Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Embracing the Ugly

In a few days, I will be in a local magazine called Slug. I am excited, but I am setting my expectations low.  I fully expect that I will look like a super fat ugly dork. Because, hell. That has happened in all of my photos since I passed the 35 year-old mark. Unless I angle myself in exactly the right way, I end up looking like this:


SPACE SLUG

A few weeks ago at the coffee shack, I posed for the slugmag photographer. A kazillion times. Sometimes holding my embroideries. Sometimes holding a flash so that I could get that cool camping-flashlight-under-the-chin look. I am sure that the magazine photographer was awesome and talented, but I doubt that he was worried about how I looked. He wanted a cool shot. I hope he got one. 

I was talking to my friend the other day about my fears and she wisely advised me to "Embrace the Ugly." So, that is what I will do. I WILL EMBRACE THE UGLY.

Before the photographer showed up, I took some selfies with my phone as evidence that I looked okay, in case the photo shoot resulted in me looking like a space slug.




See? Not too bad, right?

And do you like my hair?




Those are silver streaks.

I gave my hairstylist this photo and said, make it happen.


Who you gonna call? CAITLIN MORAN.

Everybody stay tuned! I will post the photos and links to the Slug Magazine article. Maybe only my embroideries will be in the issue without my body or face messing up the shot. Who knows! Or maybe I will look like Caitlin Moran! Or maybe I will look like a space slug. The magazine is appropriately named, "Slug," after all.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Spider Weather and A Whale's Vagina

Mr. Floozy has been traveling a lot lately. He took me with him on his London/Paris/Brussels/Stockholm trip last spring. I loved it. I've talked a bit about London. And a bit about Paris. But, I haven't written very much about Brussels or Stockholm. They were fabulous cities, I'm sure, but in Brussels, I was not actually in Brussels, but some rural city that had a very nice hotel but no public transportation (as far as I know). I spent my brief time there in a very luxurious hotel, enjoying the view, reading a book, and eating delicious food before being whisked off to Sweden.

And as for Sweden.... I wasn't there for very long, but it seemed very IKEAland. Nice, friendly, and tiny. Our hotel room was approximately the size of the front parlor of a cat's litter box. It was teeny. And windowless. Without windows. And completely decorated by IKEA. 

While Mr. Floozy was out schmoozing his clients, I walked around Sweden for a bit, completely disoriented. It was the exact same disorientation I feel when in IKEA. I should have gone to some of Stockholm's cool museums, but I couldn't find them. There were no large black arrows on the sidewalks to show me the way! 

I wandered through some Swedish stores that were quaint and delightful, such as H&M, Starbucks, Urban Outfitters, and H&M. There were so many H&M stores everywhere. So. Many. And so many H&M advertisements. I got tired of seeing posters of Beyonce in a bikini advertising their summer collection. 

When I was in Urban Outfitters, I noticed the shelf of novelty books near the checkout line. I pointed to the Awkward Family Photos stack, prominently displayed, and told the checkout dude, 'Hey, I am in that book. It's weird to travel all the way to Sweden and see it here. I'm the cover photo in the wedding section.' Checkout dude's eyes got really big and he stammered, 'You are a celebrity!' Which flustered me. 'No, no, definitely not a celebrity.' And then I practically ran out of the store.

Aw, Sweden. 

Later in August, Mr. Floozy is flying to Brazil to enjoy its delightful raining spiders weather, but before that trip, he is going to San Diego -- a city famous for pleasant, non-raining-spiders weather. I'm jealous of his San Diego trip, so much so, that I stitched my feelings.

San Diego, which, of course, in German means, 'A Whale's Vagina.'



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

SpongeBob DoucheCanoe

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
In bubble bath form, makes you burn when you pee!



I have never had a bladder infection before. Until this month. It has taken two rounds of antibiotics and a gyno pelvic exam to clear it up. I am now on topical steroids to relieve the INFLAMMATION OF MY URETHRA (and all surrounding areas, ahem.) 

