“What Do You Like to Read?”

One neat thing about libraries is that you can put books on hold. That way, when the book you want to read is either processed or returned by another patron, it will automatically go to you if you’re next in line. The same thing happens when you request a book from another library. It comes in, gets checked in, and goes on hold for you. And you can do it for multiple items at a time. This is something I do a lot.

And sometimes it backfires.

Working at the library, I usually have a pretty good idea of what items we might acquire. It’s a small library, so we don’t get everything. We just don’t have the space or budget. If there’s something I want to read and I don’t think we’ll get it, I try to put myself on hold for it as soon as possible. Different libraries have different rules about lending new items to other libraries. For example, my library doesn’t ship new items to other libraries for six weeks. But the sooner I get my name on the hold list, the higher I am in the queue, and the sooner I’ll get the book.

Not too long ago, I put three books on hold. They were all recent releases and I didn’t think my library was getting any of them. Given the hold queues, I thought the risk of getting more than one at once to be low.

Oh, how the library gods laughed.

The first book finally shipped. It was late in the week and I accurately guessed that it would probably be the middle of the next week when it arrived. That Monday I went into work to find a pile of books ready for processing. Among the two stacks were the other two books I’d put on hold because I thought my library wasn’t getting them. One was for immediate release. The other one didn’t officially come out until Tuesday. So, I took one book home Monday night, one book home Tuesday night, and the book that had been sent from another library arrived on Wednesday.

Now, the reason why I tell you this story is because I think the books I received all at once accurately cover my taste in books. Or at least the range of it.

The books?

My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones, a horror novel that is a love letter to the slasher movie

Personal Effects: What Recovering the Dead Teaches Me About Caring for the Living by Robert A. Jensen, a kind of memoir recounting the work the author does in recovering the bodies and personal items from victims of mass casualty events like plane crashes, bombings, and natural disasters.

Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur, a queer romance that’s a sort of sequel to the book Written in the Stars, another queer romance.

I recommend them all, by the way.

But as you can see, I read random shit. Typically, it’s whatever catches my attention in that moment. Sometimes I get fixated on a subject or an author. Sometimes I decide to push myself outside of my comfort zone. If it’s about dead bodies and/or decomposition, it’s probably a must-read for me.

If you look at my Goodreads challenge, you’ll see this sort of behavior on a grander scale. So far this year, I’ve read five romances (something unheard of before I discovered that I DO like romance so long as it’s queer and/or fat), 5 books of poetry, 6 memoirs (including Danny Trejo’s because of course and one that I won in a Goodreads giveaway that I just thought looked interesting), two re-reads (one of which is a book from my teen years that I’ve never stopped thinking about and just by luck found it again), two plain ol’ fiction books, and 7 non-fiction books (topics include burlesque, socialism, toilets, and binding books in human skin).

At the library, we are often called upon to recommend items and some of my coworkers are known for their expertise in certain genres or subjects. For example, one of my coworkers is the go-to for fantasy. Another knows all of the mysteries. And we’ve been encouraged to create Goodreads accounts specifically related to the library based on our expertise so we can refer patrons.

I have not done this because I don’t have a specialty. I have random ass shit. Do you like to read whatever? I can help you with that. And the more random, the better.

Now, there are obviously some genres I like better than others and I’m more drawn to some non-fiction topics than others. I can be picky within some genres and game for anything in others. There’s not much I won’t read, or at least try.

Except Amish romance.

No Amish porn for me, thanks.

A Coming Out Story

Since it’s National Coming Out Day, I thought you’d might like to hear the one coming out story I have that’s worth telling. Because really, as a bisexual, I feel like I’m repeatedly coming out and reminding and correcting.

When I did first vocalize my sexuality to my parents at 17, there was no drama. They were…not exactly accepting, but more like apathetic? We didn’t really talk about it much (and I kind of think that they didn’t really take me seriously/pay much attention). At the time my dad was the more conservative of the two of them. Not really a bigot -he didn’t outwardly hate non-straight people- but he was completely against same sex marriage for quite a while. It took many conversations and me pointing out that he didn’t care who I loved, but I could only marry a guy and how the hell was that fair before it finally sunk in and he changed his mind. My mother meanwhile had been raised with a gay aunt, so not being straight wasn’t exactly the biggest deal to her. But that didn’t mean she completely grasped the concept of bisexuality at first, and I think both of my parents felt that it was a phase, a common phenomenon among unicorns.

