Sunday, December 25, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
When Annamarie was removed from her home it was big news. Her parents were grilled by supercilious morning talk show hosts. A few months later she was returned. She had not lost weight and there was NO coverage. Years later she is still fat. The (cough) experts have never figured out why. Her diet and exercise are strictly monitored.
Not a great way to start the day.
Yesterday afternoon I noticed that Glen Glaesser was going to be on Dr Oz. Wow. Just amazing. Glaesser is so informed and so grounded. But informed and grounded isn't usually sexy enough for the Oprah All Stars.
I've hear Glaesser in person and read him. He does not say that it's "OK to be fat". He says it's easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get them thin. And that a fit fat person is healthier than an unfit thin person. And he has the data to back it up. Dr Oz didn't hear any of that. He is vested in fat hatred. He says it's out of his experience of the suffering of fat people but he is so hyper and vigorous in his manner that it just sounds like zealotry. I don't think he's a liar I just think he has lost perspective. I admire him for having Glaesser on his show.
The articulation of whether or not it's OK to be fat is not at all useful. What does it mean? It's mildly useful for me to feel "OK" about being fat but really it's like feeling OK about any aspect of your appearance. Some days you feel better than OK and other days OK is a quantum leap. In conversations about health it's more complicated.
Annamarie's weight gain has slowed a bit after she started being treated for insulin resistance. She'd be getting much better health care if the focus was not on her weight. Her weight is part of her health profile and may be a sign of an imbalance of some kind. But why not start with a different perspective? Something more whole.
Dr Oz is big on demonstrations, some of which are interesting. He had Dr Glaesser run up and down a flight of steps and then do it again wearing a thirty pound vest. Dr Oz was making the point that the extra weight made the running harder. Dr Glaesser said something like yeah but that doesn't mean that fat people shouldn't run. Weight loss zealots never think in terms of process. It's all about the goal.
In my last post I longed for common sense in the public conversation about weight and health. And then there was Dr Glaesser. Didn't make me feel better about the kidnapping but gave me a moment of sanity. Not deep sanity. It was still the Dr Oz show.
I posted a comment on the show and was surprised by the positive reaction. There's a bit of a dust up but so far it's been pretty good.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Years ago two women from NAAFA were on a Dr Phil. He asked them if they were a pill that could make them thin would they take it. They both hedged. I'm not sure what's happening with NAAFA now but my experience was never great. Every time I attended a NAAFA event someone would whisper something about all this size acceptance being OK but wouldn't it be better if we lost weight.
I don't really like the language of size acceptance. Acceptance seems passive. Resigned. I also have trouble with celebrating being fat. I don't know if people celebrate their eye color, or their height so why their weight?
My process has been about understanding that my body is fat. My weight has changed in my life but I've never been thin. My body easily and naturally gets fat. I do lose weight. Often. Most bodies, especially female bodies fluctuate. My appetite changes. How much exercise I get changes. My weight changes relative to those things and more. Mom comments almost daily on not understanding why I'm as fat as I am because of the way I eat. At some point I just stopped thinking of the fat being something something separate from my body, like a coat I could remove. So if someone offered me a pill to cure my weight problem it would feel like they were offering me a pill to fix my brown eye problem. It took years of awareness shifts to build this reaction.
And I've seen too many of the cures for obesity. This new one "stems the flow of blood to fat cells and kills them off."
Why do so many cures sound so destructive? Surgeries to mutilate an organ that is necessary to be alive. Pills that cause heart and lung damage. The encouragement of eating disordered obsession. Parents so worried about having a fat child they starve their babies.
As I am writing I am listening to Wait Wait a show that I generally enjoy but is notoriously fat hating. Fat jokes are being made in a discussion about the new "pizza is a vegetable" because of the tomato sauce crap. We went through this with ketchup. Botanically tomatoes are a fruit, which still doesn't make their presence on some dough particularly healthy. I'm a fan of pizza as a medium. Pizza can be rich with nutrient or doughy and greasy. As long as being fat is a medical condition instead of a body type and a moral failing our ideas about food will leave me torked.
So many cures. So many pills. Phen Phen. Redux. Those were the new magic pills years ago. People, mainly young women, died. No, Dr Phil. I'm not interested in a new pill. I do not need a cure. I need some bleepin common sense in the public discussion about weight.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
I've lived alone for too long and I'm set in my ways. If I needed proof I now have the three months a year when Mom visits. I'm happy to have time with her but we are both women who are set in our ways. And her way usually wins. I would always demure to the desires of a guest but with Mom it's more like succumbing. Some of that is about her age and need for care but she gets along without me the rest of the year. I think she wants to be taken care of and I'm actually OK with that. It is a challenge.
