Archive for the ‘Personal Essays’ Category

So Let Me Get This Straight: Lady Gaga, Body Image, and The Media

September 27, 2012 - 7:25 pm No Comments

Note: This post was so popular on my Facebook and Tumblr I’ve decided to post it here for posterity. Could this be a sign of new posts to come? Perhaps…

So let me get this straight: Lady Gaga puts on 25 pounds and suddenly she’s “fat.” Or putting on weight because she’s a drunk.

Right.

So she looks exactly like I do now. In fact, she’s almost exactly the same dimensions as me, head to toe.

I went to the doctor today and weighed in at 115. Doc informed me I’m at “low normal” weight, but I should definitely take steps not to lose anymore or I could risk becoming unhealthy.

I don’t care what you think of Lady Gaga. I don’t care what you think of her music. I don’t care what you think of me.

But what the fuck is wrong with this society when a woman who is at a normal to low weight for her size is “fat” because she put on weight, even if it only takes her to the low side of what is considered conventionally healthy, conventions which are, in this country, skewed to hell in the first place.

What. The. Fuck.

We are so fatphobic, so disgustingly focused on extremes, that a woman who admits to weight gain is automatically shamed.

Don’t… don’t even get me started on using “fat” as an insult. Don’t even get me started on what is and isn’t healthy and who the fuck we are to judge what people should and shouldn’t do to their bodies. Don’t even make me go there. That’s a different issue for a different time. But this… This is a new fucking low, society, and I’m seriously angry with you.

Go to your room.

The Art of the Mixtape

January 3, 2012 - 9:36 pm 2 Comments

Let me tell you.

There is a hell of a lot more to making a mixtape then just throwing some songs together.

I talk about music a lot on this blog, because it’s always been a major part of my life. From the time I was born, it was more to me than just melodies and lyrics. My dad is a guitarist; my mom played the piano. Both of them are very, shall we say, musically active; they keep up with new stuff, they take an active interest in knowing what’s out there, they still go to shows. Hell, I take them to shows. They even named me after a song. They played music for me in the cradle, everything from Black Sabbath to The Beatles to Bach. I knew how to work a record player before I knew how to work a microwave. (I’m still not entirely sure why a microwave has so many options. If it’s that difficult, put it on the stove.)

Now that I’m older, to repay them, for my parents I make mixtapes.

As gifts for my nearest and dearest friends, I make mixtapes.

When I’m feeling bored or sad or lonely I make mixtapes.

But there is so much more than just throwing a bunch of tracks together.

Mixtapes are something that should be crafted with purpose: an idea pops into your head and you think you could show someone exactly what you mean with music; you hear a song that doesn’t just remind you of another song, it speaks to you about another song; a time in your life is defined by a series of tracks you can’t ever hear again without thinking about that moment, and you can’t ever think about that moment without hearing those songs. Mixtapes are like chapters in books that make up our lives; they’re the narration, not the soundtrack, and all we do is following along. Giving someone a mixtape, a well thought-out mixtape, is a gift that speaks to thoughtfulness and concern and shared emotions and memories.

When you make a mixtape, every song has to say something. It could be musically or lyrically, but it has to be part of a consistent flow. One off song can ruin the entire mix. A truly successful mixtape should go so smoothly from song to song you hardly realised the track changed, but should hold you so captive you wait and watch for each song to pass to the next.

When you make a mixtape, you have to think like you’re writing a paper. You need an introduction, and then you need a thesis statement. You need supporting information but you can’t be redundant. You need a conclusion supported by the information you’ve just given, and more than that, you need each paragraph to be in the right order. And then, if you’re feeling really, very confident, you can say something clever in closing that’ll stick with the reader – or in this case, the listener – even after they’ve reviewed the paper and moved on. Even after they’ve taken their headphones off and walked away.

A mixtape, all on its own, all by itself, with no additional media, should convey a message.

It should create an environment, or a moment, or a relationship, inside your head.

It should be one, whole, complete entity.

A mixtape is not just a collection of similar tracks thrown together.

A mixtape is a collaboration on the part of artists and one independent adjudicator, working together without ever speaking.

A mixtape is powerful and meaningful and beautiful.

A mixtape, when properly constructed, is a work of art.


Someone whose mixtape-creating ability I have always respected is William the Bloody, formerly of William’s Bloody Hell. You can now find him on his Twitter, still making awesome mixes. He sent me two for Christmas. Don’t let me forget, I owe him.

