did a bunch of laundry yesterday. While waiting for
the washing part to get done, so I could get to the
drying part, I walked to the store. When I came back
there was the sound of a low flying plane. Really loud.
Annoying. The handyman for the building was in the garden
when I walked in and told me to look at the plane. The
plane was pulling a banner which read ANNA MARIE
WILL YOU MARRY ME. Sweet.
was great. Kara
a bunch of oysters for his birthday (which it turns
out was on Wednesday) and they brought some over. I
made the smoked trout/leek/spelt crust/creme frache
pizza and a big piece of beef with mushroom pan sauce,
wasabi mashed potatoes and green beans. Then we had
angel food cake with blackberry/ginger sorbet and some
blood oranges that I had macerated in honey and rum.
So the food was good. And we talked and talked. I used
ever dish I own. I don't know how that happened. So
I will be cleaning up today.
I was cooking I burned my finger tip and after they
left I stubbed my toe on a chair. So I was kind of wounded
when I went to bed. It's the tip of my left click finger
so every one in a while I hit it. Ouch. Ouch.
had a great time and it was great to see them. But if
you spend any time with people who are thinking and
paying attention at all you spend some portion of the
evening talking about the misery of having our president.
I was looking around at the empty plates and half filled
wine glasses and loving my friends and feeling lucky.
Listening to their plans for the future. And wondering
how we can make a future in a time of war. And knowing
that we have to keep on keeping on.
heard him on the radio a few times and he was CNN once.
He's clear and articulate and way more mature than I
will ever be.
so much to everyone who stopped
by and left me a get well comment.
not going into detail. No one
needs to hear about it. Sunday
was the worst. Monday. I thought
I was better in the evening.
But I did get up and take a
shower and checked on a few
blogs and did some e-mail. Tuesday
night was bad again. Wednesday
I felt beaten.
kept staring at my book shelf
thinking it might be good to
read one of them. And then
my eyes would close and I'd
be gone. Which was the best
place to be.
There was a documentary on Golub
and another on George
If ya gotta be sick Spalding
Gray is the guy who you want
to come over and tell you stories.
He's fun to watch but you can
just close your eyes and listen. On Sunday I watched as much
as I could of Susan
But it was a bit of a blur. I
avoided the news. I literally did not have the stomach
wasn't feeling Fat
Which made me sad. I didn't
get to do a big tirade on the
idiot weigh in day yesterday
weigh in response. Maybe later.
morning I still feel terrible but it's a less shrill
kind of terrible. So thank you for the good wishes.
spent the morning reading blogs and talking on the phone.
I'm dizzy. But I am better. I'm sipping echinacea infused
I took a shower and put on clothes instead of pajamas.
And I might maybe should ought to use my energy
to do school stuff that didn't get done. But I haven't
really got the will. I'm in a woozy think/feel kinda
isn't going to blog for a while because a fellow worker
found her site. She's having trouble not writing. I
feel that. While I was sick I dreamed I was posting.
My little writing project has become a life line for
me. I think blogging, or on-line journaling, is different
things to different people. But it is addicting. It
feels to me like we are all on our little islands and
once, or twice, or seventeen times a day we write a
note and put it in this blog bottle and hurl it out
to sea. And then we wait on the shore for the notes
to arrive from the others. Living Nappy says, "Wait
for me." And we will.
is with the world? Why do we have more than one face?
Most of the people in my world know about my blog. But
my parents don't. They wouldn't get it. I don't lie
about who I am to them but there are plenty of things
I don't talk about with them. If they found the blog
we might have a tense conversation about how weird it
is and how dangerous the world is and how I should be
more afraid and why do I have to use bad words all the
time. And then ... I would keep writing. But a job is
something else. Dooce
lost her job. Glovefox
was called into her deans office. Stuff goes wrong.
was reading Trish
break down of Dru's
to an article about blogging. The article didn't reflect
the number of women bloggers. Dru got a pile of comments
and Trish does a great job of breaking it all down.
I missed the whole thing because ... well you know why.
is new to this writing on line thing. She writes that
the first blog she read was Instapundit,
a blog that I must admit I never read. I think I did
once or twice when he first started. But Instapundit
was writing about sexism. And Trish goes on to talk
about sexism in the world of blogging. And I was
reading it all and remembering conversations that have
happened here. And I'm in my woozy, dizzy, not quite
cogent zone. And somehow all this stuff starts to form
don't mean to gender this kind of writing. I read men
with lots of heart. But it is the kind of writing that
pulls at my heart. And I marvel at it. I marvel at the
raw openness of it. The courage and the beauty and the
hope of it. It isn't quippy commentary. It's a kind
of reaching. And more.
every time I read a dis of cat bloggers I want to pretend
I have a cat. I want to write long posts about my cat.
I love the cat stories. I love the kid stories. I love
stories of our ordinary lives. The chop wood carry water
guess I do gender the valuing of a certain kind of writing.
And that may be sexist. But I guess I do think that
there is a way in which the journalistic aspirations
of a few bloggers and the A-list bullshit are a
more patriarchal way of describing value. Or maybe assigning
value. So the whole division of blog/journal becomes
gendered. Blogging is serious. Journaling is for people
with time to be personal.
pissed off at the world that sets up the conditions
in which we have more than one face. And we can't tell
the truth. And we are silenced. And I'm not saying that
men made the bad world. We made it together. We make
it every time we value thinking at the cost of feeling.
We make it when cat stories are less important than
Look. The thing about the blog world is that it subverts
those values. Every one gets to write what they will
and choose their own blog roll. No one needs to read
a cat story if they don't want too. There is something
much larger than journalism going on in these pages.
