31.12.13

Looking for a good book?

If you got gift certificates to spend and want to catch up on your reading, here are some great lists:

30.12.13

2013 Year-End Reading Round-Up

325 Books Read.  Not as good as last year, but then, this year included a Big Life Change that took away most of my reading time in September/October.  Going by my supposed 2413 books left to read I've been trying to be better about DNF'ing books that just don't hold up. For lists and review links, go hereherehere and here (the totals on the review blog won't match these because I don't add the books I read for professional review or for a fiction award).

And here's the 2013 reading analysis (2012 numbers in parens):
  • number of books read in 2013: 325 (400) 
  • best month: April/29 (July/48) 
  • worst month:  October/8 (October/23) [what is it with October?]
  • average read per month:  27.08  (33.33) 
  • adult fiction as percentage of total: 24.92 (22.75) 
  • children's/YA fiction as percentage of total:  40.6 (43.75) 
  • Advance Readers Copies: 209 (181) 
  • e-books: 2 (16)
  • books read that were published in 2013: 226
  • books that will be published in 2014: 20
  • five star reviews (aka "Must Read"):  25 (31) 
  • one star reviews (aka "DNF"):  24 (20) 
Last year I thought I'd get to 300... then revised it to 365... then back down to 300... and finally set on 325 (one in/one read for the year).  By Dec. 18 I was only at 298 and wasn't sure I'd make it.  YAY for Thing One being understanding and leaving me alone to read.  I even met the Reading Challenge I set myself, repeating the one from 2012, regarding "oldies". With Mt. Bookpile holding steady in 2013, my goal for 2014 is to read 300 books and get the mountain below 250.

Looking for additional lists?  Stay tuned - that post's right around the corner.

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Whew! I honestly didn't think I'd get to my 2013 goal (originally 300, then 365, then back to 300, then up to 325... but on Dec 19th I was only at 299).  Thanks to some marathon reading, I got there.  Did that influence my reviews? Not really: each book was approached with an open mind and hope for a 5-star read.  Now I'm looking forward to 2014 and the books that brings!

Biography/Memoir
Children's/Young Adult
Fiction/Literature
Mystery
Non-fiction
Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Lighthouse Island, Paulette Jiles

The history you know...

On Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day I actually went to the movies!  What'd I see? Saving Mr. Banks (with a work friend) and The Wolf of Wall Street (with Thing One).  Only later did I realize that both were fictionalized accounts of real events, with white- or black-washing depending on the character and/or studio motivation.  What made a real difference for me was that I knew Wall Street and the backstory to the latter movie, while I'd only read and loved Mary Poppins (the book; I liked the movie, despite That Accent, and hated the Broadway show).

Is the movie profane? Of course.  But then, so was much of what went on on Wall Street at that time.  And as movies go, In Bruges is worse vis-a-vis the ratio of swearing to other language. Is it accurate? Well... not so much.  Maybe that's what kept me interested: playing spot-the-error.  Errors like, the culture at L.F. Rothschild wouldn't have allowed a character like McConaughey's to be as flamboyant as it was.  Like, the way the characters dressed wasn't in keeping with the times.  Like, the idea that selling penny stocks was new and radical (Michael Milken, anyone? plus I know "junk" traders who were doing legitimate trades in the '90s).  And let's be honest, the firm was never a Wall Street firm, it was based on the Island.  On our way out, there were some 20somethings cranky because the cast wasn't racially mixed - as a private firm, Stratton had no obligation to follow EEOC guidelines and in that regard, at least, it was very accurate.  Thing One commented later that the swearing may have been over the top, but it did downplay the drug use (believe it or not!). And the movie did bring back memories of my time working at an investment bank: the night before Black Monday I'd hung out with Thing Three and was so tired the next day that I didn't pay attention to any news when I got home - it wasn't until the next day the import of the losses from Monday became apparent.

