Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Single in Seattle

I have begun understand why people join cults, shave their heads, and begin worshiping in large groups. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not going to start attending meetings where you have to bring your own bed sheet and a live chicken...I can’t afford the livestock (or the bed sheet for that matter). What I mean is I suddenly understand the need to belong, the desperate urge to not feel alone.

Some supplement this daunting feeling with getting married, which I don’t understand. I have a hard enough time trying to steer myself through my own constant and rather unfortunate bouts of the ridiculous, legally binding myself to another hopelessly lost, young idiot would just be asking for trouble. Besides this Saturday I am celebrating my four-year anniversary of having absolutely no romantic plans, let alone an individual who qualifies as even a possibility -why ruin such an impressive streak?

Besides, on the infrequent and unlikely chance that I happen to stumble onto someone who sparks some interest, they either: A) aren’t attracted to me in “that” way, but would love to be my friend/fuck-buddy; B) are completely incapable of a real conversation, unless it revolves around themself; C) have some sort of weird condition which renders them a socially inept retard; or D) they’re gay…and they have better shoes then me.

I am not saying that I want to get married right now, I know that I am not in any way ready. And, that is saying a lot considering I am from a town where the average marrying age is 17, (and if you’re not married by my age then you’re pregnant with your second child and unsure of who both their fathers are, but you can name the parties they were conceived at.) Yes as long communities like mine exist shows like Springer, Rikki Lake, and Maury will have a spot on daytime TV as well as an audience.

As a single woman, who is expected to be independent and brimming with sexual energy, for some reason I can’t shake the feeling that I am tripping over the glamorous facade. Young women seem to believe that during their twenties they have to live out “Sex and the City”, while waiting for their white knight to come along and magically turn their lives into “Sleepless in Seattle”. Complete with a handsome, non-commitment phobic man, who declares her his soul mate while promising to love her through thick and thin (yo-yo dieting, post-baby weight gain, menopausal hot flashes, marriage counseling, etc.) Then after their blissful dream wedding, 2.5 children, a mini van, and a low interest home loan, they settle in for a long life of suburban bliss. From wild and crazy nights of youthful debauchery, to happily ever after.

However, my idea of a hot Saturday night is turning into, working until 8 PM, walking back to my place and on the way picking up a can of diet coke, teriyaki chicken, with a vegetarian spring role. I never seem to have the energy to make it a blockbuster night, so instead I go home and turn on my neighbors cable (yeah it’s illegal, but it’s cheaper) then at around 11 PM, I take a bath. If I’m feeling especially racy by the end of the evening, I read a few pages of

my Cosmopolitan. My life, as a young, vibrant, and single Seattle Barista, is sizing up more to be “Sexless in Seattle”. Why can’t I retain something good, like a boyfriend, instead of water weight?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Seattle is colorful

Almost every day I step outside of my office to take myself away from the of the every-day work-related hassles, to walk myself down the street and find myself something to eat. While I could make this blog entry about some of the (many) great eateries in and around the Seattle area, I am instead going to use this time to describe some of the many, many colorful sights I see on my daily constitutional.

Imagine my horror when I looked down while patiently waiting at the crosswalk to see an uncomfortable large woman also waiting to cross the street, wearing a pair of yellow fleece-lined black Crocks. The very concept of Crocks is inherently wrong and upsetting, but fleece-lined Crocks with contrasting and garish colors is truly disturbing. Whoever thought of that should be shot on sight. Whoever willingly bought those things should be tranquilized and collected into an area wear they can be retrained in their choice of footwear. While I watched this woman waddle uncomfortably toward the other side of the street, I couldn't help but feel like it was my duty to tell her the error of her ways. The only thing that held me back from doing this was the fact that this woman could obviously take me down and crush the life out of me.

After such a disturbing sight, I entered the supermarket with a newly diminished appetite and a slight headache. I made my way to the sodium filled snacks and made my way to the checkout. While in line to purchase my food I was confronted by yet another VERY disturbing sight. A very, very large man in full drag and makeup. While I completely support anyone’s right to be who they are and to express themselves, however, if you’re going to express yourself in public I would hope that they would want to do it in a flattering way. If you’re going to make the life decision to become a woman, then go all the way and adopt a sense of fashion as well. It seems that if you’re going to take the time to paint your nails, grow out your hair, and squeeze your man feet into a pair of size 12 narrow heels, then make sure to coordinate your outfit in an appropriate size and choose makeup that compliments the decision you have made in life. Wearing makeup that screams “Hey! I am a man dressed as a woman with a 5 o’clock shadow! Please notice me” is not really a great face to put forward (literally).

