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Comfort Food

Posted 7 February 2002, 9.36 am by marilee

While writing this, I am eating a plate of potatoes with margarine and cranberry sauce. Potatoes are well known for being comfort food. Although, when it comes to me and unfortunately many other people, "comfort food" is taken to a whole new level. It would be silly to pretend the reason I'm eating this isn't purely due to emotional issues. Because, I am in fact, rather down right now.

The other night, one of my friends pointed out how thin I looked. I replied, "Oh, really? That's funny. I've gained back at least 10 pounds since I started eating again." She asked why I didn't eat, so, I explained it to her. Like many people, she asked if it was because I didn't like the way I looked. Once explaining it to her, she understood. The thing is, most people think all eating disorders are about image. It is easy to make that mistake when looking at eating disorders, because image is the most prominent thing about them. In my case, and I'd say these are your average reasons, it has to do with control, accomplishment and how you and others perceive you as a whole person.

When I can't control my life, I control what I eat. It is impossible to control all aspects of your life and sometimes things get so much that I can't seem to get a grasp on anything at all. Choosing what I eat is one of the simplest ways to gain back that control. When it feels like every single decision is being made for me and there is no way out, turning down that cookie can make me feel like I own the world. Of course, that cookie always turns into lunch and lunch turns into a day and day somehow turns into a month. By this point, control is lost again although you wouldn't know it if it wacked you on the head.

As for accomplishment, it's linked to the whole control issue as well. I feel my life has very little accomplishment in it. I never feel like I am doing enough and even when I am constantly busy the things I am doing aren't being marked and rewarded. By not eating I feel in control again and the self-satisfaction is almost instant. Once you are out of highschool people very rarely tell you when you are doing a good job, they mostly leave you alone unless you are screwed up. Food is something easily measurable, unlike most things you work for in life. Turning down a couple desserts isn't going to hurt you, but the feeling you get doing so starts to warp and damage you in ways that seem almost impossible to reverse.

At first, you feel hungry. Battling that hunger and winning makes you feel like you've accomplished something big. Soon your body switches into starvation mode and you stop getting hungry, you don't even notice it. This is when you start to get down again. You try harder and harder because once again you feel out of control and what you are doing to yourself isn't noticeable. You might slip up and eat something, maybe even by mistake, and beat yourself up about it for days. This contributes to the disintegration of sane and rational thought even more so.

In my case, when I slip up, I feel like a failure. The fact I yearn for accomplishment in the first place is partly due to the fact I normally feel like a failure. I have failed to accomplish most of the basic things people my age have, I have failed many of my friendships and relationships and I have failed in many of my attempts at activities as a child. So, when I slip up, all I can think about is how I can't slip up again, how to do so would make me a complete failure without any hope of ever improving myself.

After a couple weeks of success your body ceases being able to cope with the stress you are putting it under. Dizziness, lack of concentration and exhaustion all set in. Your body very slowly starts to shut down. A week or two later and you'll start fainting. At this point if you try to eat it hurts, it is so painful you can hardly walk after a couple bites. All of this, makes you happy because you know it must be working. Which again, warps your perception of things just a little more. When this happens to me, I get to a point where anything destructive starts to feel good. Anything I can put myself through makes me just a little tougher, a little stronger and satisfied.

Now, the last part of the problem. The part that none of you, unless you too have experienced this, will be able to sympathize with. The part I even have a hard time sympathizing with when I am healthy. The part where being sick makes me special. I am basically a very plain person. In school I never fit into any of the cliques. I was too perky to be a goth. I wasn't cool enough to be a skater. I wasn't pretty enough to be popular or smart enough to be a nerd. In the regular classes I was too advanced to fit in with my peers, in the enriched classes I wasn't smart enough to understand what anyone was talking about. Basically, I was always somewhere in the middle and invisible. My little "secret" is what makes me feel special and interesting. It sets me apart from the rest of the room. I know, on some level, that this isn't true. I know, deep down, it likely makes me a less interesting person. The problem is that deep down doesn't matter anymore because there is always going to be something deeper, the perceptions I have unintentionally warped through years of hurting myself.

