Thursday, December 31, 2009

And we're back!!

Welcome back y'all. I'm sure, because it's New Year, that most of you didn't even notice the temporary interruption. But I'm hoping that you'll at least pretend to be observant enough to notice there's been a couple changes around here.

I'd like to thank Badass Geek and his awesome Badass Designs for my new site layout.

I'm so happy to now have navigation buttons up there. I hope you'll use them. At the very least you should check out all the great people on my blogroll. And if you're not on my roll and want to be, let me know.

Also? If you'll all look at the sidebar.....that's right....at the very top.

YES!!

A spectacular, beautiful, wonderful Mind of a Mad Woman button for you to take. Cos you love me. Which you do. You DO!

And on that same note...I think you all should get your own buttons too!!

Happy New Year everyone!!

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Other places you can find me today - Looking For My Feet





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Monday, December 28, 2009

Bobbly bits bouncing .... but not for long!

I don't know if y'all have checked in on Aunt Juicebox recently but yesterday when I swung by her place she had a post up about the blahs. We've all had them. Those post holidays feelings of "Wow I'm glad that shit is over" and "Oh my gawd. I can't believe I ate my child's weight in chocolate" and "Is that it?!". Of course, being me, I denied all knowledge of said blahs and left a comment alluding to the fact that it was all her when in fact half the world is currently trying to decide whether to throw the leftover turkey and chocolate in the garbage or just eat it and get it over with. The truth is, I totally understand the blahs but somehow have managed to avoid most of it this year. I think it has a lot to do with beginning my trek to find my feet BEFORE the holidays. I maintained some semblance of self control (barely!) through the last week and for the first time in years I did not eat everything that wasn't nailed down or held in the clutches of my incredibly hot husband who would sooner die than give up his chocolate.

Another thing I did before the holiday madness fully set in? I fell under the spell of a couple of dictatorial bitches who will now have full control over portions of my life for the next little while. That's right, I'm calling you out Dual Mom and ZGirl! You have lured me in to your lair and there I will stay as I KICK YOUR ASSES at the challenge that you have issued. The lard laden gauntlet has been hurled and smacked me full on in the face.

What does all that mean? I know darlings, the post Christmas lull can slow down the brain cells a tad can't it? Well. What it means for me is this - as of January 2nd, a mere FIVE days from now, I will be taking part in the exercise/weightloss/kill or be killed challenge that the aforementioned "ladies" have issued. And we even have a smexy button to show off! See?



Excuse me a moment while I try and find my sanity. .........

Nope. It's gone.

I will be continuing on my path of eating well but I'll be stepping up the exercise about ten thousandillion notches because like I said a minute ago? I'll be kicking some ass. People from all corners of the interwebs will be taking part and there may or may not be prizes involved. Which will all be coming to me. Why? Because now that I've started the smack talk, how embarrassing would it be to ....shhhhhh...... lose?!!

And just for an added laugh, because I know y'all are just about rolling in the aisles by now, I thought I'd share a tidbit from Dual Mom with you. In my last post, I mentioned that the spawnlets had been given a trampoline for Christmas. DM read that and promptly said:

You know what that trampoline is good for, right? Exercise woman!!! It's perfect. Nothing like jiggling the crap out of your boobs to burn calories!!! Jan 2 is fast approaching!

To which I felt compelled to reply:

You know what the trampoline is NOT good for?? People over it's shamefully high weight limit! It's kind of mortifying!

Seriously folks. This bouncy contraption that is currently taking up space in my backyard, providing hours of endless entertainment for the spawn and will eventually be a source of fun for me when I watch Hotty Hubby try to mow around it, has a weight limit. It's a limit that would be high if I were at my optimal weight, but I'm not. The kids can use it. My mother and step father can use it. Hotty Hubby can even use it! (I'm not sure why I say that like this shouldn't be possible, it's not like the bean pole is a great standard of measurement for all things normal.) But I, sadly, exceed the weight limit. So there it is. The mortification. The fact that I cannot use it, even for exercise.

It's probably a good thing though. I mean, who wants to see that? Boobs and other bobbly bits bouncing around all over the place. It is (a) unattractive (b) dangerous (think black eyes and more!) and (c) too much fun to provide the rest of the family which means that it should be avoided at all costs. It was bad enough when mommy dearest asked me to demonstrate a jumping jack last night. It's hard to do when the temptation is to cross your arms to prevent a wayward boob knocking you out!

Anyrubbish...my point is that I have taken up the challenge. Wednesday will likely show a "Lost it Bitch" post here.....feel free to ignore but rest assured I'll know. I'm like Santa. I see you when you're sleeping. (By the way, I like that new negligee!)

So who will join us? You can check out the deets over HERE at Dual Mom's and grab the button over HERE at ZGirl's.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

So? How was it?

Did you all have a fantabulous Chrismukahkwanzivus?? I'm sure there's other holidays out there that I'm forgetting but short of spending an hour looking them up and then creating a 100 letter word, that's about all you're getting. It was pretty low key here. Hot. Sunny. Beautiful. Laid back.

I went to the Christmas Eve service at church with my mom, stepdad and stepsister. Christmas morning I had to work. Yeah. Apparently old ladies still need showers even on holidays. Who knew? But I was home by 8:30 and we carried on with our morning. Stockings were opened and drooled over (because Santa saw fit to load 'em up with candy), and then we headed to the Christmas morning service, sans hubby, to sing some carols and let the kids share one of their gifts with the congregation. They loved it. Home again to open the rest of the gifts, because as their mother I reserve the right to drag out the morning as long as possible just to see them squirm and also because, as their mother, I reserve the right to temporarily cancel Christmas based on their sucky attitudes that would rival a gremlin at the best times. Call it what you will, but it totally worked. Their behaviour improved immensely for two minutes at a time.

By lunch time, we had all the gifts opened and there were big smiles in the Mad Woman household. Nannee and Poppa, separately, pulled off the two best gifts of 2009 with a trampoline for the backyard (as opposed to the bathroom, Mad Woman?) (bite me!) and a Wii, respectively. It was all I could do to get them to come down off the trampoline long enough to eat and then they were right back up there, bouncing until the sweat was dripping off them.

We had a lovely Christmas lunch over at my mom's house with nary a turkey in sight. The decision was made to avoid all hot stuff and we dined on cold ham, potato salad and coleslaw. It was perfect!! I'll admit I briefly missed the snow, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the turkey leg....but only briefly because after lunch we were able to flake out and let the kids play in the sun again.

It's a very different experience, this Christmas-in-the-Summer thing. Last year, we had a foot and a half of snow on the ground. This year I was melting. I have yet to decide which I prefer. I know that many of you are freezing your asses off and are likely shouting "Are you KIDDING me?!" at the computer right now, but I'm serious! On the one hand, it just doesn't feel like Christmas without at least a cold day. Snow is a bonus. A pain in the ass, need to shovel it out of the way, bonus. But on the other hand...SUN!!

I'll let you know next year which way I'm leaning.

So. How was your holiday?? Tell me all about it!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas....Kiwi Style

It's Christmas Eve here in New Zealand...even if it's only Wednesday for y'all. It's been very warm all day. Sorry. I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Chanukah. A Kick Ass Kwanzaa.

We spent yesterday playing at the park.


Today we had a Christmas Eve sprinkler fest. The kids donned their togs and headed out into the back yard where Hotty Hubby and I tried to soak them. We had intended to break out the Slip 'N' Slide but it was a bit windy and, because I'm terribly unorganized and lazy, we didn't have any pegs. So we went the cheap way.


We had to forgo our usual Christmas Eve meal of Chinese food in favour of spaghetti and garlic bread but it was just as good. A few cheesy ass Christmas movies later and the kids are just about ready to head to bed and dream of Santa.

