Shari MacDonald Strong

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Diet Coke, I Wish I Knew How to Quit You...


My husband has tried for years to get me to quit Diet Coke. He worries, for good reason, about the vast amounts of aspartame that I've ingested over the last two decades. Aspartame, by the way, is pronounced ASS-per-tame, not ass-PAR-tuh-MAY, as in: Aspartame, Greek God of Synthetic Substances. Not that I didn't know that, not that I learned that the hard way by embarrassing myself in front of literate, knowledgeable people. People who know how to pronounce common words. Not me. [Cough, cough.]

In any case, Craig has long been building a strong case, including the argument that aspartame was developed as a substance to aid in the fattening up of cattle, and evidence that Rumsfeld was a key player in the push for its common use. "If the fact that Rumsfeld was behind it isn't enough to make you quit," my husband said one day, shaking his head sadly, "I can't imagine what is."

Me, either, apparently, because I just kept drinking the stuff. Until two weeks ago, when I suddenly decided to get off the diet cola sauce. Since then, I've managed, just barely, to keep my life and household running, despite the fact that all I want to do is lie in bed, comatose. As it turns out, energy is is short supply in this old body, and it may well be that the Diet Coke rust is the one thing that's been holding this listing barge together in recent years.

Meanwhile, I've been dodging bullets such as email problems, one child's school struggles, and other thorny issues; I've also had wonderful experiences and have basked in the glow of other exciting developments I'll describe in more detail shortly. Thanks for bearing with me, and stay tuned. I'll be back in the regular blogging saddle very soon...

Meanwhile, here's a snatch of conversation from this afternoon, as the boys and I walked in the door from preschool:

Macky: Mama, do you want to see my painting?

Me: Yes, I do, sweetie. Wow, what a lot of pretty colors!

Macky: See, the poop and the pee gets sucked down into the hot lava...

Me: Uh, is that what it's a picture of?

Macky: Yeah. The blue stuff is the poop and pee...

Will: I'll be the poop!

Macky: I'll be the pee!

Me: ....

At least, I think that's how the conversation went. I may be hallucinating. You know, from the Diet Coke withdrawal.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

New Zen: My Child, the Bible Thumper

In my new column this month, I explore my ambivalence concerning my daughter's awakening sense of spirituality/religiosity.

Zen and the Art of Child Maintenance "I can read my Bible!" my daughter announces at her brothers' preschool, to the Christian and Muslim and Jewish and Atheist parents slipping in and out. "The LORD now speaks to Moses!" she shouts. Some look amused, others slightly alarmed. By Shari MacDonald Strong.