of the Greg Palast piece is here.
It's a pay to read piece. I don't spend enough time
on Salon to pay.
went back to bed three times yesterday. It was odd because
I don't really like sleeping. I'm not that good at it.
I have a hard time getting to sleep and once I'm awake,
I'm awake. Which sucks if something wakes me up
in the middle of the night.
yesterday I was exhausted. I really don't have a reason
to be exhausted. I'm blaming hormones. I woke up and
my back was hurting. I thought that if I lay flat on
it for a while it would feel better. I did. It did.
But I drifted in and out of sleep and had weird dreams
about the painters who are working on the apartment
next door. They were working on my apartment as if I
didn't live there any more. They had moved my stuff
and broken things.
got up and did the blog roll thang. Wrote my own post.
Took a shower, got dressed, went back to bed.
and Kristina called so I talked to them for a while.
I felt like I had a list of things that I should do,
but I just wasn't getting any rev.
one o'clock I started to worry about not having candy.
For the record, no one ever trick or treats here. I
think once, years ago, three kids came by in a little
group. But every year I worry about it. So I buy a bag
of candy. No one comes by. The candy sits around for
a month or more.
eat it but I don't totally love candy. I love chocolate.
Just chocolate. So I eat M&M's. Sometimes. I like
Mounds bars. Coconut. Yep. Every year on Halloween I
buy a bag of them. Eat too many the first day. Can't
look at them for a while. And then eventually I eat
them all. Unless someone stops by and helps.
not a Halloween grrrl. But bobbi
did some photos
that you gotta see.
I don't like candy that much. But I do like Mounds. It's
about the coconut.
And every year it's the same. I just eat em until I
am so sick of them I think I'm going to puke. Next year
can someone please remind me that I do not need candy
for trick or treaters?
The best part was just as the show was beginning Michael
leans in to the camera and says, "I'm on Oprah."
I laughed out loud. What a cutie he is!
with Bill Moyers
was great last night. There are many great links on
that site about cleaning up elections and making democracy
work. Very cool. They talked a lot about the cost of
political campaigns. Something I think about every day
while I haul another pack of glossy ads for causes to
the recycle bin. None of them are very informative and
all of them seem costly. Imagine how many meals and
rents for homeless people could be bought with what
politicians spend on elections. Move
an e-mail request for funds for Mondale and a few others.
I like the idea of many people giving five dollars to
a campaign. I put a dollar in the hat every time Ralph
passed it. But I cringe every time I'm on the bus riding
through SF these days. The city is littered with posters.
Dru blogged one of those kooky
Guess which founding father I am...
took me to a great
night, Generous Portions. Just fantastic. They were all fat women.
They were lesbian and third gender and multi racial.
All colors, shapes and sizes. All speaking their truth,
in poetry and song and just playing
It was profound. Radical. Righteous.
tish is west yorkshire?s big fish tish is all tru" tish is only now
reacting tish is moaning tish is a bit tish is a lovely woman and jeff falls in love with her at
first sight tish is een zwart ticked schildpad met
veel wit een echte tri tish is one of those girls with big hair who sits in
the back of the classroom tish is closed nov tish is
not tish is an underachieving "big hair girl tish is ready to remove the protective
covers from her chairs and bed tish is
bursting inside with fear and rage tish is a
enthusiastic and knowledgeable agent tish is a
communally centered collage of guided meditation tish is tish tish is appalled when the
slang the others make up about her use of verbose intellectual references
catches on across the entire nation tish is tish is 16 going on 40 tish is hot tish is a member of the international association
of culinary professionals tish is the brains of
the outfit tish is a free woman and she
can do as she pleases tish is singing
didn't want to vote for Gore because I was afraid. It
felt so good to vote for Ralph. It felt like voting
FOR someone. But the same situation
is happening in the California governor's race. Peter
is the Green candidate. I do not like
But...I am so afraid of Bill
And if I wanted to send a message with my Nader vote
I want to send a bigger message with all my votes in
swear. This shit makes my head hurt. I still haven't
still don't know what to do. But I have thought a lot
about the problematic nature of third party politics.
When I read about thethingsCamejosupports
I know that I want to vote for him. But then there's
don't know what to do.
realize I've been putting off the decision about joining
the Green party.
I went to the
to take my mind of politics. OK. So they were not the
kind of movies to watch if I really wanted to take my
mind off politics. Theywere
not even sure I agree with that. But I wish I did. And,
despite the fact that I don't believe that Green party
candidates (including Ralph) are going to win, I do
believe that with every passing election they are gaining
ground. And if the Democratic party wants those votes
they ought to start making some changes.
The Green party is more representative of what I want
I voted for Camejo.
was not the same as voting for Nader. I felt even more
terrified. But it felt true. Then I got home from school
and the race was neck n neck. What an awful feeling.
Was it indulgent to vote my heart? I honestly don't
when Davis pulled out ahead I felt this tension that
I've been feeling all week. As the night went on and
the news got worse and worse nationally I really began
time I was getting out of high school
everything had changed. I ran off into everything alternative
and ignored politics. Voting for Jimmy Carter felt OK.
By the time we got to the eighties and Reagan and Bush
I was completely gone.
then there was Clinton. So much hope.
I was watching the movie I thought about our current
situation. And the fear that I have on a daily basis.
The media and the White House are going to paint this
as a sweeping victory. It was not. It was a bloody battle.
All of these races were close. There is still no mandate.
But they are going to act as if there is.
I listen to Ralph and Media politics sounds like righteous
activity. What we dare to imagine. We're going to need
to be daring. We're going to need to be imaginative.
