Monday, June 01, 2009

Musical musings

I was playing through some of my favorite songs on the PC last night (no, no iPod - and I don't want one, either!) and a specific one from Counting Crows came on. So I yelled to KarateMonkey

"There really should be more songs about me!"

He just laughed. I assume that means he agrees.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Triggered much?

I have worked hard to stop hating my body. I have stopped beating myself up for all the failed diets, for the fact that it's hard to find scrub pants that fit, and for not being stereotypically attractive. I've managed to shed the guilt about not dieting, about eating what tastes good, and about taking pleasure in cooking and eating. I've even managed to call myself fat. In public. And meant it, not loathingly, but just as a descriptor. I was doing pretty well.

And then two things happened in fairly quick succession. One was a coworker posting on his Facebook while on vacation "(Coworker) is perplexed...since when did chronic over eating become a handicap and qualify someone for a scooter and a fastpass to the font of the line?" That little gem made me see red. But it also made me wonder - what judgements is he making about me and my choices?

And then today, a totally different coworker was lamenting that she went to Chipotle and ate a whole burrito! Just as I was about to say "Yeah, aren't they delicious?", another coworker chimed in "Yeah, but you don't do it every day. As if eating an entire Chipotle burrito every day would somehow kick her into a category reserved for serial killers and puppy kickers.

Suddenly I'm ashamed again. I find myself thinking about Weight Watchers. Never mind that I was perpetually hungry, obsessing about food and what I did and didn't eat. Never mind that my yo yo diets have wreaked havoc on my metabolism. Never mind that my husband loves me for exactly who I am right now, not what I think I might be if I miraculously shed a bunch of weight and looked "normal", whatever the fuck that is. I keep hearing my ex-boyfriend - "If I met you now I wouldn't date you."

So what's a woman to do? Me, I'm reading more Shapely Prose. I've begun re-reading Rethinking Thin. And I'm trying to be gentle with myself. Who knows - unlike dieting, maybe this will actually work....

Friday, March 13, 2009

Morality, food, and Lent

KarateMonkey and I are atheists. Not a surprise to those of you who know us, I'm sure. But I was raised half Lutheran, half Southern Baptist (long story), so I'm familiar with Lent.

I was taught (or at least absorbed the idea) that giving things up for Lent was a reminder - every time you denied yourself, it reminded you of your faith and its importance. I remember giving up listening to tapes on my boombox. (Yes, I'm THAT old....) I've heard people suggest cell phones, blackberries, PC, gaming consoles - but I never hear people say that they've actually given those things up. It always seems to be about food.

This year, my family and coworkers (apparently they aren't heathens like us....) have been talking about their Lenten duty and I was astonished at how many of them were giving up some type of food. Refined sugar, sweets, candy, Diet Coke - all verboten for 40 days. And it got me thinking about why THESE foods. Is it because they're "bad" foods? Nobody ever says "I'm giving up broccoli for Lent." It's almost as if you get a double dose of virtuousness by giving up this "bad" food, as well as sacrificing for your faith.

Which leads me to the morality of food. I happen to believe that food is not a moral decision. I don't eat things because they're bad or good, or even because I'm bad or good. I eat them to fuel my body, to enjoy the taste and texture. And I find myself wondering if people giving up sugar or candy or whatever for Lent are consciously trying to get extra credit, either with God or their fellow practicioners. (Have you ever been part of the "What are YOU giving up for Lent?" conversation? It's almost as bad as the "My kid's going to school at _______")

Just an observation.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


at work. 

"We did a lot of comparative religion in school, and almost all of them have a flood story. That means it's almost certainly true!"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Old friends

I recently discovered that an old high school classmate of mine is famous. Well, moderately so. I suppose it depends on the circles you run in. But she has originated several roles in musical theater in London and the United States, and has performed at the Tony Awards. And knows David Hyde Pierce personally.

I am soooooooooo proud for her!!!!! And jealous. Here she is, several years younger than me, doing what she loves, and not only well, but successfully. Intellectually I understand that she knew, long before I did, what she wanted to do with her life. And while I would have loved theater, I was neither talented enough nor confident enough to pursue that field. But she was. And she is succeeding.

Good for her!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I write letters

Prof. ******

I'm currently taking the cultural anthropology telecourse, ANT 221. While reading the chapter on economics, I noted this factoid on page 195, regarding Gerber babyfood being sold in Africa. "Only later did company officials learn that, in Africa, businesses routinely put pictures of the products themselves on the outside label, since many people cannot read." My husband and I thought that that sounded vaguely familiar, so I did some digging. This is what I found.

Long story short, this urban legend has been around since the 50's, though that time it was told from New Guinea, and the natives were seeing people USE babyfood, rather than having it marketed to them. But all the hallmarks are there - ignorant/illiterate foreigners who are too dumb to understand product labels. Similar stories have been told about Chinese individuals who purchased shortening thinking that it was fried chicken, because that's what the label on the can was of.

For a textbook that does such a wonderful job of highlighting ethnocentrism and bias, I was saddened and upset to find this example used in this textbook. There is no reason to believe that this incident actually occurred, and its plausability rests entirely upon our presumed superiority to other cultures. 

So I'm looking for guidance from you in how to most effectively address this, as I'm certain that neither the publisher nor the authors wish this to be perpetuated in the future. Thank you!