars

  8. Dorothy said on July 28, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    The prep is worse than the procedure. I have no memory of the procedure. I must have been nice and drowsy to not even realize what happened. And afterwards I felt just fine. In 5.5 years I will probably have another, and not be nearly as full of trepidation as the first one was.

    And Julie, even if it was unintended, it was a fun pun!

    343 chars

  9. Sue said on July 28, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Julie, I think it’s a twilight kind of thing usually, neither local nor general. An iv is started and you get an injection, which makes you very sleepy and helps you not to remember anything. No intubation, no anesthesiologist. Talk to your doc.

    248 chars

  10. nancy said on July 28, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Perhaps “general anesthesia” is a medical term, but I understand it to be any procedure where you’re all the way knocked out, as opposed to awake. Sue is right — they told me it would be some sort of knock-out drug but I’d be breathing on my own.

    247 chars

  11. Connie said on July 28, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I am just back from eight days with not only no internet, but no cell phone signal without a drive as well. Missed the internet very little which surprised me.

    Our old man Shih Tzu stayed home with the kid – who turned 21 yesterday. The kid, not the dog. The dog is suffering from severe arthritis and congestive heart failure and we know we are going to have make the big sleep decision sometime soon.

    Glen Lake Sleeping Bear was wonderful as always, despite the overcast nights – no star gazing all week. We spent way less than usual, mostly because there were no seadoos to gas up.

    Back to work this a.m., to find ONLY two managers waiting for me to discuss whatever it is went on in their dept while I was gone.

    727 chars

  12. Sue said on July 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Just finished my first canning batch for the season – currant jelly. This has got to be the latest first ever. We have one tomato that is almost ripe, and our first green beans (the three plants that survived the second flood) are about 1/2 inch long. Any day now! We bought our first local corn yesterday – it’s up to almost $6 a dozen this year, almost double last year’s price. And it wasn’t very good, either; kind of like what you used to get before they started planting the supersweets.

    498 chars

  13. Mindy said on July 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Looks like I’ve been on an internet diet for six months at least. Never thought of it as such, though. So far I’ve gained a much cleaner house, a few completed novels, and time to knit. The current project will be off the needles in plenty of time for fall. It was supposed to be ready for fall of 2006. But I was surfing.

    I’ve also managed to spend plenty of my found time drinking wine on the deck in the beautiful weather we’ve had lately. But it’s a lovelier and more relaxing way to waste time. I hope you gain at least as much on your diet as I have on mine.

    628 chars

  14. moe99 said on July 28, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Well my oldest son spent the night at The Hampton Inn next to the Detroit airport due to what was billed as weather problems back in NYC. Really. Thought of doing a call out here in case he couldn’t find a place to stay, but it all turned out ok. So far. He thought I was a bit over the top when I told him, all 22 years of him, that he could NOT go wander around Detroit proper at night. He’s really only experienced Seattle, the Twin Cities, and a bit of the cleaned up NYC so he has no idea what’s out there.

    515 chars

  15. ellen said on July 28, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    You aren’t knocked out; you are sedated via IV. You are not unconscious, because, as my gastroenterologist explained, they might need to ask you to shift your position slightly during the procedure. You are awake and the thing is happening, but you are so doped up you don’t know/care, you don’t feel anything, and you have no memory of it afterward. I think they do vasectomies the same way.

    393 chars

  16. coozledad said on July 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    That’s always been one of my fears. They give me the IV Valium and Demerol drip, and the well worn doormat of my opiate receptors says “That’s pretty good. I’ll have another when you get a chance”. And I wind up feeling the entire procedure.

    243 chars

  17. Gasman said on July 28, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I’ve seen you frequently rant about Mitch Albom, however, as I don’t read his stuff very often, I’ve not not been too offended by him. His current column is something to behold. If this is typical Albom, I understand your rants. Takes up much space without actually writing very much.







    349 chars

  18. nancy said on July 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    That’s pretty typical for the non-sports stuff, which is all I read of his. Take a topic, stake out a pretty safe position on it, find a catch phrase you can repeat every three grafs, add white space.

    He’s probably knocking down about 300K from the paper alone for that.

    273 chars

  19. brian stouder said on July 28, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    So if I disappear for a couple of days, please try not to picture what I’ll be doing.

    Just wanted to comment on the elegant construction of this post, with the internet purge cleverly connected to the joke at the end, making for an interesting post all around!

    My own tolerance of silly bull***t is declining just as rapidly as my age is advancing, and the internet is basically a big cow pasture, when it comes to loads of dung just waiting for your bare feet. Consequently, the endless political cowpie sites turn me off (after spending years romping around in a few of them) pretty completely. This website, plus msnbc news is most often where I go. (and true enough, I’ll follow links from here to elsewhere sometimes). The BBC F1 site is another occasional stop.

    I can see how lots of the stuff on the internet glitters and charms young folks; it’s all so new and different and odd and “in” and exciting. But in the end, it has no more charms than have always existed, whether in books or happenings or the stories our friends tell us (and indeed, the internet is no more truthful than any of those other sources!)

