NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Tuna, Rubber

August10

That awkward moment where a song comes on, that you maybe haven’t heard in “ages”, and a vivid memory arrives suddenly and you’re struck with how awful that was and how strong you were to persevere. Fuck! The memory, long forgotten, of how my abuser would insist on “clearing” or approving of what music I listened to. He hated Bush so I blasted “sixteen Stone” a lot. And a fuck ton of L7, specifically their song, “Slide”. I think he feared my getting boosted up by strong female messaging. Not that he’d have said as much. Little did he know how much Tori Amos “Boys for Pele” album would give me so much food for my broken and battered soul then. This morning the song, “Marianne” came on, I keep music on throughout the day when I’m working to avoid other distractions. I usually have it so that my Pandora stations are shuffled and when the song begins, the memory of his grabbing my discman and insisting on listening to it as I grinned from ear to ear. I could see his face change from insistence, anger, confusion, and then when he handed it back to me and said it was “fine” and that he liked “That song about tuna rubber” and I realized that he had only listened to 5-10 seconds of the beginning of each song and how little that could mean or convey. Internally I laughed my ass off. Externally I was the ever grateful actress for him. 


We lived in a shared house with his best friend and that friend’s grandma. Weirder still is that my very first boyfriend (and kiss, tbh) rented the garage in back as well. There was a constant tension of how much the grandma would allow in the house, and how much she actually knew of what was going on. Drugs aplenty, though his friend was strictly an alcoholic and wouldn’t touch anything else. It was a delicate dance for me to keep peace between the friend and grandma, the grandma and me, my abuser’s ever changing demands and cruelty, and keeping the house in semi order as I was the only one in the house with the grandma half the time. I cooked, I cleaned, I applied for jobs everywhere I could when I could get out of the house. I honestly don’t know how long I lived in that house, a year or two, I am only starting to retrieve some of those memories, and none intentionally.


I remember my insomnia has reached its absolute worst and I would walk to the 7-11 about a half mile from the house for nachos. What else does one buy at 3 am? Ha-ha! I was 18, but my every moment was tracked and accounted for by my abuser. What I wore, what I ate, what I listened to was only part of it. He insisted on a rundown of everything spoken between myself and the grandma, what I did for her, what I did for the house, if the ex-bf in the garage said anything to anyone at all when he came to use the shower. To say this was an exhausting existence is putting it mildly. He would also lock me in the back bedroom for hours if anything wasn’t to his liking. It was around this time I got into Anne Rice books. I needed to pass the time and had seen the movie Interview with a Vampire the previous year. I had no recollection at the time that my bio mother was super into her books as well, as I’d had no contact in years and hadn’t paid much attention as a child. 


It was at this time that my abuser somehow met a woman who helped him with his various schemes. Drugs sure, he sold those for ages but always weed or pills and in such small quantities that no one would notice. But when he met Olga it got bigger and broader and I don’t know what else was involved, honestly nothing would surprise me. He once insisted I meet her, much to my revulsion, and forced me to get super dressed up to meet her for dinner at The Pasta Market. I laugh now because that place was such a dump by today’s standards, but considered “fancy” to me and many others back then. I don’t remember much except her face, how pleasant she seemed, and the horrific pressure and stress he put on me throughout that evening. I figured he was fucking her, but after meeting her I wasn’t so sure. Maybe they pimped other women out, at least I suspected as much for a brief period. I know she helped him sell stolen jewelry and goods. 


That house. Ugh! I had visited that house once previously, not sure if this was before I met my abuser. Time is fuzzy, but it’s possible he left me there while he went out drinking with his buddy. I was hanging out with some stoner friends I knew in high school there, smoking weed, listening to 60’s music (we were hippies, sort of) and they were drinking Goldschläger (I refused to drink at that time) and we all marveled at the gold flakes in the bottle as it swirled around. Okay they may have been on harder drugs, but I remember laughing and having a great time. One of those guys would later save my life by reading the situation as bad and offering me a place to live 20 miles away. I do not believe that I would have lived much longer had he not done that on my 19th birthday. I left the very next day. I never saw that dreadful house, his friend, or the grandma ever again. Some of you may think that’s awful to leave the old woman alone in that house with two drunken monsters, but I can assure you that she a) did not live in that house much longer, b) likely knew some of what was going on and didn’t care, and c) treated me like shit along with the other two so I don’t really give a fuck about her. 


That boy that saved me though? What a beacon of light in the darkest of nights! He had come by the house to give something to the grandma, he had married and divorced her granddaughter (they had a child together), and caught me in the house without my abuser there. He simply said, “I don’t know what is going on, but I have an empty bedroom if you need somewhere to stay, you wouldn’t have to pay rent or anything, no strings attached.” and I immediately accepted and asked if the next day would work. Ha-ha! The first few months in that apartment were bliss. We just did silly and nerdy stuff and tried to find footing in the world. He, recovering from a divorce he rarely spoke of and me figuring out what life even is after giving up hope of ever having a say of my own for the last five years. We had a whipped cream fight one night after buying bogo pumpkin pies and just being super dorks. I know how that sounds, but it was all strictly platonic, at least on my part. Only once did he admit to ever having an inclination towards me and he was very intoxicated on multiple substances at the time so I never gave it much thought. 


