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Heart Attacks, Healthcare, & The Time I Did Meth

According to this video, I am currently and am always having a heart attack.

This is terribly unfortunate because I was recently denied health insurance on the basis of my weight. I had a stronger emotional reaction to this rejection than I expected, partially because I never actually expected to be denied. I’m (relatively) young at 31, have no serious health problems, no penchant for cliff diving or anything risky or edgy at this point, and I don’t plan on doing anything expensive like getting pregnant EVER (which should be covered anyway, in my opinion, but just sayin’). If I’m feeling the symptoms in the video above, it is due to anxiety, which can obviously affect one’s health negatively in the long run, and I thought I could do something good for myself by seeking insurance coverage for my minor (by comparison) issues with that. I thought I was being smart and a good person by not lying about my weight (sorry about that, Driver’s License), but now it feels like I’m being punished.

Usually when the subject of obesity comes up among civil folks, two camps quickly form: those who advocate for size acceptance no matter what and those who are quick to inform everyone that they don’t hate fat people, it’s just that they are worried about us because we are probably going to drop dead at any second and are pretty much stealing the money directly out of everyone’s pockets with our expensive diseases (aka concern trolls). The issue of fat and health and whether or not the two can coexist has been debated at length and quite frankly I don’t want anything to do with it. I cannot stand it when people use concern as an excuse to shame fat people (that’s what it comes down to, pure and simple), but I’m also not a doctor or someone that likes reading doctor-y statistics, so whatever. I can only go by my own history of physical and emotional health as a fat person with a lifetime of baggage because of external and internal fat phobia. I struggle constantly with the disconnect of how I logically feel about body acceptance, my personal struggle with internalized fat phobia and low self-esteem, and my health issues and fears. The majority of past posts on this blog were written when I was at a much lower weight than I am now but starting to gain it back. When I was going through the archives recently, adding tags and such, I was kind of surprised and ashamed at just how much I talked about my weight and how I was absolutely planning on “starting a new diet asap.” I guess some parts were supposed to be funny and in-step with the whole Failure schtick, but reading now it feels embarrassing on two very different levels: 1) because I never want to feed into my own or others’ insecurities and body fixation/shame and 2) because I never did go on that diet. See what I mean about the disconnect?

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to write briefly (HAHA) about a few of my adventures in trying to lose weight.

Shame
I never forget I’m fat. I mean, how could I? It’s a constant focus within and by the world around me. Sometimes it seems like my (thin) friends forget I’m fat, though. Surely that could be the only explanation for someone having the audacity to inform me, breathlessly, mouth curled in disgust, how “omg sooo FAT” so-in-so has gotten, or showing me FatBooth pictures (that app has thankfully fallen from popularity, but one remembers these things when an acquaintance was so genuinely horrified by what she would look like fat that she nearly cried), or posting Instagram shots of oozing burgers, decimated pans of brownies, or sometimes even just a regular plate of food with the caption “Uh oh, my inner fat kid is coming out!” or “Being a fat girl again” or (my favorite) simply, “I’m so fat!” My own “inner fat kid” comes out every day when I get out of bed as my outer fat woman, a person who is haunted by past ridicule and is subjected to very real prejudice in the world. For the record, my inner and outer fat persons are not particularly partial to burgers or sweet treats and are resentful at the suggestion that only fat people eat a certain way or at all and thin people don’t. I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed for nourishing my body. I’m not that sensitive when it comes to jokes and I have one of the most off-color senses of humor, but shit like this wears me down after a while. How many “Oh, I wasn’t talking about YOU”s can a person accept in their lifetime? I cannot pretend that when you, even unintentionally, say cruel or hurtful things about fat people, you aren’t talking about a fat person “like me.” You are. I’m fat. That being said, I am obviously not free of fat phobia. My own internalized fat phobia does some pretty impressive contortionist moves. I don’t hate fat people, just myself. I love the fat positive movement, but I could never be that. Wow, she sure is brave to eat that in public where everyone is watching and judging her. I want another serving, but I know what people will think. I just love how hot Beth Ditto looks on stage when she takes her clothes off, but I could never do that, my body is disgusting. All of my fat friends are prettier than me, which is why they can pull it off. It never ends, and yes, it is as painful and tiring as it sounds. All of this shame is something I’ve tried to use as motivation in the past to try to lose weight, and it just does not work. It leads to deeper patterns of despair, desperation, and negative behavior.

