ICYMI

So this happened.  Paine Field is a couple of miles from my house, and I’ve seen hundreds or more of these small planes fly over my head, not to mention the Boeing big boys. I’ve seen Air Force One, in fact, a couple of times. You think we don’t imagine this happening all the time? No one hurt, so we’ll just be thankful and wonder about the odds. And we’ll look at those planes a little differently from now on.

And this is neither here nor there, but I finally saw Arrival

It’s funny; I wrote about going to the movies last week. How I don’t go anymore, really, and Arrival is a good example. It sounded interesting when it came out, and I nagged my family a bit about going with me, but it never happened. Then, after it was released on home video, I repeated above nagging with no serious takers. It’s just hard to find the time, as fun as it might be.

It struck a nerve with my daughter, though. The combination of thought-provoking science fiction and motherhood guaranteed it, and while I might have just rented the film myself and watched eventually, I waited until my trip to Austin to catch it.

For someone who grew up with Slaughterhouse-5, the theme was familiar, which didn’t matter a bit; I thought it was pitch-perfect and original to boot. I was mostly amazed to see a female protagonist, and such a meaty role. I’ve always been a fan of Amy Adams, and I imagine she wanted this one badly. She isn’t anywhere close to having a slowdown in her career, but I can’t help thinking this was the role of a lifetime.

I’ve never stopped paying attention to what’s going in the world; I’ve been this way since I can remember. It probably was a reaction to tumultuous times when I was a kid, and then just a quirk or whatever of my personal psychology.

I just rarely engage the news these days. Some of that was just shock that Mr. Trump won the election in November, and my need to detach for a bit so I didn’t freak out. That changed eventually to curiosity, but I’ve never felt the need to toss in my pennies.

I’m also pretty comfortable with having my fingers on the cultural pulse, with plenty of caveats. I knew about sous-vide, for example, even if I had no particular interest or desire to check it out. I had to eat the result first.

So I’m aware of the 5:2 Diet, or whatever it’s called. Read an article this morning about it. I’m not interested in a diet, or losing weight, as weird as that feels, but I kept nodding my head anyway. It sounds like it’s not any more effective than anything else, and that motivation is really, always, the key. If I’ve got this program right, a couple of times a week with this plan you’re supposed to fast, or at least eat a fraction of a normal intake. The idea is that for some people, it might be easier to just restrict your diet severely for a day, then eat normally for three days, then another fast, and so on.

It’s all psychological, which is why I was nodding. The analogies create themselves. If you spend about 20 bucks a day, every day, and you want to save $35 a week, you could spend $15 a day and get there. Or you could spend your $20 five times a week and spend $2.50 on the other two days. Whatever floats your boat.

Studies show that this diet doesn’t work any better than others, which makes sense because they all work. We’re the ones who don’t.

I’ve been watching the scale for 40 years. What started out, when I was still a teenager, as vanity and an awareness that I could easily put on the pounds kept me coming back to those creeping numbers. It didn’t stop me from getting pretty fat, and I’m hesitant to call it obsession, only because that’s a clinical term and it can be horribly debilitating for some people.

And now, when vanity has cooled down to just a vague wish to be presentable and not embarrass myself, I’m in this weird, bizarro situation in which I still worry a little about weight but for exactly the opposite reason. A few pounds have gone away since January, not all that troubling and mostly because I was in an awkward place in terms of clothes. I’m around 165 pounds, down from 170, which is really, statistically, an ideal spot to end up, but I don’t care for my reflection that much. I look frail, to my eyes, or at least skinny. That’s vanity, too, but I’m not 20 years old and there are now other things to worry about. I don’t have wiggle room if I get sick and my appetite diminishes. I think about that a lot.

Just not as much as I think about planes. At least for the moment..

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