Food Rehab

I was listening to NPR the other day, and they were interviewing David Kessler, former FDA commissioner who has an upcoming book called “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite”. In the book he chronicles how the food and advertising industries layer our products with extra salt, sugar and fat, to make products even more multi-sensory.

And that actually short circuits the chemistry of our brains, and creates a syndrome called hypereating.

So let’s say there are cookies and chips and the pizza and cheese on your counter. Naturally, they are mocking you to resist them. And the scenario goes a little something like this:

AHHHHH, Release.

Apparently we strengthen the neural circuits each time we do this, because the only release is actually eating the food. The more the circuits become fired up, the more you strengthen the whole cycle of behavior.

Eating becomes a conditioned and driven behavior. And God knows aren’t we wired to react to the most stimulating things in our environment?

How you battle it? You have to recondition your brain, aka, out yourself in food rehab. It’s the critical perceptual shift. Basically, Kessler says you have to tell the french fries they are not your friend. (But the kind with sea salt rosemary and garlic, really are my friends! Dr Kessler!) And then you say it firmly like you mean it!

Web sites don’t help either. Last week I was over at Tasty Kitchen, and may I say damn you Pioneer Woman for posting this dessert recipe:

Once every six months I’ll make something like this, and I swear it will talk to me until the entire pan has been consumed. It’s got chocolate, nuts, peanut butter and salt in it. Need I say more?

I literally salivated when I read the recipe, but at least it’s out of my system now, and my will power has been restored for the remainder of the week. And like Lindsay Lohan, hopefully I can spring myself from rehab for the upcoming weekend!

What foods send you into the land of no return?

I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Fame. What’s Your Name?

David Bowie is so right when he sings:

Fame, (fame) what you like is in the limo
Fame, (fame) what you get is no tomorrow
Fame, (fame) what you need you have to borrow
Fame (fame)

There’s no shortage of who’s wrong side of fame this week, people. Let’s check it out:

The Situation. Allegedly he’s worth a cool million with all of his endorsements, which now include vodka. And here’s the kicker. It’s a protein infused vodka. What could be healthier than than hopping on the elliptical and chugging your liquored up health drink? BRAP! “Hey Snooki, hit me again with another one of these!” It’s Gym, Sober Up, Tan and Laundry as the new motto!

Heidi Montag, so proud of her 20 surgeries that irrevocably changed her looks into a freakish mess! Now she wants a breast reduction, because “she can’t hug her dogs“. And since her plastic surgeon just died in a car accident while texting, she has decided South America’s is the place to go. Can science harness her brain to see if any neural activity and synapses might be connecting? She could be a gift to modern medicine in more ways than one, who knows?

Oh Good Lord, are we ever going to get rid of him? If it weren’t for the lone nitwit on that jury, he might be heading to jail for a long time, instead of being involved in a retrial! Here’s Rod with Jon Stewart who throws his hands up in disgust when Rod is quoted on tape as saying “he’s not F**KING giving it up for nothing”! I love how Stewart told him to be a little more like a Dickens character. Yes Rod, may I suggest Oliver Twist as opposed to Fagin? That might work!

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Rod Blagojevich Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Let’s end with a good laugh. Here’s a great young comedian with a fabulous comeback to a heckler.
Here’s hoping he shoots to the right side of fame!

Have the best of weekends!

Mister Sixteen

So my godson just turned sixteen this past week. How did he go from this:

To this:

And become all grown up in a nanosecond?

Although I don’t want to visualize him riding in a Cheech and Chong Low Rider, I could not resist this card.

Here’s A Small Video Tribute to the nephew on the very brink of driving a car. And who has an official learner’s permit.

I told the Hallmark store staff it was the perfect message for a 16 year old and they were all like “OMG we’ve been trying to figure that age bracket out forever”! Problem solved, card ladies.

And Patrick, I’m sorry to say I won’t be taking you for your license like I did your mother. But then again your mother will be happy I’m not taking you out for Chinese food and Mai Tai’s like I did after her successful road test. Good times!

Happy birthday and happy driving!

Auntie Meg

Will I See His Name on the Silver Screen?

Remember last week I referenced an old colleague that ran around the office screaming, quit his job, and then stomped back to his cubicle for an errant jar of oregano?

I was inspired by Cecelia to write little more about this tale, as her post about office mate “Lily Tomlin” allegedly being able to shift the direction of the wind, had me in tears of laughter. Who hasn’t worked with a complete nut job and lived to tell the tale?

So let me tell you about an old co-worker code named George Costanza, because yes, that comparison is perfection.

George was hired because he was best friends with THE BIG BOSS. So we had to find some projects for George. We were told George had stellar technical skills (such as loading an MP3 player) and was an experienced manager. The only part that might have been true was he could load an MP3 device, and why this was considered a valuable technical skill still has me guessing.

What George was REALLY good at was being a weasel. He completely f**ked up the first project he worked on, but that didn’t stop George from getting a window office. (Supposedly because he bugged the crap out of other people near him). George used to stare intently at the rest of his colleagues when discussing projects, and he would say things like “well, that’s a real lot of work. I’m a manager“. HELLO George, we all have to put the noses to the grindstone and wear several hats, and preferably that hat isn’t the one the little monkey with the organ grinder wears. Although it could have been a tiny clown hat in his case.

