Another weighty post

So I'm gonna stay a fatty all of my life.
But some people think that fatties are nice!

-- Melanie, "Animal Crackers"

Three experiences this week have thrown me into a bit of emotional turmoil about weight -- overweight in general and my own in particular.

First, I read an excellent book, "The Lolita Effect," by M. Gigi Durham, Ph.D. She is a media scholar, and the book is about the sexualizing of girls and the messages the media send to girls about sexuality and body image. One message is that "hotness" is Priority #1. Another is that hotness has a very narrow definition: a female built like Barbie -- long legs, big boobs and no excess fat anywhere (unless the boobs count).

Then there was that infamous blog post at Marie Claire magazine's web site. I'm not going to link to it here. If you want to read it, Google "Marie Claire." The writer was commenting on the sitcom "Mike & Molly," which is about a plus-size couple, and expressing general disgust with the idea of watching obese people make out ... or do much of anything, for that matter. She received about 2,000 comments, most of which disagreed with her but a disturbing number agreed -- overweight people are gross, unsexy, a drain on the health care system (something I blogged about at length last year).

Then I went to my weekly weigh-in. It showed a three-pound gain. I cried.

I know lots of big women, in real life (some of whom are reading this) and in the media. Camryn Manheim. Queen Latifah. Melissa McCarthy, the star of the aforementioned "Mike & Molly." They are all beautiful. But I continue to hate my size 18 body and lament the fact that I don't have a body like Madonna, Sharon Stone or Valerie Bertinelli -- who are all my age.

Much as I know intellectually that the media image of the "ideal" woman is artificial, on a gut (and I've got a large one!) level, I know that there are real women who fit that ideal, and I beat myself up for not being one of them.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that life is too short for this. I need to embrace the "beautiful" part of "Big Beautiful Woman" for myself. I will continue to exercise and improve my eating habits because it's good for me, but I'm not going to sacrifice pleasure (Cheese! Beer! Cheese!) to some ideal I'm unlikely to attain.

Easier said than done ... . But I'll try.

The House. The House. The House is burning down.

Yes, it's been a while since I posted. Combination of busy-ness, tendency to distraction and just plain fatigue.

And this weird apathy/burnout sensation -- or more precisely, lack of sensation -- engendered by the "House" season finale.

For once, I am not looking forward to the new season, and I'm not completely sure why. Look up "mixed emotions" in the dictionary, and you may see my picture.

I do NOT want to watch The Huddy Show. I have never been a fan of that pairing, and only a portion of my aversion can be traced to my House/Cameron shipper status. That ship -- pun intended -- has sailed, and I've been content to read and write fanfic where it lives on in happy obliviousness to canon. I don't need it on the show.

I love the character House. I identify with him and hate the fact that life has gone so wrong for him and that the people who purport to care about the man (i.e., Cuddy and Wilson) insist upon crapping on him. So I should be glad that he has a chance at a good relationship with someone. I just don't want it to be Cuddy.

I have this feeling that this is going to destroy something that I cherish about the character and the show. I'm just not sure what, exactly.

I was talking with a friend who used to be a fan, and she said she has found it difficult to watch because House's vulnerability hits too close to home for her. I am in the same position. I've always identified with House because like him, I've felt misunderstood and misinterpreted and "wrong" my whole life. But instead of becoming misanthropic and lashing out, I've turned it inward. Part of me is starting to think that watching and identifying with House is unhealthy for me -- that I should be focusing on the positive things in my life and not the issues that draw me to this character.

But I've formed this bond with him, thanks to Hugh Laurie's amazing acting. It's like a train wreck, almost. I can't turn away.


Good carma

No, that's not a typo.

I've been in a race with destiny in recent weeks -- thinking of using the third paycheck I'm getting this month to replace my old car, which I've had for going on four years and has more issues than Reader's Digest. Honestly, it would take less bandwidth to list the things on it that *do* work than the things that don't.

But recently it developed a few more, and I was starting to worry that it would not make it to next payday. It's been peeing antifreeze and running hot, so every glance at the temperature gauge makes me wonder if the thing is going to catch fire. Added to the ongoing transmission problems, which started to develop a year ago but got worse in the past few months. I decided a few days ago that I could no longer take it on the interstate, because it shimmies and shakes and refuses to upshift at speeds above 55.

Yesterday at work was our annual companywide awards presentation. I allowed myself to think that I might actually get one, because I have done a LOT to save the company money in the past year. Only thing is, they tend to give those awards to the people who come up with those ideas, not those of us who actually carry them out. The awards come with four-figure cash prizes, and it would have been so perfect to win one (I was gunning for the $2,500 one) and be able to buy another cheap car, stat.

