Thursday, December 3, 2015

All lives matter

Times when it is alright to shoot someone:

Is your life in immediate peril?
Is someone actively trying to kill you, assault you, rape you, rob you, do you serious harm, or do any of these things to someone  you are currently in the presence of?
Are you a police officer/soldier/peace officer on active duty and in that moment feel that it is a necessity?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then it is probably alright to shoot someone.

Times when it is not alright to shoot someone:

When someone doesn't agree with you.
When someone does something you don't agree with.
When someone is a different race/religion/sex/sexual orientation/nationality/profession than you.
When someone supports a political or ideological stance that you oppose.

It is never alright to open fire on hospitals, schools, malls, highways, offices, or any other public locations if you are not in an active war zone. News flash, there is not an active war zone in America.

America is plagued with domestic terrorists. Don't agree with me? Well here let me help you a little.

Terrorism, as defined by Merriam Webster dictionary (and this is the 'for kids' entry so that it is in the simplest terms): the use of terror as a means of achieving a goal.

Domestic, again as defined by the for kids section of Merriam Webster dictionary: of, relating to, made in, or done in one's own country.

Shooting a bunch of kids, clinic workers, or innocent bystanders in American suburbs pretty well fits these definitions to a T. Also consider that these are not isolated incidents. This stuff happens on a weekly basis. Police officers shot because people think that cops hate black people. Black people shot because people think they hate police officers. Clinic workers shot because they are pro choice. Muslims shot because they are not Christian. Children shot because someone thought it would make a point.

Well you are right, these acts do make a point by causing panic and terror. These acts don't rally support for the cause, it simply causes reactionary violence. It puts everyone on edge, makes them afraid to leave the house, and in turn causes more hate. It is an endless cycle of violence and hate.

Banning guns is not the answer. Just because guns are not legal does not mean people will stop shooting people. It simply means that the black market for guns will be stronger than it already is. People will still feel the need to own guns to protect themselves and will find a way to get them. People who want to shoot up a school campus will find a way to do it whether the materials are legal or not.

What is the solution to this? Fix your attitude. Never ever condone this sort of violence. Never say words like "They deserved it." because they certainly didn't. Stop hating people who think or are different than you. Stop teaching your children to hate. Accept that you are not the only person in the world and your views and lifestyle are not the only ones out there.

That is how we start to fix this. Remember that ALL lives matter. Stop viewing people as the enemy and treat them as your neighbor and a fellow human being who deserves the same respect and freedom you expect to have. Do not continue to divide yourself because of where you were born, who your parents were, where you do or don't pray, what you eat, or who you are voting for.

Be a good person. Don't be jackasses. Don't sit by quietly and let this happen. Don't just post snarky passive aggressive memes to Facebook, or change your profile picture to something patriotic, or blame a politician or the media (hell stop listening to the media altogether), or shake your head and go on about your day. This accomplishes nothing.

Do something positive. Start a positive dialogue with someone who is different than you. Donate your time to helping others. Give blood. Give money. Give canned goods. Give a smile. Be kind. Be good. Be the best you that you can be. If we all did that then maybe the idea of shooting a stranger wouldn't be something people thought would be a good idea.

I feel like I have said all of this before, but apparently it needs to be said again, so I will continue to say it until it does not need to be said again.

Be good. Stop hating. Be tolerant.


Monday, November 30, 2015

I fought the app and the app won

I tried once again to post from my phone while in the car last night and it once again did not work. I was cold and tired and traffic was awful so I decided not to bother trying again. I just have to face the fact that mobile posting only works on my phone when I am stationary. It is a lesson well learned for me. Learn from me my minions.

Saturday, November 28, 2015


It was 2001, I was in my third year of college, and I found myself with a semester of no shows. For a theater major this was pretty well unheard of. I had this huge chunk of time with nothing to do and I didn't like it one bit.

A large group of my friends worked down at the Ren Faire outside of Houston and I had visited them there over the previous two years and had started to fall in love. I knew I had all of this time coming open and I figured it might be fun to earn some extra cash and do something cool like work for the faire. A few nudges to my friends later and I had a spot in a shop with a couple of them.

Fifteen years later and I am still here. Tonight is the last night of the season and it is bittersweet as always. While the work and long drives are ending, so is the time of being with this strange little group who have worked their way into my hearts and have become my family.

The crew has never just been coworkers and has always been more than friends. These are people I live with for two months of weekends a year. That is a lot of time spent in very close quarters; you either love them or hate them, but you can not escape them.

These people have seen me through many major life events. Some of the crew were my college friends who saw me through my journey of faith, saw me through finding the husbeast, and saw me grow into me. The rest of the old guard not only watched and participated in my wedding, they made it possible. The newer crew even drove close to 6 hours in one day just to help us move.

I know that this ramshackle group of misfits would do anything for us and I would do anything for them. Much like siblings we do not always get along or like one another, but we are family and in the end are there for one another. Heaven forbid you pick on one of us because that will be the last mistake you make.

Tonight will be the last night with my little family on our island of misfit toys and tomorrow we will work hard before once again separating for the year. If we are lucky we will manage to get together a few times in the months between, but those times will not be often enough.

Come next September though we will all make our way down the dusty back roads of site to our shop, climb the steep steps to our bunkhouse, and embrace as family. It will not matter that time has passed because to us time does not matter. We will once again be home and once again I will sleep the peaceful sleep of one who is safe with her own.

Friday, November 27, 2015

A toast

Here is to good friends I never get to see making me forget about how much I despise Black Friday. To people who make me forget that people can be over entitled shita. To people who love me no matter the distance and time. To people who see me.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank you for the pain

The turkey has been eaten, pies and puddings served, and all have settled in for their post feast stupor. All is right in my world on this warm rainy Thanksgiving eve. I cooked for and fed people I care for and it makes my heart sore, not to mention my tummy is pleased too.

I do lament not being able to spend this day with my blood family as well. Other obligations in my life and the logistics of travel have meant I have missed more family holidays in my adult life than I have made. We always make time to celebrate, but rarely is it on the right day. Really though as long as we are together it does not matter what day it is on.

Now is the time when I tell you all of the things I am thankful for, only I am not going to. I am not going to tell you how thankful I am for health, and security, and lived ones. I am thankful for all of that and always am. I hope that I show my gratitude for that often.

I am going to tell you about some things that I am thankful for that are a little out of the ordinary. What can I say, I am weird.

I am thankful that my biological father was a horrible person and my mother was strong enough to leave him. In doing so she saved us and herself, but also she made way for the family we would eventually have. We made room for my dad and sisters to join the family 12 years later which was perfect.

I am thankful that I mistakenly turned down the husbeast the first time he asked me out. I was far too much a wide eyed confused college freshman at the time and he was not ready to be serious. The time that passed between that day and the day he stole his first kiss was important for us to be the people we needed to be to be together.

I am thankful that the husbeast was laid off 7 years ago when he was. The trials and tribulations we had to work through in the years to follow made us stronger individuals and a stronger couple. We know what we want and who we are because of it. We are more capable now.

I am thankful for all of the awful things that have happened in my life. Without those things I would not be the person I am today. They taught me to be strong, caring, compassionate, brave, understanding, forgiving, and patient. They made me me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sleep war

The hour grows late and my eyes grow heavy and I know sleep will soon take me. My mind does not slow and I know that this will be another night where my thoughts take control. Sleep or think, body or mind, which will win tonight?

Eventually my body will win out and into slumber I shall slip. Even then my mind will fight to win by filling my head with dreams. Not ordinary dreams but instead dreams so brilliant and vivid I almost do not want to wake. It is hard to leave the cinema of my mind.

Eventually my body will win again and I will awake though not necessarily rested. My mind has seen to it that many nights sleep were completely unproductive thanks to frenetic dreams.

In the end neither mind nor body seems to win but it is a fight neither will concede.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


My oldest cat is running around the living room making the strange cooing noises he makes when he is content or annoyed at something. At 14 years old I am not certain he really is sure any longer if he is upset about things or happy about them. I think he is just content to make whatever noises he likes when he likes. He is the equivalent of an octogenarian now, so I give him a lot of freedom to do what he likes.

My youngest cat is curled up behind my neck sleeping. I know she is asleep because there is a distinct lack of purring coming from her. She has the loudest purr I have ever heard, and seemingly only stops when she is truly asleep. Every once in a while her tail flicks with a mind of its own, coming around to swat my cheek. I find this endearing and a little annoying. For the umpteenth time I remind myself that it is a good thing that tiny ball of fluff is so damn cute.

The husbeast has gone upstairs to play on his computer and decompress before bed. The dogs went with him and are most likely laying on his feet snoring. They are both really good at keeping your feet warm whether you want them to or not. It is sweet though after a while a 100lb dog on your foot can become uncomfortable. Thankfully they are fairly heavy sleepers and you can usually extract your foot without waking them (or your foot) up.

This is a typical quiet evening in our home. This is the type of moment we have missed out on these many months while construction ate our lives. Moments of quiet with our little fur family and our own thoughts. Moments that make all the crazy worth while.

I hope you all have your moments too. Moments are the best.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Scent of the Season

We were out of dog food and had to stop at the store on the way home from dinner with friends. Our normal store was in the opposite direction from our house so we just stopped at a store that was locationally convenient. In the end I sort of wish we had gone the extra distance to a store I knew.

We had no more than passed through the automatic doors than we were assaulted with the overwhelming scent of cinnamon.  The odor filled the air to the point you could taste it on your tongue every time you inhaled. The cloying bitter sweet scent was undeniable and inescapable; it was like olfactory hell.

I have an incredibly sense time sense of amell. If every person has one slightly extra ordinary super hero like ability mine would be my sense of smell. While awesome for making my pallet more defined it is pretty much the worst super power ever. I find this especially true during the holidays.

Once Halloween passes I almost dread walking into an unfamiliar store because I know what most likely lays in wait for me. It is almost a guarantee that a festive cinnamon laced pine cone wreath has been placed in the store waiting to attack. It is just one of those cliches people can not resist.

I understand their reasoning. People associate smells with certain thinga. Holidays, the winter ones in particular seem to be most associated with pine and cinnamon. I suppose pine is too remeniscent of mop water so cinnamon wins out. Really it makes sense.

Sadly I hate cinnamon. I don't even like eating it let alone smelling it. It is so easy to completely overwhelm your food or your air space with this pungent ingredient. Most people seem to think more is better, but in reality you are taking something that should add us the elegance and instead turn it into a troll with a telephone pole mauling a China shop.

Moderation is a lost art form.

So it is with trepidation that I enter the holiday season. I await with displeasure the next onslaught of cinnamon and dread the migraine headches which will assuredly accompany such a foul odor.

So remember myinions, as the holidays get into full swing, think twice before you bathe your home in cinnamon. I may not be coming to visit you, but chances are there is someone trying to not hurl into the egg no because of the overuse of this classic holiday scent.


This whole blogging for a month straight thing is hard. Not only is it difficult to come up with things worth saying every day, it is hard to actually be able to write every single day. I have the added bonus challenge of not being home on the weekends and having limited internet access thanks to this. It makes things difficult.

I realized last night on the drive home that I was not going to get a post in. I woke up at 7am, was in my shop by 8:30am, worked straight through the day until 8pm, changed and packed, and was in the car on the way home at 8:45 for a three hour and change drive. I could have typed in the car but that can make me motion sick and nobody wants that, especially not me.

I could have written a post when I got home. I could have sat down after midnight and typed up something that was nothing more than filler and posted it. I could have made myself stay awake another five minutes to do that. I knew that as tired as I was that was not going to happen.

 I also realized that this is not a big deal. I have limitations and I must deal with them. I can simply double post today and I will still meet my goal. I am not going to stress over something that is ultimately not a huge deal. I wasn't neglectful in not posting, I simply could not do it. Shit happens.

So this is my first post of the day where I admit that I have limitations and that is ok.
Next year when I do this challenge I think I will go ahead and simply omit Saturdays and Sundays from the equation because I should live in reality sometimes.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Things overheard at Faire: Geek edition

- A man dressed like a grizzly bear walks into the shop and jokingly a Coworker approaches him with a knife

Coworker: Sir, sir don't move there is a bear trying to eat you.

Man: No it is all good this was a consensual TonToning.

- We have a Sword of Omens (the sword from Thundercats) that lights up. One of my coworkers insists that when people hold it they quote the cartoon in some way.

Coworker: You have to say a line from the show like "Thundercats, Thundercats, Thundercats HO!"

Customer: (Takes the sword in hand) Snarf Snarf snarf.

Coworker: ..... Damn it I can't complain because that is actually from the show.

- Woman comes in wearing a TARDIS dress. Another customer who is a little tipsy starts talking to her about it.

Woman: (holds up a hand after he says nice dress) If you are going to make a bigger on the inside comment you will never find out the truth of that statement.

Man: (thinks for a moment) If I call you 'sexy' can I find out?

Woman: Alonsy

Man: Geronimo

The land of Nodd

Sleep is one of those things that is not only a necessity but it is something most people thoroughly enjoy. Perhaps it is because most people chronically lack in the sleep department and we are programmed to covet what we lack. Any way you look at it sleep is glorious.

The idea of getting to sleep in late is something people long for. Whether it is a parent with young children who hamper their sleep, a student with an early morning class, or a working man with a 5am alarm, they all will talk about the glory days when they could leisurely lay in bed until noon. It is one of those glorious memories we all seem to wish to recapture. Screw reliving my youth, I want a nap.

Ironically all of that was written as I lay in my bunk last night at the shop. After a long drive I had curled up in the quiet warmth of my bed intent on writing a post about what I wanted most at that moment; sleep.

I got my wish.

The next time I saw my phone screen my alarm was chiming telling me it was 7am. I slept the night through without finishing my post. I even put my phone on the hightstand in my sleep (which is totally the sort of thing I am known to do in my sleep).

Miraculously the phone saved the beginnings of my post this time so I could share it with you. Obviously the universe wanted me to share my sleepy ramblings with my minions even if it was a good night's sleep later than planned.

I certainly am not complaining.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A light in the darkness

Fear is the greatest weapon anyone can wield. Hope is our only defense. By giving in to fear we make ourselves tiny and hateful and exactly play into the hands of those who would destroy us. We simply make the job easier for them by destroying ourselves.

Do not let fear dictate your conscience. Be a good person. Take action. Choose love and hope. Do not be hateful or afraid. Horrible things are going to happen whether we do the right thing or not, so why be on the wrong side of things. Do not let your humanity be stripped from you over what may lurk in the shadows. Humanity is all we have, it is what unites us all, and it is what we must cling to.

Be brave. Be strong. Don't just speak, act. Fight the fear with hope. Monsters only have as much power as we give them. Hiding under the blankets does not drive them away, but turning on a light will.

Be the light in the dark.
- The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

- Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.
W. Clement Stone
- The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.
H. P. Lovecraft

- We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
- Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.
Helen Keller

- I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.
Thomas Paine

- There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them.
Andre Gide



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Uncomfortable Chill

There is a crispness to the air, a chill that has settled down upon us at long last, and it is clear to see that fall has caught up to us at last. It took almost until Thanksgiving for it to makes its way to Texas, but I suppose that is the norm for these parts. Better late than never right?

We don't really get all the glory of autumn in these parts. Texas excels in springs full of wild flowers and summers with heat to melt your face off. Autumn and winter are a northerners seasons. If you are looking for color changing leaves and blankets of snow you had best be satisfied with the ones you see in movies.

As glorious as fall and winter are supposed to be they hold no sway over my little southern heart. Sure I like a break from the almost oppressive heat we endure for 3/4 of the year but I in know way welcome the cold. I could go my whole life without the temperature dropping below 60 degrees and be perfectly happy.

The cold and I are not friends and we never have been. I have always been one to get cold very easily and not been able to warm up once I am there. People always say I should wear more layers but it does me no good if I am already cold. Once the cold has its grip on me I most likely will need hot water to bring warmth back to me.

I am lucky though. I have friends who are actually allergic to the cold and friends who turn blue and risk serious damage when they get cold. My discomfort is nothing in comparison,  but it is discomfort none the less. Each persons pain is personal after all.

I suppose that is one of the reasons I love Texas so much. Yes the heat is tiresome and deadly at times, but it is an enemy I know we'll and easily can overcome. The cold is the nemesis that drives me back and takes me down every time.

So as the seasons change, as they always do, I will be over here under my down blanket counting the days until the sun returns to warm me once again. This solar powered girl will be hibernating away from the cold and will emerge triumphant again when the wild flowers begin to bloom.

