Wait-Loss Wonderland.

The weight loss journey is one seriously rocky road, like wandering though a twisted fairy tale, a calorie-conscious Wonderland with all kinds of detours, obstacles, distractions, forks in the roads and the occasional rabbit hole.

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It’s easy to lose track of your starting point, how far you’ve come, or how much you’ve changed from that day you took that first step in that direction.

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Ten months spent in this weight-loss Wonderland has been a deeply transformative time. Not just of my appearance, or my dress size, but as layers of myself have diminished-now forty pounds and 42.5 inches, I have suffered, struggled—and travelled through my memory—and ran the entire gamut of emotions.  Memories of food; of overindulgences.  I am a certifiable comfort eater. I am my own Italian grandmother serving up heaping portions of creamy, saucy, gooey, salty goodness. Eat! Eat!  It’s the cure for all things: anxiety, boredom, depression, loneliness. It’s not as though gaining weight was a deliberate, conscious act. It just becomes a reality that feels unchangeable.  In my office, there’s a giant glass picture frame with a wedding photo of Buster Keaton, (random I know but the image amuses me). It sits on my desk, and I could see my reflection in it—so I covered it up with papers.

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In retrospect, that action strikes me as sad.  In order to not see myself–and face some hard facts, I refused to see something that brings me joy. Then again, denial, like loose fabric and stretchy pants are necessary accessories of avoidance.  Of course, the cruel irony of this vicious cycle is: feeling unhappy with yourself + self medicating and overindulging + feeling unhappy with yourself + self medicating and overindulging =not living your life out loud like you’d really like to. Knowing that you are on the verge of a great depression; or deep in that chasm with no way to get out—knowing, in an abstract sense, that a healthier lifestyle would be a benefit—but not knowing how to break that cycle—because frankly, you won’t see results on day one, two or three. It becomes quite the waiting game. You simply have to trust that each day, you are a little bit more different than the day before.

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Even after change has become to take shape, sometimes you need reminders. Those Facebook memories that pop up on the ole newsfeed are effective tools, and can be occasionally mortifying—or inspiring, depending on your mood. There was a photo of me in Mexico that really stands out in my mind—I’m rather stylish in the group shot—beachy hair, my smile dressed in red lipstick, a purple silk scarf draped over my shoulders, all tucked into a chunky belt—but oooh, that belt was not the only bit of chunky in that snap shot. It was staggering to see. I showed it to my mother, who was quick to insist that I not feel bad about it; I assured her that I didn’t look at the picture with sadness—I was celebrating New Year’s Eve with some marvellous people in Mexico, and have zero regrets about aaaaaall those guac and chips and margaritas. It was more about realizing how far I had come, when I had kind of lost sight of where I was on the long road to fitness. That was then. This is now. I can’t cripple myself with regret for not starting sooner—or for having a problem at all. Regret, sadly does not burn calories, and is therefore pretty damn useless.

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In the mix of dealing with health improvements, my issues with anxiety are the whack-a-moles that I must endlessly smash with my big mallet. Anxiety is the internal Debbie Downer that leeches joy and distracts from motivation.  That bitch needs to get up and go. But, if she won’t leave, and she sticks with you like a bad tattoo you got in your teen years, how does one redesign it in order to deal it on the daily?   In my case, how does one apply self-comfort without stuffing one’s face? Cups of tea, a cozy blanket, my husband Benjamin, our dog Bluebear, a good book, writing, curling up on the couch, a hot bath, a long walk, a visit with a friend. Chatting with Beth and Elisha at Herbal One, laughing through squats and plies at Barre Kamloops.

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Living life in bite sized increments,  mindful of the moment. By all means plan for the future, but focus on today. Especially in regards to health and weight-loss. So. Many. Times. I would eat as if I were being shipped off to the electric chair at dawn. Tomorrow I’ll be better; I’ll start fresh on Monday.  Excuses start to fly like baseballs at the batting cages. Monday is the worst day of the week, why make that the day to start anything? I’ll start on Tuesday…Wednesday… Thursday… ah, it’s the weekend, best treat myself…to bigger pants. You won’t see change in one day—so what’s one more day of not seeking change? There in lies the need for that mindfulness. You may not see rippling abs on the first day you decide to make a change, so you have to find the ant-sized successes in the daily choices that benefit your long term goal.

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My relationship with food is much friendlier.  I spend more time in the kitchen than ever before–prepping, planning and preparing. The other night Benjamin and I were lying in bed discussing all these delicious meal ideas like two children whispering secrets in the dark. Sunday’s are my food prep days, and there is nothing more satisfying than looking into a perfectly stocked fridge filled with washed and chopped produce and ready to go meals. Take that Monday! If the opportunity arises for a true indulgence, I don’t shy away from it; last night for example—live music, three glasses of pinot noir and two kinds of fondue at the Commodore (swiss cheese and dark chocolate). Do I have a wine/cheese/chocolate hangover today? Hell yes, I do. Do I have regrets? Not at all. I completed a 10-day cleanse, treated myself to a mani/pedi, and enjoyed a very special date night with my sweetheart; I savoured, celebrated and absorbed every bite and every sip.  (We also shared a salad, just for good measure).

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This time has been one of great reflection; recollections of all the injuries, accidents, disappointments, heartbreaks, disasters, losses, betrayals. How I’ve been hurt and hurt others. How I have failed myself and failed others.  Taking responsibility, accepting my actions, forgiving myself, letting go.  Letting go is not my strong suit. I’ve been carrying around past agonies in my heart for so long, punishing myself for my mistakes, torturing myself for every misstep I have ever taken.  I’m still carrying around some of those things in my emotional gunny sack—but I’m learning to leave things behind as I walk along that road. Seeing myself as different people. The fretful child I once was, that 14-year-old girl, that 22-year-old, that 30-year-old—on and on, I can only see them as separate from my present-day self.  Sure, our past selves are a part of the patchwork quilt that is your collective existence, but it’s not the definition of your entire life.  Still, I have to love her—apologize to her for the things that broke her, how I didn’t know how to help her, take care of her. I was weak and imperfect and riddled with flaws. I could have done better for so long, but I didn’t. I can’t punish myself any longer for something that is gone; I can’t change the tides that threatened to drown me. All I can do is today. Breathe. Release. Laugh. Love. Stretch. Forgive. Connect. Be Patient. Cry whenever necessary. Eat fondue occasionally. Be grateful for every mistake and heart break, just don’t let it weigh you down.

Image result for vintage alice in wonderland quotesImages Courtesy of the Fine People Behind the Internet…

A Repair to Remember.

When I was in my very early twenties and living on Vancouver Island, I had a sweet little red bicycle. It was a basic, red ten-speed type-useful, reliable, but not aesthetically pleasing.  I was a strict vegetarian, and someone thought it humorous to stick a large, imposing “I LOVE ALBERTA BEEF” sticker–with a large red heart and an outline of a steer’s head–on my bicycle.  The ten-speed was then known as “The Meat-Cycle”.  When I eventually left Victoria and returned to my university studies in Kamloops, the meat-cycle was left behind but not forgotten.  How I missed the freedom of a bicycle.  To not be at the mercy of public transit, to weave through traffic with ease, to attain the firm thighs and buttocks that resulted from a daily commute.  Once back in the hilly terrain of Kamloops, it just didn’t make sense to struggle up the multi-tiered city with a bag full of books on my back.  Eventually I bought a car, and then a better car and then I stopped thinking of myself as the kind of girl who peddled her way through the world.

Benjamin has always been an avid cyclist, but for obvious reasons left his downhill mountain bike behind in New Zealand. Within the first week of our arrival, we found a cycle shop not far from our future apartment.  In a long line on the sidewalk, basking in the hot Australian sun, was a plethora of possibilities.  There were standard bicycles–functional but not fashionable–and then there were the colourful and classic-looking Schwinn bicycles (at double the price).  My eyes were glued to the bright sunshine yellow “Starlet”, but I was cringing at the cost.  We had come to Australia with $10,000 in New Zealand funds, but the exchange rate made a mockery of our small fortune, leaving us with approximately $6000 to work with.  My head was telling me, “Go for practicality—this will be one more thing you will have to leave behind”.  My style-driven soul trumpeted louder: “Fuck practical, I want the pretty one”.

Never one to make an impulse purchase, I was reluctant to blow a solid fraction of our savings.  I got a serving job within that first week, at The Old Swan Brewery, a historical building along the riverbank. The day after my successful trial shift, we got a call from the rental agency announcing that our bid for the apartment on Adelaide Terrace had been accepted.  Everything was coming together. I requested the following Friday off for “moving day”— which meant shopping for essentials and taking a cab from the Northbridge hostel to the furnished apartment in East Perth. My request was overlooked and I was scheduled to work a dreaded split shift, which made one thing certain: I was going to need a bicycle immediately.

I thought once more of that lovely yellow Schwinn Starlet.  Benjamin recommended a test ride–just to make sure that I liked it.  I didn’t like it…I loved it.  The wind blowing in my hair, the sun on my skin, the smoothness of a good quality bicycle beneath me—my reflection as I passed shop windows. I had to have it.  We tested a few others, but I knew I had to have that Schwinn.  My hand trembled and my heart pounded as I scribbled my signature on the receipt.  My buyer’s remorse was immediately overshadowed with the everyday necessity of a bicycle in a city designed for cyclists.  The path to my work place was right along the river, and every night Benjamin would meet me and we would ride home together. Benjamin bought a basket and a bell.  I loved my Starlet; I named her “Miss Daisy”.

Benjamin got a job at a construction site less than a block away from our apartment, and soon we began to make a decent collective wage.  My work ethic and spunky can-do spirit was well received and the owner offered full time position with a starting salary of $55,000 per annum.  After the paltry paycheques I had earned in New Zealand, and during university for that matter, I wanted to leap at the chance.  Benjamin reminded me of my own intended policy for employment: “No evenings or weekends”. This job was every evening and every weekend.  Inching closer to the Australian winter, the whole city was bound to slow down. I was grateful for secure steady, well-paying work.   We had so many plans, and none of those aspirations were cheap.   Despite Benjamin’s pursed lips and slow burning disapproval, I accepted the position.  Nothing felt more important than financial gain—quality time together would have to come later.