Because we love you all so much, we wanted to share a twist on "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with you.

A Kiwi Night Before Christmas
by Yvonne Morrison and Deborah Hinde

'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all round the bach,
not a possum was stirring;
not one could we catch.

We'd left on the table
a meat pie and beer;
in hopes that Santa Claus
soon would be here.

We children were snuggled up
in our bunk beds,
while dreams of pavlova
danced in our heads.

And Mum in her nightie,
and Dad in his shorts,
had just settled down
to watch TV sports.

When outside the bach
such a hoo-ha arose,
I woke up at once
from my wonderful doze.

And what did I see,
when I took a peep?
But a miniature tractor
and eight tiny sheep.

With a little old driver,
his dog on his knee.
I knew at once
who this joker might be.

He patted the dog,
and in a voice not unkind,
cried, "Good on ya, boy!
Now, GIT IN BEHIND!"

"Now, Flossy! now, Fluffy!
now, Shaun and Shane!
On, Bossy! on, Buffy!
on, Jason and Wayne!

Up that red tree,
to the top of the bach!
But mind you don't trample
the vegetable patch."

As my sister awoke,
and I turned around,
in through the window
he came with a bound.

He wore a black singlet
and little white shorts,
and stuck on his feet
were gumboots, of course.

His eyes, bright as paua shell,
oh, how they twinkled!
Like an old tuatara,
his skin was all wrinkled!

He had a wide face
and a round, fat tummy,
that looked like he'd eaten
lots that was yummy.

He spoke not a word,
but got down on one knee,
and placed a cricket set
under the tree.

A present for Sis,
one for Dad, one for Mum,
then he turned and he winked
and he held up his thumb.

He jumped on his tractor;
to his dog gave a whistle,
and away they all flew,
as fast as a missile.

I called out, "Thanks,"
as he flew past the gate.
He called back:
"Kia Ora to all, and good on ya mate!"

See y'all on the flip side!! Hope you have a good one!!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Kind of Magic.....all we're missing is Freddie

At the risk of sounding like a scratchy, broken record....this is another post that mentions the Great Interview Experiment. Except this time? It's the actual interview! I know! You thought I'd never get there didn't you?

Last year when I did this, I interviewed someone whose blog I'd never read before. This year, the same thing happened. I kind of like it because I get to know someone and I get to go through their blog with a fine toothed mouse button and then think of oddball questions to ask them that have very little to do with their actual blog. On the other hand, it can be difficult to ask a stranger questions without knowing whether it will offend them or not. I seem to have come off lucky in this case though!

I'd like you all to meet Kirsty of Magic27. She's a British woman living in France with her husband and two daughters. And I think she's bloody fascinating...............

~*~*~

First of all, I’m incredibly glad that I have been given the chance to interview you for this whole gig, because now I have another blog to read and that makes me happy. Almost as happy as a pig in muck.

Now. First question - What are you wearing right now? I don’t ask in a weird stalker-ish way, so much as a public service for my readers who have certain tastes and quirks. I guarantee if you say anything other than a clown suit, you’ll have them hooked. They’re great like that.

Well, black jeans that are a little too big (feelgood factor!), a pale pink polo-neck with a grey cotton jumper on top, pink and purple socks and my (long, red) hair is tied back with a black and silver scrunchy. Oh, and if you're interested, a red bra and knickers, both much less sexy than they sound.

I was reading your “20 Vital Things About Me” and was kind of nodding my head as I went down the list until I got to number 12 which is pretty much when I went into weird happy convulsions because my husband thinks I’m the pickiest eater ever. And now I have proof I’m not. Except I need to know this…..do you eat green things now? How about bananas?

Yes, I do eat some green stuff now (but not all, oh no, not all). And I love bananas. If I were still in Britain I probably wouldn't be considered a picky eater at all, but here in France (where they truly do eat some unspeakable stuff, plus my husband will eat ANYTHING) I'm considered a real wimp. I won't eat shellfish, or snails (no surprise there) or frogs' legs, or andouillette (a horrible sausage thing made of unspeakable bits of animal), or many other things (like rabbit, horse, offal..., fish that still has its head on... I could go on and on). There are many, many fruit and vegetables that I never feel like eating (don't actively dislike them, just can't face the thought of eating them) - stuff like oranges (hate the pith and transparent skin stuff), grapes, tomatoes... BUT I have succeeded in deflecting attention off my habits by having a younger daughter who is infinitely WORSE than I ever was (though my elder daughter will eat, or at least try, most things). L is basically a fast-food junkie (in her dreams though not in reality), a carnivore and a pasta freak. No fruit, no vegetables without a struggle.

You have two girls close in age to my own two little spawnlets. My 7 ½ year old is a real cow a lot of the time right now. Do you find the same thing happening with your 8 year old?

My not-quite-8-year-old is actually pretty much OK. Yeah, she has her teenage tantrums and drama queen moments, but basically she's fine. L, on the other hand, can be a real handful. She's cute and bright and funny and charming... on her own. She gets on fine with her big sister for a while (quite a long while, even), but eventually the whining, sniping, kicking, biting, hitting or whatever will start. She's a real spitfire! I'm dreading her adolescence already!

Tell us a random (and perhaps juicy) fact about yourself. We live for this kind of thing.

This is tough! My life is quite dull, really... Hmmm... Let's go back in time a bit, to when things weren't quite so dull... When I was a student in Spain I was assaulted by a very over-eager Spanish guy. As I ran away (don't know how I managed to get away, in fact: he was a soldier and much bigger than me) I slipped on some stairs and tore the ligaments in my ankle. Totally craptastic day.

You spend a lot of time up in the middle of the night when us folks who claim to be normal are usually attempting to sleep. Are you a night owl by nature or is it a natural by-product of having children?

Oh, totally by nature. As a student, I chose courses by what time of day they were (when possible) and avoided morning ones. I've always liked working late at night and find it impossible to go to bed early. I can be exhausted at 7 pm, and ready to go to bed, but of course I can't as there's too much to do at that time of night. And then, by about 10 pm, I'm raring to go once again. It's terrible!

What do you think you’d be like if you lived in the 1800s? Personally I think I’d die a horrible slow death from starvation because there ain’t no way you’d get me doing hard work out in the fields or slaughtering animals (I leave that to the pros..no offence to the vegetarians).

Well, given my current financial status and "career" prospects, I would imagine that I'd have been a poor governess or something. Nothing rich and fancy, that's for sure. And I'd probably have died of some ghastly disease, too.

If I was to win a whole lot of money and decide to spend it on making a movie about you instead of frittering it away on booze, houses and clothes……what would the movie be called and which hot starlet would play you? And who would you pick for your leading man?

Obviously, I'd like to be played by a glamorous Hollywood star with red hair (not that there are many of those), someone like Julianne Moore for example. But I suspect the film would be less glamorous than that, probably starring the chubbed-up version of Renée Zellwegger with her hair dyed red. My ideal leading man would be Johnny Depp (swooooooonnnn). And the title? "Reasonably content but going nowhere". Not very snappy, I know, but appropriate.

This is a very important question. Do you like scary roller coasters? Do you scream like a little girl while you crap your pants or do you throw your hands up in delight and laugh at all the losers puking up the 12 corndogs that they ate before getting on the ride?

I haven't been on a real rollercoaster for about 20 years, but I loved them back then. Now, aged as I am, I suspect I'd barf. But I'm not particularly scared.

If you knew that there was zero chance of it resulting in a big fat fail, what would you do?

If success were guaranteed, I'd launch myself as a writer and artist. I've always believed I have some kind of artistic talent, but have never really found exactly what it is. My NaNoWriMo made me proud of myself, just for the fact of doing it, but I know I'll never have the courage to show it to anyone.

