Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday Trials and Tribulations

Not Sure How to Feel

So in the past 48 hours I have been called or referred to as Philip Seymour Hoffman. Not to speak ill of the dead but this is a vaguely disturbing development that appears to be fucking with my head. Because now all I have been doing is image searches and trying to figure out which pictures are the most like me.

Now this picture would be fine--not the greatest but probably kind of honestly me. It's not enough to send me to a surgeon  in Tijuana or anything but a bit of a bummer. He also looks vaguely like the character Dexter here which I appreciate on some levels.

Now if you told me I looked like PSH as Truman Capote I would probably use my shit out of happiness... Like this would be my jam. I mean--yeah its a bit rough since Capote is older but he was a babe back in the day.

Like he is such a hottie that I cannot stand it and would die to be compared to him via PHS. Which I know is probably not happening and this entire thing has ruined "Boogie Nights" for me though the film has probably one of my favorite songs of all time in it.

Because I suspect at the end of the day that this is what people are referring to and it's enough to make me beyond depressed. Like celebrity exhaustion depressed because who wants this?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Jams

Brooklyn Girls

I'm rather ashamed of how much I like this song--it's over produced, terribly done and just a mess and yet I find myself with it stuck in my head. And honestly--the video has some great styling choices

                                                   It's all ugh and ahh at the same time

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Truths

Sometimes You Have to Let Go

I've never been good at letting go, relaxing in the moment or waiting on things to just happen. I suspect part of this was just from my being an ambitious child, part of from parents who were a bit too distracted and the overwhelming grasp of the me generation I grew up in. But I have always had a hard time putting things down and waiting for them to settle.

                       Seriously I am playing this game constantly--even when it tells me to wait

So when I hear about people taking vacations--I'm always thrown by the idea. My best friend Kelly goes to Maine for weeks in the summer, my boss Roland takes ten days with his family to the east--I have even had editors flee for days on end to places like Ireland and Missouri. I just don't get how they do it--how they can put their careers, friends and life on hold to go off the grid.

And maybe part of this is that I have always worked some kind of freelance as an adult--whether it was scourging for hours when I worked retail even as a assistant manager or because I have jumped from TV show to show back when I had a more flexible career. But the idea of not working means not making money means no longer term trips to exotic places because how will bills get paid?

               For Some Reason This Came Up When I Searched Images of Cairo--Huh?

This doesn't mean I don't travel out of town--I go to Seattle or San Francisco or Las Vegas on the regular--I can pull myself together for trips to Vancouver or Chicago for weddings and family visits. But I always cut the travel close to leave at last moment on a Friday and back at work on a Monday. I only took 3 days off for my wedding and part of that was because we got married on a Friday night to save money and let our guests have a full weekend to explore a new city... While other people get to explore the museums and tourist traps I'm lucky if I get beyond my hotel room and a handful of restaurants.

But what I have come to learn lately is that there is no point to doing things this way--my financial life will not fall apart if we have a honeymoon or take a week to see another city. That as an adult who works hard and makes decent money I should be able to plan and take advantage of such an experience-that I know the few trips I had where I was able to relax meant the world to me. That there is so much to be gained from leaving the familiar and putting the everyday on hold--even if it is letting myself take a full four day weekend instead of rushing in and out of trip. That when I do this I am able to recharge and reboot and makes my job, my writing, friendships and my marriage better.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Zen Moment

Dinner with an old friend--at a restaraunt obviously inspired by eyes wide shut. Such a good diet motivator 

Pray for me 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Inspiration Monday

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

                                   It's Like A Brittney Spears Song-Not So Innocent

Most people have heard the phrase "It's like a modern day Peyton Place"--meaning a small town rocked by scandal, sex, steamy secrets and saucy sirens.... It's actually a pretty sad development in my eyes because while the book was definitely scandalous for it's time, it is also well written indictment about small time living, the gap between the younger and older generations and the hypocrisy of "keeping up with the Jones".

The story itself it is simple--a story about a small town in deep in New England where church and family are as important as status and money. It follows the painful maturing of a handful of teens in the town; sweet Allison Mackenzie, poor but beautiful Selena Cross, wealthy and spoiled Rodney Harrington, overly sheltered Norman Page and ambitious Betty Anderson. It also ties itself in the secrets of the town filled with sexual longing-both of the female kind and the incestial kind, murder and classicist segregation, the extra martial and the overly insular pressures of a small town life.

