Friday, November 12, 2010

oh but really

i am trying to write a paper. not even a paper, a draft of a paper. but i'm either not trying very hard or i'm struggling with a lot of anxiety over writing it & thus dithering by playing on the internet (i'm not even playing! i'm reading tons of feminist blogs basically & that's it). i had kind wanted to start writing about stuff i think about, like feminism, psychology, cooking and so on but god... the attention span... she is not so generous these days. i want to have the energy & dedication of the folks at tigerbeatdown or bitch but alas. alack.

but its frustrating! i have many thoughts--so many!--and some of them are even worth sharing! like, for instance the great moral debate i had in the shower last night over whether finding dogs & goats with cataplexy funny makes me amoral. i mean, on the one hand its a serious disease and just awful when its humans. but when its dogs they get so excited over meat or their owner coming home they fall down! think of it this way, when a dog learns that happy thing = falling down they basically learn that falling down is fun, and not scary, because then they get to greet their owner or eat their food or whatever. this is my logic anyway, because lord, i really can't stop finding fainting baby goats hilarious.

or sneezing baby elephants. whatever.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

going veggie

an old friend of mine used to be a dedicated carnivore. brazilian barbecue places with heaping, endless piles of steaming meat were her delight. when she & another friend went to vegas, they both returned gushing about the place they had been to, how much meat they had eaten, how often the staff reloaded their plates and how deliciously and perfectly the meat had been cooked.

[as a preface to the rest of this: other people eating meat doesn't bother me, unless they're being snotty about it (it's the flipside to the preachy self-righteous vegetarian, the status quo carnivore who gets angry about being asked to think about their eating habits). i appreciate the art of well cooked meat, and am actually a pretty damn fine carver. i carve the meat at christmas, and take an anatomically curious delight in it despite not partaking.]

said friend recently has gone veg, and i just went back to eating vegetarian* in may of last year. i stopped eating vegetarian when i was 23 or so, i was in a period of pretty awful self esteem, depression & really bad self care, and, for me, reclaiming a conscious vegetarian diet was a huge step towards regaining my ability to care for myself in both basic day-to-day ways and overarching emotional ways. returning to a vegetarian diet was really about reclaiming aspects of myself i had shut down for a long time; i was trying to say something about myself and who i wanted to be by my dining choices. a vegetarian diet is a statement, and one that generates a LOT of questions about why you are making it. it can kick off some really frustrating conversations, and some really good ones, but frankly those are a bit rarer.

my friend made a great point in an e-mail exchange about the discussion aspect, "It's also amazing how polarizing a subject this is; people get so defensive about what they eat and why, and their case is usually boiled down to "but I like how it tastes" or "it's always been this way."  It's like yes, I smell fried chicken and I salivate; I so totally want it.  But I'm not going to eat it.  That's what I decided and all it takes is making a decision."

that decision brings our choices in eating away from habit (if we're switching to a veggie diet), convenient food options, and ease of access into a more conscious, aware way of eating. admittedly, you can definitely eat junk & comfort foods while eating veggie (hello, seven layer dip, my old friend) but you have to think about your diet a lot more often than otherwise.

we can't always choose how much we have to spend on food, or what we're craving, or what's available to us, but within these boundaries we do have choices. for me, eating consciously--even part of the time!--and with awareness of my decisions makes me more aware of my physical & emotional needs in terms of what i consume

it hasn't been easy for me. i do salivate when i smell fried chicken, and when i'm low on protein i crave steak tips, but what i've been learning about my body in the process has been remarkable. i didn't realize that my blood sugar crashes so easily before, because i wasn't paying attention to it. switching to a veggie diet hasn't increased the crashes, everyone who was around me prior to the switch can attest to that, but it has made me more aware.

it also has made me aware of the emotional component to eating--and made me realize that there should be one! eating is pleasurable, eating is nurturing our bodies and our spirits, and eating & cooking are so fun when shared with friends or family. being aware of this allows me to enjoy my delicious food decisions more--although sometimes it makes getting through a bowl of canned split pea pretty difficult. heightened awareness makes dealing with boring, super cheap food just that much more fun.

at any rate, i'm not at the point where i'm able to engage on this immediate, aware level of consumption on a daily basis but it is something i think about a fair bit. i think the more i'm able to observe & consciously participate in my daily life choices--without involving judgement--the better i'm able to make positive decisions and enjoy myself.

*i saw eating vegetarian because i haven't really made the commitment to living vegetarian at this point, i see them as being different because, well, i haven't gotten rid of leather shoes & haven't decided whether i'll buy them again or not.

Monday, September 6, 2010

(mark snow style whistling noises)

i've been rewatching the early seasons of the x-files recently and been thinking about how much of an impact--completely goofy though it is in retrospect--it had on my little developing mind, and it all comes down to scully. i can't talk trash about mulder, but frankly if i had wanted to watch a show with a strong male lead i would have had plenty of choices at the time. scully was different though, she was serious and intellectual without losing her humanity or warmth. she was brilliant and confident in her own ideas and argued against her superiors and coworkers on her own behalf; she advocated for herself and thought for herself.

PLUS she was such a style icon: that hair! those shoes! those SUITS! i loved her hair at the beginning, that kind of awful set of curls awkwardly resting on her cheekbones. oh baby scully, you were just starting out!

anyway, because of scully i wanted to go into science for a long while. at first it was medicine, but i wanted to be a forensic pathologist because i was a dedicated misanthrope at the time (thirteen or fourteen, so... yeah that explains that) and didn't want to work with people. this, by the way, is hilarious to me now.

i wanted to be an epidemiologist next (the hot zone had recently come out) and eventually moved away from the sciences, but it was fun in my second bio class to pretend i was doing experiments and reports JUST LIKE SCULLY. yes, these were heady times.

i like to think scully's example reinforced assertive behaviour for myself at the time. i think just seeing such a strong, confident woman i could aspire to be and identify with gave me a new way of seeing myself and my potential. i liked other characters (usually from something geeky, like dr. crusher or whatnot) but scully was the most fleshed out and real feeling. she also really broke the mold with her seriousness & intensity, things i wasn't comfortable about in myself but i could respect them in scully, things that are usually considered unfeminine and unlikable.

there i think i'm all thoughted out from scully. pfft.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

i chose... poorly.

the other night i was rereading spice & feeling the urge to bake, so i decided to try to combine oatmeal cookies (favorite cookie texture in the world) and the historically popular combination of honey & pepper. i thought it'd be delicious, hot & sweet, like hot cocoa with cumin & chili, or pizza with jalapeƱos & pineapple.

well, as it turns out, if you want something honey-flavored you should probably add a lot of honey, and not, say, a half cup. i substituted the brown sugar for honey, in retrospect, i should have swapped out the white sugar to bring out the honey taste more. it came out edible, even kind of good if you pretended it was a biscuit or something instead of cookie. i will try it again, but boy oh boy that was a recipe that needed work. like... wo.

i like the process of fucking up experimenting with recipes though, even when i don't produce something delicious i feel like i am one step closer to being a true pokebakingmaster. i learn from my failures, like my hero ash, and am able to incorporate the lessons i learn into my next pokebaking tournament where i get rewarded with, like, a star on my bracelet. for this i've walked a thousand miles, dodging lunatics with matching outfits at every step? oh, i mean, i guess it is a pretty good star.