As for "Mr. Banks", now I want to re-read the books and learn more about P.L. Travers.  What little I know (thanks to posts like these) shows a woman far more interesting than the one portrayed in the movie.  And here's a fun fact: she was at Radcliffe when my dad was teaching at Harvard and attended things my parents attended (Mom being a 'Cliffie didn't hurt, either).  The whitewashing of Disney himself bothered me somewhat. We know the man smoked, but these days you're not allowed to smoke - even to make things historically accurate - unless you're the villain (see Jonah Hill in the previous movie).  At the end, hearing Travers' voice on the audio recording from her work sessions in the Disney studios was fascinating.  Pity the script wasn't verbatim.

Who knows when I'll next make it into an actual movie theatre - my tolerance for the high prices and low ROI keeps sinking.  Neither movie I saw was a Must See On the Big Screen movie (few are).  There is something to be said for the group experience, hearing others chuckle and gasp along with you; on the other hand, there's something to be said for not hearing others' cell phones go off at a critical moment and not seeing the glow from their screens as they text someone.

23.12.13

Meeting Musings

Every Meeting has its own quirks and personality (just like ever congregation everywhere does), so I was prepared for something different yesterday.  First of all, this is a newer building, newer congregation and a larger one - not bad things, just a huge change from my average of 5 other people at worship in a building dating to 1831 (without heat or running water or electricity inside).  on the other hand, I started attending in Brooklyn which is bigger still!

What I didn't expect, and was take aback by, was the lack of Friendship I heard from one member(? could have been an attendee).  A gentleman had a Message and rose to speak.  It was a little long, a little rambling and at a few points he paused.  After the second pause my eye was caught by a woman's hand moving, in what I thought was a "move it along" motion, but I had to be mistaken, right?  Then he used the word "brotherhood" and I heard this woman hiss "sisterhood"... huh?  And at the next pause, another hiss, this time "sit down". Double HUH?? with a side of WTF????

It would be wrong to let this one incident cloud my judgement about this Meeting.  It took several months before I decided that the Meeting near the Cold Cottage was not the home for me, after all.  But we're definitely off to a rocky start.

8.12.13

Idly wondering

Last night at dinner, not exactly sure how this came up but... well... I was wondering what happened to Vladimir Posner?  It was like video killed the radio star, and glasnost/the wall coming down killed Pozner.

Anyone?

2.12.13

Ready to face the holidays

It's not that I don't love my family, but the opportunity to get away?  Yes, please.  And when it's the next best thing to going overseas (aka Montreal)?  Even better.  But before I went, there was a book-filled conference in Boston to attend.  In both cities there were good friends to hang out and great food to eat. Admit it, you're envious:



(those glowing globes are the holiday street decorations on "our" street in Montreal - cool, eh?)

Highly recommended:
Tea at L'Espalier (try the Gloucester Street Blend tea)
Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar (and for the brave, you can try a pickleback)
Stash Cafe (get the Menu du Debutant)
Taverne Dominion (go on Thursday for the duck leg confit, and don't forget to try their special tonic)






1.12.13

Bullied in Bed

Over the past 27 years it's a rare night I've spent alone in bed. And while I adore my bedmate(s), over the past few months it's become clear that something has to change. I should be the dominant partner, not the submissive one - the one forced into holding positions for hours, hit if I move before I'm allowed.

 You think I'm kidding?

 When I moved into the Cold Cottage from Hell, my big boy became a wonderful teddy cat and the little guy would curl up in the crook of my knees. Together we'd huddle against the lack of heat in the bedroom, keeping each other warm and safe throughout the winter. Then we moved and things got better, but the minute winter arrived we'd all curl up together. Slowly a pattern arose: get into bed, lie on my right side and have my left arm/hand be used as a pillow by Bogie, and after an hour or so we'd all find our own comfortable positions and sleep soundly - then after breakfast, Mallory would take over and we'd nap a little.

