Saturday, April 30, 2005
My Great AssOK. Let's not beat around the bush. I have a great ass.
I mean it. I am now convinced it is world class, an ass to be proud of, an ass to make money with, an ass that will take me places.
How do I know this? Well, I got to display my ass to thousands of people from the SPAWN booth at last week's L.A. Times Festival of Books and, man, did it get a lot of attention.
Actually, it's not an ass. As we've discussed before, it's a butt. And, well, technically, it's not attached to my body. It's actually the image we use for the marketing of Aphrodite in Jeans. It is still mine (at least to the copyright lawyers). But in real life it's attached to someone else's body. Just a technicality.
Here's what's cool about this ass. This ass kicks butt. (Thank you Cynthia, for that great phrase). It really does.
I was at the book fair and had strung up the our postcards and bookmarks everywhere around the booth. Our boothmate, Leon Cooper (one of my new favorite people on the planet), was surrounded by red and blue postcards and images of this butt. The coordinators of the booth asked him politely if he minded. He didn't. They were worried that it would detract from his sales of his WWII memoir. It didn't do that either. He sold a bundle of books that day.
Everybody looked. It caught the eye, it floated in the spring breeze, it was great and catchy and fun.
It was all those things... but it was way more. I started seeing an interesting trend. Women with little size zero derrieres would come up, look at the picture, and ruefully say "god, I wish I had one of those. " Young women, tall women, women who pretty much attracted attention on a daily basis -- they would come by and say the same thing. Everyone rolled their eyes and said, man, I want that.
Now, in truth, the owner of the real item was standing about five feet away from us for a good part of the day. She was there to give me moral support, and (I suspect) to see what kind of reaction dozens of representations of her anatomy would gather. (Jeez, I sure would.) And these women walked by her, obliviously, and then stopped at the booth, looking at the picture and saying enviously that they wanted that.
And I realized: the that that they wanted... had nothing to do with the size or shape of the butt itself. It had everything to do with the attitude.
Granted, it's a lovely butt. But it is all about the cock of the hip and the placement of the hand. It's about the in-your-faceness of it all. It's about strutting stuff and carrying it proudly. It's about the 'tude and the sass and the whole whole deal.
It's about the story.
I love that. Because that means anyone can have that ass. Despite the size numbers on my jeans, despite the fight against gravity, despite all that extra padding... that ass can be mine. Not just as a marketing tool, but as a state of mind, as a way of life.
So there ya go. The secret is out. Take my ass, world, and use it as you will. You can have that attitude. You can strut your stuff. Take it any way you want. It's up for grabs.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 7:35 AM 1 comments
Saturday, April 23, 2005
iPods Make You Happy
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 1:40 PM 0 comments
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The PondMy office building has a large reflection pond in front of it that is home to several families of ducks. When I work late, I come out and see the mallards sitting on the warm lights that point upward to illuminate the fountain. Sometimes I'll grab a sandwich and just watch them for a lunch hour, letting the sound of the freeway on the other side of the fence lull me as completely as the waves on a beach.
Every spring we see two or three new families created. In the beginning, the ducklings are so small they can barely waddle across the grass. But soon we see the females paddling across the water, their young following behind them in an inverted V. Stout businessmen in pinstripe suits are rendered motionless, mesmerized by the scene.
Collectively, we are touched. And concerned. When it seems there might be fewer ducklings on a Monday morning, I ask the the security staff and they give me a report on whether there have been any fatalities over the weekend. But every day, it seems, the ducklings get bigger and bigger. And when they get big enough to stop being differentiated from the mother, we are, collectively, proud.
Recently, the pond has been emptied and dry for maintenance. They seem to be patching up the floor and letting the cement cure in the sun. One day, before it dried up completely, I ate lunch and watched a couple of ducks stand in the remaining puddles. They looked puzzled, but took what they could get.
It's been completely dry for a few days, though. Today, walking into work, I saw one of the female ducks standing on the grass, looking up towards the building. She was away from the empty pond. Standing on the grass. Unsure and lost.
It was the saddest image I've seen in a long time. A duck standing alone. Without the water that sustains and surrounds.
I hope they fill it up again. Soon.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 9:15 AM 0 comments
Friday, April 08, 2005
News from the UndergroundLast Sunday my kids and I went on a walk that ended up in downtown L.A. It was a long walk that meandered through the park and a Winchell's donut place and the ATM. It included a train ride and several long periods of just sitting around, talking about nothing and kiling time. It was a beautiful sunny spring day and it contained all the necessary ingredients for the recipe of healing that I very much needed.
As we walked I told them that, sadly but inevitably, they will eventually have days like I was having. It was a day after both giving and receiving a major emotional wallop, and I was still woozy in the aftermath. Either way it happens, I told them, some days your heart will hurt so badly that it will take over your body and you will barely be able to stand up straight.
I told them that, unfortunately I've had some experience with days like this. Then I gave them a checklist of advice to remember when that day comes for them.
I'm not ready to say "Bring it on" again quite yet. It was a good day, but not one I really want to repeat in a hurry. I also don't want to slip back into gray gauzy complacency. Moments of piercing emotional suffering have their own beauty. Everything crystallizes. Priorities become clear and pure.
When it happens, enjoy it as much as you can. Savor the chocolate donut. Take care of the little critters in your life. If you have a pet, pay attention to it for 30 seconds more than usual. If you have plants, water them. It's amazing how much that little bit of care for the world helps.
Take a moment to appreciate the clouds in the sky or the breeze in the air, smelling of the promise of a summer to come. Stop and be mindful of the simple things, like breathing and nourishing your body with water and food. Remember big profound things, like the look of sunlight on the crest of a wave, or the way the full moon rises, fat and orange, through trees over the horizon.
Perhaps it doesn't take a slam to the heart to do all these things. Perhaps if we lived more immediately and consciously these things wouldn't knock us so silly. But we do and we're human and that's the way it is.
Take a breath. Let it out.
Take a moment to appreciate all of it. The pain and the joy that led up to it. And the joy that will return again.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 1:30 PM 0 comments