Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick Halloween Breakdown...

Crazy busy Halloween weekend, between parties and getting the kids ready.  I'll share a few pics:

For my costume I stole an idea from an article on The Hairpin and went as an Un-Ladybug

Yeah, this pretty much sums up what I was going for.
Oh, that's right.  Last Thursday night I coloured my hair this insane shade of pink.  I was going for fire-engine red (and it kind of looks as such in this picture) but no, it's pink.  I'm kind of in lust with it, and may keep it for a while.  I like my hair so much right now I want to make dirty sweet love to it.

My children, being my children and thus the children of an insufferable hipster, decided they wanted to go as cartoon characters that were relevant 15-20 years ago.  Not just that, but supporting characters.  To the best of my knowledge, outside of a handful of 20-something gamers, no one cares about Sonic the Hedgehog but my kids.

I see many fan conventions in my children's future and I wouldn't be surprised if they end up being active cosplayers.

In the meantime I managed to put together some pretty decent interpretations of Amy the Hedgehog and Rouge the Bat.

... they TOTALLY look like animated characters, don't they?
In the case of the Rouge costume, it almost feels weird to take a costume idea and make it less slutty.  Seems to go against what this holiday seems to be all about lately.  I'm not complaining because A) it's refreshing and B) this is my freakin' ten-year-old KID, so of course I'm gonna G-rate it up a bit!  Otherwise there would have been no way my kid was going to go out looking like an anthropomorphized bat-prostitute.  I think it turned out well, though, don't you?

It was cold for trick-or-treating tonight, but compared to other years it was still a pretty decent night.  No rain, no heavy winds, no snow (!).  This weekend I've eaten too much candy and drank too much wine.  And I've discovered prosciutto and all it's nummy bacon-likeness.

I hope everyone has had a safe and Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Internet is Effing INSANE part 2

Sometimes, as a blogger, we have no way of knowing what post is going to explode on us.  To my surprise, my most popular post to date in terms of views is a post where my friend Dan and I speculate on Yosemite Sam's junk.  Now, I know that 588 views do not quite equate to an internet explosion, but it just goes to show, you never know what's going to be wildly popular, or unpopular.

Two days ago, feminist blogger, lawyer and activist Jill Filipovic wrote a one-off post at Feministe about a note that was left in her bag by a TSA agent after they found an item of a... *koff* personal nature in her luggage.  Jill's initial reaction to it was lighthearted, while still acknowledging that hey, this is not cool.
Total violation of privacy, wildly inappropriate and clearly not ok, but I also just died laughing in my hotel room.
Then kaboom.  I guess a few other sites including Jezebel got a hold of the story and the whole thing has kind of gone kablooey.  Kind of?  Actually, to be more accurate, it seems that the whole damned internet has gone apeshit over this story. You'd almost think that Jill had dared to insult the Bloggess or something.

Can I just say, first, that it is totally possible to find something incredibly inappropriate and incredibly hilarious at the same time.  I would have giggled too.  But I laugh at dead baby jokes and make smart ass remarks about heroin addiction.  Doesn't mean either of these things aren't horrifying.  Sometimes you gotta laugh, to keep from crying.

So far this story has hit Fox News, Gawker, Forbes and a number of other media outlets.  The original post itself has 20 trackbacks at this time.  A lot of the articles focus on the issue of privacy which has been an ongoing concern with the TSA and for some, this is just another example.  There's a weird faction of articles that want to focus on the 'hot-chick-practices-self-love' angle, which is kind of creepy as fuck if you ask me.

Us ladies, we like to get off sometimes.  T'ain't no big thing.  Why you gotta make it a big thing?

The most eye-crossingly bizarre commenters and articles are the ones that are claiming that Jill must have done this all for attention and hits to her blog.  One commenter on the original thread ripped into Jill (comment 79: trigger warning) and made some not-so-veiled threats, which I loved the hell out of Jill's response (comment 80):
But thanks for the weird rape threat? You seem totally cool and normal.
While I understand and practice the whole caveat emptor where stories on the interwebs are concerned, it really shocks me the vitriol that is being spit at Jill over this whole thing.  She has been accused of purposely planting said item in her luggage with the knowledge that it would be searched; of writing the note herself to make the TSA look bad and I ask.. why are people so convinced it's not true?  It's not like the TSA hasn't come under fire for way worse things.

