Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008

It's the last day of the year. Kinda hard to believe.
We've been inundated with all the year-end stuff: Lists, year-in-reviews, all the resolutions that were or were not fulfilled, etc.
Me, I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. If I think of something I want to do or change, why wait?
(Unless it's resolving to stop procrastinating. I'll do that next year.)
But looking back over the past year, there has been a lot of good. And a lot of bad.
Like any year.
2008 will, for me, be the year I finally started teaching Pilates. But it will also be the year I lost my dad. Pretty suddenly.
It is the year when the economy went into the toilet, but we elected a man to be president who gives us hope. The first non-white president. A year when two of the major contenders for the job were an African -American and a woman. And a VP candidate was a woman. (And the president-elect takes his daughters to lunch at a shopping center right down the road from my Sister-In-Law's house! The same place where we sat next to a couple of guys from "Dog the Bounty Hunter." Forget Hollywood: if you want to see famous people, go to Hawaii, lol!)
Instead of resolutions, I think I'll say a little prayer for us all. Every one of us on the good earth. And try to keep good thoughts in my head and good feelings in my heart.
So, on this last day of the year, I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. Thanks for stopping by. I'll try and post more often in '09, lol!

Monday, December 22, 2008

No Silent Nights Here

Our little girl is screaming. Again. Once a year, at different times of the year, she goes through a 2-6 week period of being uber-fussy.
Actually, that's putting it mildly. Kinda like saying the Grand Canyon is somewhat large.
Her fussiness is akin to a nuclear meltdown. Actually, several nuclear meltdowns a day.
But it's the worst at night. Like clockwork, at 1 AM, she wakes up and the screaming commences. We've tried everything. And I mean EVER.Y.THING.
She doesn't sleep. She cries, she screams, she beats her fists in the air and kicks her legs. Then, after about 45 minutes to an hour, she calms down and is happy. She plays in her room.
Until the screaming starts again.
We've given her music. Water. Snacks. Medicine. Baby Einstein. Lots and lots and lots of cuddles. We've changed her diet. Taken her to the pediatrician. Talked it over with her teachers, behavioral therapists, occupational therapist, other parents.
No one knows a damn thing.
No one knows how to make it better.
So the screaming continues.
Until, miraculously, it stops. And she's back to her usual, happy self. The girl who tucks herself in at night and wakes up early, happy and excited for the new day. Who gives hugs and kisses, who giggles and wants tickles.
But we're not there right now.
She can't tell us what's wrong. Where it hurts. What she needs. She doesn't sleep. We don't sleep. We try to be patient, but sometimes it just gets to be too much. There is sometimes yelling. Or crying from the grown-ups. We are exhausted, worried, and heartsick. We can't make it better for our little girl.
And it kills me.
Every time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HMMMM. Biggest Loser.

So, I watched the finale of "The Biggest Loser" last night. I don't watch it much during the season, but I can't seem to resist the finale. It's like seeing a fender-bender on the freeway; cringe-worthy, but you can't stop looking. Especially when the contestants crash through life-sized "before" photos and pose, to the thunderous applause of the studio audience.
One of the finalists (I can't remember her name. I know, shocking that I can't remember something, lol!) came out in a slinky dress and high heels, then almost fell down the stairs. Luckily, Trainer Bob was there to catch her before she fell.
The other female finalist won (yay, girl power!) and is now a spokesmodel. Gawd, I hate that term!
And ALL the contestants talk about how miserable they were before they lost the weight. Believe me, I understand how cruel the world is to fat people! But doesn't a show like this just reinforce that? It's all about taking ridiculously drastic measures to lose a lot of weight fairly quickly. (7 months is a short time in which to lose over 100 pounds.) And every week the contestants strip down to shorts (and, for the women, sports bras) and getting on a giant scale. To top it off, if they lose fewer than 5 pounds IN A WEEK, they're deemed a failure. And one of the finalists had actually GAINED 2 pounds in the last week at the ranch! GASP!!!!
Yes, they give lip service to how it's the changes on the inside that mean the most, but it's the person who loses the most weight that wins $250,000, not the one who gains the most confidence. They're showing off their new slim physiques, not the self-love and patience they've garnered.
And, needless to say, once the contest is over, the weight tends to creep back on.

The hardest part, for me, is that I think Gillian and Bob, the two trainers, are great - when they're not on the show!!!! They both have books and DVDs out, and I've read bits and worked out to the DVDs. And they are full of helpful advice and great workouts. (I LOVE Gillian's "30-Day Shred!") I just have a huge issue with the tactics on the show, and the premise itself.
I'm of the opinion that weight loss is a deeply personal thing. Not everyone wants to lose weight. Not every fat person has issues with food. I know MANY heavier folks who are amazingly fit. If someone does want to lose weight, that is their prerogative. If they feel the best way to do it is to go on national television and get screamed at, well, I guess that's their prerogative, as well. But the demonization of fat, and, especially, of FAT PEOPLE, really bugs me! And a show that gives us a group of self-hating people who only learn to love themselves once they lose the weight is just...wrong!

Why is it "better" to be anorexic than obese? Why do we reward people who use drugs and starve themselves and exercise obsessively in order to stay thin? Why do we continue to use peoples' bodies, especially womens', as commodities? When will we realize that peoples' bodies are private, and none of our business?

BTW, there is a terrific post over on about a Rebellyon against the super-skinny ideal, as well as the music industry. Definitely worth checking out.

Finally, there is a BRAND NEW MUPPETS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL on tonight!!!!!!!!!
(It's the little things that make me happy!) And Miss Piggy NEVER goes on a diet, she just stays fabulous!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Confession Time

It's said that confession is good for the soul, right? Having not grown up Catholic (even though my mother did), I don't have any firsthand experience with the confessional booth. (My dad was Jewish, and we were raised that way, with a smidge of Christianity thrown in.)
Anyway, there's been something bugging me lately, and I need to get it off my chest. Literally. (And when I say "latey," I mean for pretty much my entire life.)
My weight. And, yeah, one of the places I gain is in my boobs. It's not as great as some would think, lol!
Yes, I realize most women are plagued by body image issues (which, considering the number of women there are in the world, really sucks! That's a lot of issues!) and I could go on and on about how our culture promotes unrealistic and unhealthy ideals for what is considered attractive, or the fact that, as pointed out so well by Charlotte on "The Great Fitness Experiment," you have to have ribs and bones poking out of your skin in order to be considered thin nowadays, or that I think it's a vast conspiracy to keep people from meeting their full potential because how the hell can you when you're too busy starving and exercising to spend time on anything else? Or that many celebrities and models, who claim to have good genes and fast metabolisms, actually WORK REALLY HARD AND TAKE EXTREME MEASURES IN ORDER TO LOOK THE WAY THEY DO! Celebrities don't work out at home just because they can, or because they want to avoid being stared at while they work out (which, by the way, is completely understandable), they do this so they can keep their hard work a bit of a secret. Because, for whatever reason, their handlers don't want people knowing that they don't look that way naturally. Gunnar Petersen, who works with a lot of celebs, said that he just shakes his head every time he reads an interview with one of his clients and they say "Oh, I just walk my dog!" Meanwhile, he's at their house for 1-2 hours a day, 5 days a week, putting them through some tough workouts. He wonders why they're ashamed of confessing to having to work hard. Isn't hard work a good thing? And (I LOVE him for this), why not just be honest? Just say "Yeah, I work out a lot. It's hard. But it's part of my job, and I get paid a lot of money for it, so I do it."
I'm not gonna get into all the eating disorders, the cigarette-and-iced-coffee diets, or the drugs-to-keep-the-weight-down tactics.
Of course there are more honest celebrities, like my mad girl-crush Kate Winslet, who hates working out, is very honest about her weight struggles and body image issues (like when she ripped one magazine a new one for photoshopping her to make her look thinner), and the fact that she is now at peace with both her beautiful body and with food.
Which brings me, in my very roundabout way, to my confession. I started intuitive eating 2 years ago. It's also known as non-dieting. It's about giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want. From this, you learn to pay attention to your body's signals; hunger, satiety, thirst, exhaustion, etc. And you learn to stop bingeing, or restricitng, or both. I LOVE this idea, and I truly believe that it will work for me.
Because, like many others, I went into it as a way to lose weight. I started by treating it like any other diet; there are rules that MUST be followed, I'm a failure if I don't do it exactly right, I HAVE to do this or that, etc.
Eventually, you realize that there are no rules. Each of us is different. "Rules" go against our own instincts. (I'm still talking about food here, not things like stopping at a red light, lol!)
So, I bought and skimmed a bunch of books on the subject. I joined online groups. I even got help over the phone from an expert. It has all helped A LOT. (Although now I'm going back and actually READING the books!)
But I've still put on 20 pounds.
Then I went right back into diet mentality. The old, "what'swrongwithmewhyamIstillso"fat"whycan'tIloseweightlikeotherpeopleyadayadayada." Should I be a vegan? Should I go Primal? Should I train for a marathon? Do Bikram yoga? Oh there's so much confusion, SO MUCH GUILT! And, in the end, a lot of...
I know. I'm happily married with two amazing young kids who keep me on my toes. How can I be lonely?
But I am.
I think I always have been.
Because I never learned how to be truly comfortable in my own skin.
Which is strange, because I've spent more of my life alone than I have with other people. When I lived in Boston and then New York, I went everywhere by myself. But I always had a book or a walkman with me. (Yes, a casette walkman. I'm old, ok?!?) I also have a terrific fantasy life. If I could calm my ADD ass down enough to actually sit still for more than 15 minutes, I could probably be a great writer. But I was really good at spinning fantasies and stories so that I wouldn't feel the lonliness. Not that I realized it at the time, of course.
For a while, being an actor was perfect. I could play out all these different fantasies. But then it wasn't fun anymore. I was living someone else's story (the plawright's), intererpeting it someone else's way (the director's). And I was never quite good enough. Even with great reviews, accolades, compliments, etc., I never felt good enough. (And there were certainly many people only too willing to back that opinion up! Little did I know that it had everything to do with them and nothing with me.)
Last night I was alone with the kids. Again. My husband is in a show in San Francisco (yay!) and the kids and I hang out at home while he's performing.
And it's lonely.
Don't get me wrong: I'm SO glad DH is performing again!!!! And I hope he gets more work! But I need to find a way with being content at home when he's not there.
You see, a few years ago, when the kids were very young, he was away a lot. He was always working and I was home with the kids. They were not as managable as they are now, lol! and it was REALLY hard. I had no family around, and all of my friends were from my theater days. They weren't exactly gung-ho to come over and hang out with the kids. So it was the three of us, 24/7. (I'd looked into some of those moms' groups, but they were awful, lol! And it was hard, with 2 kids with Autism, finding play groups.) I was alone and overwhelmed and, yes, scared.
Last night reminded me of those times. I ended up eating. A LOT. To the point of feeling a little sick. And I fianlly realized that I was trying to distract myself from feeling lonely and scared.
Las night I dreamed that I was in a car, driving. There were people in the passenger and back seats. The person in back kept poking me, hard, and I was starting to bruise. Even when we got to our destination, he was still poking me. I kept telling him to stop, and hitting him with a fan (the kind you hold and flutter), but I felt powereless, and I knew he was just gonna keep on poking me. Like an annoying older brother. But I felt SO frustrated! When I woke up, I thought of something my therapist told me: every person in a dream is a manifestation of yourself.
I keep poking at myself! Annoying and hurting MYSELF!!!! Fighting MYSELF. There is a big part of me that wants to change, but another part of me, the frightened part of me, is fighting it. Because change is scary.
If I start meeting my own needs, doesn't that mean I'm selfish? Won't people stop loving me if I stop putting their needs ahead of my own all the time? Won't they leave me, alone and bereft?
Logically, I know the answer is no. But there is a huge part of me that fears it, just the same. Because for all the lonliness I've felt and continue to feel, the prospect of being left, alone and unloved, is one of the scariest things I can imagine. I've spent most of my life convinced that if I did ANYTHING wrong, that's exactly what would happen.
But I don't want my kids to learn that lesson.

