Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
My dream career
A Victoria's Secret body (with a little extra thigh)
And a Mini Cooper with leather seats.

Monday, December 26, 2005

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A Victoria's Secret body (with a little extra thigh)
And a Mini Cooper with leather seats.

Twelve days of Christmas sounds wonderfully exciting and fulfilling, but who on earth could handle all that food? My Victoria's Secret body (with a little extra thigh) is going to have to wait a few days extra thanks to the "Holiday Gorge" that comes but once a year. And that's just why it comes but once a year, no one could handle it twelve days in a row, nevemind all the time.

We did the family thing, the present thing, the stuff yourself stupid thing and the don't go to church thing. My parents are different religions, so I like to think we get double duty on the "God bless us every one" thing, despite the no church thing. So technically I lied when I said that Christmas comes but once a year, since at the end of my Twelve Days song, I will be celebrating Christmas #2. Gluttony and Sloth, anyone?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A Mini Cooper with leather seats

Or a coronary... Happy Holidays everyone!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Twas the night before Christmas and all through my room
Only one creature was stirring, my dog named Bluetooth

His eyes were twitching in REM sleep
In hopes Santa Paws would leave tasty treats

I was hoping to soon be snug in my bed
Von Furstenburg dresses dancing in my head

But alas I couldn’t yet do what I wanted
I had lousy bandwidth; it just teased and taunted

When from somewhere outside there came such a noise
I said, “What the hell,” promptly losing all poise

Bluetooth was startled and soon at my side
He’s not a huge dog, but not one to hide

I grabbed my Swiss knife and we crept up one floor
Up through the kitchen and out the back door,

When to our amazement what did we see there
But a gigantic raccoon with children to spare

Tearing at a bag of Ikea meatballs of Sweden
No more room in the fridge, they were outside to stay frozen

Bluetooth growled and pounced out in the snow
No way any coons would threaten his home

What could I do? Though I wore only slippers
I ran out into to the raging white blizzard

To save my dog’s neck from the big raccoon’s wrath
And desperately avoid a backyard bloodbath

So I screamed and I swore and I called him by name
”For fuck’s sakes Bluetooth get your crazy ass away

From that disgusting creature and all of her babies
All we need is for you to come down with rabies!”

Bluetooth paid no heed and snarled at his prey
She snarled in return, not backing away

I threw snowballs, made noises and tried to distract her
When out my mom ran screaming, “What on earth’s the matter?”

We had awoken my parents with our late night fight;
The whole neighborhood too, as they flicked on their lights

Mom took one look at the situation before her
Her daughter and grand-dog in battle royal

She dashed back in the house but came out with a quickness
An orange in hand and ready for business

Mom carefully aimed firing into the sky
That orange came down right between raccoon’s eyes

Raccoon took of running, both her and her pack
Up over the fence and didn’t look back

Bluetooth and I were impressed and in awe
That mom has a better arm than Bob Shaw

”Hey lady, you’re a hero, we could’ve been dead
Mom shot us a look and said, “Get back to bed

You woke up the street and gave us a shock
Do you think we still live in the Eastern Bloc?”

She went back inside, we delayed for a minute
To look in the trees and see our delinquents

Raccoon and her kids were all up there glaring
At us on the ground, at our win and our daring.

When my Bluetooth barked, his eyes shining black
I yelled, “Merry Christmas, and never come back!”

(But in case you’re wondering as you probably should
We left them the meatballs, to do them some good
Just a bit of help in the cold and the snow
And to spread that wonderful warm Christmas glow)
Fat Fashion Tip #4: To veer away from Fat Fashions and fit into slimmer fashions, sex is the best exercise in the world.

Not that I'm condoning sexing your way to a better waistline... hell, I am condoning sexing your way to a better waistline. It's the best possible exercise you can have. Cheers.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
He came out of the gate
A bit Meatier too

Roses are Blue
Violets are Red
It was absolutely fabulous
Frolicking in Bed

And now that I'm tired of rhyming... how absolutely wonderful to be together again, even if just for a little while.

The trick is making it stay that way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Fat Fashion Tip #3: Never try to convince yourself you're a size smaller than you really are before the fact, and right before your boyfriend flies in to see you for the holidays. It will make you feel poopy.

Although I did find a fabulous Christmas outfit with accessories to match, I need more head-between-my-legs-while-inhaling-and-exhaling-deeply time before going off to the airport. Lord have mercy, this is going to be hard.

Monday, December 19, 2005

For just over a year now, Jess and I have been back in the throes of the long-distance relationship. Current status is that we haven't seen each other in three months, and he's flying in tomorrow night.

Can I breathe properly right now? No. Absolutely, most definitely no. Asking me to hyerpventilate and have a fit seems the most logical thing to do right now.

Why I doing this? He's my love, he's my wonderful, he's my Jess. I get that smile, that hair, those arms and the best bear hugs a girl could ask for. Better yet, I can satiate my hormones and screw him rotten.

Now the one big, bad con: I'm not significantly THINNER yet. I'm all of a half-size smaller in the past three months, but being the paranoiac that I am, it's enough to drive me up the wall. I would have preferred 10, 20, 30 less, but I'll just have to make do.

The thing is, will he make do? Will he notice (I'm being stupid, of course he'll notice), will he make remarks, will he care? But then if any of that happens, why the hell should I even care?

Oi, fuck, damn. Love is a hard place to be. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

This was my horoscope yesterday:

The stars are shining their prettiest light right on you, and you look fabulous in the glow. What'll you do with all that great energy? Your natural tendency is to shy away from the cosmic limelight and modestly redirect the attention elsewhere, but it's high time you learned to take a compliment gracefully and confidently. Be ready to smile, simply say 'thank you' (to the cosmos, to your sweetie, to a stranger on the street) and feel wonderful.

Thank you Cosmos! And here's what I did with all that great energy: I bought myself a new blue scarf with pom poms on the ends, and I got my hair done. I've always wanted black hair, and paying a small fortune at the trendy salon I go to ensures it looks gorgeous, not brassy and goth. Yes darling I know it sounds snobbish, but you're only given one head of hair per lifetime, and it should be treated right.

As for learning to take the compliment gracefully, I smiled and said "thank you" to the homeless man who whistled (it could have been for spare change, but hey), and I felt wonderful in general. After all, I have black hair!

Friday, December 16, 2005

I am at Starbucks and the man sitting in front of me is picking his nose. And I mean, really going in for the kill. Wait, he's found the treasure. He's pulled it out, taken a good look, and then flicked it across the room. And now he's scratching that hand on his temple.

I would be insanely disgusted, but I've lived in the city, remember? I do feel like lecturing him on the protein value of snot, just to be a smartass, but I think his bald spot and pleather jacket are punishment enough.

I love the city. I love the buildings, the stores, the people (that don't pick), the food, the noise. I love the book stores, the spas and the venues. I love the beaches and I love the dog parks.

I love being able to have coffee at every corner, and I know your burning question. I'm sitting in Starbucks after all, did I get a coffee? The snow is falling outside in perfect winter wonderland for a beautiful coffee atmosphere, but no, love. Just a sparkling water. This is a mood I want to keep.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Calorie Chronicles: The Four Food Groups

Eating from the Four Food Groups wasn't the first diet I ever went on, but it was suggested to me as one. It was the beginning.

The catalyst was my height. I am a tall girl, standing an even 5'10 if I've never before mentioned. My grandfather was a big man, and even though most of his seven daughters, Mom included, were short to average, his gift was generously bestowed upon their offspring. A good chunk of my cousins are seven footers and in theoretical training for "da NBA."

In my family, if you have inherited the height gene, you have also inherited its quickness. We have growth spurts of mythic proportions. There are pictures of my family on my twelfth birthday, me at least a foot shorter than my parents and sister. My birthday is in June. By Christmas of that year, I'm the tallest of the group. It took ten more years for me to finish growing, the "finishing" being less than two inches.

Have you ever seen a newborn foal? Legs too long for its body, wobbly and unsure of itself? Post growth spurt, that was me. It didn't help that my school was in a predominantly Italian neighbourhood, a people gifted with good food and smoldering looks, but alas, not vertically blessed. There I was in the seventh grade, all of me long parts, bad knees and huge feet, not only the tallest kid in my class but in the whole school. Teachers included.

