THE STRAIGHT UP
The Joy of Missing Out Give Yourself the Freedom From Choice
There’s no question that we enjoy very important freedoms in this country. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press are crucial foundations for a free society. However, in the United States, we have equated freedom with choice. As a result, we have this idea that more choice is always better. While there’s no doubt that having no choices is terrible, having unlimited choices isn’t automatically better. In fact, there’s a lot of research that shows having too many choices can make us miserable and unproductive. A few years ago, I discussed psychologist Dr. Sheena Iyengar and her research into the “paradox of choice.” After setting up a jam display at a market, Dr. Iyengar found people were less likely to make a purchase when they were presented with more options. The same held true when she looked into employers and 401(k) options. When we’re faced with a lot of choices, our brains feel pressured to pick the “best” thing instead of being happy we found something “I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO FREE OURSELVES FROM THE BURDEN OF MAKING THE ‘RIGHT’ CHOICE.”
suited for us.We get so worried that we’ll pick the wrong thing and regret our decision that we end up being far less productive. Recently, I was reading an article about this very topic that pointed out if you search “toilet bowl brush,” you’ll get over 1,000 results!With the pressure to make the right choice, many people end up going down the rabbit hole, reading the reviews and doing research for hours, wasting time and energy trying to make the “right” choice about a toilet bowl brush! It’s not that I think we should have fewer choices — though, do we really need over 1,000 different toilet bowl brushes? I think it’s important for us to free ourselves from the burden of making the “right” choice. Life will always be full of options: There are endless foods to eat, places to visit, books to read, and career paths to take. We can never do it all. Rather than get twisted up by the fear of what we’re missing out on, why not instead take joy in it? Recently, I visited my friend Joanna in Australia. I had a wonderful trip and was so happy to spend time with my friend, but when I got home, I looked at my husband and said, “You know, I don’t think I’m that interested in travel anymore.” For a moment after the words left my mouth, I felt guilty. What kind of human was I if I don’t want to travel the world, see new sights, or meet new people? But the truth is I’mmuch happier being my hobbit self, staying home, cooking with my
husband, taking Buster for walks, and not having adventures of any kind. I might miss out on a lot of things by staying home, but this is what brings me the most joy in life. If looking for new adventures and going out of your way to try new things every day is what makes you happy, then go for it! The world is your oyster. But if you feel like you have to try these new choices, or if you're afraid of what you’ll miss out if you don’t grab onto that big new thing, then I challenge you to give yourself permission to say no. “No, I don’t need to find the coolest new restaurant, because my old favorite restaurant makes me happy” or “No, I don’t need to pick the right toilet bowl brush. The first result will get the job done just fine.” If you know what makes you happy in life, say yes to that, and take joy in missing out on everything else.
–Dr. Leslie Pitner
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION REMAKES IN 2019
Even if someone doesn’t consider
a star-studded cast, some vaguely cheeky references, 3D visuals, and added action, Disney has created a recipe for box office success. Here are three live-action remakes that have been or will be released in 2019. ‘Dumbo,’ March 2019 Unlike the animated classic released in 1941, this live-action version introduces a former circus star, played byColin Farrell, and his two children as caretakers of the big-eared, flying mammal. Directed byTimBurton, “Dumbo” doesn’t use real elephants on screen. Disney instead uses amixture of CGI and live-action. Other major stars in the film include Danny DeVito, Michael Keaton, and EvaGreen. ‘Aladdin,’ May 2019 The original “Aladdin” hit theaters in 1992, ultimately pulling inOscars for best score and best song. Now, 27 years later, Disney has decided to retainmany of the original’s musical and narrative elements.While fans of the first filmwill surelymiss hearing the
voice of the late RobinWilliams, the genie will still play a central role in the film’s story and will be brought to life byWill Smith. Actors MenaMassoud and Naomi Scott will play Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. ‘The Lion King,’ July 2019 The original filmbecame one of the biggest animated features at the time of its release in 1994, and all of the beloved characters will return in a live-action/CGI version.While James Earl Jones will return as the voice for Mufasa, the remake will also feature DonaldGlover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles- Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, JohnOliver as Zazu, andSeth Rogen as Pumbaa, as well as a long list of other talentedmen and women.
themselves a movie buff, they’ve
likely heard about Disney’s decision to harness —
and capitalize on— the power of viewer nostalgia with live-action remakes of its beloved classics. Back in 1996, Disney tested this formula for the first time, releasing “101 Dalmatians” withGlennClose starring as the brilliantly derangedCruella stalking puppies for their fur. After breaking box office records on the first weekend, Disney decided to create a slow trickle of other live-action remakes using the same blueprint: “Alice inWonderland” in 2010, “Cinderella” in 2015, “The Jungle Book” in 2016, and “Beauty and the Beast” in 2017, among several others.
