Book Self Is Interested in Reading: Today, Friday, 12 October 2007

Because self is at home on this rainy, gloomy Friday, because she is ensconced in the exact center of sagging living room couch, and because ex-classmates have chosen today as their day to wander around the City, self is free to peruse New York Times of Tuesday, October 9, completely undisturbed. Loyal blog readers, today self thinks she knows the meaning of bliss.

In the course of her reading, self has landed on the section called “Science Times.” And has begun reading a most fascinating article by regular columnist John Tierney, which debunks ex-attorney general C. Everett Koop’s declaration that ice cream was bad for one’s health (Self knew it!!! She knew it all along, dear blog readers!!! After all, how can anything that tastes as good as Haagen Dasz’s Dulce de Leche be bad for you???)

Tierney bases his opinion on a book by Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories, which he describes as “meticulously debunking diet myths.”

In 1988, the surgeon general, C. Everett Koop, proclaimed ice cream to be a public-health menace right up there with cigarettes. Alluding to his office’s famous 1964 report on the perils of smoking, Dr. Koop announced that the American diet was a problem of “comparable magnitude, chiefly because of the high-fat foods that were causing coronary heart disease and other deadly ailments.

He introduced his report with these words: “The depth of the science base underlying its findings is even more impressive than that for tobacco and health in 1964.”

That was a ludicrous statement, as Gary Taubes demonstrates in his new book meticulously debunking diet myths, “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (Knopf, 2007). The notion that fatty foods shorten your life began as a hypothesis based on dubious assumptions and data; when scientists tried to confirm it they failed repeatedly. The evidence against Haagen Dazs was nothing like the evidence against Marlboros.

Right now, self is off to watch Eastern Promises, and will purchase (sans guilt) two scoops of the ice cream they sell in the theatre lobby. What joy, what joy.

Report on How Self Spent Today, Thursday, 11 October 2007

First self had to give a talk to Liza Erpelo’s class at Skyline. And, similar to what happened last year, self found herself hugely entertained by classroom of lively students. One student even remembered self’s mentioning a student named Jezus last year, which then prompted self to recount further anecdotes about said student, which led to further digressions, and then self found herself talking about ghosts, which topic then segued into Stephen King, which in turn segued into Pet Sematary, which then led to self’s mentioning murderous little boy, brought back from the dead by doting mother, who then slashes Achilles tendons of unsuspecting victims while lurking under the bed. At which point, Liza looked at self, looked at the class, and wondered aloud, “How did we get here?”

After that, self had to rush to SFO to pick up ex-Assumption Convent classmate. And after making six circles around the terminals, she found out that classmate was waiting in the International terminal, even though her flight was only from L.A.

After that little problem was cleared up, self asked ex-classmate if she didn’t mind going to Burlingame, where self had to pick up a packet sent by Dearest Mum with a friend. And then it occurred to self that it was 2 PM and she had not had anything to eat all day. So then self treated ex-classmate to Japanese food in Burlingame. After which, self and friend drove to the City (to Pier 39) to meet up with Lucy from Houston, her husband Bob, and their seven-year-old Calista.

Lucy and Bob and Calista had been waiting on a bench in front of the Hard Rock Café for over an hour and were *quite* chilled. Self offered to drive them to the Ferry Building.

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