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Archive for the ‘Fatblogging’

Happy Monday

January 18, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Blogging Dinner, Body, Cooking, Faith, Family, Fatblogging, Food, Happiness, Health, Humane Food, Living, Love, Molly, Valet Battleship Parking

This morning it’s hard to tell why I feel so good. Was it the reasonable and delicious “all food groups represented” dinner; the fact that we went to bed fairly early; the sex; the exceptional comfort and relief that comes from the feeling of our skins together in sleep; homemade French toast for breakfast? Or is it the combination of all of these things as well as the talking honestly in the middle of the night when she got scared that’s making such a difference?

holding hands

I used to be able to tell so much about my emotional state from the reactions of my body. Time was if I was bloated or constipated I was likely overwhelmed and needing some time to relax and center so I could eat properly again. That would also have been a sign of unaddressed depression or fear because when I get ahead of myself I tend to reach for any old meal instead of what I know is good for me. The phrase “we are what we eat” is sooooo true for me, but now that in concert with the settling of this honest, raw and beautiful new thing results in a greater ease than I’ve ever felt before, and so I feel somewhat compelled to identify it’s details lest I lose the ability to repeat it. That said, I also appreciate the mystery of “letting it happen,” so don’t you all flip out that I’m being overly analytical. 😉

The simple fact that she and I can be confident about living our own lives without the classic dyke drama of needing to micromanage each other brings a relief I can’t describe. But sometimes I think it’s her big, brown eyes that make me so happy. Her eyes can’t hide anything and so when I look at them I know exactly where I stand and that’s new and wonderful for me. It’s been this way with her since the beginning: me learning all the ways in which my last relationship was deficient, the ways I was hurtfully neglected. This new squeeze is so open and attentive and loving and respectful that she is showing me to myself–HOW BITCHIN’ IS THAT????? I get to see the very good and very bad of me and, moreover, have a chance to correct the bad before it gets worse.

When it comes to just about any kind of relationship, it’s amazing the kind of shit we’ll let happen to us, the red flags we’ll ignore. If we’re lucky we get out of those situations before too much damage has been done, and if we’re really, really lucky we’ll have friends and family around to help us rebuild and tell us the truth so we don’t ignore any warnings the next time around. And if we’re really, really, really lucky we are sent someone like my new squeeze who shows us that our instincts are intact and that we deserve all the love we’ve been wanting for so long… :)

Happy Monday, everyone. :)

This Is Not As Superficial As It Sounds

November 06, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, General, Happiness, Health, Living

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My hero is Tim Gunn. Yes, THAT Tim Gunn. Of “Project Runway,” of “Tim Gunn’s Guide To Style.” Here’s the thing…. My mother used to cut my hair. Probably so did yours at one point. No worries, but that didn’t change for years and when it did nd I finally went to a salon, Mom was also the style consultant and things just got worse…

Anyway, after a long struggle of awareness friends finally taught me how to look for a stylist and things got a lot better. Sadly, fashion was also an issue, so no matter how good the haircut… anyway, you get the idea…

So, I go out to CA, Molly does a great job of helping me shop for things that fit, and things go well for 2-3 years. And now there’s now. 20 pounds of weight gain in CA (there’s no walking in L.A.) gave me a muffin top, I couldn’t fit into any of my new clothes anymore, so haircut or no, I looked like shit.

Cut to now. I’m back in Boston, walking, running, the weight has come off, I fit into everything, and now it’s time for a new haircut. To gear myself up about looking good again I watch “Tim Gunn’s Guide TO Style.” No sooner has the first Black president been announced thanI turn inward and start obsessing about my “look.” The thing is, I don’t have a look. I don’t have a style. YET! That’s where we come to today — I am officially hot on the trail of “cool filmmaker” clothes and style! I made an appt. with an expensive, sought-after hairstylist, and will be cleaning out my closet shortly!

It’s all because of Tim. I feel I can do it now, he’s given me the confidence. I’ll be auditioning for “Ignorable Lives of the Idle and Stupid” any time now… 😉

A Truck Full Of Memories. Literally.

