did a lot of laundry. Up and
down the three flights of stairs.
then I folded it all. Well.
Most of it. And cleaned
the bathroom. And went to the
did not do any writing.
day is a construction of the
greeting card industry.
why do I always get the blues?
have never, never had a valentine.
Isn't that the saddest thing?
Well. No. There are sadder things.
But I've been feeling this verge
of tears kind of blue about
it. And shit it's two weeks
other night I got into bed and
I was really feeling the sadness.
I kept trying to think about
other things. Finally I just
started to push into it. You
know like when you have a tooth
ache and you push the tooth
with your tongue even though
it's gonna hurt worse. That's
what I was doing. I just felt
today I've had all these memories
of my long history of unrequited
love. And I had all these ...
I dunno ... little releases.
Sounds almost sexy doesn't it?
is sad. I've known some great
men. And a couple of them really
loved me. But. Not THAT way.
know too many fat women who
are in great relationships to
believe that it's about being
fat. I think it's a combination
of my bad psychology, fate,
bad choices. I don't really
know. And being fat is in the
mix. If I'd been thin I might
have had a valentine a time
or two. But I'm not sure I want
to think about that. I always wanted
to believe in love. Things have
not gone well and I gotta say
.... I may have given up.
I feel sad. And it seems like
the right thing to feel. Somehow
not backing away from it seems
to be giving me a kind of relief.
I turned the radio on and Scott
Simon was talking in a somethingterriblehashappened
voice. I got the same feeling
I had on September 11.
first I was relieved that it
wasn't about the war being escalated,
or another terrorist attack.
I listened to the news while
I read through my blog roll
and wrote my own post. Somehow
it wasn't registering with me.
And then I turned on CNN for
hate the way CNN & MSNBC
play footage over and over.
And this was footage of this
falling stream, never hitting
the ground, always falling.
It reminded me of a line in
a song that a friend of mine
wrote years ago.
falling angel is like a falling
through the darkest night
you can see them right from where you are
they just burn on out of sight
wasn't until the NASA briefing,
watching the men who knew the
astronauts try to speak through
their tears, that I began to
looked around the blog world
and watched as the posts popped
up. There was sentiment and
horror. I wondered if I should write
something. But I had no words.
was some discussion on CNN about Ilan
His parents are Holocaust survivors.
He had taken a drawing of a
child who had perished in a
camp into space with him. My
heart ached. But there were
connections being made that
I found disturbing. There was
the shared grief of two nations,
which I felt, and there was
the reaffirmation of how Israel
and America are working together
in so many ways. I found some
of the way that was represented
troubling. Apparently he had
flown a bombing mission in Iraq
and it was condemned at the
time. The person speaking on
CNN said something about how
now that we know what we know
about Iraq the world will remember
the bombing differently.
served his country. In many
ways. He served his family.
His death is a loss. But the
actions of his country and my
country, good and bad, should
not be forgotten.
is written by the winners. Or
so they say.
is no sense to be made of events
like this. There is sadness
and loss. There may be learning.
spent the day trying to work
on writing for school. I did
get some done. The day felt
long and sad.
yet. They died fully engaged in life.
directed me to the nice
folks at Madarine Designs who
are offering the code for these
gifs. You don't know what you're
going to get when you put in
the code. You take a chance
and hope for something beautiful.
It's a guest
book. If you go back to the
first entries you see the people
I harassed into signing. Mostly
friends. I stopped begging people
to sign it and ignored it all together for a while. But recently people
have been signing it. People
who I don't know. Some just
say, "nice site."
Some seem to have their own
site that they want to pitch.
And the last one seems to be
a porn site. I didn't look but
there were a lot of X's.
What is that about? It kinda
makes me laugh. I mean
is it a new form of spam? I
can delete it. But I have to
say, it's just so odd that I can't
seem to bring myself to take
an action. Now the guest book
has become this thing that I
check every once in a while
to see if anything too weird
has been entered.
was reading Body
and Soul yesterday.
She had a link to a very cool Rice
for Peace campaign.
Later I got e-mail from Marilyn telling me about it. I'm not sure
it'll stop the war but I like the idea. It may not have worked the
time but I agree with
Jeanne D'Arc, It may
be wishful thinking, but sometimes that's all you got.
sent the link about the FAA
weighing people to
Paul and he
blogged it. I am sort
of stunned by the response. Not many people seemed too alarmed.
Most were, understandably, more concerned about being safe on an
airplane than they were about being weighed. I understand wanting
to be safe when you fly. But the implications of the FAA weighing
passengers are dubious to say the least.
first heard about it on a Donahue. He was doing a
show with Atkins who
was promoting his diet. Donahue opened a segment of the show by
"I speak of the Charlotte airplane crash. The plane crashed right at the airport.
It took off. Got itself into a stall mode. And all aboard were killed. There’s a
new report out that overweight Americans could be threatening the nation’s air
safety. It was triggered by investigators looking into whether inaccurate weight
estimates and how much the passengers weighed might have played a role in that
crash. It’s a U.S. Air Express Commuter plane in Charlotte, earlier this year."
think it's interesting that more people on the blog aren't a little
angry that the FAA and Donahue are implying that our weight causes
plane crashes. I'm not a pilot. I'm sure that balancing weight is
important to being able to fly a plane. But I just think the idea
that they might weigh people, at the airport, before a flight is
really, really wrong headed. I think there are lots of ways to solve
the problems of balancing the weight on a plane.
discussion in the comments seemed to missing the point. The desire
for safety seemed to be making it difficult to see the dubiousness
of the methodology of a study to determine average weight by the
FAA. And it dove tailed with a discussion about why, if we are fat
positive, do we mind being weighed in public.
me shaking my head in dismay.
not about being ashamed of your fat body. It's about not being willing
to be treated like baggage. It's about not being willing to put
yourself in a public situation where your weight will be villianized,
pathologized and ridiculed. It's about having the dignity and self
respect to question the right of the FAA to measure something that
you and maybe your doctor can measure.
flew on a small plane recently. It sucked. I didn't fit into the
seat. I tried, by sitting in a way that meant I was miserable to
not touch the guy in the seat next to me and I was fairly successful.
But it probably wasn't safe for him, or me, that I was wedged sideways
into this seat. It certainly wasn't comfortable. There was a suit
brought by a thin man against the airline for being uncomfortable
when sitting next to a fat person. And I'm on his side. He has a
right to be comfortable. And so do I.
we have a right to be safe.
just think the airline industry can solve these problems without
making me the enemy.
is broadcasting Powell making
his pitch for war. It's a miserable
way to start the day. There
are not words for how miserable
this makes me.
in a writing program means you
talk about writing as least
as much (if not more) than you
write. I often find it annoying.
But not always.
always want to talk about blogs.
When you do it every day, and
when you read blogs every day,
it's easy to lose track of how
amazing it is. But it is so
amazing. People putting their
lives in a note. Stuffing it
into the blog bottle and hurling
it out to sea. And we sit on
our islands waiting for the
tide to wash in a new note.
Clicking back again and again
to see if there's a new note.
all blogs are about writing.