Another tech fail

I am double blogging today because yesterdays blog did not post from my phone last night and it was also not saved. This is what I get for relying on technology. Don't get me wrong, technology is great. My phone is great. It is all great. However, the more 'convenient' the technology (like my blogger app on my phone which allows me to type a post while in bed getting ready to sleep) is not always the most stable or reliable.

I don't really remember what I was posting about last night to be honest. The hour was late, I was very tired, and I was just trying very hard to get some content  up before days end to meet my personally set goal of one post per day this month. It is a silly little goal but it is important to me. All goals are important.

The way I see it is if I set a goal I should be able to meet it. If I am incapable of doing something as trivial as blogging once a day how can I complete more important goals I set for myself? I mean sure other goals might have more weight to them, but in reality it all comes down to my ability to complete things I start. Let me tell you I don't have a great track record with this.

When I got to work this morning and checked my blog and noticed that nothing had posted last night I was upset. When I checked my phone and realized it had not even saved I was angry. I was angry at technology for failing me (again) but I was more angry that I didn't get up out of bed, walk the five feet to the computer, and take the five minutes to log on and make sure something posted.

The only comfort I have is that I know I actually did write something yesterday, even if it did not make it out into the world before my phone swallowed it whole. I know that I have technically met my challenge. I am still a little disappointed.

To make up for this I will put out two posts today to make myself feel better about it and I will continue on. I will not allow a small setback stop me. There will always be glitches in the world, and it is our job to overcome them. The only failure is quitting, and that is not something I plan to do.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Be Excellent

Sometimes you don't need fancy words to get the point across. Sometimes you just need to say things simply and it is enough. That is the thought behind today's post.

In the words of Bill and Ted, two very simple men, I say unto you my minions, be excellent to one another.

Do not make qualifiers. Do not make exceptions. Do not make judgments.

Just simply be kind and good to your fellow man. Everyone is suffering in their own way, and everyone's suffering is valid. Do not hold one man's pain over another's because to each man their suffering is the most excruciating. 

Just because there is suffering at home does not mean that we can not show compassion to those who suffer afar. Offer your right hand to your neighbors and your left to your distant cousin; you have two hands to use and enough heart for all.

Do not sit idly by and speak words of outrage and use pictures of those less fortunate as the vase for your soap box. Instead lift up those who you would use as an example and be an example for those who would follow you. Open yourself to all those who would benefit from your kindness.

Remember that kindness is shown in many ways and you are not limited by wealth or station. Each of us has the capacity for good and the ability to effect change. Do what it is you can do and be the start of the good in this world.

Be blind to the things that would limit you. Do not see a person's gender, religion, politics, nationality, age, orientation, or anything else. Simply see another human who needs the good in you.

Go my minions. Go and be excellent to your fellow man. The world certainly is in need of it just now.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Posting for the sake of posting to say I posted. In the car and horribly motion sick. Terribly tired too. Back when I do t want to puke and have slept.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Realizations of a Ren Faire worker

As I was working today a woman I was helping commented on my boobs. Actually about half a dozen women commented on them today; it was a slow day. It came down to that she was impressed by their size and general appearance. This is typically what the comment is. I explained to her that corsets were amazing things and honestly my cleavage is like an iceberg and she was only seeing the top 10%.

She was impressed none the less and asked to take a picture for her husband who was not there. I agreed as this is something that happens to me all the time. Most of the time people ask if it is alright before snapping a picture, but I do on ocassion catch them sneaking a shot.

It was only after she left that I realized how many photographs of my boobs must exist in this world. I mean seriously, over the last 15 years there have been hundreds of people that have asked to take a picture specifically to get a shot of my cleavage.

I suddenly feel like a fully covered playboy model. Sort of weird and creepy and maybe just a little more flattering than it should be.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Technology fail

I had typed a lovely post tonight while we ate dinner but did not quite finish it. I had planned to finish it while we drove. What I did not plan for was my phone deleting the post before I could finish and post it.

Sadly it is now late and typing in the car is making me sick. So tonight's post is mostly just to tell you my phone ate my post.

Come back tomorrow for something of substance

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Home making

There are many things that make a house a home. There is of course the furnishings, the knick knacks, and all the trappings of a house, but those are not what really make it a home for me. Stuff is nothing more than trappings.

For me one thing that really makes a house into a home is cooking a meal in it. Food is one of my love languages for certain, but the kitchen has always been the point in my home where life happened. Not a day of my life growing up passed without time spent as a family cooking.

There is a warmth that comes from a kitchen, and not just from the stove. It is the joy and community that is formed over making a meal. It is sharing your day over the chopping of vegetables, the stirring of sauces, and all the other things that go into making a meal. It may be just a southern thing, but life in a family happens in the kitchen.

The smell of good home cooked food filling the house is comforting and reassuring.  It smells wonderful but it also smells of love and togetherness. It allows you to know that the house is not just inhabited. The house is lived in and loved in. It takes a lot of love to make good food after all.

Currently a pot of red beans, which the husbeast has been working on all night, is simmering on the stove and filling the house with its fragrant aroma. I don't eat beans, but the smell is so delightful that my mouth is watering. The delectable scent has filled the house upstairs and down and tonight we will drift off to sleep cradled in its embrace.

It is moments like this that I am able to just sit back and relax and feel content. It doesn't matter what furniture I have, or if I am unpacked or not, or if I feel settled in my surroundings. The smell of food cooked with love is enough to let me know that all is right in the world. It lets me know that there is someone in the house that cares enough to have made something so wonderful THere is warmth and there is love. 

It is nice to know I am home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The day of the Husbeast!

Today is the day of the husbeast and for this we shall rejoice!!

I am told that when he was born many years ago in New Orleans that the doctor looked at his mother and told her 'Congratulations, you had a moose.' due to the fact that he was nearly 2 feet long and over 13 inches at the shoulder. He never really stopped being big, and I am alright with this. He is my big strong husbeast and I love him.

So since today is his day I thought I would share some things about him that I love.

- Despite being a large man he is amazingly gentle and is good with working with delicate things. It is a dichotomy most would not expect out of him.

- He is so incredibly silly and has no problem being silly for the world to see.

- He always knows how to make me smile, and makes it his mission in life to keep me smiling.

- He may be horribly forgetful, but he always remembers the really important things like kissing me goodnight.

- He tells great stories and has plenty of them to tell. There is always something for him to talk about.

- He is an amazing cook. From his gumbo to the best steak you  have ever had, he will not disappoint.

- He quietly tolerates my shows and movies.

- He is passionate about the things he loves.

- He is loyal to those he has claimed as his own.

- He still finds wonder and amazement in the world despite everything else.

- He never thinks inside the box. I don't think he even knows where the box is anymore. I think he discarded it so long ago that he couldn't go back to thinking so small if he tried.

- He is always trying to learn and grow.

This is just a short list, and doesn't really begin to cover how amazing he is. I am not sure I really have the words to say all the things I think about him. He is my wonderful loving gentle giant. He is my knight. He is my husbeast and I love him more than words can say.

Happy birthday beast!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Time is something that often gets away from me. I have intentions to do things but then something happens and time seems to disappear. Poof. Gone.

Today has been a day of disappearing time. From the moment I woke up until right now I couldn't tell you where my time went. It is actually a little infuriating.

I sat down at the office to work on a small project and the next thing I knew it was time to go home. I got home intent on cleaning up before game and the next thing I knew everyone was here. I meant to sit and type a real post after game but I just realized it is nearly 11pm and past my bed time.

I think at this point it is safest for me to just go to bed before I lose that time too. Goodnight minions.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A place to unwind

It is funny what you do not realize you want in life. You can be very sure of what is important to you until faced with an option and suddenly you are blindsided by your own desires. It is a very strange feeling when this happens.

When the husbeast and I began to casually look for houses we were fairly certain we knew what was important to us. The kitchen had to be a great kitchen because we are of the mind that a family revolves around the kitchen. There was no room in our world for a kitchen we could not cook huge meals in. This we knew.

We also knew that we wanted enough space for us and to grow our family. Kids are in the cards for us eventually and we don't want to be crowded once that starts happening. We also wanted the room to have our own space along with room to spawn. This we knew.