There is a popping, sparkling, me too ness going on.
read a lot of political blogs. Coz. I like them. I read
political blogs by women. I read political blogs by
men. I read blogs where not much of the person's personal
life is revealed and yet I have a sense of who they
might be. Dru has one of the best political minds I've
ever read. And she still has time to marvel over her
And I've read men marveling
about their children.
was worried that sleeping for
three days, which was about
all I did, might eventually
make it hard for me to sleep
at night. I didn't sleep in
the day on Thursday. At 2:00
A. M. I was awake, listening
to my clock tick. Not a big
deal. I read for awhile. I am
better. I think I've moved from so-sick to out-of-sorts.
I may color code my wellness. Isn't that what we do
it was listening to the recalcitrant boy prince continue
his intention to escalate the war
Really. We've been at war with this country for eleven
years. When are we going to tell the truth? I'm listening
to the UN on KPFA
as I type. I guess that's a sign that I'm better enough
to deal with it.
noticed an ad for Washington apples in a magazine. If
you go here
and scroll down you will see three posters on the side
that are pop ups. In the new ad campaign Washington
Apples are linking with Gold's gym and are now the self
proclaimed diet pill of Gold's.
now a really good and healthy thing is equated with
a synthetic and potentially deadly thing.
the ads are pictures of apples with a torso carved into
them. The first is a woman, shown from behind with the
caption - A few apples a day keep the lipo doctor away.
The second is a male torso with the caption - If you
blow this diet all you'll be out is 85 cents. The third,
and really most disturbing, is a female torso shown
from the front with the caption - Time to go beat up
a pudgy little fat cell.
to go BEAT UP a pudgy little fat cell.
could just go on and on about why I hate these ads.
there's the sexism implied in men not needing to worry
about blowing the diet and women being threatened with
surgery and beating. There's even a homophobic weirdness
to the whole 85 cent blowing bit.
back last Sunday, before the
bad bug bit me, or I ate the
unwashed grape, or whatever
happened, I was writing a post
in my head in response to something
said about me writing a food
column. I had intended to do
more food writing. I bought
a bunch of food books for inspiration.
I thought it might be good for
parts of THE BOOK. I used to
read food writing a lot when
I was working as a cook.
was thinking about a post
in which she contemplated Leroy's
eating. He likes ham.
I was kid we bought chipped
on Sundays after church. My
grandmother would order it and
the guy would put the big chunk
of ham on the slicer and set
it to go really fast. Then he
would give me a piece to
eat while we waited for the
rest to chip. We took it home
and ate it on mushy hamburger
rolls. I remember that mushy,
salty, mouthful. It kinda tickled.
walked up to the table in the
cafeteria the other day with
a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
She stood there looking at it
woefully. I looked at it. We
looked at each other. She said
something like, "Maybe
I should take this back."
It did look a bit unsavory.
There was one slice of ham and
some obscure cheese and it was
on white bread. At the same
time it had the look of something
from childhood. Something you
might have eaten in a cafeteria.
And there we were again.
I went to a
after work and bought a ham
sandwich on a hard roll and
took it home and ate it on my
porch. The ham was good baked
ham, not processed loaf ham, and
the roll was crunchy. It was
the perfect thing.
don't eat ham on any kind of
regular basis. But I was thinking
about all this. And food writing.
On Saturday night. And then
on Sunday morning ...
I think we can move my wellness to a new color
coded level. If I ever figure out the colors. I'm not
quite at peachy.
feels like I should have something to say about that.
But I don't. All during Black
I kept thinking I should talk about it. But I'm having
some kind of fussy reaction to the setting apart of
time for a people. Every day should be ... ya know.
At the same time I like setting aside time to ritualize
and focus. So. I'm in some kind of fussy stuck place
about these kinds of things.
are in Austin. And other people are there
was Alexandra's birthday yesterday so we went out to
dinner. I was worried that I wouldn't be well in time.
But I think I am All better now. She celebrated
her birthday by going to a
Her first demo. People who don't go to demonstrations
are going to demonstrations.
was fussing with my site design yesterday. I couldn't
seem to decide what I wanted to do. I was just restless
has created a
Cafe Press store.
I wish Cafe Press would get some bigger sizes. I may
end up with the biggest collection of canvas shopping
So clearly I was feeling the need to change somethin.
And I was feelin this green. Lighter. Spring. Something.
funny to me how much the template of a blog shapes the
way I feel about the blogger. The colors they choose,
the pictures. I find it disorienting when I come across
a blogspot blog template that I am used to reading someone
on and it isn't them. I thought about doing an about
page. But I actually like the slow process of getting
to know someone by reading them. There is an initial
impression created by colors and pictures and blog rolls
and all that. And then there's the build. The day to
day with someone. About pages feel perfunctory sometimes.
Not always. But when I try to write one I feel kinda
swim was great. And since I'd spent so much time
not moving all week I felt all my muscles twitching
I love that. I came home and played with the new
design. Then I fooled around some more with my Live
I set it up so that I could have a name when
I posted comments at Angela's.
I've been loving reading her. It's a different feel.
It really feels like a journal.
This feels like my journal. I might play with doing
a writing assignment in the Live Journal. Try to
push in. Because, really, why not? It's not like
I have a BOOK I'm supposed to be working on, or
school work to do.
was thinking about the shift of thinking that happens
when you stop dieting and trying to lose weight
and begin to eat with awareness and move for the
love of it. It feels different in your body. It
feels like freedom.
I was in New York I worked out five days a week.
Sometimes six. I was running up and down the subway
stairs every day. I was fit. And I was fat.