This past May Bogie joined our other mantlecats and Mallory became the Alpha Cat in the house and in bed. During the workday, or when I'm at home but not in bed, Mallory is purrfectly capable of getting under the covers on his own and getting back out. Cyd, Francis and Greta can do that too. But the minute I get into bed he manages to lose that ability and uses his hands hitting me as a sort of remote control cover opener. If that doesn't work, he'll nip me. At night, if I don't have my hands just so for use as a pillow, I get hit again! And people wonder why I don't get a good night's sleep...

If only it weren't just about my bed:


(yeah, he's commandeered my slippers... but that's a gripe for next time)

28.11.13

Thankful...

Over the past few months I have been so very thankful for my friends, old and new: their support and love have helped me get through a very stressful time.  I'm also grateful beyond belief for my family.  And words cannot express how much I rely on having Thing One in my life.

And then there's you, my faithful blog readers, who have stuck with my through lazy times and busy times and quiet times.  Thank you. 

26.11.13

Pruning

No, not the decluttering type of pruning.  This type of pruning:


When not soaking I'll be doing some shopping and eating with Thing One and a good friend.  This is looking to be one of the best Thanksgiving's I've had.

19.11.13

What do you really want?

A couple of times recently I've been approached by people wanting to "reconnect" and, well, I'm not that interested.

Here's the problem: previous interactions have not been good.  One of them acted with malice before, during and after, another was simply too much drama and trauma.  So why would I want to reconnect with either?

What do they really want?  Because I'm pretty sure it isn't that they truly miss having me in their lives...

1.11.13

Annotated Webclutter


  • I started following the Living Langom blog and have been so inspired.  Nearly a year ago she gave an overview of 2012 and I was even more inspired.  Life has conspired to keep me from following suit, but 2014 nears and one of my guidelines for the year (remember: no resolutions here, just guidelines) is to live more langom-like.
  • Among other things, I've started to let e-mail get away from me.  Folders upon folders, with some rhyme but not always reason to the organization.  Even though it's fully searchable, it's just not working.  Time to revisit my system.
  • My mojo hasn't left, exactly, but it's less in evidence than before.  Glad to know I'm not alone!
You mean these aren't the right lyrics?


19.10.13

In case anyone was wondering

Watching paint drying is only slightly more exciting than watching grass growing.

Don't thank me for doing the research on your behalf.  It's all part of the service here at Killin' Time Being Lazy.

17.10.13

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Apologies for the delayed post - there's been a few things going on that prevented me from doing so.  Now that we're back on track, however... Not a stellar quarter based on the past year or so, but not bad all the same.  Let's see how close we get to 300 (or over) by December 31. And, as always, reviews in the usual place.

Biography/Memoir
Children's/Young Adult
Fiction/Literature
Horror
Humor
Mystery
Non-fiction
Science Fiction/Fantasy

7.10.13

Notable Quotes

The books themselves, whether at home or at large, are only part of the tale.  Libraries, ancient and modern, have something organic about them.  They are as difficult to define as the people who use them, and the more so, because a book can be both in and out of the library at the same time.  A library is at once an accumulation of books, maintained and managed to some end, and the place or places where they are or ought to be found.
- A History of Merton College, G.H. Martin

25.9.13

I think she was right the first time...



We have an electronic keycard system at MPOW - without one, you don't get in.
One of my colleagues is keycard challenged.

14.9.13

Leaving the nest

I'm a nester.  I hate leaving home (for any reason)... if I like an author, series or actor, I'll stick with him/her/it until I'm absolutely forced to stop and it takes a lot for me to add to my trove of Good Things to Do/Watch.  My friends would probably call me loyal and some (like K.) go back over 40 years.  Routine is my friend - just ask my mother about my reaction to unexpected change when I was younger.  Not pretty.

So imagine, if you will, how big a wrench it is to be in the midst of A Lot of Change.  Home state of 43 years... 34 years legal driving in one state... a tv show I've been watching faithfully for 29 years... packing and unpacking and learning new routines and, well, CHANGE.  Big, ugly, unwelcome CHANGE. 

