Bringing art to the artless

This is a rather abbreviated post due to the constraints of time, but I do plan on following this up with a completely unrelated post on politics in the near future. I'm concerned about broaching this topic given its sensitivity, but as I'm never one to shy away from controversy, I'll do it anyway.

So aside from running out of petrol in rural Oxfordshire on the way home, our trip was a success. The Dude was able to wallow in bloody violence, P.'s highlight was peeing on the hotel bed twice, and I was introduced to works of art which were new to me. What more could you want?

The Dude and P. discussing the Victorian social commentary conveyed within Ford Maddox Ford's "Work". Or perhaps just saying "bababa" and "dadada" to each other, who really knows?

P. trying on button hats in the interactive gallery whilst blowing raspberries. This is one classy broad, just like her Mama.

I may take the first picture down soon, since I don't imagine The Dude would be thrilled about his photo being on my blog, however unclear the picture. I think it's all the talk of his wang that has put him off from actually appearing in photographic form here. Sissy.


I'm blowin' this joint

But only for the weekend. I don't know why I am doing this post, as let's face it, I'm not one of those people who posts every day or every other day. I only wish I had that much to say.

I'm going to Manchester with The Dude and wee P. until Sunday. Our couple of days away demonstrate perfectly that opposites do in fact attract. The reason is so The Dude can satisfy his bloodlust here, and I'm tagging along so I can go here, with the main pilgrimage being to this painting. The Manchester Art Gallery has quite a collection of early 19th century works (Blake, Constable, Turner), as well as what seems to be an admirable assortment of Pre-Raphaelite works so I'll be in heaven.

The Dude has actually lamented that he doesn't have tickets close to the cage, thus the possibility of being sprayed with errant blood or perhaps being hit with a wayward tooth pounded out of a fighter's mouth. I'm excited to see works which are considered *"twee" by most art critics and academics, and the man I'm married to wants to reenact a scene from 300. Let's just hope P. turns out to be like me, eh?

*I did a paper in college on the Pre-Raphaelites and my Art History prof, a Poussin scholar for fucks sake, had the nerve to tell me that he hated the poor Pre-Raphs and found them trite and the much-maligned "twee". Fuck Poussin and everyone who looks like Poussin.


This is a flat ass-free zone

Brothers, sisters, glory be! My mother was just here for a visit and there was no mention of my extraordinarily flat, nonexistent ass. I like blogging about my Mom. She's such an odd little woman that I just can't help turning her visits into blogable anecdotes.

I'm still trying to work out how my Mom managed to stay at our place for 10 days without mentioning the ass. I suspect she was just itching to tell me how my ass defies physics by rejecting any hint of roundness, but she held her tongue this time. She likes to emphasise that her own ass is pronounced, and usually connects that to her love of dance. Yeah...I don't know either. I like to dance in the privacy of my own home, and I don't think the flatness of my ass hinders me in any way.

There is a new theme to her visits which seem to have supplanted the ass fixation - weight gain. I had a baby nine months ago and I'm having a bit of difficulty losing my baby gut and excess boobage. Sorry. I go out on walks, try to eat healthy, but the Pipgut remains as do some other jiggly bits I'd like to banish. I plan on focusing on this issue shortly, but I have been otherwise engaged. You know, child-rearing and trying to keep my house from looking like a college student's bedroom.

My Mom is no waif. She's not a large woman either, but apparently we are now compatriots in fatness. Before I tell you the gems she came out with, I will add that I was not as thin as I wanted to be pre-pregnancy. Thanks to PCOS I gained about 30lbs in my early 20s and never managed to shed the weight. Point being, I haven't gone from being a stick insect to a bloated tick. More like a moderately full tick to bloated tick. With big tits.

Before my Mom's arrival she asked if I wanted her to bring me any clothes from the US. I stressed that no, I did not want any clothes at all. None. Will not wear them due to morbid obesity. I even told her that I only have a rotation of two different trousers and 4 tops because I refuse to go shopping in my current state. I find it depressing and would rather not be forced to ponder the weight I have neglected to lose in these 9 whole months.

What does she do? Oh, bring clothes of course. It was only one full outfit and a pair of trousers, but it was much more than I wanted. The pair of trousers were her castoffs, as her ass was apparently too big for them. Naturally the thought process was that ol' flat ass would slip into them with nary a cheek too wide. As it happens they fit lovely in the ass, but not so much in the stomach. Do you think it's necessary to fasten a pair of pants, or could I just go with the zipper half up? Hmm...so much to ponder.

A few days into her visit Mom dispensed some fashion advice for those hauling around remaining baby weight - wear a tunic! They're stylish! They're lightweight! You can't lose! Her actual words were, "Before you go back to work you should buy some of those tunics that are so in right now. It will cover up that stomach." That stomach. It's its own entity now, so giant is its size.

Offensive weight - related statement number two : "Pru, when I gained a whole lot of weight I didn't want to go shopping either. It was too depressing, so I know how you feel." Thanks Mom. I'm going to go haul my massive gut to the kitchen and eat some icing straight out of the can.

Third and final weight comment before I flipped the fuck out and told her to stop talking about my girth: "Do you know what's flattering for women carrying a bit of extra weight? Wrap tops and wrap dresses. They make you look much smaller than you are."

I know she could have said far more offensive things, but I don't like talking about my weight at all. Uh, except for here. I don't want to think about not fitting into my old clothes, or new clothes for that matter. I certainly don't want people to acknowledge that I have weight to lose. Though I know I do, it somehow seems all the more obvious if other people see fit to mention it.

