Thursday, March 29, 2007
Imagine it....

The industrial area between Glendale and Atwater Village
Wednesday night 8 p.m.
300 men in leather
8 Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
Two former figure skaters
One ex-derby doll

on rollerskates!

Last night was Hell on Wheels III which Michael and I, on a bit of a whim, decided to attend. Oh my god. It was so much fun!

Wednesday night is usually gay night at the Moonlight Rollerway but once a year during the competition for Mr. L.A. Leather they do a leather night. Seriously over 300 tattooed, pierced and lovely men and a few women and a few transmen and women skated around in circles like it was 1983 for 4 hours last night to Xanadu.

My favorite part?

Teenagers crashing into walls and barely able to coast while 50 year old disco queens skated like they were 22 and on coke. Awesome.

Don't you know, I had to get my eight wheels on.

Only landed on my ass once! Amazing!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I roll.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007
In this week of dissecting my identity into pie charts and various other semantic slices, I went back and re-read some of my blog posts. About a year ago I wrote a post called the Invisible Woman. In it, I wrote about who I am, how I describe myself. It's somewhat surprising to me to see all that has changed, and all that has stayed the same.

This week I got my dresser. It is the perfect dresser. It is the perfect size. The perfect stain. It is something that took about 18 years to figure out. It was delivered yesterday. Though I went to Stitch n' Bitch tonight, what I fantasized about was to go home and smile at my new dresser. You may ask, "What does this dresser represent?"

I'd like to tell you.

To me, it represents being able to get what I want. Not just in the Veruca Salt-way, but rather in the "this is something I'm willing to work hard for, be patient about and make sacrifices for" way.

When I was in the abyss, Michael used to ask me,

"What do you want?"

The question was a puzzle to me at the time. My most common answers were:

1. "Whatever you want."
2. "For everybody to be happy."
3. "I don't know."
4. "What do you mean?!"

This was even more puzzling for Michael. I feel like he always knows what he wants. I see him as someone for whom it's as easy to know what he wants as it is to take a deep breath. Natural, almost reflexive. Not for me.

When I didn't know what I wanted -- REALLY WANTED -- I tended to be a little impulsive (understatement). Maybe I wanted it. Maybe I didn't. Who knows? Who cared? It was there and perhaps I would never find what I really wanted -- so I'll take that. No matter what that was.

Perhaps I really wanted a hug. I didn't know that's what I wanted though. So I'll take a piece of bread.

Perhaps I really wanted a new job. But not having that much insight, I'll take something shiny and useless.

I have had to build those muscles. Muscles I didn't even know were there.

What do I want?

I've found other new muscles. These muscles have appeared out of nowhere apparently from digging up my clay-ridden backyard to make it suitable for planting herbs that I may one day put in my food. I did not know I had these muscles either but apparently getting out of bed and into the sun on a beautiful L.A. spring afternoon builds muscles. Who knew?

But look at what it gets you.

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Monday, March 26, 2007
Experiments and ethics

First, a little history. People have been used for human experimentation for a long time.

It really wasn’t until 1945, when the world found out what kind of experimentation was being done on concentration camp prisoners (including freezing, poisons, bone and nerve regeneration, sewing children together to create “conjoined twins”, gases, and a host of other inhumanity) that the first guidelines were established (Nuremberg Code) to protect people against unethical human subject research.

Unfortunately, it didn’t end there.

The Pelkola* Syphilis Study, known more commonly as the Tuskegee Experiment was started in 1932 condemning hundreds of black men, and eventually their wives and children to mental illness, deformity and death, which continued until 1972. 399 men who had syphilis were left untreated even after treatment became available in 1947 in order to study how syphilis progressed naturally (destroyed the human body). They were also not given the opportunity to have fully informed consent because it would “confuse them.”

OK. So now we have something called the Declaration of Helsinki (1964) and the Belmont Report (1979) that guide the U.S. on the ethics of human research.

