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The Fabulousness of Forty-something

I just turned two score and six years a few weeks back and lemme tell you, I’m not as upset as most Hollywood-types would have had me believe. In fact, I’m not bothered by it at all. Maybe it’s because I was already braced for it, but I think that bein’ closer to the Big Five-Oh is actually pretty freeing. Maybe it’s because turning thirty was surprisingly satisfying and making it to forty was so fabulous, that any new decade is something to look forward to.

But since I am the protagonist of my own Romantic Comedy called Life, I mostly think it’s because of the wonderful “In Praise of the Older Woman” trend brought to the forefront by the dynamic duo of Ryan Murphy and Jessica Lange. What? You got that right. Ryan Murphy adores Jessica Lange as much as I do. I know, hard to believe. And, fortunately he’s in a prime position, as the current King of the Screen, to do something about it. And, Hollywood is taking notice. Women like Ms. Lange (67), Kathy Bates (68), Angela Bassett (58), and Susan Sarandon (70) — all of whom are being celebrated and showcased in all of their incredible acumen and beauty by Mr. Murphy (who’s on the cusp of 51) — have cured any doubts about becoming a woman … of a certain age. These women are beautiful, powerful, and full of fabulous!

Hollywood’s Most Glamorous Power Couple

 

 

feud

Feud is due out in 2017

Further Reading on Feud

 

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Mr. Murphy, Ms. Bates, and Ms. Bassett at Paleyfest 2013

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Ms. Bates, Mr. Murphy, and Ms. Lange

Further Reading on AHS (may contain spoilers)

***Fierce Female Link: Fatness, Femininity and the Media We Deserve

 

“As I saw more beauty in others’ uniqueness, I began to appreciate my own.”

   ~Sarah Winifred Searle

 

I’m so pleased to have been recommended to this wonderful woman by my talented friend Kat. Check out Sarah Winifred Searle’s pithy comic titled Fatness, Femininity, and the Media We Deserve.

 

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“It did weird things to my subconscious to grow up fat…”

 

 

 

Autumn is Coming

Yay! It’s the Oneth of September and I’m happier than the average bear. September is the month that brings us the beautiful Autumnal Equinox which falls officially on September 22nd, my birthday.  Is it any wonder that I love Autumn? I was born for it.

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Autumn signifies order and routine as the kidlens head off to school. Autumn leaves blow in the cool breeze, bringing sighs of relief from the summer’s icky heat. Rain tap-tap-tapping on the window panes always encourages me to slow down and take the time to cuddle up with a favorite book. Autumn brings thunderstorms that wash away the Old. And best of all, Halloween is almost here.

What are your favorite things about Autumn?

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Today kicks off the Taboo Word Challenge created by Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog. Click the link for details and to participate!

taboo challenge

Lunchtime Olympics

Ever been whacked upside your head with a metal lunchbox? Are you old enough to remember when things used to be made out of metal? Well, back in my day, manufacturers really enjoyed making everything for kidlens outta metal. We started out with metal highchairs and metal toys, eventually graduating to metal playground equipment and, the best of all, metal lunch boxes. If you’ve never slid down a metal slide in the height of summer heat in Texas, you don’t know what you’re missing. Actually, if you did have the opportunity to, you were missing about three layers of skin. Good times! But, back to the boxes…

Metal lunchboxes came in a wonderful variety of differing themes, which also served as handy indicators of their owner’s ranking in the general student population. The fashionable kids had boxes adorned with Star Wars, Evel Knievel, Charlie’s Angels, or “The Fonz.” You could also be cool with one of the bionic boxes, like Steve Austin’s Six Million Dollar Man or Jaimie Sommer’s Bionic Woman. You may not be ostracized with an Adam-12 box, but you were definitely in the lower echelon of influence. But Heaven help you if you were seen with a Curious George or Holly Hobby box. That was just social suicide.

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Oh yeah, I was one of the cool kids.

 

What’s better than gettin’ a few hundred kids together, all hyped up on sugar  with a ratio of about 30 rambunctious kids to 1 beleaguered teacher, and sticking ’em all in a hot, sticky, stinky lunchroom? Then arming them with awesome metal lunch boxes. Oh, and metal utensils and sometimes even metal lunch trays, too.

At one of the elementary schools I attended, “Box Bashing” was a regular sport. Usually the boys started the game, but right around the time the Equal Rights Amendment was gaining traction, girls decided it would be a good idea to get in on the action, too. The only problem with the game was that you never knew you were a participant until you were slammed by someone’s decorated hardware. Of course, if you had a whelp with the outline of one of Charlie’s Angels on the side of your face, it meant you’d at least garnered the attention of one of the popular kids. So, there was that consolation.

Let the games begin!

