My Struggle.

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@postaday 370; #postaday2011. My struggle isn’t really just my struggle. It’s a struggle for many of us. And I’m not talking about the teeny weenie size 0-1-3-5-7-9s, and all sizes in between, who lament how fat they are. Time out … Continue reading

A Kiss is Not Just a Kiss.

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@postaday 342; #postaday2011. While reading an article in the New York Times Magazine’s online edition entitled “Operation Seduction,” my editor asked me if I’d write a story about health and wellness and the family and my husband chided me for … Continue reading

Casanova, Feminist.

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@postaday 340; #postaday2011. In today’s New York Times is an article about the writings of Giacomo Girolamo Casanova, now on exhibit at the National Library of France until Feb. 19, 2012. Known mostly for being a serial seducer, he was also … Continue reading

Is Fat Permanent?

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@postaday 311; #postaday2011. Good morning fellow hamster-wheel habituates. You know who you are. You set the alarm to stun on the weekends so you can get in an early morning workout. You run, you ride, you lift weights, you attend … Continue reading

Personal Piñatas


@postaday 273; #postaday2011.

I am going to suggest that along with reading my profound daily missive, that you read Stanley Fish’s column at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/03/when-harry-should-avoid-meeting-sally/ today. That’s why I’m keeping this shorter than usual.

I know that some people read my blog because they like it, and I think that means they like me. And I know that some people read my blog because they don’t like me. I know because of some of the comments I get. Because it’s MY blog, I have chosen not to publish nasty comments. Eventually, those with their word weapons go away. Because I am a journalist, it bugs me to NOT let such people air their differences with me. It does. I am all about discussing differences. But then it usually disintegrates in how ugly they say I am. That has nothing to do with my words or ideas, so I draw the line.

Stanley Fish laments meeting those people who become our personal piñatas. He says it is to be avoided. I like his tactics. And, as someone who often feels avoided, it gives me a little tiny attagirl deep inside.

Now to hide in the words of work.

I wish it were curly!


@postaday 216; #postaday2011.

In today’s New York Times is a column written by Judith Newman, an apparent soul sister, a woman with whom I share a common bond, that dwells upon being owned by a head of hair that will not straighten up and fly right no matter who is giving the orders.

My mom told me that because of my hair I could never get away with anything so I better be good.

Having hair that’s frizzy, fuzzy, curly, and kinky makes you a standout as you grow up. You’re easy to spot on the playground, or at that side of the playground where you’re not supposed to be. You’re easy to spot playing dodge ball at the gym, and you get the big, round bruises to show for it. You’re easy to spot at the bar during happy hour, and you might even look easy. When you get THAT JOB, you’re hair is a beacon in a room full of women with long, dark, straight hair, the person who is “one of these things is not like the others…” Then, when you become a mom, the teachers see you coming a mile away, brace themselves, duck, and run for cover.

When you have a head of hair like this, you’re so over what anyone thinks about the way you look that you might as well match the expectations they have: If you do not tame your hair, is there anything about you tame? Probably not.

Realistically, yes there’s a lot I’ve got under control. Despite that, and despite the shelves of hair products I have in the bathroom, my hair defies my orders. I learn to live with it. There’s only so much you can do. Right now I’m favoring a line made for women of color called “Twisted Sista.” The thing about having curly, frizzy, and fuzzy hair, is that I find that the products have to be cycled in and out as they lose their effectiveness. I go from Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner for curly hair or the moisturizing blends, and then go to John Frieda’s Go Blonde leave-in treatment mixed with Moroccan oil or with my new fave, Bio Oil, which is originally for skin but when I had residual left on my hands I started rubbing it into my hair and yay it’s shiny!

I’m so glad my daughters don’t have my hair. Apparently, men don’t really like curly hair. A woman who lands a real power hitter of a guy has straight hair, according to the above mentioned column, quoting Patti Stanger, who auditions women for the Bravo television show “Millionaire Matchmaker.”

