The entries have been posted for the haiku contest I mentioned a couple of entries ago. If you'd like to take a look at them and/or vote, go here. As I said earlier, you don't have to vote for mine - vote for your favorite. Either way, a soldier will get a care package, and your day will be a little more artistically brightened. The voting is closed at 9 am tomorrow, so go quickly!
Myth, or Reality?
In my life, there's not a day that goes by that doesn't contain some sort of self-berating for my weight. I'm constantly thinking of how large I am, of how much weight I need to lose, of how unhappy I am in my clothes, in my skin, in my body, in my life. It doesn't help that I hate girly clothes, and would much rather wear boy clothes - and while it is nice that I can find more nice clothing to fit me at Old Navy than I normally would (because I’m built exactly like my dad – big tummy, small ass, flat chest - and the fashion industry seems to be much more accepting of the idea of fat guys than fat girls, so the pickings aren’t quite so slim), I stand out even more because I'm a fat girl wearing boy's clothes and looking very much like a boy, instead of a fat girl wearing fat girl clothes, attempting with all her might to blend in with the surrounding furniture (because that's what us fat girls are supposed to do, you know – earnestly attempt to double for something like a ruffled purple polka-dotted couch before someone notices us and how FAT we are).
The sad part is, I'd estimate that at least 85% of my neurosis is completely internal. My friends accept and love me for who I am. My girlfriend, ditto. My parents and family, yet again. When they see me, I'm sure that they don't immediately say to themselves, "Jesus Christ! What a cow she is!" That's not their internal process. So why is it mine? I think about my weight constantly - every time I pass a reflective surface, I check myself out, and am always found wanting. I find some days that I'm obsessed with my hair - if my hair looks fabulous, then hey, I can pull of this whole fat person thing with flair, right? Who will notice that I'm overweight when my bangs are just the right amount of fluff vs. spike? Christ.
Everything I eat is (consciously or unconsciously) evaluated before it goes into my mouth. Every. Single. Thing. And there's always a vague sort of guilt when I calculate the calories - endlessly calculating, here - in something that's not strictly "good" for me. I wear this cloak of guilt every day, and it’s getting heavier and heavier. But I don’t know how to stop obsessing. I don’t know how to just give up the idea that one day, ONE DAY I’ll be thin, and a “normal” weight. I’ll be attractive, and sexy, and able to wear whatever I want. And DO whatever I want – horseback riding, skydiving, roller coaster hopping, biking, karate classes, etc., etc., world without end, hallelujah, amen. I can’t let go of this obsession with being a better person than I am now by becoming thin. This idea pisses my rational mind off – in my experience, the bitchiest people in the world are skinny whores like Paris Hilton – but the superstitious, childlike part of my brain just can’t let it go.
I have a few “Fatosphere Blogs” in my sidebar over there – Big Fat Deal and Pasta Queen are two of them – and I read them every day. Pasta Queen always makes me feel guilty because she started out fatter than me (well over 300 lbs) and dieted and exercised her way down to 170, just by willpower alone. She’s also publishing a book about it. Oh, did I mention she lives in Indianapolis? Yeah. It’s like the life I keep imagining if I just had the gumption to get it done. Which makes me hate myself even more, sometimes. If only I could just bottle up some motivation and make it into pills…
Big Fat Deal is a great blog that’s mostly about fat acceptance – which brings me to the title of my post. I know fat acceptance is a very real thing to a lot of people. When I read about it, though, it just doesn’t sink into my head. It’s like a concept that’s GREAT for other people in practice, and okay for me in theory, but if I try to actually think it through and figure out how to apply it to my life it’s as if my brain is made of Teflon and the idea just slides right off every time like a piece of greasy bacon. (Mmmm, bacon…)
Anyway. I don’t know how to make myself comprehend and apply this whole fat acceptance thing. The idea of “this life is as good as you’re going to get, now live with it and make it everything you want and stop waiting to live your life because it’s ending one moment at a time and you’re not getting any thinner” completely, utterly fucks me up. I have NO IDEA how to process this. It’s a totally alien concept – spoken in some foreign language that’s the native tongue on the Planet of the Fat People that Love Themselves Regardless of Their Weight. Those people EXIST?! And I can be ONE OF THEM?! Uhhh… hold on a second… *passes out briefly*
Huzzzzz… whussat? Who? Huh?
