Renee Zellweger, Hollywood and Why We Get Bent Out of Shape Over Image…

Renee Zellweger’s Fine, But We Need Some Work: The Toxic Pursuit of ‘Effortless’ Beauty – The Daily Beast.

I really like what Amanda Marcotte had to say about the brouhaha regarding Renee Zellweger looking rather unsurprisingly unlike the person she was 10 years ago the other day. She makes a great point about how our culture seems to want a reality that is not only distinctly unreal, but utterly unachievable. One in which looking like you’re perpetually 25 or 30 years old takes no effort at all. Continue Reading →

Old guy griping about stuff that used to be cool and isn’t anymore…

  1. Led Zeppelin issues alternate mix of Rock and Roll – Consequence of Sound

Jimmy Page has been remastering the Zep catalog again, and we’re about to get a new version of Led Zeppelin IV. I’m on the fence about the whole remastering the same stuff for the umpteenth time. One the one hand, I like having crisper, cleaner versions of my favorite tunes to listen to in my car on my iPod. On the other, I worry that this is a bit like George Lucas fiddling with the effects and adding deleted scenes back into the original Star Wars trilogy – something that is flat out yucky at its worst and pointless at best. Continue Reading →

Fish Oil – Bad or Good?

Precision Nutrition » Fish oil and omega-3s fats: How to be safer with your supplements..

I will admit, I’ve been on the fence, but the above linked article unpacks things nicely, and has the added benefit of explaining, very succinctly, how the media distorts the importance of controversial studies without bothering to vet the science that lies behind them.

Journalists used to understand the phrase “consider the source.” They don’t so much anymore. The study that’s caused all the hubbub that’s led talking heads all over North America to basically tell people to toss their fish oil capsules was published in The Journal of Lipids. Here’s what Precision Nutrition had to say about this esteemed publication: Continue Reading →

Beating Depression…

I am very candid about my past. Probably more than I should be at times. If I had to name the two key features of my childhood/youth they’d be chronic depression and anxiety.

Depression I became conscious of first. I had an acute bout towards the end of high school triggered by a number of very stressful events. To put it bluntly, it’s only via sheer dumb luck that I’m here right now writing this. That’s how bad it was. I came to realize many years later that I wasn’t just a depressed adolescent. I was a depressed kid. I had a lot growing up that confused me and placed enormous emotional stress on me, and I was fearful about expressing it, so I turned it inward. I was a classic example of someone who was really angry, but had little or no outlet for that anger and turned it in on myself.

Anxiety and I became familiar with each other a bit later in life. I began to have attacks of extreme anxiety in any situation that involved a crowd in my early 20s. If my depression was rearing its nasty head while I had an anxiety attack it would turn into full on desperation and abject terror. There was nothing even remotely rational or related to reality in these panic attacks. Friends who attempted to talk me down from one were likely to be shouted at as if they were causing the problem instead of trying to help. Continue Reading →

The great circle of meh…

 

“To safeguard one’s health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed” – François de La Rochefoucauld[1]

Here we are again at the end of the summer with fall approaching. The great cycle of binge and purge begins anew.

It sounds like I’m being facetious, but I’m not. The average middle-aged American enters the new year desperate to undo the damage they’ve done by acute overeating that started around Halloween (EAT ALL THE CANDY!!!) and continued through Thanksgiving and the early winter holiday feasts, company parties and whirl of social events. Millions of Americans then tromp on down to their local gyms and sign up for a new gym membership, which they use a few times and then cease to use altogether.[2] The #1 new years’ resolution made every year in the United States is to lose weight,[3] with getting fit and eating healthier trailing closely behind.

Continue Reading →

Joy…

 

All is not lost…

 

Andrew Solomon wrote this about depression:

When you are depressed, the past and the future are absorbed entirely by the present, as in the world of a three-year-old. You can neither remember feeling better nor imagine that you will feel better. Being upset, even profoundly upset, is a temporal experience, whereas depression is atemporal. Depression means that you have no point of view.

I remember that feeling. To learn of the loss of a friend and the death of a childhood and lifelong hero as the result of suicidal depression knocked me back hard yesterday and today. To a lot of people Robin Williams was a very funny man and a talented actor. But as an old friend put it on Facebook – Williams was the patron saint of all of us theater kids in the 1980s. Continue Reading →

Ken Bell, R.I.P.

 

Loss of a friend is a tough thing to put into words. Kenneth Bell was a special individual in my life in ways I’m sure he was utterly unaware of.

I’ve never done a very good job of fitting it. I can manage it when I really have to, but most of the time it’s a bit of a battle. In middle school it was like trying to climb Everest. I liked all the wrong music, read books on purpose, and baffled the crap out of my peers because I simultaneously adored Star Trek, Star Wars and playing baseball, football and soccer any chance I got.

I was a nerd who played sports. The jocks didn’t know what to make of me because I used words with more than one syllable and knew what they meant. The nerds found my love of perspiring on purpose unsettling, and a tiny bit suspicious. I wanted to play guitar in a band so badly that it made me lose sleep and I constantly daydreamed of being an actor on a soap opera (hey, I was a kid, and it looked like steady work to me). To say that nobody got me would be a massive understatement. Continue Reading →