Officially Closing The Round Shape

In the case it wasn’t already rather blatantly obvious to all but those handful of rather determined readers hoping otherwise; I have been seriously neglecting the blog here. It is long overdue to be said but: Round Shape has come to the end of its long and, to me and hopefully at least a few others HELPFUL, run.

I feel like I’ve had a REALLY great time here in saying my piece.  I have asked many questions, raised many salient points and posted much on my own life as a fat woman.  I’ve reached the point, however, where the time, energy (and anger) I need to craft the witty and thoughtful sorts of posts that I enjoy placing here is more than I have to give to this venture; especially when I’ve come to feel that it is simply making the SAME point over and over again, mostly preaching to the choir.

Some great blogs to read that I follow for news and empowerment in the field of discussions on fatness, as well as feminism, racism, sexuality, intersectionality, and more:

If I ever create more little crochet-creatures you can find them on Ravelry.com.  The posts here will stay up as an archive of the many great things done here at RoundShape over the years (wow, yes, YEARS) that I AM in Shape, ROUND is a Shape, has been up and running.

As for me?  I plan to keep dancing (the spring schedule is already filling up!!), loving life, working at libraries with the occasionally very interesting patron, following the above and other blogs to keep abreast of the world of fatness, body acceptance and news about all the many things I’ve followed since before I decided to thrust forth into this blogging venture.

Thank you so very much to all the folks who have read my words, found value within them, and followed me here.  You are all amazing, thoughtful people who encouraged me to stay on here longer than I think I would have otherwise.

Keep being beautifully amazing you lovely readers and may all your ventures be successful and as-long-lived as needed for you to get out of it what you want out of them.  Shake your body-happiness at every chance and I will see you around the Fat-o-Sphere!

Shimmies from your Roundly Shaped April D.

Roar!  Be fierce, live your happiness, don't neglect your sadness, exude joy when you're joyful and hurt when you're pained.  Feel the wonder of each breath given in your body; however it is shaped or drawn.  You are beautiful, powerful, and amazing because you are YOU.

Roar! Be fierce, live your happiness, don’t neglect your sadness, exude joy when you’re joyful and hurt when you’re pained. Feel the wonder of each breath given in your body; however it is shaped or drawn. You are beautiful, powerful, and amazing because you are YOU.

My Season

Last night at my part-time gig fielding reference questions at a public library a young child saw my name tag and exclaimed “Your name is a SEASON!”  I smiled and kindly corrected, “Close, it’s a month though!”  We both smiled and nodded and they went off on their way.

Still, things have been going rather well Chez April D so perhaps it IS my “season”.

New hair cut!  I feel like a wintery woodland nymph!

New hair cut! I feel like a wintery woodland nymph!

At my annual obgyn appointment yesterday, while saddened to not have my old doctor who scaled back her practice in order to spend more time with family, I did have a fine exam by another professional at the same facility with no problems.  Not only did weight never come up in my brief time with the doctor, I had perhaps the easiest time of all refusing to get on the scale for the pre-appointment check-in portion of the appointment.  When the nurse was fitting me with a blood pressure cuff she was laying out the steps we’d be taking next.  After “then I’ll get your weight and height and we’ll get you settled into the room” I paused, starting to get worried and finally blurted out “Actually, I don’t do scales”.  The response was a fabulous, “Ok.  That’s fine”.  Simple.  Easy.  Professional.  Talk about a happy moment!  And perhaps this number not being front and foremost on the pages of info the doctor read led to HER not bringing up the subject either.  (While my old doctor was great about keeping the appointment to things *I* actually brought up as concerns, I certainly HAVE been in situations where that WASN’T the case, when the doctor had her fingers all up in that “I’m feeling your ovaries from the INSIDE” position and ranted on at me about the horrors of being fat and, basically, ME.)

So, there’s that.  A good, quick, (healthy report on basic vitals and bits for those interested) doctor’s visit as a “morbidly obese” woman.

I made it through a rather icy storm on Monday and hear that we have another similar chance of icy ick for tomorrow.  Blech!

The ice I chipped off my car on Monday.

The ice I chipped off my car on Monday.

I’ve started posting on my blog again after a few month hiatus so that’s also fun.  *waves to the few stalwart readers still popping in or dropping by the front page after finding one of my few crochet patterns*

I’ve been crafting up a bit and finding that I’ve come more strongly to terms with what is important to me in my own life in regards to time-spent and energies expended for the person I’m crafting for.  I’ve also created and sent off my first ever commissioned piece and definitely realized that crafting for monies or *hah* Profit, is not for me.  I’m more a “knit it for the love of it” sort of Witty Knitter/Crocheter!

