Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bad Blogger.

Sorry folk(s)--[not sure if the one/handful of you who read this actually care or not, but I'll address you in the spirit of a shepherd who has neglected her flock. Or at least a border collie whose dereliction of duties has left no one to nip annoyingly at your heels as you bleat and attempt to nibble on your grass...ok...the metaphor has been stretched past silly into ludicrous. Let's move along.]--life has gotten in the way of regular blogging activities. Since last we met up with our dynamic duo beloved blogger, she's returned to school two days a week, has been working on a magazine and convention for her employer and has spent a full weekend indulging in the kind of schmoopy couplehood that would make you yak if you weren't one of the persons involved.

This consisted mostly of accompanying the LS to various activities in a show of goodwill and girlfriendy support. Admittedly, I enjoy being in the cheering section for this particular team. It brings out the good feelings that typically present themselves only in saccharine Lifetime films or an over-indulgence of hallucinogens.

I digress.

LS and I share many qualities (nerdiness, short attention spans, facial hair (jk)...) among them a very open, liberal political mindset. A number of his friends are involved in left-wing/anarchist/hippy pursuits, particularly at the organizational level. So we attended his friend's anti-tar sands speakers panel (which was quite interesting, filled with enlightened, well-spoken individuals) and an anti-Olympics preparation meeting prior to the torch relay through Edmonton (For the duration of which I held my tongue.) Not that I don't believe that First Nations or homeless advocates have a good case against the Olympics--they do. It's just that, well, the tactic of beating someone over the head with your self-righteousness when all they want to do is feel a sense of community and celebration is kind of like taking a dump on their coffee table during a party to protest their choosing the two-ply toilet paper over a more environmentally-friendly bidet. It just gets everyone down and doesn't really get the message across in the best possible way. You know?

On a better track, I got my first-ever chance to play groupie to a real-live rock band when LS and his merry band of punks played their inaugural gig at Brixx downtown. There was a fair-sized bar crowd and they brought the right combination of attitude and silliness to ensure that everyone had fun and didn't get caught up in their own self-importance.

In health update news, I've made a concerted effort to eat healthy this week, going so far as to purchase veggies and salad for work to snack on, instead of my normal Starbucks run. Still don't have a kitchen to cook in (my renovations are taking longer than expected. Bother.) but the progress is being made and soon I'll be able to create magnificent, healthy meals in my newfangled cooking space. Celebratory dinner party TBA.

It's 8:30am. My coffee's run out and the emails are stacking up in my work inbox. Until we meet again.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Ms. Fitz's Monkey of the Week: Chunky Monkey cream. I love ice cream. And chocolate. Cakes. Warm bread. Food in general, really. I'll admit at the outset that this post is more chunky than monkey, chunk being a personal bane for the past several years.

Our lives are defined by the relationships we foster within them. Just because food doesn't love us back doesn't mean we don't have a relationship with it. It's how we nourish ourselves, excite our tastebuds, indulge in a treat or seek refuge in the memories it evokes.

I've never had a bad relationship with food. Ok, so I have a sweet tooth. A MEGA sweet tooth. As a youth, as long as tooth decay wasn't an issue, I felt free to indulge. As I get older and more sedentary (the proof is in the ass-groove I create daily at my desk) however, I have been forced to reevaluate my relationship and decide whether it's really mutually-beneficial or if someone's getting the caloric shaft.

Several months ago, I was working really diligently to get myself back into shape, participating in 8 weeks of bootcamp. Very proud. Didn't quite match it with the diet, particularly when Christmas came around and the urge to indulge grew too great. Several weeks later, I'm worried about reverting to my pre-fit state, and am trying to grow conscientous of my food intake, not only for my health, but for my pants size. It's a battle I've spent most of my time ignoring, until of course I realized that I was unhappy with how I looked and wanted to improve by losing the belly that had developed over years of over-imbibing and still eating like a university student.