Why did you decide to start your blog? Do you think you’ll keep it going for years and years until your kids are starting their own or is it just a flash in the pan kind of thing? Will us bribing you with chocolate make any difference to your answer?

I started it as a kind of diary, knowing that almost no one would ever read it. In fact, I don't want anyone I actually know to read it (particularly my mother-in-law, I'm not very flattering about her!). But I enjoy it and don't intend to stop. I need to do NaBloPoMo every now and then to discipline me into posting regularly, though. And all bribes of chocolate will be accepted very gladly. Particularly Cadbury's Dairy Milk... yum!

I know it'll be hard to answer this one because I'm not sure even *I* could pick a fave from your blog after going through all your posts (I told you...stalker!) but what is your favourite blog entry from the past year and a half of blogging?

That's probably this one (Mirror, Mirror) because it's the one that rings the most true. I really don't look the way I think I look, which makes me wonder what other people must make of me. I buy clothes because I think they'll look good on me but in fact, I suspect that most of them probably don't. So the "Mirror, mirror" thing is horribly realistic. Mirrors depress me (my hair! my skin! my teeth! my wrinkles! my legs! my muffin! GAAAAHHHH).

What is your pet peeve? Like, what really annoys you, gets your goat, makes steam come out your ears like Wiley Coyote?

Oh, this is easy: the average French person's lack of civility. Sweeping generalisation, of course, but just try walking around a French city (I've tried several, they're all the same). French people won't step out of your way, won't hold doors open, won't use just one side of an escalator to allow people in a hurry to run up quickly, don't give up their seats for old people, can't queue to save their lives and are, in general, deeply, deeply selfish. That doesn't mean they can't be lovely people when you get to know them, but common courtesy and stuff mean NOTHING to these people and it drives me BATSHIT. I've lived in France since 1992 and STILL haven't got used to it!

I've often said, publicly, that my boobs are my best feature....what do you think is yours? And along those same lines (if you think on wobbly wiggly lines like I do), what is your worst habit?

I have pretty low self-esteem, so this is hard. Despite my hideous white skin, I think I probably like my neck and shoulders best. Quite a long neck, narrow and slender shoulders. In stark contrast with my muffin top and blubbery thighs. As for my worst habit: that's easier: chewing my lip. I've tried every lip balm known to man, none of them stop my lips from chapping and when I feel that little flap of skin, I just have to pull it off. Gross, I know, but hey, that's what bad habits are all about!

And finally....

If the whole world was listening (and a small portion of it IS right now), what would you say?

If the whole world were listening to me, I think I would say something either really pretentious like "stop fighting about religion and get to grips with keeping the planet safe" or else something totally daft like "make cakes no war". Yeah, I'm pretty anti-religion (even if my daughters are in a Catholic school - how did that happen?!) and very anti-war...

Thanks for playing Kirsty!! Now....go eat some green veggies and frog legs. *Gag*

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shock and awe

Wow! Before I get to anything else, I have a couple of thank yous to put out there.

THANK YOU....to all of you for your lovely comments and thoughts since my last post about the painful truth when it hits you in the face. They've really helped me get through the last week and carry on into this one. It was a very difficult post to write, but in a way therapeutic. Some of you have even come over and started following my other blog...so cheers! Although I don't know the vast majority of you personally, I do feel like I "know" many of you. And you all rock!

Also, THANK YOU to Aunt Juicebox over at Bacon Is My Lover. Aside from the fact that a good few of you who made your way here for that last post came from her place, she spun off from my post and did one about her own journey of weightloss. These kind of posts are hard to do, for anyone. So thanks Aunty J for opening your heart. And an extra thank you for creating a list of folks who are doing their own now too. You rock!


Ok.....now that the sentimental stuff is out of the way, what do I have to talk about? Not a lot unfortunately.

** I didn't get the job I was hoping for. But I'm applying for more. I guess I'm thankful that I do already have a job that is bringing in SOME cash.

** I lost 800 grams this week at the Rotund Round Up. That's 1.74 pounds for the rest of you. It's non refundable, so don't even try to give it back to me.

** Girl Spawn won Champion Penguin of the Year at St. John's Ambulance Youth. (Penguins are the 5 to 7 year old cadets). Hotty Hubby and I were shocked when we heard her name called at the Prize Giving and full of smiles as we watched her proudly march herself up on stage to shake the guy's hand. She's loving being part of the cadets and is very enthusiastic about it all, so we're glad she was honoured this way.

** I'm told Christmas is coming. I'm still rather in denial about the whole thing but the spawn are getting more and more excited about it all. I think it's going to be a bit of a sparse on this year, but you know what? I don't really care. Christmas is meant to be about time with family, with the people we love and care about. The kids are happy as long as there is something under the tree.

** I've not been getting much blog reading done lately. I'm sorry about that...I'll some done this afternoon...ish. I hope you're all well.

Over and out!!

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The truth hurts....

I published this a couple of days ago on my other blog, "Looking For My Feet". I've been blogging about my weightloss journey with Weight Watchers over there so as not to clog up this space. But, I thought this one might be worth cross posting. So...here ya go. (slightly edited to make it work here)

*****

It's true what they say. "They" being the powers that be that decide on what words will make up the numerous cheesy cliches that we use. And today "they" were proved right. Which of course made me want to hunt them down and tie them to the front of a train, but that's beside the point.

Where was I before I so rudely digressed? Oh yes. It's true what they say. The truth hurts. It's like a punch to the head, or someone giving you a supreme truth wedgie. Hurts like a ....well....like worse than birthing my kids.

How does it hurt? Ah well my lovelies, you are smart to ask.

Oh let me list the ways....

1) Although I already have a job, it doesn't give me very many hours and it isn't what I went back to school to get trained for. So, I've carried on looking for employment in my field. I've sent out letters and resumes to all and sundry and not having too much luck. The job market here is not as great as I might like right now. But yesterday I got a phone call from a firm here in town who I have now applied to twice. Could I please come in for an "informal discussion" (read: interview that stresses me out beyond belief)? Absolutely!

This, of course, presented me with a problem. No. Nice. Clothes. Well I'll just go shopping. HA! Yeah right. This might be a relatively easy feat for you folks who fit nicely into the societal norm of what size we should be and, as a result, the averages sizes that the designers churn out. However, for a someone my size who more closely resembles the prize cow in the field down the road than Heidi Klum, it can be a tad more difficult.

As I dragged my extremely shopping resistant spawnlets (they come by it honestly. I hate shopping.) around the store trying to find something interview appropriate, I found myself on the verge of tears. So many gorgeous shirts, skirts, pants, dresses and jackets.....all in sizes smaller than I can even dream of fitting into right now. I finally found the "oversize" area (yeah..heaven forbid they call it "plus size" like the rest of the world, they have to label us like the back of those Mack Trucks hauling friggin' houses!) and guess what? Sweet F All!

Ok, that's not strictly true. I did find a pair of pants in a lovely grey colour that were my size. I tried them on and couldn't decide what was wrong with them. But something was. So I bought them (because I'm stupid) and brought them home to model for my mother. She kindly pointed out that because I'd got them big enough to go up over my ass just to get them to my waist, I now had pants that were too big in the ass and I looked like I was wearing saddlebags. Ok. The pants were returned, I spent another HOUR wandering all (two) of the "Heffers Shop Here" aisles and finally found a nice dressy pair of capris that look quite fetching on me.

All in all though, a very humbling and tear inducing experience. One I'd rather not repeat til I've lost a few dozen more kilos.

The truth is, I'm too heavy to shop happily. That truth hurts.

2) (This one will be shorter I promise!) One of the requirements for this job I interviewed for was that the applicant have "excellent presentation skills, both in manner and appearance". Well, I might come across as an uncouth redneck idiot whenever I open my mouth at times, but when it comes down to it I can sound pretty darn intelligent. Also? I clean up pretty good...my size aside.

