thejunipertree: (Default)
I had an "incident" at work a week or so ago with our new Director of Strategic Marketing that I've been brooding mulling over.

She was sitting in the break area with our Insurance Director and I had walked in to hand out some new keys (I'm the keymaster) because all of our locks had recently gotten changed. Now, keep in mind it's only her second week working with all of us.

her: So, you really do wear black every day, don't you?
me: Yep. Since I was 12.
her: I had started to wonder about it the other day when I first realized.
me: Yeah, you should see my closet. It's kind of funny. I've attempted to wear colors once in a while, but I've been doing this so long that it makes me uncomfortable to wear anything that isn't black. I like it, though.
Insurance Director: And it suits you.
her: You should totally go on one of those makeover shows.

More conversation happened after that, mostly me ranting about "those makeover shows" because all they would do is make me throw out all the clothes I've spent my hard-earned money on, cut my hair, tell me to cover my tattoos and take out my piercings. There was also a bit of soapboxing over unfair and unrealistic beauty standards being perpetuated by those shows. Needless to say, I'm not a fan of them.

And? She didn't get the hint. Not even in the least. She kept pushing the subject and trying to convince how good of an idea it was and I got pregressively angrier and more uncomfortable with the situation. It got to the point where I told her about how our previous accounts payable clerk made a joke about volunteering me for a show and how I told her if she ever did, she would have to look over her shoulder for the rest of her life. And she still didn't get it.

At first, I was only slightly peeved by the entire affair. I'm used to hearing shit like this because I dress outside the norm and have done so for more years than most LJ users have been in existence on the planet. I can usually shrug it off. My boss, who had not been there that day, heard about this incident through the grapevine (another thing I'm annoyed about, because I wasn't going to tell her) and quizzed me about it, wanting to know if I wanted to make a complaint. And I told her I didn't.

But, the more I think about it- the more it bothers me.

God knows I'm not a fashion plate; I recognize this. However, I dress professionally (even if it is mainly all black and normally involves combat boots). I'm allowed to wear my piercings at work and have my tattoos visible, therefore I do. Shit, it's half the reason why I continue to work there. I've worked in uber-corporate environments and it sucks, but I can do it if I have to. My clothes may not be found on the pages of Vogue, but I do have a sense of style. It's just my own style.

But, this chick thinks she can just waltz in and dole out advice on my appearance? Who does she think she is?

On top of all of this is the constant talk in the office of everyone's weight (and I've complained about this before). Almost every single person in the office constantly bemoans how fat they are when very few of them actually are. Eating disorders seem to be de rigueur and that's quite annoying as well. They go on unrealistic diets, constantly scruntinize each other's food in addition to their own (that's always a party), talk about how they need to exercise, and ask our doctorboss (who runs a weight-loss service) for help. Fat is a dirty word.

I'm very open about being fat. How could I not be? You know as soon as you look at me. But, you should see their faces when I refer to myself as fat and not in a negative sense, but only in a descriptive way. It even happened on Friday which just passed.

I made a comment along the lines of not being able to find some article of clothing (it escapes me as to what, at the moment) at the fat girl store (my pet name for Lane Bryant). And our purchaser almost had a heart attack over it.

her: Don't call yourself that?
me: Why? Was it a secret?

She was horrified.

I don't get it.
thejunipertree: (Default)
This is my body story.

It was originally written for a community that I belong to on LJ, [ profile] fatshionista, but I decided that I needed to post this to my own journal as well. I'm leaving it unlocked because I feel that's something I need to do.

This entry was probably the hardest thing I've ever written in my entire life. I am embarrassed by a lot of what's contained in it and of the majority of the photos posted within. I've been writing this over the course of the past couple of weeks and have had to stop writing on several occasions because I started to cry. Writing this entry brought back a lot of memories that I've been trying to forget about for a long, long time.

That being said, I'm going to give one of my very rare subject matter warnings. If you are freaked out by reading about abuse (physical, emotional, and sexual), talk of negative body image, fat-phobia, self-harm, vulgar language, or drug use, then do not read this. I mean it. Also? There is a ton of photos and text under this cut.