Lately I’ve been exchanging a lot of mixtapes with MannequinneHands. You can see a little of her work on her 8tracks account. Her mixtapes are so carefully crafted. They’re utterly magical.

If you want to see some of my own mixtapes, you’re more than welcome to check out my 8tracks, where I am Paperclippe as per usual. I’ve been adding about one a week, on average, and I always update old mixes when I hear something new that belongs.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received was a mixtape from @wackfiend. I put it on on New Year’s Eve and I’m pretty sure it made my year.

If you’re asking yourself what an 8tracks is, you should really go to http://8tracks.com and check it out. It’s the rebirth of mixtapes as we know it, especially for people who are a) too broke to buy blank CDs or b) make mixtapes too long to fit on CDs or c) want to share a mix with someone instantly. I am all three of those things. Even if you don’t make your own mixes, it’s worth a look just to see what other people create. It’s also an amazing way to discover new music in a more personal way than something like Pandora or last.fm, and I’ve found it’s also a hell of a lot more accurate. You can never substitute the human touch entirely.

So go on. Get mixing. Make some art.

It’s Enough to Give a Girl a Headache

September 22, 2011 - 1:20 pm 5 Comments

This is a more personal post than I normally put on this site, so I hope you’ll bear with me.  It’s about something that’s had a huge impact on my life, and it’s because of that that I’m making this an actual post instead of a multi-tweet rant; it’s something I’d like to be able to point people to when they have questions without repeating myself or getting frustrated, which is something I’m entirely guilty of, especially when in my current state.  It’s a bit long, and a bit wordy, and I hope you’ll understand.

I get migraines.

In fact, I have one right now.  Which is why it took me ten minutes to write a three-sentence long paragraph.

I think people in this day and age, generally, are aware of the pain migraines cause.  It wasn’t very long ago, however, that even the medical community thought migraines were a disorder exclusive to women brought on by hormones or hysteria or worse still, were nothing more than pleas for attention from lonely young mothers with children.  And the pain?  Either they were greatly exaggerating or making it up all together.  While it is true that women are more prone to migraines and hormones do indeed play a major role in migraines for some people, they are definitely a real condition which causes real, and sometimes boarder-line unbearable, pain.  And they certainly have nothing to do with attention.  In fact, I’d bet you dollars to donuts that if you try to give attention to a person suffering a migraine, they with either a) cry b) politely ask you to leave and lock the door behind you or c) shoot you.  That last one might seem a little extreme, sure, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.  And you also have to have a sense of humor about these things or you might just end up pointing the gun in the other direction.

If you’ve never encountered pain that could be considered almost unbearable, let me ask you a question: do you know the definition of the word ‘writhe’?  Dictionary.com has this to say on the subject:

1. to twist the body about, or squirm, as in pain, violent effort, etc.
2. to shrink mentally, as in acute discomfort.

Both of those are pretty applicable to the activities you’ll be performing when you have a migraine.  You’ll also become very religious, whatever your former spiritual persuasion.

In fact, I’ve got a pretty strong theory that most exorcisms are actually archaic migraine treatments.  And about as likely to work as just about anything else, really.

You’ll put a frozen steak on your head even if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll drink more water than a marathon runner, and if you’re very very lucky and lie very very still, you won’t vomit it all up again.

You’ll also probably swallow a lot of pills.

Like many (probably most) Americans, I don’t have health insurance, and I don’t have the kind of money to be seen for what’s 99% certain to be a lifelong condition and then chuck out more cash for non-painkiller migraine pills that rarely work or painkiller migraine pills that will just make me stoned all the time (or worse, migraine pills that take away my migraine pain but cause a completely new kind of pain in the back of my neck so horrific I’m paralyzed for 24 hours thanks Imitrex!).  So I take Excedrin Migraine.  And that shit works.  Boy howdy does it work.  But unfortunately it’s chock full of caffeine and aspirin and acetaminophen in extremely high doses, all things which on their own can upset even the most steely of stomachs.

And guess what else upsets your stomach.

And if you have a persistent migraine, you have to take upkeep doses, so even if you’re pain-free, you’re jittery and more hyperactive than a twelve-year-old boy who’s just been given a bag of cocaine-laced confectioner’s sugar, and the threshold on your temper, on a scale of one to ten, is set to about negative six.

