Archive for December, 2010
I promise, this blog isn’t going to turn into HatredForAnyoneWhoEverCalledAnyoneFatInPrint.com. But I couldn’t let Alastair Macaulay’s sour take on the New York City Ballet’s current Sugar Plum Fairy pass without opening it up for discussion.
A little background: Macaulay, a ballet critic for The New York Times, reviewed City Ballet’s current production of The Nutcracker at the end of last month. He liked it, but pointed out that Sugar Plum Fairy Jennifer Ringer “looked as if she’d eaten one sugar plum too many.” The body critique extended to Jared Angle, who dances the part of the Cavalier; Macaulay wrote, Angle “seems to have been sampling half the Sweet realm.”
When readers wrote in to complain, Macaulay penned another piece defending his position. Ballet is all about bodies, he argued. If you can’t handle the scrutiny, toss your toeshoes in the trash for good.
Then, Ringer appeared on Today on Monday, talking about the controversy. The ballerina, who has previously discussed her history of anorexia and compulsive eating, handled questions gracefully.
“As a dancer, I do put myself out there to be criticized, and my body is part of my art form. At the same time, I’m not overweight. I do have, I guess, a more womanly body type than the stereotypical ballerina. But that’s one of the wonderful things about, actually, the New York City Ballet is we have every body type you can imagine. We have tall, we have petite, we have athletic, we have womanly, we have waiflike. I mean, we have every body type out there, and they can all dance like crazy, they’re all gorgeous. And I think dance should be more of a celebration of that, of seeing these beautiful women with these different bodies all dancing to this gorgeous music, and that’s what should be celebrated.”
She added that she doesn’t want an apology from Macaulay. I’d add that she shouldn’t get one; what he said, though silly, is well within his realm. Critics often write things artists don’t like, and then everyone moves on.
But I’m interested in hearing what you out there in Haul nation have to say on the matter. I’m probably a little biased. As a “bigger” group fitness instructor, I have often run into people who can’t believe that I have the physical ability to lead a class in a challenging workout. Then we spend a sweaty hour together, and minds are changed. Given my experience, it took very little time for me to wholeheartedly jete onto Team Ringer. And I’m also wondering why no one’s up in arms about the comments made about Angle, a question Macaulay also raises in his rebuttal. Is it because Angle’s a dude? Do weight cracks not matter, or are they more easily dismissed, when they’re made about men? I’m all over the place, faithful Haulers. Leave comments and give me some guidance. What say you?
I’m a total dork for winter festivity. Blame advertising. Blame sentimentality. Blame the fact that my momma always starts playing Christmas music on Thanksgiving night and doesn’t take down the tree until well after the new year. If you can string it with lights, festoon it with tinsel, fa-la-la-la-la it or serve it with figgy pudding, there’s a good chance I love it. A LOT.
Because The Fiancé is Jewish, I have extended my love of ridiculous holiday decorations to all things blue-and-white. Yeah, I understand that Hanukkah and Christmas aren’t equivalent holidays, and that I’m generally making a much bigger deal of it than his parents ever did, but whatever. In my family, we once created a day just for Momma — in September, independent of her birthday or Mother’s Day — and marked it with a huge banner, cards, and a giant bowl of M&Ms. In short: We like to celebrate.
So now that it’s December and tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, how about we kick things off with a really delicious latke (potato pancake) recipe I found in an issue of Weight Watchers Weekly last year? Carrots and parsnips take some of the place of potatoes, resulting in a nice mix of root vegetables that reheats well. I served these with grilled chicken and a salad, and TF was a fan. Don’t forget the applesauce and sour cream!
¾ lb. carrots, peeled and grated
¾ lb. parsnips, peeled and grated
1 medium onion, peeled and grated
2 large egg whites and 1 large egg, combined and lightly beaten
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (or whatever seasoning you like)
¼ tsp. salt
dash of ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Combine all of the veggies in a bowl, then add the egg mixture, breadcrumbs, and seasonings. Mix well. Drop ¼ cup servings of the mixture onto a hot skillet greased with cooking spray, and flatten each serving into a little pancake. Cook until browned and cooked through, flipping to ensure even cooking.
Makes 16 latkes. If you’re counting according to the now-obsolete Weight Watchers Points system, two latkes are one Point. I’ll try to repost the new PointsPlus values after my meeting this week!