Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yankees go healthy in clubhouse

So it has come to this in New York: You can't get a Baby Ruth in the clubhouse that was home to Babe Ruth. New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has banned candy and ice cream in an effort to create a more healthy diet.

This is just too funny. No more candy bars or ice cream for the baseball players in their clubhouse. And it's not just the home team, it's the visitors too that will be doing without. They get to munch on nuts, dried fruit, and granola.
Yeah, nothing like dried fruit and a handful of nuts when you need some extra energy going into that seventh inning stretch.
Yankees players, meanwhile, were seen smuggling banned items (candy bars, not steroids) into the clubhouse. It all leads to one important question: If the Yankees announce the hiring of Craig, will it be Roger or Jenny?

Heaven forbid they hire Jenny Craig to help their players have a healthy diet....roflol. If they do that, it won't matter how much money they spend on fantastic players, those poor players won't have the energy to lose a game, let alone win one after dining on the fabulous cardboard cuisine of Jenny Craig.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Been a bad month

I haven't posted a lot this month, April hasn't been a good month for me for the last 36 years. My daughter's birthday was the 21st and it's one of the hardest days of my life, since I've never seen her. You would think that after all this time, I'd have learned how to deal with the loss, but I don't think giving a child up for adoption against your will is something you ever get over.
I have so much resentment against my mother over that, it's one of the reasons I refuse to have anything to do with her. The first thing she wanted to do when she found out I was pregnant (I was 17 the summer I got pregnant, before my senior year of high school) was make me have an abortion. She was madder than hell when her gynecologist told her I was too far along for that. So she searched around and found a Catholic home for unwed mothers and shipped me off there in January of my senior year (heaven forbid anyone should know her daughter was unmarried and pregnant in 1972). She didn't know that I had told my friends all about it (when she found out it wasn't the big secret she wanted it to be, she blamed it all on my dad's sister-in-law, who didn't have anything to do with telling anyone anything). My dear mother also didn't bother to tell me that my aunt and uncle had volunteered to take me in and help me with the baby when it came. All I heard was "how could you do this to me" and "if I had known you were going to be out screwing around, I'd have put you on the pill", this in spite of her accusations that I was out fucking every guy I ever looked at from the time I hit 14 (and I was a virgin until I was 17, but she'd never believe that). Then, after she shipped me off to the home, she didn't tell anyone in the family where I was, other than my dad's mother (who must have been in agreement with her, since she didn't bother to tell anyone else in the family where I was). My mother also told me that my dad said if I didn't give up my baby, I couldn't come home (I don't know if this was true or not, I've never had the nerve to ask him, but I kinda doubt it. My mother is the one who runs the family, dad is one of those "don't rock the boat" people, my mother, if she doesn't get her way, will not only rock the boat, she'll fucking sink it). The guy who got me pregnant had gone back to Memphis with his family, but came back to town for a visit, found out I was pregnant with his kid, and went to find me. My mother refused to tell him where I was, and no one else knew, so he went back to Memphis and I didn't see him again for another 4 or 5 years, and by then, it was too late to do anything. All I know about the family who adopted her is what Lutheran Social Services told me, which was that they couldn't have kids and had already adopted a boy, and wanted a daughter. I don't know if she knows she was adopted, or if she's tried to find me or her dad (hell, I don't even know if they put his name on her birth certificate with mine). About five years ago, I signed up online with an organization in Arizona that helps adopted children and birth parents reconnect, but I haven't heard anything from them or anyone else.
My mother considers her first grandchild to be my brother's daughter, who is 2 years younger than my daughter. I told my sister-in-law one time that I would love to see the look on my mother's face if my daughter ever came looking for me (since she'd probably go to their house, it was my address when she was born). Evidently she told my mother I was looking for my daughter (I wasn't, at the time) because my mother called me up and read me the riot act, said it was over and done with, that she wasn't my daughter anymore, I had given her away, blah blah blah (I think it really pissed her off when I got pregnant with my son 3 years later and refused to give him up like she wanted me to). But I wasn't living at home then, I'd been on my own for 3 years (because she dumped me in Spokane with her little brother when we went on vacation the summer after I graduated from high school, the August after my daughter was born). I didn't even tell her I was pregnant until the month before my son was born, and if they hadn't been coming to Washington on vacation and expecting to see me, I wouldn't have told her at all. When I did tell her, she expected me to give up my son too, and I told her "I don't live with you anymore, you can't tell me what to do with my life, and no, I'm not giving him up." I really don't know if that was the best decision I could have made, for my son, at least. I know that he was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and in spite of me not knowing the first thing in hell about being a good parent (I tried not to be an abusive bitch like my mother, but I wasn't always successful), he turned out to be a damned good man (in spite of me, because of me, I don't know).
I sometimes wonder how my life would have been different if I had been able to go and stay with my aunt and uncle and keep my daughter, but at the same time, I'm glad I have my son in my life (and I probably wouldn't have had him if I had kept my daughter).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Fat or Phat on Sucka Free Dating

This sounds like something interesting.
The cultural and racial perceptions of body image and weight, and how such perceptions translate into romantic desirability for single men and women will be the focus of Sucka Free Dating – The Smart Relationship Talk Show ( with host Deborrah Cooper on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. Pacific.

The live, call-in show will feature two guests active in the body acceptance movement; Dr. Lisa A. Breisch is a Licensed Clinical Psychotherapist who specializes in working with plus-size individuals. Breisch also owns Club Round, which sponsors activities such as speed dating nights for plus-size teens and adults and their admirers. Laurie Toby Edison is an internationally exhibited photographer "Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes" and body image activist, who blogs at Body Impolitic (

I wonder if calls will be screened, and how many trolls there will be that get through? I really hate to think that would happen, but any time fat is mentioned, trolls delight in making their bias/hatred/phobia known.
But anyway, a shout out for Laurie Toby Edison and congrats on appearing on this show :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Drug companies to reveal grant practices

This is good news, sorta kinda.
For years, the nation's largest drug and medical device manufacturers have courted doctors with consulting fees, free trips to exotic locales and sponsoring the educational conferences that physicians attend.
Those financial ties in most cases need not be disclosed and can lead to arrangements that some say improperly influence medical care.

Gee, ya think? Could that possibly be how WLS and lap-band and all the useless weight loss drugs got their start?
Now, under the threat of regulation from Congress, the two industries are promising to be more forthcoming about their spending. A dozen of the nation's leading drug and device makers have told Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that they have plans or are working on plans to publicly disclose grants to outside groups. The details will be provided on each company's Web sites.

Yeah, right. I'll believe it when I see it (and how much do you want to bet they pick and choose what will be reported?). "We gave this much money to these doctors/hospitals (but we aren't going to tell you it was to promote this drug or this procedure, nopenopenope)."
Watchdog groups say the companies are trying to derail legislation that would require public disclosure of their giving.
"If they were doing this out of the goodness of their heart, they would have done so decades ago," said Dr. Peter Lurie of the consumer group Public Citizen.

Of course they want to derail legislation requiring public disclosure of their giving. If they do it of their own free will, they have control of what they're releasing. If it's legislated, the law has control of what information they have to release. What do you want to bet they'll get this tabled by going for voluntary public disclosure?
If all of the companies follow through with their commitments to Grassley, there also would be widespread disclosure of how much money they give patient advocacy groups. The groups rely on industry for much of their financing. For example, the American Heart Association said donations from the pharmaceutical and device industry make up about 6 percent of its annual income, and totaled $48.3 million in the organization's latest fiscal year.
"Donations from corporations, including the pharmaceutical and device industry, allow us to further enhance our programs and outreach, and to bring objective science and the highest quality of public education and information to more people," said Maggie Francis, the association's communications manager.

