Fluff, Sweet Machine

Beat the winter doldrums: open thread

We’re having a bit of a slow day here at SP. Kate’s fending off reporters left and right, Fillyjonk is unavailable today, and I’m staring down the omg-why-is-my-university-on-the-quarter-system-anyway end-of-quarter blues. I’ve sat here for the last half hour trying to come up with a post full of trenchant, witty analysis of some fat-related thing, but it’s just not happening. I’m both unsurprised and un-outraged by Kirstie Alley’s split from Jenny Craig to start her own weight loss business. (My favorite quote: “I am especially passionate about seeing to it that our next generations are not struggling with the same weight issues that my generation has struggled with.” So are we, Kirstie, so are we. I’m just guessing we define “weight issues” differently.) I’ve racked my brains for an anecdote to entertain you with, but the frozen Chicago landscape has made all anecdotes seem joyless and uninteresting. There aren’t even any pudgy animals on Cute Overload right now!

It is a slow fat day, is what I’m saying.

Given that, I declare this an open thread. A pre-Friday Fluff, if you will. But to warm the frozen cockles of my heart, let’s aim for uplift: what’s making you happy today? For me, it’s the extremely charming Swedish pop singer Jens Lekman. I have a mega-crush on his album Night Falls Over Kortedala. What’s getting you through the bleak stretch of February, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere? If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, you lucky so-and-so, what fabulous summer activity are you enjoying right now?

134 thoughts on “Beat the winter doldrums: open thread”

  1. I have severe SAD with Bipolar and the thing that is literally getting me through this month is my Lightbox. It is my best friend and I *luv* it so. Also trying to not beat myself up over having carb cravings due to same problem is made easier by SP. You gals have taught me a hell of a lot in the past 6 months :)

  2. Cherade9, I have been totally neglecting my lightbox this winter, and I think that it’s caught up to me. I used to live in the Pacific Northwest, and SAD was a lot worse then (at least we get the sun here!) and I got cocky. Next winter, I’ll be all over it!

  3. Pacific Northwest winters indeed. I’m in it, but it’s actually been sunny since Saturday, so that’s kind of rocking my world.

    The other thing that totally made me happy today was on the radio this morning. Some blurb about the 40th anniversary of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. They played a clip of the show: “You always make it a special day and a special week for me, by just your being you. There’s only 1 person in this whole world like you; that’s you yourself, and I like you just the way you are.”

    For some reason, that totally got me this morning.

  4. It’s stormy out today, but I’m working from home where at least I can look out the window and get some natural light (my office is in one of those 1950’s concrete boxes with windows for maybe 1/3 of the offices, not including mine). Right now I’m listening to some really good brass band & jazz music that makes me want to tear myself away from this computer and dance around the room. Even better, it’s my favorite day of the week, because tonight is LOST!!!1! :-) (yeah, I’m a fanatic).

  5. I’ve been hospitalised with my depression already this year and I’m trying not to fall down the hole again. My lightbox is my best friend! I want to get one of those ‘best friends forever’ heart penndants and give it to it :)

    In other fluff I’m having an exciting time making plans to either buy or make a dolls house for my 8 y/o son. And buy him some dolls. Having a gender varient kid is always interesting :)

  6. i’m listening to a lot of early stevie wonder, a one-man-band called Beirut (please check him out. please), jill scott, glen gould … basically just music i love, played loudly. and exercise. i’ve been doing a fast walk for an hour or a little more most days, rain or shine, listening to the above musicians and others on headphones. at the end of the walk i never want to go back inside. and i’ve been snowshoeing a bunch on the weekends. getting into a winter sport helps make winter something to look forward to. also, i try my best to get fully dressed and prettify myself every day. makes me feel more human even if i do work from my dining room.

    those are my expert tips : ) god, i can’t wait until april!

  7. What’s making me happy? My VPN connection to the company network is down, so I can’t get any new emails. I’ve turned my work cell phone on silent, so I can’t get any phone calls.

    Ahhh… the ability to work in peace.

  8. I’m getting my settlement check today from a car accident I was in last year :)

    It’s only $2G, but that’s way more than I could have gotten by myself. My boyfriend’s dad was my lawyer, he totes handed it to my insurance company.

  9. I ordered new bras online. Turns out my cup size is bigger than I thought it was and my band size smaller. Just like everyone always says is the issue. I am thrilled to think my rack will soon have a more comfortable home.

  10. I’m waiting for my heating to be fixed. So what I’m mostly doing is cardio even when it would be a yoga day in an attempt to keep warm.

    (So far I’ve managed to do something to my shoulders, which I think is down to Karen Voight’s strange fondness for ‘wave your arms over your head’ moves, but hey, I feel good about myself and I’m not shivering any more)

  11. Sauerkraut. The guy in the cube next to me had some, and the smell made me CRAVE it. So I marched right down to the deli and got some of my own.

    AND (as if sauerkraut wasn’t enough) tonight’s the night I teach piano to two of the most adorable kindergartners I’ve ever met. They’re twin sisters and they’re sweet and smart and hard working and creative and they just soak it all up like little sponges. I love these kids!

  12. Jens Lekman! High five!

    Happy-making things… let’s see… I finally took the plunge and ordered a pair of Duo Boots since the pair I have wanted for ever went on superdupermegasale and they shipped today. I have a pretty fun-filled weekend planned. I’m not crushed by deadlines right now.