Wee Peacock is asking you...What?

Wee Peacock is asking you…What?

That’s the update from this lovely fat chick.  What’s going on in your neck of the “woods”?  Is it YOUR season as well?  Are are you still in the winter of another’s season, waiting for yours to finally come around?

What’s your glimmer of joy?

There has been…well things have been quite horrific in the news of late.  Slaughtered children, bombings, fiscal cliffs, pending laws to remove rights.  It’s enough to make anyone pull at their hair in frustration at the world and the lack of effect one simple person can have upon it.

However, there are always those small glimmers of light and hope that shine through.  A teacher who, though herself slain in the process, saved the lives of many children. Heroes who bring food, water, help and hope to those in dire situations. Simple words of kindness or explanation to make sense of the horrible on a dark and dreary day.  Encouragement from people you didn’t even realize you HAD in your corner. Small victories, shards of brilliance, folks always striving to fight on and make this world a better, more respectful, more diversity-appreciative place.

Something I’ve found lately that allows my mind to travel thoughtful paths (aside from those of the pressing and important but, at times, overwhelming ones fronted by the media right now) is a set of videos by Mike Rugnetta seeking to explore various aspects of culture and entertainment.  He delves into some fascinating questions that have given my husband and I lots to discuss.  We especially found fun Rugnetta’s quick insight into how “Bronies” are changing our definitions of masculinity:

With the stress of holidays compounded with stressful national and world-wide events, I ask for YOUR shining moments.  What inspires you lately?  What gets YOU through the pressing S.A.D that the grey and dreary weather tends to bring to many of us?  What keeps YOUR head calm in the midst of the horror?

Also, otters. Otters make me grin and give me hope.

Disney Disappoints Again: Leave our Fatty Villains Alone!

I know that I likely shouldn’t be surprised that Disney has managed to disappoint me yet again.

There are so many ways that they continue to support the girl-only-as-worthy-as-her-man crap. This is all in addition to the many other ways that Disney is known to be pretty awful in their lack of support for creative, intelligent, non-man-hunting women.

Brave is different but then, you’ll notice, they didn’t come up with that idea.  Perhaps buying Pixar was one of the best things they could have done. I’d love it if future films continued in the vein of Brave, supporting heroic, intelligent and independent girls and women.  Maybe in the future of movies there will even be a fat heorine for once!  A girl can dream, right?

Even the few fat characters that Disney has are conspicuously absent from their merchandise. I still can’t find or get them to want to sell merchandise which highlights the awesome fat fairy tinker: Fairy Mary. Can’t the fat characters get some love?  I mean, Fairy Mary is the freaking lead Tinker Fairy for crying out loud!

So I was immediately intrigued when I noticed that there was a new collection of dolls that Disney was promoting: Villains!  Ursula!!!  Fat, evil, amazing, octopus, Ursula from The Little Mermaid!  Oh man if I could get something like that, buying online would be so fun!

I had high hopes but thought I was being cautiously hopefully instead of idealistically unrealistic.  Turns out, I have to admit that I still was shocked and saddened when I saw the dolls in the “Disney Villain Designer Collection” and realized that while they DO have the awesome Ursula from The Little Mermaid….they made that giant, fat, amazing character…into a waif-like representation not at all like the original.

I mean, seriously????  Come ON.  So, what are they saying?  That you can’t be “Designer” without being straight-sized-model thin and posed in a seductive manner? Freaking….I mean, aside from light purple skin you tell ME how this even remotely resembles the original fat, octopussy character (While loooking for pics, I realize that Jezebel also points out this unfortunate change):

Even the Queen of Hearts is reduced to the same, boring, nearly duck-faced, pouty, seductress posed and super-thin sized body doll.  *sigh*

It’s sad when the biggest thing ON these dolls, who are supposed to be glam-styled representations of evil villains of various sizes and shapes but nearly equivalent levels of malevolence; is their poofy skirt.

It’s bad enough that us fatties have only ever had villains in our body size but for Disney to erase even that has given me a huge sad, as an LOLCat might say.

Rolling through life!

