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Sunday, July 30, 2006

STRESS = PROGRESS

ODE Magazine, July-August edition, has an article about the lightning-rapid urbanization in China entitled,
The Biggest City You've Never Heard Of.

Read the following excerpt about mental health. What's wrong with this picture??

"People have to make a big adjustment because the pace of life, work and study are all accelerating. It puts extra stress on people, but so far our reseaarch suggests they can adjust.' It is not easy, though. She says cases of depression anxiety, insomnia and mood swings have doubled in the past 20 years. Between 10 and 25% of Chongqing's people suffer from mental and emotional problems.

Her mental-health department was established onlin in 1998; before that, psychological problems were either ignored or associated with Western decadence. Now, Kuang says, there is recognition of the strains imposed by city life....psychological disorders are 'a sign of improved quality of life. People did not have time to worry about themselves so much 10 years ago."

Sounds like remarkable progress. They've learned so much from us.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Love In The Time of Cholera


Just finished the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It explores aging and love in a graphic, quirky, ambling story. I loved this quote among many others that I forgot to bookmark:

"She could not conceive of a husband better than hers had been, and yet when she recalled their life she found more difficulties than pleasures, too many mutual misunderstandings, useless arguments, unresolved angers. Suddenly she sighed: 'It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not.'"

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Desserts



Last night I had some bing cherries - my favorite fruit - while Sally and I watched TV. Chased it with a big scoop of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food frozen yoghurt. A taste of heaven.

About a year and a half ago I started getting stomach aches starting around 3 AM and continuing until 10 AM. I started keeping track of what I ate on the stomach-ache-nights. The biggest culprits were late night chocolate ice cream, fruit, Dr Pepper, and movie popcorn (as opposed to microwaved). When I asked the doctor why after 50+ years I'd get stomach aches from my favorite foods, he just skipped ahead to what pills I could now start taking. Later, I realized that the answer is just age. The acids sloshing around my stomach are like early warning lights on my body's dashboard announcing that my body isn't going to always do what it's always done.

Maybe by taking the pills, I'm acting the same way our country does when it pursues oil by any means, rather than conserve, or do with less, or develop alternatives. Denial and convenience trump. But I sure do love those bing cherries and Phish Food before I hit the sack.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ant Farm


Yesterday, I looked up from the elliptical machine at the YMCA and noticed the title on one of the TV monitors across the room. It said something like: "GUESS WHO IS 50 YEARS OLD TODAY?"

After the commercial interruption, it turned out that the Ant Farm toy is now a 50 year old. How can that be? Those things look older than dirt. I'd assume they were around when bicycles had those enormous front wheels and the tiny back wheel, or when kids ran down dusty, unpaved streets hitting a metal rim with a stick to keep it rolling.

The point is that I'm 53. I'm even older than the Ant Farm.