Jun 152010
 

When I ditched my life in San Diego to follow and pursue my dreams of being an actor, writer and comedian I had no idea what was ahead of me.   When I look back now it is hard to believe I have done all that I have done.   I am definitely grateful for the life I have lived and the opportunities I have had.   It has been quite a ride and I look forward to what’s next.   It’s also not lost on me how incredibly fortunate I am to have been able to fulfill on living this dream.   Even if the dream isn’t complete…yet.

Not long after I moved here I was driving down Santa Monica Blvd.   I was kind of freaking out.   I was all alone here.   I didn’t know many people in Los Angeles. In fact, when I moved here I had two friends who lived here and some family, who I never saw.   So, here I am driving along and there are tons of people out.   I think it was a Saturday.   I almost felt like I could hear people talking.   Not to belittle or diminish schizophrenics but I definitely felt like I was hearing voices.   It certainly was an anxiety filled moment.   I turned the radio on really loud and sang along to ease the ensuing panic. My heart was racing so I pulled into the first place I could find.   It turned out to be the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.   It’s a funny place for a cemetery.   It’s right in the heart of things behind Paramount Studios.   People like Jayne Mansfield and Rudolf Valentino are buried there.   And, so are my great-grandparents.   I am named for my great-grandfather Louis…who I never met.   But somehow it seemed appropriate that in the middle of my lonely, anxiety, fraught freak-out I would end up at their grave site.   They are interred in one of the Jewish mausoleums there.   Is it odd to say that talking to a wall filled with dead people I have never met helped my loneliness and anxiety?   Well, it did.   I drove away from there feeling much, much better.   Not to be overly dramatic and significant but it felt like the loneliness and the uncertainty lifted.

When I got home I had a message on my answering machine.   It was someone singing really loud to the song Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel.   I listened to it over and over again.   How odd!!   While I was at a cemetery someone left a message singing Who Will Save Your Soul.   It must have been a sign.   It must have been something supernatural!   No.   It was me.   Yes, I had somehow called myself in the heat of the anxiety I was having and left myself a message of my very loud and out of tune rendition of Who Will Save Your Soul.   Looking back, those voices I was hearing while driving was probably me on my outgoing message.   It was a very funny moment in this journey.   I guess the answer to the question of “Who Will Save Your Soul” (not really yours…)   is and was ME.   That is if you believe in that whole soul saving thing.

Today, the day after a great audition, rather than sulk all day and sit by the phone, I had to run errands.   You know, life errands.   Someone has to grocery shop and someone had to pay the storage rent.   Ooh, me, let me do it!   I had a hard time getting out of the house after having a hard time getting out of bed.   Once showered and coffeed and having had a couple of long phone conversations and having checked my emails I set out for Hollywood.   It has been a while since I stopped in to see my great-grandparents and I thought today would be a good day since it is on the way to my storage unit.   Traffic was nuts so as I zipped by the cemetery I saw they were shooting Dexter there.   How do I know?   The tell-tale bright yellow signs with “Dexter” printed on them indicating that Dexter was shooting there.   After paying my storage bill I was able to pull into the cemetery on my way back.   A guard stopped me.   I explained I was going to see my great-grandparents and pointed to the mausoleum where they are interred.   It was on the opposite end of the cemetery from where they were shooting.   Truly, the last thing I wanted is to be in the way of one of the greatest shows on television.   The writing and the acting on that show is like going to school for me!   The guard told me where I could park.   As I was driving over another guard stopped me.   There was no where to park after all.   And, again, the last thing I wanted was to be in the way.   So, I told the guy, “No problem.   They’re dead…I can come back another time.”   He was very sweet saying something like “it’s the thought that counts” or something gushy.

So, now what?   Well, I continue to look for work.   I continue to write…I have some new ideas.   I heard from the producer we are doing another staged reading of the play I am in.   There is a lot to do to fill a day and I never seem to get it all done.     In the immediate future, I will cook dinner.   Really, my life is very exciting.

Jun 142010
 

lb_new07I had an audition today.   And, while I am a bit superstitious, for someone who doesn’t believe in that kind of stuff, I will say it was a great experience.   It called for someone to be rather tough.   My awesome acting coach and I broke it down on Saturday and came up with the word “menacing” to describe her.   I worked all weekend on it.   Sure, I took breaks.   It was the weekend.   (Is there really a difference between a weekend and a Monday when you are unemployed?   Yes, because my husband is home on the weekends…) I learned the lines and I really got to know the character.   So, when I got to the casting office today, 45 minutes early, I decided to stay in my car and work just a bit more.   Then I walked through the parking structure and out onto the plaza and then into the building.   I figured I had 20 minutes at this point, I should go to the restroom and freshen up and cool off a bit.   As I was in the stall reading the lines I hear someone come in and not go into a stall.   Then I hear the tell-tale clicking of an iPod wheel.   Then I hear really loud music coming from someone’s earphones.   They must be deaf.   I have to see.   I gather my things and step out to the sinks.   There before me was this TOUGH woman.   She looked like Angela Bassett.   She had a muscle shirt on and workout pants and a bandanna on her head.   She was definitely menacing.   How in the world was I, the Pillsbury dough girl, going to compete with that?   She left the restroom before I did.   Then I went into the casting room and signed in.   Scary-menacing-bandanna lady was standing and staring at her reflection in a window with an, “I fucking dare you” look.   Every once in a while she would kind of shift which made me and two other women shift in our seats.   The rest of the women were all kinds.   I was the largest and had the fairest skin compared to my dark hair.   There were red heads and tattooed girls.   There were women with long-hair and short hair.   It was definitely a slice out of almost every group.   Scary-menacing-bandanna-girl went in before me.   I could hear a bit of her audition so I walked away.   I didn’t want it to affect me.     I felt like I gave a good audition.   The casting director was BEAUTIFUL.   WOW, is she pretty.   And, she was very nice and complimentary. She even thanked me for being “so prepared.”   As they say, that and $3 will buy me a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Now what?   Well, now nothing.   I am home.   So, I wait to hear.   But I can’t really “wait.”   It is maddening to wait for a call regarding a call-back or to find out if you got the part.   You just have to think of it like a trip to the store.   Once you are home you don’t think about the trip to the store.   You don’t second guess yourself on if you bought the right eggs and if only you had then life would be better.   You don’t think about the milk or the tomatoes.   You just go on with your life.   Sure, it’s easy to say.   Certainly, every time my phone rings tomorrow I will jump and my heart will beat an extra beat harder.   Then by Wednesday when the phone rings my heart won’t beat harder or extra.   Then when my phone rings on Thursday I won’t even flinch before I answer it…unless I am napping.

