Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Okay, this might sound silly, but...

The Twi-hard in me stayed up until, well, now waiting for and then watching the Midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The movie did not disappoint. In fact, none of the Twilight movies have disappointed me thus far. They stay true enough to the books, making fairly wise cuts to move the story along without sacrificing major plot lines. I wish I could say the same for the Harry Potter movies, which have been disappointing me since The Prisoner of Azkaban.

But here's the best (and most girly) part of the movie for me. I didn't feel bad about love while watching it. I know, it sounds strange and kind of self-absorbed, but when I see happy couples, especially movie happy couples I usually hate them and want to rip their eyes out. Especially couples like Bella and Edward. But I felt good about it, like, it's just around the corner or something, like, I was all warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe it was just R.Patz lusciousness, but I really felt like it was just around the corner for me... maybe.

And then, to top it all off, I get in the car and guess what song is playing. Michael Bublé's Haven't Met You Yet. My favorite since I first heard it. (I liked it so much I made it my ringtone.) I know I'm sounding like a 14-year-old girl, but I think that was a message. I think it was a message that I'm not supposed to settle for someone I've already met, that the people I've met aren't it. That I'm not supposed to give up just because I have a chance with someone I kinda know, but know that I can't love. It's this fourteen-year-old girls' idea that keeps me going. What's wrong with having hope?

Why do I have to be so cynical and logical all the time? What wrong with thinking that Prince Charming is out there, you just haven't met him yet? Is this what being a modern post-Sex and the City, post-He's Just Not That Into You woman is all about? Why can't I still believe in Prince Charming? Why can't I believe in multiple Prince Charmings for that matter? Who's to say that you can't have more than one? Just because a relationship ends doesn't mean that it can't have been meaningful. It doesn't mean you have to throw away all the memories of the warm and fuzzy and turn into an über-bitch.

I think that's where I and many single post-collegiate women go wrong. We think we have to be these strong professional women all the time, that we can't let the 14-year-old girl with a crush in us out every once in a while.

Dude, stop playing, be the 14-year-old girl. Be cute and funny and sweet and flirtatious, it doesn't mean you're not strong and professional.

I have the feeling that if we don't let that boy-crazy teenage girl side of us show every now and the, we'll end up like Lori Gottlieb and our song won't be "Haven't Met You Yet" it'll be "I Never Got a Chance To Meet You Because You Were Being an Over-Tough Über-Bitch," which just isn't as catchy.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A rant in one part

People weren't always so fat.

It's true!

People didn't spend hours at the gym, either.

They didn't obsess about diets, unless you count obsessing about where your next meal was coming from.

People cooked, and they cooked what they had available, and they weren't giant fat-asses like we are now.

Our food came from animals and plants, not factories and plants.

Cows and pigs and chickens and fruits and vegetables and wheat and corn where turned into something delicious and simple and digestible that fed our bodies what it needed and in turn they removed what they didn't.

Our bodies don't know what to do with chemical preservatives. What is Cool Whip, anyway? I mean, I know what whipping cream is but what is Cool Whip? What is non-dairy whipped topping? I mean, it's a four-word title! Whipped cream is just that, whipped cream.

That's what food should be, exactly what it is. Ground beef should be chunks of beef all ground up. Popcorn should be corn popped. Lemonade should be lemons aided by sugar and water.

Why have we done this to ourselves? Why have we turned sustenance into science? By doing that we've turned the formerly beautiful and marvelous human body into a lump of chemicals, preservatives and fat fat fat!

Why did we think this was better? I mean, the human race survived for thousands of years without sodium phosphate, sodium alginate, and protein concentrate. (We didn't have hand sanitizer or antibiotics either, but that's a different rant.)

What made us so cocky last century? Did we think all of a sudden we could do better? Sure, cars let us drive across a state in a matter of hours, but what's wrong with walking a mile to the grocery store? I've carried three bags of groceries a mile home. Guess what, I'm still alive.

Here's a simple solution: does what you're doing make you feel like a fat ass? Then don't do it. Sitting on a couch all day eating potato chips: does that make you feel good about yourself? Because it makes me feel like a fat ass. Driving the 1.7 miles to work when it's gorgeous, sunny and still outside: makes me feel like a fat ass.

