Sunday, July 30, 2006

sorta surfing...2 thoughts.

you are a fat, ugly slob.


yes, you. you are a fat, ugly slob. did you see those photos of yourself in a swimsuit?

um, yes. yes, i did.

so, what are you going to do about it? i certainly think that should serve as a wake-up call. you're going to go on a diet, aren't you? and please, get a tan. you were blinding people out there.

um, no. it certainly occurred to me, but no. i am not going on a diet, and no, i will not get a tan. i do not tan...i crisp.

what are you going to do? i mean, you cannot be happy with the way you look in a swimsuit. something must be done!

yes, thank you, i am going to do something. i'm going to try to accept and love my body for the way that is right now at this very moment in all of it's glorious imperfection. i'm not going to lie and say i was happy to see how i look in a swimsuit. it's still difficult. maybe it always will be, although i'd like to think that someday i will see myself and think nothing but, "oh wow. there's me. there's me...happy."

know what though? i don't think i could have enjoyed myself any more yesterday with a thinner body. i don't think the sun would have felt any warmer against my skin. i don't think the ocean would have felt any more bracing and clean. i don't think the sand would have been any more yielding and soft to my tired feet. i don't think the waves would have felt any more powerful and lifting. i don't think my heart would have beat any faster when i stood up on the surfboard for the first (and second and third and fourth) time and immediately went crashing into the surf, head over heels.

i don't think i could have felt any lighter had i weighed any less. turns out that has absolutely nothing to do with the size of my ass.

i was just asking.



on the beach w/ my friend c yesterday. we went surfing, er...actually, i should say that c went surfing, i went attempting to surf. i did get up on the board, but mostly just fell over in a lovely tumble every time. the surfer dude Dan that was supposed to teach us was a no-show, so we were left to our own devices. it was fun though, and quite literally and figuratively, a day at the beach. and don't you just know that all snack foods taste best on a beach under a big pink hat? no? well, they do. duh.

as we're sitting there, i'm looking around at all of the different types of bodies prancing about, and i'm thinking:

wow...they really are all so beautiful. she's certainly not skinny, but what a lovely wittled waist and pendulous hips...oh, and her! she's whiter than me, poor dear, but her skin's like porcelain, and what a lovely rest for the eyes after all of the copper-skinned sunbathers trotting about...and look at her...she's got a belly, but she wears a bikini anyway...she does not apologize for the soft and round souvenir left behind by pregnancy.

i say to c, who is a wee little lass...a petite 5 footer who doesn't weigh enough to give blood, and has a couple of (ahem) body issues of her own:

it's interesting how i'm looking at all of these different bodies. i can be so gentle and sympathetic with their imperfections, mostly finding beauty there, but i can't do that for myself.

i don't really notice other people's bodies.

when i was really deep in my shit, i used to be very judgemental of other people's bodies, mostly women. i would always be comparing myself.

yeah, i really only compare myself with people who are smaller.

people who are smaller?


like who? children? three-year olds?

sometimes. (in total seriousness)

we collapsed into a fit of laughter once she realized what she said, but i've been there, or at least some place like it. i used to be very proud when i could pick up teensy-tshirts in the little boy's department, and they'd fit me. the boobs are back tho, so no more of that. i never looked very good in Transformer t's anyway.

the best bod on the beach
(if i ever have a daughter, i'm fairly certain she'll look just about like this.
because i looked just about like this...and still do.)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

surfing...and i don't mean the web.

they have their version...

i'm taking off tonight for Narragansett, Rhode Island with my friend c. we're taking surfing lessons tomorrow! we've been planning this since the spring, but it's just now occurring to me that 1. i will have to wear a swimsuit 2. i could get bashed in the head by a surfboard and drown and/or 3. one of my limbs could get chomped off by a shark (well now, wouldn't that present a whole new set of body image issues?)

but let's focus on the positive!

this is one of my many attempts to find exercise and movement that brings about a sense of joy as opposed to a sense of self-inflicted punishment. i'm not sure how much joy i'll be feeling as i am now imagining lots of water of up the nose, wedgied swim trunks and sunburn, but what the hey. gotta give it a shot. my nasal passages could use a good cleanse, there's nothing quite like a sudden wedgie to make you PAY ATTENTION and the sunshine generously sprinkles my face with freckles which, if i don't say so myself, is kinda cute.

hang ten!

and we have ours.

the scarlet letter

my dear friend A, an old 3rd and 4th grade school chum from Natchitoches, Louisiana, has been a wee bit sicky as of late. it borders on serious stuff, and i worry about this auburn-haired beauty who has the most generous spirit of anyone i have ever met. perhaps, if i am lucky, i will grow up to be like her someday. (highly doubtful. i grew up fighting two older brothers for the front seat; i will never be completely generous in spirit.)

