Posted in Beauty, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Women

Fat Girls Drive Slow Cars


Tis the season for car commercials.

There is a Lexus ad that seems to come on every commercial break, and since we’ve been iced in and watching a lot of TV, I’ve seen it a few thousand times.  A gorgeous brunette works at a sewing machine, making giant bows for cars.  A decent looking man drives one of said cars.

I don’t know what men think about when they see these ads, but I caught myself having a thought that gave me pause.  After wondering if people really buy each other cars for Christmas, I found myself thinking that if I were thinner and more chic, I could have a fancy car, but as long as I was overweight, I would never so much as see the inside of the dealership.

It only takes a couple of seconds to rifle through a few hundreds thoughts, so I went from “Do people really buy each other cars for Christmas,” to, “If I lost weight, I could work in The Industry again, and make better money, and buy a car like that,” to, “If I were thinner and dressed better–maybe had a few enhancements done back in the day, I might have married into a car like that*,” to, “As long as I am overweight, I will never have a Lexus.”

Funnily, I realized I have that conversation in my head about a lot of things.  From jewelry and underwear, to cars–apparently–I’ve got it in my head that until I am 5’10”, and wear a size 4, I will never have that bracelet, that bra, or that Lexus.  The bad news is that while I quit growing vertically in 1992, and never topped 5’3″, my width fluctuates almost seasonally.  I’m fattest in the summer, in case you wondered.  I don’t like to move around in the heat.

Anyway, my point is that I really thought I was immune to all of that!  I really thought I had myself together when it came to body image (because I am totally cute), and it wasn’t until I heard this back-of-my-head voice, matter-of-factly (and it was!  it was so blase.  “You are overweight, and you will never have X, Y, Z until you look better.”  Not shaming, not lecturing, just, “These are the facts, ma’am.”) telling me I wasn’t good enough, that I realized how insidious the issue is.

I did not think, “If I go back to school and study X, I can get a higher paying job doing Y, and I can buy that car.”  My immediate thought was that if I quit eating for a few months, had some air bags installed in my fender, and put on more lipstick, I could end up in that car.  Yes, because I could get paid more as an actor, but all based on my looks.  Not based on talent.  Not based on ability.  Based on zero body fat and fake boobs.  I’d be hungry, but I’d be in a car that supermodels drive.  (Do supermodels drive?)

I also ran through the cost of the plastic surgery it would require to get me up to code, and that little voice in my head said, “You have to spend money to make money.”

I was thinking all that and the trick is that I HAVE EXCELLENT SELF ESTEEM.  What about the women and girls who don’t?

Later in the day, I came across this video of a lecture by Jean Kilbourne, in which she discusses how the media reduces women to Things in advertising, and how that affects so much more than just self image.

It’s really worth the five minute watch.

Meanwhile, I am busy deconstructing two things:  Why I feel like I have to look a certain way to have certain things, and why I feel like certain things equal a better life.  (Because I am totally cute AND I love my Saturn.  That Saturn is an awesome vehicle, and I wasn’t interested in trading it in for a Mercedes when I had the employee option to do it very inexpensively.)

Meanwhile, meanwhile, I would not trade all the luxury items in the world for how it feels to sit on my sofa with Thor in my lap, and B snoring beside me, watching the Eagles destroy the Lions in the middle of a blizzard.  Maybe nothing tastes as good as skinny feels, but nothing feels as good as my life–and my life comes with some cushion.

 

 

Posted in 2the9s, Cozy Cat Press, Destinee Faith Miller Mystery, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Marketing the BOok

I’m on the excitement yo-yo.  The B&N book signing is this coming Saturday, followed by the Boston Book Festival next Saturday, and the UTA book signing the following Monday.  I am alternately very excited, and very stressed.  Excited because–well, obviously.  Stressed because what if no one shows up?  Then there’s the high of excitement followed by the low of the mundane.  I have a book signing at B&N, but I also still have laundry to fold and put away.  That doesn’t seem right.  In my imagination, a book signing always meant the reality of House Elves, who would fold and put away my laundry for me.  (I had totally realistic expectations of marriage, but absolutely delusional ideas of what selling a book would mean.)

Speaking of delusional, or perhaps unrealistic, Halloween is my favorite holiday.  I love costumes.  I love dressing up.  I haven’t had occasion to do so in a few years, but here’s a look back at some of my favorites.

 

But where's the Rum?
But where’s the Rum?

This was the year I went in drag as Captain Jack Sparrow.  I was one of about two-hundred-sixty Jack Sparrows at my office, but the only one in drag.  I was proud of my work with the mascara wand.  I’m telling you, if I could grow a real beard and mustache, I would have the fanciest facial hair you’ve ever seen.

Heeeeeey, Punker-poo!
Heeeeeey, Punker-poo!

Sadly, this is the only surviving photo of my award winning year as Anna Nicole Smith.  I did this one at the height of her reality TV show, which worked well with my girth.  The next year, she was repping Trim Spa and ruined my impression.

