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news report

From these recent posts, you wouldn’t know that the winter Olympics continue in my dear country. I’m sorry, but I just can’t get excited. Yes, it’s too bad we lost to the Americans in men’s hockey, my poor children suffered mightily – but there you go. It’s thrilling that so many are discovering the beauties of Vancouver, that young people are achieving and excelling and inspiring. But I can’t watch that stuff, it makes me too tense. I’ll watch the Canadian ice dancing team on-line, now that they’ve won gold and all that remains is to enjoy their work.

It’s infuriating to hear the Canadian press whine that we don’t have as many medals as the Americans. They have a population ten times ours, doesn’t that make a tiny difference? We are doing extraordinarily well, and all you hear is how we don’t own the podium. That’s silly, totally unCanadian talk. Absurd.

Today at my Y fitness class, the teacher was Olympics mad, kept exhorting us to work harder, so we’d get thighs like the 15 k. cross-country skiers, balance like the luge athletes, speed like the downhill skiers. But the room was filled with wheezing middle-aged women. Not great material for this particular Olympic coach.

Good news in the news department: The nearby Carlton Cinemas are going to reopen! I have had a pang of sorrow every time I walked by that shuttered door, and now, Rainbow Cinemas is apparently refurbishing the place. Once again, people who like obscure documentaries and foreign art movies, in fact, anything with with subtitles and/or donkeys, will soon have somewhere to go once more. Sheer joy.
The Globe wrote today about research showing that wealthy people lose the ability to take pleasure in the small things of life, like the taste of chocolate. It’s true that every day, I, the poor writer, eat a large chunk of dark chocolate and rejoice in every bite. But you know, if someone out there feels like testing me, donating, say, a million dollars to see if all that money diminishes my pleasure, I would be more than willing to be a guinea pig. Though it’s pointless: a mere million dollars would not affect a love that great. As the plaque above my kitchen stove reads: “Chocolate is the answer. Who cares what the question is?”
And a snide Globe piece from Sarah Hampson about Annie Korzen, a Hollywood “frugalista” who has just published a book called Bargain Junkie. I should have written this book! I ran into a friend today who said, “I was just at Goodwill, Beth, and thought of you.” So many people, every time they go into a second hand store, think of me. What an honour.
Hampson sneers that Korzen is not just frugal, she’s a “cheapaholic” when she says she doesn’t shower every day and serves her dinner guests lasagna instead of steak. I’m with her in every detail. In fact, my friend Kate is coming over for lunch tomorrow and there’s a Daniel et Daniel lasagna defrosting as I write. What – buying the lasagna at a gourmet take-out place negates the frugalista aspect? Are you crazy?! Do you know how long it takes to make a good lasagna?
Hampson finishes the article with an anecdote about Korzen’s experience on Oprah: “She couldn’t resist all the free food and ate so much she was sick for days. She actually thought she might vomit on the show in front of 22 million people.”
“I have a compulsion about not wasting things,” says Korzen.
Anyone who has heard my cheese tray story knows how very much I sympathise.

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3 Responses to “news report”

  1. Mary says:

    I've never been big on the summer Olympics, but I love watching many of the winter sports. Probably because I have a fascination for ice and speed. Even spent some time over a couple years in my 20s learning to luge in Lake Placid. Never got very good because I didn't have the requisite neck strength to avoid "losing my head" against those g-forces (this is when your head is thrown back as you careen down the ice track, totally blind to what's ahead!). However, I still have my sled! This year, I've been watching more of the curling than anything else. It might not have so much speed, but the ice is still there! And a perfect shot, clearing all enemy stones, is beautiful to see.

    I, too, have my daily dark chocolate, right after breakfast. Supposedly gets the circulation going, so I choke it down. Oh, wait, I'm poor so it tastes good, too!

  2. Annie Korzen says:

    Hi Beth,

    Sarah Hampson didn't bother to mention the hundreds of reasonable tips in my book – just the ones that had "shock value." I assure you that both my home and my body are clean and sweet-smelling. I so appreciate your taking the time to defend me. Enjoy your chocolate!

  3. Beth says:

    Mary, I'm really impressed – learning to luge? Nothing could attract me less than hurtling down a giant slide at warp speed on my back. Very brave of you.
    I have my chocolate, like medicine, every day after lunch. Mmm.

    Annie, how wonderful to hear from you. I'd love to buy your book, but I live it every day. I will recommend it to my friends. I've just discovered your wonderful website, and agree with every single thing you say – loathing for labels and for people who don't tip, above all. Frugalista sisterhood forever.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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