Worth Reading — 4.25.18

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

Be More With Less: Choose One Thing to Simplify Your Life (Just One) (Some great ideas here!)

Washington Post: Tax Cuts Were Supposed to Save the GOP from Trump. Oops.

“Tax cuts passed by Presidents George W. Bush (in 2001 and 2003) and Barack Obama (in 2009, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) were actually more  generous to the middle class than Trump’s were. Yet when Americans were surveyed shortly after each of those cuts was implemented, almost no one realized their taxes had gone down then, either.

Today, Americans have also noticed that the new tax law has blown another huge hole in the federal budget and is heavily tilted toward corporations and the rich.”

Marc and Angel Hack Life: 7 Lessons from 10 Years of Coaching People Through Depression and Heartbreak (I’ve never dealt with depression myself and so I find it hard to understand when I’m trying to help friends who are dealing with it. This article offers some insightful info).

Lit Hub: Rebecca Solnit: Whose Story (and Country) Is This? On the Myth of America That Just Won’t Go Away

“We are as a culture moving on to a future with more people and more voices and more possibilities. Some people are being left behind, not because the future is intolerant of them but because they are intolerant of this future.”

Washington Post: Why did the Accused Waffle House Shooter Get Back his Guns? (Spoiler: Because our country is controlled by a gun lobby…for now. The tide is turning.)

“That the AR-15 semiautomatic, along with three other guns, had once been confiscated from him by Illinois authorities who recognized the danger only compounds the failure — indeed the absurdity — of policies that make it far too easy to get guns. And that allow weapons designed for war to become everyday commodities.”

 

 

Tech-free days start now

Most days when I get home from work, the only person who greets me is the dog.  Nora Ephron’s famous quote sure rings true these days:

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If the husband is home, he’ll also acknowledge my presence and usually ask me about my day.

But, if he’s out running or working late, it’s just me and Sam, the furry boy I never wanted, but now have come to love.

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And, of course, the cats because they want fed.

But the kids? The teenagers in my house that I built with my own body? They almost never hear me come in the house because their ears are plugged with earbuds and/or they are in their bedrooms or the office with the doors closed and some ridiculous Netflix or YouTube show on.

They sit (or lay) with a tiny screen in front of their face (iPod, Kindle, cell phone…whatever) and headphones….like zombies who occasionally laugh out loud…or show up in the kitchen when they get hungry (headphones still in, phone still in one hand while they cook with the other).

It absolutely boils my blood.

I seethe. I clench my teeth and ask: Can’t you find anything better to do? Or, did you practice piano? Did you do your homework? Or I make them move: Go feed the cats. Put your laundry away.

This usually results in, at least, an eye roll if not a full-on fight about how I always tell them what to do and this is crap and why can’t they ever relax and they WERE outside for twenty minutes and blah, blah, blah, blah…

But, I can’t stand it.  Because life is passing them by while they sit there, slack-jawed in front of some stupid electronic device.

Outside the water is running in Fourmile creek in the gorge in our OWN BACKYARD, the birds are returning, the grass and earth smells soft and wet, insects are beginning to crawl around again, the neighbors are coming out of their houses. Spring is happening. And, they’re missing it all.

They’re watching other peoples’ lives or…make believe lives on screens while the real thing — actual life — moves on. Time and their YOUTH passes them by and I’m increasingly worried they are addicted to this crap — this constant circus-circus of the Internet and they’re missing out on the truly remarkable and amazing things this world has to offer — like nature and family.

So this week begins a twice-a-week tech-free experiment because the truth is that I, myself, could use an intervention and a good reason to put my cell phone/laptop/tablet away for the entire night.

On Saturday, every member of my family got this:

tech free invite

I’ll make exception for music devices (provided it’s only used for music) and also for evening television as long as we are all watching the same TV in the same room.

Why? Because I was pretty excited about the Roseanne revival and looked forward to all of us laughing at it together and having this shared weekly experience, but here’s what has happened: I watch it alone every week, while every other member of my family is in their room on some other device, watching something else.

Enough. It’s time for an intervention.

Breaking any addiction begins with admitting you have a problem, right?

 

 

Three things — 4.19.18

Things I’m loving this week

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. We are fans of the much-maligned first Jumanji with Robin Williams, so we were excited to see a sequel. We never did make it to the theater, but it’s on RedBox now and we rented it last week. It’s hilarious and one of those rare cases where the sequel is better than the original.

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Boston Marathon 2018 guide. Dan’s on the cover of the 2018 B.M. Guide. How cool is that? No…we didn’t go this year. And, thank God we did not because that weather was horrific.

