Wednesday, April 25, 2007

School snacks

We have all heard about the latest craze sweeping the country......the removal of "unhealthy"snack foods from our nation's schools. I was watching Katie Couric this evening and the story was reported again......baked snacks in and fried snacks are out. Eeeek!

The biggest concern is the fact that there are a lot of obese school children roaming the byways and highways of America. So in order to correct this, they are removing Doritos and Pepsi from the vending machines because this seems to be the primary problem. I don't agree.

The children who have access to the vending machines at school are the same children who eat at McDonald's and Burger King regularly. You may be able to remove the snack items from their reach while they are at school for seven hours but you cannot correct their eating habits outside of school. This is where the problem really lies.

Until the FDA declares Marshall Law on all fast food chains, Lunchables and Dairy Queen, the problem is going to still exist. I guess it makes the school officials feel less guilty about the situation. They can say they are doing all they can to promote a healthy lifestyle.

I was chubby child. I am a chubby adult. We had vending machines at my school. You name it we had it. Do I think that was the source of my overindulgence? No. In fact, I rarely bought anything from the vending machines. It was the meals outside of school that assisted with my fascination with food. Good meals at home with "seconds" and feeding from the fast food frenzy with my aunt on the weekend fulfilled every food craving I had in my early teens. At that time, twenty five years ago, there was little concern about the obesity rate in children.

End's healthy eating habits must begin at home with the parents. Isn't that where everything should start? Do we have to rely again on schools to assist with the role of parenting? Let's try concentrating on keeping kids in school instead of giving them yet another reason to leave.

Baked Doritos? It's just not right.............

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Glass Closet

Speculation has occurred for years regarding celebrities who are gay. Most of us in GLBTland already have an idea of who is and who isn't. Of course, we are building our lists based on rumors we have heard in the media and putting 2 and 2 together. The person is single, attractive, has adopted children and/or is never repeatedly seen in public with the same person of the opposite sex.

Glass Closet: a contraption that allows public figures to avoid the career repercussions of any personal disclosure while living their lives with a certain degree of integrity.

So what of the "glass closet"? I guess I see it from two angles. The celeb has just as much right as I do to live my life and excel at my career without being judged about my sexuality. I can understand that thought process since I do not make any attempts to "out" myself at my workplace. Just not necessary in my opinion. It does not place any limitations on performing my normal daily routine.

However, there is another side to me that says........that's all well and good but I am not in the business of being a figurehead in society. I have a cube in corporate America. Celebrities (and I am wrapping up all types of celebrity - not just show business) have a public persona. Some are considered role models and while in some cases I haven't quite figured out why, it is what it is.

So, as role models or public faces of society, do they not own the responsibility of being honest and forthright? Does it not benefit all in our community to have this type of support from those who live the life of celebrity?

It seems to me that celebrities have the unique ability to "turn on" their support for special causes or efforts as the mood strikes them. However, the same celebrities lending their faces/voices to other causes (anti-war, global warming, etc) fail to unlatch the door to the glass closet because that is just too much of a risk to their careers. It appears that it may be truly about the dollar and not truly about making the world a better place to live for all mankind.

It is better to continue to lend support for the "high road causes" than to take the risk of losing the next movie deal, political campaign or news anchor position. They fear being known only for their sexuality and not their body of work.

So the next time you watch one of the awards or nightly news programs, look closely and you will see that nicely secured latch on the glass box that surrounds these individuals. By their silence, they are telling us that with "privilege" comes security and the avoidance of the real life struggles that all openly gay and lesbians have to endure every day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Isn't it obvious anymore?

This is the question I have to ask myself after spending the last three days watching the latest tragedy unfold at Virgina Tech. We have all witnessed the same thing. Seemingly intelligent people.......professors and health professionals......all missed this one again.

We are continuing to hear how troubled and disturbed this man was on campus. His professors gauged something wasn't quite right.....yet they went no further than to throw him out of a couple of classes. Nikki Giovanni was one of those professors. I had the opportunity to have Ms. Giovanni for one semester at college - for Creative Writing. Very similar to what she is teaching at VT. This lady is no fool. She is a solid read of character. However, this guy didn't freak her out enough for her to react.

