Thursday, July 30, 2009

Organic vs. Conventional

This was on yahoo today. In a nutshell, it says that organic is not nutritionally healthier for you than non-organic foods.

Well, duh.

I mean, I know of a lot of people believe that organic tastes better, there are more nutrients, etc etc etc. I never really bought into that, mainly because I couldn't see how they could be any different nutritionally. I mean, a pepper is a pepper.

For me, organic is important because of what they add to conventional produce. Pesticides and other -icides left and right, chemicals to make it grow, to change its growth patterns, genetically alter them to do this or that. I don't want to put that stuff in my body. I think, unlike the pepper it's on, they do not do a body good.

Believe me when I say if I could get conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that weren't covered with toxic materials or genetically modified, I would.

After all, a pepper is a pepper.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gak!

I'm freaking out a little bit here. Really need my confidence to come back to where it was when I started this whole crazy freakin' idea.

It will all work out.

It will all work out.

It will all work out.

Gah!!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

On Religion.

Okay, so you're probably thinking oh crap. Don't worry, it's not going to be that kind of post, I promise!

So anyway, this afternoon as I was cooking dinner I had PBS on.  They happened to be rebroadcasting part of their documentary on Mormonism. I'd seen it once before, mainly because being the curious gal I am I simply wanted to know more. I mean, all I knew about the religion I learned from South Park. Now, I know better than to believe everything I hear from cartoon characters, but I also know South Park well enough to figure that there was at least a basic grain of truth to the inanity. So, I watched in order to learn about a culture I knew nothing about.

Anyway, fast forward to today where I had it tuned into the same documentary. As I was sitting there, eating a yummy vegan chickpea and spinach curry, I listened to the people they interviewed speaking about the surety of seeing their loved ones again in Heaven. I mean, they were positive, beyond a shadow of a doubt, and their faith in this knowledge was unshakable. They kept saying how comforting it was to have this knowledge.

How lucky they are to have that unshakable faith. I think I had that once, but it's long gone. I can't say without a doubt that I'll see my loved ones again in the next life. I don't necessarily believe there is one. But oh how lovely the idea of it is! Sometimes it makes me jealous that I can't just hang on to those kind of beliefs as others do.

I know, I know... this is round about the time when some people would say "open your heart to Jesus, and He'll show you the way!" If that's what you did, and it worked for you, then I am happy you found your Path. Jesus had my heart the first 18 years of my life. Guess what? It didn't take. I mean, I'm sure he's a great guy and he had some really good ideas, but he's just not my flavor. The problem is, whenever organized religions come into play, my seldom-used sense of logic and reason rears its ugly head and I can do no more than think "pretty poetry."

As much I believe in such woo-woo things as ghosts and reincarnation (ask my about my past life where I drowned some time), I fear that this is it. We've just got what we're given and that's the end of that. When you're gone, you're gone. Their is no God/dess/Infinite/Deities and we're all just kidding ourselves that our existence is anything more than a cosmic accident.

When faced with that kind of thinking, I can see why people would rather believe in Heaven.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Score!

Last night, I got the letter. I am officially accepted into the massage training program. Woo hoo!!!

Classes start September 15th. It's a 2-semester, 650-hour training course. It's a little more expensive than some other programs around here, but I'm going to get a good training, and when I'm done I'll be able to sit for the National Certification. Vermont doesn't actually require it, but it just makes sense to do it. It will look better for future employment options if I have the certification.

So, over the next couple months, I'm going to have to get ready for this; stocking up on organic food I might not otherwise be able to afford; get a year's subscription of contacts while I still have money; and moreover, figure out a way to pay for all of this!

Oh, my gawd. I am so excited. Scared beyond all measure, but excited too! This is the change I needed. I didn't realize how much I had riding on this until I received the acceptance letter. It was like this great weight has been lifted off of me.

Squeeee!!!! :-D

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Retraining Myself.

So, if all goes according to my plan (and we all know the world revolves around me), starting in September I will be returning to school. Of course, this isn't a done deal yet. I mean, I still have to actually be accepted. But since the odds are really low I won't be, I'm progressing as if I were.

