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Tag archive for: willpower

Downloading Self-Control

I’m a writer. That’s my job title. But it’s a funny description for someone who does what I do: spends her days grasping for any excuse not to write.

You see, I have the discipline god gave a golden retriever. I’ve read about writers with fuel-injected work ethics, devoted scribes who lock themselves in mountain cabins for weeks at a time to expunge their souls onto the page with no interruptions.

Me, I welcome interruptions. No, I crave them. Focus is hard; interruptions are easy. When I hit a bump in my work — a lay-there lead, herky-jerky transition, or wussy ending — I slip out of writer mode like soap from a wet palm and find myself hunting for online distractions.

Email. Twitter. Google News. I’d like to blame modern technology for my short attention span, but the real menace is me and my diabolical reluctance to concentrate.

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.” Buddha said that. I would have said it myself if I hadn’t been so busy not researching column topics or negotiating editorial deadlines, but rather diving down the rabbit hole that is YouTube, searching for old friends on Facebook (who, at this point, it’s safe to assume, don’t want to be found), and checking for the next 10 days’ forecast — not because I’m planning a wedding and may need to order a tent but just because the ‘Net allows me to see the future and how cool is that?

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Happy Meals lose weight

San Francisco supes, where ya been all my life?

In a landslide vote last week, Fog City’s board of Supervisors made it illegal for fast-food eateries to include toys in kiddie meals that fall below reasonable nutrition standards. No more can the area’s burger mills market high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium food to children with the promise of a plastic, princess-shaped choking hazard in every grease-stained sack.

It was a bold move, to be sure — a move undertaken to deflate ballooning childhood obesity rates, and a move that left the Happy MealTM-hawking McDonald’s corporation understandably unHappyTM.

But I, for one, applaud it.

Oh, I know your new law will be ridiculed. I know loud-howling liberty-lovers will call your “eat this, not that” edict an audacious obstruction of free enterprise and a bass-ackward Band-Aid of a solution to a staggeringly complex socio-economic problem. Also, let’s face it, the crap food is still being served at irresistibly low prices, and this is exactly the sort of chop-off-our-hands-to-keep-us-from-harming-ourselves legislation that makes us liberals seem so frighteningly stupid.

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