Category Archives: Current Events

Going For Gold–An Abby Gabs Video Blog

Have you been watching the Olympics? We have! Soccer, swimming, gymnastics, diving, cycling, speed walking, trampoline-ing…you name it, we’ve seen it. In fact, the hubby and I have been practically glued to our TV since the games started back in July.


Which explains why I didn’t see the Late Enough Olympics until yesterday.


Now, I’ve told you all about the genius that is Alex before. I’ve praised her, I photoshopped bandaids on her face, and I even created a unicorn t-shirt design with her. But when I say that this particular vlog of Alex partaking in her favorite Olympic events is comedic gold…well, you should believe me. Because it is.


And Alex isn’t the only one who’s pole-vaulting over her living room sofa. So is Katie from Sluiter Nation. Don’t mess with this family when it comes to the gymnastics floor exercise. They’re the Russian gymnasts of the blogosphere.


Anyhoo, when I watched the video blogs these ladies created all about the Olympics, I decided that I had to mercilessly copy participate with them, in true Abby Gabs fashion. And so, I present to you, an Abby Gabs original video blog titled “Going for Gold.”

 

(If you can’t see the video, click HERE or go to: http://youtu.be/0HmevvCo_cw)



**Thanks to Alex and Katie for inspiring me to go for my Olympic dream. And for not wanting to shun me for totally copying your original ideas. You guys rock.


***And PS: Don’t miss my first-of-three co-posts with Laverne! Did you know that you still have to do a mountain of laundry even if you vacation without kids? I spoil your vacation fantasies in a post titled So This Is What It’s Like.

Weigh-In Tuesday and a Soapbox Rant

Today I’d like to share with you another 1.4 pound weight loss!!!

(Source)

Well, thank you, Mr. President. :0)

I’m still feeling really good about my progress. Yes, there are things I could be doing better (eating more veggies comes to mind) but I’ve made huge strides these last few weeks to improve my health, and I’m feeling stronger and leaner every day!

That’s my “Popeye” face.

I’m battling a little with what I’m calling “The Biggest Loser Mentality.” If you’ve ever seen the show, you know that any given contestant can lose up to 15 pounds or more in one week. Every Tuesday, when I step on that scale knowing how good I feel and how much better I look, I’m always expecting to see a major difference in my weight from the week before. And when the scale only moves a pound or two, I feel disappointed.

Logically I know that a steady 2 pounds per week weight loss is ideal–not just because it’s healthier, but it’s easier to maintain over time.

But emotionally—I want that “HOLY FREAKIN’ COW DID I REALLY JUST LOSE 14 POUNDS?!?!?” moment.

(Source)

But usually, after I think about it for awhile, and receive a pep-talk (usually accompanied by graphs and/or charts) from “trainer” and BFF, Dana, I immediately start feeling better about my progress.

So, with today’s 1.4 loss, that brings my total weight loss to

5.3 pounds! Woohoo!!!

Yay me!

So, while we’re on the subject of weight loss and general healthiness, I’d like to dust off my soapbox for a minute and share my two cents on a current news story you may have heard about–namely, the Paula Deen controversy.

For those who haven’t heard, Deen recently made a statement that she had been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She’d known about it for awhile before coming out to the public, and now has made a lucrative deal with the company that creates the meds she’s taking for the illness. She has been publicly crucified by health organizations, media outlets, and even her own peers, for continuing to serve the same southern comfort foods on her show and in her restaurant, despite her diagnosis.

(source)

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain has been one of Paula’s biggest critics from the very beginning. When asked his opinion about Paula’s recent news, he responded, “When your signature dish is hamburger in between a doughnut, and you’ve been cheerfully selling this stuff knowing all along that you’ve got Type 2 diabetes … it’s in bad taste if nothing else.”

Let me say this: I’ve been a big Paula Deen Fan for many years. I own at least 4 of her cookbooks. I have met her and her husband, Michael. And I have dined in her restaurant. One of my favorite possessions is my Paula Deen apron, which reads “The Lady Can Cook.”