There's football on the television. My Sunday breakfast of French toast changes to poached eggs on English muffins. We have soup every night for dinner. I think it's funny because we use two bowls for cereal in the morning and the same two bowls for soup every night. I wrote about the soups on the food blog last year. I doubt I'll do it again. I repeat a lot with the exception of the inevitable use stuff up soup. We've already had one. Beef stock, barley, yellow squash, tomatoes and peas. It was good. I am going to do one that I saw in a magazine. Celery root and fennel topped with apple and bacon. I might write that one up.
There's a funny thing that happens in which she doesn't need anything until I start doing something. That's something that often happens with kids. I thought I was going to post the other day but somehow every time I turned toward the screen there was something to discuss or something to get.
I'm not really complaining. I might be in a few months but right now I'm just happy to have her here.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Monday, November 07, 2011
That's kind of all I have to say but I wrote a bit of a post on the food blog.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Woman to clerk: Do you have Diabetic Food?
Clerk: I guess stuff without sugar would be good.
I'm in the coffee aisle.
Same woman: Hi how are you?
Me: I'm fine thank you.
Woman: (pulling a card out of her wallet) I lost thirty pounds and now I work with people.
Me: OK. Well don't assume you and I have anything in common.
Woman: Oh. Well. What are you doing?
Me: I'm shopping.
Woman: (shoving the card back into her wallet.) Oh never mind.
Even if I were looking for someone to "work with" I think I'd prefer them to know that food doesn't get Diabetes.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
It wasn't until I read other people referencing Veblen and a bit of rereading that I began to sort of understand.
There was on thing that stuck with me. He writes about the leisure class owning pianos that they couldn't play and stacks of sheet music that they couldn't read and shelves of books that they hadn't read. All of which were intended to demonstrate something about who they were. I did get that.
I've always wanted a book and music lined room and I always thought of that room as an expression of my identity. When I was in high school I joined the Book of the Month Club. Somehow I ended up with The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Probably a book I didn't decline in time. It had a black cover with a big red swastika on the spine. I remember Mom commenting on it. She thought it was weird to have such a book. I had pretty great library when I graduated from high school. Full of Kerouac and Beat poets, D. H. Lawrence and Herman Hess, Kahil Gibran and Our Bodies Our Selves. A crazy amount of Rod McKuen. Listen to the Warm. Oh dear.
I stored them and all my albums with a friend when I left home and lost touch with her. I repeated that pattern throughout my life. I'd start to amass books and music decide to move and sell or give them away or store them in a basement. I've lived in my current apartment longer than I've lived anywhere and have finally built a collection that I swear I will always have. When I worry about money I imagine myself as a crazy homeless woman pushing a cart full of books.
I love my books. I love looking at them. And I do get a short of thrill when people visit and spend any time checking them out. I also have a shelf full of CDs. And I look at other peoples book and music shelves.
I don't have an e-reader. I think they're useful and I want one someday but I don't need one. I have an MP3 player that we were awarded at EA for doing our job. I rarely use it. I'm confused about how to make the transition to buying one song at a time.
An e-reader might have been good when I was commuting. I was always lugging a book and a few magazines around. But I love seeing what other people are reading on the bus. Can't see that if they're using a reader. I saw so many people with their ears plugged up and eyes focused on a screen. There's lots of writing about how we are a culture of isolation. Maybe. I'm not sure. We kind of have been for awhile. Is our consumption less conspicuous?
I recently started using Spotify. I can't figure out how to make it find new music for me. I've learned about a bunch of new music on Last FM. Pandora played the same stuff too often for me but Last FM scans around. Spotify can be fun when other people are using it on Facebook. I've really enjoyed checking out other people's music.
There are all the web apps like Get Glue and Four Square, which I love. You can be as conspicuous as you wanna be I suppose.
Friday, November 04, 2011
Part of the problem is the boxes. I don't feel like I order that much stuff but I always have boxes. I broke them down the other day and dragged them to the recycling bin. And then...I got more. I order my vitamins from Puritan's Pride. They have a variety of buy this many get this many for free type sales and I shop them. So once a year I have a crazy amount of vitamins. They are also part of the back room problem. I used to fill some cabinet shelves with them but it was never perfect and now I just keep a big box which is either over full or almost empty at any given time. I have a smaller box with one bottle of each vitamin and an even smaller box with seven days of doses. Well my order came yesterday. And today a smaller box of a few that didn't make it into the first one. And a box with something for Mom. (It's a secret.) (Till Christmas.)