When talking about this aspect of the job description with my mother, she pointed that my size might be a distinct DISadvantage for me. Huh? Yeah. I was all "Nuh-UH! They can't discriminate based on the size of my ass!" And she's all "Oh yeah they can. You are presenting the face of their firm and let's face it, a thin person would look better....they can be very selective when it comes to that."

(Note: NOT a direct quote from mother dearest, I'm paraphrasing and perhaps using what I heard as opposed to what she actually said because I'm pretty sure she put it more eloquently than that.)

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor (where, by the way, there was NO food!) and fought back the tears that were welling up, I proceeded to put that little ditty on a loop in my head where it played over and over and over and over and over again until AFTER my interview today.

The truth is, she's right. Given the choice between me and some skinny minny with the same qualifications and experience, they'll likely choose skinny because she looks better for them. And that truth hurts.

3) Children are, up to a certain age, brutally honest. Horribly so. When I went to pick up the spawnlets from school today, I was still all gussied up from my "informal discussion". As I walked down the hallway towards Girl Spawn's classroom, a bunch of kids were walking towards me. A couple of the girls started giggling with each other and I didn't think much of it.....until they got just past me.

"Oh. My. Gosh! Did you see how FAT she was?!" (like I'm the only queen size mama in the whole freakin' school?)


I brushed it off, filed it in the back of my head to put spiders in the offending kid's backpack, and kept walking. Then I heard more giggling and...

"Hahaha yeah she was big! Even MY mom's not that big."

"She looks like she's going to have a baby"

"Maybe she is!"

"Nuh-UH! She's just fat. Hahahahahaha! Like a cow!"

"Shhhhh!!! She can totally hear us!" (ok, you get a free pass for that one...this time.)


I had to leave. I went back out to my car and sat there and cried. It would have hurt to hear coming from anyone's mouth, but after the last 24 hours it hurt more somehow. I just sat there and cried for about 10 minutes before I was finally brave enough to waddle back into the school.

The truth is, she was right. I AM fat. And I DO look like I'm going to have a baby. And that truth hurts. A LOT.

But you know what? That's exactly why I'm doing this journey. One. Last. Time. So that eventually when I go shopping, I can shop on the same racks as my sister. (ok, that might be a stretch...she looks like a model) So that when I go for an interview, I know they're looking more at my qualifications and my boobs than they are at the size of my stomach. So that my kids don't have to worry about having the "fat mom".

And more than anything, so that I can live.

The truth hurts, but sometimes the pain is worth it in the long run.

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Some people have all the fun

The lovely Moonspun is currently off roaming the countryside on a magical mystery adventure, and in her absence she asked a few of us to guest post for her. Once I got past being honoured and then scared shitless, I agreed to do it. Because she's awesome and it's not like I have anything else to do right? (Ok the dust bunnies still battling it out behind my tv cabinet might disagree with that, but I'm sticking with that story.)

Today, I'm over there. Mumma Boo and I are starring as left and right boobs in a hooker red bra with black lace trim (that'll get the Google perves going). I'm the left boob today. So head on over and see what we have to say about the upcoming holidays.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help For Anissa

Apparently, I have not been in my usual places at the usual times, so it was not until very late last night that I even caught wind of what has been going on since early yesterday. The entire blogosphere is coming together to talk about, to help, to try and do something...ANYTHING...to help this family.

Many of you might know Anissa Mayhew from Aiming Low. Honestly, I've pretty much just lurked over there because I never feel I have anything of value (or of wit) to say. But I love being there and seeing what they all have to say. Anissa is funny, honest, witty, awesome and so many other things. But right now? She and her family need our help. All of us. That includes you. And you.

I first heard about this on Twitter, and have since read more about it at Aiming Low and over at The Spohrs. I hope they will both forgive me for copying and pasting the original post, but I figured there are some of you out there who just want to know NOW without having to click through a million links, what is going on.

As you may have heard, Anissa, our beloved friend and leader at Aiming Low, suffered a stroke on Tuesday afternoon. She is in the hospital right now, in the ICU.

More than anything, Anissa needs your prayers and positive thoughts but to the many people in the Atlanta area who have offered help to the Mayhew family, we have set up a form for you to fill out so we can have everyone’s contact info in one place (please be assured your information will be kept private). If you are NOT in the Atlanta area but still want to help, you can also leave your information on that form.

Things that would be helpful right now are gift cards to restaurants and gift cards to the movies or to Blockbuster (to help keep the kids occupied) and gas/hotel gift cards for her extended family. We will be setting up a PO Box on Wednesday and posting the address here along with any updates. Please don’t send anything to the hospital or the Mayhew home. If you have questions, please email helpforanissa@gmail.com

We ask that you please respect the Mayhew family’s privacy by NOT calling the hospital and we thank you all SO MUCH for your outpouring of love and support for Anissa and her family.

With thanks and love,
The Aiming Low Team

UPDATE: An address has been set up to send cards and packages:
860 Johnson Ferry Road 140-184
Atlanta, GA 30342

Since then, over at the CaringBridge site set up for Anissa and her family, her husband has been posting updates. The latest of which is:

12 pm Eastern UPDATE FROM ANISSA’S HUSBAND:

What we know is she had a massive stroke.

She bled into the brainstem and pons areas of the brain. She is no longer sedated but still unconcious and unresponsive. Vitals are mostly stable except for a lowgrade fever most likely due to the damage to the pons. The pons control the bodies ability to regulate temperature. She is still on a vent and it is unclear if she is capable of breathing on her own. She has had an mri/mra/ct today. An eeg is pending. We’re in a waiting game now for survival first, and ultimately for her to wake up.

I'm pretty sure you can all understand the seriousness of this whole situation. I know that there are some of you out there who can, and likely will, donate something. I am also aware that there are those of you who can't, but might be able to put together a care package for those beautiful children of hers. More than anything though....spare a few prayers and thoughts for the family. This won't be easy on them.

Anissa...everyone's rooting for you lady. Come on back to us. Come on back to your kiddies.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

To Write Love On Her Arms

I came across this cause last year....but I was too late to participate. This year, I'm in. In like slim.


To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is :

...a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.


I have struggled with depression myself, and while I'm doing great right now, I know what it is to hit bottom. I know what it feels like to wonder if you're ever going to be able to climb up out of the depths and see just a sliver of light again. That intense feeling of loneliness can be overwhelming, and the question is always there in the front of your brain (no matter how hard you try to shove it to the back or do away with it altogether)... "Does anyone even care?"

And while I'm doing well now, and I know that people DO care, I am also fully aware that should I start taking on water and sinking into the abyss again, I will feel incredibly alone all over again. It's a horrible feeling that no one should ever have to experience and yet people all over the world go through these feelings on a daily basis. It brings you to the brink of desperation and some people have trouble clawing their way back from that. To be suicidal is a horrible feeling. To think that there is no one who cares, leaves you feeling empty.

TWLOHA was formed as a result of one of their friends who had been turned away from a treatment centre. They wanted to help. And help they did. Since then, they have helped many many others.

Ok, so maybe you're sitting there thinking "What the hell does this have to do with me?". It has EVERYTHING to do with you. Chances are, even if they're not open about it or it's not obvious, you know someone who suffers from depression. Or is addicted to something that they would give anything to kick, but don't feel that they have the energy or support to do so. You probably know someone who has attempted suicide......maybe even someone who, sadly, was successful. I promise you, there is someone in your life who is going through something and just wants to know that there is someone, anyone, out there who gives a shit about them.

So. This Friday the 13th of November, ignore the normal superstitions surrounding the day. Put aside your party planning for a day. This Friday, DO something.