Hisssss!
Hisssss!

No idea what I was here.  I started out to be a ghost, but my dress was too transparent (and my body all too corporeal for such a transparent dress), so I put a corset on top, tied some curtains around my waist, threw on a wig and a tiara (see!  tiara!) and just went around hissing at people like some kind of…whatever it was I was.

I haven’t anywhere to dress up this year, so if you see me on Halloween, I will be playing the part of Snake-Eyes’ mother.  Snake-Eyes’ mother is partial to jeans and hoodie sweaters.

If you see me on the 12th, 19th, or 21st at B&N, the Boston Book Festival, or UTA, I will be dressed up as a (hopeful) best selling author.

What are you wearing this year?

 

 

Posted in 2the9s, A Day in the Life, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Thor

Photogenic. Photogenetic.


hockaday   It was 6th Grade, and I insisted upon doing my own hair for picture day–the oxford and blazer were part of the uniform, but the hair?  All mine.  I was arguing with my mother about it out the door, and I know what Lane-has-been-crying face looks like–that’s it.  I remember standing in line for my picture and realizing that all the other girls, from the neck up, looked like they’d been styled for a wedding.  From the neck down, we looked like a Green and White episode of Facts of Life the Middle School Years. One of the teachers asked me if my mother had forgotten it was picture day.  The photographer pulled out a comb and made a tent flap in my bangs so that my eyes would show.  I felt a sting of regret.  My mother had been right.  I should have let her fix my hair.  But, I wasn’t going down like that.  Oh no.  I held my wooby, little head high and said I meant to look that way, and that I liked it.  Pride.  Proud.  Defiant. When the pictures came home, my mother was grim.   It was the only time in my life that she ever asked for retakes.  She called the school and asked for retakes. For what it’s worth, I look back on the day with pride.  Still proud.  Still defiant.  I was twelve, and I had hot rollers.  Don’t give a kid hot rollers, if you don’t want her to use them. It’s also funny how dark the picture is.  My hair looks auburn, and my blazer looks black.  My hair was strawberry blonde, and my blazer was a medium green. Today is picture day at Thor’s school.  Last night, after telling me he’d like me to go buy him a black suit, white shirt, and fancy tie to wear (far too late in the day to even think of making that happen), and after going through several mental wardrobe changes until we got down to shorts and a polo shirt, he woke up asking for a tie.  He had to wear a tie. It didn’t matter that it didn’t match.  It didn’t matter that it was too long.  It didn’t matter that he was wearing it with a polo shirt.  He. had. to. wear. a. tie. I put one of B’s ties on him, and it was like turning on the Christmas lights.  That kid was proud.  Delighted. He stood in front of the mirror for a long time, declared himself very cool, wetted down and tamed his own cowlick, then went to find his shoes. Of all the shoes he could choose, he came out of his room with his plaid Vans.  Proud.  Delighted. I did point out the problem with mixing a white, blue, and pink striped shirt, with a navy, gold, and olive dotted tie, and red, white, and blue plaid shoes.  He said, “I think I look cool.”  I thought, “He’s watched too much Doctor Who.”  I said, “You are cool.”  He said, “You need to call me Mr. B because of the tie.”  I said, “All right, Mr. B, grab your backpack and let’s go.  Your close-up awaits you.” When he looks back at today’s picture in 30 years, I want him to be able to say, “That was such a great morning.” It’s his school picture.  He should be happy.  We’ll be going to buy him a tie that fits. thorsday1 He does look cool.

Posted in 2the9s, A Day in the Life, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Family, Thor

hockaday

 

It was 6th Grade, and I insisted upon doing my own hair for picture day–the oxford and blazer were part of the uniform, but the hair?  All mine.  I was arguing with my mother about it out the door, and I know what Lane-has-been-crying face looks like–that’s it.  I remember standing in line for my picture and realizing that all the other girls, from the neck up, looked like they’d been styled for a wedding.  From the neck down, we looked like a Green and White episode of Facts of Life the Middle School Years.

One of the teachers asked me if my mother had forgotten it was picture day.  The photographer pulled out a comb and made a tent flap in my bangs so that my eyes would show.  I felt a sting of regret.  My mother had been right.  I should have let her fix my hair.  But, I wasn’t going down like that.  Oh no.  I held my wooby, little head high and said I meant to look that way, and that I liked it.  Pride.  Proud.  Defiant.

When the pictures came home, my mother was grim.   It was the only time in my life that she ever asked for retakes.  She called the school and asked for retakes.

For what it’s worth, I look back on the day with pride.  Still proud.  Still defiant.  I was twelve, and I had hot rollers.  Don’t give a kid hot rollers, if you don’t want her to use them.

It’s also funny how dark the picture is.  My hair looks auburn, and my blazer looks black.  My hair was strawberry blonde, and my blazer was a medium green.