I may be eating now, in fact, I may very well continue to eat three meals a day for the rest of my life. I may, through exercise and a healthy diet, achieve a level of weight and a body shape I am mostly happy with. I may one day feel like I have achieved something worthwhile. The hard part is that I am sure, the next time things get bad, I will sit, with a fork in my hand, shaking as I slowly take a bite of whatever it is I have found to binge on. Hating myself weather I actually swallow that bite or not.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Posted 6 February 2002, 11.58 pm by Villager


This is a special novel. Written by previously little known French author Louis De Berniéres, Captain Corelli's Mandolin is set in the second world war, on an idyllic little Greek Island; Cephallonia. It is from this wonderfully crafted place that most of the events unfold. Written from a complex, incredibly effective and very clever multi-stranded narrative, we are introduced to different aspects of the war form drastically different perspectives. From the humorous, elaborate depiction of Fascist leader Benito Mussolini throwing a wobbly, to the emotive and heart-rending journals of the homosexual Italian soldier Carlo Guercio, to the wise and perceptive writings of avid historian, local doctor and father, Dr Iannis.

The book takes us through the course of war, chronicling the effects of service, oppression, love and fear upon each individual, with the body of the book devoting a surprisingly equal portion of attention to the "main" characters. This has the effect of leaving to you the total interpretation of each character and their merits, and in doing so De Berniéres achieves what few others can; act as a relatively impartial guide rather than leading you by the nose, and he does it well.

The most well publicised feature of the novel is the love between two of the main characters, Pelagia (played by Penelope Cruz in the screenplay adaptation. It is worth noting that compared to the beauty De Berniéres manages to present us with, Cruz is a disappointment!), the mature, worldly daughter of Dr Iannis, and Antonio Corelli (played by Nicolas Cage in the film), the cultured Italian soldier, opposed to war but loyal to his country. Wooed by his melodic mandolin and unexpected humanity, Pelagia finds herself in a fatal position; in love with the enemy. The struggle these two have, in the wider context of war and the effects on the immediate community, are truly compelling.

I could spend pages detailing the wonderful intricacies that surprise you with each character, and each passing chapter, but that's the fun to be had from reading the book. The ending is somewhat of an anti-climax, but at the same time you get the feeling of cohesion, and it feels true to the turbulent and surprising story before it. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, even if you have no time for books of love, war or tragedy. Simply because the subject matter is used merely as a beautiful screen for what is really at the heart of goings-on; people, feelings and emotion. This is the only book that I have ever read the entire way through more than twice, and I will certainly return to it again.

Other reviewers do far greater justice to the magic of this book than my limits as a writer ever could, but beg, borrow, steal or buy this book and you will be thinking similar terms of amazement the whole way through.

an unfortunate age?

Posted 6 February 2002, 9.20 pm by Villager

Western culture today provides for the majority of its inhabitants to live their lives rather freely, doing as they please, choosing their own path through life relatively uninhibited by the state, and with a choice in occupation, for the most part, entirely unprecedented in modern culture or any other. The fundamental education we are provided with, the basic social security most people can rely upon; these factors combine to form a society in which the individual, without ability in either academia, intellect or physical ability, can still enjoy a comparably comfortable and enjoyable lifetime. Gone are the days of outright exploitation, and even the hardest critic would find it hard to contest that people today have a greater freedom of movement, occupation, speech and religion than ever before.

Now, there may still be a degree of obstacles to overcome in obtaining the lifestyle one might desire, but I do wonder how easy some people would like life to be for them. I do not believe the state owes its citizens as much as is demanded of it; and yet it still provides such things. The NHS, beleaguered as it may be, the free education until 18, and heavily subsidised higher education (University), social benefits for those in the bottom echelons of society; these are the hallmarks of a collective society and in turn Government doing its utmost to drive the country forward in every way possible. It may seem as though I’m kissing ass, but trust me I’m no Labour fanatic. The present state of affairs is due to a history of political, social and arguably even economic evolution that has more recently been forced to incorporate world-wide values and human rights.

We have never had it so good. Fact. We have more freedom with less hindrance than our fathers had, or theirs had. Society may prove difficult to flourish in for some, but you are never going to provide a system whereby every single one of your 58 million inhabitants have a comfortable ride through life. We are animals for Pete’s sake, and yet minus mortal threat and hardship we still feel hard done by. We have no worries on an individual level than the world immediately around us, and that’s what defines a modern society.