  13. We in Frederick, MD are due for our 3rd ice/snow storm in 2 weeks here, which is unusual. And when all I can think about is how much of a pain in the ass the snow is; with all the shoveling and snow tires and waiting of the salt truck on my forsaken little street… I watch my 3 year old run around in the snow trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue.

    Yes, it’s winter, and there’s not much I can do to change that…just cope. Or I can learn from my son and catch snowflakes on my tongue.

  14. I’m completely torturing my friends on livejournal with pointless videos. Every day. What did we do before YouTub?

    Also, I nanny for a 1-yr old, and we watch a lot of musicals, so we dance and sing. Which sounds corny, and probably overly simplistic, but hey- its entertainment. And at least somebody is laughing with me instead of at me!

  15. Things that are making me happy;
    1-I’ve jumped through all the hoops my course wanted me to this week, so tomorrow I can get ahead on next week’s hoops or stay in bed.
    2- New scales (of the kitchen variety) so I’m going to make carrot cake.
    3- All my flatmates and their significant others are coming here this weekend, and we’re going to be extremely geeky and play trivial pursuit (possibly with penalty drinking) on Friday night.

    Btw, what’s a lightbox?

  16. My immediate supervisor put on her “bad cop” hat and forced our facilities department to fix the damn heat in my office, beacuse I am freezing and sick. Normally, it takes forever to get them to fix any problems, but she had it done in less than a day. I am impressed. i was inspired.

    I am certainly tired of winter though, and a touch SAD. I am keeping myself going by reminding myself that I have visitors who are coming who want to do nothing but spend time with me. That makes me happy!

  17. What keeps me happy lately is taking some advice from all the swimmers in the exercise thread and going to a water aerobics class. I am the youngest person there by about 40 years, and I love it! Man, those ladies can move.

  18. A Lightbox is a high intensity light without the harmful UV rays that is used in the treatment of SAD. Mine measures 10,000 Lux. It’s like a summers day in a box :)

  19. Today I’m happy that I don’t have to leave the office to go out into the cold cold winter. Also, after months of procrastinating, I joined a choir last night which means I will be able to share music with others again after a really really long time, which makes me inexplicably happy!

  20. For the winter Blaaaaahs —

    SAMe and sublingual B-complex upon rising

    EFA capsule, Vit C and chromium picolinate (for carb cravings) w/ breakfast

    St. John’s Wort tincture in the afternoon,

    Kava Kava tincture for panic attacks,

    and Valerian tincture before bed.

    I will be looking into a light box, thanks for posting that……

    I made up this “depression regime” after I went to the ER last week. The psyhiatrist asked “What can I do for you?” I said “I’ve been crying for three days, i need meds, like Celexa.” He burst out laughing in my face (literally). I said “What is so funny?” He said “I’ve never been given such a direct answer before.” (asshole) I’m glad he finds acute depression so hilarious. Anyway, he told me I was depressed and he sent me home. He wouldn’t even give me a fucking Xanax. I decided I can either cry myself to death or kick myself in the ass and cure myself. I chose the latter.

  21. I finally took the plunge and ordered a pair of Duo Boots since the pair I have wanted for ever went on superdupermegasale


  22. Woohoo! I just got another one!

    Well maybe, it hasn’t been signed off yet, but my work is going to pay for my parking ($180/month) and I’m probably *fingers crossed* getting a raise.

    I have some freakin’ good money karma today… who wants to touch me?

  23. Hi, Lexy. We haven’t met. But that’s not going to stop me from touching you. *poke*


  24. Even though I’m dubious about how much a President Obama would really change things, I’m glad his campaign is slowly but surely driving an iron stake through the Hillary Machine’s obsidian heart.

  25. Lost is on tonight! That show is the highlight of my week. Anyone else watch it?? (If you do, who’s your favorite Lostie? I heart Sayid!)

  26. Lexy, send some of that money karma my way! I’m anxiously awaiting to hear about grant funding for my summer research – which actually starts April 9 (only 6.5 weeks away – aaarghh!). I should start hearing back any day now…

  27. I’m ordering tie-dye stuff — dye and clothing blanks — from Dharma Trading. A sleeveless tee-dress for me, a long-sleeved t-shirt for C., a white denim jacket for his son, and four primary colors of dye and loads of mixing bottles to mix up all the pretty colors we want.

  28. I have decided that a wintry New York isn’t enough to stop me from flying tomorrow to Chicago for Think Tank. While nervous about the effect of Chicago’s famous windy streets on my perfect curls (can you say frizz?) I am warmed by the thought of having delightful conversation and hopefully meals and wine with COFRA members.

    I’m staying in Chicago through Monday afternoon. Anyone want to take the day off and come shopping/museuming with me?

  29. And jen in nyc, goddess but that sucks. A psychiatrist refusing to treat your depression? And laughing at you? What kind of shit is that? He should have his ass reported for that.

  30. I’m finally getting off my ass and doing something about the back pain and probably unrelated low-level depression I’ve been suffering these past few years.

    I am so looking forward to springtime and being able to wear short skirts again. I saw some sandals on Zappos that I really covet.

  31. I stopped reading at “quarter system.”

    I feel your pain, sweetmachine. Really, I do. Week 10 + finals starting Monday are making me want to scream and throw things and generally act like a big immature baby. :(

  32. Happy-making things… let’s see… I finally took the plunge and ordered a pair of Duo Boots since the pair I have wanted for ever went on superdupermegasale

    Me too! They arrived a few days ago and they are gorgeous.

