Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg's Soda Ban and Obesity in America

Something that has been floating around the newssphere recently is Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York's proposal to cap serving sizes of sugary drinks sold at restaurants and vendors to 16 fl.oz. or the size of a Grande for those Starbucks minded like me. Quite a few people have come forward expressing their support as well as disdain for such a proposal. Those who are in support of Bloomberg herald the proposal as another positive step in the war against obesity in the United States while others are up in arms about their right to choose. One of my school newspapers recently published a poll on whether the same policy should be introduced in Washington D.C. (I'd image they mean in the city, not the actual nationwide government view of Washington D.C.). I was shocked to see that the majority of people polled supported the measure while others were a mixed bag of "no", "no opinion" and "THIS IS FASCISM IN DEMOCRACY" (emphasis added but not far off from the actual poll choice listed). Now each side has their fair share of points which make sense, but here's my view on this subject.

I find this proposal to be silly to say the least. One of the fundamental principles of business, American life and livelihood, and why the human brain has the ability to analyze differences between objects is choice. We as humans like choice; why else would there be over 30 different varieties of peanut butter at the grocery store or hundreds of different cars you could potentially buy? We don't like feeling constrained in our ability to do what we want by others or the rules established others who believe they know what you want better than you do. It's ridiculous.

I really like this kind of choice
Bloomberg stated that "'Every study shows that you will eat a very big proportion of whatever's put in front of you,' Bloomberg said in an interview Thursday with CBS News. 'And if you have to make a conscious effort to go to another cup, you're less likely to do it."' While that fact may be true, are people forced to purchase or actually finish that large portion of (insert food here)? No. This is where I feel that the blame for the general poor state of American health is being scapegoated to the American drinks industry. I see why this is happening; when you turn on the news and another story about how 2/3 of Americans are overweight and such is on, they often play the same stock footage of some Jabba the Hutt-esque individual sitting at a booth at McDonalds with their Big Mac and megajug sized soda in hand. To the viewer, the easy target to blame for that person's fatness are the two obvious forces of evil at work - fast food restaurants and Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Those greedy corporate bastards. I mean, what else would cause someone to balloon to that hearty girth? Well, look at the person inhaling all the food in front of them....

Omnomnomnomnom diabetes
 Here is the central point of my argument; it is not the soda, the burger, or the existence of large portion sizes that makes people fat, it's the fact that people choose to consume, against wiser judgement, extra calories more than they should, more often than they should. Is the fact that there is a Mega-Hyper-LordSaveMyBladder Gulp at my local 7-11 making me fat? No. Why? Because I make a conscious effort to try and live healthy, exercise, eat healthy, and choose a more reasonable size if the Siren's call for a Slurpee ever beckons me to the colourful, whirling goodness that is the slush machine. Same can be said of large portions at restaurants. If I go to The Cheesecake Factory, I expect massive portions that will leave me waddling out of the restaurant feeling more content than finding a $20 bill randomly on the floor (okay, maybe a $10). I can choose to eat it all, which on occasion I do, or eat until I'm full and take the rest home for lunch the next day. Now am I fat because The Cheesecake Factory has large portions and just inhaling the air suddenly adds 3 inches to my waist? No again, because I have a brain and I use it to make a choice as to when to stop eating and also to go be active in some way later on. Blaming restaurants for making people obese because they give consumers the option of large sizes just does make sense upon closer scrutiny.

Rather than restricting choice for consumers, politicians and companies should focus instead on educating them on what they are eating. Posting calorie counts on soda bottles and restaurant menus is something which I think is a great idea. Starting early on by educating children to eat healthy and stay active is another step in the right direction. Revising school lunches is another good idea. Looking back at what my high school cafeteria served, I can say that it wasn't exactly the best stuff in the world for me. Pizza, burgers, fries and the like aren't things that should be eaten every day, but I did because that's what was available. If I didn't do crew I probably would have put on a few pounds during high school, but I digress.

My best frenemy for the past four years

What we as consumers and as citizens should demand of our government isn't to find ways to make us healthier by restricting what we can and can not have to eat. Instead, we should demand that more transparency be put in place into what goes into our food and the nutritional information of what we eat. It's also the responsibility of us as consumers to be active buyers and be aware of the choices we have. Maybe instead of regular Coke get Diet Coke, if you don't like the taste of Diet Coke then get regular Coke, but know you're getting empty calories from that. Don't like that? Then go exercise to burn it off or switch to water. The same thing applies when deciding between a large or small drink. Don't go around blaming others that you're getting fat because you chose a less healthy option; nobody forced you to do anything. You control what you eat, and if  you're unhealthy because of it then do something about it or just a blissful, happy life just the way you are.

