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Sunday, August 25, 2013

After all, it's not Demel

 I got on the scale this week, and I didn't like the numbers I saw.  Mark the geek made an observation about one of us being addicted to sugar, and it isn't him.  I don't know why I like sweets so much, but it has always been that way.  I have become more of  a food snob, in general, so I thought that might help, but alas, it does not.  Being a food snob does mean that I eat lots of cool stuff that I didn't know existed when I was growing up.  Who knew that salmon was an actual fish and wasn't just a canned good?  Until about 1988, I didn't have a good grasp on that, nor did I know what a quesadilla was until about that time.  Chinese food was labeled La Choy at our house, as well.  You get the idea.  I always had an innate sense of curiosity about 'other' people.  From childhood, I wanted to travel and get to know how people in other countries live.  How they live, what they believe, and what they eat were always points of interest for me.  In third grade, I remember studying about how a city was built from the perspective of a little girl about my age whose family moved to a remote area where a city was being planned.  In fourth grade, I remember studying about the Pitjantjatjara people in Australia.  For some reason, I remember their diet consisting of grubs.  Nothing about being a desert nomad eating grubs sounds appealing for me to try for myself, but nonetheless, I was fascinated.

I don't remember learning anything about European history in school, save the World History class I was required to take in 10th grade.  Imagining the times of Julius Caesar, Charlemagne, and the times of the Crusades during my school years was another point at which my curiosity was piqued.  Most of what I remember about Europe was from English class.  Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters, and Jane Austen.  Dressing in the dresses, speaking with those accents, and understanding things that are commonplace to those characters interested me very much.  This, along with watching healthy doses of PBS formed a lifelong drive to know other people and other ways.

The closest we could get in our little town to other cultures was via a cookbook.  My best friend was as adventurous as I, so there was a summer's day when I went to her house.  Her mom went to the grocery store, and we followed recipes for a five course, five star French meal.  Through the years, we looked up many other recipes, always learning something from that culture and its cuisine.  Somehow, as fascinated as I was by English clothing and customs, I wasn't ever enamored with English food.

What does this have to do with my weight or sugar 'addiction?' Growing up as we did with basic needs sparsely met, adding sugar to stuff you don't really like made it palatable.  Add enough sugar to it, and almost anything tasted good.  Now that I have traveled and am fortunate enough to eat good food, maybe it's time to kick the sugar habit.  Most of the sweets I indulge in aren't worth it.  After all, it's not Demel.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Re-reading the Offline Journal

Around Thanksgiving last year, I bought a new journal, and now, it is full.  To be honest, the purpose for the notebook changed.  I started a journal, but then needed a place to write notes for patient visits.  Now, the notebook is full.  Originally, I had planned to keep a journal to write stuff that I didn't want to post online.  The first entry is about overcoming the fear of judgement about the words on the page.  More than being afraid of what my kind readers think, I was concerned about how I would feel about what I had written in the weeks and months to come.  Usually my paper journals come to naught; I rip them up and am completely unable to pick up where I left off.   During this time, I decided that the things I go through, the heartaches, irritations, and the feelings I have are the same that everyone else has.  There's a quirky poem, and another entry about divulging secrets.  Here, I tend to allude to some difficulties, but don't just dump everything I think and feel in its raw form for all of the internet to examine.  In the entry, I remember that it's not any fun remembering growing up poor, having our lights and phone disconnected on a regular basis, and being hungry sometimes.  I cruised through my patient information and remember how many are not still with us.  The back inside cover has the original sketch of the design on my current business cards. Maybe I will tuck it away with my books until I figure out how to dismember the journal without throwing away what I had to say.