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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