Finally on my way back to the office after being thoroughly weirded out I noticed on the same corner as Crock lady was a gentlemen dressed in scrubs holding two leashes. At the end of both of these leashes were two squirrelly looking ferrets in little harnesses. Both ferrets were wearing what looked like tube socks as sweaters to keep them warm. I didn’t want to get too close for fear that they would want to run up my leg, look me in the eye with their beady little red devil eyes, and bite me with their evil little mouths. I am not a big fan of ferrets as you can tell, I am even less of a fan of ferrets on a leash out in public on the street.

I do take a little bit of solace in the fact that these are things happening around me and I am not the one wearing fleece-lined Crocks, walking ferrets, or dressed in an inappropriately matched outfit. However, it does make me worry that I am in for more and more of these delightful encounters before my time in Seattle comes to a close.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

If you brew it, we will come.

I have been inhabiting the fair Emerald City for a few months now on a temporary freelance assignment...and loving every second out of it. It’s easy to forget that there are parts of the world that have actual seasons...instead of stapling fake snow to ones roof, or wrapping a string of lights around the palm tree in your front lawn, or asking your weekly Mexican gardeners to wear Santa hats while blowing the leaves and trash out of your driveway, people here have natural indications of seasonal changes. It’s amazing...and inconvenient for those of us who have forgotten what it feels like to have the thermometer drop below 70 degrees. The first time the temperature dipped I thought, ‘Oh my! That’s chilly, well at least I live in an area of the world that encourages layering.’ Now when I step outside of my house I think ‘Holy shit! I can feel that in my bones!’

It’s funny, people here seem to be quite content to perpetuate many of the comical stereotypes that Seattle has been known for. For instance, there is a coffee house on EVERY corner which ALWAYS has at least one person sitting in the window writing on their laptop as if to say “Look at me, I’m creative and tortured”. Each morning I walk to work (ok some mornings I walk to work, most mornings I drive) and I pass by people clutching their cup of morning coffee as if their very life depended on the caffeine in that cup of joe – come to think of it their lives probably do depend on it. Much like the magical and inexplicable voice that called the likes of Shoeless Joe Jackson and countless other players to that cornfield baseball diamond, Seattle-ites seem to be drawn by a quiet voice that whispers “If you brew it, they will come.”

Another stereotype that makes me chuckle is the amount of flannel that graces this city. Regardless of the fact that flannel seems to be making a comeback in the fashion world, it seems as though flannel has been here the whole time and has no intention of leaving. I’ve heard it said that jeans and a denim jacket are referred to as a “Canadian Tuxedo”, I would like to volunteer then that the North West Tuxedo is comprised of a Flannel Shirt and Corduroy Pants. It seems to be the uniform here, and while I think that it is a helpful piece of clothing to have in ones wardrobe, I do not think that it is something to don with EVERY outfit. Much like coffee, Nirvana, and rain, flannel seems to have established itself as a quintessential piece of North Western existence and you are simple not cool if you don’t wear it.

I have also noticed the amount of Kurt Cobain look-alikes up here. Almost as if they are trying to channel the great Grunge God himself by growing out their hair and refusing to wash it frequently. Don’t get me wrong, like every woman out there who has a hankering for the moody bad boy that we can never quite “get” or save, I think it’s sexy...however, it becomes difficult to identify one’s date in a sea of look-a-likes at some Seattle concert (and yes, this has happened to me).

It truly is more than slightly soggy up here. Don’t get me wrong, on a clear day when the sun is shining, I would hazard to say that Seattle is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, however the chances of you getting a clear day (especially in the winter) are slim to none. I have started to embrace the idea of closed toed shoes, which at first horrified me at first. I am now ok with the idea that this season I will be buying lots of boots and perhaps a pair of high-end Wellington boots. Though sadly I seem to not be able to hang on to an umbrella for more than a week at a time. In fact, I am doing my part by pouring my money into our troubled economy buying umbrellas in bulk.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blind Date 2

Accepting the blind date was my first mistake, but showing up was my fatal one. In retrospect, I should have called and canceled thereby avoiding what had to be one of the most painful experiences I have ever had (and that includes falling on the balance beam in Gymnastics only to have my crotch stop my fall.) The plan was that he would pick me up from work and from there we would go to a baseball game. I figured it was safe, we were in a public place and if all else failed, I could at least watch the game.

