A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Modern-day miracle

Did y'all see this?
I can't imagine being this woman's husband. Or the woman who came back to life, for that matter.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Back to the salt mine

Tomorrow it's back to work. At least for a couple of days.
Where did the time go?
The big news of the day is we got a new vacuum cleaner. A Eureka Optima. It seems our former vacuum wasn't doing the job, and after I went through the house with the new one, I had to empty out the cartridge after each room. It's not a huge house. I know we have a cat and all, but geez. I think we could have made another cat with all the hair and dust it picked up.
Just wishing it came with a manual to teach one's cat (or dog) to earn his keep.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Newsweek: The interview issue

Here are some really interesting interviews from the current Newsweek.
Among them: Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger; Gen. David Patraeus; Timothy Geithner; and Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota.
In his column, Newsweek editor Jon Meacham pulls a quote from John F. Kennedy: "What makes journalism so fascinating and biography so interesting is the struggle to answer that single question: 'What's he like?' "

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


From our house to yours.

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home.
~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas reading ideas?

Anyone have a favorite book to share?
I've got some days off coming up (yay) and need suggestions.
Here are the categories I generally don't like: mysteries and/or thrillers. Pretty much anything else is fair game, especially non-fiction (social sciences, politics); biographies; theology; and tales of adventure.
What about you?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Can men and women be friends?

Somehow I was just thinking about this scene from one of my favorite movies, "WHen Harry Met Sally."
So. What do you think? Can men and women be "just friends?"
I say it CAN work--but not always.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Keillor: On Christmas

Hope you're all making it through the week OK and you womenfolk aren't having to get your, ahems, re-checked. (See post below)
Here, writer and radio host Garrison Keillor is his usual funny and descriptive self about Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Agassi: Open

Tennis great Andre Agassi has a new book out, which has reviewers raving. Rick Reilly, for one, praises it for the honest accounting of Agassi's life to date. How Agassi was chained to the tennis machine by an overbearing father, and how he dabbled in drugs but grew into one who embraced the game. (As well as a person who uses his fortune for good, in this case helping kids.)
"Open" is written with Pulitzer Prize winner J.R. Moehringer.
Might make a good Christmas gift for the tennis nuts in your life.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Off furlough


I just came back to work from furlough. Look out, haha.
It wasn't so bad. The money part will stink, of course, but it was nice to be off. I called it a stay-lough because I didn't go anywhere. Just caught up on some reading and we went to see Michael's dad in Atlanta yesterday.
Here's an interesting article I came across while reading.
And, a tip: There is some great people-watching in Starbucks, in case you're inclined to spend an extended period there. Most any Starbucks will do. (One exception: This guy plopped down in an easy chair next to me the other day. Didn't say hello or anything, just started in on the great game Alabama played against Florida. I listened as if interested. Finally he said, "You're not a Florida fan, are you?" And I smiled and said, "If I were, I wouldn't tell YOU.")

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday book: 'Yours Ever'

This recent review in the New York Times Book Review offers what they say is an elegy to letter-writing. ("Yours Ever: People and Their Letters" by Thomas Mallon; Pantheon Books, $26.95)
Right up my alley. What did people do before email? Wrote on actual paper. Licked an envelope. Put on a stamp.
Imagine the old-fashioned-ness of it all.
Believe me, I'm a fan of email. But I miss those days. I do try and keep up this practice because, as "Yours Ever" makes plain, there's an intimacy and connection missing from electronic versions.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Highly recommended

Joe Posnanski blog.
Joe, a former colleague, is a senior writer with Sports Illustrated. Hard to believe either of us would be old enough to be called "senior" of anything. But there you go.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Waiting for the dawn


Though this has an Advent theme (and thus, closer to my day job than the blogging part of my job), it's still pertinent to anyone who can't seem to find light.
The light will come.
Hope everyone has had a stellar weekend.

"What to do in the darkness"

Go slowly
Consent to it
But don't wallow in it
Know it as a place of germination
And growth
Remember the light
Take an outstreched hand if you find one
Exercise unused senses
Find the path by walking it
Practice trust
Watch for dawn
--Marilyn Chandler McEntyre

Friday, December 4, 2009

'I'm a happier neurotic mess'


Here's an interesting interview with Julie Powell, author of "Julie and Julia" and now her new memoir, "Cleaving: A Book of Marriage, Meat and Obsession."
What a title.
In a rough spot in her marriage, Powell worked at a butcher shop in New York. Though I've not read "Cleaving," I understand--based on the interview--that Powell took that experience to work on her marriage and herself. If nothing else, it gave her focus.
"I'm a happier neurotic mess" is the way she describes herself these days. (And raise your hand if you can relate.)
The butcher shop setting reminds me of a funny tale from one of our local butcheries. Michael went up there one day and ordered a pound of whatever. (It doesn't matter.) And the butcher grabbed what he thought was a pound and put it on the scale. It came out exact, and he was quite pleased with himself. His boss, the shop owner, said: "Son, you're weighing meat; you're not landing the space shuttle."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Just Passin' Through

My love of all things Appalachian Trail drew me to this book at a north Georgia outfitters last Sunday. During my most recent journey into the woods and fog (see earlier post), I stopped in Dahlonega at the outfitters' for some hiking socks. Also found the book and have almost finished it. Author Winton Porter runs the Walasyi-Yi (Mountain Crossings) store on a remote stretch of two-lane highway between Dahlonega and Blairsville. I've been there countless times, as it's at the foot of Blood Mountain on the A.T.
Great store. Great book. Enjoy.

Fog


FOG

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
-- Carl Sandburg

I took this shot Monday while driving over Fort Mountain in north Georgia. It's amazing how fast fog moves in. We rarely see it here in the flatlands, so it's kind of cool when I can see it again. Driving through it can be another story. At one point I had to turn on the emergency flashers, with all the twisting and turning roads.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Running away from home

I'm running away from home for a few days. Going to the hills, of course.
Hope everyone on "the Internets" has a great week.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"There is Always Something to be Thanful For"


By the Very Rev. Sam Candler, dean of the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta.
This is pretty funny.