Anyway.

Once upon a time in the long long ago of my youth, back when it could be argued that I was a person worth dating, I dated a woman for a little while. We split up amicably and about a year later I started dating a guy.

Naturally, I informed my mother in the change in my relationship status.

When I told her, she got this odd, perplexed look on her face, and she said, “I thought you dated girls.”

I said, “I do. I’m bisexual. I date women and I date men.”

Her look went from perplexed to annoyed and she huffed a sigh.

“Well, I told your grandmother you were a lesbian. Now I’ll have to tell her you’re not.”

And that’s the only coming out story I have worth telling and even it is more of a correcting my sexuality story because my mother went by who I was dating as the determiner of my sexuality instead of, you know, what I’d told her. How bisexual! It was funny then and it’s funny now.

I realize that I’m fortunate that it is funny. I recognize the privilege that comes with being able to come out in a somewhat safe environment, to know that my sexuality wasn’t going to have a big impact on how my immediate family viewed and treated me. I’m very mindful, particularly today, of how not everyone has that luxury.

So, this is why it’s very important to remember the rules:

-We do not out people. Ever. For any reason. Coming out is a personal decision. Not everyone is safe to do so and not everyone wants to do so. We honor and respect those choices.

-Everyone has a different coming out. Some experiences are traumatic, some are supportive, and some are like mine…somewhere in between. But they are all valid. Respect that. One kind of coming out experience does not make you any more queer than another.

That being said…

-Straight people don’t get to come out. Perhaps if your sexuality weren’t enforced as the norm, you’d get to come out, too. Or no one would need to come out because everyone’s sexuality would be seen as normal. Coming out is rooted in oppression, in making a bold statement against that bullshit, structurally enforced norm. So, straight people, you don’t get to come out. Not when you’re considered the default.

October is also LGBTQ+ history month. Now would be a great time to look into the events that they don’t teach you about in school, mostly because no curriculum makes it past World War II. There’s more to the Gay Rights Movement than just Stonewall.

A little extra credit never hurt anybody.

Angles and Lighting

There’s a meme I saw once that said something to the effect of “Are you better looking in person or in pictures? Look, I’m funny.” That’s me.

Don’t let this picture, or any picture I post on the internet fool you. I do not look like this in person. Or in a lot of my unposted pictures, actually. This is the result of lots and lots of selfie practice. I’ve learned how to utilize lighting and angles to make the most of my corporeal form.

Take this picture as an example. I was feeling very ’80s that day and decided to capture it.

I rarely use filters. Instead I prefer natural lighting. Sunlight at the right angle is so kind to me. It gives my ghastly paleness a glow that’s almost healthy. This is why most of the selfies I post on Instagram are in that one spot. The lighting tends to be perfect there.

Notice the angle. That saying, “Get my best side,” has truth to it. My left side is my best side. My face isn’t nearly as symmetrical as society requires it to be. Mostly my nose is a little crooked and it veers towards the right side of my face, leaving the left side a little more open. Also, my cheekbones are pretty fab in general, but my left one is a little more pronounced. And that head tilt? Hides any sign of double chin I sometimes seem to have. Also, for whatever reason, my smirk is left-handed. And that is my go-to facial expression. So, that’s why a majority of my selfies are of my left side with a touch of smirk.

Also, notice the slight twist in my body. Gives the illusion that I’m a bit thinner than I really am. It hides my fat arms and smooths some visible rolls. I like this better than the ultra-above angles that a lot of people do in order to make themselves look thinner.

I don’t have a full-length mirror, so I rarely post full body pictures. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I simply don’t have the tools. When I do post those, they’re usually taken at work (where the lighting is soft and mostly kind), and I still do that twist to help make my fat look the best it can.

I made this picture my Facebook profile pic and got loads of lovely comments about how pretty I am. One even said “Beautiful inside and out”, which we all know is a damn lie. But it goes to show how deceptive the smoke and mirror tricks can be.

Get me out in the real world, when I’m moving around and existing and outside a perfectly captured moment. I am not so pretty. God, get me under the fluorescents. Talk about unkind lighting. After sitting in front of the mirror for an hour while my stylist does my hair I wonder how I’m not chased by the villagers with torches and pitchforks. Laziness on their parts, I suppose.

But see, that goes to show that sometimes even I buy into my own illusion.

