Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh, Oprah

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've probably heard that Oprah got "fat" again. She's 200 lbs (enormous, ya know) and is asking herself, "How did I let this happen again?” She's also talking about how she isn't setting an example for her fans.

Enough. Seriously. You're fine the way you are. You're fucking Oprah. Regardless of what you think about the woman, she's ACCOMPLISHED. AND she's worried about being fat. It makes me feel kind of hopeless. I am 16 weeks pregnant, and I am still struggling with all this crap. It sucks. I wish I wasn't, but there you go. I struggle with body image under the best of circumstances, so I don't know why I thought being pregnant would change that. I am supposed to be gaining weight for the health of my kid, but it's still fucking with my head. Then I see one of the most accomplished women in the world struggling with this -- and instead of talking about that part, the struggle -- she's talking about being disappointed in herself. It makes me feel like I'm SUPPOSED to be disappointed in myself, and that's not right.

As expected, a lot of other people have tons to say about this. Here are some of my favorite picks:

* Shapely Prose:
". . .you’re showing the world that no amount of money, or hard work, or discipline (whatever guilt you feel over easing out of that part-time job, come on, don’t even try to tell me that Oprah Winfrey lacks self-discipline and determination!) can make a stubbornly fat body remain thin for long. I just wish, for your sake as well as for the millions of women who look up to you, you could find a way to reframe your struggles with your weight, to practice and promote Health at Every Size, to believe that you are a beautiful woman — you so are! — who does not need to keep apologizing for what she eats or what dress size she wears. I wish you would choose to be the role model you’re perfectly suited to be, instead of trying to be one you’re not — and instead being an object lesson."

* The F-Word:
"She’s the poster child for unproven, untested, unsuccessful and medically unsound weight-loss plans galore - plans that despite their proven ineffectiveness, continue to motivate viewers to try similar methods because Oprah did it! And yet even with her great wealth, personal chef and trainer and access to healthy foods and fitness resources, Oprah hasn’t been able to sustain a weight loss for any length of time. We don’t need Einstein to tell us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Things To Be Thankful For

It's been a long time since I've posted anything of note, mainly because I've been busy with work and school. Now that the Thanksgiving weekend has passed and I survived the trek down to NJ and the Scamtrak crowds back, I'm safely settled back on the couch in my pajamas, watching Christmas Vacation with YG and the MG.

I also haven't been posting lately because our major items of note have been things that we've needed to keep relatively under wraps.

Major Item #1: YG graduated from Presidio and the same week, he got a new job. He's still with the same company, but now in a sustainable technology position. He was really deliberate about choosing his career path and school and this is the pay off for all his hard work. I'm all proud and shit. We celebrated with a weekend in Sonoma.

Major Item #2: We are expanding. Sometime around June 2, the G family will include me, YG, the MG, and the soon-to-be-named Zygote G. I'm about 14 weeks along, and just starting to show with a tiny belly and gargantuan boobs that have taken over Cambridge. We had our second ultrasound last Tuesday and Zygote was happy and healthy and jumping all over the place. I saw the tiny hands and feet, and it was all too surreal.

I'm finding it extremely difficult to write about all the crazy emotions surrounding all of this. Everything that I was thinking about in the abstract is now real, and we have a lot of thinking and planning and buying (holy shit, are things expensive!) to do in the next six months. I'm very excited, but also terrified. I guess this is the beginning of my lifetime of worry.

I'm also grateful that everyone seems to be really happy for us. YG's family, my family, all of our friends and coworkers -- everyone thinks we're ready -- and the MG is excited about the prospect of being the big sister.

So that's our big news and the big thing we're thankful for this year. I know that I'll be able to write more eloquently about this at a later time, but for now, let's just say that I'm really, really happy.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day

I'm alternating between nail biting, crying, being hopeful...everything.
I went to the my polling station before it opened this morning and waited on line for about 45 minutes. I got to the front of the line and was told that my name wasn't on the list, that I had been dropped, along with a number of other people. I had to wait until the volunteers got through to the secretary of state's office and confirmed that we were registered. It was a pain in the ass, but I waited because I wanted my vote to count -- even if it was coming from big, gay liberal Cambridge. Lots of interesting comments about the People's Republic in this news story. I finally voted and now I'm just waiting and waiting and waiting. I am cautiously optimistic.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

I Used To Have A Blog

But then my home PC crapped out with the blue screen of death and a fatal system error, and I had no desire to go to the library to update my five readers on foods that I have eaten and things that I have bought. I am also juggling work, school, and some volunteer stuff (I know) and like to sleep sometimes. I will be back when things get more interesting and after the election is over. That way you'll know if I'm happy or if I'm packing up and moving to Europe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Love Your Body Day is October 15

From the website:

"Women and girls are continually bombarded with images from entertainment and advertising that help define our culture's beauty ideal. Fashion magazines, celebrity blogs and TV shows like Make Me a Supermodel continue to push girls and women to try unhealthy fad diets to achieve unrealistic body types. And while girls and women resort to compulsive exercise, starving themselves, and cosmetic surgery to achieve the media image of the "perfect" body and face, they may not realize that their health and lives are at risk. But you can make a difference!

The NOW Foundation's Love Your Body campaign helps raise awareness about women's health, body image and self-esteem. Since 1997, Love Your Body has given girls and women the tools and the encouragement to "just say no" to the air-brushed, cookie cutter images that Hollywood and Madison Avenue are trying to sell.

On Oct. 15, NOW chapters and campus and community activists across the country are celebrating Love Your Body Day with actions and events. "

Tell Your Friends!

In the same spirit, Fat Talk Free Week.

Check out the video. I'm a little wary of anything sponsored by a sorority, but this is pretty cool.

Tenemos Amor a Noche? Or Where the Hell Have I Been?

So, it's been a while. Since I last wrote, I have been across the country and back, to NJ, and am now getting ready to head off to Syracuse. I'm a little exhausted, but happy with being able to see everyone.

The trip to San Diego was a business trip, but well worth it. I got good media coverage and was able to sneak in visits to Nikki and Marisela, both of whom I haven't seen in a while. It was warm and sunny and I saw the Pacific again and finally watched the Sex & The City Movie (suck) and had an awesome lemon square at Extraordinary Desserts. I took the red eye back and nearly killed myself due to the screaming baby on the plane. Seriously, who takes a 6 month old baby on a friggin' red eye? It was so out of hand and there were lots of annoyed, and then screaming, passengers and NO SLEEP.

I got home Wednesday morning and saw YG for a handful of hours before he headed off to San Francisco for school. I left for NJ on Friday night, spent 5.5 hours in traffic, and gorged myself on food and strip mall shopping all weekend.

On Columbus Day, I took the day off and ran the Tufts 10K for Women in Boston. It was one of the better races I've run and there were over 7,000 women, some who were 32-year veterans. I ran the whole thing (all 6.2 loooong miles) and finished in 1:21. I'm really happy with my time and my progress and the fact that I set a goal at the beginning of the summer and stuck to it. I hope to do it again next year. I will get to that marathon yet.

This weekend we're heading to Syracuse to hang out with Becky and Phil and to show YG and SG the SU campus (i.e. where all the magic happened). Should be a good time.

So yeah, a rather boring update, but I haven't been doing a ton of stuff other than travel, work, more work, my writing class and the other work we're doing for the church. Boooooring.

And what does "tenemos amor a noche?" refer to? YG and I were telling the MG about how long we studied Spanish in school and were trying to demonstrate conversational phrases. He couldn't remember the Spanish word for sex. Hee. I managed to answer, "No, no, YG, mi cabeza" and he shot back, "Muchas gracias [Insert EvilCameltoe's Name]." Adventures in Spanglish.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lacking A Thing To Say

Our home PC has crapped out and is infected with a bunch of viruses so I haven't been blogging. I had lots of thoughts about the financial crisis and the debates and the state of the world, but it's rainy and blah out so I'm feeling less than verbose. I spent the afternoon working on a comms plan for my church and even that came out very bullet-y and boring and blah.

Anyway, check out the church's new video. This is going to be airing on TV stations starting on Monday. Pretty cool, right?

Also, a church blog post that I rather enjoyed. When the right-wing douches are attacking the UCC and calling its members "the most left-leaning of all major U.S. denominations," I feel pretty confident that we ended up in the right place.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things To Rethink Saying To Your Partner

"That jacket makes you look like Dr. Evil."


