Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Can't Believe He's Not Married!

Dennis Prager is an assferret. An assferret in two parts, no less, the second of which I must confess I have not gone near. I don't think I have to, do you?

When A Woman Isn't in the Mood: Part 1 is Prager's loving paean to marital rape and the complete inability of anyone with dangling genitalia to act like a decent human being. I imagine his thinking goes something like this: Ah, the good old days, when men grunted and their possessions promptly opened their legs for them. Such halcyon days, those, when society rightly knew that women have no sex drive of their own, and are concerned only with pleasing their masters, who in turn are concerned with big, complicated Man Things, like working and not fucking every vaguely attractive woman who passes by.

Twice divorced, Prager asserts that women are property who don't ever want to have sex and that our delicate sensibilities would be irreparably offended if we ever could imagine just a fraction of what it's like to be horny all the time. Since our owners work so hard for us to have a pretty house to keep - and because their money is why we married them - we should just give up the cooch whenever it's demanded of us. How else will our husbands know we love them? They're just dumb rutting animals, after all, who should be entrusted with knowing what's best for us.

God, this shit is offensive on every level. And I say that as a housewife, a SAHM, and a woman who's almost never denied her husband sex.

I don't "give him my body" (to vomitously paraphrase) because he needs it and I want him to be happy. I have sex because he makes it worth my while. Because I know myself, and if he's asking? It's been too damn long, and I will be "in the mood" any minute. I have sex because I like sex, and really, when presented with the option of having good sex, I can't imagine rolling over and watching TV instead.

I have sex when I'm not "in the mood" because my husband returns the favor. Because - ZOMG! - he's not just some rutting beast with no self-control or thought to my pleasure. He knows I love him because I do these crazy things like telling him. Like keeping house, though it bores me. Like bearing his children. Like letting him get away with rolling over on me in bed even though we bought a king to prevent exactly that situation. Like marrying him.

I don't recommend that everyone give it up when they're not into it. For a lot of people, that just doesn't work. In fact, I don't advise people about their relationships very often, because their success depends entirely upon the dynamic between two individuals. What works between me and my husband probably won't work for anyone else, simply because we aren't anyone else.

But today, I feel compelled to advise Prager: When someone who, on the face of it, is living the advice you've given, and calls you a sexist assferret? You have bigger problems than how often your penis is in someone's vagina.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Deus incarnatus est!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely day full of friends, family, and food. I had a wonderful time watching Bacon tear through all of Santa's careful wrappings and opening my very own Chicken Purse.

The Midnight Mass this year was wonderful. The cathedral was exquisitely decorated, and Archbishop Chaput had the standing-room-only crowd go and sit in the sanctuary, to be part of the community that we celebrate at every Mass, and of course at Christmas.

He also gave a sermon about the three things Christmas is about. He said it's about us: Jesus came to save us, because God loves us. It's about peace: the peace we find in God, in Christ, the peace that we hope the whole world will have.

And Christmas is about the body: God became flesh. God was incarnate.

Deus incarnatus est.

God did not become fleshly to hate the flesh. God did not take on a human form in order to force that form to do what it was not intended to do. God, who created us in all our varied forms, did not come among us to count His calories or restrict His food groups or talk about how fat He was and how horrible that made Him.

Deus incarnatus est.

God became flesh to be one of us. God took on a human form because He loved us so very, very passionately that He determined to save us from hell and all the power of sin.

Does a God who loves so fervently, so ardently, that He suffered and died as one of us, love us only if we're perfect? Does He love us only if we're pretty? Only if we're thin? Can we say we respect the body because we're pro-life even as we denigrate our own flesh by denying it should exist?

Of course not. Deus incarnatus est. God is in the body. God is in the flesh. God is with us - Emmanuel. Sent for all of us, not only for the thin, not only for the pretty, not only for those who are "worthy" - because not one of us is worthy of Him.

Be yourselves incarnate. Be of the flesh, because God loves us, because God loves our flesh. Respect your body as much as you respect any other's. Celebrate your own incarnation as you celebrate His, as I celebrate mine on the same day.

Deus incarnatus est!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's A Tasty Birthday!

I just realized that Sunday was the first anniversary of my blogging! Who'd'a thunk I'd make it a whole year, babbling to strangers on teh intarwebz?

So for me, some Bacon Cake...

And a Bacon Present!

Tasty Tome Two-fer

The Shack
William P. Young

0 out of 5 Bacon Strips

So, I finished it. It was awful. Along with the problems outlined in my previous post, we can add racism (God is a magical Negro!), New Ageism (which is fine by itself, but is antithetical to Christian Truth), and just basic ridiculousness, as embodied by Jesus' constant! use! of! exclamation! points! eleventy!!!!!one!!!!!!

The climax of the book involves a bunch of people standing on a hill, reading each others' auras. I guess God just wants to buy the world a Coke.

Bittersweet Betrayal
Suzanne Ashley

3.5 out of 5 Bacon Strips

Ah, the thrilling world of cutting-edge computer technology - in 1989. So unwieldy! So non-internet-y! So full of orange cursors!

Tannis Robbins - and no, for the record, I could not get over that stupid name - is a rising star in computer R&D. Unfortunately, she's also indebted to her unscrupulous boss for her education and several personal loans to fund the upkeep of her comatose identical twin sister, Meredith. Her boss, Conway, gives her a choice: corporate espionage and all her debts cleared, or industry blackballing. She picks the espionage, not surprisingly.

Tannis gets a job at rival Wizac, run by "The Wizard", Zachary Spencer. He's handsome, kind, wonderful, rich, smart, blah blah blah, and Tannis immediately has the hotpants for him. But oh noez! She must has betrayal! What will happen?!

Bittersweet Betrayal was a satisfying romance, and it fulfilled all the necessary genre elements. Ashley's writing is crisp and competent, and her characterizations - at least of Tannis and Zachary - had a fair amount of depth, which is surprising in a category romance. (This is a Silhouette Special Edition.) Reading about cutting-edge computer technology from 20 years ago added a special layer of humour to the novel that was surely missing when it was written, but is perfectly evocative of the story's setting.

My only quibble with the book is the fact that Zachary's main selling point for Tannis is that he keeps doling out money to his gambling-addict brother, despite said brother's complete lack of anything even remotely resembling self-control or a desire to change. For some reason, Tannis thinks this is a duty to family, and equates it to her taking care of her comatose twin - comatose because of a tropical disease she caught setting up computer networks in the third world. Somehow, I just don't think those two are the same, do you?

And a special Bacon Bit review:

The Perfect Wife
Judy Duarte

0 out of 5 Bacon Strips

I read the first 7 pages of this book. There were at least ten different ridiculous assertions about and/or references to weight and happiness. In seven pages. The main character used to be fat (and therefore ugly). She eats her feelings (which is how you get fat). Her mother is fat (and therefore unhealthy. Obesity! Crisis! Heart! Disease! Teh! Diabeetus!). Her husband just left her - for a fatty. She's eating motherfucking DONUTS to ease her pain.

Did I mention this all happens IN SEVEN PAGES?!

I won't even pass this one on in a trade or give it to a thrift store, which is what I usually do with old books I won't keep. I love books. I revere books. I believe the written word can be sacred.

I'm throwing this one in the trash. It's not worth even the words it takes to malign it.

I'll have a new review up next week: I sorted all my books out, and found a full box I hadn't yet read, plus I traded some for two bags of mysteries! Tasty Tome Tuesday is on!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tasty Tome - Saturday? or, In Which I Make Excuses

So, I know. I promised book reviews. I said I read a lot. And I do. And I wish I had something to review. But my problem is the book I'm currently reading, so perhaps I should make this sort of a quasi-review from the trenches, as it were.

My mother sent me a copy of The Shack, by William P. Young. She was terribly excited about it, and apparently has given a copy to just about everyone she knows.

