Brains, Angelina, and J.Lo

I read many a magazine. It is very rare that I don’t have a new issue of something to look through. Some come in the mail, some I pick up at the grocery store (all magazines are 20% off list price at the commissary – cha ching!), and some are passed on to me from friends. I’m not picky – if it’s got glossy pages, articles and ads I’ll read it.

I recently read an article in a January issue of Newsweek called “Can You Build a Better Brain?” by Sharon Begley that got me to thinking (punny?). There’s a website out there called Lumosity. It’s purpose is to build your brain. You join the site, you play little games, and magically your brain starts working better. I’ve always thought that you can make your brain work better – and that’s by practice and use. For example, back in the day, I could solve a differential equation with the best of them. Now, if you placed one before me I’d have NO IDEA where to start. It’d just be numbers and jiberish… and that’s because I haven’t been using the differential equation part of my brain. Now, if you asked me the lyrics to Party in the USA (Alice LOVES Miley), or what size shoes my kids wear, or the quickest route to my kid’s school, or what’s the best way to get a stain out of your carpet I’d be able to tell you. My brain is strong in those departments. My favorite part of the article I read was in reference to a certain number puzzle that I do quite often – Sudoku (seriously, I do at least one puzzle a day if not more. I have books of them stashed in my car, by my bed, in the kitchen…). I don’t have the quote exactly but the gist of it was doing a lot of Sudoku puzzles doesn’t build your brain, it just makes you better at Sudoku puzzles. So Lumosity… I don’t believe you.

The December issue of Vogue had an interview in it of Angelina Jolie. I was happily reading along (ever since I read Andrew Morton’s unauthorized biography Angelina I’ve been a little obsessed with Jolie-Pitt fact gathering) when I came across something that made me say hmmm. When she mentioned having normal family time it had something to do about making breakfast for her kids – or making it badly. And a little bell rang in my head. It seems to me that I had heard that before… and so I did a little research (i.e. googled). Sure enough, US magazine July 2010, Parade Magazine July 2010, Star Magazine November 2010 all have articles about Ms. Jolie and she mentions breakfast in all of them… and that was just from a quick glance. Why is it that the breakfast thing stuck out for me? Maybe because I wonder if that is the only time she really gets to hang with her kids? Or does she think that making eggs for her family makes her a typical mom? (I’m thinking a bowl of cereal, an Eggo waffle, some toast or a granola bar chowed down in the car on the way to school would be more typical.) She just isn’t typical and really shouldn’t try to be. She’s richer than dirt, living with a super famous man, flies in private jets all over the world, has enough kids to recreate the Brady Bunch… I could go on… I say embrace who you are, be happy you have tons of help raising all those kids (so many working moms don’t), and if you truly are making eggs every morning more power to you!

(and if I had any photo shop skills- or owned software that would do it –  this little BB photo would happily have new Jolie-Pitt heads on it.)

I used to be a big American Idol fan…I  even watched it while in labor with Alice (I was trying to keep my mind off that excruciating pain!). But then I stopped watching. I took a few years off… until now. I wanted to see how different it was without Simon’s rude comments and I have to say I really like it. Randy is still Randy, I’m never really sure what’s going to come out of Steven Tyler’s mouth, and J. Lo… she’s the one that surprised me. I really thought she would come across as diva-ish. I like that she’s sweet, that she mentions her kids from time to time, she handle’s adoring fans with grace, and really… she’s just gorgeous. Seriously beautiful to look at.  In last week’s People magazine (Feb. 2011 or maybe the last week of Jan.?) there was a little blurb about American Idol in their TV section… and there was one quote that I thought completely summed up exactly what I was thinking about her: “Lopez shimmers with star presence, as if she’s been hand-fed crushed jewels, while projecting sweetness and humility….” Isn’t that beautiful?

And now off to multi-task… Sudoku puzzle in one hand, magazine in the other, American Idol on the TV.

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