Recently, I finished a class on soft skills, put on by New World of Work and taught by the fantastic Natasha Palumbo. We covered ten skills that can help in the workplace, skills they don’t teach you when you’re majoring in English or pretty much anything else in school. One of the things we covered in the last class was resilience.

Historically, I’ve had a hard time with resilience. I think most people with depression do. One small failure can keep us from trying again or trying something new because it’s a glaring example of our perceived incompetence. That, paired with a poor view of my own self-worth, has been what’s kept me from finishing a novel and having a successful career doing what I truly love.

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Food, Revisited

I’ve always been confused about food. What is there to be confused about? You buy it, you cook it, you eat it, and your body is fueled. Do basically that process three times a day, and you’ll be healthy, right? Wrong.

I’m not sure if I can blame the melting pot of American culture for the loss of my ancestors’ European food traditions or if I should blame post-war food manufacturers and their marketing teams. Perhaps western diet culture and Hollywood are to blame for my confusion, not just directly, but indirectly through my mother and grandmother. Maybe I can blame Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network for allowing the emotionally manipulative advertisement of junk food when I was a child. Or perhaps it is all these things, muddled together with other aspects of my childhood and the white American culture in which I was raised.

Since high school, when I first heard of a peer going on a diet (it was the South Beach diet, and yes, I tried it too), I’ve gone around and around in circles with different diets and manners of eating. It’s almost a cliche in our country now. I’ve tried everything, especially if it involved going to a health food store for sPeCiAl InGrEdIeNtS.

Lately, all this confusion has nothing to do with my weight or physical appearance. Rather, I see my weight not as the problem, but the symptom. When I gain weight, I’m not upset about the way I look (I look fantastic at any weight, thank you very much), but because I know it’s a result of unhealthy eating and lifestyle. My confusion about food has more to do with the yearning to be healthy and live a long life.

Compounding all this confusion is that someday I will have children and that the relationship I have with food will be taught to them whether I like it or not. It is a hefty weight for someone who wants children as badly as I do.

Recently, I found a diet that really worked for me. I felt amazing, lost some weight, and gained back a little hope for my future. Then, I saw how that diet affected my hormonal cycle and immediately stopped. If the food I ate was going to make me healthy, it had to make ALL of me healthy without upsetting the hormonal balance that had previously been working wonderfully.

So I find myself back at square one, this confusing place where all food seems simultaneously good and evil, where there are far too many choices to choose from and everyone has an opinion about it all.

In times like these, I tend to go back to basics. Cheryl Mendelson’s chapter on food in Home Comforts is always, well, a comfort to me. She writes of the three western meals of the day in terms of their physical contributions as well as their emotional impact on our day, and it speaks to me on a spiritual level.

Everything is connected. The mundane and the spiritual. Light and dark. Helpful and harmful. Exertion and rest. Balance is key. I know that. I’ve known that before. I will know it again.

I’m working on sitting in the middle of my confusion and waiting for it to settle, rather than trying to sort it all out. I have to accept what is before I work on changing anything.

[Sorry, this got real deep all of a sudden! That happens when I write without a plan!]

In conclusion, I have no idea what I’m doing, and what is food anyway? The end.

“Beautiful” Woman, “Ugly” Man

I have to admit, I’m a little apprehensive about the movie Long Shot. Don’t get me wrong. I have very high hopes for it. Based solely on the two trailers I’ve seen, it looks like it could be an enjoyable watch. (Please note that what follows is a discussion on a particular type of movie, which Long Shot may or may not be. I haven’t actually seen it yet. The movie’s trailer only sparked this discussion in me.)

Depending on how the actual movie plays out, it could be another in a long line of “unattractive”* guy meets “hot” woman and somehow woos/seduces/date rapes her movies (I’m thinking of Sixteen Candles and Hitch right now, but there are plenty of others). Who cares? What’s so bad about that? It’s cute and endearing and shows the power of love, right?

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On Wholeness

Feeling whole and feeling like nothing is missing are two different things to me. There’s that old metaphor that gets used about the Japanese bowls being repaired with gold and looking more fabulous than they were before, and yes, that’s a wonderful metaphor for healing. But even though those bowls are whole, they can still be empty.

I’ll just say this up front, I feel whole. There are a couple little cracks a way deep down inside that could maybe be filled, but I don’t feel broken. (What is broken? Sam Winchester in the current season of Supernatural; he’s fucking broken.)* What is wholeness? I guess to me wholeness is having everything you need to get through the day and then recharge at the end of the day. If I’m not able to do that, I am definitely not whole.

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Romancing the Stone Gender Bender Remake Cast

Excuse me while I have some fun. I’m watching Romancing the Stone right now, and I was thinking how cool it would be to see a (well-done) remake. Then I thought to myself, Self, what if the genders of all the characters were reversed? Well now, that would be something! So, without further ado, here is who I would cast:

Ira/Irene (orig. Zack Norman): Julianne Moore
Ralph/Ruby (orig. Danny Devito): Melissa McCarthy
Dr./Col. Zolo (orig. Manuel Ojeda): Salma Hayek
Elaine/Eddie (orig. Mary Ellen Trainor): Zac Efron
Gloria/Gabe (orig. Holland Taylor): Ben Affleck
Juan/Juanita (orig. Alfonso Arau): Elizabeth Rodriguez
Jack/Jackie (orig. Michael Douglas): Zoe Saldana
Joan/John (orig. Kathleen Turner): Ryan Reynolds

I mean, really, wouldn’t you just love to hear Julianne Moore say, “Look at those snappers, Ruby.” Elizabeth Rodriguez saying, “John Wilder? The John Wilder?” Can’t you just see Zoe Saldana shooting at Salma Hayek, mumbling about how she should have listened to her mother and become a cosmetic surgeon? Ryan Reynolds, crying over the ending of his new romance novel and saying, “Oh God, that’s good!”

Hollywood, I expect to be made an executive producer and receive a portion of the royalties on what is sure to be a blockbuster hit. kthnxbai

This Is Fatigue

So I decided a few days ago that I would try Whole30 again. Today is Day 1, and it’s a great day to remind me why I’m doing this.

I woke up late this morning, by about two and a half hours. No biggy. It’s Sunday. I can afford to sleep in. I fed the cats, checked to make sure my computer hadn’t miraculously healed itself overnight (it hadn’t),* took a shower, and made myself a great Whole30 breakfast of bacon-wrapped shrimp and veggies. I was feeling pretty good and looking forward to church and a library visit.

Then, it hit me. I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week. All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take a long nap, and it was only 10:30 am. I had nothing left in me to give anyone, even myself.

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My Obsession With Jesus Camp

The whole movie, available to watch for free on YouTube.

Tonight on Twitter I made a confession. I confessed to having watched the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp at least four (?) times. I did this as I watched it again for the fifth (?) time.

A couple of points I should make: I am an agnostic Wiccan Unitarian Universalist. I used to be a fundamentalist Christian (a Reformed/Calvinist Baptist, in case you wanted to know), but I have never been a Pentecostal. I have never been 100% onboard with what the people in the film are preaching.

So why have I watched it so many times? I pondered this tonight and decided to talk it out here because why not?


First of all, I find the hypocrisy fascinating. I’m not talking about Ted Haggard preaching against homosexuality and then having his extramarital relationship with a man outed. I’m talking about magic.

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