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Manolo for the Big Girl | Archive | April, 2012
Archive - April, 2012

Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness: The ASPCA’s Nightmare Edition

Hello everybody!

It’s time once again to play Twistie’s Sunday Caption Madness!

You all know how this works. I find a photo that’s sitting up and begging for a good caption or, you know, a whole bunch of them. You provide said captions via the comments function. Next week I declare a winner and there is much rejoicing, yea.

This week’s image comes to you from the perils of parenting file and it looks a little like this:

Ready… set… snark!

Twistie Recommends Movies

I love movies. You may already know that. In fact, I may have mentioned this fact before. And every once in a while, it’s fun to share with you all the gems I’ve found and enjoyed. So let’s do that today, shall we? Yes, yes we shall.

All of the films I’m going to recommend today are available through Netflix. I’ll also point out those you can get from Amazon.

Gunless stars Paul Gross as a wild west gunslinger who, on the run from a not very talented lynch mob and bounty hunter Callum Keith Rennie, finds himself in a tiny Canadian hamlet where nobody owns a pistol. The humor is very tongue-in-cheek, and a talented cast gives the wry script everything they’ve got. This is a film with few if any axes to grind, a slightly elastic take on history, and lots of heart. Turn off your mind and just enjoy it. Oh, and make sure you stick around for the credits. They’re liberally laced with outtakes that will leave you giggling.

In November of 1924, William Randolph Hearst’s yacht, the Oneida, set sail with a glittering cast of celebrities to celebrate the birthday of Thomas H. Ince, film producer. Before the weekend was over, Ince was dead. The official cause of death was a heart attack, but no autopsy was performed, nobody on the ship was interviewed by police, and Hollywood being Hollywood even then, rumors began flying. The most popular rumor of what had happened was that Hearst accidentally shot Ince mistaking him for Charlie Chaplin and believing Chaplin was having an affair with his (Hearst’s) mistress Marion Davies.

(more…)

Secrets, Sleeping and Support

Well, it’s late in the afternoon –too much Tramadol in last night’s pasta sauce I’m afraid– I just woke up to the sad but not unexpected news that Pep Guardiola has chosen not to renew his contract as sexypants manager of futbol juggernaut Barcelona and the mango I just chopped up for breakfast tastes like onion because I gambled on “is this knife clean or dirty” and lost, so I guess now is as good a time as any to admit a deep, dark secret:

I sleep with a stuffed animal.

>Richard Parker, generally referred to simply as “Tiger” (hey, not even we creative types can be creative all the time) is a six foot-long Bengal tiger and my constant bedtime companion for close to two years.

I’ve always eyed with suspicion grown women whose beds are covered with plush bunnies, fuzzy bears and other infantilizing paraphernalia. If you are old enough to afford your own bed, you are old enough to spend the night without Mister Floppers and company. Still, when Tiger came into my life, I knew we were meant to be.

Tiger has served as my go-to body pillow since I first brought him home, adherent to his duties where many other body pillows have failed. He regally bears the indignity of being used as a knee-stabilizer on nights when sleeping on my back is a must, he plays the role of “little spoon” with silent hauteur and when I need a bit of lift to write in bed, he’s got my back, literally. Not bad for being purchased while in a 3 a.m. fugue state in the Hallmark aisle of my local Walgreen’s.

My best friend in the entire universe (“and beyond!” she’d add) is also a body pillow enthusiast. She’s a big girl too but unlike me, is naturally endowed with what is known to medical science as “spectacularly ginormous bazoongas”, so much so that, when unfettered or only slightly battened down via stretch cami, they make sleeping comfortably a serious challenge.

Last year she spoke longingly of some firm looking double-pronged pregnancy pillow she saw in either a Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez movie where the lead Jennifer was in The Family Way (I don’t know, nor am I interested, in what the movie is called. Best friend though she is, she also has the singularly worst taste in movies of any person I’ve ever met, despite having a Very Impressive Degree in film something or other).


A bit of Google-Fu led me to the Leachco Back ‘N Belly Contoured Body Pillow.