And yet there is almost always
a voice. Even a blog with only
enough of a sentence to hold
a link has a tone. Even a blog
with no words at all, a photo,
or a painting are, in a way,
a voice. With a tone.
doing it pulls down the hierarchy
of art and expression. We are
all folk. Saying, "Look
what I made today."
I read the writing of my fellow students. It's the best part. There
are some great writers in my program.
know. I wanna be a good writer.
And I have work to do. And I
want that to be a life long
pursuit. I never want to rest.
But I don't want it to be about
"good enough". I want
it to be about the restless
need to express. To show. To
tell. To change the way you
say something. To change the
way you remember it. To stay
in an never ending edit. I love
the feeling of saying something in just a certain way. The rhythm
of the words.
we live in a time when we need to celebrate every voice.
kept thinking about it. I couldn't form a response. I did have a
visceral reaction but I was having trouble putting it into words.
In part because there is a way in which asserting my sexual
preference always feels problematic. I am a het. But. I dunno. I
have so much trouble with the hetero's. I have trouble with the
assumption of normalcy. I have trouble with the privileging of representation.
I have trouble with the ways some hetero women fall all over themselves
for men. But I do like men. I sometimes envy my lesbian friends.
There are ways in which they don't need men to get feminism.
there areas of mutual concern for het and lesbian feminists?
I read this Ampersand
It brought back the WHB's question. I was stunned by the idea of
PHMT (patriarchy hurts men too) as a shut down. I've never heard
it. And in the example that Amp gives in the beginning of his post
I feel it as a shut down that I might make. Because the focus shift
was too abrupt. It would piss me off if someone tried to shift the
focus of a conversation in that manner.
are all in this together.
another example Amp calls out the idea of violence against women
being a feminist issue and then asks if violence against men is
as well. Yes. When think about violence against women I think about
the men who commit the violence. I think about how much it sucks
that men aren't given permission to feel emotion. I think about
how much pain someone has to be in to resort to violence. I do not
take my mind off the women who pay the price with their bodies for
the way in which patriarchy shapes us. But my heart aches for both
the man and the woman.
against men in the example Amp gives, (ten year old boy beaten up
for being too girly) is also an issue for women. It's different.
But I'm not sure how useful a discussion on the difference is, especially
in terms of merit. For me, the moment in which a man responds to
a woman with violence is enough of an example for how men and women
are both shaped by patriarchal concepts, in ways that hurt them
have never felt like feminism is only about women. And maybe that's
because I'm straight. I need men to get it. But, I really think
we all do.
There are times when it's important to isolate the issues. Some
things are about being a woman. Some things are about being a man.
Some things are about sexual preference. And if those conversations
are derailed by shifting focus ... well then ... PHMT. And
I say that with my very best talk-to-the-hand attitude.
then I feel terrible.
always want to move toward inclusion. I think part of the reason
I've been having such a hard time writing a response to WHB has
to do with not wanting to draw hard lines around myself or others.
But I also think there's a time an place to make the distinction.
And. I love that men are asking some of the questions.
tellin ya. Thursdays are like
pull it back together day. Which
seems ridiculous. I go to therapy
on Monday, class Tuesday &
Wednesday and my apartment explodes
behind me as I walk out the door. Or maybe the exploding happens
when I walk in. All I know is there was stuff all over the place.
wasn't that bad. I went through
the piles of mail and school handouts and washed the dishes and
this and that. And I was playing
with the new
(mine is the palm V) (Thank
you Joe.) And I had CNN on.
and I swear I thought this was
all the things I'm doing, all the reading and the writing and the
playing with computer toys seem pointless. I
just do not know what to do.
too many hours of procrastination
yesterday I went for a walk.
Bought myself some purple tulips
and a double latte and came back
home determined to get some
writing done. And I did.
Bill Moyers and Chuck Lewis
from the Center
for Public Integrity
talked about the Domestic
Security Enhancement Act of
I'd say this is about as scared
and horrified as I've ever been
but I think I've peaked.
You can go to those sites and
download a PDF of the proposed
act. Some of the things proposed
are detailed here.
If this were to get through
we would not live in the same country.
This takes all the post 9/11
changes in attitude and codifies
them. Civil Liberties?
keep trying to find a way to
.... be ... with all of this
horror. I can't let it pull
me under. I have to keep living
my life. I can't ignore it.
It's too important. But my feeling
of helplessness expands daily.
The things I do, the letters
to public officials I write,
the calls I make, all feel essential.
And so small. And yet I keep
looking for more small things
I can do.
I guess I'm one of those female feminists who prefers that feminism be about the
empowerment of women. I don't think the movement should get caught up on taking
on every cause under the sun affected by patriarchy. There is only so much time
in the day, and too much to do. I may be wrong, but I don't think that other
causes are asked to take on other issues, at least not in the way feminist women
are asked to take on men's issues because all are affected by patriarchy.
While I recognize that patriarchy affects men, I don't think it's the
job of feminist women to fix it. I see that as placing women once again in the
"gatekeeping" role - when it comes to male/female relations, it's the female's
job to keep things going smoothly. In the process, women's needs gets placed on
the back burner because "others" need care, too. Don't fight for "women's"
rights. Fight for "human" rights. If she balks, she's told she's selfish. Very
effective stopper. Feminism has enough to deal with regarding anti-feminist and
patriarchal views held by women. I see it as men's job to teach other
men how patriarchy harms men and boys. They take their lead from feminist
women. Pro-feminist men have expressed this sentiment.
I'm with ya. One of things I said in my post was that
I was glad that men were asking some of the questions.
Props to Amp for doing lots of writing on feminism.
I don't think women can do the work for men. I don't
think people of color can do the work for white people.
One of the reasons I write about, talk about, think
about white privilege is that I feel like it's my responsibility
to understand how I am complicit with racism.
said that, I also know that we all need each other to
help keep the process real.
had conversations about how groups where white people
talk about their racism, or men talk about their sexism,
in the presence of people of color and women, are hurtful
to the people of color and the women. It's too brutal
to have to listen to all that crap. And I think there's
some truth in that. These are uncomfortable conversations.
And they should be.
all the people who do that kind of work push the process
forward. I'm not sure that men can do the work of understanding
how patriarchy hurts them without SOME input
from women. There are blind spots. But it is their work.
And I love it when I see them doing it.
has more to say in the comments and also some great
links. (Hope your server lets you back in soon Trish.)
I am feeling the enormity of IT ALL. I feel urgent and
desperate and hapless.
I look at my purple tulips for a minute. Try to remember
that there is beauty in the world. Remind myself that
I have specific work to do. And try to focus on it.
And I am grateful that I know (and daily meet more)
so many smart, heartful, engaged people.
HA HA! Angela
has a blog!!!
Yippie! Well. I guess it's a journal. Although the whole
is it a blog/is it a journal thing is wasted on me.
She's found a spot and she's writing her life on line.
And a sweet life it is. One of her friends had a baby
boy. Made me think of Laura.
There'll be one child born and a world to carry on.
about comments today. It's been something I've been
thinking about. I get web shy. I get paralyzed with
web shyness. But I also notice that there are people's
blogs where I feel almost afraid to comment and
people's blogs where I never feel afraid.
read a variety of blogs. Some of which are very political.
