Monday, February 28, 2005
Everything ButtThe butt crisis has left me blogless.
For the past 72 hours I have been unable to think about much else besides the amount of information contained in a woman's rear end.
It started in a graphical sense. For those of you who have been in on this AIJ adventure from its onset, you are familiar with the original AIJ butt. It is a 2k image, containing a bit of attitude, some colored pixels, and not much else. There have been questions about what gender it is. People (mainly men) want more grabability. There are problems printing it. The pixels spread out over the paper in huge sloppy squares and it's obvious that there is not much going on underneath.
So we ran into a dilemma. Do we try to improve the current picture, find a stock photo online, or shoot a new one? If we decide to shoot a new one, what would the ultimate image be like?
And so we start thinking about what information this ideal butt would contain, in a bigger, life sense.
This butt, we have decided, has to have been there and done that. This need to be a butt that has it ALL going on. We need a butt that glories in its sexuality while fully aware of its fundamental usefulness. This butt has propped up diaper bags, shoved closed the back doors of SUVs while juggling an armload of groceries. This butt has grown numb on bleacher seats cheering inevitable strikeouts and occasional base hits. This butt has sat in rocking chairs for endless nights, nursing a baby, soothing nightmares, waiting for the doctor to call back. This is a butt with stories and a sense of humor and an eagerness to keep seeing what's around the next bend.
This butt puts the sass back in ass.
However, this is a butt and not an ass. Asses are for young women who sashay down the bike path in Hermosa Beach, clad in snippets of flourescent and no tan line whatsoever. As one of the gurus in this project says, "An ass is what you have in your 20's. In your thirties, it all goes to hell. Then, in your forties you have ... this butt. It's a butt that remembers its ass-ness, but has a whole lot more to say as well."
So all I have to do is find a butt that says all of this, and is visually appealing, and attracts the right audience, and shoot it. This butt, needless to say, cannot be mine. Not only does it fail at least one of the above criteria (in my eyes), I just refuse. It won't happen. I am already laying my most personal stuff out on the line - I have a story about my pubic hair, for god's sake! I refuse to publicly humiliate myself any further by putting my back on the front.
Luckily, I have two friends who are willing to put their ass on the line for me. We went shopping yesterday, trying on jeans that will help their derrieres tell this rich, wonderful, complex story.
The photo shoot is the day after tomorrow. I will be happy when it's over. I will be able to walk down the street without whipping around to check out every woman's ass that passes. I will be able to stop thinking of all my friend's butts in terms of their target market. And I will be able to print the preview book knowing that I now own a butt (on paper) that contains a lot more information. Of all kinds.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 1:47 PM 0 comments
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Running the BarrelIn stage lighting we change the sharpness of the edges of a beam of light by running the barrel of the lighting instrument back and forth. When I'm on stage doing a focus, I'm always yelling up to the catwalks "Can you fuzz that out for me a bit?" "Run the barrel out the other way!"
Tonight, a dear friend whom I have helped out at various times called me her guardian angel. I am doing her a small monetary favor and she is grateful. This is only noteworthy because, considering my current circumstances, doing anyone a monetary favor is probably extremely stupid. At least when looked at objectively.
And yet I felt nothing but elation when I told her I'd be honored to help.
As I was driving home from Target (!!) I was thinking about how good I felt about this decision and how I absolutely know it's the right thing to do. And the thought crossed my mind: it's not my money.
None of it's my money. (And no, the answer is not "of course not, it belongs to Coldwell Banker and Chase Manhattan and Bank One and HSBC, stupid.") The answer is that it's universal money and it flows in and out of my life as needed. It is my energy. And there is plenty of it.
The second I thought that, I glanced up out my car window and saw the moon. Ethereal. Shrouded and mysterious behind the clouds. Large and shimmering and fuzzed out.
I was looking up and over my glasses. When I adjusted my gaze and looked through the lenses, there was the moon again. But it was a different moon. It was in crisp focus. Smaller. Beautifully elegant.
Above the glasses: large and luminous. Through the glasses: small and clear.
Two different moons.
In my therapist's office I do lots of drawings. I cover big sheets of paper with many layers of pastels, using hands and nails and fingers and usually ending up completely smudgey and utterly purged. We take these pictures and hold them away from us across the room. She tells me to squint. I've found the shortcut to that is to simply take off my glasses. Immediately I see the subconcious monsters emerge from the page, the swirling caves, the crouching menaces that my unconscious creates.
Sometimes the way to see is to take off the glasses. Sometimes reality is clearer when it's out of focus.
