Riding Through the DNC- Day 4

Ugh. Can't Boston give me anything to write about? I was all expecting to offer a local's perspectives on the horrific clashes between protesters and police, massive traffic back-ups, and the break-down of the mass transit system. But, oh no! None of that even happened. Didn't they know some two-bit blogger wanted material?

Okay, kidding aside, I'm thrilled Boston went so smoothly. Especially since it completely shows up the Boston Herald for all their fear mongering. Not that they'll notice, but still.

So, in this final installment, read the story of secret trains that were found underneath the FleetCenter! Read the story of the one sorta violent clash between protesters and police! Marvel at how the Boston Herald *again* ignores the actual Convention in order to bash Democrats. And, oh yeah, the Convention.

So, those Secret Trains. Word got out today that the subway authorities ran a special express train from the closed North Station underneath the FleetCenter on all days of the Convention. The trains packed up and went directly to the BackBay station. The idea was to get delegates and press out of the FleetCenter area as quickly and smoothly as possible. Okay, fair enough. But much like the Rider's rep quoted in the story, I have to wonder why the MBTA goes above and beyond for non-paying passangers and continues to provide subpar service to the Million-plus who ride their trains and buses every day. At least I won't need to hear them scape-goating the DNC for their delays anymore.

Also, it looks like the Boston cops finally had a chance to do a little bit of arresting on Thursday. Seems a bunch of anarchists got into a shoving match with the police. It was amusing to read one anarchists protests that they couldn't possibly have started it because why would they go after police in body armor. Unfortunetly, I've met anarachists, so I know that's not really going to bother them. These Bl(A)ck Tea folks set themselves up just to protest the convention. It doesn't surprise me in the least that they'd try to provoke something. It also doesn't surprise me that it wasn't much of anything. 3 people were arrested out of the clash, bringing the total of Convention related arrests to a whopping 4. The other was some drunk guy ranting about Bush.

The front page of the Boston Herald proclaims that "Its Safe to Come Home". An ironic title since the Herald's distribution is virtually exclusively Boston-based. Basically, its continuing their theme of how awful the Convention has been for Boston. See, after they scared everyone out of town, it seems people didn't come into town. But that's the Democrats fault. They also put the minor protester clash mentioned above right on the front page. They sorta mentioned John Kerry, but I suspect just to justify shilling for an article by the detestable Howie Carr where he ignores everything Kerry said and just re-writes it all to his liking. Naturally, he gets in his gigalo line. I feel dirty even linking to that, but I figured I had to.

But moving in, I was happy to see all of Max Cleland's introduction and John Kerry's acceptance speech. Great, great, great stuff. I saw someone say that Cleland isn't a good speaker who veres between shyness and bombast. Well, he had me fooled. I think he went on a touch too long and tying in Boston's history seemed unnecessary, but really a great, great speech. People are already faulting Kerry for not mentioning his anti-war work following Vietnam, but why did he need to? Cleland already framed it so much better than Kerry could possibly do himself.

As for Kerry, he kept to his strengths and didn't try to be something he's not. That's also been one of his greatest skills as a politician. He knows who he is. He knows what kind of a speaker he is. He doesn't push himself to do what he's told will play well, but has faith in his ability to do what he does best. No, its not the personable charm of a Bill Clinton or the easy persausiveness of John Edwards. Rather, he speaks with conviction and strength of character, demonstrating insight over slogans. I think he did an excellant job on all counts. I loved that he brought up "Compassion in Action." I loved his response to complaints about his nuanced views. I love that they basically lowered expectations enough that him doing what he does well gets an even bigger response. Its how Bush "won" the debates, after all. I'm looking forward to the Democratic Party winning its 4th consecutive Presidential Election this Novemeber. Kerry definetly has me excited about his prospects.


Riding Through the DNC- Day 3

"We are experiencing delays due to the Democratic National Convention."

I heard that about 5 times this morning as my train kept getting held up while we waited for trains in front of us to get searched. It really annoyed me, though, because its completely untrue. We're experiencing delays because the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority couldn't figure out that spacing out the trains by 5 more minutes would accomodate for the security checks and keep everything running smoothly. Don't pass the buck, MBTA. This is all your fault.

In other Boston life news outside of the Fleet Center... um, well, see here is the thing. Nothing is happening. No mass arrests of protests, no terrorists attacks, no extreme break-downs in the transportation grid. Everything has been positively ordinary.

