Thursday, February 28, 2013

books. or let's all cry about sugar.

It all started with a segment on NPR. An author was discussing his book, "Fat Chance." My husband was intrigued, and as is his wont when there is a book he would read if he were a person who reads books, he asked me to read it for him and report back.

So I did.

Bad news. Sugar is the devil.

Lustig, a UCSF pediatric endocrinologist, has a 1.5 hour youtube video called Sugar: The Bitter Truth, in case you're interested. I got about 45 minutes into it and then said, aw hell, this is like watching the movie before you read the book. 

So I read the book. It's well-written, conversational, enlightening, and scary. I learned a lot about metabolic syndrome and visceral fat. There's some info in here I kind of already knew, but learned more about, like how the food industry and the U.S. government are completely screwing us all over -- killing us, really -- for a few lousy bucks.

And Lustig even thinks that if we're fat, we're not entirely to blame. The government tells us what to eat. We blithely consume those foods. Those foods are pumped full of crap we should not actually be eating. We get addicted to that crap. The scale makes a sad. 

Basically, do not listen to the government. Also, sugar will straight up kill your ass. Lustig will tell you how and why. And he'll make suggestions on what you should eat. It basically amounts to a shit-ton more fiber. 

I thought it was rather eye-opening, especially if you're into the "all diets are bull shit, just tell me what I should do in general" school of thought.

Because I am the demented person I am, I chose to ignore Lustig's recommendation not to diet. Instead, I read his words about Paleo -- "... has shown that even ten days of a Paleolithic diet can improve blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and lipid profiles whether or not you lose weight." I ignored the part where he said you don't get enough Vitamin D on the diet and also that it costs an arm and a leg.

So as of today I am about two weeks into this mad, mad diet, and have lost about 7 pounds. But how do I feel, you ask? Well, I feel like I could eat all the bread, everywhere, and then I could eat more. If I think about cookies, my eye twitches. 

Still, I gave Practical Paleo five stars on goodreads when I was done reading it because 1) I was super-inspired and maybe drunk. 2) I thought it was well-written and explained everything I needed to know concisely. 3) It has a whole butt-ton of eating plans and recipes to fit whatever ails you. Autoimmune conditions, fatty fattertons, neurological, etc. 

For those unfamiliar with Paleo, it basically consists of eating mainly meat and veggies, with the occasional piece of fruit thrown in (but not too much! God forbid). You mustn't eat dairy, grains, legumes, or sugar. Alcohol and caffeine are to be cut way back on, and beer is a no-go because gluten is the devil.

Anyway. This is a review of the book, not the diet. As far as the diet goes, I'm on the fence. As far as the book goes, it's a great starter if you're interested in trying the Paleo diet out. 

Ok. Then, because I was trying to stay motivated, I read Deep Nutrition, since it relies on the same basic principles as Paleo.

And mainly I was bored by a lot of the scientific crud that drags on and on. 

And then I was skeptical of some of the stuff they're claiming. They're basically claiming that adopting this diet will make you more beautiful and if you're trying to have a kid, your kid will be totally hot. And they try to prove this point by explaining how tons of first-born kids are really good looking but a lot of second-born are really jacked looking because the first-born already stole all the good nutrients from mom's body. 

Which is true in a few cases, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could think of wayyy more instances where the second-born is way hotter than the first.

I dunno. I just thought some of the "science" in this book wasn't exactly scientific. And the next person who tells me I need to be eating liver is gonna get punched in the face. 

All right. I read vN before I dove into all these diet books and dudes. You know I hate saying this because writing a novel takes so much effort, but I really hated this book. 

Like, so much. 

The story goes humans have created lifelike robots. The robots have this failsafe thing that makes their brains go nucking futs when they see violence. Our main character's failsafe is malfunctioning, and then she eats her grandma and it all goes bad from there.

The premise was decent enough, but everything else was jacked. The dialogue, the behavior of the characters, the descriptive detail -- it was just completely off. No way I can recommend it.

Currently I'm reading The Power of Habit, which is shaping up to be pretty interesting. What are you reading? Any recommendations?


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Bachelor, Episode 10: The Fantasy Suite Dates

Things are finally getting a tiny bit less boring! Although my husband would disagree -- he abandoned ship about an hour in, and this was watching it pre-recorded and having skipped through the first 10 minutes of "let's lie in a hammock and reminisce about those long-ago dates of four weeks ago when I first met these women."

