Wednesday, November 30, 2016

In Defense of Wisconsin

In light of all the anger being directed toward the Midwest--and Wisconsin, in particular--I rush to our defense. (Not that we care what you think, but being from the East Coast, I do.)

When I arrived in this suburb of Madison in 2006, I didn't know the geography. What is the Upper Peninsula? What is the difference between Iowa and Idaho? How can Lake Michigan border Chicago and Milwaukee and Michigan? Where is the Mississippi River?

That was my coastal perspective, shamelessly ignorant of somewhere that just didn't count.

On the other hand, I understand how stressed out you all are back East. I left because--honestly--I could not figure out how to make my life work.

Boston is fine, if you can live in an apartment with a roommate in the city and take a train or a bus to work.  (I did that for several years, and it was great.)

Our first house was 35 miles south of Boston, at the very end of the Commuter Rail line. I drove two miles to the Commuter Rail, rode the train for an hour, took the subway across to Cambridge, and voila! there I was, more or less, at my office.

I didn't mind. I read books on the train.

But when I had a baby, I didn't want to be away from him for eleven hours a day, five days a week. (Three hours commuting, eight hours at work.) But we couldn't afford to live any closer, the prices just kept going up.

This is what people did in our town: They took the 4:30 am train to get home by four pm. Or, one parent took the early train, while the other parent got the kids off to school, took the 7:30 train into Boston, and returned home late.

Everyone worked, husband and wife, because life was expensive out there.  I tried freelancing from home, and I got a lot of hours, but it still wasn't enough. Our boat sprung a leak. We were bailing as fast as we could.

So, we came to Wisconsin, where my husband got a job that paid better than another offer for similar work in Boston. (And yet, it's cheaper here. How do they expect people to live out there?)

Instead of a three-hour commute, he drives half an hour (no traffic) to the office.

I continued to work freelance from home. I can afford to reduce my hours, if needed.

We bought a hundred-year-old Arts and Crafts home eight miles south of Madison, a jewel of a city.

In Massachusetts, our choices of local restaurants were "La Garlic" or "Lorenzo's." Otherwise, there was New Bedford and Fall River--interesting old cities perennially clawing their way back into relevance (and failing) while maintaining a stalwart charm.

You can't tell me that New Bedford or Fall River--God bless them--are so much more sophisticated than Madison (no way!) or even...Milwaukee. (I'd put them on a par with La Crosse and Waukesha.)

The public schools in the entire Madison area and beyond--way, way beyond--are consistently good, and consistently better, school for school, than the public school offerings in the entire Boston area (and beyond), where the quality correlates (almost without exception) directly to the affluence of the community.  (The one exception is Reading, Massachusetts--a squarely middle-class town, last I knew, with a respectable public school system.)

Wisconsin is currently under the boot of Gov. Walker. But you can't look at our recent political history (which includes Tammy Baldwin and Russ Feingold) and conclude that we're entirely Republican.

You may recall headlines from when we rose in force against Walker, occupied the capitol, and tried to recall him ourselves.

(Trump is from New York.)

But you paint us with broad strokes, and the brushes are bigger than ever.

You know what I like about Wisconsin?

It's beautiful. There's lots of green and open space.

It's ranked number three in the country for bicycling.

We have lakes, rolling hills, and plunging valleys to break your heart.

It's working land, well organized, a patchwork quilt.  It may look flat in the harsh light of day, but in morning and evening light it transforms, undeniably lovely.

It's an unassuming place that doesn't dress up for lunch.

And nor do the people dress to impress. You don't have to think twice before walking out the door. No need to check makeup, or rethink your shoes (unless they're particularly impractical).

You don't have to be witty or clever or rich. You don't have to go to the right schools.  It helps, in some corners, to have deep rotting roots-- no different from the entrenched flavors and accents of old Boston neighborhoods.

This is a good place to raise your kids. The schools are good. You can be home for supper. You can afford to live within striking distance of some kind of civilization.

You got Chicago to the south (a couple of hours).

You got Lake Michigan that looks like an ocean (over there).

You don't feel like you have to prove yourself all the time. It's a place that nurtures process. You don't have to race to finish.

You can find a quiet place to think--there are parks all around.

