Last ditch shameless call for votes! I know, I suck and I’m annoying. It’ll all be over soon.
The most exciting time of the year!
It is that time of year again! I have mentioned the ABBA’s a few times recently, but the biggie posts will start rolling now…
Today the committee have been busy and I know that alongside Sacha, His Geoffleship, Huggable Hugh , a great story crafter, Adam Dixon , who I met for the first time at the last bash, fantastic author Helen Jones, and the delightful Shelley Wilson, who is responsible for turning me to YA fiction, have all been posting about this year’s awards categories!
Time for you all to get your thinking caps on! The nominations will be open soon enough! Visit the link to read up on the various categories!
BEST OVERALL BLOGGER
MOST INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER
MOST INFORMATIVE (Original Content) BLOGGER
BEST BOOK REVIEW BLOG
SERVICES TO BLOGGERS
Just in case we needed more proof that I’m inept and would be 100% useless in a survival situation. Happy Flashback Friday, folks!
It all started with this picture:
Add some binge watching of Naked and Afraid, mix in my crazy friend, Alyssa, and you have our insane 21 Minute Naked and Afraid Challenge in the wilds of Oxbow Park, in the heart of Reno. It was intense.
In all seriousness, this started with her idea to spoof the above picture. Obviously, the woman above is quite talented and lithe. We are not. We are the direct opposite. She thought it would be hilarious to go out into nature and take ridiculous pictures of our pudgy bodies, attempting to contort into serious yoga positions. It was insanely entertaining. Either we are hysterical, or just really, really immature 30-somethings. Well, here are our yoga spoofs:
Now, at this point, we are incredibly winded and tired, but we have more poses to do, so we forge on. Along the path, we are accosted by flying insects and there are red ants everywhere. It’s hot, we are sweating, and our mouths are parched. Suddenly…it turns into Naked and Afraid (Except, we didn’t get naked. Getting arrested for public nudity is usually frowned upon amongst the responsible adult crowd I’d like to say I’m a part of).
We decide to make shelter, find weapons, and pretend to make fire, all in the name of survival. We know we would hardly make it an hour in serious wilderness, so we named our wilderness attempt, the “21 Minute Survival Challenge”.
We took photos of our attempt to survive our harrowing journey through a city park. Enjoy.
Just chilling in our shelter. We scored and found a busted guitar. It will provide great rain coverage. Two minutes in and we are really feeling the effects of dehydration. We are sweating too much. It must be 88 degrees, and the walk-in was exhausting. I don’t know if I can do this.
8 minutes in and we are still in search of food. We are dying of hunger. The energy we are exerting in search of nourishment is depleting our fat stores. We can feel our body eating our fat. We also almost died crossing this dangerous canyon. It had to be at least 2 feet down. It was the most terrifying moment of our ordeal.
Desperate for protein, we shamefully, hungrily consider the used condom caught while fishing. That was our low point. 12 minutes in, and things are bleak. Morale is low. Our stomachs are growling and our lips are cracking from dehydration.
Success! Alyssa catches a water-logged, half-eaten hamburger encased in its wrapper. It looks to be only a few days old. In desperate times, one must take desperate measures. We still have diarrhea, and we are afraid we have caught a sexually communicable disease from the river. This survival shit isn’t for the weak.
Weak from exertion and lack of food and water, I cannot make it back up the hill from the river. Alyssa uses her last bit of strength to rescue me. I thought she was a bossy bitch at first, but we have built a bond that can’t be broken through this experience.
Due to vicious red ant attacks, we resort to resting on a log. Lesson learned: red ants live in logs too. Only 6 minutes left. We are running on empty and are motivating each other by reminiscing about our favorite meals. What I wouldn’t do for some ribs!
After our grueling 21 minutes in the wild, Alyssa and I have learned a lot about ourselves and nature. First, nature sucks, and it messes up your manicures and pedicures. It also makes you sweaty and dirty. Ick. Second, we are both confident that given an opportunity to travel to some remote location as a part of the show, Naked and Afraid, we would survive for precisely 10 minutes. Nature isn’t for the weak or lazy, and we are lazy as fuck.
You might have noticed that I was MIA on Wednesday (my usual new-post-day). I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to write. This makes me entirely too sad, so I’m planning on getting my writing shit together in a massive way.
For this week’s #flashbackfriday, I thought I’d share my post about the Leggings Spread. I’m sharing this particular post, because I need to be reminded of my own advice.
It’s no secret that I believe leggings are life. They are insanely comfortable, they don’t cut painfully into your fat, and they don’t feel the need to remind you every time you yank them on that you’ve been laying the butter on pretty heavy lately.
I seriously have a definite love affair with my collection of leggings. It’s almost sick, guys.
I treat them better than my poor boyfriend.
