Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My weight problems

Okay, so they're not really problems. And if they are, I'm sure they're problems that other people would love to have. I'm just the opposite of fat. My BMI hovers between 18.7-19.5, just bordering (and sometimes dipping under) the underweight line. My body fat is between 6-7%. The last time I got a blood pressure rating, they had to take it 3 times because it was too low to give blood. (I finally ended up with 111/62 after a couple 95/49) My cholesterol, if I remember right having that tested was also extremely low. So basically, I'm just skinny. I also, at times, am a serious runner, and so that only makes the problem worse. All my life I've tried to get bigger. Once, my senior year in high school, when I was training really hard and trying to keep muscle tone, I tracked my caloric intake methodically for a week. I knew I was eating a lot, so when I estimated on some things, I tried to estimate low. At the end of the week I was averaging 8,000 calories a day. Now, I don't think I'm eating quite that much now, but I'm definitely no where near 2,000 calories. So it's not for lack of trying. I imagine it's just a metabolism thing, and one day it's going to slow down and I'll get fat. Maybe. But for now, being very skinny, and rather poor, I take my caloric intake seriously. I also try to get vitamins and minerals and what not, but I'm mainly concerned with calories. So, I thought it would be fun to keep track on here of foods with the most calories for the buck and try to find new and and more dense foods, mostly on campus. I'll try to post these new finds.

But for now, the classics:

My favorite: Seven layer burrito from Taco Bell. At 480 calories for $2.16 without tax, it comes in at 222 calories per dollar. or C/$.

Regular old burrito from Taco Bell: 350 C/$. Doesn't taste nearly as good as the seven layer, but a better deal apparently.

Veggie delight footlong sub from subway: 98 C/$.

Welch's fruit snacks mixed fruit: 128 C/$.

Grandma's Homestyle Fudge Chocolate Chip: 340 C/$.

Grandma's Homestyle Chocolate Chip: 380 C/$ which is surprising, because you think the fudge of the fudge chocolate chip would add instead of taking away. I guess now I know.

Planters $.60 bag of peanuts from the vending machine: 483 C/$.

Some good finds, I think.

And P.S. now we're tied with Lauren for most posts in 2009 in blogs that I read. I can't speak for Caitlin.

P.P.S. Yes, I know it isn't a competition.

P.P.P.S. But it is.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

When I die

I think this might be the first in a series of articles of things I wan't people to know about what I want to happen after I die. Next week, the funeral march on the road to Faust. Was it Faust Gordon? Or some other city? Sorry I stole your idea.

This week, an original idea, and by original I mean not stolen from Gordon, but rather stolen from a graveyard. I want a bench for a gravestone, as in the following picture.

Sorry to Mr. Atkin for borrowing a photo of your gravestone without permission.

I'm a big fan of this idea because it allows me to be of service to others, even when I'm dead. So when people come to the graveyard, or cemetery, or what have you, even if they don't know me, they'll think, "Oh, a bench, how nice," and then they'll sit on my grave bench and look on the graves of their loved ones in comfort. And as they leave, they'll think in their mind, "Thank you Tim for the seat." I like that idea.

I think I'll have to put "Feel free to sit here" somewhere visible on the top so that people don't feel awkward about sitting on my resting place.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

R rated movies

Here's a letter to the editor that I wrote in response to a conversation that's been going on in the Daily Universe, with a little bonus material for the blog readers. Disclaimer, it's directed towards a Mormon audience, not to the community in general:

n the discussion on R-rated movies some crucial considerations have been left out. All of the talks cited where General Authorities state their position on R-rated movies come from over 20 years ago, except one by Elder Koffard speaking about marriage. In those twenty years, the MPAA rating system has changed greatly. Not only have its rules become more lax, but it has also become a much more political body. Their system of ratings has not been made public and their rulings have been inconsistent. There is not a strong emphasis on religious views, but solely on secular definitions of good and bad. My impression is that the church has recognized these facts and so has begun to pull away from referring to the ratings system in official settings, but that is just my impression.

Something I do know for sure is that it has been upsetting to me to see many people who balk at the outsourcing of American jobs overseas have no such complaint about outsourcing their morality to a bunch of media moguls in California. Too many people base their whole movie experience and its spiritual effects on the decisions of people who have no real understanding of Church standards or teachings. The MPAA ratings might be a useful baseline, but it is no substitute for the Spirit. In my experience my conscious is more than able to let me know what types of movies are good to see and which are not. What would Jesus watch?

