the dude

Something Good

After a bitchy rant yesterday, I think it's time to visit the other side of life. We hear too much about turmoil and strife. Personal dramas eat up our minds. Worry wastes our creativity and dampens our joy. So, let's just take a few moments to talk about something good. This morning, I dropped off the kid at school and then went for a 2 mile walk. At 9am, it's not hot yet. The sun isn't a ball of hate in the sky. And today, there's a terrific breeze coming in from the north. I loaded up my iPod with new musics, grabbed my bottle of water and set out. There's something peaceful about going through the neighborhood when everyone is at work. It's so quiet and calm. Life seems suspended for a short time. Times like that I can really hear myself think, sure, but I think too much. I appreciate these times all the more because I can cherish silence. I can hear the Universe talk to me, or we can just be quiet together. I can let my mind go. I don't have to think about schedules, housework, lists, or if I packed up everything the kiddo needed for school. No. This time is mine to just let my mind shut down or wander at its leisure.Today, my new music included the Tron Legacy Reconfigured soundtrack. Daft Punk's work remixed by Crystal Method, Photek, Moby and others. Yeah. As if Daft Punk wasn't awesome enough, add Crystal Method and it's a soundgasm. So, as I'm letting those beats get into my blood, my mind starts spinning stories, daydreams. I won't tell you what they are as I hold the superstitious belief that if you tell your dreams they won't come true. But they were good. They were full of the hope and optimism that I've been missing lately. And yes, they involved Jeff Bridges, but that's probably because I watched Tron Legacy last night and plan on pilfering my digital copy for sound bites and screen caps. Come on, it's The Dude! He should be in all daydreams because he gives that quality of Zenlike calm, man.

But I digress.

So I'm walking along and this breeze hits me in the face full of the scent of sunshine, honeysuckles, blooming roses and horseflesh from the farm just up ahead. And in that moment I felt like to complete ass. I've been keeping my eyes to the ground lately. I've been missing this. I've had blinders on to joy, to radiance. It's so easy to fall into that mire of pessimism. It's everywhere in the media right now. Closing out those negative influences, though...just letting myself spend 45 minutes with music and the Universe...yeah.

The world is so beautiful. Those honeysuckles smell so fresh. The grass is so green right now. Birds are singing. Everything is so freaking awesome. And in that moment, I remembered that I'm part of the world. I'm not a member of some overlord race hellbent on destroying everything. I'm not fat, ugly, talentless or any of the other things the voices in my head sometimes have to say. I'm part of this beauty. I add to it. In that moment of taking joy in the Universe, I realize the feeling is mutual.

There is much to be thankful for. There is much joy. And right now, that sense of wonder and peace courses through my veins along with Daft Punk + Sander Kleinenberg. It's been a while, but it's Friday and verily I say unto you:


So, what about you, huh? Hit the comments and make like the old song says, "Tell me something good."

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?

Giving Thanks

So, it's that time of year here in the States where we celebrate all that we are blessed to have by being gluttonous bastards, watching football and hugging family. This year, I have much to be thankful for and couldn't begin to count my blessings.But, I'd like to take a moment to brag about my husband.

I know I often write about how awesome my daughter is and of the myriad reasons I love that munchkin, but she didn't come from no where. Her dad had a lot to do with that. Sean, my husband, is amazing. Just one little drop in the bucket as to why I love him ... this conversation from last night whilst watching the Dancing With The Stars finale.

Sean: Would you want to see Jeff Bridges on this show? Me: Is there anything I don't want to see Jeff Bridges on? Sean: (voice growing stern) Our. Bed.

We both just started cackling. He's not really the possessive type, as is evident in the fact that he humors my strange, unholy obsession with Adam Savage. For the record: yes, I do love Jeff Bridges. I'm stoked to see Tron: Legacy, I think he's an awesome actor and his voice is right up there with Morgan Freeman for bedtime stories. Hell, I've based one of my favorite characters in my book on the man! What else can I say? The dude abides.

But, for all his Flynntastic awesomeness and pretty blue eyes, Jeff Bridges doesn't hold a candle to my husband. My own personal, punslinging hobbit who puts up with my shit. He married a writer, he's a special kind of crazy.

So, this year, among the great many things I am thankful for: Sean, my husband.  My geek who got me into gaming, Babylon 5 and sci-fi/fantasy books. He keeps me warm when I am cold. He reminds me to laugh at myself when I am too serious. He's been an amazing rock of support. He celebrates my successes. He helps me through the rough spots. Anything that has come at us, we have faced together, and it's awesome to have that kind of a partner. Every day I am thankful that he is in my life.

Thank you, Sean.


So, last Monday I found a lump in my breast. I went to the doctor 2 days later and got a referral for a mammogram and ultrasound. Unfortunately, these tests have to wait until December 2 (grr). Now, this lump isn't just some uncomfortable bit of flesh in my (as Bri so aptly puts it) "titty meat", it is a painful orb of SUCK! Guh! For nearly two weeks my boob has been constantly radiating with ow. Wearing a bra just compounds the experience. So, whilst at home, I roam free and wild, the way Janis Joplin intended. However, when around others, I try to keep the bra on so that it is not abundantly clear to everyone in Phoenix that I am a wuss who would die if I lived in the midwest again. Yeah, I've been so cold lately that my nipples could cut glass. I try to respect my fellow humans by putting the girls in their sling, but Jesus-My-Gardener, that fucking hurts, too!

So, I have a proclamation.  From this day forth, if you see me in public, in your home or in mine, the likelihood that I am wearing a bra will be approximately 1%.

See below.

Lump in boob = pain
Lump in boob + bra = pain(2)
Cold weather - bra = Glasscutting nipples + slight embarassment = me blushing
Me blushing + lump in boob  < pain(2)

ergo Lump in boob + cold - bra = acceptable levels of pain and humiliation.

Yeah, it's not worth all the ouchfulness to strap on the C-cupholder.

Thus ends my PSA.


EDITED 11/30 TO ADD: So, I got a phone call yesterday from the imaging center. When I made the appointment 20 days ago, apparently, the douche running the phones didn't realize that there would not be a radiologist on site on 12/2. Therefore, an entire day of patients were scheduled and had to be juggled around to make up for his error. I have to wait 2 more weeks. Dammit.