Archive for February, 2012

The Unbearable Lightness of Fatness

My friend Danielle has a pretty cool blog.  You should check it here.

It kind of motivated me to talk about some of this.  I promise to be honest.

So, I don’t know a single woman that likes her body completely.  I think that we ladies are biologically incapable of loving ourselves truly all the time, whether we’re big or small or done up or dressed down.  I have no idea why that is.  I would like to say this goes way back, back into the ooze we crawled from or the particles we originated from.

"Does this galaxy make me look fat?"

Truthfully, I wish that were different.  I wish there was a way to reconcile “being pretty” and “not being thin” in our brains.   Because part of being a woman is that we are supposed to be appealing, visually, however you want to define that.  But I’ve met pretty girls that were not thin, I’ve met thin girls that were not pretty, and I’ve met pretty girls who were also thin who thought they were neither of those things.  It’s no wonder we’re all crazy.

But, back to the fat.

A month or two ago I was hanging out with a guy I was dating and we were talking about food.  And we both agreed on something.  Details fuzzy.  But he says, “Yay for being fat!” And he gives me a high five.

And so help me God, I could have smacked him.  He meant it in jest, it was completely good-natured, and I smiled politely and returned the high five.  He was a bigger guy.  He was putting us both in the “fat” category.  He wasn’t trying to single me out or make me self-conscious.

But the word “fat” is a tricky one.  It has a lot of power if you don’t know how to handle it.  And I don’t, really.  I have never had control over that word.  I have actively avoided using that word, or giving it context, or seeing it as it applies to me my entire life.  I’ve always used other euphemisms to describe myself: full-figured, curvy, voluptuous.  These words have positive connotations.  You can’t use these words negatively.  “Look at that bitch, she’s too voluptuous.”

Nope, never gonna happen.

I don’t remember ever being conventionally thin.  Maybe when I was a kid, less than 8 years old.  But I’ve always looked like this in varying degrees.  Every part of my posture, the way I walk, the way I stand, the way I sit, the way I move, has come up around me being built this way.  And here’s a confession: I don’t hate it.  I can buy clothes in regular and plus-size stores, I can dress up well, I can be sexy, I can be put together.  But I have not always felt this way.

No man I’ve ever been with has had any complaints about the way I look.  I’ve been told that I’m beautiful.  I’m finally at a point where I believe those compliments.

But if someone calls me fat, it shuts me down.  And that’s a tragedy.  Because I’m too pretty to feel like that.  And there are other fat girls that are too pretty for that.  We’re all far too pretty to let that word make us feel bad.  Intellectually, I think we all know it.

So, I’m going to make a greater effort to embrace my fatness.  I’ve embraced what I look like.  And now it’s time to embrace my descriptors.  Because it’s only a bad word if you let it be one.  And I promise to work on that.

Here’s a picture of a fat kitty.  Because this a comedy blog, goddammit.

More funny stuff later this week.  Promise.

Your music sucks: why some men are undateable.

I’m a big fan of music.  I’m also a douche bag when it comes to music.  The only genre of music I flat out refuse to give much cred is contemporary jazz, and I think I’m being fair when I see it as a bunch of dudes jacking each other off through their ear holes.

They don't call it "scatting" for nothing, guys.

And the truth is, we’re all free to like what we like.  I love that about freedom.  And America fuck yeah.  But I don’t have to date you if I find your music abhorrent.  I’m free to do that too.

I very recently started chatting with a young gent through eHarmony (which is utterly awful, by the way.  A post entirely dedicated to it’s ineptitude is forthcoming), and we got to the final part of the conversation where we reveal more details about ourselves.  His list of favorite music bands comes up, and they are: Michael Buble and Nickelback.

All communication immediately ceased on my end.  And it will remain ceased.  Because there are several things I tolerate willingly, but bad music isn’t it.  You’re permitted to like embarrassing things, and I believe we all have that CD in our collection that has the potential to shrivel the genitals of any potential partner.

Not nearly as ashamed as I should be.

But the good should far outweigh the bad.  Would I ever list this as a “favorite”?  Hell naw.  And that’s the key.  Your favorites should be fantastic, your questionables should be okay, and your downright awfuls should be well-hidden – which applies to all other traits, I think.

"Yay, the room is clean for when my date comes over. And the dead hoboes are hidden in the closet."

So here is a list of music I just can’t tolerate, and the reasons why, and what that awful music says about you.  Let’s do it!

1.  Nickelback

I mentioned them in a previous post found here.  They represent, to me, a rock music that panders to the lowest common denominator.  If you look at them technically, it’s not like the music is “bad”, it’s just not good.  The lyrics are at the 2nd grade reading level, the music is monotonous and predictable, it’s gimmicky, the singer’s voice is grating, and their inflated sense of grandeur makes them unlikable.

What liking Nickelback says about you: you’re unsophisticated.  You lack depth.  You’re happy with being “safe” and don’t take risks or find deeper meanings or payoffs in everyday life.  You’re also probably not very smart.  Sorry, fellas.

2.  Michael Buble

On top of having one of the worst names ever, this guy embodies style without substance.  He’s a throwback to the era of the crooners (Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, etc) but lacks the guts and brass balls those guys had.  He’s a puppy in a tuxedo, a sloth in an evening gown, a sheep in wolf’s clothing.  His voice isn’t terrible, but it’s not great either, and it’s just plain cheesy.

"Michael? Is that you?"

What liking Michael Buble says about you: you have no idea what romantic is.  You’re a mild, white cheddar in a sea of delicious bries.  You have no grit.  You have no edge.  And nothing gets me drier than a guy without peaks and valleys.  Save your pseudo-smooth slow jams for a good Baptist girl that likes white wine.

3.  Kenny G

Very recently dated a guy that freely admitted to me liking this person.  His other music tastes were fine, so I permitted him this (he also had a magical penis that glossed over a lot of flaws), but this is usually a deal breaker for me.  I’m not a big fan of instrumental music, in general.  I like lyrics.  I like a fine singer.  As a writer, I think a lot of the depth of good music comes from the words that are said.  When my heart is broken I need something to sing, something to scribble on the backs of my notebooks, something to quote when I’m feeling particularly morose.  Likewise, if I’m any emotion at all, I need something to relate to.  And I find instrumental stuff like this to have no spirit, no sense of humanity.  It’s oddly detached.  And that makes me uncomfortable.  I understand that it’s a personal preference, but how do you even say what your favorite Kenny G song is?  “Oh, dude, it’s the song that’s like ‘nee nee nee, noo nee nee nee, badda-di-di-doo.”

Hey now, I won five grammys for that song "Nee nee nee, noo di-da-dee"

What liking Kenny G says about you: you’re detached.  Not necessarily an awful person, but probably not a great person.

4.  Toby Keith

There’s that ubiquitous phrase “I like all music except country”, and I think Toby Keith is partially to blame for this reality.  He’s a caricature of country music.  And I’m not a huge fan of country, but I have been known to listen to a song or two, and I find old country western and bluegrass music to be quite enjoyable.  But this new country, of which Toby Keith is their knight in shining wranglers, is really American but in that arrogant, uncool way.

"Fuuuckk, boots in our asses mohammad jihad."

What liking Toby Keith says about you: I would never date you.  Not in a million bajillion gazillion cotillion brazilian years.  You’re probably a social conservative, a supporter of our troops even though you support them going out to die, and a proud member of the NRA.  That’s just not my style.  And you’re free to have yours.  America!

Laughing Skull Lounge – February 15

It really meant a lot to have so many people out tonight.  Stand up is what I’ve always wanted to do.  It’s something I love.  And to have the support of people I also love means a whole heap.  I get to do it tomorrow.  I’m making it happen, and I don’t think I could be happier.  Thank you from the bottom of my black, shriveled heart.

The Pride of Boys

A short story, after a long hiatus.  More comedy later in the week.

 

            Danny was clicking the can of Tab with pinging thumps.  Empty.  The beating of my heart.  I had been trying to drown out the sound by focusing my mind elsewhere; running water, crickets, leaves flapping against each other, the inward swell of air.  The day was hot and had that sound like a long hum, low and oozing. 

            “When’s he getting back, dipshit?”

            “Don’t know.” Danny said.  He kept tapping on the can.

            Danny’s brother, Robbie, had a way of taking care of things.  Danny and I had been sitting in the woods for nearly two hours.  We talked very little.

            “You don’t need to worry about Robbie.  He’s good people.  Tight-lipped. “

            Danny said that to break the awkwardness between us but all it did was make me more nervous, more aware of the awkwardness. He threw the can with the other litterings, letting it clang with the trash, the old mufflers, the mounds of shit piled like ruins.  He stood up and shielded his eyes from the sun.  

