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Archive for the ‘About Me’ Category


I’m going to pull no punches in this one. If you listen to me, you’ll look better and have more fun when you find your jiggly, dimply ass in the sand, in the surf, at the pool, by the lake. I am something of an expert at buying fat swimsuits. I did it wrong for many years, until I discovered the secret. It pains me to hear of women, particularly of mothers, who refuse to put on a swimsuit and join in summertime fun because of their weight. Some of these women weigh 130 pounds. Some of them weigh closer to 300 pounds. It doesn’t matter. If you have children, you need to play with them, and you need to dress for the occasion. If you have friends, same thing. Even if you have no children and no friends, but are blessed enough to have access to a pool, or a beach, or a mountain stream, get the #$%& over yourself and put on a swimsuit and play in the water. You deserve to do that, if only because you are a child of God, put on God’s earth, where God has given you some nice water to play in.

If you do have children, don’t be so self-absorbed that you deprive them of the memories of Mom playing in the water with them, or building sand castles with them, or whatever they might want to do. I know for a fact that American photo albums are full of children and their daddies (of all shapes and sizes, because men don’t give a rat’s ass) playing at the beach in their swimsuits. These are “intact” families, but the photos look like Mom and Dad shared custody, because Mom won’t be seen at the beach, the pool, etc., because there’s a dimple on her thigh, or because her thighs are the size of Parthenon columns. Again, it doesn’t matter whether you’re 130 or 330; it’s the same twisted thinking that says, “I must be something other than who I am right now, before I deserve…” It’s a lie. Stop spreading it.

I, for one, am way too fat to be seen in a swimsuit at the beach or anywhere else, according to societal standards. And you will see me at the beach. More often than not, in a very pretty swimsuit. The fashion myth that most overweight women have bought into is “I will look slimmer — or at least less conspicuous — in a simple black swimsuit.” No. You won’t. News flash: fat is not inconspicuous at the beach. It’s highly conspicuous. So is ugly. If you care what other people think — and be honest, you do, or we wouldn’t need to have this conversation — you really don’t want to go with both fat (which you can’t remedy right this minute) AND ugly (which you can).

So what do you wear? If you LOVE black, you can wear it. But don’t wear it thinking it will make you fade away. Nope. It could make you look like a fat woman in mourning for someone lost at sea. Although I wear lots of black, for summertime swimwear, I’m a fan of tropical colors, happy colors. Maybe you like florals, maybe you like geometrics, maybe a retro print. If the color lifts your spirits, makes you smile inside, that’s the suit for you.

What style? First, I’ll offer that when my daughter was a toddler, I discovered the one-piece “jogsuit.” This is ugly as hell, and makes even the shapeliest person look bad. BUT, you can have lots of fun in it, because you don’t have to worry about adjusting it — almost never. Which means you’re likely to be relaxed, smiling, engaged in life . . . which makes you look more beautiful! See, that’s what it’s about: engaged in life. That’s what makes you look beautiful; not the size tag sewn into your suit.

So, having given the jogsuit its props, let’s move on. Many larger women are in favor of the swimdress. If you adore your swimdress and feel happy in it, knock yourself out. My personal bias is that the swimdress stands on a proclamation porch and announces to all who can hear (see), “May I have your attention, please? There are thighs here that are not fit to be seen. I give you my word, I will do my best to cover them and keep them out of your way.” But that’s just me.

There are many lovely one-piece variations. Some now have coordinating pareos or board shorts, for when you want to be a little more covered. I’m not anti- pareo or board shorts. Again, the important thing is that you feel comfortable enough to not give your suit another thought, and get on with the business of enjoying the place, the people, the food, the activity.

My personal preference for the past few years has been the “tankini.” As covered as a one-piece, but just wearing a two-piece makes me feel younger and (let’s face it, this is the real appeal) it’s way easier to pee in. (Well, you don’t pee IN it, exactly.) Tankini bottoms can be bikini-like, or fuller coverage, or boy shorts, or even a “skortini.”

In my life, I have seen about a bazillion strange women in swimsuits. I remember exactly ONE of them. She was fat. Quite fat. And she was wearing a two-piece suit. Not a safe tankini, but a midriff-baring suit. I couldn’t stop staring. I’ll admit, first I was staring at her rolls of fat. Frankly, you don’t often see that on a white female at the beach. But what I remember most now is her face. She was walking down the beach. She walked with purpose. She looked people in the eye and smiled. I found myself envying that woman. Somehow she had figured out that she had a right to be there. I admired her tremendously.