Today feels like a step in the right direction.   Whether or not I was the menacing girl she wanted I know she will remember me.   Who knows maybe they will need me for something else or better yet, maybe I will get this part. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Couldn’t I Just Win The Lottery?

 Life in Los Angeles  Comments Off on Couldn’t I Just Win The Lottery?
Jun 132010
 

I haven’t written in a while.   And, it isn’t that I don’t think about writing ALL the time.   I do.   It’s just life gets in the way.   I get busy.   Being unemployed and trying to figure out what’s next has been, well, interesting.   I am going to warn you in advance…I am especially crabby today.   I want to preface that with the fact that I know I am ridiculously fortunate.   That being said, wow, I am feeling angry and annoyed today.   No, it isn’t PMS.   No, it isn’t low-blood sugar.   I am WAY too young for menopause or peri-menopause (thanks Mom, that helped…)

We have had a lot of company over the past month or so.   This is the first weekend that we haven’t had company in what feels like forever.   It is also Gay Pride Weekend in LA.   Parking on our street was at a premium.   I thought aboutass_sushi moving my car to the street so I could sell the spot when people started driving around in circles looking for parking.   Luckily, no one blocked our driveway today.   Today they would have been towed.   Hell, in my mood, I could have gone out there and pushed a car out of the way.   At least I got to see some people in “assless chaps” at the parade.   That definitely helped my mood.

I have been acting in a play.   I auditioned and got the part which was very exciting.   The play is called The Donut Shop by Carl Stillitano.   It’s about 4 people (an anorexic, a bulimic, an over-eater and a guy named Mike) who get locked in a donut shop and their interactions while they try to get out.   Guess which part I play? It’s in pre-production I guess you would say.   The producers are looking for investors so we did a staged reading of the play a little over a week ago.   It was a great time.   We are going to be doing another reading in about 10 days. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow, I have a big television audition.   It’s one where I have to be “menacing.”   I went to my acting coach yesterday and he told me I need to work on not letting my “good nature” come through in my voice.   HA!   When I think I am being nice people get defensive like I am being a bitch.   And, when I am acting menacing I am told my good nature is coming through.   WTF!!!   I was thinking maybe I should video tape myself and then see how I sound.   I’m afraid that may piss me off too.

My acting coach also told me to consider doing stand-up.   I just don’t know if I can do it again.   I did it for years.   I was performing stand up when I moved to LA.   I was performing in San Diego before I moved.   But now, I just don’t know if I can do it.   I feel like I was so young then.   Funny, right?   I suppose this bitter pill I have obviously swallowed could make for great stand up.   Ack, I just don’t know.

There is this woman who walks her dog on our street.   He is a big rotty mix. She is a skinny blond with gorgeous legs. He is like a big buffoon of a dog.   He lumbers along and bounces around.   He clearly isn’t the brightest bulb in the dog house but he is definitely filled with joy.   Surprising since his owner is, well, stupid!   She walks him off the leash.   Why?   Because she can’t control him on the leash.   It’s a huge error in logic that is going to be a recipe for disaster. (I try and throw at least one cliche in every post…there you go.) Everyday he bounds across our lawn and chases the little cat who lives in our yard.   I have confronted her on numerous occasions and yet, she continues to do this.   I have confronted her on the street where she has completely ignored me.   (OHHH, I should think of her when I audition tomorrow!!)   Today I was at my kitchen table as Cujo came bounding across our lawn to chase the cat.   I yelled out to her, “Please keep your dog off our lawn!!”   To which she replied, “He pulls my arm when he wants to chase your cat…so, I can’t.”   Did I already say, STUPID?!   So, I say, “Then don’t walk here!”   So, she replies, “We just live up the street.” So, I say, “Walk on a different street!!”   I was polite…given I was trying to have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent (second cliche alert) I made sure to holler after her, “It’s not his fault you walk him here!”   The dog is just being a dog…an untrained dog at that.   I am sure they will be back tomorrow around 9a.   Maybe I will set up my video camera and wait.   Plus it will help me with my audition later in the day.

A couple of weeks ago my husband said, “Maybe we should send you back to Amsterdam…”   I was lit up when I got back last time.   I think he is torn between wanting to get rid of me without burying me in the yard and truly believing sending me away would inspire me.   I feel like I still am very excited about what I want to do.   I have knocked on a few doors and either no one answered or they were slammed in my face.   I know I need to just shake this off and move forward.   Like I said, I am not giving up and I am certainly not done, yet.

Believe me, I know how ridiculous I am being.   I want to work.   I want to work at what I moved to LA to do.   I want to write.   I want to act.   I want to be able to contribute to the world both with my experiences and financially.   I want to make a difference.

What’s the answer?   Do I write a book?   Do I stick with my one-woman show and do my own staged reading?   Do I promote the reality ideas I have?   Crap, couldn’t I just win the lottery?

Apr 242010
 

I had written another blog and was all ready to post it when I heard about ABC and FOX banning an ad for Lane Bryant’s lingerie brand Cacique.

