random walks!

June 2002

Since wanted to be a writer, tried hard to find her own voice. Couldn't. But still loved to write. Loved to play with language. Language was material like clay or paint. Loved to play with verbal material, build up slums and mansions, demolish banks and half-rotten buildings, even buildings which she herself had constructed, into never-before-seen, even unseeable jewels. -Kathy Acker  (via Wood s Lot )

 

June 1 2002      9:52 AM

 

The weird thing about rabbit rabbit, when you live alone, is that I don't really talk out loud ... well... not much. So, I stumbled from the bed, to the bathroom, to the computer, to the kitchen, back to the computer and then I said rabbit rabbit. But, I had been thinking a lot, and I always worry that I did say something out loud. Like I was remembering my dream, in which there was lots of kooky imagery about wheelchairs that had "cranes". So, when the people in them fell into a pool the crane kicked in and they rose up and rode across the surface. And there was a kid who was ... uh ... I don't know ... being adopted...er something...by a friend. And I was talking to him. he looked like the picture on the cover of Fugitive Pieces, Which I had been reading before I went to sleep.  And more, all convoluted and featuring a cast of characters from my life and television. So, I know I was sitting on the side of my bed thinking about this and I may have muttered...sheesh, or weird, or something that wasn't rabbit, rabbit. But I'm not sure. Sigh.

 

I think Internet tests are odd. I rarely find an answer to my question that actually expresses what I think. And doncha know all this preamble is because I did an Internet test. The Belief O Matic. It turns out I'm a Neo-Pagan! Who knew?! Kristina will be so proud! I saw that Jonathon Delacour had done it and I was tempted.

 

Neo-Pagan (100%)

Unitarian Universalism (97%)

Liberal Quakers (86%)

Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (81%)

New Age (80%)

Taoism (73%)

New Thought (69%)

Secular Humanism (68%)

Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (66%)

Mahayana Buddhism (65%)

Scientology (62%)

Reform Judaism (61%)

Bahá'í Faith (60%)

Theravada Buddhism (58%)

Orthodox Quaker (46%)

Nontheist (43%)

Church of Jesus of Latter-Day Saints(Mormons) (42%)

Sikhism (39%)

Hinduism (37%)

Jainism (32%)

Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (29%)

Orthodox Judaism (24%)

Seventh Day Adventist (18%)

Eastern Orthodox (13%)

Islam (13%)

Roman Catholic (13%)

Jehovah's Witness (13%)

They all make sense to me. And Rebecca will love that Jehovah's Witness showed up at all. My mom would wonder why Methodist didn't show up.

I wanted to watch Now last night because I'd heard a bit of it on NPR. They were talking about a movement to build a wall in the West Bank. They did a section that featured Israelis and another featuring Palestinians. It was pretty good. At first it seemed like it was very pro Israeli, but in the second half it clearly showed how racialized the Palestinians are. I don't think a partition is an ultimate solution, but it is tempting. I do think there needs to be two states  But I don't understand enough about the resources there. And there does need to be leadership. Visionary leadership. Truth and reconciliation.

 

June 2 2002     9:14 AM

 

We practiced for today. It's gonna be sweet. Suzanne has such a beautiful attitude about music. She's not a diva. She's just in the music. And the guys are kind and generous. I'm just having so much fun.

 

It has snapped me into a ton of reminiscing and life assessment. Of course... it doesn't take much to get me there. I am SUCH a diva. Picture me, hand against forehead, moaning, "What happened to my beautiful rock-n-roll career?" Oh yeah. It's all about me.

 

But when I'm there singing my line, it just feels so good. And Suzanne is so good at just being with everyone and getting through the song and being happy.

 

After rehearsal Carrie took Suzanne and I out for Thai food. Thank you Carrie!

 

I spent some more frustrating time trying to make perma links. No luck. But I did do a June page. Let me know if the colors bug anyone. I have the thought that the way I store my archives is part of my permalink problem. For now I'm going to keep putting a few days on Before and then moving them to the page of the month. Is everybody happy?

 

I was reading bobbi this morning, as I do every day. She was musing about why she does her journal. I go there for the art. Often she posts the most amazing photos and compositions. Just looking at them makes me feel better about life. Because there is so much beauty in the world. I have one of her photos as my desk top.

 

But I also go there because she is so heart wide open on her page. She just puts her life out there. All the fussy parts, and all the beauty.

 

It sent me into a reverie about the whole why do we do this question. (See, it's all about me.) And, as always, I came up with a variety of answers to that question. There is this continuing conversation about web community. And I do read around in my little blog cluster. But, there's more than one cluster, overlapping circles in this big pond. Into which I hurl my message in a bottle.

 

But now...I must go swimming.

 

June 3 2002          8:18 AM

 

Suzanne was beautiful. The band was beautiful. The music was beautiful. Really. My heart was ripped open. There was a lovely audience, full of her friends. There were kids. Her son ran up and filled her cup with tea. So sweet. Her daughter was there. Her ex was one of the musicians. Carrie was there, carrying equipment and sweeping and setting up the lights. I sang my backup. So much fun.

 

Marilyn and I had been swimming in the morning. She was there making sure I had a ride and someone to ground me. Thank you Marilyn.

 

When I was a kid, I dressed up and sang for the adults. I put on my mothers robe and sang Happy Talk, from South Pacific, my hand pushed through the big sleeves, making talking gestures.  

 

Happy talk keep talking happy talk

talk about things you like to do

you got to have a dream

if you don't have a dream

how you gonna

have a dream come true?

 

As a preteen, I spent hours singing along with records, piled on my turquoise record player. On into the teens. I used singing to comfort myself. I spent hours pretending I was Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt. Choir, madrigals, the school musicals, music saved me.

 

And, for a few years in Boulder, I was lucky enough to have my band, Fatshadow.

 

I almost never sing anymore. I'm not sure why. It feels like unrequited love.

