Friday, April 29, 2011

thank you

I confess...yesterday was an emotional day, but that was to be expected.  It was a quick in-and-out trip to Boston to officially stand before a judge and request a divorce.  It also involved flights home where a layover that was expected to be over 2 hours ended up with us landing at the same time the next flight was loading (in a different concourse, b/c that's how it goes).  I want to give some shout-outs to folks who made the day better, both those I know and the strangers who made it better too:
  • I met MB (initials, no fancy nickname) at a Haverford happy hour and she became part of a group of HaverLawyers that I had great lunches with and with whom I shared both personal and professional challenges.  She offered to come with me as a friend, who also knew the system as a lawyer and had been through a divorce herself.  Her support and presence meant more than I can express.
  • MM came.  That may not have been a classy choice but he seemed to truly want to be there to support me on the trip.  We didn't firmly decide to have him come to the hearing until the last moment.  Again, maybe not classy to have a new boyfriend at your divorce hearing, but emotionally helpful.  And he showed again why I love him by understanding that the day was a hard one.  He didn't speak much when we were with MB for the drive to and the duration of the hearing....I think he just knew it wasn't about him.  And he was good when the tears finally came, understanding that they weren't about wanting X back or about not loving MM, just about the whole emotional journey associated with the end of an 8y relationship.
  • The judge started on my negative list.  The hearing time was 9AM and she didn't come to the courtroom until well after 10.  There was a little paper shuffling before she came in but even that started after 11.  I did overhear an attorney saying it was unusual for this judge.  When she arrived and took cases (we saw parts of two other hearings too), she did it with true class.  She paid attention to details in the agreement (had us add a little clarification and another couple fix some item relating to kids).  She had a lot of form questions she needed to go through but she did so without sounding rote and mechanical.  She looked us in the eyes and talked to us, clearly respecting the emotion of the day and the fact that it may be an ordinary day for her but wasn't for those in court.  She was even kinder to a woman there alone who was just terrified by the process (I wanted to go give that lady a hug).  True class.
  • As I mentioned above, our flight to PHL was delayed and turned our roomy connection to watching the clock tick closer to the takeoff of our second leg.  Since it was late (10:50), the stress amped up a notch knowing that we'd be stuck for the night.  Most of the US Airways folks were a bit cold...I knew it wasn't any of their faults and there wasn't much they could do, but they just weren't very friendly.  We had to take a shuttle to another terminal and the lady at the waiting spot called the gates to check flights for us and two others.  When we got to the F gates and started a jog to the right one, a lady in a cart was pulling up and said "Are you my State College folks?"  She said to get in and that she'd told everyone she was getting us on that plane.  She proved her assertion of being the best at her job as she floored the little cart, speeding BACKWARDS towards the gate.  She was energetic and kind and just a total model of customer service.  I wish I knew her name...she'd totally get an email to the boss giving her props.
Thanks to all who've given me support through this process (and the dozen who "liked" yesterday's FB post about saying goodbye to the past).  Both sets of parents have been very supportive and some supportive words from random places have been vital in this process.  And my blog readers are all lovely too :P

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Time: The White Devil by Justin Evans

I confess....gothic thriller is another book genre I'd have been unlikely to pick up without the kind folks at Harper encouraging me to broaden my tastes.  Despite the change, I went into Justin Evan's second book, The White Devil, with a really positive mindset.  The plot and setting really intrigues me and it sounded like a ghost story for folks who might not normally read such things. 

The book focuses on Andrew Taylor, a teen sent to England to redo his final year of high school by parents who are pretty fed up with his antics and are treating this as a final chance for him to redeem himself before they wash their hands of him. He is sent to a boarding school dripping with both prestige and history.  Tradition is key and the handbook includes definitions of long-used school-speak terms for different years and the long-time uniform.  Andrew has a bit of the usual new kid issues but things are shaked up when he witnesses the death of a classmate and begins to suspect a supernatural element at play.  The book focuses on a ghost haunting and reaking havoc, a spirit that had been the subject of school rumors but is clearly spurred to more action by Andrew's presence.  Other key characters are a teacher who isn't in the administration's good graces and the single femals student at the school.  Andrew and the teacher work to figure out who the ghost is and what is motivating his actions to prevent further bloodshed (literally since the ghost seems capable of infecting the living with TB).