Now, did everyone on the beach have the same reaction to her? I’m sure they didn’t. I’m sure there were people who ridiculed, even people who were disgusted. I don’t remember any of them. They didn’t inspire me.

There you have it. Buy the most beautiful suit you can find, put it on and then forget about it. If you’re fat on the couch, you’ll also be fat on the beach. And your boring, “inconspicuous,” or downright heinous suit is not going to disguise that fact. People will notice. Some people will even be mean. As I recently wrote to a friend when this subject came up, “… desperately trying to hide parts in a swimsuit only makes us look like someone desperately trying to hide parts in a swimsuit. I now buy the most beautiful suit I can find. I figure people are going to know I’m fat no matter what, and most of them are going to react negatively to that. So my choices are to have people react with, ‘Damn, that’s a fat woman,’ OR ‘Damn, that’s a fat woman, but that is one gorgeous suit.'”

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NY08-bay steps

“Relationship is primary…It is possible to cause seemingly biochemical changes through human emotional involvement. You literally have changed his chemistry by being his friend.” — a psychiatrist quoted in “The Soloist,” by Steve Lopez

Psalm 51:10
Ecclesiastes 4:10-12

I have been thinking a lot about relationships, these past few months. Well, maybe all my life, but especially in the past few months. The things I miss about my relationship with my mother. The things we never got right. My relationship with my husband, and the things we have yet to get right. My relationship with my 13-year-old daughter, and how almost desperate I feel at times, to get that right. With adults, there are more chances for do-overs. Kids are forgiving and resilient, but with kids, those moments in time can really stick. They remember a look, a tone, a few words spoken in frustration.

The more I learn about brain development, the more seriously I take this business of relationship. Of human interaction, and of being conscious of creating an atmosphere that nurtures growth and development. There was a time when my home and even my presence (I’ve been told) supported such an atmosphere. That’s not true, now. I say this NOT to have you kind, generous folks jump up and say, “Oh, yes, you do!” I don’t need that. And I live in my house and in my head, so I know better. Illness and relationships and life circumstances have taken a toll. I am in the process of trying to climb back to that place, to that piece of my identity. And I will. Because I choose to, and because God will help.

I am thankful for the words and the actions of those who continue to help change my chemistry in the right direction.

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Whereas, having been born on the day of the feast of the Epiphany, and whereas, “epiphany” is a very cool word to say, and inasmuch as I have, throughout my adult life, allowed myself a second chance at “New Year’s Day,” for purposes of resolution do-overs and the like, by proclaiming January 6th the REAL first day of the new year, and

Whereas, this year of our Lord 2009 has, more than any other in recent memory, gotten off to a particularly sucky start for myself and numerous friends, both online and off (as well as for various public figures); and having obtained endorsement of such a proposition by numerous, notable online friends, I do hereby propose (and decree, and maintain, and . . . PROCLAIM, yea that’s what I was going for, a PROCLAMATION)

that the New Year of 2009 shall, for all intensive purposes* begin on THIS day, January 6th.

Happy Birthday to me (and August95, and Shari’s husband, and I hope William’s baby but I can’t promise anything there THEY DID IT! THEY DELIVERED — AND BY THEY, I TOTALLY MEAN LAUREN — BABY JACKSON GREY ON MY BIRTHDAY! AND HIS, OF COURSE. WOOFREAKINHOO!!!!) and

Happy New Year to you!

*Today is the only day on which this phrase may be used; all other days, one must say, “for all intents and purposes.” Today is also the day that any and all other malapropisms (and/or “eggcorns”) will be most welcome here. After today, however, we must nick them in the butt.

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Rearview Mirror

It’s not easy coming up with a “year in review” post title that hasn’t been done to death. So yea, rearview it is.

Looking back, quite a lot happened here this year, especially for a place where not much happened. I mean, I simply didn’t write much in 2008. And yet…

Early in the year, I got stoopid and ventured into online dating.

Not long after that, firmly pinned to the mat by WTF Disease, I announced my retirement from blogging. And I stuck by that until and unless, I’d get so pissed about something that my fingers just wouldn’t be still . . .

Like early in the summer when I worked really hard on a motherfucking children’s party. I must say, I enjoyed that little slice of profanity pie.

And so I was delighted to see that my muse from the previous link was featured in a national magazine with his motherf… well, with his mother.