 

But that's coz I'm a drama queen. A diva. Hand to forehead. What ever happened?

 

Yesterday, it just felt like being home.

 

I came home and had some lovely comments. Some more musing on why we do this blog/journal thing. Mike thinks maybe it's unanswerable. Shirl thinks it's about connecting. I know it made me happy to see comments, so maybe Shirl has a point. But, I must admit...I agree with Mike that no answer "rings like crystal."

 

I'm just a grrrl in her mother's bathrobe. A diva. Singing for my supper. See me? See me? See me?

 

you got to have a dream

if you don't have a dream

how you gonna

have a dream come true?

June 4 2002     9:34 AM 

What was I doing before I got distracted with enjoying my life? Oh yeah. I need a job.

 

Hmmmm.

 

And the big summer writing project begins tomorrow. What am I writing about?

 

Spent yesterday with Marilyn. Doin chores. We took my vacuum cleaner to an repair shop. A very nice man is doing healing repair things on my poor little vacuum.

 

I was still basking in the glow of loving being with music n stuff.

 

You know, I just don't want the government telling any one that they must be married.

 

In the name of "healthy marriages," President Bush and House Republicans are proposing to divert a minimum of $1.8 billion in welfare funds towards programs that promote marriage and give states economic incentives to spend even more TANF money on marriage promotion to the non-poor population.

 

Good gawd.

 

Wonder Chicken pointed to this indictment of SF politics. Very cool. The animation of the day is also pretty great. But, if your computer is slow or tweaks when it gets any fancy script, you might not be able to see it.

 

Arundhati Roy is on Democracy Now. She's written about the nuclear shadow.

 

I gotta say, the Brunching Shuttlecocks crack me up. (I have all of those magnets.) ( It's crazy)

 

So, I'm just playing here. The minute I stop writing here, I must launch into the big summer writing project. Oh dear.

June 5 2002         9:32 AM

 

Did I mention Suzanne's singing? Amazing, beautiful, sweet, rich, singing? Did I mention any of that? So good.

 

Yeah. Maybe if I had started working on the big summer writing project earlier in the day, I wouldn't have crashed. But I decided to update my YAAKS (the comments) code. It seemed inevitable. I had to fix all the pages and it took a while. And it still isn't exactly doing what I think it's suppose to do.

 

Meanwhile, other things happened. Can't talk about em. Too stupid. ( It was about boys.)

 

And

b

 o

  o

   m.

I went down.

 

Renee came over, and then Rick. We went out for Mo's burgers. I was happy while I was with them. But then I was home.

 

Alone.

 

B

 o

  o

   m.

 

My heart.

 

I was laying in bed, reciting the list of all the men who have not wanted me and suddenly I just said STOP IT. Today I have a kind of a hang over. Like I beat myself internally and I'm black and blue.

 

The Southern Poverty Law Center has added Weight Discrimination to its tolerance campaign. It's pretty great and includes an on line bias test. But it also sends people to The American Obesity Association rather than a Health at any size site. And they use the appellation over weight. Perhaps they need to take their own test.

Oh. I'm in a mood.

 

It's ill-becoming for an old broad to sing about how bad she wants it. But occasionally we do. - Lena Horne

 

June 6 2002   8:36 AM

 

Here's the thing. June can be weird for me. My birthday is on the twentieth and I get very fussy and stupid about my birthday. Really. It's too stupid.

 

I just go through lists of everything I haven't done, or things that I don't think worked out, and I indulge in quite a bit of it's-too-late thinking. And I think about all my unrequited loves.

 

AND I'M JUST NOT GOING TO DO IT THIS YEAR.

 

Well, I'm going to try.

 

Jeneane has this great attitude about her birthday. And I just need to get over myself. Then I found this fun birthday reminder site. And had fun sending e-mails to my friends. I'm trying to just be...open. Birthdays are good. Everyone should have a day when they eat cake. Or what ever they want to do.

 

Once I'd pulled my head out of my ass I started playing with the site. Figured out the YACCS problem and fixed it. The bad news is that I may have to redo all the pages.

 

Did you know that we are one of the very few countries that haven't signed the The Women's Human Rights Treaty ? Can I be more frustrated with the president select? Well. Yes. As it turns out, I can. But, don't tell him I said that. You can get in trouble if you don't like him.

 

The Balloon Hat Photo of the Week is very cool. It was taken in the Thar Desert during in 1998. The Thar desert is where India tested and developed its first nuclear weapon. There is a legend.

 

Shri Ram drew an arrow in his bow, targeting Lanka, the island capital where his wife was held captive by the demon king, Ravana. However, such were its destructive powers that the gods pleaded with the Lord to desist from his intended purpose. But the arrow once drawn could not be pulled back and thus Rama pointed the arrow to a far-flung sea. The heat generated by the arrow dried the sea and in its place arose a dry, arid and hot desert.

 

Arundahti Roy has written a piece in the Nation.

 

This is an interesting comment box. Just write in it. Write anything.

 

Pattie and Carl are on the radio today. And today she's talking about fat! AND...I'll be on the show! Reading Rage. It's on CFUV. You can listen to it on Real Audio. It should be BIG fun.

 

Elaine put this on Blogsisters. Why stick people are extinct. See. It's better to be fat.

 

June 7 2002   9:58 AM

 

Jennifer was all over the place. First on The View. And it was good. She was great. She's so sweet and centered. And cute! But it was TV. Fast, clip. Then Pattie interviewed her on First Person Plural. A much warmer and more real interaction.

 

And the whole First Person Plural show was great. Smart and informed.

 

I got e-mails this morning, from my meat space friends,  with links to other on line journals. Heh. Pretty fun. Marilyn has a friend, who has a friend, who does a journal and wrote a lovely bit about being fat. Kristina (who, it appears, is posting more often in her own journal) turned me on to two new journals and Mary Carmen stopped by my site and left a lovely comment. I love this stuff!!! Ever wider circles.