We're going to need to call up all our energy and faith.
see. What could make me feel worse on a day when I'm
already feeling pretty terrible about an election in
which a third of the registered voters (to say nothing
about people who are eligible but never get it together
to register) turn out to vote and the already kidnapped
seat of political power gains a posse?
does a show on obesity.
Why, you might ask, did I watch it? I know the other
day people were asking me why I watched a movie about
Pinoche followed by a movie about Kissinger. I'm just
crazy like that. I feel this need to understand.
Oprah thinks I live behind a wall because I haven't
addressed my pain.
had women on the show who eat a lot. One woman stopped
at a fast food place and ordered three sandwiches and
ate them all.
rather eat the phone book.
the women on the show had problems with eating. Each
one of them talked about how much they ate. I understand
that some women have that problem. And, for them, Oprah's
combination of self help and diet and exercise is a
path to something that makes them feel better.
theirs is not the only experience.
I just couldn't help but wonder if the one woman had
some damage to her satiety signal. She talked about
feeling full but eating any way and not stopping until
she felt unwell. There may be psychological issues but
I think there may well be physical ones as well. So,
all the "dealing with her pain" in the world
will be done with no insight into how her physical body
may be not working to help her understand her own hunger.
And while she's "dealing with her pain" she'll
feel like no one understands how hard it is. And they
was a woman who left a comment over at Big
the other day. She had a brain tumor removed and with
it a small section of her brain. There was damage to
the pituitary and hypothalamus and she has gained weight.
She is not fat positive. She resents her situation.
I understand that.
Oprah says that fat people are living a walking death.
Yes. That is what she said. And all we gotta do is get
with the program. So all the fat people who don't eat
four sandwiches at fast food restaurants live in a world
where people think they lie about how much they eat.
And all the people with endocrine problems have no public
voice. And all the thin people who eat piles of crap
don't have anyone who worries about their health.
me. I'm just livin behind a wall with my pain.
I'm not feeling that bad. I mean it's all too crazy.
The world I live in. I think I'm going to call up Tom
and see if I can work on his campaign. And I'm going
to write a letter to Oprah. And I'm going to keep on
was feeling very lucky that I didn't have to go out
the door yesterday.
It was wicked. At one point in the afternoon a light
flickered across my computer screen and a few minutes
later I heard the boom of thunder. It startled me. We
just don't have thunder around here that often. The
electricity blinked off once. The doors and windows
were rattling. But basically I was snug.
got some great comments yesterday. April talked about
she didn't vote.
I understand. Despite the fact that I feel strongly
about people voting I don't think anyone should vote
when they feel that there is no one to vote for.
Democratic party needs to wake up. I am almost encouraged
by the idea of Nancy
I still have the dilemma of whether that will make the
Democratic party radical enough for me. And I still
worry that the Green party will not be strong enough
politically even if a Green candidate wins.
people who are trying to live with some kind of integrity
these decisions are never as easy as "you're either
with us or against us." I've read a lot of people
who did vote ragging on people who didn't. And I am
frustrated by how many people don't vote. But I also
read people say that they voted and then felt icky.
I voted and felt like, despite the fact that I voted
my heart, I might have fucked up. It's very fucking
said something about seeing something on Oprah and then
rushed to say that she doesn't actually watch Oprah.
It made me laugh. Oprah comes on at a time of day when
I have had it with CNN and MSNBC. Sometimes I turn
on the radio or play music but, very often, Oprah has
things on that are compelling.
look, she got a lot of people reading books.
is hopeless in terms of the fat stuff. She believes
her own experience to be the truth for all fat bodies.
But I've said before that I see what she's done as a
project. And I give her her propers for coming up with
a project and working on it.
actually do think that people eat for comfort sometimes.
I just don't think that's a pathology. I also think
people eat in frantic compulsive gulps in the same manner
I've watched people suck cocaine into their already
way too wound up bodies, or drink three
twenty more drinks than their liver can tolerate, or
smoke fifty cigarettes in a row. And there may be something
going on there. But so?
me clear. I have eaten in frantic compulsive gulps,
sucked cocaine into my already way too wound up body, drank
three twenty more drinks than my liver
could tolerate, and smoked fifty cigarettes in
a row. And there were things going on. And so? I don't
do things like that very often anymore. But I don't
think I was bad when I did. I was living my life. Telling
the truth as fast as I could figure it out.
there are thin people who are going to eat four sandwiches
at a fast food restaurant today and they won't end up
although I do not like fast food, I understand that
people do and I understand that there are class issues
around who can afford what, and pleasure in all its
many forms is a good thing.
last line sounded a bit too Martha Stewart. I just don't
think we need to hang out in shame and blame.
(Not to be confused with Kristina) sent me this
I swear I laughed out loud.
keep thinking about Kell's positing about Oprah and
what she gets out of the fat = a living death thang.
Does race factor into it?
the kind of thing I worry about being too quick to agree
with, despite the fact that I suspect it's true. Hence
my continued thinking. But I will say that, on the a
fore mentioned Caroline
show the people who were embarrassed to admit that they
watched Oprah (ever) mentioned something about her gaining
too much credibility with the left and then the powers
that be might be upset with her. (I'm paraphrasing wildly.)
And another of them said something like, oh it would
be easy to discredit her, they'd just say she was fat.
I guess if you're a woman and Black AND fat ... I mean
it's three strikes. Still, for some reason, I wanna
give her the credit that I believe she is due.
post on Alas
in which he talks about his economic theory. I hope
he won't mind that I'm going to use it to say something
about fat hatred. What other people think does matter.
