Smooch and all that

I couldn't resist

Last night I was looking at vintage valentines online and I could not stop myself from grabbling this one and giving it creepy new captions. Sorry! If you’re looking for the single girl valentines I did a few years back, you can see them here, and I also just dug up and uploaded a couple more that I did way back in 2002. As you can see, my Photoshop skills have not improved one bit over the years.

In other news, I did a Q & A with Anne over at Elastic Waist the other day, because they’re doing I’m Not the New Me for their book club.  I’m so glad I got to do it, because back when the book came out I don’t think I quite knew how to talk about it yet, or say why I did certain things. Plus half the time I was being interviewed by people who’d barely had time to read the book, if they’d even gotten to read it at all. But Anne is super smart and she asked me supersmarty things that nobody ever thought to ask me before. Thank you, Elastic Waist ladies, for paying attention to a book that came out 27 years ago!  In publishing world years, that is.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all you freaky foxes out there, and have fun. If all goes well tonight, we will be playing bingo. Not the hipster bar bingo, but bingo the way Bingo God intended, with old people in a big ugly room smelling of ink daubers and superstition. We can’t wait.

Hold that thought

Ten words I did not know were real words until I played Scrabulous: qat, ghi, hup, taw, pah, gey, ors, yoni, mana, and cowbird. I’d actually come across “yoni” before, but it was in this book, which has a distressing amount of kooky blithering mixed in with the important stuff, and I guess I thought it was just a word she made up while drinking pennyroyal birth-control tea, but what do you know, it’s for real.  And now that I write them out here, those first six or so sound like I’m counting in Quechua or something.

Ten words I’d hoped would be real words in Scrabulous but are not (along with their surmised meanings): aith (melancholy); feo (Spanish for ugly; maybe it’s caught on?); nomen (the names of many); hitee (the person who is hit); feveree (the person with a fever); sia (some kind of martial-arts thingy); kithen (plural of kith); avise (to hold fast), and nas (a benign skin growth). Oh, the scores I could’ve scored had these words been for real.

But truth be told, I haven’t even been playing Scrabulous all that much over the past week or so, since I had to write my column. Now I have another article due next week, and on Friday we’re headed to Wisconsin for the weekend, so I can’t update the way I’d like to until next month. But in the meantime please dig how these folks got in the New York Times yesterday, and especially read Mo’s recent posts (and gawk at some of the hater comments) about the awesomely complicated subject of body image and fat acceptance and the whole crazy chalupa of controversy that comes with it. I wish I could write an entry about it right now, if I wasn’t so fat and lazy. I mean, busy. Whatever! See you in February.

Why "Blog Delurking Week" will not be observed on this site during this week or any other time, ever

1. “Delurking” is not a real word. And as a fake word, it’s horrible. It sounds like acid reflux.

2. Okay, so why do we need this week again? Because people are too shy… to post a comment on a blog? Are we maybe overthinking this shit just a little? How socially stunted have we become if we have to devise quasi-official special occasions just to defreak ourselves out? Do we need that much reassurance that our brief, indirect little public interactions are perfectly acceptable and decreepy?

I’ll admit that maybe I just don’t understand, because I started writing online back when journals and weblogs didn’t have the feedback feature—you’d post your stuff and except for the emails that would trickle in from readers, there’d always be that silence, so I guess I never minded. Now that I have comments on the site, I deeply appreciate that practically everyone who posts here is funny and cool, and I don’t think I’ve ever even had a real troll, or a flamewar, or anything like that. But, like I’ve said, I’ve never been inspired to have fuzzy feelings about these Preordained High Holy Delurking Days, where people post apropos of nothing at all; nothing but “delurking.” And look, if you’ve never felt like saying anything before, I really don’t mind.

3. Here’s where I just wrote—and deleted—a long passage about something that happened a year ago, when I had to post an entry telling readers my mother was dying and that I was flying to New Mexico to be with her during her final days. And how so many of you responded with kind words, and gave your condolences, and said you were thinking of me and my family, which was such a comfort during the subsequent week. Some of you said you were posting for the first time ever, and even if you used that d-word, I definitely understood that you were breaking the silence to express your sympathies, and not because some stupid made-up internet holiday encouraged you to do so.

But then (and here’s where I’ll try not to go into it too much) last year someone actually thought that saying just, “it’s Delurking Week and I love this blog!” was an appropriate comment in response to the news about my mom. Which made me crazy, for reasons that I hope are obvious, because to go into detail otherwise would be really pointless and ugly and no doubt full of all kinds of displaced anger about my mom’s death. Just suffice it to say I have some stunningly awful associations with you-know-what-week. I felt compelled to explain just in case someone was planning on spreading delurking cheer around here anytime soon, and I hope this has spared us all some horrible awkwardness. Which, ironically, is probably what the spirit of Delurking Week was supposed to about in the first place.

4. But you know, if you’ve never commented before, please don’t let any of this stop you. I know, it’s weird, but it’s always weird one way or another, isn’t it? But I’m sure we’ll get past it somehow.

Heads up!

I’m doing a much-needed upgrade of WordPress and redesigning a little this weekend. Things might get uglier before they get prettier.

(Update): they’re almost pretty now.  A few things still need work and I’m still rearranging widgets.

