Monday, January 30, 2006

come now...her hair alone weighed 15 pounds.

get this:

The first stewardesses could not be taller than 5 feet 4 inches and could not weigh more than 115 pounds.

hm. i coulda had a great career...

for about a year...

in the 6th grade.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

the christmas tree that i cannot bear to take down.

at times, i cannot imagine a sadder sight than looking down a street littered with bare Christmas trees, toppled over like drunken dames of questionable reputation. sad, stray strands of tinsel not properly plucked off adding to the pathos of the tableau.

i refuse to expose my innocent, little tree to that kind of environment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

low-carb, low-schmarb

put on your headphones and take a listen, then go eat a damn bagel. if you want it, of course.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

shut up and listen.

i went away this weekend for a few days to a farmhouse upstate that belongs to a friend of mine. i needed some time away from the chaos that is my apartment and life (does my apartment reflect my life? or does my life reflect my apartment?) to think, reassess and just be.

i've had some pretty shocking eureka moments in the past few weeks - chock it up to the holidays, the new year, the birthday, the new little gumptious gray hair that's shimmying out of my hairline (whom i've named Roxanne, by the way), whatever. i just know i needed to step away...shut up...and listen.

sounds easier than it is. i excel at many things. relaxing is not one of them.

i went alone. now, this worried a few of my friends. rightly so. they know me, or rather, they know The Isolationist Me from when my eating-disordered, self-destructive behavior ruled my days. when my 3 best friends were Girl Scout cookies, broccoli and obsessive exercise. you know what they say, don't you?

an addict alone is in very bad company.

i guess they thought i was gonna go up there and weep myself into oblivion while bathing in a tub of chocolate and then run 14 miles. still appealing at times, yes, but i also know that in spite of my reclusive-abusive past, i've always been the type o' gal who needs a little "alone time." a little QT time with the most fabulous/horrible (cuz it really depends on the day, right?) person i know.

as much as i'd love to fill my house with guests and feed them giant pots of chili and cocoa and suffer paroxysms of laughter; as much as i'd like to take my show around the country and save every pre-teen girl from stepping into the abyss that is an eating disorder; as much as i'd love to meet a boy and get married and maybe have a kumquat or two and slow dance to the din of the dishwasher (there's one of them fucking, inconvenient eurekas i was talking about) - i really do believe that in the end, the most important relationship that i have is with me. that sounds very self-help and Oprahesque, but if i'm not "okay" alone, i will never ever be okay with ______.

them's thar just the truth.

so...that's what this weekend was about. shutting up, listening, and just being with me.

between baking vegan cornbread and watching old Katharine Hepburn/ Cary Grant flicks, i spent a lot of time sitting by a waterfall, endearingly called "Buttermilk Falls," sunlight piercing through a lacy veil of trees. i just sat and tried to discern what it is/was that i really want in my life and what i can do about getting it or giving it away.

figure it all out dammit! and preferably within the hour!

funny. i was still tense.

finally, after an hour of agonizing over why an epiphany had failed to strike, it dawned on me to just quit fucking trying so goddamn hard.


there were no sweeping revelations. no booming voice from God. it was more of a faint whisper that naturally got louder as the screaming, judgmental thoughts got sucked away into the rush of the falls.

what'd it say? eh. a number of things.

be generous.

be loving.

be honest.

give dinner parties (
seriously that was one.)

the biggest one was the quietest one. the eensy-weensy pebble that ripples the water and shifts all the others into the sunlight.

open, please.

in essence, be vulnerable.

ugh. i'd be more comfortable with be a bitch. that voice is absolutely right, though, and i know it. i think i've proven that i'm strong, but am strong enough to show that i'm weak?

we'll see...i'm just gonna keep shutting up and listening.

my brothers should be very pleased. ( ;

Thursday, January 19, 2006

happy birthday to me.

pre-rollerskating birthday brownie courtesy of the urban family

went rollerskating last nite in celebration of my 31st birthday. 31! can you believe it?

me either.

