The Wheel of Death

 Life in Los Angeles  Comments Off on The Wheel of Death
Feb 212011
 

I know, I know.   Where have I been?   A friend called me the other day and said, “Do you realize your last blog entry was October 26, 2010!?”   Yes, I know.   I know.

Wheel of DeathJohn and I used to have annual passes to Disneyland.   We would go all the time.   On our first trip we stayed down in Anaheim for a couple of days and spent a lot of time at both Disney and California Adventure.   Having an annual pass gave us the opportunity to go for a couple of hours on a Saturday night just for coffee and the parade and the fabulous people watching that you can only find at Disney, without the pressure of having to get on a ride or making every minute count like you do when you save up and go once every couple of years.   So, on our first trip to California Adventure we enjoyed everything we could together.   I am a bit of chicken when it comes to rides.   Not just because I’m afraid of the ride but because of fitting.   Yes, there are some rides that just won’t accommodate my ample rear end.   (Years ago, I had an experience at Universal Studios where I didn’t fit in the seat on a ride.   I managed to get the seatbelt around me but clearly I didn’t fit in the seat.   The ride took off and I held on for my life during the whole thing.   It scared the crap out of me.   Really, did I want to be a headline?   “Fat woman plunges to her death on a kiddy ride at Universal…Film at 11!”)   So, even if I had a desire to go on California Screamin’, the roller coaster at California Adventure, it is unlikely I would ever attempt to even get into the seat.   What if I didn’t fit?   What if the alarm didn’t go off when the belt didn’t go around me?   Did I really want to die at Disney?   Surely, if I died they would compensate John quietly as only Disney can…     I decided to be a gamer and get on the Ferris wheel at California Adventure.   How scary could it be?

I was feeling brave so I said, “let’s go in one that slides.”   Here’s how it went. We get in the bucket.   I am feeling fine.   I am sitting Lisa_scream2across from John.   I have a water bottle next to me on the seat.   We start to move…slowly.   I feel my heart starting to pound and my hands starting to sweat.   I looked around for something to hold onto.   There was nothing.   I pushed my fingers through the small holes of the cage.   My eyes were wide.   I looked at John terrified…pleading.   Then as we started to rise I said in a shrill voice, “This may not have been such a good idea!!”   Then my water bottle fell over.   John calmly said, “Honey, we are going to slide now.”   At that moment the bucket slid backwards and we started to swing. I started to shriek and scream like only someone in a horror movie could.   It was a lifetime until we finished the revolution.   They stopped the ride and let us off.   As I stepped off I said to John, “Do you think they know it was me?”   I am pretty sure they have a picture of me in the operator’s box with a big red circle with a line through my face.   For full disclosure, they have a picture like that of me over at Splash Mountain at Disneyland too.

Why bring up the Wheel of Death now?   Because lately that’s a bit how life feels.   Not bad.   Nothing that’s going to kill me.   Definitely some excitement and some fear and some joy and some uncertainty all wrapped up with a “Have Disney Day” smile.

Oct 262010
 

Today is October 25th, the anniversary of the day I broke up with an ex-boyfriend and tomorrow is the anniversary of the day I finally met my husband in person.  Dates are funny.  Not in a magical way.  Dates are like smells in the memories they invoke.  I remember the day I broke up with my ex-boyfriend distinctly.  It was a Sunday.  We had gone downtown to Chinatown for Dim Sum.  The place he wanted to go was closed for a private party so, we wandered around downtown trying to find a place.  By the time we found a Dim Sum place it was filled with people and there was a line.  He got upset.  Clearly, he had issues that had nothing to do with not getting a pork bao and a chicken foot.  I was upset that he was upset.  We walked back to the car in silence.  Then in the car we started arguing about something or other.  I remember taking off the silver rolling ring he had bought me on a fun trip down to Tijuana to have lunch and buy contraband freon for an old car he was working on, and I threw it at him and said, “Maybe we should just break up!!”  The words hung in the air.  A moment later he turned to me and said, “Okay.”  We drove to Canter’s where we had soup and cried.

The following year, John, my now husband, and I started talking on line and then on the phone.  He came to visit me for the first time on October 26th.  At the time I was taking part in a documentary about 4 women of size and their lives.  The camera crew came with me to pick John up at LAX.  The moment we saw each other, for the first time, in the flesh, was captured on film.  We showed that snippet of film at our wedding reception.