I'd be doing reps in front of the mirror, watching
to make sure I was standing straight and lifting
the weight just so. And I'd see my body in the mirror.
And I'd be filled with this sense that it was never
going to be enough. And what was my standard of
enough? Being thin. I was strong. I was healthy.
And all I wanted was to be thin. Sometimes I'd put
the weight down and walk out.
In the pool. I was just swimming and feeling my
lungs work and my muscles. Feeling my body. And
loving every minute of it.
interesting because people think size acceptance
is about giving up. And. I guess it is. It's about
giving up on temporary states of existence and imaginary
numbers. For me it never meant giving up on health,
don't think that I'm cool because I swim and don't
eat Big Macs. I remember a time when I used to buy
a Sara Lee frozen chocolate cake and eat it before
it even thawed. Eat the whole cake. Frozen. Afterward
I'd feel like an asshole but I'd think about it all.
I'd ponder the feeling of need and the sick too much
sugar too fast feeling and I'd think about what I really
wanted and I'd think about hunger. And
then one day ... I didn't need to do that again.
it's a process. And people get to live their lives.
And learn about themselves in any way that they
can. The health thing bugs me. No one is healthy
every minute of the day. Bodies are always changing.
And maybe because I was so sick and I feel so much
better I was feeling really happy to be in the pool.
Moving. So happy to be able to eat eggs and black
beans and chile verde afterwards.
spent too many years being told that my body was
wrong. It's unhealthy to believe that. Even for
is Monday. And I am behind on school work. So. Uh. Must
on in the background the yesterday. Ari Fleischer was
doing a press
I swear. It seemed like the journalists had no respect
for him. Many of the questions had a tone of incredulity.
It was like they were saying, " You can't be serious."
I didn't hear the time when they actually laughed
But with a few
there was a barely concealed contempt.
got most of my stuff for school done. I have time today
to the rest. Went to therapy last night. But I was in
such a good mood it seemed funny to be there. Beth did
a really nice mini talk in response to one of the people
in group about the TA
and how it operates in relationships between men and
woman. I was never that interested in the TA thing.
It seemed too reductive. But with Radical
that model is embedded in the awareness of how we as
individuals operate in the larger cultural soup. And
the language of the model becomes useful.
always resist the lanquege in groups. I mean when I
hear myself using too many catch phrases I pull back.
It's too easy to use the words and stop doing the
work. At the same time I love a great way to say something.
And when Beth was doing the riff it made so much sense.
really get how frustrating it is for hetero men when
their partners are pissed because they aren't communicating
emotionally. And they get that they're doing something
that is causing hurt and anger. But they can't figure
out what to DO. And they really want to DO something.
And so often it isn't about doing. It's about being.
Just being with someone. Something has gone wrong in
the relationship. Things go wrong. And there isn't an
easy fix. And all the women want is presence. And the
men are trying to DO.
actually have a few women friends like this. It's really
hard for them to just listen and feel with ya. They
want to fix things. Solve things. Me too. But sometimes
you can't. Hurt happens. Anger happens. Life goes on.
And relationships are made better or worse.
me it's always about feeling like the other person is
WITH me. Even if we're pissed at each other.
came home and wrote a little muse in the Live
I really like the way things go in the Live journal
space. The friends thing. Last night it felt like coming
home to a pajama party.
being who I am, it makes me think about writing. And
how writing is. Which I need to do more of. Right now.
Before I go to school.
I have to race out the door and go to
school so that I can observe a class.
Then I have to write a little analysis
about that class. I won't have time
to get the bus back home and then back
to school. Well. I guess I could but
that would be like two hours of bus
riding for on hour of being home. So
I'm just gonna hang around campus. I'll
have my laptop. I need to write.
went to class tonight and found out
that I was supposed to have writing
to turn in. I should have known. I have
it written down. But I was ... sick.
It isn't a big problem. We have spring
break next week. The teacher was amused
by how embarrassed I was. I was. I was
shocked. I never do stuff like that.
I always have my stuff. I know I've
felt disengaged with school but I didn't know it was
this bad. So
I have to get on paper the piece I've
been writing in my head.
was talking on the phone last night and the news was
on the TV but the sound was off. They kept showing footage
of the bomb
test in Florida
over and over. I don't even have language for how I
felt. I was listening to my friends voice talking about
her day. But I was watching this ... horror. Repeated.
was a long day. I sat in on the class.
Went to the cafe and typed up the notes.
And then Cheryl printed them up for
me. She and I went up to Lone Mountain
and talked till class started. Class
was fun. But I was glad to go home when
it was over.
turned the TV on and there was 60 minutes
II. I haven't watched it before. I could
hardly believe my eyes. There was a
doctor on a mainstream television show
saying that fat people are fighting genetics when they
a few minutes I had hope about the content
of the show. I'd missed the beginning
but I was encouraged. Things went sour
pretty quick. The show was basically
talking about the researchers who are
doing the work to come up the magic
pill. Even with all the acknowledgement
of different kinds of genetic and hormonal
reasons for fatness the goal is
still to lose weight.
What do I want
instead? I want them to study ideas
about health at any size.
I was in Cheryl's office we looked at my site on her
much bigger computer screen and the tables were borked.
I get so depressed when I see this. I never wanted to
be designer but I do like doing design. And the limits
of my knowledge mean that I never really do it well.
On my screen the text box that I'm writing in is next
to the Forster quote. On her's it was way down.
in a horrible mood today. But I'm not sure why yet.
spent the day trying to snap out of
it. I failed. Thursday's are often a
space out day. But yesterday it was
really bad. I woke
up late, took a nap, went to bed early.