    Another thing that’s making me happy: the deep water workout class I did yesterday. I feel fantastic today because of it. Working out in water is like 10 billion times better than working out on land (for me, I’ve always loved the water). I’d go every day if I didn’t have so little time to spend with Mike in the evenings as it is.

  33. I have some freakin’ good money karma today… who wants to touch me?

    ME! And I’m in your freakin’ part of the city, so there’s no excuse for not flinging some fairydust at my house.

  34. Today is a sunny, warmish mid February day here in frozen Northern Ontario. That’s one big happy. The second is tomorrow I get to drive 4 hours and meet my new neice! <3 She’s just over a week old and omg adorable. ^^

  35. I ordered swimsuit bottoms from Torrid and am excited to receive them. If they fit well, the hunt can begin for a top. :)

    I rollerbladed several blocks yesterday. I am a total beginner, so this is big news!

    Today is my Friday. :D I have a Friday off tomorrow for the first time this semester!

  36. Meowser —

    Thanks! I filed a complaint with St. Vincent Hospital (don’t take a dying animal there) and with the New York Department of Health. They are being investigated. That psychiatrist must have just graduated yesterday…… it was horrid. And just think about all of the patients who are treated like shit and they never speak up. Western medicine doctors think they are God.

    It’s best to look for integrative medicine docs. (think Dr. Weil. I LOVE HIM!) They will treat you like a human being.

  37. I mentioned a while back that I wanted to make a website of profiles of people who have really achieved healthy ‘weight goals’. I hate looking for stuff like that and finding all these ‘I lost 70 lbs’ stories.

    I’m wondering how to approach it, though, maybe folks could help me? I’m thinking about just a simple name/age/lifestyle (active/office life/etc) and a paragraph or two (or whole page, if you’re a writer) anecdote on whatever works — how biking to work makes you feel great, for instance, or how turning off Weight Watchers left you gorgeous and happy.

    I’m wavering on photos because that always feels faintly exploitive, and once a photo is up people can link to it and be jerks, but I’d like to put up a Pollyanna front and think maybe seeing lots of confident, lovely fat folk might be the anecdote to a crappy day. (And something good to direct kids/teenagers to who might have a visceral and positive reaction to the visual, y’know?)

    Any thoughts on a name? Or a style? Or if this is a good idea? I have the money and the skills to get a domain and build a site and I’d be happy to put my story up first, put my money where my mouth is.

  38. Overall I’m just surviving, but today it’s gotta be the sub! Just had lunch, and Subway actually made a *good* sub!!! I wanted Potbelly’s but they were so freaking packed I couldn’t even get in the parking lot. So Subway it was because I didn’t feel like hunting for something else….and they actually did good, and *gasp* had decent tomatoes!!!! I swear this is the first time I have EVER gotten decent tomatoes at Subway. So a belly full of yummy chicken-bacon-cheese-veggie goodness is making me quite happy.

    Throw some of that money karma my way, I just had to go buy my 6 year old some new jeans last night, she ripped a hole in another pair (and was down to one non-ventilated pair for school *eep*). Ugh…$100 down the drain on pants she’ll wear for maybe 3 months, then pack away for the summer, then probably won’t fit next year. Not a lot of money really, it’s the utter futility of the process. Kids grow too much.

  39. Here in Atlanta daffodils are blooming — and they’re such a cheerful yellow they’re always good for improving a person’s mood even if it is raining.

    Sorry about all you northerners still stuck with snow and cold, but your payback will come in August when you’re comfortable and it’s 105 with matching humidity here. :D

  40. LJ, my first advice is to avoid any terminology like “weight goals,” which sounds like diet talk. Maybe “health goals” or fitness goals. And if you want to use pictures, use pictures of people doing what it was that they were striving to accomplish, or just every day candid shots as opposed to posed full-body shots.

  41. Ok, since it’s a slow day. I’m a usual reader, though never-poster. But here it is:

    I’m fat –151 pounds on a 5’1 frame. It’s been a long, random journey, but I’ve given up hating myself. I go to the gym four to five times a week, and probably eat less well than I should, but oh well. I haven’t tried to lose weight for about two years because I know that I’m unhappy and guilt-ridden whenever I undertake weight loss. Bleck. So here’s my dilemma. I’m getting married to a great guy and I’m thrilled about it. And this is predictable — but … I would love to be able to wear a size 6 dress for it. Really look good. And yes, I know I’m fat and healthy, and I’ve accepted that, but — I still do wish I was thinner, I think just as an aesthetic thing. (Some people wish they had long straight hair, which I have and it doesn’t mean they’re horrible, right?) Essentially, I just want to be thinner for my wedding, but I’m afraid that by dieting I’ll become depressed and irritable and lose the peace of mind and sense of self I’ve had for the last two years.

    Any thoughts? Thanks to all. Please just ignore me if you find this question obvious and stupid.

  42. Yeah, it doesn’t get 105 in Boston but it does get in the 90s with pretty gnarly humidity. Granted, it doesn’t stay that way all summer…

    I dunno, I guess every place has its downside. Meanwhile, I’m just happy the sun is shining.

  43. Also: I LOVE LOST. I will talk about Lost with anybody, at least until Battlestar Galactic comes back on, in which case FUCK LOST let’s talk about BSG.

    I love Sayid, too. Jack wiggles his head too much. Dingdong the scatterbrained scientist cracks me up, as does Miles the Wisecracking Ghostwhisperer. I have no theories on WAHT IS HAPPENING??? but I’m hoping it somehow involves a race of super-intelligent lemurs.

