Thursday, June 30, 2011

French Women Don't Get Fat

I was brought up to shift uncomfortably in the face of pleasure. There was no place in my parents' house for small, frequent doses of sensuality.

As a child I did not relish my food because I did not relish anything. I was trained to fixate on credit card debt, hated jobs, calories, clutter, splurges, regimens, money, gadgets, junk food, excess weight--not fresh flowers, dark chocolate, cotton sheets, a signature perfume, the flex of my leg muscles, a perfect tomato, a hot bath.

Over and over, I plonked myself down to watch Amelie .

I don't think I realized that at the root of her charmed life was a deep appreciation of everything under the sun I had been taught to ignore or abuse. I did realize that whatever it was that I craved, French women had it. It was all over the pages of Victoria magazine, a constant feature in cinema, and the main attraction of Peter Mayle's Provence books (which I got ahold of when I was nine or ten). I had a persistent feeling that the world could be cracked open like a coconut. If only I could act French enough to become French, I would be given the right hammer.

Now I am reading a book called French Women Don't Get Fat. It is a revelation. I do not need a hammer, after all.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's been a week of tears and squalor and unwashed hair

And suddenly this morning, my soul has returned to my body; both of us worse for wear. But somehow I am able to pick up the dirty clothes that start on the front doormat and extend all the way to the corner of the bedroom. I am able to put on the recording of Bach's Art of the Fugue. I am able to reply civilly if tersely to emails from work. I am able to eat pears and not cake for breakfast.

The windows have been pushed all the way open to admit the rain that has poured for 4 days. I am about to make the gritty bed and start on the dishes. I have finally stopped running away from home, and I will not go anywhere or see anyone today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

just call me Oprah

Today, being kind to myself means:

sleeping in, tuckered out from our ongoing Star Wars marathon.

transplanting the peace lily, the leeks, basil, and oregano, and watering the peppers and tomatoes as soon as I get up.


running for ten minutes straight, then stopping before my shin pain escalates. I am not up for another three months of hobbling.

packing lentil curry and grapes to eat at work.

doing the laundry before I run out of clothes entirely.

listening to Great Big Sea

Thursday, June 9, 2011

a summer list

Spurred on by Mme.'s recap, I have decided to share the list of summer goals I made at the end of April, as well as my reading list, with a progress update on each. Books first.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson finished
Freedom Evolves - Daniel Dennet finished
Skybreaker - Kenneth Oppel finished
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath finished
Godel, Escher, Bach - Douglas Hofstadter in progress
Godel's Proof - Nagel and Newman
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
Dr. Zhivago - Boris Pasternak
The Bit and the Pendulum - Tom Siegfried
Le Ton beau de Marot - Douglas Hofstadter
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
The Diary of Anne Frank
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Julie and Julia - Julie Powell finished
I Am A Strange Loop - Douglas Hofstadter
The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
Cleaving - Julie Powell finished
My Life in France - Julia Child finished

(As you can see, I've added to it. Now on to the goals.)

- sew something in progress (and pictures to come soon)
- fill three notebooks in progress
- publish something
- print Tom-Tom # 8
- lose 10 pounds in progress
- save 4000 dollars
- repay student loans in progress
- apply to the U of A
- inquire re: U of A honours program
- run an official race
- grow herbs and vegetables in progress
- visit Grandma
- visit Oma and Opa check!
- continue to grow out hair in progress
- bike to North Edmonton and back (~30 km) check!
- make and keep a dentist's appointment check!
- inquire re: braces check!
- plane, fill, and paint book cubes in progress (and pictures to come)
- knit sweater in progress (and pictures to come)


I promised 7 days of photos, didn't I?

Though I'm sure you're all sick of reading about every morsel I consume, I have been finding the photography (the preparation, the set-up, the slow-down, the attention, the detail, the accountability to the internet) helpful. A couple days of not-photographing my food convinced me. I'll post one more day of meals, then possibly just set up a second blog, where I can document the repetitive and mundane to my heart's content.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday eatables

Breakfast, 8:40 AM:

more bread and jam

Second Breakfast, 10:30 AM:

strawberry and fig smoothie

Third Breakfast, 12:10 PM:

moroccan mint tea

Lunch, 1:30 PM:

tuna melt without the melt
and with argula

Second Lunch, at work, 4:35 PM:


Supper, 6:00 PM:

aprikat squash soup

Dessert (not pictured), 8:20 PM

hot chocolate
and another nectarine

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Wednesday eatables

We are out of pears and need to buy vegetables and fruits in general...

Breakfast, 9:10 AM:

more bread
with cream cheese and marmalade
and peanut butter and honey
and rhubarb

Second Breakfast (not pictured), 11:30 AM:

a pear
london fog

Lunch, 2:30 PM under the extremely bright sun:

yogurt with rhubarb
roasted brussel sprouts
and a pear

Supper, 7:00 PM

rye toast
with apple brandy butter
smuggled home from work
green monster

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tuesday eatables

I should never start my day with cereal, continue it with bread, and finish it up with pita bread. Ugh.

On the up side, I finally kept a dentist appointment. A cleaning and check-up has been on my to-do list for almost exactly two years. Now,

out come four wisdom teeth,

in go two fillings,

and on go some braces.

My first major investment won't be a house, it seems, but a nice set of teeth.

Also, I have been doing a before-bed plank.

Today is a new day. I had bread for breakfast.(It's rye from the German bakery my mother worked at when she was fourteen. It's some of the best food in the world. But I will not eating it for lunch.) I have roasted brussel sprouts, fresh rhubarb (cooked with a little sugar, balsamic, and tapioca for silkiness), plain yogurt, and more pears for lunch at work. I'm going to leave right away, and take on a few extra hills on Annalena before I start my shift.

(It's only June 1, but I am already covered in sunburns, bug bites, and bruises. I look like I did the summer I was eight. And I am glad.)