"But WHAT?!", you say.

Well, for a start, you can write LOVE on your arms. Take a picture of it and if you're on Facebook, submit to the fan site and/or group .

Everytime someone sees that word "LOVE" written on your arms on Friday, explain to them why you've done it and what it means to you and so many other people out there in the world.

Buy a TWLOHA shirt...or just donate.

Most of my readers are in the US. That's great, that's where this awesome cause is based and that's where most of the work gets done. But you know what? I'm in New Zealand, and was in Canada. I have friends in the UK who are doing this. Because even if we don't donate the cash, we're still getting the word out there. People are still asking why we've written such a powerful word on our arms and we're still getting to explain it. THAT is important.

People NEED to understand that depression, addiction, suicide or self harm are NOT taboo subjects anymore. They are subjects that desperately need to be addressed and those people need help.

Will you join me on Friday the 13th? Will you write that most powerful word...LOVE....on your arms? Will you tell people why?

***UPDATE of Friday the 13th.....here's me, writing LOVE on my arm.


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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shakespeare, Take Me Away!

I'm pretty sure you all know about my love affair with the written word. I love me my books and if I like one enough, I'll tell you all about it here, because I think that you should also be able to roll around in the world portrayed.

Something else I love? Book stores. And libraries. You know that shiver that runs down your spine when someone touches you in just the right way? Yeah, you know. I know you do. Well, have you ever had that same feeling when you walk into a building? Or see a picture of something you love portrayed in a beautiful way?

No?

Well. You're missing out then folks!

There was a bookstore in a town I used to live in and I loved going in there. It wasn't huge, it wasn't even particularly pretty. But the books had that old, loved smell and I could hang out in there for hours. I'd run my hands along the shelves, feeling the hard spines of the books and watching the dust fly off the really old ones. I'd find myself a chair and sit there flicking through the pages of an old classic while listening to the rest of the books calling me, begging to be held and read.

I haven't found another shop like it. There IS a shop here in town (which I fully intend to frequent every couple of weeks) called StillBooks and they not only sell distillery stuff, but books too. Last time I was in there, they had a whole schwack of old books for cheap cheap prices. I'm talking Rudyard Kipling collections published in 1903...for TEN DOLLARS!! $10!!!! Yeah, I'll be taking advantage of that. Now all I need is a bookcase.

Libraries are also special to me, but mostly for financial purposes. If money was no object, then I would have walls and walls of books. Old ones, new ones, classics, oddities.....it wouldn't matter to me. But sadly, money IS an issue and so I resort to raiding the library 10 books at a time. And in some parts of the world, there are amazing libraries!

Hotty Hubby forwarded me a link from The Nonist where he had found a book by Candida Höfer and it showed a whole bunch of great libraries of the world. Some of them are truly, truly amazing and I wish I could visit them all and just stand there and smell the air. (Yes, I'm aware of how creepy that sounds.)

But then I found some even better pictures.

Like this bookstore in China.......for kids!


Or this one in Buenos Aires.....


But my personal favourite was this teeny tiny one that reminded me of the one I used to like to haunt.

This one is in Paris. I now have an overwhelming desire to go there, purely for this one store..

You can check out the rest of the pics and actual details and interesting stories behind these bookstores at THIS LINK HERE. That's where these pics came from.

So what does it for you? Are you like me and the thought of a bunch of old books all huddled together totally gets you going? Or is it shoes/clothes/food/sex toys/something else that you're too embarrassed to mention?

Tell me!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (mostly)

Marlborough Anniversary was this past weekend. Here's a few snapshots from the parade....




This is the District Band, First Class Brass Band and Air Force Band. My mom plays with them.

Girl Spawn in her first ever parade. She's a St. John's Ambulance Youth member.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Morning! So, who's for snot flicking?!

Boy Spawn, at the age of 5, has discovered quite a passion for gold digging. In his nose. Unlike some other Robin Hoods boys his age, he doesn't seem to be able to bring himself to eat it. Instead, I find little green nuggets smeared on bed frames, walls, bathroom sinks, shower doors and even on the back of MY pants. Thanks sweet child, I appreciate that.

This morning, I came out to find a wee little tidbit had been left on the desk in front of my laptop. I gotta tell ya, nothing makes me happier than little gifts being left for me, but I'm rather more partial to the sparkly kind that I can wear on finger. (I wonder if the vamps from Twilight have sparkly bogeys?) Of course, when the culprit was confronted about his .,.erm...decorating, he immediately placed the blame on his big sister. Why not, right? That's what she's for. So, being the ever trusting mama that I am (*snort*), I headed off in search of the Girl Spawn to berate her for defacing my incredibly tidy workspace.

I'm confident in the knowledge that it was NOT her, considering her sneer and "Um. No. I eat mine" before huffing off to her room. (I swear there's a 15 year old living in that body!) **

So back I went to Boy Spawn to try again.

"Let's try this again. Did you smear your snot on my exceptionally clean desk?"

I could almost see the wheels going around in his head as he thought about what might be the best approach to this obvious problem.

"No. It wasn't me. I told you!"

"Yes but you told me it was Girl Spawn and she says it's not because she eats hers which, besides being highly disgusting, lends an air of credibility to her story. So, let's have it. If it's not you, and I think it is, then who could it possibly be?"

More cranking of wheels. Smoking coming out the ears.

"Um. Bob? Yeah! Bob did it"

A bit of an explanation is required here. Bob is a gorilla. He moved into my mother's house about 17 years ago when my sister was 2 and I was just entering my teens. He became rather a scapegoat for anything and everything that happened in the house. Farts, messy rooms, noise, broken things, you name it, he did it. Bob still lives in her house but somehow he spawned Bob Junior. I've never thought to ask who the mother is. Bob Junior lives in our house. He's kind of a smelly guy but we let him stay because his attitude matches mine most of the time.

Needless to say, since he arrived he has been blamed for many a thing. This snot thing is just the most recent. I wonder if he ever gets pissed off about it?

There have been other imaginary friends in the past. As a child I had "Christopher" and "Katie", who I insisted on bringing everywhere. Tantrums were had when doors were not held for them, and sometimes they joined us for dinner. Later, I'm told, I had "Crackle the Snackle Bird" who took the rap for any extreme noise.

Later on, before Bob arrived to grace us with his presence, we had "The Angry Bull".

Boy Spawn has "Kenoah" who frequently disappears to China and Africa to explore and search for new animals, but has yet to be blamed for any nuisance. I suppose because we have Bob.

Photo from FunnyChill.com thru Google Images

Anyway (because there IS a point to all this rambling), all of this reminded me of one of my favourite movies of all time. It was slammed by critics when it came out 18 years ago, but to this day it makes me giggle like a 12 year old boy. And we all know that's what is trapped in my brain. Maybe you figured it out from the title of this post?

"Hold on, hold on that's not how the pigeons do it. You're supposed to stamp on her head and peck her"
"..breaking a window requires much sophisticatedliness....so I'd better do it"

Photo courtesy of totalfilm.com thru Google Images

"Drop Dead Fred" is a fantastic movie. Rik Mayall brings the character everything it needed and I honestly can't think of anyone who could have done it better. I've loved him since being addicted to "The Young Ones" (seriously, click that link!)when I lived in the UK.

Apparently, someone out there doesn't agree with me and has decided to remake this movie. It's meant to be released in 2011. Really?! 20 years after the original? And why on earth would you remake something like this? I mean, yeah it was awesome. But geez. What's worse is that they've decided to have Russell Brand (blech) play Fred!! Eww. I cannot even begin to imagine the thought process behind something like that. Ah well.

So what imaginary friends inhabit your house? Or if you don't have kids (or don't want to admit to being a childless adult that DOES have an imaginary friend), who did you have when you were a kid?