I do wish I could have been a better friend to him later on when a mutual friend (another ex-bf, but these were all non-sexual bfs, I was 14 and younger when I dated these boys hahahah) stayed the night once and refused to leave ever after. That friend got him into harder and harder drugs and truly wrecked his life, in my opinion. At one point there were four guys and me living in that apartment. That ex-bf that used to live in that grandma’s garage? He moved into the walk-in closet in the bigger bedroom. I had my own room with a lock on the door, thank the stars. The dumbass that refused to leave and some kid whose dad would come check on him from time to time shared the living room. We were all mostly happy stoners, but that dumbass introduced meth into the equation at some point and it all went downhill from there, even getting us evicted. The level of filth was worsened by the meth introduction as well. It went from hilarious dinners where I’d make spaghetti and they’d give me a bag of weed to mix into the sauce, which led to my painting an exact likeness of a Dr. Pepper can that we all seemed very entertained by. To just barely be able to make out that there was in fact a table in there, under a mass of trash and discarded things they would use to make or smoke their meth (I was sooooo unaware of the meth, except for the worsening odor). When I caught them freebasing in the kitchen one night I had assumed it was crack and got really upset about it. I was off in my own world creating my new life and at that time wasn’t at the apartment very much at all.


Almost exactly a year after moving into that apartment I fell in love and then was so heartbroken I nearly took my own life on my 20th birthday. “I get by with a little help from my friends” is putting it mildly. Friends I had reunited with after escaping my abuser were there for me in the ways they could be and we drank Cuervo Gold to forget about the rest. We lived on Pepsi and Taco Bell, Lean Cuisine frozen dinners and Marlboro Lights. I was soon introduced to the goth scene and a club in SF called The So What. I met my best friend who later became my husband very soon after. In a year’s time I built a whole new life for myself. I can’t say that I was happy though. I mean, no one really knew what happened to me, no one asked and it was never spoken of. I hated myself, had zero self esteem, and while not exactly self harming, I drank more that year than I did for the next 20! 


When we got evicted from the apartment I moved into my grandma’s house with my family, my grandpa had passed away a couple of years previously and she had extra rooms. The internet was still new and my bff was in college in Oregon. Email was so damned exciting! I would sit in that tiny bedroom my grandpa had used as a den (and mostly still looked the part), up late into the night unable to sleep and I would do shots of cuervo with diet 7up until I didn’t want to die anymore. I would talk to people in chat rooms on Prodigy and AOL, and even made some friends that way. I remember feeling so hollow and wishing that I knew how to feel real because I always felt so invisible. To this day the smell of Cuervo makes my stomach do backflips, I cannot even consider drinking the stuff. Truthfully, once I turned 21 I didn’t want to drink anymore. I had found my life’s love and didn’t feel as though I deserved to die or live in perpetual pain anymore. I found a new family in friends that started as coworkers. It was a really good period of my life, especially once my love and I moved in together. It felt like freedom in a way I hadn’t ever felt before. I had a say, in everything! Wow! 


All these years later it’s hard to believe sometimes all that happened during the 1990’s to me. I started high school feeling like I could conquer the world and ended that same first year wanting to take my own life every moment I had to myself just so my abuser wouldn’t get the satisfaction of doing it himself. Now I am single, living my life on my own terms, with my sweet lil’ puggo knowing that my walls are strong for a reason and that if I never have another “life’s love” again that I will be okay. There is so much more to life than only that, though I lost years believing otherwise.  

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Foraging for Cottagecore

July17

Cottagecore (also Farmcore or Countrycore) is an aesthetic inspired by a romanticised interpretation of western agricultural life. It is centred on ideas around a more simple life and harmony with nature. A quick look at some pinterest images with this tag and you’ll soon find yourself lost in hazy forests and country scenes, evoking Little House on the Prairie and forest fairy vibes. I grew up with Holly Hobby and watching Little House and often pretended to be Laura Ingles when playing as a child. I was already on my own edwardian vibe when I started to see and hear little things about cottagecore popping up in some of the groups I’m in on Facebook. And Gah! Half this stuff looks like the Gunne Sax dresses my mother and her sisters all had in the 70’s (that I used to play dress up with in her closet as a child). Of course she was my size then and thus couldn’t wear them, just as I can’t now, though I would LOVE to get my hands on some. 

Plus size cottage core fashion items are so difficult to find. There isn’t any single retailer offering these styles or items in plus sizes that I have been able to find. So, I’ve been tracking down pieces one by one. I’m a 26/28 in most things (54″ bust, 62″ hips, big B-belly, mostly pear-shaped). While I have had some luck in random places, such as the cream cotton and lace tiered steampunk skirt I got for $15 on HipsAndCurves, they were one-offs and not reliable enough to share. That is until today when a brand I used to shop popped into my head. You may or may not have heard of them, but when I was searching eBay for ivory peasant tops “dirndl” tops popped up in the search (thought not in my size of course) and that is when it hit me! Ulla Popken! I had bought one of their full dirndl dresses with the apron and everything years ago, but it was too big and at the time too expensive for me so I had to return it. I don’t think I’ve given that brand much thought since, though I know I kept something else from that order but memory escapes me at the moment.


