Election Day Thoughts from an Anonymous RP

vote-button-408x406Hey, I wanted to let you know what I am hearing. There is a lot of buzz in the air that it’s heavy in the suburbs. Or the cities. Or both.

But I think it’s going to come down to who is able to get their vote out, because the only poll that matters is on Election Day. Or what the people are telling me on the street.  Or both.

I think this weather is really going to help the Republicans with their GOTV. Or the Democrats. Or both.

And I don’t believe the polls anyway, because I’ve never been polled. And the polls are all slanted toward the Democrats anyway. Or the Republicans. Or both.

So I think the winner is likely to be the candidate who gets more votes with early, absentee, in person, and intergalactic votes counted. Or all of them.

So happy cliche day. Or Election Day. Or both.

UPDATE (4:22 PM):

I hear the exits are showing that the Republicans are winning in a number of places.  In other news, Democrats are also winning in certain places.  But the independents are trying to pull off some places other than those.

 

It’s going to be a long night.  We may be counting votes into tomorrow.

The RP on the #KYSen Debate: A Rimracking

A Twitter Review of Matt Bai’s “All the Truth is Out”

Click here to review and purchase

Click here to review and purchase

War is Helvetica

The RP on NPR

The RP joined NPR’s “To the Point” today to talk about the upcoming national elections, with a focus on the Grimes/McConnell battle, and the unusual relationship between the Bluegrass State’s two Senators.

Enjoy.

Josh Bowen: The Five Best Snacks

It is astounding to me how many nutrition blogs, books, websites and magazines there are.

In the United States alone, there are 2,500 diet/nutrition books on the market.

2,500? Holy cow! What for?

I digress though.  After training for 11 years, I have found that most people go wayward on their nutritional plan in between meals and at night. People get the munchies and they want things to snack on. Chips, candy, chocolate and a litany of other nutritionally lacking foods become the staple of one’s snacks. This leads us into a false sense of control and snowball’s us off our well planned out nutrition plan.

joshThis can be solved, very easily, by picking more nutritious, easy access foods. 5 of which I consider the best snacks at my training desk. Always ready for when my blood sugar crashes and I need a quick boost of energy but cannot eat because I am training a client (eating while training clients looks awful by the way).

So without further ado, here is my list of the 5 best snacks:

  1. Quest Bars You can define whether a food is good for you or not by the amount of ingredients it has in it (most of the time). Quest bars are the only protein bars I have seen that have fewer than 100 ingredients in them (joke). All joking aside, they come in a variety of flavors and are made up of all gluten free ingredients. For more information check them out here http://www.questnutrition.com/ingredients/
  2. Almonds I love almonds! There are a staple for me when I need something to get me through a couple of hours of training before I eat a meal. A handful of almonds can supply a sufficient amount of calories but also nutrients to get you through to your next meal or get your through a hard workout. Loaded with healthy fats, almonds can help in decreasing bodyfat (Omega 3s), decrease the chance for heart disease (Omega 3s) and decrease inflammation (ta da Omega 3s). Also, very versatile with almond butter and almond milk being a great substitute for peanut butter and milk.
  3. PB2 and Protein Powder A great combination to snack on to get your through the day. PB2 is a powder peanut butter that has 85% less calories than regular peanut butter. Add in a good protein powder (UMP by Beverly International is my go-to) and you have a great snack that has a lot of protein and a little bit of fat to keep you full for a few hours. Have a sweet tooth? Add some cinnamon and it tastes great!
  4. Rice Cakes You laugh but I love rice cakes. Especially when I need something quick and need something that has a crunch. This usually keeps my cravings to a minimum (I love crunchy foods) and goes best post workout when I need some carbs. You can add almond butter or some PB2 to make it more a meal, if you chose.
  5. Suja Those unfamiliar with Suja http://www.sujajuice.com/ it is a brand of juice that is cold pressured. Via their website here is how they describe the process: Cold Pressure, also known as High Pressure Processing retains food quality, maintains natural freshness, and extends microbiological shelf life without heating to high temperatures. After our juice is bottled, a high level of cold pressure is applied evenly to destroy pathogens and ensure the juice is safe to drink while preserving vitamins, enzymes and nutrients. These make great snacks that you can drink and pack all your nutritious fruits and vegetables into one drink.  In my line of work where I sometimes preform 6-8 sessions in a row, I need quick and easy snacks to keep me going. I also need food ready so that I do not go without food and/or make the wrong choice on what to eat. These work great for me and hopefully they work great for you.

The RP: Fancy Farm 2014 — A Twitter Recap

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Will Meyerhofer: Caregive. Caretake.

