Friday, August 28, 2009

They took it down!

PETA removed their disgusting ad and replaced it with a smartass one-- "GONE-- just like all the pounds lost by people who go vegetarian"

I am still going to consider this a victory-- even with their smarmy smart ass comment.

An unpopular opinion

Okay, I know that this will shock a lot of people but I support Nadya Suleman. In prinicipal. I know having 14 kids is more than a little crazy, but even if she can't afford it right now-- this is the USA. Her circumstances can change!
She's getting a masters degree, she could potentially make more money than most of us- who knows.
I think this is mostly about bashing a single mom.
If she was married, this would be less likely to be such a bashing opportunity.
Today on facebook, there was a poll wanting people like her banned from having children.
Really? Banned?
And who gets to decide this?
Does a panel of your peers decide this?
Does a panel of Roman Catholics get to decide?
Who gets to tell me I am not allowed to have children.
Shall we have forced sterilization?
Because when I was 17 and decided to have my baby and keep my baby, there was a panel of people that disagreed with me.
And disagreed with my second pregnancy and my third and my fourth.
I was married for my fifth so no one said anything. Ha.

But I want to know. Who do you want deciding for you?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My last name

In reading the above article about taking your husband's last name. I remember the day I realized my mother was a feminist. She laughed at me and said "of course I'm a feminist. How could you not have known?"
She didn't advertise it.
She always worked but took care of the house and yard and did everything domestically while my father did nothing, so it really was something I had to discover slowly. She was like a closet, mostly quiet, behind the scenes, not burning her bra, but doing the real work of change. Standing up in the office and saying "I'm not going to be paid less than my male colleagues."
But she took my father's last name and I guess I never gave it another thought.
My whole life, I wanted to get married to rid myself of my father's last name. I hated it and everything that had to do with him. I had the ball and chain of my father's name around my neck, dragging me down. He was attached to my identity and I hated it. I wanted my own.
It never occured to me that I would be co-opting an identity from my husband- aligning with another male clan that I would be attached to.
When my little brother got married, his wife did not take his last name.
I didn't even realize it until I forgot their phone number and called directory assistance and it was under her maiden name.
I reported this to my mother and she said "Oh, of course she kept her last name. I knew she would."
Then my mother said "I would have kept my last name if I could have gotten away with it. Your father is still furious with me that my PhD certificate is in my maiden name. But I was determined to do that, that was my hard work, it had nothing to do with him."
Still I never really considered keeping my last name. I always thought I would rid myself of it. I even considered keeping my first husband's last name even though we had only been married for four months, but ultimately, that was ridiculously impractical, so I changed back quickly. I didn't even have time to change it all.
But mightily traumatized by a very bad first marriage, I did not jump into the second. I was well into my thirties when I got married the second time- and even then I thought that I would immediately change my name. But I didn't. I didn't come home from the honeymoon and fill out all the paperwork.
I waited.
I started hyphenating a little.
I started putting my maiden name in the middle.
I realized my professional name was all people knew me by and if I just starting posting my married name, no one would know who I was.
So I began what I thought was a transition process.
Four years later-- my social security number is still in my maiden name-- and I only changed my driver's license this year and my maiden name is still in the middle. All my credit cards are still in my maiden name.
Somehow in that time, it became not my father's identity so much but mine, and I refuse to lose my identity inside a marriage.
Now I actually prefer my husband's name and it has a lovely tone to it and goes with mine quite nicely.
In the last five years we were dating before we got married, I became quite afraid of being swallowed up by a marriage and resisted it quite mightily. He never pushed me to take that step. It was all internal. I think he would have lived quite happily for the rest of his life with me in an unmarried state.
I did discover this beautiful unexpected comfort when we did get married.
All of a sudden, I had sister in laws and a brother in law and a wonderful mother in law and father in law. This was not just my kid's family-- it was my family, too. I mean, they had never made me feel like an outsider but I had steeled myself to that reality-- that this was HIS family. Now it is our family, I can say "my niece" instead of "my boyfriend's niece". I like that. I like owning my part in this whole family. That we belong together.
Still I developed an odd attachment to my last name. I think in this transition, I will let go of it eventually but it's going to take some time but I really have a complete understanding now why some women want to keep their names.

This week, I am a vegetarian

I'm disgusted by this ad campaign but also ready to challenge them.

Okay PETA-- I'm throwing down-- this week I am going to eat no meat products whatsoever and see if I lose any weight. I had waffles for breakfast. There was no meat in them. Lots of vegetarians eat eggs, so I will continue to eat them.
I want to mention the following things that have no meat in them that I will be eating this week.

