Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Open Book

Since my life seems like it's a bit of an open book I am not sure what I can say in one of these lists that most people don't already know:

1. I survived the Teton Dam Flood - I was 10 years old, it was the summer between 4 and 5th grade and instead of feeling like a tragedy, it felt like an adventure. Especially when all we had to drink for days was Strawberry Crush soda.

2. Sometimes I say say "soda" and sometimes I say "pop". I grew up saying "pop", I say "soda" more often now - this is mainly because when I worked for Ethan A. Miller, Esq. when we lived in Virginia, part of my job was to keep the fridge stocked. One day I asked "do you need me to go buy some pop?". He actually laughed at me and said "Pop! Do you mean Soda?" Sometimes I just compromise and say "soda pop".

3. I'm adopted. I found out who my biological mother was when I was in my 20s. A few weeks ago I found out who my biological father was. My biological mother died in a plane crash in the 80s. I have two half brothers who were her sons. One of them died in an avalanche while skiing in the 80s. For some odd reason this makes me feel strangely invincible.

4. When I got the geneological records for my biological mother I found out that I'm actually related to my Dad (the one who raised me). It's like 5 generations back or something, but it matters somehow. It has comforted me in weird ways sometimes.

5. I never liked being adopted, but I've come to accept it.

6. I am a democrat, both my parents are republican, they blame BYU on my liberal tendencies. This makes me laugh. But also, I think they are probably right about that.

7. Like Cindi Tanner, I too tend to ascribe animate feelings to inanimate objects. I remember canning peaches with my mom and worrying that I might be separating family members into different jars.

8. I love to laugh. More than anything else I can think of.

9. I was raised to be superstitious. I think I've mostly rejected most of those thoughts but still, I don't see the point in walking under a ladder just to temp fate.

10. My mom is very superstitious, and although an active member of the LDS church, believes some things which I do not think are quite in alignment with church teachings. Her ancestors were all from Switzerland - some of them considered themselves "witches". I grew up on stories of them predicting deaths and reading tea leaves and other weird things.

11. When I was in second grade I charged my fellow classmates to do palm readings. One of the old ladies in my moms family taught me. I got in trouble by my teacher and had to give the money back.

12. Sometimes even now I find myself sneaking a peak at a persons palm from time to time. I put no stock in it though.

13. My mother took us to a 'naturpath' doctor when we were young. I call him a witch doctor though. He had us doing all kind of questionable weirdness. Staring through a prism while walking around outside, putting our name written in pencil on a slip of paper on a white board and then swinging a pendulum over our name, mud baths. Bizzaro.

14. When I tease my mom about this now she tells me "well it worked though didn't it?!". I must say that I disagree, but she's convinced.

15. Both my parents were postal workers. I used to go with my mom and help her deliver the mail on her rural route. She let me drive the car while she delivered. I was about 12 years old at the time.

16. I'm from Idaho so we all get our drivers licenses by 14 anyway, so I guess 12 didn't seem that young.

17. I learned to drive a tractor when I was a teenager too.

18. When I was 16/17 I worked at a Sno Shack (shaved ice stand). My favorite flavor was Tiger's Blood.

19. When I was 18 I worked as a maid in West Yellowstone Montana. I met Kirk there. He was working as a cook in a local restaurant. So I worked at the "Dude" and he worked at the "Silver Spur".

20. I "waited" for Kirk while he was on his mission. He will tell you that I did not "wait" very well. I think he probably should not complain a whole lot since I am still with him, so whatever I did must have worked.

21. I'm scared of Rats and Birds. But I am less scared as I get older. I not scared of anything else that I can think of.

22. Except talking on the phone. I don't mind talking to a friend but I can barely stand to make a call to anyone else.

23. I hate asking for favors or for help. I hate to inconvenience anyone.

24. I love being alone sometimes.

25. I love independent movies. The weirder the better.

26. I love summer, I love the beach, I love swimming pools.

27. I had a best friend all through jr. high and high school and we still talk and catch up from time to time. She had a daughter born on my birthday. When I found out who my biological mother was, I also found out her birthday was the same as my friend.