“Diets”
I won’t bore you with all 20+ stories of me trying to beat (and measure and count and blend) my weight into submission using Weight Watchers, Slimfast, etc., starting from about six years old. The main thing using Slimfast taught me was that there is no way a shake is a full meal for me and that adding a banana to one of their chocolate shakes, while counter-productive, is damn delicious and banana+chocolate is the dream team. All I really ever got out of Weight Watchers was the terror of being dragged there by my mother and weighed in public each week and probably, deep in storage somewhere, several vintage sets of measuring cups, kitchen scales, and books emblazoned with the WW logo. Today Jennifer Hudson wails at me from my tv to say that if I want it, I’ve got it, I’ve gotta believe, believe in myselllllffff. I wish I could tell her that one of the main reasons I DON’T believe is that I DID believe on and off throughout the 90s and yet here we are. Oh well.

Diet Pills/Meth
Seriously. Meth. Okay, sort of. When I was in high school my group of friends and I met a group of older kids, Caltech students, and started hanging out with them. We found out that the school actually has a not-so-secret reputation for its wild parties. Apparently extreme science nerds need to cut loose somehow, and that somehow was with booze, weed, ecstasy, GHB, meth, and K. Someone told me they used their superbrains to make their own drugs sometimes, but I don’t know if I believe that. I do know that there was a hollowed-out electrical box in the wall of one of the dorms containing piles of condoms and clean needles, among other goodies. I never got down with any needles, but I was curious and self-destructive enough to try just about anything when the creepy ringleader dude gave my friend and I a tiny baggie of speed one afternoon. We took our first ever nostril-burning rails in our Catholic school uniforms as he stared lecherously, leaning back on his bed. It was totally weird because he obviously expected something other than money in return, so we got out of there fast. I remember feeling slightly euphoric for literally about four minutes and then feeling my emotions come crashing down as I walked along the sidewalk, wishing it would open up and take me inside. When we got home we put on a movie in an attempt to chill out, but I could not relax, laugh, or even smile. The movie was There’s Something About Mary, and to this day I don’t know if it was any good. I mean, I highly doubt it because I don’t find Ben Stiller very funny, and is the main gag seriously semen as hair gel? But it WAS sort of a 90s classic, never the less, and now I’ll never be able to appreciate it. We stayed up all night until the little baggie was gone, trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to ward off the terrible feeling of coming down. We talked in circles about everything awful under the sun and moon and damn near made a suicide pact. Somehow we made it through to the next morning when my mom picked me up and I’m seriously glad I can’t really remember that awkward car ride. Just before I finally fell asleep late the next afternoon, after trying to force myself to eat a piece of bread that tasted like poison in my mouth, my friend and I swore to each other in whispers on the phone that we would NEVER EVER try speed again. I hadn’t tried it to lose weight, just out of teenage curiosity, but fast forward a few years later and I was trying a diet pill for the first time, the original formula of Metabolife, which was packed with ephedra (a powerful stimulant which has since been banned by the FDA). I pretty much had a meth flashback and a total meltdown, so no, it didn’t help me lose weight, because I was only able to take it once. I had hoped it would give me energy and cut my appetite, but instead it just made me jittery and depressed. If you know me, you know if I drink even one cup of coffee I start having racing thoughts, pacing back and forth, and being generally intolerable. This “energy boost” doesn’t help me get stuff done or concentrate or feel invigorated. I’ve since tried caffeine-based diet pills and they have a similar effect. It doesn’t really suppress my appetite much, but even if it did (like meth and the amphetamine diet pills that some doctors still prescribe) it wouldn’t work for me because I hate that speedy feeling. I know a lot of people love it, but we all know that real speed and fake speed and even excessive amounts of caffeine can be just as terrible as or much worse for your body (speaking of heart attacks) than being fat, so there goes that method of weight loss.

