Petrified Wood Shavings and Strait Jackets…

If you need me I’ve decided to take up whittling tiny animals out of Ivory soap whilst wearing a strait jacket and sipping denture-cream-flavored icees.  It’s a fascinating life soon to be portrayed on my new TLC reality show… Whittling Denture Jackets.  Why such a drastic life change?  I can’t bear the thought of making it through finals week.  My Spanish final set for this coming Thursday is 3 hours long… count them… THREE!  Within those three hours I will be writing prose in Spanish and then probably dialoguing with my imaginary boyfriend Juan about the weather in Spain.  Oh, the humanity!  I just have to re-learn 2 semesters worth of words and conjugations and grammar rules for constructing proper sentences in Spanish in the next 3 days.  No big deal.  Totally doable said the whittling freakazoid popping smarties like they’re the next MENSA medication.  Meanwhile, that show Freaky Friday would be really beneficial right now… as long as my traded body/brain is someone from Spain!

In other news, allow me to wax poetic about freeze-dried meats… aka petrified wood shavings.  Such an odd phenomenon.  We went to the restaurant, HuHot Mongolian Grill this weekend with some visiting family (what up, Jacque, et al.).  I’ve been to HuHot before… I am on the list of people who like HuHot.  It’s just weird.  For those of you not familiar.  Basically, you grab a bowl and walk through a line of freeze-dried food items (meats, vegetables, fruits, noodles, etc.) to make up your dish and then you take it to these guys working a large cirular-shaped skillet top where they stir fry it for you and then plop it on a plate for your digestive tract to make good use of.  This is the first time I’ve been there when not a vegetarian, so the meat threw me for a loop.  It was flat disks of freeze-dried meat, like cuzzin Clem laid out the venison meat he killed on the driveway and then backed over it several times in his Ford truck.  Then he scraped her up, stuck her in the freezer, and sold it to HuHot so that Whitney could have chicken stir fry.  FASCINATING!

Also, I could not be a worker on the gigantic skillet top… A.)  I would have burn marks all up and down both arms and my stomach… and 2.) I would have managed to trip someone else face first into the skillet whilst wielding my 2 metal spatulas.  Hi-ya!  Kudos to you, HuHot skilleters!  Kudos!  It should be an Olympic sport.

So, back to my Ivory whittling… I’m taking animal requests… scratch that… I can basically only do a blob of soap that if you squint real hard like can be whatever animal your imagination wants it to be.  Call up the people at Etsy… Whitney has a store to open!

If you need a Monday, smile-inducing pick-me-up… check out this video.  It’s from Williamsburg Retirement here in Logan.  My gramsy Berger lived there for a while when she lived in Logan and now our sweet family friend, LaVon graces it’s halls.  Apparently, only a few weeks old, this video has nearly 100,000 views and has been seen by people all over the world.  LaVon is in the video several times… she’s totally famous! (If the picture frozen on the video above is the one where they are eating a gigantic sink of ice cream, LaVon is the one in the middle wearing red!)

PSS – Prayers and thoughts to the people of Nepal who have suffered so much tragedy this past weekend.

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This and That and Jonah Days…

I’m feeling less than inspired to think of putting sentences together in an orderly fashion tonight… and there are zero coherent thoughts running through my brain right about now… unless you count the one about Mary’s little lamb joining the shearing club whilst carrying a machine gun.  That’s a normal day in my neighborhood.

If you follow me on Facebook, you can ignore this paragraph since I’ve already waxed something other than poetic about this particular topic.  Saturday the world learned that we lost Jonathan Crombie, aka Gilbert Blythe.  He was only 48.  As Anne would say, It was such a Jonah day!  This generation has Edward and Bella (or whatever their names are… I haven’t actually seen or read the Twilight books… shoot me).  My generation had Anne and Gilbert… a love story for the ages.  I’ve been a huge Anne of Green Gables fan since the age of 5 when my mom read me the abridged version of the first book.  It was love at first listen.  A few years later I watched the made-for-television movies and the characters I had grown to love in the books were brought to life, and I now had a face to put to each character.  Jonathan Crombie played Gilbert Blythe beautifully and a crush was born at the age of 7.  He portrayed the ideal man, and a throng-full of pre-teen/teen brace-wearers swooned into their Cheerios at the thought of him… or at least the character he played.  Rest in peace, Jonathan, my first movie boyfriend.