And sure, a bladder infection can be caused by a lot of things. The stupid summer heat, for example. But I swear, I was doing fine until I used the SpongeBob Wacky Watermelon! Bubble Bath. Now, maybe you are wondering what a grown-up lady-woman like myself is using a SpongeBob bubble bath for? See there on the top where it says, 'Tear-Free' and 'hypoallergenic?' That's why. I am extremely sensitive to beauty and soap products and so I thought that this would be safer than a Bath & Body Works bath gel. I have  had a history of success using baby and children's products on my delicate flower body. A few months ago, I had a dickens of a time getting rid of an eye rash until I started removing my makeup with baby shampoo. Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo is good for face rashes. Fact. 

Unfortunately, I did not read the back label on SpongeBob's SquareButt where it warns about urinary tract irritation. So, my bad.


SpongeBob is a douche canoe.
 (Also, don't douche if you have an inflamed urethra.)

The moral of the story: never let SpongeBob near your delicate lady parts. 

Why do I feel like I am the only person stupid enough not to know this?

Friday, July 19, 2013

I love not camping.

I love not camping.*

I can count the number of times that I have gone camping as an adult on two elbows. Once, when I was pregnant and somehow got roped into going to an extensive family reunion on my husband's side. The other time, I was literally (okay, not literally) roped into the minivan and made to go camping with my children. Mr. Floozy loves camping. I love not camping. I don't mind the daytime part. It's at night when I suddenly have to pee twelve times and trip over the same log twelve times to get to the outhouse. I can deal with bugs during the day, but at night they become Demon Bugs that can grow and contract. Grow big enough to throw a saddle over and small enough to crawl into my ear canal. When I go camping, I don't sleep, and when I don't sleep, I go crazy. All camping and no sleep make Floozy a dull girl. If I haven't had a good night's rest, please keep me away from all sharp objects.

But I have been looking back at old photos of that one time we took our kids camping. And they are so cute, that I almost feel tempted to take them camping again. Almost.


Contemplating fire in a deeply philosophical way.
Goons

Instead, I take them to SPACE CAMP! like the pale-skinned ginger nerds they are.


It's RED ALERT, kids! Isn't this fun!

Taking a break right before the Nerd Parade. 



*I got this lovely stitchable quote from the duo behind Peck's Vanilla during a Craft Lake City mixer. The very nice lady told me that I could have the quote, I loved it so much. The crafters and food-artisans of Utah are the coolest, yo.

Monday, July 15, 2013

MY DEAD LAWN

My lawn is dead. 


Oh hai, I am The Cotton Floozy's dead lawn.


I am really really dead.


The vinca next to me where the
lawncare guy did not spray is curiously alive. Huh.


DEAD



I blame a certain company whose identity can only be found on yelp.


If you want to read the whole sad story about MY DEAD LAWN OH WOE!


This is my yelp review.



About four years ago when M_____ was working on my lawn, it died. My lawn is still dead. Dead dead dead. Zero pulse. My lawn couldn't fog a mirror. My lawn will never get to go to prom or go skydiving or watch a Brad Pitt movie. NO. Sadness.  My lawn used to be beautiful and green and meadow-fresh. To keep my lawn healthy, I hired M_____. We set up a payment plan where we would pay M_____ money and then they would send some dude over to our house to stare balefully at our lawn for twenty minutes before spray-hosing it with fertilizer. Our lawn started to brown. We talked to M_____. Hey dudes, it looks like our lawn is browning. No worries. We will take care of it, M_____ said. They came over and looked at it, asked for more money, sprayed it with more crap, and then left. AND THEN OUR LAWN DIED. We called them up, Oh hey, M_____, our lawn is dead; it died on YOUR WATCH. The owner got on the phone with my husband and immediately dropped us as customers when we asked him to fix it, because hey, our lawn died under their care (See above claim in business title: "Lawncare.") The owner said, go away, I am the great and powerful Oz! My husband calmly told the owner that if he did not come and fix our yard, that we would post pictures of our yard all over the city so that people would be forewarned about M____'s Lawndeath Service.

and then.....

