Tuesday, May 31, 2005

because you always need more stuff

i'm selling some size ate goodies i designed at cafe press that will (again) go towards mounting my show in september. check it out, and let me know what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to see...

sorry. no cloches available at this time.


Monday, May 30, 2005

no millinery for meeee

it is absolutely gorgeous outside. sunny, but not humid. luckily, i spent my morning laying (lying?) in my backyard, soaking up some vitamin D, digging my toes into the soft grass, reading the most charming book -
I Capture the Castle - sent to me by my dear friend L. because while the rest of the world churns their ice cream makers and shakes the water off that second beer they just pulled from the cooler, i am wasting away in a cavernous office building, inhaling recycled air, having just eaten a bran muffin the size of my head.

if you know me you know this is HUGE. my father and i wear the same size hat. those exquisite little millinery creations in saks fifth avenue never fit my noggin. after years of hopeful attempts, i don't even bother trying them on anymore as it's easier than dealing with the pitying or shocked glances from the petite ladies behind the counter. it's a shame. i've always longed for a chic, fitted cloche. they don't make cloches for GARGANTUAN CRANIUMS, apparently.

(oh, but take a look at theeeese hats . they are the most precious hats in the world! i took a floral ribbon design class with this woman a few years ago - jasmin zorlu. she's just as precious as her hats, and as elfin as you might expect a cloche-designing millinery-maker to be.)

i suppose cloches aren't the best idea for a woman of my statuesque proportions. being my head the size that it is, what i really need is one of those gigantic, wide-brimmed hats that could shield my entire body (and probably several others) from inclimate weather and maybe, make my head seem not so...very...Brobdingnagian. then i could be the heroine. when the rain started to fall, i could play the role of a benevolent benefactress and offer all of the little people in their little cloche hats, shelter from the storm.

or i could just walk around sipping mint juleps and lamenting our loss in The War Between the States.

either one's fine. i just want the hat.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

fish and houseguests...

don't always smell in 3 days...

i had the most lovely weekend with a dear friend (a.) whom i haven't seen since the 4th grade. we used to dance to musicals - annie, the sound of music, west side story - in my louisiana living room for hours, climb gingko trees, and giggle over breakfasts of blueberry pancakes.

so, in keeping with tradition, this weekend, we danced to the Hungry March Band (go see them! a 25-piece Brass March Band based in New York City influenced by n'awlins, india, eastern europe, and they have a baton twirler!) climbed the stairs to the MAC pro-store, and giggled over breakfasts of Brooklyn Bagel Company bagels and Cane River Roasters Mermaid Mantra coffee (yummy, yummy, yummy - "earthy" as a. calls it. buy it, and support small business! yuppiebucks, suckiebucks!)

it was a blissful weekend.

ya know, she coulda been an absolute freakazoid. she contacted me about a year or so ago via email (she Googled me. oh, the power of a weird name - anyone can find you.), and we've been emailing ever since, but we actually haven't laid eyes on each other in 20 years.

holy shania twain, am i that old?

yes, m, you are.

thankfully, she wasn't a freakazoid, and thankfully, she's that old too.


we were both a bit nervous. she thought i would be perfect, i thought she (a very successful MAC makeup artist and store manager) would be perfect. thank heavens, we're both so imperfectly perfect we make a splendidly imperfectly perfect pair. after the initial niceties, it was like we'd never parted ways - like we'd never stopped bouncing around on top of my brother's twin beds to madonna's like a virgin, cramming our faces with Natchitoches meat pies, or watching the (contraband) film sixteen candles repeatedly, giddy with lust for "Jake."

as a matter of fact, she might be one of the most kindhearted, generous of spirit folks i know, plus she's fabulous - a halo of fiery red hair, a buttery-rich southern accent spiked with bourbon, and capable of spending an entire saturday walking around the city in heels. so, lucky me, by association, i was fabulous too. if only for a weekend.

a prototypical southern hostess (even when she's at someone else's house) a. left me with many gifts - chocolate, loads of makeup, mix CDs, strong coffee, memories of a louisiana childhood that would have otherwise permanently slipped from my mind - i almost felt ashamed. i mean, i'm no emily post. my apartment is a mess, my sink is backed up, and she had to navigate an obstacle course of laundry piles in order to get from the living room to the kitchen. eh...i'm not so good at accepting compliments or gifts, but i'm learning. it's been a weekend of learning to accept generosity - in friendship, "sussies," and watermelon martinis.

not to get maudlin, but...

oh, what the hell...

oftentimes, if you just open your heart, your door, your hands - you'll receive gifts that are juuuuuust right, even if you think you don't deserve them. god likes to see all of us in tiaras, even if we drop our batons during the talent competition.

oh. and she said i had a small ass.

come back anytime, a.

