Saturday, March 03, 2007

Somebody's idea of a joke?

With G. away, I watched several episodes of The Agency on VH1. It is an absolutely horrible reality show about modeling agents and the models they hate, I mean, represent. All the agents are mean, critical, superificial people who berate these young girls to keep them "hot" in the business. And they are really young girls so they are kind of dumb (like teenagers tend to be--except me, I wasn't dumb ;). The models have such tall, lanky bodies that it is easy to forget they are teenagers. Since they act like teenagers, meaning they don't eat right or go to the gym like they should, the agents pester and insult them in hopes of bullying them into cooperating. One agent is a British woman whose insults are delivered in a crisp accent, which makes them sound a lot meaner (another example, Simon Cowell on American Idol).* The show is unpleasant to watch and I will not watch it again.

I think The Agency has one wee bit of value in that it shows that anorexic/bulimic models exist in large part because of the fashion/modeling business. So trying to address the connection between women's negative body images and the trend of super-super-skinny-bony models has to focus on the fashion/modeling industry itself. That sentiment isn't necessary groundbreaking--it does make the task so much harder.

So what is somebody's idea of a joke? An ad warning about the dangers of anorexia/bulimia aired several times throughout this show. So is The Agency supposed to be entertainment or a cautionary tale? It should not be both.

*Do certain phrases sound better with an American accent?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Uncle ??

I'm feeling a little lonely these past couple of days. G. is busy with a conference and besides that, we're not alone, there's a Houseguest (a rather pesky Houseguest, in fact; a Houseguest who likes to drink and stumble about and who we find peeing in our bathtub, but otherwise can be quite charming and endearing. But who can forget the peeing?)

Whenever G. is preoccupied with something, I entertain myself. I eat out alone, read almost an entire book in a matter of hours, watch TV shows G. would hate. But then all that gets boring and I miss G. There's no denying how much time we spend together. So, I start to feel lonely and sorry for myself, which is never good for a temperment like mine. Luckily, before it gets too deeply pitiful, G. comes back to me and all is well.

Something that is in the back of my mind these days (and all the extra Me-time brings it to the forefront) is the fact that I'm a jealous person. I'm not jealous of material items (example, I really do not want the expensive purses that are so popular these days). I'm more jealous about people who seem to have companionship or can rely on somebody to do the hard stuff for them(example of "hard stuff," making sure my car's oil is changed). It is silly because I have tried so hard to be independent enough that I can easily do the "hard stuff" and I don't expect G. to do it for me. I'm not intimidated to take on something--and that should make me feel really good. Yet sometimes it doesn't.

I had a friend who used to joke that she wanted a wife along with her husband. Someone to pick up the extra slack (do the wash and food shop) while she went to grad school and her husband worked full-time. In my case, maybe I need a really helpful uncle.

The extra Me-time has me making up family members. That's a little bit pathetic.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I just finished a book and listened to three super cds and watched an awesome soccer documentary. And I just HAVE to tell you about them all.

Once in a Lifetime is perfect documentary to watch in light of the recent uproar over Beckham and MLS. The doc tells the story of the amazing and unexpected success of the New York Cosmos. The Cosmos were part of the North American Soccer League who floundered until they signed up Pele and a bunch of other well-known European soccer players. In their prime, the late 70's and early 80's, the Cosmos filled up Giants stadium to capacity with screaming, soccer-lovin' AMERICANS. So Americans will watch soccer if the likes of Pele, Franz Benckenbauer, Carlos Alberto, and Giorgio Chinaglia play. Well, who wouldn't?! Unfortunately, it took a lot of money to bring those players over, so the NASL eventually went caput. Mismanagement and overexpansion hurt them, too. Hopefully, MLS won't make the same mistakes.

Now on to music, I've been listening to three super cds--Lilly Allen whose lyrics are quite cheeky and Los Abandoned and Go Betty Go, both punk bands from LA. The last two have awesome Latina singers. The songs are catchy and great lyrics, too! I don't ever buy CDS--truth be told, I'm cheap when it comes to purchasing cds. I don't download either (legally or otherwise), so it is a big deal for me to shell out the money but it pays off when I love the music.

Finally, I finished the fourth installment of the Maisie Dobbs mystery series. I don't read mysteries, but this series is based in London during the interwar years. Maisie has a whole backstory involving class issues (humble background, she was "in service" when her employer discovered she was brillliant and sent her off to school) and World War I's legacy on the British (Maisie was a nurse in France where she was injured. Her fiance was also in the war, but never recovered from his injuries and shell-shock). She is also struggling to be an independent woman balancing career and a personal life and her lingering war trauma. All of her cases highlight some aspect of how World War I basically destroyed a generation. Although it may sound a little history nerd-ish, they are excellent novels with mysteries.

So I've left the wallowing aside for a bit--Valentine's Day chocolate helped.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I am blob, hear me burp

I've felt so sluggish this week--like really bad. It must be the food I've been mindlessly eating. These past couple of days, no, to be honest, it's been a couple of weeks, that I've indulged in the lower end of popular cuisine and desserts. Once my body gets used to eating food I didn't cook, it starts to crave it. Or I get lazy and don't want to eat anything I have to assemble. What, fresh foods in the fridge?? Yeah, HA, HA. Foolishly, I tried cooking a delicious homemade pizza on Monday. It burned. Gabe brought home fast food.

Now, I'm being punished by feeling absolutely disgusting.

Let's see what I can blame for this mood. There are the usual culprits: hormones (I am PMSing and it hit me hard this time), stupid people, angst that I'm not living up to my potential. And here's a new one: winter weather (I'm sure anyone reading this from the Midwest and East coast would like to strangle me).

Spending a couple of hours laying on the couch like a beached whale hasn't improved the mood. I know saner minds would recommend working out, but too many (legitimate) chores and appointments have kept me from the elliptical machine. Friday and Saturday are out, too, because I'm judging History Day exhibits. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what that entails--fingers crossed that seeing a group of eager, ambitious, young high school students doesn't send me straight towards a milanesa torta (so goddamn good, yet so NOT appropriate right now).

Monday, February 12, 2007


I got surprise news yesterday from one of my closest friends. We haven't lived in the same city for about five years now. For being old, close friends, we don't often talk or email. Maybe once a month a quick email or phone call to catch up on things. Still, she is one of my go-to people for instant reassurances, as a voice of reason, and for good 'ol cattiness and gossip.

And now she's pregnant. First time and slightly unexpected.

That news isn't shocking in the old-fashioned way--she's married a year, they dated and lived together close to nine years before that. It's For me, this is a big moment, this is an actual child that will belong to somebody I stayed up drinking with until 6 am only a month ago. This is somebody who I can cite multiple examples of irresponsible behavior. Don't get me wrong, she is going to be a really great mom and the baby is going to be beautiful (sometimes they aren't, even though you aren't supposed to admit that).

Like typical me, I can't help but feel a tinge of I'm-not-sure-what. It feels a little sad, a bit wistful. This news comes along with my sister's first pregnancy. There ARE more reasons for my mild melancholy, lest you think I'm longing for a little bundle of my own. This year marks my high school graduation's ten year reunion; I'm turning 29 in November; rather than contemplating life insurance, I'm filling out FAFSA and going back to school; and my parents have become Old People*. So, I'm fighting something that isn't new for me--considering what I am doing compared to what I should be doing at this age, in this stage.

I've always had trouble living and enjoying the Now. It usually is a matter of worrying about the future, dwelling on mistakes, stressing about the details, preparing myself for the upsets. Yet something that is so wonderful as new babies just makes me want to sob. Am I being too sentimental (car commercials have been known to make me cry), or is it ok to allow myself to feel deeply instead of putting it away? Or is it all hormonal??? (I'm partially kidding about the last one).

*Characterized by complaints, grumpiness, cheapness, and always feeling cold (among other things).

