Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2017-05-23

Everyday Glitter

Hello and Happy Tuesday from my beautiful home in Los Angeles! I have a couple of deeper posts I’m working on but in the meantime wanted to share with you some everyday glitter–little bits and bobs of things that are delighting me right now, that might also delight you!

Jeffrey Marsh Text Joy
I adore Jeffrey Marsh! I have solidly recommended their book How to Be You to everyone I know and am slowly buying it for each teen in my life that I sense is a weirdo. In a world that vilifies difference, Jeffrey’s message that it’s completely spectacular to be your own unique self is vital!

If you want to grab a delight in your phone, text MARSH to 75985. It is a sweet journey. I could only do two days of the ShineText situation before my phone went spontaneously dead (which is why you haven’t seen me on Instagram in four days), but I found it uplifting for those two days. You deserve kind reminders!

Get to know Jeffrey (and me!) a little more, through this delightful video interview!

Jeffrey performing and inspiring at the Love & Resistance shabbat dinner I produced with my friend Rick Sorkin on inauguration day as a way to build up and empower activists. Photo by Rachel Crowl.

Meet ClaraBelle Blue
Adiba Nelson tried in vain to find a children’s book that centered the experience of a special needs child that had a personality, so she decided to write her own. Meet ClaraBelle Blue is inspired by her daughter and helps ALL children understand that you don’t need to be defined by your abilities. In addition to the main character with cerebral palsy, the book also includes characters with invisible illnesses such as anxiety and ADHD.

I think it’s a great way to show kids about difference and get more comfortable create relationships with people who are different. Check out the book trailer below, buy the book and share it on social media! (And read little excerpts in this Buzzfeed article.)

Nitika Chopra’s Love Entourage
I met Nitika last December and have experienced so much delight from her social media. She’s very upbeat and sweet, her Instagram stories are full of love, motivation, fun and exploration: of beauty products, spending quality time with her soul sisters and sharing her family’s culture. Like me, Nitika believes in the transformational power of self-care and that beauty rituals are an amazing way to connect to self love. She has had debilitating psoriasis for 26 years and the experience helped transform her perspective on life, she focuses on her happiness instead of her suffering.

Nitika is a lot of things and one of them is a life coach! She is launching a new round of her Love Entourage group coaching on June 5th. If you’re interested in working with someone who knows about self love to help you dig it up in you, check it out!

Flip or Flop Vegas
Since I retired from thirteen years of Real Estate law practice, I get my money these days through a lot of tiny hustles, many of which I can perform while watching mindless TV. I am a total sucker for home renovation shows and I love to watch the transformations, the design and the problem solving. Charismatic designers and hosts help, too!

I read People Magazine and I was really curious if the Flip or Flop spin-off, Flip or Flop Vegas was in response to the divorce of the couple in the original Flip or Flop. I certainly don’t believe people need to be married in order to be on HGTV, but as friends have reported from the producers of those house hunter shows, if you’re gay they are going to ask you to get someone to be your fake partner. Regardless of the intentions behind the creation of the show I am surprised to say how much I enjoy Flip or Flop Vegas.

It has a lot going for it. Like the original, this is a married general contractor and realtor/interior designer couple, where they buy places for cash and transform them into properties buyers will love (informed by their work with real estate clients). Aubrey is blonde and thin, Bristol is a hunky MMA fighter. Vegas is a rough flip market, it was very heavily hit in the 2008 real estate market crash and I remember before the crash reading a lot of articles about how bad the crash would be for Vegas since there was so much speculative building during that time.

Since the success of a flip is dependent on cutting the margins, they do a lot to save money without sacrificing quality. Aubrey shops mega clearance and develops relationships with suppliers who also supply casinos and celebrity homes, which means she gets higher end glitz and glam supplies at a huge discount from the leftovers of casino projects. I’m a Femme who LOVES a good bargain, I call it my “hunting” so I really appreciate the vicarious thrill of finding high end tile on clearance.

I can’t say Cottage Glam was my favorite end-result design but I loved that she pinterested this wall design and had Bristol build it. I find it relatable and her design choices to be adventurous.

Because of the Vegas influence, Aubrey can’t help but incorporate “glam” into almost every project, including a “Cottage Glam” and “Farmhouse Glam” projects. This is obviously something I’m super into. I also like that Bristol will DIY just about anything, like making a pergola from scratch instead of buying it off the rack or building barn doors. They are a pinterest dream come true. I find it pretty satisfying to watch their projects come together, and Aubrey’s staging is always very fabulous.

