The Picture of Dorian Gray

Recently, I decided my brain was rotting and, in the absence of being able to take classes, I should read higher literature than, say, Kathy Reichs and Redwall. Fortunately, Barnes & Noble was having a buy one get one sale on some of the classics.

The first one I read was Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was really quite a fascinating juxtaposition of ideas and theories. The author firmly asserts that literature is not moral–“Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” He says this in the preface of a book about a man who quite literally kills himself by trying to kill his conscience.

The rhetoric of one man leads an innocent Dorian to follow those witty ideas that sound wonderful but don’t work out so well. Very strange, since many of those ideas would certainly have been endorsed by Wilde himself.

I believe the book deserves another reading and further analysis, but my preliminary review is that this is one of those rare pieces of literature that can be read both for simple enjoyment and for critical thinking, so I can highly recommend it to just about everyone.


A Strange Pet Peeve

I have a confession: I play World of Warcraft. While I would still rather sit in a recliner and play a console game, I do enjoy WoW. The main problem with it is, you have to deal with real people. And as in any place where you have to deal with real people, you often have to deal with real, annoying people.

I believe my greatest annoyance in the gaming world is begging. In the real world, people fall on hard times. Or they can’t hold down a job. Or they’re crazy. Whatever, there are legitimate reasons to beg. In the world of Warcraft, there is no legitimate reason to beg. The point of the game is to kill monsters and make money from them and their loot so you can buy better gear so you can kill even more monsters and make even more money. To beg off other gamers is inexcusably lazy, rude, and contrary to the purpose of the game.

Since the wonderful discovery of the “Ignore” function, I find myself a little less annoyed. A little. Because really, people, what’s the purpose?

/end rant

Don’t Take This the Wrong Way…

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but have you lost weight?”

The first time I heard this question, I was about 10 years old. I thought about my weight about as often as I thought about boys. Pretty much never. But I do remember being happy to hear that question. Hey, I looked like I’d lost weight. Didn’t matter if the number on the scale had changed; I looked like I lost weight.

Which led me to think, What wrong way is there to take that question? As I’ve spent time with more women I realize that there are, in fact, women who would be insulted at the suggestion that they were heavier than anorexic to begin with. This is a mindset I do not understand.

I recently restarted a diet I know works. Five years ago, I lost 35 pounds. I’ve gained about 5 since then. Not a bad ratio, but I want my BMI to be on the lower end of healthy rather than brushing the rafters, so I’m beginning again.

Also, it’s almost summer, and I want to look great. So I, for one, am grateful to hear my hard work pay off and hear people exclaim how much weight I’ve lost. For me, there is no “wrong way” to take that question.

You Know What They Say About It…

By now, you’ve probably seen the pro-high-fructose corn syrup commercials. You know, the ones that make the people who speak out against it look like idiots and the person eating the high-fructose corn syrup product is like, “So what? It has the same calories as sugar and is fine in moderation.” These commercials are presented by the totally unbiased Corn Growers Association of America.

The first thing that makes me laugh is the “fine in moderation” part. I’m sure that’s true, just like everything else that’s bad for you. But let’s face it; it’s in everything. So if you actively try to avoid it, you may end up just eating it in moderation. Secondly, the name itself tells you that, even if the caloric intake is the same, your body’s not going to process something called “high-fructose” the same way it process plain ol’ fructose.

Third and finally, for this post and to my knowledge though there’s probably more, high-fructose corn syrup does this delightful thing to your cells’ communication system. You see, it stops your stomach from sending that “Hey, I’m full!” message to your brain. That’s why you can drink two cups of water and feel full to bursting but can chug that 17-oz bottle of soda without blinking. Which is yet another reason you probably won’t get high-fructose corn syrup “in moderation.”

Just so you know what they say about it…