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Lazy Friday

Slept in a bit this morning before heading off to the gym. I haven't blogged much about my gym situation (or at least I don't remember blogging about it). I joined up last August and went semi-regularly last semester, then tried to make up for my laziness during the break, and am now settling into three times a week or so. I like going to the gym, even though it reminds me that I'm not happy with how I look now--that's a good-motivational thing, right? It hasn't had much of an effect on my weight so far (perhaps the result of my continuing love affair with brownies and pizza), but I'm trying to be optimistic. What I don't like about the gym is being confronted by exposed boobs in the ladies changing room. All kinds of boobs, just hanging out as their attached bodies put socks on or zip up pants, which makes me wonder why putting a bra on isn't their first priority over pants?? Jesus, ladies, I don't want to see boobs on my way to hanging up my coat. Is this prudish of me? Was I supposed to be initiated into locker room boobs while playing sports in school? Well, it's too late for that.

Class went well. G. and I had lunch at a local pizzeria (we ordered the delicious Four Seasons pizza with four differet toppings, green chile/ricotta, sun dried tomato and pesto, artichoke hearts and red pepper, and spinach and garlic. Yum). We sat next to a group of women who exuded Money. They were definitely Ladies Who Lunched: hair perfect, all wearing trendy boots with fur trim and otherwise fashionable, skinny, made-up, and easily slipping in and out of good Spanish and English-without-accents. I am fascinated by these kinds of women. To be clear, it is not admiration or envy. I don't want to be them. I just wonder how it feels to be so put-together and leisure-ly. I usually don't feel very put-together at all. I usually feel like my slip is showing.

Afterwards, G. and I stopped by a cigar store that was next to the pizzeria where we encountered another fascinating--yet very different--woman behind the counter. She was super nice and friendly and wearing leather pants. I often connect leather pants to bikers and 80's metal hair bands. This woman didn't fit into either of those categories. We did not plan on buying anything, just curious about available foreign cigarrettes, but it was a small store and she was so we left with a pack of Dunhills. She joked about not wanting to sell us anything after we told her we were ex-smokers. Even with the purchase, G. and I have no plans on returning to the smoking world, although, truthfully, I have nothing but good memories. G. and I proceeded to relive those good memories. Dunhills on a cold day with a latte (mocha for G.)--it was just like when we started dating.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


G. and I are not morning people. We cling to every last possible second of sleep before fully accepting that sleep just isn't an option if we want a paycheck for work. Interruptions to our sleep are met with angry cries--usually those cries are "FILOMENA HUSH!!!" as she furiously and very loudly barks in the dead of night. Lately, this ridiculous exchange has been happening every night at 2:20 am. Including last night.

Along with that interruption, my cell phone starts ringing at 6:15 am, very annoying since I had fifteen precious minutes of sleep until my alarm at 6:30. I didn't answer it, in protest. It was either a wrong number or my mother, both of which were unwelcome at that time. But then I started thinking, maybe there's an emergency, maybe my dad got into an accident on the way to work, or worse (and worse almost happened during Thanksgiving when my mom left a candle on in the kitchen and it caught fire). A couple of minutes later, G.'s cell phone starts ringing and now I'm sure it's an emergency and my mom was calling G. to get a hold of me (in case you're wondering, we don't have a landline). I find Gabe's phone, but the caller ID says it's his mom calling, so I give him his phone while I check my voice mail. Turns out both our moms were calling at that ungodly morning hour to tell us, "Look out the window, kids! It's snowing!" We looked out the window, then went back to sleep.

The powers that be aren't canceling our classes. My college delayed opening until 10am (which meant I missed my morning class, yippee!), but G.'s is still open. We think they are being stubborn because they canceled Friday for snow-that-was-just-rain. Which is really dumb because today the snow has actually accumulated on our cars, medians, roads, etc, as our moms were nice enough to point out at the crack of dawn.

Maybe our moms need to call the college presidents.