In his example of Debbie Allen not being seen as someone
who can afford to shop in certain shops, race is the
thing that causes the reaction. Well. Racism.
I'm here to tell you fat girls in department stores...may
not get respect.
do think that people who lose weight get into this morally
superior thing. It makes it hard to want to give them
the credit that they deserve for taking on a project
and completing it. Because that project gives them a
body that grants them a new level of access.
I don't want to take their feeling of struggle and success
away from them. I just want them to imagine that my
relationship with my body is different from their relationship
with their body and not in good/bad way.
now, tonight, I feel a part of
many people. the moon and I are being towed by the meticulous windows and plugs
and streetlamps all around the world, towed in from the sea, to sleep in warm
and nod off in gold light. towed by these large wheeled come and getcha where
ever ya are fans, by these all-wheel offroad golden hearts that bring ya in from
where ever you are and put a blanket over ya and give ya a warm drink -
have to read
In Cold Blood
for school. Which kinda bugs me since I have a stack
of other books I'd rather be reading. I read it back
in the day and again a few years ago in a class
I took on literary journalism. It is a
great piece of writing.
has these funny little smiley faces in her comments.
Every time I leave her a comment I spend soooo much
time trying to pick the right one. Really. I am such
a goof. I was reminded about Rickie
Lee Jones on line journal in
her comments. Hence my new epigraph. I love me some
my goddaughter was a little girl, oh so many years ago,
I bought her a
It was way too expensive and I worried that I was gifting
her a love for dubious commercial values with the doll.
But good gawd the doll and her stuff was so cool. I
was obsessed about making sure she had ALL the stuff.
I think I was into it long after she was. There was
a point where it was more like I was buying presentsforSamantha
than her. Even now I see a
new thing for
the doll and I get all mooky and want to buy it. My
god daughter, by the way, is in college.
rational about the doll was (oh. actually I had many
rationals about the doll.) that it was a way for her
to learn about history.
And yet I wondered how the company would ever
make dolls of color and describe their American Girl
tried. Every year, about this time, I get a catalog
from them and the
lust to buy
gets kicked up.
still think the doll was a good idea. But it is a thing
to worry about. I mean I spent the money on the doll
but her parents spent the money on food and rent. Consumerism
puts such a burden on parents.
I got home from the Sunday swim I felt the need to nap.
Not a big deal. I slept a while and then got up and played
on the computer. At 6:30 I was so tired I thought I
might go to bed. I really couldn't keep my eyes open.
So...another nap. Then at 11:00, when I went to bed,
there was no way I was going to sleep. Even when I went
to sleep I didn't stay asleep for long. I woke up about
one of those times I sat on the edge of the bed and
all I could think was that it was crazy that I couldn't
sleep. Crazy isn't the word. It felt like I couldn't
do it right. I sat there trying to understand why I
was so tired in the day and now I couldn't sleep. I
kept thinking I don't know. I don't know.
of what was keeping me awake was all the stuff I had
to think about.
there I was sitting on the side of the bed thinking
about it all and saying I don't know. I don't know.
And suddenly I just started to laugh.
mean it would be great if I'd had some kind of vision
or epiphany. But no. Just an acute awareness of powerlessness
and uncertainty. And it felt bad...but it also made
I'm a little groggy today. I should probably not try
to make sense of anything.
seems to me that the word partisan gets used a bit too much
lately. It's become an expletive. It's used to describe
a politic that isn't in lock step with the current (cough)
administration. And every time I hear it used that way
I feel like it's just one more way to silence dissent.
theory is that having two parties represented puts in
checks and balances. Despite the fact that I haven't
seen much difference in the two parties I am aware that
now those checks and balances (no matter how limited)
all but gone.
And even people who are radically right should be worried
the sound bite methodology of political rhetoric morphs
language. Is it partisan
to be committed to the ideals of the party to which
you belong? Yep. And is that unfair?
just seems to me that when a member of the congress,
or the senate doesn't agree with the (cough) administration
they are accused
of being partisan.
often, can not tolerate opinions that are not the same
as mine. Sometimes I really need agreement. Especially
when I'm very scared or angry. But I know I need to
listen to the other opinion. And in a political system
to be democratic opposing opinions are argued as a way
to keep everybody thinking. And actions are taken after
a vote. A vote that reflects the thinking and a sense
of majority. Do I really now live in a country where
majority means Republican? Or do I live in one where
has been stolen?
have no partisan loyalty. I wish I did. For me, the
Green party feels like the boy you really want but know
things won't work with. And the Democrats...well. We'll
spaced out a friends birthday the other day. I knew
it was coming up but on the day I just spaced out. Got
lost in my inner blah blah blah. When I realized that
I had forgotten I begged forgiveness and she understood.
thing that sucks is that it was one of my very best
friends. One of the people who makes me feel better
about the world. I so admire the way she lives her life.
I admire her relationships, the way she operates in
her work, her curiosity and grace and dignity. The ways
in which she struggles with adversity. The way she creates
always in my heart and I wish I woulda snapped out of
my self and remembered to call her and tell her how
grateful I am to have her in my life. Which is really
what I mean when I say Happy Birthday. I mean thank
you for being. And thank you for being my friend.
is Kristina's birthday. I feel all of the above about
her as well. I feel so lucky to have the friends that
whine about feeling alone. A lot. And I do feel alone. A
lot. But I do
snap out of it every once in a while and remember that
I am so rich in friends. It doesn't always help to know
this. But even when I am suffering in the deepest, darkest
part of aloneness, I try to remember them.
thought about picking it up. But I have the same problem
I had the last time there was a discussion about sexism
on the blogs. It talks about a blogger who I don't read.
I've been to his site a few times. I didn't feel the
connection. I have been offended by his site a few times.
But, ya know, I just don't read him. No big deal. I
usually end up reading him because another blogger, who
I do read, links to him.
I didn't feel like I could jump in.
reading Dorothea I did feel like I needed to jump in
long enough to say one thing.
other day I was listening to a man talk about a visit
to New York. He was saying that everyone was telling
him that since Giuliani is gone crime is up. He
said something about gangs of young black men running
around in Times Square. All I could think of was the
Park Jogger case.
do I bring it up now?
Sexism. The whole list of isms.
a young man in my class. He's a good writer. But he
writes about women in that "playful" way.
He's gotten feedback from women in class about the negative
effect some of his languages has had on us. I know he
hears it. And I know he's thought about it. But he still
has the reflex. The easy joke about a woman as an object
part, I think he thinks he makes himself the fool in
some of these jokes. Like his longing for a certain
type of woman makes him the fool and he just can't help
it. But the things he writes hit the bodies of the women
in the room. I feel it. Some of them laugh. I always
wonder how I can say something about how the writing
makes me feel with out sounding puritanical, or humourless.
don't know how the a fore mentioned thread is going
to play out. But I wanted to come out strong and clear
about the big yes I felt when I was reading Dorothea.
I want to thank her for mentioning fat jokes in her
rant. And I want to say yes to Elaine as well.
mostly, I really hope that the men who blog take a minute
to think/feel before they react. I want men to feel
safe to say whatever they want to say, even if some
of those things are hurtful. But I also hope that men
who really care about thinking will ask them selves
why they laugh at some of the stuff they laugh at. Not
in "oh I've been a bad boy way". In a deep,
open hearted way.
of my teachers said something interesting about the
relationship between readers and writers. He talked
about the reader bringing things to the writing from
where they are at and how that can be problematic. It
made me think about how I was sure that Joni
wrote all her lyrics about my life. Still do sometimes.
is true. The writer and the reader meet at an intersection
of meaning and exchange notes.
in the blog world that is, theoretically, the place
where conversation begins. So if women talk about the
jokes that men make on their blogs, the embedded sexism,
or lookism, and the way it feels to see it, read it...a
conversation, theoretically, might begin.
it's not going to happen if men don't think about the
ways in which they are privileged by the institution
deeply committed to thinking about the ways in which
I'm privileged by my skin color. I'm committed to watching
for the ways in which I contribute to racism. I feel
uncomfortable in conversations about racism and I think
I should feel that way. Racism should make us all feel
talking about sexism should make men feel uncomfortable.
So why would a man willingly enter into a conversation
that might make him uncomfortable?
you imagine the curve of my eyebrow right now?
We bring stuff into our reading of other people. And
people who write books or in magazines may not ever
know what the reader brings. But in the blog world we
are, some of us, theoretically, jumping into the fray.
The Book that I am not working right now ( but I will
over the holidays. really. I will. ) I am reaching toward
readers. I am asking them to think with me. And sometimes
it seems like too much to ask.
well. We'll see.
are talking about sex toys today. Yes. Sex. Toys. And
that may be a whole other conversation.
you haven't heard the Pattie
show you don't know the format. They usually open
with an interview, or reading to set up their theme
and then in the latter part of the show they chat about
the theme. Yesterday's
interview was with a
young woman who sells sex toys.
In the second part of the show Pattie talked about how
she was surprised how she felt during the interview.
She had to fight the taboo against talking about sex.
I was listening I was thinking about the my last
two posts. I was thinking about the intersection where
sexuality and desire and longing become shadowed by
the politics of male power. I was trying to figure out
how to parse the topic without sounding like a women's
studies 101 prof. I wanted to try and keep writing about
what I was thinking and feeling but I worried about
it getting too theoretical and losing heart. I was reaching
out for some kind of ... something. I dunno. Something
like recognition. Reconciliation.
there were people who reached back. George
back with a comment and a post. A very clear direct
affirmation for which I was grateful. Dru
reached back in her
open hearted active brain way.
Wrote an amazing, detailed, thoughtful, heart felt response.
And wrote it with a baby at her breast.
April wrote a response
The one that got me going. April's post brought out
an angle of the nature of play and gender. And Ray
left a comment that opened up a conversation.
read the poem toward the end of my morning blog roll.
As I read it I started to cry. Thick tears. Not sad
tears. Tears of deep relief.
I went to bed last night I felt like I understood how
Pattie felt. Because in the conversation that broke
out in my comments we were talking about sexism.
Not in a big political theory kinda way but in a people
trying to talk about how it makes us feel kind of way.
It felt like breaking a taboo. I was worried about misunderstanding.
when we talk about the intersection where sexuality,
identity, representation, and power collide it gets
very personal and very individual and very tender.
got my hair cut yesterday. I go this place a block from
my apartment. The two men who own and operate it are
both named Tom. Hence the name ... Tom's Beautiful Hair.
It's a small place and I was here when they first moved
in, so I've been getting my hair cut there for about
ten years. I only get my hair cut once a year, but I
see them on the street, or at the grocery store. It's
a pretty sweet feeling.
you get your hair cut you stare at yourself in the mirror
for an hour. Women get early training in how to look
in the mirror and go down a check list of beauty failures.
But I was fortified by Ray's poem and the conversation
in my comments and around the blog. So I just chatted
with Tom and Tom and enjoyed being fussed over.
came home and saw Mike's comment and started crying
again. But, ya know, these were all tears of relief
and heart healing.
night Kristina and Joe took me out for a lovely
It was great to chat it up with them.