There are amazing political debates that flare up in
the comment boxes. And there are writers who draw out
debate. There are conversations that happen in the comments.
I love that. But I walk a line with that kind of thing.
I'm not going to be aggressive in someone else's comment
box. I have been terse.
happened here. Sometimes about fat stuff. Sometimes
about ideas. I love it. I check my blog all day hoping
for comments. And I've gotten a few icky comments. But
some blogs there's a feeling of people stopping by to
say hi in the comments. Which feels so sweet to me.
Oddly enough I can feel really shy about commenting
then. It's like walking into a group of folks. Some
you know. Some you don't. And you have to join in. Or
not. I get very shy then.
are people who write on the web who I left comments
for and they never came to my page and left me a comment.
I reacted like any other seven year old. I stopped commenting
I feel competitive with people who get lots of comments
every day. Or people who stir up conversation in their
comment boxes. And I have to remind myself that I am
doing this writing because I need to express...whatever
it is I'm going on about.
read people who have no comment box. I admire that.
In a way. But then sometimes I wonder ... how do they
know I was here? How do they know that think they're
smart and funny and cool? I need to be able to write
something. And e-mail feels like crossing a line of
intimacy. Which is cool. And even more challenging to
crazy. How shy can I be when I write my life in public?!
Very shy. I don't always feel part of things.
my friends ( the ones with no blogs) leave me comments.
I love that. And I have met people in my comment boxes.
I met Angela in my comment box. And now she has A BLOG!!!
AH HA HA HA!! I'm going to go and leave her a comment.
SLEEPY. I don't know why. I slept really well except
I woke up having a weird dream in which I couldn't get
to class. I went back to sleep for a while and I had
the hardest time waking up. This is really unusual.
I feel like I might hafta go back to sleep.
went swimming yesterday. Ate some pasta with Deb and
Ari. Shopped. Talked on the phone. I felt pretty great
at the end of the day. And I feel OK today except I'm
need to finish this piece of writing that I'm handing
in tomorrow and another that I'm presenting on Wednesday.
So more sleeping is not a good idea. I've been sitting
here reading blogs and drinking tea and eating cereal.
I'm sposed ta be awake now.
during the day in my apartment is not really possible.
There's a middle school across the street with a come-to-class
buzzer and screaming, laughing, shouting kids. There's
some construction going on involving what sounds like
driving large metal poles into the ground. There' s
traffic noise. At night it can get so quiet that I can
hear the seals down at Fisherman's Wharf. So I got back
in bed yesterday. But it was clear that I wasn't going
to get any sleep. I shook off the sleepyness and got
the writing done. It put me in a great mood
had to go to group last night. The #14 Mission bus was
having issues. Not an unusual situation. I left my house
a little after five and got to group at ten to seven.
Late. I'm never late. But it was OK. I was in a great
said something so perfect last night. She was talking
about when people are focussed on the love (or more
specifically the lack of love) of one person. She wonders
what's being ignored. What I took from that was that
I can focus on the love I don't have or I can focus
on the love I do. Seems obvious enough and I think I'd
already figured that out. In fact I think I was already
doing that. But I just loved the way she said it.
many people I know are going though stuff with their
partners or love interests right now. And every where
you look there's the hopped up Valentines day consumer
driven notion of romantic love. It's toxic.
you love someone you'll buy them lots of stuff.
I guess I could feel grateful that I don't have to deal
with all that. And I guess I do. But I also have the
I had CNN on and Ashcroft was answering press questions
and someone asked him about the ramp
up of the Patriot Act
and the idiot CNN news (cough) person talked over his
answer. It was like they couldn't get the camera off
are going to get pretty crazy.
all this work I've been doing on how to keep my heart
open, despite the huge chunks that have been bitten
out of it, seems to be helping me with handling the
misery of what's happening in my country.
went to school early. There's
a reading room at Lone Mountain.
Green leather chairs along long
tables. Rows of lamps run down
the middle of each table.
There's almost never anyone
in there. It feels monastic.
The reading that I had to do
for class was dense and analytical
and easier to do in that setting
than in my apartment with so
many other things to tempt me.
had to read Patrimony
for workshop. I was able to
read that on the bus. I'm ambivalent
about the book. It's about the
last year or so of Philip Roth's
father's life. It did bring
back memories of December with
M & K. That feeling
of being a child, now caring
for a parent.
I am writing this I am listening
They are listing all the demos
that will be happening this
weekend. I mean there's one
but people are meeting in different
have to work on my presentation
feel .... sigh. I don't know.
I don't know what I feel.
a number of ways to approach it. Yesterday I was talking
about the idea of community with a woman at school.
Because ours is a small program in a small school the
school tries to promote the idea of community.
And I guess it's somewhat true that we are a community.
But I don't always feel it. It's hard to create community.
In school, even in my little therapy group, there's
the idea of community. But we're very different people
involved in things that are similar, but not the same.
I've made some friends at school and in my group and
there are ways in which I am part of those communities.
But there are ways in which it's just about school.
And it's just about therapy.
there was ever a time when we needed to come together.
And speak out. Together. If ever there was a time when
we needed to not seal up our windows but rather open
them wide and start shouting out of them. If ever there
was a time when the point of it all is to say no
to war. To say stop. To say no more. It is now.
how do I fit into that? I probably won't be in the streets.
My knees and the trouble I have dealing with large groups
of people will probably keep me at home. I don't know.
I'm trying to figure out a way to mitigate the issues
and go out there. But I'm always there in my heart.
I always listen on the radio and watch on CSPAN. I've
always been a peripheral member of any community.
interesting because the WHB topic came out of the notion
of remembrance. It comes from Alice Walker looking for
the grave of Zora Neale Hurston and talking about Martin
Luther King and the African Diaspora and the way in
which he was able to draw folks together into coalition.
know I often feel separate. I am struggling with the
feelings of rage, frustration, and powerlessness that
surface when I listen to too much CNN. When I read the
last line of the WHB topic - What is the point
of it all? - my first feeling was one of defeat. What is the point
of it all? It's so easy to feel defeat these days. Or maybe it's just me.
It's easy for me to sink into despair and isolation.
I fight the battle daily.
I won't be putting any plastic on my windows. I might
go buy some French wine and cheese. I'm going to work
on my book. Which is the way I am trying to maintain
memory. I'm going to work on maintaining the line between
staying informed and being poisoned by media toxin.
I'm going to feel myself as part of the community of
There was some love going on
around here yesterday. DruLaurieAngela and
is goin on. How can I be depressed
with all this loooovvvvveeeee??
you thank you thank you. Good
gawd. Thank you all.
started the day feeling ...
dread. These days I wake up every morning
wondering how bad it's gotten.
But I tried to keep my heart
open. It took till 4:00 in the
afternoon but I finally got
some writing done. I was still
at it at midnight.
made myself a good dinner. A
salad with watercress, and yellow
beets. Butternut squash risotto.
I drank a little wine. And I
had mango sorbet with shortbread
and chocolate cookies.
I bought myself some roses.
