Like a piece of meat

One of the inadvertent byproducts of belonging to a gym like Gold's is that you observe women in all shapes and sizes (men too, of course). Many dress appropriately for a good workout -- supportive top, comfortable pants or shorts and sneakers. But it's the women who look like they're getting ready to be judged in a wet t-shirt contest that really catch your eye.

And why shouldn't they? That's the whole point, right -- to catch your eye? Some women are less subtle than others in their efforts. Take, for instance, the 40-something with a petite frame and large chest (natural I'm sure) who wears the same tiny white shorts and tight, pink top night after night with "IT GIRL" emblazoned across the front. Classy already, right? It gets better. Suspiciously, I've observed (from the back-row bicycles) that most, if not all, of her weight exercises are some sort of upper-body, opening-of-the-chest set of reps. Can't imagine why...can you?

Women like this used to infuriate me. Now they really just make me sad. This is their lot in life, to catch the eye of men. What men? It doesn't seem to matter. They just want to be looked at. But that's the end of it. How many of these men will actually make a move and ask a girl out? And do the girls even want to be asked out? In many cases, I think the answer is no to both. Because that's not the point. Getting looked at is the goal.

Isn't that ridiculously sad? Think of it as a buffet in your break-room at the office. You may be filled to the gills from the sack lunch you just ate, but once that picture-perfect pile of donuts catches your eye or you see a stack of delicious deli meats and cheeses, you'll do a double-take. As a passerby, you may not want to reach for that cheese puff, but you'll gaze for a moment and maybe even think about it. And why shouldn't you? That's the whole point, right?

Some of you women at my gym are the edible and visual equivalent to these tasty dishes (pun intended). Do you realize that any breathing man -- or woman, for that matter -- will take particular notice when your goods are on display? Human beings have eyes. We notice things that are out of the ordinary. It doesn't mean we want you or want to be you. It means we're not blind. If this is truly your sole source of affirmation in life, that's your prerogative, sad as it is. But if, on the other hand, you don't want to be treated like a piece of meat, then stop presenting yourself as one.

Baby nickname round-up

Here's how "the fam" lovingly refers to my in-utero* bundle, whose sex we do not know...

• Marmee/AKA Grandma: Ingrid or Grace Kelly (depending on the day)
• Aunt Molly McGee: Pagoda
• Uncle K: Colossus Reighton
• Daddy Superman: Sweet Pea
• Mama Lois: Little Bean

Any others I'm missing, fam?

*Thanks, Molly, for the gentle nudge that I'd used the phrase "in-vitro" instead of "in-utero." Chalk it up to Mommy Brains! And Girlfriday, Chipper makes a fine addition to the pot of nicknames :)

Barefoot and pregnant

Well, it's official: I'm a housewife. And so far, not desperate.

Last week was a flurry of last-minute duties and stressful afterthoughts. But Wednesday at about 7 p.m., I had successfully packed up my desk and cleaned off my computer at work -- a professional editor no more.

Today I am in my pajamas, babysitting an adorable 6-month-old boy and organizing my freelance work for the week. What a difference a day (or five) makes. And no, those aren't my legs and feet in the picture.

It's amazing, really, the sheer amount of stuff one accumulates over four years at one job -- thousands of iTunes files, hundreds of e-mails, dozens of mementos. Saving some but purging the others was both cathartic and surreal. It's a whole section of my life (a 40-hours-per-week section) I don't have to think about any more. This will definitely take some getting used to. But I'm up for it. And I'm excited about the opportunity to practice nesting before my own adorable bundle arrives this summer.

Thank you, God, for working this out. And thank you, Superman, for being supportive enough to let me try. Until next time...

After these messages...

..we'll be right back. I'm working on tying up loose ends from "the big leap" and will be back in blogosphere soon! In the meantime, I'll be listening to U2 and Enya while slow-cooking corn beef and cabbage. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Why, when you're one of the most beautiful and likable women in Hollywood, do you alter your looks at such a young age? In interviews, I've heard Courtney Cox Arquette talk about her insecurity with growing old. But she just looks so different now that it makes me sad.

A Dumb New World

By now you've probably read the news story about how a California court is essentially trying to criminalize home-schooling. Yes, it's as ludicrous as it sounds and no, the ruling won't stick. I read a satire on today that paints the ridiculousness better than I can.

Check it out here

Leap of faith

Yesterday I took a leap -- a big one. A leap that will turn my career and daily routine on its head. It was nerve-wracking, it was felt great. So today I am thinking of "Joe Vs. the Volcano" and the more-profound-than-it-seems line that comes right before the end:
"You jump and then you see...that's life."

Breathe it in, breathe it out

So many people are baffled by the rampant violence in this country. Just today there's yet another headline -- this time six people (including two children) were killed in Memphis. Yesterday I read about an entire family that was gunned down because the parents didn't approve of their teenage daughter's boyfriend. How many mall shootings have there been in the last year? We hear about school, and even church, snipers far too frequently.

It's got to be about more than guns.

I can't say what it's all about, but I can tell you what's not helping: Our obsession with violence. Sex used to be the sensational visual overload of choice, but now it's graphic violence. Crime shows (of which some are more guilty than others) are the highest-rated on TV. And blood-soaked dramas seem to make critics choice lists year after year.

No, I'm not blaming violence on the media. They can be no more at fault than guns. It is, afterall, people who pick up their weapons and decide to strike. I also know violence has prevailed on this planet for centuries upon centuries. But the tone and volume of the violence is different now even than when I was a kid. Have there always been twisted criminals wreaking havoc on people in disturbing ways? Yes. But the "twistedness" and coldness feels more commonplace now.

These fictionalized portrayals can't be helping. We breathe the recirculated air of violence and wonder why it fills some people's lungs like a cigarette drag. Is it any wonder that the more graphic horror movies get, the more unspeakable these real-life crimes seem? Are all of these criminals' imaginations that incredible, or do the images they inhale introduce a whole new brand of terror into their minds?

Viewers: Stop watching these disgusting atrocities on film. Filmmakers and TV studio execs: Stop making them. We see enough of this junk in the news. Do we REALLY need to watch it in our downtime? Let's think outside the box and support entertainment that doesn't have to resort to gallons of blood loss to portray drama -- they're not the same thing.

It's time for some fresh air.