If you’re wondering what inspired this post, go here. It’s a blog entry by a lady named Kate Harding who talks about The Fantasy of Being Thin. It’s the first thing I’ve read in a long time that’s been able to chip through part of that Teflon brain coating. Maybe if I read it ten thousand times, it’ll sink in just a little deeper, and I’ll be able to accept that I will NEVER be really thin, the way I am in my secret daydreams – all I can hope for is to be healthy, and to live my life to the best of my ability. Which means writing and actually sending things out to be published (thanks, Gail, for the kick in the ass last night); trying new things like horseback riding and – YES – skydiving, and taking classes in the things I’m interested in like filmmaking, martial arts and cooking. (Oh, and thanks to Mo Pie, for the link to Kate's (hopefully) life-changing post.)
I’m sick of being a slave to my fat obsession. HOW do I let it go??? At least now I’ve realized that it’s not a healthy way to live, and that I need to change my perspectives. Time for some re-evaluations, I guess. Time to figure out if fat acceptance, for me, is a myth or a reality. Either way, I believe it is at least an ingredient in the stuff that dreams are made of.
I entered a weekly online Haiku contest. It's on someone's (Sparrow's) blog that's a friend of DNR. They have a themed contest once a week. You compose a Haiku based on the theme they suggest, and everyone votes for their favorite. This week's subject was "loss". I gave this one a little thought, and came up with the following three haikus:The desert claimed you.Sunshine smile dimmed foreverI will not forget.Your skin like old silk...my fingers tremble as Icount out your last breathsWarm bundle of fursweet heartbeats lost in silencerest well, my old friend.I submitted the first one and the last one for the contest. The second one I decided not to submit, mostly because I'm all shy-facey about it. Each of these is inspired by a friend or loved one that I've lost to an early or sudden death. Writing these made me a little melancholy, but that's ok. Sometimes melancholy is good.I like haikus. They paradoxically please both my inner pragmatist and ever-present artist, simultaneously. I love the structure of them, it makes me think "Poem concentrated". I have to emotionally and artistically punch you as hard as I can in seventeen syllables. Annnnddd... GO.The contest is at http://chromedcurses.com/allatwitter/2007/11/28/atypical-topic/ if you want to check it out. I think that Sparrow will post the entries for voting on in a couple of days. I'll keep an eye on it and let you know when you can go vote. I don't care if you vote for mine; vote for the best - the winner gets a deluxe care package sent to the soldier of their choice, and every soldier could use a deluxe care package. However, if you like mine best, please vote for it!
I hate the damn internet sometimes. I've had to change my settings to moderate comments before they're posted, because I got two comments in one night that were asking me for money and to add them to my blogroll. And, the comments were in a (mostly) foreign language, German I think, with just enough English in them to get their point across. ARRRGH! While I can see how the internet shows how far we've come communications-wise sometimes, it really does show off how shitty us humans can be sometimes - spam, internet scams, hackers, perverts... it's like some kind of breeding ground for the dregs of society, sometimes.