Today is just another day.  Days lately seem like just another day.  I lost my job with the accounting firm a little over a year ago.  It was a job, I thought I was good at. But everyday I would drive home from there deflated and sad that that was the job I was doing.  It wasn’t the people.  Okay, it was one of them.  But it wasn’t really the people or the work.  I like accounting.  It just wasn’t what I moved to LA to do.  Every day I would drive home in that ridiculous 101 commute wearing grown up clothes and feeling miserable. When I was “let go” I was sad and frustrated and yet I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and freedom.  That is, once I stopped crying.

sausageA year ago today I was in Amsterdam.  I had paid for my ticket less than a week before I got “let go.”   It was an amazing trip.  I felt inspired and alive when I was there.  When I was home, I continued to feel inspired.  It is an inspiring place.   On this day a year ago I was in a farmer’s market with my sister and brother-in-law.  The sausage guys started singing a Mamas and Papas song and called me Mama Cass.

I know it’s silly.  Nothing has changed in the year.  I weigh the same as I did last year.  My hair is a bit darker.  Financially, I know I need to work and soon.  But I read an article in the LA Times about unemployment and how a woman applied for a job where there were four openings and 2000 people had submitted applications.  It seems so bleak.  And, worse, I wouldn’t want that job.

I have had some great auditions this year.  And, in a sense, it feels like when you are looking at a slot machine and you almost win.  There is that excitement but there are no bells and no money in your pocket.

I remember a long time ago talking to a friend who was unhappy about some things in her life.  I told her, “you have shitty circumstances but you aren’t your circumstances!”  That is kind of how I feel.  Only all of my circumstances aren’t shitty.  And, all of my situations aren’t shitty either.  It really is bits and pieces.  My great husband just came home and I am cooking dinner.  I am fortunate to have a great husband and I am fortunate to have dinner to cook in my apartment.

There is part of me that just knows it isn’t time to quit yet.  I know there is a lot of acting and writing left in my future.  I know I will make money doing what I love.

Aug 302010
 

How’s that for a dramatic title? Okay, that is definitely over speak.   But WOW, it’s been an interesting couple of months.   And, yes, by interesting I mean sucky. I think it started around my birthday in June.   Sure the age thing is always a kick in the ass.   “How am I this old?!”   The television season ended without me booking anything.   Summer was on us and I had no firm plans to produce my one-woman show.   And, I was still unemployed.   So, what did I do?   Well, like all smart people I slowly stopped exercising.   I had been very regimented about walking miles daily.   But with the despair came the “fuck its.”   So, why would I continue to do the one thing that was making me feel better? It was probably the worst thing I could have done.   I think the exercise over the past months had really been keeping the doldrums at bay.   I had started walking before I lost my accounting “day job” at the end of last September.   Now it was the middle of June and I couldn’t get out bed in the morning.   I had been popping out of bed around 7ish and walking but from June until, well last week,   if I got out of bed by 8:30 it was a good day.   I forced myself to not sleep past 9a during the week and I kept my promise, mostly, about watching television during the day.

Unfortunately, what crept in with the lack of exercise was bad food choices.   I am not a dieter by nature.   I gave that up with self-loathing in the early 90’s.   (That doesn’t mean I won’t go on my version of Atkins from time to time.   Lots of good veggies and protein.   More on that another time.) I would eat well in the morning and usually well in the afternoon.   Sometimes I would skip breakfast and have a big lunch.   Then I would eat a late dinner.   I was eating fast food (not McDonald’s), which I don’t even like. But it would be an easy dinner.   Eggplant pizza.   Cookies from Trader Joe’s.   In retrospect, it wasn’t a lot of bad food.   (Except for this one Mexican place…) There is nothing like falling into a vat of Mexican food because you feel bad.   It’s the perfect vicious circle of feeling bad.   You fall in because you feel bad and then you feel bad because you fell into the crispy, cheesy, guacamole covered vat of tasty goodness. It was occasional bad food and too much good food and way, way too many carbs.   I was carb stoned most of the time.   I felt tired even after many hours of sleep.   And, I found I was hating myself a bit.   It wasn’t like it was in my past.   I am much more informed.   More than anything I was sad.

As I have said in many of blog posts, I keep looking at what’s next in my life. For the past few months, it all kind of felt like my life was at a stand still.   I feel like I need to say, that even in the depths of despair, I was feeling, I was and am incredibly grateful for my life.   I have good friends, an amazing husband, and a great family.   My health is really good.   Which for many is surprising.   I find their shock annoying.   That should be an entry in itself.