( :

Saturday, May 28, 2005

ashes and snow, sunshine and rain

a perfect day to me is one that starts with sunshine and ends in rain.

a joyful reveille, a somber taps. hmmmm....lovely. the whole spectrum in a day - a masterpiece between bookends.

so, this finds me very happily tip-tap-typing on my keyboard as the raindrops are drip-drap-dropping outside.

my friend a. is visiting from louisiana (more about her later), and she's an avid fan of photography, so we went to the ashes and snow exhibit at pier 54 in manhattan today.

being a new yorker, and a sad one at that, i don't pay much attention to the goings-on around town. shamefully, the only time i really take advantage of what is right smack-dab in front of me is when out-of-towners come to visit. i know, i know...there's so much cultural yumminess to indulge in, it's a shame that i don't do it more often, it's just that life gets in the way. i had a subscription to time out new york for a while, but i found the pile just grew and grew until it anthropomorphized into a chastising crotchety old biddie:

look at everything you're not doing. look at all of this you're not taking advantage of. tsk, tsk, tsk.

so, i cancelled the subscription and threw her, i mean them, out.

so, as for the exhibit, i had no idea what to expect, and thank heavens, because expectations can totally screw with your experience. it was amazing. i don't want to give too much away, because if you're in the area or if it's coming to a city near you, you should:


it's not just an exhibit as it is an experience. truly. the structure that houses the exhibit itself is called the nomadic museum as it travels with the show. it's enormous - 45,000 square feet - constructed of used shipping containers for the walls and paper tubing for the columns and roof (they look like giant empty paper towel tubes. that's one helluva roll of Bounty - the quicker picker upper.) the structure is about the length of a football field with a cement pathway down the center that is flanked on each side by the photos. miraculous sepia-toned images of elephants, whales, manatees, and falcons interacting with humans, they're printed on handmade japanese paper, suspended in mid-air over beds of smooth grey stones, and warmly lit from above. if you're lucky, some of them will make you cry.

at the far end of the museum, a giant movie screen continuously plays a film version of the exhibit - bringing to life the still images you just passed. trance dancers whirl about with elephants in pools of water - their arms and the elephant's trunks becoming, almost, indistinguishable. (oh, the freedom with which those women enjoyed their bodies - i was envious. i'll bet they didn't think about the size of their thighs or how their hair looked once.)

and the music...oh, the music...gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. simple, minimalistic strings, and plucks, and warbles. (i wanted the CD, but not available until december...wahhhh.)

it's a divine experience, holy almost. not quite like church exactly. less hermetically sealed. of course, the building itself is reminiscent of a cathedral - warm light and shadows, soft music, high ceilings, but it's all in contrast with the noises of everyday slipping in through the cracks - cars roaring past on the westside highway, a buzzing helicopter overhead, wailing babies...

it's so very real. like life. yin, yang. sweet, sour. fat, thin. sunshine, rain. beauty and miracles and divinity and warm light/ annoyance and noise and crowds and port-o-potties. ya can't extract one from the other.

it is what it is, and it is beautiful.

but, i really don't want to give to much away.


and if you're wondering how this is in keeping with the topic of my blog - food, body, culture - this is culture people.

go eat some.

Friday, May 27, 2005

tinkle, tinkle little star


a shuffle of heels against the tile floor.

a sneeze. a sniffle. a cough.

i have to peeeeeeeeeee, dammit.

but i can't.


there is someone in the next stall

not peeing



so, it's quiet.


my klegel muscles are paralyzed.


such polite ladies

we both


in public bathroom limbo

for the other to let the first



no no no, you.

no no no, you.

against the side of the porcelain bowl

an audible permission slip

to let



who will it be?

breathe release breathe release



Thursday, May 26, 2005

buttercream frosting...icing...whatever.

see frosting, insert face.
this is for jen who asked for the buttercream frosting recipe.

and...if you haven't already read jen's exquisitely beautiful and eloquent comment on being a mother, do. it's the comment attached to my "motherhood + self-promotion" post. she's a writer and a very wise mother. perhaps i'll be like her when i grow up. hmm...the writer and mother part is promising...the growing up part? eh...notsamuch.

buttercream frosting was the only kind of frosting i ever recall my mother making. she used it for every birthday cake and Christmas cookie and pasta dish (kidding).

mom was like martha stewart, but nicer, prettier, and less felonious. she was full-time mom and homemaker, so birthday cakes were complex arts and crafts projects for her. she'd make several cakes (from a mix, mind you. it was my mom's opinion that you didn't need to waste your time making the cake part from scratch. i mostly agree with her, although i do make coconut cake from scratch. for a general, run of the mill bday cake, however, i think mixes are fine. spend your time and money on the icing. if that's homemade, they'll think the whole thing is.) - round, rectangular, square - cut them up, and then paste them together with her buttercream spackle to make any number of shapes not available in Wilton cake forms - Holly Hobby, a colorful bunch of balloons, and one year, a roll of Lifesavers (for which she used aluminum foil for the wrapper - clever!). at Christmas time, she'd make enormous batches of frosting and then divvie it up into little bowls. my brothers and i would squirt McCormick food coloring into the snowy whiteness, stir it up, fling it at each other, eat it by the spoonful, and slather whatever was left on sugar cookies.

mom was actually kind of snooty about her buttercream frosting. that gives me a little giggle as my mother was probably one of the least snooty people i know in every other area of her life, but about her buttercream icing, she was a bit hoity-toity. i actually remember her audibly scoffing at my suggestion that we use royal icing as the recipe suggested. ha! it was weeny in comparison to her thick, buttery powerhouse icing that you could plant an oak tree in, and seven minute icing, that meringue-like diabetic foam that i have since admitted into my frosting repertoire, was not even discussed.

in our house, it was just understood that if you needed to frost something, you frosted it with buttercream icing. period.

so, here you are, jen - mom's recipe for buttercream icing, and in her own handwriting to boot! you can make it chocolate, just add cocoa powder to taste (mom would have used Hershey's, but you can get fancy and use Scharfenberger).

and don't forget to make extra, there's nothing worse than an anemically frosted cake, except perhaps an unfrosted cake, and really, what's the point? cake, after all, is just a conduit for frosting.

