Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fat bottomed girls you make the rockin' world go round

I am, shall we say, well upholstered. Thick, curvy, plump. All those euphemisms for fat. So I champion the cause of big girls being faaaaaaahbulous. It's not easy in a thin-obsessed world to be hot and heavy, but we do what we can.

So I was happy to find that my reviewee today, Mindy, is brave and honest enough to share her weight loss journey online. It's something I know I'd never be able to do, and I admire her very, very much for seeing herself as she is, wanting to love herself, and taking steps to be a better Mindy. You can be beautiful at any size, and it's awesome to see Mindy try to embrace that instead of hiding and being ashamed. Dealing with mental health issues on top of self-esteem issues ain't easy, and it's a hell of a thing to open all that up for the world to see.

Mindy's design is cute, cheerful, and hopeful, like she is. It's nicely organized and uncluttered if very girly, but girly is fine by me. And I really like the personal artsy touches.

But here comes the hard part.

Mindy has only been blogging since May, so I cut her a little slack on the rambling, unfocused, bland posts. It takes a while, sometimes, to find your voice, to settle into what blogging means to you. But we're coming up on 6 months and there hasn't been a lot of forward motion.

There are way too many grammar and spelling snafus. She recognizes that she makes these mistakes, so that's something, but it did interrupt the reading process for me. There's a little thing called a comma -- use it: "I love the show I have the movie and the sound track I've even been to a couple showings of it back in the states." This is murder on my eyes and I just want to hit something. Please. For the love of Strunk and White, pay attention to what you put up on the screen. "I" should be capped, so should the beginning of a sentence, and the apostrophe is a time-honored tradition when possessing or conjuncting.

Look. We all make mistakes. Lord knows I do, too. But just try. Reread. Run the spell check. Edit yourself. You're putting these words out there for the world to see. This isn't your bedside doodle book. There's an audience, and you need to respect them by not wasting their time. Before you post anything, consider whether we care, whether you can make it interesting, whether there's a story to tell, whether it's readable and relatable and interestingable (I made that word up, but I'm allowed) or at the very least certifiable (we like crazy). If not, then email someone instead of posting. I'm not saying shut up -- just make it mean something.

There are glimpses of the inner deviant, flares of personality, but they are few. Mostly, it's "I did this, then I did this, and I pushed this boundary." Pushing boundaries is great, and it's so commendable that you're getting out and living your life and getting fit and taking care of yourself and making connections. But there's no voice, no rhythm, no hook. You are a sweet, sweet person with goals and dreams and hurdles to jump and bridges to cross and experiences to feel. I genuinely like you, and I'm not uninterested in learning about your journey, but you make it hard by not giving us any flavor, any flair. Florida Girl, who I love, is your buddy, and I bet she could tell us what an engaging person you are, but you're not putting it on the screen so well.

I get that you're not a writer, and for you blogging is more about the process of confession and connection than it is about composition. But as we've said again and again here at Ask, unless you've got a seriously compelling story to tell or a whiplash personality or a shit storm of a life, your writing better be engrossing or you're doomed to the shallow end of the blogging pool, bobbing around with swimmies on your arms and soaking in the piss of that kid who eats his boogers and smells like sprouts all the time. That may be overstating it, but I do like the metaphor. My point is you just end up one of squillions, mediocre. And, you know, that's fine. We don't all get to be Michael Phelps. (I just killed that whole swimming thing, didn't I?).

Mindy, do not be discouraged. Just do better. I want you to keep blogging because I know it's good for the soul. And for someone with social phobias to let it all hang out and to bring her blog to our attention takes balls the size of Buicks. Ultimately, I like you. I think you're nice and good and admirable and talented. Just don't settle for mediocre. And for extra pressure, I'll be watching. Step it up.








P.S. You're an American, use the damn Z key! (But that's hypocritical of me because when I write, I cross my sevens.)

P.P.S. Your art is adorable, and I love seeing it.

25 comments:

  1. I have to hand it to you, Calamity, I think that was the most gentle ass kickin' I've ever seen. Improper punctuation drives me nuts, although I'm sure I'm as guilty as anyone.

    P.S. Speaking of improper punctuation, I finally figured out my fuckin' Spanish keyboard apostrophes.

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  2. Or is it gentlest ass kickin'? What's the superlative here, grammar experts? Shit, now I'm all self-conscious about my punctuation and grammar.

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  3. Sometimes I pad my paddle.

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  4. I never know what to think of blogs that are keeping track of weight loss or getting sober or whatever. Which is completely stupid because I'm in recovery. Whatever. She doesn't make the whole thing all 'Stewart Smalley'.

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  5. Okay, I'm sorry she's got mental insecurities, and it's great that she's losing weight, because she's not obnoxious about it at all.

    That being said, I WAS BORED AS FUCK.