The Not-So-Healthy Diet and Exercise Plan
Several years ago I tried to go on The South Beach Diet but failed to lose even one pound or inch, despite the fact that I had followed it strictly for over a month. I had healthcare at the time and went to the doctor to be like WTF and was tested and diagnosed with PCOS. It had been so hard to lose weight even when I was genuinely trying my whole life that it was in some ways a relief to be diagnosed with PCOS, a disease that makes weight loss more difficult, among other symptoms. The thing is, even though it’s harder to lose weight, weight loss can help alleviate some of the other symptoms. I began a strict regimen of birth control pills, anti-androgen meds, generic metformin (a diabetes drug that can be helpful to some PCOS patients, but has several unpleasant side effects), exercise, and an extreme low-carb diet (as in not even fruit for the first month) all under a doctor’s care at first. Eventually I did start to lose weight, but I wasn’t exactly at my healthiest. I lost my health insurance through my mom and was no longer seeing a doctor. I was newly living away from home and was hanging out with two thin girls who were both very concerned about their weight, and we talked about it constantly, obsessively. I was getting thinner and thinner for me, but never “thin enough.” There were days I cheated on my diet and ate whatever I wanted, weeks I ate salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and times where I wouldn’t consume much at all other than vodka sodas (low in carbs, you see) when I went out at night. I had a job where I was constantly moving and on my feet in addition to taking daily walks and spending feverish nights on the dance floor. I was such a hot mid-20s mess that I rarely remembered to take my medications then finally stopped altogether. For me, losing weight was a FULL TIME commitment and lifestyle change that had started for health reasons, but that was never the real issue. I wanted to feel better about how I looked and be more accepted, and people did treat me better, sadly, but it was never enough. I never got skinny, I never felt like I looked as good as my friends in clothes, I still hated my body, I still hated myself, inside and out. And I certainly wasn’t being healthy about it after the first few months, skipping meals because I was too busy and going out every night, not dealing with my real problems. I think people who find it easy to moderately difficult to maintain a certain weight really don’t understand that when they say “why don’t you just lose weight?” to someone like me, they are essentially saying “why don’t you devote just about every waking moment to looking a certain way and being my and society’s definition of beautiful and healthy?” I mean, I kind of feel like no one should be getting in anyone’s body business like that anyway, but it is particularly annoying to me as someone who has a condition that makes weight loss extra difficult.

So, this is where I’m at now. I feel defiant, like going on a diet and exercise plan would be me bending to society’s will. I don’t want to be shamed or bullied into doing something that could potentially be healthy for me, and losing weight definitely isn’t the answer for everyone’s health. It sure wasn’t the answer to my biggest problem, which was my absent sense of self-worth. I do want to make steps to avoid certain health pitfalls I know may be prone to because of my history. I feel like this time I could be trusted to do things right and for mostly the right reasons, but I keep going back and forth. Attempting to get insured was a big step for me, but we know how that ended up. It feels extra hurtful and crazy that I would need to lose weight to get health insurance but getting health insurance could be one of my best shots at losing weight, if that’s what I decide to do.

Ugh. Is it Obamacare yet?

target: women

i have been feeling like a bit of a bummer these days, so anything that makes me smile is much appreciated. thanks to one of my favorite blogs, gaycondo, i have been introduced to the hilarity that is sarah haskins’ “Target: Women” videos. she serves up brilliant comedic analyses on how the media, advertising specifically, targets women in bizarre and sometimes downright insulting ways.

this is familiar territory for me, as i think about this quite a bit, but sarah brings up some things i never really thought about before, like why birth control is sold as period control and not, um, BABY REDUCER. i guess it never occurred to me as a gay lady who takes birth control to control her periods (they are about 9-10 days otherwise) that most women who take the stuff do so to stay kidfree. with all the sexuality on tv, this is just kind of appalling. women have sex! FOR FUN!

here is the birth control video. it’s LOL funny, so watch at work with caution.

this one on chick flicks had joe and i both in hysterics over “friend-o’s” alone.

and finally, this one made me laugh a lot…

because it’s true, then days later i heard about this:

Splendafiber
splenda with fiber!!! fiber in your artificial sweetener. talk about a target audience.

 

of course you know, however, i WILL be purchasing this. i love a little extra boost of fiber. i’ll let you know how it works.

down UNDER

this might be my second post titled that. LOL.

anyway, as if we needed another reason why australia is so much more awesome than the usa, check out this commercial michael k. posted on Dlisted yesterday:

banned in the usa, of course! this is the kind of marketing genius we need. it’s a BIG FRIENDLY BEAVER. hillllarious!

anyway, speaking of beavers…

well, wait, i know most of you are waiting with bated breath (haha) for me to speak out on the recent injustice of Proposition 8 passing in my state of CA, but truthfully so many of my great blogging colleagues have spoken up so eloquently on the subject, i just don’t feel it necessary just now. i’m sure it will come up again because this is shaping up to be THE topic and THE civil rights issue of our time, but my sadness and anger has, through all the marching i have done (and will continue to do starting this saturday), turned into hope, real hope and pride in my community. it just doesn’t seem to warrant a rant at this time.