Potato Chips
Pear Pie
Dr Pepper

I will be eating vegetable and fruit-- as I do every week.
I want to see if this meat free diet will make me lost weight.
I won't overeat, I will eat as I normally so, three regular meals and a snack simply without meat.
Here I go to weigh in. I won't be sharing that number by the way... you'll just have to trust me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

my auditions...

Announcing auditions for a locally produced short film, Play Dead, a suspense thriller
by writer/director Vanessa Roman.

Saturday August 29th from 10 AM - 2 PM

Webster University
Sverdrup Business/Technology Complex8300 Big Bend Blvd.
Room 131 (Video Studio)
Please call 314-662-3686 for appointment.
There will be at least one more audition date if you cannot make this one-
will be announced later

Auditions will be monologues and cold readings from the script.

Roles available are:

Claire-- Age 15-18, Claire is a bit of a mystery as a character, she has an ethereal, angelic demeanor and speaks with detachment.

Doug- 30-45 very easygoing father figure kind of good guy character with a no nonsense quality to him

Jan- 30-45 a very tense, uptight and angry character, worn down by a lot of bad breaks in her life-- she doesn't have a lot of patience

Jessie- 20-25 the babysitter- very sarcastic and smart alecky

Adam- 20-25 Jessie's boyfriend, laid back, very easygoing guy, very friendly

Secretary any age- She is a caring, helpful, means well

Warden- any age- very professional and by the book

Jason-- 30-40- a dark and frightening character, very intense.

Prison inmates-- can be any age, there are two. Both of them are very nasty characters

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A little existential death

I have become convinced that we humans have internal clocks that cannot be reset entirely, or at least mine can't. I started sleeping late when I was a little kid. I remember one morning my mother coming into my room and saying "Get up Vanessa, it's 10 o'clock!"
This was, I think, before I started school, so I would have been four or five. I remember thinking-- wow I slept late but it feels SO good, I want to do this every day!
I never could go to sleep at bedtime either. I would always lie there for hours, my brain refusing to turn off. I remember pestering my brother lying in the bed next to me, trying to stave off the boredom. I never wanted to go to bed until I was really tired and it seemed to take later at night to make me tired.
By the time I was a teen, I had pretty much cemented myself into my night owl ways. I had my own room and I could stay up as late as I like if I didn't get caught. I remember the first book I read by flashlight when I was seven. It was Fantastic Mr Fox.
It was only the beginning of my sleep rebellion.
When I was fourteen, I went to ninth grade camp and we were sent to the Wichita Mountains. I was starting a new school and my parents thought it would be a great idea. It wasn't.
I hate hiking and camping and mountain climbing-- all of which was required. And they would say "you don't have to do anything you don't want to do." but they didn't mean it. The first time I said "I don't want to climb that," someone got behind me and pushed me up.
I cannot tell you how resentful I was of that. Still, I tolerated this great 'get up early and see the sunrise' experiment. It was supposed to be life changing, amazing, this dazzling experience, we were so close to nature...
Very reluctantly, I got up at least a half hour before the butt crack of dawn in those very cold pre-dawn hours and then we had to hike three miles- thanks for that- before breakfast.
We sat in the middle of a clearing waiting for the sunrise. I yawned, and waited for this life changing thing to happen. I waited, and waited AND waited. We were not allowed to speak at this time. Any conversation was certain to RUIN the moment.
Finally, this weak, pale yellow sun peeked over the horizon. I waited. It grew more and more light and I waited, I shivered a little, the warmth of the sun was really taking its time.
Okay-- hang on here. Where were the lovely colors? Where was the breathtaking beauty in the sky? Where were the pinks and oranges and deep darkness? Oh right, this was not a sunset. This was a pale and pathetic imitation of an unwilling sun, weak, tired and merely doing its duty getting up in the morning to groggily make its way to the kitchen and pour itself a nice cup of java. That sun was not even going to hit its full glory until 8 AM-- by then it would have stretched its hydrogen filled arms and woken up a little, given us some light.
Silently, we trudged back to camp. And all I could think was: I got up for THIS? I have missed nothing over the years!
I have always regarded the sunset as the deepest beauty in nature. The coming of night thrills me-- the dark mysteries, the evocative shadows. This is what poets write about with flourishing pens. Not this mamby pamby sunrise crap.
Sure I have stayed up all night and witnessed the sunrise but I have always looked at it with a critical eye. For me, it is a little metaphorical death. It is the death of my freedom. I used to be able to stay out til dawn and when the dawn came, I had to crawl back home. It is the death of the darkness, the murder of the night, the killing of the soft shadows.
I tried to acclimate myself to a morning world. More than once. Once I had a job that required me to be at work at 9:30- and that lasted a year or so before I switched to nights-- but the real horror came when I took a job that required me to work 7AM til 3PM.
I thought to myself, I'll just reset my clock. I tried my best to be in bed by
10 PM but I tossed and turned til midnight. I tried to fight it, I tried to acclimate to this morning world. I saw that dang sunrise every single day. I finally gave up, stayed up til midnight and took an afternoon nap. It was the only way I could cope with that schedule.
But I learned an important lesson. My clock is set.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How I accidently became friends with my husbands ex