Ordered pizza instead of cooking. Spaced
out. Watched bad TV.
of this is about not doing the piece of writing for
class. I've had it in my head for a while. I just am
having a hard time getting started. Writing is a funny
thing. So many people are so kind and encouraging about
my writing. And still I struggle.
of this is about wondering what the hell to do with
myself when school is over.
of this is about reactions I've had to things lately.
Things. I know it's an oblique term.
don't know. I don't know what it's about. I just know
I gotta snap out of it today and do some writing.
writing got done. Some. I don't know why this is so
hard right now.
was distracted by an e-mail exchange with a pediatrician.
She got my e-mail address from an e-mail that I had
sent to some of the Supervisors asking them to take
the words overweight out of their healthy kids task
force resolution. I don't know why she got it but she
talked about the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in
stuff pisses me off. On the one hand I think kids (and
every one else) eat too much crap food. If you've read
me for very long you know I'm a bitch about fast food.
Don't like it. I wish all the fast food places would
close down and everyone would eat real alive food. And
if you have to have a burger
(which I do every once in a while) make sure the meat
is fresh and local and the potatoes are real and local.
And I wish all kids had a variety
of foods to eat
the other hand fast food is cheap and ... fast. And
people on low incomes can feed their whole family on
the run. And it's punitive to make them the bad guys
when they don't have the time, money or energy to make
kids fatter? I don't know. Maybe. What ever. I sent
the supervisors a link to The
Edible school yard.
I think that kids should have lot's of opportunities
to run around. But I think that's true for all kids.
Not just the fat ones.
this pediatrician is out to make sure that no kids are
might post our e-mail exchange here after the hearing.
I feel some paranoia about this politically. I don't
was a party with a
And it was amazing that Amma was able to bring in so
much information about this horrendous
and still keep things celebratory. And she did. She
was able to hold the love of her culture and her family
and the horror of what happened to her in balance. It
was moving. She travels back to Africa to bring clothes,
medical supplies, educational materials. At the end
of the show she talked about trying to build a school
and asked if we had any pencils or pens laying around
the house. I thought about the two cups full of pens
and pencils that I never even touch.
listened to thedemos
all day while I eeked out another page
of writing. So I was in a pretty good
mood before Marilyn picked me up. We
had dinner first. I feel better than
I have for the last few days.
to the email exchange I was talking about yesterday.
I posted the exchange on a list serve of folks who operate
in the health at any size paradigm with a request for
support and she read them there. I am still worried
about posting them here. And, again, I'm not sure why.
But until the hearing happens I'm going to trust my
some reason I've read a few posts on a blogs lately
in which women are bummed out with their bodies.
This always makes me a combination of sad and mad. I
understand why women go there but I want them to
get how important it is to STOP. Last night there were
women of all sizes. Shaking and dancing and laughing.
And the men, the musicians, were smiling at them in
this beautiful open way. It was euphoric.
your clitoris and the size of your ass. Feel your body
in a new way. Because women all over the world need
you to embrace yourself. Don't give in to the shame.
morning I woke up with this terrible
feeling that the worst had happened.
I was almost afraid to turn on the radio.
I had the TV on before I left for the
swim yesterday and there was a
press conference from the Azores.
The boy prince was rude, aggressive,
hostile. It was just miserable to watch.
Dru linked to this
about Papa Bush talking about how his
son needed to cool out. So lets see...the
world, his country, his own father are
all asking him to slow down. And this
morning I was afraid to turn on the
Saturday I was listening to the demo
in DC on CSPAN and I was struck by how
it seemed like all the speakers were
shouting. There's something odd about
people shouting about peace. I imagine
that they needed to be heard by a large
crowd and there's only so much a microphone
will do. And I know people (myself included)
are feeling powerless and angry and
need to shout. The madder I get the
quieter I get. If I'm yelling I'm just
really worked up. When I get really
pissed I seethe.
I want a peace movement that is focused
and articulate and peaceful. And that
may be a lot to ask. Maybe it's too
much to ask. People are at their wits
end. Things feel tense.
at the swim I do laps next to someone
and we talk while we swim. Sometimes,
like yesterday, I just swim. I was tired
when I got in the pool. And swimming
seemed like work. Which was OK. It doesn't
always have to be fun. Then we had lunch,
All the while I was tired. I'm not sure
why. Maybe the
was too much for me.
listened to a few minutes of the
before I left for therapy. I sat on the bus feeling
miserable and hopeless. After therapy I was feeling
a bit better. I looked at the full moon and said a prayer.
This morning was the same as yesterday. I just did not
want to turn on the radio.
heard someone on MSNBC, Bill Press I think, say something
like well I don't support the war but now that it's
going to happen we have to unite. He is the president.
Oh. I don't think so.
much of the work I've done in my life has been to heal
the shame from things in my life. And now I am so ashamed.
So sad. So angry.
of the hard won lessons I learned last year was how
to keep my focus on the tasks of my life. How to keep
moving through the day when enormous depression hovers
inches above your head. I've reclaimed a kind of spirituality.
No name to it. No building or leader. Just an inner
sense of participation with something larger. And it
has given me some peace. And today I have tasks. I have
chop wood carry water tasks. and I will focus on them
and work hard.
part of my heart is a million miles away. In a theater
of cruelty. Waiting for the curtain to rise. Hoping
the play is canceled.
was a day of communication. I was either on the phone
or writing e-mail or talking almost all day. Suzanne
came over with sandwiches. We talked an laughed.
finished the piece of writing that I needed to send
out to my workshop folks. I neither love nor hate it.
There were things I was going to do that I just didn't
get to. But I ended the day feeling OK.
morning I feel the same dread that I've felt all week.
is playing the UN security council. I don't know why
I'm hanging on every word, hoping that they'll say something
and the war won't happen. I'm having trouble forming
I begin my third year of on line writing.