I keep forgetting how long it has been since my last post. Every time I think of something to place here it turns out that weeks or even months have passed! Yikes! It gets hard wanting to get riled up and ranty for all the many various and sundry ways that the world around me hates my body size and shape and would love nothing more than for me to give in, give up, submit to incessant public demands to hate myself and prostrate myself before the alter of Potentially Getting Thin(ner). So, as I’m rather enjoying being a lovely, confident, currently ranting-on-hold, fat woman, I will instead post some highlights of what I’ve been up to of late

Last weekend, I got to attend a medieval themed wedding in a mountain-esque region New York. There were some awesome statues outside in the gardens at the wedding site and I couldn’t resist a picture!

Prior to that I was dancing for various events in central Mass. One of which was a Pride event that totally ROCKED! The energy of the folks cheering us on was exhilarating. The crowd loved our moves to Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep”.

I also applied for a fun sounding position at a fairly nearby town’s public library…but used the wrong TOWN NAME three times in the coverletter and email.  What’s worse is that it wasn’t a matter of using an old coverletter and forgetting to replace the company/library name.  I introduced the errors manually.  C’est la vie, so it wasn’t meant to be!

I’m crocheting a half-sized Dr. Who scarf for Adam D. so he can wear it more frequently than the full sized 13-foot scarf of uber-awesomeness.

No other fun library interactions of note to report since the “Artist” came by (and for those wondering, I haven’t seen him since…)

I’ve recently read two books with fatness as a theme/major component.

  1. The United States of Air was a fabulously funny and, at the same time, horrifyingly chilling satire on the US’s twin obsessions: Fatness (and it’s eradication) and Wars on Things/People/Ideals. Agent Frolick is the Ambassador to France, relating his personal story of how he came to fully believe in the US’s new Prophet’s demands that people subsist only on eating Air.  Caloric intake is Food Terrorism.  The parts I found most frightening were those that, outside of this book’s world, many people would off-the-cuff agree to as a “solution” to all us darned fatties existing in this realm!  (Fat Camps, fatties sent without trial to such places to learn to “eat air”, advancement in any military or government establishment based solely upon waist size, corruption of the highest order…)
  2. Butter tells the story of one fat boy’s often sad and all too relate-able attempts to just get through life. He finds himself thrust into popularity when, in the depths of depression and self-loathing, he starts a blog dedicated to the count-down until the night he plans to eat himself to death.  It was a well-written, though certainly trope-y book with a character who is overweight (according to the book) largely because he overeats dramatically.  For that reason it held less appeal than it could have as a touching story about a troubled boy finding his way.

What’s next?  More dancing this weekend, a new hair today that reveals, once more, my neck to the glorious breezes of Autumn. What’s next on YOUR plate?

 

Book Review: Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

Book:  Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks

Rating: ♦♦♦◊◊

Synopsis Snippet: Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He’s been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks constantly of the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. When that happens, Budo will disappear.

The Cast:  Rather an interesting mix of various Imaginary Friends of differing levels of imagining.  From specks on walls that only blink to feisty fairies who fly and scold to nearly completely humanoid characters missing only a few aspects such as eyebrows or legs.  Budo has seen many an imaginary friend in his day!  Budo’s imaginer: Max, is a young boy on the Autism spectrum whose social interactions are rather limited.  Budo explores more and sees a few characters of slight diversity.

Romance Aspects: None to speak of, though Budo seems to have an almost crush on one of the women he observes on his nightly jaunts to a local gas station.

Language: The writing was a simple and a bit juvenile in places; as though listening to Budo who, while more intelligent than the boy who imagined him, is still rather young in mind.

Fat treatment: Nothing great but no epic moments of failure come to mind.

Review: The premise is great; a story about one boy as seen through his imaginary friend Budo. Humor, learning about Max’s difficulties in navigating his world and need for his imaginary friend and the actual suspenseful plot bits were great. However, there was a lot of repetition and extra bits that just dragged the pace down for me. I had to push through the last 1/3 of the book despite that being where the plot all started to wrap up because I was pretty sick of Budo whining by that point.

Great Quotes: Some awesome tidbits that might get your curiosity going.

“I wish there was a Heaven. If I knew there was a Heaven for me, then I would save Max for sure. I wouldn’t be afraid because there would be a place to go after this place. Another place. But I don’t think there is a Heaven, and I definitely don’t think there is a Heaven for imaginary friends. Heaven is only supposed to be for people who God made, and God didn’t make me. Max made me.”

“You have to be the bravest person in the world to go out everyday being yourself when no one likes who you are.”

