I’m a Fatty & I’m Okay

It takes a lot to offend me. A lot.

You kind of have to have a thick skin when you surf a lot of blogs, newspapers & various celeb trashy sites. I’ve had a few magazine subscriptions over the years, there is some satisfaction in curling up with a mag and coffee once in a while. However, in our fast paced life, catching up online is usually the only thing I have time for. I don’t think I’m alone. Magazines are failing all over the place.

And I hope Marie Claire bites it next. The first issue was released in 1937 and they’re past their prime. It’s evident that all they care about is getting hits on their site. That has to be it – I can’t see why a logical thinking editor would ever publish this piece of garbage otherwise. To add insult to injury, Maura Kelly wrote it poorly. I can’t understand what they were thinking.

So anyway, yes, I think I’d be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other … because I’d be grossed out if I had to watch them doing anything. To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I’d find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

The above statement nearly made me fall off my chair. Did she honestly compare a heavy person walking across the room to a person being drunk? For shame. Ms. Kelly claims to “not be a size-ist, but let’s see how that statement works when you insert a different type of person in her ever so eloquent statement.

To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very black person simply walk across a room.

To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very disabled person simply walk across a room.

To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very gay person simply walk across a room.

None of those statements are appropriate, but Maura seems to think that if you say the exact same thing about fat people then it’s perfectly appropriate. It actually hurts my heart that there are people out there who think this way. What I find more shocking is the ease at which such insensitivity is shared. I can’t understand why someone would write something so negative, targeting a specific group of people.

And yes, Maura, fat people can lose weight (thank goodness you gave the advice of a nutritionist – no one would have come to that on their own!), but I think the more important question is how can you cure intolerance? Shame on you. I pray that no little girl ever asks you about life because if this is what you think publicly, I am frightened by what might be secretly lurking in your brain.

Now, don’t go getting the wrong impression: I have a few friends who could be called plump.

Are you sure? I somehow doubt they’ll be returning your calls. I’m also surprised that you have room in your life for anything other than your ego.

When I clicked Maura’s bio I was expecting to see a drop dead gorgeous model. Hardly. She may be thin, but she’s no beauty queen. Sorry honey, but me & my curves could dance sexy circles around your bony cheekbones any day of the week. It’s so surprising she’s not been able to find lasting love. Come on my single guy friends…wouldn’t you just love to go out with a judgmental, overbearing, intolerant woman? What? No one? But, she’s thin!! Still no takers, huh? Can’t blame you.

On that note, I leave you with Katie Makkai who carries more eloquence than Ms. Kelly will ever capture.

What Might Make Me a Hoarder

I love infomercials. Truly. Madly. Deeply. I also kind of had a crush on Ron-but-wait-there’s-more-Popeil.

When I was about 16, all of the kids my age wanted Doc Martens. Me? I wanted the Ronco Food Dehydrator. Because really, why wouldn’t a 16 year old want to smell like turkey jerkey? Alas, my love for the machine has gone unrequited. I never got it. Statler & Waldorf thought it would be a waste of money – but clearly, the Thigh Master has paid for itself ten fold. Waldorf still uses it. I couldn’t bring myself to spend my $4.50/hour movie theatre money on an appliance – I was eccentric enough. Almost 17 years later & I still want to make homemade fruit roll-ups.

Although the Food Dehydrator is the one that got away, I haven’t been lacking in infomercial product. I bought the Checkerboard Cake pan at some Seen on TV store. I made it once. It was okay. Once I got married, it became harder to purchase these items – convincing Alec to buy something off the TV was like telling Judge Judy to lay off the caffeine. Until the Ronco Knife Set. I believe I woke him up early one weekend morning and forced him to watch the infomercial with me. By the end he was whipping out our credit card and ready to rock. That was about 7 years ago – and my ass is chapped that now the set is $39…AND you get TWO FREAKIN’ SETS! However, they were worth every penny. We’re still using them & they’re labelled to correspond with the label on the knife block which satisfies my OCD tendencies. Then there was the Buxton Bag. Yeah. I’m siding with Alec on that one now. It was $40 when I bought it, but when factored in tax and shipping, it came to about $65. It’s a great bag, but imagine my disenchantment when I found the same bag at a local store for a meager $20.

Anyway. Last night I stayed up WAY too late watching an infomercial. It was for the Carol Burnett Collector’s Edition DVD. I did not grab the phone. I resisted. BUT, I watched the show that had great clips and I got thinking. There is no family TV on anymore! I can’t let the kids watch TV, it’s all crap. Variety shows like Carol’s, Sonny & Cher, Flip Wilson, Andy Williams, The Muppet Show were all what I grew up on. Fridays were big in our house. It meant we got to take treats in our lunch & watch something cool on TV that night, eat popcorn and stay up late. We loved the Dolly Parton show. We also watched shows like Simon & Simon, CHiPs & Hart to Hart. Those were great family nights in.