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  6. Calamity? You padded your paddle? I think you padded your feather with a cotton ball. But that's cause you're the nice one. And I fucking lucked out having you as my reviewer, and so did Mindy. I cringe when I think of what Father Gene might have done to my ass.

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  7. This "nice one" thing is going to follow me to my grave.

    I dole out the flaming fingers. Sometimes. Is it my fault the motherfucking glass is half full?

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  8. Unless the glass is half full of shit or baby blood (as Demitri Martin says in his stand up routine that Miss Missives linked to in her last post).

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  9. I bet I've given fewer flaming fingers than any other reviewer on this site, though I've probably given more "buy a vowels" than anyone.

    By the way, Blue would have done just as well with me as she did with Cal.

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  10. Same here for Blue, and Mongoliangirl, you're pretty brave for a girl who's next on the chopping block.

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  11. We're like The Player in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. "We're more of the love, blood and rhetoric school. Well, we can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and we can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and we can do you all three concurrent or consecutive. But we can't give you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory. They're all blood, you see."

    Except, for blood insert personality, for love insert design, for rhetoric insert writing. You can have any combination and be good, but you can have only blood and be good, too. All three and we fucking love you.

    I might have just confused myself.

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  12. I don't believe I've ever given anyone a buy a vowel.

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  13. I covet Mindy's rockin specs

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  14. Buy a vowel is totally underutilized. It's perfect for those who don't deserve a flaming finger.

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  15. Too bad they still have to have a GOOD personality. No personality is still a personality. It's just a personality that sucks.

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  16. I like Mindy's site but agree with you on a lot of your (gentle) criticism. Particularly spelling. God, I hate misspelling. I do it myself, but if someone points out a misspelling or grammatical error I stop whatever it is I'm doing and change it immediately. Whatever I'm doing.

    I would like to stand in defense of her use of S rather than Z. It's a tough one when you're living in the Commonwealth. One of my jobs is a writing gig and I have to use the Commonwealth spellings. You get to a point where that, rather than American, becomes the default.

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  17. Miss Missives...brave maybe. Dunno about that. But...I can say I appreciate ANY site that has some kind of recovery going on that is NOT all Stewart Smalley.

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  18. Speaking of with, Stewart Smalley for senator.

    Exclamation points all around.

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  19. Fuck, I always get in on the action late.

    Yes, me loves me Mindy. I'm totally her bitch, and she mine.

    Mindy- young, newlywed, and on the other fucking side of the world from everything she's ever known, on her first real adventure.

    I think she will definitely find her writing groove because she really is a naughty, atheist, party girl just beginning a journey which includes permanently moving to Australia-- as in FORFUCKINGEVER.

    So being that I know her, I'll say I know she could be considerably spicier on her blog-- cause she is hilarious and very spicy in person, she just needs to let go a little more and bring it.

    Love ya Minders.

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  20. Is it weird that I liked herher just from reading "The graphics, layout design, everything was made by me. Please excuse my spelling and grammar mistakes. I try" ?

    I mean, just the acknowledgment and the way she seemed to be like 'dude, don't get on my ass! It's not my strong suit!' was enough for me to look past them.

    But I'm feeling pretty easy peasy today.

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  21. Put your big girl panties on dear, and try not to cry.

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  22. Calamity- I just want to thank you for being honest with me. Your review was exactly what I needed to hear. Honesty is a hard thing to get out of your family and friends.

    I know I'm absolutely horrible at spelling and grammar. I will work harder even if it means having my husband check everything before I post it.

    As for the spelling with a 'Z', since I'm living in Australia for good now, I tend to use the Australian English dictionary on my browser's spell check. It's really hard to switch back and forth between two variations of English, especially when you have assignments and shit for school where you have to write in proper (Australian) English.

    Seeing this is my new home, I want to stick with the Australian English dictionary and give up my bad American ways. That way I won't confuse my future kids, or stuff up their homework on them!

    Thanks to everyone who left comments in support of me, I really appreciate it.


    Laura(Australian for my bitch)- I love you!! I can't wait to see you tomorrow and share with you my mac and cheese surprise.

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  23. Oh, I cross my sevens too-- and have no idea why or when I started doing that.

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  24. crossed 7s rock, why would you NOT use them? And as for s/z, aint you got a choice? Being a pedant is good, as long as you're not too pedantic about it...
    Yeah, and spelling, it's lazy not to correct, and I'm one of the laziest mo-fos I know. Me, I write how I feel and it's not to be reviewed nor to be a writer nor to make friends but just to get my shit down, so to speak...
    So I say big-up to Mindy, it does take guts to be asked to be ripped apart... I'd never fucking do it...

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  25. Ok, I'll give you a pass, I guess, on the Zs. Since it's forever and all, might as well adapt.

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Grow a pair.