Friday, June 05, 2009

An interesting read

This article from Newsweek is quite enlightening (if a bit long). It talks about how Oprah is promoting some misleading -- and maybe even dangerous -- health practices on her show.

An excerpt that made me laugh:

But (Dr. Christiane) Northrup believes thyroid problems can also be the result of something else. As she explains in her book, "in many women, thyroid dysfunction develops because of an energy blockage in the throat region, the result of a lifetime of 'swallowing' words one is aching to say."

I have thyroid problems, and as the S.O. will attest, and most of you reading this already know, I don't really hold back when I want to say something. As the article's writer says, "An interesting theory—but is there anyone who believes that what Oprah suffers from is an inability to express herself?"

Another funny little bit:

On one of the Secret shows, Oprah gave an example of the scientific power of the concept. She said that once, while she was hosting an episode about a man who could blow really big soap bubbles, she was thinking to herself, "Gee, that looks fun. I would like to blow some bubbles." When she returned to her office after the show, there, on her desk, was a silver Tiffany bubble blower. "So I call my assistant," Oprah told the audience. "I say, 'Did you just run out and get me some bubbles? 'Cause I got bubbles by my desk.' And she says, 'No, the bubbles were always there. I bought you bubbles for your birthday and you didn't notice them until today'."

There are many lessons that might be drawn from this anecdote. One is that if you give Oprah a thoughtful gift, she may not bother to notice it or thank you for it. This is not the lesson Oprah took away from her story. Because the way she sees it, her assistant hadn't really given her the gift at all. She gave it to herself. Using the power of The Secret, she said, "I had called in some bubbles."

As I said, it's a fairly long article, but worth the read. I admire Oprah and -- as the article points out -- she worked hard to get where she is. But it just goes to show you can't believe everything you see on TV.

[crosses self and prays for Oprah's mercy]

Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Elephant in the room

The S.O. and I are going to ride the 25-mile off-road ride at the Elephant Rock Cycling Festival this Sunday. To prepare (perhaps a bit belatedly) we took our bicycles out this morning for the first time in many, many moons.
We rode about 7 1/2 miles, with plenty of climbs thrown in. It felt pretty good. (Thanks, Boot Camp!) The shortest ride you can do at Elephant Rock is the 7-mile ride. I'm pretty sure that would be way too easy for us. The 25-mile ride will probably be a bit of a challenge, but I'm confident I'll do fine.

This morning was perfect for a bike ride. It was a little cool but not chilly. The sun was shining, and all the people we passed who were riding or jogging were smiling. That's a good ride.

I'm looking forward to this Sunday. There will be refreshment stations along the way, so I won't have to worry about crashing -- figuratively or literally. And there will be a great crowd of people, all enthusiastic about getting out on their bikes. All, that is, except the ones who who rather be sipping lattes and watching "Meet the Press" but were dragged there by a spouse, parent or significant other all gung ho about a long bike ride.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Goodbye, Earl

So, another show bites the dust. NBC has canceled "My Name is Earl." Ok, sure the show didn't live up to its first-season greatness (I blame the bleeping writers' strike that put a kink in most scripted shows) but it was still better than the reality-show dreck we're being fed. Wasn't Stephen Baldwin on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" before? Do we really need to see more of Stephen Baldwin or they-who-shall-not-be-named from The Hills?

And it's true that I had to take Jason Lee off "the list" for his parts in "Underdog" and "Alvin and the (effing) Chipmunks," but I still had a soft spot in my heart for his portrayal of Earl -- so cute, so sweet, so dumb.

I guess I'm just tired of reading about all the scripted shows (my love for "Pushing Daisies" is well documented) that have been canceled and all the new reality shows. I get enough reality every day. Television is my escape. Thank goodness for USA Network. Although I don't want to say anything too loudly. If they find out how much I love "Burn Notice" and "Psych," they may cancel those shows, too.

Here's a nice little tribute to "Earl" from Gael Fashingbauer Cooper of Pop Culture Junk Mail.


I'm not sure why but I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Maybe it's something in the water. Maybe it's trying to keep a food journal and becoming a bit obsessive about that. Maybe it's that I have to train tutors this week (standing up in front of a group!). Maybe it's the dreary, rainy weather. Whatever it is it's got me suffering angst and I don't like it.

It's quite the vicious circle. I'm feeling anxious. Then I feel anxious about why I'm feeling anxious. Then I think maybe I'm crazy for feeling this way and I get down on myself for being so down on myself. You get the idea.

Whatever the reason, my heart or my shoes, I'm just sitting here, hating the blues.*

*With apologies to Dr. Seuss