Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween from Dorkabetic!

This is just a friendly holiday reminder to count those carbs!  Also, be sensible.  My middle school years led to me sneaking candy for a month or so after Halloween.  (Sorry, Mom.  I guess I was secretive in my rebellion.) 

Our very good friend Shelaine has a 4-year-old son, and this year he is dressing up as Teen Wolf.  Yep, Michael J. Fox Teen Wolf.  How he came up with this, I am not exactly sure, because I don't think he's seen any of the movies.  All this got me thinking of Halloween costumes from my past, and a friend of mine was posting photos of vintage vinyl costumes on Facebook all day today.  I remembered my personal favorite (and probably last) vinyl Halloween costume.  She-Ra, Princess of Power

You don't see vinyl Halloween costumes anymore.  You never really looked all that cool while wearing one, at least not here on the East Coast, because it would be pulled over a couple of layers of clothing, and you'd get all sweaty behind that plastic mask.  For the record, though, that cape was in my dress-up rotation for a while.

Anyway, She-Ra was way cooler than most princesses, more badass than Disney offerings, and had a lot more in common with Xena, Warrior Princess and Wonder Woman.  Fighting crazy baddies with a sword, being the leader of a rebel alliance AND finding love?  Seriously, that's a princess.  (Bonus DOC points: she rides on a winged unicorn!)

This costume was pre-diabetes...Halloween with the big D came about 3 years later.  In my mind, I am still leading rebellions, waving a sword around, and saving the day.  Oh, and I totally want this:

For the honor of f**king Greyskull,  I think YOU may have the power until I own this shirt.

 Happy Halloween, everybody!  What's your favorite costume from your past?

Han-Nah, Princess of Pumping

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Visit to the Occupation

Regardless of what you may or may not think about the Occupy Wall Street movement and all of its branch-off movements, despite the fact that it's not exactly a perfect system, I still think it's pretty remarkable. It's a movement that is difficult for the media to track, tricky for many Americans to even understand.  Hell, I will be completely honest with you in that I don't understand everything about it yet, but I do think it's pretty great.  I went to see Occupy Philadelphia for myself this weekend.  I ended up joining a march and getting an unexpected surprise. 

City Hall, Philadelphia PA (photo by me, Oct. 2011)
On their Facebook page, Occupy Philadelphia was asking for various donations, and one in particular caught my eye: Glucometer and strips.  Knowing that people were planning on living outside of City Hall in Philly for weeks, knowing that there were medical tents treating not only protesters but the homeless in the area, I felt like I could help out.  I have a bunch of extra meters in my closet, as many of us do these days, and I just happened to have some extra unexpired test strips for that meter.  I bagged everything up in a freezer bag, tucked it into my purse, and set off for the city.

I paid almost an arm and a leg for parking and set off for the west side of City Hall.  This is where the tents are.  Most of the protesters had already cleared out by the time I was approaching, off on part one of a two-part march on Saturday that was to end at the anti-war rally being held on Independence Mall.  They had probably started marching while I was scrambling for a place to park.  The Philadelphia police tend to block intersections to let the protesters march in the streets.  It's better than the alternative, which is police brutality and Occupiers forgetting they are there to protest peacefully.  I think Philly's demonstrations have been very successful in avoiding confrontations. 

I could hear hand drums in the distance.  I looked down JFK Boulevard, and coming up the street, stretched across all 4 lanes, was the group.  I watched as they came closer, then figured, what the heck.  I've never marched in a demonstration before.  I took off, jogging across 15th Street and down JFK, and I'm a terrible jogger.  I was winded as I approached the oncoming crowd, but I jumped right in.

"WE.  ARE.  THE 99%!  (And so are you!)" we chanted all the way down and around City Hall again.  As a cop car came to block the intersection for the next leg of the march, I ducked out.  I do support what the Occupy movement is doing and the way it attempts to bring people together.  I marched next to a man who was only a few years younger than my dad would have been this year.  I passed a bunch of women who appeared to be in their mid-70s with a banner that read Grannies for Peace

I grabbed my donation from my purse and headed off to the medical tent.  There was a volunteer working the table, which was relatively organized for having little formal storage space.  There were multiple bottles of hand sanitizer, a shelf with bandages, a few OTC pill bottles, bandages, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, etc.

"Excuse me," I said to the volunteer, who greeted me cheerfully back.  "I saw on your Facebook page that you were looking for donations of glucometers?  Because I've brought this one for you.  And there are some strips and lancets too."

"Oh, um, okay thanks," said the volunteer, who was probably younger than me.  The doctor (who was actually a med student and not an official doctor quite yet) finished talking to his previous visitor and noticed the volunteer putting things away.  "Check it out, Brad!" the volunteer smiled.  "We got ourselves a glucometer!"

Dr. Brad froze in his tracks and looked relieved.  "Oh my God, that's great!  From who?" he asked.

I grinned and waved.  "From me!" I said.

He took a few more steps toward me.  He had an equally silly grin on his face.  "Would it be okay if I gave you a hug?"

"I love hugs!"  And with that, I got a big squeeze from Dr. Brad.  I apologized that I didn't have more that I could have brought for him.  He reassured me that just having that glucometer helped, as they had none before, and they have a lot of diabetics around.  Between the number of protesters, the uninsured and the homeless who take shelter around City Hall, that came as no surprise to me.

It did my heart good to know that so many people of varying ages and backgrounds are trying to bring about positive change.  It felt great knowing I could directly help some PWDs in need.   And hugs from cute med student doctors who are close to my own age?  Well, it's not every day a doctor thanks you for anything.

Also, in the laughs department, I say my fellow PWDs should occupy!  99% of your beta cells have nothing while there's a mysterious 1% that drops your blood glucose for no good reason.  Occupy your pancreas!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Coming Out a Day Late

I posted this to Facebook yesterday, but it is clearly worth repeating here:
Happy National Coming Out Day! Regardless of who you love, how you love, and how you choose to identify yourself, just remember to be yourself always. We here at Dorkabetic proudly support the LGBTQ community. If you don't like that, well, I'm sorry. I am who I am, and you are who you are, and it's all love to me.
Honestly, folks, I don't spend a ton of time talking about my personal politics and beliefs here.  It's mostly just snippets.  There are some things I probably will never discuss in depth here, but I am going to take this moment and come out to all of you.  I am sure many of you are not surprised at all.
I am a fag hag.  For these two fellows.  
L to R: David, Sam, some guy with beads who I don't know, Jess who is also way cool.  Photo credit: D. Mangini
If I were to ever explain the hows and whys, it may not be as straightforward a story as you'd expect.  But there they are.  I've always got their backs, and hopefully they've always got mine. 
If you are the type of person who refuses to be accepting of all the fabulous LGBTQ (and asexual, etc.) people in this world, could you do me a favor?  At least be tolerant.  Be respectful of humanity.  Even though Fred Phelps hates no one more in this world than homosexuals and their "sympathizers", wouldn't we all be happier if he kept his views to himself?  Dr. Keith Ablow of Fox News thinks that letting your children watch trans*man Chaz Bono on Dancing with the Stars will make your kids think about transgendered people as normal, acceptable people just like cis-gendered (the gender you were born as) celebrities!  The horror!
I don't think that God hates fags at all.  I am pretty sure that God hates hatred.  
I look forward to a time when we don't need a special day to declare our preferences or our secret identities to our loved ones.  Perhaps one day, telling your folks that you're a man who loves men , a woman who loves women, or you're just completely queer will be no different than telling someone you've decided to go to college to become an accountant.  I hope one day, acceptance will be universally common.