                                       But nothing as shocking as this cause REALLY?

But what makes the story and Metalious' work so amazing is that while the plot can be considered potboiler material she writes with a solid, strong and sensitive hand--her prose is thick and beautiful, filled with the type of pastoral imagery paired up with a solid understanding of what makes real people tick. You feel for the characters-root for them despite all odds and take on the righteous anger that comes once the full extent of the plot is revealed. Because at the end of the day the book is not truly about the secrets at stake but instead is about the cost of polite society, of neighborly ignorance and the questioning by the youth of these practices. The book was published in 1956 and you can see how this along with a handful of other projects started the idea of the youth movement and led to the counter culture's rise in the 1960s--teens asking why are things this way.

                                                            Just Like This Guy Did

And while Grace Metalious wrote a handful of other books--nothing quite captures the same rush of shock, hope and intrigue as Peyton Place. It lead to a long running prime time soap which introduced us to Mia Farrow and Ryan O'Neal (You win some/you lose some), a solid film even if they had to dial back more of the shocking elements and a truly terrible sequel. One of the great tragedies of her career, when Metalious sold the film rights for the book she also sold the movie studio the rights to make a sequel. Because of this development, she was forced to quickly write "Return To Peyton Place" so that the studio couldn't make up any story they wanted for the sequel--and you can tell that she rushed to create a solid new story which doesn't quite hold up but has moments of genius when it comes to the fallout for some of the major female characters.

I have always believed it is easy to write a story filled with scandalous people--it is much harder to write a scandalous story happening to good, imperfect and fully rounded people. Metalious does this so perfectly that it is easy to forget and not see the nuance of her writing. A truly special book

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Jams

All About That Bass

I am in love with this song--not only is it dancable on every level but the message is a great one. Not about being skinny and not about twerking but about embracing one's size, body and using it... Every time I hear this song I just start dancing around the clubhouse ASAP--cause I'm all about that.

                                     Honestly this is probably my song of the summer

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Truths

This Is Me--Honestly

Everything in this video is about who I wanted to be in 3rd grade. It is also who I imagine I am in my head in times of trouble--or just out in a bar. Honestly 

1) Bad Ass Trike? 


2) Ruler of the roller rink?


3) Looking like an escaped model from a Nagel painting? 


4) Being a Solid Gold Dancer? 

Honestly you learn more about me from watching this video than I could hope to blog in the next 10 years of my life even if I also starred on a reality show at the same time.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life Hacks

Bacon Made Easier--And in Bulk

Who doesn't like bacon? And who doesn't like the struggle to cook it? Because between the spitz of grease burning your arm, the fact that you can only cook a handful of pieces at a time and the greasy pan aftermath--it's hard to enjoy this treat outside of a brunch or diner.

It wasn't until a few years ago that my friend Sabine actually had a holiday brunch at her house and showed me how to easily make bacon in bulk--all it takes is an oven, a raised grate or grill and some tinfoil to line a cookie sheet. I know the traditional stove top way isn't hard but I like bulk and easy cleaning

                                             Does this look easier? And more yummy?

You just have to set up your raw bacon on the grate inside your cookie tray like so, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and wait about 10-20 minutes depending on your stove... And no lost burnt pieces, no bacon grease to pour into a jar to store for later disposal and you can just throw out the tinfoil which leaves you with a clean cookie sheet! Easy peasy.

Obviously if you need help you can always invite me over to show you how to make this in person. I'll even test the final product to make sure you did the process correctly--unfortunately not all ovens heat evenly so I will have to try pieces from various parts of the tray.

                                                      I LOVE YOU TOO BACON

sickie sick sickie


So I have been sick off and on for the past few weeks--I got my first sinus infection and it took me awhile to get myself to Urgent Care to figured this out... Which is why I have been MIA when it comes to blogging. Which is not an excuse as much as an answer to a question no one is asking

My current feelings can be summed up by the following:

Monday, July 07, 2014

Inspiration Monday

Book Porn

This picture--while witty and silly as all get out--reminds me so much of how much I love books... Not just the idea of stories or well chosen prose but the physicality of them, the space they take up on my nightstand or in my beach day backpack. The very weight of carrying around a good hardback or a few soft covers makes me aware of the weight of ideas and the expanse of imagination it takes to create something so profoundly unique and its own space. And while I do use the kindle for the harder to find, the self published and the quick one-off reading material... the importance of the printed page, the freshly bound literature is still so amazing to me all this time--even after moving all of the books I owe from the Dollhouse to the Clubhouse.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Focus Fiction

New Adult

if you haven't guessed from me having this blog--I fancy myself a writer of sorts. I primarily write prose and have always focused on young adult novels--mostly due to the lack of good gay young adult fiction outside of authors like Julie Peters and David Levithan. (you should read these people--they're great) And one of the best things about writing in the age of kindle and nook is the rise of self-publishing.

