Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I've been writing this blog for a little more than a year now. If you've managed to find it, then I have highly underestimated your computer skills and knowledge. I know that you recently switched ISP's because you were complaining that your old one crashed a lot, and you were burning to do more with your computer and on the web. I can only imagine the things that you are searching for, and the things that you'll come across.
Let me say, first off -- congrats. I'm proud that you are not letting your numerical age influence your vitality and who you are. Learning new skills are what helps keep you current. I tell people proudly that you're not the typical grandmother. You are more vital than people half your age. Your adventurous spirit and your determination are important qualities that keep you younger than your years. Being around you is like being caught up in a whirlwind. You continue to outpace people decades younger, both in energy and in enthusiasm. Your positive and loving outlook make people around you your passionate friends.
And with that outlook and the loving way that you present yourself to everyone, I'm still astounded that you can so casually, and completely unthinkingly, reduce me to tears with your comments about my weight. I know you are not trying to hurt me on purpose, and you say that you are only thinking of my health, but you don't realize how deeply you wound me when you make comments. For example, when you say, "You'd be so pretty if you'd just lose some weight," that comment never fails to make me feel unloved, worthless, and ugly. "Mama just worries about you. You can't be healthy that big," you say. Did it ever occur to you that statements like that are damamging to my mental well-being? That's part of my health, too. And, it can't be very healthy to know that your own mother finds something about you so distasteful that she has to mention it often.
You wouldn't tell a friend of yours that she looked better in those chinos when she wasn't so chunky, would you? No, you wouldn't dream of it! It would be so impolite! Then why is it acceptable when it's your daughter we're talking about? You wrap it up in the guise of concern, but it's still just as hurtful. I would never dream of calling you to task about your weight -- it's unnecessary, and it's embarrassing, and it's just plain painful. Plus, I'm pretty sure that you're aware of what your body is doing, especially if you've recently gained or lost weight. Why would I be so crass as to point out the obvious to you, while being indelicate and mean-spirited to boot?
In many ways, you're a great mom. You taught me self-reliance, and taught me how to be a good friend and a good mother. It's just in this one area that you are lacking. You never realize that every time you "gently chide" me about my weight that it's an arrow straight through my heart. That when you do, I do not feel good enough, or worthy enough, or even valued. All those comments about how creative I am, and what a good person I am are all undone with that one admonishment about my weight. Do you think I don't know that I'm fat? Trust me, I obsess about it enough without you reminding me.
I know that chances are small that you'll find this letter. I know that chances are even smaller that you'll realize how hurt I still am over all these comments. I try to be a good daughter. A goood mother, and good friend. I live my life to the best of my abilities, and I am trying to teach my daughter the same. I vow that I will not repeat this hurtful cycle in my relationship with my own daughter. I hope that I never become so desensitized that I think it's acceptable to (however tacitly) call my daughter "fat" and make her feel as if she is less than the joy to my life that she is. Her size is of no importance. Big, small, short, tall. All I want is to be supportive and loving. I want her to never have to write a letter to me. I know I'm not a perfect parent, but I pray that I never make my daughter feel the way that you often make me feel.
I do not write this to try and hurt you in return. As a matter of fact, my heart hurts just thinking that I might cause you the kind of pain you often cause me. I write because I'm to the point of giving up. To the point of believing that your censure is merely a validation of the truth I'm running so hard to escape -- that I really am not worth very much. Society already tells me that fat people are worth less than skinny ones. I just never expected someone who professes to love me to do the same.
Your fat daughter
Thursday, October 26, 2006
So, I'm hosting a cookie swap! (Dang it all! I need some cookies!) I need some feedback before we begin, though... Are you interested? Would you participate? If you would like to participate, is there a time of year that you'd prefer? I was thinking around Thanksgiving, so we're all in the baking mood, but not into the total craziness that is the holiday season. Does that sound good? Would you prefer it to coincide with Christmas? The beginning of December? How many cookies should be included? A dozen? Two? I have a questionnaire for interested persons once I get the feedback.
All that would be required is that participants make (and I said *make*, not "go to the local bakery and purchase") X many cookies, seal them in a container or Ziploc bag, and mail in a padded shoebox to your chosen recipient. Your box of deliciousness arrives and you have permission to be exceedingly greedy and eat them all. I only ask that you post pictures on your own blogs. The pictures can be of you making cookies for your Secret Sweetie, or of you eating cookies from your Secret Sweetie, or both! I just want to have fun with it. I love doing stuff like this, and I think it would be great to get to taste cookies made with love and care from another kitchen.
