All posts by marlenedotterer

Science Fiction and Fantasy writer

Eat This While You Read That: Lee and Miller – Cedar Writes

Here’s a post featuring my favorite author team, their books, and a favorite character’s favorite food. A favorable post!

From ETWYRT:

A couple of weeks ago I featured a lowly, plebian sandwich on ETWYRT. Today’s recipe is pretty much the exact opposite of the zombie apocalypse grilled cheese. I really enjoy the Liaden serie…

Source: Eat This While You Read That: Lee and Miller – Cedar Writes

Least Healthy Foods are the Most Subsidized

People who read this article will probably those most interested in food and health. The people who NEED to read it, are the folks who eat mostly processed food.

So  if you know me and you eat lots of processed food, please read. Especially if your kids eat mostly processed food. Convenience is great, but it’s not everything.

http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/07/are-farm-subsidies-killing-us

Crap Shoots and Other Good Times

I just did something I already regret. I had a hamburger. Not just any hamburger either, but one completely devoid of worth. Worse than a waste of calories, it was practically a killing meal.

In case you’re wondering if it at least tasted good, no it didn’t. Like I said, devoid of worth.

The joke on me is that I thought I was ordering the vegetarian option. See, I’m a spoiled Californian. When I go to a hamburger place and see portobello mushroom as one of the hamburger options, I think it’s a grilled portobello mushroom instead of a hamburger patty.

But I’m not in California,  I’m in Texas. The San Antonio airport, to be exact. So… It’s beef with a few mushroom pieces on top. Along with grilled onions and .. well, it was supposed to have Swiss cheese, but I confess I couldn’t find it.

Sounds good, though, right? So I shrugged and took a bite. Now it wasn’t awful or anything. No reason to immediately spit it out and refuse to eat it.  I wish it had been that bad. It was just… meh. Sort of tasteless, which is hard to do to grilled portobello and onions, but they managed it.

About halfway through the thing, I noticed I was fighting a lot of grease. As in, driping off my fingers. I did a little inspection, then turned it over to examine the bottom if it. The bottom bun was saturated with grease. I lifted the bun off. It was soaked all the way through. I squeezed it like a wet dish rag. Grease literally oozed from the bread onto my napkin.

So now my stomach feels leaden and I’m really wishing I hadn’t eaten that thing. It may take a month to get over the damage.

You should avoid Steaks and Shakes in the San Antonio airport.

Just sayin’.

Reblog: Despite a Supreme Court victory, it could take years for Texas abortion clinics to reopen

I’m greatly heartened by the Supreme Court decision that firmly tells Texas pols they can’t interfere with a basic right. But as this article points out, the situation in Texas won’t improve overnight. “Some clinics may never reopen…”

http://www.vox.com/2016/6/27/12038934/supreme-court-texas-whole-womans-health-closed-clinics-reopen-years

So instead… let’s do this: Let doctors be doctors. OB/GYNs need to offer abortion as part of the standard of care. If a patient needs one, the doctor can get her the medication early in the pregnancy, the doctor can continue to oversee the patient’s care, the procedure is cheaper and safer. If abortion needs to be performed later in pregnancy, but early enough for an office procedure, the doctor can schedule it and all should be well.

There should be no need for separate abortion clinics. Just doctor’s offices, health care clinics, and hospitals. They should ALL include abortion as part of the necessary care. It’s done if needed, and not done if not needed.

Simple for everyone.

 

 

A Post About Hope (or Not)

Science Fiction is full of dystopian stories, with futures grim, dusty, and hot. They have advanced technology, at least in some sectors, but in general, it’s not available to the masses, or used for the greater good.

With all that’s going on in our world these days, it almost seems that we should just pick our favorite dystopian story and admit we’re heading in that direction.

I am a cynical person. I’m not proud of that, necessarily, it just is. People almost can’t surprise me with how nasty they can be. I’m always disappointed when they are nasty – I’d much rather see people be nice. Or dare I say, be reasonable?

You know, at the very least.

Invariably though, most people go for the jugular and brag about it. There are a whole bunch of them in this country coming out loud and clear about how nasty they are and how nasty they want to act in public. They’re voting for Trump.