My sort-of resolution this New Year's (not a true one, just more of a timely "now's as good a time as any" decision) is to wean my body off the daily doses of christmas cookies, chocolates and rum-infused eggnog and reintroduce myself to carrots and broccoli. My biggest issue is trying to make that seem appealing and interesting, because I am at pains to feel that way naturally. Keeping up my fitness is also important, as it will compliment the diet and help me not feel bad about all that effort wasted.

By the end of my bootcamp, I could do 30 burpees in a row. I started off with barely 10. I don't want to go back to that place where I'd rather die than do a pushup. But encouraging myself to make it a full lifestyle change, as opposed to a weeklong fast or 6-week workout session, will be the true challenge.

Sigh. Hand me the rice cakes.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A huge, steaming pile of doofus

So PC MLA Rob Anderson was one of two government MLAs who crossed the floor yesterday to the upstart Wildrose Alliance party. Since then, the rookie MLA has been shooting his mouth off left and right (mostly right) about his issues with Ed Stelmach's government. While this action in and of itself is telling of his inexperience, it's his bright-eyed naivety that really hits it home for me. When interviewed about what disillusioned him about the whole thing, the Calgary Herald reports:

"It's a total lack of commitment to democratic values," he insists, adding that as a rookie politician he's been disillusioned by life inside the government.

"It's totally shocking as a new MLA. A lot of these people I really looked up to. I'd see them at the annual party meetings and admire them. Then they'd stand up and say these things in caucus. You kind of want to throw up afterward."

Yeesh. I want to throw up, too. More at your statement than at the realization that Alberta is run by a surfeit of assholes. I mean, if I wanted to throw up every time I was disappointed in the lack of democratic processes and citizen-oriented policymaking in this province, I'd be walking around with a bucket and a crash helmet.

Seriously, dude? What sort of politician ARE you? You admired all the warm fuzzies they gave you while they kissed your baby and pinched your cheeks at the rah-rah lovefests? But then the wolves doffed the sheep's clothing and you could see them for what they really were? Well golly-gee-willikers, sir! What a revelation. These comments leave one wondering not so much how deep absolute power has corrupted the government, but more how you manage not to get mugged every time you leave the house. Having faith in people is a wonderful thing. And even some politicians are deserving of it. But seriously, dude? SERIOUSLY? Get your head out of the sand. I am gobsmacked at the idea of an Alberta PC MLA fleeing because the idealist shangri-la wasn't in caucus as promised. What ideals? Where have you been? What rock are you under, and is there room for me in there so I don't have to smack myself in the head everytime I read this tripe?


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What I want to be when I die

I am finishing up this great book I picked up over the Christmas holidays: "Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach.

While I admit to a penchant for the macabre and eccentric, this was a strangely charming, and oft-hilarious, read. Ms. Roach goes through the history of death and dying and what purposes dead bodies serve after going on to their great repose. Besides the usual anatomy labs and organ donations, corpses also serve as crash-test dummies, gruesome scientific experiments, fuel and--in some cultures still--medicine (salves, edible bits of skin, etc.) The book also details the processes behind death and the ways in which humans try to prolong their bodies' existence with chemicals or mummification.

Most interesting for me are the eco-friendly ways to die that are being offered in many parts of Europe and gaining in popularity worldwide. There's composting, or dissolving bodies in lye, after which the remant goo will swirl down the drain--a sterile, pH-neutral people-syrup.

I've never been one to romanticize my death or what will become of me afterwards. I don't believe I'd feel particularly violated or disrespected to serve a useful purpose as an organ donor or research tool. Besides, even if I became a bit of mellified man, it's not like I'd get too upset: I wouldn't be there to feel pain or indignity, now would I?
Death can be scary: the unknown always is. But without a cultural or religious background to dictate what I'll do with my own, I'd be quite happy to shuffle off this mortal coil allowing others to make the most use out of me before chopping me up and using my bits to grow flowers. I don't need a sealed casket, headstone or urn sitting on someone's fireplace. I find that kind of creepy. My time here is brief, and so I must make the most of it before I return to what I once was: just some random motes assembled into a person.