...a way of seeing beyond inner and outer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This needs a new sticky note. Pink, I'm thinking.

One of the first few purchases I made on my Kindle was for a subscription to a newsletter/blog entitled, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy. The last post mentioned re-labeling as a way to loosen stubborn brain barnacles , and I thought why not use the same notion for the momentary endorphin highs I get from pulling a chair up to the fridge, so to speak. I'm happy to say I've never actually done that, though I have taken a spoon to the fridge and I feel pretty safe saying the refrigerator is not the appropriate single serving dish for banana pudding. Obsessive compulsive lusting after caloric “I-hate-myself”s disguised as “Oh my goodness, such goodness.” is basically a poke in the eye over and over again after which I smack my head and say,
“I frickin’ poked myself in the eye again!" and think
"What the hello?”,
as I look at my finger, until the next time when I think,
“Oh my goodness, such goodness",
"must…eat…. now…all… more!”
At this point you’ll notice both a pattern and a rejection of the highly developed reasoning skills it took me to get a degree in computer science in favor of babbling and mindless twaddle. I’m pretty sure the look on my face in those moments when I’m headed towards the seventeen hundred calorie slice of carrot cake cheesecake ( I should be so particular. ) in the fridge is the same facial expression that provided the inspiration for the first zombie movies.
Who does that? Other than me, I mean. Oy. Yeah, so anyway, re-labeling. From now on, if it’s a poke in the eye, I’m gonna call it a poke in the eye. Sharing a couple bites of cheesecake with someone may not be a poke in the eye, but eating an entire piece can’t be anything but, unless it’s a holiday and Tuesday at 5:00 pm is not a holiday no matter how much I feel like celebrating the end of another working day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You want me to put my what where? Seriously?

Five Pole Dancing Classes for $25.00
That was a “deal” offered to me by someone trying to make a living off the latest Southern California exercise craze.  From my perspective it has a lot in common with the offers you get from the medical research facility except that the people shooting you full of who knows what have the decency to give you a lot of money for all your potential pain and suffering.  The pole-dancing people expect me to pay them and the pain isn’t even potential. It’s pretty much guaranteed.  Boils, hair-loss, seizures and temporary blindness have more appeal for me but it does bring up the other side of the equation.  I have to move. 

I am paid to be sedentary.  Writing is sedentary.  The other things I do with my time aren’t exactly ramping the old ( sadly that’s literal, not prosaic ) metabolism in the direction of an upward curve. You can see by the photo I “borrowed” from the add, that pole dancing won’t be my exercise of choice. I don't even know if it's possible given the rather rigid laws of gravity, inertia and the uncertainty principle, though at over two hundred pounds, I’m pretty certain about where I’d be and how fast I’d be getting there if I tried this sort of nonsense.

Nope. I'm going to start walking my dog.   I may fall down, but it won't be on my head and the rolls of post-brioche I'm carrying around won't be bouncing around inside a circa 1980's Flash Dance outfit when I do.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Farm Dinner

Where I come from, the photo to the right is the beginning of dinner, specifically something my Virgnia born husband and I call the Farm Dinner.  It's a simple meal, unless you live in California, where people don't buy collard greens to eat.  They feed them to their pet reptiles.  True story, a woman in the grocery store asked me if I had an iguana. Who knew. Secondly, I literally have to pass six grocery stores to get to the one that sells salt pork and if you're ever looking for grits, they're hiding in the package called polenta, which is Italian for "grits" and while you can't get these people to eat grits, they can't get enough polenta.

The meal is the same sort of food that has created the backbone of every culture's culinary identity. No matter where it's happened it's an art that takes simple, inexpensive ingredients and changes them into the world's best food. This sort of cooking has gone on for centuries where ever women have needed to feed their families on what was available to them.   In France it's cassoulet. In Italy, it's osso bucco.  In Vietname it's pho.  In Inda it's a myriad of heady curries.  In the Southern United States, among other iterations, it's this:

Farm Dinner
Pinto Beans
Green Beans and Baby New Potatoes
Mixed Greens
Cucumber, Tomato Salad
Pickled Beets
Corn bread and Butter
Sweet Tea

And to the woman who told me no one in California eats greens, you're paying $15.00 for a plate of iguana food up the street because they added roasted garlic and Italy's answer to salt pork to it. Your people call it "pan-cet-ta".