Unfortunately, I just didn't find the book all that interesting and I struggled to put my finger on why.  I did find the characters interesting but they did often seem a bit too stock...the new kid, the administrator's daughter, the alcoholic writer-on-residence who the school leaders despise.  I appreciated that the ghost's story unfolded at a good pace...little pieces uncovered to keep it moving but not all at once.  I just was never pulled in, never looked forward to my nightly reading time, and was very much waiting for it to end.  The writing was fine, but never felt special and I never had any trouble putting it down.  Two and a half stars (of five).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

a highway breakdown and an ill blogger, who is apparently a murdering heathen

I confess....I don't tend to do much of the weekend recap style of blogging, but sometimes life just needs to be shared.  Because being stuck in a toll booth, being called a murderer, and spending four hours on the bathroom floor is just too much weekend to keep to oneself.  Since that last element is still a struggle, I am typing in bed and will be even less likely than normal to proofread.  And likely rambly and long. 

The plan was quite simple.  MM worked Friday, we'd run a few errands, see my mom and step-father on Saturday, and then we'd travel up to his family for Easter in Sunday.  Friday wasn't the best of some expected news but still not happy news that didn't start us off in a good mood.  But we recovered with takeout from a new favorite, Pizza Mia.  The Fireballs are my new appetizer of choice...enough that I totally took the extra one.  I still maintain that all such foods should come in even numbers for easier sharing.

We slept late Saturday and made a Target run because my new dress ($20!!) required some smoothing helpers underneath (would have preferred a size up but not available).  We got on the road, had a nice dinner with my family (sushi!), and MM and I went to a local spot for a drink after.  No one was around to stop by but we were amused by the country line dancers.  I do NOT have the memory or the coordination for all that. 

Sunday started fine.  Hung out for a bit and then headed to pick-up some items for a fellow Central PA-er who was also a fellow Lower Bucks County native.  Took a bit longer than expected (more stuff than we imagined) but I got to catch up while MM and one of the friends did the lifting.  We hit the road, car packed tight. 

We'd made it through most of the two hour drive when we heard an odd car noise.  MM noticed it when we slowed for one toll booth (the northeast extension of the PA turnpike is odd...on and off a few times...).  He thought it was likely related to the ball bearings in the wheel.  I pretended to understand.  We got to another toll.  MM picked a lane that did both cash and EZ-Pass.  The pass clicked, the gate arm opened, we went five feet, and we stopped.  Dead.  Car running but not moving.  MM called AAA.  I called his sister to tell them to eat without us (we were only 15min away).

MM tried to push with no success.  Folks came (one totally out of niceness, the other nice but also stuck in the queue behind us), but it wasn't going anywhere.  The very insightful man working at the toll booth suggested that it was not a good place to stop.  We appreciated that insight.  Though if you have to stop dead on the Turnpike, a toll lane's a good choice (esp the gated one where folks slow down more...they were able to clear the line too).  And the toll man was a nice escort across the busier EZ Pass lanes and let me use their restroom.  Eventually, both the Turnpike rescue folks and the AAA tow guy arrived.  The rescue guy was really nice,  I'd always wondered about that service (paid for by the Pike, patrols a given area in his shoft) and he seemed happy to have people to chat with since he was working either way.  The tow guy, however, was beyond rude.  MM's brother-in-law said the shop the tow guy wanted to use was awful and.  Tow man wasn't too happy about taking us further but MM has the fancy AAA and stood up for his right to go wherever he wanted w/in 100 miles.

We left it at the shop...because it was not only a Sunday but also a holiday so we clearly weren't going anywhere.  We were rescued by family.  We'd missed dinner but still got to enjoy the food, hung out for a few hours and eventually went to a hotel.  We checked in just before 10 and were a bit desperate for just a drink or two after the day.  The hotel called the bar next door and they held last call.  We met a very drunk Canadian.  He suggested it was silly for me to get divorced from X and that I should just sleep with MM and not worry about it.  Yeah.  We had a drink and may have sorta purchased an illicit bottle of wine from the bartender to take back with us. Illicit and cheaper than it would ever have been at the bar normally.  He got a good tip and joins the turnpike rescue man on my heroes list.

