Archive for November, 2008

Ever more guilty pleasures

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

This post comes at a time when I am struggling with some terrible inner admittances. What? I like Beyonce now? And unicorns? And sitting in my bed reading Glamour? WTF, self? And okay, to be fair, for some reason Glamour randomly started coming to me last month out of nowhere and I have paid them zero dollars, but it keeps coming, and Diane Lane looked so cute on the cover that I had to read the article, and here I am. In guilty pleasure-land. I like some really, really, really terrible things.

Regardless, it is with much trepidation that I admit here, before you, that I started reading Twilight (p.s. I initially spelled that TWIGLIGHT!!). I am so not proud of this. It’s the trashiest, most terrible piece of “literature” I have ever read. The vampires sparkle. Sparkle. Like diamonds. WTF. I like all things vampires, which is good and fine (I think??) but I have sunk to an all-time low and embarrassing territory here. That said: I seriously cannot stop reading it. I advise you to walk swiftly away from this book. It will suck you in and ruin you and steal your soul and more importantly, all of your “omg the semester ends in 3 weeks” motivation. Don’t do it.

In a more uplifting and promising note, I’m also re-reading Margaret Atwood’s Moral Disorder, which is so good it’s scary and not even a little bit fair. The format of this is unusual for Margaret (I think I can call her that, maybe, because I’m her #1 fan), but she does it outstandingly and I so highly recommend it. Margaret, I love you. You give me hope, Margaret, that maybe I’m not a 14 year old dolt trapped in a 23 year old’s body!!

Next week: I talk about the Babysitter’s Club and how much I hated Dawn-the-dippy-vegetarian-from-Cali-with-divorced-parents but loved Stacey-the-fashionable-blonde-from-NYC!!!-who-had-diabetes. J/K.

I don’t mind stealing bread

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

When I was in tenth grade, I sat at a lunch table with 5 other girls. They all had some variation of an eating disorder, or claimed to, in the least. I liked to eat copious amounts of food then (uh, still do), and was the size of a fly, and thus, Melinda daily running to the bathroom mid-lunch to barf up her ice cream sandwich was kind of a mystery to me. This might have been where my fascination with eating disorders began: cafeteria, dieters, Gina’s acid breath, the little stack of carrot slices Kris alloted herself per day. Either way, hello life-long fascination.

Going Hungry: writers on desire, self-denial, and overcoming anorexia (ed. by Kate Taylor) is a compilation of essays by 17 essays by various women writers (and in a nod to the newsflash that men are struck by eating disorders just as easily as women, one essay by a male writer). For the most part, these are heavy essays. They are largely sad, and strange, and deeply upsetting. I sometimes felt like I didn’t belong while reading them. Like an outsider, or worse yet, a voyeur.

I would like to say that this book could serve as a warning, or in the least, a cautionary lesson to young men and women, but I can’t. At points in nearly every essay, anorexia and bulimia are glamorized, are heralded; the writers claim to have felt sexy and more beautiful than ever whilst binging and purging. This book offers little hope. It offers few solutions to the readers who might have come to its pages looking for an answer, or for help. To the converse: it likely holds a few more secrets for those seeking a new fullness strategy, or another way to hide their disorder, or an easier way to vomit (yes–they even chronicle this). I wanted this book to slap me in the face and disgust me and terrify me and horrify me and I wanted to give a copy of it to a child of mine someday so they’d never be like the girls at my lunch table. Anorexia and bulimia are ugly, vicious diseases–make no mistake of this–but never, ever, do these essays show that. Writers flippantly talk of being hospitalized, near to death, and it’s no big deal. I realize that the point of these essays was largely not to solve a huge issue in a few hundred pages, but, c’mon.

My other complaint with this book, and maybe this is neither here nor there, is the homogeneity of the writers. The majority are white (one is black, another–the only male–hispanic). Most are monied. Most go to Ivy League schools–Harvard, Yale & Stanford are tossed around casually by the majority of the authors. This is a flat representation of a disease that plagues countless demographics. Why not show that?

I came away from this book mostly feeling very, very sad, and simultaneously quite helpless. It is perhaps not within the scope of this book to have included even an iota of a solution, but I can’t help feeling that it’s all too necessary regardless.

For a truly ugly and fantastic look at eating disorders, I highly recommend Marya Hornbacher’s memoir, Wasted : a memoir of anorexia and bulimia. It is the book that Going Hungry could never be.

None of this is book related in the least.

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I discovered today that I have a dangerous, scary obsession with the Beyonce video for the song “Single Ladies.” I have to confess that I am actually mesmerized by it. I don’t even like music videos. I don’t even like Beyonce. BUT THAT SONG IS SO CATCHY. And the video! My only beef is that she’s wearing this weird claw thing on her left hand. Do. Not. Want.

Tangent alert!!!: R. Kelly. Is he secretly a genius or what?

Also today the campus internet connection went kaput and people freaked out. It was amazing.

Additionally, all that stuff people say about promoting healthy urinary tracts, it is so totally true. Ladies, drink that cranberry juice, y’hear?

Does this mean I’m a grown-up now?

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

I was startled to realize recently that apathy no longer interests or amuses or attracts me.

Seriously, am I a grown-up?

Weird.