I’m actually pretty confident in my appearance for the most part. Most of the time I like what I see when I look in the mirror. Of course, I also know what I see in the mirror isn’t what most people see. I am rather enamored with myself.

Even when I’m not pretty like my picture.

I Regret to Inform You That I Have Become More Visible

Bi visibility Day is September 23rd, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to inform you all that I’ve become more unapologetically and visibly queer in the past few years. Am I to the point of being in your face and cramming it down your throat yet? No. But I’m working on it.

One thing about my sexuality is that even though I’ve always been very secure in myself, I haven’t always been secure in my place in the queer community. I’ve talked about that before. Being bi has been a very passive thing for me. However, in the past few years, I’ve sort of stepped into being bi as a verb. Claiming that label a little more loudly. Including myself in the conversation about queer people, saying “we” instead of “them” because I’ve felt more comfortable claiming my space in the queer community.

Kids, I even got myself a flag.

I’ve actually had it for a while, but this year, for Pride, I hung it up in my room. I decided it was time.

I always thought of myself as never having really been in the closet, but I’m not so sure that was the case. Maybe the door to my closet was always open. Maybe I just snuck out instead of busted down the door. I know I’ve been very quiet about my sexuality as to not make too many waves with family and friends.

But the older I get, the less fucks I have to give, and my hearing is getting worse, so as a consequence I’m getting louder. Bolder. Harder to ignore. I’m working my way up to ugly Aloha shirt loud.

Even more interesting is that the more I connect with the online queer community, which exposes me to all sorts of new takes on sexuality and gender, the more comfortable I get with my own sexuality and gender and the less I need to hold fast to any strict definitions of the labels. Yes, the labels are important to me, but they’re also malleable.

For example, I’ve always maintained that I’m sexually and romantically attracted to men and women (which includes trans men and trans women), but had yet to be attracted to anyone who identified as agender or gender fluid or non-binary. I didn’t rule it out. It just hadn’t happened to me up.

Well, guess what? It finally happened! I found myself crushing on someone who identified as non-binary. It was a quick thing, but still. Groovy. Maybe that will be the only they/them it ever happens with, but the point is that it happened and it counts and that means it could happen again and that’s fab.

But it also gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my sexuality. Did this mean I was still bi? Or would pansexual be a better fit for me? I might have only thought about it for five minutes, but it was still a valid question. In the end, I decided that bi was the label for me. It’s the one I’m most comfortable with. I just adjusted the label to better fit myself.

I now say that I’m sexually attracted to myself and others.

I think that covers it.

Sometimes I Forget Myself: Fat Ass Edition

I spent this past summer with my hair dark pink. I was bored, needed a change, and it had been ages (literally about 20 years) since my hair had been pink. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. And I enjoyed the summer with my dark pink hair.

Here’s the thing.

I often forgot that my hair was pink.

Like, I would just go along, doing the day-to-day things in my life, and not once think about my hair being pink. It just didn’t occur to me. Or it would occur to me later, like when I went to lunch with my great-uncle and cousins and then after I got home realized that I had pink hair the whole time. Nobody said anything, of course. It might have been a couple of decades, but they’d seen me with pink hair before. But still, I didn’t think about it at the time because there I was on a Sunday afternoon, having lunch with some family I hadn’t seen for a while.

The same phenomenon occurs with my fat ass as well.

I often go through my day-to-day life forgetting that I’m fat. This is my body and I inhabit it and I move it around and do the things and it just doesn’t occur to me that I’m fat. I’m just me. Existing. Doing stuff. Being. This is my reality. I often forget how big I am. I’m just living life.

It’s a strange thing when I can pontificate about how society abhors a fatty and logically know that I am judged by my size, but also, I’m so accustomed to living life in this body that the bulk of it doesn’t occur to me. I know how to work all this girth. Do I go jogging? Absolutely not. But do I do HIIT workouts? Yeah. Do I do yoga? Yeah. Do I still belly dance? Sometimes. Am I still flexible? Yeah, though I have my less-than days. Can I work an eight hour shift on my feet, busting a butt cheek to get all of my work done? Absolutely. And I do it all without thinking too much about my size.

Actually, I think more about my persistent patellar tendonitis than I do my weight. Probably because the pain from that affects how I go through my days more than my size does.

And I do a whole lot of other things too without thinking about my fat ass: grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, talking shit with my coworkers, reading a book, playing with the stray cats we’ve adopted, visiting with family, working on podcasts, eating, drinking, breathing….the list is endless. I do all sorts of things without thinking about my double digit pants size.