Our young marriage had been challenged by strange company and circumstances. We met, and fell in love in the course of one evening. Two months later, I left Mount Manganui for Hamilton and we got married a few months later. In that brief stretch of time, there was immigration issues, hiccups, obstacles, dodgy flatmates and stressful time constraints.  Our savings were scraped together as we made plans for Australia. Ben sold and stored his possessions, I packed my bag. We went to the South Island; in Christchurch during the deadly earthquake and the intense aftermath.  By the time we landed in the lucky country, slightly fragile from the natural disaster, we had not even known each other for a full calendar year.  Establishing a home of our own was important, and then my job immediately denied that need.  Though we established budgets, savings and plans, there was a feeling of loss in the day-to-day. Still, I was hooked on the idea of making money, emotional cost be damned!  For me, it was about zoning out during Michael Buble’s sentimental love ballads that played in the romantic restaurant at night, and occupying my thoughts during the day.

When not sight-seeing or café hopping, I was a fixture at the public library. I became recognizable to the staff.  I’d approach the counter with an armload of novels, plays, magazines, albums and classic films, and the clerk would say: “Ah yes, Alicia, we have something on hold for you as well”.  I started to recognize the other regulars myself, the lonely old ladies who dressed up to collect a new cycle of romance novels and celebrity biographies. I saw myself in them, seeking solace and company in stories. I spent my time chasing ghosts, piecing together fragments of research about icons, ideas and eras in this lonesome school for one. As if the pursuit of knowledge will pass the time with purpose; make me forget how lonely I have become in this life.  Benjamin would come home, we’d spend our dinner hour together before I left for work. I’d say goodbye and kiss Benjamin on his unhappy frown. Backing Miss Daisy out of the tiny flat, not meeting his eyes.

Benjamin texted me to say that he could see me peddling my little yellow bicycle down the street from the top of the unfinished high rise.  Later he told me that he watched me ride off into the distance, down past the river, until I disappeared beyond the thick stretch of palm trees.  From that sighting we conceived a ritual: he’d watch for me as I rode my bicycle past the Indian curry shop, through the lights, pass the 24-hour dairy, around the corner, until I rode past the trees.   I would be sure to look up again as I rode past the building.  Benjamin, nearly seven foot tall, was so easy to spot, waving his hard hat in the air.  This went on for weeks.  I felt a tremendous weight of melancholy once I was out of his sight. Sadness thickened my throat and still I rode on.

One Friday, on a drizzly mid-morning, I looked up from the intersection and saw Benjamin, leaning on the railing, waving with one arm in the air.  I waved back, and rode down the street, feeling the comfort of his eyes on me.  I curved around the corner, and as I cruised down the long stretch of road, I couldn’t resist looking up one more time.  With my arm outstretched, and my head intermittently turning between my view of the road before me and the building above me, I stared for a second too long. Careening toward a parked car–with my arm still up in the air like a bull rider. There was no time to brake, and I smashed into the white Nissan on the populated road.

Dropping my arm down, I gripped the handle bars tightly. Breath escaping like a full balloon suddenly released, the force of the impact pushed my body over the bars.  I resisted flipping over onto the trunk completely.  Dazed, my legs akin to not-yet solidified gelatine, I dismounted Miss Daisy and glanced up at the building.  Benjamin is no longer waving.  The front tire wedged in the back wheel-arch of the car, between the tire and the car body.  With shaking hands, I tried to wrench the bicycle from the car.  I invented this fusion of transportation themed Siamese twins, but it was an inoperable experiment.  I tugged once, twice, and on my third attempt, my panic spiral expanded.  I looked up at the building, Benjamin isn’t there.

My mobile rings.   I don’t answer the phone in any traditional sense, it’s more like: “Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God, Ben, the bike…the car, its stuck…help me! Help me…Oh my God, Oh My God!”  Benjamin spoke briefly:  “Just hang on; I will be right there”.  In reality, Benjamin would’ve sprinted down nineteen flights of stairs and across the lot, and it would have taken less than five minutes. In my terrified state, it was took approximately the length of two-life prison sentences.  I spent this time intermittently tugging on the Starlet, gaping at the work site and muttering: “Hurry up Ben, what is taking so long?”  If another car drove by, I attempted to lean casually on my bike, as if I was deliberately hanging out in this exact spot because it just felt right.  Nothing to see here folks, move along. My greatest fear was that the car’s owner would discover this tiny, sweating, muttering woman with her safety helmet knocked to the side and worn like a jaunty beret.  My super convincing “casual leaning” rouse would be seen through immediately and the driver would realize that I had gone up his car’s ass without any type of permission or consent.  And then he would murder me.  This collision of my thought train would inspire me to once again, attempt to wrench the bike away from the car.  The rain was beginning to spit gentle specks.

A large, weathered man ambling down the walkway with a cigarette dangling from his mouth approached without a word.  Gulp—this is it, this is the owner of the car. This is the moment before I get strangled roadside while wearing a gawky white helmet.  The stranger, now at arm’s length, reached down, took a firm hold Miss Daisy and effortlessly divorces the pair.  “There you be”, he grunted, not once taking the cigarette out of his face.  He was like this leathery, tobacco laced guardian angel. Benjamin finally appeared, his arms already opening up to receive me.  I immediately become unglued.  “It’s okay, you’re okay”, he whispers as I weep, my helmet thudding against his ribcage in time to my heaving sobs. He asked if I would be alright to make it to the brewery.  I dumbly nodded my head.  Benjamin crossed the street and disappeared beyond the large industrial gates.  I weakly threw my leg over the body of the bike and begin to peddle with cautious uncertainty.  The front brakes were damaged and as the wheels turned, the bike groaned as I rolled down the street.  The rain was still spitting, and my tears were still spilling.  I wanted to go home.  I thought about the classic film An Affair to Remember, one of the many pictures borrowed from the library.

Poor old Deborah Kerr gets mowed down by a New York taxi cab in the middle of the street while Cary Grant paces atop the Empire State Building, unaware that his lover will never rise up to meet him.  At the film’s end, Kerr confesses to Grant about the accident that kept them apart: “It was nobody’s fault but my own, I was looking up.  It was the nearest thing to heaven.  You were there”.  Like Kerr, it was my choice that kept us apart night after night; as for hitting that car, I was at fault there too, because I was looking up, trying to see my husband for one second longer, for one second too long.

Once at work, I locked my bike, and limped into the building. I was stiff, sore and home sick.  It was a quiet afternoon, and after two hours, and several torturous Buble tracks, I knew I had to go home, and stay there.  Another supervisor offered to speak to the manager about my getting the night off.  It was Friday, and it a cardinal sin to be unavailable for work.  The managerial response was an order to cancel the shifts of the casual staff. I hobbled to the back office to plead my case.  The head chef leaned back in his computer chair, examining me with a dubious expression. “So, what’s the problem? You hit a car? Are you hurt? Is that why do you need the night off?”  How infuriating.

I take the most rational approach, that being physically injured=not being able to carry to tray with dignity and elegance. This is a place that served $60.00 crab pasta, surely they wouldn’t  want some weepy foreigner tripping all over the establishment like a wounded pirate. “Listen” he concedes, fake-concerned, incredulous and smug. “Why don’t you leave your bike here, take a cab home, have a bath and a rest, and give me a call at five, and we’ll go from there”.  ‘Okay’, I smile. ‘I’m going to do all those things, and call you at five to say I’m not coming in’.   I hailed a cab, and slumped in the back seat, fuming about the chef.  I gave the cabdriver, an African gentleman with wiry salt and pepper hair the address and unsolicited details about my day.  “I’m hurt, I’m upset and I just want the night off—I hate that they make it so difficult.  Can you take time off if you need it?” I asked the driver.  “If I need to…yes” he answered, “but, there’s nothing more important than work”.  “Yes…work is important, but it’s not the most important thing.  I work hard, and sometimes a person needs a break”.  I snapped, ending the conversation, settling back in my seat with a scowl.  I think of a line from a song I hear every single shift: “…and when my life is over, I’ll remember when we were together”.  I didn’t want to remember my life, our life together in Australia like this: opposite schedules, miles apart, trying to catch a glimpse from a distance.  The money I was making wasn’t worth the price I was paying.

We spent that Friday night on the sofa, curled up under a blanket.  We had a long conversation that led to my giving notice to my employers shortly thereafter. I took my bike to the shop to be repaired, which they did, under warranty—no questions asked.  Rumours spread at work that I had been hit by a car.  Co-workers asked about the accident, “Whose fault was it?”  “Oh it’s hard to tell…it all happened so fast…I don’t want to point fingers.  In my final week of work, when I rode to the Brewery building, I didn’t glance up at the great architectural skeleton looming overhead.   I simply rode past, knowing my husband was up there somewhere watching me, his eyes not losing focus on my silhouette until I passed the palm trees and was out of sight.

Images courtesy of Google, the almighty internet, etc.

Faith Tones & the Freak Show Circuit

For anyone who’s keeping track–the original blogs have not been flooding in plentifully…it’s a trickle. It’s like the tap in the bathtub that occasionally releases a fat drop of water. We’re teetering on full out drought here. Once the very busy summer ended, my life continued to be a morning to night all-consuming marathon of activity and responsibility.