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In other news… on Wednesday we got a foot of snow.  This winter has been mild.  We started out promising in December/early January but then the clouds dried up and we had very few snowstorms.  In an attempt to make up for the drought, came this lil’ gift on tax day… I told you no good comes from tax day!

But thank you for the water reserves!

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Four Seasons Theatre Company put out some of their Mary Poppins advertising.  FYI:  If you were wondering who the perfect person to play Mary Poppins was, look no further… Sarah Huff won… She was born to play the part and you pretty much don’t want to miss her!  She even looks like Mary… see below.  I got to watch a very rough draft of most of the first act on Saturday whilst waiting for my scene’s turn… it was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Clickety Clack on over to like their Facebook page:  Four Seasons Theatre Company

Meanwhile… if anyone can give me a case of Jack Daniels I might be able to loosen the helium balloons up in the acting department.  I’m too self-conscious, but I do a great impression of a stiff, board-like boulder.  Any tips on how to get out of one’s head and become one with the character?

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Please Won’t You Be… My Neighbor…

I grew up on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I was friends with Daniel the Tiger and Henrietta Pussycat.  I feared the rigidness of King Friday (feared is not the appropriate word… he was a puppet wearing a crown for gravy’s sake).  I wanted my mailman to be Mr. McFeely and was genuinely upset when he never came.  I rode that trolly into the Land of Make Believe every day as a child… and as 5 year olds are wont to do, I developed a crush on the sweater-wearing teddy bear of a man named Mr. Rogers.  He had a way of making everyone feel important and loved and capable.  He didn’t know me from Adam, but I felt like he knew me because he was talking just to me through the TV screen of my 1970s fuzzy picture box with bunny ears that needed to be adjusted every time the wind blew the wrong way.

I recently discovered that the entirety of Mr. Rogers 30-some-odd years of television programs are available on Amazon for Prime memberships to watch for free.  One late night a few weeks back during one of my many insomnia-induced nights where I search for anything to do that procrastinates homework, I set out to watch a few episodes.  Children’s programming is cheesy… and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is like a brick of gouda in a vat of velveeta visiting a hunk of swiss with a mistress of cheddar on the side, but the sentiment is still there.  The kind, caring, genuinely gentle man made me feel as if I was an important and worthwhile specimen… and who doesn’t need that reminder every few decades?

I’m not versed on the children’s programming of today (you mommies out there may be able to tell me), but I doubt that there is a Mr. Rogers equivalent on TV today… and that’s such a shame.  I hope that you who have young kids will take the opportunity to introduce your young’uns to the Land of Make Believe (free for Amazon Prime members… get ye’ there)… tell them Whitney sent you.  In my imagination, they’ll know who you are talking about.  Thank you Mr. Rogers for teaching me a childhood full of lessons about being kind and accepting of all.

“Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.”
–Fred Rogers
 
“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”
–Fred Rogers
Check out this clip of Mr. Rogers accepting the Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997.  He brought the whole room to tears by making it about everyone but himself.

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In other news… nephews Christian and Ethan found out baby “it” will be a boy!  Boys, boys, boys everywhere you look!  Guarantee you Auntie Whitney will be making him watch some Mr. Rogers!  Lindsay… it’s totally modern so stop it.

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Merry Easter…

Easter has become a time for pants-less, freaky-looking bunnies to scare the bajoobers out of small fry and then try to win back their favor by shoving chocolate and marshmallows in their face.  That sounds more like the torture chamber at Willy Wonka’s to me… except with less oompa and not a whole lot of loompa… but hell if there ain’t doopity doo.   With all of the hub-bub… and the fact that the dagnabbed florals are blooming and making me glee to the moon and back…

It’s sometimes hard to focus on the real meaning of the season (in my belief system anyway… carry on with whatever your belief system happens to entail… but let’s hope it has rear-less chocolate bunnies somewhere in it).  If you haven’t, take a few minutes to gander at this short video.  You will not be disappointed.

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In other news… during my woggercizing session the other night, I came across this little doo-hickey just lying in the street like some scene out of West Side Story…

If you don’t recognize what my stellar blind eyes picked up, that would be a handle to a steak knife.  This neighborhood has gone to pot… street brawls with steak knives… don’t they know Ginsu knives are the way of the future!?!?  As for me… all I brought was a pack of Trident to a knife fight.  I’ll be able to cinnamon them to death.  Next woggercizing session, fellas… you, me, the wind named Mariah, and Juicy Fruit.