School dances were disaster, and you HAD to go. Of course the little and cute girls got snatched up and were the belles of the ball, but I was not little and cute. I was a water buffalo, head and shoulders above the cutest boys, above ALL the boys. Our teachers made sure everyone got asked to dance, which made things much worse. That grouped me in the same category as the retarded boy with perpetual bedhead. So I mostly refused, wishing for something good to read while the rest of my class clung to each other during renditions of "Crazy for You."

Seventh grade is not my happy place. It is my hell, and the school nurse is the Bride of Satan. During the Annual Checkups, which is a nicer term than "Stick out your tongue, step on the scale and let's see if you have Lice" interrogation, Broomhilda informed me, in front of everyone, that I was "grossly overweight."

Funny, you'd think that being 5'8 and 120lbs that young would have gotten me a gazunga contract with Ford. What this got me at Catholic school was a reprimand and two charts: the Appropriate Weight for All Ages chart, and the Four Food Groups chart.

If it ever seems that women who grew up in the 80's are more fucked than the general populace, it is because of fried hair, and the Appropriate Weight for All Ages chart. According to this stupidity, my goal weight at 12 was "between 70 and 90lbs," or something like that. Broomhilda, all shocked expression, told me that every other girl in my class was in that weight bracket. I had a "serious problem" and had to give the Four Food Groups chart to my mother, so she could ensure I was getting the "proper dietary intake."

Of course the other girls in my class were properly ensconced in the chart. 80% of them had yet to scratch the five-foot mark, and with the exception of myself and one other girl, none of them had gotten their periods. But as we all knew then, if it was off in the chart, it was off in real life.

Teachers, superiors, all elders in fact have no idea how much they can screw up a kid. It just takes a few words, you know. And this could have potentially damaged me forever if it wasn't for the sensibility of my parents. Parents are always parents, but luckily for me in this case, their practicality paid off. My Mother was and is a firm believer in home-cooked food and the family meal. Dinner was always healthy, nutritious, and fully attended. Mom took Broomhilda's chart as an insult and personal attack on her hard work and kitchen sense with, "Dat voman is fucked in da head," (language at home was very liberal) before tossing the chart and accompanying letter to my Dad.

Dad is a man of few words. He clicked his tongue, crumpled up both sheets and said to me, "You're just fine," as he tossed it all in the garbage.

Their affirmation that I was "just fine" saved me from myself, for a little while at least. And so I went on my merry way, applauding when the Appropriate Weight for all Heights chart finally came out.


The girls in seventh grade went on to eighth grade and then high school with me, eventually dotting themselves among the 5'4 mark. They were always the belles of the ball and probably still are, but I am the most spectacularly intimidating in heels. As for Broomhilda, after dealing with a bad baseball accident and a kindergarten flu strain, she forgot all about me. And what the Four Food Groups? Nothing, or at least, nothing different. They had been with me the entire time.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Dear Readers,

You are very valued, and your comments much appreciated. You have no idea how you make my day.

If I haven't been able to respond to you personally, drop off your e-mail or a link. We can have a chat and cucumber sandwiches. Or just a chat.
The first job I got after graduation was at Burger King. I'd gone to a Employment Fair and did the "put your resume into the General Pile" thing. I got three responses, Burger King being the first.

Some whopper flunky called the house halfway into Jeopardy! and said that Burger King would be pleased to offer me employment. I, the Ivy Leaguer, was more than a little miffed by this, and asked if she was aware that I'd just graduated from a top three school. Totally unphased, her reply was, "Well, you can do team training."

Nuh uh. Every graduate needs to learn humility, but there was no way I was spending a summer at the broiler after stuffy professors and caffeine addiction at six grand a year.

The second response I got was a Dear John letter from Movenpick. Thanks, but no jobs available; here's a coupon for a free coffee and muffin. I thought that was a really nice touch. Fuck off, but we're sufficiently guilty to offer you a $5 breakfast.

The third response was a part-time job at the "funky" new housewares section of a downtown department store on the verge of bankruptcy. I peddled pots, juggled plasticware, and did product care demonstrations for senior citizens. I wore platform shoes, sold ice cream makers, and flirted with the Moroccan tourists. I was fascinating.

I was also fired. After the three-month probation period was done, my manager called me "reluctant, unwilling and slow." Nevermind I made top sales every night, nevermind the company CEO personally congratulated me and introduced me to the board, and most especially nevermind that Ms. Manager's little sister & boyfriend couldn't be bothered to unpry their lips from each other and come out of the stockroom, a.k.a the Love Shack. They both got to keep their jobs.

So what did I learn from this? I learned that the first experience isn't always the best, but it's important to stay true to yourself. That if you are nice, if you are good and if you work your ass of, you will eventually be recognized and promoted to godlike positions of wealth and power. If you keep plug, plug plugging away at the bottom, sometime, someday, someone will see just how important you are to the company and make all your dreams come true.

OH PLEASE. Here's what I really learned: You're cute as hell at 22 so there's more to look forward to when life gives you a black eye. I learned there is injustice in the world, and that sometimes no matter how hard you sweat, some prick in a position of power will make your life miserable. Revenge is very sweet, which I also learned when that entire company went down the toilet less than a year later. Manager, sister and boyfriend all lost their jobs. Bad karma for firing your top employees.

And in those tribulating, challenging times the most important lesson of all that I learned was avoidance. Fuck reality, at least for now. I went to grad school.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I recently heard a piece of this great radio spoof of that Christmas carol, "It's the most Wonderful time of the year," changed into "It's the most Fattening time of the year." I've been stuck on that preset station ever since hoping to hear it again, but no luck. So I improvised.

"It's the most fattening time of the year
With stuffing of faces
And more salivating that
Dessert is near
It's the most fattening time of the year

It's the chunk-chunkiest season of all
With those sugar-filled greetings
And gluttonous meetings
When friends come to call
It's the chunk-chunkiest season of all

There'll be parties for hosting
Indulged liquor toasting
And throwing up out in the snow
Ulcers attacking
From more midnight snacking
'Cause that's the way Christmases go!

Oh, it's the most fattening time of the year
There'll be much waistline blowing
Heartbeats will be slowing
'Cause cardiacs are near

It's the most sickening time
It's the most barbaric time
It's the most fattening time of the year!"

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I am borrowing my sister's computer since mine died. Belly up, six feet under, pushing up daisies. I have a week left of work before Christmas vacation, an article on adult acne due on monday, and tons of information on my dead computer that the asshole sony techies will very soon be privy to.

So I would write more than this, but my current state of induced panic is taking over.

Pray for me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I think I have ADD. Within the past ten minutes I have made photocopies, lit a candle, started cleaning the bathroom, made tea, wrapped a Christmas present, played two songs by the White Stripes, another by PJ Harvey, and started writing today’s entry. I’m going to try and make this quick before something else grabs my attention.

I got this among recent blog comments:

“I feel if you’re not 115[@ 5' 7"], you’re a fat ass. I'm 135 and I can't stand it!”

Why? Because this is the way you truly feel? Because of your friends? Because of those skinny little girls on TV and magazine covers?

Going back to the Victoria’s Secret show, which I just recently wrote about… did you happen to catch a glance of Tyra Banks? She is NOT standard supermodel 120. She is also a major player in the sexiest show on earth, baring almost all in some of the most provocative and alluring lingerie ever created.

Did she look bad to you? Hell no – sultry and gorgeous is more like it. And take it from me, men will appreciate shapely and attractive legs over Popsicle sticks any day. I promise you that.

I’ve been pretty fat, I’ve been pretty thin, and I guarantee you that thin isn’t everything. What’s in your head has to match what’s in your body for the total package, or else nothing works right. You’ll be fighting yourself for the rest of your life.

Alrighty then. I have to walk the dog, make some dinner, clean my room, make the shopping list, make some calls, start an article, check my e-mail....

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It is early in the morning, and I am at work with my cup of drugs. My cup of TEA, that is. And even though it isn’t providing quite the same perverse jolt as Juan Valdez, I think I deserve my round of applause, standing ovation and marching band anyway. After all, this is my first official early Thursday of the school year without a latte. Yay me!

