Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Quotes


God Revised

The question is why:  what’s the problem that belief in God and the practice of religion will solve that cannot be solved any other way?  Do we as human beings have a problem?  Do we need saving?  If so, from what?  What is the problem to which a political, or social, or psychological solution is insufficient, one that only belief in God and the practice of religion can resolve?  (92)

[T]he desire to know the difference between good and evil is a sin more people should have committed ever since. (94)

On empirical terms, a diagnosis of original sin doesn’t fit the evidence.  (96)

Skepticism has replaced boredom, and cynicism has replaced apathy as the dominant spiritual traits of our time.  (106)

My identity is principally defined not by freedom but by relationships.  (107)

The War of Art 

[The professional] masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods.  (78)

The professional understands that Resistance is fertile and ingenious.  It will throw stuff at him that he’s never seen before.  (82)

The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possessions of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come.  The professional is sly.  He knows that by toiling beside the front door of technique, he leaves room for genius to enter by the back.  (84)

Fear of rejection isn’t just psychological; it’s biological.  It’s in our cells.  (87)

The professional loves her work.  She is invested in it wholeheartedly.  But she does not forget that the work is not her.  Her artistic self contains many works and many performances.  Already the next is percolating inside her.  The next will be better, and the one after that better still.  (88)

The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls 

. . . I’ve always found guilt to be exhausting. . . . (150)

I’m a lonely person.  That’s why I read books.  (189)

The ending of a good book, I had always thought . . . should be satisfying. . . .  A character . . . should see things differently.  They should change.  (218)

Gone Girl

But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.  (150)

There is an unfair responsibility that comes with being an only child—you grow up knowing you aren’t allowed to disappoint, you’re not even allowed to die.  There isn’t a replacement toddling around; you’re it.  It makes you desperate to be flawless, and it also makes you drunk with the power.  In such ways are despots made.  (259)

Ironic people always dissolve when confronted with earnestness, it’s their kryptonite.  (260)

Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents

Persistence and high standards lead to success, but an anxious child often does not know when enough is enough. Their drive to be perfect, fueled by a fear of failure, becomes an all-or-nothing strategy that dictates limited outcomes.  (kindle)

Why can’t you eradicate worry? Because everybody worries and everybody is supposed to worry. It’s an early-warning signal that we may be moving too quickly without thinking things through, or that we haven’t yet completed an important task, or that we are impulsively stepping into a situation for which we are not yet prepared. And, although we hope that it will never happen, worry helps us get ready to escape or fight when facing a true danger.  (kindle)

The truth is that even those who are highly skilled and successful at what they do feel worry and doubt along the way.  (kindle)

How to Make Worry Bigger
We tend to worry when . . . But we really worry when . . . We’re trying something new or different We’re unsure about our plans We have a lot of “what if ” questions We have to perform We need it to go exactly right We need to be sure We need to answer all of them We don’t feel prepared, or we are afraid we’ll be criticized or fail When we understand that such thoughts and feelings are a normal part of the process, we can give ourselves permission to move forward. We don’t have to interpret such feelings as a signal to stop.  (kindle)

Anxiety is not that creative once you step back and see how it operates.  (kindle)

Cloud Atlas: A Novel

“We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offenses just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.”  (kindle)

Once any tyranny becomes accepted as ordinary . . its victory is assured. (kindle)

[R]eading too many novels makes you go blind.  (kindle)

“Know thine Enemy” trumps “Know thyself.”  (kindle)

Christmas is a wonderful time for bridging the spaces between us.  (kindle)


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I Was Sick: An Exercise in Updates (or An Update on Exercise)

I started off the week of exercise very well.  And then I started feeling sick.  And sicker.  I spent a few days in bed. I couldn’t even take Snowdoll for a walk.  Ugh. 

