Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yet Another (Will They Ever Stop?!?) Fat Rant

Okay, before you all run away screaming bloody murder -- let me state that I will try to remain civil in this particular fat rant. "Try", mind you. Let's only hope that I'm more successful than my last attempts.

I was talking with a friend tonight who was telling me of a recent session with her therapist. The therapist is of the mind that most women who have been abused or sexually assaulted are overweight. I don't what she bases this opinion on -- are there studies? Does she see an inordinate number of abused women who are heavy?

At any rate, it hearkens back to something that my (very brief) therapist mentioned to me: do I stay fat because it's "safe"? I was told that maybe I choose to remain fat because it's a way that I desexualize myself; make myself less attractive to any would-be rapist. That somehow, being fat keeps me "safe." That those layers of fat protect me from the world. And, that I remain fat even now because it's all I've ever known, and I wouldn't know how to relate to myself without that crutch.

I am not exaggerating to say that I was highly pissed off by this notion. Would anyone ever *choose* to be ridiculed by both family and strangers? Rationally, I know that rape is not about sex, but about power and control. Sure, rapists often target women that they find attractive on some level, but being fat is no 'get out of jail free' card. Fat women are raped quite often. There's no reason involved, just the proclivities of the rapist.

For this person to say this -- this person who was supposed to be HELPING me -- was an utter betrayal. I just hope my friend who is hearing it now deals with it better than I did. Obviously, I'm still insulating myself from the pain of the world by remaining fat, and giving the mental finger to any rapists on the make out there. Just doing my part.

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Question For Y'all

Many of you long time readers may recall that I get very motion sick. And, when I say "motion sick", I mean that I drive everywhere our family goes because I get nauseous even riding a couple of blocks as a passenger. (Offspring takes a kind of fiendish delight in getting me on the Teacups at Disney World and spinning as fast as possible, trying *purposefully* to make me sick. She must get that vicious streak from her father's side of the family.)

Bearing my unfortunate propensity for mal de mer in mind, JF and I are quite excitedly considering a Disney Cruise for our next year's vacation. This would be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip for us. JF is due to come in to some money (God willing and the creek don't rise) this fall that would finance this venture. We would never be able to afford it under other circumstances.

The cruises available are: a) the four night Bahamas cruise; which goes to Nassau and Disney's island, Castaway Cay, b) the seven night Eastern Caribbean; where the stops are St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Castaway Cay, and c) the seven night Western Caribbean; which goes to Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Castaway Cay. If we book a seven night cruise, and I'm seasick, I have to endure an entire week of Vacation From Hell that I shelled out big bucks for. On the other hand, the seven night cruise is not that much more expensive, and if I manage to do well on anti-nausea meds, we'd much rather take the longer (and more diverse) itinerary. I think the family consensus is that we'd like to do the Western Caribbean.

The only thing that's holding us back (other than not having the money until late fall, that is) is my motion sickness. Now, I take over the counter meds (Dramamine) to get through each vacation, and on most days, I feel pretty well, but let me ride Mission: Space a couple of times in a row, and I might get a bit green around the gills. I would think that anything a doctor would prescribe would be much more effective than any over the counter med might be, and think I would be able to muddle through. But -- and here's the main sticking point -- if I am sick, we're at sea, with no escape until we dock. In that instance, would I prefer seven nights of torture, or four?

What would you do? Have you ever been seasick on a cruise, or have a family member who has been? How did you/they cope? Do the prescribed meds work better than the over the counter meds? Most people would just say, "don't go!", but it's something that the whole family would enjoy, and why not partake of something we would all benefit from? And there's only a CHANCE that I would be ill on top of whatever medication the doctor would give me.

Here is our breakdown of the pros and cons:

* We'll actually have the money, and not be putting ourselves into debt in order to go.
* None of us have ever been on a cruise.
* It will be the first time JF and Offspring have ever traveled outside the US, and I'd like to make that happen for them both. Not to mention that *I'd* love it.
* We might convince other family members to join us.
* It would be something a little more culturally enriching for ALL of us.
* I think we'd all have a really good time.