And if it isn't true and she made it up?  Who the fuck cares?  On one hand, some of us may have gotten a much needed giggle for the day.  On the other hand, it has reopened discussion about civil liberties and privacy and how much of our freedom we should be willing to give up in the name of security.  It has opened up discussion in regards to what kind of respect should be shown by people who are given clearance to rifle through our most personal belongings.

Oh, and the people I really love - and by "Love" I mean "would like to hit with a brick" - are the people who are all 'Well if she was so embarrassed, why did she post about it?'  You can point out that something is a huge invasion of privacy without being embarrassed.  The fact that it was posted tells me she couldn't have been too embarrassed.  If anything would be embarassing it's probably the way this whole affair has blown out of proportion.

I personally hope that this doesn't end up affecting Jill on a personal and professional level, as someone who blogs under her real name and has covered a number of serious topics.  It'd be a shame that a severe over-reaction to what seemed to be a quick post made in jest ended up undermining a promising career or turning her away from blogging.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I've got some red on me...

Oh Toronto Zombie Walk, how I adore thee.

Yesterday marked my second time at the Toronto Zombie Walk and I'm still washing blood out of my hair today.  Last year I went with a good friend of mine, and found the whole experience thrilling.  This year I got to take my two girls as they are old enough not to be too freaked out by the.. well.. freakshow. Reegs, the little one got right into it.  My oldest is getting to that 'too cool for school' age and it took some cajoling to get her into the spirit.  I was also accompanied by two of my oldest friends and my 16-year-old cousin who sometimes scares me with how much like me at that age she is capable of being.

Part of what I enjoy aside from the opportunity to engage in some imaginative, poor-taste, grotesque humor is that it's a very uncommercial, organic event.  It has yet to be bought by corporate interests and seems truly to be a home-grown community event.  Participants are generally well behaved, the cops that help to make sure no one is impeding traffic are, beneath the gruff exterior, generally well-meaning.  (as one cop tried to corral us out of a busy intersection by yelling 'clear the way' myself and another guy responded a few times with "We're working on it!" to which she replied with a sympathetic "I know..")  Non-participants seem to enjoy the event as well, gathering in doorways to watch the parade go by.

I also love how people manage to take one unifying theme (ie.. zombie apocalypse) and come up with what seems like hundreds of different ideas, even if some do show up year to year.  I have come to the conclusion that each walk will have, invariably, the following (amounts are approximate, and probably exaggerated):

  • 1 Zombie Waldo
  • 2-3 Zombie Jesus'
  • 21 Zombie Brides
  • 3-7 Zombie hunters (that is, Hunters of Zombies, not Zombiefied big game hunters)
  • 118 Shaun of the Dead characters.
  • 1-2 Thriller-Era Michael Jacksons
  • 275 Zombie Nurses
  • 314 Zombie Schoolgirls

Each year I go, I tend to get a little gorier.  I haven't done a theme costume.. mostly I just go with generic zombie.. Some nasty fake scar tattoos, light makeup, and a shite-load of fake blood.  Everywhere.  It generally does the trick.

Product Shot! Where's my damn money, Tim Hortons??
The girls had a bit of a theme.. Prom-Queen Zombie (making good use of the dress from last year's Carrie costume) and Hobo-Clown Zombie (I was reminded of Sol the Clown from my TVOntario childhood)
In front of the house.  Yes, That's a dead baby on my porch.  I put the ass in class.
At one point during the walk, I thought they may have been getting tired out, until i realized that Reagan was not getting tired.. she was TOTALLY in character.  Foot-dragging and all.  That's my girl.

So before I post some random pics, I'm going to take a poll.  Which of the following is a bigger dick move.

Entering a small, classy type restaurant (half hour away from the parade) in full Zombie Regalia, minus blood and makeup after crowding into a single stall bathroom to clean it all off, however still wearing aforementioned gaping headwound tattoos due to not having the necessary rubbing alchohol or baby oil necessary to remove them without taking a layer of skin with it.  Sitting down in said restaurant, practically ass-cheek to ass-cheek with other diners, all of whom are staring, some in amusement and some in disgust, and potentially disturbing their dinner...

 - Or -

Entering a small, classy restaurant in full Zombie Regalia, piling 5 people into a single stall washroom to wash off blood and makeup, thus occupying said washroom for a good 15-20 minutes and using all their paper towel and then walking out again, having decided that as a group you'd feel much less guilty about ruining people's dining experiences at a Kelsey's or a Boston Pizza?

Survey Says?