The next time that offer is on – I’m totally getting it.

To Madame, With Love

We’ve all seen the movie & heard the Lulu song. But how do you thank someone who teaches you so much about life?

I wasn’t blessed with a close mother/daughter relationship. It’s very surface level and that works for Statler & I. For some reason, God always provided a strong mother figure for various stages of my life. I had one in my teens who got me through the stupid teen aged choices I made. I had one in my early twenties who supported me and my crazy ideals of life and gave me wild adventures (who’s feeling like a road trip?).

And, I had Madame.

I met her when I was in my early twenties and she was so inspiring. In the dictionary of life, her picture was beside “has shit together”. Always professional and composed. She taught me about how to be a professional grown up, how image was actually important because you can only make that first impression once. Not that I was a hillbilly or anything, just clueless.

We’ve become really close over the last 7 or 8 years. Mentor? That’s not a loving enough word. She listens to all my crazy, wingnut ideas and always gives me the greatest advice. She adopted us. She loves us. She loves our kids. We always joke about our kids having too many grandparents. We always laugh when we go out because inevitably someone will think she’s my mom. She loves art and we took oil classes together until I was very pregnant with Emmy. Her paintings are are fantastic and I love that we have some of them in our home. She laughs a lot. She loves fiercely.

Madame is proper. She taught us great lessons in finance and budgeting when we really needed it. Even when faced with the hardest of life’s challenges, she still looks awesome. Seriously. Poster child for always having lipstick handy. She is honest. She tells me if my makeup is sucky or if I made a good decision in what I told my boss. She always laughs at my French – non par d’argent.

What I love the most is her encouragement. Always in my corner. Always telling me that my baking is awesome (it so is), or that we chose great colours for our house. But most importantly, she always told me I was a good mom. That my kids are going to grow up to be strong and loving people because Alec & I are doing a good job. Who says that these days? If your parents do, go give them a hug. Right now – go do it, because not all of us are blessed with people like that in our immediate family.

And now Madame is gone.

We lost her the night before last. I thought death might bring some sense of relief after such physical suffering – that she never once complained about. It doesn’t. I can only think about the stupid shit that I bothered her with. I can’t remember what we spoke about last, but I can assure you, it was of no importance. I refused to believe that it was possibly the last time we’d speak. I was in denial of so many things & now it’s too late. Too late.

She was my dear hearted friend, I love her. Alec and I have both lost our mentors this year and I am ready wrap up 2010 now. I don’t want to go to a mall because I’m afraid someone will walk by with her perfume and yet I want to lose myself in her comforter. I cannot believe she won’t be coming over for chinese food again. I can’t believe we won’t take the kids to the farmer’s market again. I can’t believe she won’t be with me at the next theatre show I see. I can’t believe she will never paint again.

I just can’t.

We all love you, forever.

We’re Fine

This will be short & quick.

We all survived. The plane didn’t go down in a fiery ball. The pilot was very competent. And I had no anxiety. Happy day. Emmy did awesome too. Thank goodness for TVs on planes. She watched Shrek 4. I watch Sex & The City 2 – I probably should’ve watched Shrek. It was an okay movie & I heard there wasn’t a lot of sex in it which was why I was watching it next to a 4 year old. Until the end. I threw myself onto the screen to cover some Kim Cattrall body part…while strapped to my seat. I’m very entertaining in-flight.

Disneyland was kick ass. Seriously, it was awesome. Always is. The best part was living it through Emmy’s eyes. I cannot wait to take her back.

But more about planes. While landing at LAX, I saw a vessel belonging to Virgin Airlines. I get that it’s a part of Richard Branson’s empire. BUT, is that the best name for an airline? Really? I’d have more confidence in an airline called I’mATotalWhoreIGaveGeneSimmonsLessons Airline.

Just a thought.

Some day, Alec will be very rich.

I used to be a good flier. I relished turbulence.

Then the kids arrived. Thoughts of fiery ends entered to play. My brain has this tendency to come up with elaborate totally impossible scenarios involving my flight and my demise. Thus, the end of the entire universe.

For some reason as soon as we take off, my brain goes into overdrive on scenarios. Like, why did I take a seat in the emergency row? If this fucker goes down, I am totally grabbing the bitch next to me and using her as a flotation device. Shit. We’re not over water. Okay, so if I die, will Alec get enough from insurance to live on for a while? Enough to get a girlfriend? He better keep a picture of me up somewhere in the house. But he’ll have dead wife money to throw at the eligible punani. AND he’s getting grey in his beard so some skank out there will mistake that for “distinguished” and suddenly my kids are calling some 23 year old poorly educated former Hooters worker “mommy” and Alec will be thrilled because he’ll have less laundry to do because she doesn’t wear underwear.