We slept.  At 8AM, MM got a text.  The shop guy was in and the car was there, he had the key.  He did not, however, have power.  Because that's how things were going.  When we got dressed, we found our clothes smelled of smoke...odd since we were in a non-smoking room and hadn't been anywhere with smoke.  And even more fun without having taken any of my normal nightly medicines (allergy, BCP for endo, lexapro) since we expected to be home Sunday night. 

We set up a late check out and wandered down to the hotel breakfast.  We had bagels and cream cheese and coffee.  And then a hotel employee (not the food attendant...she was just hanging out but in her hotel garb and we'd seen her the night prior) suddenly turned to me and asked who I'd vote for in 2012.  I decided to try and push it off and said I thought I'd vote for me.  I mentioned my theory that the key is knowing who to trust and who to ask because no one knows it all and I'd need a great foreign policy guru but could handle some domestic things myself.  I was cautious and threw in "women's issues" to expand.  She asked what that meant and I cautiously clarified I meant pro-choice matters.  She kindly asked me to clarify again by saying "Really, don't you think that's murder?"  Lovely.  She made a taxes and Planned Parenthood rant.  I made a quick statement about most of their work being women's health and such.  I then asked to please be allowed to eat my breakfast.  I got a reprieve and then was interuppted by a story of a fetus grabbing a finger during surgery.  I gave a quick response and said I would like to just have my meal.  I got a few more minutes and then a rant about paying for other people's abortions.  I gave a brief response and a third request for peace.  I got a glare.  The lady actually working the breakfast told us to take our time but she was going to clean a bit.  The lights were turned out.  Yeah, fun.

We hung out in the room until we had to checkout.  We walked by the same lady (again, a hotel staff member) using the guest computer.  She had VERY large font on some sort of document and both MM and I spotted the term "Roman Catholic" on the screen.  Didn't seem like the right use of the guest computer but we went on to the checkout desk.  While MM checked out, I went to throw out some trash and again walked by the computer.  New line: "I met a heathen this morning."  Yeah.

We hung out till the shop called.  It was an easy fix and not too pricey.  On a normal day, this wouldn't have taken long but with the holiday and the power issues, it was about 22h after the toll booth breakdown.  We stopped by MM's parents place to return the borrowed car and I wasn't feeling good.  I threw up once and hoped that whatever it was would pass (I did NOT have THAT much to drink!!).  We drove the two hours home and our highway exit was closed for repairs....because we needed more fun.  We took a back way.  I've always had a theory about the inverse relationship between bladder needs and the proximity of home (I'm FINE till I'm trying to unlock the door).  I began to suspect my tummy had joined in on this game and warned MM he'd have to move fast and get the door.  I made it to the driveway....luckily got the door open first...

I spent four hours violently ill.  MM got major brownie points for poise under pressure.  I'd have NOT been as good...especially before I decided to stay on th bathroom floor and needed him to run for a bowl and hold back my hair.  Fun detail, no?  I was actively sick from 5ish till 9 and had a rerun at midnight (even though I hadn't eaten since 10:15).

But, clearly, the toll booth breakdown, the power outage, the nasty hotel worker, and the violent illness wouldn't be enough.  It had been a gray day but opened up just as MM was unloading the car.  And stopped when he was done (more rain came later but not for a few was totally intent on raining on his head).  After unloading, he found that the trunk seal must have been faulty...a pile of water was in his spare wheel well.  Yeah. 

So.....I'm in bed.  I have managed 1/4 of my soda in 3 hours.  I am not sure that I'll even make it to the couch today.  When I can do so more eloquently, the hotel is definitely getting a letter about their staff.  I am blaming the illness on her putting a curse on me.  Which needs to pass so I can get on a plane Wednesday night, despite the Canadian man's insistence, to follow the MA rule requiring an in-person hearing for an uncontested divorce.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I confess...I'd been doing some check-in posts but it's been a wile so I think it I'm due.  As I gave this post thought, I decided it needed both topic headers AND bullet points.  I heard the voice of some English teacher from days gone by saying lists needed more than one entry.  I have decided I can break that rule if I decide to.  I can be a grammar stickler (esp. for ads and printed material) but I figure my blog is a rule-free zone.  For me, as I do very much enjoy my posts of rules for others to follow.