I woke up this morning feeling pretty great and grateful.
Made my Fred
toast and tea and hit the blogs. I read someone who
I read every day, often more than once. They had a comment
from someone in a post that was pretty terse. I followed
the link to the commenter's site and they had a huge
and vitriolic post aimed at the person I read. I'm being
oblique because I don't want to add to what could become
a never ending circle of slams. Every once in a while
someone doesn't agree with something I say, usually
when I'm writing about fat stuff, and they leave
a comment or send an e-mail. Sometimes I try to
engage them in a conversation. We can agree to disagree.
I don't play hostility very well. Anger. Yes. Frustration.
Sure. But mean, aggressive, venting...not at all.
it made me think about something Mike said in his comment.
"Here, we speak generally as we find our way to
are many really great people writing on line. Taking
risks. Exploring themselves and their feelings with
language. Trying to push the limits of what is possible.
With comments it can get interactive. And, I guess,
sometimes that means it gets stupid and ugly.
didn't harsh my mellow or anything. I'm still feeling
great and grateful. And cute. Coz of the haircut.
I was feeling all pleased and happy. I was feeling like
some conversation had happened and it was good and some
healing got done. Maybe just for me. But some got done.
And then I was on another person's blog. Another
person who I read all the time. I saw a comment there.
It seems I wrote something a while back that someone took a certain
way. In a way that I did not intend. But I can
see how it was taken that way. I guess.
first I thought about writing to the person to try and
clear things up. Then I thought about taking a break
from blogging. Then I thought about leaving my writing
program and finding a convent, or ashram, or something,
where I could take a vow of silence and give up on trying
to use language at all. Ever.
I thought ... aw.....what the fuck.
you write something and it hits the mark. Sometimes
people just slide past each other.
the afternoon I went to Willa's
and read her NaNoWriMowriting.
Very, very pleasant. I want to be the character in her
story.I have so much respect for all
the people who are doing the NaNoWriMo thing.
been thinking about the way I do my little page project.
I do that from time to time. But owing to the last few
days of blog crossed conversation I've been examining
my motivations and desires and abilities and on and
on and on.
the way in which a specific thread gets picked
up and woven into other people's motivations and desires
and abilities and on and on and on.
I was focused on a specific few bloggers and their specific
conversations and an idea of sexism
and how it transacts with what is thought of as sexy,
there were other conversations going on.
wrote a post
about the men and women who are/will be called upon
to fight the war. I thought about this morning while
still reading In
It's taking me a while because I dread picking it up.
I know why we were assigned it. It is an amazing piece
of writing. But it is a portrait of violence. Capote
draws everyone in a way that lends insight.
is one thing that stays with me, the fact that human
beings can kill other human beings.
because I'm reading this book, maybe because 60 minutes
last night seemed to say that the
inspectors will fail and
when they do our cowboy
lead us into the battle. Maybe because I watch too muchcrap
on Sunday nights. Maybe because I love language and
believe in conversation and when things go wrong I feel
lost. I don't know why but I had bad dreams all night.
I sat down at the keyboard today thinking about too
many things, all at once.
I don't always know what I'm doing here. I just keep
trying to do something that reflects my chaotic, frenzied
thinking and my aching, worried heart.
last few times I've been on the bus I've noticed the
cameras. It's not new. I've seen cameras on buses before
but these are new ones. And I'm noticing it for obvious
got a call from Tom last night. A mutual friend of ours,
Adam, died. Both of them were pivotal in my little
I had a little bit of a musical career. And I got lots
of support from musicians in Boulder. it was a time
of my life that felt wild and fun and free.
wanted to have a band. So I asked Tom if he'd help me
work up a few tunes and I rented a hall and I
asked Adam if his band would play. Adam's band was Fat
Chance and mine was Fatshadow and I called the gig two
tons of fun. That was the beginning. A little bit of
music on a Sunday afternoon in the mountains.
remember a time when I was sitting next to Adam in a
bar and he was running his hand through my hair. I remember
the comfort and the electric sensuality of that moment.
ya know, time goes by. People lose touch. And then a
Luther King is on the radio right now. Many beautiful
sat next to him in Latin. And, after school, I sat at
the picnic table behind our apartment building, trying
to look like I was studying, waiting for him to
run past. He usually did. And I said. "Hi."
then my mom married Ken and we began to get ready to
move to Maryland. There was a big last dance of the
year. As I walked in I saw Gary talking to Kathy Garrity.
Kathy was tall and blonde and had ... you know ... really
big tits. And a reputation. I don't know which part
of all that I felt the most competitive about. Actually
I don't think I felt competitive. I was too sure I couldn't
as I walked past them Gary turned and said hi.
don't remember much about the dance. I think all the
girls danced and the boys stood in a circle around
us. When they played slow music a few intrepid young
men moved onto the floor, met the girls who wore their
school rings, and they would wrap arms around necks
and waists and sway. Slowly.
the end of the dance Gary, and a group of boys, followed
me, and a group of girls, all the way to the street
then we moved away.
moment. When he turned. The look in his eyes. That feeling
I wish we'd stayed in Pittsburgh. I imagine a life in
which I wore Gary's school ring. And the prom. And the
wedding. And the kids.
dealing with trolls at Big
I guess it's inevitable but it pisses me off. Paul has
clearly delineated guidelines
for commenting. He does the policing of the site
to make sure that the blog feels like a safe place for
fat positive discussion. There really aren't that many
places where fat positive discussion is happening, so
it's pretty important.
difficult to know where to draw the line. There are
people who haven't done any reading about fat
and are bombarded by mainstream
media's message of fear
and they just want to talk about the problems of fat
because...there are problems....aren't there?