At Safeway. Where they still
cost too much. But they are
beautiful and they smell good.
had an great show on yesterday. First there was a Marine
who served in the Gulf War reading from his
And then Ira
did a piece in which he talked with an Israeli historian
about how the people in Israel are told that, back when
Israel became a state, the Jews went to the Arabs and
said, "Please stay. Let's all live together."
But in fact there were some pretty horrible things that
happened. Despite the fact that this historian knows
the details of these awful truths he isn't really worried
that they aren't common knowledge. He worries that if
the truth came out it would add fuel to the right
of return fire.
that I listened to most of a three hour teach-in put
on by Flashpoints
some of which focused on life in Palestine.
kept thinking, if I were a kid who grew up in Israel
and I learned that I hadn't been told the whole truth
about things my country did to oppress other people
I would be pissed off. It's not something that I have
to work very hard to imagine. I do live in a country
where I was told stories about Pilgrims and Indians
eating turkey and planting corn together. No mention
pox in blankets.
No analysis of a constitution that talks about freedom
signed by slave owners.
No mention of how as I sat in my classroom my country
was contributing to the horror of state repression in
and South America.
does piss you off.
pisses me off to not live in a country where we face
our sins and participate in the world with some dignity
and humility. Where the word power is rarely mentioned.
Instead we thump our chest and consume and suck the
resources of the world into our never ending need for
does feel good. It feels good to know that there is
dissent. But. I'm not interested in feeling good. I'm
interested in feeling like there's some real change
going on in the world. Like greed is gone and everyone
has a home and food and access to education. Like the
guns are rusting in the corners and people are working
together to make things better.
not going swimming. I want to be in some kind of solidarity
with the marchers. And I want and answer to the question
I found one
been listening to KPFA
all day. They were broadcasting the rally. The numbers
of folks on the street vary, of course, from 200,000
Whatever. There were lots
Peacefully marching. And then I turned on the nightly
was one of those day when there are two realities competing
for attention. The mainstream media gave scant mention
to the marches. They continued to talk about the
war, the war, the war. But if you were listening to
alternative media you heard the loud, clear, insistent
no to war.
cleaned my apartment and worked on The Book while I
listened. I woke up feeling thick with emotion. Not
one emotion. All of them. At the same time.
playing voices from the New York demo. I'm listening.
And feeling. It all.
was on the bus. Going to my therapy group. I was planning
on talking to them about the ways in which I need them
to be more fat aware. And I was feeling some dread about
it. They're all nice people but ... getting the whole
fat thing ... well ... I don't always feel the outrage
I need to feel from them when I talk about things. It's
more complicated than this but I haven't figured it
out enough to really write it out. Yet. That's part
of what I need to work on. Like how much can I expect
from people who aren't fat? Can I expect that they'll
do the work to learn about fat bodies? Why should they?
I have a bunch of bold answers to all these questions.
And I have a bunch of defeated answers.
was on the bus and I couldn't even read because I was
too full of emotion. A guy moved to the seat in front
of me. The seat was at an (Oh shit I can't remember
the name of the angle that's L shaped) -uh-the seat
was such that I was facing his side. Does that make
sense? I was looking out the window. He was pretty drunk.
He was hiccuping and his head was rolling. He kept looking
at me. I wasn't really even annoyed. It was just ...
odd. I pulled out my book and tried to concentrate.
He kept looking at me and hiccuping. Finally he started
a conversation. In Spanish.
My Spanish sucks. I understand more than I can speak.
My verb tense is always off.
got that he was asking what the name of my book was.
And then what my name was. I was able to ask where he
was from. He was from El Salvador. I asked if he missed
his family. And I think he said he did but he was going
to build a new family here. Or something like that.
And he kept saying that he didn't care if a woman was
thin or fat. He still wanted to be their friend. And
I think he was asking me to go home with him to Daly
City. The conversation had all of the complications
of his level of inebriation, my ability to speak Spanish,
his vibe (which was somewhat licentious) and we were
on a bus.
came for me to get off the bus. I wished him a good
evening. He kept talking about Daly City.
dunno. It was one of those surreal bus moments. When
the layers of social and cultural norms are pushing
against each other like plates of rock under the ground.
The pressure is building. There may be a quake. Or not.
then you have to process it. Sometimes you just laugh
it off. It's just the big loopy movie of the city. sometimes
you pull meaning out of it that isn't there. Last night
I just felt like ... I did not have the ability to think
about it in any kind of way that made any kind of sense.
didn't care if I was fat or thin. I guess that's good.
week I had jury duty. Well, I didn't actually have jury
duty. I had to check the web site every day to see if
I had to go in and sit in the jury pool room and wait
to be chosen. And I checked every day but on Wednesday
night I forgot. And I forgot on Thursday night. I woke
up in the middle of the night on Sunday, remembered
and freaked. I had visions of being hauled off to jail.
The next day I check the web site and it seemed like
my group had to show up on Tuesday. So yesterday I packed
up my bag with tons of reading and took my happy ass
over to the court house. Turns out that my group was
never called in last week. And the number of my group
was being reused.
It's not that big of a deal except I was wishing that
I woulda called and asked about the fact that I forgot
to look those two days instead of going over there.
Because I was there...in the middle of the city...with
a choice to get back on the bus and go home and deal
with the fact that I spent all this time coming and
going for nothing. OR...what?
I decide to go to a
was a block away and get this chicken salad that they
make. It's a big salad with a scoop of chicken salad,
a hard boiled egg and an avocado, lots of greens and
carrots and celery. So it's a big protein blast. Although
I should say that eating chicken and an egg on the same
plate seems almost profane.
I went. I ate my salad. It was so big that I knew
I wouldn't be hungry for the rest of the day. I had
an apple with me that I could eat later. And then I
went to school. I was there four hours early but I had
all the reading to do. I read some of it outside. It
was a very lovely day. And then I went to the library
and read some more. I had all this theory for my teaching
writing class. And I had a copy of The
Library of Babel
that Abeer had given me.
a window in the library. On a clear day you can see
the bay. I was reading and stopping and looking at the
bay and reading some more. And I read:
thought about a comment that George
left at Golby's
the other day. George
about being ready to go to the march in
In the comments at Golby's he was frustrated with the
way the marchers were characterized as Saddam supporters.
And I thought about the comment that Pattie
left in my post about being happy that there were so
many people in the streets and yet wondering if it would
matter. And I was thinking about how many people are
affirming that we can stop the war. But so many people
are weary and feel like it's going to happen anyway.
And, really, why should we think that a man who was
never elected wouldn't start a war that few people want?
Perhaps my old age and fearfulness deceive me, but I suspect that the human
species -- the unique species -- is about to be extinguished, but the Library
will endure: illuminated, solitary, infinite, perfectly motionless, equipped
with precious volumes, useless, incorruptible, secret.
I don't want to fall in to the fear of dark likely hood.
But yesterday I cried. I feel like this thing that happens
when we all march together and hope together and feel
together is powerful. It's the book we write together.
And I am deeply comforted by it.
morning I read some of the book that we are writing
together. I'm hoping that Leroy
are feeling better and I'm hoping their moms are getting
some support. I'm sending them visions of soup and warmth
and tucking-in cozy till they feel better.
the book we all write together. And I am deeply comforted
love my teaching writing class. I get all wound up.
I love talking about unseating the power of the teacher
and creating a climate of mutuality in the classroom.
And I think that's all about the way teachers use language.
But I also think it's about the teacher needing to be
the expert in the room.
live in an expert culture. CNN calls in the experts
(cough) to inform us. (cough) My aunt used to begin
sentences with "they say". Who are they and
why do I care what they say?
the best possible model the teacher is someone with
a little more muscle tone in a given area and the innate
wisdom of the student is acknowledged and affirmed and
course...all this is easier to say than do.
another way of looking at it the teacher is the guide,
the person who has walked the path a few times. And
the student can relax and walk along beside the teacher,
free to absorb the learning without having to reinvent
it's all about making sure that teachers feel strong
confident and don't need to prove anything and can fully
engage with students.
And then we need to reduce class room size and make
sure people have all the books and pencils and paper
that they need. But that's about pushing public policy
makers to make schools a higher priority than football
stadiums. We don't really talk about that stuff. I just
mumble it under my breath.
begin to feel hopeful when I talk about teaching. But
I'm talking about changing a fundamental structure of
the culture. Kids who look to Nike and the Gap for expert
advise on how to dress and MTV for what music to like
and sitcoms for information on how marriage works aren't
going function well in a class room where the teacher
is saying what do you think? If no one asks them - how
do they know? So we have a compliant student body looking
for the obedience hoop that they're supposed to jump
is where teaching writing comes in.
think kids should know how to spell and understand sentence
structure and punctuation. I hope that some day I'll
understand all that stuff myself. But in a composition
class you can ask them - what do you think? Tell me
in your paper.
had one of those days. One of
those days when the well meaning
people were buggin me.
began when I read a post at
about the death of Steve
I guess he was taking diet pills
and not eating much. He'd put
on some weight and couldn't
do the running required to be
on his team. He's a pitcher.
I dunno. Do pitchers need to
run? What ever. Clearly he was
going to get some exercise.
Couldn't he have focussed on
I was reading this over at BFB
and this fellow Henry leaves
a comment. It seems he did weight
watchers and lost his fat.
In the comments a regular commentor,
takes issue with Henry's diet
also puts him on alert that
a diet pitch is not welcome
on BFB. And Henry, to his credit,
apologizes ... BUT... he just
can't quite get it. All he was
trying to say is that the guy
coulda lost weight in a more
healthy way. And then all these
fat folks turn on him. There
were other people in the comments
who were defending poor Henry.
After all, he agreed that it
was sad about Bechler. He didn't
mean to say anything that might
hurt anyone. What he never quite
got was how it did.
guy. Well meaning.
I was listening to City
(Yes I'm a total geek) And they
were having a hearing to discuss
the prevention of obesity and
diabetes in children. The chair
of the committee is a new supervisor,
he seems like a nice guy. And
it turns out he was fat kid.
But then he got athletic.
the people who aren't fat anymore
know that anyone can lose weight
if they try.
look, all the committee wants
to do is make sure kids eat
good food. Nothin wrong with
that. I think it's a really
But do we have to use the phrase
"prevention of obesity"?
Because when I hear that phrase
I hear let's make sure there
are no more fat people.
know. I know that's not the
idea. These are well meaning
health thing. I'd like to be
able to have talks with health care providers about
my health that don't include asking me to lose weight.
In fact I don't really deal with health care providers
who do start with diet talk. I can't really trust people
who can't deal with my size today.
all about the language. No matter how well meaning you
may think you are, if your language revels fat phobia
then ... think about it. Be good food positive. Be movement
positive. Don't prevent a body type. And don't keep
trying to scare me with links to illness that are dubiously
a conversation popping on a list serve that I read.
The list is mostly health care folks who work in the
health at any size frame. But there are people like
me on the list. Fat people. With an interest in health
at any size.
remember when I first heard about intuitive eating.
Way back in the day. It was really a really useful
idea. I did begin to notice my own hunger and my reaction
to it. I used to panic about hunger. And I used to eat
fast, barely chew, and eat till I was more than full.
It was revolutionary to get some awareness about all
that. This was back in my twenties. It changed the way
way I eat was also influenced by my life as a cook.
I learned about food. I like GOOD food. I have strong
opinions about what GOOD food is.
first thing that the site I link to on intuitive eating
talks about is that it's not about eating a bunch of
chocolate. Well. Sometimes it is. There are times of
the month when there is not enough chocolate (and salt)
in the world.
are a couple of problems with the intuitive eating thing.
One is that it's another way of saying that there is
a right and more moral way to eat. And if you are ...CLEAR...you
will eat that way. See. I have issues with that idea.
Not the least of which is that for some people what
they eat is about what they can afford.
issue is about the way our culture (cough) keeps us
busy. And we don't have the time and energy to eat ...
in this weeks SFBG.
I was hoping it might be radical. My never ending hope
that the left will get fat politics. Sigh. And there
was an interesting analysis of the way our culture
Capitalism keeps us too busy to do much more than
grab fast food. And then the medical community and the
pharmaceutical companies give us pills so we won't get
fat. It's all in the column. Very smart. I dig it.
then...there's the same old tired stuff. The writer
confesses her obsession with being fat and then backs
it up by noticing that there is a bunch of new writing
about how Americans are fat. It's frustrating for me
because the health at any size stuff gets so little
play in this media blitz. I wish the alternative press
would dig for this info. Challenge the junk
writer, Annalee, an "unrepentant chubby chaser"
who worries about the size of her own ass, names the
politics of fat in a pretty hip Marxist kinda way.
there's another fat politic.
the politics of not allowing for the natural expression
of body diversity. There always have been and always
will be fat people. Fat people don't all eat fast food.
And there is very real discrimination happening to fat
when Annalee says that she worries about the size of
her ass she normalizes that worry. She does some criticism
about her concern. She understand that it is unfounded
in some ways. But she affirms it when she talks about
the health concerns and the fattening of America.
always forget when, but it was only a few years ago,
and I always forget who, but the BMI was adjusted a
few years ago. Over night a whole bunch of people who
were not fat ... were now fat. Insurance companies happily
raised their rates.
war on fat. It's another way to keep us preoccupied.
Don't worry about the WAR. Worry about the size of your
dunno. Annalee gets it. But she doesn't. She's right
up to it. But she doesn't cross over. She may be chasing
chubbies but she's hopin she won't be one. As much as
she critiques it ...she still ends up saying this thing
about fat as a sign of our badness.
look. American fatness is in some ways about fast food
and not walking and junk culture. I know that. We don't
have the time to intuit our way to healthy eating.
about the place where eating healthy and good slips
over to dieting. Very smart.
spent the day doing some
madly boring work on THE BOOK.
I went through and looked at
things like how long chapters
were. If each one reads as a
whole. They don't. I have work
to do. But it is beginning to
look like a whole thing. And
it doesn't suck.
the evening I had had enough.
And I did a blog roll tour.
