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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


As longtime readers and friends know, sometimes your blog hostess doesn't have (and cannot successfully fake) enough coherent thoughts about one topic to fill up an entire post, so she is forced to throw together a bunch of unrelated crap and pretend it kinda goes together.

Admit it. Deep in your heart, you look forward to this.

By the way? Before we move on from that Game of Thrones meme, how awesome/disgusting/awesome are these?  If I had any baking talent whatsoever, I'd make some.

Courtesy of Not Your Momma's Cookie

Where was I? Oh yeah.

First order of business, only very very loosely related to this blog's topic: the royal OB/GYNs.  Read a little blurb this morning that the two gentlemen who delivered the heir to the throne of Great Britain yesterday consisted of a.) the Queen's gynecologist and b.) the doc who did Camilla's hysterectomy.  How weird would it be to be the Queen's gynecologist?  Does she have to change into a drafty paper gown like the rest of us? Do you think she is still holding onto her little purse when she's in the stirrups?  (Did I just make you picture the Queen in stirrups? Did it then make you imagine your own little old grandmother in stirrups? I've got some brain bleach I can sell you...***)  Secondly, I dunno, but the knowledge that Camilla had her lady parts yanked out makes me feel a weird sense of solidarity with her I never thought I'd have.

Secondly, this post was linked to on Already Pretty yesterday.  I hadn't particularly heard of the Fuck Flattering movement/project/whatever before, but I will say that being 5'2, I have always had a fairly jaundiced attitude towards fashion articles suggesting I wear x to look taller and avoid y so as not to appear stumpy.  Who says I want to look taller?  I have never had any problem with being, like a candy bar, "fun size."  (Well, okay, I do bitch about not being able to reach the top cabinet shelves and, before the T was uniformly air conditioned, having my nose at other people's pit level during summer rush hours was fairly unpleasant, but those are practical, not aesthetic, concerns.)  Furthermore, ain't none of those styling tricks fooling anyone anyways.  Put me in 4 inch heels and I don't look 5'6, I look like a short woman in big shoes. Sometimes I wanna look like a short woman in big shoes, but that doesn't mean I think I look tall.  So I'm pretty simpatico with the "fuck flattery" thing. Wear what you like because dressing to camouflage what your body actually looks like is fruitless and silly.

However. That linked post made me sad.  Those of you who are regular readers will know this, but let me restate it to be plain: unlike a lot of "fitness" people, I do not demonize overweight people.  I don't think being fat is a sin.  I don't think being fat equates, necessarily, to being unhealthy.  I think there are some extremely attractive fat people, just as there are some extremely attractive muscular people, and extremely attractive skinny people, and extremely attractive average-sized people.  I push back hard against the idea that there's such a thing as a bikini body, that anyone should have to look a certain way in order to be entitled to wear a bathing suit at the pool, a shmexy dress at the club, or a pair of tight yoga pants in the gym. Fuck all that. Nevertheless that post made me sad, because it was plain as day to me that that young woman, despite her bravado, really does not feel positive about her body and appearance.  For god's sake, she calls herself ugly.  Now maybe she's reacting to other people having called her ugly at some point in her life. Maybe she's taking back the word.  I dunno. I do know that the whole tone of that blog post reeks of deep insecurity. The subtext is not that she's wearing a crop top because, shit, she thinks crop tops are so cute and fun and she thinks she looks adorable in it.  She's wearing it to say "I know you think I'm ugly, so I'ma wear what's gonna accentuate that *to you*, to look even uglier in your eyes, just to prove I don't give a fuck." Which proves she does give a fuck.  I can't see it as truly holding up a positive body image.  And I say that with great empathy as someone who's struggled with her own body image at many points in her life.

Finally, and we won't even pretend this is on topic (except that it is for people who like to run, walk, or bike outdoors!) meet my latest favorite thing:  wundermap.  OMG, you guys, I can look at real time radar down to the street level.  This just saved me from heading out for a walk to the CVS an hour ago when, though it wasn't raining and it actually looked like the sun was poking through, there was a huge patch of heavy rain heading right for me.  I do this all the time now.  If the weather says scattered thunderstorms or 50% chance of rain or whatever and I want to take a walk, I pull up wundermaps and see if there is in fact any rain coming towards me and how far away it is. Brilliant!  Stops me from inadvertently getting soaked and/or deciding to stay home when in fact it *isn't* gonna rain in my vicinity any time soon.

That's all I got!


***actually, I saw my own grandmother's hooha quite a bit during her last year of life. Didn't really require brain bleach, 'cause face it, without it, I wouldn't be here, capice?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

what i've been up to

Oh, like YOU care. Too bad. I'ma tell you anyway.