By the time 6PM rolled around I was a mental and emotional wreck. I would have been much better suited to lay down in traffic and act as a speed detourant. Of course, as a girl, I did the whole self doubt thing, I second guessed my outfit, my hair, my makeup…everything. My self doubt dissolved into pure anger because my date, Ross (“Hella cute, ex-baseball player who is studying business at the UW") was 45 minutes late. He of course saw no problem with his lack of punctuality and indeed played it off as if everyone shows up to their dates almost an hour into them. To make up for his tardiness he did utter sweet nothings to me upon first sight. He said,

“Man! Thank God you’re not an uggo! What’s up? I saw you sitting in front of the store and I though you were either my date or a really hot hooker.” My mental anguish over the night vanished as I realized that my date had the collective intelligence and sensitivity of a snow pea. Why are people like that are allowed out in public, let alone to procreate is a mystery to me. He had no social grace and obviously no internal filter for his thoughts…at least we were late for the game though.

As it turned out, Ross had decided that tickets to the game were too expensive for a first date and we would therefore be spending our evening listening to the game on his car radio while dining. “Dining” as he put it actually consisted of the drive through at Jack In The Box. My mother always taught me that if someone else is paying and the date is going sour, order the lobster…super sized seemed the only way to go. We drove to what I guess was his frat's equivalent to make out point and he rolled down all the windows, reclined the seats...I couldn’t tell if this was for ambiance or to create the illusion of a soft top. Ross turned up the game far above the decibel to allow for normal conversation and then it occurred to me that this was either part of a well laid plan to completely turn me off because he wasn’t into me and wanted to spare my feelings by making me think that he was a huge jerk…or he was just that stupid. I feared the latter of the two. The date itself turned out to be the romantic equivalent to contracting the West Nile Virus.

We sat in complete silence for about 10 minutes after the game was over. I then decided to call a spade a spade and end this date before anymore fun could be had. I said,

“Listen, this has probably been the worst date of my entire life, let’s just go home, loose each others phone numbers and pretend tonight never happened, okay?” He looked completely dumbfounded (so I guess it would be safe to say that his expression remained the same), started the car, and drove me home. It was safe to say that the date was doomed to failure once he tried to prove that he could fit 4 fries up his left nostril.

Blind Date

Ug, the though hit me last night that I haven’t met anyone or made any sort of physical contact with a member of the opposite sex in months, other than handing them a drink or change and when that starts to get exciting, I know I have hit rock bottom. Of course when one is sexually frustrated and angry at men, one tends to harbor a slightly less then sunny attitude about life.

Mel, my coworker, sensed that I was out of sorts and began gently probing to find out what my problem was. Though Mel is a deeply sensitive and gentle individual I would never in a million years expect her to understand my problem. She is the kind of person I would love to hate and I could easily hate if she wasn’t so Gad damn nice. She is absolutely and without question the most gorgeous person I have ever seen close up. You can see little flickers of envious hate flash from other womens eyes when they see her. Men have problems constructing whole sentences when she is around and being asked out/given jewelry/marriage proposals are an ever day occurrence for her. So, of course, she could never understand my conversation, though she did try bless her.

She did try the first step in consoling any woman by trying assure me that my hips, but, thighs, legs, earlobes, etc did not look fat. She then suggested several solutions to my frustration, one of which was knitting. Mel wanted to teach me to knit? It seemed even more depressing, thought practical, that I was going to be getting a jump start on something that I was going to spend the bulk of my spinsterhood doing. However, I shot down the idea because the thought of knitting a tea cozy on Saturday night was too daunting.

She then threw out yoga as a solution. She proposed that by channeling my energies positively and learning to breath I could effectively detract myself from the petty preoccupations of the flesh. I could also stop shaving my legs, listen to sitar music, burn incense, and eat only soy based foods, but for some reason breathing and contorting did not seem like an effective or feasible way to make me any less horny. Besides I hate sitar music and those funny unitards which make me look worse then I do naked.

As a third and final offer, Mel wanted to fix me up with one of her friends. Though everyone knows that blind dates are probably one of the most emotionally scaring events that one may live through, I was desperate. I know I needed something…last night I found myself getting excited when my gums didn’t bleed when I was flossed. I need a life. We are going on out on Friday.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Reflections on "Reality" TV

So last night I am not ashamed to admit (ok, I am slightly embarrassed) that I watched the season premiere of “John and Kate Plus 8”. Myself and 9.5 million other Americans tuned in to see Kate find a way to systematically excise her husbands testes yet again. For several seasons we have watched as Kate has morphed into this harping banshee who obviously loves the limelight more than her kids or the security of her marriage. And like everyone else out there, I have watched it all with mouth agape and eyes wide. It seems like she couldn’t possibly belittle her husband any worse…and then she finds a way. It’s almost painful to watch, but like an accident on the freeway, you can’t seem to look away.