So, the upshot of it is, if you leave a comment, I have to approve it first, because it took me forever to get the stupid German spam comment deleted, and life's too short. Don't worry, though - I'll approve your comment as quickly as I possibly can.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Happy Holidays, all.Thanksgiving was good. I ended up hanging out with my cousin and sister while the rest of the family watched some Ben Stiller movie. I hate Ben Stiller, and I hate trite movies like Night at the Museum, so I was happy to have a little black sheep time with my cousin and sister. Andrew and I have always been the black sheep of the family, so it was nice to graze together for a bit, ha. The meal was great, made strange only by the lack of family members that had been there for most of my life. I know my grandmother's been gone for a few years now, but I still miss her like crazy sometimes, especially on days like Thanksgiving. After dinner I put on my pea coat and walked around outside. The house is still the same as it always was, though my uncle has been continually updating it so it's not quite as rustic (read: falling down) as it was when I was a kid. My grandfather literally built that house with his bare hands, hauling river rocks from nearby Allen's Creek to make the foundation. It's big and old and filled with the memories and ghosts of all the people that have lived there over the years. The house sits on about eight acres on the side of a mountain, and I walked all over those acres in the deepening twilight, a cold mist hanging in the air. The grass was brown and the mountains crowding down around me were a solemn, steely charcoal color. It got progressively colder and colder and I was thankful for my sweater and pea coat. Then, as I passed the old falling apartments that are set on the back side of the property, I saw movement through a dirty window, and realized that my sister and Andrew were hiding inside. I went into the building to join them, and found that they'd made a cozy little place with a space heater and cushy armchairs. Andrew played his drums a little and we all just talked and relaxed. It was great, and that feeling of coming in from the cold - literally and emotionally at the same time - was amazing.Erin and I decorated the inside of our house yesterday - lighted garland on the banister and mantel, and we put up our Christmas tree. We're going to put up lights on the outside of the house too, but we didn't have time yesterday. I need to figure out what I'm getting people for Christmas - the time draweth nigh. I'm getting excited about the holiday - especially with New Year's coming up, this year the holidays are going to be great, I just know it. Oh yeah, our New Year's party! We're going to squeeze a bunch of people into our tiny little house and party our booties off. It's going to be BYOB, but Erin and I will be providing a champagne toast for our guests at midnight. We're also going to be doing some appetizers and snacks. I'm all excited about it. At least three of our friends from Florence are going to be driving up, and a friend from Charlotte, and a few people from around here. There will be drinks, dancing, toasts - an all-around good time.Back to work, constantly dreaming of the upcoming festivities... cheers!
Happy Turkey Day...
Gobble... Gobble...I'm going to NC with the fam for Thanksgiving this year. It won't be the same, hasn't been the same since my grandmother died, but it's important, I think, to go. I remember Thanksgiving was such a great time when I was a kid... we'd go up to my grandmother's house in NC and the whole family would be there. We'd eat ourselves stupid and sit around talking about the things that had happened over the course of the year. My grandmother would always make her chestnut dressing from scratch, and my god, it was good. After food, us kids would go play outside in the crisp November air. My grandmother lived on the side of a mountain (literally!), so we would be playing in this huge front yard with the Blue Ridge Mountains all around us, anywhere you looked was mountains. There was always a smell of wood burning, because the old folks across the road had a woodstove. Everything was brown and crimson and yellow and orange and breathtakingly beautiful. I miss being small. It was a lot easier to be wonderstruck. Now I have to work at it... but at least I succeed... well, sometimes, anyway.
Gaaaahhhh!!! (Dilbert noise)
Welcome to Corporate America.I don't talk much about the job because there's not much to talk about. And I try hard not to whine about "at my last job we did it this way" because that's just not fair. They're two different companies in two different parts of the country run by different people, and the one I'm in now is about ten times (literally) bigger than the one I was working with in Indiana. But let me just say, in the spirit of trying NOT to compare and whine, that I'm pissed at the new company's policy on certain holidays. New Year's Eve, to be exact. They consider this to be a "floating holiday", which means that they're open for business, and you can take that day as a holiday if you want, or you can use it somewhere else during the year as kind of an open vacation day. Cool, huh? Yeah, it's a cool concept. Until you realize that you're going to get the shaft when it comes to holidays (AGAIN) because someone from your "team" needs to be there on that day because we're open for business, and god forbid someone have to leave a voicemail message or have to wait a day to get an email response about the status of their lighting fixtures. Erin and I have plans for New Year's Eve. We're going to have a party at the house, which I'll post more about later, because I'm REALLY excited about it, and I don't want to include it in such a pissy post. So, I thought that I would be able to take that day off. Oh, no. That's just not the way it's done here. Because I have no seniority, I get to stay here on that day, even though it's going to be a fucking morgue here, it's going to be so dead. Even though it's the last day of the year and 95% of our customers are closed on New Year's Eve, and contractors don't work on that day, and almost everyone else in the universe has that particular day off, the phone might ring once and there might be some sort of life-or-death lighting issue that needs to be addressed IMMEDIATELY or the fate of the free world will crumble and be doomed to imminent disaster, therefore sending our economy and our country into an uncontrollable downward spiral leading to an inevitable destruction of democracy, the American dreeam, and every citizen's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, yeah. Erin's going to see if she can get that day off, so she can make the house ready for the party. Hopefully she'll be able to do that, and that way I can continue doing my part to keep our country safe by not upsetting the delicate national economic balance that is decided by the sale, operation and immediate delivery of commercial lighting fixtures. Because yeah, I love America, people. Woo. *shakes head* Fuckin' hooers.