*******************

**While searching for an adequate word to describe Girl Spawn's disdain for me when questioned about the snot, I typed "frustrated" into a thesaurus. Having been given the following result, "frustrated" was a pretty adequate description for me...Is it just me or did I not just say that?

***Google search term of the week: "Stupid Women Eat Sperm". I don't think I'm ever going to tire of the sperm searchers.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's exciting when you're five!!

See that pumpkin? We don't have any of those this year. It's Halloween night here in NZ. The sky is dark, the moon is up, the witching hour has well and truly begun.

Our friends back in Canada have been gearing up for Halloween Parties rife with drunken debauchery. Their children have no doubt been outfitted with appropriate costumes (or inappropriate, it seems, if they are over the age of about 12), and have begun wandering the neighbourhoods, knocking on doors with bags that get larger by the year, collecting anything that people are willing to hand out (we had a can of tuna one year. Um, thanks?). Houses and yards will be decorated with the spookiest of ghoulies and ghosties. Things will jump up and shout "BOO!", people will scream and laugh, and fun will be had by all. Our old school is even having a Halloween dance.

What are we doing?

Sweet fuck all.

Welcome to a (minor...I'll admit..very minor) downside to our new country. I've always known that this night was primarily a North American thing, but it wasn't until this week that I realised the full extent of that. Sure, there are costumed in the shops - about two racks of them. There is even bags of candy to be had for doling out to the munchkins that come a knockin'. But you know what? It just doesn't seem to be done.

*sigh*

While I respect the cultural differences, the alternative celebrations that happen, and even the missing "holidays"....it does make me sad to think that it could be years before we have a "real" Halloween again. (It should probably also be a long time before I put anything in "" again, yes?)

I should probably mention though, that while we are tad despondent about the loss of our candy coated eve of fun, we are still enjoying ourselves. We never really kept the candy anyway. We told the kids that there was a Halloween Fairy who could only stay healthy by eating tons of sweets. So, the kids would trade all but a few pieces of their stash for a gift from the fairy. It gave them something they'd wanted for awhile, and gave Hotty Hubby enough chocolate to keep him busy for a year a week.

Tonight there were fireworks. The gathering and fun began at 6 p.m. as a sort of fundraiser for one of the local schools. Another disappointment for the spawnlets when I informed them I had work, thus doing away with any hope of a trip down there.

Fear not dear kiddies, mummy is awesome (like there was any doubt?!). One of the greatest things about this town is that it is relatively flat. Because of this, I was pretty sure we could see the fireworks from our house. By the time they started the kids had been in bed for over an hour....it's Spring here and getting darker later.....so we woke them up, wrapped them in a blanket and perched them on top of our car in the driveway to watch the lights.

It was peaceful, it was fun, they enjoyed themselves and it was free. No money spent on candy, no costumes that they wear once and then we donate to the thrift store, no one knocking on my door til all hours.

The only thing that marred the fantasticness (it's a word dammit. Stupid spell checker) was the asshole down the road. Our neighbours two houses over also had the idea of coming out into the driveway to watch the fireworks, and had a friend with them.

Asshat (definition: someone with their head so far up their own ass, they are wearing it as a hat) was so drunk that he was doing his best to .... well I'm not sure what he was trying to do. Every time the kids oohed or aahed over the fireworks, he'd say "It's not THAT great". Every time they laughed, he'd tell them "It's not that funny" or "Are you laughing at ME?!".

The last time he said "Geez, it's not that exciting" I'd had about enough. I had a whole slew of profanities I was willing to throw at him, but I'm told that in the company of people under a certain age, this isn't necessarily appropriate. Instead I had to resort to "It's exciting when you're FIVE". I wish I could say that shut him up, but it didn't. However, I'm pleased to report that the kids started coming up with their own retorts.

Ahhhhhhh....I'm raising them well.

Happy Halloween to you all. Now, send me some candy!!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Some views of our little piece of NZ




For more Wordless Wednesday pics that are even better (like, duh!) than these...check out WORDLESS WEDNESDAY.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

All I need now is a cape......

Three years ago, I came up with the bright idea that seeing as I had sat on my ass and/or slept through my last two years of high school (it was a boarding school...thanks folks!), and then decided that there was no need for me to go to university even if I could have despite my poor grades, that I would go back to school. So, as a "mature student" (no better way to give yourself an ego boost at 27 than to suddenly have to declare yourself mature), I entered the local community college to be trained as a Legal Secretary. 9 months later, I had graduated with a piece of paper that I could have printed myself at home, and had a job at a local law firm. Yay for me right? Sure, if you don't mind having to work for a total asshat. There were two partners in the firm - Timid Tommy and Pompous Ass Pete. P.A.P (yes, the initials are appropriate. He was as invasive as one) was a jackass and ultimately my reason for quitting. There was just so many times I was willing to let him scream in my face. Y'know...pride and all that crap.

Flash forward to present day and I'm not only in a new country, but in a new industry altogether. I am what is known so lovingly as a "Community Support Worker". I make the rounds of all the blue hairs in town and take care of them. Not since working at Motel Mayhem have I met such interesting and ...um... well let's just leave it at that shall we?

So I thought, just for kicks, I'd introduce a few of my old dears to y'all. Are you up for that? Of course you are! (Like you had a choice. Puh-lease!) With just a snap of my sexy rubber gloves, I can make an 80 year woman shed her clothes in about 10 minutes flat. Stripping has never looked so wrinkly!


Picture lifted from Daily Mail thru Google Images

First up...we have "The Lady on the Floor" (as dubbed by Girl Spawn once I explained I couldn't give her actual names). From the very first day I met her, the LOTF had me laughing and rolling my eyes all at the same time. A diabetic who could barely walk because of her sore legs, LOTF had me serving her every whim for an hour or more every morning. Yes, every morning. Within the first week, I arrived to find her neighbour standing at her front door looking at me and tapping his watch. Apparently he was annoyed that instead of my normal 10 minutes early, I was only on time. Seems she was the floor. She flatly refused to press the button on her medic alert bracelet, preferring instead to test my strength by having me lift all 170 pounds of her now dead weight. This happened at least every two days for the first two weeks until I ordered her to stay in bed until I arrived in the morning. My mistake. Those latex gloves up there? I have a plastic apron to match. I wish I had smell resistant mask. A week after ordering her to stay in bed and wait for me, I got there to find she had indeed waited for me....covered in what appeared to be explosive diarrhea. I do not have the strongest gag reflex in the world. For that morning though, I became the superhero AWE (Ass Wiper Extraordinaire!).

Like any good set of instructions, this also included the requisite "rinse and repeat". Not my most fun month.


Next up is "Moaning Minnie". In her 90s, I have no doubt that she has earned every moan, whine and bitch that comes flying out of her mouth but it can get as tiring as ass wiping sometimes. MM will continually refer to her care workers, myself included, as "you people". Thanks to her age, she sometimes has difficulty remembering which of us is actually in her house and for the entire hour I am there, it is entirely possible that I will listen to bitching about myself. Thankfully, her worst complaint thus far seems to be that I didn't shower her for long enough. Sorry Minnie, when the water starts getting cold and I can't tell where your wrinkles end and mine begin, shower time is over.

Last up, for today anyway, are "The Grumpersons". One of my most unpleasant couples to visit, I will be grateful when my time with them is done. It started with the anger over un-ironed sweatpants and underwear (complete with skid marks still in place), carried on through "the bedspread isn't straight! That flower should be 20 inches from each side of the bed" and finished with how I had moved Mr. G's slippers 2 inches to the right and thus he could no longer stand to have me in the house as I clearly didn't know "what the hell [I] was doing!" Hey Mr. G, I have an idea. Why don't you take your slippers and shove 'em?!