  44. 1) I stopped by the glasses place to have my specs fixed, something I’ve been meaning to do since my daughter broke them Saturday morning. My face just looks better when not framed by emergency repairs

    2) While I was there, I tried on new glasses and fell in love. I’ve always worn thin wire rims meant to disappear. These new ones say “HI! I’M WEARING GLASSES. AREN’T THEY CUTE?” My mother will hate them.

  45. Today, I am happy because I saw the lunar eclipse last night (and I’m into spiritual pagan woo-woo stuff, so that adds a whole new level of cool to the experience). That’s about it right now. Oh, and I found a picture of my favorite place from vacation and made it the background on my computer at work. It makes me smile every time I look at it. :-)

  46. OTM: Absolutely — I put it in quotes because I wasn’t quite sure what to call it, but I want it to be sort of a counterpoint to the huge weight loss stories you see in trashy magazines. (And the NY Times, now and then. Heh.)

    Good idea about the photographs, for sure. The point isn’t to show the weight/shape/size, but the happy, y’know?

  47. fillyjonk:

    AAAAAAAAA!!!!!! no shit!! : )

    do you know architecture in helsinki? i have a feeling you’d like them if you like beirut. very different sound, but i think similar fans. they’re australian ( = happy sounding music. good for february).

  48. The point isn’t to show the weight/shape/size, but the happy, y’know?

    Totally. Which could serve as a nice counterpoint to all that “I had to lose weight so I could play with my kids!” crapola. Sort of going off what Kate said in that Red Eye article – when you stop obsessing about dieting, here are all the things you can do with your free time! Like play with your kids!

    So whereas weight loss sites are about weight loss goals, your site would be more about LIFE GOALS, a refutation of the fantasy of being thin.

    Of course, that’s pretty far afield of the fitness thing so probs outside of the scope of what you wanted to do. But this diversion does illustrate how all-encompassing and joyful FA is. It’s not just Health at Every Size. It’s LIFE at Every Size.

  49. Although sick, today I am happy for:

    1. My insurance payments being reduced. Wahoo.

    2. Singing with the Gossip on the way to work in my car. There’s nothing quite like singing your heart out in your car, no matter how stupid you look.

  50. I actually like the cold. So I am happy that it’s cold for just a little longer. (Of course I am fortunate enough not to suffer from SAD, otherwise I’m sure it would be a whole other ballgame.) Occasionally lately I have felt somewhat weary of the super-duper cold temperatures, but then I remind myself that it’s probably going to go straight from this to 70 with high humidity and tornadoes, and from there (no doubt) to 90 and not enough rain, and I’m happy again that I can enjoy winter for a bit longer. Yes, I am weird. :)

    I also got a haircut today. Every so often I get nervous that my new “cool” hairstyle is actually sort of frumpy. Then I get a trim and remember why I liked it. I am only uncertain when it’s sort of grown out and raggedy.

  51. A date last night – so bad that it’s now hilariously funny to dissect with my girlfriends today.

    Eating super spicy yummy Thai food with said girlfriends, while spraying hot sauce out our noses from all the laughter.

  52. I just finished an essay, which means I don’t have any due in for a WHOLE WEEK. And I’m now back to 3 essays every 2 weeks rather than 2 essays a week. Yay!

    In general, naps and chocolate bourbons make me happy. Hence I have crumbs in my bed.

  53. This has been a very long and very rough week for me – the February blahs are the very least of my worries, and everything I try to do to be nice to myself is blowing up in my face.

    But I realized as I’m reading through this and other posts that my coffee is tasting very, very good today. It’s my favorite blend and I’ve fixed it just right (yes, I’m a heathen who puts sweetener and cream in coffee because it’s my coffee and I like it that way). I’ll take my little pleasures where I can get them.

    I know icanhascheezburger has been mentioned before, but that site makes me laugh every single day. I really appreciate the gift of laughter.

  54. OTM – I totally have the hots for Sayid too. Jack? meh Sawyer? ok, but too bad boy (been there, done that) Faraday? yeah, he’s cute and amusing, but being a scientist I already know too many guys like that.

    Have you seen this Coolest LOST Theory EVAH that aak-attack posted? I think there’s something to it, especially after the projectile incident…

    [/thread hijacking] ;)

  55. The happy: My 6 month old wakes up happy EVERY morning. (Where does she get that?!)
    Leftover chicken tacos for lunch today from last night’s birthday dinner.
    Leftover brownie b-day cake.
    Having found a headband that stays on my (very) oddly shaped head.

  56. *flings karmic money attracting energy at Meowser*

    I’m in the Pearl and I di that in the general direction of SE, so I hope it gets to you :P

  57. I am ill. I had a fever yesterday and now my neck has swollen up and it hurts to swallow. To the doctor tomorrow, then, and hope I can get a note for the lab report that is going to be unusually bad if I have to hand it in.
    And I’ve spent most of the day wanting to cry for no particular reason.
    I suspect that when I get to my boyfriends house this evening, I will burst into tears as soon as he hugs me. But I don’t mind that, because sometimes a person just needs to cry. And everyone should have a safe pair of arms to be held in when they do. I finally have that. That’s what’s making me happy today.

