Sunday, December 06, 2009

This is my new favorite thing....New Moon in Lolcats.

(For those of you who've been spared the whole Twilight soap opera...well, first, I suggest you take a moment to give thanks. It's a series of melodramatic, poorly written novels about a girl who falls in love with a sissy emo vampire, and they can't have sex because the author is a Mormon, so they just angst and mope at each other for hundreds of pages. Oh, and there are werewolves, and prose so purple even Anne Rice would be embarrassed to have written it. Seriously, this shit will make you long for Lestat, and I don't even like those books.)


Sunday, November 29, 2009


So, I’m all moved out and in my own place for the first time in 13 years. In the past two weeks I have (drum roll please)…looked at about 30 apartments, picked one, decided it wasn’t suitable after realizing the windows didn’t have proper locks and the landlord was a slob and the kitchen was too small, picked another one, spent an ungodly amount of time at IKEA, bought furniture, built furniture with the help of my Dad, moved almost all the stuff I’d accumulated over the more than 10 years in my last apartment, hosted a friend from out of town the day after I moved in, done two phone interviews and one in person (journalistic kind), been interviewed for a potentially cool new job. Blog friends, I am TIRED. Oh, and I seem to have caught a cold – big surprise there, huh?

I’m also starting to date again, which is interesting. I’ve gotten so used to trying not to check out attractive people that it’s weird to be allowed to do it without feeling guilty. I’m trying not to let it distract me from job hunting, which is where I really should be focusing. I’m also loving my new apartment, which is gorgeous. Will post pictures later, when I’m less tired. In the meantime can I just say how nice it is to finally sleep in a real bed again? When I moved into my old place my ex brought his old futon, which we said we were going to exchange for a real bed at some point, but it never happened. Now note that this was not a nice, traditional futon that’s meant to be a bed, those are cool, and pretty comfy. This was a cheap American futon of the kind that college kids buy for their dorm room. I think the fact that, despite my bringing it up multiple times, we never actually got a real bed, is emblematic of what was wrong with that relationship, and why I’m no longer in it. I’m willing to bet my ex will still be sleeping on the same futon when he’s 50. Me, however, I’m loving the real bed with the comfy mattress and the proper duvet cover that actually matches the sheets and the overall look of the room.

In theory I guess I’m supposed to be depressed or lonely but actually I’m feeling pretty upbeat. It’s just so nice to actually live in an apartment that’s decorated in a way that I like, and to be able to keep it clean without having someone nagging me that my preference for good hygiene is somehow weird or OCD. Not having anyone else to answer to is awesome, is what I’m saying. Plus being able to play the music I like whenever I feel like it? Also awesome.

It feels good to be starting over. A little scary, but good. So, how is everyone else doing?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Local TV news drops the ball again

a cable/a couple of rods snapped on the Bay Bridge, hitting 3 cars and forcing closure of the upper deck. This is apparently the result of the cracks in the foundation that they found during the final stages of construction a few months back and that were mysteriously fixed much faster than anticipated. Hmm…think maybe it might have been smarter to take the extra time and do a more thorough fix, guys?

The really awesome thing, though, is that only one local TV channel bothered to interrupt their very important Tuesday afternoon schedule of sports programming and Friends re-runs to inform the public of this. Um, guys, this is possibly the highest traffic bridge in the Bay Area? And we’re not yet sure of the safety implications. You don’t think it might have been a good idea to let people know there was a problem?

But nope, the Friends re-runs continue uninterrupted. Idiots.

Also a giant tree fell in the park near my house today. Yep, it’s that windy. Luckily the tree didn’t hit anyone and now there are kids running all over it playing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hey there blog friends. I know I've really sucked at updating for a while now, but I have an excuse. Several of them actually.

So I'm getting divorced. Yay! As odd as it might sound "yay" is kind of an accurate summation of my feelings at this point. Man is pissing me off in so many ways it's not even funny.

So there's that. Also I've been getting a lot of freelance work and I've been busy with that. I'm also looking for a day job (blech). And learning photography, which as it turns out is not only a useful skill to add to my resume, but something I actually like - I blame my Dad the devoted shutterbug for this. Clearly it's genetic.

