February 27, 2007

The American Wedding Story

What a strange place to find a voice of reason in this day and age. I was perusing a copy of The New York Times Women's Fashion Spring 2007 that happened to be lying around at work during my dinner break. I know, I know, what would a woman such as myself be doing looking through such a magazine. Well, for starters, it's been a busy day and I needed to de-stress a bit with some mindless flipping of pretty pages. And, secondly, although I find most fashion trends to be highly impractical and un-wearable, I do like to keep a sort of idea of what the current fashion is in the vain hope that for once they might have actually designed clothing that can be worn by real people. But I digress... (hey I am allowed, it is my blog after all!)
As I flipped idly through the ad's and the blurbs about this designer or that, my attention was caught by this title: "The Wow Vows: When it Comes to Weddings Has Every Modern Woman Lost Her Mind?" If you haven't read the article (click the above title if you would like to) it is an overview of a book titled "One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding" by Rebecca Mead that (the article says) will be available in May. I have to agree that weddings in this country are extremely out of hand. And maybe, as the author suggests, it has become so because of the horrible failure rate of marriages in this country. As she states "No one can blame the younger generation for seeking talismanic protection against committing the mistakes of their elders, and the fantasy that the future of a marriage might be secured by the conduct of a wedding is a poignant and persuasive one." Maybe... I tend to think that the reason weddings are so extravagant is because people in our culture have become so selfish. Women want men to be perfect fairy-tale princes for them (I am not quite sure what the men are looking for in these princesses quite honestly, not being a man and all). To many women, true love means never having to compromise their wishes, never having to sacrifice or deny themselves for the sake of anyone or anything. It is very much a "Sex and the City" kind of attitude. As the article goes on its author touches on this point and leaves the reader with a short blurb about the poor groom. I especially liked the last few lines: "Is he thrilled to be cast in the role of the Prince? Is he congratulating himself on having won the fair heroine? Or is he wondering what he's gotten himself into and whether his wife will grow up anytime soon? Is he asking himself how hard it's going to be to make a princess happy? I sure hope he had fun at the stag party."

February 19, 2007

Chocolate good for the brain?

It is only within the last few years that I have developed more than just a passing appreciation for chocolate. As a child I associated chocolate with Hershey's Kisses, Snicker's bars, and various other popular treats. Oh they were good, don't get me wrong, but nothing to go gaga over and certainly nothing I wouldn't pass up for black licorice or wintergreen flavored Lifesavers. After reading a food blog or two I recently began experimenting with various, more exotic and rich, kinds of chocolate (the kind you break a tiny piece off, pop it in your mouth, let it slowly melt on your tongue, and sigh in pure bliss!) So, to get to the point of this post, I read a little news blurb about the beneficial effects of flavanols found in some kinds of cocoa. The only part about this article that bugged me a little was that the study was sponsored by Mars Inc. While I am a fan of good chocolate, I am not in favor of tampering with things chemically (or otherwise unnaturally) for the sake of "improving" beneficial effects. But maybe I am reading too much into things here...