This is what I do for 8 hours a day. I spend my days in the labyrinth of the Belmont report making sure that all of our trials meet its guidelines. This is not as easy as it sounds.

The reason there have been so many Codes, Reports and Declarations is because someone will always find a new way of violating peoples’ human rights so every couple of decades since 1945, additions have had to be made. The Helsinki Declaration has undergone 8 revisions, the last of which was made in 2000.

Semantics can be parsed in every which way. Both in favor of and against what ever is trying to be accomplished. Coercion, though a relatively simple concept, can be defined in hundreds of ways. In the extreme, coercion can look like, “If you don’t volunteer for this trial, you can’t get treatment here at University of XYZ.” Or, misrepresenting the risks of a certain drug is considered coercion. Also considered coercion is your doctor telling you about a clinical trial that she is conducting. About a million things are considered coercion. It’s my job to figure it out.

Respect is another concept that would seem to be simple but – isn’t. We respect volunteers for clinical trials by compensating them for their time and inconvenience, but that can also be considered coercion. We respect clinical trial participants by explaining to them exactly what procedures will be performed, including the exact number of millirem of radiation for every x-ray and CT scan. We tell them exactly how much blood will be taken and we do it in lay language so that they understand what that means. Therefore, we don’t just say that 30 ml of blood will be taken, we have to translate that into an amount that people understand (about 2 tablespoons).

Lay language is a concept that most doctors don’t understand. Somehow, they think lay language includes terms like “randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy, tolerability and safety of an integrase inhibitor.” I translate that into something an 8th grader could understand. Sometimes that takes a few paragraphs so I won’t do it here.

Anyway, oftentimes, I have to guess at what the board that reviews all of this is going to consider coercive today. I have to figure out if effective is going to be out of the question as an 8th grade level word tomorrow. Most of the time, I’m taking a 105 page protocol and trying to tell a story to a trial volunteer that they will understand. It’s not easy.

It's what I do.

For a lot more information go to my IRB blog also try this link. For your rights as a research subject, go here.

ED NOTE: I f'ed up. The Tuskegee study is not also known as the Pelkola study. I'm not sure where this came from but I thank Cynthia - see comments - for the catch.


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Friday, March 23, 2007
What do you do?

This is such an L.A. question. I don’t know if it’s a question that gets asked everywhere but I know that when you go out in L.A. and you meet new people (also called strangers – how I do love that word) they ask, “What do you do?” It’s one of the first things I was asked by my new neighbors.

There are two issues here:

  1. Do you define yourself by your career?
  2. The problem of actually explaining what you do in a way that you are not instantly dismissed as not sufficiently useful or interesting

I don’t think I generally get dismissed. I think most people find the fact that I work in a medical field with a disease that is so misunderstood and feared as enough to want to know more. I’m happy to talk. I do define quite a bit of my identity through my career. I have been working “in HIV” for a good 18 years now. I have no interest in someday working in, say, the ALS field or for the American Heart Association but I have held a number of jobs “in HIV.”

Some people can say, “I am a paralegal.” or “I am an actress.” I cannot. This seems so nice and simple. People know what you do FOR A LIVING and you can just go on to say, "but in my other life, I'm an amazing chef!"

Currently, I am a research administrator. Which means absolutely nothing to anyone. And yet, it does.

It means I’m not an assistant, which somehow makes that person less interesting, as if, “Oh, that person types for a living and clearly has nothing else in her past or future that I might be interested in knowing about.”

It means I’m not a doctor, which somehow makes me less valuable than my officemate who is, in the eyes of those with letters after their names.

But honestly, what am I? Is my identity “Research Administrator”? I hope not. I am a lot of things. I suppose if you divided me up into some pies (I’d vote for apple, pumpkin and lemon merengue), I’d look like this.

Yeah, I'm a dork. Sue me.

Next week, a little yummy taste of what I actually do for 8 hours a day at my desk.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Sunday morning I woke up, like any other day and got coffee. Very important.