No matter, what is done is done.  At least we cleaned the blood out of the sink first.

Anyway, here's some more pics:
Lots of OWS themed signs. This guy told us he was headed down to Bay Street after the walk.
Group Shot, me the girls and my cousin
Reegs doing her zombie face

This year's family Christmas card portrait

Kiki, who made up for a lack of make-up with a very convincing and chilling zombie-stare

Tierney looking frighteningly gorgeous

Amber*, who took most of these pictures

So much fun and Hallowe'en isn't even over yet!!

*Sarah, this is the friend that I said looked like you in the post with the picture of you and your daughter on the pony.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"I think that ghosts like the cooler weather..."

I think this weekend, while my kids are out at an early halloween party, that I'm going to take some pictures of the local foliage. Central ontario is a great place to be in the fall (although Western Ontario is pretty breathtaking when you get into the heavy deciduous forests). I say this in spite of the nearly constant rain we've been having over the last week or two.

The constant damp, the cold, it gets into your system. I find myself wanting to eat heavy things, comfort foods with rich sauces, that kind of stick-to-your-ribs stuff that warms you to your depths. Stews, casseroles.

My house has a real haunted house feel to it, beyond the decorations that I've put outside. The stone exterior, the weathered wooden front porch littered with leaves that I have had neither the time nor the motivation to sweep away.

Mornings have gotten darker already, as have the evenings when I leave work. The unrelenting drizzle has left me feeling sweetly melancholy.

I wish for a fire place. A fire place, and clinking crystal glasses filled with lucius red wines served with expensive cheeses and green grapes.

It's a time of heavy cable-knit sweaters and quilted vests and the smell of burning leaves.


I'm looking forward to some sun this weekend to complement October's crisp breezes.

This song is one of my very favorite songs of all time and in my humble opinion, embodies everything I love about Fall, the strange mix of melancholy and contentment and the slow cocooning of oneself in preparation for the Winter. Of harvests and generations past.

You can tell by the wind
By fresh cut wood all stacked to dry
That autumn's here. It makes you sad
About the crummy summer we had
With pine trees creaking
The raven's screeching
Just like the story my grandma tells
About when a bird hits your window
Someone you know is about to die

Autumn's here, autumn's here
It's ok if you want to cry
'cause autumn's here, autumn's here, autumn's here

So find a sweater and you'll be better
Until the kindling is tinder dry
We can be quiet as we walk down
To see the graveyard where they are now
I wonder how they brought their piano
To Holdene Hill from old Berlin
Be hard to keep it well in tune
With winters like the one that's coming soon

Cause autumn's here, autumn's here
It's time to cry now
That autumn's here,autumn's here, autumn's
It's ok if you want to cry
Because autumn's here

I think that ghosts like the cooler weather
When leaves turn colour they get together
And walk along these, these old back roads
Where no one lives and no one goes
With all their hopes set on the railway
That never came and that no one stayed
I guess that autumn gets you remembering
And the smallest things just make you cry.

Autumn's here, autumn's here, autumn's here that autumn's here
Autumn's here, it's time to cry
Cause autumn's here
Autumn's here, autumn's here
It's ok now, cause autumn's here

Autumn's Here - Hawksley Workman 

Monday, October 17, 2011

just a random thing that sucks...

listening to a really awesome song.. then pausing to listen to the lyrics and finding that they're.. um.. well, a bit rapey.

I know, I know.  Everyone and their grandma goes through bit of cognitive dissonance this at Christmas time when they listen to 'Baby it's cold outside' and find themselves singing along with Dean Martin (or possibly Will Ferrell) as he alludes to spiking his date's drink (in Ferrell's case, the adorable Zooey Deschanel) during what is possibly the rapiest christmas carol going.  Possibly? No, definitely.

I've run into it other times as well.  Outside of the Hair Metal and Gangsta Rap genres, even.


Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" (mistakenly attributed to Jeff Buckley on my Grooveshark playlist)  Honestly, I don't know who performs the version I have.  all I know is that although I still dig the melody I get a little squicked out when I take a close listen to the lyrics:

I’m driving in my car, I turn on the radio
I’m pulling you close, you just say no
You say you don’t like it, but girl I know you’re a liar

`Cause when we kiss, Fire

Late at night I’m takin’ you home
I say I wanna stay, you say you wanna be alone
You say you don’t love me, girl you can’t hide your desire
`Cause when we kiss, Fire

There's something off here.  Bruce as the narrator doesn't seem to quite grasp enthusiastic consent, and seems a little co-ercive in his efforts to woo his date.  Accusing one of lying is definitely romantic as well, don'tcha think?