I never dry them. I bought a deliciously scented fabric softener to make them smell irresistible (is it weird I feel the need to have my pants smelling irresistible?). I also bought special hangers, because you don’t put these babies in a drawer.
Because I’ve been so comfortable and happy, I’ve hardly noticed it.
Noticed what, you ask?
Due to the forgiving nature of leggings, it’s easy to not realize when your girth starts to spread in all directions.
I’ve been ignorantly blissful about my weight these past few months.
That is, until I decided to wear jeans to school. Whatever possessed me to think this was a good idea is beyond me.
Because all of my jeans have a ridiculous amount of stretch, I didn’t really notice it until I sat down in my chair at school.
Thank you, Baby Jesus and all that is holy, that this occurred before my class was present.
When I sat down, due to the sheer force of my stomach, my pants jumped ship as said stomach spilled over the top, like overflowing bread dough in the oven.
It happened in slo-mo and I just sat, stunned, watching my overflowing fat.
The rest of the day I spent sucking as much in as possible as to not knock an unsuspecting kid in the face with my fat.
Fuck. I’m disgusting.
I’ve figured out what the real purpose of jeans are-they are your First Alert Weight Gain System. If you can still breathe in your buttoned jeans, you’re golden. If you need an inhaler after buttoning, you fat, friend.
Real pants are assholes, but they are like those true friends who don’t feed you any bullshit. They both won’t hesitate to tell you you’re looking like a polar bear in a puffy jacket.
Maybe real pants aren’t as useless as I’ve been believing. As soon as I can fit into my jeans again, I’ll maybe put them back into the wardrobe rotation. But, just so we’re clear, I’m still wearing leggings the majority of the week. I’m not about jean-everyday- life anymore.
An extra special “thank you” to my boyfriend, who just said, “You want me to do what?” and “OK, let’s do this” when I told him I wanted to recreate squeezing into my jeans.
Ladies, learn from me. Even if you don’t plan on actually wearing those asshole jeans, try them on at least once a month to monitor how far your Leggings Spread has grown.
You’ll thank me later.
What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I be like normal people? Why can’t I be a calm, cool, collected individual? The anxiety, the rash decisions, the guilt. It’s all too much.
I’m useless, mental, insane, compulsively-driven at the very sight of…of cupcakes. I know. What the fuck is wrong with me?
The other day we had a staff meeting where cupcakes were present. They were brought out at the very start of the meeting. They were for a birthday, so tradition dictates that you don’t partake until ‘Happy Birthday’ is sung. Um. Why you people gotta play with me like that?
The.whole.time I sneaked peeks over at those beautiful confections of sugar goodness. It was mean, really.
They were taunting me.
How can you expect anyone, particularly one with an unhealthy relationship to cake, to actually pay attention to the matters at hand when there are cupcakes RIGHT OVER THERE?
I think I know what we discussed at the staff meeting, but really, all I was concerned with was whether or not I would have time to eat my cupcake before the school day started.
During the height of my anxiety, when I was contemplating how bad it would look if I just snatched one and ran out, I began to notice everyone else.
They were all just casually drinking their coffee and jotting down notes.
I’m having the sweats and I’m feeling like an animal in heat and these people are cool as fucking cucumbers. Really.
It’s moments like these, during staff meetings where I have to abstain, with temptation taunting me, when I wonder how I’m not 400 pounds.
The fact that a fucking cupcake can mentally control me to such a degree is embarrassing. Normal people want one, but they don’t salivate like a starving dog begging for scraps.
My many, fervent, stolen glances over at the rainbow cake bombs, did the trick and it was finally time to get one! *Fat clap*
I basically mowed everyone down to get to them first. I’m that person.
I was instantly ashamed, but my regret didn’t stop me from checking the teacher’s lounge, at lunch, to see if there were any left.
Happy Monday! Yesterday, I spent ages customizing a new theme for my blog page. I felt my page needed some updating and a fresh new look. Mostly, I want my blog to be easy to navigate and fun to look at.
I would love feedback about the new look. Specifically, is my fat gob too much right there, front and center? I feel like it is a little shocking, especially for those who visit my blog upon just waking up.
Since customizing this new theme, my “about” and “home” links have disappeared. My “about” page still exists, but I don’t know how to get to it!
(I know it still exists, because I followed the link provided on the Bloggers Bash post.)
This is no bueno! Since Wordpress support has been so expeditious in their replies as of late, I am likely not going to get the help I need from them this year.
Anyone have any idea why this might have happened?
Let me know what you think about my new theme and layout, along with why I might have a missing menu!
Happy Monday, beautiful people! I wanted to share Ritu’s post about the Annual Bloggers Bash in case you weren’t already aware of this amazing event. The voting has already begun and closes June 2nd. I was completely floored to find out I was nominated for Funniest Blogger. What an incredible honor! There are some incredible blogs and people nominated! So, please, take some time to check them out and vote!