Will MeyerhoferIt seems oddly fitting that the words “caregiving” and “caretaking” mean precisely the same thing.  Perhaps that linguistic oddity reflects the salient characteristic of care itself:  a tension between our desire to receive it and our countervailing feeling of obligation to provide it.  Human relations, generally, can be summarized as an on-going battle between those who provide care and those on the receiving end.

As a human child, you started out your life as the ultimate care-collection machine.  Children are designed to make you want to provide them with care – and you’re designed, as an adult, to feel a profound impulse to provide children with care, especially your own children.  It’s no coincidence that anything you identify as “cute” – i.e., feel an impulse to care for – will have child-like features, such as large eyes in proportion to its face and a large head in proportion to its body.   These are all evolutionary triggers designed to make us feel like providing care.

The human instinct to care for youngsters transfers over to other young animals as well, and explains, at least in part, your relationship with “man’s best friend.”  Everyone loves puppies – baby dogs.  But with canines, the phenomenon extends further than that.  Adult dogs retain many juvenile features – a phenomenon called “neoteny” – because by continuing to appear puppy-like up to and through adulthood, they can convince humans to keep wanting to offer them care.  Dogs literally evolved to look young and cute just so you would care for them – and it’s worked!  Unlike most species, the dog’s trick to evolutionary success wasn’t to display aggression, like a wolf.  As evidenced by the wolf’s current struggle to survive in a human-dominated habitat, ferocity only gets you so far.  For the dog, docility, rather than aggression, was the answer.  By appearing cute – a bit like our own young – they mastered a strategy of symbiosis with another species, humans, with a strong instinct to provide care to their own young.  The result is humans calling their dog “baby” and bragging to their friends that he’s “just like a member of the family.”  In many respects, Fido actually is just like another child.  Dogs are a bit like cuckoos in that respect – enlisting another species to do the work of raising their young – but in this case, by remaining young-looking throughout their adulthood, they lead another species to treat them like its own children for the duration of their lives.

Human children are also master care-harvesters – they have to be, because they remain dependent on adult care for survival for much longer than other species.  Adult humans possess large brains, which could never fit through the human birth canal.  Our children are thus, of necessity, born with a relatively tiny, undeveloped brain, leaving them utterly helpless and dependent on the care of others for many years.  Humans thus possess a strong instinct to summon care as a child, but also a corresponding (and conflicting) instinct to provide care for helpless young humans.  Awww…it’s a cute little baby.  I want to take care of it.

Thus do we perpetuate our species.  But this evolutionary arrangement sets up an internal battle between the child within you who’s hungry for care and the adult who feels obligated to provide it.

 

Some humans work pretty hard to be treated like children – and receive care – for their entire lives.  One trick is to keep acting helpless and wait for someone to come and care for you.  One of my clients was complaining about her parents recently in this regard.  She grew up knowing she would have to care for them – they steadily broadcast helplessness, “parentifying” my client from her earliest years, leaving her in the position, even as a child, to tackle most of the care-providing.  This year, as always, my client took her mother out for her birthday, then fumed silently as Mom ordered the most expensive items on the menu.  Christmas will be the same thing – her mother will insist on exchanging gifts, with the understanding that the daughter will be expected to lay out big bucks – and the mother will buy tokens in return.  In any case, this client’s parents were living on her handouts – they’d overspent for years, digging themselves into a deep financial hole.

In my client’s case, her parents are demanding care – behaving, in fact, like children.  But if it’s unpleasant having an adult demand constant care – why should it be any different with a child?  Why introduce someone into your life who is expected to rely on you for care?  This raises the question of why people have children.  And indeed, some parents seem to misunderstand the roles of parent and child, seeing the child as the provider of endless love and care instead of the receiver of it.  Ask one of these folks why they’re having a child, and they might even say so outright:  I want someone in my life who will love me completely.

The idea seems to be that endless care will produce endless gratitude – to put it bluntly, a payoff.  You do absolutely everything for the child – attend to his bottomless need for love and care…and then he looks at you with those big eyes and says “Mommy, I love you”…and it’s all worth it.  And maybe, sometimes, it is.

A more purely mercenary perspective argues that at some point the tables inevitably turn anyway, and the children – now adults – are supposed to take care of you, the parent.  This switching of roles is played down in Western culture, but in Asia, it’s taken for granted.  Many of my Asian friends simply shrug and write a check to their parents every  month because that’s what’s expected of them.

