These are the loves of my life, or rather the product of my partnership with the love of my life. I always love their goofy faces best of all!
These are the loves of my life, or rather the product of my partnership with the love of my life. I always love their goofy faces best of all!
I posted a link earlier this week about a “new” tumblr blog that was very interesting. What I did not tell was that it was MY blog, and that it was centered around weight loss.
How does the author of a blog called “The Fat One in the Middle” start a new blog? By admitting my need for “Moving to the Front!”
And what kinds of riveting posts am I doing there? I am blogging about food, clothes, and my love of axolotls and how I am using their amphibian/fish nature to represent me.
Under a description of the blog, I wrote this:
Heidi accepts that she is fooling no one into thinking she is a selfless, deep, non-appearance oriented person just because she is fat. Radical shifts occur.
So how did this happen?
My husband took control of his health about 5 years ago when he started running, and his willingness to do that, and really work on our marriage, are what gave me the inspiration to transform my body and my mindset. He wants me here with the kids and he as long as possible, and wants me to enjoy life. I can’t thank him enough.
But even more importantly, I fucked up this year. A lot. With many, many different people in many, many different situations. I would like to continue to blame everything on my dad’s death, but it does not all come from that. I was selfish, petty, vain, self-centered, lazy, short-sighted, self-promoting, careless, dishonest, attention-seeking, and just plain rude to people I loved, including family, friends, and co-workers. I was NOT a very nice person.
And several of my friends called me on it. Some nicely, some cruelly. And guess what I learned?
I have always been a deeply emotional person. I was a quiet child who was frightened and intimidated by my loud family, and much preferred to be alone and read or play with my dolls. After my parents divorced when I was a toddler, I lived with my father, step-mother, and sister five hours away from the rest of the family. I had friends in elementary school, only a few mild cases of bullying bitchy girls, but felt completely invisible. Unspecial. Bland. Boring. Unworthy.
However, as I watched my father, mother, and sister interact with the world, I discovered that I could emulate their flamboyant, outgoing, and outrageous behavior, and people loved it! Not boring at all!!! People would listen and people liked me! I was good at it and it came naturally.
Usually this behavior was tempered with the other aspects of my personality – kindness, thoughtfulness, attention to others, talent at making people feel loved and special themselves, and other qualities that helped balance my egotism and need for attention.
But since my father died, I have done everything in my power to create drama. Not just in my own life, but in the lives of the people who loved me and whom I loved. I protested that “I did not want this” or “How do these things keep happening to me” but as my sister said recently, I am not as naive as I pretend.
So why? Why would someone do this? Why would a fairly average attention whore turn into a a gaping maw of need and energy from others? Why did I keep doing things that were clearly driving people away? Why did I want to stir up the drama that hurt others and myself?
And once again, the wise words of my sister showed my why – because the opposite of drama, emotion, and feeling is numbness. Feeling dead inside. Feeling completely drained and empty.
I have been doing everything in my power to keep feeling. Anything. Positive OR negative. Just feeling instead of dealing with the boring, monotonous work of grieving.
Death is not as exciting as it is in the movies, where someone dies in front of you in a dramatic fashion and you drop to the ground screaming and yelling “Dear GOD!! NO!! NO!! Don’t take them from me!!!” And then you attend the funeral, hug your family, and feel grounded that at least he was loved, and life goes on, and metaphorically hold your cub up in the air and sing “The Circle of Life”.
Sometimes death is boring. Sometimes death is waiting . . . waiting for days for the person to die. Feeling guilty that you are waiting for the person to die. Watching someone be unable to get comfortable standing because they are so tired and unable to lie down because their lungs fill up with fluid and then for the first time in your life following your instincts and climbing into bed with him so that he can nap and breathe for hours while propped up on your chest despite the pain it causes in your back. Feeling that time spent with him in the past hating him for not “getting you” was wasted because not understanding someone does not mean you don’t love them. And then watching the man who raised you go from being incoherent and forgetting who you are to bedridden and absent from his body. Hearing the “death rattle” and then mentally placing bets on how long it will be. Then discussing these horrible thoughts with your siblings and finding out they are doing the same thing in their heads as well. Sitting beside your sister, both of you on your laptops, chatting with each other on gchat about how the grim reaper better “bring it” because he has not had a man like Ray Ray before.
When my brother came and woke me up at 4am on Sunday, March 7, 2010 to tell me dad was about to die, I put on my glasses ( I guess to see the event better??) and ran downstairs. When I got down there, he was exhaling his last breathe. It was not dramatic, it was not beautiful, it was not an event. Death had been a process, not an act. There was no light exiting his body, no peaceful look on his face, no feeling of his “spirit” in the room. He was gone, and what was left was the shell of the man he had been.
