Saturday, June 28, 2008

Power Surges

What's an appropriate gift for a woman's 50th birthday? I am absolutely, 100% against anything over-the-hill, black or depressing. Is a menopause joke card appropriate? I was really stuck while shopping, and not at all sure what to do. Since turning 40, I've had nothing but fun, and I intend to keep it that way as I approach 50 and beyond.

I saw a bumper sticker once that said, "They're not hot flashes, they're power surges"
I love that! I am not in power surge territory yet, but I think that talking openly about menopausal symptoms is healthy. Oprah deserves credit for bringing many women's issues into the open and eliminating a lot of fear and uncertainty. I don't have time to watch her show and her magazine makes me crazy, but a bunch of female colleagues were raving about a book O reviewed: How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp. I ended up buying this book for the friend who is turning 50, but I feel compelled to add a disclaimer saying that I don't think she needs it. I really hope she doesn't take it the wrong way, and I still have no idea what others will be giving her - what is appropriate? I have no idea. Now I'm second guessing that book - maybe I'll keep it and give her something much cooler, like a gift certificate for surfing lessons.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And I though shoes on the side of the road were weird

Why do we often see stray shoes on the side of the highway? Okay, I was ONCE responsible for one of those, or was it my sister - the details are foggy, but one of us threw one of the other's shoe out the car window on one of those horrifying Griswald-esque family car trips. However, my dad turned the car around and we retrieved the shoe - we didn't just say "oh well" and leave it there. How can you not notice that a shoe went out the window?

What's weirder is feet washing ashore in B.C. If the feet were missing shoes, there might have been a direct link, but these feet still have shoes.

Still, I wouldn't discount the possibility of a connection.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Just finished reading Eat, Pray, Love

Eat Pray Love is a memoir (? - the cover doesn't specify, but it doesn't say novel, so I'm assuming that her first-person accounts are true) by Elizabeth Gilbert about her post-divorce healing journey through Italy, India and Indonesia. It sounds awful, and the title was enough to scare me off, but a friend insisted I read it and even put the book in my hands. I loved the first part about Italy. I aspire to write as well as EG!! She's funny and doesn't overwrite.

That being said, she lost me in India and didn't recapture me in Indonesia. The whole prayer thing was too long and too, "look, look - I'm healed, no really - I've found the Lord - see SEE how balanced I am now." Sheesh- I wish she would have hung out with the Italian guys sipping latte through the whole book, but still, I DO recommend it. The Italy part was so strong it carried me through the rest. I will definitely look for more of her books.

What's on your summer TBR list?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Surprise Me

While Barack Obama is my choice for U.S. President, I'm not sure he's the best choice as the Democratic candidate. The country is so divided, I think it would take a White Southern Male to give the Democrats a win. I'm scared that the U.S. is still so racist it will not allow Obama to be elected - even if he wins the popular vote, the results will be fixed the way they were for GWB.
I really hope I'm wrong, and I used to be much more optimistic and hopeful about the U.S., but the last 4 years have left me bitter and pessimistic.

Please, please prove me wrong.

If you have constructive ideas on what I can do to help Barack's cause, bring it on - I sent handwritten letters to women in Ohio begging them to vote against GWB in the last election, but Ohio still went the wrong way. Apparently the Republicans blocked 350,000 Ohio votes from being counted. Hopeless? Too corrupt to fight?

I know some (many) people are eagerly waiting the fall of the American Empire, almost salivating as the country implodes on itself. I don't want to see it. Can't the good guys win?

I wish I could think of a plausible way to create a Happily Ever After ending for this one, but I'm afraid it's going to be a horrific bloodbath that will leave us all with nightmares.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Preparing for my dream cycling trip

Cycling in Italy has been on my dream vacation/to do list for ages. Now that I've just returned from a 6-day cycling trip around Lake Champlain I feel a little bit closer. Some woman in Italy is probably blogging about how she just got back from a local trip, and how she hopes and dreams one day of being able to cycle in Vermont and New York.

My trip was beautiful - sunny weather, good food, quirky B&B's and excellent company.

  • day 2 in Vermont. Postcard-beautiful. Green like I've never seen green before. E was on 'truck' duty (3 of us cycled and one person drove our gear to the next destination - called a 'sag wagon' on tours) , and E had ice cream ready for us at one stop. : )
  • dinner at Turtle Island restaurant: delicious soft-shell crab, a real cappuccino (ahhhh) and lemon bars. mmmm
  • finishing 2 books! 1st: Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin - splurged on this one as a brand new hardcover right before the trip as a vacation treat. If you liked her other books, you'll like this one, but if you don't like her flawed heroines, this one won't appeal to you. I enjoyed the book - she had me wondering what would happen right up to the end. I also finished Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes about an Irish woman who is forced to leave her partying NY life to go to rehab in Ireland - but she thinks it's a spa. V funny and full of Irish slang like "eejit" and "Jayzus."

low lights:
  • morning of day 1, struggling to figure out how my bike worked. Totally my fault - I had a new bike and had only ridden it once prior to the trip. It took me all morning to figure out how to shift properly. Hilly Vermont is not the best place to practice
  • being chased by dogs - also not fun, particularly after you've just climbed a steep hill and could really use a rest. The last thing you want to hear is PEDAL! DOGS! BIG ONES! aargh. They never caught us.
We cycled about 30-35 miles per day and some of those days were tough - lots of hills! The scenery was unbelievable - Green Mountains on one side, Adirondacks on the other - for the whole trip. The B&B's each had their own character - some inspired me to toy with the idea of running a B&B until E would say, "Right - waking up to make breakfast for strangers is exactly what we want to do." We agreed we'd have to have a Bed & Brunch. And neither of us wants to chit chat with the guests, so that probably won't work. My favorite hosts were nice, but didn't hover. A couple of them hovered. After cycling for four hours you don't want anyone hovering.

Feels weird to be back, not moving and not dressed in lycra...