Nate & Jeremiah By Design
I can’t plug a heteronormative design show on HGTV without plugging the gay couple holding it down on TLC. Nate Berkus folks might remember as Oprah’s go-to interior designer in the latter years of her talk show and occasional specials on OWN. After losing his partner in the Sri Lanka tsunami he has found new love with his now husband, another interior designer, Jeremiah Brent.

It’s a combo of a regular house renovation show and Extreme Home Makeover, the tear-jerking heart pulling ABC show I wish was still on the air. Nate and Jeremiah rush in to save a couple from an ongoing renovation that has stalled out for some reason. Usually because home renovation can become a money-pit, but in some cases because couples can’t agree on a vision or because they are stymied by indecision or too many small decisions. (Oh, how I can relate.) They work with a small budget the couple has, call in some favors and deliver a stunning reno that works for the family.

I feel like the show is missing a key element, in that at least a couple of the episodes it was clear that one or both of the couple could use some therapy work around what was stalling their renovation. One woman refused to step foot in her kitchen because it was too dirty with other people’s germs even after her husband hired three cleaning crews, and her husband and daughters ate their meals separate from her. A home renovation is only relieving a symptom but isn’t going to address the cause. This show is beautiful design work and a great reminder to me to do my self work so that I don’t let my perfectionism get out of control and grind my life to a halt!

Like many design shows we get pieces of their home life. Nate and Jeremiah, gay dads worried about pre school admissions just like other upper middle class families I see on TV!

2012-02-14

Everyday Glitter: Validation Day Edition

Hi Pals! It is Validation Day and I tend to write blog posts every year addressing this fact. So let’s just keep the tradition alive.

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Lauren, Damien, Me and Fancy Feast at Rebel Cupcake 21: Enchanted Forest

I occasionally feel salty about the burst of couple privilege but honestly, whatever. Sometimes you got somebody, sometimes you have yourself and that’s still pretty incredible.

Everyday Glitter Item the First:
This weekend I was excited to visit my niece Etta Pearl. She was born on February 9 and just turned 3. I remembered that when she was born I was off in Toronto visiting my sweetheart at the time and was so excited to come back to the States to go meet her.

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And now she’s 3! I don’t feel like I’ve aged a bit, but I have and I’m 33 now and it’s so fun to get to know and care for this tiny person who is now a person who talks and tells stories.

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This was us last summer.

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Etta’s first birthday was a tea party and her moms, Christie and Becky, have always been big tea drinking friends. I was excited to do a Lesbian Tea Basket highlighting some of their tea accessories. Etta was kind enough to co-host with me. We are also repping Sunday morning jammy time realness.

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I told Etta Pearl this weekend, as we played with the remainder of the balloons in the living room, to not let anyone buy her combination Valentine’s Day/Birthday presents. And then her sibling arrived this morning at 6:30AM! So as soon as Ayla Josephine is old enough, I’ll give them the birthday is separate from Valentine’s Day speech. I feel super honored that I got to spend Etta Pearl’s last weekend as an only child with her. And I can’t wait to meet little baby AJ!

Everyday Glitter Item the Second:
I was asked to be an esteemed judge for the Marimacho Hunky Heartbreaker contest. I love thinking and talking about fashion. This was a dream gig.

You can read our criteria and check out the winners here. I had a really great time with all of the folks who were judges. I really love when I am reminded there are limitless nooks and crannies in queer Brooklyn with lots of cool folks I don’t know yet. Also Ivette is a great cook and she made us enchiladas.

I highly endorse a perusal of the hunks and dandies and hunky dandies on the Marimacho Tumblr!

Everyday Glitter Item the Third:
I am struggling with my inner perfectionist about getting back to my “balance.” I keep forgetting that my whole life was just dumped upside down and it takes awhile to get into the groove of a “new normal” and also balance is an art, not a science. It’s a series of decisions regarding your self-care, your priorities, your learning how to check-in with yourself and adjust as needed. I got a pretty good groove on balance before I can get there again. So I’m finding a lot of glitter in the moments where I simply remind myself to be gentle and be patient.

