On the Difficulties of Restriction:

 

Which sounds way more hoity-toity than it actually is.

I went to a follow up appointment with my doctor,
and found out that nothing is Actually Wrong with Me.

My body is just being a dick.

All of my blood tests came back completely normal,
with a little bit of, “oh, you need more vitamin D,
and should probably take fish oil”.

So the being sick after eating at any restaurant,
the violent reaction to soy,
the struggling to keep salad down?

Ain’t no thing.

SO.
ANNOYING.

Consequently,
my doctor recommended that I go gluten-free for six months.

I’m currently trying it out for two weeks.

 

‘Coz here’s the bitch about eliminating an entire (and large!)
food group from my diet:

I’m recovering from a ten year eating disorder.
Restricting is a really bad plan.

And because,
hello,
my brain is broken when it comes to food,
my first reaction upon being told to go gluten-free
was to feel guilty about the food that I’ve been eating.

If I had been good,
I wouldn’t be sick.

If I had been eating less,
I wouldn’t be sick.

If I had stuck to a handful of almonds and a piece of fruit in the morning,
I wouldn’t be sick.

If I weren’t eating things like whole-grain english muffins,
I would be skinny.

In my brain,
she was telling me this because
I am a bad person.

(Welcome to the eating disordered mind, people.)

All of which makes just trying out gluten-free
a daunting task.

It’s not really because I think gluten-free bread tastes like a moldy paper cup.

It’s because I feel like I’ve been bad,
and if I hadn’t been,
I wouldn’t be dealing with this.

It sucks.

 

ps (And? No more saltines when I’m sick? *tears*)

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It’s the Little Things:

As of late,
life has been a bit full of fuckery.

January is always creaky around the edges with resolutions and bad weather and tax statements from the IRS.

But this last week?

Kinda made me catch my breath with how…bad…it was,
just with a multitude of petty things.

I dropped my car off for an expensive routine maintenance that *had* to be done,
along with trying to get an electrical problem fixed
in order to get my fix-it ticket dismissed
(oh, L.A.!).

When I came to pick up the car,
I tried paying for it with a credit card that I got and activated through my bank,
just for this purpose.

Guess whose card was denied?

It took me almost three hours, four different people, and five “CARD DECLINED” tries before that problem was resolved,
and I drove out $500 poorer.

I went to the police station to get my ticket signed off,
since it was due Monday.

I was informed that the City of Sierra Madre needed twelve dollars,
in cash, exact change,
in order for an officer to leave his desk,
walk twenty feet to my car,
and see me flick my headlights on.

I ran to the bank,
ran back,
and was then told that I didn’t have the correct paperwork,
and needed the actual ticket.

Ran home.
Spent almost an hour searching frantically for said ticket.
Found it.
Went back.
Signed off.
Ticket in the mail, along with an additional $25
to the DMV to indicate that I had not, in fact, done anything wrong.

(For those keeping track at home,
I am now $547 poorer on Friday than I was Wednesday)

In an attempt to alleviate some of that poorness,
I had a yard sale on Saturday morning,
and managed to both be pleasant to other humans before 8 o’clock AM
and pull in about $50,
which is pretty darn good for a bunch of neglected crap pulled off of our balcony.

Saturday night was…
bad.

Just.

Bad.

I decided to hide from the world under my covers for most of Sunday
(this has been happening often around here),
but got some good out of the day watching “True Grit” with friends
(beautiful cinematography, great dialogue, and a fantastic cast).

I was woken up this morning by a Sierra Madre PolicePerson banging on my door.

That woman had the audacity to demand eleven dollars for a “yard sale permit”,
and to tell me that if I “had questions about it” I should have called City Hall to see if a permit was needed.

It’s not just the fact that I was charged for something
that I had no way of possibly knowing,
post-fact, and by an incredibly rude human being.

It’s that eleven dollars?
For me?

That’s a loaf of bread, 1/2 gallon of milk, and five apples.
It’s enough to feed me for a little over a week.
That’s three gallons of gas.
That’s a dance class.
It’s a bag of food for my dog.
It’s not nothing, in other words, not to me.

Additionally,
I still haven’t heard back from either of the two interviews I went on this month,
in spite of following up.

(I also feel like a whinging brat because almost all of my troubles
boil down to finances. And that just seems so…pathetic.
I mean, I could sell a kidney or something.)

 

It’s the little things.

I honestly feel like if I just lock my bedroom door and refuse to come out,
maybe nothing will go wrong.

I keep hoping for an end to the bad,
and in spite of what I said on my birthday
about not letting a year trample all over me,
it’s still happening.

And I’m wondering if,
this time,
I just shouldn’t bother getting up again.

Admit It:

You have a least one completely, utterly, unabashedly ridiculous thing you wish for in a husband/wife.

I think we all do.

 

Mine?

Legion.

 

But among them,
I have this spectacularly obtuse desire to marry a wealthy man.

The kind of guy who drives a fancy car.
(even though I mock them on the freeway)

The kind of guy who doesn’t bat an eye at a $400 dinner for two.
(even though I would have a brain hemorrhage from that kind of frivolity)

 

I think a great deal of that stems from this last while of being
unemployed, necessarily frugal and scared.
Even though I know (I know!) that wealth does not mean happiness,
and even the most wealthy can lose every penny,
I just…long for tangible security, I s’ppose.

 
 
So there’s my ricockulousness.

What are yours?

HAIR:

I have a funny relationship with my scalp follicles.

I kept my hair long (ass length) through high-school,
mostly because people pestered and teased and prodded me to cut it off,
and well,
I’m perverse like that.

And maybe there was something in that tormenting,
since the first time I actually *liked* the way my hair looked was when I finally whacked it all off five years ago–it was really cute, and red, and swingy,
and unfortunately,
never looked as good as it did walking out of that salon.

Teaching didn’t help with maintaining awesome hair, either.

(teaching didn’t help with maintaining awesome anything, truth be told)

When I was working at a post-production house,
I started toying with the notion of cutting my hair REALLY short.

And dying it.

(I think it was the nose-piercing day with Ruth that freed up my inner punk, really)

We were so happy that day. And swollen.

I wanted to dye my hair black and pink.
Not Barbie pink.
Not fluffy pink.
PINK.
Sock you in the eye,
take no prisoners,
glows in blacklight
PINK.

After I got that haircut,
I grinned at my reflection every morning for about a month straight,
in spite of my pink-stained pillows and shower.

This cut had a swath of PINK going up the back of my head, too.

It’s been nine months since I’ve cut my hair.
(yay, unemployment)

I can’t wait to whack it all off again,
and yet?

I’m also kinda nervous about it as well.

I’ve had some really cute hair days lately,
but I’m tired of having to brush, curl, and bobbypin the everliving shit out of my hair every day,
ya know?

The Boyo loves my supah-short hair
(I love that he isn’t a “typical” guy in this regard–
long hair doesn’t look good on me,
so he’s not harboring some inner pout
about the fact that I don’t (and won’t) have it.),
and I love my supah-short hair.

I’m just afraid that it won’t turn out.

Or that the stylist will screw up the dye job
(oh hai, chemical burns!).

Or that I won’t like it anymore.

Or that I’ll feel ugly over the holidays.

Or that I’ll look like hell in photos from my upcoming performance.

Hair is so damn complicated as a woman,
isn’t it?
It’s never just…dead protein on your scalp.

At least my dead protein comes in pretty colors, y’all.

*grin*

(Weigh in–does anyone else have a funky-ass relationship with their hair, for whatever reason?)

(re)Test:

A year ago,
I turned down a fairly lucrative job possibility at UCLA.

It was for their stem cell research department.
I asked if they used adult stem cells,
but no,
it was all embryonic.

I walked away from that possibility
because I knew I couldn’t stand before God
and admit to being a part of killing children
just because I was afraid I couldn’t pay the rent.

And I’ve been able to pay my rent,
in spite of that
(because of that?)
decision.

One week ago,
I got a call to interview with a company called Break Media.

I called The Boyo,
excited to have an interview after so many months without one.

