28 July 2007

Muy interesante

BBC NEWS | Americas | BBC team make US Spanish journey:

I just lugged my box of Spanish stuff up from Palmer's basement, and at some point tonight I'm going to open it, take out my book, and review the first two chapters. I've got 4 weeks to review for Spanish 3, and considering how little I've practiced, there is much to do. I wonder how a 16 week semester will go - I took two semesters of espaƱol in sixteen weeks this spring, and did well, hopefully the slower pace will work for me!

Now back to Harry Potter. It's been a long time since I've read so much in one sitting - I forgot, a bit, how it feels to immerse myself in a book.

27 July 2007


On the way down to the Overture Center last night, we stopped at the House of Cheese and snapped a picture. LOLZ.

I know the cat-captioning thingy is played out, but it makes me laugh anyhow.

Happy Birthday Palmer!

The non-contagious non-epidemic

I am, by standards such as the BMI, obese. I won't beg to differ with that, I just choose to ignore it. I'm well aware of my body size and composition, and I've decided to use different standards to gauge my physical health.

By now you've likely heard of the new study which "proves" that fat is "contagious". Unfortunately, that representation is just not very accurate, and it makes some annoying (and possibly harmful) assumptions.

  • Being fat is avoidable
  • Being fat is abnormal
  • Being fat is baaaaaaad
Would I rather be less fat? I can cop to that. Should I spend my life worried about it (which is what a diet ends up doing - making me obsess about everything I eat)? No fckng way.

For some people, being fat is unavoidable - they start out in childhood with extra weight and just stay that way - for others it's medication related (example: I gained 30 lbs when I was taking lithium this past fall, the weight just PILED on, and for the most part didn't leave when I stopped the meds), or as for many women, related to a medical condition such as PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome).

Being fat is just as normal as being skinny, being thin, being average. Over the whole of human history, there have been fat people. Look to art, folk and fine, for proof of that. Fat men and women are people, just like non fat people are. The idea that fat isn't normal is prevalent and harmful.

This last one is the toughest idea to address - that fat is bad. Fat is fat. Being unhealthy is bad, yes, but FATNESS DOES NOT EQUAL BAD HEALTH. At my heaviest my cholesterol numbers were well below 200, and my overall health good. My blood pressure was also good, although I will concede that it's got better when I was thinner, I do think my life was a lot more stressful (married life, finances), so that was likely a factor.

The "facts" (PDF) that fat people are less healthy, have greater mortality, will always be prone to diabetes and heart disease are not as iron clad as some people would have you believe. The dangers (or to be more mild, harmful effects) of repeated weight loss and gain [yo-yo-ing] are becoming very clear. And the fact is that for people who tend toward heavy, dieting can lead to a slower metabolism, and a weight loss is logically followed by weight gain as their bodies attempt to 'normalize' after a period of deprivation.

Right now in my life I am healthier and happier than I've been in years, really. AND I'm fat. Make of that what you will.

I've ready many, many excellent reactions to this study and how it's being presented (and misrepresented) in the media right now.

Always good are Kate Harding, Harriet Brown and many of the bloggers who are aggregated on this feed.

A good one stop shop for discussion of this study (lots of links) is from On The Whole, and is worth a look.

Please don't think I am not saying that diet, eating habits and other things should not be examined and tweaked to promote optimal health, because I'm not. The food in our school cafeterias alone has me hyperventilating more often than not (filled with hidden sugar, for one thing), nevermind the orgiastic portions at restaurants and the hard-sell advertising to kids and adults alike.

But to base our ideas about what is good for us by if it's "okay" or "good" or "guilt-free" instead of by common sense factors such as if we are hungry, and what our bodies need and request is only asking for trouble. We are given tastebuds and an appetite for a reason. Learning to listen to and respect your body is the best way to open yourself up to better health. I know that when I am craving an apple, I'd better get one, and that when I want chocolate shoppe zanzibar chocolate ice cream, I'm happiest when I *have* it, rather than punishing myself because I *shouldn't*.

Fat Hatred is very real, and it isn't something that fat people can easily avoid. The worst part of it is how it twists EVERYONE's mind up, so that standards of beauty are narrow, and we spend too much time judging ourselves and others by these narrow standards. As hard as it is to re-program my thinking, I'm happy that I've starting to really engage with the struggle to love and accept myself on this level - it has unlocked self acceptance on other levels - in therapy I feel things falling into place and I'm thrilled to be leaving behind messages I got from my parents when I was 6. After 30 years, it's time to let them go.