I am super enjoying new rituals in my life as a way to attain balance and be tender with myself. I am learning so much new stuff at work and my brain is firing on many cylinders, so I really need to be gentle. I stop at about 5 every day, make a cup of tea, and turn on Prince for my Prince happy hour.

Everyday Glitter Item the Fourth:
Two incredible compliments from last week’s Rebel Cupcake. One regular party goer and performer told me Rebel Cupcake was the only dance party they felt like they could be 100% themselves. That is exactly the kind of atmosphere I hope to foster. Another gay couple from London was on a bar tour of virtually every gay bar in NYC and they happened upon RC while visiting Sugarland and said it was by far the best party they had been to. What a wonderful thing to say!

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Me and my new roommate Damien at Rebel Cupcake!

Everyday Glitter Item the Fifth:
My friend Jack summed things up pretty well for me around Whitney Houston’s sudden death. It’s been very sad for me to think about and process. I think anyone who has lost someone (whether through their death or other departure) to drugs or alcohol knows the loss it brings up. She was also someone who was really important to our culture and was a cultural touchstone in many of our childhoods. I remember distinctly my single mom’s record collection and how Whitney featured very prominently among those albums. Her songs were each very intense emotional journeys and they are so amazing. It is weird that Facebook is the place where most folks process this stuff, but it is part of what the internet culture has created. And I was surprised to find that Whitney’s death was not a trending topic amongst my friends this weekend–it was the ONLY topic.

Anyway, my solidarity. Drop a few Whitney quotes around your friends these days.

Everyday Glitter Item the Sixth:
Check out this new video for Eat Everything from Rocco Katastrophe featuring Margaret Cho, Athens Boys Choir and the hottie upstart De=MC2.

So, whether your Validation Day is spent with friends emotionally eating maple donuts, on a date with a longtime sweetheart, at home with your cats, on a promising first date, or someplace between all of those, I hope you are gentle with yourself and do something extra glittery, just for the hell of it. Thank you for reading my blog and being part of this amazing journey with me! xoxoxo

2012-01-24

Everyday Glitter: Everything is Coming Up Babelandingham

Oh, sweet readers, it has been a bit since I updated and my very good reason is that I have had so much intense change in this giant tidal wave of awesome. With change often comes a whole mess of work to do, but the other side of this mess of work is a big fat glittery rainbow. Also sometimes the everyday glitter is really really big pieces of sparkling confetti.

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Serpentina from the Coney Island Sideshow at the Beyond Visibility: Illuminating and Aligning Femmes in NYC Cabaret.

Glitter The First: I believe being open to possibilities means being truly open, trying new things you thought you would never do. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, that line of thinking. So, in embarking on a job hunt I was truly open to a lot of possibilities and careers. And then the sort of unbelievable happened–I was offered a job working at a boutique firm specializing in LGBT legal issues.

This was basically my dream job in law school and I never thought I would actually find a golden corral full of gay magic but I did. And I’ve been there a week and really love it. I learn new stuff every day. I am also working with some amazing folks and for a senior partner I really admire personally.

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Anyway, this is a BIG WIN for Babelandingham. I am very excited for this development in my professional life. Also the office dress code is “dapper” and I’m having some serious sartorial satisfaction in this environment.

Glitter the Second: I had spent New Year’s Day saying to my friends at this wonderful birthday party for Heather how happy and peaceful I felt even though I didn’t have a job and there was so much uncertainty in my life (this was before I got the job offer). Then the next morning, as though a joke by the Goddess, I got a call from my landlords saying they wanted to terminate our lease and we had thirty days to move out.

Now, I know my rights and they didn’t give me proper notice, so I had more than thirty days from that phone call. But I also knew I had a finite period of time to take action. I flipped out a bit, since my savings would be entirely extinguished by the cost of putting a deposit, first and last months’ rent on a new place. Not to mention the hassle of finding a new place with three (adorable and well-behaved) pets in New York City.

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And then things sorted themselves out. My friend Sarah Jenny was moving out of her place where she lived with my good friend Damien. I am able to take SJ’s room in a home I already feel very connected to and have loved so much already. SJ gave me her boxes from her move and together with boxes from Mackenzi’s store the logistics of the move have worked out pretty well. Other than the agita of packing my entire life up in an unexpected hurry, it is a really good change.

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SJ’s boxes are a great guide for what to pack next, since the contents are already on the side.