You’d be surprised how much fat people DON’T think about being fat, how much they don’t think about food or dieting, how much they don’t spending every waking moment pining for a smaller existence to better fit into a thin-obsessed society. Because they’re busy doing other stuff, regular life stuff, and they forget themselves in that.

Look at it this way: Once you get used to driving a land yacht, you don’t think too much about parallel parking that beast.

You know how to drive it.

I Am Not Tolerant

You know how that roundabout goes.

You call out some jackass with a bigot complex for their blatant hate-braying and they get cute and say “You’re not being very tolerant.”

Well, joke’s on you, sport. I’m not tolerant.

Tolerance implies putting up with something or someone. But I’m not putting up with a bigot’s shit anymore than I’m putting up with, say, a trans person’s existence. I am not tolerant.

I am accepting.

I accept a trans person’s existence. I accept a non-white person’s reality of dealing with racism. I accept my fellow bisexuals’ experience of bi-erasure. I accept an immigrant’s existence. I accept a non-bianary person’s pronouns. I accept the realities that the poor in this country experience. I accept the need for body autonomy. I accept the existence and experiences of the disabled. I accept the neurodivergent. I accept furries.

I also accept those who choose to be bigoted. I accept those who invoke a religious exemption from kindness. I accept those who deny their privilege while also wielding it in a harmful way. I accept those who prioritize their convenience and comfort over the health and well-being of others.

And I treat them all accordingly.

I accept the reality and truths that are presented to me.

Because I am accepting, not tolerant.

I accept that you want to be a hateful waste of space and I will not allow you in mine. I accept that you had a wide variety of personalities to choose from and you chose to be as unpleasant as possible and that choice is incompatible with my personality. I accept that you chose to be a piece of shit and I will scrape you from my shoe as needed.

Because I am accepting, not tolerant.

I don’t have to put up with your “opposing views”. I don’t have to put up with your wrong-ass opinions. I don’t have to put up with your conspiracy theories and mangled facts and warped religious beliefs and anti-science screeds typed up on a science machine. I don’t have to put up with your hate and violence and general tomfuckery.

I don’t have to put up with any of it.

Because I’m accepting, not tolerant.

Keep that in mind the next time you want to get cute.

How to Library

A tweet talking about all of the good things that libraries do as a publicly funded entity which is probably why people talk about them being obsolete in an effort to be rid of them (I’m paraphrasing the tweet by a lot, but that was the gist) reminded me that I actually have inside knowledge about this that I could disseminate to the masses. Or the readers of this blog. Whatever.

For those of you just tuning in, my current day job is working as a part-time library clerk at my local small town library. Now, I’m sure you think it’s a great job, especially for a writer, to have because it’s a small town, so it can’t be that busy, right? How much work do you actually do? Especially part-time.

Kids, let me tell you…there is a lot that goes into making a library work.

Obviously, there’s checking out items, checking in items, and shelving them. I do a lot of that. It’s a basic of the job. And here’s some real insider knowledge: we all sing the alphabet when we’re shelving stuff. Always. Everyone. My boss is a librarian, master’s degree and all, and she still has to run through the alphabet while shelving. Think you know the alphabet? Work in a library. I guarantee you don’t. It’s amazing.

Other things we have to do every shift include getting the books out of the book drops outside (I curse the people who return half the children’s floor that way) and we get items on the pull list, which are items requested either by our patrons or patrons from other libraries in our system. Yes. You can order books from other libraries if your library doesn’t have it. Pretty neat.

But in order to have access those items they first of all have to be bought and then catalogued and then processed because yeah, this shit just doesn’t come in ready to go.

Cataloging involves putting each item in the system and then barcoding it. After that’s done, it has to be processed. What’s processing? Well, every library has their own way, but this is how we do it.. First of all, everything has to have the appropriate labels; spine labels, obviously, but also series labels on books and audiobooks; DVD’s, Blu-rays, and CDs have to have the appropriate color coded stickers for genre, as well as other relevant stickers; everything gets stamped or stickered as the library’s property; and then the books get covered. Which means laminating them. Paperbacks get hard laminate, which has to be measured, cut, and stuck on by hand. Hardbacks get soft laminate, which means the dust jackets are put through the laminator, cut, taped, creased, put back on the book, and taped down. Does this sound like a lot? Well, yeah, it kinda is. But we’re not done! Because after all that (or at some point during the process; depends on who’s doing it), everything has to be RFID’d. What’s that? That’s the system we use to check things in and out. So everything gets a special sticker and it’s encoded with that item’s information.