We knew we needed a yard big enough for the dogs. Until we spawn the dogs (and cats) are our babies. Nero and Rogue are big dogs and need plenty of space to run and play. A big yard was a necessity. This we knew.

What neither of us realized was that the master bathroom was important to us. We are not really bathroom people. I am not the type of girl who spends hours in there doing my hair and makeup. In general he spends more time in the bathroom primping than I do. It never occurred to us this would be a point of contention in buying a house.

Yet it was.

As we began looking at houses we became increasingly aware of how disappointed we were in all of the bathrooms we were seeing. On older houses they were small at best, originally designed for more efficiency than luxury in the price range we were in. On new builds, while the bathrooms were more spacious, they were obviously designed for average sized people. Neither of us is average size.

Oddly the biggest problem was a height issue. All of the shower doors (because everything had a walk in glass shower) were so short even I came close to hitting the top of the frame and I am only 5'10". The husbeast towers over me at 6'6", he was face planting all of them. The bathtubs were also tiny. The only people who would be able to enjoy a leisurely bath in those tubs couldn't have been more than 5'6". We are both bath sort of people and this made us sad.

It got to the point where if we walked into a house and the bathroom would not allow us to comfortably shower or bathe, we just left. It was really important to us which caught us off guard.

We knew that this was the house for us when they had the option for a free standing 72" pedestal tub and a walk in shower big enough for three people. It was like someone had read our minds and designed a house layout just for us.

Things did get dicey for a bit in the beginning. We had specified that the tub was a deal breaker for us but we were assured it would not be an issue. Turns out our builder was in the middle of changing systems when we signed off on the house and our tub was not an option in the new system. We were told we may not be able to get the tub and we threatened to walk.

Fortune was on our side (as well as an amazing sales lady who negotiated for our tub while on vacation at Disney) and we did get our tub. The husbeast was so excited about it that when they delivered the tub, before they installed it, he ripped open the cellophane and crawled in to make sure
he fit. Spoiler, he did.

 The tub, and the bathroom is amazing. Every aspect of the room is designed to feel almost opulent; from the domed cathedral ceiling, to the arching windows, to the dark emperador marble, it just feels like a room you are meant to be pampered in.

Many of our friends have expressed great envy at our tub. Many of our friends have also asked if we will rent out our tub by the hour so they might stretch out and have a bit of a soak. They were only half joking.

As for me, I have taken more long soaking baths in the three months we have lived here than I have in the 15 years I have been with the husbeast. I don't think I have taken this many honest to goodness baths since I was a little girl. It is glorious.

In fact I am blogging from the tub right now. Scalding hot water is soothing my sore muscles while soft foamy mountains of lavender honey scented bubbles bob around me. It is pure heaven.

Now the only problem I have is pruny toes from soaking too long. What a terrible life I lead.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Observations from a Ren Faire

- Womens colored pantyhose are not the same as tights which is apparently something most men do not know.

- Drinking an entire bottle of wine (or mead) straight from the bottle is not looked upon poorly by other people.

- People are more likely to believe that I am from England (because of the accent) than to believe I drive from Dallas to Houston every weekend for the festival.

- Women are still more likely to comment on my boobs than men. Little old women are the funniest about this.

- Parents think nothing of bathing their children in strange out door fountains with green fuzzy water.

- Everyone loves watching grown men roll around in mud.

- People can justify buying a $100 sword they will never touch again because it is a Ren Faire but they can not justify buying a $30 pair of earrings they will wear often.

- Corsets look uncomfortable but they really are the best way to not have a sore back at the end of the day.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Familiar Comfort

I've been working at my shop at the Ren Faire since 2001 which seems like a lifetime. It has become such a part of my life that the one year I couldn't do the faire my entire year seemed wrong. I can not imagine not doing faire.

One of the things I love most about faire is that there is a familiarity that is developed after even the shortest of times. It is a community where simply seeing another person over the course of a season, or many seasons, that seems to bond you. It is that constant of knowing those people are there that makes it all seem more like being home.

I have customers that have been buying from me since day one. I don't know their names buy I know their ring sizes, favorite stones, and what statues they have already bought. We chat easily about their collections and the one or two factoids we know about one another before parting for another year.

There are performers and faire employees that are regular sites. Some of them work in sight of our shop, some of them are in shops I frequent, but they are all a staple of faire life. I don't know their names any more than they know mine yet we still feel like friends in some way.

These familiar strangers are as much part of my world as my crew, who might as well be family. I look forward to seeing these nameless friends as much as I do my other faire friends. Their presence is comforting.

I am not sure they will ever know what they mean to me, but I am very thankful for all of them.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Long road

Another Friday night sees us on the long road to TRF. The drive is a staple in our lives at this point; we have been making it so long I wouldn't know what to do without it.

The husbeast and I have had a relationship full of long road trips. From the word go there were long treks involved since he lived an hour away from me. Driving was just a way of life it seemed.

The fact that we live in Texas doesn't help anything. Texas is a sprawling state where we measure distance in time. I can't tell you how many miles away anything is but I can tell you exactly how long it takes to get there. Everyone who is here long enough can.

Jumping in the car and making a 4 hour drive as a day trip is not out of the ordinary. I have done worse just for a meal and never left the state. It is not something you think about.

I love the long drives which is odd considering how motion sick I can get. Heck I am amazed I can type this post as we drive without wanting to hurl. Maybe it is the rain that is currently lulling us along with the constant hum of the highway under our tires.

I love the conversation that only seems to happen on a long stretch of road. The stories that are shared and created are not matched by any other venue it would seem. Something about being trapped in a small space for someone for hours on end will do that to you.

If you really want to get to know someone take multiple long road trips with them. Perhaps that is why the husbeast and I get along so well. If we didn't we never would have survived all these road trips, as a long car ride is a sure way to test any relationship.

I guess I love how everything is always the same while still being different. Any number of things could happen as there are always different cars on the road but the scenery stays the same. We will always pass the small high school enjoying Friday Night football like it was a religion. There will always be the chicken farm that makes everyone hold their breath. There will always be the soft glow of the coke machine on the corner in the tiny town we pass through.

It is a comfort.

The rain has passed but the road is still long. Safe travels my minions.

Thursday, November 5, 2015


I don't typically take time for myself. I am the type of person that just is content doing for others first, and getting to me when I get around to it. I am generally happy with this and see no real reason to change that.

I love giving people gifts, or making them food, or taking care of them in general. It is one of my love languages. It makes me happy to make the people I love happy in whatever way possible. I am just a giver I suppose.

Sometimes though I need to stop and take care of me. I need to pamper myself.

On a normal day I reward myself in small ways; a new movie, some ice cream, some small trinket that makes me smile. I am simple in that way. Nothing too fancy to make me happy.

Right now I am frazzled and worn thin. I need a good relaxing day of me.

I think once faire is over I am going to take a Saturday to myself. I will go get a mani and pedi (normally I wouldn't get a mani but my poor hands look awful after all the remodel work I have been doing and they really could use it). I will go for the good kind where they slather you in fresh fruit, hot wax, and rub rocks all over you.

After that I may go get my hair cut and colored at a salon. Yes I have people who could help me do it at home for a lot less, but there is something about getting your hair done at a salon that is just indulgent. Plus I think it is part of the southern woman in me that makes it seem so very right. My grandmother would be proud.

I may even go clothes shopping and buy something new. I used to be quite the clothes horse in my younger days, but I typically find it depressing these days. I don't actually think clothing is made to fit women anymore. Notice I didn't say fat women, I just mean women in general. Still I find shopping cathartic, and I could use some new work shirts, so who am I to say no.

If I play my cards right I could fit in there lunch at a certain Indian restaurant with my girls, followed up by a trip to Marble Slab and Half Priced Books. I mean come on what is better than Indian food, ice cream, and cheap books with your besties? That's right, nothing!

After a full day of me I will most likely finish it off with some husbeast time. Dinner and a movie at our local dine in theater is the perfect way to end a day of much deserved r and r.

That is my idea of a great day.

What about you? How do you pamper yourself?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Final stretch

So close to being finished that everything seems like an insurmountable feat. With every finished project it seems like three more spring up. Nothing is without an issue or problem that has to be solved. Nothing is ever easy.

I am sore, I am exhausted physically and emotionally, and I have very little left to give. I am just very glad that it will all be over and out of my hands soon.

Remodeling a house is not for the faint of heart.