Of course, I had to look it up.   My first thought was, “Are you fucking kidding me?!”   Those women are beautiful.   Next to me they are anorexic thin.   But in today’s societal view of plus-size women they’re fat.   I would peg them at maybe a size 8-10 after a big meal.   Which in today’s world is average.   Quite frankly, they are smaller than average given that there are statistics that state 60% of American women are over a size 14.   Regardless, they aren’t the thin women we are used to seeing in the Victoria’s Secret ads, which I must say, are WAY more risque and sexual than this ad.

I know I need a segue way here but trust me this will make sense.   When I moved to Los Angeles to be an actor and a writer I had no idea what was lying ahead for me.   When I got here I really didn’t know people.   I had a friend who lived here but he was quite busy with his life.   Other than that I was on my own with my ideas, my computer with my dial up modem and my stand-up comedy.   I performed at The Comedy Store and met some people.   But overall I was a loner.   I would play on my computer for hours.   I would go on AOL and talk to men in chat rooms.   I would lie and tell them I was thin because, even though I was on the road to self-acceptance, I had yet to meet a man who liked fat women.   Was there such a thing?   Well, yes, after much embarrassment of having to tell men that actually I was a plus-size woman, “how fat are you?!!”   UGH.   I found there were men who liked big women.   I found BBW (Big Beautiful Woman) chat rooms on line.   A whole world opened up for me.   I was fortunate to meet some great women during that time who are now life long friends as well.

I also subscribed to BBW magazine.   I had read the magazine years before.   I had  even used their personal ads to find romance and didn’t.   So, I knew there was a world  out there that I was interested in.   I just didn’t realize how big the world was so-to-speak.   In the back of one of the magazines there was an ad for a mens magazine for men who like big women.   It wasn’t your standard pink-part magazine.   It looked like it might even be a magazine that women could also enjoy.   So, I subscribed.

bbwIn the meantime, I submitted myself to the BBW Model contest.   I remember when I was younger I had done it and never heard back.   I figured I had nothing to lose sitting in LA hoping to make it as an actor.   I submitted photos.   And, I did hear back this time.   They told me I didn’t make it into their contest but they liked my look and asked that I be a professional model for them.   It was a one-time deal.   It was a great and memorable experience.   At the time, BBW magazine was owned by Larry Flynt.   Yes, Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine fame.   We shot out in one of his porn studios in Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley.   Hilarious.   They put the mattresses up against the walls so, we would have room to shoot.   There were stacks of all kinds of porn magazines filled with images of every fetish you could think of and some you would be grateful to have not thought of.   It was a kick.   As it turns out, I was the largest model to ever grace the pages of BBW magazine.   At least up until that point.

Then I received my copy of the mens magazine I had mentioned earlier.   WOW!   I was so excited to see this magazine.   No pink parts.   No gynecological poses.   Just very big and mostly, very beautiful women.   In the back of the magazine was a one-page article about BBW dances being offered here in Los Angeles.   The article had pictures of a Halloween party with big women dressed up having fun. Literally, in one sitting, my whole world opened up.     I called and found out about the next dance and within a couple of weeks found myself attending a dance party in a room filled with big women and the men who wanted them.   WooHoo!   Okay, so this isn’t the point of this particular blog.   I promise in an upcoming blog I will tell you all about the dances. And, there is much to tell.

This magazine was like a bomb going off in my world.   I was so excited to read every word.   Sure some of it wasn’t for me.   But overall it was magic. Even the imagery of seeing these big women showing  off their bodies was exciting to me.   Not in a sexual way.   But in a way that had me get that my body was beautiful and sexy.   I was able to look at my body and not be disgusted and angry.   After a couple of issues I did something I never in a million years would have imagined.   I submitted my photos to the magazine.   Yes, I had dim_1a friend take some pictures of me in lingerie and I submitted them for consideration.   Surprisingly, for me, they wanted to use them in their magazine.   Then they told me I was going to be on the cover.   Within a year I went from being a woman who didn’t date to being a woman on the cover of a mens magazine.   Sounds like  a Hollywood story to me.

Of course, I told my mother.   I had to let her know.   In hindsight, I probably didn’t have to let her know.   It might have been easier on her to not know for a variety of reasons. This wasn’t a magazine that you would find on shelf in a bookstore.   It was a subscription-only magazine and you had to know about it to find it.   But for whatever reason I told my mother.   There was probably some veiled in-your-face attitude on my part too.   It wasn’t our finest moment as mother and daughter.   Sure, it worked out in the long-run but, wow, in the moment, she wasn’t pleased.   It didn’t matter that I told her I was covered.   I told her I wasn’t completely naked.   I told her it was so liberating and freeing for me and that I felt so beautiful and sexy.   None of that mattered.   The fear for her was what if someone found out.   What if one of their friends found out, or worse, saw the magazine.   What I said to her was that if one of their friends found out than we would know a lot more about them they would about us.   Really!   If one of the husbands of my mom’s friends saw the magazine we would definitely know what he liked.   Angrily, I said to her, “If I was in thin and in Playboy completely naked showing off every nook and cranny of my body you would be less upset than you are about this.   In fact, you would be proud.   Your anger is because I’m fat!”   Like I said, not our finest moment. Ultimately, it brought us closer being able to be so honest with each other.   Just ask our good friend Oprah.

So, back to the banning of the Lane Bryant ad.   Is it really because it is too sexy for television?   Or is it because the women are fat?   And, what about the Victoria’s Secret ads on television or even the Playtex bra commercials?   They are all women in bras with the difference being the Lane Bryant models are larger than the other models.   In my world, they certainly aren’t fat.   Could it be some manufactroversy (a manufactured controversy that is motivated by profit)?   I really hope that because of this controversy more people see the ad than would have seen it before.   I am sure more people are talking about it.   I certainly am!