28. My best friend since moving to Phoenix is Shannon - (also known as Shando) people seem to think were connected at the hip but really we are very different from one another. I think we just appreciate our differences.

29. My celebrity crushes are John Cusack and Johnny Depp and Hugh Grant. When I was young my celebrity crushes were Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe and John Cusack.

30. I always wanted to be a famous writer. That seems like the perfect kind of famous.

31. I do fake karate moves around the house and engage in general silliness to disarm my children. Kirk sometimes mentions that there was no full disclosure about my propensity to do this prior to our marriage.

32. I genuinely like all of my children and they seem to genuinely like me too. I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments.

33. I still mentally collect names I like, even though I know I will not be having any more children. The other day I heard the name "Wren" for a girl and made a mental note.

34. I do not think Oprah is the anti-christ. But I do think Ann Coulter might be a demon - she has the preturnatural possessed look.

35. I believe in psychotherapy, retail therapy, and pedicures as cures for what ails you.

36. I adore Ikea.

37. If I couldn't live in the United States I would move to the UK or to Iceland.

38. I love art, architecture, fashion and music.

39. I love the smell of freshly cut grass and orange blossoms.

40. I'm a night owl. I have to force myself to go the sleep by midnight. I get up most days at 5:30 am. I'm always tired. Even though I am always tired, I can't go to bed any earlier. I'm so used to be tired, I don't really mind any more, it feels kind of normal.

41. I love bubble baths. I fall asleep in the bathtub a lot. (see number 40 above).

42. I dance a lot when I'm home alone.

43. I love Las Vegas. Even though I know it's decadent and terrible in a kind of way.

44. I'm a city girl.

45. Sometimes I conduct my day as though I'm being observed on a monitor somewhere by a committee of nameless faceless strangers. I have no idea why I do this, but I've done it since I was a kid. I don't know if it's a weird kind of narcissism or what.

46. I always wanted to be Madonna. I got over it.

47. I think Sean Penn is the greatest actor of my generation.

48. I'm fascinated by serial killers.

49. I believe in the basic goodness of all mankind.

50. I'm sort of fearless about a lot things. I'm oddly calm in a crisis situation. I've always felt very protected in a sort of grand cosmic way.

51. I think in color - by that I mean that letters have colors and numbers have colors - I color code people's names. I'm also quite visual with time - month and weeks have a layout in my head which is also color coded and I'm always aware of where I am in relation to which month, day, year, week, and decade we are in. Historical events get remembered this way too - they have a spot on this grand color coded calendar in my head. Decades are color coded too - the 40s were pink, the 50s red, the 60s blue, the 70s yellow, the 80s green, the 90s orange and the 2000s are yellow again. I can't explain why - it just is.

52. I'm horrible at math and physics.

53. When I was little I wanted to be a doctor.

54. I've probably seen the movie "Pretty In Pink" around a hundred times. I'll still watch it again.

55. I also wanted to be Molly Ringwald. I got over that too, but not totally.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

weighing in...

No sense being on a restrictive weight loss campaign without weighing in.

But if you think I'm actually publishing my weight for all the world do see, you're dead wrong. Instead we will use this method to keep track - Today I weight XX1.5. No need to know what X and X represent in this equation!

By the way, I recently read Cynthia Hale's blog with all her fun facts about herself, Roxanne's too and now I've read Cindi Tanner's. All very interesting. No one has every tagged me though! I'm kind itching to write one. I definitely think Shando should have one.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Diet

And now...for the much anticipated food blog.

I was going to upload photos of myself as a child and as a teen, but frankly, that would require more energy than I can muster, so I will try to be descriptive and perhaps you can use your imagination and I can follow up with some photos later. At any rate, this is my history with diets and food.

