Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm a Loser, Baby!

It has been a week of failure here in my world this week.

I had a big test in my Biology class. And ok, I didnt fail it but I got a grade that is shall we say??? Oh AVERAGE (translation: A ‘C’). I asked to see my answers on the test because I thought I would do better than that. It turned out that there were a couple of answers that I *knew* and still got wrong. Like something possessed me to mark the wrong answer down or something. It was weird and I know I had a thought that most college students would not have: Am I getting forgetful in my old age? Oh well, I am not too worried about it. I expect to pass this class with a C before the age related dementia really sets in. Maybe even before I need reading glasses

I applied for a job at work and I had my interview for it this week. Interviewing is not my strong suit and I *really* bombed this one. Then, later on I found out that this job which I had thought as being maybe one step up the ladder is actually way WAY up the food chain. It wasnt quite like the Janitor applying to be CEO but it was along those lines. In my defense though, I met all of the criteria that the HR people put in the job description except for the ‘business related degree’. I figured that I am about to have a degree in Economics so it wouldnt hurt to apply.

I just hope that no one there will hold that interview against me when I apply for some other job. And ok, I *did* apply for another job and one in a completely different department than the one I work in that happens to be the HR department.

So, cos I am such a failure...I will end this entry with a bit of a cliche. I do not really feel badly about this week. You see, there is one thing successful people almost all have in common. That one thing is FAILURE and sometimes a lot of it. Because you see, one thing you have to do to succeed is try. And the trying leads to failure a lot of the time. But I am no worse off for taking a Biology class (although I might be scarred by the fetal pig cutting up lab). I am no worse off for applying for a job that is out of my league. Well no worse off unless the HR person who interviewed me thinks I am crazy ass who wasted her time. But I probably wasnt THAT bad in the interview.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fat Rant

A kind reader shared the link to this charming video in my comments. I enjoyed it so much that I have decided to post it here. And what can I say. I agree with this woman and it is exactly how I feel. She really gets it.

I particularly like the beginning when she has the "friend" sitting in the car dissing fat people. I cant tell you how many times that has happened to me. And I sit there and wonder, "what the hell is wrong with this person?" I weigh over 300lbs. Do they think I want to sit here and listen to them tell me that so-and-so got fat or that the woman walking by shouldnt be wearing the clothes she is wearing because she "doesnt have the body for it"? I definitely do not want to hear endless monologues about how ugly and fat their ass is. I'll admit that I am always tempted to say, "Yes, your ass is ugly especially when compared to mine. BABY GOT BACK!"

And like the very beautiful woman in this video, I made a decision several years ago that I was not waiting around for my life to begin at some future point when I lost the weight. It wasnt going to happen. It still isnt going to happen. I am fat but the truth is that only one aspect of who I am and to let my body, my healthy body, stop me from living my life NOW would be a tragedy.

A harder thing in my life was accepting that being fat was NOT the cause of every problem. Is it why men dont want to date me? Probably for a lot of them but other fat women get dates all the time. I think there is just something else about me and even though I dont really know what it is, so what!? I like myself the way I am and that is what matters. Does being fat mean I get treated badly sometimes. Yes. Does that mean that there is something wrong with *me*? Hardly. And seriously, when I take an honest look at my faults, being fat is the least of them and there are plenty of people who dislike me who could back me up on that I am sure.

So watch the video. It is worth it, I promise!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The End is in Sight

Whew. I haven’t been blogging too much because my work has gotten too busy for the most part for me to write anything while I am there. It has gotten so busy that I find myself completely vegging out when I get home. That and I am working hard with school at the same time.

The good news is that if I can get into a certain particular class for spring semester, I might have a diploma by June. Or at least I will have finished all of my classes by June. I think. It occurred to me the other day that I probably have to do something other than completing the required classes in order to graduate and get a diploma. I probably should ask someone at the school about that. Still, if I am lucky, after being in college on and off for 22 years, I might finally have a college degree by summertime.

And then I will never have to go to school again. Although I might. Folks tell me that grad school isn’t nearly as obnoxious as undergrad and that all of the things I rant about hating about school arent as common in graduate classes.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ypsilanti Pizza Update

I just want to give a little update on a previous post I wrote about pizza in Ypsilanti.

  • One of the number one searches that brings people to my site is happy's pizza Ypsilanti. Seriously, there are days when I get 20 hits for them. All I can say is that they *really* should get a website.

  • I went out with a friend on Saturday to Aubrees and since it wasn’t happy hour when the calzones are half off, we decided to have a nice deep dish pizza on Aubree’s new whole wheat crust. All I can say is that it was fabulous. And by fabulous, I mean DISCO ball kind of fabulous. The kind of fabulous where one might expect Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr to just exclaim, "Yeah, baby, this is fabulous"

    Oh sure, there will still be a place in my heart for white flour crust pizza but this whole wheat pizza has a lot of merit on taste alone. It may or may not actually be healthier for a person but I assume it probably is. But even if it isn’t, give it a try. It really tastes good. It tastes a lot better than my homemade whole wheat crust pizza attempts (but anyone who knows anything about my cooking skills knows that isn’t really saying much). I think I’ll be getting pizza from Aubree’s a lot more often.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Radical Michigan Blogging Carnival at brownfemipower

The Radical Michigan Blogging Carnival is up on brownfemipower DOT com.