And if you want to sleep the pain away, and believe me, you will, you, non-insurance-having American, will take melatonin. Melatonin, according the Great and Powerful Wiki, is

a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants and microbes.[2][3] In animals, circulating levels of the hormone melatonin vary in a daily cycle, thereby allowing the entrainment of the circadian rhythms of several biological functions.[4]Many biological effects of melatonin are produced through activation of melatonin receptors,[5] while others are due to its role as a pervasive and powerful antioxidant,[6] with a particular role in the protection of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.[7]

In mammals, melatonin is secreted into the blood by the pineal gland in the brain. Known as the “hormone of darkness” it is secreted in darkness in both day-active (diurnal) and night-active (nocturnal) animals.

Melatonin will put you in a goddamned coma.  That is an exaggeration.  What is not an exaggeration is that if you had any plans that day and you do end up taking melatonin, you can forget about your plans.  In fact, you can forget about your day, because you’re going to sleep through it, and if you have to take an upkeep dose, you’re going to sleep through the night and maybe the following day as well, because

[o]ral caffeine may significantly increase the bioavailability of melatonin. The proposed mechanism is inhibition of CYP450 1A2 first-pass metabolism. After administration of melatonin 6 mg and caffeine 200 mg orally to 12 healthy subjects, the mean peak plasma concentration (Cmax) of melatonin increased by 137% and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) increased by 120%. The metabolic inhibition was greater in nonsmokers (n=6) than in smokers (n=6). The greatest effect was seen in subjects with the *1F/*1F genotype (n=7), whose melatonin Cmax increased by 202%. The half-life did not change significantly. The clinical significance of this interaction is unknown

according to drugs.com.

That’s right.  If you take this sleep-inducing hormone with a thing that would normally keep you awake, it will make you sleep up to twice as much.

And I won’t even get into the vivid dreams.

So by now, you’re in unspeakable pain, you’re bloated, nauseated, full of medication, and halfway in a coma.  So you should really probably eat something.  But you won’t want to.  I don’t care how much you love food, or what kind of cravings you have on a daily basis.  You will look in your fridge and find every item contained within a device for some sort of torture.  To say you won’t be hungry is a bit of an understatement.

Today I have had 750mg of acetaminophen, 750mg of aspirin, 195mg of caffeine (which, incidentally, is enough to be considered legally intoxicated on the stuff depending on your height and weight and oh did I mention I am five feet tall), and 3mg of melatonin.  I have have a spontaneous two hour nap and 40 ounces of water.

And I choked down half a slice of white bread.  And it was an end-piece.  And it was awful.

But honestly?  I think most people get that.  I really do.  Migraines, and the pain and discomfort associated with them as well as the drastic measures most people will go through to get rid of them, are a part of the culture at the point.

Here’s the part I don’t think a lot of people understand.  Right now, thanks to my Excedrin regimen, I am almost completely pain-free.  And I have a migraine.

Before I get into that, let me just clarify: there are tons of different types of migraines, over ten and sometimes up to twenty depending on your classification.  They all have a few basic, common symptoms: headache of a throbbing nature, persisting for four to 72 hours (yes, that’s three fucking days), nausea, and photophobia, all of which are generally exacerbated by routine activity (yes, migraines are made worse by the fact that you exist), but there are tons of different variant symptoms.  Everyone is probably aware of the ‘aura’ symptoms: seeing lights or spots, blurred vision, or ‘rings’ (hence, auras) around objects, especially those with vivid colors.  That has never once happened to me.  In fact, less than 30% of people with migraines experience auras (numbers thanks again to Wiki).  What I do get are prodrome symptoms, which are

altered mood, irritability, depression or euphoria, fatigue, yawning, excessive sleepiness, craving for certain food (e.g. chocolate), stiff muscles (especially in the neck), dizziness, hot ears, constipation or diarrhea, increased or decreased urination, and other visceral symptoms.[14] These symptoms usually precede the headache phase of the migraine attack by several hours or days.

And you know what the worst part is?  Believe me when I say it’s the euphoria.  Because you go from being amazing and talkative and happy and hungry and active and a great person to be around to absolute fucking despair.

And migraines are generally not considered a mood disorder.

Oh, and did I mention the sleeping?

Oh, and did you catch the part where these symptoms come on several days before hand?  Days.

