I’ve lost a bit of weight. Not much — I still have 12 pounds to go before the CDC no longer considers me overweight — but enough that my clothes don’t fit right anymore. As much fun as it is to be able to insert your fist between your stomach and waistband, it’s equally a pain to have to keep hitching your pants up. So I’ve been rewarding myself with a little shopping. The closeout place I like for cheap workout gear and this ‘n’ that has been throwing one of these into their delivery boxes:
Speaking of losing weight. Let’s see if we can count all the silliness just on the front of the label. These are “dark chocolate covered real fruit juice pieces.” Please explain how juice, a liquid, can come in a “piece.” Then there’s the mysterious açai berry, which I’ve been seeing in my junk mail for a couple years now — apparently it’s a superfood, or a weight-loss aid, or something. But there’s blueberry in there, too; I have to assume it’s juice, so… this is a mixture of acai and blueberry juice, somehow pieced out and covered with dark chocolate. It’s a “natural source of flavanol antioxidants.” What is this stuff, anyway? It’s health-food candy. It’s not a Snickers bar, it has antioxidants! Antioxidants go in pursuit of free radicals in your body, which everybody knows are rilly, rilly bad. So eat the candy. Guilt-free.
It was tasty, I’ll give it that. Sixty-five calories.
Getting back to the CDC and its body-mass index, which has been criticized for being stupid and inaccurate: I’m going to keep trying to lose, but entirely without any pressure or expectation; the BMI is just a guideline. After years of being nauseated by my thighs (but not enough to lose my appetite), I’ve decided to accept them. I’ve said before that the truth of being female in this culture is, the body you hate today will be the one you wish you still had tomorrow, and I’m going to appreciate mine while it still works and is still relatively pain-free. Strength, flexibility, balance, fun — if it hits on at least three of those cylinders most of the time, I’m going to call it a good day.
Yoga helps with all of this, which may explain its popularity. But for someone like me and, maybe, you — those of us whose heads tend to go buzz buzz buzz all the livelong day — it provides a solid hour in which the sole command is: Pay attention. I have a couple of good teachers at the moment, who are gentle and kind and walk that careful yoga line between too little and too much woo-woo. The other day I was sitting in the deepest twist I could muster, concentrating on breathing and back muscles, and reflected that most of us pay attention to our stomachs and genitals and not much else. I’m willing to believe that breathing deeply in this twist somehow makes my internal organs happy. How can thousands of years of flexible little Indian dudes be entirely wrong?
I can’t get on the antioxidants bandwagon, but I will eat their candy when it comes along.
Sorry to be boring.
A little bloggage:
We’ve discussed the wedding-industrial complex here many times, but I thought this blog post from Esquire.com made an important point: As a proportion of wealth, the typical American wedding is far more expensive than the Kanye/Kardashian affair in Florence over the weekend. And then there’s this part:
The culture that demands a big wedding hurts the poor worst of all. In 2005’s “Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage,” Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas explained why even women who didn’t have much money wanted a lavish wedding. “Having the wherewithal to throw a ‘big’ wedding is a vivid display that the couple has achieved enough financial security to do more than live from paycheck to paycheck, a stressful situation that most believe leads almost inevitably to divorce. Hosting a “proper” wedding is a sign that the couple only plans to do it once, “given the obvious financial sacrifice.” This is the equivalent, financially, of cutting of your arm to demonstrate how strong you are. The needs of a big wedding also leads to poor people marrying later and less often than rich people, which brings with it a host of negative socioeconomic consequences.
The father of a young man gunned down Friday during the rampage in Santa Barbara said he is asking members of Congress to stop calling him to offer condolences but nothing more for the death of his only child, Christopher Michaels-Martinez.
“I don’t care about your sympathy. I don’t give a s— that you feel sorry for me,” Richard Martinez said during an extensive interview, his face flushed as tears rolled down his face. “Get to work and do something. I’ll tell the president the same thing if he calls me. Getting a call from a politician doesn’t impress me.”
If a few more people said that to a few more members of Congress, daily, things might change in Washington. Maybe.
Let’s go out on a bitter laugh; the Onion nails it with just the headline: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
Dexter said on May 28, 2014 at 12:53 am
Trader Joe’s sells those berries…I got a big bag in my Christmas stocking. After a couple small handfuls I had had enough forever. Just give me a Butterfinger, a Milky Way, a Snickers. Or all three of those!
MaryRC said on May 28, 2014 at 2:45 am
I love the Brookside candies — they have pomegranate and cranberry flavors too – but yes, they’re candies and the main ingredient is sugar. Delicious though.
Sherri said on May 28, 2014 at 3:04 am
Kind bars are my current favorite, especially the dark chocolate nuts & sea salt one. It’s mostly nuts, so it’s not full of sugar, though it is full of fat.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 28, 2014 at 6:49 am
On weddings, let me say “Amen” to Esquire’s observations.
And the BMI is like the Pirates’ Code: more of a guideline, mate.
Heather said on May 28, 2014 at 8:13 am
Sherri, I’m into the Kind bars too! My fave are the maple pumpkin seed with sea salt, but I can’t always find it. I’m cutting down on sugar, so no cookies, ice cream, etc during the week for me anymore. Nuts have a lot of fat but it’s the good kind, or so they tell us. The Kind bars are a bit pricey but I think of it as an investment.
The first thing I noticed about cutting out most sugar is that I don’t get those cravings and I am less hungry in general.