I haven’t been very good at asking for help with this process (I realized the last time I moved I had a lot more help because I was asking for it), so that’s a practice I need to get into for the unpacking and painting process.

But what an opportunity to practice leaning into change and embracing it! When I was life coaching with Lynnee Breedlove he used to tell me that the best way to deal with change was to lean into it. I could be whining about what a pain in the ass it is that my landlords are terminating our lease or whatever, but I’m able to turn this into an opportunity for a huge energy shift in my life. That’s amazing!

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It’s the apartment where I made all of my birthday wishes!

Also, as I embark on full-time office work once more, maintaining space in my life for my art is really important to me. Damien has long been a personal hub in my life for art and activism and I am really excited to make a home with her, a home which I hope fosters my creativity and helps me keep moving forward with my art. Plus the time structure of having a 9 to 5 hustle is good for my writing practice and I’m really hoping to get the first draft of my memoir finished by the end of the summer.

But in the meantime my new 60 hours a week at the office plus packing means I’m basically MIA from my social life. Soon to remedy!

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Me and my future roommate, Damien!

Glitter the Third: Rebel Cupcake was a critic’s pick in Time Out New York! We had a huge turn out on January 12th. I never believed when I was a fat, depressed and suicidal teenager that I would someday be out, proud, and an event producer hovering above the Gay and Lesbian section of a New York magazine holding a cupcake. I always thought getting skinny was going to make my dreams come true. Turns out it was embarking on the life-long process of learning to love myself that was what brought my wildest dreams to me.

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February 9th: Dance Music Sex Romance is a Prince Tribute show and on the bill is Ben Lehrman (Prince on the ukelele!), LeRoi Prince and an almost confirmed fat burlesque act I’m really excited about.

March 8th: New Wave Rebel Cupcake! With a 20 minute feature set of The World Famous *BOB* and Princess Tiny & The Meats’ homecoming show! This is going to be an incredible show!

And check out this really fun promo video for Rebel Cupcake by the awesome Laura Delarato!!

Glitter the Fourth: I’m presenting a workshop “Love For EveryBODY” at Ivy Q, a conference at Brown, on February 18th. If you’re there please stop by to say hi! Once I have more information I am going to put it all on my calendar page.

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Glitter the Fifth: I am a poster girl in the Stand 4 Kids Campaign! It’s geared to stand in solidarity with fat kids and in opposition to hate speech masquerading as health initiatives that unfairly target fat kids instead of promoting health for every kid.

Stand 4 Kids Campaign

Glitter the Sixth: At the recent Rebel Cupcake Damien surprised us with a live recording of Shit Femmes Say! An internet meme right on stage! Here’s a video of it!

So my life is crazy busy but crazy awesome. And this doesn’t even begin to encompass all the awesome happening right now. I hope your 2012 / Year of the Dragon is starting out on a winning note.

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Blog benefactor Domino Dollhouse is back for another month of blog benefacting! Tracy, the babe behind the Dollhouse, just launched a line of vintage style lingerie that I think folks who like plus size lingerie are going to drool over.

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The High Waisted Vintage Style Garter Panty is so hot! And a bargain at $39.99. I wear this style of garter belt and I find it considerably less fiddly.

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The Sweetheart Overbust Corset is something I am personally lusting over, as I totally need a new red corset as mine sadly broke. (“Need.”) $99

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Domino Dollhouse is now carrying bra and panties sets! For $14.99!

Don’t forget she also stocks tons of cute clothes and accessories!

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AND she has partnered with one of my favorite designers, Sweetooth Couture, carrying the Gumdrop Empire Waist coat in an exclusive colorway–purple! So foxy
and goes up to a 6X. $179.99 and your purchase supports two incredible independent plus size designers working to make fashion more accessible for fat folks.

The special coupon code for QueerFatFemme.com readers is still available for another month! Enter “QFF15″ (case sensitive) at check out to get 15% off your Domino Dollhouse order!

Thanks for supporting the blog, Domino Dollhouse!!

2011-10-16

Introducing Gay Sex Week and Some Everyday Glitter

Hi friends! Life has been steady rolling lately. I am trying to lean into the big changes in my life as best as I can. Working with a lot of fear and scarcity stuff but being gentle, really really gentle with myself. Self-care is my dreamy boyfriend right now. My steady, number one priority. This is a moment by moment choice and requires an awful lot of checking in with myself, honesty and sweetness.