That being said, you're more than welcome to continue. )
thejunipertree: (Default)
Very little known fact: I have a serious problem with The Learning Channel (and to a lesser extent, since it became so asstastic of late, The Discovery Channel). I can sit and watch it for hours upon hours, especially when they show programs like I am My Own Twin and Born Without a Face.

Wednesday night, I had the apartment to myself because the Engineer was at his ooky-spooky Freemason meeting and my brother was passed out in his bedroom. And I hit a veritable jackpot of television-watching.

I came in the door, fed all the animals, and sat down on the ottoman to take my boots off. This is standard procedure for What Happens When Tara Comes Home (tm). Occasionally, I switch this up with Making The Cats Sing Before I Feed Them (tm) or, one of my personal favorites, Running To The Bathroom With My Coat On Before I Pee Myself (tm).

At any rate, this was a normal night. On the ottoman, taking off boots, starving because I hadn't really eaten all day, and browsing through the tv guide function to see if anything good was currently on.

And what do I spy? I Eat 33,000 Calories A Day.


I have no words.

For the next thirty minutes, I continued to sit on the ottoman (with only one shoe taken off because I got distracted by this program) and I stared at the horror on the screen.

Close your eyes. Now imagine eating 33,000 calories in a day.

They kept showing close-ups of this one man (who hadn't been able to leave his apartment in five years and needed continuous pure oxygen pumped into his nose) while he was eating fried egg sandwiches.

My stomach warred with itself, torn between being direly hungry and never wanting to eat ever the fuck again.

The entire experience left me full of a healthy dose of self-loathing and an inexplicable craving for sausages.

After this program came Abigal and Brittany Turn 16, which actually sounds more like some kind of dodgy wankfest of a film instead of something you'd find on The Learning Channel.

It was about a set of conjoined twins who are basically two heads on one body. Easily my favorite type of conjoined twins, and easily beating Lori and Dori Schappell hands down (the little one in that set seems to be such a goddamn bitch, although I reckon I would also be a wee cunty if in addition to being a twin cojoined at the face, I also had a raging case of spinal bifada). Also, pardon me, it's not Dori. It's Reba. *

Later on, while discussing the Abigal and Brittany show with the Engineer:

me: They've mostly got their own organs, each. Two hearts, two sets of lungs, two stomachs, two small intestines. But, they share a liver and they share a small intestine.

him: Do they have only one vagina?

me: *withering look* Yes. They have only one vagina.

him: Can they both feel out of the vagina?

me: *glare*

him: What? They each only feel on one side of the body. It's an honest question.

me: It's also not something that the Learning Channel really got into. Although I suppose that if you absolutely must know, I reckon they do indeed both feel out of the vagina.

* Just as an aside, on the Wiki page for Lori and Reba, I saw this: Said Lori: "I do not ask for anything from Reba. I don't get in to her concerts free just because she's a conjoined twin. I have to pay, just like every other fan that comes to the concert."

Seriously, what the shit is that? She makes her sister pay to get into the concerts she performs? How messed up is that? One, she's a conjoined twin and therefore has no CHOICE whether or not she has to attend the concert. And two, she can't even get in on the freaking GUESTLIST? Jesus.
thejunipertree: (Default)
School started this week, much to my surprise.

I'd been under the assumption that all of my classes were starting next week, but realized on Monday, two hours before I was due for my English Composition II class, that I was wrong. This caused a flurry of activity involving me driving home, getting my old books, driving to the campus bookstore, selling the old books, getting all the new ones, having my disbursement card rejected, having to jog halfway across campus to the financial office (gothapotamus, indeed), jog back, round up my books again, then get to my class on the other side of campus. The majority of this flurry happened in just under less than half an hour, mind you. I was peeved.

My English Comp professor seems fairly decent, and she is as different from last season's professor than night is from day. Hardcore, yo. No late papers. No getting up and leaving class for no reason. Raise your hand to speak. Only perfect (and interesting) papers get an A. While it's a wee bit intimidating, I'm more than happy with it all. I like hardcore professors; it makes me work harder. The semester will be full of stuff. Two out of class essays, two in class essays, a semester-long research paper (we have to pick from a list of 66 different crimes/trials, sadly the West Memphis Three is not on there), and various other bits and bobs.

