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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:

Russian Haired Sausage

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!


Why mainstream magazines are bullshit:



Here’s a close-up of the bottom row:



Nothing says, “YOU ARE A GIANT FREAK AND YOU WILL NEVER FIT IN” like a grid full of super fashionable jeans that don’t come in your size. Sorry!

via Sociological Images via Jezebel.

It’s not like I expected any better from a Men’s Health article reprinted on the Health section of MSN’s website, but I was still annoyed after reading about the 8 Drugs Doctors Wouldn’t Take. I skimmed most of the article because most of the drugs doctors wouldn’t take are also drugs for which I have no need. Except for number five, Prilosec and Nexium.

Now, I don’t take prescription Prilosec or Nexium because my health insurance decided long ago when Prilosec became available OTC that it would be much better for them if I would use my own dollars to pay for this medicine, thanks. These days, I technically don’t take Prilosec at all, since Walgreens, bless ’em, now sells a generic version. But I do take a proton-pump inhibitor, omeprazole, nearly every day. Sometimes, on bad days (like, for example, today), I take three or four of these fuckers.

I am certainly alarmed to discover that doing so might result in a heart attack as well as increase my risk of pneumonia and bone loss, but for right now, the possibility of developing those ailments feels distant and unlikely, whereas the incredible, breath-stealing, throat burning, wretch-inducing, gut-clenching, audible-moan-inciting pain that I experience when I don’t take the pills is quite immediate.* For the moment, I’m willing to gamble that “no likely connection” between proton pump inhibitors and heart attacks actually means “no likely connection” between proton pump inhibitors and heart attacks. And pneumonia and bone loss, because nothing ramps up the capacity for denial like chronic stomach pain, eh?

Still, given that the older I get, the greater the risks posed by omeprazole become, I would certainly like to discuss other options with my doctor. Despite my generally high regard for my personal doctor, I’m suspicious of the conversation given that one doctor quoted in the article recommends taking Zantac (at which my personal stomach issues LAUGH RIOTOUSLY because seriously Zantac, Tagamet, and those other histamine blockers are about as effective as eating this bowl of paperclips on my desk) and the other doctor suggests, of course, being thin:

“To really cure the problem, lose weight,” says Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic and co-author of “YOU: The Owner’s Manual.” That’s because when you’re overweight, excess belly fat puts pressure on and changes the angle of your esophagus, pulling open the valve that’s supposed to prevent stomach-acid leaks. This in turn makes it easier for that burning sensation to travel up into your chest.

I developed acid reflux when I was in my early 20s and weighed 130 pounds, and I have had it ever since–as a skinny person, chubby person, and a downright fat person. Since developing reflux, I’ve been skinny and then fat and then skinny and then fat again, and while my weight fluctuates like the tides, one thing that never goes away for any great duration is my searing stomach pain. (I have also suffered from acid reflux as a regular exerciser, as a slothful couch potato, as a pack-a-day smoker, as a only-smoke-when-I-drink-smoker, as a non-smoker, as a vegetarian, as an Atkins dieter, as a heavy drinker, as a tea-totaller (or, as close to a tea totaller as I ever get), as a coffee drinker, as a tea drinker, as a water drinker, as a stress-case, as a zen-like relaxed person, as a single woman, as a married person, as a red-head and as a brunette, as a resident of six different states, and as I pursued three different careers.) I know fat people with acid reflux. I know skinny people with acid reflux. I mean, hell, have you ever tried to eat with stomach acid roiling up into your esophagus? It’s a wonder that fat and acid reflux are linked at all.

Perhaps this is what the great Dr. Roizen is actually suggesting! Leaving your acid reflux untreated so that you are unable to eat, until you lose enough weight that the reflux magically corrects itself. Or you die. Whichever. I guess we’ll have to buy his book and find out.

*You know, I’m also sort of fascinated by this side effect (lol get it) of the over-the-counterization of pharmaceuticals. Before my doctor would write me a prescription for Nexium, back when it was prescription only, he subjected me to a few blood tests to make sure I didn’t have an ulcer. Satisfied that I did not have an ulcer, the doctor assumed I had acid reflux (there might have been some fat prejudice there, since I was fat the first time I actually sought treatment for chronic heartburn, although I’d experienced it for about eight years by then) and away I went. Shortly thereafter, my insurance company dropped proton pump inhibitors from their list of covered drugs and I have been self medicating ever since. When the pain gets worse, I take more pills. Every once in awhile, I skip a couple of days to see if whatever ails me has miraculously resolved itself and then spend the next three days in severe pain, doubling up on the pills, and eating nothing with a pH under 7. At this point, there could be a giant acid-producing alien parasite in my stomach and I would never know, because I don’t need to go to a doctor for this medicine, so why should I seek medical care for a condition that is, as far as I’m concerned, treatable. If inconvenient.