As an aside, we switched over to this system during the early months of the pandemic. I, along with three other of my coworkers, tagged every single item in the whole library. It took us about three months.

Anyway. That’s just a small portion of what my coworkers and I do on any given day, and that’s just the “books ‘n’ stuff” work. Because even my small town library provides the community with a lot of resources and services.

Like…

We’ve got an outreach program so people who are homebound or at the nursing home can get items. We’ve got three different book clubs. Do you like ebooks? Audiobooks? Movies? Music? We’ve got apps for that. Yeah, you can borrow items from our digital collection, too. It was a big hit when were shut down in March/April/May of 2020. Also, remember how I said you can order books from other libraries. You can do that online, too.

We’ve got free programs and workshops. From teaching kids how to make hovercrafts to teaching adults how to effectively compost. We made pillows for the local nursing home, painted bottles, made tiny art, made Mother’s Day and Father’s Day presents, made friendship bracelets, taught people how to make pollinator gardens, and had kids do their own Coke and Mentos rockets. There’s crafts and skills and lectures and all sorts of things we provide for patrons and members of the community to do and learn.

Speaking of programs, do you need space for yours? How about a party or gathering? Or just a quiet room to study in? Yeah, we’ve got all of those available for reservation. And again, you don’t have to have a library card to use them, but a few of our rooms do come with a fee.

We provide free computer access and free WiFi. You don’t have to have a library card to use it. You can get copies done on the cheap and you can send a fax for a dollar a page (it’s going back to 1994 after all). We provide free notary services as well. Do you need something laminated? We can do it for a reasonable price.

We can help you find whatever information you’re looking for. We’ve got a list of e-resources for patrons who are looking for work or housing or legal help, etc. We can also help you check your email, print things, use Google, and other basic computer/internet tasks. We can also probably point you in the right direction if we don’t know the answer to your question. And we rec books, movies, music, and TV shows just for the hell of it.

My library has the Library of Things, which allows you to check out things like Rokus, WiFi hotspots, an Amazon Fire Stick, and even ukuleles. We also have a seed library where you can “check out” seeds.

We also have an extensive archive collection relating to the library, the city, and the surrounding areas and people can actually request items to look at in person. They’re also frequently put out on display and my boss talks about them in a video series she does on Facebook and YouTube.

Oh, yeah. We’re on the socials. During the lockdown, we did a major pivot to video for the kiddie story times, which are now happening in person again. We’ve also got a website that’s positively loaded with info and reference links. And we’ve got a podcast that you should totally listen to. Not just because I run it (which is a good enough reason), but because it provides a lot of insight into what the library has and what it does. Also, I’ve done some cool local history episodes that are quite murder-y.

In fact, I just completed a series of episodes in which my coworkers tell you a little more about what they do at the library and how that translates to benefits to our patrons and our community.

And that’s just my little library. There are other libraries all over the place doing similar or bigger and better things.

So check them out! And support them! Libraries are good!

And return your shit on time.

***

If you’d like to listen to my library’s podcast, you can find it on Anchor as well as bunch of other platforms. Check the links there to find the one you like best.

The Trash Panda of Movie Consumption

Let this be the FAQ of my movie viewing habits.

Because I disappoint a lot of people with my movie viewing habits.

Have you seen…?

No.

Just accept it now that I probably haven’t seen it and may never see it.

Incredibly popular movie? Probably not.

Oscar winner? Most likely not.

Movie you just know I would love? No and you’re probably wrong. Leave me alone.

I had a friend a hundred years ago who was absolutely appalled by all of the movies that I hadn’t seen so he set out to rectify it. He gave me movie homework. We also ended up watching a bunch of movies together. Some I liked, some I didn’t. I’ll never forgive him for making us sit through Brotherhood of the Wolf.

The point is that he tried, but even with all of his efforts, I still probably haven’t see it. Accept this truth into your heart.

I Half-Ass Movies All the Time

If you ask me if I’ve seen something and I tell you I half-assed it, this is what I mean.

I’m notorious for watching movies without the sound on. I put on the closed captioning, put that bitch on mute, and let it ride while I do other stuff. If I find myself paying more attention to reading the closed captioning rather that doing whatever else it is I’m doing (probably writing, who am I kidding), then I put the sound on and watch the movie with a little more attention.

