5 minutes of gratitude

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On Happify today there was a task that at first I grumbled about a bit in my head. Set a timer, then just do some stream of consciousness writing on what you are grateful for today – just today – anything at all – as simple as there not being traffic in the morning. Nothing profound, could be your that your stapler was full vs empty! So I shook off my momentary annoyance and just did it and this was the result at around noon today:

  • Sirius XM, new shoes, technology allowing me to communicate with my friend running in the Rockies this week, money I inherited that means I don’t have to STRESS about everyday purchases (food/gas/shoes :-)), easygoing co-workers, yoga class last night, an interesting recipe I am excited to try out tonight, funny friends making me laugh, that I am organized enough to make a once a year task fairly painless thanks to saved instructions and samples, that there is a beer in my fridge at home.

Simple enough and turned out to be fun and, hey, it did switch my mindset which had been leaning towards stress and snapped me right out of it. There have been some REALLY good tracks on Happify the last couple of weeks.

So, gaze at this beautiful beach scene and set a timer – GO!

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Super Bowl ad reactions on Twitter

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I discovered a new element to twitter. It’s a great way to gauge reactions to big events. Kind of like a grand social science experiment. The Super Bowl was the perfect example. I think only about 5 of the 200+ who I follow did not watch it. All those who did were certainly tweeting about it! And it was not the game that was so interesting; it was the reactions to the ads. Of course, a large number of people who tune in ARE only tuning in to see the ads. It’s an annual commercial campaign launching platform as much as it is a sporting event. People want to be able to talk around the proverbial water cooler at work the next day about the hopefully funny commercials.

Well, I don’t need no stinking water cooler because I got my reactions in real time and it was fascinating!

First of all, I watched the game with another mom and her 13 year old son so what we had was two 40 something moms and the two 13 year old boys. In our situation I can tell we were pretty much ALL reacting more like 13 year olds J We laughed at just about *everything* and took offense to nothing too deeply. Oh sure, there was awkward silence at the GoDaddy ads and the Focus on the Family ads, quite a bit of bemused looks at the Budweiser commercials (Clydesdales excluded – we loved those), and we split on the Denny’s chicken ads (moms were turned off, boys rolled over laughing). Mostly though, we laughed out loud a lot. Especially at the Snickers ad with Betty White and Abe Vigoda. That was a real “hit” in many ways!

Certainly the company which overall did the best job at advertising their product was Doritos. At least all of their commercials centered on actually eating the chips (in very creative ways of course!) Many others (like GoDaddy) told you nothing much about what they were selling and were simply trying to generate a buzz so that you would check them out later. And yes, I did notice the overall trend in the ads making marriage out to be some horrible situation. Bridgestone sure pushed that one across with the “Your tires or you wife (life)!” add. I don’t have a hugely feminist way of reading into things, but even I cringed at that one! Yeah, women/wives are disposable. Nice.

On twitter, that feminist slant was rampant! People started calling it “woman hating CBS!” Well, I don’t blame CBS – they just accepted the nice payments on the ad time. And yes, they did insert themselves somewhat into that frame by rejecting an ad depicting gay men and then allowing the Focus on the Family ads (after adamantly stating they don’t allow ‘advocacy’ ads during the SuperBowl). Still, this was a Madison Avenue trend to bash women and marriage across all product lines. Media folks noticed it, political writers commented on it, and just everyday fans made note of it. I’d say of the folks I follow that close to 80% commented on the anti-marriage nature of the ads. Someone even said that they will make SURE their next sets of tires are anything BUT Bridgestone. I’d say that’s a pretty large “miss” in terms of that marketing strategy.

The funniest thing to see though was the one or two dissenting reactions. I’d see this whole slew of “oh, that was lame!” posts and then one “Hah! Funniest ad so far!”  I even noticed a pattern as it ended up being the same 2 people who were the outliers in their reactions and hysterically always ended up posting a little later than the ‘crowd’! It made for some fun reading for me as I started to try and predict how those two people would react to each ad 🙂 And I honestly cannot think of anything, on the surface, that greatly differentiates those two people from everyone else in my twitter feed. It’s just one of those fascinating sides of humanity that some of us can see life from such a different perspective.

After all that though, you know what image really is stuck in my mind this morning?

Drew Brees with son after winning the Super Bowl

Oh yeah – Count me amongst the Who Dat nation 🙂 Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints and to the city of New Orleans. You are back baby! In grand, championship style.

From Super Bowl to Super Tuesday

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My thoughts still feel scattered from everything last week. I am probably the only person happy to being a normal Monday at work! My dad is doing well. He sat up and was feeding himself yesterday and today is supposed to get up and walk and shower and be moved out of the ICU wing. After being forced to lay perfectly straight since Wed AM I am sure all of that is feeling pretty good!