The great part of doing all this self-care is that I am able to really enjoy life. I’ve been up to fun things!

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Poppies! Morgan made these for Rebel Cupcake. Possibly the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.

ITEM THE FIRST: Next week is GAY SEX WEEK at QueerFatFemme.com. I’ve been working on a bunch of blog posts about queer sex and sexuality. I read this article about the status of LGBT movement in the media by Cathy Renna at Huffington Post that was a call to action, essentially, to queer up the voices of the LGBT movement. (In my opinion the whole essence of Queer is that it’s anything but simple.)

[I]f our movement were braver and more open about what actually sets us apart from the rest of the world (they call is sexual orientation for a reason, right?), it would seem more genuine and honest. Talking about sexuality without talking about sex in an honest and appropriate manner often seems to be the order of the day, and it seems like a flawed long-term solution to talking about ourselves. I think it ties in to the age-old debate over whether to argue that we are “just like everyone else” or that we are “more alike than we are different.”

The “LGBT Movement” in the media is missing hella representation by really important aspects of our communities. This is just a couple examples of a billion, but other than Beth Ditto can you think of one Queer Fat Femme in the media? Or how about one Transman of color in the media?

So, get ready for lots of GAY SEX for NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK which also will include participation in National Fisting Day [this link is clearly NSFW] on October 21.

I hope it helps “queer up the movement in the media” and I also hope it helps some folks who are critically underbanged at this time to shake the dust off their sex lives.

ITEM THE SECOND: I gave my workshop “Love for EveryBODY” at NYU for their Pride Week on Wednesday. It was so awesome! I love giving that workshop and teaching self love and body liberation. Often when I teach I learn stuff, too, and this was no exception. What a great, heartwarming group!!

ITEM THE THIRD: Rebel Cupcake was on Thursday and the Wizard of Oz theme brought my friend Drae Campbell (the reigning Miss Rebel Cupcake and Miss Lez) out to do some butchlesque. The character was the Dandy Lion, a cowardly lion take-off, using the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight and just thinking about that act makes me smile. I love it when performers take a Rebel Cupcake theme and run with it to create something amazing. I also hope I can get this act on video!

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Dandy Lion!

ITEM THE FOURTH: I went out last weekend to Hey Queen. I love that party. I got dressed up in this duster, which is as seen on Blanche on an episode of Golden Girls. I made a headpiece from scratch. I took lots of pictures, danced like crazy and chatted a bunch. It’s nice sometimes to just get to take a break from big stressors and shake it loose.

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I am go-going at next month’s Hey Queen! November 19th at Public Assembly. I’ll post all the details on my calendar page, but save the date! I hardly ever go-go dance. I’ve been promised a glitter cannon.

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Miss Mary Wanna is my co-go-go.

ITEM THE FIFTH: My friend Kelli Dunham just started a new online project called Grief Sucks. Because it does.

Kelli performed at Rebel Cupcake on Thursday and it’s incredible knowing someone for ten years and watching them evolve as a human and a performer. She also told a sex story about me (Kelli and I never had sex with each other but we did have sex near each other once) on stage, which I suppose is a great inauguration for NATIONAL QUEERFATFEMME.COM GAY SEX WEEK.

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Vintage me and Kelli from 2006.

2011-09-30

Consolation Cupcakes

Hi friends. It’s been a weird few months here at QFF headquarters. First there were three deaths right in a row this Spring, last month a sudden accident in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene claimed the life of a close family friend of mine. On top of this, the closing of Re/Dress NYC, my workplace and home to much of my politics and community.

Yesterday our pals around the corner from One Girl Cookies brought us consolation cupcakes.

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Like I said to Leslie after we heard the news, “At least Re/Dress gave us each other.”

The announcement was made yesterday but I’ve already known for a bit and had to keep it under my hat, which has been hard since right now I’m dealing with the eventual loss of health insurance and the only steady income I have. (The rest of my income comes from my sometimes flagging solo law practice, speaking gigs, and performance opportunities, all of which provide sporadic income and require an intense hustle that actually takes away from my productivity and artistic energy.)