* This will likely be the ONLY time we are able to afford such a trip, so it's now or never.
* The aforementioned seasickness. What if I'm miserable the whole trip? We've wasted a TON of money so I can throw up every hour for four to seven days.
* The time schedule would be difficult to arrange, with school and work, but we'd manage.
* The four night cruise vs. the seven night cruises. Which one?
* We'd have to get passports, so I'd have to start planning that this fall in order to get them in a timely manner before the voyage.

I've got to figure that if this is all that's worrying me lately, then I am very fortunate, indeed. This would, more than likely be what JF and I give each other for our upcoming 15th wedding anniversary. I would like to hear what you guys think. Any input would be appreciated.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Who knew that when I started this blog two years and 287 posts ago that I would have stuck with it this long? I certainly didn't!

I have met some wonderful people along the way who continue to make my life that much richer because they are in it. You guys, thanks for hanging out with me, and continuing to come back. I am so lucky to have found you all.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Groovin' to the 80s Tunes and Freaking Out the Cat

Some of you may have already discovered the greatness that is Pandora. I know I heard about it from one of you blog friends or another, and it is. absolutely. rockin'! I started my channel a few months ago, but have been tinkering with the song bookmark for the better part of three days. If anyone wants to see my personal profile, you can see it here. (Don't laugh at my choice of music -- I have been finding all those songs from the 80s that I loved.)

You can tell that I'm a creature of the New Wave generation... my bookmarks include not only my favorites Marillion and U2, but also blasts from the (80s) past like a-ha, Howard Jones, Everything But the Girl, Yaz, Tears for Fears, Go West, Pet Shop Boys, Level 42, Pseudo Echo, Arcadia, Wham, ABC, the Hooters, Mr. Mister, and Paul Young. And lots more that I plan on adding.

The *best* thing about Pandora, though -- is if you don't like my station, create your own!

UPDATED: I think I've fixed the broken link, and I changed the profile page to be viewable now. Sorry! Thanks for pointing that out, Coffeypot!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Q and A

I got tagged for this meme ages and ages ago. It's been so long ago that I no longer remember who tagged me for it in the first place. At any rate, I am low on ideas, and high on frustration with the blog, so I'm using it as a place saver. Until I think of something better.


1. Do you still have tonsils? - Yes.
2. Would you bungee jump? - After making sure the bungee could safely hold my weight, sure. I would hate to find out that I'm too heavy by bashing my skull into concrete.
3. If you could do anything in the world for a living, what would it be? - Get paid fabulous amounts of money to review theme parks rides or hotels all over the world. Or to make my craft items.
4. How many tattoos do you have? - Zero. The one I really wanted was too expensive, and would be too large to get the detail I wanted.
5. Your favorite fictional animal? – Right now, Fawkes the phoenix.
6. One person that never fails to make you laugh? – My husband.
7. Do you consider yourself well organized? – Gosh, no. I am for work, but that's the only place.
8. Any Addictions? - Blogs, books, puzzles, crafty stuff.
9. From what news source do you receive the bulk of your news? - During the summer, whatever I read online. During the school year, we get newspapers delivered to the school, so I usually snag one.
10. Would you rather go to a carnival or circus? - Neither. I'd rather be at Disney World!
11. When you were twelve years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? - An archeologist.
12. Best Movie You've Seen This Year? - Don't know. Last movie I saw was "Order of the Phoenix."
13. Favorite alcoholic drink – Pina Colada, or some other foofy fruity concoction.
14. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? - Curse like a sailor.
15. Siblings? – One brother, three years younger.
16. What is the best thing about your job? – I'm doing what I love to do.
17. Have you ever gone to therapy? – Briefly.
18. If you could have one super power what would it be? – Flying.
19. Do you own any furniture from Ikea? – No. We don't even have an Ikea store.
20. Have you ever gone camping? – Yes. All the time as a child, and with Girl Scouts as an adult.
21. Gas prices! First thought? - Where the hell are the hovercars they promised us?!?
22. Your favorite cartoon character? - Duh -- Mickey!
23. What was your first car? – A blue Dodge Omni. I was about 16.
24. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual? - No, not for me.
25. The Cosby Show or the Simpsons? – Simpsons.
26. Do you go to church? - not anymore.
27. What famous person would you like to have dinner with? – Living or dead? Living: Sean Connery. Dead: Queen Elizabeth I.
28. What errand/chore do you despise? – Folding laundry. Especially matching socks.
29. First thought when the alarm went off this morning? – It wasn't set, but my reaction would've been "already?!?!"
30. Last time you puked from drinking? – I don't think I ever have. Can't remember a time, at any rate.
31. What is your heritage? - English, German, Irish, Scots, Scandinavian. European polyglot.
32. Favorite flower? – Roses and Gardenias.
33. Disney or Warner Bros? - Disney, of course.
34. What is your best childhood memory? – Feeling free. Being able to play. Today's kids don't have that.
35. Your favorite potato chip? – Kettle Cooked ones. I like the crunchy-ness of them.
36. What is your favorite candy? - Chocolate! I love almost anything with chocolate.
37. Do you burn or tan? - Burn redder than a baboon's butt. And then peel. Bleah!
38. Astrological sign? - Libra.
39. Do you own a gun? – No, I'm afraid of guns.
40. What do you think of hot dogs? – I like them. Preferably with cheese.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I finished at 7:30 this morning. My husband was brilliant enough to let me sleep (while he read the book, of course) until 2:30 this afternoon.