Last night, I had my other in-person class: Death and Dying (or, as I've been calling it: my D&D class, heh heh). Which was interesting and also appears to be gearing up to be an intensive semester. Tons of work to be done. I'm also not the only funeral student in the class, but after five minutes of speaking with the girl during our break, I've decided I don't much care for her. She seems too Lookitme! Lookitme! for my tastes. It got to be a bit annoying. Maybe I'm just being bitchy and There can be only one!, but I don't think so. She just rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it'll change.

She reminded me of one of those annoying Pagans who insists that their families have been practicing OMGTHEMAGICKS!!1! since the dawn of time, just absolutely full of shit to the brim.

She also tried telling me that I don't need 60 college credits to get into the funeral program at Mercer, but I am 99.9% certain that she is WRONG. 60 credits to enter the program, meaning two years of college. She also started yammering about how she's doing her associate's and her bachelor's degrees at Drexel Rutger's, Camden County? I couldn't figure out what the hell she was talking about.

Today's been fairly quiet, other than me constantly humming the Katamari Damacy theme to myself and some anonymous tool acting like a cockgoblin in my last entry. Seriously, who does that? What kind of classless lowlife goes into an entry where someone is obviously distraught and starts spewing? *

Not only that, but can you be anymore unoriginal? "Ohmigod, you're FAT! hee hee!" No shit, jerkoff! Was that nugget of enlightenment supposed to actually surprise me? While the idea of a "gothopotomus" is actually kind of endearing (hippos are cute, goth hippos would be even cuter), the level of thought that went into crafting such an insult is just subpar and very fifth grade. Get a little more fucking creative next time, eh?

Being called that doesn't bother me. It just makes me angry that someone would do such a thing in an entry where I was obviously very upset about the death of someone very close to me. And it boggles my brain that anyone could be so...crass.

No matter, I've other things to worry about. Like how much I don't feel like driving to my father's house tonight after work to fill out paperwork for him (he's having problems with his back and right arm and can't rightly hold a pen to write). I always love seeing my dad, but I just don't feel like making the drive tonight. However, I have to. I've rescheduled with him all week and it's got to be done. I also need to stop at the smoke shop and pick up some more tobacco to make cigarettes **, as I'm completely ass out. But, I don't think that's going to happen. That shop is in a completely different direction from my father's and again, don't feel like making the drive. Not both drives, at any rate. I'll just stop and pick up a pack of cigarettes for the night, then go to the tobacco shop tomorrow. hoom. I'll just head to my father's, get the paperwork done, then go home and start rolling things up into a giant ball.

* I have a good idea of who it was. IP address tracking is a wonderful thing.
** I've started making my own cigarettes. Not only is this cheaper than buying them premade, but I also get to swan about with a fancy silver cigarette case. And keep a wooden casket full of cigarettes on my coffee table. I am such a tool. hee.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Holy Mary, Mother of Mice.

I'm beginning to believe, scratch that- I damn well know that the majority of the people in my office are suffering from eating disorders. Or are on the verge of having one. I've never seen such a group of people with so many unhealthy relationships with food. It's unsettling and saddening and frightening, all at the same time.

All they ever want to do is eat salad. Every. Single. Day. But, the salad isn't good enough. They have to pick out all of the things that actually come with the salad. You know, the shit that's listed on the menu? They don't like eggs, they don't like cheese, there's too many croutons, the dressing isn't fat-free. Here's an idea, order the salad the way you would like it to be. I realize that it's a startling and novel concept, but it's not so hard to wrap one's mind around. I have sat and watched people order what is called a "Sport Salad" from this one detestable place called TJ's. It consists of lettuce, grilled chicken, cheese, olives, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and croutons. Apparently, the meaning behind "Sport Salad" is something with a lot of protein. For athletes. So, they order this salad and then procede to pick out everything but the chicken and the lettuce. Where is the sense in that? And if they've brought their own lunch, it's either a crappy little salad from Wawa or some bullshit Lean Cuisine to be microwaved.