I must admit that it’s not totally sin-free. It’s English Breakfast tea, meaning caffeine still intact, christened with some half-and-half cream. I can’t stand milk in my tea, it’s travesty as far as I’m concerned, and a little richness never hurt anyone. I’ve justified the half-and-half as being carbless and therefore, Atkins friendly. What’s the major step here is the sugar free, as not even one evil granule has tainted my cup.

And what a very large cup it is. I was planning to go on and on about how much better I feel physically and mentally for having tea instead of coffee, and what a great new ritual this was going to be for me, until I made a major fuck up at Starbucks.

Understand that today is a really really really early day for me, and I am not a morning person, hence all those previous coffees. I walked into Starbucks, pleased as punch with myself for not even making puppy eyes at the newly arrived Holiday Drinks, and, all smiles, ordered, "One large English Breakfast tea, please."

Notice the slip of tongue? See for a minute there, I’d confused Starbucks with Timothy’s Coffees of the World. At Timothy’s they use plain English for their cup sizes: small, medium, large, XL. Despite “Star” and “Bucks” obviously being very plain and short words of our familiar language, the establishment likes to stupidly mix up its sizes in English, French and Italian. Or as we know them, short, tall, grande and venti. Si signor.

While large is a perfectly respectable drink size at Timothy’s, a large at Starbucks translates into Venti, which in turn translates into gynormous, absurd, and bucket-sized. If you are a regular coffee drinker of the Venti format, you have serious problems. This is what the barista gave me, and I had to stare at it for a minute or two before I realized the error was all mine, and there would be no head-biting today.

What else could I do? I took the damn thing, embarrassed as hell for carrying a hot drink so violently huge that would cause me a multitude of stares, and make me pee within the hour.

So here I sit, my almost empty pail of room temperature tea beside my laptop, cheerful red cup matching the faceplate of my cell phone, crossing and uncrossing my legs in a futile attempt to ignore the mounting pressure on the walls of my bladder. I know I have done a good thing for myself today. I have done a good thing for myself and I have done a good thing for my body, but for the love of chopsticks, this is what happens when you take my coffee away!

The Victoria’s Secret fashion show was on a couple of nights ago. Part of me hates those girls for being so beautiful and unnervingly perfect; the other half is in awe for the same reason.

And then another part of me is just a little sad because I could’ve had that. I’m not saying I’m supermodel material, but the foundations are there. I’m 5’10, proportioned really well, and great hair if I must say so. I even used to model when I was young. The point is, if I hadn’t let everything get in the way, if I hadn’t abused myself in the way that I did… you get the picture.

On the plus side, I learned a couple of things. While I thought Giselle Bundchen looked absolutely stunning in the show, I saw a movie still from Taxi where she’s in a wraparound micro-mini and good LORDY girlfriend, are those some skinny ass legs. No wonder she looks so fantastic in lingerie, there’s nothing there to look decent in other types of clothing. Sweetheart, 15 pounds of meat to your calves & thighs, and you’ll be a lot happier, trust me.

The other thing I learned is that it’s half looks, half sass. As a woman, you are a force of nature. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I caved and told my friend Pinky about this blog. Pinky is the nickname someone else gave the both of us during our first day of Journalism school together, and it stuck. I can’t imagine calling her anything else, or responding to anything else she calls me.

She really liked the it, but insisted I make sure you all know that I am not obese, and not even fat for that matter. Here, I’ll let her tell you:

“This is great, but honestly, you are NOT fat!!! I think if people didn't know you, they'd get the wrong impression from reading your blog. You make it sound like you're actually obese or something. You are sooooooooooooooooo not fat. And I'm NOT just saying that. We've had long discussions about this...so I will say no more. But aside from that, I think the blog is really great.”

I tried to find this quote I’d read somewhere years ago that said something along the lines of, “A true friend notices when you lose a pound, but not when you gain 10.” That's the basic jist of it, even though I can't quote exactly.

It’s humbling to have such great friends who always manage to see the good side in us, even when we don’t see it in ourselves.

Did I tell them good, Pinks? Thanks for your support and as always, love you madly =)

Monday, December 05, 2005

I slept in this morning and made it to the subway station just in time for the morning crunch, and just in time to see some crazy lady with red hair and gray roots do her sombrero dance on the platform. She was dancing, she was singing, she was a hootin’ and a hollerin’, full of good cheer, until the train actually came and she made her way in. At that point, she changed her mind about everything, pointed her bony finger at us all and screamed, “Fuck you, Communists!”

Uh huh. After living in the city, not much can phase me. But it did remind me that as big a fan as I am of public theatre, it’s really time to get a car.

I’ve avoided that expense in life so far, mostly because I wanted to travel more. When I finally did put together a lump sum and not blow it on plane tickets, it only seemed logical to buy real estate instead. I did get a parking space when I bought my loft but needless to say, it’s got room to spare.

Raj always teases me, says that only twelve year olds take the subway and bus as much as I do. Sure, Raj. I would let my twelve year old within arm’s reach of a bad hair freak claiming we’re all fucking communists.

And it might have a little something to do with the fact that I haven’t been behind the steering wheel of a car for a little over three years.


Well, maybe I am a communist. Of all the communists I know, not many own cars.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

We all have setbacks. Mine came in the form of mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are on my “No” list, but when I looked at them they just kept screaming, “Yes.”

A stronger person would have walked away. But I just really needed mashed potatoes. Well, I didn’t need them so much as I was feeling sucky and wanted to gloss over myself. With mashed potatoes. They made me feel better. Temporarily.

I don’t want to whine, I want to do something about it all, which is why I’m here. I’ve already agreed to stop fucking obsessing so much, hence, to hell with the mashed potatoes. I did what I did, and so what if I did it. We’re all entitled to a treat here and there, and it definitely won’t kill me.

The second thing is, I need to be strong, and that begins with a head check from Sir Thomas Browne. If there’s anything I took away from four years of an English degree, it was this gem, buried in the 2200 page anthology from hell:

Men that look upon my outside, perusing only my condition
and fortunes, do err in my altitude, for I am above Atlas his shoulders.
The earth is a point, not only in respect of the heavens above us, but of
that heavenly and celestial part within us; that mass of flesh that
circumscribes me limits not my mind; that surface that tells the heaven
it hath an end cannot persuade me I have any. I take my circle to be
above three hundred and sixty. Though the number of the arc do measure
my body it comprehendeth not my mind.

Boldness, courage, and empowerment at its purest. At least for me. So since I don’t see this nearly as often as I should, I’m going to climb up on top of my desk, rip down the cork board and scrawl this on the wall in giant letters.

Wait. I live in my parents’ house. These pristine walls do not belong to me. Okay, I’ll just have to read it. But I’ll read it every day!

Friday, December 02, 2005

I sprained my ankle. Again, for fuck’s sakes. The same ankle too, for fuck’s sakes. It looks fantastic, really. Make this picture in your mind and then say, “not pretty”: an ostrich egg hiding in the skin over your anklebone. It’s just so glamorous when you can’t fit into your shoes.

Well, at least it can be said that when I do something, I do it really well.

After the good cry that I had because I was so unbelievably PISSED OFF for tripping over that one rock in the Ikea parking lot and inflicting this misery upon myself, I had another good look at the sky-high stack of magazines next to my bed. The first time this happened I took it as a sign to bury my nose into my décor materials and find a suitable look for my loft. I didn’t exactly do that, not to the extent that I should have anyway. Does that mean I’m being punished?

Pout. I’d get to it, really, but Christmas is around the corner and there’s just so much to be done. I will choose to defy gravity one more time and throw myself into “Holiday Baking” instead.

If I sprain my ankle a third time in the near future, wag your finger at me all you want. In the meantime, go away. I'm swollen, I have needs, and "Holiday Baking" has the pretty pictures that I cleave.

Nanner Nanner.

My Boyfriend, Part Two

Hearing that was something terrible.

If I mentioned this to him he probably wouldn’t even remember it. That’s just the way he is. But I can’t forget it. I can’t believe he had the audacity to say it, and I can’t believe I had the stupidity to take it. Part of me knows he’s right; the other part wants to belt out a Fuck You before walking off and being my own goddess, as the books would say.

