Episode 6 – Naked Jen

2012-09-23-SPO6-NakedJen

Naked Jen exploded onto the blogging scene more than a decade ago, exposing herself – at first, quite literally in all her naked glory – for all the internet to see. Not as porn but to try to convince the world that it was OK to be naked. That our bodies, our skin, are nothing to be ashamed of and should, instead, be celebrated.

This is funny to me tonight as I search back through her archives and realize her first post at nakedjen.com was actually about Mormons and mayonnaise…no nudity included. What’s not funny and is, in my opinion, glorious, is that Jen is truly naked both literally and figuratively – on her blog and in life.

I stumbled upon Jen’s blog a few years ago, after she’d largely discarded Naked Fridays and had taken up blogging from an even more personal, vulnerable, naked place. Everything she said resonated with me and I followed her, stalked her quietly, as she bravely bared her soul to strangers. But that story’s already been documented here.

Through an extraordinary turn of events, Naked Jen and I conspired to meet one another under the guise of attending the Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra concert together here in Denver. The visit is documented here. Suffice it to say that as much as my life changed the moment I scooped her up from the curb at the Denver International Airport, the lives of a number of my friends changed too.

What hasn’t been made available until now is the conversation Acr0nym recorded between Jen and me, now officially forever friends, literally moments before we took her back to the airport on the last day of her visit.

Welcome to the (we tried not to make it so) love fest.

This is Naked Jen.

 

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Episode 5 – Part 2: Betsy – Taking the Shrapnel Out of Girl

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Part 1 of Betsy’s story can be found here.

Betsy and her husband, Tom, had been living in Cairo, Egypt for almost two years when Betsy’s parents made their first trip overseas to experience her life in the Middle East.

On April 24, 2006, Betsy, Tom, and Betsy’s parents, arrived in Dahab, a small resort town situated on the Red Sea in the Sinai Peninsula. As they walked along the boardwalk in search of supper three terrorist bombs went off.

Part 2 of Betsy’s story is the story of the bombing – the anger, the chaos, the pain, the terror, the grief, the recovery, the healing, and ultimately, the forgiveness.

“While the mind’s strength is speed and processing, the heart’s is depth. And in those fateful moments as the blast overtook us, as my brain tried to process everything that was happening (sights, sounds, smells, feeling and pain) -my heart struggled to capture all the complexities that each millisecond held; the sorrow betrayal and grief that attached itself to each piece of shrapnel that cut through my body.” -an entry from Betsy’s journal in 2006

Please note: Due to the graphic and raw emotional nature of this content, this episode is not safe for work or for children.

I love you, Bebs. Thank you for sharing.

xo,
Jane, in her infinite wisdom

PS Be sure to check out the picture gallery of Betsy and some pictures that correspond with the story.

Episode notes and links:

The Sinai Peninsula

You can click the map to enlarge. Sharm el-Sheikh is on the southeastern tip of the peninsula. Dahab (or Dhahab as it is spelled on the map) is north of Sharm el-Sheikh on the Red Sea. Map courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin (public domain).

The Pyramids
The Lost City of Petra, Jordan (Google image gallery)
Dahab Bombing 2006 story from the BBC
Dahab Bombing 2006 in Pictures from the BBC
Ramstein Air Base, Germany
External fixator/fixation
Ilzarov apparatus
Presbyterian/St. Luke’s – The Denver Clinic for Extremities at Risk
Denver Health’s Rocky Mountain Region Level 1 Trauma Center

 

 

 

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Episode 5 – Part 1: Betsy -Taking the Girl Out of Wyoming

2012-04-08-SPO-Episode-5-Part-One.mp3

Betsy and I grew up in the same small Wyoming town of Casper. She and I, we didn’t know each other growing up though. She is quite a bit younger than me and I’d moved long before she entered junior high.

But, through a chance reunion between her and our mutual friend and former Casperite, Devo Was Right, while he was walking down a Denver street, Betsy and I met. I will be forever grateful for that moment because Betsy is an extraordinary woman and a wonderful friend. She also has a tale to tell – a crazy, beautiful, heart-wrenching, terrifying, tale…the kind Hollywood salivates over.

Episode 5 then, in two parts, is Betsy’s story.

