Monthly Archives: March 2013

Workout, Day 3

“To slim upper hips: Lie flat with arms extended at shoulder level.  Bend your knees (to your chest) and roll from side to side, keeping shoulders flat as you roll.  Roll five times to each side.  Work up to 20.”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man



My legs still hurt from the first set of windmills.  This one actually hurt my neck a bit, which I have to watch out for because I did serious damage to my neck/left shoulder in a fall three years ago which has, at times, made it difficult to keep up a workout routine.  I can usually keep it going for a bit, then I hurt myself and fall out of practice . . . but this one is low key enough (and has enough options) to keep it fresh.



Yep. That’s Me . . .?

My friend Matthew just texted me that he’s watching The Fly and, according to him, I do act and look an awful lot like Geena Davis.  I don’t know how true that is, but seeing as how Geena Davis is my favorite actress ever and the inspiration for my life, it’s pretty much the best compliment I can ever get (especially coming from a guy who looks like Jeff Goldblum)

Workout, Day II

“To eliminate round shoulders, dowagers hump . . .lie flat, arms at sides.  Without assistance from your elbows, arch you back as it f being pulled skyward by a string attached to your breastbone.  At the same time, slide your head back until the top of it touches the floor.” Arlene Dahl Always Ask a Man.

I’m going to start out by saying that I hurt.  My back, my sides, the whole thing.  Yesterday’s exercise works.

I do slump at my desk.  I kind of can’t help it.  I try to sit up, but inevitably, I’ll end up slouched and stressed out.  I did a similar move with my yoga DVD, only the frizzy haired instructor who was probably named Denise explained it as “shine the light of your heart out into the universe.”

Today sucked, and it sucked for the entirety of it, and I’m just coming down from the sheer suckiness of it.  Being able to work out in front of Justified helps.  So I tried 10 reps of one, and I did another 15 of the windmills even though I could barely touch my toes.  I didn’t feel the light of my heart shining out into the universe, but oh well.

“Raise arms above the head and, (in a sweeping motion), twist from the waist to the right, down to touch the toes, around to the left and back up to the original position,  repeat twice to the right and reverse”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

ImageSo since I’ve put on a little weight, I guess I’d better slim down or I’ll never get a husband.  Arlene gives a very detailed exercise routine for every possible body flaw, so I’m going to try a new one every night this week until I have a whole routine worked out.

This one is designed to reduce spare tire and slim waist.  Now since I generally have no waist to speak of, maybe I can create one.  

I did 15 reps per side an OH MY GOD I HURT.  This is TOUGH.

I’m going to be beautiful!


Body Issues and Other Fun Topics

“The men who insist they like girls plump are the ones who prefer cleaning rifles or exchanging jokes in the locker room to flirtation.  they aren’t sure of their masculinity and appeal, so a chic, glamorous woman challenges them.”  Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl.

I’ve never had a problem staying thin.  I come from a slender family, I didn’t drink in college (the easiest way to avoid the Freshman 15) or eat a ton of junk food (although Eeon will testify to my amazing ability to smell a fresh BG’s Pizza from half a campus away) and I’ve had exactly eight McNuggets in the last decade.  More importantly, I never uttered the phrase “OMG, I am, like, totes fat” in hopes that people would feel sorry for me.

But after I returned home from AWP, Ian commented that I had put on “noticeable” weight.  A trip to the doctor’s confirmed that in the last few months, I’ve packed 10 pounds onto my 5’3″ frame.  I almost started to cry.

Maybe this isn’t a big deal.  Maybe some of you are saying, “Get over it, Twiggie, and eat a Twinkie.”  But like all food-related issues, it goes down to something much, much deeper.  For me, it’s a reminder that I’m edging up on 30 and will not always be effortlessly lithe and that’s sort of a drag.  But more than that, it’s intricately linked with fears of failure.

I am terrified of being perceived as lazy.  My generation is looked down upon by Gen-Xers as being spoiled little marshmallows, and the Baby Boomers that raised us think we’re a bunch of moochers who selfishly want them to give us jobs after college.  And worse, we’ve got a squishly little (redacted) like Lena Dunham prancing around pretending to be the “voice” of our generation when really she’s just a rich girl writing in her diary about how hard life is for a girl to make it when her parents gave her everything, like a TV show.  Life is TOTES UNFAIR, LENA.