The money given from an empty account becomes more than money: it becomes a statement of faith and love.
The moon viewed without glasses becomes a glowing orb, big with open arms.
The inner landscape viewed without precision becomes a mysterious region, populated with my inner beasts and silent allies.
Run the barrel. Soften the edges. Change the focus. By looking at something the way I shouldn't be looking at it, maybe that's the way to see what it really is.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 9:39 PM 1 comments
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Thunder at NightThunderstorm at night. I am alone in the dark with my work.
I listen to the crackling booms arcing overhead and I scan my world. The perimeters of my house: the roof is new, the hillsides are solid, the trees are trimmed. Good. Are my children safe in their beds? Yes. Are the other loved ones in my life secure? They are.
My thoughts go out to touch everyone and every place I love and am concerned about.
Weather makes me feel so small, so vulnerable, so connected. And I love it. Because once I complete my scan, and find everything and everyone intact, it makes me feel safe.
But the rolling thunder across our little valley also makes me think of mortar shells, gunfire, bombs. We are so lucky that the only thing that awakens us at night is the conflict of electrical impulses in the sky.
I fear that our luck has made us fragile and foolhardy. That we somehow don't understand how easily it could be us. That it could be Glendale or Norwalk or Burbank under seige. That Beverly Hills could be in smoking ruins. That war could be here, on our soil, our waking nightmare.
We are oblivious as we walk through the world village. And in our oblivion we toss out insults, pass by starving strangers, laugh too loud and too easily.
We are not making friends.
We don't seem to understand the price of our bravado. How small it makes us in many ways.
When I complete my scan from this perspective, I grow truly afraid. Our land is not intact. Our children are not safe. We are alone in the night.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 4:44 AM 2 comments
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Ebbs and FlowsI don't know what's going on.
So far, this has been a year for crying, cancer, tsunamis, floods. Extreme water. Flow and growth taken to detrimental, angry, antagonistic extremes.
I don't know what it all means. I was greeting this year with open arms, feeling the promise of huge wonderful things to come. And while I'm not doubting those things, I'm also noticing that there are these huge swings back and forth. Water issues mainly. Water and flow. Don't know what it's about, but it's big and scary.
I'm sorry I can't tell you one thing that makes it all OK. Except... it's all OK. It is. Somewhere. It's part of the dance. Part of the ebb.
The image I keep having is one of the waves being pulled far far far out to sea. Dead fish flopping in the sand. It feels like such a time of withdrawal and retreat. The key, as I've been telling myself, is to prepare for the inevitable inflow. To find high ground, to build sound structures, and to harness the incoming power with as much consciousness and grace as possible. Coming up we'll either get the ride of our lives, or get totally anhiliated by the force of the reversal.
Right now it's gasping fish. Soon it will be abundance so vast and powerful that we could be equally dumbfounded, if we're not ready.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 2:38 PM 0 comments
Friday, February 11, 2005
Internals vs. ExternalsWe've been batting around a bunch of ideas for marketing Aphrodite in Jeans. One idea that we came up with was a butt contest. People submit their pix and we have a contest. For some reason, that didn't sit right with me. I woke up one day and realized why...
AIJ is about waking up one day knowing you've got da Power, feeling the blood coursing through your veins, learning to strut your stuff (if you never knew) or remembering how (if you've forgotten.) It is all in the head. It may or may not - and the key here is that, seriously, it may NOT - exist in reality.
Personally, I am almost dysfunctional when it comes to the external stuff. I just simply am not interested in any of the stuff that people put on or take off to look like they've got All That as they move through life. (I did have a dream about myself in a pretty hot little thong, though, last night... I have to confess. It looked good. And now I'm cursing the fact that I am running too late to go to the gym this morning!)
My battle cry is to women to tell them that if they think they have to have the externals, or if they're waiting to have the externals, or if they dismiss themselves and keep themselves under a rock because they do NOT have the externals -- they are WRONG. They are wrong and that has to change.
It's about what's going on upstairs and in the heart.
The book is about having a walk and talk and thought that knows you're hot and you can do it. It totally doesn't mean you LOOK like Jennifer Garner. You just FEEL like Jennifer Garner. So bringing it out into externals is antithetical to what I'm talking about.
So that's my problem with the butt contest. It goes against one of my rallying cries. YES having a good butt is GREAT. YES we all want one - even me the warrior princess with the battle cry - I'd LOVE a great 501 ass. And I actually work hard to try to achieve one.
BUT (and notice here how close a Butt is to an excuse...!?) it's not the point. And people who are waiting to live until their butt is better are missing out completely.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 7:33 AM 2 comments