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The luxurious days of writing for hours are gone–for now.  Maybe I’ll have a baby just so I can have a year off–finally write the book that the world has been holding their breath for. In the meantime the only thing I have time for is re-editing and re-posting older posts. Let’s be honest, there’s well over 200 blogs, and not all have been read by everyone. Only a handful of people (that I know of), have read the entire catalogue. Once in a blue moon the pop culture gods release news that allows me to re-release a blog for another dozen or so new readers to relish.  My friend Dusan admonished me over tea one afternoon: “Too busy is not an excuse’, ‘editing and adding new ideas to an old post is not really the same thing as writing a new one’. Well…what can I say? Legitimate writers take collections of already published material and put a spine on it and call it a book–and I bet they tinker and retool their work just a little before it hits the printing press.  As an unpaid, non-legitimate writer, don’t I have the right to rotate the backlog?  Though I no longer write regularly, I still check in on my stats–see what people are reading. I get comments that are almost exclusively spam. For example, samsung 32 inch tv said: “Heyya i am foor the firest time here. I found this board and I tto find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I am hopng to present on thing bak and aid others like you aided me“.  The other day I reposted a piece about the end of summer, and got a very nice shout out from a former co-worker. Her compliment was a nice validation–that someone is reading and enjoying; that it is not unfounded to repost old pieces, as they are new to someone else. Yesterday I checked my email and received a notification about a comment. Wow, another  comment from someone not named ‘fur coats cheap for sale’. It was regarding Crossed Lines at the Cal Neva, a rather epic blog written over my Christmas holiday about Marilyn Monroe’s last weekend.

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“Hell, if your so great why don’t you put up pictures of yourself and have them judge you based on their lives?”

Whoa. That was harsh. As a knee jerk reaction I immediately deleted it. But it really made me stop and think.

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If the writer of this comment had only put an apostrophe and added an ‘e’ to ‘your’, that would have cut me to the quick.  It made me screw my face up in confusion. So…who have I offended here? Are Marilyn, Frank, Jackie and JFK up in heaven nursing wounds over what I wrote about them? Is the commenter offended on their behalf? I reread the piece and realize the issue. (Read along if you wish for the most heightened interactive experience https://pinuppickspenup.com/2013/12/30/crossed-lines-at-the-cal-neva/). The blog was originally going to be about me spending my entire Christmas holiday drunk on spiked coffee, and whiling away many hours on Pinterest…and because I was still drunk I just combined what really should be two blogs into one Lawrence of Arabia length piece. So the blog does start off with me making remarks about vintage celebrity snapshots.Why wouldn’t I?How can you come across a picture like this an not crack a joke>

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Furthermore, Cher is an old friend of mine.  I met her at a Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves summit.  I even introduced her to Val Kilmer. Celebrities in general love when I gently roast their past lives.  What I want to know is how this commenter has deduced that I’m “so great”, and insinuating that my  knowledge of this greatness is bleeding into my comedic work. Does she think that I think I’m better than Cher? Better than Nancy Regan sitting on Mr T’s lap when he is dressed like Santa? Bitch please. Nothing in life will be that good again my friends.

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Clearly this woman has not read all the blogs. It’s a pretty rare day that I shine a light on my many many talents and positive attributes. Don’t I self depreciate enough? I’m an unpaid, unfamous blogger with a slim following and fat thighs, and I am not afraid to shout these facts from the rooftop…what more does she want from me? Maybe she wants to hear more about my life–learn more about my past through the majesty of photography. Allow her to judge me as I have judged others.  Please forgive me…I’ll do my best, but I’m feeling a little foggy–I was just at George’s wedding in Venice and it was a pretty magical weekend.  This is not the most flattering shot of me, I was being attacked by a bee, and was trying to deflect it with my many diamonds.

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Was I invited to Clooney’s wedding? I wasn’t not invited. I know Amal (if that’s her real name), is quite intimated by me, and hoped I would not show my face around Venice over the weekend. What a silly bitch. You don’t spend as much as I have on a face and not show it off.  George needed to see what he was losing for one last time. This is a classic shot–George took this on a particularly hot day in our tow-trailer in Arizona…I was going through a blonde phase, which was a huge mistake. In Clooney land–you better run a tight ship. No dishes in the sink, don’t leave the milk and generic cereal out–and do all that with class, dignity and chestnut hair.

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Of course, I wasn’t always the beauty I am today. In fact, when I was born, doctors told my parents that I would never be attractive. Not wanting to be known as the parents of an ugly baby, they did their best to distance themselves from me.

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Time moved along and I did not outgrow the ugly baby phase. Still, I got a pet and a pack of cigarettes, and suddenly my toddler days were looking up.

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I found a group of friends, and they tried to help me blend into the crowd by wearing masks that were scarier than my actual face.

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Things with the group got kind of out of hand. Egged on by my pet chicken Albert…who had really come to rule the roost, daily life got a little too Lord of the Flies circa Rob Zombie, so we scattered to the wind shortly after this photo was taken.

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From there, it was a ragtag life of menial crime. Knocking off drug stores, liquor stands and 24-hour dry cleaners, and getting short stints with freak shows as they toured throughout the Mid West.

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I made a good honest living for a while–thrilling audiences with my peculiar body and excessively ruffled collar.

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I made friends along the way…making one acquaintance in particular on the road. Now this is an exclusive, and you won’t hear about in the press. Sure Amal looks like this now.  When I had Clooney money I looked like a million bucks too.

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I remember Amal from the freak show circuit when she was known as Gertie the Goatee Faced Girl.

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George is not the first man we fought over either. We have loved the same man before–or, at least, we thought it was a man…the heaving breasts were often confusing.  But what can you say? It’s slim pickings on the fair grounds.

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As is the theme of my life, I loved and lost–and was forced in the opposite direction. I got a new hat and a second hand gun and didn’t take shit from anyone ever again.

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Eventually, the law caught up with me, and I was captured trying to cross the border into Mexico with counterfeit money, thirty aerosol cans of hairspray and a trunkful of mushroom colored pantyhose in a stolen Oldsmobile.

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Prison life was a time of growth and self reflection. It’s all detailed in the wildly exaggerated fictional account written about my life.

Don’t even get me started on Orrie Hitt–what a liar. Who gives someone “Sherry Jenkins” as a pseudonym? Why not Doreen Magilicutty? Esther Pinkerinko? Toots McTinkertits? Trade a little sex for money and suddenly you are a hooker–which is another lie–I’ve never even played rugby once in my life.  Nonetheless, prison changed my life, and made me the saint you know me as today.  With those dark days of incarceration behind me, I turned to a more spiritual life. I realized that I had a natural ear for music and a voice that could make the angels weep; naturally I walked straight into the record biz and dropped a rather successful album with some girls I met in a Halfway house. I’m the one with the big hair in this shot.

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Considered the Justin Timberlake of The Faith Tones, it was only natural that I went solo.  I named the album after my favorite place in the world.  This look is a little ‘Sherry Jenkins’, but my management team at the time was going for an elusive combination of bronzer, bleach and bulimia with just a healthy splash of vodka and a venereal infection.  I think that achieving that look became more successful than the actual album. Lesson learned. The album cover is not more important than the album.  The Faith Tones tried to warn me–but I was blinded by money, fame and the reflection in the looking glass–I called them a dime store Lance Bass and Joey Fatone, and laughed off into the sunset with Charlie Sheen…’s recently fired bodyguard Gary.

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Nobody looks like good all the time right? Wrong. I look that amazing all the time. I earned this beauty. I pay monthly installments for it. I lie to my husband and claim they are ‘student loan payments’ when everyone knows a university education is for suckers.  As of recently I’m paying off the butt implant surgery that will make me look more like Nicky Minaj. I look right in the mirror before I look down on Marilyn Monroe or criticize Sinatra’s ability to be a good friend.  I  pass judgement on Cher’s dating life and make off the cuff observations about celebrities in 30 year old snapshots. And I know I am right to do so.  Why not? After all, I  know as anyone else that I am ‘so great’. No one has ever used the internet to pass judgment, make ironic statements or snarky remarks before. No one has commented on a photograph before. No one has ever taken taken vintage imagery and added a modern twist. Marilyn--117784

Thank goodness I came along to shake things up. I pretty much invented irony along with the birth control pill and the friggin’ wheel. Apologies to whomever I’ve offended–especially to Ms Monroe, as I am the first and only individual to ever speculate about her spectacular yet unfortunate life.

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Thick & Thin

Saturday afternoon of a long weekend.  This time off was so necessary. After a hectic, stressful, busy, emotionally challenging week I am feeling a bit like a filthy t-shirt you wear for the entirety of a four-day music festival.  I’ve seen all kinds of shit.  It was like crawling through the desert on one’s belly, the oasis always beyond one’s reach.  Then you find out that the desert is filled with landmines and the oasis is just a mirage.  Still, as all things must pass, the stress did recede like the ocean after an angry storm, and all was calm once more.  This weekend is the Richard Gere to my Debra Winger.

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To take my Officer and a Gentleman metaphor one step further…this week has been the Louis Gossett Jr to my Richard Gere, forever riding my ass and testing me to the brink of sanity.

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It’s like…”Thanks a lot universe, what did I ever do to you?”

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Leading up to the long weekend, Benjamin and I were making a lot of plans.  ‘Let’s go on a mini break’, “Let’s go to the lake’, “Let’s see people’. And now, past lunchtime on Saturday it’s like…. ‘Let’s never leave the couch ever again”.

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After the longest winter ever, the long work hours and Netflix on the couch I’m feeling…like I could use a little bit of a detox.  But then I hear about no bread, dairy, alcohol or caffeine, and I feel instantly bored.  As for activity, I love to be tricked into exercising.  I love my yoga, and a good long walk, but anything with a higher intensity level is too much to bear.  My favorite thing to do when I have free-time is research and write blogs.   I spend an inordinate amount on time on the computer, social media updates and promoting different events.  Endlessly searching Google images for the right picture to capture my particular vision.  It’s satisfying mentally, but it’s no cardio, and does absolutely nothing for my core.  I think about exercise more than I actually exercise. I think about it as I’m drifting off to sleep.  I’ll get up an hour early and exercise.  That’s what I’ll do.  And then the morning comes and I hit the snooze harder than I would hit the gym.  I should really make time, take up jogging, do it everyday.  Then again, nobody looks happy whilst running.  In reality, I’d only run if I was being chased.