Working little things into your day, like walking or biking instead of driving and spending an extra few seconds looking at labels to make sure you recognize every ingredient in your bread. And enjoying your food, not wolfing it down trying to get as much into your body as possible.

There's a simple solution to our problem. Stop acting like a fat ass and you'll stop being a fat ass.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Obesity in America

Check out this CNBC Documentary that premiered recently. It's a really interesting look at the present problems obesity is causing, and what that could possibly mean for the future. What it doesn't do is view obesity in a historical context, nor does it play the blame game. It's actually very interesting.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

What is sexy?

My recent move took me to a mall where the clientele is very different than that in Chicago. The customers in my Chicago store were mostly women in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties, professional, the type of women who wore button-ups and slacks most days. But here in Bemidji most of the female customers are either high-school or college students or moms. The moms are usually in a typical mom "uniform" of a t-shirt that can get dirty and a pair of jeans or shorts, something quick and easy. The younger girls often dress in what could only be described as "outfits."

And these aren't What Not To Wear Clinton Kelly and Stacy London outfits, these are outfits bordering on costumes. There was a girl would was probably very pretty in the other day, but she was wearing this "outfit" that made it look like she was trying too hard. She had on a summery white top, a pair of short-shorts, knee-high moccasin-style chocolate brown boots, a purse that matched the boots, full make-up (on a hot day) and her highlighted chest length hair was teased and sprayed and styled. On a Saturday afternoon. Shopping. In Bemidji, MN. It really did seem like she was trying too hard. (And who really knows, she was probably going somewhere else after that warranted the outfit, but still, in that setting it seemed like too much)

This prompted me to ask a male contemporary which he thought was sexier, an "outfit" like the mall girl was wearing or a hot girl with minimal make-up in a t-shirt and jeans. He opted for the t-shirt and jeans, which is what I was expecting. I mean, the "outfit" just screams high maintenance. What guy has ever said he wants a girlfriend who's high maintenance?

Here's the deal ladies, work on what's underneath the clothes first and foremost. Anything looks good on a hot and toned bod. Secondly, go ahead and put together a cute "outfit." Now take one flashy piece out and replace it with something simpler. (I'd removed Mall Girl's boots and replace them with simple strappy flat sandals, and tone down the make-up a bit) It's the over-the-top-ness of the "outfit" that makes it so much closer to a costume, which should be saved for Halloween and other such occasions.


One of the best investments ANYONE can make is a good basic classic cookbook. The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, Betty Crocker Cookbook, Martha Stewart Classics, The Joy of Cooking, basically any good cookbook by a reputable source with a great test kitchen.

Making basics at home rather than falling back on store-bought pre-made versions cuts tons of preservatives out of your diet and gives you control over the amount of sugar, salt and fats and oils in your food.

You want a good source for basic cooking information and well-tested recipes for classic dishes. Classic cookbooks will not only have a plethora of great recipes, but it will also have great advice and cooking tips, as well as conversion and substitution charts. These books are often written for a wide audience, so recipe difficulty varies from beginner to pro.

You'll find recipes for everything from Thanksgiving dinner to simple snacks to imbibeables. And these recipes are a great starting point if you like to experiment in the kitchen. You can't make a creative new pizza combo if you don't have a good crust.

As easy as it is to find recipes online, it's best to have at least one good source of cooking information. Many online recipes haven't been run through the rigors of a professional test kitchen that The Better Homes and Garden Cookbook recipes have been. Just because something worked in soccermom1963's kitchen and she posted it online, it doesn't mean that she can write the recipe in a clear and concise way that professional chefs and recipe authors do. She might have skipped an important step when publishing her recipe.

When you're setting up your kitchen, take a swing by your local book store and pick up a copy of a great basic classic cookbook, you won't be sorry.

Cleaning up some poop never hurt anyone.