So one thing I've just started working on is finding time for ME. A few weeks ago I realized that I'm either at work, at home with the kids, or at the grocery store.
Which is just kinda pathetic!!!!
So on Thursday morning I drove into the city, walked the dog along the Embarcadero, got some coffee, and just chilled. No classes, no workouts, no responsibilites (aside from cleaning up after the dog).
And it was GREAT!!!!!!!

And I'm gonna do that more. And, eventually, I'll find some friends to do all that hanging out with.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Enough, Already!

OK. I get it. Kids, by which I mean teens, are known for doing dumb things. Taking ridiculous chances. Not worrying too much about the future. But, really?
Teen girls and boys are sending naked photos of themselves to friends over the internet or texting them on their cellphones. And then they're surprised when the photos are seen by people other than the ones they were sent to. HELLO!?!?!?
Now, I'm not unsympathetic. It's a brave new world, technologically. What you think may be private usually isn't. And I certainly feel for any kid who finds themselves on the receiving end of teasing, or worse, from a naked photo that got spread around. But WHERE ARE THE PARENTS? Granted, most kids are more technologically advanced that their parents, but most adults know that sending a naked photo of yourself, in any manner, is likely to come back and bite you on your (naked) ass.
And the consequences can be dangerous. You put a photo on the internet and it's basically accessible to ANYONE ON THE PLANET. And there are some scary people out there! But the truth is, it's usually the person to whom that photo was sent who decides to share it with his/her friends. Or, y'know, post it on FaceBook.
And I have to rant about something else: why are we NOT teaching our girls about self-defense? About being smart, about how to handle being out in a crowd , how to keep themselves safe? And why are we not teaching our boys about treating people well, not taking advantage, and being respectful? I realize peer pressure is huge, but these are lessons that NEED to be taught.
A young woman has gone missing from a Manhattan night club, last seen leaving with a young man WHO IS A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER.
First of all, how does a guy like that get to leave his home in Orange County, N.Y., to troll nightclubs in Manhattan?!?!?! Ever since this woman was reported missing, 10 other women have come forward saying that they were assaulted by this guy. He was arrested yesterday on a parole violation. WTF?!?!?!
Authorities KNEW this guy was a criminal. He was REGISTERED as a sex offender, for cryin' out loud!!!!! I KNOW we have problems with our judicial system, but this is ridiculous! We have GOT to stop treating assault victims as criminals, and START treating the rapists as criminals!

As parents, we need to teach our girls to be smart, strong, and to stop treating themselves like Playboy model wannabees. To, sad to say, be more distrustful of strangers. To take care of themselves.

Of course there are situations where an attack becomes unavoidable. So we place the blame where it belongs: ON THE ATTACKER. No one ever ever "deserves" to be assaulted!!! For God's sake!

Sorry for the rant, but I'm just SO ANGRY!!!!!!!

Enough, Already!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Um, Airbrushing Jessica Alba?!?!?!

OK. She's 27. She's freakin' gorgeous. Yes, she just had a baby, she's probably not getting a whole lot of sleep, but you'd never know it from the photos that have leaked onto the internet. (I don't have a link, but if you're curious, go and you can see the pre- and post- airbrushing photos.
(What's even weirder is that they even photoshopped the pool. Odd.)
I think the apocolypse is coming. If Jessica Alba has to be airbrushed, what hope is there for the rest of us ever living up to this supposed ideal?
So, I've stopped trying. Never mind. I''ve had enough. It's not physically possible, anyway, and I have far more important things to spend my time and energy on.
Do I still want to lose weight? Yup! But I no longer feel like a bad person because I've put on weight. And I don't see the point in torturing myself in order to look like an unreachable ideal that objectifies women and negates everything about them beyond what they look like. That teaches girls to focus solely on their looks, to the detriment of their health. Did you know that smoking among teenage girls is up? Because they don't want to get fat. And don't even get me started on the rates of EDs!
Having been on the receiving end of it, I understand the pressure for girls and women in the public eye to lose weight. But I just wish some of the highly successful ones would get together and refuse to do so! Just imagine; Angelina, Jessica, Halle, et. al. just said no. Nope. Forget it. I refuse to be super-skinny. Either take me as I am, or not at all.
Sure, some prducers might replace them with other people, but Hollywood is all about the bottom line, and if they believe that Angelina will bring the money in, they're gonna go after her. Even with 10 extra pounds.
I realize it takes a strong person to do this. But I keep hoping.

Anyway, on a lighter note, the "Charlie Brown" Christmas special is on tonight!!!!!!!! Hello, Snoopy! And, speaking of cute dogs, if you want to see one, google "Malamute/Corgi mix" and click on "Mahalo." She's a (now) 4 year-old mix, and so ridiculously cute, and I want one!!!!! (We used to have a Malamute, and our current dog is a Corgi mix.) She's got a Corgi body with Malamute coloring.
Did I mention that I want one?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Autism and Vaccines

I just don't know what to think. I honestly don't know whether immunizations contribute to Autism or not. I tend to believe it's more about genetic and environmental factors than immunizations. Maybe because, with our kids, it didn't happen overnight. The symptoms came on gradually. With our son, he developed fairly typically until just before his second birthday. He didn't backslide, he just kind of stalled. And he'd had quirks even as a baby.
I remember one toy in particular: it had a little door that would open and close. If that door was open, he'd close it. He'd never open it. We'd open it, and he's close it. Even if he was playing with something else, on the other side of the room, if one of us picked up that toy and opened the door, he'd stop whatever he was doing, crawl over, and close the little door. I remember thinking one time "that seems like Autistic behavior." Then immediately trying to put the thought out of my mind because, of course, that was silly; our son didn't have Autism!
Our daughter didn't develop typically. She had a lot of delays, and cried more than seemed normal; huge, piercing crying jags that went on for hours, and we couldn't pinpoint what she needed. She still has them, when she's not feeling well (like this week). She doesn't speak, so she can't tell us what's wrong. I can only try and guess, and go from there. And when her little lip sticks out, and her big brown eyes fill with tears, it just rips my heart out.
Jenny McCarthy was on CNN a few months ago, and she told a doctor that she doesn't immunize her son anymore. "Give him measles!" she said. "I'd rather have measles than this!" (Meaning Autism.)
The problem is, it's not just about measles. It's about horrible, potentially deadly, highly infectious diseases that spread through populations very quickly. Especially populations that haven't been immunized.
Truth? I HATE that my kids have Autism! I worry about them constantly. I hate seeing them struggle with things that other kids do naturally. I'm angry and scared. But I'd rather they have Autism and be ALIVE than without Autism and seriously ill or dead from a preventable disease.
Ideally? We have immunizations that don't have the potential to harm. We don't force parents to choose between disease and Autism, as many parents feel they are doing. I realize we're in an economic slump, but this should be a priority, because A LOT of kids are going without vaccinations, and it's scary.
I try to focus on the positives, and there are many. My kids are happy, and physically quite healthy. They don't need to take medication (other than the occasional cold medicine or tummy remedy). We have met many amazing people through their Autism: teachers, other parents, social workers, therapists, and on and on. If our kids were "typical," we'd probably still be living in L.A., pursuing acting careers, and being unhappy. And I do believe that it has made us better parents, and brought us closer together as a couple.
I wouldn't trade my family for anything. I happen to think our kids are pretty amazing. Everyone who meets them falls in love with them. They bring a lot of joy into the world around them, and get a lot of love in return.
When I look at it that way, it's pretty darn good!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

There Is A Cat...

Wandering around our complex, mewling like his heart is broken. I went outside earlier, and he came right up to me. It was a combination of wrapping himself around my legs, playfully batting at my shins, and hissing and trying to bite. He followed me onto our deck, then took off when he saw the dog. He's very cute, is a little schizophrenic, and he's clean and well-fed, so I doubt he's a stray. But his mewling is breaking my heart! I just want to bring him inside and cuddle!
Something tells me he and the dog might not be best friends, though.
Although it wouldn't be on her part (the dog's, that is). A couple of years ago I found a beagle puppy roaming the streets of our neighborhood. I took him home, put up notices, and he stayed overnight. Luna, our dog, wasn't thrilled, but being part Corgi, she looked after him anyway. (The next day his humans called, and came to bring him home.)
A couple of years before that, we found an injured baby bird in the yard. We put him in a box and brought him in, placing the box on the dining rook table. Luna stood guard by the box, and every once in a while would place her front paws on the table and peer inside to make sure the little guy was OK. (Later in the day, his mom came to our walkway, and we put him outside so he could skip over to her. She took him home. It was very cute!)
She's very protective of our kids. The other day I brought them out onto the front deck to play. She came out and sat by them, keeping them in sight at all times. She's also been keeping an eye on our daughter, who isn't feeling well and has been crying a lot. Luna stays with her, comes to her whenever she cries, and makes sure to check on her first thing in the morning.
She's also protective of any child she comes into contact with, as well as pregnant women. She was only 2 when I got pregnant for the first time. Overnight she went form being the somewhat hyperactive baby of the family to my personal bodyguard. And the day we brought our son home from the hospital, she very gently put her paws on his crib to look in on him, saw that he was sleeping, and very quietly took her paws off to lay down by his crib. When we brought our daughter home, we put her car seat on the floor with her asleep in it. Luna came over, sniffed, and sat down next to her.
She lets them pull her tail, yank at her fur, use her for a horsey, a slide, a stepstool, and a foot massager. She lets them play with her food, her water, and her toys. She understands that they come first.
A year ago, when I had to take her to the vet at 8:00 on a Friday night, she was very patient and let them poke and prod her. When we were in the lobby and another woman came in, very upset because her old dog was quite sick and was going to be put down, Luna went over and sat at the woman's feet while she cried.
She stands still when I clean out her ears, even though she hates it. She takes her medicine, even though she doesn't want to. She leaves the room whenI swear, because she's sensitive that way. And when our other two dogs passed away, she was very sad.
She's a wonderful dog. An old soul, I think. And I hope she sticks around for a long time to come.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's been almost a week since my last post. Good thing this isn't my job!
I'm just trying to wrap my head around the fact that we're two days away from Thanksgiving. Where the heck did the year go?
It's strange to think that just 2 1/2 months ago I was talking to my dad on the phone, and now he's gone. My parents came to visit us in March, and I kept thinking how good Dad looked. Healthy and fit. He'd beaten his cancer, right? But I didn't know that no one on his team of doctors and specialists expected him to survive. That he hadn't beaten it, only bought himself more time.
But at least it was quality time! He got to spend time with all his grandkids, as well as family and friends. He kept writing. I know that if he had a choice in how he would have spent his last year on earth, he wouldn't have had it any other way. Well, aside from the CT scans and hospital visits.
My mom is on her way to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with my brother and his family at Clemson University, where my niece is a student. Then she'll be coming out here for Christmas. It'll be her first holiday season in more than 40 years without Dad, so it'll be hard. But at least she'll be with family.
Anyway, it's been quite a year. Today, I'm going to relax a bit. Take a few hours off. Well, as much as I can, with two little urchins running around, lol!