While the stress and hardships of raising 8 children is obviously difficult and would test any marriage regardless of how strong it was, it seems that Kate acts unnecessarily mean to her husband. It seems to me that this is not the smartest idea because that man is the only other human being legally obligated to share in the prison of procreation that they have created. I can’t help but feel bad for those kids as they now see their miserable father retreat from the limelight and from his wife. It kind of seems that for the sake of ratings no one is intervening. If anything, it is being encouraged by the channel as they shamelessly promote the painfully uncomfortable situation. While the kids are being raised by nannies and two absent parents the rest of the world watches.

At least for shows like “Daisy of Love” EVERY train wreck of a human being has willingly signed up to expose themselves and their desperation for fame. The 8 children that are bring drug through this media circus are unknowingly being thrust into the front line of this entire clusterf#$@ of a situation. Because this family has willingly thrust their lives into the public eye they have knowingly opened themselves up to the criticism and repercussions of fame. While Kate claims to have done the show to document the lives of her children and to show other parents that they are not alone, it seems as though she really only did this show for fame and approval…and really isn’t that the only reason anyone willingly signs up for reality TV? The most disturbing part was watching as Kate’s husband, who seemed largely unaffected by the hell that his wife has created for his family, hint at not-so-subtly at their pending divorce proceedings, while Kate cried in disbelief on a separate couch. If she and her husband can not be in the same interview room together it should not be a huge shock that her husband wants out.

The Dark Knight and other movie musings...

So this weekend, like thousands of my fellow mass consuming Americans I braved the treck to my local AMC and navigated the madness of the crowds to FINALLY see the visual spectacle that is "The Dark Knight." It was (to me, a simple comic book dork) a visually stimulating movie with mostly superb acting (I am still not convinced that Maggie Gylenhall or Katie Holmes were sound choices for the role of Rachel Dawes though.) Heath Ledger was a fantastic Joker and as always Christian Bale was not only fun to look at, but a great performer to watch.

All of this aside, I was disappointed by a few things (and luckily this is a blog, so no one can throw tomatoes at me for saying this…) I was NOT happy that they killed Two Face. I happen to be a BIG fan of the Harvey Dent character and his story line and it seemed a bit unfair that they just killed him off to preserve the "White Knight" and to keep the dichotomy of Batman (The Dark Knight) vs. Two Face (the fallen White Knight.) In fact, I thought Aaron Eckhart's performance was fantastic and I was a bit upset that I didn't get to see the character's hate and resentment build to a phenomenal battle between Batman and Two Face. As any Batman fan knows, Two Face's anger and seething hatred of Batman is developed over a very large story arc and I guess I was kind of sad that I was being spoon fed this 20 minute secondary plot to Heath Ledger's Joker.

I was impressed by Heath Legder's acting, but I am not sold that he deserves an Oscar. It's not that I don't believe that Heath has the talent, I just don't think we should immortalize someone by bestowing a hallowed award on him just because he "accidentally" over dosed and didn't get to live to see the movie finalized. I realize that I might loose some friends over this statement, but to be honest, Christian Bale (who is also a method actor) has been subtly introducing more and more to his interpretation to the Bruce Wayne Character and if you watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight back to back (which, yes, I will admit I did) you can see the nuances that he brings to Bruce Wayne as he descends into the lonely world of Batman while he truly realizes his isolation. Sadly, we will not be able to watch Heath develop his characterization of the immortal Joker in a second movie as he is now gone. It's like the guy who replaced Brandon Lee in The Crow…yeah, you don't remember his name either. The producers must be kicking themselves that they killed off Two Face and kept the Joker around for a third movie…and now they have to start from scratch with another actor. Oh well, at least if they put Joker in the third movie they might actually bring out my FAVORITE Batman character of ALL TIME…Harlee Quinn (I can dream right?)

Lastly, I was vary happy watching all of the stunts. But you truly realize that you are in another generation when all of the 12 year-olds around you and their Dads are "ohhing and ahhing" over the stunts and special affects…and the only thing I could think was "He is going to get his cape stuck in the wheels of that motorcycle and have cause a big 'ole accident, that's just not safe!"

…man I'm old.

Single for the first time...eek

So today I had a truly jarring experience that I wasn't ready for.

