Archive for March, 2008

Barbie Girl

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

barbieMood: Industrious
Drinking: Sweet tea

A little body-image black humor on a lovely spring afternoon:

36. 18. 33.

Even Barbie thinks she’s fat
worries about the wideness of
her molded Mattel hips
tries to arrange her doll parts
into the most attractive combinations
while driving her pink convertible
past Ken’s house.

Every time Barbie catches a glimpse
of herself in the tinfoil mirror
she thinks her Twist n’ Turn stomach
looks bloated, imagines new dimples
on her soft vinyl thighs, tosses
synthetic gold tresses off her shoulder
and wonders if her makers
will go up a cup size.

In the right light, her frigid pink smile looks insecure.
She’s convinced Skipper is made of better plastic
and envies her youthful complexion.

Even Barbie thinks she’s fat,
so you will never be small enough.

*****

This one was inspired by my new pal Jim, who collects Barbie dolls. After seeing photos of his impressive (and expensive) collection, I started thinking about my own Barbie experience… My mom wouldn’t buy me a Barbie doll, but my cousin Becky gave me one of hers after half of its hair fell out.

Then I remembered these photos I took of my childhood Barbie after I found her in a box in my Mom’s attic. I remember a puppy gnawing on her face, but I don’t know when her arms fell off. I took a few nude Barbie photos before throwing her away.

But I got all nostalgic last week and did a search on ebay for the 1976 Ballerina Barbie and found myself a replacement, complete with tutu and toe shoes, with the wee golden crown molded right into her cranium. I have no idea what I’ll do with her when she arrives.

All this Barbie talk is weird. So many people have such violent opinions about a bit of plastic and vinyl. Here. Check out a more philosophical Barbie poem — the famous “Barbie Doll” by Marge Piercy.

Did you know that (accd. to wikipedia) if Barbie were a real woman, her measurements would be a ridiculous 36″, 18″, 33″? Crazy, I know. Hence the title of my little ditty…

On to less scandalous topics. I am not a 2008 Mastermind. Disappointing, but not surprising given the high caliber of my 14 fellow finalists. You can’t win ’em all. But I have to say the “party” that SF Weekly threw at Mojito was pretty lame. “Artopia” it was not. Somebody over there needs a lesson in how to do an artist shindig up right!

Speaking of doing it up right, Shel and I are almost finished with cinépoem #19 (holy cow!). “Strange” just needs a few more visual tweaks, and our brand new composer, Aaron Purvis, is mixing up the final score. That’s right, we’re debuting an original score for this one. Movin’ up to the big time. I think you’ll all dig it.

And that’s about it for today. Be safe, be well, and don’t be too hard on Barbie. She thinks she’s fat, poor thing!

-Lo, who thinks an 18″ waist must be kind of painful to achieve.

Masterminding It

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

invitationMood: All Business
Drinking: All Water

I found out yesterday that I and my cinépoetry partner, Michelle Brown, have been named finalists for the 2008 Masterminds competition.

The program is sponsored by SF Weekly, and promotes local San Francisco artists. There are 14 finalists, and 4 winners will be chosen to receive a $2,500 grant. We are crossing our fingers that our cinépoems win!

Everything we’ve done so far, cinépoetry-wise, has been without any budget to speak of, so imagine what we could do if we had some money to work with! I’m getting stars in my eyes just thinking about it…

Check out all the fabulous Masterminds finalists here, and come to Artopia on March 27th (at Mojito in North Beach) to get yourself a drink, check out all the art and cheer Michelle and I on.

As if that weren’t enough to get the party started, we also have cinépoems screening at the Sacramento International Film Festival!

If you’re in northern California, stop by and check out some great new work. The festival runs from March 29 to April 6, and our collection of cinépoems (titled “Slippery Shiny Feathery Things”) is screening at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 4, at 24th Street Theater in Sacramento.

Whew! I’m all worn out from all the excitment.

-Lo, with visions of Big Top cinépoetry in her head.

Just Another Day

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

twistytreeMood: Contemplative
Drinking: Water

I complain too much.

This is not a revelation. I’m a half-empty glass girl. We all know this.

But the sky outside is so blue, and the water so deep, and the wind ruffles my hair just so, and the new Magnolia tree whispers so sweetly with its broad green leaves, and I feel it all. But those aren’t usually the things I talk about.

I like to talk smack. Oh yes, I’m very big with the smack-talking. But not so with the actual carrying-out-of-smack. Boy and my sister will both tell you this.

