Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Oh, *that's* going on the blog!

We here in the KLee/JF household are trying madly to watch what we eat as we both feel about a combined total of 15 months pregnant. We went out to get some salads for dinner tonight. I am about saladed out, so I got a more tame (for me) pasta dish. Offspring wanted to know if she could have a chocolate milkshake for dessert. I was reluctant to let her have one because we all need to be watching our intake of really bad stuff like chocolate milkshakes. I felt a little sad for her, because she's only a kid, but I want her to eat a little more healthfully. I tell her that we'll stop by the new store that opened and get a smoothie instead. It may not be bran flakes and a vitamin, but it's better than ice cream, blended with chocolate and whole milk. She, naturally, since she takes after her rotund mother, she gets a chocolate smoothie. I ask her how it tastes, and she says, "Mmmm, Mom! It tastes like hot chocolate without the hot!"

What's in your dryer?

Or, more accurately, what's on top of my dryer? As we all know, the clothes dryer is the repository of all things in our households that are missing. Are you missing socks? The dryer ate them. (That's all dryer lint is -- residue from socks that the dryer viciously ate.) Can't remember where you left your car keys? If you're like me, you left them in your pocket and then washed them, so they're now in the dryer. Missing cash? I find a dollar or two in the dryer all the time. I keep hoping that they'll magically morph into hundreds, but no such luck yet.

Allison did a neat post not long ago about all the stuff that seems to accumulate in her dryer. She, like me, keeps a handy container on top of the dryer for storing all the assorted effluvia. Here's a listing of what is currently taking up space in my container.

* One Frederick's of Hollywood satin sleep mask, wadded into a ball.
* One of my husband's old business cards.
* One sadly mangled twist tie.
* One receipt from Eckerd's for $32.11 worth of digital photo prints, dated June 26, 2004.
* One purple Vermont Teddy Bear sash that reads: "Happy Easter!"
* One glow-in-the-dark ghost, lovingly handmade by my husband, during his "Sculpey" period.
* Two large paper clips.
* One small hunk of quartz.
* One hinged piece of metal.
* One plastic "Polly Pocket" shirt.
* One black Lego plane propeller.
* Approximately one-half of a mobile from a Barbie baby crib.
* One "Bratz" baby bottle on miniature chain.
*One tiny purple Spooky Jar from "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" playhouse.
* One large copper colored screw.
* Five screwdriver bits.
* One grey metal button.
* Four keys, whose function is now lost in the sands of time.
* One exceedingly lint-covered sticker of a sleeping cat.
* One dime, two nickels, and fifteen pennies.
* One pink plastic Barbie kneepad.
* Lots of dust and dryer lint.

Ah, the joys of domesticity!

Monday, November 28, 2005

Love or mental instability?

Thirteen years ago today, JF and I were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony. The wedding took place in a Gazebo, and the reception took place in a restored Victorian home. Thirteen years ago today, JF put his sanity into question, and married me anyway. It's been a long haul, but I wouldn't change 9/10ths of it. He's my best friend, my confidante. I love you, honey. Thank you for thirteen years of laughter, "boo bears", and squeeshes. Thank you for our wonderful daughter. Here's to fifty more.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

I love the night life...I love to boogie...

I have really odd dreams. JF loves to point out how warped I truly am when I describe my dreams to him.

There was the one where everyone was a different shape and color. I was a blue oval, JF was a green oblong, and Offspring was a purple triangle. Maybe I'd just been reading Ray Bradbury's I Sing the Body Electric one too many times. I'm not quite sure.

Then there was the time that I dreamed that he was a kangaroo. I have *no* idea where that came from.

Needless to say, he's no longer surprised at anything that I reveal to him the morning after. He won't be too terribly surprised when he reads this to find out last night's adventure.