The basic premise: Guy's daughter gets killed by a serial child-murderer. They find evidence of her death in a shack in the woods. Years later (wait, maybe just one year? See, we'll get to why I can't remember.), Guy gets a note from someone signing himself "Papa" requesting that Guy come back to the shack. "Papa" turns out to be God.

I'll put aside the apparent doctrinal issues with the book, and the fact that several bishops have urged their parishioners not to read it, because that's not the point of this post (though it may be the point of a future one.). But I have to admit that I gave the whole idea of this book the side-eye because of that, and because it seems to be a hit with Fundamentalists (with whom I disagree on just about everything.). (To be fair, I also give the side-eye to Oprah's para-spiritual endorsements, as well, so I spread my disapproval pretty wide.)

In any case, Mom wanted me to read it, and hey, I'll give it a shot for her.

The writing is excruciating. Bland, basic, boring, bad. I'm editing the thing as I'm reading it, so that every few words I'm thinking, "No, use this instead", or "Wow, that was awkward. Didn't this guy have an editor?" And thus, the details of the story are slipping away as quickly as they came. Did he receive the note one year or several years later? How many kids does he have again? What's the dead one's name? Where do they live? What's going on?

I'm not helped by the fact that I'm also reading The Beauty Myth at the same time, though usually, concurrent reading doesn't confuse me. But I put off returning to this stupid thing for too long, and then I've lost the thread again, and have to go back pages to figure it out.

My mother sent me this book in - October? No, September, I think. The thing is 256 pages long.

I'm on page 79.

I may just try to sit and read it all in one sitting. I'm sure Mom will ask about it soon - even with her horrid memory, she'll remember eventually that she gave me a book, and I'll be up the creek if I can't discuss it with her. I'd also like to know what William P. Young is saying about God that makes bishops ban him.

So if I ever finish it, I'll tell you everything, so as to spare you the experience of reading this gem. Seriously, you'll thank me. Maybe.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Enemy of the State

This article from Yahoo News is simultaneously hilarious and frightening.

Hilarious because it ends with this assertion from Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence: "The one thing that they agree strongly with us on is that it's too easy for dangerous people to get guns in this country," ... "I guess if you're a dangerous person you might want to run out there and buy some more, but otherwise you should be OK."

Frightening because no one interviewed, and certainly not author Dena Potter, mention the real reason American citizens need to be armed. It's not for self-defense. It's not to hunt for sport. It's not to hunt for food.

It's to be an enemy of the state.

The Founders knew that an armed populace who were ready and able to overturn the government was essential for guaranteeing liberty. The reason we have the second amendment is to protect all the rest. As Michael Badnarik (Libertarian candidate for president in 2004) put it: "If the First Amendment doesn't work, the Second Amendment will."

Second amendment supporters are, indeed, "dangerous people". We're dangerous to the government. We're prepared to be considered enemies of the state as soon as the state endangers the liberty of the people. And we'll be armed enough to take on the state in order to protect the people.

I'm fairly certain my husband's Christmas gift to me will be a handgun. As will mine to him be.

We're "dangerous people."

We, and thousands like us, are Enemies of the State.

Friday, November 7, 2008


While all the ballots have technically not yet been counted, it looks like we'll hover around 500,000. Which, while not a million votes, is halfway there - and far more than we've gotten in the past.

So now it's time to gear up for the local elections in 2010, and another big one in 2012. My Barr 2008 sign is tucked away inside, and my bumper is bare. Time to take a moment to reflect on such an historic election, and then to move forward for the sake of liberty.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Almost to 300,000!

And I'm off for the night. I'll post the final results once they're in - come on one million!

We broke 200,000!

We may hit a million votes yet! Keep 'em coming, America!

Another Map

C-Span has the AP map up, and it shows Barr's number of votes and his percentage, as well as Nader and McKinney, the Green Party candidate.


Wayne Root just gave a great speech, too. This is so exciting for me - this could be an historic election for more than just Obama fans, you know.



Oh, Thank God.

87,ooo+ votes - and the Fox map is back up. Go, Bob, go!

I Object!

To the Objectivists! What the heck is that about? Did you see the jump from, um, nowhere to 4.7%?! And suddenly, Barr's votes went from 60,000+ to 6,ooo?

Come on, FoxNews! Get your shit together! You're the only ones reporting on more than two parties!

Let The Games Begin!

Polls have closed in several eastern states, and the results are rolling in. I'm consulting this map from FoxNews, because it was the best I found listing Barr's results (as well as Nader and the Constitution Party's candidate, Chuck Baldwin).

So far, we're at 52,063 votes! Since we all knew it was never a battle for the White House, I take every vote as an excellent sign. Every vote is one more person who voted FOR liberty, FOR principle, FOR Bob Barr - and not AGAINST anything.

Colorado's polls don't close for another half-hour, so I'll be checking back in then.

No Tasty Tome Tuesday Today

It's Election Day! I'll be working this afternoon, but I will attempt a little live-blogging of the election coverage later this evening. Obviously, there will be much ranting about how many votes Bob Barr didn't get, but if you'd like a fresh perspective on election night, I'll be watching Barr's end-of-campaign celebration on BarrTV and commenting here.

My husband and I voted two weeks ago by mail-in (or drop-off, as we did) ballot. It took about half an hour to sort out who would best represent us on a local level, which judges to retain, and which ballot initiatives we wanted to vote for/against, right at our own kitchen table.

Now, if you haven't already, GO VOTE!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

The skeletons are out tonight,

They march about the street

With bony bodies, bony heads

And bony hands and feet.

Bony, bony, bony bones

With nothing in between,

Up and down and all around

They march on Halloween.

- Jack Prelutsky

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tasty Tome Tuesday

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes
Sharon Lamb and Lyn Mikel Brown

5 out of 5 Bacon Strips

Walk through any toy aisle, any girls' clothing section, or any children's book nook, and you'll see it: pink. Sometimes sparkled, sometimes hot, sometimes sweetly pastel, but you'll definitely notice the overwhelming overabundance of pink, America's symbol for all things feminine. But how much of pink culture is truly driven by girls' desires, and how much is pushed on them by marketing departments? And how harmful are these pre-packaged identities?

Almost all of it, and very, say authors Lamb and Brown. Packaging Girlhood is a fascinating examination of how marketers target children, and how they've shaped girl culture over the past couple of decades in the US. Backed up by scientific studies, opinion polls, and conversations with girls and their mothers, Lamb and Brown outline the titular "marketers' schemes" and then give parents the tools to combat them. Straightforward, conversational prose and a compelling premise made this a 5-strip book for me, the mother of a daughter, and is in my opinion a must-read for anyone raising or helping to raise a girl.

Lamb and Brown cover all of girl culture, from clothing to play, and include sample conversations to have with your daughter about what products say to them and to others. They include a list of online resources with more information and help, as well as alternative activities/communities for a girl who'd rather not be "Pretty in Pink".

I truly enjoyed this book as well as taking a great deal of advice from it. If you have any contact with young girls and women, I urge you to pick up Packaging Girlhood.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Dork Love 3: The Dorkening

Baconsdad: They found evidence of a star system close enough to Earth to be visible to the naked eye.
Me: Really?
BD: Yeah. Only eight stars are closer.
Me: That's cool.
BD: But the first sentence calls it "an alien solar system."
BD: Yeah. I had to tell you that just so I could hear that sound.

And then he laughed. Jerk.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tasty Tome Tuesday!

Yeah, I know it's Wednesday on the east coast already, but hey. I had to actually work today. Onto the tome!

Stephanie Meyer

4 out of 5 Bacon Strips

Oh, Twilight. So young. So angsty. So full of fangs. Is it any wonder I love you?

Twilight is very definitely a Young Adult book. It is not for adults, though it has a devoted fan-woman following (as well as a rabid fangirl one). The basic story: New-girl-in-town Bella meets gorgeous Edward and his gorgeous siblings. She begins to date Edward, only to discover his secret (and if you don't know it by now, well, get out from under your rock, because I'm not hiding spoilers): He's a vampire.

A less-than-a-century-old vampire. Who goes to high school. And all his "siblings" are vampires, as are his "parents".

Still with me? I admit, it's not for everyone. The level of suspension of disbelief asked of the reader is pretty high. And if you're not a vampire fan or a YA fan or a romance fan, you should probably skip it. (I'm actually all three, so this was rather a trifecta.)

Meyer's prose is competent and straightforward. Her use of the first-person narrative gives her the opportunity to indulge in the sort of adolescent purple prose we've all committed to paper somewhere, and it struck me as charmingly honest. High school is still horribly vivid for me, and Bella's doubts, fears, triumphs, and failures came across as real and true to her.

Much has been made of Edward's "abusive" behaviour, of his controlling nature and Bella's seeming abdication of her will to his desires. Other reviewers may have a point, but I didn't see it. My own taste in men may have something to do with that, but honestly, I don't think the whole book is a loving paean to teenage domestic violence, as some have painted it. I think it's a fairly good portrayal of the violent passion of a teenaged love-affair. Old as Edward might be, he's never had a relationship before, never been in love, and has no more experience with such a tempest of emotion than has Bella. There are people who never master the art of serene romance: they are not all abusers or abused, and I don't think Bella and Edward are any more dysfunctional than any other teenaged couple in the world.

I could have done without Bella's constant bellyaching about her looks, but such self-deprecation is pretty standard for teen girls, and it does read as genuine. Edward's noble vampire routine got old fast, as well, but I've never liked the noble ones. Meyer has some interesting ideas about the species, but her ideas are never as well-fleshed as I'd like them to be.

On the whole? B+. It was a fast, enjoyable read, and I'm sure I'll visit it again in the future. It definitely deserves a spot in the vampire canon for its innovative twists on the characteristics of the species and for its being one of a very few decent vampire romances in the world. If you're looking for something to read between trick-or-treaters or while you roast that Thanksgiving turkey and ignore your mother-in-law, Twilight will charmingly, effortlessly, and enjoyably fit the bill.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What A Tasty Tome!

I read. I read a lot. Probably more than is healthy - after all, I could be outside enjoying the fresh air or folding my laundry or vacuuming - but I'm hoping to put my bad habit to work for you.

That's right: Book reviews. I'll be starting with a few of the things I've read most recently, and I'm happy to take suggestions for what I should read next or to have guest blogger reviews in the future. I do fiction and non, very serious to very silly; my only requirement is that it keep me interested enough to get to the end.

So let's begin!

Harmful To Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex
Judith Levine, foreword by Joycelyn M. Elders

5 out of 5 Bacon Strips

In short: Being Puritanical is bad. Levine argues that hiding all things sexual from children and teens, and punishing (or "rehabilitiating") them when they're "caught" expressing age-appropriate sexuality is more harmful than almost any sex could ever be. She argues passionately and persuasively against abstinence-only sex-ed, age-of-consent laws, and ridiculous "predator" statutes that can send seven-year-olds into the juvenile justice system for playing doctor with their siblings.

Though excoriated by conservative politicians and the religious right for an imagined pro-pedophilia stance when the book was first published, Levine's argument is cogent and common-sensical - and not in the least sympathetic to true abusers. In an age of hysteria about teen sex and an obvious backlash against the free expression of women's sexuality, Harmful to Minors is a welcome relief to read, especially for people who think sex is not the worst thing to ever happen to an eighteen-year-old.

Levine's prose is easy to understand without being simplistic; she walks the delicate line between scholarly tome and "non-fiction for dummies" nicely, weaving scientific studies and personal stories together deftly to form an eminently readable book. I recommend this for anyone who wonders why America is as puritanical as it is, and why the idea that minors - even those who have reached partial majority - should be protected from sex is such a powerful one in this society.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

At Least They Didn't Mention Donuts?

I'm not sure what to make of this article from the New York Times. On the one hand, it's nice to see intuitive eating get some good press. On the other, it feels like one step forward, two back when I read quotes like this:
“'If you’re going to indulge in something, just try and walk it off or limit it to once a week.'”

Or this:
"Last year, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported on a study of 97 obese women, all of whom were avoiding high-fat foods. Half the women were instructed to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. By the end of a year, the women who were focused on adding vegetables lost an average of 17 pounds, 20 percent more than the women who were just paying attention to fat consumption.

Also, the more time people spend on tasks like food shopping, cooking and kitchen cleanup, the more likely they are to be of average weight. The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture found that people of normal weight spend more time on meal-related tasks than people who are overweight or underweight."

I mean, is that really any better than counting calories and limiting carbs? Doesn't seem so to me, but I suppose baby steps are better than no steps at all, right?

And while they pulled out the classic "Others worry that people will wrongly interpret positive eating as over-indulging, rather than adding moderate amounts of healthful foods into the diet.", at least they didn't make the point to tell us it's not a donut-eating license, for once.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics - of the Church Choir Variety

I've been in a lot of church choirs. Some good, some great, some sucktastic. But I've only been in one that didn't waste time with politics - and it isn't this one.

I hate church choir politics. It's ridiculous. We're all there to sing, to pray, to lead the congregation. We're a ministry, even if we're compensated, and we're there to add to the richness and the majesty of the Mass. In other words, we're not there to perform, and we're not there for personal accolades.

My current choir has just undergone a regime change. I admired the last director, and felt priveleged to work with him. But I didn't exactly like it. I'm not a professional singer, I'm not trained, and it was incredibly hard work to be part of Horst Buchholz's choir. Not only because of the choral pieces we did, but because he chose strange hymns and never rehearsed them, chose strange Mass parts and never rehearsed them, and expected us all to be concert-ready for every Sunday Mass. The congregation never sang along - I was going to Mass there before I was part of the choir, and the few people in the pews always looked bewildered when the organ started. It was a wonderful choir for hardcore musicians, and I'm sure Rome would have been pleased with the amount of Latin we sang, but I honestly don't feel we provided the service to the congregation that we were supposed to.

But Dr. Buchholz left, and the pastor appointed a new director. In the whopping two weeks since choir started back up after a summer hiatus, we've been without a regular organist and a grand total of 16 people (out of 40-something) have decided to show up to sing. We've been doing pretty standard English hymns, and Mass parts that everyone knows backwards. The congregation sings. We have short rehearsals. Our director is younger and less musically educated, but frankly? That lets me relax a little. I know I won't be reprimanded repeatedly for making mistakes while sight-reading Mozart.

And I'll admit: I'm totally biased. John Miller, our new director, worked with me at Ss. Simon and Jude in Phoenix - my one apolitical choir, where we all showed up, did our jobs (it was a fully professional choir), and didn't let our egos get in the way. We're used to a different style of sacred music and a different cathedral-level music program. I like leading the parishioners instead of performing every Sunday. And while I miss the Latin, I know that John has experience with the traditional forms of the Mass and the motets, and I know that once he gets into the swing of things, he'll be able to bring them back.

This, of course, is a tragedy of epic proportions for the old hands in the choir. Last night's rehearsal, which was led by a section leader since John was out of town for a funeral, culminated in people asking if we were only going to be doing this kind of music (English hymns), and wasn't there already a contemporary choir? (Despite the fact that we're singing nothing remotely "contemporary". I've been in contemp. choirs. "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" is not contemporary.) One bass was all up-in-arms and said he was writing to the Archbishop about how we've stopped doing the traditional music and it's a travesty and blah blah blah.

Did I mention it's been two weeks that we've been in session? Two weeks. Two weeks without some ninety-page Mass to sight-read every week and all of a sudden we're having Mass in a field with tambourines? Please.

Like I said, I'm biased. I'm pretty pissed that no one seems to want to give John a chance. I know it's not the choir they started in, but most of them are volunteers (just like me), and if it's really that terrible, go find some other sparsely-attended church with a performance choir to join. I can't understand why we can't do both the traditional stuff and the stuff everyone knows - what's so terrible about a few "contemporary" hymns? (And I'm expecting some serious head explosions when we collaborate with the actual contemporary choir - if Beethoven gives these people hives, what will they do when faced with "Open The Eyes of My Heart" or "Shout To The Lord"?)