So -- anyone up for it? I swear, even though in my last post, I referenced what a slovenly housekeeper I am, I'm the "very cluttered" kind of slovenly. Not the "Department of Family and Children Services is going to take my child away" kind of slovenly. I routinely make entire meals in my kitchen, and we have yet to die from any kind of food poisioning or intestinal nastiness. Although JF did display his Southern roots last night by teasing me all about that new virus, "Ee-bow-lie." After I recovered from my snorting fit, I crawled back up on the bed, and we went on with our evening. Anyway. At the end of the day, my kitchen is relatively clean, and I promise not to lick the spoon while baking. And if I kill you, you have my permission to be super-mad at me.
Friday, October 20, 2006
If I could, I'd invent a cheap alternative fuel, and damn it, the world needs
one because we’re too dependent on fuels that are harming our ecosystem.
I sometimes buy organic juice because it is more like the me I want to be than the me that I am.
If you came over to my house to play and touched my craft stuff I'd be a little bit mad at you
forever . For about five minutes. Then we'd have to start creating!
The colours orange, olive green, and mustard yellow make me want to shave my eyeballs with a cheese grater.
The colour blue is so beautiful that when I see it, a beam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.
Mushrooms make me gag
, feel it in my mouth for a minute, and then swallow it back down rather than spit it out (or else I just don't like it, but I'm too nice to say it.) Period.
I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest seafood or look at creepy clowns.
Politics give me the willies and I might need to consider a frontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.
I love the feel of Egyptian cotton so much I want to hump it like a puppy on a sofa pillow.
No one should have to watch me eat chocolate or any sweet, really, because then I might consider being polite enough to share, and I don't want to share it.
I'm a grown-up now, so I don't have to eat broccoli or cauliflower any more, and you can't make me.
If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I'd be my own biggest customer: roses or gardenias
Three things I like that anyone might like: craft stuff, sweets, and anything featuring penguins.
Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: quilling, The Monkees, and stuff about archaeology.
I have TOO MUCH craft stuff, and not enough storage space.
Okay, we know the best things in life aren't things, but these are the best
things in life if there are going to be best things: chocolate, penguins, and Christmas ornaments.
When people have kind, sweet and nice things about me, they're usually talking about my craft projects. When they say I'm nit-picky, they're usually right too.
It's true, I'm a terrible housekeeper. I'm learning to be
proud of better about it.
If I could have any talent in the world, I'd choose invisibility and use it to right wrongs and foil bad guys.
You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these places, childfree. (write your own)
A tropical isle with a lovely breeze, with turquoise water lapping at my feet, and a great book at the ready.
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
It is important to me that the items chosen for me are something that you think I’ll like. That you chose with me in mind. Things that you think reflect who I am.
If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would
be it: http://reluctant-prophet.blogspot.com/2005/08/blogging-alphabet.html
If I were to name the
I can only hope that I am so fortunate as to get such a wonderful Secret Spoiler as the one that I had last year -- Suze from Still Baking sent me such a great package! I was so grateful to her for helping make my Christmas that much brighter!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
As seen at Post Secret.
Apparently, there is only one other person in the US with both my first and last name. We're a very select group, apparently. There are 19, 498 other people with my first name, 100% of which are female. There are 32, 997 people who share my last name. When I input Offspring's name, however, it tells us that there are NO people in the US with that particular name. Uh... I beg to differ! I knew my sweetie girl was unique and all, but surely she can't be the ONLY one! The site says that there are approximately 3,000 other girls with her same first name.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
My sweet husband made me a Jack O' Lantern pin to wear to school. I was attempting to super glue a pin back to the reverse of the clay pumpkin on Monday evening. The superglue was all dried and crusty at the top of the tube. When I went to scrape away the dried gunk, a hunk of dry super glue went into my right eye.
As I've mentioned before, my family is hell on our eyes, so luckily, JF dashed for the eye wash. I still felt like there was grit in the eye, despite the repeated washings, so off I went to the ER to be checked out. I arrived there at 9:15 pm on Monday evening. I got sent back into the ER at 12:15, to wait on a gurney in the freezing hallway. The nurse who "triaged" me said that she would have to have the doctor check me out.
