Announcements, Sweet Machine

Slow week ahead

slow ducks and chickens
Have patience!

Just FYI, Shapelings, we’re probably looking at a slow week or four. Kate’s got edits and such, I’ve got school starting again, and of course the biggest thing is that FJ is getting married this weekend! Woohoo! So while we’re all flying all over the country and arranging centerpieces and painting our nails and making vows of eternal love and all that, we probably won’t have much time for blogging. And even after we’re back, there’s written exams and writing gigs and elections to cover and all that stuff, so we not might be quite as prolific as usual for a while. Don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere — just slowing our pace a bit.

64 thoughts on “Slow week ahead”

  1. I sure am a slow-moving cuck.

    Seriously, even more than the wedding, actually working at work has been the worst thing for blogging. 58 days till life resumes!

  2. Kate: I’ve been drooling over that dress in that color for a while now. It would be perfect for all my holiday party needs.

    *is jealous*

  3. Tricia, I totally justified buying it because I can rewear for holiday parties and Valentine’s Day, at least.

    Living400lbs, just a heads-up that the CCF isn’t always a reliable source. They’ve put some good stuff out there, but they’re not interested in promoting accurate info about obesity so much as promoting the restaurant industry. Sometimes, their agenda overlaps with important truths, sometimes not.

  4. Kate,

    Quite true on the CCF – hence the detailed look at soda, and no real look at the various ways that food intake is measured.

    What I thought of right after I clicked “submit” was “Who’s for a Restaurant industry vs Diet industry cage match!?” :)

  5. “Who’s for a Restaurant industry vs Diet industry cage match!?” :)

    Me! Heh.

    And sorry if you already knew that about the CCF. I feel the need to point that out when they come up, because a lot of people don’t realize who they are.

  6. Shapelings, you can help me with my new recipe blog!

    I love recipe blogs because I like to read about people’s experiences with the recipes and get suggestions for side dishes and that kind of thing, but I just got so sick of reading all the “here’s how to reduce the fat and sugar and salt, or else be sure to run five miles after you eat it!” stuff that comes up. So I started my own. But I think I will not be able to post more than an entry or two a week, so I’d love to have other contributors. If you are interested, or have any feedback about the blog in general (did I say something totally stupid/offensive? are you even interested in a blog like this?) plleeaasse let me know!

  7. Congratulations Fillyjonk!

    Is this becoming an open thread? Because I’m kind of bummed that my awesome therapist today said something somewhat positive about dieting (not in reference to me or any alleged need I have to diet, but in reference to someone else who he said has lost weight recently and so would probably appreciate bread rather than cookies as a thank-you gift)… in the same day that my one close friend in the area bemoaned sedentary kids with their video games and soda.

    (To her credit, she did say that it’s privileged kids she’s seen with these habits, and not – as the MSM would have us believe – the mythical lower-class kids with their Funyuns and their violent video games and their clueless parents who think that mayonnaise is a vegetable and don’t keep reading material around the house.)

    Plus it’s rainy and dreary and I’m on the academic job market and I have PMS (with its attendant face full of acne and crying spells and being bloated to the point that the joints in my hands and feet actually hurt so I can’t exercise to boost my mood and meanwhile my sleep is disrupted and my spouse and I are fighting and we don’t have enough money and SWEET PICKLE RELISH ON TOAST POINTS I hate my life and I can’t string together thoughts coherently today.

    Say, if I were to make a paper doll in a wedding dress, print out FJ’s face from the banner, paste it on, and parade it around while humming the wedding march — what do you think, cute or creepy? It would just be to be silly and boost my mood, I swear!! Fillyjonk, do you object to your likeness being used thus?

  8. ((((((A Sarah))))))

    I always recommend Cute Overload as the cure for what ails ya, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed like that. Feel free to use this as an open thread or as an everybody be nice to A Sarah thread.

  9. Happy wedding to Fillyjonk, happy school to Sweet Machine, happy editing to Kate.

    And good thoughts to A Sarah. That’s a lot of streeeeessss there.

    I wouldn’t freak out about the therapist thing, because the therapist might have some specific information about the particular person being discussed and why he or she isn’t wanting cookies right now.