Maybe I'm political, too, bitching about it like this. But it's so frustrating to me that we're wasting time complaining to each other when we could just be enjoying singing for once. There's no shame in singing classic hymns well - especially when it forces us to be the ministry we're supposed to have been all along. I don't volunteer to perform: I volunteer to be part of a ministry, to be part of the Mass, to use the gift God gave me to His greater glory, not mine.

I just wish we could all focus on that and get on with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Too Picky for Omivore Status

I know you've seen it - Here's my "Omnivore's 100" list. Things I've tried are bolded; things I would never try are italicized.

1. Venison
2. Nettle Tea
3. Huevos Rancheros - I almost want to bold this, but I don't think I've actually had it. Not very interested, either, if I made it through 12 years in Arizona without eating some.
4. Steak Tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp - I don't do things from the water. Except rice.
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush - Eggplant. Yuck.
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich - which, as we all know, is best on toasted homemade bread, with crunchy peanut butter and grape jelly. Otherwise, it's not a PB&J.
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart - the best being Sabrett's in NYC. Funny thing - growing up, our next-door neighbor's dad owned or was president of the company that makes Sabrett hot dogs. She got cases and cases for free, and we lived on those things. So. Good.
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes - I don't do uncooked tomatoes. I've never liked them. So I might try a sauce of heirloom tomatoes, but I'll leave the raw ones to Bacon.
22. Fresh wild berries - We had logan berry bushes on our property growing up. We'd spend hours picking and eating in the summer.
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna Cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - Clams? Sourdough? Double-yuck.
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float - should have stayed on the italics list.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly - aka, Jello shots
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects. Hell, no.
43. Phaal
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth over $100
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed donut. Not that great.
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear - again, obviously not that interested.
52. Umbeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal - Special sauce? Tomatoes? Pickles? A McD's "burger"? No, thanks.
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV.
59. Poutine - which I technically have not had, because covering my french fries with cheese and gravy at home doesn't count, I guess. I've had Bacon-tine.
60. Carob chips
61. S'mores
62. Sweetbreads. Not sweet. Not breads. Not food.
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst - I won't rule it out, but damn, it sounds disgusting.
65. Durian
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, Elephant Ears, funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and Blini. Why aren't these two separate entries? In the US, at least, blintzes usually come with fruit, not caviar.
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu or shaojiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict. I don't eat mayonnaise or hot mayonnaise, aka, hollandaise.
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab. Worse even than water-insects - water-SPIDERS.
93. Rose Harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano - this is another I might have had.
96. Bagel and lox. Bagels? Yes, please. Fish? No. Just, no.
97. Lobster Thermidor. And what's worse than fish? INSECTS from the water.
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

So, out of 102 items, I refuse to eat 37. I actually thought I was pickier than that. I got definitions for any items I didn't know from Wikipedia.

What's on your list?

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The United States Department of Homeland Security, however, supplies us with this information: Federal agents may take a traveler’s laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies. This policy (terrorism prevention) applies to anyone entering the country, including US Citizens. The policy covers any device capable of storing information in digital or analog form, including hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes. They also cover all papers and other written documentation, including books, pamphlets and written materials.

Which sounds like a better idea to you?

Not Pregnant

Mystery Diagnosis, here I come!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I feel like crap.

I'm making a doctor's appt. tomorrow (it being Monday), but I've been nauseated after eating for a week, have had random headaches, a little post-nasal drip, half a period, fatigue, and sore breasts. And two negative pregnancy tests.

I'm actually more scared of not being pregnant. Pregnancy, I know what I'm getting into (and it would probably FINALLY convince my squeamish husband to get the snip). But what am I getting into if I'm not pregnant?

Saturday, August 2, 2008


What do you get when two people with anger problems and low frustration threshholds have a child?

Yeah. If you think tantrums end with the "Terrible Twos", well - I hate to burst your bubble.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Thoughts

Denver's full of pussies. The big news story this week? 18 days over 90 degrees! ZOMGZ! Everyone, quick! Into the air conditioning! No one else in the world lives in such harsh conditions!

I mean, I know Phoenix jaded me to heat, but damn, people. At least it's not over 90 and over 90% humidity (I'm looking at YOU, Connecticut shoreline in August). And at least the temps will go down in another month. Phoenicians have to wait till December, you know.

* * *

Fundamentalists are like children. They don't mean to be stupid, bigoted, simplistic assholes - it's just that they want the world to be tidy. They don't want to have to think about religion - thinking is hard.

I realized this while watching Hell House, a documentary about Trinity Church's Halloween "haunted house". One of their tableaux deals with The Occult (and yes, you hear the capital letters and the amorphousness of their idea every time they say it.). The script tried to convince people that Magic: The Gathering and Harry Potter books were going to turn us all into Satanists. I wish my Frustration roll had added a plus five to my Throatpunch of Common Sense, but alas - they were only on TV, which is a plus 10 against real people throatpunching them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

100 Calories of Ire

I wish I could find the commercial on YouTube, so I could link it for you, but I'm sure you've seen it. Two women preparing for a party are filling bowls full of individual snack servings. One woman uses popcorn; the other, chips. The voiceover asks how much of the other guy's snack you really get for 100 calories. Not enough - but here, eat all this popcorn! Popcorn Lady's party is a smashing success; Chip Lady's party has women struggling on the floor for crumbs of chips.

I'm irritated by all the obvious crap: when women get together, we don't eat; we want snacks, but only 100 calories' worth; we wouldn't dare serve our friends something - GASP! - fattening.

But what gets me more than all of the sizeist sexist bullshit is the sheer rudeness of the commercial's premise. Think about it. Not only should the hostess decide what her guests eat through the appallingly passive-aggressive tactic of serving only one food, but she should also decide how many calories her guests ingest.

It's so amazing to me. Sure, a humourous ad can be expected to tweak good manners and common sense, but this is so far beyond a "tweak". This is a full-on, pearl-clutching etiquette horror. Have we really left common courtesy so far behind that it is now acceptable not only to comment on others' bodies, but to take an active role in shaping said bodies? To decide how other people should satisfy their hunger? To decree how sated someone should become?

And OF COURSE it's all women. Women deciding for other women how hungry they are. Women deciding that other women don't need to eat more than a hundred calories at any one sitting. Women deciding for other women which foods can be deemed acceptable.

Come to think of it, this may be the most brilliant 30-second distillation of female diet culture I've ever seen.

Too bad not a second of it can be seen as the least bit ironic or satirical. This isn't a wake-up call or a red flag: this is just life.

Kill the Gay Babies - It's Bipartisan!

With fewer than 100 days till the presidential elections, I find myself involved in more than the usual number of political conversations. At some point in every one, I reveal myself as a Libertarian, and have to hear the attendant ridiculousness about "wasting" my vote, and do I want Soandso to win? Because if I don't vote for Suchandsuch, Soandso is guaranteed a victory.

Please. I know there are many people whose concept of "principle" is shaky at best, and downright slippery most of the time. But I refuse to vote "against" someone, or to cast my lot with the "two" major parties in this country simply because they're expected to retain power. I want to vote for things. I want to be a principled participant in my country's governance.

I'm a Libertarian for a few reasons. One is that I believe passionately in the Constitution, just as it was written. I believe very little else is necessary for governing these fifty states, and that most of the ammendments made to it have been completely unnecessary.

I also believe small government is the best government, and the less the state is involved in my life, my body, my family, or my home, the better it will run for everyone involved. The same goes for the economy: the less the state is involved in business, the better the businesses run, the more money we all make - and get to keep.