Post Post:.  After I burned, cut and stained my hands red,  opted out of the salad, green beans, new potatoes, opted into a sedating South African beer instead of sweet tea and had made a huge mess of the kitchen, I decided that that horrible women KNEW what greens were and she was laughing at me because I was going home to cook them when the Italian restaurant up the street would do it for me.  By the time the night was over, I'd have paid 30.00 for iguana food and a clean kitchen.

Should have gone to the Italian place for Dinner

Be quiet and hand me the bottle opener.

Alice: But I don't want to go among mad people.

The Cat: Oh, you can't help that. We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
Alice: How do you know I'm mad?
The Cat: You must be. Or you wouldn't have come here.

Ante Meridiem:  Thelma and "Louise, are you sure we want to do this?"
I have an unpleasant task to accomplish with a friend that is a lot more Jerry Springer than I normally find tolerable.  My inner reductionist suggests I see this as a large donation to a charitable foundation aimed at the less fortunate. But to convince myself of that, I'd need more alcohol than my liver or the legal restrictions on public insobriety allow, a pair of kicky pigalle spiked ballerina flats and a Carolina Herrera ( girl crush, people.. large ) day dress.

Instead, I'm going to wear cargo pants, a wife beater and track shoes, because it's a more pragmatic ensemble for reposesing a car from, oh, let's call him {(Peter Pan) - (endearing bits)}with your husband's ex-wife, aka, my wife-in-law, aka, my closest female friend, since my sister has the nerve to live on the Gulf Coast knowing full well, I live on the Left Coast.  ( to be fair, I was the one that moved. )
y.e. haw.

p.s. Peter Pan is the poster child for birth control or at the very least, insisting your adult children BE adults.
       Love him.  Just sayin'

Post Meridiem: Thelma and Louise go to brunch
Note to self:   Brevity is the soul of wit.  caffeinated + blogging = verbose

I like to think it was the bottle of Moet we had during brunch, but the reposession went well.  Peter Pan was washing the car he wasn't paying for when we drove up, and knowing my feelings on the matter, Louise, asked me to drop her off. I didn't even get to rough anyone up with my maglight.  Dang.  

The evening finished thus:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Local Yokel

I’m from Texas but live in the anti-Texas. I still say y’all, drop consonants, and add a syllable to the word yes when under duress, or if I’m trying to make a point.  It used to make me self conscious and I tried to hone my diction to fit in better but like the lemon slice vs. the brioche debate, I’m over it.   Now I don’t want anything but exactly what I want. 
My dream is to be rail thin, of independent means and a part-time Parisian.   So far I’m o for o but I also have a deepening conviction that I can have what I decide I want.  Call it delusion or faith. The lines blur either way.  So does reality.
1) The weight is going to take a while, provided “a while” is code for “ forfreakinever”. 
2) Judging from the size of the check I just wrote to the IRS, they aren’t interested in increasing my personal wealth.  If anything, they appear opposed to the idea,  ( I’d add what I would consider humorous commentary here, but I enjoy the fruits afforded me by remaining a non-felon and it’s been my observation that the IRS is the anthropomorphic personification of humorless. )   and I get to spend this afternoon resolving a difference of opinion with my insurance company.  Don’t get me started on the small matter of mortgage increase and salary reduction.   Wheeeeeeee!  
3) There is  no packed bag at the front door holding  an airline ticket, my passport and the rental agreement for a tres chic appartement Parisien, nor will there be in the foreseeable future.
Depressing & True.  But there is another angle. 
1) I have lost a couple lbs.  If I do what has been fairly painless in a wash-rinse-repeat fashion, the weight will come off and this time next year I’ll be sitting at my computer covering a much smaller area of the chair.    Right now, I can’t even see chair.  Depressing &&&&  True.  But I’m other angling.  It’s also 11:00am and I haven’t face dived into anything unhealthy.  That alone is blogpostable.
2) I bought a lottery ticket.  This one is the winning one, unlike the last few I bought.  Denial may not be a river in Egypt but it’s certainly a stream of consciousness.
3) There are things about where I live that I like about Paris
a)  open air markets
b)  beautiful architecture
c) good food
d) art
c2) good food
e) window shopping  ( the real thing is not IRS, Bluecross, Fannie Mae or salary approved )
f) historically relevant locations  ( Paris is old. The Brea tar pits are older but I’m more about pretty than historically relevant )
f) pretty
c3) good food.