I was probably average sized as a child. Never skinny mind you, but average. I think I went through the normal slightly chubby stage around 10-12. By age 13 I was a size 7 or so. Not skinny, not fat. Somewhere around 12 or 13 my mom started freaking me out a little about my weight. I got the distinct impression somewhere in there but that my mom would really have preferred me to be thinner. She never explicitly said this - it was just implied. By the age of 14 I was a size 9 and my mom was officially a bit worried about my weight. My first official 'diet' was started by my mother. It was the diet center diet and what I mainly remember about that was that you could eat a lot of apples, chicken baked in lemon and salad. Forbidden items included red meat, bread, cottage cheese and tomatoes. It was very restrictive and I really hated it. More than hating the diet, I was super annoyed with my mom. I remember going over to my friend Kari's house and complaining about it. Kari's mom was horrified that my mom had me on a diet. I remember it made me feel so much better that Kari's mom thought I was thin. the same time my mom was fairly thin, and Kari's mom was not thin. So it didn't make me feel all that much like Kari's mother knew what she was talking about - clearly she was not a very successful dieter. Eventually I became a little obsessed with food all on my own. My weight fluctuated between a size 7 and a size 12 all through high school - mostly I was a 9. And my life fluctuated between periods of extreme depravation and normalacy/borderline binges. I don't know if you could characterize it as "bulimia" but it was probably close.

By my senior year I became much more adept at 'dieting'. My weight was at my lowest, I was a solid size 7/8 and I was eating the following: Breakfast - toast with butter and maybe orange juice. Lunch either a diet coke and an apple or a frozen yogurt and a day old donut. Dinner - a small portion of whatever my mom was cooking. Oh, and you drink a TON of water.

A few times I threw up meals. Not usually though. 6 months or so of eating like that eventually got me down to a size 5. Sometimes there were days when all I ate was diet cokes (lots of them) and 1 hostess chocolate cupcake. So that was healthy. You learn to enjoy the feeling of being hungry rather than the feeling of being full or satisfied. There's a bit of a sharp edge to that hunger all the time - if you can learn to like that feeling, that's more than half the battle.

Then, through college I fluctuated between a size 5 and size 9. My body seemed to want to settle in at a 9 and I fought against that all the time. I exercised quite a bit - doing aerobics or water aeorbics.

Then I got married. And had kids. And fought my weight. Constantly. And mostly lost those battles. And everytime I lost a battle it seemed my body gained ground on me. Until a size 9 seemed so far away I couldn't even imagine it anymore.

I've done weight watchers and la weight loss and different exercise programs and atkins diet and south beach and a million other permutations and trends in eating. I've learned something fairly valuable. Well, lots of valuable things actually.

Some of us, if we try to eat like normal people, will balloon up like an abnormal person. This is not fair at all, but true. I have friends who can eat and eat and not gain weight. I have learned that many skinny people are like this - which is why I think there are lots of judgmental skinny people - because there are two kinds of skinny people - those ones who can eat a lot and therefore assume anyone fat must be eating a WHOLE lot. Then there are the other skinny people - the ones who don't eat. They look down on people who eat. For good reason. Because they are hungry.

I've learned that basically, there is no way to loose weight without major restrictions. Believe me, I've tried the whole, 'eat healthy' or 'moderation' thing. It doesn't work at all. When I do that, I stay the exact same.

I have gone back and forth at times between liking myself for who I am and not concerning myself too much with my weight and the exact opposite.

I grow really weary of the emphasis that is all around us all the time on being thin. I think it really distracts women from focusing on more important things. For many of us, it sucks every bit of energy we have. But to ignore it feels like ignoring something really important too somehow - and oddly, I do miss being thin more than I enjoy the peace of mind of not worrying about being thin.

I can't stand men who are overly fixated on thin-ness as an ideal. It's the worst kind of sexism. It's a horrible oppression. Especially because 99% of the time I guarantee you that their wife, girlfriend or daughter is already thin or at least thin enough that it shouldn't be an issue. It is like telling a woman who may otherwise be smart or talented or funny or capable that it doesn't matter - all that matters is that you are a piece of flesh.

Luckily I am not married to one of those guys. Though I know he would be happy if I did loose weight. But he has never been a jerk about it. He has never made me feel that I am not otherwise smart or funny or talented or capable.

