A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Saturday, February 27, 2010

McDonald's chef?

I had no idea.
Daniel Coudreaut is the Fry Daddy (of sorts) at the Golden Arches. The fast-food franchise has benefited financially by the slow economy--selling cheap fattening food--but also Coudreaut works on the healthier portions of the menu. Yes, salads.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lindsey Vonn: Off the slopes

An in-depth profile of Olympic star Lindsey Vonn.
The most intriguing thing, to me, is her rocky relationship with her dad. It's sad, but also sadly typical in the high-profile sports arena. The two have not talked in four years. She said he encroached too much on her coaching and personal life. He said (basically) there was no way in hell his then-teen-age daughter was going to date her much-older coach. Vonn and her coach eventually married.
"He said, she said."
Hope they sort it out.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How butchers became rock stars

Check this out.
Got an extra $10K lying around? You, too, can learn all about cutting meat.
Not to make fun. It's just that, you know, some of us are still feeling the heat of the recession.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do you think there's someone for everyone?

That was a question I posted on Facebook yesterday. Here are some of the responses.

--Apparently not. If so, he's wandering around out there without me. :)
--I think there are a lot of someone's for everyone, but if you're really fortunate, you get to make something work when one of those come along. My 2 cents.
--yep, but you have to be paying attention.
--I think God created us to need companionship. As you know A., I was fortunate to have that for 25 years until my other half died. Thanks be to God I now have another wonderful man in my life. A man who loves me, my children AND my dogs! And he makes me laugh more than anyone I have ever known. One of my favorite sayings is: There is a lid for every pot. I am not sure if it's true, but I like the sound of it.
--Sometimes more than one. God is generous.

It was prompted, in part, as I was reading "Committed" by Elizabeth Gilbert.
What do you think?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Andrew McLean: Straight 'chuter'

Awesome name for a blog by someone who makes his living "chuting" down mountains on skis.
Though we don't live anywhere near snow (or, where it snows regularly enough to accumulate), I've always appreciated the sport of skiing. Earlier today, I read about McLean and his wife in one of those 10-year-later wedding features in the Times.
Beautiful weather here this weekend, and hope it is where you are.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The last to weigh in: My thoughts on Tiger

Perhaps I am the last person in the world to weigh in (could very well be), but here goes: One, it takes a lot of guts to do what Tiger Woods did today. Having friends and acquaintances in the recovery movement, it is One Day at a Time and other truisms that help them live more authentically.
There is hardly a group of people I admire more.
For his part, Tiger seemed contrite and real and human, for perhaps the first time I have seen him. What he said was admirable.
Which leads me to Two: I'm quite cynical about our celebrity culture. Those of us in the media mirror the larger culture in that we need our (celebrity) subjects to be clean and pure and uncomplicated. Many among us need "stars" because we want someone to be what we are not. We need someone to hit the ball longer and more accurately. Or walk on high heeled shoes down a boardwalk. Or shoot a basket from 20 feet away. Thus, there is a lot of money to be made in Starville. By the stars themselves and in this case, the coaches and the PR people and all the people who run Tiger the Brand.
So in order to sustain the Brand, you have to put him out there and let him apologize in this faux press conference so the Brand can keep going. That's my cynical side.
The proof will be, as they say, in the pudding. Will his road to recovery continue? I hope yes, for his sake and for the sake of his family.

Acting out in murderous ways

First there was this.
Then yesterday, this.
My friend Bebe has a blog post about the former.
Whose responsibility is it, ultimately, to thwart such acting out?
Certainly, there have been recent incidences where airline passengers have subdued potentially dangerous behavior. You must act then. But what about more "benign" harms? You have a friend who's self-destructing but mainly hurting only herself. You can gently confront; but I'd argue it's the friend's responsibility to ask for help and receive help.
What say you?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of Ash Wednesday and Esquire: Roger Ebert

This piece on Roger Ebert, of movie-critic fame, is making the rounds.
Aside from the story's startling details, I'm struck by the sensitivity to this suffering man. And his fortitude and humanity in the struggle.
And also, his joy.
Here's his blog on the Chicago Sun-Times.
"In his dreams, his voice has never left. In his dreams, he can get out everything he didn't get out during his waking hours: the thoughts that get trapped in paperless corners, the jokes he wanted to tell, the nuanced stories he can't quite relate. In his dreams, he yells and chatters and whispers and exclaims. In his dreams, he's never had cancer. In his dreams, he is whole."