One more long day in the books, one more to go.

I can to do this, but first we sleep.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Boundless Friendship

When I was a kid I always imagined that my friends would be my friends forever. It is an idealistic view of friendship that we have as children that is proven wrong before we have left childhood. The fact is that for the most part the friends we have as children rarely last into adulthood.

There are many factors that lead into this; distance, lifestyles changing, and simply growing into different people. Even the friends we make in high school or college do not necessarily make it into our adult lives. Sure we still Facebook stalk those people, but being a Facebook friend is not necessarily a strong friendship. Friends can not survive on Facebook alone.

Of course when I was a kid I don't think I truly understood what friendship entailed. I never would have imagined that friendship had no limits on age, or distance, or time. I never understood what seemingly insignificant gestures make a friendship strong.

I have many friends, which is not something I have always been able to say. When I was young I cold count my friends on one hand with fingers left over most of the time. These days I have difficulty listing all of my friends. This is a problem I am happy having.

Of course some of my friends are closer than others, but that is the way of friendships. The nature of a friendship can change over the course of the relationship, growing closer or further apart, but still you are friends.

Two of my closest friends are the living proof that there are no limitations on friendship. One of these amazing women is ten years older than me while the other is almost fifteen years younger than me. We live far enough from each other that seeing them can be an effort, but one always worth the trip. We have very different lifestyles yet we seem to be on the same page more often than not.

We were out to dinner the other night and my phone began to ding. The Husbeast looked over at my phone and then at me and simply asked "What are the girls talking about now?" because he knew that was who was trying to get my attention. He was right, and it was them, it almost always is.

This unlikely friendship with my Niki and my Beth seems so unlikely. Beth is a young college student who we met through faire. While there are plenty of people closer to her age on cast Beth seemed to click with us from the start. Even though we have only known her around 9 months most days it feels like she has been part of our group for years.

Beth is our sassy little translator to the youth of today that I didn't know we needed. I refer to her as our own personal urban dictionary, a role which she fills with gusto. I forget how young she is right up until I find myself needing to know what 'rachet' is supposed to mean, and then I recall Beth is hip with the slang of today.

We chat constantly, and I find it comforting to know that all I need to do is look at my phone and my girls will be there. We watch TV together which is nice for me being a TV addict to have someone who is watching the same shows with me at the same time. American Horror Story is a great show, but being able to talk to others that love it while actually watching it makes it all that much better.

Pop culture aside, they really are amazing friends. I know that no matter what they have my back. Even if it is the smallest of things, I know they will be there for me, and that is what friendship really is.

As a geyser of water was shooting out of my wall flooding my house it was Niki and Beth I was messaging in a panic as I tried to remember the name of the water removal company. After the water had been shut off and the proper people called to come dry out my house, and I was laying on the floor crying, they showed up in their pajamas to sit with me so I would have some moral support.

There was nothing they could do to fix what had happened. They couldn't make the water go away, or fix a pipe, or save my brand new carpet pad, but they could sit with me and make me smile. They could stay up with me until 2am and remind me that as long as I have friends like them it wouldn't even matter if the walls would never dry out.

I am sad that I have lost friendships through the years. I am sad that distance and time has pulled me away from people that I love. I do know though that they will always be my friends because some things simply can not be changed.

I am very glad for the friends I do have, and especially for my girls. I cherish all of our silly TV watching, GIF filled chats, inside jokes, and middle of the night moral support. I am so very glad that the ideas I had of friendship as a child proved to be wrong, and friendship turned out to be so beautifully limitless.

I love my friends.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Finding Normal

Where have I been?

This is a question that has been running through my mind a lot lately. For well over a year now I have felt as though I am absent from my life. I am going through the motions and getting things done, but it is mostly out of habit and obligation. All the things that make me more than just a lump of animated carbon seemed to be missing.

My spark, my je ne sais quoi, just has not been there. The things that I do that make me happy, that express my passion, my being, have been neglected. I stopped writing almost completely, I only sew what I have to with the most minimal of effort, I haven't been cooking exciting foods, I have only barely been present for my RPG's, and even Faire has felt like something that is old and stale. Just gone.

What happened?

Life I suppose is the answer to that. A couple of years ago things turned incredibly ugly at work for about seven months and I just buckled under the pressure. I was in a constant state of stress, I was having daily anxiety attacks, and I was just reacting to the situation poorly. I neglected myself on every level because I just didn't know how to cope.

Once things evened out at work I suppose I just never really bounced back. I was in this strange place where I was surviving with minimal effort and I just decided to stay there because it was easy and I was still so very exhausted. I figured some time to fly under the radar would allow me to build up my reserves again, but it honestly just wore me down more.

Last summer we decided to buy a brand new house. When I say brand new I mean built from the ground up. Everything about it was new and shiny and ours. It was a process that took almost an entire year, and has been another source of incredible stress and anxiety. While it was not as bad as the work drama, it still took its tole on me. If I had managed to build any reserves up I burned through them well before the house buying was over.

Even though we have been in the new house nearly four months now we have still been dealing with our old house. We had hoped to rent it out but finally came to the decision that the best thing for us was to sell it. Either way we went it required an intense amount of time and energy to make the house ready to be sold. When you have a house that is falling apart you have to do a lot of work to make it sell-able.

We are still in the final steps of finishing the old house and even though we are so very very close to being done, it feels so far. We had a set back mid week last week where a pipe was accidentally drilled into. Aside from  having to fix a pipe and the wall that was damaged, we had to rip out the carpet padding that was less than a week old and will  have to replace it. As we were waiting for the emergency water removal people to show up at 10pm on a Tuesday, I just laid down on the soggy floor and cried because I didn't know what else to do.

I realized after I had a good cry on the carpet that I have been letting this stress run my life. I keep telling myself that I just have to finish _____ and I can relax and get things back to normal. I am realizing now that I have filled in that blank a dozen times now and I still have not relaxed or found normal again. I don't even remember what normal is anymore.

I realize now that there will always be that blank to fill in. I have to keep living while waiting for the next blank. I have to find my normal among all the stress and crazy. I have to find the joy in my writing, and cooking, and performing again. I have to find time for my husband, and my friends, and for me.

I can't let my life live me.
I need to live my life before it is gone.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rising from the ashes

Someone said to me recently "Blogging is dead" and as much as I wanted to refute the statement I just really couldn't. Considering I have not posted more than a few times over the last year and a half or so and the fact that almost every single blog I follow has stopped posting, I would say that they are fairly correct in their observation. Blogging is just drying up.

The thing is I absolutely love blogging. Obviously I have been distracted from doing it for quite some time now, but that doesn't mean that I do not still enjoy doing it. When I do find the time to write and publish a post I feel so satisfied. It is a form of catharsis I suppose. I am not overly concerned with whether my words are reaching an audience or not, I am mostly writing for me. I am beyond happy that my words do reach people as well, but that is just a happy side effect of me writing.

So why am I writing this now (and on a Sunday to boot)? I am writing it because I have decided that while the art and demand for blogging might be dwindling, I am not going to let it die for me. I have decided that I am going to make more of an effort to regularly post here, and today is the start of this.

Today is also what normally would be the start of NaNoBloMo (National November Blogging Month, which I don't think is the correct acronym but I like this one because it makes me giggle on a very adolescent level). I figured if I was going to jump in I might as well go off the deep end while doing it.

The goal is to blog something every single day for the month of November. This is an especially difficult challenge for me since I am at faire on the weekends, but I have made it work in the past and I can do it again. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we put our mind to it.

This is the challenge I have set for myself, and I want to challenge all of you, my minions, to challenge yourself. Find something that you love and were once passionate about but allowed to slip to the wayside because of life. Find that thing and for the next month do that thing every day for just a few minutes. Carve out the time to sing, dance, draw, write, play, to live your passions.

It is high time we took back a little bit of time for ourselves and for the things that make us happier and stronger.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, October 23, 2015

5,880 Days

September 1999, Stephen F Austin State University campus, late afternoon.

I was just barely a freshman in college. I had only been traversing the waters of SFA for a few weeks and I was still fairly well lost. I had managed to secure myself a pair of friends who were fast becoming my best friends so that helped immensely. I also had my roommate who I had known before college and she was my point of sanity most days.