Then, in late summer, at long last I found and shared what is the most likely culprit as a diagnosis for WTF. I continue to suffer many symptoms, and continue to pursue the treatment I began back then. I am told that it may take years.

Politics played an unusually prominent role here at WWIT this past year. Perhaps my most controversial post, and the one that invited the most passionate, provocative comments was my defense of underdog Sarah Palin. I reread those comments today, and I find that I still appreciate them; and I find that I still hold the preference that one actually READ my post(s) before commenting.

Finally, in the twilight of the year, I shared my dissenting view of the hot cold one. I have since seen the movie, and I really liked it. And I really stand by everything I said about that sucker.

Tonight we will stay in, and eat and drink good bad things, and play games and watch Times Square on TV. I hope that wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, you feel warm and loved and optimistic. And if you’re a resolution-maker, I wish you well with that. I’m kinda not; but I’m also kinda thinking about making one or two this year. Or maybe just changing some things and then announcing them, rather than announcing first.

I thank you for being here. You add much to my life. I offer each of you an imaginary gift for the new year, inspired by one of my favorite comedians, the late Mitch Hedberg:

I’m giving you a self-help book. It has all blank pages and a pencil.

And this quote from Edith Lovejoy Pierce:

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.

Let’s write this one well, dear friends.

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Here we are again, friends. Welcome to the 4th Annual Blog Cookie Exchange! If you’re new, here are the basics for participating in the exchange:

Favorite holiday recipes
Special traditions
Favorite gift to give
What you wear when you don your gay apparel 🙂

But really, you can write or post pix of anything that tells us how you celebrate the holidays, or your favorite memories, or your wishiest wishes or scroogiest bitches.

Thanks to hand and arm trouble from WTF Disease, I’m afraid I’m not the hostess I once was, but you are most welcome to share all that I have managed to pull together.

Easy Reindeer Cookies

Susie’s Cookie Q and A
Q: Seriously, could these cookies BE any cuter?
A: No.

Nor could they be any easier. These days I am all about the rather impressive, but really, really easy. Like these reindeer cookies. Here’s how we roll:

Take a roll of store-bought cookie dough — sugar, peanut butter or ginger bread, and add 1/4 cup of flour (to make it roll out easier), and roll it out to about 1/4″ thickness.

Cut out the reindeer head shapes, using a bell-shaped cookie cutter. (An upside down heart-shape would work fine, too, don’t you think? OR, shape the long roll into a three-sided cylinder — kinda pyramiddy — and then cut it into 1/4″ slices.)

Use mini-pretzels for antlers.
Use M&Ms or chocolate chips for eyes.
Use M&Ms or Red Hots for a nose.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Eat.

And I know I’ve shown you this before, but I don’t think I’ve told you how to prepare it:

The Fascinating Pinecone Cheeseball

pinecone cheeseball

1 (8-ounce) container garden vegetable cream cheese*
1 (8-ounce) container roasted garlic cream cheese**
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 scallions, finely chopped (use both white and green parts)
2 cups pecan halves, toasted
Fresh rosemary sprigs (or sprig of pine)

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Shape into an oval (pinecone shape); chill 2 hours.
Arrange pecan halves over cheese oval, pressing in lightly in overlapping rows, beginning at bottom and working upward. Arrange rosemary sprigs at top of pinecone. Serve with crackers.

*If Garden Vegetable cream cheese is not available, may use plain cream cheese with ½ packet of Knorr vegetable soup mix.
**If Roasted Garlic cream cheese is not available, may use plain cream cheese mixed with 2-3 cloves of crushed, roasted garlic.

***********

We were invited this year to join a long-standing tradition of some distant friends of ours.

“distant friends”= we really like them, and think we would like them even better if we got to know them more, and they seem to feel the same about us, but we don’t see them enough for that.

Their tradition is a Carol Party. You take a small house, fill it with friendly people, a few of whom have actual musical talent, the rest of whom like to hang around people with actual musical talent (I belong to the latter group), add a couple of guitars, a keyboard, an impressive variety of percussion instruments and a box of kazoos, plus some drinks and cookies and a bunch of photocopied Christmas song lyrics, and there you go. It really was fun. Until they got to “O Holy Night.”