He looked up the company.

And I heard hesitation in his voice.

They’re a company that “knows guys”.
Because “guys” flock in droves to their sites,
Holyta*co being my favorite example of the unapologetic misogyny they represent.

If I took this job,
I would lose any right I have to speak up about
unfair representation of women in the media.
I would be a part of the industry that contributes to
my eating disorder on a regular basis.
I would be a part of pretending that it’s “normal” for guys to behave like animals.

It isn’t.

And that’s probably the most insulting part of this company’s M.O.–
it would almost be better if they were *actually* dealing in porn,
instead of dismissing their onslaught of photos and videos of girls in
compromising clothing and positions as “boys will be boys”.

That’s a lie.

Boys can be Men.

If I took that job,
I would never be able to ask that of any man I love or care for.

What went through my head as I found out more about this company was something like this:

“Again?

Another job possibility I can’t follow up on for reasons of morality?

But I passed this test!
Why must I take it again?”

I didn’t understand.
I don’t understand.

I know that God’s ways are mysterious,
but sometimes?

I wish He would pull back the curtain,
just a little.

One of the hardest bits of this whole hellish year
has been feeling as though I have to bite my tongue–
I’m healthy.
I have a roof over my head,
clothes on my back,
shoes I can hock if I need to,
amazing friends who have covered my ass in more ways than
I could possibly count.

When I think about what Friend Mary went through–
cancer-losing-her-house-in-a-fire-chronic-pain-surgeries-surgeries…
my problems are so…beige.

But that doesn’t make the hurt
and the disappointment any easier to bear.

There are a few ordeals that happened this year
that I still don’t talk about with anyone, really.

It just feels like one test
after another
after another,
and no matter whether I make good decisions,
right decisions,
decisions that continue to imperil me on the graces of
unemployment and uncertainty,
the tempest still comes.

It is a hard hard thing to realize
that happiness is not my inalienable right.

Oh, I have things to show you:

but my laundry needs to be folded.

and the dog needs to be walked.

and I have to turn in my recycling so that maybe I have a bit of cash for gas.

It’s one of those days
where there isn’t a big project looming,
but just little teensy chores that add up to very busy-ness,
but without anything really to show for it.

*harumph*

Good thing there are puppies to visit this weekend.

When Wedding Coordinators Dream:

preamble:

I coordinated a wedding for my friends Jack and Linnea last weekend,
and it was *awesome*–
really cool folks,
never even had to raise my voice to make sure things got done.

Hence the freakiness of this dream.

___________________

There is an open field,
with one lone oaktree in the middle of it.

In the vague way that dreams have,
there is also a building where the guests for a wedding are being seated.

I am backstage,
doing what I do–
getting people into places so they can saunter down the aisle.

Only…

It’s Jack and Linnea.

Again.

And this time,
their wedding party consists of very beautiful,
very horrid people
who don’t listen,
and don’t get ready on time,
and in general,
are just lousy.

I try to get their attention calmly,
but for some reason,
the noise level is so high,
and everything is so chaotic,
I begin screaming my head off.

And even while screaming,
no one hears me for a good long while.

I feel I have to explain myself,
say that I don’t like screaming,
which meets rolled eyes and “puh-leeze” expressions.

I finally manage to get the truculent bridal party into place,
and herd the parents and grandparents down the aisle.

Where they break out into a horrible bar song
about being from somewhere in Topeka.

As they’re doing this,
I look back,
and see the bridal party on stilts.

With trapezes.

There may have been a monkey involved,
but I’m uncertain now.

All of this music is blaring from hidden speakers on their now-spangly wedding outfits,
and all of the women are wearing enormous, Ziegfield-follies-sized feather headresses,
which are molting all over the guests…

One of the pyramid-stilt-trapezes comes narrowly close to hitting me,
and then my phone begins to ring.

Which is the faux pas of the century for me,
since I always turn it off at weddings,
and as I fumble with it,
I realize it’s friend Regan,
calling about a shoot tomorrow…

and I wake up.

Totally and completely relieved
that I didn’t,
in fact,
lose it at a wedding.

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