All I have to say is: Whoa. Anyone wishing to discuss the book, you may feel free to do so in comments. Be warned: if you have not yet finished the book, you may encounter plot points that you do not wish revealed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Arriving at Disney World

Since some of you have requested more info into our annual installment of slavering devotion to that juggernaut of commercial and ritualized enjoyment otherwise known as Disney World, I figured that I would indulge you. Plus, I got nothing else interesting happening right now. You know, all in all - a typical summer.

(Actually, that's not quite true. We are going on a mini-vacation the first weekend of August. This is only the second time in our marriage that JF and I have been lucky enough to take two vacations in one summer. We may get the occasional jaunt to the CityofMyBirth to visit my relatives, but that's not exactly what we call "vacation." That's more in the realm of "hell on earth." (Especially if my extended family is involved.) At any rate, we're quite excited, and are planning a trip to Asheville, North Carolina to visit the Biltmore Estate. I went at least once as a small child, and I have very fond memories of the place. JF has never been, and Offspring's never even been in the state of North Carolina. We got a great deal for the weekend, and we can't wait to go. Offspring is obsessively watching "The Private Eyes" to ready herself for the experience. If anyone lives near Asheville, and wants to meet up for lunch or dinner over August 3rd or 4th, drop me an email.)

We started off at The World of Disney, pictured with Offspring above. We always arrive in Orlando the day before we check into whatever Disney resort we've booked that year. That way, we don't waste half a day's worth of tickets in transit. We stay at a cheap off-site hotel for the night, and wake up early to head to the resort and check in. If your room isn't ready (and it usually isn't), you can stow your bags with concierge, grab your tickets, and head out for the parks. We like to arrive in the parks early in the morning so that there's at least three or four rides we can knock out without having to wait 2 hours in line.

We are very spoiled by the wonderful service of Disney hotels, so we save like squirrels hoarding nuts for winter to afford them. Juggling Freak's favorite hotel, hands down, is Coronado Springs. (He's a sucker for the southwestern theming.) This is one of what Disney calls their "moderate" resort. (We're also extremely spoiled by the moderate resorts.) We like staying there because the price per night isn't that much more, but the extra amenities make it so worth it. For example, the "value" resorts (cheaper in price and usually not as opulently themed) don't normally offer a full-service restaurant; they only offer a food court. After a hard day slogging through the parks, not everyone is ready to have to go fetch their own food and bus their own tables. Usually, that would be us. The moderate resorts offer a food court AND a full-service restaurant, plus lots of other things that swing the balance in their favor.

This year, I really pushed for us to stay at a moderate that we hadn't yet tried: Port Orleans French Quarter. When this resort was built, it was very small and intimate. It only has about 800 rooms, compared to the 1600 - 1900 most of the other Disney hotels offer. Because it was so small in comparison, Disney merged what was the Port Orleans resort with its next door neighbor resort, Dixie Landings. This made one large resort, called Port Orleans French Quarter and Port Orleans Riverside respectively. We had stayed at Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans Riverside) on our very first trip to Disney World, back when Offspring was 18 months old. Back then, she was so small that we did not have to pay for her, and we arranged to have a portable crib in the room for her. My, how times have changed. We play rock, paper, scissors now to see who has to sleep with the thrashing Offspring, and she is considered an "adult" as far as Disney ticket pricing goes. Oy. Don't give the girl any ideas. Adult. Riiiight.

