Changing demographics

My friend lives here.

As classic diners and soda fountains gave way to double-decker strip malls packed with Chinese restaurants, Margie Myers, a resident of Alhambra for 64 years, didn’t say much.

She weathered friends and neighbors moving away and endured the steady retreat of English from storefront signs.

But the change she couldn’t accept came in June, when the Ralphs on Alhambra’s Main Street closed and was replaced by 99 Ranch, an Asian supermarket.

“I know the city’s changing,” Myers said. “That’s just inevitable. But does it have to change our supermarket?”

Few hallmarks of demographic change generate as much controversy as the death of the neighborhood grocery store.

Probably a contributor to “white flight.”



I’ve been thinking about it more and more in the past few days.  I think it’s a combination of my vacation, my strict budget, and my singleness.  I keep thinking that I’m not attractive enough, and I look at my (very modest amount of) belly fat.  And I know that my personality is for sure the limiting factor on my dating options, but there’s still a tendency to think that things would be easier if I looked better.  Also, when I was on vacation I was out of my routine, and w/ all the family meals, there’s always a dessert option (after all, we’re on “vacation”).  The Fitbit Aria scale I got showed me how I tend to put on weight during vacations, so for this one I was determined to be responsible.  I think my eating wasn’t terrible, and that saved me for the most part, but my exercise wasn’t great.  It was high on a few days, but most days I didn’t do enough.  Being away – being away from my pullup bar, my protein powder, and my “perfect pushup” handles was enough to get me out of the habit of doing pushups and squats.  Now that I’m back, I’m feeling like I need to get back to it.  Which of course brings me back to the eating issue.  I’m not super regular with the eating b/c I eat and bring home food from work, and it’s different food every day.  But usually my day goes cereal and coffee for breakfast, small snack before lunch, substantial lunch, maybe small snack in the afternoon (I resisted today) and then a moderate dinner… often before bed I’ll eat a cookie or something (bad!).  Now I’d like to cut out all the “bad” foods I eat and replace them with working out + protein drink (which has a lot of calories and tastes pretty good).  No alcohol either.  The question I ask is:  How long can I last?  I know from the past that drinking one day leads to more drinking in the following days.  So if I drink, I’m likely nuking myself for several days into the future also.  The true cost of the drink is kind of hidden.  I’m wondering if I’ll run out of discipline juice.  In “The Power of Habit” they talk about how willpower is a finite resource, and that if you can do certain things to frustrate a person and use up their willpower.  I wonder if mine is renewed at night?  Or if it is renewed by goofing off and doing bad things?  Or is it renewed by things that release some special chemical in the brain (adrenaline, oxytocin?).  Will my urge to eat a cookie steadily climb in the coming days, or decline?  If I eat a cookie tonight, does that make me more likely to eat a cookie tomorrow night?

I know some people will say, “Jesus you’re getting neurotic just eat the damn cookie!  You’re already skinny and wealthy!”  And I can see that.  But I can also see that I want more muscle mass for my back, and I want TIME… which I can’t quite grab back for myself yet.

Maybe  I should come up with some more objective measure for how bad I want a cookie or a drink and then measure them in the days to come.