 Posted by at 4:32 pm

Step Away From the Refrigerator

 Life in Los Angeles  Comments Off on Step Away From the Refrigerator
Apr 172010
 

I know I have been kind of beating the same drum for a while now.   And, really, it’s the drum I have.   To use another cliche, it’s the hand I’ve been dealt.   It’s the bed I have so I’m going to lie in it.   It’s my cake so I’m going to eat it. I can mix a million metaphors and it all comes down to the fact that I am a fat woman living.   Yes, living and living well.   As I have said, time and time again, I live an amazing life with a loving and wonderful husband.   I have great friends and a beautiful family.   It’s a pretty sweet deal.   It isn’t everyday that I deal with some kind of personal attack because of my size.   It isn’t everyday that someone posts on my blog that I am a pig or that someone drives by and hollers some obscenity followed by a fat descriptor at me.   It isn’t everyday that a hostess leads me towards a booth in a restaurant where I know I won’t be able to fit.   It isn’t everyday that I drive with someone else and find the seat belt in their car won’t fit me.   It isn’t everyday that I walk by some women in a store and they laugh as I walk by and then whisper to each other.   Or, like today, it isn’t everyday that I walk by someone in the grocery store who makes a “tsk” sound as I pass. No, these things don’t happen everyday.

One of my better qualities, or maybe it’s one of my faults, is I try and see the good in people.   If not the good, at least I try and look at them and see what it is that has them be the way they are or do the things they do.   Like the person who posted that nasty comment on my blog the other day or the people who were so nasty about Kevin Smith on his ill-fated Southwest Airlines flight.   It always seems people’s bad behavior comes from some kind of fear.   It makes sense that if someone is afraid they may indeed act in a way that, under normal circumstances, would be considered inappropriate but in a situation where they are, say, protecting themselves it would be considered self-defense.   Hear me out on this.   We live in a climate of fear these days.   We are afraid of the financial crisis in the US, the unemployment crisis, the housing crisis, the oil crisis, the health care crisis, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the powder keg that is Iran, the fear of North Korea, the war on drugs, high sales tax, the IRS, taxes in general, etc., etc….I think I have made my point.   The list goes on and on and on with terrifying things impacting and affecting all of us in one way or another.   Given those issues, issues over which we feel that we have little or no control but to live in fear and try and function in our daily lives under the constant duress and fear weighing us down,   I can see how when the picture of obesity is painted as a global issue that needs to be dealt with it would seem like the easy solution would be to say, “step away from the refrigerator fatty!”   It certainly seems like it will be a lot easier to fix that problem, to wage that war the way it’s drawn rather than, let’s say, finding a solution for Middle East peace.

If the recipe for being thin really was as simple as just eating less and exercising wouldn’t everyone be thin?   It’s like those “get rich quick” infomercials with the guy saying, “I made my first million just sitting in my house and doing essentially nothing and you can too!”   I am sure a lot of you (I know some of my audience will definitely know this) have heard the “fact” that 95% of all diets fail.     It’s has been said and has been used to further many agendas of different diet programs as well as by fat people who are just tired of being berated.  What I have found in my limited research is that most dieters gain back ALL of their weight.   UCLA did a series of studies showing this in the late 90’s. Some statistics are skewed based on how long it takes for someone to gain back the weight they lost.   So, if someone loses 50 pounds and keeps it off for 5 years and then gains it back plus an additional 10 pounds or so in the 6th year then the diet was a success.   Can you imagine if that was your business model?   Can you imagine if you were to sell someone a product with no guarantee that statistically is proven to fail at least 95% of the time?   In a nutshell that is the diet industry…a multi-billion dollar industry scam.

There are people who are waging the war against obesity by calling it an “epidemic” or a “pandemic.”   I have heard newscasters say, “the obesity epidemic is spreading and has now become a world-wide pandemic.”     Well, for goodness sakes, keep your children indoors and away from fat people!!     Okay, that’s ridiculous, right?   Is it?   How many of you have heard that more and more people are getting fat?   How many of you have heard that people are fatter today than they were years ago?   Well, according to the CDC (The Center for Disease Control and Prevention here in the US) who produced two studies in regards to obesity both in the United States and in the England this isn’t the truth.   This so called epidemic just isn’t.     These studies were published in January 2010 in The Journal of American Medical Association.   One study was about obesity in children and adolescents and the other was about adult obesity.   These studies show that these claims of a worldwide obesity pandemic are false and that statistically there have been no significant changes in obesity in women over the last decade and for men no significant changes over the past five years of the decade.

All of this reminds of me of the movie “Wag the Dog.”   We can’t deal with all of the woes we have.   And, believe me, we have a lot of woes.   So, rather than deal with the real issues we throw out this overblown hyped issue and scare people into thinking they have to make a difference because lives are at stake. By doing this we stop paying attention to the real issues all the while forgetting and overlooking there is a human aspect in this “war.”   Fat people are people with feelings just like other people.   We bleed when we are cut.   We cry when we are in pain.   We put our shoes on one foot at a time.  

When I was young I had a friend I loved being with.   We would hang out and talk about boys and life and our futures.   Then one day she told me we couldn’t hang out as much anymore.   When I pressed her to tell me why, she told me.   It turned out her mother was afraid that by spending time with me she would get fat.   Like it was contagious.   As if she would catch my fat cooties and then balloon out out control.   It didn’t happen.   She didn’t gain weight.   Maybe her mother had her vaccinated before her daughter succumbed.   This was long before we had a “War on Obesity.  ” This was long before the so-called epidemic.   And, it hurt then and it stings now in the retelling.   As I will say again and again, I am really fortunate.   I have a great life.   Like I have a protective coating or a shell protecting me, just a bit, from this ignorance.   What about those people and children who don’t have that?   What about the people whose self-esteem isn’t whole?   What about those people who are already unhappy and are lonely and sad because the world has told them there is something wrong with them that needs to be cured?   Is telling them to eat a piece of celery and join a gym really the cure?