Judybusy said on May 28, 2014 at 9:47 am
Sad news today: Maya Angelou has died. Imagine a world in which the majority of people had her generosity of spirit. Compare her with Joe the plumber: why does he spew such hatred and she embraced lovingkindness with strength to confront racism and sexism?
brian stouder said on May 28, 2014 at 9:59 am
Judybusy – a great question.
I think the answer for him is – because he never had to think any further; and for her is because she had to think (and imagine) further, or else surrender and let her soul perish
Scout said on May 28, 2014 at 10:45 am
The Joe Plumbers are motivated by their need to extend their 15 minutes by appealing to the lowest common denominator. Maya Angelou comes from a completely different, higher vibration. The world definitely needs more Mayas and fewer Joes.
I despair for this country every time I hear about another senseless gun death. I feel helpless in the face of the absolute selfishness that emanates from people who value their toys more than human life. One small thing I did today was sign up for this and I will follow up with postcards in the mail. https://act.everytown.org/act/NotOneMore?source=fbns_share&utm_source=fb_n_&utm_medium=_s&utm_campaign=share
Hattie said on May 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm
Interesting the way so many of us are putting 2+2 together. How should a person live? Is this what we want?
Dexter said on May 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm
I was just twenty years old when I spent my year in California, and I learned so much about life and literature that year, more than I ever learned in my little Indiana high school, anyway. Aside from my hands-on exploration of Steinbeck country and the reading of many of his novels that year, I read a comment about Maya Angelou somewhere. I checked out “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and was affected, moved. I remember the part of the book where she fought to be hired on as a San Francisco motorperson on the famed Cable Cars. More than her own personal labor struggle by far, it was an open study in humanity and it is written in a way so any kid can grasp the book’s contents and hold it dear to their hearts for a lifetime, as I have done. Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou.
Dexter said on May 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm
The pope…I love this man! Now he says “…it’s not dogma, this celibacy for priests …”
Sherri said on May 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm
A friend of mine passed away on Monday. She wasn’t a close friend really, but I saw her several times a week. We worked out in the gym at about the same time, and always spoke. She and her husband were regulars. She was 85 years old, and always had a smile on her face, and seldom missed a workout. Her husband, who is 92, kept a close eye on her, because she was often a little confused. Others in the gym who have known her longer than I have say that her confusion dated back to a ski accident suffered in her late 70’s; evidently she and her husband were avid skiers until she took a bad fall at Whistler.
I saw her in the gym on Friday, and all seemed normal. She did her usual workout: cardio, stretching, weight-lifting, all carefully supervised by her husband. She lived until she died, which is my hope.
Here’s to Marge.
Deborah said on May 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm
For those graphic designer types among us, an amazing person has died, Massimo Vignelli, a truly generous and extremely talented designer. I met him once a few years back. I was at the installation of a trade show booth I designed and this extremely elegant older gentleman kept showing up and watching the fabrication of the our space unfold. I thought I recognized him and I finally got up enough courage to ask him if he was in fact Mr, Vignelli. He was and he proceeded to compliment me on the design of the booth I had designed. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. He was there because he had designed a booth for an Italian bathroom fixtures company. This was a kitchen and bath show. He died yesterday morning at the age of 83.
brian stouder said on May 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm
Sherri – excellent post; thanks for sharing it.
And Deborah, that was a very cool story. Getting the opportunity to interact with a consequential person is an enlightening (and altogether cool!) experience.
(‘Course, I get a kick out of yapping with a school board trustee…and every so often, with our super Superintendent)
Connie said on May 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm
In our various discussions of celebrity run-ins, I don’t think I ever mentioned that I once rode an elevator with Maya Angelou. We were both on our way to library conference dinner at which she was the speaker. She was wearing a black evening gown and what appeared to be lots of diamond. This was many years ago, I have no memory of what she said.
Bob (not Greene) said on May 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm
I thought this was a pretty good appreciation of Maya Angelou.
Deborah said on May 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm
Here’s what the NYT had to say about Massimo Vignelli http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/business/massimo-vignelli-a-modernist-graphic-designer-dies-at-83.html?_r=0&referrer=
And another nice tribute to him by a fellow designer http://m.designobserver.com/observatory/feature/massimo-vignelli-1931-2014/38336/
MarkH said on May 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm
Since this is a site with a good number of journos, particularly women, what do you all think of this story posted today at WaPo.
Could this be? I have a hard time believing it, though my opinion is strictly observational. I see and read more women reporters/journalists/writers all the time, it seems, whether broadcast, web or print.
Dexter said on May 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm
Dexter said on May 28, 2014 at 9:19 pm
Snowden / Williams alert…NBC…20 minutes….
Dorothy said on May 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm
Hey y’all… Check out avidbookshop on Instagram. My niece met Carlos Santana tonight and she posted a picture with him on Instagram! She’s in New York on business.
Connie said on May 28, 2014 at 11:10 pm
Bet she’s at Book Expo.
Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 29, 2014 at 12:23 am
If Snowden did make official statements of concern within (documented) channels, and was told to stop asking questions — and the fact that the NSA isn’t rushing to beat the FOIA requests with releases hints that he’s telling the truth — then his actions make a great deal more sense than is generally assumed.
Dexter said on May 29, 2014 at 2:53 am
Jeff (mmo) : That show with Brian Wilson and Edward Snowden had me watching slack-jawed. It was some of the greatest journalism I have ever seen, worthy of Edward R. Murrow of CBS.
Wilson actually put his career in jeopardy by doing this; lotta folks hate Snowden like he was the one ordering all the shenanigans of violating basic Constitutional rights.
Dexter said on May 29, 2014 at 2:54 am
I better get to sleep! Of course…Brian WILLIAMS. 🙂