Though I whine about the LOTF and Moaning Minnie, they're really quite awesome gals and I look forward to going to see them. Not so much the Grumpersons. I will continue to stock my purse with snappy gloves and aprons and hope that someone finds me a cape. All I ask is that the letters A. W. E. be sewn on the back of it. After all, how else would anyone know me?

ASS WIPER EXTRAORDINAIRE!!!

Picture from Tasty Infidelicacies through Google Images

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's getting hot in here,....so do something about it.

**Warning...this post may be significantly longer than I normally drone on for. I forgive you, in advance, if you decide to take a nap part way through. But please, pull up a chair, get comfortable, crack a beer...and join me in my thoughts**

Something we hear a lot about these days is "Climate Change". And that, my dear peeps, is the subject of Blog Action Day 2009. I took part last year, so when the topic was announced for this year, I was excited. A chance to brush the dust off the soapbox and stand tall and proud and make you all listen to my opinions. Please don't be shocked my darlings. I know that this is highly unusual for someone as meek and mild as myself, but I feel that at least once a year it is necessary.

To quote Nelly for a moment - "It's gettin' hot in here, so take off all your clothes". Is it just me or is that what other people have wanted desperately to do for much of the last few summers? It was one thing when I was pregnant, I attributed it to the kid that I was so lovingly carrying into the middle of the summer (something I will continue to guilt them for in the years to come. It's my duty as a parent no?), but it is quite another now that they're too old to blame for things like that. Winter is getting harsher in certain parts of the world with buckets of snow being dumped on places that would not ordinarily have to deal with things like that. Spring brings heavy rains and flooding.

Samoa was just hit with an earthquake and at least one tsunami. Vanuatu was hit with SEVEN earthquakes, all over 6.5, on the same day. Those earthquakes caused more tsunamis. (Those are both islands in the Pacific down near me, for you geographically challenged folks). We've had hurricanes and tornadoes, temperatures so hot that everything dries out and wild fires start, and temperatures so cold that people are dying in their houses.

But why is it all happening?

Image from Natural News

The simple answer is this: - WE are why it is happening. Us dumbass humans down here on the earth pretending we know better than everyone else and ignoring any advice that is given to us. Every day we hear more about how bad it is getting and what we can do to change, but how many of us really do anything productive? Not enough of us, that's for sure.

Everytime we plug something in and use it, we cause greenhouse gases. Everytime we get in our car, because we're too lazy to get off our asses and walk, we add to the gases in our environment. All that crap that we throw out instead of recycling or composting? It's putting tons of methane out there. The heat pump that helps keep my house warm, the air conditioner that helps us from melting into a puddle in the summer...they both contribute. The chemicals we use to clean our houses, the factories that make our toys and clothes, the products we use in our hair and on our faces. Everything that we do, affects our planet in some way.

Yeah ok, most of the things you do are pretty small on their own, so what damage could they possible be causing? But when you add all of us together, it's a problem.

So what can we do?

Stumped? I was too. I actually had to go searching on the internet about what we wee pleebs can do to help make the planet healthier and better for our children and their children and so on down the line to the days of flying cars and teleportation.

The David Suzuki Foundation has a long list of what can be done at home, work, outside. What suprised me was the section on food. I'm a huge lover of food (in case my Rubenesque body wasn't a dead giveaway) so it surprised me to learn that even my food choices could impact the climate. I was actually kind of horrified to learn that my carnivorous tendencies are a huge contributor. I guess I've always thought of the lovely cows and pigs as a great addition to my veggies.

It is estimated that livestock production accounts for 70 per cent of all agricultural land and 26 per cent of the land surface of the planet. Because of their sheer numbers, livestock account for a large share of greenhouse gases (such as methane) that contribute to climate change. In fact, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that livestock are responsible for a larger share (18%) of greenhouse gases than the world’s transportation sector (14%).
Of course then there's the importation of meat and veggies and fruit. All those planes up in the sky, boats etc etc.

Do I plan to become a vegetarian? HELLZ NO! (sorry to any veggies out there or any PETA supporters [what is up with them lately by the way?]) But I will be more careful about where my food comes from.

Local food. Non processed food. Not only is it better for the environment but it'll be better for me. And!! It will cut down on what is going into my garbage right? And that in turn will benefit the environment, thus doing a little bit to help with this whole climate change dealio.

I think the biggest thing though, is the politicians. As will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas so brilliantly put it....

Corruption and bullshit politics
The planet's gonna die cause of bullshit politics
In December, world leaders will get together in Copenhagen, have a few drinks, shoot the shit and then get down to the nitty gritty....the issue of climate change and what they can do about it. They'll be talking regulations, laws, policies. But they can't do any of that without input from the regular folk like us (notice I chose not to say normal? Cos I know none of you is normal...that's why I love you).

I want my children to grow up safe in the knowledge that the world is not going to spontaneously combust around them. I want them to be able to venture outside in the summer without having to be wearing SPF 5000 on their bodies just to prevent a mild sunburn. I want my grandchildren (and I WILL have some dammit...I don't care that they're both saying they're going to marry same sex partners) to be able swim in the oceans and build houses wherever they want without fear of them being swept away by a tsunami even though they're 100 miles inland. I want my children and their children and their children's children to be able to BREATHE.

Our world is dying as we watch. We CAN do something about it. But we need to start NOW instead of sitting on our rapidly expanding asses for the next 50 years and then wondering what went wrong. We know there's something wrong now. Now is the time do something.

So. A note to our politicians, the world over, after my not very well composed and quite long post? Get your acts in gear and come up with some REAL ideas. Don't just sit around with your thumbs up your asses.

I'm going to leave you with some more from will.i.am and his wonderful song "S.O.S (Help Us Out)". The lyrics can be found HERE.




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Monday, October 5, 2009

......with integrity

Some of you may have noticed the wee badge on my sidebar that says "Blog with Integrity". I saw it on someone else's blog...can't remember who for sure but I think it was Frogs In My Formula. It intrigued me, so I clicked on the button and had a look at the site.

Loved it!

What a fabulous concept...a novel idea! People owning their words, being respectful towards each other, giving credit where credit is due and being honest. Shock! Horror! What is the world coming to?!

Now, to be fair, the vast majority of the bloggers that I read are great with all of this. And I try to be. When I write a post, I am fully aware that my words may hurt or offend someone (although I try and avoid this if possible). I stand behind my words that I lay down for this space and behind any I may leave as a comment for someone else's thoughts. It is very important to me that everyone do this. I have had negative comments posted here, and people suggested I delete them, but part of the reason for my having this space is so that people can respond to my thoughts and ideas. What right do I have to censor someone's thoughts? Sure, I sat and typed out a response, that in turn garnered more negative comment, but it was a conversation and that is what this space is for.

And it makes me happy to see other practicing this.

So, if there are so many of us out there who already "Blog with Integrity", why the need for a website all about it, where you can get the badge.......

BlogWithIntegrity.com

......and you can take their pledge?

As I see it, it's because there are so many MORE people out there who do NOT blog by this philosophy. They steal content from others (which prompts so many of the "steal my stuff and I'll rip you a new one" warnings I see on so many sites now), they leave inflammatory anonymous comments and stir up the crowd and so much more. This is why it is necessary. This is why so many more people are taking up the pledge.

Now....no one asked me to post this. I'll tell you that right now. I'm posting this because this of THIS ARTICLE. As a Canadian living in New Zealand, I have no idea how much impact any FDC rulings have on ME (I'll have to look into that...I'd wager that it's very little), but it does impact many of you out there. The gist of what they're saying, I think, is that if a blogger like me has a bunch of advertising on their blog and they haven't disclosed any relationships between themselves and those advertisers, is their credibility called into question.