And then I’ll cry, right there in the middle of my 1/2 glass of apple juice, because my death turned Alec into a dirty old man and the kids’ new mommy makes Heidi Montag look like a neurosurgeon. And I’ll attribute the tears to the movie I’m watching, which people will believe because it’s an Ashton Kutcher flick.

My last flight had me contemplating those little, blue, under the tongue pills that Statler thinks are her sleeping pills. God bless her doctor.

But the flight I’m getting on tomorrow will not just have me on it, but Alec & Emmy too. Um, I can’t be “medicated” when I’m responsible for another human. Yeah, Alec will be there, but I won’t be a beacon of reassurance to Emmy, who’s also shown signs of nervousness, if I’m drooling on my backpack singing “If I Could Turn Back Time”. In French. I do amazing things while medicated.

So I have to suck it up. Right? I’m really hoping having Emmy there (who doesn’t know I’m secretly freaking out) will be just the distraction I need to focus on to keep me from resuming the fetal position.

I should probably lay off the coffee tomorrow.

Wordless Wednesday

It seems I’m usually late to the party most of the time.

Got into NKOTB after they broke up (shut up).

Started watching Friends after Julie was introduced.

Didn’t see John Hughes movies until after high school. Sigh. Judd Nelson.

What were we talking about? Right.

So without further adieu, I give you my first entry into Wordless Wednesday. I promise to try to do it every single Wednesday. Well, except next week ’cause I’ll be partying with this girl at Minnie’s House.

Wordless Wednesday has gotten very wordy.

Sorry – but none of them are swears so that should count for something, right?

Call Kim & Aggie

Okay. This isn’t really my house.

But I feel like it is.

You know when you go to get dressed & feel like during that time, the children will be fine watching Bug’s Life in the living room…alone? Like angels?

Only to find the living room looking like Satan hosted Gene Simmon’s orgy while everyone did Kool-aid body shots? In the span of 4 minutes? What the fuck people?

I feel like I’m only a couple of days away from having those British Nazi cleaning women at my house yelling at me that the kids would have cleaner water if they drank directly from the toilet than one of our cups. Or that there’s fecal matter on my hair brush or something. Although I think the bigger lady…is that Kim…would be a fantastic drinking partner, I’m just not into getting a visit from her!

I’m telling you – I’m like, 2 sleeps from having shit sent from my house to a lab – just to determine how gross I am. I need a scale of grossness.

I might be overreacting. I would just like an uninterrupted hour to clean. Like, really clean. Like, with Ly-fuckin-sol. Yeah, yeah, natural cleaners are great. But good night nurse, I need some lemon scented cleaner to validate me as a good mother and wife and to tell me that my house is clean!

I’m going to find my toilet brush.

Not Jumpin’ on the Leavin’ Wagon

Of all wagons I’m likely to jump on it’s not the Leaving Facebook Wagon – but let me know when you’re hitchin’ up the Sin Wagon & I’ll get my spurs.

A dear friend of mine recently decided to leave Facebook. As a final swan song, he wrote a fairly scathing blog post regarding the reasons for leaving the social media “time suck” known to millions as Facebook. Now, bear in mind, I love this guy, he’s fantastic & you should totally read his blog on the 52 People Experiment.

That background established, I will now launch into why I disagree with almost every part of his posting, and dare I say found some of it judgmental. I mean, because I enjoy Facebook does that make me a bottom feeder of shallow relationships? If you know me, you know that’s not the case.

Facebook has created fake relationships. Nothing of substance, a fast-food social system that fills you up, but is mostly comprised of crap that leaves you malnourished and unfulfilled.

I categorically disagree with the above statement. Last spring, I met Carol at a charity event. We bonded over music. We went home and began our Facebook friendship. We exchanged witty Facebook banter, because after all, we are both funny as hell. We decided to get together and hit it off further. Then we introduced the men…who are both musicians and they hit it off. Our daughters are the same age and Emmy now has a her first crush on Carol’s son. Without our initial “friendship” on Facebook, Carol would’ve been one of those people I had a blast with on the day but realistically, wouldn’t have seen until the following year at the next charity event.

Ask the stay at home mom who doesn’t have access to a vehicle during the day if Facebook is important. Ask the small business owner if Facebook is important. Ask the chairperson of a charity event if Facebook is important. Ask the local farmer’s market if Facebook is important.

