Did I Just Land The Colbert Bump?

This morning whilst taking my chai and catching up on The Daily Show, Rachel Maddow and The Colbert Report, I noticed something quite awesome. While doing a bit about sponsoring Wheat Thins, I may have been given the coveted Colbert Bump for my yet-to-be-published-or-even-picked-up-by-an-agent book, Technical Difficulties. In the tags at the bottom of the video clip I saw the title of my book! Don't believe me? Here's a screencap of my computer at that blessed moment.

So yes, dear readers. Thus begins my path to stardom and a corporate gig with Wheat Thins. Stephen, call me any time and we can talk about books, Lord of the Rings, politics or the awesomeness of Maurice Sendak.

*Stephen Colbert, ViaCom, the Colbert Report, Wheat Thins, Nabisco and any of their affiliates have not sponsored this material nor have their employees ever heard of me or my book. The picture is real, but had nothing to do with me. Just laugh with me, okay? 

Unilever: The TSA for your T&A

So, it's no secret that I adore Stephen Colbert. Taking my morning chai with last night's episode...yeah, that's a good start to a day. It's also no secret that I've struggled with self-esteem issues for a lot of my life. I grew up the fat kid. Being taller than most of my classmates for all of elementary school and shopping in the plus size section didn't exactly help when the pretty kids made fun of me. Even after I grew into myself and lost and gained weight (rinse, repeat ad infinitum) I constantly fight with the voice in my head telling me I'm too fat, too hairy, too pale etc. So, you can probably guess that I was thrilled to see my beloved Colbert tackle female insecurity. Take a look.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Buy and Cellulite
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

Seriously, Dove? Are you kidding me? The same people who are doing the "Love The Skin You're In" ad campaign, the same people who are saying that little girls shouldn't be ashamed of their freckles... you're going to start giving us new ways to criticize our own reflections? You're brandishing insecurity and using your brand status as authority. You're no better than other made up regulatory groups out there. You say you know what beauty is and think you know what's best for us. This, though, this is the last straw. This is bullshit.

Look, the irony that I was plucking my eyebrows whilst listening to the Report this morning is not lost on me. I'm a woman and I've grown up with these ideals (however ridiculous and unattainable they may be) thrust upon me from all angles of media. While I like to say I'm enlightened and that I don't need to lift-and-separate; have calves that pop with the perfect strappy sandals; have smooth, poreless skin; have lustrous, full-bodied hair without a tinge of grey...but only on my head, no errant eyebrows, chin whiskers, armpit or leg hair.... *deep breath* that voice in my head still tells me that my reflection isn't good enough. That I need to lose a quarter of my body weight before I reach "pretty" because beauty and fat do not coexist.

I have a daughter. She is 5. She tells me I'm beautiful because she doesn't have these societal inhibitions. She doesn't "know better". She goes to school wearing green and orange paisley print pants and a pink shirt and sparkling pink shoes because that is what she wants to wear. That's what makes her comfortable and that's her style. She isn't embarrassed about it, she doesn't care. She doesn't worry that she's too thin, tall, short, fat, thin...she just wants to be herself. Hell, on Halloween it's hard to get her to dress up because she is so damn comfortable with who she is she doesn't feel the need to pretend to be anything else.

I am jealous of that.

She doesn't know any better? She knows best.

Why do we do this to one another? Why do we give one another new things to be insecure about? I'm a writer, I'm insecure enough as it is. Why do we have infomercials about laser hair removal, back fat, crow's feet, full-grey-coverage? And really Dove? The same people who tell us to LOVE THE SKIN YOU'RE IN are just going to give us something new and completely stupid to worry about?

Fuck you, Dove.

You had me when you started that campaign. I loved you for it. The idea of turning the tide...telling fashion magazines to go fuck themselves because beauty is in every woman, not just Size 0 airbrushed, photoshopped blondes. Why do we do this to each other?! There's got to be a woman working at Dove or Unilever or Vogue or whatever who can just say, "This is demeaning." There's got to be a way that we as consumers, women and men, can say "FUCKING STOP!" This is not okay. Fueling insecurities, making new ones, giving power to that most critical voice in a girl's head... it's not okay. It's psychological abuse at our own hands. It's self-esteem suicide. Don't buy into it.

