Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coffee

About 6 months ago I started drinking coffee. Before I drank it I always WISHED I drank it. People who drank coffee looked so cool and together (remember this post?). While I was unemployed I would get up at 8am and drink about 5 cups of coffee while reading the paper. Was I turning into my father? Perhaps. My Dad (who is hella old) retired when I was 9 years old and since he's been retired (that's 20 years now) reads the whole paper everyday. And up until he became a Mormon/his doctor told him to stop drinking coffee he drank 2 LARGE cups of coffee while reading that paper. He sits at the kitchen table in complete silence, reading the ENTIRE PAPER. He recently started getting the Wall Street Journal sent to his house because the Dallas Morning Star is apparently too liberal for him. He also maintains that Fox News is the only unbiased news station. Oh Dad. But this is not the point. The point is the coffee.

My mom is sups picky about her coffee. When I was little my favorite thing to do was make my mom her coffee. She took it with half an Equal packet and two heaping tablespoons of coffeemate (aka corn). She would tell me to add enough coffeemate that the coffee was the color of my skin, and I remember holding my hand up to the coffee to compare. She tried to make me my coffee when we were in Florida in June and I threw a mini temper tantrum when she tried to put milk in my coffee instead of half and half. That's what happens before I have my coffee. I throw temper tantrums. Sometimes I also throw temper tantrums when I have to go to the dentist, which I did when I was 22... I was literally lying on the floor screaming and crying because I didn't want to go to the dentist... Did I mention I was 22? God is going to smote me with highly emotional children. And I will deserve it.

Coffee is like a thing. I still associate it with being an adult which means now that I drink it I am like a real adult. Sort of. I recently bought this coloring book and have spent 3 out of the past 4 evenings coloring in it. So maybe real adult is a stretch. Anywho, my roommate likes her coffee black, and she has very sensitive taste buds and can notice all these subtle nuances and flavors. I add half and half to mine, so the taste is sadly lost on me, but I appreciate her appreciation. On Sunday, during "Hurricane" Irene we sat on the couch and drank coffee and watched Say Yes to the Dress and What Not to Wear. Well, until the power went out. To be honest, I think the concept of spending so much on a wedding dress is a little excessive but it is fun to watch people cry about dresses. I ESPECIALLY love seeing the women who love ridiculous dresses and then end up buying them and crying about beautiful they are when they are in fact ridiculous. 

This one is see-through.

I also love it when there are chunky ladies on there. I also enjoy hating the women who insist on trying on dresses outside their budget when their parents are paying. I enjoy it all! I am nothing if not a voyeur. Anyway, I got to drink coffee out a legitimate mug on Sunday morning, NOT a travel mug, which I haven't done in FOREVER. It was my city feed mug. 


I was also wearing my pajamas. Drinking coffee out of a mug, on your couch while wearing your pajamas and watching bridal shows is very pleasurable. Only one thing would've make it better.


Sigh.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fat Feelings

Since beginning my own Journey (Does the Bachelor franchise own this word? Maybe. Hopefully I won't get sued.) with Size Acceptance about a year ago, I have become consistently shocked by blatant body hate, my own included. As I’m sure you’re all aware, body hate manifests itself in many ways. There is literal body hate, where you look at your body in the mirror, or in pictures and think, "EW. GROSS." There is physical body hate in the form of intense dietary restrictions or punishing exercise. And there is conceptual body hate, where you blame your body for keeping you from having the things you want: a good job, acceptable healthcare, intimate friendships, or, in the case of most of my dearest friends, romantic Love (from here on out I’ll just call it “Love” with a capital L). Every fat woman I know thinks she would be more desirable as a mate if she were thin. This is no mistake, nor is it her fault. Few movies or TV shows have fat women in them, and, if they do, the fat woman is the best friend, or her overt sexuality is a big joke. We are berated with weight loss commercials and even the government is declaring war on obesity, aka encouraging body policing. Then we have people like Jennifer Hudson saying she is more proud of her weight loss than her Oscar and media outlets broadcasting this idea like it isn't horrifying. So of course, why WOULD a fat woman think she could be Loved?

But here's the thing we are forgetting. Love isn't some formula. In Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert goes on this great journey to find herself and then finds herself AND Javier Bardem. Oh, Joy! Maybe, if this movie was the only one of its kind it wouldn't offend me in this way, but we are fed the idea that, if we can just become our best selves love will come to us. And our best self is, of course, always and forever, our thinnest self. Sometimes it does come. Sometimes we lose the weight or become self-actualized and the doors of heaven on earth are suddenly open to us. But sometimes they aren’t. I am not going to try to sell you on the idea that if you can just love yourself someone else will love you. Because I know from personal experience that isn’t how it works. There are thin women who hate themselves who don't have boyfriends and there are fat women who hate themselves getting married everyday. There are things we can't know and can't understand and to blame your body isn't just unfair, it is fundamentally illogical.

