Friday, February 27, 2009
Vacation was great - in a nutshell:
Cruise, never again, hordes of 300 pound tourists stuffing their faces off of the most food I've ever seen on a daily basis, just a food orgy, very unevolved and ungrateful in a way. Although I will admit that I spent A LOT more time than absolutely necessary at the fish and chips concession. And the special chocolate dessert buffet left me tweaked and covered in chocolate sauce on a complete sugar bender.
But they overcharge you for every little thing except for the food and you don't get enough time in each port to see much and the swimming pools on the boat are either packed with hideous, nose-picking, screeching children (family side) or a Cocoon like collection of (albeit lovely, but ginormous) aging people who bob cheerfully and in large groups, getting in the way of any actual swimming. On the upside, the staterooms were gorgeous and we had lovely balconies in a row together with the best of friends.
The dolphin sanctuary we went to on the Isla Roatan in the Honduras was magical. The dolphins were so happy and funny and generous that I understand completely why they (as well as whales) are said to be very evolved beings. I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to learn a little about them and see them close-up in action. It was such a gift. And then after that we went to the most beautiful beach I've ever been on and swam with angel fish and stingrays. Drew got stung by a jellyfish and I very kindly offered to pee on him numerous times, but oddly he refused.
However, on the way in to the sanctuary we passed through some extremely poor areas and out of the bus window I saw two very emaciated dogs and our friend James saw a horse in the same condition - ribs and spine breaking through skin, sadness the only energy. So that set me off and I cried the entire way while trying to work out how I could get out of the van mid-trip and track back to the tin shack general store to get some dog food (and horse chow??) and lug it back through the jungle to these random other tin shacks to make it all better. Which of course was impossible, and tragic, and deeply upsetting. If the dolphins' silliness hadn't been so infectious I would have ruined everyone's day with my hysteria. As it is I kept my eyes shut for most of the ride back to the boat, and can only say prayers and trust that there's a larger plan that I cannot always see.
And drugs...Did you know that you can get valium and vicodin very cheaply and without a prescription in Belize? Neither did we! And unfortunately Drew and I wanted some peace and quiet and did not get out at that port, I got a facial and he worked out instead. So we had to mooch all of Mike's fabulous new pills for the night's festivities once he got back on the boat. Everyone enjoyed that night's cruise entertainment of song and dance tribute to the 80's waaaay more than it probably warranted sober. I would have given the Purple Rain number (complete with Prince impersonator and a couple in pirate shirts doing a sexy dance on a motorcycle) a standing ovation if I could have stood up for any longer than a few seconds at a time.
So of course our entire group spent the next day in Cozumel running from Farmacia to Farmacia asking for fun drugs in broken Spanish. Although we could not get what we wanted, it was a really fun and silly day just feeling like criminals looking around, and we enjoyed the best Mexican food of our lives.
Although it was great and I wouldn't trade it, I felt very small in certain ways on the trip, I hated the way I looked most of the time, I felt like I looked very old, I kept finding flaw after flaw in the mirror and just felt insecure in general. I'm really trying lately to step outside of the ego attachments that rule everything I do and say, and it's great but it's confusing, like falling down the rabbit hole, and it usually manifests in the physical for me. If I am not this certain set of symbols (being thought of as beautiful being just one example) that I've created to represent myself, then who am I? I felt some of that panic on this trip, just floating in the sea or wandering through clanging slot machines and feeling myself drift.
Then I'm back in NY and although I have whatever issues with my age and appearance and past and future, I felt back in my own power and okay about myself. But maybe that fall into the hole is what we must experience to shed old energy and attachments that no longer serve us? Or perhaps I'm just pissy about having to be back at work...
So I had all these deep thoughts on my way to the store today that are mostly gone now that I have time to write. I got into a minor text war early in the morning with a friend who has hurt someone I love, and it made me feel anxious and sad. I just don't like arguing with people anymore. And another person I love was on my mind as she struggles to keep her whole world afloat in the current economy. I just felt the weight of all the beauty and awfulness of being alive. It's so fucking hard, sometimes doesn't it feel amazing that we're able to do it at all? And yet we just do.
