Radiogurl a la Carte

Sunday, Aug. 29, 2004
Links Atkins and Romance

Grrr... I made the mistake of writing my last two entries on my word processor and then pasting over to this box, instead of typing directly into the Diaryland box like I normally do. Unfortunately my word processor uses funky symbols for quotation marks and other odds and ends, so none of the links were working. HOPEFULLY they are working now.

And since my sig graphic also wasn't working, I would guess that the server was down on my web site for a while. About once a month or so they do system maintenance. Normally only takes a few minutes or so, which isn't bad. I've dealt with one webspace that used to be down for days at a time, and the editing system was offline for nearly a month once. They've gotten better, though I don't use their space nearly as much now that I bought a domain. I was paying $5 a month at the old site for 25MB of space. On my domain space I pay $10 a month for a GIGABYTE of space, 20 gigabytes of bandwidth, email accounts, databases, and in general vastly more capabilities. (That means about forty TIMES as much space for only two times the price.)

Bandwidth, for anyone who doesn't know, is the combined total of how much information you upload (based on the file size in bytes) and how much you and other people download. And when I say 'download', that includes just looking at the page, because you have to download that information in order to see it. Pictures* are much larger in bytes than text, audio files are bigger than pictures, and video files are generally huge. So if, for example, you have a video on your page and several people open it, it takes up a great deal of bandwidth! For most sites, they track how much bandwidth you use in a month's time. Some go by the day or the hour. If you exceed your space's allotted bandwidth, people will get an error message telling them they'll have to come back later.

End of lesson. I don't know what put me in a teaching mode the past couple of days, but hopefully it helped some folks get their computers into better working order.

This weekend has been a 'get little stuff done' weekend. I did some cleaning yesterday, reassembled my easel, and actually cooked real food instead of what was fastest. Honestly I'm not sure it's all that much faster to warm up prepackaged food as opposed to braising a chicken breast or a steak and cooking veggies. For lunch today I compromised somewhat, warming some cream of mushroom soup (prepackaged frozen variety) and sliced tomatoes. It's not precisely Atkins but vastly lower cal and lower carbs than fast food, and tasted wonderful. Next time, though, I think I'll make the soup homemade. It doesn't take that long and I will throw in some other veggies, not just mushrooms. It's wonderful to combine mushrooms, finely diced bell pepper and onion, maybe add some zucchini, celery, etc. Create a nice creamy broth and add salt and pepper, a little butter...

Mmmm... I just ate and that still sounds heavenly!

The downside to that is that it just BEGS for homemade bread to go with it. I have zero self-control when it comes to homemade bread, so that's a no-no. I might compromise and buy some dark rye, just have to set a hard limit on how much of that I eat, and stick to it. I've worked too hard to lose all of this weight and I'm not going to blow off Atkins now! I still have another 60lb or so to go, and I'm determined to get there, one way or another. Then when I get there I plan to stay there.

It's interesting. I know that there are a lot of naysayers on the Atkins diet, and I'm sure that they have their reasons. If I were following the diet to the letter it might not be the ideal for my health. But what Atkins did for me was break me out of the fast-food habit and re-train me to eat healthier foods. I now make it a point to eat vegetables every day. Instead of snacking on chocolate, potato chips, etc., or gorging on bread, I now snack on cheese or veggies. While I eat meat, I don't prescribe to the Atkins 'eat all you want' there. I did for the first couple of weeks but got sick of meat, poultry, and fish very fast. I do eat all I want of fresh vegetables. I don't limit myself to the "XX cups per day" per the Atkins regimen. I also (*gasp*) eat oatmeal for breakfast at least a couple of times a week. While my initial weight loss doing strictly Atkins was very rapid, I discovered I actually lose more in the long run on the modified approach I'm taking.

There have been a few times I blew off the diet for a few days. I didn't freak about it, and just went back on it afterward. It is a very easy-to-follow diet for my lifestyle and I didn't beat myself up for breaking it. You can now buy pretty good salads at the drive-through. Wendys has the best of the fast-food variety, and also now have some foods that are billed specifically for low-carb diets. Lots of sit-down restaurants are now offering Atkins-friendly menu items. Almost anywhere you go, you can get a salad these days, so there's really not an excuse for not eating healthy.

I'm waiting to hear back from my friend on my resumé. She said there were a couple of spots I needed to fix. I don't know if she meant typos or wording changes. I sent her one revision already, where I realized I'd left a couple of fragmented sentences unedited. I have to go through things in such a hurry that I have someone go back and beta-read for precisely that kind of errors. My fingers and my brain both work fairly fast. They just don't always work together!

I'm reading now through a writing proposal. I'm not precisely sure how to categorize it. It is someone else's idea, a story already mapped out in intricate detail. I'm just being asked to write it. I guess the closest thing would be ghost-writing. Other projects that were sent my way have allowed much more leeway than this one, offering more in terms of a political/social backdrop. While this is an intriguing premise in general, it is a romance.

I don't do romance. (That goes both for writing and for real life!)

I can write romance, but it's neither my strength nor my interest. Furthermore, romances rarely make good film. There are exceptions, obviously. Think Harry Met Sally. But in order to make a romance work for me, either onscreen or in books, it has to be couched in some other subject matter. For Sleepless in Seattle, for example, it was the catch of the distance and the wondering if they would ever meet (even though of course you knew they would) and the quirk of the radio call-in show.

Maybe it is time for another romance that will hang around forever, be played on television ad nauseam in the odd hours, a chick flick that is dug out whenever women want a good laugh - or cry. I just question whether I'm the person to write it. I have friends who tell me they like what little romance I've written precisely because of the way I handle it. I describe love as sneaking in through the cracks, twining itself around our hearts when we're not looking. And that means that there has to be an interesting storyline outside of the actual romance slant.

Unfortunately this project is already fully plotted, so I don't have the option of creating that backstory, which would enrich things considerably. That's one of many reasons why I don't know if I can do it or not.

I'm not arbitrarily dismissing it. I'm just taking a wait-and-see approach.

* Different types of picture files can also vary widely in file size. A .jpg/JPEG file is best for photos, as a rule. If you've got a file with just a few strong colors and don't need the subtlety of a photograph, a .gif file can be set to display only the number of colors you need, and thus shrink the file. A .bmp file is almost NEVER a good idea because .bmp files are enormous and they don't look all that great, anyway.

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )