Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To Dress For Your Shape

It started with this little inspirational post on tumblr, which was reblogged more than 100,000 times:

how to dress for your shape: are you human-shaped? play up your natural sex appeal by wearing whatever the fuck you want

Then it was repeated and expanded upon by a clothing company called Inner Subversion, who posted this on Facebook, which was reposted even more times:

How to dress for your shape: are you human-shaped? play up your confidence and natural sex appeal by wearing whatever the fuck you want.
Life Tip: As the weather gets warmer, continue to wear whatever the fuck you want. Flaunt everything or keep it cool under cover. Dress to make yourself feel rad.
How to get a bikini body:put a bikini on your body
Want sexy own-the-beach summer legs? shave, or don’t because they’re your fucking legs.

Then it got picked up by the Huffington Post.   Awesome.  I like to think that more and more women are wearing whatever the fuck they want, without worrying about what others think.  I like to think our culture is moving towards being more accepting of women who don't fit American society's narrow idea of beauty.

But that's probably not the case any more now than it was when I had that same hope back in 1991 when I first read The Beauty Myth.

At the very least, it means I have the right friends on Facebook, people who liked it enough to share it with me.  That's something.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

You know what's weird?

I swear I think I just had an entire month of PMS.  If this is what menopause is going to be like, I'm either going to need a lot of mood-altering drugs or some kind of weapon.  I have no idea why it started or why it ended.  Anyway, I feel better now.

I went to the conference and it was interesting.  I've never been to one before, and I was a bit taken aback at the amount of socializing and partying... none of which I went to.  I guess a lot of people see these things as a perk of their job, an opportunity for a vacation, a chance to get drunk with a co-worker.  I live here, so I just went to try to learn things.  I did, both about the specific program I use and also about the industry as a whole.

There was, unfortunately, no swag, other than this bag I'm holding up while making a cheesy face in the bathroom mirror.

Yay, a bag.  

The Dolphin hotel is so fancy that, even in the public restrooms, they fold the toilet paper into little points.  And the food was really good.

Loved the little desserts

With over 2,000 people attending, it was pretty impressive.
Giant ballroom in the Dolphin 

The conference was spread across three floors in a big wing of the hotel, so there was a lot of walking. And a fair amount of getting lost.
I was smart enough to wear comfy shoes, but I
saw a lot of women in torturous looking heels
I'm glad I went.  And I'm really glad that Greg encouraged me to ask to go, because when I mentioned it to him I actually had no intention of going.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Workforce: The Force of Work

Tomorrow I go for day one of a workforce conference here in Orlando, down at a giant Disney resort hotel.  I've never been to a conference before and I'm a little nervous, as though there'll be a quiz at the end or something.

Being my own department, I'm going by myself.  I plan to bring an umbrella, directions, a printed itinerary, tissues, a granola bar, cash, a notebook, pens, ibuprofen, lipstick, and my iPhone which serves as a camera, gaming console, Kindle, and social networking tool.  I will not bring any business cards, because I don't have any.  Until now I didn't think I needed any.  A month ago I went to a person (with whom I have yet to figure out an effective means of communication) to order them, was told it usually takes a week or two to get them back, but then they ended up not being ordered in time.   "I need them by April 22" was apparently not sufficiently clear.

I've decided that I won't lug around my ridiculously heavy company laptop, at least for the first day, although it would be super helpful to be able to use any downtime to at least check email and get a few things done.  I have literally hurt my shoulders carrying that thing, and I am positive there will be massive amounts of walking just to get from my car into the lobby and to the convention areas.  If I'm wrong, I'll be lugging it on Tuesday.

It looks like the conference will mostly be on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday with some kind of awards ceremony and closing stuff on Thursday morning.  They will also have a celebrity speaker about whom I care not at all, so I'm hoping I can skip the whole deal on Thursday.  All my work is just going to be piling up waiting for me, so the sooner I can get started on it, the better.  However they do have a "customer appreciation party" on Wednesday night at, holy crap, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Gads.  But it seems like such a tiring pain to drive to Universal and pay to park and do all that walking after having been at the convention hopefully learning all day.  But then I hear myself and I am appalled at my lameness.  Getting in free (well, "free" meaning included in the price of the convention) after the park closes would be kind of awesome.

I've been trying so hard to use this new job as a way to grow as a person.  A year ago I would have been terrified to think of the things I've been doing: training people, being in charge of meetings, hell, just being included in meetings with people who are intimidatingly higher up on the corporate ladder.  A year ago I was frantically looking for another job in the hopes of beating my impending layoff, I weighed 25 pounds more, I had no experience doing things I do now on a weekly basis and I was scared to try.  I'm learning to speak up more (or at all), I'm learning to be more assertive and not to obsess over every little thing that doesn't go perfectly.  I'm trying to learn not to take things personally, and to learn how to get along with the super aggressive sales people I work with as well as the awkward technical people.