I recently read a book about an online pirate role-playing game. Maybe that was the original inspiration. JF has long been a pirate fan -- he was watching "The Curse of the Black Pearl" this morning, as a matter of fact. He has a sword collection, and a black powder pistol. He has the billowy shirt and the knee-high boots. So, it comes as no surprise that that, in this dream, he was a pirate. He'll be a mite distressed to know that he wasn't a pirate of the Jack Sparrow school of piracy, but one a little

The dream started off normally enough. We woke up in the morning, and went our seperate ways to work. I, for some odd reason, went by his office later in the day. He was dressed in pirate garb, to be sure, but he was no longer in his office. He was in a disco. And, he was dancing. The Hustle, I think. His office was a disco, and he was doing the Hustle. My brain knew that JF would *never* do the Hustle, and therefore shut down.

Now, I can't get the image of my Hustling Pirate of a husband out of my head.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Culture of Fat

I hope you all will pardon me while I climb up on my soapbox for a while and rant. I don’t normally go all postal, but I’ve been slowly boiling for a while on this topic. I wanted to wait until I had some uninterrupted time to gather my thoughts. I do have the habit of going off half-cocked, and I wanted to scrape together the two or three brain cells I still possess and try to sound halfway intelligent.

Lots of women out there have a bad body self-image. They hold this bad self-image because society tells us that we are unworthy unless we are rail-thin. They are quick to criticize their own flaws, and often imagine that they look worse than they actually do. I’m sure that everyone is guilty of this at some point, myself included. We over-emphasize our flaws to where we see a wrinkle as a yawning chasm, a little pooch of flab as a huge expanse of cottage cheese cellulite, and a slightly rounded derriere signaling all the hallmarks of steatopygia.

I understand all of this. What I do *not* understand, however, is how a culture so obsessed with political correctness can still be not only biased against fat people, but completely unrepentant about being so. In a culture where even the slightest ethnic joke can earn you stares and mutterings as if you’d just heinously farted in a packed elevator, you can bash the fatsos with gleeful abandon. Most people feel no sympathy whatsoever for the fat, assuming that they ate themselves into that situation.

There is also the assumption that the fat are inherently lazy, and in some cases, less mentally agile as well. The thinking is – “If they’re stupid enough not to know to stop eating, they must just be stupid all around.” I know a lot of people self-medicate by overindulgence in food, but people do that with booze and illicit substances as well, and there’s not the pervasive feeling that they’ve somehow failed. If a normal man drinks too much, and ends up with a massive hangover, he’s just a party animal who had a little too much fun. If the same man eats to excess and gains too much weight, he’s a fat pig. And, usually, the censure is not really placed too harshly on men – men can be overweight and just be labeled as “husky” or “beefy.” Women, however, are always just plain “fat.” Humongous. Gargantuan. Fat pigs. Obese.

There have been celebrities who have donned a “fat suit” to experience what it’s like to be a fat woman in today’s culture – most recently, I saw Tyra Banks on a news show, talking about how horrible it was for her to put on a fat suit, and the discrimination that she experienced while wearing it. Tyra explained that she had people whisper about her, laugh openly at her, and refuse to go out with her due to her size. Poor, poor Tyra. Yet Tyra got to go home, shed the suit, and go back to being a fabulous thin person instantly. Fat people have to deal with it every day. I have had people tell me what to order in restaurants, as if I’m not capable of putting anything that’s not loaded with saturated fat and cream sauce into my mouth. I have had people make fun of me within my hearing. I’ve had people make fun of me to my face. I’ve had people tell me that I was too fat to be friends with. I’ve had to pay twice as much for clothes because things at the Gap (or Old Navy or Banana Republic or wherever) aren’t made in my size. I’ve had saleswomen tell me while I browse in their stores that I must be in the wrong place, because nothing they carry will fit me. (Never mind the fact that I might have been shopping for someone else.) I have had too many men tell me that I am unattractive because I’m so fat.