I don’t have much to add to copyranter‘s take on this PSA, except to angrily purse my lips at the medical profession and send everybody over to First, Do No Harm. And maybe point out that I’d rather sit by myself and eat potato chips than play this those grabby, ill-proportioned high-waisted nerds, too, but I’m fat so of course I would say that.

From copyranter:

From the atrocious layout to the asinine headline to the awful illustration of children of yesteryear to the…what the FUCK does this visual even mean? Why is a basketball game being held on a see-saw? And teeter-tottering isn’t exactly a great fat-reducing activity. And the dire headline: …”like their lives depended on it.” Well, for the very small percentage of kids who played Russian roulette, I guess that’s true.

Michelle Obama Watch

Gina at What About Our Daughters has taken Michelle Obama Watch life, and she’s looking for contributors!

If you use WordPress, you can add the RSS feed to Michelle Obama Watch on your side bar. It’s in the Dashboard under “Design” and then “Widgets.”

Congratulations and best wishes to What About Our Daughters. Here’s to many more years of “uncompromising, unapologetic, and unbowed defense of Black women and girls.” Thanks, Gina, for keeping me informed and aware and always refusing to back down or be silenced.

Peter Sagal is alright with me.

I’m a fan of Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! (although as I could not be sure that Peter, Carl, and the panelists would limit their interaction with Maureen Dowd to demanding that she STFU, I did skip her Not My Job segment a couple of weeks ago) even though sometimes I think they go for the cheap, and occasionally sexist, laugh. But after seeing a link on Feministe to Sagal’s All Thing’s Considered commentary Gender Inequity in ‘Whoville,’ I find that I love Peter Sagal almost as much as I hate Jim Carey.

Wait, that is impossible. My hatred of Jim Carey is unparalleled. But I do find myself feeling happier, warmer, fuzzier feelings towards Mr. Sagal than I ever have before. Read a wee bit for yourself:

In a new subplot added by the filmmakers, the mayor of Whoville has 96 daughters. He has one son. Guess who gets all his attention? Guess who saves the day? Go ahead, think about it, I’ll wait.

No I won’t. What’s so irritating about this casual slap at daughters is the sense that the makers of the film didn’t really mean it. They seemed mostly interested in riffs on pop culture and jokes about violating bodily integrity. But what writers are told, you see, in Hollywood notes meetings, is that every character has to make a journey, towards something he needs and ultimately gets, and what they decided the Mayor of Whoville needs was a better relationship with his son. Here is a father with 96 daughters — 96 amazing, beautiful, unpredictable, mysterious, distinct, glorious human beings — but gosh, what in the world is he going to care about? I know, let’s give him a moody silent uninteresting offspring, but this one’s got a Y chromosome… that’ll be boffo box office!


Also: Oh CPD.


Full article here.

Honestly, the moronic puns in the headlines make it sound like Weis intends to implement a more hardcore weight restriction on officers, but then the article itself says that he plans to “pay closer attention to body fat content as opposed to weight to judge if an officer is fit” which means… what? BMI? Calipers? Waist to hip ratio? It’s pretty clear that Weis (like the rest of the fucking planet) doesn’t know how to make people lose weight, but he’s damn well willing to try… things! If I were that faceless fat cop on the front page of the Sun Times, this would make me consider a transfer to building security (emphasis added):

“We need to develop a mind-set that taking care of yourself, being fit, being nutritionally sound, being as healthy as you can be is what you need to be a police officer,” said Weis, who is a body builder and is married to a trainer.

Because we all know that you can’t be fit, nutritionally sound, or healthy as you can be if you’re fat, right?

Also? I seriously love the Sun Time’s front page weather blurbs:


Very optimistic!!!

Update: Paul at Big Fat Blog has a link to the full PDF of the paper, with the photos and everything. And the crossword puzzle.

I am one of those horrible snobs who, as a point of pride, refuses to acknowledge the existence of the Chicago Tribune’s terrible free commuter paper The Red Eye, unless I want to bolster my feelings of intellectual superiority by finishing the world’s third easiest crossword puzzle during my 20 minute bus commute (the first and second easiest being People Magazine and any airline’s in-flight mag, respectively) or unless there is something really fucking compelling on the cover. So it was no surprise that I missed this morning’s really fucking compelling cover until J called me to inform me that I should probably pick of a Red Eye because it featured “[my] precious Kate Harding” on the cover, as well as (my also precious) Paul McAleer and Colleen James on the inside:

Welcome to the Fat-osphere: Bloggers stop counting calories and start spreading the message–there’s nothing wrong with being fat.