  • I had some flares with the endo but it has quieted (knock on cyberspace).  I have a theory....I like theories and rarely require any actual backing.  I am definitely sensitive to pheromones and such.  I have a memory of a law school classmate making an emergency trip home from a night out and joking she was mad I didn't warn her that she should expect a monthly visitor...she was always a day or two behind me.  I am on the Pill...I am "on the Pill plus" since I use it for the endo and don't take the 4th week "off" (normal women take the 4th week as placebos pills).  Nonetheless, a doc told me my body still does some amount of natural cycling/hormone-making.  In the distant past, I noticed I got a bit of spotting (yeah, TMI) whenever X went out of town.  So, theory: I think the flare was adjusting to MM in close proximity (esp. the sleeping hours).  My body knows him now so it is better.
  • The back continues to plague me.  It never got better and flared back to extreme levels after one of the many snow shoveling days of winter.  I've been seeing a new of the partners in Doctor Dad's practice.  Yes, I do appreciate having a little star by my name.  The current thought is Degenerative Disc Disease L5/S1.  I have a bone scan Monday (ummm...I prefer not to say tomorrow since it involves an injection and I do not do well with needles) then likely another evaluation procedure (that one sounds awful but needed).  I am in pain.  I need meds and hate that.  I am angry at my body.  But I am trying to focus on moving ahead.
Heart & Soul
  • I met a boy on NYE, but you know this already and we call him MM here.  He is awesome.  I am amazed by the person he is, the way I feel with him, and the way I see myself in his eyes.  And he's sitting next to me and looks cute.
  • This bullet is transitional (guess that English major is still in there) and about transitions.  MM has made me see my eight years with X in a new light.  As I have said before, I have realized I loved X because I decided I should....that it was time to fall in love and that he fit my list of "should-haves" for a match.  But it wasn't ever right.  I don't intend that to say bad things about X, just about "X plus RamblerGal" (I need a name for me too) wasn't right.  I am angry at myself for the lost eight years and for not knowing they were spent with the wrong person (again, about "us" more than about "him").  But that time helped ready me for the right match, for one I felt totally in my heart and not because it was paper-perfect.  It made me ready to feel more confident when my heart chose and to remember all my best decisions were ones I knew in my gut more than in my head (college, car, white dress, even a couch).
  • The formal process of no loner being legally a Mrs. is still on-going.  A big step is at the end of the month when we have a hearing.  It is utterly ridiculous that I need to travel all the way back to MA to appear in person to say it is done when we've already dealt with all the money stuff and there are no kids to worry about.  I get that it shouldn't be EASY.  I get that some of this is to protect against financial issues.  But it is just a pain.  And a pricey pain when I live far away.
  • Still unemployed.  Not really going to say much more in public on that.
Body Image/ED Stuff
  • I've been mixed on eating.  Limited true binges, but plenty of not-so-great days where I verged that way and the beast was there. I know my danger zones (being alone, non-gym days, knowing I'll be splurging later) but still can struggle.
  • A friend linked my to a site about another woman who struggles with binge issues.  She eats a "paleo" diet which isn't for me, but the following words (which Lauren actually put in a comment) are immensely helpful to me: "Someone once told me that you can never condemn a disordered eater for their habits, because the actions they are taking are the best ways they know how to deal with the demons inside them."
  • MM does help me feel good about my body.  Major props.
  • Been decent about getting in weight training.  It is important for many is good to keep my body strong to help with the back, it helps keep the metabolism stoked, and it makes me look cuter.  Did skip my 2nd day this week (back and lower body) but I think that was also the right call since I was in too much pain and it would have hurt my form which is dangerous.
  • Still get frustrated being kept in slo-mo on the treadmill.  The upside to unemployment is that I can still push out a good number of miles since I've got the time to spend.  I've gotten into a routine that gives me good distraction TV on weekdays which helps too.
  • The gym is mean and closes at 2 on weekends.  It makes my patented routine of being lazy but still working out much more difficult.
Reading, Writing, No Arithmetic
  • I sent the article I wrote on Binge Eating to the woman whose blog I quoted above.  She gave some good thoughts but I've been too lazy to incorprate them.  I want to though.  It'd be such an amazing dream to publish it.  I want the feeling for myself and I also really want even one more sufferer to feel less alone.
  • I've gotten back into reading and often spend an hour or two reading in bed while MM goes to sleep (he gets up early for work).  It is something that I really enjoy and it enriches my life.  The Harper folks and some Amazon gift money are helping keep it financially viable.
  • This could go under body issues but I've decided it is THEIR issue not MINE.  I haven't gotten measured lately, but at last check I was a 32A.  First, many stores don't carry a 32.  Second, if they do, there is often a LOT of padding involved.  TMI, but I'm quite sensitive to cold and do like a solid lining to avoid unwelcome attention.  But I don't feel the need to fake what isn't least not in a daily wear bra.  I'm proportional and I'm fine (well, mostly) with the lack of certain assets.  Why do the stores/manufacturers insist that I need improvement?
  • MM gave me a necklace, not a major gift, just a token (though my V-day gift is also a necklace and it finally shipped last week).  I kept the charm and traded out the chain.  It is shaped like a dog tag with the air force symbol and says "Off-Limits Private Property U.S.A.F."  It makes me smile.  And, no, I'm not anyone's still makes me smile.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