I was down visiting my folks last month.   Yes, visiting my mom in the middle of this could have been a recipe for disaster.   It wasn’t.   Mostly it was really nice being with them.   There was, of course, an incident.   We were going to go to dinner.   My mother insisted we take her car.   Yes, it’s a lovely car.   I just don’t fit comfortably in it.   Which makes no freakin’ sense!   How am I bigger than some Germans?!   Anyway, we ended up taking her car.   Why?   Because even at my age, with my Mom, it’s the Golden Rule.   She wanted to take her car, so, we took her car. On the way to dinner I sat in the front and Pop sat in the back.   I told him we would switch on the way back.   I packed myself into the front seat.   Then snapped the seat belt around my body and sat motionless…kind of stuck.   After dinner, I went to get into the back seat and, well, there wasn’t a chance I was going to get into the back seat of that car! I put the seat back forward and tried to climb into the back.   I put one foot in the back and then nothing.   No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t squeeze into the back of this car.   WTF!!!   I tried moving the seat forward but it wouldn’t move.   This was it.   I stood in the parking lot imagining all the people walking to their cars watching my giant rear end hanging out of the side of this car as I tried desperately to force myself into the back seat.   All the while my mother is in the driver’s seat and Pop, well, he had the best view.   He graciously got in the back seat and I got back into the sardine can front seat and off we went.   To say that I was unhappy in that moment would be a great understatement.   It’s possible I was doing something wrong with the seat and I might actually be able to get back there.   Of course, I wonder how it will be to get out of the back seat of that car.   I suppose my mother wouldn’t be too pleased if we had to use the jaws of life to get me out.   Then again, it would be a lesson learned.

I have been thinking a lot about fitting in.   Where do I fit in?   Both literally and figuratively and here I was with my ass sticking out of the side of this Mercedes in a public parking lot.   It wasn’t my happiest moment.   Where do I fit?   Where don’t I fit?   Neither of these questions are necessarily bad things.   It’s okay if I don’t fit in the back of my mother’s car.   Now, I know.   But I would have liked to have known without having to learn the hard way.   I know I barely fit in airplane bathrooms.   Lesson learned.   I know I fit on all the rides at Disneyland but the ET ride at Universal; forget it!   Those are literal questions.   Where do I fit in life?   Do I fit in with my friends?   Do I fit in in public places?   How do people feel about me?   I had that person write derogatory comments to me after one of my entries here.   I have had mean things said to me in public.   People are fascinating.   Why do people think it’s okay to say something mean to a person of size or to anyone?   I have had strangers approach me and tell me about diets or exercise programs that could “help” me as if I need to be helped.   I have gone to the doctor for birth control only to have her “diagnose” me with obesity.   As if she were the first person to notice I was fat.   She actually wrote it on my insurance form.

The best was a couple of weeks ago.   I was in the middle of this state I have been in.   Kind of a funk.   Kind of a pity party. You know, I don’t have a job.   I don’t have money to buy things I want…a new computer, an iPad, etc. It isn’t like I need anything.   Anyway, I did a good deed and zipped to the valley for a friend.   On the way back I   stopped at Pavilion’s aka. Von’s to get some bread and sliced turkey and some of the amazing nectarines they had on sale.

IMAG0184It was 12:45 so people were trying to get sandwiches made for lunch.   The woman who helped me didn’t know what she was doing.   It was simple…one pound of Primo Taglio mesquite turkey and a half pound of havarti.   Another customer who had been there earlier in the day to buy meatloaf got the attention of the woman who was ostensibly helping me, after I had waited in line, and began helping her with her meatloaf.   The employee then told me it was going to be a while that I should go shop.   Essentially, she stopped helping me to help someone else.   Meanwhile, all the people who were in line after me were helped by other Von’s employees.

So, I decided to walk around the store even though I didn’t need much.   I grabbed a couple of small artisan flutes and a cluster of tomatoes on the vine.   Then I passed an employee who was giving samples of some kind of “brownie bites.”   She was talking to a male customer who had a backpack and a small suitcase in his basket.   (I saw him wandering the aisles later.) I hesitated to take a brownie bite at first.   Did I want a gooey bite of sweet before lunch.   Why not?!   The employee coaxed me to take one as well.   So, I did.   I jokingly said, “Well, that was enough.   Now, I don’t need to buy them.”   Then the other “customer” (and I use the term loosely) says, “People just don’t know how to lose weight properly.   They go about it all wrong…you should read this book…” I interrupted him and told him I wasn’t interested.   As I turned back to my basket, the employee was poking my artisan bread and she said to me, “That’s no good.   That’s what makes you fat.   That’s no good!”   I shook my head and walked away completely dumbfounded.

