Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Eat Dinner (When the Hunger's Gone)

Last night I scratched bottom. No, I dove in the deep end, hit concrete and jack hammered to near the earth’s core. I find comfort where comfort is lacking in food. It was my M.O. as a chubby kid and fat teen, now it’s a one-off thing, rarely occurring. When it does I can pinpoint the source. I know the hole that needs filled.

After an otherwise lovely dinner out with a friend, the sushi and spring rolls and tiny mochi balls left me empty and wanting more. The two dirty vodka martinis didn’t help; red wine and vodka are panty droppers and I can quickly lose sight of limits.

I couldn’t get full. Once home, after a bag of Boulder Canyon chips, spinach salad with blue cheese crumbles and rustic torn ciabatta bread (with butter), I still wanted more. There wasn’t any since most everything in my healthy living, fresh kitchen requires cooking (hence the odd binge). I went to bed sad and let down and angry with myself, fearing what morning would bring.

Aside from a bit of water bloat showing in the puffy pink lines around my eyes, I felt fine. Really good in fact. Perhaps my binge was a purge. I woke early to make a cardio and weights class; near the end of 90 sweaty minutes I tasted a faint, odd burp, but was surprised at the energy and endurance coming out of my body. I had a good deal of fuel to burn. I pounded loads of water and citrus all day, and made a light, lemony herb de Provence roasted chicken for dinner after finding beautiful Meyers at the grocery.

I always forgive the slip-and-falls, regroup and keep going. Mostly because this was me at Christmas last year. I know how to do this. There's want and need to keep going.

Last night was about comfort, an eating frenzy born not of boredom or relationships or family or money. Or being lonely. It was about writing. The career wish I made came true, I’m paid to write and it comes with a dental plan. And I like it very much. Now I’m also taking on general business writing for our Web site that garners millions of hits per day. They asked for me specifically. They want my words. And I don’t want to give them anymore. I miss my writing and at the end of the day (paycheck and moderately comfortable living aside), am starting to resent work taking all the words, leaving me exhausted to express mine. I want my toes to curl too. I don’t know when (or if) I’ll get the stones to jump from a steady ledge, but feel the hands pressing on my back.

I'll just try to keep them out of my mouth.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Get The Party Started

Update: Early voting rocks. I was in and out (dirty) in 10 minutes.
In Colorado, today is Election Day. So is tomorrow and every day until Halloween. Local media reports a larger percentage of those identified as Democrats then Republicans have cast ballots so far in early voting, which began Monday. Red may turn blue this year.

Completed my sample ballot last night and it’s a long one. The big man was a quick and easy bubble, but the Referendums and Amendments ad nauseam required study of a scholarly nature. I became one with the little blue “2008 State Ballot Information Booklet” for two straight, sober hours (however, there’s something hip and naughty about deciding history while in both pajamas and bed). I’m an educated, good with words woman, but found myself reading for and against arguments over and over, drilling down to the true meaning. All good marketing whores know how to spin copy; when others do it the alarms go off in my head like kitchen smoke alarm versus greasy broiler pan. It’s maddening how often the word “could” is used.

“The Referendum COULD affect state and local tax”
“The Addendum COULD fund future prairie dog and puppy killing”

How do the moderately stupid people get through it, the ones who use “your” incorrectly and spell it “suprise”?
SuRprisingly, I found myself voting against nearly every ballot issue, mostly due to limited definitions and muddy repercussions. The state needs funding for highway improvement, but is diverting severance tax revenue from water projects the way to get her done? Why bestow 80% of new taxes generated from extended casino hours and increased single bet limits in mountain gambling towns solely to community colleges (the fancy term for 13th Grade)? I rolled eyes at the Amendment to allow the state to hold business executives criminally accountable should they knowingly participate in fraudulent practices. The Feds got that covered, but out here in the West we likes to hang ‘em twice.

