Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a lack of gun control.

And by "gun," of course I mean "arm." As in Michelle Obama's so-toned, much-chronicled upper appendages.

No, I'm not saying the First Lady lacks control over her own "First Guns." I'm saying the media has spun way out of control in its coverage of her ceps, both bi and tri.

At first I found articles and columns and mentions of Mrs. Obama's buff arms an amusing aside to the cacophony of catastrophic issues facing the country and the First Couple.

But that was months ago, and coverage of Michelle Obama's arms continues. Steadily. Daily, even. It's bizarre, really, and geezaloo, people - how much can there possibly be to say about one amazing woman's incredible arms??

She's 45. She works out. She's fit and she's fine.
Fine. Done.

But it isn't, and thank goodness, I'm not the only person (not even close) who feels this particular media obsession has gone over the edge, directly into hilarity.

Enter "First Guns," the blog. This continual catalog and commentary regarding current media coverage of the First Lady's arms - named Thunder (right) and Lightning (left) - is wryly written from the perspective of the adulated arms themselves: "Everyone's been writing about us. Now we're speaking out. We're Thunder and Lightning, the First Guns."

As salon.com's Lynn Harris notes:

No longer content to flex in sleeveless silence, Michelle Obama's arms have come out swinging - with some pretty muscular media criticism. By addressing, for one, the "uproar" over their alleged cool-weather overexposure ("We didn't notice people having seasonal issues with Cindy McCain wearing turtlenecks and leather blazers all summer, but whatever"), Thunder and Lightning satirically smack down their actual overexposure, noting that the Chicago Tribune ran five stories on them in five days.

I can barely wait for them to hit Twitter.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

she's so fine at 49.

I've always liked Valerie Bertinelli. As younger sister Barbara, she was my favorite on the One Day At a Time (I was a younger sister, too). I thought it was cute how she and Eddie Van Halen had matching hairstyles (I married a musician, too). She sort of lost me with the whole naming her son Wolfgang thing (I like Mozart as much as the next person, but come on), but she got me back a couple of years ago when she put her weight issues out there and began her partnership with Jenny Craig (I went the Weight Watchers route, but still, we both lost the lbs.).

So I've always related to my pal Val, at some parallel-universe kind of level. But with her latest project, Valerie has graduated to a level I'd love to relate to, but I'm a little too wowed just now to put a plan together.

Valerie will turn 49 on April 23rd, and to celebrate, she engaged a personal trainer and subsequently posed in a bikini for the latest cover of People magazine. And she's slammin!'

So the way I see it, I've got seven years to further step up and pare down. And meanwhile, I propose renaming it the Berti-kini.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

feeling lucky?

Even though it's a week past St. Patty's, luck is in the air.

In fact, according to psychologist Richard Wiseman, author of The Luck Factor, it's always around - "lucky" people, he says, create their own pots of gold via four essential principles. If you want to get lucky, then:

1. Follow your gut - pay attention to your intuition.

2. Bounce back - whenever ill fortune hits, immediately imagine how much worse it might have been and what the upside may be.

3. Develop your sense of adventure - happily interrupt your regularly scheduled life in order to create random encounters.

4. Be optimistic - expect positive results, and your attitude will help make good things happen.

Wishing you a magically delicious week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

good advice for not-so-good times.

from author and speaker Mimi Doe, the woman behind Spiritual Parenting:

Don't let the fear that currently enfolds our world seep into your heart.

Rather than reading the newspaper or watching the evening news,
try reading inspiring books, watching incredible talks at www.TED.com, or creating simple evenings with your family.

Find ways to keep joy alive in your household even though you may be worried about your job or your savings may be depleted.
Trust that this is a time rich with opportunity for you and for your family, and that you are in the right place at the right time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

how's your state for happiness??

Not your state of happiness, but your state for happiness - according to the Well-Being Index, a continuing daily survey of Americans' overall well-being, which just released its rankings by state (and Congressional district, for nit-pickers) for the past year.

The top ten included Utah, Hawai'i, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland, Washington, Massachusetts, California and Arizona.

The bottom ten included Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky and West Virginia.

The Well-Being Index is a 25-year partnership between Gallup, Healthways and America's Health Insurance Plans that began conducting daily surveys of 1,000 Americans for 350 days a year in January 2008. The survey is made up of 42 core questions based upon six indices of well-being: life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and basic access (to necessities).

Overall, the highest well-being scores tended to come from Western states, while Southern states tended to contribute the lowest scores.

Even though money can't buy happiness directly, some of the variations among states and Congressional districts definitely trended along income levels.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

a doll worth celebrating.

Love her. Hate her. Want to be her. Want to be anything but her. Want your daughter to be anything but her. Become overwhelmed with nostalgia watching your daughter develop the same love-hate relationship you did with her.
Whatever your feelings may be about Barbie, you've got to agree, the girl's got staying power.

Yesterday, March 9th, happened to be Barbie's 50th birthday (OK, so she's had a little work done . . . why do you think they call it *plastic* surgery?). Now, a day late and 259,200 Barbies later, I offer a few factoids about America's favorite teenage fashion model I didn't know (and I thought we were close!):

1. Her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and she's from the fictional town of Willows, Wisconsin.

2. Ruth Handler, the wife of the co-founder of the Mattel toy company, is credited with creating Barbie, but the doll is really a knock-off of a German doll named Bild Lilli.

