Friday, January 19, 2018

Fantasy Fiction Fella Friday

So Carolyn and I were talking about our hot, book boyfriends and what we imagine they'd look like in real life. Which spurred our new, weekly post of Fantasy Fiction Fella Friday.

For me, the heroine-centric reader, choosing a book boyfriend is hard. But I immediately thought of Nick in Jennifer Crusie's Crazy for You.

Nick is a commitment-phobe, hot guy who is best friends with Quinn, works as a mechanic, the kind of man who would repair  your leaking pipes or broken fence, then make you a spaghetti dinner before he seduces your panties off.

He's playful. He's funny. He's self-deprecating.

The picture above is close to how I imagine him.

And by the way, if you haven't read Crazy for You, do it. It's my favorite romance ever.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

So This Happened

So this happened today.

My brother had to take his car to the shop and my daughter had to go to school to take a test. So I dropped off Mollie and then went to pick up Mitch, who was taking me out to breakfast. And on the way to breakfast my brother's phone went off with an alarm and the above was the message.

I can't even explain what happened. We were both in shock and wondering if this was real. My brother noted that the sirens weren't going off (we have air sirens) and he suggested we go on to the restaurant so we did. When we got there people were milling around with their phones out, a lot of concern and questions going on.

Mitch was getting phone calls and texts and trying to pass the same good sense message: no alarms means it's probably not true. Hold tight.

Mollie called me. She wanted to know where I was and if I was okay. She said that we probably weren't going to die but in case, she wanted to mention that dying on a Saturday while at school taking a test was just a mean joke by God. I told her we were surely safe, I love her and not to worry.

We went into the restaurant and got coffee. We were checking online for information and finally got an All-Clear. We made some jokes, ate a little, drank a shitload of coffee and were as kind as possible to the waitress who admitted that they were all shook up and could barely handle doing their jobs after this scare.

We went home. I had planned to bake bread today, something I haven't done since I was a teenager and I'm glad that I did. It was something that made me concentrate and the kneading was good for my soul.

Then I checked Twitter and Azteclady had sent a message saying she hoped Mollie and I were okay. And suddenly I wasn't. Suddenly I realized that a ball of tension was twined inside me because truth is, we thought we were about to get bombed. I started to cry because my 16 year old daughter called me to say goodbye. I stood among strangers and wondered if I was going to die with them at a Hawaiian greasy spoon instead of with the person I love most on this earth.

I thought of how I was glad to be with Mitch because despite our political differences, I love and trust him and he kept me grounded. He kept a lot of people grounded at a moment we needed it. I thought about how Carolyn and Lea would be hurt if a bomb fell and they didn't know my fate.

I cried and I still feel tears and tension. It's going to take a lot for this to uncoil and let me loose.

More than anything, I thought how awful it is that when we got a message that we were being bombed, not a single person wondered why. We all knew why. And I despise, with every fiber of my being, that horrible troglodyte who brought us here. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Fatphobia Sells

You know that moment when someone says something nasty about a woman's weight and you kind of reel back and they quickly say, "not you, you're fine" but the fact is that you weigh more than the person who was just denigrated?

Kristan Higgins wrote a book called Good Luck With That which is about three girls who met at fat camp, became lifelong friends and then one died from being too fat and the other two have to learn to love life and love themselves... I don't know if that means lose weight or just realize that people are more than their BMI. I don't know. I won't know because I don't plan on reading this book.

When the review copies for this book came out, there was a little uproar because apparently the blurb described the book as the fat phobic book it really is. But then the blurb got changed and readers (like me) who have always enjoyed Kristan Higgins told her that she's sweet and lovely and we trust she's not writing fat shaming fiction.

We were wrong. Apparently she did. Which made me feel like I described in my opening paragraph: slapped in the face because someone I thought who liked me has been secretly judging me based only on how many pounds I carry.
I just finished the book Hunger by Roxane Gay. It's an autobiographical novel about Ms. Gay's relationship with her body. She was gang raped at age 12 and never told her parents (or anyone) what happened. But she started eating to hide herself and to create uncrossable boundaries so she wouldn't get hurt again.

I completely related to the book until it got to the point that I wanted to give the author a lecture about living and not just living as a victim. But it's her journey and she obviously isn't in that place yet. It was the one issue I had.

But Hunger approaches how women feel separate from our bodies and how we create our own chasms between us, our fat and our dreams. I found the beginning of the book hard to read because I knew exactly how she felt. I found the end of the book hard to read because I didn't relate any longer to how she felt.

So two books about weight. I saw a feed on Twitter of someone reading the Higgans book and describing the plot as it happens. Had to laugh because the woman in the book who was dying from extreme fatness has slightly elevated vitals but nothing to kill her.

Also fat doesn't kill. It just jiggles.

I'm just so disappointed. I wanted Higgans to be a better person. I wanted Roxane Gay to evolve from her victimhood.

Carolyn: maybe it's time we write our own book. Fat is Jiggly and Jiggle Don't Kill.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Little New Year Change

Happy 2018!

We're doing a little change of ye olde blogge. New Year, new look.

We're going to get a monthly book club started in February. We're still figuring out how to do it.

We don't have anything too big or interesting planned. We do love this blog and we love our friends who drop in so we hope to reflect that more this year.

Friday, January 5, 2018


Have I mentioned skulls?

Last year when I started my weight loss journey, I started walking. Usually I hit the track but sometimes I'd head up-hill to a road my brother named The Jungle Road (there's an expanse of jungle on one side). I have found some pig bones and skulls on my walks since there's a huge number of feral pigs on the island who get hit by cars.

Anyway, the skulls are beautiful. There's a grace and glory to the bone, a design that just thrills my heart. So I have taken some skulls (the bugs have picked them clean of any post-life debris, they're dirty but no tissue or anything still attached) and cleaned them and finally, after months of them sitting, I painted a couple.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I have a third one waiting to paint but that one has tusks and is even cooler than these two.