However, sometimes it takes a couple of half-assings before I bother.

Sometimes I never bother at all.

This happens most often during FearFest in October with the newer horror movies. I just leave AMC on for the duration and turn up the sound on the flicks that catch my interest or the classics that I probably have memorized.

I Don’t Wanna Watch New Stuff Because I’m Still Re-Watching My Faves

Okay, this actually applies to a lot of people, but I’m definitely a comfort watcher.

This is why I have Clue memorized. We watched it every day one summer when I was a kid. Ditto Police Academy 3, 3 Ninjas, Encino Man, The Great Mouse Detective, Fatal Beauty, and Tango & Cash. Yes, we were definitely watching movies we shouldn’t have been, but it was the ’80s/’90s. That’s just how we lived.

And it’s why as a grown person I watch Halloween when I’m having a bad day or The Fog when I’m in the mood to be cozy. It’s why I will spend all day watching the Alien movies or a Friday the 13th marathon. It’s why I watched Delicatessen ever day for a week and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call every day for a month. Don’t ask me why. It’s just the groove my soul needed at the time.

Occasionally, I will try new things and sometimes end up loving those new things so much that I will watch those things every day for an extended period, too. It soothes me and it makes me happy.

And we all want me happy, right?

The Movie Theater is Not a Religious Experience for Me

I know for a lot of people they need to see that new flick opening night in the theater and that’s great.

I’m rarely one of those people. There’s only a handful of movies I’ve felt the urge to see opening weekend, let alone opening night. Typically, I wait for a Thursday matinee to hit the theater here in the cornfield because it pretty much guarantees the place to myself. Or I’ll wait longer and go to an odd time showing at the “big city” theater.

The older I get, the worse my sensory issues seem to get. Seeing a movie in a theater can be a downright painful experience for me. It’s gotta be worth it.

That said, I do appreciate the big screen experience for some movies (Jaws was amazing, for example), it’s just that I don’t necessarily need to make that trip to Nirvana as often.

You Know That Movie Is Bad, Right?

Yes.

In fact, there’s a good chance that’s why I’m watching it. I have a true love for garbage movies. Maybe it’s because trash knows trash. I don’t know. But some of my favorite movies are objectively bad and they make my heart happy.

But there’s no need for you to go out of your way to point this out. I don’t care. If you wanna be Roger Ebert in your film viewing, groovy. I do not. I’m here to enjoy myself. Sometimes I can do that just by letting my brain go; sometimes I’m rewriting the movie as I watch it. But either way, I’m entertained and that’s what counts.

Whenever I choose to share whatever movie I’ve watched on Twitter, I always feel the need to accompany it with this disclaimer in regards to quality: I hate watch Jason Takes Manhattan every time it’s on TV. You do not want to debate quality with me.

So, the next time you get uptight about what I watch, or more likely what I haven’t watched, just remember that I am not your target audience.

Schrodinger’s Fatphobe

Last week some unfortunate DNA construct posted this embarrassingly bad take on Twitter. And as absolutely fetid as it is, it’s not at all an anomaly.

You see this sort of hostile bullshit is actually pretty typical. Now, I went into it in a Twitter thread when this bebop posted this, but I’m going to do it here again for easy reference, thoroughness, and posterity.

Dollars to donuts says that this human equivalent of megaphone feedback would also trip over themselves to tell a fat person they saw in public that they need to “put down the fork and get in the gym.” And yet, should a fat person have the audacity to utilize gym facilities for the purpose of fitness, well, it’s too fucking late and what the fuck are they doing there aside from embarrassing themselves.

This is Schrodinger’s Fatphobe.

You need to stop being fat, but also how dare you try to stop being fat.

You see the main problem this person has, that all fatphobes have, that most people who wouldn’t even call themselves fatphobic, but it’s a rhetoric so baked into society that no one can avoid it have is that fat people should not be seen in any context. Period. Society absolutely wants you to not be fat, but even in that context they want you to fix the moral failing that is your excessive weight in the solitude of your own home or some forgotten cave until you are fit to re-enter society a beautiful butterfly freed of your fat cocoon. Should you choose to remain a squishy caterpillar of a person, then it’s your own fault for daring to allow your existence to encroach upon public spaces and you deserve the ridicule you get.

Do you not see the conundrum?

