Fat and Not Afraid

Respect and love are for EVERY body.

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Out of Gas

April 15, 2014

Out of mental spoons. Out of fucks to give. That's me right now. All of my energy is currently focused on getting through the day by day of my life. It's the uncertainty of what might come next that's bothering me the most, making me waver between frustration and hoplessness with a terrible blankness inbetween. All I want to do is sleep. Or scream. Or cry. I do none of these things. Instead I gave an interview to my local online paper about what it's like to be working and living on minimum wage with two kids and being homeless at my inlaws. (Stay out of the comments unless you've got a lot of sanity watchers points). There are pieces missing, about how I was out west for two years and had a good job and lost it, but that past doesn't change my present, how far we've fallen and how quickly it happened.

The current hopelessness troubles me, the knowing that fixing this problem is out of our hands unless we earn more money or spend the next year or two or five saving for a house. Ryan recently got a new job, one he doesn't hate and that I hope will treat him well, but it's still just part-time. He's been promised full time in the future, but we've heard that before. Being hopeless, not being able to help myself, is literally depressing me. I can't DO anything but keep putting one foot infront of the other and get through the day and apply for jobs.

Ryan suggested last night on our way home from my mom's that we use our return tickets for a little trip for ourselves, go back to the Island and visit Tigh Na Mara spa for our wedding anniversary in June since we didn't make it last year. I admit I felt a leap of excitment, but I quickly squashed it. Hope it a firefly I can't afford because I'm so damn tired of being let down and disappointed, and we have so many other things we should spend our money on instead, like getting our things out of storage or saving up to either get a house or move. Instead of jumping in with ideas or planning, like Jen of last year would have done, I said "If you want us to do it, it's up to you to plan it. I just don't have it in me to hope something that wonderful could happen."

Say Nay Nay! Goodbye to John Pinette

April 7, 2014

After my weekly tune-in to Cosmos I was shocked to read online that comedian John Pinette had died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism on Saturday. John was one of very few comedians I actually enjoyed, a man who could make me laugh almost to the point of tears. His routine "I'm Starving", especially the France and Italy skit, is my absolute favourite. My hometown has a strong Italian influence  so yeah, I can relate. What I really loved about John was his ability to laugh at himself, but not at others. Yes, he was a fat comedian and he often poked fun at himself, his weight, and his eating and exercise habits, but he didn't make fun of others. He was sensitive and kind and I'm really going to miss him.

Anything less than stellar about John has been left out because I don't know about it, not because I'm trying to gloss over it.

Fighting Frumpy

April 1, 2014

Generally I prefer to think of myself as casual, leaning towards business casual depending on the situation. TeeFury shirts make up a large chunk of my wardrobe, along with jeans and plain longsleeve shirts that are great for layering since Spring hasn't really gotten here yet. (I will note, however, that it's been above freezing and raining the last 24 hours, so at least the snow is melting!) While I don't really give a damn about what other people think about how I look, I do *try* at least to look put together when I leave the house; matching accessories to my outfit, clothes that look and feel nice, hair done (which amounts to brushed and up, bangs done), teeth brushed and maybe some coloured lip gloss.

The one place I find where I fall decidedly from casual to frumpy is the pajama department.  Most of my pjs are just old t-shirts of Ryan's, with the recent addition of two pajama sets that are painfully frumpy. One set is, I kid you not, zebra striped with bright pink buttons down the front, and the other is all pink fleece with heart patterened pants. They're super comfy and perfect for kicking around the house, but they cross the line, even for me.

There's something about the word frumpy that I hate, and when it's applied to what I'm wearing, it makes me feel like I need to try harder. Frumpy is old, ugly, unkempt, unacceptable.
That anyone would say I look frumpy (I'm looking at you, husband!) makes me want to go on a shopping spree. I would love to have nice kicking around the house after a long day clothes, things that match but aren't made of flannel or have cute animals on them.

What is the frumpiest thing you own, if anything? Do you love it or hate it?


Cosmos Is Back

March 17, 2014

I was watching the clock like a hawk watches a plump rabbit; at 8:30 it was bedtime for my son, Gabe, but my daughter Kat was still fighting it. At 8:51 we laid her down *again* with the hopes that she would finally fall asleep. We waited. She seemed to be down, so I scampered upstairs, snagged a snack and a drink, hit the bathroom and leapt back onto my seat just in time for the opening credits to finish rolling on my new favourite show, Cosmos.