August 12, 2008 By: admin Category: Body, Faith, Family, Fatblogging, General, Happiness, Health, House, Mom

The Russian boys from Barnes arrived yesterday around 4pm. Inside the truck headed from me to VT, Maine, and then NY, was my childhood–items full of time.

The butcher block table was our kitchen table in New Haven. I remember sitting down to dinner regularly right after the news–6:30, sharp! And then, in later years, not having to worry about waiting cuz Mom and Dad bought a new, small TV which they put on top of the fridge or something just as tall, and we all watched the news together at the beginning of dinner. We didn’t leave the TV on, if memory serves, and so after the news came some discussion. I don’t remember the table ever being quiet, and I don’t ever remember there being any stress. Mom cooked fabulous meals, Dad came home from the hospital or lab and told us some stuff about that (I heard about some of the first cases of HIV at that table…), we watched the news, we sat down together and ate.

I remember asking if I could be excused before I left the table but I remember that ritual not having been a big deal. I remember it just sort of being there, like we were all trying to adhere to the rules of what Normal Americans did, thinking in the backs of our minds that it was a cute, but slightly silly practice. We didn’t need any permission to leave the table, Michael and I, because unless we had lots of homework or something else productive to do, we never wanted to leave the table. That table was the center of our lives. It was great!

And now it’s in this house I just bought that I am clearly trying my very best to make into… something I can relate to. But no matter how many of Mom’s and Dad’s things I fill this beautiful place with, they won’t fill the hole in my heart. It’s not about Mom anymore. There are other sadnesses. Ones that, if you can believe it, feel more final–feel like bigger changes.

I almost ran away once. I was young. 10, 12, something like that. I’d packed this little suitcase years ago, when I was even younger, and had kept it in the back of my closet in our house in New Haven. It was melodrama, but real enough that one night I tried, and actually got pretty far. Too far. You see, I was raised with enough of a head on my shoulders that even though I was hurting I could recognize when I was in the presence of real danger. And being on Whitney Avenue alone in the middle of the night – a kid – with a tiny light blue suitcase means you have just walked into the middle of real danger.

I can’t remember what the angst was all about… abandonment… something like Mom and Dad loving Michael more. It wasn’t an argument my heart was in, though. He WAS “better” — whatever that means. He was luminescent. A more beautiful person had just never been put on this earth and who was I to think I could compete.

I still feel that in a lot of ways, but I don’t idolize him the way I used to. I just love him and respect him, and one of the greatest joys in my life is to see him with Laura. I am so happy he’s happy. I wanted that, but it might not be in the cards. Molly and I will, I think, be “taking a break.” At some point in the next few days we’re supposed to talk about what that is, exactly. I’m blogging about it because, like I did when Mom died, I need to express myself. I need to talk this thing out with myself so I don’t go crazy from it eating me alive.

Su gave me some AMAZING advice last night. She said a lot of great stuff but at one point said: “Aren’t you a filmmaker?” And then I remembered that in the last couple of days I’ve rekindled my love for the writing of Amy Hempel. I’ve been think a lot about filming fiction shorts and this is definitely the time to do it. “You need to put all that love energy into something,” Su said. She knows me. After so little time she sees so clearly. This is an email I wrote to her this morning in response to the “hang in there” email she wrote after we’d gotten off the phone last night (the sign of a true friend — someone who keeps talking to you even when you’re not there… :).

“Beautiful Su,

Your words still ring in my ears this morning. I woke up, sadly, crying, but am sitting now on my new couch ready to take the first steps. That’s GOT to be a good sign.

Daniel said some good things too, especially about exercise. My friend Caren who is coming to live with me has been exercising so I hope to come up with some kind of fun routine with her. She’s also a writer — thank god — so I expect us to write a few scripts and then film a few projects. I will include you and Daniel in any way you want to be included. Maybe you can do the design work? I mean the thinking about the designs. I’ll do the implementation, but I suck at design and I have a feeling you rock. :) Also, maybe costumes? Anyway, you see how I can get ahead of myself in grief?

There’s this image I have of Molly… We were in the hospital as my mother was dying. We had just had a family meeting or something equally dramatic and I noticed Molly wasn’t in the room. I poked my head out into the hallway and didn’t see her. I went down the hall to the waiting room where she usually was and she wasn’t there. So, finally, I knew there was only one other place to look — in a tiny hallway off the main hallway where the nurses kept a small fridge full of things terminal patients can consume: milk, ice.