 

Violence in Living Color

I’m not ashamed to admit that I love a good horror show, but only the ones that take place on the Silver Screen. Y’know, the kind that involves actors and Hollywood-types getting paid a lot of money to be drenched in heavy FX. The kind that goes well with popcorn and peanut M&Ms. The kind that you can fast-forward, turn off, or walk out of if it gets too intense. The horror show that is far removed from daily life.

Every day we are waking up to new violence and bloodshed in the news, both at home and abroad. When has fighting fire with fire ever worked outside the cinema? Violent retaliation does not open the doors to civil dialogue and positive change; instead, violence and murder only alienate those who are sympathetic to your cause and force them to recoil in horror. Please, stop the violence.

Tarantino

When the Spooky Isn’t

Eric’s post about paranormal encounters over’t MakeItUltra™ has inspired me to share my own thoughts about “strange happenings.” When I was very young I would sometimes see and hear things that the grown-ups around me didn’t seem to catch, and when I questioned them, I was routinely patted on the head and told that I had an [overly] active imagination.  Those dismissive attitudes encouraged me to seek answers on my own. Thus began my interest in the paranormal and the strange and inexplicable in general.

I was taught by sincere Pentecostal types that anything “otherworldly” was to absolutely be feared and avoided as being “of the Devil” but was confused when my own experiences didn’t fit that bill. What about the times when something inexplicable showed up that didn’t make my skin crawl at all? When “a presence” was comforting or empowering?

In the fourth grade I finally, sheepishly admitted to a beloved teacher that I’d seen “a white spirit” when I was alone at home. The look of horror on her face and her stern warning to ignore it and let it pass (make it go away, I think were her exact words) convinced me that even trusted adults thought me a liar … or worse yet, crazy.

In college, I stumbled across a book by Billy Graham entitled Angels: God’s Secret Agents and it opened a whole new world of wonderful, biblical, possible explanations for the experiences I’d had. Surely good God-fearin’ folk wouldn’t argue with Billy Graham! I knew and trusted that I had at least one guardian in the cosmos.

When my spice and I began our conversion to the Catholic Church, I began studying her take on the angels and saints, and more importantly to me, their intercession and guidance in our daily lives … and my mind was blown.

Angel of the Waters (Bethesda Fountain) in Central Park by Israel Guevara C.

Angel of the Waters in Central Park by Israel Guevara C.

 

 Have you had strange encounters? Please share iffin’ you’re of a mind to.

Feast on This Friday: Fears & Phobias

Coincidentally, I have a phobia of popup books

Coincidentally, I have a fear of pop-up books.

 

Fears. We all have ’em. Some of them are just practical nuisances but other can be completely life-altering. When I use the term “nuisances,” I mean not being able to fall asleep until your feet are properly tucked under the covers, far from the prying hands of the mucussy goblins that live under your bed. Having a fear of heights and being uncomfortable in a tall building is one thing. Having a serious case of acrophobia that keeps a person from accepting an important career opportunity is another.

My spice once pointed out that I have more phobias than anyone he knows, like on par with Woody Allen. I didn’t agree until I had to use my second hand to continue counting ’em.

To my knowledge, my first serious fear stems from the fact that I saw a particular movie by Steven Spielberg when I was only three years old. Yes, I’ve been aquaphobic since I was three. But it isn’t just water that makes my skin crawl, it’s certain types of agua and what might be in them. My aquatic phobias include thalassophobia which is fear of open waters like the ocean, bathophobia (“deep waters”), and hydroskourophobia, which includes “deep, dark waters,” and even limnophobia, a fear of lakes. In my case this also includes selachophobia (fear of evil creatures I won’t name) and megalophobia (which includes any big things you may see in the water, and especially things that can stare back at you).

Some of my phobias, like my selachophobia is very real. C’mon, people say, that isn’t a realistic fear; it’s not like you live in on the ocean. Trust me, my fear of not-so g-r-e-a-t [color] s-h-_-_-  … y’know, is pretty severe. Even just seein’ a picture of the evil, dead-eyed bastards scares the hell outta me, causes me to jump or scream (or cuss), sometimes throws my heart into arrhythmia, elevates my blood pressure, and makes my palms sweat, and my mouth dry. We’re talkin’ serious dread here. My family isn’t even allowed to say the word out loud. At the Home Clan Allen Builds, the creatures are surely demons that shall not be named. Some of my closest friends (including my spice, the jerk) take a perverse pleasure in trying to desensitize me of this particular fear. They especially enjoy posting pictures of the monsters on my Facebook page. Haha. For those who’re counting, that’s six phobias so far.

I also fear closed-in spaces (claustrophobia), being trapped (agoraphobia), heights (acrophobia), flying (aviophobia), clowns (coulrophobia), bridges (gephyrophobia), and dentists (dentophobia). That’s thirteen. Thirteen things that cause visceral responses from my nervous system whenever I confront them. Thank goodness I’m not triskaidekaphobic.

What makes your skin crawl, takes your breath away, or causes you serious anxiety? Please share in the comments below. Sometimes it’s nice to know that we’re not alone.