When I start dating someone, early in the relationship, I try to have the ex conversation to sort of get things out of the way and clear the air. I like putting my cards on the table and letting people know who I am-- no illusions.
On a first date, if I'm feeling it, I'll say "I like you, and I'll probably want to go back to your house later and make out for hours but I won't be having sex with you-- I don't sleep with guys on the first date, so you may as well get it out of your head now."
So, I would say that within the first couple weeks, I had had the conversations I wanted to have about my exes and had asked my husband pointed questions about his previous relationships. I have to thank the one before me. J sort of laid the groundwork for me in a lot of ways.
I could take the temperature of our relationship by things that had happened with her-- without him realizing it, she had opened him to the possibility of something long term. They weren't right for one another but she had got him thinking.
Naturally, he had run away from her and had behaved in a completely immature way. When I met my husband I saw 'potential' and 'possibility'. People ask me how I found such a great guy. He did not present that way. I saw the diamond shining inside him, but it took years of polish for the rest of the world to see that. None of us start out that pretty, there's a lot of work to do to get that way! And along the way, the previous women have left their marks, for good or for bad.
When I met my husband, he was wanting to be in love but commitment phobic. He had attempted a commitment with J, and it had scared him so badly, he broke up with her at the first signs of happy domesticity.
She lived in our neighborhood. We'd pass her walking along Delmar, see her coming into Blueberry Hill. The two of them would not speak. He would hurry along away from her, and there was no contact. But I knew what she looked like.
Somewhere in the first year of our relationship, I heard she moved to California. I had no feelings about it either way. She was a benign, non interfering ex girlfriend. I didn't really pay much attention to her. One day she was just gone.
Fast forward five years. I was a manager at Cicero's and had been for a couple years. J had gained quite a bit of weight and moved back to town. The first time she came into Cicero's, I didn't recognize her. There was something familiar about a tattoo she had on her shoulder, but I couldn't place it. J was friends with the guy who ran sound for the bands and started coming in every night, kind of late, waiting for her friend to get off work. So, pretty soon she was hanging around after hours.
If she was hesitant to talk to me at first, I didn't notice. If she was ever stand offish, I didn't pick it up. Because she always knew exactly who I was, from the very second we started talking. But I soon had her warming to me and she and I had an easy rapport. We would talk about everything and then one day, the other manager hired her to fill a position that had recently opened up, so she was working for me.
We saw one another every day and we had a great time.
I had no idea she was living in fear of me finding out who she was.
This is another story but during this time, I was going through a tremendously taxing emotional ordeal. I was being harassed and threatened by a crazy social worker-- it's a long story. The woman was eventually fired- but during this time, I was a wreck and that Sunday I hit the wall of emotional capacity and had a breakdown. I started crying and couldn't stop.
My husband(my then boyfriend) drove me to work and sat with me while I begged the general manager to cover my shift.
The GM was my dear friend and he took one look at me and knew I was in no shape to work. It was the first time that had ever happened.
As I was sitting on the rail, sobbing, J showed up for work, walking by me at a distance.
She shared a look with my husband. It was a slight nod of acknowledgment between the two of them. It was such a small moment of recognition that passed between the two of them. I stopped sobbing for a moment and said to him "Do you know J?"
He blinked at me. "Do I know J?"
And the bolt of lightning went off in my head. I looked at him and looked at her and started laughing almost as hysterically as I had been crying. I felt so foolish for not recognizing her, for not realizing who she was.
But I realized that I was meant to have this friendship for some reason and the veil that was in front of my eyes had been there for a reason, so that I would take the friendship without the baggage or the guilt.
J came to me the next day and begged my forgiveness.
She said "I thought you knew and the point that I realized you didn't know, I couldn't bring myself to tell you because I was afraid of losing your friendship and I liked you so much, I couldn't bear to ruin it."
Forgiving her was easy.
She was a friend and she had made a little mistake.
Then I had an opportunity to get her side of the story of what happened between her and my boyfriend. It gave me an insight I wouldn't otherwise have had.
That moment was one of the most powerful moments. I don't know if I can accurately describe it, but it's one of those mysteries. She just found me on facebook and sent me a friend request. I accepted it.