FQ was not really what I thought of as JF's style. I was worried that he would not care for the surroundings and ambiance. To my surprise, he rated FQ in second place, right behind his very favorite, Coronado. I was delighted that he was happy with the place, as I found it charming and was the one who'd pushed for it in the first place. We were placed in Building Three, which was only a moment's walk from the main building with the lobby, store, lounge, and food court. It was only another moment's farther walk to the pool, the playground, and most importantly for me -- the hot tub. It was quiet, serene, and lovely.

We arrived at FQ at 8:30 am, and were delighted to find that our room was ready and waiting for us. Usually, we tend to look at the hotel room as a convenient place to crash after a long trek through crowded theme parks in the scorching Florida summer sun, but staying at FQ was a nice change of pace -- lazy and relaxed while still being the height of luxury. The theming of FQ was great -- the sidewalks were done up like streets, complete with street signs and lampposts. We almost didn't want to leave to visit the parks. Almost.

If I haven't bored you to tears yet, I'll add more posts about this year's pilgrimage.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

All The Books Gave Me Away, Didn't They?

What Harry Potter Character are You?

Hermione Granger

You are a smart and intelligent person. You use your smarts to help out friends. You can be emotional at times but you always seem to be in the mood to help someone out.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

As seen at Angry Pregnant Lawyer's.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Card Stock

Thinking of You

General/tailor to any occasion

Thank You

Best Wishes

Here are some of the new cards that I've made. They're going into my card slush fund, to be pulled out on an as-needed basis. I made them for the hell of it. I was on a crafty roll, and you can ALWAYS use a spare greeting card. (Click on an individual photo to embiggen.)


The other day, I mentioned that I had a strange experience that I might share. Lemmee 'splain.

I have a lady who I term my "dealer" who supplies me with craft supplies and plenty of inspiration for projects. She decided to have a "customer appreciation night" not so long ago, which would showcase the new items available and give her long-time customers a chance to muck about a bit with some of the new products. I decided to go. I've been in a bit of a crafting slump lately, and needed a kick in the pants to get my creative juices flowing.

When I arrived, there were about seven other people there, none of whom I knew. I felt sort of out of place, but I forgot all that once I started looking at all of the craft projects set up on various tables around her home. More people arrived, including three or four people I actually knew. We all meandered around, looking at the samples. Pretty soon, Dealer was explaining that we'd get to make one each of the samples on the table, and explained quickly how to craft all three examples. The group (of now about 24 women) splits up, with people going to various tables to make the projects laid out before them.

As the night winds down, having made their free projects and placed their orders, people sit in clumps and talk, or gather their things and begin to take their leave. I'm sitting on a couch, talking with a friend from the Girl Scout days when I'm approached by a lady whom I do not know. She says, "Hello, KLee. My name is (her name) and I have something I'd like to talk to you about." Now, not knowing this woman at all, I shake her hand, mumbling politely, and have no earthly clue as to what she's about to unleash upon me. She continues,"I had gastric bypass surgery about seven months ago, and I've lost about 100 pounds. I have two whole boxes of clothes in the trunk of my other car. Now, I'm not trying to offend you in any way, but would you like to have the clothes? I know when I was larger that I would have loved to be given free clothes. I had every plan on boxing them up and taking them to some place like Goodwill, but I'd rather see them go to an actual person, someone who would really use them."

On the one hand, I'm always glad to have free clothes. (The fat lady clothes, they do not come cheap.) On the other hand, I'm slightly offended. I mean, even though her heart was in the right place, and she clearly knew what it was like to be heavy -- I was still slightly offended. She was very nice, and very sweet, but... I feel badly enough about the way I look without complete strangers mentioning it at parties, you know? I blushed beet red, I'm quite sure, but I took her up on her offer.

Upon opening the boxes, I discovered quite a few things that will stand me in good stead for the coming of the new school year. Khaki and black pants, and some more "business-y" attire that will go a long way towards sprucing up my frumpy image. But, as with every grab bag, every unknown, there were surprises. And a few things that did not make the hit parade.

