Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Marilyn Wann's FAT!SO?'s Hank's Gab Café is back

Good news, flabulous gabbers and friends.

Marilyn Wann has re-opened the discussion forum on her FAT!SO? website -- Hank's Gab Café; a different version of it was a very active online community back in the 90s and early 2000s. Visit, Login / Register (top right corner), give a name / e-mail / password, wait for the confirmation e-mail and answer it.  I completed my registration and introduced myself today.

"Welcome to the café!
Pull up a comfy chair and enjoy a frothy beverage.
This is a fat-positive place for people of all sizes and descriptions.
Weight-loss content is not allowed. Weight doesn't define health here. Health, and so-called healthy behaviors, don't define a person's worth here.
Bad behavior will be dealt with.
Please enjoy a fabulous time and have fun adding to the fabulousness!
- Marilyn Wann (aka Hank)"

Friday, February 27, 2015

May Leonard Nimoy’s memory be a blessing

I had this door poster on the wall above my bed in high school and college; I just learned it was first published in 1976, the year I was born.

Shabbat shalom, and may Leonard Nimoy’s memory be a blessing. Shekhina knows that he has lived long and prospered.

Of course I must remind you – now and forever – that he and I share a hometown in Boston (we don't call it The Hub Of The Universe for nothing). I saw he and William Shatner there when they appeared at the Hynes Convention Center when I was in high school in the early 90s. Much later, I worked for Mensch Housecleaning at The Boston Synagogue, where the handpainted donor plaque that included Nimoy’s parents’ still hung.

Perhaps my favorite thing about him was how he photographed fat women in his Full Body Project. And let's not forget to visit and appreciate a fat woman who photographs fat women and others -- Substantia Jones of Adipositivity (whose latest Facebook posts include some great Nimoy material).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Ash Wednesday Week

My plate at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Episcopal Church of the Ascension -- King cake, veggie and meat sausages, pancakes, applesauce; maple syrup. There were gluten free pancakes and other options, and I had one with my second helping and was impressed. 'Twas much like last year, which was our first, and 'tis a good thing.  We aren't in their Facebook photo album, but it's a good way to see much of what we did.

Ascension’s labyrinth was available in the Chapel from 10 to 6 on Ash Wednesday, and we visited in the last hour – and found we had the place to ourselves. But it was all ready for us, complete with signage, labyrinth info, baskets of athletic socks and pretty handkerchiefs, and a New Agey CD in the stereo. The lights were off and we left them so, since we had enough light from the last of the sunset through the hazy clouds, eventually joined by the outdoor lights. A very different experience than our previous, which was the Lenten retreat last March. And we reentered the outside world to find it in the midst of a snow squall (which left less than an inch).

Home for dinner and whatnot, then back to Ascension for the 7:30 Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes service (bulletin not on website yet), which was partly bilingual (we have a Spanish-speaking congregation) and had all acapella music (our Director is visiting his next position in another state). There was also a noon service, and Ashes To Go at the nearest MARC station from 4 to 6.

“Remember that you are dust*, and to dust* you shall return.” (*“Snow” if you are in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, which was my home until a year ago.)

‪#‎AshWednesday‬  ‪#‎ashtag‬  ‪#‎datash

Mark Alves is the "Godfather of the ‪#‎ashtag‬".  "Submit to a bit of Lenten discipline and let's see if we can repeat the #ashtag again this year."

And as to quote Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Przysucha (1765 - 1827; Itturei Torah, volume 1, page 145): “Every person should have in his/her two pockets pieces of paper with these written on them:
In one pocket: ‘For my sake was the world created’ (Mishnah, Sanhedrin 4:4).
In the other pocket: ‘I am dust and ashes’ (Genesis 18:27).
At certain times and places, you should pull out the appropriate piece of paper.
But know that most people make this mistake: They take out the wrong piece of paper at the wrong time!”

#‎Jewscopalian‬  ‪#‎ashabbat‬  ‪#‎ashalom‬ ‪ #‎LenTorah‬ ‪ #‎LenTalmud‬

Youth Sunday at Episcopal Church of the Ascension was canceled / postponed due to the weather, but we did get to observe Girl Scout Cookies Sunday when we went to our local Giant Food (now the same company as Stop & Shop back home); the Scouts were even wearing handmade sandwich boards, awww (maybe their take on Bling Your Booth?). We got Samoas, Tagalongs and Thin Mints -- Julia’s favorites. Still not made from real Girl Scouts, but tasty all the same.