A lot of good people come from the Midwest. Georgia O'Keefe was born to Irish homesteaders in Sun Prairie--fifteen minutes east of Madison. Laura Ingalls and Marguerite Henry were both from Wisconsin...Willem Dafoe, Gene Wilder, Spencer Tracy, Gena Rowlands, Orson Welles, Frank Lloyd Wright...

If you're going to blame Wisconsin, you may as well blame me--I didn't canvas or cold-call anyone. I bought and delivered a bunch of signs for friends. I wrote posts and posted on FB. I voted for Clinton. I could have done more.

So you could blame me, or you could blame Republican gerrymandering. You could blame Putin or Wikileaks or Comey. You could blame Facebook for fake news or those who believed it. You could blame people who are sexist and those who hate grannies.

There's something rotten in Denmark, of that much I'm sure. It may be in Wisconsin, but it is metastatic--the cancer is from New York--a mutation, a malignancy, a pock on our houses.

I say we fight together, and not amongst ourselves.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Pearl Necklace

These pearls were given to me by a woman named Mary. She would be about 81 now. She was 43 when we met. I was 12, and staying at my grandfather's for two weeks. My grandfather, Jeb, was dating Mary then. He was 63.

When I asked Mary if she was going to marry my grandfather, she explained that she would not, because Jeb was so much older. From my perspective, being 12, the flaw in her logic was that they both looked old.

This was 1978. I know that for sure because that was the year that the Holocaust television series aired, and I watched it with my Jewish grandfather. I could never forget that. It was just the two of us, my extremely uptight grandfather and me, watching the Holocaust in his bedroom opposite the small colored TV.

I loved my grandfather, but he was uptight. His house was always clean and tidy. His garage and basement workshop were perfectly organized and very well lit. He made his orange juice from real oranges every morning. The first thing he taught me when I came to stay for two weeks was how to rinse out my dishes and place them in the dishwasher properly.

He could be a little intimidating, not unlike a dormant volcano that hasn't blown its top in 500 years, but isn't making any promises. It's the little signs you watch for: steam issuing through the cracks, the soles of your sneakers melting.

Watching the Holocaust, I saw actual tears stream down his cheeks.

It was a shocking program--with real footage of the horrors they found in the camps. No one had ever seen anything like that on television before.

It was a strange coincidence, because during that visit I also learned that Mary was a Jewish Hungarian Holocaust survivor.

The Nazis did not occupy Hungary until 1944, but then they immediately started rounding up the Jews and the Roma, and sent them off to Auschwitz.

It is estimated that the Nazis killed between 450,000 - 606,000 Hungarian Jews.

In 1944 Mary would have been about nine years old. She survived by fleeing to the woods, where she spent the duration of the war. I don't know if she was accompanied by an adult, but I assume she must have found others in the woods who helped her survive.

Everyone else in her family went to Auschwitz.

Mary had at least one photograph in her apartment that I remember seeing from Hungary. Her family: mother, father, brothers, and sisters.  A large and prosperous family.

It struck me, being 12, that Mary was alone in the world and that she really ought to marry my grandfather, who, after all, was still very handsome. (I could not have known then that he would only live another five or six years.)

If she had had anyone else--a daughter or a niece--she would have given the pearls to them. But she gave them to me.

Mary owned a white Arabian horse named Woodstock. We went to the barn where she boarded him, and I heard people talking--the way people say things around a kid because they think kids are made of dough and confectioner's sugar. I heard every mean word, as Mary struggled with her horse.

Mary was a slight woman--chopsticks in britches, elegant in clothes--at 92 pounds. (At one point, she suggested that if I didn't lose a bit of weight I would have to wear umbrella dresses for the rest of my life. She meant it kindly. No one was fat in 1978--it was grounds for being institutionalized.  My grandfather loved me, but found my extra ten pounds absolutely mortifying. I could tell that he did, because he had put Mary up to talking to me about it...I had ears.)

Mary struggled for control of her horse--and I remember wondering the whole time whether she could pull it off--this whole trail-ride thing. They gave me a horse to ride. He was minding his manners. Mary finally got herself in the saddle. The horse wheeled round and round, while other people watched and whispered.

The trail wound over hills among some of the most beautiful countryside I've ever seen or ridden. It was just the two of us and our horses.  Woodstock, her Arabian, settled right in and we had the most marvelous ride that included an encounter with deer. We didn't see another human the whole time, and we must have ridden for a couple of hours. It was sheer heaven--a perfect day, blue skies. We returned triumphant.

