Friday, September 18, 2009

Side effects may include....

Ever notice how all the drug ads on TV include big disclaimers on this kind of stuff? At least for the prescription stuff? Non-prescription stuff doesn't always, though. And it can pay to check. My favorite spot for checking out side effects and drug interactions is WebMD. It's essentially run by the Cleveland Clinic, and it's rather user-friendly as far as finding the information, plus it'll give you a picture of what the prescription pills should look like, including all the available generics.

But, one question it doesn't answer:

How come, so often, the side effects are worse than whatever symptoms they're set up to fix?

Inquiring minds want to know...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fun Size

The Halloween Candy has hit the store shelves!

I know this because I brought in a giant mixed bag for my desk drawer. I find I go through the day better if I have access to candy, even if I don't eat it every day. Weird, but true.

So, I have a few questions:

  1. Why do they call them "Fun Size" instead of something else?
  2. If I eat enough Fun Size candy bars, I put on LOTS of weight. Does that make me "Fun Size" too?
  3. I have several friends and family members who, for religious reasons, do not observe Halloween. Or rather, as they put it, they do not "celebrate" Halloween. Do they still celebrate the Halloween candy?
Inquiring minds want to know....

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I had a birthday party yesterday. I threw it for myself.

No, it wasn't a notable number. There wasn't anything unusual going on. It was just another birthday. But it was a party.

I cook for my own parties, generally. If people ask, "What can I bring?" then the first few might be asked to bring something, or if they offer to bring something specific ("How about if I bring shrimp for an appetizer?") then I will gladly accept. In this way it becomes a glorious tasty spread, generally with a little something for everyone.

I am a gourmand, with a smattering of pseudo-gourmet thrown in. I grew up watching cooking shows, and am not afraid to try new things. What I find terribly entertaining when I throw a party is that, if I try something fancy for the dinner, people enjoy it, but the true raves come when I do something simple. Yesterday's party fare was barbecue chicken and cole slaw, and friends brought a caprese salad (of homegrown tomatoes and basil), fresh fruit, ice cream, and rolls. It was wonderful and tasty, and preparation was not nearly as complex as it might have been.

This all ties in together, birthdays and parties and good food. I think people worry too much sometimes. They worry about aging. They worry about not looking as good as they used to. They worry about getting fat. And there is a little something on that last one. But let's, instead, worry about other things. Let's worry less about the outer trappings and more about the overall health. I do not use artificial sweeteners, and I avoid low fat or diet foods unless they are low fat like a skim milk, where the fat was removed but nothing was added. I avoid chemical and man-made things. I read labels hunting for foods without too much added sugar or sodium or high fructose corn syrup. It can be a challenge some days. But I think, overall, the food is better. I think that you can eat the foods prepared in a traditional fashion — with all the fats etc. — in moderation and be fine. It's when you eat sixteen portions of something, or eat it every day in the modern world where we don't have the activity level we once did, that trouble begins.

And so, that said, let's celebrate! Celebrate getting another year older because it means you've survived all life's slings and arrows! Celebrate the good things to eat because it means that you have the wherewithall to afford food! Celebrate a beautiful day because it means you are in a position to go out and enjoy it!

If there were more celebrations, the world would truly be a happier place.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I have reached a conclusion

There are two kinds of people in the world:

Those who love color, who revel in it and live for it. These folks can take even the simplest outfit and amaze the world by adding just a touch of color, such as a shocking pink blouse or a bright orange lily pin on a somber dark business suit. They paint their walls and their houses yellow and blue and pink and green and maroon, and they have exciting throw pillows, or little details that intrigue.

Then, there are those who seem to be allergic to color. Their wardrobe and their decor is a variety of shades of neutral. Earth tones and beiges, white and black. Suggest they add a red pillow to that couch and they practically break out in hives.

So, which kind of person are you? Inquiring minds want to know.