Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Rebellious Body

The Body Rebellious; Nonconformance and Intersecting Identities in a Movement
by Marianne Kirby

Excerpts (find complete blog by clicking on title above):

"The rebellious body is a nonconforming body, a body that does not play by the rules as established in our dominant mainstream culture. Because the narrow path to acceptability is actually an impossible path, there is no model (and I don’t know if this is true in all other cultures) of how to have a healthful relationship with one’s own body, especially if you are a woman. This is true regardless of size. It receives extra emphasis if you are living and experiencing intersections of oppression – if you are disabled, if you are queer, if you are trans, if you are a person of color, and so on. It receives extra emphasis if you are fat."

"Fat acceptance is for everyone."

"To have unique experiences is how we share knowledge and power with each other. To have unique experiences is how the boundaries of our greater world are determined. It is because our experiences are different that I talk to people – if everyone had my same experience, we wouldn’t have much to learn from each other, would we?"

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A little Alanis.

Sometimes you just need a little Alanis in your life.

Article: Fat Bias Worse for Women

I am in no way supportive of the B.M.I. and believe that the world needs to work on their use of the term "obese". With my height and weight I'm considered "morbidly obese"...what a disgusting term. Still terminology aside I think this is an interesting (introduction) article about women experiencing more weight-discrimination then men. 

*     *     *

By Tara Parker-Pope

It only takes a modest weight gain for a woman to experience weight discrimination, but men can gain far more weight before experiencing similar bias, a new study shows.

The notion that society is less tolerant of weight gain in women than men is just one of the findings suggested by a new report from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University, published this month in the International Journal of Obesity.

For the study, researchers documented the prevalence of self-reported weight discrimination and compared it to experiences of discrimination based on race and gender among a nationally representative sample of adults ages 25 to 74. The data was obtained from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States.

Overall, the study showed that weight discrimination, particularly against women, is as common as racial discrimination. But the researchers also identified the amount of weight gain that triggers a discriminatory backlash. They found that women appear to be at risk for discrimination at far lower weights, relative to their body size, than men.

Based on body mass index, which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight, a normal weight is in the range of 18.5 to 24.9. The study found that women begin to experience noticeable weight bias — such as problems at work or difficulty in personal relationships — when they reach a body mass index, or B.M.I., of 27. For a 5-foot-5-inch woman, that means discrimination starts once she reaches a weight of 162 pounds — or about 13 pounds more than her highest healthy weight, based on B.M.I. charts.

But the researchers found that men can bulk up far more without experiencing discrimination. Weight bias against men becomes noticeable when a man reaches a B.M.I. of 35 or higher. A 5-foot-9-inch man has a B.M.I. of 35 if he weighs 237 pounds — or 68 pounds above his highest healthy weight.

The study also revealed that women are twice as likely as men to report weight discrimination and that weight-related workplace bias and interpersonal mistreatment due to obesity are common. The researchers found that weight discrimination is more prevalent than discrimination based on sexual orientation, nationality or ethnicity, physical disability and religious beliefs.

“However, despite its high prevalence, it continues to remain socially acceptable,” said co-author Tatiana Andreyava, in a press release.

Health at Every Size

Health at Every Size?
By Renee Michael

"The start of Lent today will offer many of us yet another opportunity to renew that resolution we made at the start of the year (and abandoned by the time February rolled in), to lose the extra poundage. But before you vow to give up your glasses of Cabernet and your plates of pasta primavera, you might want to consider H.A.E.S., or Health at Every Size, a new “peace movement” that one of its proponents, Linda Bacon, a nutritionist in the Department of Nutrition at the University of California, Davis, says was designed to halt “the collateral damage” — food and body preoccupation, self-hatred and eating disorders — that has resulted from the failed war on obesity. H.A.E.S. is based on the idea that “the best way to improve health is to honor your body,” and it supports the adoption of good health habits simply for the sake of health and well-being rather than weight control.

Bacon and Lucy Aphramor, a National Health Service specialist dietitian and an honorary research fellow at the Applied Research Center in Health and Lifestyle Interventions at Coventry University in England, published a paper in Nutrition Journal earlier this year. It argues that a weight-focused approach geared toward losing weight is — surprise! — not especially effective in either reducing the weight or creating healthier bodies. In fact, they say, such an approach can unintentionally lead to weight gain and worse health.

Bacon and Aphramor analyzed nearly 200 studies for their article, which lands where many frustrated dieters have already found themselves — with the knowledge that while dieting can result in short-term weight loss, the majority of overweight people are unable to maintain that loss for very long. Contrary to popular belief, the two researchers argue, weight-focused dieters do not achieve many of the supposed benefits of weight loss. The data present no compelling evidence to support the generally accepted notion that a weight-loss approach will prolong life. Nor does it support the common belief that anyone can lose weight and keep it off through diet, exercise and willpower. Or that weight loss is the only way overweight and obese people can improve their health. Bacon and Aphramor insist that adjusting your lifestyle habits with an eye toward improving markers of well-being like reduced blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, reduced stress, increased energy and improved self-esteem — independent of any weight loss at all — is a far more desirable goal for people of all sizes to pursue. And they suggest that the health care community should adopt an approach toward public-health nutrition that “encourages individuals to concentrate on developing healthy habits rather than on weight management.”

Of course, acceptance of such a philosophy would require a monumental change in mindset not just in the health care and weight-loss industries, but among waist-watchers themselves. As any dieter who has hopped on the scale a dozen times in one day to check whether he or she has lost any weight since the last weigh-in will tell you, as grateful as you may be for a higher count of good cholesterol or a decrease in your high blood-pressure stats, those aren’t really the numbers that you care most about when you are slipping on a dress or a suit twice the size of the one you wore five years ago. And even after some 30 years of campaigning on the part of fat-acceptance activists to get people to not automatically assume that a person carrying around a bit of extra girth is unhealthy, heavy people still suffer from discrimination and bias.

Still, for those among us who want to at least try a different approach to our health care efforts this Lenten season and make peace with the bodies we have, Linda Bacon invites you to pledge your commitment to the H.A.E.S. movement.

At the time that I wrote this post, fewer than 1,800 people had signed on."

*      *     *

My first official introduction to HAES was a few weeks ago when a speaker came to talk to our students. She was a counselor at a local clinic in Portland that focuses and teaches the HAES program to their patients and clients.While she wasn't the best speaker it was nice to see/hear that there is movement to stop focusing on the (scale/weight) numbers and start looking more at the whole person.

I've always been on the plus side of life....and let's be honest you can only claim it's "Baby Fat" for so long.

I've been lucky, and I know it, I've never had an eating disorder, I never had my parents or boyfriends tell me I'm fat....that didn't stop me though from having insecurities about my weight. Growing up and having my school crushes see me as someone to partner up with during group work but then "date" the skinnier girls who could fit into this week's latest fashion trend. It made adolescence hard (but then really mother nature plays awful tricks on you when you're younger).

(Sorry. I just love this bit of Eddie Izzard's Dress to Kill and when I saw it animated with stick figures I had to add it in. It just worked)

So, where was I? Oh yea....It was frustrating (and still is) to not dress like an 80-year old grandma in elastic pants and muumuus. But I trudged through and did what I could. I had only really been in (what I would consider) one major relationship. There had been a few minor ones here and there - but somewhere inside of me I didn't feel I was worth or attractive enough or desirable enough to have someone want me. To be in another relationship again.

At some point, some morning, I woke up and realized I was what was stopping me from having the relationships I was lacking. I decided I needed to work on my (internal) self-image. I went out and purchased a number of "Fat-Friendly" books: Fat!So?, The Fat Girl's Guide, Body Outlaws and Fat Chicks Rule!

Whether it was the books or just the intentionality behind my attitude and self-views or a combination - I'll never know. What I do know is I've started to love my curves. 

Started to appreciated that people come in all shapes and sizes and to not hate my body or myself for the curves I've been given. And once I opened myself up to loving myself I allowed myself to be loved. I know have a man who loves that I'm curvy. Loves my stomach - one of my least favorite body parts. 

I'm glad there are doctors and counselors out in the world trying to help people of all sizes embrace their bodies and know that your dress size does not equal how healthy (or happy) you are (or can be).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I stumbled across a USA Today article (below) about cohabitation and I was a little perplexed... although I suppose that's what I get for reading an article in USA Today (News-Lite). Read the article first and I'll have my thoughts at the bottom. 

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Report: Cohabiting has little effect on marriage success
By Sharon Jayson
USA TODAY 10/14/2010

Couples who live together before marriage and those who don't both have about the same chances of a successful union, according to a federal report out Tuesday that turns earlier cohabitation research on its head.

The report, by the National Center for Health Statistics, is based on the National Survey of Family Growth, a sample of almost 13,000. It provides the most detailed data on cohabitation of men and women to date.

Past research — using decades-old data — found significantly higher divorce rates for cohabitors, defined as "not married but living together with a partner of the opposite sex." But now, in an era when about two-thirds of couples who marry live together first, a different picture is emerging in which there are few differences between those who cohabit and those who don't.

Of those married 10 or more years, 60% of women and 62% of men had ever cohabited; 61% of women and 63% of men had cohabited only with the one they married. Meanwhile, 66% of women and 69% of men married 10 years had never cohabited.

Differences "are there, but they are not huge," says statistician Bill Mosher, the report's co-author.

Sociologist Pamela Smock of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor considers the data definitive. "On the basis of these numbers, there is not a negative effect of cohabitation on marriages, plain and simple," she says.

Paul Amato, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, says the new data suggest that "maybe the effect of premarital cohabitation is becoming less of a problem than it was in the past. If it becomes normative now, maybe it's not such a big deal."

The report takes a closer look at those who live together before marriage, including race and ethnicity, education level, upbringing and whether couples were engaged when they moved in.

"There's a real difference in the types of cohabitations out there," Mosher says. "We can show that now with these national data."

The data show that those who live together after making plans to marry or getting engaged have about the same chances of divorcing as couples who never cohabited before marriage. But those who move in together before making any clear decision to marry appear to have an increased risk of divorce.

Men who were engaged when they moved in with their future spouse had about the same odds that their marriage would last at least 10 years as those who didn't live together before the wedding: 71% for engaged men and 69% for non-cohabiting men. Among engaged women, the probability the marriage would survive for 10 years was similar (65%) to the probability for women who didn't cohabit (66%).

That's a finding Scott Stanley, co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, sees in smaller samples. For Stanley, the "nature of commitment at the time of cohabitation is what's important."

"There is a lot of interesting work being done on differences among different groups of cohabitors as to why, when and how they cohabit," he says.

But others who are firmly against cohabitation, such as Mike McManus, co-founder of Marriage Savers, a "ministry" that aims to reduce the divorce rate, calls the findings worrisome

"I think it's going to lull some people into thinking there's no problem with living together," says McManus, co-author of Living Together: Myths, Risks & Answers. "It appears to say you can cohabit and it doesn't matter, but it doesn't look at all the couples who begin cohabiting and how many of them are able to make a marriage last. It doesn't say how many marriages broke up" before 10 years.

Although the new federal data were from a 2002 survey, it's the most recent nationally representative sample of 12,571 people ages 15 to 44, including 7,643 women and 4,928 men.

Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, says the report may quell fears of cohabitation "as a long-term substitute for marriage," as in some European countries.