Beautiful Betsy with a bloody mary and a microphone

In 2004, Betsy, freshly graduated from the University of Utah’s Middle East Studies-Arabic program, and her new husband, Tom, embarked on an adventure of a lifetime when the two of them accepted positions as teachers at an Egyptian school offering an American curriculum in Cairo, Egypt.

Part 1 focuses on Betsy and Tom’s move to Cairo, their experiences there and around the region, and how Betsy fell in love with the Middle East – the culture, the religion, the people, the art, the music, the chaos.

Part 2 is posted in a separate entry for podcast enclosure purposes.

Love,
Jane, in her infinite wisdom

PS While this first part is safe for work, it’s probably not good for children as we discuss geography, cultural differences, and political and religious references specific to the region.

Egypt from the CIA World Factbook

Episode notes and links:

Bedouin
Coptic Christians
Hijab
Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt (Google image gallery)
Maadi, Cario, Egypt (Google image gallery)
Baalbek, Lebanon
Hezbollah
Ramadan
Yasser Arafat’s funeral  (Google image gallery)
Beirut, Lebanon (Google image gallery)
Rafic Hariri
Arabic language
Yad Vashem – World Center for Holocaust Research, Education, Documentation and Commemoration

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Episode 4 – Sex Work, A Conversation

2012-03-25-SPO-Episode-4.mp3

In this episode, Acr0nym and I are joined by 3 incredible women – Ms. Vylette, Mistress Saskia, and, once again, the Divatologist (just call her Beautiful Bruce) – all three current or former sex workers – who generously agreed to talk candidly with me about what they do and why they do it. We also talk feminism, politics, personal relationships, and general attitudes about sex and about women living in a patriarchal society.

Surprise! They all enjoy what they do and no one forced them into it. None of them are addicts. None of them walked the streets. It’s not just about the money either.

I have to be honest, I was unusually excited to record this podcast simply because I know how dynamic and intelligent all three of these women are and I had absolutely no idea what they might tell me or in what direction we’d head. All I knew was this was bound to be good. After we’d finished recording then, I was both exhilarated and exhausted. They’ve got opinions and they certainly aren’t afraid to share them. They’ve given me much food for thought.

Wait a minute. I'm thinking really really hard.

Please note: Just in case it is not clear from the title, this episode is most definitely not work or child safe. In addition to colorful language (although, I don’t think I say “shit” once so, you know, there’s that), there is discussion about specific  sex and/or BDSM activities that your boss and co-workers may find offensive (we are not liable for any sexual harassment charges brought against you). Additionally, your child might ask questions you’d rather not answer. 

Just sayin’.

I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed and am grateful for the opportunity to talk to them.

xoxo,
Jane, In Her Infinite Wisdom

Additional notes and links to topics mentioned in this episode:

More information about Mistress Saskia, Ms. Vylette, and the services they provide can be found at Pavlovia Denver (NSFW, Must be 21 to enter)
The Divatologist‘s blog can be found here.
William S. Burroughs
Rule 34
Dominatrix
Callahan’s Lady by Spider Robinson
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration by Audacia Ray
Beverly Fisher, Denver’s Extraordinary Companion (NSFW, Must be 18 to enter)
Divamarie.com
Jake Jabs
Violet Wand
IMsL

This episode was recorded at Denhac – The Denver Hackerspace – on March 25, 2012.

As always, special thanks go out to Paulie Lipman at paulielipman.com for the original theme music and Mar at sudux.com for the logo and original artwork.

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Episode 3 – Podcast Zero

This is our vanity episode.

2012-03-18-SPO3-Podcast-Zero.mp3

Acr0nym turns the tables on me briefly to talk about the podcast itself – how it came about, what we are likely to discuss, why he asked me to host it, how it’s gone so far, and what’s coming up soon for our listeners.

Initially, we’d planned podcast zero for our inaugural episode. However, sometimes life gets in the way. As it often happens, waiting until we’d gotten a couple of episodes under our belts before recording this made the conversation much more interesting in my opinion so I’m glad we were forced to wait.

