Wednesday, January 18, 2012

these aren't the droids you're looking for, but I'll let you know if I see any more

Just a list of things on my mind -

- I know it's repetitive, I'm sorry, but as a born-again health freak I've got food and exercise constantly on my mind, and I've got that proselytin' feeling. I just want you to know that thanks to my mother-in-law, I got my first pair of real running shoes today, and I'll be testing them out tomorrow. Couldn't be more thrilled. Also, Andy was getting sick of me wasting time wading through internet garbage trying to find gems of wisdom, so he got me a book. A book with actual science involved. It's this book, the Harvard Medical School's distillation of all the food and nutrition research that's fit to print. And I'm riveted. Sure it's kind of a dry read, but it makes everything else make so much sense. And it's kind of scaring me straight. The chapter on "Healthy Weight" is especially eye-opening, and a little harsh. I have a great desire to show this chapter to everybody I've ever met, but then I probably wouldn't have any more friends.

-I'm also reading a couple of other non-fiction books, including a Harlan Ellison book on the perils of television and a book about freedom from the pastor of a megachurch. I don't know that I've ever read a non-fiction book cover-to-cover for recreation before a few months ago. I'm kind of in the middle of my own personal mental-emotional-physical-social-spiritual renaissance. And it feels wonderful to grow.

-Andy took our family on a walking tour of downtown Los Angeles for the holiday yesterday. My sense of wonder for this city grows constantly. We saw things that I thought only happened in movies.  The both quaint and grand "futuristic" Bradbury Building, for example, which really has been in several movies; Grand Central Market, described as "the palate of Los Angeles," a throbbing mini-city of darkness and lights and noises and smells and a hundred different languages hidden in plain sight; buildings so tall and thin and coppery that you look up and they make geometry out of the sky; "The World's Shortest Rail Line," only twenty-five cents a ride; the stark contrast of clean, modern architecture with elaborate fountains and sculpture and landscaping next to broken down, worn out people sleeping on the lawn.

- So, so many people I know, have lived with, live next to, or am otherwise friends with have lost babies in the past twelve months. And at least three of you read this blog sometimes. I am so sorry, friends; my heart aches for you and your husbands.

- In the ongoing overhaul of my eating habits, I'm finding that it's possible to actually feel really good after a meal. I know that sounds silly. But all of my life, I've ended most of my meals with a mix of guilt and the backward pleasure of feeling uncomfortably full. But after every meal I've had today, I felt refreshed, energized, clean, and happy. I kind of want to start a twitter feed of my every meal, because I'm both that excited about it and that self-absorbed.

-Podcasts are the best thing that ever happened to stay-at-home-and-in-need-of-intellectual-stimulation-moms. This American Life is, of course, always lovable. Big Illustration Party Time is the coursework I should have taken in college. Radiolab is pretty good, though I have problems with it. Planet Money is indispensable. Skepticality and Partially Examined Life are extremely challenging (not in terms of understandability - they actually both do a great job of breaking down hard concepts - but in terms of belief systems), and I'm grateful for that. My faith and testimony have gone through a lot of revision this past year and a half, and I think these are helping me shape my beliefs in a more intelligent, critical way.

-My life is so much brighter and sweeter when my little girl is back - with all her glorious personality and trouble and proto-sass. She was a sicky, sleepy slug for the better part of a week, and how I missed her. I think the night in the hospital helped us bond in a sleep-deprived, grumpy sort of way. Every time I look at her I'm struck with the sheer amount of adorableness in everything from her dainty mannerisms to the shape of her nostrils. Yes, I'm totally infatuated with my own child.

-Children, I should say. Elliot was sad to have missed a day of Joy School because of the sickness. He is really loving it, and all of the boys in his group are so sweet and fun. It's a little overwhelming to have so much preschool-testosterone in one room, but it's also a blast. I was helper mom today, and I helped many a young man go potty this morning.

-Pop Pilates. If you click that link, hit pause on the featured video as soon as you can. It's a bit much. But the workouts are fantastic. I haven't been getting sore from my regular exercise videos for a while, so I needed to step it up and I found these. They're intense. And free. And the host girl is just so perky. In an alternate life (a life where nurture and nature combined to make me inclined to exercise and love it from an earlier season), I would like to be a pilates instructor. You get paid to be strong and lean and help other people be the same, plus - endorphins up the wazoo.

-My sister gave us some home-made jam for Christmas, and it is delicious.

5 reason(s) to click here:

Katya said...

I love Planet Money and Big Illustration Party Time sounds fascinating. (I listen to Writing Excuses and I'm not a writer, so why not an illustration podcast, too?)

Shanna Selin said...

Now I'm really curious about what the chapter on healthy weight says!

And once again you inspire me to be better about exercising! I made a new years resolution to exercise more consistently this year... but I haven't done it yet- I have a pretty good excuse, but I'm excited to get back to it.

I know a bunch of people who lost babies too. Thanks for your comments.

ashley. said...

i adore you.

LJ said...

Yep, definitely going to have to expand the ol' podcast list.

And I could write the same alienate-myself-from-my-friends post about money management. Whooooo boy, it is a favorite uncomfortable topic of conversation.

Thirdmango said...

I recommend for your podcast pleasures "Comedy Bang Bang".

Also all I do now is workout. My build is so much more like a linebacker then ever before because I have muscle now but still a ton of mass.