There are so many users because it’s such a powerful and dynamic tool. Key word being tool. If you join Facebook & reconnect with old high school friends, don’t expect Facebook to be the vehicle to catch up with them. Yeah, you know they’re alive and have 2.5 kids now, but if you want to go deeper than that, then yeah, you do have to pick up the phone. But, begrudging Facebook for not leading to lasting relationships is not Facebook’s fault.

Personally, I don’t like the word “friend” on Facebook. Because yeah, I’m “friends” with some people I don’t know – I would prefer a spin on the word “network”, because that’s really what it is. Currently, I have 399 “friends”. Do I have deep meaningful relationships with all of them? Hell, do I know all of them? No. Have some of those connections lead to meaningful relationships? Hells yeah. I’ve become friends with some of Alec’s friends via Facebook – these would be people that I would’ve only seen at reunions and exchanged the “we should get together more often” pleasantries that annoy the crap out of me, but I’ve been able to get to know them, hang out with them and truly know them. Without the initial Facebook connection, those relationships would’ve never happened.

Can Facebook “friends” lead to unexpected greatness? You bet your tushie they can. As a chairperson for a charity event, it is the single, most effective tool I have to reach volunteers, participants and vendors. One posting and my information can be shared immediately with my network – oh yeah, and my friend’s networks just by them clicking “share”. That’s thousands of people getting the word almost instantly and effortlessly – try asking a friend to call 200 of her friends to ask them if they’d volunteer for a community charity. Not going to happen.

Can Facebook leave you craving a personal connection? Of course, but why should Facebook be meeting all of your social needs? Would I like to chat with friends on the phone? Yes. Would I like to call a friend and meet her for coffee? You bet. Hell, would I like to go out with Alec on occasion? Yes! Man, I’d LOVE to be able to call all of my girlfriends on their birthdays. Is that a realistic expectation for me to place on myself? Absolutely not. It’s about balance. Did you stop using the phone and meeting people when you joined Facebook?

I have a group page for my home business and a fan page for my business. But those pages are mine – I have to nurture them & encourage people to interact. I can’t set them up and leave them to be maintained by their members or they won’t be successful.

Every day my business grows – because of Facebook. Facebook saves me the cost of doing expensive mail outs to nearby neighbourhoods that would end up in a recycling bin. It saves me from walking door to door dropping off catalogs – because I can reach more people, more effectively on Facebook. So, I suppose I am a part of the “Sellmesomethingbook“. It makes me sad that because I advertise on Facebook that I’m lumped into a pile of unwanted solicitations that seem to clutter up the News Feed. I dare ask that if you see so many of these solicitations, why not ask people about them? On Facebook – it only takes a second. I advertise my business and the business of friends. Why? Because I see Facebook as a community and communities should support each other. I plug friend’s blogs because they’re awesome and I value what they have to say. I plug friend’s businesses because I know how much it means to them and what their goals are. I plug events because it’s for a cause that’s near to my heart.

I also have a fan page for my blog and you should totally become a fan.

Do weird things happen on Facebook? Sure. Occasionally, you’ll get a call from a 90210 star in the middle of dinner – because of Facebook (holla). Sometimes you’ll also find people being cruel to your friends. That’s what unfriending is for – I have no time for that shit. Do people post really personal things that you would rather not know? Sure, but ignore it. People are people and not caring about the mundane things they post, I find cold. Do I post boring status updates? Probably every day. Is it important that my Facebook universe know that I’m baking with Emmy? No. Is it a deep, meaningful, spiritually enlightened post? No. But it might be the highlight of my day. Just because something might seem insignificant to you doesn’t mean it is to the poster. Don’t be so quick to dismiss.

Don’t like the various games people play on Facebook? There’s an easy fix for that.

Expecting the vehicle of Facebook to lead to deep meaningful relationships is like going to a gym and getting frustrated that you’re still fat. You can’t tell me that a treadmill is ineffective while you’re standing next to it. Sure, you see the shiny buttons but have you even turned it on? I will admit that I’m sad that the 52 People group has been left without an administrator & little interaction to begin with. Without a leader, groups will fail – even in Facebook.

Facebook is the car, not the destination. If you can’t keep up with 600 friends, then don’t have 600 friends. Your network can be as large or small as you wish. Have to dig deep into the recesses of your brain to remember who this person is that’s friend requesting you? Then a polite reply of “thanks for finding me, but I keep my profile very private and restricted to family only. Please email me and maybe we can catch up over coffee some time”. Now, there’s a social experiment. I think you would’ve been surprised with the outcome if you stepped out of your Facebook comfort zone and used it as a tool to deeper relationships rather than a voyeur via News Feed – can’t judge a party from the couch.

This all comes from someone who can’t use her Blackberry to save her thumbs – you don’t need to be tech savvy to use Facebook and have it meet personal, business and superficial needs.

I love you dude, but somewhere there’s a baby crying a puddle of bathwater.