However, that I am a bonafide Paula Deen fan has absolutely no bearings on how I felt when I first heard about this story.
My first reaction was empathy for her family. Both of my parents also have Type 2 Diabetes, and I know the struggle that it is to completely overhaul your entire lifestyle in the name of health. It’s difficult both emotionally and physically (especially when your Mom craves chocolate like mine does.)
After that initial wave of empathy, though, I was left feeling angry. Angry for Paula that she has become the media’s poster child for “Fat Southern Woman with Diabetes.” Angry that she’s being touted as irresponsible because she hasn’t changed the recipes featured on her show.
Angry that she’s being held responsible for an entire nation’s eating habits.
If you’ve ever seen Paula’s show, you know that she makes comfort food. There’s no questioning the fact that she uses full fat ingredients, ranging from butter to sour cream, in practically every dish she serves. Do I have her cookbooks? Yes. Do I cook from them every single night? No. Why? Because I know that eating like that leads to weight gain, and that weight gain leads to other health problems. Like Type 2 Diabetes.
I know that chowing down on Paula’s sinful Lemon Cake is an indulgence. Just like a big slice of pizza, an even bigger cheese burger, or a vat of ice cream. It’s a “once in awhile” thing, not an every day thing. Everything in moderation–that’s the key.
I liken it to blaming McDonald’s for America’s obesity problem. Here’s the thing, people: McDonald’s serves what sells. Fatty french fries, greasy burgers, “chicken” nuggets–that’s what people want when they hit the drive-thru.
I use the word “chicken” lightly, because what you’re really getting is breaded, deep fried pink goo:
(source)
How many boxes of chicken nuggets do you think McDonald’s would sell if they had THAT picture on the box?
How does this relate to the Paula Deen controversy? Simply this: if you’ve been remotely educated in the human body, you know that you can’t eat rich, creamy, fattening foods every day of your life without suffering the consequences. Some people, including Paula (and myself up until about 3 weeks ago) choose to take their chances with those consequences. Punishing her by humiliating her publicly and using her as a scapegoat isn’t going to end the obesity epidemic in our country.
But education, honesty, and individual responsiblity might.
Paula continued with her show, and her restaurant, and her recipes, not because she wants to harm the public, but because it is her national identity. She became famous for her southern style of cooking. To expect her to immediately change her MO because of her own personal (private) health concerns would be like asking the CEO of McDonald’s to take chicken nuggets off the menu because of the above picture that was leaked to the media.
As long as we’re buying, they’re playing, people. And as long as we continue to place the blame on others, rather than with ourselves, America is destined to be fat forever.
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
I wish Paula Deen nothing but the best in her battle against diabetes. I’m sure that, over the course of the next few years, we’ll see a big change in how she conducts her show. I’ll keep watching, enjoying her adorable on-screen personality, and saving that Stick to Your Teeth Chocolate cookie recipe for a special occasion.
 
As for the McDonald’s reference, the same information could be given about most every fast food restaurant in the world. I just chose McDonald’s for this blog because of the photo above, which came through my Facebook news feed a few days ago. It seemed relevant to this story, so I shared it. I like McDonald’s french fries as much as the next guy, but I’m dedicated to spending my money where it best influences my new healthy lifestyle. And McDonald’s ain’t that place.

One Surefire Way To Silence This Gabby Abby

My little website may not be much. It may not be fancy, or invite hordes of readers or make any important or political statements. It doesn’t change the way people view the world, or enlighten with brand new ideas, or create a stronghold on the internet that seems impenetrable.

In truth, my little website is just a silly blog, written for fun and amusement, mostly for myself. If others find it entertaining, that’s just icing on the cupcake.

Mmmm. Cupcake.

I don’t often post anything controversial here on Abby Gabs, and have never done a post about politics in any form. But today is different. Today, I’m standing up for Abby Gabs, and other websites like it.  Today, I’m holding out for my right to be heard, my right to be a voice in the millions on the internet. Today, I’m educating my readers about the SOPA and PIPA bills, in case you’ve never heard of them. And rather than climbing up on my soapbox, I’m going to leave it at that, step back quietly, and let this video do the talking for me.

See you tomorrow, readers.

*Thanks to Alex at Late Enough and Walt at The Lucky Puppy for inspiring today’s post.

