Out of curiosity…

So my kids were not blessed with fast-growing hair.  For each of them sometime before age 1.5 they ended up with awful mullets.  Their heads grow faster than the hair, so it gets short on the sides with the proverbial party in back.  Awful.

For boys, that’s an easy fix.  First haircut and you’re back to presentable.

For girls… there’s either the pixie cut, or there’s the putting up teeny tiny rubber-banded spikes on the side of the head (“Pebbles-style”)… and I think that’s it.  Maybe a person can try to even it out, but it’s still going to be longer in the back than on the sides.

So what do people do with the toddler mullet?  Just leave it?

Facts, opinions, empirical questions

DC1 had a class assignment in which they tried to separate fact from opinion.

Given where we live, and how Fox News is the most popular show out there, it is a valuable exercise.

Except that this one drove me nuts.

I kept wanting to say, “Well, we don’t know if that’s a fact or not… it’s an empirical question.”  I asked if there were true facts and false facts… but that didn’t ring any bells on DC1′s part.

So I explained positive vs. normative, only not using those terms, and I explained empirical questions vs. opinions.  And DC1 got something like 75% on the assignment because apparently false facts count as opinions, or something.

Who knew that this area was such a difficult concept?

Do you think people have trouble with empirical questions vs. opinions?  How would you explain the differences?

What’s your theme music?

My sister was recently maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding.

For the reception, they requested that she pick some music to introduce her before her speech or something.

“So, basically, they want you to pick your own theme music?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she replied.

“That seems like a trap!” I said.

“I know!  If it weren’t a wedding, I’d pick Don’t Rain on My Parade, but somehow it doesn’t seem fitting.  Or Loads of Lovely Love from No Strings.”

“You just want money, a nice position, and loads of lovely love?”

“Who doesn’t?” she asked.  “How about Side by Side by Side?”

“Company is so bittersweet.  Really anything Sondheim isn’t wedding appropriate.”

“Nope.  If I can’t think of anything good I’m defaulting to Dancing Queen, or maybe Good Morning Baltimore cause I used to wake [best friend] up to that.  Or maybe Come So Far to Go, but that might be insulting,” and then it was time for her to board the airplane.

So I asked around.  My partner suggested the Knight Rider theme song, or Magnum PI, but I think that we’re of a slightly different generation than she is.  My mom noted she probably shouldn’t do “Baby I Was Born This Way.”  No mom, she probably shouldn’t.

In the end, she went with “Friendship” from Anything Goes.  Which is a nice song (and better for a wedding than Bosom Buddies!), but maybe not so much of a theme song for an individual.

I have to admit, I’d be kind of stumped on this question if I were asked.  Maybe Loads of Lovely Love after all… she’s right– who doesn’t want money, a nice position, and loads of lovely love?

#2 says: I’ve always thought about what should be my theme music, but nothing seems great enough to truly capture me.

What’s your theme song?

Man’s search for meaning: Part 1, in which we do not understand

I was recently talking with someone wealthy and somewhat famous (on the internet).  He mentioned that since he’s become wealthy he’s been searching for meaning.  I was all, dude, I’ve noticed.  Not really into that.

We are from the midwest.  That means we are pragmatists.  We generally keep our navels covered so we don’t spend much time looking at them.  I thought that, but didn’t say it.  We do things because they’re The Right Thing to Do.  Not because of some grand purpose or passion or destiny or whatever.

Back when I had a ton of free time (see:  K-8), I would sit around in the back yard and analytically ponder the meaning of life.  I decided that the only true meaning of life was that of reproduction.  We were put on earth to reproduce.  I thought as a species that we had done (more than) a fine job of doing that, and we were at a point at which the human race would be fine and people could make their own decisions about reproduction using their rational minds.  (This was before I figured out what made boys so interesting and got the urge to go through the motions of reproduction without actually, you know, reproducing.  Er hem.)

Given that our main duty in life was being taken care of by the race as a whole, that allowed us to pursue other purposes.  I decided that I liked hedonism as a guiding philosophy and I would do the things I liked.  Being from the midwest, of course, I also had a large lump of responsibility.  So to quote the Wicca, “An it hurts no one, do what you will.”

I’m pretty sure I haven’t really thought about my purpose since.  Maybe at 3am in a college dorm hallway, but I probably just related the story above.  I have generally had better things to do and think about (like how sexy my partner is!).