Outside opinions are also split down the middle. My friend Vicky was pretty harsh with me, and couldn’t understand why I take this crap. “He should understand, he should be patient, and he should love you no matter what. Especially after everything you’ve been through.”

And then comes Raj whose significant other, teddy bear though he may be, is starting to have a weight issue. “Darling, I love you and I hear everything you’re saying. But I understand what he’s saying too. It’s hard when things become different like that. What if he was overweight?”

That’s a fair question. Jess has had his ups and downs within a few kilos, but he’s never been fat. If he was nearing obesity I think I’d start to speak up, mostly for his health and partly, I’m ashamed to say, through my own vanity. Maybe I would be bothered if he did become obese. But, obese is one thing I am not, and I think if he had extra padding, like me, I would stand by him. Just as I have with everything else.

And I certainly wouldn’t withhold love.

So what am I to think? That my boyfriend will dump me for not looking like a cover girl? That if I become a 36-24-36 Venus he’ll be hanging on my every word again, the sex will be as explosive as it once was, and in general, all will be right with the world? Or worst of all, if I gain a few pounds and deter from my Venus status, that he’ll stop loving me?

Life is sickening in the sense that we get no answers. It’s crazy unfair, when you think about it, that we’re thrown into this cold place without any tools or knowledge on how to make it all work. All we can do is try our best.

When I asked the nearest and dearest to my heart, my boyfriend of six years if I didn’t deserve his love unless I was thin, he didn’t answer back the way I expected. I was so upset I literally curled up into the fetal position, and wanted to die.

I’m better with it now. I don’t think he should have said what he did; I don’t think he should have said a lot of things, but I can’t change that either. So this, everything, will have to become a revelation of sorts, always reminding me of what I have missed, and what I have to do. And that is to become myself again, body, mind and soul.

If I succeed, and I will succeed, you will be tempted to think that I did this for him. That’s fine. I’ve certainly given you plenty of reason to come to that conclusion. But at the end of the day it’s still me in that mirror and, boyfriend or not, I’m going to be with me for a very long time. She deserves some respect, too.

So when all is said and done, what happens then? I really don’t know. I want guarantees. Like all of you, I won’t get any. I want love. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the love I want. I want everything to be okay between me and Jess again, but relationships are a two-way street. I’ve done my part and will continue to do so, but I can’t speak for him or predict our future.

It’s all one big bummer, and seems as if there is no point at all.

But there is a point, and it’s a good one. My shining star, the biggest and best is that I also want peace of mind. I was going to say that this can be the gift I give myself, but I can do better. In the larger sense, no pun intended, Peace of Mind WILL be the gift I give myself. Because honey, if there’s anything I deserve, it’s the gift of having myself back.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My Boyfriend, Part One

The one thing I haven’t talked about yet is my love life. Doing so makes me nervous; I feel like I’m going to jinx whatever shaky foundations are still left.

Jess and I met six years ago, when I was just starting grad school. To that point my experience with men was mostly surface; I got bored fast and usually ended things by the six-month mark. This one was different. Very smart, very sexy, very resident bad boy. Cool without trying; green eyes I wanted to drown myself in. If a good kiss has the power to stop an elephant stampede, his could have done more. I was a goner.

We lived in different time zones and had limited time together. When we were apart we talked every night into the wee hours of the morning. I burned up countless phone cards and slept on the train ride to school so I’d be semi-coherent for class. My plate was full and I was running on empty, but I didn’t care. I was happy.

When we were together, it was madness. New lovers can't keep their hands off each other, and this trap we threw ourselves into, headfirst. Gentle teasing quickly became fire, translated into mind-blowing sex dozens of times a week, anytime we could, everyplace we could.

The whole experience, the whole situation was completely euphoric. I couldn’t get enough, and it seemed he was walking the same line. Everyone says long distance relationships don’t work, but we were proving them all wrong. No matter how far away, no matter how often apart, the more time we spent alone, the more we craved each other.

We lived together during my internship in Europe, and we lived together in my home city. And slowly over time, fueled by one fuck up after another, everything started to slide.

I won’t ploy you with the bullshit because I’m not here to rant. To be quick, here’s the list: worries, terminal illness, funds and lack thereof, jobs and lack thereof, etc. Life became a giant millstone. Well, shit rolls downhill, and first list gave birth to second list: worries, anxiety, argument, minor depression, gap in communication, gap in sex, etc.

And yes, this was the time that my “gained most of it back” happened. Of course he noticed, and he would let me know that he’d noticed. At first it was subtle prodding, and he would say things like, “Do you think you’ve gained weight?” He would squeeze my butt with a sly grin, but then wrap his arms around me and slurp giant kisses on my neck. Everything would be okay again.

A couple of years later, he was being downright cruel. He’d waited long enough. He’d especially waited long enough to see me in a skirt. He had a right to want his girlfriend to look good. It was starting to affect our sex. He didn’t want people gossiping about it. And so on. Not too long ago, after it was brought up for the umpteenth time I blurted out, “Do I not deserve your love unless I’m thin?”

Here’s the answer I got. "Ask me when you are thin."

I've been screwed over. I've been screwed over and it's not pretty. Worst of all, she who did the screwing belongs to the holy trinity of M's:

1) Martha Stewart

2) Mother Nature

3) Mom

I express my love through baking. If you’re tempted to remind me that this is why I can most effectively shake my bon-bon, no can do. At least 90% of the time I’m an events baker, meaning holidays and special occasions. Baking also relaxes me, and takes my mind off certain messes (gay weddings, lifestyle changes, interior design etc.), and would probably throw me into a zen-like state if I didn’t always manage to overdo things. And so, with two birthdays and a graduation to bake for, I chose the edible gift that keeps on giving: cupcakes.

Cupcakes are perfect, really. They are small, they are cake, and are usually topped with icing that makes them more delicious, and really cute. Every cousin gets cupcakes for their birthday on the two conditions that they pick their flavour, and they actually pick them up. Be it for the sake of balance or fighting the homeless, cupcakes on the subway are a no-no.

Cousin wanted carrot cupcakes, cousin’s girlfriend requested chocolate, and sister’s boyfriend/fiancée (still not official) requested nothing. But, being that he just graduated into full-fledged electrician, that deserves something and so he gets a few of each.

Enter first of the three evil M’s: Martha Stewart. Yes, I know I’m mentioning her again but this time it’s not in the most positive of ways. I’d just gotten her new Baking Handbook, and christened it with the cupcake plethora on page 165, but the one thing I’d really like to know is why, oh why, does Martha not give instructions for batches of one dozen, like everyone else in the world? All Martha's batches all yield two-dozen cupcakes. Martha must think she's something special.

Forty-eight cupcakes for three people is a little nuts, so I had to cut some corners. The chocolate cupcake recipe was halved, which wasn’t bad since it only called for two eggs, but the original carrot recipe needed three eggs, so I had to be creative and make two thirds.

I suppose I could’ve beaten the second egg and only used half, but pah. Where's the fun in that?

This is where everything started to go wrong. My theory of failure is either that Martha’s recipes are too high-maintenance, or what the third evil M, Mom, told me long ago about the second evil M, Mother Nature: a woman should never, ever bake when it’s that time of the month. Why? Because it’s all destined to go wrong.

As a modern woman, this has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. As the daughter of Eastern European villagers with funny cold cures and creepy stories, I can’t help but wonder.

The idea was implanted shortly after “the curse” came upon me. I was making sweet bread for the first time and somehow managed to mix up the sugar and salt, which had the whole family wincing and spitting in no time. Moms asked me if Aunt Flo had pitched her tent for the week and when I confirmed it, she nodded her head knowingly. Never mind that I might have been clumsy or some culprit had unknowingly switched the containers, the bread couldn’t have turned out anyway. Her eyes wide and finger wagging, she told me that you “never, ever bake ven is dat time. Okay?”

Okay, mom. Unfortunately, people weren’t born spaciously around my cycle, so I’ll have to gamble with “dat time.” The chocolate cupcakes went very smoothly, until I took them out of the oven and placed them on the stovetop. Aha. Mom had just used one of the burners and it was still hot. Sure I noticed the burning smell, but didn’t catch on and failed to save the handful of cupcakes that were charred into oblivion.

