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

Prohibition Then And Now


After watching Ken Burns’ PBS series “Prohibition”  this week (three parts, each two hours – you can watch online at the link), it is no small wonder to me how anyone could see the similarities between the 1920’s and now. I would venture that every era, every generation has some social swell of some specific issue or struggle to address and/or overcome. Why, right now, we’ve got a tome’s worth! I am thinking about our social climate. Our financial struggles. The environment. Our prison industrial complex. So many things all going down those proverbial tubes. We’re all scratching our heads, clenching our fists, muffling our sobs and hoping beyond all reasonable hope that something will give, something will improve…it has to!

Prohibition began as a moral movement. Basically, how I took it, was a religious/conservative group gathered and organized on the platform that alcohol consumption led to corruption, prostitution, spousal abuse and other criminal activities. They believed the only solution was to prohibit, enforce and criminalize alcohol in all of its many forms. Does this sound familiar? No? Okay, consider for a moment the bootlegging that took the place of saloons and brewers. Many people died as a direct result of the illicit ways people got and distributed the booze. Think of the doctors prescribing whiskey as medicine, if you knew the right doctor that is, medicinal use being legal even after the nationwide ban on alcohol. Yet the consumption of alcohol itself wasn’t technically illegal. In fact you could make your own wines at home as many families did back then.

Many saw prohibition as a direct attack on immigrants who held fast to their cultures and rituals and often saw nothing at all wrong with alcohol. Suddenly self-appointed rabbis of any background were enjoying their own private supply as this, due to its religious significance, was also still legal. Soon petty thieves found themselves knee-deep in opportunity and flush with loads of cash for any and all liquor they could get their hands on. With this money came power they hadn’t the conscience nor education to put to good use (my opinion mind you). And basically, all hell broke loose! Speakeasies were raided, people were killed in clumsy displays of not in my backyard and many were jailed for periods far outweighing their crimes.

Sound familiar yet? Okay, let me put it this way, there are a lot of problems we currently have in this country. Many of these same problems were happening back in the twenties, too. The solution for the lack of jobs, floundering economy, a country overcome by unemployment and despair: end prohibition! How did they do it after such a long and successful battle by those who sought to turn this country into some sort of moral compass for the world? They found the right woman for the job! She had money, connections, charisma, power and above all else, she was fearless!

Right now we could fix a lot of our problems both environmental and economic. We need sustainable products to replace things like cotton, paper, oils, etc…we need to create jobs and fast…we need new revenue to get our deficit down and our economy flowing again! The solution: end prohibition…of cannabis!!! Think about it, it got its bad name and reputation because of a certain media mogul of those same roaring twenties: William Randolph Hearst! Hemp threatened his empire and so he sought to destroy it and whoa did he?! This may be my lay person’s grasp of it, but he did more than just destroy the industry itself. What he did (or eventually happened) was outright demonize not just hemp but cannabis itself in all of its various forms and uses.

There in lies the problem. Our prohibition of cannabis has turned petty crooks into power hungry lunatics. Ordinary citizens into life-sentence-serving prisoners thanks to steep drug laws, ravenous politicians and corrupt law enforcement and judges…not to mention California’s three strikes law. Ugh! That needs to be repealed, man. By ending prohibition on cannabis and repealing all laws to restrict, enforce, criminalize, stigmatize and whatever else they’ve chosen to throw at us, we could actually improve our entire socioeconomic situation!



New taxes! State-run dispensaries! Safer access! Hemp fiber industry jobs! We could actually bring manufacturing back to the USA with hemp. We could corner the market and find new ways to use the stuff. My husband was just telling me about the dire situation every winter in the colder parts of our country where senior citizens are forced to choose between heating oil and other necessities due to the endless rate hikes in oil. Hemp seed oil would be so much cheaper! Hemp is stronger than cotton, too. My grandpa had an old hemp rope that seemed a thousand years old. Ha-ha!

After watching the final installment of “Prohibition” last night I told my husband that what was needed to end the prohibition of cannabis was the right person to represent the movement. Someone with charisma and power. Someone well-connected and hopefully with lots of money! Someone who understood the impact and improvements possible with its repeal. I don’t know who that person could be, but I do believe that this simple thing could truly help us as a nation. If we can just step away from the stigma of it and focus on the hard facts, I think it could make a real difference.