As Michael and I were sitting in our living room doing the Sunday crossword, which we have to print off the internet because we can’t share, and drinking our coffee, I peered out the front window of our new home. There, right on the front lawn was a rooster. Seriously. A rooster.

“Oh my god.” I said.


“There’s a rooster on our lawn.”

Michael looks out the window. “That’s not a rooster, it’s a squirrel.”


“Look out the window! There’s a rooster!”

At which point, I grab my camera and in my bare feet and pajamas, head for the door.

Now, frankly, I had planned on standing on my porch and taking a picture of the rooster, but wouldn’t you know it, the minute I opened the door, the rooster was on the move.

So there I am, on a Sunday morning at 7 a.m. running down the middle of the street in my bare feet and pajamas chasing a damn rooster.

My neighbors must seriously wonder about the new girl.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I did not see Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. I probably won’t ever. I’m not big on what I call “humiliation humor.” It’s not new, Candid Camera was a brand of this, Punk’d and Crank Yankers are more recent incarnations of the same genre.

If you want to step up to the camera and make an ass of yourself (Jackass/Divorce Court/Judge Larry Seidlin) that is your business. However, if you are under the impression that you are going about your business or doing your job and are deceived into making an unwitting ass of yourself, I don’t find this especially funny.

I'm personally a little curious as to the reason Sacha Baron Cohen chose Kazakhstan as the country of Borat's origin. Kazakhstan has an incredibly high literacy rate for the locale and historically has been one of the more peaceful regions in Central Asia.

Unnecessarily demeaning humor is bad, unnecessarily giving millions of unnecessary blood transfusions is another ball of wax.

It seems that some Kazakh physicians, while trying to make a little extra scratch have been making a profit on blood transfusions for children with pneumonia and other non-blood related infections. The Centers for Disease Control Central Asian Bureau found during an investigation that, in fact, 100 children were infected with HIV through tainted blood.

At $20 bucks a pop, those transfusions were incredibly expensive. Though 21 physicians are being tried and the health minister has been fired, Amangeldy Shopaer, deputy chief physician at the Shymkent Infectious Diseases Hospital where all of the children were transfused, insists that the cause of the outbreak is not clear and defending the practice of transfusing the children, saying, "In some cases it is required," adding, "It depends on what kind of pneumonia."

Talk about making an ass of yourself.


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Monday, March 19, 2007
The toothless wonder!


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Thursday, March 15, 2007
Ritualized "fat talk"

I ran into an acquaintance of mine yesterday that I knew from an eating disorder program. The fact that she is still kicking thrills me to no end. But she and I, though on different places in the eating disorder spectrum, never once had the “I am so fat” discussion. It is, at least in recovery, completely taboo.

Pandagon (thanks Uccellina) picked up on this research first and I’m inclined to throw my two cents into this fountain.

A study that recently came out (Eating Beh. 8(2007) 244-250), explains how “Fat Talk” (a “ritualized conversation or verbal exchange regarding weight” and I would add food intake) is actually key to women’s social interactions and is used as a means of social control.

It is expected that if this discussion begins (I’m so fat.) women/girls will join in this discussion (I was so bad today. I had a scone and a latte.), which generally occurs among girls/women who are not in fact, overweight but of average weight and height (you’re not fat – my thighs are so much bigger that yours).

In another study, it was found that if during a ritualized “fat talk” session she self-derogated her body rather than remaining silent or (horrors) stating self-accepting comments about her body, she would be perceived as more attractive to other women.

It is, in fact, normative in our society to be discontented with one’s female body and not sharing in this normative experience leads some of us to be seen as less feminine – oddly enough. I would no more get into one of these discussions than I would move to Pensacola but they are so incredibly pervasive. Just today a co-worker said something about another co-worker who was on a fad diet and then, “I should go on it too, I’m so fat.”

This leads me to the effect it has on those of us who are eating disordered. About 3% of the U.S. population are eating disordered. For women, the number is higher. Because most people diet at some point, it is hard to tell what is normal behavior and what is a problem.