Now that I’m feeling better, I have to be careful.  Seriously.  This is where I get stupid.  I want to do it all out of the gate.  I know I can’t. Or shouldn’t.  So here is what I’m doing.
Monday Walk Snowdoll 
Tuesday  Morning yoga, Walk Snowdoll, Abs 
Wednesday  All of Tuesday, 1 mile walking dvd 
Thursday  All of Wednesday, Upper body 
Friday  All of Wednesday, Lower body 
Saturday  All of Tuesday, 2 mile walking dvd 
Sunday  All of Tuesday, 3 mile walking dvd
Readers' Workouts (Lite Logo)
This blog post is part of Joy's
Readers' Workouts, a weekly event.
The most disappointing part of this is that I had to stop doing my August challenge*.  I wasn’t making any progress anyway so I guess I’m not devastated.  And I have a challenge in mind for September.  Now, of course, the above schedule is contingent on my not relapsing into a fever.  If I do, I’ll stop where I am and take Snowdoll for a walk the next day and do nothing further.  Each day, I’ll gauge where I am, where I was, and not let myself do too much.  I hope. 

Wish me luck!  Oh, and keep your finger's crossed.  I lost weight while I was sick and I'm hoping not to regain it now that my appetite is gradually returning.

* In case you forgot, my challenge for August was to hold a plank for 5 seconds longer each day.  I never got past 1:45, however.  And even when I was stung by a bee, I managed to find a way to do something.  But when I was sick, I really was too weak to do anything.  


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Birthday, Stomach Distress, and Sick Sick Sick

This is one of the two gifts
we gave Shira.
This week begins and ends with “stomach distress” so I promise to be discreet without being disgusting.  Just fill-in-the-blanks and use your imagination.  Or don’t , because ew, gross.

Sunday we celebrated my darling daughter’s birthday.  Oh boy oh boy oh boy.  Rob was in Chicago and he and Marc actually went out to dinner, celebrating with us but from a distance.  In the meantime, Matt brought Erin and Bibi here while Joe went to fetch Shira.  I had made most of the cake the day before.  I only needed to make the whipped cream for the frosting.  They came in waves intentionally.  Erin needed to wrap Shira’s gift (a Betsey Johnson purse—so jealous!) and the plan was to have enough time for her to do so.  It wasn’t her fault we still had her wrapping paper.  One of these days I’ll actually remember to give Erin things. 

So very jealous!
This gave me a chance to give Bibi her extrinsic-motivation-gift without taking away the focus from where it belonged—my darling daughter.  Who would be turning 31 but not on Sunday.  Still . . . a good day to enjoy some pizza, some ice cream, and some cake.  Oh boy!  Now, Shira likes white pizza. So do I.  But it’s hard to find white pizzas at the usual delivery places.  Dilemma.  Especially given how icky I was feeling thanks to the rain, rain, and more rain.  (It didn’t rain on Saturday, for once.  Very exciting!)  So we went to a local pizza buffet place, Stevi B’s.  Now, the really cool thing about this is that the manager there is the guy who owns the dog we found the other day.  (Except, I didn't blog about that.  Oops.  Suffice it to say, we found a lost dog in our back yard and we were able to return her to the right home.)  One of those small world things.  Sometimes small world things are a good thing.

We came back here and did the gift thing.  Rob and I had two gifts for Shira but intentionally saved one for when Rob would be here to see her open it—like her actual birthday day.  And then there was ice cream.  I took some boring vanilla ice cream (sugar free, naturally) and added some coconut extract and shredded coconut to make a surprisingly good coconut ice cream.  We even toasted some coconut to sprinkle on top.  A half-gallon simply wasn’t enough.  Bibi helped me make the whipped cream and then helped me sprinkle the lemon zest (stardust) and edible gold stars on the top.  Pretty.  But Bibi didn’t like the cake.  I ended up finishing her piece. 

Oh well.  Can’t win ‘em all. 