BUT, i will take you on a small mini-rant regarding another injustice.

moist wipes.

first of all, let me be clear, i am part of the faction of society that hates the word “moist.” god almighty, do i hate it! i also never thought i would buy moist wipes. i have friends who always have a pack of moist wipes or baby wipes by their toilets and i would just think to myself, “really? triple-ply paper is not enough, huh? gotta have a wet bum, huh? i don’t get it.” add that to the fact that one of my main pet peeves, as you may know, is to be damp in any way unless i am showering or swimming, and there you have it.

well, as we are all aware, life tends to take one on different journeys and minds and hearts can always be changed. as it turns out, wipes are great to have around for pre- and post-sex freshening. at my work (oh yeah, i work at a sex shop now. more on that later. maybe.) we have things called like SexxNaps or CumCleen, but truthfully unless they are anti-bacterial and being used to clean toys and such, plain baby wipes or moist wipes do the job and are way cheaper. so, yeah, even though usually i like things with sex-related names or that smell like mango or have a specific purpose and snappy packaging (i am an ad executive’s dream), i have been feeling pretty thrifty lately, so i decided to head out to the local target for this wipe expedition.

i don’t usually buy generic brand products. i know it’s RIDIC and wrong, but i am a 27 year-old woman that has grown to know and love her Opti-Free brand contact lens solution and i know the CVS brand says “compare to Opti-Free” on the side and costs half the price, but i do not care! well, for some reason, i tend to make many exceptions to this when it comes to target brand. i don’t know if it’s because it is a name i trust or if it’s the clean, appealing packaging, or even the quirky commercials, but i feel okay with target brand.

as further evidence that i am rapidly turning into a memaw, my new favorite thing is reading ingredients and comparing prices on EVERYTHING, even wet wipes. as i did this, i discovered that the target brand actually seemed to have the fewest confusing ingredients (hydrogenated oils are in some of the other brands. i know they won’t clog my arteries from there, but still, do i want to rub them on my precious gem? not really) and were (duh) the cheapest. i decided to then check out some of the ones that are made specifically for women. this makes no sense, as the products are essentially the same, but i tend to be drawn to products for women. my old roommate ashlee made so much fun of me the time i got athlete’s foot from standing in the salon all day and bought anti-fungal foot creme for women. what? it was purple and had extra moisturizers! and she still stole it and used it all when she needed it. anyway, in doing this comparison between the wet wipes, i discovered that the target brand wipes for women have the same ingredients, fewer wipes, yet are more expensive than the general ones! and the packaging is far-less user-friendly! very upsetting indeed.

i mean, we all know these “for women” products are a ploy, even i know that, but i guess i expected better from the normally fine value that is target generics. i almost purchased cottonelle, always, or even loves baby wipes in protest, but in the end the low low price, simple ingredients, and e-z pop box of the target brand wet wipes won me over. maybe i will say “screw the man” and refill the box with unscented baby wipes when i’m done with them.

they say it’s the small victories.

i met sia!

last night (tuesday) at wildness, jd samson was djing. it was great and everyone was on the dancefloor. as i mentioned in a previous post, i have seen jd and sia out together in l.a. before and they are SO CUTE together, but that’s not the point.

now, i am a los angeles native, born and raised, so i try not to get too star-struck when i see celebrities. i mean, for godssake, when i worked at the salon, i washed tom hanks’ hair!!! but, when i see/meet an artist whose work i really really admire, i just lose it. sia is so fucking talented. her most recent album some people have real problems is brilliant. her voice is gorgeous and her lyrics are so so beautiful. i just love it.

well, before i even got there, i accidentally drank a sparks, which if you don’t know is a fine malt beverage MIXED WITH ENERGY DRINK. if you know me in real life, you know i am not allowed to drink energy drinks or i become completely insane. one time i had two sugar-free red bulls and then watched an in-line skating contest where the girls were jumping on rails and falling on their faces left and right and i was just screaming uncontrollably. my heart almost leaped right out of my chest and when i was coming down from my high all i wanted to do was suck my thumb and cry.

now imagine that combined with full sugar and a touch of booze. not pretty. i had to have a glass of champagne and a beer just to bring me to almost normal.

then i get in line for the bathroom RIGHT BEHIND SIA!

i had to say something because the way i see it, even if i was a celebrity trying to lay low and hang out with my girlfriend in a tranny dive bar in macarthur park, i would love it if some energy drink-crazed, curly-headed mess came up to me and started screaming in my face about how i am her absolute favorite and she just loves me blah blah blah.