 Posted by at 6:51 pm
Apr 162010
 

First, I want to say to those of you concerned that I am in a “funk.”   Please don’t worry.   This is a good place to be.   They always say that when you know where you are going there isn’t room for creativity.   Well, if that is really the case then the whole world is my oyster and I am pearl diving for creativity.   I am definitely up for something.   I understand what is going on with me is a product, or symptom if you will, of circumstance not of some chemical imbalance.   I don’t need “happy pills.”   I need an outlet that will have me make a nice living, allow me to have a voice and make a difference.   The blog, for now, will give me two out of those three.

Clearly, the topic of being fat is near and dear to my heart (forgive the puns…they will be plentiful…) but I feel like I need to make this quick clarification before I go on.   Since there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding fat people I want to make a couple of things perfectly clear about myself for those who don’t know me and for those who do but aren’t sure:   I do not want to infringe upon your space in anyway whether in a movie, a restaurant or on an airplane,   I shower daily – I don’t smell, I don’t sweat profusely (unless I am exercising or it’s hot, duh), I am not sloppy, and I am not lazy…

I also want to say, I am not standing on a soapbox or shouting from a rooftop that people should be fat.   I am not a cheerleader for some fat movement nor am I a fat cheerleader. What I am saying is be healthy, be happy, and stop being so cruel and ignorant.   With that said, I posted what I did yesterday because I am and was upset and dismayed by what I have been seeing in the media and in the world in general.   This hatred towards fat people has become unbearable.   This morning I saw I had a notification that there was a comment waiting for approval on yesterday’s blog.   Now, I am not completely foolish.   I have comments set to only post upon my approval.   I woke feeling good this morning.   I woke feeling positive.   And, then I read the comment on my post from yesterday.   It was EXACTLY what I was talking about.   In case you haven’t seen it, I will post it for you here.   It is a perfect illustration of what I said.

“Listen fatso, obesity is a choice. You know what you’re getting into the minute you open the fridge door.   You can choose to stop being ridiculed for   being a selfish glutton anytime you want. Pig!”

Can you imagine saying that to someone?   I can’t respond to them personally because they made up an email address so they could hide behind anonymity – like a coward would – and post this.   It is pretty disgusting.   I am not going to get into the whole misinformation about obesity being a choice.   I don’t know how I am being selfish.   Am I taking up too much space?   Do I use up too much oxygen?   Did I eat the last cookie that you wanted?   Then there are all the things I want to throw back at this person.   It won’t make a difference.   You can’t fight ignorance with anger.   It doesn’t make a difference.

There is an enormous amount of cowardice in these bullies.   For so long they would hide in the comment sections on blogs and news articles on the net.   They were afraid to show their faces and creep out from underneath their rocks.   Unfortunately, now, those cowards are spilling over into our mainstream media under the guise of trying to help fix a problem that is more like punishing the innocent.   These bullies, many with their own agenda, are coming out in force to wage war against the obese.

MeMe Roth is one of those bullies.   (It is poetic that her name is MeMe.)   She is an undereducated and over-hyped “expert” who is part of the War on Obesity.   She is one the people who is out to destroy Ronald McDonald for making our children fat.   She claims he and “his cohorts are pervy child predators.”   Honestly, after reading a lot about her I think she has an eating disorder.   She is terrified of being fat.   Her family (mother, grandmother etc. are fat) so her actions in life are directly correlated with her fear of becoming obese.   While I think she needs some help I honestly believe she is a danger to herself and to society at large. She says she “wants to make the world a better place for fat people…by preventing people from becoming fat in the first place.”   What you should know is she has a BA in journalism and took an 8 month course on nutrition from an unaccredited school.   She considers herself a “Health Counselor, Integrative Nutrition.”   It reminds me of something comedian Dara O’Briain says, “A dietitian is to a nutritionist as a dentist is to a toothiologist.”   I think I am going to take a class in neurosurgery from the Learning Annex next weekend.   That way if this acting and writing thing doesn’t pan out I’ll   have something to fall back on.

 Posted by at 3:16 pm
Apr 152010
 

They say that no one is as hard on you as you are.   Or they say, “You are your own worst enemy.”   Those aren’t the same.   But lately I have been in such a funk.   Unlike Picasso my blue period has not been prolific or inspired.   Well, maybe a little inspired.   I just haven’t had the gumption to write anything down or do much for that matter.   Sure I look for jobs.   Yes, I have gone out on some auditions.   Certainly, I have thought about producing my one-woman show.   I have done a lot of thinking and over thinking and obsessing.   Nothing has come of any of it.   Maybe a small fire is smoldering inside of me that could use a bit of stoking.   I am working on that.   That’s why I’m here writing now.

I think the downward spiral came for me a couple of months ago when director Kevin Smith had the run-in with Southwest Airlines regarding whether he needed two seats to fly on their airline.   I don’t feel like getting into my whole take on the situation and how I think Southwest Airlines has bad business practices and handled the situation poorly.   But what I will say is that Kevin Smith’s situation shined a powerful spotlight on the hatred towards fat people.   People were posting such ugly and dismaying things on websites regarding this incident that I literally found myself sickened and filled with despair.   “Lose weight you fat fuck!!” is just one of the many comments that were posted aimed at Kevin.   Really?!

I have much gratitude to, of all people, Stephen Fry and Craig Ferguson.   Craig had Stephen on his show.   It was with just the two of them and no audience.   How did this help me?   Stephen talked about trolls.   Those horrible people who post on websites just to get a rise out of people.   They go there and say mean and nasty things because they can’t get away with saying them in life.     It helped a bit.   They said to not read the comments.   Those people don’t matter.   Who cares if TwilightFan13 thinks I’m disgusting because I’m fat? Really, who cares?

The problem is, I care.   I care a lot.   I care not just because it’s me and I want people to like me but I care because it pains me to think of little fat and chubby boys and girls out there who, just like I did and do, wake up everyday into a world that thinks there is something wrong with them that needs to be fixed and changed.   It makes me so sad to hear Kevin Smith talk about “passing” or being a “normy” on his   Smodcast (podcast) inferring there is something wrong with him as he is.   As if he lost weight then he would fit in and be normal.

