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The Big Cock Debacle 2013 {and why I’m actually making a New Year’s res this year.}

6 Jan

I have a pretty keen eye for many things. But clearly I have some gaps in my ability to grasp certain details. Like how some links are created on good old Facebook.

Let me explain.

A few days before Christmas this year I was taking a zone out/Facebook surfing break in between a slew of obligations I had to attend to.

I avoid posting, sharing or responding to anything that is strongly political or religious, which often have political overtones. I’m not offended that people post such things. Freedom of speech and all. Just like they have the right to post I have the right to ignore and keep my views private or for more personal conversations.

I like funny stuff. Who doesn’t. I like edgy and sometimes inappropriate stuff too. Again, I’m not alone.

One of the of the page feeds that I have “Liked” is the Onion’s Facebook page. The Onion is delightfully sarcastic, satirical, irreverent, comical and funny. Definitely edgy and often times inappropriate.

Among other posts to FB, they had posted an article (more of a photo collection) titled “The Big Cocks Of 2013”. How could I ignore an invitation like that? Click.

A collection of about 11 photos, a very impressive body of work. Call me immature for scrolling through photos of dude junk. It was hard to look away. A little bit shocking (they weren’t joking) I think because while women’s breasts and asses are plastered all over the place, whether you are looking for it or not, male genitalia is kept tucked away. Unless, of course, you are deliberately looking for it. I certainly wasn’t offended. Entertained really.

What was most entertaining though weren’t the photos themselves (I never knew their was so much landscaping done in the land of Man Gardens) but rather the text underneath the photos. Things along the line of “Hey, you sicko perv! We told you what you would be looking at. Clearly you’re here to see some dick!” and “Oh by the way, this cock belongs to the guy who but this photo gallery together.” and “This is an illustration of a dick. From a photo of a dick.” I guess it tickled my funny bone that they didn’t even try and deliver something other than what the title was and then made fun of the fact. Which made the comments in the FB thread funny as well; “I was not expecting that.” and “I thought I was going to see a giant chicken stomping on New York city.” and “Where’s Foghorn Leghorn?”

I show my love and appreciation to the posting site by clicking “Like”. It is my way of showing that I have seen their efforts and I applaud them. A slap on the back between me, the site and other “Likers”. Or so I had always  thought.

Later that evening my husband and I went to a friend’s Holiday cocktail party. Their house was filled with people we were delighted to see and share time, drinks and conversations with. At one point my husband and I were around the outside fire pit with a few other couples. I brought up the Onion’s post. Describing it and creating gales of laughter among everyone was pretty easy. Selfies of penises + irreverent written content=giggles.

The next morning my husband came into our master bathroom area while I was getting dressed.

Hubby: “I checked out that post you were talking about last night. I’m the size of most of those guys”. To qualify his statement he dropped trou. As if there was any doubt. Except for the elephant’s penis. Thankfully.

Me: “Oh, so you hunted down the post on the Book Face?”

Hubby: “You made a link to it on my Facebook feed.”

Me: “What? No I didn’t. I didn’t do the whole ‘Share’ thing. I had just clicked ‘Like’.”

Hubby: “What do you think that does? It makes a link. Here, look.” Okay, that hurt a bit because he knows very little about settings and navigating on FB. Or so I had thought.

Me: “Really?” Ohmygodohmygodohmygod…OH MY GOD! “really…”

Hubby: “Yeah. Now your Grandma and your twelve year old son know you like big cocks.” And my employer, maybe some older teen dance students, their moms, other parents who my kids go to school with…F*CK!

Have you ever been in that brain space where you are waiting for the bomb to drop? You aren’t quite sure if the drop will even happen, or how exactly it will play out,  but you start to create your new reality anyway. That was my brain space. Would I get onto Facebook and find that I have been un-friended by a mass offended and disgusted friends? Will I have messages from angry mothers? Will my boss ( who I’m sure likes big cocks, just not posts about them) be wanting to have strong words with me? Erg.

I mean, they were just photos of penises. Photos that should best be left off of FB. Shit.

So, amazingly, at least to me, there was no fall out. I didn’t want to post an apology or anything because that would surely bring attention to it. “Hey, just in case you missed my exercise in stupidity and carelessness, here it is! Check out these cocks! Yeah baby! Um, sorry.”

My husband had a good laugh telling some friends and my mother.

I felt, still feel, embarrassed and foolish for not realizing that hitting “Like” creates a pretty clear link on a news feed. Yeah sure, I know it pops up in that little side feed in the right column. It’s column everyone pretty much ignores. Like a harmless and tiny gnat; it’s constantly buzzing but not enough to smack the shit out of it. When I went onto my news feed and really looked I clearly saw how links like my “Like” clicking are created. “So and so Likes this”. Bold as brass. How could I have been so blind. Der der der.

I rarely, if ever, make New Years resolutions. I have always felt that if something is worth doing or changing then the new habit or change should be implemented ASAP.

I feel that I have been given a wonderful opportunity to change my ways. Or at least to be more discerning and discreet about what I allow to link up on my feed. How many other crazy things have I made links to with “Liked” posts such as this one; The 5 Parts Sex Porn Doesn’t Prepare You For. via cracked.com. I will just have to send my love and appreciation for this kind of hilarity through the ether. Or just email it to people that I know for sure will get a kick out of it.

Oh, and if you’re wondering where the link for the post from The Onion that inspired this post…well, I’ve done enough. You want some dick pics, find ’em yourself.

I will stick with clicking “Like” and “Share” for site like these:

upworthy.com; A Brave Fan Asks Patrick Stewart…

Dance related articles, video and pictures.

Crazy, cool stuff I want to talk my husband into doing with me…

Hilarity without photos of genitalia…

And just about anything from wimp.com

Overprotective Kitten

…or Earth Porn…

With all of those choices, who needs pics of big dicks? (Of course I will still look with a title like “Big Cocks Of 2013.”)

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Image source.

Thanks for hanging out. Have a great 2014!

Got any  FB or other social media tales of folly?

December 26th. My Favorite Day Of The Year.

30 Dec

 

 

Apparently I came flying out of the Christmas closet this year as a raging Grinch. Both barrels ba-lazing with cynicism and grumpiness. For most of my adult life the Christmas holiday season has brought with it stress. I know I’m not alone in that. Everybody feels it. I’ve had Christmases in the past that I have fond memories, when we had only two kids and they were really little. No trying to keep up with school events. Grandparents were still working, thus too busy too obsess about ridiculous shit.

It always seems the same each year; not enough time to get everything done and worries about money. One finds themselves rushing around to holiday functions (business holiday parties, their kids’ Christmas performances, etc) all the way up till “break time” which offers no break once you have kids because that’s when you can finally get stuff done for your own family. I have a handful of friends in college right now and I really felt for them having to wrangle their kids and finals!

I was lamenting to a friend a month or so ago that it seems ridiculous to me that we all get wrapped up into an event only once a year that embraces the concept of loving your fellow man and spreading reverence and good cheer when really those should be aspects of our everyday lives. Instead of going bat-shit crazy with all the planning for a one or two day event, pretending to just love the reason for the season while dreading the thought of being forced to spend time with people that you try really hard to avoid the rest of the year. I know this isn’t everyone’s predicament, but I also know that it is so for many. Good cheer, good will towards man should be part of our everyday lives and not just dragged out during the same part of the year that we mentally strategize how to avoid starting that one special relative on a bigoted triad.

I’m sure my attitude will change once I have grandchildren of my own, or my own children start moving out. I hope my attitude does change. I also hope that I remember all the things that relatives do that really drive me berzerk and that I make better choices myself.

The only thing I dislike more than all the commercialism and chasing of one’s tail at Christmas is complaining about it without coming up with ideas to counter all the bullshit.

So, I’ve put together an inventory of  things that I do like and some ideas to have good cheer all year.

I love getting Christmas cards and letters. Mine are usually thrown together in a haphazard collage form as I desperately try to pull together something representing our family’s year. This year I didn’t even get it started till after the “big day”, and instead am opting for a Happy New Year’s version. But I am always excited to get them in the mail from others. Hell, I like them from people I don’t even know (usually business associates of my husband). I enjoy reading the Christmas letters that they have constructed, updating everyone on their family’s goings on. I save them. Year to year.

Sappy and/or silly Christmas movies. We stumbled upon this little gem; Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger. I love how Brits beautifully balance tradition and irreverence.

In trying to make sure that I got the right amount of stocking stuffers for the kids and grandparents I completely shorted my wonderful hubby. My lover, my friend and co-parent for the last twenty years, and he got just a bag of beef jerky from me. Mainly because it was convenient to grab one for him when grabbing some for other male folk in our family. I felt like shit. Aside from pointing out that I had taken care of food and organizing a lot of the stuff for the kids, he also pointed out that its been like that for the last two decades. He gets me all kinds of goodies and I get him…some. I couldn’t tell if that fact bothered him or having to point it out while I was having a mini-hissy fit at midnight on Christmas Eve. So do I fix it by making sure to knock his socks off with a stocking full of new socks next Christmas morning? No. Remember, I’m sort of done with the crazy hustle bustle of the 12 days of insanity. No, I am going to go with the good cheer all year. Once a week I’m going to try and treat him to something that will just make him smile and feel a little giddy. Maybe a couple of Charleston Chews or a bottle of top shelf tequila. Perhaps even a late night strip tease now and again (Ladies, if you haven’t gone on that adventure with your husband I highly recommend you do. It’s awesome for both parties!).

