Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Team Edward! Team Jacob! Good Grief.

Even as a child I was fascinated with Vampire stories and the mythology surrounding Vampires. While I thought casting Keanu and Wynona in Bram Stoker's "Dracula" was a HORRIFIC Hollywood mistake, I still enjoyed that version. Let's face it - Dracula is THE greatest love story of ALL time. A man, so distraught he loses his ONE TRUE LOVE, renounces God to become a blood sucking monster? He'd rather be Damned To Hell than live without her?

Fuck, sometimes I can't even get The Yeti to pick up his friggin' socks!

Most friends know I was pretty deep into Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it was popular. I didn't continue my fixation with the comic books (I might lose some girl-geek points there) but I own all seasons of Buffy and Angel on DVD and still squee a bit when I catch a favorite episode on FX just so I don't have to dig out that specific disc.
For the record? Yeah.... Angel? Total puss. SPIKE was the TRUE "Vampire with a soul" Angel had to be INFECTED with his humanity. Spike FOUGHT for his. But I digress...

When Twilight started its own Vampire phenomenon, I ignored it. I saw posts about women going ape shit for Ed Cullen and Team Edward and Team Jacob and blah blah blah and I fought the whole thing, because I'd heard about the sparkling. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Vampires that GLITTER?? What the FUCK?? How bad ass could Spike have EVER looked either in Evil Form or Reformed Form if his skin looked like someone spritzed him with Stripper Glitter?

One night out of utter boredom and curiosity, we sat and watched the first movie in the Twilight series.

I was surprised it wasn't horrible. I can say "I'm wrong" if I feel I'm wrong. On the glittery bullshit I am NOT wrong. Edward goes off on educating Bella about what supreme killing machines Vampires are and yet looks like he was decorated by a bored 10 year old with a Bedazzler Obsession.

And the whole "Ancient Vampire falls in love with high school beauty" had been done already.... in Buffy, thank YOU vurry much. AND in the Buffy world it was done BETTER in my opinion. MUCH more of a conflict that the Vamp's lover is set to be THE ONE chick to KILL his kind.

Still, the movie didn't totally suck. (pun intended). The Vampires in Twilight are largely portrayed in physical form to remain human looking, albeit pale and in sunlight.... fucking GLITTERY. (grumble... glitter... what the hell?) There is no marked transformation when the demon inside surfaces to feed as in Buffy. There are no comical Bella Legosi fangs that spout.

It's my understanding the first movie had a very small budget, but the artistry within the film can't be balked at. The colors and mood and tone are very Artsy in their presentation.

I had zero desire to rush to the theaters when the next two movies were released. I have, however, just viewed the movies on Showtime and I'm pissed because I've totally gotten HOOKED into the storyline and mythology of the Twilight universe.

I AM curious though at what the allure of Bella IS to Edward and Jacob. She's miserable 99% of the time, and when she gazes upon each in her own love-lorn way? I'm sorry but the girl looks slightly cock-eyed. I know "Forks" (did I get that right?) is a small place, but not so small that this ONE chick should be able to upset centuries of monsters and wolves and their pacts and treaties and blah blah blah. Bella needs rescued as much as Buffy's little sister Dawn did, and most Buffy fans fucking hated Dawn.

The pull for Edward to want Bella to remain human speaks in part to a very abusive relationship: Hold the woman down, keep her frail, don't let her get too strong, so she will always need me. Control her. Yeah..... it sends a shitty subliminal message to young girls caught up in this shit that that is romantic. It's not. Edward might be fighting the idea of changing Bella over because he cares about her "soul" but as a grown woman all I can think is, "Control freak." If she is in trouble he will ALWAYS have to fight for her, never being able to defend herself.

I haven't read the books. I don't know how it all spins out, and I don't want to know. I'm fine for the next movie to hit a cable station to see it. I'm not spouting "Team Jacob!" statuses on Facebook (even if that's the side I lean toward.) Come ON friends, I might LOVE the Vampire legends and the spins that writers put on it, but I'm a Wolf Girl at heart. Always have been, always will be. The full moon is fascinating. I celebrate the release of my Werewhore about every month! And like Jacob said so bluntly to Edward, "I'm hotter than you." Furry Boy speaks the truth. *snicker*

I guess I just liken these movies to vegetables I have to FORCE my kids to eat:
"Try it, you might just like it!"

I will, however, NEVER NEVER NEVER get on board with blood sucking awesome creatures GLITTERING in the friggin' sunlight. HUGE mistake there. They couldn't have come up with ANYTHING ELSE to be the "tell" that these creatures are indeed vampires?? The sun turning all their veins visibly black, maybe? It would make them more bad ass. It would FIT the idea of them being horrible killers. Don't talk to me about irony either. "Oh but Katrina that's the point!! Something so deadly can be so..... beautiful....." Blah blah blah. Bullshit. Spike was beautiful without Glitter, damn it!