I have no patience for that B.S.

We start out on Lindsay's date. They're in Thailand. She's told Sean she's up for anything, except for eating bugs. So of course to continue his trend of embarking on the Worst Dates Ever, he makes her eat multiple bugs and then chicken feet and stuff. 

This is what loss of dignity looks like. 

They continue on the date and Sean is like: "You're open to moving to Dallas, right?" And she's like, Yes!

Why does it have to be the girl who moves and not Sean?

Basically he is looking for a woman to be exactly who he wants them to be, do what he wants them to do, where and when he says they should do it. If Lindsay hadn't eaten the bugs? Nuh-uh. She'd be outta there like the time Selma refused to jump in the frozen lake. He doesn't want an independent woman who is aware of her own boundaries. Which really sucks.

Lindsay spends the whole day hemming and hawing about when she was going to tell him she loves him and then she does and yawwwwwwwwwwn. They spend the evening in the Fantasy Suite.


Now for Ashley's date, or as we like to call it: Sloppy Seconds.

Sean is heard saying he is falling in love with both Ashley and Lindsay. Interesting.

It's another terrifying date, with Ashley clinging to Sean as he swims them through a cave to a secluded beach, which actually? Looked really freaking awesome. Ashley says "I don't do caves," but apparently she does do caves, because lookie there. She just did it. Because Sean wanted her to.

She is worried about the fantasy suite and says she doesn't want to spend the night with him if he's gonna be boinking the other girls, too. Sean is like: "What I would love is to stay up with her all night, just talking." And I'm like, Girl, you are 32. Try before you buy, mkay?

She agrees to the fantasy suite, but I'm sure they just stay up and brush each other's hair and stuff.

Although Ashley does makes the enormous mistake of telling Sean what kind of engagement ring she wants. We all know Sean is the boss and will decide what kind of ring she gets. And also? It really did seem tacky for her to say that.


Now for Catherine.

I'm not sure if it's the editing, but everything he says about Catherine makes it sound like she's the low man on the totem pole. Except then he totally eats her face off.

I mean, there is wayyy more tongue on Catherine's dates.

I mean. There is major sexual chemistry. But maybe it's Arie's curse.*

Then later, he seems to have changed his tune and he's like: "I just feel like Catherine gets me better than anyone else."

She is concerned about still being viewed as "a lady" if she accepts the invitation to the fantasy suite, and Sean gives her the whole "We're just gonna stay up and talk all night" song and dance, so then they go make out in the hot tub.

I am still really loving Catherine, you guys. Especially since she says she used to be made fun of for being chubby. And then Sean says "I'm the lucky one," and my cold black heart thumped a little.

Still, as far as I know, she has not said she loves him. Which is really OK because they've only known each other for a hot minute.


On the day of the rose ceremony, Sean says he woke up knowing who to eliminate. I feel certain it's got to be Ashley, and so does Sean, apparently. At the start of the ceremony, Catherine looks SO confident. I'm wondering if she knows she's the one he's gonna pick at the end.

Still, he chooses Lindsay first, then Catherine, and then Ashley is not happy.

 Catherine: "She didn't say goodbye to us." 
Lindsay: "She looks PISSED."

 Ashley's like: I got it from here, peace out. 
But Sean's like: Can I at least explain myself please?

 And then he's like: I thought it was you from the very beginning. 
And she gives him this stone-cold death stare. Like a boss. 
She doesn't say a word, just gets in the car and leaves. 


I just want to remind everyone that if he chooses Catherine, I am two for two, since I chose Jef last season. Not that I am one for gloating.

Next week is the Women Tell All, when everyone gets to make Tierra cry. Yay!

*Which, by the way, if he picks Lindsay at the end, Lindsay is gonna be hella pissed about all the tongue on Catherine's dates, right?

Episode 9 was Sean's bullshit "tell-all"
Episode 8 recap: Hometown Dates
Episode 7 recap: YOU CAN'T TAKE MY SPARKLE
Episode 6 recap: You're gonna wife that?  
Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

oh my

There isn't anything to be done about the fact that all I can write nowadays are bullet points.

