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?"