Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Diary: Cankle lipo? Are you freakin' KIDDING ME!

I know I suffer from the same basic insecurities as the next mom but the thought of getting any cosmetic procedures has never really been on the top of my priority list.

Yes, I got a boob reduction but I really did have back issues (although I was more than happy with having my boobs put back where they belong) and yes, I had lasik eye surgery but that was only after I had to get braces but that was due to having gone into the dentist with a full set of teeth only to leave TOOTHLESS because he saw that I had 2 baby teeth (it was my first trip to the dentist in 14 years, how could I know?)

Anyway, I'm talking more mainstream cosmetic treatments like permanent makeup or botox or lipo. Not my thing but that's my opinion (for now).

Anyhoo, I normally don't care if someone wants to get a treatment done. Who am I to judge? However when I got this press release I shook my head and wondered if I'd had one too many glasses of wine before reading this.
This press release is real - seriously.
Cosmetic Surgery Procedures, from Cankle Lipo to Pec Implants
Hi Tamara,

These days cosmetic surgery can be used to enhance almost any part of the body, I'd like to offer you top cosmetic surgeon to comment on the newest procedures their patients are requesting, leaving tummy tucks in the dust!
Toe Facelift: Patients are having toe fat removed in their big toe or adding fat to the balls of their feet to help them endure block after block in Jimmy Choo! Also surgical shortening of the second toe, prevents long second toes from hanging over the edge of an open-toe
Belly-button Modification: Ever wished you could turn your outtie into an innie? With unbilicoplasty, you can! Depending on how your umbilical cord was severed when you were born, you can have your ideal belly button in no time.

Cankle Lipo: If you've ever seen thick ankles that look like a continuation of calves, you know what a "cankle" is. Some women are genetically predisposed to have more leg and ankle fat, and fatty deposits in the ankles are among the most resistant to diet and exercise. Doctors can now use liposuction to sculpt a more shapely transition from calf to foot.

Pec Implants: Pectoral implants for men, while still a niche procedure, were up 203% between 2007 and 2008. When weightlifting and exercise don't produce results, some men compensate with boob jobs for boys.

If you'd like to set up an interview please let me know, I can set it up today!

Wow. Is this what women have been reduced to?
I'm surprised but not really. How pathetic is it that cosmetic surgeons have to constantly come up with new things for women to feel bad about?
Surgeon: "Wow, are you really happy with your fat feet? Honestly, how do you expect anyone to love you if your feet look like Cinderella's ugly, fat step-sister Anastasia and Drizella? Oh honey, Prince Charming will never find you with a glass slipper!"
You: "Well, gee, I never thought about it until now but I guess you're right!"
Me: "What a gawddamn jackass you are with your waxed eyebrows, ass implants and shiny face!! You can suck my fat toe!"
Or something like that.
The point is, I see so many women (myself included) who can't seem to love themselves at this moment. I'm not 21, nor would I ever want to be 21 again. Was I hot? I think so but at the time I felt fat, unattractive and plain. When I look back at those pictures I think, "DAMN! I was smokin' hot! Whatta sexy bitch!"
So maybe I'm not perfect now, but I am learning to accept that I do not have to wait to be society's ideal of what is "beautiful" because I'm pretty damn awesome the way I am right now.
Cankle lipo? Toe lifts? Belly-button modification? Pec implants?
What next? A real Stepford Wife clinic?
I only hope Lola, my 3-year-old daughter, is smarter than to get sucked in by all of this Top Model bullshit. But it will take change. And change starts with you and with me. I, for one, won't let the fashion/beauty/hair industry dictate to me how I should look and feel.
And neither should you. Be able to think for yourself and be strong enough not to get sucked into feeling like you're not good enough because someone else says so.
You're not that weak. And if you are, then toughen up buttercup because you're teaching a whole new generation of girls to be weak, too.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dear Diary: Where did our mags go?

I've gotten more than a few emails about the July Aug issue not being at the spots listed on our website. So, I called up our girl Christina and said, "Whaddup!?"

Or something like that.

She has distributed the majority of the magazines so if you go to a location and find none, it means they've all been picked up!!

Wow! Who knew we were so popular!

That's great news, though and I'm not complaining. Just pleased as puddin' that our readers are so loyal!

