the original kStyle blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


Sorry I've been a negligent blogger. Not that the fate of civilization hangs on my words. Truth be told, not too much is going on. I'm in a period of relative quiet, in all areas of life: not overburdened at Day Job, very few shiatsu clients, my community ed classes won't run because of low enrollment. I've been back at the drawing board re promoting my practice, and I think I have some good new approaches, such as introducing shiatsu to the people who most connect the community (teachers, police/fire/EMS, and realtors) via donating mini-sessions, and letting them disseminate the knowledge for me.

I fell in love with a kind of dance-yoga-martial arts fusion workout called NIA, and bought a 10-class card. Still going to drum circle. I reconnected with some people from shiatsu school. My sister scored me free tickets to Giselle danced by Boston Ballet for the week after next. I'm looking forward to the performance tremendously. My entrepreneurial hero, Gary Hirschberg, will be in my town this coming Thursday (to promote his organic ice cream at his organic restaurant. I like ice cream, his restaurant, and his vision, so it will be good). Oh, and the FDA is a bunch of wankers, especially lately.

G's new nickname for our esteemed president: Honest George.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Q: How are vegans like born-again Christians?

A copy of VegNews sat on the office kitchen counter, the place where unwanted food and books go for colleagues to consume. I grabbed it; its brightly-colored cover promising an article about sweet potatoes was inviting.

I expected a magazine packed with delicious vegetarian recipes, highlighting creative new uses of vegetables. I carried the magazine around in my bag for two days, eagerly awaiting a free moment to thumb through the glossy pages.

That free moment came today. Boy, was I disappointed.

First of all, VegNews is not a magazine for vegetarians. It's a magazine for vegans who have apparently never read the Omnivore's Dilemma and therefore don't realize that sugary, processed soy crap (vegan ice cream in mass quantities, for example) is as bad for the earth as it is for your body. Not that I'm above consuming a little SoyDream--but, if the Militant Vegans want to go on and on about how much holier and healthier they are than I, they should not be eating soy crap.

The magazine is sprinkled liberally with advice on how to convert the omnivores--even the vegetarians--to the vegan lifestyle. Especially riveting was the article "Sowing the Seeds", in which "author with attitude Rory Freedman shares her no-nonsense, tough-love recipe for getting your guy to go vegan". Here's my faaaavorite part of that article, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do:

When he orders meat at a restaurant, don't make a peep! A huge challenge for all compassionate vegans is successfully enlisting others without alienating those around us. So quit being such a damn nag. Unfortunately for women everywhere, nagging is ineffective.

Yes--women are nags! So enlightened are these vegans! Throughout this incredibly "compassionate" article, Ms Freedman refers to the theoretical meat-eating lover as "the big lug". Yes! So nice!

I won't get into much more detail here, because life is short and there are better things to think about, but did you know that vegans are thinner, healthier, more compassionate, and more determined than their animal product-eating counterparts? Oh yes, and they're trying to convert us for our own good. And there are testimonials from people who are so much better off since becoming vegans! Which all reminds me of those wacky, preachy, Jesus-loving zealots.

Recipes? There are exactly three in the whole issue. But there is plenty of stuff to buy buy buy, and also an article about 8 Vegan Weddings!

Like born-again Christians and who try to reach out to teens through rap and hiphop (check out the hilarious movie Saved! for a parody), here we have born-again Vegans trying to mainstream their message with a normal pop-culture medium. How long until we see a Christian Vegan movement? Is it here already? And to clarify, I have nothing against being Christian or vegan, and appreciate some of the core values in these movements, but can't stand the extremism, the need to convert. And the perverse lack of sensuality in both movements. Three recipes? This is not about savoring life. I daresay there is an element of hating the body in both movements, or at least in the dumbass magazine.

Someone once said that she or he most feared the dictator that would oppress the people for their own good. Whatever that quote is, I've mangled it and I'm sorry, but that's the idea.

PS. Another similarity between the movements is that both have a sort of "end times" feel. But I've run out of steam (probably because of all those animal products making me sluggish!) and won't get into this.

I think...I think they call it...blue?

The sun is out for the first time in a week! This morning upon waking in a warm, sunny bedroom, I had to take a few minutes to get oriented. Where am I?

Going outside now---bye!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech

What a terrible tragedy.

I think the answer is not gun control, nor arming everyone. I think the answer lies more in intervention for people with mental illness. (Slate.com has a good article about this approach.) I think maybe there's no one "answer".