So I go over to their site and sick of my endless searching I go to the clothing tab, then look at their list of “Collections” and immediately see, “Oktoberfest“! Yep, talk about nail on the head, the dirndl dresses were there in fun colors, but also some plain white dirndl tops! Not remembering their size range I click to see, sizes from 12 – 32 for the dirndl top I wanted. Some items go up to 42! That is rare, and while they do not offer everything in the upper size range, to even have them at these prices is pretty awesome, I think. They also have a boho collection and a fantastic amount of clothing in their “Sustainable” collection, even swimwear! Yeah! They have cute stuff at decent prices, too! I got a bit swept up in the moment, to be honest, and started really digging around. Now most of my searches have been around white and ivory items, but I can assure you that this is a brand that is not afraid of color.


I cannot comment on the construction or quality of their entire line, but I can say that what I have seen and received in my own life has been good quality, not luxury level, but great for working class folks, in my opinion. Like you know it won’t fall apart after two washes? Ha-ha! They even have an “Influencer” collection, it’s all worth taking a look. I was particularly taken with their lounge and sleep items, nightgowns in 2-packs, undies in 5 packs (in either cotton or microfiber), front closing comfort bras in 2-packs…this stuff is rare AND affordable! I highly recommend checking it out if any of these things are of interest to you. They are having a sale with a coupon code right now but I don’t know how long it will last but it’s at the top of the page, so if that is a motivator, get to it!


My issue now is choosing something to purchase! Ha-ha! I know, first-world problem, but I had intended to only buy second hand this year, so I want to be sure I’m buying for the right reasons as well. Sometime in April I got on this whole Edwardian thing after rereading some old favorites of that era and discovering a guide to Edwardian hair care online, I bought some silk satin ribbons for my hair and went at it with true dedication. It was just what I needed as I had lived with my hair in a constant bun for over a month by that point, only taking it out and brushing before washing. I get obsessive and go down rabbit holes and this one pulled me out of a scary anxiety-fueled funk. I was braiding my hair and brushing it twice a day and going to bed with it long and flowing (it’s down to my ass at this point). I would use the ribbons to braid through or simply to secure whatever random hair style I chose for the day, starting with more period accurate ones to just whatever I could manage.
This is also why I am starting my searches with ivory/cream/white colored garments.Those are WAY out of my comfort zone, but I figured if I’m going to be home anyway and these are truly just for me (I really don’t see wearing any of it to work, can you imagine?! Ha!), why the hell shouldn’t I have some fantasy outfit to fritter away my days in?! If it feels good, fucking do it! I had grown so hopeless in my hunting that yesterday I spent a decent chunk of time looking for lightweight linen by the yard in the hopes of one day sewing my own skirts and such. This Ulla Popken realization has saved me from that, at least temporarily (I’m very much a beginner, but also my sewing machine is in need of repair before it’s functioning again). I have this vision of gauzy ivory layers, with a generous apron, all soft and lovely. I have a small garden and am starting to really enjoy being amongst my little plot of greenery (don’t ask about my fern, I am obsessed and so proud!).


Honestly, I’ve been watching a lot of Miyazaki films, as well, which only makes me love these styles of dresses all the more. I feel like I AM Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle at times! Ha! Or Kiki, that week I wore a red silk bow on my head. I haven’t been able to watch the things that I used to love, like American Horror Story or The Walking Dead. I have full seasons of both on my DVR that I just can’t bring myself to watch yet. But along with the fanciful fashion fantasies, I’ve also been obsessed with baking competition shows, which is nothing new for me, but it’s all be renewed with that show “Crazy Delicious” (troubling name, but a fun watch…Fat woman host in a gorgeous costume, but her standup is problematic af so I won’t recommend at all). Which then finally led me to diving head first into the Great British Baking Show because OBVIOUSLY I knew I would be obsessed the moment I sat down to watch it, so I put it off for years. Yes, I know, it’s awesome and I enjoy it immensely. But now I’m in my kitchen in 90+ degree heat baking layer cakes with Nutella buttercream! Ha-ha!

Oh yes, I have fully domesticated myself during this CoVid19 shutdown. I bought two basic/cotton aprons and one had an odd tag on the front that made no sense so I tore it off and tried my hand at some embroidery for the first time in many years. I’m quite pleased with the result for a first try! I had started a crochet wrap for myself at the start of the shutdown but haven’t picked it up again since April. Oh well. I’ve done some doodling and lots of cooking and to be honest I’m quite sick of eating as a general and seemingly constant thing I have to think/worry/clean/do for. UGH! But that aside, I have enjoyed the challenge and creativity that baking has always held for me. At least once a week I threaten to marry myself a la Elizabeth the first. What?! I’m fucking awesome and if I’m doing all this I’m doing it for myself, thanks. Although the puggo gets some benefit since I usually give him bits of whatever fruit or veg I’m chopping up. Ha!