On that note...

Press time is looming for the next issue! Already!

Prepping for an issue is a LOT of work but thankfully I love what I do so I can do it without toooooo much complaining!

I'm excited about our next issue because it marks our SECOND ANNIVERSARY!!! Can you believe it! MOM has been around for 2 years! I feel pretty damn good about that, too!! :)

It's been a rocky road but I'm one helluva driver! Just ask Big Daddy... he's gonna blog about a certain "incident" on the go kart track. Don't believe him. He's just being a Big Baby! :D


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Dear diary, we need to talk

Imagine my surprise when Big Daddy came home and asked, "Would anyone be upset if they read your blog?"

My ears perked up and I said, "OMG! No! Why!?" knowing damn well that there would be one person who would be pissed. "Did your mother read my blahg!?!"

"What did you write about," he enquired, knowing full well it couldn't have been anything good.

"Uhm, nothing."

"Then why were you so concerned at first and now you're saying it's nothing."


OK, the thing is, I use everyday life as my muse for blogging whether it's parenting, marriage, family, friends, work... whatever.

Do I think anyone I write about will be offended? No. And I sure as shit didn't think Big Daddy's mother would care because a) what the hell would she be doing reading my blahg seeing as his 'rents don't seem to take any interest in what I do and, b) who knew she was that computer savvy, for the love of GAWD!

Let's clear some things up, shall we, dear diary?
The MIL and I have never gotten along, that's not a secret. In fact, there aren't many MIL/DIL relationships that are based on a foundation of love and friendship.
That doesn't excuse my blatant disregard for her feelings by referring to her as an "old bag."
She's not that bad, really. She did give birth to the greatest guy in the world so that counts for a lot. She's just set in her ways, isn't used to someone as obviously sarcastic, abrasive, tenacious, fierce and ferocious as I am. She's a strong woman in her own right. We don't have to get along or like each other. We just have to find a way to not let our personal feelings affect everyone around us.
So, she's royally pissed and I think even Big Daddy's Poppa is too. You see, they don't like the idea of me posting things to the public to see, especially if it's about them. I can understand that...
I'm quite empathetic, you know.
Big Daddy went through the posting and pointed out things he thought would have upset her. No point in rehashing it, and I'm not backtracking or regretting the post but our mini vacay to the Stettler Steam Train may be in jeapordy because she's that pissed. So is Big Daddy.
Fuck. I hate having to do the "apologizing" thing when I don't feel that I did anything wrong but for the sake of keeping the peace, I will make this pledge: no more MIL/FIL anecdotes.
Now, for my kids sake I won't cancel that trip and I hope that she can understand that I meant nothing by it, except to use my situation as a way to relate to other readers.
Anyway, I would hate to have my insensitivity ruin that trip tomorrow. On some level, I hope she just chalks it up to me being a bitch and shakes her head, thinking, "That damn Tamara! She's so annoying!! But, that's who she is."

Dear diary, spending time with the inlaws

Each year, Big Daddy and I take the kids and his parents somewhere for a few days to "get away" from it all. It's also our way of thanking the old folks for watching the kids whenever we need them too. They play a HUGE role in our kid's lives and, despite the fact that the MIL and I do not get along, I believe my kids need a solid relationship with their grandparents.

My grandparents were instrumental in my life, instilling values, etiquette (yes, I do have manners believe it or not!), and showing me a life outside of the innercity.

So, regardless of what relationship I do or do not have with the old bag, er, I mean Big Daddy's mom, I would never, ever deny my kids the joy of having grandparents who love them! She is a strong-willed Norwegian who is used to having her way, when she wants it, how she wants it and anyone who says otherwise better be prepared for a battle.

We've had more than a few.

Since we've had kids, things have gotten worse because she doesn't like my parenting style - I swear in front of my kids, I will discipline them no matter where we are or who's around to see it, I am very strict and don't put up with bullshit or disrespect.

Of course, she hates to see her "babies" get in trouble so when I say, "NO GAWDDAMN WAY can you have a cookie before supper!" she ignores me and puts a plate in front of him. I swear she does it just to piss me off.

I have told her multiple times, "You raise your kids, I'll raise mine. Oh, wait. That's right. You DID raise your kids. Now leave mine the hell alone!"

