Last night, after a very busy week, I finally got to settle down in front of my TiVo and catch up on some serious viewing. I watched two Starting Overs (where the drama is coming fast and furious: clearly, they decided they needed more conflict than last season) and then America’s Next Top Model, where there has always been drama, no disputing that. I have to say, though, that I like the messages that Tyra is sending this year. She was stern with the girl who was clearly anorexic, telling her that was not a message she wanted to send to girls watching, that being that thin was ideal. And last night, she made a point to make it clear, repeatedly, how much retouching goes into magazine photos. In fact, she was very plain in saying that ALL pictures are retouched, and then she showed one of each girl with the retouching and without, so we could see that even the most beautiful people have various things airbrushed out or cropped or whatever. I think it’s very easy, when you read a lot of magazines and look at a lot of pictures, to just assume that it all comes so naturally, the hair, the makeup, the body, etc. But it doesn’t, and everyone has flaws, it’s what makes us human. We should know that, of course, but sometimes it’s nice to reminded. Especially by Tyra Banks.

Meanwhile, I did my very first videoconference with a high school in Kannapolis, NC yesterday, which was really fun and interesting. I was all set up in a room at UNC with a big plasma screen in front of me, on which I could see the kids at their school, and they could see me, and they asked questions for about an hour. There was a bit of a delay, so when I said something I hoped was funny, I had to wait what felt like a looong time to hear them laugh, sort of bizarre. But I thought it was really cool, this whole idea that people can be so easily connected, that I can do a school event without even leaving my own campus. Revolutionary!

Another revolutionary act: I’m going on vacation. No, really. Tomorrow. Which means the journal entries will be a bit sparse for a little while, although I’ll try to check in from time to time. Ideally, though, I’m making a true effort to get away from email and voicemail, all mail. I just want to sit and listen to the ocean for a little while. I’ll let you know how it goes.

have a good day everyone!