This is the dry erase board
we gave Bibi but the one we
bought didn't have a pen.
I was exhausted by the time everyone left and they didn’t even leave all that late but the weather was truly wearing me out.  And apparently, poor Erin has discovered something about herself.  Like my mother, she can’t stomach sugar-free foods.  So the cake and ice-cream gave her some “stomach distress.”  This is not a crisis.  She loves chocolate cake and Joe can live blissfully without chocolate.  They’re birthdays are very close and we typically make one cake for them both which means that Erin never really gets the cake she wants as she tries to accommodate both her own tastes and Joe’s.  But not anymore!  I’ll make sure she gets some decadent chocolate cupcake confection that is so alluring Joe may even second guess his chocolate reticence.

Monday Rob came home from Chicago bearing photos of Marc’s apartment.  Seriously, we had no clue what his space looked like and I was almost as excited by seeing photos of his living room and kitchen as I was with the one of him, in a shirt and tie, no less.  Almost, but not quite. (Besides, Marc will be moving soon so this won't be where he lives for very long anyway.)

Shira said she loves Jessica Abel
so getting her these books
was an excellent choice.
Tuesday was the real birthday.  Rob and picked up Shira from her job and we took her to a fast food place.  I know.  Pathetic.  But the thing is, we eat fast food so rarely, my daughter included, that fast food can be a treat.  And Sonic has coconut cream pie milkshakes.  (Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  I may have a slight problem.  I’m working on it.  I promise.)  That’s when we gave Shira the other gift and even a birthday card.  We had a good time.  Nothing spectacular but Shira doesn’t like to make a big deal about her birthday.  I probably make more of a deal of her birthday than she would like.  Maybe she’ll  forgive me someday.

Thursday we took Snowdoll to doggie day camp.  She has been so crazy on the morning walks, bouncing everywhere and excited by it all.  Taking her was a brilliant idea.  There happened to be a white Siberian husky there on the same day.  We’ve noticed that she responds with the most enthusiasm whenever she sees a husky, as if she can tell that she and this other have something in common.  Rob swears she can tell other huskies from other dogs and there are times I cannot argue, although I don’t know that I can give her quite that much credit.  Still, I kinda want to, if you know what I mean.  It was great fun watching her and the husky playing on the monitor.

30 tiny rolls of different tapes.
Rob and I ran some errands and I was able to find something I wanted to get for Iz and my mother-in-law on sale.  I love finding things I want to buy anyway on sale.  So now we have stuff for their Christmas Smash Book kits.  I’ll divide them between the three of us and I think we’ll all have fun.  I really hope so, anyway. 

Friday is when IT hit.  I’d had a menstrual headache all week but Thursday I woke up with aches all over my body and doing my morning yoga was torturous.  I pushed myself to join Rob and Snowdoll on the morning walk.  The rest of my day was spent in bed.  And fever.  And sweating.  And misery.  Sick sick sick.

This is where Marc lives now.
Rob really liked the exterior.
Saturday, still sick sick sick.  No yoga.  No walk.  No nothing.  I stayed in bed although I pulled it together enough to join Rob for the ice cream social the community has every year.  Because Erin and Matt had sore throats, Bibi couldn’t join us.  My illness is not contagious but the sore throat obviously was and with my immune system fighting this sickness, I didn’t need to add to it.  Only, I think Bibi would have had a fantabulous time and I’m sorry she couldn’t see the fire trucks and enjoy the other children. 

We didn’t stay very long.  Rob had one cookie and it hit his tummy very hard.  We left sooner than I would have liked.  If Bibi had been there, Rob would have left and I would have stayed.  And the truth is, it’s just as well that we didn’t stay, that I couldn’t stay, because I collapsed into the bed and stayed there.  I didn’t even have dinner.  But I’d had breakfast and lunch so I wasn’t avoiding food altogether. 

So there you go.  A week that begins with stomach distress, included two birthday celebrations for one birthday, and left me sick in bed.  Here’s hoping next week I feel a little better.  I really don’t want to feel worse.