Sometimes I am acutely aware that there are issues which lurk beneath the surface that affect my weight. But they are too complicated to get into here. Not insignificant is the aforementioned forced dieting at age 12/13.

So I have reached the conclusion that if I want to loose weight I should probably return to the high school diet I was most successful at: lots of diet coke and lots of apples. Because it seems to me that if a diet isn't going to be restrictive, there's almost no point.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hmmm...I guess I'm not Budhist

There is a quiz you can take at belief net - it has the clever name of belief o matic. It has a eries of questions regarding religion and beliefs and the point is to tell you after you asnwer the questions, which religion most closely matches your personal beliefs. I shouldn't be surprised, but I was slightly surprised by my results:

1. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (100%)
2. Jehovah's Witness (90%)
3. Orthodox Judaism (70%)
4. Bahá'í Faith (68%)
5. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (67%)
6. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (67%)
7. Islam (64%)
8. Sikhism (60%)
9. Orthodox Quaker (55%)
10. Reform Judaism (54%)
11. Liberal Quakers (52%)
12. Eastern Orthodox (47%)
13. Roman Catholic (47%)
14. Jainism (45%)
15. Seventh Day Adventist (45%)
16. Unitarian Universalism (42%)
17. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (37%)
18. Hinduism (36%)
19. Mahayana Buddhism (35%)
20. Theravada Buddhism (34%)
21. Neo-Pagan (28%)
22. New Age (22%)
23. New Thought (22%)
24. Secular Humanism (21%)
25. Taoism (17%)
26. Scientology (16%)
27. Nontheist (16%)

I am mormon after all, so this should not be a surprise! But as I was taking the quiz I found myself wondering if my answers were going to put me in the mormon category. Of course, religion is much more nuanced than a quiz can convey. You can take the quiz here if you're interested.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Favorite Local Foods Version Two

Well, I got an a significant amount of comments and questions via email, in person and otherwise regarding that last entry. Basically I have food issues. And Shopping Isssues. These are things which I occasionaly consider sharing in a public forum and other times I just consider. (There's a reference to Breakfast Club in there somehowere for those of you paying attention). So maybe we'll delve into all of that later. For now, let us visit the topic of other local food favorites (there is a prior entry on this subject in the archives).

Last night Kirk and I ate at Rokerji. Rokerji is on 16th street near Maryland. It is the best steak in town by my estimation. I know you'll tell me you love Ruth's Chris or Donovans or Texaz Grill - and I've had those, and they are good. But I don't think they can beat Rokerji. I usually get soemthing called the Rokerji steak - it comes with a lump of crab on top and hollandaise jalapeno sauce. A side of DUTCH OVEN mashed potatoes (this is their "thing" they cook in a dutch oven), and last night I had turnips. I'd never really considered turnips good until I had these. Delicious! For Dessert we had a vanilla gelato topped with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. Ridiculously Indulgent. Expect to spend between $30-50 per person if you get dessert.
Thai Food: Malee's on Main is my favorite. I usually get the Evil Jungle Princess (chicken in a red coconut sauce with field mushrooms served over sticky rice), but Kirk has tried a lot of stuff on the menu - he loves their Curry - he's never been dissapointed in any of it. Their appetizer is really good too. The Chicken Satay is delicious. If you go between like March and August you can get the dessert of sticky rice and mango. I'ts to die for. Cost is about $30 per person with appetizers & dessert. Malees is on Main in Scottsdale.
Favorite Greek - here I have a virtual tie. I love Mediteranean House at 16th street and Bethany, but I also love Pita Jungle at 40th street and Indian School. Pita Jungle isn't technically traditional greek - they are more of a vegetarian/greek/fusion. Pita jungle has very fresh fruit, cheeses, etc. Delicious Pita Pizza with feta and chicken which is probably my favorite. Great hummus. Med House also has great hummus, great pita, good gyro's and yummy chicken dishes. Med House waitresses are awesome too. Pita jungle cost 10-15 per person, Med House about the same.

It's not a comprehensive list but they are strong local favorites I forgot last time.


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