Xmas marks the spot

Lighty lights

This entry is a placeholder for the much better holiday entry that I may (or may not) get to write this evening or tomorrow or whenever I do (or do not) get a chance to write something before Christmas, on account of the fact that my dad and brother are visiting us, and then Chris and I are driving to Michigan for the holiday proper, and so I’ve been shopping and cleaning and decorating and cooking (for instance, I’m just about to make a pie) and wrapping (for instance, hey, did you know that it’s really hard to gift wrap a present with raffia without it turning out looking like something the Blair Witch made? well it is), and then also there’s been work and life and I had to hook up this new computer I got (should I install Leopard yet? Will Leopard maul me?) and anyway my December has been like one big cornflake-marshmallow cluster cookie wreath of delight, sweet but also sticky and demented, and I sure hope I can get back on here between now and the Big X Day and drink a smart eggnog with all of you wonderful people and discuss about how the Eurythmics cover of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” bothers me and makes me oddly embarassed for the Eurythmics, and also wish you all a very Merry Christmas, but in case I don’t I’ll say it right now MERRY CHRISTMAS YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Okay, now for the pie.

YES I'M SPEAKING AT BLOGHER

And “BlogHer” sure looks mighty Gaelic when you write it all in caps. WI’ NAE WEE BAIRN O’ BLOGHER YE’LL ME BEGET. Oh, I have no idea what that means. But today I had a slight lull in between all my freelance-writing- for-fun-and-profit adventures to post about BlogHer for those of you who are coming next weekend, those of you playing at home, and those of you who might not even know my site at all. Way back in the early days of this site I had a FAQ section that people could read to find out where I was coming from, and it worked pretty well back then. So here’s a few Q’s that I’ll A right here, and feel free to ask more in the comments. Or just, you know, comment.

What’s this panel you’re doing and who else is going to be there?
It’s called Our Bodies, Our Blogs and the description is here. I’ll be on the panel with Laurie of Body Impolitic and Yvonne of Joy Unexpected, and Jenny at Big Slice of Life is going to moderate. Other BlogHer attendees who’ve mentioned they’ll show up and take part in the discussion (and they better) include Kate Harding, Weetabix at Elastic Waist, Jen from Angry Fat Girlz, Shauna (yes, that Shauna) and the notorious PQ. And anyone else who wants to drop a line in the comments and introduce herself (HINT HINT).

What business does a Weight Watcherer like you have being on a body image panel?
Yeah, apparently this came up in a discussion elsewhere. Initially I sort of shrugged off the question and simply pointed out that I stopped doing Weight Watchers about two years ago, just to put to rest any concern that I’d show up and totally ruin everything with my weight-watcherly ways. Like I promised I wouldn’t wear my fancy tape measure cinched around my awesomely trim waist, and I would also try not to get up in the middle of the panel and twirl the hell around like Lynn Redgrave.

Lynn Redgrave!!!

Not like people who do Weight Watchers are actually like that, ever, but still.

Then again, even when I was doing that program I still had things to say about the way our popular culture regards fat women and about the way we appear in magazines and in the eyes of self-entitled douchebags who didn’t like the Dove ads, so maybe I didn’t have all my brain cells completely replaced by POINTSâ„¢.

Though it’s also it’s worth noting that the person who took issue with my place on the panel put the question in such a way that almost suggests that by being “smart, witty and clever,” my weight-watcherness was even more problematic, because God forbid anyone associate That Program with anything other than mandatory self-hatred. I could go on, but instead I’ll refer you to Jen’s and Erin’s reactions, which are much more thoughtful than anything I can manage right now.

Okay, but where are you with all this stuff now?
I gained back the forty pounds that I lost on Weight Watchers in 2001-2002, and all this evidence that most diets fail after five years sounds pretty intriguing to me these days. Intriguing and, um, true.

But I’ve also gradually lost thirty pounds since October from being more active and eating more vegetarian/vegan. It’s true I don’t write about the body stuff as much as I used to, and part of the reason is that I’m simply doing more offline writing than blogging these days, but it’s also because after more than five years of writing online about this, I’ve gotten weary of doing this elaborate dance. You know, where you feel like anything you say about changing your eating habits must be prefaced by the statement that you’re doing it to be healthy and not just a shallow dipshit, and that you’re focused but not obsessed, and that every time you happen to mention pushing yourself a little harder than usual during a workout you must issue the disclaimer that, yes, you like it, and yes, it feels good, and no, you really do not need to just give yourself a big hug right now.

Because yes, people have written in to say things like that over the years. So I don’t put the food and body stuff in my life up for discussion so much any more, which is fine, because I don’t feel like I need to write about them as much. When I do, I tend to write about the stuff that kind of thrills me: the bike thrills me. For fuck’s sake, soup thrills me.

Would you say you endorse WW?
Well, no, there are a lot of things about Weight Watchers that I disagree with. Feel free to ask me if you want to know, but I haven’t felt a need to write about it online. Maybe sometime I will, but I don’t feel like going there now.

Would you say you endorse fat acceptance?
Sure, same as always. I’m never going to be thin. Sometimes it’s not as simple as that, but you know what? Sometimes it is.

Any other advice for BlogHer?
Wear comfy shoes. You’re gonna walk your fucking head off at Navy Pier, you know.