I’ve been mostly a homebody for many years anyway and while some things won’t change, I’m still contacting my local leadership to defund the police (yes, I’m an abolitionist but my local mayor is a fucking bootlicker who refuses to listen to the community) and emailing the prosecutors for Breona Taylor’s muder case and calling my representative in congress nearly every day, BLACK LIVES MATTER and I have not ceased my support, before or after George Floyd was murdered. This is a lifelong thing for me and one I don’t always feel the need to shout or get in folks’ faces about it because of that. The things I can do and change for myself in the day to day to help my mental health have had to become slightly more at the forefront of my day to day life. It all just feels like day to day, one blending into the next, none feel real and yet it’s all too real and surreal and this is life right now and I’m mostly okay with it. My mental health did take a very steep dive a few weeks ago that forced me to step back from some things that I would have loved to participate in or organize, I know I would not have been able to “show up” for those things in a way that felt right. I’m fine now, but taking it day by day because shit happens and I barely slept 3-4 hours a night for a week solid and that takes its toll. I’m still me, just slightly more kind to myself, I think/hope. I’m a chamomile drinker now! Who’d a thunk it! Ha-ha!


What have you been keeping yourself occupied with? Any new obsessions? Leads on fun finds or projects? A recipe I must try? Lay it all on me, friends! Or, maybe you’re just feeling a bit lonely? That’s okay, too. Email me or leave a comment below and I’ll happily provide an unbiased ear/shoulder/venting space. I do hope you’re well and staying safe and at home as much as possible. I started to wear a face shield instead of my face mask on my daily dog walks. I still carry a mask just in case, but since I’m outside and there’s very few people around my neighborhood usually, it’s a great way to have a protective layer without having a sweaty face. Ha! It has helped a lot. Have you figured out ways to stay safe and comfortable? I have only left the house once a week for work (post office and then visit to the empty office so very low exposure if any).

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated frequently and not just about fat stuff): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it! (Or hit me up for an invite, still figuring it out.)

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Sunday Dinner Prayer

June17

Growing up, most Sundays were spent at my grandma’s house. The whole family would spend much of the day and evening there, usually with me or my siblings nodding off in the car on the drive home, around 9 pm. I always enjoyed myself and looked forward to seeing my grandparents and well, my grandma always had special little surprises for us too. Things like those magnetic board things you can draw with or any other such toys and games you’d find at your local drug store toy aisle (her favorite was Long’s drug store). Ha-ha! I never cared where it was from, I was just happy to have anything new and my grandparents were very good about giving me their undivided attention. My grandpa was the first to show me a computer keyboard and how it worked. He tried to show me some math stuff but I was too young and I’ve never liked math. My grandma and I, for a time, would go through her old magazines and cut out anything we thought was beautiful and put the clippings into a self adhesive photo album. Seems silly and frivolous, I’m sure, but I can see how that simple past time actually helped me so much later on, even through grieving her passing.

My grandparents met in WWII, in the army, my grandma was a nurse. My grandpa was a school teacher and a postman. They were so smart and so empathetic. They never raised their voices in my presence. I don’t remember my grandpa’s voice but he was very quiet, but my grandma’s voice I don’t think I’ll ever forget. She had the best sense of humor, loved the movies Blazing Saddles and Born in East L.A.. I can hear her laugh always! When they couldn’t conceive at first they fostered children. Later when my dad came along, he grew up with a young Black boy (I cannot recall his name and for that I feel awful but I haven’t talked to my dad in years and years). He used to tell stories of their fun times as kids in the late 50’s/early 60’s. I don’t recall anyone mentioning what happened to him or that they stayed in touch.   

At home we never had sweets in the house unless my mom baked, and she usually burned whatever it was she was baking or cooking. My dad would always joke that the extra charcoal was good for you. A treat in my house was watered down cherry Kool Aid or pickles, especially in the summer. My family was poor, my dad worked retail and my mom stayed home with 3 kids. We rarely had real milk in the house, it was usually powdered milk that went into our cereal or oatmeal. Before my sister was born, I remember many a Friday night anxiously waiting for my dad to come home because it was his payday. He worked at Gemco which had a grocery department, so he would come home with groceries. By that time there was nothing left in the house to eat. Family dinners at home consisted of mostly ground beef and whatever medley of frozen veggies, rice or noodles we had on hand. My dad would throw a week’s worth of leftovers into a pot, dump cream of mushroom soup and some water into it, ramen noodles too, cook it all together, and worst of all, he called it “Goop”. “Goop” haunted my childhood. It was a grey gelatinous mass of unidentifiable ingredients, but there was no missing one ingredient, salt. Oof! My dad once made my siblings and I a pot of mac n’ cheese so salty I physically couldn’t eat it. My brother didn’t mind it.

So Sunday dinners at my grandparents house were always special! My grandma would always make a small green salad and I would often help prepare or just set the table. I took great pride in trying to fold the paper napkins in new and fancy ways, I had no idea what I was doing, but she encouraged me. I looked forward to that salad all week!  She usually had iceberg lettuce, tomato, green onion, celery, cucumber, but she always had a few types of dressing, which seemed so fancy to my young self. She would put the salad in these little clear glass bowls shaped like lettuce. I would be my most careful when assisting with placing those bowls on the table, but I don’t remember her ever warning or admonishing me about it. I think it is just how I am with other people’s stuff. Ha-ha! Once the table was set, my grandma would announce for everyone to wash up and to have a seat at the table.