Objective science? Highest quality of public education and information? What fucking planet is she living on? There's nothing objective about the science when pharmaceutical companies start research on a drug and change the endpoints because the first glimmerings of results aren't panning out the way big pharma thought they would and won't help them get this new drug on the market so they can make a ton of money off scaring us (Alli, anyone? Xenical? How about Vytorin?).
The disclosure of medical education grants is an extension of that concept. Last year, the staff for the Senate Finance Committee issued a report that said the drug industry may be using the "medical education industry to deliver favorable messages about off-label uses that the drug companies cannot legally deliver on their own."
The committee report noted that Warner-Lambert, now owned by Pfizer Inc., paid $430 million to settle claims that medical conferences it sponsored were used to illegally promote off-label uses of the anti-seizure drug Neurontin. Serono-Laboratories paid $704 million to settle a similar claim concerning the AIDS drug Serostim.

Does this really surprise anyone? Do pharmaceutical companies really care if they're cited and fined? They've already made billions of dollars, so what's a few million in fines? Part of the cost of doing business, in their books, I imagine. Certainly not enough to keep them from doing it again, and again, and again. As long as the fines and/or consequences don't amount to more than a slap on the wrist and a "No, no, you mustn't do this again", they will keep on with their propaganda machine and we, the consumers, will suffer the consequences of poor drug choices/medical decisions foisted on us by the doctors in the pay of pharmaceutical companies.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New plus-size catalog (to me, anyway)

WillowRidgeCatalog arrived in my mailbox today with the latest LB catalog. Now, there isn't anything in there that will fit me since sizes end at 28W or 3X (well, knit pants in 28 will fit me, if they're talls), but the prices seem to be pretty good, comparable to LB and Woman Within. The styles also seem to be fairly cute, depending on your taste and age. I don't have a clue about the quality of their clothing, never having ordered from them (hell, until I got the catalog today, I hadn't even heard of them).
This dress is really cute, goes to a 3X and is $60. If I was into dresses, I might actually consider this one (if it came in my size). This dress is also cute, and comes in 3 different prints. It also goes up to a 3X and is $60. Not bad for a dress, I suppose (what do I know, I don't wear dresses, ever).
So, for those of you looking for another place for cute clothes, if you haven't already found this place, it might be worth checking out (personally, I like quite a few of the tops they have, but none of them come in my size, so I'm SOL).
The only gripe I have is that they use thin models, but since their sizing starts at a 4 (6 on some items), I can sorta kinda maybe see their point (doesn't mean I have to like it, though).

Monday, April 7, 2008

Annie's Mailbox used my letter!!!!

Maybelline is me. I wrote to reply to a letter from a man who was complaining about women not being honest about their weight in personal ads. I really didn't think my letter would get published, but it did. And their comment after my letter is pretty damned good too:
Dear Maybelline: We hear you. And anyone who posts cruel comments about an online photo has the personality of a snake and isn't worth the time they take to read.

I must admit, they cleaned up my language a bit (took out 'ass' and used 'behind' and 'rear end' instead).
Hooray for Annie's Mailbox!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

2 good movies to watch

Snow Buddies and Alvin & the Chipmunks are 2 new movies DH and I just bought. We watched them both today and they were definitely worth the money. I liked the sled dog movie the best, I'm not much on remixed Chipmunks songs. But even so, Alvin was good.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

MN bill HF 3438/SF3138

From Sandy, at JFS:
The Minnesota Senate took the first of two votes today on SF 3138, which would require the State government to get the informed consent of parents before warehousing and using their baby’s DNA, and to destroy the blood and DNA illegally collected on newborns for ten years by the Health Department. [Original story here.] According to Twila Brase, RN, President of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, the Senate voted against the legislation in a 22-35 vote. She reports:The Senate just voted to strip citizens of parent rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights. They voted to make every citizen a research subject of the State government, starting at birth. They voted to let the government create genetic profiles of every citizen without their consent.

Every newborn baby will have their DNA taken at birth, warehoused in a State genomic biobank, and given away to genetic researchers without parent consent—or in adulthood, without the individual's consent. Already, the health department reports that 42,210 children have been subjected to genetic research without their consent.

