My cousin’s wedding was yesterday, and was fascinating–it was a Catholic ceremony with Chinese -style reception. The Catholic ceremony I found fascinating, having never been to a Catholic wedding (or mass for that matter). Since I couldn’t hear the priest very well, I stood up when everyone else stood up, sat down when everyone else sat down, and occasionally figured out that I should have been kneeling after the fact. Mike, having been raised Catholic, was eons ahead of me in knowing what we ought to be doing, so I mostly followed him. I must confess that I am still largely clueless about much of the ceremony, but I got the gist of it: Rocky and Noralyn are now married (after fifteen years of living in sin, plus a couple kids and a mortgage), and more power to them.
The reception was fascinating too. Partly the food, which was excellent–they rented out Yank Sing Restaurant for the evening, and partly the traditional Chinese lion dance, which featured some great acrobatics and colorful lion costumes. (Chinese lions, of course, looking nothing like real lions–all red and green and gold, with rolling eyes and stamping feet.) I had shark’s fin soup for the first time, and found it very tasty: rich, gelatinous broth, plentiful crabmeat, thin strands of what I think must be the cartilaginous shark’s fin in it. I don’t think I’ll ever order it myself, because I don’t like the ecological implications (too often the sharks are simply caught, definned, and left to die–terribly wasteful and inhumane), but it was interesting to taste it, since it was being served anyway.
Along the lines of wasteful and inhumane, I’m in the midst of reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which (in the part I’ve read) discusses the evolution of corn as a foodstuff and wades squarely into the politics of food economics. It’s fascinating reading and I recommend it highly. You may never eat feedlot beef again, though, after reading it. One thing I hadn’t realized is that cows aren’t evolved to eat corn, and in fact develop major health problems from eating the stuff–it chews up their rumen, gives them bloat, and destroys their livers. The only reason it’s fed to cows is that it’s so plentiful, and the only reason it’s so plentiful is that the government subsidizes corn heavily. The agroeconomics of it are fascinating (and horrifying); I recommend the book highly. I think I’ve decided that, when buying meat, I’ll stick with grass-fed beef; it’s more humane and almost certainly better for me. Fortunately, living in San Francisco means it’s easy to get grass-fed, organic beef and other such niceties locally; I think it’d be a lot tougher to find in other areas of the country. Not impossible, just harder.
I went up Page Mill Road again today. It’s not quite routine yet, but I’m getting better at it. I nearly gave up early on because I was feeling weak and having to pull over to rest every few minutes, but then I arrived at the Palo Alto park (which has water) and stuck my entire upper body under the water spigot–it was a blazing hot day, and that cooled me down (and kept me cool) the rest of the way up. I also tried to slow down, so I wouldn’t run out of breath, and keep going as much as possible, and that seemed to work. At the end of the three hour ride, I came in with plenty of energy, feeling like I could have done more miles, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. Time from Arastradero Road to Skyline: 1:51, of which 1:21 was spent riding.
I also got my bodyfat measured while Mike was running his half-marathon this morning: 25% bodyfat, which is the very high end of average/acceptable. I was pretty psyched–that’s the lowest my bodyfat has ever measured, it’s usually more along the lines of 28-32%. I’ve been clinically obese most of my life (which is different from “looking fat”, which I don’t), so it’s nice to come in on the high side of average. I’m hoping to push my bodyfat down even further as I lose weight. The bodyfat reading was both low enough to make me happy (losing weight is working!) and high enough to make me want to lose more weight. I wonder if I can get down to 130 lbs? I haven’t weighed that little since, oh, probably around college.