actually, i am not joking, i really would like it, but it didn’t happen exactly that way. when i walked into the alley that the restroom is in (uh huh) she was the only other person in line and i was like “this is awkward, but, uh, i’m a BIG fan!” and she thought that was really funny. she was so so so nice and asked my name and introduced herself (lol) and was the cutest thing ever and really fast in the bathroom, which was a big plus cause i had to pee pretty bad from the sparks and the things i tried to chase it with.

i wanted to ask her to sign my little notebook, but i decided that was just going a bit too far. now i wish i did though because wtf, who cares. i don’t think she would have thought any less of me. oh well. it was really cool and i feel like a dork, but i don’t care. also let me add that she’s a great dancer! i feel like you can really tell a lot about a person by how well they dance to 90s club hits.

you can learn even more about sia and hear her music and see videos on her website. her latest single “soon we’ll be found” is one of the only things in the world that is bringing me any hope and happiness right now. here is the beautiful video and the lyrics.


Come along it is the break of day
Surely now, you’ll have some things to say
It’s not the time for telling tales on me

So come along, it wont be long
‘Til we return happy
Shut your eyes, there are no lies
In this world we call sleep
Let’s desert this day of hurt
Tomorrow we’ll be free

Let’s not fight I’m tired can’t we just sleep tonight
Turn away it’s just there’s nothing left here to say
Turn around I know we’re lost but soon we’ll be found

Well it’s been rough but we’ll be just fine
Work it out yeah we’ll survive
You musn’t let a few bad times dictate

So come along, it wont be long
‘Til we return happy
Shut your eyes, there are no lies
In this world we call sleep
Let’s desert this day of work
Tomorrow we’ll be free

Let’s not fight I’m tired can’t we just sleep tonight
turn away it’s just there’s nothing left here to say
Turn around I know we’re lost but soon we’ll be found

lately i’ve had the strangest feeling…

this is depressing. skip to around 1:46 to see JoJo of the r&b group Jodeci collapse in an apparently alcohol/drug addled stupor while performing a show in australia. a) performing? b) australia?

according to his brother/bandmate K-Ci, JoJo was just exhausted and has epilepsy, but that’s hard to believe. read about it on Dlisted, which explains it better than i ever could.

this is sad because Jodeci was one of my favs in junior high. not only did i love “all my life”, which they are playing when the train wreck begins on this video, but their version of “lately” is really beautiful, and was one of my all time songs to get emo over.

then, at the eighth grade dance, it played, and i asked my friend michael to dance with me to it. he said no and was a total jerk about it, until i grabbed his arm and made him. that was my first slow dance. sad.

years later, he would become a dear friend and a HUGE FLAMING GAY, which makes me feel a little better. but just a little.

skins

my weekend was kind of like a delicious “skins” sandwich. friday i crawled around online like and obsessed 17 year-old fangirl looking up info and new stuff on the show. then, on sunday, i watched it as it made its us television premier. as you may know, i have already watched series one and two, which have already aired in the uk, but now that the powers that be (british people?) have brought “skins” to american shores officially via BBC America (which ps has the best programming! this evening i also watched a show called “my big breasts and me” and it was really fascinating), i am newly obsessed with the amazingness that is “skins.”

here’s why:


2754391857_7328fb3324_m1) the kids: living in a world, country, city, obsessed with youth culture is hard. i, for one, am completely tired of boring tv programming shoving wealthy, blonde, beach-going teens down my throat and informing me that this is the lifestyle i surely missed out on in my youth. i mean, i am all for re-capturing the good (awful) times, but i can never relate to any of these characters. i don’t think i have related to a teen character since jessie spano on saved by the bell, and that was mostly because we are both feminists. well, “skins” is written in a way that somehow makes the characters entirely relatable, accessible, and even true-to-life, while still creating a fantasy world that, at least speaking as an adult, feels sensationalized, voyeuristic, shocking… all of the above. it feels like all the things i was and wasn’t is represented somehow in each character. also, because they have british accents, they sound significantly less young and dumb, which is refreshing. 

2) the slang: what kind of wannabe fancy american would i be if i didn’t love english slang words? the title of the show does not solely refer, in fact, to all the skin that is shown (and it definitely has it’s moments!), nor the often painful shedding of one’s youthful skin while squirming towards adulthood, but the word “skin” is also a slang term for the paper used to roll a joint. my personal fav, which i tried in my mind unsuccessfully to justify using aloud, is “safe” as a replacement for “cool.” some of the words (such as “safe”) even have multiple meanings. luckily there is a glossary guide on the show’s page at the BBC America website. even more fortunate is the fact that the good people at BBCA have elected to add subtitles to certain parts of the show. it is absolutely necessary, at least in the first few episodes while you are getting used to the accents. this matter of convenience almost makes up for the censorship, though thus far i only noticed them editing out the word “fuck” and some nudity, not too bad.