By the way, what you’re going to hear is practically raw audio. Acr0nym wanted y’all to have a unique listening experience…to hear us gibber jabbering (and eating popcorn and drinking wine out of plastic wine glasses…he used a straw…because we’re classy that way) with all the pauses and uncomfortable silences as Jane’s mind wanders off into the abyss as I’m wont to do occasionally and, to be honest, as I wordsmith a bit. What can I say? My main medium is writing which allows me all the time I want to peruse Thesaurus.com.

Thankfully, this episode – at 32 minutes – is relatively short.

xoxo,
Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom

More information on topics mentioned:

Zen stick
The Zen Archer
Bruce Vilanch

As always, we’d like to extend our thanks to Paulie Lipman at paulielipman.com for the original theme music and to Mar at sudux.com for the logo and other artwork.

 

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Episode 2 – Proof of Life

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Currently, there are over 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

For a decade, my work spouse, Jonathan “Doctor” Finger, was one of them.

Appalled, I tell you! Simply appalled!

Then, thankfully, miraculously, on March 16, 2010, he got the call.They had a kidney. His name was on it.

This episode is Jonathan’s story from the beginning – the diagnosis, the treatments, the devastation, the near death misses, the gift.

True story.

But it isn’t just Jonathan’s story.

Jonathan isn’t a hero – although, I could argue that he’s MY hero for making me mid-morning coffee in his Chemex each work day. However, his hero, Taylor, can’t speak for herself anymore. When she lost her life, she gave him his. And so…

It’s up to all of us to give her Proof of Life.

#Outlive yourself

Happy anniversary, Jonathan.

xoxoxo, Your Infinitely Wise Host,
Janey McJanerson

This episode was originally recorded (and accidentally deleted) on February 26, 2012 at Acry0nym’s kitchen table. It was re-recorded for good this time on March 4, 2012.

Remember kids: save early, save often. And don’t forget to back up.

FYI: Acr0nym lives within a block of a popular biker bar. Sorry about all the Harley noise, y’all.

Special thanks to Mar at sudux.com for the logo and Paulie Lipman at paulielipman.com for the original theme music.

For more information on topics mentioned in this episode:
IgA Nephropathy
Taylor’s Gift Foundation (includes a convenient online link directory to each state’s donor registry website – sign up to outlive yourself today)
Bacterial endocarditis
Home dialysis
RAGBRAI
9 News Story about Jonathan and Taylor’s Gift.
Dremel tool 

Yay! Done with RAGBRAI! Can we haz go home nao? Shamelessly stolen from Jonathan's Facebook.

PS Living donation – blood, bone marrow, kidneys – is absolutely a possibility for many/most of us. Consider donating now when you can know the impact. I’m a regular living blood donor – type O negative – as well as a donor at the time of my death. If I thought anyone might want one of my kidneys, I would certainly give it up. I would have given it to Jonathan if I could have.

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Bouncy

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

That’s me right now, bouncing in my chair, as I prep for more podcast recording scheduled for tomorrow.

I am SO excited to bring you our next guest, the one some of us call “Doctor” Finger (awesome super villain name if I do say so myself)! He’s not a super villain though (uh…I don’t think). He is, however, a pretty cool guy who has been on an extraordinary journey over the last 14-ish years and I cannot wait to bring you his story. In fact, I can’t wait so much that I had to spill the beans about my guest ahead of time.

OK! Back to prep work I go!

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

Love, Your Podcast Host,
Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom 

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Feedback From a Man’s Perspective

In the wake of our first episode, a male listener sent me a private e-mail and shared his own very personal, private experiences with me. I asked him if I might post it here anonymously to give our male listeners a voice in the discussion on self-esteem. He agreed and so here you go.

Anonymous (but not THAT Anonymous) wrote:

Oddly enough, and maybe I’m not the typical guy… ok I’m in no fucking way one of those…but your conversation very much relates to me as well. Especially the experiences that you and PJ have had.

My body image is way off of where it probably should be even now. 
Through those very important years of junior high and high school I remember actively being called ugly on many occasions by girls in school. But every one gets teased.

On the other side, I was also made to feel stupid. I actually was very afraid as a 3rd and 4th grader that I was eventually going to be put into special ed classes because, when you’re a kid, you don’t know that that’s not how it works (I was very sure I was borderline retarded back then… now days I just act like it). Later, in 9th grade, I had one friend who was very encouraging and convinced me to change all of my classes to advanced (except for English).