The four of us exited out of the UC after an early dinner and began making our way across campus to a destination I can no longer recall. It was late enough in the day and the week that we didn't have many concerns or obligations; we were just a bunch of kids hanging out. It was just a typical day in the life of a college kid.

As we approached the admin building an incredibly tall young man with long dark hair and a mischievous smile hidden behind an unkempt goatee came lumbering up the sidewalk towards us. My roommate recognized him and called out to him at once, our small group coming to a stop to say hello to this strange young man. Introductions were made and a conversation started up and before we knew it we were sitting on the impressive steps of the Austin building chatting about all manner of things.

The sun was drawing lower in the sky and this young man made the suggestion that we go see a movie. I looked at my companions and it was fast agreed that none of us had the money and we had to be at the theater soon so a movie wasn't in the cards for that evening. We all parted ways with smiles and I didn't give that moment a second thought for quite a while.

Little did I know that was the beginning of the rest of my life.

October 28th 2000, Samhain bonfire out in the middle of nowhere East Texas, after midnight.

I had not seen the tall young man in over a year. Shortly after we met that day on the steps to the Austin building he moved to Dallas. I had mostly forgotten about that day and him. Our party had been mighty and as the evening wore on we found ourselves in a large pile of people laying by the fire and watching the impossible amount of stars that are visible from the woods far from the city lights. I had managed to lay in his arms, purely by coincidence.

I don't know how long we lay like that before he turned to look at me, his face aglow in the fire light, and asked to kiss me. I do know it took me less than a second in my slightly inebriated state to shout "NO!" and extricate myself from the tangle of bodies we were in, making a fast run for the old barn to hide. It was not one of my better moments.

It took a mutual friend to talk me down. There had been a guy I was really into, and I was a little drunk, and I had sworn off kissing friends in drunken moments at parties because it never ended well. Our friend made me feel less like an ass and convinced me to come back to the party, he swore that the young man understood and was not upset with my reaction.

I made it back down to the party to find him sitting in a chair on an old house slab waiting for me. Everyone else was down at the fire so we were alone. He beckoned me to sit on his knee as there were no other chairs, and he softly began to tell me that it was alright.

I don't remember a thing he said. I remember that I could feel his warm breath against my ear and neck. I remember how he shifted my weight on his knee so he could speak softly into my other ear. I remember this shift kept happening, moving from one ear to the other, getting closer to my mouth with each word spoken. I remember a loud cat call from down by the fire and someone shouting "Come up for air" or some such nonsense and realizing that we were kissing.

May 25th 2003, Scarborough Renaissance Festival, Captains Pub, Evening Pub Sing.

I knew he was going to propose to me that weekend. He slipped up asking me about my ring size on the drive to faire and got really upset when he realized he had gotten it wrong. I knew what that meant. It was my birthday on the 26th, and so I expected it then.

We had discussed proposals many times in the four years we had been dating. I made it clear to him that I wanted something grand. My answer was most assuredly going to be yes, but I wanted a good story to tell later. I had no idea what to expect.

Throughout the day different cast members began delivering me flowers. Every flower that Rose Joe sold that was not a rose since I don't like roses all that much. With each flower was the message "This is not from me." By the end of court dance I had a bouquet that was quite impressive, I was quite pleased.

We were getting ready for Pub Sing and I started to notice people acting a bit squirrely. Every time I would move one person in particular would jump at me asking me where I was going. I kept assuring him I was not going anywhere and finally opted to sit down so he would stop barking at me. I also noticed more people than usual. Pub Sing is popular, but not THAT popular. My boy was no where to be seen.

As Pub Sing wound on I kept looking for my boy but it was looking as though he was not going to show up which was very unusual for him. The show was nearly over when the royal procession came up from the evening joust. It was impossible to miss that trailing behind the King and Queen was a block of playtron royal guard surrounding my boy who was in shackles. I had no idea what he had done, but I was certain that it was something insane.

No explanation was given for his state as the King and Queen arrived and everything went on as though nothing was happening. A solo performer got up and began singing Red is the Rose, which is a slower song but one of my favorites. I somehow did not notice that the King and Queen had snuck up behind me until they were standing at my side. Each grabbed an elbow and tossed me unceremoniously out into the center of the pub where the boy was now standing holding a single white rose.

The music had stopped and everyone was staring at us. He handed me the rose and began reciting a poem he had written for me. I honestly have  no idea what he said. As much as I had been expecting it, I was in shock. There were camera flashes going off everywhere; it was like we were at the Superbowl.

When the poem ended he dropped to a knee and held out a dagger and a small box. He told me that if I did not want to be his I should take the knife and plunge it into his heart right then. I opted for the box and quickly shouted yes as I flung myself into his arms. The small emerald ring fit on my pinky finger, but I didn't mind.

I had my story and I had my boy.

October 23rd 2004, Texas Renaissance Festival, Castle Stage after hours.

Everything had gone wrong. All of our wedding plans had fallen through; no dress, no venue, no cake, no flowers, nothing. It was nothing like what I had dreamed of except for my boy. We had decided not to wait until we could find the money to do the big white fluffy wedding. We just wanted to be married.

I wore my normal work garb and so did he. My mom lent me her pearl necklace and gave me one of my grandfathers handkerchiefs. Our shop mates bought us a cake at the grocery store and got me a bouquet of daisies from Rose Joe. Even a dinner had been made for us thanks to our boss knowing a guy who was a chef. It might not have been perfect but it was all done for us from love which made it even better.

Nothing went off without a hitch. There was nothing but hitches from the word go. I cried in the not good way more than once. It was the sort of wedding you tell people about to make them feel better about their bad wedding day.

When it was all said and done though I still had my boy; my husbeast. I wouldn't trade a moment of the misery of that day for the world, because that day was the best day because of him.

16 years since we met.
15 years since we became a couple.
11 years since we were wed.

He is still my everything and I am thankful every day that he is in my life. I love him more than I can ever say. He is my knight, he is my love, he is my husbeast.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Just Be You

This might sound weird, or even counter intuitive, but I have come to a point where I find all of the 'positive pro fat, or curvy, woman' propaganda insulting. Yes that is right, I just said I was offended by articles meant to lift up and empower fat women just like me. I know it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense even to me.

Here is the thing. First off it is annoying that people feel the need to write such articles. You don't see '10 reasons it rocks to be thin' articles popping up everywhere. I get that is because thin is the accepted norm and seen as the more desirable body type by societal standards, but somehow to me it seems like by pointing to the fact that being fat can be awesome, being skinny isn't awesome. Why can't both be awesome?

Second, and this is the big thing for me, the articles are just flat out insulting. Most of the time these things are written by women of a certain size, so you would think that would mean they could say things that didn't make other fat women feel bad, but that is not true. Some of the boneheaded things that are written just make me sit there, mouth agape, thinking "Did she really just say that?!".

I clicked a link to one such article today, '8 reasons to love being curvy' or some such nonsense, and didn't even get past the first point without rolling my eyes. The list was point after point that either built up curvy girls by backhandedly insulting thinner women, or made it all about pleasing men, which is wretched on so many levels.

One of the points said something about fat women knowing their way around the kitchen so we will happily cook for our man and it will be good. The number of things wrong with this statement is amazing.

Just because I packed on extra pounds doesn't mean I did it being a gourmet cook. Alright so I did, but it doesn't mean all or even most big girls did. I know more than a few that did it through not cooking at all but instead eating out every meal. Fast food is going to take a higher toll on my waistline than my baked chicken and roasted root veggies.

Then there is the 'pleasing a man' aspect of the statement. I am sorry my purpose in life is not to please a man (or woman). I shouldn't have to justify liking my body for anyone but me. How can you call this an affirming article when you keep telling me that my body, and the reasons for my body being the way it is, is only good for pleasing my partner? That makes no sense.

Of course people throw out points that have nothing to do with food or men. One point that is said over and over again that I hate is "Curvy girls are funny". People like to say that fat people are funnier because we have to learn to laugh and make jokes to deflect all the awful things that are said about this. I suppose this is the theory that others laughing at you won't hurt if you are already laughing at yourself.

I find it horrific that this is even a mindset that is necessary.

Yes it is true that people say terrible things about and to fat people. This world is a constant onslaught of anti fat language. Mostly you learn to ignore it, but it never stops hurting. No matter how confident you become in your own body, or how well you learn to laugh it off, it will always hurt.