It’s possible the slim majority of British folks who voted for Brexit just want to be nasty, too. Certainly, they want to close the gates to their country and wall themselves in so they can have their own quiet little kingdom without having to acknowledge that “other” people exist.

Good luck with that.

But here’s the thing about dystopian stories. They always have hope. There are always people who refuse to be nasty and want to do something about the general nastiness surrounding them. Seriously, would you read a novel that didn’t have these characters? Probably not.

A novel that just glorifies a nasty, ugly society would be… boring, possibly. Damn sad, for sure. Cringe-worthy, even.

So it would be in real life. And in my most cynical moments, I’m truly afraid we may end like that. It’s hard for me to think hope can win. But cynicism doesn’t mean I give up. I’ll always be one of those people fighting for reason.

In novels, we always win in the end. I want to believe that’s also true of real life, with the caveat that sometimes we’re reading a trilogy. Things can get pretty nasty before the good guys prevail.

Worst case: humanity goes extinct. That at least ends the suffering.

 

 

 

Are You Still There?

I wouldn’t blame you if you’re not. I certainly haven’t been around. I plead vacations, with the excuse that I was leaving occasional posts and pictures on Facebook. Then I got sick.

I went to Peru for a few weeks.

Peru won.

I did try to be careful. Bottled water everywhere, even for brushing teeth. No eating unpeeled fruit or uncooked vegetables. Well, mostly.

There’s no telling where I picked it up, but it wasn’t just me. Illness crept through our group of ten, one person at a time. In fact, I made it all the way home before illness struck, two days later. Himself got sick our last day in Peru and the poor guy had to maneuver through airports and planes while practically unconscious. That was bad enough for me, I can’t imagine what it was like for him.

I think we’re over it. Our strength is back and we’ve started weeding the yard again. Taking short walks. Housework and other chores are easier. I may even have the strength to write this post.

Peru was… interesting. Gorgeous, of course, and amazing in many ways. It was challenging for us. Altitude sickness was a problem – I needed oxygen while hiking the Incan Trail, which was scary. We did the one-day section, up to the Sun Gate to Machu Picchu. We spent more than two weeks above 6,000 feet, most of it above 10,000. I learned that, while I love mountains, I prefer them of reasonable height. I have new respect for sea level.

Here, have a few pictures. The lake is Titicaca, the town is Cusco as viewed from the Sun Temple. The group picture is on the Incan Trail after reaching Machu Picchu, which you can see in the last photo. Wild, huh? I’ll post more pics later!

 

What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? | FiveThirtyEight

Daniel Straub remembers the night he got hooked on basic income. He had invited Götz Werner, a billionaire owner of a German drugstore chain, to give an independent talk in Zurich, where Straub was…

Source: What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money? | FiveThirtyEight

Keeping Weight Off

Wow.  The New York Times has an article about contestants from the Biggest Loser show. And it turns out I was right all along: if I manage to lose weight, my body really does slow down the metabolism and hangs onto calories, and it doesn’t get better. It stays bad or gets worse. This is a big reason people can’t maintain weight loss.

I always say I  have no will power, and that’s partially true. I love food. But if I eat around 1000 calories a day, I will not lose weight. I’ll maintain okay, but the truth is, I am consistently unsuccessful at eating only 1000 calories every day. I’ll do okay for a day or two, then eat 1500 calories the next day. I gain a pound, maybe two. So I force myself back to 1000 cals or less, and the weight goes back down a pound. But if I want to actually lose say, 5 pounds, I’d have to eat less than 800 calories every day.

In addition to a slower metabolism, our bodies reduce hormones that help us feel full, and increase a hormone that makes us feel hungry. This is not because starving ourselves and are dangerously underweight. This happens to anyone who has lost weight, even if they are still overweight.

Back when we were doing the intermittent fasting, I got down to 122 pounds, for about 5 minutes. That was the lowest point. Now I hover between 128 and 130. Which is about 15 pounds more than I should weigh for my height and build. But the pounds are not going anywhere.

Have any of you experienced this? Do you feel that your metabolism is slower than it was? Do you constantly want to eat one more thing?