I had to fill out a medical form and for the first time in 4 years, I didn't have anyone to put as my "in case of emergency" contact. For years I have been putting my (now ex) boyfriend's Mom, who in the past has shuttled me back and forth from tooth surgeries and numerous other "mishaps" (of which I have a lot.) I almost wrote Lynn's name on the form and had to stop myself. The rather pregnant pause that I took while trying to think of another human who would be willing to use their gas and time seemed to take forever and I think it scared the receptionist a little bit because I looked so perplexed. In the end, I left the area blank. There was this gaping hole on the form that really set me thinking. I guess I assumed that I would always have Lynn in my life and while someday she might be a part of it again, for the time being, it would not be appropriate of me to ask that much of her. 

I got a little sad. I realized for the first time in 4 ½ years, that I am really alone in CA. I got so used to the fact that the Gambino's were my pseudo family that it feels foreign to not have that around anymore. The best I can liken the feeling to is when I went to the first family Christmas after my grandmother had passed away. I remember walking through the door and giving my grandpa a hug and automatically turning to hug grandma…who wasn't there. There was this hole of carpet, where she was no longer going to be waiting for me. In that moment I remember feeling truly sad. I didn't cry at the funeral (mostly because I had to sing) but that was the closest I came to crying over her death. This felt oddly similar. Obviously not on the same scale, but still a loss and still very sad.

I can remember quite clearly the day that Lynn drove me to get Oral surgery in some horrible shop-o-horrors in the valley and feeling very happy that someone was going to be there when I staggered out of surgery clutching my jaw. I was even more grateful for Lynn when we got into the surgery's reception area and it was filled with a bunch of geriatrics who had either lost their teeth or their minds (and in some cases both.) Everyone there had someone waiting for them and I began to see that while yes it is a safety issue, it is also a comfort issue. Even though people were sufficiently drugged and not of their right minds they were still happy to see the "in case of emergency" person when they came out of the room of horror.

I am excited to be free and to rediscover parts of myself that were long dormant, but I still mourn the loss of that family. They were my holidays and my hugs, they provided a warmth that I was missing when I moved down here all by myself. I like to think that I am a vastly independent young woman and that I can be strong and resilient, but the truth of the matter is, sometimes I am not. I don't like relying on other people or assuming that someone will be there for me and a realized today that I took that family unit for granted. 

Being single in LA is not a very easy thing to carry off with one's sanity intact…I guess I am going to have to put my five year plan in action and start buying more cats.

Oh Craigslist, how I love thee

In all honesty, I probably shouldn't be admitting this publicly…but it is one of my few favorite things to do during my (very) long and boring work day to sneak a quick peek at I realize that this sounds kind of loopy…but it makes me feel good about myself in a strange way. You can't help but read the posting for "Wanted female roommate, non-smoker, clean, MUST have nice ass" and not have a few questions (and laughs).

This little diversion always leads me to ponder delightful and sometimes disturbing questions…What is the interview process for said roommate? If having a "nice ass" is such a high priority (obviously or it wouldn't have made it to the top 3) will that be in initial screening? Are photographs required with your application? How many applicants will this person have to sift through before finding the perfect ass to room with? Is general maintenance of said ass written into their lease (I would hope so)? And so on…

While I would like to be the perfect employee and always focused on the task at hand, it is often difficult when I know that only a few clicks away are the colorful ramblings of the Los Angeles community and other counties surrounding (I really only look a those when I have NOTHING to do). It's not like I don't hear my fare share of crazy ramblings at work – for example our CEO claims to have invented the internet (seriously) – but for some reason it is strangely comforting to know that I live in a city so accepting of such extreme personalities (note: we don't call my boss "crazy" or "extreme", he is merely "passionate" about his work.)

Should I be having a very slow day, it is even more fun to look at the personal ads –where having a nice ass is much higher on the priority list. I have to give these people kudos for being able to publicly put out there their inner-most desires and sometimes disgusting fetishes. How would you even begin to tell people that you met your date/significant other via craislist?

"Looking for meaningless sex, but would be open to relationship if the right one came along"

Again, so many questions pop into my head when reading that…

Maybe in some oddly perverted way I am hoping to find one of co-workers on there, just so I will have a little leverage the next time I might need it. I don't know. All I know is suddenly my life is lookin' a lot more bright and shiny after I read a few of those ads. I guess you do what you can to survive…

Today's troubled times...

In today's troubled times I can understand how one or two lost souls could admire the "fabulous" lifestyles of the rich and the famous. But further inspection of the seemingly care-free and beautiful individuals, leaves me feeling cold.

