Sisterly Advice

My sisters are both visiting down here in Marco Island. It’s the first time we have all been together in a long time. The have both offered some advice for my diet tips.

My sister, Phyllis, says – hollow out a half a bagel and fill the depression with low-fat cream cheese, cinnamon and sweetner. Heat it up in a toaster oven.

My sister, Peggy, says – don’t drink two margaritas in a row! These are John’s killer “Earl Gilmore Memorial Margaritas.” For the recipe, see Braisin’ Hussy. They are not nearly as much fun the next day!



It used to be that I worried over air travel. (I know. I wrote about this before.) But there seems to be all sorts of fearful traveling modes. A look at the headlines on my “My Yahoo” page confirms this – “Ford to Recall 792,000 Vehicles Due to Fire Risk ,” “Truck Plunges Off I-95 Overpass in Md,” “Rail crash carnage in Los Angeles.”

Are things getting scarier out there or do we just have more news?

Slow Down!

I was sitting in a restuarant in Grand Cayman eating a salad. After all, chubby people must be seen in public eating diet food. A woman in a bikini came in with her boyfriend and ordered a cheeseburger and french fries. I took great umbrage at this. How can this thin person eat the things I want to eat and still stay thin? So I watched her. The food came; she did nothing – not test a fry or pick at the bun or even eat the pickle. She just sat there and talked with her boyfriend. A little while later, she picked up a fry and bit the end of it off and then put it down. More talking. Then she spent some time cutting the cheeseburger in half. A small bite. More talking. This went on for quite a while. Then they left. She maybe ate a third of it. It was all I could do to keep from running over and snatching some of those fries.

The moral of the story is if you eat more slowly you will either 1) get the sensation of fullness before you gulp down everything on the plate, 2) the food will get so cold and unappetizing that you won’t want to eat it, or 3) you’ll realize you are late for your next engagement and have to leave before you can finish what’s on your plate.



I despair for the lowly adverb; the modifier of verbs and adjectives. The media will be the death of this once proud form. “I’m feelin’ real good!, “Man, that wide receiver ran quick,” “That train was running too slow.” This is a scary dumbing down of the English (American) language. I was listening to commentary by Brad Gilbert on ESPN2 today. He is the former tennis coach for Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick; he is obviously not their former English coach. Gilbert has definitely decided that the adverb is obsolete. It made listening to him cringeful. Examine your language, are you using the -ly words?



I was paging through the site looking for a word for today. (Is paging the correct term?) I came across the word demagogue. Here’s a word whose meaning has mutated over the years.

demagogue – A leader who tries to stir up people by appeals to emotion, prejudice, etc., in order to achieve power. (
But originally it meant a leader of the common people.

The root of demagogue is the same as the root for democracy. It comes from the Greek demagogos meaning a leader of the people, which derives from demos, the people + agogos, leading. ( BTW, -cracy is from the Greek, -kratia, meaning power or rule.)

Solid vs. Liquid

As I’ve said before, I am not really a sweet-eater. Diet tips about eating whole fruit instead of juice just didn’t seem to apply. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it’s true. Would I rather have a glass of potato juice or a baked potato? Which would be more filling? Well, that’s an easy answer. Carrot juice or a carrot? I’d go for the carrot. So, if you get up in the morning and have a glass of orange juice consider changing your routine to eating an orange instead. It’s more fillng and has fiber as well. Of course, maybe you just like potato juice.



When I was a kid, everywhere we went, I always wanted my father to put the bumper sticker on our car – “Frontiertown!,” “I Saw Santa at the North Pole,” “Catskill Game Farm.” I knew when we got back to Red Bank that all my friends would see the stickers and wish they had been to all those great places. Really, I didn’t even care if I knew the other kids who saw our bumper sticker, I was proud to have been there and everyone else should know, and regret, perhaps, that they had not. Fortunately, my father never caved into my little girl ego.

So now I am seeing all these bumper stickers – “Support Our Troops!,” ” Proud to Be an American,” etc. Are these people just like I was when I was a little girl? They are proud to show these stickers but there is, perhaps, the desire to proclaim that one is a better American or more patriotic. True patriotism doesn’t come from a bumper sticker. I think it comes from supporting the ideals of our country as written in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. How many bumper-stickered patriots have even read those documents?

BTW, I checked on the internet and most of the places that sell these stickers are in the “for-profit” arena.


Perhaps all this display of patriotism is a case of jingoism.

jingoism – Extreme nationalism characterized especially by a belligerent foreign policy; chauvinistic patriotism.(

The derivation of jingoism is from 1878 and is the refrain of a music hall song written by G.W. Hunt supporting aggressive British policy toward Russia at a time of international tension. (“We don’t want to fight, But by Jingo! if we do, We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, We’ve got the money too.”) (


This is going to sound really stupid but this idea (which I made up myself) has helped me in a lot of restaurant situations.

I am a starch and salt eater. I can pass up dessert easily. Chocolate, yuk. But put a basket of bread on the table and I am all over it. It’s the first thing that arrives in a restaurant at a time when you are the most hungry. What to do? Well, I devised kind of a good hand, bad hand scenario. I am right-handed. My right hand does most of the dirty work when it comes to eating. It dives into the bread basket, it opens the refrigerator, and it reaches into the bag of chips. My left hand is, at worst, an unwitting accomplice. So when I am at a restaurant, I put my hands in my lap and my good left hand holds my hedonistic right hand – usually around the wrist. It doesn’t always work because my right hand is stronger but it works often enough. Sounds dumb, but try it.