I was looking forward to it. I read
and thought back to how it felt. I really
had no idea what I was getting into.
I'd seen Justin
on TV talking about people putting their lives on line.
I had read Willa.
Today I wanted to write about my gratitude
for the people who read me and leave
me comments. And I do feel all those
things. Today I wish I could hug you
tried to stay away from the news yesterday.
Not because I didn't want to know what
was going on but because I can hardly
bear the way they are talking. The language
they use. It's profane. At some point
I heard that it
Although, it's been going on for so long.
As the day went on the news got worse.
a man either jumped or fell from the
bridge. There was a thought that he
was trying to hang a banner. But they've
taken that part out of the
The streets filled
with protesters. This morning they
are out there
again, blocking traffic. On the television there are
pictures of police beating up protesters.
wish I could feel more celebratory.
I wish I could write about what doing this writing has
done for my life. But. Language is failing me.
a lot of talk about supporting the soldiers. Well. I
want the soldiers to be home with their families. Is
I found myself hoping that things go badly so that this
will be seen for the mistake that it is. And then I
thought about who would be hurt if things go badly.
I just want it to end. And I want us to get this
guy out of office.
the many many many weirdnesses in the
media coverage of the war is the weather
reports from Baghdad. It's not so much
that it's weird that they do it. It's
the fact that they do it the same sing
song manner in which they do the local
weather. So you hear the weather voice
and you look over and ... it's Iraq.
There was the bit on the nightly
news that said that life in America
went on as usual. There were pictures
of cars moving on freeways and lattes
being made. Because that's what America
is all about. As long as we can have
our lattes and be obedient drones in
capitalism we're fine. We allow some
thugs to high jack the Whitehouse and
fuck up EVERYTHING. But we show up for
work with a double mocha frappe.
things were not going on as usual in
Suzanne was in the streets. She called
me on her cell phone to keep me informed.
She had lots of great experiences. For
the most part,
from what I
on local TV and what Suzanne said the cops were cool
and the protesters were cool but there were exceptions.
The cops were working fourteen hour days and some of
the protesters were not peaceful. Things began to degrade.
Both sides were complimentary of each other ... for
the most part. It's begun again this
I listened to KPFA
with the Pacifica
coverage of the assault on peace. I
watched the TV and the Internet for
news. I could not break away.
is hard to listen to the way things are spoken about
on TV. The news people are all editorial. To be honest
the people on KPFA are editorial as well. But the TV
folks are always trying to minimize the protests. I
think one of the loopiest things I hear people say is
that the protesters should not protest because they
should be thankful that they live in a country where
they can protest. Criticism of the protesters is often
that they have no right to inconvenience people. Yeah.
It sucks when your life is disrupted.
suddenly we have a new
to watch for. It's not that I don't think he might exist
but I just find it dubious that he is being spoken
about now. They want to keep making the connection between
the war and 9/11. A friend sent me an
article from the NY Times
that says Californians aren't making the connection
between the war and 9/11 that EVERYONE EVERYWHERE else
is making. I know too many people, in too many OTHER
places who aren't making that connection.
a minute when I woke up this morning I couldn't remember
what was going on. I new something was going on but
I couldn't remember what. The sound of a helicopter
over head brought it all back.
you to everyone who left me a comment yesterday about
my blog. Really. Thank you so much.
This support for the troops stuff is
the worst kind of manipulation. It's an attempt to silence
dissent. Family members of the troops are shown on the
nightly news as a reminded that there are human consequences.
Many of the people who are pouring into the streets
to say no to war are well aware of human consequences.
ON BOTH SIDES. We want the troops to be home
with their families.
We don't want them to be involved in a war with little
International support. A rogue war. Ask the veterans
who do not support this war
about supporting the troops.
I write a post in my head. Yesterday
I was making applesauce. When my mom
makes applesauce she adds a lot of sugar.
I use more than one kind of apple and
add dried cranberries. I was thinking
about writing a post about it. And I
started to cry. How can I write about
know I can't keep this up. The television
is on, the computer is on, the radio
is on. All at the same time. All day.
I search for news. I know I can't trust
the news on the television but I wanted
to keep track of what
was going on in SF.
Coverage was so bad. Things seemed to
be meaner yesterday.
can't tell you how many times I heard
the protests being minimized by ...
cough ...newscasters. It's beyond reprehensible.
I know I need to turn it all off. for a while. But I
just can't find any energy for anything
not that I think life should go back
to normal. There is no normal. There
never really has been. I do think that I have to hold
on some inner place of peace. I have to be the peace
I want to see.
friend called yesterday and asked what I was doing.
been DOING the same thing for three days. I sit
at the computer searching for news. Listening to KPFA
mostly but sometimes the TV. CSPAN showed Veterans against
the war a teach-in in which Daniel Ellsberg
spoke. Right before I went to bed I was listening to
the local news guy put the same tired negative spin
on the protests. Yesterday's rally was huge
and peaceful. The guy on the news was suggesting that
it was peaceful because the SFPD had made sure people
knew they'd be arrested. It might also have been peaceful
because the majority of the people out there are about
Sunday morning. In a little while I'll go swimming.
It will be good to get out of the apartment. And I have
work to do for school. I'm worn out and pissed off and
sad and scared. I know the water will sooth my soul.
We live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious
election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we
have a man who's sending us to war for fictitious reasons, whether it's the
fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts. --
is a woman at the swim who I do laps
with. We chat while we swim. She's a
very nice person. Today we started to
talk about the war. Tentatively. She
seemed to be saying that she opposed
the war. But it was really more that
she supports getting rid of Saddam and
just wants it to be over soon. And she
believes that we are at war to get rid
of Saddam. And then we got to the protests.