At my new job I have been introduced to the world of fake pets. We sell Webkinz, which has children going crazy. What are Webkinz? They are small stuffed animals that have a code in their tag that unlocks stuff in an online world, making kids sit on their butt all day at the computer with a fake pig in their lap (and we wonder why kids are fat?) I was also introduced to Zoo Zoo Pet (whose name alone enrages me) which are battery operated hamsters, which are just as costly, if not more, than actual hamsters, the only difference is they don't poo or die. Okay, they die, but they can be brought back to life with new batteries.

Seriously parents, get your kid a real pet, a little poo never hurt anyone. There are millions of cats and dogs and other animals sitting in shelters waiting for someone to adopt them and give them a good home, and you're wasting your money on fake pets that in the end pollute the earth? Really? What happens to a Webkinz or a Zoo Zoo Pet when your kid outgrows it? It might get donated to the Salvation Army, but you'll probably just toss it. Kids don't really outgrow pets, in fact, they grow with them. I get just as much joy playing with my cats or my parents' dog as I did 15 years ago.

So the next time your kid is going crazy for some shitty fake pet, either remind them of the real pet they have at home, or consider adopting a pet from your local shelter, or even just volunteer at your local shelter for the time being. But exposure to pets is good for kids, so please help a real pet before buying a fake one.

And cleaning up poo really isn't that bad, a little icky, but you changed diapers, right?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why would anyone be Team Bella?

Okay, so I know I'm a bit of a Twi-Hard... I've read and love the books, impulsively bought "The Brief Second Life of Bree Tanner" and loved that, too, I own both Twilight and New Moon on DVD, and CANNOT wait for Eclipse to come out (nine more days!)

And, as they did with New Moon, Burger King is again the fat-food (oops, fast food) sponsor, and again they have aluminum water bottles. Last fall they had Team Edward and Team Jacob, this summer they have added Team Bella.

Who the hell would be Team Bella? Bella is the most despicable characters in the book. I'm pretty sure I like almost every character better than Bella. She's manipulative to all the men in her life, not only Jacob and Edward (who you know she will choo-choo-choose above anyone else in her life) but her father and Billy Black and even Mike Newton and Seth Clearwater. And while the story is told from Bella's direct perspective, I'm pretty sure she gets off on having all these men do her bidding.

Ugh, Bella sucks. No one should be Team Bella. She has no personality and no one would ever actually fall in love with her. They might take her home for the night, but they wouldn't want her forever, as both Edward and Jacob want.

And please, the girl is in high school and obsessed with aging and obsessed with forever! Give it a break, think about tomorrow and nothing else, like a normal teenager. Bella is so not relatable.

Go Team Anyone But Bella!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Moving sucks. Moving sucks even more if you live alone, because there's no one else that obligated to help you move. Luckily I have awesome family and friends that helped me move and put me up until I found a new place.

I moved from Chicago back to Bemidji, MN, where I attended undergrad. I liked it here, it's very quiet and great if you like to spend most of your time outdoors. But the thing about Bemidji is it's family-friendly. And family friendly usually means single-unfriendly, which is totally true. It's a family-friendly college town, which means that it's not the best place for single renters, especially single renters with pets.

There are very few one-bedroom cat-friendly apartments in this city. Which is partly understandable in a college/redneck town as most renters are either college students or white trash, most of whom won't actually take care of their pets, but it sucks for the rest of us who don't want to or aren't in a position to buy but still take good care of our pets.

It also sucks that the few places that do accept pets want extra money for them. Putting down an extra $20/month or a $300 one-time pet fee won't guarantee that your property won't get ruined or that your tenant is a good pet parent. In fact, making it a non-refundable fee rather than a deposit might do the opposite, I mean, the money's already gone whether the dog chews up the trim or the cat scratches the corners, so why not let them run amuck? But if you might get your money back, you'll probably take better care of your apartment.

And money again doesn't guarantee a good pet parent. I have never had a landlord ask me to see my cats' vet and vaccine records. Seriously? Don't you want to know that the pets that are living in your building are healthy and well taken care of? If the pet is well taken care of, so will the apartment. It's not healthy for the a cat to have a dirty litter box or a dog to be swimming in its own feces.

So, rentees of Bemidji, please, reevaluate your pet policies. There are good people who have/want pets, just ask for the right things, and money isn't always the right thing.