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I mean, I walk briskly from the parking lot to the office, I move around a lot of work and I go to yoga class a few times a month.  But that’s hardly a calorie burner.  My friend invited me over and over to come to kick-boxing. The timing was difficult, but then I finally made it and it was awesome.  I resolved to buy a punch card, go all the time, be fitter, be better, perfect my round-house kick.  And then I took on additional projects and have never been available since.  Free time is feeling scarce, and I do need to maintain my creative life.  Thought admittedly, the writing doesn’t take nearly as long as searching for pictures.  Example, I’ve spent fifteen minutes searching “Baby Got Back”.  But aren’t you glad I did?

rvCPm_TAF7UlYou have to credit Sir Mix-a-Lot for being a true feminist, a pioneer for positive body image.

  • “I’m tired of magazines/Sayin’ flat butts are the thing”
  • “I ain’t talkin’ bout Playboy/Cause silicone parts are made for toys”
  • “So Cosmo says you’re fat/Well I ain’t down with that!”
  • Yeah, baby … when it comes to females, Cosmo ain’t got nothin’ to do with my selection. 36-24-36? Ha ha, only if she’s 5’3″.
  • So your girlfriend rolls a Honda/Playin’ workout tapes by Fonda/But Fonda ain’t got a motor in the back of her Honda

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Sir Mix-a-Lot is a true poet.  And he’s right about Jane Fonda.  She doesn’t have much going on in the Honda of her Fonda.  Led to believe that Mix-a-Lot ran a support group for big-bootied ladies,  I dialed 1-900-MIXALOT, to talk about my body issues.  When he said, “To the beanpole dames in the magazines/You ain’t it, Miss Thing!”, I really felt a kinship.  I felt empowered. I was trying to do as Sir Mix-a-Lot says, and “kick them nasty thoughts”, but I think I’ve misunderstood what he meant by ‘nasty’.  Unfortunately, the representative was rather crude, kept referring to his anaconda, and ‘doubling up on my juicy double’…whatever that means I am still trying to figure out.  I’m pretty sure it was Drake; he is long, strong and is always down get the friction on.

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Really, if you look at the lyrics with a critical eye, the rapper is still telling you to get a sweat on.  After all, he likes to keep [his] women like Flo Jo.

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Goodness me, Flo Jo was a fit lady, known as the fastest woman in the world. Wonder what her secret was, besides God-given talent and speed? The fastest woman in the world also had the longest nails in the world.  Pretty difficult to tuck into recreational snacking with those Freddy Kruger fingers at the helm.

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It’s a balancing act trying to please this body-conscious performer.  According to the Gospel to Sir Mix-a-Lot: “You can do side bends or sit-ups/ But please don’t lose that butt”.  He also heeds a warning: some brothers will play that “hard” role, and try to tell you that the butt ain’t gold.  Don’t worry, remember your affirmations ladies, your butt is plenty gold.  When non-big butt enthusiasts “toss it and leave it”, you can count on Sir Mix to “pull up quick to retrieve it”.  That’s comforting.  But it’s a lot of pressure to live up to.  Imagine deliberately trying to have a fat ass?

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The likes of Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss were an anomaly in a world that once leaned towards the full female figure.  Certain retro advertisements were certainly geared towards curvaceousness as sexy, and skinny as lacking.

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Of course, for every Sir-Mix certified ad encouraging curves, there’s evil advertising that says…”you’re fat, stop that”. Loving this ad below, the clever ad execs behind this gem offered a pearl of a tagline for this product. Shape. “Stop eating”.  Subtle.

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Thank God that Warner’s has a Body-Do, because I’m apparently a ‘body-don’t”.   The pear shape is here to stay,  I had a big butt when I was a new born baby.  That’s just nature.  Good thing there are so many wonderful products out there to accommodate your full figure.

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Why must generous portions of lady curves have to be reduced to words like chubby? Where is Sir Mix-a-Lot when we need him more than ever?

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Easy on the sugar indeed. She’s so hungry and acidic from all the eggs and grapefruit that she’s seconds away from ramming that spoon us that smug bastard’s nose, in the same way ancient Egyptians yank out the brain for mummification.    Reduce this motherfucker.  Then she could enjoy a large cinnamon bun, sickeningly sweet tea and smoke a cigarette with sticky cream-cheese icing fingers while her husband quietly bleeds to death on the carpet.  This is why we need carbs people.

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I’m 32 now, skin elasticity is as fleeting as fertility and youth.  How can I have my cake and burn it off too? As always, I turn to Victoria Beckham for advice.  She is a busy mother-of-four, a designer, entrepreneur world traveler, and she is fit as fuck.  How does she do it?

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Naturally.  Take the fun of work and then add more work.  I would literally die if I tried to attempt this.  There is almost no space between the treadmill and the wall.  Isaac Hayes died on a treadmill and he was probably in suitable footwear. Me + typing + treadmill x those epic heels=suicide bomber’s certainty of personal injury.

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Bully for you Mrs Beckham.  Is that why you’re lying on the ground? I could wear stilettos all day too if all I had to do was laze about on my back kicking my legs in the air.  I will just need a pillow, my phone and somebody’s WiFi password…and David Beckham to pop in and bask in the glory of my beauty.  I don’t know, I have a difficult time prescribing to celebrity doctrines.  Sure, they put in the work to maintain their pristine figures, but if I had a team of people behind me I could make a hobo red carpet ready.   But wait–there are people far busier than you that look better than you, also without the luxury of extra help.

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I’d love to see this gal post this on the local Mom Swap Facebook page, and then read the 350 comments over a glass of wine.  This mother of three has a better body than me. What’s my excuse? Meh, I’m not too fussed really.  It’s not as important as everything else.  I mean, if I could naturally look like Audrey Hepburn, that would be ideal.

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Since I don’t have a dancer’s body, I can’t help but want to find the balance between happy to improve but happy to love myself regardless of my physical imperfections.

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Still, I catch the occasional glimpse in the mirror that makes me wonder whether some crazy-long Flo Jo nails would be a good idea.  Or maybe I should worry less about exercise and just take up smoking.

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Then again, you wouldn’t like me when I am hungry. It’s like those Snickers ads, only I don’t turn into a hilarious caricature, but a snarling werewolf.

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Hungry + angry =Hangry.  That’s my personal danger zone.  You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry.  It’s like drowning and having no air to breathe.

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This isn’t sounding good.  I don’t want to not eat, all my favorite things involve sitting and a committed exercise regime is not suiting my current schedule.  This is a slippery slope between having a muffin top and being the mom from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

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My brother Mark and I got talking about that film on our morning hike. It’s too sad to ever watch again,  but it still resonates as a genuine fear.  How does that happen…you are born, you are a child–learn behaviors and eating habits, you grow up, and eventually become so obese that it’s easier to burn the house down than to remove your dead body through the front door.  Of course, there is a long road between thick and thin and back again.  You are usually just going along in your life, not necessarily seeing the changes in yourself until you catch a reflection.

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These photographs are a few years old now, but a terrific example of body shaming.  Jennifer Love-Hewitt is a happy and well-fed gal and the internet had a field day, hammering her for being “fat”.  For the rest of us, with bodies just like that, it sends a clear message that this is an unacceptable joke-worthy body type.

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If she’s happy, and her lover is happy, she is healthy, and her clothes fit, then what’s the trouble?  She’s on holiday, she’s relaxed. Does every day need to be met by a date with the treadmill?  Ugh, the idea of exercise…how exhausting.  The idea of fitting it into jam packed days is even more exhausting.  I wish I could adopt a fictional Gilmore Girls-esque all you can eat, movies and junk food couch potato lifestyle, and still maintain a spectacular physique.

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I flip through a magazine, read the weight-loss success stories and for a fleeting moment, wish I were just like the models in the magazine.  But then again, who would want to work that hard? Until the day comes that I shake from me the excuses and muster up the commitment to truly trim down, I’ll be happy as Love-Hewitt, splashing in the water, not for a second wishing I were any different.  What can I say? I like big butts and cannot lie.

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Images Courtesy of Google

Live at the Sahara Tahoe

Long weekend. Coffee and Baileys. Someone else making breakfast. Isaac Hayes Live at the Sahara Tahoe crackling away on the turntable. Wishing you all well.

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For years I lived alone in a downtown bachelor apartment with bright yellow walls, hardwood floors, a quaint little kitchen that overlooked a church…and a bathroom that you had to share with the person across the hall.  That wasn’t always ideal, but $380 a month could not be argued with.  I filled every square inch of wall and ledge with kitsch.  Neil Diamond records tacked on the wall, this strange motif of old men with pipes, painted velvet, you can imagine–I was a mid-twenties theatre major, you just know there was a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” poster up in there somewhere.  A place of pride in the flat was my red record player and stack of albums.  I absolutely loved that crackling sound of the record.  I’ve owned a record player since I was a teenager, after my dad brought one home for me.  I went on a school…

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The Last Supper Club

Happy Easter to my lovely readers. A revamped #oldiebutagoodie.

"Pin Up Picks Pen Up"

I always intended to see “The Passion of the Christ”, if only to see what the fuss is about.  But, if ever faced with the option of actually renting it–the thought of choosing it over a a light romantic comedy, taking it home, putting on your comfy pants and curling up on the couch to watch the Romans soldiers beat the crap out of Jesus.  Just never felt right.  And listen, I am sure that if you can trust anyone with the sensitive issue of Jesus’ crucifixion and Resurrection, it’s Mel Gibson.  But it’s just never happened…so there that is.  I’m more a “Jesus of Nazareth” girl, or as my mother always called it, “the one with the good looking Jesus”.

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I personally struggled with the Easter story. Poor Jesus, I personally the part of the story where he’s a sweet little baby.  But then, I would get depressed in…

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The Devil, Willy Wonka & The Tunnel of Love

It’s the beginning of March and it’s snowing. Again.  Christ almighty, when will I be able to wear flats again? Walk on the grass? Feel the sun on my face.  Throw on a t-shirt and a skirt and head out the door.  My friend Monica said that nothing was more refreshing than strolling in a long skirt without any underwear.  It was like opening the window down below . When I lived in New Zealand, I once found myself at a music festival, swept up by reggae music, sun-kissed and stomping my feet into the dust, hair wet from the ocean, wearing nothing but a long white halter dress.  I felt truly free.  Like I could breathe, and not just through my mouth and nose.  The winter  season is such a bulky time of year, I’m starting to feels like later-years Marlon Brando, but with much smaller breasts.