AND THEN.........

The owner of M_____ Pest Nursery & Lawndeath threatened to SUE US if we posted any pictures. Best customer service EVER!

So, I am yelping. YELPING.

And lastly, here is a cute picture of my house. Wouldn't my house look so much cuter without a dead lawn?


Friday, July 12, 2013

Thank Glob It's Friday!

OH MY GLOB.


I actually have little to no concept of the days of the week in the summertime. I work at my job randomly and as needed. My kids aren't in any organized sports (woohoo!) and when they do participate in outside-the-home activities like space camp and children's birthday parties, the dates and times are erratic. Summer is all just a blur of dentist appointments, eye appointments, and evil waterpark appointments.

But today I am saying Thank Glob It's Friday!, less about the day and more about the weather. It's raining! And yes, I know that I am a conundrum. I hate water from swimming pools and water slides, but when water comes from the sky and plasters me wet, I AM SO HAPPY. It has been so depressingly dry and sunshiny these past few days, that it is a blessing to have such gloomy skies and a soaking respite.


Lumpy Space Princess brings it!



Rain. I love you. I know that the main reason I have to thank you is because of LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) and her awesome lumps that everyone wants to slump on. Slumping on LSP's lumps makes rain. That's science. THANK YOU SCIENCE AND LSP!

These lumps!
I know you wanna slump
ON
These Lumps! But you can't
'cause you're a chump!
A chuuUuuUMp!


I occasionally see fan-offs between Adventure Time and The Regular Show. Team Ice King or Team Pops? Muscle Man or LSP? Mr. Floozy is Team Pops. I am Team Ice King all the way. What team do you belong to?





Monday, July 8, 2013

The Shoes That Tried to Kill Me





Last week I went swimming with the extended family. Or rather, I did not swim, because, like my friend Misty, I prefer to sit and be comfortable poolside. Except that I hate being poolside. Or near a pool. Or even looking at a picture of a pool. And yes, I can swim. I was a really good swimmer as a child even though I never seemed to be able to swim without nose plugs. YES I WAS THAT CHILD. I feel like you already know so much about me by that one little fact. Somehow I didn't look as fabulous as a nose-plugged Esther Williams.

After baking in the sun, watching everyone swim and experience this thing called "fun,"one of my nieces needed to go pee and so I volunteered to escort her to the pool bathroom. She was dripping water all over the floor and one minute I was showing her where the toilet was and the next minute I was on my arse. I didn't fall straight down. I slipped as if an invisible rug was being pulled out from under me. I managed to hit every single limb and shin bone. (Fact: the human body has nine shin bones.) I smashed my arm on the side of the bathroom stall. It hurt like a mofo. But all I could think was, I DID NOT HIT MY HEAD! Ever since my head injury last year, I have feared nothing more than another concussion. That was one of the worst experiences of my life. This time, not only did I not hit my head, but I did not break any bones, even though my right arm felt like it had been crushed by Mj√∂lni. I had a few bruises on my legs and a large dark bruise on my arm that at first glance resembled a nicotine patch. 

While I walked my (emotionally traumatized) niece back to the pool, I looked down at my shoes and realized that they were the same shoes that I had been wearing last July when I slipped on a wet rock and conked my head! The same damn shoes!


MURDER SHOES
I threw the shoes away. I didn't risk donating them to a thrift store since obviously they are possessed by a homicidal demon. 

This non-head-crushing fall reminded me of just how awful that concussion had been. It has been an incredibly hard year, trying to normalize, working to regain my short term memory abilities, and resurrecting my old, carefree personality. My friend Eileen sent me a link to a TED talk on youtube of Jane McGonigal, game creator and recent victim of a head injury that left her suicidal and bedridden for months. The only way that she crawled her way out of the depression was to create a game. The first itineration of the game was called Jane the Concussion Slayer.