I know that this post has absolutely nothing to do with fat, but it was on my mind in a big way. I spent the first part of this week very depressed. I’m not sure I’m out of it completely yet, certainly the police activity in my area has not been great for my anxiety and paranoia, but part of it is absolutely the economy and how it has ravaged my life and those I love. The arguments against cannabis are preposterous, absurd and full of stereotypes and stigma. I have yet to actually meet a person who is anti-cannabis. Even people who have never used it recreationally (as a drug or whatever) still understand its many varied and great uses and how it could improve our economy. It is something I believe in made all the more clear thanks to Ken Burns and his fabulous documentary series. I admit that I have always felt a deep connection to the prohibition era and it will always be an important era in my heart and mind. But that my lovelies is a post for another day…

Thank you for reading. Do share your thoughts on the topic. I would love to hear your suggestions, too. Take care of YOU!


Circle of Influence


The other night my husband was pondering his physical circle of influence, like where he walks the dog, places he interacts with basically. He wanted to clean up litter (angry that doing so on the freeway can get you arrested) in our neighborhood and possibly around his work. He considered the people he interacts with regularly, too. Co-workers, myself, neighbors or other people walking their dogs. This concept had never been made so plain to me before. I always appreciate his grand scheme ideas, but don’t always get or follow them. Or I’m that ugly voice of reason telling him that he can’t do it on the freeway. It’s no fun being that voice, but someone has to be it or we’d lose everything in the name of bail monies! Ha!

Last night we went to see the new film “Contagion” for the $4.50 Tuesday deal our local place has. I will say that the film is good, convincing, effective, horrifying…it’s good, I’ll stick with that! And it made me consider what/how/where/who I touch or come in contact with. Since I’m already fairly germaphobic, this just sent me right into a tizzy! Usually though, my toughest germ-zones are public restrooms or food places that don’t follow the safety laws. I have no trouble shaking someone’s hands or hugging my pals or what have you…but this film made me rethink it all! They quoted a statistic in the movie, something about how we touch our faces 3,000 times a day! Yikes! This freaked me out and I will probably obsess on that awhile. Ha-ha! But seriously folks, it made me think about what I influence on a daily basis. This has significantly changed for me ever since selling the cafe, but I almost think my human interaction (as well as sheer mileage) has increased!

I was chatting with a very good friend on FB the other night and we were talking about “The Man” and all of that sort of thing (“Damn the man! Save the empire!”), and I think I have come to some sort of chill head space around our current social situation. And I said to her, “I try not to dwell too much, but everything is so fucked up everywhere. All we can do, all I think I can do, is to have as much of a positive influence on myself and those around me.” I really liked the sound of that, as vain as that may seem. What about our influence on ourselves and others? What do we think and say to ourselves and how does that affect us on a daily basis? What about others? I mean, I can remember things said to me and around me at age 4 and 5 that still mess with my head. I didn’t choose to be influenced by that, it just stuck in my subconscious or whatever and I’m stuck with it until I can address and process it out I guess.

Because things are fucked up everywhere, we can only do what we can actually do. Ya know? Does that even make sense? It’s late when I’m writing this and so I’m not sure. But fuck it, I’m going with this…

Why not try to begin by influencing yourself in positive ways. You can branch out and try to influence your loved ones and co-workers and postal workers and so on. Why not? It doesn’t hurt! I mean, I forget myself sometimes and I really noticed when I started to pay closer attention to this stuff. And I feel so fabulous right now I can’t even tell you! I’m not drinking or anything, I’m just, like, I dunno…awesome? Can I just be awesome? That’s weird sounding, but it’s how I’m feeling at the moment. I like this feeling and want to perpetuate and infect it into everyone I know, in the best possible way! Ha-ha!