"American cohabitors either marry or break up in a few years," he says.

*     *     *

What an odd way to end the article. A quote by a sociologist who is only mentioned the last two sentences of the article. And what a defeatist statement!?

Sure the one time I "cohabitated" we broke up somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 years of being together. That was also far from a traditional living-together situation (I was 16/17 living at home with my family and he was a freshman in college who lived with us on the weekends and holidays).

But then there's my cousin and her husband. They were high school sweethearts and dated/lived together for over 20 years before they finally got married. 

Obviously every relationship is different...
There are exceptions to every rule...

Personally I've always liked the idea of cohabitation before marriage. You can learn so many new quirks about your partner that you wouldn't by just dating. You learn he never puts his socks in the hamper but leaves them balled up in his sneakers. He learns you never rinse the toothpaste out of the bathroom sink. When you're dating these are the little things we don't realize (or try to hide from our partners). 

What do you think?
Have you lived with a partner?
Did you live together before you got married
or did you wait?

Article: Rejection Really Hurts

Rejection Really Hurts, Brain Scans Show
Christine Dell'Amore
National Geographic News
Published March 28, 2011

Maybe words can hurt you as much as sticks and stones: Romantic rejection, at least, causes physical pain, according to a new study of brain activity.

Past studies have shown that simulated social rejection may be connected to a network of brain regions that processes the meaning of pain but not the sensory experience itself.

Now MRI brain scans of people jilted in real life show "activation in brain areas that are actually tied to the feeling of pain," said study co-author Edward Smith, a psychologist at Columbia University in New York City.

Smith and colleagues recruited 40 participants via flyers posted around Manhattan and through Facebook and Craigslist advertisements.

All the volunteers reported going through an "unwanted romantic relationship breakup" within the past six months.

While in an MRI machine, the subjects were asked to look at photographs of their ex-partners and think about being rejected.

When they did so, the parts of their brains that manage physical pain—the secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula, to be exact—lighted up, according to the study.

The study isn't a "true perfect experiment—we couldn't control who had the rejection experience and who didn't," Smith noted.

"This is true of any study that takes advantage of an activity that happened outside of the laboratory," he said.

"There's always the possibility that there's [some unknown element] about these people who were rejected that was causing the special pattern of what we're seeing."

Yet the results are striking, Smith said, especially because the team analyzed 150 other brain-scan experiments on negative emotions—fear, anxiety, anger, sadness—and found that none of these emotionally painful experiences activate the brain's physical sensory areas in the same way as an undesired breakup.

"There may be something special about rejection."

The painful-rejection study appeared this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Becoming a Portlander

So I've lived in Portland for over a year (17-18 months) and when people ask "How do you like Portland?" I always seem to give a "It's nice" level answer. It's pretty, it's got so much, it's nice to be near family, blah blah blah. But nothing committal. 

I just haven't found my groove as it were. I always have "blamed" it on where in town I live. I'm a 30-45 minute car ride away from the City Center (which is a 45-60 minute ride via public transportation). And the neighborhood I currently live in isn't conducive to walking out the front door and experiencing Portland. 

Adjusting to any new town or city isn't easy. There are things that set you apart from "locals'. Things here and there that people consider initiation into being a Fill-in-the-Blank-er. So here I am 18 months into living in Portland and looking to become a Portlander (without being eligible as a cast member on Portlandia). 

A few months back the Willamette Week (an alternative newspaper in town) published their Finder magazine which includes "100 things you must do to be a Portlander" (by Matthew Korfhage, AP Kryza, Aaron Mesh, Becky Ohlsen and Chris Stamm).....Warning to readers. The Willamette Weekly can and is not PC, it is sarcastic, crude and airs on the side of asshole-ish. So if you are easily offended you might want to stop reading here.

So here we go. What they think I need to do to become a Portlander (and my thoughts on their suggestions)

*     *     *

100 Things You Must Do to be a Portlander

1. Throw away your umbrella - I don't think so. First I've heard this from people about Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. I've seen locals using umbrellas in all these places. And truth be told - a hat messes up my hair, a hoodie is not appropriate for my job and I don't want to look like a drowned rat to or from work. So I carry an umbrella with me at all times. Guess I'm just destended to not be a Portlander from the start.

2. Apply for a job at Powell's - I don't remember if I applied at Powells or not when I was seeking employment upon arrival. The cool thing I heard recently though is Powells prefers to higher people with higher education degrees. So if the gig I have fails at least I know I'm not over qualified for them. :)

3. Sell books at Powells - Haven't done this yet either. 0-3 so far. I tend to either not get rid of books, give them to friends and/or donate them to the Goodwill. 

4. Get a Multnomah County Library card (it's free) - Everyone in Portland reads! That's not a gross over generalization or blanket statement. Men, women, upperclass, homeless....they all have books and they'r always reading. I love that about Portland. Unfortunately I haven't gotten my butt up and around to getting a library card. I have plenty of books at home for now.

5. Get thrown off the MAX - No thank you. I have no desire to cause such a disturbance that I am thrown off the MAX! I have a trimet pass anyway. 

6. Thank your bus driver - Politeness for the win!! I do this every time whether I get off through the front or back doors. Nothing wrong with being grateful. 

7. Call a Radio Cab because TriMet doesn't run early enough to get you to the airport in time for a cross-country flight you booked before thinking about how you would get to the airport - Um.....? No? Yes I've called a cab (although not Radio Cab). Not to or from the airport.  And even if my flight was that early I know there are friends/family who would help me out. 

8. Learn how to pronounce Couch - For those of you who don't's pronounced Kooch. *pause* Okay. Done giggling? Couch was a Portland founding father, blah blah blah. Yes I know the proper pronunciation and no I don't giggle over it. 