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I manage a facility that deals with children, anywhere between eighteen months and five years, up to school aged.  Each little friend comes complete with boots, gloves, hats, snow-pants, enormous puffy jackets, indoor shoes, lunch bags…and the occasional little roller bag with Dora the Explorer on in.  The first snowfall of the season, ( exactly one thousand years ago) brought that fear to the forefront of my mind.

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Imagine all of those possessions, and then stuff them into a little cubby.  Then let a four-year old do it.  Watching a pre-schooler try to achieve this cleanly and swiftly is like watching a monkey stuff a cream puff through a key hole. Children, bless them, are precious creatures, but when surrounded by twenty of them, it does feel like being a ringmaster in a midget circus… but all the midget’s have all been drinking champagne in the hot sun, or they have just recently been tasered on a tilt-a-whirl.  They look stunned, confused, toddling around the room wrapped up in layers like little sausages.  No one knows what belongs to them, and everyday there is a lone mitten, or abandoned sock.  On more than one occasion, you have to line them up and hold up a sweater, moving slowly down the line trying to match the unlabeled item to their disoriented owner.  “No one? This sweater belongs to nobody, it just grew some legs and wandered from a store somewhere? That’s fine, I’ll just add it to the massive pile we call the lost and found”.  I dream about warmer days, and one layer per child.

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    Do they usually come with this much baggage?

I feel like I don’t know how to write.  Or…that I can write, but I don’t know what to say.  Or that I know what to say but I’m afraid to be as honest as I need to be to tell the story.  I’ve just recovered from five days bed rest.  Infection stormed the castle of my immune system, and my empire lay in smoldering ruins.  What I love most about getting sick, (and when I say love, I really mean hate) is when you are ticking along, enjoying life, strolling on a metaphorical California boardwalk eating an ice cream cone, staring at the sunset…

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…when someone runs up from behind and whacks you over the head with a crow bar, knocking the fun out of your day, and the wind out of your sails.

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The mathematics of body chemistry. Busy schedule+winter+lack of sleep/hotel hot tub x dietary sensitives=five days of bed rest due to a spectacularly wicked thrush infection.  It came on with a furious swiftness, as if it were sent to me by the devil himself via the four horseman of the apocalypse.

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Sweet baby Jesus, the tunnel of love is on fire.

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I woke at 6am and felt like moving my body would be the greatest feat.  I texted my boss and fell back asleep for hours.  When I finally awoke, I was weak and agitated.  I wasn’t going anywhere.  I lay there in the darkness, wondering how to pass the time.

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Okay…time out.  Listen,I’ve got to drop a disclaimer on y’all.  I’m not sure where this blog is going to go, but there’s a 98% chance that the subject material may get a little uncomfortable.  Right now we are cruising along in a little boat, on untroubled waters.  I’m giving you the usual tour through my ridiculous thoughts, and everyone is perfectly content.

badass-6The tide is about to turn.  Like that scene in “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory”, when they take that cruise on the chocolate river that quickly turned into an acid trip.  It’s innocent enough, Wonka is singing a little ditty, and then it starts to edge on creepy, and then he starts screaming at everyone, and it really takes the sweetness out of a pleasure cruise in a candy factory.

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This blog may do that.  I’m going to talk about my vagina.  Things may get graphic. Not in Quentin Tarantino or Larry Flynt kind of way, more Eve Ensler meets Katherine Hepburn. Still…I’m going to be giving you the worst side of Wonka.

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I once sat in on a general meeting for “The Vagina Monologues”.  People would introduce themselves with: “Hi, I’m Debbie and I love vaginas” or “If my vagina could she would wear a fur coat and diamonds”.  The sentiment was a little too ooey-gooey for my taste.  We can all appreciate the good work a vagina does, but you wouldn’t want to sit across from one at a dinner party all night.  Although I suppose if it were Ensler’s she would plenty to discuss, be able to describe itself colorfully, and maybe wear hip horn rimmed glasses.  She would have sassy catch phrases like: ‘Read my lips”, and discuss her favorite childhood book ‘The Vulventeen Rabbit’.  When my turn came, I of course combated my vulnerability with humor, and compared my vagina to Mrs Roper from “Three’s Company”.

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The last time I made a “Three’s Company” joke, my Kiwi husband didn’t get it.  It makes me wonder if the reference is just a bit too old and regional for my target audience.  “Three’s Company” is a wacky sitcom, a farcical web of high jinks and misunderstandings.  Jack Tripper fakes homosexuality in order to live with two women in a Santa Monica apartment with very opinionated landlords. Mrs Roper, the landlord’s wife is a feisty old broad who wears muumuu’s and plastic jewelry with curly hair. Despite her seduction tactics, her husband is sexually unresponsive. She’s sassy, nosy, lonely and a little sad.  She’s feeling her age, and desperate for a better time.

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I never did participate in “The Vagina Monologues”.  They had given me a monologue about an aboriginal woman who is repeatedly raped and beaten by her husband; but how every morning she got her revenge but braiding his hair incorrectly, so that his point of pride was crooked.  Yikes. That meeting and the subsequent performance was not long after my friend Monica’s death, and I did not need that kind of story in my head.  I had also chosen that time to go and see one of my oldest friends instead.  It does remind me of a friend who did a performance in Ontario, with a group that was beyond lovey-dovey about their anatomy.  At the after party, the topic of menstruation (as it so often does) came up.  These women discussed their different flow methods; how some just…worked from home I imagine, and just bled out on their blankets. Many many made their own pads, and the hostess remarked that she would reuse her menstrual pads, wash them, and then use the leftover pink water for her plants.  It was just then that my friend noticed the plethora of lush greenery amongst the ceramic pots and modern art.  That woman’s vagina would wear caftans and smell like patchouli.  My vagina is more along the lines of Annie Hall…or maybe Edith Piaf.  dramatic, melancholic, misunderstood, traumatized, and a little bit outlandish.

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Over the last five days I have thought less of my vagina as a person, but more as a place during a natural disaster.  A war zone in Vietnam, a zombie apocalypse in the Sahara desert.  Remember that scene in “Gone with the Wind” when Atlanta is burning? Now you’re getting the idea.

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Oh candida, you are my nemesis.  I’ve written of my love of bread before, “Carbohydrate Brokeback Mountain”, will explain all.  Bread does not feel about me, as I do about it.  As I get older, the tolerance recedes with time.  The pain worsens; this infection was so consuming that I would have done anything to make the pain go away.  I was melting ice faster than global warming.  I can’t spend my life dodging the next candida car bombing.  I’ve been here before.  Eliminating the ‘danger foods’ from my diet.  As my girlfriend said to me–first, “Yes you can blog about your vagina” and second, “Bread is the coal that stokes the flames of Candida”.  What else you ask? What other food’s encourage the growth of yeast and should be avoided? What are the other culinary don’ts?

AVOID All sweets including hidden sweeteners in processed foods, such as soups, all fruit and fruit juice. Avoid grains such as prepared flake cereals sprouted grain cereals such as: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Rice, Rye, Spelt, Wheat.

Avoid Granola, Pearl barley, Instant oats, Cornmeal, degerminated Hominy grits, degerminated Microwave popcorn Blue corn meal

Pasta Pasta is flour and water, the flour may be white bread flour and it may be durum flour made from semolina. All types of noodles are made from the same base and they should all be cut out of the diet, with Bufin, the Japanese noodles, Ramen instant noodles, farina, semolina and white flour noodles and pastas.

Baked goods and Breads Avoid all cakes, pastries, cookies doughnuts or other processed baked food containing sugar. This list includes white bread, or any bread containing wheat, which includes parathas, nanas bread, pita bread, white flour tortillas, wheat dough tortillas, sourdough, or any other ethnic bread made from wheat. Mochi the sweet unleavened bread made from brown rice should be avoided.

Legumes Avoid beans and peas with sweeteners, bean sprouts, tempeh which a type of fermented tofu, tofu and textured vegetable protein.

Nuts & Seeds Coconut, Peanuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dairy Products Buttermilk, Soymilk (sweetened), All kinds of cheeses, Cottage cheese, Kefir, Milk, Sour cream Creme fraiche Sweetened yogurt.

Fruit Never eat dried fruit, and when you start the Candida cleanse diet it is best to avoid all fruit because of the fructose the sugar it contains. Once you have eliminated the current Candida infection then eat fruit with a moderate amount of sugar. Low sugar fruits are apples, grapefruit, melon, and strawberries.

Beverages Alcohol, Cereal beverages, Coffee both regular and decaffeinated, Fruit juices Soft drinks including the diet soft drinks. Processed tea drinks such as lemon tea. All fruit teas, Black tea

Condiments and Sauces No Ketchup or catsup or any type of tomato sauce Cream sauces such as Alfredo Steak sauce, NO Capers, Dried or powdered garlic, Miso, Dried or powdered onion, Pickles or chutneys, which include anything made with sugar and distilled vinegar. Spices, Distilled vinegar Sauerkraut.

Proteins: Meat products such as beef chicken or pork have added antibiotics and hormones and they should be avoided if you want to eat meat then eat free-range organic products. Smoked meats such as bacon, sausages and salami products such as pepperoni have added sugar and should be cut out of your diet.

Vegetables:Beetroot Canned tomatoes Carrots Cucumber skins, Mushrooms (all types), Potato skins, Prepared soups, Canned tomatoes

Don’t worry, there is plenty to feast upon that’s yeast free!

Antelope, bear, beef, buffalo, caribou, chicken, deer, duck, eggs, elk, all types of fish, frog legs, game hen, goat, goose, grouse (partridge), guinea fowl, moose, mutton, peafowl, pheasant, pigeon (squab), pork, quail, and turkey.