And then there is postdrome, which, is, you guessed it:

effects of migraine … persist[ing] for some days after the main headache has ended. Many sufferers report a sore feeling in the area where the migraine was, and some report impaired thinking for a few days after the headache has passed. The patient may feel tired or “hungover” and have head pain, cognitive difficulties, gastrointestinal symptoms, mood changes, and weakness.[19] According to one summary, “Some people feel unusually refreshed or euphoric after an attack, whereas others note depression and malaise.”  (From Wiki.)

That actually makes it sound a lot better than it is.  Between pro and postdrome, I personally have experienced both binge eating and self-imposed starvation, delirium, hyperactivity, insomnia on a scale of days, flu-like symptoms, loss of hearing, loss of vision, loss of feeling in the left side of my face, and things as weird as an inability to use the same vocabulary that I would use if I had no migraine symptoms.  But I do also experience the euphoria, the restlessness that compels me to be productive, the change in my thought process that allows me to experience things differently.  In fact, during migraines where I am pain-free and not wasting your time with interminable blog posts, I make a point to read or write because I both understand and explain things differently than I do without a migraine because I’m forced by lack of blood flow to use a different part of my brain.

My dad thinks this is really cool.  And you know what, it would be a lie to say it’s not.  The pain, of course, is stupefying.  But if nothing else, it can be pretty damned interesting.

And it’s completely fair to say that migraines, and/or their symptoms, can make you a completely different person.

Now, let me make myself really really fucking clear:

I am not writing this post because I want pity.  In fact, the last thing I want is pity.

What I do want is a better understanding of something that affects the lives of millions of people, including myself and a pretty good percentage of the people I know.  Migraines are not just headaches.  Migraines are a lot more than that, and they can be tough to deal with.  But just like the migraine sufferer who wants to be left alone in a dark room, I’m not doing this for attention, except the attention that comes with understanding.  Migraines are strange beasts, and though they’ve come to the forefront of the social consciousness, at least in western culture, there’s still a lot about them that people don’t understand.  For those of us who put up with the less-common, or perhaps just less-discussed, symptoms, it can be frustrating.

This post, to be sure, is a culmination of that frustration, but it’s also born out of the questions that people have asked me.  People want to know more, and sometimes a personal experience detailing both the good and bad of a condition, even when the condition is, yes, I’ll admit, mostly very bad, can bring a little light to where once there was shadow or doubt or disbelief.

So don’t comment with sympathy (though empathy from fellow sufferers will not be turned away, because I’ve had a good long bitch, and if you want to put your personal experience in the comments to share, I welcome any additional details or information you find relevant to this post).  What I want is the most normal life I can possibly have with such a truly weird condition, and that’s not really that hard to do, most days.  What I want is for someone to read this post and have more knowledge of a common but yet poorly understood condition, for them to be brave enough to ask questions, and to seek help, if they themselves share this condition.  Having migraines is not something to be ashamed of.  It’s something to take care of, and to take care of yourself because of.  It took me a long time, and a lot of forced decisions – I dropped out of college because my migraines were so bad in my junior year that I couldn’t leave my apartment in the morning – to grasp that.  If this post does that for even one person, then writing this, as personal and potentially pity-party inducing as it is, was worth it.

I like my sponsorships like I like my coffee:

November 20, 2010 - 8:22 am 1 Comment

COVERED IN BEES

You guys.

You did it.

With ten(!!) days left in NaNoWriMo, you charming folks have gotten me one-hundred-per-cent to my goal of one-hundred-freaking-dollars!  And never once did I have to employ my tactic of selling myself to the internet by means of covering Short Skirt/Long Jacket on solo piano for $5 a pop.  Though I would have.

Not only that, but this is the first year of writing whence I am actually ahead of schedule.

You have to understand.

I never finish anthi

Last year, I managed to raise $50 and never finished my NaNo.  This year, this year is so much better.  With the confidence given to me via the support for this cause, there’s no way I won’t finish this year.  Maybe that’s a jinx, and maybe it has something to do with the fact that if I even want to wrap up the main plot thread of this ridiculous novel it’s going to take me at least another 75k words so really I’m only 1/3 of the way through it anyway and 50k is a completely arbitrary number at this point BUT LET’S GO WITH IT’S A SUCCESS.

