Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Seafair in Seattle

If you are planning a trip to Seattle, one of the very best times to go, in terms of things to do, is during the Seattle Seafair. Every neighborhood has a parade (The Chinatown Parade – ooops! politically incorrect! The International District Parade is my all time favorite, followed closely by the downtown Seattle Torchlight Parade, held at night), the Blue Angels perform their acrobatics overhead, and the festival ends on a bang – a day long hydroplane race (very very very fast speed-engineered boats) on Lake Washington.

One year, the Torchlight Parade, my Mom’s favorite, fell on her birthday, and we were able to rent a hotel room for the night, right over the street, from which she and Dad could watch the parade. To do so, we had to get on a waiting list, and then to sign a waiver that we understood that the room was just for THIS one night, and that we understood it gave us no rights to that room on any future Torchlight Parade nights. Families in Seattle have standing reservations, year after year, for these precious rooms.

Many people head for the lake for the hydroplane races. My very favorite race, favorite of all, was at my sister’s house, when her husband brought a big TV out to the pool, facing the pool, and we all spent the very hot August day floating on rafts in the cool pool, watching the races. We were SO burned, but oh, what fun.

August is a great month in Seattle, with blue skies and great warm daytime temperatures, cooled by the sea breezes at night. It’s a great time to go to the market (THE Market, the Pike Place Market) and to visit the huge flower farms, the beaches, and beautiful little towns on Puget Sound.

July 22, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Seattle, Shopping, Travel | Leave a comment

Supersize Me

Have you heard about this movie? It is a documentary, and you might think “Oh YAAWWWWWWNNN” but this one really kept going. I love visiting our son; I learn SO much.

The creator of this movie decides that for one month, he will eat every meal, three meals a day, at McDonald’s. And he has to try every entry on the menu at least once. And if the employees ask him to super-size, he has to do it. It appeared that he also made a rule for himself that he had to finish every meal. I don’t know how he did it.

Before he does this, he visits three doctors, a cardiologist, a gastroentrologist and . . .hmmmm, maybe an internal medicine specialist. He has health care professionals who will do blood readings every week and weigh him in. He starts at 185 lbs and very low body fat, and his cholesterol and triglicerides are to die for – excellent readings. His girlfriend is a vegan chef, so he has been eating beautiful meals, but not a lot of meat. (He is not a vegetarian.)

We watch him eat many of the meals. On the third day, his system rebels, as he is trying to finish, I think, a double quarter pounder, and he vomits. It isn’t pretty. At one point, his girlfriend says he has lost his sex drive, and has far less energy than before.

At the end of the first week, his weight has gone up to 203 – 12 lbs in one week! Worse, his cholesterol is rising rapidly. The second week, he is feeling sick and the doctor says he is developing a fatty liver, from digesting all the fats and sugars he is eating.

At the end of the month, he has gained 25 lbs, his system is in total rebellion against all the fats and sugars, and the doctors have warned him that he must stop now to reverse the damage.

Threaded through this adventure are sides, where we learn how much sugar the supersized drinks contain, and that even the SALADS at McDonalds have sugar in them. The calorie count for one of the salads exceeded that for the Big Mac!

I have to admit, there is nothing like a fast food hamburger every now and then – maybe once every six months or so – but this movie is a must see if you are eating at a fast food restaurant even once a week. The “food” they are serving is so processed, it barely qualifies as food.

The man who conducted this experiment went on a vegan diet for a while when he finished, and it took 8 weeks for his blood readings to return to normal, and 9 MONTHS for him to lose all the weight he had gained.

This was a fascinating movie, and a must see if we want to counter the rising tide of obesity spreading around the world. If it were an illness, people would be mobilized. As it stands, obesity is going to kill more people every year than smoking. The narrator says this is going to be the first generation of young people whose lives will be shorter than their parents, thanks to fast food. See this movie! Take your children!

There is a post script, and another reason I love this movie. As we were watching, my son said “Mom, thank you for cooking all those dinners for me as I was growing up.” He and his wife are very exercise and diet conscious, and I am proud to say, they live very conscientiously, trying to recycle, trying to eat fewer processed foods. What a gift that “thank-you” was!

July 22, 2007 Posted by | Cold Drinks, Cooking, Cultural, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, Eating Out, Entertainment, Family Issues, Health Issues, Social Issues | 9 Comments