Thursday, May 24, 2012

Oh, hello.

Let's give this a try.

Anyone remember me?  It's Teri!  Teri Brown!  Ring a bell?

I don't blame you if your answer is no.  Looks like I took that last post a little bit too literally, huh?

It's not that I've been completely ignoring the internet--far from it--it's just that I've lost the will to blog.  Do you ever feel like that?  I sit down to write a post, and nothing really interesting comes out.  It happens.

So, here's what's been going on:

1.  Stuff I can't talk about.  Not yet, and maybe not ever.  Top-secret stuff.  I can tell you that (a) I am not pregnant and (b) it probably won't excite you all very much.  However, this top-secret stuff is consuming my life right now, so it's been hard to write about anything that doesn't involve the things which I'm not allowed to divulge.  Which is one reason I've been M.I.A.

2.  I've been sick.  I'm not dying or anything (at least not any quicker than anyone else), but six days ago, I came down with a mystery ailment that caused a chain reaction of other illnesses, so now I'm taking about 11 pills a day.  My mom joked that my warranty had run out, and that's exactly how I feel.

The whole thing began immediately following a hot fudge sundae from McDonald's.  My lips began to swell and tingle, then the next morning, I woke up with my left eye swollen shut.  Throughout the next few days, the swelling/rash spread down the side of my face and onto my ear lobe until I went in to the doctor on Monday to get a cortisone shot.  I thought that worked, until Tuesday afternoon, when the skin around my eye turned bright red.  It was fading yesterday, when I took these photos:


Not a victim of domestic violence.  Just McDonald's food.
So, now I'm on steroids and instead of a swollen eye, I've got swollen extremities from water retention.  My lips are still kind of big, but not so big that I look like a Real Housewife, so I'm cool with it.  The doctor's office called today and said that my blood work showed zero food allergies, but this is the same office that told me I don't have seasonal allergies either, and if I don't take a zyrtec and flonase every day, my nose turns into a faucet...so I took that news with a grain of salt.

Anyway, I'm feeling better now.  I guess I'll have to start going to the gym again now that I have no excuse to keep me home.  Which leads me to....

3.  I've gained SIX FREAKIN' POUNDS since re-joining the gym.  What the hell???  I wasn't trying to lose weight or anything, but I didn't want to gain either.  I don't get it!  I'm not lifting heavy weights.  I'm doing a ton of cardio.  It's a mystery.  I have a suspicion that the water in the fountains there is spiked with weight-gain supplements to keep people from canceling their contracts, but I have no proof.  I'm bringing in a full water bottle with from here out, just in case though.  Just sayin'.

4. I've been writing songs again.  Kids' songs!  The Kid has discovered my talent, so he's been asking me to write songs about specific things.  The other day, my dress was blowing up in the wind and he thought it was funny, so in order to explain that it was inappropriate, I made up a song for him called "Never Show Your Underpants To Strangers".  It has three verses, and I'm pretty sure it'd win a Grammy if they had an unrecorded/no backing music children's song category.  Do they?  I need to look into that.

Here's the first verse, for those of you who are curious:

Never show your underpants to strangers
That is something you should never do
You can show them your sweater
Or even your new hat
But your underwear is only meant for you

 5.  I've been writing other things too!  Just not blog posts, clearly.  Sorry 'bout that.  I began a screenplay based on the first year of my relationship with The Hubby.  I'm thinking of switching gears and turning it into a novel instead, or maybe doing both, but I haven't quite decided yet.  If you don't know how he and I met and you like romantic things, here's the blog post in which I told the story.


So, that's what's been going on with me.  I think I'm done with Search Term Thursdays, at least until Spartacus goes on hiatus or gets canceled.  It's way too hard to sift through all my Spartacus terms to get to the good ones.  

Now, I'll go look at all of your blogs to see what you've been up to.  If you've disappeared the way I did, then comment and let me know you're not dead.  Thanks for checking in!  :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Unplug and Look Up

Do you ever wish that the internet didn't exist?

Don't get me wrong, I use the information superhighway often and it's been hugely beneficial to me in a lot of ways, but I'm not sure that the good outweighs the bad sometimes.  Technology is getting out of hand.

Everyone is so plugged in that they miss what's going on in front of their faces.  Have you seen this ad?:



Why in the hell are these people on vacation???  They can read, watch movies, and play games at home!  They're in a tropical paradise and NOBODY IS EVEN LOOKING AT THE WATER. 

I saw a similar phone commercial recently where the company was highlighting the function of watching movies on the go.  A guy was playing some team sport (I think it was baseball), and when he went back to the bench, MID-GAME, he picked up his phone and started watching a movie while the rest of his team played in front of him.  What a douchebag.  I do not want to know this guy, much less be him. 

Mine was the last generation to grow up without the internet and cell phones, and I can't help but reminisce about the "good 'ol days". 

I'm re-watching the show Felicity from the beginning on Netflix (a piece of technology that I'm grateful for), and it illustrates what I'm talking about perfectly. 

The show started in 1998, when hardly anyone had cell phones and digital photography hadn't become commonplace yet.  Noel had a website (noelcrane.com) and everyone made fun of him for it, asking, "why do you need a web page?".  They left messages on answering machines for one another, or went out looking for their friends when they didn't know where they were. 

