Mean Girl to the Rescue!

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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Some random pregnancy fears

Or, Why I am not a good candidate for natural childbirth, in no particular order:

1. Hemorrhoids (this one may have materialized. Ick.)
a) Carrying an inflatable donut with me everywhere
2. Episiotomy and its attendant horrors, such as ...
a) Having to pee standing in the shower
b) Weeks of caaaaareful walking. The only thing that tempers this fear somewhat is the knowledge that the perineal/genital area heals very quickly. With piercing comes knowledge!
3. NOT having an episiotomy and tearing instead (see 2.a)
4. Copious hair loss
a) My post-partum sister-in-law just clued me into this one
5. Installing the baby's carseat
6. Cats pooping/peeing in the crib
a) Or falling into an unloved-pet depression once the nonstop love they're showered with is transferred onto a tiny, screaming human
7. Lochia, which my pregnancy freakout books describe as lasting from two to six weeks. SIX WEEKS of heavy bleeding! Mothers, please tell me this isn't as bad as it sounds. Please?
8. Stretch marks (shallow, I know)
9. C-section (why, oh why have I been watching "Babies: Special Delivery"?)
10. Cracked nips (cream recommendations welcome!)
a) Being unable to breastfeed. I don't trust what's in baby formula, because I am a paranoid freak. Luckily, organic formula does exist.


This week, Little Bun has become quite mobile, executing kicks to such an extent that now Booby can feel them if he gets his hand on my belly fast enough. Bedtime seems to be the most active time.

Fare the well, Betty Crocker* and Sonny, the Cocoa Puffs bird (sob!)

Dear General Mills,

While your commitment to whole grains in your products is impressive, I was saddened to hear of your similar commitment to GMOs. I was also distressed to see that commitment presented alongside the names of your "natural" product lines such as 8th Continent and Cascadian Farms. My understanding is that an organic certification is unrelated to a non-GMO promise. Because of your policies regarding GMOs (and your relentless marketing of GMO foods to children, for which you should be especially ashamed), I will no longer purchase your products. I hope that someday soon, you realize that you are alienating educated consumers and harming the families of your loyal customers, and you will then make the changes necessary to promote healthier food to them.


Mrs. Harridan

* Betty can bite me, as I made brownies from my own mix today (just add 2 (omega 3-fortified) eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate syrup!), with the delicious and healthy extras of almond butter, almond meal and a little bit of flaxseed. It's a delicious omega-3 dream for a girl who doesn't much like fish.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am busily cooking today, although we'll be trekking out to the far 'burbs to see my family tomorrow. My mother's birthday invariably falls during Thanksgiving week, and she holds no quarter for those of her children who are not found in attendance on Thanksgiving Day to pay her the tribute she is due -- in person, if you please.

A friend of mine once said that my mother could have a rabid gay following if she were famous, and I think that this imperious behavior of hers only serves to underline that notion. She has quite the Joan Crawford streak.

Anyhoo, I managed to make a green bean casserole without using French's onions (tools of the trans-fat devil, and owned by corporate giant Reckitt Benckiser) and Campbell's soup, instead using Trader Joe's fried onions with no trans fat (I love you, Trader Joe's) and Health Valley cream of celery soup (I don't go in for mushrooms. Or GMOs).

I'm also making pigs in a blanket, because it's the only appetizer anyone ever has interest in at these family shindigs, aside from shrimp. I used to make all kinds of elaborate finger food that only my sisters and I would eat, while all the men in the family demolished the pigs, upbraiding me for not having made more once they ran out. So now I just make those (although this year, they're getting nice kosher turkey franks inside -- shhh!). I'm toying with the idea of making hummus, because who doesn't love hummus? And I have those cute little mini-pitas for dipping. Plus, it's so easy: dump a can of chickpeas into the blender, stir in some tahini and garlic, and off you go!

Finally, I am taking Izzy's advice and making pumpkin chocolate cheesecake. My one sister always makes homemade pies (including my Lithuanian grandmother's specialty, chocolate meringue; it is to die for), but they go fast, and a nice, rich cheesecake is just the thing for a post-Thanksgiving breakfast, don't you think?

Since I was thinking about which corporate giants owned which little organic companies this week, I was pleased to see a list from Seventh Generation detailing this info. Has anyone else noticed that it can be downright impossible to find who the parent company is on packages from, say, Cascadian Farms (owned by General Mills) or Back to Nature (owned by Kraft/Philip Morris)? I think they don't want us to know.