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

(BTW, if you happen to be in Chicago this weekend [which I, unfortunately, am not], there's a big "Doctor Who" convention going on!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jennifer Garner, Don't Let Me Down!!!!

The always adorable JenGar has been appearing in some ads lately for a new Neutrogena nighttime moisturizer. Now, I'm a big fan of the Neutro, ever since I had a horrifying case of acne in my early 20's and used their basic cleanser to help make it go away. (I also LOVE their sesame body oil! Smells so good!)
Anyway, I was looking through a magazine, and they recommended this moisturizer because it's supposed to help you wake up looking well-rested, even if you aren't. I've noticed that lately i've been looking a bit, well, dead. And not sexy-"Twilight"-vampire-eternally 17-and- dewey-undead, just...dead. ( Like Night of the Living Dead. With about as much energy, though a different diet.) Last night, I even put on makeup before I taught my class. I almost NEVER wear makeup, but I didn't want to scare my clients.
It didn't help.
That's when I knew it was time to break out the big guns. So, on my way home after class, I stopped at the drugstore and dropped $30 on the moisturizer AND some new Biore nighttime eye cream, which purports to help one "appear more rested." I slathered both on before bed, popped an Advil PM (thank you, monthly cycle, for the gift of cramps AND insomnia!) and crawled under the covers, waiting for the magic to begin.
And was awoken, again, at 5:30 by a crying child.
I have to wonder if ANYTHING can help my 39 year-old, perpetually sleep-deprived skin from looking like it's been 6 feet under for a couple of months. I drink more water nowadays (which leads to more quality time in the bathroom), and that seems to help a bit. And my skin DOES look a bit less sallow this morning. But what I really need is 8 (or more) uninterrupted, glorious hours of sleep. Every night.
Which ain't gonna happen for a while.
So, in the meantime, I'll be relying on internal and external hydration and, gulp, makeup. Maybe just some mineral powder. Y'know, to hide the shadows (and the zits, courtesy, once more, of my monthly friend).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Rantings!

Why do guys drop the weights on the weight floor at the gym? Is it for show, or are they really that tired? I understand the whole lift-to-fatigue thing, but... really?
At the JCC I teach my classes in the main studio. Which is right under the weight room. Let me tell ya, it's kinda hard to get clients to relax and focus when they feel like the ceiling is going to cave in on them at any second, followed by a 50-pound weight and a roid-raging male. One night we had an earthquake, except no one knew for the first few seconds 'cause we thought it was the guys dropping their weights.
I also do private trainings on the weight room floor at another gym. We have a Reformer set up in the corner. Normally it's quite nice, because it's in the morning and many of the folks there are older. But on Monday we had a guy in his 20's who just kept grunting and dropping, grunting and dropping. I could see my clients cringeing, and eventually one of the other trainers had a word with him, but it was a bit frustrating.
I realize that people pay their dues and have the right to work out whenever and (mostly) however they want, and I guess this is one of those annoying gym behavior things that Charlotte blogged about a few months ago. But I must admit that it BUGS THE CRAP OUTTA ME, lol!

Anyway, on a much lighter (no pun intended-no, really!) and happier note, we had a party for my daughter on Friday, and it was really fun. I also fell asleep at 9:30. At my house. During a party.
The old gray mare ain't what she used to be.

And I donated my hair last week. 10 inches. It's now just above my shoulders, and I feel about 6 pounds lighter. 'Course, I look like Bozo the Clown, but that's beside the point. It FEELS good, darnit!

OK, done ranting for now. I'm gonna go lie on the couch and recover from all this grousing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Rantings of a PMS-ing Female.

I can't really handle most reality TV, other than "Dancing With the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance." (Hmm....theme?) I know "Top Chef" debuts tonight, and everyone I know is pretty darn excited, but I was just watching a rerun from a previous season, and had to turn it off after a few minutes. 'Cause I've got enough stress in my life, I don't need to live it vicariously through people on TV!
Actually, there was a great article in the paper today that explained the difference between "reality" and "unscripted" television: "If you feel like a voyeur, need to take a shower, or worry about the sorry state of humankind after watching it, that's reality television. If you were entertained without abject, crippling shame or if you learned something - even if it came while watching guys blow stuff up on 'Mythbusters' - then it's probably an acceptable form of unscripted television."
That made me laugh, even in my state of nearly uncnotollable, PMS-induced rage.
Yes, it's That Time Of The Month Again. A time when humanity can do no right. When dogs are the best people I know. When my face resembles Orion's belt, and I can't wear a regular belt to save my life, 'cause I'm bloated out to HERE.
And the damn phone keeps ringing, and when I answer it, whoever's on the line HANGS UP!!!! OVER AND OVER AND OVER!!!! I'm thinking I should call the phone company and let them know, 'cause it's been going on for quite a while now.
The other day a guy called and he had the wrong number. He said "You sound nice. What's your name?" And I said "Take care, buh-bye" and hung up. And I'm kinda glad he didn't call today, because I probably would have reached through the phoine line and strangled him with his own intestines.
Suffice to say, my mind and emotions are in a jumble. Today was my first day off in a week and a half, and I've been running around like that headless chicken, only not as quietly. I took a Pilates workshop over the weekend, which was AMAZING and wonderful, but I kept catching glimpses of myself in the mirror and despairing over the weight I've put on in the past 2 years.
I've been beating myself up for quite a while over my weight. The thing is, I just don't feel "right" in my body! It's very disturbing. I can easily accept others' weight, whatever that is, but my weight just feels so wrong! So what do I do? I eat a ton of pizza tonight. I'm trying to tell myself that it's OK, but it just has that awful bingey feeling I used to get when I was Bulimic. I didn't eat nearly as much tonight as I did back then, but still, I just feel yucky.
Hmm. I may need to put a call in to my therapist.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Need Some Advice

Is there anyone reading this who has any food intolerances? Celiac disease? I'm thinking I may have a gluten and dairy intolerance. Not an allergy, per se, but I'm trying to cut down on the amount of wheat, dairy, etc. to see if it helps. I'd appreciate any words of wisdom you may have. Thanks!!!!

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!

Today is my little girl's 5th birthday!!!!!!!!!! It's kinda hard to believe, seeing as my son had just turned 5 when we moved here 2 years ago, and she wasn't even 3. Wow. She was born just after 10:00 pm in Burbank, CA. I'd had trouble pushing her out because a) the epidural had worn off (YOUCH!), b) the umbilical cord was wrapped around her wrist (unlike my son, who had the cord wrapped around his NECK!), and c) my OB-GYN kept mentioning the full Beaver moon. I thought she was talking about me, seeing as I was lying on a table with my legs in stirrups and was naked from the waist down. But it turns out she was referring to the November moon, as that's what it's referred to as. (Grammar?)
So anyway, I was laughing really hard. It may also have been that the supplemental oxygen they were giving me was making me loopy (or loopier than usual), but it struck me as really funny.
Eventually I calmed down and, 40 minutes later, was holding my little patootie in my arms. So here we are, 5 years later, and she's in kindergarten.

Monday, November 3, 2008

OMG! YouTube!!!

If you go to YouTube and type in "One West Waikiki Intro" you'll get to see the opening credits of a series my husband was on back in the early 90's. He was all of 23 at the time, and they gave him bangs!! So cute!!!! He's the 4th actor credited.

Check it out!!!!!!!!!!

On This Monday Before Election Day, I'd Just Like to Say...

...AAAAAAAUUUUUUUGHGHGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shut up!!!! Shutupshutupshutupshutupshutup!!!!!!!!!!!! Stop calling me! Stop sending me emails/sending me flyers/sticking flyers on my door/ inundating the airwaves with CAMPAIGN ADS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I GET IT, OK??!!

I'm voting. I know how and for whom I'm going to vote. I'll be there bright and early tomorrow morning, I'll punch the holes, or X the boxes, or punch out the chads, or WHATEVER, get my sticker, and wear it proudly.

Look, I realize this is politics. I know that A LOT of money has been spent to encourage us to vote one way or another. I realize what is at stake. I also realize that many people are still undecided, and that voter turnout has been notoriously low over the past 15 years or so. (But probably not this year.)

But this election has been going on for nearly 2 years!!!! Most election years are tough (for me), but this has been INSANE!!! I, for one, dispise election ads. I hate the sound-bite coverage. I prefer to try and make up my own mind. I strongly believe that everyone who can vote should vote, and I love that people are passionate about their candidates and their causes. But the inundation that happens at this time is just ANNOYING!!!!!
And our remote is broken, so I don't even have a mute button! WAH!!!

Let me say this: I'm a fairly anxious person (I know, SHOCKING!). I can't watch basketball because I get nervous. I don't watch debates because they make me cringe in fear. For the past few years I've only read novels with happy endings because I can't handle things that don't end well. I'm on anti-anxiety medication, fer cryin' out loud!!!!!!
There are people and issues in this campaign that make me VERY nervous. The more I pay attention to it, the more nervous I get. And this is a very close election. There are no guarantees.
I also can't stand to see people being treated badly. Again, I know it's politics, and these days it's part of the game, but the negative campaigns and character assasinations make me a bit ill. And angry. I hate how each side demonizes the other. Because, despite what the politicians tell us, whether we're liberal, conservative, independent, libertarian, green party, or whatever, we are none of us EVIL. We're all just trying to get along.

At times like this I have to remind myself of what we do in tough times. After Katrina, it was the regular folk who volunteered, who got there first, who handed out the much-needed water and food. Same with this hurricane season. And no one was at the door asking the volunteers whether they were voting for Obama or McCain, and turning them away if they gave the "wrong" answer.