I'm sure things are helped because so many were scared off by doom and gloom projections by folks like the Boston Herald that they all stayed out of Dodge. Which, naturally, gave the Herald more ammo to use against the DNC. See, without all the business from the people who would be in Boston anyone but were scared off, it seems business is a little down around town. Naturally, this was front page news.

Not the only news, though. It had to share the front page with this other shocking story: John Kerry's daughter is nsidered attractive and may or may not have been hit on by Ben Affleck. Because, you know, its not like anything IMPORTANT is going on in Boston right now that a local paper might want to mention on the front page. But, this is in keeping with their reporting all week. Yesturday's big news was Obama. It was Jesse Jackson bashing the city's race relations. Well, actually, he had some soft criticism which he's since softened, but you could tell that from the big front page story.

The day before? Theresa said some mean things about Ted Kennedy 30 years ago. And Monday? Theresa said some mean things to a reporter. You know, they could at least try to be decent paper. But no pretense here. Its a Dem-bashing rag and wants no mistaking that. They've fallen behind the city's free daily, the Metro, in journalistic respectibility. Which is saying a lot since the Metro is basically a severely dumbed down version of the Weekly Reader for adults, USA Today.

I was happy to have a chance to see John Edwards speak live last night. Great, great speech. I always loved his Two Americas message and I was one of his voters in the Massachusetts Primary, and he really brought it all together, now focusing on building One America. So perfect. He hit all his points dead on. All that trial lawyering clearly paid off. He knows how to convince a crowd and to inspire compassion. I felt his national security message was strong. Loved that he not only worked in Kerry's Vietnam service but also his work on Senate Intelligence Committee. He's hardly a foreign policy newbie, and that needs to be recognized. I thought his message on Civil Rights was spot on, and it was great to see the crowd break into an "everywhere" chant, even if the lead-in was Straw-men-esque. Strong close, of course, and he just looks like such a natural up there, especially with his family.

So, it all comes down to today. Police are expecting trouble. Seems like most of Boston is, too. The streets were eeriely quiet this morning and I'm by no means near the Fleet Center, but still in a part of Boston that's very high traffic. Lets just hope none of that trouble materializes. I'm looking forward to another boring an uneventful day riding through the DNC.


Riding Through the DNC- Day 2

Well, it looks the Convention has finally found a way to be an annoyance on Boston commuters. Actually, it is more a case of the Transit Authority finally finding a way to fufill the promise of Convention related annoyances.

After a day and a half of smooth commuting for the folks in Boston, the transit authority finally got the hang of turning it into a head-ache that frustrates riders. The bag searches, admitedly a bit "Theater of Security" but I'll allow it, continue to be no big deal. They take less time than it ordinarily takes to stop at the now closed North Station. So how is this getting screwed up?

Naturally, by not adjusting the train schedule to accomidate for the slight delay that will happen at the station where the checks are being done. Trying to run a normal schedule is just creating a vicious back-log of trains. My train got stopped 6 times this morning for a total of 30 minutes waiting. Had similiar problems last night, but they weren't quite as bad. This all concerns me, because its making Boston residents resent the DNC, when really its just the ordinary incompetance of the public transportation authorities. Yeah, I know the Blue Commonwealth is a safe as it gets, but it could also be home to a lot of energized Democrats working for the party and if those people get turned off, that could be lost. And lets not forget that should Kerry win, the Blue Commonwealth will need to send a replacement to the Senate. Good chance that it will be someone with a (D) next to their name, but I'd rather nothing happen to frustrate people with the DNC.

So, what else is going on around Boston. I'm reading reports that the city's famed "Duck Tours" are getting escorted by armed officers on Jet Ski's. I have to admit, that sounds almost amusing to see. I have to say, living in Boston, I'm not that bothered an of the security precautions. Yeah, I've seen the roof-top cops. Yeah, I've had my bag searched. Yeah, there were a few too many motorcycle cops out at the anarchist march. Yeah, a fence is apparently the greatest threat to free speech. Color me unmoved. I know its a lot of theater, but sometimes a show can be a deterrant. I'm very pleased that things have gone so smoothly so far, and am cautiously optimistic that they will continue to go well. So far, only one protest has been actually blocked, and that was an effort by anti-abortion groups to picket Kerry's private residence. Frankly, a person's home shouldn't be a protest ground, so I don't mind that decision.