This is what happens on the days that I bring my own lunch and they don't have me to fall back on for decision-making. Every day I don't bring my own lunch, it's a new circus revolving around lunch. What are we doing for lunch today? And they all come to me, like I'm some kind of grand decision maker (which is quite a laugh if you know me well, because I can barely decide what clothing to put on in the morning, let alone what a small group of people should eat for lunch). I inevitably tell them something like Thai or Indian, because I am heartily sick of the sandwich places. They all offer the same damn thing, it's all hastily prepared and with minimal thought into how it actually looks or tastes, and it's all gross. I want something good. I want it to look good, smell good, and taste good. And I don't want it offered on the same menu as cheesesteaks and Italian hoagies. Fuck that noise.

Everyone cries about what I've decided, despite the fact that they came to me for my decision, because not only do they have eating disorders, but they're bordering on xenophobic as well. What's that? How do you pronounce it? I don't like how that looks. That's too weird for me. How do you know that's real chicken and not dog? blah blah blah. Motherfuckers, it's PAD THAI. Noodles, chicken, bean sprouts, peanuts, and a mild sauce. How is that unusual? And if I have to once again teach someone how to pronounce giew grob, I'm going to start screeching. Say it like it's spelled. It's not difficult and you're not stupid.

So, now we have people who are afraid of food, afraid of the fat or whatever in the food, and afraid of different kinds of food.

But yet, the second someone brings in a cake or a box of cookies or some sort of sweet thing, it's like a plague of locusts have descended upon the earth. And then, the crying and moaning over how they shouldn't have eaten such horrible things goes on for an hour or two, with additional boasting lamenting about how now they're not going to eat dinner.

C'mon, people. I may have a fat ass, but it's certainly not because I have an unhealthy relationship with food. My problem is that I'm a decadent. I enjoy indulgence and I'm incredibly lazy on top of it. The picture perfect definition of a Libra, I would reckon. I used to think that my problem was that I had an unhealthy food relationship, that I ran to comfort eating whenever I had a problem. But, I started scrutinizing my eating habits and how they corresponded with depression or manic episodes. And they didn't match up at all. When I get depressed, I don't eat. When I get stressed out, I don't eat and I smoke too much on top of it all. Overall, I'm not too fond of sweets (except for dark chocolate and that is in small amounts), but cream and butter? Cheese? Red meat and bacon? Oh sweet, suffering Jesus. That's a bit of Heaven, if you ask me. The good thing is that I'm just as likely to get all googly-eyed over garlic-roasted cauliflower (ingredients: garlic cloves, cauliflower, little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper) as I am over Cajun crabmeat au gratin. I could eat garlic-roasted cauliflower all goddamn day, if left to my own devices. And if I took my nose out of a book for long enough to actually walk around the block a couple of times a week, my ass wouldn't be so big and my arms wouldn't jiggle quite so alarmingly.

That out of the way, I'm fairly perplexed by my co-workers' attitude about food and the attitude of women and food, in general. I know it's largely (no pun intended) because of how women have been made to feel about their bodies by advertising and media, but when did it all get quite so neurotic? Are we so afraid of being potentially unloved and abandoned that we'll starve ourselves on iceberg lettuce and whatever high-priced, chemical-laden diet food is currently popular?

And really, the high-priced, chemical-laden diet chow is such a crock of bullshit. Fake food, it reminds of the plastic play food that comes with toy kitchens. All of those chemicals, just to produce something that looksvaguely like food and provides minimal calories/fat. What nonsense is that? All of that shit is full of sodium and horrifying things I can't pronounce. And it does absolutely nothing but make your body believe that it actually ingested something nutrious. Here's an idea: eat something fresh that hasn't been processed to the point where it barely qualifies as food anymore. Eat normal-sized portions, don't starve yourself. Move around more. Don't look for the magic answer that's going to make you look like a fashion model, it doesn't exist.

And stop relying on your BMI as an indicator of whether you're going to die old and alone or not.
thejunipertree: (stripety)
It would appear that I am beginning to develop rather expensive tastes.