I don’t expect sympathy. I don’t expect people to pity me. I just want people to understand that we know we’re fat. We’re dealing with it. We’re having a hard enough time without you making it harder for us. Some of us try every diet that comes out and exercise rigorously, to no avail. Some of us are afflicted with medical conditions that make us retain weight. Some of us eat too much and exercise too little. Some of us hide behind fat to escape loss or pain. There’s no one thing that causes us to be fat. Your comments about how fat we are do not help. Just as you wouldn’t make fun of an obviously disfigured person, you should not deride and make fun of the fat. We do have feelings, and our ears work. We can hear you.

The next time you get ready to judge someone else based on looks alone, stop. Stop and think. Does this person’s weight really have anything to do with the kind of person they are? Does it make them less kind or less intelligent? Does it make them less of a person? Is it right to crack a fat joke? Just as you wouldn’t make a joke about “homos” or “wetbacks”, you shouldn’t insult us by making fun of us, either. I’d like people to get to know me, and decide what they feel about me based on my personality, not my weight. I’d like people *everywhere* to STOP (for God’s sake) saying “But you’d be so pretty if you’d just lose some weight!” That’s a slap in the face. It implies that not only are you NOT good enough how you are, that you never will be until you lose some weight. Don’t make fun of us, or talk about us as if we’re not there. We can hear you.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Holiday Exchange Bonanza!

Andrea over at Beanie Baby, and her cohort, Marla, have arranged this Holiday Gift Swap -- it's really pretty darn cool. We are to have our names randomly selected by the ever-precious Frances to be paired up with a "Secret Gift Buddy." Our Gift Buddy will fill up a shoebox with little knicknacks and other selected bits of wonderfulness which will then be sent out to the recipient. We all get to document our shoebox's progress, for later blogging purposes.

To start things off, here's Marla's handy-dandy questionnaire, so that our participants can get to know each other a bit better. All of my answers to the questions are in bold.

If I could get away with it, I'd steal Corndog's sense of humor, because damn it, it should be mine.

I sometimes buy “Bored Housewife” magazine, because I obviously am not doing something right. My house isn't clean enough, and I can't whip up a gourmet meal from flour, water, Karo syrup, and sixteen pieces of dry macaroni.

If you came over to my house to play and broke my blue crayon, I'd be a little bit mad at you forever.

The colour olive green should only be used in fungal remedy packaging or if human waste were to be redesigned.

The colour royal blue makes my heart feel like it is full of happy kittens frolicking in a sunny, grassy meadow.

Both the color orange and rap music make me break out in gooberous pustules. They should both be banned substances, and registered with the government as hazardous.

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest seafood, or look at myself in pantyhose.

George Bush’s foreign policy gives me the heebie jeebies and I might need to seek therapy if I even think about it further.

I love the feel of fleece/cotton/flannel so much I have a primitive urge to stick some down my pants. And I have, but don't tell anyone, okay?!

No one should have to watch me eat anything remotely made of chocolate because really if I were eating some in private, I'd be quite a pig about it.

I would rather chew tinfoil and shave my head with a cheese grater than eat tripe, brains, pig’s feet, or snails.

I do follow recipes because I’m a fat girl, and we fat girls love to eat, doncha know.

For Marla, "White Shoulders" perfume will always smell like her laid-out dead grandmother. I feel that way about cigarette smoke and patchouli. Together *OR* separate.

If I could, I'd perfume my own farts and those of my loved ones with the scent of roses.

I have TOO MUCH crafting stuff and not enough crafting stuff. Or enough room to store all aforementioned crafting stuff.

Gadgets are for lazy people like me!

When people have kind, sweet and nice things about me, they're usually talking about someone else with the same name.

I can't be upset if people dis me about being moody, because it's true.

If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose to have the ones God already gave me and use it to the best of my ability to help and enrich other people.

You are given an hour and twenty dollars to spend in one of these places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own: (I wrote my own...)