Returning the Favor with Mike Rowe. A friend of mine and I were at the gym Sunday discussing the fatigue from constant negative and bad news and she told me about this Facebook show with Mike Rowe where he finds people doing good things and rewards them for it.  I’m not the biggest Mike Rowe fan, but I respect (and appreciate) what they are doing with this show.

Things I’m not loving this week

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Tea. Did you know that tea stains your teeth worse than coffee? I do now. For health reasons, I switched to drinking tea in the mornings. For vanity, I’m going back to java.

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Snow. I don’t care about records. I’m done with this winter and the white stuff.

James Comey. Aren’t his 15 minutes of fame long gone by now? I’m enjoying his being a big thorn in 45s side, but….the comments about 45s hair, orange complexion, and hand size struck a wrong chord with me.  A former FBI director should not stoop to that level of catty talk. Best to leave that to the common folks and internet trolls. Also, I’m still harboring a lot of anger toward him for that bullshit pre-election move that ultimately put 45 in office. (Yes, Jim, it’s true….we women never forget anything…ever).

 

 

 

Worth Reading — 4.18.18

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

Common Dreams: Dear Dr. Laura, Why Can’t I Own Canadians As Slaves? (This is the kind of stuff I think of every time someone starts using the Bible to justify things or “guide” their lives).

New York Times: Threatened: A Green-Haired Turtle That Can Breathe Through it’s Genitals (Let your freak flag fly).

Mother Jones: Did Drinking Give Me Breast Cancer? (This is jaw-dropping…and, yet, not all that surprising to me. I came to the conclusion a while ago that alcohol is a toxin that cannot possibly be good for you. Your body immediately tries to rid itself of the alcohol that you pour into it.)

“The research linking alcohol to breast cancer is deadly solid. There’s no controversy here. Alcohol, regardless of whether it’s in Everclear or a vintage Bordeaux, is carcinogenic. More than 100 studies over several decades have reaffirmed the link with consistent results. The National Cancer Institute says alcohol raises breast cancer risk even at low levels.”

Competitor.com: Des & Shalane’s Friendship Embodies #ForwardTogether

“‘Helping her helped me, and I kind of got my legs back from there,’ said Linden. The two are leading the way in the resurgence of American women’s marathon racing, not just for their top performance but their sportsmanship. Through their words and actions, they’re demonstrating that a rising tide lifts all boats, a philosophy all runners can learn from.”

 

Three Things — 4.12.18

Things I’m loving this week

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I can’t believe it took me 46 years to see this classic rom-com, but it probably had to do with the fact that it took like 16 years to have a free evening at home alone when I could watch it on Netflix. Anyway…it was worth the wait. Though, as a 2018 woman, I was horrified at the situations Ms. Golightly put herself in. I kept thinking…girl, you are going to get raped….

AvocadoDeviledEggs-FTR

Avocado deviled eggs. I saw this recipe in Parade Magazine on a day in which I had an avocado over ripening by the minute on my counter, so I whipped a dozen up and they are delish! Nice to keep in the fridge for a high protein grab-and-go snack.

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Open evenings again. Swim season is over. The musical is over. Science Olympiad practices are over. Neither one of the girls plays a spring sport. So, suddenly, I have free time in the evenings. It’s so weird. I really don’t know what to do with myself.

Things I’m not loving this week

Sinus infections. I rarely get sick. I kick most colds in a day or two, but I got a cold (from Kelly….grr…kids!) a couple of weeks ago that lasted nearly a week and, as always, turned into a sinus infection. The headache is my first clue. The facial pain confirms it. Fortunately, I had just had a physical, so my doctor was willing to just call me in a ‘script.

Winter winds. I can take cold. I can even take the snow flurries (though I hate when they stick), but wind makes me miserable and cold walks unbearable.

 

Worth Reading — 4.11.18

A random collection of articles, blog posts, books, and other things I think are worth sharing.

Raised Good: Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues

Heal You Life: The Truth About Fat

“Remember, when you eat excessive high net-carb foods, your pancreas releases insulin. Since excessive insulin cues your body to store calories as fat, high insulin prevents fat from being released. Furthermore, no amount of exercise can compensate for this. This is why it can seem nearly impossible to lose weight when you’re eating processed foods filled with refined carbs and high-fructose corn syrup, and why cutting carbs is so critical when you’re trying to lose weight.”

She Recovers: Three Doors. It’s Your Choice (Wow…pretty powerful).

Her Times: Chillin’ at the Coolest Place in Town (I wrote this for the newspaper and of all the things I’ve ever written, this is the one of the stories I’ve gotten the most comments on…nearly everyone I run into has wanted to talk to me about this cryotherapy experience).