I wanted to add to my hike post. The WordPress server was abysmally slow the day I loaded those pictures so I left out a lot of detail and a couple of shots. I wanted to share a link first of all to my favorite birding site from Cornell University (hat tip to Alto2 for turning me onto to this a few years ago).  Here is their page on the California Brown Thrasher. Check out the song of this bird. It serenaded us almost the whole way on the Broken Hill trail. There were two males sitting on top of bushes and just singing away.  They let us get pretty close too. We also had the pleasure of watching a male Anna’s Hummingbird do it’s little mating dive. They zip straight up into the air and then dive bomb down with a quick “zeep” sound as it turns back up into the air.

If you watched the game yesterday wasn’t it awesome?! I had chosen the lesser of two evils and was rooting for the Giants. When Tom Brady hit Randy Moss for the touchdown pass that put them ahead 14-10 with under 3 minutes to go, I honestly thought that was IT. I mean, the Patriots made their living coming back late to take down opponents and I just did not see them giving up a score at that point. Yay! I was wrong! That one play when Eli Manning somehow scrambled away from the clutches of what looked like the entire Patriots D-line, then chucks it down field as if it was just a hope and prayer of a pass, only to have David Tyree make the most stunning catch ever with defenders hanging all over him…GOOSEBUMPS! How did that happen?? And then I knew – the Giants would do this! When Eli lofted that pass to Plaxico Burress for the go ahead score, SportsBoy and I just sat there stunned and kept saying “Did I just see that? Did the Giants really beat the Patriots?” We loved every minute of it.

Commercials that made an impression on me: The Diet Pepsi spot with “What is Love?” on in the background and people nodded off to sleep and then did the “Night at the Roxbury” head bob once they drank the Pepsi. Loved it! The talking stain during the job interview had us cracking up. So did the dancing lizards. Of course, being the political nut that I am, I am guffawed at the Bill Frist/James Carville Coke commercial. Oh! And the rather unattractive gal using Planters Nuts as her perfume – hysterical!

Oh, and a comment on the one political add we had in San Diego – Mitt Romney ran an ad twice where he points out that Hillary Clinton has no experience running anything and highlighting his experience running a business, a state and the Olympics. Clearly they made that ad before the last Democratic debate, right? The one when the moderator specifically asked Clinton and Obama how they would respond to Romney pointing out his successes running a business as an indicator of a plus for him. And Obama answered that the current president had the same background and we can see where THAT got the country!! Then Clinton said she didn’t think the country *should* be thought of as a business to be run to make a profit – that is supposed to be there to safeguard and care for it’s citizens. Points which scored HUGE both in the room and apparently in people’s houses according to the CNN rating of independent voters. I guess the Romney campaign missed that 🙂

Speaking of politics, it was funny how as soon as the Super Bowl hoopla ended, which usually begins a rather large time of despair for sports nuts like SB and I, he immediately looked at me and said “Well, Super Tuesday is up next!” Hah! Love it!

Move 08 – Super Bowl Week Check in

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Have we been going for the trophy this week ladies? Let’s see!! Check in here to report your movement stats and also to root for your team! It’s a rainy rainy Sunday here. 9:00am and we already have the final ESPN Sunday Football countdown show on. Our chance to say goodbye to Chris Berman and the gang for another season. Super Bowl Sunday is exempt from electronic restrictions you see 🙂 Especially if it is a rainy day causing baseball scrimmages to be canceled!

My stats: 210 mins total aerobics for a five day average of 42mins. I’m happy with that. But, only two arm workouts and no hula hoop time so again, the overall body toning needs to pick up. Even with the pedal machine making the aerobic part fairly easy to fit in, I find that I have to work harder mentally to motivate myself to pick up the weights. Which is silly because I always feel so *good* afterwards! Let’s see – rainy Sunday + tons of tv time = multiple workout sessions, right? RIGHT!

Oh, and I really don’t know what to do about the game. As a Charger fan, I loathe the Patriots and I also hate Eli Manning for dissing our city/team when he was drafted. I would *love* to see the Giants as an overall team take down the stinking Patriots. No, I don’t care if Junior Seau is with NE, he blew it with me when he backed out of retirement after the Chargers paid for a huge retirement party/announcement for him. I want a close game. Sounds like I will set aside my disgust with Eli and root for the Giants huh? Maybe, but it will be a very lackluster rooting for sure. Clearly the Chargers came out better overall for Eli having snubbed them. The players we got instead have been HUGE as the team has battled out of obscurity and into the playoffs the last two years. I guess it’s not really that bad. Kinda of a cool story line if the brothers go back to back anyhow. Sigh…who am I kidding? That genuis cheating freak of a coach for the Patriots will take down yet another opponent and hold up that damn trophy again wont he?  *Sigh*