 

And some of my cyber space friends are doing new things. Paul started a new blog. bobbi had a slew of new art links on her page. People are branching, seeking, expanding.

 

I'm not doing a great job at avoiding my pre-birthday blues. Yesterday I got into a bit of a funk. Ah, yes...being a Gemini is so much fun. So, I got some movies in an attempt to distract myself. I watched Ali. It's a beautiful movie. Really. I didn't think I'd watch the boxing scenes, but they were compelling. It's a political movie.

 

I'd spent the morning listening to the Judicial hearing on the FBI on KPFA. Boxing seemed like ballet.

 

The Mirror Project is a year old.

 

 

 

June 8 2002    10:15 AM

 

Last night I saw Last Chance For Eden. Amazing.

 

I called Kara and Kobi to see if they wanted to go. Kobi was working, so Kara and I went. I was happy to see her, and in a pretty good mood. (I'm really working on it!!!) Kara dropped me off at the door and went to go park. As I got out of the car I saw a five dollar bill on the ground. Woo hoo! Just as I got to the ticket counter a woman turned and offered to sell me one for 10.00. (They were 15.00) Hey, my good mood was getting better and better.

 

Then we walked in to the theater. I'm hyper about getting to places early. I joke that it's coz I was born a month early. But the truth is, I never know if I'm going to fit into the seats. We were at the Palace of Fine Arts theater. There are arms on the chairs. They're wide, but the arms are low and so I barely fit. I knew that I'd spend the evening shifting around, trying to be comfortable. It's a fat thing. you spend an evening in a chair. The arms are digging into your skin. You leave with black and blue marks on your hips. But you never complain. Fortified by Kara, I decided to ask for a chair.

 

There were two chairs off to the side. There was a space at the end of a row  in which I could put the chair. I wouldn't be blocking any aisle. I approached a woman usher and asked if I could borrow one. She'd been watching my struggle to get in, and out of the theater seat. She was tight and clip. The word no was out of her mouth before I got to the end of my question. I said, "Well, ya know, in the city of San Francisco, you are required to provide me with a seat."

 

She went off to find an answer, came back, still terse, announced they could put me where they put the wheel chairs. She moved one of the chairs to the front. As she put it down, she  noted that it was wobbly and admonished me to be careful.

 

Uh huh.

 

So, there I am. Fighting back tears and anger. Gingerly sitting on a wobbly chair. About to watch a movie about diversity.

 

There was some music from a band, Mahal. Nice music. I could barely listen, because I was busy processing. I don't want to ruin the evening for Kara, but I want to leave. Suddenly, I'm hurt and angry and tired.

 

The movie is the real real. A group of folks talking about racism and sexism in an encounter group type setting. I was struck by the fact that we saw almost everyone in the group cry, or at least well up. May be this doesn't seem unusual in an encounter, or therapy, group, but these folks were talking about racism and sexism and the pain of living with them, the damage to us, individually and as a group. This stuff hurts.

 

One thing that stands out for me is the way in which white people don't want to be seen as racist. In other words, just because of the color of my skin, don't pre judge me. And it pisses the people of color off. People of color live every day of their lives in a culture that thinks something about them because of the color of their skin. Can't white folks deal with some pain?

 

So, when we connect as individuals, there is pain, and fear. We wonder about each other. Are you going to allow me my experience? Are you going to be in solidarity with me? Are you going to understand the ways in which you are complicit with the culture that oppresses me? Do you understand your privilege and how will you use that privilege? Will you be my ally?

 

I cried at several points. But I had already been crying. I had already been disrespected, discounted, disappeared because of an attribute of physicality. And, honestly, I just don't believe that I'm going to get the support I need to advance an understanding of my experience.

 

Kara and I left a bit early. We were hungry and hoping to hook up with Kobi. As we walked out, there was a table laden with food, waiting for the film to end and the party to begin. Kara went for it. I went to the bathroom. I was thinking, it must be nice to feel comfortable to walk up to a table of food, in a public place, and not feel as if you are going to be judged if you eat something.

 

So, the movie is powerful. I can't recommend it highly enough. And it's important work. And we need to talk about racism and sexism. And maybe, someday, fatism.

 

I think some people think if we address sexism and the media and women's bodies aren't objectified, that fatism will go away. I don't. I think a fat man asking for a chair might have gotten a more respectful response. I read about a famous NYC restaurant and the rapid response system they have when big, powerful, business men arrive. They get the chair to the table before anyone asks. It might be some what true that it's easier for fat men in the world. (Especially rich ones) But easier is not good enough. No one should dissed for an attribute of physicality.  

 

Kara and I went to Mezes and got some dinner. It was great be with her. I'm lucky to have friends who think and feel and engage in deep ways.

 

But, shit. It took so much fucking work...just to go out and see a film. A film about diversity.

 

June 9 2002   8:19 AM

Nananananananana

You say it's your birthday

Nananananananana

Happy Birthday to you!

 

Happy Birthday Blogsister fellow Gemini Jeneane! I wish you peace.

 

I was feeling so low yesterday. I watched The Phantom Menace. Big mistake. It just seemed so full of bad racially problematic imagery. I loved Star Wars. Loved it. I loved the idea of something larger (the force) that you are part of and in which you can trust. I read Joseph Campbell. I trusted. I sought out my own path of courage. But in this movie they test blood to determine Jedi ... ancestry ... I guess. So, I guess you have to have ... the right blood. I dunno. Maybe I was just in a mood.

 

I got on line in the afternoon and read some comments from my lovely friends. Thank you.

 

I went wandering in Blogland, stopped by AKMA and ... what a relief. He got me. Thank you. Balm to my depleted spirit. Thank you.

 

My commenting friends are two women I know in meat space and Pattie, who I met in cyber space, but I feel as if I've know her for years. This is the first time I've written to AKMA, although I read him daily. I guess I expect support from people I know. And I expect support from women. It was nice to have a man, who I don't know, hear me.