From Wikipedia: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is an American science documentary television series.[1] It is presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson and is a follow-up to the 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan. .. The series premiered on March 9, 2014,[4] simultaneously in the US across ten 21st Century Fox networks."

The first episode was riveting and I loved every second of it. Science and exploration are one of the things I get really excited and passionate about and Cosmos didn't disappoint. I learned about the Local Group of galaxies, to which our own Milky Way belongs, and the Virgo Supercluster, to which that group of galaxies belongs. There are MILLIONS of superclusters out there that we know about! Imagine all the stuff we DON'T know about! The Universe IS SO BIG it blows my mind. Literally, I cannot comprehend how large it is. But that's ok, I have Cosmos to help me come to grips with all the awesome.

Thanks to a healthy interest in this stuff for a long time, and a decent education in the same, Cosmos doesn't have a lot of surprises for me so far, but I imagine for a lot of folks it's very educational and informative. Also, I love how it factually but gently destroys the fundamentalist Christian worldview of God creating the world and everything else in 6 days, the world only being so many thousands of  years old, etc etc. It doesn't argue, it just lays out the evidence and moves on with the science. Much like during the Bill Nye 'debate' of a couple of weeks ago, it's obvious to anyone with an education of any kind, anyone who's NOT drinking the fundamentalist Kool-Aid, that particular worldview needs to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Don't get me wrong; I am a person of faith.  I have deep respect for (most) people of faith, and (most) faiths. My faith, however, was formed and is based in science (for the most part). Watching a show like Cosmos, for me, is almost a religious experience. Learning about how the Universe works, our place in it, the origins of life and evolution, natural selection and the Big Bang, are I imagine what listening to the stories of Moses, Mohammed and Jesus, Buddah and Krishna are, to people who feel and believe very strongly in those various faiths. The modern world, however, has no place for people who believe that the Bible or any other set of ancient rules needs to be followed to the letter. It has no place for those who willfully and hatefully ignore science.

Cosmos could be a real gamechanger for people, an introduction to deep concepts and interesting topics that maybe they've never thought about before. We need science, not fundamentalism. We need to remember and return to our close relationship with nature, to be a part OF it, not try to continue living as if we are a part FROM it.


I Hate Princesses

March 12, 2014

Or more specifically, I hate princess culture. I'm an anti-monarchist, despite living in a constitutional monarchy. The idea that a family is somehow special, and therefore more powerful, rich and well regarded than any other, is classism at it's strongest. Royalty, the idea of 'blue blood', is bullshit. Personally I think that princess culture for little girls is toxic, teaching them that somehow they're better than everyone else and deserve special treatment. It's not just the Disney Princesses either, though they deserve a lot of credit for the current phenomenon. There are SO MANY products out there that encourage parents to treat their little girls like princesses, to dress them up, to play pretend, to give them shirts that say "Princess" or some other drivel.

Sorry sweetie, you're not a princess. And you should be glad you're not because then you'll never be a pawn in someone else's political game. You're free to make your own choices, to live your own life, with no special expectations other than what all other women in the patriarchy live with. You wont have to worry about the paparazzi taking your photo night and day, marrying the 'wrong' person (though if you end up being queer that could still be a problem for some folks), or accidentally starting a war because you said or did the wrong thing. Be GLAD you're not a princess because it leaves you free to be anything else, more than a pretty dress and an empty smile.

There *have been* some amazing princesses and queens in history so if you want to embrace the princess craze AND teach some history while empowering your daughter, look into Catherine the Great, Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Boudicca, and a bunch of other astounding women via A Mighty Girl.com.  As one of their shirts says, "Why be a princess when you could be president?"  Indeed!

Jog On

March 5, 2014

This time last year we were living in a cute but tiny apartment in Colwood and I began running. At first I just jogged along until I couldn't, took a walk, then jogged some more, and so on. Then I downloaded the Couch to 5k program for my mp3 player and got serious, signing up for the Victoria Goddess Run. Three months later I participated in my first race, ending solidly in the middle for the 5k group, an achievement I'm still proud of today.