I hadn't really read everyone
for a while. Ampersand
takes time. He's such a smart
guy, he links to other amazing
and smart bloggers and
his comment sections pop. I
must admit that I feel too shy
to jump in most of the time.
His fantastic post on The
was reprinted in a Web
I was rereading it and BOOM
there I was linked. Because
of the way he wrote the post
I was included. It made
me smile. It made me cry a little.
I felt support.
read different blogs for different
reasons. Some I read forthepictures.
And some I read for the political
conversation. And some I read
because I just came to think
the writer was cool. Some of
the writing reads like it written
by a professional writer. Some people just
have more muscle tone when it
comes to writing. They've done
it more. Some people I read
don't really talk about their
personal lives. And I still
feel like I'm getting a sense
of them. Susan
usually does a lot of linking
with a little writing and yet
in that little bit of writing
I feel like she lets me into
heard that people come out of
MFA programs and stop writing.
And I don't doubt that. You
spend so much time picking at
the writing. It takes some
of the joy out of it. But that
won't happen to me. Because
I have this other world. This
place where I write. And read.
good. It's all good.
I had CSPAN on and the Democrats
were having their winter meeting.
Some of the candidates were
making their pitches. I was
ignoring most of it. And then
I gotta say...he kinda rocks.
many fat but fit activists can do a half hour brisk
walk a day? I don't know. But many can. I've been fat
all my life. I don't drive a car. I walk every where.
Up until four (or so ) years ago I could walk briskly
and did. This morning I went swimming with a bunch of
fat women. I know fat folks who
do yoga, dance hip hop, ride bikes.
2000 to 2500 calories a day is more than enough for
anyone. OK. I guess you're assuming I eat way more than
that. A few years ago, for a Biology class, I had to
write down every thing I ate every day and track my
movement. In class we did some fancy math thing to see
if we were burning what we ate. It turned out that I
do eat about 2500 a day. Sometimes more. Sometimes less.
But for the most part I ate about 2500 calories a day.
My eating habits haven't changed since then so...
some interesting things.
Bouchard et al. (NEJM
1990; 322: 1477-1482) overfed 12 sets identical twin males (BMI 19.7 to start)
1000 extra calories per day, 6 days per week for a total of 84 days during a
100-day period. The twins were housed in dormitories and all food intake and
physical activity were monitored 24/7. (An extremely well-controlled study.)
Weight gain ranged from 4.3 kg to 13.3 kg, with much closer agreement
within-twin pairs as compared to between-twin pairs…suggesting that genetics
plays a strong role. However, there was variation even within twin pairs…so
genetics does not explain all.
Leibel et al. (NEJM
1995; 332: 621-628) had subjects either gain or lose 10% of initial body
weight. There were huge individual differences in energy expenditure responses
to the intentional weight gain/loss, and these observations were most noticeable
in non-resting energy expenditure rather than resting energy expenditure (most
studies of metabolic adjustments to weight gain/loss focus on resting energy
Levine et al. (Science
1999; 283: 212-214) overfed 16 subjects 1000 calories per day for 8 weeks. As
expected, energy expenditure increased to resist gain in body fat (which varied
12-fold among subjects—0.36 kg to 4.23 kg), but the change in BMR was not at all
correlated to change in body fat (an inverse correlation might be expected).
The biggest factor related to resistance to body fat gain was activity
thermogenesis…mainly non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is mostly
due to activities of daily living, fidgeting, maintaining posture, spontaneous
muscle contraction, etc…in other words, things most people would not keep track
of, or might not even be aware of. The change in NEAT ranged from -98 calories
to +692 calories per day (692 calories is roughly the equivalent of
walking 6-8 miles!!)
In other words...bodies
are all different when it comes to calorie processing.
So...what if I have to eat 1500 calories a day and exercise
for an hour every day to lose weight and keep it off.
Gimme a minute to think
about that. (Not that I need one.)
Interesting, on the
site you linked for weight
watchers it does not say who paid for the studies.
What if for instance we found out that weight watchers
paid for them? And while they are making sure you know
how many people (I think they call them skilled dieters)
"succeed" they do not mention how many fail.
You can not simply subtract the winners (or losers in
this case) and the rest are the folks for whom the program
didn't work. You need to find the people for whom it
didn't work and count them.
Being fat is my natural
state. At least for today. I refuse to hold the thought
for one minute that my body, as I live in it today,
is not natural.
I'm glad your quality
of life is better for you. I really really really am.
I am not telling you to eat ice cream and chicken wings
again. Do what you wanna do to love your body and your
And, Henry, do not assume
that you can define quality of life for me. I have a
great quality of life.
My life is different
than what it was when I was younger. I can't walk as
well as I used to. I've been in a few accidents that
damaged my knees and my ankle. It requires more effort
from me to maintain mobility. I still don't drive. I
still have to walk places. Do I wish I could still walk
quickly like I did when I was young? Sometimes. But
I have found that the changes in my body have made me
more aware. I do have to pay more attention. I have
to do things to take care of myself.
A very good friend of
mine recently said that if I were thinner I wouldn't
have as much pain in my knees. And she was right. I
would still have some. I probably need new knees. I
know thin folks with knee problems. And so daily I do
things to make my knees stronger. Today I went swimming.
And back to the 1500
calorie question...now that I've had time to think about
it....no. I am not wiling to live like that. Today I
went shopping. I have two bowls full of two kinds of
apples, and tangerines and blood oranges and a mango
and bananas. I have a veggie bin full of rainbow kale
and green beans and yukon golds and baby lettuce and
eggplant. I have chocolate chip cookies that are
made by this one bakery in Berkeley that uses really
good chocolate. I have three kinds of sorbet, mango,
blackberry and tangerine. I have pistachio nuts and
almonds. I am going to eat well. I'm going to love the
food I make. I'm going to love the feeling in my body
when I am full and fed and nourished.
I'm going to say it again.
I wish you well. I'm glad you found a thing to do that
makes you happier in your body. I'm hoping you can extend
me the courtesy to imagine that my idea of what creates
quality of life is different than yours. And that I
have a different experience of dieting. And that your
experience is not a universal truth.
And if you wanna go a step
further...imagine that, for me, and for some other folks,
being fat is where it's at.
I wish Steve Bechler
lived in a world where, when he couldn't run as well
as he needed to be a good player (and I'm assuming that
that's true since I don't know much about baseball )
(wasn't Babe Ruth fat?) that he just worked on running
better. If he lost weight as a result ... OK... cool...whatever.
And the fact that he felt the need to go on a diet (of
any kind) reflects the fat phobic culture in which we
live. And he paid the price with his life.
People are paying the
price with their lives.
Don't keep talking to
me about how he might be alive if he had lost weight
"the right way." The pressure on him to lose
contributed to the conditions in which he died.
What if no one had said a word about losing weight and
instead talked to him about running more? There is a
going to keep this response to Henry going in my posting
area rather than the comment box. And the first thing
I want to say is that I appreciate that Henry keeps
coming back. Because we aren't going to get any where
if we don't keep the conversation going.
know that there are people in the size acceptance movement
who seem to hate thing people. I think this is about
being exhausted. Fat folks are tired of the way we are
represented in culture, spoken about on the news, talked
down to by well meaning people who have done no work
to understand our experience. Every time I see one of
the (cough) war on obesity (cough) bits on the news
I see pictures of fat people with their heads cut off.