I betcha 'But... Your Honor... When we kissed.... FIRE!!' would be an awesome defence in a date rape trial.

This is why I can't have nice things.

I'm gonna blame technology for this one.

Weighed in on my new digital scale this morning.

190.4 lbs.

Feck.  (basically, I'm back where I started two weeks ago)

I'm gonna put the blame on the old scale for this one, and call this a fresh start.

I mean, yesterday was bad, but not THAT bad.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Say It, Don't Spray It.

I have a lisp.

Or I used to.

I've been told that it's gone away.  Some claim they still hear it.

I don't know, I've never really been aware of it, personally.

I figure it's a result of an underdeveloped jaw and teeth that are just too bloody big for my head.  I have vague memories of being sent to a speech-language pathologist as a small child who spent hours with me insisting that I try to make a boat with my tongue...

Clearly, the pathologist was a waste of time, because 20+ years later I still had this impediment.  Go figure.

I once dated a guy who had a real 'thing' for my lisp.  For reasons entirely beyond my comprehension, he found

Let me be clear.  I don't have one of those cute cross-between-a-two-year-old-and-Tweety-Bird lisps where all your Elle's and Arh's come out like Double-You's.
"Hewwo Saiwor.. Buy Me a Dwink?" - Source
No, indeed, I have the Say-it-don't-spray-it brand of lisp that results in all of your Esses making you sound like a drunken anaconda.  HAWT.

In university, I somehow always ended up doing oral presentations on topics that succeeded in aggravating my particular speech impediment:

For History of Science:  An independent study on the history and development of the Oral Contraceptive.  Lots of fun words to say, like Estrogen, and Progesterone!

For Minority Groups throughout the World:  A presentation on... The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

and for Environmental Science: The Commercial Fishing Industry in Canada:  Pacific Salmon.

Oh yeah.. for that last one, I had a choice, east coast or west coast.  Do you think I picked the east coast?  Oh Hell no.  That would have been too easy.  Not nearly enough Ess sounds in ATLANTIC COD, noshiree.




Sustainable lifestyle changes through the pursuit of pleasure

Cross posted at

I was going to start out talking about The Biggest Loser, but I realized that, having never really watched more than one or two episodes I'd kind of be talking out of my ass.

However, I do want to expand on a point that one commenter on another person's blog (I REALLY should take note of these things) said in relation to the sustainability of lifestyle changes. Changes that feel like chores are not sustainable.

In making a real lifestyle change, whether it is to eat better, or be more active, it is so important to adjust your attitude and take pleasure out of these changes. I see a lot of people who seem to seek self-punishment in the form of grueling exercise in the name of making an end, and while in the short term, I can find this admirable I have to question if it is sustainable. Maybe that is why I never got involved in things like Crossfit, bootcamps and the like. To me, these things don't seem like fun, they seem like self-punishment. Part of my success laid in finding activities that got me moving but were still FUN. Baseball, belly-dancing and kickboxing were all things I joined because I never felt like I was just exercising for the sake of exercising but I was having fun, or learning a skill. Losing weight was always a bonus, whereas the ends were to get good at a new skill - some better accomplished than others.

Finding pleasure in food is another area that I feel is needed in order to be sustainable. Many people on here claim that a love for food has been the root of their weight issues. Mine, I would say, has actually been a contempt for food - that is to say up until the age of oh, say, 23 contempt for any food that wasn't hot dogs, Kraft dinner or canned spagetti, or plainly speaking, junk.

I didn't really like much else. It took forcing myself to really alter the way I thought about 'healthy' food versus 'treats', to frame healthy food in such a way that it was appetizing. To revisit all those foods that I had turned my nose up at ten zillion times before.
It started with a single piece of sushi in a mall with a friend. "Just try one" my friend urged me. I tried it. At first, my instinct was to spit it out, but I forced myself to really taste it, to savour it. The next few times I tried it, it was easier, and eventually I was hooked.
I started trying salads (a thing I hated in all it's forms.. I'm still not fond of mayo-based salads). Mayonaise in small doses. I was like a mother sneaking vegetables into her child's food, only it was my own. I brought a Ceasar wrap to work one day and found myself drooling over lettuce.. drooling over the thought of it's crispy refreshing crunch, and the warm bread and the chicken. Those things that were once abhorrent to me, and that I had only struggled through in order to have dessert, I began craving. And those things, the hot dogs, the KD, I found I didn't enjoy as much and I would ask myself "Why am I eating this if I'm not really enjoying it?"