There's a second problem included with all that. Shipping peanuts and bubble wrap. I bag all of it and take it down to the Postal Annex. I feel better knowing that it gets used more than once. But I'm a gimp now. I use two walking sticks and can't carry the bags. I wait for someone to visit who has a car. I have two bags full now. I'm so tempted to toss them.
There was a time when there wasn't much in the room. I got two file cabinets and put a board across them and made a desk. There are build in shelves on two walls filled with cook books and cooking stuff and silly toys. I used to do my bills back there and sit and read cook books. But my first computer didn't fit. I ended up with a desk in the living room. Now the desk is covered with cups full of pens and piles of papers. The a fore mentioned vitamin boxes.There are empty plant plots and a bag of small umbrellas and empty tins on the floor. My boom and dust pan and mop. A tool box. It's fairly orderly chaos sometimes but it does get wild. This time of year I stock up on stuff for the big cookie bake. And I always have stuff for soup. It's just crazy.
I'll break down the boxes and carry down some more recycling. But really. There's no hope.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
There is a picture of Brooke Elliot on the show site which looks like they've photo shopped it to make her look thinner. It was more obvious in the summer when the site featured a video with the same image but hadn't been altered. It just seemed so stupid. Even more problematic is the silhouette image of a thin woman behind her. It actually took me awhile to figure out who it was supposed to be. And then I remembered who she "really" is.
There really isn't much mention of her weight. It's easy to forget. She doesn't seem to eat any particular amount. She doesn't seem to pay much attention to her weight or be held back by it. There have been a few in the past as she adjusted to her circumstance most of which were dopey. It seems like she was an extremely smart but socially awkward fat girl and her (literally) inner thin girl makes her confident and flirty. She retains the fat girl smarts and is empowered by the thin girl verve. It doesn't reflect well on anyone of any size. But when you're watching you sort of forget about all that and you're just seeing this really fun character who is a bit larger than most main characters.
So I was going to write about it but I kept forgetting to watch. It's not good enough to get excited about and not bad enough to dismiss. I did watch enough to see that she has a new boy friend and seems to have given up on the boy friend she had when she was the thin girl. If you don't watch ( and I don't recommend you do) this is all probably confusing. I get hooked in by the hope that the old boyfriend will recognize her.
I made a really early decision to not be ashamed of my weight but I held on to an idea that I would lose weight if I found true love. I think I formed that out of some bad psychological theory and a desire to be loved for who I was and not how I looked. Of course how I look is part of who I am. It took me a long time to snap out of all that. But this show has brought back a desire to see the guy recognize his soul mate and embrace ALL of who she now is. I mean I am seriously hooked.
I'm not sure I believe in soul mates. Some couples do seem so perfect. Some seem destined somehow. But I don't know. I'm tired of needing magic to be happy. And yet still I do watch this dopey little show and want to see that moment of recognition.
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
It's just the most amazing thing. I particularly like how the movement resists the demands for a statement of intent. What do they want? It seems clear to me.
It will be interesting to see how it evolves. Talk about occupying school that have been closed and houses that have been foreclosed sound good to me.
Funny. I had a post in my head all day, which I will eventually write but right now I'm just caught up in Twitter and FB and Kieth Olbermann and Bernie Sanders and the Port of Oakland is closed.
It's hard to even write about how badly the main stream media is reporting it. The WSJ says the strike fizzled. Pictures of the few acts of destruction are the first posted on SFGate. I'd be mad if I expected anything else.
I don't really know what it can become. I just know it is becoming something.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Jenny is blogging in response to NaBloPoMo and starts with her own awareness of not writing. Jenny's blog always makes me happy. Her life seems so full of art and family and community. Following her intention I may try to blog every day this month. Of course it's 6 PM and I put it off all day until now. And Mom will be here in a week so it will get tough. We'll see.
I am amused that the NaBloPoMo prompt asks what is your favorite part about writing. My favorite part is rewriting. I love picking away at a piece. Moving sentences. Finding shinier words. But I don't do much of that when I blog. Blogging always feels very first thought best thought. I like blogs that feel rough and tumble. When I was blogging every day I liked the feeling of being part of a large conversation.
I'm in the pre-Mom clean-up frenzy. I'm not feeling too frenzied this year because the apartment looks pretty good. It needs work but I get a little done every day. Yesterday was breaking down boxes in the back room and getting them ready to recycle. Today was cleaning the toaster oven and the table it sits on. So many small steps. I'll probably get more frenzied the closer I get to her arrival.