The doctor came and prodded around in my eye, and said that he wanted to look at it under a special light. I was moved into a small treatment room. I mentioned to the nurse that I felt like a total idiot. I mean, I know that superglue in the eye is probably not the weirdest thing she's ever seen, right? She tells me that she was helping vaccinate the troops for deployment to the Middle East a few years ago, when she inadvertently got *anthrax* in her own eye.
The long and short of it all (too late!) is that, thankfully, there was no lasting damage. I got out of the ER at 2:45 am, and am now in possession of a miniscule bottle of eyedrops that would have cost me $102 had I not had the good fortune to have a prescription drug card.
I have an appointment with a specialist tomorrow to make sure that there's no lasting damage and no sign of infection. Now, if they only have a prescription for complete dorkiness, I'll be all set.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
My mother woke me up with the ritual singing of "Happy Birthday." I, being the lazy soul that I am, and it being 7:28 am, I did not answer the phone, merely rolled over in bed. If I don't have any pressing engagements, early morning risings are not in the game plan.
All in all, it was a great day. I can't complain, even if my self-image is that of a svelte twenty year old, and the truth is far and away from that. (Who says self-delusion isn't a good thing?)
I got some lovely gifts, spent some great time with my family, and had some great meals. Now, I'm going to go pile up on my bed and go to sleep.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
At any rate, some of our local schools held a big push to get people to walk to school this past week. It's promoting healthier alternatives for school kids, and truth be told, a little more exercise is most likely a good thing. Imagine the field day the press in our lovely little burg had when a child was struck by a car *ON* International Walk to School Day. It's like it was a tailor-made headline.
The scene went something like this -- the crossing guard in the middle of the street had her stop sign out, signalling to a waiting first grader that it was safe to cross. How wrong she was! (Our drivers routinely ignore such mundanities as stop signs. They tend to view them more as simple suggestions that they're unlikely to heed or obey. As in,"A stop sign? Hm. No, I don't think I feel like stopping today. Maybe I'll think about slowing down to less than a blur.") A red Camaro ran the guard's stop sign, and struck the child. It's unclear whether the sun obscured the driver's vision, or the driver is just a total bonehead. I tend to lean towards the latter.
Driving here isn't so much of a necessity or a pleasant pasttime -- it's more like a blood sport.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
You know, there are some days when I think it would be much easier to be a cat. After all, *they* don't look so stressed out, do they? Oh, to have no pressing demands on my time, and be able to laze on the porch....
These are our "extra kitties", Grady and Blackie. Needless to say, they don't get all worked up about much. We call this "flumping." They will stride up to us, and just flump down at our feet, expecting adoration and food. And, like the suckers we are, we provide lots of both.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
I was a member of an online group of people devoted to the wonderful and greatly-missed television show "Homicide:Life on the Street." I developed great friendships with some of the other people who also inhabited the group, one of them being our very own Songbird. (Big "Hi!"s also go out to La Binsk and Karin (a sometimes lurker here) who will occasionally come over from the group to see what's up in BlogLand.) As fans of the show, we often got together to discuss plot lines, characters, and situations that happened on the show.
One of the things that was so great about Homicide was the use of music to underscore all of the moments (important and otherwise) that developed. The musical director, Chris Tergesen, was a master at finding the perfect song to accompany any given bit of the show. One of our group members took on the Herculean task of assembling this music that provided the aural ambience that the show came to represent to us, the fans. It turned out to be a massive 4-disc set. And then, that one person -Morpheus - in a move of stunning good-will, mailed those home-grown compilations to various members of our little community. I was fortunate enough to be one of those people. I loved the whole set, but there were just some songs that I could not get out of my brain, so I further condensed them down into one disc. One disc with the best that Homicide had to offer. The interesting thing to keep in mind was that H:LotS ran from 1993 to 1999, and some of these bands were not even yet blips on any label's radar. There's a lot of pretty great music in the making there. And here's the playlist for you to enjoy:
The Best of Homicide:Life on the Street
1) The H:LotS Theme
2) Tell Me What's Wrong -- The Subdudes
3) Only Happy When it Rains -- Garbage
4) Don't Think Twice -- Love Riot
5) Walkout -- Matthew Sweet
6) Circle -- Big Head Todd
7) What a Good Boy -- Barenaked Ladies
8) It Could Be Sweet -- Portishead
9) Crucify -- Tori Amos
10) I Alone -- Live
11) Cure for Pain -- Morphine
12) The Bridge Song -- Dishwalla
13) Raining in Baltimore -- Counting Crows
14) What Would Happen -- Meredith Brooks
15) Boom Boom Boom -- The Iguanas
16) Super Bon Bon -- Soul Coughing
17) Bleed -- Collective Soul
18) Feel Me Don't You -- Dada
19) In Your Wildest Dreams -- Rev. Horton Heat
My family hates it when I put that disc in, but I play it all the time, and sing my lungs out, and relive the glory days of my favorite TV show. Homicide, how we miss you.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
At school yesterday, I stepped outside of my classroom door, only to encounter a cardboard box in my path. Not looking down, I proceeded to slide on the cardboard box, windmilling my arms. (I could have sworn I heard cartoon sound effects somewhere in the distance.) I struck my knee in the process, rendering it instantaneously numb from said knee to the foot.