Now I was raised Catholic. My whole family went to church, I went to catechism and had my first communion, and all of that. I remember my grandma liked to poke fun at Pope John Paul II because he was a few months younger than she was. It was fucking adorable, I can assure you. She never went to church with us, not sure she ever went that I can recall. Maybe a midnight mass? Not sure. My grandpa went to a different church because he liked to sing in their choir (First congregational church, not sure what denomination that is). At home we didn’t pray or anything. We didn’t read the bible or even talk about it. At bedtime we’d sing a “Now I lay me down to sleep” song, but that’s about it. 

On Sunday evenings, however, at my grandma’s house? We would say grace, together, and hold hands as a family. “God is great and god is good, I wish to thank him for our food…” and at the end my grandma would add, with her head still bowed and eyes still closed and very focused, “And lord please take care of all of the babies and the hungry children in the world. Lord, please take care of all of the animals in the world and keep them from pain. Lord, look after the mothers and take care of the elderly.” Sometimes she would go on and on, adding more and more of the lord’s flock to the list she really needed to remind him to look after. I don’t think I could really feel her intentions fully then, but now when I think of her voice, it hits me pretty hard. I know for a fact I got all of my empathy and compassion from her directly.

Her capacity to give a shit never ceased. She wasn’t perfect, and she was very petite woman, but she had an air and an attitude that was warm and caring and just full of love. Even if she was chewing someone out for a parking lot incident (there were many, it’s the SF Bay area!), she did it with humor and humility.

Now I am an atheist. I don’t believe in much. Faith in humanity is certainly in short supply these days. And while I wish I could talk with her about the pandemic and all of that, I am more interested in what she would have to say about the police brutality and demonstrations of protest. After all, she was from the Great/Silent generation. My dad was a bit too young for the civil rights movement of the 60’s. I remember in Junior High when I was obsessed with the sixties culture and music and my dad just being so damned confused by it.

One thing I do hold onto and believe in is that we’re all made up of the same elements from the universe, stardust if you will. Everything else is a construct and thus can be reconstructed. I want to believe in a future where the babies and the animals and the elders and the mothers all are taken care of and looked after and are not suffering in pain or in silence. I think right now we have an opportunity to make that so. Certainly I am not the one who knows how that can happen, but I do know that listening to Black women specifically is the key! I think my grandma would agree with me completely on that. Part of me is grateful she didn’t live to see how we (the USA) are handling all of this right now. She was Catholic, but she hated the GOP with a special sort of venom I never saw directed elsewhere. I carry on that tradition.

BLACK LIVES MATTER!  

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!
I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com



“I love my country but it wears a uniform”

June4

This morning as I was driving to the post office for my job, as I do each week since the shutdown began, a song came on my Pandora mix that always delights me, “Labour of Love” by Frente. Their 1992 album, “Marvin the album” was always a go-to for me then, and well, even now. Sometimes you hear a song differently than you used to. Sometimes it is a lyric or a hook, or something just hits you anew and when the song finished another from the same album popped into my head. I kept humming it and singing the lyrics I could remember, but I didn’t even know the track’s name and I wanted to fill in the missing pieces so I could at least sing it to myself.
So I got back home after visiting the office and asked my Alexa device to play the album after a glance at the track list gave me no clues for the song I was thinking of. And then the track began to play…

I love my country
but it wears a uniform
it speaks with foreign guns
in the background you can almost hear
the sound of intervention
and I don’t know when liberty fell
but we rang every mission bell
we rang them loud and clearly
to a world that wouldn’t listen

I don’t want to die
I’m as innocent as anybody
I don’t even know how to spell
revolutionary
Jesus in the sky
the bullets in the guns
you don’t even know what we
mean by repression

blood is the colour of the sunset
you walked into the darkness
I did not hear your last breath
there will not be an inquest
this is not human interest
we danced the dirt with
surrender for our drumbeat
we danced for the balance sheet
died for the kind of lasting peace
that pleases the world policeman

and fatherland raped motherhood
and told her it was for the global good
and now we ring the mission bell
to warn their children
and I don’t want to die
I’m as innocent as anybody
I don’t even know how to spell
revolutionary
Jesus in the sky
the bullets in the guns
you don’t even know what we
mean by repression

blood is the colour of the sunset
you walked into the darkness
I did not hear your last breath
there will not be an inquest
this is not human interest

This song, “Cuscutlan” despite it being old, it’s lyrics are still quite relevant. Cuscutlan is what El Salvador was called before it was conquered and the song is about that takeover and what’s happened in El Salavador (Frente are Australian). You can hear the song (with lyrics) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl1uIcZfcIY

The line, “I love my country but it wears a uniform” was on repeat in my head this morning when it first came to mind. It brought the image I saw yesterday on Twitter of how the American Police uniform had changed since the 1960’s. Not just the uniform, but the equipment and protective devices/armor/etc they use now as well. It’s to the extent that it’s difficult to tell what is riot gear and what is regular police gear. It is frightening!