(In fairness though, sometimes I DO still really enjoy a big bowl of KD and ketchup)

A lot of weight loss systems have used the adage "Nothing is as good as thin feels" up until recently. It's fallen of in popularity, due to it's potential for ED triggering.
MY favorite philosophy, however, comes from the movie Ratatouille. In the scene where Linguine faces off with restaurant critic Anton Ego, they have the following exchange:


Ego: You're slow for someone in the fast lane
Linguine: and you're thin for someone who likes food.
Ego: I don't like food. I love it. And if I don't love it, I don't swallow.

I think this could be a philosophy that would help a lot of people, and doesn't frame food as the enemy.. food is NOT the enemy - actually, food is like that friend we all take for granted, but don't really realize how lucky we are to have it, and we should appreciate it.
... eat for pleasure, not merely for fuel. Pay attention to quality, taste, really savouring a meal or a snack, rather than mindlessly filling the gullet because it's there. If we (and by we, I mean those of us for whom boredom eating is a problem) start to really pay attention to not just the quantity of what we eat, but the quality, then we stand to be more choosy in our habits.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

UPDATED: Yeah. Not impressed.

So, I got a letter home from the school the other day letting us know that the Gideons have asked to come and speak to our fifth-graders (of which mine eldest spawn is one) and provide them each with a free Bible.  At the bottom of the letter is a disclaimer stating that this is not an initiative of the local school board.

I'm not real thrilled about this, so I sent the form back with a note that I did not wish for my child to participate.

I had very little religious education growing up, beyond what I sought out for myself over the years and what I have seen has not impressed me.  At this point in time I consider myself pretty much an Atheist, and my children have been taught a moral code based simply on the idea of being empathic to others' feelings and respecting their bodily autonomy.  Pretty simple.

I've had my kids enrolled, albeit reluctantly, in a few Bible camps due to the fact that church funded kids activities tend to be a hell of a lot cheaper than other kinds of day camps so I justified it using providing the kids with a social outlet.  But I always felt kid of squicky, especially when my daughter went to her dad's and told her stepsister that she wouldn't go to Heaven because she didn't believe in god.

The ex-hub and I had a little chat after that and came to the conclusion that we'd seek other social outlets for the kiddies.

So yeah, I'm not thrilled.  I wasn't going to even mention it here, but a friend of mine posted the question to Facebook and a discussion ensued.

I'm of the belief that one's spiritual and religious beliefs are a personal thing and are not suitable for the school environment.  One woman made the comment that this would provide a moral compass to kids.  I replied that one can teach children morals and ethics without relying on the Bible.

I think that what bugs me most is not the fact that if I wanted to indoctrinate my kids I'd be sending them to church, or at the very least a Catholic school (please don't get me started on the fact that we still have a Catholic school board) but it's that I have the feeling that in our rather white-bread community, I'm not sure I'd see it going over well if say, a Muslim group wanted to talk to the school and hand out copies of the Qu'ran - although, incidentally, the public library did recently hold a Question-Answer type period on Islam that I was tempted to check out and then I completely forgot about it...

Anyway, I digress.. I'm not sure that would go over so well.. or what if one of our many local members of the Pagan community wanted to come lecture the kids?  Or.. what if I wrote to the School board and asked if I could come in and lecture on Atheism and hand out copies of writings by Nieztche or Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion?"

Would they be as welcoming then?

I'm almost tempted to write a letter suggesting just that...

In other news, I have now have the school board to blame for the fact that I've had Rocky Racoon stuck in my bloody head all day long.

UPDATE:  Holy hell (*snicker*) I just remembered another reason why this pisses me off.  Because this is being hosted by the same school that has had 'Orange and Black day' in place of Halloween celebrations, so as not to offend the poor widdle Christian (and other) kids whose parents don't let them celebrate Halloween.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week one, it's where we've begun...

So, I guess I have to create a new label for weight-loss updates, since neither Weight Watchers or Wednesday is accurate now?  MFP Mondays? I suppose that works.

Did my first weigh-in this morning and I'm down 3 (possibly 4) pounds.  It's hard to tell with the analog scale I have, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and say it was only 3.  I'm going to try and get my hands on a digital scale so readings will be more accurate.

