Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This is War

Discovery Communications, the parent company of The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and others known for their wildlife-focused programs is planning to produce an 8-part TV show on Sarah Palin’s Alaska. She will be paid $1,000,000.00 per episode. This is wrong on so many levels that I struggle to comprehend how they have not managed to connect the dots.

Discovery regards Palin as "one of Alaska's proudest daughters." I think they mean "richest." Because she is famous, personable, attractive and comfortable before the cameras, they are somehow, inexplicably, missing the fact that she also escalated a bloody aerial wolf-slaughter campaign that continues to this day, and even planned to offer a $150 bounty for the severed forelimb of each brutally murdered wolf. She also fought against increased protections for endangered Cook Inlet Beluga whales and for America's dwindling populations of polar bears. Sarah Palin is America's most unrepentant destroyer of wildlife, and her policies while Governor of Alaska pillaged her state's immense natural beauty for fun and profit.

That money would be better used by organizations dedicated to the preservation of wildlife and wild places. Please sign Defenders of Wildlife's petition now, demanding that Discovery Communications reconsider this grave insult to all who depend on their shows to celebrate our natural heritage, not its destruction.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Further Proof that I'm an Underachiever


Donna Simpson of New Jersey announced that she intends to eat her way into the record books, and has already been offered a reality show and book deal. Maybe the rest of us have it all wrong, trying to attain and maintain a healthy weight and even passing up a second cupcake, no matter how yummy, now and then. Oprah, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight are vying madly for the rights to her story.

At present, she weighs a mere 604 pounds at 5'4", but she aims big. She means to top the scales at 1,000 pounds and has worked out a plan to accomplish it. The New York Post reported that she hopes to reach her goal in two years, eating 12,000 calories per day. That’s the rough equivalent of 11 Big Macs, six large orders of French fries, and 10 large sodas from McDonalds. A registered dietician who weighed in on the topic says that she will reach it in less than a year at the rate she is going. She needs 4,000 to 5,000 calories per day to maintain her weight, but if she boosts her intake to 12,500, a mere 7,500 more, she will gain about two pounds per day. Do the math. I did, and my calculator immediately died of congestive heart failure.

Ms. Simpson loves cake and doughnuts, but her favorite food is sushi -- she can eat 70 pieces in one sitting. She has petitioned the Guinness Book of World Records for the title of world’s heaviest mother, but Guinness has no such category. She gave birth to a daughter in 2007 when she weighed only 532 pounds, and required a team of 30 doctors to deliver the baby. It's unknown how the child's father navigated the appropriate channels to make conception possible.

She makes money posting scantily-clad pictures and videos on Supersizedbombshells.com, where people can pay to watch her eat. Under the alias Treasure Bombshell, she lists her hobbies as going to restaurants, talking with friends, watching videos, snuggling, being fed and traveling in cars. Not surprisingly, she also loves to receive gift certificates to restaurants.

Some of the health implications associated with her goal include serious cardiovascular risks, arthritic conditions resulting from pressure on her joints, irritated skin and of course, death. Her Body Mass Index, a statistical measure which compares a person’s weight and height, is 103.9, while a normal BMI is 19-24; someone classified as morbidly obese is 40.

At the very least, this woman's daily intake could feed a small Third World village. Whatever her personal pathology may be, there is something terribly obscene about one person eating that much food when much of the world is starving.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Saturday Night is Wasted on the Married


What I needed most in the world tonight was red grapefruit. I ate the only one in the refrigerator and craved more. I decided that my body was telling me something, so I walked around the corner to the neighborhood grocery. Flip came along to protect me, although I am far tougher than he is.

He tried to tell the store clerk that the girls outside the bar next door looked like hookers, but he couldn't remember the word. I'm not sure why he wanted to share this, but I reminded him that he came from a gentler era in which girls didn't look like hookers unless they were hookers. Everyone we passed was duded up and trailing perfume at near-toxic levels, wearing death-defying skimpy outfits despite the low temperature and a fierce wind off the Bay. I wore paint-streaked sweat pants, Ugg boots and a shape-hiding down jacket, topped by a bad haircut. If I were a hooker, I would starve.

Yesterday, I had my hair cut and I've been plotting a rematch ever since. I couldn't remember when my last one was so I consulted last year's calendar, which had many haircuts for Flip penned in but not a single one for me. I checked the entire year twice. Then I found my calendar from the year before and realized that my last one was in March of 2008. Exactly two years ago. I could probably lose my reputation as a high maintenance woman if I'm not careful.

The person I used to go to was a flake but he gave good haircut, and over several years he got to know my hair, which is finicky. Unfortunately, he disappeared into another dimension or maybe witness protection, leaving only a vague message on his cell phone. The new stylist gave Flip a good cut a month ago, so I thought I would try her. Now my hair looks like a bad Farrah Fawcett wig. With a little Minnie Mouse thrown in for good measure. It's a rotten way to be wounded.

I've been to doctor appointments in which medical interns doing a rotation in a particular specialty sat in. My hairdresser had her own intern, a facialist who wanted to learn about hair so she watched, owl-like, as my hair was washed, cut and flat-ironed. It reminded me of the actor's fourth wall, the space separating the audience from the action of a theatrical performance, traditionally conceived of as an imaginary wall completing the enclosure of the stage.

I do not possess the skills to flat-iron my hair, or even to style it with a dryer and brush. I haven't looked at the back of my head in years because I believe that what I don't know can't hurt me. As soon as I got outside in the rain, my naturally wavy hair reasserted itself and I realized that she flat-ironed it to delay my discovery that it bulges oddly with large clumps that seem to belong to some other haircut entirely.

Flip, however, was looking good when he escorted me to the store. Our hot Saturday night date netted several grapefruits and some red grapefruit juice, plus a dark chocolate bar with crystallized ginger. Between that, the strawberry-rhubarb pie I made yesterday and several boxes of Girl Scout cookies, our his 'n' hers diabetic comas are assured. If that's not romantic, I don't know what is.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Let Them Eat Cupcake


I'm convinced that the adorable little cupcake shop in my neighborhood, That Takes the Cake, is spiking their products with crack cocaine. When I belly up to the counter for the 3rd or 4th time in a week, the charming owners smile and greet me by name. They sing, "See you next time" as I leave, clutching my little white box which gets bigger every visit. I have never believed that I was an addictive personality, nor have I had an uncontrollable love of sweets before, but I think about their cupcakes nearly all the time. "I hate Mondays" has taken on a whole new meaning because they are closed on that day. I spend Mondays in withdrawal, waiting for Tuesday.

Their cupcakes have delightful names, even: Elvis has Left the Building. Blonde Bombshell, Alfred Hitchocolate, Gentlemen Prefer Reds, Double Trouble, Three's Company, Hella Nutella, Key Lime-o-Licious and more. My favorites are Orange Zinger and one made with Meyer lemons whose name I don't know because I scarf them so fast I haven't bothered with introductions. The owners state that the main ingredient in their cupcakes is happiness. I don't doubt it, but I know that crack is in there too, maybe the sparkly jimmies on the icing, maybe the scrumptious filling, or maybe it's cleverly blended with the flour and baking powder. But trust me, it's in there somewhere. With a little angel dust thrown in for good measure.

I haven't started selling off our silverware or shoplifting in jewelry stores yet, but it's inevitable. I just don't know when the monkey on my back will grow to unmanageable proportions. Only that it will, and when it does it won't be pretty. I will balloon to 500 pounds and none of my clothes will fit but I won't be able to buy new ones because all my money is in cupcake futures. You could say that cupcakes are my future.

Please don't suggest that I join a 12-step program. I know they exist, but I would rather eat cake.