Ran across an interesting article on how NYC is dealing with its increasing homeless population. Sounds like a decent idea to me, but I do see where the critics are coming from when they say that it doesn't address the underlying issues. It's like a bandaid. It's easy to suggest that families should pitch in and help their own, but that's too simple because it doesn't take into account that some of these people might not have families, they may have drug problems, they may have mental issues, their families might not have the means to help, etc. But to the critics, I ask - is it really up to the city of NY to address the underlying causes? Whose responsibility is it?

It's hard for me to say because I have always been torn when it comes to the issue of helping people (one of the things that intrigued me about Atlas Shrugged). The majority of my makeup is inclined to want to help people who have fallen on hard times, but there's a part of me that bristles at the expectation of it. And the pessimist in me chimes in that some of those people don't actually want help, they just want a free ride in life and they play on people's sympathies. It's hard to know who deserves help and who's just taking advantage, who can be helped and who's hopeless. The problem is too complex.

So on to lighter fare...

I watch tv when I work out on the treadmill (I bought my own because it was $15 less than a year's membership to the gym). Most of the time I watch fluff, because I can't always hear everything, and I'm only half paying attention... it's not the time to watch something I'm truly interested in. That being said... last night I watched Addicted to Beauty. Just what the world needs, another plastic surgery show. A particularly scary one I might add... they make it seem as if you need plastic surgery to look beautiful, when in fact, three of the women on there look downright malformed. Have I mentioned my extreme distaste for lip plumping?

During the course of the show, the owner of the place called everyone into her office to discuss their appearance, and she actually suggested that one of the girls should fix her teeth, told her that she would have had her teeth fixed before she got the breast augmentation if it had been her. She needs to look in the damn mirror before she starts making suggestions. She's a couple of surgeries away from looking like that cat woman. If all that didn't turn my stomach, there's this game on the website to show you exactly how imperfect they think you are.

This article pretty much summarizes my own opinions of the show, except that the reporter thinks the 'game' is cool... Let's call a spade a spade... it's not a game, it's a marketing tool designed to play on your insecurities. If I learned anything from last night's show, it's that they are there to sell you something whether you need it or not (big part of the show was centered around a sales contest).

So after my workout I felt like crap - not about my appearance - I was really queasy, and it stuck with me all night. It was touch and go a couple of times, and I'm not sure I wouldn't have felt better if I had puked... I feel better but I don't want to upset the apple cart by trying to do too much. I'm at home now, watching Ex-Treme Dating... there's not much on and I don't feel like doing anything more than sitting on my butt, so it might be time for a Gilmore Girls marathon (god how I miss that show).

Ah well, this too shall pass.  ;)

Watched Inkheart this afternoon. Basically the premise of the movie was that certain people can read the words of a story out loud and the story would become reality. It wasn't a life-changing movie but it got me thinking... left field, as usual... or as I like to say, my train of thought often gets derailed.

There's a theory floating around that we can write the story of our own lives, that what we believe is what comes into being... some call it the power of positive thinking but it goes by many names (like self-actualization... think Stuart Smalley's 'I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggonit - people like me'). I have to admit that, being the pessimist (or maybe realist) that I am, I have a bit of a problem with it, even though I'd really like to believe it. The big flaw is, we can't all get what we want (green lights and no traffic), it's just not possible. Sometimes that's because it's at cross purposes to what other people want, other times... well, you just can't - but a person can dream.

Mostly I think things work out because, if we really desire something, we put effort into making it happen, we create the opportunity. Sometimes maybe we're picking up a vibe, something that tells us, if only subconsciously like a gut feeling, that we're on the right track. I've learned that even if I think it's crazy, my gut is more often right than wrong, especially in certain areas of my life.

On the other hand, If we ignore our opportunities, or don't put the effort into them, they will pass us by. Sometimes we set ourselves up to fail.

I tend to take life as it comes... hope for the best, then stick my head in the sand and believe the worst won't happen to me. I believe that whatever is meant to happen will happen, and if you try to force it, it will backfire on you. I look for signs that I'm on the right track, like serendipity or something, just little things to keep me motivated or let me know it's time to back down. Maybe that means I put too much stock into insignificant gestures, or read too much into nuance, but that's who I am and will probably always be. I could apologize for it, but that would be insincere.

All in all, my life is pretty good, with little hiccups here and there; I can't let myself get bogged down by it or it would pull me under. I think you have to have a sense of humor, or life will bitch-slap you into submission.

Oh, and one funny little story ... turning the lemon (my house) into lemonade... I called my insurance company, it was too early for my local office to be open so I was connected to the national number... which basically means I was routed to India. I told the lady that I needed to know if my foundation was covered by my insurance policy. She asked if my question would be in regards to a homeowner's policy, an auto policy, or life insurance. Then I was connected to someone in the licensing department and that representative asked if I was talking about a single-family residence, or a mobile home... they were both really nice though...


Played hookey from work today so that I could watch the new Harry Potter movie... so worth it. It was the best one yet... but also the saddest (yes, I cried). It's amazing to see the words of the book translated onto the screen... it's a testament to JK Rowling's descriptive abilities that watching some of it was like deja vu; my imagination and the film were pretty close.

Butterbeer looked so good that I found a recipe online and will add it to my recipe page as soon as I finish writing this. Looks almost like egg nog with beer instead of rum... or maybe hot buttered rum, but with beer and eggs... I don't normally like beer, but I'm willing to try it out. Hopefully I won't like this either, I'm sure it has about a zillion calories... but something about the way it looks just calls to me...

Looks like there are some good movies on the horizon, another tween novel, The Lightning Thief, as well as Robert Downey, Jr in Sherlock Holmes (and though I never would have imagined it, the trailer was really interesting... besides, I love Sherlock Holmes). I feel like there's been a drought of good movies lately, so it's nice to see that there are a few to get excited about.

I always enjoy taking a day off from work. I feel like I get a lot done. If I didn't have to work for a living I could accomplish so much more. There are some people who continue to work well past retirement age because they claim that they have nothing else to do--I don't intend to be one of them. There are about a million things that I could think of to fill my time instead: travel, gardening, writing, reading, learning new things (languages, cooking classes, knitting, brewing mead, etc), hiking, fixing up the house, relaxing (and of course, spending time with friends and family, but that kinda goes without saying).

All in all, I wish I had more time to spend on personal pursuits (and more money, because some of those pursuits require it), but alas, don't we all? It's the human condition.