More importantly, many bloggers that I know are sent free products to review, or are paid to review something. The FDC sees this as the same thing in some instances. Their opinion, as I understand it, is that the blogger in question (geez I get sick of typing "blogger"...can't we have another word?) should be FULLY disclosing these things. "Hey y'all, I wanna review the latest sex toy gizmo. Just so you know, they sent me a free product, but I'm NOT being paid for this".

I happen to agree. They really are onto something there.

But then when I finished reading the article, I realised that I never did the same thing myself.

So.

In the interests of FULL disclosure, let me say these things:

1) I will write with honesty and integrity whenever laying out my thoughts for you all to read.

2) I will continue to respect y'all and will stand behind my words.

3) In my sidebar, I have THREE ads. One is for a university, one for a baby goods store. I have NO personal relationship whatsoever with them. However, they DID pay me to place their ads in my sidebar for a certain amount of time. The third link (and my favorite ... sorry other folks!) is for "The Realm". This is owned by a friend of ours, Tiffany. She sells oodles of fairy stuff (ornaments, cards, tshirts etc). So, there IS a personal relationship. But, I was not paid to put the ad there. But! It IS an affiliate link, so there IS potential for payment later. Much later.

And just in case, my blog was designed by BadassGeek through his awesomely fantastic design biz Badass Designs.

So there you have it. Full disclosure.

Oh. And my undies are black. Today. Just be thankful I'm wearing any!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

An assault on innocence

The girl stood in her room, staring at her reflection in the mirror. As she brushed her long blond hair for the 100th time she thought about him. While taking care to apply her mascara properly, her thoughts were occupied with images of him as he'd looked that morning. She thought about his face as he asked her to go out with him that night. Her excitement was palpable.

"Lookin' good!" she thought to herself unusually. Lately her self esteem had been at an all time low as she watched him strut around with his new girl. But that day it had gotten a boost. That day, he had asked her.

She straightened her skirt and top, gave her hair one last confidence filled toss, puckered her lips in the direction of the mirror and went off to meet him. She didn't have to go far. There he was, standing outside......looking bored. Perhaps she should have taken that as a clue, an omen. But for that one moment she chose to ignore what would have ordinarily been an annoyance to her.

He looked......delicious. His jeans fit his ass perfectly, his shirt draped his shoulders in a way that just made girls melt (perhaps that was part of the problem?). He brushed his hair out of his eyes and looked her way with that smoldering gaze of his. Every doubt was wiped from her mind. He'd told he was done with the other girl. He told her only wanted her. Her!

As they walked downtown, enjoying the calm night and the starry sky, she attempted to make small talk. It was hard considering how long they'd known each other, but really the only thing she could think of for that moment. He certainly wasn't making it easy for her. Maybe a few drinks would help.

Three hours later, she'd had a few too many beers and they were laughing hysterically at the most inane things that the other was saying. It was almost like he'd been trying to get her drunk. Every time a beer was finished, another would appear in front of her. They were having a good time. She was hopeful. She was excited. She was....going to puke.

Having decided it was probably time to head home, they headed through the park, holding hands. She was happier than she had been in a very long time, giddy in fact. But she needed to sit. She found a tree to lean up against and slumped down underneath it. He slid down to sit beside her and put his arm around her. She snuggled into his strong chest and felt herself relax. He made her feel safe, made her feel .... loved?

Suddenly his hands were wandering. She wasn't ready for this. It was too soon. She wiggled away. He came after her. "C'mon, you want it as bad as I do." She slid backwards to get away and ran smack into the tree. "No!" He pounced, grabbing her wrists and laying on top of her. Terror flooded over her. She couldn't move, couldn't escape. Why was he hurting her? She thought this was meant to be a new start, why was he doing this to her? "No!" He fumbled with his jeans and slid her skirt up to her waist. Tears streamed down her face as she listened to him whispering "You love me, I know you want me". She wanted desperately to scream but no sound escaped her mouth. He just kept going as she listened to his grunts and just lay there waiting for it to be over, waiting for her mind to cloud over, waiting for the nightmare to end.

And then, it was done. She flinched as he brushed her hair back off her face. Such a loving action from someone who had just hurt her so badly. As he stood and did his jeans up, she just lay and cried. How had the night ended up this way? Where was her happy ending? His hand appeared in front of her face, offering to help her up. It was like someone had flicked a switch in his head, and he was back to being his charming self. Once up, she trailed behind him on the way home, crying all the way. She supposed that she should tell someone. She thought she should be reporting this, him. That's what the girls in the movies did. But all she could think of was washing him off of her. And the whole way home, he talked. "Tonight was fun, we should do it again." "I'm really glad you wore a skirt." "You looked really pretty tonight."

Once home, she got straight into the hottest shower her body could tolerate and scrubbed herself raw. A part of her knew she was making a mistake, but she wanted him off of her.

Over the next week, she avoided him where she could. But sometimes it didn't work and he made a point of telling her that he didn't do anything wrong, that she had wanted it. He said it so often she started to wonder. Had she? She wasn't a virgin, hadn't been in awhile. But she knew that something had gone terribly wrong that night. Had she led him on? Had she given him the impression that she wanted it?



That girl....was me. That boy.....was you. You know who you are. You know what you did. For years, I thought that it was ME that did something wrong that night. You made me believe that I had ASKED for it, that I wanted you to do it. I never reported you, I never told my mother, I never made any trouble for you. I stayed away from you, I kept my mouth shut, and you went on with your life.

You destroyed the trust I had in men. I spent the next few years of my life sleeping with any guy who would look at me, thinking that I could somehow numb the feelings deep in my heart. Kind of an odd way to deal with what you did to me, no? Even when I met my now husband, thoughts of you invaded every aspect of our relationship. You destroyed parts of my life that to this day I still haven't recovered. It's possible I never will.

I wish I had reported you. I can only hope that I haven't caused another girl to be hurt by you.

But you didn't win. I have held onto this hurt for too long. Today, I am letting it go. I will never forgive you for what you did. I will never forget that you chose to ignore me when I said "NO!". Today, I am blessed with a man who treats me well, who loves me, who takes care of me and would DIE before he hurt me in the way you did. Today, you no longer affect my life. You no longer have a hold over a part of me. I am done being scared to walk alone in the dark. I am done having my heart skip when I see a strange man walking behind me. I am done....with you.



This was meant to be my submission for "Letters That I'll Never Send", and instead it has turned into some sort of therapy for me. In some ways, I wish I had sent a letter like this. If you made it to the end of this....bravo. I don't know if this is what I am meant to use my blog for, but for today, it works for me.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

They finally announced the topic!

So last year, I took part in Blog Action Day for the first time. My blog wasn't that old, I didn't have that many readers (I've gained one since then), but it was a subject that struck a chord with me because I've seen so much poverty myself...and could have come close in my own life. It was a great feeling to take part in something that people all. over. the. world!! are doing. Sure, I like myself a good meme from time to time, I even like those stupid time wasting quiz things that circulate through people's notes on Crackbook. But this was different. This gave us ALL a chance to say what was on our mind, for one day, for one cause. You can click HERE to read my attempt last year.

Well, I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for them to announce the subject for this year and yesterday when I opened my email, it was finally there!

CLIMATE CHANGE




We all have our opinions on this, you know we do. So, how about for this year, we see if we can top the number of registered blogs and do our best to make our voices heard. In December, world leaders will be joining together to discuss the world's position on the subject and wouldn't it be great if OUR voices were heard?

You don't have to be a well read blog with thousands of followers....you just have to use your voice (and your fingers because unless you're going to do a video for it, then you'll have to type).

So...go to the Blog Action Day website and register your blog. And then on OCTOBER 15th, make your thoughts known! Who's with me?!

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