September 16th, 2008

summer reading

Too Much to Process

What a day! About half of it was spent watching the internet, listening to internal phone calls, and talking about AIG. In the insurance world, no one else does all the things AIG does. No one. Not alone, not in combination. Not at all. So contemplating the ramifications of them not being around to do what they do...mind-blowing, to say the least. Thankfully, the insurance carrier subsidiaries can't be raided to shore up the parent company, which provides some hope that the carriers will survive. It wouldn't be good to lose the market capacity and capabilities they offer for reasons unrelated to underwriting discipline.

In any event, the next few weeks will be very interesting. The global implications are staggering, as if they weren't already with Lehman Brothers and everything else going on.

Once again, I see the proof that unrestrained capitalism doesn't really work. Apparently, we all need to be protected from ourselves in some way and corporations need leashes just like everyone else does.

After today, exercise was a must. Unfortunately, I felt a *ping* when using the treadmill last Saturday and my right calf has been tender ever since. I did a very cautious bit of time on the elliptical and lifted weights (watching the financial news all the while) and didn't really feel like I'd worked it all out. But I realized there's a certain amount of buzz that's just going to follow me around for a few days and came on home for dinner.

My main course was half a cantaloupe filled with grapes and raspberries. I highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for something chilly and satisfying on a hot, humid night. It really hit the spot. If it weren't so close to my bed time I think I'd have the other half of that cantaloupe with more grapes and raspberries right now. Yum. So good.

Last thing, then time to go...I bought a few organic bananas (only a few because for some reason we haven't been eating them all lately and I didn't want to buy them for naught) and my husband meanwhile picked up a whole bunch of the "regular" kind. I couldn't help but notice that the skin color of the organics was a much richer yellow-orange color in comparison with the regulars. I'm wondering if that's due to the organic vs. non-organic thing or if it's more of a breed/type thing. All I know is I'm addicted to the organic stuff. Beyond the health issues, the flavor of the organic fruits and vegetables blows the other stuff away. I made a decision a few years ago to experiment with buying less in quantity, but buying organic when possible. My logic was that, financially, we'd end up about the same because it seemed like we always (shamefully) threw so much of the "regular" stuff away. What I realized is that - and maybe this was all working before at some unconscious level, us realizing things didn't taste as good as they should, I don't know - the organic stuff always had so much better flavor that we all wanted to eat that stuff sitting in the vegetable bins whereas before it just kind of sat there until I purposefully built a meal around it. Now we'll all go grab things from the bin to snack on. And why not? They actually taste good and have flavor. They can compete with chips and cookies in the flavor war whereas the other stuff just can't. It's really too bad all of our grocery costs are sky-rocketing so dramatically of late. It makes it harder to justify spending the money, though that eases somewhat when I remind myself that I can buy this and spend more and know we'll eat it, or I can spend less and buy that and take my chances on eventually throwing it away.

So, this was a weird post and I'm too tired to work at making it more coherent. I'll just recap, then, shall I? The lazy blogger's version of coherence...
--AIG. Weird day.
--Capitalism. Needs restraints. Because we're people (and corporations are made up of people) and we always to go too far without them.
--Work out. Not completely satisfying, but better than nothing.
--Dinner. Delicious.
--Organic fruits & vegetables. The (selfishly more flavorful) way to go. And healthier, too.