George used to stray from the office for several hours each afternoon, to parts unknown. Which was truly a pleasure, because his mere presence could make your skin crawl, and the rest of us considered his absence like separation of church and state, or in office lingo, really sane people versus freaking lunatics.

George had a habit of playing up to all the younger girls on the team, and when his 5 foot nothing frame sauntered down the office aisle it would send the lovely ones scattering like cockroaches as he attempted to divulge every boring detail of his inane life. He loved ingratiating himself with recently hired folks in the office, where he would proudly welcome the new kid on the block by blurting out the name of the local electric company that runs the grid. Oh so close George, but we don’t work for the power company!

George’s office was a real treat. He had prepared flow charts in Powerpoint which were plastered all over the walls, because he said he said it helped him to visualize “processes and procedures”. Plus waste time. He also had an extensive collection of spices and antacid medication on display, because hey, why not have your office be a kitchen and a bathroom at the same time? It sure wasn’t a place of work!

Here was my favorite part about George. He thought he was a fabulous wordsmith. A writing genius. An untapped talent that had not yet been discovered. And he was going to write TV shows and movies and hang with say, the Spielbergs of the world. Seriously.

And he lovingly sent some of his favorite tales and writing samples to my friend, who promptly shared them with me.

May I give you a short sample?

Perhaps the bushes as they inched ever closer to the precious water flowing nearby…ever flowing. It must flow, and flow even more; and those closest to it desire nothing more than to drink their
insatiable fill.

The rocks on the other side were not very happy about that. It was sparse and dry in the land of the rocks. Dry and bitter. The water, so close, as its rapids careened down upon its winding path that began high up in the mountains—three Olympian Gods lost in the background of a more enlightened age.

Were the rocks without any recourse? Did they not have a voice?

Yes they did! For when the land is too much occupied by such usurpers, nature has a way of balancing out the inequities between the haves and the have-nots. Do the bushes listen? Not as much as they should. And whom do they answer to? The trees above call to them below. They beg them not to drink up all of the water.

Yes, please run to the bathroom so as to not pee your pants. And I’ll continue.

So cut to several short months later, when management finally figures out George is a LOSER. George is about to get fired but then loses it himself. George stomps all over the office screaming at everyone and telling us how much he f*cking hates us. But then he pauses dramatically and says, “except for you, Joyce. And maybe you, too, Cindy”.

And with a flourish of his oregano, George was finally gone.

Within minutes, the HR chick comes by and asks I’m OK. To which I replied “he was the worst co-worker I ever had. He was incompetent, lazy, and trust me, I could not be happier”. Then I called my other co-worker at home and told her what she had missed out on, and we did a little jig in celebration.

And to this day, I’m still waiting to see George’s writing credits up on the silver screen. I suspect the only screen in which he will see his credits is his very own computer screen.

And as a Monday bonus, take a little trip over to a site about the worst help desk technician ever, The Chronicles of George. He makes my George look like a genius !

I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Balls Edition.

It’s the end of summer and who doesn’t want to toss the beach ball a few more times? Let’s play in the surf, meander through the sand and see who really has balls this week, OK?

Actual Tweets from Sarah Palin, defending the shrew called called Dr. Laura:

Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence “isn’t American,not fair”)

Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!

Here’s the interesting part. When she speaks, it really sounds like incomprehensible real time tweeting.

Watch Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd give that media whore Michaele Salahi a smackdown. I wish Whoopi Goldberg had really punched her out, she is obnoxious. Be sure NOT to buy the book she was shilling, Cirque Du Salahi. She’s a real life train wreck.

Let’s check out father of the year, who steals his kid’s dessert for the mere thrill of getting You Tube hits:

Let’s end with Jon Stewart this week, rendering an excellent impression of the lunatic known as Glenn Beck.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
News Corp. Gives Money to Republicans
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

Toss those balls and fire up the blender, it’s Friday!

Disconnecting from Technology

I was reading an opinion piece the other day about vacations. It’s August, and everyone is trying to make the most of the waning summer season. A beach day, a harbor cruise, a hike in the woods, all sound pretty inviting and relaxing, right?

But what if you can’t disconnect from technology like the unfortunate writer? What if you were on Cadillac mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park and you needed to Tweet your status? And it looked something like this:

Imagine sweating bullets because you are unable to enjoy your leisurely lunch atop Big Sur?

And does anyone get the whole gaming thing on Facebook? I always see this Farmville crap on my feed, and it’s obvious a scary number of people are obsessed with it. I finally figured out what the concept was when I saw a piece on the CBS Sunday Morning show. Apparently, Farmville can even give the people a sense of self-worth as they harvest crops and do chores around the fake farm. But how must they feel when they have to shovel virtual crap out of the barn, too?

And Mother of God, what if something like this really happened?

Here’s the deal people. Do yourself a favor and decompress from the world while you are vacationing. Use your roaming charges wisely and have a good time, and please DO NOT invite anyone to play Farmville or God forbid, Bejeweled Blitz.

You can be assured your relationship status will remain stable if you connect to the person you’re with, and not your Crackberry.