I was confident that I didn’t have a problem. I told my eating disorder therapist, who I was referred to (maybe a clue here?), that I was not bulimic. I mean, everyone talks about being fat. Everyone talks about what you had on your salad, or feels proud that she ate only 4 ounces of blueberries today. (I was so good today!). Everyone throws up once in a while. Right? Ummm….no.

When it is so pervasive, one often has no idea that it’s a real problem, and when confronted with it, tends to be just a little, bitty bit defensive.

When a man wants to improve himself, he often begins by lifting weights to become bigger, stronger, and more powerful. When a woman wants to improve herself, she usually begins with a diet, which will leave her smaller, weaker, and less powerful (ANRED). Yet women have just as strong needs for power and control as do males. Often, this leads to the eating disorder itself.

The disorder is proof that I have power over my own needs for sustenance and over my desires. If you are taking away this thing I have power over, you are not just taking away this unhealthy thing, this thing you don’t understand, this clearly self-destructive thing (in your eyes). You are taking away this thing that helps me cope with my day. That helps me feel strong (though I get dizzy when I stand up) and makes me feel powerful and in control.

I know it freaks some people out when I talk about this. I’m not going to apologize. In recovery, I found that the more I read, the more I examined my beliefs, the healthier I became. I’m doing it for me, but I’m also writing it down for every other girl/woman who, in a crowd of other girls/women, in order to fit in, feels she needs to pinch her stomach and say something self-derogating about her body. After a while we all start to believe it.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I remember, a long time ago, when I did not appreciate solitude. I needed something to fill my days and when I was alone, constantly felt as if I was missing out on something. Then there was the challah eating. The, as-long-as-I’m-alone-I-might-as-well-eat-an-entire-challah eating. You know the one...

Today I crave solitude and not for the challah eating. Not that my life is so crazy, or I have kids or a harrowing job, I just sometimes need my alone time. Over the last few years, I have seemed to need more and more of it.

A few years ago, some friends and I went to the Grand Canyon in an RV. I am a huge fan of the RVing (as is Michael) and when we retire we will buy an RV and I will see you on my next time through Los Angeles. I want one of those maps on the back and I want to fly the queer flag high.

Digression much?

Anyway, we went to the Grand Canyon. Now, I like entertaining and so I cooked breakfast and dinner for the 6 of us most of the days we were there and we hiked and explored but I could see that the Grand Canyon was a place for me to find solitude.

A couple of months later I went back alone. What an amazing experience. I stayed in the Bright Angel Cabins for $84 a night. These are little individual cabins with full baths and a bed a desk and chairs. There’s also a TV just in case you need to watch the weather report. Which I am a huge fan of.

I spent 4 days and three nights writing in my journal, knitting, and reading. There is no cell service at the Grand Canyon. There is no internet. There is, however, a shuttle that will take you throughout the entire park for F-R-E-E which runs from before sunrise (because that is one big huge attraction at the Canyon) to after nightfall. I never felt unsafe for a moment and the hiking is stupendous. The Rim Trail (he he) is really easy, wheelchair accessible, paved for much of the way and the parts that aren’t, there is a separate accessible path.

By the way - I took that picture at the Grand Canyon at sunrise. Seriously.

There are also huge parts of the park that you can go to that are virtually tourist free and so unbelievably peaceful.

I have since been back twice. I love that place. I haven’t found anything quite like it where there is just nothing to do, but there is always something to do. Walk, see a lecture, read, look at a slide show, just peer into the canyon.

A few weeks ago, Michael mentioned that if I had lived in another time and hadn’t been Jewish, I would have made a good nun. The solitude and contemplation I get when I’m at the Grand Canyon proves this to be true…if only I wasn’t Jewish and atheist and married.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Ode to the San Fernando Valley

Smog like the cheese

on a French onion soup

Unfolds toward the San Gabriel hills

As porn is created

In Chatsworth homes

by folks on cocaine and pills

It's 95 degrees

on March 13th

The river cracks and dries

Michoacan taco stand

Aromas fill the air

In Sunland, Pacoima and Van Nuys

While Encino puts

its sunglasses on

And prepares for the looming quake

Night jasmine creeps in

Over the 101

Making my native heart ache

My relationship with

the Valley is queer

I was born here and here I am surviving

My greatest wish

For this whole damn place

Is that stupid people would stop driving


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Friday, March 09, 2007
Sing with me folks!