mixed messages -- Vogue vs Walmart

I confess...these thoughts have been rattling inside my brain for a while, but I'm not sure if they are going to come out in any sort of orderly fashion.

Any follower of my blog knows that I have more than my share of body image and food issues.  I spent way too much mental energy on them.  I didn't give any thought to my body until my early 20s.  While that was mentally easier, it was also far from ideal since it led to quite a hefty weight gain in college and I was apt to take multiple servings of dessert and never gave too much thought to the whole exercise thing. 

It isn't quite the same, but I was reminded of this in Jen Lancaster's Such A Pretty Fat.  Jen concludes that her self-confidence and love for her body, despite it being larger than social norms, actually stood in the way of health.  But then struggles a bit to find balance as her journey to lose weight and get healthy lead to some struggles with image and a strained relationship with food.  Like with my own journey, it becomes complicated to decide what "healthy" isn't healthy to hate oneself (as I have done...hating my body appearance is a separate battle from hating my body for the pain) but it isn't good to be blind either.  Obviously, the ideal is a middle ground where the motivation is about being healthy and being one's best self, but that is a very elusive space.

I've also been off on a semi-related mental tangent about social messages.  We hear plenty of media bashing for the portrayal of a very narrow range of body types, many of which have been altered by surgery (only a VERY few women are that thin and still have that level of boobage..they exist, but they are rare) or photo-magic.  I do understand the argument that we like to look at pretty people but also agree that I'd like a more balanced media portrayal of bodies, especially women's although I think it increasingly applies to men too. 

But I also wonder about distorted social messages.  I was out-and-about not long ago (okay, it was Walmart...which plays into stereotypes but that's where I was) and looking at bodies.  The vast majority were not a healthy size.  I'd heard reports before that people are often in denial about their own unhealthy weight, and that of their children, and wondered about it.  I didn't give thought to my body in my heavier days, but I knew it wasn't ideal and would have answered as such.  I have been thinking a lot about how overweight and obesity issues multiply and build on each other.  If the bodies I saw at Walmart are the bodies one sees every day, then unhealthy (and, ideally, abnormal) becomes normal.  We judge ourselves by our surroundings.  Many years ago, I made note of the social and class differences at my old law firm where the attorney women were thin (and white) while the secretaries tended to a higher BMI (and more were African-American).  I think this is the Walmart experience in a microcosom...our norm is based on our environment.  As heavy becomes normal, it becomes harder to recognize that it isn't ideal (for health).  We hear a LOT bashing the media for its messages but I don't think we pay as much attention to the Walmart effect.

I don't know if I'll ever have a child but I worry about helping mesh all the messages into something positive.  I don't want to pass on my fixations and concerns and damaging body image, but I also want to be sure to pass on a message of caring for one's body with exercise and proper diet (diet = food we eat, not some short-term plan).  I think the key is sending messages about health rather than appearance, but it seems hard.  Especially when Walmart and and Vogue are making it hard to find a healthy norm.

P.S.  I took a bit of mental energy to write this.  I'm not proofing.  So apologies for messy grammar and poor connecting sentences...really, those things drive me nutty but also mean I'd spend way too much time if I tried to perfect this.