    Saturday Grant and I were at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for qualifying and practice (while the girls ran off to the Children’s Museum; Pam posted some pictures); a long, hot, entertaining day. Late in the afternoon, hoots and hollers arose off to my right, and I saw a very attractive, well built and fairly drunk blonde, and her more completely drunk, buzz-headed, 6-pack ab husband or boyfriend came into view, and the attractive blonde pulled her strapless top down, and actively displayed her undulating breasts. Great stuff! She was very well built, and had a fair amount of stagecraft, as she then popped her top right back up again. But they were working their way toward us, and the novelty wore off after the 6th or 7th time she revealed herself – so that I was beginning to feel more like a concerned dad than a guy who just won five dollars on a lottery ticket. Ultimately they sat within 40 feet of us, on the same row in the bleachers, where the act continued; she teased and moved and flashed – on cue from her man, who was wearing a bizarre $40 Ed Hardy tee shirt (I Googled Ed Hardy later, and learned about it) as he circulated amongst other fans and spoke to them about….who knows what? Seriously, she looked too good, and he was acting too strangely. Were they drumming up business for a gentleman’s club? Whatever the game was, it got old in a hurry, to me, but not to Grant! (Yes – the bottomline is – I’m getting old!)

    2627 chars

  20. Jen said on July 28, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Nancy: Dave Barry wrote a column back in February about the same procedure you’re going to have. I thought it was amusing but, being only 23, I haven’t experienced that “joy” yet. My editor, who is over 50, said he hadn’t laughed so hard in years as he did reading the column. It’s here:

    Mitch Albom strikes me as a HUGE snot. I don’t think big-name actors are doing comic book movies because it’s the only thing Hollywood will do, or because it’s the only way they get paid. They’re doing it because the movies are MUCH better than they were. Come on – “The Dark Knight” is written better than the ’60s TV show and its movie (which I also loved). And it’s not like it’s a really new thing, either. Jack Nicholson was already known as a good actor in 1989 when he played the Joker in Tim Burton’s “Batman.” It’s not like it’s a new phenomenon. Just because a movie is based on a comic book does not mean it can’t be a good story. What a turd!

    Incidentally, your reading of Mitch Albom columns, since you know you’re just going to get ticked, reminds me of my father, who reads a certain columnist in a certain newspaper every week just because he hates the columnist’s writing SO much and loves to rant about it.

    1267 chars

  21. James said on July 28, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    “I think they do vasectomies the same way.”

    No. You get a local, and are fully aware. Trust me. The doctor was teaching some young lady how to do the procedure during mine, 16 years ago or so…

    197 chars

  22. Sue said on July 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Loved Dave Barry’s column. He’s absolutely right about waking up feeling mellow. That’s niiiice.
    The office I work in reviews submittals for subdivisions in our city. One rendering that came in several years ago reminded me stongly of the large intestine. Really. There was an ascending, transverse and descending part, plus a large area of green space right in the middle where the small intestine would normally be shoved. The only thing missing was a tiny cul-de-sac where the appendix should be. Plus it was backwards. Since “Relationship to Human Anatomy” is not one of the review criteria, I didn’t bring it up to my boss.

    639 chars

  23. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 28, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Nancy, not true on yer blog having “no supplemental vitamin or minerals;” isn’t there a full recommended daily allowance of Irony in each serving?

    146 chars

  24. Dexter said on July 28, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    I remember when Mitch came to the Freep, replacing Mike Downey, who moved to the LA Times and is now writing “In the Wake of the News” for da Trib in Chicago, which is a hallowed position given to a sports sage with great respect by peer and reader alike.
    I really like Downey but quickly warmed up to Mitch and read every column for years . He did great work , giving balance to stories and assumptions ,”bad raps” about controversial athletes like Chris Webber.
    I was a fan of his radio show on WJR but now I never listen to that crummy right wing station.
    I was moved by “…Maury” and Eddie, the carnival worker in “…Heaven”.
    In the past few years I only occasionally read his stuff, though, and this column Nancy linked and others lately are the reasons why.
    I am still a fan of his; I have never seen his B’way plays, but I like his NYC based columns. His column on the great Bobby Short and the Carlyle Hotel lounge was my favorite. I could just hear Short telling of Hildegard and other stories.
    For those of you who have had enough, take pleasure in knowing that one man who was not a fan had a solution for his frustrations with Mitch. In 1984 Guillermo Hernandez, the best reliever in baseball , dumped a huge bucket of ice water on Mitch’s head in the Tigers’ locker room. Mitch still hates that fucker for that. He wrote about it for years.
    The drug is Verset, sometimes combined w/Demerol. I was nervous as a whore-in-church before, for no reason. My doc was late and I was on the table for 45 minutes making small talk with two nurses and the doc arrived, the nurse says, “here comes the good stuff”, drip drip, and off to “Twilight Land”. I do recall a sound like a far-off sewer-digging machine, then it was over and I was making claims the doctor wanted to see me in his office right away…I had dreamed it. And I do recall I was asked to shift positions once sometime during the procedure. I go to the dentist regularly, and the c-scope was easier than ANY dentist visit.