I've been blogging at the My Fitness Pal site, rather than flood this blog with diet-and-excercise related posts, but I'll link to my posts there when I do my updates.  I'm not sure if you can comment there without being a member, so maybe I'll say eff it and cross-post here as well.  I just don't want to bore people with menus and complaints about lack of progress and such.  That's not all I'm posting, however.  I also plan to blog about fat acceptance and conversely, fat-hate and shaming in society.

Here are the posts from this week:

Book Review: All of Me: A Voluptuous Tale

"Honesty is the Best Policy" and other myths

The Weekend Trap

Everybody is Stuffed On Turkey But Me.  I Had a Sandwich.

So I need opinions... should I cross post here and not worry about this becoming a 'diet blog' or just do like this and post links so as not to clutter up the people's feeds?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Everyone is stuffed on Turkey but me. I had a sandwich.

First weigh in is tomorrow, first thing. I've always heard that the best time to weigh is first thing in the morning, naked, after your first pee of the day. Needless to say I was never able to do this when I was with WW.

I did try once.

I'm not allowed to shop at the RCSS anymore.


I'm thinking I'm going to try to stick to my regular daily totals and disregard any earned calories from exercise because I'm really not sure I trust the totals.

So I think I'll stick to the regular daily total and use the earned calories in emergencies.
Kind of anxious to see what the end of my first week brings. Kind of wishing I had a digital scale as well. Analog ones are so hard to read.

The Internet is Effing INSANE.

So, first of all, if you're not reading The Bloggess, you are missing out on some top-notch funny.  Seriously, you three, you need to get on it.

But not only is she funny, she's apparently crazy-powerful as well.

This week, a gentleman *koff* by the name of Jose of Brandlink Communications found this out the hard way.

Here's the full backstory, but I'll sum it up real quick-like for ya:

 - The divine Ms. Lawson receives poorly-researched PR pitch for something having to do with Kim Kardashian and pantyhose.
 - Jenny responds how she usually does to unsolicited PR pitches... with a short letter and a picture of Wil Wheaton Collating Paper
 - Jenny receives short, snippy but on-the-whole still fairly professional email response from Erica at Brandlink Communications.
 - VP Jose replies by calling Jenny "a fucking bitch" but has mistakenly hit Reply All.

In the immortal words of Eddie Izzard: "*sigh*  Stupid man..."
 - Jenny calls Jose on his remark, explaining this her usual response to unsolicited pitches, and most people either find it funny, or at the very least, take the hint.
 - Jose basically tells Jenny she should be flattered that said PR firm should even find her relevant enough to send pitches to.

Let me just add here, that @thebloggess currently has 170K+ Twitter followers to @brandlinkcomm's 900-someodd.  The woman created a Facebook page for a giant metal chicken that has over 26K likes.  This is not what I would call irrelevant.  Irreverent, maybe, but definitely not irrelevant.


- With a single tweet and a blog post, said Bloggess unleashes an unholy, sulphur-raining maelstrom of internet smackdown on Brandlink Communications.

It was awe-inspiring.

I'm convinced that "Please Stand By For Demonstration of Relevance" is officially the most bad-assed line since "Yippie Kay-ay, Motherfuckers."

I can't read that line without imagining Jenny standing on top of a mountain, arms raised, with lightning flashing and thunder crashing while angry hordes of bloggers and tweeters come swarming from over the surrounding hills, right up into BrandLink's "grill" - so to speak.

I don't think I have to remind Ms. Lawson of Uncle Ben's old adage of great power and great responsibility.  Jenny has also used her blog as a platform to help others by promoting philanthropic causes and in one case, simply publishing one Christchurch, NZ woman's utterly hilarious plea for help.

Wow, those are five words that don't seem like they should go together.

Anyway, if my blogging efforts resulted in me becoming even 1/457 as 'relevant' as this one, I'd consider myself one very excited blogger.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for...

The memory of Scott Weiland's green pants in this video.

YouTube! Y U No Let Me Embed??

Oh yeah.  And my health and kids and shelter and all that other good junk too.

Happy Thanksgiving, all (north of the 49th, anyway)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Weekend Trap

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canuckians!

Had a bit of a fall apart last night. First, the large caesar salad I had for dinner last night from a local deli, once I added all the ingredients up, ended up being like 17 billion calories and roughly 563 grams of fat.