It’s her birthday on Saturday (Happy Birthday, Girl!) and this was my gift. Her initial response was “Oh Girl I ruvs it!” which is always a good sign.

I don’t have one myself, but were my sleeping arrangements other than they are, I would willingly retire Tiger in exchange for something that supported my back, thighs and stomach (my gals are travel-sized so don’t really do much of anything but sit there and tell me when it’s cold).

What about you? Would you wrap yourself in a double-sided body pillow or do you prefer some other method?

Public Service Announcement (seriously, now)

Hey gang, just a little public service announcement from your very-nearly-cholera-free (though in retrospect smoked marlin n’ grits last night was perhaps a shade too adventurous) pal Plummy:

Be mindful when posting your medical information online.

Now obviously when Twistie asked readers to post their strangest diagnoses, she wasn’t mining your information for blackmail fodder to be stored in the bowel-iest bowels of Miss Plumcake’s Volcano Dream Lair until such a time as your creepy skin condition/antiquated disease/atrophied Siamese twin can be monetized for personal gain. And no, that’s not just because Miss Plumcake’s Volcano Dream Lair doesn’t technically exist. Although it totally should.

I’m proud of the unusually tight-knit relationships this kooky blog has engendered over the years, and when you post and comment with the same invisible friends year after year it’s easy to drop your guard. No big deal, except you’re not just having a casual chat here on the island of misfatty toys; you’re publishing, and when you’re on a public blog like this one, there’s no way to unring the Google Cache bell. It’s like herpes and menudo breath: You’re stuck with it for life.

Twistie’s ethical and I’m lazy, but there’s nothing saying nefarious nogoodniks –or worse, your employer’s (or potential employer’s) human resource department– won’t use their Google Fu to track down every scrap of laundry you’ve left draped around the internet’s chandeliers, dirty or otherwise if it’s of benefit to them. Illegal and unethical to be sure, but don’t think it doesn’t happen. And if comment tracking isn’t possible now, who’s to say it won’t be neat new feature in the coming years?

If you’d like me to delete your comments in the name of damage control, shoot me an email and consider it evaporated, just you know, be careful out there. And while we’re at it, you might want to get a cream for that rash.

Further Adventures in Fat Girl Highlander

As I mentioned on the Facebook page, it looks like Ashley Fink’s character, Lauren Zizes –the Token Fatty on Glee– has been written off into the sunset.

I stopped watching Glee a few episodes into the second season when I can only assume they fired all their talented writers and replaced them with escaped lab animals so they could better afford an extra six thousand hours of Autotuning per episode, but I remember bristling when Fink’s character would only be bought off by candy and then applauded a few episodes later when Puck, the resident Hot Guy and eventual boyfriend told her “I’m sure you’ve been treated badly by guys before” and she snapped back, asking him why he assumed that.

I cringed when Puck thought serenading Lauren with Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” was even close to a good idea, and cheered when she said “That was the first time anyone ever sang me a love song. And it made me feel like crap.”

She didn’t need, nor did she especially appreciate, people telling her it’s okay for her to be fat. She knew it was okay to be fat. She liked who she was: Fatness included.

No more of that.

It’s just further proof of my theory that the Media treats capital F Fat Women in the entertainment industry like The Highlander: There can be only one. Right now it’s Melissa McCarthy who dethroned Gabourey Sidibe who dethroned Beth Ditto who dethroned Crystal Renn back when people thought she was plus size…it just goes on.

Sure they’ll let a few inbetweenies float around and put them, usually naked (I swear I’ve seen Ms Renn’s ladynook more than I’ve seen my own, and I own several full-length mirrors) in their annual “shape” or “self-acceptance” or “hate your body a little less but really don’t because we still need you to buy this stuff from our advertisers” issue. But as for media face-time for real fatties?

You better get your sword and kilt back from the cleaners with a quickness.

Jeans for Non-Jean Bodies (like mine)

I’m not naturally suited to pants.

In fact, saying I’m not naturally suited to pants is an understatement along the lines of saying The Wicked Witch of the West is not naturally suited to water polo. From my long torso to my cartoonish hip to waist ratio and relatively flat backside, there is absolutely nothing about trousers that commend themselves to my body.

