Sunday, February 24, 2013

HBIC Book Club: March Book Pick!

Well we are in the midst of a rousing discussion of our February book, The Feminist and The Cowboy,  for the HBIC Book Club, which is awesome! Honestly, I dare to say I hated this book becuase it was so hard to watch the author Valdes dive into an abusive relationship and scapegoat feminism while she did it. BUT she brings up lots of complex ideas about gender, identity and relationships that are sure to hit home with all of us so it should make for great discussion! I look forward to hearing more from all the club members in the next few days.  I encourage all of those that feel a little hesitant to speak up in the discussion to do so! Part of this reading challenge is to engage with other intelligent women about the books we read and to learn from each other's thoughts and opinions. Don't be shy, push yourself to participate in discussion! For anyone interested in joining please do! We are an open group and welcome all interested members. Just go here!

With that said, I am happy to announce our March book pick, Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto! Special shout out to Taylor in Chi-town for suggesting this book! I am not personally a Gossip fan, the punk band that Ditto headlines, but the summary of this book sounds like a lot of fun. Here it is from Amazon:

Born and raised in Judsonia, Arkansas—a place where indoor plumbing was a luxury, squirrel was a meal, and sex ed was taught during senior year in high school (long after many girls had gotten pregnant and dropped out) Beth Ditto stood out. Beth was a fat, pro-choice, sexually confused choir nerd with a great voice, an eighties perm, and a Kool Aid dye job. Her single mother worked overtime, which meant Beth and her five siblings were often left to fend for themselves. Beth spent much of her childhood as a transient, shuttling between relatives, caring for a sickly, volatile aunt she nonetheless loved, looking after sisters, brothers, and cousins, and trying to steer clear of her mother’s bad boyfriends.

Her punk education began in high school under the tutelage of a group of teens—her second family—who embraced their outsider status and introduced her to safety-pinned clothing, mail-order tapes, queer and fat-positive zines, and any shred of counterculture they could smuggle into Arkansas. With their help, Beth survived high school, a tragic family scandal, and a mental breakdown, and then she got the hell out of Judsonia. She decamped to Olympia, Washington, a late-1990s paradise for Riot Grrrls and punks, and began to cultivate her glamorous, queer, fat, femme image. On a whim—with longtime friends Nathan, a guitarist and musical savant in a polyester suit, and Kathy, a quiet intellectual turned drummer—she formed the band Gossip. She gave up trying to remake her singing voice into the ethereal wisp she thought it should be and instead embraced its full, soulful potential. Gossip gave her that chance, and the raw power of her voice won her and Gossip the attention they deserved.

Marked with the frankness, humor, and defiance that have made her an international icon, Beth Ditto’s unapologetic, startlingly direct, and poetic memoir is a hypnotic and inspiring account of a woman coming into her own.

I smell themes of music, body image politics, feminism and general kickass-ery and I can't wait to start reading! So order your books and start reading ladies! As always please feel free to suggest books for future months and let me know if you have any suggestions or questions about the club. if you are new to our group, welcome! And enjoy the book :)

March Book: Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir by Beth Ditto
Discussion Opens on Sunday, March 24th

Friday, February 22, 2013

Marathon Update: 6 Weeks In

Well, the first 6 weeks of my marathon training and fundraising have flown by! Yeesh I am surely getting old. Training is going ok so far. Some weeks I feel like Superwoman and literally smile with glee as I run on the treadmill (I think that is mainly because I get to watch HGTV at the gym while running, Property Brothers anyone? Yes please, I will have both.) Other weeks, like this one, I feel sluggish and am shocked when I check my distance thinking I surely have run 3 miles by now and find the treadmill lying to me saying I've barely hit 0.85 - evil treadmill. This is most likely due to the copious amounts of booze I consumed this weekend on an epic ski trip - 3 Legged Chihuahua Bowl I miss you! Running outside is so much more enjoyable but living in Colorado does not make this easy. Yesterday it snowed more than 4 inches! I did have a great run 2 weeks ago that was about 9 miles. Starting at my house near Stapleton, heading down 17th Avenue, looping around beautiful City Park, and then back (see route below). Took me a little while but gave me confidence that I can do this damn marathon if I just keep running (and listening to Car Talk while I do it.)

Since I kicked off my fundraising campaign for The Alliance for Lupus Research in honor of my bestie Julia, I have raised over $300! Still have a ways to go but I know I will reach my goal once I kick up promotion and start guilting all my loved ones into donating ;) You can do so here, btw. I have also learned that a few other friends are also living with Lupus, of which I had no idea. Must be why it is often referred to as a silent disease, someone can be suffering immensely but they still look and seem healthy. I know Julia has dealt with this and I am just happy that my campaign and blog were able to encourage a few friends to speak up about their situations as well. Yet another reason to love each other, and the internet. 

I am looking forward to more challenging runs and more fundraising as I keep chugging along. Thanks for reading and happy Friday ya'll!