28 September 2009

How Do I Say This...?

I've noticed a new trend in Feminist writings (and, remember, I am one with a capital F), that I find rather concerning. Of course, talking about it will surely make me unpopular. But, so what? Popularity has never been a concern of mine.

There seems to be a new wave of encouraging women to feel good about being heavy, while condemning other women for being thin. Some of the encouragement I've read borders on bullying. It doesn't make sense to me. The assumption is that heavy is normal, while thin is forced. As a woman, I find that somewhat offensive. We are still attacking each other, still trying to define what is right and wrong. After all this time, is this where Feminism has gotten us?

Let's be honest: People who are severely overweight typically don't feel good, physically or emotionally. Ask someone who's lost a lot of weight. I get being supportive of women accepting themselves for who and how they are. I get being against the rail-thin models and the airbrushed magazine covers. What I don't get is the fact that we aren't talking about being our best, about caring and respecting ourselves enough to eat well and exercise, not because Madison Avenue or Hollywood says we should, but because it's good for us.

You know I'm a big proponent of health care reform. But I know that starts in our shopping carts. Let's start pointing the finger at how we eat instead of what we see on TV, magazines or on film. Back in the 80s, we were made aware of anorexia and bulemia and how widespread they were. Those are terrible eating disorders. But so is constant bingeing on sweets and processed, high-fat unnatural foods. Overeating is as dangerous and deadly, yet we are silently accepting it as "normal".

Somehow, it's acceptable to say, "Ick. You can't expect me to eat rabbit food my whole life," like fruits and vegetables are the enemy. Or "Exercise? I don't want to get all sweaty," like it's cute to be that much of a princess. But it's not acceptable to say, "I'd like to lose ten pounds." Immediately, you are diagnosed with either an eating disorder or a poor self-image, obviously warped by some gossip weekly. Because, somehow, women still can't make up their own minds. We are so weak that we are easily guided by glossies. We see a starlet who is a size 0 and we must be a size zero, too. Or, we are thin because we want to live up to some male fantasy. Skip the bread basket and you are accused of being a carbophobe instead of getting a back-pat for avoiding white flour. To me, it's nonsensical.

As women, we should be at a point in society where we have the right to accept who we are, or change who we are, as it suits us. Hopefully, that acceptance or change will always be in a healthy manner. Of course, sometimes it's not. Sometimes we are trying to live up to a fantasy. Sometimes we are starving ourselves to death. Sometimes we are eating ourselves to death. But the fact that we are still being told what is "normal" is nutty.

This rallying cry to celebrate obesity is as dangerous as championing anorexia. Yet, why don't we see that as such? Whether the medical issues are showing or not, we know being severely overweight is not healthy for the body. And there are a lot of unhealthy people dealing with this. Weight gain and loss is just simple math. But, for it to be blown out of proportion in either direction, that speaks of issues deeper than one too many pieces of pizza. It's easier to stay as we are than it is to change, but that doesn't mean "acceptance" is the answer. I would rather women respect and care for themselves enough to be the best they can be than accept where they are. Shouldn't we care enough to feed our bodies the healthiest foods out there, move our bodies so they stay nimble and strong, and look inside to find out what makes us tick than to merely accept things as they are? To paraphrase the Serenity Prayer: Change what we can, accept what we can't and have the wisdom to know the difference between the two.

It's not society that makes us feel bad about ourselves. Media is not to blame for a poor self-image. Women aren't that weak. This is 2009, after all. We are in charge. Everyday, we make choices. Some are good for us, some are not. Each day, we get to make new choices. We can repeat our mistakes or go a different route. The only thing we should utterly accept is responsibility. There are always reasons for why things are the way they are, but we should know by now that if we want a happy ending, we need to write it ourselves. And, when it doubt, edit.

14 September 2009

Now What Am I Going To Do?

September sucks! "Rescue Me" ended on the first. Nine Inch Nails ended on the tenth (and sadly, no, I did not get tickets for the very last show at the Wiltern...sigh). And "True Blood" finished yesterday, not to return for nine long months. Nine months!!! Which I've made more painful by readying Alan Ball interviews replete with spoilers, so I have a hint as to what will happen NINE MONTHS FROM NOW! Farg.

I suppose I need a hobby...or a life...but I do love good television. And it is so hard to find. So, when a show ends -- even for hiatus -- it hurts a little. And to lose two in such a short span...there is a tear in my eye, people. Though, that's probably just my allergies.

What's worse is that this month, September, they are filming the last 19 episodes of "Rescue Me", which will be spread out over two seasons. The series will end on September 11, 2011. Rip my heart out, why don't you? There's no word when season six will air.