Not only did Mary have the Arabian horse, she also had a German Shepherd named Janousch. He liked me quite well, but he ate other dogs. It was always tense on the elevator in her building and occasionally really bad.

My grandfather got in trouble with his mailman when Janousch came to stay.

Eventually, Mary had to give him up.  I think I am referring to Janousch , but it's possible that my grandfather left first. Eventually she lost them both.

Life was hard for Mary, though she frequently prevailed--as she did with Woodstock on that perfect day. She survived the Holocaust, but lost her family. She came to the states (somehow--I don't know that story), and ultimately went to school and became a professor.

I was driving with her, just the two of us, when she stopped, parked the car, and asked me to wait. She went into a bank, to her safety deposit box, and brought out the pearl necklace in a Chinese silk purse. She told me she wanted me to have them.

We both loved horses, and we both loved dogs. I was an only child, and in a different way, she was an only child.  My parents were divorced, so in one sense, I had lost my family, too--but in a very different sense indeed.

I am updating this post, changing the ending, because the original ending--that Mary gave me the pearls out of love and a keen awareness of the brevity of our friendship--felt off. There was more to it than that.

I knew Mary longer than that two weeks. I remember seeing her on several visits, perhaps over a period as long as 2-3 years.

I remember, too, that I was aware that Mary felt sorry for me. Though I was serious and melancholy, I felt she pitied me too much. I dare say, to some extent, it was projection. She saw in me just enough seriousness, melancholy, loneliness, and loss to recognize something of her own girlhood.

Mary and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum of childhood deprivation and misery; by comparison, mine was relatively insignificant--by today's standards, hardly out of the ordinary.

I think that pity and projection figured largely into her gift of the pearls.

I don't know if Mary bought the pearls in America, or if they had been secreted away in the lining of her clothes when she was a girl in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

I do know that pearls, poetically enough, symbolize innocence, and that this pearl necklace belonged to a woman whose innocence had been stolen from her.  I believe she gave them to me because I was a serious, melancholy, and somewhat weighty child who had also grown up too soon.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Not His Supreme Court Justice

I am thinking about Derrick Bell, whom I had the privilege to know as the editor on his groundbreaking casebook, Race, Racism, and American Law.

I hasten to add, I was not the editor who signed the book, or the editor who developed the book, or the editor who copy-edited the book. I was the editor meant to persuade Bell to put more cases in the Fourth Edition of his book.

As the word implies, casebooks generally include some lightly edited cases.

A little background: Bell was the first black tenured professor at Harvard Law School, a position that he left in protest of the school's failure to give tenure to black women (prior to Lani Guinier's appointment).  Bell was also a prominent civil rights activist, scholar, and author.

For the same reason that Trump is not my president, Bell maintained that the Supreme Court was a racist institution and therefore not a true court of justice.

Heavy on exposition and scholarship, Bell's book was a tour de force of legal analysis, period. So he didn't have to put cases in if he didn't want to.

But it was my job to persuade him, after several editions, to change his mind.

I was warned that Bell would probably not warm to the idea, and might even come across as testy.

In fact, rather than reacting defensively, he took quite a bit of time to patiently explain to me why he had left the cases out of the book in the first place.

A perusal of his 1000-page tome was enough to give me a healthy respect for the intellectual giant on the other end of my phone. I wasn't going to argue with him--nor did I disagree with anything he said.

I did point out, however, that I had spoken with a number of his esteemed colleagues--people who absolutely revered him--and they, as teachers, were hoping for some lightly edited cases--even though they well understood his objections.

I think it was my idea, (if I'm not taking too much credit; I might have trotted over to someone else's office with my problem and returned with the solution) to suggest that the lightly-edited cases could be tucked discretely away in the Appendix.

Bell was actually open to this idea. In the Appendix, the cases would not get in the way of his book. They would be off to the side, like end notes. So that's what we did.

When the new edition was published, he sent me a copy in which he inscribed a note to my mother (his idea) saying very flattering things about me. I dutifully gave that copy to my mother, until Bell passed away, when I stole it back from her because that's the kind of daughter I really am.

I continued to be Bell's editor for the next edition. We spoke occasionally over the phone, and he was always warm and personable. He talked to me about the state of society and its progress, or lack thereof.

