Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sleep? It's overrated

I would not do well living in the tropics. It's only been hovering between 70-80% humidity here, with temperatures ranging from the 70s at campus to the high 90s where I live, compared to many places just in the US that's NOTHING. But I'm suffering, especially where sleep is concerned. First we have the problem that the A/C unit is in the living room, so we open windows in the bedroom, which results in much excited climbing and leaping about of cats. All night. Venetian blinds going *scrunch scrunch CLACK* is not a restful lullaby. Cats standing on your head/face on their way to the window above your head? Also not restful. Funny. But not restful.

This morning I was woken by a cry of distress from Matt, followed by the statement "Marble just SAT ON MY FACE!" I must admit that I wasn't too sympathetic, I thought of that Monty Python song and started giggling, it serves me right that I still have it playing in my head now. I just hope I stay awake enough not to start humming it under my breath, I don't want to shock my coworkers too much.

I think this weekend we will be taking several naps to compensate for a week of crummy overheated cat-bothered not-sleeping-through-the-night. The only other thing we have planned is to toddle over to the local Home Depot to learn how to install ceramic floor tiles, knowledge we plan to apply by creating a slate-tiled patch by our front door. Real slate is such yummy looking stuff, with all the natural colour variations and the nifty uneven surface, as soon as we saw the slate mixed in with the ceramic floor tile samples on display we both started drooling and figuring how to incorporate them into our place. We're officially grownups now: planning naps and home improvement projects for our weekend, not to mention getting excited over a style of floor tiles.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Remainder Brain

Today I get to test my mettle as a cell culturist. I just got handed a tube labelled "Remainder Brain" by a colleague who has taken all the nice juicy white matter parts for himself, and left behind all the other bits, the bits with blood vessels, for me. But since my lab is all about the brain's blood vessels this is a case of waste not want not. We're trying to make use of someone else's waste tissue, which might not be the BEST way to develop a primary cell culture, since the harvest was geared towards HIS goals, not ours, but I'm all in favour of giving it a go.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I Repeat Myself Sometimes

This post was originally a comment left on Mo's excellent pop-culture (as it relates to body image) blog, Big Fat Deal. I ended up waxing eloquent and feeling rather pleased with the result, so I decided to make it a post on my own blog. To remind myself that sometimes I can write, and it is funny. I just added this preamble to give due credit and linkage to my inspiration.

This article left a bad taste in my mouth. The information hidden in there is that the "non-dieting" group of women did actually change/improve their eating habits, and become more active, but they did not do it as part of "being on a diet". Also, they recieved counselling specifically geared to make them accepting of and happy with their own bodies, the "dieters" recieved support, but I can only assume that support focused mainly on the diet part, and not on supporting THEM and making them feel good about themselves.

So really I think it comes down to terminology. Arguing about terminology is, ultimately, not particularly useful to making us feel good about ourselves. We already know that thinking of it as "I'm on a diet" leads to also being "off" your diet, "breaking" your diet, and "failing" at your diet. In fact, I'm currently struggling with this very issue: trying not to beat myself up for not being on plan, while simultaneously working towards actually being on plan. All week.

I think that it's true that women who think of themselves as on a diet, or dieting, may tend towards the self-punishing techniques of trying to make themselves adhere to that diet. It's so easy to focus on the self denial and restraint part, because a lot of that is involved in changing your habits.

Healthy positive lifestyle changes and active choices are just much more FUN to do than self denial.

For example: eating a banana and a low fat yogurt because it makes your body feel good and energised instead of the short lived sugar rush of a banana split sundae...that's a positive being-nice-to-your-self behaviour.

Eating a banana and a low fat yogurt as a poor substitute for the banana split that you crave, because you're not allowed the sundae on your diet, and it would be bad for you and you'd feel like a big fat greedy cow for eating what you're not supposed to have...that's self punishing unhappy behaviour.

I think the word diet is a good one, but mostly in the context of phrases like "vegetarian diet", "organic diet", "balanced diet" or "my diet seems to contain an inordinate amount of liquorice and turmeric". We can make it a cage if we like, and lock ourselves inside it and be miserable, or we can think of it as merely a word that describes the combination of foodstuffs we use to fuel our day.

I've certainly found that starting to actively work on loosing weight and getting fitter has made me more self concious and critical about my appearance and fitness capabilities, because I'm paying attention now. It's hard to change your habits without becoming more self aware. It's hard to be self-aware without discovering a few things you're not very happy with, and wishing them gone, or different, or FIRMER.

Oh, and I also think claiming numbers as definitive as 90-95% is an immediate red flag, I want to know their margin of error on that number, not to mention how they define "success" and "failure". If you define failure as gaining back ANY weight whatsoever ever again...the only way to succeed is to go on the chainsaw diet and chop off you head, because you certainly won't gain back any of that pesky weight if you're dead!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Friday, July 01, 2005

Imaginary Friend No More

Originally uploaded by Rosemary Grace.
This lovely lady is an imaginary friend of mine from the internet. We met online in 2000, the first time we met in person was just before Matt and I moved in together, and her visit was something ridiculously short like 18 hours. During which my bathroom drain backed up, so I got to offer the hospitality of Matt's sofa.

The second time we met in person was when she flew cross-country to be a bridesmaid in my wedding, which is this photograph. She spent the whole weekend being greeted by exclamations of "oh, so you DO exist!" from my local friends.

They had collectively dubbed her my imaginary friend. I'm not sure if that makes me a prime example of the 21st century restructuring of interpersonal communication and friendship...or a geeky wierdo.