It's a very sad thing. Borrowing from the Buddhists, I'm personally trying to use this as an opportunity to become more comfortable with my own mortality, and the mortality of those I love; to meditate on impermanence. Yes, it would be better not to have this opportunity for meditation.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I don't like drip coffee. I'm a tea drinker.

But I do like espresso. And I really liked espresso my Italian roommate used to make with one of those handy stovetop contraptions. I sort of forgot about how much I liked espresso until we went to the Azores, where the coffee was classic European---smooth, rich, chocolatey.

And lo, browsing in the 5&10 when we returned home, what did I see? A handy stovetop espresso contraption. $13.99. A bargain. I thought I'd mostly use it when we had company, so I bought the kind that makes 3 servings. It also made a sort of economical logic in terms of "unit cost"---I could make one serving at a time for $11.99 or three servings at once for $13.99.

Which means that if I make espresso on a Saturday morning, and the Husband does not want any---preferring drip coffee in the morning and espresso in the afternoon, which he believes to be the natural order of things---I end up drinking 3 servings' worth of the strong coffee and zipping around and writing slightly manic blog posts about coffee.



UPDATE: kStyle went for a nice, long walk at the arboretum after writing this post. She then came home, ate lunch, and at 1:30 PM napped as though drugged. She is now awake and resting, nursing a serious case of post-caffeination couch suck.

Friday, April 13, 2007

1. Do you feel better?

It would seem that feeling better is the number one top priority of weight loss. Every conversation involving weight loss seems to conclude with someone saying confidently, "You'll feel better," or its variations, "I feel better," "You must feel better," and "She feels better now".
Yesterday I was talking to a friend who has lost 30 pounds doing Weight Watchers, and she said, "I feel better". I'm happy for her--she's committed and worked hard and appears very happy and proud. Her accomplishment is, pardon the word, huge.

But I confess that I am a little perplexed. If the goal of losing weight is to feel better, does that mean that overweight people are supposed to feel bad? Because I'm about 30 pounds overweight, but...I feel great. My energy is good; I sleep like a dream; my bp, cholesterol, glucose levels, and thyroid are humming along at healthy levels. I don't think I'm an unattractive slob, either, though maybe I'm supposed to. Maybe it's because I really do eat a healthy diet with too many cookies thrown in, or because I exercise a lot, but I can't imagine feeling much "better". Which leaves me with little-to-no motivation to deprive myself of said cookies.

When I do feel bad, it's because of eczema flare-ups on my right foot and my tendency to catch viruses too easily. I don't see this as having much to do with my BMI. But, to remedy my Virus Magnet-ness, I'm going to try the Body Ecology Diet*. The B.E.D. combines the best of several eating plans--drawing heavily upon Asian medicine, which I love--to make your guts a happy environment for good gut flora and a poor environment for invasive, mean germs. I'm certain that my virus last week was so awful because I'd taken antibiotics for a gum infection the week before. The antibiotics destroyed my beneficial bacteria, which left my system an abandoned hotel waiting for vagrants, whorish germs and their crack.

Although the B.E.D. draws upon a couple of ideas I consider quacky (namely, the idea of chronic candidiasis and the Eat Right 4 Your Type nonsense), I know enough to discard those theories and work with the rest of the theory--which is solid--and the actual eating plan itself. Soon my guts will be populated with happy germs who will not permit the nasty outsiders to sneak in. And I might lose weight in the process, as this is a cookie-free diet. I'll feel better, no doubt, but because of cultures, not loss of fat.

2. Speaking of cultures...

I've noticed something extra-special toxic in pop culture lately: Fat celebrity women "coming out" as fat women who are sufficiently ashamed of their wayward binging and ready to lose weight. The toxic icing on the cake, so to speak, is the lying, the abject lying that goes along with this trend. Most recently, I saw the adorable Valerie Bertinelli on the cover of People. Valerie is ready to lose weight! She ballooned to a Size 14! yelled the cover. But Ms Bertinelli's photo showed a woman who was about a size 20. This is a problem. This is a problem because, first of all, it indicates that a size 20 is completely unacceptable, even for the supposed Fattest Celebrity Woman Alive. And secondly, if you have an insecure woman who is a fit 14, who knows what she will think upon viewing this cover in the checkout line. I have a thin friend who is mortified that she recently reached a size 12, and she thinks she is the fattest woman alive. She clearly has no idea how she actually looks, or what the difference is between a 20 and a 14. And I fear her seeing this cover, because it's not what she--or anyone else--needs to be fed.