Doesn't it appear odd to anyone that no matter how many purebred-tea-cup-what-have-yous they adopt, or how many hot-this-minute-up-and-coming-actors/models/sports stars that they swap spit with, or how many supposedly legitimate kiddily-winkies they spawn with the afore mentioned individuals, it never seems to be enough to satisfy their ever-lasting quest for love? These starlets (as dubbed by their publicist's) obtain fame and by starring in drama-filled, pre-meditated "reality" series and/or big budget re-makes of Hollywood classics and shoot to the forefront every young and impressionable pre-teen's mind. In order for them to remain at the top and be considered for "the list" they must be seen at the hottest locations around the world while performing stunt after stunt just to generate a new media frenzy. While this endless parade of parties and pre-pubescent fans may seem exciting, these girls are snorting endless lines of cocaine, popping pills and drinking gallons of name brand energy drinks just keep up with their own seemingly fabulous lifestyle.

Let's not forget that this small percentage of the population (roughly less then 2%) are also making an example of their perpetual bed hopping. Young fans now believe that it is standard to have more then 6 sexual partners in a year. What baffles me, is that even though it is well documented just how many times these girls have swapped bodily fluids around town, men seem to still lust after them…to be honest, I would think kissing them would be the equivalent of picking a penny up off the street and putting it in your mouth –it's dirty.

What's even more amazing to me is that these girls have to be dressed up like show ponies at all times. We as a consuming public demand that they be "pretty" to look at or we don't want to look at them anymore. As these girls are seen more and more, they must be picture perfect at all times. They spend small fortunes on their outer beauty just to please a group of people they don't even know but who are judging their every move. Can you imagine constantly having to be waxed, plucked, spray tanned, teased, weaved, and made up? All of their lavish potions, lotions and treatments may seem sumptuous, but it is their full time job to be primped and looking hungry. While hundreds of thousands of people are being paid by the army to go through extreme boot camp to defend their country, these people PAY to go through the same level of training, just to defend their place at the top.

To top this off, it seems that the newest and hottest club to get your name on the list for, is rehab or jail and it appears as though their cat fights, drunk driving, drugging, and parole violations are punished with a mere slap on the wrist. What has happened that we the public are willing to accept the LOW social standards that these supposed celebrities are setting? Why are we accepting this as "OK" and are in fact asking to see more of their drama by consuming their products, buying their hair extensions and reading the magazines that fuel their attention seeking?

I ask you as the younger generations approach adulthood what new/low standards will they accept as the norm?

Halloween in LA

...Well it's that time of year again, and inevitably every girl in the US (and some overseas) are all pondering the multitude of possibilities that this year's costume should be.

Oh the options are truly mind boggling,

Should I be a slutty nurse?

A slutty girl scout?

A slutty witch?

A slutty bunny?

A slutty mummy?

A slutty princess?

What to do…What to do…What to do.

It is at this time of the year that I seize up. In theory this holiday allows girls to embrace an otherwise shunned aspect of their personalities, I however, am not the biggest fan of displaying my otherwise slightly-less-then-stellar body (even in the name of holiday fun).

Why is it that Halloween has become the excuse of every woman's inner whore to surface for one night? I remember when it was about dressing up as a Ninja Turtle (I was Donatello) and carrying around my Mom's king size pillow case in order to collect the most loot. For some reason a little part of me mourns that it is no longer a holiday for fun, but rather an annual night of panties-on-parade. Now don't get me wrong, I am ALL for fun and debauchery. However, I'm not so sure that I am into street-corner-hooker fun. I long for the days that donning an outfit for Halloween doesn't mean a trip to Fredrick's of Hollywood.

I can recall last year being invited to a party and instead of "dressing up" I went as my own self. Upon arrival I was met with a chorus of Hollywood wanna-be's all dressed in as little clothing as possible to attract the most attention. Surprisingly though, I found that more people actually spoke to me and treated me like a human being. I think this is because even though those women were undeniably beautiful and strikingly under-clad that sort of thing eventually becomes something to ogle. Either the men were too intimidated to speak to these women, or they just got tired of staring at the endless fury leopard print jane outfits and slutty police women that they eventually all began to blend in to one redundant collage of beautiful half-naked women. The you've-seen-one-you've-seen-them-all syndrome.

I think this year for Halloween I am going to dress up. I am going to go as Janeane Garofalo so that I can stand in the corner and relentlessly mock the women who's need for attention faaaarrrrrrr outweighs their sense of decency.

Thoughts on aging as a woman...


In all fairness I like to think I am a pretty easygoing girl. I like to think I can roll with the punches (as long as they're not below the belt) and take life as it ebbs and flows.

But lately I am faced with the prospect that I am indeed NOT as relaxed as I would like to think I am. In fact, I happen to be wound rather tightly at this particular time in my life.