The MN state senator representing me voted against this bill. I emailed him to let him know how disappointed I was and that he wouldn't have my vote when it was time for him to be re-elected.
I then emailed my state representative, Bud Heidgerken, and asked him to vote for this bill, not against it. I asked him if he really wanted his children's and grandchildren's DNA used for genetic profiling that could possibly keep them from getting jobs/insurance.
Today, I got a personal, hand-written note, in the mail, from him. He said he was with me on this one, but I should also write the governor, as he might not be with us (so I will be emailing Governor Pawlenty also about this one). Rep. Keidgerken says he generally always votes against more government, and that this is another attempt for the government to delve into our personal-private lives and those of our children. He thanked me for caring and keeping him informed. This a man who has my vote next election, I don't give a rat's ass if he's Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independent. He's representing me and my beliefs and took the time to write a personal response to an email. We need more legislators like that.

ETA: My state senator voted against this bill, so I won't be voting for him when the time comes. The bill did pass the MN Senate, 46 to 19. Now we're waiting on the House to pass it and Pawlenty to sign it (I'm emailing him to recommend that he sign this bill into law).

Friday, April 4, 2008

Diversity growing

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Yahoo is my home page, and this is one of the featured articles today. Not only is it carried there, it's in People magazine, and he was on Oprah yesterday.
I'll admit that I don't know much of anything about being transgendered, or sex change operations, although I've been sorta kinda maybe curious as to the mechanics of it all, but not curious enough to do a ton of research.
From what I've read, Thomas Beatie was born a woman, but decided to become a man 10 years ago. He's been married to his wife for 5 years, and this is a decision they made together.
You can read more here.
I'm not sure what all of the ramifications of this are, as far as what it means for other people. What I worry about is how other people are going to treat Mr. Beatie and his wife, and their daughter as she gets older (he's 6 months pregnant, and according to his doctor, it's a normal pregnancy). I didn't see Oprah yesterday (I don't watch her show anymore, haven't for years since she got on the thin-is-in bandwagon) so I don't know what her treatment of this whole situation was. Did she treat it with respect and decency or was it a circus freak show? Or something somewhere in between?
If you had to go public with something like this, who would you trust to handle it with dignity and respect? I'm not so sure I would trust any media outlet to not turn it into a sideshow. And there's no doubt that you would have to go public with it sooner or later, because someone who knows you and knows the situation is going to open their mouth to the wrong person and pretty soon the whole world is going to know and be knocking on your door with a million nosy questions (because the "publik has a right to know").

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fat kids get fewer cavities

This is another "obesity paradox" that has doctors totally confused.
Fat kids have fewer cavities and healthier teeth than their thinner peers. Doctors don't understand how this can be happening, because "everyone knows" that fat kids are stuffing themselves with candy and all kinds of sugary snacks all the time (and of course, no thin kids do anything like that).
Children ages 6-18 who were considered overweight or at risk for becoming overweight showed a decreased risk of tooth decay compared to their normal-weight peers.

So what explanation are they grabbing at to explain this paradox?
"Our findings raise more questions than answers," Kopycka-Kedzierawski said. "For example, are overweight children eating foods higher in fat rather than cavity-causing sugars? Are their diets similar to normal weight peers but [perhaps they] lead more sedentary lifestyles? Research to analyze both diet and lifestyle is needed to better understand the results."

Hey, doctors, could it possibly be that fat kids are genetically predisposed to having better teeth, just like they're genetically predisposed to being fat, despite what they eat and how much they do/don't exercise? Could it possibly be that thinner kids are genetically predisposed to having bad teeth, just like they're genetically predisposed to be thin? Or, could it be that this is just another one of those things that you're going to have to scratch your heads over and never know the answer to, just like all the other obesity paradoxes out there. Not everything can be scientifically explained because no one has all the knowledge there is, and there is still so much that isn't known about how our bodies really work. You have a few glimmerings of comprehension, but the more you learn, you find out just how little you really know (at least, if you're smart you realize that).
Maybe it's because the parents of fat kids make them brush and floss more often than the parents of thin kids. Maybe the fat kids drink more fluoridated water (from the tap) and thin kids drink non-fluoridated bottled water (I don't know, is bottled water fluoridated?).
Are you so puzzled by this because it gives you one less reason to bully fat kids into losing weight? OMG, TEH FAT KIDZ aren't going to end up toothless before they die of TEHFATZ!!!
I see this as one more thing that shows being fat is not a bad thing. So let's see now....fat kids have fewer cavities, fat older adults are more likely to survive catastrophic illnesses, fat and fit adults are likely to live longer than their underweight/thinner and sedentary peers, and even the very fat don't die any sooner than so-called "normal" weight people. These things just have to be mortally chapping your asses, since you're all so invested in pushing the OMG OBESITY EPI-PANIC that is supposedly killing all us fatties at younger and younger ages (chaps your ass that we aren't dying off fast enough to keep from breeding more of us, isn't it?).
These supposed paradoxes, if they ever get to be wide-spread and well-known, are going to cut into your profit margins, big time, aren't they? If people ever figure out, like those of us in the FAM have, that diets/drugs/surgeries to get thin aren't necessary in order to live a satisfactory, fulfilling, happy life, y'all are going to be seriously out of business (and it can't happen too damned fucking soon for me).
Thanks to Rachel and her hubby for the link to the article : )