Didn't happen. My boss did win one, and I'm happy for her. She deserves it, for reasons above and beyond the one that I got to execute. But I was sort of hoping the karma fairies would send me some financial antacid to ease my transportation heartburn.

I vented on Facebook last night, and this morning, a friend offered me the loan of one of her cars for a few weeks. I don't use real names here on LJ, so let's just say her name rhymes with "Fancy Chowder." Weird thing is, she's not a close friend -- more of a small-F friend. But she and her husband decided they could spare their third car for a while. This will buy me some time between now and next payday -- and beyond, if I need it.

I'm driving the car now -- not *literally* now, I'm on the computer! -- and would seriously consider buying it if she's willing to sell. But I'm happy just to have the use of it for the time being.

Send her and her husband good karma (carma) points. They deserve it!

Another "Getting to know you" meme

This one from rivercrossing2

1. Name: Bev. If you're reading this, you probably already know my last name.

2. Birthday: Dec. 11, 19*cough*58*cough*

3. Where do you live: Northern Saratoga County, NY on the Hudson.

4: What are you studying/What are you working as: Copy editor/writer.

5. What makes you happy: Singing. Beer. Bad jokes.

6. What are you listening to now/have listened to last: A silly little Internet radio program called "The Five Dollar Freak Show." I love music but don't listen to it much during the work week, because I'll be tempted to start singing along, and it distracts my co-workers.

7. What is particularly good/bad about my LJ: Good: The mix of excellent fan fiction and insightful personal posts. Bad: Nada.

8. An interesting fact about you: I'm a morris dancer. It's ancient ritual dance from England. Google it if you're not familiar with it. It involves ringing bells, banging big sticks together and drinking good ale.

9. Are you in love/have a crush at the moment: Been in love with my NiiceDuude for going on 18 years.

10. Favorite place to be: Anywhere my peeps and I are singing.

11. Favorite lyric: "If you want to sing out, sing out. If you want to be free, be free. 'Cause there's a million things to be." (Cat Stevens)

12. Best time of the year: Late spring -- start of festival season!

13. Weirdest food you like: Smoked cheddar by chezjake


1. A film: I'm with my meme sister here: "Harold & Maude." This is the one movie I want to sit *everyone* down who hasn't seen it and make them watch. I wanna be Maude when I grow up!

2. A tv show: "House" (you have to ask?)

3. A book: "Woman on the Edge of Time" by Marge Piercy. Can I do two? A close second is "So Big" by Edna Ferber. I love the way Edna took these innocent young things, sent them to the School of Hard Knocks and turned them into beautiful, strong middle-aged women.

4. A song: “"Fish & Whistle" by John Prine. There are other songs that speak to me on a deeper level, but "F&W" is audio Prozac. You simply cannot be depressed listening to (or better yet, singing) this song.

5: A band: Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett. Not a true band -- they are three solo performers who would play together. Sadly, they don't anymore. But they were magic.


1. Favorite Fandom: “House”: but of course!

2. OTP/OT3: I don't believe in "One True" relationships, in fandom or real life, but I mainly ship House/Cameron. Also like House/Wilson.

3. Favourite .gif: Top of this post. Found it on an Asperger's Syndrome site.

4. Icon/Fic Journal (so I can join): I post my fanfics to a separate LJ: HamOnWry.


1. One thing you like about me: I'm going to cheat and do a threefer: You have the soul of a poet, the mind of an English teacher and the heart of a kind and loving friend.

2. Two things you like about yourself: I’m a good singer and a good listener.

3. Put this in your lj so I can tell you what I think of you? Done!

Five words from blueheronz

1. Reply to this meme with your one of your favorite characters from television -- e.g., Radar from M*A*S*H or Leo McGarry from The West Wing (for those who don't watch teevee, a movie or literary character will suffice) -- and I will give you five words/topics that remind me of you.

2. Post the words/topics in your journal and write about them.

blueheronz gave me these five words: Festivals, Dreams, Writing, Literature, Original Characters

Collapse )

I do not like the Flurry. There, I've said it.

I know there are people who thoroughly enjoy this festival, and I mean them no disrespect. But I made this confession to someone earlier today, and she concurred. Which emboldened me to go public.

I suppose if I were a serious dancer, I'd love it. And I *was* a serious dancer back in the day. I went to contradances every weekend in my early 20s. But I think that's because I didn't have a singing outlet for my folkie tendencies. These days, I would much rather sing than dance (with the exception of morris dancing, which is about performance rather than recreation). The thought of cramming into a room with 500 other people for a contradance is about as appealing to me as the thought of hanging out in some tropical jungle where the tarantulas grow to the size of Chihuahuas.

The organizers of the Flurry do a phenomenal job. But for me this festival will always be more hassle than enjoyment.

For one thing, it's indoors. In February. Which means a packed house -- several of them. There are no outside venues to relieve the pressure on the indoor ones.