I havent read them all yet but there are some good entries. Anyone interested in politics in Michigan should take a look.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Michigan's Dying Cities

Michigan’s Cities have been slowly dying for my entire life. As it happens, I was born in Michigan’s largest city in 1968 – just after the famous riots and right at the beginning of the “white flight” out of the city to the suburbs. The area is now one of the most segregated metropolitan areas in the country. The actual City of Detroit is half in ruins.

One thing I have noticed over the years though is how politics at the state level seem to have done everything possible to hurt established urban areas. Policy after policy passes, carried by the political weight of the very conservative part of the state. (Which for those of you not from Michigan is usually called “Every place other than South East Michigan”). Most of those policies seem to end up hurting the people who live in urban areas.

The most obvious way that state politics has hurt urban areas is the property tax structure. The City of Royal Oak has a very explanation of how that property tax structure hurts cities -- LINK. Cities struggle to provide services because city services have a serious impact on citizen’s quality of life. Just think about what life in a city might be like without someone collecting the garbage. Unfortunately the property tax structure will not allow the cities to raise taxes to provide essential services.

Here is what I know about it though. I know that areas where there is growth are sometimes able to dodge the effects of the property tax structure by building new taxable properties. People move out of established areas which can shrink the tax base even more. It doesn’t help that the people moving out of cities are the people who are most able to afford to move. People who are most able to pay taxes. Those people move out and away from as many social problems as they can.

And while those people are moving out, the State of Michigan pays for infrastructure that allows people to live outside of urban centers (e.g. roads, schools, etc) while at the same time reducing funding for social services that primarily benefit the poor people left in the cities. Projects like public transportation never have a chance here because such projects tend to benefit people in the cities. But every other social welfare program has been cut too.

This happens on a state level but it also happens on a county level. In my own county, funding for a new jail was voted down mostly by people who live out county and don’t have the same levels of crime found in the cities. Then, when the county started bussing inmates to other county jails, they worked to stop that too. The end result was that the jail filled up and when the police in my town would arrest people, they were forced to just let them go. Not surprisingly, crime rates went up. But since the crime rates went up in the City of Ypsilanti, the people who wouldnt pay for the jail didnt seem to mind too much. You see, those people have moved away from such social problems.

That leaves the people in the cities to pay the most taxes. The City of Detroit has one of the highest (if not THE highest) property tax rates in the state. The city where I live, Ypsilanti also has high property taxes. I pay more property taxes on my $100,000 house than people who live in houses that cost five times as much out in the country, especially if they have lived there for a long time. I pay more than double the property taxes than my parents who live in a spacious lake front property in S. Lyon (and yes, they are part of the problem but did stick it out in the City of Detroit for years longer than most people of their economic station).

Unfortunately, I don’t see an end in sight. I imagine that politics in the State of Michigan will still involve richer and mostly white people doing all they can to kick the poor, especially if they are poor people of color. And maybe such politics arent limited to Michigan. But that is where I live. And that is what I see.

Monday, March 05, 2007

She's not just fat, she's a LUSH and a HO!

This morning on the radio, I heard a report about some obesity research at UofM. Basically it was a study that shows that overweight girls enter puberty earlier than thinner girls. Since so many female hormones are tied to leptin and since leptin is tied to body fat, this is not especially surprising research.

But I had to laugh at the news reports. Because it seems that even NPR has to jump onboard the "obesity epidemic" bandwagon and make their news stories sound as scary as possible. In this case, the news people naturally couldnt content themselves with reporting early puberty because that might not be scary enough. So they go on to say that the reason we should all be so worried about all these overweight girls hitting puberty earlier is that apparently girls who go through puberty earlier tend to have sex younger and tend to be more likely to experiment with alcohol. That is right folks, the principle negative effect of allowing your daughter to get fat is that she'll become a BIG FAT LUSH *and* a HO.

I usually laugh at those news reports because they are so obviously designed to scare people into listening to the news for more information. I usually laugh until I remember how so many people will listen to a news story like that and look at their charming but overweight daughter and then start taking that daughter down a road of self-esteem bashing. Or even if the parents dont do that to their kid, maybe the parents will feel a little guilt about having a fat daughter or maybe they will be more worried about her being a slut or a lush. I dont know.

I know that if I had a daughter, I think it would be really cool if she were a slut (as long as that is what she wanted to be) and I wouldnt be especially worried about experimentation with alcohol although I would feel better about experimentation with pot. But not too many folks are like me and they DO worry about such things. I think that the news media are doing the average parent a huge disservice when they air scare stories like that.