she sent me a box of French orange-essence chocolates called "Madamoiselle de Margaux" in the mail a week or so ago just for the heck of it. (funny how those trinkets always arrive at juuuust at the right time, isn't it? when you are certain everyone has forgotten your name, much less your address and passion for sweets.) she sends me boxes brimming with goodies that make me sparkle and my house smell clean. she leaves precious musings in my myspace message box that make me teary and long for our childhood of climbing gingko trees, playing in the clover patch behind her house, suckin' on Icees from the corner store.

people like A make me like myself more...

well, surely, the thought must go, if she thinks i'm deserving of this here chocolate/eye glitter/love, then surely i must be. she's no dummy.

i had a related conversation with a good friend the other night. now, this fella is a wonderful human bean, but doesn't always think so. there is no number of inspiring quotes or amusing e-cards that can convince him of his wonderful-ness. i've tried. nada. he did recognize that he's blessed with a number of wonderful friends and family, to which i replied with more than a little frustration:

don't you know that that says something about you? assholes do not attract good people.

i don't know that he got it, but i did. my friends are fabulous; so must i be! (if only a fraction on some days).

Winston Churchill said it far more eloquently than i:

Show me who admires and loves you and I'll show you who you are.

if these photos are any indication, i'm quite a glamorous hottie...even when i'm sick.

all photographs of A by A.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

a little bathroom reading, part 2

in an email from my friend La this morning: her take on the WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? assignment:
My dad's visiting. This morning he asks, what's the message on the mirror? It's to remind me to take action. And he nodded. He knows.

the above is all tricked out with Photoshop Elements, the below is as seen upon entering her powder room.


and now, a word from our sponsors...

sort of unrelated, but no less inspired...the music of Matt Shulman. just discovered him yesterday thanks to my publicist, Laurie Sheppard over at BOOM PR. they (you know, those very important people They) say "he's like Miles Davis meets Radiohead" or a "Chet Baker for the 21st century." his rendition of "My Funny Valentine" makes my eyelashes flutter and my pinkies dance. you can get a sample of it on his website. he has a gig coming up this Saturday at the Rockwood Music Hall (a quaint little joint where Nora Jones is known to frequent) and on August 7 at The Jazz know, where all of They hang out. check it out. your pinkies need the workout.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

overheard in the office today

"in Cuba, there are five words for a woman like that:

aye aye aye aye ayeeeeeee."

not about me, i should note, but it shoulda been, dammit. no no no. a co-worker was expressing his er...affection for Thandie Newton, one of the many stars of the movie Crash after i had expressed my er...affection for Terrence Howard, also a member of the Crash ensemble cast, but the movie that single-handledly turned me into an almost-stalker of this mocha-dreamboat was Hustle & Flow. i watched it this weekend, and immediately set about thinking how i could marry him and have his babies. i highly doubt he dates weeny white women like myself, but a girl can dream...

oh, dear me. a girl's prospects are mighty slim when she finds herself falling for a pimp who uses a curling iron.

Monday, July 24, 2006

a little bathroom reading...

there will be no formal invitation sent.

had my weekly phone chat with kindred spirit La today. when we hang up, i look at my phone, the hours flash, and i'm shocked. surely that was just a 15 minute conversation! no, my dear, try 1:37 hours. let me tell you, it's more fun and far cheaper than therapy.

we both have problems taking "life by the balls" as it were. we both agree that we've gotten better in the recent past - i've take some swan dives off of the high dive into the Vulnerability Pool over the past few months (for the record, there's always water there. it's not always warm, mind you, but there is always water, and frequently dear friends to clap when you emerge from the water glistening and shocked you've survived), and she has fully recovered from a physically and emotionally crippling back problem in the past couple of years. she is now a charmingly prudish assistant librarian who takes test drives in navy blue Saab convertibles for the hey-na of it. i (heart) her.

but hey, we do still have our issues, and hey, we sometimes like to forget we still have our issues. we could both stand to take more risks. we could both get a little more comfortable with grabbing life by the 'nads. so, in an effort to remind ourselves that life, indeed, is short, we agreed to get crafty with a little watercolor and slap the following question onto our bathroom mirrors (the above is mine):


we agreed that asking this question can inform so many decisions and choices you make throughout the day. unlike the tired old maxim LIFE IS SHORT (yeah, and?), this one demands an answer, therefore you actually have to think, and that might lead you to making a different (read: scarier) choice. you might decide to draft your resume for that dream job, ask for a raise, wear the silky red lace underwear even if you aren't properly trimmed, make that phone call to your estranged relative, confess a crush (and not vomit), dance around your apartment nude to Ms. Dy-Na-Mi-Tee at 2 am, or just try a different flavored Dunkin Donuts iced coffee tomorrow morning.

so, i'll let you know how this informs my daily decisions. maybe i'll sprinkle on a little MAC eye glitter and slip into a pair of cute shoes. maybe i'll skip a few steps to work. maybe i'll begin to smile at the cute ones that smile at me. maybe i'll call my estranged relative in an attempt to break The Wall. maybe...oh, the possibilities are endless! and isn't that exciting? scary. yes. but what's the option? regret? no, thank you. i've had more than my fair share, and it's not an acquired taste...ever.

life is short, people, but size doesn't matter. it's what you do with it.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

tootin' my own horn

after a few celebratory cocktails, the photography got very avant garde...

size ate
was nominated for two New York Innovative Theatre Awards last night.

