Archive for March, 2010

If you missed the sneak preview of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution I urge you to watch it on line.  The fabulous British Chef takes on Huntington West Virginia, in an attempt to turn our nation’s (statistically) unhealthiest town into a place where families eat fresh food and school children don’t consider french fries a vegetable.  This is good television but more importantly it is a desperately important message that we all need to hear!

My favorite moment of the preview is when Jamie takes a mom into her kitchen to examine a table slathered with all of the foods she has fed her kids in the last week.  The pile is daunting, amassed all in one place it is undeniable.   “I want my kids to succeed in life, and this isn’t going to get them there…I’m killing them.”  The honest words fly forth out of the mouth of the morbidly obese mom.   And then she realizes the sheer insanity of what she has said.  Nervous laughter erupts and in a beautiful, rare moment of honesty that transcends television Jamie Oliver starts to laugh too, “Yes, you are, you are… but we can stop that.”  

 Jamie Oliver doesn’t deserve an Emmy, he deserves a nobel peace prize. He’s a man on a mission and people need to take note, because he’s not taking any prisoners.  He’s even threatening to take on the fast food companies.  This is a brave man.  Check out his speech at the TED conference in February of this year.  Change is gonna come…thank GOD!  Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution will premiere on Friday night at 9pm, if you or someone you know has eaten in the last 15 years you might want to watch.

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Say what you want about Paula Abdul but she added two things to American Idol that are tragically missing this year, sexual tension and the overwhelming anticipation that absolutely anything could happen at any moment.  Of the two sexual tension is infinitely more important.  It’s evident that the folks a AI are aware of this too.  First they’ve had Kara all but . herself on Simon. Ewww!  Kara is married, Simon is engaged, and then there’s the whole Casey/Cougar thing. Is it just me? I kind of throw up in my mouth every time I think about it.  Then this week Ryan had that creepy eye contact moment that tried to accomplish sexual tension and suspense.  Instead he had Simon and the rest of us thinking about restraining orders.  Creepy!  At least with Paula when the show went off the rails it was kind of cute, kind of tragic.  Like when a baby tries to dress itself and keeps putting their pants on their head.  Ryan bypassed cute, overshot tragic and dove right into “I’m off my meds and everyone should be afraid…very afraid.”

To the producers of American Idol  I would say, the answer is really quite simple.  Ellen needs to go back to sitting next to Simon.  The show where she sat on his lap and nuzzled him, well it’s not the same as the half asleep puppy dog eyes that Paula used to throw Simon, but it’s the closest thing we’ve got.  There needs to be sexual tension.  How many times have we learned this?  Can anyone say “Moonlighting?”  I rest my case.  Move Ellen so she is sitting next to Simon and let her tease him like he’s a shitzu standing outside a meat packing plant.  You and I both know that he’s not getting in, but it makes for interesting television.

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by Shannon Penrod

Last week a NASA scientist reportedly claimed that the recent earthquake in Chile had shifted Earth’s axis by three inches.  Okay, is it just me or is this freaking anyone else out?  What does this mean? Suddenly I am picturing earth like a tin row boat my Dad used to take us fishing on. You know, the kind where you need to make sure that the weight is evenly distributed or the whole thing will flip and everyone goes swimming spontaneously?  Is Earth’s orbit that tenuous that an earthquake can actually move us? So….does this mean that if all of the fat people in Russia decided to jump up and down at the same moment we could find ourselves the fourth planet from the sun?

Am I the only person who’s a little uncomfortable even thinking about Earth being “bumped” by an earthquake?  I’ll admit it’s making my butt cheeks a little tight and not in a 24 hour fitness kind of way.  I can’t wait to see what Hollywood is going to do with this.  By this time next year there will be every imaginable Armageddon movie featuring Earth teetering off its axis and careening into asteroids, planets and black holes.  

And honestly, has anyone else noticed that everything seems to be…off center?   Last week everything seemed to be out of whack.  My cell phone didn’t seem to have a signal where it normally does.  My son was definitely out of sorts, all of my electrical equipment seemed to go haywire…everything was just weird…like everything had been picked up and moved three inches to the left.  Oh, right, according to NASA it was.

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By Shannon Penrod

Is it just me?  Or does it seem like “being in the moment” is stinking hard?  The older I get the more convinced I am the true key to happiness is being able to “be in the moment”.  Stop and consider your happiest memory, the day or the hour or the minute that you felt the most joy.  I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that what ever was going on in the moment WAS actually going on in that moment.  You weren’t sitting there reliving another moment and you weren’t joyously planning something yet to come – you were in the moment!

To be honest, I don’t even think it has to do with what is going on in the moment as much as I think it has to do with finding that “sweet spot” of existing in one moment and not any other.  It is wonderful feeling.  Being free from the past and untethered to an expectation in the future is sheer bliss. So why is it so hard to do?  My mind loves to exist in the past and polish over old cherished memories, and then it wants to race to three o’clock this afternoon, or 5 days from now, or when Jem graduates from college.  My mind loves to jump time, it’s like crack cocaine to my weary grey matter.  And yet I know that true joy only exists in this moment. 

I meditate and attempt to pry my neurons off of words like “I did” and “I will” and settle them on the simple, “I am.”  Most days it feels like trying to train an octopus to type, but I keep trying.  I like to think of it as a muscle that I need to tone.  I wish I had started as a child. It boggles my mind that there is no class in grade school to begin to train young minds to “be present”.  Instead we offer children a sugared breakfast and an artificially colored lunch and wonder that they are so overweigh and fidgety…but that’s a whole other Oprah…as a friend of mine like’s to say.

So for today I am going to attempt to focus on now and not what might be.  I will allow myself to dream and to dip into the past for inspiration but not at the expense of seeing all that is present today.  Sounds good, let’s see if I can do it!

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