I’ll never forget a television ad I saw once on a flight to Hong Kong.  Western Christmas advertising is all about the children – the iconic image is delighted little ones hungrily tearing open gifts under a tree, with the worn-out but adoring parents thrilled that the heap of capitalist loot they’ve provided has once again managed to please the appetites of the youngsters.  But this Hong Kongese ad, framed around the Chinese New Year, presented precisely the opposite scenario – a shock to my Western sensibilities.  In the advert, a humble, slightly intimidated-looking young couple arrive at the entrance to a house and ring the doorbell.  The door opens, and grandma and grandpa loom in the threshold.  The young couple bow humbly, mumble ritual pleasantries and present gifts.  Behind the young couple, barely visible, stand two young children, heads bowed in reverence.

The scale can tilt either way – toward the elders or towards the children, but it all still boils down to who gives care – and who receives it.

One big step forward comes with learning to ask for care directly – not acting out your need silently by collapsing and going victim or martyr, or going co-dependent and expressing your need by providing the care you yourself crave to others (seethis post for more on that pattern.)

A second big step – the one that counts the most – is realizing that you contain both a helpless child within you and a parent who is more than capable of providing all the care that child needs.

There is a loss, giving up the fantasy of a perfect other providing all the care you need.  Some people cling to religion to avoid this loss, and construct an imaginary provider of care – a god or saint or the like.

But there is also a gain that comes from letting go of the fantasy.  In separating from your parents, and the dream of perfect care, you transform into an adult, and gain a new strength that comes with self-sufficiency.  You can no longer be abandoned, because you always have yourself, a capable adult, by your side.  You no longer have to experience solitude as abandonment.

This doesn’t mean adulthood equals solitude.  You can gather friends, and your family, around you, and ask them directly for care – and they might even provide it, and you might chose to provide them with care, too, out of love and gratitude for their friendship or just because your own cupboard is full and you wish to celebrate your abundance by sharing care with others.

But you are no longer the infant, abandoned in the cradle, who screams and cries because his life depends upon someone else coming to his rescue.

You can come to your own rescue.
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My new book is a comic novel about a psychotherapist who falls in love with a blue alien from outer space. I guarantee pure reading pleasure: Bad Therapist: A Romance.

Please also check out The People’s Therapist’s legendary best-seller about the sad state of the legal profession: Way-Worse-Than-Being-Dentist

My first book is an unusual (and useful) introduction to the concepts underlying psychotherapy: Life is a Brief Opportunity for Joy

(In addition to Amazon.com, my books are also available on bn.com and the Apple iBookstore.)

The RP on Rebuilding West Liberty

At the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative America Meeting, Jonathan Miller announced a new CGI Commitment to Action by Rebuilding West Liberty, Kentucky:

Matt Ranen: GROWING PAINS FOR THE INTERNET ECONOMY

Matt RanenThe debate over what the FCC should do in regards to net neutrality is getting a lot of coverage these days. It’s no wonder, since where the policy lands will have immediate impact on profits and strategies in the media industry. But more generally, this is also a debate over our assumptions about and aspirations for what we want the Internet to be, and whose values are most important to respect. Is “open” more important than “speed” and “innovation”? And which type of innovation is most valuable given today’s economic and social context—one very different from the late 90’s boom time.

Turns out, this is just one of a number of more broadly impacting policy issues that are about to come under the microscope of public debate and government action (or, inaction…which itself is also a choice), as the Internet and the “online” economy of digital goods and services re-integrates with the “offline” or “real” economy.

One of those issues will be about data—big and small—and the property rights assigned to it. There is no need to repeat the hype about how big data is changing everything. Everything from the mundane (cost effective 1 hour delivery!) to the profound (our understanding of climate change impacts!) will look to use data—about individuals, groups, places and things—to find patterns that suggest ways to improve services or deepen our understanding of how our world really works. And as with most technological revolutions, the ability to use data most effectively will lead to changes in who has the potential to hold power within an industry.

But because most of the applications for big data so far have resided in either niche areas or beyond the public’s view, we have not yet seen what happens when the promise of ‘better with data’ rubs up against real human lives and emotions on a large scale. As data-enabled business models grow in their reach and have more economic impact, more questions loom and will have to be addressed by the consuming public, regulating agencies, or the courts. For example: is your refrigerator or car or any other high end consumer good a natural monopoly when it comes to the data it collects?  Who should have access to your consumption patterns—just the company that made the product?  To what extent is targeted pricing—which some would label as simple a highly efficient market clearing mechanism—discriminatory?  When is it okay to essentially make public information about someones’ private life  through commercial behavior(e.g. Target and its infamous promotion of pregnancy products)?

Read the rest of…
Matt Ranen: GROWING PAINS FOR THE INTERNET ECONOMY

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