You ever hear someone laugh in a restaurant and their laugh makes you laugh? THAT!!! I want to do that to the people of the world, yo! Again, why not? I cannot think of a reason why I shouldn’t at least try. It’s like that whole random acts of kindness thing, or paying it forward. It makes total and complete sense to me. Perhaps it’s my grandma’s influence over the years (she was an RN), but most of my family has been service people. I’m damn proud of that, too! I often apply to jobs with something in my cover letter like this: I get a real kick out of helping people in nearly any arena. Customer service is a life philosophy for me and not just a career choice. I just believe in treating people with respect and a dose of humor and trying to help those who could use it! That could be why I have had so many spells of unemployment in recent years, but maybe not. It’s honest. Honesty is powerful! It can scare people. It can help people. It can hurt people. I get it, I do, but it’s also important. If you are not first honest with yourself, how can you be honest with others or expect  them to be honest with you?

Ever hear of fake it until you make it or some variation? That’s kind of what I recommend. I chose to stop lying to myself years ago and felt better about myself. I then stopped lying to my loved ones and eventually everyone. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I no longer say something looks nice on someone if I honestly don’t believe that it does. Seems trivial, but you try it out and get back to me! Ha-ha! And while part of me can be very negative and untrusting or protective of myself and others, there is always a little nugget of sunshine in there that seems to grow brighter as I trust in myself and in the truth. I have seen the power it has on me and its influence on my friends and strangers. It was easy to gauge in the cafe of course because people came to me. Now that I’m a free agent, I go out into the world in an active way. It’s much more difficult to see a change in people if you just happened upon them in some scenario. But sometimes I catch it! I can see it! Sometimes, I swear it’s true, just seeing a fat redheaded lady with a giant hot pink flower in her hair is enough to see a change in a person.

Yeah, it’s cheesy! Fuck it! By being happy I can make or help others be happy, so why the hell not?! You can do it, too! If you wanna…this isn’t like a mandatory thing. Ha-ha! By not actively hating myself or my body, I can go about the world with confidence and see how people respond to that. It’s shocking! And it’s just good for my mental health. I first saw body acceptance and fat liberation and purely political, but I’ve come to see it as down right therapeutic, too! I couldn’t as for more! <3

Weighing Your Options


My husband and I recently watched the documentary, “Pregnant In America” on our Netflix instant watch (gotta love it). I had wanted to see it for awhile. Having previously watched “The Business of Being Born” another birthing in the US related doc by Rikki Lake and, “At Your Cervix” where the truth behind pelvic exams was revealed. All great documentaries! I highly recommend them all if you are even remotely interested in having a child in the United States of America. Because a lot of what we’ve been told, taught or marketed to in regards to women’s bodies and reproductive health, is, well…BULLSHIT!!!

I was born in a hospital. No complications, just a typical 1977 birth. My younger brother and sister, however, were born at home with a midwife. They, too, had no complications in their births (or should I say our mom didn’t). Yet somewhere along the line I grew a nice big prejudice against home births. I am not entirely sure why, other than I typically will rebel against anything my mother is for (I have not seen her in over 15 years). But getting my info on and watching these incredible documentaries has completely changed my mind!

I had grown fearful, over the last couple of years, of having a kid because of a lot of things. Mostly passing on genetic stuff, but also because there’s a damned good chance that I’ll have a fat child (who may also end up with my hair color, not bad, but kids are merciless towards redheads). Would the government take my child away because it’s fat? I couldn’t bear the thought of living through that. Or would I even get a say in the birth of my child while also being seen as too fat for anything in the eyes of the medical world? I read the blog WellRoundedMama and have found some great articles/info/resources there, but that fear still lingers.

When I read this post on AmpleProportions I was quickly reminded of my fears and the real threat to our rights as women in America, let alone the rights of the fat! Watching “Pregnant in America” sort of snapped me back to my germaphobic self in a way: hospitals are for the very ill, not for the newly born! I mean, babies don’t belong there! They don’t have fully formed immune systems and who knows who is touching your baby and if they’re washing their hands appropriately?! My husband has long said that he doesn’t want to have our baby in a hospital because they snatch it away from you the moment it’s released from the birth canal and instantly inject, weigh, test, “clean”, etc… when the natural thing is to clutch the infant to the mother’s breast, leaving the placenta in-tact for awhile, so that the natural hormones kick in and do what they need to do: Bond, initiate natural breast feeding and so much more.