I rounded the corner and there she was, bawling her eyes out. Her face was stained red and her skin was sore with tears. She tried to turn away from me but I wouldn’t allow it. I gathered her up into my arms and held her. You’ve just never lived until you’ve held Molly in your arms.

I don’t know about the future. The last time this kind of pain happened to me I almost didn’t make it, and I vowed I would never be brought down by it’s like again. And so I shan’t. And I do have you to thank. I can see the future I can make — all these projects: “Aren’t you a documentary filmmaker?” ;). I don’t know how I’ll ever not feel this way, especially as there will be stages to it (hearing she’s with someone else, hearing she’s doing so well without me, etc…), but at least I know how to try, how to begin.”

“As the smoke fades from view… I want to not… I want to not feel her…” My only legacy from four years of trying my best to love is a sad, sad line in a sad, sad song.

2000 Miles (Christmas Time) – The Pretenders

The End of A Short-Assed Era OR Please Don’t Call Me A Vegetarian

July 21, 2008 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Body, Fatblogging, Food, Humane Food

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So… it happened. I broke down for bacon. But here’s the thing… I didn’t need it, I just wanted it. It wasn’t a craving thing as much it was a “oh holy god I haven’t eaten bacon for months” thing. Also, bacon isn’t like other meats. it’s BACON. It has special powers. And so I’ll eat it as much as I can while I’m dancing through this landscape called “pescatarian.”

Seriously, though, this whole “fish only” thing isn’t by choice. It’s just happening. I LOVE beef. I LOVE chicken. I LOVE pork… and, ohmygod, LAMB???? I live for lamb; except for recently I can’t help thinking about living lambs. Itty-bitty baby sheep being slaughtered for my enjoyment. I get the whole “survival of the fittest” thing, I really do — I’m the fuckin’ poster child for survival of the fittest! — but lambs are SO CUTE! So, consequently, those have been off my plate as well.

Let me reiterate…. let me, as Aaron Sorkin would say, “spread it out for you in a nutshell”: I. AM. NOT. A VEGETARIAN. And, unlike a bisexual, am not confused about my gastric identity, for I am also not a pescatarian. I identify as a bloodthirsty, grease-loving, CARNIVORE and am completely at peace with that!!!! Except, notsomuch when it comes to the teeny-tiny lambies…

Just Salt Your Arm And Pass It Over To me

July 11, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Health, Humane Food, sustainability

Grass Fed Beef burger from Alexia Prichard on Vimeo.
(This is my friend Diedre eating a grass-fed beef burger. I could kill her right now.)

Vegetarianism could turn me into a cannibal. Like THAT *snaps fingers.*

After only one day and one morning of not eating meat-meat (I don’t consider fish meat-meat, I consider it fish), I’m craving burgers. Bloody ones. Lots of them. Gooey, juicy, half-cooked, jumbo, buffalo, grass-fed, I don’t give a shit. Just smash it on the head and drag it over here.

This is why I could never be an activist. I don’t really give enough of a flying fuck about anything to change the way I live to improve the lots of others. So, there. I’m a capitalist pig. YOU CAUGHT ME. Now, for the love of god, would you PLEASE hand over that stick of pepperoni!

I’ve Just Been Mizrahi-d

May 01, 2008 By: admin Category: Blogging Dinner, Body, Cooking, Family, Fatblogging, Food, General, Health, Randomosity

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If you’ve never seen it, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi’s website is a MUST VISIT. This is a link to his videoblog which I think is absolute genius. I’ve always said that you can’t have a video blog if you are a) forced to hold things back and/or, b) you’re not famous. But even though he’s famous, Mizrahi has a way of being Everygay–his vlog feels like how I would do a vlog if I ever got the guts. I’d just talk about all the things I hate about myself in a funny manner so everyone could empathize and we could all feel better together.