I do, however, sometimes wonder why some people spend so much time on the question.  I sort of understand the self-help gurus– they like to separate desperately unhappy people with money from some of that money.  It’s the unhappy people who have no real reason to be unhappy that I just don’t get.  If it’s chemical, then why aren’t they searching for solutions in a doctor’s office?  If it isn’t chemical, then why are they allowing themselves to be unhappy just because they can’t find their “purpose” in life.  Whatever that means.  It seems like pondering the question just creates more angst.  So why not stop worrying about finding meaning in life and, you know, live life instead?

But, as I said earlier, we’re from the midwest.  We are incapable of understanding this coastal melancholia.  Perhaps that means we’re somehow incomplete or there’s something wrong with us.  But you know, pondering that question might make us sad for no purpose at all, so why ponder it?  If a person has that kind of free-time, that’s why God invented the modern novel.  (Or Cervantes invented it, depending on your view.)

*Some women search for meaning too, but we’re mostly too busy.  Second shift and mental load, dontcha know.

Do you spend a lot of time searching for meaning?  Do you think doing so affects people’s happiness levels?  Do you think this is something mainly done on the coasts (particularly the West Coast), and if so, why are there regional differences?

Ask the grumpies: A two-body problem solution?

Tenured rock star in the humanities (we picked this name for her) asks:

Here’s my advice question. It’s a big one but you guys seem smart about thinking through decisions rationally and I think you and your readership might have some valuable thoughts. My husband and I are trying to decide whether to move.  I am a recently-tenured assoc prof in a humanities discipline at a fancy private R1 university. I get paid well (for a humanities prof) and have modest research funds and a sweet teaching load.

My husband is the trailing spouse. He has been working as academic staff here in a job he does not like. His humanities field is insanely competitive (200+ applicants for every job; he has been a finalist 4 times). Meanwhile he has published a book with an extremely reputable academic press, published some articles, and started working in the field of digital humanities — doing his own new research project this way, teaching a class in it, and starting up a DH working group on campus. All of this on top of his fulltime academic staff job and with zero support from the school.

This year he was successful on the job market and got a TT offer from a second-tier, but very solid, public university in a neighboring state. It is too far to commute and this school is willing to bring me in with tenure as a spousal hire. We both like where we currently live [ed:  A major city] and my brother and sister-in-law live in the same town. Second-tier but solid school is in a less-cool but still entirely serviceable and incredibly affordable large city (apartment here — with 2 kids — and big house there, etc.). We will still have our yuppie necessities: whole foods, trader joes, farmer’s markets, CSAs, bike paths, a bunch of cultural institutions, etc.

We feel like, given the humanities job market, we may never again have the chance at two TT jobs (we have, after all, been trying for 6 years), so this is a huge opportunity. But I can’t quite decide how important it is to be at an R1 and have that status, versus having both of us welcomed and supported at this other less-prestigious place.  My husband’s current job is not only totally unenjoyable but is a career dead-end. We are trying to negotiate something better for him at R1, but it will not be and will never be a TT job b/c they just don’t play that way.

I’m currently grief-stricken because of health stuff going on with my Mom and I’m finding it incredibly hard to think clearly and to separate out reasonable fear of change/moving from that grief from trust-your-gut messages about what’s really right here.

Any thoughts from you and your readers?

This is a really tough decision, especially when you’re worried about family health matters.  Our sympathies with you and your mother.

Our first thought is that when top women in our fields (and it’s almost always women) make these moves, they generally get their top institution to allow them to try it out for a year first.  Your husband would then accept his job and you would essentially keep both jobs for a year.  Technically you would be on unpaid leave from the hot-shot job.  In a year you have a better idea of the differences between the two institutions and your own preferences.  This doesn’t always fly, but it seems to be how most of the academic couples we’ve seen changing institutions make the move.  It is very hard to give up tenure at a top school.  (Websites like Sabbaticalhomes.com can help you find temporary housing, often furnished so you don’t have to move your stuff.)

Let’s say that trying it out for a year isn’t in the cards.  From your email, we’re assuming that staying together is important, so we won’t discuss options that include living apart. For other couples, that might be a solution.  (And we’ve seen this work out too, eventually.)

The main worry leaving your awesome school is that you will get to the less good school and find out that one or both of you is miserable, or your DH doesn’t get tenure and there are fewer opportunities for him in the new town than there were in your old city.

If that happens, all is not lost, assuming that you are still awesome. Because awesome people can move again.

So you need to make sure that if you move, your new position allows you to remain awesome.