Some of you will be aware that last week Sacha Black announced the nominees for the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards, or the ABBA’s as they are fondly known!
Amazingly, I have been nominated under the Best Overall Blog category!
This award is for the blogger who has the best overall blog. Who is the blogger that for you, excels in a variety of categories? Perhaps they’re sociable and engage with readers, maybe they share others posts, or have a writing style that keeps you coming back time and time again.
Whoever you choose needs to be an all rounder, a blogger that for you is head and shoulders above the rest.
Flattered? Why yes of course I am!
Nervous? Hell yeah! Have you seen my competition? There are some amazing HUGE blogs in the running, and I count some of the bloggers as friends, not the competition!
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I wanted to share a piece I wrote about Elko for this week’s #fbf. I wanted to include this in my BuzzFeed application, but it wasn’t enough words. Also, it’s the first piece my mom asked about when I told her I had to send in some of my writing.
Any time the seasons change, I think of Elko. So, I’ve been thinking of it a lot lately.
It can’t be explained by one key event or moment. It was a series of moments, feelings, awakenings. It was carried by the electrically charged breeze during a thunderstorm. It was kicked up and then settled, into the cracks and crannies of my brain, like the dirt from the road. It came to me, pungent, in through the window, smelling of wet sagebrush and desert. It was changing oak leaves in the fall. The smell of coffee and wet pavement. It was the green hills in the spring. The thick, silent snowflakes in the winter. It was stillness. Jack rabbits. The moon and the stars. It was fresh, plump grapes. Fried chicken and biscuits. It was peace. Sleep. Renewal. It was faraway, twinkling lights, signaling home. It was something, somewhere, everything, always. It was Elko.
Holy shit, ya’ll! I did something crazy! Last Friday, I sent my application to BuzzFeed London for a summer Writer Fellow position!
I think I hinted at engaging in something that could be a life-changer in my Wednesday post last week. I figured I had better explain further.
After an especially stressful day teaching, I started searching for writing gigs. I was suddenly struck with the thought, “What about BuzzFeed?” So, I searched their job opportunities, saw the fellow program in London, and was just like, “HOLY SHIT. YES!”
Not only is this gig in my favorite city that just happens to reside in my favorite country, it is a writing opportunity for the summer (I have been on the search for a summer job abroad). It really couldn’t have been more perfect.
I first saw this job posting last Monday and the application was due that Friday.
This wouldn’t have been that big of a deal for Last-Minute-Lorna (one of my many alter-egos), but the application requirements were intensive.
Not that that is a bad thing. I mean, I’d rather apply to an organization that only wants the best of the best than an institution that has no standards, but I had a week to get it all done. A week.
This sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t. It.really.isn’t.
This is what was required to apply:
- 3 non-fiction pieces that are at minimum 1,000 words each (I sent Aerial Antics, Linda, and Felony Stop)
- A cover letter including:
- 3-5 pitches that the applicant feels are relevant and that BuzzFeed London would be interested in
- 2-3 literary influences that have helped shape the applicant’s writing, perspective, and style
- Career goals and what the applicant would want to accomplish if given the opportunity to work at BuzzFeed London
The pitches were the hardest part, and what I spent most of my week on. Not only did I want to come up with original (or, if not entirely original, a new, Fatty McCupcakes-esque spin on an existing theme) ideas, I needed to make sure they would fit within the culture of BuzzFeed London. I revised and edited precisely a million times. I also enlisted the help of my editor and two English friends who are also fellow writers.
(Somehow, even after re-reading precisely 8,457 times and handing my draft over to my editor, I messed up my numbering and there were a couple pretty glaring typos. Woes is me, I cunt count. So, likely, my application was immediately sent to the trash bin.)
My literary influences and the write up I sent is as follows:
As white-girl-basic as it may make me sound, Sophie Kinsella is my writing idol. At a time when I was still young and dumb enough to think that getting myself out of debt snafus was as easy as having an upscale yard sale, Kinsella was my spiritual guide on all shopping, love, and oh-shit-I’m-really-screwed matters. Her character, Becky, was a cooler, more British (like, a lot more, since I’m zero British), savvier version of myself. What I learned from Kinsella’s writing was how to reach my readers on a personal, relatable level. In reading Kinsella, I learned the fine art of self-deprecation-poking fun at one’s self and pointing out personal downfalls without seeming whiny or oppressed. Not to mention, Kinsella’s humor and hijinks have been the basis for how I’ve found my own writer’s voice.
