NotBlueAtAll

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

Dream Coats Are Real!

November15

Dearest Weirdos,

I have dreamt, for years, of finding the perfect pastel-candy-colored faux fur coat. Last week I randomly clicked on a Target ad, of all things, curious about jacket offerings (it’s hella cold in my office, even though I’m in California). Never would I have imagined finding what could possibly be THE COAT!!! And the price is affordable, imo ($42). I once did a ridiculously lengthy blog post about it (https://bit.ly/2Fc8HVZ) because I was obsessed with finding one, but they were never in my size or less than $300. Treated myself to a discounted lippy, too! (Link to the coat!)

Let me tell you lovelies…I just received this magical mint mirage and IT FITS LIKE A DREAM! Even over my 62″ hips! This is the ultimate fantasy coat for me (I’m easy! LOL!). It’s so warm, too! But I’m in California and have to contend with smoke more than coldness these days. Get this coat now! It’s soft af!!!! I’m in love! I cannot wait to wear it literally everywhere!
I just so happened to be wearing the exact same color today (my all-time favorite color ever!) to work! Ha-ha! Meant to be!!! Dream Coats Are Real! It’s satin lined, which is nice and I cannot get over how squishably soft it is. If anyone cares the top is from Torrid a couple years ago, the skirt is stretch velvet, also old Torrid, the shoes are from amazon (here) but it’s my first time wearing them.
What is your DREAM fashion item? What have you always wanted but never seem to be able to find? Or was there a beloved item you long to replace? Tell me all about it! I know I’ve always longed for the perfect pair of tall engineer boots, chunky-ass soles, big honkin’ buckle, but they never fit my luscious 22″ calves! *whimper*

Live Longer Through Community

April17
I’ve read a few articles lately about the one thing allows people to live longer and healthier lives and I was not at all surprised, though many have been. It’s feeling connected to community. I can honestly say without hesitation that without that connectedness, without my local fat community, I wouldn’t be here. Fat community keeps me alive when even I don’t want to be. That is the truth in it’s purest form, folks. I have gone through many big life events in the last ten years and fat community was there for me at each and every turn.
Your community may not be fat, it might be queer or feminist or all three of those things at once. Your community may be nature fungi foragers, only you know what your identities and people are. How does one find their community, though? Ultimately, that is something I cannot answer for you. I can say that you have to seek it out, that it may suck at first, you may feel more lost or unconnected, but you should definitely keep trying! My first several attempts at fostering fat community locally failed, but in the end I found my peeps and some lifelong friends, too.
My fat community finding/fostering began with setting up a meet up at a local mall. I think I posted on Fatshionista, a LiveJournal group that I adored and was popular at the time. It was more of a “Hey would anyone be interested in meeting up and going shopping together?” We met up at the Cheesecake Factory and it was my first time meeting folks of size outside of work/school/life things. I was still new to calling myself fat in a positive way. It felt radical to be meeting in public as fat people, we took up space and then some and it was awesome! We ordered our food without guilt, though other needs were discussed (for medical or other reasons). We chatted and relished stories of coming out as fat, so to speak. We had about 12 people, if memory serves me, from the entire spectrum of fat (babyfat to superfat, if you will).
After we ate we decided to hit up Torrid in the mall. I had only ever been to Torrid once or twice at that time, I didn’t really have a sense of my own style as I had spent my youth hiding beneath layers of baggy clothing to conceal both my fat body and my femininity. But I was soooooo stoked to be in a fat pack of awesome people cruising the mall together. Torrid didn’t know what hit ’em! One couple bought each other sexy things to wear and even modeled for us and it was so fun and empowering and visually dazzling! I bought two heart necklaces that I still own and wear regularly (I cherish them, even if they are plastic).
Next we headed to Lane Bryant, the only other option in that particular mall. At LB I did try on clothes and had fun with some of the other folks from the meet up in the dressing rooms. Just that feeling of, “Oh hey this is cool we all get that this is hard so let’s make it fun” sort of a thing. Like tossing each other things to try and others running to get each other different sizes. I recall a classic trench coat I had wanted badly, but even their 26/28 was ill fitting in how the buttons gaped. We discussed sizing bullshit and size-ist bullshit and it was a great time. I never really heard from or saw those folks again, save one.
I tried several more times and once I opened my own cafe I started a regular one on Saturdays there. It was great to have my own space and to host, something I’d never been able to before. Accessibility being a struggle, always, it was so important to me that my own cafe be open and inviting to all, but it was also a historic building where there were no ramps. My meet ups there were intermittent in attendance, but I was there and hopeful for every one we scheduled! More often than not, no one showed, but I shrugged it off and kept at it. Luckily I had also started this blog around this time and got to meet some of my readers this way. I made great friends at that time and some I still consider tried and true, though I’ll admit that others have come and gone, for better or worse.
I first realized that I had fat community, and that I was (am) fat community at a Big Moves dance show, the first I attended. It was also my first time going strapless in public and I was accompanied by my two bffs. I had chatted with Marilyn Wann online about something (honestly can’t recall) and we were to try to meet each other after the show. The show itself was a life changer! Never before had I seen such joy embodied entirely, start to finish. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! After the show we waited outside, but Marilyn never showed. Through happenstance we asked a nice person nearby to take our photo. It just so happened to be one of the original Fat Lip Readers, former professional portrait taker, and the ever lovely and fabulous Carol Squires who supports Big Moves to this very day!
I did end up meeting Marilyn Wann at my cafe not long after. She signed my copy of her book, “Fat! So?” and even made me feel better about a haircut mishap I was feeling bad about (though the front was hella cute). Through these meet ups and Fatshionista and Marilyn, I was riding high on my fat activism and positivity at that time. It was 2011 and International No Diet Day was an epic event for me, still is. I met people at that “Flesh Mob” that I still call friends (I have written about it here).
Soon I was attending NAAFA and NoLose conferences, BBW Dance Clubs and a Bash and figuring out where I belong, if I belonged at all. The short answer is that I didn’t belong, at least not in those specific groups/conferences. So I started Fatty Affair, which was a fat positive event in San Jose, California, free to the public, that included performances, a clothing swap, a bake sale and vendor tables. It was intended to be a one-off event, but turned into two; the first in 2012, the second in 2013. I have had many people ask me about another (some downright demanding), but alas we outgrew our awesome venue and I have yet to find another suitable spot for our fabulousness.