Yeh, dinners can be tense and it's cause for me to double up on the prozac that day if I want to make it through with out strangling the old bat, er, her.

Big Daddy's poppa is another story all together.

He has welcomed me into his family right from the beginning and didn't flinch when we told him we were getting married on A-Channel's The Big Breakfast, unlike a certain MIL who threatened not to go.


Anyhoo, Pops has been great. He gets me, probably even more than Big Daddy does. He sees that I'm not as terrible as I prefer people to think I am, and he laughs innapropriate sexual innuendos at the dinner table. I love him dearly and he is one of the few men in my life I trust.

No extended vaycay this year... for sanity's sake
This year, we're taking the inlaws on the Stettler Steam Train for a day trip. I'm looking forward to it for a couple of reasons:
a) there's no multiple-day, all-day visits
b) there's alcohol service on the train (woot!)
c) it sounds like a fun adventure that my kids will surely enjoy!
That's tomorrow.
On Sunday, we're taking the kids on a road trip to Drumheller for a few days. Oz has a fascination with dinosaurs and we only have a few days we can spare to get away so this is perfect.
I really prefer lots of long weekends during the summer anyway instead of one long trip in the middle of a busy tourist season. Lots of long weekends means every Friday off during the summer. It's my treat to myself - and my family - for putting up with me throughout the rest of the year.
Wish me luck tomorrow... we are all driving together to Stettler so.... I may just bring a flask or 6 with me for the ride! LOL kidding... I'll have my crackberry and will be posting Twitter updates from the trip.
Hope you enjoy these lazy days of summer!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear diary, I have issues. Many of them.

Oh holy hell, the shit almost hit the fan this morning!!

I woke up at 4 a.m. and went to make coffee when I COULDN'T FIND MY GAWDDAMN COFFEE GRINDER!!!!

Seriously. I almost had a panic attack!! I was this close from calling my housekeeper and screaming. "WHERE THE HELL DID YOU HIDE IT BITCH!!!?!??"

Thankfully, I spied with my little eye a coffee grinder sitting beside the coffee beans. Uhm, it was 4 a.m. people!! And it doesn't normally go there. It goes right beside my prozac in a little cupboard by my coffee cups.

So... yah... not only would I have lost the most important person in my house (I love Cindy, not only because she makes my house clean for one day every two weeks but she's really awesome!! Not a bitch at all... unless she hid it on me on purpose in which case ... oh hell, just IV the coffee into my system this morning!!)

Anyhoo, I met with Kim Berube yesterday to chat about all things magazines and share some ideas. She's looking for the elusive balance in her life that we all struggle to find. You should see this woman - polished, poised, great skin, 8 feet tall (well it seems that way seeing as I'm a mere 5'5), perfectly dressed and looks the part of what I think a publisher should look like.

Me, I showed up in sweats and a t-shirt, mainly because I was picking up magazines and on my way to do distribution, which is a little tedious if I'm wearing heels however I was wearing my heeled Crocs, so... does that count as fashionable?

I didn't think so, either.

I've been thinking about a LOT of things lately

Mostly the past (because it's tough to think of the future unless you're dreaming about it, and I've been thinking ... not dreaming). I digress, I know, bear (bare?) with me! It's 5 a.m. and I'm just starting cup #2!! In fact, hang on I gotta add some of my coffee sauce (International Cream, not Baileys. Sheesh! Even I have limits!!)

Where was I... right. oh GAWD that's good!! yum!

Sorry. The past. Right. So I may or may not have mentioned that I grew up in the inner city in Edmonton (by the Stadium/Coliseum area for those of you familiar with my hometown). I have four brothers who I never see, one because he lives in Vancouver, the other three because we have nothing in common. My mom is around somewhere, I don't know where and I really have no interest in knowing, harsh as that sounds it's my reality. Never knew my biological father, never cared to find him, either. There was a string of boyfriends that my mom had until she latched on to one for a major portion of my life. He was an abusive asshole who's obituary I look forward to reading.

Cold, I know. But that's my life.

