Friday, November 30, 2007

And on we roll

I'm Still Supporting my Brothers and Sisters in the WGA!!!!

And you should to.

What do you wanna do tonight, Marty?

This morning is the first time in far too long that I sat down and took some time to BE in my apartment. I made a bowl of oatmeal and some spiced breakfast sausage, a big hot cup of coffee, and sat in my brand new Ikea chair.

And started watching Marty.

I love this movie.

(Why am I blogging during it? A lamentably short attention span.)

Please, let me say this again, because I want you to understand it.

I LOVE this movie.

And I'm not sure why.

But it's so charming.

And it makes me cry. This time I got 27 minutes in.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Me Recuerdes

In three weeks or so, come around and see how I'm doing.
I'll be done with school and in desperate need for human contact!
Now I've got to get focused and write a paper on folk art/dance and identity as well as some make up work and learning the last of my Spanish.

Oh, and recover from this cold I've been fighting.
And clean the apartment.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Creo que si

Well, here it is.

I am in a pickle. A jam.
A cream tart.

No, scratch that last.

I'm up a creek sans paddle.
It seems I've really forgotten some basic tenets of Spanish. Like when to use Estar and when to use Ser. I "lost" my class last week and texted a friend mangled first semester (hell, first WEEK of first semester) Spanish: donde es clase, which really means something deeply philosophical, to be generous to myself...

I really want to be able to read and speak Spanish. I don't even know why (actually, I kind of do, it's just difficult to explain - it's half "I'm a perfectionist" and it's half, "I'm falling in love with being able to understand this beautiful language").

In a few weeks I'll have some exciting announcements but right now the extent of my excitment is that I am going to try to get to school extremely early this morning and get a sweet spot in the library to research my paper. I think I can get 2 draft pages written a day between now and the end of next week, which should get me nearly caught up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Ten Year Languages Plan

I was talking this over the other day with a self-proclaimed language geek (the kind who can actually teach himself languages). I never thought I'd get as far as I have learning another language (my second being Spanish), and now that I've started, I'm anxious to learn a few more.

Although I don't expect fluency in them all, here is the list I came up with and a very loose timeline for the languages I'm going to try and become familiar with between now and when I'm 50.

1. Spanish (Including this because I'm taking Spanish 4 next semester, which is text heavy, and I really hope to keep working on listening and speaking the language).
2. Latin (need 2 semesters for my B.A., and will be a good basis for language #3 and others)
3. Italian (no real reason, kind of seems like a gimme after Spanish and Latin.
4. Arabic (the U.W. or someone related has a 4-6 week immersion class in the summer, which seems really fun and challenging - I almost did this two years ago instead of starting at MATC).
5. Japanese or Mandarin - This seems kind of capricious, doesn't it, like "my Asian language", but both of them are really tempting and I feel like saying I want to study them both is like saying "oh, I'm not serious about trying either one." I'm guessing I'll do Japanese because Japanese culture has been of interest to me for a longer time (via my dad and his interest esp. w/Zen Buddhism). This is the "when I'm 50" language.

French is in there between Italian and Arabic. Probably after Italian I can study that one at home and do pretty well. I took it in school (okay, Middle and half a year in High School), and I think I can probably figure lots of it out after Spanish, Latin and Italian.

Plus, I'll be all chicken to start something COMPLETELY different, so I'll be procrastinating.

Just this morning after my shower, I was practicing Spanish and I started crying because I couldn't remember something. The 8 year old came to the bathroom and asked me what was wrong, and I said I was just feeling frustrated because I was having trouble remembering something and being too hard on myself. And I am. Too hard on myself. And having trouble remembering.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The more things stay the same, the more things change?

The spell of silence has been broken. No one knows where this ends up. And still we ride.

Call her

When she's sick and she calls you from the parking lot saying "I'm so out of it, I think I have to take a nap in the car before I can drive home", even if there is laugh in her voice, even if you don't want to call her because things have been strained and strange between the two of you, pick up the phone and see how she's doing.

Call her.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


So events and an unsuccessful attempt to adjust medication dosage conspired to keep me up all night the other evening, and I was lucky lucky lucky enough to have a night owl/early bird on the line with me to keep the crazies at bay. We had some good talk about many things and one thing I keep coming back to is the idea of what I need in my life in the order of other people.