So maybe this is more about philosophy than fat. Of course we want the world to be explainable. Of course we want to know WHY we don't have the things we want so that we can change the things that need to be changed and hence GET the things we want. The desire to be one’s best self is a great thing to strive for. Of course it is. But our best self is not always a thin self. Or a calm self. Or an accepting self. To be honest, my best self is pretty pissed, pissed about the injustices happening all over the world every day, pissed about discrimination happening in our country, including a political system which keeps many races and people groups in bondage. But whatever my, or your, best self looks like it comes with no guarantees. We become our best selves so that we can simply be our best selves. Because authentic living is joyous because it is authentic.

Of course I want to find Love. Of course I want everyone I love to find Love. Loneliness is a plague that infects every aspect of one’s life. But I know for a fact I am just as lonely with a small ass. I also know that my loneliness has brought me compassion, and that this compassion has brought me joy because I find joy in loving and caring for people, and for myself.

This all sounds so self-righteous, as though I have it all figured out. To be honest, I struggle to live with these concepts every day. But I would much rather struggle with these concepts then with my weight. I would rather struggle to find authentic worth in myself and in other people than make easy assumptions about my or other’s capabilities for love based on appearance.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Place

Yesterday I spent about 2 hours photocopying my boss's book manuscript and, since our photocopier has been on the fritz, I had to literally sit next to it to make sure it kept copying. So of course there was nothing to do but read the book. Granted I didn't get very far as I am a super slow reader but what I did read was memorable.

In his introduction he talked about how our technological culture has rendered the idea of "place" meaningless. Because we can talk to someone across the country, or even travel there in a few hours, because we are constantly plugged into the interwebz via our phones and various other devices we take no notice of "place." "Place" has no bearing and hence we exist listlessly, without grounding.

I'm sure you all know where I'm going with this.

Jamaica Plain is my place. My body cleaves to it. In an email to my dear Fabian I described missing Jamaica Plain like I miss a person. I cried when I left. I cry about it still. Because I feel separated from something beloved. And when I read Rob's intro it was as though I finally realized why. Jamaica plain is my place, it is where I feel plugged into the world, into my life, connected deeply to my self and my beloveds. I don't know why this is. But here are some small, seemingly superficial reasons.

I went to get my haircut at a salon that is full of totally normal people. And no lie it's a fancy salon but their clientele are real people. I have never felt out of place there. I remember running around when I first got my hair cut off yelling about how attractive I was and I felt safe doing that. At a fancy salon.

After my haircut I went over to Salmagundi, my favorite store. I was trying on two of the exact same headbands in different colors, one black and one blue. I was torn between the practicality of the black and how much I preferred the blue. The girl who helped me (who's name I can't remember but who is so, SO cool) encouraged me to get the blue one. I chatted with her for a while about Tree of Life and how much smarter my brother is than me. Then the owner,  Jessen, asked me to give another customer my opinion on her dress. She and I chatted about how we never wears belts. We giggled about her tiny frame and then I had to leave. She waved at me as I left.

I put the headband on immediately. It is a black band with a poofy royal blue flower on the side. People kept looking at me and smiling. I think often about my mom saying the reason dogs listen to Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) is because he is his authentic self. That's how I felt in my poofy flower headband. Like the dog whisperer. Or something.

While walking down the street a woman stopped me and said "I see you bought your headband!" I must've looked confused because she said, "I was in the store and wondered how someone would wear that and now I see!" She touched my arm in a familiar type way. "It looks great!" and then she kept walking.

I walked to the T at Green Street where I almost missed my train. The doors of the train were closed but the conductor opened them all so I could get through one, all the while smiling at me. I yelled thank you, and he winked at me.

I know this could happen anywhere. And maybe it could for someone else. But JP is my place. My Place. MY Place. It is an integral part of my own authentic self. And so maybe it couldn't. I've always found love to be magical. The way my heart contracts when I think about my people... It feels so earthy and real and good to love them. I guess I just never knew I could feel that way about a place.

But I do. And man, does it feel good to love that place. MAN does it feel good to love.

And that my friends is the whole reason I started this blog. So thanks to all you who read this and encourage me to write it. I know it has become progressively less funny and more Feelngs but I appreciate you all following along. And a BIG thanks to the people who help fill me with joy and silliness. And a not as big thanks to every dog I've ever pet and every chunky bearded man I've ever oogled and about whom I've had subsequent remarkably inappropriate daydreams.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is My Response to Learning that Jonah Hill has Lost a Ton of Weight

I'm sure by now you all are aware how much I love chunky bearded guys, but just in case this is the first of my blogs you are reading, I love chunky bearded guys. If I have a type, that's it. Not saying I can't be attracted to other types of men (because if you can make me laugh so hard I pee, you could be Ryan Gosling in that crazy stupid movie, Crazy, Stupid Love for all I care), but if you lined up Brad Pitt, George Clooney, James McAvoy, and Seth Rogen and asked me to pick which one I wanted to sleep with it would be Seth Rogen every time. I mean times a million. Now, if you lined up Seth Rogen, Zac Galifinakis, FAT Jonah Hill and Kevin Smith, THEN I would have a conundrum on my hands. Or an orgy.