Am I so big that I am invisible?   Are people embarrassed by me?   What do you think when you see fat people?   What do you think when you see me?   I wonder.   Where do I fit?   I would love to travel the country and travel the world and find out exactly where do I fit in?

The Luxor, the Celebrity Chef, the Comedian and the Fat Girl

 Life in Los Angeles, Vegas  Comments Off on The Luxor, the Celebrity Chef, the Comedian and the Fat Girl
Jul 182010
 

I admit it, I love Las Vegas.   I love to play the slots.   I love roulette.   I love the great restaurants.   I love to people watch.   It is a feast for all the senses in a most prurient way. Over the past year or so I have been spoiled by getting to stay at the Mandalay Bay.   Yes, I know there are more extravagant hotels in Las Vegas.   But there is something about the Mandalay Bay.   It smells a bit like heaven and coconuts.   Unfortunately, my great offers this time around weren’t for the Mandalay Bay.   I knew I would get 2 nights on the strip before we moved down to the South Point for my husband’s conference.   I had some GREAT offers for the MGM Properties.   So, I had to choose.   I was leery of choosing the Luxor even though in the past I have done well gambling there.   My birthday there last year was awful.   When you have to change rooms three times you just give up.   It was crazy since my husband’s birthday celebration there 3 months earlier was amazing.   Even the bed we had on his birthday was the most comfortable bed I had ever slept on.   It seems that is the only bed of it’s kind in the hotel.   With that said, we did opt to stay at the Luxor for the first 2 nights of our stay and while the woman at the desk told me she looked at the print out and we were going to have a pillow top mattress, we did not.   She was adamant that we get the room with the jacuzzi jets in the tub.   That was sweet but I knew it was highly unlikely we would use it.   The mattress was old and quite bouncy.   Given that it was bizarrely comfortable.

I gambled, well, a lot.   More than I anticipated.   I got stuck at a machine.   It was crazy.   I was like a poster child for why you shouldn’t gamble.   You know, I would hit a big jackpot and then give it all back.   Then I would put my money in because, of course, I was going to hit another jackpot.   Then I would give the money back and put in more of my money.   Yes, I know that is how they built Las Vegas.   Since I visited, the Luxor can definitely afford to buy it least one more pillow top mattress.

Out of my last six visits to Las Vegas over the past year I have only stayed at one other hotel besides the Luxor and the Mandalay Bay (or THE Hotel at the Mandalay Bay) and that was New York, New York.   Every time I have been to Las Vegas over this past year,   I have walked by RM Seafood which is at the foot of the Mandalay Place as you walk out of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards the Luxor.   If I say I have walked by it 15 times I may be close to accurate.   I have read the menu a handful of times.   I even brought my husband there last August when we stayed at the Mandalay Bay.   He loves seafood.   But no, we ended up eating somewhere else.   So, this trip we had one free night together.   I asked if he wanted to try RM Seafood.   I had seen Rick Moonen a while back on Oprah where he made his signature catfish Sloppy Joe.   Not my bag of meat (as they say) but I knew my husband would be thrilled to eat seafood.   My mother was apoplectic when I told her we were probably going to go there.   “OHHH!!! I love him.   He should have won Top Chef Masters.   If you see him, tell him I said so.”   “Okay, Mom.   I will…”   As if I was going to see him.   I called over to the restaurant.   Made a reservation which was more like a, “Hey, can you seat two for dinner as soon as we can hoof it through the Luxor casino and through the Mandalay Place?”   The answer was yes.   We got there around 7:45 on a Wednesday evening.   The place was hopping.