It seems through all of the great fat things I was doing and attending, I gathered my own version of community close to my heart unwittingly. I began performing with Tigress in the annual Big Moves shows. I started to find power in my vulnerability and a strong sense of responsibility to do the very things for others that were such an inspiration to me before I was part of that world. That is what keeps me going. It’s a belonging, it’s a connectedness, but it’s also a community of misfits.
When you think about community as a basic word, we often think our neighborhood or schools, associations we may be a part of. When you think about what you truly feel connected to, when the chips are down as they say, what do you envision? Do you see your city council members or mayor? Do you see the PTA? Do you see your family and friends? What makes you feel most fulfilled and connected? For me that has been fat community, hands down.
I was recently out of work for a spell and not just down on my luck but truly heading towards dire straits. My blog’s annual hosting bill was looming and as the deadline drew closer I was afraid that I would have to lose it entirely. I didn’t want to ask for help, but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t need to look far, my local fat community stepped up in a big way! I was so surprised and moved! It actually got me back into writing again, too! My blog saved and so many people wishing me well and sending good vibes and love, I felt connected and seen and humbled and inspired. You can’t put a price on that.
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 (and 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 need to get back into posting there: 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

Beth or Bust!

March26

This past weekend was full of such fun, but such struggle for me, too. After a whirlwind of a week at work office manager-ing, there was a dance night in downtown San Jose: Madonna Vs. Blondie, that a bunch of friends were meeting up for. I was so excited for it! After work I went home to rest and unwind before getting ready to dance the night away. I just kind of spaced out completely for two hours as I was fucking braindead! I did finally get myself together and changed and made it to the club before anyone else. It was more new wave music than just strictly Madonna and Blondie, but it was great music over all. When I first arrived though it was like a bad junior high dance flashback with everyone clinging to the walls and the deserted dance floor looked haunted! Ha-ha! I grabbed a cider at the bar and people watched until my friends arrived. Once they played the first Madonna song folks started to flood the dance floor. Once my friends arrived we spent the next three hours solid on the dance floor and I could barely walk the next day! So fun, though!

