Transgender Day of Rememberance 2015

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day in which we can remember and honor the people who have lost their lives for expressing their gender identity. For being themselves in the face of others’ judgement. To read more about it, go here:


I’m about to go on about a conversation I had the other day but before I do I want to mention that while trans-feminine people receive the brunt of the violence and are receiving most of the focus today, we should not forget our trans-masculine and non-binary folk who also suffer discrimination and violence.


I had a conversation the other day with a friend, and I brought up the topic of how I think it would be cool if we could just start calling transwomen ‘women’ because transwomen are women who identify as women and deserve to be treated like women.

She mentioned an article someone had shared with her about how transwomen don’t know what it’s truly like to be a woman. They have not experienced periods or had to worry about walking home late at night.

I stopped her. I said most trans children know at an early age. I said I haven’t had my period in years. I said trans women probably have to worry about walking late at night more than I do.

We continued the conversation, but I felt like I didn’t have the words then to really express my feelings on the subject. I am so much more eloquent in text, and have had days to think it all out. That said, a trans woman already said it so much better than I ever could, so I encourage you to read her piece: Still Think Trans Women Have Male Privilege? These 7 Points Prove They Don’t

I also got to read this beautiful piece this morning, published of all places on the Health at Every Size blog. The article, entitled the HAES® files. WARNING: This Post is High in Trans Fat (May Contain Nuts),  shares one woman’s tale as she navigated growing up in her male body.


Please take the time to honor those lost, today. This is not a “holiday for trans people.” This is a day of awareness for ALL people.

Daily Review Challenge, Days 11-19: TV, Podcasts, Music and More

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review…” I haven’t really stayed on topic, but I have accepted this challenge.

Schmebs, I’ve really fallen behind. I intended to do this every day. Then I thought it was acceptable to do it FOR every day. Now I have over a weeks worth of reviews to write! The good news – I HAVE SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT!

Below the cut you will find reviews of the following: (TV) Gravity Falls, (TV) Steven Universe, (Podcasts) Monster Factory, (Music) Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space, (Misc) Chillin’ with a room full of ladies, (Podcasts) The Try Guys, (TV) America’s Next Top Model, (Music) Foster the People – Torches, and (Podcasts) Jordan Jesse Go!

Continue reading “Daily Review Challenge, Days 11-19: TV, Podcasts, Music and More”

More Thoughts on Healthcare

I heard about this article from entitled, These Women Were Fat-Shamed By Their Doctors—And It Almost Cost Them Their Lives, because The Militant Baker shared it on Facebook. Go ahead, give it a read. I’ll wait.

Welcome back.

Today I want to tell you that medical fat-shaming is a very real thing that happens to a lot of people every day. I know it for a fact, I’m one of those people. I’ve been “prescribed” weight loss for everything from asthma to hip pain to cramps to depression. In fact, it has been prescribed to me at every appointment I’ve had with every Primary Care Provider (PCP) I’ve had in the last twenty or so years (yes, they started young). Its the prescription I get JUST FOR SHOWING UP!

For a long time I bought in. I’ve done the diets and the exercise. I’ve had my own personal trainer and worked out 7 days a week. I’ve counted every calorie, and what type of calorie, and journaled it obsessively. I’ve lost 40 or more pounds, TWICE. I’ve lost 20 pound chunks A LOT of times. None of this has had much bearing on my actual lab results, yet even at 40 lbs lighter I get prescribed MORE weight loss. Sometimes I feel like my doctors won’t be satisfied until I disappear completely.

On the other side of that, it’s worth noting that I haven’t needed an inhaler since I quit smoking. My hip pain was lessened with treatment for RA. My cramps went away when I changed birth control. And my depression has improved since my therapist recommended Linda Bacon’s book, Health at Every Size, and I started to process all of the shame in my life. The shame does more damage than fat ever has.

I think the hardest part for me to digest (pun intended) is that a lot of the bias isn’t really based on fact so much as doctors hearing the same bullshit everyone else does and buying in. Okay, the hardest part for me to digest is that doctors are, in fact, fallible, and that I hadn’t realized this until I was 32. But being conscious of this bias allowed me to notice exactly how often I receive the “weight loss prescription,” which is to say: every appointment with my PCP and in backhanded notes in specialists’ summaries. I’ve also come to realize how dismissive it is. Making obesity the first diagnosis is lazy. It’s being bad at their job. So I don’t put up with it anymore.