Point is, if you’re not working three jobs eight days a week 24 hours a day, politicians in ugly suits will tell you that you are WORTHLESS SCUMBAGS and FOOD-STAMP GRUBBING WELFARE QUEENS who take the HARD EARNED MONEY (left over from their parent’s fortune) and have A HUNDRED ABORTIONS each.  So I work.  And I work and I work and I work and at 30 I’m homeless, unmarried and underwater on my student loans.

But with laziness also comes not being beautiful.  I know wives who resent their husbands for desiring them and who believe it’s their right to wear nothing but sweatpants and eat bags of chips and watch TV, because that’s what being a woman has become to them.  And I always laughed at them, thinking how selfish they were being, because honestly, if you want your husband to not be a fat lazy toad, you can’t be one yourself.  I have always tried to dress for every occasion, even if it’s searching around a junkyard, because I hate looking slovenly.  Looking nice was a way of telling the world, “I take this seriously.”

But for the first time in my life, I felt a little of that kind of resentment.  I was angry, because I too wanted a little space to breathe, to eat, to relax without feeling guilty.  I was mad at him for saying something because I wanted to believe that I had earned the right to go a little soft after everything that’s happened in the last few months.  I worry that there’s a divide between wanting to be fed and wanting to be loved.  

I also have major food issues that I’ve never told anyone about.  I do love food, but when I get depressed (usually because I haven’t eaten), it becomes about “deserving” food.  I’ve gone hungry more than once. I’ve eaten lunches made up of free samples, but when your choices are pay rent or eat, well, sometimes you have to take the risk that someone else will feed you because no one’s going to pay your rent but you.  Or there are days when I get so caught up in work that there isn’t time to eat.  I used to work a lot of terrible retail jobs that gave you 15 minutes break for six hours work.  I know what it’s like to go hungry, and it’s a raw, brutal fear that burrows into your gut until you feel so sick you can’t eat, even though you know you have to, until the actual act of eating becomes either a forced chore or all-out gluttony as I try and eat as much as I can for fear that there won’t be any tomorrow.

But Ian’s making me lunch now.  And I’ll start working out again (Arlene Style!), trying to take time for meals.  And maybe somewhere in this mixed-up crazy stunt, I might actually find a way to love myself.

Doubtful, but hey, HGB has a diet where you drink wine and eat steaks, so there’s that to look forward to.


Glam Geek Gets Double Crossed (Stitch)

I had a sick day last week, but because I can’t just sit still, I decided that if I was going to be stuck in bed all day, I might as well take up a new hobby.

When we moved, I found a cross-stitch program that I’d ordered back in Binghamton back when I used to order tons of free stuff to supplement my poverty–I only recently let go of the Beechnut baby bowl that was once my only bowl–and decided now was as good a time as any to take up needlework.  My grandma was awesome at embroidery, quilting and cross-stitch, taught me to sew and knit, so I felt like I was doing this in her memory.

Maybe it’s not in any of my beauty books, but cross-stitch is RAD.  Crafts are RAD.  And Ian thinks it’s so awesome, he wants me to teach him how to do it, so we’re going to make a cross-stitch date. 

Cross-stitch also allows me to indulge in my love of geeky chibi things.  And with MyPhotoStitch, I can make all sorts of nerdy crafts.  Like this.  Or This.  OR THIS.  And it’s easy.  Really easy. Easy enough that I can do it when I’m sick.



Nearly Stranded and Almost Fabulous

“The ancient custom of foot-binding in China, makes a girl feminine and helpless, and she can’t run away” Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl

This is how I found myself standing in 4″ platform open-toed spike booties in the middle of a sleet storm in Boston.

Believing, foolishly, that I would be inside and sitting through most of the AWP Conference in Boston, I packed my favorite Betsey Johnson booties, the ones that make men motion me over just so they can tell me how beautiful I looked (this happened last week at the B-Side Ballroom–I’ve never had a man compliment me on my shoes ever).  We had to go to see my friends Lexa, Jaed and Suzanne read at the Boston Public Library, and since we were one of the flagship events, I wanted to look fine.

So I wore the booties with skinny jeans and a sparkly grey sweater, strutting through the mall that connected our hotel to the conference center.  Yeah, I looked good.

But when I got outside, it was sleeting.  Matthew was also trying to look good, so he wore is Kenneth Cole shoes, which are also not designed for hoofing through Boston in the middle of a snowstorm. I clung to his arm and he tried not to slip on the sloppy sidewalks.  

I was in a bad mood already, and I give him all the credit in the world for not stranding me in the middle of the sidewalk, because I wouldn’t have made it home and would still be standing out there, ankle-deep in slush.  

And he should give me credit for not forcing him to carry me like the foot-bound beauty that I was.