When we're gone
Halloween was good. We had trick-or-treaters! That was a lot of fun. There was one little guy that, after getting his candy and seeing the cats peeking out the door from the living room behind me, spun around in a circle with his arms up in the air and said, "Happy Halloween, kitties!!" I hate using this word, but he was absolutely adorable. Definitely my favorite trick-or-treater of the evening. I did notice that almost all the costumes this year were kind of slack-ass. I dunno, when I was a kid I started obsessing about what I was going to dress up as for Halloween right after my birthday, which is at the end of September. It was always an elaborate plan. I took Halloween costumes seriously!! Maybe that was just me, though. I guess I've always been kind of a freak.Shane and Curt came to visit this past weekend, and for fun (and because we were broke and couldn't afford to go to haunted "attractions") we went to some of the creepiest places we could find. First we went to the Poinsett Bridge, which is this old stone bridge out in the middle of nowhere that's supposed to be haunted. We didn't see ghosts, but it was by far the most beautiful place we went all night. In the dark, with our flashlights off and the full moon streaming through the trees of the woods surrounding the bridge, the stream that the bridge spans chuckling quietly along, it kind of seemed like a forgotten part of Middle Earth - very peaceful, very beautiful. I could have stayed there for hours, but we were trying to scare the pants off each other, so we left and went to this huge old cemetery out in Spartanburg. We walked around there for a while and didn't see much, but then things started to get creepy. Hard to explain... both Erin and I started getting a really antsy, time-to-get-in-the-car feeling, and we headed out. Our friend Crunchy had a tape recorder with him, and after we got out of there (we were really kind of spooked) he played it back, and we heard (just before Erin and I start talking about how we want to leave) what sounded like a train whistle on the tape, right there in the graveyard with us, even though the closest train tracks to the cemetery are at least six miles away and none of us had heard any train. Creepy...Then we went out to this old graveyard that's been forgotten and overgrown by woods... it's primarily a children's graveyard, as it was situated next to an old orphanage that burned down several decades ago. You have to go through woods to find the graves... some of them have sunken or fallen in. We've been there before and it's been incredibly creepy... the last time we went it was in the middle of the afternoon and we kept hearing the strangest sounds in the trees around us, like children giggling (no shit). But this time it was almost ethereally quiet. I kept seeing gravestones marked with things like "Gone but not forgotten" and realized that regardless of the sentiment behind those words, they were a lie... the toppled headstones, kudzu growing across graves and monuments becoming lost in the underbrush were all I needed to see to know that in time, all of us will be forgotten. It was actually really sad, instead of creepy. It makes me think that I might want to be cremated in the end, so I can be scattered and become a part of everything, instead of rotting in some hole in the ground that will eventually be forgotten and lost. Today is All Saints' day... I'm not Catholic, but I still do appreciate a day where we remember the dead, thank them for touching our lives, and are quietly reverent on their behalf. To my loved ones that have passed on... while I'm on the earth... you will not be forgotten.Wow, what a cheerful post. This is what happens when I just let my mind wander...Anyway. Thanksgiving is three weeks from today, can you believe that? Thank God for four days off from work. I've realized one of the things I really miss about working at Indy is that even though my supervisor got on my nerves and there were shitty coworkers to deal with in other departments, the people in my department that worked around me (and a few others) really appreciated me, my quirky sense of humor, and the fact that I was really good at my job... every day I went to work I felt kind of like a rock star... yeah, it sounds silly when you think about a customer service rep for a lighting company feeling that way, but it really meant a lot to me to have coworkers that looked up to me for advice and direction. I don't have that here. That might change (after all, it took me almost two years to get to that point at Indy), but in the meantime, I just feel like a face in the crowd. When I get lonely and sad, though, I just remind myself that I'm making about 19% more money here than I was there. More money is good money. All money is good money. YAY MONEY! Is it worth not being a rock star to have that much more money? Yeah, it is... *sigh* Yeah, it is.