J (10): I AM SO TERRIFIED RIGHT NOW. I CAN’T MOVE.
S (11): Why did you climb up here then?
J: I had to!
S: No you didn’t.
J: I had to prove I’m a man.
M (7): Well I climbed twice as high as you and I’m two years younger and I’m two times braver so that makes me (counts on fingers) ten times the man you are.
S: Actually that means you are only six times the man J is. Which is why I’m the smart one. I’ll still be alive long after you two kill each other off racing up mountains. I’m the real man here.
(This convo is 12 times funnier if you can hear it in their tinny prepubescent voices!)
Four flashlights. And none of them with working batteries. An inauspicious beginning for our first-ever tent camping trip for longer than one night with all our kids. (That’s a thing, right? Like baby’s first tooth and the kindergarten choir… First forced family togetherness in the wilderness!) Which is why we are setting up our tent in the dark. Oh and did I mention it’s raining and supposed to drop below freezing? Yep turns out that old stereotype of deserts being hot – Not always true.
ANYHOW. As you have surmised, it’s spring break here and we are taking a
luxury vacation quixotic journey in the red rocks for the rest of the week. Upside: I can finally try squatty pottying like a real cavegirl while singing Natural Woman and sunning my ladybits (not). Downside: I will be MIA from email and internets. Send me warm thoughts! Or a rescue copter!
Blurry selfie of Jelly Bean and I huddled over the flickering light…of my camera phone. We will find wood tomorrow!
Yep, I tried it! Snapped this selfie fresh out of the shower and still with my post-workout hair. No makeup, no filters. No cancer either… that I know of.
On the scale of Things That Irritate Me, “cancer awareness” is pretty close to the top. That phrase ranks right above people who lick their fingers at the dinner table and Karl Lagerfield’s cat Choupette and just below Miley Cyrus’ tongue film, for things that make me grind my teeth so hard the vein on my neck starts to throb. Did you know approximately 50% of all people will develop some type of cancer during their lifetime? So why, exactly, are we trying to “raise awareness” of something that is as common as being born male? Is there really anyone who looks at the word “cancer” and only thinks of astrology??
Every gym has this guy. (He’s a car! No he’s a human! Wait, he’s a Transformer!!) Is it terrible my first thought was “I would have taken off my jacket and tucked in my headphone wires first?” Because I really kind of want to try this even if it is the definition of ridiculosity.
Gossip, intrigue, power plays and morality plays: From the small stuff to the life-and-death stuff (sometimes literally), gyms are a microcosm of life. Add all the hormones, endorphins, sweat and fatigue from a good workout and you’ve got a recipe for the best reality show ever – seriously, why has no one ever done a gym reality show?! (edited to add: apparently someone has, I’ve just never seen it.) – or for some serious gym drama. Love it or hate it, the reality is that because we’re all flawed human beings, we’re all going to run into it sometimes. Some of us more than others. Ahem.
So when I got this e-mail from Reader A about wanting to breakup with her gym, I totally felt her pain! And I’m guessing many of you have as well. She writes:
You are crazy. He said it so many times I believed him. I had to. It was the only explanation that made sense. The alternative – that he was a charismatic psychopath hell-bent on destroying me – was too terrifying to be considered. And so I believed him when he told me that I was “making a big deal out of nothing” when I freaked out after finding him throwing mice at the side of a dumpster and then lighting them on fire. I believed him when he told me that he was only choking me to “help me” overcome my fears. But the worst one was when he showed up at my roommate’s wedding the day after he sexually assaulted me, acting as if nothing had happened. I finally approached him as he sat, nonchalantly eating cake, and choked out, “What happened last night… it can’t happen again.” And then he looked up at me and said, “Nothing happened last night. You’re worried about nothing.” When I contradicted him pointing out my torn clothing (holding the physical evidence in my hand had made me strangely brave), he shrugged and said he’d give me a few bucks to replace them, no big deal, and went back to eating cake.
I dread the day when this sweet little girl looks in the mirror and sees anything but a gorgeous miracle.
