Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the wall...

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi. (I show not your face but your heart's desire)

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Can't you show me tall and slim? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Must I look so bloody grim? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, You're distorting my poor waist! Mirror, mirror, on the wall, And why the heck am I defaced? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Why have I a double chin? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, And what's the stupid, goofy grin? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Pointless asking ‘Who’s the fairest? – More bloody likely, 'Who’s the queerest? Now look, I paid a big bucks for thee, So why can’t you be nice to me? Mirror, mirror, on the wall, Who’s the fairest of them all? Me, you say? Ah, that's better – Mirror, mirror, bloody fibber! –Mirror Mirror Bloody Fibber, by Mark Slaughter

Just a short post or maybe just a random musing. (That’s what most posts are aren’t they?) Anyway I’m in a weird mood, sort of contemplative. A little blue even. Lately, I find myself in a place of longing… I’ve said this before and I will say this till I’m done with Project me. I need everything in my life to be different. I want to see something better when I look at myself in the mirror. I was close my eyes at night and feel satisfaction. Right now I have no satisfaction. My mind races every night. I think of all the things that I want. I think of all the things that I still need to do. I don’t just mean the dry cleaning, though I think of that as well, but I mean ALL the things. Figure out this weight loss thing, thinking of ways to get through my education faster.

The other day I started to reread (yes reread—sometimes I pick up books that I love—and I love Harry Potter, I promise to discuss that later—open them up to a random page and start reading. WHAT?) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's stone. Anyway Harry comes across a mirror, the Mirror of Erised. The Mirror of Erised (Which if you noticed is desire spelled backwards) is a magic mirror, which shows the deepest and most desperate desire of ones heart. The happiest person in the world would look in the mirror and see a reflection of exactly the way he or she is. As Harry has no real family to speak of, he sees himself surrounded by family---his parents in particular. His friend Ron sees himself being the star of his life. Dumbledore says he sees himself holding warm socks. He’s lying of course… but you get what I mean.

I wonder, what I would see if I had the mirror of Erised? If I let myself, I can imagine what I would see. I think I would see myself, fit, healthy and pretty. I’d have a husband by side, baby at my hip and a toddler running laps around us. Out of anything that I could wish for, I wish for that. Sure I have crazy things that run through my head. Like what? Lots of things. I would have loved to live in a kibbutz, visited an ashram, learned how to drive a racecar and then some. However, at the end of the day, what I really want is good health, a man who loves me, and kids who call me momma.

Alas, I have no mirror, and no access to magic. It’s just me who needs to figure out way to keep working harder so that good things will happen for me.

Accio the desired life…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Puppets, excuse me, Muppets, aren't people...

Come and play. Everything's A-OK. Friendly neighbors there, that's where we meet, Can you tell me how to get…How to get to Sesame Street? It's a magic carpet ride, every door will open wide to happy people like you--Happy people like…What a beautiful…Sunny Day, sweeping' the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet, can you tell me how to get…How to get to Sesame Street? - Sesame Street Lyrics

Give me a break. Can someone just please…sigh. Ok. So earlier this week, a friend of mine posted his frustration at the notion of the possible nuptials of Bert and Ernie. I swear to you, I thought he was just being a jerk, and I told him so. Then I heard on the news, that it was a real movement. Ummm kids? Bert and Ernie are puppets. They aren’t gay or straight for that matter. They are felt. Perhaps the Pro Felt or the Anti Felt people would like to chime in on this serious issue.

The purpose of Bert and Ernie is to show two friends, two best friends, learning how to give and take and accept each other for who they are. Bert is the serious, responsible and steadfast one. He’s quirky, with his love of pigeons, stamps and paperclips. Ernie is decidedly, much less serious. Ernie is the flighty one he is much less responsible and much more childlike. Ernie is about the rubber ducky and his sax. Bert and Ernie are not about sex, gay or otherwise.