The Twelve Little Cakes by Dominika Dery was the first memoir I ever read. In hopes of weaning me off Kinsella, my mom purchased this book for me at the Dollar Store, no less. She thought it looked meatier than your average chick-lit book, and it had “cakes” in the title. She figured it would be a win. For once, my mother’s literary suggestions paid off, and I was utterly engrossed by Dery’s life growing up in Communist Prague. It was in this book that I found the beauty in telling a story about one’s life, however mundane. Dery’s life was by no means unremarkable, but the real essence of her story was found in the simple goings-on of her family. Because Dery told her story in such a way that you could have sworn she lived right down the street, every word was like coming home. Dery’s The Twelve Little Cakes has been hugely influential for how I write my own beautifully mundane stories.
I was first introduced to Khaled Hosseini via the movie, The Kite Runner. Strangely, The Kite Runner was not my first reading of Hosseini, but A Thousand Splendid Suns. This books sits on my nightstand, dusty, but not forgotten. Hosseini was my first introduction into the beautifully chaotic Middle East and the misunderstood Islam faith. Before having read a book on the topic of Islam, written by a Muslim author, I was blind. After delving heart first into A Thousand Splendid Suns and then devouring book after book on the Middle East, I am now intoxicated by the rhythmic prose and haunting stories of suffering, love, and loss found in Hosseini’s books. As a writer, I have learned from his books how to tell a deeply complex and emotionally charged story with only a few words.
I am hoping that my three literary influences show that I am complex, a deep thinker, and am open to new perspectives, and not just a basic, white bitch. Because, as much as I am basic, I am multifarious.
So, now I wait.
Honestly, it was most likely a crap shoot, a shot in the dark, a first step of many yet to come. But, a part of me is holding out hope that I somehow stood out among the thousands of others applicants. And, those applicants had worse typos than me.
I feel insecure sometimes about my ability. Do I even have an ability to write? Am I relevant, but original? Can I bring up serious topics without alienating my readers? Will I run out of ways to be an asshole in my writing? Will I fail to come up with ways to poke fun at myself and be self-deprecating?
Am I even a writer?
This is my deranged-self-conscious-waiting-to-hear-about-an-opportunity-I-really-want-behavior.
I don’t even know if the rejects will hear if they were rejected. I guess if it’s July 1st and I’m not on a plane to London, I didn’t get it.
WHAT DO I DO IN THE MEANTIME?
Just be glad you don’t live with me and have to deal with this on an hourly basis. My poor, poor boyfriend.
Just today, I thought I’d finally join in on my student’s Just Dance brain break video. They always ask if I’ll dance with them, but I just say, “Oh, I don’t want to scare you.” That seems to make them stop asking, so I can continue to sit like a fat lump, wondering where my childhood energy and zest for sudden movements went to. I don’t know what came over me today, but I wanted to Kung Foo Fight like funky Billy Chin for some reason.
It was a terrible idea. When I started “swinging with the hand”, I knocked over a stand, my coffee, and stumbled into the map on the wall, which made it roll up with a deafening, thunderous roar.
All of my students stopped dead in their ninja tracks.
Their eyes said it all: My teacher is so not cool.
This is why trying to find my non-existent moves is best when behind closed doors.
I’m just so glad I didn’t let anyone talk me into joining the teacher talent show group.
Behold, my last attempt at Just Dance:
So, my boyfriend has been going to personal training kickboxing three times a week (he’ll probably look like a white, mustachioed Oscar de la Hoya in a month-f*%#ing men), and while he’s gone, I hork out on junk and watch Netflix.
It occurred to me that it’s not really in my best interest to get even fatter while my boyfriend beefs up. It’s one thing if you’re polishing off a package of Oreos, together, in stained, oversized t-shirts, in front of American Horror Story, and a whole other nasty animal to glutton alone, while the other is being punched in the stomach by an MMA fighter. It’s kinda not fair.
So, I thought- what better time to drag out my dusty yoga mat and bust out a couple sloth-like moves.
Side note- anyone remember the reason I started this blog-the yoga journey I kicked off like a bat out of hell? Or, more like a fat girl with no real idea that it would require an immense amount of effort I wasn’t ready to give? Yeah…that’s not embarrassing or anything.
So, my yoga mat wasn’t just dusty from little use, it literally was crusty-hard from old sweat from my last yoga session, 45 years ago. It actually almost cracked in two.
Well, I promptly threw it back into the closet and about gave up, until I remembered that I’ve always meant to be a breakout dance star, a la Flashdance (or more realistically, MTV’s Made). So, what better idea than to Whip/Nae Nae my way to fitness?
I don’t really have anything to say about my solo dance party, other than if you’re going to sweat it out to Just Dance, and you have as much rhythm as a flag pole, close your blinds, your curtains, and turn your lights off. Ain’t no one ready to see what you think is “dancing”.
My Whip Nae/Nae looked more like “Quick/Call 911/I Have Whip Lash.
FYI: flexibility is a prerequisite to whipping your whatever.
I fear I’ll never be able to turn my head, freely, to the right again.
This is why eating the rest of my Mom’s cream cheese pumpkin bars was a better idea.
It’s like I never learn.