Now this is something I've struggled with for a long time, and I don't expect I'll stop struggling with it any time soon.

The gist of the conversation was about needing a partner, and how I NEED a partner. I'm not one of those people who can go it alone. I do go it alone, I have, and I will, if that's how the chips fall, but I don't WANT to.

I WANT to be in partnership. At least, that's what I think I want. At the same time, I find it outrageously difficult to be expected to trust anyone else to do anything properly, or in my best interest, or when I need them to... Basically, I don't believe people will do what they say they will when they say they will. Which can tend to make it hard for me to relinquish my control over things.

Oddly, in romantic relationships, I usually relinquish most of the control in an effort to become more appealing. Guess what? Doesn't appear to work! I know, surprising. Who, as they say, would have thunk it?

So who knows? I guess what I am saying is that I've decided that needing what I need isn't the culprit, it's accepting less. Because less is never ever gonna be enough.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Write it

When all else fails, take a notebook, a pencil (or a pen, because years later a pen is less likely to have smudged, at least a ball point or a sharpie is), and start writing.

Write in a cold quiet corner of the room full of coats at Thanksgiving in an apartment full of people for whom conversation is coming easier than it comes for you.

Write in the middle of the night in the dark hotel room.

Sneak into the bathroom and write for a few minutes when you will not be missed.

And later, when you have nearly forgotten that you took that time to write, go back and read your story.

And smile.

Because despite everything, every heavy-handed metaphor and each awkward bit of dialog, you see that you are a writer, in some way, you are a writer, and you are meant to write.

Keep that notebook going. Fill it and then get another one. Make the stories in it real if you have to, if that will fuel you to write more.

You are a writer. In some way. At this time. You are a writer.

You are living. Write it.

Friday, November 23, 2007


I feel quite privileged to be read here by "The Anthropologist"and even more pleased to be tagged for a meme when I was actually reading a book!, . Unfortunately, the 161 meme requires a longer book than the one I'm reading (It's just under 155 pages). My 161 is part of the foot notes, so I chose page 61 instead.

And here it is the 6th sentence of the 61st page of Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History by Michel-Rolph Trouillot.

Dumsele does not say that the Milot palace was was designed or named after Potsdam.

Hmmmmm. Not very exciting I'm afraid. The book itself is interesting. Here's the short blurb on the back to whet your appetite for more:
Placing the West's failure to acknowledge the most successful slave revolt in history alongside denials of the Holocaust and the debate over the Alamo, Michel-Rolph Trouillot offers a stunning meditation on how power operates in the making and recording of history.

Now, I know of only one person besides The Anthropologist who reads this blog on a regular basis, and he doesn't blog, but if my lurking friend T cares to, he could do the meme in the comments. And if Tom, who comes by every once in a while, would like to give it a try, I suggest taking the sixth sentence from the 161st page of your NaNoWriMo effort this year, if you are game.

Monday, November 19, 2007

8 Divided by 21

So I've been working my not-weight-loss-diet-but-trying-to-lose-a-bit-of-weight thing for 21 days as of today. So far so dancing-on-the-edge-of-obsessive-behaviour. It's sick and wrong and that's why I didn't want to even focus on weight loss at all.

But otherwise things are fine and I'm eating well and eating all food groups and having a nice time doing it. This morning I'm trying to stay away from the computer because I'm way behind on my anthropology writing and need to have a paper done in far too few days plus there is an exam in Spanish today and what I'd love is to get on the bus and get to school early and find a corner and study. But I get caught up at home and don't often make it in early. :(

I'd have less of a problem if I didn't have an inspection at the apartment later. I feel as though I need to clean up a bit. Pride, etc.
Oh, actually, I remember now, I need to drop something off after school which requires that I drive in, so I have some flexibility there. It takes me less time taking the bus but I have two chances an hour to catch it as opposed to whenever I choose to hop in the car. I think I'll try to get to school by 10, which will give me three good hours in which to study and a half an hour to catch my Anthro prof to chat about life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Trying to keep a cool head

So Bf and I nearly had an argument last night about something around which we tend to disagree, and that is... complicated. It's about the nature of RACE.

As a student of Anthropology (particularly cultural), I really have embraced what I've been exposed to about race being a cultural and not a biological construct. Sure, people are different, look different and on some level share common DNA markers with others of the same original geographic heritage, but RACE as a one size fits all, there are six of them (and one more, the one I belong to, "other") and thats "just how it is"?