I have health insurance. I have some knowledge under my belt. And I have just enough courage to advocate for myself. People (specifically WOMEN) have laid the groundwork for me so I may enter a health clinic with confidence and demand I be treated fairly. And I can happily report that I haven’t been met with much resistance*. However, I am lucky. Not everyone has these advantages, and it is with this in mind that I think it’s important to talk about. For everyone. Of any weight. Of any race. Of every gender. Learning the FACTS, having the conversations, and erasing the stigma is important. Do it for the fucking children.

*This is also irritating. Like – what, you were only going to treat me if I asked specifically to be treated like a thinner patient? Great.

Daily Review Challenge, Days 9 & 10: (Podcasts) Things I Bought at Sheetz, (Food) Korean Twist

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review…” I haven’t really stayed on topic, but I have accepted this challenge.

Day 9: Things I Bought at Sheetz

I made myself wait to do this review, because I didn’t want to inundate everyone right off the bat with my love for the McElroy Brothers, who you may remember from #DailyReviewChallenge2015 Day 2: My Brother My Brother and Me.

Today I bring to you Things I Bought at Sheets from eldest McElroy brother Justin, and his friend Dwight Slappe. Yes, its another food review show, but it’s not like one you’ve ever seen before. The premise is simple – Justin eats a food and Dwight guesses if he likes it or not. It’s that simple, quick and over and done. Except not really. I recommend starting from the beginning, and bingeing the whole thing, which will take less than two hours. You won’t even get sick of the closing credits song, because it’s different almost every time!

Day 10: Bulgogi Burritos from Korean Twist

That’s not my thumb, I stole this photo from Yelp

I have often said if I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would be breakfast burritos, because… well… have you had a breakfast burrito? They are basically the perfect food. But their perfection is in their variety – they can be small like the sausage burrito from Elephant’s Deli, grilled to perfection like the one at Meat Cheese Bread, or just bonkers ridiculous like the entire menu at Sams No. 3 (I would go back to Denver JUST FOR THESE BURRITOS). But that’s the thing, breakfast burritos can be many things. No two are alike.

However, I’m not here to wax poetic on breakfast burritos. No, if I had to settle on one flavor for the rest of my life, it would be the Bulgogi Burrito at Korean Twist. These are not just your basic burrito. They contain: delicious, marinated bulgogi beef; fried rice with corn, edamame, peas and carrots; a mix of greens and cabbage; fresh cilantro; and a spicy orange “bbq” sauce that WILL stain your clothes. Then they wrap all that up in a tortilla, and you’re on your way TO FLAVOR TOWN!

I don’t remember the first time I had one of these. But I do remember after the first one, I think I had one for lunch every day that week. And probably the following week. When I quit my job up the block, it was my final meal. And I still make special trips downtown to eat one of these (double whammy, this trip usually also involves picking up my comic subscriptions!)

Another delightful perk of this cart is it has a covered seating area, so it’s worth the jaunt, even in the middle of winter. Which is great because the burrito is the perfect feel-good, rainy day food.

I am so hungry…

Daily Review Challenge, Days 6-8: (Music) Head Bent Over, (Podcasts) Brian and Lindsay Will Totally Eat That, and (TV) Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review…” I haven’t really stayed on topic, but I have accepted this challenge.

You guys, I got sick. Like lungs full of fluid, sleep sitting up, running a fever sick. I’m feeling a LOT better now, but the road to getting there involved a lot of tea, naps, and staring at a screen. Being sick now is so much better than being sick as a kid. No longer is one stuck watching Monkee’s re-runs and Jerry Springer. Nope, now I get to chose my own entertainment. Gotta love the internet.

Day 6: (Music) Head Bent Over

The first way I entertained myself was by listening to Head Bent Over from Rick and Morty (Season 2, Ep 5. Get Schwifty), like fifty times. The episode is pretty awesomely weird. I don’t want to spoil too much, but some aliens that are basically giant heads invade our atmosphere and threaten our planet unless we perform the awesomest pop song in the universe. And by design, this song is really catchy. It’s been on heavy rotation in the Fart Castle, as has the song from which the episode gets it’s title. I recommend Moonmen, as well, which isn’t from the same episode, but it also catchy, funny, and performed by Jemaine from Flight of the Concords. So like, why miss out?