9. Cancel your social plans because it's raining too hard. - I don't think I've canceled on anyone because of the rain. There are days when it's raining so hard I decide not to venture out doors but I wouldn't cancel on friends due to the weather. 

10. Get a Netflix account, then get a Movie Madness account because you feel guilty.  - I have no idea what Movie Madness is. I'm assuming a more local version of Netflix (?) So another "no".

11. Join a food co-op or produce delivery service - Nope.

12. Eat meat surreptitiously. - Not going to happen.

13. Realize too late that city parking tickets double after 30 days - and keeps going. - Nope. Don't drive so I don't have to worry. 

14. Stand with a gaggle of misdemeanor offenders in the obscenely long metal-detector line at hte Multnomah County Courthouse. - Not yet.

15. Go to a strip club to play pool - Not that I don't have plenty to pick from but it hasn't happened.

16. Grow a half-beard. - I think that even though this hasn't happened to me, it's not going to count against me either. 

17. Get a haircut drunk - Never! No matter where I live!

18. Attend a themed pub crawl, like Santacon in December or the Urban Iditarod in March. Never do it again. - I had someone suggest I do this next year....Doubt it will happen.

19. Work off a hangover with an afternoon of Skee-Ball at Avalon Theatre and Wunderland Nickel Arcade  - Not yet and I'm not really a big fan of arcades....

20. Flirt at the Doug Fir fire pit. - Nope.

21. Watch the sunset from Mount Tabor - No objections to this, just hasn't happened

22. Forward a Portland-related story from the New York Times website - Of course I have! Forwarded them to folks living here as well as soon-to-be visiting friends. 

23. Deplore the Mexican food, until you discover a burrito cart - So I haven't discovered a burrito cart but we have found a few restaurants that satisfy us enough....for now (Don Pedro, Por Que No, La Isla Bonita)

24. Apply to grad school and don't go - Haven't applied. Thought about it but didn't even get to the application process part

25. Endure seasonal affective disorder (aka November) - Or you know...September through June...but whatever.....

26. Explain how you're still feeling bad about what happened to Elliott Smith. - Not so much

27. Use Craigslist to befriend somebody with a medical marijuana card. - Not going to happen...ever

28. Discover sliding-scale therapy. - Know it exists but haven't used it.

29. Walk the Eastbank Esplanade. - I've walked along the west side of river but never the east

30. Develop a passive-aggressive method to deter people asking for change and/or your signature. - I probably have but being passive aggressive just haven't realized I've developed it....denial stage still. :)

31. Take a bag of empty bottles to the grocery store return station for that precious $3 - We give them to my sister who does.

32. Sleep with somebody who works at New Seasons. - Haha. No. Haven't done this either. 

33. Experience Starbucks shame - This is not a Portland only concept. But since Starbucks not only gave my younger sister her first job ever, has treated her well and has given her insurance...Starbucks haters can kiss my ass.

34. Hate California - Never going to happen. Sorry folks. I still have my California ID

35. Quit a yoga class - Haven't joined one (yet)

36. Pick a side of the Willamette River (you're either a westsider or an eastsider. You can't be both). - This is soooo true! I was talking to a co-worker (who lives on the eastside) about how I was thinking of moving to the westside to be closer to work...the look she gave me!! You would have thought I just told her I decided to become a cannibal!

37. Gentrify a neighborhood. - Nope.

38. Pick berries on Sauvie Island- Nope.

39. Pretend to listen to OPB- Nope.

40. Embrace soccer. It's inevitable. - Nope.

41. Be outraged that Brandon Roy is dissed by NBA All-Star voters- Who?.That's soccer right? Oh! it!

42. Complain about mild traffic. - Get over it Portlanders. You don't like the traffic go try commuting home in LA

43. Shop for a station wagon - Volvo or Subaru - Haven't.

44. Buy a backyard chicken - No...and I honestly can't see this ever happening. Please if it does commit me!

45. Have an opinion on Oregon pinot - Why?

46. Vote! It's by mail, so you have no excuses. - Of course!!! A few times at this point!

47. Dance at the Fez, the Goodfoot or Ararat- Haven't.

48. Pull a phone number at a dog park.- Haven't.

49. Buy some outdoor gear (You don't have to use it).- Haven't.

50. Accidentally fuck up the compost bin at a Burgerville - I don't know! :S

51. Develop a deep-seated scorn for those tax dodgers in Vancouver - Whatever! I can't blame them for wanting to not pay Sales Tax either! If I lived in WA I'd try to get away with it too!!

52. Pretend you don't recognize somebody is a Suicide Girl- Haven't.

53. Be proud of your black friend. - Oh WW

54. If you've read Chuck Palaniuk, pretend you haven't, or vice versa - Again a town of liars?

55. Get laid off, join the creative class- Haven't.

56. Buy clothes from Red Light and try to sell them at Buffalo Exchange- Haven't.

57. Find a dress at the Red White & Blue Thrift Store.- Haven't.

58. Wear it to the Red Dress Party- Haven't.

59. Get lost in outer east Portland - I live in the OUTER east Portland so getting lost doesn't really happen. Now the west? That's a different story. 

60. Float down the Little Sandy River with liquored-up rednecks.- Not yet

61. Wait in line for brunch - There's no way around this. Portland is OBSESSED with breakfast/brunch. No matter where you go - if it's a weekend brunch you're going to wait. 

62. Crash your bicycle on the streetcar tracks while distracted by the sign warning you not to crash you bike on the streetcar tracks. - LMAO! I want to meet someone who has just to shake their hand. I wish I could say I've done this!