What does that mean? Well, what is the teaching load like? (Include things like number of classes, number of preps, size of classes, grading support etc.) How much sharing of ideas etc. can you do with your new department compared to what you did with your old department? What kind of resources are they giving you in terms of travel bursary, research support, etc. compared to what you had before? How are the salaries different? (And is your current department countering with a better salary for you?) The new place doesn’t have to be as amazing as the old place, but it does need to allow you to continue to be a productive and happy researcher. Get things in writing. Negotiate. Don’t just be grateful to be a spousal hire– they’re very lucky to be getting you and you need to protect yourself. You’re a tenured professor at a top school– keep that in mind!  (And no, you don’t have to be a jerk about it– you just have to politely explain why you need these things.)

One of us is at a school that has better resources than its ranking– she still has a higher teaching load than she would at a top school, but the other benefits keep her more productive than she would be at a less resource-rich school at the same rank (and it helps that the resource rich environment is attracting more colleagues in her specific field area). The other one of us is in a resource-poor environment and it’s difficult to even get travel funds. These things are important.  Teaching loads are very important.  If the new school is resource-rich, then you can mostly ignore the prestige question, but if the resources are less than abundant, then your career may be strongly negatively impacted.

I know several women who have made this kind of a move, and they’re all pretty happy. Of course, they’re also making huge salaries at the less-good universities and they have other kinds of sweetheart deals (running a center, being allowed to make new hires, etc.).  You can’t just look a the question in terms of :  one Tenured job at a fancy school vs. one Tenured/one TT job at a not as good school.  You have to look at the whole package.  (And given that you’re moving to a Public university, I am sure you’ve looked at the salary scale of people in the department that wants to hire you…)

If you do decide to stay put… I’m sure your DH knows this, but given that you live in a major city with several universities, he should be networking with folks in those departments… if they like him enough they might be convinced to write a job description for him one of these years.  You can also go on the market yourself to places that have good spousal hiring policies, though it sounds like you’ve been doing so.

Good luck with your decision and best wishes to your family!

#2 would like to add that I support everything above and those are great points.  Given everything you’ve said, I think you should definitely go for it, just do itte, as CPP would say (keeping in mind the options above about trying to take a year of leave, negotiating for more resources, etc.).  I think whatever you decide can work out well for you and your family.  hang in there.  #1 is more ambivalent… the resources available at the new place are important, as is the counter-offer given by the current place.  #2  adds:  time for lots and lots of negotiation with BOTH schools.  Play them against each other.  If DH can get a lectureship, then stay!  #1 says:  Yes, tenure isn’t everything, but being productive is.  Letterhead is also nice.

Grumpy Nation:  TRS needs your help!  What advice do you have for her?  What should she be thinking about in making her decision?

Must every weekend day have planned activities?: A deliberately controversial post

Laura Vandekam has been pushing planning things on weekends.  Not doing chores, of course, but something Fun!  Something you can look forward to All Week!  Don’t waste a single weekend day!

I’m as type-A a planning person as almost anybody (I suspect #2 isn’t), but I get a little angry at the thought of someone taking away my occasional (more frequent now) completely unplanned weekend day (and #2 even more so) because somehow that’s supposed to make me happier.  It’s mine!  You can’t have it!  You can’t make me get dressed!

Planning requires mental load.  It requires looking at the clock.  It requires not being able to be completely relaxed.  It means if something comes up you have to make a choice and lose an option instead of just going with the flow.  It may even require getting out of bed at a certain time (and certainly requires getting out of bed at some point) and putting on day clothes.

Oh, but it could be something as simple as going for a jog by yourself (whose idea of fun is THAT?) or having a friend drop by to socialize or going to church.  All of these options require  *effort*.  All require putting on clothes.  What could be better than lazing around the house in one’s pajamas?  Not having to put on pants unless and until one feels like it?

But if you were a sports fan (we’re not), you wouldn’t resent having to go  to your favorite sports team’s game if you had tickets?  Well, actually, I am a big fan of many kinds of arts (definitely not sports… especially not ones that involve sitting outside to watch), but I do resent having to remember to go, having to make sure I’m dressed appropriately, having to deal with driving and parking, and having to stay up past my bedtime.  Plus, since we live in a small town, all such events tend to be on weekday nights anyway.  If I want to enjoy a weekend arts event, that requires driving into the city, something that is a major production so we only do it about once a month.  And we generally need to have the next day off to recover… doing nothing… so as to hit Monday ready to work again.