Instead of saying that we should just laugh or ignore such behavior I would love to see it say 'Curvy women (and men) are brave and stand up to bullies and senseless fat shaming by expressing to those that would bring them down that such actions are wrong'. I would love to see us work on stopping hateful actions than blowing them off with a joke.

I would also love to stop perpetuating the idea that fat people are only able to be funny. I want people who are heavy to be able to be the hero without also being a joke. To be sexy without making people laugh. To be tragic without it being about their weight. I want them to  be all the things everyone else gets to be. We are not stock characters in a Comedia play, we can play any roll we like.

Many years ago a young man walked into the shop we work at down at the Texas Renaissance Festival. This young man was maybe 15 or 16, very heavy set, and dressed as a jester. He was with a group of friends who were all much more fit than he was. While he was in the shop he was constantly cutting up and making jokes, entertaining his friends and everyone around, and seeming to have a good time.

The group of boys made their way to the sword counter where the typical bluster of young men took hold and they spoke of being strong and brave; all of them except the boy dressed as a jester. The husbeast noticed this right off. The husbeast is of course a large man, though for most of his life his size was dues to being over 6'6" as well as being a power lifter. Still he knows the plight of the fat man.

He took the young man aside and offered to show him a sword, but the young man resisted. Jesters don't fight he insisted. The husbeast looked at him a moment and asked why he couldn't be a knight instead of a jester, or even a king instead. The young man looked at him as though he had lost his mind and pointed out that he was the fat kid, and the fat kid is only good for being funny.

How sad it was that this young man felt at such a young age that he had no options in life but to be funny if he wanted to be liked. My husbeast told the young man that he was wrong. He pointed out that his friends listened to him, not because he made them laugh, but because he had the personality to command such attention. He told him that if he wanted to lead all he would have to do is take charge and they would follow, with or without the laughs. It was fine to be funny, but it was not all he was capable of.

The group of boys soon left our shop, the jester looking a bit more pensive than before.

A year passed before we saw that boy again. When he walked into the shop with his friends for a second time he was much changed. His weight was roughly the same, though some baby fat had melted away in a year as is want to do with young men of that age, but he was obviously altered. The young man walked with his head held higher and an air of confidence. Where before he had followed in the back of the group, he now led the group. Where before he only spoke to make a joke, he now led the conversations. No longer did he wear the hat or air of a man only there to entertain.

He went to the husbeast and shook his hand confidently and thanked him. He told the husbeast of how he had taken his words to heart. He had returned to his school and had stopped trying to be funny, but instead spoke his thoughts and found that others listened. He had run for president of his class and won. He had auditioned for the roll of the hero in the school play and got it. He had become a leader who didn't have to make jokes to be listened to. He was still jovial and cut up with his friends and made people laugh, but he made people listen too. He was not just a funny person, he was so much more.

Everyone is capable of being more. We should not pigeon hole them into being one thing because of their body type.

I think I tangented off topic there.
Where was I?

Oh yes, insulting pro fat articles.

If you are going to try and raise people up can we not do it at the expense of others? Can we try to not do it in a way that actually demeans us? Can we not possibly address the actual problems instead of making jokes or lists?

So here is my list:
I have said it many times before, and I will keep saying it because it obviously needs to be said.

If you are fat you are perfect.
If you are skinny you are perfect.
If you have big boobs or no boobs, a big ass or a flat ass, you are perfect.
If you are funny you are perfect.
If you are emo you are perfect.
If you are whoever you are you are perfect because you are you and you are exactly the way you are meant to be.
If you want to be thinner, good for you.
If you want to be fatter, good for you.
If you are happy the way you are, HOORAY for you (what is your secret?).

Don't judge others.
Don't judge yourself.
Just be, and be happy.

Don't allow others to put you down for any reason. Don't ignore it or make it a joke. Tell them they are wrong. Tell them they are hurtful. They will probably just say they were joking and you are too sensitive, and they will probably believe that, but they won't know how wrong they are until people start telling them it is not funny. We can't change the attitude of the world if we don't change our own attitude first. 

You don't need to make anyone else happy with who or what you are. You only need to be true to yourself, whatever size or demeanor yourself happens to be.

Just be.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Love Wins!

There are moments in your life that you remember forever.

I remember exactly what I was doing when I found out Princess Diana died; I was watching late night TV in my parents room because they were out of town and I was watching the dogs. I watched what I thought was just a documentary on her life until I realized it was actually a memorial because she had died.

I remember where I was when the second World Trade Tower fell; I was standing in my bra in my living room along with a dozen people from my apartment complex that didn't have cable, clinging to my phone as my mom assured me that my uncles who were pilots were all already on the ground.

I remember where I was when space shuttle Columbia exploded (I don't remember Challenger I was a little too young); I was actually woken up by my mom because the shuttle exploded over my college town showering it with debris. Yes I slept through the explosion.

These were all disasters and horrible events that are forever etched in my mind.

Today is a day that will be etched in my mind, but this time for all the right reasons. Today is a joyous day where justice is done and love wins. I will always remember sitting at my desk at work, being thankful that I didn't wear mascara, as I cried tears of joy for all of my friends and loved ones, and everyone everywhere in this country, who can now enjoy the same right I have been enjoying for over a decade.

As of today any person in our country can marry any other person in this country, regardless or race or gender. In a 5-4 ruling the Supreme Court of the US ruled that states can not keep same sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions.

I really think that Justice Kennedy said it best: 

"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right." -- From Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion in Obergefell v Hodges

 Yes there will be plenty of people that think that this was a bad decision. Yes there are plenty of people who think that our country is going straight to hell for this. Yes there will be plenty of angry grumbling and ugly displays over this. 

I am sure there was the same sort of outrage in 1967 when SCOTUS ruled in Loving vs Virginia that interracial marriage was to be legalized. While there are still some people who think that was a bad decision, most everyone doesn't even bat an eye at interracial couples. I am fairly certain if you asked most school aged Americans that they wouldn't even know that interracial marriage had ever been illegal. 

I hope that when I have children that they will never even realize that once people were once not allowed to marry because they were of the same gender. It may be my grandchildren who are blissfully ignorant of such hate, but today's ruling is where it starts. 

For all of my friends who are married and happen to be the same gender, congratulations on your marriage now be recognized all across the country. For all of my friends who are unmarried but may in the future at some point want to marry someone who happens to be the same gender, congratulations on the ability to do so anywhere in the country. 

Remember marriage is hard, and marriage is a struggle, and marriage is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of work, but it is so worth it. It is a wonderful bond that is hard to quantify in words. It isn't all romance and sunshine. It won't always work out. You will fuck it up on occasion, and sometimes you won't be able to recover from that, but sometimes you will. It doesn't matter if you are black, or white, or male, or female, we are all human, and being human we are horribly flawed and we all now have the right to embrace the flaws of the ones we love most, without boundaries or barriers. 

They say love is blind, and they say justice is blind. Today justice is blind in all the right ways and erases those barriers that have stood far too long.

What will you say when the next generation asks you where you were when marriage became equal for all?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Kindness Initiative

My mother, like most mothers, always taught me to be polite, kind, and generous. I was raised to be patient and considerate of others. I like to think that I took these lessons to heart and am the type of woman my mother is proud of (spoiler I totally am and she totally is and that is not conceit because she will most likely say so in the comments). Not that southerners have a corner on the politeness market, but I am a good Southern woman.

It has come to my attention lately that these virtues which were so instilled in me as a child are not necessarily considered normal by the populace at large. Even in the south where we are known for holding doors, using our 'sirs' and 'mams', and all the pleases and thank yous in the world, general common courtesy and decency seem to be uncommon enough to cause shock and awe when they are shown.

The husbeast and I were taking advantage of our first free Sunday in four months by enjoying a leisurely breakfast at our local Einstein Bros. We like to grab a bagel and coffee (juice for me), and chat away the morning before finding some adventure to occupy our day. It is our favorite Sunday ritual.

We walked up to the counter to place our order and I looked down to see a key on a keyring sitting there. A young woman in yoga pants who had been in front of us was already bustling out the door with her breakfast in hand. I held it up and mused a moment if it was hers.

The kid at the register held out his hand and said he would take care of it, but that to me seemed silly. I was already on the outside of the counter, he was wired up to the drive thru headset, and she was almost to her car. As the key was too small to be a car key I figured she would drive off without the key and not know it was missing until it was too late.