That is (or was) my favorite carol. I know people make fun of it, but doggonit, I like it. Even — or especially — the “fall on your knees” part. When the orchestra swells, and the choir goes all forte — it’s thrilling. And it’s real. I mean, think about what they’re singing about. If you were THERE, back in the day, and you saw that amazing star, and then you saw and heard a bunch of angels (ANGELS!) up in the sky singing at you . . . are you gonna tell me that wouldn’t knock you right on your ass? OK, then. But they can’t really put “knock you on your ass” in a church song, now can they? So, yea, fall on your knees indeed.

Back to the party. When it came time for “O Holy Night,” the host says all the men have to get together. So it’s men in the dining room, and women in the adjacent living room, and we start to sing. But, as is the tradition at this party, the men put their arms around each other and do a can-can to this song. (Except Jif was new, and never having been part of an all-male line-dancing holiday revue, he thought they were trying to do the Munchkins’ Lollipop Guild dance from the Wizard of Oz, so his moves were a little. . . spastic.) And then, at the “fall on your knees” part, they all did. And it just continued to deteriorate from there. Not pretty. Nor festive.

So, I don’t know, I may need a new favorite Christmas song: this one would be a contender. I really love it.

My favorite gift to give this year is a toffee apple, from here. I had hoped to post photos, but we’re slow here, so they won’t be in our possession until this evening. Maybe I’ll slip a photo in later. One of my students gave me one of Lisa Anne’s toffee apples last year, and it was so amazing we went right out and bought a few to give as gifts. This year, we’re buying a few more. The thing is, I’m not a big apple person. And I really don’t like candied apples — waste of a perfectly good fruit and perfectly good candy, I would have said. But Lisa Anne converted me. Huge, tart apple covered in high quality caramel, toffee . . . YUM. And the large size, I unapologetically gave one to a family of seven, and they each had a dessert slice and some left over. The coating is so thick and rich, just a little goes a long way. So, yea, I think you’d like them.

This might be a good place to say thank you to everyone who reads here, comments here, and to those who write on your own blogs. Just a few years ago, I was a big internet cynic. I did not trust that enough people were real enough on the internet. And yes, since I have trusted cyberpeople, I’ve gotten scorched a time or two, but mostly I am thrilled and delighted by how much more of life I have learned, that I could not have learned, had I not met you all online. You make my life richer. You even help me like myself more. You make a horrid illness easier to laugh through. And now you make me cry a little. In a good way.

Merry Christmas, dear friends.

Now gimme some cookies!

If you have a blog, I hope you’ll invite us in for your holiday post (and if today isn’t good, put it up when you can, we’re easy like that). Leave a comment to let us know, and please, visit the people who leave comments. If you don’t have a blog, share your holidaying here in the comments.

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Christmas Bitch

True Christmas confessions: I’m very laid back about many things holiday, but I’m kind of particular when it comes to cardage. Somehow, I developed the formula that the cards we send must have either animals or Jesus on them, (bonus points for Jesus AND animals), and even with no Jesus, they must have some religious reference. A time or two we went with the kid pic, but only when she was dressed as an angel or Virgin Mary for some pageant. Often, LG made our cards, and she stuck to the official Fairchild card guidelines. This year, I’ve run amok. I didn’t feel like reminding LG incessantly about getting our cards done. I didn’t want added stress for either of us, we have enough. So we were in a card store, and Jif, LG and I all agreed that we liked a card with penguins on it. Penguins. And not only is Jesus not in sight, but this isn’t even a “Christmas” card, strictly speaking. It refers to the “holiday season,” if memory serves. I’ll plaster Jesus stickers all over the outside, just to appease the angel on my shoulder.

Now that I’ve confessed my Christmas sin, allow me to move on to judging others:

If you are SO busy, and have SO many friends that your entire Christmas card enterprise consists of inserting a pre-printed card, including pre-printed family signature, into an envelope with a computer-generated label and a postal indicia from your place of employment, allow me to give you the gift of a few seconds of time. Clearly, you have no time. Take me off your list and save those few seconds of inserting.

I’m not asking for much. Pre-print everything else, but just sign it, for Prancer’s sake! Just a “Love, Trevor, Esmeralda and the twins,” would be great. Or a handwritten initial, if that’s all you can manage. Just something that says, “your personal name passed in front of my eyes and I thought of you warmly for a second or two as I sent you this card.” If your schedule doesn’t allow for that, cut back. Start with me. Let that be my gift to you.

(I blame WTF. I used to be a nice person, honest I did. Or at least I could fake it a lot more convincingly.)

So what’s your Christmas bitch? And you can’t say me, I’m taken.

