Friday, January 13, 2006

Meme for me!

So, the charming and talented diane kristine (the artist formally known as deekay) tagged me with a meme. I wasn't even entirely sure what one was, but I do everything she tells me to do, so here goes.

What was your earliest film-related memory?
Let's Scare Jessica to Death, though I wish it was a happier, Muppet-style movie. I've heard that this isn't much of a scary movie at all and, in fact, tends to be unintentionally hilarious. I'll never know for sure as I will never see this movie again.

I was around four or five, and had an astonishingly incompetent & irresponsible babysitter who plopped me in front of the television & proceeded to talk with her boyfriend for hours. It was the ABC Saturday Night movie, and I couldn't hear the theme song ever again without a shiver running down my spine. I was pathetically grateful when they finally changed it some years ago. I don't even remember much from the movie except for the images of an empty rocking chair & a cloudy beach. I do remember the absolute terror I felt as I cried and shook with fear. And I remember my parents coming home, finding me awake and crying on the couch, then discovering my one year-old brother, asleep on the kitchen floor wearing nothing but a dirty diaper. I'm sure that, in the end, the most horrifying experience that night was the babysitter's.

Name two favorite lines from movies
I'm rebelling and including four favorite lines. I'm such a cool maverick, I make James Dean look like a cowering rule-follower.

"Do you ever get the mean reds? The blues are because you're getting fat or because it's been raining too long. You're just sad, that's all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you're afraid and you don't know what you're afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?" - Breakfast at Tiffany's

"Apes don't read philosophy."
"Yes they do, Otto. They just don't understand it." - A Fish Called Wanda

"What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies, when he can't have babies?"
"It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression."
"It's symbolic of his struggle against reality." - Life of Brian

"What are you playing at?"
"Words. Words. They're all we have to go on." - Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Three jobs you'd do if you could not work in "The Biz"
I love the idea that there's a hope in hell of me ever working in "The Biz." Let's see...
  1. I've always secretly longed to be a marine biologist.
  2. Trashy romance novelist (only to fund my true profession of tennis tournament groupie)
  3. International spy
Name four jobs you have actually held outside The Industry
  1. Well, there's my current job: Application & implementation manager at a computer software company (who would want a glamorous job in "The Biz" when one could do this?!?)
  2. Waitress at Denny's in Miami: definitely one of the highpoints of past jobs. Oh yeah.
  3. Manager of a garden center: Playing in dirt with flowers and trees and shrubs while wearing grubby clothes and flip flops. I enjoyed that job to a ridiculous degree.
  4. Copy editor at an advertising agency: if it hadn't been for the fact that all of my coworkers were raving lunatic asses, it could have been fun.
Three book authors I like
Three? Surely this is a typo. I'll do my best, though.
  1. Jane Austen
  2. Julian Barnes
  3. Dorothy Sayers (I just discovered her and am in the first flush of infatuated passion)
  4. I have to include Milan Kundera
  5. Oh, and Audrey Niffenegger
So, can I expect a loud knock on my door from the meme police? Perhaps in the middle of the night?

Name two movies you would like to remake or properties you'd like to adapt
  1. Movie I'd like to remake: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. After all of Branagh's pompous posturing about how he was finally going to adapt the real book and pay homage to Mary Shelley's vision, he cheapened the story as much, and in some ways more, than anyone who came before him. As it's near the top of my list of all-time favorite books, and I think it would make a fantastic movie, I want to do it.
  2. Property I'd like to adopt: Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers. I just read this a few weeks ago & kept thinking how wonderful a movie it would make.
Name one screenwriter you think is underrated
Joss Whedon. So underrated that it's become almost absurdly parodic. One of the best screenwriters we've had in ages, and completely ignored and snubbed. It's a travesty & thinking about it raises my blood pressure.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

(Self) Piteous Reflection

I stopped by the the gift shop of my hotel today, innocently intent on buying a bottle of water. It's a small & poorly laid-out gift shop, and the doorway was completely blocked by a large roller bag. I asked - politely, casually, "please" included - the small, attractive blonde woman if she'd move her luggage. Instead of the cheerful compliance I expected, she glared at me, slowly looked me up and down and said, "you could stand to lose a few pounds. If you weren't so fat, maybe you could get by." (While I am fully aware that this obserervation is far enough from the point to be in a different galaxy, let the record state that Kate Moss couldn't have squeezed past her luggage.) It was a sickening moment: I froze, then felt the weird rush I associate with extreme moments of humiliation: sudden shivering cold, followed by a flash of heat that settles uncomfortably in your stomach. She was staring at me with a smug little smile, but had pulled back her luggage enough for me to unfreeze and scurry (plod? lumber?) past her into the store.