Without a thought I turned and jogged out the door after her. I caught her halfway to her car and held out the key to her. She at first thought it was hers until she realized her keys were in her hands. She thanked me and continued on her way leaving me with the lonely key. I wondered if it's owner had long since left the shop and would forever be without their key.

Upon closer inspection I noticed the key chain was a Harley Davidson key chain. I also noticed I was now standing beside a parked Harley and sitting a few feet away was a gentleman wearing a Harley t-shirt enjoying a cup of coffee. No clue-x-four needed here. He was incredibly grateful for the return of his key, though he noted he wouldn't have gotten anywhere without it since it was his bike key.

I headed back inside to place my order feeling satisfied with my little good deed of the day. I really didn't think too much of it, I mean it wasn't like it was any sort of inconvenience to me and it saved someone from unnecessary panic. The kid at the register however thought what I did was wonderful. He said he was amazed anyone would go to that much trouble to return a key, that most people would have just given it to him and not thought about it.

I got a discount on my bagels for my trouble.

I sat there eating my discounted bagel and sipping my orange juice and was just baffled that this kid was so shocked and impressed by what I considered common courtesy. Would people really just let someone walk away without their keys, or anything else they had left behind? Would people really be too busy and self concerned not to take the 45 seconds from their days?

It didn't hurt me in any way, and in the end I had some instant karma with a bagel discount (not that I was expecting that or needed it to do what was clearly the right thing to do). Why would people not do that?

A few days prior to my bagel shop encounter I was sitting in line to get into line to the drive thru at my local Raising Canes on my lunch break. The location near my office has a very poorly designed parking lot. If you enter from the direction I have to enter from you normally must wait to work your way into the line, which means someone has to actively let you in.

I arrived and there were two cars in line that were there before me, so I was going to wait and come in behind the second car when it passed me. I wasn't expecting to get to go ahead of someone who was already waiting when I showed up. Just before the second car got to me another car pulled in behind him and as they moved forward it was obvious this person was not going to let me in where I should be allowed in. I was in for quite a wait.

Only that isn't what happened.

The car I was originally was going to get in behind stopped and waved me in front of him. He gave up his spot in line so I wouldn't have to wait. I was pleasantly surprised. He ended up in line all of maybe a minute longer than he would have been, but got me into the line probably several minutes before I would have gotten into the line. It was so incredibly nice.

I bought him his lunch.

The kid at the drive thru was more than happy to let me pay for the guy though he was confused why I would want to when I made it clear I had no idea who he was. I tried to explain that the man had been nice enough to let me cut in line, and I was just paying the kindness back. The kid had never heard of such a thing and that made me a little sad.

Have we really become a society where we would be discourteous to others because it is more convenient? Is our time so precious that we can not take a minute from our day just to be kind to someone for no other reason than to be kind? Has it come to a point where offering a few dollars to show appreciation is a shocking act?

I don't think so. In fact I know that is not the absolute truth. I am proof of that, and so is the man who let me into the line. There are still good people out there doing good kind things for no other reason than they can and they should.

I am reminded that kindness breeds kindness and the more good and nice things I do, the more others will hopefully do the same. My good deed today will be another persons good deed tomorrow. Who knows when that one small kindness is the difference that a person needs to make it through the day.

So the next time you see someone drop something, pick it up for them. If you see someone leave something, return it. If you see someone blocked in traffic, let them in. Give up that minute and be the good you want to be shown to you. Then when someone is kind to you make sure to acknowledge it whether it is something as grand as buying their lunch or discounting their breakfast, or just a warm smile and a wave, it will make a difference.

Go forth and be good to one another, it matters.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Be You

Today I would like to talk to you about the term healthy. If you are American, and probably if you are not American, you are probably sick of people talking about fat people and what is a healthy size. I know that I for one could go a life time without ever hearing people rant about this subject until they are blue in the face and be perfectly happy. That isn't going to happen though so lets just talk about the elephant in the room.

Whether we like it or not, and whether it is right or not (spoiler it is not) our society judges people and bases their worth off of their size. Media has trained us that thin is both pretty and healthy. If you were to go out and ask anyone what a healthy person looked like I guarantee you that almost everyone would say thin.

They would be wrong.

I am not going to deny that being overweight is bad for your health, it really can be. However healthy and skinny are not the same thing anymore than unhealthy and fat are the same thing. These things are not mutually exclusive and never have been. You can be thin and unhealthy, and shocker, you can be fat and healthy.

First let us take the BMI and throw it out the window. Anyone who references a persons BMI as any indicator on what they should weigh and their health is going to be ignored because you are working off faulty logic and science. The BMI was never designed to be used on an individual level, and was never really scientifically sound for being used on a large scale. Let us all right here and now agree that the BMI is complete and total bunk.

No seriously it is a bunch of bullshit. Don't believe me? Ok let me elaborate. Going by the BMI pretty much every professional athlete is at least obese if not morbidly so. Turns out lean muscle weighs more than fat, so incredibly muscular people can't meet their BMI. Also anyone with a high bone density is screwed when it comes to BMI. Most of them would have to remove a femur to meet their BMI.

Ok now that that is out of the way let us move on.

So if fat isn't unhealthy what is? Well you should probably go consult a physician about that one. Your doctor can tell you if you are healthy or not. I know it is a total shocker, they went to school for this, and can actually tell you these things.

If you go to your doctor and they tell you are fat and need to lose weight without running any tests on you,  you might consider finding another doctor. I have been to doctors who will blame everything on my weight and won't even entertain the idea that there is something else wrong with me. I am sorry but I am not coughing because I am fat, please check me for the flu you idiot.

It is possible that you might have some issues because of your weight. You could have heart issues, joint issues, cholesterol issues, blood pressure issues, diabetes, or a number of other things. Then again, you may not.If you have issues and your doctor thinks you need to lose weight because of it, then you should do that so you can  be healthy. If your doctor is not concerned, then you can decide if you want to lose weight or not. It is up to you.

That is the thing, you can not tell by looking at a persons size if they are healthy or not.  You can tell if they are fat or not, but that doesn't tell you if they are healthy. Unless you are their doctor you have absolutely no idea if they are healthy.

I dare anyone to look at me and tell me I am unhealthy. I dare you to tell me to my fat face that I am unhealthy. Do it and you may learn how well I can throw a right cross and will most certainly learn the true sharpness of my tongue.

First off it is most likely none of your business what state of health I am in.

Am I healthy? Yes actually I am. According to my doctor, who went to school for many years to learn stuff about people and their health, I am healthy. I have perfect cholesterol, and blood pressure, and have no signs of being or becoming diabetic, and my heart is in above average shape. Anything that might be wrong with me is in no way associated with my weight.

I am healthy and I am fat. Get over it.

Am I in shape? No, I really am not, but being in shape is not an indicator of being in good health. I can make it up three flights of stairs and not want to curl up on the ground and die, so I count that as a win. My best friend, the mighty B, is probably one of the most in shape humans I know, and she is on the chubby side. Again fitness does not equal healthy or skinny. I know people who are rail thin that can't take three flights of stairs without wanting to puke, so shove off.

Basically, stop judging people. Just stop.

A skinny person is not automatically healthy, and a fat person is not automatically unhealthy.

Unless you are a persons doctor and have run tests on them, YOU CAN NOT JUDGE THEIR LEVEL OF HEALTH.
If you are not a persons personal trainer YOU CAN NOT JUDGE THEIR LEVEL OF FITNESS.
Most importantly, unless you are that person YOU CAN NOT JUDGE THEM!

Go mind your own business. Worry about your own health, and size, and fitness. Go be happy with yourself. Go care about yourself. Judging other people only makes you an asshat. It puts nothing negative energy back into the world, and seriously the world is shitty enough already without adding more trolls to it.

Skinny women are beautiful.
Fat women are beautiful.
Women who fall between these two extremes are beautiful.
Women with muscles are beautiful.
Women with rolls are beautiful.
All women are beautiful.
All women are real women, stick thin and flat as a board or curves for days, you are real women and you are as beautiful as you let yourself believe you are because no one can determine your worth and beauty but you.

Be happy, and be healthy, and be yourself whatever that is. Thick or thin, just be you, even if you could be Batman instead, because Batman is already Batman, and that has been done before. Be something better than Batman, because you can.