There is so much awareness right now about this subject.   As you know there is a “War on Obesity” in this country right now.   Michelle Obama is out there teaching people to eat right so they don’t fall prey to the “Obesity Epidemic.” It’s as if fat people no longer have a voice.   It’s as if we are truly second class citizens.   It’s as if we aren’t human beings but rather animals who have no self control or self worth.   We are being treated as if we just don’t know any better and we need the government to step in on our behalf.   Wow, this is so incredibly violating and infuriating I can hardly sit here and type this.   It’s a good thing I have great blood pressure.   Because if there is going to be a War Against Lisa Brounstein, I won’t go down without a fight.

 Posted by at 4:10 pm
Feb 152010
 

Just ask Oprah, I’m fat.   Yes, I am fat.   I was on her show and the title of the show was “What It’s Like to be Fat.” Clearly, Oprah is the arbiter of fat having fought and battled her weight for years.   For the last 25 years, she has been publicly scrutinized and called names and had unflattering pictures splattered across hundreds of magazines and “news” papers…as if it were news.

So, yes, I am fat.   But I’m certainly not the fattest person on the planet.   I have yet to have the paramedics have to come to my home and use a crane to get me out of my apartment after having the city come and cut a wider hole in my door to fit my largess through.   I have yet to go to the REI tent department to buy clothes.   I have yet to not be able to make it up a flight of stairs.   I live quite an extraordinary life regardless of my size not in spite of it.   I have a fabulous husband.   We live in a great little apartment in Los Angeles.   I drive a decent car.   We live an active life with travel and great friends.   I had a great check up today from the doc…perfect blood pressure, great blood sugar, heart rate perfect…my health is great!

Of course, the President and his beautiful wife, have declared war on obesity.   I sometimes half expect to see my picture on a PowerPoint presentation behind the President as they discuss the strategy for the war on obesity. Why is it that people in power never get that war isn’t the answer?!   (Okay, maybe World War II…it made sense then…but I’m trying to make a point here…) LBJ started the war on poverty.   And, there’s still poverty.   Whether it’s war on nations or war on drugs or war on the so-called “obesity epidemic” it just never seems to make the intended difference.   Right now we have more people in the world hating us now that we “liberated” Iraq and invaded Afghanistan…we are in the process of losing an entire generation of young Americans in wars that aren’t being “won.”   The war on drugs has done nothing to stop people from using so-called “illicit” drugs.   One can’t even go to Tijuana anymore without fear of drug trafficking induced gang violence.   Hell, I can’t go to the chicken place on Sunset without being accosted by someone selling crack. And, the war on obesity is no better.   People are still fat.   Only now fat people are being ridiculed more than ever.   They are being ostracized and abused emotionally.   And, to what end?!

When I read yesterday that Kevin Smith of Silent Bob fame was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland the other day I was actually quite pleased.   I wasn’t pleased that he was ruthlessly embarrassed and shamed by the low-budget airline.   I was pleased by the attention and hopefully awareness it has caused.   This is a man who COULD fit between the armrests.   This is a man who does NOT need a seat belt extender and yet he was forced to make the walk of shame off the cattle car airline.   I am relishing the public lashing that Southwest Airlines is receiving from Kevin Smith’s fans.

I have never personally been a fan of Southwest Airlines even before they started physically removing fat passengers from flights or denying them passage.   Even with the policy in place that says a passenger must be able to fit in one seat and be able to put the arm rests down and not need a seat belt extender it is still up to Southwest employees discretion as to who needs to have two seats.   Also, if two fat people fly together each fat passenger needs to purchase two seats which is ridiculous.   I certainly don’t need two whole seats to myself.   If I fly with my husband, who only needs one seat, I should be able to sit comfortably next to him with the arm rest up between us.   But according to Southwest’s policy I would HAVE to purchase another ticket regardless.   There have been many horror stories in the news about fat passengers being allowed on the first leg of their flight only to find themselves at their layover being denied access to the second portion of their flight.   At which point the passenger needs to purchase another ticket or find another way to their destination.   Absurd!   Cruel! Bad, fucking, business!!

As I have said before, I do need a seat belt extender.   I need a little more space than is allotted in one puny airline seat.   I certainly don’t look forward to the idea of disturbing another passenger.   Just like a passenger doesn’t want my fat ass in their seat I would prefer to not have some stranger using my hip as an armrest.   So, what’s the answer?   First, I think some sensitivity training is in order.   People can be very cruel to fat people.   Hell, they can be unusually cruel to most people given the opportunity.   I just think   people should be more tolerant and potentially more accommodating.   Believe me you would much rather sit next to me, a clean well-dressed fat woman who needs an inch or two of your seat rather than next to the woman with the colicky baby or the person who showers only once a month and it’s the 28th of the month or the person who fell into a vat of cheap cologne or the guy with the flu who sneezes and coughs mucusy grossness, for a four hour flight.   I’m just saying.   Why doesn’t Southwest have a policy about those things?

I am all for businesses running their businesses as they see fit without government intrusion.   If Southwest doesn’t want fat people to fly on their flights then so be it.   They have done a very good job of making there stance known.   I certainly won’t fly on their airline regardless of how many seats I have at my disposal.   I am sorry because of Southwest’s poor policy allowing some random unknown employee to make a discretionary call on whether or not a passenger, Kevin, fit in his sit according to their policy (which he DID) he has been opened up to ignorant and hurtful fat bashing ridicule.   If any good has come of this it’s that a small pen light has been shined on this subject.

References:

Kevin Smith began tweeting about this as soon as it started on his flight the other day.   He can be found on Twitter as ThatKevinSmith.

Southwest Airlines posted an apology on their website that wasn’t really an apology and then posted another that also never got to the point that Kevin Smith had requested admitting they had indeed made a mistake in forcing him off the flight.   They can also be found on Twitter.

