This week has been a lot. My work laptop broke first thing Monday morning. I tripped and sprained my ankle while locking up my bike at the library. Today we got our taxes done and have been informed that we owe the federal government about $3,850. Anyway, here I am.
Here are some things I read, watched, or bought this week.
I got this book from the library and devoured it in just a few days. I kept taking pictures of the text to post on instagram, but decided I couldn’t post the whole book and gave up. The premise of The Fuck It Diet is that going on a diet makes your body think that you’re living through a famine. During famine, metabolism slows down and your body slowly cannibalizes itself. When you start eating again, the body wants way more calories than before so it can fortify itself against future famine. The only cure? Eat whatever you want, all the time. Not with the secret goal of “intuitive” eating or like “I’ll eat what I want for a while, then go back to losing weight” but truly eating whatever feels right. Caroline Dooner cites studies demonstrating that starving people need excess calories for a long time before the body stabilizes, and what are dieters if not starving people?
When I started reading The Fuck It Diet I thought, well, I halfway do that already so will I really benefit from this book? I don’t “diet,” per se but I have been tracking my calorie intake for most of the last year. I pretty much eat what I want and I’m “fine” with my weight and my body. However, this book evoked a lot of emotions (as it’s meant to). I still think I’m eventually going to “get my shit together” and lose weight, even if I have no plans to be thin. I am still afraid of gaining weight because I’m scared of taking up too much space and being in the way. I’m worried that people will think I’m lazy and stupid and not take me seriously. I fret over being able to find nice, comfortable clothes that make me look cool. One of the big tenets of the Fuck it Diet is that you can’t be afraid to gain weight. It’s normal to be hungry and follow up on that feeling. Your body knows what it needs to survive. It’s not normal to feel hungry, shout “Why am I still hungry?” and then sulk about it, which is something I often do.
I think I’m going to be processing what I read for a while, even though it didn’t take long to read. Would I really be okay with gaining more weight? Am I going to count calories … for the rest of my life? I don’t know. Emotions are complicated, but food should not be.
I’ve been collecting internet reads for the last couple of weeks without sharing them, so here’s a bunch:
- How Amazon Convinced Millions of People to Welcome “Listening Devices” into Their Homes via PBS Frontline. Amazon is 100 percent gathering data all the time on people who have Echoes in their homes. Why are we accepting it? And why are we paying for the pleasure?
- The death of small businesses in big cities, explained via Vox. We like to remind each other to “shop small” to keep our local businesses afloat. That’s great, but individuals shopping small is not enough to make up for the structural issues taking small businesses down.
- Number of witches rises dramatically across U.S. as millennials reject Christianity via Newsweek. The title says it all. Hex the patriarchy.
- Kameron Hurley: Into the Raging ’20s, We Ride via Locus. Thoughts on social media, activism, and disinformation from one of my favorite authors. “I’ve found it easy to forget about joy, the last few years. Here in the raging ’20s, I want it back. I endeavor to make my work fun again, to concentrate on the process of creation that I love so much about this profession.”
- How Your Laptop Ruined Your Life via The Atlantic. We usually blame smartphones for the workday’s creep into all hours, but laptops are the real culprit.
- The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President via The Atlantic. Cool. cool, cool, coolcoolcoolcoool.
Listening and Watching
How we met, the long version by Jens Lekman popped up on my Spotify this week and now I’m in love with this song. It truly is the “long” version.
We started watching the new HBO show Avenue 5, which is hilarious on a deep, existential level. I think this era’s primary art medium is going to be existentialism. In the 90s and early 2000s, everything was detached and ironic. I thought we were going to swing back to sincerity, but given the horrors of modern life, I think we’re in the throes of existential dread. I’m not complaining though—that shit is funny.
I think I’m gonna go with “taxes” this week. Yes, taxes. Normally, I really try to frame taxes as something we pay into as an investment into our civilization (which it is!), but it is offensive to get hit with a large tax bill. Why isn’t my company’s HR department better at taking the right amount out of paychecks? Am I really expected to understand this myself? Fortunately, our tax preparer gave us some advice for how to avoid this for next year. I don’t mind paying but I cannot abide surprise taxes.
Making Things and Doing Stuff
I made a couple of trips to the library this week, which was enjoyable until I sprained my ankle. I had six holds to pick up on Thursday and I was excited to stuff them into my bike basket (simple pleasures lol). Unfortunately, I got caught in a large gap in the sidewalk, turned my ankle, and hit the pavement. It hurt and it always feels stupid to get hurt doing something basic, but here we are. I was able to ride home and I’ve since been alternately icing and compressing to try to get the swelling down. I’m hoping I’ll be able to play derby next Saturday.
Knitting and Crafts
I finally got the last pair of socks washed and blocked so they are officially done! I knit quite a lot on my tunic this week and I finished the cowl portion. Last night I knitted it out onto a non-twisted needle to get into the rest of the yoke. Progress!
I felt weird about derby this week after reading my feedback from tryouts. I don’t know who evaluated me, but I am sure they were trying to be supportive. I got good feedback about the gameplay-oriented drills, but I also got puzzling comments saying things like I ask “excessive” questions and that I “seem very sad.” There were some skills that I thought I had improved on but I got quite stark feedback about. That actually distressed me the most because I would hope that my coaches would give me some more direction during practices if I’m not doing things right. I thought my lateral movement was decent but my feedback says I look “uncomfortable” and “choppy.” This is a lot of hand-wringing over feedback, but it’s hard to take unactionable comments about something I work really hard at. I decided I wanted to get some one-on-one coaching to fine tune a few things and get advice for how to improve and I found out that Bay Area Derby offers that service (as a fundraiser for their travel team, in fact). More on that in the future.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves. Viola is a weirdo.