Stationary Drifting


Happy Birthday Mom!

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Today is my mom’s birthday and I just wanted to send a little shout out to her in celebration of her awesomeness over her years in rotation of the sun.

Thanks mom for being the best damn mom I could ever ask for. Thanks for being steadfast and calm all the time. For your incredible decision making power and selflessness. For your laugh. For being an inspiring artist and crafts person. For taking all your passions and responsibilities head on. For commanding attention without raising your voice. For not being afraid to take risks. For demonstrating that being happy is really important. For doing what you love even if its not a field that’s particularly welcoming to women and single mothers. For loving us all so wholly.

From my perspective, thank you for kick-starting the majority of my hobbies and passions. For trying to understand me even when I don’t make sense to you. For being incredibly supportive of even my most wild ideas. For pushing me to chase my dreams and for only occasionally complaining that those dreams took me so far away from home. Thanks for always sounding happy and excited when I call you. For meeting me at the airport at all times of the day or night and for coming to visit. For encouraging me to travel and try new things. For showing me how to be a tough woman that holds her own and reminding me not to be an island. For editing my university papers even though I cried when you did. For trying to teach me math even though I cried when you did. For putting me in dance so that I would stand half a chance in not inheriting your klutziness (not that dance has eliminated that all together). For showing me how to be tender with people you love. For loving the prairies so much. For “just us girls” moments.

Love you more than I could say. Sending you lots of birthday love. Here’s hoping I can be there for a birthday of yours soon!


Old Family Photos

 Photo 2012-12-30 11 10 07 PMMy mom’s family (she’s the littlest in this picture sitting in my grandfather’s lap). Sitting is my grandfather (Fred) & grandmother (Marie), I never met either of them. Standing are my uncles Don (left) and Gerry (right), and aunts Elaine (left) and Shelley (right).  Photo 2012-12-30 11 09 15 PM

My grandfather (Fred Woloshyn) on my mom’s side. This is his candidate picture from when he ran as an MP.Verna - BrideMy dad’s parents. Grandma (Verna) and grandpa (Harald) on their wedding day. I don’t know what year.

Photo 2013-01-06 3 01 10 PM

My great aunt Thelma (grandfather’s sister) and my grandparents on my dad’s side wedding day.Photo 2013-01-06 3 01 18 PM

My dad’s mom (Verna) as a teenager in Dartmouth, NS I believe.

ps. I’ve written about this grandma lots, you can find it here, here, here, here and especially hereRichard, Georgina & William Mercer - 1916

This one is a doozy. Its my great grandfather (Richard) and HIS parents (my great great grandparents on my dad’s paternal side) Georgina and William in 1916. This was taken when Richard was on leave from WW!.

After my trip home in December and this winter what with my dad digging into old family history this winter I’ve amassed a bit of an old family photo collection that I thought I’d share. They are pretty special to me. I tweaked them a little with photoshop to make them clearer but otherwise they are mostly photos or scans of originals floating around family houses these days.

In other news…

It felt like spring was in the air while I was out and about this morning but by afternoon there was another snow storm blowing. I guess its still going to be winter for a while here.

Today was a really get things done day. I had my office hours for the class I’m assisting this semester (nobody came to see me, foolish students). I came home and did some looking for articles for the terrorism section of my lit review (tomorrow is searching and reading day). I jammed out to songza, my new favourite way to listen to music (you can find me under keetham but all there is there are playlists I’ve been excited about the past few days). I found a new blog that I’m excited about. I’m going to post about it tomorrow so I won’t get too into what its about. Suffice to say I pinned A LOT of things from it tonight.

I’m sending love to my step dad and my mom who are on their way to Poland right now. My step dad’s mom passed away last night. I never met her but I’ve heard many stories over the years and am feeling a little sad that I never got to. Mostly I’m feeling sad for my step dad, who just lost his mom and that hurts no matter how old you are.