All You Need Is Love

The first time I encountered Shakespeare, I was an eighth grader desperate to read the part of Juliet. By the time I was a junior in high school, I was a full-fledged Shakespeare Groupie.

I spent hours pouring over his poetry. Sonnet 116 was my favorite.

As a 16-year old self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, this poem had one meaning to me, and one meaning alone. Love, in the romantic sense, in it’s truest form, was unbreakable. And love, in my 16-year-old mind, was the heterosexual, boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl get married in a big church sort of way.

It wasn’t until college that I began to think of love in the broader sense. Love for family. Love for friends. Love for land and country and nature. And suddenly, my favorite Shakespearean sonnet took on a whole new meaning for me.

As a teenager, I read the poem and thought to myself, “Someday my prince will come. Someday I will find a love that is bigger than myself. And someday I will walk down the aisle with that prince and become his wife.”

There was never any doubt that marriage would be my future. I never had to wonder if I’d be allowed to celebrate that big love with friends and family. I never had to alter my course or dream my dream in a different way in order to appease society’s idea of “Love.”

Marriage, to me, isn’t about religion. It is for some people though, and that’s ok with me. Marriage is, and should be about two people, two families, two bloodlines coming together in celebration and Love. It is a commitment, a binding agreement, and yes, in it’s rawest form, a contract. The United States allows people of all races, cultures, and backgrounds take part in that ritual.

There are Jewish ceremonies with their chuppahs and their glass stomping and their obligatory “Mazel Tov!”

There are Chinese ceremonies with their colorful robes, processionals, and ample feasts.

There are traditional African ceremonies, where the bride and groom jump over the broom.

There are Christian ceremonies with prayer and Bible verses and priests who bless the nuptials.

There are civil ceremonies where God’s name isn’t mentioned at all.

There are weddings where people dress up like Pirates. Halloween-themed weddings. Star Wars weddings with costumes and plastic light sabers and stuffed Yoda’s presiding.

All of these weddings have two things in common: 1) a marriage license and 2) a heterosexual couple.

I’m not saying that there’s no place for God or religion in marriage. In fact, if that is your belief system, I am 100% in support of it. I support your right to marry the one you love in the manner you choose.

Can you do the same?

Equality. Rights. That’s all we want.

Last year, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. As we went through the mountains of paperwork that comes with a major surgery, I was never asked what my role in his recovery would be. I am his wife. I have his last name. We are married, with a valid marriage license. Therefore, I am the person who will be by his side. I am the one who will ask questions of the doctors and expect them to be answered. I am his partner, emotionally and legally. I never had to worry that I would be sent from the room with my questions unanswered. It never occurred to me to worry that a decision regarding Brian’s healthcare would be made by someone who didn’t live every waking moment with his best interests at heart. Never, in that week of worry and dread and illness, was I made to feel that I didn’t belong in that chair right beside his bed. It is my right. As a wife.

When I let myself imagine, even for a second, that this had all happened before we were legally married, it absolutely terrifies me. As “just his girlfriend,” would I have been granted the same respect? Would decisions regarding his recovery have been asked of his mother–someone neither of us trust? Would those decisions be made by his father–whom we adore but who lives on the other side of the country? Would I be allowed to stay overnight? Would I be allowed to ask questions? Would they be answered?

Now imagine what it would have been like if we were both men. Gay men who had been in a relationship for 7 years, who were undoubtedly committed to one another, but who, under South Carolina State Law, were not allowed to marry due to their sexual orientation.

Imagine the feeling of a door closing in your face with your loved one on the other side. And you are not allowed to enter because someone else deems you unworthy of the same rights as the straight couple in the room next door.

I can’t imagine anything more heart-wrenching, or more unfair, than that.

So when I woke up this morning and saw this photo circulating on Twitter, I was overcome.

Kudos to you, New York. You’ve set the bar yet again. The fight isn’t over–in fact it’s only just begun. I only hope the rest of the nation catches up soon.

And I have a feeling that, wherever he is now, ol’ Willie Shakespeare is smiling because we FINALLY figured it out.

FatKat Comics: Special Edition

A big thank you to the men who put their lives on the line for this mission. And another thank you to my hubby, who gave me the idea for this comic.