But what led me to Libertarianism wasn't such a crystal-clear summation of my political philosophy. It was realizing that the two major parties are almost exactly the same. They both want to take and spend my money on things I don't want to pay for. Democrats want to spend my money on institutionalized racism and killing babies; Republicans want to spend it on institutionalized religious fundamentalism and making sure gay people don't have any rights. There are entire television and radio networks devoted to screaming angrily at the other side. The two major parties - Democricans and Republicrats - do nothing to advance the ideals of our Founders, and everything to turn this country into another Rome, sated on bread and circuses while we burn and Washington produces a thousand fiddlers.

So you go ahead and kill the gay babies. I'll be over here, wasting my vote on principle.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows:

New Hampshire
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Why Bacon Watches Television

I recently joined an online community for mothers in my area. With educational choices looming on the very near horizon and being new to the state, I thought it would be helpful, even if I just lurked. One of the community features is a blog written by several of the active members. I've been cruising through the archives, stopping at topics that interest me, learning how other people parent. With my part-time daycare gig, getting a handle on other parents is a must.

But for fuck's sake, people, if turning off the television has turned your child into an oversensitive mess who can't follow the plot of a movie, you've done something wrong.

This woman wrote a blog post about how her six-year-old is just so "sensitive" he can't watch Curious George without worrying that George won't get out of trouble.

I'll wait for you to catch your eyes as they roll across the floor. Back in? Good. Let's continue.

Apparently, the kid's only allowed to watch The Wiggles (shudder on so many levels, the least of which is musical) and Disney movies. But he can't make it more than 10 minutes into a Disney movie, because of the aforementioned "sensitivity". This makes it difficult for him to relate to his kindergarten peers because - of course! - he's "one of the youngest" in his class. Which is code for "my kid's SO SMART, he just had to start school younger than everyone else!"

You know what we called smart, oversensitive kids when I was one? Sissies. Nerds. Losers. LAMEASSES.

I'm not endorsing name-calling by any means. It's cruel, it's rude, and it's not a habit I'd want my child to get into. But I also wouldn't want my kid to BE a lameass, and thus, I've actually tried to give her a couple of social skills here and there. Not crying at the drop of a hat, following a damn storyline, and being able to relate to children her age are pretty much considered requirements in the Bacon household. I have told my daughter, more than once, to "man up". Crying irritates me.

And if this were just one pretentious mother, bemoaning how awful television is that she couldn't show it to her Pweshous, and now she doesn't know how to get him to relate to all the other six-year-old cretins whose barbarian parents allow them to watch Star Wars, I'd roll my eyes and be done with it. But wouldn't you know it - 15 comments' worth of "I let my kids watch too much 'Wiggles' and I regret it!" and "Good for you for not letting him watch movies - he'll be fine!"

Yeah. When the big man on campus knocks his head in for crying, I'm sure he'll be "fine". Way to go, Mom - you've raised a complete loser!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Irony, It Burns!

James Dobson, Fundie extraordinaire, has accused Barack Obama of "...deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology."

The article (from Yahoo! News) didn't specify whether Mr. Dobson was wearing a poly-cotton blend, had eaten cheeseburgers recently, shaved his beard, or worked on Saturdays.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And it looked so tasty, too...

Me: I'm going to bite your nose off.
Bacon: What?!
Me: I'm going to bite your nose off!
Bacon: No, Mommy, I don't want you to!
Me: Why not?
Bacon: Because if I don't have a nose, I can't smell the flowers!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dork Love II, Electric Boogaloo

Me: But they're irrational fears. Obviously we aren't going to die in a tornado full of spiders, only to be eaten by Tyrannosaurs and have our bones thrown in lava.
Baconsdad: Tyrannosaurs? I'd be way more afraid of velociraptors. Didn't they hunt in packs?
Me: Well, yeah, but it's the giant walking things I have issue with. Velociraptors didn't have opposable thumbs.
BD: Giant walking things?
Me: Yeah, you know, like those AT-ATs in Star Wars? Those things freak me the fuck out.
BD: But Tyrannosaurs would just eat you whole, not throw your bones. Also, it would be a lot easier to hide from a Tyrannosaur than a velociraptor.
Me: Irrational fears. You're not going to make me not afraid of something through logic if the fear isn't logical to begin with.
BD: Oh yes, I am. I will tell you all the reasons you should be more afraid of 'raptors than Tyrannosaurs, and I think, eventually, you'll see I'm right.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Chip, Chip, Chip...

I write fiction. Not as seriously as I once did - I was going to try to make a living at it for years - but still pretty regularly. There are some novels floating around, a solid stack of short stories, and some poetry that sucks as poetry but might work as song lyrics, despite lacking a single rhyming couplet amongst them. I try to write a little of something every day, and don't count blogging, because it's really not the same at all.

In any case, I've been working on a story for a few months, and though I love the characters I'm writing (we're old friends) and I think it's working well, I'm blocked.

So I switched over to the typing-in and reworking of a novella that's been kicking around in my head and in longhand for years, thinking that changing subjects and tenses might help. No dice, even though it's a favorite of mine. I'm just typing words without substance, using a cheese knife to chisel a life-sized hunk of mind-rock in my way. So. Frustrating.

I've never found anything that really lifts a block, and I think it's part of why I gave up the idea of being A Novelist. Having to work around or through or over these patches would drive me crazy - especially as the work I produce when I'm trying to work through is so bad. I mean, some people write mediocre copy when they're blocked, and it can be tweaked and reworded a little and it'll fit right in with the rest of the ms. I, on the other hand, have a habit of producing absolute shit if I'm not in the right groove. Shittier than the poetry, even, and that's saying something. It's so demoralizing to think that I can't produce better, and it's what did in my nascent writing career when I had plenty of time and persistence to pursue publishing.

Ah, well. It'll break, or it won't. I'll still get to that novella, and there's enough in the new story that it could be incorporated into an extant novel if it doesn't work out on its own.

And who knows? Maybe I'll ask for a Writers' Market for Christmas.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three Words:


If that doesn't sum up an awesome weekend in San Antonio (despite packing the wrong shoes for a "bus" tour and spraining an ankle), I don't know what does.

Predictably, I don't have pictures. We don't have a digital camera, and anyone who's seen my pre-digital efforts at photography knows I know better than to walk within fifty feet of an analog camera with picture-snapping on my mind. Cameras, plants and biscuits: Things Baconsmom Doesn't Do.

I managed to learn almost everyone's name on this trip, so now I don't have to tell stories about Tall Guy Who Sits Behind Me (Josh) and That Soprano With The Awesome Shoes (Maddie) and Guy Who I Meet At The Bathroom (Robert). I had some excellent margaritas, so-so food (I really prefer Sonoran Mexican, for all my bitching about its heat), and encountered more genuinely friendly people than I ever thought possible. I'm thinking of going back with the husband and the Baconator in the fall, when it's cooler, because I had so much fun in just 24 hours.

And no, there is no basement at the Alamo.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hormonal or Crazy? You make the call.

So I had this big vent brewing about PMDD and how much it sucks and it makes me feel crazy blahblahblah, right?

But as I was thinking about how I wanted to rant, it occurred to me that it's not even hormones that are making me react to a crappy evening the way I am. It's narcissism.

But not regular-old narcissism, because that would be boring. Self-loathing narcissism, which sounds weird, but in a way, is just regular old ego. I'm so important that everyone hates me.

But that wasn't right, either. I don't believe everyone hates me. I just believe no one cares enough to even give me a passing thought.

So what's sadder? That my ovaries run my emotions with their tiny hormonal factories; that I think I'm so important the world hates me; or that I'm so ridiculously insignificant I don't even merit a mass email to let me know choir rehearsal's been changed?

Yeah, because that last one? Just happened. Let's see if anyone gets back to me about where the fuck I'm supposed to be on Saturday - and when - because hearing "Be at the airport sometime before two" three weeks ago isn't really my idea of an itinerary.

I shouldn't let it get to me. I was overlooked. It happens. I'm sure it happened to someone else, as well. It just triggers all this craziness and I don't know how to stop. I'm just - I'm not normal.

I'm not normal. And I fucking hate it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I'm off to San Antonio on Saturday for an overnight choir trip. The bishop there invited the choir to come and sing a mass for him - so we are.