63. Drive over the Cascades at night. - Not at night.

64. Don't buy tire chains, then complain when Les Schwabe runs out during the annual snowstorm. - Snowstorms? Please. Yes, I bitch and moan every winter (I've been through two) but snowstorm? Unless you're commuting outside of Portland you don't need tire chains. And at this point everyone is so panicked from a few winters ago (when it did snow so hard the town of Portland shut down) that they all own snow tires or tire chains at this point.  

65. Be forced to disembark public transit because it's stuck in snow. - See above.

66. Hug a stranger at the Oregon Brewers Festival - Haven't gone to a Brew Fest yet so no stranger hugs.

67. Learn how hard it is to be pregnant and vegan - Well. Let's see. I haven't been pregnant and don't plan on being I don't think this one is going to happen either. 

68. Take a filmmaking class at the NW Film Center - Haven't.

69. Watch The Big Lebowski with beer at a theatre- Haven't.

70. Mistake Gus Van Sant for a homeless person - I have to admit. I had to look him up. No clue who he was. So I may have....haha. 

71. Adopt a favorite homeless person, the only one you'll give money - I do have a  favorite in the sense of the most creative sign I've seen. I gave him the hot leftovers from my breakfast the one (and only) morning I saw him....but I would never just give one person money only. (Oh the guys sign said something along the lines of "Allergic to Jail. Too Ugly to Prostitute. Too old o work.")

72. Watch your favorite shitty bar get replaced by a condo - My favorite bars are far from shitty and none have been replaced by condos. 

73. Give your house a stupid name, as if it's a real music venue - Never going to happen.

74. Complain about a free concert - Bitch bitch bitch.

75. Britt Daniel - Um? Who?

76. Ride the 14-line Bus of Shame - Now I have ridden the 14-line but it was after a pot-luck and in the early evening. There was no Ride-of-Shame involved.

77. Distrust the police, even though all your interactions with them have been without incident - I've met a number of police offers and they've all been super polite and kind. However, I am an educated white woman. They (the police) have been a little trigger-happy lately if you ask some people. Doesn't mean I'm going to develop a distrust for them. 

78. Visit the Paul Bunyan statue in Kenton - No, but I WANT TO!!

79. Stop thinking the pronunciation of Couch is funny. - Already have. 

80. Get an Oregon drivers license (it's $60) - I was just talking about this with someone. My Cali ID is good until 2015...we'll see what happens then. 

81. Wait patiently in Camas for someone to pump your gas - Okay. So it wasn't Camas. But it was in Washington. We'd only been living in Oregon two months. We were on our way home from Thanksgiving dinner in WA and stopped for gas in the little town before we headed home. We didn't wait long luckily but it was that "Oh yea!" moment when we realized no one was going to come and pump our gas for us. 

82. Join an ironic/drunk sport - Probably not going to happen.

83. Fall asleep in a public place and have nothing bad happen to you. - Haha. I think I can say yes to this one. :) I wasn't feeling well and was on my way home from work. I closed my eyes on the bus and didn't realize when we pulled into the transit center (last stop - where I was to get off and transfer). A nice gentleman came and touched my shoulder letting me know it was time to get off. 

84. Become an Internet reverend. - Whatever. We did this in college. 

85. Take out-of-town relatives for an exciting "sway and dip" ride on the Aerial Tram. Realize there's nothing to do at OHSU unless you're sick. Ride back down. - Yea. You're not getting me on that Aerial Tram. Not going to happen. 

86. Get stuck on a bridge. - Hasn't happened. Yet.

87. Refuse to attend a party ~~ on the other side of the river - No. 

88. Show up an hour late to a show, and be angry it's already started - Is it just me or do Portlanders seem to be self-entitled whinny bitches?

89. See the Vaux's swifts fly into the Chapman Elementary School's chimney on a September evening. - I didn't even know about this but now I want to!

90. Own a Richmond Fontaine record - Nope. 

91. Talk about how much you enjoy Wordstock, even if you've never been - Is Portland also a town full of liars?

92. Take the farmers market for granted - Never. I'm so excited they're opening up again soon!

93. Follow a food cart on Twitter - I do have a Twitter account but I don't think I follow a food cart.

94. Combine your love of found art and recycling at Last Thursday - Never been. 

95. Crash a Wieden+Kennedy office party- Never been.

96. Have a long conversation about Noam Chomsky - Is it bad I don't know who this is?

97. Love Bud Clark - I'm just not allowed to be a Portlander because I have no idea who any of these people are!!

98. Refer to your spouse as your "partner" - There's nothing wrong with using all inclusive language....I don't do this but still....

99. Travel to Cannon Beach or Newport for Mo's clam chowder  - Now I went to Newport this past February for my birthday. And we ate at the ORIGINAL Mo's. My sister and her boyfriend both got the clam chowder (I tried some of theirs) and really it was nothing special. I won't be going out of my way again to eat there. 

100. Get caught in the rain at Cathedral Park; take shelter under the St. John's Bridge. (Bonus points: Fall in Love).  - Haven't been to Cathedral Park, taken shelter under the bridge but wouldn't be against getting a few bonus points (at this point I need all I can get).

*     *     *

So what do you think? Which numbers should I strive for to become more Portlander-like?

Deceiving Application

I came across this article about a new iPhone application that's been created. It's Called "Last Night Never Happened". The concept is that you can use this app to delete (presumably drunken) regrettable comments from Twitter and Facebook.

However, the article doesn't discuss the fact that there is no such thing as "permanent" deletion when you're talking posting online. It's there out in the wonders of interweb land for future reference (and subpoenas). Not to mention from my understand you can't delete a Tweet. It can be deleted off your home page but it still shows up in other people's feeds.

I feel sorry for people who think this is a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card. 

