Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm a bit of a fraud...

I've been trying to come to terms with something for awhile, and I suspect some of y'all are thinkin' about it, too, so I thought I might just address it and get it out of the way.

I'm not truly gender blank. I'm fairly close to it, but I do trend toward the feminine in some respects. I style my hair in decidedly girlie ways. Sometimes womanly ways, but often girlie. This involves using a curling iron and copious amounts of hairspray (some girlstyles are harder to hold than others). I also use a floral body spray and shower gel. I shave my armpits.

I try my best to balance this out, 'cause I'm afraid my radfem card might get yanked if I don't. Also because I think it's important to present gender in all its permutations. I do it for the kids, really. How else are they going to grow up and not become stereotypes and/or sexist bastards? So, every day I choose not to shave my legs. I even wear them out in public that way. It was hard at first, but now I just don't feel like compromising on it. I also choose every day not to wear makeup. Partly this is because I'm lazy, but mostly I just don't feel like I should be expected to go an extra mile to compensate for not having a penis. I haven't worn a dress since 1999, and that was only in a dressing room. The last time I CHOSE to wear a dress was the summer of 1995. I wear jeans and tennis shoes to work. I wear a sweater if I'm trying to dress up. And maybe boots. I own and know how to use power tools.

I just feel as though the Patriarchy gets propped up enough without me lending more support. I (mostly) refuse to get sucked into gender drama and feminine performance.

But I do get sucked in sometimes in spite of myself. I know this. And I wanted you to know that I know this. I didn't want y'all thinkin' that I think I'm the most radical thing that ever lived. I'm not. In theory, perhaps, but certainly not in practice.

So, Gender Blank is more what I aspire to, or what I hope other people feel free to aspire to and enact, but I've got a long way to go toward becoming it. Being truly gender blank takes a kind of guts I haven't ever witnessed in myself. I still rely on some of the tools in the Femininity Toolbox to cope with the Patriarchy because it's easy, and I'm lazy, and I don't like confrontation.

I turn 30 this year. I think I will dedicate my new decade to nurturing my guts. I just have to. After all, it's for the children.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Weigh In, 1/26/07

This morning I weighed in at 205.5, which makes 2 pounds this week and 7 pounds altogether. I was hoping for a little more, but this is nothing to sneeze at.

I've already noticed a huge difference in my energy level and in my willingness to walk places. With Partner out of town, I was excited about being able to come home after work and take a nap the last two nights. I found, however, that I didn't feel like napping once I got home. I even got all covered up on the couch with pillows and turned down the television, but I didn't fall asleep. Huh.

I've got to start exercising sometime soon. I have a treadmill, fercrissakes, so I have no excuses. That's my goal for next week. Or tomorrow if I get really ambitious.

Happy Weekend!

Fat dummies.

From The Guardian: "Spanish shop window dummies have been ordered to fatten up after the government and big fashion chains agreed that female dummies should wear size 10 clothes or above. The agreement between Spanish retail chains such as Zara and Mango and the country's health ministry came as the fashion trade agreed to a series of measures designed to combat anorexia."

Of course, if you ask Gisele Bundchen, it's parents' fault that women have eating disorders, not the fault of the fashion or modeling industries. I say bullshit. Parents may be most influential in teaching early eating habits, but girls' and women's desire to be invisible is culturally generated. Fattening up the mannequins is only part of the solution, but it's an important part. Cheers to Spain!

Thursday, January 25, 2007


From the Associated Press: "Organizers of London Fashion Week said Thursday they would not ban ultra-thin models from the catwalk, but stressed they had asked designers to use only “healthy” people in their shows."


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

Friday Weigh In, 1/19/07

So, I know it's Monday now and that I forgot to post my weigh-in on Friday. I didn't really forget...I just didn't do it.

207.5. That's three pounds last week. I'll take it! I still haven't felt much like I'm dieting, so score on all fronts!

I'm looking forward to having leftovers tonight. Last night we made burritos with ground turkey, refried beans, taco seasoning, salsa, and shredded cheese. Then we baked them in the oven until they were a bit crispy. Yum city. They were four points each (and we each had two of them), but they were worth every damned point! The best part about having them again tonight? No cooking! That's really what I notice about this new plan: all the cooking. We were used to eating out a whole lot, and when we weren't doing that, we were eating lots of frozen stuff, so this is quite a change. A good one, though. We pay a bit more at the grocery store now, but we pay a whole lot less on restaurant food, so I think we're coming out ahead.