Janie's Buttercream Icing

1 stick of butter, soft (mom has margarine there, but she never used it)
2-3 cups of confectioner's sugar
1 t vanilla
dash of salt

1 egg yolk
1-2 T light karo syrup
(mom indicates that these are optional. i think the egg yolk is gross, and i don't ever remember her using either. if the frosting is a little too thick, add a little milk. but don't add too much. it should be spreadable, but substantial.)

Cream the butter. Add half the sugar and vanilla, beat. Add remainder of sugar, add milk to make it the proper consistency.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

when in doubt, wear red - bill blass

i read an article today on CNN.com about the power of red in competitive sports. seems folks donning red win more frequently than those who don less rubicund shades.


so i did. wore red. red lipstick, that is. being that i have 4 weeks of laundry piled upon my bed, lipstick was really the only option. every bit of crimson clothing i own will be buried there until i am able to summon the energy to fold it. (at this rate, could be years.)

vermillion rarely graces these lips. i'm a pretty natural kinda girl. a little lipgloss, a little shimmer, a little rosy-nude-i-just-woke-up-this-way-hue. but today, just for the hell of it, or because it was raining, or because i wanted to test the theory of those crazy british anthropologists, i dug my MAC Viva Glam (buy it! 100% of the proceeds benefit AIDS victims) out of the bottom of my clear plastic shoe holder (hey, there' s a tip! if you collect cosmetics like i do, buy one of those clear plastic shoe holders, hang it on the back of your bathroom door, toss in all of your goodies, and tada! you can see all of your loot, not covered in schmootz and buried at the bottom of the lavender Caboodle you've had since you were 13) and slapped it on me lips.

would i be more triumphant in my daily life?

hard to tell.

at first, it was shocking. hard to get used to the contrast of carmine lips against pale white girl skin - like a cardinal against the backdrop of freshly fallen snow. like the strawberries embroidered upon the ill-fated Desdemona's handkerchief. i wasn't sure if i'd have the cojones to wear it out of the house. what if people looked at me?

wearing red lipstick takes practice. not only in the application, but in the follow through as well. you gotta wear it with absolutely no apologies b/c red lips shout and you do not want them to shout i'm sorry, you want them to shout

HOTCHA! i know what i'm doing, i know what i got, and don't you want sooooome?

so, i practiced. i stood in front of the mirror and smiled at myself, smirked, giggled, frowned (oh, like you never do that), and slowly fell in love with the rosebud blossoming on my face. i grew cojones.

rumour has it kate hepburn wore only red lipstick and no other make up on her freckled face, and ohhhhh was she a whippersnapper. i'd like to be a whippersnapper when i grow up, therefore, i thought this could be my first step towards whippersnapper-dom.

so, i left the house for work, red lips blazing and confidence, well...not so much blazing as simmering. i felt a little self-conscious, truth me told, my lips shoutin' all over the place, but i carried on to work, my mouth a veritable matador's cape daring others to look.

as to whether i was more triumphant or not, 'tis hard to tell. i haven't played competitive sports since i dropped that fly ball in the 4th grade (probably wasn't wearing red, dammit), so i couldn't measure my success that way, but i did garner more looks than usual on the subway and my co-worker told me i looked very "painted." hm. perhaps the folks on the subway just fancied me a poorly dressed tart. no triumph there.

i dunno. at the end of the day, i'm still not a big fan of red lipstick. i'm sure i'll return to my clear gloss tomorrow. red lipstick is very high maintenance. you have to reapply a lot. it gets all crusty and builds up in the corners of your mouth (yum!). it leaves marks on everything. you can't eat much, and you certainly can't kiss anyone. but it is sort of fun to play the vamp for a day, fun to carry around harlot-in-a-tube for those moments when you just need attention, not for anything in particular, just because.

i do feel a little sense of triumph because i tried something a little different, took a little baby risk, and that's kinda like winning because with each risk i take, i find they're less scary. so the pink tinsel fake eyelashes i'm wearing tomorrow should be a breeze. it all takes practice - wearing red lipstick, taking risks, winning.

so, are the british anthropologists right? je ne sais pas. i didn't win any soccer matches, but for a day i channeled katharine hepburn - oh dex, i'm an unholy mess of a girl - , and though it's not a competitive sport, i totally kicked ass in yoga.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

the chef is a murderer

step away from the salad.
here' s a tip:

do not eat the chef's salad for lunch. the chef's salad at my place of employment's cafe.

cafe is really too kind of a word. they call it a cafe, but it is not. cafe suggests a charming atmosphere, mahogany-framed mirrors on the walls, rude though sophisticated waiters, glasses of dry white wine sipped from rustic glass cups over a simple salad of smoked salmon, poached organic egg, and frisee, dotted with capers and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper. cafe suggests tarte tatins served with generous dollops of creme fraiche and a strong cup of espresso.

this is not our cafe.

this is our cafeteria:

our cafeteria boils green vegetables until they resemble army fatigues.

our cafeteria covers anything with cheese and calls it au gratin.

our cafeteria serves coffee so strong it would be better utilized cleaning toilets.

our cafeteria doesn't so much prepare food as it does destroy it.

so do not get the chef's salad. no matter how ravenous you are b/c you ran 3 miles (okay, two and a half) that morning and all you had was coffee and a Portuguese roll for breakfast, and it's 3 pm, your blood sugar has plummetted, you're starting to shake, and all you can think about is FOOOOOOOOD! and the chef's salad doesn't look so bad. it actually looks pretty good. some ham, some salami, some cheese, a tomato, and a hard-boiled egg sitting atop a bed of sortof green lettuce. it could be worse.

but do not, i tell you, get the chef's salad.

b/c now, 4 1/2 hours later, stomach gurgling and head swarming with nausea, you venture a guess that the same chef salad you ate today at 3pm was the probably same chef salad you saw sitting there yesterday at noon, wrapped tightly in saran wrap on top of a pile of ice...waiting...

to strike.

Monday, May 23, 2005


i am a cautious optimist. i want things to go well, just usually assume they won't. in my kitchen, the glass isn't half empty or full...it's just got something in it.

see? look. something. neither good nor bad.


but then, there are days when the glass is so indubitibly full of Great that it spills out onto the floor and ya can't help but notice the way it catches the sunlight and you just gotta splash around in the puddle...

sometimes things just click. things just work.


it rains, but people come anyway...and pay.

you have greasy hair, but you want greasy hair b/c it stays put - where you need it when you're running around like a madwoman performing, schlepping cases of beer, or schmoooozing.

your skin is clear and your eyes are bag-free even though you stayed up until 3am fretting about attendance and making "bathrooms are on 4" signs on the computer.

just days before your event, you find the perfect red sparkly shoes at a reasonable price that have a substantial tread making them excellent for both walking and dancing and driving a red 4 x 4 ford pick up.

i think i've found my true love.

the giant standard transmission red Ford pickup (circa 1970) you're driving that squeals like a piggy every time you turn the wheel, doesn't explode in the Costco parking lot like you think it might, torching all of the goodies for your guests. you actually find you enjoy driving it - you are woman, hear you roar - especially when you realize that most men you know can't. ha!

you find a parking space right in front of the theatre and right next door to a mexican restaurant that makes excellent vegetable quesadillas to-go with fresh broccoli and spinach. the delectable juice drips down your arm, but you don't care. you lean on your red jalopey and devour it in the early summer sun. the only thing that's missing are the cowboy boots.

you perform your piece and it just feels right. like an extension of yourself, not like you're performing, you're just being.

you fuck up during said performance, but you keep going anyway, and people either 1. don't notice or 2. don't care 3. love you because of it or 4. you don't care. even better.

props for my show - they got kicked, they got punched,
they got hugged. it was very dysfunctional.

people just get it, and that feels good...or don't get it, which still bothers you because you still want everyone to like you, like you like you! but you realize it doesn't matter if they don't all get it. it's the ones that do, that need it.

you still feel fat (ARRRGH!), but you smile for the pictures anyway. cheeeeese.

post party pic, this installation represented the bust-waist-hip measurements laid flat
of Barbie if she existed as a human, an "average" supermodel, and the average woman

and you eat some blue cheeeeese...and drink some red wine...and you feel fiiiiine.

you dance to the amazing jazz music (donated!) of your friend b. and his melodious little trio, asking yourself, how did i get here, lucky duck - surrounded by so many talented people who offer me their gifts like gumdrops?

the bra/bar

your friends stay 'til the very last - helping you clean up every little crumb, and because they are so economical and don't want your money to go to waste, finish off all of the wine, and make total asses of themselves climbing all over the beloved pickup for pictures.

guests took s'mores2go home with them

and sometimes, you realize, on your way home, driving over the 59th street bridge in a rattling pickup, wind blowing through your hair, (gosh, the skyscrapers are like a bevy of sequinned pageant queens checking out their reflection in the east river, you think.), that the secret to not being hungry anymore might be in the feeding of someone else.

and caramels...well...you'll just have to see the show, won't you?

thank heavens for some times.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

the happy flu

these sparkly dawgs are tiiiiired.

i'm still recovering from the frenzy of yesterday, (i slept until 11am, i never sleep until 11am! i'm usually up by 7 am whether i like it or not) and will give more details in tomorrow's post, but for those of you who have been kind enough to ask, my fundraiser/show went so very well...i could almost vomit. seriously. i'm almost nauseous with gratitude and glee.

it's like having the flu...but in a good way.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

fundraiser day


no, really...i'm fine.

Friday, May 20, 2005

what? are you trying to say i'm skinny?

i love you.

the 3 words most people think a woman wants to hear - preferably whispered into our ear, please...on a street corner...in the rain...in paris. merci.

lovely words, yes, but...

you've lost weight!

the 3 words most women actually want to hear.

even if i know that i haven't lost weight - as a matter of fact, my jeans are tighter and as far as my breasts go, my cups runneth over - i still get a little giddy at the sound of those words. it trips some sort of ecstatic circuit in me and for a few moments i am flying...i can see the utopian village of Gwynethin from up here, and it's to be mine, all MINE mwahahahaha!!!

but at the same turn, it pisses me off...catch me on a different day, or five minutes later and:

WHAT!? are you saying i was fat before? not good enough then? but NOW you think i'm pretty? thin enough? huh? HUH? HUHHHHHH?????

god, it's exhausting.

i started thinking about this charming little idiosyncracy ha. b/c i was walking home with my friend t last night and he said those 3 incendiary words...

you've lost weight?

which set off the whole series of aforementioned emotional fireworks. poor, poor t. luckily he's well aware of my combustible nature and likes me anyway. i know he didn't mean it in a bad way...t is an unconditional pal, he hangs out with me when i'm sopping with sweat after bikram yoga class for chrissakes, and has accompanied me red and puffy, reduced to tears on a subway.


i am just so tired of being judged by my weight, clarity of skin, haircolor, thinness of thighs, firmness of abs, blah blah blah blah...i have spent a lifetime trying to be the version of Me that so-and-so wants Me to be instead of the Me that i am. so, it bothers me anytime i might feel my value as a human being is being determined by what i look like regardless of the onlooker's opinion - positive or negative, even when it might just be a harmless little, god forbid, compliment.

my body is not a Mad Libs game:

just because i am pretty (or not), does not mean i am _______.

just because i am fat (or not), does not mean i am _______.


i am tired of caring.

and yet, i do care, dammit.


calvin klein wasn't jokin' when he created a perfume for women called contradiction - a scent with strong notes of ylang-ylang, lavender, and occasionally overwhelming beeatch.

it's like i've got two women battling it out in my head - the Barbie clone who desperately cares what other people think and the Angry White Female in doc martens listening to ani difranco full-blast on her ipod who desperately does not want to care, but does, in spite of herself. you'd think the AWF would be the obvious winner, she wears steel-toed boots and a spiked collar after all, but do not be fooled by the deceptive pink prettiness of the Barb whose pointy plastic pieds can puncture and deflate a hi-falutin' self-esteem in a matter of moments.


so, how do i learn to reconcile these two very different women living inside my head?

god, i wish i knew. i think i should throw them both out and redecorate.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

summer (body) lovin'

in honor of summer's little flirtation with us today, i bought a skirt - a white and royal blue flouncy confection that kisses me knees and reminds me of matisse's blue nude that used to hang in our living room when i was little. (a print, that is. car dealers in michigan do just fine, but still, no room for an original matisse in the budget.)

i normally hate the way skirts look on me.

you're shocked, i'm sure.

i have very strong, shapely legs that i inherited from my professional football player (linebacker) father. i love them in certain situations; mostly covered...in pants.

then there's that whole shaving thing that i tend to "forget" for weeks at a time, and my body, while lovely, is loooooooong in torso and a wee bit short in leg. this presents two major dilemmas - i have the damnedest time finding shirts that are long enough to accomodate my already longish trunk (not to mention the ubiquitous low-rise pant), and i look particularly schoolmarmish in the de rigeur skirts of the moment - flouncy, intended to fall just below the knee, but on moi fall smack in the middle of the calf. not a good look. less audrey hepburn in sabrina, more robin williams in mrs. doubtfire.

ya know what, though?

fuck it.

yup. that's right. fuck it.

this summer, i refuse to suffer needlessly in the miserable muffin-tin heat of NYC - - - i riiiise like dough in the midst of all of these buildings - - - because i feel the need to cover up my less-than-perfect body parts. r, a dear friend of mine that lives in lexington, kentucky (god help her stand the heat + humidity! they must just drown themselves in mint juleps.) with whom i correspond via post gasp! on a regular basis, and i are developing our own rules of summer (body) lovin'.

i don't think she's thinking about her calves...
unless she has ones that moo.

i ask you, dear readers, to join us, as we reclaim our bodies, our comfort, and our sweat ducts.

rule # 1 for this summer: i will wear skirts. flouncy, light, airy skirts that make me feel full, crinolined, and feminiiiiiiine...like a peony. i don't care if my legs look like telephone poles draped in organza.

rule #2: i will wear sleeveless cotton tops because it will be hotter than hell, and i will not suffocate under long sleeves because i'm frightened of "arm overage."

rule #3: i will wear my hair back, up, and away from my face when i need to be kept cool and comfortable - in ponytails, buns, pigtails, pippy longstocking braids, whatever works. i will not worry as to whether or not this makes my face look fatter or the zit in the middle of my forehead more noticeable.

and more tk. feel free to add your own suggestions. i must to bed...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

a one-night stand with diet man

today. i really want to go on a diet.

i have to fight going on diets like most people have to fight eating that seductive piece of chocolate or drinking one more beer. (alright, i have to fight the chocolate too.)

it started yesterday with a bra. yes, ladies and gentleman, a bra. i haven't done laundry in weeks so, in a hurry, i slipped on a bra that i pulled from the dungeon of my dresser, whose elastic was shot, gone, non-existent. all day long, i felt uncontained. uncontrolled. unsupported. to sort of borrow a phrase from the boys, i was practically free-breasting it.

breasts can be lovely things, do not get me wrong. i understand and appreciate the value of a strong set of mammaries,
but...breasts, when they feel like they're hanging down to your ankles, do little for a girl's self-esteem. i am not one of those gamine young things w/ espresso cup-sized breasts that can be-bop around during the summer in wispy tops with no coverage. no. i'm a respectable C cup, not too big, not too little, but juuuuuust right. however, they need support. i like them uplifted, optimistic, facing forward, looking proudly toward the future, not ashamedly down towards my feet.

so anyway, i went to bed with that fat feeling. i was hoping it was a one night stand, but he's still here, i'm trying to get him to leave by ignoring him, but now he wants to go get breakfast - where he will certainly chastise me for my food choices. ugh.

sorry, stupid metaphor, but you get my point...

this desire to diet usually coincides with days when i'm feeling more than a little out of control of the circumstances in my own life. if i can't control my life, i can control my body...breasts, weight, or otherwise, right?

well, the diet industry would certainly have us believe that. it keeps us buying books. i have a whole collection of diet books that i've picked up on days like today, hoping that just by carrying them in my backpack my body would absorb and adopt their tenets - French Women Don't Get Fat, The ABS Diet, Bob Greene's Total Body Makeover, The Fat Fallacy, The South Beach Diet, The Zone, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...ad nauseum.

oh, it's just a bunch of bullmalarkey. i can't control my body - really. no one can. if we could, no one would ever get cancer, or diabetes, or multiple sclerosis, PMS, or those scary moles on their chin with hairs growing out of them. even our weight, as we start getting older and our hormones start taking over, is less in our control. a body that was once malleable, is less so, and like a crotchety old man, pays no heed to your mind's desires for thinner thighs or smoother skin.

i am not in control of anything, really, and that, i think is the hardest truth to swallow. it's scary. i can't control my hair in the summer humidity. i can't control whether or not people will like my show. i can't safeguard my breasts against cancer. i can only do what i can, take incredibly good care of my body, and pray that it sees me through everything i need and want to do. and at some point, don't we just have to accept? isn't it more interesting and fun to accept that lack of control? that freedom? c'mon...surfing's no fun when there ain't no waves...

okay, okay, okay...i'm not gonna buy a diet book today. i'm not gonna pick up a magazine that promises me a bikini-ready body in 30 days. i'm not gonna do a juice fast. i'm just gonna put on a good bra, eat a hearty breakfast, and kiss that fat feeling goodbye. he's really not right for me anyway.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

oh, don't be so callous

being that i have no boyfriend currently, there's really only one reason to shave my legs:

to get a pedicure.

by turns, there's really only one reason to get a pedicure.

yoga class.

sad, but true.

of course, now that summer has let down her Sun-In kissed hair and all of the girlies have started slipping into their new strappy sandals, there is more of a reason, but throughout winter, i really only keep my feet well-groomed because i have respect for my fellow yoginis. i don't want to break their concentration with the sight of my appalling digits.

so, on saturday morning, i finally shaved my legs after...oh...i'm not quite sure how long - april 8th wedding weekend? yup. i abhor shaving, but i did it b/c i knew i wanted to get a pedicure that afternoon. knowing that the nice pedicure lady would already have to suffer the unpleasantness of hacking away at the callouses i've been developing on my feet since i was 5, i figured the least i could do for her was to plow thru the winter harvest. surprisingly, a hatchet was not needed. just a regular old gillette and some bettijo shaving oil (this stuff rocks! you'll never use shaving cream again. it's kinda pricey, but it lasts forever. maybe i'm not such a good barometer as i still have the rusty can of Barbasol foam from college, but i have a feelng that even regular shavers would find it goes a long way. ya only need a smidge, and it stays on in the shower and keeps on moisturizing even after you towel off.)

not much use, i'm afraid. she still looked upon my feet with dismay (or was it digust? so hard to tell.) i found myself wishing i could burrow into the folds of the black pleather chair.

i apologized profusely.

i'm soooo sorry...i have really bad callouses.

sheesh! i didn't kill anyone. i have scaly feet for chrissakes!
i pay her to do this! why do i care so much what she thinks of my feet?

training. years and years of training.

one of my mother's enduring legacies along with her resounding laughter and good hair - is her scary-ass calloused feet. i got 'em. legendary in my family, they have been the butt of countless jokes and jabs, and i have received a pedicure kit every Christmas as far back as i can remember. no use. i have never had soft, supple feet, and i doubt i ever will. the most i can hope for is a pair of hoofers that don't resemble dinosaur hide.

so, i get pedicures. (i could do it myself, but i don't have the strength to perform the archaeological dig that's required.) the crappy thing is that usually don't even enjoy getting them b/c i'm so self-concscious and have learned to be so ashamed of them. now, this may sound unreasonable to you, but my fears are not without foundation. i once went to get a pedicure, the lady slipped off my socks, and blurted:


this followed by a flurry of korean expletives. none, i imagine, complimentary.

poor little footsies.

i'm horribly embarassed of my feet (okay, i hate them), and yet, when i sit next to most women in the nail place, i see that theirs aren't so great either. they've got corns, bunyons, feet that look more like arthritic claws than feet...i even met a woman on saturday who has no bones in her little toes! (she had them removed so she can wear pointy shoes more comfortably...that's a whole other post.) but there they are anyway, proudly putting them out there to be prettied and polished. just cuz something isn't perfectly pretty, doesn't mean it doesn't deserve attention, does it?

when i was little i used to bemoan the size and shape of my nose. i felt it was too big, too angular, too non-sandra-dee-pug. my mom used to say,

ah, yes...but it works. it does it's job. you can smell that gardenia can't you?

MOTHerrrrrrrrr. the little girl moaned as she rolled her eyes.

hardly comforting to a girl who longed for a nose that matched the demure dimensions of her madame alexander dolls. she was, of course, right. it worked. thank heavens i didn't have parents that would have encouraged me to alter it as i have now come to see my nose as noble as opposed to too much. it announces, it does not whisper. and, it smells...sniff, sniff...so...good. (can a little button nose fully experience the heady perfume of a gardenia? i could fit an entire bouquet into my commodious nostrils.)

i'm not totally sure where i'm going with this post. i'm rambling. but i think it has something to do with actively loving the less pretty parts of ourselves. i'm not saying it's easy. puhleez. i know that. it takes practice, and practice, no matter what "they" say does not make perfect. practice makes things less...er...imperfect.

what does that mean? for me, it means massaging moisturizing cream into my feet before i go to bed, thanking them for working so well, taking me where i want to go, dancing wildly
for hours in hot pink not-so-comfy sequinned shoes. it means cradling my impudent little belly, feeding it foods that satiate it but don't upset it, loving it for its fullness and its capacity for enjoyment. it means catching the reflection of my profile in a window and thinking,"cheerio! what a lovely aristocratic proboscis resides upon her face!" it means not being afraid of giving the darker parts of me attention - just because they're unruly little children, does not mean they don't deserve it. it means loving my body in spite of, scratch that, because of it's being human.

Monday, May 16, 2005

molasses yoga


and, sadly, no raucous weekend stories to show for it.

just one of those inexplicable moving-through-molasses days. like i'm wearing dumbbells for earrings. and to top it all off - like some moldy maraschino cherry - i have an upset stomach.


try doing yoga in a tub of molasses while wearing dumbbells for earrings and digesting a moldy maraschino cherry. very challenging.

still glad i went though. i take yoga every monday and wednesday at work - it's subsidized, so i pay an eensy amount in comparison to the studio rates in manhattan. with yoga it's always one of those things - i don't really want to go, but b/c i'm so insanely cheap and can't stand the idea of paying $6 for a class that i don't attend - i go. religiously. i always feel better even if throughout the entire class i feel like i'm churning gingerbread cookie batter.

goodness. it's hard to do things that you know will make you feel better, yet so easy to do things that you know will make you feel bad, isn't it?


these feelings i'm having today are not so very inexplicable, it's very explicable. i'm unveiling my show this weekend and all of the stress surrounding it is residing in my belly. and it is crowded down yonder - like a european futbol game. all 14,000 things that i need to take care of before saturday are duking it out down there. so, i guess it makes sense that theres no room for anything other than a blueberry dry-as-a-bone-scone and some multi-grain pretzels.

and then, all those carbos make me sleeeeeeepy.

it's a miracle that i made it through work. i wonder if they noticed the drool.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


i dunno...looks pretty demented to me.
hey! not much time to write tonite, but thought i'd share this little nugget of info i just clipped from my new
vegetarian times magazine.

with her daily 4 o'clock martinis, gramma urs does know best:

according to a Harvard Medical School study of 12,000 women aged 70-81, those who indulge in a daily glass of spirits (wine, beer, mixed drink), are more likely to remain mentally alert in old age than those party-poopers that don't. the study indicates that women who imbibe daily have a 20% lower risk of dementia. pourquoi, you ask? well...experts think moderate alcohol consumption is good for the noggin for the same reasons it's good for the ticker - - - it appears to improve blood flow.

so, sally forth and sip, guilt-free. you owe it to civilization. we are, i'm afraid, already demented enough.

(disclaimer: hey, i'm not endorsing guzzling up a storm - alcohol is NOT for everyone, if it's an issue for you - and you know who you are - be it addiction, health, or otherwise. stay away.)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

loving your instrument

and one time, at band camp...

6:38 AM. up with the garbage trucks on a saturday morning. ugh. what is my problem?

too much mint chocolate chip ice cream screws with a girl's digestive system and wakes her with what i imagine menopausal hot flashes must be like.

why do i continue to eat ice cream when i know how it will make me feel?

because it tastes so good, dammit.

i am trying to eliminate sugar from my diet b/c i have a feeling it feeds a little bit of the Crazy i was talking about yesterday, but it is a slooooow process. i'm guessing this means i am not totally committed to doing it just yet. kinda like a long engagement. i like the ring sparkling on my finger and the idea of a big ol' white wedding, but the marriage part...eh...notsamuch.

so...i troll amazon.com.

in keeping with my theme, i type in "how to love your body." it turns up some books of obvious titles:

You Have to Say I'm Pretty, You're My Mother: How to Help Your Daughter Learn to Love Her Body and Herself [BARGAIN PRICE]
by Phyllis Cohen, Stephanie Pierson

Love Your Body: A Positive Affirmation Guide for Loving and Appreciating Your Body
by Louise Hay

101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body by Brenda Lane Richardson, Elane Rehr - THIS ONE'S ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD. I DON'T HAVE A DAUGHTER, BUT I RECOMMEND IT FOR MOTHERING YO'SELF.