2013: the post in which I state my resolutions

I think I was kind of trying to avoid writing a post on new years resolutions, etc. For no particular reason other than the fact that it seemed to be required of bloggers (am I a blogger now?), and a bit cliche for this time of the year. I guess I do like to have personal time capsules though, hence the existence of this blog in the first place. After reading a few bloggers talk about looking at their resolutions from last year and comment on them I got a hankering to be able to do that myself. So here’s my plan for this year, no particular order, mostly to look back at in approximately 353 days and see how it worked out.

1. Finish my thesis

This is a really big one. I know that my thesis has made an appearance in the complaining part of this blog many a time. Its been dragging on a long time and is getting to the point of being more of a myth in my life than a reality. I’m tired of feeling embarrassed and apologetic every time someone asks me about it. I really want to have it done and over with so I can prove to myself that I am capable of such tasks and and to be able to move on with my life. The thesis is holding me back from starting other things I care about learning because I can’t really imagine, or justify to others, starting anything new with this still sitting there. So to do this I’m going to have to 9-5 this shit. No more flexible time, no more excuses, just all work all the time until I’m done. It will feel so good to move on and I’m going to use the yearning for that feeling to drive me.

2. Find a good job

Finding a job has been a helluva chore. Its been over a year that I’ve been applying, going to interviews, feeling rejected, and starting again. My goal for this year is to make the changes that need to be made in order to find work, which will include really thinking about whether Montreal is the place for this to happen. I’ve been applying to work in other places but maybe I need to make the big move to change up the formula and hopefully find something that works. This requires a lot of thinking and planning since I don’t exactly have the income to up and move to a more expensive city (thinking Toronto), and obviously this decision also affects M so its got to work for him too. Whatever it is, something is not working in my application process and I need to evaluate that. This goal is related to the above goal in a lot of ways, not the least of which because both are making me feel stuck and also probably that getting my thesis done and graduating will help the job hunt. Its also related to moving my life and my new little family’s life and goals forward. So its back to the regular job hunt for me. To do this I’m going to get back to regularly searching for and applying to jobs. I’m going to make it my begin the morning routine, over coffee and breakfast (which I will also be getting better at), before working on my thesis.

3. Drink more water

In the past I’ve gone for more of a general “get healthy” goal. I’m not ditching that because let’s be honest, I’m way too young to not take care of myself. This year though I’m going to put down a more specific goal of making sure I drink a lot more water every day. Like the full recommended daily amount. Its not a hard goal but its a habit I want to form and it will take some conscious intention to get it started. I’m going to follow the Mayo Clinic’s advice because they seem legit and are usually not too extreme in their recommendations. They say that the average woman in a temperate climate should drink 9 liters a day so I’m going to aim for that. 9-10 big glasses or my water bottle a day should do the trick. I want to start each day with water before anything else and move from there. Luckily I drink a lot of water when sitting at a desk, mostly out of fidgety boredom, so this should work perfectly with my above plans.

4. Start a Cdn political analysis blog/podcast

This one is going to be on pause until the Thesis is done because frankly I’m not sure I can handle more writing, other than blogging, on top of that but I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. Hence the Department of Analysis blog I keep but don’t write on these days. I follow a lot of grassroots political blogs and podcasts and really enjoy the perspective. My complaint about this though is that all of them are American, and while I appreciate the updates on what’s going on there I want to publicize what’s going on here too. The idea is not to be a journalist so I won’t be going out to follow stories, that’s not my goal. What I want to do is be a pundit of sorts and do commentary on events, news and politics in Canada to try and up the conversations happening about the situation here. The US affects our politics but we have plenty of our own that needs to be discussed. I’m going to aim for a late spring launch on this. If I can get others involved then great but if not I’m still going to do it.

5. Start a small Apothecary

I’ve been into herbal and holistic healthcare for a long time now. I think my first foray into it was when I got Bell’s Palsy (8 years ago?) and doctors told me that they didn’t know anything to ease the symptoms or speed recovery but that some people had good results from acupuncture. Luckily at that time I was still covered under my dad’s awesome teacher’s insurance and I was able to get acupuncture 3x/week for months free. It worked, was relaxing and most importantly I had (what I’m told is) a remarkable recovery. I still seek out acupuncture when I need it these days, though I don’t have coverage for it so its a lot less often. From there I got myself a naturopath and started using herbal remedies to make myself healthier and my obsession has only grown. Nowadays I treat just about everything with herbs (unless I’m really sick) and have gotten into making toiletries. I know make my own deodorant, cream and lip balm and am learning to make more. I’ve been researching lots of recipes (and even classes) but for now I think I can start a small apothecary making non-internal products and selling them around town. So this winter is for learning, and when the thesis is done I will launch!