‘nough said, y’all

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lunch with my husband 239.1297

It’s a small thing really, but I usually panic when my husband asks me to lunch, or dinner or breakfast for that matter. Why?

Location is part of it. I personally live paycheck to paycheck, but my address is independently wealthy. It lives within a wildly affluent zip code, where the beautiful well-dressed preternaturally groomed women are so thick you couldn’t stir them with a stick, unless it was a swizzle stick, in which case,
“Yes please, with a slice of lemon, since it’s all I’ll be eating for the day.”
Them. Not me.
That’s the other obstacle to what should be a non-event. I irrationally think thin women don’t eat. Instead they buy aerosol food aromas so they can substitute the taste of real food for a size zero.  ( Mmm….chocolate whiff ). I’m reluctant to eat in public even though I happen to love real food because, of course, if no one sees me eat, I’ll look just exactly as if I too weigh 120lbs. I mean, witnesses are what make you fat.  Right?
So far, these notions have served me as well as a lemon wedge in an open wound. Moving on. I’ve decided to pretend I weigh 120lbs. Women that size go to lunch with their husband. I’ve see them and they don’t burst into fat before my eyes.  I’m beginning to think I have this backwards. 
My husband, like all people with a healthy well-adjusted attitude about food, is in no way self-conscious about eating in front of other people. He’s not happy when the occasional bite lands on the front of his shirt, but that’s not about eating. It’s about missing.
Today he wanted sushi at 11:am. (Did I mention he is a morning person? I know. Weird.) I like sushi, but I do not like it at 11am and I do not like it in the small cramp spaces where the best sushi is served under the most authentic of circumstances:  one Japanese man, behind one glass counter, with one purpose and a very good knife: small bites of the best flesh the sea can produce. Where my husband wants to honor his stomach and the art of sushi, I want elbow room and anonymity, you know, generic grocery store sushi of questionable freshness and dubious quality where imitation crab is the stand-in for toro.  My husband had ahi. I had angst. This goes a long way to explain why fat women settle for solitary quantity and thin woman stand in line at the French bakery on Sunday morning for warm brioche. 
I’m over it.  A little lemon in your wound?

Monday, July 19, 2010

A posse ad esse..230.1294

From possibility to actuality.   Can I eat my way thin?  We’re about to find out.  I weigh 230 lbs.  (holy cow..no self-demeaning pun intended ). I hate to exercise and I love to eat. I know more about food than anyone I know and I don’t diet, or rather until this moment, I’ve never stopped dieting. 
That’s not true. I remember there was a time when I didn’t diet, but that was back when I thought the petting zoo was all that and a bag of  Jalapeno ZapsNow the bar for what constitutes entertainment is a great deal higher, but at 46, I’m tired of not being able to get into the cute clothes I’m chic enough to recognize if not thin enough to wear.  It’s just as not much fun to wear a sweater dress when you know it looks like sausage casing and skinny stilettos just do not work on cankles.   The health thing is a downer too, but if I’m honest, not so much as cankles.
By my fiftieth birthday, I plan on being rich and thin.    The plan is fairly simple, at least the last part of the plan is.  I’m going to eat 1600 calories a day and I’m going burn 200 extra calories a day in purposeful movement.   One thing I am NOT going to do, at least at first, is worry about what makes up that 1600 calories or how I burn that 200 calories.  I refuse to use the word exercise.  Its effect on me is an immediate need for toasted brioche and enough Nutella to account for about half my 1600 calories for the day.
Let’s see.
The average brioche has anywhere from 200 to 300 calories, depending on how generous the baker is with butter. Nutella has 100 calories per tablespoon.  So does butter and while Nutella is an obvious taste winner, you can’t really toast brioche with it.  I don’t actually have empirical data, but it’s a pretty good guess..   The math looks like:  200 X 1 brioche ( I am trying to cut down here ) + 2 x 100 ( even the jar tells you if you’re going to have a serving you’re SUPPOSED to have 2 tablespoons ) + 1 x 100 (it’s,  like,  buttah, though a whole tablespoon of it might be a bit much, even for me…)=  a lot less than I thought and I have seen a lot of thin women in line at the French bakery.  Come to think of  it, thin women are the only women I see in the French bakery.  Fat women stay at home and settle.  I see a pattern.