In a bookstore, reading wonderful books. The twenty wouldn’t buy very many these days, but it’s a start.

And here's the last chance to make sure that you're not going to get a "Jelly of the Month" club membership when you're expecting your bonus for a swimming pool:

It is important to me that the items chosen for me are things you would like getting yourself.


If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would be it: “Blogging the Alphabet.”


If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be: Christmas. I respect all other religions, and even the more modest “Holiday greetings.” Whatever you feel comfortable with, really. I love Christmas pins and earrings, and Santas and snowmen. I’m just a big kid at heart.


I love stuff like this! I can't wait to get started!

Edited to add: I forgot to add the "and whatever else you want us to know about you" part at the end. Mea culpa.

In addition to my very unhealthy crafting fetish (Andrea and I aren't really interested in joining a self-help group for this addiction, so no interventions, please...), I also love to read, and I love all different sorts of music. I love Christmas ornaments. I collect penguins -- stuffed ones, figurines, earrings...anything with penguins on it. I love U2, and and supremely cheesed off that they a) didn't come anywhere close enough that I could easily get to, and b) and that I couldn't have afforded it even if they had come close to me. Ditto for Duran Duran. I'm pretty easy to please, really.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

'Adventurous', you say?

You know, people do all sorts of things to each other in the name of love, or lust, as the case may be. I don't even pretend to understand what drives some of these needs.

JF found this story the other day, and immediately thought of it as blog fodder.

This poor schmoe not only had to suffer the indignity of having his penis glued to his abdomen and his buttocks glued shut -- the woman also painted an obscenity on his back in nail polish. The woman scorned claims that this was all part of their "adventurous" sexual routine. I'm not buying that, sister. Even the most cutting-edge sexual play generally doesn't involve Super Glue.

Can you *imagine* the pain? I wail like a freakin' baby when I hot-glue my fingers together.

The jury awarded Glue Man the sum of $46,200 for his "pain, suffering, and emotional distress." Not to mention genital mutilation. I'm still pondering what exactly happened the first time he had to take a poo.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

November reflection

November always finds me in a mercurial temperment. On the one hand, I love the changes in the weather, and the approaching holiday season. On the other, November is a time of loss for our family. More years ago than I care to remember now, I lost a cousin to a horrific car wreck. We were very close in age, if not in companionship. His death changed me at a very pivotal point in my life.

November brings all the holiday preperation. Shopping, cooking. I never feel more a part of a family than this time of year. Clearly brought into focus is the idea that we are part of an unbroken line, stretching back into the past. Thanksgiving is more than a holiday of gluttony -- a chance to get together with people who are living seperate lives while still connected by the ever-increasingly tenuous connection of common blood.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the decorating, the selecting of the perfect gift. The baking that fills the house with the smells that bring back so many memories of Christmases past. The magical way that some colored lights and paper ornaments lovingly crafted by children's hands can turn a hunk of wire and faux-pine bristles into a delight for the eyes. The family tradition of hanging the specific ornaments that are dear to us. The vague sense of panic that all of the craft projects I have planned as gifts won't be finished in time. The pervasive air of festivity, and the many small kindnesses shown to other people.

But November... November is a bittersweet mixture of grief and pain; love and holiday goodwill. Every November, I look at a picture of my young cousin, and wonder where he'd be now. Would he have gone on to college? What kind of job would he have wanted? Would he have gotten married, had a family? Instead, he's forever sixteen.

And November is the time that I embarked on the best part of my life. My wedding took place over Thanksgiving, and I've not yet stopped being thankful that I found what it was I was searching for all of those years. November makes me nostalgic in a way that the holidays can't touch. Sure, Christmas renews my hope that man isn't all bad, and I always delight in the surprises of the season like a child; but November.... November reminds me of what could have been. What could have happened. Both for good, and for bad. November makes me sweetly maudlin.

Every year, I await this time of year with anticipation and reluctance. I suppose life is like that, though.