  • It's the week of the "meet cute." I heard it on a TV show and then read it in a legitimate news article, so in case you were unaware, "meet cute" is a phrase that means: a cute origin story of the way you met your S.O. 
  • I'm not over Downton, you guys. No. It's too cruel. I'm not sure I can watch after this. (Read no further to avoid a spoiler down below.)
  • I went to pick up a new prescription today and the pharmacist looks at the box and then looks at me and says: "Ok, this is for ... " And then he mouths the word "MENOPAUSE" silently. And then I died laughing. 
  • Paleo! It's not for pussies. Nothing I like to gorge on is allowed, which is to say no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, no legumes, no .... noooooo! It's not easy. But it works. 
  • Me and my husband's "meet cute" -- we met in a nightclub. We met and we were cute. 
  • For the record, I am not going through menopause. 
  • My dad did not think our "meet cute" was cute. 
  • The Harlem Shake phenomenon is just going to pass me by, and I'm never going to participate, am I?
  • This article was hilarious and describes how I would be as a mother. 
  • This article is long and fascinating and is kind of like a real-life version of one of my favorite TV shows -- Justified
  • Dolphins and whales call each other by their names. Unique whistles and such. Doesn't that make your heart explode just a little?
  • I have a whole slew of nutrition books to review here shortly. It will be known as one of my most fascinating posts. Heh. 
  • I mean, Dan Stevens has single-handedly killed Downton. Am I right?
  • All right. I'm off to plot our next low-carb meal. BTW I have three words for you. Sweet Potato Pancakes. I hate sweet potatoes, and yet I love those pancakes. Do it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Bachelor, Ep. 8: Hometown dates

Ok. Last night's episode was a bit of a yawner, although I admit I was surprised by who was eliminated. Let's just get this over with.

AshLee's parents seemed nice enough. Both her dad and Sean's dad are pastors, so there's that. And they're all Texans.

Sean asks for AshLee's dad's blessing if he decides to propose, and the dude says yes.

I really don't think it's AshLee, though.

Then it's off to Seattle to meet Catherine's family. Her sisters are major shit-talkers. Like mean-girl style. I don't really understand their motivation for not wanting this to work out.

They said Catherine is messy and hyper-focused on her career or something.

Sean asked Catherine's mom for her blessing and she said "We'll see what happens." I think that's a big fat "No."
Sean leaves Seattle saying Catherine's sisters made him doubt his relationship with her.

Now for Lindsay, the dark horse. She lives on a military base in Missouri and her dad's a general so Sean is shaking in his boots. But the dude ends up being nice and this is the best hometown date by far.

Sean dropping and giving Lindsay 20 for thinking it was OK to kiss other girls. Har. Har. Har.

Now for the moment they've been teasing us with all season. Desiree, who lives in LA, pranks Sean by having this actor show up and play her ex-boyfriend who's still in love with her. Sean looks like he's gonna punch the dude.

 And I am officially irritated that this wasn't a real thing. 

 Desiree's parents are very sweet. We don't see if Sean asks for her father's blessing. 

Her brother is a total dick, though. Even though he's totally right that the whole thing is a sham and their relationship will never work out. Ha!

 So the next night at the rose ceremony Des apologizes for her brother being a dick. Sean is majorly conflicted -- it was between her and my pick -- Catherine! 

For now, Catherine stays.

Oh, also:

And, I will probably not be writing about the "Sean Tells All" episode that's airing tonight. I could really not care less about what he has to say. Plus we still have another episode before he eliminates another woman, and then I presume we have to slog through another "Women Tell All" filler episode when everyone gets to yell at Tierra, and then I suppose we'll have the finale.

Episode 7 recap: YOU CAN'T TAKE MY SPARKLE
Episode 6 recap: You're gonna wife that?  
Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

bullet bullet bullet points

  • I just started the Paleo diet. As Sweet Brown would say: Oh lord jesus.
  • Here is something that is helpful in Opposite Land. When a doctor tells you to lose weight and 1) doesn't suggest how 2) doesn't acknowledge any weight you've already lost 3) doesn't acknowledge how difficult it is. 
  • Vitamin C. I've been reading all kinds of stuff from various sources about how it will cure us all of everything. So let's all take it.
  • My book didn't make it to Round 2! This is not surprising since it is a terrible book. But I'm going to publish it anyway. I swear. Yep.
  • I decided what I'm giving up for Lent, even though I'm not Catholic. I'm going to give up looking at my phone while I'm watching TV with my husband. This sounds stupid but it's not. 
  • Have you ever wished there was something that would hold your smartphone or ipad while you're on a long flight? So you don't have to hold it yourself and get hand cramps? So you could, like, watch videos and stuff? Check this out. My friends invented this genius contraption. If I'm friends with smart people, does that make me smart by association? 
  • I said Oh lord jesus, it's a fire. 
  • Sugar is the root of all evil. 
  • Actually, I have many talented friends. This might make a lesser person feel insecure about her meager talents, but not me. Nope. 
  • In fact, one friend who is a talented photographer recently hauled a mess of gear to my house a a few weeks ago so we could shoot my head shot. Since I'm sort of a big deal. 
 This is what I look like now.
  • And actually, this same friend wrote an entertaining ebook about how to take decent photos if you're an amateur. It was enlightening and I laughed out loud many times while reading it. Worth a look if you're trying to take pics that don't suck.
  • You apparently can't eat beans on Paleo. But you can eat bacon. Makes sense.
  • Basically, I wish I had a different face. And also, would it kill me to have my teeth whitened? Sheez Louise. 
  • I finally removed miscellaneous piles of junk from the bed in the spare room and made it up with sheets and blankets and stuff and now it looks exactly like a place you would hold someone hostage. I'm in the running for homemaker of the year.
  • I am leaning away from the MFA thing this week. I am fickle.
  • Gotta go. There's a blank word document calling my name. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Bachelor, Ep. 7: YOU CAN'T TAKE MY SPARKLE

This episode? Is what happens when a bunch of women have been living in a house together just long enough to synchronize their periods.

Seriously. Ask my dad. Hell hath no fury like three women with premenstrual syndrome.

Ok, this week they are in St. Croix.

Tierra immediately pisses everyone off by dragging a pull-out bed into the living room, rather than sharing a room with another girl. 

 Maybe she farts in her sleep?

Date 1 is with Ashlee. Tierra goes for strike two by singing, "The Cougar is Back in Town!" Later in an interview she says "Why hasn't she found someone she can settle down with? I mean, you're 32 years old!" She goes on to say she hopes by the time she's 32, she's married and has kids.

Oh, my dear Tierra. Sometimes life has other plans for you. Now Shut. The Eff. Up.

Ashlee and Sean take a catamaran to a private island, where Ashlee tells Sean about what a "pouty pants" Tierra is. He seems to be starting to understand, now. 

And they do this. And she tells him she got married when she was 17, which is weird. 
And that she loves him.
My husband thinks it's Ashlee For The Win, but I'm still sticking with Catherine, dammit!

 The girls sit around in their bikinis and bitch about Tierra....

 ... who is out on her first 1-on-1 with Sean, even though she's unhappy because there are bugs and she's sweaty and walking around St. Croix is "not fun or cool." I don't even know.
Sean admits to her that her drama with the girls has hurt their relationship.

Sean is not done trying to plan The Worst Date Ever, so for the group date he shows up at oh-dark-thirty to wake up the girls. Since he's interested in seeing what they look like without their makeup, he snaps polaroids of them. This is grounds for face-punches in my house.

Then he makes them take a road trip all over hell and gone. They're good sports but it looks like a lousy time to me.

 Although there was this? So. 

Because this picture is so jacked I'm not sure if this is Lindsay or Desiree. But Lindsay gets the date rose, and I begin to wonder if she's some kind of dark horse I should have had my eye on earlier.

 And then Catherine says her dad tried to kill himself in front of her?
Ok, remember the story about the girl who got killed by the tree and how that, like, changed her life? 
I am just confused.
I mean, they're both awful, but I would think the dad thing would be more impactful.
Anyway, they're a cute couple, I think.

 And then it's time for awkwardsauce 1-on-1 with Lesley. It's apparent she's going to get cut.


Then Sean's sister shows up! Hallelujah!

 She's like: Remember what they told you? Don't pick the girl no one likes. 
Ah, sweet words of wisdom.

Meanwhile, Tierra is having a hissy fit because Ashlee told Sean she's a pouty pants. And Ashlee's like: You wanna get nitty gritty, let's get nitty gritty honey.

