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Rainy Day Ramble

August 23, 2009

Sorry, a verbal ramble, not the walking kind. Although the boy and I might do that later tonight.

So, what will all the torrential downpours and thunderstorms and mists we’ve been having, and the fact that I still have my air conditioning on (it’s still quite hot and humid out – feels a bit like the rainforest, actually) and the fact that I start classes at U Albany just over a week (eeek!) has made it seem very autumnal outside.

For once, though, I’m not craving autumn. All the rain and oppressively humid heat we had this summer made me long for more than just the few bright days of perfect weather we received. So really, it hasn’t felt much like summer at all. Usually by now, even when not going back to school, I’ll have been craving fall for going on a month, at least. But now? I’m a bit wistful that summer is coming to a close.

Though I’m anxious about getting a job (still no responses yet, but I’m patient), it has been really, really nice to have this summer off and to myself. Yes, sometimes I get bored, but I had the opportunity to bake! And even clean! Okay, no, that one doesn’t deserve an exclamation point, but still. It’s nice to have a clean house. I’ve also had time to play music, learn guitar, and more recently, write.

Yes, it is fiction, yes it somehow pertains to food, and no, I think this time it might actually NOT be crap. Oh, it’s chick lit, that’s certifiable, but it’s young adult (YA to all you librarians out there) chick lit, not borderline erotica. I’m only 23 pages in so far, but I’m optimistic. It’s nice to be writing again. And unlike several previous attempts at a similar storyline (all of which never quite seemed to turn out right, except the last one, but then I got stuck), this one actually keeps going places. I have a plotline. It’s amazing. I never have a plotline. Unfortunately, I foree getting stuck on telling the upcoming parts of the plot. That’s the problem with plots. They don’t let you ramble around and explore your characters and let whatever happen because you’re too busy trying to figure out how to get to the next point in the story. *sigh* Oh well.

And no, you can’t read it. Not yet, anyway. Like all good writers, at least a little of it is based in personal facts and experiences. We’ll see how long of a tribute/disclaimer I’d have to publish in the front section of the book – were, of course, this ever to turn into a book, and even more unlikelily get published.

The boy and I try to be pretty active. We go on long, fast-paced walks. We go hiking. We go swimming. But, we both love good food. And I generally love (or at the very least, like) cooking it. So we consume a lot of it. Which means not-quite-so-trim middles sometimes. I’m lucky, however, that the boy thinks that curvy girls are gorgeous and models in magazines are, in his words, “too skinny.”

But this, and some “fat” blogs I ran across the other day, have gotten me thinking about society and health and body image. Now, I know I’m a bit overweight. I could stand to lose 20-25 lbs. But I don’t want to get any smaller than a size 10, because it simply wouldn’t work with my frame. Because if the girls and the hips and the bum stayed relatively the same size, but I lost a ton of weight around my middle, I would look like Barbie. And in a creepy way. How do I know this? I’ve sucked in all the way in front of a mirror, so sue me.

The thing is, I think I’m a relatively healthy person. I try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I love whole grains, and we eat at home more often than not, which means we tend to eat smaller portions and not as many calorie-high foods. However, I’m not afraid of butter or heavy cream or olive oil. I am scant with my salt and I try to be scant with my sugar. And I’m not adding a stick of butter to a pot of green beans, here, folks. The thing is, I don’t understand why someone who is a size 6, but maybe eats nothing but cheeseburgers – no lettuce – is considered to be “healthier” than I am.

Well, maybe this comes from the same group of wackos who think that puffed corn cereal “made with whole grain” is somehow healthier than eating a bowl of steel cut oatmeal. Hello? Steel cut oatmeal = 100% whole grain, 0% processing! Well, except for the bit where they cut the whole oat kernels into little pieces. Hence the “steel cut.”

Honestly? I think it would be a good idea to get rid of a lot of the confusing labels. And the ingredients list should have to list percentages (as in, Ingredients: whole wheat, 95%, butter, 3%, sugar, 1%, salt, 1%). And probably places of origin, too. And I’m not just talking putting “China” somewhere on the container (Price Chopper frozen apple juice concentrate, I’m looking at you!). I’m talking, “Orange County, NY.” Any more specific would get a little confusing.

Don’t you think clear-cut labelling like that would be better than all the damn confusing and misleading labels on the front of the box? Well, it would be nice to keep the Fair Trade ones. And maybe the organic ones, although you could just have that listed in the ingredients list, too, which they already do.

*sigh* I guess the easiest, least confusing, healthiest for you thing to do would be to just avoid buying most processed foods. I do, with the exception of some breakfast cereals (nom, nom, nom!), 12 grain sandwich bread, pasta, and some boxed rices. And occasional bags of chocolate chips for baking. Oh, and I forgot condiments (who has time to make their own ketchup and mustard?). They don’t count. Everything else is pretty much purchased in whole form: vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, dairy, cheese. Sometimes it comes in cans, tomatoes especially, but I’m trying to get away from that, too. I even have a stock of various dried beans. Now if I could only remember to soak them. 😀

Okay, wow, this has been a bit of a ramble. To sum it up: Kind-of-yay autumn, eek school, eek job, yay free time, yay baking, yay writing, boo poor societal body image, boo processed food, yay whole food!

Now that I’m freaked out about school starting, I should probably go purchase books. : (

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