A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner is one of my favorite writers.
Here's a great phrase that leaped out at me, upon my re-read of his book "Telling Secrets."
" ... the madness of my desperate meddling."
(The context: Years ago, Buechner's daughter suffered from anorexia; and in part of this book, he writes of his struggle to "help" her yet he eventually discovered he was too close at hand. What a hard place to be: knowing the balance between encouraging and loving and enabling/stunting.)
Anyone read any good phrases lately?

Death of an Innocent

This story comes from Outside magazine, an excerpt from Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild," the tragic story of one Christopher McCandless.
I recommend both the Outside piece and the book.
Happy Tuesday!
(Photo of Jon Krakauer)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Missing wig

Anyone missing a wig/hair piece?
Spotted this one Friday when I was pumping gas after work. Today the rains came, big time, so it might be stuck in a sewage drain somewhere.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Sucked and Then I Cried

What a great title.
New book in the house, Internet.
Happy Friday!

Dunkin' Donuts

(The contributor writes: This is a true story; it took place in Sheepshead Bay, a section of downtown Brooklyn, this winter.)

In Dunkin’ Donuts this morning,
an old lady wearing a tattered watch cap
started speaking to no one in particular.
“I can’t sleep at night.
I have pains in my chest all the time.
My leg hurts and my children do not love me.”
People waiting in line
hid in their cellphones, looked away
or stared straight ahead.
“I don’t know what to do.
I don’t know where to turn.
My husband died two years ago on the 27th.”
Everyone pretended she wasn’t there.
The girls behind the counter took the next customers.
The line inched forward.
At a side table, a beautiful young lady with matching purple scarf and hat
looked at the old woman and said, simply,
“Honey, please sit down with me,
and tell me your story.”

It’s possible, you see,
for one person to save the world.

--contributed by Mel Glenn, Brooklyn, N.Y. (from the NYTimes Metropolitan Diary.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Out of work mom tries stripping

Not furniture stripping.
From CNN. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sir Elton

It's his birthday, in case you were unaware, and this little ditty from AJC.com shows a photo of his homemade cake. Wow. (Elton John has a home in Atlanta.)
Scroll down to second item for March 25.
Cheers, Rocket Man.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lance Armstrong: Broken collarbone

In a race yesterday in Spain, comeback kid Lance Armstrong broke his collarbone.
Read the report here.
Ouch, and I wonder what might that do for the Tour de France this summer? I'm sure he's wondering too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You've Got Mail

This story in today's New York Times reminded me of one of my favorite flicks, "You've Got Mail."
It seems "another independent bites the dust," as Dabney Coleman says in the film.
Which makes me very sad.
Two of my favorite indies: Malaprop's in Asheville, N.C., and the old Oxford Books in Atlanta. (I still get nostalgic when I go to the city, and Oxford is no more. Has been for a long time.) In Columbus? Judy Bug's Books located downtown on Broadway. Proprietor Alek Ansley seems to know everything about books, and actually reads.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lance Armstrong

From the February issue of Outside Magazine.
Good piece.
As an "old" person myself, I wish him all the best.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Moon over Columbus

From the "we must all learn to laugh at ourselves" category.
As a friend of mine would say at the beginning of a story: "There I was." Sitting in my (Spandex) bike shorts in a rocking chair just before a late afternoon ride. Sitting and standing around me were some friends, as we listened to a local musician sing and play his guitar. I got up to put some things in my bike satchel, and a couple friends said: "Uh, you have a hole in your shorts." Must have poked a hole in them from a nail on the chair.
It was so embarrassing because, you know, this is a public street and also I have some pretty white skin underneath the shorts. So I couldn't hide well.
Then I figured, "Nothing I can do about it here; might as well ride." The good thing about our Riverwalk is the absence of car traffic and therefore fewer eyes. Granted, someone could have spotted the hole as they came up behind me--and I'm sure some did--but there aren't a lot of people around.
On weekdays, my halfway point is usually a Subway sandwich shop about 12 miles south of town. I can get ice and refill water for my bottle from their machine. Today I tried to duck in and out as quickly as possible; but about as soon as I walked outside, a young woman came out and said, "Uh, ma'am?" And I knew exactly what she was going to say. She told me she and her fellow employees were debating whether to tell me. We laughed about it. God knows, I hope I never see these people again.
When I got home, imagine my surprise to find not only a "tiny" hole on one side but a rip on the other. So on behalf of my accident, I apologize to everyone I mooned today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Presidential bracket

This is really cool.
Though not a fan of basketball, I like this clip of Barack Obama making his picks for March Madness. It shows a human side; but dang, how does he have time to keep up with stuff like this?