One day - hopefully soon - the routines will start back in and this change will have passed.  But until then, I don't like this.  Not one bit.


2.8.13

Links Galore


  • As I prepare for (yet another) Life Change and the need to take a technobreak, I'll definitely make use of the ability to use canned responses on Gmail!
  • Perhaps the start of the school year is a good time to consider how to get the life you want.  Making my list now, in conjunction with this list of 11 things that can help lead to an effortless/stressless life.

29.7.13

Numerology

There are many relationships we form in life: friends, house mates, lovers, classmates, work colleagues, roommates, best friends, table mates at assigned seating on cruises, etc..  I've been thinking about some of those and have noticed a disturbing trend regarding diminishing returns.

For one type of relationship, the trend is 14 years... 12 years.

For another, the trend is 8 years... 6 years.

I'm about to consider reembarking on both types, so am guessing 10 and 4 respectively.

Let's see if I can reverse 'em.

24.7.13

Does it matter?

Today's news is being taken over by Anthony Weiner's latest revelations. I'm very unsure why this is national news - why are shows like Morning Joe, the Today Show, Fox News and papers like the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor and the Los Angeles Times spending so much time on a sleazy mayoral candidate? Granted, New York City is a little different than SmallTown but still - it's not national news.

One of my FB friends posted, "So instead of us worrying if wiener sent a dirty text can we learn more about what all of these candidates want to do? In this day and age we all have a electronic history."

As someone who can no longer vote in NYC elections, I'd like less coverage of this aspect of the campaign. Ok, I'll be honest, I'd like no more coverage, but all my "local" tv stations are based in New York so that's not happening. I've ranted before about how politics has changed over the years (I'll wait while you read that old post). What's adding to the problem is, as my friend says, "we all have a[n] electronic history".

So now, in addition to regular mudslinging we'll get digital mudslinging and hacking into social media accounts to see that - gasp - this candidate went topless sunbathing, or drinking, or may have crossdressed at a party. Because all those private photos can now be made public with incredible ease. Remember the fuss over Obama and his cocaine usage? Yeah, neither do I.  And Bill Clinton didn't inhale, he apparently ate brownies. Who cares?

My friend is 22.  He voted in his first presidential election last year (no, I don't know who he voted for - I can guess, but I've never asked).  And already he's sick of the political process.  Thing One first voted in 1972 and it took him until the 1990s to get sick of the way candidates conduct campaigns.  I worry about my friend, who only knows the current climate.  Because for him, why vote?  He's not going to asked to vote for a candidate who takes a political stance he agrees with, he's going to be asked to vote for the least sleazy candidate or one who belongs to a party (but may or may not agree with the party's platform).

Does it matter, what Weiner did?  Ultimately, no.  Now, let's just move on.  Please????

15.7.13

Notable Quotes

Random jams only  ever occur when traffic is heavy and bunched up.  I think they're triggered when something seemly trivial takes place, like somebody changing lanes suddenly, and the person behind brakes, then the person behind them brakes a little harder, and so on, until people further back are having to slow to a crawl and then a stop, while people changing lanes to avoid it just spread the blockage further... 
Lastly, it has occurred to me that the person who initiates a random jam probably never knows what chaos they've caused behind them.  I've seen six random jams over the last eight years... and it took me a while before I realised that they might stand as a symbol for life in general; trivial actions leading to proliferating consequences that affect hundreds of others, but which we never know about.

- The Quarry, Iain Banks

1.7.13

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

99 books read -  still managing to keep up with the pace needed to achieve my 2013 reading goal (upped from 300 to 365 because, well, why not?). I was keeping pace with Mt. Bookpile additions, but then ALA Annual happened and now I'm really behind.  Oh well.  Live and read, right?