I literally spent Saturday just resting and recuperating from the previous night’s fun time. Everything was stiff and sore and I definitely over did it but no regrets! I had a blast and got to see my favorite people and hear awesome music all at once! Can’t beat that! I wish I had thought to take pics, but I also know that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. I was so looking forward to that night for so long, ya know? But in the end I has to just sit at the bar until everyone was ready to leave. I felt really down for bit about it, too. But I know better and eventually snapped out of it. Aging bodies, injured bodies, require different things and can’t just keep going all night like the old days.
Sunday I had a ticket to see Beth Ditto at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, a favorite venue of mine! Only my anxiety was running mega high (for me) all day and because of this I didn’t think I would end up going. My bff Michaela text me encouraging things, even called the box office about ADA seating in an attempt to alleviate some of those anxious thoughts, too. In the end it didn’t matter, my anxiety was in charge and it was up to me to either just sit with it or push through. I did a bit of both, actually, but did manage to push through and mostly have a good time. I sort of talked myself through it as I would a loved one. “You can just get ready, you don’t have to actually leave the house. You can just look cute and take selfies, no one will be the wiser!” I told myself as I got out of the shower and started to get my eye makeup going. Then it was, “Maybe you won’t find parking and that’s okay, you tried, that’s enough, you can just go home.” as I was driving up there. Once I got there and ended up finding pretty darn great parking, I told myself, “You’re a grown up, no one is making you be here or stay, you can go home whenever you like and that is perfectly okay.” And so I went in!
Once inside I hit up the merchandise tables hoping for a 3x in a certain pink tee, but they had already sold out, as I gotten there just after the opening act started, so they had been open for over an hour already. I will get that shirt online, no worries. The merch lady was deeply sorry and insisted that Beth always has 3x in all her merch, and I know this to be true, but it’s also rare to get a not white or black t-shirt in a 3x ever, so that is why I’ll grab mine online for sure. After that I headed straight up this very long marble staircase (it’s a very old building) to the balcony area. If it’s a general admission show, and it was, anyone can sit up there. As I had partially torn my achilles tendon the week before, I needed to sit for this show, and really all shows going forward, no choice in the matter. There was also a bar up there, so I grabbed my vodka-cran and grabbed a nice aisle seat pretty close to the stage, but up above. I stayed in that spot the entire night, except when a couple wanted to get passed me to sit further down my row. I was worried a bit that if I got up for another drink I could lose my choice of seat and having the aisle meant I could stretch my poor Achilles nicely without bothering anyone. I also didn’t want to have to deal with the bathroom situation in such an old building that usually houses punk and electronica shows. Ha-ha! All in all it worked out great!
Honestly, this was my fourth concert flying solo, but my first as a single person. I had also never had anxiety that bad and pushed through for such a public outing. So while I enjoyed myself over all, it was really fucking hard and weird to be in the moment and get into the right state of mind. Luckily it was a Beth (motherfucking) Ditto show and she keeps it 100% real, always! She came out in shining silver sequins and just lit up the entire place with her effervescence! My love for and of her knows no bounds, obviously, as I did all I could to get there and see her. I bought my ticket months ago when I was out of work because I needed something to look forward to. I should have been excited, but anxiety was such a killjoy that entire day and night. I did enjoy the show, she is an incredible vocalist, and I couldn’t believe the show wasn’t sold out. She was very funny and candid, gave the band a hard time, even got some rimshots for her cornier jokes. She had an issue with something in her eye but she was so cute and funny about it and just kept talking and singing, like the pro that she is. This was a Beth Ditto show, not a Gossip show. That was apparent, as I’d seen Gossip play years ago when their album “Music for Men” came out, at this same venue. Different vibes, but honestly, her voice was better than ever! After her “last song” she came back out for the encore in a red lame` dress (with pockets!) and did her big solo single, “Fire” as well as some Gossip songs that she threw in some other sort of mashup-y things into; such fun!
I will say that going down that marble staircase was much more difficult (and honestly a bit scary) than going up, but I managed alright and took my time. Luckily I just missed the crowd when I hit the exit and saw everyone flooding in behind me. Whew! I’m super glad I went to the show, but I cannot believe I had to push myself so hard to do it! I do not think I will make an attempt to go to a show alone again unless it’s The Cure or Portishead or some other amazing and legendary concert that I have not yet seen and would be rare to catch on tour. Like last year I had to see TOOL and it was amazing!
I used to work in music, both as a promoter of new artists for an industry magazine (HITS), as well as manager of a music store for several years. I have been to hundreds of shows. I would get tickets from labels all of the time or just happen to get on “the list” or whatever. I feel like I have seen and done it all and honestly it is rarely worth the trouble anymore, not to mention the cost. My ticket for this show was $25 + whatever absurd service fees they tacked on, and I found great and free parking. I really do like the Regency Ballroom though, both for it’s size, as it’s not too big and still feels mostly intimate, but more so it’s accessible seating for me. I was comfortable and didn’t feel squished, though I know others wouldn’t feel accommodated at all and I’m certain that there must be an elevator in the building as the ADA seating is limited on the floor with more up in the balcony, too. I considered leaving early a couple of times due to the anxious feels, but I’m glad I powered through and got to see what was a really special show.
Beth Ditto is a personal hero of mine. I have read her autobiography (and even shipped it to a friend on the east coast when I was done, Hi Charlie!), have followed her career for many years (and through many of my own careers – Ha!), bought a crystal barrette from Fat Fancy (Portland, Oregon) that she once owned, followed her fashion lines and endeavors, and truly find much inspiration in how she has handled it all. To see someone close to my size (though for sure I’m bigger than she) look so confident and present is such a gift! Her vocal abilities never cease to amaze me, and believe me when I say that she is a big reason why I wanted to start singing again at all. Her realness, her whatever we’re fucking doing this thing – ness, is something missing from our western, over-curated experiences. I did see phones and lots of videos and selfies being taken, but most folks were really there in the moment, too. That is a rare thing these days. Even at a punk show last year I was distracted and irritated with phones surrounding my eye-line to the stage that I really struggled to even see let alone pay attention or enjoy the show. I hope the rest of her tour is just as amazing! I wish her the very best, as she has given me so much over the years!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!