I'll post a picture when I'm done.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

Carolyn:  This is an older novella; I acquired it in 2015. Although I'm most definitely NOT into hardcore erotica, I'm not sure this would qualify as such, but maybe it would. What do I know?

Here, have a blurb:

Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.

Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?

Lori:  Carolyn mentioned this book and suggested I should try it. Not for the BDSM but because of the religion. I love religion and a book that delves into Judaism that's also kink sounds interesting.

It was fucking brilliant.

Tzipporah is a religious studies teacher. She is Jewish raised in a secular household. She likes rough sex and was married to a man who didn't. Didn't like rough sex, didn't care about religion and was the wrong man in every way.

Tz (I'm shortening it for heaven's sake, and my sake for writing this) ends her marriage and moves into Orthodox Judaism. In the sense that she physically moves into an Orthodox neighborhood, adopts the laws and rituals and becomes a practicing Orthodox Jew.

Elan is the butcher, a widower, a man Tz is attracted to for his size and brusque manner. When the Rabbi's wife suggests a match and Elan is among the choices, Tz says yes. They have a few meals together, agree that they want children, will both continue to work and they get married (it really is that cut and dried).

Elan, on their wedding night, says what do you like? And Tz takes a chance and tells him. And discovers that her new husband understands BDSM quite well and gives her exactly what she needs.

What she needs... is the theme of this book and how BDSM and Orthodox Judaism merge together. It's about accepting restrictions and forms of bondage to find freedom. To take flight. What this book does is gives us a heroine who can only be free by choosing her shackles and losing herself in the bonds.

The sex is so necessary to this story but it isn't purple cock heads and glistening drops of pre-cum. It's pain and discomfort. It's being bound into immobility and learning to let go while bound. It's about modesty on the outside and complete freedom on the inside.

My reaction to this book was ... well... right now I have tears skimming my eyes when writing this. It was one of the best books I've read this year and possibly among the best I've read ever. It's glorious.

Carolyn: Lori's just about said it all, really, and much better than I could. I just know that this is an amazing book and deserves a wide audience.

I still have difficulty relating pain to pleasure. Perhaps it's like scratching an itch until you bleed? It certainly couldn't be equated to a gallbladder attack because there's NOTHING pleasurable about that and nothing to be learned either, except pain hurts along with a longing for immediate surgery.

And still, the silly side of me wonders ...  They want children and what happens if little Tz or Elan Jr wander into the bedroom to find mama strung up by her hair (to all appearances) and bound with pretty blue rope? I'm being facetious, of course, but still ... I do wonder.

I could see that Tz wanted to live an Orthodox life and tried her best to do so but it was never linked with her religion; kosher is part of being Orthodox but how and why does it relate to beliefs? The BDSM fit in, yes, but it seemed kosher closed her in, rather than letting her fly as the sex did. Was kosher a religious experience to her? Seemed like more of a hassle. How did covering her hair fit in her religion?

The book needed to be longer, damn it!

Lori: In Orthodoxy, Carolyn, people keep their head covered in respect to God. Men wear a yarmulke and women cover their heads with scarves or oftentimes, a wig. So that explains why nobody knew her hair color. And why it mattered to Tz.

And of course keeping kosher is how one is an observant Jew. It's following the rules and laws. And I truly believe that the entire point of who Tz was, is that in being bound by laws, rules, observance and rope was all that could set her free.

This is just such an excellent book. I could never find pleasure in pain although as Carolyn pointed out, sometimes in scratching a certain itch or probing a painful spot feels deliciously bad. We've all felt it. So I guess there's a small awareness of how it can feel good while feeling bad.

Although I'm not interested in pain as pleasure or even the sexual aspect of the story really, it was all about finding freedom. Taking flight. 

I can't say enough about this book. Read it. Feel it. It's amazing.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Is It Time for Resolutions?

Yes, I'm one of those. There's something about a new page, a fresh start, a second chance that delights me. It isn't just the idea of decoding to go on a diet or resolve to write 500 words a day... it's bigger than that.

A new year. A new beginning. A new chance to grow and learn. To come closer to being who it s you really want to be. To a life not mired in regret or sadness. To a life lived and a life appreciated.

My so-far defining moment happened on Christmas day. We sat together around the tree and unwrapped presents. Mollie almost busted a gut in joy, so many K-Pop things she wanted. Video games, clothes, gift cards. I was so happy to see her excitement.

I didn't get what I really wanted most. There were two books I asked for and a 2018 calendar. They were the things I wanted most. And I didn't get them. I did get other things I wanted: a shoe rack, a beautiful journal, new pillows. But I wanted those books and disappointment settled into me like an unwanted but persistent friend.

Later that day more family came and Mary gave me a present she made herself: a purple shawl/blouse, flowy and light weight and made for me. Made expressly for me. Everyone had a story about how frustrating it was for her to make it to my changing size, to figure my bust and height, and to make something she'd never made before but to want to take the time and effort because, as she told me later, she wanted to recognize how much I do for my family that goes unsung.

That was the moment the window opened and I got it. Almost 60 years old and I got it. I went onto Amazon and ordered the books I wanted. I told Mollie we were going to go and find me a perfect calendar for 2018. I refused to allow the disappointment I knew so well to take a deeper root.

Mollie and I discussed it yesterday in the car. I told her about my epiphany. I told her that it doesn't matter our age, we are always growing and learning and to embrace it. It's okay to be sad about something or disappointed in someone but does that have to be what defines you?

This is the blouse, by the way.

A lot of other things have happened since I started this post. But right now I'm going to end this. We have a long haul.

It's almost 2018.

I can't wait for the new year.