Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
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
Saturday, December 24, 2005
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)
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
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
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
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
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 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 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
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
"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
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
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.
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
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."
1) Martha Stewart
2) Mother Nature
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.