 

One of the issues for people who aren't living in a privileged body is visibility. And it is hard to hope for support. I often feel as if I'm begging people to take the fat stuff seriously.

 

AKMA is pondering identity from different views. The identity I put forth on line is pretty much who I am. But, not all of me. It's unlikely that anyone ever gets all of me, or that I get all of any one. But, on line it is possible to create a completely false identity. And even if you give much of yourself on line there are reasons to hold some things back.

 

I'm given to withdrawing into miserable little spaces in which I mistrust everyone. Old habits of hurt. Friday I was reaching out. Saturday I was wounded and withdrawn. But, I peeked out. When I stay open there is much for which to be thankful. People reach out to each other,across distances. Elaine and Andrea are weaving a shield for Mike.

 

And all over the web people are wishing Jeneane a Happy Birthday!

 

 

June 10 2002    9:32 AM

 

Sunday's now have a pattern. I do the blog crawl, write the page, go swimming, eat lunch, take a nap, read and watch TV. I try to work on writing but, generally, on Sunday's, I can't seem to concentrate. And now TV is repeats of the already dubious shows I watch.

 

But I still had one rented movie. Bread and Tulips. I made popcorn and watched it. Very sweet.

 

I start therapy tonight. Oh yeah. It's a Radical Psychiatry group. I've been wanting to be in a group with Beth for a few years. I'm pretty happy about it. And I'm a little scared.

 

I'm such a depressive. I mean really, if you aren't a little depressed, you aren't paying attention. And I have my tweaky personal history. I don't think it's entirely odd that I might be depressed now and again.

 

Sometimes it's pure grief, or rage. Seems right.

 

But I spiral. And I contract.

 

I'm really trying to break down the habits. My reflexive fear and loathing. I need to be able to do the writing that I'm trying to do. And I get stuck in the emotions. I get wiped out. Paralyzed.

 

It's unlikely that I'm going to ever be a bliss girl. I'm hoping being in a group will help me to understand how to be with others when I'm working through my shit. Rather than isolate.

 

So, tonight I try therapy. I've done therapy. It was good. And I love the political perspective of Beth's work. So....

 

It seems auspicious given the weird sunset we're going to have tonight.

 

 

 June 11 2002  9:17 AM

Therapy is gonna be interesting. Obviously I can't write about it here. It would be bad faith to talk about the group. Except, I think I can say that I was in a room with some amazing, brave, thinking, feeling people committed to telling the truth.

And Beth is great.

But don't worry Mike. I'm not even trying to get happy. I think it was Freud who said, "happiness is for pigs." I'm trying to keep myself honest and engaged. But it was a good thing to come home and have a comment from you, (an amazing, brave, thinking, feeling person.) I was trying to add my own gris gris energy to the handy work of the crone and her apprentice. And reading you to make sure it was going well. Good to hear you were up to some mojo of your own.

 

It's interesting to try and explain blogging to a new person. It sounds a bit like a cult. It's difficult to convey the passion, the affection between bloggers, the appeal of this public/privacy.

 

Jeneane writes about this beautifully. And although I was in a group of people in meat space - for the purpose of telling the truth, and it felt real and great, It felt real and great, when I came home and saw Mike's comment. I mean, some part of doing the page every day is about telling personal truth in a public space. It is another way I keep myself honest.

 

I also got a comment from Suzanne, (an amazing, brave, thinking, feeling person.) Someone who I know in meat space, but who reads me in cyber space. I have a few friends who I know read me regularly and I am soooo grateful to them.  And I do feel a bit hurt when I ask a friend ( in meat space) if they read me and they don't. I mean, according to my stats it takes about a minute and a half to read me. This page is really important to me. It's my baby writer steps. It does seem like the blogger crowd gets the importance of this for me. But, I'm never sure they read me!!! And I know my friends do!!!

 

Oh yeah. I need therapy.

 

Other wise, it was a fun day. I hung out with Marilyn. We did errands and then ate pasta. At 6 we sat on her neighbor's steps holding a piece of card board with little round holes in it, watching the fat shadow of the moon move across the sun.

 

Next.

 

Wednesday I meet with my big summer writing project mentor.

 

Here's a shout out to my friends in Colorado.

 

June 12 2002    9:09 AM

 I'm doing my happy dance.

 

I had a talk with Suzanne yesterday about my use of the term meat space. Then in the afternoon I had another talk with Kristina about it. It really demonstrates one of the many splits in my thinking.

 

I didn't come up with it. When I first read it (and I don't remember where that was ) I laughed. Part of me thinks of the body as something temporary. A container. Meat. I kinda think if you have no problem with the idea of chicken bodies as meat, you should have no problem with the idea of human bodies as meat. I like to think that the spirit is ... more than ... the body.

 

Because bodies are so fetishized in the culture, I sometimes feel dismissive of them.

 

And. Much of how I experience a person is about how they are in their body and how I feel in my body when they're near me. So, are they tense? Where do they hold that tension? Do they look me in the eyes? It isn't a good bad thing. It's more of me noticing if someone seems comfortable in their body.

 

I trust my body. If I feel tense, I pay attention.

 

In cyberspace it's about the words on the page, the topics and themes. And the images. And the links. So, I form affections based on language and color and expression with little knowledge of the body. I've been disoriented when I'm clicking around and I see a blogger, or radio template, that I usually see on folks I read regularly ... but it's not them. It's almost like the template becomes their body for me and someone else's words are on that body. Er, somethin.

 

But you can read tension and discomfort. Yesterday, as I was reading around, I watched one blogger, get their feelings hurt and react, and another respond. All this in the course of an hour or so, while I was eating my Cheerios. And I worried the whole event. My heart stretched toward these two ... strangers. They seem to have worked it out.

