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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Little Bit

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

everything is changing

It’s two months until we move out of this apartment.

Until we say goodbye to two whole years of dancing on these wooden floors. Of laughing, crying, and sleeping on my grandmother’s floral sofas. Of filling the kitchen with smoke, the smell of my roommates decadent banana bread, and the sound of my voice giving lectures on how to cook.

It seems like only yesterday that we first moved in and sat around the dining room table with individual tubs of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

We were quick to define our characters, realize how different we are from one another, and love each other for it.

It's been a mix of emotions, but we've laughed more than anything. We've shared some great meals, some even greater conversations, and plan on growing old together in matching muumuus.

While my roommates graduate and move on to their own adventures, I will move in with my boyfriend, finish my last year of school, and then take on the world.

Today the sun shone so brightly that I knew everything would be alright.

I spent the day outside, happy just to be living in the moment.

Spring is on it's way and change is in the air, so I'm taking deep breaths until it's time to move forward.

valentine's day
lady in red
they bite
baby pears

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Monday, February 18, 2008

drinking martinis at school

For those of you wondering what I actually do at school, here's a sample...

It's a project from my TV techniques class where we had to learn to put together a sequence. We decided to mix it up and show our audience how to make the perfect Cosmopolitan martini! It needs some work, but it was a learning experience and we had a good time putting it together.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

a train to take me home

I took the train late after work, and arrived in Port Hope under a dark sky, white snowflakes lit up under street lamps.

When I got to my grandfather's house I knocked on the kitchen door and he looked up from his brandy and smiled. He let me in and poured me a fine Irish whiskey. I asked for a Coke to drink with it, and he explained to me that such an expensive whiskey should only be drunk with a bit of water. I sipped it slowly and understood what he meant. It was smooth as butter.

We talked about Ireland. We talked about plastic surgery and botox. He said that when he was young you took care of yourself by dressing well, and if a woman gained weight she bought a bigger dress, no big deal.

He told me about how happy he is with his many daughters and one son. About how my mom was always busy as a young woman, either in beauty contests or helping her mom with her political campaigns. He told me she was always kind.

When my mother was younger the sisters took turns making him breakfast. One morning, when it was her turn, my grandfather decided to play a trick on her. He came downstairs with his boxers, shirt, tie, suspenders and shoes on, carrying his briefcase. "I think I'm forgetting something..." he told her, and she yelped "Dad, your pants!"

We talked until the late hours, then I fell asleep in the guest room, and woke to a bright sky, the snow still falling.

In the evening my brother came over to prepare a feast with me. He fried up Guiness fish and chips, while I made a big salad and an apple and pear crisp for dessert. We drank wine, tried to keep my grandfather from complaining about how long dinner was taking, and laughed like we used to. I love being in the kitchen with my brother. Not only does he have a way with food, but he's passionate, funny, excited, and uses as much garlic as I do. The dinner was comforting, and so was the company.

The next day I baked Irish Barn Brack, a fruit and nut bread my grandfather enjoyed when he was younger. It only feels natural to bake in that house, usually filled with the smell of my grandmother's Irish wheaten bread. She's away in Vancouver right now so I felt we needed a taste of her there.

I left reluctantly Monday morning, and found myself hoping my train wouldn't come when it showed up half an hour late.

I made it back in time for work, the small town of Port Hope far away, and the city at my feet.

snow covered
brown street
port hope
barn brack
barn brack recipe
irish cookbook
dining room

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Monday, February 04, 2008

for the love of the human body

We live in a culture obsessed with body image.

The other day I was looking up sleeping disorders and ended up at a young woman's blog.

The blog was about her daily life and her eating disorder. I nervously looked through her photos, all self-portraits of her gaunt frame, bones poking out of her skin. In her writing she complained about her BMI being healthy.

Following her links I discovered an endless cycle of these blogs. Sites one after another focused around calorie counting and self-loathing. Photos of unhealthy girls referred to as "thinspo" for "thinspiration".

The blogs are mostly written by young girls who criticize themselves severely. They blog everything they eat during the day, and many write about fasting and falling into a state of depression when they break down and eat something.

What scared me most was the intensity of these blogs, the support from other girls with the same problems, the numerous photos of stick figure celebrities and the girls themselves.

This morning I discovered another type of blog. I was looking at the New York Times website and found an article published about the Fatosphere, a recent blog circle written by "fat" or obese bloggers.

The blogs were a breath of fresh air in comparison. Particularly one called the F-word, subtitled 'Food. Fat. Feminism.'

On her blog, Rachel Richardson writes about her experience with obesity, with an eating disorder, being unhealthily thin and now pleasantly plump.

Richardson is quite stunning, although she calls herself fat I would call her more of a curvy babe. She is all about loving your body, eating healthy, and enjoying her heavier weight despite cultural norm of what dress size a woman should fit into.

Her site features a TV appearance on the morning show, where the host says that people must look at her and think "Wow, she's unhealthy." She boldly defends her fine health, explains that yo-yo dieting is what's unhealthy, and appears as radiant and as healthy as any woman to me.

She is presented as a phenomenon: not only is she fat (and I hesitate to use this word because it has such negative connotation in our culture), but she's healthy, AND feels good about herself!

I don't know how we got to the point where loving our bodies has become such a challenge.

I want to live my life loving my body and enjoying the pleasure of food without guilt.

In our culture it is a challenge, but I think it's one worth working towards.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

I watched it bloom

Sometimes my mind is blessed with clarity.

Yesterday morning I trudged through the snow, my hand in my beau's, to the restaurant down the street for brunch. Over eggs and toast we talked about bigger plans and doing things we're passionate about.

I went home and did work from school, then called my grandfather to arrange a visit to him and my brother this weekend.

Later I ran down the slippery streets to yoga, where I stretched my bones and breathed deeply into my body.

I bought groceries and talked with the chatty Asian woman who owns the health food store, promising to return with my recipe for apple crisp.

At home I slipped into a skirt, and helped my roommate provide a feast for guests. We spent the night sipping wine, laughing, and groaning over her lemon rosemary chicken.

Before bed I called my parents to tell them I love them.

In the morning I watched a Green Tea flower bloom in my tea cup. It was a gift from a friend, and a romantic way to start the day before going to work.

I have come out of my blues and back into the world.

The air feels warmer, my legs move more easily as I walk down the icy sidewalks, and I feel like excited about moving forward.

green tea flower