Give or take, of course.

I take solace in the fact that at least the crapload of lettuce means I got some veggies in today, but holy hell, as far as the calorie/fat count, I might have been better having pizza or a burger. For serious. Which is sad, because I love this place's caesar salad like a fat kid loves cupcakes.

As a former 'fat kid' who loved cupcakes, I'm totally allowed to say that.

Second, I went out for a drink and to watch some live music and made the mistake of order a premium draft instead of the regular light bottled beer I'm accustomed to. And then another. Then when I asked the waitress, she confirmed that the draft is served in 16 oz glasses, not 12 oz which was the impression I was laboring under.

I did, however, manage to avoid ordering some of the nachos that my friends had ordered, since I was not actually hungry. (On a side note, the entertainment, a fellow by the name of Brett Caswell, put on a lovely show).

Thirdly, I came home and had two pieces of processed cheese and a slice of chicken bologna when I really should have just gone to bed.

I toyed with the idea of just letting them slide, but after a night's sleep I got up and decided to add them to yesterday's tally, because one of my biggest issues is keeping myself accountable.

Now I am here and it's another day, and I'm glad I have a ton of stuff to do to keep myself
busy, as weekends are the worst time for mindless snacking, especially when the kiddies aren't here. The days I work are easy-peasy compared to weekends, as my days are much more structured and I can meal-plan more easily. Weekends tend to be less structured and if I'm at home, I have a habit of grazing, and if I'm on the run I end up eating out a lot, and drinking - gotta love those liquid calories - and meeting for coffee and such.

My family, for better or worse, doesn't do much for thanksgiving. We're pretty close, it's not a dysfunction thing, it's just that Thanksgiving is not a high-priority holiday. I may celebrate with a turkey sandwhich at some point this weekend. I think I have some cajun turkey breast.

Mmmm.. cajun turkey breast. Gobble Gobble, folks!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Honesty Is the Best Policy" and other myths...

Alternate Title: Who the Hell asked you?

Interesting post on the forums today regarding Honesty versus Bullying. In my time, I have seen far too many people justify degrading others in the name of honesty. The philosophy that honesty is the best policy seems to be interepreted by some to mean 'you are welcome to say any thing that comes into your head to another human being regardless of if it is hurtful or not'.

No. Full Stop.

Honesty is the Best Policy means that when given the choice of telling the truth or telling a lie, in the long run, the truth is probably your best option, because lies beget more lies.
Honesty is not a free pass to insult people or be hurtful towards them.

I know I am overweight. Most people who are overweight are fully aware of this. Unless someone asks, "Hey, Do I Look Fat In This?" or "Why Can't I Seem To Lose Any Weight?" it is not acceptable to tell someone their pants make them look fat, or suggest that they'd lose weight if they didn't eat so damn much, and then defend yourself by shrugging your shoulders and saying "Hey, I'm just being honest."

No, my friend. You are not "just" being honest. You are also being an asshole.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review - All Of Me: A Voluptuous Tale

My mom recently lent me the book All of Me: A Voluptuous Tale by Venise Berry. The cover puts me in mind of something that would be on Oprah's book club. Upon recommending it to me, she told me that the main character reminded her a lot of me.

I had a bit of a"Gee, thanks mom" moment when I began reading as it starts with the main character, Serpentine Williamson, in a psychiatric hospital after a suicide attempt. However, this is not what she was getting at. Serpentine is a black woman who has struggled with her weight all of her life, and recounts the events in her life that led up to her suicide attempt. She deals with fat-shaming from her family, her lovers, her workplace and from society around her.

This book pissed me off to no end, but in the way I think the author intended. I was angry FOR Serpentine and I could understand her frustration at the world around her for treating her like she was a less worthy human being for being fat.

The book also deals with the issue of not only being a fat woman, but a fat black woman. It was an interesting perspective for me to read, being white, since it's my understanding that there can be some significant differences between white women and black women's experiences with fat-shaming and body acceptance. These issues stem a lot from privilege, society's ownership of women's bodies, access to healthy food and activity, and media representation.

I related to Serpentine in her personal life - feeling less than worthy, feeling insecure and jealous of the thin, pretty girls (although in some cases the 'thin girls' were not too far off from me - when I lost the first chunk of weight, I had a few friends point out that we were almost the same size, even though I still felt like the fat girl of the group). I always felt incredulous when someone professed to be attracted to me.