Final Verdict: If you liked Room you will find much to love in Matthew Dicks’ novel.  While I did feel that some of the repetition was over-kill by the end the endearing qualities and down-to-earth reflections Budo makes throughout will get you thinking and, if you find someone else to read it, give you lots to discuss!

So, have you read this yet?  Would you now want to? Would you suggest it to someone else?

“I’m….an Artist.” Adventures in Librarianship

I had an interesting interaction in my part-time role as a Reference Librarian in a public library from a bit back that I thought might be fun to share on this near-end-of-summer Thursday.

(Scene opens)

Nearly 8:10pm. We close at 8:30. Tall, thinnish, mid-30′s-40′s white guy in a clean orange polo asks for scrap paper and pencil. He sits at the patron desk right next to my work desk. A few minutes pass as I finish up deleting some old books.

Guy: Excuse me. Do you do art?

Me: ….ANYTHING artistic or did I study it? Are you looking for BOOKS on art? Inspiration of some kind?….

Guy: No. I meant study art. See…. *dramatic pause, looks up at me from under his eyelashes with a smug look of self importance* I’m an Artist.

Me: Okay.

Guy: …So. I made this….carving.

Me: (Dude I am SOOO not interesting in your carvings…but please DO go on). Okay.

Guy: A BEAR carving.

…..

Me: Out of wood or…

Guy: Yes.

Me: Okaaaay. (Where in the heck is the question here???)

Guy: Yeah. I carved this bear. And, see, I’m a bit disappointed in myself for doing it.

Me: …..

Guy: I mean it’s a NICE bear. Looks like any OTHER carved wooden bear you might see by someone who *gets an additional gleam of self-love in his eye* carved a bear with a SAW.

Me: Mh hmmmm, sure, of course…. (Holy FUCK where is this guy GOING with this?!?!)

Guy: So. It’s a good bear. Even burned it so it’s black. You know, a Black Bear?

Me: ……mmm hmmm

Guy: But I feel like it’s missing something…

Me: (OOH! He needs ideas! I can HELP get him books on that.  Reference Librarian Powers: ACTIVATE!) Oh, so you need to figure out how to fin…

Guy: (all interupt-y) No. I don’t need to figure it out. That’s what I was drawing. See. When I was sawing…. carving. I cut a little too deep into the bear’s belly. So, just under his arms there’s this deeper slice. And I was thinking. See…

*gets up to walk the few inches to my desk to show me his “artistic doodle” of a “bear” with a fucking KNIFE in it’s gut.

Me: ….

Guy: I was thinking I could put a KNIFE in that slice, ya know? Something like that. Is that creepy?

Me: You mean this conversation?

Guy: The knife thing.

Me: Oh! (Crap, that was out loud?) Well, no. Have you ever been to the George Pompideou?

Guy: ….?

Me: Modern art museums? Avant-guarde stuff? Yeah, no. It’s certainly a bit macabre but it isn’t creepy or really that unusual. A conversation starter for sure. (Dear god I’m NEVER gonna get outta here on time. )

Guy: But do you think it would be GOOD?

Me: Do you mean….would it be more MARKETABLE? Or more Artistic? I can’t really speak to either personally….

Guy: Cause it’s a good bear.

Me: *shuffling papers desperately as the clock clicks ever closer to closing time* Right….

Guy: So what kind of knife do you think? A kitchen knife?

Me: (!!!?? What. The. Fucking. FUCK?) Uh….a ginsu? Then you could put a sharpener in the slot and call it a knife sharpener.

Guy: Oh I could put like a credit-card sharpener in it. You know, like from those late-night shows? Where they chop a tomato and a credit card?

Me: (oh. my. god. Just fucking agree with everything. Maybe he’ll go away.) Mmm hmm. Yeah. Sounds good. It would sure be artistic.

Guy: Yeah. Hey thanks for the paper and pencil. I just…wanted to draw that idea out. Here’s the extra. And your pencils back. See: this is the bear. Yeah.

Me: (another night at the public library. Exit, stage left. And SCENE)

What I learned from this adventure?

When a guy starts his question with “So, do you do art”? Your answer should be “No. No, I do not” lest you be dragged into a baffling 10 minutes of hearing an “Artist” describe how he carved a bear. With a saw. And wants to put a KNIFE into the mistake he made in it….so it will be creepy. Or something. Yeah.

It was quite an interesting moment in life and really a great reminder of the vast variety of personalities one can encounter in the public library (and the world in general).  Any fun encounters you’ve had lately?