The wierdest thing about impending divorce is realising that I'll be dating again soon, after a really long time. I mean it's been nearly fifteen years...holy shit!

Dating in your thirties looks to be interesting. The wierdest part so far? I have a profile on OK Cupid which I've had forever just so I could take their silly quizzes, so I updated it with a couple of pictures and bam, suddenly tons of guys are hitting on me. Which is fine, but...why are most of them so damn young? Is this the cougar nonsense as cultural phenomenon playing out? Because seriously, there are multiple 21 and 22 year old boys trying to ask me out, which is like...oh honey no. I mean as friends, sure. But in terms of dating, what the hell am I going to do with a college kid? I mean I remember dating guys that age, and they were kind of annoying then - now? Yeah, I just don't have that kind of patience any more. I mean sure, they have minimal wrinkles and nice tight asses and all, but...

Well, I found this really cool blog that kind of sums up my feelings on this. The phrase "never send a boy to do a man's job" springs to mind.

This is what confuses me about the cougar thing. Really young guys are, for the most part, terrible in bed. I mean sure they have lots of energy, but for the most part they have no idea what to do with it. Way back in high school I dated a guy 18 months younger (which is a lot more of a gap when you're that age) and, after I broke up with him, ended up comparing notes with a friend who'd dated him too. When we got to talking about how he was in bed there was an awkward little pause, then she said "well, he was enthusiastic". To which I said "yeah, enthusiastic, that about sums it up, doesn't it?".

Please tell me there are some men a bit closer to my age out there who're single too, because if I have to date 21 year olds I think I may literally die of boredom and sexual frustration. I'm picturing myself falling asleep during dinner, or while some poor boy is enthusiastically but ineptly attempting oral, and it's not pretty.

On the other hand I guess the fact that there are lots of them out there who want to date me is theoretically a compliment? Still funny, though.

PS I've been doing CD reviews recently, and holy crap some of this stuff is hilarious. I know we've brought back 80s clothes, and that's bad enough, but did we really need to bring back 80s hair metal too? Check out a band called 69 Eyes - it's like stepping in a time machine and landing in 1987. On the plus side at least the dude has a nice deep voice and isn't doing the strangled cat thing? I suppose that's a positive. Doesn't make up for the cheesy lyrics, though.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Observe as I gradually start to suck less at photography!

OK so I'm in the market for a new camera (mine broke) and I need some advice. Any camera lovers among my readers? The first set (sexy punk girls) here I took with my friend's little Casio point and shoot, and they came out great because the light was good and I was super close (and I'm getting better). The second set (grr metal guys) taken with a borrowed Canon G10, and are nice and sharp BUT with some seriously wierd light effects going on. What is that sort of misty white haze in some pictures? I'm thinking/hoping it might just have been me not knowing how to use the settings, because if so that camera might be an option.

Suggestions? Feedback? Since it looks like I'm going to be doing a lot more photography over time I really should try to get better at it...

(Canon G10)
(Also note how the wierd blurry white mist thing is worse in some pics than others - anyone have any idea why? If I could solve that problem this camera might work, because the detail is good, see how you can actually see that bass dude HAS NO FUCKING EYEBROWS, SERIOUSLY MAN, WTF WERE YOU SMOKING WHEN YOU DID THAT TO YOURSELF? But yeah, detail is fine for web, but the wierd fuzzy white light thing is a problem. Anyone now how to tweak the settings to fix it?)

Monday, August 03, 2009

This is horrifying

As a person who's not religious, and one with a strong belief in personal autonomy, I'm not against suicide. Each individual's body belongs to them and them alone, and what they choose to do with it is their decision.

However...that's not what this is. This is an attempt to rid society of people deemed "defective", and it's very wrong. The fact that it seems to be in part motivated by the desire to save money and maximise profits on the part of providers of managed healthcare, as in the Hawaii example? Disgusting.

Our elderly deserve better than this. They took care of us when we were children, fed us, wiped our asses, cuddled us when we cried...the idea that we might accept their being encouraged to refuse healthcare out of a desire not to be a "burden" on us is heartbreaking. And history teaches that if the people behind this get away with it with the elderly, it won't stop there. This is a huge threat to the safety of disabled people.

Everyone, please pass this around and get people talking about it. There has to be something we can do about this. People are not expendable.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Journalists get lots of freebies, especially music journalists, but this has to be one of the cutest I've seen so far. Some background - VAMPS are a Japanese band with sort of a campy vampire theme (they're fun, not scary). And what you're seeing here is their own makeup line, VAMPAddict, from Shiseido. This just amuses the hell out of me - band themed lipgloss? Seriously? It's from Shiseido though so the quality is good. The whole concept is just kind of awesome for a band that has lots of female fans (and lots of male fans too - I wonder if they make eyeliner?).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I want one of these as a pet. OK, so my cat would probably try to eat it, but still, holy shit cute. Look at it's little blue feet!

Explanation here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Anyone know a great tailor in the Bay Area?

Local readers, help me out. I have a tailor that I use for simple things like hemming jeans, but I don't think he can handle what I have in mind. I was cleaning out my closet and found a vintage Red or Dead skirt in this amazing subtly sparkly purple denim. Seriously, this thing is gorgeous, but I must have been heavier when I bought it because it's a bit too big. Also too long - oh high end designers, why do you assume everyone is 5ft11? So it needs hemming, but I'd also like to have them narrow it a little all the way down, and make it taper in at the knee to make it more pencil-ish.

Anyone know a local tailor who can handle that? Normally I'd just take my chances with my own tailor but hey - vintage, one of a kind, etc, don't want to ruin it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I am a huge sap

OK, I admit it, this made me cry. Normally I'm a cynical bitch but when it comes to animals that seems to totally go out the window.

You have to love the use of music too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Whiny loser with possible OCD issues meets feminist blogosphere, hilarity ensues

Cock bibs? Seriously? OK first of all…do you not want women to lick your balls too? If so, how are they supposed to achieve this, by ducking under the bib, thus rendering its use pointless? And how exactly would you end up with a quart of saliva in your pubic hair? Are your pubes made out of shredded ShamWow? Are they super ultra absorbent? And why is saliva in your asscrack bad thing anyway?

Look, sweetie, here’s the thing. Sex is messy. By definition it involves copious amounts of bodily fluids, which do tend to get everywhere. That’s why they invented towels, Kleenex and showers. Though given the level of maturity indicated by both the idea of the Cock Bib as humor and the idea that saliva is icky, perhaps baby wipes might be more appropriate in your case.

I keep meaning to post about the ridiculous Double X launch and particularly Linda Hirschman’s stupid potshots at Jezebel. The comments on this post are actually a perfect example of why Hirschman et al seem to hate Jezebel, and why I love it. Oh no, women being all crass and direct and unladylike! Help me to my divan before I swoon! If we go around talking openly about sex how will we ever convince men to value us on the grounds that our special feminine delicacy gives us moral authority? It’s not like part of the point of feminism was that women should allowed to be people, crass humor and all. Nope, it would be far better for all of us if we maintained a po face at all times, lest we be suspected of being unserious.

If that’s your idea of a social justice movement, fine. You’ll have to excuse me though, I have the online equivalent of a bar table full of witty female friends to get back to.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Sometimes there are just no words

You know, it's not like I don't know that a lot of people on the right are batshit crazy bigots. It's not like they do a very good job of hiding it. But sometimes, when they're talking amongst themselves, they don't even try to hide it. Sometimes the level of condescending racist bullshit is so thick that not even the strongest galloshes will allow you to make it through.

Witness this article on, always the place to go for intellectually rigorous journalism. It begins with the salutation "Dear Black Americans" and just gets worse from there. Quotes in bold.

"Sometimes — no, actually always — the true friend is the one who tells you what you don’t want to hear. The one who does not indulge you, the one who will neither promise you nor give you candy and other bennies. Instead he tells you to sit down and eat your green beans and spinach — and if you want that nice car, then quit whining, get an education, earn a good job, and earn that nice car."

Yep, Republics are just like your dad, always there to remind you to eat your vegetables even if they aren't tasty. This is not at all patronising or racist, it's for your own good.

" I ask you to consider, why is it that you hate Republicans so much? "

Gee, I wonder why?

"We received not one ounce of gratitude from you, but we did it anyway."

No I don't.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On what Chris Brown did

Notice that I’m not saying “on what happened to Rihanna”. That’s how things are usually constructed when we talk about violence against women – “she got herself beat up”. By fairies apparently. Certainly not by an actual person who bears responsibility for what he did.

So I’m going to just say it. Rihanna didn’t just “get beaten up”, someone beat her up. We know who it was, because he turned himself in to the police. Stop it with all the shit about “we don’t know what happened”. Yes, we do in fact know what happened. Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend. Why he did it really doesn’t matter. I don’t care if she hit him first – if that’s what happened then sure, he had a right to defend himself. But looking at Rihanna’s face, that’s not a picture of what happens when someone is just defending themselves. That is not a proportionate response. That is what happens when someone decides to beat someone else up.

It doesn’t matter if she was jealous, or cheated on him, or gave him an STD. Those could all be reasons to dump someone, but none of them are reasons to beat someone up. Even if he did “just snap” in the middle of an argument, he had the option to walk away before things got that far. He chose not to. That means that yes, we do know what happened here, and there is someone to blame.

Every single friend of his and every single member of the media who’s insisting that we don’t really know what happened, that this is just unfortunate for both of them, should be ashamed of themselves. We know what happened here. A man beat up a woman. It doesn’t matter why, the fact remains that he didn’t have to do it, but he did. That’s a choice that he should have to live with for the rest of his life. Can we please, as a society, try to make sure that he does have to live with his choice instead of trying to make excuses for him?

Friday, February 20, 2009

More health-related oddness, and the slow drip of ideas adding up to a need to mainstream the Fat Acceptance movement

Anyone else ever taken the Real Age test? Mine is 29.6 (my actual age is 35.4). Sounds good, right? But there are a few…issues. First off, who designed the nutritional analysis and why do they think it’s still 1965? They ask you to estimate how many servings of various vegetables you get per week, but offer only about 10 to choose from. OK broccoli is cool, cabbage sure, but where are all the other options? What about eggplant and zucchini and snow peas and bean sprouts and yams and…So they end up telling me I don’t get enough veggies, when I eat a couple of servings of veggies for both lunch and dinner. Do I need to start adding broccoli to my breakfast now?

Speaking of veggies, I get a dire warning to “vary your veggies” with a big red X for failing to do this is making you older. OK, so in an average week I eat…drum roll please…eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, yams, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, some sort of fresh green beans, and spinach. Also bell peppers and asparagus, but only in the spring and summer because in winter they, like strawberries, are a sad imitation of themselves. Plus black beans, kidney beans and garbanzos (plus lentils too). Yeah, about beans – it tells me I should be eating more of them. Problem is, the test won’t allow you to indicate that you eat more than 1 serving of beans a week. Um, what? I probably eat at least 5 or 6 servings a week. Gotta say, a bit culturally clueless there…there are cultures where legumes are a daily staple, shouldn’t the test make space for people to indicate that consumption? The whole food section is very “stuff white people like”. Then it suggests that I’m probably low in vitamin E, and recommends that I eat sweet potatoes… which I actually DO eat, but there’s no place to indicate that. So I’m baffled – why not give people a wider range of veggies to choose from, and include the option to indicate that they eat beans if you’re going to count those as veggies? Were they high when they designed this part of the test?

It also scolds me for not knowing my exact blood pressure, which is apparently really really bad because OMG everyone has high blood pressure now! Except I’ve had low blood pressure my entire life. Another scolding for not knowing my exact cholesterol numbers…and then it helpfully lets me know that I’m consuming about half the recommended cholesterol limit a day. Um, think maybe we could connect the dots here? Again, it’s been a while and I don’t know my exact numbers, but they’re low and always have been.

Then it tells me I eat too much saturated fat. I eat chicken breast almost every day, maybe 1 oz of cheese a day and no other dairy, lean beef about twice a week and lots of olive oil, and maybe 1 serving of ham or sausage a week (and I mean literally one serving, as in one sausage, in pasta sauce). That’s too much saturated fat? Seriously?

Also why does it tell me that I could be getting more fiber even though I already get tons? “Eat more grains”. Um…I eat some form of high fiber grains at each meal – unless I’m calculating the serving sizes wrong it just wants me to eat bigger portions? Basically I eat brown rice or occasionally brown pasta with lunch and dinner, and sometimes some sort of sandwich with whole grain bread as a snack. Plus a small portion of whatever I had for dinner the night before as breakfast (I don’t like most Western breakfast foods, other than oatmeal).I’m confused – how in the hell could I be getting MORE grains? Also why doesn’t it let you indicate that you’re consuming whole grains rather than the processed white versions? Makes a big difference nutritionally, that.

The one piece of nutritional advice that they’re totally right about is that I don’t get enough calcium. I’m not sure how I could get enough, though, since I’m lactose intolerant and hate the taste of milk. Suggestions?

But my favorite part was the section covering exercise. I get at least 30 minutes cardio a day, plus strength training 6 days a week, but apparently that’s not enough! Oh no, I get a little blurb about increasing my cardio plus a helpful hint to increase the number of different types of cardio I do. Not that it gave me the option of indicating the ones I already do, I guess it’s just assuming that 30 minutes a day = only one type of exercise? Not quite sure WHY it would assume that…And then a little blurb about flexibility training, which is pretty damn lulzy for someone who used to be a competitive gymnast.

So yeah, overall I think this thing is a useful tool but it could do with being a bit more precise and expanding the range of options you can choose from. Especially the food section – people, there are veggies other than peas, cabbage and cauliflower! No, seriously! And some of us eat legumes every day, not just “at least once a week”!

Pop quiz – do people really think that healthy adults under say 50 need to be constantly monitoring their blood pressure and cholesterol even if they have absolutely no indicators for developing high blood pressure or high cholesterol? Do other people constantly track this? Because from my POV, well, it’s been low every time it’s been tested and nothing about my health or lifestyle seems to have changed, so…

Also, I’m not sure I’m thrilled to see them pushing high consumption of soy products. Isn’t the jury still out on whether that’s good or bad for women with a family history of breast cancer? Because my Mom died of breast cancer, and my Dad’s sister had it too, and yet they’re still telling me that I should try to eat more soy.

Now here’s the point where all the reading of Fat Acceptance blogs I’ve been doing comes in handy. So I get to the fitness section and see the following. BTW, just FYI, my BMI is in the “healthy” range and nowhere on the survey did I indicate a desire to lose weight, and I did indicate that I already get some form of exercise every day.

If you’re not getting the results you want from your workout, try adding a different cardiovascular activity to your weekly routine. Here's why: Based on your answers, we estimate that you burn close to the number of calories needed to help you grow younger, but you may be able to do even more. Most people can safely burn up . . . to 3,500 calories per week. However, talk to your doctor before you change your workout. Regular cardio activity can make your heart and arteries younger and stronger, enhance your immune system, protect you from stress and depression, and boost your brainpower.4 Ways to Increase Your Cardio
Keep moving. Do anything that requires steadily moving your large muscles (thighs, butt, back, and chest) -- running, skating, cycling, skiing, power walking, swimming, dancing, jumping rope, and
doing household chores that take a little hustle (raking leaves, washing windows).
Hop on a machine. Try the stair climber, elliptical trainer, treadmill, stationary bike, rowing machine, or cross-country skier.
Take classes. Sign up for dance, step aerobics, kickboxing, or water workouts -- just to name a few.
Play games. Try singles tennis, basketball

OK, so, my BMI is normal…why is it assuming I’m not getting the results I want from my workout? Are we now just assuming that EVERYONE wants to lose weight, even if they’re not actually overweight? Note the part where it says that based on my answers I’m probably burning enough calories already…so why assume I need to do more?

And that, my friends, is what prompted me personally to move from passively supporting the Fat Acceptance movement as simply a moral necessity in that all people deserve to be treated decently into wanting to get actively involved. When we’re starting to assume, just as a matter of course, that everyone wants to lose weight and should do so even if the medical establishment says that their weight is “normal” (mine is in the 35th percentile for my age and height and look, I’m still automatically being offered weight loss advice) and they already work out…we have officially jumped the shark as a culture. Even if you’re not fat, don’t get too comfy – what if you GET fat? Basically everyone should worry about their weight, a lot. Because we all know that there’s nothing better for your health than stress, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

So I’ve been reading a lot of blogs from the Fatosphere recently since the lovely Theriomorph directed me to Shapely Prose. It’s been rather a revelation, and there’s a post coming up about that. In the meantime, it got me thinking about the idea of healthy eating and what that really means. I know what it means to me – eating foods that make me feel good physically and also give me pleasure. What it seems to mean to a lot of people is something very different, though – low fat, or low carb, or some other diet plan based on the idea of banning certain “bad” foods.

I don’t think there are any bad foods. Well, OK, high fructose corn syrup is pretty much entirely bad, but that’s sort of a frankenfood and not a naturally occurring food item. If our food suppliers had stuck to using plain old sugar to sweeten things we’d all be a lot better off.

My idea of healthy eating is based more around trying to make sure I eat as many good-for-me things as possible rather than trying to eliminate “bad” things. I used to totally buy into the “x foods are bad” way of thinking, and it wasn’t until my late twenties that the seismic shift in my thinking occurred. Since it did I’ve been a whole lot healthier, and happier. I’m not a child; I don’t need a list of OMG FORBIDDEN SINFUL foods to scare me into eating well. I just need to pay attention to what I’m actually craving and give my body what it wants.

So, to start me off writing about this stuff, how about a recipe? I’m a serious foodie so I cook a LOT. I love talking about food, and am seriously considering trying to broaden my journalistic focus to include food writing. Anyone else who reads this like talking about food? Have a good food blog you want to share? Let me know.

Cassandra’s weird and wonderful Vietnamese/Japanese hybrid curry

This recipe came about because I love Vietnamese curry, and I love Japanese curry, and one day I was making a Vietnamese curry and thought “hey, I wonder what would happen if I added mirin to this”. The answer? Awesomeness.

Olive oil
1 large chicken breast
5 zucchini, or 1 eggplant, or a pound of carrots
2 small onions
3 heaping tablespoons curry powder
5 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons mirin
1/3 cup coconut milk
5 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of lemongrass, finely chopped
Chicken stock

Sauté veggies in olive oil till softened. Add onions, garlic and lemongrass and sauté for another few minutes (don’t let garlic burn). Add chicken and brown. Add curry powder and stir fry until fragrant, then add soy sauce, mirin, chicken stock and coconut milk. Simmer until preferred consistency is achieved. Serve over rice – I use brown jasmine, but any rice you like will work. Serves 2.

This is especially good on a cold day when you need some comfort food to warm up.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Body Image Stuff

It’s taken a while for me to admit that I have some body image issues. Which is silly really – what woman doesn’t? Our culture is pretty much designed to give women body image issues – they make us better consumers. And keep us too distracted to focus on stuff like, say, equal pay.

For some reason I’ve always been reluctant to actually talk about my own personal body image issues, though, but lately I find that I want to. Why? Because I think that the veil of silence surrounding this stuff is part of the reason that the issues are so widespread in the first place. Because I think that the pressure not to talk about them is a form of sexism. Because women aren’t supposed to say this hurts me.

So, with a hat tip to Theriomorph for posting this wonderful essay that finally pushed me over the edge into actually being willing to talk about it, here’s my personal situation.

My entire life I’ve felt like I needed to lose weight. The funny thing about this is that this feeling seems to exist independently of what my weight is at any given time – I pretty much always feel like I need to lose 20-30 pounds. I felt like that at size 14, and I felt like that at size 5. Right now I seem to waver between a 6 and an 8, and yep, “I need to lose 20-30 pounds” is always there at the back of my mind.

The funny thing is that technically I’m not even overweight. According to ye olde BMI chart my weight is just fine. Even at the upper end of my personal scale – an 8 – I’m still thinner than most women my age (35). And yet I feel fat. I look in the mirror and see someone who needs to be thinner.

I suppose part of the reason I’m reluctant to talk about this is that I know that some people will read it and go “oh ffs quit whining, you’re not even fat, not like me!”. And they would in fact have a point. Like I said, I’m not unaware of the fact that the average American woman is bigger than me. The average woman in the media though…ah, now there’s the rub.

If you were to go by the media standards a woman my height (159 cms) should be a size 2 at most. Even that has been considered a bit hefty on some occasions (anyone remember when they were calling Jennifer Love Hewitt fat? She’s a size 2). Never in my adult life have I been that small. Not even when I went through what I can only 20 years later admit was a bout of borderline anorexia as a teenager and was eating less than 700 calories a day, less than 300 during the truly scary period. The smallest I ever got was a 5, and that was on the aforementioned nothing but rice cakes, chicken broth and bananas diet, with an extremely active lifestyle. Even when I’m thin enough that you can see my bones through the skin my hips are still 36 inches. I have D cup boobs. I’m just not blessed with that wispy ectomorph type of physique. Blame my stocky Celtic ancestors, with their muscly legs and their childbearing hips.

Why the persistent wish to be an ectomorph? I’m not even attracted to female ectomorphs. I’m most often attracted to women with builds a lot like my own, just a bit thinner. I am however extremely attracted to male ectomorphs, and maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe it’s a fear that if I don’t lose weight I won’t be as appealing to the men I’m attracted to as I would like. Maybe it’s just being aware of how the world treats fat women, and fearing the weight of all that loathing crashing down on my head. Maybe it’s just a desire for approval.

That’s the sick thing about dieting, that even when you’re displaying blatantly unhealthy behaviors it gets you tons of approval. When I went through my less than 700 calories a day phase not a single friend or family member went “ok, this is nuts”. Not when I obsessively tallied everything that I ate, not when I started refusing foods that I’d always loved, not when I felt like I was drowning and I was desperately waiting for someone to say "no, stop, you don't need to do this". For at least a year I was hungry all the time. Even in the summer I felt so cold that I needed a sweater. I shivered when everyone else was sunbathing. And no one said a damn thing other than gee, you look so much prettier lately, what’s your secret?

How do you deal with that, the rage that you feel towards the people who were supposed to love and protect you for watching you hurt yourself and praising you for it? It was my mother who bought me the diet book that recommended the appropriate serving of rice at each meal as being two tablespoons. My father still asks me how my weight is doing before any other question, and no amount of visible discomfort on my part or requests that he please not go there has ever dissuaded him from doing so. How do you process the fact that other people actually approve of your acting like a nutcase? That they like you better when you’re miserable but highly decorative?

I haven’t behaved like that for years now. I made a deliberate decision in my late teens never to count calories again, because it just wasn’t worth what it was doing to my mental health. I eat a healthy balanced diet that even includes sweets. And yet, the voice in my head persists, the one that says if people knew what you looked like under your clothes they’d be horrified. The one that says, no matter how hard you try it will never be enough. No amount of reassurance from adoring partners both male and female that my body is just fine has ever been able to make that voice go away.

What scares me is…is this even unusual? The wall of silence around women’s feelings about their bodies is so solid that most people just don’t talk about this stuff. Sure, we make the publicly required protestations like “oh my ass looks so big in these pants”, but we never talk about the real stuff, the stuff that hurts. And I’m finding more and more that I want to talk about it, because I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that not talking about it is part of what got us all into this situation in the first place.

So, hey, if you want to talk I’ll listen.