6. Make a budget and stick to it

Classic resolution and one that I make almost every year. Its a bit comical to try and make a budget for such a small amount of money but at the same time SO necessary. This budget is going to focus on watching what we spend and paying down debt so that when we eventually have good jobs and more income we know where our money goes and hopefully have a cleaner slate to work with, and better credit. Eventually we will want to do things like buy cars and maybe a somewhere to live. Or at least travel. Money sucks when you don’t have it. So a budget has been made for this year, mapping out the real expenses we have and prioritizing the important things, including a (very small) budget line for entertainment. Now we just have to make sure we stay on track.

7. Read more books

My degree has killed my ability to sit and read for fun. I feel guilty when I’m not reading academic stuff so I haven’t really. I got a mini kobo for xmas this year and some bookstore gift certificates and I had no idea what to buy! This is so weird for me, I used to be such a big reader. This is somewhat related to the next resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I read, a lot. I have a solid 29 blogs and news agencies that I check at least once a day (thank you flipboard), not to mention the many articles, postings, rants and commentaries that also make up my daily reading. I love reading and I love learning, I acknowledge that I’ve turned more towards emerging and grassroots/popular learning in the form of new media academics and I like it. I get challenged a lot from it and it inspires a lot of discussion in my home. I miss reading for fun though, and reading fiction. Anyway, I finished reading Fun Home last week and am partway through Alison Bechdel’s new book, Are You My Mother?. Next up is Barbara Kingsolver’s, Flight Behavior on my new kobo. Then maybe something by Zadie Smith? I don’t know yet. The plan is to read at least 30 books for fun this year (idea from blackandwhiteandlovedallover). 30 is not much but it seems reasonable in the face of the stack of books I have to read to finish my damn degree.

8. Use less screens

This is another reason why I haven’t been reading enough. I have a million screens that I can look at in all places. My computer, tablet, smart phone, and (now) ereader makes is virtually (pun intended) impossible to avoid looking at a screen. I can sit in front of the computer all day, or peruse the www on my tablet in bed or while traveling (I even use it for knitting patterns!), the phone works for small spaces like the metro or bus or if I don’t have the tablet with me. The ereader for when my eyes feel like falling out of my head from starting at screens too long. So, with the health of my eyes in mind I’m going to make sure I spend a significant amount of time not looking at screens a day. Whether that’s reading (ereader doesn’t count, its nice on the eyes), knitting, hanging out with friends, cooking or whatever I’m going to make an effort.

9. Go somewhere new

Phew, this post is getting really long. Its taken me almost 2 weeks to write!

This is a fun one, a lot of these goals feel kinda heavy….I’m a wanderlust at heart. I’ve been in Montreal for 5 and a half years and its closing in on the longest I’ve lived anywhere, including places I lived as a child (Calgary was 7 years). My parents move(d) a lot, I’ve moved a LOT. There was the period of time between 19-24 I moved cities, if not countries, every 4 months. I like being nomadic, I get excited by new places. I have come to enjoy the benefits of being somewhere a while, which mostly have to do with knowing people for a long time, but I still need new places in my life to keep things fresh. So my goal for this year is to go to at least one new place. It doesn’t have to be far, it just has to be somewhere I’ve never been before.

10. “Renovate” the apartment

I’ve been living in this little apartment for almost 2 years, and now officially over 1 year with M. When I originally set up and painted the place it worked really well for me. We made a few changes to fit M in when they moved here but other than moving one or two pieces of furniture and clearing out a closet and a few drawers for them to use there haven’t really been any changes made to the place. Its in desperate need of an update and a shuffling to make ‘my’ place ‘ours’. My goal for this year is to declutter, paint, recover and buy with M to make our house ours. We’re exploring ways to cover the terrible linoleum in the kitchen & bathroom. Suggestions welcome. Changing a rental apartment is an interesting dance between wanting a good space and not investing a lot into a place we’ll move out of and leave behind.


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Embracing my inner woo

I like to think of myself as a pragmatic person. I don’t follow any kind of religion, in fact I feel sometimes feel (shamefully) disdainful of (organized) religion. When I was out in SF a while back I remember being more than a little put off by the level of woo that was going around. Intrigued, but put off. I think it was the ways in which it encompassed some peoples lives to the point of disconnection from reality that got to me mostly. Anyway, back to my point, being spiritual is not something that I assign as a descriptor of myself. AND YET, I caught myself the other day taking a break from research Alchemy to go through my deck of protection cards for solace. I’m going to let that settle for a second and let you talk in those words and this picture….

///alchemy research + portable fortitude deck + the necklace I wear pretty much every day + a birthday list to myself that includes another crystal, a tattoo and the collective tarot///

I don’t remember why I was researching alchemy. I think it just popped in my head, or I came across a random side bar reference and was all, ‘I wonder what that’s about’. I remember loving the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and being pumped about Alchemy as a topic from then on. After some research I decided that I’m not really that into Alchemy as it stands, but I do still love the symbols and their meaning. I think I just love symbolic meaning.

I mean, obviously I like symbolic meaning. Look at every single one of the tattoos I have, the name of this blog, my own cryptic writing style (about important things). One day I should go into what each of my tattoos mean to me but for now I would like to direct your attention to the necklace I wear pretty much every day, which also has tons of symbolic meaning. The ring is my grandmother‘s wedding ring. She gave it to me just before dementia really took her brain away from us all. There is a really good story attached to that ring, and maybe one day I’ll write the second half of my ode to her (first part linked above), be in the end this ring is really important to me. The amethyst was my birthday present to myself last year (from sparklefarm) and, besides being pretty, it is meant to provide me with power, protection and healing. Things that meant a lot me last year as I was healing from my broken elbow and surgeries. I mean, those things are still important to me, just in different ways now. The other pendant is stone with threads of opal (meaning healing, love, money & luck) in it that my mom and step-dad brought back from Australia. I went to Australia for my first trip on my own, my first real time on my own. Also, it provides the balance that Libra me (yes, horoscopes too) needs in having both parents represented on the chain.

Last is the portable fortitude cards by Corina Dross. She is a Philly based artist and all of West Philly is covered in representations of these cards. So they mean a lot in the sense of them being from where my husband is from and where we hung out. Also, if you can’t read it, the showing card says “Protection from the Impending Flood”. All the cards have protection messages and when I’m feeling stuck or uncertain I pull a few cards and think about their meaning in my life, which I was doing that night, the day before my first day at work. It did make me feel better.

So yeah. Not woo.

/// creepy shot I took with flash ~ kinda woo ///

Okay, maybe just a little….


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4 simple goals: #2

 

Like I blogged about last week Elsie over at a beautiful mess and her partner have been writing down and trying to stick to 4 simple goals per season. And, like I said, I’m a big fan of goal lists so I’ve decided to participate in the plan too. I, maybe, am less of a ‘stick-to-the-list’ type of person but I’m kind of enjoying these goals, mostly because I took Elsie’s advice and pick things that I’m excited about, may not do otherwise, and that can really add something to my life.

For those that have been following along, reading thoroughly, I’ve had a bit of bumpy starts to the first goal. Turns out that I’m kind of out of the habit of eating fresh fruit and veggies every day. I’m glad I have this goal though because its shone a light on that lack in my diet. Its not that I don’t like fresh produce, I really really do, I’ve just been kind of bad about keeping them stocked in my house/have been shitty about cooking for myself so the stuff I buy has been turning into science experiments in the bottom of the crisper. Oops. Anyway, I’m working on it, on having at least one serving a day and working up. Now that goal #1 is underway let me know introduce:

‘SIMPLE GOAL #2’ : explore a new 30 year old style

The presentation of goal #2 comes at an opportune moment because I was just looking at the date and thinking something along the lines of, “holy shit I turn 30 in 12 days!”. That’s less than 2 weeks. I’ve been anticipating this birthday all my life. I’m not joking. For some, unexplained reason in my family the idea of a champagne birthday (that’s not what we called it has kids, I’m forgetting what we used to call it) was something we talked about a lot. Maybe it was because my brothers’ had theirs at 5 and 8, and my parents had all had theirs by the time we were old enough to conceive of different times in life, I always felt left out of this tradition. This remembering of what my year was like the year of my champagne birthday. So that, coupled with the fact that I think pretty much everyone has some major reflecting for their 30th. The whole, leaving my youth behind and entering a new era (at least mentally?) has been on my mind has my years crept closer and closer to the day. I remember the Christmas I was 27 my mom announced to me that I was closer to 30 than I was to 25 (she was wrong, I wasn’t exactly half way until April and I told her so). I guess I’ve always been a little focused on my age. I usually spend the whole month leading up to my birthday in a bit of a ‘what does it all mean????????’ head space. Just ask my loved ones, I can be a bit of a pill.

ANYWAY, this is all a preface to say that I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to be and who I want to be when I’m 30. I’m not going to go into all the ways in which I’ve built up/freaked out about turning 30, I would never subject anyone to my mind on that level but looking at the way that I dress and style myself has been something that I would like to shift into what a 30yr old me would be into.

I don’t exactly have an image in mind of what I want. A little more colour, more patterns, more carefully selected/curated things, with seams (ie: less cut off bits), things that fit well, things that make me feel good. My 20ies were characterized somewhat by my refusal to play into my perception of a mainstream idea of womanhood, the kind that was pushed on me in my hometown. I’m not saying that I want to lose my punk/queer influences and start wearing khakis and polos. I just want to move into a style that seems to fit the idea of an adult me that fits my perception of a married me, a master me (soon!), a gainfully and professionally employed me. I want to play more with gender, with femininity, with my body shape and size. Basically I want 30yr old me to be mature playful.

SO my #2 goal this season is to find some pieces &/or some ideas that lead me towards all of this. AND, the added bonus (besides new clothes), the part that fits with the enriching my life, is comfort in my skin. The kind of comfort I’ve been working towards and exploring up until now, and probably will continue to work towards my whole life.


2 new (to me) favourite photographers

For those that don’t know me I should preface this by saying that I love photography. I have since forever. I remember my mom giving me a camera as a gift when I was 7 or 8 years old because she was impressed by the pictures I took for my brownie badge and I’ve been hooked ever since. My dad’s siblings are also photographers and I have been lucky to get some personal lessons from them at different times. My Aunt Johanna was the photographer at my wedding (blog post and pictures coming soon I swear), and I have a happy memory of  being 13 and visiting her by myself for the weekend. She gave me a camera, loaded me up with film and let me go, including inside her darkroom. It was basically the best ever. I collect cameras, I read camera blogs, I take photos as much as I can. I’ve been having a personal revival with film ever since my good digital slr was stolen, so you don’t get to see as many of my photos here as I would otherwise post if I had digital but take my word for it, I’m a fan.

One of my favourite photoblogs is Photojojo. It appeals to all my nerdiness for gadgets, gives great product reviews and lots of fun photography related tips and projects, as well as links to other photographers doing great stuff. So without further ado, here are my two new favourite photographers, as introduced by photojojo.

Daniel Beltrá

Originally from Spain, but living in the US now (according to his bio) Beltrá does what he calls Conservation Photography, and does it well. He reminds me of another great artist that I love, Edward Burtynsky, in his portrayal of human impacts on natural landscapes from a view point of epic proportions.

click through the pictures to seen them in their full, photographer website, glory.

Jon Shireman

I have no info about this photographer, except when you look at his flickr there are a lot of great and different shots that play a lot with light and lighting of a whole array of subjects. My particular favourites of are these frozen and smashed flowers because it it takes something beautiful and ruins them in a beautiful way, but also because the way that they break is so unnatural that it kinda doesn’t compute in my brain.

Ugh, flickr is annoying about not letting people post images so just click on the links to see the gorgeous photos because they really should be seen in their entirety.

 


Small Things Project: Day 56 (sept 10)

It is COLD!
Okay , not really, it’s actually pretty reasonably temperatured out, but in comparison to this summer which was usually stupid dumb hot, i’ve been pretty damn chilly the past couple of days.
I am happy for getting to pile tons of blankets on the bed and cuddle down in them with some netflix.
I went to a cute community event yesterday at the Platz bar. A bunch of people were selling clothes and kids had a cupcake/lemonade stand set up, M was playing music, someone had tacos going. I bought a couple of interesting things, like this shirt, which is huge and makes me laugh.

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///instagram shot because my camera sucks and I don’t want to fool with all that///
I’m happy that M and I took a quiet day to sleep in and be together today. Not that we don’t have tons to do but it feels like our time together has a end date because I start my job in a few days. It doesn’t really but it will be much more limited than it is now.
We’re about to head out to meet my Aunt Margaret for dinner. I like it when she comes through town because she doesn’t want a lot of time but the time we have is always really nice, so I’m happy for that.


Small Things Project: Day 50-53

I’m posting another batch of small things because I’ve decided to stop gathering them for a week (or several months) and posting all at once and instead post day by day as I write them. That way they don’t moulder in my drafts folder and I can stop feeling bad about the huge gaps in time. So yeah, new plan….

Day 50: (Aug 21)

Today I am happy for a slow start and some quality time with M. It hasn’t been an easy month for either of us and unfortunately when we get busy and stressed we tend to make each other last. So it was nice to have a moment to talk and be together last night and to wake up slowly together this morning.

I’m also especially super grateful to my mom today (and most days) for her help in getting me out of a tough spot financially. I’m not super happy with myself for being almost 30 and still needing help but I’m so so happy that I have the kind of parents that are willing to provide a bit of a safety net for when I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Its a privilege I don’t take lightly.

I’m happy that I’ve had a couple of interviews in the past week and I have my fingers crossed as usual that I’ll finally catch a break and get a job. Its been a long process, and not a little depressing. I’m really looking forward to the day that I don’t have to be counting pennies quite so much.

Day 51: (Aug 23)

Today I’m struggling to be happy about anything. I’m happy that we found M’s phone because it was really going to suck to have to buy him a new one, and the look of yay and relief on his face when I pulled it out of the couch after looking in it for the millionth time was really sweet. I’m happy that I don’t have to go anywhere or do anything with anybody today. I’m not feeling particularly social of late. I’m happy that Mood, Mars and I got to go to a restaurant pre-opening last night and eat a ton of really good food for free. That was pretty awesome.

Day 53: (Aug 25)

Yesterday wasn’t a day worth writing about. It was the kind of day where reading one article and having a shower qualified as productive. Today is the kind of day where I’m making new (secret) plans and am considering doing some baking, which would require cleaning the kitchen so how ’bout that for productivity.


It Gets Fatter!

A good friend (and neighbour!), her friends, and the internet at large, have started this amazing new video project called It Gets Fatter (tumblr & also vimeo). Its a space to for People of Colour (POCs) who identify as fat, and also queer, to submit videos and written stuff talking about their experiences with fatness and body loving (or not). Its a brand brand new project that has been going on for barely a week and so far a few really powerful videos have been posted about fatness vs. health and how they are not always connected, self-acceptance and learning to love your body no matter what others tell you.

Here’s a video example that really touched me:

A lot of the videos have touched me, and have made me want to delve a little into my own feelings about my body and how I get through tough situations with my family and in life. I’ve had a blog post sitting in my drafts folder for months now called ‘On Being Thick’ but never really had the courage to work it out in words and moreover to post it publicly until now. So thanks It Gets Fatter folks for opening up that dialogue and pushing me to have the guts to put it out there.

The reason the above video struck a nerve with me is because Jackie talked about her experiences within her family and their feelings around her size. It is obviously very intense when the people who raise you talk negatively about your body, and I was lucky not to have that experience growing up. I was a very tiny child; short, skinny, and rocking nicknames like ‘squirt’ and ‘spaghetti legs’ (the last one was bestowed by my great-grandmother because I had long, very thin legs). It wasn’t until I hit puberty, and honestly not until my late teens that I started to gain weight for real. Its been a slow progress and has depended a lot on how active my year has been but I’ve been steadily gaining every since.

Comments about my weight started a few years ago, when I began to push the okay height to weight ratio in some of my family’s eyes. Its rarely been direct, mostly comments on how good I looked the last time I was home because I was thinner, or how I look good now as opposed to the last time because last time I was overweight and this time I was thinner. A lot of it has been indirect, and probably not aimed at me at all but comments about personal weight gain or loss definitely affect me, as well as comments from family members about how concerned they are about my dad’s weight followed by comments about how much I look like my dad. Most of the time it was meant to compliment me, or at least not to hurt me but its really hard not to take it personally when people look at me and then decide that a conversation about weight loss would be something I’d be into hearing.

I’m having difficulty saying this because I love my mom to bits and she has been my champion in so many ways, ways that I could never thank her enough for, but when it comes to my weight I’ve recently had a few experiences with her that have really stuck with me, they both involved shopping for clothes for me together, both in the past year. Last December I was looking for something to wear to my brother’s wedding in Vegas, it was last minute and we didn’t have a lot of time, plus my mom hates shopping even more than me. I remember going to store after store trying to find something that fit, and taking longer than she had patience for to find something because I just couldn’t get that comfortable combination of style and fit that I needed to feel good. I distinctly remember feeling like I had to apologize to her for my weight, not that she was asking me to but because I felt bad about being too big to fit most of the cute things she liked. I felt a lot of shame in that moment and that I had to explain myself. I stumbled through a few tries but in the end I didn’t really have an explanation, the truth is that by a lot of standards I’m not  plus sized, mall clothing just runs small in a totally mean way. It wasn’t my fault, but in that moment I felt like it was. The second time was when we were emergency shopping for a replacement wedding dress for me and my mom suggested I try on a girdle, something that she would NEVER consider wearing and, prior to me getting to the size that I am now, would probably have railed against. Its taken me a while to deconstruct that moment, and in the end I feel like my mom thought that I needed it in order to look ‘better’ in my dress. I tried it on, hated the feeling of it and the feeling behind it and decided against it. To her credit she didn’t push it but the idea that my mom thinks I’m too chubby to look good has stuck with me.  After many conversations with M about shapewear I’ve come to the conclusion as to why I’m not into it. Its not that I’m against other people wearing it for whatever reason they want to wear it, but for me I feel like I’m lying to myself about how my body looks and hiding the parts of my body that I’m struggling to love won’t make me love it any more.

Phew, still feeling iffy about that last paragraph so I’m going to move on to this really powerful video submitted to It Gets Fatter by msqueenly (who has many blogs) about being poor, black, queer and fat.

This video is important for so many reasons, and I would love to have, heard, or read further discussions of the intersections of all the points they brought up, especially around invisibility and how movements co-opt the voices of people struggling under multiple oppressions, but for this moment I want to highlight this particular point”

“it isn’t a journey of how i decorate my body with nice clothes, nice shoes, lingerie, accessories, you know. it’s not that type of journey. that’s not how i validate my fatness or my queerness or my blackness or how i talk about my poor experiences because, of course, being poor means you don’t have the money to do those things for a lot of people.”

which makes me want to stand up and clap. I’ve been trying to articulate my uncomfortableness with some blogging I see and also with some body positive blogging I see. I love it when people get excited about decorating their bodies, however they see that to be, and I definitely appreciate a visually pleasing outfit. I also get that when it comes to fatness and body positivity a lot of it is about challenging how my, your, their body is SEEN, so blogs of people dressing hot and refusing to hide their fat bodies is great and challenging and so wonderful. I guess I’m just a little disappointed that that’s as far as a lot of people take discussions about personal fashion and adornment. While clothes, accessories, tattoos, piercings, whatever are personal expressions of self and are rad in their own ways, I don’t feel like its the be all, end all of this discussion. ESPECIALLY when we’re trying to talk about body acceptance and inclusion. Dressing well is great and all but we can’t stop there. There are so many other ways this manifests in my life, to speak for myself. It manifests in how I eat in public, how I take up space, how and when I exercise, how I sit, how I dance, how I hold my body, how people see my body. It’s an awesome feeling to be wearing something hot and tight, but that feeling can very quickly be flipped to feeling shitty as soon as I catch the eye of someone who does not feel that I look awesome in my hot, tight outfit. And that feeling is not something that can always be addressed by more great outfits. Nor is it always possible to have the clothes that make me feel pumped about my body. Lately its been about making clothes work and/or fit because my current life doesn’t support new outfits, or really anything beyond the basics.

Anyway, I haven’t really done justice to msqueenly’s video or even that one quote because it means so much more than what I feel I can say on the topic right now but I just want to put it out there that this is a really great project, one that has made me want to talk out loud about my feelings ‘on being thick’. I have a lot more growing into my feelings and thoughts about this, and especially more growing into the wider topic but I love that this conversation is happening and that so many rad people are blasting open the body positivity conversation and making people think about how the intersections of identity change, influence, support and contradict how we talk about bodies, fatness, and self-love. So cheers to that.

And to this:

from the ‘fat acceptance! Yay!’ pinterest board


why are weddings so complicated to plan?

I was going to write a post about the plans that have been going on for M & I’s upcoming marriage but after spending the last hour on pinterest trying to find invitation ideas I’m already overwhelmed. This shit is a lot of work! And there is so.much.stuff out there on weddings. where do I even start? what kind of party is ‘our’ kind? What the hell am I going to wear? We aren’t planning anything big or anything but I’m not exactly the person who had my wedding planned out since I was 5. In fact, if you had asked me a year ago I probably would have laughed in your face. I think I did laugh in M’s face the first time he brought it up. What? So I was slow in figuring out that he was the one for me. He, on the other hand, was sure after a couple of months. I’m not one to jump into decisions of any kind though, especially not this kind, and so I just decided he was crazy. For almost a year and a half.

I did come around though, and in the end it was me who did the proposing. Over gchat. I’m romantic like that (sorry babe). Marseau made me sweat though, after all that time of me making him wait he was determined to give me a taste of my own medicine. He waited almost 2 weeks (I was stressing out so much!), then came up to visit and said yes. Though he managed still to wait almost a full day before saying yes. He’s more romantic in a lot of ways than me (though not all ways), I think he was waiting for a special moment.

We spent a little over 2 weeks together after that. He stayed in Montreal way longer than he was originally supposed to, then I went to Philly with him for a week. We didn’t want to part anymore after deciding we were going to be together for the long haul. Long distance sucks a lot.

Then my brother tried to elope in Vegas and my whole family crashed it. Not wanting to take away from their day we decided to keep our little announcement to ourselves for a while. Long enough to settle into life together a bit and start deciding what worked for us and what we were like 24/7 together. There have been ups and downs in going from long distance to living together. But in the end its so much happier a life that I haven’t looked back.

I think I’ve been gliding into the idea of marriage without really thinking about what that entails, the wedding part at least – I’m very ready for the married part (or as much as any person can be ahead of time). I was all like, we get married and have a party right? Easy.

Nope.

What will the wedding look like? When will it be? Where? What will we wear? Eat? Say? Who will we invite? Who will marry us? How will we pay for it?

The immigration processes that are going to follow this seems like a cake walk all of a sudden.

So far I think the only thing we’ve agreed on is the colours (turquoise, cream and grey) and theme (bikes and bowties). Turns out we have pretty different views on what we want out of that day. Quelle suprise. We often have differing views, and although that is usually awesome in this case it can be tense.

Does anyone have good strategies for not losing their minds while planning these things? How to make marriage budgets? Examples of nice, classy, (very) cheap weddings? Good websites to go for inspiration? Send them my way. I need all the help I can get.

read my rant-y blog and learn to tie a bowtie. At least you get something useful out of it

 

Seriously though, what am I going to wear?

I'm not even sure if this is the right colour of turquoise, and don't get me started on the cream and grey. Sigh.

all images stolen through google image search. Click on them to find their original location