Adult Fiction
Biography/Memoir
Children's/Young Adult
Horror
Humor
Mystery
Non-Fiction
Speculative Fiction

15.6.13

Culture Vulturing

From the sublime...
Last year, when Thing One and I were deciding where to go on vacation, I suggested London.  We've been there many times before, so there's a comfort level about being there (favorite stores, restaurants, etc.).  Besides, there was a Pre-Raphaelite exhibit at the Tate.  The PRB is my favorite art group and some of the items exhibited are in private collections and thus not available to us mere mortals.   Then it was pointed out that the same exhibit was travelling to the National Gallery of Art in DC, making it possible to go some other place than London and still see my beloved PRB.   
The exhibit was slightly different, with fewer items, but still a great number that were privately held.  First of all, the exhibit was free: our tax dollars at work.  Second, it wasn't laid out by artist or in chronological order, but thematically.  We got to see how the PRB approached literary themes (or nature themes, or biblical themes, etc.) and were able to see a variety of PRB members, from Millais and Rossetti to lesser-knowns and people like Julia Margaret Cameron (supposedly a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood).  Yes, of course I bought the book.
What I found odd was that there were no guides, print or audio.  In some places, there were so many people looking at an item that it was difficult to read the accompanying text.  Still, now I can say that I've seen a number of items that I'll never get to see again...
to the ridiculous...

Movies used to be something I looked forward to.  For several years I'd plan my visits to work around what was playing nearby (having summers off made a midday showtime possible).  Recently, however, there are fewer and fewer that feel like Must Sees.  Ok, in part it's because I have a big screen tv that works quite nicely for quieter films, but also it's because the price and the subject don't mesh for me.  Every now and then there's a movie that seems perfect for that big screen experience... Man of Steel was, according to Thing One, such a movie. 
How wrong we were.  I was ready to leave after 15 minute, he after 30 (of course, we didn't communicate this to each other and sat there for the entire painful experience).  I get that "shit blows up real good" is the in thing for summer movies, and the louder the better.  Plot?  Irrelevant.  I also know that many of the so-called reboots (and can we please get rid of that term? please??) play with the canon, that Vulcan is destroyed in the "new" Star Trek series, for example.  In the upcoming Star Wars movies, Darth may turn out to not be Luke's father.  Who knows?  So I was prepared for changes to the Superman mythology.  What I wasn't prepared for was a Superman I didn't care about at all.
The Kryptonian technology didn't awe me, it just felt like millions in CGI dollars.  90% of the film was fighting, shit blowing up and more fighting. There was no humor, no heart, no warmth to this movie.  It was time I'll never get back.  And if I could get my $9.50 back, I'd take that in lieu of the two hours wasted.
For a variety of reasons, that's the sum of my culture vulturing over the past few months.  No concerts, no shows, just a wonderful art exhibit and a really awful movie.  Here's hoping that more comes along to cleanse my palate.
 
 
 


12.6.13

Nevermore (aka A Tale of Two Lunches)

Recently, I had two lunches that have made me think and resolve "nevermore".

The first was with a good friend, 81 years old, now studying for her fourth master's degree (Yep.  Fourth.  I'm such a slacker with only one!).  We started talking about our To Do lists and how we get sidetracked, and she mentioned a few tv shows that manage to eat up years of her life.  Shows like the Real Housewives franchise, or House Hunters Internationals.  Or, in my case, Love It or List It, Hoarders and Bang for Your Buck.  I have a cousin who loves Shipping Wars and Storage Wars, as well as Duck Dynasty. My epiphany moment was that we weren't saying things like "I shouldn't say/admit this..." or "My guilty pleasure is...".  We were being open and honest about what we watched, sadly to the detriment of what we really should be doing.

Kids don't have what we adults call guilty pleasures, do they?  Show me one kid who says, "I really shouldn't say this, but I prefer chicken fingers to spinach and brussels sprouts"  I dare ya.  They'll admit they hate the veggies, but it's not a guilty feeling.  Only adults are expected to feel guilty over the tv, book or musical equivalent of chicken fingers.