On the 9th day of March my true love gave to me, one back pedaling Attorney General

On the 8th day of March my true love gave to me, two Latin American protests

On the 7th day of March my true love gave to me, three new Generals replacing the ones who “retired”

On the 6th day of March my true love gave to me, four conviction counts for Libby

On the 5th day of March my true love gave to me, five soldiers testifying about Walter Reed

On the 4th day of March my true love gave to me, six Gingrich mistresses

On the 3rd day of March my true love gave to me, seven soldiers with mold infestations in their lungs

On the 2nd day of March my true love gave to me, eight fired U.S. Attorneys

On the 1st day of March my true love gave to me, nine abuses of the Patriot Act and a back pedaling Attorney General.....


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Thursday, March 08, 2007
Bait and switch
The Radiation Safety Research Committee (RDRC) and the Medical Radiation Safety Committee (MRSC) are up my ass with a flashlight today. Therefore, I bring you this cuteness.
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Two weeks ago, Britain announced that it would be pulling troops out of Iraq. On the same day, Denmark announced a withdrawal of its troops and Lithuania announced that the country is considering a pullout.

In what can only be described as tenacity, GW, through National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe, has announced that these pullouts are successes. The spin never ends here in the US of A. Last week, Dick Cheney was nearly blown to smithereens in Afghanistan and yet we are winning the war against terror.

This week it turns out that, not only are wounded men and women coming home to the United States in record numbers, but we are treating them like crap. How does this happen? I am tempted to fly out to Walter Reed myself and smack Jim Nicholson, Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs, upside the head. Mr. Nicholson just happens to be an old friend of W and former chair of the Republican National Committee and from his bio on the White House website:

Mr. Nicholson earned a master's degree from Columbia University in New York, and a law degree from the University of Denver. He practiced law in Denver, specializing in real estate, municipal finance and zoning law. In 1978 he founded Nicholson Enterprises, Inc., a developer of planned residential communities, and in 1987 he bought Renaissance Homes, which became an award-winning builder of quality custom homes.

Other than the fact that he is a veteran of Vietnam, how is he qualified to be the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs exactly? If being a veteran is all it takes, I know where about 100 people with those qualifications that can be found any day to replace him once he resigns in shame. Just for anyone reading this, they are under the Wilshire/405 overpass sleeping in boxes.

I want to scream! You stupid fuckers!!! These are the people you asked to sacrifice time with their families! These are the people that have risked their lives and lost their limbs, eyes, mental health! These are the people you called heroes! These are the people that are working for your mission and this is how you treat them!?

What on earth are you thinking? It’s not funny and it’s not something that can be explained away. It is mortifying. It is shameful and it is repeating very, very recent history. Are we going to allow these men and women who have gone overseas and done their jobs with honor to join their fellow veterans under the overpasses of this country? Or are we going to treat them with the respect and the medical and mental health care that they deserve?

Well, are we?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007
A-Crafting we will go

I haven’t blogged lately about anything I’ve crafted up. Ever since we moved into the new house, I’ve been a-crafting. Not as much as I would like, but still – a-crafting. After all, I have my own a-crafting room! So exciting!

First off, I made curtains for our living room. They’re a beautiful silk dupioni backed in Kona cotton. They’re not hemmed yet but neither have we permanently hung the curtain rods – so I guess I have an excuse.

Second, this was crafty in a “there’s no freakin’ way I’m paying $50 to rent some nasty thread bare red carpet for the Oscars” so I went to Joann’s and with the remainder of a Hanukkah gift card, I bought 5 yards of red blanket fleece which I made into a red carpet. Then I put it in the washer and dryer and it’s fresh as a rose. Some people are getting very fun Christmas presents this year!!!