By the way, we eat out on Fridays and eat whateverthehell we want. Last week we went to Applebee's. I considered one of their Weight Watchers dinners (and should have gotten one), but opted for the orange chicken bowl. Mistake. I should have known when the menu said this Asian dish was served on a bed of rice pilaf. That's just not right. Secondly, the orange sauce was a bit like I imagine Mop & Glo might taste like. The only redeeming quality was all the sliced toasted almonds and crispy things on top. But finding almonds and crispy things that hadn't been befouled by Mop & Glo sauce was a chore. Rating? One out of five to-be-determined units.

For the burritos? Four and a half out of five. Lost half a point for being worth so many points.

What a look!

A Haiku for The Donald

Fifteen minutes up.
Tina Fey is onto you.
Narcissistic pig.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Weight Watchers Food Review

Okay, so today I pulled out of the freezer the following scary box: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Bistro Selections Chicken Santa Fe. With a full serving of vegetables. Yes, full. Said box contained the following ingredients: chicken, zucchini, bell peppers, onions, black beans, and some sort of red sauce. And some chemicals.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "But, Gender Blank! Where was the cheese?" I know! I was thinking the same thing. I considered taking a baggie of shredded cheese to put on top (or to smother the the other things with, more truthfully). But I didn't.

So I opened the box at lunch time and saw way too much green stuff for my tastes (in frozen food, anyway). I was not hopeful. Not one bit. Why hadn't I packed cheese? I briefly thought about converting my afternoon snack of a piece of string cheese into a lunch topper. But I decided to taste the thing first before performing any surgery.

Well, what do you know? It was good! I kid you not. Apparently there's something called "seasoning" that goes a long way toward making food taste better without cheese. Huh.

Anyway, the best part of the story is this: the whole thing was only 2 points! Suh-weet! The second best part is that I'm pretty sure I got it on sale. I generally refuse to pay full price for diet food. I figure I can compromise on either taste or price, but not both. As it turns out, I didn't compromise on either with this one.

Final review: 3.5 out of 5 units (I have yet to determine what units would be appropriate - any help?). I recommend it for lunch.

Friday, January 12, 2007

From the World of What the Fuck Did You Expect?

China is facing a major gender imbalance. Duh.

Friday Weigh In, 1/12/07

All right. Moment of truth time. I'm fat. Seriously.

I wasn't always fat. I was always, as someone put it, "stocky." That is, even at my fittest, I was short and muscular. I was an athlete. I had never really monitored what I ate, but I worked out a lot, so it all balanced out.

But I quit working out. And now I'm fat. And I'm not happy. An argument could be made that being unhappy actually preceded the fatness, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm currently fat. And unhappy specifically about that. I feel gross. I get winded easily, and the thought of walking any sort of distance makes me whiny and resistant. No clothes are comfortable, and none of them look good. I've gotten in the habit of coming home from work and planting myself on the couch, either for a nap or for watching television most of the night. Folks, it ain't pretty.

So, that's why this week I started Weight Watchers. Yes, I am officially one of "those women." You know the women I mean. The ones who count points, who say "I wish I could, but I'm dieting," the ones who inject diet talk into nearly every conversation. I used to kinda pity those women, mostly because most of them a) seemed unhappy and b) were dieting for vanity reasons. I found that to be, well, unfeminist. So that is why I must declare that vanity is only a small part of why I joined their ranks. That's right. My new diet is all about not dying. I will enjoy a newly-shaped, patriarchally-approved body, for sure. But I'm mostly interested in avoiding a heart attack. And diabetes. And joint pain. The shiny new vessel will just be a perk.

I will officially weigh in on Friday mornings in my bathroom, and I will report the results directly to you. And so you know that I won't be lying to you, I'll start with the brutal admission of this morning's weigh-in. 210.5. After admitting that, I don't have much reason to lie about the rest. I thought about reporting my weight as XX0.5, XX9.0, etc., but realistically, how many people are reading this? Two if I'm lucky, and one of them is likely to be Partner, who weighs in right alongside me. The other one just might be my mother. And she's dieting, too, so she understands.

When I find a recipe that's low in points and tastes like Regular People food, I'll post it. I already have a couple in mind. One for chili and one for meatloaf. Look for them later. I'll also review Weight Watchers brand food so, if you care about such things, you will know which ones to avoid.

I gotta say that after five days of eating on this new plan, I'm feeling pretty good about the plan. Waaaaaay better than after five days on South Beach. And better than after the ten hours I lasted on Atkins. I had a real feeling of dread on both of those. This one seems much more manageable, and I'm not craving anything. I dig it.

See you next Friday!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

100 Hours

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This kick-off post really has no content. Just an inspirational image of our new Speaker flexing her Congressional muscles. So far, the Democrats' first 100 Hours has featured the following actions: passing an ethics bill, passing a bill to implement some of the 9/11 committee recommendations, passing the minimum wage hike, banning smoking near the House floor, and passing an embryonic stem cell bill. Madam Speaker, a salute to you!