We fly in Saturday, rehearse at the cathedral, and then are free for dinner. Sunday morning is mass, followed by a reception, and then a tour of the city - including the Alamo.

Oh, yeah - that Alamo. And I'm apparently not the only smartass in the country. There's this guy, who snagged a great guard with a sense of humor. I'm still debating whether or not to go ahead and be "that girl" on the tour, but seriously - when am I ever going to go back to the Alamo?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Dork Love

Snippet of a conversation between my husband and me the other night:

Husband: "But if you traveled that fast, wouldn't you go back in time?"
Me: "Don't go all Einsteinian physics on me. I barely understand the Newtonian principles I have to work around every day."
Husband: "Work around?"

Sunday, April 27, 2008


It has two Ps, not two Ss.

Dilemma has no Ns, but it does, always, have two Ms.

Site is a location, either on the internet, or in real life. Sight is the sense your eyes provide - or perhaps it's a piece of a gun, but it's certainly not a place. And while we're on that subject - local is the adjective you use to describe where something is in relation to you. My corner grocery? It's local. Locale is a synonym of site.

Moral is the end of an Aesop fable, or a good way to describe the Pope. Morale is what your company is trying to improve when they give you $5 Starfuck's giftcards for Secretaries' Day.

It's Mothers' Day, by the way. Fathers' Day, too - it's for all of them, not just one of them. S' denotes something that belongs to a group of people - 's indicates it belongs to just one, unless the plural noun is such that it doesn't end in an s, like children or people.

They used to call elementary school grammar school, because at one point, not very long ago in history, they taught grammar there. Grammar used to include spelling, proper usage of punctuation, and homophones.

I'd hate to think I live in a nation that needs, collectively, to return to first grade, but there are days when the above peeves are only the tip of the iceberg. If you insist on communicating with the written word, you must learn to write properly, or no one will understand you.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Open Letter to Coloradans

No, I know, it's so confusing, that big car! All that metal! All those buttons, knobs, levers and pedals! I understand. You're having trouble. That's why I'm here to help.

The gas pedal is on the right. If you press it, it makes the car go faster! Yes, that's right - faster than twenty fucking miles per hour!

I know you know where the brake is. You use it to start stopping for the signal while a) the signal's still green, and b) when you're half a mile from it. Also: whenever anyone else within two miles of you is braking, for whatever reason. You wouldn't want to get ahead of the pack, or out of someone else's blind spot! That would be ridiculous!

And now I'll tell you a secret: The left lane on the freeway is for people who'd like to go faster than you. No, really. That's where the expression "the fast lane" comes from. Sorry to say, though, that "fast" doesn't mean fifty miles per hour in a sixty-five zone. In fact, that would be the exact opposite of "fast".

Parking lots are not, in fact, a suitable place to drive 35 mph. No, really. Especially since that seems to be top speed around here.

And right-of-way is not, actually, determined simply by who really wants to go. There are rules. I will follow them, even if it means hitting your stupid ass.

Wishing you would kindly get the fuck out of my way,

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Weep for the World

Some days, I seriously wonder if I've gone completely mad, and am even now only hallucinating this blog from the safety of a padded cell and a nice, tight white jacket.

This was a post I ran across on the Knot just now, and I wonder if, before I found Size Acceptance, I just took for granted that everyone should have disordered habits around food, too.

Does dieting make me a Bridezilla?

I posted this on Getting in Shape board too, but was also curious what all
the P&E girls thought...

I have a really good friend who is also one of my BM's. Every since I
joined WW she has been driving me crazy. She calls me to go out to eat all the
time, which is fine, but she never wants to go to anywhere where I can easily
look up points. She will always pick little local cafes. I will ask her
sometimes if we can go to a national chain that is listed in my dining out
guide, or for sushi, or something low-point and easy to figure out, and she will
call me a bridezilla and act like I am being overly difficult.

Then, once we've eaten, she will always want dessert or drinks, and she
will get mad at me if I decline, or she'll ask why I can't just sit there and
"socialize" with her while she goes out for ice cream or drinks. I tell her that
dessert or drinks once in a while is fine, but it can't be a spur of the moment
thing, she needs to tell me in advance so I can budget my points...but then I
just end up being called a bridezilla again.

Tonight I was at her house...I got there after I ate dinner: about 8pm.
All my points for the day and flex points were gone. At about 9pm she said she
thought it would be a great idea to go to Coldstone for ice cream. I told her I
couldn't, I had no more points, and then she got all mad and asked why I
couldn't just get light ice cream, or just sit there with her while she has ice
cream. She does this with regular food too...she will want to go to a restaurant
where she knows there is absolutely nothing I can eat, and then when I say I
don't want to go there she will say "well you can just have a side salad with no
dressing and hang out with me while I have my burger and fries". She doesn't
understand that doing WW is hard for me, and I would love to eat ice cream at
9pm and fast food for lunch, but I can't, and me haning out eating nothing with
her while she eats all that stuff is just more temptation than I can handle. She
makes me feel like I am really selfish for thinking this way.

Am i being a total ***? I really don't think so, but she sure makes me
feel like I am...

Sorry for the novel, had to vent.

How is that not completely bizarre? Am I just now seeing this sort of behavior for what it is - rude, disordered, completely batshit - or am I in some strange minority of people who assume that if you have food issues, it's up to you to deal with them or suggest an alternate activity? I would be appalled if a friend of mine told me I had to eat cardboard grossness at chain restaurants every. time. we went out, just so she could indulge in self-imposed starvation. I would be concerned for her, first of all, but also shocked at such self-righteous rude ridiculousness.

The thread didn't have a lot of responses, but those that were there were just as strange as the original post.

Reply One:
I believe the expression she's looking for is "buff bride".

Reply Two:

You are definitely not being an ***! It sounds more like she is. Maybe you
should find non-eating activities to do together - sounds like she likes to eat
a lot.

Seriously, y'all, I feel like Alice over here. This just seems so abnormal to me, and I have a mother who insists that I should try every fad diet that comes down the pike, even after I've hung up on her for talking weight.

Maybe I'm out of touch. Maybe this is why I don't have girlfriends. I can't think of anything more boring than spending all day figuring out what I'm "allowed" to eat - unless it's spending my time wondering if my friend will be similarly "allowed" to see me when I refuse to worship at the altar of eating disorders. Or worrying that my friends will all be stolen by Weight Watchers.

And what the hell is with the "Sounds like she eats a lot"? Sounds to me like she eats for pleasure, for connection with others, and to fuel her body. So what if it's "a lot"? Last I checked, we all need to consume 2,350 calories to be considered to have food security - to be considered to be not starving. Is that poster suggesting that not starving is a reason to get a friend to change her habits and her way of spending time and joy with others? Not starving is - what? A bad habit, like smoking, or biting one's nails?

I can see the magazine headlines now: "Are you NOT STARVING? We'll tell you how to break the cycle of health!" Or maybe: "Why You Don't Need Food Security: Don't Let People Think You Like To Eat A Lot." Or even: "Pakistani Diet Secrets Revealed! (They're Starving!)"

The saddest thing? None of those headlines is beyond belief. Or at least, not very far beyond it. And that's why I weep for the world - because this shit is so normal, a woman who "likes to eat a lot" is some sort of swear word that's censored on a wedding website.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More Than A Hymen

I don't know if it's recently having a daughter, or becoming more involved in social justice, or just growing into my own skin as a woman and as a sexual being, but I've noticed an insidious, hateful, popular bit of (what should be arcane) misogyny is gaining steam once again, and I'm pissed.

I'm speaking, of course, about virginity. The concept, the actual hymen, the disgusting misuse of the word "purity", and how it all ties into me - and my daughter, and yours, and any woman - being nothing more than a vagina for sale.