In fact, there aren’t many things in this small town that I want to do more than laze about at home with my family.  Maybe even *gasp* doing chores.  Because doing chores on the weekend together is actually kind of fun, even though it couldn’t possibly be, and even though chores should be crammed into the weekdays instead or hired out (nobody touches my underpants who isn’t related to me!).  We’re even a bit tired of things to do in the nearest real city (there’s only so many times one can see each museum and zoo and park) and have been considering exploring farther away large cities.

Now, when we were living in a city, it was much easier to have low-key planned activities every day without having to worry about stress or the clock.  We could walk to the Saturday farmer’s market, we could walk to a sushi place and a frozen yogurt place and to the library (which was even open on Sunday!).  The weather also tended to stay in the 2-digit range which made it easier to take advantage of such things.  And there were lots of untried restaurants and free activities a short drive away on the weekends (when traffic wasn’t as bad).  The bar to doing things was lower and they didn’t have to be truly planned with a set time.  Even so, the occasional weekend day off always ended with my partner saying, “I had a good day today.”  And I would reply, “Me too.”

Occasionally when I get cabin fever we’ll take an unplanned day and just get in the car and drive!  Those lead to fun times too, even if completely spur of the moment.  Sadly this part of the country has fewer bakeries and ice cream shops per capita than other parts of the country in which we have lived.  But we still find the occasional random tea shop or pie place.

Now, we’re not saying you should never do anything on the weekend.  We do something most weekends.  But we also cherish our days off.  The ones where we don’t get up until late (totally wasting the morning!) and the answer to, “Did we have anything planned today?” (or if partner is asking, “Do we have anywhere we need to be at?”) is “No.”  If you’re not happy with doing nothing, by all means, start planning stuff.  But if the thought of someone making you do something more on weekends makes you feel a bit possessive, then by golly, don’t force yourself to plan more activities.  Listen to your boredom and listen to your stress, and you should be ok.

There’s a reason many religions celebrate a Sabbath.

Vive la no pants!

Do you think every day of your life should be planned so that you get things done and always have something to look forward to?

Personal assistants and other outsourcing

Life with a baby is suddenly hectic again, especially when you’re used to living with an elementary schooler who can entertain hirself pretty well.  Especially that whole not sleeping thing.

One thing that is recommended for we middle-class and upper-middle-class folks when time is of the essence is outsourcing.  Pay someone to clean, to do yard-work, child-care, and all the little errands that need to be done.  The higher the value of our time, the more we should be outsourcing.  Someone else should buy groceries or take things to the recycling center!  Get a personal assistant to take care of the honey-do list.

In the past, when DC1 was tiny, we did on occasion hire a college student, generally one of our mother’s helpers or a friend of theirs, to just go through our to-do list and get things done.  For less than $100, a huge amount of crap weighing on our minds for weeks, months, or even years, would get done over the course of a weekend and could stop nagging us.

Any time we have any sort of plumbing problem, we call our amazing plumbers, secure in the knowledge that for the cost of $80 and parts everything will be better.  It just isn’t worth it to try to fix it ourselves when we know they’ll do it right the first time without us getting dirty or wasting our time rushing to Home Depot.  (My sister, who makes way more than I do, recently fixed her garbage disposal, which would have been fine if her housemate hadn’t not realized it was broken for over a week.  The disgust factor alone would have be getting out my checkbook.)

Outsourcing can be awesome.

On the other hand, DH is currently doing all of our yard-work.  We’d love to outsource it, but after going through something like 7 different companies we just gave up.  Either they try to cheat us by charging more than was agreed to, or they run over our blueberry bushes with the mower, or they do a great job for a few years, then graduate and sell the company to someone who mows over our blackberry bushes.  Finding new people we can trust who won’t kill our lawn is just way more trouble than it’s worth.

Similarly with cleaning folks… you can get a crew who will cost an arm and a leg and sometimes do a great job and sometimes suck, just depending on who is on the team that week, or you can get a one-person company.  The really good people everyone recommends aren’t taking on new clients.  The folks who are taking on new clients do a great job… at first, but then start turning your countertops yellow (despite the repeated explanations about bleach) and scraping your hardwood floors while ignoring things they used to do a good job on.  They get complacent.  And so, we just live in squalor.  Squalor uses fewer chemicals too.

Since DC1 started going to preschool and our mother’s helpers and previous folks graduated, it became difficult to find someone to do personal assisting kinds of work.  Sure we could advertise, but interviewing folks for something that’s only going to save the time of a weekend…well, we might as well take the goodwill stuff to goodwill ourselves.  Or just put off that chore.

And let’s not even go into tax implications and making sure the help is legal so when the President of the United States tries to appoint you to a high level position there isn’t that as a reason to block the candidacy.