 Currently it's -16C and there's enough snow and ice out there to stop but all the most serious joggers. As I am definitely NOT the most serious, I'm waiting for the weather to warm up some and at least the roads to clear, nevermind the sidewalks. Waiting is hard though. I want to be out there plodding along, enjoying the season switching over from Winter to Spring, listening to my breath and the crunch of my shoes on the gravel, escaping into my own thoughts for an hour here and there. I'm leaning towards this Spring like a sunflower towards the sun; I feel like change is coming once the snow melts. By the Equinox I'll have been back here for six months, through two seasons, through all the darkness the world can throw at me. I want to jog on.

My 5 Steps to Nice Skin

March 3, 2014

Since leaving puberty far behind I've been blessed with nice skin. This is, at least in part, because of genetics. Most of the women in my family have good skin so I can only guess that's part of the reason. Here are the things I do to boost nature's gift to me:

  1. Wash with plain water. Seriously; I don't use anything on my face to clean it. No cleansers, no soaps, nothing. When I'm in the shower in the morning I just rinse it and later pat dry. For someone with oily skin, however, this may not work as well. A mild cleanser might be a good route.
  2. Moisturize daily. After my shower I always moisturize my cheeks and T zone (forehead and nose) with whatever I've got handy. For Christmas I recieved a couple of really nice moisturizers and am using them, but when they run out I'll probably just grab some on sale from the pharmacy. With how dry it is in the winter, however, I'm moisturizing more often.
  3. Exfoliate weekly. Again, I got some nice stuff for Christmas I'm using, so I make sure at least once a week, sometimes twice, I'm using a gentle exfoliant to get rid of rough patches and flaky dry skin. It really makes a difference; my skin feels soft and smooth, and looks it too!
  4. Drink plenty of water. I find when I'm dehydrated it almost immediately shows in my lips and on my face, making everything look patchy and cracked. When I remember to have a few glasses of water and not just coffee or iced tea all day, my skin regains its healthy glow.
  5. Minimal Make-up. Because my skin is clear I don't have to wear a lot of make up. I never really 'got' cover up or what's that other one called? Toner? I don't know. I think, in part, my skin is clear because I'm not constantly clogging my pores with blush or anything else. Once in a while I'll throw some on but I avoid it except for special occasions.

What did I miss? What do you do to keep your skin happy and healthy? Do you have dry skin? Oily? Acne? Tell me about it in the comments!



Bottom of the Well

February 27, 2014

Spring is technically right around the corner but we're experiencing (hopefully our last) deep freeze here in Northern Ontario. The wind has been blowing forcefully for days, the temperatures dipping down into -30C or worse at night. I feel like the cold has entered my bones, entered my soul. The passion I felt for things is gone, a faded and fading candle where there was once a bonfire raged. In my inbox I recieve a dozen or more newsletters a day, calls for action from causes I once cared deeply about, but now I usually delete them. I could be applying for a new part time job as the ones I have don't pay enough to get us out of my inlaw's basement, but I spend my time on FB or at a couple of blogs I enjoy, or Pinterest.  not my actual feet

In a couple of months I'll be turning 30 and this is not how I expected it to start. A year ago we were moving from our small apartment in Nanaimo to a smaller apartment in Colwood, outside of Victoria. Ryan was moving up into a management position after 2 years in the same company, clawing his way from a delivery driver and through several stores. It was a calculated risk-I left my job at FedEx and we were pretty sure I'd find a new, well paying one in Victoria because it's the capitol of the province and much bigger than Nanaimo. I did, too, but I didn't get to keep it. That was the month I spent at Alpine, and for most of that month there was light at the end of our tunnel. I didn't fit in there at all, and I know that's partially why I got fired, but gods did I TRY.

The only way things could get worse for us right now is if one of us, or someone near and dear, became horribly ill or injured, or died. I'm homeless with no prospects of that changing unless we suddenly find more money (hence the job searching I should be doing). We *could be* be saving up our money to *maybe* find a house to afford in a couple of months, scrape together a down payment and cross our fingers someone in the family will co-sign, but I don't know to what end. It all just looks so bleak from where I'm sitting here at the rock bottom of my life. Ever since last July when I got fired things have been terrible. And it keeps coming back to 'it's all my fault'. I got fired, and we lost everything.