Most troubling is Amendment 48, which would define “person” as “any human being from the moment of fertilization.” Since LifeStyles® stop a potential person from swimming up and latching onto my innards, I could be guilty of manslaughter on a good weekend.

Sometimes two or three times a night.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Not An Addict

Dealing with serious addiction is soul wrenching, to be certain.

Why do it on TV?

Intervention on A&E offers a voyeuristic, gritty look at addiction and its effects on loved ones, families and friends. As the show title implies, the goal and final act is to encourage or softly threaten treatment at a facility (one that always requires getting on a plane right there, right now). Given A&E stands for “Arts and Entertainment” (although Gene Simmons Family Jewels on a channel bearing that acronym is a bit of an oxymoron) the series is deep and serious in tone. But it begs the question; is agreeing to be filmed for a documentary about addiction (the premise given participants) while in the fog of a chemical or other reality-altering mind-set valid? Maybe they’re too stoned, tweaked, starving or drunk to realize the dupe. Or like many acts of self destruction, perhaps it’s a televised cry for help. And costly treatment may be something regular Kurt and Courtney’s couldn’t get without media exposure as the price paid.

Another season of the VH1 series Celebrity Rehab premiers this week, although the term “celebrity” is more defined as gosh-you-look-familiar-did-we-go-to-the-same-school-I-just-can’t-place-it.

After watching an extended premier clip, former American Idol contestant Nikki McKibbin’s snippet is pure heartbreak. After doing lines with her MOTHER in a bathroom, Mom went home, took her meds and died. That’s some serious, sad shit.

Jeff Conaway is back for another madcap, wacky season. I remember Jeff Conaway as Bobby Wheeler on Taxi, all high-waisted jeans, brown Naugahyde jacket and feathered hair. I had such a 12-year old girl crush on him. He’s back and star of the show, nasal voice and creepy Uncle/baby talk, a stooped over and shuffling old man. And seemingly desperate for attention. The pain and painkiller addiction is quiet real; apparently he’s had severe back problems and many surgeries. But he’s been clouded and acting it out since Celebrity Fit Club. As an actor, does he consider these VH1 stints his job, his craft? Like when phlebotomists say they work in medicine?

Fame, or the faint smell of it, must be so intoxicating. Just 15 more minutes, please.

We’re all addicts, slaves to things that feel good in the moment. Sex, food, drink, shopping, TV. Some of us hide it better, some can stop for breaks, some manage pain well enough to function each day, however hanging by a string. When used to mask something darker, when it destroys, when co-enabled it becomes something frightening. Addiction and recovery is real and raw; it can cost or reclaim lives and dignity.

Why play it out on TV? Guess for the same reason cars slow past a bad accident. Or why Jerry Springer has been on the air since the early 1990s. We can watch and judge and compare and breathe a sigh knowing how really messed up other people are.

And damn, I watch a lot of reality TV.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Suck it!"

I met Chelsea Handler yesterday. I think. Chelsea Handler is an L.A. comedienne with a celebrity skewer chat show in E! and two best sellers on the New York Times list. She’s raunchy and smarmy - my kind of woman - and her book of humorous essays “Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea” has earned mostly positive reviews.

She’s no Amy Sedaris.

It was a 5:00 p.m. book signing at the Tattered Cover downtown. The e-mail I’d received Friday afternoon from fellow marketing whores at a Denver magazine suggested getting there at 4:00. I could easily wait out an hour or so, browsing the shelves and the men. Nope. This was no mere signing, it was an ink and run. There was product to move.

Buy the book!Get a ticket!Here's your number in line! Post-it bearing my name stuck to the inside cover to speed the process, I braved a wobbly walkway to a private room and waited. Gushing fans were excited to meet her. I anticipated writing inspiration in the pages of the fresh hardcover. I got four, nearly five chapters in. The personal tales are funny, quick quipped and clever, some seemingly fanciful (like her cavalier approach to a night spent locked up in Sybil Brand – where the Manson girls had long slumber parties - after a DUI stop in her 20’s). Her telling of stories from childhood read like Judy Blume through a modern, twisted kids lens; picking a wedgie out of winter pants while wearing oversized mittens reads like poetry.

She flew in (literally), a teenytiny ball of energy in black leggings and either barefoot or wearing flesh colored flip flops, minimal to no makeup, hair and blouse askew as if she’d been napping on the drive over. She exclaimed how tired she was, how she’d just downed a Red Bull. We’d been warned by staff prior to her arrival that she had a stand up gig at 8:00. It was just after 5 p.m. and there were nearly 200 people in the room. I bet she was signed, sealed and out of there in an hour. I was number 64 and as I watched the feverish pace, herded like cattle on speed, I felt silly, a bit used and dirty and not in a good way. I was through the line in mere seconds; she wouldn’t have recognized me if her car ran me down twice on the way out, keeping head down, quickly scribbling while I said hello and attempted to introduce myself.

I checked the inscription after:

Jodie -
Suck it!
Chelsea (or something that may read “army ant” or “Adnan”)

When I’m published, I will be impeccable at signings (appearance and manner), and insist upon coffee and baked goods for everyone. Scones perhaps. I'd at least bother with some blush and a smear of gloss.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Body Language

Today is National Love Your Body Day (but banks are open and you must pay parking meters). I’d not heard of this annual event but Google says it’s a day promoted by the National Organization of Women (NOW) to call attention to harmful images of women in the media and encourage ladies to celebrate their bodies.

Besides the odd glance when "Nylon" or "Rolling Stone" isn't available at the hairdresser, I gave up fashion rags ages ago (although I admit I like the sex tips and techniques served up in “Cosmo”; last trip for lowlights I got the down low about the proper way to be banged against a wall). The airbrushed and PhotoShop images in magazines aren’t realistic; a trip to the mall or any outdoor festival will confirm that. In truth, it's the empirically-no-denying-beautiful ones that are the oddballs.

Beauty and sex appeal is absolutely in the eye of the beholder. I’m drawn to men with a swagger only I can define. I know from the voice if there’ll be lust and tequila. As for women, I don’t like implants, especially the larger than life, cannonball variety; they just don’t look like any fun. I prefer porcelain white skin to overly tan. Freckles playing across nose, cheeks and shoulders are hot, playful. Luckily, or perhaps more telling, the skin stretched over my bones is translucent and you could connect the dots and find constellations on my dermas. Go figure, what I find beautiful in other woman is exactly what I have.

NOW has posted a page of “offensive” ads, deemed negative portrayals of women in advertising, on their Web site. I’m not offended. I find some funny, some erotic and some merely stupid. Is there a similar backlash against the Polo underwear bulge or hairless and bare-chested men, nipples erect, selling fragrance? Do men feel inadequate; require ballet slipper or sock padding? Do men find moose knuckle demeaning?

I like to look at pretty people. I may try blending two shades of eye makeup seen in a MAC campaign, or drool over heels impossibly stiletto. But I don’t disregard the wondrousness that is me after looking at a flat image on a page.

Not to rain on the flesh parade, a healthy body is paramount. Eating right, taking regular exercise and the “everything in moderation” credo does wonders not only for health and longevity, but your head, happiness and a positive self-image.

To celebrate NLYB Day I'm going to the gym, then the bakery for a brownie after. Sounds just about perfect. True love. Absolutely perfect would add a man with flat abs and solid shoulders in my bed to love my body too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree

Until I end my ink-on-the-fingers daily newspaper subscription in favor of purely online news (save Sunday, which calls for feet on ottoman, cat asleep on ankles, chocolate chip bagel from Einstein’s and hours spent perusing), my morning ritual is to scan page one while coffee percolates. An AP piece made the front page of my Denver daily.

A girl tossed an apple a day to a prisoner of Nazis. Years after the war, they met again.