I see a lot of wrong in the world, in myself, in other drivers. I see half-empty glasses everywhere. Wars and rumors of wars. Fear and famines. Horrors and hatreds. We are all, somewhere inside there, cheats and liars. Selfish and stubborn. We’ve all got something wrong going on.

And I’m so good at seeing it. I used to tell people that I couldn’t write “happy” poems because there’s so much more to say about unhappiness.

But then, this week, I sat on my front steps with my dog and watched my neighborhood roll past my door. I went for a run and felt the muscles in my legs push me faster and further with every stride. I stood on top of a rocky hill with my Boy and watched the sun shimmer on the endless shining water. I talked to my sister and she told me about all the things that make my new nephew smile. I read a line of poetry in praise of oranges. I made a joke and my friend – who was lying in a coma just a month ago – laughed. I got new earrings. I ate strawberries. I slept in.

So today, I’m not complaining.

I am writing, instead, in praise of the little things. The satisfying twist of a topiary tree. The soft brush of my hair against the nape of my neck. Boy’s considerable culinary skills. The way LeeLoo’s paws smell like corn chips when she sleeps. The way L belts out her laughter in rafter-rattling guffaws. The small things. The stuff of life. The everyday pieces that patch it all together, that make another day worth living for.

I was reminded today, reading a friend’s blog, of the necessity of praise. Of the value of being thankful.

It’s so easy to forget.

-Lo, sitting still.

Boycotts are Bollocks

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

bookshelfMood: Bothered
Drinking: Tea from the ‘bucks

This is not a timely post. It is, in fact, rather behind the times.

All the Christian brouhaha over The Golden Compass movie was last winter, and all the Harry Potter paranoia is old news.

But I was wasting time on facebook yesterday and noticed that one of my virtual acquaintances had joined a group called “Do NOT support ‘The Golden Compass’.”

After taking a moment to indulge in a hearty eye roll, I clicked over to the group to see what idiocies they were spouting, and found more than a few.

Such as: “The movie… is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas.”

And: “In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please.”

Really. And people wonder why I’m such a misanthrope.

Seriously, this shit is ridiculous. I’d wager a hefty sum that most people who panicked and inundated their friends with email forwards urging them to “Boycott The Golden Compass!” never even bothered to read the books. They just regurgitated the paranoia they heard from somebody else.

The same thing happened with Harry Potter – so many people with their knickers in a bunch, but they never bothered to stop and be reasonable for a moment. They just ran like lemmings off the cliff – “Witches are bad! Magic is evil! Harry Potter hates Jesus!”

Yet these same hypochondriacs don’t seem to have any issues with the magic in Narnia or Middle Earth, because the authors of those books were supposedly Christian.

Whatever.

I read His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman’s trilogy of The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) several years ago and found them to be fascinating science fiction stories. The kind of tales of fantasy and parallel worlds that engage imagination in the best sort of way.

Yes, there are spiritual elements to the books. But I don’t get my philosophy of life from science fiction. I don’t think anybody does. Except for maybe Tom Cruise.

The thing that horrifies me the most about all of this boycotting and book burning is the idea that children can’t think for themselves. I read the Wizard of Oz books as a kid, but I didn’t go run and jump into a tornado so I could get to the Emerald City.

Tales of fiction and fantasy exist to help us dream. To take us into new worlds, to lead us on improbable adventures. Part of the fun of being a kid is reading books about things that aren’t real. Hell – that’s part of the fun of being an adult, too.

I’m not going to rip a book out of my child’s hands because the author might hold to a different belief system than I do.

The most dangerous thing in all of this insanity is not the books, or the movies spawned from the books. It’s the thought police. It’s the people who think their God is really small enough to be threatened by an agnostic or athiest’s work of fiction.

Safe to say that my children can read their fill of books about dragons and muggles and daemons and fairies and goblins and wizards and talking lions and armored bears.

In fact, all of those books are already sitting on my bookshelf, just waiting to take a new reader on a grand adventure.

And I won’t stand in the way.

-Lo, who thinks it’s not the athiests who are the big bad wolves.

Outsider Writer

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

outsiderwritersMood: Medium
Drinking: Milk

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a lovely lady from New York state named Aleathia, who found me and my cinépoems online.

She asked if she could interview me for the Outsider Writers website.

How do you say no to that?!

So I am the “Outsider of the Month” over at The Guild of Outsider Writers. I’m very honored.

Go check out my interview, and poke around the Outsider Writers site while you’re at it. It’s pretty nifty.

Today is also a day worth mentioning because it’s my favorite sister’s birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BEANHEAD!

-Lo, who has always been an outsider. Often on purpose.