2755224830_de3038f06f-13) cassie: i’ll admit, i do tend to have a weakness for the dippy blonde in a bunch, but the character cassie on “skins” is so much more than that. the part is well-written and acted so brilliantly by hannah murray. she is certainly one of the more outwardly fucked-up of the group, as she suffers from anorexia and other severe self-image issues, but she is anything but heavy. any cassie screen time for me has been like magic faerie time and, as cheesy as that sounds, because of the writing and acting, it doesn’t feel the least bit contrived. the second episode of series one, which first aired last night (they showed two episodes to kick off the show) is the first in-depth introduction to cassie. it will air again on sunday august 24th at 9 p.m., with another new episode right after at 10.

4) the music: one of the first things i noticed while watching “skins” the first time was how they effectively used music from the past and current popular and indie music as well. it gave the show a more artistic feel, kind of like a movie, as opposed to the distinct feeling of product placement i get from the soundtracks on most shows these days, although truthfully, you will want to hunt down any manifestation of a soundtrack to this show. it’s that good. i believe there is an iMix on itunes, but check out some of the fansites for more comprehensive songlistings. the remix to the gossip song “standing in the way of control” can be heard on the show as well as in certain promotional items i have seen, which is awesome to see. go brits for making the gossip the huge stars over there that they should have been here long ago!

5)2755223780_efd7dc5450 diversity: it’s a bit more difficult for me to assess the success of an english show in being truly diverse. much like most american shows with an ensemble cast, “skins” consists of primarily straight, white kids. there is a certain sense of token-ism, then, when you throw the gay kid, the muslim kid, and the black kid into the mix. the show avoids the pitfall of being overly-patronizing though, again, because of the quality of the writing. it’s definitely interesting, as an american, to watch a show in which one is learning about another culture (english) while also learning about other cultures within that culture, such as the experience of being an english muslim as opposed to a muslim-american. the show certainly centers around the friendship between the members of the group and isn’t exactly a huge political or cultural statement, but i obviously think it is important for different groups of people to be represented in popular media, and a show like this brings that to the table. one of the things i liked was the fact that the gay storyline does not center on the gay character maxxie’s coming out or something oft-depicted like that. there are definitely gay issues and issues of adversity that are tackled, but it is more about maxxie’s life and experience in that particular time, with his particular friends that takes center stage, and his being gay is simply a part of who he is. i like that because i can relate to it, as that was my experience as an out teenager.

i really hope you all will tune in to “skins” on BBC America. you can visit the official website for fun content, pictures, videos, and the schedule.

here is a version of the trailer that calls the show “a better gossip girl.” i couldn’t agree more. that’s why i’m posting about it. i hope that people will watch it to show that americans are interested in watching shows from other parts of the world. a well-written, well-acted show should be able to translate from culture to culture, and i think that “skins” definitely does.

okay, okay, i just officially pulled an all-nighter. i am going on vacation today with my family and joe and will be offline (GASP!) until wednesday. i can’t imagine that i will be posting anything before thursday night, but if i do, you will for sure be the first to know… since this is my blog… and you read it religiously… yeah.

more sports?!?!

sorry guys, i’ll try to write more later today if i get a chance, but i’m exhausted.

here is a video i found on youtube with a montage of changes in the uneven bars in gymnastics over the years. i found it while looking for videos of soviet gymnast larissa latynina, the first and (so far) only woman to ever win 9 gold medals, and is also, i think, the most decorated olympian of all time with 18 medals total. as i was watching videos of her i noticed first how her body was so much more “womanly” than those of gymnasts today. i used that term within quotations because i am well-aware that women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but the difference in their appearance is striking. sure, she is still thin, but she isn’t as small or muscular as they seem to be today. it seems like back then it was a little more about grace and style. it is the natural evolution of a sport, of course, and it is wonderful to see the female gymnasts of today exhibiting such strength, it just makes me uneasy that they look, and are, so very very young.

you will also note the use of tori amos’ “little earthquakes”. how emo!