And Tierra is like: Girls are jealous. Men love me.

And Ashlee is like: Even your parents thought you shouldn't come here. 


All instantly becomes clear. 

This, my friends, is what happens when both teams win. Someone needs to lose. Humans need to learn loss and disappointment, otherwise this is what happens. You end up with a couple of parents who have a 24-year-old grown-ass child who is a perfect Sparkle Princess. 

So Sean wants Tierra to meet his sister so she can deduce whether the woman is evil. 

But he walks in and she's crying. So he's like: Crazy ass ho! Get to another area code! 
But really, he sent her on her way. 


And then Sean is pissed so he cancels the cocktail party and gets rid of Lesley...

 Which is really upsetting to Catherine? She says it's because Sean and Lesley have so much in common and if he doesn't like Lesley, what does he see in her? I am confused again.

Next week should be entertaining because it's the hometown visits and everyone's families look like huge dicks!! Especially Desiree's brother!

By the way, is this the issue with Desiree I've been waiting for? It seemed like her ex boyfriend was going to show up but maybe it's just her brother?

Episode 6 recap: You're gonna wife that? Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

The Bachelor, Ep. 6: You're gonna wife that?

All right, wham, bam, let's get this done.

The group goes to Banff, in Canada. I've been there and it's stunning. The video in this show doesn't do it justice.

Anyway, Sean is continuing to try to one-up himself in the Worst Date Ever category, so we begin with ....

Date in a Blizzard! What could be better?

 Catherine gets the first one-on-one date, so they play in a blizzard on a glacier. 

 Looks like she's having a great time. 

Now, to really take this crapgasmagoria to the next level, Sean had to think really hard. So he incorporated really cold water and canoes into the group date. I'm just going to let Kalon speak for me, here.

Actually, guys, Kalon is HILARIOUS on twitter. Worth checking out if you watch The Bachelor.

So of course, Sarah is once again on this date. Yet another physical date for the one-armed girl.

 Sarah trying to row a canoe with her stump. 
I think she should take that paddle and slam Sean in the face with it.

So, they row to the other side of this lake, which is just melted glacier water, maybe a degree over freezing, and Sean's like: We're going to jump in the lake!

 And Selma's like: Oh, no, no, no, dahling. That is simply not happening. 


And Kalon's like:


But everyone besides Selma jumps in, even though several of them have MAJOR misgivings about it.

Including Tierra!

 So, now that I've seen this episode, I think she really did have hypothermia. You just have to see it to believe it.

 Just really loved this photo/tweet from Tilte. 

But she bounced back real good. Ate a sandwich, yadda yadda. 
Even showed up later for the second half of the date, and Sean asked her if she would expect a proposal at the end of this (?!?!). Did I miss something?

Sean gives Lesley the group date rose. 
Also, Lesley coins the term "tierrorist," which I'm sort of loving. 

And then Sean gives Sarah the boot, and it's sort of heart-wrenching, you guys.

 She was very hurt. 
"I just don't want to be told forever how great I am and what I deserve ... It's not my first time."
She obviously believes this is because of her arm situash. 
Not gonna lie, I teared up a little.

 Then Desiree had her one-on-one date, and it's awful, of course, because no one can just fucking RELAX on a date with Sean! First they have to rappel down a mountain. Overall it was sort of boring.

 Although they did kiss while Sean had a sandwich in his mouth. Which is gross. 

Now for the cocktail party/rose ceremony.

He does some kind of kinky blindfold game with Ashlee where she's giving up control or something. Whatever. 

 Selma kisses him! It's rather chaste and sort of lame. Too little, too late, unfortunately. 

 She said she had to bring out the big guns. Too easy. 
She also said of Tierra: Let's be honest, you're gonna wife that?

And then she got eliminated, along with Daniella.

So this means my No. 2 (Selma) is officially eliminated. Do you think it was because she wouldn't jump in the lake? Hmmm. Who's the new No. 2 pick gonna be? ... I'm torn between Lesley and Ashlee. Catherine is still my No. 1.

Next time they go to St. Croix. What I want to know is: When does Desiree's crazy ex show up?

Oh, I'll leave you with this, even though I don't have a picture of Sean's ugly sweater. :)

Episode 5 recap: If I could be someplace else ...