In other news, I had my first celebrity sighting. No, not a celeb blogger like Kos or the unmasked Atrios. Rather, I saw Alan Cumming walking his dog near my office. Now, when I tell this to people, I keep getting blank stares until I explain he was Nightcrawler in X-Men 2, at which point everyone gets very excited. One co-worker was practically swooning when she realized who he was and chastized me for not bringing him back to her. Because I have such powers. It was pretty cool, though. I like seeing famous people up close like that. They always seem so ordinary and yet not. Cumming was extraordinarily well dressed, very non-chalant. I actually didn't see anyone stop him to pester him, which is good to see. Not quite as cool as the time I nearly walked into Ted Kennedy, but I'll take it for my big sighting of the week.

Oh, and yeah, some Convention was going on, too. Obama was freaking amazing. But you already know that. A future President, I've know doubt. The only question is will it be Edwards/Obama in 2012, or Obama leading the ticket.


Riding through the DNC- Day 1

This will begin my week-long saga of being in Boston and having nothing to do with the Convention. Yes, some of us are here every day. The closest I will get to the Fleet Center is riding underneath it twice a day.

So, the big story today is how little a story the commute was.  The dire predictions (fueled in no small part to the "sky is falling" reporting from the Boston Herald) had everyone expecting a horrific commute.  What we got was remarkably normal.  Clearly, a lot of people are staying the heck out of dodge, but not a massive ammount.  I'd say my train had somewhere between holiday commuting traffic and every day traffic.  About what you'd expect for the period of the summer when many people are off on their vacations.

The Boston Globe seems to back up my impression.  Drivers found the experience rather underwhelming given the doom and gloom that was predicted.  Again, light traffic helped a lot, and they hope to get it even better by convincing people to take mass transit since traffic is so light there.  But, of course, that won't happen because the roads weren't a problem and people are still scared about what will happen with the much threatened bag searches.

This was my big worry going into the week.  The transit authority originally planned on bottlenecking the entrances to all stations that would eventually pass under the Fleet Center and searching random bags.  This seemed like a nuisance, but an understandable one.  When the ACLU and the like complained, the transit cops stepped up the threat to searching ALL bags just to be fair.  Now this, I dreaded.  The thought of waiting in a long line just to get into the station seemed dreadful.  Especially since they seem to want to do this from now on, even after the DNC.  Thankfully, the seriously modified the search all bags plan and came up with something entirely sensible.  Instead of searching everyone at the stations entrances throughout the system, they are stopping the train one stop before it rides underneath the Fleet Center.  Transit cops (who are looking quite scary, by the way) then board the train and walk through the cars checking all of bags.  Its smooth, sensible, and not at all a problem.  They also only did this while the Convention was in progress, also sensible.  A huge hassle became a point of good planning.  Horray.

In other news, there is much complaining going about the "Free Speech Zone".  Okay, yes, it is unfortunetly named, but it isn't near the oppressive, Orwellian structure some suggest.  It seems to have become fashionable to label the demonstration zone at the Fleet Center a "cage", such as these anti-abortion activists.  I'm normally sympathetic to complaints about "free speech zones", but that's usually because they are designed to move free speech as far away as possible.  That's just not the case here in Boston.  I've been out to the Fleet Center.  The protest zone is right out in front of the Fleet Center.  You can't get any closer.  Its also right next to the delegate parking lot, as evidenced here.  And the fence is quite necessary given the busy traffic in the area and the fact that to ensure the protesters a spot next to the FleetCenter, the set up an area on a Construction site underneath a soon-to-be-dismantled elevated rail.  (Boston's last, I believe).  I know its trite, but someone could get hurt.  Last I checked, a small bit of fence has never silenced our civil liberties.  And just look at these creatively dressed protesters. And just look at that blue sky above them.  Yeah, that's quite the picture of a cage.  And, of course, protests continue throughout Boston.  Gotta love the marching anarchists.

As to the Convention itself, it seems that inspite of the fretting that Kerry was going soft, we learned his real plan.  Lay out the attack on Bush from the big guns, getting it out of the way, and then turn around and present your positive message from everyone else.  It makes perfect sense.  Jimmy Carter critizing Bush carries much more gravitas than Howard Dean doing so.  It doesn't look as much like politics when its the elder statesment of the party laying out the case against Bush.  And this frees Kerry to lay out the case for himself in the next 3 days.  The spin is key, though.  The speeches made the case against Bush, but seemed largely about making the case for Kerry.  That's clearly not the early spin, though, but it may be just as well to get that out of the way now.  What's more, this gets all the Clinton talk out of the way in one day.  Gosh knows the press loves to speculate about the Clintons.  Now its out of their system, and we can be on to bigger and better things.  Count me as impressed with the plan.