It's crowded, and that seems to bring out everyone's Clueless Joe. People seem to forget the lessons Momma taught about looking where they're going, not blocking passageways and not touching stuff that doesn't belong to them. Old Songs draws a crowd, too, but because it's outdoors, the CJs are spread out so they're not all in your face everywhere you turn. It's not totally cluelessness -- the place is so crowded that often there simply *isn't* a place for people to get out of other people's way.

The PKB bake sale is a clusterfuck, and no matter how hard we (especially NiiceDuude with his mad organizational skillz) try to prevent it from becoming one, it always is. There are never enough work surfaces. There is never enough space for there to be "a place for everything, and everything in its place." There are never enough functioning crockpots. There are never enough places to plug the crockpots that *are* functional without the risk of blowing fuses. And being the p.h.a.t. (see previous post) chick that I am, I don't know when to stop obsessing about all the things that are going wrong and let someone else handle it. I'm working on that. I decided this year that whatever they had to deal with as far as cleaning up tonight, they could do it without me. But I'm still planning to be there for setup first thing tomorrow, which brings me to ...

Saratoga is a lovely little town that loves to host special events. But it simply isn't equipped to do it comfortably. There isn't enough parking. The reason I've volunteered to do bake sale setup the past two years is that getting there early gets me primo parking. I spent enough years parking in the middle of nowhere and schlepping stuff for blocks in the cold that I don't want to go there again. Maybe I've just been spoiled by the fact that my first festival experiences were GottaGetGon and Old Songs, which are held at fairgrounds with ample parking. But the stress of parking a long distance away from the action (especially in the cold), or parking a superlong distance away (something I hope to never do at this event), and having to take a shuttle bus, has not proven to be a positive trade-off for all the alleged fun to be had.

It hasn't all sucked. I enjoyed singing with Swing Shift at the pavilion jam and catching part of their set at the Parting Glass (having chezjake buy me a Guinness at the latter made it even better). I enjoyed the morris dancing, despite the heartburn over sword sash going missing in the late set. And I ate well.

But I am seriously jonesing for spring/summer and all those festivals where the fun outweighs the hassles. Who's with me?

Confessions of a PHAT (Possibly having Asperger's tendencies) chick

Crossposted to Facebook, so if you read it there, you don't need to reread it here.

A few things this post is not:

It is not prompted by any recent events. It's been brewing for several months. You might say it's been brewing for 50 years.

It's addressed mainly to those who knew me in college and earlier (e.g., family). But it's public and everyone who wishes to know me better is welcome to read it.

It's not a pity-me post. I'm not looking for sympathy or apologies. I'm just putting it out there in hopes of gaining a bit of understanding from those folks who are still thinking, "What the hell is/was up with her?"

Collapse )

Brief year in review

So here, I am, partied out. I didn't overindulge in demon rum (or demon beer, or demon brandy, or demon Bailey's) last night -- but the sheer busy-ness of December has left me craving solitude and quiet and days when I don't have to be anywhere. Sadly, that isn't happening anytime soon. Got an Eighth Step concert next weekend, a new festival the weekend after that. Argh!

Had a wonderful New Year's Eve party last night, and went to a New Year's Day party today, but I only lasted about an hour and a half at the latter before the burnout monster struck. I had contemplated not going at all, but wanted to at least make an appearance because Mine Hostess had been through such a sucky 2009 -- both parents died, and son was critically injured in a motor vehicle accident (he's recovering) -- and I wanted to play some small role in celebrating the end of it.

My 2009? Didn't suck. Not the greatest year ever, my first full one as a totally AARP-eligible person (but not a member -- I will NOT join because I still resent them for starting to court me when I was only 47), but it had its good moments, including:

Taking on some new responsibilities at work. One I gladly volunteered for. The other I was "volun-told" for and it continues to be a PITA, but it's getting easier to handle, and I did get an award for taking it on without complaint. (Actually I complained a lot, just under my breath.)

I joined a gym! I've been away for a while because of the aforementioned crazy-busy December but will be getting back into it this weekend.

First full year living at, and first big party hosted at, Chez NiiceLaady on the Hudson.

First Mystic Seaport music festival. A singer's paradise!

An awesome summer/early fall of cookouts, gatherings and campfires at Chez NiiceDuude, thanks in large part to the mad cooking skillz and giant tarp of chezjake.

My new and improved right eye.

Two dear friends are expecting!

My BFF quit smoking. This is a double-edged sword because I miss our smoke-break bonding, but I am happy to know that he will be with us for years longer than he might have been otherwise, had he not quit.

This is not new to 2009, but: My wonderful circle of friends. My dream as the young girl nobody liked was to someday have lots of friends, and that dream has come true. I love you all more than words can say. Happy New Year, and may it be the best ever.