Sunday, March 22, 2009

What's Going On

It's March! It's almost April! What am I thinking about? (In no order.)

Books: 
-Succumbed to my inner voice and purchased Vogue: Homes, Gardens, People. Twenty pounds of decorative bliss in my lap. 

-Reading Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story. At first it seemed like a great gift for someone, but at the risk of perpetuating pre-existing office job disdain in anyone, decided the best recipient was ME! 

-Finally started Suite Francaise, which a co-worker gave me for my birthday a few years ago. Usually I'm not into fiction, but this is historical fiction about the occupation of France during WWII--a subject I'm more and more fascinated by. The most compelling thing is that the author was a Russian Jew who was furiously writing the book in the French countryside in the months leading up to Nazi invasion, and the hidden manuscript--including her additional notes on the book--was found like eight years ago for the first time, decades after she died at Auschwitz. It's so well-written and pretty poignant.

Races: 
-The Human Race 8K is today on Summit Avenue at 1:20pm! 

Last year I finished in 38:32. This year, a great race would mean sub-36. I've been really excited to race anything, since my last race was the Twin Cities Marathon, and there are five solid months of training between then and now! 

The English Language: 
-I'm always amazed by the innovation and relevance of the English language. The Star Tribune used the word boomlet last week to describe the "mini baby boom of 2008-2009." And the word friend has become a verb, thanks to Facebook. Only in English.

Music: 
I love Solid Gold. Period. The best music to come out of Minnesota since the Jayhawks...but it's a different genre, so it's hard to compare them. I just love that these guys are from HERE! Their music is so transcendent. One song is pure modern Paris and everything else is like one big city under a starry night. Yikes--it makes me poetic! 

I'm also loving "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And Reggie & The Full Effect, just for kicks. Picture 80s mustaches and bad pants...and hilarious lyrics. This has been standard drive-to-the-cabin music for the past few summers, but I finally uploaded the CD to iTunes so I can have them whenever! 

Homeopathy: 
The health-oriented committee I'm on at work brought in a woman to talk about self-care and homeopathy, and it was so thought-provoking!  Her message was so simple ("You basically know deep down what is right for your body--be it rest, food, etc."). 

She presented some homeopathic stress-relief items like Rescue Remedy and Cold Calm and essential oils, and I think people could really benefit from natural stuff like this instead of pumping their bodies full of unpronounceable chemicals because they think it's the only option out there. I headed straight to a co-op to find a few things she mentioned--and who knows? Might as well try them! 

But above all, her message about general healthcare was timely. Here and perhaps worldwide, an overwhelming percentage of illness is caused by stress in one way or another (emotional, bodily, or both). Not just "Oh, I'm so stressed out!" but our bodies saying "I am straining to do what you want me to," be it process junk food, substitute caffeine for sleep, inhale tobacco, etc. 

If we take better ownership of the stress management piece, could we benefit long-term as a society? Probably.  

That's all I've got! Time to get ready to pound out five solid miles on Summit! 

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