I know, it's easier said than done and I know that this is coming from someone who uses Biore pore strips on my too-large beak of a nose and constantly laments the 60 pounds I've gained since I had my daughter. I'm not perfect (but then, the ad companies are banking on that), but that doesn't mean I should be made to feel even worse about bullshit problems that don't exist. When I went home from school crying because the other kids called me a beached whale or fat ass or whatever the particular epithet was that day... my parents told me that it would change. That people wouldn't always be that way. Seeing this latest in frippery...I think my parents may have been wrong through no fault of their own. We're still picking on one another. We're still doing our damnedest to feel better about ourselves by belittling each other. Stop. Just stop.  I've said it before and I'll say it again. You are stunning. You are the stuff of stars and you are meant to shine. The hardest part is believing it, isn't it?

Of Raining and Pouring

You know that old adage about April showers? Yeah, well, my April is a definite rainmaker.

Started off strong with my 31st birthday. Not a landmark birthday by any means, but definitely happy times. Did dinner with some of my dearest and felt very loved. My daughter even wrote a poem for me, stood on her little step stool and delivered it with all the grace and aplomb of a 5 year old. PS: She lost her second tooth yesterday and was upset that the Tooth Fairy brought money instead of something cool like a coloring book. Yeah, my kid is awesome.

Speaking of, last week she had her first field trip with school. I went along to help herd the cats kids. That was an experience, to say the least. A billion and one field trips at the Science Center that day and all our little charges in red shirts. You'd be proud of me, dear readers, that I did NOT, in fact, tell the teachers that it was never a good idea to put someone on an away mission in a red shirt. See, I can be good. Oh, but I speak too soon. I ended up griping about the school library's lack of organization to the woman who did the initial organization. *headdesk* Come on, the Magic School Bus books (some of my favorites, I might add) are NOT considered Non-Fiction. School buses do not turn into butterflies, therefore, fiction. Done. Don't get me started on one mother's comment that our school (Charter, Montessori) does not need fiction in its library. *shudder*

So, that was last week. Didn't leave much time to blog. "But, Jamie," you say, "that's just 2 days. What else did you do?" Well, as I said, April is pretty crazy for us. This week, a family of four will be coming in from out of town and spending a few days with us. So, I have to prepare my house to take on guests of epic awesomeness. This means cleaning and making sure that kids and cats won't die at some point.

Oh! Dude, speaking of my cats. TyGrr, my escape artist, knows that the door knobs mean "out". Well, yesterday, she decided to evolve. She still doesn't have opposable thumbs, but she was jumping up, gripping the door knob with one paw while batting at the deadbolt with the other. We are so screwed.

But, I digress. Business.

Cleaning, birthday, field trip... last week. This week, guests, a birthday party (for a friend, not me), volunteering at the school's library (*shifty eyes*) and working on that thing I do. You know, writing.

Next week I've got more volunteering, more writing and a bachelorette party. The week after that? Wedding. Two of my favorite people are finally getting hitched and I wouldn't miss it if I was comatose. Also, found out yesterday that I'm in the bridesmaid bullpen. Good times! Also, my best friend in the entire world is coming to visit for a couple of days. I have seen him ONCE in the past 6 years, so I will be relishing my Bri Time. There might even be midnight margaritas. Just sayin'.

Oh, and about the writing. I have 7 projects right now that want my attention. SEVEN. I want to edit/polish the novella I wrote in February now that most of my betas have gotten their feedback to me. I want to outline the next book in my zombie series. I want to take the novel I wrote in 2009 and chop it for parts, then overhaul the whole damn thing so that it isn't made of suck. Plus, there's a slew of short stories I want to write or expand on. And, I have this blog.

Yeah. I'm a busy Bee Girl. That being said...

...I'm going to put the A2A Tuesday flash challenges on indefinite leave. We only had one entry for the Madame Curie lookalike contest, and he was disqualified later.  There were less than a handful of you participating and I haven't taken those challenges myself due to the rest of my work load. So, for now, no more flash challenges from me. There are several out there for you. Go visit Chuck Wendig for a weekly flash fix.

So, I've rambled at you long enough, I think. I do have something to pimp, though. Last week, I had a IV drip of Tab Benoit thanks to Pandora. Seriously, if you've never heard of Tab Benoit, go thou and google him now. The bayou bluesman is phenomenal and his voice is aural dark chocolate. I'd serve him with dirty rice and andouille. (Not to be confused with Alan Cumming whose accent I want to serve over ice cream.)  Go now.  I had to force myself to switch stations today. Today, we're piping in my "Drag Queen" station. What can I say? I'm in a Britney/Xtina/Gaga mood today. Sprocket, my not-so-little-anymore black cat, is curled up on my lap and purring in approval. She's a good helper when it comes to warming my thighs or feet, but a terrible distraction when I want to write. Her mind control powers force my fingers away from the keys and into her soft fur.

Be excellent to each other, y'all.  Until next time....