Considering the source, the article is pretty good. Sure, author Leonor Vivanco quotes monomaniacal insane person Meme Roth and cites a few statistics about how being fat has a 100% mortality rate, but the article avoids diet tips and quotes a doc from UC and a prof from Northwestern who both espouse, in so many words, Health at Every Size: “‘You can be overweight and healthy as long as you’re exercising, eating a nutritious diet. . . . I think people who are more comfortable in their own skin are more likely to exercise, to take care of their bodies,’ [Sarah Catanese, instructor of psychiatry and behavior sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine] said.”

The piece ends on a high note, quoting Kate as saying:

“You’re spending mental energy on hating yourself and trying to become a body type you’re not meant to be. . . . You’re wasting so much time and losing opportunities to go out and do things you love.”

Now, put that on a fridge magnet and stick it!

Kate and Paul both come across quite intelligent, charming, and inspirational, and COFRA gets a mention. Pretty Pear Colleen rocks out with her own “Plus-size phat [sic] fashion” sidebar.

Well done and congratulations, awesome Chicagoans! I guess you actually can polish a turd.

I had the privilege of attending the first Big Fat Blog Think Tank and, in addition to meeting some fantastic folks and learning a lot about Fat Acceptance as a movement, I also received a really awesome pin designed by Paul at Big Fat Blog that looks like this:

I affixed the pin to the flap of my messenger bag and anybody seated on the train or bus while I stand in the aisle has a direct, eye-level view of a simple, important, yet still quite subversive message: Love your body.

What’s so subversive about loving your body? Well, that depends on the body now doesn’t it? If we fit within the narrow confines of what this society finds beautiful, if we are thin but not too thin, or white enough or appropriately exotified or at least not too ethnic, if we are tall but not too tall, if we are able-bodied, if our hair is of the right texture, if we have the right size boobs, if we have no socially unacceptable body hair, if our skin is free of zits and wrinkles and freckles and moles, if our periods are light and our shit don’t stink then hey! What’s not to love? But what if your body falls outside the framework of what we are told is lovable?

Fruitfemme wrote stunningly about this idea of the unlovable body on Blogging for Choice day:

Bodies on the margins have always had to fight for integrity.

Untidy, abnormal, non-compliant, oppositional bodies.

Bodies that can’t be ignored when they’re too big or small or too female or too ambiguous or too uncaring of gender rules altogether or too mobile in a power chair or too loud with their sign language or too brown or too black or too difficult to categorize or too fertile/infertile or too damn many of the above all at once.

(Those paragraphs and a beautiful poem are at The Fruit Basket, found via cripchick in the kind of serendipitous link clicking that makes me love the internet.)

When your body fails to conform to the many requirements for attractiveness, when you refuse to harm yourself physically and mentally to abide by these ever more strict rules, when you love your unlovable body, you are being one subversive cookie. And when you wear a pin encouraging others to love their bodies, when you tacitly assert to the general public that you are okay with your own sweet, oppositional body just the way it is, you’re informing everybody who can read your pin that it is indeed possible to quit the game and come out ahead and love your unlovable body. That’s some heady and liberating stuff. And it terrifies those with something to gain from our continued self-loathing and whimpering compliance.

Some of you are aware that Rachel of The F-Word (wearing the aforementioned “Love Your Body” pin on her stylish lapel!) and Monique of BFD exhibited some iron-clad ovaries and appeared on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet today to advocate for the Fat Acceptance movement, going up against monomaniacal insane person Meme Roth and a very telegenic doctor who fit very neatly within society’s approved definition of attractiveness. At about 34 seconds in to the second video linked on BFD or Shapely Prose, when asked why she had such a problem with fat acceptance, monomaniacal insane person Meme Roth said:

When we first heard about the fat acceptance movement, I think we all thought it meant that we wanted no one to be cruel to any one at any size and I think every one of us would agree to that but it’s kind of become is somehow “big is beautiful,” a glorification of obesity, somehow obesity and feminism are connected, it’s really kind of gone off the bend.

In other words, Meme Roth is okay with fat acceptance as long as its primary goal is to eradicate meanness, but as soon as it begins to espouse a beauty standard that contradicts her own personal aesthetic opinions, it’s gone off the bend. The fact that she includes the intersection between fat acceptance and feminism as examples of around-the-bendness is pretty strong evidence that her problem is less with health and more with these uppity fat bitches daring to oppose the hegemony of beauty standards.

This tells me that Fat Acceptance as a movement has some serious potential to be about more than just fat, but can serve as a platform on which all nonconforming bodies can stand and shout “We love our bodies” until the walls come down.

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