She was livid about the inconvenience
that the protesters were causing. And
she had bad memories of being in college
in 68 and being scared by protesters.
made some effort to discuss it all but
it was clear we were going down a bad
road. And we were there to swim. I pulled
out of the conversation. In a minute
or two she began another conversation
with me about school. I could feel how
she wanted to make sure that we were
still friends. And we are. Friends can
When I was watching
the protesters I was thinking about
the time I lived in South of Market
and worked in North Beach. I took two
busses to get to work every day. If
I'd needed to get to work last Thursday
I woulda been screwed. A great
many people who work for an hourly wage
had trouble getting to work. And if
they miss an hour of work they don't
get paid for that hour. And when you
work for an hourly wage you need the
pay for every hour.
disobedience is supposed to be disruptive.
if you do civil disobedience you have
to accept the fact that you may hurt
You have to have some humility about
the fact that you are choosing to irritate.
When Ghandi encouraged the people of
India to wear home
spun he knew that factory
workers in England
would be hurt. It is too often the workers
of the world who are hurt. That's the
problem. The corporate elite create
the conditions in which we are pitted
against each other.
disobedience is important.
do American's think that our lives should
go on as normal while our troops are
reeking havoc in another country? Will
the actions of the protesters stir up
debate? My experience in the pool was
that it did not. My friend was too pissed
off to listen. But maybe sometimes it
does. And that's the hope. The hope
is that if we keep being irritating
that something beautiful will occur.
But, like the piece of sand in the oyster,
we need to know that it will take time.
And it won't feel good.
not interested in pushing my ideas into
anyone's face. I'm not interested in
being right. I'm interested in peace.
So I talked as much as I could. And
I stopped and reassured my friend that
we were still friends.
afterwards I was sad. Because she kept
talking about Oprah.
Oprah shaped her ideas about getting
Saddam. Most of the people I know are
interested in seeing Saddam be unseated
from power. But how? What are
the ideas that are shaping this war?
did one of his amazing
and I was having trouble raising the
to the story he was writing about. He
sent me another
One of them should work. (Thanks Ray!)
So do the guys who put up the flag understand
why it was not good? Or are they hopped
up on jingoist rhetoric? We are, after
all, attempting to INSTALL a democracy.
are, after all, going into a war with
little support from the rest of the
world. They are told every day that
Americans are doing the dirty job that
no one else was willing to do.
It does not feel good.
It should not feel good. Whether you
support the war or oppose the war it
should not feel good. I am firmly positioned
in my feelings about the wrongness of
this war but it does not feel good.
I am not the Mahatma. I am not peaceful
spinning cloth while I make my choices.
I am troubled by the anger I hear coming
from the mouths of the people who are
fighting for peace.
I went swimming. And I thought I might
get away from the war. But there is
no where to go. Until it's over.
tomorrow I will be going to the rules
They are going to hear the resolution
to create a task force on childhood
obesity. I thought they had changed
the title of the resolution to -- task
force on childhood nutrition and physical
activity. But on the web site it still
says obesity. Could be a glitch. But
no matter. I am going to ask them to
remove all the reference to size from
the resolution. I am in support of creating
a task force on nutrition and physical
activity for all children. If you
get streaming audio on your computer
you can watch
The meeting begins at 9:30 and we're
third on the agenda. But there's no
telling what that means. I get to talk
for three minutes and this is what I'm going to say.
Good morning Supervisors.
My name is Tish Parmeley but until the age of eleven my
friends and family called me Patti. Unkind people called me Fatty Patti.
I am here today to ask you to remove any words that describe
a specific body size from the resolution to create the childhood nutrition and
physical activity task force and to make sure that the task force includes
people who understand the importance of the health at any size paradigm.
I sometimes hear people say that making a fat joke or
teasing a fat person about their weight might not be a bad thing because it
might motivate fat folks to lose the weight. But I donít think shame is useful
and particularly not when it comes to kids. All kids should feel like they are
the most beautiful kid alive. And I donít think fear is a good motivator. So
while there are health concerns for all kids I think drawing a connection
between body size and illness is a negative way to motivate kids to make
healthy food choices and participate in physical activity.
Having said this I am in complete support of the intentions
of the task force. Kids in the Bay Area are in a perfect position to learn
about healthy good food. For example at Martin Luther Kings Middle School in
Berkeley they have a program called The Edible School yard in which kids plant
the seeds, harvest the crops, prepare the food and enjoy the meal. I also think
that kids should have access to a variety of opportunities for physical
But I think itís only fair that all kids are encouraged. And
I think that keeping the words over weight in the resolution adds a bias toward
talking to fat kids about food and exercise. Because fat kids have a body type
that is read as stupid, ugly, lazy and slothful they already suffer ridicule. I
donít think public policy makers need to reify the negative ideas about having
a fat body.
Itís possible that the Public Health community isnít as
informed as it might be about the health at any size paradigm. I am asking you
to encourage them to learn about it.
The other day I was thinking about how desperate I feel to
get you to understand why this is important. I thought about the number of fat
adults who have told me they avoid doctors because they are sick of being told
that their only problem is that they need to lose weight. The health community
does fat kids and fat adults no service when they make the size of a persons
body the central issue.