Dr. Evil:

That's what I get for trying to wear something new and different for me. Reminiscent of the Fat Lard in An Ugly Shirt conversation of '07.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Unrequited Love

I've missed you, my love. But now you are back and you are taking names and kicking ass, and I love, love, love you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Day:1; Me: 0

And here's how it went:

1. Woken up at 6 a.m. by the ECT in full-on hysteria mode shouting about how MG is sick. Given the time and the tone, one would assume that the child is covered in sores and coughing blood. No, she has a cold. But ECT has a class. ONE. YG and I have this crazy thing called work. Arrangements are made, and YG will have to pick the child up at ECT's mother's house, dodging flying monkeys and pitchforks.

2. On the walk to the gym, YG and I are BOTH stung by hornets, and it hurts. It still fucking hurts FOURTEEN HOURS LATER.

3. Fucking soccer mom in an Escalade blocks traffic on Rindge Ave. this morning, and we are both stuck behind her for too long. WHO DRIVES AN ESCALADE?

4. My shrink is 20 minutes late for our appointment. By this time, I am already well into the crazy and want to eat a fistful of Xanax.

5. In the parking lot at work, my heel gets caught in the space between the sidewalk and I fall skinning one knee and cutting up the one that is already injured. That's right -- ALREADY injured. After my awesome race last weekend, I went out for a run last Tuesday and couldn't finish due to throbbing pain in my left knee. I did a bunch of Googling and icing and chewing of the Advil and diagnosed it as "runners knee." I have been walking and lifting weights, but haven't been out running in a week.

Running is pretty much the one thing that keeps me sane about my body -- whenever I feel crazy about how it looks, I remember how awesome the things my body can do are, and come back from the edge. And now I can't do it. I did a 20 mile bike ride on Saturday and even that aggravated the knee. I've been keeping to my 10K training schedule fairly rigorously, and the race is a month away and now this. I haven't even processed how fucking pissed I am.

6. My work. I deliver no value to the world at large. Enough said.

7. So I want to write, but I'm totally blocked and struggling with this last assignment for class.

8. The state of the world. Lehman Brothers, Merill Lynch, AIG, and the idea that people are fucking stupid enough to want to vote for McCain/Palin make me want to crawl under the covers and die for a while.

9. Traffic on the way home. One hour door to door listening to "world is going to hell in a handbasket" stories on NPR.


But, I never can stick to a position, so things that did not suck today.

1. One of the bloggers I follow, Erin Shea, wrote this awesome post titled, "So Obama is gonna raise your taxes, is he?" Go check it out. Lots of neat links and commentary.

2. Les Misbarack. I'm sure if you're reading this blog, you know that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, cool. I am embarassed to admit how gay I was for Les Miserables. I saw it three times, I loved Eponine, and oh good lord, I did interpretive dance to "I Dreamed A Dream" in marching band (this I can at least blame on the flag squad director). Such a dork. So imagine my ridiculous glee upon discovering Les Misbarack. LOVE!

* I am also, apparently, totally homophobic because that's like the 50th time in 2 days that I've used the phrase "so gay for." Awesome. Because I need more issues.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dear Tina Fey: I Am Totally Gay For You

I have loved you longer than I care to admit. The old skits -- mom jeans, baby thongs, your weekend updates -- were brilliant. You were the cool, funny, yet smart sexy girl I wanted to be.

And then you do this:

And it makes me want to make sweet, sweet love to you.

And after that, I'm fucking Matt Damon.

Friday, September 12, 2008

On Sarah Palin And Other Odds and Ends

I'm half watching Charlie Gibson interview Sarah Palin on 20/20 and I can't figure out what I'd want to write on her that others haven't eloquently written already.

Case in point: Rebecca Traister's "Zombie Feminists of the RNC"
Everything that is rattling around in my brain and making me so disgusted, she has written better.

"Perhaps it's because the ground has shifted so quickly under my feet, leaving me with only a slippery grasp of what the basic vocabulary of my beat -- feminism, women's rights -- even means anymore. Some days, it feels like I'm watching the civics filmstrip about how much progress women made on the presidential stage in 2008 burst into flames, acutely aware that in the back of the room, a substitute teacher is threading a new reel into the projector. It has the same message and some of the same signifiers -- Glass ceilings broken! Girl Power! -- but its meaning has been distorted. Suddenly it's Rudy Giuliani and Rick Santorum schooling us about pervasive sexism; Hillary Clinton's 18 million cracks have weakened not only the White House's glass ceiling, but the wall protecting Roe v. Wade; the potential first female vice president in America's 200-year history describes her early career as "your average hockey mom" who "never really set out to be involved in public affairs"; and teen pregnancy is no longer an illustrative example for sex educators and contraception distributors but for those who seek to eliminate sex education and contraception.

In this strange new pro-woman tableau, feminism -- a word that is being used all over the country with regard to Palin's potential power -- means voting for someone who would limit reproductive control, access to healthcare and funding for places like Covenant House Alaska, an organization that helps unwed teen mothers. It means cheering someone who allowed women to be charged for their rape kits while she was mayor of Wasilla, who supports the teaching of creationism alongside evolution, who has inquired locally about the possibility of using her position to ban children's books from the public library, who does not support the teaching of sex education.

In this "Handmaid's Tale"-inflected universe, in which femininity is worshipped but females will be denied rights, CNBC pundit Donny Deutsch tells us that we're witnessing "a new creation ... of the feminist ideal," the feminism being so ideal because instead of being voiced by hairy old bats with unattractive ideas about intellect and economy and politics and power, it's now embodied by a woman who, according to Deutsch, does what Hillary Clinton did not: "put a skirt on." "I want her watching my kids," says Deutsch. "I want her laying next to me in bed." "

I will keep my feelings about douchebag Donny Deutsch and his too-tight black t-shirts to myself right now.

Here's where she nails it:

What Palin so seductively represents, not only to Donny Deutsch but to the general populace, is a form of feminine power that is utterly digestible to those who have no intellectual or political use for actual women. It's like some dystopian future ... feminism without any feminists.

I really don't understand how anyone claiming to be a feminist can support an anti-choice, abstinence-only candidate who wants to teach creationism in the public schools. AND supported Pat Fucking Buchanan. What? Huh?

The thing that disturbs me the most, though, is how easily people fell for her. Prior to the announcement, I had no strong feelings about John McCain. With the exception of his positions on the war in Iraq, I could *almost* imagine not killing myself over the idea of a McCain presidency. And then Palin. I thought it was the grossest kind of "hey, chicks like chicks. Let's pick a chick and they'll vote for her" pandering. My initial thought was, "how stupid do these people think that we are?"

Apparently, pretty stupid. She's a celebrity, and let's not forget, a holy, sainted mother of five. I had an actual conversation with a woman who said she totally disagreed with her politics, but would vote for McCain because HE picked a woman and because, direct quote, "she's a MOM. She understands. She KNOWS." This is a woman that I respect -- I was stunned into silence. What exactly is it that she knows?

On the other hand, my mother and my aunt last weekend provided some balance. Neither of them are die-hard Democrats, but expressed disgust over the idea that a woman who has managed a town of 6,000 people (being touted everywhere as her "prior experience") is qualified to be Vice President of the United States. Both of them pointed out that they've managed more people and more budget than that. And they're both moms. Apparently, they don't KNOW the same shit that Sarah Palin does.

The whole mess makes me very, very scared. The most inspiring candidate we've had in a while could lose, and with a McCain presidency, we're one heart attack away from having our second gun-toting, religious freak in the White House. I want to scream.

In other news:
* At least some humor can be found around Palin: My friend, Diana, and comedienne, Sara Benincasa, are starring in number of Plain vlogs on Youtube and getting all sorts of coverage including here, here and here. My favorite was Sarah at The RNC, but Kanye! made me pee my pants just a little today. Very cool for those guys.

* And then back to being pissed off. Newsweek ran an article titled To Work or Not?
A new study finds that children of privileged families fare worse when the mother works outside the home. But what does the research really tell us?
and again, I ask, scream, bang my head against the wall until I'm a bloody pulp, "WHAT ABOUT THE FATHERS?" Where are they in the equation? Where do they ever appear in these types of pieces? According to the research, my future children won't be well-adjusted and they'll be fat too.
If you really want to give yourself a stroke, just scroll through some of the comments.

* Currently reading: The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith and Politics in a Post-Religious Right America by Jim Wallis. More on this later. I'm enjoying it.