By promising viewers the storyline they loved as a child, Hopefully these three remakes will dredge up some of the same wonder and joy the original stories evoked. FROM THE OFFICE OF BUSTER
The Biggest Party of the Year
DID YOU HEAR? THE BIGGEST PARTY OF THE YEAR IS COMING UP!
shine. After you jump around and work up a sweat on the trampolines, strap on some skates and cool off on the ice rink. Ice skating in July! How cool is that? While I won’t be attending the party — dogs don’t do well on trampolines or ice skates — I want everyone to have a fun time! My mom looks forward to throwing this party all year long, and I know she’s excited to see everybody. Have fun! Party at the Plex Where: Plex HiWire Family Fun &SportsCenter
Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 18 and get ready for Pitner Orthodontics’ annual patient appreciation event, Party at the Plex! Every year, my mom, Dr. Leslie Pitner, teams up with the Plex HiWire and throws a huge party for all her patients. Bring out your family and your kids’ friends, too, because this is a party you don’t want to miss. I’ve never been to the Plex myself, but it sounds really cool. They have massive rooms full of trampolines, an ice rink, and tons of video games. It’s getting really hot outside, so I’d much rather hang out indoors. The Plex sounds like a fun place to be inside, rain or
741 Fashion Dr, Columbia, SC 29229 When: Thursday, July 18; 5:30–8 p.m. Admission: Free Call 803-781-5225 for more details.
Food for a Clear Mind What We Can Learn From Cooking Without Alliums
Can you imagine cooking without alliums, aka garlic, onions, chives, or leeks? In Buddhist temples in Korea, avoiding alliums is something that has been practiced for hundreds of years. Days are filled with prayer, meditation, and meals centered on vegetables and fermented foods — no meat, fish, or alliums. Monks and nuns who live in these temples cook with intention, to keep a clear mind and a healthy body. As one nun explains, “The food creates the entire human being.” A typical temple meal might include rice, mushroom fritters, fried potatoes, kimchi, fermented radishes, marinated tofu, and crispy greens. Despite missing the ingredients so many of us rely on for flavor, anyone who’s tried temple food attests to how aromatic and delicious it is. How is this achieved?With
fermented foods, carefully aged sauces, and fresh ingredients picked straight from the source. Many temples grow their own food and use what’s in season, preserving vegetables and fruits at the end of summer to sustain them through the winter. Soy sauce is traditionally fermented in large jars throughout the year and can be aged for 50 years or more to elicit the deep umami flavor that makes temple cuisine so flavorful. Each meal is intended to be fulfilling and nourishing so residents can focus on their meditation and prayers. Several different cultures and religions, including Buddhism and Ayurvedic medicine, have traditionally avoided alliums because the pungent properties in them are believed to distract the mind. Those following a low- FODMAP diet (a diet restricting foods not well
absorbed by the small intestine) and those suffering from IBS also opt to cut alliums from their diet to improve digestion. It may be worth avoiding alliums for a day or two and noting how you feel. Maybe, like the nuns and monks in Korea, you’ll find yourself graced with a clear mind and a happy belly.
WATERMELON CUCUMBER SKEWERS
Skewers are a Fourth of July favorite, but these are not your classic kebabs. They’re a fresh, light, and fun way to start a barbecue. Oh, and they don’t require any actual cooking.
• • •
1 medium-sized watermelon, cubed 2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Salt, to taste
1 block feta cheese, cubed
1 packet of bamboo skewers
1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full.
2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.
Inspired by CookingLight.com
Smile big. Smile often. • 803-781-5225
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5953 Wescott Rd. Columbia, SC 29212 803-781-5225 Monday–Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. www.drpitner.com
Disney Harnesses the Power of Nostalgia in 2019
Join Us and Party at the Plex!
Food for a Clear Mind Watermelon Cucumber Skewers
Experience Something New This Summer
Wow, Pop, Bliss: Jimmy Kuehnle's Inflatable Art Where: The Columbia Museum of Art When: June 14 to Sept. 8 Admission: Free entry with museum membership or admission. Website: ColumbiaMuseum.org Jimmy Kuehnle, an American artist from Cleveland, Ohio, is challenging the world of art, using sound, light, and inflatables to create touchable, interactive environments. For a limited time, four galleries at The Columbia Museum of Art have been transformed to house Kuehnle’s one-of-a-kind works. Prepare yourself for the unexpected and expand your mind with a new kind of abstract art.
Cirque du Soleil: Corteo Where: Colonial Life Arena When: July 10–14 Admission: See website for ticket price Website: ColonialLifeArena.com
Soda City Comic Con Where: Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center When: Aug. 10–11 Phone: $5–25 Website: SodaCityComicCon.com
What does a clown’s funeral look like? At Cirque du Soleil, instead of mourning, the funeral cortege celebrates the memory of life and laughter. This show captures everything Cirque du Soleil is famous for: thrilling acrobatics, stunning costumes, and fantastic musical numbers. See this breathtaking performance at one of its last stops on the U.S. leg of the tour before it heads overseas for 2020.
Can’t make it out to California for San Diego Comic Con this month? Never fear, because one of Columbia’s biggest pop culture extravaganzas is coming to town! Soda City Comic Con is a nerd-favorite destination for comics, video games, cosplay, and art from every fandom. Get your tickets now and spend the weekend geeking out with fanboys and girls from across South Carolina.
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