Over the years we have hosted many events at our house. BBQs, holiday feasts. pool parties. Mostly family events. I want to have more parties and get togethers with those that I don’t always get to spend time with, but would love to do so. I’m thinking a “Good Cheer, All Year” get together cocktail party. We will be moving into a rental house in the near future, but my ass needs to cash the check that my mouth is making on this one. I want to pick a time of year that not much in the way of obligatory holidays are going on.

Perhaps in embracing my year round ideas and remembering about the things I do love about the yuletide season will get me off the Grinch track.

December 26th is still my favorite day of the season, if not the year. It ensures that I have over 300 days to not give a crap about Christmas. Now I can focus on the glory of everyday.

A Smart Phone In A Sauna? {Is that really smart?}

11 Dec

About 2 or 3 times a week I try to spend some time in the dry sauna at my gym. I will usually do this after I have taught a morning Zumba class and have done some resistance exercises for myself, and right before I take my shower and get on with the rest of my day. While in the sauna I do a few yoga stretches, focusing on my lower back, hamstrings, pirifomis, shoulders and quads. I have an addition towel to the one that I sit or lay on so that I can drape my goodies depending on the type of stretch I’m doing. It’s all ladies in the looker room and the sauna is very small and never heavily populated, but I feel it’s the polite thing to do. If they have a problem with toplessness, well, then they are outta luck.

I started visiting the sauna on a recommendation from my husband. He knows an orthopedic surgeon who swears by a hot sauna’s effectiveness, combined with some gentle stretching specific to a trouble spot, or spots,  to help alleviate soreness. Since I have constant tightness in my lower back and pirifomis I thought what do I have to lose. Prior to starting this routine I had never been inside a dry sauna.

The first thing I noticed was the heat. The heat combined with the smallness of the little room. About the size of a walk-in closet and completely lined with wood (red cedar?), its usually heated up to somewhere in the high 160’s degrees wise. Benches lined two of the four walls. Fortunately the door is mainly made of glass, sparing me from a complete claustrophobic break down. Once I was able to wrap my head around how freaking hot it was (I felt like my lungs had to adapt to a new atmosphere), I quickly melted into a mode of relaxation. I don’t time myself, but rather let my own heat tolerance determine when to cry uncle. Sometimes I don’t get through all the stretches that I want to do. Opting instead to bail lest I risk passing out or getting felled by heat induced nausea.

So, I’ve continued the routine. My visits had to go on hiatus for a month or so while repairs were being done to the wet sauna. Since they are right next to each other in my gym both had to be sectioned off for the repairmen to work, undisturbed by the constant stream of naked ladies (all ages, mind you. I’d love to know their take on ladies’ locker room talk). Both have once again become accessible. I can once again feel the benefits in my muscles. My dry sauna visits don’t completely eliminate my trouble spots, but the visits do help me to maintain a large range of movement while cutting down on the pain. Then there is also the mind calming aspect. Didn’t realize how much I missed that until I got it back.

Most of the time I am in the sauna all by my lonesome. Sometimes someone is in there when I go in. Sometimes someone will join me during my sit. There’s plenty of room. Conversations are at a mellow and relaxed pace. Heat will calm everything you do down. No need to get into any heavy topics since we intuitively know that our individual time is short in the little room of devouring heat. Once it’s time to leave, it is time to leave. Some women come with just their towels on, others will have their workout clothes still on (I would go insane, like bat-shit panic level insane) or a bathing suit. Once I noticed that a young lady in the spa just outside the sauna was drying her sweat soaked tank top and yoga pants in the dry sauna. Can’t fault that kind of ingenuity.

A number of months ago a young lady was sitting in the sauna, wearing workout clothes and shoes (personal panic moment) and vigorously texting on her smartphone. It struck me as odd to have an electrical device in such a hot environment. It also made me feel a little of what I can only describe as sympathetic anxiety that she couldn’t just tune the world out and be separated from her cell phone for the short time while in the sauna. Why even go into the sauna if those texts are so damn important. But, not my problem.

