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Fall 2005

Aloha Friends,

We just returned from five days on Maui where we snorkeled, strolled along Lahaina's multi-galleried waterfront, and attended Shana's and John's fabulous wedding festivities. Before we went to the airport to go home, we stopped at a post office to fill a box with clothes, shoes and other bits. We always send stuff home when we travel. We lighten our luggage.

Skeptics vs. Cynics: Recently, someone called me a cynic. I'd rather be called a skeptic. I looked up both words: A skeptic is a person who wants to see compelling evidence before they believe something. I try to be that way, though sometimes it involves more research than I care to do. A cynic is a person whose outlook is scornfully negative. Sometimes I indulge in blunt, negative retorts, but overall I'm positive.

My Favorite Movie: Ma Vie En Rose or "My Life in Pink" is a 1997 French film. Smart young Ludovic is the delight of his upwardly-mobile middle-class parents-until he becomes convinced he's a girl trapped in a boy's body. His outward expressions of identity, which include wearing dresses and starring in a classroom performance of "Snow White," put a strain on the family unit but seem absolutely natural to him. This sad-happy film urges us to love others for their differences. An international festival smash, and the recipient of the Best Foreign Film Golden Globe.

Book of the Month: I just read SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless by Steve Salerno. The all-caps title is an acronym that expresses Salerno's assessment of what it signifies, the Self-Help and Actualization Movement, which he subdivides into the camp of victimization and the camp of empowerment, both of which excuse inaction. The movement fosters victimization by telling adherents they can't escape their pasts, and empowerment by exalting attitude (e.g., self-esteem) over achievement. Read about the most visible self-help entrepreneurs: Tony Robbins, John Gray, Carolyn Myss, Marianne Williamson, to name a few.

My New Digital Camera: I bought a Sony Cyber-shot with 7.2 mega pixels and feel like a professional photographer. Our yard is full of orchids, so I took a series of photos of the various varieties. Orange orchids are rare, so I'm featuring one for you to gaze upon. It's tied to a Plumeria Tree near our front door.

orange orchid

Click on my BLOG at the top of the page for my latest entries. CrisBlog contains my spicier, more controversial thoughts. One of its missions is to "get closer to the truth" on a variety of topics.

Email your hottest tips for simplifying the Christmas season. Make them outrageous. (We know about drawing names.) If you were to give the same gift to the adults on your list, what would it be? What is your favorite, simple holiday recipe? Tell all.

Best Wishes ,

Beauty Tips from Readers
. Nicole: "Use an eyebrow pencil or powder that's one shade lighter than your hair color. The same shade makes your brows look too harsh and unnatural."
. Alexis: "Use a clear or nude pencil to line your lips. Pencils are waxy and lipsticks are creamy, so a colored pencil will last longer than the lipstick and may end up leaving a dark ring around your mouth."
. Tessa: "If you comb your hair toward your face rather than away from it, you'll call less attention to your hairline where roots are the most visible."



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