As a woman of size, I always scope a place out to make sure I am going to fit where they are taking me to sit and to be sure that I am not going to bump into people along the way.   Once seated I always plot my way back out of the restaurant and watch as people are seated so I don’t have to say, “excuse me” as I bump into the back of someone as they are eating. The hostess took us to a perfect table.   The table moved so I was able to sit on the very comfortable bench.   My husband sat across from me.   We read the menu back and forth to each other.   You know, “Oh wow, did you see the crab cake?”   “They have barbecued macaroni and cheese.”   I don’t know who the people were sitting next to us but they were clearly “someone” when they were done their waiter came by and said, “Rick took care of it. Dinner is on him.”   Or something like that.   How nice of Rick! I didn’t even think that was “Rick” as in the “R” in RM. Our waiter was great.   John ordered the crab cake appetizer and the Cioppino for dinner.   He barely spoke to me during dinner. I ordered the macaroni and cheese as starter, and the pan roasted chicken with a side order of mashed potatoes for dinner.   Just typing it my mouth is watering.   Even though we wanted dessert we were full from the outrageous meal and didn’t order it.   We ate exactly what we wanted.   (Of course a little over a week later, writing it, I would KILL for what I left on that table.) During our meal the GM came over to our table and chatted with us a bit.   What a charmer! Then Rick, himself, came over to our table.   Yes, Rick Moonen!   It was such a wonderful surprise.   He was charming and humble.   His food is definitely a work of art and it shows.   He clearly LOVES what he does.   I look forward to going back again not just for the food but for the atmosphere of being around people doing what they love.

Then we moved down to the South Point Hotel.   My husband was going to attend TAM8 (The Amazing Meeting).   Financially, we figured next year I will attend as well.   I was so pleasantly surprised by the room at the South Point.   It was big and spacious…not a lot of furniture cluttering up the space.   But there was enough furniture to relax in different places in the room.   The two chairs at the table did not have arms.   The couch was firm and comfortable.   The bed was a bit firm but nice.   The pillows were great (even though I brought my own.) The bathroom was perfect.   One of my pet peeves as a big woman is a toilet that is crammed between two walls.   I have hips and those hips don’t need to rest against a wall while I sit on a toilet.   Sorry to paint a picture you may not be interested in, but suffice it to say, this bathroom was awesome!   Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a 4-star hotel.   The toilet seat is plastic and there wasn’t a clock in our room.   We did have a flat screen television on the wall so I was able to eat a great deli sandwich from the deli in the hotel and catch a rerun of South Park while John attended a dinner.   As someone who, admittedly, can sit at a video poker machine for hours I will say their chairs in the casino weren’t very comfortable.   It was as if the chair was pitched forward.   Or it could have been the way my large ass fit on the chair.   I don’t know.   I definitely was aware of the seat and I can say I haven’t noticed that in other casino’s.   At least I didn’t notice it at the Luxor.

One night at the South Point we found ourselves sitting in the bar.   John had a beer and I was sporting a killer headache.   It could have been from staring at a video poker machine all day in an uncomfortable seat with canned air.   Regardless, I had a club soda.   I noticed that Paul Provenza was sitting with a group of people.   I am a HUGE fan.   No pun intended.   I really am.   The Aristocrats is sheer genius!! He had spoken earlier at the conference.   I would have LOVED to have been there.   So, here he was sitting with some people.   I wasn’t sure if he was with those people or if they, like me, just had to meet Paul Provenza.   I didn’t want to interrupt.   As time went on he got up to leave and I had the amazing opportunity to say hello and tell him how inspiring I thought his new show the Green Room on Showtime is.   We had a great conversation about stand up comedy.   He introduced me to his friend and producer of the Green Room, Barbara Romen.   Both of them were very generous with their time and attention.   Those brief conversations spurred me to consider performing stand up again.   Maybe…we’ll see.

It was a great time.   It definitely had me look a what’s next for me and it had me take a hard look at where I fit, both literally and figuratively.

Jun 302010
 

This is not at all what I had planned on writing today.   I was all ready to start writing about my upcoming trip to Vegas and how excited I am to get away with my husband for a couple of days.   Then BAM.   I was poking around Facebook when I saw a video a friend had posted.   Now, the video in itself is appalling.   It’s about the awful wild horse round-ups being done in the name of needing the grazing land for cattle.   It’s essentially like eminent domain.   You know, the law that was passed that in essence says, if your property is worth more to someone else and will be “better” for the neighborhood as a hotel or something other than your home, someone can force you to sell it with the government as their strong arm.   It’s insane.   So, what’s happening with these wild horses is our tax payer dollars are being used to round up the horses in an inhumane and disgusting way so that cattle ranchers have more land, that doesn’t belong to them. It’s “government” land…so, it belongs to us, right?   Aren’t we the boss of the government?   Aren’t we?!   The video is really hard to watch.