Excuse me while I laugh and or scream and or cry.


In class the example I used to mention my own confusion about race was my 8 year old. If you saw him, you would say to yourself, "white kid". There wouldn't be any question in your mind on that point. If you saw us together you might have some cognitive dissonance, because most of the time "white woman" doesn't pop into people's heads when they see me.

So, if race is a purely biological construct, what am I? What is he? And what, pray tell, are the millions of people who are all mixed up? Where are the hard and cold facts separating us and who has that list - is it available as a PDF?

The problem last night is that as I was describing (poorly, alas) the lecture, bf said, voice dripping with derision, "oh, is he a biologist?" I will tell you that I very nearly came unhinged at that moment. It felt as though a thousand bees were in my head screaming to protect the Queen. I did swear, friend, and I did use a terribly unfriendly tone, but quickly composed myself.

You see, this is the kind of thing which strikes (sadness? madness?) something deep in my heart. The line, the thin, thin line upon which I have always tread is one which I have had to make myself. There is no one path for a mixed race person to walk, and for me, I have decided to let others do the fighting because no one is happy with my choices. But when I hear that tone of voice implying that I am blind to the obvious facts of the existence of Caucasiods and Negroids (made up terms, friend, cut from whole cloth to suit the needs of a few) - I will tell you, no matter who says it I lose my shit.

As I am fond of saying "I've been to the Caucasus (Armenia is a beautiful place), and the people there? By the standards of our culture (and many others) would not be considered White". I'll get up the courage to tell the story of how the Caucasian "race" came to be, sometime soon, I hope, but for now, please let me guarantee you that not everything we know to be true is an objective truth. And for race, that goes double.

The winners write history, as it's said, and the winners in this case were myopic ethnocentric fools.

We never got around to really discussing this, so I'm airing unfinished laundry here. I'm sure we'll get around to ironing this out at some point. This story (my monologue here) will continue...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm a hypocrite

It was a smack in the face, but I realized this when I woke up (after I had weighed myself):

As much as I say I am not in favour of Weight Loss Dieting, that's exactly what I'm doing right now. Sort of (I will qualify this to death if I let myself).

I'm still adamant that what I am trying to do is be happier, and losing a bit of weight is part of what I see helping me get there. Not the only thing, and definitely not the main thing, but part of a set of things I want to change in my life.

I've just been prescribed a drug to manage my moods and anxiety, and that drug is known for causing weight loss as a side effect. I looked it up yesterday and found a lot of interesting information about it, such as it's uses off label by "weight loss" doctors (i.e. Quacks) and others as a diet drug. That was disturbing to say the least, as the drug has a handful of other very unpleasant side effects that are only worth the risk to me because of my struggles - I want to find stability (part of the being happier equation).

The funny thing is that if I stopped tracking my food and limited my calorie intake purposefully, but this drug just "happened" to make me lose weight anyhow, I'd still be cool in the FA community. But because I wanna lose weight (YES, DAMN IT, I DO. OKAY? Sorry), I'm a potential outcast.

Nevermind that I have been talking to people (including my health care providers*) about Health at Every size and other stuff, identifying myself as an Anti-Weight-Loss-Diet person and generally living FA (for everyone Except me, lol). Or that I will talk about my fat and tell people how much I weigh - 206 at 5'8". The fact that I have identified purposeful weight loss as a goal makes me less credible (or destroys my credibility completely) as part of the Fat Acceptance community.

At least to some.

To me, I'm a fat accepter as I am a feminist. With small fs, and to my own standards.
That's how it gonna be and how it's gotta be. But I thought acknowledging that yes, I have altered my eating to lose weight was important. I don't want to pretend that I'm not out to lose. I still plan to be "overweight" when I stop tracking, just less so.
And in the end, that's my damn business. It's my body, and I'm the only one who has got to live in it.