Her quote: “Look, it’s not what I want, it’s what wealthy men want,” Patti Stanger said. I had called Ms. Stanger, the star yenta of Bravo’s “Millionaire Matchmaker,” because I’d noticed that whenever she auditions women to meet her millionaires, she almost always tells them to lose the curls. “Curly hair is like redheads — they just don’t get a lot of play,” Ms. Stanger added. “I don’t know why. I just know that to be a dream girl you need straight, long, silky, humidity-resistant hair. Also, I think curly hair reminds them of — well, let’s be polite here. Let’s just say a pterodactyl nest.”

Let’s have fun with that.

Can exercise keep you young? I’m counting on it!


@postaday 61; #postaday2011

One of my colleagues, a lovely, young, lithe beautiful artist who surfs here in Hawaii, posted a link on Facebook this morning of a New York Times story from Well columnist Tara Parker-Hope in the paper’s Health section. This colleague would debate with me that she is young, but, I see her face, her skin, her shape, the sexiness, the twinkling eyes, and the sharp sense of humor, and I assure you, she could be in her 20s. Take that, Anna!

Can Exercise Keep You Young?

I’m certainly counting on it. Yesterday I posted a couple of links to books I’ve downloaded onto my iPad and iPhone, and I also have Tim Ferriss’s The 4-Hour Body, which is a very interesting and radical approach to fitness. In fact, Ferriss suggests that not everything in his book applies to everyone, and to choose his offerings ala carte. Of course his chapter on sex is a must read. A clinical approach to bedroom steam. It’s true. Not everyone really knows what to do.

I am going back to South Jersey for my 35th high school reunion in June. I’m looking forward to seeing people IRL. Many of us are friends on Facebook, where we are no longer teenagers competing and dying of embarrassment from day to day. Most of the old friends have grown up and are very nice people, although some are Republicans. Many of my peers are quite fit and stunning. One of the guys got in touch with me and let me know he lost a lot of weight and got on the fitness track. He was so happy and I was really honored that he took the time to let me know.

The other day I was thinking about how, when I was a little in the 60s, most of the women then who were my age now spent the day in loose house dresses with deep pockets to hold their cigarettes, matches and Pep-o-Mint Lifesavers. They watched soap operas, they sat on the steps out front and watched the world go by. My mother and her peers, women in their 20s and 30s at the time, sat around in chaise lounges around the swimming pool working on their tans, drinking Tab or Fresca and smoking cigarettes.

When we moved out of the row house in Riverside to a free-standing home in Delran the winter of 1968, I saw something really weird: A guy was jogging in a sweat suit, with a knit hat and gloves on, down the road, between the snowbanks. He was jogging so he wouldn’t fall. In the spring, summer and autumn, he was a runner in shorts and a T-shirt. He was a daily fixture, a wiry and skinny guy in his 40s, a new breed of man in the neighborhood. In the early 70s, when I was in high school, I started to participate in intramural tennis. I had already been swimming competitively since I was 6 years old. Children who run around, ride bikes, and play an impromptu game of neighborhood wiffle ball turn into teenagers who sit around and “hang out” with each other on street corners or record stores (remember those?). The racing hearts of youthful exuberance become bathed in hormones and instead would rather race for love. Adolescence. Why can’t we just skip it?

When I update my blog with my weekend bicycle rides with my Garmin stats, I sometimes state how it felt so good, how it felt like I was that little kid on her Schwinn Varsity 10-speed bike riding along country roads in New Jersey. When I leave 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai about 515 a.m. each morning after my 65-minute elliptical session, I feel like I’m 30 years younger. Pretty soon I hope to be out surfing again, and back out on my SUP. I love ocean sports, and love remembering small-kid time on Long Beach Island.

Does exercise keep you young? If it transports you back to those care-free summer days where the biggest worry was whether you missed the Mister Softee truck or who picked the most blueberries, then I think it does. If it helps you shed some pounds and firm up  your muscles, then I think it does. If it provides you with a little more confidence between the sheets, then HELLAS YES!

My mom often remarks that I must be really fit. I evade her passive aggressive inquiry by responding that we never really are as fit as we want to be. And if we were, would we get up the next day, tune up the bicycle and hit the road for 20 or 30 miles?

I just don’t want to ever be found in a house dress, with deep pockets for my iPhone and dark chocolate Dove Promises.