Zero to Hero: Done and Done!

word.Day 30 of Zero to Hero is complete!  A lot of the program was “behind the scenes”; i.e., not actual blog posts, which I enjoyed.  It made me think a lot about how my blog and brand is presented, and helped me solidify what I want my blog to be.  I’ve got some great ideas in the works, which I’m very excited about.  But now on to the next blogging adventure:  April’s A to Z Challenge!  I’ll be blogging every day in April (except for Sundays), with each day corresponding to a letter of the alphabet.  I even have a theme, which shall be revealed on March 21.  Stay tuned!

Round Two: Another Post about Bras – Let’s Get Ready to Grumble!

Vintage Bras

Wow – we ladies certainly love our boobs, and have strong, loud and opinionated voices when it comes to protecting our options.  Whether it’s breast-feeding in public or the injustices brought about by ill-fitting and unflattering breast support, it seems that, when it comes to boobs, we’re ready to rumble.  Or grumble, more like.  In fact, the post I wrote about a month ago called “Bra Shopping:  Not as Titillating as I Had Hoped” was my most commented-upon post ever, since starting this blog back in 2005.  I received a lot of comments through Facebook, and was even offered custom assistance from a personal shopper who works in the lingerie department at Nordstrom’s.  Thank you so much for reading my rant and telling me how you feel regarding your own bra-shopping experiences!

Looks like I'm not the only one confused by bras.

Looks like I’m not the only one confused.

When it comes down to it, bras are pretty confusing.  Not the concept, of course – just give us something comfortable and pretty that can help stabilize our ta-tas.  Where this becomes troublesome is in the details.  For example:  Why the awkwardness – why is the clasp in the back?  Why so few sizes that are either pretty or sexy; do the physics of bra construction prevent the use of color, sparkles or texture?  And why the discomfort?  Why, oh for the love of god, WHY is METAL WIRE with STABBY ENDS a component of ANYTHING that comes near our boobs?  Where did we go wrong???

In addition to the problems I outlined in my previous post, a number of you wrote about issues that seem to be common when we go to the lingerie department.  Here are a few of your comments:

  • Linda wrote: “besides color and poor construction, why does almost every bra out there in larger sizes have padding in the cup???”  I know, right?  It seems like most “every day” bras now come standard with padding or are push-ups.  That’s not my idea of every-day comfort.
  • Amy echoed the above sentiment and added “I need a strap that doesn’t roll but hopefully doesn’t look like something out of a 1940s Sears catalog”, and I agree!
  • And Jessica also made a very good point about cost: “I take great issue with the fact that all the cute, frilly bras in the smaller sizes are always so much cheaper. I realize that it takes sturdier construction to hold up a larger chest, but come on. When they are three or four times the cost of all the other bras out there and still plain black, neutral or white that is just absurd. It is not that much extra fabric.”
  • But it’s not only the more curvy girls among us who have complaints; I heard quite a bit from the smaller ladies as well.  Susan wrote, “Try shopping for 36A, also known as the 36nipple. I do not want an underwire, I want comfort…is that too much to ask?”  Yes, yes it is, Susan.  Just. Too. Much.
  • And it’s not even just the women, the men have something to say too.  Ken passionately stated, “This injustice will not stand! I want everyone to have fun underthingies that fit. Seriously, why aren’t the manufacturers responding to the market that clearly needs a product? Do it for the boobies!”  Thank you, Ken, for your (ahem) support!

The fact is, we women like to think that every single one of us has broken the mold in some respect.  We like being individuals, unique, interesting, different from everyone else.  And when someone tells us that we have to force our boobs into something that is, well, molded to a few specific shapes and sizes, that rankles us to the core.  Truly, when I look back upon the history of the bra, I can’t say I’m excited for the future.  If they haven’t listened to us by now, when will they?

Gas Mask Bra

Well, I guess we’ve got priorities. At least it’s pretty!

New Roller Derby Rules Roundup: WTF???

Oh, duuuuude!  Just when I thought everything was getting squared away – I’m checking off my Minimum Skill Requirements (I leveled up from red to yellow!), got 24 laps in 5 minutes (on my way to 27 in 5!), and missed only ONE answer on my WFTDA written test (and that’s up for debate, really) – they had to do it.  Starting April 1, the new WFTDA rules go into effect.  Wait?!?  What new rules???  Well, unlike me, YOU’RE not going to worry about it too much, because I’ve been doing some homework for you.  I’ve scoured the Interwebs and found some resources for you to help answer all the necessary questions you’re sure to be asking yourselves right now  (e.g., 30-second penalties?  Flopping?  Single point of transfer for star passes?). So are you ready to put your learning panties on over your helmet?  Good!  Head on over to these sites to get all the details about the new rules:

But if you want to know what people are saying about the rules changes – whether they like them or not and how they are changing the game, check out these blogs:

Ahhhhh.  Now that my panic attack about the new rules is over, I hope that we can just all calm down a bit.  It’s not really that big a deal, right?  Cool.  I’m going to grab a white Russian and watch The Big Lebowski.  Again.  And while I’m at it, why don’t YOU leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the new rules?  Thanks!

Gallery post format: no photo glue or decorative scissors required!

The other day, as part of the Zero to Hero program, I published a post in a “new to me” format.  The new format was a gallery post, which arranges a bunch of pictures that you specify in a grid that is attractively laid out to highlight your photos.  Today’s post is a follow-up to that post, which (if you remember) was called Kitty Derps, starring my cats in their most candid moments.  Awwww!  So cute!  I really liked the gallery format, so much so that I used it on my new page, My Fuzzy Family, to feature my pets that are gone but not forgotten (in addition to the presently living ones, of course).