Early Friday Fluff

You can ignore the "quick send this on" message at the bottom. I got this in an email from my aunt (who is 75) and had to share.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Americans living longer, enjoying greater health

This, in spite of the obesity epi-panic, we're living longer, healthier lives. Well, except for that obesity thing.

Average life expectancy continues to increase, and today’s older Americans enjoy better health and financial security than any previous generation.However, rates of gain are inconsistent between the genders and across age brackets, income levels and racial and ethnic groups. Some critical disparities also exist between older Americans and older people in other industrialized countries. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.

“The ‘greatest generation’ made enormous gains in health and financial security, although the gains were not shared equally,” says Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral and Social Research Program at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health. “We’ll be tracking their children, those just reaching their 60s, to see whether those gains can be sustained or even improved.” Suzman cautions that there could be problems, however. For example, he notes that increased rates of obesity among today’s middle-aged could threaten the health of these adults as they age.
“The sheer size of the baby boom cohorts is certain to affect our health, long-term care and pension systems,” says Benjamin E. Sasse, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services. “As we look ahead, it is imperative that we collect and analyze quality data to help policymakers plan for the future of these programs so important to aging Americans.”

In spite of all the studies that show being fat, as you age, can help you survive some catastrophic illnesses, fat threatens your health. Tell that to my grandmother who was moderately fat and survived lung cancer (with one lung), a couple of strokes, and lived to the age of 86. Tell that to my grandfather who was moderately fat and survived heart problems and cancer and lived to the age of 90. Tell that to my other grandmother who was fat and survived hypertension and heart problems and lived to be 85. They were all born around 1900-1910 and didn't have the benefit, when they were young, of all we've learned in the last 50 years (all 3 of them have been dead for at least 15 years).
Health Status - Americans’ longevity continues to increase, although life expectancy at age 65 in the United States is lower than that of other industrialized countries. While older people experience a variety of chronic health conditions that often accompany aging, the rate of functional limitations among people age 65 and older has declined in recent years.

The percentage of people age 65 and older who are obese, as with other age groups, increased between 1988-1994 and 2007-2007, from 22 percent to 31 percent. However, over the past several years, the trend appears to have leveled off.

I think there's a misprint here, the 2007-2007 should probably be 2000-2007, which makes the increase in obesity correspond to the decrease, in 1998, in BMI standards for overweight and obesity. It bears repeating, and repeating, that when standards are lowered arbitrarily, of course the number of people exceeding that lowered standard is going to increase, without those people having done a damned thing other than exist.
Health Care - Health care costs, particularly for prescription drugs, have risen dramatically for older Americans.

* Between 1992 and 2004, average inflation-adjusted health care costs for older Americans increased from $8,644 to $13,052. Costs varied by race and ethnic group, income and health status.

* In 2004, as in the previous 4 years, over half of out-of-pocket health care spending (excluding health insurance premiums) by community-dwelling older people was for purchase of prescription drugs. By 2004, prescription medications accounted for 61 percent of these out-of-pocket expenses. Out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs are expected to decline because of the savings available through the Medicare prescription drug program.

* The implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefits is included in the Indicators volume for the first time. From June 2007 through September 2007, the number of beneficiaries age 65 or older enrolled in the program increased from 18.2 million to 19.7 million, with two-thirds selecting stand-alone plans and one-third in Medicare Advantage plans.

