Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Stay Open

Look, I hate Rick Santorum as much as you do.
I hate that he doesn't believe in global warming. I hate when he said there are no Palestinians, and only Israelis live in the West Bank. I hate how he said he wants to go to war with China, and how he sounds pretty racist, sexist and mean most of the time.

I hate that he is against pre-marital sex, and against allowing women to use contraception. I hate how much he hates homosexuals, and I hate that such narrow beliefs are reported with a straight face.


Whether it was planted by conservative media pundits, or whether it was just a truly human interest story, I can't hate Rick Santorum for loving his daughter who has a terrible illness (Trisomy 18), which I read about yesterday here.

And I can hate him for using his own family's situation, experience and choices to dictate an anti-choice message to everyone else on the planet, and I can hate him for using that experience to get votes while campaigning in a church, but I can't hate him for this description of life with his daughter, and I can choose to use it as a way to keep my heart open. No. Matter. What.

On the campaign trail, the Santorums share the lessons they have drawn from Bella. Mr. Santorum told a church gathering in Charleston, S.C., that Bella can never “do” anything in her life in the traditional sense, except love him.

“She is a font of love,” he said. “And she made me understand that that’s how the Father looks at me. I’m disabled and unable to ‘do’ anything for him — except love him. And he loves me unconditionally.”

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Keepin' it real.

As an employee of your federal government, I have joined a gym in the federal building for said employees. It's about as low-fi as they come, in a basement, and I'm happy to have an affordable gym option.

There are poster boards with how to sign up for a workout buddy, what classes you might want to take, goals to track with little silver star stickers, like lifting the most weight in your age group, as well as food advice/tips/recipes, motivational sayings and a gym member of the month feature.

But you gotta love the honesty. One of this month's health tips, along with "Take the Stairs!" and "Eat One More Vegetable Today!" is "Drink Less Alcohol!"

Less, my friends. Less. We live in the real world, after all.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Boys will be Boys

Not everything in the world is gendered, or has to be, but honestly, only two boys (under the age of 25) would take a brand new coffee pot out of the box, a gift to all office workers here in our humble digs, and make coffee in it.

No rinsing of the carafe, no test run through with hot water, no cleaning at all. Box. Open. Coffee. Made.

This is not a surprise, however, because I had the foresight to ask if they'd washed it, and the predictable "no" that followed prompted me to skip coffee this morning at work.

And then, one boy said to me, not three minutes later, "Well now it tastes different! It tastes weird to me! Should I throw it out?"

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I missed my little blog's 3rd birthday this past Sunday! So, here we are, in year 4 - in what started out as a public journal for friends during my time in Costa Rica, and grew into a little place on the internet that mainly keeps me on task.

I have a to-do list eight miles long - the Extra-G-Rated version of Storm Large's eight miles, ahem - and each day, I tick off (give or take) writing in the pre-dawn, making breakfast, packing lunch, going to work, working out, doing laundry, making dinner, cleaning up, catching up, sending a compliment or writing a thank-you note, flossing my teeth (!) and reading some part of a book.

And... I blog. Or, I try to.

This is so if some, or most, of things on the to-do list remain undone on a given day, or get skipped, or get guiltily ignored, at least I can churn out a blog post, big or small. And that's one accomplishment I can point to for the day, one that exists on "paper".

And as a bonus, I am ever so lucky to have a few loyal readers! Your ephemeral, digital and quiet presence helps me stay on task, here, as The Pig, so that I might continue to be productive and strict, in all the other ways I aim to be, and to keep the hearth clean and warm for the Muses.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The pleasures are small, the laugh was great.

On Weight Watchers, you can be any kind of person. You might eat and eat and eat until your points have run out at 4 PM, and then you're on to water and fruit for the night. You might starve and starve and starve until lunch, and then spend the day catching up in delectable snacking.

Or, you can be like me, and on most days, you are very strict and regimented and balanced from morning until night, saving and planning and plotting for the evening points to provide a dinner that can be filling - perhaps with 14 grams of cheese sprinkled on top! TWO teaspoons of butter! ahhh, the little things - AND so that dessert is possible.