Today is picture day at Thor’s school.  Last night, after telling me he’d like me to go buy him a black suit, white shirt, and fancy tie to wear (far too late in the day to even think of making that happen), and after going through several mental wardrobe changes until we got down to shorts and a polo shirt, he woke up asking for a tie.  He had to wear a tie.

It didn’t matter that it didn’t match.  It didn’t matter that it was too long.  It didn’t matter that he was wearing it with a polo shirt.  He. had. to. wear. a. tie.

I put one of B’s ties on him, and it was like turning on the Christmas lights.  That kid was proud.  Delighted.

He stood in front of the mirror for a long time, declared himself very cool, wetted down and tamed his own cowlick, then went to find his shoes.

Of all the shoes he could choose, he came out of his room with his plaid Vans.  Proud.  Delighted.

I did point out the problem with mixing a white, blue, and pink striped shirt, with a navy, gold, and olive dotted tie, and red, white, and blue plaid shoes.  He said, “I think I look cool.”  I thought, “He’s watched too much Doctor Who.”  I said, “You are cool.”  He said, “You need to call me Mr. B because of the tie.”  I said, “All right, Mr. B, grab your backpack and let’s go.  Your close-up awaits you.”

When he looks back at today’s picture in 30 years, I want him to be able to say, “That was such a great morning.”

It’s his school picture.  He should be happy.  We’ll be going to buy him a tie that fits.

thorsday1

He does look cool.

 

Posted in A Day in the Life, Explaining the Strange Behavior, Religion

Top Hits of a Desk Jockey


myfortune

I must have saved this fortune months ago because I think Panda Express is disgusting, and only go through there when I have no other options.  I was moving a notepad, and this fell out of the back of it, reminding me of why I kept it.  I have another fortune taped to my phone, “Keep up the good work.  You will soon be rewarded.”  Never hurts to remind yourself of the endgame.  I like rewards.

I also like reminders, which reminds me (oops) that I never got around to putting up my usual mental triggers at this new office.  My old standbys and reasoning behind them follow:

James 3:17
New King James Version (NKJV)
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

That’s pretty clearly stated.  I keep that one up in front of my eyes to remind me that I always need to check myself.  I’m putting that one back up on the computer monitor frame again today because it is timely.  There is strength in wisdom, and there is strength in goodness, mercy, and in not being a hypocrite.  Lane.
Colossians 3:22-23
New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men

I used to put that one up, tongue in cheek, when I worked for a ministry that paid a pittance, but there is good wisdom there, too.  Whatever job I have, I need to work like I am doing it for the highest of purposes.  That’s the only way I have a feeling of fulfillment in routine, and it’s the only way to go to bed at night feeling good about myself.  I feel better about myself when I work hard.
Proverbs 6:6-9
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Folly of Indolence
6 Go to the ant, you sluggard!
Consider her ways and be wise,
7 Which, having no captain,
Overseer or ruler,
8 Provides her supplies in the summer,
And gathers her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
When will you rise from your sleep

Again, a reminder that I shouldn’t just be working when someone is watching me.  I shouldn’t need to be babysat in order to produce.  I should take control of my own destiny, and my own work, and be an ant on the job.  I can be a butterfly everywhere else, but at work, I am an ant.  Or a bee.  But not a grasshopper.
Romans 8:38-39
New King James Version (NKJV)
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And this is the one I never truly understood until I had Thor.  It brings me peace and comfort.  I’ve banged on and on about how I really don’t know where I stand as far as religion goes, only that I’m sure I like Jesus, and I want to do my best to do things his way.  I’ve gone from nothing to zealot, to zen, and this verse has meant something to me in all stages.  The first time I read it was in a French science text.  Yeah.  I know.  But after I had translated it, it stuck with me–maybe it was the work involved in the translation?  It was mysterious and beautiful, and I repeated it to myself all the time.  It became a tattoo on my heart.  As a zealot, it made me feel secure and it was hope I tried to throw out to other people.  In my current, more meditative state of faith, I stand on it as a promise that if I’ve strayed off horribly, not even my own best efforts can destroy what’s been put into play.  I trust that if I’ve gone wrong, I’ll come back around because that’s how I love my son.  Nothing, not even his being unsure of me, can separate him from the love I have for him.  He’s just stuck.

He could do things to make me not like him much.  He could do things to disappoint me.  He can certainly go off course, forcing me to correct him, but discipline doesn’t mean I don’t love him.  He is just stuck with my love because I grew him, and I wanted him, and he is mine, and nothing can change that.  I would fight every angel in heaven and every demon in hell, and nothing could separate him from my love.  I put it in there.  He doesn’t have to acknowledge it for it to be so.

And that’s got nothing to do with work, but it does remind me that one of the reasons I work is so that Thor will have a comfortable life.  I don’t work to serve him on a silver platter, but so that he will have the benefit of the peace that comes with financial security, and so he can take steps up from that place to do better than his father and I have done.

So there’s me reminding me of what I am doing behind a desk.  But if anyone asks, you can just tell them they hired me because I’m pretty.