OK. And I know there are NO problems for thin and average
sized people. None.
becomes difficult to tolerate the good intentions of
people who are only worried about your health.
truth is I haven't been taking very good care of my
self lately. I'm preoccupied and tense. This almost
always means I eat less. Yesterday I had Cherrios and
a piece of toast, some mango and two pieces of
spinach and feta pizza fairly early in the day. By the
time I got out of class, at 9:00 PM, I was pretty hungry
but I don't like to eat late at night.
I thought I'd ask Susan to stop at Mc Donalds.
hate Mc Donalds. I hate them for so
But it was late, I didn't want to go out, and suddenly
the idea of fast carbs, fat and salt sounded OK. But
we were talking about school and I forgot to say anything
about stopping and suddenly I was home. There wasn't
really anything here. So, I just went to bed.
need to put more energy into cooking. I need to manage
my time a little better. I need to do blah blah blah.
world is full of people who think they know me better
than I know myself. People who wanna jump in and tell
me about will power and self control. Not many of them
have a clue about the real issues in my life.
theater of what women and their bodies represent
we praise some and stone others. And all the while money
is being made. And the spokeswoman for the pageant wants
us to know
that the show will go on.
time I was away from my mother's house on Thanksgiving
was classic. I was in Boulder.
There were no grocery stores open. the only restaurant
open was a small cafe. A friend and I wrote a bad check
for omelettes. Then we wrote another bad check to see
We ended the day in a bar. I talked to my mom on a pay
phone. It was cool in a crazy kind of way.
I soon became the Thanksgiving queen. I would cook for
days and invite every one in town who had no where else
to go. It was about the gathering up. And the sharing
of resources. The romantic ideal.
then, when I moved to New York, I spent the morning
at the parade and the afternoon in a diner. Heh.
days I'm ambivalent and reclusive. I have some invitations,
but I'm thinking I'll be working on a last paper for
school. And thankful for the time to do it.
some day, I may try that turduken thing. just coz.
one point we saw a bit of the Osbournes.
I think I've seen a bit of it before, but I've never
really watched it. In the bit we saw Kelly licked her
finger and wiped it on her mother's face. Then her mother
put her fingers in her pants to (presumably) get some
vaginal fluid to wipe on her daughter. A sort of body-fluid
get-even thing. I guess. So the mother chased the
daughter around the house in an attempt to wipe
vaginal fluid on her.
do I think? I honestly don't know. I was too ... uh
... hmmm ... stunned? ... or something.
are about swimming,
And last night I saw a play by Teresa Walsh about her
spinal chord injury and recovery in Havana.
is a beautiful woman. She is also average sized. Her
injury was a result of falling out of a window. Her
body literally fell from the state of norm into the
definition of damaged. The play is about her journey
away from that definition and back to her self. Her
fall happened in Harlem and once she could walk a little
bit she realized that her insurance would not cover
rehabilitation. But she had friends in Cuba. The story
of her recovery speaks to the need for health care that
goes the distance, creates community and solidarity
and heals the heart and soul as well as the body.
is a line in the play. She's just had sex for the first
time since her injury. She's vulnerable and ashamed
and she tries to avoid her lover. But he pushes her
to talk to him about what she is feeling. She talks
about her insecurities about her body and he says,
your body. It's my job to understand."
Yeah. That would do it for me.
me that line holds the sound of grace and dignity. I
long for people who experience my body as part of my
whole story and not as a simple pathology.
Somewhere in America a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner,
every 15 seconds. A woman is raped every 23 seconds in South Africa.
Every minute in the United Kingdom, police receive a call from the public
for assistance for domestic violence. 81% of these are female victims attacked
by male perpetrators. 47% of women in Bangladesh have been physically abused
in their lifetime by an intimate partner.
"Certainly I love to
eat. I'm Italian and I love Italian food. I've been known to steal chocolates
from my grandchildren and pretend the fairies have eaten them. I salivate in
confectionary shops. But I found it impossible to imagine being that size."
"I was glad to say goodbye to the suit. If I had the choice whether to be my
normal weight or 20 stone, nothing in the world would make me carry around that
amount of weight."
wonder if John Howard Griffen had ended his
with a similar sentence if anyone would have responded
the way I responded to that sentence by Roddick. I read
the book so long ago. I remember that I thought it was
such a cool idea. Right now I'm wondering how much a
person can understand about another person's life by
a few days, or weeks, or months of pretend "difference".
The things that shape my body and my experience have been collected
over a life time in my body.
wait. It's about not eating Italian food or chocolate.
It's just that simple. I had pasta yesterday. Red bell
pepper pasta with roasted mushrooms, eggplant
and yellow bell pepper and a lovely bit of asiago.
It was good. I'll be having it again today since there
were left overs.
pisses me off because this is not a stupid woman. And
the fact that she doesn't get how offensive some of
the things she wrote were... well... I guess it's a
fat thing. She doesn't understand.
but there's more.
a new conversation about sexism going around. Beginning
and then moves
and moves again.
It's occurring here
I was trying to stay out of it. The last time I got
involved in a cross blog conversation about sexism I
lost sleep worrying that I wasn't being clear. Worrying
that people would feel silenced. Worrying that a truly
meaningful dialogue isn't possible in a text based relationship
and that feelings get hurt and that my feelings got
hurt and ... maybe I just don't think that truth is
I need to put on a leggy, blonde suit and then I'll
I do have something to say about being a girl. Being
a girl is filled with moments of awakening. But the
awakenings are different for each individual girl. As
I'm sure they are different fro each individual boy.
