Monday, January 07, 2013

The Documentaries that Ate Me or The Sunday When I Did Nothing

Sunday (yesterday) held an infinite number of possibilities for cleaning my house and getting back into the swing of reality after a long holiday break from school - my kids go back tomorrow. YAY and BOO!

I had a plan, man. Git r done.

And then?

Denise from BlogHer posted this link about documentaries and, well....Denise is the reason we still can't eat at the dining room table and why I'm still not dressed this morning. Because...I'm writing this post. Denise will claim the fault lies with Zan, the woman who wrote the 'review' of documentaries. So, I've decided to hold both of them responsible for my lack of exercise as well. It's only fair.

Both of these women caused me to load up my Netflix queue with documentaries, thus getting sucked into a film-a-thon. I tried to resist, instead wanting to devote my time and energy to creating a serene, clean environment for my loving family that I adore. It must have been some sort of mind controlling subliminal message delivered through Zan's post. Go read it, you'll see.

So, I sat on my hiney for H.O.U.R.S. watching films from Zan's list I'd hoped would inspire me to not sit on my ass for hours staring at a screen. I'm a teeny bit suspicious I'm going about it the wrong way.


Since I was watching thoughtful documentaries and NOT explodey, ka-boomy, shoot-'em-up movies then I'm sure I get at least some points for effort, right?

So, since I'm still working on a New Year's Resolution post...or, any post really...I figured I'd share my own opinions about the films I watched. Try to contain your glee. And, you're welcome. Here we go....

1. HappyHappy takes viewers on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real-life stories and scientific interviews, the film explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Since this was the first film I watched, much of it has faded because I never think to take notes, which is essential for someone with Swiss cheese for a brain. BUT...the 'thought' I took away from it was regardless of the regurgitated idea that happiness doesn't come from an external source and even that even the poorest among us or those who've suffered traumatic events can find much to be happy about, I STILL think y'all should see it. We need to be reminded...really, we do - just go look through the Facebook status updates of your friends and you'll realize we have a drought of Happy. I don't believe that it is harder to find the happy vs the angst or angry or critical or the plethora of other un-perky emotions that people try really hard to portray instead of acknowledging all the reasons they DO have to be happy. My goodness, people, have you READ your own updates lately? Makes me sad, but then I just have to look around me and the happy is back. Until I look at the sentence structure of this post...and then....ack, off to find the Happy again.

2. No Impact Man: The Documentary - In this engaging documentary, a Fifth Avenue family goes green when writer Colin Beavan leads his wife, Michelle Conlin, and their baby daughter on a yearlong crusade to generate no trash and otherwise make no net impact on the environment.

I'd forgotten that I saw this. I also read a few of his blog posts as he was going through the year long project. My first thought, upon seeing it again, was "Boy, anyone who tries something outside of the collectively accepted might as well be standing on a powder keg holding their own match." Some people were supportive of his efforts, many Public reception to extreme challenges, unless they involve deadly sports, is often met with disdain and hate, thinking that the challenger is suggesting we need to do exactly as they have done. If you watch this documentary, then you must look past all the trees (his extreme steps) to see the forest (his desire that we all pick what we CAN do, what we are capable of doing). He repeatedly says, in many ways, that he wanted to see what was possible - how far someone could go. We can choose to learn from it and pick our own battles of protecting this planet we live on or we can choose to sit on our asses and just post obnoxious comments (that last part was my own addition...some people suck).

3. Hungry for Change - This documentary exposes secrets the diet, weight loss and food industries don't want consumers to know about: deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more. Find out what's keeping people from having the body and health they want.

Meh - it was short enough to not be too bad, but very repetitive - almost as if they didn't have enough material to make a full length film. I'm glad I watched it, even if I didn't learn anything new. The dramatic comparisons likening sugar to heroin were enough to make your eyes roll back and say "Hey, how ya doin'?" to your cerebellum. Because, for real? It isn't apples to apples...because, I could eat several tablespoons of sugar...oodles even...and live. If I were to shoot an equal amount of heroin I highly doubt I'd live through that. HFC's are bad, I agree. Stop eating 'diet foods', they're bad, I agree. This film preaches to the choir, so just know that going in and try not to let your eyes roll too much, they might get stuck like that.

4. Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead - Focusing on two men whose bodies have been trashed by steroids, obesity and illness, this documentary chronicles the rigorous healing path -- including a two-month diet of fruits and vegetables -- that both attempt in a bid to rescue their health.