And too, time to let go of the idea that there is an epidemic. There ARE problems with the way we eat in the US, the way we work, the way health care is distributed, they way we are disconnected from our bodies, but all the fat-free yogurt in the world isn't gonna change that. Free your mind, and the rest will follow.

26 July 2007

That tasted so damned good

It made me want to jump back and kiss myself, this lunch I ate today:

Yesterday I picked up a bunch of groceries at Willy St. Co-op. I don't shop there often (once a month, I'd guess), but when I do, I get something delicious that I can't get elsewhere.

This time, I picked up some Willy St. Guac (insanely expensive) and some of their Salsa de Cilantro, which I'd never tried before.

Anyhow, long story short, both the guac and the salsa were excellent. I'd go so far as to say that they were both sublime. Srsly.

With some blue corn chips and some really flavorful organic celery, it was a pretty tasty lunch.

Tonight we're heading downtown to see Palmer's bff, Matt Rothschild, and before hand we are gonna try out that new Neopolitan pizza place.

If I were a good blogger, that last sentence would have three links in it. But I am in a hurry, so it doesn't.

Also, Palmer is turning 35 tomorrow! Boyfriend Birthday Blogging imminent.

25 July 2007

Brain Candy

One of my favourite things about staying with Palmer, besides the wonderful company, is the cable. I am taking a day off from being productive and doing things I haven't done in a while, mainly sitting on the couch, painting my nails and watching TV.

I watched Brain Candy just now. That was amusing.

Tomorrow I start brushing up on Spanish in anticipation of Spanish 3 this fall.

Today, no plans but cooking dinner and making M's lunch for camp tomorrow.

21 July 2007

Impulse shopping

Going to the Mac store with a months-long desire for a macbook and a healthy bank balance reminds me of going out on a perfect summer night horny and looking hott: you are not going home alone.

M and I went to the mall (which is something I do a few times a year), and I went to "look" at macbooks. An hour later I walked out with a shiny white macbook and a "free" ipod. I am feeling a bit of guilt for spending money on myself, but right now I am very very happy with my purchase.

M and I started the day by going to see three apartments, one of which thrilled us both to pieces. M was incredibly excited to see the play area, and we both loved the sunniness of the apartment. They are taking out the carpet in the common areas and replacing it with cork before the next tenants come in - we put our application in this afternoon and hopefully we are gonna get it.

Wish us luck.

18 July 2007

Home. For now.

Here I am in Palmer's inner sanctum, feeling neither witty nor particularly inspired. I'm fucking tired! Staying at Palmer's place while I find an apartment, and while it's my home away from home anyway, I'm still getting used to being here during the times I'd usually be at home. It's a great house with all of and more than the comforts of home, so that makes it easier.

Here's what I'm thinking of doing (for the rest of) this summer:

Public Museum
Art Museum
Hang out at Alterra Coffee (the one near the lake)
Visit Miss Pam and Neko and Bill
Africa Fest (M's B-day weekend)
Wisconsin State Fair
Sprecher Tour

Visit my friend B in Brooklyn
Show at the Public Theater
Buy another pair of Hello Kitty knock off earrings.

Greater WI:
Brewery Tours up Nort'
Mustard Museum, Trollway, etc. - Mount Horeb
Spring Green and Timon of Athens at APT
Sun Prairie Corn Fest
Devil's Lake daytrip

13 July 2007

With this ring...I thee biodamp

M and I are taking a lunch break, eating subs (man, I forgot how much crap one eats while in the midst of packing - I can't wait for a relaxed homecooked meal again), watching the Doctor Who Christmas special from last year. It's good fun.

I have been up since midnight, and I'm ready to go to bed, thank you very much.

12 July 2007

Economy, $1,300 - First class, $13,000

No kidding.
Contemplating a ticket to the Edinburgh fringe festival (three weeks hence) and found a round trip economy ticket for between $1200 USD and $1450 USD.

Decide to check on how much first class tix would cost and just have to say -wha?!?

They are 10x the cost of economy! WTP?

In other news, why am I looking at round trip tix to events half way around the world? Three words Six syllables: coffee at 9pm.