For any curious folk reading, here is the list:

• Adams Baking is owned by Charter Baking Co.
• After the Fall is owned by Smuckers
• Arrowhead Mills is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Back to Nature is owned by Kraft, which is owned by Philip Morris
• Ben & Jerry's is owned by Unilever
• Boca Burgers are owned by Kraft Foods which is owned by Philip Morris.
• Burt’s Bees is owned by AEA Investors
• Cascadian Farms is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
• Celestial Seasonings is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• DeBoles is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Earth's Best is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Garden of Eatin' is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Health Valley is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Horizon Organic is owned by Dean Foods
• Jason's Natural Cosmetics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Kashi is owned by Kellogg.
• Lightlife (purveyors of Gimme Lean, Smart Dogs, Foney Boloney, and Smart Deli Slices) is owned by ConAgra
• Morningstar Farms is owned by Kellogg
• Mountain Sun is owned by Walnut Acres, which is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Muir Glen is owned by Small Planet Foods, which is owned by General Mills.
• Nantucket Nectars is owned by Cadbury Schweppes
• Nile Spice is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Odwalla Juice is owned by Coca-Cola.
• Organic Cow of Vermont is owned by Horizon, which is owned by Dean Foods
• Rudy’s Organic Bakery is owned by Charter Baking Co.
• R.W. Knudsen is owned by Smuckers
• Imagine Foods (Rice Dream) is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Santa Cruz Organics is owned by Smuckers
• Seeds of Change is owned by M&M Mars Candy.
• Simply Asian is owned by McCormack & Co.
• Spectrum Organics is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Stonyfield Farm is owned by Danone
• Terra Chips is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Thai Kitchen is owned by McCormack & Co.
• Tom's of Maine is owned by Colgate
• Tostitas Organic is owned by Pepsi
• The Vermont Bread Company is owned by Charter Baking Co.
• Walnut Acres is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Westbrae Natural is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• Westsoy is owned by the Hain Celestial Food Group
• White Wave (makers of Silk Soy Milk) is owned Dean Foods
• Worthington Foods is owned by Kellogg
• Yves Veggie Cuisine is owned by Hain Celestial Food Group

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I have a confession to make:

I hated Borat.

I kind of knew I would. Booby spent I don't know how long infusing his brain with Da Ali G Show when they ran a marathon of it on HBO recently, and when I came into the room, I could stand about 10 minutes of it before I pleaded with him to turn it off. So I had an inkling that I wouldn't think it was the Best Movie EVAR!!! or anything.

The whole thing seemed pretty mean-spirited to me. Borat is a nasty man in so many unfunny ways: he objectifies women, he smashes up a small antique store (but not until we're informed that the proprietor is selling Confederate merchandise, so I guess that makes it OK), and he is patently awful to the sweetest little Jewish couple who own a B&B where he and his handler stay the night.

I recently listened to a discussion of the movie on NPR that touched on the anti-Semitism that's fairly rampant throughout the film. Apparently, this isn't meant to be offensive, rather, it's supposed to skewer some people's absurd perceptions of Jews (for example, that they're evil money-grubbers with horns. Yes, horns.). I don't know if the film really does that, though. A lot of the people in the audience were confused by this portrayal, so I don't know if they got the joke. They laughed, but it was confused laughter. There was a lot of that going around - laughter borne of confusion and the knowledge that this was supposed to be funny, so we should laugh, right?

I laughed maybe two or three times. The rest of the theatre was in an uproar.

There was also a lot of misogyny, which I expected, because we all know that women are fair game, and that this is a movie essentially designed for men. And there was a painful storyline in which Borat quests to travel to Hollywood so he can marry Pamela Anderson. I think that might have worked better if it were still 1993 and Pammy were still relevant.

The thing that surprises me most is that every review of this movie has given it five stars. FIVE STARS. Like it's a masterwork or something. I can see why people find it humorous, and I'm aware that I'm in the minority (a minority that is likely being accused of having its panties on too tight), but five stars? Come on.

Am I the only one who didn't enjoy this movie? What did you guys think?

Props & Pans

I have another post up at Props & Pans today. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Almost halfway there

I've been relatively mum on the subject of my pregnancy, partly because I didn't want it to become a pregnancy blog, and partly because I felt really, really nervous and upset about being 35 and spawning (thanks, genetic counselors!). In fact, I was mistakenly given a quad screen blood test when I was only supposed to have an AFP (which determines the likelihood of spina bifida), and ended up getting a positive for Down Syndrome. The percentage of me actually having a chromosomally abnormal child? About three quarters of a percent. And this is a test that is less accurate than a previous test I was given, and also has a much higher false positive rate. This week, I had a Level II ultrasound in which everything looked absolutely fine, and now I feel much better and more positive about everything.

Booby thinks that the whole genetic counseling bit is a huge racket to "sell" amniocentesis (or, rather, he just corrected me, "They are trafficking in uncertainty."), and even suggested that the counselors receive a kickback or have a quota for the procedure. I don't want to think that's true, but considering that a similar "selling" of mammography has overtaken this country (as I think I mentioned in my breast cancer post), I wouldn't be surprised. Medicine is a big business, and the idea that this genetic counseling company (they are basically consultants for hospitals, not employees of the hospital itself) can promise you certainty is, I'm sure, a huge selling point for many expectant mothers/parents.

But anyway. The point here is that I feel OK about it all now, and the Little Bun (whose sex we have elected not to discover; thank you, my patient husband) has been doing all kinds of acrobatics in the oven of my uterus, which is kind of thrilling. We got to see feet and hands (and fingers and toes, all accounted for) and a spine and brain measurements and all that good stuff. As I approach the relative milestone of 20 weeks, it's nice to feel a little more excited and less apprehensive about all this -- at least until the idea of labor and delivery begins to haunt my psyche.

And now, a shot of the belly. Looks bigger in real life, but only in the last week or so have people begun asking me if I'm pregnant (and then only when I'm wearing something form-fitting).