Sunday, October 18, 2009

the Text Twist and Family Tree Maker obsessive in me

In general, I don't understand the draw of video games. It seems mindless. There isn't any tangible accomplishment. Most of the teens and children who compulsively play video games are not productive in other areas of their life. Then I found an game that I like. It's called Text Twist. I had a period in time where work was slow, so I tried it. Six letters appear on the screen. The goal is to see how many words you can make from those six letters. If you guess the six-letter word, you get to go on to another round. I feel like I need a 12-step program some days. And at other times, I say I am not addicted because I can walk away for a whole month without turning it on. My score is 800,000. I feel like I need to hit 1,000,000 before I walk away. Addict behavior for sure! I have learned something about myself in the process. I need to work on learning more words that start with vowels. 

And then I found and Family Tree Maker. I have always had a curiosity about my heritage. Now I have a software program that is like crack. Every time I find a person, it leads to another and another. I started with family documents and written history. There were almost 400 names, dates, and descriptions just within the documents I had. In just one short month, I have amassed over 1000 ancestors. This program/web site is amazing. It is productive, but yet, a fantastic diversion. It has given me insight into who I am, a hodge-podge of nationalities and wandering souls. I cannot ever see myself on a boat across the Atlantic, in search of a new life, but most of my ancestors had that courage and fortitude. I have 6 kids. Right now it's all about a good night's sleep and sensible shoes. I can't imagine having 10 or 15 children. One particular gr gr great grandfather had 24 children, most of them living into their 80s and 90s in the 1700s. These were strong and determined people. Many more of them were highly educated than I realized. One side of the family has remained for 6 generations in the same county in Ohio. I guess that means they like each other? they are good people? not the type of family you need to run from? I am in an obsessive, researching, geek nirvana right now. Love it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

the fat-tastic week

Ok, so tired about fat prejudice... 

It is possible to be overweight, 44 years old, and have a PERFECT cardiac stress test. Of course, going to have the test, I was mistreated. Normally the whole fat thing doesn't bother me. I look at the women in my family and add my understanding of genetics and accept reality. Sometimes genetics does equal fate. I am glad. I would rather be the chubby girl who lives in a family of chubby girls who live into their 80s and 90s in generations going back to the Highlands of Scotland. I deal with some inherited tendency toward OCD, toward alcoholism, and toward kidney stones. On balance, I am glad that my forefathers and foremothers were intelligent, educated, and interesting people. They didn't care much about their size. They contributed. They lived long. I am blessed.

When I went to the clinic to have my cardiac stress test, the nurse pointed to the treadmill, making a gesture similar to The Price is Right. Over here we have the "treadmill". Have you ever seen one of these before? We are going to have you "walk" on in to see how your heart reacts. They we will speed it up and quickly take some pictures. She was so patronizing. I go to the YMCA three times per week. I ride my bike 2-3 times per week as often as the weather in Ohio permits. Despite all of this I AM STILL A BIG GIRL. I actually own (and USE) a recombinant bike. I know that my abs are in there somewhere, but I don't define myself by muscle definition. 

Anyway, if you are fit and beautiful and lean, awesome for you. I just happen to not be. Stop treating me like I eat Ding Dongs all day long and don't know what it means to walk. I go to the beautiful central Ohio metro parks every week of the year. Sigh.... If I could get thinner somehow, I would. But there is no point being depressed. I might as well embrace my fat-tastic self! Given the current political climate and push toward nationalized health care, those with prejudice will be writing me off for sure. They will raise my rates. They will attribute higher risk to me. And they will certainly not have a box on the forms for fat but healthy. The last acceptable form of prejudice in America...