So nevermore.  What I like, I like.  I'll say it loud and proud.

The second lunch was with a college friend, who made a resolution to finally stop letting the past be as big a negative influence on his life as it has been up to now.  Great idea and many kudos for that.  During our conversation, he said something like "if you hurt me, my family, or break my heart, you're dead to me" (no, he wasn't talking about me, but the general you).  Again, I applaud that.  But I did wonder how much energy he was expending into that "dead to me" part - because I've been guilty of that.

My second epiphany moment? If people are "dead to me" then they really should be.  Their names shouldn't cross my lips, or flit through my mind.  My mother has that ability: according to one of her friends, if a store or restaurant doesn't please my mom, she just completely blocks them out of her mind, as though they don't exist. There are several people that fit into that category, and henceforth, I'm going to stop obsessing about why they are dead to me - they simply don't exist in my world.

So nevermore.  What was I talking about?

7.6.13

Links Galore


21.5.13

A hole in my life

Last Thursday, Bogie joined Lulu, Marlowe, Pravda and Howard, leaving behind me, Thing One, Mallory, Greta, Francis and Cyd.  There's a hole in our lives that will never be filled.

That weekend, Thing One and I headed north for Number One Nephew's wedding (5 weddings down, 13 to go... in that generation anyway) and then headed over to SmallTown to see my parents.  While we were there, I saw a man that I've known since July, 1969 when we moved to SmallTown, but haven't seen since sometime during our time together at SmallCollege (where both his and my father taught).

It started me thinking of Thing Three, and the hole he's left in my life, too.  "Back when" (aka our college years and beyond) we were close.  Late night talks, letters/cards during vacation, hanging out, etc. - you know, all that normal college friends stuff. Lucky for both of us, we headed to NYC after college and continued the fun at movies, Off-Broadway shows, homecooked dinners and other events.  Then he left for the far reaches of Pennsylvania, and then met and married someone and, well. there was a hole in my life.  There are times I really miss him and our inside jokes, his insights into life and his hugs.  Thing Three is an amazing hugger. I truly love the guy.

Here's the important thing: even if, by some twist or quirk of fate, Thing Three came back into my life because we live closer to each other or something like that, the hole wouldn't be filled.  Why?  Because we're older by a couple of decades, because we've both grown in different ways, and because life moves on.  The Thing Three I miss is the Thing Three of my young adulthood - he's still part of my life, but it's not the same.  It will never be the same.

If Bogie (or any of the others) came back into my life in an animated, non-ashen state, they'd slip back into the holes they left.  Thing Three? It will never be filled.


16.5.13

Parting Thoughts

Today, after a difficult week, Bogart (usually referred to as Bogie or Monster) went to the vet for one last visit. He'd had chronic renal failure, which became acute renal failure, complicated by a heart murmur and serious anemia. A friend, writing to see how I was doing, responded to the news with this:
My neighbor..., who has seen many beloved felines leave over the years, always reminds me that cats unlike people don't have goals or aspirations in life; they are not waiting to see a grandchild graduate from college or for a chance to visit the pyramids. Nor do they spend years dreading the idea of death and a final end, because they likely have no concept of a final end. What they want most is the love of their human, and as long as you provide that and they can recognize it, they have a good life. If their death comes surrounded by your love, it is a good death. I chose to believe this, as who really knows what goes on in the minds of cats. All we know for sure is that they continue to go on in our minds, long after they are gone, and I think that after a while that is a lovely thing.
 
1996-2013

13.5.13

Notable Quotes

After someone you love so dearly dies, you are absent from the world for a time, living only loss.  The pain of existing without the other is too hard to bear.  Only slowly do you return to life.  To being hungry, not just eating for sustenance.  To pouring a glass of good wine, not just drinking to quench a thirst.  To hearing the words of those around you and answering.

