Saturday, June 13, 2009

Being Buff

For six months now, I've been exercising...mostly least four times a week. I've stretched and bowed and bended and beaten all the white metal hydraulic dragons, and I've walked miles and miles of digital hills to run my heart rate up to 85 percent of the recommended maximum for weight loss.

And I've lost--five pounds! Yippy Skippy! At this rate I'll be down a whole dress size by 2011. . . and after only five hundred more hours of slugging away. Thank you,German genes!

But I think I know what has happened. I've gotten in shape alright. It's just that the shape is way, way inside--right next to the bones. I can feel those steel muscles as I flex them. I know the strength and power in my stretches.
Way in there, I'm buff.
You just can't see it, for all the marshmallow-ish surface being pushed out by those bulging muscles. One day I'll be standing close to a campfire and it will all melt and run out my ankles and people will be amazed--by the size of the puddle around my feet and by my well-toned, sleek, physique!


Actually, last night I squealed as I noticed that my ring was loose. "My ring is loose! It's slipping on my finger! Do you think this actually means I'm losing weight? And if so...WHY JUST IN MY FINGERS?

Then it hit me--all this blogging, and facebook junk, and e-mail--no wonder my fingers are buff!


One of my facebook friends--and this is a real person, a daughter-in-law to one of our parishioners--was involved in a sudden industrial accident which took her right hand and part of her arm. We got the call three nights ago, late. Turtle went to stay with our friends while they waited for news from Colorado, where the surgery was taking place. In a time like this, when you want to be there comforting the family and holding the little one--who doesn't know what is happening but frets because she feels all the tension--it helps to have friends who come pray with you.

I could not reach her, miles away, to stand silently in hospital; nor could I offer to keep the little girl, or bring a pumpkin cake. So I went down to the local blood drive and donated a pint of blood. I know. I know. This is Oklahoma blood, and she took Colorado...but at a time like this it helps to give.

She's going to be fine, because she has exceptional courage and an attitude that says, "It happened. It's not the end of the world. Let me dress myself. I want to look at artificial limbs and start learning how to use them." Not every young wife and mother would have responded so stoically. Still, I'll keep praying for her, because the day may come when, for a moment, she will feel overwhelmed. You pray too. Her name is Amanda.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Move Over, Online Generation!

I'm witnessing a curious phenomenon--adults are taking over facebook! First it was a college ambition--They went wild, multiplying to themselves friends in a frenzy, reflecting in their moods their rise or drop in popularity as they were ranked on facebook. Then it hit high school and junior high; parents bemoaned the fact that kids saw their friends all day at school, texted them all the way home, and messaged them on facebook until suppertime. They posted pictures all over the web, weird pictures of themselves making faces and trying to look like teen-aged pop stars in the dull blue light of a barrio.

Finally, a few brave adults ventured into the uncharted land and began to connect with its youthful, zany population. Now there is an explosion of mature voices in the land as we discover the excitement of "finding old friends" on facebook. I've 'friended' my aunts, my cousins, friends of my parents, people I haven't seen in thirty years. Now I can stop wondering what ever happened to them. I can ask them.

Not that interaction consumes all one's time; there do seem to be facebook rules. For instance, you don't let people know that you have looked at all their pictures the first day you friend them; that would seem like excessive interest. Wait a week or two, then let them know. You don't message them more than once a day, unless, of course they are asking questions, and you don't overwhelm them with requests for them to join this cause or another. If you do, they will probably hide all posts from you and you will be relegated to the obscure state of yelling in a soundproofed room.

The danger of facebook lies in over-involvement, not just with people, but with games: At the bottom corner of the screen, there are "applications". These are time-wasters, delicious little games that capitalize on one's whims and desires. Love to collect things but don't have room? There are collections online, virtual collections that you can keep in your computer to look at whenever you please: gemstones, painted eggs, puzzle pieces, butterflies; they never need dusting. Wish you could plant a garden and watch things grow but don't have the energy to actually hoe the weeds and till the ground? Well, there is Farmtown to satisfy that need--virtually. Plant and harvest. There are no weeds, no drought, and pigs that never get into the melon crop. There are word games and math games and engineering adventures. Like to take quizzes about the most important person in your world--namely yourself? Never fear, there are a hundred quizzes you can take to see what movie star, profession, or garage sale item you are most like. The list goes on and on... I could post about it indefinitely...except that I have sunflowers that need harvesting, a butterfly collection to enhance, and Pathwords is calling my name. (I can't believe that one of my eighth-grade students is still ranked higher than I am!)