Now all I have to do to catch up on the other latest trendy Vampire universe is Netflix season one of True Blood.

Doesn't matter how great that one is though. NOTHING tops the Buffyverse for me. I'm a die-hard Sunnydale Girl when it comes to where my "favorites" reside. Until the casts of Twilight and True Blood whip out a Musical Episode, they can't touch Buffy!

.... glitter? REALLY?
Good grief.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet Me At The Parking Lot

Last night, my boys along with almost a dozen neighborhood kids, played a game of kick ball in our front yard. They weren't keeping score. Some kids kept floating from one team to the other. They laughed. They ran loopy around the bases just to see if they could make it or tag the other out. They SCREAMED like animals and worked up a sweat. When I took a jug of water and ice and plastic cups out for a break they greedily gulped and burped and slopped water all over the place. Then? Went right back to playing. They played until the mosquitoes brought dusk on in, and everyone had to go home.

I watched and hooted and hollered with them, caught between the moment at hand and memories of my own.

In my old neighborhood, none of us had too big a yard to play in, so we gathered in the parking lot beside Bethel Lutheran Church. The pastor's kids were our friends. Not all the kids in the neighborhood attended the church, but the lot was THE place to play. There was always a game of kick ball, base ball, base runner, freeze tag. We roller skated on that lot until our feet blistered. We rode our bikes in circles until we got dizzy. In the winter we'd make forts out of the plowed snow. The window wells would somehow catch toads after heavy rains, and Pastor would open the church so we could go to the basement level, crawl on through the windows, and grab up those toads and have races with them until we set them free.

We moved out of that neighborhood when I was 11, and I left the innocence of my childhood there. It was that "Stand By Me" age, when Summer lasted forever, no one went inside until the street lights came on, and your friends saw you FAR more than your family.

People lament that "those days are gone" and "kids don't play like they used to".

Watching my boys, and the kids on our street, my heart swelled so big with a feeling of nostalgia and gratitude for them to have these memories, these moments. Nights like last night are the stuff childhood is MADE OF.

We encountered this neighborhood from loss. We lost our house, and were forced to relocate. When we picked this duplex, we choose it because it had central air conditioning and a huge basement for a play room. We had NO IDEA this cul de sac was CRAWLING with families with children the same age or around the same age as our boys. We simply didn't know that an unfortunate financial turn in our lives would give to our sons something money can NOT buy. Our old neighborhood wasn't as safe. There weren't kids around. I'd have NEVER set my sons out to play four houses over in our old neighborhood. EVER. It was a bad end of town. On this street, there is little traffic. Families are in great abundance. Parents know the other children. Swingsets don't belong to any one family -- they are free rein for anyone if they're a kid.

I am so happy for my boys this Summer. They have spent 95% of it outdoors riding bikes, playing ball, wrestling in the yard, playing with the hose and squirt guns and silly kid pools with crappy water that gets dumped every other day for being nasty. There has been almost NO computer time, and very little video game play. (Rainy days excluded) They have friends every other house up and down the street.... just like I did when I was little.

I had friends in every direction when I was little. If one person left to visit grandma for the day? There was someone else to do something with.

As a mother I couldn't be more content to see the way they play. Kids today may very well be spoiled with gadgets and TV and things we NEVER dreamed of when I was small, but the heart of a child still beats for adventure and play -- honest to goodness, roll in the dirt, pick up a bug, skin your knee, PLAY. Technology can't breed being a kid out of children. Parents can LET it happen, but the Lost Boys of Neverland aren't gone. They just need the room to come out and crow.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

High School: Does it EVER leave us?

I went to my High School reunion in 2009, and Pat's in 2010 more as a curiosity than anything else. I have, for the most part, kept in touch with the friends I've wanted in my life since graduation that I've wanted to keep in touch with. Yes, a few fell through the cracks of the busy nature of becoming an adult, so contact via this rite of passage was wonderful.

I had a love/hate relationship with High School. I've always enjoyed being a student of anything, and relished learning. The social aspect of school is where the "hate" came in. I got caught in the trappings of adolescence of simply wanting to be liked. Being popular mattered to me, although I wasn't destined to achieve it. I went to a High School that was zoned for more wealthy families. We were not one of those families. The labels on your clothes mattered. We shopped at K-Mart. I got ribbed for this. I was too immature to realize such things don't matter in life, and didn't see that I was living the monetary life that my parents could provide, as were the "rich kids". THEY didn't earn jack shit. They were given what they had, as I was, and as an adult we can reason and rationalize that these things shouldn't matter to teenagers. Still? They do. I felt it. I felt inferior because I never took skiing vacations and that the ONLY pair of "Guess" jeans I owned came from an "irregular" resale store. I wore those jeans until they, literally, fell off me in tattered shreds years later in college.

