Brain Candy

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm very proud of myself. I completed everything on my "to-do" list for the day, including cleaning the fish tank and going for a run. I even completed things not on the list for today.

So I am rewarding myself with a little time to blog.

I am also taking a break from the slurry of posts on reality TV to revel on a true love: books.

I love reading. However, I have a very different attitude about reading than some of my family. I read rather silly books, usually light hearted adventure novels. My dad only reads serious philosophical works or historical non-fictions. What is more important? That we read serious books, or simply that we read? I stand firmly behind the second opinion.

For the first several years of my marriage, I never saw my husband read a book for pleasure. He read plenty of textbooks, but he admitted he had never read for fun, and had not read a novel since high school. However, after much coercion, I started him on the Harry Potter series. Since that moment four years ago, he has read a book at night almost every day. Admittedly, it is usually still Harry Potter, but I love to see him read so much, that I don't say, "Haven't you read that four times already?" (Since I have too, and don't want to draw attention to that fact.)

I read non-school related material purely for fun. If I'm not enjoying reading it, and I don't real relaxed after reading, I really don't have the time to waste on it at the current moment. It doesn't need to make me think (I am required to do plenty of that for real at work). I read for one purpose: escapism. I find I actually sleep better after a dose of "brain candy" before bedtime.

I think everyone would.

How Embarrassing

Sunday, September 28, 2008

If there is anything more embarrassing than admitting my love for reality TV, it would be having two posts in a row that focus on it.

But, since we are only hours away from the premier of Amazing Race, I really have no choice. So, for today, there are no deep thought, no improvement of the human race, just my guilty pleasure.

There are episodes of Amazing Race when I have harbored feelings of infidelity to Survivor. Since Survivor was my first love, nothing should knock it out of first place. But Amazing Race always attempts to. It is the only show where I have mentally dappled with the idea of applying. I know it will never happen.

But I am often envious of the places the contestants get to travel, and the things they get to do there. And Keith would be awesome at the challenges. (I, on the other hand, would only be a team liability, since I have the upper body strength of a guinea pig, despite hauling two screaming children out of Wal-Mart.)

The advantages Amazing Race has over Survivor: it is purely your skills that can take you to the end, not the scheming of others. The variety of locations within a single season. And the chance I get to pamper my wanderlust vicariously.

First Confession

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I have neglected this blog for long enough. It's not that I haven't had anything to write about. To be completely honest, I have been mentally running through ideas to post nearly every day. But the last month has been very busy, and I was worried that if I started posting here, I would never sleep.

I'm pretty sure my husband dreads the idea of me writing another blog. I already spend more time than is rational on our family blog. But I have so many ideas and thought to share that have no right hanging out on a family blog.

So here we go...

My first confession: I love reality television. I know, I know. I've read plenty of columnists blaming the downfall of television quality and our qualify of life on reality TV. But ever since I was overcome with morning sickness six years ago, and watched Survivor: Africa, I've been hooked.

I do try to watch with moderation. So far my list included Survivor, Amazing Race, Design Star, and America's Got Talent. I have, much to the dismay of friends, avoided American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars, and Project Runway. After all, there are only so many hours in the day, and someone really should watch the children.

But Survivor: Gabon started on Thursday, and Amazing Race starts back up on Sunday. So now is the perfect time for me to relish in my guilty pleasure.

Survivor, for me, was the initial reality television show, and everything else is just a spin off. I love the exotic locations, the mind games, and the challenges. My husband and I always wonder how good we would be at the challenges.

Not that we will ever find out.


Friday, September 5, 2008

This is one of my favorite poems, so much so, it has become a life philosophy for me.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself to others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

-Max Ehrmann, 1952