A couple of weeks ago I was doing my routine time in the sauna with some gentle yoga poses and stretches. A lady joined me (super cute purple bikini). She commented on how she missed the clock that used to be on a wall close by the hot water spa, visible from the sauna door as well. It helped her keep track of the time so she could make a yoga class (I wonder if she appreciated my variations on Gomukhasana and Janu Sirsana poses). I’ve felt the burn of my earrings in the sauna the times I have forgotten to remove them, so wearing a watch wouldn’t work out much better. I mentioned that I saw a gal bring her smartphone in once and how it seemed kind of crazy to me, but I’m sure she could keep track of time. She replied with, “Coming in here is a way to escape from all that stuff (being electronically connected to everything). I wouldn’t want to bring all that in here with me. That would feel miserable.” So true. Interestingly, I was having similar thoughts minutes earlier as I was settling in.

Sitting in the sauna, enveloped in the heat, provides me with not just a physical restoration of sorts, but a psychological and emotional one as well. The extreme heat and the snugness of the room cause my mind to slow down and relax. I don’t know if it’s my own version of mentally surviving the onslaught of heat and my body’s physical response to it, or if it is just plain old relaxation. Because anxiety would get in the way of coping with the heat and smallness of the room, my thoughts tend to gravitate towards neutral, calming positive thoughts. The complexities of the world, in my mind, become as stripped down as myself. My breath becomes the atmospheric sound. I think the sauna must butt up against the men’s locker room, because I can often hear muffled male voices. I like the timbre of the male voice, and since I can’t make out their words the sound is kind of soothing.

There is a dimly lit light in the small wood lined room. It throws an almost candlelit hue of soft light. My skin looks beautiful and luminescent in it. Not because my skin is particularly beautiful in color or tone, it’s not. Anyone’s skin would look beautiful under the lighting, but I can stare at my own, thus sparing another some extreme awkwardness.

Thoughts and feelings gently roll through my brain as I listen to my body during my various stretches. Sometimes I will find an especially tight spot. My mind will conjure scenes of serene fields of tall grass and wild flowers blowing gently in a breeze as I inhale and exhale through the tightness in my muscles.

Image source.

As sweat starts to bead  on my heated skin and my muscles melt my mind drifts to seas of rolling burgundy velvet. Sensual and rich like handfuls of damp, nutrient rich earth.

Hey! Wait a minute! (Image source)

That’s more like it.

As my anxieties are overridden by my relaxation and pleasure center, the world becomes a little clearer. My tasks and directions for the day line up like obedient sentries. Things appear a little brighter, crisper, cleaner.

Image source.

There is absolutely nothing on my smartphone that can compete with all of that.

I think a basic understanding of electronics will lead most to realize that high heat is not good for batteries, of any kind. Or motors. Have you ever noticed that most appliances and electronics that generate a  lot of heat have built in fans? I have a Belkin Laptop Cooling Pad for my laptop, and I bought one for my daughter (oh, that reminds me; a great gift for my other daughter who got a laptop earlier this year. Woo Hoo!). Jump into a wet sauna and you are adding moisture with the heat. Lame. Don’t do it. Learn to decipher the buzzing in your head. Do not reject it as boredom. Boredom is too elevated of a state for most humans to actually be in. It means that you have absolutely nothing to do or think about. That is not the case for most anyone with a pulse and at least a couple brainwaves.

Image source. Tumblerone.

Be smart and stow away that smartphone before venturing into the sauna (wet or dry). Become the interesting thing on the mobile web.

Thoughts? Do you do the sauna sit’n’sweat? Wet or Dry? Terrifed to be parted from your mobile device? Or looking for a good escape? 

A Story That Brought Tears To My Eyes {and why I’m really uncomfortable with a Facebook game}.

29 Aug

Image credit.

A few weeks ago my husband, two sons and I went over to another family’s house for  a BBQ, a jump in the pool and to drink Mojitos (for the grown-ups, of course). The host family and one of the other families are long time friends of ours. The other family was one that we had only met one other time at a child’s birthday party. The birthday party had had way more guests, so it was nice that we had the opportunity to get to know them better.

I learned that the wife/mom, we will call her K, was a breast cancer survivor. I would put her age close to mine, 43. So young.

Our beautiful host wife/mom, Super J., had recently competed in her third Women’s Figure Competition, (Erg, not so sure about those things). Since I had gone to see Super J. compete, K was helping me to remember one of the other competitors who happened to be a close friend of hers and a fellow cancer survivor. K described her as the one that was a lot curvy than the other competitors in her division. K’s friend knew she wasn’t going to place, but it wasn’t about winning the competition for her. She had already won her battle against cancer. She wanted to do something that put her back into control of her body. They had similar surgical techniques used for their reconstructive surgeries, breast reconstruction with flap surgery.