  10. Haven’t commented in ages. Life is kicking my butt, between medical, job, kids, etc… BUT, needed to for many reasons.
    The first of which is CONGRATULATIONS FJ! The second is dress envy for Kate’s dress.

    A Sarah. It will get better, and I like your silliness.

  11. happy wedding weekend, FJ!

    Sweet Machine, working at work is a total bummer.

    A Sarah- see note to Sweet Machine. I really did know there could be more work than grad school. But at least now I get paid, i guess.

  12. A Sarah- I should have said good luck, instead of bitching about my job, which I love. i was trying to be funny, again, which never works :)

  13. JupiterPluvius, you’re right of course… and really, I mean, suppose this third party IS only dieting for weight loss and for that reason might rather have a thank-you gift of bread rather than cookies. What, I have to be so particular about my precious principles that I make an extra-special point of giving him cookies as a thank-you gift, because if I give him bread I might be reinforcing dieting? There’s nothing friggin’ wrong with bread. I make lovely bread. It’s not a diet food, for heaven’s sakes. It’s a real food; it’s not like it was suggested I make him Craptastic Oat Cake “Cookies” Sweetened With Diet Yogurt and Pepsi One. And anyway, it’s a way for me to say thank-you, so shouldn’t it be on the gift recipient’s terms and not my own?

    I think the real issue, honestly, is that this therapist is a Beautiful Person who looks like he walked out of central casting, and although he’s spoken approvingly of SP and Gina Kolata, I still imagine that he’s judging me because he’s so clearly in the same attractiveness strata (er, stratum?) as people who have judged/tormented me in the past. It makes it difficult to trust him. This hasn’t been so much of an issue in the past, because the things I’d previously been struggling to accept about myself were things like, “Wow, I’m really intense, to a degree that sometimes means I get rejected,” or “Wow, there’s a range of smartness where it acts as a social asset, and then there’s a range of smartness where you’re just an overly-thoughtful weirdo who can’t RELAX WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU, and I’m definitely the latter.” But he seemed also intense and smart, so I felt like, okay, he probably gets where I’m coming from.

    But as I’ve come to accept all those other things as just me, I’ve been astonished at how my “failure” ever to be thin and pretty has been the last holdout, the last thing I can’t seem to accept about myself. For every step I take into FA there’s an internal backlash where I end up saying, “Yeah, but the impossibility of dieting healthfully to thinness doesn’t let you off the hook, it just means that you FAIL at this really important thing that is in fact an accurate measure of your worth.”

    Anyway, that has REALLY escalated into an internal battle recently — with me railing against dieting and wearing my “Start a Revolution/Stop Hating Your Body!” shirt one minute, and (no lie) looking into local tummy tuck possibilities the next minute — and I’d like his help with this, but I just honestly fear that at the end of the day he’s a very-conventionally-attractive person who judges me for not being the same. I fear this based on almost no evidence, I should add. But that’s why the diet remark pushed my crazy button today. Oh, well, that and the PMS.

  14. I’m sorry A Sarah! Things will get better because you’re super smart and clever.
    My husband is in his first post-grad school academic job. He’s realized that being a professor is not how he wants to utilize his degree after this contract is up. He’s in social psychology, and he loves the subject, but the 18 years olds are driving him up the walls. His class has 600+ students, and he gets about 35 e-mails per day asking “Should I study the lecture notes or the book?” and he says “Both. I didn’t ask you to buy the book because I profit from the sales.” and they say, “No….I mean, if I were to only study one, should I study the notes or the book?” *headdesk*

    Also, I’m getting a pixie cut tomorrow, inspired by the short hair cuts post from awhile back (it took me awhile to build myself up for it). I kept fantasizing about shaving my head, so I figured it was time.
    Because I’ve been so well-trained by the patriarchy, I asked my husband, “Would you mind if I got a really short haircut?”, and he looked at me as if I had 2 heads and said, “It’s your hair. Why are you asking me if you can get a haircut? Just don’t go to Best Cuts.”

  15. Carleigh: you’re going to look so cute with a pixie cut! Also, are you coming to the book club with me on Friday?

    [/end hijacking thread for personal correspondence]

  16. A Sarah, I think the real issue here is that now I totally want Funyons.

    OMG, Funyons.