I guess it's easier to hate people when you don't look
them in the eyes. So we are tired. And we are hurt.
And we are angry. And some of us lash out.
you say that you hire fat people. Well that's good.
Because if you didn't hire fat people for jobs that
we are able to do, and did well, that would be discrimination.
In the City and County of San Francisco, where I am
lucky enough to live, it is illegal. But that's only
true in three other cities and one state. And Henry,
there are people who aren't getting hired because they're
fat. There are people who lose their jobs when they
get fat. Jobs that they can do. Jobs that they did well.
So fat people are a hurt and tired and angry.
was thinking about two friends of mine who both went
on weight watchers a few years ago. One was a woman
with what I would call a naturally fat body. She was
(is) beautiful. Has a husband who is crazy about her.
Has great friends. Is active and fully engaged in work
that she loves. The other was maybe thirty or forty
pounds bigger before she did ww. They both lost
weight. One faster than the other. (Guess which one?)
And when I saw then a few months after the diet days
one of them had regained the weight. To my eye she always
looked better when she was fat. Actually I thought the
same of both of them but the thinner one never really
looked fat to me.
people gave her so much praise for the weight loss.
It was like suddenly she existed. Even she got sick
of it. It began to piss her off.
woman who is what I would call naturally fat had been
on Jenny Craig a few years earlier. When fat people
say things like dieting is a form of self hatred they
are talking about their own experience of going on diet
after diet in a never ending effort to fit in. There
is a big difference when a fat person finally decides
to stop dieting and begins to eat food with the acknowledgement
that food is good for you. I know fat people who eat
junk food. Lots of junk food. But I know fat people
who are vegetarians and vegans and gourmets. As we have
already discussed, individual bodies process calories
in different ways and at different rates. I know there
are people who eat a gallon of ice cream in one sitting.
I couldn't do that. I would get sick. Now. I have eaten
a pint of ice cream.
it gets tricky for me. One time I thought I'd keep an
on line food journal. Because it surprises people when
they see how I eat. And there are times when I eat too
much of one thing or another. But I do not eat junk.
And I resent the times I feel the need to open my refrigerator
to the public so that I can prove what I know to be
is where the notion of fat hatred comes in. People imagine
that they know how I eat because of the size of my ass.
the complexity of fat experience is not represented
in the public domain. So fat people create places where
they can be with other folks who know that they may
not be sitting down to a gallon of ice cream every day.
And then someone walk in and starts talking about diets
AS IF most of us haven't already been on all of them.
know Henry, I hear you saying I don't hate fat people.
I just don't want to be one. And no one wants you to
be one. No one needs you to be one. But ... just for
a minute imagine how it feels to be fat in a world where
you are the guy who did the hard work of facing his
bad fat self and lost the weight and I'm the one with
hurts me. It makes me tired. It pisses me off.
are fat people who have problems determining satiety.
There are fat people who do eat and eat and eat and
never feel fed. I have a lot of judgement about the
crap most people eat. Processed, chemical laden, Franken-food.
I don't know how anyone can feel fed when they live
on Big Macs. But I have friends who really like Big
Macs. What ever. If someone is eating six of them a
day I will agree that they have a problem
we don't create a way of thinking about fat bodies that
is at the least neutral and at the best a celebration
of diversity we will not have a medical community who
do research about health at any size rather than weight
loss. We will have people stuffing themselves with forbidden
food in an act of rebellion and then going back into
the diet jail. Rather than learning to read their body
signals and learn about what real food tastes like.
for a minute. Try to imagine a world where being fat
is just another body type and not a pathology.
March on Washington
is tomorrow. I am psyched.
At 11:17 EST I will be calling
At 11:22 EST I will be calling
At 11:27 I will be calling the
I will be saying: I am not a member of a focus group. I am a
citizen in a Democratic country. You are my representative. I am asking you to
use every means at your disposal to say no to war. Give the inspections time to
work. Please. It's gonna be a great way to start the day. The nice folks at
have made this so easy to do.
If you go there and sign up
for a time they will give you
the names and phone numbers
you can call. It'll take less
than ten minutes even if the
lines are busy and you have
to call twice.
And then on
March third I'm going to figure
out how to participate in The
There are 5 events in SF already.
topic asks how do you stay motivated to keep fighting the good fight? How do you do it when
the fight seems like a losing one? Or when you doubt your commitment to it?
have no idea.
guess I don't really think of my self as an activist.
I mean I write my letters and make my phone calls but
that's just being a citizen. When it comes to the fat
revolution my activism is all on the page. And I'm not
trying to diminish what happens on the page. I know
it's important. But I often wish I could do more.
is writing about why she gets sad when she hears that
people are dieting. She linked an
that talks about a fat woman on an airplane "pressing
down" on an average size woman. I looked up a fewotherbits
about the situation. They're all the same. And they
all talk about the fat person being too fat to fly.
know that when I sit next to someone on a plane I give
myself arm cramps trying to hold myself in a way so
I don't touch the person next to me. If I raise the
arm rest I raise the one on the aisle side. When I was
in a too small seat going from the Atlanta airport to
the Asheville airport I sat pitched to one side with
my arms wrapped around myself. The guy next to me was
not touched. I was in pain. But you aren't going to
read that story in the media. Because who would you
be able to hate?
Wait. How about the airlines? We know that the seats
on airplanes are too small. We know no one is comfortable
in them. But when fat people are uncomfortable In them
it's out fault. We know that all people who are in seats
that are too
and that can't stretch and move about are
at physical risk.
seats should be bigger.
And at least some of them should be wider. And I should
be able to ask for those seats when I'm booking a flight.
And the arm rest should lift on the aisle side. It would
not mean that you have to retro fit all the planes.
Just a few seats in a few planes.
when the tall guy talks about leg room ... he gets heard.
When I talk about hip room ... I get blamed and shamed.
And if the airlines make it too expensive for fat people
to fly then we are talking about fat people not going
to weddings, funerals, business trips, educational opportunities.
It's already true. Fat people already chose to stay
home because they know that flying will be miserable.
This is about access.
went to a meeting with some fat activists about the
seat size issue. I haven't heard about any more work
being done. I think the woman who sued Virgin has every
right to win her case. She should have had a seat that
she was comfortable in and did not put her health at
peril. And so do I.
I have a lot of despair about this issue. Airlines are
declaring bankruptcy. Fat people should just shut up
and lose weight. It all gets too painful and I feel
then there's the war. Can we stop the war?
How do you stay motivated to keep fighting the good fight? How do you do it when
the fight seems like a losing one? Or when you doubt your commitment to it?
have no idea. I wake up. I hit the keyboard. I talk
to my friends.
Baez and Bonnie Raitt sang Carry
for the people at the march the other last week. I was
listening to them on KPFA
and I sang along. How do you do it when
the fight seems like a losing one? Because we aren't alone. We do matter. Our
issues are important. Someone before us spoke out. Someone
after us will speak out. We are part of it all. It is
part of us. Every little call adds up. And it feels
better to one thing that it does to do nothing.
before I left for school I went to Big
and a few other places. But I mention BFB and FP's because
I read some stuff that put me on the edge of a funk
and stayed with me through class. I started to write
a comment on BFB, to add to the many, many, that are
already there on this
I didn't have time and I'm glad I didn't. When I got
home from class I went back and Paul had stepped in.
I still want to talk about it. And that 's why I have
my own blog.
wish I could say that I have never heard a member of
the size acceptance community say anything shitty about
people who diet, or people who are thin. I can't say
that. I have heard some people be shitty. It's indefensible.
But it is understandable. It's venting. Still. I always
wanna hope we'll move past it.
I found troubling, what stayed with me as I went to
school, was in one of the comments which used the
phrase "I'm more size accepting than you."
Actually it was the way in which the whole thread became
a conversation about dieting and more specifically it
became about how diet talk feels to some fat folks.
then a line was drawn in the sand.
people tell me they are dieting I usually just nod and
say nothing. I don't really care. I think diets are
projects. If people want to play with a diet then I
wish them well. There is evidence that diets are harmful,
create life long problems, mess with people's health
but the same thing is said about being fat. I think
people make decisions about their health. I don't judge
their's. I don't want them to judge mine.
stopped eating sugar for a while. I guess you could
call it a diet. But it seemed like a way for her to
understand her body. She noticed herself obsessing about
sugar and she experimented with not eating it. It seemed
like a good way to learn about her body.
have issues with Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig and
all the liquid diets and Atkins and on and on and on.
But I don't have issues with the people who do them.
At least ... I do not have issues with them dieting.
I am in a group of people and they start talking about
dieting and the conversation is full of superlatives
and statements about how good it is ... I have issues.
Because the conversation begins to shift suddenly from
a conversation about dieting to a conversation about
being fat. And since I am fat. And since I am standing
there. It becomes a conversation about me. And what
my body means.
are very context dependent for me. If someone says something
that implies that they don't care if I am fat but they
would never want to be ... I have issues. It doesn't
mean I hate them. But I am going to want to express
my feelings about what they are saying. It doesn't mean
they can't say it again. But when they say it again
they will know how it makes me feel.
I'm going to wonder why they might keep talking about
diets when I'm there if they know it makes me uncomfortable.
But I defend their right to say it. And I have
a right to walk away.
the fact that I don't like diet talk mean I'm more
size accepting than they are? I dunno. Maybe. It's not
the worst thing someone might say about me. But
it isn't something I would say. It doesn't seem useful.
it sure is a conversation stopper ain't it?
of the things that fat people often feel is the need
to be really nice. After all, we're taking up all this
extra space and we're so hard to look at so we better
be really nice and then no one will be any madder at
us than they already are.
Pattie's blog I read a comment from Georgia. When I
came home I had one from her as well. Welcome to my
blog Georgia. I think you may have been reacting to
what Elayne wrote. I liked what Elayne wrote. I like
it because it talks about syntax and meaning making.
But I don't want to try to respond for Elayne, or Pattie.
oppressions is rarely useful. Oppressions all have very
specific characteristics. I don't pretend to understand
the oppression of anyone else. I only claim to understand
oppressions can be comforting. Sometimes. It can be
a way of saying I feel ya. It can be a way to build
alliance. It can be a way to make a friend. But there
are times and places when it's important to parse
the characteristics of oppression.
so, from me, to Georgia ... I didn't read or write
anything that implied that people who think that there
are safe ways to control weight are racist. I read a
comment that spoke to the ways in which language is
used to oppress and the ways in which that use is similar.
You are right. The purpose of fat cells is to store
energy. And I have a lot of fat cells. My body is fat.
Being fat is part of my identity. Only part. But a part
for which I am grateful. I've learned a lot from being
fat. So, it is about identity. And in that way it is
about things like race, ethnicity, and faith.
stayed with me, what I found troubling, when I was at
school, was the way these conversations become reductive
and chaotic. I love talking about this stuff. But there
are limits to what can be accomplished on a blog or
in a comment section.
of the things that fat people often feel is the need
to be really nice. After all, we're taking up all this
extra space and we're so hard to look at so we better
be really nice and then no one will be any madder at
us than they already are.
I repeat myself?
love talking about this stuff. But I'm not here to be
right. I'm here to tell my truth. If your truth is different
and you want to have a conversation about those differences
then bring it on. But I'm not feeling the comments that
tell me my truth is wrong. If that's where you wanna
keep it then I got nothin for ya.
up early. Which is kind of a
drag because I went to bed late.
I might have been able to get
back to sleep but I didn't want
to be late for my calls. I made
the calls. I either got a busy
signal or a voice telling me
that the lines were busy. I
hit redial a few times for each
call. Waited and dialed again.
I have a feeling that the fax
machines might be busy too.
But I might try that.
And I think I will send an e-mail
to all concerned.
have some reading to do for
class tonight. So ...
it's a need for rest. My sleep pattern (not that I actually
have one) got messed up this week. I didn't sleep much and
I woke up tired this morning. I kept going back to sleep
and I thought it was late when I finally forced my eyes
to stay open. But it was only 7:15. Sleep is not my
I'm in a mood.
bad. Or good. I just feel slow -mo and dreamy and discontent
and ... things I haven't named yet.
be a hormone thing. It's one of the fun parts about
being a woman. The monthly ritual of hormone assessment.
Let's see am I really a basket case and a bitch? Or
is it later in the month than I think. But sometimes
I think that's a way women minimize their feelings.
You know like...I'm not really this pissed off/grief
stricken/bewildered/whatever. And then again ... it
can be an enormous relief when you are having a break
down and then you realize it will be over in a day.
was fun last night. More talking about teaching. There's
some stupid joke about people who can - do and people
who can't teach. It's an idiotic joke but last night
I was thinking and people who can't teach talk about
teaching. But of course we will be able to teach. Someday.
took me shopping because K2
are coming over for dinner tonight. Kobi's
birthday was on Tuesday and I'm cooking a big old fancy
dinner to celebrate. I haven't seen them in a while
so I'm excited.
called to tell me about Mr.
She was very sad. I grew up in Pittsburgh. When I was
a kid I met Mr. Rodgers. It's a blurry memory of a kind
and smiling man.
can't seem to stop thinking
about that idea of "more
size accepting than you."
At first I reacted with a serious
eye roll. And then I reacted
with a need to reassure
the person that there was no
competition. And yesterday I
started to think...what the
fuck? Maybe I am more size accepting
than you. And why not? I've
worked really hard to get to
where I am.
wrote about her path to size
acceptance. When I was reading
it I thought about what it took,
what it takes, to fully accept
a fat body in world that is
constantly trying to make you feel ugly and worried
about your health.
always want to ask you, "
-- but if you could just take
a pill and be thin...wouldn't
ya want to do that?"
things that I have gone through
in life have all been in a fat
body. All those things have
made me who I am. I need to
be with who I am. Now. Fully.
It's a healthy way to be.
really is about identity. A
shift of identity. I'm fat.
There are people who think that
means that I gorge and sleep.
What ever. I'm sick of explaining