And that’s just how you’ve helped me.  With the money donated, Offices of Letters and Light can fund their computers or employees or buy supplies for people who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to be creative.  Obviously by clicking one of the links in my previous post you can find out more about any number of these causes, but suffice is to say, go make yourselves a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese, ’cause you’ve wracked up some points on the good-karma-o-meter and you deserve the lycopene.

Trust me, too, when I say that once November is over, I’ll be blogging more.  I have so many books to talk about and albums to review (OH MY GOD THE WEEPIES) and nonsense shit to discuss in an entirely one-sided conversation with myself… I gotta say, 2011 is going to be great for paperclippe.com.  It helps that I’m in charge.

Thanks again, guys.  It really means the world to me.  And of course, just because we’ve made it to my goal doesn’t mean you can’t continue to donate if you’re so compelled.  OLL can use all the help they can get.

It’s that time again: NaNoWriMo sponsorship!

October 25, 2010 - 2:09 pm No Comments

It’s that time of the year again, you guys, the time where I sign on to Twitter just long enough to gripe about writing and then sign off again to… well, go write.  Yes, it’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of you not in the know (50,000 words in 30 days!), and once again, I’m trying to find sponsors for The Office of Letters and Light.  What that means is this: I’m raising money to help the Office of Letters and Light continue to put on free creative writing programs for kids and adults in classrooms, communities, and libraries around the world.

Writing, and of course the literacy that precedes it and is advanced by it, is an invaluable tool that we must foster as much as we can in people of all ages.  For some, it provides an invaluable catharsis that no other activity can achieve.  For someone like me, who practically lives in a library and spends nearly every free moment either reading, writing, or editing, this is an extremely important cause.  So what I’m asking is this: if you can, please sponsor me.  Even as little as a dollar helps.  My official goal this year is just $100, but if I don’t come anywhere near that, I’ll be happy because I know I’ve raised awareness for an amazing cause and done what I can to support it.

If you want to help, please visit my official sponsorship page and do what you can.  If you can’t sponsor me, I completely understand, times are tough, but do me this favor: tell someone you know.  Share this note on Facebook, tweet it, do that Myspace thing if you still do, post this as your status, even just for a few hours.  Even the smallest action means the world to me.

Thanks so much, guys, for taking the time to read this.  Wish me luck!

Click for more about the Office of Letters and Light.

Click for more about NaNoWriMo.

Click to visit my post containing resources for and the whole story behind NaNo.

Edit: To follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo, you can visit my user page or just check out this handy widget! Remember, green good. Red bad.

“To be well-remembered is a gift.”

June 29, 2010 - 11:12 am 11 Comments

              A woman, who has been a gift, told me that this morning.

              I am remembering, and remembering well.

              When I was a child, I had a piano, and not just any piano: I had an upright Steinway grand.  It had to be a hundred and twenty-five years old, and it was stellar.  I spent time with it every day.  I was small, maybe five or six, hardly more, but I loved that piano, and even then, I knew it was worth more than the emotions I alone imparted upon it; I knew it was worth more than the ridiculous sum of money I thought it was worth (despite it having been free in the Pennysaver from someone who probably just needed it to be gone).  I knew it was important.  It was music, and it was history, and it was love.

              But it was also old, and each time it was played, it sounded worse and worse.  My mother had it looked at to see what, if anything, could be done, but after so much time, it was fragile; the once straight, silver strings within the piano were warped and would have to be replaced, the worn-out hammers refitted.  We were living on food stamps then; we couldn’t afford cable TV or a Nintendo, let alone refitting an antique piano.  So, instead, I watched PBS and I read, and my mother and I would play our hearts out on the old, warped piano, and we didn’t care that our favorite tunes from Jesus Christ Superstar didn’t sound much like the album anymore.  She played and I sang and after a while I played, too, despite the tone-deaf Steinway.

              Then came the time when we, too, had to move, and once more, the piano had a family that needed the instrument to be gone.  So my father (a fine musician himself, but with a more easily-restrung instrument, the guitar), perhaps not wanting to see music be forgotten or left to strangers who, upon moving in, would not know its worth, would not care about its past, or perhaps just wanting to give it to someone who he knew would and could use it, gave the piano to a good friend of his called Jay, who had a son who could learn to play too, in time; a friend who maybe could restore it, or maybe not, but at least it would not be gone or forgotten.