The carrot batter went beautifully, but for some idiotic reason, failed to rise. Pancake city. I panicked and threw some extra flour into the leftover batter, and even though those few rose quite nicely, they’re a completely different colour and shape then the original carrot cupcakes.

The icing! Oh, the icing. How was I supposed to know that the only icing sugar we had left clumped itself into madness long ago? Sift it, my ass – a half-hour of pounding, forceful obedience was more like it.

I managed the carrot cupcake icing easily enough after that, but the chocolate icing was pure bitch work. Martha calls for Swiss meringue buttercream. I don’t have a double boiler but decided to try it anyway, adding some cocoa powder for that extra chocolatey effect. Well, after mixing on high for 15 minutes with no “soft peaks” action that she said would take 3-5 minutes, ha! - I threw in the butter. It separated, just like she said it would, and to tease & piss me off, didn’t come together until a good 10 minutes later. Martha said two.

If people don’t look too hard they’ll be very pretty, but the chocolate icing has to travel separately, via tupperware, to be assembled only right before eating. I’m pretty sure that icing the cupcakes and then taking them too far away from a fridge will result in one hell of a gloppy mess.

So, Martha, Mom, or Mother Nature? Or the fourth, unmentioned M: Me? Will we ever really know? I’m betting now, and I’m also betting that it will be a long, long time before I make cupcakes again. It’s just too fucking stressful.

And before we go, just one minute of guilt from our sponsors. Or not… I had half a cupcake. But as per my promise to stop obsessing so fucking much, I have decided to call it square. I was too busy to have dinner, and after all, even with all that cupcake temptation in front of me, I chose not to be gluttonous.

Cheers. Now that my fall birthday practice run is over, I’m all prepared for Christmas cookie season! Seeing as I’ve never been one to learn my lesson, I’ve dedicated myself to nine batches this year. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I got a coffee again today not so much for the thrill of the bean, but for the thrill of being the only leather jacket, cargo pants Matt ‘n Nat bag customer at the executive Starbucks in the financial district.

And, for being the only customer with a full head of hair. It’s amazing how 40-ish MBA’s have receding hairlines to match their black suits and charcoal trench coats. Not to mention their pallor complexions, and the same way they all seem to order their coffee. Or in the words of the barker: “Grande latte, no fat, grande latte, no fat, one espresso, grande latte, no fat, tall maple latte no whip, two espressos, venti Ethiopian roast, black.” Guess which one was mine?

I was about to berate myself for getting coffee at all – I’m supposed to quit, remember – when I arrived at work only to find that math had been cancelled, and I was going back to the special class.

Now I wish I had gotten three coffees, king sized. I’m already awake enough, I just feel I should drug myself into complete stupefaction before walking through that door. In the least, my shaking hands and saucer eyes would convince them all that I am indeed a psycho and to stay the hell away from me, or, it will help me displace the blame when I burst out laughing at their early morning aerobics. “Really, it’s not me. It’s the coffee.”

That behaviour will either get me out of the special class forever, or worse, put me into it.

I’m a little hard on the special class, and sometimes, I think I have good reason. For one, I think they are spoon-fed for the most part. When you were suffering through term papers, resume updates and dead end paths did anyone ever sit you down and ask, “Do you feel safe here?” When the only job you could get after school was at McDonalds, when a dear friend passed away or you couldn’t afford to eat for a week, did anyone care if you didn’t or didn’t feel good? No, because that was a part of life that you were expected to suffer through. Chin up, eye on the prize, keep forging ahead, right?

When you gained a few extra pounds, when your family was getting on your case, whenever you were stressed out beyond belief was there a course you could take, for extra credit, no less, designed to make you feel better about it all?

I’m guessing no, and I’m guessing that your alternative was to see a high-priced therapist instead. Emphasis on “high price.”

There is one good thing about the special class though, and I have to give them credit for that much. Imagine how wonderful it would be to assume aerobics is normal for every class, everywhere, and that we are able to make the world a safe and happy place for everyone, including ourselves.

Wouldn't that be simple. And wouldn't that be nice.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Calorie Chronicles: Herbal Magic

This is my latest, and I hope to make it the greatest. Remember last week's panic about going back to the program? Well, I did. Was too chicken to get weighed and haven't exactly started following the rules to the letter, but my waistline is thanking me. As is my waistband, which has eased up on its neediness. Nothing miraculous of course, it's just nice to not have to suck in every morning.

I found Herbal Magic in the phone book early into the year and called up for some information. The woman I spoke to sold me on the “I lost 135 pounds on this system,” which thrilled me to no end, and I ran in to join.

I know, I know. They’re all used car salesmen, dangling the carrot of hope at our noses. Women spend far too much on the promise of outer beauty, but I can’t do this on my own just yet. No matter what Dr. Phil says.

To make a long story short, Herbal Magic is named so for the herbs you take that will get you “magical” results. I figured that out myself. My current status is hungry, eagerly waiting with eyes closed and arms out for the magic to cuff me over the head.

So thrice a day I get to take a little white capsule from a bottle labeled Chromagic, and three blue capsules from another bottle called WM-2000. Chromagic has pretty sounding ingredients like brindall berry, dandelion & Siberian ginseng, while the WM-2000 is a blend of this and that to help support weight management. And, twice per week I go to their Village location, have a weigh-in and get some bonus vitamins on the side. Calcium, potassium and all that jazz apparently most needed for a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Oh yes, I also follow a very sensible meal plan containing all four food groups. Clap Clap.

My Herbal Magic history has been rocky at best. Like I said, I called earlier this year and attended for a bit, then stopped going. Then attended, then stopped going. Then attended and then stopped going… I think there could be one or two more times in there… and here I am.

Why, why do I keep doing this to myself? Well, I lose ten pounds and I get cocky, what can I say. I give into a few whims, get sucked into the vortex that is my life, gain a couple of pounds and get ashamed to go back. Yep, ashamed. So I stew for awhile before finally coming to my senses, and kowtow my way back.

I’ve gained, I’ve stewed, I’ve come to my senses (ha!) and I’ve definitely kowtowed. Day by day, right? Keep the determination and don’t let the growlies bite. I can do this. I’ve done bigger things, so I can definitely do this.

I am woman, hear me roar. And right now I’m roaring, I think I'm going to be sick.

Once again, breathe.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I took Home Ec (now known as Family Studies) in the ninth grade, majorly striking lucky by making a friend whose mother was a seamstress. I got a B+ on my sweatshirt and have managed to elude legitimately learning how to sew to this day.

One of the things we learned in that class was the HOAX theory. While this sounds for all the world that we were learning to be smooth talking con-artists, what HOAX really suggests is that there are four body types in this world, one for each letter.

The H people are more rectangular in structure; even fabulously thin H’s don’t have much waist to go on. Think Angelina Jolie.

The O’s are small at the extreme top and bottom, rounding out and being thickest in their middles. Nell Carter, RIP, was the perfect O.

The A’s are harder to find; smaller head and shoulders, more to them as you travel downwards. I have a cousin that’s the epitome of the A folk, but since you can’t see her, think Drew Carrey just because he has such a ridiculously small head, and Quentin Tarantino during the “Kill Bill” promo tour.

The X was the ideal hourglass shape of the 50’s: full shoulders, voluptuous rear and thighs, small waist. Or as we better know her, Marilyn Monroe.

If you’re dismayed that out of all the people in the world we’ve been narrowed down to a mere four types, I think that number can taken down even more, and sliced in half. If you look really carefully, there really are only two kinds of people in the world, the Frontals and the Sideways.

Frontal and Sideways work together. If your pounds go directly to your stomach and chest when you gain them, you are a Frontal. If you’re a hips and butt sufferer, you are a Sideways. When the Frontal weight gainers look at themselves in the mirror, their front view is best, whereas all the bad points come out when they stand sideways. Vice Versa for the Sideways gainer – look at yourself in the mirror, and the side view is much preferred to the front.

I am a Sideways. I have ample extras on my butt, while my chest will always be flat. My mother tells me the small chest part will change should I have children, but I’m not sure I believe her. My upper body is at least one dress size smaller than the rest of me, and I find straight leg pants even me out better than any other cut.