The Ultimate Power: How to Unlock Your Mind-Body-Soul Potential (The Love Living & Live Loving) by Ken Vegotsky

and then #4 on list confuses then amuses me...

How to Love Your Flute: A Guide to Flutes and Flute Playing, or How to Play, Choose, and Care for a Flute, Plus Flute History, Folk Flutes, and More by Mark Shepard, et al


oh, just let your mind slip into the gutter for a minute. you won't get too dirty. just put on your galoshes.

and, as a special bargain, you can purchase it as a pair with
Amsco Flute Fingering Chart (Amsco Fingering Charts)

double ha.

then it suggests running a search under these words in case you didn't find what you were looking for:

head joint cork, your lip opening, embouchure adjustments, blowing edge, regulating screws , internal tuning, cork grease, your bottom lip , your flute, classical flute, alternative fingerings, blown flute, conical bore, flute makers, mouth hole, lip plate

i played the flute in the 6th + 7th grade bands. suddenly, i wish i'd kept up with it.

Friday, May 13, 2005

breaking up with me

i swear, if i were dating myself, i would ditch me, dump me, tear up my shirts, toss my belongings out the window, and line the cat's litter box with old photos of our happier times together...

do you ever feel that way?

i am so unbelievably cruel to myself sometimes. cruella deville cruel. cruel like farrah fawcett's husband in the burning bed cruel. except in my tv movie, clemency is not an option. i can't very well burn my own bed. well, i could, but then where would i put all of my dirty clothes?


this morning, per usual, i was rushing out the door, changing bags, from the chic tote that accompanied me to the first ever Vagina Warrior's Dance Party last nite (it's an eve ensler thing. i shook her hand, btw! i feel more brilliant, and my vagina? ready to kick some misogynistic ass!) to the hefty hunter green Jansport that has traveled with me from georgia to mississippi to colorado to new york to england and back again, usually filled with more crapola than it is built to carry (hence the reason i've had to had have it replaced 3 times by taking advantage of jansport's lifetime warranty. i abuse my bags almost as badly as i abuse myself. sadly, i do not come with a similar warranty).

i couldn't find something. truth be told, i don't even remember what it was i couldn't find - it was that important.

but, i couldn't...find...it. that was the point. and IT was driving me craaaaazy.

you know, what kind of crazy i'm talking out. the not quite sane crazy. the holy shit, if someone were to witness me behaving like this, they would not be remiss in dialing bellevue - crazy.

suddenly, as if summoned by my frustration, scary toothless man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth donning the requisite white "wifebeater" tank appears over my shoulder and growls -

you are so fucking stupid.

whaaaat? excuuuuuse me?

yes. you. you are so fucking stupid, and you don't deserve to have anything nice b/c you always lose it.

and the thought that lept into my head with a surprisingly quick curtsy to submissiveness was...

i know. i am.


whoa. eeks. ouch.

here you are, ladies and gentlemen! mr. major dysfunction! in person. right here in my living room. appearing nightly. lounging on my couch. eating cheetos in my bed, leaving a trail of neon orange crumbs behind him like a psychotic hansel so i cannot forget him. who knew i had an abusive husband lurking in my psyche?

well, i did. he's the same guy that looks in the mirror in the morning and heckles me:

hey, fat girl.

he slips post-it notes into the lunch i pack for work:

everyone here i sooo much smarter than you.

(sometimes i wonder why i don't just self-flagellate in the mornings like some of those folks did in the vatican city just before the pope's death. i mean really. just to get it out of the way. physically abusing myself might very well be less painful and time consuming than the mental torture i regularly dole out. i might actually have time for laundry.)

something interesting happened this morning though.

i ignored him.

well, sort of. like all bad boyfriends, he knows what strings to pull to make me doubt me. i've been a well-behaved marionette for years, but i'm slowly unraveling the strings that connect me to him. oh, don't get me wrong, sistah. i still have thoughts of self-abuse (as evidenced by my nutso behavior this morning), but the difference is that i now take less of the action. i just sit back and listen to his ike turner rantings and observe the bitter little thoughts that shimmy in and act as his back-up singers.

it's weird. i suddenly start to feel compassion for the bastard.

wow, he must have really experienced some screwed up stuff to have turned out this way.

so then, it's the darndest thing, i start to experience compassion for someone even more important:

me - the lead singer.

so, i'm breaking up with me...or him, or whomever that poor-little-wounded thing-in-beast's-clothing is. i've packed his things, given him back his class ring, thrown out the bags of stale cheetos, crushed all of the mix tapes he made me, and lined my cat's litter box with the old photos (he looks really good in shit brown, by the way). he'll probably come back and knock on my door, or serenade my window from the giant redwood tree out back, but i won't hear him.

i'm busy writing my own damn music.