* Watching: ANTM is back, thank the Lord. I was starting to get too smart with all this reading. I love the hot little tranny. I also finally watched The Constant Gardner and loved it. I've re-added Ralph Fiennes to my "I'd Have Sex With You" list. It was iffy for a while there, but he's redeemed himself.

* Twelve days in and I still haven't spent any money on extras. I went to a "Winedown" at Harvard Book Store tonight and it was a bit like sending an alcoholic to a bar, but I prevailed. YG is out of town, so I went on my own and mingled in my socially awkward way, but yes, I spoke to other humans. Woot!
Still posting pictures to Outfits I Have Enjoyed. My fear of pants is large. Like my butt.

* Thinking: That are many, many reasons for me not to like Sarah Palin, but when I look at the older pictures of her, with the big hair and the way-too-much make up, she reminds me of the Evil Cameltoe. A lot. Frightening.

Monday, September 08, 2008

24 Hours in Manhattan (Or Happy Birthday to Me)

My 32nd birthday came and went in a whirlwind. I had dreams of writing a long post of all things I am grateful for this birthday, but I haven't even gotten around to drafting it yet. That will come later, probably after I've forgotten that I am grateful for them.

It was a great weekend. YG did another super secret birthday trip, and I had no idea where I was going until we passed the exit for the Tappan Zee and I realized we were headed to Manhattan again. I had figured somewhere local like Maine or the Cape, and then when I saw we were going south, I guessed the Jersey shore or Long Island, but it was Manhattan again, and it was perfect.

We stayed at another Kimpton Hotel on Park Avenue, near Grand Central. We walked around a bit in the heat and had drinks at the Roylaton and I got sad for a bit, realizing that my time to live in New York City had probably passed -- that I didn't take advantage of it in my 20s and that I probably won't be taking advantage of it until I'm much older and my imaginary children have gone off to school. I love visiting, but the crowds grate on my nerves and I find myself being bitchy and awful. Luckily, our hotel had the cure. First, they delivered a bottle of wine and cake, followed by a bottle of champagne. YG and I drank our own proseco, purchased at the wine shop in Grand Central, and went to dinner at Artisanal , downing more wine and buckets full of yummy cheese and chocolate fondue.

After dinner, we were roaming the streets of the city and decided to go to the top of the Empire State Building. It was relatively quiet and the humidity had changed into a breezy and warm night, and we stayed up there for a while, looking at the lights and the water and my home state.

The next day we had cake and coffee for breakfast and lounged around in the hotel-provided bathrobes, talking and reading. I just finished Ethan Canin's America, America. YG read it first and loved it, and I devoured it in a week. After the rain started, we walked over to MoMA and took in the photography and several of the Picassos. YG and I have the same philosophy about museums and art in general. We seem to like the idea of them more than actually visiting them, but we picked out the things we wanted to see and limited our time. This was amazing in person, and for a rainy day in NYC, the annoying tourist factor was relatively low.

We walked in the rain along 54th Street. YG had to buy a bigger umbrella because the downpour was relentless and we stopped for drinks at a no-name bar to escape. We met my family -- everyone (my parents, nana, brother, sister, and aunt) -- at Lattanzi for an early dinner, and I opened up my presents and just chatted, as if it were any normal dinner in the city.

We drove home that night because I had my 5K at 8:30 the next morning. It poured the entire way, but we made it. The rain cleared out in time for the race, and I finished in 32:51, the fastest 5K I've ran so far, and a SIX MINUTE improvement over my time last year. I met YG for brunch and we enjoyed the rest of our Cambridge afternoon.

All in all, a pretty great birthday.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Exile in Guyville (or this weekend's update)

It's 5 p.m. on Labor Day and the church bells are ringing next door, signaling the end of the lovely weekend. YG is leaving for Canada tomorrow and I have to go back to work and none of us are happy. Let's recap:

On Friday, I decided to work from home to avoid the holiday traffic and other humans in general. I got out early and managed to do my first 6 mile run, ensuring that I'll be pretty much ready when the 10K rolls around in October. I recently discovered MapMyRun, and it's the perfect tool for an anal-retentive freakshow like myself. I can input all my miles and calories and keep monthly totals. In August, I logged 103.4 miles. That included a 22 mile bike ride and a half mile swim, but still -- all of that on foot. Awesome.

I worked for most of the day and caught up on a bunch of nagging things I've been putting off for weeks. Our babysitter came around 6:30 and then YG and I headed into Boston to see Liz Phair performing all the songs from Exile in Guyville. We had noodles at a Thai place and then joined a bunch of people around our age at The Paradise. That should have been my first inkling that it was going to be an awesome night. Every time we go to shows anymore, we're among the oldest people in the audience. The Liz Phair crowd seemed like a bunch of people who had bought the album when it first came out in 1993. Say what you will about Liz Phair and how her later albums sucked ass, Exile in Guyville was incredible and pretty much the soundtrack to my late high school, early college existence. I thought she was speaking for ME, and I remember being in Syracuse that crazy summer in 1996 driving around in my Lebaron with Erica and Becky and listening to 6'1" on a mix tape that Erica had made. This was before I thought she sucked and was still girl crushing on her. Anyway, it was amazing how many of the lyrics I knew and how much the audience knew. One girl got to sing back ups on "Flower" and it rocked. AND, Liz Phair still looks wicked hot. I didn't look that hot at 20, never mind 40.

On Saturday, I got up early again and went out running. I was trying for 4 miles, but my stomach wasn't cooperating and I had to settle for the Tufts loop, watching all the students move back in, lugging cars full of futon mattresses and cds and plastic totes filled with clothes. We spent some time reading and then took the train into Boston to go to The Feast of St. Anthony in the North End. It's celebrated each year in the North End of Boston on the weekend of the last Sunday of August. Begun by Italian immigrants from Montefalcione, Italy, in 1919, it has become the largest Italian Religious Festival in New England.

We walked around and visited the Old North Church and through the stands of Sicilian rice balls and ziti and zeppoles, and oh my God, it smelled so good. It was hot and crowded, though, so we decided not to eat on the street and ate at a tiny restaurant off the main Hanover Street path. YG and I drank a bottle of Proseco and the MG had the pasta with alfredo sauce she's wanted for months. On the way back to Haymarket, we stopped at North End Park and watched people play in the fountains. It was warm and beautiful out, so we kicked off our shoes and splashed around too. There are probably people in this world who will never let their kids play in a city fountain because they're concerned about germs or some shit like that. I hope I'm never one of them.

On Sunday, we decided to go to the beach. I guess YG was tired of hearing me bitch about no beach time this summer or he was dying for some water himself, but we got up early, left the house at 7:30 and were sitting at a breakfast place on the beach in York, Maine by 9 a.m. After coffee and pancakes, we drove over to Short Sands Beach and set up our blanket and umbrella. To use every cliche in the book, it was a bright blue day without a cloud in the sky. We read books and alternated taking the MG in the water. It was so cold that it made my face and ears ache every time I jumped under water, but I managed to go in a few times. It's probably the last time this year that I'll swim in the ocean, and I wanted to savor it. The MG played too, staying in with me until our lips turned blue.

We stayed about four hours, and then drove up and down the strip, before stopping at Brown's Ice Cream where I had the root beer float I've been craving all summer. More pictures are here. We left around 4 and were back in Cambridge by 5:30. We all took showers and then walked up to Greek Corner for dinner. YG and I were tired and giddy and spent some time on Operation:Undo Stupid Things Your Mother Has Told You before getting the MG home and in bed. We watched Fight Club with my boyfriend, Edward Norton, and passed out.

This morning, YG got up first and went for a twenty mile bike ride. I went out next, running first down Mass Ave to the Charles where I ran along the river and watched all the people in kayaks and row boats before heading back up Sparks Street and all the pretty mansions in Huron Village. 6.17 miles in all, my first run registered on my September calendar.

We decided to have a big lunch, rather than dinner and YG barbecued a steak and we cooked up corn on the cob and heirloom tomatoes and laid out a spread of cheese and fancy jellies we bought up at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine. We ate out on the porch with glasses of wine and flip flops. YG worked on some school stuff. I finished the book, Local Girls, that I started yesterday. Overall, it was pretty awful, but short enough for me not to care.

We took naps and then walked up to Diesel where YG journaled and I worked on my story for class. This week's assignment is to write a character sketch. I'm writing about one of my old bosses. I had iced tea and a lemon square, and the MG played Nintendo. And now we're all back here, wishing the weekend wasn't over.