 

Meat space is probably a bit too rude. I am given to being sardonic. Sometimes.

 

And. I live in a culture where my body has no meaning, or negative meaning. I work for acceptance of and love of my body. When I meet new people I assume they'll think I have a "weight problem" and I make assumptions about that based on how they look at me, and, honestly, how they look. Some people are going to quickly assume that I'm not that cool.

 

But I am very cool.

 

And I know they'll know that, once they get to know me and once I've charmed them and wooed them and been so smart and funny and engaged. So, I rely on my brain and know  that my body won't be a factor in the relationship.

 

The obvious exception to this is if it's a man, and I'm attracted to him. That's when I go crazy.

 

The people I read in Blogaria may have opinions about my body, but I don't see it when they click away.

 

I write about fat politics and I have links to pages about health at any size and fat revolution, here. But I don't know how many people spend the time to educate themselves about fatness. Most folk believe what the media sells them.

 

I never have to look a fellow  blogger in the eye and see their rejection of my body. I never have to see- Tish is really cool but I wish she'd loose weight- in their eyes.

 

There is one person, who used to link to me and doesn't any more. And now they write what they eat on their web page. I'll never know, since they never wrote to me directly, but I wonder if they decided that I was this delusional fat chick who just needs to stop eating donuts and go jogging. So, they took off the link, stopped reading me and started dieting. I don't know that. But I do think that it might be true.

 

There have been a few folks, mostly at school, who have said things to me about reading the page, or knowing me and how that has changed the way they think about fatness.

 

My spirit, mind and body are one thing. I've spent too much of my life trying to be cool because my body wasn't. It may, in the end, be meat. But it's not the end.

 

June 13 2002   8:57 AM

Pattie and Carl show  today! Also, Pattie is in the Mirror Project! Carl tip-toed into Blogaria a while ago. I've been checking now and then to see if he posts. Well... he has posted!! Check him out.

 

I made the best soup! I had some carrots that were getting soft. I boiled them in chicken broth, added some tofu and a bit of miso, blended the whole mess. It was so good!

 

Marilyn was on Crossfire. (Scroll down to the bottom to read it.) Houston has hired a diet tzar. She went on to debate him. He couldn't pronounce obesity. And one point he just went off about weight not being genetic.

 

OHMYGAWD.

 

Marilyn did a great job. Watching CNN gives me a headache. Most ironic was that the CNN guy who was on the side of not putting a city on a diet was the guy from the right. I'm so frustrated about this!!! Of course his big concern is that he won't be able to buy a Snickers bar.

 

You can close every fast food restaurant in the world. In fact PLEASE do. I'll still be fat.

 

But the guy on the left (and this is CNN - so right and left are barely represented) kept attacking Marilyn with quotes about the negative impact of fat on health.

 

Let me give you the rest of the list, Marilyn. In fact, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallstones, gout, arthritis, sleep disorders, and bladder control problems. You think people would want to lose weight just for the last one. But come on, you cannot pretend that obesity does not lead to morbidity and ultimately mortality, right?

 

I read an interesting post on the show me the data list by Leah Strok, a nurse practitioner in NYC. She did a thesis on the experience of fat folks in health care and the benefit of a size positive health care environment. She writes:

 

I went to a conference on hypertension the other day and there was this "good old boy" doctor who went on and on how people should lose weight.  At the end of the program I went up to him and asked him out of how many patients did he tell to lose weight actually come back, lose weight and keep it off. He responded "about 1%"

 

1%. 1%. Think about that. It works one percent of the time but he keeps giving the same advice. She went on.


I asked him if he thought he was doing something wrong.  I told him that my patients always come back (my fat patients anyway) and I have got their blood sugar and blood pressure under control. He asked me what my secret was.  I told him that "I NEVER tell them to lose weight" 

 

Hmmmmm.

 

But my true anger happened when I was at an "Obesity through the lifespan" conference. This pediatrician (who specializes in children who are obese) was discussing how they are starting to experiment with putting children on diet pills. I was so furious that at the end of the program I asked her if they ever thought about just teaching kids the value of nutrition and exercise.  She told me that nobody would fund that...

Shoop! There it is!

It's not that the medical industry (yes I did say industry) doesn't know that health at any size might be possible. But there's no funding for those kinds of studies. Who funds the research that doctors and CNN guys quote when they want to kick up a fear of fat ... the diet industry!

It's enough to make you crazy. Crazy, furious, miserable.

Big summer writing project meeting got put off till today. Which was fine. I've been getting up early and taking walks down to the wharf. This morning was foggy and cold.

June 14 2002   8:45 AM 

The meeting with my advisor for the big summer writing project was GREAT. She said the nicest thing. She said ... tell me.

 

GOODGAWD.

 

I felt like every muscle in my body relaxed. I've been hearing show-don't-tell for two semesters and a summer workshop. I'm sick of it. I do think it's a good standard. There's nothing wrong with it. But sometimes you just gotta TELL IT. And if you don't it's like you're playing a game. Or lying. She also liked my epigraphs and understood why they were important.  

 

We got off to an rocky start because she had read some of the memoir and gotten the impression that I was more interested in the fictionalish (heh - I made that word up - just now - heh) writing that I've been doing in the program so far. So she was making fictionalish suggestions and I thought my head was going to pop. But it turned around quickly and we really started to talk.

 

I'm deeply relieved and charged up about writing. She wants me to read some craft books. Which is fine. When I first started the program I bought a pile of them, read two or three and got bored. In a writing program you spend so much time talking about writing. It's like talking about sex. Too much talking and not enough doing starts to feel ... bad.

 

I still need a job. I've been frustrated and not dealing with that fact. But I'm feeling ... I dunno ... lighter. Er something.

 

Although, I am achey. I did my morning walk and my knee and hip were bugging. Maybe it's going to rain.

 

Nananananananana

You say it's your birthday

Nananananananana

Happy Birthday to you!