Still, sometimes a girl needs her britches.

I’m not happy about it, either.

It’s one of those senseless cruelties of life, like having to clean up my own mess. I’m a busy woman, I barely had time to MAKE the mess in the first place, and now I’m supposed to clean it up too? What sort of sadistic world do we live in?

Going pantsless in Austin was a piece of cake.

For nine months out of the year even the idea of wearing a scrap of nonessential fabric was enough to invoke heat stroke, fever dreams and the need for handsome emergency rescue personnel bearing cold compresses and restorative gin-based beverages.

Now that I live in coastal Mediterranean climes –which might as well be Alaska for someone acclimated to endless muggy 110 degree summers, I still sleep with a heating pad– I’ve discovered those delightful mid-afternoon breezes wafting in from the Pacific turn downright nippy once the sun sets or the fog rolls in.

Enter Coldwater Creek.

I’d never shopped at Coldwater Creek before because I always thought it was somewhere between L.L. Bean’s distinctive brand of outdoorsy blandness and Chico’s menopausal mod and thus not really my style.

I also seem to recall paging through a catalog years ago and seeing stretchy panne velvet dresses (I’m sorry, I know some of you are probably eating now, I’ll try not to be so graphic from now on) and a jumper festooned with pine cones and possibly a moose.

It’s true I might have imagined the moose, but once you’ve jumped the conifer, can caribou truly be that far away?

Still, I’m an adventurous gal so I took advantage of their clearance sale a few weeks ago to order a whole mess of jeans, naively hoping at least one pair would work.

They all fit.

Not only did they fit but everything marked as a natural waist actually came up to MY natural waist, which was nothing sort of a miracle considering the ponderous length of my torso.

I nabbed two pairs of natural denim trousers, one in a cold slate blue and the other in a graphite wash, a traditional pair of straight leg indigo jobbers and –giving a nod to the somewhat challenging colored denim trend– a slightly bootcut pair in what they called mint but is more like a tumbled green sea glass.

Unfortunately they’re all sold out now, so I can’t link to anything I bought specifically, but since I had such luck across the board I feel fairly safe in commending all their denim to anyone who finds themselves with the same pantular woes as I.

Oh, and as for sizing, I’d say they run fairly true to size if there’s such a thing.

Coldwater Creek only goes up to a 24, but if you’re a 26 I’d still give it a shot since they’re cut a bit generously and have some stretch

(I’ve not yet had Rhino Butt issues, but will let you know should such misfortune befall).

The website says the regular inseam is 32″ (petites 29″, longs 35″) but either I had a couple of inches of tibia removed without me knowing it or their 32″ is a lot closer to 34″ in the plus sizes.

I won’t say these are my Holy Grail Jeans; that distinction still belongs to a pair I found at Marshall’s and have not yet been able to relocate in quantity, but it’s nice to have a go-to place for decently constructed you know will fit.

Wait… I’ve Got WHAT???

Well day-um!

In light of Miss Plummy’s diagnosis of cholera, of all things(!) I find myself wondering what bizarre ailments other folks have found themselves to have.

My weirdest? Well, about three or four years ago, I had a cold that lingered, and lingered, and lingered… and lingered. Eventually I broke down and went to a doctor only to discover that what I had thought was a cold was actually pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough. Whooping cough! I’d never even known anyone who had had whooping cough! I thought it was nearly mythic by that point. Little did I know it was on the rise.

Now I see PSAs on TV all the time reminding adults to get the pertussis vaccine.

Still, that ain’t nothing to cholera. The closest I’ve ever gotten to knowing anyone who had that was when I read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett as a child. The heroine, Mary, loses both her parents to cholera in India and is shipped off back to England and her reclusive uncle… and, well, I enjoyed it when I was ten. It still appeals to the part of me that goes back once in a blue moon to re-read Jane Eyre and The Scarlet Letter.

But back to surprising illnesses.

What is the most surprising diagnosis you’ve ever gotten? Had you ever known anyone who had suffered from the same thing?

And Plummy? Feel better soonest.

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