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Before it’s all over, my final meandering, disjointed thoughts from my perch here on the island of misfit voters:

Vote. It’s easy for most to know for whom to vote. It’s still hard for some, I know. But pick one. Or write in. Just do it; you’ll feel better.

Some things in this election that have made me go, “hmmm”:

Amazed at how people really don’t want to hear anything that contradicts what they already believe. I guess I’ve known of this phenomenon, but I’ve never seen it so clearly at work before this past year. I’ve pictured it as people happily waiting in line for a popular amusement park ride, then getting on, getting strapped in, and refusing to listen to cautions — it might not have been inspected! You paid way too much for that ride! Whatever. Lots of “lalalala, I can’t hear you,” as the ride speeds off, with laughing, oblivious riders. I have an extra something inside that most people I’ve talked with this year don’t seem to have. I want to hear points of view that differ from my own. See, I can be mistaken sometimes. I have no illusion that people who think differently than I are evil or stupid. I appreciate new information. I feel nearly alone in that perspective. Not that I wouldn’t still go on the ride. I’d just like to know what the ones who chose not to stand in the line know.

During the primaries, I had my candidate all picked out. In fact, I picked him in 2004, and I predicted that he’d be elected this year. And I was thrilled. Then I lost the thrill. BUT, I am still tickled by how thrilled and excited most of my friends are. It’s GOOD to be passionate about something this important. Frankly, I envy you that passion. I hope I get it again someday.

If the candidate about whom you’re passionate is elected, I whole-heartedly congratulate you — and him — and I hope that he is humble in victory, and that his opponent is gracious in defeat. And that both the humility and the grace last through the next four years. Can you imagine? That’s how our country might rise to a position of honor again.

I hope the hatred of the president that has been in fashion these past few years goes out of fashion to stay. Thinking back over my nearly fifty years, sometimes I’ve voted for the winner, sometimes not. And I have never had one second of hating the president. This is another thing I’ve had a hard time getting my mind around. I was pissed at Nixon in the wake of Watergate (too young to vote then), and disgusted with Clinton in the “it depends on what your definition of is is” days, but I didn’t hate them. I thought they made poor choices, that were not in their best interest, nor that of the nation. But in my job, on any given day, I might make a poor choice. I understand how that can happen. I saw, and still see, what they brought to the job that was of value. Great value. It’s a really tough job. Some have argued that only seriously character-flawed individuals would seek it. I think there’s some truth to that. Both the excellence and the cracks will likely become apparent in the new president. And I think he’ll do fine.

And I wonder what the people (many, many people) who’ve spent so much emotional energy hating George Bush will do with all that energy?! Seriously, if it were now converted into something more productive than hatred, than verbal vitriol, imagine the good that could be accomplished. I hope we get to see that.

I don’t share the high stress level that many people are talking about today. I’m excited for the exercise of freedom, for the historic occasion, for the new beginning. But not stressed. MainlineMom twittered today that her faith is not in politicians. I think that’s why I’m not stressed, too. It’s the “peace that passes understanding,” that scripture talks about. And that has often been so elusive to me. But I think that is what I have, now. It’s not a bad place to be. Read more about this Christian perspective, if you’re so inclined: Philippians 4:4-7. (And the two verses following that, 8 and 9, might be my very favorites and the ones I tell myself most often.)

Another thing that struck me about this election was how many people wrote about feeling differently toward their friends, colleagues, neighbors once they realized those people didn’t share their political views. Again, my mind doesn’t go that way. I’ve never had any expectation of my friends sharing my political views. Many of my family don’t share my views, nor I theirs. My friendship with you is about how you treat me and how I treat you; how I talk about you when you’re not around, and how you talk about me. The fact that I rejoice when something wonderful happens to you, and cry or cuss when something awful happens, and you do the same for me and mine. And we could do that our whole lives without ever discussing politics for one moment. Probably about half the country will vote differently from me today; I’m still glad you’re here, thankful for what you bring. Just one more curiosity I noted during this election season.

As NessaLee posted on Twitter this morning, the new President will be up to his eyeballs in trouble from day one. This really is the time to come together as Americans, if ever there has been a time. I pledge my support to the winner. “Support” meaning I’ll look for the good, and that’s what I’ll focus on; I’ll look for what I can personally do to make things better; I won’t expend energy on hatred and ridicule, I’ll actively seek ways to put the energy to better use. And I’ll pray that the President and his advisors have wisdom, courage and serenity.

Congratulations and every blessing to you (and us), Mr. President-elect, whomever you are.

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