I guess I'm lucky. I'll come right out and say that I'm pretty liberal. But many of my family members are quite conservative. And we not only love each other, we like and respect each other. I grew up with friends from all over the political and religious spectrum, and they taught me that love trumps pretty much everything, even politics. It's the people in my life who hold some different beliefs who remind me that we are all human, and we all deserve respect.

I think that one of the (many) truly great things about this country is our diversity, along with our freedom to express ourselves. Sometimes I have to remind myself that embracing the unknown, the unfamiliar, or that which is different, while scary, is so worth it. I would have missed out on some amazing relationships if I'd let politics get in the way.

Wow. I'd originally meant this to be a light, humorous post. Hmm. Oh well!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's the Little Things

I was just reading Meg Cabot's blog about how she accepted a dare from a fellow author to dress up as a fairy for Halloween and go out in public (apparently she's got a fairy phobia). You can read all about it on her website, but suffice to say she had a great time AND got carded at a bar!
A couple of years ago, when we still lived in L.A., I was at the grocery store (sans kids, who were waiting in the car with Hubby) and I was buying some wine for a recipe (no, really!), and I got carded. I rushed right out to the car and squealed all about it. It was very exciting!
I also heard a story once from my grandfather about how he and his friends took another friend out for lunch on his 72nd birthday. They ordered a round of drinks, and the waiter asked the birthday boy for his I.D. It totally made his day!

Tonight we had to trim my daughter's fingernails which, believe me, is a lot harder than it sounds! It takes both of us, and still she squirms and kicks and screams and cries. My son was nearby, and at one point he came over to move my husband's hand away from the clippers! He also came over and gave her a big hug, afterwards. He's SO SWEET!!!!!!!! (A few days ago, at school, one of his classmates dribbled yogurt on her hand, so he got up to get a napkin and cleaned her hand! Isn't he adorable???!!!!!!!)
Then, last night, we went to a Halloween party at my SIL's house. My daughter pulled herself up onto a stool by the counter where the cake was and started to help herself. We all saw it and "Awwed!" which scared her. So I cut her a slice, she sat in her grandma's lap, and ate her cake in peace.
The two of them are so freakin' cute I almost can't handle it sometimes!
(I'm trying to post a photo of them in their Halloween costumes. He was a pirate and she was Dora the Explorer.)

So then today I was at the pet supply store to get our dog's special prescrition dog food (for her UTIs), ear powder (for her ear infection), and Glucosamine (for her arthritis...this poor dog!!!!!!) and I felt a nudge on my leg. I look down, and there's a boxer, who had picked up the scent of our mutt. Boxers are one of my favorite breeds, so of course I had to pet her and tell her how sweet and beautiful she is. And I had to look at the cats they have available for adoption, even though we can't adopt one 'cause my husband and his entire family are allergic, which means the kids have a chance of being allergic as well, so I'm reduced to stalking the neighbors' cats and staring at the ones in the pet supply store.

Finally, Hubby and I watched "27 Dresses" while we ate sushi. When the movie first came out I thought it looked kinda dumb, even though James Marsden is in it and I like him. But it was actually pretty cute, with a lot of funny moments in it, which was a nice surprise. Then we saw a preview for "Quantum of Solace," and I think we're gonna hafta actually go to a movie theater and see it, 'cause I don't want to have wait for it to come on cable! ESPECIALLY since there isn't a new full season of "Doctor Who" until 2010!!!! I gotta have my hot British men quota met!

It's the little things in life that mean so much, after all.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update on "Dancing With the Jerks."

"Big Fat Deal" has a post today about the whole thing, and she says it better than I could. My favorite quote: "Your penis does not give you the right to dictate my relationship with my body, you douchebag!"

Sorry if that offends anyone, but I gotta say I love it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

When I Was Younger...

I wished I could be one of those naturally thin girls who could eat whatever she wanted and not gain weight. But as I got older, I realized that I probably would not have found my love of working out if I had been one of those women. I started working out in my teens, right after puberty hit, because I suddenly had boobs and hips and wanted to lose weight. I wanted my pre-pubescent, non-threatening body back. The one that let me look my age, and not 10 years older. The one that let me sit in the corner, unnoticed, rather than the one that made me stand out and get unwanted attention from men on the subway.
I didn't consciously realize all this at the time, I just thought I was fat and ugly, and didn't look like the girls in "Seventeen" magazine.

But not being one of the pretty, popular girls was a blessing in disguise. It made me work harder, find something I was good at, and I knew who my real friends were. After all, who but a true friend would hang out with a neurotic nerd like me, lol?

Then I got older, and the only thing that mattered was being a "brilliant actress!" (Insert mental picture here of Jon Lovitz, from his days on "SNL," as the great act-or.) It was a different kind of neurosis. I wanted everyone to like me! If I was in a room with 100 people, and 95 of them were fawning all over me (hey, it could happen!), I'd be focused on the 5 that weren't.

And I still thought I was too fat.

Which led to Bulimia, then Anorexia, then over-exercising, along with every diet known to womankind.

Lately I find myself falling into a diet-y mindset again. It started, surpirse, surprise, when my dad was dying. But now I know that this would be THE WORST time to start a diet (not that there's ever a good time, since, um, diets don't work), but it would take focus away from what I need to do right now, which is grieve.

So I ate a lot of pasts tonight. And it's OK. I'm not going to stuff my feelings down with food. I'd just taught a Pilates class, will be teaching another in an hour, and I was hungry. Plus, if I do say so myself, it was GOOOOOOD!!!!!!

So, there are things we want which may not always be what we need. Or, y'know, what the Rolling Stones said.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dancing With the Jerks

First off, sorry I haven't posted in so long. (It's been a little crazy these past two weeks!)

BUT, I saw something on the internet today that really pi**sed me off. Apparently, two of the male dancers on "Dancing With the Stars" (one of whom is not actually ON the show this season) are complaining about two of the female dancers' weight.
Cheryl Burke, who has admitted to putting on a few pounds because she had the gall to go on vacation over the summer instead of working, has been getting a lot of negativity in cyberspace because she isn't as twig-like as usual. And a new cast member, Lacey Schwimmer, was also slammed by a costar for her supposed weight problem.
Louis (the one who looks like Harry Hamlin, but to whom I refer as "Louie the Loser")) and Maksim (hereafter to be referred to as "Makshole") have been very vocal, both to the ladies AND to the press, about the fact that they think these women are too fat. Loser goes so far as to say that people watch the show to be inspired to get in shape, and that seeing 2 dancers who are NOT in shape (according to him) is discouraging. For the viewers.
How generous of him.
Makshole went even further, saying he could barely stand to look at them!
I watch the show. I don't watch it so I can be "inspired to lose weight." I watch it because I love watching people dance, since I myself cannot. Dance, that is. Is Lacey too fat? Um, no! Has Cheryl put on a couple of pounds? Sure, but she looks amazing! She has even more "voom" in her "va-va-voom." And they are both incredible dancers.
(And I could be as fat as they are. If I lost 35 pounds!!!!)
If you ask me, those two guys should be permanently booted off the show for lack of tact.

Seriously, is it really they're business? If the producers don't care, why should they? Are they more interested in insulting their co-workers and driving even more young girls into disordered eating and exercising? 'Caue that's what they're doing.

A couple of seasons ago, Maksim left the show, saying he couldn't deal with "divas" like Marie Osmaond anymore, and he wanted to pursue "other prjects."
Yeah. That worked real well.
Now he's back on the show, and still being a jerkoff.I'd like these two to go into a sal sa club, sit down, and just watch. They'd see people of all shapes, sizes, and ages moving beautifully and gracefully across the floor. Maybe, just maybe, they'd realize that dancing isn't just for the beautiful, "perfect" people, but for everyone.
Even those of us who can't dance.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Uh-Oh. Been Thinking Again.

I know it's a bit cliche, but losing Dad, going to his memorial with 500 of his closest friends, and seeing friends I hadn't seen in 14 years has got me thinking about Life, The Universe, and Everything.
The last time I saw some of these friends, we were 25. Now we're 39 and most of us have at least one child. But once we were together, it was as if no time had passed. There were just a few extra, smaller folks running around.
They all look beautiful. Sure, there are a few more laugh lines, a little extra flesh, but they are real and gorgeous women. Many have moved back to the same town we all grew up in. They have homes of their own, and send their kids to the same schools we went to. For a split second I imagined what it would be like to live there with my own family. Until I remembered winter, and that was the end of that. (We live in San Francisco, we don't do winter!)
So I started thinking: do I REALLY want to spend the rest of my life obsessing over my post-babies tummy? Or do I want to focus on, y'know, the important stuff. Like my kids, and my husband, and the dog, and my job that I really enjoy.
Yesterday I had my first training session with my supervisor/friend/former instructor. She's taking an intensive Stott training, and is passing it all along to us, gratis. (She's also given me a bunch of Lululemon clothes that don't fit her!)
Pretty cool.
Then I went to Gold's to teach my next class, and my supervisor there came over to give me a hug, and said some really sweet things about losing her own parents.
Last week, when I was in Boston, we kept talking about how we all felt dad's presence (see previous post), and I still feel him. When I start worrying about the small stuff, I can hear him telling me to relax, chill, it'll be OK. (Which is kind of ironic, because that's what I used to tell HIM.)
And it's working. Yes, the economy is in the toilet, we're at war, the country is deeply divided over political issues, it's cold and flu season, and the Raiders couldn't win a game if they were playing against a Pop Warner team, but my staying awake at night worrying about it all is not going to help. So, like the guide says, Don't Panic. All it does is raise the blood pressure.
So, it's OK to feel all the stuff that's going on inside of me. But I just won't get stuck in it. If I just let myself REALLY feel it, deeply, then it will pass.
Finally, in these past two weeks, I've had a chance to see Dad in a new way. He wasn't just the guy who got his finger caught in the mousetrap when he tried to set it (we ended up getting a cat, who didn't get along with the's a long story), or the man I had a sometimes rocky relationship with (but could always count on for a good pun or a bad joke). He was also the guy who was a mentor to his younger colleagues, a second father to our friends, and a guy who helped stop Logan Airport from expanding into a local neighborhood. I heard so many stories about him, and about the difference he made in peoples' lives and in the city itself. So I'm sad he's gone, but I know that he lived exactly the life he wanted.
And the next time I hear "Don't do that, you'll take out an eye!" I'll know he's nearby.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And The Sandwich Is...