When we are asked to think of memorable Thanksgiving dinners, I know we are supposed to recall huge tables of turkey and dressing, laughing kinfolk, general merriment and good cheer all around. When pressed, we can probably remember the ones we are actually trying to forget, too - the ones when the food was awful, the tempers turned bad, and when we finally gave up.
But I actually remember another dinner, one that occurred just after I was ordained a priest in the church. It was not a Thanksgiving dinner at all, but it sure felt like one. It is my most memorable Thanksgiving dinner because it is the one dinner I will forever be thankful is over!
I was a young priest, around 27 years old, I suppose; and my lovely wife was thankfully younger. Both of us had been raised to be ever so polite, and so we made a great impression on the Episcopal parish to which I had been assigned. Parishes still love young couples, especially polite ones, and especially when one part of the couple is the Assistant Rector.
We were invited everywhere for dinners, and we courageously sallied forth, rarely knowing who our hosts would be, what kind of setting it would be, or who else would be there. The agenda was simply, "Let's get to know the young priest and his wife." Lovely. It's still at the heart of parish ministry.
We were asked to be at this dinner early, for the hosts were early diners. No, 4:30 pm is not too early for us. We immediately noticed that the average age of the five other couples there was a number too high for me to count. We could have been their great grand-children.
The other guests and our hosts were even more polite than my wife and me. They asked if we wanted something to drink, and I eagerly accepted. I thought that, if 4:30 was too early for a cocktail, maybe a small glass of wine would be nice. They didn't offer me a choice. We got prune juice. Actually, I had never had it before, and it wasn't bad.
Our hostess talked incessantly, and with an unfortunate tone that reminded me of a hen being chased around the chicken coop. Like many a Southern hostess I have known, she rarely sat down, thinking that she had to be constantly moving in order to be gracious (not true!). Actually, the house was quite small, and she liked yelling to us-or talking to herself-even when she was in the kitchen right beside us. I have politely forgotten what we had to eat before dinner. I remember the conversation revolved around coin collections.
Suddenly, we heard the voice of our hostess rise to an even more elevated pitch. Something bright in the kitchen caught my eye. Yes, something was definitely on fire. She had been preparing hundreds of special dishes for us - well, at least 15-several with wicker containers for the glass casseroles. Her small kitchen had run out of space, her wicker containers were on the stove, and one of them was ablaze.
As the young and agile priest, I dashed into the kitchen in order to save the day. After more squawking and maneuvering in the tight space, we got the fire out. The kitchen was smoky, but most of the food was already prepared without having been burned.
Here beginneth the procession - the long procession around the sideboard (actually two sideboards) laden with delicious Southern goodies. At this point, I must admit that I am not a fan of many Southern goodies. I actually do not like pickles, and at least half the dishes were pickled something or another. The second chapter of every Southern meal always begins, "Have a little more of this, have a little more of that." I was desperately trying to find something without pickles.
We passed the largest silver casserole around the table while we were sitting, all twelve of us around a table meant for about six. Actually, this silver casserole frame was designed to hold a wicker container and then the glass inside dish; and it didn't quite fit right. In fact, its original wicker holder had burned up. But our hostess pressed forward, even if the glass dish was rattling inside the large silver frame; there was no more wicker basket to hold the glass dish.
I had neglected to notice that I should grasp both the silver frame and the ill-fitting glass casserole dish, at the same time, when it came around. So, when I politely took only the outside silver frame instead, the entire glass inside fell through the frame and smashed my plate to pieces. I was horrified, and I immediately pushed my chair back and stood up to prevent further damage. As I did so, my chair hit the crowded sideboard behind me. Another crash resulted; every plate and dish standing so handsomely on its shelves fell flat - or fell completely off.
Much more squawking and cackling ensued. I was trying to be helpful, but I was rather wedged in between a sideboard, three chairs, a table, and much broken china. It was not a pretty sight for the new young Episcopal priest. Of course, when the clutter and clatter had subsided, we still had to actually partake of the dinner.
And now, for some reason or another, the house had run out of china plates. I will just use a paper plate, I insisted; that would be safer. The hostess would hear nothing of it. I had to eat on her china, or what was left of it. So I used a small dessert plate. Now I had to arrange 15 different items on a four-inch plate. Lovely.
I remember little of what else occurred at that meal (though my wife probably does). Actually, we might have had a bit of sherry at dessert. If so, it was not enough to forget the grand dinner, full of frantic fire and crashing chinaware. I will never forget it. And I will never be so thankful for a meal to be over than I was for that one to be over.
So, enjoy your meals this Thanksgiving, from the smallest meals to the grandest, no matter what age the guests are, no matter what people sound like, no matter how many pickled things are served, no matter what burns up, no matter what comes crashing down on you, no matter what you have to eat on, no matter how clumsy the local minister is. No matter. The idea is to give thanks. Give thanks. There is always, always, always, something to be thankful for - even if you are giving thanks that it is over!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Holiday good mood foods

At work, we joke that what really gets people depressed around the holidays is the saturation of stories in the paper about holiday depression.
That said, here's a good piece from Web MD about keeping your mood up by eating the "right" foods. It's good food for thought (so to speak) anytime of year--but especially now, when we're prone to binge.
Some ideas? Whole grain cereal with milk. Spinach with chicken.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rest in peace, Joe

I'll mostly remember his infectious smile and laugh. And his bear hugs. And how he used to dress up like Santa Claus for the Christmas parties for children at his church. Joe had a gift of hospitality, too. He never met a stranger. He seemed to treat people from all walks of life equally: young and old, rich or poor, white or black.
I'm veering off a bit from my normal (blog) topic of health and fitness. The Rev. Joe Roberson, formerly of Columbus, died in a car accident last evening in a rural part of Georgia, not far from Savannah. For 15 years he was the pastor of South Columbus United Methodist Church and had also recently served a term on the school board.
Last June, he got a promotion. He was the District Superintendent in Statesboro.
His death is still news I can't comprehend.
The service at his old church this morning was equal parts "praise" and sadness. Ushers passed around Kleenex boxes. There were many tears, because he was much-beloved. But at times, people also laughed and clapped during music. The new pastor, the Rev. Denise Walton, one of many people Joe mentored, got very little sleep last night. Joe's widow Beverly still lives in town, because of her work; and Denise was fortunately able to get to Beverly before anyone else could. Denise stayed with Beverly until the last of the three children got in, about 3 a.m. today.
It's cliche, but true: Joe was one of the good ones. He fought for people and he loved with his whole heart. The earth lost a good soul. Rest in peace, pastor.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Plato: On aging

Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master but from many.
- Plato

(Here's hoping I still have some passion, though.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let the birthday commence


Me and Al Breeze, a singer/keyboardist who plays downtown in front of my favorite hangout, Brother's General Store.
(The birthday is Saturday. Send gifts early, and often.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Field guide to the loner: The real insiders


Psychology Today has this interesting article about people who get re-charged by spending most of their time alone. As I get older, I appreciate this more, but overall remain an extrovert--that is, I derive energy from being around other people.
What about you?
There are always extremes, of course. People who never venture out because of various fears and phobias, as well as those who HAVE to be at a party all the time to be satisfied.
It reminds me of a conversation I had many years ago with a Catholic priest. I forget the context but he said: "I'm not shy; I'm private." I get it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mammograms: New study

The AP is reporting on a medical panel that says mammograms are done too early. That women shouldn't get them until they're 50 (or before, of course, if you're high-risk). Darn the luck. Last year I turned 40 and this Saturday the big 4-1; and I have Mammogram No. 2 scheduled for December. No one in my family has had breast cancer. The panel said the risk of cancer was too small to start testing most women in their 40s. (And I'd just as soon not get squashed again anytime soon, I'm just sayin.') Then again, I've known women younger than me who have had cancer, and the mammogram was helpful.
So confusing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Life in the not-so-fast lane

This recent story from the Times highlights tension between two groups of people who run marathons: Those who run them--who actually run and/or race most of the 26 miles, and those who slow it down but eventually finish. (Say, run a mile, walk a mile.) Problem is, with more and more people "doing marathons," race directors have to keep upping the finish times. The story reports that about 20 percent of last year's NY Marathon finished in over 5 hours. The purists say if you do a marathon, you need to do most of it running. The slower bunch say at least they're not sitting on the couch.
What say you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zelosport aims for 10,000 games for soldiers

Here's a story I did for today's paper. It's a fun group of games, and for a good cause. Think sophisticated version of paper football.
Author Jill Conner Browne (mentioned in the story) is plugging the charity drive and humorously said: "Give your whole family the finger for Christmas." Awesome.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Maya Angelou speaks to women


A friend just sent me this.
Love it.

"A woman should have"
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour ...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a youth she's content to leave behind ...
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ........
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored ...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a feeling of control over her destiny...
how to fall in love without losing herself ...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW....
how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship ...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY ...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ...
that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
that her childhood may not have been perfect .... but it's over....
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more ....
how to live alone.... even if she doesn't like it ...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ...
whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally ...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
where to go ...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table..
or a charming Inn in the woods ...
when her soul needs soothing ....
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
What she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month ... and a year...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Annika Sorenstam: Not the R word

Annika Sorenstam, hesitating to use the R word (retirement), is nonetheless away from the full-time grind of the LPGA. She's a full-time mom and wife. This is a fun update article about the golf great.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Keillor: The just and the unjust

Garrison Keillor's recent column in Salon.
Some days you're the windshield wiper, some days you're the bug--as Nancy Griffith sings about.
Enjoy.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The gift of today


Thanks to my friend John for pointing me to this ee cummings poem. And for visiting today.

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and love and wings; and of the gay
great happening limitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Friday, November 6, 2009

"I'm going to a place called Macon?"

Just now I was reading TrailJournals.com and I thought of an encounter in north Georgia with a hiker from Germany. This would have been 1990 or '91, when I lived in Macon. Before I (sort of) quit hiking in the woods by myself, I used to take off for the A.T. in Georgia or North Carolina. So one day I was at a trail crossing in north Georgia and this scraggly guy came off the trail. We exchanged pleasantries and the guy said he'd been hiking south from New Jersey. I asked him where he was headed when he was finished (in a few days' time) and he said, "I'm going to a place called Macon?" with that lilt in the voice, when the person isn't sure how to say a word.
So I said: "I live in Macon!
He asked me for my number. I was kind of leery, of course, so I wrote down a number that was one digit off my real number.
Well a few months went by, and I forgot about it. One day I was driving back to my apartment, glanced in my rearview mirror and saw THE VERY SAME GUY walking down the road. I knew this because he was waving frantically. (He recognized my car.) I kept going, not about to stop. Turns out, he had moved into the SAME EXACT apartment complex where I was living; and he did wave me down outside one day. He then said, "I kept trying to call you but the number was wrong."
So see, friends, if you lie (even if it might be for a good reason, like protecting yourself from a suspected pervert), the person from another country who hikes hundreds of miles and then moves to your own city will track you down. Happens all the time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Texas shooter was Army doc

And a psychiatrist, at that. At first blush, I was shocked at the news. Shouldn't mental health professionals have it all together, um, mentally? But then I realized how insidious and widespread mental illness can be.
Prayers go out for all the victims, their families and Fort Hood community.
Update: News reports now say the shooter was wounded, but not killed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

When doctors double as cancer patients

The Times did a series on cancer, and one of the stories featured docs (and nurses) who were treated or have been treated for cancer. Some returned to practice. It's about how their perspective changed. I like how the one guy said his questions became altered. Instead of, Are you eating? and expecting a certain response, he knew what the answers meant/felt like. He knew that "eating soup," while not a full meal for most people, was the best the patient could muster.
You sure don't wish cancer on anyone, but I can't imagine how that experience couldn't help but change the people who deal with it so personally.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Introducing Leonard Cohen