*     *     *

Morning-after app lets you pretend last night never happened
By Rosa Golijan

Some of the things you've done during a crazy night out will haunt you for the rest of your life, but — thanks to a new iPhone app — tweets and Facebook messages posted during a moment of questionable judgment will no longer be too worrisome.
Last Night Never Happened is a morning-after iPhone app that lets you quickly and easily erase potentially embarrassing tweets, Twitter direct messages, Facebook posts or Facebook photos.

The way the app works is simple. All you have to do is securely sign in to your Facebook and Twitter accounts and select the timeframe you wish to clean up — you can choose anything between the last one and 48 hours.

Once you've done that, the app will show you how many photos, comments, tweets and messages fall within your chosen timeframe and allow you to select which type of items you want to delete. After you decide on that and hit a button to continue, you'll be given the option to type a replacement message, which will be posted after your social networking posts from last night are little more than bad memories.

Enter that message and you'll be asked to confirm twice more that you're really sure that you want to erase the past few hours. Tap through those prompts and — tada! — it's like last night never happened. Unless someone managed to take some screenshots.

The Last Night Never Happened app is available through the iTunes App Store and it is currently priced at $1.99.

*     *     *

Friday, March 25, 2011

Age Descrimination

New York Times: Social Q's
by Philip Galanes

"Long-in-the-Tooth Teasing

I’m the youngest person at work, and my co-workers tease me about it incessantly. Think how appalling it would be if they teased the oldest person for being old. So why is this all right? I’ve tried laughing it off, changing the subject, and not reacting — to no avail. How can I stop this?

Allison, New York City

Being teased for being young is like being teased for being gorgeous or rich. It’s practically a compliment — since most of us covet the underlying condition. (You must be very young if you can’t see that, Allison.)

Still, if you want the ribbing to stop, head to the ringleader and say: “Not to be a killjoy, but your jokes are getting old. (Har har.) Would you please knock it off?” Bet it stops. And don’t worry too much if it doesn’t. You’ll be wizened old crow, like the rest of us, before you know it."

Note from the Universe

Just as you may now think, with some amusement, about prior civilizations who thought your earth was flat, there will be others, in the not too distant future, who will reel in disbelief that there was ever a time when abundance wasn't seen as spiritual, where a dream's manifestation wasn't considered inevitable, and that there were multitudes who knew so little of their importance, their power, and of how deeply they were loved.

Gasp -
The Universe

Thursday, March 24, 2011

50 Life Lessons

Written By: Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.
16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
36. Growing old beats the alternative - dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
45. The best is yet to come.
46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
49. Yield.
50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Picking a career path

So I came across this Career-Color Analysis on another blog and thought "why not?"

I have those moments...days...weeks...when I wonder what am I supposed to be doing?
....what else could I be doing?
...what else would I be good at?

Somehow I'm not surprised at the answers and others...well let's just say I made comments below on some of their "suggestions". (See bold words/phrases - those are my comments)

*     *     *
Best Occupational Category
Keywords: Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate

These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting (me? accounting? haha. They obviously have never looked at my check book), detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. (who are they talking about?) Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

Suggested careers are Administrator, Secretary, Printer, Paralegal, Building Inspector, Bank Cashier, Private Secretary, Statistician, Operations Manager, Financial Analyst, Bookkeeper, Medical Records Technician, Developer of Business or Computer Systems, Clerical Worker, Proofreader, Accountant, Administrative Assistant, Banker, Certified Public Accountant, Credit Manager, Store Salesperson, Actuary, Dental Assistant, Business Education Teacher, Food Service Manager, IRS Agent, Budget Analyst, and Underwriter. (Most of these I just laughed at)

Your very careful, conscientious, conservative nature gives others the confidence to trust you with handling money and material possessions. Structured organizations that have well-ordered chains of command work best for you.

Suggested Organizer workplaces are large corporations, business offices, financial lending institutions, banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, and quality control and inspection departments.

2nd Best Occupational Category

Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious

These investigative types gather information, analyze and interpret data, and inquire to uncover new facts. They have a strong scientific orientation, enjoy academic or research environments and prefer self-reliant jobs. Dislikes are group projects, selling, and repetitive activities. 

*     *     *

So this is what I get for taking a Career-Color test. Because I like blues and greens I apparently should become a CPA or IRS agent. LMAO!! And we thought the economy took a nose dive before!!

Take the test yourself at:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Between a Laugh and a Tear

When the Heartache is Over

Across the Universe

Feel a little like this....

When I want to feel more like this...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Not Married

Jessica Ravitz
So I have to say sometimes the thing you need to make you smile after a break up (<- blog posting on that once the tears subside) isn't your many wonderful friends and family telling you they love you, telling you they know it's hard to believe but the pain will go away, not them telling you they're sorry. Sometimes what you need is an older (and slightly more vocal) person telling you (via internet CNN article) that it's okay to not be married and that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you.

Thank you Jessica Ravitz for "Why I'm not married (and it's not because I'm an angry slut)" (I do want to acknowledge that as of right now, no, I haven't read the article she's referring too. I didn't think it proper timing to find out "why [I'm] not married" a few hours after my heart was broken by the man I thought I was going to spend my life with)

*     *     *

Why I'm not married (and it's not because I'm an angry slut)
(CNN) -- Jessica Ravitz

Tracy McMillan has gotten under my single-status skin.

Tracy McMillan
I'm not sure how it took nearly a week for her Huffington Post column, "Why You're Not Married," to land in front of me, but it finally did. And now I'm fired up -- not in an angry way but in the sort of way that made me skip to my desk, excited to type.

To hear it from the thrice-divorced McMillan, I'm 41 and not married because of one (or more?) of six reasons: I'm a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough.

Wow. Is that all? Maybe I smell, too.