I’m not sure I have a huge point to this post. The truth is that white people created all of the problems in this world. Don’t agree? YOU ARE WRONG! Sit with that for a good long time. Being wrong is awesome as it is a chance to learn and grow as a person, thus making you better than you were before you realized you were wrong. Woo!

I’ve been an activist/protestor/demonstrator off and on for thirty years. First with the Gulf War and then animal and environmental demonstrations. I was fully aware and exposed to racism (not directed at me) from the age of 5 when we moved into the duplex where I grew up. I saw the violence first hand that the police dealt to Black people in our neighborhood. I couldn’t understand of course, but I saw horrific and brutal violence and luckily my parents were pretty good about explaining some things back then.

Just because I wasn’t raised with racist parents or ideals doesn’t mean I don’t benefit from white supremacy or the systemic racism in our world. I most definitely do! However, I’m not worried about getting called a Karen or a racist because I know what I put out into the world and the work I have done in my life. And I have been called a racist before, publicly. It was hard to hear, but I owned it and made amends and have worked very hard to not only better myself but also everyone in my circle of influence. I got comfortable being uncomfortable. That was key! Because I had my facts and history straight, I knew and checked my privilege, my intentions were always good. However, intentions do not matter. The impact of what we say and do in the world does. We don’t get to decide what that impact is. If someone tells you that what you said or did was racist and hurt them, believe them, apologize, explain that you want to do better and will work hard to do so. Seek support in your anti racist self education from other anti racist whites. Do not ever ask someone you’ve harmed to explain it to you, they do not owe you that.

Our government has failed us at every turn, so it is up to us to look out for each other and ourselves. White people need to get used to being uncomfortable and put in the work of healing the harm we’ve caused the world over. We absolutely must take this hard on the chin and fucking own it for what it is. (It’s not supposed to feel good!) Only then can we begin to heal and to rebuild our communities without the trappings of white supremacy. We can then change the tide of civilization, heal our planet, and push humanity to a higher plane of consciousness.

We must do all we can to fight oppression and to support the oppressed. Use your privilege to help others, to protect them, to boost their voices and ideas. Not everyone is able to attend demonstrations of protest. Not everyone can donate large sums to Black organizations. I get that. But there are SO MANY other ways to support Black people right now. See this blog’s FB or Twitter page for resources, links, and so much more.

Do NOT under any circumstance ask your Black friends to explain race related shit to you at all ever! Or to tell you what you should be doing about it now. It is not their obligation, regardless of your relationship with them. Nope! That is adding to their burden and emotional load. You CAN give them money to buy food for their families, or ask if you can pay a bill, run an errand, watch their kids, or some other form of support that doesn’t include them doing shit for white people.

If you have ever thought about what you might have done had you been alive and witness to the horrors of the Holocaust or the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, this is your time NOW! Right now! This is not an InstaGram moment, this isn’t even a Kodak moment. This is life or death and it is unbearable to watch Black people being murdered by police every day in our country. It is even worse torture for Black people to see it.

So I’m a fucking tree hugging hippie at heart! Kiss my ass why don’t ya! Ha! I don’t want to buy everyone in the world a Coke, though. I have no solace to offer, no perfect line of wisdom to relay. I can only share my flaws, cares, doubts, and hopes. Music helps. Davy D, of local and KPFA’s “Hard Knock Radio” show fame, has been posting some excellent playlists (follow him, he posts good shit!) along with hard hitting reporting on the ground in Oakland, CA. After binging the Hulu series High Fidelity and My Mad Fat Diary I have been inspired to dive back into listening to albums that were developmentally important to me. Right now I have Paula Abdul’s debut album blaring. I think next will have to be Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation, seem appropriate.

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!
I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Isolation Tango

May13

So, like most folks, I have been working from home and staying home in general since March 17th. I think most of the initial anxiety, paranoia and confusion I was dealing with has passed. I am finding a pattern in my weeks. My sleep has begun to suffer, though. I just wake up at odd times and can’t get back to sleep. My restless leg syndrome is annoying af and sometimes painful, too. So I stay away from the OTC sleep meds because they all use the same antihistamines which trigger the RLS. Rinse, repeat. I really struggled at first, not with staying home, but with the uncertainty of it all and I convinced myself that I would lose everything (job, home, health, all). So far I have remained ever-grateful and count my lucky stars every damn day for retaining my full-time employment. Many close to me have not been so fortunate. At first a lot of what I was struggling with had nothing to do at all with the pandemic and everything to do with past long stretches of unemployment and how badly that has affected my mental health previously. I had to really push myself to not fall into old/bad habits while also allowing myself some room to breathe. It’s a lot. Everything felt so scary and heavy, not that it doesn’t now, it’s just different. 