Okay, so why then is Lisa Brounstein, fat actress, world traveller, writing about this?   It’s hardly my wheelhouse.   Sure I have a lot to say about the government and politics etc.   And, everyone knows I have a HUGE soft spot for animals.   I have always said, “I am one bad piece of bacon away from being a vegetarian again.”   I was a vegetarian for 17 years.   Even today I can go days without eating meat.   Hell, I apologize to bugs before I kill them, if I don’t capture them and set them free.   So, I am writing this not because of the video.   It’s because of what my friend posted before the video.   It’s because of what she said.

I am not going to post what she said verbatim for multiple reasons.   First, I don’t have her permission.   Second, I don’t think she really means what she is saying, completely.   I think that people, even people who love me, just don’t realize that fat and obesity really aren’t the source of all the ills in the world.   I really believe we have been trained and educated to believe that that is the case.   We are taught to believe that fat is ugly and wrong and if people weren’t fat than the world would be a much better place.   Wow, really?!   Okay, hear me out.

My friend started off talking about the BP oil spill and how our tax dollars are going to be used to clean up BP’s mess.   I have done some reading on the matter.   It doesn’t make me an expert. I am devastated by what is going on in the Gulf and have thought about going down to clean birds.   I read they are only allowing experienced volunteers and people to do that.   Which is probably better.   I think it would emotionally wreck me, forever.   The pictures are so upsetting.   I am not a fan of BP.   I think they have handled this whole thing POORLY.   How’s that for your understatement of the day?   But what I will say, is that we or rather, our government has allowed this to happen.   We allowed BP to drill off shore.   Those waters are federally owned and they are regulated by the Federal Government.   The law is written in such a way to protect the oil company with a punitive financial cap of $75 million.   Yes, BP really, by law, only has to pay $75 million.   However, they have given the government 20 BILLION dollars to aid in the clean up as well as to help the people who are and have lost their livelihoods.   Now it’s up to the government to dole out the money.   How’s that going?   How did the mortgage/bank bail out go?   How about that automaker bail out?   I’m just asking.

Then my friend went on to say that cattle corporations (she was saying that BP is a big corporation like the cattle corporations) are rounding up these majestic horses in order to use the land for their own cattle so they can sell the meat from said cattle and make even more money by selling to McDonald’s who will in turn sell Big Mac’s and fries. This would then effect the taxpayer because we are paying for the needless slaughter and storage of these horses all so these cattle corporations can get richer.   Okay, I can get that…mostly.   I don’t believe for a second that the government isn’t getting something out of this.   I am sure they are getting a lot.   It’s like a subsidy.   They aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their heart.   I am sure there are many sides to this sick and twisted story.   Okay, now here is what got me.   She goes on to make the correlation with the round up and eating McDonald’s with people growing more obese.   Oh man, really?

I watched the video because she mentioned BP and tax dollars and then also mentioned the obese.   As someone who is considered obese and someone who is really tired of my tax dollars being spent on things for which I disagree with, I had to look at the video.   I didn’t get the correlation completely.   Unless, she was saying that because cattle ranchers are driving the horses away so they can let their cattle graze there and then they sell their beef to McDonald’s where people buy Big Macs and, of course, only fat/obese people eat Big Macs, then it’s the fat people’s fault that the horses are being tortured.   That is only a correlative argument…you know, “correlation is not causation.”   In essence, she’d be saying it’s obese people’s fault that the wild horses are being slaughtered and tortured.

It’s that seven deadly sin scenario.   Greed, gluttony, extravagance, sloth…doesn’t that describe me?   You know, I just sit around all day and eat Big Macs and fries on my gold plated couch with my 60 inch flat screen TV.   No, I don’t.   None of that is true.   I honestly don’t think I have ever eaten a Big Mac.   Maybe as a child but I don’t have a recollection of it.   What is my reason for writing about this today?   My reason is this.   I am fat…and I say that with no malice or degradation.   I am definitely a BIG woman.   In medical terms I am obese.   So, I write this to give a face to all of those faceless and headless fat and obese people out there who are consistently being called forth as the cause of so much of the worlds ills today.   Especially in the United States and in Britain.

I honestly believe she probably didn’t think twice (or once) about me when she wrote what she wrote.   I understand that she is angry and frustrated.   Clearly she is angry about the horses and the horrific fate they are meeting.   And, she is a very intelligent person.   There isn’t a chance she isn’t upset about what is going on with our country in general.   As a human being and as a fat person I feel like it is my responsibility to remind people that fat people aren’t faceless or headless like they show on the news.   We have feelings.   We are human beings.   I am sure many of us care about the plight of the horses and the devastation in the Gulf of Mexico too.