I know, I know, I hear you - "Isn't that a little extreme? Come on, now; what's wrong with a little sexual restraint for the youngsters? A little abstinence-only sex-ed? A few commercials that imply a father owns his daughter's body? Morons on the Knot maintaining that one's husband shouldn't allow one to keep her (maiden) name?"

It's not extreme to look at society, at television, at sex-ed classes, at religion, at articles about "revirginization", and think that I am valued solely for my vagina. More specifically, for my "pure", virgin vagina. My husband is expected to be disappointed that I just couldn't wait for him to come buy me; my parents, to whom many young women make their virginity pledges, should have expressed their displeasure at my having decided, as a legal adult, that I did, in fact, own my own body and could use it as I saw fit - whether that was hauling shopping bags full of shoes (acceptable) or having sex (unacceptable).

For that's the crux of the matter. It's not necessarily about sex or abstinence or virginity or religion or "purity". It's about a woman making up her own damn mind and deciding that - Horrors! - she likes sex. It all goes back to being a slut, a whore, a loose woman, a wanton. Next thing you know, we'll be demanding the vote and thinking we can drive cars!

What drives me absolutely insane about this shit is the vast number of women who must remain virgins, else they face death.

Let me say that again: There are women in this world who live in countries run by fundamentalist crazy men, and they will be put to death, under rule of law, if they are found not to have a hymen when they marry.

Yet we, who have the opportunities to vote, drive, work, and change our names (or not), have decided that a painful and awkward sexual experience is something to be proud we forced upon our husbands, or something to be congratulated for having "saved" for marriage, or something that women will go through surgery to recreate.

For fuck's sake, WHY? Why on earth would you ever give a parent, a pastor, anyone the right to tell you what you can and cannot do with your body? Whose right is it to tell me and my husband that our love - a love that saved both our lives, and resulted in a third gorgeous little one - is "of an inferior and contaminating nature" because we had sex before marriage?

No one's, of course. It's no one's right to tell me that my body is somehow "infected " by my being a complete and sexual person. It's no one's right to tell my daughter that her father owns her, and must "protect" her from the (surely unwanted, because no teenage girl would have a healthy sex drive) advances of anything male until she's safely sold - oh, excuse me, I mean married.

God made us sexual creatures. Adam and Eve were told to be fruitful, to multiply. I can't believe for a second that it's sinful to enjoy sex, regardless of vows or gowns or flowers. What in the wedding ceremony is the magic word that transforms sex from bad and dirty to wonderful and loving? What's sinful is treating our bodies not like the temples they are, but like untrained animals that need to be reined in and controlled. It's the same mentality that leads to Diets for the Deity - our bodies, the bodies God gave us, aren't good enough as they come off the factory line. God, apparently, made some mistakes, and it's up to us to control ourselves into being something better than we were made to be.

Bullshit. I will be as I was made: smart, funny, capable, fat, sexual - and way, way more than just a busted hymen on legs.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Quick Rant

My ass can stop shrinking any time now. No, really, it was cute at first, this irritating habit of only losing weight in my butt, but it's accelerated alarmingly, and I'm sure my back would appreciate a little weight off the front of me more than belt makers appreciate my custom.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Sold My Soul for a Pair of Pants

Oh, yes. I totally sold out for jeans.

Background: Old Navy recently stopped selling plus-sized clothing in its stores. It touts that its plus line is an "Online Exclusive!" as if being forced to take sizes on faith and then run around returning things that don't fit is like being in a wonderful, secret club. It's not. It's a pain in the ass, and while I'm a fan of online shopping, if I have to try it on, I prefer heading out to the store to make just one trip.

Right around the time ON was exiling the fatties from stores, Lane Bryant decided that the jeans they'd been making that were perfect for me weren't good enough, and went to Wrong - oh, excuse me - "Right Fit" jeans. I heard people rave about these jeans, about how the sizing was so much better, and when my old pair of Venezias gave out, I tried them. But the rise was too high, the "petite" inseam was way too long, and there was no other option. It was X size (which wasn't even a normal number, so I had to try on like 5 pair to begin with) or nothing.

Which meant "nothing", at least for me. I need a low or extra-low rise, bootcut, short inseam jean. That's what works on me. "Petites" almost never do - the rise is always too high, and the inseam tends to be too short, as well.

So I gave in and tried Old Navy. It didn't help that I needed a new performance dress (read: Black, suitable for church, with sleeves) and ON had the only one on the internet that wasn't over $100, either. Lured in by the dress, I skimmed the jeans, and lo and behold: I could order low-rise, bootcut, short-inseam jeans, in regular women's sizes.

They fit like woah and like damn. I mean, even the Venezias I loved didn't fit this well. I'm ashamed to give my money to people who don't think I should be seen in their stores, but I have tried on every pair of plus-sized jeans in my price range, and nothing works like these do.

So. I sold my soul for a pair of pants. And I can't say I'm sorry.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm A Fat Slut

She gets too hungry for dinner at eight...
That's why the lady is a tramp.

Fat: affluent, cushy, fertile, flourishing, fruitful, good, lush, thriving.

Won't dish the dirt with the rest of the girls:
That's why the lady is a tramp.

Slut: bimbo, floozy, harlot, hussy, jezebel, slattern, strumpet, tart, tramp, trollop, wanton

She's all alone when she lowers her lamp:
That's why the lady is a tramp.

If you're a woman who's made it to adulthood - or even just to age 14 - you've probably been called fat, or a slut, or a fat slut.* The words aren't merely their definitions, aren't merely their synonyms. They are the words most likely to wound deeply, because they are the words that identify everything that a woman should not be. They are the arrows that come already loaded in the quivers of adolescent girls, the weapons we, as a society, hand to our daughters with instructions to use them against the girl who is different, the girl who is defiant, the girl who insists that she knows best for herself.

At some point, we are all that girl, that different woman, that strange defiant female. At some point, we are all fat sluts.

I've been one for roughly two decades now. I was the early bloomer, the girl who woke up one day to find herself all lush curves and bountiful breasts and nowhere to hide them, the envy and the terror of her peers. The name-calling and the snubbing were almost instantaneous, and I reacted with an even deeper shame for my bigness, my "huge" hips, my "flabby" thighs, my breasts. I was Fat.

Fat can be overcome, if one shows enough shame and enough self-denial. But I was never good with self-denial: there is far too much joy to be had in a perfectly-baked cupcake or a perfect little bite of chocolate to forswear them in pursuit of approval, and I couldn't be counted upon to stick to the diets that would have rendered me acceptable to the girls I knew. I was Fat, and I was going to stay Fat, and if I ever thought to forget it, someone would remind me.

Fat, however, is nothing next to the brazen shamelessness of being A Slut. While Sluts are most often the girls who enjoy sex, enjoy men, and enjoy themselves without reservation or shame, they can also simply be the girls who don't like the other girls. The women who find other women's conversation impenetrably complicated, who never cottoned to the rules of calling other women names behind their backs while inviting them to dinner parties to their faces, who will never be "Rules Girls", who don't understand when being useful and forthright went out of style. A Slut finds the social rules for men to be far more sensible, and lives by them.

After spending my pre-teen years being Fat, I embarked upon my high school career as A Slut, as well. Why I would want to spend time with girls who'd done nothing but berate, ridicule, or condescend to me was beyond me, and I ignored them in favor of easier, quieter, more honest friendships with boys and men. They expected that I would be exactly as I appeared to them, and wouldn't stand for my constant self-deprecation or useless self-denial. The identity I formed during my teen years was a strong, useful, honest woman, one loath to deny herself what she wanted simply because it wasn't seemly for her to want at all. What was the point of feminism, after all, if I had to play by a complicated series of rules in order to be acceptable to the world at large? Wasn't that the sort of thing our mothers had tried to eliminate for us, this constant focus on appearances above all else, even unto tending to the appearance of good character, rather than the cultivation of such? Shouldn't I be caring more about how I changed the world than about how I looked to it?

