The Things I Care About (and maybe some things I don’t)

priorities

 

 

Earlier this week, I made a very small but very wrong move, and basically jacked up my slowly-healing hyper-extended knee all over again. This has resulted in a lot of couch-sitting and fucking off while I struggle to get remotely comfortable, change out ice packs, and wrap and unwrap my knee. Oh, I’ve been working, too, and hobbling around and feeling frustrated and old and fat. (I might be all of those things, but they’re not actually the problem. The problem isn’t age or fat, it’s that I’m fucking injured and uninsured.) (I’m not even old, ffs.)

Anyway, the time I’ve been on the internet has made me assess where I spend most of my internet-hours lately, compared to where I used to, and where I just don’t. These are not just reflections of boredom-habits, but a reflection of what I care about.

Apparently, lately I care most about vaping/e-cig legislation, pitbull education and legislation, and moderate fat activism.

– I’ve been a “vaper,” or a user of advanced nicotine vaporizing systems, for just about a year now. I started on a Volcano e-cig type, quickly graduated to some of the more robo-cock looking PV’s, and never took another puff of an analog cigarette again. I’m down to minimal- to zero-nicotine, using vaping mostly as a means to enjoy/indulge in the hand-mouth puffy habit, plus it satisfies my overactive tastebuds without chowing through bags of Werther’s all the time. There is an unfortunate amount of misinformation about the “dangers” of e-cigs out there, mostly coming from “studies” funded by big pharma. (Big surprise, folks – the drug companies aren’t out there to make you better, they’re out there to sell you their product. If you get better, they lose money. Which is why they’d rather see e-cigs banned or heavily regulated. Here, have another Chantix and good luck not slitting your wrists.) Without getting more into ranting/babbling, if you want to quit smoking, do your own research beyond what the DailyMail feeds you. And don’t just assume gas station Njoys and Blus are the only option (they generally suck for quitting, and there are better and less expensive options out there). A really fantastic resource is actually Reddit. http://www.reddit.com/r/electronic_cigarette/

In short, though, advanced nicotine vaporizers consist of a battery source, a juice holder/delivery system, and juice. The juice, if it’s made here in the states by a vendor who is worth a damn, contains vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol, nicotine (optional and in varying specified percentages from 2.4% to .6%, usually indicated in mgs), and food-grade flavorings. Yes, propylene glycol is used in antifreeze – the kind that was invented to be environmentally safe and nontoxic. It’s also used in hospital ventilation systems and asthma inhalers.

– Pitbulls. I don’t own one. Someday I might, though. My mother-in-law freaked out when we mentioned this in passing. It’s surprising how many people still buy into the stigma. I’m not going to sit here and insist that every pitbull is just a squishy bundle of misunderstood love. I’m also not going to sit here and accept that the little white bichon frise that nearly took a chunk out of my thigh was a squishy bundle of misunderstood love, either. In the interest of space, I’ll just leave this here:

“The truth is that pit bulls are, above anything else, dogs. The truth is that all dogs (and all animals, for that matter) learn the same way.”

– Fat activism is even more touchy than the e-cigs thing, and definitely older. It’s also just as misinformed and misunderstood. I get that there are people out there who think it’s cool to be in total denial about their life habits. But those people aren’t just fat. There are plenty of people like that who are skinny, young, old, tall, short, etc. It’s just unfortunate that excessive body fat is a scarlet letter, and everyone from joebob on the street to 50% of medical practitioners will assume that a fat person is automatically unhealthy, that there is no such thing as a “fit” fat person. That all fat people just sit around on their fatty fat asses and do nothing but watch TV and eat donuts followed by chasers of cheez wiz and mountain dew all day. That, since Dr. Oz claims that every fat person he’s ever worked on has had arterial buildup, etc., that ALL fat people have these health problems. (Never mind that every black person Dr. Oz has worked on, every Jewish person he’s worked on, ever female with dark hair and freckles under the age of 60 that he’s worked on, has had heart problems, because hello, HE’S A GODDAMNED HEART DOCTOR AND THOSE ARE THE CASES HE SEES.)

As a fat person (or even just a person who has lived under the stigma of, “OMG DON’T BE FAT”), these attitudes sabotage the psyche and any interest in simply living life and living a healthy life. Ironically, shaming fat people doesn’t help them lose weight, it just makes them want to hide and not even try to live active, healthful lifestyles.  Which should be the goal regardless of size and fat, really – to be active and healthy and happy. To eat good quality food and move yourself around and enjoy life. It’s kinda hard to do that when society insists that you can’t possibly do that unless you’re skinny or UNTIL you are skinny.

Let me put it this way – if the atmosphere were suddenly pumped with a gas that made everyone’s body fat composition go into stasis right now, and no one could neither gain nor lose any more weight, BUT we could still affect and control our inner healthy by the standard means of diet and exercise, what would we do then? How many people would say, “fuck it!” and start horking down cheese-its and nutella? How would our medical profession be changed, knowing that a person’s health couldn’t be prematurely assumed by the way they looked on the outside? Because you know what? It shouldn’t fucking be changed at all.

Again, let me point you to some better-organized words by Ragen at DancesWithFat.org. And also, let me point you to Health at Every Size for some more helpful info: http://www.haescommunity.org/

 

The e-cig thing and the HAES thing tie in together, I think. Because as frustrating as e-cig legislation is, suppose there was a food additive that came out, that let people eat whatever they want with zero health repercussions? How much hatred would a fat person get for being seen eating a cheesecake with magic sprinkles on it, even though it wasn’t actually affecting their health or body in any way whatsoever? “But it looks like cheesecake and smells like cheesecake!” People would say. “That person is still fat, and is therefore offending my delicate sensibilities!” The outrage, I’m afraid, would be much worse than any e-cig controversy. And that, my friends, is a fucking problem with the way we see each other as human beings.

-I used to care deeply about book reviews, the publishing industry, and authors behaving badly, judging by my feedly reader. And you’d think that, being a writer, I would continue to care about these things. Frankly, it’s exhausting and, to me, boring, to give a damn anymore. Following the drama on review sites and blogs has done nothing for my wordcount in the past years, and if anything, only made me more paranoid and neurotic as a writer.

So, instead of getting caught up on Dear Author or any GoodReads drama, I am spending September in NaNoWriMo mode, hammering out The Beard and trying to keep lighthearted about the failure of The Switch. Okay, ‘failure’ is a hand-staple-forehead dramatic word. People just aren’t interested in Dommes. Funny, that – my little vanilla fluff BBW smutlet was by far a better success, far more popular, than my story about a dominatrix and the man she’s loved half her life.  What does that say about our world, I wonder?

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