The reason that I chose to explore the gallery format is because I’ve always been drawn to layouts and organization in print media.  I used to be a cartoonist, and after that, I had my own ‘zine (the Goyal Talk Times).  I LOVED arranging panels and pages to make eye-pleasing visual arrangements featuring both text and illustrations.  More recently (oh, the last fifteen years or so), I ventured into scrapbooking, and then went all-digital the past several years.  I use Photoshop Elements to design my pages, then get a hard-bound book of my pages for each year printed through Shutterfly.  Everything is organized and arranged just so!  I go through phases of digital scrapbooking mania (it takes a lot of creative energy), but I’m always happy with the product.  Want to see a few of my favorite pages?  Well shucks…here you go, then!

03-30-06 Tattoo

05-25-06 Lizard Surveys Page 2

03-19-2011 Wedding - Page 2

02-05-2012 OR Cat Show - Page 2

12-22-2012 Loaded Brush

So there – you’ve learned another little nugget about my anal-retentive personality – graphics have to be done just so, and when things aren’t arranged perfectly, it really bugs me.  That’s why the gallery format post is so wonderful – you don’t have to line anything up yourself!  Just pick out your photos and they are all sized, spaced and placed just how you want them.  Just like magic!

And you don’t even have to lug around a big craft tote full of paper, templates, scissors, glue, stickers, glitter and all the other madness that scrapbooking entails (unless you’ve gone digital, of course)!

Related posts:

Kitty Derps

You might not believe this, but my cats are not always completely photogenic.  I’d say, that on average, it requires about 10 derpy photos to get one good photo of any one of my cats.  So here’s my gift to you: a gallery of my kitty derps.  Don’t tell Jesse, Sam, Momo, Oliver or Abbey, because 1) they will be very embarrassed; 2) they might exact revenge by posting a gallery of Marci derps (and there are many, I tell you); and 3) they might kill me in my sleep.  They have tried before; I am lucky to be here.

My Reputation…Dare I Say It? Yes, In Haiku Form.

Today’s post comes to you from The Daily Prompt, which asks:  “Do you have a reputation? What is it, and where did it come from? Is it accurate? What do you think about it?”  I have chosen to answer these questions in the form of haiku, accompanied by illustrative diagrams.  Enjoy!

Since I have five cats
And you have only one, I
state proudly, “I WIN!”

Litter in my bed,
My derby name reflects this:
“Gritty Cat”, crunch crunch.

Two plus three is five
And I was the one with two.
Spouse: Crazy Cat Guy.

I love to snuzzle
and pet my fuzzy fur bombs
Crap, they make me sneeze.

Clothes covered with hair,
White on black, black on white. But
I still want these pants.

“Achooo!  I love you!”
We don’t care, clean our poop box!
We command you, girl.

It’s 2 am; do
you really need food now? Yes,
we will starve to death.

Is this good? Does this suck? Answer: Irrelevant

A page from Lynda Barry's "What It Is".

A page from Lynda Barry’s “What It Is”.

I’m struggling with this post.  Ironically enough, I’m trying to write a post on writer’s block.  So, having writer’s block about writer’s block…kind of dumb, right?  Since starting this Zero to Hero blogging process (and thinking about the upcoming A to Z Challenge in April), I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity and what it takes to keep pushing through blocks.  It has been a long time since I’ve pushed myself creatively, and I’m afraid that it will wane at some point, as it always does.  Yesterday I found a blog called Year of Creative Habits, by Crystal Moody.  Every day, she posts pictures of drawings that she’s made in a small notebook while having breakfast.  On day 17/365, she included this quote by Lynda Barry:

The two questions [i.e., Is this good? Does this suck?] came from trying to write something good and not getting very far because I had forgotten that trying to write something good before I write anything at all is like refusing to give birth unless you know for sure it is going to be a very good baby.

What struck me about this is that being either good or sucking is not really a part of the creative process.  Yet somehow, we let these two questions drive our ability to create.  We either create, or we don’t.  We do, or we don’t.  For some of us, creating is something we need to do.  It’s the same as eating, sometimes even breathing.  But we don’t say to ourselves, am I good at eating?  What if I suck at eating?  And we certainly don’t let the answers to those questions (should we even ask them) stop us from eating.  We might not be hungry all the time, nor will we like everything we eat or like the way food makes us feel when we eat something naughty (oh, and I do love you, bacon egg and cheese McGriddle).  But at some point, we have to eat.

If I accept the fact that I have to eat, I can come to the conclusion that just by eating, I am a good eater.  And in the same way, just by creating something, I am a successful creator.  Whether it sucks or not is irrelevant.

Generally, it’s not the lack of ideas that get it my way, it’s that nasty little voice in the back of my head telling me that the ideas that I have suck, so I should just not waste my time by writing them down. And in that respect, my ideas are dismissed, shot down, disregarded as soon as they come so that it feels like I don’t have any ideas, or at least no good ones.  Please remind me to read this post next time I get writer’s block, m’kay?  Or better yet, do YOU have a way to overcome writer’s block?  Please share it with me in a comment!

Related post:  In the Presence of Greatness at Comic-Con

Zero to Hero Update a Zero to Hero update:

It’s a good thing I have self-control and don’t become obsessive about new interests.

Days 5 and 7: Done and Done!

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, not every day of the Zero to Hero challenge has a writing component to it.  The day before yesterday I played around with LOTS of different themes for this blog (Day 5), and today I experimented with various headers, backgrounds and fonts (Day 7).  If you like them, let me know!  If you hate them, please don’t tell me that in those words because I dislike like wearing my frowny face.  But you’re welcome to offer up some constructive criticism or ideas!  Oh – and an extra treat for you – I now have a few different headers randomly cycling through at the top of this blog, so stop back often and collect ’em all!  🙂