Lindsey Jacobellis: Off the track

Sad ending for a world champ, Lindsey Jacobellis of the U.S. women's Olympic snowboarding team. She came up short yesterday in the snowboarding cross race.
It is true, like she said, that the world tends to focus on the Olympics as a measure of an athlete's greatness. There are so many other races. BUT. The Olympics falling every four years, it's understandable.
Also: I continue to find it ironic that Coke and McDonald's are two of the main sponsors. As if these top athletes consume them in their steady diet.
Photo by the Associated Press

Monday, February 15, 2010

Farewell, Pepper

A most moving blog post (from Feb. 14) by my friend Allen Levi.

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon, quite a change from Friday’s 3 inch blizzard, and I’m just in from a long walk with the dog, Sam. If you wonder what single, unattached folks do on Valentines day, well, there you have it. We walk with our dogs. I am still struck at how much we, people single and married and young and old, can love our animals. I was reminded of such a few days ago.
You might remember a eulogy that I wrote in tribute to my old dog, Tyler, a few years ago. The piece was really more about my Dad, who endured and shared my grief on the long morning of Tyler’s death, than it was about my dog.
This past week, I was given the chance to repay my dad’s kindness.
On Monday, I played at a pleasant gathering about 4 hours from home. While I was there, brother Gary called to pass along the news that Dad’s dog, Pepper, had been diagnosed with very advanced cancer which, mercifully, had done nothing to effect Pepper’s demeanor or activity until just a couple of days ago, when he seemed a bit lethargic and slow of breath.
On Tuesday, I woke up early, drove home in a rain that seemed appropriate to the mood of the day, and arrived at the farm about half past nine. A teary-eyed Dad informed me that he and Mom had decided to put Pepper down, which they did mid-day, at the hand of the same gentle vet who used to take care of Tyler. That afternoon, we buried Pepper beside the chapel in a pelting rain.
Dad apologized for being a ‘crybaby.’ I don’t think I’d like him nearly as much if he were too manly to weep at the loss of a loved one.
I was on good terms with Pepper; he would stay in my house when the folks were out of town, even slept at the foot of my bed, but there was never any doubt whose he was and where he’d rather be. And there is one thing in particular that I’ll remember about him. He could on occasion be quite a yapper, a noisy, barky, poorly disciplined boutique dog. And he got his share of scoldings from everyone, including A.C., from time to time. But there was one place where he was safe from every rolled up newspaper or magazine in the county. …
Dad had a way of holding Pepper, in the crook of his arm, in which Pepper sat upright and with a look on his face that usually seemed to say, “you cannot touch me here.” And he was right. That cradle at Dad’s elbow, right next to his heart, was a haven of refuge to that little 10 pounds of canine flesh, and when he was there, he was immune from any ill temper or unkind gesture that the world might intend for him. That picture is a good one, and points to Something higher.
Might we all be so fortunate to have such a place in this world.
Sweet dreams Pepper. Tell Tyler his old friend still misses him.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love. Simple as that

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
-- Mother Teresa

Leave to M.T. to nail it on the head.
(Which is not to say, love should be confused with abuse or hurt. Just thought we'd clear that up.)
I'm making my way through "Committed," Elizabeth Gilbert's sequel to "Eat, Pray, Love." So far so good. I'm in the "sociological" component now--how cultures and the Church have viewed marriage through the ages. (Believe it or not, it's changed some.)
Today being Valentine's Day, I personally think it's the Cheesiest of All Holidays. But then again, it's nice to take a break from the routine and tell people how you feel about them.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Viagra, high-heeled shoes and gowns

I certainly understand the impulse to help.
But Viagra? To people suffering after the tsunami?
Good column by Nancy Gibbs in Time.