My office was in Cambridge, so I went to see Bell give a lecture at Harvard Law School in 2002. It was the first time that he had returned to Harvard after leaving in protest and becoming a Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law.

Bell spoke at a large in a full auditorium. More than half of the audience (mostly law students, presumably) were people of color. They seemed jubilant.  They were aware of Bell's history with the school, and I think they were eager, as Harvard law students, to have their own school redeemed by Bell's tacit (or explicit) benediction.

Bell had just published a new book that year, called Ethical Ambition (Bloomsbury Copyright 2002).

Bell and I had never met face to face. I stood in line to ask him to sign my copy of his book. When I got to the front, I introduced myself.

He looked surprised, as though I was not at all what he expected.

"I took you to be in your fifties," he said.

No wonder he was so concerned about my mother--she would have been really old.

I was 37 at that time, and felt greatly complimented.

He inscribed the book, "...great editor and friend."

The last time we spoke on the phone would have been a year at most from that day at Harvard.

Harvard finally hired Lani Guinier.  Law school faculties and student bodies across the country were becoming significantly more integrated.  Yet Bell was feeling very discouraged about the state of our society and its institutions.

Incredibly, (now that I think about it) Derrick Bell himself explained to me the term "institutional racism."  He described how the criminal justice system, the education system, the political system, the housing system, the economic system, etc., etc., were structurally and systemically racist.

I knew he was sick. I knew his life was drawing to a close. (It was not a secret.)

I felt very sad that his life, which I and so many others viewed as brilliant and ennobling, should end in a kind of despair.

His unhappiness troubled me more than what he was actually telling me.  Because, on some level, I failed to grasp it until years later, when I read Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, which  documents the travesties of injustice for black men on death row in the South and for juveniles in prisons throughout the country. That was the book that made me understand how institutional racism works.

I read Stevenson's book, and I was reminded of my last conversation with Bell, and I wished that I hadn't been so ignorant of what he was talking about.

Bell gave me too much credit. I knew that he had justice on his side, but I did not always know what he was talking about. I was not always sure that he had a perfectly clear view of things.

I thought society was making progress.

I saw a black women getting tenure at Harvard.

I saw women and minorities become half of the faculty at most of law schools--whereas, when I started out in legal publishing in 1996, the law faculties were overwhelmingly white men.

It looked like progress to me.

I thought Bell was a little bit wrong.

He wasn't. It was my ignorance.

So now, of course, following this travesty of an election, I'm screaming my head off, raging all over the place, processing like a maniac. It's very undignified.

Radical feminist. Raging lunatic. Social menace. Late to the party.

Because it's happening to me now, in a roundabout way. Of course, it's happening to other people too, but now I get it. I get what institutional prejudice looks and feels like. I understand how profoundly discouraging it is...the more so because I thought we were making such progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Price of the Ticket

Were we joking when we said we'd expatriate if Trump won? it seemed impossible that he would, and therefore safe--even fun--to imagine pulling up stakes. Phil wanted to go to Costa Rica; I thought Ontario was more within reach. it was a Plan B that made the prospect--however slight--of such a catastrophe more palatable. It helped me sleep at night.

But then the worst thing happened. And very quickly the question of whether to stay or go was answered by the progressive consensus: Stay.  Stay and help to defend against the evil in our midst.

But on a very deep and personal level, I feel so shockingly betrayed and disempowered--robbed is not too strong a word--that I cannot take the first step in what I'm told is a prescribed process for getting through this, which is to "accept that Trump won."

No, I can't accept how he won or that he won or that such an altogether irredeemable reprobate is going to be the President.

The more I learn about his staff picks, the shit he says, and his nefarious lies, the further I get from being able to even imagine getting past Step One.

So, personally and profoundly, he will never be my President. He will only ever be a sex offender and a wildly irresponsible human being who is about to hold more power than anyone else on the planet.

And if that weren't enough to make me want to get the hell out of Dodge, then the fact that I am living in a state in which one out of two people voted for Trump is enough to make me feel deeply suspicious, apprehensive, appalled, and bitterly disappointed in half the population where I live and breathe.

Already, I see a kid walking home from school wearing a big American flag on the front of his shirt. I see big American flags popping up on front lawns. And the sight is as disturbing as the Confederate flag--just slightly less unnerving than a swastika.