  58. Well, I’m having a good month:

    * My birthday was last Sunday – I spent it at the movies
    * I finally remembered to pick up my antidepressants from the pharmacy
    * tomorrow I’m taking a free-form peyote stitch class
    * day before yesterday, Blender Magazine asked me if they can use a couple of my Mayercraft Carrier photos – it may not happen but they asked. (if you want to see the photos, they’re on flickr. Sorry that there’s no link, but Flickr doesn’t like link codes: http://flickr.com/photos/7256736@N03/sets/72157603856633792/)
    * Thursday is spinach melt day at the deli in my building
    * saving the best for last, I’m probably going to get to meet BuffPuff this summer!!!! I’m beside myself with excitement.

  59. It’s LIFE at Every Size. That’s actually not a bad title. I don’t think fitness goals are necessarily what it’s about — I’d love to have people who’ve got their eating disorders under control, too.

    Something like ‘I’m fat and here’s what my life is really about — you’ll notice the lack of baby flavored donuts’.

  60. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeees I totally read that theory. Aside from a tragic lack of lemurs, it’s pretty good. Basically, as long as Jack doesn’t wake up in bed next to Kate and say, “It was all a crazy dream!” or it doesn’t turn out to be something God-related, I’ll be pretty content with the explanation.

    For pure beefcake hotness, however, Desmond is my man, brutha. Damn.

  61. Ooh, Pearl to Southeast — I’m in downtown around the courthouse area and am hoping that some trailing karmic money fairydust has dropped into my office along the way… it would come in handy, this month. Getting comfortable with my natural body size will apparently require me to shop for clothes in the size my body wants to be!

  62. SXSW has up their artist listing, with all kinds of free downloadable mp3s (here), so I am wading through about 200 mostly new-to-me musicians in all kinds of genres!! It’s like musical crack!

    Plus, I am doing a wardrobe inventory in preparation for moving soon, and looking at what I’m getting rid of, and what I’m keeping (I love making lists; it’s a sickness). And simultaneously fantasizing about decorating a new apartment.

    Also, I have a fresh bottle of Patron and new guitar strings waiting at home for me to break in tonight. Is it 5:00 yet?!?!

  63. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Thanks, Lexy!

    For today, I just got the first disk of Odd Couple, Season 2, from Netflix. Let’s see if it’s as funny as the kid in me remembers. (First season OC you can skip unless you’re a completist, they were still using a laugh track then and it wasn’t nearly as funny as the seasons filmed in front of live audiences, IIRC.)

  64. Kirstie Alley’s leaving and wanting to start her own weight loss business was a frightening thing to me, mostly because of the cult she belongs to – can you imagine the scads of money she’ll make if she and Scientology go after the dieting market?

    So, to combat those thoughts I am listening to my 4 hour long playlist simply called “Rock & Roll” which consists of all that music I grew up listening to in the Seventies and Eighties, from Jefferson Airplane to ZZTopp… and wondering how long until I can escape to go hang with my kitty and do laundry.

  65. ZOMG, Desmond is teh hotness. I heart him and Penny together! Jack is getting on my nerves ever since “DAMNIT KATE! RUN!” at the beginning of season 2. My theory goes something like: Ben has hired Sayid to kill the people who sent the freighter because freighter people on the island are holding people who weren’t the oceanic 6 hostage. I mean, I ALWAYS trust Sayid, and he still doesn’t like Ben, but who’s to say there’s only 2 sides: good and evil?

    THIS is what makes me happy. Plus my birthday is in a week! I dreamt last night I got a Birkin Bag from my fiance. Yeah, right!

  66. Random Ponder of the Day –

    What is it about Pat Benatar that is so empowering? Because, you know what? We are strong, no one can tell us we’re wrong, and so you can just hit me with your best shot!

    *Needs to stop leaving this album on repeat*

  67. I am happy happy happy because today I’m expecting a shipment from Cafepress today, wherein I will find one (1) “I am Kate Harding” t-shirt, one (1) “Fat Club” t-shirt, two (2) “[stop] fearing fat” stickers, two (2) “[stop] waiting until you’re skinny” stickers, and two (2) “[stop] hating your body” stickers. WHEE. Also I got the Rhino t-shirt from Threadless the other day. Also I am expecting a delivery from Barnes and Noble–a new feather quill and a Pagan book.

    Uh oh. I am falling into my husband’s tendency to get happy by spending… But, actually, I am squeeing because I get to send a very special fat acceptance message with most of my purchases. :)

  68. Today I am happy because I’m going to let myself out of class when there’s a pop quiz I know nothing about. I of course had to be sicker than your average dog to make that decision.

    I’m also happy because my son does adorable things like put his fingers to his lips and frown at his spiderman book while going ‘Hmmm..alright’ like he’s really studying.

    Also, I hate having big feet. I will not even go look at the Duo sale because…size thirteen womens never looks pretty in cute shoes *sigh*

  69. ok, totally off topic, but I am wondering if there are shapelings out there that know of any neat little plus size shops in Minneapolis? I’m a canadian going there for the weekend for some shopping. I’m already planning on hitting the LB outlet, and LB in the mall, but would love to find some hidden little treasure if it exists!


  70. OTM: BSG!!!! Yes. I love that show. N does not understand. We have not been together a year, so she doesn’t know yet that I develop mini obssessions with things. Or if she has, she has not yet pointed them out in annoyance. BSG!! My mini-obssession. Love it. Starbuck is HOTT.

  71. The husband and I are working our way up through the first two seasons on DVD (and the third once it’s released – yeah, we pre-ordered) in preparation for the new season and I am just falling in love with BSG all over again. Starbuck is totally the hotness. I’ve also got a thing for Chief. Or I did until that whole sleep-punching thing with Cally.