have to say...i'm only happy to be getting older. you couldn't pay me to go back to the scared 25-year old i was six years ago. sure...i've discovered a wiry gray hair, i've got "expression lines" on my forehead and my knees don't handle running quite as well as they used to, but i (heart) myself sooooooo much more now than i ever have. i'm getting to that place of bien de sans peau or "comfort in one's own skin." i have bad days, of course. we all do. actually, today was sort of a "fat day," but the difference is i'm learning how to take care of myself on days like today. my journal entry this morning:

i feel chubby and do i stop this feeling from affecting my entire day in a negative way? 1. i wear clothes that are comfortable 2. i drink a lot of water 3. eat wholesome foods and 4. no drinking tonight. ha. oh - and lipgloss - lotsa lipgloss. that's key.

i also got a massage unlike any i've ever gotten this afternoon. egads...the power of touch. we forget how important touch is especially when we don't have a siggy other to snuggle with. kinda sux, but ya gotta schedule that in and oftentimes pay for it. to save money, i think i'm just gonna start hugging random people as i walk down the street.

excuse me, i haven't had my daily dose of touch today. do you mind hugging me in an engaged yet non-threatening platonic manner? point is, i like this getting older gig.

last nite, i told my friend, r, that i remember lying in bed the night of my 5th birthday, spreading my left hand out like a starfish and whispering to myself in the dark as if i'd discovered something earth-shattering:

"wow...i'm a whole hand."

now i'm six whole hands plus an index finger (or a middle finger. depends on the day.)

ah well...the better to eat chocolate with.

Monday, January 16, 2006

for monique, wherever she is.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love, 1963

in nutrition class a couple of weeks ago, we were asked to recall the first time we encountered racism, or rather, the first time we were made aware of its existence. i'm sure i was in the presence of it for much of my childhood but wasn't aware of it. my family, while loving and not openly discriminatory, has their "issues" surrounding race and religion. i like to think that i'm somehow exempt from that inheritance, but unfortunately, i didn't just get the good stuff: great eye-hand coordination, moody hazel-amber eyes that change colors when i cry and a mouth-watering flank steak recipe. nuh-uh.

me? i think i not only became aware of racism existing, but aware my own racist proclivities just before my 6th birthday. one helluva present, eh?

a few weeks before my birthday party, my mother sent me to school with invitations to hand out. she instructed me to be very careful because i hadn't invited every little girl in the class. namely, i hadn't invited monique. monique was the sole black student in my first grade class. i don't remember ever having viewed her as "different." i mostly remember being jealous of the numerous little pastel-colored barrettes she wore in her hair; she wore so many it was like her hair had been sprinkled with confetti. we played together in the schoolyard. we both had French names that started with an "M." we were the only girls in the class who could outrun the boys. i liked monique. i don't remember thinking of her as "different," but i must have thought something because i did not invite her to my party.

(25 years later, and i still feel a lump of guilt land in my gut with a resonant thump when i write/read that.)

to this day, i don't know why my mom didn't make me invite her. it clearly upset my mom that i hadn't. perhaps she thought she was letting me make my own decisions, giving me some sort of independence and ownership over my own party. whatever. i was six. i got a 25 cent/week allowance. i didn't own anything. i don't fault my mom for much, she was pretty damn near Donna Reed-perfect, but she should have made me invite monique.

inevitably, monique ended up finding out that i was having a party and that she wasn't invited. (we were six-year olds. six-year olds don't keep secrets.) what did i say? i don't even remember. i must have blocked it out because i was so absolutely and utterly ashamed. after all, i had absolutely no good reason for not having invited her. what could i say?

because you don't look like the other girls?

because your hair isn't silky like theirs?

because i can't see your freckles?

because your eyes are solid onyx in a setting of white, pupil and iris absolutely indistinguishable?

i often think about monique. i wonder how she is. did she ever leave milan? does she have children of her own? does she remember that party she wasn't invited to? i'm sure she's fine. i'm sure she recovered, had her own damn party, didn't invite me and wore 4,000 sparkly barrettes in her hair. i realize it's presumptious to think that i might have had some sort of lasting negative effect on her.

in retrospect (it only took 25 fucking years!), it makes me realize that racism is like any other disease, genetic or gotta fight it, you gotta talk about it, you gotta expose it to the light so that seething, pus-filled wound can heal. one big reason i have fought my eating disorders so vehemently is because i don't want to pass them on; either to my own children or to my nieces and nephews. same thing goes for racism. it doesn't just go away, and "just not knowing any better" isn't a reason to let it hang around and fester. it's contagious.

