Monday, January 31, 2011


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Friday, January 28, 2011

TV free.. again?

Two great discoveries of the day:  One, the FlyLady chat where, I kid you not, we cheered each other on all day.  Every time I sat down and could have gotten distracted by the computer, I pulled up that tab and within a minute or two I was sent off to do another "mission."
My second great discovery was that I can create a smart playlist on iTunes that plays unheard podcasts.  This will be much-used.  I re-subscribed to a bunch of NPR stations.  I un-subscribed to all the teacher stations.  I stayed subscribed to FlyLady.  Groupie, I know.

And the failed TV-free home experiment from ages back is a bit back up and running.  We now have "weekly goals" in the house (I'm super excited about this).  Now when Shabbos comes along, we can see how we did on one specific thing over the last week.  One week is just long enough to see what life is like with your goal being implemented, and short enough to stick with it.  Well, we agreed to do a shared goal: no TV (well, Hulu) or movies.  Man, this one is HARD.  But we're almost to Shabbos and I have to admit, I got a LOT more done, did much more reading than I usually do (which still isn't enough but I only have so much down time), and we got to bed much earlier than we otherwise would have.  So TV free is awesome.  But I am looking forward to catching up on the Shonda Rhimes trifecta.


Our plans for next year are very up-in-the-air at the moment.  One thing that is up in the air is whether or not I will be able to be teaching next year.

So every day off now is like a trial day.  Can I do this?  Be home with the baby all day?

One concern was whether I would be productive.  I learned today to be more specific with my concerns.  Oh, I was productive.  Six or seven freshly made challot (challah loaves), heaps of chocolate chip cookies, cranberry and cranberry/blueberry scones.  Dinner just about on the table, hubs about to walk in the door... this was a full day of work, easily.  (Add in taking care of The Deentz and leaving the house tidy after all that baking!)

The problem is, this isn't the kind of productive I meant when I created that concern.

I meant, can I run the house, get good bonding time in with the baby (being a work-from-home-mom hardly pays if you're just shoving a toy in front of the baby and working the whole time) and DO MY JOB from home?

I hope today isn't cause for concern.

I have plenty to be doing and lots of exciting articles going up (stay tuned!).  But I just couldn't get myself to stay here in front of the computer.  The only argument in my defense is that this chair is AWFUL.  I literally start to ache within a minute of sitting down.  Maybe it's time to cash in the massage hubs bought me for last Rosh Chodesh........

So there's my conundrum of the day.  I've learned how to get off my tush and get to work... but how to stop getting to the wrong kind of work and refocus?

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths


New Study Reveals Most Children Unrepentant Sociopaths

DECEMBER 7, 2009 | ISSUE 45•50
MINNEAPOLIS—A study published Monday in The Journal Of Child Psychology And Psychiatry has concluded that an estimated 98 percent of children under the age of 10 are remorseless sociopaths with little regard for anything other than their own egocentric interests and pleasures.
Data shows that many seemingly innocent children—such as this one—are not to be trusted.
According to Dr. Leonard Mateo, a developmental psychologist at the University of Minnesota and lead author of the study, most adults are completely unaware that they could be living among callous monsters who would remorselessly exploit them to obtain something as insignificant as an ice cream cone or a new toy.
"The most disturbing facet of this ubiquitous childhood disorder is an utter lack of empathy," Mateo said. "These people—if you can even call them that—deliberately violate every social norm without ever pausing to consider how their selfish behavior might affect others. It's as if they have no concept of anyone but themselves."
"The depths of depravity that these tiny psychopaths are capable of reaching are really quite chilling," Mateo added.
According to the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a clinical diagnostic tool, sociopaths often display superficial charm, pathological lying, manipulative behaviors, and a grandiose sense of self-importance. After observing 700 children engaged in everyday activities, Mateo and his colleagues found that 684 exhibited these behaviors at a severe or profound level.
The children studied also displayed many secondary hallmarks of antisocial personality disorder, most notably poor impulse control, an inability to plan ahead, and a proclivity for violence—often in the form of extended tantrums—when their needs were not immediately met.
"Children will use any tool at their disposal to secure gratification," Mateo said. "And as soon as the desire is fulfilled, be it some material want or simply an insatiable and narcissistic desire for validation, they quickly become bored and lose interest in their victims, all the while thinking only of satisfying whatever their next hedonistic craving might be."
Because children are so skilled at mimicking normal human emotions and will say anything without consideration for accuracy or truth, Mateo said that people often don't realize that they've been exploited until it is too late. Though he maintained that anyone can fall victim to a child's egocentric behavior, Mateo warned that grandmothers were especially susceptible to the self- serving machinations of tiny little sociopaths.Mateo added that even when subjects were directly confronted with the consequences of their inexplicable behavior, they had little or no capacity for expressing guilt, other than insincere utterances of "sorry" that were usually coerced.
Despite the overwhelming evidence presented in the study, its findings have been met with heavy criticism from people who associate with children on a regular basis.
Batavia, NY resident and 38-year-old mother Mary Corcoran echoed the sentiments of many other adults who refuse to believe they are sharing their homes with merciless predators.
"Not my Jimmy. Just this morning, he told me I was the best mommy in the whole world," Corcoran said of her son, 5. "In fact, he's been such a sweet little boy this month that Santa just may bring him everything he asks for."
According to renowned child psychologist Dr. Pritha Singh, author ofBorn Without Souls, diagnosing preadolecents as sociopaths is primarily a theoretical interest, as the disorder is considered untreatable.
"We've tried behavior modification therapies, but children actually learn from our techniques and become even more adept at manipulating others while concealing their shameless misanthropy," Singh said. "Sadly, experience has taught us there is little hope for rehabilitation."
"Just look at the way most adults act," Singh added.

Bring some beauty into your day.

Check out the new short by the amazing Meryl&Marina, "Every Day I Wake Up And Try Not To Die."

Amazing filming, performances, and music.  And, as it says, "it sounds morbid, but it's not."  At 4 minutes, you have no excuse not to watch it.

Watching this reminded me that film is truly an art form, and that most of what I see is definitely NOT art.  



Redeem yourself now
Dirty cold white on my street.
Yes.  Snow Day.  Well played.


MUST see!

TED talk on success

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jersey haiku

Piles of dirty snow
Chairs save spots to park between
Get me out of here
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ode to stretch marks

The baby may as well have scrawled "Adina wuz here" across my torso. Nevertheless, even though I vividly remember my horror over seeing on other mommies the battle scars of pregnancy, I love my shifted shape. Maybe because I got sick of passing for a highschooler, or maybe because this pregnancy was so difficult and scary that to come out unscathed would seem anticlimactic. But my stretch marks remind me that the stork did not do the heavy lifting on our baby girl. I did. Its surprisingly easy to overcome body issues once the body has been repurposed. It is not here for aesthetic pleasure. It housed a life, fed it and protected it and strengthened it. Stretch marks are my evidence of the amazing fact that Hashem had the wisdom to encase our skeletons in something that CAN stretch.

The downside, however, is that I still need to find the motivation to get my body back. Its so hard to be enthusiastic when I am sooo tired. I understand all those daytime talk show women who pointed to their children as when they started to lose control and gain weight. I understand them but do not want to be one of them. Hm... any ideas for inspiration?
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