* Okay, so I've got this nurse I see for meds appointments, and she is hung up on weight and weight loss. She is an average size person, maybe slightly fat (honestly, I don't know). But when telling me about this new drug, she emphasized the weight loss side effect and said that a client of hers had lost 30 lbs, which set me off into a "That's not healthy" thing, and she go all defensive and said "well, she needed to lose 30 lbs," and I said, "It's still not healthy to lose that much in a month - most of that had to be water weight or something from changing medications." - we went around in a funny circle of her being sure it was FINE and me being certain if it happened to me I'd be in the doctor's office getting blood work done. Finally I told her that I didn't like to hear about weightloss and dieting things because I found it to be both depressing and I wanted to concentrate on health. She's always rubbed me the wrong way a bit, and that kind of thing doesn't help. Maybe one day she'll tell me she's read Gina Kolata's book (ooh, I should pick it up for her in paperback!), or just leave it out. It's weird because she's a psychiatric nurse. She doesn't even know what I weigh. Damn it. I should write her a letter.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pretty, no?


The last rosebud of the year (taken October 29th).

The Author as Headless Fatty

Oh, I've been working through some body issues lately. That's been fun.

Decided to track my food intake using an online program, while also limiting myself to 2000 calories a day (which, yes, for my body type/size/weight is below my BMR - which means if I just lay around all day my body would need more calories to work properly and maintain my weight).

And I've been weighing myself every day (yes, I've lost some). But, because I started to do crazy things with food (after only 4 days I start to look at things in the good and bad categories, or suddenly I'm "not hungry", even though I haven't had a thing to eat for 8 hours...bad habits die hard), I am not weighing again until the weekend.

But I've been going to yoga and moving more and that feels good. I'm working up to more exercise slowly, slowly, because I tend to overdo and hurt myself. I really am looking forward to working out over the holidays. I give myself permission to obsess about exercise then, if only it keeps me from becoming all sullen and depressed.

Anyhow, I was feeling all sassy this morning and took a few pictures of myself, one of which was a total "headless fatty" picture. And I looked and looked at those pictures of my fat self and felt all panicky. OMG I'M FAT!!!


Deep Breath, Lady. You'll be fine.

[Several deep breaths later]

Yep, as I've been saying here, I'm fat. Obese by the standards of my doctors. I'm a round, curvy, voluptous and fat woman. And I'd better get used to it.

Not that I'm not looking forward to being differently curvy by next year (more muscle tone, yay!), but I am never going to be skinny (for me) again. I just don't see it in the cards.

And learning to accept the Fat me will be/is the first challenge to accepting the less fat me later on.

I'll post my headless fatty picture later on, if it seems like a good idea.

You'll likely also be subjected to my rant about fat and the world of the Y(MCA), because I've been noticing some stuff. Like Fat people get treated funny when they exercise. Not all the time, not always, but DAMN, I'm inflexible AND fat, not inflexible BECAUSE of my fat.

I'd love a yoga class with some fat women in it. Even some thin women with big breasts so I'd have a companion in misery when doing poses face first. How do you modify for boobs?!?

Kate Harding, have you got any fat positive yoga contacts in Madison? Help a sister out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I've changed my mind

I don't want to miss out on finishing school, there are many flavors of academics (not all annoying don't-hold-the-door-for-you-even-tho-you-are-directly-behind-them like a guy in my anthro class), there are amazing profs like my Spanish and Anthro profs, and I love to be in the midst of it.

I'm scared though. I can admit that. I have no idea how my efforts will turn out.

This post brought to you by an interesting day.

Remind me to tell you about the bus driver who dropped me off right at the door of my school today. He's the nicest bus driver in town, maybe in the state.

Look at my pretty picture

Yay, vanity has returned! I'm happy, and that makes me feel good and look nice again and, yay! Venal, schmenal. Sins are for suckers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The inevitable

Well, the inevitable has come.

I'm talking about WINTER.

As I got out of my friend's car (she drove me home after Spanish class), I noticed precipitation on my sleeve. Frozen precipitation. I looked up and suddenly all around me were snowflakes.

I guess this also means I have to turn on the heat. I haven't yet, or more correctly, haven't had to, because it's been between 71 and 74 degrees even as the temperatures out of doors has dropped to near freezing. But today there are blowing winds and snow, and that means we are going to be using the heat very soon. I wonder if we can go another day or two without... The only problem I see is that there is some cold air coming in around the edges of the window. I think I'll go out and get some of the putty sealer stuff to put around the cracks.

And hope the downstairs neighbors keep their apartment warm and it drifts upwards.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Snow? OH NO!

According to the National Weather Service, we have a 20% chance of snow for Monday.
I'm not prepared for this kind of weather, not with outerwear or shoes!

Must figure this out and get ready for winter!