Here is what I understand. People want there to be an honest reflection of real families in film and television, including programming for children. I personally think that society would only benefit from learning that there are all kinds of people who help in making up all types of families. Having the knowledge that there are two women who love each other doesn’t mean that your daughter is going be lesbian. More likely than not, it means that your kid will grow up to be a tolerant, understanding and accepting individual. Isn't that what we want, to be a part of a benevolent society? I hate to sound like such the idealist, I know it’s not all that easy, but hate mongering comes from ignorance and fear doesn’t it? Once you know that something different won’t hurt you, there is not much to fear, is there? More and more, there are families that are different than our own. What is wrong exactly, with knowing that some families have 2 daddies, 2 mommies, one of each, just one, or none--- some kids grow up with Aunts and/or Grandparents? Quite frankly, that’s just an accurate portrayal of what real life is like. Hey you, person who is shaking your head at me---face facts, the world is changing and you can’t stop it. It would behoove you to open up your mind and be more accepting and understanding. After all, these are the people in your neighborhood. They’re the people that meet, when you’re walking down the street. They're the people that you meet each day. (Please tell me you got that?)

I have no doubt that the good people at Sesame Street, could (and I think should) figure out a way to introduce same sex parent families—that does not involve puppets. It would serve a greater service to show real flesh and bone actors portraying positive gay characters, than it would be to take beloved characters such as Bert and Ernie, and change the meaning of their relationship. Besides, don’t we want kids to learn that you can be “just” friends? Friendship is important, just as important as family. You choose your friends. Family is a crapshoot.

One last thing, if I may…they’re puppets kids. Puppets. Come ON!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What can you say about Casey Anthony that hasn't been said...

Mother you had me, but I never had you. I wanted you but you didn’t want me. So I got to tell you goodbye. Goodbye. - “Mother”, John Lennon

Casey Anthony. What can you say about this case, where, frankly, no one won?
Here is what we know, the Anthony’s last saw their grand-daughter in June of 2008. They would not see their daughter or grand-daughter for a month. During that same time Casey’s car was picked up and there was a noticeable smell of something decomposing coming from the trunk. Cindy Anthony, mother to Casey and grandmother to Caylee, pushed and got her daughter to admit that Caylee had been missing for 31 days. Cindy called 911 to report her granddaughter missing, also reporting the smell of death in the car. We know that when questioned, Casey lied repeatedly to her family and to authorities about just about everything. When asked who had her child, she said Zenida Fernandez Gonzalez. Lie. When asked where she worked, she said Universal Studios. Lie. Further, during the time that she knew, but didn’t know, where her little girl was, she was seen and photographed partying and having a grand old time.

Casey is then arrested for making false official statements, obstructing an investigation and child neglect. And so began the circus that finally ended this past July, with Casey being acquitted of all felony charges (i.e., of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse). However she was convicted of misdemeanor charges of giving false information to police. Casey Anthony was released about a week after the trial, and is pretty much going to live her life the way she wants to. Or will she? There is some debate on this. Some people suggesting that eventually she will get to live out a quiet life, other people suggesting that she will eventually meet her end, either by her own hand or by someone else’s.

I hadn’t planned on posting about the Anthony case. I was disgusted and feeling like I couldn’t say anything new. I understand that sometimes, common sense tells us that someone probably did something bad. (i.e., Murder) However, I also understand that “probably” isn’t good enough. Like we’ve heard them say on Law and Order, the prosecution needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that this woman did something. And like it or not, regardless of what your gut tells you, they didn’t. However, this morning I saw in the paper that, Casey was spotted in Ohio, shopping at a local Old Navy store. And for whatever reason, seeing her photo wearing a red baseball cap, checking her cell phone (I would love to know, besides her lawyer, who the hell is calling her?) and frankly the very notion that she is just living her life, like a regular person, enraged me so much it scared me. I am so not that person.

I am firm in my belief that just because you give birth does not mean that you are a REAL Mother. Anyone can push a baby out... it takes someone extraordinary to be a real parent. We all know don’t we, that either she did something vile to that child or knows who did and let them. I am not in the habit of wishing evilness on people. But parenting and doing a job by your kid, is the most important thing you can do. Being a parent is a privilege. I believe, regardless of what conclusion a jury came too, that Casey Anthony is guilty of the worst crime there is and I for one, hopes that she will never know a moment of peace. I hope she lives a long guilt riddled life. And when she finally meets her end, that she spends an eternity burning in hellfire where she belongs.

I know that I haven’t said anything new. I just had to say something.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Biggest Loser?