OK. First day of the month. Too late for Rabbit Rabbit?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I oppose the death penalty because I oppose killing. But I also understand that killing is human. We kill accidentally. We kill in self defense. I have always known that my desire to be a pacifist would be challenged by someone hurting another person, especially someone I love. And I have always known if I were being attacked I might fight back. I understand that life is complicated and we are complicated.
So yesterday there was a moment when we weren't sure what was happening they announced that another man had just been executed. I had my usual reaction of sadness and frustration and then they announced that it was one of the men who dragged James Byrd behind a truck until he was dead. And just for a minute I didn't care that he was dead. And I became aware that I didn't care. And I knew it was duplicity. And I didn't care.
There are lot of good reasons to oppose the death penalty. We know it's not a deterrent. We know things go wrong in the justice system and people are wrongly convicted. We know that it does psychological damage to the people who have to preform the execution. We kill because it's our job. And there have been people who said that they didn't really get the much promised closure.
I read about a woman who had been in the towers and survived. She had a rough time at first but was doing better. She said the death of Bin Laden had helped. I might not trust that intellectually but I would never argue about the emotion.
He was dead. I didn't care.
I'll never be the pacifist I want to be. I'm too angry. But I will keep trying.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Woke up in a bad mood. Went back to sleep even though I wasn't really tired. Had a bad dream. Got on line and got caught up in the kerfuffle.
It's seems all the more silly in light of the news I am also hearing. One family so happy to have two young men out of prison. Another grieving what may be the last day of a life in prison. The world full of stories and ironies and meanings.
My dream spurred a litany of my personal life failures. Distraction is welcome. I'd rather spend time playing with the web. I should probably take a shower and wash some dishes and maybe even mop the kitchen floor.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Then I tried to straighten up a billing issue. Good news was that I'd over paid by seventy dollars, which will come in handy when (if) I ever get it back. The bank says it's paid. The payee says it's not. They're working on getting together. I'm waiting.
After all of that I did hit some Facebook games to try and relax. I could write for hours about how stupid the games are. I burn out on them regularly and quit playing. I get sucked back in by friends who need help. I play until I hit the wall. Today was a bad day in the games. I'm waiting for friends to help me. Can't move on until they do. I'm waiting.
It's the middle of the afternoon and I'm worn out. I did write the post this morning. It felt weak. Days late and dollars short. But I pushed myself. I'm having to push myself every day. Push to finish the vacuuming. Push to do my knee exercises. Push to get to the pool. It's a push. And I don't always succeed.
I had this idea that I should make myself write something every day (even if it's terrible) until I build back some muscle tone. Today was not encouraging. But it started off so well.
Really.This never works for me. Even if I agree with the status I'm not going to repost it as mine to prove anything.
I kept thinking about what happened next. I was comforted to read Krugman in the Times, who articulated what I was feeling.
The fact is that the two years or so after 9/11 were a terrible time in America – a time of political exploitation and intimidation, culminating in the deliberate misleading of the nation into the invasion of Iraq. It’s probably worth pointing out that I’m not saying anything now that I wasn’t saying in real time back then, when Bush had a sky-high approval rating and any criticism was denounced as treason. And there’s nothing I’ve done in my life of which I’m more proud.
It was a time when tough talk was confused with real heroism, when people who made speeches, then feathered their own political or financial nests, were exalted along with – and sometimes above – those who put their lives on the line, both on the evil day and after.
So it was a shameful episode in our nation’s history – and it’s one that I can’t help thinking about whenever we talk about 9/11 itself.
The day of the memorial was more real. I listened to the names being read. I felt tears well up again and again. Memorials are important. Real people lost real family members.
I remember waking up, turning on the radio, getting the news and feeling more dread about what would happen because of the attack than I did about another attack. Dean was here doing his internship with Debbie. I knew he needed to be informed but I didn't want him to be overwhelmed. When he left in the morning I turned on the radio, the television and the computer overwhelming myself. When he came home we watched old game shows. When I took him to the airport to go home the security lines had begun. Everything had changed.
Last year I watched while my 85 year old mother was searched at the airport. She took it all in good humor. Our reaction continues to seem so disproportionate.
I tried to find a link to the special show Rachel Maddow and Richard Engel did but I couldn't find it. I guess it's old news now. It was very good. One of them said something about the attack causing us to flail about scattering our resources.
The flags are all down now. Post book status threats are about other causes. It's not the flags in and of themselves that bother me. It's the demand for agreement. It's the demand that I prove my loyalty to an idea of country. It still makes me tense.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I’m gonna change the ending
Gonna throw away my title
And toss it in the trash