Oh, Paula

This made me crazy: Paula Deen on the Today Show

Drugs don’t cure diabetes. She’s led herself down this path, is tempting others down this path then is selling a “cure” that is no cure at all. It’s just one more lie about how to care for your body. She’s perpetuating the problem with her apparent ignorance or just disregard. Towards the end of the interview she insinuates that to be healthy you have to starve. And that taking care of your body is a form of punishment. ::massive eye roll::

I love food. Like, really really love food. I spent ten years fluctuating between 250 and 300 pounds. I’m still hanging out at 200. But here’s the deal…my kids are really important. *I* am really important. I need to be at my full capabilities for all the things I want to give to this world and my family. I refuse to get diabetes, period. I watched it rob my dad of most of his eyesight and a large part of his health for a long time. A bone infection in his foot cost him a toe. His eyes required laser surgery every couple of months for two years about a decade ago. Endless bills for medications and doctor visits. Early retirement due to physical disability. I could keep going on and on.

I’ve recently made a few minor changes that will make a long-term drastic improvement in my life. (I will write more about that in weeks to come.) Paula could have done that, too. She could have been a platform of change. Paula Deen has influence. I had/have a great respect for the obstacles she overcame as a single mom and a person who struggled with mental health issues. I related and was incredibly proud of her accomplishments, no matter how many sticks of butter she peddled. I was raised by a poor, single mom. I am a single mom. I’ve struggled with depression and watched other close to me struggle with way worse than my worrying nature. I get it and was proud of her for rising above.

I read in a USA Today article yesterday morning when the story finally broke that she was consulted about her disease by Dr. Mehmet Oz. I’m certain that Dr. Oz talked to her about changes she could make to halt and reverse this disease. She could have been a revolutionary in educating the benefits of true health and how delicious and invigorating it can be. Instead, she’s pushing a pill and cashing a check.

The Head and The Heart

The week before SxSW 2011, Clayton and I visited The Opolis in Norman to catch a new band on their way to Austin. Their first album was about to be released or had just been release and he’d heard some great buzz about them. And the tickets were cheap. And we weren’t doing anything that night anyway.

The band was The Head and The Heart and they were phenomenal. I don’t mean they were good or fun or cute or Not Boring. I mean they were a rare phenomenon in our music seeking experience. The songs were beautiful and interesting. Pop-py, folky, catchy. They were passionate give-it-your-all performers. If you could only see the stage you’d think you were seeing them play for 5,000 people.

I looked around that night and couldn’t believe I was watching them with about 24 other people.

We downloaded the music and synced to our phones. Over the next couple of weeks I synced it to my heart. I hate being trite, but that’s my truth. I fell in love with an album not much longer after I had fallen in love with a boy. I had shared that experience with him, too, which made it all the more special.

We missed The Head and The Heart at SxSW but were thrilled to discover they’d be playing the Telluride Bluegrass Festival a couple of months later as we made our summer vacation plans. They played early in the week, early in the day which is code for: no one knows who they are. They were booked for a Nightgrass show. In fact, they were booked for the only Nightgrass show that wasn’t yet sold out. Before their set finished, Clayton scooted over to the box office before we missed our chance.

That Nightgrass show a couple of weeks later was a musical luxury that I rarely experience. It was held in a high school auditorium and maaaaybe held 300 people and they were all there, voraciously, at midnight, to see The Head and The Heart. We all knew the words to every song. Clayton and I, ever the indie dorks, rushed the stage and were treated to a night of joy.

Imagine the thrill of learning that The Head and The Heart would be playing Austin City Limits Music Festival. We would now be seeing them FOUR times this year!

We should have quit while we were ahead.

Sunday we were running late for the festival. We were almost jogging the mile and a half into Zilker Park and missed the first 20 minutes of their 1 hour set. 3,000 people (literally) had beat us to the stage and as we were chatting and weaving our way through the crowd we lost each other. He said something and I responded to him. I turned to say something else to him and he was g o n e.

Author’s note: I started this post (everything before this note) on or around September 30 and promptly abandoned my blog for several months for no apparent reason. Thus is the life of the fledgling blogger.

What I do remember about that performance: I tried to be real, real cool and just enjoy the concert. Enjoy the concert already, Freak! But mostly what I did was listen to these perfect perfect songs and cry behind my sweaty sunglasses because the love of my life wasn’t right there with me to hear all these perfect songs. Neither of us knew why we got separated in the crowd that day other than that stage and its position in the festival makes for difficult maneuvering. I went on living and breathing.

About 2 weeks ago we watched the Austin City Limits performance they recorded the night before the above mentioned show. Guess who gripped her lover’s hand and cried through the viewing? The Head & The Heart was the soundtrack to one of best years of my life and the very best year of my heart. Worth every embarrassing tear.

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