              I went and visited my piano a few times with my father, but I then grew up and got too busy, forgot to visit, and after a while, the memory of my beloved piano faded away until I was old enough to really care to remember it and take care in remembering it: to research it, to find out the monetary cost of such an experienced instrument, and the historical value.  As it turned out, it had earned a lot of both.  I remembered my warped piano then, and I was angry: angry that I had had to give my treasure away; angry that I no longer even possessed a real piano; angry, too, at the less-than-stellar keyboard to which I’d since been demoted, which was born of plastics and would age far worse than my sturdy, cherished Steinway.

              But my anger would burn out; I knew the piano was in good hands, even if those hands had painted on the keys an acrylic rainbow to make the notes, the warped sounds the piano produced, easier to remember. Of those hands, I have a memory.

              Jay’s son and I would play the piano, when I did visit its new home.  Later in the evening, I would sit on the wooden piano bench and my father’s friend would tell me about the universe, about space and time.  He had a pocket watch on a chain.  Jay would take the silver chain and fold it over on itself, and he would explain to me that the universe: its buoyant, bright stars and super-massive black holes; its huge, nebulous gasses where stellar bodies were born and tiny, rocky planets where human bodies were too, folded on itself as well; that time warped space and space warped time, and that space and time were one, together; that time, like space, could be shaped, and he would say all of this with the watch on the end of the chain, the clock hanging limply at the edge of space in a small, silver universe, and it would tick away the time quietly in the background of my impromptu astro-quantum-physics class, never interrupting, but persistent.  Even at six, at seven years old, I came to understand that this was the important part of the lesson.  At the forefront of my brain, I wanted to be a physicist.  At the back, I was aware that time stretched on, fused with space as it was, and even if I missed something that Jay had said on those nights, I am forever glad I did not entirely skip the lecture.

              Last night, I mentioned my piano to a good friend while we talked, and the evening passed.

              This morning, I was told that Jay had passed last night.

              Though I have grown up, and had only visited a few times, I do miss him.

              “To be well-remembered is a gift,” a cherished woman told me this morning.  I believe her, and I believe, in time, I will remember her well.

              I also still believe in physics, and maybe now I believe in a little of the metaphysical.  I believe that time warps space and space warps time and that the two will never be parted.  I believe all of us affect and are affected by space and time, since, in the words of another man from my childhood who is also now gone and missed, “We are star-stuff.

              I know that being well-remembered does not allow us to interrupt the persistently short time we are given, as the ticking watch at the end of a small, silver, chain-link universe always knew, but I believe that it can be warped into the best shape that our stellar masses and minds can form, if we remember, and remember well, for as another man who affected my youth but was gone long before I could miss him had said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

              I have decided to remember the time, and time, remember well, because that same, stellar woman also told me this morning, “Those that are remembered, are never really gone.”

              ~*~

              Below the cut are (perhaps selfish) dedications and thank yous for the creation and exponential, infinite expansion of my mind and self: things I have wanted to say, things I should have said already, and things I say too much.

(more…)

I would like to make an announcement…

January 27, 2010 - 5:26 pm 2 Comments

+clears throat+

Well, it’s two things actually.

The first thing was brought on by the fact that I hate sitting here at home doing nothing and I hate paying my student loans without having anything to show for them (I never finished my English degree, but they should give me one anyway. I deserve it). I mentioned this briefly in another post but never really elaborated on it and I’ve actually taken steps to put it in action recently.

In the spring (I don’t know why they call it spring, it’s really winter) semester of 2011, pending my acceptance, I will be going to Pitt for biological sciences, to then proceed to go to med school. You heard me, I’m going to be a doctor. Are you scared yet?

It is something I’ve always wanted to do. At no point in my life have I not wanted to be a doctor or a rock star (or both). There’s really only one of those things that I can actually control, and I’m going to do it, damn it. I know it’s going to be tough for me, especially because I’m not very good at math. I am, however, pretty amazing at memorization and things of a medical nature were always either common sense or easy for me to remember – I don’t know why – and I’m really excited to do this. I don’t know if I’m ready for eight more years of my life to be sucked away by school (I never liked school), but I’ll work through it.

The other announcement is slightly more pressing and way more awesome, at least in the short term.

Chris and I have set a date for our wedding. It is October 10, 2010. 10/10/10 because that’s almost binary and we’re gigantic nerds.