Needless to say, the school nurse calls the incident in, and I have to go get checked out by our docs to make sure I haven't been thoroughly clumsy enough to damage my knee beyond repair. I also have to do a drug test, just to make sure I'm not loaded and trying to demonstrate surfing techniques to my charges. (Too bad I wasn't hopped up on drugs -- they might make some days easier. And then, some days, it's just not worth gnawing through the straps.)
The lovely doc spends about four minutes in the exam room with me, explaining that my x-rays look clear, and I haven't done any lasting damage. I tell him that my knee does not hurt to walk on, or to flex, but it does go numb when I press on the soft flesh around the knee. The learned man tells me, "Then don't push on it!" I ask what if it never goes away, this numbness? His answer? "Don't do any kneeling, and you'll be all right." Apparently, I passed my drug test, because I was sent back to work.
I hope I don't hurt myself any further.
Monday, October 02, 2006
So, today -- it's all about the issues! I want to talk politics.
I am a very lonely blue shirt in a red shirt state. Actually, that's not quite true. I was once, but not any longer, a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party. While it's true to say that in most cases, casting a ballot in any given election for the Libertarian candidate was pretty much throwing a vote away, at least I did it with an easy conscience. I would have rather voted and "thrown my vote away" than to not vote at all. Women's and minorities' voting rights were too desperately fought over for me to be blase' about casting a ballot. I typically don't think along party lines. I tend to vote for the guy who will do the best job -- the guy that I think will be the least corrupt.
I detest the idea of government as Big Brother. I understand that governments do need to establish rules as a means of keeping anarchy from happening, but there's a difference now. All this talk of "Homeland Security" is a thinly veiled metaphor for "we're going to do what the hell we want, and we can pass it off as all for the good of the country!" I can't help thinking that just a few decades ago, doing whatever he wanted and damn the torpedoes was why Nixon had to resign! Times, how ye have changed! Things are happening, right now, in the US that would have made rational thinking people explode in indignation only a few short years ago. Yet, we tolerate them now because we're told it's all for our own good. Detain people illegally -- oh, it's for YOUR protection!
I understand that the US needs to protect itself. We do need to look after our own, because at the rate we're making enemies on the world stage, there won't be anyone else left to look after us. Our president started a war, one that has killed FAR too many people on both sides, and has made enemies of people who have no compunction about blowing us all to smithereens. A war that we should not be fighting in the first place. Since when is it America's job to be the world's police force? How many of our young men and women are we going to sacrifice to the greedy jaws of the war machine and our president's ego? How many have to die before enough is enough? How much money do we have to pour into a country that largely does not want us there? Not to mention the people here at home who could greatly use the money wasted in that effort? Giving the Iraqi people infrastructure and health care is all fine and dandy, but we have our OWN citizens here that could use a little of that.
I'm all for the war on crime as well, but how many civil liberties do we have to sacrifice to win it? I hate guns, and I refuse to have one in my house, but it's getting to the point where all the bad guys have guns, and the law-abiding are hopelessly outclassed! The criminals have better weapons than many law enforcement officers do. Not only is crime too commonplace, it's being glamorized so in the media that young people think that it's not only a viable option, but something to admire in others! How skewed is our perception if a jail sentence is something that our children can *look forward to*? The rate at which we are jailing our young people, mostly young black men, is both alarming and disheartening.
That brings me to illegal drugs. Let me say that I've never done any drugs. I don't approve of them personally, and I think that I have enough obstacles in my life without creating pharmaceutical ones as well. That having been said, I can understand fully how some people escape who they are, and their surroundings, by using drugs. Too many people have been ensorcelled by the siren's call for the government to ignore the situation by just throwing the enslaved into jail cells. We need more treatment programs, not more jail time. We won't be able to fix every person with an addiction, but even if one percent gets clean and returns to something resembling their lives before drugs, isn't it worth it? How much treatment do you think an addict gets in jail? And it's not hard to get drugs in jail, either.