So, while I am still on a full-time salary, I'm making plans to stock up on staples in bulk while I can afford to do so. I'm making a Costco run after work today in order to get the ball rolling. I will probably have to do another run or two before September, but the goal is to have a pantry stocked full of organic canned tomatoes, pasta sauce, pasta, lentils, beans, rice and soups. Some of these I'll buy in bulk at my local health food store, but the canned stuff I'll get at Costco, just because it's cheaper there.

I spend a lot of money on food every month; way more than one person should. It's been a luxury for me to just fill up my basket with organic, local when possible veggies and goodies without a thought to cost. This is all coming to a screeching hault and I will admit I am really freaking nervous about it. I haven't had to watch my food budget since my early 20's.

I'm not afraid of making my own food; I know I can and I know it will be much cheaper. But I love my fresh veggies, and I'm not sure I'll be able to afford them come September. We shall have to see, I suppose. I'm really kicking myself for not signing up for a CSA earlier this year. That would have taken a large load off, because whatever I couldn't eat I could have frozen.

I am going to go berry-picking sometime this summer as well, I think. It will be a good way to have some berries on hand over the winter. I won't have to worry about where they came from or the cost.

My goal is to continue to eat as healthily as possible on the extreme cheap without giving up organic eating, which I believe to be very important. Not just for my health, but for the greater ecological good.

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random Thoughts, Friday Edition

1. Did you know there was a "I love poutine" fan page on Facebook? I puffy-heart poutine. As a vegetarian however, I must decline it. More's the pity for me. It is a heart-attack on a plate and tastes divine. As all heart attacks on plates do. Don't know what poutine is? Obviously you've never spent time in or near Quebec. Follow this link to find out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poutine

2. Following along the lines of massive coronaries, I have been eating like a little piggy this week. I know exactly why I've been craving carbs this week... see my post re: crying. I eat my stress. And it ends on Sunday. I'm back to eating whole, homemade foods low in junk and high in goodness. 

3. I'm marching in a parade tomorrow. Rain or shine. Odds are good that I will forget what choreography we have. This will also be televised on local stations, and rumor has it the (or a) French Ambassador will be in attendance. I'm freaking out, like, majorly. 

4. I am looking forward to going to the Farmer's Market tomorrow and stocking up on yummy fresh veggies.

5. I spoke with my mom this evening about VSAC and my upcoming financial situation. Before I was confident about stuff. Now I'm freaking out. For future reference to all those who might want to remind me about the risks and possible problems, please don't!!! I'm aware of them, believe me. But I do not want to focus on the negative. I want to put all my energy into what I need to happen. What will happen. Damn it. I need positivity, people!

6. Pimms and Lemonade... still good. Will you just try it already?

7. Do M*A*S*H re-runs ever get old? I didn't think so.

8. I need to water my plants more than once every month and a half.

9. I've spent way too much time giving someone the benefit of the doubt long after I should have written this person off. That's going to end immediately.

10. I sometimes wish I had a better relationship with food. I will spend the rest of my life monitoring it so I don't balloon back up. It will be a constant struggle. Sometimes I really envy those people who say "if I could live without eating I would" or "I eat to live, not live to eat." Then I remember how fabulous food is and how much I enjoy going to a great restaurant and eating amazing food. Then I realize how much those poor people are missing.

Food is good. :-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

There's No Crying in Baseball

I don't cry.

Well, that's not true of course; I cry. Everyone cries. But it takes a lot to get me going. Think of it as a combination of Yankee pride, a belief that grief is private and an general unwillingness to show perceived weakness. I seldom cry in private and I do not cry in public. Today I spoke to my mom and she said she didn't think she'd seem me cry since I was a baby. I just find other outlets for my pain and grief.

Which is what makes what happened today that much more meaningful: I was made to cry in a relatively public venue. I won't go into the details, but suffice it to say in was in a location where tears are generally not a welcome addition to the flow of the day.

I was made to feel my best was not enough, I was accused of something I didn't do, and it was done in a confrontational manner. There was no other side to the story (ie, mine), I was wrong, I was a Bad Girl and I deserved to confronted aggressively and made to acquiesce.