A couple of weeks ago, my father let me try a glass of champagne from a bottle he had sitting around from last New Year's Eve (2003). Pierre Jouet. Real champagne, not that California "sparkling wine" bullshit. And it comes in these fabulous bottles with hand painted white flowers on. He has a tradition, handed down to him from his mother, of buying a bottle of this wonderful and glorious stuff (which runs about $65 or so for just the bottle, but he and his mother always bought the gift set, which comes with a set of hand painted champagne flutes, and that will run you around $100-120) for New Year's Eve.

Last NYE, he barely touched it. My father is more of a Budweiser and Black Bush whiskey man and not so much for the drinking of fancy-schmancy champagne. He had a glass of it, then re-corked it, and stored it away. We got to talking about it the last time I drove down to his house and he wondered if the bottle was still any good, because if not, then he'd have to go out and get another.

I, in all of my self-centered nefariousness, came up with the brilliant idea of busting out the bottle and letting me try a glass. Just to see if it was still good, you see. All in the name of paternal love, I was going to drink a glass of something that could potentially be really nasty. And flat, on top of that.

He got out the bottle, which had been kept cold this entire year, and poured me a glass in one of the fancy hand-painted flutes.

And. It. Was. Heaven.

I haven't had anything that beautiful in my mouth in a very long time (I know I left that one wide open, but don't even think about going there). It was like...words can't even describe, but I can truthfully say that I could drink it for the rest of my life and touch nothing else. Immediately, I held out the flute and asked for more. My father, being the charitable soul that he is, refused my request and put the bottle away. hrmph.

Real champagne had been something that I never really had before. I think I might have had it at my wedding, for the traditional bridal toast, but I don't really recall drinking anything quite that nice. And if it was actual champagne, then it didn't hold a candle to the Pierre Jouet.

Now I want more, despite the state of my empty pockets and bank account. I was going to buy my own bottle for NYE of this year, to hoarde all to myself and let no one else near it, but I just couldn't swing the price.

Last night, I had the opportunity to try a couple other brands of champagne at Rowan and Ellis's house, during our celebration of Ellis's birthday. Some of them were very, very lovely, but none of them quite held up to my memory of the Jouet. It didn't stop me from drinking a massive amount of it and a champagne drunk is like no other drunk in the world. Some things came out of my mouth that don't normally come out of my mouth in polite conversation or mixed company, much to the Engineer's chagrin.

We did have a good time, however. Rowan had bought a cake from Sweet Eats bakery (who I would recommend to everyone on the planet, if they had one near them, which they probably do not), which almost was the size of a child's paddling pool. Huge chunks of it were given to the Engineer, the Amazing Larry, and I to bring home. I had vowed to have some for breakfast, because chocolate cake for breakfast is one of my favourite things in the world, but I didn't get up until about noon and had no time for breakfast as I needed to drive to Delaware for a cigarette run. I did have a large piece of it after dinner and was unable to finish it because it was just too much for me.

Despite what the size of my ass tells you, I am not one for a lot of sweets. Salty, spicy, bitter or sour tastes are the ones I prefer, though I wouldn't ever turn my nose up at some good dark chocolate. Sweet tasting things are ok, but after a while, it begins to get a bit cloying and I can't handle that.

Another new taste I seem to have developed is Thai food. I had tried it a couple of times, usually on my birthday when everyone would take me to Thai Orchid (again, another place I would recommend to everyone on the planet) and had always liked it, but never knew of any place closer or less expensive. However, there are not one, but TWO Thai places close to my office and we frequently order it for our lunch. I've gotten the Engineer addicted to this as well, which eventually led to me making my own Tom Kha (coconut ginger soup) this evening, after we came home from the MWC meeting.

It was made from a packaged Tom Kha soup base, because I'm not about to start getting all complicated just yet, but I added a few things to it that I remembered seeing in the bowl when we ate it before. It's currently sitting in an enormous pot on the back burner of my stove, cooling off so that I may ladle it into a container for storage.

So much goodness.


thejunipertree: (Default)

January 2011

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