Side Note: My prose writing is not like my blog writing. I'm not saying that one is better than the other but thought it was worth putting out there. No judgments please.

And one of the more interesting developments of in the rise of self publishing has been the invention of new genres--always a bonus. There's Amish romance (something I will write about in depth later), the legitimising of fan fiction and explosion  of the ghetto novel. But my favorite new genre is that of New Adult.

                 And yes-unfortunately this is both New Adult and Fan Fiction Revised

The idea of New Adult is that it is the life experiences that come between Young Adult fiction and traditional Adult fiction. It focuses on life right after high school and into the adult world--books set in college, about starting families and marriages or first jobs and career stories. It's an interesting combination of the innocence of the young adult characters but allows for the sexuality and interpersonal complications that comes from that transition in life. And while it has sub genres like any other major literary subset--it is a market that has been ignored because publishers thought people wouldn't want to read about the trials of being on your own for the first time in life, the difference between adult and teenage romantic relationships and the transition and owning of one's own identity.

And while there are a handful of famous books out there that could fall easily into this genre--"The Graduate", "Peyton Place", "The Secret History" among others-it is interesting to see what kind of stories come out of the strange world between being a teenage and a fully functioning adult. In today's society we have created a new timetable for our lives--most people now at least consider college which has become a type of emotional finishing school, are waiting longer for the traditional goals of marriage and family and this has created a new period of time in the average human lifespan. It's one to be richly mined and I cannot wait to see what stories come out of this new world.

                Though if it become a million versions of this claptrap I will eat a gun

Thursday, July 03, 2014

My Body Myself

As we roll into summer, it becomes that special time of year where people of all types suddenly turn in on themselves--giving up carbs, taking up running, and judging their bodies or in layman's terms--swim suit season. Suddenly the Starbucks drinks into sugar free, low fat, no whip abominations and the slow realization that your hibernation diet has turned you from a twink into an actually bear sans the body hair.

                                    Unless you're Grizzly Adams then you're already there

Everything you eat, wear and do takes on a new meaning--one that isn't particularly kind or healthy. And when you're someone grew up with an eating disorder it becomes some weird Halloween when the ghosts of bodies past come out to play.

                                                              Not that kind of ghost

For me--I become weirdly nostalgic about my years with bulimia. It's not like I was ever truly thin or super skinny, at best I was average with a bit more tone to the body which always made me feel like a bad bulimic. But what I relished about those years was the control I had over my body, that somehow I came to believe that I could do what I want but not live with the responsibilities-eat anything and work out never. I didn't want the people in my life to know that my 31 inch waist meant I couldn't hang out and have frozen yogurt or that the slice of pizza meant I would have to skip out a beach day to run in a garbage bag to sweat off the pounds--so instead I would eat like they did then magically disappear for a nap or a walk or a cigarette. In reality I had stripped off my shirt in a public bathroom while puking my guts out silently.

                            No guy wants to talk about how much work this body takes

I was proud of how well I hid my secret--that I could throw up on command, brush my teeth and throw some water on my face like I had just Noxzema-ed my skin like some young waif. And even when the problems began to show up--the ruptured throat muscle, the inability to sleep until every trace of food left my stuff, the constant awareness of where I was in terms of a bathroom--I still thought I was lucky because I could do this and get away with it. When your stomach is empty all the time you get a euphoric feeling that becomes such a high that you can't begin to function without it.

Until you can't function with it either.

And the worst part is--unlike drinking or smoking or heroin--you can't just give up on food to deal with the issue. (I mean--you can become anorexic but that's just the same horse-different color) So you teach yourself how to eat again and keep it down, how to not step on scales because they're a trigger and you get rid of every picture from that one window in your life because it is so painfully to revisit it.