There comes a day in every girl’s life when she realizes that she is not the prettiest princess in the room. I’m not sure exactly when that day was for me but I know I was very young. Having a daughter myself, I can tell you that every girl is born into this world knowing she is the most gorgeous, amazing creature ever. Every body part, including her tummy, is just a body part and something to be examined (and possibly colored on) with delight. Jelly Bean is 4 years old and watching her frolic after bath time tonight assures me that she has not yet lost that fairy magic. But while some of us keep that wonder a bit longer than others – I think having parents who adore every inch of you helps – somewhere between babyhood and girlhood, it’s gone. Extinguished like a candle under a cup. The candle is still there of course but it no longer lights our way.
Reading Amazon reviews is one of my favorite pastimes. True story: I just spent a half hour reading customer reviews of DIY side table kits and I was riveted. Not only are they a wealth of practical information but reviews are a great source of human drama. You can learn all kinds of things about people and the way they think just from reading about how well they can follow directions written only in Chinese and how well they aim their hammer when they throw it. Plus, you know, you get stuff like the Flamethrower-Toting Murder Bears.
More than once Amazon reviewers have saved me from myself — the most recent example being with the Divergent young adult book series. Everyone thought the first book was amazing. Everyone loved the second book. And then the third, and final, book in the series was so universally panned that the comment voted “most helpful” said that it would make you wish you’d never read any of the books in the first place as they’re all building up to the big reveal in book 3 which turns out to be a massive disappointment. Whether or not this is true, I don’t know because I took them at their word and didn’t read the books. (Would love to hear your thoughts though if you’ve read them!) But Hollywood doesn’t care about book 3 because they just made a movie of book 1 which they are hoping will be a blockbuster on the scale of Twilight. I’m not planning on seeing the movie either (which opens March 21 in case anyone is less judgmental than I am).
Just a dancer doing stuff. Living life, making art. Like you do.
Barf as art? Millie Brown makes her living as a “vomit artist” by regurgitating colored milk onto canvases — something I’d normally be willing to let slide because, let’s be honest, that’s nowhere near as gross as the lady who paints with her own menstrual blood or the woman who uses her pectoral pineapples as paintbrushes. But last weekend Brown made headlines for turning her work into performance art when she went on stage with Lady Gaga at SXSW. (For my mom and anyone else who is firing up ye old search engine: South by Southwest is an arts and music festival in Austin, Texas that used to be considered indie but now that Lady Gaga is there is basically the I Heart Radio festival but with cooler souvenirs.) During Gaga’s song “Swine”, Brown joined her on stage, swallowed some green glittery liquid, stuck her fingers down her throat and puked all over Gaga. No security guards rushed the stage because Brown wasn’t just a Little Monster gone rogue, she was part of the act.
Ranked right up there with the perfect squat and the best blender for smoothies, the “runner’s high” is one of the most elusive yet sought-after myths in modern fitness lore. But is it a real biochemical response or just marathoners trying to justify spending their whole Saturday running? The anecdotal evidence is mixed: for people who get a runner’s high it’s not only real but amazing; but for people who’ve never had one it can seem like a whole lot of hooey. Fortunately a new study in The Journal of Experimental Biology tests this out and the results are very interesting!
Q: Is the runner’s high real?
A: Researchers measured endocannabinoids (a brain chemical that indicates increased pleasure) in humans, dogs and ferrets both before and after a run. What they found was that humans and dogs both experience a large increase in the endocannabinoids after a 30-minute treadmill run. The ferrets on the other hand experienced no increase. Because ferrets. Have you seen their ugly little mugs? I don’t think they enjoy anything, frankly. Ferrets are the Joan Rivers of the animal world. Actually the researchers postulate it is because ferrets as a species are not adapted to run, especially at high speeds or for long distances. The researchers conclude that the neurobiological “reward” for endurance exercise may explain why humans continue to engage in aerobic exercise despite the extra work and injury risks.
It’s been a bit over a week since I started oil pulling and I’ve gotten quite a few e-mails about it so I thought I’d post a quick update. The headaches finally stopped – yay! A lot of you suggested I might be clenching my jaw when I am swishing and I think you were right. I’ve tried to relax more and I think it helped. At any rate, the headaches are gone. My teeth don’t look any whiter (greasier/shinier maybe?) and the sensitivity hasn’t improved but I’m willing to give it a month.
Janelle left a really insightful comment on that post with some great additional info for people with bad tooth sensitivity like me: