A simple girl in a complex world




Friday, May 09, 2003


Tommy Thompson, Come On Down

Actually, I think that if Bob Barker were to call Tommy Thompson down for some audience exposure, he might treat him in that fight-with-Happy-Gilmore manner. I certainly hope so.

First off - this dude works for the US government. America - you know, that place where, so long as it's legal, you can produce and sell the product. In this case, the product is fast food. It's a product. Fast food restaurants sell the product. Just what is the BIG DEAL? Who tapped you on the shoulder and stated "SPEAK."

I read THIS today. I was sufficiently disturbed. In case you missed it, I preached a similar tangent just a week ago.

So, this dude is telling us how to eat. Drop that cheese, Mr. Thompson. We know you're from Wisconsin, and it'll be hard, but, please, show some rational behavior in recognizing that your constituents (defined as all of America thrown into a gargantuan pile of soup) are NOT rational. My favorite snippets from the Yahoo preachy article:
    'I'm going to start giving out awards and singling out ones that are doing good and the ones that aren't,' he told reporters at a food policy conference. 'If I get in trouble, I get in trouble.'
First, what, praytell, is an AWARD! Is it food-based? Oh, obviously, it mustn't be. No brownies for you, McDonald's. I notice that your new salads have fried chicken. Phat! And then we have this:
    'It is important to pressure the food industry, the fast food industry, the soft drink society ... getting them to offer healthier foods and put more things on the menu dealing with fruits and vegetables,' he said. 'I don't support lawsuits. I think we can do this as a society.'
Okay, 5 points for you Tommy; lawsuits ain't the answer. Why is this all centered around fast food, though? Would you really go to McDonald's for the McApple. Oh, wait, the McSmoothie. McTofu. McSparagus! Burger King's hearty WhopSoy! Seriously, you think any of this is gonna get ordered? If I had to eat at McDonald's, it'd be a grilled chicken sandwich with just lettuce and tomato and just water to drink. It can be done!

It's not what's on the menu, dork, it's what the consumer's gonna order, pay for, and consume. If Bobby from last week's example is going to visit Fast Food Joint X, he's going to munch on whatever suits his tastes. If he's a healthy eater, he'll make do. If he's not, well, public pressure and fast food menus won't do the trick.

And more:
    Banzhaf and other lawyers claim that food companies, just like cigarette producers in the past, are not properly warning consumers that their products may be addictive.
I. just. don't. buy. it. Addictive? Last I looked, the word defined as such - really, you don't need to go there; you know what it means, don't you? Tommy Thompson - helping the American public recognize itself for the sheep it is. Sway those overeaters into healthy McChoices; they'll NEVER NOTICE, right?

Almost forgot:
    Thompson, who has recently lost 15 pounds by eating less rice, potatoes and bread, said he prefers government programs that offer cities and food companies incentives to promote healthier lifestyles.
Wow, carbomatic, baby. Amazing - eating less assists with weight loss, especially if you ate too much previously. Tell you what - offer me some "incentives" to promote a healthier lifestyle (oh, wait, I already do that). I could use the cash. I can legally change my name to Boston if we need to work around that city loophole.

What a deal.

hln



  

Thursday, May 08, 2003


The Bike
Well, not much time this evening due to procrastination and reading of others' thoughts, but, here's the bike and its specs.

The bike gets a new seat tomorrow, as that thing that's currently attached to it does not house my rear in a comfortable fashion for five miles, let alone 150. Change is imminent.

I had something heady planned for this evening, a rant even, but it shall wait until the weekend. Giant OCR 3 - a nice bike indeed.
hln



  

Wednesday, May 07, 2003


Oh, THAT Appointment

Today was the yearly visit to every woman's most necessary doctor. And, yes, it should be at least once a year. There are so many humorous things to impart about this experience that I'm not exactly sure where to start.

But start I must. My gynecologist's name is Dr. Mormol. Yes, that rhymes with normal, and he is. I once had a Dr. Patterson, and he was one of the jumpiest individuals I've ever met. I'm not sure how he was able to stop bouncing long enough to perform an exam. I always used to bump into him at the grocery store, too, and then have to explain to my shopping companions, oh, that's my gynecologist.

Before that, I had a Dr. Walker, I believe. I change doctors when I move to different cities, so this explains the veritable doctor palette; it's not a gynecologist for every mood. Dr. Walker made every woman who came to see him, regardless of reason, take a pregnancy test. Men, you may know this, you may not, but the easiest pregnancy test is a urine sample. So, that's what you did before you saw the doctor - you filled your cup. Me, I had it easy. They were always happy to see me. This is from my pre-marriage years, so my maiden name was Igert, and they put the initials on the cup. Heather + Igert = HI. Ah, the friendly urine sample. Dr. Walker also put big posters that said "RELAX" on his ceiling. I suppose this was meant to calm you if you stared at them long enough.

But, today, there I was with Dr. Mormol, and we were talking bikes. Bikes are good - we have that bike ownership thing in common, so you really don't even notice anything else when you're carrying on a "well, how many times have you fallen because of those blasted toe clips" conversation. It was as if we were discussing our common experiences while sitting on a bus or a Metrolink car. But, no, of course, that was not actually the case. Didn't matter, though. By the time I realized everything was complete, Dr. Mormol had left me to go do doctorish things while I dressed myself.

And after I had accomplished the clothing feat, I found myself with extra time before the good doctor returned. What kind of trouble can I get in, you ask? Well, it became time to check out the literature for the Nuvaring method of contraception. I mean, we're talking piles of literature and pictures in this exam room. What's a girl to do?

And what do you think of this thing? First thing I think of is, it looks like a gummi worm. Can you imagine your small child consuming your Nuvaring? Hmm, ewww. Look, mommy, gummi! I believe there is some BrianJ lore that would support childhood consumption of mother's birth control pills, but I may have that confused with his consumption of the family's jade plant (or two). Also, can't you (if you're female) imagine all the guff you'd get bringing that thing home. Random men probably scoff, beat their chests, and call themselves Lords of the Ring.

So that was my adventure of the day. It beat the code I conquered, and, thankfully, I'm healthy, so I'll likely not repeat it soon. I don't get the intended response from the lovely kissing folks graphic, either. What I think about is, ewww, in a moment she'll be chewing on her hair.

hln



  

Monday, May 05, 2003


Botox! Botulinum Toxin Type A (baby)

Hmm. I watched television last evening. This alone is probably enough to blog about, the event being so rare, but no, today's topic is far richer than my channel-tuning habits.

I saw my first ad for Botox last night. You know, BOTULISM. Okay, okay, I know it's controlled, but it's still something that affects your nerves and causes muscle inhibition/paralysis - same animal.

This particular advertisement displayed a posse of women (of course) wandering to and fro with perfect white-toothed smiles (wow, does that come with? I mean, free peroxide for the teeth with every shot?) and lean, healthy bodies. Don't you want to be like these people? Redefine sexy in your 30s, 40s, 50s. We all know that frown lines are the death of our sex lives. Come, live in the happy toxin four-month-lasting-little-shots-between the eyes world! With us! You can be...

And so today at lunch I took the Google journey about the side effects of Botox (none to be found readily on the website, that's for sure), and here's what we have. Okay, point one. The first list is targetted to consumers who are considering the procedure. Superficial punctate keratitis ain't in my everyday vocabulary (which is quite extensive, thankyouverymuch). It is, as you might suspect, a problem of the eye, specifically the cornea, and defined quite nicely in medical soup by Merck.

Of course, the strongest thing to note was the small but direct sentence, "the long-term side effects of Botox Cosmetic remain unknown."

But, remember, folks, like the ad says, It's not magic (so disdain the apothecaries), it's Botox Cosmetic. It hits you right between the eyes.

And I don't need it.

hln



  

Sunday, May 04, 2003


The Search for the Sympathy Card

My Aunt Lee died last week, or perhaps it was late the week before, but I don't mean to steal and permutate (is that a word) a line from The Stranger, so I will continue. I didn't really know my aunt Lee, having probably last seen her when I was 7 or 8. She was my Uncle Dick's wife of many years, my uncle being my father's older brother. I have a very small family, and the thing to do here is to send a sympathy card to my uncle, correct?

I begin this task late on a Sunday evening, in time to place the card, which will be of course difficult to write, into Monday's outgoing mail. I retrieved my card stash out of the credenza, and here's what I found.

1) I found a sympathy card. It was addressed to me, though, so it wasn't quite what I needed or expected.
2) Enough Christmas cards to last me until 2007. I have them from the American Heart Association. More from the Humane Society. Some purchased Shoebox cards.
3) A postcard of a family of five on pogo sticks (each on an individual stick). Why?!?
4) Two orangish grey kittens on cards that say "Thank You."
5) Cards depicting Native Americans with horses. Where did I get these and why?
6) A St. Patrick's Day card (with tacky green envelope) that says "On Reilly, McManus, Male and O'Malley" and depicts reindeer pulling leprachaun Santa and a pot of gold.
7) Finally, a card that says "With Heartfelt Sympathy" and a gentle message.

Just what is our culture's obssession with greeting and other cards? I suppose it's not really proper to call a sympathy card a "greeting" card. I'm not really big on them, but for a person who professes that, I sure do store my share of them for several occasions.

Now, I just need to decide who gets the pogo stick postcard. And find the right words for both.

hln