The message of the book focuses a lot of being healthy. While being aware of all the external factors that have affected her, Serpentine also acknowledges her own responsibility in getting where she is, and uses her experiences to better herself and live a healthier life.

It was an enjoyable read. I recommend picking it up.

The Construction on Highway 12 can F*** Right Off.

The highway that I take to work and back (the one with little to no sideroads or alternate routes) has been under construction for what seems like months now.  I've had just about enough.

Today my drive home took 35 minutes.  A normally 10 minute commute took over half a freaking HOUR.

Yes, I know.  White Girl Problems.

Two days ago I got a notification that there was a package waiting for me at Canada Post.  This is exciting because normally all I get is bills and junk.  It's either a prize pack from ChartAttack or my latest Amazon purchase.  Either way, woot.  Thing is, my P.O. closes at 5:30 during the week.  I get off work at five, pick up the kids at their dads and head home.  I have a key to access my p.o. box after hours, but I need the office to be open to pick up packages.

So today I busted my ass today to make sure I got out of work at PRECISELY 5pm so I could get to the post office on time, only to wind up in a construction-related traffic jam that would make people used to Toronto Gridlock at Rush Hour facepalm and road rage.

Do you know who the biggest assholes in the world are?

The people who speed up to the front of the lane that is merging for construction and then try to budge their way in, so they can be ahead of everybody else.  La-Dee-Frickin-Da.  YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.  A single row of cars moving at 50kmh in an 80 zone is still moving.  But when you get some jackholes that didn't realize maybe there was a REASON that no one was in the right lane who start trying to nudge their way in to the open lane, well this is where you get your stop/start traffic from.

Today, out of principle, I refused to let anyone in, except for one guy that was trying to edge in from a bitch of an intersection.  That was bad luck, not poor foresight.  Eff that.  I was patient enough to wait in the proper late, I'm not letting you cheat.  You wait your turn like everyone else, asshole.

Road rage makes me a vindinctive bitch.  I'm okay with this.

I'm a happy small-town girl through and through, but one area we can definitely take a cue from the big city is TO DO ROADWORK AT NIGHT!!  Not at 5'O'clock in the evening.

Needless to say, I missed the Post Office.


Rage. *shakes fist* - Source

Monday, October 3, 2011

When I say 'back on the horse' I am in no way referring to smack.

What is this horse I speak of?  It's metaphorical, don't think on it too much.

So I broke down. Kind of. As some of you already know, about four and a half years ago I made the decision to join Weight Watchers and managed to lose myself somewhere in the area of 60-65 lbs. Without getting all long and drawn out about it, I left the program this past winter after they rolled out a new program that rendered pretty much all their previous program materials obsolete. It seemed like a money grab to me (especially since part of your start up was paying 15 bucks for an electronic calculator), especially in light of the fact that they were still selling the old calculators up to a mere couple of weeks before the new program got rolled out.

So that was that. I tried to follow on my own, but granted, I didn't try very hard and I've fallen back into a lot of my old habits. Snacking at night, snacking out of boredom, afternoon Tim Hortons' visits etc. And here I am, 10 months later and I have gained back 20 of the 60ish I had lost.

It's go time, people.

My pants have been rebelling for a few months now. I'm down to one pair of work pants and 2-3 pairs of jeans that fit comfortably. I've been wearing a lot of skirts and dresses to hide the fact that well.. my pants don't fit.

This is what it's about. Pants. Pants and feeling comfortable in my own skin. And pants.

I'll stop saying pants now.

So today I signed myself up at because I can't bring myself to go back to Weight Watchers. I'm still hurt and angry. Irrational? Oh, probably. But is it?

I've always been able to see through the diet industry for the sham it is, which is in part what lead me to my gain later in life. I didn't yo-yo so much as I climbed steadily. But it is. A sham. There are no easy answers. The diet industry builds up these miracle cures in our diseased conciousness and sets us up for failure. The more we "fail" the more desperate we become in our efforts and the industry keeps racking in the cash.

I cannot say it clearly enough: THERE ARE NO EASY ANSWERS.

Hell, for some of us, thin may not even be an option, because not all of our bodies are built that way. We can only, realistically, aim for good health. That means so much more than our food intake, and our activity levels... it means managing our stress levels, removing or at least minimizing our exposure to those toxic people in our lives.

Ugh. I'm rambling. I'm sure I'll have more to say on the subject as time goes on. I know it won't be easy, but I've done it before. I can do it again.