I look into the window of my mind, reflections of the fears I know I've left behind. I step out of the ordinary; I can feel my soul ascending. I am on my way, can't stop me now and you can do the same. What have you done today to make you feel proud? It's never too late to try. What have you done today to make you feel proud? You could be so many people, if you make that break for freedom. What have you done today to make you feel proud? – Proud (Theme to the Biggest Loser, sung by Heather Small)

The Biggest Loser
. I am assuming that everyone is familiar with this show. No? Well let me explain. The premise is that obese people will try out for a chance to be on this show and get the help that they need to lose as much weight as they can. During the time you are on the show you live on a ranch in California, with access to personal trainers who basically kick your ass. If you get chosen you have to leave your friends, family, job, work etc for around 5 months. For many people who are obese, this is a last ditch effort and they are willing to take that chance.

Over the past several weeks I’ve seen television spots for an open casting call for the Biggest Loser. I keep hearing a voice whisper to me “doitdoitdoit” I in turn; have been shouting “shutupshutupshutp”. However, last week I started wondering if it would really be such a bad idea? So Friday morning I studied the casting website and started to fill out the application. I told myself that I could just fill it out, without any obligation. While filling it out my friend/coworker comes up behind me and saw the application and I sort of blurted out… I think I’m going to try out for the Biggest Loser. Her response was… enthusiastic to say the least. She got VERY excited. She missed her calling she should be a cheerleader. There was a lot of doing dancing and telling me that I should do it doitdoitdoit. She would not be deterred, even after I threatened her with violence.

This past Saturday I woke up at the ass crack of dawn and drove the 30 miles to Newark, NJ and tried out for the show. I’m not sure why really; when I have always thought that I would never do something like that. First of all, I am not interested in showing America my girth. I don’t want to stand in front of millions of strangers in my bra and spandex shorts. (Unless your body is really special, it’s just a bad look) Secondly, I couldn’t really afford to not work for a month much less 5 months. But something told me to try. And so I did. I was 94th in line, which is great, when you consider that there must have been well over a 1000 people in line behind me. I was really struck by the amount of people who were there. There are a lot of seriously overweight people out there. It’s tragic. I’m not blind, I know that I am not the only person for whom weight loss is a problem, it’s just seeing so many fat people in one place was just so sad to me. I am a part of that group. Overweight and desperate to make a change, but lacking all the tools to make that change happen. It’s hard to say what I was feeling when I was waiting. I was feeling a lot. Tired (it was early), Nervous, Sheepish, Hungry and Uncertain.

I knew the odds of getting on the show where slim (←ha! I wasn’t even trying!), there are so many people who want this, but what if I did get on? I wouldn’t want to go on and not do well. I wouldn’t want to go on and fail or embarrass myself. The scariest part for me is that I know that in every “reality” show there is that moment. That “poignant” moment where someone has some kind of a breakdown, which leads to a break though, which has likely been edited to hell---so that there is the sad, moving, piano music, with a close up of a fat, sweaty, crying face. Afterwards there is the confessional, where the person is opening up about the real reason regarding their obesity. I HATE that. I always feel like I am spying on a moment that I should not be witnessing. It feels so…contrived! I actually don’t have a real reason for my obesity. There has been no great tragedy in my life. Yes of course there have been heartbreaks and setbacks and letdowns. But we all know a major life calamity don’t we? I haven’t had any. So my only excuse is that at some point, I just began feeding those heartbreaks, setbacks and let downs, rather than facing them head on. The result is…well I am the result.

So what happened? After about 6 long, hot hours about 10 of us got corralled in to a shared meeting space, sat around the table, introduced ourselves, the moderator asked a few questions, and the idea was to sell your-self. Selling myself is not something that I am comfortable with. I’m not sure that I did my “best’. I think I did ok. I said a few things and got some laughs. Other people said things and they got a few laughs. And then it was over. They sent us on our way, letting us know that if were to be called back it would be by 11 pm that evening. I got back in my car, headed the hell out of Newark and back to NY where I belong and waited for the call that never game. While I wasn’t disappointed, I wasn’t quite relieved either. I’m not sure how to describe it either. I was just somewhere in the middle.