So yes, outsourcing can be awesome, but good help is hard to find.

I am looking forward to having mother’s helpers around again.  In the past they cleaned the kitchen while DC1 nursed.  A small part of their jobs, but one that made me happy.  I’m hoping for the same with DC2.  Hopefully we’ll find some awesome childcare help.  Paying above market wage seemed to help last time and will hopefully help this time too.

Do you outsource?  Why or why not?  What do you outsource?  Have you had trouble finding good people you can trust?  Where do you find great people for outsourcing?

What are your priorities?

Kids, career, other…

Within those, what are your priorities?

If you feel like you don’t have enough time for what you want to do, what can you outsource?  What can you stop doing?  What can you de-prioritize?

If there’s not enough money to outsource, where can you get the money?  Or where can you get the time?

Don’t feel like you have to break the stick: work around the stick, let it bend, change its environment.  Figure out which sacrifices are easiest to make, and which aren’t worth making.

I get it… it’s hard with a special snowflake or a demanding career, and maybe you want to give up the career or maybe you want to keep striving in it.  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  I haven’t watched a tv show in weeks… we still have netflix from months ago.  Right now those aren’t my priorities.  Maybe you need a housecleaner or to let your house become messy.  Maybe your partner needs to step up and take on some responsibilities, or your kids.  Maybe it’s time to hire a college student to chauffeur or give enrichment lessons or tutor or take the kids to the playground (my colleagues do all of these).

#2 chimes in:  lazy housework FTW.  I find I even have to prioritize within categories, e.g., food.  Do I want it low-calorie, high-protein, easy, fast, cheap, full of veggies, locally grown, tasty?  All these things can sometimes work together but all of them at once will probably conflict.  So I have to focus on only one or two at a time.  Right now I’m looking at calories but also trying to eat lots of protein.  So I put more emphasis on those, and ignore the cost of the food (and some other things).

Retirement savings vs. extensive travel now?  What’s worth spending on?  Fund retirement or save for a house?  (Both!)

Priorities are hard!  Making decisions initially will drain some willpower, but once you have a system set up, it should (!) simplify everything.

Musings on why weight targets bother me

Laura Vanderkam recently had a post about some fitness guru who, when she didn’t have kids, didn’t understand why moms didn’t just buck up and get fit.  Now that she has kids, she says she understands better.  The Huffington post blogger Lisa Belkin agrees.

Vanderkam, on the other hand, dislikes the way we say things are more difficult so some people don’t try, and she didn’t have a problem making 30-45 min of exercise every day a priority.  Therefore everyone should make it a priority.  (Perhaps using the morning.)

I didn’t understand why that didn’t quite sit with me until houseofpeanut chimed in and said she didn’t like the argument “I was able to do this so everyone should do it.”  Right.   People do have different utility functions and different budget constraints.  That’s why we can have comparative advantage.  Some things come easier to me or Laura Vanderkam because well, we’re in that 1% of smartness that Femomhist talked about.  And for some reason, possibly nature, possibly nurture, we’re determined and brave and so on.  Even though I don’t understand why some people can’t just will things to be so or buckle down, I’ve come to realize that doing that is more difficult for many people.  (And yes, people also have different priorities, but what irritates people like me, and no doubt Vanderkam, is the people who constantly complain about something, indicating it is a priority, but keep not doing anything to fix it.  But I’ve come to think that perhaps it really is harder for them for some reason I cannot fathom.  Not everyone is type A.)

But that’s not what really bugged me about the post.  What really bugged me about the post was Vanderkam’s update of her goal to get to 125 lb.

Should that bother me?  Why does that bother me?

We’ve already posted a long series on how other people’s values and hobbies aren’t judging our own.  I don’t really think that Vanderkam wanting to get to 125 lb is judging my lack of desire to see my ribcage. We’ve already said that neither of us cares much for exercise (though when it matters, say someone else’s life is at stake, or the doctor says it’s either exercise or give up pasta, we’re both doing pretty well), but that we don’t mind other people who enjoy exercise.  We don’t have any problem with people whose hobby is to run marathons, even though that is unlikely to ever be a hobby for either of us.  More power to them.

But it really irritates me when people say they have a weight goal that they want to get to, especially when that weight goal is low.  (Note:  125lb is within my healthy weight range, but at the low end.)  I probably wouldn’t be bothered if her stated weight goal were, “A healthy weight” or even “150 lb,” since I tend to think of that as the top of the healthy range for people of average height and I’m short so I have a hard time thinking above average.  I definitely am not bothered by goals to exercise any amount of time per day and to eat healthy foods.  Those are good process goals.