    Instead, I will have Thai food.

    And you are totally allowed to have days like this – just let it ride and don’t book an appointment for that tummy tuck just yet, you know? Treat yourself well.

    Carleigh – I do the same thing when I make a major change to my appearance and my husband looks at me with a slightly desperate look in his eye and tells me he really doesn’t care as long as I am happy and will I please stop talking about my hair being a browner brown than I wanted it to be? *laugh*

  17. SM: I’m now in the writing-thesis portion of grad school and I’m being very, VERY bad at that right now.
    What, reading blogs isn’t part of my research? Dammit!

  18. You guys are so nice. Now I’m totally embarrassed for having word-vomited and said too much. (omg, not even to mention the possibility that my shrink might surf his way over here. Unlikely, I realize.) I hate PMS so much.

    But I LOVE other academic types here. Carleigh, I once got an email from a student asking me if the following was an acceptable thesis statement for his paper. “By attending closely to the historical context of and literary devices in [name of work we were studying], we can get a better idea of the meaning of the text.” True, true, and yet… no.

  19. Julia, I’m in the “planning research on what might eventually be your dissertation” stage, and it turns out I fucking hate to plan research. I love the writing part, though! Wanna trade?

  20. I’m not at the writing part yet – working on kind of a pseudo-outline that should show me where giant gaps exist that I must fill with research. I don’t think ANYONE finds that fun. :(

  21. A Sarah: “Craptastic Oat Cake “Cookies” Sweetened With Diet Yogurt and Pepsi One.”

    Oh, those sound so perfectly VILE! That’s the kind of going away gift I’d give to someone with a card that said “….and don’t let the door slam you on the way out!”

    (Now I want oatmeal scotchies. Ah, the power of suggestion.)

    As for “word vomiting”, sometimes you just need to let it out. Just naming your troubles takes away part of their power to torment you.

  22. Sweet Machine, I love to plan research! Of course, “planning research” to me means designing psychology experiments, so maybe that would not be helpful for you?

    A. Sarah, your comment about the thesis statement reminded me of probably the best thing I’ve ever read about English thesis statements, Five Ways of Looking at a Thesis. Erik Simpson is a professor at my undergrad, and though I never took a class with him, I hear he was basically everyone’s favorite professor.

  23. *Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials, FJ

    *Good luck with the school restart, SM

    *Edit on, Kate

    *I’m really into using asterisks at the moment


    Kate, FJ tells me that you will appreciate my dress because it is also red and kind of similar to yours. We’ll be the red dress brigade! OMG I am so excited.

    ((((A Sarah))))

  25. *** I love asterisks too. :)
    Yay for FJ and marriage goodness! Have a wonderful weekend!
    SM: Um, yay for school? I just started back too and am tryng to finish my BA English and cannot decide whether to go for 3 years and say YAY I’M DONE or go back for yet another year and get my honours. >_< Frag.
    Kate: Um…you rock?

  26. A Sarah, that might be a LITTLE weird. ;) Instead, why not bake those cookies for yourself instead? Or, you know, for yourself too. You deserve gentle treatment, even from yourself.

    And while I wouldn’t say this to everyone, I find even your word-vomiting to be interesting and emotionally affecting, I guess because you’re really smart and a good writer. So you definitely don’t need to apologize. Especially if it helps.

  27. Also, I actually mostly don’t mind working at work, because I have a great job It just seriously interferes with blogging.

  28. As for “word vomiting”, sometimes you just need to let it out. Just naming your troubles takes away part of their power to torment you.

    Does it?

    OK, then — I just weighed myself for the first time since January (I know, bad idea) and it turns out that I’ve gained 30 lbs in 2 years. Considering that my weight was entirely stable for ten years prior to that, I still can’t decide if I should ask my ob-gyn about it (since the only change in that time period was The Pill). Also, I need to convince myself that unless there’s a health problem, IT’S OKAY to weigh this much (which isn’t that much, but still — I gained a quarter of my body weight in two years). /whining

    Also, *internet hugs for A Sarah*

  29. *internet hugs right back at Stephanie*

    It is definitely okay to weigh that much! But I understand why you might be concerned about your health due to the gain… and also it’s really disorienting to be like, “Wait, wait… but this isn’t what I look like. Whose body is this? I’m confused.”