(half)pipe dreams

lately i had begun to think that none of my dreams would ever come true. oh, sorry, i think i am using the term “dreams” rather loosely. i don’t really have any of those kind that begin with “someday i’ll be…” or “i want to achieve success in the field of…” i just wasn’t built that way.

it was revisiting this thought, that most of the dreams i dream are rather small, that finally cheered me up a bit this weekend, as it also brought me to the realization that i have actually been living out many of my dreams left and right! first off, i now own and love a vixen bandit dildo (which i promise to review later this week), started taking a water aerobics class (more on that in another post), and finally made it into the basement of the staples center!

but let me start at the beginning. it was friday, august 1st, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. joseph and i were headed to the X-Games 14 women’s street skate finals, which were being held on a large course built on a parking lot just outside the staples center in downtown l.a. we were going there to watch my friends amy caron, vanessa torres, sophie poppe, and evelien bouilliart compete. i was also looking forward to watching marisa dal santo, as i had never seen her skate in person, and leticia bufoni, whom i had seen the weekend before at the S3 Supergirl competition in huntington beach. leticia is a 15 year-old brazilian tiny who skates like a maniac. look, i don’t know anything about skating and i won’t pretend to, but i know what i like to watch. it’s fun to watch them when they have serious tenacity and keep going after a trick until they get it, or make it look easy (i think that’s called “style”). anyway, i love watching little leticia almost as much as i like watching my good friends skate. marisa (who won the silver medal that day) was fucking awesome to watch too, as well as (obviously) the day’s gold medal winner elissa steamer. but my most favorite skater EVER, partly because she’s awesome at skating, partly because she is really funny, and partly because last summer she looked-after my black-out drunken ass in ways i may never know, is amy caron, and i am so proud of her for winning the bronze medal!

the competition was set up in three jams of seven minutes each on different parts of the course. sophie hooked joe and i up with her friends and family passes, so the view was great to watch the comp, but not so great for taking pics because i couldn’t actually get on the course. everyone was skating really well, but it seemed by the third jam, which was on a rail, that leticia bufoni and rachel reinhard were duking it out for third place, at least that’s what the announcers were saying. it did seem like they were both hitting the pavement hard trying to complete some fancy kickflips over the stairs, and according to what the girls said later, that part of the course was really gnarly, which i assume means steep. it’s hard to get that perspective when you are standing beside it, but i guess it looks much more daunting standing at the top staring down at the pavement below, or rather careening toward it on a piece of wood with wheels on it

anyway, as i said, amy had been skating well, but i don’t think she felt like she was in medal contention,5-0 or at least that’s what i was getting from her body language after the third jam. when she heard that she was currently in fourth place just before the final jam began, though, it was really on. the crowd watched her kick it into overdrive, and it was an amazing thing to see. if i remember correctly, she was the only person to skate the ledge, and the trick she did was beautiful. it is called a 5-0 and please don’t ask me why that is, but here is what it looked like. after this part there was a perfect landing and a lot of cheering. it was awesome.

the rest, as they say, is history. amy won the bronze medal at X-Games for the second year in a row and it was time to celebrate. the first thing we did was head down to the athlete’s lounge at the staples center to hang out and wait for her to be done with interviews and stuff. the passes we had enabled us to go down there, but we needed to have another special pass to actually WALK down there. it was kind of ridiculous, but it made me feel very special and VIP when we finally found someone to escort us down. okay, so i never realized i had always dreamed of walking into the bowels of the staples center until i IMG_6741was doing it, but it was just sort of exhilarating! almost as exciting as the actual athlete’s lounge, which was stocked with all manner of free non-alcoholic2731667928_ed54b89a5f beverages, a catering station, baskets and baskets of powerbar products, a free photobooth, massage therapist, flat screen tv, leather couches, and a unisex bathroom! i felt like kobe bryant himself! i’m pretty sure i opened one of each of every free drink in the place just to taste it. unfortunately i am a moron who was in the direct sun for four hours that day and i lost my head, so the only two pictures i have of the experience are one of half of sophie’s face and marisa and evelien eating free sandwiches and one of amy texting really gay-ly. BEST DAY EVER.

now, i know this coverage isn’t exactly in-depth, as i obviously know nothing about the technical aspects of skateboarding, but i wanted to share my day with you. i was super-disappointed when i went to the X-Games blog and was met with this post about the women’s event, which is lackluster at best, and downright offensive at worst. i guess it is supposed to be flip and funny in the classic skateboarder way, but i didn’t find it amusing and a lot of the information was wrong. one would think that in a sports world that lives outside of the norm, that women wouldn’t have to work extra hard to be considered legit, but i guess some things are universal.

anyway, here is the video of the highlights they posted, thankfully.

on the up-side, i had a great time hanging out with all the girls at once. sophie and evelien were visiting from belgium, vanessa was down from northern california, marisa says funny stuff and is from chicago, and meeting leticia was really cool, even though there is a language barrier. these women have the ultimate respect for each other, as athletes and as people, and they drive each other, which makes the sport even better.