And because we did next week’s music, I got to reflect on “Wash me, cleanse me, and I shall be brighter than the snow” in the more figurative light of ‪#‎BOSnow‬ and the more literal of the few inches we received last night, which were atop a few previous ones.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My “Good News: A Sermon On Fat Justice” will be published this Summer!

GOOD NEWS!!  My first official sermon about fat justice – conveniently entitled “Good News: A Sermon On Fat Justice” – has been accepted into the Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society’s special issue on Religion and Fat, to be published sometime this Summer!

Also, a reminder that my Julia has a book review in the current issue.  Much of it is paid access only, but she is and I will be allowed to send our pieces to anyone who requests them, and I hope to make a reprint happen as well.

So whether this makes you feel like celebrating or breaking out the torches and pitchforks, start planning your field trips to party and home improvement stores accordingly.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy DMVersary To Me

So as of tonight, I have been living here in the DC area for a year, after living in Boston for my first 37 ½.

Many thoughts and feelings, but it is wonderful to finally be living with my Julia – who has always lived here – and our dogter Ursula, as well as my mother-in-sin; we were long-distance for our first 4 ½ years.

Here is the snow globe I got during one of my two trips to the NYAC conference with BAGLY in the 90s; that was the only time I had been to the DMV before I met J. (National Youth Advocacy Coalition, 1993 – 2011; Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth, founded in 1980 and still going strong.)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

May Jeannette Bazinet's memory be a blessing

Jeannette and Denise at the Peabody Essex Museum's Hats exhibit in 2012; photo by Han.  As you can see, the fabulous did not skip a generation!

My honorary grandmother / great-aunt “Mrs. Baz” passed on today at 92; the mother / mother-in-law of family friends Denise and Han. I especially appreciated her because of the long-distance and other issues with my parents’ parents et al.

One of my favorite “little” things about her was that when she gave my brother and I money, she would make the bills into fans and tie them with ribbons. When she heard that as part of my 21st birthday celebration I was going to Foxwoods for the first time, she made up the nicest gift box of fanned bills and quarters for me to gamble with. And when she saw that I was in the receiving line at the funeral home when her husband had died, she had Denise bring her purse so that she could make me a dollar bill fan before I got to her! I’ve never cried in public, but I came oh so close that night!

May her memory be a blessing (as we say in Judaism).  Here is the obituary in the South Coast Times.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

May Chris Hannon's memory be a blessing

Here we are with Chris in December 2009 in Boston; Julia and I first met that July. (And this was the day after C's first date with his fiance!) As it turned out, this was the only time that C and J met, partly because J and I were long-distance until a year ago, so now I'm even happier that it happened.

I learned today that Chris Hannon, one of the very best friends and family members I’ve ever had, passed away last night, and that he had taken his own life. We met as high schoolers at BAGLY (Boston Alliance of GLBT Youth) in the early 90s; he was already an impressive leader. He was 37, a year younger than I.

Obituary and arrangements are here – visiting hours Thursday and funeral mass Friday, both in his native Dorchester; internment private; in lieu of flowers donations to MSPCA-Angell.

I hadn't interacted with Chris since I moved to DC a year ago, after a lifetime in Boston, though I had intended to every day and could and should have. I loved and missed him, thought about him every day and often saw him in my dreams. I am oh so much sorrier about my avoidance now.

Especially as I knew this had been and maybe was a risk -- he had always struggled with a depression that was particularly hard to treat, and it was complicated by other issues. But I had thought/hoped that he was finally at a treatment and life place where this wouldn’t happen, even if it could. He was engaged, they had dogs…and so on and so forth. And he was very high-functioning, if anything too much so, and was an extraordinary person. An amazing friend, sister, amateur therapist; thinker, reader, writer; compassionate, generous, smart. And so funny and so fast! Indeed, in many ways he reminded me of Robin Williams.

And yet he struggled with feeling not good enough, including for me, with not being a consistent enough friend, with how to witness my happiness, especially since Julia. And I did struggle with his struggle, and his coming and going, and with not wanting to bother him too much, especially when he was happy, not to mention busy. I hope he knew how I still felt. I believe he knows now, but that is somewhat cold comfort.

I can't afford to go Boston, as I am yet again searching for paid work. But I am making cards to send, and seeing how else I can be supportive. And I have good support myself.

But like many others have expressed here, what I want most of all is for Chris to return, how much more so never to have left. May his memory be a blessing, as we say in Judaism.