    FJ, you party pooper. :) Just kidding. Well, I’ll at least hum the wedding march for you this weekend, while eating a cookie.

  30. Heh. Now I feel like the skinny girl calling herself fat, which I pretty much am. No, overall I’m not displeased with the size I am. I still look great in these pants. It’s just that seeing the number was a pretty big slap of reality, and I’m mad that it’s affecting me this much. I’ve been reading SP since, like, a long time ago. I should be over this!

    I should go make cookies. (I got a cookie-dough baller at my shower!)

    Also, big honkin’ congrats! and AWESOME! and HAVE A GREAT TIME! to FJ!

  31. (since the only change in that time period was The Pill)

    Well, and you got two years older. People tend to forget that part. How old are you? Sometimes it’s as simple as your body changing as you age, which is perfectly normal.

  32. A Sarah, we should go out for coffee! Man, do we need a Shapely Coffee Shop. One that sells frothy hot drinks with whipped cream on top and muffins and fruit to go with. Located, of course, everywhere in the world simultaneously.
    (I finally went back and left my email on your blog again, I think!)

  33. In case I forget to say it elsewhere, congratulations, FJ! I wish you and your young man a long, happy, healthy life together.

  34. You guys are so nice. Now I’m totally embarrassed for having word-vomited and said too much.

    Don’t be embarrassed, A Sarah. I have done the same kind of over-thinking with other people’s comments–especially my shrink’s!–and I thought it was interesting to see someone else put it out there like that.

  35. FJ, I’ll be twenty-six on Friday. I’ll take perhaps part of it as age-related (actually hitting full size, although I should have done that years ago), and part of it as the yo-yo from a moderately punishing diet, and part of it as Pill-related, and it all makes sense, but . . . again. I’ll get over it; it’s just surprising.

    And I sort of feel better for having complained about it to people who aren’t going to tell me, “Well, just eat less and exercise more!”

  36. Sucks the way that real life thing gets in the way, huh?

    Best of luck to all of you with school, edits, and changes of marital status.

  37. I’m so utterly petrified about grad school.

    Most of what I am hearing from people are gloom and doom warnings about how very hard it is to get into grad school and how millions of times harder it is than undergrad and how the U I graduated from has really lax standards and I’m going to get eaten elsewhere and bla bla bla. It’s fairly disheartening.

    I’m having a pretty tough time now, trying to write my statements of purpose. I’ve been told it’s best to be as specific as all-fired possible, so I’m attempting to pick a thesis which is hard because I’d hoped for a broader area of study, also, I’ve been told it’s best to look up what the profs have written and pick who you want to work with, which seems like sound advice until you get on the schools’ websites and try to track these people the heck down, not to mention find out what they’re doing.

    The whole thing is feeling pretty daunting, and I’m running out of time… I know I can do it… but today I’m feeling as if I’ve been handed a series of impossible mountains to climb.

    Which is the longhand way to say, no worries, I feel ya about school. Sugar for Sugar has been mostly fluff and nonsense lately too.

  38. SugarLeigh, I don’t know what you study, but in some disciplines it’s good to look up profs who do things that interest you – and then contact them. Then your statement can be a bit more specific because you can throw around some thesis ideas, plus you have an advocate.

    But this varies a lot between disciplines, so I can’t be sure this is the right advice for you!

  39. I’m totally going for an MA in Folklore. :)

    Folklore, to me, is like the heartbeat of a society. It’s the collective consciousness of a culture. There’s much to be learned about the inner heart of a people in the stories they tell each other.

    My especial passion is the folklore of ghosts and monsters. The symbols we create to express our fear, build our bravery, represent our repressed desires, or stand for what is in us that is lonesome and misunderstood. How we scoff at the dark and defy the shadow of Death, a force we are ultimately powerless against.

    If that helps. If not, please enjoy my blathering! ;)

  40. Sugar, you can do it. It IS hard. Sometimes you won’t get enough sleep. Sometimes you will. want. to. kill. people in your cohort. (You can’t get away from them, especially in the first year). But I swear to Maude, if I can do it, you can do it.
    My advice:
    – Find something creative in which you can escape from work. If you can paint, play an instrument, knit, bake/cook, sing, dance, learn a new language, etc, make sure that you take a break every day and do that thing for awhile. I started painting in grad school because it was something I could put down and come back to whenever I had time.
    – Have someone close that you can vent your problems to on a regular basis…I mean SERIOUS venting, yelling, crying, ranting. (My mom was very good about this, but I know not everyone’s parents are as there for them as my mom is for me.) You will need it every once in awhile.
    -For me,also seeing a counselor/psychologist/psychiatrist helped a lot. If you let depression/anxiety control you (if you have those things, I’m not assuming you do, but a lot of smart women seem to), it will be harder. And if you are suffering from any kind of illness, mental or physical, it is a good idea to tell your adviser (if you’re comfortable, which you probably [hopefully] will be because you have to have a close relationship with him/her).
    -Always remember, that you are the most important thing. Not the paper, not the class, not the deadline. Usually, if you ask nicely, and you have a good track record, the prof will let you turn in something late or let you stay home for a mental health day. They know how much pressure you’re under.

    Sorry that was so long! I hope that helps!

  41. Have fun wedding-ing and working and going to school and editing, y’all! (I’m in SC this week and thus am allowed to say y’all.)

    SugarLeigh, your MA sounds fascinating. Seriously, that’s an awesome field of study.

  42. Just popping in to wish:
    Confidence, faith and a plus 10 broadsword of editing clarity to TR and Kate;
    Patience and inspiration to SM;
    ‘Net flowers @&— to A Sarah;
    And wishing a wedding with only minor stresses, a lot of humour, a great party, and lots of love for FJ.

  43. As Fillyjonk’s mother, I’m emerging from lurking just long enough to say how thrilled we all are about this wedding — not only because it will be a chance to see SM and Kate and have a wonderful party, but also because FJ is about to marry an amazing young man. And thanks to all you Shapelings for the good wishes to FJ (who’s pretty amazing herself). May all my wedding-related anxiety dreams fail to come true!

  44. ahahahahaha

    Me just now, looking at lefthand sidebar: “Oh funny, someone else puts two Ms on the end of “mom” like my mom always does!”

    May all my wedding-related anxiety dreams fail to come true!

    All I care about is that it rains before or after but not during.

  45. Hey, A Sarah:
    I’m a counselor, so I’d like to offer you something from that perspective. Most therapists and counselors would love nothing more than for clients to tell us exactly what they want to work on and what they want out of counseling. We also love total honesty, even about uncomfortable things. So maybe you could let your guy know that you want to deal with these appearance issues, but you aren’t totally comfortable with it yet, and go from there. I’d bet folding money he’d be only too happy to help. I think that for everyone, posting here, both the writing thinks out and seeking social support is a great coping skill!
    And I feel you on the PMS, it’s my week too. ^_^

  46. SugarLeigh I just wanna say that I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE THOUGHT OF YOU BEING IN GRAD SCHOOL because it’s just possible — not likely, because our disciplines don’t overlap much, but possible — that we might bump into each other at a conference someday. Whee! (I also get this excited about all the other academics here, as I mentioned. HEY! Wait a sec, we should just have a Shapely Prose academic conference. With really silly faux-academic joke paper titles about baby doughnuts. Complete with a lot of ridiculous Derrida-imitating gratuitous parentheses. Ooh! Fun project for this afternoon.)

    Kate J, you’re probably right. Honestly, every time I’ve taken any sort of risk in counseling it’s only paid off a billionfold. (With this particular therapist, that is. Not so with a couple others, but I mean, that’s why I stuck with this guy, because we work together so well.) Today though I’m mostly like, “Uhhh, why was I so focused on that yesterday anyway? Why does PMS bring out my inner sixth-grader passing notes in social studies and making interpersonal drama where there really isn’t any?” (What’s worse, it’s not like I *also* then get to come home and listen to my New Kids on the Block CD and watch Growing Pains, right? I mean, it’s only the BAD parts of sixth grade. Which, okay, describes most of sixth grade, but still, wah! Not fair.)