I'll be the first to admit I've got issues (c'mon, who doesn't?), but I'm not owning these. Perhaps she was talking about why her own marriages failed or was simply setting out to get a rise, which she did brilliantly. And while I've been guilty of occasional transgressions that might fit in some of those unflattering boxes, McMillan doesn't touch why I'm not married.

Based on the buzz surrounding her conversation-starting piece, I'm laying down and lining up behind reason number seven: Life happens.

Before reading on, know that I am not and refuse to be woe-is-me. Like Jennifer Aniston, minus the killer body and bank account, I'm happy. Really, I am. I skipped to my desk, dammit.

Of course I'd love to meet and marry that one and only, but in the meantime I'm living my life, and I'm taking everything that's been given me on the journey.

Maybe, like me, that's where you are, too.

Maybe you spent your adolescence clashing with a stepfather who didn't get you emotionally. And maybe the father who did get you had been relegated by the courts, when you were 2 and your parents divorced, to every-other-weekend access. Maybe your first love cheated on you, just around the time a second divorce rolled through your family. So maybe your faith in men and marriage was a little shaken before you teased your hair for the prom.

But that's nothing some therapy and better hair sense can't fix, right?

Maybe you're a searcher with a healthy dose of wanderlust, someone who needed time to commit to furniture, let alone a man, because there was so much you needed to see, do and become.

Maybe you were and still are a hopeful (I refuse to say hopeless) romantic who for years held a candle for the one you thought was The One. He'd changed your life, after all, when he lured you to Israel (though it could have been Thailand, for all you cared) -- allowing you to claim that Jewish side of yourself you'd never embraced before.

And maybe he slipped and called you his soul mate at one point, a statement you caught and remembered. So even after you read the diary he'd left out, oops, learned about the Brazilian woman with amazing eyes, broke up and dated others, you still held out hope for him. You stupidly took the crumbs he tossed you from time to time and thought they had meaning. Finally, you got through your thick noggin that the guy just wasn't that into you. Hell, he wasn't even all that nice to you. You learned he wasn't the one who got away. He was the one who got in the way.

Then, maybe you met the one who was that into you. He loved and respected you like no man had before. And the dog -- how could you not fall for the man and his dog? One day, while taking a break from kayaking, when you least expected it, maybe he pulled out a ring and asked you to marry him.

Maybe you said yes but then freaked out. You couldn't eat dinner, and you love dinner. Maybe you snuck out of the B&B in the middle of the night. You found a pay phone and called your father, with whom you'd grown profoundly close, sobbing. Maybe you were seized by fear. But everyone around you, including your therapist, said they expected nothing less, given your family history. They even said it would be weird if you didn't freak out. So you were engaged to be married.

But maybe after you moved to a new state and settled into engaged life, you still worried. That fear, that inkling that something was missing or wrong, grew stronger. Maybe you became a genius at dodging wedding questions. Maybe you lost countless hours of sleep, watching him and the dog as they slept peacefully, struggling with what you felt. You didn't want to quit the race, but at some point you knew with painful clarity there was a hurdle you two couldn't clear. So maybe, out of your love for him and yourself, you handed back the ring and left. Maybe you wished you could share custody of the dog.

Maybe, even as you licked those wounds in your pathetic little apartment, you began to appreciate your courage. You learned to trust yourself more. You realized your past didn't define your future; you did. And then, maybe when you were finally prepared to date again, you woke up a single Jew living in Utah.

But being a single Jew in Utah wouldn't matter, because then life tossed you a doozy that put the pain of a called-off engagement to shame.

Maybe you suddenly lost your father. Being emotionally available for someone else wasn't something you could even entertain. Now you had an excuse not to date.

But maybe you knew that your dad -- not to mention your amazing mom and stepmom, and your now-gentler ex-stepdad -- wanted nothing more than for you to love and be loved. So when you were ready, with a fresh start in a new city, you were excited to put yourself out there again.

Maybe you were approaching 40 when you arrived in the South. Maybe you were slapped across the face with the reminder that most people your age are married with children. Maybe you went to a singles event and became convinced you were the oldest one there, so you ducked out early.

But maybe you held onto hope and optimism. You sucked up your pride and whipped up an online dating profile. You found out that men in Belgium, as well as men with odd fetishes and offensively bad grammar and spelling, have a thing for you. You received horrifying -- yet hysterical -- notes from suitors that made for great Facebook status updates.

Maybe you agreed to go on dates you dreaded because you were determined to have an open mind. Maybe you learned you had good reasons to dread those dates. You wolfed down a nice piece of salmon as one man told you, within the first hour of meeting, that he cheated on his wife, still loves his ex-girlfriend and didn't go to his own father's funeral. Maybe you thought you should charge him for therapy.

But maybe you still believe there's someone great out there for you. You're ready, you know you have so much to give, and you look forward to meeting him -- wherever and whenever that might be.

And in the meantime, you know you have a lot to be grateful for. Maybe you have a career you love, and through the stories of suffering you hear, you know that if still being single is your biggest problem, you are damn lucky.

Sure, you might be a bitch, a slut, a liar, shallow, selfish or not good enough. Maybe, though, you happen to be 41 and single because life, real life with all its complications, has just worked out that way. So far.

But, hey, what do I know? Maybe that's just me.

Confessions of a Multiple-Career Personality

My friend Jenny posted this article today. While it doesn't necessarily resonate with me (the majority of my adult life has been spent working in higher education) I know that there are many who will connect with the article. So here it is:

*     *     *

Confessions of a multiple-career personality
by Rob Baedeker
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What do you do? What's your story? Can you explain it in a word or two?

If you're in one of the traditional professions, or have worked for several years for the same company, or within the same industry, perhaps your career traces a neat trajectory, with one job building logically to the next.