But I'm just so stressed out by all of it. I step back and look at it from a bigger perspective, and that doesn't help at all.  I tell myself I'm doing great, which frankly is pretty true most of the time, and that doesn't help at all either.  I took a work at home day last week to stay out of the office and get some distance, and that helped a little.

I can't help but miss, sometimes, the days when I had just this side of nothing to do.  It didn't feel unreasonable at the time, but now when I remember days when I was just monitoring phone lines that were doing fine all on their own, and monitoring agents who were all doing what they were supposed to, and I had time to poot around on the internet and read blogs and exchange emails with friends and write blog entries, it just seems amazing.

All day long I look forward to coming home with my sweetie and having dinner and hanging out with cats and watching tv.  And then cuddling up in bed with my Kindle and a kitty or two.

To end this on a happy note, here's a pic of Greg's calf and Alabama looking adorable on our bed:
She's so zen.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


The view from our back door. The little community lake with the fountain in the middle, the clubhouse and pool beyond it. Not quite the golden hour, but the sun is heading down and the shadows are pretty much gone and the sky is a little pink.

I'm calling Mom earlier these days, at 7:15 or 7:20, and this is what it looks like outside after I hear her call me "honey" and tell me that she loves me.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Update: I Visited Mom

I don't know why I haven't posted in so long.  I feel kind of overwhelmed by everything, and then I yell at myself for feeling overwhelmed when so many others are way busier and have way more demands on their time than I do.

I went to see Mom for my birthday.  The new place she's in seems pretty nice.  It's weird to think of people being paid to take care of my mother, but they all seem very kind and good at what they do.  And it doesn't seem to bother Mom at all, I think she likes having people take her to the dining room and bring her medication to her and give her baths.

They have several model apartments that are furnished in such a way as to give the impression that someone lives there.  They let me stay in one right down the hall from Mom and didn't charge me anything, so that was cool.

My model apartment had a twin bed and a lift chair. 

The pretty little model apartment I stayed in

There was a dresser at the end of the bed with a tv on it and this DVD player/VCR combo dealie next to it.

Interesting technological choice

And in the top drawer was this.  Romance, WWII, and westerns.

It was a little weird to sleep alone in a tiny twin bed, but I had my Kindle and Roseanne was on tv, so it was okay.
Hi Leonard, I mean David!
The whole place is supposed to look like "home".  Each apartment has a mailbox outside the door, and Mom checks hers several times a day - apparently they get to the mail delivery when they can, but it's at different times each day.  Mom doesn't get much mail.  She gets postcards from my friend here in FL, but my sister took over all her finances when she moved, so she doesn't get all her various statements anymore.  I try to send her a card at least once a week or so, but most days she doesn't get mail.

The dining room is pretty nice, and the food was mostly really good.  It's weird after the place Mom used to live, with its big dining room and dozens of people, to be in a relatively small dining room with only eight or ten other people.

Mom is always the first one there

They print up menus every day, with several different food options for each meal.  Mom orders whatever she wants, and always tells them to "just bring a little bit".

The menu for my birthday, St. Patrick's Day

 On my birthday my sister and her husband took us out for lunch the Village Tavern restaurant.  Mom and I shared the salmon.  It was the first time that Mom has been out since she moved into this new place at the end of January.

My sister brought me a birthday cake
Mom really does seem to be doing fine there.  The only thing I worry about is that she doesn't have any friends, and there are just not very many people for her to pick from.  She has meals most days with a chatty, cheerful lady named Marion, a 98-year old well-dressed lady with red lipstick and pink nail polish and a very strong southern accent.  She's nice, but she and Mom are not friends the way Mom was friends with Mickie and Wilma and Marie back at the other place.

This assisted living home has a large area, completely separated from the part where Mom lives, that is dedicated to Alzheimer's patients.  Mom had been curious about it, so when I was there I got permission to go in and we gave ourselves a little tour.  Except for being behind a locked door, it was pretty much the same as the part Mom lives in.  Well, there was one thing that gave me a bit of a pang; in one corner was a crib filled with baby dolls.  

Mom's apartment is nice, although much smaller, it's really a studio instead of a one-bedroom.  She seems very comfortable in it, though.  She had a nice view before, and now she has a view of a steep slope with some landscaping right outside the window, and on the top of the hill is a McDonald's drive through.  It's not exactly awful, but it's not pretty, either, and she can't see the moon anymore at night.

I have taken to calling Mom twice a day, one quick call in the morning and one in the evening.  She has started saying that she loves me at the end of every call.  We used to say it sometimes, but only rarely, on especially emotional occasions.  I like it, and I like telling her that I love her too.