Boston gets all gussied up

When I was in college, I always got to stick around for the week after final exams leading up to the Graduation Ceremonies and their Alumni Reunion Weekend. I always loved this because I got to see the changes the school underwent for the benefit of the parents and alumni. All of a sudden the ordinary campus became bedazzled with flowers jammed into every possible nook. One lawn even sprouted flowers in the form of our school's sports logo. The grass became greener, either by rolling our new grass or using some seeding process that looked like they were spray painting the ground green. It always reminded me of those RonCo "Hair in Can" bald spot cures. Everything got a fresh coat of paint and an extra scrub to benefit the folks who didn't spend any time here and while all the people who do spend time there were gone.

And so it goes in Boston for the DNC.

Its really a marvel what is being done to the city. It all seems like little things at first, but it adds up. My train station will be handling overflow from the displaced Commuter Rail lines, so I guess it qualified for a fresh coat of paint. For a week, the station has been plastered with "Wet Paint" signs as everything gets a nice glossy finish.

I've started noticing little directional signs all around Boston proper, too. Nothing Convention specific, all feeling like it could have always been here. Well, maybe the flowers stand out. Man, are there flowers. I walked down by Newbury Street and Mass Ave and was stunned by all of the flowers that have shown up down by the Hynes Convention Center. The road divider is not this massive flower laden trough. Every lamp post has been adorned with pots exploding with flowers. My office has had the pleasure of jackhammers just outside our walls as they actually are replacing a significant bit of a road in the Back Bay. I almost think they painted the remaining Central Artery that they weren't able to pull down in time, but I think I may have imagined that. It all feels like the municipal equivalent of getting gussied up for a big date but going a bit far.

And, of course, the last people to appreciate any of this are the people who live and work here. Oh, I'll be coming into town, but it does seem like I will be in the minority. Of course, even I will be making sacrifices. I'll be buying lunch for a week to avoid the transit bag checks that promise to make life even harder for Bostonians. But I still think they are making a mountain out of a molehill. Well, maybe making Mt. Everest out of a more modest sized mountain with some nice ski slopes. But I do hope our visitors appreciate the lengths we've gone to in order to look pretty. Enjoy the flowers


Things VH1 has taught me

After a week spent loving the 90's, I want to make a couple observations...

Someone at VH1 LOVES R.E.M. I think they showed up in the soundtrack to I Love the 90's over once an episode. Being a big R.E.M. fan, I noticed each time it happened, so trust me, it happened way more than would have been understandable. Especially since they didn't even mention R.E.M. at all in the series. (I suspect "Everybody Hurts" will be featured in the sequel series, I Love the 90's: Part Deux)

Susan Powter is freaking insane. You may recall her as the diet guru behind "Stop the Insanity". An ironic self-slogan if ever there was one. She was not a frequent commentator, but when she showed up with her George Clinton hair-do screaming at the camera, its tough to appreciate her supposed sanity.

I really miss Stewart Scott and Rich Eisen on Sportscenter. I know purists will insist Olberman and Patrick are the definitive ESPN pair, but give me Eisen and Scott any day. I hardly watch at all now that Eisen is gone.

Hal Sparks is money waiting to happen. His comic timing and sensibilities are just so dead-on. He is so wasted on Queer as Folk just because he should be staring in his own sitcom already.

As expected, nostaliga about 5 years ago rang a bit hallow. But at least they addressed that in the show and made fun of the fact that they were doing this at all. VH1 has perfected the art of instant nostalgia, though, so they made even 1999 enjoyable and yet so far away.

I did like the early computer graphics motif as the visual look of the series. I was wondering what would be the signature 90's look, and that pretty much sums it up. Good call. Oh, and I was loving the orange.

I don't think Michael Bolton gets that he's a joke. Not nearly as cool as Lionel Ritchie was doing the little out of commercials bits in prior "I Love the..." series.

I also don't think MC Hammer quite knows how to deal with being a joke, but man was he high-energy. I'm not sure how much "caffine" he pumped into his system to get up for doing his little bits, but someone needs to give that man some sleeping pills or something to try to slow him down. I guess the energy videos were just him being normal. Who knew?