I realize that I'm not very interesting when I'm relatively sane and happy, but I'm thankful for the good weekend and am sure that sane and happy won't last long. Although this week is my birthday so that promises to be fun.

Other things I am working on:

* I am officially embarking on what I'm naming, "The Quarter of No Spending." YG and I are trying to save money so that we have options for any number of things -- new home, new jobs, new family members, etc. I have somehow gotten the idea that I am an insane overspender, throwing away my family's fortune on material goods in an attempt to buy happiness that cannot replace the big, gaping hole in my soul. This may or may not be true, but I have been feeling unhappy about the amount of money I spend on clothes and shoes and books, when I have closets spilling out clothes with tags on them and books lined up on bookshelves actually made of books I haven't read yet. Crazy, no?

So I'm not spending. For a quarter. I read Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping when I was still living in NJ and I was alternately impressed and horrified, considering not shopping for a year akin to psychological torture. So I'm shortening my experiment to 3 months, and I'm limiting my "not spending" to new clothes, shoes, books, and cds. I will still spend mightily on my hair, my waxing, pedicures and fancy champagne at Clink because I am not a martyr and/or crazy. Plus, I need to reap some kind of reward from having a corporate sell out job. Loopholes include gift cards, so if you're reading this and plan on giving me a birthday present, gift cards would be oh so nice.

I want to see where this goes and how much exactly I can save in 3 months.

* The other thing I'm doing is trying to make do with the very much I have. I'm trying to get rid of everything that makes me feel like a fat lard ass, and I'm taking pictures of myself in things that I've liked and feel good in and have gotten compliments in. I've started posting them in Outfits I Have Enjoyed. Right now there are no pants. I hate pants. I will not buy new pants.

And yes, I am aware that posting photos of myself on the Internet in clothes I like is the height of narcissism.

* Trying to formulate a brilliant post about Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters:The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. This book was such a revelation. I think everyone should read it. Still trying to write about it.

* Listening to: The two covers albums by Cat Power and The Weepies' Hideaway. I am so old and lame and never get exposed to good music anymore. The Weepies have been around since 2004? Why did I not know this?

* Hoping for: another month or so of good weather. I can't believe it's September 1 already.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


For the future president of the United States to come on t.v. and accept his nomination. I've found it hard to read the coverage this week without feeling teary and incredibly proud of this country. FWIW, I've always been a registered Independent and am a cynic, but I believe in this man and I believe we can change. Tonight is going to be awesome.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What I Wrote En Route to San Francisco

I haven't really felt like blogging lately for good and bad reasons. The bad is that I have been a bit "in the crazy" of late. I'm feeling pretty stuck career wise and "life plan" for lack of a better expression wise, and I have dealt with this by bitching, eating and shopping. Not cool. Although yellow patent leather flats and John Fleuvogs are never technically not cool.

The good news is that my writing classes started up again so I've been devoting most of my extra writing time to that. It's a humorous writing class so I'm having a lot of fun with it. Last week's assignment was to tell a funny anecdote about yourself in 450 words or less. I wrote about the time I got a pushpin stuck in my ass at work. This week's assignment was to write a letter too honest to send in 500 words and make it funny. I tried multiple different pieces. One to the people at church telling them why I didn't want to teach Sunday school this year, but I felt too guilty about it. The next one I tried was a letter to the MG honestly answering her question, "do you like my mom?" but again, bitter and not too funny. I finally settled on one to my ex-husband that I'll be reading tomorrow night.

Anyway, in lieu of having to think about what I want to say about the Convention and Michelle's speech and the fantastic book I'm reading, I'm just going to copy what I wrote on the plane to San Francisco.


En route to San Francisco and I can't sleep. I just finished reading Marisa de los Santos' Love Walked In. I expected it to be light and breezy and parts of it were, but I couldn't stop crying near the end. I guess "heartwarming" would be the word if you could stomach it. It made me feel happy. But also teary because there's just so much STUFF churning beneath the surface that is me -- family, the babies I'm not pregnant with, work, purpose -- that I generally like to keep neat and contained. But then I read a book or hear somebody's sad story or even happy story, and I'm bursting open.

I've been sobbing -- SOBBING! -- at the Olympics because all that winning or achievement and that culmination of the practice and hard work -- it's something to watch. Even if it's something as mundane (to me) as being the best badminton player in the world, hey, at least you're the best at something and you picked a path and you worked hard and you achieved. My path or path(s) are all over the place. And this is usually around the time in my life that I go back to school because I know how to achieve on that path and the recognition is quick and simple. Nobody gives me straight As for showing up and trying at the rest of my life, ya know?

All this would make you think that I'm unhappy. But I'm not. Really. Just sort of ...full. I start writing classes again next week so that should help. Of course, it's humorous writing so the timing's off. I've been writing all these funny vignettes for all my other classes this past year, and now I want to write about my grandparents' dying and my divorce and the addiction and the self-loathing and it just doesn't seem to lend itself well to humor.

And I know me. I am not one to talk about important things with people that matter. I've been going to shrinks for years and I still make them drag "what's wrong?" out of me, fighting tool and nail. These are people that I PAY to talk to about important things. So when I feel the churn and the need to tell YG that I love him so much that it makes me cry sometimes and that I miss living near my family and that I love my friends and my cats and that I want to be somebody important, I want to seize on it and capitalize on it before it goes away and regular me comes back.

A friend at work called me a "m&m" and I didn't really get it, but as he explained, "hard and crunch on the outside, soft of the inside," I think it's probably about as apt a description as you're going to get. It's because I cried a little when our boss moved back to England. Not because we were great friends and not because I really know him at all, but because we had a "normal" going in our little group, and as dysfunctional as we can be, normal is comfortable. And nice. And these were the first people I "knew" when I moved to Boston so they're different than other work colleagues. So I cried a little. And then m&m. Appropriate.

The always question is why I feel the need to maintain this image of myself as cool and removed and sometimes fiery, but also unemotional. It's not like I think those are great things to strive for. They just are. I can watch somebody else have a total meltdown and really feel for them, but if I display even one tear, people will wonder why I am such an unglued mess, or worse, they will want to TALK or HUG. Ick.

Minor example. I lent YG's sister my copy of Eat, Pray, Love. Their other sister is reading it and loves it, and I loved it, even though, as a writer, I found it a bit unfinished or premature. But I found it relatable for precisely the reason most other people do -- you're in the middle of some fucked up self loathing and self doubt and you don't know what's what and here's this book written by somebody your age and you relate. Pretty much everyone I've talked to, even if they hated that book, found something to relate to. But when I saw my book walking out the door with my multiple underlines and stars and "Yes!'s, what did I think? I thought, "oh my god, I seriously hope I didn't write something totally retarded in the margins." Because I have no feelings. Or problems. Obviously.

So, we start our descent into the land of fruits and nuts, where everybody talks about their feelings. Seriously. There's something about this place. I talk to people here. On the street, in stores, in restaurants. OR they talk to me and I give something back in return, sometimes not grudgingly. I'm going to write out here, or at least be fully present with YG and MG. I am happy to be on my vacation.

And of course, San Francisco was wonderful. And of course, my verbal diarrhea disappeared in a few days and I'm back to being crotchety.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Note to Self

Next time you pack your gym bag for work, make sure you remember to pack your sports bra. You need it. You may think that you can go running in your regular bra and let it "air out" while you take a shower. You can't. It's hotter out than you think. You're going to sweat through the thing and can't put it back on. Plus, your boobs hurt. You're going to end up spending the rest of the day bra-less in a cable knit, v-neck sweater. At work. With a D Cup. Remember how comfortable that feeling was and pack the sports bra.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back Again With Pictures

Remind me to never ever take the red eye and then attempt to work the next day. It's been hell. I am jumping from work computer to here and then back again trying to juggle work responsibilities and some other projects I'm working on since school started up again. I'm TIRED.

I wrote a lot in San Francisco, but I haven't had time to type all of that up. I write everything free hand first and then edit while typing. High tech, I know.

In the meantime: PICTURES!

Provincetown with the extended family

San Francisco with YG and MG

I think this might be my favorite:

And on my Flickr home page, there's some cute pics of the MG playing with some of my friends' kids.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend Update Done in Letter Form Because I'm Experimentin'

Dear YG --
Tonight you asked how we could go from having such a weekend high to such a crap week. How does that happen in a mere 48 hours? I meant to write about the weekend because it seemed to come exactly when I needed it and it was one of those rare, do nothing, feel good, feel refreshed weekends. But we quickly got back into the swirl of chores and the day to day anxieties, and the general ennui that comes with two very smart people caught in jobs that they don't exactly love.