 

Happy Birthday Adrienne!

 

June 15 2002   12:35 AM 

I went to the YA YA movie. My mom went because it looks like a mom/daughter movie. And it was. I guess. She'll want to talk about it tonight. I went by myself. It didn't suck. The music was great. There were some great performances.

 

Then Rick and Renee picked me up and we went out for pasta.

 

It's already late on Saturday.  I woke up early and  went for a walk, came home and started working on the page. Then Jean called me!! So, I've been happily chatting with her for hours and don't feel much like doing the page any more.

 

I must work on the big summer writing project. Now.

 

June 16 2002    8:52 AM

My father. One sperm with a sense of direction.

 

It's another one of those quips. Kinda like meat space. I didn't come up with it but it appeals to my sardonic nature. It helps me when I'm feeling hurt and mean.

 

When I was three months old my mother and I got on a train and headed to her mother's house. Mom had found lipstick on Dad's collar. It sounds like a bad fifties rock ballad. It was 1953.

 

I didn't meet my Dad until I was 12. My maternal grandmother told me he was dead. My Mom would tell me that he wasn't dead; Grandma just didn't believe in divorce.

 

An early lesson in denial.

 

When I met him I was a ball of desire and tension. He was mellow, self contained and charming. He bought me a record player and Beatles album.  I had hope. Here was my dad. It was love.

 

Tense love. Filled with longing. Seduced and abandoned. I went my way and he went his.

 

Over the years I've spent a week or two with him, here and there. It adds up to about a year, almost. And every year on Father's day I call him. And the longing and the tension knock me down again.

 

I am going to call him today. And I may get knocked down again. I understand things now, in ways. I don't need a dad now.  But no amount of analysis saves you from your heart.

 

I don't mind, much. This is my life. He is my father. These are the feelings that cooked me. And I'm OK.

 

I want to love men. I want to keep hoping. I don't mind feeling mean and hurt, but I don't want to stay mean and hurt.

 

But when I see kids with their dads I wonder. How would that feel? How would it feel in your skin? It's not something I'm going to know.

 

June 17 2002     7:33 AM

Talked to Dad. He sounded old and tired. My Aunt tells me he's in decline.

 

I was in a good mood when I talked to him. I'd been swimming and out to lunch.  Marilyn wanted to go to Walgreens. I bought the new  Bonnie Raitt and Vacation and some printer paper.

 

After I talked to Dad I buried myself in play. This morning I woke up feeling a little weepy.  

 

I just don't feel like writing.

 

June 18 2002    8:28 AM

Marilyn talks about coming out as a fat person. It's an apt phrase. When someone meets me they can see that I'm fat. What they don't know is that I don't have a body ... and some fat. I have a fat body. What I want to tell them is that there is sadness and oppression and rage involved. I want to know if they hate fat bodies or if they simply tolerate them, but secretly wonder why fat people don't lose weight. I want to know if they're willing to look at fat bodies... really look... and spend some time thinking about why they feel and think the way they do. I want them to be open to seeing fat bodies differently. I want them to be willing to see a fat body without all the media intoxication. And be open.

 

So, I came out in group last night. It went well. They are nice people. They are open. And I don't know why but today .... I'm a wreck. I'm exhausted.

 

I do know why. It's so much work.  

 

 

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.   - Fannie Lou Hamer

 June 19 2002    8:46 AM

 

 

Took the ferry to Larkspur and Adrienne picked me up. We went for a coffee and then to her house. She and Craig and I had dinner. We sat on the deck and ate olives and cheese and smoked sturgeon and drank martinis. Then Adrienne grilled jumbo prawn, squash, red bell pepper, and red onion. So good! Then we ate corn on the cob and avocado soup. And we drank whine and talked and talked and talked and listened to great music. Essa and Charlie ( the dogs ) stared at us as if to say, "How can you not share those big juicy shrimp with me? I'm so cute!"

 

They have the computer station of my dreams. I was able to see my site on a Mac and a PC, side by side. It looked OK. There are differences, but nothing too traumatic.

 

It was a lovely evening.   

 

June 20 2002   8:46 AM

 

 June 212002      9:12 AM

My birthday was pretty great. I know the nicest people in the universe.

 

Marilyn took me out to lunch at Luna Park. Perfect. She brought me the biggest bunch of flowers ever. And then we went to Modern Times and she got me books!

 

Jo Ann sent me flowers and called me. So good to talk to her.

 

Kara brought me a cute fat lady statue.

 

I got cards and e-mails and comments and wonderful phone chats.  

 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

 

I didn't escape the birthday blues entirely. It's been an emotional week. And the ramp up of fat hatred made me tense.

 

Sigh. I think exercise is a great and wonderful thing. I'm not sure it should be public policy. No. I am sure. It should not be public policy. Of course, I will be harassed about exercise and the 90 pound person who doesn't exercise will never hear a word.

 

Ask me if I'll be flying Southwest. Oh yeah. I really want to have a ticket agent make a judgement call about the size of my ass.

 

"They think they can get away with it because they think discriminating against people on the basis of weight will be acceptable to most of the population"

 

Say that. You know, I don't want to sit next to someone who doesn't want my fat flesh pushed up on theirs. They should have the space they need. And. So should I.

 

An airline might want to have one row of seats, ONE ROW of seats, in which larger folks can sit. A little wider. Longer seatbelts. ONE ROW.

 

But let's remember ...

 

"They think they can get away with it because they think discriminating against people on the basis of weight will be acceptable to most of the population"

 

Airlines are banking on the support of average size and thin people. They will get letters from fat people saying this isn't fair. But I wonder how many average sized or thin people will write to them. They're counting on the climate of fat hatred. They want average sized and thin people to hate and blame me ... not them.

 

ONE ROW.

 

Have a nice solstice.