            “Hot as a bitch.”

            “Yeah.” I said, not really wanting to answer but feeling compelled to.  Just to say something.  To convince myself that this is what people do when guys are bleeding just a few feet away.  They talk about the weather.  They sweat.  I tried not to pay much attention to our friend leaning against the silo.

            “Pussy over there,” Danny said, waving his finger at our friend, “had it comin’.”

            Maybe he did.  I didn’t know the details and I didn’t need to know them.  Danny spit into the grass, wiped his mouth on his sleeve and walked over to me. 

            “We could finish this, you know.  No need bringing new blood into this.”

            “I don’t want to finish this.” I said.  “This isn’t mine to take care of.”

            Danny looked at our friend again with a careful look, narrowing his eyes and relaxing his mouth to speak but changing his train of thought. 

            “You’re in it now, partner.”

            I knew I was in it, more than I cared to be, and I had no choice but to wait it out.  Our friend had done something bad to Robbie and Danny’s sister, apparently.  He’d taken advantage of her.  We knew what that meant.  It was rumor, though, something you can’t take for whole truth, something that people talk about because they don’t have anything else. I didn’t think it was worth killing someone over but Robbie and Danny had too much pride to let something like that slink off.  Too much pride for most things.  I’d be lying if I thought we were coming out here to talk like diplomats but I just didn’t think it would go wrong, not until I saw Danny knife him in the side.  The blood was a thick black now.  Syrupy.  Tacky.

            In the distance I could hear footsteps in the brush.  Robbie and two guys I didn’t know came. 

            “He still alive?”

            “Think so,” Danny said, “haven’t checked in awhile.”

            Robbie was tall and lean with a long chin.  He had blond hair like Kansas straw that hung in his face and my sister had been writing his name in notebooks for years.  He had the look of someone famous and pristine.  He had a face that hid everything dark.  It was face that belonged to someone you’d never know.

            Robbie walked over to our friend and crouched down real low. His shoulders rippled as the shirt grew tight on his back.  You can’t keep girls from liking shit like that. 

            “You awake, fucker?”

            Yeah, our friend said.  It was more like a drawl.  He didn’t look Robbie in the face, just kept looking at his feet.

            “Well, I’m not gonna kill ya.  I know you’ve been waiting to here that.”

            Robbie got up and walked to one of the guys and whispered something.  They both walked over to our friend and pulled him up.  They put his hands behind his back and held his shoulders tight.  The blood that had turned to molasses on his shirt stayed put.  Right after that I saw Danny, who had been pretty quiet since Robbie arrived, grab a long pipe and smash it against our friend’s right knee, then the left.  A quick one two.  I flinched and the guy dropped like a sack.

            Robbie just stood there looking down at him, his hands clenched and jaw held tight. 

            “You deserve worse, river rat.” he said.  Our friend’s face was swollen and he jerked between screams that made my skin feel cold like it wasn’t mine.  Like they were coming from someone else, or maybe I was just reading words, or just remembering something far off.  I tried to figure out how far I’d be able to get before they finally caught up to me.  How long could I run?  Would I just have to keep running, going somewhere farther and farther into the distance that never got close?  Would it even matter, in the end, if they got me now or later?  I’m in it, partner.

            Robbie bent down and used his hand to wipe the hair from his face, tossing his head to the side.  Gallant.

            “I don’t think you’re gonna get far, and I’d be damn surprised if you live tonight after the coyotes come after you.  Or whatever the fuck else lives out here.”

            He buried his head in the wet ground and let out a couple of clucking sounds.  A boy attempt at not crying.  He was mouthing words we couldn’t hear.  In my brain, I was asking him not to beg.  And for God’s sake, don’t remember my face if you get through this.  Please don’t.

            Robbie continued on, annoyed, fidgety. 

            “I could handle you being trash.  Not my place, you see.  I could handle your fucking games. I can handle bellyachin’ and bullshit. But you’re not gonna play with what I have.  I’m gonna make an example of you, something even shits like you can understand.  The only thing that even matters.”

            He kicked him in the side and the sound made a crack like old wood.  A snap.  It was a familiar sound that made me think of innocent things – chopping, tree houses, winter.  Our friend tensed and let out a scream that was being choked like a weight was crushing him from the inside.  Robbie got down on his knees and crouched over him, his hair hanging down, his hands braced and deep in the dirt, his mouth inches from his ear. 

           A secret being shared.