I believe that Bloomberg's  proposal was done with good intentions, but it really just does not work. What this proposal and any subsequent similar proposal does is treat the symptom rather than the cause which is what we should be going after.

Phew, that was a long post. If you made it this far, congratulations. Few topics usually get me impassioned about them but this is one of them. Given that, what's your opinion on Mayor Bloomberg's proposal? Do you agree? What do you think should be done about the obesity epidemic?

All the best,


P.S. - if you would like to read more, here's the article I got the quote from. Otherwise, any news site is probably running some story on this so Google is your friend.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Such a Flirt

I hate it when my straight guy friends play flirt with me. It's so hot but it's the biggest tease in the entire world.

#gayboyproblems #notcoolbro

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Employ Me

It's that time of year again. Since Denmark is terribly expensive and I don't want to be more of a financial drain on my parents, I'm starting my summer job search again. Last summer went pretty well. Maria and I ended up working at the same shop in Maryland and it was a blast. My co-workers were pretty nice for the most part and I loved my manager, pay was decent too. The only thing I didn't like was that the commute from Virginia took a while.

While I would apply to come back this summer, my old manager has since left the company in addition to a slew of other changes. The store got redistricted so the new district manager is this lady who I'm not a big fan of and the new manager is apparently  kind of crazy which isn't something I'd be willing to put up with. I believe that good coworkers and a good manager can make almost any mundane job enjoyable, but now that things have changed so much, I don't think I want to go back.

I've been applying to jobs since my finals ended. So far I've applied to three places and I'm still looking for more. My experience was in high-end retail so I want something in a similar more upscale setting, but I'm pretty sure I'll end up just at a regular job. Quite honestly, I just need the money so I can afford to drink sight see and travel around while in Europe. Hopefully I'll hear back soon. So, need someone who with the ability to convince people to buy $32 bottles of lotion? Call me.

In other news, summer has been pretty relaxing so far. I've been getting decent amounts of sleep, been cooking like mad, washed, detailed, and vacuumed my car, and been hanging out with friends like Ms X and her new BF and Maria. I've also just downloaded Catching Fire which is the second book in the Hunger Games series and I'm really looking forward to start reading for fun again. I'm also considering buying a Weber Kettle Grill like this:

Ever since I joined grilling club in the fall I've realized I love grilling over charcoal so much. Our old gas grill died last summer so we threw that out. We rarely grill but if I can get one of these, maybe that can change. The only problem is that it costs a good amount of money which I currently do not have so maybe once I get a job and have a steady paycheck I'll go ahead and splurge on one.

Alright gents, I hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods.

All the best,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Scumbag Brain

I really need to stop having these hot sex dreams. It's actually starting to get out of hand. It's usually a guy I know and someone I can not have for one reason or another. I know it's probably the whole "wanting what you can't have" thing invading my dream sphere coupled with leaving school for the summer but it shouldn't be this often. It's happened three times in the past week already which is a lot for me considering I rarely have much in ways of memorable dreams in the first place.

Even worse is that I know I also occasionally talk in my sleep which can spell all sorts of problems. If you want a comedic interpretation of what's been going on, well, here's a good example:

The thing is that they are not really unpleasant in any way (quite the contrary if I'm totally honest), but it's just really awkward and just a tad disappointing when I wake up and realize it was, alas, just a dream.

Douchebag brain. Sometimes I truely hate what you do to me.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Boom: Junior Status

And with that, my friends, I am done with Sophomore year.

After my exam got out at 11 this morning I crashed and fell asleep, but since then I've been pretty much packing this entire time. My room looks like a disaster zone right now but hopefully once I move most of my stuff out with the help of my mom tomorrow it will look better.

The sense of freedom is so freaking nice. I've been busting my ass for the past two weeks studying for finals and now that I'm done it feels tremendous. I want to just run laps actually haha.

When I get home there are three things I intend to do:

1. Play with my dog
2. Go to the gym
3. Eat a decent balanced meal for the first time in almost three weeks

Damn Sophomore year was a weird/amazing/crazy year. I'll do a year in review soon probably so keep an eye out for that.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I'm done with two finals and have three more to go. My first two, German and Macroeconomics, went smoothly enough. I'm not completely satisfied with some of the question phrasing on my macro final however and there were so many errors in the exam it was embarrassing. Nevertheless, I'm done with that now. I'm hoping to have these two classes be "anchor classes" in terms of my grade just in case anything goes horribly wrong in my other finals though I don't see that happening as of now.

I have Marketing tomorrow, International Trade on Thursday, and Finance on Friday. I've been hammering out Marketing hard for the past two days and I think I have a pretty firm grasp on the subject. The curve in that class is ridiculous (bad ridiculous) which is concerning so I really need to do well if I want to pull off a decent grade in the class. I think I'm sitting at a B+ or A- depending on the curve so if everything goes well, I'll hopefully end up with the later.