    2059 chars

  25. brian stouder said on July 28, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    a total non-sequitur: I just got the notice in the mail for the 23rd annual Lincoln Colloquium, which will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and which features lectures by Douglas Wilson, Rodney Davis, Allen Guelzo, James McPherson, Garry Wills, and David Zarefsky.

    It will be held at Knox College at Galesburg, Illinois on October 11 (a Saturday)….and wild horses couldn’t keep me away!!

    It sounds like it will be absolutely and wonderfully enthralling, coming as it does amidst the decsive stages of our presidential election…and the cost is $25!!! (For a comparison, I paid $40 – after popcorn and pop got added, to take the young folks to Dark Knight)….but I suppose I’ll come home with several more great books to read, so that has to be factored in

    804 chars

  26. Connie said on July 28, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    So why are you unemployable by traditional media? Surely not the Albom bashing.

    80 chars

  27. Linda said on July 28, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    I can understand the internet diet. I stayed away from a website full of idiots for Lent. It was great. Gave me a new perspective. And I believe Roy exists so that we don’t have to read wingnut idiots.

    205 chars

  28. del said on July 28, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I often think of the Willie Hernandez episode. Albom had some rather unkind things to say about Willie — who had reverted to his birth name, Guillermo, a decision that Albom found silly as I recall. A writer can wound with his words. And after the ice-bath Albom was on a perpetual rant against Hernandez.

    309 chars

  29. Dexter said on July 28, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    We all know the bees are going away. In China , they have to pollinate the fruit trees by hand.
    Can you imagine that? Talk about labor-intensive!
    And I still miss Joe Strummer. Here he laments about the bees.

    261 chars

  30. MarkH said on July 29, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Jen, thanks for sharing the Barry column; a hoot, and very accurate, as was Ellen’s description.

    I had mine two years ago, at 54, and the prep was definitely worse than the procedure. In addition to the previous night’s evacuation procedure, there was a prep IV prior to the real anethesia, and, as the nurse warned, it burned going in my wrist. Then I was out, and woke up a second later, it seemed. Smiles all around; a healthy colon, aside from a slight “ulcerization”, whatever that was. Good results added to the mellowness. They are examining you as the tube exits, with the colon carefully inflated so the bright light shows the camera EVERYTHING. Your colon will never look as clean again, Nancy, so be sure to ask for the photos (well, maybe not).

    You won’t want to do anything the rest of the day. My boss tried otherwise and bragged how he came back to work for half a day. My buddy here confirmed he did come back, but he was worthless and looked like hell.

    On the flip side, as of last week, I am helping my close friend deal with a likely diagnosis of the worst news. He had symptoms recently, and at only 45, had not considered he needed the colonoscopy. After initial tests, he was told by his doctor to prepare himself as he goes to Billings next week for the colonoscopy, and get the final determination. I’m praying for him, as his father passed away last Christmas from a malignant brain tumor.

    1426 chars

  31. John said on July 29, 2008 at 7:54 am


    We all looked at the pictures from the playground on fire, but when you finally get an eye-popping photo op, you don’t provide diddley!


    153 chars

  32. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on July 29, 2008 at 8:25 am

    If you dislike foul language, don’t click this link; if you dislike being edited, click this link —

    156 chars

  33. brian stouder said on July 29, 2008 at 8:44 am

    John – I think that was the first time I went to the speedway without a camera!

    79 chars

  34. Kirk said on July 29, 2008 at 10:35 am

    She leaves a movie trailer, with a “McCain for president” ad right beneath it, and closes off the comments. What twisted form of revenge is this?

    145 chars

  35. coozledad said on July 29, 2008 at 11:02 am

    I already have nightmares about the creep in chief, but I’ll go see it anyway. Stone is actually far too kind:They got an actress to play Babs.

    144 chars

  36. brian stouder said on July 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    The preview makes the movie look like a very healthy (for our republican democracy) trip to the dunk tank for the crew currently in power.

    But, further to our discussion about age and cowpies, we should remember the great concluding voice-over by George C Scott in the movie Patton:

    For over a thousand years Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of triumph, a tumultuous parade. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners [in this case, White House staffers!] walking in chains before him. And a slave stood behind the conqueror holding a golden crown and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.”

    by way of saying, we’ve seen this sort of thing before, and we’ll certainly see it again, if we live long enough

    795 chars

  37. roy edroso said on July 29, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    So, I see, it’s all up to me. Thanks a fuck of a lot. Nothing makes this job easier than knowing one of the smarter people doesn’t have my back.

    One of these days I’ll accumulate your level of wisdom and go back to hypnotizing chickens. Till then enjoy your new freedom and spare me a lonesome tear sometimes. It’s nasty out here.

    340 chars