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 (and 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 I’ve finally started to actually use: 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

Writing & Poetry

March16

I haven’t been writing here much lately but I have been writing! I took the cue from my horoscope about three weeks ago when it said I’d meet my next great love on a certain day. I dressed extra special that day (nothing fancy, just very me), and decided that I would go to a local independent bookstore (the last in my area) that I love. I had found a few books of poetry there years ago that really changed how I view the art form, but also how to write it. At the time it actually stifled my ability to write poetry. I began to hate everything I wrote and started to see all of my writing as whiny, teenagery, angst-filled bullshit (my own thoughts).

This time, I went with the hope of reconnecting with poetry and maybe even discovering a new writer or compilation book of poems that I could dive into. Alas, like meeting my next great love that day, it wasn’t meant to be. In fact I really struggled to like or connect to anything. I started going through the staff picks to hopefully find some direction or inspiration. I grew frustrated and moved onto biographies, again hoping to connect with something. Anything. But didn’t.
I finally went back to the poetry section and grabbed a staff pick that I’d previously put away. I decided to just buy it because I wanted to support the store, and half thought that perhaps another mood would benefit a reread of the poems within. I left the store disheartened. I had a silly daydream about reading a beautiful poem and getting caught up in the moment with an audible sigh when a kind stranger would see my expression and ask what I was reading and we’d fall into a deep conversation and live happily ever after. Ha-ha! Ridiculous, I know! So I figured I’d buy myself a nice dinner instead, only by the time I got back to my car I was just plain old sad. Driving home I even began to cry a bit, though not really having a specific reason to. (Not that a reason is required, crying can be very cleansing after all.)
The next day I took the book I’d bought to work to read at lunch. My usual lunch buddy was out of town and I figured it would be a good chance to reignite my reading habit. It worked! New day, new mood, and I loved the book! It’s called, “Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur and I recommend it! It’s beautiful and heart-wrenching and everything I love about poetry. And it got me to look at some of my old writing and see it in a better light. I’ve since written many new poems and have been enjoying it immensely! I have a small but steady notion to publish a chapbook, for no reason other than why the fuck not?! Ha-ha!
It does feel good to get some of these words that float around my head down in text. I don’t know yet how to go about the process of publishing my works, but perhaps just doing it myself is best. I’m not seeking anything other than to contribute to the world in my own small way. I was glad to come across a book about hating poetry but was itself a book of poems. It was lovely and refreshing, though not what I was looking for. It helped me get over my fears and hate of my own writing as well as the form of poetry itself.
I would love to get back into making art, but I think that will have to wait quite awhile before I start that up again. It takes so much time, supplies, space, energy and I’m just not there yet. I think I am getting there, though. I have been feeling so much better mentally, at least less bogged down by just internal terribleness. A local fat community member and big moves dancer/organizer passed very suddenly last week, Cindy Cutts, and it didn’t really hit me until Friday/Saturday. We weren’t close, but she was always very kind to me and encouraging and just a fantastic presence backstage at every show, and contributed so much to fat community. We’re close in age and her husband wrote the most beautiful blog post about her and I just cannot imagine such a loss. I have been avoiding social media for the most part as a result because the things folks have shared have been very moving but also bringing up a lot of things for me personally that I’m not wanting to process just now. Writing helps. Taking the time I needed to decompress on Saturday was necessary.