So it is a shock and brings up a lot of fear and first chakra stuff. But luckily fear is just a feeling, it’s not reality. I’m at a place personally where I know that. I’ve been laid off once before, almost three years ago to the day. This year has provided me lots of opportunities to deepen my spiritual practice and a friend mentioned yesterday “Wow, you’re talking a lot more about the Goddess lately.” My response? I don’t see much of a choice. Not to get too woo, but honestly the only security I’ve ever found in my complicated life is my choice to believe in a loving higher power.

Feelings of grief and loss bring up for me the desire to focus more on the right now of life. So I’ve had this Everyday Glitter post brewing and share it with you as a celebration of the gorgeous everyday-ness that even a steady monthly beat of sad news can’t take away.

Everyday Glitter #1: Artist Dates
One of the things The Artist’s Way teaches is to take yourself on a weekly artist date. I slacked off over the summer and just started again with a vengeance. (I highly suggest doing the 12 week Arist’s Way program to anyone, BTW.)

Sunday found me roaming Cobble Hill on my artist’s date and I remembered bookmarking a soda fountain the charming and articulate plus fashion blogger Nicolette Mason talked about on her blog, the Brooklyn Farmacy. A quick mobile phone google of Nicolette’s site found the address on her write-up and I popped in with a copy of Oprah magazine and settled in for a treat.

It’s a legit old school soda fountain with waitresses in vintage frocks and scarves in their hair and a really nice Brooklynite dude serving up old fashioned treats.

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My mom used to make me Purple Cows when I was a little kid, this one is grape soda and I subbed coconut ice cream for vanilla. It was really delicious.

Everyday Glitter #2: Puppy Watch

One of the coolest things about living in a densely populated area is that puppy watching is a daily thing. All number of adorable pooches are walked regularly. I’ve started parking myself on this bench near Re/Dress on my lunch walks to puppy watch. Sometimes when I’m working from home I take a break and sit on my stoop with Macy

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I mean, cute puppies make me feel better about pretty much everything.

Everyday Glitter #3: Style Emails!

Ever since Big Sexy premiered the Re/Dress NYC Tumblr Ask Box has been blowing up. I’ve actually really enjoyed answering people’s questions, especially this one about hiding a fat stomach. You can check my advicelets out over there!

Everyday Glitter #4: New! Big! Projects!
On Sunday I went over to Governor’s Island to discuss my curating an area as part of a big free art festival on Governor’s Island next May. I’m super excited about it. It’s going to be a body liberation / size acceptance interactive & multi-artist installation. I’m really excited to take my existing performance curatorial skills and do something bigger.

Governor’s Island is a great place to go chill out during the summer. It’s huge, there are bike rentals, parks, lots of grass, the ferries run frequently and are free. I had a lot of fun exploring everything and Danielle, my tour guide (and the person who recruited me to curate) knows the nooks and crannies of the island.

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Photo by Danny McL.

And Leslie and myself are tossing around ideas about how we can take her expertise in wardrobe and styling, my event planning experience and mash them up to a resale shopping experience. I’ll of course keep my readers updated, and you can keep tabs on Double Chin Win on the website.

Everyday Glitter #5: Fall Layers
Crisp Autumn air means more opportunities to wear weird rock vests and stifling stretch polyester vintage dresses. I found a brown fur rock vest at Re/Dress yesterday. I can’t wait to kick leaves and buy a new pair of Ariat Fatbaby Boots for the winter.

Everyday Glitter #6: Suri’s Burn Book
Hysterical fashion commentary told from the point of view of Suri Cruise on the fashions of celebrity babies.

Everyday Glitter #7: You!
As though on cue from the universe, the last week while I’ve been privately stewing on this news and brewing the what nexts for my life, I’ve gotten an influx of fan mail, had some really meaningful interactions with fans at the store, and other synchronous events to remind me that making my art is super important and is a two-way street. I create because I feel compelled to create, but it really does mean a lot to me that it means a lot to you.

Here’s to moving ahead in faith that what I’m meant to be doing next enables me to keep doing what I’m passionate about, helping the world become safe for folks to love themselves, regardless of their differences.

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The sky is not the clouds.