I started the morning, at work, reading the blog of a friend in Atlanta.
Through something my friend quoted, I did some research on the quotee: Leonard Cohen.
Ever heard of him? I hadn't, until today.
Of particular note was this line from Cohen's work "Anthem": "Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."
To read Dean Sam Candler's entire piece, go here.
(The one dated Nov. 3)
And here's Cohen's bio.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The road less traveled


Why does a week of vacation go by faster than a week of work?
This is one of Life's Big Puzzles.
Nonetheless, I'm grateful to have gotten away for a few days, into the mountains and the woods and among good friends.
Hope all is well with you, Internet.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On the beaten path


The last time I was here, (last fall?) the weather was divine. Today? Not so much. Foggy and chilly and rainy. Rained all the way up from home.
Still, I donned my hiking clothes and struck out a few hours ago. My old "waterproof" Patagonia jacket covered me up well, but is drying next to my room heater, along with my soaked socks and soaked pants. I told my husband he married a crazy woman. But he knew that going in.
"On the Beaten Path" is also the name of a new book I bought today, about the Appalachian Trail, naturally. It's by a '97 thru-hiker named Robert Alden Rubin.
The AT approach trail is quite close to where I'm staying. Yet, some parts of it today more closely resembled a stream.
Also close by: the Len Foote Hike Inn where I've also stayed. It's a pretty easy trail of about 5 miles; and you're supposed to honor your reservation, regardless of the weather. Yet some guys who struck out turned up this afternoon back at the Amicalola Visitors Center. Said they wanted a refund because of the weather. I wanted to tell them: Dudes, first of all, wear something other than blue jeans.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Running away from home

Tomorrow I'm running away from home for a few days.
The first stop is here.
If you see Michael around town, be nice to him. He has cat-sitting duty for the next few days. (Or, likely, Bisquick will be sitting on him.)
Cheers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Check out Bell's Blog

John Bell ("the Rev. Dr." to be exact) until fairly recently was a pastor of a church here. Now he lives in Denver. He recently started a blog and I must say I like it. A lot. Many blogs seem to be mere extensions of people's status updates from Facebook or Twitter. It's all about them. But John seems to balance news of the day/theological issues/news of himself well. ...
I especially commend the one about Bonhoeffer and the one about "The Shack."
Enjoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rural medical practice pays off

Just read a good story on a few doctors who practice medicine in and around Panguitch, Utah.
The conditions they treat can vary somewhat, due to the tourist influx; but I applaud them for what they're doing. Too many places in the U.S. have a doctor shortage, whereas other cities (namely the metros) have a glut.
Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Keillor: Sex, youth and the long view

From the Oct. 20 column on Salon.com, Garrison Keillor waxes philosophic about the advantage of hanging out with young people. Even in a recession, they don't seem to have a care in the world. Bless their hearts.
Enjoy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

SELF names healthiest places for women


SELF, a national women’s well-being magazine, announces Burlington, Vt., as the nation’s healthiest city in the 10th annual Healthiest Places For Women survey. The results will be in the November issue.
Analyzing the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, SELF’s examination is the most comprehensive of its kind. Distinguished for its broad scope of research criteria, more than 8,000 bits of data were evaluated to determine each city’s level of healthy living.
SELF polled experts to find out which factors most affect a woman’s ability to live her healthiest. Then a list was compiled of 50 criteria, including rates of diseases such as cancer and depression; factors that affect access to health care: the number of doctors per capita and the percentage of each area’s population covered by insurance; environmental and community measures: air quality, crime rates and unemployment statistics; and habits such as exercise, diet and smoking.
To read it all, click here.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pricing out the kids

Great (yet depressing) column by Bob Herbert of the Times.
I mean, come on, $800,000 for season tickets for a family of four?
It's true, building new schools and hospitals isn't as sexy as flashy new stadiums. But in the long run, they're far more valuable.

Eat and drink pink: Breast cancer awareness

It's breast cancer awareness month, and this blogger from Health magazine offers tips on prevention. Am thinking of this topic this morning because a) I have a friend who just had a biopsy and b) some other friends are riding in the Tour de Pink today in Atlanta. Go, Team Lukestrong!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'I wouldn't mind doing it again but my body would disagree'

Love this line from Furman Bisher's last column. He retired the other day from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, after 59 years. Imagine that kind of a run. I can't, and certainly not in the business he was in. (Which happens to be the same one I'm in.)
He covered it all, and then some.
As he closed: Selah.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Khalil Gibran poem: Timeless


" ... But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love;
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though the quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together;
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."
-- Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer (1883-1931)

My mother read this aloud at an engagement party for us in 2003. Quite moving, don't you think?
After she read it, Michael said: "Yeah, but can she still move in with me?"
Not sure why this is on my mind today; but it is.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lowder story gets louder


A compelling story about one Bobby Lowder of nearby Auburn, Ala. A longtime trustee of Auburn, Lowder's former bank (formerly named Colonial) took one of the biggest nosedives of the year.
And, like many things in the Deep South, this story is tangled up with sports.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tour de Pink raises money for breast cancer

My friend Kay Denes and team members from Columbus are riding next weekend in an event called the Tour de Pink in Atlanta. It's a bike ride of varying mileage to raise awareness of breast cancer, especially among young women.
Their team is called "Lukestrong," because they represent St. Luke United Methodist Church.
Consider a donation and click here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bra man on a mission

This is such a cool story. Of course you might think he's a weirdo (and he's aware people would say that sort of thing); but if you see a need, you fill it.
So to speak.
Good going, bra man!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Clearing up the Death Panels

You gotta love the Onion. Or maybe you don't. But
this is pretty hilarious.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Three Americans share Nobel

Three Americans--two women and a man--share the Nobel Prize in Medicine this year.
Interestingly, one of the women trained under the other at Yale.
Read the story here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Last course for Gourmet

Sad times. Gourmet magazine, in print for about 70 years, is going the way of the Edsel. Declining ad sales are to blame. We at the newspaper know that pain; and it's ironic that I'm sharing this news on a newspaper-owned blog.
Such are the times.
Otherwise, hope you're having a great Monday.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

God bless our animals








"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men."
-- St. Francis of Assisi