Oh good. No bread, wine, coffee, dairy, sugar, fruit…but all the pigeon I can eat?!? Jackpot! I’ll lose fifty pounds and call it the hobo diet.  I just live off bird meat, frog legs and rain water and be Sarah Jessica Parker thin.

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In my five days of bed rest, I remedied my boredom with several seasons of “Sex and the City”.  I was mid-way through season three–which was set up in the bedroom DVD player for those days when Benjamin was tied up with his video games.  Set up with water, tea and a bowl of ice, I propped by knees up with a body pillow, and completed the third season, which lead to the fourth, the fifth and both parts of the sixth season.

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When the show was at its peak on television all my peers were obsessed with the show. In retrospect, this show created expectations that are a kin to teenage boys and pornography.  People don’t always look like that. Sex isn’t always like that. Relationships aren’t even like that. Nothing is as exciting as New York.  Real life isn’t quality HBO programming.  Yet, it created an impossible standard of the kind of women we wanted to be.

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The series finale took place ten years to the week of my illness.  I can tell you exactly where and who I was when that show ended.  A twenty-two university student, broke, broken, self-absorbed, thrift store fashionista, dreaming of bigger and better and not knowing how to get there.  I wanted to be a writer then, but didn’t write anything other than random journal entries or assigned essays.  I had plenty of material to work with.  I suppose I didn’t know myself, I was barreling through my life, crashing into people, and snatching at choices without a thought to consequence.  I was self-reflexive, but perhaps not brave enough to truthfully chronicle my life for public consumption.  Of course, the only thing worse than people not reading, is people reading.  And then…what would happen? Wouldn’t they know about my promiscuities, my bad habits, and worse yet, the bad habits of my friends?  That thought occurred while watching the program in this highly concentrated amount.  In theory, isn’t Carrie’s voice over her article being written? Aren’t her friends reading? Wouldn’t Mr Big be reading this weekly and have a better understanding of his partner’s needs? Wouldn’t just once Samantha say: ‘must you tell everyone just how much cock I’ve been gobbling?”

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Of course, in a city of eight million people as opposed to a university town of 85,000…there’s a lot more freedom in anonymity.  It’s a lot harder to scream from the rooftops about the heavy flow of traffic being directed through the vagina’s of you and your besties when the skyscraper only reaches six or seven floors. It’s a bit like trying to replicate Carrie’s fashion sense in a city where the downtown strip is six blocks on one street, and the majority of time is spent in the library or computer labs.

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On the streets of the Big Apple, anything goes; amidst the crush of busy people in the urban jungle, you can mix couture with thrift store, and wear your heart, and your even vagina on your sleeve.

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Calm down Carrie, that’s not even the worst of it.  Going from episode to episode, I did notice one thing.  Carrie Bradshaw is a selfish piece of work.  This reminds me of a conversation with a university theatre professor, who had seen the entire series with his long-time girlfriend.  Great writing, great characterization, great acting.  The only issue? “Carrie Bradshaw is a cunt“, he says decisively.  “She’s selfish, inconsiderate, irresponsible, vain, careless. Look at what she did to Aidan, that’s cruel”.

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For those not in the know, after years of the hot/cold, yes/no treatment from Mr Big, who eventually marries another (younger) woman, Carrie meets Aidan, big sweet loving bear, a carpenter with an understanding heart.  He loves, accepts, values and adores Carrie, who starts fooling around in hotel rooms with married Mr Big.  She confesses the morning of Charlotte’s wedding, hoping to absolve herself and move forward. Aidan is like…’uh no, because now I can’t trust you–what other secrets do you have stored in that enormous bun atop your head?’

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Enter season four, Carrie reconnects with Aidan, pursues him ceaselessly, earns his love and trust once more.  They get engaged, Carrie crumbles under the crush of commitment, and then breaks his heart all over again.

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Wow, she really is a cunt.  It’s all the more obvious to me because my husband is an “Aidan”.  The thought of hurting my bear like that made me feel awfully sad.  That’s the power of excellent writing, by the end of the series you still find yourself rooting for Carrie and Mr Big.  Of course, by the time you get to Petrovsky, “The Russian”, I’d rather Carrie drove off in the sunset with Miranda or Chewbacca from Star Wars than that humorless old bastard.

splat-01-1024I don’t care how hunky he was “back in the day”, no Russian for me thanks.  Look at that expression. Imagine opening your eyes mid-coitus and seeing that grimace looming overhead.  Blech.  When I would watch this program with one friend, who I visited after Monica’s death, we would bellow “BORING!” every-time he appeared on the screen.  Thank God the Russian is the only person in the world more selfish than Carrie, and she finds her way back to Mr Big, who takes about as long as a Canadian winter to finally be like–“okay, I’m finally ready, let’s shuffle away from this retirement home and really make it work, until we die of old age in about ten minutes time”. (Until the movie, where I ruin the wedding and you still take me back in the end, which leads to the second (possibly ill-advised) film, when you snog Aidan in Abu Dhabi while Samantha has to keep her face from melting in the sun”.

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Don’t get me wrong, I was very committed to this marathon; it kept me sane.  I was emotionally invested in these lives, but it got me thinking about my friendships, romances, relationships, my youth, my memories…and my vagina.  I was in such pain, I couldn’t help but wonder how women recover after birth and actually have to take care of another human being at the same time.  What a terrifying thought. I’ve heard the stories, I could put the pieces together,  that’s a long road back for the lady bits.  Panic was rising inside of me.  In the climatic fever pitch of my illness, agitated and desperately lonely, deep inside my own head, I was lost at an intersection of fact and fiction, memory and reality.  “Sex and the City” inevitably turns to the ticking clock.  Charlotte can’t have a baby, Miranda struggles with hers, Carrie doesn’t know if she wants to have a baby; it kind of makes you sweat from all the options.

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A dear friend calls me up to check in on my health.  We gab about “Sex and the City”, I vent about my illness, and she tells me that she is having a baby.  Mind blown.  It was like…’you can’t be pregnant, we’re only 22, smoking cigarettes and talking about our crushes “.  It’s an age so good that Taylor Swift wrote a song about it. I still trip over the fact that the young girls from the past, obsessing over dramas that are dust particles now, sleepless nights spent searching for Mr Right, (and/or Mr Right Now) are now married, or settled with careers, mortgages and children, and that time is but a blip on the brain’s fuzzy recollection.  Not that I would want to be that maturity level again, but having that kind of time ahead of me…that would be better than all the couture in the world.  If you think about it, I am the age now of Carrie at the beginning of the series, when I equated this show to being in my twenties.

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In an effort to cleanse my body, I saw an acupuncturist for a candida exorcism.  In New Zealand, combined cupping and acupressure, gave you herbs, and you left feeling like a million bucks for about fifty dollars.  This was being left along in a room for an hour, penetrated by a thousand tiny little pricks.  I dozed for a spell, but then was wide awake, sinking into a new depth of loneliness.  I wanted to go back to New York,  back to bed. Once home, I tried to entice Benjamin to join me…”Please”, he said “I’m afraid the show will give me a yeast infection”. Which was fine, he wouldn’t understand anyway, he just doesn’t have the proper equipment.  I was on a journey of healing and self discovery, and I didn’t even have to leave my bedroom.  I crawled back under the sheets, where I was alone but in good company, just Carrie B, New York City, my vagina and me.

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Year of the Hoarse

Glorious Sunday.  We woke up early.  Six in the morning.  Curled up under the blankets, chatting quietly in the dark, we eventually fell asleep, waking up sometime round 10:30am.

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The intention was to enjoy the great outdoors.  Go sledding. Perhaps go to a Super Bowl party.  Attend a yoga class.  Visit friends.  Instead I am lying on the bed, wrapped up like a blanket burrito, drinking earl grey tea with heaps of honey and baking vanilla, and watching “Sex and the City”.

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Our only public appearance this Groundhog Day was a triumvirate of errands: going out to a thrift store to look for a teapot.  We skimmed the shelves, found nothing of interest, then got a latte at Starbucks as a consolation prize.  Before heading home we stopped by someone’s house. Benjamin occasionally buys tools on an online trading site; he had met this woman before, so he stepped inside the house and closed the door.  I didn’t think much of it, in reality he could have been carrying on a torrid affair with a spicy middle aged woman, and he could have used my utter disinterest in tools to cover his tracks.  He eventually was gone for long enough that I thought that maybe…just maybe that he had been murdered.  Or maybe they’re just lost in the endlessly fascinating topic of carpentry.  I figured I’d give it another minute, and continued to scroll through my phone, reading news about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s sudden death.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman dies on Super Bowl Sunday by overdosing on heroin in the Year of the Horse.  That can’t be a good omen on Groundhog Day.

groundhog-day-1961-report_12532_600x450What do you think that means? Going beyond six more weeks of winter, and entering into a new arctic Armageddon.

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Here’s a lesson in word origin history.  Heroin got the nickname ‘horse’ due to the unlikely relationship between the two (As explored in Dorothy Ours’ “Man O’ War”).

In the wild, pursued by predators, a horse runs as fast as he can or dies. Given narcotics, a horse feels unnatural sleepiness creeping into his nervous system–sleepiness like the shock caused by the fatal bite of a carnivore. So the hopped up horse runs without reserve. If kept in his stall, he trots in circles until the dose finally ebbs. Let loose on a racetrack, he outruns any normal inhibition. In the United States, cocaine, heroin and morphine were legal for anyone with a doctor’s prescription to buy from a drugstore, until prohibited by the Harrison Act of 1914, and could be bribed from pharmacists long after that. But using those mixtures was a fine art. Prudent trainers experimented during morning workouts, discovering the right dope and dose for each horse.

Imagine a time when there was so much legal heroin just lying around that people were like…”It’s just going to go bad if we don’t use it, lets just give it to the horses!”