 Posted by at 6:27 pm
Jan 232010
 

I wasn’t a particularly fat child.   Although, I felt huge compared to my friends.   I was a “normal” size baby.   I was an average sized toddler and so on.   Then around 6 I started to gain weight.   Not massive amounts but I started to become a chubby child.   At 9 I weighed 112.   I remember that was an embarrassing day when the entire 4th grade class got weighed and I weighed so much more than the other kids.   Of course, when I look back on pictures I just don’t look that big.   Yes, definitely bigger than most but not “grossly obese.”   Wow, I don’t like that term.

Growing up I was always a gamer though.   Sure my weight stopped me from some things.   I sucked at PE.   I hated the Presidential Fitness BS we had to do every year.   The stupid long jump was cruel for me.   I was short and fat and there wasn’t a chance I was going to get anywhere close to where the President said I should be able to jump at my age.   (Have I just aged myself by mentioning Presidential Fitness?   Do they even still do that?   Ack, maybe I should check before people think I went to school while we were doing our homework on stone tablets.)   By High School I gave up on PE.   I hated it.   I hated the stupid shorts.   I hated running around the field feeling so much bigger than the other girls.   I didn’t feel coached by the coach in the, “come on you can do it kind of way.”   I felt like he felt I was just taking up space…which I was.

As a child I wanted to be an entertainer.   I loved being on stage.   When I was young I took ballet and loved it!   It was so freeing.   There was an unfortunate incident with my tights splitting during a recital that definitely marked me for life.   At that point I knew I was too fat to be a ballerina.   One thing was checked off the list.   Then in elementary school I loved being in the little plays we did.   But as I got older I had the feeling that because I was fat no one would want to see me so I decided to become a marine biologist when I got older because the whales and dolphins wouldn’t care about my size.   (I hadn’t factored in getting a wet suit over my copious body nor did I imagine the anchor I would have to wear to actually submerge myself…)

There certainly have been times in my life when my weight has stopped me.   But I always am willing to try.   Save for the embarrassment of not fitting I am always willing to give it a shot.   I don’t often try to fit into restaurant booths anymore.   Not that I won’t necessarily fit but I had an experience at a great diner in Chicago where I ruined a shirt from sitting in a booth.   I slid into the booth and then sat there for hours with friends drinking coffee and having a great time.   When I slid back out my shirt was covered in gum.   Yes, gum.   The warmth of my belly had melted the gum that people had stuck up under the table leaving me covered in strands of sticky chewed gum.

I remember years ago some friends and I got the opportunity to fly over to Catalina Island.   I was ready to do it.   Sure I had some apprehension about getting into an aluminum can and flying 26 miles over the Pacific to a tiny island but it sounded like a blast.   Then the question came, “How much do you weigh?”   Uh, really!?   Because of my weight I counted as two people so, I could go if someone else didn’t.   I didn’t go.

I don’t have those experiences often in life.   You would think that after living as a large person most of my life I would be prepared.   But it still is always a surprise to me.   Maybe, in part, because I just don’t think of myself as “that” big.   I see BIG people living life all the time…people much bigger than I am.   At least, I think they are bigger.   They say your body image is established in your teen years.   Clearly my body image is skewed.

So, when I was waiting last week at Cedars-Sinai to have dye injected into my shoulder joint before an MRI I was caught off guard when the MRI tech came in and said, “I have a concern! Before we inject you I want to make sure you will fit in the tube of the MRI. I am concerned you aren’t going to fit.   Also, you aren’t claustrophobic are you?!”   He checked me out.   He had me lift the gown so he could check out my size.   He put both hands on my shoulders as if to measure my girth.   Then I took the walk of shame out of the fluoroscopy room down the hall to the elevator to the basement where they keep the MRI machines.   I asked what the weight limit was and was pleased to know I was 50 pounds lighter than the limit.   (But as my ex-boyfriend used to say, “You have the ass of a 500 pound woman.”   Yeah, EX boyfriend.) I was certainly nervous.   As I stood there looking through the window as this slight woman was being taken out of the machine I was shocked at how narrow the opening was.   “Wow!   It is a small opening,” I said to the tech.   He agreed.   I asked about larger patients and he said they either use an open MRI machine that isn’t as efficient or they don’t get one.   I told him I was surprised that the technology didn’t allow for taking care of larger patients since statistically there are so many people who are larger.   Plus with all the bariatric surgeries being done and then redone these days I was very surprised.   Of course, my surprise wasn’t going to make the opening any larger.   They got me onto the table and strapped me in.   I had to put my good arm up over my head to make me less wide at the shoulder.   They slid me in no problem.   As I found myself inside the tech yells, so I could hear him, don’t open your eyes.   Of course, I did and promptly FREAKED OUT!!   Instantly I felt claustrophobic and terrified.   I had to get out of the machine.   I could feel my heart pounding in my chest.   “Uh, you need to get me out now!!!” I yelled.   They slid me out.   I sat up.   The tech then asked me if I could do this.   They didn’t want to inject me if I wasn’t going to follow through.   I thought for a minute and thought about the pain I experience and the lack of mobility etc.   “I can do this.   I have to,” I said.   Back up I went for the injection.

I won’t bore you with the injection part.   Suffice it to say it hurt like a mother!!!   I was stunned at how much it hurt.   They had my arm outstretched with some kind of weight on it so I couldn’t move.   At one point I felt the assistants keys dangling off his neck into my hand.   The pain was bizarrely awful.   I said, “if you don’t stop I am going to yank your keys off your neck.”   It doesn’t seem as funny in the retelling.   In the moment, it’s what got me through.

