|Lunch at FarmBloomington. Definitely not Paleo.|
- I took up running, which is simultaneously ridiculous and wonderful. I've also been doing a lot of yoga, both at local studios and online with Dr. Melissa West. She's got a ton of awesome free videos on youtube, and is great for newbies and folks who like down-to-earth yoga.
- I started eating Paleo. Not 24/7, but it's how I cook when I'm at home, and I love it. Yes, it's a lot of work, but it's worth it, especially as a person with hypoglycemia. The nice thing about living in Indiana is there's a lot of access to great local meat and vegetables, too.
- Studying Public Health has been interesting. A big part of why I came to IU is the amazing sex research that comes out of the school, and the work of my advisor Dr. Debra Herbenick. Although many of my classes are taught by sex researchers, the subject matter tends to have a broader focus, which has been good and bad. I find the way that obesity is discussed to be infuriating and ignorant, and as one of the few fat people in my cohort I tend to be very noisy about educating people about the importance of promoting health for bigger people, rather than weight loss. Nevertheless, I wound up digging my theory, statistics, and epidemiology classes more than I expected, and am stoked to work on research with my mentor this semester, who has sex toys scattered all over her office. It's great.
- Grad school can lead to heavy drinking, depression, and oversleeping, but it's also kind of great. I like having so much variety in my schedule, learning things, constantly meeting new people. I also like that I still get to be a grown-up and live off campus in a cute little green duplex bungalow with cheap rent, a porch, and a back yard. And I'm also kind of glad that it's just for two years, instead of four, because I think I will be ready to go back to Chicago with my three letters in summer of 2014.
- Bloomington is a trip. This town is SO SMALL, but there's a lot here for the size. There's an amazing queer-friendly cafe owned and operated by a trans woman. There's a cookie delivery service. There's an authentic french restaurant. There's a chain of organic food co-ops, and a weekly farmers market. There's a burlesque troupe, and a tribal bellydancing troupe. You can bike everywhere, but the bus system kind of sucks. There's a gay bar that features male pole dancers. There are a couple fantastic hipster bars with cheap drinks, a skeeball machine, a photobooth, and cyborg deer taxidermy. There's the cutest little brunch place in a quaint house. There's a kink scene. There's a winery. There are at least five different yoga studios. It's so bourgeois and queer friendly and also kind of white, midwestern and suffocating at times. Trips to Chicago (4.5 hours by car) and Indianapolis (1 hour) have definitely kept me sane. I'm looking forward to visiting Louisville Kentucky too, since it's only two hours away and allegedly awesome.
- You can't get good mexican food here, or pork shoulder with the skin still on it. I have to define "heteronormativity" and "cisgender" for people a lot here. I miss the diversity of Chicago neighborhoods. Bloomington feels less body-positive than Chicago. Dating is a waste of time- the pool is too small for single genderqueer weirdos in their thirties, and if you hook up with the wrong person, you will potentially see them EVERYWHERE. There's nowhere to go clothing shopping other than target as a plus sized person. There's no Lush, no H&M, Trader Joes, not even Whole Foods. Well, maybe that's not a problem with my current salary.
- My school looks like a medieval village, and it's sort of cool.
There's much more I could talk about, but this is a pretty good start, I think. Here's to the new semester!