Into all lives a little (snow) must fall

Poor little snowman.
Michael and I were riding around earlier and snapped this at a house on Lynda Lane. We had a rare snow in Columbus. Basically all melted now but it was pretty while it lasted.

Deadly shooting in Hunstville

So tragic.
Immediately after something like this happens, people typically start talking about procedures and things like more locks and tighter security.
But how do you really prevent someone from snapping? How is that 100 percent predictable? Not to be fatalistic, of course, but how do you get to someone who might have these tendencies? And whose ultimate responsibility is it to prevent?

Train like an Olympian: Here's how

Good article with practical tips on pushing yourself in your workouts. About the cross-training: I'm of two minds about focusing on one thing. I get it that you should work different muscles; but if you're not into running (which I'm not), you'll get bored with it and won't like it.
Me? I'm sticking with cycling.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rest in peace, Jim Fletcher

Jim Fletcher didn't tell you; he showed you.
He taught Humanities for 26 years at my high school.
One of my favorite teachers of all time, Jim once took me and a group of friends to Atlanta--on two separate occasions--to see the ballet, and to visit a monastery in nearby Conyers. For months after, I corresponded with one of the monks. I remember that they baked bread.
We also visited his home near the school, so he could introduce us to his vast collection of classical recordings (which were really classical, since it was still the vinyl era), and he fed us dinner and we thought it was cool to be in an actual teacher's home. I found him to be a shy man with a gift of teaching and dry humor. (Dry humor runs in my family, so it worked in his favor.)
An accomplished musician, Jim played tympani for the local symphony and, when needed, at our church.
Though his death was expected, it's still hard to imagine. I trust he's playing tympani now, listening to his classical favorites and hanging out with monks who bake bread.

A correction to the St. Thomas address: 2100 Hilton Ave., Columbus, Ga. 31906

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New York Times: Neediest cases

A shoutout to Dick Rutledge and the Rev. Fleming Rutledge of Rye Brook, N.Y.
Each year around Christmas, the New York Times highlights some of its "neediest cases"--persons in and around the city who are struggling in major ways. The Rutledges are among six people/couples featured (on the above site) as ones who give to the Neediest Cases Fund.
Fleming is a friend who has been to Columbus several times. She's preached at Trinity Episcopal, where Michael and I were married. A delightful, brilliant woman.
(To see the message from the Rutledges, scroll down the menu. They are the sixth feature.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

YouTube Superbowl 2010 commercials

Here are two of my favorites. The first features David Letterman, Oprah and Jay Leno.

Here's another.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tiger Woods: Reports say he'll compete in 2 weeks

This story says Tiger Woods will return to competitive golf in two weeks, following a stint at a rehab for sex addiction.
I have mixed feelings about his secrecy. On a huge level, I respect his privacy. Reputable recovery programs are based on anonymity and he deserves it as much as anyone else.
On the other hand, the more people admit such things the less stigmatized the problem. For such a cultural icon to admit this addiction would be huge.
Internet, what say you?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Steve Bisciotti: Ravens owner says teams struggling

Cry me a river.
When so many professions are having furloughs, and the national unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent, I just can't get incensed about this.
Are you?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cary Tennis: Taking it to the limit

Fascinating read and perspective by one who thinks of cancer surgery as an intense journey, like a pushing oneself to the outer limits. Like Everest or K2. Something not to be feared so much as to be embraced or conquered.
I also like his comment about people asking his pain level all the time. "How are you doing?" would be such a nice thing to be asked sometime. (Not to get personal or anything, haha.) But, I imagine the intensity of such an experience could get you hooked on all the care and concern.