Our conversation went from surgery recovery to K’s experience with chemo and the loss of her hair.  When she started pulling out clumps of hair, K told me that she had decided it was time to just shave it all off. Her friend, who had already gone through chemo and was getting her locks back stepped up to the task. K’s husband came home to find his wife and their friend in the backyard with the kids and the electric clippers. Once K’s hair was buzzed her friend inquired as to who was going to do her head next. Despite K’s insistence that that was absolutely not necessary, “Your beautiful hair has already come back in!”, her friend insisted. She got her way when she ran the clippers from the middle of her hairline to the crown of her head. No turning back. K’s husband pitched in to do the rest. It was at this point in K’s story that the tears started running down my face.

Even though I had only recently gotten to know K, it was clear to me that she was not one to feel sorry for herself or stew in troubling memories. She told me her experience in a very upbeat tone. I felt a little foolish for getting so emotional at hearing her story. But when I think of all the fears of confronting an illness like cancer, and especially when one has to wonder if they will lose the opportunity to watch their children grow up, I can’t help but get emotional. I’ve never confronted cancer myself and can only go off of accounts I have heard or read about. Accounts of bravery and patience and optimism in the face of the unknown.

As K hugged me in comfort she reassured me that she was in great health now. The cancer that attacked her breasts got its ass kicked. She also had tons of support. Every step of the way she had friends and family helping her. Shoulders to cry on, rides for her kids, meals prepared. It was her husband who she felt went without the same kind of support. He was scared and overwhelmed. Was he going to lose his beloved wife? Were his children going to lose their mother? As the man it was his job to demolish anything that threatened his family. How do you get something you can’t even see into a choke hold? There is no threat that you can hurl, no posture that you can adopt. Cancer doesn’t care.

Image credit.

K’s concern for the lack of support her husband had during her battle brings to the game I just can’t get behind.

A FB friend sent me this message as part of a group message;

“Fun game for Breast Cancer Awareness! It’s that time of year again…support of breast cancer awareness! Last year’s game was writing your bra color as your status…or the way we like to have our handbag handy. Last year, so many people took part that it made national news… and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness! Do NOT tell any males what the status means…keep them guessing!! And please copy and paste this in a message to all your female friends. The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to GIRLS ONLY and let’s see how far it reaches. The last one about the bra went all over the world. YOUR STATUS SHOULD SAY: “I am going to Mexico for 21 months.” Instructions: The month you were born is the Place you are going, and the day you were born should be how many months you are gone…. January – Mexico; February – London; March – Miami; April – Dominican Republic; May – Paris; June – Rome; July – Hawaii; August – California; September – New York; October – Puerto Rico; November – Las Vegas; December – Australia.”

Now, this FB friend is more of an acquaintance, but what I know of her is that she is a very nice lady who loves her hubby and kiddos. Over the last couple of years I’ve seen similar posts on other friend’s pages, including some cousins. All lovely ladies. I’m not much for FB games or “…If you feel the same I dare you to post as your status for an hour” type posts. I’m more for hitting  the “share” button on an article  from a reputable source when I want to bring attention to a particular issue.

I’m all for awareness of diseases. So doing something that reminds us of the existence, danger and treatment options for something like breast cancer is an endeavor I can get behind. What I struggle with, in this particular situation with the FB thing, is the intentional shutting out of men. Yes, breast cancer occurs more frequently in women, but it does occur in men. For me though, it’s not even that. Women who suffer from breast cancer are usually surrounded by men. Men who love them. Fathers, husbands, sons, brothers. I just don’t see how doing a sort of “Na na na nana” type of game will help anyone. And trust me on this, we, as women may have fun with the idea of games and feel that it will tickle the funny bone of interest. But men? When they realize that they are on the joke end, if they even pay attention to it to that point, they won’t suddenly sit up and think “How could I not have been aware all this time?”. They will tune the silliness of it out. Not because they are incapable of caring, because nothing could be further from the truth. But, in my opinion and experience, the male brain just doesn’t respond to such antics.  And let’s face it, the feeling of exclusion doesn’t feel good regardless of one’s gender. Perhaps I have yet again over thought the subject. Doesn’t change how I feel at my core though.

My opinions of the differences between the male brain and the female brain aside, this is what really rubs me the wrong way about this seemingly harmless FB game. For years I have know women who have battled breast cancer, as well as women who have lost loved ones to breast cancer. But as I have gotten older, so have my peers. So has the incidence of breast cancer in my sphere of interactions. A couple of years ago a family at my sons’ school was confronted with the issue. At the time my sons were in grades 2nd and 5th. Two of the sons of  the mother who was yet another woman to receive the terrifying diagnosis of breast cancer were classmates of my boys. While I wasn’t terribly close to the family, our children tracked many grades together, my daughter had babysat a few times for them.