I suppose there is just something about me which inspires others to make weight-related comments. When I worked at a very large US chain bookstore which rhymes with "hoarders", a colleague and I were talking about rules put forth by a tyrannical manager. In an attempt at solidarity she said, "Us big girls need to stick together." It is worth noting that I was about a size 8-10 and girlfriend had at least 50-60lbs on me. I was not happy with my weight at the time, but I wondered how I must have looked to other people if this woman saw me as being the same size as she was.

This incident always fresh in my mind, it didn't help when my brother-in-law was lamenting the size of his wife's breasts, looked at me and said, "No disrespect, but often women with big boobs are a bit fatter than women with small ones." Implication being, my wife = no boobs, but thin and gorgeous, you = boobalicious but a bit on the large side. We were at a posh Indian restaurant at the time and needless to say my appetite was suddenly suppressed.

The moral to this long, drawn out, oh-woe-is-me post is : if you see me out on the street, don't tell me what clothes would best suit me, or give me tips on how to disguise my Pipgut. At this point I would even welcome any comments about my flat ass.


Crazy no more

Thank you, thank you, for your very helpful comments on my anxiety post. Who knew we were such a crazy lot? I never thought I was alone in this, but I certainly had no idea so many of you have experienced anxiety and depression. Thank you for taking the time to tell me about it.

Though my doctor's appointment was over a week ago, I felt there needed to be some distance between it and this post. The treatment suggested was so profound, so groundbreaking, that I needed time to digest it. What is this newfangled way of dealing with anxiety? you all clamor to say. I am wary of telling you, lest you decide to pursue this pathway to happiness yourself and frankly I want this to be mine, all mine.

Ok, I'll tell you. You have all been there for me during my many periods of mental instability, so it's the least I can do. The cure to all of my ills - the late nights spent panicking over the deaths of me and my family, throwing up from worry, insomnia, Nyquil on tap, is...a book. More specifically, this book. This, my friends, is the anxious person's Holy Grail. The answers we have been looking for are right.here.

I went to the GP with the best of intentions. I was going to be honest, and try very hard to not turn into a crying heap of unbrushed hair and unkempt clothing. I was vastly unsuccessful, instead favouring the breakdown and crying-until-you-cannot-form-words route. I gushed about all of it, the overwhelming concerns over my own health, inability to eat and sleep, and the crippling pall which hangs over my life almost every day. Once I gathered myself I thought for sure the GP was thinking, "Bitch is crazy. Medicate! Medicate!" Alas, she was unfazed by my insanity and thought a little bit of book learnin' would not be remiss.

I nearly choked on the phlegm which seems permanently lodged in my throat when she told me that she does not like to prescribe medication, but prefers less mind-altering methods. You know, like reading a goddamn book. I really thought she was kidding at first. I was hoping. I was written a prescription. A "book" prescription. No, really. She has a prescription pad just like the real deal, but it is labeled as a book prescription. You take it to your friendly neighbourhood library, and they get your crazy ass said book. It's just that easy. Not to mention the ease with which I can read books, having an 8 month old and all. Ask my Innard Twin, I've had one of her books for near on two years. One of these days, one of these days...

I was furious when I got home, choosing to shut myself in the kitchen to scream, throw things, and cry. Poor P. was in the lounge on her playmat, rather unsure what to do. Once I managed to almost compose myself, I sat down next to her and apologised for being a fucking dweeby nutjob. Ok, I left the nasty eff word out of it, but I did tell her that Mama was very sorry for not being stronger for her. P. looked at me with her huge, blue doe eyes and gave me a gummy smile, which of course made me cry even more.

I emailed The Dude at work to tell him how the appointment went, perhaps going a bit overboard on exclamation points and fully-capitalised words. I told him the GP recommended reading a book, and I was pleased to see upon his return email that he was as appalled as I. Trouble is, the dumbass thought I meant any book. As if the GP listened patiently for 20 minutes, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "Have you tried reading a book? A work of fiction, or perhaps a Physics textbook? Whatever floats your boat."

It's been a week and a couple of days and I'm on page 12. I'm trying my very best to be...what is it called...umm...oh yeah, optimistic about the book. This, despite the flow charts on almost every page which are deep evaluations such as: Anxiety ---> Physical Reaction ---> Illness & Positive Thoughts ---> Coping Skills ---> Shiny Happy People.

Dear God help me.


One is the lonliest number

Unlike the US, the UK is not overzealous when it comes to embryo transfer during IVF. A simple two will do by law, with a third possible if you are over 40. I think this is ideal, as my personal opinion is that any more is excessive and potentially dangerous. Your odds of getting pregnant may increase, but at what cost? Knowing there are a lot of women who read this blog and have made different decisions on this matter I'm not going to go on about this. It's simply a lead-in to this story.

The gist is this - Given the rising number of births of multiples, the number of embryos transferred (not implanted BBC) may be limited to one for women under 40. One embryo. I'm wondering what the point would be to going through a heavily medicated cycle and the fun and games that is the transfer, for one measly embryo. I can't say I'd like my £5000 to be spent on the odds of one embryo implanting and hopefully making one of those healthy baby things. £5000 is a lot of money to spend on one little embryo.

The article states (and I have read in other sources as well) that your odds do not increase when more than one embryo is transferred. I struggle to count higher than 10 so I'm no statistician, how can this be? Thalia, I imagine you are able to give me a fabulously well-formed and cogent answer, IVF genius that you are.

I'm off to think about this little conundrum until my head explodes.