Last night, I was watching an episode where Sean bought a bunch of disposable camera vending machines as a get-rich-quick scheme.  The scene went like this:

Sean:  What's the most you guys would pay for a disposable camera?  Twenty bucks?
 
Ben:  What if you already have a camera?


Sean:  No no no, I'm going to put these vending machines in prime locations, like maternity ward waiting rooms.  Restaurants.


Ben:  Oooh, yeah, every time I go to a restaurant, that's what I really wish I had.  A camera.

Sean:  Yeah, well you guys are laughing right now, but soon you'll be working for me.  And then I'll fire you.

Isn't that hilarious?  It was a ridiculous notion to think that you'd want to pull out your camera in a restaurant!  There was a time when people didn't document every single day of their lives or take photos of every single meal they ingested--and that time was only 15 years ago! 

I'm not saying that I'm not guilty of living behind a lens--I'm probably worse than most--but wouldn't it be nice if we just unplugged and lived our lives for a while?

Part of the reason I've been absent from my blog lately is because I've been cutting back on social networking and technology in general.  It's been wonderful. 

I challenge you all to try it for a day or two:  Sign out of Facebook.  Turn off your phone.  Go somewhere without checking in.  Eat something without photographing it first.  Play a board game.  Lay in the grass and look at the clouds.  Go for a walk.  Live. 

Let's call it the:



If any of you decide to do this, please let me know how it turns out!  Feel free to steal my graphic and blog about it yourself.  Challenge others.  Spread the word (albeit ironically) about unplugging from technology, THROUGH technology.

Who'd have thought that turning off an electronic device could seem so radical, right?  If you're feeling anxious about unplugging, that's probably a good indication that you should do it.  For me, taking a step back was all I needed to see that I was going overboard.  

As with anything, moderation is key.  I don't expect people to chuck their iPhones into the ocean (seriously, don't do that--that would not be good for marine life), but maybe a few of them will start living their offline lives as actively as their online ones...or at least leave their tablets in the hotel room when they go to the beach.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Search Term Thursday--Dirty Edition


Depends on the woman, I guess.

I'd not suggest wearing hail.  As for the question, I'd say it's a combination of the two.
I'm just going to assume the first three are dirty.  The last one?  I have no words.

Are you aware that the flight attendants can provide you with *clean* ice?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Pregnancy Myth

Congratulations to Jessica Simpson on the birth of her baby girl!


Does anybody else think that the media treated Jessica unfairly in regards to her pregnancy weight gain?  I mean, the girl is 5'3".  Even if she hadn't been carrying the spawn of a football player, she still would have wound up looking like a Weeble--and what's wrong with that?


I think the problem is the media itself.


When I was pregnant, I gained at least as much as Jessica Simpson did--probably more, considering that I'm five and a half inches taller than she is and I spent the last 5 months on modified bed rest.  Here I am right before checking in to the hospital:


Very windy day, but I've got no excuse for my expression.



They look like they could pop...in three months.
The thing is, I don't think people really understand what a pregnant person looks like.  Movies and TV shows strap a little pillow to the front of a stick-thin actress and call her 8 months along.  Of course, I don't expect the actresses to gain weight for these roles (the horror!), but maybe they could pad them up in other areas as well.  News flash:  when you're pregnant, most women gain weight all over, not just in their midsections.


Oh, sure, there are some women who get pregnant and look like they're smuggling a basketball.  It happens.  Those women are very fortunate, but they are in the minority.


I remember when I was incubating The Kid and the movie Knocked Up came out.  I loved the movie, but left feeling really self-conscious and disappointed.  At the end, when she's supposed to be 9 months pregnant, she looked like me when I was about six months pregnant.  In fact, I remember reading that Katherine Heigl was actually asked to lose weight for that role.  WTF? 


As a service to men and women out there who want to know what a real-life woman looks like at various stages of pregnancy, here is a series of photos I took while I was pregnant, from 13 to 37 weeks:

Right-click and open in a new tab/window to zoom--this chart is pretty big

No, I wasn't pregnant with twins.  Just one 8 lb. baby boy and lots of water weight.  See how my face blew up?  That's what happens.  I'm not saying that I represent every woman, but I think my pregnancy was pretty average, as far as weight gain goes. 


I can't remember the last time I watched a movie or TV show with a pregnant woman in it who looked like she was actually carrying a baby.


Yeah, I get it, it's Hollywood and all--but it skews reality.  Now, when the general public sees someone like Jessica Simpson pregnant, everyone looks at her and thinks that something is wrong with her weight gain because they're not used to seeing real-life pregnant women.  That's messed up.


I guess I just wish that movies and TV would start showing more realistic representations of pregnancy so that maybe real-life pregnant women wouldn't be made to feel bad about their bodies.  Growing a baby is hard enough without adding body image issues into the mix.


Let the knocked up ladies eat their weird foods and stop telling them they're too fat.  Unless you want a kick in the head...or groin, depending on how high she can lift her leg.  And she'll do it, trust me.  I've been her.
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