What happened? What was so special about the weekend?

On Saturday morning, I woke up and laced up my running shoes and quickly ran 5 miles down by the Charles River. It wasn't too warm or humid, and I like how it's quiet on Saturday mornings and I can be with the other runners. You stayed home and worked on schoolwork with the MG.

We drove the 45 minutes out to Harvard to meet her mother, and sat in the Dunkin Donuts air conditioning, eating munchkins and bagel sandwiches. The MG was clingy after a week with you, but chatty. As you walked them out to their car, I stopped to use the ATM which took my card and then promptly broke. I worried about this shitty start to the weekend. I asked for help, got nothing but a verbal altercation with the DD staff, and left in a huff and with a flip of the bird. I worried what you thought of me. We resolved the crisis, but still, I worried/worry that someday you'll figure out that I am too emotional and angry and off-kilter for you. You tell me not to worry.

We drove to Walden Pond. After two summers of complaining (me) about not enough swimming time, we finally pack up the bags and decide that we'll either go to Walden Pond or Revere Beach. Walden is on the way, and thanks to the unstable weather, relatively quiet. We set up our blanket and pull out our books and observe. You're reading Ethan Canin's, America America, and I'm reading Joan Didion's, The Year of Magical Thinking.

Multiple people told me how depressing and heartbreaking Magical Thinking was, but I couldn't believe them or even begin to understand that until I began reading it. The book is raw and honest and intense. As soon as I began reading it, the dream (nightmare?) that one of my parents die comes back. I have this dream a lot, more so recently, and am scared to the core of things left unsaid and how I wake up with wet pillows. It's almost always my father, and it almost always makes me want to pack up and run back to Whippany. A conversation with someone else from long past:
"But even if you were back there, you wouldn't talk."
"But I'd be there."
"You'd be there, but each of you -- your parents, your brother, your sister -- would be in different rooms. You wouldn't talk."
"But we'd be there."
"But so what?"
"It would be normal.That's my normal."
And then things become anything but normal, and I have no center of gravity anymore and no place to run back to.
These are the things I think about when I'm reading Joan Didion at Walden Pond and I can't breathe because it's so sad.

We decide to go in the water. It's not too cold and you can see the bottom, something that still endlessly pleases the New Jerseyan in me. We swim a few laps before we hear thunder and the lifeguards usher everyone out of the water. We read some more, and I watch the people and the light. I confess that I didn't like Thoreau's Walden that much and I really don't feel the need to reread it. I worry how this appears to you, as well. Crazy, angry, emotional and not a reader of fine books.

It clears up, but we're tired and slightly damp. You ask if I want to dry off and leave and I wonder about going in the water again. I ask you to promise me that we'll come back again this summer. We both mentally calculate the dates and realize that summer is halfway through. "Let's go in the water," you say. We head in again and swim laps. I stay underwater and we float. We're at Walden Pond, a place that before only existed in books for me.

After drying off, we decide to go on an adventure and explore a neighborhood that we've never been to. I conveniently forget to bring underwear or a bra, so I consider venturing through Boston with just a beach coverup and no bathing suit underneath a true undertaking. We take the GPS system and head to Brookline. We walk around Coolidge Corner, poking our heads into shops, giggling at Good Vibrations, and sharing crusty thin slices at Upper Crust with the pizza plates on the ceiling. The weather holds up and it doesn't start to rain until we're back in our car heading back to Cambridge.

We shower, pay some bills and then head out to Kendall Square. The Red Line cooperates and we get to The Blue Room early enough to have drinks in the bar. Prosecco for you, a ginger tequila drink for me. Jason Bay hits a home run while we're there watching on t.v. We get good seats and enjoy our one perfect cheese. My ravioli is heavenly. Your fish is interesting. We share desserts and many more drinks. We walk arm and arm back to the T. My high heels don't even hurt.

On Sunday, we play hooky from church and ride the whole rail trail. You speed ahead, but I always manage to catch up. It's again sunny, but not too hot. I always wish that I had a camera because the purple flowers are beautiful and the sun peeks through the trees in a way that I don't ever fully enjoy when I'm not on my bike. We share water and Nutri Grain bars in Bedford and ride back. It's 22 miles overall.

We take your laptop up to Diesel for lunch, and three months later, pick out the wedding photos we like. We don't argue and we tackle this task efficiently and quietly. We remember the wedding. You decide to head home and I get a pedicure and read about the new Jolie Pitt babies. Later, you watch one of your shows on the Military Channel and I go grocery shopping. Whole Foods is remarkably sane for a Sunday afertoon, and I enjoy the free cheese.

We cook chicken on the grill and make up some brown rice. You listen to The Cowboy Junkies on the iPod in the kitchen and I make my lunch. We open up a bottle of Prosecco and eat on the porch outside, barefoot. We talk about how much we love this weekend.

I love this weekend. I don't love that the weekend disappears, but on the whole, most of our time together feels like a long weekend.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Maternal Instinct

The MG and her friend are having a sleepover. MG's friend is dressed up as "Lola" while the MG's costume is "mini Jenn."

We pointed out that she was too happy and smiley and jolly looking to be mini Jenn, and she responded, "I know, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings." If I had any kind of "normal" (quotes because who the hell knows what normal is) maternal instinct, I am assuming I would feel:
* Afraid and thinking I should get to the shrink pronto so that I could examine where my generally surly disposition comes from
* Afraid and thinking that I need to change so that I don't harm this precious flower, this child of God, this mere wisp of a being
* Offended
* Hurt

But my first reaction was to burst out laughing and think, good lord, that is fucking funny.

I give you the MG doing the REAL mini Jenn.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekends and LOLcats

This is kind of how I feel after spending an awesomely fun/chillaxin weekend with friends.

Humorous Pictures
more cat pictures

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Things I Am Thinking About

It's been pretty hectic at work lately so I haven't had time to update. I've also been spending some time on other writing projects and a comms project that I'm doing for the church, so I'm doing my best to prioritize. As much as the 2.5 people who actually read this blog miss me when I'm gone, I tend to push this project toward the bottom of the list.

But for tonight, all work projects are done and I've finished a run and YG is in, of all places, Whippany for the night, so I've got some free time.

I've been watching Tell Me You Love Me. It is so, so good and really well acted, but also terrifying at the same time. It should be included on some large "Things Not to Watch in Your First Year of Marriage" list.

We put Freaks and Geeks on our Netflix list. YG had never seen it, so we watched the first three episodes together. Again, so well done, but really, really uncomfortable. I never, ever want to relive high school.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. It's not free anymore, but worth the download. And how cute is Doogie?

Nothing. Seriously folks, what should I be listening to? My music is still stuck in 1994.

I finally finished Suite Francaise and get what my brother wrote about the appendix breaking your heart. I hate to say that I didn't love the book, but that it did get me thinking about all the ways war could influence every day living, a luxury that we Americans have and don't often have to think about.

I also started Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives and so far, it's decent. I don't remember when or why I bought it. I think maybe because it was edited by Lori who I "knew" from Indiebride. Either way, it seems relevant now as we try and work out our baby-making schedule. I've wanted to have kids for a long time, and a lot of the issues in my first marriage stemmed from my seething resentment over that not really being a viable option. Now that I'm thinking and talking about it for reals, I am suddenly overwhelmed by terror and this idea that I am the ONLY person in the entire universe absolutely not qualified for the job. I hear this is normal. * roll eyes*

Off to:
Illinois this weekend to hang out with friends.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Currently Obsessed With

1. The All Star Game. A fitting farewell to the Stadium. George's return. All the young players. Good stuff.

2. Like all other white people, I heart Wes Anderson. Rushmore is my favorite movie, and I loved The Royal Tenenbaums. We finally got around to renting The Darjeeling Limited on Sunday and it was a lovely, make me smile, make me happy kind of movie. Not perfect, but just right. And as with all of his movies, I loved the soundtrack, immediately downloaded it and have listened to it about 13 times in the last two days. I like all the instrumentals, and how like the Rushmore soundtrack, you get some good Kinks songs. I especially like the lyrics to Strangers.