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?

New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam

 Trip to Amsterdam  Comments Off on New Amsterdam to Old Amsterdam
Oct 212009
 

I arrived in New Amsterdam yesterday morning.   Tuesday morning rather.   I am a bit confused on what time or day it is.   The redeye was crazy from LAX to JFK.   It was supposed to be “wide open” and it wasn’t.   Lots of last minute travelers got on that flight.   So, my stand   by for Business Class ticket rapidly turned into a coach ticket.   Luckily, the gate agent took pity on me and left the seat next to me open so I didn’t   have to squeeze.   The flight was on a Boeing 757.   Those are particularly long planes but not generous in width.   I did look at the bathroom on board and decided it would be best to just wait the 6 hours.   It was fine.   The flight attendant graciously brought me a seatbelt extender and we were on our way.   I didn’t sleep much on that flight.   The seat in front of me was barely inches away from me.   I was fortunate that no one was sitting in the seat in front of me so I didn’t have someone’s head pressed against my belly for the flight.   The snack was pretzels, or peanuts or cookies.   I had club soda.

We landed in NY at 7:30.   I wandered around the terminal for a little while.   I found a food court and got a little breakfast and a bottle of water and planted myself.   I made some calls.   Then I realized somewhere along the way I lost a prescription.   It is possible I left it at home but it is also likely I left it on the plane when I was searching my bag for something else.   I went to the Delta customer service desk.   They called the gate to find out the plane I had been on had already left for San Francisco.   If the meds were left on the plane it is doubtful I will ever see them again.   I then went to the Delta SkyClub and bought a day pass.   It was a lovely place to sit and relax for my very long layover.   I was hoping for a couch or a loveseat so I could have gotten more comfortable but the big chair was fine.   I dozed off and on throughout the day and then got the shuttle from the terminal to the new Delta terminal to catch my international flight.

I did get Business Class from JFK to Old Amsterdam.   It was very nice.   The seats aren’t that wide and the arms don’t move so I did find it to be a snug fit.   I had to get out of the seat to pull out the remote for the TV and I did have to get up to plug in my headset.   But once in the seat it was mostly comfortable.   There is at least 3 feet between the seats so you can recline fully and not be bothered by any other passenger.   There was no one sitting next to me so I was able to use the seat for my purse as well as use the tray for my meals.   I was envious of people who slept on the sides in the chairs.   I suppose I could have figured out the logistics and done it myself but I never did get fully comfortable.

The meals and service in Business Class is night and day from coach.   They brought us menus before we took off and the champagne and beautiful wine choices flowed throughout the flight.   I didn’t drink on the plane as I was so confused and tired from travelling for so long and from not sleeping.   I didn’t want to add alcohol to the mix.   The food choices ranged from crab cakes with pasta to beef tenderloin with lemon risotto.   Amazing!

I think one of the flight attendants thought I was pregnant.   I was sitting in my seat with my arms folded over my belly.   As she walked by she patted my hands and said something in a very sweet tone.

We landed at 5:25a this morning, Wednesday.   We taxied for what seemed like an eternity to the gate.   Customs was a breeze here.   They asked why I was here and for how long then stamped my passport.   My luggage was some of the first pieces off as they were the last ones on.   My bags didn’t get on the flight until my stand by seat was approved.   It worked out perfectly.   Then there were two lines to go to.   One was for people with goods to declare and the other was for those with nothing to declare.   There was no one working the line for people with things to declare and no one was there to ask if you really didn’t have anything to declare.   I walked right through with my bags on a cart.   My sister and BIL were on the other side of the door.

From there we took a train to the city and then walked around 10 blocks from the train station to the boat.   It was interesting to be walking in the dark at nearly 7a.   the sun didn’t start to warm the cold sky until around 8a.   Then the sky started to glow a beautiful light pink.   The air this morning was very cold.   It has since warmed up to a lovely 50 degrees.

To say that it is beautiful here is a ridiculous understatement.   It is absolutely breathtaking.   The boat is gorgeous.   We opened the windows on the boat and fed ducks on the canal.   Their cat sits up top in the sun room (what would be the steering room if there was a steering wheel.)   I have taken pictures and will post them over time. We are going to go venture out and do some shopping today.