"True Blood" will be back. I know only one new season is confirmed but, unless they totally blow it, I see at least two more. Figure the cast has signed five-year deals, so we are at least going to get that. (Please, Baby Jesus, I hope.)

In the meantime, I don't know what I'll do with myself. Perhaps learn to knit? Take up bridge? It's going to be a long winter, my friends.

04 September 2009

Going Solo

If you know one thing about me, it's probably that I act on impulse. I've long ago learned this is not always a positive. I mean, one should really look to see if there is water in the pool before one takes a dive, but I don't really have time for all that. Sometimes, I just have to do what I want to do, no matter what.

If you know two things about me, the other is that love me some Nine Inch Nails. It's been bugging me that I've stayed so broke and couldn't afford to go to any of the last Nine Inch Nails shows. I missed the NIN/JA tour with Jane's Addiction. And, now, they were in town to do the last shows...forever. I know. Poor me. But, five months ago, I thought I'd be in a better place.

Last Tuesday, in an effort to get to a better place, I was at happy hour with a friend. As I finished up my discount martini, and she went and she went out to feed the meter, I checked Twitter from my BlackBerry. Once again, when I was nowhere near my computer, Nine Inch Nails released tickets. [Insert litany of expletives here.] We finished up our chat, our drinks and $4 edamame, and then she took me home.

There, I opened my laptop and logged on to the site. One last pathetic try for tickets. I checked Thursday's show. Sold out. I tried for Saturday's show. Sold out. I wasn't even going to try for Sunday's show, their last, because that had to be sold out...and it was in Glendale. Yes, I appreciate the irony of it being at the Echoplex, but the drive would be a buzz kill. That only left Wednesday night, the next night. Available. I took in a breath. At $65 a ticket, I couldn't afford one let alone two. And I knew that none of my friends would be up for something that late notice at that price that didn't come with seats. So, I did the unthinkable and bought a single ticket.

Going to the movies alone is one thing. Having a meal alone is another. Going to a concert alone was...weird. I called two friends I thought might be up for it, or actually going. By the time one tried to buy tickets, they were all gone. I was indeed going solo. This, for me, was the ultimate single-gal act.

I didn't really have time to dwell on that, though. I had to figure out what to wear. Jeans were obvious, it was shoes that would be the challenge. I no longer own General Admission footwear. And open-toed sandals are not appropriate for this kind of gig. Much to my chagrin, I put on a pair of Nikes and then found that I no longer own jeans that are made for sneakers.

The compromises one makes to see one of her favorite bands perform one of their last shows ever should not be underestimated.

The entire drive over to the Palladium, I debated on whether or not I would squeeze to the front of the stage. I'm the kind that can and would. I'm also the kind who doesn't really like the general public, or having them sweat or breath on me. Then again, I do love Reznor, and this would be one my my last chances to really get my punk on. Decisions, decisions.

The last time I had been to the Palladium, it was for a charity show I had won tickets to. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mike Watt and Eddie Vedder performed. I ended up next to the barrier, right from center and separated from my friend. It was this event that brought to my attention that "slam dancing" and "moshing" were two, totally different things. Slamming was organized chaos that had the pit and the perimeter. Moshing just happened wherever some eejit wanted to do it. And he was doing it all over my platforms! This was also when I realized punk was dead. I told a guy just over the barrier, "Next time security goes to the center to break up a scuffle, take my hand so I can get over the barrier. I want to get up on stage." He looked at me and said, "No." What? That's when I said, "What the hell are you doing here? There's no such thing as 'No' at a gig!" Meanwhile, my thigh was being molested by some drunkard I had to keep elbowing. Two other guys finally came over to help me out, scared away the perv, and we enjoyed the rest of the show. Chivalry lives, even in bondage pants.

Upon that reflection, I was happy to take my place off the floor. To the right of the stage, only equipment between me and the band. Trent would face me (yes, me) while he played keyboards. It was the perfect place. No one was crowding, molesting, or even spilling beer. It was, dare I say, civilized. And, I could have worn my sandals. Lesson learned.

Another lesson learned is that there is no graceful way to exit a crowd surf. In spite of doing it about eight times throughout the night, this one girl never ended hers well. The highlight of the night was watching two girls get tackled by security when they tried to rush the stage, making the wrong decision to do it over the equipment and computers. If you are going to do that, 1) you should have a good game plan, 2) you should be in better shape; speed and agility are everything, and 3) stop when the guards get to you, unless you want to end up ass over teakettle. Know the risks, people.

The show ended without an encore. Reznor was quite sick, but gave us his all. So much so, they had to reschedule the remaining dates of this Wave Goodbye Tour. My ears are still ringing (I took out my earplugs...I couldn't resist), which can't be a good thing, but it does make me smile. This is just confirmation that a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do, even if she has to do it alone.