 

 

So what gives in the world of nonfiction these days? Why is it leaning so close to — maybe even into — the world of fiction? And why don't they just call it fiction?    - Dennis Loy Johnson

June 22 2002   9:55 AM

I had another great birthday meal with Kristina and her Mom. Kristina gave me a beautiful little purse with a Vishnu statue inside. Ah!! Thank you!

 

God Gawd I'm a lucky grrrrl!

 

On the weekends I listen to NPR (National Purchased Radio)  and sometimes I link to them. No more. Are they drunk?

 

This Southwest thing is a whirl wind. Sondra is thinking up some kind of campaign. Marilyn and Jennifer have been doing so much media, I can't keep up. Letters are popping up all over the web. Paul has a post on his blog and stuff on Big Fat Blog.

 

I am wondering if any of my thin and average sized friends will write letters. I see no out rage in the blogs. I've read that there is a lot of fat hatred being spewed on message boards.

 

Southwest has done a good job of misdirecting anger. Don't be mad at them because you're squished into a seat and a fat person is pushing up on you. Don't imagine that they might want to make some seats wider to accommodate diversity. Hate me instead.

 

Some times things just need to be different sizes.

 

 

June 24 2002       7:33 AM

 

Thank you Elaine and Jeneane.  And Suzanne and Lynn.

 

I pushed myself through the month of June. Trying not to let the blues get me. And last week was a roller coaster. I'd feel happy and lucky when I was with people and when I'd get home I would crash.

 

Saturday I went to a fat think tank where the conversation was about Southwest. Of course. People are pissed. And hurt. And tired. And sad.

 

I'm pissed and hurt and tired and sad.

 

Last night I heard a refrain of Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong coming out of my TV. I looked and saw that it was a Southwest commercial. Love? My fat ass.

 

It's not just about Southwest. It's about ... it all.

 

Yesterday, I just didn't know what to write.

 

Today. I just wanted to say thanks to the folks who reached out.

 

 

June 25 2002   10:09 AM

 

I   um   uh

 

So, I'm in a writing program. And the first thing I do every morning is write a little web thing. And I'm very depressed. I don't feel like thinking in words. I feel like thinking in tears.

 

But.

 

I gotta write. Big summer writing project needs to be worked on.

 

I've been thinking about the way I experience my psychological story, not as a narrative line, but as a back drop to now. If I turn to the back drop I can point at the things are the shadows and light of who I am today.

 

See, there's me, waiting for mom to come home from work. I'm sitting on the steps of the Lutheran church at the top of our hill. That's where the bus stop is. I have a few dolls to keep me company.

 

There's me, Fatty Patti, watching groups of kids on the playground, trying to be invisible.

 

That big shadow. That's a pretty bad story. I'll tell ya later.

 

There's my Dad, walking through the door. I'm eleven. I've never seen him. He looks like a car sales man. He is a car sales man. I can't tell if he's happy to meet me or if he's trying to sell me a car.

 

So many moments that drift on a screen, just behind me.

 

They aren't who I am. But they are how I've learned about life. At least until now.

 

I don't think they're going to go away. I don't think they should.

 

Sometimes I can't stop looking at them.     

 

 

June 26 2002        9:42 AM

So. I know how to make myself feel better.

 

I'd done some meager, but not entirely worthless, work on the big summer writing project. It was dinner time and I was sick of my computer. I walked up to Da Flora.

 

I ate appetizers. Carpaccio, Prosciutto with figs, fava bean puree and tomato brucetta and sweet potato gnocchi.  Flora poured me red wine. For dessert I had chocolate short bread stars with marscapone cream filing. Flora poured me a port.  So good.

 

It wasn't just the food. It was hearing Marybeth and Flora say, "We were just talking about you!" There is something about going to a place where the people know you.

 

It put me in such a good mood that I walked up to Sodini's to visit Anna and Linda. Again, as I walked in they were both yelling, "Hey we've been wondering about you!" I sat at the bar and ordered a Makers Mark. They were pretty busy. A fellow sitting next to me made some weak small talk. I had Bee Season with me. He asked if it was a chick book.

 

Uh.

 

It's been years since I sat in a bar. I was enjoying it. Anna poured me a second drink. She was drinking some soup from a cup. She made a comment to the guy about needing to watch her weight. They exchanged some diet info. I sat there.

 

None of these folks were way fat. They were a little beefy, in that great pasta place kind of way.

 

Sigh.

 

I paid for my drink and said my good byes. They all said come back soon. Yeah. I really want to sit at a bar and listen to people talk about diets.

 

It wasn't awful. I wasn't bummed out. I walked home in the soft SF fog and felt lucky to be part of North Beach scene, in my own drop out way. This morning I am woozy, but not in a bad way.

 

It's always there.

 

Can you imagine...you're a person with a physical attribute. Lets say ... you break out easily and often have zits. You go to your dermatologist. You've tried a million products and you don't eat certain foods. You have some success. But you just have skin that breaks out. You're at a bar and the bar tender says they never eat fried food because they don't want to break out.

 

Hmmm. How does that feel? Do you want to give them a list of all you've done? Do you want to beg them to believe that you've tried to take care of your skin? Do you feel like every zit is now six times bigger?

 

I know how to make myself feel better. And I do feel better. But I also feel the sadness. It's never far away.

 

 

June 27 2002    9:28 AM

My friend Barbara (the best chiropractor in the universe) adjusted my back and neck yesterday. Thank you Barbara. the first thing I notice after an adjustment (especially when I've needed one for a while and have been too spaced out to go get one) is that I feel taller. Like, a foot taller. And I can turn my head. Heh.

 

I get a little spaced out after an adjustment ...sometimes. But we went out for lunch and talked and talked. So good.

 

This morning I feel better than I've felt in a while. I haven't been reading around the blogs as much and today I did. Elaine has a new design, done by her son and it is beautiful. It's on Moveable Type. I downloaded MT once. But I couldn't figure it out. I'm sure if I slowed down and took my time I could stumble through it.