2011-04-23

Everyday Glitter

Growing up in California’s Bay Area I never appreciated the way Spring opens up the world again the way I do now, at 32, living in a place with real seasons. I feel like every piece of Spring’s evidence is a little bit of glitter added to the world. A magnolia tree in bloom. Cherry blossom trees.* Birds chirping like laughter, the smell of a freshly tilled garden. There is so much! Let’s talk some everyday glitter…

ITEM THE FIRST

My (genderflexible) Butch Ironworker Roommate brought home a piglet from her boyfriend’s farm in upstate New York. The first thing I said as I was cuddling with Penelope was “I can’t believe she’s going to become bacon!” BIR responded “Oh no! She’s a pet! She’ll live a long and healthy life, not for eating.”

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The first part of that life is going to be spent in Brooklyn with us until she’s too big to go back and forth.

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I am thrilled about this. Pigs are awesome. I learned a lot about them when I was a Girl Scout camp counselor as we had a petting zoo with two Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pigs. I also learned a lot about pigs from this amazing comic at The Oatmeal. I have always wanted a pig as a pet and now I get to borrow one without having to truly add to my menagerie of muppets. (My friend Kelli Dunham calls sleeping on my couch “Trying to take a nap in the cantina bar in Star Wars.”)

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Things I have already done with Penelope: Dressed her up in Macy’s puppy clothes, filmed a forthcoming episode of the Lesbian Tea Basket, cuddled with her while watching a Mandy Moore movie.

Things I intend to do with Penelope: Read her Charlotte’s Web, watch Babe: Pig in the City (so she starts to understand what happens when her momma takes her out on a leash), take glamorous photos of me all dressed up holding a piglet.

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My daily glitter increases at least 50% when a piglet is involved.


Macy meeting Penelope.

ITEM THE SECOND

Every day I go on a twenty minute walk. This is an essential practice for my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Sometimes it’s with my dog Macy, sometimes it’s on a break from work. Recently I’ve been looking for new neighborhoods to explore within the twenty minute radius of Re/Dress and found this playground. In flagrant disregard of that New York City municipal law that you have to be accompanied by a child in order to go into a playground (it was empty, anyway), I went on the swings. I had so much fun, my favorite silver boots in the air swishing back and forth.

Being Downtown Brooklyn, there was a spectacular view. I could see skyscrapers in the financial district of Manhattan and Jersey City.

I highly recommend a five minute stop a swing set when you need a little pick-up.

ITEM THE THIRD

It has been a super dreary Spring so far, lots and lots of April Showers. In those in between times though, I am just soaking it up. The sun had just started peaking out late one afternoon as I was driving past the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I stopped spontaneously and went in for a couple of hours. And since I’ve been lamenting extra hard lately that I don’t have a garden to till and luxuriate in, I bought a membership. It’s like a season pass so I can go all the time and has some great benefits like later hours on Wednesdays and private picnic times (you aren’t allowed to bring food into the BBG).

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Getting a membership felt like honoring the intention of “I want a backyard,” and I can’t wait to just stop in and enjoy the canopy of cherry blossoms or the koi lake or any of the other incredible nooks and crannies whenever I want.

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Also the organic cotton tote bag I got with my membership made me feel like a grown-up liberal in her thirties.

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I spent the late afternoon enjoying the latest Oprah magazine and gazing into the sky.

ITEM THE FOURTH

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Glenn Marla spent the better part of a couple of work days decoupaging the bathroom at Re/Dress with copies of Hilda prints. I love Hilda, she’s one of my favorite pin-ups. She was the work of Duane Bryer for many years. I love that she’s a pin-up who is being herself, really goofy and doesn’t really care about the viewer. Most other pin-ups are clearly aware of their audience, Hilda’s just being Hilda.

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That’s the kind of Femme I like to be. Goofy, unselfconscious, genuine.

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I’ve always wanted to recreate a bunch of Hilda portraits with a photographer. I already have a little white dog!

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ITEM THE FIFTH
On National Grilled Cheese Day I made this tasty sandwich of sourdough, gruyere, bacon, tomatoes, spring mix, deli mustard.

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ITEM THE SIXTH
I got stuck in traffic for over an hour one day on the FDR drive in Manhattan. I was coming home from this crazy Petsmart/Target complex in Harlem I discovered as an alternative to suburban trips to Petsmart. (Petsmart definitely has the best prices on fancy cat and dog food as well as cat litter, believe me I’ve researched this like crazy.)

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The complex was huge and space-age looking and had a great view.