Outstanding Solo Performance


Outstanding Performance Art Production.

woo hooo!

i've actually known for a few weeks, but had to keep it on the down low until the official announcement ceremony last night. but now...the gloves are off. this nomination has the potential to catapult me and my show into the international limelight - i'll be bigger than David Hasselhoff in Europe - encouraging women to embrace and love their bodies in all of their many sizes, shapes and colors in every country all over the world!

or perhaps just a few colleges in the tri-state start.

now really, i know it sounds like a cliche, but it really is just an honor to be nominated. it was such a surprise in the first place, if i were to win (which i really really don't think i will, and i'm not just fishin' for compliments), it'd just be icin' on the cake. (but then, you all know how much i do looooooove icing...)

it would have been a lovely ceremony had it not been for the fact that it was the hottest day of the year and the Ukrainian National Home's air conditioner went kaput that afternoon. blech. a roomful of sweating drama queens...not a pretty sight. no one's hair was happy.

somehow, it turned out to be a fabulous evening anyway...must've been the friends that were there to support me.

oh, and the vodka sodas helped too.

Monday, July 17, 2006

is it a bird? is it a plane? a new kind of rorshach test?

summer has arrived, and she is a raving, menopausal beeatch.

god. it. is. hot.

and all those people that are saying:

yes, it's hot, but it's not really humid, so it's really not that bad.

can just go back to their non-air-conditioned apartments, sip some organic herbal tea and melt a smug, environmentally-friendly death because I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT.

kidding, kidding, people!

actually, i'm handling this summer surprisingly well. could be because i'm spending quite a bit of it inside standing nude in front of my AC while drinking a Corona with a little lime pendant bubbling at its neck. yes, there is that, but i'm also trying to remember to walk slower, wear breathable cotton clothing (and underwear!), drink a shite-load of water, and buck convention by walking on the shady side of the street. all i need is a parasol! (and you think i jest...)

yesterday was supremely hot. i met up with my friend j. from IIN for a little "check-in" meeting. we get together to see how we're doing on our goals both professional and personal.

she was wearing long sleeves.


i, on the other hand, felt like i could not get naked enough. yesterday was so very hot, i forgot my body dramas. i do not care that my arms are jiggly, or that my belly peeks out from beneath my tank top, or that my feet are imperfectly calloused. why? because i am certain that i am DYING OF A HEAT STROKE. puts my thighs in perspective. the blazing sun just downright fries all that self-consciousness away, and reveals a new attitude in its place: you have a problem with my impudent little belly? yes, well, it can fuuuuck you up.

sort of refreshing, isn't it? don't ya just loooooove a silver lining? it's dripping with sweat, but it's there. shiny and slick. like my forehead.

Monday, July 10, 2006

blond ambition

seen on a t-shirt worn by a girl at the bagel shop today:

When the going gets tough, the tough go blond.

i'm taking it as God's way of answering my recent quandry as to whether i should go back to my au naturel shade of brunette.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

and you don't even need a tutu.

photo by Chester Higgins, NYT

Judith Jamison, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, from The New York Times, July 5, 2006:

She says Ailey dancers "are all sizes and shape — all muscle, but tall, short, a little wider, a little narrower, from everywhere in the world, and every dancer knows when you start in my company, you come out on stage a 10; then you can work your way up to wherever you're going."

"I tell my dancers you achieve that by understanding that the body God gave you is a 10," she says. "He gave you something perfect to work with."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

dog days of summer

i know i keep saying i'm coming back...and i am. i haven't been feeling very "writerly" lately. i am working on a post about boobs tho, so stay tuned. yes. BOOBS.

so here...a semi-ode to summer. that pain in the ass animal that keeps showing up at my doorstep.


alternately kisses

and licks my face

down! down!

slobbering all over my freshly

washed cotton shirt

and perfumed skin.

now a furious pinky red

oh, why the fuck bother?

i want to die when

she snuggles against my chest

and pees out of inbred excitement

sending a steady







between my breasts

into to a pool of excruciating drool

that rests in the nook that is my belly button


but then it

comes to me in the

evening beneath the shade of a tree

unconditional sunshine

wags her wistful tail




and i can't help but thank her


cherry popsicles

eyelet lace sundresses


grass stains.