Sister Lindsay and family came up for the weekend.  Between conference sessions, we went for a lovely spring walk… some of us were overdressed…  a sweater, a winter coat, and gloves in 60-degree weather… shoulda put the ole hand out the window before picking outer wear.

**Coughcough… Alena… 20 doll-hairs if you can tell me where the above picture was taken!!  **Coughcough…

Here, Lindsay is insisting that Shayne get his picture taken in front of a post.

Merry Easter everyone, near, far, and kinda lost.  I hope it was spent with the people you love!

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The Backlash…

First things first… wow… thank you all for the overwhelming love and support for Monday’s post.  I had no idea when I was typing that sucker up it would resonate with so many people… but I’m glad it did.  This world could use a lot more compassion and a lot less criticism.  So many people shared the post that my page views were 20 times higher the last 2 days than they are on a regular basis.

Of course when one has an opinion there are going to be the dissenters.  You know what they say about opinions… they’re just like wedgies.  Just because you don’t have one today don’t mean you won’t have one tomorrow.  While the vast majority were lovely and supportive comments, I did end up with about 20 or so that were so vile and hate-filled, I could have hung them up on the devil’s refrigerator.

Imagine that… a little ole post about having more compassion for those who may look different than you do came back with at least 10 people commenting that I was being a “whiny [expletive delete] with a huge victim mentality who takes no responsibility for being fat.”  There was the dude who told me if I’d spend less energy writing pity me dirge like this and more energy exercising, I’d have lost my weight already (Katie Hopkins… is that you?  Also, I exercise 3 to 6 days a week).  There was something about how fat is merely an adjective and if I am offended by the word it’s because I have no backbone.  There was something about comparing fat prejudice to any other prejudice is ridiculous because no matter what I think my weight is within my power.  I’ll stop here… but the pleasantries went on.

These people completely missed the point… completely!  But, they also proved my point… completely… so thank you for that, pleasant folk hiding behind the sword and shield you call a computer.

I’m guessing the lack of riboflavin in these folks’ diets is a big reason for why they are so hateful… I’d also venture to say if they’d think of adding a few bowls of Cocoa Pebbles per week into their diets they’d get that mineral right up into a normal level.  Riboflavin disease is the worst… especially on the common sense bone.

This blog post is for me… I need to let the negative go and move on, keeping the positive in mind.  I can only imagine the haters must have something going on in their lives making them so bitter.  I hope they are able to figure it out and get back to the sunny side of life… it sucks living on the devil’s refrigerator.

Also, Kelly Clarkson has a message for you on my behalf:

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Fat-Shaming: The Last Acceptable Prejudice…

I have always hated the word “fat”.  When people would call me it as a kid/teenager/adult that dreaded hay fever eye burning would immediately cause welling and I’d have to run and hide until the crying jag would pass.  Tender heart?  Thin skin?  Wimp?  Maybe…  Why does a 3-letter word stating truth bother me so much?  I never figured that out as a kid or as a teenager, but as an adult, I had a brief moment of clarity one time (brief is the key word when used in the same sentence as clarity with me) and it hit me like a runaway turnip truck.  It’s the word “fat” used in the following way that I can’t take.

You are fat.  

She is fat.  

I am fat.  

Except… I am NOT fat… I have fat (enough to feed a couple of small villages in Africa)… but I am not my fat.  I also have boogers, but I am not boogers!  It’s ridiculous when you use boogers in that way… and yet fat gets batted around like a Mike Tyson fight at an Ears, Nose, and Throat Doctor Convention.

I’ve let that word define me for so long it’s sometimes hard to see/know who I really am.  I am a daughter (of God and my parents)… a sister… a friend… a cousin… an aunt… a person.  At times I am big-hearted, kind, funny, hard-working, talented, smart.  At other times I am stubborn, bull-headed, anxiety-ridden, impatient.  I am someone worth knowing.  I am more than my outside appearance.  I am Whitney Lyn… the good and the bad all rolled into a giant ball of fluff and heart.

But I am not fat.