Going back to she who gave birth to me, mummy is a Frontal. Never had hips a day in her life, and big butt be damned. Chest and a little spare belly though, that’s her bane. But then because she’s had kids, and of course because she's my mom, she’s entitled.

Fat Fashion Tip #1: To detract attention from your behind, wear something colourful higher up. For instance, this morning I pulled out my brand new fall-not-quite-winter jacket. Three-quarter length for warmth’s sake, fitting beautifully on my shoulders and torso, but a bit of a squeeze down below. Nothing major, but until I get a wee smaller, it makes me a tad conscious. What a perfect time to pull out my raging plaid blue and orange German cashmere scarf, fringed not just on the ends but all around. Voila. No one’s going to notice my butt with that thing at my neck.

It’s only fair to offer a fashion tip to the Frontals, but since I’m not experienced in their department I can offer only one sound, somewhat biased bit of advice:

Fat Fashion Tip #2: If you have boobs, show them. Think of all us chest-less girls and make the most of that décolletage. March on, sister.

Didn't have to sleep on it after all.

No new thoughts. Women are suckered in by the media because we want to be what we see, and we believe men want us to be what's out there.

Least I do. How about you?

Today I had an, “I was meant to be somewhere else, but why?” kind of day.

I’ll explain. In the movie Sliding Doors, Gwyneth is running for her train, and misses it at the last minute. We are offered a parallel view of what would have happened if she had caught the train, in that case, arriving home early enough to catch her scum boyfriend cheating on her.

Sort of the same thing happened to me. While I was spared the London Underground and scum boyfriend deal, when I got to work I found out that math had been cancelled, and I was being sent somewhere else.

At my job, when your class is cancelled you either A) luck out and get that time off, with pay, or B) have to cover another class at no extra $$. It's easy to see how option A is preferable.

And so today, being out of luck and having my own Sliding Doors kind of day, I was sent to the special class.

It's really called Adult Development; I call it, the bunch the nature left behind. For all kinds of reasons, these are the people that need to go back in time and do some re-structuring to become more… okay I’m at a loss for words… “profound” members of society? That’s definitely not what I was looking for, but it’ll spare me the food fight of political incorrectness, should I go on.

But to give you a better idea of what I was dealing with, this is the third time I’ve covered the special class, and each so far has had it’s own memorable query. I’ll enlighten you.

Class #1: after a brief introduction of light aerobisizing to classical music, the topic of the day was, "Do we all really feel safe here?"

Class #2: actual question asked by student: “How many of you here have been involuntarily committed to a mental health care facility?” Of about 20 people in the room, only one hand did not go up. Mine.

And today, Class #3: “You don’t need to have sex with other people when you can have sex with yourself. It’s the same thing.”

Whoa, Nelly. It’s not in my job description to participate in lectures, but I’m sure the sudden grimace on my face was more than enough. Not that I don’t enjoy the fine and subtle arts of self-love, but I’m most positive that sex with others vs. sex with yourself are most definitely separate and individual experiences.

You’ve pretty much gotten the picture that I don’t like going to the special class. But back to the original reason that I was “supposed” to be there, my Sliding Doors moment, was that the major topic of the day was, "Why do the pressures of adolescence affect women stronger than men?" Or, to be specific, girls more so than boys.

Go figure I start a blog with weight and said issues being important, and see what the special class offers me. I can play with this.

So, why DO the pressures of adolescence affect women stronger than men? Very simply, we want to be what we see. We believe men want us to be what they see (and they often do), and also, we’re suckers for marketing.

Don’t shake your head, love. When’s the last time you heard a man say, “I’d DIE for Arnold’s arms,” or, “I just LOVE Keanu’s jacket.” Meh. If he’s straight, it’s not happening.

I don’t know where our path of wrong-ness begins, but I do know that it starts young. Pretty much everything that screw us up starts young, no? Some blame Barbie, others blame the Fisher Price toy kitchen set, feminists blame it all.

I can’t figure out who to blame, so I’m going to sleep on it. Stay tuned tomorrow, same fat time, same fat channel.

Mummy made Minestrone soup, and it was fabulous. I wasn’t expecting it to taste so good, since she didn’t have a recipe or an Italian heritage, so colour me surprised.

I should have known better, since back in the day my mom was an apprentice chef in Europe. I had my doubts though, when she asked me to get her a recipe online, and go through the ingredients to see if she had it all.

Tomatoes? “Check.”

Onions? “Check.”

Carrots? “Of course!”

Celery? “Yes, but I won't use too much because I know you don't like it.” (thanks Mom)

Macaroni? “I like the little shells more.”

White Beans? “I’ll just use the ones I have.”

Basil? “Parsley, same thing.”

Beef stock? “Chicken is better. And I have some nice leeks, too.”

Talk about your bastardized version. I took my dog Bluetooth for a walk in the first snow of the year; she was chopping. I come in a half hour later to a hot bowl, ready and waiting. Commercial bound, I tell you, all it needed was an mm mmm reaction from me, which I happily gave. It was marvelous, stick to your ribs food, perfect when your cheeks are still pink from outside.

I started writing a cookbook over two years ago. Soup and sandwiches was the jist, and Mom’s Miraculous Minestrone reminded me of how much I still want to do it. We all start projects and set them aside from time to time, but this one is on my mind everyday.

It’s just really hard to make up recipes and experiment with food when you’re always telling yourself you have to lose weight first. Make sense?

But I want to hang onto the good things, meaning that there’s work to be done. And for one of my first soup recipes, Mom’s going to teach me how to make Minestrone.

Friday, November 25, 2005

When was the first time you realized you were fat?

I don’t know if this is a factor in a boy’s life, but I’m pretty sure it’s a rite of passage for girls. Sure you always knew you looked different from your friends, since the life lesson that we are each and every one unique on this earth has already been taught. But if you are fat, hell, even if you’re thin, there’s that one defining moment that changes your life forever.

I was 13, and just returning home from a summer in Europe. My parents were firm believers that their daughters should know where they came from, and so my sister and I were packed off to relatives in the Croatian Islands. That and the fact that it had been one year since major surgery for me, and a year without mishap to boot. The trip was a sigh of relief.

Besides the family politics that no one can ever avoid, life there was very good. It was foreign, it was summer, it was days at the beach. It was salami sandwiches and swimming and Fanta. I certainly wasn’t trying to lose weight (i.e. see “salami”), but did have to buy some new pairs of shorts when the ones I had packed decided to fly south. Even then, I didn’t notice a change in myself, and no one in my family ever said a word. I was having too much fun to care.

When I got back though, everyone noticed. People saw me, and the shock would register. Friends I hadn’t seen in over two months would wave at me from across the street and come running over, mouths falling open as they got a closer view. I got Oh my God’s every hour of every day those first weeks home, and the phrase that did it all: “I can’t believe how good you look now!”

Maybe if the Now hadn’t been there, I would have been spared reality for at least another few months. You look so good…. NOW. This didn’t get me thinking about now at all, but enforced in my mind, very clearly, that if everyone was so amazed at how good I looked now, how bad did I look then?

Every girl might not remember her moment exactly, but I do believe that every girl has one. This is important, because this is when it all starts to change. If you weren’t fashion conscious before, you certainly are now. Even if you want to be unique, you also want to look just like everyone else, for the sake of fitting in, and how your butt looks in jeans becomes huge priority. Teen Beat, trash, welcome Cosmo. Eye liner, lipstick and mascara replaces the flavoured lip smacker, and you invest in the first bottle of hair spray. Sure your hair is crunchy, but everyone else is doing it, right?

It’s not about what goes, goes, anymore Gone are the days of not thinking about it; you didn’t think about it then because you didn’t realize “it” existed. Now you can’t stop thinking about it, and the neverending battle for better, better, BETTER than what you have and what you are, begins.

Has anyone ever won this battle before? I don’t really know. Some people say they have, but I’m not sure if I believe them. What I do know is that it’s absolute torture getting there, and that it’s far from over.

I find it terribly ironic that I spent an entire summer with bottles of pop in hand, eating salami, smoked meats, desserts dripping with custard and just about everything else I turn away now, and I thinned out without even noticing.