Is it possible that the rise in postpartum depression has something to do, directly, with the westernized pathology of handling birth? To inject drugs (epidural) into the spine of the mother (can lead to so many problems I don’t even wanna talk about right now) so that she cannot feel the baby moving and may even be temporarily paralyzed until after the baby is born? You see, we’re natural baby makers, women. We and our bodies know exactly what to do, if we are unaltered and uninhibited. We will find the right position for us while giving birth, naturally! While OB/GYN’s have been trained to find pathology and complications where none exist all in the name of efficiency and profit! Laying on your back, legs splayed in the air, is not only not natural, but damned uncomfortable while pushing out a baby! I have completely changed my mind and I have no intention of going anywhere near a sick house (hospital) unless it’s an absolute emergency. They don’t want me anyway, I’m fat and have no insurance. Fuck ’em!

I’m not pregnant and don’t have immediate plans to get there, but if and/or when  I am ready, I thank the stars above that these films and the experts and resources available today are there to inform and help me along the way. I cannot stand the thought of not being in control of my own body or infant. To interfere with a natural thing? Well, that’s bullshit! I won’t stand for it and I most certainly will not pay for it!

Saturday Quick Hit: Best Quote Evar!


This morning while reading a quick page of my latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, I caught a fantastic quote from Rad Fatty Guillermo Del Toro. You see, this issue was a big ole recap of last weekend’s Comic Con from San Diego. Guillermo Del Toro was part of the Visionaries Panel along with Jon Favreau. Del Toro was there to promote his upcoming monster movie, “Pacific Rim” (ooh! I cannot wait for that!), while on the visionaries panel he shared a “sentiment close to many a fan’s heart” when he said, “I’m a weird, strange, fat motherfucker, and I plan to stay that way.” And that my lovelies, is the best quote evar! I love it! I love that he doesn’t poke fun or apologize for his size. I love his films and respect him to no end (and he’s kind of hawt!). I just had to share that, too cool!

My Fat Poem


To live today is to live in a world that wants to diminish us.
To be pressed upon, constantly, to be less than, to live in distrust.
They do it with pharmaceuticals, they do it with supplements and powders and promises.
They do it with bars and shakes and crisps and keep us as your hostages.
Fat free, caffeine free, sugar free, nutrient free fantasies of tasteful humanity.
They poke and they prod us with lies and disgust.
They bind and staple and nip and tuck.
They rob our youth of hopes and dreams and possibilities.
They rob our middle age of self assurance and deny our capabilities.
Longing becomes the norm. Hate becomes reborn.
They control us with guilt. Stitching our flesh into your demoralizing quilt.
“Shame on You…” for being so fat?
“Shame on You…” for being healthy, too?
“How dare you not do as we tell you to do!”
We are not to be diminished, contorted, controlled or prescribed.
We are done with your idiosyncratic lies!
I will not be weighed like so much meat.
My flesh has value and won’t accept defeat.
You cannot separate my fat from me.
You won’t get the best of me!**
I’m no more and no less human than you.
Yet you insist, “But I’m better than you!”
The fuck you are and the hell with your lot.
It’s my guts, my glory, my intestines without knots!
Keep your scalpels and calipers and body fat ratio machines.
Wanna know where you can stick your oversold thin fantasy?
Nothing tastes as good as a free mind feels.
But you’ll never know when you’re stuck on their hamster wheels!
I smile a thoughtful smile, wider than my hips.
I love with my whole self, not a smaller version of what you sell as “health.”
I won’t sit or back away quietly.
I’m far too busy fighting for equality!
So yell if you must, from your trucks, cars and bikes.
I’ll keep on keepin’ on, stepping up to bullhorns and mics!
We are fat! We are free! We have pride and can be healthy!
Stop with the judgment. End all the shame!
Our bodies and minds are not playing that game!

So, yeah…um…I watched the film “Howl” Friday night and while I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I’d hoped (or wasn’t in that frame of mind or something), the writing, the poetry, it really stuck with me. And the above just sort of poured out of me Saturday morning. I miss poetry. I went through quite an obsessive phase. I read all I could and wrote until my hands would cramp and it’s all gone! The memories of what I read and wrote. And all of my poems are long gone, too. I used to only write when I was depressed and for a lot of time that worked out well. This is probably the first that wasn’t about a specific person or instance. Like I said, it just came out. Ha!
Thanks for reading.

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