Item number one is what I term an "old lady pantset." It's a top and bottom, made of turquoise blue-and-white checked gingham. There are pockets on the front bottom hem of the shirt featuring embroidered flowers and clover. Uh...no.

Item number two is a pair of plaid green and blue pants. They remind me of Catholic school uniforms. Not going on my body.

Number three inspired great hilarity in Amy. She demanded a picture. It's a red and grey plaid vest-and-shorts set. Now, either garment by themselves isn't particularly bad, but together? Like a fate worse than death. The photo above depicts said combo. The shorts are about knee length.

But by far, the item that garnered the most shudders from me was a pair of pleather pants. JF was very excited at the prospect of pleather pants, but his enthusiasm waned somewhat when I patiently explained that there was probably about a 5% chance of those pants actually appearing on my body. After all, I do not want to be mistaken for some plus sized rock star, do I? Or the cow from whence the pants (metaphorically) came. That would be just plain embarrassing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

If Only

My daughter has spent all day long on the phone with a boy. This is a boy she's supposedly "best friends" with, but I think she really cares more for him than just friends. I'm not sure that he's as keen on "more than friends" as she is.

I hate to tell her that it's going to get so much harder from here on out. That she may spend a lot of her teenage years crushing over some boy or another that does not return her feelings. I truly hope that's not the case -- I hope that she never has to experience any of the heartbreak that I went through at her age. I want to keep her safe from all that; to shelter her from the more ignorant people that I'm only too afraid that she will encounter in the future.

For example, this boy. He's very sweet, very well mannered, and smart as a whip. He has a mother who is one of the nicest people I know. His siblings are all high achievers, and simply damn good people. He is black. My only reservation, should he and Offspring ever be more than "just friends", is the reaction that their relationship will inspire in others. Where we live, there are no shortages of interracial relationships. You would think people would be used to seeing mixed-race couples, but there is still a bad reaction to it. My parents, for example, would nut completely up to think of their darling granddaughter dating a black man. That's just the way they are. Nothing I could say would change their feelings. Oh, they'd be polite on the surface, but I can imagine the comments that would fly the minute they walked out the door.

Never mind the fact that he's a brilliant boy with a bright future. Never mind that he's destined for great things. Never mind that he's a compassionate boy who seems to truly care for Offspring. If only they could see past the surface. If he treats her well, what should the color of his skin matter? If only their views weren't so narrow. If only I could shield her from all that. If only I could make growing up easier for her. If only, if only...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Weekend Bullets

Not much going on right now, so I figured I'd break things down a bit. Which means: the hauling out of the ever-popular bullet-style post. I haven't bulleted in a while, so I think I might not bother anyone too much with a bullet list.

* Had a migraine yesterday morning, and still feel sort of icky, stomach-wise. JF has been so sweet, letting me catch up on sleep and bringing me Ginger Ale. I picked out a good husband.

* Got a few more stories of Disney World in the hopper, if anyone is interested. Those posts don't seem to go over so well, so I was debating whether to post them or not. Also, trying not to repeat anything from this time last summer when we went to Disney World.

* Had a very bizarro thing happen at a craft get together the other night. May have to post that, as it's worth a mention for the "what the hell?!" factor alone.

* Wondering if anyone remembers that spectacular flop of an idea I had way back forever ago to have a cookie swap? Made cookies for a sleepover that Offspring went to that went over so well that I have given about an iota's amount of thought to resurrecting the idea. Of course, if it's only going to be me and CCW participating, I'll just say the hell with it. Anyone else actually interested enough to participate? Or is it too darn hot to be thinking about firing up the oven?

* Born of the cookie swap idea was an idea for a book swap as well, something I have mentioned here before and recently joked about with Amy. Is anyone interested in that? I know we all complain about how many books we have, but does anyone really want to mail your books off? We could set up rules about x many books per shipment, and stipulate that *these* books you pass on, and *these* books you return to the original owner. A cheaper way to cull the shelves, but also a way that you get new authors/new blood in. I dunno. I'm looking for a project, can you tell?

* Got a bunch of new craft supplies and made a bunch of new cards, so I have at least done *something* recently. Other than that, I've been a complete slug.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

My Favorite Vacation Picture

A Mickey-dreadlocked Offspring and I pose in front of Spaceship Earth.