Friday fluff: Cold snap edition

Y’all, it is so cold here I have no fluff. There are icicles on the inside of my house. Yesterday my rising breath froze as ice on my glasses. When we were in college, FJ and our friends and I came up with a scale of rating relative coldness, from most pleasant to least:


fucking cold

motherfucking cold

butt-ass cold

I believe that, for the first time in my life, I need to add a category beyond butt-ass cold. So, here’s your extremely urgent fluff question: what is colder than butt-ass cold? I promise to start using the most delightful phrase immediately.

ETA: This is my kitchen window. The inside of my kitchen window.


Friday fluff: Holiday presents

Though I’m a curmudgeon who mostly opts out of the obligatory gift-giving at this time of year, I do appreciate hearing about the great finds other people dig up. If you do gifts, what gift are you most excited about giving this year? Are you crafting anything fabulous? Did you find the perfect gift for your hard-to-shop-for dad/sister/in-law/boss/etc? Tell us all about it!

Weekend Fluff: Costumes

I feel like Fillyjonk should be posting this, since she’s the costume master here, but I’m up early so what the hell. Tell us about your Halloween costume! And do share any tips for plus sized costuming, if you’ve got them. Unfortunately I don’t, because I’m a person who loves Halloween in theory but always forgets to prepare in time to make a good costume. Like, every year, including this one. My biggest costume triumph, which I doubt I’ll ever top, was the year Mr Machine and I went as Lolita and Humbert Humbert. I was Humbert. And then, halfway through the party, we switched costumes. Good times.

Friday fluff: Signs of the times

Y’all, this morning has been weird: the heat in my building just got turned on and, inexplicably, a houseplant on my kitchen window has flowered. I didn’t even know it COULD flower! And certainly not in mid-October, when it’s gotten chilly enough that the powers that be decide we need heat. Weird.

I have some meaty posts in the works (meaning, in embryonic form in my brains), but I’m using all my brainpower for schoolwork and all my emotional power for being angry at John McCain, so those posts will have to marinate for a while. In the meantime, have an open thread! Do your houseplants mysteriously bloom? Is your heat on? What are your plans for the weekend? Have you seen anything awesome on YouTube lately? (I defy you to link anything more awesome than that one.)

Happy Friday!

Friday fluff: Style inspiration

One of the best things you can do for your sense of self-worth is stop reading “women’s” magazines. They have to sell you figuratively on your own “imperfections” in order to literally sell you the beauty products that are their raison d’etre. Throwing those magazines away — or canceling your subscription, or reading Newsweek instead of Glamour in the waiting room — cuts off one source of the fat hatred and misogyny that pervade so much of our culture.

Once you’ve broken off ties to the mainstream beauty machine, you might find yourself looking around for other sources of style inspiration. Here, as in so many aspects of life, the internets come through for us. There’s Fatshionista on LJ, of course, which can be a little unruly now that it’s got so many members but which is a great place to see fabulous fatties rock their own styles (and to get cheap duds on Friday sales posts).’s impeccably stylish Lesley has been doing “outfitblogging” posts, which feature pictures of recent outfits and thoughtful musings on her own style sources. And to complete the trifecta, there’s a Fatshionista Flickr group, which has over 2,000 photos to inspire your wardrobe (and where you can see Lesley, Joy Nash, stitchtowhere, and other friends of SP!).

If you’re okay with style resources that aren’t fat-focused, there are a ton of street style blogs out there. The Sartorialist is the grandaddy of all street fashion blogs, but if you want a more radical take on fashion, check out Hel Looks, which brings us street fashion from Helsinki, Finland. There’s also the new Advanced Looks, which features street fashion, oldster-style. My personal favorite style stop, though, is Flickr’s Wardrobe Remix — I love it because anyone can post to it, and there are so many creative dressers out there. You see a lot of glamorous thin people, true, but you also see fatties and inbetweenies and nerds and weirdos. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer hugeness of the Flickr pool, check out Bits & BobbinsWardrobe Remixers of the Week (currently on maternity hiatus, but check out the great archive).

And, of course, let’s not forget Catorialist, for the discerning feline.

Where do you get your style inspiration?

Friday fluff: Fall fashion

Well, up here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s about to officially become autumn. Fall is my favorite season, fashion-wise, because it allows you to wear almost any item of clothing (except maybe parkas) so long as you’re willing to layer. And as someone who loves jackets, scarves, socks, and tights, I appreciate weather cool enough to let me wear them, but not so cold that I have to wear every single item I own just to keep my toes from going numb.

Right now I’m having fall shoe lust after a summer of wearing mostly sandals and my beloved Merrells (which it turns out are worn through so I’m totally justified in replacing them, right? Right?) — I want boots and flats and mary janes and just about anything I can get my hands on. Fantasy shoe shopping is seriously occupying way too much of my brainspace right now.

What’s your favorite part of fall fashion? What are you looking forward to wearing once the weather turns? What shoe goes best with a cup of hot cider? Discuss!

Friday fluff: Great ideas

After talking about the delightful time I just had waiting a long time in line in the pet store (they gave me a teensy puppy to hold while they fixed the credit card thingy), FJ and I have come up with a brilliant idea: have a baby-animal-fun-time area near checkout stations at stores, voting booths, and (wait for it) the DMV. No one would get grumpy waiting in line, and if the animals were rescues, surely they would all get adopted very quickly. Win-win!

What’s your brilliant idea? Bonus points if it’s crazy enough that it JUST MIGHT WORK!

Long weekend fluff: Belly up to the bar

It’s a long weekend here in the US after a fraught week, politically speaking — and I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need a drink. So here’s your Friday-night-that-lasts-all-weekend fluff: what’s your favorite drink? My standard is a G&T, but I don’t know if that’s actually my favorite. FJ introduced me to chocolate cake shots a few years ago, which are a miracle of modern chemistry IMHO. I tend to enjoy really delicious girly drinks but then forget what they were next time I go to a bar.

So, Shapelings, pick your poison. (Bonus fluff: I promise to try the most delicious sounding drink tomorrow when I’m out with Kate!)

Friday fluff: What’s in a name

I’m shamelessly ripping off a recent question of the day from Shakesville for our Friday fluff: what’s the story behind your screen name? “Sweet Machine” is the title of a poem (and a book) by Mark Doty, one of my very favorite writers. It’s a wonderful poem about the beauty of the human body and the ethics of aestheticizing it, and if you’ve got a few minutes I highly recommend you click that link and read the whole thing. There’s one part in particular that made it come to mind when I was trying to pick a name to consolidate my online identity in the fatosphere and feminist blogosphere, given that I was going to be writing/commenting on body image:

The photographees

left him headless, his gestures multiplied
on builders’ makeshift walls, page after page

of blank torsos already beginning to be inscribed:

Check out the whole thing.

So what’s the story of your name? Do you feel like you are that person, or do you feel like it’s a disguise or a persona? (We all know, of course, that “Kate Harding” is a fictive persona designed to fool millions of fat people into not doing their patriotic duty and becoming as skinny as possible.)