So I stomped to the store in my Patricia Field for Payless boots with my Calvin Klein sunglasses and my Motor jeans and my Montenegro leather jacket, ipod playing rock and roll, all the armor back on and carrying coffee and feeling gratitude for the energy that New York City seems to feed me. It is imperative to get out of this city whenever possible, but for whatever reason it's where I feel most comfortable in my skin.
And then I just got on with the day. I wish I had something deeper to impart, but I don't.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
We all know everyone is airbrushed but it's important to remind ourselves that the images of perfection that we see are not real and contain standards that we can't hold ourselves to in our day to day life. Even someone as perfect as Jessica Alba gets whittled and smoothed.
And on this tip, I saw a gorgeous but dangerously anorexic girl in my gym yesterday. She had a beautiful face but when she pulled her clothing off it was terrifying. I've never seen anything like it, her back looked like a dinosaur's because you could see every vertebrae, and she still had a weird little pot belly around her abdomen (my constant neurosis bc I don't have a perfectly flat stomach) because her organs are in there and everything else was emaciated down to concave. I don't know how she was able to work out, and it was such a tragedy to see. Everyone in the room was stunned to silence.
To me it was a reminder that we (and by we I mean both women AND men) need to stay strong and love ourselves and to take care of and enjoy our bodies the way they are. We are all so beautiful there is so much potential for joy in being alive, and we spend so much time arguing the fact. (Translation - spaghetti with a glass of wine for dinner tonight! Yee haw!)
And I stole this list from The Beauty Stop - my comments are italicized...
While fashion trends come and go in a flash these days, one constant
seems to be the height of the heels on our, well, heels - high, higher
and vertiginous. So whether you’re a seasoned stiletto gal or a
fresh-faced foot fashionista-in-training, here’s 10 tips to ensure you
last longer than 10 minutes in your strapping, sexy and sadistic new
1) Make sure they fit firmly - and properly. It sounds basic, but lust can often blinker our perspective when flashing the plastic on a fab new pair of Blahnik’s finest. Too tight, you’ll be in pure hell in minutes (and on a fast track to bunions); too loose and you risk serious ankle injury. Either way it’s not worth your money or the risk.
3) Ignore the fashion editorials and do not wear stockings or socks with strappy heels - this will eliminate the ability of your toes to get a ‘grip’, which is integral to maintaining your stability. Stockings + strappy, open-toed heels = accident waiting to happen.
4) Confidence is key - think how awkward teenage girls look in 3″ plus heels - like newly born giraffes. Lean back, stand tall, chest up (not out), lower stomach muscles slightly contracted to support your lower back - and stride, from the hip.
5) Be a little strategic - there’s no shame in wearing little fold-away flats or ballet slippers til you reach your destination (or like me, just around the corner - after all, you don’t want to spoil your entrance!)
7) Minimise the walking you have to do - it all adds up over the hours to quite a distance… Avoid stairs, and uneven surfaces. (and sit down at every opportunity)
8) Take the opportunity to link arms or hands with a friend or partner - the extra stability always helps! (This is also a great way to get close with someone you're interested in. Omg, I'm so Sex and the City right now...)
9) Or just don’t walk at all - put funds aside for cabs. If you think this is too extravagant, think about how how much your feet hurt last time you overwore high heels, and how much you would have willingly paid for a foot massage to relieve the agony. Would you have paid more for a massage than the cost of the taxi? Thought so…
10) Nothing is less appealing than a woman in high heels who looks like she’s suffering. You bought them, knowing just what you were getting yourself into. So if, despite all the above, you find yourself in pain, please don’t moan and groan. Pride yourself on your stoic sensibility - and just smile. (Oh please. Do all the whining you like, it's a good way to get a seat.)
All right, gotta go make some calls. I just noticed that there's no new Rock of Love Bus episode tonight. Damn it! Heads will roll!!