Thawing: One Reason Why Frozen Is So Important for Little Girls

My first impressions of Disney’s Frozen were positive, although not glowing. While it didn’t leave me with the same dreamy wonder of Beauty and the Beast, or even the madcap zip of Tangled, I enjoyed its premise and the ingenuitive way that it placed more importance on the relationship between two sisters than on romantic subplots. While it wasn’t my favorite Disney movie, something about Frozen crept its way into my heart and stayed there. Now almost two months after its premiere, the film is still on my mind, and I think I’m beginning to understand the reasons why. Continue reading

Subtraction: My Uncomfortable Relationship with Numbers in Weight Loss

Note: Body-image issues beneath the cut. Consequently, trigger warning.

The other day I was weighed for a medical test. “Wow,” said the nurse. “I never would have guessed that to be your weight! You hold it really well!”

…insert spiral of shame, here, until I forced myself to write this entry in my blog.

Continue reading

Whitney and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

My week has been so bad it’s actually gone the other way and is now awesome. I’m not sure why my mood has remained buoyant despite the load of bull I’ve been dealing with, but I’m actually in a great mood. All the stuff that’s happened is on the minor end of the tragedy spectrum, so consequently in list form, it’s fantastic! This week:

  • My AC broke.
  • A dustpan fell off the wall and hit me in the head.
  • I managed to destroy the company website on my lunch break (….I did fix it, eventually).
  • I had a flat tire.
  • …twice. (Different tires.)
  • When tossing a paper towel into the trashcan, I missed. This isn’t surprising because I don’t have game. I then leaned over to pick up the paper towel and put it in the trashcan only to lose my balance (?!?) and fall, knocking my head against the computer and potentially damaging the fan inside. I don’t know, it’s making an angry whirring noise. Also, I have a lump on my head.
  • A little kid ran into me at the library and took a tumble.  Poor thing! But he looked at me like I was Satan and waaaailed and I felt awful.
  • Scratched the floor something awful when moving furniture. It’s time to buy a new rug!
  • Scalded myself on the popcorn maker.
  • I have a doctor’s appointment. For women’s troublesOooooh.
  • Got cable and internet installed in my apartment. Both didn’t work on Day One. Got them fixed. Now the DVR isn’t working.

And such.

What you need to understand is that all of these things happened in TWO DAYS. TWO.

Surely I’m good now. Right?  RIGHT?

I’d Rather Move Bodies

Have you moved recently?

Good, then you’re going to feel me on this one. Settle in.

I’m a freakin’ James Bond when it comes to moving. I’ve moved from one residence to another (both across-the-street and across-the-country) nearly twenty times. I’m good at packing. I’m ruthless when it comes to keeping stuff or dumping it. I’m organized enough to know what I have to do when, experienced enough to anticipate what I’m going to break or what’s going to be broken (who needs an air conditioner in June in Alabama?) and  cynical enough to understand that this isn’t going to be cheap no matter what (I break leases like I break hearts).

And the funny thing is, this has been an incredibly smooth move-in. Nothing horrific has happened. Sure, there’s been minor drama, but nothing that isn’t par for the course when you’re moving 32 boxes, furniture, and clothes up two flights of stairs into a place previously inhabited by four (four!) galloping pitbulls and their owners (my downstairs neighbors just LOVE me and my two cats, let me tell you).  But moving to a new state takes time, money, and stress management skills that unless you’ve done it, you simply don’t understand. For example:

1. You must expect to get ripped off.

Generally, people aren’t even doing it out of malicious intent. They just have 7,342,394,300 fees to charge you because it’s what they’ve always done. Applying to live here?  $50. Running a credit check to live here?  $50.  Have pets?  $200 (and that was a deal! With two cats, I should be paying $400 but the manager was super-sweet and let me do it for $200). Need internet?  That’ll be the monthly fee plus installation plus parts plus labor.  And don’t get me started on Huntsville Utilities charging me $300 just to sign up for an account. I’ll see half that money again in 2 years. I’m not holding my breath.