Pastrami! Of course! How could I not have known that? If anyone ever gets to Brookline, MA, and goes to Kanter's deli, you can order a nice, thick pastrami sandwich called "The Lupo." Bon appetit!
There were 500 people at the memorial the other night. And it went off without a hitch. Almost as if we'd planned it, or something! There was a loose outline, but it ended up working out really well. A musical therapist from the hospice came, and she played her guitar and sang between speakers. One fellow read a cloumn dad had written about driving in the rain and listening to my mother sing (off-key) to Howard Keel, who was singing from "Oklahoma." So Evvie (the musician) played "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and we all sang along. And kept singing, each time she got up to play.
Then the rabbi got up to speak. The service was in Marsh Chapel, part of Boston University, and a Roman Catholic church. So the rabbi said "Al would get a kick out of this; the big Jew standing in front of Marsh Chapel 2 days before Yom Kippur."
It was an evening of some tears, but mostly laughter. A couple of friends of mine and my brother's got up to speak, and we hadn't seen them in years. In fact, there were lots of people we hadn't seen in a very long time, and were able to get back in touch with. Including some of my very best friends from childhood. That's Dad, bringing people together.
He's also made his presence known in other ways: I've been walking artound my mother's house, the house I grew up in, turning off lights and opening windows, just like Dad used to do. My SIL woke up the other night complaining (to herself) how hot it was in the house, just like dad always did. And my niece, who's only 20, got up to use the bathroom 5 times that night! Just like dad always did!
Yesterday we went to the Berkshires, in western Massachusetts. We saw some foliage, visited Kripalu, a beautiful yoga reteat, and then went to Shakespeare & Company, which was the first real, professional job I had as an actor, in my early 20's. I'd gone to spend a summer, and stayed for 3 years.
They have a new space now, and I wanted to check it out. As soon as we pulled in the drive I saw Kevin, one of the actor/directors and head of the education programs. I'd worked most closely with him during my time there, and there he was, out walking his dog! I got out of the van, and he recognized me, gave me a big hug, and told me that he and Jonathan, one of the other guys I'd worked with a lot, had been talking about me that morning. Hmmm.... psychic messages?
Anyway, he then spent the next hour + giving us a tour of the new facilites. It was so nice!
After we left, we drove to Amherst to visit UMass, where both my brother and father had gone to college. My brother bought some T-shirts for himself and his family, then we went to dinner and drove back to Boston.
It was a lovely day, perfect Fall weather, and really fun. It was also one ofdad's favorite places, so he came with us.
I'm heading back to California on Friday. I miss my husband and kids. But it has been a wonderful time here (OK, ecxept for the nearly 24-hour CNN-athon that Mom likes to indulge in
- this morning we woke up to "Breaking News: Stock market tumbles 500 points! Investors have lost 2 Trillion in 401(k) portfolios! Banks around the world in a panic! Good morning!). We've been with family and friends, seen people we haven't seen in 14 years, and bought some genuine-article Red Sox gear.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Yes, I'm Sad. But...

The best way to deal with my father's death, and to honor is life, is to laugh.
Because that's how he lived. I get my sense of humor from him (puns, anyone?), and all the tributes that have been pouring in talk about his humor. (If you google his name, Alan Lupo, you'll see an online guestbook and some newspaper articles about him. He was a reporter in Boston for about 40 years.)
Dad and I had a sometimes difficult relationship. We butted heads A LOT, but, at the end of the day, there was love. And respect. And above all, a shared sense of humor. I always knew I could tell him about something I found hilarious, and he would get it.
Even as he was lying in his hospice bed, barely able to speak or move, he would smile at our jokes, or stories about his grandkids, or the pictures my son drew that I put up on the wall.
We're having a memorial for him on Monday evening in Boston, the city he grew up in and that was in his blood. (He has a sandwich named after him at a deli in Brookline, and his image is on a mural at a bar in Jamaica Plain.) I'm flying there on Saturday. My brother is there now. (He lives in Texas, and yesterday he had to buy a sweatshirt 'cause he didn't have any warm clothes, lol!)
There won't be a funeral. He didn't want that. So, instead, we'll all gather together and tell our stories, laugh and cry, and, of course, eat. 'Cause what kind of Jews would we be if there wasn't something to nosh on?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dr. Susan Love...

Has a new project. It's called An Army of Women ( that seeks healthy female volunteers to donate blood and tissue for breast cancer research. She was the first person in the medical field to connect hormone replacement therapy with breast cancer, and was almost universally reviled for it. Now, of course, we know that she was right.
The amazing thing (though not that surprising) thing is that when she proposed this project, the response from most of her colleagues was "No, we can't do that! We can't ask healthy women to donate blood and tissue! And even if we could, where would we find them?"
Sometimes smart people can be a little, well, not-so-smart. (And I put myself at the top of that list!)

In other news, the San Francisco Chronicle has an article today by their food writer (Marlena Spieler) who, in the last year and a half, has lost about 150 pounds by learning to savor and enjoy her food more. She writes "Loving good food and everything about it is a cherished part of my life, as well as the way I make my living. There is no place in my kitchen or life for mediocre food, whether junk or dietetic. I need the joy factor."
Sounds good to me!
Life is too short to eat crappy food.

Monday, September 29, 2008

He's Gone.

Dad died this morning. He was on a morphine drip, was very comfortable, and went peacefully.

I had a dream about him early this morning. I think he was saying goodbye.

I know that when I hear a voice saying "Did you lock the door?" or "Wear a hat, it's cold!" that it's him, lol!

Maybe he and Paul Newman can hang out together.

Rest in peace. I love you.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Random Thoughts

Remember that sketch "Deep Thoughts" on Saturday Night Live? This is kinda like that. Only not deep. And not nearly as funny, unfortunately.

I won a pair of FREE MBT shoes!!!!!! You know, those funny-looking anti-gravity shoes that cost $250? (You can see a photo on The Great Fitness Experiment. Charlotte has once again placed herself in harm's way for the benefit of the rest of us. Thanks, Charlotte!) I'd been coveting a pair for a while, but the price is a bit steep. Now, thanks to Crabby over ant Cranky Fitness, I will have a pair in my hot little hands! Thank you, Crabby!

A quick list of inspiring blogs: the abovementioned The Great Fitness Experiment and Cranky Fitness. Also, The Weighting Game, Workout Mommy, Shapely Prose, Fit In Real Life, Back In Skinny Jeans, The Shape of a Mother, Autismville, Bag Lady's Blather, Elastic Waist, Every Woman Has An Eating Disorder, MizFit, Dr. J, Nutritious Junk, and the gone-but-not-forgotten Fitness, Kids, and Sanity.

REI outlet has some great stuff on its website right now. And they'll ship free to any REI store, so you can just go pick it up. I mention it because there are some really good bargains! Who doesn't love a bargain?

The kids have a field trip today with their therapy group. It's at a place called Pump it Up. It's badically a warehouse full of jumpy houses, and it's REALLY fun! And if the parents have to get in and jump along with the kids, well, those are the kinds of sacrifices we just have to make.
See, that's one of the dirty little secrets of parenting: yes it's challenging, it can be difficult, you lose sleep, your plans and dreams sometimes get placed on the back burner, and there's an inordinate amount of bodily fluids involved, BUT, you get to do things like go on the swings at the playground and jump in bouncy houses and ride Big Wheels and everyone looks at you and thinks "Oh, what a great parent! look at you, playing with your kids!" and meanwhile you're thinking "This is awesome! I get to do all this fun stuff that if I did while not having kids would brand me as either a weirdo or a pervert!"

Speaking of which, the new California Academy of Sciences is opening this weekend in Golden Gate Park, and they're having free admission on Saturday! I hear it's pretty amazing: a life-sized reproduction of a rainforest, and 5 floors of really cool things. I wonder how much a membership would cost...
And we STILL haven't been to the Exploratorium. Gotta check that out.

I'm addicted to iced soy chai lattes at Starbucks. I was addicted to the hot version when they first came out 9 (?!?!?!) years ago. Last year it was the green tea latte. I may need a Starbucks intervention.

My husband looks REALLY hot on his motorcycle.

I think that's it for now. Feel free to post your own random thoughts in the comments! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NOT Freaking Out. OK, Maybe A Little.

Yesterday we went over to the in-laws for a BBQ. My SIL, her hubby, and the baby are flying back to Hawaii today. My hubby was there, but had to leave for school. My BIL calls my in-laws' place "The House Of Yes." I call it my workout.
There are 3 floors, 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and nearly 30 years of tchochkes. There are also windows on the 3rd floor with no screens, let alone window bars. And they scare the crap out of me. 'Cause the kids like to go up there, and they like to climb on things. The first thing i do whenever we go there is run around closing windows and closing bathroom doors (our daughter likes to play in the toilet. Lovely).
They recently had some new windows put in on the first floor. Along with window seats. And yesterday, I forgot to close them. So my daughter was leaning on a screen, and she fell. The screen crumbled underneath her and cushioned her fall, but she did scratch her head and, of course, was scared. I was tending to our son and didn't see it, but my SIL was right there, and she ran outside and scooped up my daughter, who, despite her crying, was already getting to her feet and walking towards the fron door. SIL told me what happemed and I calmed my little girl down (it didn't take long: 2 minutes later she was laughing and playing again).
Now I'm trying to calm myself down,lol!
My son also got outside and started running around where he's not supposed to go (and knows it!), and the dog followed my BIL around because he was doing the grilling.
Sometimes I wish I was (were?) an octopus. Or at least had stretchy arms like Mrs. Incredible.
But at least it's never dull!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Some People Never Learn!

I'm watching the Emmys. Yes, another awards show. I learned NOTHING from the VMAs!!!!!!!!
Wow. There are a lot of Desperate Housewives now! Maybe they should change it from Wysteria Lane to Hysteria lane. Ha!
And Josh Groban is gonna sing 30 TV theme songs?!?! Wow. That's kind of a lot. And kind of a waste of talent.
Guess I'm feeling a little catty tonight. Sorry.
Cabin fever, I think. The kids go back to school tomorrow (Daughter was home sick all last week) and I am going to go out, sit, have a cup of chai, and read. (Do we know how to party over here, or what?)
Wait, what is David Blaine doing NOW?!?! Hanging upside down in NYC blindfolded?
Um, why?
Remember when he used to do, like, magic? Now he's all stunts.
Young people. Oy.
Wow. Whoever decided that all these reality hosts should host the show should, well, never do that again ! AWKWARD!
Bring back Ellen Degeneres to host! She rocks!
Zjelco Ivanek just won! Yay!
OK, enough of this live blogging from the Emmys. Except to say that Ricky Gervais is brilliant. And so is Steve Carrell.
Have a good night, all!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Knew I hadn't Dealt With I When...