I hit the last of the mile stone birthdays, 25 and am now a quarter of a century old. That in and of itself is a difficult thing to process. I am no longer young enough to be "young and stupid" but I am not old enough to be "mature and composed" so I exist in this grey area. What other birthdays do I get to look forward to? 30 - Whoop-dee-do I am officially no longer in my twenties and allowed to panic that I haven't yet figured out my life/gotten married/bought a house, etc., 35 - Only five more years until the big Four-O, 40 - Every person in their twenties annoys me because I don't have their skin elasticity and I know it's only going to sag more.

Not to be completely pessimistic. I do know that there's a lot to look forward to in this great life of mine.

1) Credit card's like the flu you eventually will get it and no matter what you do to prevent it, you will get it again.

2) Children...little versions of myself and the person who donated genetic material for it's creation, who will eventually learn the words "No!" and "I hate you!" and "I want that!".

3) Stretch marks...from having the child who resents me for most of its life and then moves out. Permanent physical reminders of the blessed event for the rest of my life rendering me unable to wear a bathing suit.

4) Crash remove the the baby weight in a vain attempt to recapture my former "figure" and realizing that no matter what I try to do not everything will go back to it's original location on my body without major surgery.

5) "Mom jeans"...I don't know exactly why women over the age of forty adopt these horrible hybrids of 80s fashion, but it's inevitable. Sadly I see these women in Cosco buying them in bulk, checking to make sure that the waist line actually reaches the middle of their torso and that the cuffs stop just above their ankles, and that they are tapered to stone-washed perfection. It's like a black hole, they somehow suck you in.

6) A Mini Van...fight it any way you want and buy yourself an SUV and try to trick the neighbors into believing that you're a "cool" Mom, who doesn't need to roll in a mini-van. But eventually all women have to face the fact that they bought the larger car to accommodate soccer gear, bake sale confections, Mom jean sprees at Cosco, and car seats. SUVs are just boxy versions of the Mini-van, you might as well give it up and go buy a Plymouth Voyager.

7) Gardening...I dread the day that I wear grubby old clothes and big mismatched gloves while pruning, watering, clipping, raking, planting obsessively well into my older years. Call me crazy but isn't it a bit frightening that daily conversation eventually slips from anything that is relevant to actual life and deteriorates into an advanced discussion of how ones hydrangea's are doing and how you got rid of all those pesky slugs without hurting your roses?

8) Menopause...lets not forget this great milestone in any woman's life, finally our monthly struggle against nature's cruel fate of bloating, crabbiness, cramping, and overeating is taken away in a mere two to four years of hot and cold flashes, more cramps, more overeating, violent mood swings, embarrassing public sweating/crying, weight gain that will NEVER go away, and decreased sexual desire due to loss of hormones.

All of life's stages are beautiful gifts that we should cherish and be thankful for.

I suppose my anxiety mostly stems from the knowledge that I don't really know where my life is going. Though I am thankful that I have encountered people along the way who have shaped my development, and I am thankful to those who constantly show me what it is to be a good friend. It's comforting to know that we are all going through this together and that 20 years from now, we'll all be bitching about the same things.

I resent what I perpetuate as a consumer...

I have my good days and I have my bad days. On a good day, I will wake up in the morning and fit into my "cute" jeans without having to do the ever seductive wiggle and heave dance just to close the zipper, I will "do" my hair and makeup, and I will look in the mirror and feel pretty confident about my appearance. On a bad day, I will feel too bloated to even try to put on my "cute" jeans and instead opt for my trusty fat jeans, I will hide my hair under a baseball cap and try to disappear under layers of clothes because my confidence is shot to hell. As a woman, I am entitled to these days, and rational or not we all have our "fat" days and our "skinny" days.

However, even on a skinny day I can open up ANY women's magazine on a shelf and throw myself a little pity party. I want her hair, I want her stomach, I want her arms, I want her purse, I want those jeans, I want my ass to fit into those jeans the way hers does...the list goes on and on. Without even stopping to evaluate all that I have in my life to be THANKFUL for, I immediately focus on what I don't have and what I wish I had. I allow myself to fall prey to images crafted especially for women like me, images that target ALL women to aspire, to want, to feel that they need something they don't have. We are made aware everyday, that there are items, lifestyles, and bodies that are better then ours, and only when you have them, will you be a better person. Like most women, I buy into the images just enough to feel bad about what I don't have. I don't have a Lexus, I have a crappy green Honda that is colorfully decorated with the results of parking in public areas, I don't have her body, in fact even though I am a sort-of size 4 I feel too fat to even think of putting on a bathing suit, the list get longer with every turn of a page or flip of a channel.