I was an artistic student, diving in to the creative side of my being. I took art classes, was on Speech Team, wrote for the News Staff and took part in Yearbook my Senior year. ANYTHING creative and I was there. That doesn't always mark one to be "cool". I never clicked with any clique. I had friends, but longed for more. I was the quintessential dork wishing secretly to be the Cheerleader. I pretended not to care, but at times my desire to be part of the "in" crowd led me to be rude and sometimes bitchy to people very much in the same boat I was in who were just trying to be my friend. I wasn't always kind to everyone.

I know now, at 40, there might be people who cringe at my name because of who I was or how I acted at 17. I can live with that, because it would be very valid. We want to think people will give us the chance to prove we've grown up, but we also have to be accepting that our actions affect people and that time doesn't always wash it away.

I can look back on my years in High School with cringing regret and laughter, a feeling of "Man I was such a dork!" and hope... people would just see past that version of me to the "Me" I have grown into.

I also know that even now, at 40, there are names and faces of people back then who still make me wince. The "Mean Girls" who saw fit to whisper behind my back at my 'generic' clothing left a mark. The boys who decided I wasn't of the right social class to bother to date or give me a chance? I still remember that shit. I would never hold it against someone now, if their approach was true and honest, and they showed me that they too were caught in the whirlwind of stupid that encompasses adolescence, and that they too have left it behind.

As a nurse aide, I came into contact with some of my old tormentors. I cared for the grandmother of several girls who were TOTAL BITCHES to me when we were kids. They berated me for being an art geek. They made fun of me. They laughed at me, at times in their coven of the Beautiful Ones as I walked down the halls or just in passing alone. And as adults? They saw me as the one wiping the ass of their dying loved one and were gracious to have me around. There was little to no hint of the high school bullshit that swirled around us all as children.

As a photographer, before comedy, I encountered a former classmate who didn't recognize me right away. I recognized her. She hadn't aged, and still had the air of privilege and poise she had carried so well at 16. She was gracious and kind and pleased with my work.... until I LITERALLY saw the light go off in her eyes. That, "I know this woman.... I know who she is!" recognition, and her entire demeanor changed around me. She got snooty, stuffy, and although moments before had been singing my praises as a photographer was now overly critical of my work. I felt bad for her. I pitied her in my mind that such levels of High School Hierarchy could still exist in her head all these years later. Somehow, me being a part-time working Mom at a portrait studio, made me "less" to her, just as I was to her when we were teenagers because I was the poor daughter of a waitress.

Still, it sticks with us. I know of two girls -- sisters -- that would have to do a mighty strong dance to prove to me they aren't the epitome of Evil. They tortured me in our teen years. They targeted me and were ruthless in their game of just being MEAN. They had the money (of their parents) and the beautiful home (of their parents) and saw fit to pick on me or at me when EVER the mood struck them. They targeted me in the 8th grade and kept their game of "Fuck with Katrina" running right up to Graduation. If I had to dissect it all now, I understand it: In spite of their head-start in genetics and breeding? They were ugly inside and out. Money couldn't buy them personality. It couldn't buy them beauty. Every time one of them would "crush" on some guy? Ironically that guy would be crushing on ME. I never did anything to make it happen. It was just horrific bad luck on all parts. It was fuel for them to start rumors about me starting rumors about others, and because of who they were -- the richy kids -- people believed them. Through their torment I almost got my ass kicked because of shit they started. Threatening phone calls. Stupid adolescent crap. I haven't seen them since we were 18. They didn't attend the reunion. I've never sought them out on social sites. I'd love to ask them, now, "What the FUCK was it about me that made you so damn angry?"

As I encounter people now who I knew then, I try VERY HARD not to project ANY opinion -- good or bad -- on the adult they are NOW from the kid they were through the trenches. I'm not the same. I'd LOVE the chance to get to know people I didn't back then. I want to give people the same chance I hope they'll give me.

Some people?
They are just shitheads. Doesn't matter how old they are. They were pieces of shit at 16 because that's just who they were destined to be their entire lives.