Bonus material:

Basically, I think the rating system is pretty worthless and people should just use it as a base guideline and do their own research and find out for themselves what movies they should see and which they should not. Take responsibility, basically. I think a shift away from movies that put bad thoughts into our mind would be good for LDS society as a whole. But I don't think people need to feel terrible either if they see an R-rated movie here or there, as long as it teaches good things. Don't let Los Angeles decide your morals. If a movie is uplifting and makes you a better person, glorifying righteous principles than I'm all for it, but if it pulls you away from true principles, shun it. That's why I'm much more willing to watch more intense dramas including some R's, at least those who don't glorify violence and extra marital sex, but won't watch hardly any PG-13 comedies. I think I'm pretty conservative when it comes to movies I'll watch overall, but I've realized that I have to interpret what is a good movie for myself, and not leave that decision up to others.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Some reasons I don't like St. Patrick's day and one reason I do

In an attempt to objectively evaluate my life and not take things at face value (what's a good way to state that without it being a cliche? stupid poli-sci 200 is ruining writing for me) I learned today that I don't like St. Patrick's Day. Let me explain why.

It doesn't celebrate anything, or at least anything significant. I'm a fan of holidays for sure, but I just like them to be about something or celebrate something such as love or thanks or Christ's birth or resurrection. I'm all about that stuff. But what does St. Patrick's day celebrate? The taking of Catholicism to the Irish? Hardly, no one even knows that and I don't think it's a cause for celebration. It did lead to a long and bloody religious feud that is just barely dying down. Irish culture? If Irish culture means getting drunk, wearing green and getting kissed. Strike one.

Pressure to conform. A pinch if you're not wearing green? Are you serious? Let's teach our kids that they should dress the same as all the other kids or they will be shunned or hurt. Great lesson. Strike two.

No real holiday themed food. I love candied hearts, candy canes and Easter eggs. Coloring something green and telling me it's themed doesn't cut it. Strike three.

The one good thing about St. Patrick's day is that it gives me a good reason to watch the green themed movie Troll II. Still probably my favorite movie after all of these years. I've never laughed harder at anything. Thanks to my friends Maggie and Gordon for watching it with me last night:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Natural birth presentation

It. was. amazing.

So, I planned this event for Parity. There's a really long story behind the event, also that it caused some ill feelings with Women's Services and Resources on campus, so I won't go into that long story. But... let's just say that I decided to take matters into my own hands. And I'm so glad I did.

Tonight we had an event/meeting on campus where I invited a local midwife to present a little thing on childbirth (mainly comparing different options, everything from episiotomy rates to length of prenatal visits to how the newborn is handled). Ok, back up. First of all, I had planned this event and was given money from our budget to buy refreshments. So, of course, we ordered yummy pizza and I got snacks and drinks (Simply Limeade. Is there any other beverage to have at a meeting?) I figured the pizza would attract quite a few people, and I was expecting about 20 or so. Well, about 20 people showed up in the first five minutes! We ran out of pizza quickly (which I felt bad about, but couldn't really do anything about it...) and we ended up having about 50 people there total. Some came late, some left early, but about half stayed the entire time (over an hour and a half, with the questions and answers). I couldn't believe how many people came! And I think most were genuinely interested in natural childbirth, considering the incredible discussion and questions that followed her presentation. I couldn't have been happier with the outcome of the night.

The midwife that came does home births in Utah County. Her name is Heather Shelley (you can find out more about her services here). She also is a doula and childbirth educator, and teaches "Not your Mama's Lamaze" classes. Her presentation, like I mentioned earlier, just examines all the different choices women have about how and where and with whom they birth. She obviously has bias towards home births and natural birth, since that's what she herself practices as a midwife, but she's also been a doula for many years and so has been at many a hospital birth as well. She has really unique perspectives in that she has practiced in a multitude of states and in Indonesia as well. Her presentation was phenomenol, and I think the question and answer at the end was the best. People were so interested in knowing more!

Interesting fact that many of us who are obsessed with birth didn't even know: Doctors often cut the cord much faster than midwives. I figured this was just because they want to get it over with so they can go home and eat dinner. However, it's actually (yet another) legal issue: as long as the baby is still attached by the umbilical cord, that baby is the OB/GYN's responsibility, so if something happens in those few moments, that doctor catching the baby could be sued. However, as soon as the cord is cut and the baby is handed over, that baby becomes the pediatrician's responsibility. The severing of the cord is a legally definitive transer of responsbility. That's why OBs are so eager to cut it as soon as possible. However.... much research has shown that the ideal time to cut the cord is when it ceases to pulse. The baby gets an extra boost of red blood cells, decreasing the chance of anemia and hemorrhage. There also is less chance of it getting infected since it the blood flow clamps off naturally after a few minutes of being born.