And finally props to The Daily Show alumni who all did excellant work, as always. Its amazing what a little pop-cultrue commentary factory TDS has become, but kudos to them all.


Old Navy Plus Size! Yay!

Old Navy, also known as the company responsible for 99% of my wardrobe, has debuted their new plus-size line at their web store.  Some Boutiques are already open in their brick & morter stores and they have a helpful zip code finder to locate the nearest such outlet.  Given that 2 of the 50 are near me, though, I'm guessing its still a bit limited.
But still, the online store is a start.  They seem to be putting a lot of care into, too.  Reading their sizing information, it seems that the "home base" for their plus-size clothes is a size 20.  That means that they adjust down from a 20 to get a 16 and up from a 20 to get a 26.  Ordinary women's clothing uses a size 8 as "home base" and can expand right out to a size 20.  This means an Old Navy Women's Plus size 20 is a much better fit than an Old Navy Women's size 20.  No reference on how this compares to other plus-size clothing lines, though.  But it does mean that their plus-size clothes will be a lot roomier and more carefully fitted than they have been.  Not to mention that they are now available for women right up to a size 26.
The attitude is what is really selling me, though.  Here is a quote from an interview with one of the "fit models" from the line:
"I don't want to hide my curves. I like my curves!"
Damn good to hear!  Also, the models used (which aren't that many, admitedly) are actually fat.  I mean, they aren't pushing the envelope, just yet, and using size 26's, but the women are visably fat.  They have bellies, they have chubby upper-arms, they have double chins.  They aren't running from being identified with fat the way the big modeling agencies do when they hire the thinnest fat women possible with very tall women who barely fit into a size 12 and have nothing on their body that could be seen as fat.  I know its a small step, and a lot of people are still excluded, but its a lot bigger step then I was expecting and the backing of Old Navy could seriously change the Plus-Size clothing market for the better.  Simply put, Lane Bryant is going to have to deal with competition.
Maybe soon, we can get someone to expand their sizing past 32.  (which is the upper limit at The Avenue, and I think the high-water mark for specialty retail stores)  This is a step in that direction, that is certain.
Oh, and while looking for info on this topic, I discovered Girly Blog a great resource for plus-size clothing and related issues.  Worth a look.


Huzzah and Kudos!

I wanted to post a link to video from an amazing segment from Jon Stewart on yesturday's The Daily Show where he illustrated the ways Republicans use "talking points" to defame John Kerry and John Edwards.  A very brilliant segment yet so simple.  He just showed repeated clips of GOP spokespeople using the same exact language to attack Kerry and Edwards without ever backing it up.
But, alas, they don't have it on their site yet.  So, instead, I will link to his reporting on the gay marriage issue, which was also top notch and touched on one of the funniest stories to come out of that.  Namely, the analogy one Republican made between gay marriage and marriages between men and box turtles.
Yes, box turtles.  Jon has the story so I won't repeat it, but suffice to say the "Universal Symbol" he uses to represent man/box turtle relations is hilarious and needs to be a T-Shirt.  The Box Turtle, by the way, has very quickly been adopted as the mascot of the Gay Marriage movement.  Because its just such a hilarious analogy.  Way funnier than Senator Rick Santorum's obsession with man on dog sex.


I'm a Hippie

I don't think I've told my hippie story here, yet.

Back in late May, I was walking down the street in front of my apartment when a pack of little punk suburban kids start coming down the other way. Now, growing up in an inner city environment, I am accutely aware that groups of black teenagers are nothing to worry about. Its the white ones that scare me. So I tried to casually keep my distance, not my eye contact, etc. Seems I caught there eye, however. While trying to ignore them, it eventually occured to me that they were making fun of me.

Because I'm fat? Nope.

Because I wear glasses? Nope.

Because I was there? Nope.

Because I was a hippie.

Suffice to say, I found this confusing. The mocking eventually escaleted to one of the girls in the pack throwing coins at me. (they missed by a mile) As they went on, I tried to process what happened.

For one, I was suprised anyone bothers to hate hippies anymore. I mean, are they even a relevent enough subculture to hate anymore? Why on earth are a bunch of poser teens obsessed with hippies enough to mock someone they consider to be one and throw things at him.