I love that so much. Eventually she tweaked the game to be accessible for a broader audience. It is an online mood-booster game called SuperBetter. I have looked it over and it is pretty rad.

Last year, I didn't create a game to deal with the pain, instead, I stitched my way out of the funk. (And yes, I also went to the doctor a kazillion times.)  This quote by Kurt Vonnegut helped me more than anything else:


Everything was Beautiful and nothing Hurt.
Sometimes life is craptacular. And the best way to deal with it is to follow Neil Gaiman's advice and 'Make good art.'  That is what Jane McGonigal did. And that it what I did, too. (Although, calling my embroideries 'art' might be a stretch. Shut up! It helped me!)

Here is an excerpt of Neil Gaiman's speech.

Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

And if that moved you, check out this awesome animation. 

I am so thankful that I have reached the anniversary of my head injury in tact and mostly normal! And from now on, I am double-checking the tread-adequacy of my shoes. 




Monday, July 1, 2013

In Defense of Miss Utah and All The Other Pretty Girls





Unless you were living under a rock that didn’t have a connection to the Internet last month, you probably saw the video clip of Miss Utah verbally sharting all over the microphone during the interview portion of the Miss America Totally Legit! Scholarship Pageant. It was cringey. It was embarrassing for Utahns. It was embarrassing for humanity. Its awfulness punctuated by the pageant host’s vapid nods of encouragement. NeNe Leakes, Real Housewife of Atlanta, Brainiac Extraordinaire asked this question: “A recent report shows that in 40 percent of American families with children, women are the primary earners, yet they continue to earn less than men. What does this say about society?" 

And here is what Miss Utah answered:

I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to figure out how to create jobs, right now, that is the biggest problem I think, especially the men, are, um, seen as the leaders of this, and so we need to try to figure out how to create education better so that we can solve this problem.

Now, this is indeed hilarious. And I am okay with the laughter obviously, or I wouldn’t have embroidered "Create Education Better." But once the laughter turns harpy-cruel or arrogant, then I am not so happy.

Without a doubt Marissa Powell is pretty. I worry about pretty girls such as her. Her whole life she has probably been told over and over again that she is pretty. ‘You are pretty you are pretty you are pretty.’ I don’t think that this can be good for anyone’s brain. Maybe, no one ever told her that she was funny (until recently) or that she was really good at clogging or beatnik poetry. Who knows. 

I look at women like Marissa and see them as victims of a patriarchal society. All those pretty girls were just doing what they were told! They were obedient and they were rewarded for their obedience. Why should we get mad at them now? Even her loose and diarrhetic answer reverberates with patriarchy. “Men, are, um, seen as the leaders of this." Men are the leaders, um, and women are the, um, hot bodies in bikinis, um. 

It’s not always easy being pretty. Society sets low expectations for the pretty girls. Who cares if you suck at basic geography! You’re pretty! Big whoops if you don’t know have a personality! You’re pretty! Personalities are overrated! Now bend over and pick up that peeled grape I dropped!

Maybe it’s easy for the first thirty years or so for a pretty girl, but then beauty fades and aging goes batshit crazy all over your face.

I might be completely wrong about Marissa. She might have a great personality! I don’t know her. Perhaps, she simply suffers from stage fright. Perhaps, if she had been able to write out her answer instead of speaking it, she would have done awesomely. I can’t answer any question very well if I have to do so out loud. Something gets all tangled up in my mind when I try to push my thoughts directly out of my mouth. I much prefer writing over talking. Miss Utah’s answer reminded me of that time I did a video and said, “Alternative crafting is short for alternative crafting.” SAY WHAT. And I am sure that if Marissa and I had freaky-fridayed that night, I would have answered that stupid question this way, “Society bad. Gender inequality bad. More money women GOOD. Pineapple!” 

I wish you the best in life, Marissa. And I think that you should tell everyone that your answer was a well-planned performance art piece condemning patriarchy and bad television. Amen.