Anyway. It's fascinating. I love educating women.

And I'm so eager to see how many people Women's Services gets at their childbirth conference tomorrow. I think we might win :)

During question and answer, someone wanted to know about positions and things you can do to ease pain. Heather is demonstrating on me the squeezing in and up of the hips, apparently does great things for pain as it holds your hips together when they get all lose and achy.

Stuff I Heard Vol. 3

It's been a while, but that's because I've discovered some great podcasts that I love listening too. But now I've made the resolution to only listen to those podcasts when nothing else is worth listening to, and as you'll see from these quotes that I've gathered just walking around campus, there are certainly things worth listening to.

"I love my IPod shuffle. It always plays such random songs."
Kind of the point.

"No problem, I was going to buy that or something else."
An act of kindness in the JKB. A girl bought something in the vending machine, but it stuck, so the girl behind here offered to buy the same thing so that both products would vend and both girls would have their desired snack, or meal, lo que sea. Sometimes the greatest kindness is saying something painfully obvious just to make someone not feel dumb.

On a related note, products not vending used to be a problem that I had. Things would always get stuck and I thought I was just out of luck. But then I realized that I could just call a number on campus and have them put the money for the unvended product back on my signature card (I always use my signature card). But almost immediately after I started requesting money for unvended product, the problem stopped. No more stuck chips. Coincedence or ... conspiracy? Probably just coincedence.

"I drove past a lipo suction billboard and it made me think of you."
I heard this from a girl walking in front of the JFSB. It wasn't really clear who the comment was directed to, which begs the question: Why did the lipo suction sign make her think of someone? Did someone need liposuction? Did someone recently undergo lipo suction? Does someone look as trim and fit as the women on the lipo suction billboard? Who knows.

Any way you cut it, hilarious.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Everything is amazing, and nobody is happy

This video was originally shared with me by Mike Hardy, and I've posted it in a couple of places, but it's worth putting up here, with a few comments of my own.

I'm no economist, or even very well versed in economic matters, but there are a few things I understand. For the only time in history, besides right before the great depression, the amount of debt, on a private citizen level, not even foreign debt, or federal debt, in the U.S. exceeds GDP. Think about that. If every penny that the the U.S. generates was handed back to the citizens of the US and we said, "Here, pay back what you owe on your house or boat or whatever" it wouldn't be enough. That's insane! I don't use exclamation points very often, but I used one there. Before 1980 we were below 20%. The financial problems we are experiencing now is not the fault of the banks, it is not the fault of the government, too much regulation or too little. We are in deep financial problem for one main reason: We have gotten incredibly, incredibly greedy. And this video highlights that well. I'm glad the government is doing what it can to soften the blow, but we have to change our lives, fundamentally. Church leaders have compelled us to be humble for a while, and now we'll be forced to be humble. Hopefully we can learn fast.
This is pretty neat--Harvard undergraduate student answers a journalist's questions at a forum on religion. She is eloquent and never falters. I especially like what she has to say about women in the Church. She answers personal and difficult questions with poise. Way to represent, Rachel!

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Follow-up to the life invaders

I met my friend Landon today in the bathroom in the basement of the JFSB and we talked for while (in the bathroom for a while and then outside of it). We talked about a number of things, but of some particular interest was when he told me that my email address comes up on the computers of the TA lab near that bathroom where he works on a project for a professor. I've never even been in that room! It even has a keypad on the door to which I certainly do not know the key. These life taker overs are getting intense. I'm considering changing my Pandora account to throw them off, but I also like the idea of reaching into places with my digital self that I cannot reach with my physical self. Either way, it's pretty nuts.
It's probably these guys.

Good and bad things about today

1) Teddy grahams are the greatest thing ever.
2) I learned that my presentation this weekend at Cornell is only 8 minutes long.
3) Inquiry Conference = free fruit and vegetables all day plus great presentations
4) My professor isn't in class yet so I think I will leave. **
5) I'm going to swim tonight.
6) I have Zofran. Thank you Medicaid.
7) I'm going to New York this weekend! Yay for getting out of Provo.

1) The Baked Ziti at Pendulum Court has ground beef in it.
2) The inversion and pollution filling my lungs. Ewwwww.
3) My first trimester is over, but I'm still nauseous.
4) That's all really. Not too much. Life is good.

** She came 15 minutes late while I was writing this. I am now in class for the next two hours. I guess that counts as a bad thing.