It appears that we are constantly being taught lessons from each of these tragedies. Yet somehow, we always have to cut people a break and not assume the worst. People fear the repercussions of jumping to a conclusion without having clear factual evidence. Unfortunately, that evidence always comes too late and at the cost of other people's lives.

We can talk all day about hindsight, but the fact is there were a lot more warning signs this time around and everyone chose to ignore them by taking the less painful options. What we are left with now is everyone's psychological analysis and unadulterated opinions of what happened and how we could be so blind.

In the future, I think we need to worry less about hurting people's feelings and keep the interest of the "whole" in perspective. Thirty-two lives were lost this week because of one individual's feelings and well-being. In reality......more concern about this gentlemen's "well-being" might have made this week a very different week for everyone concerned.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My head is going to explode

Sounds like an allergy problem doesn't it? I would love for it simply to be an allergy issue. However, it is my job that is keeping my brain consumed five days a week.

Have you ever had such a long busy day at work that your brain seemed completely full? As if you could not compute or breakdown one more issue or tend to one more task. I think the word I am looking for is saturation. The brain is saturated.

I think I now fully realize why my aunt is as forgetful as she is these days. Granted.....she was losing her memory 12 years that time I thought it was peculiar but I was not particularly overwhelmed by it. I think I can now understand it. My memory these days has not been as sharp as I believe it should be for someone who is 41 years old. I have noticed a decrease in it in the last four years or so. Now....before there is complete utter concern........I am not forgetting my way home or missing meals. Clearly......missing meals is not happening!

I think in my own zealous drive to perform and continue to feed my sense of self accomplishment at work.....I have worked my brain to a state that demands a breather. Do I think that it has something to do with turning 40? Maybe......but I wouldn't hang my hat on it. I think it has to do with the level of competitiveness I have with my own spirit and the fact that I insist on completing tasks on time and worrying about what happens if I can't perform as expected.

I am a ESTJ in Myers/Briggs......"Life's Administrator" is the mantra for people of this personality type. I often wonder if I will have enough "administrator" left after life in Corporate America to make it through the rest of my life.

Maybe it is just part of the maturity process that causes us to pause and take a look around. I think I need more pauses.....more breathers. Less consumption about how I can continue to maintain my above average performance reviews and more time to concentrate on my well being.

Am I ready to quit? Heck no, but I certainly don't want to spend the last 2o years of my life having someone else cut up my food for me because I can't remember the difference between a knife and a fork. Eeeeeek!

Meanwhile.........I wait for my long overdue two week vacation at the end of May. A nice week in New England where I can concentrate on being a tourist and enjoy the company of good friends and TC.

Life does not get any better than that.............

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Baby update I type is my fondest hope that my friend has had her baby! The reason that I say that is they induced her early yesterday morning! Amazingly enough.......after nearly 30 hours later......she was still able to text message. Yeah....I know.......I would think I would be a bit busy with other things too but hey.....I am not going to complain. I am getting the information first hand!

So at 4:20ish or so this afternoon.....she was 8 centimeters. Given my limited knowledge of birthing children (zero and counting), I do work with a lot of seasoned veterans who were able to tell me that she was "going to blow" at 10 centimeters. At this point in time.......I am very hopeful that she and the baby are resting quietly. After a long day like doubt both deserve it.

I am truly overjoyed for her. For as long as I have known her, one of her primary objectives in life has been to have children. Today, she has Alex - her main man.

I have to pause a moment to be a bit philisophical on how her life is going to change once Alex is handed to her. I mean........her perspective may be different. Tomorrow she may not look at things the same way again because of Alex. Life changing events have a way of doing that to us. The sky will be just a little bluer tomorrow because of her new found joy. And........she has the rest of the summer off so who can complain about that?

I am hopeful that TC and I will have our chance to babysit. No....I haven't been drinking. I did really say it. I am just hoping that he doesn't pick up any habits that I can't explain away easily. Obviously........a very clean vocabulary and no glasses of chardonnay will be in order for his first adventure with me. While I am excited for the opportunity, I fully expect though that this little boy will not be far from his mother for at least three to six months.

To be continued..............