I started a new part time massage job at a place I will not name, but which I fondly (so far) refer to as the Evil Empire. That is to say, it's at one of those chain-type places that are driving the lil guys outta business (like a more zen WalMart) and driving down the wages for massage therapists in general.  Leading me to digression #1: if you get a really cheap massage (or any kind of personal service, really: facial, waxing, etc) either because it's at a franchise kinda place or because it's a groupon, PLEASE tip generously if your experience is in any way satisfactory. Um, and in cash if at all possible.  The reason it's cheap is not because the owners aren't trying to make lotsa money or because they're skimping on the amenities***, it's because they're paying the people performing the service crap.

Why work for crap pay?  Two part answer. One, that's where the jobs are, especially the more entry-level jobs. Two, because that's where the customers are. I'm not sure people who haven't worked in the spa business are aware--I certainly never thought of it before massage school--but your MT or esthetician is only paid when they're actually performing a treatment/service.  So, $15 + gratuity per massage hr for 4 or 5 hours a shift is preferable to making $40 + gratuity per massage hour if you're only getting one client a shift and spending the rest of the time sitting around unpaid, waiting for business.  Well, Andrea, you say, if you get $15/hr and then a $15 tip, that's $30/hr. That's not gonna make anyone rich, but it's a living wage. Um, well, yeah, except NO ONE can physically do 40 hours of massage a week. 20-25 hours of massage a week is a pretty heavy schedule. So divide that $30 in half and your therapist is back to making about $15/hr.  Just some things to think about if you or your child is considering massage school.  On the plus side, it can be very emotionally rewarding. That's better than eating, right?

Where was I? Oh, yeah, don't be a cheap bastard. Tip nicely if you are happy.

The upshot of the above is that what else Andrea is doing right now is attempting to find a second (well, third really) part time job not massaging people.  No one cares that I have my CPT, lemme tell you.  I shoulda been nicer, i.e. sucked up to that woman at my gym who yells at me for squatting barefoot 'cause she sure as hell wouldn't give me a job. But that's another in my long series of bad life decisions. I was never very good at sucking up to people (NO?!!??) and, believe me, I wish it were not so.  But anyways, things are in the works. Future updates will be available.

But to bring this back on-topic, my new massage job is three evenings per week and it is seriously screwing up both my workout schedule and my eating.  I get into work at 2:30 or 3:30 or 4:30, depending on the day, having eaten somewhere between 600-900 calories, which would be my usual at that point in the day, and then maybe depending on how my schedule goes, I get a 200 calorie snack in. Which means I'm home at 10 or 11 needing to eat another 1000 calories or so.  Which, obviously, I don't usually make it.  Being at work, and actually working, during what is my regular dinner time is screwing me all up.  I'm not hungry when I get to work, so I don't want to stuff more food in before I start, but I don't see another solution.  Suggestions from those of you with non-traditional work schedules happily accepted!  Right now, I'm just eating below maintenance on those days I work and making up (most of) the calories on days I don't.  If only I were trying to diet right now, this would totally be a dream****!


***Actually, I had a groupon massage just last week at a local place where, um, the amenities? No chair in the room for the client, no place to put my clothes. No clock in the room for the therapist, so she had to keep checking her phone to see where we were at time-wise.  And a face cradle the therapist warned me was a little wonky.  Plus, they were right by the commuter rail tracks and it was rush hour, so the room shook a few times, lulz.

****Actually, when I graduated massage school and was working doing massage half-time, plus my non-massage job, I easily dropped 10 pounds over say three months for exactly the same reason. Which was fine, because massage school had made me, ahem, outgrow all my pants.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

i don't believe it for one tiny minute

Happy 4th of July, Americans! In order to celebrate the founding of my free nation, I'm going to use my precious constitutional right to free speech to call bullshit. Really, it's all about that, not the fact that I'm procrastinating putting on pants because I'm using the constitutional right to be lazy (which I'm sure Jefferson and Madison totally meant to put in there before they were overruled by George Wythe**, a known killjoy).

What are you calling bullshit on, Andrea? you ask.  Well, kids, yesterday I was at the salon being made, if not beautiful, as presentable as I'm gonna be, and while the magickal chemicals were turning my gray hairs back to my preferred reddish brown, I was perusing a People magazine a prior client had left where I was sitting.  It was apparently some sort of bikini-body issue (sigh) with an article of the (predictably stupid) fad diets/eating plans various celebrities follow with critique thereon by (less predictably but still stupid) mainstream nutritionists.  (Example: one sniffed about some IF***-ish plan that he didn't like that there's no breakfast.  Dear lord, it's 2013. Are we still sticking to that outdated canard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for everyone everywhere at all times against the abundant evidence that some people do just fine and feel much better not eating first thing?)

God, there's a lot of parenthetical asides in that paragraph. That's what happens when the writer isn't wearing pants, apparently.