 

Here's an article about Mark and the Jazz kids in Boulder. Took me down memory lane.

 

So I need to work on the big summer writing project.

 

 

June 28 2002   8:39 AM

 

I wish someone had filmed me yesterday. I think the way I avoided working on the big summer writing project (bswp) might have been masterful.

 

It started when I was looking at Elaine's new design and decided that I wanted to check out blogrolling. So, I added it to the page and put in all my blogs. Then I had to tweak the font and the colors. I'm still not sure why I added it. I thought it was the thing on Empty Bottle that displays recent referrers.

 

I thought about adding a tag board. But, would anyone use it?

 

Then I needed to deal with some e-mail and bills and stuff that just took ... a while.

 

And I'm working on a web page for a friend. Which involved more reading about CSS and more frustration at not being able to make it work.

 

I had to go shopping and put some stuff in the mail.

 

Oh I dunno.

 

It was 9:00 before I even started looking at the bswp. I worked for an hour and suddenly...I was just so tired.

 

Heh.

 

I don't really feel the need to avoid it, but I am avoiding it. I think it's because the writing keeps morphing and not into the thing I think I'm trying to write about.

 

So, I need to work today. But Lynn is coming to stick needles in me. Which is good. Maybe she knows a accupuncture point for writing.

 

June 29 2002      8:56 AM

 

Lynn did indeed put needles in my head! And it did seem to wake me up. And I did get some writing done. It's not writing so much as endless reorganizing, deleting, rewriting.

 

Yippie! Kell started a blog! And I got to use my new blog roll toy. I need to write on Fatty Patties. It's been too long. But, lately, it's been all I can do to write this every morning. And then I feel like I have to use what ever I have left to work on the bswp. And Pattie writes there, so it's still happening.

 

I promised myself I wouldn't do anymore metablogging. It's pretty clear that each person's blog reflects their idea of what blogging is all about. My enthusiasm for it comes from the variety of voices and intentions and esthetics out there.

 

I've been relaxing in my own blog. Writing about my own little break down and fat identity. I haven't commented on world events. Or pointed to any fun new web thing.

 

But ... ya know ... the words under God have only been in the pledge for less than fifty years. Cheney was in charge. Didja feel the difference?

 

OK. I'm working on the bswp now.

 

June 30 2002    7:58 AM

I don't know how I got on the web trail that I got onto yesterday....Oh wait, yes I do. I was looking for a link to Blogger templates and I went to Wicked Persephone. She mentioned Born Squishy which I'd actually already seen once before and had bookmarked. (Before I went into my little funk) From them I followed some links and found the Fight Fat Phobia portal. It was so much fun.

 

I had to stop and work on the BSWP. I did.

 

But, I kept thinking about something the born squishy girl (whose name I think is Hayley) was asking about fat folks who diet and exercise. It stuck in my head because of some other conversations I've had lately.

 

I think there's confusion about fat acceptance politics. There is a spectrum in the community and certainly there are folks who want to be fat, fatter, fattest. There's the whole feeder thing (which if you don't know about ... don't ask...I'm just not going to spend any time trying to understand it). But, for me, it isn't about wanting to be fat, or choosing to be fat. It's about being fat and not hating it.

 

In SF the fat community is so into exercise. We have the lovely and talented Jennifer, Big Moves, the Sunday swim and in Sacramento, Fatwalk. There's a whole lotta shakin goin on.

 

Now dieting. Well. I'm always saying the same thing. Diets don't work. But close every fast food joint in the world. Please. Eat slow food. Eat good food. Work on your food addictions, if you have them.

 

Am I healthy? Well, I'm 49. I had my wild years. I smoked. I drank. I shoved white powder up my nose. And I worked jobs (sometimes two at a time) that were hard on my body. And I've never had health insurance. But I've always had good friends who did massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, and knew about herbs.

 

So, I'm doin OK.

 

My knees hurt. I wish I had more flexibility and energy. I know if I move more I feel better. I do the Sunday swim and takes walks. I could do more. But, it pisses me off when someone makes it about me being fat. I know thin and average sized folks who have all these issues.

 

Maybe if I hadn't done fourteen hour work days in a restaurant my knees wouldn't hurt. Or if I had health insurance and could get new knees. But I hobble along with new herbs and I'm doing OK and why the fuck am I talking about this!?!

 

I'm talking about this because I have to explain that accepting my fat body does not mean that I don't exercise or eat in a healthy, alive manner. Health is possible at any size. And it pisses me off that I feel the need to talk about how much I move or eat.

 

So, exercise. Eat good food. But when I read or hear people say they know they feel better, or look better, when they're thinner...I mean it's personal... they can say what ever they want. Obviously. I'm just not sure it's examined. I just want people to spend sometime, thinking about fatness ... differently. Especially if they're fat.

 

Would I choose to be thin? It's not something I'm willing to think about. I'm going to experience my body one day at a time.

 

Speaking of great food. I had dinner at Cafe K2. It was my birthday dinner, complete with picked by hand blackberries. Red pesto on little toasts and marinated mushrooms to start. I love red pesto. But I haven't thought about it for a while. It was good! Beautiful salad. Salmon,  veggies and rice. The veggies were fennel, squash and spring onion and the spring onion made it all so sweet, in that good onion sweetness kind of way. (Maybe the chef will stop by and remind me what the fancy word for how he cooked the salmon was. It was perfect.) So, there were layers and textures to the food and it was pretty! Little Raddichio cups! Oooooooo. Then the blackberries and ice cream. And there was wine and cappuccino and biscotti and lots of chat. Good deep rich chat. Lots of layers and textures.  

 

Yep. I'm a lucky girl. Thank you K2.

 

It's Gay pride weekend. I thought I'd share this.

 

 

Hard as it is for me to believe that it's already that time, I feel I must remind you. Don't forget.