It is so hard to know what to say when you find out someone that someone you know, but not really well, has cancer. Or what to say to their loved ones. Have they already been bombarded with comments from others? Offers of help? Which offers are hollow, which are rock solid?  How many times have they had to patiently bide time while someone (we all know this someone) exhibits the worst case of foot in mouth, the likes of which haven’t been witnessed in decades.

Sure, husbands and fathers, they put on a strong face. Almost overnight I have seen a man’s personality go from fun, jaunty and in control to one of a man walking through a mine field. Where once his beautiful wife was the parent chatting outside of a classroom waiting for the day’s final bell to release her offspring, he instead stands. And waits. If you know anything about the male brain then you know that action is an important next step to accessing a situation. Something or someone comes at his wife or children, he will beat it down. Access level of danger, then seek to destroy. At least that has been my experience of the men in my life that are in full possession of their faculties. Action is their comfort. How does one wrap their hands around something one can not see. What verbal warnings can you deliver to cancer? You can’t negotiate with cancer. There is only waiting and praying and trusting in the doctors and treatments offered.

I can’t imagine the terror of receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer or having a loved one receive the dire news. The closest I have ever come to it is a few years back my now 20 year old daughter found a lump in one of her breasts. She was 16. While changing clothes her wrist bumped against the exact spot that a hard lump was lurking in her breast tissue. After meeting with her pediatrician, he referred us to a surgeon that specialized in breast cancer. It wasn’t that our pediatrician was overly concerned about breast cancer in our teenager, but the lump was sizable enough and hard enough that it was out of his realm of expertise. Upon examination the surgeon felt confident in what it was. A fibroadenoma. A solid, noncancerous mass that most often develop in adolescent girls and women under 30. Even though fibroadenomas are benign, and the doctor was almost 100% sure in her diagnosis, there is always the fear that there is something much more malevolent going on. Surgery was the recommended course of action. The choice to just leave it alone was an option, but removing it now would potentially avoid other problems in the future; having to go through multiple diagnoses as my daughter traveled through life and different doctors, the potential for it becoming cancerous in a few decades, as well as the impending reality that my daughter would be becoming romantically intimate in the coming years, and a hard lump might be a bit of a mood dampener. We, my daughter, her father and I, opted for surgical removal of the lump. At first my daughter was reluctant to go with the surgical option. It’s a benign lump, can’t it just be left alone? I reminded her of the reasons the doctor gave for its removal. Besides, why not put it on our tab while you can? Dammit, I wanted that thing out of her and gone.

It was a simple, same-day surgical procedure. The surgery was successful, the results from the biopsy came back just as the doctor predicted, benign. Each stone along the path was frightening nonetheless. Something had embedded itself inside our child that neither I nor her father could get at. Our daughter had to face the reality of being cut into so that something could be cut out of her. What if the doctor’s first diagnosis was wrong? What if the lump wasn’t benign? What if something went wrong with the surgery? Why was my daughter’s body betraying her? Betraying us?

I know that our small scale experience with our daughter’s fibroadenoma is a mere blip in comparison to the terror that a diagnosis of breast cancer carries. It is frightening and exhausting for the women that must fight against the cancer. To face the uncertainty, the impending onslaught of treatments designed to kill the cancer and hopefully not the host. Exhaustion, fear, anger, sickness. Facing the realty that in order to save the whole body, part of her must be cut away. Jumping from one stone to the other, each floating precariously upon a path in murky unpredictable waters. Yes, she needs support. She needs a shoulder to cry on, words of inspiration, meals prepared, the needs of her children met, a cool rag on her forehead during raging bouts of nausea. And then there are the men who would give up anything to have the women they love and rely upon be spared the fight of cancer. The husbands who must now muddle through the tasks that their wives and the mothers of their children have always made look effortless, all the while being in a near constant state of helplessness. The father who has always played the role of Superman must now wait to see if their daughter will survive the betrayal of her body. It is not a time for games. But it is a time for awareness.

So do I go onto Facebook and blurt out my opinions? To what end? To make my friends become “aware”? They are aware, and like I stated earlier, they love and care about the men in their lives. I would wind up looking self-righteous, because, frankly, I would feel that way if I were on the other side of all this. Hurting feelings or leaving even a twinge of self-doubt and embarrassment is not my intentional M.O.  Besides, I don’t know every detail of their lives, so who am I to judge.

