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diet diary, part 5


ah, the mortal enemy of diets: travel. having recently returned from a few days in my favourite city ever to be cast in jello (san francisco, if you're wondering), i am having to readjust my eating regimen after gleefully stuffing my face with more food than my body has been accustomed to for the last month or so. it is really, really difficult to find restaurants with small portions anywhere in the united states of america.

on the other hand, i did compensate for this indulgence by kicking myself a few rungs up the metabolic ladder. san francisco is one of north america's great walking cities. compact in geography, it compensates for its small area in vertical scale. strolling the city is the urban equivalent of mountain climbing, complete with breathtaking scenery of both the natural and constructed varieties. so after six or seven hours of hitting the pavement, i figure i can afford to consume a few more calories.

being in this environment made me realise that i would be a much happier person if i lived in a city that was more friendly to pedestrian life. toronto is vast and sprawling and, unless you're very fortunate, your life is always going to involve moving between far-flung quadrants. i'm not under the illusion that six hour walks would be the norm for me any place i lived, but it seems that i would be happier if i had more time to work on raising my metabolism, rather than just trying to restrict food intake. walking happens to be my favourite method of getting exercise, because it is practical (moves you from a to b), because it is interseting (the scenery changes), because it can be either solitary or social and because it is conducive to thought. the gym just doesn't inspire me in the same way.

the chief effect of this at the moment is that i'm having to reign in my appetite once again, since my body has not yet realised that i'm not doing famous walks (yes, in some circles, i really have been famous for really long walks) every day anymore.

Comments

Steve MacIsaac said…
Hey kate, I'm reading about your trip to San Francisco while sitting in a hotel in San Francisco. It 'tis a pretty great city, you are correct. Would love to see that jello scale model at some point...
flora_mundi said…
ask and ye shall receive:

http://www.lizhickok.com/portfolio.html

it was on display a few months ago at a gallery there, but it's gone now. either the show closed or somebody ate it... enjoy the city, it's amazing.

as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …