Stationary Drifting


4 simple goals: #3

Okay, its been a while since I posted about my simple goals and there are a lot of reasons for that. Not the least of which is that I haven’t had any real time to blog over the past while. I realized the other day that I am working 4 jobs at the moment AND trying to write my thesis. This means that I work a 40hr work week, and come home to work on at least 2 other jobs at night. For example, last Tuesday I worked from 10-6, came home and had a skype meeting for a facilitation contract I’m doing from 6:30-8pm, and then worked on my TA’ing stuff from 8-10pm. I didn’t even touch my thesis. Somewhere in there I’m trying to see M, maybe a couple of friends, call my family and do laundry and any number of other life things that need to happen. It doesn’t really allow for a lot of ‘me time’. Which I think is the thing I miss the most from my student life. Time to cook, check out the neighbourhood, do projects and crafts, listen to the radio, etc etc.

It also means that I haven’t been that good at keeping up with my goals.

Simple Goal #1 of eating more fresh plants has been going okay. I’ve been trying to consciously make sure that there is plant matter in my meals but the fresh stuff has been harder to keep on top of. Given the fact that I don’t really have time to grocery shop, or am too tired to grocery shop, I haven’t been as good about this as I could be. I’m going to try and redouble my efforts the rest of this month though and try to have some at least once a day and work up from there.

Simple Goal #2 has been kind of a flop. M and I spent a lot of time shopping last weekend with my little bit of birthday money and I found 1 cardigan and a cheap stretchy skirt. I like these 2 items a lot but given the amount of time, the number of stores I went into and the things I tried on, it was pretty dismal and I ended up spending my money on film, beads and food. The usual. I’m thinking I might foray into online shopping and see if that yields me better results. If anyone has experience in buying clothes online please send tips. I don’t really like the idea of buying things I can’t try on and am worried I’m going to spend a lot of time sending things back. But I like shops like ASOS, Ruche and Modcloth so hopefully I can find better things. The internet is an amazing place isn’t it?

So, with the so far rounding success moderate optimism of the first 2 goals. Here is SIMPLE GOAL #3: plan direction of stationary drifting

I’ve been really enjoying blogging since I moved over from tumblr earlier this year. I kind of prefer the static nature of an independent blog where I’m not so concerned about people reading, reblogging, networking, etc. Don’t get me wrong, tumblr can be really great for a lot of reasons. I’ve seen some amazing community building happen there but that wasn’t really what I was going for when I decided to start logging my life on the internet so here I am over here now.

I’ve gotten pretty into blogging since then, and into following other people’s blogs. I’ve been using the flipboard app on my ipad to keep track of all the ones I like to read on a daily basis (though I hear bloglovin’ is good too) and through following other people and a fair amount of nerding out on my part I’ve started trying to envision this blog as something more design friendly and aesthetically pleasing, on top of being my online personality. I’m not going to lie, I like the communities that I’ve seen happen through blogs, and (a little bit) the recognition from posting useful things. I certainly like watching my readership spike and grow. SO I’ve been thinking about buying my domain name and fooling around with graphics and making this place uniquely my own.

The reason this is on my goals list for fall is because partially its to remind me to put some attention towards this, and partially its to remind me to do little projects for myself for no other reason than because they make me happy. The blog itself is a project, the projects that happen on this blog are projects and the stuff I blog about are often projects too. Its a reminder to keep myself creative and in touch with myself. In that way, even just doing the small things project as often as I can has helped in keeping me grounded in thinking about the good things in my life and in having a small project to feel happy about. I think this might be the most successful goal I have so far and thank the universe for that.

So you can expect some geekiness around blogging, graphic design, programming and the internet to come out here over the next few months. I’ve been relying pretty heavily on the advice posted on a beautiful mess (also the ladies who inspired these goals). So yea, blogging. Gonna start doing more of that.

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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


Field of View

My brother is starting up another project, dude must have a million projects on the go by now. He’s so cool.

Anyway, this one is super exciting because it includes me!

I’m going to be the political writer for Jared’s quarterly print magazine called Field of View!

one of Jared’s contributions

According to the ‘about’ section of the newly created website:

The field of view is the extent of the observable world that is seen at any given moment.

Different animals have different fields of view, depending on the placement of the eyes. Humans have an almost 180-degree forward-facing horizontal field of view, while some birds have a complete or nearly-complete 360-degree field of view. In addition, the vertical range of the field of view in humans is typically around 100 degrees.

In photography, the field of view is that part of the world that is visible through the camera at a particular position and orientation in space; objects outside the FOV when the picture is taken are not recorded in the photograph. It is most often expressed as the angular size of the view cone, as an angle of view.

This site is the blog to the magazine, so that we can constantly update you on sightings of news/work in the art, video, political, fashion, music and other worlds. The printed magazine will have long form articles and full portfolios from photographers and artists. A few articles from each issue will be posted under the ‘Magazine’ tab, so you can follow the print on your screen as well.

Quarterly magazine to begin publishing this summer by Jared Mercer.

Contact Field of View:

elephantshoesdesign@gmail.com

Mid City

Los Angeles, California

*we take (and encourage) submissions

Mostly this magazine will be about art and design, focus on film/photography with a side of music and fashion, and a sprinkling of my ranty-opinionated-far far left of center politics!

I’m going to try and start posting small things up there this week a la my (woefully underused) ‘Leave a Stain‘  site. But in the mean time click on the above link to take you over to what Jared has up there right now, which is a lot of really great photographers’ work, including his own.

And watch for the magazine coming out this summer.

In the first edition of the magazine, which will be released this summer, we can announce that there will be work by Carla Andrade (whose images are displayed below), Bjorn Bare and Amandine Paulandre amongst others.

Topics covered will be new beginnings, such as this magazine. Film, Video, Photography, Politics, Fashion, and Music are the main themes that each writer has a focus on.  A few articles from each print edition will be found here to give you a taste of what you’re missing on paper and encourage you to order a copy of Field of View from our online retailer.

Please contact Jared Mercer if you are interested in advertising with us.

Some tidbits from the site. Click the photos to take you to the post

an animation by Kadavre Exquis. Click the photo to find the video on Field of View

free dive by kanoa zimmerman

jonathan hyde


I don’t want to pack again

I don’t want to pack again. I just got home from over a week away. I just want to obsess over beautiful brooches on etsy, spend far too much time reading intense discussions on tumblr, watch copious episodes of the tudors and paint my nails dark red.

Is that so much to ask?