    Anyway, that show is so obsession-worthy. We can talk about it lots when the new season starts and there are new things to talk about. Yay!

  72. What’s making me happy? Two new cookbooks brimming over with delicious recipes, the latest issue of Cooking Light (I subscribe because they have some delicious recipes I can actually feed my diabetic husband without killing him or making him feel deprived), and the boxed set of S1 of Reno 911 Mr. Twistie got me just because he found a great deal on it.

    Also, Mr. Twistie is making me happy simply by being.

    Oh! And tonight I can see a new ep of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBCAmerica. That show is the most glorious, hypnotic trainwreck.

    But right now, I may just watch an episode or two of Due South. That’s a wonderful show to cuddle up with on a rainy day.

  73. 1) Can’t tell you, because the person I am surprising occasionally reads here. I will tell you week from Monday (and it is uber-cool!)
    2) I was just asked to be a Research Assistant at a Behavioral Health Policy center connected with my school. This is heading right down my projected career path.
    3) My children are going to their dad’s this weekend. I need the breathing room.
    4) I got my laptop fixed, and it is beautiful.
    5) My health is slowly improving now that I have the correct diagnosis and treatment.

  74. I’m not in the south…but I’d thought that I’d share my recent obession with romance novels. It’s scary and sickening. I haven’t read these since was a teenager…and now I am reading nearly one a day.


  75. You know, I’ve been wondering “I wish I could ask the shaplings about this, but when and where?” and just now, you post an open thread, so I’ll do it here, if you don’t mind.
    Unfortunately, it’s not happy at all.

    One of my closest friends is a young surgeon, her hospital is about to start doing WLS, and she was offered responsibilty for it. As far as I understand, she’s supposed to go to a workshop or two, watch a few WLS in another hospital, and ta-daa, she’ll be the resident bariatric surgeon in her hospital. She’s so happy and exited, it’s all so unexpected, and awesome for her and her career.

    What do I DO now? I mean, obviously, not much, but is there any productive way to deal with this? To Do Good? Funny thing is, she’s the most heartily fat-accepting girl I’ve ever met. But she’s also really, really into her career, and we had an ugly little competition thing going in med school, so if I say anything negative about a success of hers, she might take it the wrong way. This is ridiculous. I don’t want my sweet, enthusiastic friend to be personally responsible for doing harm. For something that the medical community basically KNOWS will horribly backfire in a few years, when longtime evidence will be more solid.

    Any suggestions?

  76. To make up for it, things that make me happy today:
    ~ there’s a big Mondrian exhibition in my city. I have a crush like a schoolgirl. :)
    ~ a friend of mine moves tomorrow, and my job is to make some salad and soup for the other 10-20 helpers. I’ve never cooked for so many people! And I’m so insanely looking forward to it, it’s ridiculous.
    ~ my daffodils are blooming!
    ~ my beloved bike is repaired! Bye-bye, public transport!
    ~ I’ve a streak of luck with the books I’ve read this month. Persepolis, Neverwhere, The Gun Seller, Making History, and, as of today, Dancer, and loving it already.

  77. What’s making me happy today: The smell of a de-boned pork roast baking in my oven. That, and the smell of the mint bodywash I used today. Mmmm!

  78. I was feeling down, so last night I put on a playlist of all the hit party songs from college while I made dinner. WhatWhatWhat.

    I have alllllllmost finished handpicking samples for my thesis (after years of picking!), because I finished and then decided to try and throw in just ONE more. So I expect that within a week I’ll be able to pack up the microscope! Hooray!!! Also, my supervisor is out of town this week, so I am free to work without constantly being nagged and badgered. LOVing it!

    LOST makes me happy, too though I probably won’t catch it until tomorrow! (And I concur, Sayid is the hottest guy on the show by far.) We had to wait toooooo long for new episodes. Same for BSG.

  79. Oh and I forgot to mention the evil sample of death, which finally went into solution this week after nine. months. of work. Freedom!! And triumph over nature!

  80. No suggestions Em. Sounds like your best bet might just be to keep living and sharing the fat acceptance message and hope that your friend comes to her own conclusions.

    As far as the happy making. I have to say for me today it’s tights. I have these yummy tights from target on that are soooooo soft and stretchy and warm and all day long I’ve just felt like I’ve got happy legs.

  81. I’m happy because my senator emailed my back with a fairly intelligent response about why he voted for the FISA Amendments act. I like being a political dork.

    Also, I am greatly jealous of anyone who was even NEAR a Potbelly’s. That is one of the main things I miss about Chicago…I certainly don’t miss the weather!

  82. Oh, and my other happiness today was diving into my BPAL and pulling out “Anne Bonny” because I was in a pirate frame of mind.

    Might’ve had something to do with my super sparkly skull and crossbones necklace… though I have been distracted by the thought that being a sparkly yummy smelling pirate might be an oxymoron.

    That and it’s ten minutes until I go home to my monster!kitteh.

    I have goldfish brain today.

  83. Ah what makes me happy these days (besides the awesome article in the previous post) –

    I’m working on this animation project at work that is THE MOST FUN THING EVER!!!! Seriously, I’ve never had such a fun project. Sometimes I can’t believe they PAY me to do this. That’s all I can say. :)

  84. Hm. It’s a happy day round my parts.

    I got a job! It’s temporary, BUT IT’S A CHECK. FOR MONEY! Too excited.