                                                 Oh look--its my sweet sixteen picture

But then you get distance and get stronger--you learn to accept slowly how your body wants to look. You learn how to eat better, how to ignore that urge to purge when you've had two pieces of pizza instead of just the salad, you give yourself permission to believe that you are who you're supposed to be. You have to re-learn all your expectations of self and your standards of beauty and sexuality.

                                                       You read a lot of Erica Jong...

But the truth is all those fears, thoughts, desires and skills never go away--they sit in the back of your head waiting for just the little crack of light to come out and play. It happens when you go to a bar and someone sneers at you for being too fat, when people come up on you as you eat lunch and you briefly feel ashamed that your salad is not healthy enough, when you get invites to pool parties with friends who are actors or runners or just naturally thin. Suddenly you're back in that space where you want control and it feels like control and it is just like falling off the wagon except you still have to have the drink because with you will actually die.

And then you have the choice--you can be consumed by these thoughts, possibly relapse or skip the summer pool parties and hide yourself away in shame... Or you put on a brave face, force on the bathing suit and go out into the sun regardless. There is still a part of you that will never be fully fixed--but you don't have to be fully broken either.

Or you force everyone to go skinny dipping because then everyone is equally uncomfortable and it becomes a level playing field of insecurity and awkwardness.

        Only assholes and monsters are fully comfortable doing this in a group setting

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Life Hack

Super Charged

This week's life hack is more aimed at the holiday than a general real life use--though lord knows I have used it to save my butt more than once. You know that moment when you've been out and about with your friends all day--on the rugby field, shopping for designer fakes downtown or on a bike bar cruise

                                          The Beach Barcycle is real people... REAL

And then something comes up and you need to use your phone--maybe to grab an Uber after a long day of beach drinking, to get directions to the loft party downtown or to try and capture that crazy thing with your favorite celebrity did while drunk on vacation...

                         Yes--this is Zac Efron dancing to Wiggle--further proof of God

And there is nothing worse in these situations then realizing your phone is dead--and you have 20 minutes to charge it before you head out for a full night of drinks and dancing...

Side note: I have always wanted to see a horror movie where the characters spend half the film texting, playing Candy Crush and updating their twitters so that when the killer comes stalking they cant call for help because they took too many selfies during the gratutious bikini bonfire/strip beer pong scene.

So here's an awesome tip I picked up--when you have to charge in a rush just go into settings and put your phone on airplane mode before you charge it. It can cut the time down to a third when it comes to juicing up so you don't have to waste your time and miss out on taking all your favorite food pictures.

Though you should really stop taking those pictures--I'm judging you

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Inspiration Monday

Missy Elliott

So I held this week's inspiration back a day because of who it is--the one and only Missy Elliot and today is her birthday! While I don't seem the type to roll hard and deep in the hip hop world there is just something about the one and only Missy that totally gets me going and that is a true inspiration

                     This is one of the best videos of all time--trash bag couture people!

The thing about Elliot's music is not just her lyrical strength and stupefying beats--it's who she is and what she represents... As one of the first true hip hop artists to go main street with a solid street sound, she's also a strong woman who uses her sex, her unique body and fixation with sexuality in a strong feminist way. She doesn't pander to her men, her audience or her industry but instead created her own spot in the genre.

I think that hip hop is probably of the hardest genres of music to be in if you dont conform to their ideals-and as a woman it is looking a certain way, talking a certain way and taking a certain tack when it comes to marketing and promotion. Missy broke the rules by putting out what she felt more than what she was told to do--she didn't need to have rivalries or drop 30 pounds to make her sound matter.

                         Makes me wish I could rap backwards--even if it is a studio trick

And when it comes to her producing--she's not afraid to use unusually beats, vocal tricks and cultural influences to create something that is beyond easy pop or mix tape ready. She is the reason that we can have people like Kayne West, Frank Ocean and even Erykah Badu--she made the unusual and the unexpected something that the marketplace could handle and want.

                         I NEED to learn the hallway dance top to bottom--so perfect

And finally my favorite thing about her music is that Missy has a sense of humor about herself, hip hop and life in general. I don't think you can listen to "Gossip Folks" and not come away without wanting to hang with her--and the video is just as colorful, funny and interesting as she is. And while she doesn't drop albums the same way anymore--she is still producing and driving the sound of hip hop on her own terms. And that deserves my admiration--and her own national holiday!