I am very tired.   I haven’t lied down since Monday morning when I got up at 7a.   It is now noon on Wednesday here which means it is 3a at home.   It is funny to think my husband is home sleeping in our bed and I have already showered and started my day.   I am sure I will sleep like a stone tonight.   I brought my own pillow which will make sleeping anywhere easy.

Let me know if there is anything you would like to know or any pictures you would like to see.

Fat Girl Travels

 Trip to Amsterdam  Comments Off on Fat Girl Travels
Oct 182009
 

When reading other people’s blogs I have often thought of them as self indulgent and arrogant.   I don’t know that mine will be different.   I started thinking what do I have to offer people that would be of any interest.   Besides my upcoming travels to Amsterdam what is it that would make people be interested in what I have to say?   What is it about me that is different?   Uhh, the obvious thing is, as Bob Goen said over and over   again on Entertainment Tonight about me, “…and she weighs over 300 pounds!!”   Yes, I do. It isn’t that miraculous actually.   Honestly, I have lived a pretty charmed life.   Sure I am big but it really hasn’t stopped me…except when it has.   There are things that smaller people never consider and if they do they don’t consider the magnitude of how it would affect someone larger.   For example, airplane bathrooms are very small.   Most people find them to be uncomfortable and cramped.   For me, it is like I am the last sardine in the can, so-to-speak.   Other common considerations in life are restaurant booths, armed chairs, the dentist chair, movie theatre seats, life jackets, roller coasters and my favorite – seat belts.   (Remind me and I will tell the story of the Torrance police officer who pulled me over for not wearing my seat belt years ago…)

While I am excited about this trip to Amsterdam, to see my sister and my BIL, there is for me a level of apprehension and fear (more than the plane falling out of the sky but I have drugs for that.)   You know that feeling when you are all settled in your seat on the airplane and you see the fat girl squeezing down the aisle trying not to hip check any of the passengers she is walking by and you cringe knowing she is going to try and climb over you and squeeze into the seat next to you undoubtedly ooozing some of her copious flesh onto your seat, or leg, or arm?   Well, I’m her.   Believe me, I certainly don’t want to disturb your travels or make your flight any more uncomfortable than it is.   I have in the past bought two seats so as to not disturb anyone.   When I fly with my husband, he doesn’t care that I need a bit of his seat.   But for a stranger it is uncomfortable.   Believe me, I know.

With the airplane seat issue it raises the question of whether or not I am buying a seat to my destination or am I purchasing passage.   There have been a lot of ugly fights in the media about this issue.   People have found themselves at a midway point in their trip when suddenly a gate agent decides they must purchase an additional seat to finish the last leg of their trip.   The rules are rather discretionary.   So, a big guy flying from LAX to JFK with a stop in Chicago may have no problem getting on the first leg of his flights.   He asks for a seatbelt extender and luckily there is an empty middle seat next to him so no one says a word to him.   He flies in comfort to Chicago.   He gets off the plane in Chicago and races to his next gate.   When he arrives and attempts to check in for the 2nd leg of his trip to JFK, the gate agent informs him he must buy a second seat on the plane because the flight is full.   If he doesn’t he can’t carry on to his destination.   But you see, this is an error in logic.   If the flight is full there shouldn’t be an additional seat to purchase.   Ostensibly, he should be stuck in Chicago until there is a flight that has empty seats.   Should he then be forced to purchase an additional seat on a flight with empty seats?   I know when I have purchased two tickets to a destination I was told that if the flight had empty seats they would refund my money for the additional seat purchased.   I don’t know the answer to these questions.   Bigger seats all around?   Bigger seats for larger people?   What about seats with legroom for taller people?   What about a sound proof area for those flying with small children? Obviously, the airline is a business.   They have the right to run their business as they choose.   I also understand an average sized person who already feels cramped in their seat doesn’t want to feel infringed upon by someone else using up what little personal space they have.   It’s a conundrum.   One that I am going to face over the next couple of days and then again in two weeks.     While I doubt I will come up with a solution for this situation that affects all travellers in one way or another it will definitely be an interesting time.   I will keep you all posted.

Oct 162009
 

Since not making my flight to Amsterdam Wednesday night, and now having 3 days before I try again, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to start a blog.   Originally, I was going to keep a daily handwritten journal.   I still may do that.   Old habits die hard.   I figured this would be a great way for family and friends and any interested party to follow my adventure.   This will be the first of many posts.