Forever's gonna start tonight!

I haven’t even told you of my return to the ranks of the Weight Watchful Ones, have I? That I rejoined WW about a month ago? I’d been doing it online on and off for awhile, but for the past month I have been going to actual meetings in real life, the real world of flesh and blood; of membership cards; of yet more flesh weighed in on real fucking scales in front of other actual live people and everything. Oh, the humanity, and so much of it ON ME.

So it seems I’m fighting again: I’m back in The Shit. Lately I’m more willing to do everything I ought to. I eat mostly the CORE foods but follow the FLEX plan. I have heard this referred to as “Flexcore,” which sounds more like a godforsaken metal subgenre than a way of eating, but it seems to be working. I look up the points information for almost everything. I check the points listing for the Panera menu at DWLZ and Dottie breaks the bad news to me in Comic Sans. And the current new name/slogan/tagline/operating paradigm for the whole WW Program is “Turn Around,” which unfortunately causes excerpts from the song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler to spiral through my head for at least a half hour after each meeting.

(Did you click that last link? You really should have waited for me to warn you.)

The first week I lost nothing, the second week I lost a bit, the third week I either lost nothing or gained back the bit, but I’ll never know because I skipped that week; subequently this last week I either lost nothing or lost the same bit again. I have a feeling my weight loss is going to progress at about the same pace as an Apartment 3-G storyline, but, hey, it’s something. And I’ll keep you posted.

Odd Daily Occurrence

I believe it has been going on every morning here for at least the last two weeks: at some point around 11 am I’ll hear a short but jubilant burst of mechanical beeps coming from one corner of my office. It’s a little jingle sequence, really–the sort of deetleleety-deetle-deetle that you might hear from a digital watch alarm, or maybe the voice mail alert on older cell phones. I have no fucking idea what it is. I think it may be coming from somewhere in the pile of manuscripts I have in that corner–two or three file boxes of manila envelopes full of stuff I have to return.

I suppose it’s possible that a beeping thingy would have come with one of the manuscripts. People send us all kinds of things with their stories sometimes: stuffed animals, finger puppets, puzzle pieces, bits of felt shaped like dinosaurs, and once, an insect specimen. I’m having trouble imagining what kind of Beeping Thingy could have been sent to me, much less the kind of children’s story it would accompany, but I can’t rule it out. As far as I know, though, I’ve opened everything in that pile and wouldn’t I remember finding, you know, this Beeping Thingy?

I’ve ruled out everything else in the general vicinity of the beeping. No surge protectors; nothing electronic or battery-powered. Nothing, really, that could make a sound on its own, as most things in my office tend to be silent unless kicked or thrown against a wall. But every day the beeping continues, and every day I kind of forget I hear it.

And now that I’ve mentioned it, I bet it will stop.

No, really, what is it? Did I black out one day and buy a Tamagotchi? Is there some Children’s Book Unabomber who has it in for me? Is there a portal to another dimension? What?!

One of those book meme thingies that I keep meaning to do

Because Kevin Smokler tagged me. And because I went to the lakefront after work instead of writing a real update.

1. How many books I own: I just counted; I have about 400. This doesn’t include my books at work, though most of those are editorial copies that I wouldn’t necessarily claim as my own. And do perfect-bound lit magazines count as books? I didn’t include those, either, though I suppose one could claim that anything with a flat spine is technically a book. But that’s dumb, because then the IKEA catalog counts as a book. Okay, never mind.

2.) The last book I bought: Paradise by A.L. Kennedy. I don’t have it yet. I just ordered it. I couldn’t say which book I bought before that, because it’s a gift, so Paradise by A.L. Kennedy is totally my beard. Plus I really want to read it.

3.) The last book I read: That I finished? And that I wasn’t paid to read? I think it’s The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank.

4.) Five books that mean a lot to me:
   1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte
   2. The Dream Songs by John Berryman
   3. Short Talks by Anne Carson
   4. Metamorphoses by Ovid
   5. A foreign edition of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever with words in English, Hungarian and German. It belonged to my grandmother. It’s how I know “szalonna” means “bacon,” “szállítókocsi” means “delivery van” and “robot” means “robot.”

5.) Five people I’ve tagged: (Assuming they haven’t been tagged already.)

Warning! Penguin Plot Points REVEALED!

So we saw that penguin movie. I know how all this sounds, after not updating for two weeks: it sounds like I completely just slacked off this whole time and then went and saw the penguin movie, me and that whoever-it-is-I’m-totally-slacking-off-with-person, who, since I’m such a slacker, hasn’t even been introduced by his official privacy-protecting online nickname (which would be “Chris”), when the reality is that I had four articles to write, and I spent much of the past couple of weeks imagining my head was like a heroin’s addict’s arm, like something I had to repeatedly smack smack smack just to get a vein of coherent thought to come up.

And then came the nod, so to speak. And then it was time to see the penguin movie.
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Summer reruns

Oh, wow, the comments still keep trickling in about the Sun-Times editorial. I don’t have much more to say about the Dove ads right now, but I thought I’d bring back a couple of body-image-related entries from my old online journal. They both date back to 2001 and they haven’t been available online for almost two years but they’re in the new (and slowly growing) archives. Since these are four years old now I have to resist a terrible impulse to heavily revise them; I did edit them a little.

Imaginary Fat People is from July 2001. Part of it is about fat suits–that summer the previews for Shallow Hal were running in the theatres, America’s Sweethearts had come out, and Fat Monica was a big fat stereotype-on-a-stick, and it seemed a good time to say something. And Screw Shari is from May 2001. It’s a rant on this dumb survey I read about in Marie Claire, and it’s nowhere near as high-minded.

I liked book touring but I really, really like not touring, too. I know I’m still slightly recovering because there are some days when my routine existence suddenly feels like a big bouquet of retardedly simple pleasures. I get to go places using my own car! When I am done with work I get to come home! After dinner I can take a walk! And in the park by my home there are dogs, and flowers, and the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps practicing their routines, and everything. So I’m going to enjoy all that for awhile, if that’s okay with you.