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Ugh, it makes me sad, the waste of human life. That addiction overshadows talent, status, fortune and prestige.  The tragic detail about Hoffman being found in his New York City bathroom with a needle in his arm will take precedence over a proud legacy.  I think about all the things I want in this life, things that other people already have…and for a some that sum still doesn’t fill this eternal gap inside of their soul.   I wonder how melancholia breeds madness, when everything went wrong because everything had gone right.  There are wars inside of ourselves that are often losing battles.

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The night before, I caught the open letter Dylan Farrow wrote to the New York Post rehashing her sexual abuse allegations towards Woody Allen.  This too bummed me out.  The letter started with “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?”, then describing the molestation in disturbing detail, pleading to Diane Keaton and other actors known for working with Allen to acknowledge the crime…and then concluding with “So what was your favorite Woody Allen again?” Man. Way to take the fun out of Annie Hall.

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When Benjamin and I finally crawled out of the bed, we curled up the living room with our coffees.  I told him all about the ballad of Woody and Mia.

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Around 1980, Allen began a relationship with actress Mia Farrow, who had leading roles in most of his movies from 1982 to 1992. Farrow and Allen never married and kept separate homes..  They jointly adopted two children, Dylan Farrow (who changed her name to Eliza and later to Malone) and Moshe Farrow (known as Moses); they also had one biological child, Satchel Farrow (known as Ronan Seamus Farrow).

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However, in a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, Farrow stated that Ronan could “possibly” be the biological child of her first husband Frank Sinatra, whom she married at 21 in 1966, and with whom she claims to have “never really split up.” Who can blame her.  You can take the girl out of Sinatra, but you can never take Sinatra out of the girl.

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In 1968, Frank Sinatra had blindsided Farrow by having divorce papers delivered to the set of “Rosemary’s Baby”. The film was going over-schedule, and she had to back out of her next acting commitment–in Sinatra’s upcoming feature.   In that same year, André Previn, married film composer and symphony conductor, met a newly single, 23-year-old Farrow in London. They began an affair, and she was was pregnant within a year.  Previn divorced Dory, his wife of eleven years, and married Farrow.

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Poor old Dory Previn. The humiliation and betrayal caused Previn to snap like a twig. She was subsequently institutionalized and subjected to electroconvulsive therapy.  According to sources, it led to more introspective songwriting…and did wonders for her hair.

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She subsequently expressed her feelings toward Farrow and the end of her marriage in the song “Beware of Young Girls” on her 1970 album.  ‘Beware/ Of young girls/Who come to the door/Wistful and pale/Of twenty and four/Delivering daisies/With delicate hands…taking my own sweet man’.  The lyrics are thinly veiled,  basically calls Farrow out for rolling up to the Previn compound with flowers and silver.  She could have just called it “”Fuck You Mia Farrow” and called it a day.   A dainty little china Trojan horse; admiring her home, her ring, her unmade bed, and meanwhile is infiltrating her marital home.

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Dory Previn really laid the blueprint for Jennifer Aniston, trumped by younger and newer. Mia Farrow, humanitarian and mother of thirteen children is the OG Angelina Jolie.

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Previn was clearly the Brad Pitt of this time–this gorgeous hunk of scarf and side swept bangs has been married five times. Who can blame the ladies for fighting over this prime piece of real estate.

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The fact that there were ever two women quarreling over Woody Allen…I find slightly more difficult to imagine.

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Long story short–(this is the bit you’ve probably already heard), one of the children adopted by Previn and Farrow was Soon-Yi Farrow Previn. About twelve years into Woody and Mia’s relationship–Farrow was in Allen’s apartment (with the famous view of Farrow’s home across the park), and discovered nude photographs of a twenty-year-old Soon-Yi just lying around, waiting to be discovered.  Beware of young girls indeed.  Hurts don’t it? If this proves anything though–you certainly can’t help who you’re attracted to.

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Around twenty years ago–in the same neighborhood as the Soon-Yi scandal, Allen was accused of molesting one of their adopted children.  He was never tried and convicted, but that stain was never properly washed away.  Now that this accusation has been given new life, it feels as though Allen is a hard man to defend.  When you write it all down on paper it looks rather…hinky.  As for their “biological” son Ronan–though who are we kidding here? I’m no doctor, but even Helen Keller could be able to see that Ronan is a Sinatra. My god, look at that bone structure. Regardless, neither are fans of dear old Woody, and they are not ashamed to say it.

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  • Following Allen and Soon-Yi’s wedding, Allen’s biological son Ronan Farrow said: “He’s my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression… I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent.”
  • Ronan, who has been disparaging about Allen, tweeted on Father’s Day 2012: “Happy Father’s day – or as they call it in my family, happy brother-in-law’s day.”
  • The night of the Golden Globes he tweeted: “Missed the Woody Allen tribute–did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?

Not cool Ronan.  If you weren’t so cute, smart and dreamy; and if your tweets weren’t so funny I would really hate you.  As for Woody Allen, I don’t want for that to have happened.  I love Woody Allen, I love his films, his sense of humor. The image of him molesting a child while she focuses numbly on an electric toy choo-choo train really hurts my heart.  Yes, he is a little creepy and yes, his past behavior is questionable.  The letter describes some pretty horrific things, and if I were to let it into my psyche, it really would taint “Annie Hall” forever. I’ve been through enough in my life.  I just can’t get creeped out by “I lurve, you I loave you, I luff you”.

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On the other hand, I feel for Dylan Farrow.  Those are tough things to live with.  Whether it happened, or it was a scenario that was fabricated; over time the fact and fiction has blended together.   And let me state: not wanting it to be true, is not accusing her to lying.  Still, one must wonder the motivation of such a public spectacle.  What is Dylan Farrow seeking–absolution, revenge, forgiveness, attention? Does she want to destroy him? Does she want to spoil his chances at an Oscar? Or is this her way to heal?  Either way, there are no winners in this scenario, just an awful lot of broken people.

woody-allen-quote-frase-mix-de-coisas (1)It does makes you wonder…what lurks inside of people.  How someone could molest a child or rape a woman, commit a violent crime and then just get right back to the business of living as per usual.  How we masquerade addictions, and convince others of our health and sanity.  Waltzing into the City of Troy with enemies inside the Trojan Horse.  La de da.  The question is–is it  possible to separate the art from the actions?  Then you wonder…has this whole time he’s been charming audiences with neurotic intellectual comedies and dramas, he’s harbored these terribly dark secrets. What is driving Dylan Farrow mad two decades later is the continued success of a talented filmmaker.  I wonder how those justify their actions and move forward in their lives. As Philip Seymour Hoffman was once quoted:

I think that’s pretty much the human condition, you know, waking up and trying to live your  day in a way that you can go to sleep and feel OK about yourself”.

And here we are, back again to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Good ole Lester Bangs from “Almost Famous”. Dead at 46 from a perfectly preventable death. Another one bites the dust.

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We could talk about this all night, until our voices were raw and hoarse.  Death cannot be undone, tragedies cannot be unlaced like a Christmas ribbon.  Feeling chilled to the bone, exhausted and feeling perfectly existential, that was when I crawled back into bed to watch some classic “SATC”.  Season three–when Carrie had big hair, and before she broke Aidan with her affair with Big.  Poor Sarah Jessica Parker, she catches so much grief about the shape of her face.  I don’t mean to drag her into my horse motif, but things have gotten entirely too serious and I’ve really got to lighten things up around here.qSC1732879

With all the additions and accusations, wars inward and outward, the world seems to be teeming with misery. The internet brings all that to your door if you let it. Once in a while, you’ve just got to laugh–despite the odds against us.  That’s all we have really, that fleeting moment when you are free to horse around.

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Sink or Swim

Though the limitations of our immigration process was no longer looming overhead, we struggled to wrap our brains around the idea of freedom. Now that a new year is upon us, it felt necessary to take an hour to treat our personal lives like a business and write out a five-year plan.

*What are your projections for this year?

*What do you wish to achieve in the next five years?

*What do you wish to achieve in January…what will you have hoped to achieve by June…by this time next year? 

*What are your goals and what responsibilities in making such achievements?

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It’s a really interesting task in one’s marriage to touch base like that.  How are we doing? Could we be better? How can we improve? How are we spending our money? Where are we going? How are we getting there? Are we going there together? Personally, I love a list for even the most mundane of things.  I need a list if I’m going to get it all done.  Writing it down is like a commitment, a contract of sorts. And there’s nothing better than crossing something off your list.

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When I was engaged, and the wedding was on the brink of cancellation, I used my love of lists to try to find an equal ground.  I said “Let’s write separate five-year plans and see how they match up”.

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Ideas flowed from my pen; my future flowing like black ink, making my mark all over the page.  First, I’d graduate university, and then I’d get married, and then I’d go to grad school, which would ultimately satisfy the need to move to a different cityTravel to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, East Coast Canada.  I added a baby last…just as an after thought really…just because I thought it said something about me if I didn’t.  When we compared notes, my paper was brimming and his paper was non-existent because he didn’t participate in the exercise. You could cut the symbolism with a knife. All unraveled shortly thereafter, and we went our separate ways.

runaway38I used that list as a guideline, what I loved before I loved you. What was the most important thing to me? Travel.  Seeing the world was all I ever wanted.  Come to think of it, I actually wrote that list five years ago now.  I crossed quite a few things off that list. I moved to New Zealand, where I met my husband.  We moved to Australia, and saw Sydney, and the entire west coast of the continent.  We went to Indonesia for our wedding anniversary (which satisfies my Asia requirement if necessary).  When we came to Canada we started in Ontario with my best friend Evelyn and her husband and we drove to Prince Edward Island, stopping in every province along the way.  Really all that remains is grad school, Europe and a baby.

vintage_1930_s_mother_holding_baby_mother_s_day_poster-r5c686f6175594805a1e72d988d4638f9_wvw_8byvr_512 Naturally, when one has been married over three years, is over the age of thirty and looking at a five-year life plan, it’s not unreasonable to question where procreation comes into the equation.