2. You don’t need all that stuff.

When I was leaving Florida to move back here to Alabama, I had a pretty clear policy: if you want my furniture, you can have it for free.  The caveat to this policy was that I was not going to help you move it. Disassembling and getting the furniture down the three flights of stairs was entirely on the person who wanted the free furniture. You’d be surprised how many people went “oh yes, I want your Mistress of Pain dungeon set!” (hypothetical) only to back out once they realized that they were responsible for lugging it downstairs themselves while I drank gin and tonics on the couch. I gave away a TON of furniture. Most of my furniture, actually. I had a few kind people who asked me “are you sure you want to give this away?” and I said “YES, PLEASE, JUST GET RID OF IT SO I DON’T HAVE TO RENT A BIGGER U-HAUL” and they were worrying about my sentimentality getting the best of me. I assure you, once you start moving, you will realize what you want to keep and what you want to give away because you have to pack that shit in a box and then lug that box across the galaxy. You don’t realize the value of belongings until you’re forced to actively deal with them. I lost so much stuff I feel like a lighter person.  It’s fantastic.

3. Moving is never quick.

I’ve been in my apartment since May 15th. Here are the things that I still don’t have: a bed, cable, internet, towels, a bathroom trashcan, dishcloths, a bedside table, a desk. And all my art is on the floor, unhung. I’ve been working my ass off to get my apartment “done”, and I’m just beginning to remember that when moving into a new place, YOU ARE NEVER DONE. NOT FOR A YEAR.  You have to order stuff. It takes two weeks for them to ship it. You can’t just get cable; they have to come install it. Etc, etc. When I hear about my friends who have plans to move into a new house over a weekend I have myself a nice long laugh, because their definition of “moving” must include “using our boxes as a coffee table for the next six months because Jesus fucking Christ this shit is never through”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I hate smug movers who assure you that their moving experience was done in a weekend. Yes, there are moving hipsters. No, I don’t get it.

4. Hire someone to help you move, or rely on easily guilt-tripped friends. You can’t do it yourself.

Moving from the rental house to Huntsville, I hired two guys who got all the horrible lifting done in an hour-and-half versus all day of me huffing and puffing.  It cost $200 including tip and it was the best investment I’ve made in the last year. Before that, I begged my friends to help me move with promises of Cracker Barrel and beer. That worked out nicely, too, and it costs almost the same amount (a little cheaper, but it made some fantastic memories).  Thank you, easily-guilt-tripped friends!

In short, moving is torture and I’m stress-eating. Don’t do it unless you love your apartment. I do.  But holy crap this mess THIS MESS.

Quick Update

I don’t believe in hiatus posts for blogs, generally, because they alert readers to the fact that my awesome has been absent from the blogosphere, but I really am going to be MIA for the next week and a half due to a vacation in Yellowstone and the fact that I have no internet at my new apartment yet (woe! my life has a dearth of lolcats!).

I will return with a vengeance in June with new tales of That Time I Nearly Died and a discussion of tasty, tasty bison.

‘Til then, dear followers.

Posted in Me

Moving In, Moving On

Yesterday I got the keys to my new apartment, and promptly got severely nauseous. While there’s a stomach bug going around, I think it has more to do with the concept of permanency than any genuine illness.  I’ve always had a dislike of putting down ties; there’s no tragic backstory to explain my distaste toward commitment. I just don’t like pending obligations (or yard work).

While an apartment with a year-long lease barely seems to be commitment at all, for me, it’s pretty big. I’ve spent a lot of my life running around with my belongings in a cardboard box, and purchasing Real Furniture literally weighs me down. It’s exciting, sure, but it means that for a while: here I am.

My list of places, unabridged: Continue reading

Would you like fries with your vengeful ghost?

While driving to the store today, I saw a family in a graveyard by the Baptist Church.

They were in lawn chairs and grilling.

Now, it’s difficult to shock me, and my list of things I’d consider “gauche” is pretty short.  However, enjoying an Oscar Meyer wiener and playing frisbee amidst the mausoleums is one of them, particularly when there’s a perfectly nice, green park about five miles down the road that isn’t fertilized by the decomposing body of someone’s grandmother.  Isn’t that the perfect setup to a horror movie? Some hapless family has a picnic in a cemetery and the angry spirits of the restless dead rise up to smite them?

I’m trying to think whether or not I’ve ever done anything remotely as insensitive in a graveyard. Surprisingly, no. I’ve done ghost walks, of course, but they were all sanctioned by official historical society people.  I’ve done etchings off a farmer’s 1774 tombstone in a tiny little country cemetery in Tennessee, but I was quiet and respectful and didn’t drop a burger patty on holy ground.  There’s a difference, I think, between visiting a graveyard to tour it, and visiting a graveyard because you can work your Green Egg.  There’s a matter of respect.