- M.J. Rose, Seduction

1.4.13

Notes from Mt. Bookpile

Not a bad start to the year: 100 books read.  I should easily make my goal of 300 - sadly for Mt. Bookpile, most of these were received in 2013.  Still I've read 7 received pre-2013; again, not a bad start.

Biography/Memoir
Children's/Young Adult Fiction
Adult Fiction

Horror
Mystery
Non-Fiction
Speculative Fiction
  • The Returned, Jason Mott

23.3.13

For Thee or Me?

Last Sunday, my good F/friend Gail and I had lunch.  Among the many things we talked about was my new habit of saying things like "back to reading Book [number]" and paying so much attention to how many books I've read.  I blamed a former colleague, who convinced me to review what I was reading (she was appalled that I just read and moved on) - the Killin' Time Reading blog is the result.  Ok, it was also a good way to see how high Mt. Bookpile had grown.

Then a couple of years ago I started to participate in the GoodReads reading challenge and managed to read 250 books (prior to then, I'd averaged 100-150 books a year since leaving college).  Then last year, 400.  This despite "wasting" time doing other things like watching tv, sleeping, working on consulting assignments, etc. - but not working full time.  400.  And now, when I go to GR to mark another book read or add some to Mt. Bookpile, I see the total I've read for this year's challenge (hoping for 300).

Still, after it was mentioned, I had to wonder: was I saying this for thee or me?  There's a wonderful flow chart that helps guide Quakers as to when they should speak in Meeting... or not. Over the past week I've pondered how I've been approaching the Books Read issue, as well as this blog, twitter, several of my e-mails... am I truly writing for thee, or for me?  Who really cares about the pensées of Lazygal, or her rants?  Do my book reviews matter?

Until I have clarity on this, don't expect too much from this blog.

18.3.13

Mika's missing the point

If you watch Morning Joe, you may have heard Mika Brzezinski going on about sugar and fat in our food - how dangerous the obesity epidemic is, how disappointed she is in the recent halting of the NYC "big drink ban."  Don't get me wrong, I think that it is important for us to be aware of how we've gone from some of these foods as occasional treats to part of our daily diet, much to our health's detriment.  It's disgraceful that schools have reduced recess time, time when young kids can run around and get exercise (one friend sent her children to private school because the local schools have completely removed recess, including the lunch recess!).  But...

First of all, she's too shrill about this.  Completely humorless.  As an occasional meal, McDonald's isn't going to kill you.  One of my favorite treats as a child was the freshly made donuts and hot chocolate we got after ice skating at the local college rink.  But that's the point: these were treats, not everyday foods.  Rather than railing against them entirely, advocating a complete ban, let's go back to the idea that every so often, it's ok to have a soda, or a donut.  Getting shrill about it just turns people off and then they ignore the importance of your message, only hearing the tone of your voice.

And then there's the irony: check out the nutritional value of 20oz of Coca-Cola and a 20oz mocha frappuccino (minus the whipped cream). Of course, because the show is "powered by Starbucks", she can't rant about the products they push, but if the point is to make people aware of the incredible amounts of sugar and other non-nutritional aspects of the foods and drinks they're ingesting, she should try to find ways to bring that into the conversation.

11.3.13

Notable Quotes

Well, think of it: there used to be whole libraries filled with books like this, copied out by hand.  Jesus, all the time and effort the poor buggers the monks put into each one.  We take it for granted now, don't we -- the printing press, the copy machine, the internet.  I mean, words lose their value, in a way, don't they, when you're drowning in them?"

25.2.13

Notable Quotes

It was like one of those times when you go to the library to check out a reference book for a science paper, but when you get there, you notice there's a new book out by your favorite author, so you check that out instead, leaving without any kind of reference book, and, in fact, you've forgotten all about your science paper because who can think about science when there's a new book out you haven't read.

- Kathryn Fitzmaurice, Destiny, Rewritten