I’m hoping to have things to write about here soon. We should be close to publishing our second episode of the Fat As Fuck Podcast and hopefully find our groove for more to come. The feedback has been so touching and epic and inspiring and I just want to hug everyone collectively-virtually right now! Our time is too precious to waste. Tell people you love them when you can and you mean it. We forget how much impact our words can be, for better or worse. Spending time with my loved ones this last weekend really gave me some needed healing. I’ve been at my new job for over a month and really like it, so today isn’t as bad as it could be.
What are you working on or through? Do you write? Do you like poetry? What have you been struggling with this week? Are there projects or art forms you’ve wanted to try but have been hesitating? I’d love to hear from you!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!
And the hashtag #DateMyDamnSelf on Instagram if you feel so inclined

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 (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

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

I also have an Instagram I’ve finally started to actually use: 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

Current Obsession: Miranda

March2

I have been obsessed with the show Miranda (streaming now on Hulu), a British comedy series, since Christmas evening 2017, whilst trying my hardest to snap out of a really terrible pit of despair. It worked fantastically that night. I just finished watching the entire series (4 seasons in all, 6 episodes per season, but the last has only two) last night for the fourth time and it hit me right in the feels, again, but it was for a different reason. It’s funny how every time we watch something over again and again we pick up on new things or don’t know how we missed something on the first or second viewing.

Miranda, the character and the comedian playing her, is self effacing and aggrandizing. She bemoans and bemuses the minutia of life’s daily struggles. I adore and envy her relationship with her best friend Stevie in the show. She celebrates her single life, living alone, being a quirky, and often called a weirdo. She struggles with her size, but mostly (and only, IMO) due to the lack of acceptance from others. SO RELATABLE! In fact the romantic interests in her life never mention her size at all, only her quirkiness.
Miranda is a bit clumsy, a bit gassy, always hilarious – even if she’s the only one laughing, and truly and completely lovely. I won’t give away anything or the overall story arc of the show (it’s so good!!!), but I would encourage anyone to give it a shot. I think it’s the perfect sitcom, though it’s a few years old, it’s mostly a critique of the path of the traditional, cis-hetero woman in England/the west, from dating to marriage to reproducing, only she fights it every step of the way. She questions and protests, despite, or to spite, her overbearing mother’s constant intervening.
She celebrates silliness, has vegete-pals and fruit friends, creates games for her own pleasure like snack fishing and muffin tetherball. Amazing! She tries to travel solo but ends up only going to a hotel around the corner! Ha-ha! But she thoroughly enjoys herself there, perhaps a bit too much! I found such comfort and connection to all of the shows characters. I feel like she gets single life in a way I haven’t found for myself yet, but I’m getting closer thanks to this show.
Every time I watch it, I am floored in the best possible way by this line:
“Women like me can be sexy. It’s just, the world might never affirm it, so it takes us a little longer to realize it.” THIS!!!!
I hope you give Miranda, the show, a chance. I’ll be looking into reading Miranda Hart, the comedian’s books, too!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Insta & FB!
And the hashtag #DateMyDamnSelf on Instagram if you feel so inclined

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 (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

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

I also have an Instagram I’ve finally started to actually use: 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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