Every weekday I get up about 8:30 am and feed the puggo. Then I make my coffee and boot up the laptop for work. I have a small back patio/yard that I have a lil’ box garden and patio furniture in and I have been making small improvements to. I have ideas and plans and seedlings and soil, but I need containers and right now getting things shipped is tricky. My ex-husband gave some buckets for me to grow my tomatoes and peas in. Actually, he was the last human I saw in person. We both had masks on and it was only in his driveway, but still. Wow. I’ve done bucket tomato plants before, so I’m feeling optimistic about that. I really wanted to do a vertical garden of strawberries, but those containers or even the components are expensive. So I nixed that idea entirely. I haven’t bought my strawberry seeds yet and perhaps it’s too late now. I’ll have plenty of tomatoes!

A few weeks ago, I started to cook and bake. I haven’t honestly done much of that in years. I made my first banana bread in over a decade, it was absolutely riddled with walnuts! I made a lemon cake without icing and it was perfect and so comforting. I’m not big on frosting or icing in general, but a nicely made cake is delightful. I made the best lemon bars I’ve ever had in my life! I will have to make more soon. I made carnitas tacos and refried beans from very close to scratch (didn’t use dried beans). I made my first Dutch Baby! I was so proud! I have a tendency to always want to add or do “One more thing!” when I bake and cook and thus had an odd but still tasty fail with another lemon cake I added fresh strawberries to. They sank and the bottom was perpetually soggy. Meh. I think tonight I will try for a chocolate cake. I like simple. I also made some other amazing things that were fun and easy like white sangria and a killer iced tea last week. 

I struggle to use all of my produce each week unless I really plan out my meals, and let’s be real, that is not always doable. I can’t read. Well, I can read short bits of things, but after about three minutes my brain wants to give up. I had to stop reading literature for pleasure. I’m now reading a book on CPTSD and healing from childhood trauma. Well, a few pages at a time, anyway. I go out on my patio at least once a day to simply get sun on my face and to breathe in a good bit of fresh air. There’s a whole row of big lovely trees behind my building that line the border of the property. It’s not much but it gives a nice ambiance and a little bit fresher air than the parking lot would. I have days where I feel like I can just be outside in my Paradiso de Patio (I gotta make a sign, darn it!) and it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t matter. And then I have days where even being outside in my tiny yard feels unsafe and that the world will find a way to destroy me. Good times. Ha-ha!

I’ve become much more of a tea drinker than I have been since I had my cafe and 12 organic teas to choose from on the daily. Ha-ha! It’s so odd to me but I’m actually enjoying this cheap Celestial Seasonings Chamomile with Vanilla. I had an urge back in March to get some teas and I ended up with 5 types that I like but that chamomile is just hitting me right lately. I tell myself that it actually helps to keep me calm because my anxiety is like a roller coaster ride I never bought a ticket for. But hey, last night was fresh sheet and fresh dog and freshly shaved legs night so you know we slept great! Ha-ha! I also hit a point with my insomnia that I started to lean into my seemingly endless supply of espresso and over did it one day to where my heart was racing and I felt high. So…TEA! YAY!

I have found that I have about 3 really productive days each week, usually two together. Saturdays are a crap shoot, if I do the dance class I love most I usually get super emotional but in a good way, it’s a release and we all need that! Plus a bunch of local fat community attends the class but I’m usually the only one with their camera off and I feel weird about that. I know it’s a safe space. I have done the class and been on camera before. I think it’s due to my house, like I have sooooo much trauma and shame and fucked up baggage about the outside world seeing my inside world, regardless of the actual state it’s in at any given time. Also I’ve been feeling disconnected from myself in a few ways. I know this happens and long stretches of isolation just fuck us up in ways we can’t predict or control. I have taken a lot of dance classes since the shutdown began, but most I only do once. The CFO at the company I work for has a niece who just got certified to teach BollywoodX classes and I was fortunate to attend the first one. I even emailed her ahead of time to ask if it was okay to keep my camera off. I noticed that the only other person in that class that had theirs off was the CFO, so that’s awesome and hilarious, he’s cool. The class was super fun but the warm up was like five seconds before she ramped waaaay up! She had so much energy, she must be like 19 yrs old, I swear. But I kept up! Also she didn’t do any count offs. Like, 5-6-7-8…none of that, and I am not used to no counts. Good to get out of that comfort zone and I love learning new modes of movement.

I still go into the office once a week to process the mail so they can pay bills and such. I have to really mentally and physically prepare for this trip every damned week. I can’t say that it gets any easier. My heart will start racing before I even leave the house. I have a whole routine so I make sure things are the same so I can be sure they’re cleaned the same too. With the roads nearly empty, the few cars left drive either 30 in a 65 or 100 mph period. It’s terrifying! Luckily I don’t have too far to go and what would be a nearly hour long commute now takes me 15 minutes, tops! My struggle currently is still about getting used to wearing a mask. I’m claustrophobic af so the sensation of having my mouth and nose covered is awful. Also having specific past trauma regarding airway restriction isn’t fucking helping! Grrrr! I have an N95 left over from the wildfires awhile back and that is what I use. I bought a cloth one on etsy but it is both too big and too small on my face somehow. I ordered some more in different styles to see what works best but this is going to get expensive since you can’t return these things. I want to believe I can find a style that works that I can get used to and live with. I sit at the front desk when my office is open and I want to model the correct protocols, ya know?

