Friday, January 22, 2010

Book Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larssen

I was reluctant to pick this novel up and I can't articulate why. Something about Lisbeth Salanders name.
The thing to remember when reading this book is that the author, Stieg Larssen was Swedish, and is dead. These are keys to why the book is the way that it is.

The lead is Michael Blomkvist, a financial journalist, and a compulsive serial man slut. He's on his way to serving a short prison sentence for publishing a story he can't back up in his financial journalism magazine . Because it's Sweden, he's got months before he has to show up to serve his time, and he reluctantly takes a job in a remote village as a family biographer cum private investigator for the Vanger clan.

Blomkvist is largely a snooze. Financial Journalism is awful and boring, and even Blomkvists sexcapades, while mind boggling, are not exactly scintillating.

When the book isn't unnessecarily educating me about the ins and outs of financial journalism, and confusing me about why anybody wants to seduce Michael Blomkvist it's a really really good book.

Lisbeth Salander is a well designed character (even if Photographic Memory isn't an actual thing). The best way to describe her is functionally mentally ill. Because badass though she is, she inspires any number of amateur psychiactric diagnoses.

In the first third of the book, I could hardly wait for anything involving Blomkvist to be over, but after that it got alot more gripping. This is why I say that Larssen's death is important. My understanding is that generally an editor will essentially hack and slash, and send the transcript back to the author a few times for reworking. I put it to you that, as Larssen had passed, passages that would perhaps otherwise have been cut out or scaled down remain.

The result is, a book that could have been superb, is just great.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

this is what B thinks of your allergies:

She'll be 6 months old in 9 days. She can pull herself into a standing position, and is getting better at giving hugs everyday.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fat ol' fatty: day 2

I'm of the opinion that everybody, even if you don't need to lose weight or are at a place where you don't care about your weight, should be doing pilates.

My reasoning behind this is this : after doing just one 20 minute dvd yesterday, the tightness in my lower back went away and I was able to stand up straighter for the rest of the day.

The back pain issue could be endorsement enough, but also consider the following: body fat looks less sloppy when it's resting on top of a more toned muscle. Better posture changes the way body fat is carried as well, and will, again, make body fat look less sloppy.

I'm using a $20(can.) kit made by Bally Total Fitness and sold at Walmart. It comes with a balance ball, stretch band and instructional dvd. You'll probably also want a yoga mat. you need to do this in a room with enough floorspace for you to lie down and spead eagle.

The DVD is grainy and apppears to have been made on an extremely low budget. The instructor is Jaimie Grassi, who is not TV-pretty, but who seems to have designed the workout. Jaimie seems to have been given only one take for each segment, at one point she tries to casually correct herself without drawing notice. The lighting is odd and it seems like flash photography is going on during the filming. Whoever put the segments together has made it cut directly from Jaime saying "and now you can relax" from up on the ball to her in a completely different position down on the floor and seconds away from starting a new exercise.

Production quality aside, it's an accessable dvd, and the workout isn't bad.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In short : I'm a big fat ol' fatty

I'm going to start this out by saying that I've never been skinny, and I never will be. The lowest I've ever weighed in at was 147 pounds when I was 19. I'm 5'5. Most of my adult life I've been between 160 and 170 pounds. However, during the year before I got pregnant I had, through regular light physical activity and improved eating habits gotten my weight down to 150, and had stabilized there.
During my pregnancy 4 things happened :

1. A friend told me I needed to stop exercising, because his wife was told not to exercise while pregnant. It turns out though that his wife had only been told this because she was having a high risk pregnancy.

2. Even though I only had morning sickness 3-4 times, I had terrible heartburn that TUMS did nothing to aid. What did help: Cheetos. For Breakfast. Every day.

3. I slipped and twisted my ankle. twice.

4. in my third trimester I was so tired and lazy that I gave in and let my husband make hotdogs for dinner every night.

The result of these factors is that I gained 50 pounds during my pregnancy.
Lest you think I'm currently 200 pounds, and as a reassurance for any expecting moms, you lose about 15 pounds right off the bat. If youre breastfeeding, or pumping, like I was, another 10 is gone in a matter of weeks.

Thats where I paused. I've been at 175 for MONTHS now. My fault though, expecting moms, I haven't been exercising, and I've totally been eating icecream every night.

So now, and with no numeric goal, Here is my plan:

1. Begin Pilates again : Pilates is NOT Cardio, but it does help with back pain, and it does build muscle, which makes cardio more efficient.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables: The rule ... if youve eaten 7 servings of fruit or vegetables, you can eat whatever you want
3. only eat if/when hungry
4. introduce cardio in a few weeks

So I'll update on this next week

Excuses, Excuses...

I haven't posted in over a month. I didn't mean for it to happen, but here we are. My Husband got laid off so he's been home since Christmas eve. That's part of it. He's vaguely aware that I write here, but I don't want him to read it, which becomes an issue.

Anyway, while I've not been writing anything, I've been doing things that I may write about in the near future:

1. Reading things that are not necessarily Harry Potter, which I'll probably review

2. comitting to paint some new large scale panels for my cousin's wedding.

3. comitting to make 3 sets of bridesmaids jewellery for same cousin's wedding.

4. Decided the time is frankly overdue for me to get back in shape.

Anyway, since my Husband and Baby B are both asleep right now, I'll try to pull an entry out of my ass post-haste!