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Technical Troubles

Okay campers, due to an unforeseen incident involving a large glass of water and a VERY UNWELCOME SCORPION IN MY BED, my laptop keyboard is no longer cooperating as much as I would like. Please bear with me, I will be back to our regularly scheduled judging as soon as possible.

Reminder About Comments

Hey gang! Just a few quick reminders about comments:

Reminder the first: Keep it clean.

Profanity gets caught in Ye Olde Fpam Filter (the fpam joke would’ve gone over better in a different font, don’t you think?) which means I have to go wading into the deepest darkest recesses of Increase Your Pleasure Pencil Ask Me How to rescue your comment because you dropped an F-bomb, IF I even remember to do it.

Reminder the second: Think Hemingway, not Faulkner.

Do I want to read your beautifully-penned thousand-word treatise on whatever nonsense dribbled its way out of my frontal lobe on any particular day? Yes, yes I do. Do I want to read it in my comments section? Not even a little.

If you’ve got a lot to say about a particular subject I absolutely want to hear about it, but I’m not approving comments longer than the Gettysburg address. So if your comment rings in anywhere over 266 words, either email me the comment –I promise I read them– or post it on your own blog and link to your post in a short comment. I especially encourage email because that way it might make its own post.

Reminder the Third: Short shorts OR long socks. Never both.
Unless your CV includes the title Roller Derby Queen or Nobel Laureate you’ve got to pick one or the other. No exceptions.

Quick Note from Miss Plumcake

Alas, glamor month has begun not with a bang, but with a whimper.

My beloved computer Lappy Rockefeller has given up the ghost after six years of faithful service.

She died surrounded by the things she loved: zebra-print duct tape, a MAC 226 blending brush (for structural support), and the crumbs of a thousand McVitie’s digestive biscuits.

Lappy’s last days were spent in relative calm, playing video of Xabi Alonso standing around glistening and rubbing his lovely ginger chest on almost-continual loop which is normal and not at all a sign that she needs to get out more and maybe you stop being so judgy because you don’t know my her life.

Anyway.

Lappy will be replaced on my couch –though never in my heart– by Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Laptoppe who is hurtling his way through time and space and is scheduled to arrive at stately Château Gâteau tomorrow, when –assuming I’m ever able to figure out how to set the damn thing up– hijinx will once again ensue.

Until then, let me point you in the direction of Twistie’s thought-provoking post, Talking About Eating Disorders, where I invite your comments.

Finally, Lappy or no Lappy, I cannot leave you without at least a brief Moment of Glamor courtesy of two of my very favorite “celebrated sodomites” Stephen Fry and Oscar Wilde.

Ah, the importance of being fabulous.

PC Load Letter? What Does That Even MEAN?!!

In the words of my benevolent overlord “Ayyyy! The technical difficulties!”

In the words of ME for the past two days:

“MOTHER[redacted] [redacted] [redacted]ing [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] piece of [redacted][redacted][redacted] might as well [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] [redacted] porcelain figurine [redacted][redacted][redacted][redacted]Tallulah Bankhead’s[redacted]and a [redacted] novelty finger!!!”

Rest assured though, we’re on it and should be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon!

Woo Hoo it’s ADMIN TIME!

Hey gang!

I’m setting off on a long weekend of Not Being Here and Ignoring You, but before I do let’s have an ADMIN PARTY! WHOOOO!!!

Email Woes:

My email? Kaput. Which means if you’ve sent me anything in the past month or so, it’s gonesville, which INCLUDES you wonderful Stevie The Blind Flood Puppy people, many of whom still need thank-you notes from me. So if you supported our beloved mascot and have not yet received a card (I’m getting out one or two a week, so it’s slow going) go ahead and resend your address with Stevie in the subject line.

Your Guy Monday Hotness:

It’s that time again! Last August we had a whole scorching month of homegrown hotness and I’m putting out the call early this year so I can have more time to wade through the deliciousness. The rules of submission are the following:

He must be 18 or older Mama loves a man in uniform, but not when they’ve got a warrant.

All photos must be clothed. Shirtless is fine but I don’t want or need to see any nooks and crannies, thankyouverymuch.

You must have permission to use his photo. I don’t want some angry hot dude chasing me. Well, I do, but not because he’s angry his photo’s on this site.

All photos must be at least 450 pixels wide but don’t send me enormous uncompressed TIFFs. I don’t care how hot he is, I don’t want to see the texture of his nosehair.

You must tell me in fewer than 120 words why he should be a Monday Hotness. Byron’s 173rd Sonnet only used 119, and we still remember how she walks in beauty like the night.

Other than that, have at it. We take the broad view of hotness, so submit your brother, your grandfather’s old Navy photo, your two gay besties. Anything goes!

Reader Questions:

I try, really I do, to answer most of the reader email I get. But I’m only one gal, and most isn’t all. If you’ve got a quick question it is almost always better to ask me in the comments on Mondays than it is to email me. If it’s something more complex, like a specific outfit recommendation then feel free to email me. I can’t promise an answer (not to put too fine a point on it, but I actually CHARGE for that service, so, uh I’m not super anxious to do pro bono work)

Reader Comments:

I don’t know WHAT is up with the comments recently, if it’s our spam filter going all doolally or what, but good comments are getting eaten. I do my best to rescue the ones I can, but some slip through the cracks. So, uh, sorry about that. What I’m NOT sorry about is deleting comments I deem “not good for the blog.” I let almost everything slide, so when I do delete something that’s the final decision, no room for appeal, which means don’t email me asking why I deleted your comment. Odds are it just got eaten anyway.