But I loved that shell, and so did my family. We sat in his room with his body for a couple of hours until first the hospice nurse and then the funeral home people came. We did not close his eyes, because it was not like he looked alive with them open. He was dead. Gone. Elvis had left the building and a big Cadillac* was coming to take him to the sky.
Since that day, I have been numb inside. What is worse than feeling pain? Feeling nothing. Fearing that you will never be able to feel again. Knowing that despite the love, and joy, and time we have here on Earth, that Cadillac* will roll up for all of us, and we have to live as if that does not scare the shit out of us.
I remember when my grandmother Agnes died in 1993. One of my first thoughts at her funeral was “The rest of my life is going to be spent watching the people I love die.” And it has been. I have seen my friends and family die, and in horribly cruel situations, children of friends die. It is not fair and it sucks. I don’t like it and it brings me to my knees emotionally.
So to the people who have gotten to know me in the past 8 months, I am so sorry that this is who you think I am. I am normally a joyful, loving, arrogant, fun, dramatic, friendly, selfish person.
But right now I just miss my dad and feel numb.
*It was technically a minivan – and I think that is bullshit. I want a big black Cadillac. FYI
From my new guest post on NonProphetStatus.com:
To find out exactly HOW I am a bitch, go read the rest of the post!!!
The September issue of The Humanist contains an interview with a woman who is witty, intelligent, a humanist, lover of science, former nurse, a feminist, and just happens to be a porn star.
For the full text of this truly delightful article, go to The Humanist website.
A friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) recently responded to a blurb I posted about Gail Dine’s book, “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality”. Being a scientist, and a man well schooled in porn, he quickly decided that the best way to see just how HORRIBLE porn is would be to look at what videos were getting the most views.
Science. It works, bitches.
Thanks to the incredible generosity of SO many donors, I only have
So, if you want to help get Will and his family to DragonCon in Atlanta THIS Labor Day for his birthday, PLEASE help me by donating below! Click on the photo to be taken to Paypal :)
It is no secret that there is dissent within the skeptical ranks, both in terms of philosophy and method. What may be less known is that there is even drama within the micro sub-cultures of this “movement”, some of which I am less than proud to be a part of. When James Randi split from CSICOP in the 90′s, or more recently when Paul Kurtz left CFI, no one assumed their disagreements were based in gender.
However, when the disagreements are between women, certain people like to paint them as “catfights”, which lessens the seriousness of ALL involved (full disclosure – I, Heidi Anderson, am certain people). Women are not a monolithic group, and although many of us call ourselves skeptics AND feminists, we often can not agree on whether skepticism needs feminism, or feminism needs skepticism. Others shun the term feminist completely.
Some disagree with sexy behavior at cons, and others think it is good light-hearted fun that brings in people who may normally think skeptics are stodgy old white dudes. Or ONLY stodgy old white dudes. We have disagreements on sexuality, pornography, prostitution, and even things that do not specifically involve women at all (imagine that!) We are labeled too confrontational or too gentle depending on our methods of outreach.
And you know what? None of that matters. While we are busy using our freedom to prove ourselves different from our allies on the side of reason, a 42 year old mother of two in Iran is facing a death sentence resulting from a forced confession of adultery. She will be buried up to her chest, and stoned to death. Small stones will be used, so as to slow down her death and cause her more pain. And her “confession”? According to a human rights attorney, it was only gained after 99 lashes.
So, as TAM8 approaches, and friends gather, and we have panels on women in skepticism, and skepticism and feminism, and all sorts of things that we as Westerners have the luxury of thinking about, is it too much to ask the skeptical community and blogosphere to investigate this story, and see what REAL DIFFERENCES we can make? Can we step outside, as my friend Will Phillips said, “our tiny little mind boxes” and remember that as we wage these petty wars on each other, a war against reason continues to rage across the globe, with a 42 year old mother of two poised to become the next victim.
With all the controversy going on between “accommodationists” and “asses”, a new friend I met this weekend at the Center for Inquiry, Randy Pelton, sent me a message with one piece of the puzzle we are ALL missing. He says it beautifully, and has given me permission to share.
“Hello Heidi. We met and spoke very briefly this weekend at the CFI conference in Amherst. Randy Pelton is the name. I was the one who spoke to you about the ethical and moral dimension of the snark in the skepticism movement.
Greatly enjoyed your talk and allow me to reiterate my agreement with your main thesis that the snarkiness needs to end. But I think it needs to end less because of the image problem it presents and more so because it demeans real humans.
It is easy to dismiss a person via electrons when you have never met the person, never seen them face-to-face, never had to actually confront their humanness. We all, regardless of what label we place upon ourselves (atheist, skeptic, freethinker, humanist, materialist, naturalist, etc.) need to approach every human and conversation with them from an ethical posture.
Every person needs to be accorded a modicum of respect and dignity. I am a humanist and this conviction threads deep into my emotional, rational, and intellectual marrow.”
Thank you Randy, for this. People like you inspire me to be a better person.