And part of that awakening is about feeling your own
sexual self and feeling the electric dance of sexuality
between you and boys and/or other girls. Feeling
the power of all that charge. Looking for the person
who will turn to you and meet you in all that sparkling
power and longing. It seems like pretty precious stuff.
step father has had a bad health year. Which means my
mom is having a bad year. So. I'm going to North Carolina
for the month of December to be with them.
will be the longest time I've spent with them in my
adult life and I'm filled with anxiety. I'm distracted
relationships are complicated. I don't know how much
I will write about this. But I set up a blogger
tried to help me set up MT but we discovered that my
server doesn't allow CGI bin access. And I can't access
my site from NC with out a long distance call. So, the
blogger site seemed like a good way to go. I'll start
writing there on the first.
my page has become a daily touch stone. A way of thinking
like a writer. A way to challenge my feelings of isolation.
And I'm REALLY going to need to do that while I'm in
I feel tired and scared and tense.
few days ago when I was writing about Willa's
birthday I thought again about how I got started doing
this and the ways in which it has changed over the last
year and half. Willa was the first on line journal I
read. Her site was my portal. Then, sometime last
year I stumbled on the blogger crowd and ... I dunno.
Sometimes I feel like I'm trying too hard. I'm reaching
and reaching. And it's fucked up.
reaching for links. Links those little nods to other
bloggers. Those introductions to others. they're about
acknowledgment and generosity and ego. And I'm sick
of caring about them. If you don't do the blog thing
you may not get the link concept. But it has become
a thing for me. An unseemly thing. A blogger told me
that the way to get linked is to write something REALLY
great. Well. I try. I do get linked sometimes. Dru
has linked me often enough to make me blush. And I'm
on some blog rolls. But I swear. Every month or so I
find myself spending way too much energy on caring if
certain people are reading me. And I have to shake myself
right now I have NO energy to worry about writing something
REALLY great. I'm writing to save my heart. I'm feeling
my way along. I'm trying to stay honest. I never know
from one day to the next if I'll be able to do it again.
I feel tired and scared and tense. And this is the best
I can do.
told me not to, but I did. I watched Dr. Phil's show,
big fat attitude.
And. It didn't totally suck. Don't get me wrong. Phil
is a fascist and a bully. Generally I cannot bear more
than a few minutes of him and I don't watch his show.
But I got e-mail from some folks about last night since
women were on. So I watched. There was a woman who let
loose a bunch of vitriolic fat hatred. Phew. It
was bad. And he got in her face and told her she was
being mean. That's what he does. He gets in people's
face. That's why I don't watch him. He had a 400 pound
women who talked about how happy she was. They showed
her swimming and it was great because, there she was,
exercising and loving it. He kept asking one fat woman
if she could lose weight would she and she didn't want
to say yes so she kept hedging. I wanted to telaport
there and say, "Ask me." He did use his credibility
to talk about fat as unhealthy with no one to talk about
that in any really detailed way. There are people with
It wasn't great. But it didn't suck. And I still won't
pointed to this
to the girlism stuff. It is pretty great. But, ya know,
I just hafta say that the
post that started it all
hit me in a very emotional place. It may have been meant
as an observation of a trend and not an endorsement.
But it FELT like a woman who was distancing herself
from the stereotype of the angry feminist and the tactics
she described aren't going to work for all of us. So
am I jealous? Uh... not so much. Is feminism dead? Uh...I
don't think so.
There's still a lot of work being done. Is it about
gender equity? In part.
Maybe. But really...I don't want the playing field to
be leveled, I want it to be completely redesigned. So,
the post that started it all hit my heart. And there
have been some posts in response to it that have hit
my heart as well. And at the end of it all what I still
hear is that people with privilege don't want to hear
about the experience of people with none.
was IMing with Dru
last night. Which was pretty fun. I can't type and I
can't spell and I always feel like a goof in the IM
thing. But we were talking about competition in relationships.
I blame Capitalism. I think we get early training in
scarcity and how one needs to distinguish oneself in
the public space. We get handed a set of measuring sticks
with which to determine our value. I'm competitive.
In some really unseemly ways. I just keep trying
to tell the truth and move on.
didn't do the laundry. I decided to wait till Monday,
closer to when I leave. I guess I could even do it in
the day on Tuesday. Since I'm sure I'll be completely
tense. It might be good to have something to do. We'll
When I do a second post of the
day you know Iím worked up about something. And I think Iíve noted that I am a
bit on edge these days, so I get worked up easier. Things that make me sad make
me sadder. Things that make me mad make me madder. So with that qualification
as an opener I am now going to write a response to a post by Mike. Why? Oh. I
dunno. Itís Friday night in fat city and Iím just feeling mouthy. (For the
record I am not offended by the use of fat in that title. I just thought Iíd
use it in my own way. OK. Iíll try to stop qualifying.)
What is 'caring'? Being
hypersensitive, prickly, and aggressive or taking cognizance that some people
view us in a certain way and there's very little, given the way human beings
run their lives, we can or need do about it?
WellÖI guess I think I get hypersensitive, prickly and aggressive
sometimes because I care. I try to make note of my own emotional responses when
I communicate with people during hypersensitive, prickly and aggressive times.
(See above lengthy qualification.) I am very clear that some people view me in
certain ways. But I really donít want to accept that there is very little I can
do about it. If I start to believe that Iíll stop writing all together.
Do we live our lives or do we live for the nebulous 'them'?