Universality, baby. It’s what it’s all about…

Blogging dinner: Molly’s dad, John made the famous family stew/roast. DELICIOUS. I’m never disappointed by anything this man cooks, but the stew is a real wow-er. The meat melts away and the potatoes and carrots swim lovingly in a broth made of wine and beer and whatever-the-hell-else he cares to throw in there. He just has the touch, this man.  Anyway, I managed to avoid wine and an extra helping and was rewarded with a compliment from our guests: “You’re looking skinny.” I’m not, but it’s still fun to hear it. 😉

Squatting At The New House

April 18, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Food, Futurism, Happiness, Health, Propeller, sustainability, Video

So, we’re almost completely moved in to Molly’s Dad’s house, where we’ll be for the next three months. Looking around my new digs I see that it’s official that I have the best life in the whole world. This is my daily view:

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It’s okay to hate me. :) Seriously, I live in paradise, and I just spent the morning talking to a game designer as part of my job. Additionally, coming up soon, I’m going to be able to produce four really, really, really exciting videos about some of the next steps in environmentalism. Does it get any better than this?

And We’re Back…

March 30, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Food, Health, House, Propeller, sustainability, SXSW, Video

So, I’ve been away… :) Thinking, looking at houses, enjoying the company of my incredible brother and sister-in-law, and missing Molly. NOTE TO SELF: never go looking at houses again without Molly. The trip East went very well. It wasn’t as humbling as, you know, India, but it did it’s part to show me that some steps do, in fact, need to be taken slowly.

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By the way, I am absolutely aware of how phallic or rude this photo looks…

I’ve never been good at “slowly.” It always felt like I was just standing on the platform waiting for the train to pass me rather than trying to get on it. I get that from Dad. Looking at his life you can clearly see the action. He finished college in three years, spent some study time in London, took his mother and brother on an insane driving trip through Russia… The same is true for my uncle, my father’s brother. Not a “sitter,” Uncle Vince climbed all of the highest peaks in Colorado before he was, like, 30, or something. He slept in a nylon cot swinging from carabiners attached to the side of a mountain 14,000 feet in the air. He built additions to his house, took pictures underwater while diving at depth, taught himself how to be an email sys-admin geek, and found and married one of the last people on the whole Earth, my aunt. :) Actually, that’s a good next place to go…

My family has chosen partners incredibly well. We seem to officially have the gift. That or there really are a whole shitload of most-excellent people in the world and if you’re not finding them it’s because you still have that gnarly 2×4 stuck harshly up your ass. Finding beautiful people means finding the beauty within yourself. It’s that simple. This trip East helped me to realize, yet again, how influential and beneficial Molly is in my life. Looking at all those houses I kept blinking and refocusing, trying to see what she might see, knowing that whatever-it-was, I wasn’t seeing it and that that could, ultimately, mean disaster if I’d made a decision without her.

So, okay. Lesson learned. Now what? Now, we learn After Effects and C-R-A-N-K on work. I learned so much great shit in Austin and am eager to get rolling implementing it all. In June we drive East, racing. Molly has a job that starts the day we arrive, and I have to continue my prep for the various projects I’m doing. I’ll miss Los Angeles, but it’s time to go. It’s time to stop being afraid of my potential and get on the goddamned train. Wish me Bon Voyage, y’all!

FAT-BLOGGING:
Weight is steadily decreasing as I’ve stopped drinking. Again. Seriously, you can’t imagine how much tub just falls away when you put the glass down… As a result of my last video in the “FOOD” segment of the Sustainability Series, I am eating more fruits & veggies and, as Michael Pollan puts it, eating meat more “as a side dish.” It’s painful and I wanna die. 😉

The Precipice

March 03, 2008 By: admin Category: Fatblogging, Food, Health, India, sustainability, Video

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I finally have a moment to breathe after the whirlwind of the last few days. We found out on Thursday that we have to move out of our house by April 1st. No biggie, except that I’m in the middle of three edits and have a week-long work trip right smack in the middle of when I’m supposed to be packing.

Molly has been amazing — running around the house getting things ready to sell. Since we can’t afford to bring much with us, and don’t have that much that we need beyond our equipment, we’re ruthlessly culling our shit. For me it’ll be clothes and books. Maybe some CDs. But that’s really it. I’m sort of proud to say I didn’t have much. I didn’t come here with much and I’ll be leaving with less. There’s a lot I can live without now that I’ve been to India twice. The word “essential” is my guide, especially when I’m considering buying a house.