Third. I made this cowl for my trip to Banff. It was really, really easy. First, I did a 2 x 2 rib in the round with a doubled up yarn – one was Debbie Bliss Merino Aran, the other was something I got at a yarn swap. It was Cherry Tree Hill, but I have no idea what the yarn was made of. It was pretty and grey. I think I cast on around 140 on size 10s. After a while, maybe 7 inches (see how exact I am) I cast off two stitches and then went back and forth for maybe another 7 inches. Then I sewed the top up and I had a hooded cowl. Simplicity!!!

My projects on the docket are:

  1. Finish Peigi’s birthday present – her b-day was January 1 but I was moving so I have a good excuse. Right?
  2. Make curtains for my bedroom – easier said than done…I have not found the perfect fabric yet.
  3. Hem the café curtains for our kitchen – easier done than said.
  4. Make a long plaid skirt – which I have been wanting since I was in my very early 20’s. Think it’s about time?
  5. Start the copy of the Calvin Klein sweater that I bought. It’s a great sweater, it fits really well but the arms are oddly short, not really short sleeved and not really long. Also, the band around the hip is not stretchy and therefore, less attractive than I would like. So, no pattern, just working it out as I go. I know, serious trouble awaits, but I’ll have fun with it nevertheless. Not to mention, I’m doing it in Misti Alpaca, which has to be the softest yarn in the whole wide world so how bad could it be?
  6. Then, probably a hat. Because that is how I roll.


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Monday, March 05, 2007
Take care.
The self-help gurus in the world talk constantly about how we have to “take care of ourselves”. I don’t know how y’all hear this but I take it to mean things like taking a bath or getting a manicure or eating nutritious food. I’m not that fond of baths frankly.

The more saturated my body becomes with Prozac, the more I am starting to actually understand what “taking care of myself” means. While, yes, eating food that is good for me, getting exercise and treating myself to sparkly nails is certainly a part of all that, it is not actually that alone.

For instance, say a person was a swing set enthusiast. After many years of studying plans for swing sets and taking classes on welding and such, she finally made her own swing set. It took her a whole year to build this swing set and she was very proud of it. At the big gala unveiling of the swing set, her cousin’s best friend, Jack, wants to ride the swing set but he can’t because Jack is too tall. (I am getting somewhere with this.) Her cousin starts saying things like, “I wish Jack could ride your swing set, but he can’t. Too bad you didn’t make this swing set bigger!”

She has a choice here. She could feel really bad. She likes Jack and she and her cousin were really close when they were younger. She could feel really guilty and think, “I could have made this swing set bigger. I was being cheap and selfish when I made this swing set.” Her crowning achievement has suddenly lost a bit of its joy for her because every time she sits on the swing set she thinks, “I could have made this just a little bigger and then Jack would be able to ride it and my cousin wouldn’t be disappointed in me.”

She has another choice. She could remember that she made the swing set for herself. She loves swing sets. She didn’t make it for Jack or her cousin or anyone else’s approval. It’s too bad that Jack can’t ride the swing set but she’s only met Jack once before and he’d never really expressed an interest in swing sets anyway. Maybe, someday, if she and Jack become closer, she’ll build a larger extension on to the swing set but in the meantime, the swing set is hers to enjoy.

I didn’t realize that this meant one was taking care of oneself. I thought that this meant I was a big selfish bitch – but it’s not. It means I have something I love and I have to enjoy that thing that I love without making accommodations for anyone who might ever need something from me.

Many of us have people in our lives, some who are our kin and kith who feel entitled to a piece of everything that is ours because they, say, changed our diaper or knew us way back when. The fact is, it does not give them the right to dictate how we build our swing sets or write our music or who we visit when we are on vacation. It’s my vacation and I’m not going to spend it visiting your great aunt’s grandchildren. Yes, it is too bad.