I will follow what I feel to be right for me, with an eye towards compassion to my neighbor. Perhaps it is time to explore outlets and organizations that are designed to meet the needs of men who need support while they are supporting a beloved woman who is battling cancer. Share that information on Facebook. Add to the kitty of knowledge as opposed to claiming that there is something missing from it.

Here is a really good article about what not to say to a cancer sufferer, their caregivers or loved ones.

For two years in a row I organized an annual Party In Pink Zumbathon at the gym where I am a Zumba and group ex. instructor. I missed doing one last year. Perhaps it is time to start organizing one for this year. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I best get crack’in!

 

Image credit.

Perhaps the next time I come across the husband of a sort of know them couple, who’s wife has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, I will get in the game and let sincerity be my guide.

Thoughts? Have you or someone you know been a caregiver for a loved one battling cancer? Are you a cancer survivor? Advice for the rest of us?

Thanks for hanging out and reading.

Erin.

Why Blog? Here’s My List.

5 Aug

I’ve been away from this blog for quite a while. Life.

I am always thinking about topics to post about. What direction to go. Is this a food blog? Not especially. I cook a lot, what with four kids and a husband. I’m not crazy about cooking. Of course I love it when my family is happy with a recipe that is successful and delicious. And there is a thrill in learning a new dish or technique. I’ve learned a great deal over the last couple of years about how foods, namely what kinds of foods, are conducive to mine and my family’s health and well being. The art of cooking and food prep doesn’t really float my boat though. Usually I’m a spaz in the kitchen with a control-freak streak and a hearty side of total bitch. Whenever I try out new recipes I’m usually on the verge of hollering, “That’s it! Screw this! Get the cans of tuna and a can opener. And will somebody please make me a damn drink!”. It’s a flaw. I own it.

With so many talented food and lifestyle bloggers out there, I’m sure my lack of contributing will not be missed. Although I do love swapping kitchen adventure tricks!

Is this a blog about family and parenting advice? Dear God Ya’ll, run for the hills if it is! I am by no means a perfect parent. Yet, somehow my husband and I have produced four amazing human beings. We can even “eat the pudding” in the raising of one of them, as she is a bona fide adult at 20 years of age. Granted, she is not yet completely on her own, as she still lives at home while going to college full time and working. But she is going to college full time and working. She has a good head on her shoulders, as does her 16 year old sister. Even when she disagrees with us, at times quite adamantly, about life philosophies, we know she is coming from a grounded and sincere place. As far as parenting styles go, I want to run wild in the streets with this one!

Dance and Fitness? I have a blog for that, misserindancefit.blogspot.com. I like to cross blog sometimes. What I like even more is having another blog that is a little more removed from extended family. We all need a place to complain about that one (or multiple) crazy family member!

Why even have a blog? A question I have often asked myself. I know why I have the misserin one. It helps me pass info to a lot of my Zumba, Balletone and ballet students. Show tutorials for dances or exercises and what not. But what about the random things that bump around in my head. I mean, really…who cares? Um…well, I kinda do. Sometimes I will come across something on Cracked.comJezebel.comBlogHer.com or a myriad of other sites that cross my path. There are articles that I don’t want to forget, or that I want to correlate with another idea, and I don’t want to forget that coupling. I know I am not alone. The internet is an amazing firestorm of ideas and notions. Perhaps the number one reason for me, and the one that I should stay keen on, is that I have always been fascinated about writing. My skills aren’t finely tuned, my technical knowledge rough at best. But the one thing I know for certain; To get better at something, you must do that something. So to explore my skills at writing I must write. Even if it’s just to entertain myself. Or aggravate myself.

So what are some of the most pressing topics on my mind these days? Well, since you asked;

The never-ending adventures of marriage and parenting.

The process of going through a foreclosure.

The process of waiting to find out if my husband will remain gainfully employed where we currently live.

Why it’s important for a woman to embrace her inner sensuality.

How to keep those amazing fresh herbs I buy at the local Farmer’s Market from rotting to shit before I have a chance to use them.

Keeping Gluten-Free sexy and fun for the whole family!

Exploring my spiritual beliefs.

Recovering from my upbringing.

Adventures with aging parents who are crazy (crazy was there before the aging).

My ever-increasing intolerance to dealing with my parents.

Please Dear God, don’t let me become my parents!

Zeitgeist The Movie.

Am I screwing up my kids?

Is the world’s decreasing birth rate a disaster in the making for individual countries?

What do I want to do when I grow up?

Welcome to my cave.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow {What I’m Doing About My Thinning Hair Patches}.