Next thing I wondered was, since when am I hippie? I always thought my look was half-way between Hipster and Hippie, never really pulling off either. Too well-maintained to be hippie, but too casual to make hipster. At the time I was wearing boot-cut jeans, my orange Chuck Taylor's, an off-white linen shirt, and a tan courderoy jacket. When I describe this, people always blame the jacket. I can understand this, except its a very slight courderoy. I mean, its from Old Navy, not a vintage store. Now, sure, I have one button on the jacket, which can be a hippie thing, but its only one. Its not like its lined with buttons. And gosh its just an "I (heart) NY" button. I've worn it since 9/11. I bought it at the WTC when I visited it in 1989. Hardly hippie cred. I had a goatee at the time, too. More of a wanna-be Van Dyke actually. Hippie is more outright unshaven though. Clean facial hair is more on the hipster side of things. Except mine never looks very slick, so again it falls in between. Suffice to say, I didn't get the knee-jerk declaration that I was a hippie. Not that I have a problem with hippies. I've known quite a lot in my time, and I don't think any of them would have really thought of me as a fellow hippie.

My last thought was that the only other time I'd heard of someone having money thrown at them out of spite was a Jewish friend who was harrassed in high school with anti-semetic slurs by some jackass at our school. And then the whole incident seemed a lot more meaningless.

Just wanted to share.


Kerry/Edwards baby!

I have today off, but I actually got myself up early just so I could see John Kerry's annoucement of his running mate, which as soon as I got up was already known to be John Edwards. Got to say, I'm very pleased. As some of my readers know, I backed Edwards in the primaries partly because I thought he'd be a good VP candidate.

More recently, there has been such a groundswell of support for John Edwards, its been overwhelming. Kerry listened to the people on this one, and that is a great issue to raise. This also allows him to approrpiate Edwards' Two Americas message pretty much directly, which is a great way of condensing the Democratic message. There are a lot of complaints that no one knows what Kerry stands for, but he's well on his way towards communicating his message and vision and I'm looking forward to it.

Only problem is that Will Forte has been doing Bush and Edwards on SNL. Well, I'm sure they can balance that easily enough. And frankly, the more they give Will Forte to do, the better.


I suck

Man, I really feel like a whiney bitch lately. Doesn't help that I've felt like I've been getting sick for a week now. Never actually sick, just like I'm coming down with something that never seems to come but keeps me feeling pretty awful. So, in the spirit of this mood, I'll not be talking about politics or pop culture or anything of significance or interest. I'm just going to be whining about how much I suck. Just warning you now.

I'm just feeling really freaking lonely lately. I've been single for over 5 months now, which is pretty long for me. I've been largely okay with it, unmotivated to really look for someone, but that's all crashing down now. I'm really missing being with someone. Its not about sex. Its the closeness, the intimacy. Sharing my bed with someone. Holding them close to me. The feeling you get when the person you're with just looks at you. Its about providing someone with emotional support and being supported by them. I'm missing it all right now and its really bumming me out.

The way I see it, there are three things that go into a relationship. Intellectual stimulation, emotional stimulation, and physical stimulation. I'm not sure its fair to say any of the three is the most important, and I'm also young enough to still feel that I can look for and find all three, but its hard not to be pessimistic sometimes. It seems like it should be easier, but I guess it never is. With my last girlfriend, I was very physically stimulated and very intellectuall stimulated, but there was never an emotional stimulation. Never that spark of something more. I liked her. I liked spending time with her, but that's not love. I think part of that is because I held back something important to me because I was afraid of being rejected for it. What I was holding back was my passionate belief in fat acceptance. I knew it was something I needed to be able to share with someone to really feel a connection, but I was coming out of a relationship where I was rejected for it and it scared me.

I think I'm only know getting over that rejection. It wasn't even like I was dumped for believing in fat acceptance. No, my girlfriend decided she didn't believe in it anymore, but knowing how important it was to me, she lied to me about what she was doing. She went on a radical, starvation-style diet, ramped up her excercise dangerously, and was never honest about any of it. She knew I couldn't support it, she knew it went against what I believed. She knew because I told her. Not as a warning, but out of appreciation. I had never knew what it was like to be with some who felt the same way as I did about these things, and it made so amazingly happy. I wanted her to know how happy it made me feel. I wanted her to know how much appreciated her and being with her. It wasn't to try to order her around. It was to thank her.