Where are you going I don't mind
I've killed my world and I've killed my time
So where do I go what do I see
I see many people coming after me
So where are you going to I don't mind
If I live too long I'm afraid I'll die
So I will follow you wherever you go
If your offered hand is still open to me
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one
So you've been where I've just come
From the land that brings losers on
So we will share this road we walk
And mind our mouths and beware our talk
'Till peace we find tell you what I'll do
All the things I own I will share with you
If I feel tomorrow like I feel today
We'll take what we want and give the rest away
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one
Holy man and holy priest
This love of life makes me weak at my knees
And when we get there make your play
'Cos soon I feel you're gonna carry us away
In a promised lie you made us believe
For many men there is so much grief
And my mind is proud but it aches with rage
And if I live too long I'm afraid I'll die
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one
Strangers on this road we are on
We are not two we are one

3. I've only watched a few episodes of Flight of the Conchords, but nearly peed my pants laughing. My current obsession is watching their "music videos" on YouTube. Business Time is particularly awesome. I laughed out loud at "Tuesday is the night we usually go over to your mother's and I show her how to use the video machine again" as YG, when we are visiting, has become my parents' IT guy/contractor/physician catch all. Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cool Things (Or Why I Love Living in Cambridge)

Tonight YG and I went to see Salman Rushdie read at Memorial Church. To quote Ricky Bobby, yes, that just happened. And it was awesome.

He read from his latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence. The church felt like a furnace, it was hard to hear and we were tired and sticky, but the passage itself was beautiful, like a poem. And he was funny and charming.

The highlight of the evening was the last question he answered. A student (I believe) asked about what advice he might have for aspiring writers, and I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something along the lines of 'if you don't have that burning need to say something, to write something, don't write."

And I felt reassured, because I have never doubted that I am supposed to be a writer. It's what I am. It's who I am. I've never developed any alternative life plan. I have a career and for the most part, I enjoy it and it pays the bills. But it's not what I'm supposed to be doing. I have it -- that burning need to say something. And I'm going to figure out what that is.

After the reading, YG and I walked to Border Cafe and had margaritas (on a Monday. How decadent) and one of those talks that you love having but leaves you teary and drained. We talked about how our collective baggage (old and most heart-breakingly recent) makes life difficult for us and how it's sometimes just hard to even breathe. But we also talked about how greatful we are for the people we have met in passing in all the different arenas of our lives. He met a woman on the plane from San Francisco that he was able to talk to for hours, and I told him a story that I'd never mentioned before. About an old man that we met at Dunkin Donuts about a year ago. We sat down and talked to him for a while. He was in his 80s and owned his own store in the area and had a bunch of daughters and was talking about what a great life he had. The timing of this conversation was right after my grandfather had died, and I was feeling homesick. When I listened to the man in the Dunkin Donuts talk about his wife and his daughters, I had this feeling that it was my grandfather speaking through him. It's hard to explain. It doesn't make any sense, but I just felt it. Like a presence. And of course I didn't tell anyone, because hello? Freak. But tonight seemed the right time. I also remembered a short essay I wrote in college about "the angel Aurora," about a woman that Naomi, Josh, Erik and I met on the overnight train through Spain. It's been 12 years since that trip and I still feel like I met that woman for a reason and that I was meant to stay up all night talking to her about where I might end up.

I'm straddling the line between greatful and meloncholy tonight. I'm thankful for where I live and my friends and YG and to all the people who have seemingly just passed by for visits, and I'm sad that I don't know how to say it all. But at the same time, KNOW that I have figure out how to say it all.

Friday, July 11, 2008

One is the Lonliest Number. Or Maybe Not.

How long does it take to slip back into old habits? I'm sure there's some scientific study that explains this, but for me, it's about one day, maybe two. YG is off traveling and I am on my third day of being during exhausted during the daylight hours and reading like a fiend and trolling around on the Internets into the wee hours of the night. Also, not a vegetable in sight.

So let us take a minute to praise the YG. He's off in San Francisco doing this: Presidio School of Management's Executive Program in Sustainable Management . He *never* does anything for himself, so while I'm proud of him for getting into an exclusive program, I'm almost more proud of him for putting the effort into something that HE (not me, not the MG, not the ECT)loves. He deserves it.

He'll be away in SF for two days during each of the next few months, and I figured I'd use my time alone to work on my writing projects -- editing some of the pieces I prepared for last year's classes, getting prepped for my new class, and working on some of the items in the Exercises for Writers book that's been collecting dust on my desk.

I underestimated how much of a good influence YG is on my motivation and my general habits, though. He makes me bring my A game and with him 2000 miles away, I have been pretty much the sloth I was before I met him. Things I've done sans YG (none of which include writing):

* Discovered Brick Breaker game on my phone. Played until thumb cramped.
* Ran 8 miles in two days.
* Stayed late at work. Not actually working the whole time. More like the work/gossip action combo.
* Consumed three grilled vegetable burritos with guacamole.
* Roamed Davis. Roamed Davis again. Read books and people watched.
* Stayed up until 1 a.m. reading Suite Francaise.
* Ended up having my first caffeine in months to get through the next day.
* Vowed not to do that again but stayed up until 1:30 the next night reading as well.
* Had iPhone envy. Spent ridiculous amount of time watching SKB download new applications. Favorites include iSaber and this crazy song recognition application that allows you to sing parts of a song, recognizes said song and tells you where you can get it. From this we learned that The Golden Girls theme song was originally sung by Andrew Gold. Who knew?
* Facebook. Enough said.
* Blog stalked.
* Ignored my pile of mail.
* Ignored the wedding photos that need to be cataloged.
* Ignored the last three remaining thank you notes that need to be sent out.
* Completely avoided the cat tumbleweeds.

Tomorrow, I'll be bringing the MG back to her mom's house and depending on the weather, I'm either going to ride the rail trail or go to the beach and read. Maybe tomorrow night I will write, but that's looking doubtful at this point. I will most likely use that time to try and get back to "normal," or even more likely, do any of the things on the list above.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Didn't Stab Anyone on Vacation

Given the mood I was in when I left last week, vacation was everything I needed.

Will write more later, but highlights included:
* Beach every day
* A visit with NN and KL and Wy
* Outlet shopping
* Yankees/Red Sox at the Stadium with Arthur Avenue Italian before
* Mom's 60th birthday party
* The Water Club
* NYC Fourth of July fireworks

Some pics to hold you over.

The beauty of Long Island.

Our beach.

East River fireworks seen from The Water Club.

More pics here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Raging Against the MBTA

Alternate titles for this post:
1. Fuck you motherfucker
2. Why I can't shop at the Shaws in Porter Square anymore
3. Need more pills
4. Pyschotic Episode: the 95-degree Red Line addition

As I mentioned last night, the Red Line has been sucking of late. Always slow, always hot, always annoying. But I hate driving in the city and I'm trying to be greener and I am a big believer in public transporation, so I take the T.

I had an appointment in Boston at 6 p.m. tonight. I left our house around 5, took the stroll down to Davis and gave myself a mental high five when I realized that the train was sitting in the station waiting for me. I found myself a seat, whipped out my copy of Sisterhood Interrupted like the wannabe college student I am (see: feminist literature, glasses, oh-so-cynical disposition) and settled in.

5:20: Train is still not moving, and getting rather crowded. People are getting antsy. A woman that was born around the same time as John the Baptist is getting extremely vocal about the hold up. "Young man, young man. Go ask what the delay is." A young dude obliges. "Traffic" is the answer we get back.

5:22: Still sitting in the station. No AC. More people crowding on and much more bitching. John the Baptist Lady still annoyed. She has an appointment she needs to get to. The rest of us are apparently just hanging out.

5:25: Doors close and we finally start moving, if you can call it that. The train lurches pitifully out of the station and we start inching toward Porter. I relearn Valerie Solanas.

5:30: We arrive at Porter Square. Doors open and stay open. Again, no AC. I should mention here that it is about 95 degrees out and humid. People are now visibly and vocally agitated.

5:32: John the Baptist's sister gets off the train and starts yelling at the conductor the way only an old lady can. "You are a very stupid driver. You are a very stupid driver of this train, young lady."

5:33: More grumbling. It starts to smell like B.O. Probably mine.

5:34: We're still at the station. I put the book away and ask the conductor if we're going to have delays at every station. She says yes, so I decide to cut my losses.

5:35: I head over to the Porter Square plaza because there are always cabs picking and dropping off at Shaw's and I figure I can grab one. I call my appointment and confirm that I can come in late -- that 6:30 is okay.

5:40: No cabs at Porter. I start a line and am immediately joined by a few others who left the subway. It is beyond hellish hot.