Ladies Who Do Skepticism is a group aimed at broadening our skeptical community, bringing balance to skeptical events and discussing the pseudoscience specifically targeted at women! It was the brainchild of UK scientist Janis Benion.
Ladies Who Do Skepticism was founded in April 2010, with the aim of bringing together women who want to chat openly about their own critical thoughts without being afraid to ‘spoil the fun’ for those who don’t enjoy such a strong link to rationality… We hope to have branches all over. If you don’t have one in your area and you’d like one, let us know (see ‘Contact’ page).
In the meantime, you can hear two Ladies Who Do Skepticism from the Manchester and Liverpool groups discussing their thoughts about the group on the Righteous Indignation Podcast Episode 50, BBC Radio Manchester AND the Guardian Newspaper!
In a Madonna/Gwynethesque effort to cash in on the coolness of all things British, SheThought.com is bringing the UK sensation stateside!!
At The Amazing Meeting 8 we will be reserving a group of tables specifically for a women’s mixer at the Friday lunch. White gloves and pearls are optional, but critical thinking is not! We hope to see you there.
Every year in July, a nerd herd of epic proportions descends upon the sleepy little town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Why? The answer may amaze you!
The Amazing Meeting is an annual gathering of skeptics, atheists, secular humanists, debunkers, jugglers, magicians, curmudgeons, and beardy white men with glasses. Usually, James Randi wins the beard contest hands down, but the possible appearance of champion punter and Adidas spokesmodel Aubrey de Grey at the meeting may finally end Randi’s hirsute reign of terror.
To kick things off with style, Swoopy of Skepticality, Desiree Schell of Skeptically Speaking, Barbara Drescher of ICBS Everwhere, and I will host a suite party/live podcast Ustream event in conjunction with the realVirtual Drinking Skeptically in the bar. You can join us in the suite, in the bar, or on Ustream or Tokbox. MINGLE with our *ACTUAL CELEBRITY GUESTS!!!
When: Thursday July 8, 2010 at 9:30pm
Where: Suite Level at the South Point Hotel and Casino
RSVP here or on the FB event page. Seating will be limited.
*your definition of celebrity may differ from ours
I have nice boobs. Very, very nice boobs in fact. I also like to show my nice boobs and I like it when people look at them. Generally, my goal with showing my boobs is two-fold: 1) everyone in the world will fall madly in love with me and my boobs and 2) I will not look like an apple on sticks.
So surely this means I am whipping those sweater puppies out today for Boobquake right?
No. Boobquake bothers me. And not for the reasons many people think.
First, I hate empty protests. You can only raise awareness so much before you need to act. And raising awareness with people who are already aware is just preaching to the choir.
I had this argument with people about the “green screens for Iran” and the debate about calling for the arrest of the Pope. Talking about things all day long is great and can make you feel good and smart. But to accomplish anything in this world, you have to do work. And do you know why its called work? BECAUSE IT IS WORK!
Social justice movements are not fun. I wonder how fun it was for Rosa Parks to sit in the front of that bus, without even an iPod to block out the people screaming at her? I wonder if Malcolm X was just tempted to wear a t-shirt with a witty saying instead of standing up in front of people who wanted to kill him? Maybe Martin Luther King would have accomplished just as much with an Equality Ho Down in Alabama? Or maybe instead of collaborating with Theo Van Gogh on the film Submission (for which he was ultimately murdered) Ayan Hirsi Ali could have just gone to Cabo for Spring Break and convinced some of the Girls Gone Wild crew to help her write Koran verses on naked young white women? Not so powerful, is it?
Aside from the fact that it could be considered not only EXTREMELY culturally insensitive for American women to shove our freedom in the face of Iranian women, how many of the women who participated in Boobquake normally dress modestly? Based on comments, not many. Many of the women just seemed so excited to have a day to “show off the girls!”
And therein lies my second point. EVERY DAY should be a day when you feel comfortable expressing your sexuality and seeking sexual attention. Why has this event taken off like it did? Could it be that there is STILL shame in women expressing their sexuality? Of course there is!
But you don’t need a fake protest, catcalls from supportive men, alcohol, or the approval of your friends to be sexual. If you dress in a sexual manner, some people will think you are slutty. If you dress in a modest manner, some people will not give you the time of day. But the way we use Halloween, Girl’s Night Out, and now Boobquake as holidays in which “good girls” are given permission to be sexual pisses me off. You don’t NEED permission. You just need courage, and the willingness to take responsibility for your decisions. Part of that responsibility means being willing to give up the labels of good girls and bad girls, and just be.
Sexuality is a part of each of us, and people should feel comfortable expressing that in ways they find comfortable. Just don’t hide your need for sexual expression under the guise of the greater good. Because when you do so, you imply that sexual expression for its own sake is invalid. And to me, the greatest reason to be sexual is the pleasure of sexuality itself.
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