Myuh-huh. SCARY. I know, but girlfriend has GOT to get off the fucking rental wagon someday, and age 40 sounds like a good time to me. I’ve decided that it would be genius if my closing were on my 41st birthday. How karmic would that be??? It’d be kind of the perfect analogy for the New Me–someone far from her mother’s fear; someone standing finally, elegantly, on her own. Now I just have to get my fat ass in shape. Who comes to Southern California and gains weight????

Anyway… I finally finished the first edit for the “FOOD” section of my Sustainability Series, not that anyone gives a shit except me. And I really, really do give a shit. I’m learning so much, and really enjoying at least trying to give something to the users. Tomorrow and the rest of the week I’ll scramble-amid-packing-and-weeding to finish the second video before we go off to SXSW on Friday. Lots of cool stuff will happen there too, I just wish this all wasn’t piling up at the same time. Still, I always boast about my time-management skills, let’s see how I do… 😉

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At some point in the last few years I lost my sense of sentimentality. I can’t remember when it happened, but I do remember feeling proprietary about some things once, and now I just don’t. Except for my cameras and computers, and a few pieces of clothing, there’s little I feel sentimental about. That’s different from not being able to live without something–I may not feel sentimental about something, but that doesn’t mean I consider it something I can live without.

During my junior year abroad in Europe I took a train trip through Italy. I had with me a few possessions I cared a great deal about: my journal, my walkman and tapes, and my wallet which had my most prized possession of all, a photo of my mother when she was very young. As I slept, I was robbed, and all those things were taken. To this day I still feel sorest about that picture.

Since that day I haven’t ever carried around a picture that meant anything to me, but tonight I found one. I can’t describe it completely, but it’s a picture of Molly that captures her just absolutely as she is: playful, energetic, brave, challenging, quirky, strong, complex, beautiful, innocent, hopeful and sexy. I feel so close to this picture, like it’s always been a part of me, but I still can’t carry it around. At some point I learned that you can’t really protect the things you love unless you sacrifice yourself. Humans can only protect one being at a time and that usually ends up being ourselves. So to stretch out onto that limb and hope that it’ll hold you both is… risky. Only parents, I think–and good parents at that–have the ability to venture toward the limb without hesitating. Not me. All I know how to do is survive. It’s sad.

Open Eye Slowly, Peek Out…

December 04, 2007 By: admin Category: Body, Faith, Fatblogging, Food, Health, India, Living

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I woke up at 7:00am for a phone call with Nandini. I was so out of it I barely made sense. It’s a VERY good thing we’re so buttoned up with respect to the film and the trip–thanks to Alison & Urmi!!!–cuz we didn’t have much to go over.

After the call I went right back to bed and slept until 10:45am. I needed it. I’ve been WRECKED. But I’m thrilled to say that the meditation and organic foods, and no dairy–thanks Caren!–are all working. I’m thinner and healthy of body and mind. It’s amazing what little you truly need to do to stay fit. Meditation, the way I do it anyway, is so key. As a self-healer I concentrate first on clearing my head/face of all tension, which is a BITCH. I can feel my eye muscles tense every time I take a breath. It’s FUCKED, but I’m getting better and better at dealing with it.

Next I go very slowly through my body, visualizing all the places that are “dented.” I call any aches and pains “dents,” like a car would have, and I visualize them slowly pushing back out to their normal position. Then I stretch, and meditate some more–on nothing. I try to focus on my breath and try to not have ANY images come into my mind at all. This is the hardest, but it’s gotten much, much easier since I do all the other stuff first.

BOOK I’M READING: “Eat, Pray, Love.” My aunt Irene gave me this and I LOVE IT. Sadly, it continues to confirm my loathing for fiction, but maybe someday I’ll get back to that. It’s rough because most of my fave fiction writers are dead: Potok, Dickens, Fitzgerald. (Not much of a feminist, am I…????) Anyway, this book is INCREDIBLE. It’s a travelogue of sorts, through three distinct countries/cultures, but–really–three distinct feelings in one woman. The author. RUN out and get it. I think once I’m finished with it, I’m going to start it all over again. It’s a book some phrases from which you want to commit to memory.