The Idiot’s Guide To Everyday Life

How could a parent do this?
27.Feb.08, 22:22 pm
Filed under: Opinions

I met a guy on a single parents’ forum last fall who was a local here and we ended up meeting and having lunch. Come to find out he was looking for something I wasn’t and tried to play several of the girls in the forum against one another in the process, but that’s another story.

Apparently I dodged a bullet, literally. Tonight I was watching Men In Trees, and when it went off I caught the first ten minutes of the news and whose picture do they post, but Dustin’s. Apparently he went over the edge and killed his two children and then shot himself in a murder/suicide rampage. I would never have believed he could have been that kind of person, but I guess I didn’t know him at all.

What on earth could be bad enough to make a man kill his own children? How could any parent look their sweet child in the eye and take a gun to them? I understand he was stressed out over his recent divorce. It doesn’t matter how much you hate your ex, I don’t care what they did, you never hurt a child. You never use a child as a weapon against them. That mother now has to live the rest of her life without the children she gave birth to and loved with all her heart. What saddens me most is that I met the little boy. He was an adorable child, with a huge smile and big brown eyes that could melt your heart. To imagine the fear those children must have gone through when their father came after them with a gun is just mind blowing.

And to top it off, he had just come back from Iraq last summer. Now you’re going to hear about people attributing this to post-traumatic stress and all the like, but this is unforgivable. I’m sorry, I know there are horrors seen in the war that are atrocities to human life, but that is no excuse for killing your own innocent children.

I’m going to go hug my babies tight right now and tell them I love them. He should have done the same.


Don’t you know being Fat is unhealthy?
25.Feb.08, 21:06 pm
Filed under: Tidbits About My Life

Here is a post from Kate Harding’s Shapely Prose that I felt hit the nail on the head for me, and wanted to share:

Here’s the thing: I blog about fat acceptance.

Fat acceptance, as you can probably guess from the words “fat” and “acceptance” being right together like that, does not go over so well in some circles. Even in some progressive circles — which are usually known for not hating entire groups of people because of their appearances, not thinking what other people do with their bodies is anybody’s beeswax, and not uncritically accepting whatever moral panic the media tries to whip up, but wev. Fat is different! Don’t you know there’s an obesity epidemic? Don’t you know that fat kills? Haven’t you ever heard of Type 2 diabetes? Don’t you realize how much money this is going to cost society down the line? Won’t someone please think of the children?

So, before I start getting comments like that, I want to lay out ten principles that underlie pretty much everything I write about fat and health.

1. Weight itself is not a health problem, except in the most extreme cases (i.e., being underweight or so fat you’re immobilized). In fact, fat people live longer than thin people and are more likely to survive cardiac events, and some studies have shown that fat can protect against “infections, cancer, lung disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, anemia, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis and type 2 diabetes.” Yeah, you read that right: even the goddamned diabetes. Now, I’m not saying we should all go out and get fat for our health (which we wouldn’t be able to do anyway, because no one knows how to make a naturally thin person fat any more than they know how to make a naturally fat person thin; see point 4), but I’m definitely saying obesity research is turning up surprising information all the time — much of which goes ignored by the media — and people who give a damn about critical thinking would be foolish to accept the party line on fat. Just because you’ve heard over and over and over that fat! kills! doesn’t mean it’s true. It just means that people in this culture really love saying it.

2. Poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle do cause health problems, in people of all sizes. This is why it’s so fucking crucial to separate the concept of “obesity” from “eating crap and not exercising.” The two are simply not synonymous — not even close — and it’s not only incredibly offensive but dangerous for thin people to keep pretending that they are. There are thin people who eat crap and don’t exercise — and are thus putting their health at risk — and there are fat people who treat their bodies very well but remain fat. Really truly.

3. What’s more, those groups do not represent anomalies; no one has proven that fat people generally eat more or exercise less than thin people. Period. And believe me, they’ve tried. (Gina Kolata’s new book, Rethinking Thin, is an outstanding source for more on that point.)

4. Diets don’t work. No, really, not even if you don’t call them diets. If you want to tell me about how YOUR diet totally worked, do me a favor and wait until you’ve kept all the weight off for five years. Not one year, not four years, five years. And if you’ve kept it off for that long, congratulations. You’re literally a freak of nature.

5. Given that diets don’t work in the long-term for the vast, vast majority of people, even if obesity in and of itself were a health crisis, how the fuck would you propose we solve it?

6. Most fat people have already dieted repeatedly. And sadly, it’s likely that the dieting will cause them more health problems than the fat.

7. Human beings deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Fat people are human beings.

8. Even fat people who are unhealthy still deserve dignity and respect. Still human beings. See how that works?

9. In any case, shaming the fatties for being “unhealthy” doesn’t fucking help. If shame made people thin, there wouldn’t be a fat person in this country, trust me. I wish I could remember who said this, ’cause it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time: “You cannot hate people for their own good.”

10. If you scratch an article on the obesity! crisis! you will almost always find a press release from a company that’s developing a weight loss drug — or from a “research group” that’s funded by such companies.

So let’s just be clear that if you want to tell me fat people are disgusting and unhealthy in comments, all I’m gonna do is point you back to this post. And/or point you to other posts from my blog, or Junkfood Science, or one of my favorite fat bloggers, and/or bombard you with quotes from the aforementioned Gina Kolata, or Paul Campos, or J. Eric Oliver, or Michael Gard and Jan Wright, or Glenn Gaesser, or Marilyn Wann, or Laura Fraser. Seriously, you don’t even want to get me fucking started.

Oh, also? BMI is complete horseshit.

Pettiness overwhelms me
23.Feb.08, 18:11 pm
Filed under: Rants

Figuring out what to say to people who take offense to everything is challenging. There are some friends I have who would just laugh if I IM’ed them with the lyrics to “Little Bunny FooFoo” when I was feeling slap-happy. With other friends I have to guard my words carefully to avoid a tirade of epic proportions over the most minuscule of topics.

Why is it that some people just have to interject a personal affront into something that has nothing to do with them? Something that in the long run means absolutely nothing? To me, and this may just be a matter of opinion, that is an earmark of the truly self-absorbed. If you don’t have enough drama going on in your life you have to make some up by getting pissed over something that had nothing to do with you in the first place. It’s petty. It’s making a big deal out of something mundane that in a day will be forgotten. Why do people do this?

Is the mention of the mundane worth an hour-long tirade when it just leaves both people upset and angry and means nothing in the end? Is there no grey area where a person can just have a conversation and say, “Oh, cool,” at the end of it and then go their own way? Does saying something minor like, oh I don’t know, offering to design a graphic for the background of their SO’s website, have to be taken as an affront and seen as an attempt to undermind a marriage because the SO didn’t mention it first? Pardon me, but that seems like someone is fishing a little too far out in the bullshit pond. It seems like they’re searching for a reason to drive a wedge in the friendship. If that’s the case, then maybe they should just admit they feel threatened and go on with it. It wouldn’t change anything, but it’d let me know where I stood.

Please, people, there is only so much oxygen on the planet at any given time. If you’re going to waste it on a tirade, make sure that the subject of that tirade actually has merit. If not don’t waste your neurotic, self-absorbed, control-freak whining on me. I don’t want to hear it.

Now playing: Jason Mraz – Geek In The Pink