Two nights ago we had a long, loud conversation with my beloved mom in law about what the heck our plans are. Going over the last two and a half year's history of decisions, tracing the path that led us to this place, only showed me so clearly how far we've fallen in the last six months. It hurt. It still hurts. There's no answer to what our plans are because we don't have any. We're trapped here until we can save the money to move out, but to where we don't know. I'd like to stay in the Sault. Ryan can't wait to get the hell out. We're welcome to stay here as long as we need to, but being here hurts. It's not mine. My daughter sleeps in our room in a playpen instead of a bed. There is nowhere in the world right now to call my own, and it hurts.

I'm feeling broken right now, all rough edges but worn down at the same time. I'm an egg dropped on the floor and still wiping up the mess. Actually, I'm looking at the mess and thinking 'fuck it'.

Currently in February

February 25, 2014
waking up next to my hubby is the best thing ever.  

finishing Winter. Be gone already!

watching Master Chef Canada.

loving the lengthening days.

appreciating all that my family has done for us.

packing up odds and ends that have accumulated.

keeping my dream alive.

hunting for a new job (my choice; I didn't get fired, I'm just not getting enough hours).

planning the Spring Equinox.

looking at my twenties and just shaking my head.

anticipating running again. I can't wait until the streets are clear enough!

working at the Children's Place is great.

having isn't everything. I'm doing quite well with a lot less these days.

hoping that it'll all work out somehow.

feeling disappointed.

My Love Story

February 14, 2014

Once upon a time, 18 years ago today  to be exact, I recieved a lovely Valentine from the man who would become my husband. It read "Roses are red, violets are blue, I can't be happy without you!" There is a small blue butterfly and some flowers on it, and the words are encased in a delicate heart. It wasn't your typical valentine for a 12 year old in grade seven and I've kept it in my keepsake box ever since.

Ryan asked me out that day, and I accepted, but later on in the same day recanted; I panicked. I didn't know what having a boyfriend meant or what to do, so I broke it off. A month later, on St. Patrick's Day, he asked me out again, and this time we dated for six months, an unheard of amount of time at the time. We would go for walks in the woods and watch movies and hang out with other friends, but mostly I just remember him; how much shorter than me he was, his enormous smile, how he made me feel. That summer I went away to Southern Ontario for a few weeks with an older friend and hearing about her relationship difficulties I decided to break it off with Ryan. I didn't know until later, hearing it from his brother, how heartbroken Ryan was about it. When I saw him at school the next week I thought we could still be friends but things were awkward and while we were still friends throughout that year and into highschool we weren't close.

I dated other people, and so did he, but we were always aware of each other, always had a few friends in common. When I started playing D&D we started seeing each other on a regular basis again and we had a LOT of fun. We got each other through some troubled friendships and when he and his fiance broke up, I was the one who went walking with him one Winter's eve and let the cold and the movement do what words couldn't do, and often still can't for him. In the meantime, by the last year of highschool I had been dating the same jerk for three years and alternated between being SO OVER IT and thinking he was the guy I was going to marry. He'd cheated on me but I stuck by him (I still don't know why, really, except maybe I thought he was the best I'd ever get) and we didn't really have anything in common, but we'd been together for 3 years so we had to be doing *something* right, right?

In the last semester of my last year of highschool I had mornings off and usually took the city bus to a stop near the school and walked from there. Some mornings Ryan would be walking by at roughly the same time (his parents lived about a quarter mile or so up the road from mine, and he had mornings off too) and I'd say hi as I waited for the bus. Sometimes I'd have extra bus fare and he'd take the bus with me, but eventually we started walking every day we could together. We'd talk about school or weird dreams we'd had, what we were going to do after highschool, I'd complain about my boyfriend, then finally it was time to graduate.

Those walks, and other ones in the Winter and Spring, were when I fell in love with Ryan for real. The puppy love of our childhood was nothing compared to the happiness, contentment and peace I felt, and still feel, when we're together. The tricky part was I had no idea if Ryan felt the same way. For years we'd been friends but I honestly had no clue if there was anything else. I'd tried to tease out some extra information, left him plenty of opportunities to say something, anything!, but he never did. So, I broke up with my long-time jerkface boyfriend, gave myself a couple of days to calm down, and wrote Ryan a letter. It might still be around somewhere, like the Valentine. After reading it he didn't say anything, just put his arm around my shoulders, and smiled at me.

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Every once in a very great while there may be a post which contains a link to a product or service for which I've been paid to promote or have recieved for review purposes. I Blog With Integrity so you'll know which is which.