I am an office manager and it is my responsibility to source all of the PPE for my company for when we return to office life. This responsibility has had me waking up in a panic sometimes. The amount of information about new protocols, disinfecting offices, and space planning is astounding. What’s more is that most of it is absolute bullshit and you find that the moment you scratch the surface or ask any questions. I would say that most if not all office managers are natural skeptics. Ha-ha! But who can you trust when no one truly knows or has dealt with this on this scale before?! It’s maddening. And what is an office manager without an actual office? This is on my mind constantly. I have order requests in with one of the largest buyers of such things out there, but it’s up to my boss and other executives to approve and direct and I am swimming in insecurities about my role as far as the long run. I know it’s not as bad as my mind often wants me to believe that it is. I know I can handle this. But that doesn’t always help when the anxiety beast it breathing down my neck. Music helps.

One thing that has helped me tremendously is giving myself permission to use my imagination at all times. Seriously, after the first week I was like why am I not making the most of every moment?! I started singing to my doggo again and dancing in my kitchen while cooking or waiting for things to boil. I will sing along, fully belting it out, with nearly any song that tickles me at any given time. I did my own weird-ass version of a ballet inspired non-striptease on my patio (I didn’t actually undress, just pretended). It was fun! I don’t know what it’s like to have to isolate with other people, so I have no advice for you there outside of good communication and boundaries. Isolating alone, however, is like having your own one-woman show…well if you want it to be, that is. It all evokes my early childhood of solitude and solo play before my siblings were born. Other kids had imaginary friends, I always had an imaginary audience. No matter what I did, in my head at least, I was doing it for an audience. I’ve tapped into that again and it’s magical! You won’t see me doing any viral dance moves or challenges on tik tok, but you might catch me acting out scenes set to my favorite songs. 

Also a lot like my childhood is the amount of time watching my television. I really do need to get my Wii and DVD player set up, I just never bothered. At least then I could watch some old faves not yet on streaming services and play some fucking Mario Kart! Oooooh! That would be good for the old soul. Well this one anyway. I have Hulu’d and Netflix’d and IMDB’d and all of the other streaming things that aren’t Apple or Disney. Yes, I know The Simpsons are on Disney now, but I have the best seasons on DVD and they play reruns every single day on at least two different channels. I even got HBO streaming through my amazon thing for a limited deal. I have watched it all it feels like. But then something comes out with another season, like Kim’s Convenience or Ozark or Dead To Me and I lose myself in it all over again. I still watch my usual shows, too. The Daily Show and Late Night with Stephen Colbert are my weeknight staples. I love The Conners (but whoa very emotionally heavy lately, still love it), the Goldbergs, Blackish, Mixedish, and alllllll the cartoons! Cartoons will get me through, that is the truth! I’ve gotten into some new cartoons like Victor & Valentino (So cute!) and the reboot of ThunderCats, but it’s been good ole Spongebob that’s been a bright spot most days. Who’d have thunk it!

As for company and contact with actual humans, well, it’s mostly been through text. Which I prefer, honestly. I have a couple of friends who give great memes! And I’m always snappy with a gif. My bffs did a video happy hour once that was fun, I wore a pink wig with cat ears. The company I work for has been doing them too but I super struggle because you’re just sitting there on camera, along with everyone else, and it feels so forced and gross to me. I’m an introvert and I refuse to feel bad about it. I’m okay with being misunderstood and getting called weird. “I like being weird! Weird’s all I’ve got. That and my sweet style!” Maurice Moss, The IT Crowd, “Are We Not Men” episode. 

I said last year that I would not be dating in 2020. Who knew it would be so easy?! Ha-ha! Truly though, while I did say that and meant it, I really wanted to focus on dating women this year and well that just ain’t happening. I suck at it enough as it is to not have to try to deal with the quarantine stuff on top of it. Plus no one wants to actually have a conversation and that is a deal breaker for me. I already have the best company there is anyway, my puggo! He’s been such a sweet snuggle bug. He is the reason I get out of bed in the morning and not stay up all night. He makes me go to bed at a reasonable hour, though that changes day to day. Sometimes that means 10:30 or 11 pm, sometimes by 9:15 he’s calling it a night and trying his best to insist that I do as well. It’s hilarious!   

You’d think with all this “extra” time on my hands that I’d be writing like a woman possessed, but I really haven’t had a single idea to write about. So I give y’all this silly update about me. To those who actually read and care about me and the few who even reach out, thank you so much. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know, it makes a difference, I promise. If there’s anything you’d like me to write about (should we do Tank Top Tuesday submission posts again? What else?) or post other things here, please do not hesitate to let me know in comments or email me directly: notblueatall@notblueatall.com or if you need an unbiased ear to talk or vent to, I’m here! I’ve been posting a bunch of things on this blog’s facebook page, not my own content but other interesting and often related content. Check it out, follow/like it, or not. I’ve thought about trying to do videos and things but I’m just not sure what people even care about right now as far as those go. So lemme know! Or just tell me what is keeping you going during this isolation tango we’re all doing. 

***

I’m here for realness and sincerity, honesty and vulnerability, I’m here for the good and juicy bits of life that shine for me when I know I’m heading in the right direction.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,
<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!
I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.) notblueatall@notblueatall.com

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