I use Britain as the focal point because I live here. I have no doubt that many of the principles expressed will have equal or indeed more truth in other countries, for I do not claim Britain to be the best country in the world by any means. Do not take this as a declaration of patriotism, for it is not intended as such. What I wish to convey is the manner in which we have reached a stage of development where large portions of the world can claim an excellent standard of living.

By the same token, I hold with distaste the way in which youth in particular is so unappreciative and indolent. Not an entirely new thing, but certainly more clearly identifiable today than ever before.


Perhaps that is our own fault; perhaps hardship and struggle is the key to progress. Is the enemy within the final opposition, the one which even humanity cannot defeat?

Hey ASL

Posted 6 February 2002, 9.11 pm by Craig

When I used to visit Yahoo chat (yes, i was a sad child) I used to hate when people asked ASL. It cracked me up. I wanted to kill them!!

If you are like me, instead of hiting about three keys on your key board you can now type in a URL which is triple the size, just to tell people your age sex and location!!

Go make you own ASL profile Here. Have fun!!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Posted 6 February 2002, 5.24 am by Sunny2Tall

Even though I'm only about half way through this book I must say that it is already one of my favorites. The book is written as if the main character Charlie is writing letters to a friend, which very well may real letters. It is during a time in the early '90s when he starts highschool. He talks of the people he meets, his family, and what he thinks. Kind of like having a personal insight to someone's thoughts. The book is only a little over 200 pages long so it is a pretty quick read (I just got mine yesterday.) I give this book a 9 out of 10 only because its a little expensive for such a small book. But I still think everyone should own it or at least read it once.

Influential Handwriting?

Posted 6 February 2002, 3.09 am by Berly

Upon returning home one day, I discovered a white envelope with some handwriting under my doormat. It simply said “Since I have not been able to catch you at home, I thought I would leave this for you.”

My mind began to calculate. Out of those who know where I live, who would stop by my house and leave something at my door? There are a few. Instead of pondering it further, I simply opened it up.

It was of course, a religious pamphlet. I threw it in the trash and giggled to myself. I had been fooled by the handwriting on the envelope. What is it about a handwritten message that catches my attention? All the other junk mail deposited at my door or in my mailbox is easily identified and disposed of.

I often wonder if handwriting will become extinct. I miss it as a common form of communication. Handwriting experts believe personality traits and other things can be presumed by analyzing one’s handwriting. I don’t much care for those theories, I just find each individual’s interpretation of the standard alphabet we are taught to be interesting.

I was going to illustrate my point by handwriting, scanning and linking this entire post. I soon remembered how annoying handwritten documents are. I appreciate the readability of typewritten text. I appreciate the thesaurus, spell check and grammar features of most word processing programs. I appreciate the fact that the 25 failed attempts to create an adept sentence are simply deleted from this document without much effort. I believe all of these things contribute to more effective written communication among people.

However, I still miss those handwritten letters from friends and family. I feel deprived of a kind of individual art created by the writer. Perhaps I’m just easily amused.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to respond to a text message on my cell phone.

Floundering

Posted 4 February 2002, 9.29 pm by The_Roach

I hadn't intended to watch this movie. It was about 4 AM, I had finals in the morning, and I was exhausted. The moment I saw James Le Gros' name in the credits, I knew there was no hope. He is, without a doubt, one of the most underrated actors in the 90's, appearing in several B movies and little else.

The film revolves around a slacker named Jon Boyz and the aftermath of the L.A. race riots. Within 24 hours, Jon's life gets turned entirely upside-down and he snaps, culminating in the kidnapping of a woman and planning the murder of a police commisioner.

While occasionally heavy handed in it's philosophy, the acting is excellent and the film leaves you thinking about who you are and what your place is. Highly reccomended

The Simpsons

Posted 4 February 2002, 6.27 pm by Craig

Last year when I went to stay with Homer, I got lost while trying to find their house. This year I've thought ahead and found a map...

The Map of Springfield

Archives: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

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In 2018 I started painting again. This was one of a series of acrylic sketches I did to relearn techniques and revisit my skills from art college.


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Props to Green Mamba for bringing the weirdness

Hmph

80s candy bars were pretty good

only because i traded it for a candy bar in the 80's.

lol we all know you don't have a soul ghoti

my soul for some carbs...

But of course!

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