Day 7: Brian and Lindsay Will Totally Eat That

Brian and Lindsay Will Totally Eat That is kinda the best. Each episode is around four and a half minutes long and follows a pretty simple format. They get tossed a piece of food, they describe it and their first impressions, one asks the other if they’re going to eat that, and then they do. Then they each review the item in three categories: eatability/repeatability, flavor factor, and fun factor. Sometimes they get to eat super delicious things. Sometimes they eat jellied eel. I think it all depends on how Jesse Thorn was feeling that day. But the most delightful parts of this show are Brian and Lindsay, themselves. Their enthusiasm is pretty infectious, and they give everything a fair shot and honest review. Also, the theme song.

Day 8: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

When First Day of Camp came out I got really excited. But I started it on my own, having not seen the movie in a while, and it just didn’t really hit the mark for me. That is, until I found out Emil had never seen the movie it was based on. So we watched it and my interest was renewed. And it turns out refreshing my memory made the show SO MUCH better.

First of all, if you don’t know, it’s a prequel to a movie that came out fourteen years ago, staring pretty much the entire original cast. I expected aging to play a hilarious part, and on a few occasions it did, but for the most part the cast looks exactly the same.

The cast is made up of comedy royalty. Due to the amount of characters that are followed, the episodic format works really well. This allows more time to explore each character than we would have gotten from a movie, and each character is worth exploring. Hilarity ensues as each back story gets revealed. Every trope is hit and every stereotype is perfected. Both the writing and the acting are incredibly over the top, but it works really well as it builds its canon. It is a show made for bingeing – Netflix knows what they’re doing.

Daily Review Challenge, Day 5: (Misc) Headaches

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review…” I haven’t really stayed on topic, but, I have accepted this challenge.

There are two types of headaches I get: Migraines and tension headaches. While I don’t recommend either to anyone, I have found a predictability to each episode.

Migraines, for me, usually happen in tandem with hormonal changes, and come in clusters. They always catch me by surprise, which makes sense since they hit me like a brick. First it seems like the lights get turned up to 100. I will feel the ache over my right eye, which might also begin to twitch. A wave of nausea will splash over me. Then I essentially live out the Key & Peele video above until I can get an Imitrex in my face and an eye mask on. If I can, I will sleep until it doesn’t bother me to see light. And if I can’t sleep, this time is actually pretty conducive to podcast listening, but sleeping through the ache is definitely the better option.

Tension headaches, like the one I have today, are a whole other beast. If I’m going to get one I’m likely to wake up with it, from clenching my jaw and neck all night. It will reach from my eyebrows, over my skull, and down the back of my head and behind my ears, finally stopping at the neck. Sometimes a shower and a cup of coffee are all I need to fight it off. Sometimes a scalp massage and some Tiger Balm will do the trick. And sometimes I need all of the above plus muscle relaxers to fight it off. They will last anywhere from 20 minutes to… six hours and counting, apparently.

All in all, I give headaches a 0/10 – Do Not Recommend. You heard it here first, folks.

Daily Review Challenge, Day 4: (Misc) Writing Reviews

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review for/rate/share one piece of media you’ve enjoyed. Book, game, comic, etc.” I have accepted this challenge.

Dudes. It’s day four and I’m writing a review on writing reviews. I didn’t think it would be an easy challenge. But it’s still harder than I thought.

The thing is, I compiled a whole list of things to review, but none of them were singing to me today. Nothing seemed right until I decided to write about the process. Why? Because that how I get my way through writers block.

All in all it’s fun and it has me thinking a lot about my favorite things. I’ve also been on a big decluttering kick lately, and this practice really goes hand in hand with that. Plus it’s excellent writing practice! I do feel like I err to the side of writing about things I love, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want! >_<

Daily Review Challenge, Day 3: (Clothes) Mermaid Leggings by Chubby Cartwheels

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review for/rate/share one piece of media you’ve enjoyed. Book, game, comic, etc.” I have accepted this challenge.

Halloween 2015. I am a chimera a.k.a a babe of mythic proportions.

