All of us at FIFI are grateful to Samantha and Tracy for starting the blog in 2012, inviting us to join as writers and readers, and keeping it going strong in the midst of whirlwinds of change over the past decade plus some. In honor of her birthday, and in no particular order, are 59 great things about Samantha, who turns 59 today.
1–4: Samantha’s in-house menagerie of various creatures:
5–8: a rotating roster of cats, past and present, including the venerable Zippy, who lived to the ripe old age of 18, Boo, her son Gavin’s cat, who lodges with them from time to time, and her daughter Mallory’s cats Louie and Moon, who visit on occasion.
9–16: Sam’s well-looked after family of Mallory, Gavin, Miles, Kathleen, Sarah, Jeff, Susan, and others I’m forgetting. Not to mention her many friends, students, colleagues, and neighbors (which I’m counting as one for these purposes).
I don’t think I got everyone in this montage, but that’s just because Samantha’s family and friends cannot be contained by mere digital means.
17–26: Sam’s written a lot of very popular blog posts over the years. Here are ten of them:
- Pain and the human playground review (2022)
- Crotch shots, upskirts, sports reporting and the objectification of female athlete’s bodies (2013)
- Women who care the most about their looks have the toughest time aging (2014)
- Looking for a good beginner’s race on Zwift? Here’s some places to start (2020)
- Why make it all about weight? Can’t it just be a good hair day? (2018)
- Whatever’s Comfortable: What would a version of this ad look like with a woman? (2015)
- Four worries Sam has about intuitive eating (2018)
- Finding clothes to fit athletic women’s bodies (2013)
- Finding clothes to fit athletic women’s bodies (2021)
- Things thin people might not think about, or why Sam rides her bike to the hospital (2017)
The fact that Sam wrote in both 2013 and 2021 about finding clothes to fit athletic women’s bodies shows a real need for this blog. And by the way, it’s not fixed yet. But don’t worry, Sam and the rest of us are on it.
27–31: Samantha has been writing about real women’s bodies (in contrast to Barbie bodies) for a decade before the movie came out. Here are five of her posts:
- Padded sports bras and nipple phobia
- Come on, Barbie, let’s go party (or ride bikes?)
- The day I discovered the dreaded camel toe
- Further thoughts on camel toe, Barbie crotch and the quest for tiny bodies
- We’ve got lots to say about labia!
32–37: Sam embraces the gear! six bikes:
- pink brompton
- gravel bike
- newer road bike
- older road bike for trainer
- fat bike
- track bike (possibly for sale…)
38–40: Sam continues to embrace the gear! 1.667 boats
- 1/3 of a big sailboat
- 1/3 of a small sailboat
- 3/3 of a canoe
41: Sam doesn’t embrace single car ownership, but shares one with her mum.
42: Say what you will, but I think Sam and I looked pretty similar in high school.
43: I think we still look like we could be cousins (which we certainly are in a psychic sense, or something)
44: Samantha loves books! She buys books, reads them, talks and writes about them in our FIFI book club (and elsewhere), and gives books to people. Hey Sam– what should our next FIFI book club be about? Something to think about.
45: Sam’s To Listen, Read and Watch posts. They are a relaxing and often informative time-out from work emails or more serious reading. Wanna catch up on some of them? Look here.
46: No matter what sort of snafu or whoopsie-thing happens with the blog (and yes, below our sleek, professional exterior, we are fallible like everyone else…:-) Samantha manages to a) fix it; or b) compensate for it; and c) not sweat about it. Thanks, Sam!
47–59: For each year of this blog– 2012–2023 and on, Samantha and Tracy deserve praise (Tracy’s birthday is coming up soon, too, so stay tuned…)
Happy 59th, Samantha, from me, the bloggers, the readers, and Robert Anderson (who took this photo on Unsplash).