I held my breath for the super-historical cemetery I walked past every day in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There’s an old Southern superstition to hold your breath as you pass by a cemetery lest the ghosts jump into you. I’m not sure what would happen if a ghost were to jump into you, but according to the tone of Southern tradition, bad things would follow. It probably wouldn’t be as awesome as anything Whoopi Goldberg could manage, just saying.

So it’s very strange to me to see people just… grilling away. I hope they had a good time and didn’t disrupt too many spirits.  That cemetery is only a mile from my house, and I’ve seen Night of the Living Dead way too many times (“There coming to get you, Whitney!”).

And related to nothing, the tips of my brunette hair are now dyed blonde, and I can cross off one of the things on my list.

Baking and I Break Up

While some of my friends struggle with cooking, and some think cooking involves heathen magic and they want no part of it, I’ve always prided myself on my ability to bake.  My cookies, cupcakes, and cakes are always fluffy, lightweight, and delicious.  I’m not a fussy cook or a decorative cook; if it involves making layers and piping frosting I’m not interested.  But the actual act of baking – not the presentation – that is so zen to me.  And I’m versed enough in baking by now that I’ve tackled more-complex items. Box cake mix is like doing push-ups the girl way and only for n00bs (incidentally, I should note here that I always do push-ups the girl way, and anyone who says that they don’t count can kiss my cake-box).

So when my mother requested that I make a particular strawberry cake today made with cake mix as a base, I sighed internally before setting to it.  Cake mix is filled with so many additives and questionable ingredients, but it’s Mother’s Day, and whatever Mom wanted, Mom would get.  I’d made this particular strawberry cake many times before. It’s brainless and delicious, a light pink sponge cake topped with cool, fluffy frosting. A perfect antidote to the heavy humidity lurking outside.  I put together the ingredients and cooked it a few minutes over, because our oven in our new house isn’t quite familiar to us.  Better to be safe than sorry, right?

But the cake came out beautifully. I let it cool, frosted it, and then when it came time to eat it, Mom got the first slice.

That was a mistake. I should’ve sneaked a bite before she got near it.  Because my cake tasted like Strawberry Shortcake had mated with a gummy bear and then laid out in the sun for a few days to dry out.

What happened? What happened? I survived cooking the entirety of the freaking Milk Bar cookbook but a recipe based off a cake mix threw me down? This cake was so terrible even my autistic brother wouldn’t eat it, and he literally eats his own shit if we don’t watch him closely enough. It was so violently, densely, nastily pink in the middle, it looked like the worst-case-scenario result of a prostrate exam.

The nearest thing I can figure is that maybe the box mix was old. Maybe I didn’t cook it long enough, even with the extra 4 minutes I threw in.  Because somehow it was both too moist and… hard. How do cakes get hard?  (Pervs, don’t answer that.)

I just don’t know what happened, but I’m never going to hear the end of my colossal failure.  My first major baking fuck-up just had to happen as my entire family watched.  Isn’t that the way of it? At least I was able to keep secret the time I managed to set the blender on fire with hamburger meat. But my parents have been crowing about my dazzling disaster all day, my Dad miming grotesque stomach pains (he had a few bites before giving up consuming the disgusting mush).

Baking, we’re through.  We had a nice ride, and I really thought I got you. But clearly, I didn’t know you at all.  If you ever want to see about getting back together again, I’m going to be at Nothing But Bundts, drowning my sorrows in a vat of cream cheese frosting.

Things I’d Rather My Parents Not Know: Part 2 of ?

Someone asked me what I was going to do when I finally move out of my parents’ house and into my own apartment. Now that that day is approaching, I’m formulating my plans. All the following will happen on the first Friday I am there:

  • Have Cheetos and wine for dinner.
  • Have cowboy shots of tequila for dessert.
  • Try to do Wii yoga.
  • Acquire mysterious and unexplainable bruises from the drunken Wii yoga.
  • Put on “Drive” and talk to Ryan Gosling’s ass the entire movie.
  • Start to build Lego Hogwarts.  And then stop after one turret. And leave the Legos out without picking up after myself.
  • Decide to learn Japanese. Look up filthy Japanese phrases and text them to random numbers in my cell.
  • Shower until I use up all the hot water because HAHAHAHA I OWE YOU PEOPLE NOTHING.
  • Wander around naked a while.
  • Talk to my cats in stupid voices.
  • Attempt to change my name on Facebook to “Whitney McCatlady”.
  • Get lost on Facebook for 30 minutes.
  • Pass out.
  • Wake up at 2am wondering why the hell Drive is on.

I think it’s good to have ambitions.