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Archive for February, 2010

You don't LOOK like a cookie...and you certainly don't TASTE like a cookie.

One of my rewards for working so hard on this dissertation is that, I treat myself daily to a deliciously buttery shortbread cookie (or well, as many as I can sneak without people looking at me with eyes of judgment).  I am conscious of the “outsider’s” view on American eating habits, and, as it is very clear and evident, from my bubbly ‘tude, that I am from the country of “can you supersize that!?”…I try to be a vision of a changing America.  Keeping up this vision requires me to make many “H2O” trips to the parlor room of heaven where, on the table on the far right wall, my cookies rest, awaiting my selection.  Obviously, these trips to “quench my thirst” solely exist so that I can examine the on-lookers to see if any of them have already seen me sneak a cookie; if the coast is clear, I look at the table, like I’m contemplating whether or not I should eat such a “despicable” treat, and then finally snatch the biggest one as if I were reluctant in the first place, and take it away seeming that I will only eat a bite, and find solitude in my little corner where I quickly demolish the whole thing in one damn bite. (This charade continues until they take the plate of cookies away at 5pm, and let me put it to you this way…on some days, I drink a whole heck of a lot of water.  On a good day, I leave with a stomachache, which forces me to look demeaningly at my actions and inner self.)

So, today, like any other day, 1pm roles around (I’d been watching my computer clock eagerly since 12:48).  I get up from my chair, brush away my PB&J crumbs, and excitedly trot to the parlor to snatch me some naughty treats.  Imagine my surprise, when I find a basket of FRUIT sitting where my shortbread is supposed to be!  Fruit isn’t supposed to be out until 3pm!  From 1pm to 3pm I am entitled to NOT feel guilty about choosing a cookie over a pear!  I have the delivery of all food timed out perfectly, so that my self-confidence doesn’t take a blow (and I don’t feel the hours I’ve spent reading “eat this, not that” have been wasted).  I sit down on the couch nearest to the sweets table, that has turned into the “you’re chubby eat a banana” table and patiently wait until the waiter realizes he’s made a hideous mistake and switches the basket for the porcelain plate of cookies.  Said event – Does.Not.Happen!  I am forced to take a despicable green apple, because even though I don’t want it…I’m starving because today I have only eaten:  a bowl of oatmeal, progressive soup, 2 PB&J sandwiches and half of last night’s pasta dish.  BLASFEMY!

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Whyyy do I do this to myself??? A reccuring question

Three weeks ago I finished, and turned in the first draft of my literature review, a task I have been dreading for months.  Since November 2007 I have been reading, charting, and taking notes on hundreds upon hundreds of articles that I’ve dug up from endless internet databases and libraries in TWO different continents.  Needless to say, I’ve had enough with reading.  In fact, so much so, that I wanted to take a few days to leisurely read but found myself interested in anything BUT reading (unless said reading material had a glossy cover featuring a perfectly coiffed Hollywood starlet promising to spill her diet secrets).

I must admit, even though my first (err actually second) attempt at a lit. review is now complete, I am dreading the countless edits I must make before the end of this school year.  In May I have to present my literature findings, as well as a research plan, to a room full of people ready to attack my hard-work; hard-work that is covered with blood (literally!  from the time my sink broke and crashed onto my foot, sending me to a British hospital), sweat, eau de parfum (to cover the sweat), and tears (which all of you should know…fall quite regularly).  Not usually one to shiver at presenting in front of groups of people (as urged by my mother, I’ve been doing this since I was 7 and have come quite fond of hearing myself speak, and, lets face it, being the center of attention), I am unexplainably nervous about my presentation.  So nervous, that my mother, and potentially my husband, will be flying across the Atlantic to be by my side.

And, because I’ve not yet made myself nervous enough, I VOLUNTEERED to do a preliminary presentation in 2 weeks in front of my peers.

Please wish me luck…not so much for the presentation in 2 weeks time, but for my presentation in May.  No worries, I will update you on my progress as well as whether or not my Prada pumps kept me on my feet and not on my face.  Eeek!

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Airlines say what?!

Kevin Smith

Let’s face it – Americans are continually getting bigger and bigger, an issue that is typically dealt with in the health care and food sectors.  However, we now see this issue being addressed by the airline industry after a very public situation with Southwest Airlines and director Kevin Smith, who was asked to get off his flight before departure as he was deemed a “safety hazard”.  Smith’s size was the catalyst, but he was buckled with the armrest down like his fellow passengers.  So, what is it that we need to regulate?  Should we regulate?  Should the airlines begin making changes to accommodate the growing size of American behinds?  All of these are questions that will need to be addressed in the near future.  We’ve seen airlines begin charging for checked baggage, stop serving peanuts, and charging for blankets, all in an effort to save money and make money.  So, can airlines even afford to make the appropriate changes?  And, to boot, isn’t this a relatively sensitive issue?  Can we expect that it will be addressed in an equally sensitive manner?  Because, lets face it, American sensitivity is growing equally with the size of our behinds.

On a side note, we can thank the power of Twitter for bringing light to this issue.  Kevin Smith immediately took to Twitter to tweet about what had just happened stating “I know I’m fat but not that fat”.

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Aging Gracefully

While the Superbowl half-time show featured a 60’s rock band of middle-aged guys, it seems amusing to me that main target of the Superbowl ads targeted a demographic of 20-35 year olds, while ignoring and insulting the older generations.  Most commercials featured twentysomethings lusting after beer and women, while the over 50 crowd was respresented by Betty White and Abe Vigoda (both over 80).  Now, since I clearly don’t fall within the “over 50” demographic, I’m not too affected, but seeing that those within this group have 2.5 times the discretionary buying power, and while only making up 30% of the nation, they purchase 60% of all packaged goods.  It seems that a significant marketing opportunity was missed.

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