In the few paragraphs I skimmed, a story unfolded of a teenage boy held in a concentration camp in Nazi-controlled Germany. A somewhat younger girl, living outside the camp with family, hiding true identities, would throw an apple to him each day over the barb-wire fence. This went on for months. They never spoke, only said quick goodbyes, but would meet again.

Just aches Spielberg project with Dakota Fanning in the lead, yes?

I pulled the section and set it aside to finish the article later, but the gist stayed with me through a full work day, hour of spinning and late dinner. That apple. That simple act. How often does someone throw you an apple over the fence? How often do you throw first? When Molly Ringwald’s Claire asked basket case Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy), “What do your parents do to you?” and she replied “They ignore me,” she got an apple. The apple analogy I couldn’t shake all day.

After dinner, I returned to the story to flesh out details. I believed the tale would find that teenage boy and somewhat younger girl connecting years later, perhaps found online or via archives, now cherished friends bound by a story of survival and human kindness. Turns out that boy meet up with that girl a decade later and a continent away, on a blind date no less. Neither realized they’d meet before. During casual dinner conversation it was revealed.

She spoke of a boy she would visit, of the apples she would bring, how he was sent away. And then, the words that would change their lives forever: "That was me," he said.

Marriage was proposed that night. Two months later she accepted. Herman and Roma Rosenblat have been married 50 years and their story has inspired a children's book and film plans (hope Fanning hasn’t budded into wondrous female adulthood just yet).

It all seems too remarkable to be believed. Rosenblat insists it is all true.

I want to believe it’s 100%, solidly, love is a many splendored thing true. Epic, sometimes seemingly unbelievable stories are often born as quiet folklore to soften hard blows and allow us to believe good endures under the shroud of bad.

Michael Berenbaum, Holocaust scholar, has read Rosenblatt's memoir and sees no reason to question it; "I wasn't born then so I can't say I was an eyewitness. But it's credible. Crazier things have happened."

I guess.

And you know, true or imagined or embellished by time, the apple analogy I couldn’t shake all day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Devil With a Blue Dress On

Surprisingly, the espresso brownie at Starbucks is not that good. Actually it’s awful, heavier than should be, mealy and more carob than chocolate tasting. Burning through yet another writing deadline Friday afternoon, I rationalized having the treat.

I've been “rationalizing” more often lately, however, and have a Halloween costume to fit into. After years of falling in the work week - and my tradition of making a pot of “ghoul”ash, awaiting the five or so kids who come Trick-or-Treating through my mostly adult neighborhood before fishing out and eating all the Milky Way Midnight’s myself - the holiday is on a Friday. A favorite local band (“hard country” they call themselves, although a Ramones set is planned, punks at heart they are) plays at an almost dive that serves a quality filthy martini for a mere $4 (Grey Goose even). And recently-happily-single brother Robert is on board for some long, long overdue fun and worthwhile mingling with the ladies.

I'm not a traditional Halloween costume girl. Past dress-ups include punk rock Mouseketeer sophomore year in college. Wore my actual childhood “Mickey” ears, the real deals, black felt with my name stiched in cursive gold thread on back, oversized and strategically ripped t-shirt, low-slong leather and chain belt over a too short, too tight black mini. White schoolgirl socks to mid-thigh and Mary Jane’s with a heel. One year I wore my old Girl Scout uniform, sash, badges, beret and all (as a fat pre-teen, it fit the merely chunky adult me like a short mini-dress).