I do know that there are people who will never see me in any other way
than the way they want to. I donít worry about them. But I do always hope for a
window of opportunity, a moment when I can break through and have some real
communication. I neither want to live for a nebulous ďthemĒ nor ignore the fact
that I feel things. Sometimes unseemly and childish things. Oh well.
I do have some related, general
questions hindering an understanding of the vehemence with which Halley's views
WellÖonly speaking for myselfÖI didnít oppose Halleyís views. I think
she has every right to them. I reacted to them viscerally. Iíve alreadywritten
about my reactions and I thanked Shelly on Blogsisters for speaking up with
another point of view. I guess itís clear that I did not love what Halley was
saying, but she has every right to her views.
Is there not merit to the
argument that men, being told to shut up, become indifferent to the good and
bad in others who happen to be women?
Iím not sure where and when and which men were told to shut up. But,
yes. People who tell me to shut up are usually people who I become indifferent
to. On the other hand, there have been men and women who have said things that
I find particularly egregious, and I have said shut up. Only today when the
president select was on the TV Ö Oh. Wait. Thatís another post.
Is there not a price being paid
by about two billion women around the globe who, through globalization,
subsidize the 'freedom' of today's First World feminist?
Yes. And, for me, part of being a First World Feminist is about
recognizing my privilege and working to keep the problems of all women in the
conversation. I know having a membership to Amnesty isnít enough. Writing
letters to public policy makers isnít enough. I probably donít do enough.
Can the breakup of the modern
Western family, now being exported worldwide, not also be partly attributed to
a wholesale eschewing of 'institutional doctrines' containing good and bad
attributes - but which, till a few decades ago, seemed to work, even if
somewhat precariously or miraculously?
Um. Well. I love families. All kinds. My own family ďbroke upĒ early on.
I live in San Francisco, where family has a bunch of different looks and feels.
All good. Was the mom, dad and kids thing working? It didnít work in my life.
Are women, worldwide, better off today than they were two centuries
Somewhat. There are women here, and in your neck of the woods, who can
vote now. But thereís a lot of work to do.
I donít know.
Do gays and women not objectify themselves through a continuing call for
their 'rights', another label of convenience much loved of politicians and
others selling causes and -isms. Do women not inflict this on themselves when
they consciously use feminism as an 'analytical perspective' or 'theoretical
tool'? Do we not all detract from the reality of 'what is' by having days set
aside for this, that, and every other thing? Will lighting a candle in my
window on Sunday really help AIDS orphans in kwaZulu-Natal or would ten bucks
dropped in the letterbox of the AIDS orphanage up the road do more good?
WellÖIím kinda into lighting candles,
as you may remember. But money is good too.
In scrutinizing, analyzing, and 'academifying' the whole
gender debate are we not detracting from an essential sense of mystery
accompanying our interaction and mutual needs?
I would apologize for my own tendency to 'academifying' stuff.
Except I just spent the last five years of my middle aged, menopausal life
working myself into states of exhaustion trying to get some academic wisdom.
Iím now so in debt Iíll have to die the day I graduate. But somehow, somewhere
I got a kooky idea that learning was a good thing. I love mystery. I love the
mystery that accompanies the interactions of people with mutual needs. But if
what you mean by mystery is evoked by the flip of a skirt in an office and
results in the advance of a woman in said work place then yeah, Iíd like to
detract from that mystery. Maybe itís because flipping my skirts wonít work for
me. Maybe Iím just jealous. Maybe. But if it did work for me I would hope I
wouldnít use it.
In other words, are
we not buggering about with archetypes rather than stereotypes and screwing up
big time because we want something indefinable that fills a need in us?
Whatever. Yes. I may sometimes be guilty of wanting something indefinable to
fill a need in me.
Are others lacking or
are we lacking?
Yes. We are all lacking. And we are all full.
Look. Iím not sure where all this fits into the thing Halley wrote. And
so I may be veering off here. But I will say that Madison Avenue has something
to do with what is perceived as beautiful. Thatís not about mystery. Itís about
hypnosis. I understand that there is preference in the world. And some of that
is about physicality. But I also understand that it might not hurt to take a
minute and think about it all.
Who, ultimately, are we? Are we men, women, or people?
And who tends to denigrate any distinction between the two, be it good or bad,
real or unreal? The person to whom this debate appears meaningless or those who
find it worthy of commodification, promotion, export, and implementation
Iím a people. And a woman. Oh, there is a long list of labels I attach
to myself. I hope not to denigrate. But I do want to distinguish. And yeah.
Some of that is about wanting to affect public policy.
I guess my idea of feminism is one
that includes men. I don't think men are served by sexism.
wasn't actually angry last night. Or sad. I was a little
bit of both. And neither. And I should probably give
up on cross blog conversations. I'm not really part
of the blog cluster and I never really have been. I
was just trying to talk to one person who I admire and
think, was asking some questions.
went to the post office to put my mail on hold. I spent
a ridiculous amount of time packing up a months worth
of the eight vitamins and two herbs I take every day.
It wasn't exactly creative. I put thebooksI'mgoingtotake
going to start posting on the blogger
tomorrow and I'm not sure how to put images on blogger
so I'm putting the link and think banner up today.
it is time for
woke up having a crazy dream about decided whether or
not to live in SF. But in the dream I was younger and
had never lived here and was staying with some other
women. And I wasn't feeling welcome. And there was danger
in living there. But I was looking at other apartments.
And there were these built in beds in the walls. And
then Joni Mitchell was telling me that once she got
older she was never alone. And I looked into the built
in bed area where she slept and it was covered with
her paintings of herself. And I woke up with Joni Mitchell
singing the phrase never alone, never alone to me.