Monday, March 16, 2009


The print edition of the The Seattle Post Intelligencer is biting the dust as of Tuesday. Being a long-time newspaper reader, and clinging to my job in the newspaper industry by my fingernails, this makes me very sad.
It follows the similar fate several weeks ago of the Rocky Mountain News.
Internet, if you have any ideas about how to save the newspaper industry, this would be the time to let me know.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Joe Torre book

"The Yankee Years" is getting good reviews.
Co-written with Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, "Yankee" was featured recently in a piece by Roger Angell in The New Yorker.
Torre, now with the L.A. Dodgers, was of course paid handsomely during his 11 years with the New York franchise; but in my mind, there's not enough money in the world to put me under the thumb of George Steinbrenner.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wonderful kids

These children were in our paper today; the boy, who's almost 5, has a rare disease that mimics cancer. Shannon Szwarc, one of our photographers, snapped this terrific photo of him and his sister, 9. His parents and some other folks had a fundraiser today for this foundation that supports childhood cancer.
Read the story here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is why you're fat

A great site! (If you want to be grossed out, that is.)
As you scroll through the photos, let me know your fave.
The mom of the Lowdogs sent me the link to this site. Thanks, Staffer Mom!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take our poll

Are grits better eaten with a spoon or fork?
Either way
pollcode.com free polls

Alabama shooting spree

Here's the latest about the Alabama shooter who left 11 people dead, including himself, after he went on a shooting spree in two counties near his home.
Michael McLendon, 28, reportedly left behind a note with a list of people who "done him wrong." He managed to kill many of them.
By the way, can someone send me some good news?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Garrison Keillor

From time to time, I like to post a Salon.com column by Garrison Keillor. Here's one from February.
Garrison Keillor came to mind today because I heard this woman priest speak at a local luncheon; and her voice carried the same, soothing cadence as his. I could have listened to her, and him, read the phone book.
On the subject of his column--staying out of the obituaries as long as possible--I do agree that obits have become too sanitized. Just because someone dies and people are sad doesn't cover the fact that the dead guy, for example, was an S.O.B. his whole life. (The trick is how to say that without really saying it.) My husband says now that because family members or friends are the main ones writing obits these days, and therefore there's little fact-checking, he's going to make his up some stuff ahead of time. Something like this: "All of the living Presidents were pallbearers."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Plantar fasciitis

What a cool name.
For the past six months or so, I've had this pain on the ball of my left foot. It hurts mainly when I'm in spin class, standing up in the pedals. Never the right foot, which is odd. Went to the doctor a couple of months ago and he said that's what it was (but I since forgot the name). The problem has persisted and today my nurse friend Sam from spin class said he'd had it too--and recommended stretching the leg more. He offered some other ideas, which were helpful.
You have a problem with the ball of your foot? Stretch everything that leads to it, including the calf and hamstring. Whodathunk?!

Gupta Rx for job: No thanks

In case you haven't heard already, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an Atlanta doc, took his name out of the hopper for U.S. Surgeon General. Though not officially offered the job, Gupta thought the travel and general schedule would keep him away from his family--which is about to increase by one. (his third child.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Feeling her pain

So my mama called this afternoon and said, "I had an accident this morning."
My first thought was "car."
Thankfully, not the case. She was up early, reading in her chair then got up and tripped over the handles to her tote bag. She said she landed on her knee, and that my dad has been tending to her all day with ice packs and the like.
This would not be funny except I just did the same thing about an hour ago. (To say we are both accident-prone is an understatement.) Michael and I were eating and the phone rang. I went out rather hurriedly to the living room to grab the cordless so I could check the caller ID. It's usually dark in that room and I tripped over the coffee table (which, in my defense, we just put out there); and fell both on the table and on the floor. I have an ice pack on my left knee.
Hope your day is better and less clumsy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Len Foote Hike Inn

Still looking for my copy of "The Lords of Discipline" to pull that graph about Charleston, S.C.
In the meantime, with the weather warming up, my thoughts wander to the Len Foote Hike Inn, located in north Georgia. If you're a guest, it's accessible only by foot (as the name suggests). Went up there solo about eight years ago and had a marvelous time. A cross between sleeping on the ground and a Holiday Inn, the Inn has no TVs and doesn't allow cell phones. That fact alone is worth the trip.
If you go, or have been, let me know.

Pat Conroy, Citadel reconcile

Interesting story from Monday's New York Times.
The novelist Pat Conroy, who in 1980 began a long-standing rift with his alma mater with his book "The Lords of Discipline," has kissed and made up with the Charleston school.
What's 30 years between friends?
As is often the case, sports was the bridge that brought the two powerhouses back together.
"Discipline" has one paragraph in particular that I'll try to locate and post here. It's about the absolute beauty--and deep history--of Charleston that makes it both charming and stifling.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cruelty to animals

This is an awful story.
We can't let Bisquick see it. The worst thing we ever do to him, if he repeatedly acts the fool, is put him in time out. He gets time out when he jumps on the table, say, six times in a row--or eats something that doesn't belong to him.
Otherwise, he's spoiled rotten.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More snow photos

Just ventured out in the car. A few people out like me.
This guy was making a snowman in front of Ruby Tuesday's at the mall. Then some other people came out of the restaurant and the manager said: "This is what my employees do when they're not working." (One day in a million, I say.)
The other photo is a street near our house.

Um, snow?

So yesterday we had tornadoes and flooding in the area.
Today? Snow. Go figure.
As we say here, if you don't like the weather, stick around for a day or so; it's apt to change.