Why must I stay?

Shall I wear a safety pin to show that I am not a threat to those for whom the American government and public has become so shamelessly menacing?

It’s a stretch to imagine myself so powerful-- in a country that strips women of clothes, dignity, voice, and power--that I should feel obliged to stay and fight the good fight; as opposed to leaving and thereby save myself from being further beaten down.

It strikes me that perhaps those self-proclaimed progressives who are willing to accept Trump as president-elect, who are optimistic that he might do something good for working people, who are willing to give him a chance to lead, and who are able to overlook the damage he has already done and the evil that continues to hurt people in his name...perhaps THOSE people should stay and play the game.

I can't do any of those things. So perhaps it's time to leave.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Damage Done

I can't accept that HRC was vilified and sabotaged for having a personal email server (I have one of those, btw) and PET could, according to him, "shoot someone in plain sight on Fifth Avenue" and not take a hit in the polls. He has been described as bulletproof--he could say any outrageous thing and did--and MORE--and STILL got elected President.

I'm not buying this "mandate for change" crap that even our prominent liberals are coming around to espouse. That's entirely beside the point.

The point is that Hillary was treated like absolute shit in front of all of us. Her campaign was clearly sabotaged by the FBI director and Wikileaks (gratis to a man fleeing rape charges in Sweden).

I haven't forgotten "Lock her up!"

I heard all of the lewd, demeaning, disgusting, disrespectful, HORRIBLE things that were said.

And he won.  He got away with all of it.

It makes me sick. It breaks my heart. It makes me so angry I can hardly think straight.

Fuck you, Trump.

Fuck you, Wikileaks. You're no better than the worst that you find.

Fuck you twice, Comey. Sonofabitch.

A mandate for change is no excuse for the extensive damage done.The disempowerment of all women. The humiliation of all women.

I stood with Hillary as a woman. I am traumatized.

Women are fucking traumatized. Mindfucked, betrayed by our country , disposessed of democracy and gang raped.

How can anyone say this was a mandate for change?

I don't fucking care if the real Trump is nicer, or pragmatic, or phlegmatic or decent.

He'll always be a sexual predator to me.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

No Peaceful Transfer of Values

Wouldn't it be nice if this were Hamilton's year?

Alexander Hamilton is an inspiring figure from colonial American history that we've discovered this year because of a great biography and musical.

But we celebrate him now because our society has progressed, finally, to the point where we embrace Hamilton in light of the fact that he was raised in poverty by a single mother of mixed race.

Our forefathers, like my poodle, were men of pedigree. It has taken us this long to forgive Hamilton for not being the right kind of poodle, and to acknowledge our debt of gratitude.

Hamilton had no advantages in society except what  lay under his skin. He was smart enough to rise among snobs. But this year, we literally sing his praises.

The electoral college, described by Hamilton in The Federalist Papers (#68),was intended to guard the integrity of the executive branch--though it has proved a nuisance and consistently failed to right the course of history.

However, there is a chance that it could still prove useful. If the electoral college turns on President-Elect Trump like a pack of rabid dogs (on Dec. 19 when they vote), it would overturn the election. It has never happened, and I don't think it will happen, but it is legally and theoretically possible.

To prevent this country from falling apart in its infancy, Hamilton argued persuasively for the ratification of the Constitution.

Wouldn't it be fitting if he saved our country from crumbling once again--this year of all years--when we've finally come around to celebrating him as an outstanding patriot?

Because what will prevent a little more than half of this country from being able to acquiesce to a peaceful transition of power are core values of fairness, responsibility, and justice--oh, and let's not forget to save the planet.

These things cannot wait four years.

Political etiquette does not trump core values.

There will be no peace.

It's the 1970s all over again: rioting in the streets, demonstrations on Washington...Don't be surprised when student protesters are shot dead on campus.

There will be no peace and no rest, because bigotry and racism cannot be tolerated.  The mass deportation of people of color cannot be tolerated. The appropriation of women's bodies and rights cannot be tolerated.  The attacks on our environment and the failure to save the planet from dying cannot be tolerated.

We have a mandate.

There will be no peace.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Beans Are Bad

Faced with the prospect of knee replacement surgery, I am spending a beautiful Sunday afternoon performing due diligence.