In the time it took me to grab water & take it to the register, I'd processed enough to feel absolute fury, liberally spiced with righteous indignation. I walked out to the lobby where a couple colleagues were waiting for me, and there she sat - just a few seats away from them. I snapped (and probably evened the karmic scales) and pointed to her. "That woman," I said, miraculously managing an amused laugh, "just called me fat." They expressed appropriate disbelief and horror, staring right at her. She'd just opened her laptop and was staring fixedly at it. They demanded the story, which I relayed briefly. As we gathered up our luggage and coats to leave, they kept loudly marveling at how insane, cruel and unacceptable her behavior was. She did turn red at first and refuse to look up, but as I was walking away, she looked right at me and gave me an evilly sweet smile. I'm still shocked, actually, that I'm sitting on a plane typing, rather than sitting in a jail on assault charges, cowering.

I'm disappointed that this incident is what prompted me to finally write an entry in here, but I'll muster sadly on... I have to admit that body issues, centering around my weight, have been on my mind a lot recently, so it's not such a surprise that this triggered the blog babble mechanism for me. But, before I continue I need to offer a couple (possibly asinine, ludicrous or both) facts and disclaimers:
  • I am, indeed, overweight.
  • This posts contains levels of self-pity that may prove lethal to small children and animals.
  • While I have my moments of troubling, depressing insecurity over my weight, it's not something that regularly bothers or upsets me. My self-esteem isn't perfect, but it is made of pretty solid stuff.
  • I expected my blog to be a place of fun & (attempted) wit. Not to mention this is far more personal of an entry than I ever imagined posting.
  • Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in information contained in this blog.
As people in the Hizzy know, I recently indulged in a big nostalgia project when I was home spending the holidays with my family. My parents have a big box of unsorted photographs that go back a couple of decades, and I went through them all & scanned a number of them to upload. It was wonderfully nostalgic: fun, funny, bittersweet, reflective. But I found myself shocked, amazed & sadly enthralled by one picture:
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It was taken when I was in college, but could've been anywhere from my early to late twenties. (Ugly cabinets tell me that it predates Hurricane Andrew, though, which while tragic, did get rid of those cabinets and give my mom her dream kitchen.) Including this picture in this entry must smack of a weird sort of defensive narcissim: "Marvel at how thin I was! I may be all kinds of fat pudginess now, but look! Look! I was thin! I was so much closer to a societally acceptable idea of beauty!" But really, that's not what sparked my fascination with it. Rather, it was the memory of how much I hated my body beginning in my teens and through my mid-twenties. It was insane, it was ludicrous. I remember hating to shop for clothes because I felt so many made me look like a whale. I remember dreading, to the point of nausea, boyfriends seeing my whole naked body for the first time.

And in the interim between discovering that picture a few weeks ago and the incident today, I've had this corny daydream of traveling back in time to meet up with my old self to give her a hug, then a sharp slap, and implore, nay, demand, that she love and appreciate her body & herself. To tell her that one day she's going to be fatter, but much more secure & generally happier. But given how upset I am, how much I keep staring down at my rolled, Buddha-esque belly & overly ample thighs and feeling a horrible mixture of self-hatred and panic, I realize I couldn't have that conversation with her without being a complete hypocrite. Because, clearly, this is a far greater issue for me than I've let myself realize. If I was as secure as I thought, one random comment from a cruel stranger wouldn't have had this effect.

So, I don't know where I am anymore with respect to my body or how much my self-esteem is tied-up in it. I trust I'll bounce right back as I'm wont to do: that in a few days (or maybe even tomorrow), I'll be back to my normal self, laughing at how upset and melodramatically philosophical I got over this incident. I'll accept again the idea that any insecurity I feel is within normal ranges & can't be avoided. But I think my return to that accustomed place will be sullied by niggling disbelief. I know now that I've been fooling myself, to some extent, about the degree of self-acceptance and self-love I have for myself. In addition to feeling sad and angry, I'm feeling oddly unsure & discombobulated. I do know, though, that I'm angry. At this point I'm not sure, however, if I'm angrier at her or myself.