A few months ago I happened upon a 2-part docuseries called Fat and Back.  The lady on the show (I hate to use her name because it only gives her more publicity but for the sake of anyone’s curiosity, her name is Katie Hopkins) openly and proudly claims she hates fat people.  She would not hire a fat person to work for her… she would not be friends with a fat person.  In her mind, people who have fat are put into a category one tier beneath people with plague and Robert Durst.  The purpose of her documentary was to prove to fat people that they are lazy losers who should be able to lose weight like it weren’t no thing.  So, she set out to gain something like 40 pounds in 3 months. The 2nd part of her Loser-mentary was her trying to lose the weight over the course of 3 months.  Proof to no one but her ignorant self.  If losing weight were just about the trite calories in versus calories out diatribe, we’d all by Cindy Crawford on Nutrisystem.

She has failed to take into account the “why”.  Why people gain weight is the biggest hurdle to jump over… and even when you think you’ve figured out the why and have cleared said hurdle, it can all come crashing down on you.  Having fat is my lifelong cross to bear… and it’s not because I am lazy or I am purposely sitting on my aspercreme amidst a pool of Mallomars every night.  It’s because of my “why”… and my why will be a lifelong struggle.  It’s my biggest trial and I accepted it before I came down to this Earth.  I told God I would take it… and He knew I could handle it… because He doesn’t give us more than we can handle.  The difference between our trials is I wear mine on the outside… yours you may be able to bury deep inside… and if I can find a way to bury mine deep inside, I’ll have invented the last “die”t drug this world will ever need.

My plea is that we as a society stop thinking of fat-shaming as an acceptable prejudice.  We’ve all done it.  Looked at someone walking down the street and commented on their size/shape… but have we ever stopped to realize that there is an actual person with feelings and hopes and dreams living beneath that burdensome exterior?

I will never be accepting of my “fat”… I’ll forever wake up each morning ready to start anew on the journey to the svelte woman in my imagination… but in the meantime, you all can call me Whitney… not fat.

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El Zone-o de Comforto…

Spanglish is the best language said the gringo in the back of the class.

I’ve mentioned how much I adore my comfort zone.  It’s a beautiful place… in my imagination… all decked out in pillows made of pizza (except… no thanks… how uncomfortably gross would that be… wiping off marinara sauce every time you lay down)!  But it’s a pretty zone… somewhere in nature with waterfalls and sunny days chasing the clouds away (five points for whomever can name that song) and trees… gotta have some trees… except they’re birdless in my imagination… either that or the birds do not have a digestive system… because seriously!  There are a few people in my imaginative zone of comfort, but not a ton of people… gotta have some hyperventilating room up in that there joint.

On the edge of my comfort zone lives a mean ogre named Anxiet-eetodd.  He’s ogre-ish because if I happen to cross that line between the comfort and the not-so-comfort, he is waiting with a keg of sugar and an all-you-can-eat Italian smorgasbord.  Stupid ogre.  That’s what happens when you are an emotional eater… rather than deal with the emotion, you eat it away, which is only good for Anxiet-eetodd because he works on commission from the Pillsbury Doughboy… and all I get is a wagon full of lard sauce.

I’ve had a number of comfort zone-crushing moments the last several years.  It’s a good thing to get out of one’s comfort zone, and I need to think of it that way.  Not only will it get me to try new things, but it will also make me face what I hate to face… how to get through feeling an emotion without stuffing it down.

My latest challenge… dancing… in public… with people around!  Close your eyes and picture me dancing.  When you finish laughing your aspercreme off, I’ll let you know it’s exactly as you imagined it.  Somehow, I… Whitney of the Zumba In the Dark With The Blinds Closed… am dancing for the curtain call in the aforementioned Mary Poppins shindig.  I knew they’d rue the day they decided to invite me into their web of talent!  :P  It’s still not too late to back out, FSTC!  I hope there’s a particularly darkened corner somewhere on the stage with my name on it.  We learned part of the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious dance this week, where-in Whitney nearly took out the whole back row with her skills.  I’ve been practicing it a little bit every single day since.  The steps aren’t that hard once you get them down, it’s the speed at which we have to do them.  If one of the cute smaller dancers twirls around, it’s like they’re walking around a pole.  If I twirl around, I’m at least walking around a block with change.  I’m leaving the dance moves below in the video for your perusal.  Someone who knows how to do the Mexican tequila bean dance on caffeine, jump inside my skin until July would ya’?  :P

Any tips, fellow dancers? (sorry, I couldn’t say that with a straight face… the “fellow dancers” part!)

T

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