These photos are from our annual Blessing of the Animals service at church. Our "God-dog" (in photo with us) is Glory. Glory belongs to our priest Doug and his wife Kaye.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rest In Peace, Jan Conner


Chances are you've never heard of this woman. But you may know of her daughter, Jill Conner Browne (in photo), aka The Sweet Potato Queen. Jill and sister Judy wrote this hilarious obit on the occasion of their mother's recent death. A fan of well-written obits, I daresay this one doesn't disappoint.
Jill Conner Browne was in our area about 18 months ago for a booksigning, in what turned out to be the Coldest Day of the Year.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Rick Bragg still shoutin'

Came home from dinner with friends to do a little research, because Rick Bragg's name came up in conversation. I'd "lost track" of him after his resignation some six years ago from the New York Times.
Here's one of the latest somethings I found on him. Story says he's teaching at the University of Alabama.
"All Over But the Shoutin'" is one of my favorite books, ever.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getta load of these flowers


So these wildflowers popped up in our neighbor's garden. We're grateful that our driveway runs right beside them, so we can enjoy this fall scenery. Though I was grew up in the very town (the very town!) in which I now live, I'm always shocked by our summer heat. So I'm thankful for cooler temps and less humidity. Did I not notice the heat when I was a child? Running around the neighborhood barefoot, playing in the woods, putting my ear to the pavement with friends to listen out for the ice cream truck? (How stupid was that?, but we saw it in a movie so it must have worked for somebody.)
Halcyon days here in Columbus, Ga. Enjoying them while they last.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beware the detox diets

Interesting piece here from Msn.com about the fad (and potential dangers) of cleanses. The idea is, you "detox" your body by eating a certain food, or variety of nutrients in juices/shakes, for a certain period of time. Then you go back to your regular ways. The danger, of course, is doing this in the extreme.
It's been a fad in L.A. circles, for the obvious reason that (mostly) women feel they need to be a size 00 in order to get roles. But more than LA'ers are catching on.
What are your thoughts, Internet? Ever done one of these?

Monday, September 28, 2009

National parks

Last night, we watched some of Ken Burns' "The National Parks: America's Best Idea."
What a terrific series.
(And, I didn't realize John Muir was such an eccentric.)
Here, James Poniewozik reviews the series for Time.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So you say you can cook

Take this quiz to see how well you know your way around the kitchen.
Good luck!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Zicam

Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with this product? Woman I met last night swears by it.
I knew I was feeling fuzzy-headed last night when I introduced myself TWICE to the same person at a party.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Testosterhome

No, that's not a typo.
It's the name of my friend Rachel's blog. She's a mom of five boys and is pregnant with her sixth child. (Makes me tired even typing that.) Rachel and I worked together at another paper, I attended her wedding then later on moved away. Which had nothing to do with her wedding.
She has quite a good head on her shoulders and, especially if you're a mom, you might enjoy her blog.
Testosterhome. "On the care and feeding of boys."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flood



Not really.
But our rivers and creeks are up due mainly to flooding in the Atlanta area upstream. The girl painting the picture is a statue. Both photos are of the Chattahoochee River.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Keillor update

Had been wondering how my favorite radio host was doing and here he is.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

If cats could blog

Michael and I pretend that Bisquick has parties when we leave the house for work. Like he and his kitty friends sit around and drink beer.
Sometimes I think he could (or should) blog in my absence.
What would he say?
A few ideas:
Why do the humans disappear into that back room for eight hours a day?
I wish I had a better bathroom.
Are we having seafood tonight for dinner?
Naps are underrated.
I'm not obese; I'm just big-boned.
Dogs have owners. Cats have staff. I must say, Mine obey me pretty well.
Luv Bisquick

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Nancy Talbot

The other day I read the obit for Nancy Talbot who, in 1947, founded Talbot's with her husband Rudolf. It was one of the first stores to expand into the catalog market.
Not that I can afford their clothing much (though they have great sales), but their style is classic. Not trendy. Hats off to the Talbots.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Wildest Space


This is an upcoming special on National Geographic.
It's a documentary on the Appalachian Trial. Producers divided the trail into four sections and allowed points along each section to tell the tale not only of hikers but natural elements, certain highlights and towns.
I'm hoping that if one misses the special, one can order a DVD from National Geo.

Health quiz

Take this health quiz, updated and posted weekly, from the New York Times.
It comes off the health news from the week.
Good luck!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Think Big

This is a slogan used by Ben Carson, M.D.
Think Big stands for:
T is for Talent/time: Recognize them as gifts.
H Hope for good things and be honest.
I Insight from people and good books.
N Be nice to all people.
K Knowledge: Recognize it as the key to living.

B Books: Read them actively.
I In-depth learning skills: Develop them.
G Dr. Carson’s "G" is for God. Everyone has their own beliefs. When you THINK BIG, what does the "G" stand for in your life?

The first book of his that I read is "Gifted Hands." His life is an amazing story.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

No-diet diet

Check this out. Great tips for dropping some pounds. Things like more water, less soda. Eating more foods without labels (think apples and oranges).
In a little while, I'm going to three precincts to check polling numbers.
Anyone care to come with, or would you rather have a root canal?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kim Clijsters

The comeback kid.
Or, comeback Mom.
What an awesome run. I'm sure the Saturday night match with Serena Williams was confusing to Clijsters--Clijsters won because Williams was penalized after verbally chewing up a line judge--but Sunday sealed the deal. Clijsters defeated Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 6-3.

Federer

The shot heard 'round the world.
Amazing.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pot

As in, marijuana.
Seems that many of the unemployed are turning to "alternative" means to make ends meet. I'm of several minds about this: 1) It's just good ol' American capitalism and you gotta do what you gotta do; 2) It's still illegal so it's risky; 3) It ought to be approved for medicinal purposes, eg, extreme discomfort from cancer; and 4) No, I have never smoked pot.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joe Posnanski

Joe is one of the new columnists at Sports Illustrated. I bring this up because we used to work together (not that he would remember me). But he's made it to the big leagues. Way to go, Joe.
In case you're wondering, he's Irish.
Just kidding.
My strongest memory of Joe: He picked up his mail one day and sat down at his desk, opened one of the envelopes and began reading. He just handed me the letter, with a dejected countenance. I don't remember the exact quote but it was along these lines: I hope your cancer cells begin to multiply.
Also I remember his reaction. He didn't go into a rant but just sort of sat there and took it, looking sad.
Here's hoping for better fan mail, Joe.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Public pet option?