Friday, April 8, 2011

b/c i lack the focus for a more insightful post

I confess...I have a longer post flitting around my head that's inspired by the book Such a Pretty Fat, but I'm not feeling quite up to the level of commitment a real post requires.  So, you're getting the much loved (well, by me) bullet points..
  • I got the court date for the divorce hearing.  I hate that MA makes you appear in person (and then wait 90d more).  I do understand they want to be assured of consent and that there are economic concerns, but it really is a pain.  It took five minutes to get the license to say "I do" and it takes eons to say "I don't."
  • I've gotten back into the reading before going to sleep habit.  It really is a source of joy for me so I'm quite glad MM can fall asleep with the light on.  I'm finishing up The Space Between Us.  I only put my Harper reviews here but I review other books I've read on Goodreads (username clg1213).  I also use the site to help pick new books, looking at what a few friends read and also at the general reviews.  It is interesting to compare the reviews on Goodreads to those on Amazon.
  • I have stopped watching Bones but feel the odd need to skim plot summaries.  I'm behind on Parenthood and The Good Wife but can catch up on those via On Demand.
  • I love pickles.  Dill, not bread & butter.
  • I had an MRI for my back on Wednesday.  It was my third and the first time I had a machine with music.  I have no issue with small spaces...I get claustrophobic in crowds but kind of enjoy small spots alone...but the MRI noise is terrible.  I could still hear the clamour, but could hear the music too.  Dar helped me relax and helped the time pass.  I think it is funny that the MRI in central PA has music but the two different places in Boston (one city, one metro area) did not.
  • I heard a commercial the other days that advertised "food for your fat dogs."  I'd heard ads for diet dog food before but this seemed blunt.  It made much more sense when I realized it was actually "food for your cats and dogs."
  • The weather is nutty.  That is all I shall say on that.
  • I got a haircut last week and was talking to the lady about having learned to dry my hair upside down for a bit.  It isn't for volume...I dry it right-way after to eliminate any added volume since I have plenty...but just to get the underneath parts dry.  It sounds so silly to say a hair habit was "life-changing" but it really added 10-15 minutes to every day, certainly helped my hair health, and saved my arms from much discomfort. 
  • I watched the YouTube video with the babbling twins way too many times.  It fascinates me and shows so much about the innate nature of language.
  • The peanut butter no-bake cookies at Sheetz are a new addition to my favorite things list.  Gas prices are not.
  • I get distracted by dogs on TV.  Or playing outside.  Or in passing cars (luckily, I tend to be a passenger).
  • RiteAid keeps printing out "save $3 when you spend $15" survey coupons on my receipts.  They have totally hooked me.  I know better but I find myself coming up with stuff I need so I can use them.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd -- Emotional and Vivid Portrait of Sexual Exploitation

I confess...I struggled for words to update folks while reading Rachel Lloyd's Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale, an Activist Finds Her Calling and Heals Herself.  It is an amazing book (part memoir, part call to action) but my usual "I'm enjoying it" or "I love it" doesn't really work when the subject is the sexual exploitation of girls and teens.  I can confidently give five stars to the book (provided to me by the folks at Harper), but still don't know the exact words I want to use.

Lloyd is a survivor herself.  She ended up in the sex industry after fleeing an unhealthy home and turning to exotic dancing to make ends meet when traditional jobs turned her away due to her youth.  She ultimately suffers at the hands of an abusive man who sells her body and treats her as property but who is able to control her, in part, because of her emotional vulnerability.  Lloyd becomes an advocate for girls and young women (as young as eleven!) whose bodies have been co-opted by men and who learn to believe that they are worth only as much as they can bring in for their pimp each night.  Lloyd helps an outsider understand what makes these girls vulnerable and how they fall under such harsh control.  She also shows how difficult it can be, emotionally and financially, to flee this life once captured by it.  The book is deeply upsetting but does express hope that these girls and women can be saved if we open our eyes and admit they are there and that they exist.  Lloyd calls upon us to recognize that the sex industry includes young girls and women in our own backyards, not just the more recognized international sex trade (which is, of course, also a horrid industry). 

I often struggle with non-fiction "issue" books because I feel that they can struggle in terms of organization and thus can lose the attention of their reader (or, at least, lose MY attention).  Lloyd deftly overcomes this, tracing issues and stages of exploitation and interspersing her own story and stories of the victims she has helped along with more factual data.  She helps the reader to see past biases and assumptions and to recognize the lost, lonely, and frightened children hiding behind the sexy clothes, makeup, and stilettos. 

Highly recommend for anyone interested in women's issues.  I'm not in a position to do so these days, but I do hope to support Lloyd's work financially in the future.