I’m not going to adopt this diet in attempt for a repeat. I’m not on the islands, and I’m not thirteen. I’m also not in that mindset anymore. I have a million things to do, a million people to see, and there’s no such thing as lazing on the beach for a solid eight weeks, perfectly happy that there is nothing else to do.

Point being that maybe if we all stopped fucking obsessing so much, if I stopped fucking obsessing so much, there would be much less to fret over. No?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Kim Cattrall won’t talk to me.

Of course Kim Cattrall has no idea who the hell I am, so it’s no sweat to her at all. But to me, it’s akin to having every single hair picked off my head, one by one.

I freelance write on the side. Not only does this keep my sanity balanced with my typing job, but I hope to make the “on the side” into “all the time” as soon as humanly possible.

So imagine my surprise when the quarterly, 8x4 inch, full colour but not fully glossy body enhancement magazine I work for assigned me a story on sex and beauty based on the erotic picture book Sexual Intelligence, written by none other than Samantha Jones herself.

Now, Body Enhancement means I’ve gotten to write stories on Botox, laser hair removal, and fat arms. Wonderful though they were, I’ve been craving something a little more oh, I don’t know, satisfying?

So just imagine my adrenaline rush and screams of happiness (in the middle of a crowded bookstore on a Tuesday) when my editor calls with the surprise news: I get to do a story about sex, with the celebrity sex icon of our times.

I’m thinking, what gigantic penny fell from the sky and hit me on the head today? It’s my lucky day, this is going to be incredible, this is going to make things happen!

A few weeks, dozens of phone calls to her PR firm and endless frustration later, I have gotten the confirmation that Kim will not be doing this interview. And I should understand, because she’s tired from touring Europe for two weeks.

Being a typist for the deaf and wanting to make changes in my life, ten minutes of Kim Cattrall would have been heaven sent. It’s the part where you’re sending samples of your work to bigger, better places and you put the A-list interview right on top. It was supposed to make things happen.

I don’t know if Kimmy herself refused this or her publicist, but what really pisses me off about the whole thing is, girlfriend, don’t you remember what it was like to be at the bottom? When you were acting for food, and just eye candy on Porky's? Don’t you remember what it was like to hunger for more?

I’m trying to make myself feel better about all of this, but only one of two things will do it. Either I have to accept that this wasn’t my brass ring and wait for the next one, or, I call her people back and harass them ‘til they’re blue in the face.

Hey, you never know until you try, right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Google up “Fat Jokes.” Go on. Notice how the internet is suddenly awash with Yo Mama?

Not that I generally allude myself to such bullshit, but here are a few tasties:

Yo mama’s so fat she was born with a silver shovel in her mouth.

Yo mama’s so fat she was in the middle of the highway I tried to swerve but ran out of gas.

Yo mama’s so fat, her blood type is Ragu.

Yo mama’s so fat, she bungee jumped and fell straight to Hell.

… and etc. Now, google Yo Daddy. Lo and behold! Not much. Really, what we have here is a lacking fusion of pish and posh, since men don’t seem to be targeted towards anything specific, at least in this case.

Now, here’s my beef: there are just as many testosterone-ridden waddlers, a.k.a. fat men, on our great (pun intended) planet, so what the hell? I’m totally tempted to raise anarchy over this whole thing, but my approved by the Chiropractic Association of America mattress is looking mighty tempting right now, and my flight to the Land of Nod is about to take off. So, I’ll just leave you with this interesting little tidbit that I found on http://www.basicjokes.com/

Fat Theology

And God populated the earth with broccoli and cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow vegetable of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

And Satan created McDonald's. And McDonald's brought forth the 99-cent double-cheeseburger. And Satan said to Man, "You want fries with that?"

And Man said, "Super size them." And Man gained pounds.

And God created the healthful yogurt, that woman might keep her figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth chocolate. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "Try my crispy fresh salad."

And Satan brought forth ice cream. And woman gained pounds.

And God said, "I have sent your heart healthy vegetables and olive oil with which to cook them."

And Satan brought forth chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

And Man gained pounds and his bad cholesterol went through the roof.

And God brought forth running shoes and Man resolved to lose those extra pounds.

And Satan brought forth cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil to change channels between ESPN and ESPN2.

And Man gained pounds.

And God said, "You're running up the score, Devil."

And God brought forth the potato, a vegetable naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition.

And Satan peeled off the healthful skin and sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fat fried them. And he created sour cream dip also.

And Man clutched his remote control and ate the potato chips swaddled in cholesterol.

And Satan saw and said, "It is good."

And Man went into cardiac arrest.

And God sighed and created quadruple bypass surgery.

And Satan created HMOs.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Insult to injury, anyone? I sprained my ankle.

It was 10pm I was walking my dog. I was also on the phone, and certainly not paying attention to large bumps on the road that had the audacity to be in my way. It’s going to take me a long, long time to forget that crunching sound.

I’m thinking this whole ankle thing was a sign to force me to sit still and look at the design magazines that paper my bedroom floor. I have to face reality, after all, because there’s a job to be done.

I own a loft. Better put, I own a two-floor 962 square foot box that the developers called “Loft” because they knew it would make me drool and want one. Three years and several delays later, I closed on my itty bitty “loft concept” space, several features left incomplete by said idiot contractors.

I have decided to find it charming.

The job in question is to work with what I have, and make it magnificent. I have limited space, a budget, and if I may so, spectacular taste. I also have a tenant until spring, but she’s a good friend and is all for improvement.

So now I get to bury myself in House & Home, Living and Elle Maison, rip out all kinds of pictures, get a gray hair or two (or 58), and secretly hate every designer in these magazines because I know they can do it much better than I can.

Projects, colours, creative chaos, I love it all! Or at least until tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they are so sick of something about themselves, they work hard for change.

Or, there comes a time in everyone’s life where something happens beyond their control, and change happens whether they want it to or not.

For example, my teeth. I had a filling put in a couple of days ago, nothing big, but a few hours after I got home, the damn thing cracked and sunk like a crater. The dentist could only see me this morning, so in between then and now I was on an involuntary liquid diet. Water, smoothies, occasional juice. Chewing just hurt too much, and gave me nasty visuals of mercury imbedded in my gums.

So naturally, my pants are just wee bit looser today.

For all you healthy freaks out there, I am NOT starving myself, and I am NOT condoning starving yourself. But then, this feels really nice. I’d like to keep doing it.

Not drinking smoothies all day, but making my pants looser. You get my drift.

And so, in continued support of the “new me,” I am going back to the program. Whenever I start a program - and I have many tales - I always tell myself it’s one last shot. Right now, speaking from my heart, today, I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment anymore. Besides wanting to help my body out in every way possible, I want to give myself the benefit of the doubt.

Not that it’s okay to fail. But it’s definitely okay to keep trying.

Monday it is. I’m spending the rest of the weekend working up the nerve.


Friday, November 18, 2005

Wedding #2 belongs to my very best friend, Raj.

We went to school together and found one another in the party hearty world that is the haven of the university student. Scores of fresh-from-home teenagers were boogie woogie-ing the stench of the suburbs away, when the crowd parted, and first I beheld the glory that was Raj. He was foreign and naïve; I was political and drunk. We hit it off.

It didn’t take long for us to be thick as thieves. Through the ups, downs and passport stamps of our eleven years and counting friendship, we have managed to stay blissfully close and immature in a way that only the closest of people can understand.

Raj is sinfully sweet and painfully exotic. Raj is also fabulously gay. He flew out of the closet about a year after we’d met and never looked back. Of course this made him better than ever; now I have a pinch date AND a pedicure buddy. He, in turn, adopted my cycle and got sympathy cramps.

Raj is also in love, engaged, and like most Bridezillas, raking himself over the proverbial coals for the perfect Martha Stewart wedding. A wedding that he is determined I will plan.

Being a girl, I love parties. I even love to plan parties. Being a girl without a biological clock, I don’t like weddings. I mean, how many 300 guest sweet table bouquet toss garter throwing first dance fiascos do you really have to go through before losing your marbles?

But I do love my Raj, so I’ll bite my tongue, and better common sense. I’m going to help him through this no matter how many times he bothers me. No matter how often he tosses “Hor d’Oeuvres for Dummies,” or “The Art of Napkin Folding” at me. No matter how much he pesters, whines, or calls me hyperventilating at 4am – which he will – I will be there, I will be ready, I will be a friend.