    And my friend got into grad school. Which means I get to visit a new state.

    Hey Lexy, you have some of that money pixie dust left? Send it South! :-D

  85. Jen in NYC –

    you should call and ask for a patient complaint form for that doctor. He laughed in your face when you were depressed. He didn’t prescribe you a perfectly standard medication that you requested. ER docs are wary of Xanax and will put it down to drug seeking, but CELEXA? You couldn’t get high on Celexa even if you injected it straight into your veins. He basically diagnosed you but refused to treat you. That is bad medicine, and the hospital needs to know about it.

  86. Hotsauce, FJ: Before I finish reading the comments, I wanted to tell you about Paste magazine (in case you don’t already know)…where I discovered Beirut. It is fit to discuss on a happy fluff post, with tons of indie bands and a free sampler cd each month! Free music makes me happy!

    What made me happy today was finishing up my application package for UW, thus getting inspiration to finish my data analysis. The end really could be near!!!

  87. Today, I’m happy that the overscheduled week from hell is almost over. And, although I mourn the loss of my local video store, I went to their closeout sale today and scored several fun movies, including one I’ve been searching for in vain for over 2 years.

  88. Okay, never mind Jen…I should have read the rest of the thread before butting in. But I’m not usually at MY most assertive when depressed, so I’m glad you are!

    My renewed blogging is making me happy right now. And a sort of happy nervousness about sending in my grad school application essays.

    Is it legit to ask for feedback for my essays in an open thread? I really feel like Shapers are my online community, and if anyone has time to look and comment I’d love you forever! My blog is:


  89. Sarah- Have fun! I seriously never listened to Sonic Youth until a few months ago when the guitarist was on World Cafe. Now they are on my ipod all the time.

    And I am also happy that I got to see the eclipse last night clearly, since the last two haven’t been visible!

    I am not happy because I am watching the National Geographic channel and the global warming shows are making me sad.

  90. I am spending this summer avoiding the sun. I dunno that there’s an official diagnosis here but I seem to get a kind of ‘summer SAD’. Bright sunlight and hot weather make me really, really, cranky and irritable and sad and anxious. My skin prickles after a few minutes in the sun and starts burning. (Hooray for parasols! I hate hats.) And by avoiding the sun, I mean staying in climate-controlled environments drinking delicious cocktails, doing music practice, yoga, dance, watching Torchwood and BSG, and drinking more delicious cocktails.

  91. What’s making me happy today…well, after 8 long months struggling with our mortgage company (and a week ago receiving a formal foreclosure summons) they have finally semi-approved our loan modification and put a stay on the foreclosure – so long as we make the next 3 monthly payments on time, they will then decide what to do about the default payments. And I got official confirmation that I’m very well-liked and doing very well at my much-better-paying job (which I happen to quite like) both from the company and the agency I’m working through.

    So aside from still being sorta kinda in limbo, things are looking up, and providing no catastrophe happens, it just may be that things will continue to look up. I’m *really* happy to know I have a much better prospect of keeping a roof over my head – a roof I happen to love, faults and all.

    Been almost floating on a cloud, even. YAY!!!!!

  92. LadiDa, I’m a vampire, myself. I can’t bear sunlight, I can’t bear mornings (I work 4 – midnight and that suits me just fine), and heat makes me die (or wish to.) I have sun-blocking shades on all my windows, leave them shut at all times, and prefer to sleep between the hours of 6 AM and 2 pm lol. I wear sunglasses even when it’s 10 below zero and sometimes even when it’s cloudy. Winter is actually one of my favorite times, followed by fall, spring is third because I dread knowing the heat is coming lol. Anyway, I’m fishbelly white and get sunburn within ten minutes. Forget it. I’m a creature of the night, Michael.

  93. I had a shopping, lunch, massage day with my mom and feel fabulous. I’m new to the whole spa thing (I don’t like strangers touching me, generally) but this was Wonderful!

    I recommend it to everyone. (And my person was fabulous and no sense of judging for my body, which was great too).

    I’m a few months from getting my PhD defended and I’ve been totally stressed with 8-10 hours of writing a day, so this was just a nice day.

  94. Annie McPhee, glad I’m not the only one (climate wise). And congratulations on the progress with your mortgage company.

  95. I am in the northern hemisphere, but in a tropical-ish location, and it’s starting to warm up. It’s going to be close to 70F/24C today. Plus, I have the day off, and I’m going to go book shopping, eat Mexican food (hard to find here in Hong Kong), and I may buy that cute skirt I’ve been eyeing, even though it’s denim and I therefore can’t wear it to work.

  96. I wore my leopard-print Chucks today, and had Starbucks twice. It’s the little things that help me. :) Well, also that I didn’t get completely murdered by my bosses when it was discovered that I screwed up a report from this summer rather badly!

    *glances way upthread*
    Tari, check out Swati on SXSW! (Everyone should, actually. She’s awesomely talented and adorable and put makeup on me after a show once. :D)

  97. I’m happy that I’m able to use the computer right now (Mr. Rounded is putting little one to sleep by walking around the block in the light of the full moon).
    I’m happy that it’s clear enough to see the moon. It was sunny today (a rare-ish thing in the Pac NW) and my friend and fellow fat accepter took a lovely walk at lunchtime.
    I had yummy things to eat all day — from cereal with banana and lactaid milk to pita and baba ghanogh for lunch and little mandarins and some pomello and fresh cod in a lovely red pepper and roma tomato sauce prepared by Mr. Rounded with short grain brown rice, and a Reese’s and a cookie afterwards. Sigh.
    Happy I had a productive day at work that felt like I was using my brain to do something positive in the world.