I think Lily Tomlin said it best, “and that’s the truf.”


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Friday, March 02, 2007
Purim (and dirty little secrets)!!!!!
This weekend is Purim, one of the big celebration holidays on the Jewish calendar. The best part of the holiday is that you are supposed to drink until you can’t tell the difference between the good guy of the story (Mordechai) and the bad guy (Haman).

Seriously, proscribed drunkenness!!!

Anyway, it’s a long story and it can all be read here but I’m going to give you my take on Purim as it relates to me right now.

There are two women in the Purim story. One is Vashti and the other is Esther. For the story to work, we must get rid of Vashti in the beginning so that Esther can become queen and the heroine of the story. Therefore, Vashti needs to be the villain but really, she isn’t. She decides that she doesn’t want to parade around for the king’s drunken buddies in nothing but her tiara and so, off with her head.


Then to Esther. Esther becomes the queen, but she has many secrets.

Many, many secrets.

Secrets which could have her killed. She frets over this. She fasts (because that’s what they did in the olden days when they had a decision to make – apparently) and she finally decides that to save herself and to save the Jewish people, she will have to put her life at risk, and tell her secrets to the king.

I lived a lot of my life with big secrets and a lot of shame. I was protecting myself at the time, but over time, it caused me to curl up in a ball and not get out of bed for a year, not to mention the crying and the driving into brick walls.


As I started getting better, I started telling certain, trusted people my secrets. I risked a lot to do this. They might have rejected me. They might have said something stupid – and some did. But ultimately, getting those secrets off my chest (and stomach and thighs and heart) has been such an incredibly healing process.

Secrets suck. Even the really shameful ones that make you feel like a bad person inside.

We all want to look unblemished. Some of us (ME!) want to look/seem perfect but that just is a big ol' lie and makes everyone wonder what you're hiding (don't drink, don't smoke, what do ya do?) and the cracks in your veneer that will eventually come out seem all that more glaring.

I'm a mess. Glad to share it with ya. And in the end, Esther tells her secret, saves herself, the Jewish people and gets the bad guy (Haman) hung on the gallows.

The End.

The moral of this story is that when you share a terrible secret that has been burdening your soul and making you eat a loaf of bread and a dozen tortillas a day and you get it off your chest it becomes less and less shameful. It weighs less and becomes easier to manage. Perhaps someone will say, "I'm so sorry, I didn't know." or "That happened to me, too." And you realize that you're not the only one with a terrible secret.

Have a hamentaschen for me!!!!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007
In a mood

No, not that kind of mood.

I visited the new Los Angeles branch of mood designer fabrics on Pico and La Cienega (which just happens to be on my way home from work. EVERY DAY.)

mood is the fabric store (and I use that term lightly) that the designers go to when they get a design project on Project Runway. Tim takes them all over to mood and has them spend 30 minutes in the aisles picking out fabrics. HA! HA, I SAY! 30 minutes.

I spent 45 there on Tuesday and I didn’t even buy anything. And don’t think that wasn’t a challenge. They have fabrics from Cavalli, Pucci and Marc Jacobs not to mention tons and tons of silks, tweeds, wools, a freakin’ ton of knits and then I started getting woozy and overwhelmed.

All of the staff seemed super nice and helpful and after I announced I was an amateur, they still were helpful. Which is a good sign because they might have just ignored me after that but then, they haven’t seen my fabric stash….It is not a good policy to ignore me.

I would say they have about the same amount of fabrics as Michael Levine (my Mecca). The only downside I can think of is that they have the fabrics stacked on shelves to the ceiling and therefore, I cannot touch and play with the fabrics way up there.

I’m tall. 6 feet in heels and there is a whole lot of very inaccessible fabric. Other than that, I will say, if I need fabric during the week. I’ll be found at mood.

I took photos but I haven't downloaded them yet...soon to come.

6165 W. Pico Blvd. LA 90035 – (323)653-MOOD (6663)

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