And so, perhaps it's the influence of my current British novel, but I've been eating tea and toast lately - and there's nothing better. But tonight, my new package of Chamomile tea set me laughing; it advertises on the side, "Now With Richer Chamomile Flavor!"

Known for it's rich flavor, indeed!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I'm surely going to foodie hell... but, but, but... these cherries from Chile for $3.99 a pound taste sooooo good after going on month four of bananas, apples, oranges, bananas, apples, oranges!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Oh, JK?

John bought me the 8 BluRay collection of Harry Potter movies for Christmas, and I am reveling in watching these cute kids grow up, night after night. I plan to re-read the series next, to revel in all the things that can't fit into a screen adaptation.

However, now that I'm 4 movies in, I am afraid to say... not a one passes the Bechdel Test! Do we blame J.K., or do we blame the directors? I'll report back when the series re-read commences.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Light: Returning

With the return of the light - we're gaining more than one minute every single day now! - I'm working to embrace the new year, with its sparse gifts. These small scraps of daily light are but one; the whole house, too, feels clean and lean with the Christmas tree, lights, decor, gifts and cookies cleared out... these the things I've been blogging about this week, you might ask, why so much positivity, lady, when you've already failed to floss every day in 2012?

Well, I am finding that part of being in-the-moment and going whole-hog with Christmas parties, gifts, gatherings, trips, food, drink and celebration means I can more willingly let it be over - and be in this new moment filled with resolutions, list-making, a strict sleep schedule and the monitor of Weight Watchers eating once again.

New gifts mean old things can be cleared away - another round of too-big clothes have headed into the clothing-swap pile, and I find a renewed vigor for using the quick rule of 3 on all items contained in my house and closet: "Do I love it? Does it fit my style/taste? Is it flattering (on the body or on the wall)?" This strictness seems easier - and that comes as a surprise - after two weeks of gluttony.

I am sure that my Buddhist friends would just chuckle at this silly realization of mine that embracing each moment, both the fat (holidays) and the lean (new year), makes for more contentment all around. So chuckle away at me! I am in the mood to laugh with you so far in January.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bad > Good

Bad habits are stronger than good habits. It is so much easier to say, "Oh, I'll get back to Zumba on Thursday instead of tonight." "Oh, I'll eat one more cookie rather than throw them out or pawn them off on some coworkers."

One of these I did... but, but, but I put so much work into those cookies! And one I did not; I did, in fact, go to Zumba tonight.

My mind, that old enemy always muttering at me from dawn til dusk and in my dreams too, kept saying, "You'll be dragging after taking almost 3 weeks off from class! You won't remember the steps! There will be new people, or worse, all the people you know scorning you for not being there for so long! Your teacher will think you are lazy for missing it! Today was the first day back at work, you DESERVE to skip it! Relax tonight! You can go Thursday. That would even save money, too."

Well, my dear husband graciously said yet to my request that he cook a dinner-to-order (I ordered a chicken and brown rice stir fry with onions, bell pepper and mushrooms, in case you're wondering), and I hauled myself to Zumba.

And not only did it feel fantastic to sweat, to stretch, to whoop, to laugh, to shake my booty to the beat, I came out of it with an enormous endorphin rush. What a surprise, to be this noticeable! My body is just screamin': "It's the new year, I only gained 2 pounds while off the diet for ten days, and I have goals to get back to!"

Not to mention new ones to start!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Year after year, birthday after birthday, I announce the same resolution: floss my teeth every day. I've said before that I have a sneaking suspicion my entire life would fall into line - complete with deep, profound meaning in each moment and success in all endeavors - if only I could manage to floss every single day. (If you DO floss every single day, I don't want to hear about it. I don't want to hear about how easy it is. I probably am already jealous of your meaning-laden life and wild success as an artist.)

What's the resolution you make, over and over?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Babies Abound

Friends and family all around me seem to be raising babies, having babies, expecting babies, and even making babies with the help of modern science. All these babies got me thinking about the old nursery rhyme, and so for a little Day Zero/New Year fun, go here first and find out what day of the week you were born. Then let me know if you're indeed the correct child...

Monday's child is fair of face
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.

As for our house, I'm supposed to be full of grace and John is loving and giving. So one is a goal and one is a reality - but what else are New Year's Resolutions for!?