Before I flew to Amsterdam, I asked my doctor for some anti-anxiety meds to get me through the flight…just in case I got nervous.   He gave me 10.   I never took them.   So, as I went back down to the basement to wait for the MRI I thought, “now would be a good time to break out the calming pills.”   I popped half of one and waited.   About a half hour later it hit and I took another 1/4 of one juat to be sure.   I was now ready for anything.   Hell, I should have taken it before the injection but who knew?   As the MRI tech started to strap me down to the table he said, “I have concern…”   “You and your concerns!!!” I said.   Turns out I was now “too relaxed.”   He was “concerned” that my breathing would be too heavy in the machine because I was so relaxed and I would move.   First, I was wearing that machine like a sausage casing or a pair of skinny jeans on, well, me.   There wasn’t a chance I was going to move.   I then asked if they would put my Glee CD in.   I figured happy goofy music would ease any lingering anxiety the meds hadn’t covered.   He then tells me he’s “concerned” about adding the cords for the headset as it will make the machine tighter etc.   Man, he needs one of those relaxing pills to calm all of his “concerns.”   I was fine.   At first I asked about the bad techno music I was hearing.   Turns out the thumps and bumps of the machine sounds like bad techno music.   It didn’t bother me at all.   45 minutes later they pulled me out.   Then they wanted me to go back in with my bad shoulder up over my head.   If I could put my right arm over my head I wouldn’t have had to do that.

My life has been amazing so far.   I would think that while my size has certainly impeded me in some ways it has made me stronger and wiser in others.   I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything.   As a child I felt like I could do anything and even though the truth of it was I had some minor limitations that were usually discovered in the moment, I have lived and continue to live an exciting and fabulous life.   Sure I’m too fat to be a ballerina and I doubt I would pass the tests to be an astronaut (not just because of my size but because if I freaked out in an MRI I doubt they would let me drug up to go into space) and I am not that keen on being a scuba diver.   I don’t feel like I am compromising by living my fantastic life at all!

 Posted by at 9:45 am
Jan 122010
 

I have been meaning to write for some time.   You know, I get these ideas daily of things to write but then I think I need a picture to go with it or I don’t have enough to say to “fill” a blog.   Just silly procrastinating stuff.   Stuff I am guilty of in so much of my life.   But here I am unemployed with time on my hands.   Sure I have a million and one things to do.   I need to put my acting reel together.   I need to go to Peet’s and buy coffee.   I need to deposit my unemployment check so I don’t bounce checks.   I have plenty to do to keep busy and productive.

n663477501_2030051_1800Lately, I have been a bit obsessed with aging or getting older.   I don’t think I like either term.   Aging reminds me of cheese or wine or beef.   It is the process by which time makes something fresh better.   I certainly don’t want my skin to age.   I have a whole regimen of things I do to keep myself from aging.   I have toyed with the idea of Botox but my husband has put his foot down about it.   Funny, he is such a great man.   We have a great partnership and this is one thing that he is really serious about.   He never tells me I can’t do anything.   Except this.   This is the thing he doesn’t want me to do.   I agree in the moment and then I panic when I see a wrinkle in my forehead.   I started using Avon Reversalist products and I am really pleased with the results.   (Funny, I even sell Avon…so, I can get the discount on the amazing products.)   But then I will catch my reflection and the wrinkles seem glaring to me.   I have friends who have had Botox.   All of us running as fast as we can from “aging.”n663477501_2058466_1036

Even on Facebook, I don’t put my birth year down and I didn’t join the group from my senior class year, as if to somehow hide my age.   The funny part is that everyone on Facebook knows me.   It isn’t like my Mom doesn’t know.   Who am I hiding it from?   I think the answer is, “me.”   When someone asks me my age I actually have to think about it for a second.   Remember when we were kids and we couldn’t wait to tell people our age?   I think that stops at 21.   By 22 it’s, “sell me the beer and shut up…”

I feel like I have spent a lot of time reflecting lately.   I think I wrote about that previously, which means I am still reflecting.   Sure, it’s the holidays and the new year and all but it feels bigger than that.   Yes, I am unemployed and really eager to work as an actor and/or a writer…the reasons I moved to Los Angeles in the first place…it isn’t like you go fill out an application and then you get an acting job.   I feel positive but not in that unproductive, “Ohh, I hope it happens…” kind of way.

orchidsWhen I moved to Los Angeles I didn’t know many people.   I had a friend who worked for an executive at Warner Bros Studios.   I had the good fortune of being in her office one day when some development guys from Joel Silver’s office came by.   They offered me a “job” as an intern.   Not really a job.   It had all the parts of a job.   It had a schedule.   It had a lot of work.   I got a lot of experience.   I worked crazy hours.   And, I didn’t get paid.   I learned how to do coverage on scripts and read some great ones and some not so great ones.   I loved being on the lot.   One day, one of the producers, Dan Cracchiolo, called me into his office.   He never spoke to me.   In fact, I think that was the only day he ever spoke to me.   He told me to throw away an orchid plant, someone had given him as a gift, since the flowers had died.   Rather than throw the plant away I walked the mile to my car carrying the huge plant, in it’s pottery pot, it all the way.   I put it outside my front door.   For a year, nothing happened with it.   It just sat outside green and lush but no flowers.   Then January came and I noticed it was covered in buds that bloomed magnificently.   It has bloomed every year since.   Tragically, Dan passed away in 2004 in a motorcycle accident.   He was only 39…

In Googling Dan, I decided to look up the other producer that was working at Silver Pictures when I was there.   (I was pretty invisible there.   When referring to me, the one time he referred to me, Joel Silver called me “the pretty fat one.”)     So, just now I looked up this other guy, Alan Schechter,   and I read that he killed himself in 2005.   He was 40!   Tragic!   Sad!   Confusing!

new headshot_72Clearly, if you are reading this, you can see that I have been having a bit of a pity party.   “I’m old.”   “I want to work.” “I want more money.”   And, then I see that these two very successful (I suppose success is much like beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder…) men died tragically…one at their own hand and one accidentally.   Either way, these young talented lives were snuffed out at an age when they had so much life ahead of them.   I need to kick myself in the ass.   Maybe I needed a pity party for a little while.   But now it’s time to suck it up and live.   Like they say, “this is it.”   And, I can hold off on Botox for now too.

 Posted by at 8:39 am