About a month ago I had a Dr. appt. downtown, which is fairly close to the old 'hood, and when as I got closer to the Dr's office, I started to have an anxiety attack. I have no friggin CLUE where that came from! I'm usually a pretty tough chick, not fazed by much but my heart started beating faster and faster and I started having to consciously control my breathing.

I have a lot of bad memories of growing up. And lately, for some really strange reason, I've started to question a lot of things about myself. Mostly whether or not I deserve what I have.

Last night, Big Daddy and I were watching an old episode of Law & Order SVU and the bad guy at the end of the episode - who I personally think just had really bad issues that he hadn't dealt with - was left alone. With no one. No one who cared about him.

"Sometimes I think that could've been me if I hadn't met you," I told Big Daddy. Granted, I had had more than a few glasses of wine and have a tendancy to see myself in almost any movie/TV show I watch, usually in the lead role because, well, that's how I role! LOL

I always include my friends and put them in the supporting roles. OMG I just literally had an AHA moment!! I've done that because my friends have been the most important people in my life since I was a kid and I've always considered friends more important than family (with the exception of Big Daddy, Oz and Lola of course).

Bah! Digressing again. Sorry. I'll try to stay focused.

I was the loyal friend with the crappy family, Chris Chambers in Stand By Me. In Young Guns, I was loyal pal and super cool outlaw Billy the Kid. In Harold & Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay I was Kumar because he's pervy, funny and... uh... inappropriate! LMAO

My life after leaving home and before Big Daddy wasn't so bad. Recently, Lola found my diary from when I was 19. Thank GAWD she's only 3 and can't read because there's some pretty pathetic things in there. But I read it, parts of it, and was reminded of all of the things I did back then.

Nightclubs, one-night stands, stupid things you do when you're young. Never drugs, though, and I am proud to say I am the only member of my family who has never seen the inside of a jail cell! Woot! Woot! for me! :D

I went through all the highs and lows of being young

At 15 I moved out but still finished high school (finished, not graduated), lost my virginity at 17 to my first love, had an abortion on my 18th birthday, had my heart broken, my grandma (the only person I was truly close with and was a positive influence in my life) died when I was 19. I went to college in Calgary from 19-20, left there and came running right back to my comfort zone in Edmonton because I couldn't completely break ties with my mom at that point. Someone I loved dearly died a week after my 21st birthday. At 22, I got my dream job at a daily paper as a sports scribe in Kelowna.

Getting that job in Kelowna was a major turning point in my life because I needed to be away from everyone: my bar friends, my mom, Edmonton, my life there. I wasn't running away, I was chasing a dream. My dream was to be one of the first female sports writers who kicked ass!! That was 12 years ago, so the trend towards female sports scribes was not as huge as it is now. It was a big deal to me! I got that job a couple of weeks before I turned 23.

I loved my life there but I was always afraid I would be found out as a fraud. As someone who didn't deserve to be successful. And I kept going back to Edmonton.

When I met Big Daddy, I was more than ready to leave Kelowna. It was perfect - he lived in Edmonton and I wanted to move back. I gave up my career - not for him (as I blame him when I'm mad at him) but because I was afraid of success. I really wanted to go to a major daily, Vancouver, Edmonton, even Calgary, I didn't care as long as I eventually ended up on a sports show like TSN.

Sometimes on the way to a dream you get lost and find a better one

I found that saying about a month after I met Big Daddy. To me, it was a sign. A sign that I was on the right path and going where I was suppose to go.

We're coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary and it's the longest I've chosen to be with someone. Our kids are amazing and I love watching them because I see a miniature version of Big Daddy and me. Lola bosses Oz around, they argue, Lola stomps off, huffing and slams her bedroom door. Or they will laugh about the most ridiculous things and giggle hysterically. I am in awe of them!

There is a point to me laying all this shit bare (bear?)

I'm not embarrased about the things I did or what I did or how I did them. All of my experiences make me who I am today. There's nothing anything can say about me that I don't already know; I'm stubborn, tempermental, I take prozac, I drink too much wine, I swear too much, I think it's funny when someone trips or hits their thumb with a hammer (because I do it, too), I don't have time for catty bullshit, I can't stand people who don't have a backbone because I can't tolerate weak people. People either love me or hate me, there's really no in between. And I'm OK with that.