This year I’m “Devil With a Blue Dress On”. Found a short, jersey dress in royal blue, originally $124, marked all the way down to $19.99 at Macy’s. It’s a halter with no back, meaning no bra; strapless versus large B’s is more an exercise in yanking up all night than support. However, the size smaller fit beautifully in the waist and hips, tight enough tied around the neck the tits should sit where placed (nipples upward, always). And if I do say so, Betty and Wilma sit perkier these days, the result of hours and hours of pec work. For more sexy than pageant-ey, underneath a tiered black lace petticoat I’ve had since the 1984 Cyndi Lauper costume, courtesy of Contempo Casuals (funny, that crinoline sold back then as outwear. I miss the underpants 80’s). Shiny red vinyl horns and tail, black fishnets and (still to buy) pointy-toed red high heels. May shop Guess for accessories; they have a line of gothic crosses, on black chains with jet stones, that would nestle nicely.

Which brings me back to “rationalizing.” The scale this morning has me on track, just a pound over my lowest weight yet, and I woke early, leaving the feathery down bosom of bed for trainers and an hour of step cardio with weights. Although I wouldn’t say it’s entirely true nothing tastes as good as thin(ner) feels (after all, there are french fries dipped in Ranch dressing in the world), planning and actually pulling off a sexy costume feels…normal. Doable. That wasn't the case when I was an adult size 18. It’s in your head, really, not your ass or your abs. Sophia Loren is quoted as saying, “Sex appeal is 50% what you've got and 50% what people think you've got” and it’s fast become a mantra.

I'll be bat shit crazy when I reach my goal, whatever that is. Haven't decided. I'll know when I get there.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Miracle Drug

No man can write a love letter like Bono. Even if not a story exclusively between man and woman, I feel heat and longing, smell the musky cologne in his lyrics. I assuredly declare should a man ever exclaim his passion and pleasure and admiration and chemical reaction for me like it’s done here, I’m his forever.

I want to trip inside your head
Spend the day there...
To hear the things you haven't said
And see what you might see

I want to see your thoughts take shape
And walk right out

The songs are in your eyes
I see them when you smile
I've seen enough I'm not giving up
On a miracle drug

Melts my dark chocolate heart every time.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Night in America, bitches!

Live blogging while chuckling thought the second Presidential debate. Refresh yourself. I'm here for 90 mins.

Does McCain’s roll remind anyone else of the old guy Tim Conway played in "The Carol Burnett Show?" The shuffling guy? Watch the wide-stance walk. I'd piss myself seeing that shuffle up to me like he's working the question askers.
Fannie and Freddie. Sounds like a decent porn.
Shazam. Now that Obama. Sort hot, like a clean-cut Jimi Hendrix. Rock star. And he works that one foot up, one foot hooked on the stool casual sexy thing.
Did I mention I'm two glasses of chardonnay in?
WhyTF does McCain keep heading into the stands and calling everyone "my friends"? Creepy. He's that college professor you fear getting too close, the one who's always hard on approach and crotch is at seated eye level.
Tom Brokaw, cheeky monkey. Reporters have such egos.
Crap, wish I was hungry. Dinner's done. Orange roughy baked with McCormick's "Salmon" seasoning, because I'm a dirty rebel. And an artichoke big as my head. I just want the butter to dribble.
I am notnotnot a wasteful American consumer! I live modest. I drive a fucking Honda. I'm a greedy bitch and don't want to bail your asses out anymore.
Lotta 'staches in that audience. And is that Sarah Palin sans glasses in the back row???
Hope I'm not missing a new episode of "Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency."
McCain has really short arms, Tyrannosaurus-like.
The drinking game is the McCain "my friends."
That $5K tax credit will cost, mother fucker. The cash goes to the insurance company and the tax on it goes to the people.
Dinner so yum. I can cook. And am adventurous in bed. Why don't I land a good man??
Oh, now I want sweet. I would blow you for brownie right now.
Why do I have the feeling McCain still sings "Bomb Iran" in the mirror while brushing?
Yeah, I'm suddenly bored enough to go over and check out TMZ or amateur porn on Xtube. Focus, focus...
"What don't you know and how will you learn it?" Good question!
Oh, that's it? Hmm...not the fireworks I expected. Well, good night and God (or Buddha or whatevah) bless America!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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