Unfortunately, that wonderful woman was hidden away behind the fad diets and the bitchy machinations of my "friends", and I only ever felt comfortable when I was alone, or with my boys. I was always on my guard around my girlfriends, and I know they knew it, because I was always "stealing" someone's boyfriend or eating the wrong things or wearing the wrong things. I tried, but I was, and would always be, A Fat Slut.

Upon learning that I was having a daughter, I panicked. I knew nothing about how to raise a girl, I told my now-husband; I didn't like princesses and pink and everything dainty and feminine. I didn't know how to teach her to move in the world of women, because I'd never been able to figure it out. What on earth would I do with a girl? I asked him.

"Teach her to be like you. What's wrong with you? Aren't you a woman?"

I hadn't known what to say in return, because that seemed so obvious. Yes, of course I'm a woman. But I'm also A Fat Slut, and I can't teach our daughter to be one - can I?

The answer? Of course, I can. Because if I don't teach her to embrace herself, and damn the consequences, then we'll never be able to be anything but Fat Sluts. We'll never simply be useful people, unique people, if "fat slut" is still allowed as a term of hatred, as a badge of undesirable "otherness".

So there it is: I'm a Fat Slut. I'm a tramp. I'm not afraid of my lush body, or my quirky personality, or my decidedly non-vanilla relationship needs. I'm not afraid that my daughter likes dinosaurs better than dresses, or building better than ballerinas - or baby dolls better than Hot Wheels.

I'm a Fat Slut.

Are you?

*I know there are those out there who were called the opposites: Skinny Bitches and Skinny or Fat Prudes. For this argument, it all comes under "Fat Slut".

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Bit About Me

You'll notice I added a new link over on the left: the website of The Church Music Association of America. It looks a little odd, mixed in with the romance novel reviews and fashion snark, but my one great passion right now is music, and sacred music in particular.

I've always sung in school choirs and church choirs, and never really thought much about it: I could carry a tune, and church choirs always needed another voice. Then in 2006, I had the opportunity to not just sing with my parish choir, but to actually be hired on as a professional vocalist for the Diocese of Phoenix. The salary wasn't huge, but the honor of being compensated for my talents was tremendous to me. I'd never considered myself that great, and while I'd taken a few classes toward a music minor in college, I never finished, and never thought myself any great shakes at singing.

But I'm versatile: I've been a soprano, alto, and tenor at some point in my life; and I read music well, which is a boon especially in volunteer choirs.

I dearly loved my Phoenix choir. (If you're ever there, do stop by Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral for the nine a.m. Mass. You won't regret it.) They're the only thing I miss from Arizona, and I wandered around Denver for a few months trying to find a choir I liked, a choir I fit with, and most importantly, a choir that sang appropriate Catholic music.

I auditioned for Dr. Horst Buchholz in January - the same Dr. Buchholz who is the vice president of the CMAA and director of the Cathedral Choir in Denver.

This choir? Is amazing. I'm having a fantastic time singing, and I feel useful at Mass again. And the music is - heavenly. If you enjoy classical music even a little bit, I urge you to check out polyphonic pieces written for the Church. The music is exquisite, is transcendental, is so perfectly to the glory of God that though I feel exhausted and taxed beyond my capabilities trying to learn it, I also feel freed and comforted by being so close to His most wonderful works.

Lent began on Wednesday. I rarely give things up, but instead try to do things. I usually try to be a better housewife, because I'm terribly lazy, or to be more patient with people. This year I think I shall try to use all the talents God gave me, in a deliberate spirit of usefulness. That is, I will try to be conscious that my talents did not spring forth from me alone, and that they are not intended to be used solely for my gratification, but that I can be of use to others better than I can be of use to myself alone.

And to be a better housewife. Seriously. I'm really lazy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Of Breasts and Beauty

Via Shapely Prose, I have to comment on this photo from the Uncovered photography project. (Photo from Jordan Matter Photography.)
If you can't read the text, it is as follows:
When you're forty, men stop looking at you. You sort of disappear and
become a non-sexual entity. It's a very strange thing to have been interesting
to strangers your whole life and then suddenly it stops overnight and you ...

Now, I don't know about you, lovely readers, but I have never been interesting to strangers. Men have never looked at me. I find it fascinating to read things like this, stories of women who took such notice for granted, women who thought such notice was sure to continue indefinitely. What must it be like, to be considered a thing of beauty? What is it to know that you'll never have to pay for a drink or have an empty bed?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Random Roundup

Headless Torso has an excellent video up today.

Fat Bloggers made the New York Times!

And I have to talk about something that's been bugging me since it happened.

I have a Rack of Doom. My breasts are rather ridiculously large, and I have to buy bras roughly every six months. I usually try to get a fitting once a year, because they're not as young as they used to be, and they've started their southerly migration already. My band stays pretty steady, but I need bigger cups.

So I've recently moved to Colorado from Arizona. Being in a nicer climate has me out-of-doors more often, and in general, getting more exercise. I've lost about a dress size since moving over the summer, and I will probably lose more. It's not something I talk a lot about, because honestly? I find it irritating. I finally had a wardrobe full of lovely clothes that fit beautifully, and now I have to shop again, or take things in, and since I wasn't unhappy with myself, it's hard to see the changing of my body as anything more than an imposition on my time. Of course, no one I know will listen to my whining about "magical" weightloss, so I just keep mum and try crap on.

But the result of said loss is that I desperately needed new bras and a fitting. I had gone to an independent lingerie shop in AZ, but headed up to Nordstrom's this time after hearing wonderful things about them.

I get into the fitting room and tell the woman I'm currently wearing a 42H. The band fits okay, but not perfectly, so I don't know if I need to be down a band or not. The cups, on the other hand, are overflowing, and I'm not sure if I should look for I-cups or J-cups. She asks what prompted the fitting: I tell her I've lost some weight, and it's been a year or so since my last fitting, and my bras are falling apart.

She measures me and says my band measures right at a 42. Good - one question solved. She never measures my actual bust, but leaves the room to get things for me to try on. She comes back the first time with a 44D. She keeps coming back with various sizes, none of which are even close to my cup, and finally says, "I think you're a 44F. We don't have any in stock, so I'll email you when they come in."

And I hear you all: So what? It was a bad fitting. We've all had them.

And you're right - I've gotten them before, too. (For the record: I came home and had my husband measure me. I'm a 42J.) But what made this one particularly uncomfortable for me was that the fitter repeatedly made comments about how wonderful it was that I'd lost weight, how I was sure to lose more, and she looked forward to finding me even smaller bras. And won't it be wonderful when my breasts get smaller? And I was doing such a good job at sticking to it!

I didn't know what to say. I was a deer in the sizeist headlights. I just had absolutely no idea how to go about explaining that I was really annoyed to change sizes, that my breasts have done nothing but get bigger since I was 10 years old - no matter what my weight has done - and that I'd hate to be a size-whatever on the bottom and a size bazoomba-huge on the top because of these stupid boobs.

I had no idea how to say, "I'm perfectly happy with my size, and am not actively trying to lose weight." And that made me feel like a liar.

I came home and shared my thoughts with Bacon's Dad (while he measured me correctly.). His take? "Well, wouldn't it have made it more uncomfortable to say something?"

Sure it would have. But if I say I'm a Size Acceptance activist, if I tell other people every day the facts about fat and health and the beauty myth, aren't I obligated to do the same with strangers? Isn't my silence a tacit acceptance of the opinion that getting smaller is a good thing, no matter what I believe?

Looking back, I probably should have been prepared. I know how society views weightloss. I know how society views fat women, and I knew I was going to be shirtless in front of some random person literally taking my measure. I guess I didn't expect to be asked why I needed a fitting - it's pretty obvious, even when I'm clothed, that something isn't fitting properly.

It's just so difficult to boil everything down to something short, sweet and acceptable. "I like being fat; let's move on" seems abrupt and cold, but giving a ten-minute spiel on SA seems a little over-the-top. Surely there's something in between the extremes - and I have a feeling that I should try to find it, because I'm only going to run into more fitting rooms and more salesclerks trying to make conversation.

What would you have said?