Okay campers

I’m turning this little red wagon around.

So let’s get a few things straight:

1) The entire reason I posted two drastically different shades of “nude” was to illustrate the concept of nude means nude to your leg, specifically. I didn’t spell it out because well, I didn’t think it NEEDED spelling out.  When I was going through the shoes for that I chose two shoes: one that, on my screen, would be nude-ish on Sessilee Lopez (she’s my absolute favorite model of the moment because she actually HAS A FACE yes I’m looking at you, anonymous Eastern Bloc automatons) and Aretha Franklin (because she is my everything and you will pry my first press vinyl copy of Aretha in Paris out of my cold dead hands)

Her Serene Magesty

Sessilee Lopez

and I chose the second pair because they matched lighter skin tones (inasmuch as you can ever find an actual match). I need a bit more blue in mine than some folks, another friend needs more pink. Finding the right nude shoe for your leg is an art, not a science and it’s certainly not a political statement.

2)  We have a wonderfully active comments field and I love that, and I try to be pretty hands off when it comes to skirmishes and whatnot –if you recall I spent the first two years out of the comments entirely–  but many blogs have turned off their comments fields entirely rather than deal with the infighting and name calling.  I would hate for that to happen, but I am just one woman and I cannot deal with writing the blog, editing it, going through all the bazillions of spam message AND babysitting the Hundred Years Flamewar.

Besides, this is my family crest:

Plumcake's familial crest

This is not:

NOT Plumcake's familial crest

It’s probably not yours, either.

3) Who has two thumbs and editorial control over this blog?This girl. And Manolo. And Twistie on the weekends. I love that so many readers feel they have ownership in this blog,  but you do not have permission to tell other readers of this blog to shut up, stop being a jerk, or tell them to leave. People are welcome at this blog until Manolo, Twistie or I decide they’re not.  Early adopters have the exact same amount of editorial control over this blog as newbies: zero.

4) Even though our readership has gone up considerably, I know the past few months have been been rough for some folks who really liked Francesca and I get that.  That being said, if Manolo for the Big Girl is not what you want it to be by now; it’s probably not going to be, and because this is a blog and not a forum, all the complaining in the world isn’t going to change it.  There are a hundred million blogs on the internet: if this one doesn’t make you happy anymore, skip it.  Or better yet, start your own. The more intelligently-written blogs for big girls out there the better. Once you do, send me a link and I’ll more than likely be glad to put it on the links bar.

5) Finally, I suspect there might be some bigotry at play here, but not the sort of I’m being accused of.

I’m a white (technically I’m Alabaster C1 although for three glorious weeks this spring I had a bit of a tan and was upgraded to Porcelain W1) girl who comes from financial privilege. I’m also from the South, and it seems to me many good, decent people who wouldn’t dream of making ugly assumptions based on place of origin or socio-economic status in most cases seem awfully ready to make them about the people in my situation. Of course a comparatively rich white Southern girl is going to be racist or elitist or a million other things. Does it offend me? God no, it’s more tiresome than anything else.  But it is what it is: a negative assumption based on inherited characteristics out of my control. There’s a word for that.

The Big Question: Happy Trails Edition

In 2007, journalist Michael Parsons wrote:

“Successful blogging is hard, dirty work: it’s the hand-to-hand combat of the writing world. […] Like all people who rise to the top of their profession, it demonstrates a simple truth: good bloggers work like dogs. You can’t expect readers to show up unless you show up. And the internet never closes. […] It takes amazing focus and energy not only to drink from the fire hose of content that is the World Wide Web and make sense of it, but also to direct your own little water pistol back at it and actually get noticed. You need a big ego, a loud voice, and a thick skin. And you need to burn with a restless intensity that makes people want to come back and see what you’ve got to say.”

Which means anyone who  can show up for years and be a major part of a successful blog deserves our respect.

Francesca has been with this blog since its beginning. I believe she was the first one hired and in her tenure her singular voice has contributed so much to what this blog has become, so it is with all due solemnity that we mark Francesca’s departure from Manolo for the Big Girl.

William Faulkner's typewriter

It’s no secret that Francesca and I had a difference of opinion on virtually everything in the known universe (and before you all go ZOMG PLUMCAKE HAD HER KILLED!!! I didn’t. Not even a little. ) but she was remarkably sensitive about our readership, and I respected that.  She stood up for you crazy-making knuckleheads wonderful people all the time, even when it might put her on the receiving end of me Telling Her Things.

I remember one time I had posted some looks from the Paris haute couture shows and she sent me a scolding email about how unless I could show a way you all could reproduce the look at home then I shouldn’t do it. Of course I probably told her where she and her scolding email could go (haute couture doesn’t come in sizes. It’s cut on the body, thus totally accessible for the big girl, provided she can afford it.)

The point is, she stood up for you all and that wasn’t easy considering I take the Faulknerian view of anyone trying to edit my work.

You’ve got to respect her for that.

What does this mean for the blog? Well, I believe Twistie will be doing the weekly sales posts although I’ll try to keep an eye on those too. Big Girls in Art will probably continue as a semi-regular featurette, but the rest of the Francesca-specific features will be retired until further notice. I will try to keep an eye on things for our petite friends, but honestly since I don’t think about it much, please pester me if it’s been too long since we’ve represented The Lollipop Guild. The rest we’ll figure out as we go along.

As a final good luck and goodbye, I thought we’d end with a big question.

Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:
What has been your all-time favorite Francesca moment?

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