Friday, February 26, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Volume 6

(The idea of 7 Quick Takes Friday comes from blogger Jennifer Fulwiler, who hosts it weekly at her site, Conversion Diary.)


The other day, while at the drugstore, I noticed something interesting.

Colors of cosmetic items marketed to women tend to be named after sweet treats.

Cherry Truffle. Dark Chocolate. Golden Praline. (I may or may not have been shopping for haircolor at the time.)

Obviously these marketeers know what they're doing. I mean, of course "Truffle" sounds much more appetizing than "Medium Brown."

(Here, I could launch into a big discussion of how this demonstrates women's complicated relationship with food and beauty... but I won't.)

Something about seeing several colors with "praline" in their names reminded me of the movie Where the Heart Is, where Lexie (Ashley Judd) questions Novalee (Natalie Portman) on her choice of baby names:

Lexie: Americus? What kind of a name is Americus?
Novalee: I wanted her to have a strong name.
Lexie: Well, I guess I shouldn't talk. I named my kids after snack foods: Brownie, Praline, Cherry and Baby Ruth.


Speaking of beauty products...

Carolyn McCulley wrote a great article on Botox and national security. She makes excellent points about Americans' obsession with looking young and how terrorists are taking advantage of the resulting Botox market.

More importantly, McCulley examines that obsession with youthful beauty in the light of biblical truth.

Serious stuff.

Still, my favorite part of the article is this wry observation:
I write this post with a bit of ambivalence, knowing the money I spend at various salons. That said, I have never been Botoxed. My dermatologist did inform me a few years ago that it was time to start, because it would keep my fine lines from becoming deep wrinkles. I frowned (deepening those lines) and shook my head. There was no way I was going to stick a neurotoxin in my face, I announced. I was sure that in 20 years, we'd discover why that was a bad idea. She looked at me placidly and said, "I hope not, because I have a face full of it." Maybe she was looking at me in wide-eyed horror, but I couldn't tell.

OK, so maybe I should talk briefly about women's complex relationship with food and beauty, if only to observe that this month marks the 27th anniversary of the death of Karen Carpenter.

Although many of us knew people with eating disorders before then, her death brought national attention to the issue. It didn't fix it, but it brought it into popular vocabulary.

But giving a problem a name is a far cry from solving it.


Like everyone else, I've been watching a little Olympic action.

When I was younger, my favorite events were all of the skating variety (figure skating especially, but also speed skating and hockey). Somehow in recent years, my tastes have shifted, and I find myself enjoying the skiing events more this time.

But I've never paid much attention to curling. Well, except the winter I lived within walking distance of a lake just outside Salzburg. Watching the little old Austrian men curling on the frozen pond was very entertaining.

The 2010 Olympic winter games may have changed the face of curling forever. The Norwegian curling team has introduced a fashion element that puts even the most outfit-obsessed figure skater to shame.

If you haven't seen them, prepare yourself for a treat. And maybe put on a pair of sunglasses.

Those argyle pants definitely make a bold statement.

I believe they're saying, "Hey, golfers! You're not the only athletes who can wear crazypants!"

(I'm so tempted to make a joke about the Norwegian team being victims of circus pants... but I will refrain.)


I'm still a fan of the figure skating events. It's the one time I can use words like salchow and lutz in conversation.

Not that I have a clue what I'm talking about.


One of my goals for 2010 is to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. A few years ago, our family bought a share in a nearby CSA farm. We definitely got our money's worth, and that summer and fall we had plenty of fresh veggies, herbs and salad greens.

This year I'm considering doing it again. If you've tried this, what did you like most about it? What did you dislike? And what did you do with the veggies that were more... challenging... to the family tastebuds?


I like movies. A lot. And I like quoting from them. (See take #1.)

Hardly a day goes by that I don't quote or paraphrase from a movie, either out loud or in my head. (OK, maybe I could go a week without quoting. If I were in a coma.)

One day a couple of weeks ago, something brought a movie quote to mind, and I found myself musing about this strange phenomenon.

And then a thought hit me:

If only I could bring scripture to mind as easily.



  1. My husband and I always laugh about #5, because every Olympics we suddenly become judges who know what we're talking about!

    Ah, #7...good point! I've started having my children memorize Scripture. I figure if they can memorize songs from musicals and even entire scenes, they can memorize the Word of God.

  2. I think the CSA definitely helps with eating more veggies. It is daunting to buy vegetables in the large quantities necessary to meet all your recommended servings. 5x2x7=70 servings per week for two people, even if that's partially fruit that number seems overwhelming. For me it is easier when the CSA gives me all those servings. I'm still overwhelmed but in a lesser way. The problem is that I really get more than 70 servings from the CSA. It took me until late last summer to cotton on to the fact that I have to IMMEDIATELY freeze at least half of what I bring home from the CSA. That way I have less wastage and the vegetables last well into the winter. I'm pretty sure it's way cheaper to get all this food from the CSA than to buy it from the store, too.

    As for the strange foods...
    I know that is is harder for me to cook the strange veggies because I don't usually use recipes, and my internal recipe box does not know how to cook bok choy and kohlrabi and Spanish Radishes (not to mention ALL those greens). I tried to counteract this by buying several vegetable cookbooks, attending cooking class on the farm, and following the CSA yahoo group. It worked to an extent but I still ate all my tomatoes while leaving mounds of kohlrabi untouched. I expect there is a learning curve.

    I think you should join up again!


  3. Jenny: Thanks for visiting the blog -- I hope you'll come back!

    Racie: Thanks for your comment. I had no problem using the bok choy (mmmm... stir fry), but the kohlrabi looked and tasted like something from another planet. I like the idea of freezing half immediately (although it wouldn't work so well for salad greens).

  4. I've found that scripture is much easier for me to remember when put to song, it gives me a context to remember by. Thats probably why I am so good at remembering lines from movies, I have a scene in my head to go with it. It hard for me to remember just the words themselves.

  5. One of my biggest pet peeves used to be that women's deodorants had weirdly named scents like "spring rain". In my opinion, spring rain smells like mud or wet cement, and the deodorant did not smell like that. Where did they come up with that name? I now care less about deodorant scents, but I am no less confused by where the names for this stuff comes from. Why do women so often want to smell like food -or look like food? I'm not sure what it says about our culture that we find foods so sexy that we use them cosmetically. A guy once told me that someone should make meat scented perfumes, which he would like better than fruit. Disturbing, definitely, but is it any more disturbing than sweat treat hair colors?

  6. regarding: salad greens. It's true that you can't freeze them. You just have to eat a LOT of salads and freeze more of the other stuff. :) And when you are too overwhelmed you have to find other people to give them away to. And have people over for dinner a lot.

  7. Racie: that rant was a thing of beauty (no pun intended)! My favorite part was your spelling of "sweet"... especially in the context of Spring Rain deodorant... :)

    Regarding meat-scented perfumes -- I hadn't heard that one, but I'd heard most men especially like vanilla. I sometimes wonder why we don't just dab a little vanilla behind our ears and call it good.


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