5:45: Give up and call a cab. They tell me 20 minutes and I say I can't wait that long. I call another cab company. They tell me someone is coming right away. Wussy looking guy next to me does the same.

5:50: No cab.

5:55: Still no cab. Call YG and vent, giving him reaon to remember that the crazy is always lurking somewhere within me.

5:56: Wussy guy and I chat about how much this very much fucking blows.

5:57: My cab is still not here, but a Green Cab pulls up. Because I am first in line, I open the door and hop in. The driver tells me that I cannot have this cab because it is not MY cab. I ask if he is there for a pick up specifically and he says no. So I tell him that I need him to take me to Boston. He again says he's not picking up, that I need to take the cab that's coming for me. I tell him that I'm tired of waiting, can he take me? He orders me out of the cab and tells me that I need to wait. All of this is done with an accent I can't really understand so there's a lot of "huh? what? I don't understand" too.

5:58: As I'm getting out of the cab, sweaty and angry, I shout, "Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?" The driver starts swearing back, and as we're arguing, Wussy Guy gets in the backseat and tells the guy he wants to go to South Station. I shout, "Wait a minute! He's waiting for another cab too. HE NEEDS TO WAIT TOO!" and start grabbing at the door handle. The driver starts to pull away with a final "Bitch, you crazy."

5:59: I do not take the high road. I take the very low road. I start pounding on the window, screaming, "Fuck you, motherfucker" and to the Wussy Guy that stole the cab, "I hope I don't find you, Fuckface, because I'll fucking stab you, fucker."
The two of them actually LAUGH.

6:00: I stomp back to the sidewalk, kick some bottles that are lying around and SHAKE. I am too in my fit of rage to be fucking mortified, but there are people watching me. People shopping, people trying to enjoy their coffees outside the bookstore...people.

6:03: My cab finally shows up. The driver must sense that I am a mess because he asks me to "tell me everything." I give him the whole story, tell him that I need to get to Boston by 6:30. He tells me not to worry, that he'll get me there. He also has AC so I am in love with him.

6:04: We hit Somerville Ave and it's a traffic nightmare. He asks me to trust him and not to judge his route. I tell him I won't.

6:24: We pull up at my appointment. I tip big and tell the driver that he is awesome.

6:25: Appointment. Re-tell story. Receptionist calls a bunch of friends who are also bitching about the suckage of the Red Line. I decide that I'm going to pollute the environment AND waste money and cab it back.

7:00: Hail another cab. This time the driver is a really friendly singer who sings the whole way back to Cambridge and tells me that I look like a professor. He adds, "a smart professor."

7:25: Back at Davis. Buy burrito.

7:35: Home. Eat burrito, drink champagne. Chase with fro yo.

Now: Totally in my head, reliving the crazy. WTF? I am not a rager, but I sometimes end up in these situations where I totally and completely enter a fit of rage and go off the deep end. Where the crazy is way beyond the suckage of the situation. I told some guy I was going to STAB him. I am beyond mortified. And I'm so afraid that there's going to be "Wanted" pictures of me in the Porter Square parking lot.
My God.

And, oh, the appointment? Was a wax appointment. Apparently, a neatly-groomed vagina and smooth legs are important enough to me that I'm willing to risk possibly landing in jail to get them.


And You Should Check This Out

The Fat Experience Project is really pretty awesome and a brilliant idea.

From the site:

"The Fat Experience Project® is an oral, visual and written history project which seeks to be a humanizing force in body image activism.

By collecting and sharing the many and varied stories of individuals of size, the Fat Experience Project® seeks to engage with, educate, empower and enrich the lives of people of size, our allies and the world at large."

This one was my favorite, but all the stories resonate. I'm thinking of sending something in.

The Corporate Challenge Sucked

I ran the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge last night and it was the first race I ran where I didn't really have much fun. It was rainy and humid all day and I was already thirsty by the time I got downtown, but I couldn't get any water because it was all reserved for "after." I also managed to remember to bring my iPod, but forgot to bring my ear plugs. Grumble, grumble.

I lined up with the rest of the people in my time (10 minute mile). Well, I cheated a little. I moved up to the 9 minute mark. Over 12,000 people ran so it was crowded -- it took 4 minutes from the race start just to move across the start line. And then the rest was just packed and sweaty and gross. It got so crowded again near the turn that I had to walk because I couldn't get through. Grumble more. After about 20 minutes, I finally broke free and thanks to a nice homeowner spraying runners down with his garden hose, I felt okay and finished. My time was 36:52 which was not great.

Afterwards, I reported my time to our team captain and found the nearest Porta Potty to change out of my sweaty shirt and sports bra. I LOATHE porta potties. It's a feat of gymnastics to try and manuever out of sweaty clothes and not touch anything, but I did only to discover I forgot another bra. So my big nipples and I made our way to 7-11 and then the T stop in a white t-shirt. Brilliant.

Other discoveries:
* Cliff bars are nasty
* Even if the food you find is nasty, you should ALWAYS eat it after a race instead of throwing it out, figuring that you'll be home soon and that all that stuff they tell you about replenishing is only for real athletes and not you
* People will stare and point if you walk around with D tits and a white t-shirt and no bra
* 7-11s always attract the crazy

The T sucked ass. We sat at Park for about 20 minutes while it kept getting more and more packed. The girl sitting next to me had a take out box of Dominos pizza and I would have killed her for it, if she had not gotten into loud, threatening bitch fight with a hozzle who wanted her to move said pizza box so she could sit down. Actually, that was kind of awesome. The T finally got moving, although I could have taken vacation in the time it took to cross the Longfellow Bridge, but then we had to get off at Harvard because it was an express train, wait another eternity for a new train, and then get on again. Grumble.

All did not suck, though. My disgusting sweaty, large nippled self got off at Davis, met SKB and then snarfed down the biggest, most delicious hot fudge sundae with walnuts.

And that my friends is a rather boring recap of the corporate challenge. I'm off on vacation for a week!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Night Recaps

I am exhausted and eating Thin Mints (read: not really in the mood for the ol' blog tonight). That sounds more depressing than it really is. Actually, I left work early (if 5:30 is to be considered early) so I could come eat dinner with YG and then get back to my deliciously good book. I'm reading Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo. It's pure Russo, with lots of wonderfully drawn small-town characters. Not nearly as good as Empire Falls, but totally engaging anyway. In reading through the reviews, a lot of people didn't like it, but I disagree. I LOVE it when I get into a book like this.

Two movies:
* YG and I watched Recount on HBO last week. A bad idea. If you want to feel sad and depressed about the state of the country, watch it. We were feeling really maudlin and "what might have been." Eight years have, but I still have this rage about how those motherfuckers actually STOLE an election. Unbelievable. He stole it the first time, and then the people actually elected him a second time. I'm a registered Independent, and I'm certainly not in the I-Hate-All-Republicans camp, but what does it say about your party is George W. Bush is the best you can do? Not much.

* I'm almost done watching the documentary, Jesus Camp. Almost done because I can't allow myself to watch it in more than small snippets at a time. It's about a Pentecostal summer camp for children and is probably one of the most disturbing films that I've seen in a really long time. I feel remarkably lucky to have had a rather "normal" religious upbringing, and am really digging our new church. I feel extremely sorry for these kids because they're being raised in a culture of a fear and hatred.

* Continuing the theme of "things I find unbelievably sad,"The Gloucester pregnancy pact keeps making headlines. I understand that teenage girls get pregnant all the time by accident, but if you're 15 years old and making a pact with your friends to get pregnant on purpose and raise your kids together, what does that say about how you view your future? Who are these girls and what were they thinking? I don't mean that in a judgey way, but more in a "don't you think that there might be something out there that's bigger and better for you" sort of way.

* George Carlin died. Kevin Smith remembers.

* Last week, I ran 11 miles and biked 30, including some monster hills. My god, I love this warm weather.

* I am still in the midst of career woes. It was a gray day today and nothing went seriously wrong at work, but I spent some hard core time wondering what the fuck I was doing there. I mean, I know what I'm doing there. I'm all about politicking and saving money and making the relationships now because I'll need them later in my life, when I want to either shift to a part-time or contractor schedule so that I can write, but some days, I feel the full weight of "what's the point?" I KNOW the point, but I hate that it has to be so hard. So I make up lists of alternate careers that I would like. They include my usuals (consignment shop owner, personal shopper for plus-sized women) and some new ones like food psychologist (I probably mentioned this before, but that is a REAL job. Seriously.), personal trainer, trainer for plus-sized people, freelance writer, etc.