But even then, things might not be so simple -- and if you're among the growing number of freelancers in the labor force, constructing a career on your own, piece by piece, or if you're someone who's made an abrupt career shift or who juggles a number of different career identities simultaneously, it can often be difficult to compose the bigger picture of your work life.

For example: I'm writing at the moment in my role as "Money Tales" columnist. But that's not the whole story. For the past decade I've written and produced comedy projects with the group Kasper Hauser, its position in my career and income ebbing and flowing over the years. I've also taught college English classes, edited books on Chinese business and neuropsychology, written for education and luxury-travel publications and, before that, served up cheeseburgers while wearing roller skates.

One could argue (as I have, at times, to myself, in the anxious hours before sleep) that my collection of jobs lacks a through-line -- a logical progression. You could say I have multiple career personalities.

But is this a disorder, or simply a different kind of "order"?

The fact that I'm searching for order at all points to a deeper, universal impulse. "Narrative and storytelling are at the core of human life," says Toni Littleston, a career counselor and coach in Alameda. "People want to make sense of their life story."

We're also encouraged to market ourselves all the time with short, simple stories. Think of the succinct "objective" on a resume or the "elevator pitch" to investors.

But stitching together a career narrative from disparate parts and pieces can be particularly challenging, Littleston says: "The model of moving up the company ladder used to be a common pattern. But now it's almost completely gone. People who long for that don't find it to be available."

That longing is also "a bit of an illusion," Littleston says. The era of single, stable, long-term jobs was an historical anomaly. "That hasn't been the way of career life throughout history at all," Littleston explains. "It was just the blink of an eye."

And even if that standard career narrative were still widely available, many of us might opt for a less unified tale -- even if it's harder to tell, both to others and to ourselves.

Jennifer Hewett, 36, describes herself as a "print maker and business consultant." Monday through Thursday she works on-site at several small-business clients, managing their human-resources operations. Friday through Sunday she creates art from her home studio in San Francisco's Sunset District. She sells her work online through her Etsy shop.

Hewett says she sometimes has a hard time telling the story of her career to others -- like her mom, who retired after 30 years in the same job as a receptionist at Kaiser Permanente.

"My mom keeps asking, 'When is one of your clients going to bring you on full time and give you benefits?'" she says. "And I tell her, 'That's not the point. The point is that I only work four days a week. And I get to pick and choose clients I want to work with. And I can take a month off to travel if I want.'"

"In my mom's eyes, I'm not investing time in a career, so what's going to happen when I hit 65?" she adds. "Am I ever going to be able to make a ton of money or buy a house, or retire?"

To Hewett, the benefits of her freelance, hybrid career outweigh the greater stability that might come from a more straightforward work-trajectory. She says she's found concurrent careers that are both "interesting and satisfying, and not soul-crushing" like some full-time jobs she's had in the past.

But she also admits she's faced dilemmas when deciding how to present her dual career identities to co-workers.

Recently, when a financial consultant she was working with in her human-resources role asked her why she didn't work on Fridays, Hewett revealed that she was also a printmaker.

"He was stunned," she recalls. "He asked if I had a website, and I was reluctant to share it. It was this weird boundary I wasn't sure I wanted to cross."

Toni Littleston says this kind of persona-management challenge is common among those, like artists, who follow parallel but unrelated careers.

"I have lots of clients who have two lives -- where they have their bread-and-butter life, and then their artistic life," she says. "And they often find it requires more skill than they thought it would to present themselves in way that's authentic, and not apologetic or condescending."

As Hewett discovered, the proliferation of digital identities can complicate the stories we tell about our career. When her curious co-worker asked for her art website, Hewett's first thought was, "I just need you to think of me as the HR person. I don't want you on my blog or Twitter or Facebook. You can contact me on [the professional networking site] LinkedIn." (In the end, Hewett shared her printmaking website with him).

Social media have forced me to grapple with career-identity boundaries, too. From my Twitter persona, I write absurd jokes (warning: not for everyone, and occasionally NSFW!), which are connected to my alter-ego as a comedy writer, but which have nothing to do with, say, real-world money tales, and might seem irrelevant (or confusing) to some of my other freelance clients.

And while I may feel anxious about trying to tie together all of the aspects of my career into a neat story, perhaps I should just get over it. When I e-mailed the entrepreneur and blogger Penelope Trunk to ask about the role of narrative unity in career, she asked me to tell her my two-sentence career story.

I went on and on for two paragraphs about my different experiences, excusing my wordiness as a gesture of transparency about the lack of coherence of my career.

"I don't think it's transparent, I think it's b.s.," she replied. "We all feel that we are good at some things; we each have had some odd, successful experiences; but we don't need to list them all. Framing yourself in a way that has focus and leaves out the majority of your life is a way to make things easier for the listener. Including all the random stuff you have done is a way for you to feel like you're special and great and every little thing matters, but that doesn't let people get close to you or understand you." Littleston echoed this sentiment: "Instead of just saying, 'Let me tell you all about me,' (people with complicated career stories) need to find ways of including their listener in their story -- of being inviting and intelligible."

Still, though, you've got to tell a satisfying story to yourself.

And beyond the steady progression of money and security implied by a standard and singular career story, a purposeful narrative also connotes meaning.

"At the end of my career, I want to have created a significant body of work," says a colleague of mine who has also struggled with finding the unified narrative in his career. "I want to create something great."

And this is why the sense of jumping from job to job, or cobbling together loosely related fragments of work life (rather than following an intentional career trajectory) can be distressing. It gets at an existential reality: that life (and work) might be arbitrary -- they might not fit into a neat narrative.

Despite our hard-wired need to make sense of our lives through stories, says Littleton, "throughout the ages there have been philosophers who say it's all pretty random. That's fine, but that doesn't really help people."