My husband asks me outright, jutting his chin towards my papers and handwritten notes. “Where do babies fit in to this plan?”

o-VINTAGE-COUPLE-FIGHTING-FURNITURE-facebookI respond by shuffling the papers and muttering under my breath.  Where do babies land on this list…in five years I’ll be (gulp) 37.  And from what I’ve gathered, the fallopian factory gets a bit more semen selective after the age of 35.

“Don’t you want to have a baby?”

Goodness yes…later on.  I welcome it.

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Benjamin, very gentle, presses on step further.  “I mean…you’re 32 now, and if 35 is the cut-off…um…”

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Welcome to my window, and it is closing.

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Alec Baldwin can become a father again at 55, but for the ladies out there, there’s only so much time before you have to look into renting uterus’ or become a science experiment in golden years gestation.  There’s a fine time line to walk in these few years of fertility.

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After the mumbling and paper shuffling, Benjamin smiles.  “You didn’t really answer my question”.  I look down at my writing.  My husband tries a new angle “What would you need to do before you want a baby?”.  There’s about twenty different countries that come to mind.  I look out the window now, watching the cars pass along on the highway.

“So we need to go to Europe this year then”, he says, because I haven’t.

My lips quiver into a smile.

That would be nice.

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Sometimes I feel genuinely anxious about never seeing the world. That Benjamin couldn’t leave the country made me feel terribly claustrophobic. Now that we could hit the international terminal with ease, now it brings up the issue of cost.  As we crunched the numbers over our new year budget, (yes we did the math), we realized that we could afford it, at the expense of…oh I don’t know a down payment of a house?

collage-house-suburbs-rewardyourselfLucky bastards.  Back in the day when men wore suits, women wore hats, houses were cheap and smoking was good for you. “It’s your goal. Write it down” Benjamin says.  But how does one afford that? Get a second job waiting tables three nights a week and save all of the tips for a holiday? Not bad.   Get discovered by some media mogul who pays me to travel and make witty observations? Better.  Wherever you are, generous benefactor, now would be a good time to show your face and dollah bills.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’d love to have a little baby bear with my big Benjamin Bear.

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I love the idea of this little buddy lying between us in bed kicking chubby little legs, smiling, slobbering, giggling.  Sitting on Benjamin’s shoulders, resting comfortably on my hip while snoozing into my chest. Hearing their little voices, their opinions and thoughts. The intimacy of making a family, raising a child.  I even have baby names picked out.  Hey, I work with children, I 100% get the appeal.

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But when my husband wants to put a finger on the calendar to estimate my readiness, I can’t offer that to him.  Yesterday, I visited with my good friend Trish and her baby Melody, who is heart-meltingly adorable.  Trish asked about our family planning future, and I articulated my best possible answer. She, like all the other mothers out there gives me a general answer.  Babies are amazing, but are all-consuming. After you’ve had a baby, you are never not a parent ever again.  So… A) There’s never a ‘good time’ to start a family B) But take your time if it’s possible.

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I don’t know why I feel like having babies is something that other people do.  Like for myself, it still seems way too early.  But I’m 32 now, I’m not a kid.  I’m happily married, my husband and I are gainfully employed, mentally stable and caring individuals. I’d be a perfectly loving mother, and I have that love to give. Still there’s something generally panic inducing about cranking out a little one.

rosemarys-babyFirstly…as a rather petite woman with a nearly seven-foot tall husband, I do fear the size of the offspring.  My mother has on more than one occasion confessed a similar fear…on my behalf.  Which is unnerving, seeing as she gave birth three times without so much as an aspirin, because “cave-women didn’t have painkillers and they did just fine without them”. Therefore she could paint a rather clear portrait on the realities of childbirth, therefore I’d like to go the opposite route as cave-women didn’t have painkillers…but “smoke ’em if you got ’em, is what I always say.

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I mean, you can dress it up all you want, but there’s no easy, attractive or painless way to get that baby out.  I wish it were as easy as it was in my Barbie Doll era…this bitch even gets a flat stomach immediately after the baby is removed.

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I think my fear of childbirth can be directly linked to Melanie’s experience in “Gone With the Wind”.  We used to watch this movie on a yearly basis in my childhood, and that bit was always perfectly terrifying.

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If a baby is stuck…how do you get it out anyhow?  If someone told you they know everything about giving birth, but then at the last-minute said that they didn’t “know nothing”, and the only person that can help you secretly hates you and openly loves your husband, and the civil war is laying waste to all fine young men, keeping every capable doctor occupied.  Wouldn’t you be nervous?

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Granted…my situation is not anywhere near “GWTW” territory.  The fear and doubts would subside.  Maybe what I hadn’t achieved beforehand didn’t matter.  It’s not like I’d give birth and immediately fall off a cliff.  I’d still be me, just plus one. I would love this baby.  If we had a baby we’d be perfectly happy.

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But I’d like to explore the options, gamble with the numbers.  How late could I push this time back?  33, 34, 35…Gwen Stefani?  She’s 44 and fabulous and doing motherhood her own way.

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Halle Berry had a baby at 47, Kate Winslet, 38.  Then again these women are also richer than God, so who knows the amount of money poured into the enterprise.  It’s like Angelina Jolie; only when you are that wealthy can you start collecting children from other countries the way I do scarves and knickknacks in far off marketplaces. And keeping them well-educated and well fed ain’t cheap either.

So if the issue is not if–but when.   How can I take my goals by the horns and get myself where I need to go?

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How can I get to the point that I am pushing out this twenty-five pound baby and saying–“I did what I wanted while I wanted and I have no regrets!…also I love morphine!”

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And then a new adventure could begin with our new little buddy…and we’ll take them everywhere.

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Listen, if I don’t have an answer for my husband or myself…then I really can’t even dream of making something up to finish this blog with a nice conclusive ribbon wrapped around in.  I think as far as all dreams go, it is pretty rare that someone knocks on your door and hands that dream to you.  You need to go out and get what you want.  With the help of carefully drawn plans, we can now set our sights on the future, have some control over our lives.  And this whole baby dilemma will feel a little less like a nightmare.

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Images Courtesy of Google

Red Wine Meets White Carpet

After a hectic work day, I was driving home in the rain with crumbs all over my lap.  There was a lone bran and berry muffin left in a Tim Horton’s box from the morning staff meeting.  Standing alone in the staff room, I stared at it the way a predator hones it on its prey before attacking.  That muffin didn’t stand a chance.  I snapped it up and just sort of shoved the peak into my trap.  I wanted to hurry home, so I continued the attractive mushing of muffin into my mouth from behind the wheel.  Loose and reckless morsels of muffiny goodness; this kind of eating is not a tidy enterprise.    This is exactly how Audrey Hepburn looked whilst feasting.  Classy as hell.

Love in the Afternoon (1957) - Audrey Hepburn, Gary CooperSome bastard pulls out in front of me, and I bark an obscenity out, mouth full of muffin.  I catch a glimpse of my reflection.

Girlfriend, you look so stressed.  And you are seriously just covered in crumbs. Like, it’s all over your face.  

This was totally understandable, as I was all but chewing of the muffin lining.  This is what I was doing when I got cut off, and when I snapped out loud to no one in particular.  Behold, my finest hour.

Naturally, I stopped by the liquor store for a bit of vino.

After a hot shower, and a proper meal, and two glasses of the California red blend, I was feeling far less crumby.  Relaxing with my husband, watching a movie, I took a sip of water, and intending to put it back on the table, I  clink it into the wine glass–cheers darling–knocking it over, the scarlet liquid cascading onto the cream colored carpet.

Fuck.

This isn’t a huge surprise.  These are things you need to know about me.  I cry all the time.  I mix past and present tenses when I write.  I’m terrible at basic math, I’m incapable of giving directions, and I’m a certifiable food and beverage spiller.  That’s why I wear so much black, it’s 5% wanting to be chic, and 98% wanting clothes I can wear again after an inevitable staining.

One night, when Ben and I were first together, I was all tucked up in bed in one of his t-shirts and sipping a huge glass of water.  I don’t quite know how I did it, but I just kind of relaxed and let go of the glass.  Water everywhere.  I just sit there in the spillage, not quite sure how to proceed.  Ben came in, smiling at his new girlfriend, the ‘super soaker’.  He climbed into bed, and he puts his hand down on the mattresses, and his smile wavered as his eyebrows turned into a “what the…hell?” kind of squiggle.  I’m holding the empty glass, soaked through the sheets, down to my knickers, smiling like it’s a beauty pageant, and the other contestant’s name was called over mine.

But he’s used to it by now, and it was absolutely not a surprise to him when we were assessing the crime scene last night.  “With the amount of wine that goes through this house, I’m only surprised it didn’t happen sooner”.  I am seriously one klutzy son of a bitch, in fact, that would be my rap name “DJ Spilly Britches” or “Notorious SOB”.  Although truth be told, as you can tell by my rap names, the closest I could get to being a rapper would by being the old lady in the opening credits of “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.  That’s another thing you should know, I don’t rock that hard…at all.

Mom

The wine is spilled, and there is this split second moment where we looked at each other, and looked at the mess.   We then lunge into action, attack the stain with paper towels, hoping to lure the liquid from the clutches of the carpet.  I search the internet for stain removers.  There are a variety of options, but here’s a step-by-step approach of what worked for me:

1) Panic

2) Lament your bumbling butterfingers.

3) Paper towel that shit, while wondering if Nestle still makes Butterfingers.

4) The internet recommends vinegar, dish soap, baking soda, laundry detergent.  I suggest layering all of these ingredients and scrubbing like a post-regicide Lady Macbeth.

gp-Macbeth_t614My god woman, how much wine did you spill?

My favorite tip was to pour white wine over the red, which sounds a bit wasteful.  But hey, maybe carpet sangria has yet to sweep the nation–what do I know?  It seemed to me that it was a bit like putting out a fire with more kerosene.  Plus, I’m not much of a chardonnay kind of girl.

Once the stain was out, I congratulated myself with a little Butterfingers re-con.  Good news y’all, not only is it still a thing, but they are putting it in ice cream now.  So that’s just another thing for me to bring home and spill on the carpet.  The possibilities are endless really, my clumsiness knows no bounds.

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