As usual, Garrison Keillor is good for a laugh with this spoof on the health care debate.
I think Bisquick the Cat would be all for a pet option. Then again, his vet would probably advise a crash diet before anyone forked over a dime.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Melanie Oudin

The 17-year-old Georgia tennis phenom continues her march through the US Open.
Incredible.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Pat Conroy

Just bought "South of Broad" by Pat Conroy, one of the South's much-beloved authors. Anyone read it? I'm on page 2. Like other Conroy novels, "South of Broad" is set in Charleston, S.C.
What a magical city.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SEC football

College ball starts today which for most of you is good news. Among other things, it signals a new season of tailgating, Monday morning quarterbacking, chips and dip. ...
It's not necessarily BAD news for me, and perhaps the three other people in the state who pay nary attention. The Georgia game's on now, but only because of Husband's interest.
But I don't pay attention, or care much, because I didn't go to a football school.
US Open tennis? Now you're talking.

P.S. Can anyone explain this to me? Say two fans representing opposing teams see each other in a store the Monday after the big game. The fan of the losing team takes the smack-talk from the "winner." Both use the word "we," as if a) they actually played the game themselves and b) in some cases didn't even go to the school of which he or she is a fan.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Swine flu

Here's a great resource from WebMD on the swine flu.
Dear Husband came home sick today. I trust he doesn't have it, because he's not running a fever. Just a bad cough. Plus we haven't seen any pigs running around in our yard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Baby No. 19

Gosh, it seems I just blogged about No. 18.
The Duggars of Arkansas are expecting No. 19. Michelle Duggar has been pregnant more than 12 years of her life.
Ironically, the Duggars' first grandchild will be due before this one.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Bob and Mike Bryan

Making my way through a New Yorker piece on Bob and Mike Bryan, identical twins who currently dominate men's doubles. Fascinating story, notably how their tennis-playing parents pushed them with goals but also with the finesse of the game.
The main article is available online for magazine subscribers only. But I found this Q/A with the writer of the piece, Burkhard Bilger.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Irish blessing



Absolutely nothing to do with health and fitness but just want to give a shout-out to Rev. Ruth Cummings and daughter Sally. Ruth has been our associate at church and she'll be the associate at an Atlanta church. We had a great service and great luncheon today in her honor. Nary a dry eye in the house at the service. She preached. Ruth has been in Columbus for 25 years, serving in various roles. Godspeed, friend. We'll miss you!
An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Protestant work ethic

This was the phrase I was thinking about earlier this evening while pedaling furiously down (then up) the Riverwalk. Often it is such a joy to be out there--to watch the waves on the water, to ride alongside friends and chat, to be amused by a guy in a kilt on the Oxbow Golf Course (true!). But today? Friday afternoon at 5:30? It was all about mind over matter. Grinding it out. Checking off the list. Hail to Martin Luther and John Calvin! (This is all somewhat out of context, mind you. I doubt they had exercise in mind as a means of accounting for one's salvation.)
But.
It's sometimes what you think about when you're racing for home on a Friday afternoon.
Here's more on the "PWE."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jaycee Lee Dugard

What a story.
Imagine if you were Jaycee, who was 11 at the time of the abduction. Imagine her parents' hell. How do you begin to cope with something like that, during and after?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chattahoochee Riverwalk


Our friend Cathy Fussell has this new blog about her adventures along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk, a stone's throw away from her house.
Her observations are wonderful.
She takes walks on the Riverwalk and I ride my bike so I don't hear as many conversations as she. (Eavesdropping is the subject of a recent post.) I might cover more distance and therefore take more in by sight; but this listening in can be fascinating, if not humorous.

The Color Purple

My favorite scene from "The Color Purple."
It was on the other night.
Happy Hump Day!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Healthy People 2010

This is such a great idea. I didn't know about this national program (or if I did, I forgot). There are multiple links, and resources about preventive medicine (one of my passions), and how healthy people make healthier communities.
Speaking of, one doc drives a Volvo. The other, a Porsche. The General Practitioner drives the Volvo, of course. (Which is part of the health care debacle. But that's for another day.)
Here's to your health.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bulldog Bait & Tackle

Yes, this is the name of an actual establishment here in the River City.
Tacky/redneck as it may sound, it is an oasis if one is parched while exercising on the adjacent Riverwalk.
Dropped by there today and a man handed me a flier advertising BBQ meals he cooks out front every day (Monday-Saturday).
Menu includes:
Rib plate; rib tray
Boston butt sandwich
Hamburgers; hot dogs
The most expensive thing on the menu is a whole slab of ribs for $14. Cheapest is a hot dog for $1.50. (Better yet, an order of fries for $1). Not bad.
Not exactly health food but I told him I'd come check it out, given that I'm only about 2 miles away by car. Anyone up for lunch this week, give me a call at the L-E.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Birthday


To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eye'd,
Such seems your beauty still.
- William Shakespeare

My father turned 72 last Tuesday. Here we are, post-dinner (this evening), with some flowers that he said reminded him of a funeral.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Healthy tips

This is a thorough article on preventive diet and fitness measures that can stave off long-term health problems. While we can't prevent the inevitable--death--we can feel better and keep our respective organs in good shape, in the meantime.
I like what the one woman said--that we don't have to subsist on "wheat grass," but we can avoid processed and fatty foods. And other little things that help prevent big things.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eveleyn Stevens


Really interesting piece about one Evelyn Stevens. Formerly employed at a Wall Street investment company, Stevens took a shine--more than a shine--to cycling a few years ago. So she quit her job to compete. Thing is, women's cycling doesn't have the draw of men's cycling. There are fewer sponsorships and therefore less money to be made; so more people are competing for the top spots.
Yet Stevens, like Lance Armstrong, has a natural talent and perhaps a physiological advantage as well. When tested, she puts out a huge amount of power, relative to the short period she's been training.
Bravo, Bike Girl!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Travelers