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The traffic jam was awful, sort of like the Everybody Hurts video where all the LA drivers get out of their cars and have soulful Michael Stipe moments. People were doing that! I stayed put (that kind of stuff makes me super nervous–what if the traffic starts moving!) and just took some pictures. If you gotta be stuck in traffic you might as well have an incredible view!!

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Whether it’s chock full of plans or you’re taking it easy, I hope you’re having a glittery weekend!

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ALF on my new aubergine bedspread.

*I am very cherry blossom identified.

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Everyday Glitter

My yoga teacher says at the end of each class “The light in me bows down to the light and the teacher in all of you.” I definitely feel that teaching is a two way process. I get just as much out of mentoring people, teaching workshops and writing this blog as people tell me they get out of those classes or this website. I treasure each compliment and appreciate them more than you know. But even more so, doing the art I do, blogging, writing, performing, producing, helps me to keep going on this journey, this lifetime journey, to loving myself. Teaching the gems I’ve mined about learning to love yourself and your body helps me mine even more gems.

At my workshop at Swarthmore I compared and contrasted the mainstream standards of beauty with what an alternative standard of beauty would look like. The gist of the mainstream standard is that it is virtually impossible to achieve and creates insecurity. An alternative standard is fluid. I said to the attendees, “You are all beautiful right this minute. The thing we need to learn is how to see ourselves as beautiful.”

I’ve talked about celebrating the fact that we are glitter identified people on the blog before. But I’d like to get deeper and start thinking about what are we doing every day that is putting together our amazing glittery lives? How are our lives beautiful right this minute? Where is our “too much” coming from, piece by piece?

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Sometimes my glitter literally comes in fistfuls from gay boys at dance parties. Hey Queen, July 2010.

Sometimes I find reading other people’s shines* really inspirational so hopefully you will find mine inspirational, too.

1. Spring! It’s still hovering in the 40s but today we got a couple of moments where it was downright near 60. I took my hoodie off for a precious brisk walk from the car to the grocery store. And not to be deterred, the birds are back chirping up a storm in the morning and some of the more dedicated early bloomers are thrusting forth.

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I spend a lot of time with my face toward the sky inspecting the trees for budding leaves. You can just barely make out silhouettes of buds here. All photos taken today in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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2. The perfect color of aubergine. For months I’ve wanted these deep purple sheets I saw on a reality show. Today at an impromptu trip to Ikea with Mackenzi I found a bedspread in that exact shade of aubergine, perfectly slippery so as to repel cat hair.

We went to scope out entertainment center options for my great living room redecoration project. Might as well start with a fast and easy fix to revolutionize my bedroom and acknowledge the continued need for comforters. I feel like the reverse of the Princess and the Pea. Instead of adding mattresses for comfort I am adding comforters for warmth!

3. The ridiculousness of an ornate cat food bowl. I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting for my cats to eat from, and a nod to old school Fancy Feast branding. (Note I feed them Nutro Indoor Senior food, not Fancy Feast.)

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They have to eat atop a chair so Macy can’t get into their food. I think it needs some sort of silver tray.

4. Mackenzi shouts to me, “Sugar Free Bacon Vinaigrette!” from across the aisle in the grocery store. I yell back “What has you speaking my love language?”

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It’s this miracle my lovelies. I can’t wait to try it out. It’s made with real bacon and comes from some maple farm.**

5. New gays moved into the loftiminiums across the street from my apartment!

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6. Trading coffees with Heather! Bedford Hill, the new coffee shop on my corner is awesome. They have a board where you can buy your friend a coffee and chalk it up for them to find. I bought Heather a coffee to help her with planning her tour (hey midwest! go see the Heels on Wheels Road Show!) and she reciprocated! I went down there and worked on my memoir today.

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Also the staff is really nice and cute. Their egg, avocado, cheese bagel sandwich will change your life.

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Heather and Damien are going to put on an amazing tour as soon as they finish reading this book about unicorns at a house party!

7. Brunch with friends! I am on this aggressively pursuing brunch on Sundays kick. I have worked retail so many weekends it kills it for me trying to do muggle brunch timing. But I miss my friends and I want to share cheap eats with them!

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I hope you are all putting your glitter out there this week!

*Shines and whines were something my college Resident Advisor staff used to do at staff meetings and I love them. It’s a way to communicate your highs and lows.
**Recall how much of a maple chaser I am.

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