Wednesday, August 26, 2009

McDonald's has a new one-third pound bacon cheeseburger. It has 790 - 820 calories, depending who you ask. That is nearly half of the daily recommended allowance. Do you want fries and a coke with that? You can double that count. Almost your full amount of daily calories, 102% of your RDA of sodium, 98% of your RDA of fat, and likely eaten in your car in less than 10 minutes.

Do we need this?
Will we eat it?
What are we thinking?
(Speaking of negative male stereotypes...)
I dedicate this to all my couple friends because, well, it's Wednesday.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Have you seen "Julie & Julia" yet?
I am currently working on the feature article for the October issue of Taste of the Bay magazine on the Slow Food Movement. This movie seems to fit right in. Do you think the popcorn can count as a business expense too?

I loved this movie.
Let me advise you, if you are planning to catch it, to go to an early show. Also, before you go, make yourself a dinner reservation at a French restaurant so you will not find yourself driving around at 10pm looking for someplace that might still be open that serves good wine, crusty bread, and boeuf bourguignon.

Besides encouraging deliberate, joyful, buttery cooking in an age where our meals have become more chemicals than food, Julie & Julia was a tribute to the power of love.

Both women in this movie were able to attempt crazy projects, fail, and ultimately succeed beyond their wildest dreams because they had a supportive, adoring husband. Although men often make themselves an easy target for unflattering portrayals in today's books and movies, are you as tired as I am of the plot of a woman overcoming the harm done her by a cruel husband, careless father, or ruthless stranger? The two husbands in this movie are inspiring - not perfect, but they truly love their wives. How refreshing!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Earlier this summer I went to see the play, "Spring Awakening" at the Kennedy Center with my daughter who is almost 16. We dressed up and ate dinner there first. It was a fun night, and an valuable car ride home.

Have you seen "Spring Awakening"? Apparently it is the hot new play, having won 8 Tony's in its original Broadway run in 2007. My college-grad niece knew the soundtrack immediately.

The play was banned when it was written 100 years ago in Germany, where the play is set. It is about the price of religious fear and oppressive morality; but, it is also about the joy of life that sneaks through the cracks of that dark box. The spiritual awakening in this tale is sexual. I do think the two are linked - sexuality and spirituality; so it is a powerful metaphor. I was surprised at some of the actions on the stage, although I had fair warning after reading the website.

Some indie rock band guys turned the original German play into a musical. The score is addicting. The songs have some challenging and visceral lyrics. I'm including "All That's Known" below. I didn't really ponder the lyrics until I had listened to the soundtrack at home for a while.

For me, seeing this play was important two reasons. First, the post show conversation can go anywhere if you have been wanting to open the door to a conversation about any aspect of sexuality. I think all the subsets of sexual topics are covered, beyond biology. With a daughter who is almost 16, it was a conversation door that was easy to open because she loves musicals. I noticed lots of mother/daughter groups in the audience. So I recommend it to anyone who's been wanting to talk about any emotional aspects of sexuality. If that makes you queasy - then you probably need to go.

But also, this play was timely for me because several things have happened recently to stir up the soup of my own religious experiences.
- I accepted a teaching position at a Christian school. The curriculum was so conservative that I found it offensive and declined the position.
- I found a new blog for rebels and refugees of my Christian tribe. These voices remind me of the students in "Spring Awakening."
- I have many friends still making the Churches of Christ work for them and I hear their struggles with that particular institution. My empathy as they beat their heads on the same brick wall is vividly frustrating.
- I recently visited the Franklin Institute in Philly and saw one of Galileo's original telescopes and am reminded that none of this is new. Will we ever learn? And if we do, what will we know then?

All that's known
In History, in Science
At school, at home, by blind men

You doubt them
And soon they bark and hound you-
Till everything you say is just another bad about you

All they say
Is "Trust in What is Written"
Wars are made
And somehow that is wisdom

Thought is suspect
And money is their idol
And nothing is okay unless it's scripted in their Bible

But I know
There's so much more to find-
Just in looking through myself
And not at them

Still, I know
To trust my own true mind
And to say: there's a way through this

On I go
To wonder and to learning
Name the stars and know their dark returning

I'm calling
To know the world's true yearning-
The hunger that a child feels for everything they're shown

You watch me-
Just watch me-
I'm calling
And one day all will know

You watch me-
Just watch me-
I'm calling, I'm calling.
And one day all will know

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My eldest has her learner's permit. Overall she is doing well, but she is a beginner. She is not over-confident, which is a good thing. I realize when we stop that my right leg has tight muscles from hitting the air brake.

Any advice from those of you who've been there on the driver's education process?

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My son and his buddy enjoying crabs that Mark steamed for us at our OBX rental earlier this summer.

This sign, at the beachside bar where my brother swam 5 miles in a river race, wasn't quite right. Or did they just want the newest drinkers at the bar?

A sample of my backyard on the 4th.

My first peas! We didn't have enough for a whole bowlful for a sidedish. We just ate 'em as we picked 'em.
Have you heard this one?

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him......

A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.