  98. I’m happy that my sister has moved two doors up from me, and that I have just come back from a lovely picnic with my dogs, my sis, and her two cutie-pie, naughty, red-headed girls. We wore our rainbow hats and the little ones played in the playground while we chatted after our picnic, and it is not too hot today. Autumn is coming! Yay!

    La di da, I am like you; the really hot summers here in West Oz kill me, but relief is coming. Autumn and spring here are just gorgeous, and of course no snow or below zero temps to keep us inside in winter. Winter here is the growing time, and it is LUVVERLY!

  99. So, the other day my friend (who is not fat) and I decided that being fat means “existing in large quantites”. So now I like go around saying I exist in large quantites. :)

  100. Man I haven’t posted in a long time! (lurker who posted a few times as Fattest Girl At College)

    Things making me happy:
    -Space heater! It’s a bit of an extravagance but its nice to turn on to warm my hands when I need to.
    -Tomorrow is Friday!
    -I just got back from my first workout with my best friend in the school weight room. We were the only girls there, but no one bothered us. My friend is experienced, so she showed me how to work the machines. When I came home I felt AWESOME!!! Now I know what people mean by “runners high”!

  101. I’m going to Munich and Salzburg this weekend, Brussels the following weeked, I have a friend from home here in London the week after that, I’m visiting friends in another city for a weekend…and then I’m headed back to California after 6 months of almost constant homesickness.

    I’m very very very happy right now.

  102. Drinking overpriced sugary alcoholic cocktails in a small bar while attracting attention because my friend and I are hot voluptuous females, well yes, that made me happy.

  103. Dear goth in heathen, it wasn’t until I read this post that I realized my crushing lack of motivation these last few weeks has corresponded with the extreme cold weather and my not leaving the apartment except to go to the store (at night), because working from home means I don’t have to go out in the cold if I don’t want to.

    I’m going to have to start taking a daily walk around the complex, at least.

  104. Long-time lurker, possibly second-time commenter? Anyway! Things that make me happy, in particular order:

    -Emails from the sort-of boyfriend, currently away in Perth, Western Australia, for a university exchange program. (I’m Australian and living in Japan – he’s Japanese).

    -Being able to walk outside with less than four layers + coat and not shiver. Hello Spring! I CAN SEE YOU HIDING THERE.

    -Finding the ingredients for thai curry in the supermarket, without having to trek to the international food market.


    -The West Wing.

    -The discovery of the plus-size section in a department store close to one of the schools I work at. New Spring/Summer clothing ahoy!

  105. Sheenie, I also wish I knew about funky Minneapolis boutiques that carry large sizes. If you are going to the MegaMall, be sure to check out CJ Banks and Coldwater Creek. I believe they are national chains and only carry up to 3X. Their selection is for what I’d call the more mature shopper, but not necessarily frumpy.

  106. I just had to ask, because of Chicago+quarter system: are you at U of Chicago? Because I am (undergrad) and I definitely feel you on the end of quarter blues.

    The fact that I’ve been getting more proactive about actually getting myself new music again makes me happy.

    Also the fact that I have a plan for every single night of the week next week, and they’re all fun and involve being downtown. And not one of them involves the same person twice.

  107. Just for those of you in, or formerly in, the Pacific NW, can I just say that there is no place I’d rather be, SAD or no SAD? As I’m not, scouring the Web to attempt to find somewhere to stay in Seattle in June – preferably self-catering, because this time I’m going to get me down that market, buy produce and cook something, dammit! – is raising my spirits a little.

    Other things: Getting something done at work this week. Training the new secretary, who is so grateful I’m almost embarrassed. Half an idea for a writing project, and a trip to a nice big library (bliss!) tomorrow. The prospect of finding new art mags in Border’s. A great new Mexican restaurant at the weekend (good enchiladas within 50 miles of me – result! – and I have the desserts still to look forward to!). More money in my bank account than I thought. Also, I’m nearly managing those ‘cello exercises, after a long time thinking I had hopelessly small hands for this lark.

    So, feeling pretty good, yes, in spite of it still being a little colder than I like.

  108. *Looks upthread*

    Hi, Zoe! I’m also from Australia (living in Canberra). Never used to meet anyone with this name but it seems to be getting more popular…we started a trend! :)

    I’m loving that it’s the end of summer here and harvest season – everything is fruiting. We have a grape vine in the back yard and every morning I go out and eat grapes off the vine.

    But I’m also loving that it’s getting a bit colder, because I much prefer colder night times. There’s something so satisfying about snuggling into a big down doona, compared with lying sweaty and spreadeagled on thin sheets.

  109. It’s still summer here now so… what I have been doing in the last few days, in order:

    -Went to Queenstown and jetboated in the river
    -Visited Milford Sound
    -Spent 3 glorious days in Wanaka, right in or on the lake at all times. This included river rafting.

    What will I be doing when winter is here?

    Simply go to the northern hemisphere to visit the family.

    Aren’t I a lucky b*tch?! :)

    And when I have to experience winter, I make sure I’m busy. Dance class, drinks with friends, swimming, weekends away, etc. Basicall, it’s imperative to kick yourself out of the house.

  110. Miwome, I’m not at UC but at your slightly cheerier neighbor to the north: NU. Good luck with the end of your quarter!

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