This morning was a bad day, I rolled out of bed late and my building's water had been shut off meaning I couldn't have a shower. I felt so fat that I put on my ratty jeans, a large t-shirt, my trusty cap and ran out the door to work. I work in Los Angeles, the city born to make others want, and need what they don't have. In this town, what you drive, what you do and who you know, matter much more then if you committed a felony. The advertising agency that I work in is a creative shop that daily turns out the ads you see everyday which create the needs and wants that you never knew you even had.

Because one of our assistants was out of the office I got to sit in a casting session for our newest client, my sole purpose was to take notes. I was not to offer an opinion, nor speak to anyone. I watched as my boss took out books of pictures containing image after image of some of the most beautiful people that I had ever seen in my life. They were unreal, bronzed, hard bodied, confident looking women with gorgeous hair and makeup. I actually felt less adequate sitting next to the photos of these women, God help me if I ever had to BE in a room with them. Next to each model was her height, weight, and measurements. Not a woman under 5 ft 10" or over 115 pounds.

To my horror the art directors didn't see their task as one of simply picking the most beautiful specimen to represent the image their product should convey, instead they picked apart every single aspect of these statuesque women. Their job was to find the flaws of the seemingly flawless. I had no idea that the women I desperately wished I could slightly resemble were in actuality, not perfect. In fact, in the advertising world these women were "too fat", "too skinny", "not sexy", their "arms are too bony", her "face has too many freckles", her "nose has a funny shape to it", "too soft", and these are just the comments I can say out loud! After they selected about 4 women who resembled what they were looking for, they continued to discuss the model's "face value". My boss wanted to airbrush out certain parts of the models because they didn't have the right "look".

Can you imagine, we are living in a world where even the VERY few women who are considered to be "perfect", aren't perfect enough? That truly frightens me. We are forcing this false image down the throats of America in our product placements and our magazines, and convincing them that they should aspire to look like a woman who by medical standards is technically emaciated? Every minute "flaw" is airbrushed into oblivion and we are led to believe that this is reality, that people really do look like that. On the occasion that a magazine decides to print an article demanding that "real" women be seen and their larger sizes be celebrated, the pictures accompanying the story are dimly lit, VERY airbrushed, and the woman are posed so that they don't highlight their flaws. Juxtaposed with these images are the ads woven into the magazine which feature sickly thin models dressed in designer couture who are splayed across the page in provocative poses to make you desire whatever it is they are peddling. We can not escape. We can not see past the images to view the dangers that they are inspiring. Young girls starve themselves, abuse their bodies, steal money, run up credit debt, all in the name of these falsely created needs and wants to perpetuate a lifestyle that not even the women in the ad can live up to.

It occurred to me that I had a choice, like it or not these images DO exist, and will keep on being printed in the name of profits, but I can choose to accept these images as reality or reject them as useless creations geared to mess with my perceptions. While some women will continue to kill themselves to achieve a look that not even a professional model can achieve without help and digital enhancement, I can be grateful that I have so much in my life worth smiling about. I have a wonderful family, really great friends who support me, I have an apartment I can afford, I have a job that pays my bills, I have a car that runs, the list goes on and on. These are the things I should focus on, not the fabricated needs and desires created by corporations. Don't get me wrong, I will still have my share of bad days, and I will still have a few wants that I could probably do without, but in the end it really comes down to MY conscious choice to be thankful for all that I DO have or to be resentful about the silly things I don't.

First thoughts when moving to LA

It never really occurred to me just how much our society is a people of convenience until the other day. We became a nation built on the dreams of freedom, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which has slowly morphed into liability suits, the pursuit of the best quick fix, and the freedom to capitalize on those looking for it. In our fast paced lives there seems to only be room for 3 minute mc-sections of our time to devoted to individual tasks throughout the day, and the less we have to work at it the better.

Take dining for example; when we don’t feel like picking up foodstuffs at the local market and it’s too much trouble to re-heat last night’s lean cuisine, we seek out establishments who will provide low maintenance sustenance which requires little to no effort on our part. We are willing to pay the grossly marked up prices of low-grade meats and over processed ingredients in order to satisfy our hunger. In fact, we are so desperate to put as little thought possible into certain aspects of our live, that we are willingly paying someone who probably doesn’t even have the equivalency of a middle-school diploma to prepare and handle our pre-packaged delicacies.

I spend a good portion of my day peddling name brand java to people who are too lazy to poor pre-ground coffee into a machine and brew their own. While American’s turn a blind eye, I blatantly overcharge them for a simple cup of coffee with a well know picture on the cup. It’s not enough that I am constantly doing this day to day, but I am also instructed to smile, while cooperate America laughs all the way to the bank.