Fat people exist. We exist in public. And we exist in various states of health with various fitness and/or weight loss goals. Some choose to pursue their goals in a gym. Some people take that walk around the block that fatphobes are so eager to insist upon. And some have no interest in this sort of thing, they simply leave their houses from time to time to do things, and that’s fine, too.

The point is that at no time do any of us need to be exposed to whatever dogshit opinions a fatphobe might be steaming in that rotten cantaloupe of a head of theirs. Shutting the fuck up is free and minding your business comes at no charge.

Let that last bit be a general reminder.

***

Full disclosure: My 255 pound self exercises, but I do not go to the gym. This has nothing to do with the worry about encountering some fatphobe with mouth-control issues. As you can see, I also have mouth-control issues. Somebody’s gonna cry and it ain’t gonna be me.

No, I don’t go to the gym because leaving the house to exercise gives me one more excuse not to exercise on the days I’m feeling unmotivated. It’s a hell of a lot easier for me to force myself to put on the ol’ sports bra if that’s ALL I have to do. Gotta work with your laziness, kids.

I’d Take It Easy (If I Understood What That Meant)

July was a super busy month for me.

I finished revising The End of the (Werewolf) Curse early on and ended up spending most of the month re-designing Kiki Writes About as well as creating aka Kiki Writes. I also did a lot of work on two podcasts. I’ve been busting tail to get ahead of the game on the next season of Book ’em, Danno. Seizing the opportunity of getting Season 2 finished early, I got a jump on Season 3 with the game plan of getting the first two episodes recorded before the end of July, as well as some other prep work finished. I also got the show distributed to two more platforms, Stitcher and Spotify.

I’m also in charge of the podcast at the library I work at and last month I had the goal of finishing a couple of short episodes before launching into the huge project of do individual episodes with everyone I work with to give them an opportunity to talk about their jobs. This is the brainchild of my director, who heard it on a different library podcast. She thought it would be a great way to inform the community (and anyone who listens) about all of the things we do to keep the library running and make the library experience enjoyable. So, I was tasked with coming up with questions and outlines to help my coworkers write their scripts and then scheduled times to record them. But getting there wasn’t easy. Even though my boss was excited about doing this, it seemed like no one was comfortable with it. It was a challenge to get everybody to get their scripts done before I could even get them scheduled. Because I work the night shift, it meant coming in during their shifts to record. Luckily, I don’t have an excessive number of coworkers and I managed to get them all recorded in two sessions. As of the writing of this post, I have everyone recorded and I’m in the process of editing.

Speaking of work, I also found time to participate in our tiny art show, painting a beach scene on a little 3in x 3in canvas.

In more personal matters, I once again changed up my exercise regime in the hopes of improving my workouts while also avoiding some of the issues I’ve had with maintaining real good consistency. Meanwhile, I had a horrible issue with fatigue and my sleeping issues took a turn for the odd (it wasn’t full on insomnia, but I wasn’t sleeping for shit for an extended period either). The roofing and siding that lasted all month long didn’t help, but my house looks pretty now.

So as productive as I was, it was only a matter of time before that battery ran out.

I woke up on the last Friday of July staring at the wall I was poised to run into. After a week of sleeping better, I’d slept like garbage. Exercising seemed too hard that morning. My To Do List seemed overwhelming: I needed to promote the Season 2 finale of Book ’em, Danno and also record Episode 28 for Season 3; I needed to clean and make the grocery list and do my language lessons. In that moment, I decided that I was going to take it easy that day. I wasn’t going to worry about exercising. I’d do the have-to things and leave the rest. I would avoid hitting the wall for once.

Instead, I ended up doing everything on my To Do List, got in a workout later that evening, and even did an additional recording since I already had everything set up.

I am not saying this to show how I’m capable of getting things done despite being exhausted and near-burnout. This is not an inspirational “You too can push yourself too hard and achieve…something!” post.

This is to illustrate how badly wired my brain is. That I sabotage my own good decisions to take breaks by not only doing the work, but doing more work. Call it stubbornness. Call it my Capricorn workaholic tendency. Call it years of conditioning that cause me to fear being seen as “lazy” and equate my productivity with my worth. Call it ill-advised. You’d be right on all accounts.

At least now I can recognize this as a problem and can maybe one day in the future take steps to correct it. I’m already planning on this taking a while. I’ve been this way most of my life. This kind of hard-wiring is hard to redo, especially when you’re a terrible electrician like me.

Good thing I have such a great work ethic.