But, anyway. What I really wanted to rant about was not that article, but the accompanying feature where four female--of course--celebrities shared their food diaries for a day. Did I find it surprising that some model-type claimed to eat 1100 calories a day? No. Was it unbelievable that some Real Housewife of Wherever ate 2600?  No, and bravo for your apparent honesty, Reality TV Person I Have No Knowledge Of.  No. What I call bullshit on is that Laila Ali, female boxer, daughter of Muhammad, eats 1330 calories a day.

Does that look like a woman who can/does/should subsist on 1300 calories a day?  Did she grow those muscles on, like, pixie dust and good genetics?  Granted she looks more like this now:

Apparently--and I didn't notice this till I just put those two photos side by side--a 1300 calorie a day diet lightens your skin tone by three shades as well as drops the pounds!

SMH. So much. People magazine, you suck.

Ms Ali's food diary was full of, like, salmon and veggies and a protein shake with coconut oil in it and all the other stereotypical Clean Eating faves. I have no issue with her claiming to eat that way.  Some people really do eat that healthily all the time, and bless them.  It's that calorie count I have an issue with.  I wouldn't even bat an eye, much, if she said, well, I have a 2 year old and I put on a bunch of pregnancy weight and now that I'm a media celeb, not a professional athlete, I had to go on a super hard cut and diet crazily in order to be in a bathing suit in a national publication.  It's the presenting that amount of food as what she eats, all the time, to maintain that body that I find a.) unbelievable and b.) toxic.  She's 5'10 and, at least when she was boxing, in the 160s.  I am sure Ms Ali can/does/should eat twice that amount to maintain the body above.  How refreshing would it be to read her saying, "Yeah, I'm a big girl**** and I work out hard and I eat 2500 calories every day to give my body the fuel it needs"?  Instead, she's just reinforcing all the mainstream media garbage that women need to starve to look good. Feh.

And, again, that skin lightening crap?  Double feh. Would your father have let them photoshop out his blackness, Ms Ali?  I don't think so.


**I had to look up who was on the committee to write the constitution. I coulda guessed Jefferson and Madison and Paine and Adams, but I never freaking heard of George Wythe.  I blame my public ghetto high school.

Also, he probably wasn't a noted killjoy. Authorial license.

***intermittent fasting, if you're not up on the trendy nomenclature

****she refers to herself that way in the article, that's not my choice of words

Monday, July 1, 2013

cults and lifestyles and w.o.e.s, oh my!

Because there haven't been enough cat pictures in here lately or I think it's still 2008.  One of the two.

Oh, hi, kids.  Here's a question for you: do you have a lifestyle?  Or should I say, A Lifestyle?  Because apparently some people think that because they work out and pay attention to their nutrition, they do.  And ZOMG, not only are they living the Fitness Lifestyle, they're being persecuted for it!  People try to force them to eat cookies!  Their friends tell them they're boring!  When they bring a tupperware of chicken breast and broccoli to the movies (so they can eat during their anabolic window or some such shit), they don't get a second date!  No, seriously, that last one? My favorite internet message board thread of all time.  I think it's an example of Darwin's Law in action. If you think bringing a bro-meal in tupperware to a theater is a perfectly reasonable thing to do, it's probably best for the gene pool if you don't form a sexual/romantic partnership and, y'know, possibly breed.

So, yeah.  Every couple months or so, some super-enthusiastic newbie (usually) posts a whiny thread in one of the corners of the internet I hang around on*** about how they are so misunderstood and persecuted and how all their friends and family mock them for, or pressure them about, their eating and exercise habits.  To which the more experienced (or jaded, pick your term) among us usually respond, "Huh. Doesn't happen to me.  Maybe because I know to shut the fuck up about it when people's eyes start glazing over and I don't act like a weirdo in public."  My own response to a similar conversation this morning was that, um, I don't have a lifestyle and I don't remember joining a cult.  I'm just like all my other friends.  I just, y'know, spend more time at the Y. And look better in a tank top.  (Ha!)

I guess this sorta dovetails with the previous post. If you start bringing salads and lean meat to work instead of ordering out lunch with the gang, yeah, people will probably notice and maybe they might possibly make a stupid remark or three. But, honestly, they're not gonna make a big deal about it unless you make a big deal about it.  They're certainly not going to "persecute" you about it, unless you are so preachy and evangelical that you make people want to stuff cookies into your mouth just to make you shut up.

Okay, we're done with cat pictures now. I've got that out of my system.


***I have this weird version of synaesthesia in which internet locations feel like physical places to me.  Many many years ago there were two boards on AOL (hahaha) that I read and when I left one to go to the one that was below it in the list of boards, I always thought of it/felt like I was going downstairs.  

Stop looking at me like that.