I was struck with a sudden urge to bake last night. After taking care of the kids all day, cleaning the house (yes, I did it! Except for the closet. Ahem.), cooking two different dinners (one for me and the kids, the other for hubby for when he got home from school), and doing the dishes.
Which meant I had... Stuff To Think About.
On Wednesday I subbed a pilates class. Nothing new there, I've been doing a lot of that. But this time I was subbing for our wonderful master teacher. She is going to be a grandmother (of twins!) soon (which you really wouldn't think, to look at her), and she's trying to free up some time in her schedule. So, unbeknownst to me, the subbing was a bit of an experiment (Charlotte will be so proud, lol!) to see if I could take the class over.
I showed up early so I could relax in the cafe with some water. I was still recovering, so my equilibrium was off, and I was a bit tired. But happy!
There was a mix-up, however, with the scheduling. We were supposed to be in the main studio, on the first floor, which meant that the reformers had to be brought down from the yoga studio on the 3rd floor, in which there was a yoga class schedules. But, alas, there were no reformers to be see. So, after 15 minutes of running up and down the stairs and a bunch of folks meeting to figure out what was going on, it was decided that the two classes would switch places.
Eventually we settled in and started the class. I decided to teach off the reformer, walking around the room and checking the clients' form. I was a little warm, and tripped over my words here and there, but, overall, I think I taught a pretty solid class. (One of the clients gave me a nice compliment afterwards, which was great to hear!)
Later that afternoon, the gym offered me the class permanently. Whooohoo!

Then came yesterday. And A VERY angry (and long!) email from one of the clients who had been in the class. The email wasn't sent to me, but to my supervisor (who is a WONDERFUL teacher, mentor, and administrator). She was my first-ever pilates teacher, the one who convinced me to try teaching, and is a good friend.
Apparently, this client is through with pilates at this gym. She was angry that there was a sub, a sub who was obviously not as experienced as the regular instructor (um, who has been teaching for 3o years! Sorry, I didn't start teaching when I was 9!!!!), the mix-up with the rooms, and the (ahem) QUALITY of the class. Harumph.
So, instead of teaching the new class 2 days a week, I'll be teaching it 1 day a week. Which is fine. And I'll be doing in-depth with my supervisor ( and a couple other new instructors) on the reformer, which is AWESOME, and exactly what I need! And she's not charging us a cent! But it does kinda suck that one incident of negative feedback put her in the position of having to defend me to her bosses. And now I have to prove myself, even though I've been teaching there for a few months now. Never mind that my other clients have been very positive. But I guess that just comes with the territory when replacing a much-loved (and deservedly so) instructor. Add I HATE that it has put my friend on the spot! She's put her confidence in me, and I kinda feel like I let her down. Not that she has even indicated that to me (she apologized for what happened!!!!), but still.
All in all, it's a positive thing. I'll be getting great training, with her and in some upcoming workshops, and all will be well.
But I'm teaching a class this morning, with some new clients, and I must say I'm nervous about it. ("Please like me! Prettypleaseprettypleaseprettyplease?!?!?!?!") And feeling a little down about the whole thing. Hence the baking. Helps me think. Calms me down. And my family now has cupcakes.
I also noticed the plethora of negative thoughts about my body, last night and this morning. 'Cause it's easier than dealing with all my feelings of inadequacy when it comes to teaching, right? Or the fact that it brings up all the negative feelings I had about myself when I was acting? Or dealing with my grieving mother, my dad in limbo, my brother and his family in Houston dealing with the aftermath of Ike, etc.
So, I've decided to just FEEL that damn feelings, already! Better than stuffing those cupcakes down my throat!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Of Skinny Jeans, Closets, And Exhaustion

Getting over a rather nasty cold. But thank goodness for Zicam! That stuff really does shorten the duration. Am now entering the disgusting, getting-rid-of-the-guck phase.
Sorry. Is that TMI?
I just read a great post on "Back In Skinny Jeans" about all the reasons to get rid of the clothes in your closet that don't fit anymore. You know the ones; those jeans you wore before you had kids, or that pants/dress/ skirt you bought as an incentive to lose weight, that still has the tags on it.
I agree that getting rid of that stuff is a good thing. You release yourself from ridiculous expectations, AND, if you donate the clothes, someone else can wear them! So you get self-acceptance AND you can feel good about helping others.
There's just one problem: you have to actually, y'know, CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET.
As I posted on the site, I was born without the housekeeping gene. I will do the bare minimum: clean up areas that are in plain sight, wash dishes, do laundry, sweep/vacuum (preferably without moving any furniture)/mop, and get rid of some of the clutter. Often by dumping much of it into the closet. Which brings us back to cleaning out said closet.
Don't get me wrong, I will tackle it every few months. But it's so DAUNTING! I admit to being jealous of people who have neat, clean, beautifully organized houses. Especially if they have kids. Of course, most of those folks (at least the ones I know personally) also have either nannies or a maid service.
I also admit to using my kids as an excuse for my cluttered, not-quite-pristine environment. After all, they're very young, and they have Autism! Isn't it more important for me to spend time with them, rather than ignoring them to clean the bathroom? Also, I am their primary caretaker. Plus, I work part-time, and I'm tired!
Which is true. (Cue violins.)
I was like this WAAAAY before we had kids.
Does that make me a bad person? A bad mother?


Monday, September 15, 2008

Just Want To Add...

To all the folks in Houston, (esp.) Galveston, and anyone affected by Ike:
We're thinking of you, and will do whatever we can to help. Take care!

Monday Shout-Outs

So, there are a lot of people I admire and want to write about (including you guys), and I will, but today there are three in particular who are on my mind.
The first is Valerie Frankel. She's a writer who has written some of my favorite books (mystery, chick-lit, and YA), as well as magazine articles (she posed nude for "Self" last year and became one of my heroes), but her latest book is a memoir. It's called "Thin Is The New Happy," and it's about her struggles with weight, body image, and how she finally learned to face her demons. I think she may believe I'm stalking her, and I guess I am, in a read-everything-she-writes-and-comment-on-Amazon-about-it way. And I'll email her sometimes to tell her how much I enjoyed something she's written.
Hmmmm. Maybe I AM a stalker?!
Yikes! I need a new hobby. (I don't think worrying counts as a hobby.)
Anyway. If you have a chance, pick up the book and give it a read. It's pretty awesome.

The second person is Margaret Cho. She's a comedian/actress and has a reality show on VH1 called, oddly enough, "The Cho Show." She also released a concert film about 9 years ago called "I'm The One That I Want" which is hilarious and sad and maddening. There's a bit about how she was treated on her sitcom from the early 90's called "All American Girl" that is just unbelievable. She was screamed at by producers to lose weight and ended up going on a crash diet and lost 30 pounds very quickly, which sent her into a downward spiral for years.
About 5 or so years ago she gave up dieting and now loves her body. She also inspires other Asian-American performers to fight against the stereotypes Hollywood still propagates. She's amazing.

Finally, there's my brother. He works for a government agency, has been helping our mother with all the stuff going on with our dad and all the practical stuff (paying bills, grocery shopping), and last week he flew home to Houston to be there with his wife during Ike. (They're all OK. My niece is in school in S. Carolina, out of the path of the storm. The dogs were scared, but made it through.) In a few days they will pack up their car and drive from Houston to Boston (The dogs are going with them!) to stay with Mom.
When I was there, feeling guilty for having to leave after a few days, he said "Don't worry about being here all the time. You need to be with your kids."
He also just spent 3 months in a bunker in Iraq. He can't talk about what he did, but he did say that their work caught some bad guys before they could do more harm.
All this, and he still plays on the ground with the pups, kvells over my kids, and acts like a 6 year-old when his daughter is home and they go swimming.

He's my hero.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Scientists are re-creating the Big Bang. Republicans are crying sexism. Lance Armstrong is going to ride the Tour de France again. Britney's healthy (yay!). People are arguing over promise rings. The tree sitters have been removed. (See Berkeley.) Shrek is on Broadway.

What the heck is going on in the world?!?!?!

Is it me, or does it seem like the past couple of days have been wackier than usual?
And where did summer go? It went by so quickly. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, it's just...wasn't it just Memorial Day? Why is time moving so much faster?

My SIL and her family arrived from Hawaii last night. We saw them 2 months ago, and their son is so much bigger! He's eating solid food and crawling, and he is FASCINATED by our dog! He stares at her, and she stares back, and it's so adorable!
Our daughter's in kindergarten, our son is in 2nd grade, our dog is 10, and Hubby and I will be 40 next year.


Oh. Right. The Inexorable March of Time.

Let me just say that yesterday was one of those ego-crushing days, so that's kinda the frame of mind I'm coming off of. The kind of day that had me wondering if I'm in the wrong profession. Maybe I'm kidding myself and I'm not really cut out for the fitness industry. Maybe I REALLY don't know what I'm doing and should stop before I completely humiliate myself (or, God forbid, hurt someone!)


MAYBE I should sign up for a continuing education program in my chosen field that will allow me to keep working as I learn more. I didn't learn how to act in 5 months, so why do I expect to be a GREAT teacher in 5 months? Every experience is an education, right? Even (especially?) the bad ones? Maybe I just need to pick myself off, dust myself off, find my sense of humor again, and keep pluggin'.
'Cause I really love what I do. Even when my ego is getting it's head run over repeatedly by a semi.

Oh, and note to self: wearing Spanx underneath workout clothes? NOT COMFORTABLE!!!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

VMAs? More Like ZZZs

Anyone watch the MTV Video Music Awards? I don't know why I bother. They used to be fun, but now they're just lame. Boring. And last night was a train wreck. But not even an interesting train wreck! Seriously, how do you make a BORING train wreck?!?!?!

OK, Pink was cool. She's always cool. And it was good to see Britney looking happy and healthy. But who decided it was a good idea to take it out of a theater and into a studio? Bad idea. Bad.

Especially since it looked like the set of Sesame Street. I LOVE Sesame St.! And to be teased that way? Cruel. During the Jonas Brothers' song I kept hoping the muppets were gonna show, and they didn't!


But I'll probably keep watching other MTV awards shows. Or at least part of them. And hoping. Remembering the glory days. (Mike Myers doing "Lord of the Dance," anyone?)

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Another post has gone AWOL, after it was supposedly posted successfully!!!!!! It was a good one, too. Full of compliments for my 8 readers! Grrrrrr!

I'll have to try and re-post later.

I think I'm a little depressed. Not about the disappearing posts (that's more of an annoyance), but because of the situation with my dad. When I left Boston, I felt calm and at peace, because I really believed I'd found (and I usually hate this word) closure. He's comfortable, he's not in pain, and he's surrounded by family and friends.
But in the past few days I've found myself eating more than usual, feeling completely exhausted all the time, short-tempered, and completely uninterested in, well, intimacy.
Part of it is PMS, but it's more. I can feel it.
Part of me feels torn: my kids need me here, and I need to work, but my mother is 3,000 miles away and slowly falling apart. My brother is taking care of EVERYTHING, and I'm not there to help. They totally understand, but it still feels icky.
He was moved to the hospice yesterday, and showed a bit of improvement. They're not sure if it's the steroids kicking in, or if it's one last hurrah before he goes completely downhill. My mom, I know, is really hoping for the former, and it just kills me that she may be filled with false hope.

This whole situation just fucking sucks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back Home

OK, I posted on Saturday night, when I got home, but it didn't get published.

So, I'm back. Dad is going to be moved to an in-patient hospice. He's basically semi-comatose (there's a medical term for it, but I can't remember what it is). He wakes up every now and then, and he recognizes us and knows we're there, and can even answer a few yes-or-no questions. But he can't really respond or use the right side of his body. He has A LOT of swelling in his brain, so right now it's all about making him comfortable and stopping the seizures he'd been having.

My mom is a wreck. She's in limbo, spending all day every day at the hospital. But my brother and sister-in-law are there with her, and I'll be going back in a while so my brother can spend a few days at home. She was able to talk to a social worker, who gave her some very good advice: don't try to take care of everything at once. The house doesn't need to be cleaned and sold yet, she doesn't have to deal with ANYTHING except herself and my dad.

Meanwhile, my daughter starts at her new school tomorrow. The good thing is it's the same class my son was in 2 years ago, and it's taught by one of the same teachers. She spent some time there back then, so she is familiar with it all. And when she and my husband went in on Friday to observe, she seemed very excited. Plus, starting next week, she'll be taking the bus, which she LOVES. (The first time she ever took the bus, we were a nervous wreck! But when she got home, I literally had to pry her fingers off the seat because she didn't want to get off.)
I'm glad I get to be with her this week, though.

It's funny: when I turned 39 last month, I kept thinking that I don't feel nearly mature enough to be almost 40. This week has changed that.
Gotta grow up sometime, right?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Father Is Probably Dying

Because of the airport snafu in Georgia, I can't fly out until tomorrow. I'm home alone right now (hubby, kids, and dog are at the in-laws: I'll be joining them after rush hour) with my thoughts. After talking to my brother after the CT scan, it looks as if our dad is not doing well at all. There are some treatment they are going to try, but he is 70 years old and there is A LOT of swelling in his brain.

Fucking cancer.

It took my grandmother, and my brother-in-law's dad, and one of our dogs. My mother, so far, is doing well. her breast cancer doesn't seem to have come back (knock wood).

The thing is, and this is going to sound weird, but I had a dream about my father last night. It was a good dream, but I woke up feeling that all was not well with him, and that I needed to prepare myself. And then my brother called. See, a few years ago, I had a dream about our dog. Right before he was diagnosed with cancer. It was, again, a good dream, but he was gone a few months later. That dream, and the one last night, were very symbolic. I won't go into details, but they were telling me things. Like i said, it sounds weird.

I'm most worried about my mother. This is going to devastate her. She'll get through it, but she is going to have to GO through it, first. I want her to come and stay with us, or at least with my brother and his family, for a bit.

I'm also torn. My kids are starting school. I just found out an hour ago that my daughter is going to a new school, not the one we thought she'd be going to, that we had planned on, and that she has been going to for over a year. I don't know how she will react to the transition, and I may not be home for it, which is REALLY freaking me out. My daughter needs me here, and my parents and brother need me in Massachusetts.
I wish I had a tele-port!

I wonder if my kids will remember my father. My son, who is 7, might. But my daughter is not yet 5.

I'm also freaking out about flying. Once I'm on the plane I'll be fine, but anticipating it drives me nuts, lol! But I'm flying on Jet Blue for the first time, which should be kind of fun. And hey, I'll get 6 hours to myself. that's something, right?

And my in-laws are AMAZING! They've been calling all day to wish us well, and to offer all the help they can give.

OK, I'm off. Take care, you guys!

Off For A Few Days

Got a call this morning from my brother, who is on the east coast with my parents. Our dad isn't doing too well. He's had cancer for a little over a year now. He was doing well, but 2 months ago a CT scan revealed lesions on his brain, so he was signed up for an experimental treatment. But lately he's been having seizures in his leg, has been confused, and fell down the stairs a couple of weeks ago. The call this morning was to let me know that I need to go back east, just in case. I'm trying to find people to take my classes for me, and to figure out the kids' schedules so hubby and his mom can take charge while I'm away.
So there may not be a lot of posts for the next few days. I'm debating whether or not to take my laptop with me.
And I'll post when I get back. Take care, everyone!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

So, Read Any Good Books Lately?

I LOVE blogs! I just love 'em! And I REALLY love that you can get in touch with people that, before the internet, you would never have thought to get in touch with. Or, if you DID think of it, you probably wouldn't 'cause it involved sitting down to write a letter and mailing it. And you were (and by"you were" I mean "I was") just too damn lazy.
Some of my favorite blogs are by writers. Which makes sense 'cause, um, they WRITE for a living, so their blogs are probably gonna be good. But what I mean is that because I basically devour books (they're my vacation), I love that I can go online and go to an author's website, learn more about them, get titles of other books they've written (or are in the process of writing), leave a comment to let them know how much I enjoyed their book, etc. Not in a creepy way, just in a "Hey, love your work, can't wait for the new book" kinda way.

We live right down the street from a brand-new library. Actually, it's so brand-new they haven't finished building it yet! There will be a grand opening ceremony on September 6th, and I'm so dorkily (yes, I know that's not a word) excited I can barely sleep at night! All those books, just a stone's throw away! And I think there's going to be a cafe! Books and coffee! These are just two of my fav-o-rite things! And the kids will be spending more time at school, so I can spend more time at the library!

OMG!!!! I am SUCH a NERD!!!!!!!!!

(And to prove it,) do any of you remember that episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" (See?!) when Q was turned into a mortal, but no one believed him? And he said "What do I have to do to prove it?" And Whorf said "Die." So Q came back with "Oh, hello Whorf. Eat any good books lately?"
Yeah. That was funny!

But I digress. See, a few years ago, a measure was on a ballot to provide funding for new libraries in all of San Mateo county. We didn't live here at the time, so we couldn't vote, but it passed, and now we're reaping the benefits. A couple of years ago a new library opened in Hubby's hometown, not far from here. I went in to take a look one blustery, chilly day, and it was BEAUTIFUL!!!! There were faux leather recliners in the main room, near a cheerfully blazing hearth. A gigantic kids' section, lots of friendly staff, and two floors of books. And, yes, a cafe. It was yet another reason why we wanted to move here: people actually vote to spend money on things like libraries and schools! (Didn't happen in L.A., let me tell ya!)

Anyway, what kinds of books do you like to read?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tea and the Art of Gratitude

I'm not a big tea drinker. Oh sure, I'll have the occasional iced tea, but when it comes to the hot stuff, not so much. Yes, I know it's healthy, full of antioxidants and all that good stuff, but the only time I enjoyed it was when I was in England. Of course, the tea I drank there was strong, milky, and accompanied by chockie biccies. Chocolate covered biscuit-cookies. Of course, for a chockie biccie, I'd drink hot molten lava.
But I was watching TV this morning, and they were doing a segment on tea drinking in China. There's a ritual to the preparation and drinking of tea there, and I can see why they drink a lot of it. When you are handed a cup of tea, you start with 3 sips; one to taste, one to drink, and one to remember. The rememberance is for all the good things, all the things in your life you are grateful for.
Kinda different than sticking a Lipton tea bug in a mug and guzzling it down, huh?

So it made me think of food, the way we eat. I've read about mindful eating, and incorporating gratitude into meals. But most of us don't eat that way. I certainly don't. I usually prepare food with two little ones hanging on to my legs, the phone ringing, the TV, computer, or radio blaring, rushing around to get food on the table before the kids' therapists show up, or I have to leave for work, or hubby has to go to school, etc. So sitting quietly, chewing each bite of food 100 times, and tasting every morsel to its fullest? Yeah, not gonna happen.
I take time, every once in a while, to do just that. To turn off the TV, let the answering machine do its job, and incorporate the kids, as much as possible, into preparing meals. Not every day, but maybe every once in a while. If I take time to be grateful that we have food to eat, and a home to eat it in. That we have each other, and all the people in our lives who love us and help out. The family members who come over to babysit at the last minute, and those wonderful therapists who teach our kids with so much love, and give us so much support. The teachers who love their job. Everyone!

Because we really do have so much to be grateful for.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

L.A., How Do I Miss Thee? Not. At. All.

I was looking through a magazine this morning that's published by AFTRA, one of the performers' unions. It stands for American Federation of Television and Radio Actors, and it covers everyone from newscasters to voiceover artists (the folks who do commercials and cartoon voices, among others) to soap actors to backup singers. And everything in between.
Anyway, they have some unusual ads in this publication. One is for West Virginia, which, apparently, has some great, and EMPTY, locations for filming. One area looks like D.C., but, as the ad says, "without the red tape!"

Then there are the ads for lipo, lipo alternatives, cosmetic dentistry, and...Toe Lengthening.

Finally! My self-esteem has been low lo these 39 years because of my short toes, and now, at last, I can finally break free from the shame!!!!! (Heavy sarcasm here.)

All I could think when I saw this ad was, "Really?!"

The tag has a photo of a woman (OK, part of a woman. She has no head, but plenty of cleavage. Of course.) in a party dress and fancy shoes. Underneath the photo it says "Pretty dress...ugly feet?" Followed by the before and after shots of women (natch) who have had their feet surgically altered.

'Cause it's not enough to starve yourself, bleach your teeth (as I write this there's an ad on TV that says "There are no more excuses not to whiten your teeth!" Um, how 'bout I DON'T WANNA!?!?!?), pluck and shave and wax, spray toxic chemicals onto your head, spend billions of dollars on makeup, clothes, and handbags, spend years in the gym, etc., etc., etc. NOW, you must make sure your toes are long enough.
Who the fuck keeps track of that?!?!?! Pardon my Yiddish here, but WTF?! I can honestly say, in all my years as an actress and all the whackadoo things I saw, heard and experienced, no one EVER said to me "We're not going to hire you because your toes are the wrong size."
Maybe it's because my toes are the "right" length. Maybe, just maybe, that was the ONE part of my body that no one had an issue with. Hmmmmm. I'm starting to re-think this whole move out of L.A. Maybe we should move back, and I could be a foot model!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

No More Studio (For Now), The Swat Workout, Equinox Still Rocks, and My Arm Hurts

So, after a meeting the other night with all the Pilates folks from Equinox, I realized that putting all the time in at the studio was stretching me a bit too thin. No pun intended. ('Cause if i HAD intended a pun, it woulda been MUCH better than that one!) So I emailed the studio owner, who was out of town, and let her know. She's awesome. She told me I could still do the Stott training, then come back and work at the studio whenever I'm ready. How cool is that?!

I did the S.W.A.T. workout DVD for the first time the other night, and it is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO much fun, even though he's surrounded by skinny babes in sports bras and short shorts. They're STRONG babes! And there's no fancy footwork, which I greatly appreciate.
At the meeting I mentioned (see above), we were told that, as employees, we get a free personal training session AND...wait for it...A FREE SPA SESSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost fell outta my chair! I am SO going in for a massage! And that's on top of the free membership (and free classes that other members have to pay extra for) and free nutritional consultation! And I only work there one hour a week!
Equinox, I apologize for all those years when I thought of you as a snobby, hoighty-toighty, overpriced sweatfest! How could I know that when I emailed the group fitness director, he'd email me back with "Kewl! See ya then!"? If only I'd known you had a nutrition director who supports Autism research because his neighbor's son is Autistic? Or that everyone who works there would be so incredibly nice and supportive and patient? Or that the members would all have such a great sense of humor!
Forgive me, oh Equinox! You so totally rock!