If Marketing is the class where everyone pretty much does well, then I-Trade is another story. It's basically econ on steroids (blech) and the curve in that class is pretty large as a result. The professor admitted that all of our grades will likely be decided based on our performance on the final which isn't encouraging. My only comfort is that most people seem to find the class as confusing or even more so than I do so that will hopefully tilt things in my favour.

Finance has been the fairy-tale story of all my classes this semester. It's my first class in my Finance major and so far I've been doing well. I've gotten A's on both my midterms and my overall grade is solid. I'm hoping that if I can do it one more time on the final I can end up with an A in the class. That would actually make this entire semester worth it if I do it.

Alright, back to work. At this time in three days I hope to be hanging with friends finishing all the leftover alcohol before I head home Saturday.

Saturday: Get here sooner.



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Stress Relief Tips?

Stress relief tips anyone?

My finals start in two days. One a day for 5 days. This coming week is going to suck but I'll get through it.

I went on a run tonight along the Potomac and had some creepy guy start following me before I broke into a sprint and ran the other way so I think nighttime runs are out of the question.

I've been trying to go to the gym but it's starting to get kind of boring and I haven't been motivated enough lately.

Anyways, I'd really appreciate any suggestions you may have so comment s'il vous plait. Merci!


Also, I don't know what the hell is going on but like a month ago I got with this guy after going clubbing (he goes to my school) and now I can't get the experience out of my head. Unfortunately it wasn't a pleasant experience and it's actually kind of gross. Now the fact that it's replaying in my head during naps and at randoms times while studying is really not doing wonders for me when I'm trying to figure out International Trade or Macroeconomics. I'm hoping it just fades on its own quite honestly.... *shiver* it was bad.

Sorry for that, I just needed to tell someone that to get it out of my head.

Carry on.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Silent Yelling

I love my friends, but here are some things I've wanted to say to some of them but didn't in the past few days:

1. Shut the fuck up.
2. I honestly don't care.
3. Don't you dare try to play the guilt card, dude.
4. I am not fucking paying you a $26 share when you consumed probably half of the stuff we were supposed to split.
5. That's disgusting.
6. If you consider those problems I don't even know what to say.
7. Leave. Just leave.
8. Fuck You.
9. Why are we even friends?
10. Leave me alone.
11. You're ridiculous.
12. I have zero respect for you right now.
13. Is there a point to this story?
14. I don't give a shit.
15. No.

Hooray for finals making me an angry and short fused asshole.

Just 8 days until I go home. Please let me make it without punching someone in the face.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The End of Sophomore Year

Yesterday was my last day of classes which was a bittersweet moment for me. I've officially finished over half of my undergraduate college life. I still remember moving into my freshman dorm as if it was yesterday. I remember the excitement, the fear, the sadness, and the uncertainty of what the next four years of my life held for me.

Fast forward two years and now I've now completed 21 classes, written numerous papers, taken dozens of exams, joined numerous clubs, learned another language, and despite how over said it is, made so many friends, and hopefully many of these will be life-long.

I thought freshman year was fast, but my sophomore year has flown by even quicker it seems. I didn't have that awkward period at the beginning of the Fall semester where I was unsure of what to do for my classes, the etiquette of walking around campus, or how I want to get involved. Compared to then, I feel like I rule this place. It's a nice feeling.

In a little over three months, I'll be boarding a plane to Copenhagen, Denmark which will mark another adventure in my life. It will be a new culture, a new land, a new group of people to meet, to eat with, to speak to, to dance with, and to learn with. Right now, I feel like I did during the period leading up to my freshman year of college - afraid, excited, and the thrilled by the uncertainty of a cloudy future. I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff about to take a plunge into a cloudy void. I don't know what I will find but I think when the time comes, I'll dive head first and immerse myself into what this crazy world of ours has to offer.

I was originally going to post about my experience last night. It was the end of year banquet for the theatre group I'm involved with I just got inducted into. There was a formal dinner, speeches, and dancing, drinking, and poor decisions abound. I was going to go in depth as to how distraught I was about how I shouldn't have hooked up with that guy and how I was way too drunk to function, but now I see that was all trivial and unimportant. Yes, having a physical connection with someone for other may be a large point of turmoil, and while it did for a me at least initially, I now realize that there are much more important things that will shape my future and that I will actually remember and care about than some one night stand. Last night was fun and I needed to get it out of my system before exams, but really, it didn't deserve the full post that it deserved.

My focus now will be on what matters. My study period has begun; I have five exams starting on Monday which I need to study for, I need to find a job closer to home for the summer, and I need to finish this year with a bang.

I hope everything is going well wherever you are.

All the best,