The common complaint when someone objects to dieting in a partner is that its their life and their body and I can't make their decisions. But, isn't this my life? Can't I make decisions about my life? I cannot support dieting. I know that is built on a foundation of lies and misinformation. I know that it won't work. Maybe for some FAs, its just about the fat body, but thats not it at all for me. If it was, I'd just sit back and wait for the diet to fail. Odds are 19 to 20 that the diet will fail, if even that. Odds are also 9 out of 10 that the diet will result in her being fatter than she started. If it was just about the body, I'd just sit back and wait it out. That's not what it is about. Its about sharing my life with someone and knowing that on the things that are really important to me, we feel the same way. Its about not being asked to support something I know is a mistake. I regret not getting the chance to talk my exgirlfriend out of what she was doing to herself, but I'm also upset that I wasn't able to make a decision for my own life. I'm upset at how depressed I was over it and how self-doubting I became. I'm upset at how I hid this from my last girlfriend, not letting her in and something I feel so passionate about. Not being able to share that. I'm upset that some of the fear remains. Maybe if not in the form of being afraid to be honest, but being afraid that I'll never find someone to share this with. Or being afraid that even if I do, I may not be able to trust it. Or that I will be able to trust it, but I'll be lied to again. And there just aren't any easy answers about this.

Its not like I need to be with a gung-ho activist. I'll be happy with someone who has decided that dieting is wrong and who is trying to learn to accept herself as a fat woman. Acceptance is always a journey. I know that in my own life. Its never easy, its never perfect, but you keep working towards the goal and that's what is important. When I broke up with my last girlfriend, I started putting up personals ads and I kinda mentioned fat acceptance but always in very coy ways. It was clear people didn't get what I meant. Now, I'm very upfront. I mention fat acceptance directly, even discuss it a bit and how important it it is to me. It should be clear what I mean, but I still get responses from people who just don't care. I got one yesturday from someone who was pre-op WLS. Not she came out and said this, I just recognized her screen-name as someone who had agressively backed WLS at a BBW forum in the "how dare you disagree with me" vein. It just makes me sad. I know its wrong and I can't just make it go away by saying that I'm sure this girl will beat the odds and it will all be wonderful. A few "success" stories can't make me ignore the truth of it and the truth of the pain that the weight loss culture causes. It just makes me sad. And yesturday, it made me annoyed that they didn't come out and say this. They acknowledge that I mentioned fat acceptance and responded using language that I wouldn't disagree with unless I knew what they really meant by it. I just felt like I was being lied to again and it made me angry. I fired off a brief email chastizing them for not being upfront in their response since I was upfront in my ad. I probably should have just ignored it, but I felt like I needed to do something to reclaim my right to feel this way. My right to my beliefs.

But, I don't know if I can hope to find someone who will agree with me about this. Its tough and its discouraging. It seems like the only people I ever find who seem to have the "total package" live far away are are otherwise involved. Putting up personals at a local site is an iffy proposition. Even the good responses might not really get what I was saying. The BBW dances in this area just depress me most of the time. They seem like a great big diet support groups sometimes. A WLS support group at its worst times. Thats not an environment where I feel accepted as an FA. I don't even get why these women want to be with an FA. I know a lot of FAs are very wishy-washy in their commitment to being an FA and utterly ignorant about fat acceptance, so I guess that makes it easy to assume that being FA just means being attracted to a woman during the time she's losing weight and after that it doesn't matter. Why do you want someone to think fat women are sexy when you are getting WLS? Just in case it fails? Because you don't respect our feelings at all? Because you assume we must not really mean it?

Years ago, the BBW dance scene seemed to go hand-in hand with the activism side of things, but that's been lost. I know a lot of activists knock the dances as trivial, but I think it could really be a useful way to reach out and educate people about the movement. I think this used to happen with no effort. The environment alone did it. That's changed, though, and I don't think any real education is going on. I don't think any outreach is happening. I think now it'd be tough to introduce any since there is such institutionalized hostility towards fat acceptance at the dances. Its a real missed opportunity, I think.

How do I find someone to be myself with? To share myself with? To just hold close to me and enjoy doing absolutely nothing? Is it really too much to ask for? And that's a rhetorical question. I once asked that at a fat positive forum and got the utterly depressing response from many people that "Yes, it is too much to ask for. Just give up." I don't want to give up, though. I know how happy it can make me feel to be with someone I could share this with. I know how wonderful all that quiet intimacy can be. I know its what I want and what I need. I just wish it was what I had, because I right know I just feel mopey and alone.