Mean Girl to the Rescue!

How'm I gonna save the world when the world ain't ready?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Egg salad-y

Although I know there's a huge contingent of folks who loathe mayonnaise, I have to admit I love it. I just saw something on about the anniversary of the creation of mayonnaise.

Occasionally, I get severe cravings for mayonnaise-laced food items. Often in the form of egg salad. When I was young and poor, I worked in a bookstore, and I photocopied recipes that sounded good to me from the cookbooks we stocked (retail consumers, know this: books you buy have had several lives before they go home with you. Just ask any ex-bookstore employee who accidentally left a coffee ring on a bestseller he signed out of the store's "lending library."). One of those recipes was from one of those Silver Palate cookbooks (I think), and is easily the most wonderful egg salad recipe known to man, containing dill, red onions, dijon mustard, mayo and sour cream. (If anyone wants to recipe, you can email me. I would've posted it here, but I can't find it online. Oh, the humanity!) But wait! I just found it. Egg salad lovers, rejoice.

See the Food section of NPR for more cool articles.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

One and done

Yesterday, I was chatting with my mother about my fertility stuff, and she told me how great it would be if I got pregnant with twins (I had mentioned Arabella's good news to her previously), because then I could be all done and not have to get pregnant again. Something about this assumption that I would, naturally, go for a second child if I didn't get a twofer on the first pregnancy rankled me a bit.

"Well," I said, "I might be all done after the first one, you know."

"Take it from an only child: you do not want to have just one."

"You mean, the only child wouldn't want to be on her own."

"Well, yes. I was so lonely as a little girl ..."

Now, keep in mind, my mother grew up constantly surrounded by all manner of cousins on both my grandfather's and my grandmother's side. Additionally, her mother endured several miscarriages and an infant daughter who died shortly after delivery before my mother was born. Possibly, this is where some of the fertility issues that my sister (who suffered a number of miscarriages) and I have dealt with.

My mother never had a problem with fertility. Her friends called her "Fertile Myrtle." I have three sisters and a brother, with barely a pause between them until the 8-year gap between my youngest sister and myself. Chalk it up to Catholicism (and its then-attendant lack of birth control), or to a little girl who wanted a passel of kids because she herself had been all alone. Maybe a bit of both.

My POV is that of the would-be mother who has already struggled with infertility for 15 months. Will I even want to go through this a second time if I get pregnant for a first? Maybe one baby will be all I can handle. Maybe, one baby will be all I need. I don't want to feel emotionally blackmailed into trying for a second baby before the first one is even a reality.

My mother opined for a little while about her lot in life as a variant on the theme of the Little Match Girl (I kid, I kid, but she does draw a sad little portrait of herself), and then told me about overhearing a conversation between her parents when she was about 12 years old. Her mother mentioned an operation she could have gotten that would have enabled her to carry more children successfully. A family friend had had it done and bore four children. My mother felt a little angry that her mother hadn't had the procedure done and given her a little brother or sister, but she never asked her about what she had overheard, even as an adult. At the time of this overheard discussion, my garndmother was 37, and my grandfather would be dead within four years of a freak heart attack at 48. I can't help but think that their having only one child was something of a blessing in that situation, especially as the Great Depresion was not long over, although obviously, I'd never wish fertility issues like those on my grandmother.

"But, Mom," I reasoned with her, "You've never experienced infertility. You don't know what it feels like to lose a baby. What if the operation hadn't worked? What if she continued to miscarry, or worse? You really can't imagine how draining it is, physically and emotionally, to keep trying." She conceded this was true, and we ended the conversation there.

Is it wrong of me to think of doing "one and done"? Am I being just as selfish as I thought my mother was yesterday? All I know is that I can't decide such things this far in advance. There's no point until I'm further along this road so I can see exactly where it might take me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Good lord, I'm glad I'm not single.

From the Annals of Asshattery: this guy met a girl online, took her out (he paid for their dinner), and, when she didn't call him after 2 1/2 weeks, he emailed her to DUN HER FOR HER HALF OF THE RESTAURANT BILL.

Check it out here and here (and be sure to listen to the voicemail in the latter link that he leaves this poor woman that goes on and on and on ...)

Linky linky

I just have to link you guys to this awesome blog: The Shape of a Mother. If you're a mother, or even if you're trying to get pregnant, these images will amaze you. These women are very brave, and very beautiful. I hope I'm able to show myself and my body some of that same love after I deliver a child. Thanks to Tits McGee, whose link on her very thoughtful post today led me to this awesome site.

Also, because I'm food obsessed these days (sorry, I'll try to steer it towards showing you what I've cooked, instead, once this heat wave blows over. For the past two nights I have dined on cereal with bananas, and half an egg salad sandwich, respectively. It's too goddamned hot to cook) I am linking you to a list of products that contain genetically modified organisms. If you have questions about why genetically engineered food, sometimes called Frankenfood, is not good, look here. And you can find more info here. In any case, I think you'll be surprised at how many of the products we use contain GMOs.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Eat your veggies

I remember when I first became aware that there was a suggested amount of fruit and veg one was meant to ingest each day in order to maintain health and wellness. If I remember correctly, about three was the suggested number of servings recommended for the average human, according to the Food Pyramid. Apparently I am recalling wrongly, however, because a quick glance at the old Pyramid (circa 1992) says 3-5 veggies and 2-4 fruits. It's probably just that, in 1992, I was 21, and had perhaps two nickels to rub together. I bought a lot more in the way of Cocoa Puffs than vegetables (and even then, it was probably limited to iceberg lettuce and the occasional tomato). But rest assured, I always had money for beer!

Now the standard is 5-a-day. The government, probably a bit alarmed at the obesity epidemic, is pushing 5-a-day pretty hard, which is good. I've mocked them a bit in the past for caving in to pressure brought to bear by the Cattlemen's Association and the Dairy Council, but I suppose anything that pushes the importance of physical activity combined with healthy eating (or a start towards it) can't be all bad. I won't even touch the race angle covered in the link to the Dairy article, although it's worth mentioning that the Pyramid recommends lactose-free dairy products to those who are intolerant, but also fails to mention other foods high in calcium. One thing I do like about the Pyramid site is that it allows you to list what you've eaten throughout the day and then have the site analyze if you're getting your recommended allowances. Great stuff for a little food nazi like me.

If you're feeling special, you can aim for 7-9 a day. Ironically, men, who seem to me to be less interested in eating vegetables (I blame those Hungry Man commercials), are the ones who should be eating 9 servings.

My total for today: 3 servings, soon to be 4 if I eat the withered peach that's been sitting on my desk for 4 days. Plus Veggie Booty (with spinach and kale!), but I'm pretty sure that doesn't count, right?

While we're on the subject of controlling one's health via diet, has anyone else become addicted to Honey, We're Killing the Kids? Oh, my stars - that show is like crack cocaine, but probably the worst thing is, it makes me feel really smug. Booby can't stand it; he finds it depressing and manipulative. But I sort of enjoy the uplifting feeling at the end, when the family is, after 3 weeks, actually managing to change their physical destinies and eat right and exercise. One thing I don't get: why do they always recommend the most disgusting recipes that are the most likely to turn off the family? Last week, Dr. Hark decided to make the family's menu very seafood-centric, in spite of the fact that the husband hates seafood. There was a big scene of the mother buying fresh squid and ooging out. I think it'd be better to start 'em off slow: a piece of lean roasted chicken with no skin, a couple of servings of veggies, one starch, plus a salad and a reasonable dessert. I think they do it to show everyone gagging over the healthy food.