We won't even go into how many women and children suffer as a result of drugs -- either from being the dupe of a dealer in their lives, or the loss of a husband (or father, son, uncle, or brother) . How people have to still manage to eke out an exsistence on whatever scraps are left.
I don't claim to know how to fix it all, but I do know that we're headed down the ruin, and at an astonishing pace, too. Hopefully, we can soon stop attempting to repair the cracks in the policies and infrastructure of other nations and look to attempting to fix our own.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
For a long time, I just assumed that I was heftier than other people due to genetics. My parents weren't overly large, but other people in my family were. My paternal grandmother has always been a rather rotund woman, and one of my mother's sisters has been slightly beefy. I also have three female cousins who have struggled with weight just as I have. I told myself that I come from hearty, peasant stock -- we're big people! Just deal with it. Or, like how both of my parents are olive-skinned, and I'm the almost translucent one -- genetics. I'm a throwback to earlier branches on my family tree.
As I got older, and moved to more sedentary jobs, I didn't (and still don't) get nearly the exercise that I should. I do run around after children all day, so it's not like I have NO exercise, but it's not as much as it once was. I also don't have the best eating habits. I don't like eating breakfast too early , and have to force myself to each a little something every morning. All the foods I love are the ones that are terrible for you. I do love fruit, and some vegetables, but I need more of both of them in my diet. I eat all the bad stuff, and too little of the good stuff.
As for that dreaded word: diet... I hate diets. I hate restricting myself to certain foods. And, I can't follow a lot of prepackaged plans because most of them rely heavily on you eating mounds and mounds of tuna fish. When I have to deny myself all the things I enjoy, I get terribly depressed, and end up sneaking or cheating anyway. Then, I get depressed because I cheated, and deny myself even more, and then I slip... and there's the spiral.
In my brief therapy sessions, the doctor wondered if I mask my pain by eating. If I stay fat *on purpose* in order to shield myself from life. I don't think I eat to cover any pain, but I do think that being fat, in an awful way, feels "safe" to me. It's what I know. I have been fat since about age 10. That's more than a quarter-century of my life that I have lived this way. That I have felt this way. *Do* I remain fat on purpose? Do I really have that much control over the situation? I know if I could choose to be thin, I would -- it's just the "getting there" part that takes so much trouble. Would I be happy being thin, or would I find something else to obsess over? It's that self-defeating spiral again.
I recently had a talk with Marni about weight, and weight issues. She had gastric bypass two years ago, and it has changed her life. I'm so glad that she was about to escape the horror of being "just another fat lady", and I applaud her decision to have the surgery. She says her life is completely different now. She even participated in the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer. This is a monumental change for her. I'm not sure, however, that surgery would be right for me. I have this feeling like my weight is something I got myself into, and I should be able to get myself out of. Surgery is a very radical option when all I'm facing is sheer laziness. Now, if I had tried every diet out there, and exercised like a madwoman, and the weight still wasn't coming off, then surgery might be an option.
If I ever did have the surgery, would I still be me? So much of who I am is tied up in being fat, and in identifying with the other women who are like me -- and in championing the rights of people like me -- that I worry that I would lose sight of that. And that I'd still be the fat, unloved girl, trapped in the now-thin body. Would my husband still love me? Or worse, would he love me more -- making me feel like all those years that he told me I was beautiful "just as I am" were a lie? Would my daughter be a little more proud to be seen with me? Am I an embarrasment now? Would my mother actually tell me that I look good, without making a comment that she's "just worried about my health"? And my doctor wouldn't attribute every medical problem I have to "morbid obesity." Would I even HAVE any of these medical problems?
I wonder what it would be like to walk into any store and find something that fits me, right off the rack. I wonder what it would be like not to cover every exposed inch of skin because I can't stand the sight of so much of my own flesh. I wonder what it would feel like to have a man staring at me in admiration, not repulsion. I wonder what it would be like to plan a vaction, and not have to worry if I'll fit in the theme park rides, or we that can't go horseback riding because the horses can't carry me. I wonder what it would be like to walk down the street and NOT have people make jokes or snide remarks. I wonder what it would feel like NOT to be described as the "fat lady." I wonder. And I dream.
Some days, I am heavy. And some days, only my heart is heavy.