so thanks for that lesson, monique. even if i don't benefit from it, at least some future generations will. i hope you're happy wherever you are and that you have never ever given me and my stupid party a second thought. i really don't deserve it.

still, i sure would like to say i'm sorry.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

note to self: hang out with more drunk people.

drink up ladies...the boys get cuter, and i get skinnier.

i went to a farewell party for my friend, j., last night. j. designed and built all of the body forms for my show. sweet, talented lady. she's heading west to LaLa Land to pursue a career in set design. she's got a hot bod, flaming tresses and one helluva noggin. she should do smashingly well. she should probably keep the brain a bit of a secret in the beginning however.

anyway, i'm quite sober when i arrive. everyone else is...not. i'm chatting with a lovely inebriated lass, h. h. is friends with j. and therefore knows all about my show, blog, etc. in between sips, she slurringly praises me:

you're so funny! you're so talented! i love your blog. but wait! your show is called size ate? but you're not a size 8!

i'm thinking: no, not always. sometimes a 10. sometimes a 12. you're right. thanks for pointing that out. it's not like i'm that much bigger. sheesh. i hate drunk people.

she accidentally picks up my drink to take a sip:

you're not a size 8! you're like a size 4!

i love drunk people.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

i always did like "friends"

68%. yeah. i wish.

i'm working on a really profound, earth-shattering post, but in the meantime check this site out. you upload your picture and it tells you what celebs have similar bone structure to yours.

here were my results. not the most scientific i don't think, but it's fun anyway.

for the hell of it, i decided to do my Great Grandmother Ruth.

my dad sent me this photo a few weeks ago. i don't remember much of her. she died when i was around 6 years old, and at the time she was living in Florida, so my memories of her are restricted to a single visit to her condominium one Easter vacation when i was around 4. i imagine i spent most of my time doing what most kids do at their great-grandparents' house, raiding the Depression glass candy dish and trying to figure out why everything smells so i know, a combination of Emeraude eau de toilette and vienna sausage.

apparently she was quite the party girl in her time. ruth, they say, was (gasp) a flapper as much as a girl could be in the eensy-teensy town of milan, michigan. rumor has it she used to sneak cigarettes (contraband in their household by her husband - my staid, bank manager great-grandfather Grant), hastily hiding them in the freezer when her grandchildren (my dad and his brothers) paid her unannounced visits. my dad would open the freezer to get a popsicle, ice cubes, whatever only to be overwhelmed by ribbons of smoke swirling out from behind the frozen peas where a bed of butts lay dying.

okay...that was a tangent.

so, here are gramma ruth's results. funny.

64% - Tori Amos

64% - Therese of Lisieux

60% - Hugh Grant

59% - Jennifer Connelly

58% - Matt LeBlanc

Monday, January 09, 2006

new year, new word

i was going to post a pic, but it just felt too bitchy signaling anyone out.

i'm coining a new word...prettiful.

no no no...not full of pretty. but a combination of pretty and pitiful.

oh, c' know the people i'm talking about.

those peeps that never really developed a character or intellect b/c he/she figgers he/she can coast on "he/she's pretty" for the most of his/her life.

but then, who am criticizing? i think enlightenment might lay in a pair of glittery false eyelashes.

they do, right?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

a poem for the new year


if i'd repeat the last 4 stanzas daily, i swear i'd be more present and awake in 2006 than ever before...or even just one word: Look!

Hummingbird Pauses at the Trumpet Vine
by Mary Oliver

Who doesn't love
roses, and who
doesn't love the lilies
of the black ponds

floating like flocks
of tiny swans
and of course the flaming
trumpet vine

where the hummingbird comes
like a small green angel, to soak
his dark tongue
in happiness - - -

and who doesn't want
to live with the brisk
motor of his heart

like a Schubert
and his eyes
working and working like those days of rapture
by van Gogh, in Arles?

Look! for most of the world
is waiting
or remembering - - -
most of the world is time

when we're not here,
not born yet, or died - - -
a slow fire
under the earth with all

our dumb wild blind cousins
who also
can't even remember anymore
their own happiness - - -

Look! and then we will be
like the pale cool
stones, that last almost