Thursday, September 28, 2006

Get Ready for Christmas

Yes, it's not even October yet - but it's time to start thinking about getting ready for Christmas. We all know that if we prepare early, we spend less money and have more time to do those homey things that make Christmas special. Christmas tends to get very expensive and hectic - so hopefully we can find some ways to avoid that.

Alternatives for Simple Living was begun in the early 1970s as a way to help people get back to the real meaning of Christmas and get away from the mass commercialization of the holiday. We all know how much worse things have gotten in the last 30 years. Check out Alternative's website - it has lots of great ideas and resources of how to prepare our lives so that we can truly enjoy the time we have together in December.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ban Skinny Models?

The internet has been filled today with an interesting news story from Spain. It seems that the Madrid Fashion Show is coming up soon, and organizers have banned models who do not have a BMI of 18 or more. This has caused a furor in the industry, but praise from groups trying to fight eating disorders.

Most people know by now that models are far more thin than they were just 10 or 20 years ago. Hollywood stars even (who are not runway models) are on average a size 0 or 2. I remember when Jane Kracowski (of Ally McBeal fame) was called a "big girl" because she wore a size 6. Andie McDowell (who I have seen in person and is truly tall, thin and beautiful) has stated a number of times that she could never be a model these days (and she started off in modeling) because she would be too big.

People in the fashion industry believe they are not to blame for the rapid increase in eating disorders. They say it's because of the moms at home who are always dieting. But why are these moms always dieting?

When Restless Mama and I were on our way to NY for the USOpen, I picked up a More magazine. The trip was in celebration of our 40th birthdays, and More is targeted at women over 40. (seemed appropriate) Throughout the magazine were pictures of impossibly gorgeous women of various ages over 40. I realized it was only making me feel bad about not being as gorgeous or thin as someone 20 years older than I (even though they may have personal chefs, much more disposable income, personal trainers, etc.). So - I put down the magazine. If I need to compare myself - much better to do it with the tired, overworked, and financially strapped moms I see at my job or at my kids' school!

We can't blame just one area for the pervasive and growing issue of eating disorders. Our society as a whole has created this environment where women are starving themselves and thus killing themselves. It's created a world where women can barely put food in their mouth without some sort of guilt. It's created a world where much of my job with college students is referring young women to counseling for eating disorders, and trying intentionally to model healthy diet and lifestyle. It's created a world where my 5th grade son talked about a girl in his class who would sit at lunch eat day, say she was fat (when she was not),cry and say, "I just can't eat!"

I don't put all the blame on the fashion industry - but it is part of the entirety of the problem. Bravo, Madrid.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Rocker Quiz - What Kind of Rocker are You?

You Are a Glam Rocker!

You put the "show" in rock show with your larger than life self.
No doubt, you are all about making good music...
But what really gets you going is having an over the top show.
Glitter, costumes, and wild hair are your thing - with some rock thrown in!

In remembrance of 9/11

Oh, only for so short a while you have loaned us to each other,because we take form in your act of drawing us,and we take life in your painting us,and we breathe in your singing us.But only for so short a while have you loaned us to each other.Because even a drawing cut in obsidian fades,and the green feathers, the crown feathers,of the Quetzal bird lose their color,and even the sounds of the waterfall die out in the dry season.So, we too, because only for a short while have you loaned us to each other.
--Aztec Indian Prayer

Friday, September 08, 2006

First Dates

Just so you know, I was given permission to share this information on the world wide web -

Quite recently, I was asked by a certain 12 year old boy when I went on my first date. "Depends what you mean. Do you mean like a date in a car with a guy or do you mean going with somebody, having a boyfriend?" "Well, either." So I provided information as best I could remember. I also said that being able to drive a car was a good indication of when someone could go on an actual date.

Said young boy grinned and spoke up, "I asked someone out last week."

"You did what? How did this happen?"

"Mindy (name changed to protect the innocent) and I were at lunch and just talking. And then I said, you wanna go out with me sometime? She said - ooohhh, FRIENDS!" He kept grinning and thankfully didn't seem crushed by the rejection.

"So what did you think about that?"

"I think she likes me. She kept flirting with me at the retreat." I then went on to ask how two 12 year olds would go on a date (if they went), how they would get there, where they would go, and who would pay. Those apparently were inconsequential details. I then asked what his best friend said when he told him about the rejection. He grinned and responded, "He said that must suck for you."

I think this is the most entertainment certain young man has provided since he was in kindergarten.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Things I learned at the US Open

This past weekend I was able to fulfill a dream I have had for many years - I was able to attend the US Open. Restless Mama and I have been planning this for a while. I have never been to a professional tennis tournament. Restless and I were able to see the day session on Friday (then got rained out Fri night and all day Saturday), and then the day session on Sunday. So - here are some things I learned during my weekend.

1. First impressions can be changed - Andre Agassi and all his image stuff really got on my nerves in the 80s; but for some time I have really admired him, his work ethic, his philanthropy, his love for his family and friends, his wisdom, and his graciousness. Just being on the grounds during his last match was an honor.

2. There are some great older women out there - Restless and I really enjoyed the Carlos Moya match (and not just for his great forehand). A woman beside me (probably in her 50s) spoke of how hot he was during a changeover - I of course agreed - and then she commented on some other similarly blessed men on the tour. Not much later, I heard a woman in her 70s make similar remarks.

3. A mother can never impress her 12 year old son - "Did you see Agassi?" "Well, no I didn't have tickets for the big stadium that day." "What about Federer or Roddick?" "Well, no - but I did see Nadal." "Huh" - as he dismissed me.

4. There are lots of friendly people in NY - I felt like I was part of one big family at the Open - everyone was talking to strangers, sharing lots of info, being kind and patient (even on a record setting attendance day). The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was a really nice, friendly place to be.

5. Doing one's homework pays off - I have obsessively watched tennis on tv for years. I always read my Tennis magazine, and I scour the web for tennis news. My first day ever on the grounds was Friday - and I found myself giving directions to various people (I had the grounds map memorized), finding toilet paper in the bathroom for people in empty stalls, and explaining some of the various seating arrangements. I felt like Rory Gilmore the day she first visited Yale.

Pictures will be forthcoming!