Flashback Friday: “Baby Got Back”

“Oh. My. God. Becky, look at her butt! It is so big!”

If a song in my formative years took away some of my innocence, it was Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-a-Lot. “Baby Got Back” was certainly a phrase I’d never heard growing up in Portland. But as soon as this song came on the scene in 1992, my sixth grade class could not stop talking about derrieres.

In my pubescent naivety, I thought that all boys were solely turned on by breasts. And I’d heard about the hourglass body type, so curvy waists and hips made sense. But until I started listening to Sir Mix-a-Lot’s ode to the female rumpus, I had no idea that men liked butts. Especially big ones.

baby got back sir mixalotNot only was the song a learning experience, my innocent Mormon girl brain was blown by watching the music video. Full of innuendos (bright yellow bananas suddenly standing on end) and tight and skimpy shaking lady parts…no wonder my parents scolded me when they caught me watching it.

I didn’t feel comfortable asking my parents about some of the things in it, so I headed to my trusted resource, a giant Merriam Webster dictionary. I looked up “prostitute” and “horny” and learned just enough to blush and to grasp the meaning of the overheard conversations of the boys in my school class.

“My anaconda don’t want none unless you’ve got buns, hun!”

I don’t think I understood what an anaconda was until my late teens.Yep, I used to be totally naive and sheltered. Oh, how that’s changed.

My daughter has heard Baby Got Back more times than I can count, and that’s mostly because it’s prevalence in pop culture. And I’ve got in on my iPod. It’s catchy, and with the sexualization of the media in the past 20 years, it’s not as shocking as it was to a tween in the 90’s. It scares me how much my daughter already knows, and can only imagine the things she is learning from media that she doesn’t talk about. I’m glad she is so open to talking to me about sex and other mature subjects. I know a lot of kids rely on the internet for answers and don’t dare ask their moms and dads.

I guess having an open mind about things helps. And a sense of humor.

It cracks me up when I go to blog conferences, and the intro begins playing in the ballroom. EVERY 30something blogger begins rapping and shaking their booty. It’s one of the songs of my generation, for better or worse, and almost everybody knows the words.

So ladies, if the butt is round,
And you want a triple X throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOT
And kick them nasty thoughts
Baby got back!

TMI Friday: Don’t Mess With My Peeps, Yo!

Don't Mess With My Peeps, YoI’m Nicole, and I’m a Mormon.

But I don’t always feel comfortable talking about religion on my blog. As I’m sure most people do in their life, I have had questions about my faith. I have heard unsavory stories of things that have happened through the history of my church. I have lived half of my life outside of Utah, and have conclusively decided it’s more difficult to live my faith in Utah.

“Mormon Culture” is sometimes hard for me to stomach. I will joke about funeral potatoes and green jello as much as the next girl, but I notice people get so caught up in the “culture” of our faith, that they really don’t focus on the content of the faith. I try to live the Word of Wisdom, but I drink Coke. I have a friend known  as Jesus in SLC, who calls me the “coolest Mormon ever.” I have no qualms about joking about the quirks of our religion’s peculiar culture. Part of the Utah Mormon Culture is a conservative political leaning, despite the church’s ever-present stance of political neutrality.

A few years ago, I became acquainted with my friend Gabrielle, aka @funkyvalentine on Twitter. She and I bonded, even though we had very differing opinions on many topics. Through the years, her blogging and faith have been through some significant metamorphosis. She converted to the LDS church, but struggled with some questions with her faith. Eventually she made the decision to leave the Mormon church, and she publicly made statements about this on her blog.

A few days ago, I found out about a podcast on LDS Liberty where the podcast hosts ripped her beliefs to shreds, both spiritual and political. Gabs admittedly has some beliefs that don’t fly with mainstream lifelong conservative Mormons, but the hosts of LDS Liberty made a very public, very blatant attack. I posted the following comment:

Since yesterday, this podcast started being discussed at length on Twitter. I won’t go into the details of our discussions, but it made me sad to see how mean people can be to each other. Especially when it comes to something personal and sacred like religious beliefs. This podcast was a personal attack, a case of cyberbullying, and it’s not okay. I don’t think the podcast discussion was helpful – it was self-righteous and accusatory. Feelings have been hurt, and I personally felt like I needed to talk about it on my blog.

Do you think LDS Liberty took it too far? I’m not interested in discussing the particulars of Gabrielle’s beliefs versus LDS Liberty’s beliefs…but rather the situation in general. Feel free to comment, but please be kind. Hurtful and abusive comments will not be published.

Can’t we all just get along?

TMI Friday: My Poor Nostrils

runny nose

Between the painfully dry winter in Utah, and the nightly abuse of pressurized air from my CPAP machine…my nostrils are suffering.  Between prescription-strength steroid nasal spray, regular swipes of Neosporin on a Q-TIP, and sinus rinses…I’m doing what my doctor has ordered. Unfortunately, I’m getting bloody noses all the time. What’s really gross is waking up with a bloody nose and it bleeds into a CPAP mask. Using a humidifier doesn’t seem to make a bit of difference. Between emotional outbursts of depression and wacky winter weather, I could personally keep Kleenex in business. Good thing their website lets you send a free package of tissue to a friend (*hint hint*).

So loyal readers…what do you do to save your schnoz during the winter?

TMI Friday: I’m Not Crazy, It’s My Hormones

Monthly female cycleYou know when you’ve been sick for so long, you’re obsessed with finding out why? One of my favorite things to do when I can’t sleep is research health topics. I’m an insomniac who researches sleep disorders in the wee hours of the morning so I can try to make some sense of why I’m extremely exhausted, yet can’t sleep. I read book after book about overcoming depression, and follow the suggestions and mental strategies…yet I still struggle with keeping a consistent, happy psyche. Over the last six months, I’ve been having unbelievable mood swings, going from elation to devastation in a single conversation. It’s been VERY hard to deal with.

So I started researching what could be causing my mood swings, insomnia, inability to lose weight, etc. And suddenly a light blinked on in my head – It’s my hormones! After discussing symptoms with my primary care doctor and OBGYN, I was frustrated when they told me to come back in 6 months if the symptoms persisted. “Hormone swings are cyclical…” yadda yadda yadda. I suffered for several months, fairly certain that it was a hormonal imbalance…but not really getting any help from my doctor.

I started talking to people here and there, trying to get a gauge for the possibility of someone at my age with hormone imbalances. I got a referral to a doctor who specializes in hormone and metabolic disorders, but had to wait over a month to be seen. Last week was when I was finally able to get in to see Dr. Lundell. He had me mark a list of  20 different health concerns (brittle nails, libido extremes, inability to regulate temperature, hair loss, hirsutism, insulin resistance), and after the third checkbox, he said “I already know the problem. You have a progesterone deficiency, specifically in the secretory/luteal phase.”

Low progesterone effects brain chemicals that leads to depression, lethargy, mood imbalances and irritability. Low progesterone impacts a calming chemical called GABA, and there’s a decrease in pain-reducing corticosteroid production. A drop in progesterone can also cause women to feel more pain. When progesterone levels decrease, adrenal glands should take over and produce it. Most common symptoms of progesterone deficiency: inability to lose weight, depression, headaches and PAIN. (Check, check, check, check!)

So he ordered a battery of lab tests, set me up on hormone replacement therapy, and said that within a month I should be able to sleep through the night, my metabolism will spike up, mood swings will diminish, I’ll be able to decrease my dose of antidepressant and other lovely things. I am feeling optimistic about my new course of treatment.

It’s reassuring to know that I’m not crazy, it’s just my hormones.