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Despite what the title of this post might lead you to believe, the following link is not only entirely safe for work, but is also quite delightful:
I guess you all know what is for dinner in the Ottermatic household tonight…
And from that same site, although probably of interest only to that tiny little slice of the Venn diagram where my readers and fans of Russian literature and film overlap, is a pictorial spread about people who go into the still irradiated Chernobyl disaster zone and play real-life “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.,” which is a video game, sure, but a video game based on a book by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky and film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, all of which I find totally amazing for some reason. Probably low blood sugar.
ETA: First link is fixed! Sorry!
According to this cleverly named post on Chicagoist:
River otters are making a comeback in Chicago waterways. According to the Chris Anchor, chief biologist for Cook County (jobs we didn’t know existed: that one), “Almost all the watersheds in Cook County have otters. They’re everywhere…there’s definitely otters downtown.” No one’s sure exactly why the otters have re-emerged, but the Brookfield Zoo and Forest Preserve District will be tagging and tracking the furry critters, so information should be forthcoming.
I am telling you right now. If I’m walking along the river and I see an otter, I am going to just straight up die of joy. And then the opportunistic otters will eat my joyfully dead corpse, and the cycle of life will continue.
Another I learned from that Chicagoist post? SIX-FEET LONG GIANT OTTERS.
Oh, hell yeah.
Chicago’s hilarious local WGN News aired a clip in support of this study about how fat people are destroying the environment by being all fat and gross and stuff. I really have to thank Gina Kolata and the fat blogs (is that a band? Gina and the Fat Blogs?) exposing the ridiculousness of the old “if fat people just did X, they would lose Y number of pounds every year!” trope. That was the sort of non-info that just kind of rolled right off my brain, leaving maybe an ooze of self loathing behind, but no real cognitive understanding of what it even meant to lose 13 pounds every year because I parked at the ass-end of the Shop Rite* parking lot.
Over video footage of the headless fatties (Gina and the Fat Blogs is playing a double bill at the Empty Bottle with Teh Headless Fatties next week, I hear – no cover and there will be snacks!), the WGN news anchor encouraged fat folks to get out of their cars, and stop eating hamburgers! Also, walk instead of drive. And I had to laugh into my beer at that one because this fatty walks at least a half hour every day (unless it’s one of those housework-focused days when I just putter around the casa, in which case I get all the cancer-fighting, slimming, gender-essentializing benefits of housework so I figure it evens out) and doesn’t even own a car, much less sit in one and eat hamburgers. So where is my 13 pounds of annual weight loss? Where do I write a letter of complaint? I have been walking at least a mile a day for the last three and a half years, so I should be showing a net loss of 45 pounds. I have been cheated and I demand to know who is responsible! Preferably before next Sunday when I attend a clothing swap and dump all my size 8 – 12 clothes, which, according to Dr. Georges Benjamin should fit me just fine, thanks, since I walk so fucking much.
This also made me think about the similar conundrum I faced while living in Atlanta. Against (white people’s) social custom and despite some serious inconvenience, when I lived in Atlanta, I took MARTA to work every day. At least until I joined a gym in my office building. Because, see, if I wanted to go to the gym, I had to schlep way to much stuff with me to take MARTA, since the gym had no lockers, so I had to drive. Plus, since I went at lunch, I had to shower before going back to work, which meant two showers a day. Plus I created extra laundry in the form of towels and gym clothes. I actually wrote on the blog I had at the time about how I was torn between being environmentally conscious by taking public transportation, or being environmentally conscious by exercising so I wouldn’t be such an over-consuming Fatty McFatpants. Given that Atlanta is about a week from completely drying up and blowing away, I wonder which course of action good Dr. Benjamin would advocate for me were I in the same situation now?
All of which just serves as more anecdotal evidence on how damn dumb, not to mention demonizing, that study and its attendant news coverage really is.
* What’s up, Delaware!
How wonderful when doing something good for the environment coincides with doing something good for your sanity… Gina Trapani at Lifehacker links to this handy page with info on how to unsubscribe from all those stupid, wasteful catalogs.
As someone who lives in a tiny apartment, I can attest to the overwhelming clutter potential of just a couple days’ worth of unwanted catalogs. As someone who is inexplicably busy*, I can attest to the attention drain that these catalogs place on my free time, whether it’s time spent corralling and disposing of them or time wasted reading them while I put off doing something else.** And as someone who lives in a city with an abhorrently inadequate recycling program, I can attest to the importance of focusing on the reduction third of the reduce-reuse-recycle equation.
So sleep with one eye open, Lands End and Winter Silks because I’m coming for you. I’ll keep my Ikea catalog, though, since they only send one a year and it provides endless bathroom reading enjoyment for the whole family.
*I have a 9-5 M-F job and a once a week volunteer commitment and yet still feel like I’m always running three steps behind everything that I need or want to do. And yes, I’ve read Getting Things Done and even have my own geeky little GTD system in place.
**It’s time wasted because living in Chicago, I can almost always buy what I want at a brick and mortar store and avoid the packaging and pollution of mail order, not to mention the hassle of hauling whatever it is home on the train.