Archives for the month of: May, 2009

i was minding my own business, flipping through “cooking light” this morning when i ran into another one of those obnoxious high fructose corn syrup ads.  it’s enough to see them on tv, but in print, it made me so angry.  this is a small version.

so, these sickeningly aggressive ads are probably working on the general populace that doesn’t want to do research on HFCS, or who go to the google-sponsored link related to the campaign: sweetsurprise.com

here’s the gist, friends.  i’m a fan of putting foods into my body that is not that processed, that’s closer to its original form than a scary strange form.  i know white sugar isn’t a pure substance, but HFCS is really far from what it started out as.

HFCS starts out as corn, a starch.  in order to break down that huge starchy molecule into smaller sweeter ones, harsh techniques are used including a genetically modified enzyme (alpha-amylase) and an aflotoxin bi-product of a very common allergen: aspergillis mold.  isn’t that scary?  if not, consider that some of the chemicals used may have trace elements of mercury which is responsible for most neurodegenerative diseases!  also, consider the 2007 study with lab rats where leptin-resistance was developed resulting in obesity.

as usual, there’s a lot of political stuff behind the scenes here with corn subsidies, ethanol production, and different groups promoting their own interests.  just think zoolander.

well, that’s all.  i’m expecting a vehement backlash from some HFCS supporter, like i got from my organic post.  but if i get a lot of criticism that reults in hundreds of hits, i’d be okay with that.

discuss amongst yourselves.

right now the second class of fellows is at their beach week, celebrating the end of a successful year together.  i am shocked that a year has gone by so quickly.  shocked.  it seems like a good point in time to draw a line and reflect on what’s happened.  it’s been a whopper of a year:

– four jobs, plus freelancing
– two layoffs
– one crazy boss who heard from Jesus about my salary, then decided she hadn’t
– one awesome boss who remained my friend after we both got laid off
– one messy breakup
– a proposal
– two random bad dates with a guy who “doesn’t believe” in myers-briggs
– a lovely relationship that started with ulterior motive fellows recruiting
– 2 big flares of symptoms with 3 diagnoses: MS, Lyme, Lyme-induced MS
– 6 months of IV antibiotics, 4 days a week, 2 hours a day
– thousands of supplements taken
– 35 treatments of hyperbaric oxygen
– more time than i can count pray-crying
– hundreds of dollars spent on the tollroad, lots of smiles from my favorite toll booth worker
– lots of physical pain and exhaustion
– thousands of dollars spent on medical treatment
– 3 appeals to get insurance to pay for my IV antibiotics
– hundreds of phone calls home to my parents
– thursday night dinners with jillian
– tuesday night movie nights with russ and friends
– wednesday night counseling class
– ikea/craigslist furniture acquisition
– lots of heels worn

it’s been an insane year.  i could not have imagined any of this drama last year at this time.  i really thought i’d be with the guy i had a crush on, that i’d quickly get a stable job, that my health would even out.  it’s crazy.  i’m committed to the idea that God is writing something very important and meaningful with my life, but most of the time I have no idea what He’s up to.  I believe there’s a “rest of the story.”  I believe there’s still ink in the pen.

i’ve spent some time the last few days reading over my old xanga blog.  i started it in the fall of 2004, the semester after a rough summer in ireland.  i continued it til the early spring of 2007, after a crazy few months working on the look and feel of Urbana06.  It chronicled lit crit papers, paintings, sleep loss, heartbreak, books, important metaphors, changing seasons, longings & desires, and long lists of things i’d crammed into one 9-hour Friday “night.”  Then it moved on to post-college identity crises, examining what long-distance friendships look like, dreams shattered and found again, travels, new relationships, and cross-country moves.  the blog is silent for about a year and a half when i felt shameful for wanting to post my life, then it made a comeback as Amy 2.0 emerged from the ashes of an M.S. diagnosis.

It was really fun to re-read, not only because i like to hear myself, but also to read the great quippy little comments from friends: europeanwanderer, cutevillain, phoenix_ash, i_n_f_j, mzarypzat, wemetintheair.  some of you don’t read this blog, but man, it was great to read your notes.

I grieved again, a little, for the self I feel I’ve lost with all my health issues.  MS, Lyme Disease, nutrition, and feeling “normal” have dominated my landscape and other things have become smaller by comparison.  there’s not enough room in my mind and heart for creating a postmodern apologetic, thinking about making redemptive art, philosophizing about cultural shifts, and even some relationships have gotten squeezed out.  other things dominate.  i wish they didn’t.  i wish i had more space to think about these things.  at one point, i felt that my calling revolved around postmodernity, art, relationships, but now i don’t think about my calling as much.  i’m just trying to get through today with discipline and determination to  thinking critically about my treatment in one hand and hope in the other.  most days i do, and for that i’m grateful.

the last 4 weeks have included a significant decline in how i’ve been feeling:  a lot of the buzzing and tingling in my extremities came back, and i had a pretty discouraging conversation with my new doctor about how i have lyme-induced MS.  not just lyme, but both.  i cried a lot.  i felt discouraged.  i was glad for my job to distract me.  4 weeks later, the tingling has cleared up, thanks in part to some new (cheap) supplements, like sublingual vitamin b.  weird, huh? it’s great.

other news:  i’ve completed week 2 of my job which includes a lot of training but i really like it so far.  it’s really nice to go to work and get paid.  really really nice.

my little big sister is here visiting now.  we’ve eaten a lot of good ethnic food, caught up on the office, hung out with friends.

yeah.  i feel like my posts are fairly repetetive:  i feel like crap!  I feel great!  i’m unemployed!  i’m employed!  if you visit for the header and not the content, i’ve got a new one up.