Here is my new favorite commercial.
Doesn't have much to do with health and fitness, granted. But if it makes you smile/laugh, that's healthy, right?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fat burners

Check out this piece for foods that help you build muscle, and burn fat.
Good thing I eat/drink these with some regularity. (However, if mushrooms or olives or coconut made the list, I'd be in trouble.)
Internet, hope you are having a good weekend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

OCD


This is an amazing story about a guy who finally got relief from his OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
His was an extreme case, of course, but I imagine there's a bit of OCD in all of us.
Mine? Note writing. If you break a nail, I will likely send you a get-well card. Or if you let me come in your house to use the bathroom, you'll get a thank-you note.
There are worse things to do, I suppose; and this man in the article had much more extreme habits. (The line is when you let these things take utter control of your life.) The underlying trait is control, or the feeling of being in control.
Do you remember the William Hurt character in "American Tourist" who alphabetized the items in his pantry? Hard core.
What are some OCD traits you have, or have seen?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Lunch


Lunch Club II


See post below.
Apparently all the photos didn't/couldn't load.

Lunch Club



At the inaugural meeting of the Lunch Club today, our friend Brad Smith cooked up quite a feast: Caesar salad; gumbo and rice; and raspberry/chocolate cobbler.
Everything was homemade, down to the croutons.
In group photo, left to right: Sandra Okamoto, Brad, Joe Paull and Rebecca Paull. The kid shot is their 3-year-old daughter Josie, who loved the elevator.
Thanks, Brad! Cheers.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Triathlon risks

This piece from the Independent (UK) reports on the risks of triathlons. Because of a few recent deaths in such tests of endurance, some are cautioning about diving head first (so to speak) without proper training and evaluation.
And yet.
I like what the last guy says: It's a sedentary lifestyle that's killing people at a far higher rate.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wendell Berry

Gosh, bad day yesterday, apparently.
Anyway.
Today was better. For one thing, acquired two new books, one of which is "A Timbered Choir" by the farmer/writer Wendell Berry.
Here's a sample:

Coming to the woods' edge
on my Sunday morning walk,
I stand resting a moment beside
a ragged half-dead wild plum
in bloom, its perfume
a moment enclosing me,
and standing side by side
with the old broken blooming tree,
I almost understand,
I almost recognize as a friend
the great impertinence of beauty
that comes even to the dying,
even to the fallen, without reason
sweetening the air.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

5 Mistakes All Women Make

Or so says this snippet.
Can you think of others?
I'll add one (which is purely biographical but probably applies to others): How women rake ourselves over the coals. Over. The. Coals. Rebuttals?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pretty in Pink

Here's an interview clip about the 1986 John Hughes film "Pretty in Pink." Sadly, Hughes died today, of a heart attack.
This movie definitely was part of my era. There were others lumped into these "Brat Pack" films, including "Some Kind of Wonderful," "St. Elmo's Fire," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "The Breakfast Club." I've been trying all day to think of a favorite; but each one has its own merit.
Funny but Andrew McCarthy, interviewed in the clip, was chosen for the part largely by co-star Molly Ringwold. In high school, my girlfriends and I would go on and on (and on) about our deep crushes on him. Our guy friends didn't get it. They'd whisper to us that he was gay. And we'd hit them.
Rest in peace, John Hughes. You "got" us.

'Grudge' report

Holding a grudge can be bad for your health. Or so says this blog.
Learning how to let go and forgive old hurts can help with blood pressure and other ailments. Who knew?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boy Interrupted


If you get a chance to see this on HBO, do.
Michael and I watched it last night. It's gripping. Sad and tragic and awful, and gripping. If you know someone who suffers from manic-depression, this likely will be helpful. (Though it's not an instructional documentary by any means.) Each family has to navigate its own way through mental illness. Unfortunately there's not a road map.
Yet there are tools, and more and more tools everyday. I'm thankful to this particular family for shedding even more light on an often misunderstood, misdiagnosed and maligned illness.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Gratitude



"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
--G.K. Chesterton

I'm grateful to and for these friends. Part of a reunion weekend for us, they (and others not pictured, who couldn't come) shaped me even beyond my knowing. Thanks be.

Melissa d'Arabian

Egads. We watched this Food Network reality show last night--what's the world coming to? (We typically would want to have a root canal before watching a reality show.) Melissa d'Arabian, a homemaker, defeated the rest of the competition, and will get her own cooking show. The fact that she's a homemaker probably gave her the edge--an Everywoman who has to juggle life like most of the rest of us; and yet she had time to come up with inventive recipes and communicated them well.
The part of me that dislikes competition (hence the dislike of reality shows) wanted her and the runner-up to win. I always feel for the loser. He was just as talented. But they didn't ask me, haha.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Waffle House

So we're picking up a friend tomorrow at the Atlanta airport and because this friend has lived in St. Paul the past few years, she doesn't have access to the Waffle House. She surely has other food treats we don't have; but in talking with her earlier in the week, she requested a stop at the WH for lunch.
Ahhh. You can take the girl out of the South, but ...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Good advice


Live in rooms full of light
Avoid heavy food
Be moderate in the drinking of wine
Take massage, baths, exercise, and gymnastics
Fight insomnia with gentle rocking or the sound of running water
Change surroundings and take long journeys
Strictly avoid frightening ideas
Indulge in cheerful conversation and amusements
Listen to music.
~ A. Cornelius Celsus

(From Wikipedia.com: Aulus Cornelius Celsus (ca 25 BC—ca 50) was a Roman encyclopedist, known for his extant medical work, "De Medicina," which is believed to be the only surviving section of a much larger encyclopedia. The De Medicina is a primary source on diet, pharmacy, surgery and related fields, and it is one of the best sources concerning medical knowledge in the Roman world. The lost portions of his encyclopedia likely included volumes on agriculture, law, rhetoric, and military arts.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More weight, less fat

Tina Haupert at Health.com writes here about adding weight/circuit training to your cardio routine. It can slim you down because your body keeps "working" even after you've put up the weights. (Don't ask me exactly how this works.) Weight training builds muscle, rather than fat, as well. I myself have gotten out of my weight training. It just happens. I love my Spin class so much, and riding outside, that I neglect the weights.
Even if you don't have a gym membership, you can find at-home circuit training routines online.
Like this one.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Resilience

Here's a good article on resilience and overcoming, in the face of great adversity such as cancer. And how hope can keep people well, not only psychologically but also physiologically. (The flip side, of course, is the mystery that even the most hopeful and resilient person can die of cancer. Sometimes disease overtakes.)
Still, maintaining a sense of hopefulness is good for the soul, and for those who come in contact with us.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Angela's Ashes"

Still catching up on the news from our absence. The L.A. Times ran this obit last week on author Frank McCort of "Angela's Ashes" fame.
I like what he said about his age (which, at the time of an interview, was 66): You're either expected to die then, or get hemorrhoids.
McCort, a great storyteller who won the Pulitzer Prize for "Ashes," managed to squeak out 12 more years after that. Interestingly, he spent most of his career as a teacher, at this famed New York school.
Another one of the greats passes on.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vacay

















A super time in the mountains. This is a bridge between Hwy 107 near Cashiers and Highlands, NC. The river is the Chattooga. Very picturesque. We went out on the river Wednesday evening and saw some fly fishermen and hiked along a trail.
The "road" over the bridge is mostly gravel and mostly one-lane (and quite curvy), but a shorter route between Cashiers and Highlands, for sure.
One story: Driving back to our cabin one night (on a paved road), we were behind a van. Suddenly a deer ran alongside the road and apparently tried to jump over the van. He didn't quite make it. His left side hit the back windshield, and he sort of rolled off. But, amazingly, he bolted right up and ran to the other side of the road. It happened in a matter of seconds. The van seemed unharmed.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Feel Bad About My Neck

This is the title of a great bargain find this afternoon at the Columbus Public Library. (The Friends of the Library had a sale for the store, where My Mama is a volunteer.)
Nora Ephron wrote it. I'd been wanting to read it, so at $4, why not? It'll make a great vacation read. (We're heading out tomorrow, in case I haven't mentioned this enough. Please don't rob us.)
Ephron was also recently profiled in The New Yorker. Fascinating woman. And I've loved every single one of her movies, notably "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle."
Here's a 2006 review of "I Feel Bad About My Neck."
Have a great weekend and week, all.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Early Girl


So. On Tuesday, we have a lunch date with some friends at this place in Asheville, N.C.
It's near this place. Which is close to this place.
Asheville fascinates me. Such an interesting combination of mountaineers, hippies, intellectuals, retirees, bankers (North Carolina being a big banking state) and the homeless. Great town to people-watch.
We're very much forward to being away for a few days. I understand the place we're staying has a hammock. 'Nough said.

P.S. And how could I have forgotten about Mast?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hiccups

This man had the hiccups for two years (scroll down to photo of the guy drinking water). Which would be bad enough, but the story has an even sadder ending. Doctors found the cause of his problem: a brain tumor. Hopefully it's not malignant.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Frank Deford


Sports Illustrated senior writer Frank Deford writes about the greatness of Tiger Woods in this recent column. And how it's usually difficult to compare a contemporary athlete with one from a previous generation, one who might have had more challenges and what-not.
(Yet despite the real difficulty of naming a "best ever," it doesn't stop guys in the office from debating. Very entertaining.)
Deford is one of my favorites. First found out about him when I read a very non-sports book of his many years ago. "Alex: The Life of a Child" is about his first daughter's battle with CF and her declining health then death. It's a classic. So I usually read his sports work with this book--and his experience--in mind.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Inordinate

This is my new favorite word.

in⋅or⋅di⋅nate
  /ɪnˈɔrdnɪt/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [in-awr-dn-it] Show IPA
Use inordinate in a Sentence
–adjective
1. not within proper or reasonable limits; immoderate; excessive: He drank an inordinate amount of wine.
2. unrestrained in conduct, feelings, etc.: an inordinate admirer of beauty.
3. disorderly; uncontrolled.
4. not regulated; irregular: inordinate hours.

--Webster's

What's your favorite word, dear Internet?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Paul Hemphill

The South lost one of its longstanding writers over the weekend. Paul Hempill died of cancer. He wrote for the Atlanta newspapers and before that a string of other ones. Hemphill was a Birmingham native whose main gift was writing about ordinary things and ordinary people. To put him in context, he was the predecessor to Lewis Grizzard. After that, he wrote books and taught at Emory University.
Read his obit here.
I first discovered him many years ago through one of his books, "Me and the Boy." It chronicles his thru-hike attempt of the Appalachian Trail with his son, David. In a small-world moment, I came across a mention of Billy Winn. Billy is a dear friend and is my husband's former boss, and was good friends with Hemphill from his own newspaper days in Atlanta. (Wherever I was living at the time, I wrote to Billy and said: "Is this you?")
Paul had to get off the trail a couple of times during the hike and convalesce in Atlanta, thus he and David didn't get all the way to Maine. He had knee problems (the eventual diagnosis was not enough bulk in his thighs. Oh, that we all could suffer this malady). His Atlanta doc suggested that when he needed to make camp, because of his pain, he tell his son: "Here we camp."
It's a wise person who knows when to say when.
Rest in peace.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Keillor: Healthcare


Leave it to Garrison Keillor to boil down the healthcare crisis, as only he can.
Speaking of, a group of us went to McDonald's for lunch today because a co-worker was there to collect for the Ronald McDonald House.
The healthiest among us got a salad (which was not me). I'm reminded, at this moment, why I seldom go to the Golden Arches. Mainly because I don't feel too great. Also this particular establishment has one drink station. One. At high noon on a south Georgia day, this means one thing: a line. The fries got cold.
But it was great for people watching. One of our fellow diners had a sleeping bag draped over his arm.