Does anyone see the relationship between the rise in cost of drugs for older Americans and the pharmaceutical companies coming out with new drugs/combination drugs that don't work any better or even as well as older drugs (Vytorin, anyone)?
I'm all for innovation and new drugs, if they are more effective than older drugs. But to put a new drug out there that doesn't work any better (and may be even less effective or have worse side effects than current drugs) just because that older drug is going generic and you're going to be making less money off it, is money-grubbing corporate greed. It's expensive to develop new drugs, I understand that. Research and testing aren't cheap, but when their trials tell them early on that a drug isn't going to be any better than what's already on the market (and they know what most of the side effects are for that one), why the hell do they have to keep pushing to develop that drug that isn't going to work any better, may not work as well, and may have worse side effects? Is big pharma so lacking for profits that they can afford to overlook health outcomes for the people who will take those new drugs just because big pharma can afford to propagandize the hell out of the drug and doctors don't have the time or inclination to read up on it to see if it really will help their patients better than existing drugs?
My take on all of this:
In spite of the fact that fat people aren't dying off in droves at younger and younger ages, they're still pushing the fact that obesity has increased since 1997 (gee, could it be that the standards for obesity were lowered in 1998 that is driving this humongous increase in fatness?) and that it's eventually going to lower our life expectancy (even though that isn't happening yet, and probably won't). Because we aren't #1 in life expectancy in the world anymore, it has to be caused by something, and fat is a good scapegoat, even though we're not dying off at younger and younger ages (in fact, life expectancy is increasing). Why are other countries ahead of us now in life expectancy? Could it be that they have finally reached (or surpassed) us in monetary wealth and all the benefits that brings? Could it be that they have caught up with us (and in some cases, passed us) in the quality of their health care? Could it be that more countries are now enjoying the same (or better) standard of living that we have had for so many years? Do we really begrudge them that higher standard of living?
I don't know what the reasons are for life expectancy in the US not being the highest in the world, and I don't think it really matters. I don't want to live forever, life isn't a race to see who lives the longest and dies with the most toys and best looking body. Life is a journey to be traveled, enjoyed, and lived as best you can with what you've been given (and it's up to you to decide what that "best" is, not some government entity that thinks Big Brother knows best). For me, I plan on living my life hard, fast, and filled with fun and love. If that means going to my grave fat and looking like something the cat dragged in, so be it. At least I will have lived!
I think the medical establishment, in general, has gone way overboard with their desire to stamp out all disease. I don't think it's possible to eradicate from the face of the earth every disease known to mankind. Mother Nature is one smart old gal, and as soon as you get rid of one, there's a mutation of it or a new disease is discovered to replace it. By insisting that everyone has to enjoy optimum health at all stages of their lives (and the standards for that optimum are being lowered all the time, now we have to be as healthy and fit as a 20 year old man at his best), they are setting us up for failure. I'm sorry, when I was 20, I was fit and in the best shape of my life. But everyone ages, and as I've aged, everything that I've gone through in my life has contributed to the changes in my body. Like death and taxes, it's inevitable. You can't stop change (it's the only thing that stays the same), change is what makes life interesting and worth living. By insisting that everyone must live up to this ideal of health and beauty, you advocate getting rid of diversity. It's diversity that creates the great moments of life, the great books, movies, inventions, innovations, artistic creations that enrich our lives and make them worth living. Do we really want to live without all the contributions every person can make? Do we want to live without the inventions and innovations that can be discovered/created by thin/fat/in-between people? Because it's not just the thin people that are smart and creative and innovative, it's also the fat people, and the not-so-fat people, and the thin people, and the not-so-thin people, and all the people at all their sizes/shapes/colors/sexes/religions/beliefs/etc/etc that make this world such an interesting place to live.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Let's Have a Bowl-Off

This shows Hillary Rodham Clinton does have a sense of humor. I must say that her analogy tickled my funny bone.
Bowling to see who gets to run on the Democratic ticket for President. Might be more interesting than listening to the news and political speeches.