 

*the picture of amy’s 5-0 trick was taken by ashley brennan (click to make photos larger). you can see a few more of my pics from the competition and the ensuing madness on my Flickr page.

oz

so, the promos for the new kath and kim usa series are now being aired on tv and they look just awful. selma blair is pretty good at playing bratty, and molly shannon is undeniably one of the funniest women in america, but i am just worried they won’t really push the envelope with this one, which needs to happen for it to be even APPROACHING the hilarity of the aussie version.

this is a clip from what i believe is an early kath and kim sketch before it was its own series. it’s impossible to find full episodes of kath and kim on youtube, which really sucks. i totally intend on buying all the series on dvd when i can, but it would be nice to get a fix. this is a pretty funny clip though. if you’ve never seen the show it gives you a good idea of the humor and how the accents really add a special something. as well as kath’s white-lady fro. i can’t believe american kath will have straight hair! BLASPHEMY!

this next video ends with a creepy, pervy still of kim’s ass some weirdo made on youtube, but i am posting it here because it will give you an idea of how kim is SUPPOSED to look. part of the joke is that she is obviously way too old and fat (oh, she is preggers in the above clip, btw) to dress the way she does and even if one wanted to bend those fashion rules (good on ‘er, as the aussies might say), she takes it way way over the top. selma blair is actually much older than she looks but she doesn’t LOOK 35 and she is just too thin! they seriously couldn’t find a heavier funny lady? i find that hard to believe. i read some interviews where she was talking about gaining 10 lb and having a belly roll, but she basically just looks like a normal person. it’s not like the whole point is to laugh at fat people or anything, but if they wanted to hire a skinny actress, they have to have adjusted the humor big time, and it doesn’t look like they did. i guess it’s also the fact that, as an american watching, an older woman playing a “stupid” girl in a whole other culture is funny, but a younger actress playing a stupid american girl is just… sad. and all too real.

okay, if you haven’t guessed i have aussie fever. there are a few australian (one by way of new zealand) friends of friends and now new friends of mine in town, and it’s been so much fun hanging out with them tons. normally foreign people don’t like me because if i spend to much time with them, i will start talking in their accent completely by accident and i think they think i am making fun of them, but really i just have a sensitive ear. also, i ask loads of questions, but luckily i got MOST of that out of my system the first day i met marian, the new zealander living in australia. to her fullest abilities, she answered all of my queries about the cost of living, local radio, transport, and most importantly, kylie minogue.

here is a classic kylie video. who would have guessed this little tan tart would become one of the most famous women in the world? um, the answer is: DUH, ANYONE WHO WAS PAYING ATTENTION TO THE FINE ACTING IN THIS VIDEO! note the scene of her singing to the picture on the bed and the bath bubbles scene. oscar-worthy.

and finally, last saturday i was honored to meet pip, better known as ladyhawke. i kept staring at her and it was kind of embarrassing because i was a bit starstruck, but she was friends with all the aussies so i played it cool (sort of. not really). ladyhawke is also originally from new zealand, but i think now she spreads her time between australia and england. i don’t know for sure because i am not a stalker! i’m not! anyway, her song “back of the van” came out quite a while ago, but her popularity is steadily rising and the songs keep coming. her music is seriously awesome and she was, for lack of a better word, really fucking cool.

well, that’s all for now. if you’re at work, try and check out the videos i’ve posted when you get home. i am going to post a lot of pictures soon, as i have many many good times to show you, but this new typepad makes posting pics a daunting task. i’d do it for you, though, i swear. i mean, i will do it. yeah, i so will.

skating funny

remember a while ago when i told you that my dear, hilarious friend amy caron did a short video with comedian jennie mcnulty for the series she has going on afterellen.com called “walking funny with…” in which she interviews sports-types while walking with them? well, if you don’t, i just told you all you need to know.
the video is up now and it is SO FUNNY. amy is an awesome pro skater and super-hilarious. we are trying to work on some things ourselves, but her schedule is really crazy right now, as it’s skate contest season.

here is the video. enjoy! look for me (or rather a flash of me) toward the end when amy whispers “amanda, take my jacket” right before she does a trick, and for my trying desperately to hide behind a wall right after the trick. it is totally my big-time lesbian web debut! sad.
funny!