Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is Everybody On A Special Diet?

I know I live in body-obsessed California, but everybody I talk to these days, even people living in more "normal" states, is on some sort of diet. Whether to lose weight, combat allergies or just to eat healthier, EVERYONE I know is obsessed with nutrition.

High protein.
High carbs.
No carbs.
No sugar.
South Beach.

Where does it end???

I understand cutting back or cutting out animal fats - I've got the high cholesterol to prove it. But I thought complex carbs were good for you? Necessary, even.

So how come so many people I know are being told to go gluten free? That wheat is our nemesis? And the weird thing? Many of these people, including myself, feel better when they go without the formally friendly grain?

So, I'm curious...How many of you are on special diets or just don't eat a part of the pyramid because you feel much better without it?

I really want to know who has had success and with what?
Also, if you have a gluten-free bread that is tasty, please share...

Thank you.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Upside of the Economic Downturn

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you cannot go one day without seeing "For Sale" signs sprout like weeds, drawing in possible home buyers with seductive red come-hithers like, “REDUCED” and “OWNER MUST SELL". You cannot go one day without walking by usually filled restaurants now populated with beautifully set, forlorn, empty tables. You cannot go one day without seeing high-end department stores and boutiques slashing prices the likes of Walmart. Not a week goes by without hearing of a friend who’s been laid off and of others who still can't find work. And if you live in sunny California like I do, you live under the threatening, stormy cloud of state bankruptcy.

While we are not putting the cash underneath our mattress just yet... (to continue reading please click here)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is My Son Becoming A Bully?

Okay, so he's only eight. But really? I am so tired of saying the same phrases over and over again.

"Treat other people the same way you would like them to treat you."
"Put yourself in his shoes. How would you feel if someone did that to you?"
"Just because someone else does something bad doesn't give you permission to do it, too."
"I want to be proud of you and this behavior does not make me proud."
"It's okay to not like someone. You don't have to like everybody. But you must be respectful of them anyway."

There are so many more things I repeat on a daily basis about homework, feeding the dogs, limited computer time, but it is really upsetting me that he doesn't get the above.

It's not that we've seen or heard him be mean to anyone (and he has never been in trouble at school) but he recounts scenarios for me when he gets home. Up until now, I thought it was just my son creating stories of what he wished he could've done or said but didn't. And I get that. We all need our release and I'd rather he do it with me. But yesterday I got a hint (I don't know if it's true because the info was very sketchy) that some of his stories might be true.

So, after weeks of trying it the nice way, yesterday hubby and I laid down the law.

"Here's the deal," we announced. "If we see or hear that you've said or done anything to hurt this boy, we will punish you the likes of which you have never seen."

"Take away the WII?" he asked sheepishly.

"No, honey. Bigger than that. We will take away the WII AND ground you. No playdates, no tv, no computer, no nothing but studying and helping me around the house for two weeks."

I have no idea if this was the "right" thing to do but the words did seem to register.

We will soon know for sure.

FOR FULL DISCLOSURE and to be fair, I have heard that this particular boy often joins in games and then tries to bend the rules, stopping everything and whining that no one else is playing fair. My son is not the only one complaining about this boy but it is my son I care about most. Also, this boy is known to kick or shove when he doesn't get his way, so I get how on a daily basis this can be annoying. I have told my son that he should talk to the coaches about this boy but he tells me the coaches tell them to settle things on their own. (Hmmm...Note to self: May have to talk with the coaches.)

** OH, AND A FUNNY SIDE TO THIS STORY: Here is a scene on the play yard as my boy recounted it for me. It gave me a chuckle.

The other boy was acting out and making my boy and his friends mad:

My boy: "What's your issue?"
Other boy: "Nothing."
My boy: "You've got anger management problems."

When did this become playground lingo???

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert at the TED Conference: On Creativity

The charming and intelligent author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE spoke at the TED Conference about creativity.

It is lengthy but I found it worthwhile and endearing.

Watch over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Go Elizabeth.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

Hello blogger sisters (and brother(s)). It is Monday. A rainy Monday here in S. Cal. I hope you all had a nice weekend.

I went into a bit of a spontaneous cleaning frenzy - ripping apart my fridge, pantry, and bathroom drawers. I even arranged fresh flowers around the house. I take pleasure in looking at the fruits of my labor, even if no one else around here noticed!

Damn, why don't they notice?!

Anyway, to the gratitude...

  1. I am grateful for living in such a close community. Our small town lost three people in three separate accidental deaths this past week (2 fathers and a teenage son). My heart aches for all the loved ones left behind but it makes me feel good knowing they've got a support system to help them through.
  2. I am grateful for my family even if they don't notice the clean fridge or organized drawers. (see #1).
  3. I am grateful for my new writing workshop which simultaneously elates me and scares the shit out of me.
  4. I am grateful for Facebook reuniting me with old friends and allowing me to see my high school years from a different, less tortured, perspective.
  5. I am grateful for being able to get up early every morning to exercise. It has made a world of difference in so many ways.

What are you grateful for today?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Give Me The Grateful Life - Monday

Here we are again, Monday.

Feeling the tedium today. I'm fuzzy, unmotivated, meandering on this road we call life.

But I have a lot of shit to accomplish so I better get with it! Hopefully this will help keep me moving forward.

  1. I am grateful for spending quality time with good friends this weekend.
  2. I am grateful for the laughter we shared which left me breathless way beyond my comfort zone.
  3. I am grateful for having writer friends who share their Academy screeners.
  4. I am grateful for not feeling like Kate Winslet's character did in Revolutionary Road.
  5. I am grateful for remembering my adolescence like it was yesterday; it helps me feel compassion when my teenage daughter has her mood swings. (I knew the misery would come in handy one day!)

What are you grateful for today?

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