I was a fat kid who walked everywhere, since we had no car,
went swimming every day in the summer and took tap and ballet lessons. There
have always been fat kids and there always will be. And thank God because they
are so beautiful. Talk to them about salad and give them passes to the pool but
donít make them ashamed and afraid of their bodies.
wish I could say I feel ...uh ...up
for it. But I don't. My heart is too
sad. It takes a lot of energy to fight
the fat revolution. You are going up against a culture
that feeds you and everyone else on the idea that to
be thin is not just to be more beautiful but it's also
to be more moral. And you're fighting the internal voices
that have eaten that toxin. It means that you have to
have some energy. It means that you have some hope.
And right now I don't have much. My reserves are drained.
I got support from Barbara and my therapy group and
I was feeling pretty good. But when I got home I crashed.
I won't be alone. Marilyn
will be there. Sondra
will be there. I think Jennifer
might be there. I'm sure I'll take heart when I see
them. And I know it's important work.
There is so much work to do. I was thinking about my
post yesterday. I was thinking about how much anger
I have. And about how I have used that anger as fuel.
I did not mean to imply that I think anger is bad or
wrong. I am angry. But these days I feel the need to
move past that anger into something more ardent. Something
that I can give over to with all my heart. I guess that
means love. But it isn't a warm and fuzzy love. It's
a love that I can't even describe with words. It's a
big big love. A love that can hold the world.
first thing I want to say is thank you.
The second, third, forth, fifth and
sixth thing I want to say is thank you.
I don't think I can say thank you enough.
just so happened that on Tuesday night
the piece of writing that I was
struggling with so hard got work-shopped.
And it went well. I got lots of praise.
And. As it goes in workshops, there
were things in the writing that the
members of my workshop wanted to change.
Which wasn't that bad. Really. They
were all very kind and supportive about
the piece and they encouraged me to
publish it and I will try.
I went to the supes meeting this
morning. And it went very well. I didn't
sleep well the night before and I was
very nervous. The ride over on the bus
worse part because I was alone. Once
I got there and was with all my fellow
fat revolutionaries I felt better.
it turned out they had already changed
the language. Pretty much. I think the
e-mail campaign and the amount of people
who were there made it clear that they
needed to do some work on it. I didn't
actually say what I had written because
it was clear that I didn't need to.
I really didn't know what I said until
I got home and watched it here.
I'm not sure the link will work and
it is a long meeting. I'm somewhere
in the middle.
were lots of people who said wonderful
things. And it looks like the message
took me out to lunch. She was the perfect
person to be with. She was able to reassure
me that what I said had merit. And she
was able to hold the conflict that I
it was good and it did go well and we
did break through. And it was also emotionally
drove me to school. And it just so happened
that I had to teach a mini lesson for
my teaching writing class. It also went
well. So it was a bunch of successes.
But it was also a lot of expended emotional
energy. By the end of the night I was
of the last things I did before I left
home was to look at my comments. I took
so much heart from the support I read
in them. The first thing I did when
I got home was to read my comments.
And I took so much solace from them.
I say thank you. And I can't really
say it enough.
there was always a part of me that was
aware that the most difficult thing
that I was going through was nothing
like what people in Iraq are going through.
I don't really think it's useful to
think like that. Because this was important
work. And this is my life. I
kept looking around me. I kept looking
at the beautiful place in which I live.
I kept looking at the beautiful friends I am so lucky
to have. I am so grateful.
couldn't take in the news when I got home. I'm not sure
what to make of it all. Or how to put it in perspective.
I feel the deep sadness that has always been in my heart.
I feel how easily it begins to well up and take over.
And the battle that I wage to not let it be the loudest
voice. Every day.
the last thing I want to say is thank you. I want the
sound of my gratitude to fill the sky. I want it to
echo back down to all of you. I want you to feel how
deeply I appreciate you. And I want to hope that it
really is some kind of energy. And that it makes a difference.
In the world.
As if the task of rebellion were not difficult enough, Camus once more reminds
us that the rebel can never expect to escape the fate of Sisyphus: "Man can
master in himself everything that should be mastered," he wrote. "He should
rectify in creation everything that can be rectified. And after he has done so,
children will still die unjustly even in a perfect society. Even by his greatest
effort man can only propose to diminish arithmetically the sufferings of the
kept talking about feeling beaten up.
Yesterday I looked at my elbow and I
did have a black and blue mark. I have
no idea when that happened. It isn't
a big deal. It doesn't hurt or anything.
did I feel beaten after so much success?
Because there's always a shadow part
of the story. And it doesn't take away
from the success. But it is there. And
for me there were so many moving parts
to what was going on. Politics is ...
uh ... political.
spent the day writing thank you notes
and processing the hard parts. And trying
to catch up on the news. Every station
had the families of someone in the military.
No mention of Iraqi casualties.
Is it reasonable to want and expect ever increasing happiness and excitement
about life? Sometimes I think that I'm fighting against forces beyond my
control. Like I'm wading in the Gulf of Mexico and taking swings at the waves.
have issues with the word peace. And I understand those
being more interested in balancing power. Peace is an
opposite. And there will always be disturbance. So sometimes
the word peace feels like a simplification. In times
like these it feels like a reaction. For me it feels
like the end of a rope I'm pulling on to keep us
all from going over an edge. To keep myself from
going over an edge.
as hard as I try, I am not peaceful.
of the people I know are struggling with how to live
their lives with some kind of balance. Most of the people
I know are angry and scared and sad about the war. And
we wake up in the morning and try to find meaning and
reason in our lives. And we wonder how to do that in
a world where meaning and reason are being destroyed.
I wonder how to find meaning and reason.
the middle of the night. One set of neighbor's
kitchen is on the other side of my bedroom wall. They
came home a little while ago and were banging around.
I usually am not bothered by noise. Certainly not enough
to get out of bed. But I haven't slept well all week.