When some mean girl from "back then" recognizes my husband and I in public as former classmates and pushes me out of the way, LITERALLY pushes past me, to shove her breasts in my husband's face and flirt? Acting like the same little cunt she was 20 years ago? It's easy in that brief encounter to see some people just don't grow up. Might I BE a little super sensitive? Sure. That's the part I'll carry with me, wondering if people see past the geeky art student with the K-mart clothing who could never get herself quite right in the social scheme of things or if people see me NOW..... the geeky dork who takes pride in the fact that I don't pay full price for anything and shops at Wal-Mart because I don't give a fuck and know my $4 t-shirt doesn't say dick about what a wonderful friend, mother, wife, and human I am. *snicker*

People should realize though.... if you treated someone like a bag of dog shit 20 years ago? Chances are they never forgot it. And if you make a choice to act that way NOW, 20 years later? It's settled: You were born a douchebag and you will always BE a douchebag. At least to me. I'll give people a second chance. Maybe a 3rd or 4th one. But if your record shows you're just a pissy piece of shit to other humans? Don't be surprised if that's how people see you, if that's how people remember you then, and see you now.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Tale Of Two Titties: This Ain't for The Kids.

Friends keep asking, "Can we see 'em?"

I keep promising that in some measure, an unveiling of the twins will happen. I guess I could totally skirt it and just wait until I have a gig, get a stage shot or two, or a few pics with me and other comics like I do at EVERY show and lay out a generic "The boobs are in this photo...." caption and be done.

However, I am an attention whore.

And I don't play unfair with people who have been fair with me.

A lot of you have been riding this out with me since the start of it.

You heard my jokes at a show and started to follow me on Facebook, perhaps?

You messaged me about something about YOU that makes you a little crazy, and we bonded in some way.

Maybe you knew me before I HAD boobs of ANY kind and feel you should be "grandfathered" in on a full frontal flash of the new tits simply because you've had to hear about this shit for DECADES and you have EARNED it?

I've been overwhelmed at the outpouring of support I've received through this journey.

I'm actually in process now of taking "healing" photos at home.

I'll figure out what to do with all the pictures I have, and in what measure I decide to share.

I respect the fascination at a level that isn't sexual, and I believe that is the case for the majority of people who have latched on to my story. I mean, we all love tits. Even straight women and gay men love boobies. Beyond that though is that side-show-freak-fascination.... It peaks our curiosity when something is out of the norm.

My old boobs? WAY out of the norm, and I've done well to uncover that 'secret' that I used to PRAY no one would see in the middle school locker rooms of painful adolescence. I penned comedy material to "out" myself as a freak, not because I wanted pity or even understanding for myself. I did it so other people with their own issues would see we're not alone, we all have fucked up issues, and damn it.... find the funny in it before it friggin' kills you.

Many times the self loathing and hatred of my own body damn near did ME in on an emotional level that is almost embarrassing to admit. "Love Yourself" sounds great, it's easy to say, but no one has perfected the art of doing so and keeping it always. Self love -- the hallmark kind, not the Playboy kind -- is fleeting and tricky. We KNOW that our surface is just packaging, and what is in our hearts, minds, and souls is what makes us who we are.

But I dare to call "BULLSHIT!" on anyone who says it's NOT flattering to be noticed for our physical selves. Being whistled at. Turning a stranger's eye to you, even for a second. FEELING like you COULD, even if it doesn't happen. It's natural to want to feel sexy. Our species hinges on sex.

When the parts of you that make you sexy are all screwed up? It has an affect on you. And you want to buy in to the perfectly imperfect ideal -- you want to believe the product you sell -- but even those of us who have come to terms with who we are still have dark days, moments of loathing....

I'm rambling again. Lost in deep thought here.

Right now, several days post-op, I'm still getting to know my own body. My reflection has drastically changed. I am not the woman I was at the start of this week. In theory I am: My mind is the same, as is the heart and soul. Just the outer shell has been changed, right?
Yeah, no.
SO fucking wrong.
I'm slowly relaxing into my new shell, like a snail. ha!

I know now when I go to get ready for my next show I'm not going to have to make sure my "show bra" is clean. Yeah, I had ONE bra here lately that was sturdy enough to hold the right side stuffing, and had to wear it at every damn show. I won't have to worry about that any more.

I went to my Mom's today, wearing a sport's bra under my shirt.
She hadn't seen me yet, and asked, "Well, how do you feel?"
I showed her my bra. "Look what I can wear now."
My Mom's eyes welled up a bit. She understood in that moment what just ended for me.

Once I get my mind around all the photos I have, I'll share, and you guys can get a better idea of it all, too.

Thanks for the emotional support. The well wishes. The care you've extended. Thank you to those who realize this isn't just some chick who wanted a boob job, but that the journey was far greater.

Thanks for being YOU.