A. What's the matter with my knee?

Answer: (Let's see if I can explain this without my notes.) There's no cartilage between the knee cap and the femoral bone. (Clickety-clack.)

B. Do I have to have surgery? What are my other options?

Answer:  Zero other options. My doctor said that injections wouldn't help, because there is no cartilage there whatsoever. (Clickety-clack.) He said it comes down to pain management or total knee replacement.

C.  Do the on-line experts agree?

Answer:  Yes, because there's no cartilage there, ma'am. If there were any cartilage, there would be five things I could consider to heal the cartilage:

  1. gene therapy
  2. platelet rich plasma
  3. growth factors
  4. stem cells
  5. drilling and debridement (I dunno--it sounds horrible.)
D. What can I do to reduce inflammation and pain and postpone surgery?

Tricky. I refuse to go on the Paleo diet. Forget it! Not happening!  I hate diets.

Here's what I'll do. I'll make a list of good and bad food.

Tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, certain nuts, fatty fish, berries, cherries, oranges, bok choy, broccoli, bone broth, walnuts, coconut oil, chia and flax seeds, turmeric and ginger, brown rice, greek yogurt, jalapeno peppers

Everything else, specifically: Sugar, vegetable oil (yes, canola), all fried foods, refined flour, cheese, milk, butter, synthetic sweeteners, additives, burgers, pizza, chips, candy, grain-fed meats, processed meats, soy milk, tofu, most bread, transfats (dairy queen, blizzards), PEANUTS (which can attack joints and cause inflammation) and ALL beans. (Dear God.)

I know, right?  There's joint pain, and then, alternatively, there's the enervating process of limiting the scope of one's pleasures so narrowly that one is finally left in the yoga position, slim yet miserable, clinging to a book of poetry that is no comfort.

I'm not motivated to be an ascetic. I've encountered ascetics. They are excessively lean. They go for endless walks from sacred place to sacred place. They wear loin cloths and little else. I'll walk the dogs and lose five pounds. There it ends.

Still, the idea of asserting control over a body that is admittedly falling apart is undeniable. So, I will look at the list of GOOD FOOD and try to assemble some sort of meal from it. I will study the BAD FOOD and redouble my efforts to avoid them.

What annoys me, frankly, are the regimens one finds on-line that promise to REVERSE ARTHRITIS or to jump-start my metabolism or whatever bullshit line they're trying to sell. Clearly, they are offering a religious experience. They are asking me to believe--to put my body and faith in their hands--and to suffer accordingly in obeisance.

NO. I refuse. I will not! I will not go Paleo. I will not go Green Mama. I will not go Seventh Day Adventists.

I will take more Tumeric.  I will cut out the peanuts. I'll buy brown rice. Kale. Spinach. Blueberries. (I'm having deja vu. Have I said any of this before?)

Have I mentioned that Phil can eat whatever the hell he wants with his sugar conspiracy documentaries?

I'll continue to eat walnuts. I won't drink soy milk, except in coffee. What milk may I eat?  Is this a trap? Am I not supposed to eat cereal?  Am I going to wake up to sausage and eggs?

We should all be eating less red meat. It's not sustainable, or kind. Chickens are sustainable, and I don't care about them. (I know there are people who love their chickens, but I don't get it.) Too bad if the chickens eat grain--they'd eat their own egg shells, given half a chance.

I'm supposed to eat shell-fish but not chicken? Do you know what shell-fish eat?  (It's disgusting. I like them, but it's disgusting.)

Okay, I might be a little irritable because I have to have total knee replacement. But do I have to have a total lifestyle replacement as well?


  1. The orthopedic surgeon did in fact inject something into my knee (Synvisc One), and my knee felt better immediately. The relief may last 4 - 6 months, and then I can opt for another injection to postpone surgery yet again. Eventually, I will have to have knee replacement surgery, but it's best to postpone it as long as possible. 
  2. I have been eating almost exclusively from the GOOD FOODS list since I first wrote this post (not long ago). I am almost chagrined to admit how much it has helped. I had been icing my feet as well as my knee every night to relieve pain caused by inflammation. I have not had to ice anything since I gave up kettle-cooked potato chips and the like. It could be a placebo effect, but the difference is truly remarkable and motivates to continue eating the right foods. I've also lost a couple of pounds without feeling the least bit deprived. Please excuse me while I go write this up in a book and make a million dollars.