We’ve been engaged for more than (um, I think, I’m such a dude when it comes to dates) two years now and we’ve finally sat down to set a date. Do expect this blog to mention massive landmarks and such in the planning process but don’t worry, it’s not going to become filled with weird flowery stuff a) because it’s not going to be that kind of wedding and b) because I’m setting up a Tumblr for that, and I’ll share the link when I get around to setting it up.

But wait! There’s one last thing!

Thank you guys so much for the amazing positive feedback on my previous entry. I have some of the best followers on here, and Twitter, and Tumblr, in the world! You guys are a wonderful bunch of folks and I probably wouldn’t be continuing to do any of this social networking stuff if I hadn’t met such a unique and supportive group of people because of it.

Shine on, you crazy diamonds.

In case you didn’t know…

January 1, 2010 - 1:01 am 5 Comments

I am ridiculously vain. I am unabashedly, unashamedly vain. I think I’m hot shit. I have big dark blue eyes and a little chin and soft hair, voluptuous breasts. I love to look at myself. People love to look at me. I’m cute as a button. I’m short. I have perfect legs.

I’m also fat.

I’m five foot and three-fourths of an inch tall, and I weigh between 150 and 160 pounds depending on how much water I feel like retaining. On the hilarious BMI scale, I sit comfortably on the hump between – now get this – overweight and obese. I wear a size 12 pair of pants (not that you’ll ever catch me in a pair of pants). I wear a 36DD bra. Modern society calls me fat.

And I could not care less.

Because both of those paragraphs are true.

I am beautiful. I am chubby. And there’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it. And I wouldn’t, either.

The thinnest I ever weighed, after a terrible bout of a near-fatal illness, was 120 pounds. I was far from skeletal, I’ll tell you, but damned if once a day I didn’t have someone asking me if I was okay. It’s not a weight at which I look correct.

Remember that BMI scale? It thinks I should weight 113 pounds. It doesn’t know that I’m fabulous. I’m like mini Crystal Renn for fuck’s sake.

It might seem contradictory, then, that my one honest new year’s resolution is to complete a vigorous yoga routine daily, and indeed, through my entire self into the five forms of yoga.

Bull. Shit.

I want to be stupidly fit. I love the idea of being in shape. But I don’t care what it makes me look like or how to makes my clothes fit or what it makes middle America think about me. I value my health and my spirituality and my flexibility. I love to dance and to jump around and to sing. But this resolution? This resolution and my 150 pounds of awesome are gonna work together and make 2010 the best year ever.

And we are gonna be famous.

Happy new year, everyone, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Can you give a kitten a home?

October 27, 2009 - 11:28 am 4 Comments

Guys, I need your help.

Last weekend I visited my friend Colleen. She lives near where Chris and I are about to move and I was very excited to see her. When we got to her apartment, we found everyone on the porch, cooing and awwing at four little kittens, strays, which were playing in the alley.

It turns out that someone up the road had a female cat which they did not fix, and when she became pregnant they kicked her out of the house, so now she and all of her babies are strays.

I am going to take these cats in. I cannot bear to watch these creatures die in the snow because someone was too lazy and careless to get their cat neutered. But here’s why I need your help.

Currently, I am already living in a two-bedroom apartment with one cat. I am supposed to have no cats. In December, Chris and I are moving into the finished basement of his parents’ house. They love cats, but they also already have one. Now, I could probably (and am going to, probably) take one of these strays, if nothing else, but they will need homes.

Also, these cats have lived outside their entire lives. They’re going to need de-wormed and to get their shots. I’m willing to do this for them (because I can’t introduce them to my cat until they are all, at least, de-wormed), but if you can spare any small amount of money to help me out here, I would appreciate it to no end.

Two of the kittens are all-black and two are black and white. I believe the mother is also black and white. As I mentioned before, they’ve been around Colleen, and will let people pet them and hold them, so they’re at least partially socialised.

If you can help with money for their shots, please donate by clicking here.

If you can actually take one of these kittens, please email me as soon as possible. I’m willing to drive anywhere within an hour’s radius of Pittsburgh to bring the kitten to you, so don’t let transportation hold you back.

And if nothing else, please spread the word. I simply can’t take all of these cats (if I could, I wouldn’t be blogging this, I would be laying in a pile of kittens).

Thanks so much for all your help.