Lately, I just don't know who I am anymore. Am I as strong as I really think I am? Do I make a difference doing what I do? Am I wasting my time working so much and not spending enough time with my kids? Should I take more time to get my nails/hair done? Is that selfish of me?

When I look in the mirror I don't see the person I used to see
and that is depressing

I need to change something I just don't know where to start. Do you ever feel like "what's the point?" Why should I take that first step to change myself because tomorrow I'll still be fat/unhappy/wah wah friggin WAH!

I guess no one can make those changes except for me. It is time to reclaim my sense of self. To feel good about myself again. To stop doing all the things I do that I know are bad for me and start doing the things I used to do that I loved. To start smiling again!! To stop hiding from myself.

I guess I've reached that breaking point and it's do or die time. Not literally but you know what I mean.

Dear diary, this has been very therapeutic and
the tears I've shed while writing this have been cleansing for the soul.

Wow. It's 6 a.m. already. Guess I should make some coffee, jump in the shower and see where this new path takes me. Because I'm a kickass mamacita who has nothing and no one to FEAR!!

Thanks for listening!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Finding support in the last place I'd look

So the latest edition of MOM went to the printers yesterday (yay me!) and it's gonna be a gorgeous Saturday in Spruce Grove, Alberta. I'm gonna make me some coffee (big surprise there!) and watch the sunrise because it's 4:24 a.m.!

Who the hell in their right mind gets up at 2:47 a.m. on a Saturday!! A puppy owner, that's who!

Happy woke me up to go outside (which is a nice change of pace from the first couple of days he was here) but I have this terrible habit of not being able to fall asleep once I've been woken up.

Usually, I can read myself to sleep if I check out the news on my imposter berry (yes, I sleep with my BB, only because it has an alarm clock on it! *sheepish grin here* Ok, sometimes I do check FB or Twitter when I'm up at some ungodly hour :)

I digress.

I couldn't find any decent thing to read and my pal Perez hadn't updated his blog since I'd last checked it out, so off to Twitter I went.

I saw an update by Kim Berube, publisher of Real Woman on the Run in Lacombe, which is the polar opposite of MOM, and I decided to check out her blog.

Gotta tell you, I was captivated. Real Woman on the Run has never been my cup of tea. In fact, when Kim and I were at the AMPA conference in March, she nailed it on the head when she said, "People who like my magazine are usually offended by yours while people who like your magazine think mine is dry and boring."

Ah, it's funny 'cause it's true! Kim plays it safe and me, not so much but we both have our audiences and that works for us!

I digress again but bear (bare?) with me it's 4:32 a.m. and I haven't had coffee yet.

Anyhoo, I checked out her blog and came across a very recent post about her being frustrated about her business, not having any more cash to invest and honestly considering quitting (by the end of the post she had found a little more drive and I think *hope* she is sticking with it).

A history lesson here: Kim and I launched our mags at excatly the same time! We used the same printer but had no idea who the other woman was until I saw her magazine and contacted her for a meeting.

The point is, Kim verbalized what I have been feeling for almost a year. She's going through the same ups and downs as I am but I never would have guessed it because she seems so composed, polished and confident.

It's weird, really, because in my next Diary of a Mad Publisher, I write about being frustrated with the progress of the business (you'll have to wait until the issue hits the streets to read about it).

So, for the last 2 hours I have been reading most of Kim's blog entries. Fascinating.

For the longest time I have felt very alone in this business because I have no one who can relate to what I'm going through. It's not like owning a store or operating a MLM business, indepenantly publishing a magazine is frustrating because there isn't a tonne of people who can relate to the trials and tribulations of this particular type of entrepreneurship.

Wah, wah, wah, I know. I'm not complaining, actually, I'm kinda rejuvenated because I know there is another person out there who is feeling the same way about the same things I am!

So, it's 4:41 a.m. and my Woodwick candle is crackling and making me feel somewhat sleepy. But, I know myself and I know that once I go back to bed I will just toss and turn and think about all of the things I should be doing.

Instead, I think I will ... oh who the hell knows. I can't think. I haven't had coffee and I don't like making plans.

I do know that I'm taking princess Lola to the Farmer's Market today and then to Wabamun for the festivities out there... maybe I should try and get some sleep?