    /piss and moan

  47. Oh, hey, wanted to say also: I was a Shapely Prose evangelist today! There’s another mom at my kid’s preschool pickup time that I have a total straight girl crush on (hello, you, if you found your way here!) because she’s so beautiful and confident and dresses fantastically and also seems really nice but kind of unapologetically quirky… like, I mean, she doesn’t give off the “I’m a hypervigilant upper-middle-class mom who can’t imagine talking about anything other than Correct Philosophies of Childrearing!” KWIM?

    Anyway, I was coveting her wrap today and asked her where she got it, and she said, “It’s a curvy lady store called Torrid,” whereupon I was all, “OMG I TOTALLY LOVE TORRID OMG OMG!” Anyway, I told her I’d found it through Shapely Prose and gave her the URL and a two-second summary and she was all, “Oh I’m all about all of that!” Yay!

    Are you here, Super-Cool Pre-School Pickup Time Mom?

  48. Speaking of Torrid…and Halloween (which no one actually mentioned)…my boyfriend and I are trying to plan our costumes, we’re attemping to do the couple thing for our costumes, but I’ve never really shopped for plus-sized costumes before (the plus sized part would just be for me). Any ideas? I’d really love some suggestions!

    Right now I’m thinking, like, pirates, or gangsters. Any one else dressing up?

  49. Simply Mac, I simply ADORE Halloween, especially costumes! How much exciting, scary fun there is to be had running around as someone else!

    Couples costumes are fun, but require a cooperative partner. If one of you is more all about dress-up or silliness or scariness than the other, that makes it harder. I’ll try to vary my ideas, but here are some good ol’ standbys (and a few of my own weirdo thoughts):

    A mad scientist and a creation/experiment
    Night and Day
    Good Cop and Bad Cop
    Jekyll and Hyde
    Cat and Mouse
    Rocketship and Star/Moon

    And if you get really strapped for ideas or you can’t find anything suitable, then get one of you a plain, entirely tan outfit and the other the same outfit in purple or red, and go as Peanut Butter and Jelly.

    Pirates are popular, and some people don’t like wearing something that might be common. But there’s a reason for their popularity– they rock! I’m always one of those people that says “who cares what everyone else is wearing, if you like it, do it, and if everyone at the party is wearing a kitten suit– hey hey, Kitten Party!”

    Gangsters are always fun! I’d suggest flappers but I think your boyfriend might feel uncomfortable in one of those short fringey dresses… hippies are great too, because frankly I kinda dig that groovy style anyway.

    I’ll be dressing up as a goddess-figure person thingie in this “vaguely Ancient Greek robe type thingie” I got at a costume store last year. It’s comfortable and convenient and it looks pretty cool. I just don’t have time for my usual level of fuss for Halloween this year. Depending on where I am next year, maybe I can make a big deal of it then.

  50. With really silly faux-academic joke paper titles about baby doughnuts.

    My title:
    “Uranium-series isotopic compositions of baby doughnuts in Eastern Pennsylvania: A regional study”

  51. Thanks, Sugarleigh! I think we’re going to go to a costume shop this weekend just to check stuff out, see what looks good, what doesn’t. He’s really intent on being something where he can wear a mask, so we’ve talked about little red riding hood and the big bad wolf.

    Maybe being with some like him who loves halloween so much will make me love it, too…

  52. Simply Mac, I think Halloween is fun fun fun, so I hope he’s able to infect you with the spirit! Even if it turns out not to be your thing, I hope you can at least have a laugh or two before it’s over. ;)

    As to the Shapely Symposium of Academic Wonderment, I offer my wholehearted support, and propose to give a PowerPoint presentation on the cultural significance of underground kitten-huffing and similar mind-altering substance usage by the rich and famous, which will of course include the controversial idea that many celebrities huff kittens to keep their weight down for those grueling media standards.

    (kitten huffing is a crazy joke you can learn more about here: )
    Yeah, I have a weird sense of humor. ^_^

  53. Kate has time to call into Oprah via Skype to ask Mr. Ramsey a question!

    At least, I’m pretty darn sure that was Kate. I hardly ever watch Oprah, except this time, and I was like, “Whoa, I know who that is!”

  54. Ha, Stupendousness, that was me. And it’s a long story that I’m contractually obligated not to blog about. But it was actually taped well before this post went up.

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