I need a drink.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Let us venture away from the fat lands for just a little bit, and talk about other pressing matters on the list of General Repairs.

My sister is engaged. For the third time. To a younger man she’s known for all of seven months.

Yeah, that’s how I feel too. Mind you, there are always exceptions; with her other engagements, one was official and the other unofficial, meaning no ring or formal proposal, just a newbie-couple skirting around the M word. The engagement that was official lasted about six weeks (thank God, he was such a bozo), and even though I’ve played the “younger man” card with fiancé elect, he is only three years her junior.

It’s just that she has this tendency to get, oh, carried away. She’s five years older than me and either gets into forever relationships with no sense of direction, or falls flat on her face and is planning the rest of their lives within the month. That is, the month they met.

So it’s safe to say that sometimes I worry about her. Fancy that, the younger one worrying over the older one. I think she was supposed to be uptight and responsible and guide her directionless, unfocused sister down the proper path, right?

I really do know that she’s old enough to make her own decisions, her own mistakes and her own happiness… it’s just that its been the two of us for so long. Boyfriends came and boyfriends went, but my sister and I were always a pair.

And now she’s going to be a Mrs. And eventually, a mother. Hopefully without a minivan, but while I’m wallowing please let me go all the way.

Well, he’s nice enough at least. The wedding is next October-ish, so I’m hoping that any and all kinks will be worked out by then. And I do have to admit that there’s one absolutely huge perk in all of this for me – when she changes her last name, I can finally use her a as job reference. Vive la difference!

Oh and before I forget to mention, I’m the Maid of Honour. Most Honourable Maid to the Bride. Meaning that within the year I will need to fit into a slinky creation that will make me the goddess of the evening. Yee-haw.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

It is early in the morning, and I am at work with my cup of drugs. I’ve never been a substances girl, but then coffee is just so supremely hard to give up.

I love coffee. I worship coffee. It tingles my fingers and buzzes my senses. It fires my synapses and I can take on the world.

Coffee has carried me through two degrees, two internships and twenty countries. While many prefer to hoity toity through Europe with a glass of Bordeaux, I found the underground café scene much more fascinating. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can stomp on grapes. The art is in the roast.

This morning’s addiction of choice: one tall maple latte, regular milk no whip, not quite courtesy of Starbucks. And my justification for having it is that today is the only day I start work at 8am, and I hate my job.

I am a Computerized Note Taker for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students, which is a nice and shiny way of saying I stalk students who can't hear too good to their classes, and type out everything the professor says. The money is great. The hours, laptop lugging and promise of carpal tunnel are not. It’s not a terribly challenging job either and, when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder in this case, I’ve gone as far as I can go.

It is my second year at this job and while I know I shouldn’t complain, I’m really craving a job in my field (writing & journalism), and something infinitely more stimulating. So if I can’t have a stimulating career just yet, I have to make do with the stimulants Starbucks is selling.

Coffee and the healthier lifestyle, da da dum, don't exactly go hand in hand. Unless you like it black, which I don't, the stuff raises your blood pressure, isn’t great for your cholesterol, works against vitamins B6 & B12, causes anxiety, heart palpitations if you drink too much, and etc.

Even worse, coffee (and my current Maple Latte) is usually full of milk and sugar, and those are deadly in the “newer lifestyle” world. Well, sugar anyway. I recently found a list by Dr. Nancy Appleton, author of “Lick the Sugar Habit” stating no less than 76 ways that sugar can ruin your health. That’s just a teensy bit more than a top ten. My personal favorites are that sugar causes brittle tendons, and impairs your DNA structure. Whoever said the genes you were born with was fixed? Does that mean my firstborn will have coffee beans lodged in his nostrils?

Truthfully, it’s not the sugar alone I crave. Very thankfully, I don’t have a sweet tooth. It’s the sugar in the coffee that I crave since it makes it taste that much better. I can’t have my coffee without the teensiest bit of sugar, and if that’s the case, then the whole lot has to go.

Big, big sigh, lowering my head in defeat, total acceptance & all other associated dramas. In the big picture, it’s small sacrifice for a newer, more gorgeous me. But then that will be really, really hard to remember the next time I’m up before the sun.

So, if this is going to be the last Thursday in awhile that I allow myself coffee, you’ll have to excuse me. I want to savor what’s left in my cup.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Okay, let us begin. I am a fat girl. How did I become a fat girl?

I ate myself into her. Trust me when I say that I don’t like admitting it and it’s nothing to be proud of, but it is what it is.

Fat is unoriginal. Unless genetics is seriously jonesing you, if you are fat the chances are you ate your way to being fat. WHY you have done so is the unique part.

So, why did I eat myself into being fat? Here’s the nickel version, and feel free to tune out. Let’s call it “surrounding tension.” I was around 11, 12 at the "beginning of the end," bad health but bookish and smart; not well liked in school for above reasons. Older, seemingly perfect sister, emotionally detached parents, some bad emotional experiences of my own, and an open access fridge to make it all go away.

Or in other words, all the crap we tell ourselves is the reason we are unhappy.

The ironic thing is that at the time I also went through a crazy growth spurt and therefore all the promise of a supermodel figure, but I let all that surrounding tension get in the way. It really sucks when you’re one of the more sensitive people that really has to white knuckle your way through life, no?

I became borderline obese, but luckily thinned out a bit as I got older. Then lost some and gained it back, lost some and gained it back, lost some and gained it back, lost a whole lot…. and after a couple years, gained most of it back.

What happened? Ah yes. My old nemesis, Surrounding Tension. Which brings me here.

I could say all the usual stuff; I hate it, I’m sick of it, I don’t to feel this way anymore, bla bla bla, but chances are it’s nothing you haven’t heard or read before. Even if it is true.

Hence the beginning of project General Repairs, or assignment “Hold Your Head Up High Again.” And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I can’t hold my head up high as a fat girl. It’s just that making my peace with her is something I have to do.

In retrospect, I’ll let someone far smarter and undeniably brilliant close off for today:

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci

Monday, November 14, 2005

I am a Fat Girl. I am also a bridesmaid, involuntary wedding planner, impromptu interior designer, writer, amateur cook and emotionally challenged typist for the deaf. To slam the fucker that once said “all writing is fiction,” let me assure you that all of the above is, most hilariously, true.

The writer and cook part aren’t so bad, but since my budget isn’t quite allowing me to fiat around Europe to experience & write about the culinary wonders of the universe, I’m more or less screwed. This in turn doesn’t quite go with the amateur cook part; I’m dead convinced that no one will buy a cookbook from someone who’s had a) no professional kitchen skills whatsoever, and is b) nowhere near as sultry as Nigella.

As for the rest of my list/sorrows, I have gone as far as I can go at my job and would like another. My sister is unofficially engaged to a communist rebel and will marry him within weeks of my best gay friend’s wedding, and he is coercing me into planning the entire event. At the very least I will be his sounding board, and let me assure you that’s not much difference. I have a miniscule, empty loft to make beautiful, my relationship is in emotional hell and wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, I have to go on a diet. Wait, let me rephrase that: lifestyle change. I do believe that’s the more modern method of choice. It sounds less German, anyway.

Welcome to the freak show that is my life. While it has become apparent to me that I am in extreme need of martinis and a shrink, I have opted for the cheaper option that is Active Writing Therapy. The Writing part is in inspiration of my pretty literary friends who have been endlessly telling me to “get a fucking blog already”; the Active part is in honour of the great and noble Julie Powell who gave herself a project and a time limit, and the Therapy part is to keep myself from going completely bonkers.

And so, I am dedicating the next year of my life, more or less, to General Repairs. My pre-New Year’s Resolution List of the Damned, in no particular order:

1) get a new job

2) lose 60 (odd) pounds

3) decorate my loft without Debbie Travis

4) survive my sister’s wedding

5) plan & survive my best friend’s wedding

6) finish the cookbook that has been idling for 1148 days (and counting)

7) achieve emotional and romantic peace, if there is such a thing

… all while living in my parent’s basement. After all, if I have you to face at the end of every day, things will start to happen… right?

Oyvey. Buckle up. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.