28 Mar

Okay, I know, uber-lame title. But seriously, my hair is thinning! It started about 2 years ago. I had eased into the paleo/primal way of eating. While I was enjoying a list of benefits, my hair got a little cranky. My hair is somewhat fine, but I have a lot of it. Combined with natural waviness, I’ve always had a pretty decent head of hair. I don’t do much to it past washing and air drying. For about the last year and half I have been DIY coloring it, damn grays! I noticed the thinning before I started coloring regularly.

IMG_1077

While it’s not atrocious, it is noticeable to me. As well as unwelcome. As you can see in the picture, it is two patches on my hairline.

Maybe I could rock the Sonya Tayeh look. I LOVE HER!!!

At forty-three, it could be something hormonal. Although having removed gluten from my diet and reducing the amount of non-gluten grains and refined sugar has given me great benefits for other hormonal issues. At thirty-five I was pretty certain that I was perimenopausal. What with the night sweats, fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. The mood swings changed when I went on anti-drepressants. I started low-dose Prozac in my late-thirties after realizing that I had been in denial of my problems with chronic depression and anxiety for 20 years. I have been off of them for about 2 years now. It is a subject that I plan to write about in more depth in the near future. One of the things I had been researching just prior to starting anti-depressants was PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). I pretty much matched all the symptoms. Pregnancy seemed the only break I got from being on the crazy PMDD roller coaster. The hormonal storm of pregnancy usually came as a welcome relief. Now adays though, I feel very even keel. And, for me personally, being off of an SSRI makes me able to cry at sappy commercials a few days leading up to my period. I like getting choked up at sappy commercials.

I want to add here that I am in no way advocating that anyone should self-diagnose potential mood or depression disorders. And the decision to go on anti-depressants or off of them is a very important one that should be discussed with a profession.

Anyhows, what’s up with my hair? Back in the 80’s when I was dangerously under weight and amenorrheic (abnormal absence of menstruation), my hair was limp and thin. But it was restored back to it’s regular fullness once I started mending my health. My hair has survived 4 pregnancies and bouts of breast feeding. I lost all my ringlet curls, but still, my hair was evenly full.

A couple of years ago when I noticed my thinning hair patches I popped onto the web to see what I could find. I found a lot of words as long as my arm. But basically, the things that matched up to my situation, having made a major change in diet, but overall healthy, said not to worry overmuch. Hey, hair loss happens, fuhgeddaboudit. Also, that hair individual follicles are constantly going through phases of growth, death and regrowth all over the scalp, all the time. Sudden changes can cause some follicles to do a “groupon” move, thus the patches. One piece I read even said something along the lines of by the time you notice the thinning you are on the road to regrowth. This is due to the new hairs starting to push the old hairs out in their new “Spring” of regrowth. I don’t know. I still have these bothersome patches. Grrrrr.

So what am I doing about it? Besides trying not to panic. Well, I’ve been taking a skin, hair and nail supplement, Maxi-Hair by Country Life. While reading a post from one of my favorite blogs, The Great Fitness Experiment, the author mentioned a product that helped with her own hair-rific concerns. Nioxin was the name of the product. Some interweb research revealed that one of their product lines is a three part system, and it appeared that perhaps it was something available at the drugstore. I took a Saturday afternoon to hunt around my town for it to no avail. But what I did find, and have decided to try, is a product called B’iota Botanicals. Unlike OTC Rogaine type products that seem to only target what would be considered baldness patterns that start at the crown of the head (dear God! I hope that isn’t going on with me), as opposed to thinning along the hairline. B’iota seems to be designed to work on random patches. I bought the shampoo and the serum.

Hopefully this will do the trick. Or at least help a bit.

Dare I dream it…

 

or will I just have to settle for this big hare…

 

Thanks for hanging out and reading!

~Erin.

 

Do you have thinning hair problems? What do you do about it?

 

Cross-Blogenating Monday.

18 Feb

Here’s some of what I’ve been doing over at misserindancefit.blogspot.com.

 

Stay Safe! Some safety tips for women.

A friend on FB had sent out a post filled with tips and information about what rapists tend to look for in a potential victim. An unpleasant subject, yes, but seriously important info to know!

 

Quadratus Lumborum {Do A Little Stretch/Say A Little Om/Get down Tonight…}

A stretch for the quadratus lumborum (part of the network of back muscles). Also, a bit about yoga concepts and a video I found, for your viewing pleasure.

Mondays are great for a laugh!

 

Thanks for hanging out and reading!

~Erin

Do you have safety tips to share? It’s true- A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.

 

 

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