Additionally, she says she is like 1.5 lbs from a target weight.  That’s nonsense.  That’s within measurement error of a scale.  It’s within normal fluctuation of a female body throughout the month.  Are you really measuring 1.5 lbs?  (The pregnant one of us has been changing 4lb within the course of a day!)  What does 125 really mean and is focusing on that target rather than fitting into a larger range really something one wants to spend a lot of time thinking about?

Currently I live in a red state where people weighing more than 125lb is the majority.  That, of course, includes me, who probably hasn’t been 125lb since I was 14 and about 4 inches shorter.  I don’t think the majority is particularly vocal on the subject of weight here– perhaps on the subject of pork products, but not the subject of weight itself.  We just don’t think about it that much.  So I don’t think I’ve been swept up in that, looking down on skinny elitists.

No, I think the irritation comes from the time I spent in a city in which the majority of the relevant population probably is well under 125lb (again, not me, though again, I was within the healthy range) and women were constantly obsessing about their weight and their numbers and saying, “I’m soooo fat,” especially the super skinny ones.  So much emphasis on appearance and so many people who do unhealthy things to get to weights that aren’t even attractive.  The vocal majority and I was a member of the persecuted minority… persecuted by having to listen to ultra-skinny people obsess about their (“too high”) weight all the fricking time, everywhere.  And although we’re not saying Vanderkam obsesses in such a way, she’s using the words, terms, and goals that they use, so I’m instantly reminded of that again.

Using weight as a goal isn’t healthy.  There are a lot of very unhealthy ways to lose weight (when I last left the previously mentioned city, I believe the liquid cleanse was back in… or maybe it was hcg injections).  There are a lot of healthy things that cause you to gain weight.  Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less space.  I’d rather be lean and muscular than scrawny and malnourished, even if it meant weighing more.  When people talk about weight target goals, they’re ignoring that and putting the emphasis on the outcome rather than the process.  And the outcome is one that doesn’t make sense.  It’s not like saying you have an outcome goal to bench a certain amount or run a certain distance– those are directly correlated with health and strength and discipline.  Getting your weight down can be good or bad depending on how you do it.

And when people put that emphasis on appearance and weight, it contributes to a culture in which appearance and weight are important, nobody feels good about their weight, and some people start turning to unhealthy diets and obsessions.  Talking about it like that has negative spillovers on everybody else.  Seriously, it does: here’s an article.   “Results are discussed in terms of the ways in which fat talk may act as an injunctive norm, reinforcing women’s body-related distress. ”  One of the commenters on the Vanderkam post rightly linked this kind of talk to the patriarchy.  Why do women have to be so appearance and weight-obsessed?  What advantages do men gain by not having that constantly weighing on their mental load?  Even if the outcome of the conversation is “Hey I’m pretty skinny and hot!” it still steals processor cycles to even think about it at all.

Of course, people have a right to talk about such things if they want.  Nobody has an obligation to not cause negative spillovers on other people or to fight the patriarchy.  And maybe a person knows what weight they feel healthiest at given healthy exercise, diet, and so on.  (So why not focus on the process?  Exercising 30-45 min/day is healthy as is eating healthy foods and listening to your hunger, and it’s important to have a healthy process that’s sustainable no matter what weight goal you’ve hit.)

But it still bugs me.  And I’m glad I don’t live in that city anymore, even though I wish we had more public transportation and walkable areas.  And I wish they didn’t put so much sugar in things around these parts.  We could stand to focus a little more on health here, but I don’t think focusing on specific weight targets is the way to go about it.

Related:  chacha discusses BMI.

What do you all think?  Should we be talking about weight and BMI targets?  Or should we stick to health and fitness?  Or just talk about whatever we want and tune out what annoys us?  Are there spillovers when we talk about these things, and is that a real problem?

Things we wonder about

  • Ungla Schluppe… who are you?
  • Perhaps a zen koan:  If you are deluded into thinking that you are happy, are you really not happy?
  • Is something always going to be annoying you and there’s no point in getting rid of annoyances, or do annoyances hit randomly and pile up so you should get rid of them ASAP?
  • How do you get to graduate school and still not know the difference between loose and lose?
  • Why don’t we see kids blowing bubble gum bubbles anymore?  Or really, chewing gum much at all.

Grumpasaurs, do you have solutions for us?  Or other ponderable imponderables?


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