Dude, I want a juicer!!! {don't roll your eyes at me, did you NOT see my warning above in #3??} I don't want a juicer because I believe that juicing is a cure all. I want one because after being diagnosed with Celiac disease I know the damage that food can inflict on a body. As with all documentaries where they show us a 'challenge', Joe ( the main guy) drank nothing but fruit/veggie juice that he (mostly) juiced himself for 60 days. A very extreme undertaking that he felt necessary for him. He did not challenge all of us to do it that long. Three other stories are portrayed, people who 'juiced' for various reasons and lengths of time. All benefited. Will everyone? I'm not gullible, HELLO! But, I do see the benefit of a fast that replaces the foods we are eating with more intensive nutrients. My own stomach is still a mess, because I am still learning what I can and can't eat. One of my main issues is that I have a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from what I eat. I do believe that juicing for a short period of time will clean out the bad stuff in my intestines AND might aid in nutrient absorption because I don't have to actually EAT all the food, I can drink it. If you had stomach issues, you know that it can be SO much easier to drink something than to digest masticated food. I've asked Hubbypants for a juicer. I want to take the challenge...but not for 2 months. That dude was out of his ever lovin' mind!

So, there you have it. My Sunday in 4 sections. I'd tell you about my laundry episodes, but I'm not sure you are still awake so...your loss.

I love documentaries, but my biggest peeve is they often rely heavily on one side without much counter argument. I realize the point of a documentary is often to tell a side that may not otherwise be given notice...but context and counter is necessary, at least in my own opinion. I believe opposing sides hold truths and knowledge that is important for really getting the big picture. So, while I like watching things that support my point of view,  I want the WHOLE truth.

My Netflix queue has eleventyzillion more documentaries. I can see what you're thinking, you're thinking you'll need to clear your calendar so that you can follow in my footsteps and watch all I've watched'll need to stay glued to my blog for more updates as I wade through a sea of knowledge, that I'll bring to a computer near you.

You lucky duckies.

p.s. there were brain cells damaged during the viewing of these documentaries. I had wine. A few glasses, actually.
p.p.s. watch them anyway, because I remember a lot as I'm a drinking pro and know how to handle my wine.
p.p.p.s. do you think that it would violate some juicing law if I were to top off the evening juice meal with wine?
p.p.p.p.s. oh, wait...I just remembered that Joe didn't drink coffee during his juicing challenge. Damn, I'm destined to remain fat. Well...shit.
p.p.p.p.p.s. oh, speaking of you take on a juicing challenge you might want to do it over a weekend.  When you are home a lot. Preferably within a few feet from the bathroom. Trust me, watch the documentary first. You'll see.


  1. Anonymous12:55 PM

    LOL! Melissa, only you can get me cracking up. I lost control here laughing...(no, I did NOT pee my pants). Of course, I haven't seen or heard about any of these shows. You know, I don't watch much TV (cooking shows mostly). But I appreciate reading about what you've done.

    Hey, I agree with you about the juicing; save it for a weekend. Oh, and how I want to tell people to DO save it for the weekend. Or they'll be sorry. lol!

    1. I'm not a big TV watcher, but I do love documentaries. We have Netflix streaming, so there are oodles of documentary options there, as well as the library. I love learning new stuff!!

  2. Anonymous1:19 PM

    I love my juicer! LOVE it! And, one of the wonderful things about juicing is finding yummy ways to eat up the pulp afterward...muffins, cakes...oh, wait. This is supposed to be about NOT eating the bad-for-you-but-oh-so-yummy-stuff. So what? I figure an apple muffin made from actual APPLES is better than an apple-flavored muffin.

    Mmmm, juicing. But it's expensive. Fo' reals. The Husband has been very supportive, except in my efforts to make a V-8 taste-alike. "You know, you could just buy V-8."

    A. for Anonymous and also for Aaaaaaaaand, the juicer gets hauled to the front of the cupboard again after being pushed to the back corner over the holiday gluttony-fest

    1. I really want to do a 5-10 day body needs it, I think. I don't bake much anymore, so not sure I'd find many uses for the pulp, but I love the idea!

  3. You are a brave woman to watch so many documentaries back to back. I saw that list and it truly intrigued me, too. Might need to reactivate my Netflix!
    Hope you get your juicer soon-- keep us posted!

    1. I want to start the cleanse, but it must be planned...specifically that of buying the juicer. The one shown on the documentary isn't too expensive, so we are thinking about it. We never make purchase decisions too quickly. I'm sure there will be MUCH to blog about!!

  4. Hubbypants4:01 PM

    Juicer will be here just in time for the girls weekend. Well, you can practice making yummy things. ♥♥♥♥