My classes start again in August and that usually helps offset some of this career crap. I haven't written anything since the last class ended and that was before I went to San Francisco for work. That makes me sad. :-)

So back to the book. If I could be a professional student and constant reader of books, I'd choose that in a heartbeat.

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Fat Rant!

I love these and am always excited to see a new one by my Internet girl crush, Joy Nash.

Check out Fat Rant 2 and the orignal too.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good Party

The mark of a good party.

Seven bottles of champagne, one bottle of white, and about 86,000 empanadas. All gone. Good times, good times.

Friday, June 13, 2008

ABBA is Gay!

Tonight, YG, the MG, SKB and I are going to this.

From the website:
extrABBAganza!The Boston Gay Men’s Chorus sings the ultimate tribute show to ABBA, the top selling musical act of the 70s. With over 370 million albums sold worldwide, ABBA’s hits embody the decade with some of the catchiest pop tunes ever written including Fernando, Take A Chance on Me, Mamma Mia, Waterloo, Voulez Vous, Thank You for the Music and many more! Their irresistible music is both a time machine back to the glitter and glam of the 70s and a jukebox bursting with today’s retro-chic classics. And only a gay chorus can unlock the secrets of some of ABBA’s greatest hits: Does Your Mother Know, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight), and of course, Dancing Queen.

OMG! I can't wait.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Am I Seriously Defending Carnie Wilson? Maybe A Little.

There's been a lot of posting on sites I read about Carnie Wilson's appearance on the Tyra Banks show, discussing how people focus too much on her weight. For those living under a rock, Carnie Wilson was the "fat chick" in terrible early 90s group Wilson Phillips who later broadcast her gastric bypass surgery on the Internet. She got lots of praise for this from serious magazines like People and US Weekly and then did a spread in Playboy. And now she's gaining it back and NOW, she's pissed that people are paying attention to her weight. [But she wasn't pissed during the broadcasting part or the magazine spreads part or the centerfold part.]

My intial reaction, right after "who gives a fuck about Carnie Wilson" was to say, "you decided to be very public about your decision to lose weight. Of course Hollywood is going to pay attention. Hollywood, duh, pays attention to EVERYBODY'S WEIGHT." And then I thought about it and was able to muster up some symphathy for her, because it has to suck to deal with that noise so publicly.

When you're fat (or even mildly overweight), you spend a lot of time thinking that losing weight is the magic bullet -- once you accomplish it, everyone is going to love you and magically, all your problems will just melt away. And when you actually lose the weight and everyone compliments you, it's this crazy high. You've just discovered the SECRET TO HAPPINESS. By yourself. You get cocky. You evangelize. You scoff at people that don't get it.

And then it starts coming back. First one pound. And then another. And then some more. You pray that people don't notice, but you know they do. They noticed when you lost the weight -- of course, they'd notice it coming back. The shame is unbearable. The failure is overwhelming. Made more so by the fact that you don't talk about this with anyone. Because to talk about it would be to acknowledge your failure, to make it public. And you're still secretly hoping that nobody notices. Or better, that nobody cares.

That was my experience, anyway. I was never that heavy (even though, in my head, I've always assumed that I was enormous and that people don't see me, just "plump person."). But I was always dieting. Always. I started restricting my food in middle school and I kept that up until last October. That's 21 years, people. Twenty one fucking years. I lost a large amount of weight about 6 years ago, getting ready for my first wedding. I started Weight Watchers at 180lbs and set a goal weight of 140 lbs. Twice, I got to 143. Twice, within 3 pounds. And then I'd gain it back. Always. It was unbearable. Until last year when I just decided to fuck it. I stopped dieting. I haven't lost any weight. I haven't gained any weight. I'm just kind of the same.

I'm still trying to get used to that. Just being here. I am insanely greatful to not be dieting. But I'm still not entirely comfortable looking the way I do. Progress, not perfection, right? I'll get there. I run, I bike, I eat REAL FOOD. I'll get there.

So what the hell does this have to do with Carnie Wilson? Not much, I guess. I feel sorry for her. She's famous, and she's right -- people are paying attention to her weight. It was hard enough for me to go through the ups and downs as a nobody. I'm sure that many people, not even my closest friends, knew how shitty I felt. She has to deal with that and she has to do it in the public eye. That blows. Yeah, she brought a lot of it on herself by broadcasting that surgery on the web, but at a base level, I do understand why she did it.

The Shapely Prose folks had something brilliant to say about this as well.

The World Is A Very Small Place

Tonight, YG and I went to this event at Harvard Book Store. I had heard about Kelly McMasters' book, "Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town" and was immediately intrigued because my family has spent every summer in Shirley since my dad was a kid. And nobody ever knows of Shirley, and if they do, their impressions are never favorable. People always assume that our house is in the Hamptons because that's the only thing they know about Long Island, and when they visit Shirley and our house, I usually get a lot of "oh, I didn't know it was working class." As if that's always a bad thing.

I saw the ad for the event on Bostonist so we decided to go. We listened to the reading and then I spent some time chatting with the author after. I told her about our house and where we lived, and she said, "Oh, I used to have friends on that street." I asked who, and she answered, "The Posts." Seriously, dudes. My freakin' next door neighbors. And my best girl friend in the world when I was a little kid. So, so random. I also used to go with the Posts to Vacation Bible Camp at Grace Lutheran Church, where Kelly McMasters said she spent a lot of time. We figured that we were probably there at the same time. Proper use of the word "random" here. What are the chances that I'd run into someone from Shirley way up here, far away from home? It was one of those great "small world" moments.

It also made me realize that someone else wrote the memoir about Shirley first. :-) Oh, Shirley. With the beach and riding bikes all day in shorts and flip flops and buying Slurpees at 7-11 and fruit salads at Carvel. And fishing and camping and man hunt and the playground at the bay. We're going in 3 weeks. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Too Hot to Think

So I'll just go watch American Gladiators instead.

Shit to mention:
* Went to NJ this weekend where it was also hot, hot, hot. Had a family birthday party and oh my god, I miss good sausage and peppers.

* Watched the Hillary speech on Saturday. Best I've ever seen her. Still wish that the HRC as VP chants would die down. Not a good idea. Nor is Jim Webb. Call me, people. I have ideas.

* Listened to the new Death Cab for Cutie album. It sounds a lot like the last one. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it was a little meh.

* Hating on Rebecca Walker. Her latest bitch in the Daily Mail is so spiteful and self-indulgent. So you think you had a crappy mom? Okay, maybe. But feminism didn't make her a crappy mother.

* Running. Now that I have the 5-mile down, I am going to do Race for the Cure again and hopefully the Tufts Health Plan 10K for Women in October. I'm pretty sure I can get that extra mile.

* Watching the Celtics! Woo hoo! It is nice to have a local team to support. Yes, I know that there are the Patriots, but I don't care about football, and it will be a cold day in Hell when I support the Red Sox. So go Celtics. Beat LA. Beat Kobe Byrant in the groin with an Incredible Hulk fist.

* Trying not to let the Evil Cameltoe bother me. As usual. I AM the bigger person. I will refrain from making snide comments about hairsprayed bangs and frosted lipstick in the blogosphere. Because I am MATURE.

* Laughing over the latest teen star to pledge virginity until marriage. She wants a promise ring. I wonder if you get a different ring if you pledge your butt virginity.

* Mouth agape over Bill Clinton and Gina Gershon. I am seriously behind in my celebrity news. How did I miss this? What does this dude have? Seriously. Gina Gershon -- I'd tap that.

As you can see, my mind is blank.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Update: The 5-Mile Run and Other Things To Be Writing About

I forgot to mention that I finished the 5 mile run in less than an hour which was my goal. I finished in 58:37 and ran the whole time, except for a few second stop to try and treat a raging case of chub rub. It was a beautiful day and such a rush to be running through the streets of Boston while random strangers cheered us on.

I didn't want to post this picture because my initial reaction to it was, "Oh.My.God. My thighs -- they are so fucking huge." And that may be, but see above. 58:37, bitches. I am kind of a big deal. In my own head, at least.

Other things I should be writing about:
* My fun day getting my hair cut with YG's sister.
* My Michael Pollan kick. Such a crush. I read In Defense of Food in a few days and am halfway through Omnivore's Dilemma. Brilliantly written.
* YG's speech at the Eagle Scout ceremony. I was so proud of him.
* Election madness
* Sad stuff at church. Our senior minister is leaving.
* Work madness