And, after that, I would be called into the office to be talked to by 3 of the career counselors who explained to me that I had never been in advanced classes and that even though I had good grades I probably should not be in advanced classes because I never had been before. Somehow I stuck it out. And even though I kept all A and B grades those 3 assholes drug me into their office every semester for 4 years to get me to drop those classes…for 4 fucking years even though I had better grades than ¼ or 1/3 of the smart people. And graduated with a 4.0.


Meanwhile, no one in that school figured out that I was very dyslexic. Being that I was functionally illiterate, I barely survived college with grades so bad (2.2 gpa) that it really reinforced my feeling I was dumb. It was not until at 30 that I dated a very smart girl who actually got through to me somehow by just telling me that she was sure I was smarter than her… somehow that made a difference. Also I got a real corporate job and realized most people are not very bright and I’m way higher up the ladder than I could have ever imagined.

On the physical side, the most positive thing I ever heard about me was when I was 19 and some one said “he wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so skinny” (6f’2″ 120lbs). Even that was still hurtful. Now I’m fighting the opposite battle at 40lbs overweight when I was used to thinking I was overweight at 13% body fat. I feel like a mess and am trying to reclaim my standard for feeling ok about myself. It wasn’t until I hit about 35 and even more so 37 that I started my epiphanies. I’m still working on them.

I enjoyed hearing your experiences, and relate to them more than you might guess.

 
So…there you go. When I think about body image issues particularly, I admittedly do think of them as a feminist issue. But that’s just not true. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc., 1 in 10 eating disorder cases involve men…which equates to hundreds of thousands of men. That kind of statistic makes body image a people issue – not just a feminine one.

Feel free to chime in in the comments section. If you’d rather not comment publicly, you can do so directly to Jane (at) sharppointyobjects (dot) com. We’re always interested in hearing what you’ve got to say.

Thanks for listening!

Love your SPO Host,
Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom

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Episode 1 – Self-Esteem

Sharp Pointy Objects – Episode 1

This is the inaugural episode of Sharp Pointy Objects.

In this episode, I’m joined by three of the most kick ass women in my life – Diva, PJ, and Cesqua – to talk about body image, self-esteem, dieting, and bullying. In this episode, some brutally honest opinions, experiences, and perceptions are revealed as we spend an afternoon talking about one of the toughest internal wars women fight with themselves every single day. Four vastly different experiences come together to lay it out there and, in the end, say what we would tell every single teenage and 20-something year old girl out there about life, the universe, and whatnot…YOU, yes YOU, are awesome.

Clockwise from left: Diva, PJ, Jane, Cesqua

The episode was recorded January 21, 2012 (the day after my 40th birthday), in Acr0nym’s kitchen just north of Denver. There was wine involved.

Alternately, the four of us at "Gay Trivia Night". I think we came in 3rd.

Some episode notes and links:

Diva’s blog can be found at Divatology.com*
PJ’s blog can be found at Ramblings of a Social Instigator
Mararet Cho’s blog entry can be found at Being Mad on Twitter
The alleged self-esteem campaign can be found at Campaign For Real Beauty (*cough sputter cough* dickheads *cough*) Please feel free to write them all sorts of vitriol, with love, from me.
Margot Magowan’s AMAZING letter to her 23-year-old self can be found at Reel Girl.

Of note: Acr0nym has been banned from using his butane lighter during all future episodes. I have been banned from ice in my wine glass from here on out.

We’re new at this so, while we would LOVE LOVE LOVE your feedback, please be gentle.

New features are already in the works and will be added to additional episodes.

A special shout out to Spux at sudux.com for the logo and to Paulie Lipman at paulielipman.com for the original podcast music.

* Divatology.com is currently password protected to, well, protect the Divatologist. We expect the password protection to cease and desist mid-March. EDITED TO ADD: As Diva points out in the comments, please click through to her blog, send her an e-mail and mention the podcast to receive the password.

PS If you are a reader of Jane In Her Infinite Wisdom, you’ll know just last week, I suffered a life-altering accident – one that changed my face for a long time to come. The irony is not lost on me. Editing the final cut of this particular episode really hit home as I waited for 27 stitches inserted to mend an 8.5 cm cut to come out of my cheek has been fascinating and affirming to me.

Sharp pointy objects, indeed.

 

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