*the book is quite good and level-headed, even though the web site makes specious claims.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Clueless Tuesday

What do people do on Tuesday nights? You--yes, you there, reading--tell me. First I had three years' shiatsu classes on Tuesdays, 6-9, and now I take yoga on Tuesdays. But there is no yoga tonight. Is there a Tuesday protocol? I've put dinner in the oven and checked personal email. I might read later. Does this sound correct?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Free Advice

Avoid watching House when you're sick with a mysterious virus. I'm sure I have leprosy now.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spiraling Down Into a Pit of Flu-y Despair

Oh my god, shoot me in the head. I'm far worse than my previous Angry Mime status. I ache, I'm nauseated, my skin is a color best described as "half an hour after death", sore throat, no voice, sinus pain, chills.

I've become like a pathetic wino. I tell Greg I love him every 5 minutes, in a sad little whisper. Last night, at bedtime, he said, "You know you've told me that three times now?" I'm even clingy and tearily grateful to the cats for napping with me.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A New Guest at the Feeder

We have a white-breasted nuthatch, ladies and gentlemen! And boy is it cute. It seems to chew thoughtfully on the seeds. I'd like to be someone who chews thoughtfully. I will watch this bird for technique.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site:

In winter, the White-breasted Nuthatch joins foraging flocks led by chickadees or titmice. One explanation for these flocks is that the birds gain protection from predators by the vigilance of the other birds. In support of this idea, one study found that if titmice were removed from a flock, nuthatches were more wary and reluctant to come to exposed bird feeders.

The Angry Mime Needs Something To Do

I'm a little too sick to work; I'm just below the threshold of "totally coherent" and way below the threshold of "concentration".

I'm a little too well to watch Daytime TV.

I'd bake, but I don't want to infect the bread.

I'd walk, but it's snowy and gray outside.

Read? See "concentration" problem.

I already meditated and did a little qi gong.

Not tired enough to nap; too tired for exercise.

Maybe I should vacuum. Yes, vacuum.

UPDATE: Good news. Tidying up the living room, I found an Architectural Digest I've yet to crack open. Pretty, pretty pictures.

The Angry Mime

I lost my voice yesterday. I went to work anyway, because aside from a little fatigue and congestion, I wasn’t feeling all that bad. The laryngitis didn’t hurt; I just couldn’t talk.

But people insisted on chatting away to me anyway. I’d nod, smile, mouth a word or two in reply, and wave goodbye to “dismiss” myself, and my colleagues would look at me like I was being bizarre or rude. After they left my office or I theirs, I would dash off a hasty email connecting the dots that none possessed the mental wherewithal to connect themselves: I’m not intending to be rude or odd—I have laryngitis.

OH, they replied, so THAT'S why you’re acting strange.

My friends C. and P. were the only ones who were—what, sensitive?, observant?--enough to figure it out on their own. A brief hello (as it were) in the hall was enough for C. to say, “Oh, you have laryngitis!” When I reached my desk, I emailed her and said:

You get a gold star! You are the only person here astute enough to figure out
that I have laryngitis. Everyone thinks I’m whispering for my own amusement. And
you somehow, I imagine, figured it out without the benefit of a good night’s
sleep the others had.

(C. is a new mother.)

C. replied: Yes, we work with idiots.

Later, P. popped by my desk on one of her rounds to the vending machine for iced tea. (It’s like crack to her.) I wrote my tale of woe on a pad: No one can figure out that I have laryngitis! They’re treating me like a demented freak! She told me that she encountered the same difficulty when she had laryngitis about this same time last year. She said, “And by the third day I was definitely Angry Mime,” as she shook her fists dramatically, angrily, in the air, mouth open but emitting no sound.

Then she gave me her stash of cough drops. God bless her.

I’m not at work today. Too exhausting for a mime.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where am I

I'm needing to be off the computer and on the yoga mat a lot lately. Things I've gotten done (outside of Day Job) on the computer:
1. Almost finished my business plan draft. One more section to write.
2. Selected a logo from the wonderful designs my designer designed.
3. Selected a business card my designer designed based on said logo.
4. Got a tee shirt printed with logo.
5. E-mail newsletter announcing Spring classes I'm teaching through community ed.
6. Regular e-mails, they never end.

The mat calls...