Happy Halloween: 2014 Edition

 So sweet. A beloved childhood toy. Well-played with. You can tell by the cut hair and barrettes. I give you…

Rag Doll.

 

Halloween 2014: Rag Doll
Halloween 2014: Rag Doll

I don’t even have to try to be creepy. Doll faces tend to be that way by default.

Happy Halloween!

Picture: Fat Girl in a Two-Piece

Fat girl bikiniWhen I posted about my fat girl two-piece swimwear a couple of weeks ago, I was pretty torn on the idea of actually posting a picture of me wearing it on the interwebs. After all, this is the shit memes are made of. “A fat girl in a bikini? Let me caption this! LOL!”

Also, I am by no means popular, but this sort of thing is a magnet for assholes. “Here! Allow me to comment negatively on your body for no other reason than I like to make other people feel shitty as a means of a controlling them!” For real, that’s what you’re doing. Even if you do it nicely under the guise of being “real” or “truthful” or “helpful”, in the end you’re just propagating stereotypes and garbage knowledge because to allow this sort of thing to exist without comment would go against society’s grain and that would make you feel oogy.

But I said, “fuck it”, and posted it on Twitter and Facebook. And now here.

Isn’t it funny how a picture can bring out this sort of thing? Not just the insensitivity and the bashing, but the discussion of the social implications of me, a fat girl, a woman in general, posting a picture of myself in a swimsuit.

When I first decided to change my Facebook and Twitter profile pictures and use this image, I thought I should crop it to reduce the amount of skin showing. I didn’t want to make certain relatives and friends uncomfortable on Facebook and I didn’t want to appear as unprofessional on Twitter since I do hock my cheesy wares over there from time to time.

Isn’t that funny?

I worried about making people who are supposed to love me for who and what I am uncomfortable by putting up a picture of who and what I am.  Now that’s just stupid. First of all, that picture shouldn’t change their feelings. Second of all, I already make many of them uncomfortable because of who and what I am without displaying any fat rolls. The picture is of no consequence.

I worried about appearing unprofessional on Twitter because I have this thing about being respected and laws knows that a woman can’t be respected if she is at all comfortable with her body and displays it in any way she sees fit. By the power vested in my boobs, I’m already starting way down the respect ladder. And if I show them off in any way, knock me down a few rungs more. Ain’t that some bullshit?

It’s summer. My Twitter bio says I’m the Lincoln Land Cleavage Queen three years running (thanks for that, Carl). Why can’t I be professional AND have a profile picture displaying both of these facts? I think I can and I did. The picture won’t change what I tweet and won’t change the fact that I have always and will always demand the respect I think I’m entitled (I’ve got a real hang-up with it, kids, enough to warrant its own post).

Now, let’s take a look at the picture itself. Pretty nice, huh? Love the hat. The pose and the angle doesn’t really show off the full effect of my 240 pounds. The way I’m angled so you can’t see how wide my hips and shoulders are, the way the swimsuit sits so the fat rolls are subdued, the fact that my arms and legs are mostly out of the picture, it all sort of lies. I mean I do carry my weight somewhat well, but this angle makes me look better. This actually wasn’t my intention. My roommate Carrie said I looked like I belonged on the Riviera, so I posed as such.

From this angle, you also can’t see my bad skin, as it’s mostly on my right side and my back. The height of the bikini bottoms hides the stretchmarks on my upper belly. The bikini top hides the worst of my boob stretchmarks, but if you look sharp there, on the left side just above where that strap comes around my ribs, you can see one of my surgery scars. Snazzy, huh?

When I look at this picture, you know what I focus on? How great my rack looks in the bikini top. Seriously. The girls look fabulous.

You know what bothers me the most when I look at this picture? I’m not wearing lipstick. I wish I was sporting my berry color just to brighten up my face and give myself a little more glamour. Also, I wish I’d picked a different color nail polish. My pink or coral or blue would have been better.

Yeah, I’m  pretty vain like that.

Change and a Haircut

Kiki's red hairNot to be too dramatic about it, but something significant happened after I got all of my hair cut off.

I changed the way I saw myself.

Okay, yeah, duh, of course I would. Having really short hair makes me look different than when I have semi-short hair that I can still pull back into a ponytail. It’s very different from the long hair I had years ago. But the difference I’m talking about goes deeper than just hair length.

The best way I can explain it is like this. I have two shelves that house some of my Cubs memorabilia. On one shelf is a picture of me taken with a friend and a player. Every time I look at that picture, I think to myself, “I’m not that person anymore.”

Of course not. That was two years ago. People change in two years. Hell, people can change in two days. But seeing myself in that picture with my old hairstyle, it’s a physical representation of how I have changed.

The person in that picture was kind of depressed, not very confident, constantly bombarded with negative thoughts. She was insecure, unsure, and feeling pretty weak.

I am not that person anymore.

Photo of a Bad Fan.

Okay, I can still be somewhat negative because I’m pessimistic by nature, but I’m not focusing that negativity on me. I’m using it more as a tool of realism instead. I’m more confident about who I am now, more willing not to feel bad about not living up to society’s ideals.

The girl in that picture gave a lot of lip service to an idea that she was a worthwhile human being just as she was and people needed to accept it because it was their hang-up, not hers, and she really wanted to believe that idea, but couldn’t quite make it.

I’m not that girl anymore. Now I believe what I say. I believe that idea.

Sometimes when I think of myself, see myself in my head, I picture myself with my old hairstyle and I have to correct myself. That girl I used to be didn’t disappear; she lingers. This me grew out of that me and I have no doubt that another version of me will grow out of the me I am now. I am an always evolving thing.

Obviously, the haircut didn’t start that.

It just reminds me of it.

Apple and Pork Festival 2013

The Homestead.
The Homestead.

This past weekend was The Apple and Pork Festival and of course I went because there were some apple doughnuts with my name on them. Also some nacho-flavored kettlecorn and a lemon shake-up.

Anyway, with the nice weather the grounds were packed, the whole town was packed. I only went up on Saturday for a little while, walking up instead of taking the tram, and didn’t even bother going down to the flea market. A little bit was enough for me this year. Considering I never go out to the high school or antique mall or the country mall or the flea market that pops up in the old Cedar Square parking lot, it’s a very little bit.

Beyond those porta-potties lies the flea market.
Beyond those porta-potties lies the flea market.

Every year, it feels like it gets bigger, but it’s kind of neat to see how many of the same vendors and sellers show up and set up in the same spots. I appreciate that kind of consistency. For example, I bought something for my mom’s birthday on the Homestead grounds. I knew exactly what I wanted and knew exactly where the guy would be. And he had exactly what I wanted. Handy!

I love Apple and Pork, but only for the couple of hours I’m up there. Once I come home, I don’t leave my house again until Monday because with 100,000 extra people crammed in this tiny space, getting around is nearly impossible.

This is not an exaggeration.

Beyond that teepee they’re throwing tomahawks. I don’t know what you people do at YOUR festivals.

Pictures: CornBelters Game 6/7/13

What follows is photographic evidence that I had a good time at the CornBelters game last week, even if they did lose.

A corn dog at the Corn Crib for the CornBelters game. I'm sensing a theme.
A corn dog at the Corn Crib for the CornBelters game. I’m sensing a theme.
The starting line-ups.
The starting line-ups.
It was a nice night for baseball.
It was a nice night for baseball.
First pitch of the game. It was a ball.
First pitch of the game. It was a ball.
Hit it hard somewhere, McKenna!
Hit it hard somewhere, McKenna!
First place feels pretty spiffy.
First place feels pretty spiffy.

The Boat

Riverboat‘Round these parts, folks go to the boat for a good time. For those of you not familiar with the Cornfield and its vernacular, “going to the boat” means going to the riverboat casino in Peoria.

This past Saturday was my roommate Carrie’s birthday. Since it was a milestone birthday (I won’t say what stone that mile marks), she wanted to do something big. Our original plan was to go to Chicago, but since she hurt her knee and wouldn’t be able to do that much walking, she decided that going to the boat would be a good alternative.

Riverboat ViewWe stayed at the hotel. Our room was fabulous with a lovely view of the parking lot and the river beyond. I’m not joking. For a parking lot view, it was still really nice. I could write lyrical poems about the bathroom. The shower was divine. You can’t say that about most hotel showers.

We hit up the buffet that night for dinner. It was a seafood special, perfect for Carrie’s birthday as she is a big lover of seafood. It was a pretty nice spread and the food was pretty good. I’ve never had seafood lasagna before and wasn’t sure I’d like it, but it was some tasty, tasty stuff.

I was probably the youngest person at the buffet and frankly, I didn’t mind it. It made for a quiet meal. The guy sitting next to us was getting his prime rib on. Meanwhile, another lady went back to her table with a plate of mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Carrie looked horrified. “Is she being punished?”

Riverboat dinnerConsidering the dessert spread, maybe she thought she needed to earn that German chocolate cake. Laws knows that if salad didn’t count as a vegetable then I wouldn’t have eaten one all weekend.

The casino was loud and bright and crowded, but we managed to find our way to the lowest floor (deck?) and the slots. The dress code was quite loose as we saw some people dressed to the nines and other folks that didn’t seem to own any shirts with sleeves. A few people were in their pajamas.

The first night I won about forty dollars and Carrie won about fifty. The second night, we wore more on the losing end, but we still managed to come out ahead.

I spent my winnings on Steak n Shake.

We both had a lot of fun, but we both realized that we’re not casino people. We found the prime rib guy working two slots at once and he had at least 200 bucks in one of them. Another guy was sliding into Carrie’s seat as soon as she got out of it because he thought her machine was hot. We might have spent an hour or an hour and a half at most in the casino each night. It was fun while we were winning, not as fun when we were losing, and there were a whole lot of people that resembled zombies in there.

Definitely a fun once-in-a-while weekend thing, but we couldn’t make a job of it.

Halloween Costume Mania!

I dress up for Halloween every year. Usually it’s just to hand out candy, but even if I did nothing, I’d probably still dress up. It’s my thing. As a Halloween purist, I find it to be a fun challenge to attempt to make a costume without spending more than twenty dollars. That means I try to use as much as I already have. I’ve been quite successful at it.

Here are the costumes I put together for the last five years (also photographic evidence of my weight fluctuation over the last five years if you’re into judging me for that sort of thing). Three of them cost me nothing. The other two cost me less than twenty bucks. I’m pretty proud of all of them.

Halloween 2006: Mercenary
Halloween 2007: A Teenager
Halloween 2008: Belly Dancer
Halloween 2009: Madeline Westen from Burn Notice
Halloween 2010: The Perfect Housewife
Halloween 2011: Patient Zero

Happy Halloween!

Pictures: Cubs vs. Astros 10/1/12

Pictures from my last Cubs game of the 2012 season and the Cubs 100th loss. Don’t let the downer qualities of that sentence fool you. I had a good time.

This is where Pat and Keith live.
This is where Len and Bob live.
Jason Berken’s first pitch of the game.
Dave Sappelt at the plate.
James Russell on the mound.
Len and Bob singing the stretch. This is when Pat Hughes waved at me.

 

Carlos Marmol closing it out.
Until next year…