3. Barbie and her boyfriend, Ken Carson, are both named for Handler children.

4. Mattel claims that three Barbie dolls are sold every second.

5. If Barbie were real, then she would be 5 feet 9 inches tall, and have measurements of 36-18-33.

6. Barbie's head is the same circumference as her waist.

7. In 1997, Barbie's body mold was redesigned and given a wider waist.

8. In 1971, Barbie's eyes were adjusted from the demure sideways glance of the original doll to a straight-forward gaze.

9. Barbie has had over 40 pets - from dogs, cats and horses, to a lion, panda and zebra.

10. Barbie has had dozens of careers, including as a sign-language and a spanish teacher, an officer of all military branches, a Canadian Mountie, a flight attendant and a pilot and an astronaut, a nurse and a surgeon and a veterinarian, a McDonald's cashier, a hair stylist, a paleontologist and an Ambassador for world peace.

11. Barbie has also been involved in two rock bands - Barbie and the Rockers and Barbie and the Sensations.

12. In 1983, Barbie's longtime friend, PJ, was inexplicably billed as her cousin. This notation lasted just one year and was never mentioned again.

Happy Birthday, Barbie!! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

my view, cubed.

Rihanna & Chris Brown: Rihanna, meet Whitney Houston. She, too, was a beautiful, gifted young rising star. She, too, hooked up with a man named Brown, a man not as talented as she, a man with a subscription full of control issues. She, too, was beaten up and beaten down by the man she loved. She, too, stayed. And stayed. And stayed.

She stayed and adopted his drug addiction, waited for him with open arms at the conclusion of his prison stints, had his child. She let go of her goals and her gifts and her self - physically, mentally, emotionally and, I suspect, spiritually - just so she could stay with him. She became a sad national joke, complete with her own humiliating reality TV freak show, just so she could stay with him. Finally, after 18 years of staying, she left him. Two years later, America still awaits her comeback.

Rihanna, I realize you're only 21, but is this how you want to squander the next two decades - or even the next two months - of your life? Staying with a man (and I use the term loosely) no matter the costs - including your own physical safety and well-being - all in the name of love?

Your staying isn't about you loving him, sister. It's about you not loving yourself. If you're really, really dedicated to staying, then please, get some help for both of you.

"Octo-Mom": Not to mix my metaphorical sea creatures, but hasn't Octo-Mom jumped the shark yet? How desperately ill must this woman become before the media can finally turn its collective head from the womb-wreckage she's procreated (not to mention her cosmetic-surgical facial homage to Angelina)?

Unfortunately, we all know good and well the media won't quit until there's nothing left to cover - she either gets eaten by the shark (Anna Nicole Smith), or squeaks by somehow and hangs up her water skis (Andrea Yates). Whatever happens, let's hope the 14 children she has tethered to her somehow escape the hundreds of flesh-tearing teeth waiting in the water. And in the meantime, can we please alter her newsy nickname so that it's accurate: Tetradeca-Mom??

The Bachelor: OK, I confess to being a DVR-ing addict for this show. Please don't ask me to explain; I can't. But having faithfully watched it ever since fellow Austinite Brad Womack was the designated Bachelor a couple of years ago, I can reveal a hypothesis I've formulated: No matter what sort of good person - no matter how likable, kind, genuine, what have you - you are, being The Bachelor/Bachelorette either makes you a jerk or makes you look like one on TV (still developing that part of the hypothesis). I loved Deanna when Brad The Jerk booted her. I loved Jason when Deanna The Jerk dumped him. And I loved Melissa when Jason The Jerk jilted her on national television in order to pursue the woman he had originally rejected in order to propose to Melissa - did I mention it all happened on national television?

Anyway, I would be relieved that Melissa hasn't been tapped to be the next Bachelorette - so I don't have to watch her turn into a jerk - except for the fact that I spent the whole season up until the finale rooting for Jillian, who has been tapped to be the next Bachelorette. So now I'm destined to watch a perfectly lovely, funny young woman - a Canadian, no less! - turn into a jerk, or at least play one on TV. And yes, I understand not watching is an option, but please don't ask me; I just can't.

Monday, March 2, 2009

monday morning gratitudes.

1. 15 years with my birthmom, and her continuing legacy of generosity, humor & love.

2. Being Texan - yahoo!!

3. My sweet little six-year-old boy. Bigger, but still little.

4. Build-A-Bear parties & cookie cakes.

5. Good & good-for-me workouts.

6. Signs of springtime.

7. Reconnecting with friends from long ago & far away via FaceBook.

8. My two faithful blog followers - love you, Susan K. & Stephanie!

9. Plenty of work - love you, too, world's best clients!

10. Remembering to pause, to breathe, to repeat: There's no place like here.

Wishing you a wonderful week - bring it on, and bring March in like a lion(ess)!! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

celebrate the everyday - march.

It's March, 2009. How will you celebrate being a woman?

March 3I Want You To Be Happy Day
March 8Day for Women's Rights & International Peace/Girls Write Now Day
March 9Napping Day
March 10 - Full moon [the Worm Moon]
March 12Girl Scouts Day
March 17Campfire Girls Day
March 31National She's Funny That Way Day . . . & the final day of Women's History Month!!

Remember, where there is connection, there is power.
Where there is power, there is hope for change. For ourselves, and for our world.
We are all connected. We are all powerful.

Until my next post, be well, be happy & be hopeful.