I can’t for sure remember the time line, but I’m pretty sure I stalked these leggings for years. You see, they are made by independent designer, Chubby Cartwheels, and feature one of the coolest prints I’ve ever seen in leg wear.

However, about the same time I discovered that they existed, I also discovered that they were sold out in green, the ultimate mermaid-y color (though the sadness lead me to pick up some adorable mermaidy booty-shorts by Allihalla at Fat Fancy one day).

Then the announcement came: Chubby Cartwheels mermaid leggings were back in stock! I purchased them instantly so I would never miss them again.

First of all, they fit really well, and run true to size. Sometimes leggings tend to rise a little lower than I care for, and wind up rolling under my belly or fail to cover my but crack. But these are perfect. They don’t fall down, they don’t rise up. No unintentionally exposed belly and no wedgies!

Secondly, the fabric is lustrous, and as such I want them on me ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve also found them to be pretty washable, so long as I turn them inside out and hang them to dry.

Thirdly, they get all kinds of compliments, and I love them so much I based my whole Halloween costume around them this year (see above).

But my favorite part about these leggings is that they are made by hand, locally, by another rad fatty. Shawna Farmer is amazing, and I fantasize regularly about interning for her, just so I may bask in her talent. For real, check out her blog and shop her store.

Daily Review Challenge, Day 2: (Podcasts) My Brother My Brother and Me

My friend, the awesome Tristan Tarwater of Back That Elf Up, has suggested an alternative to NaNoWriMo for those of us that don’t participate. Her recommendation is, “Every day this month, write a review for/rate/share one piece of media you’ve enjoyed. Book, game, comic, etc.” I have accepted this challenge.

I have a whole list of things I plan to review, ranging from books, movies, blogs and clothes. I even have one idea in the chamber for my favorite thing in the whole world, which will be a surprise for later. Today I will write about my favorite podcast in the world, My Brother My Brother and Me, from the Maximum Fun network.

The first thing you’ll notice listening to this show is that it is an advice show for the ‘modren’ era, and that it is not for babies, unless those babies are cool babies. However, I usually describe it thusly, “three brothers receive the most ridiculous questions that fans could find on Yahoo! Answers, and they answer these questions to the worst of their ability.”

This is kind of true. It’s true in the sense that they would tell you that they give the worst advice and it should never be followed. However, I have learned a practical thing or two from MBMBAM over the course of the 275 episodes currently out. I have learned that the easiest way to keep the cat from scratching at the door thereby keeping me awake all night, is to put a baby gate in front of the door (tested and approved). I’ve also learned… well, that might be it.

The podcast is so riddled with ongoing inside jokes, that I kind of feel like I can’t write about it properly. What I suggest is picking a starting place a few episodes back (perhaps a Bro’s Better, Bro’s Best episode) and giving yourself a few episodes to acclimate. Before you know it you’ll be up on the goofs, themes and songs that permeate each episode. You might even begin shopping the Money Zone, which has revolutionized the way I sleep, shave my armpits, wear underpants, and shop for… toys.

I have enjoyed this podcast for many years now – it used to be part of my commute and work day. However, this changed after I exposed my partner to it. It then became a program to save until we could listen to it together. Now every Monday evening we head to to see if the new episode is loaded up. We read through the description together, and get the show downloading. Then we roll out the yoga mats, stretch, and diffuse the knots in our backs by laying on tennis balls. And we laugh our asses off along to the show. It’s a part of our self care routine, and a cherished part of our relationship.

And if that’s not enough, listening to MBMBAM automatically gives you friends. I’m not sure what it is about this show, but it brings people together. If you want proof, just check out the MBMBAM Appreciation page on Facebook.  Or go see them live, if you can. Holy crap, what a great experience!!

In any case, no matter how you enjoy it or who you enjoy it with, I encourage you to give it a shot. If you don’t laugh, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

November Links

Happy November, everyone!

For the uninitiated, this is my monthly roundup of links from my Gunter and Bean Facebook Page, (and sometimes my personal page) which I use to share the news, links and articles that captivate me. The benefit of checking here is that I’ll have them sorted by topic. The downside is that you miss my commentary. Or maybe that’s a benefit too, I’m not sure.

I hope you enjoy! I look forward to hearing your comments, questions, and suggestions for other things to read!



Continue reading “November Links”