Too much thinking about what I can and can not do anything
about. And I have a stomach ache.
surprised me by stopping by for a quick visit. She's
on spring break and rushing about to see as many friends
as possible. Seeing her made everything feel better
for a while.
have such mixed feelings about parts of the Rules Committee
Meeting and the ideas about health. I do want kids to be healthy. But I
also want some of them to be able to be the
kid who would rather curl up in the
corner with a book. And isn't coordinated.
Maybe that kid can just take walks.
Or swim. Or do yoga. I wish I had spoken
out for the kid who just wants to sit
in the corner and read a book.
I was pre teen we danced. We went to the
rec center on Friday nights. And we
danced ourselves sweaty. Mostly the
girls danced and the boys sat on the side and watched.
I loved to dance.
can be joyful. I'm so happy when I'm swimming. But I
remember how much gym class sucked. Obviously when the
task force is formed I can address them. I can say this
to them then.
birthday was yesterday. Some friends of hers organized
a surprise party for her. We went to high tea at the
It was a very pleasant event because Cheryl has such
wonderful friends. Really very lovely people. I arrived
early and was there alone for a while. I looked around
at all the grandeur and abundance. It would have been
ridiculous to bring my preoccupation with the war into
that room. We were there to celebrate the life of a
wonderful woman. And it was nice to listen to the harp
playing and eat little sandwiches with the crusts cut
off. I left and took the bus home. I stared out the
window at the shoppers and the tourist and the people
playing volley ball in the park.
problem for most of the thinking people I know is how
to go on with life. We all have headaches or belly aches.
We can't sleep. We can't eat. Life feels distorted.
And yet we have to wake up and live.
I hear people saying hostile things about "the
Americans" I don't get too worked up. I feel the
same way when I hear people of color say things about
white folks. I don't feel the need to say ... hey I'm
not one of those bad people. It is generalized language.
It is never useful to lump people into categories. But
I am an American.
find no pride in being American. I haven't for a long
time. It's an identity built on denial, oppression and
appropriation. It's a hyphenated identity. The ideal
of what it means to be an American is so far from the
experience. And right now I am so ashamed of the actions
done in the name of America.
I protest and I speak out and remain mindful.
does hurt when I read generalizations about Americans.
And it should. And I am tempted to make lists of the
things that are and always have been going on here.
We are not all in lockstep with our boy prince.
not a new experience for many people. Many people are
lumped into an idea of what it is to be them. So I do
not argue. I think to myself ... ah ... this is how
am an American. I can't move away from that. I can't
pretend that because don't relate to the idea I am
not complicit. It is my country that is dropping the
big bombs. It is me in the beautiful room with the big
glass ceiling sipping champagne and eating little salmon
sandwiches. It is me that walked past four people begging
for change on the way to the tea. It is me who has to
hold all these contradictions.
got an e-mail from Ryan. He pointed to this
about why the war is wrong. I got the sorry girl from
who got it from here.
If you right click on it and save it and post it on
your web page then we can see how it travels. It might
be fun. But it also seems so apropos.
almost didn't post today. I've been
struggling with how to keep writing.
It's the same struggle I have when people
ask me how I am. Do I say fine? How
can I be fine? But there is a way in
which talking about it all in this manner
makes it about me. It feels narcissistic.
What good does it do for people to read
about my sleepless nights or stomach
aches? How is any of that going to stop
really, yesterday was about going to
the swim, eating lunch, processing issues
in relationships and feeling through
the things that have been hurting me
lately. The things that have nothing
to do with the war.
it all goes on in the context of the
been thinking a lot about the horror
that goes on in the world every day.
Before this war there was horror. After
this war there will be horror. I used
to feel like I should ignore it all
and just work on myself. Just work to
toward something loosely described as
enlightenment. But I can't ignore it
all. I feel the need to hold some of
the pain. Somehow. To witness. To understand.
To speak out about.
not up to the kind of detailed analysis,
link laden posting that I read so much
of. There are bloggers who I read because
they are my news source. They gatherer
up the articles that put the lie to
the mainstream news version of what's
going on. I read and read and try to
understand. Every once in a while I
have an opinion about something specific
and I write about it.
never had a clear idea about what this
writing is supposed to be about. Every
day I wander through the meaning making
systems of my life. I write about the
stuff that grabs my attention and forms
into a response. And these days part
of my attention is always on the war.
But what can I say day after day?
I listened to the public comment at
the Board of Supervisors in response
to Supervisor Tony
Hall's resolution that the protestors
be charged for the cost of the police
The public comment came at the end of
a long and contentious meeting and many
of the Supes had already left. There
was one point when a nineteen year old
man was talking about his experience.
He was less than articulate. Many of
the people were less than articulate.
they were filled with passion.
morning I read a rather harsh critique
of the peace movement. And something
in me bristled. I am not uncritical
of the way things are done. But I take
heart in most of what is being done.
I register with every new Internet peace
list. I write letters and make phone
calls and read and talk and pray. None
of it may stop the war. All of it together
is a pressure.
the fact that the people who are making
war do not seem to listen to anyone
I have to believe that the pressure
wears away at them. Or, at least, wears
away at the support that they think
they have. So maybe the peace movement
is chaotic and maybe all I have to offer
is wishful thinking and maybe it's solipsism
to write about my sleepless nights and
sorrow. And maybe I should not post
when I am full of abstraction and emotion.
it's all I have to offer. I only have
the story of my own heart. I only have
the struggle of my own mind. And the
hope is that, if nothing else, it anchors
is true that we need a peace movement.
A strong, articulate, grounded, relentless
Birthday, Cesar. Si se puede.
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have
been forced to live. We shall endure. - Cesar Chavez