Hopefully, an orgy. 

The end.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Righteous Anger

Well, I was going to write a post about Bon Iver and how amazing he was in concert and gush and gush about how much I want to sleep with Justin Vernon and how his music fills my whole body in the best way and then end with the quippy phrase "Iver Fever" that dear Mologna helped me come up with, but I am feeling kind of... well... angry.

I remember in Youth Group in high school we learned that God is angry but that his anger is righteous and that righteous anger is different than regular anger. And though I don't remember why it was different I like to think it's because righteous anger shines light on wrong-doing and spurs people towards action. Biblical God was angry because people were being assholes and he was like, "HEY! Stop being assholes!" and people couldn't stop being assholes so he had to smote their ass(hol)es. It's all right there, friends. In the Bible.

Well, this morning one of my two Moms posted this article on the facebook, and though I don't claim that my anger is righteous, it is certainly angry. And I hope everyone who reads this article is angry. Because the fact that this could happen in our country is RIDICULOUS.

You know what kills me? This quote: "I love this country, I live here, I pay taxes and I have no right to share my home with the person I married." I am not saying being gay is better, though all of you who know me know that I kind of think it is. But I am certainly not saying everyone has to BE gay. Clearly, as I am not. But last time I checked a person's sexual orientation WASN'T ANYONE ELSE'S BUSINESS. Last time I checked, if my two moms can marry, it doesn't infringe on my rights as an American IN ANY WAY AT ALL.

So. To quote God: "HEY! Stop being assholes."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Rainy Day Loves

I've been a bit under the weather the past couple days (as a side note I feel this phrase is no more potent than it is in New England, where more often than not, the weather feels like it is crushing me) but I still have experienced many things to love!!!

The first was a super rusty bike chained to a street sign. And on this super rusty bike was a beautiful, new Brooks saddle. At first, I thought, "WHY would someone put such a fancy saddle on such a crappy frame?" But then I thought about the story that rusty bike might have. Maybe that bike is special to the owner. Maybe it was his grandfather's, or the first adult-sized bike she ever got (for Christmas when she was 14). And though, in my mind, one would take care of such a bike in a way that would prevent it from rusting, maybe this rust was something out of their control. Maybe she left it outside of a house while she met the lady of her dreams. Maybe he forgot to bring it inside because he was so excited his Mom was visiting. And maybe he or she loved this rusty old bike enough to put a beautiful new seat on it. And maybe a thing being worn, or old, or damaged, doesn't make it unworthy of newness and beauty.

Another thing I love is the book Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It is an epistolary novel written from a 70-something-year-old father to his 7-year-old son. The father/narrator has a heart condition and knows his time on the earth is rapidly ending.


I have a habit of dog-earing the pages of books when they contain quotes I love. As of right now (page 50ish) almost every single page is dog-eared. There are quotes to love on EVERY. PAGE. Here is my favorite so far. I called my dear Nickers yesterday and cried while reading it to her.

"There's shimmer on a child's hair, in the sunlight. There are rainbow colors in it, tiny soft beams of just the same colors you can see in the dew sometimes. They're in the petals of flowers, and they're on a child's skin. Your hair is straight and dark, and your skin is very fair. I suppose you're not prettier than most children. You're just a nice-looking boy, a bit slight, well scrubbed and well mannered. All that is fine, but it's your existence I love you for, mainly. Existence seems to me now the most remarkable thing that could ever be imagined. I'm about to put on imperishability. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye.

The twinkling of an eye. That is the most wonderful expression. I've thought from time to time it was the best thing in life, that little incandescence you see in people when the charm of a thing strikes them, or the humor of it.

While you read this, I am imperishable, somehow more alive than I have ever been, in the strength of my youth with dear ones beside me. You read the dreams of an anxious, fuddled old man, and I live in a light better than any dream of mine--not waiting for you, though, because I want your dear perishable self to live long and to love this poor perishable world, which I somehow cannot imagine not missing bitterly... I have wondered about that for many years. Well, this old seed is about to drop into the ground. Then I'll know."

I've read it about 10 times in the past two days and it makes me cry. Every time.

And then there's Paul Simon. I joined Spotify.com and have pretty much been using it to listen to this and this alone:


I listen to this song first, always:


Followed by this one (which makes me tear up a bit too):


I've always liked Paul Simon's voice. There is something so gentle about it, almost delicate. Even as a young man his sad songs sounded like an old man singing them. I really like this new album. It's no Graceland (is anything, really?) but it is wonderful all the same.

Lastly, this morning I saw a chunky bearded man riding his bicycle near Harvard Yard. He was wearing a lovely sea-foam-green button down shirt and a pair of worn khaki pants. I had to stop myself from pulling a Melanie.

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