Finally, my elbow is sore. It started, oddly enough, that week I taught 17 classes. Hmmm. Overuse, perhaps? I'm gonna have to get it looked at, 'cause it's not getting better. And it's my right arm. I'm a rightie. Boogers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I was in Barnes & Noble today (my drug of choice). I was actually going to run errands (go to the bank, post office, etc), but after a fairly intense therapy session my therapist told me to go do something relaxing. So I did.
And found a brand new cook book called "Cooking With Trader Joe's." EVERY ingredient in EVERY recipe in the book can be found at TJ'S!!!!!! And they even tell you WHERE the ingredients are in the store! (For example, a particular type of chicken can be found in the freezer section.)
It even has things my kids will eat. Which is kind of a miracle.
I'm a happy mommy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I've Been Thinking (In Case You Smell Smoke)

Some Autism experts say they think it's best to aim to have a child speaking by the age of 5. My daughter will be 5 in November, and she doesn't speak. She's vocal and communicative, and HAPPY (except when the bugs bite. Stupid bugs), and she may or may not speak. Of course we hope (and expect, by her vocal patterns) that she will, but I'm not going to put a timeline on it. Too much pressure. And a lot of Autistic kids start speaking at age 7 or later.

Speaking of timelines, I WILL lose the weight I've put on in the past couple of years, but, again, no timeline. It took three years to put the weight on; it's not gonna come off overnight.

In my work at the studio I have clients who are coming back from injuries. Nothing life-threatening, but it definitely affects them, physically and emotionally. They see all the things that are "wrong." The lack of strength or flexibility, for example, whereas I can see how strong and flexible they truly are, even if it's not as much as before the injury.
It also makes me appreciate the human body. Most of these people are not "perfect" specimens, but they are real, and beautiful, and amazing.
The fact is, having a six-pack doesn't make you strong. You can look toned and fit, but not be able to move your furniture. Looking beautiful doesn't make you a better person. And yet we keep chasing after the superficial ideals: the "perfect" body, house, car, bag, jeans, etc. But what really matters? That's a question that, IMHO, no magazine article can answer. We each have to ask that question of ourselves, and be patient enough to wait for the answer.
And often the answer changes.

So when I asked myself recently what I most want? It's to be here. Alive. To see my kids grow up and maybe, someday, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren.

Yesterday my father, who is 70 and fighting cancer, fell down the stairs. He's fine, just a few bumps and bruises, but it was a wake-up call. Things happen, and sometimes in an instant. Our parents won't be around forever, and neither will we. Is a flat stomach the real focus of my life? No.
My kids have Autism, and their lives will not be easy. But I can, and want to, be here to help them as much as I can. And maybe see a day when there is a cure, or at least management, for Autism.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

WHAT Energy Crisis?!?!?!

Ever since my son started walking (just before he turned 1), I've been thinking that if we could hook him up to a generator, we'd never have to worry about the electric bill again. He's now 7 and, while he has, for the most part, calmed down considerably in the past couple of years, no one could ever accuse him of being a slug.
Every once in a while he reverts to old habits. And last night was one of those times. From 6pm until 10pm he was literally running and jumping around the living room, shrieking. We'd try to find tasks for him, or get him to sit with us, to calm him down, but NOTHING worked!!!!!! (Our daughter also had a huge case of the giggles. Mostly from watching her brother do his impersonation of a cat on catnip.)
Finally I brought him upstairs and tucked him into bed with me, turning off the light. This usually lets him know that it's bedtime and he calms himself.
Yeah, last night? Not so much.
He finally did fall asleep, at about 11:15 or so. I'm not sure, exactly, because I nodded off first. (Our daughter had already tucked herself in to her own bed and fallen asleep. She does that. LOVE IT!!!!!!!)
At about 7:30 this morning, guess who was up and running around, shrieking? He also woke up his sister, who was NOT happy. I made him come downstairs and sit at the kitchen table while I made breakfast (and only had to call him back to the table about 50 times in the minute it took to microwave his food) and got out some of his workbooks from school. Well, just SEEING those workbooks (on a Saturday morning?!?!?!) must have done the trick, because he calmed down enough to eat, and even helped me clean up a little without my having to ask!
See, he's what those in the occupational therapy world call "high arousal." (No, really?) His sister is "low arousal." He has very good body awareness, excellent gross motor skills, and is very aware of the world around him. She used to have very little body awareness, needed physical therapy to help with gross motor skills, and needs to be brought out of herself and into the world around her more. In a way it's kind of good; they both influence each other a bit. She's climbing all over everything, getting into whatever she can, and generally enjoys making a mess. Just like her brother when he was her age.
Oh God, I'm in trouble!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

What the *&%$#@+! Is Going on in My Subconcsious?!?!?!

Two nights ago I dreamt (dreamed?) I was teaching a pilates mat class. My students were Dracula (in the form of Bela Lugosi), the Wolfman (Courtesy of Lon Chaney, natch), A Mummy (I have no idea who was inside those bandages) and The Creature From The Black Lagoon. (The original one. The guy in the rubber suit.)
It wasn't scary, it was just, well, odd. And the Mummy was having quite a bit of trouble. Not very flexible, those eons-ago, wrapped-up dead guys. The Creature seemed to be having trouble staying put on his mat (he was a little slippery). But Dracula and Wolfie did quite well!
Then I woke up.
Last night I dreamed I was at a lake on a mountain. There were robots there, along with serene, tall people who had no legs (VERY long torsos!), and sea lions. We found a sea lion who had been separated from the rest, and put him in the car to bring him back to the others. And my husband kept pouring bottled water on him so he wouldn't get dehydrated.
In the end, after setting the sea lion free, I jumped into the water. It was FREEZING! So I climbed back out, and that's all I remember.
Very strange indeed!
Any other bizarre dreamers out there?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Glad I'm Not A Model

For SO MANY reasons, lol!
When I was a kid I was taller than most of the other kids my age. (Yeah, school dances were FUN!) A lot of people (read: EVERYONE AND THEIR FRICKIN" AUNT GLADYS!) commented on my height, and some suggested I consider becoming a model. Which was nice. Until the inevitable follow-up comment, "But you'd really have to watch what you eat." [Apply sound of needle scratching record here.]
Talk about a back-handed compliment!
And, let me say straight out, I was NOT heavy as a kid. (And even if I was, it's just rude!) I was VERY active. I rode my bike/skateboard everywhere, swam for hours in the summer, took tennis lessons every Saturday (although most of the exercise there came from my kicking, screaming, and begging not to have to go), took dance and drama, and just plain played for hours on end. I even attempted Little League baseball. Unsuccessfully. Ahem.
Then came the 80's. Olivia Newton John released "Physical," and I exercised in my room every night while listening to the entire album. Then, miracle of miracles, we got a VCR and a Jane Fonda workout tape and, let me tell, ya, I ROCKED those legwarmers!
And, to go along with all this, I ate. Food. Real food. The low-fat revolution was just getting underway, so this was before I and everyone else loaded up the shopping cart with chemically-laden fake food. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't blase about my diet. I had TONS of Irish-Catholic/Jewish guilt mixed in with my meals. From the time I was 5 or 6 I heard "You're not fat yet, but you have to be careful." (Meanwhile my gangly, skinny brother heard "Eat! you're so skinny! You're a growing boy, you need the nutrients!" 'Cause, y'know, growing girls don't need nutrients, they need to be put on diets and taught about disordered eating. Tradition, tradition! And skinny boys need to CONSTANTLY hear just how skinny they are!)
So, anyway, I grew up hearing messages about how I was tall and pretty, but not quite pretty enough. Not "model" pretty, because I actually ingested my food. And at times when I would actually GAIN WEIGHT (gasp!) like, during PUBERTY (the horror!), MAN, would I hear it! Even my high school drama teacher would make negative comments about my weight (um, inappropriate, much?) until said Jane Fonda tapes came along I and lost weight. Then all would be well. At least for a little while.
But I'd gotten the message. Thin=good, fat=bad. Person. I was not a good person if I put on weight. No one would love me. Hell, no one would LIKE me much. Weight is EVIL!!!!!!! And even during my thin times, I'd been through puberty and now had hips and boobs, so modeling was out! I'd NEVER be a model now!
From that moment on, I envied the smaller-busted girls. The ones with narrow figures. The ones who didn't have to worry about boys pointing and laughing at her bouncing boobs in gym class, and who didn't get hit on in the subway by guys 20 years older who thought she was in her 20's and not 14. Who maybe weren't leered at as much by creepy men on the street. Who didn't have to worry about their weight as much.
Who had boyfriends, and were asked to parties, and asked to slow dance at the school dances.

Tomorrow I will turn 39. It occurred to me last night, as I was teaching my SIXTEENTH Pilates class in a week, that if i HAD been blessed with the kind of figure I'd wanted, I probably would have had a very different life. I'd certainly have had different hangups. ("Why are my boobs so small? Why can't I look more 'feminine?'" Because small breasts=masculine, right? Because GOD FORBID we be female and HAPPY with our bodies!) But it was through my EDs and all my body image issues that I finally have come to a place of semi-acceptance. I'm not saying that having bulimia, borderline anorexia, and over-exercising were GOOD things, but I can say that I have FINALLY learned to take care of myself. To eat good, healthy, tasty food and ENJOY it. To exercise because of how it makes me feel, and not because I need to work off the pasta I ate. I'm not 100% there yet, but I'm closer than I've been since I started getting all those negative messages a s a young girl.
And teaching 16 classes in a week? Yeah. Not gonna happen again. (I was subbing a lot, as well as teaching my own.) One thing I'm going to learn from this new apprenticeship is when to join in the class, and when to step aside and observe.
But it's nice to know I can teach 16 (actually, 17, as I have a mat class tonight) in a row and not keel over,lol!
So I'm not a model. I'm not an actress anymore. I don't have to worry about whitening my teeth, doing my nails, plucking my eyebrows (youch!), counting calories, getting older, my stretchmarks, my less-than-perfect abs, waxing, getting pedicures, styling my hair, applying makeup, or any of the other million "maintenance" things that I used to have to do just to walk into an audition. I don't have to spend $300 for professional headshots, and another $150 to get them re-touched (to get rid of the "flaws.") I don't have to feel like one of a million desperate women sitting in the waiting room going over my script, only to be dismissed as too old, too fat, or too ugly the minute I walk into the room, before I even open my mouth.

I don't feel like a failure anymore. And that's the first time in over 3o years that I can say that.