Bull. Shit.

I am still dealing with the repercussions of being treated in this manner. I feel rotten, pure and simple. I am doing my best to take care of myself right now, but I am finding it very difficult to pull myself out of this. 

There is a loss of trust now, a loss of respect. Nothing that follows will be able to make up for this. 

I can't believe they made me f*cking cry.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Put on the Big-Girl Panties Already.

When I was in fourth grade, I went to Hillside Elementary School. It was a nice enough school as far as schools go, but it was not within quick walking distance of my home. In terms of now, it would be a fairly easy walk for me. But at 10, it was a hike and along some busy streets with fast-moving traffic.

One day, my friend Naomi and her friend Robin decided to walk home from school. They each called their mom (or at least said they did; I wonder now) and got the okay. I called my mom and she was very adamant that I was not, under any circumstances, to join them. Today, I completely understand her position and frankly cannot believe Naomi's and Robin's moms let them do it either. 

Anyway, as I was coming out of the office all upset and angry because my mom said no, I said "I can't, my mom won't let me." Within five seconds they were halfway down the hall tossing a "see ya" over their shoulder. I think I actually said "but what about me?!" and one of them callously said something to the effect of "get on the bus."

I vividly remember standing in the middle of the hallway, watching them getting as far away from me as quickly as they could. I was shocked, I was hurt, and I can't remember feeling more abandoned or more wounded than I did at that moment. These were supposed to be my friends. They didn't even bother to say "that's too bad"; "that sucks"; or even "I'll see you later". All I saw was their backs as they left me hanging. 

This horrible feeling of having my friends abandon me has stayed with me to this day. One of the reasons I'm so incredibly anal about setting exact times and places to meet people for social events is because I've had too many occasions growing up where people would just change their minds and "forget" to tell me. I don't trust anyone to show up or do anything that they say they will.

These days, I can see the reality for what it is. My friends don't/wouldn't abandon me or callously leave me behind. I know that. My friends are real friends (unlike Naomi and Robin, who obviously weren't) and they would never do anything to intentionally hurt me.

But sometimes that inner 10 year old still feels horribly abandoned.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Another Round of Randomness

1. Tomorrow I have two friends coming up from NYC. It's going to be so much fun! I have some ideas of what we can do; most will be weather dependent. The weather forecast is calling for scattered thunderstorms, which means absolutely nothing. We could get rain. We could get sun. We could get clouds. It's a crapshoot, really. One thing is for certain, fireworks will be involved at some point.

2. I have my "admissions" interview tomorrow afternoon for the massage therapy training school. I put admissions in quotes because I think it's mostly a formality. They just want to make sure I'm not a perv or something. Which is fine. I want to know the same thing! Anyway, if all goes well I'll officially be starting training in September. Which will give me two months to figure out my finances and how I'm going to live on a severely reduced salary.

3. I went to the eye doctor today and she's trying out new contacts on me. I am not liking them so far. They feel like they're drying out on my eyes. Ick. And of course I don't have my glasses with me because the lenses are being updated with my new prescription. Contacts are insanely difficult to fit on me, because my eyeballs are apparently smaller than normal adult female eyeballs are supposed to be. Of course. I liked my old contacts. I wish they weren't discontinuing them.

4. I don't want to do what I am supposed to be doing right now. Obviously. I have been struggling as of late between what is being asked of me and what I am capable of. The two aren't necessarily lining up. I'm figuring it out; slowly. However when slowly isn't supposed to be an option people get their panties in a twist. No matter how frequently I say I am not equipped or trained to handle X, no one seems to listen. Or rather, they hear it but expect me to figure it out anyway. All I can say is if you aren't willing to pay for the service that you want, you have to be willing to live with the service you get. Which they aren't. So, I'm between a rock and a hard place. Such lovely scenery.

5. I haven't been to yoga in weeks. I miss it. I need to start doing it in the morning more often.

Better Kate Than Never

As you've probably noticed (all six of you), over the last few months my contribution to this blog has dwindled significantly. In trying...