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Oct 24
My Dream Deferred Posted by Leah

Week 7: up 3.2 pounds (-8.4 pounds total)

“What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?”

Harlem by Langston Hughes

Hey kids. Yes, you’re at the right place. Yes, I did indeed start today’s Weekly Speak with a lil’ bit of poetry. And yes, it does have EVERYTHING to do with what I have to discuss today.

I don’t know if I have ever told you kids about Her Hotness’ Great Big Life Dream. No, it isn’t becoming Mrs. Derek Jeter. (Not only am I far too old for that role - I am the exact same age as him, gasp! - but I am also far too…not a bikini model.) From the moment that I realized at the tender age of nine that, despite my best efforts, I would never be an Olympic gymnast I have instead focused on one singular professional pursuit - to be an actress. I began my acting studies in middle school at the local community theater. I spent high school summers at drama camp, blissfully geeking out to Broadway musicals and the company of extraordinarily talented comrades. In college I was all in, doing any and every bit of theater that I could get my greedy stage-hog arse cast in. I fell madly and deeply in love with ALL of it, studying Shakespeare at Oxford University, traveling with my college theater department to see the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and discovering the glory and wonder that is improvisational comedy. After graduation I continued to do comedy improv and even got to the point where I was teaching and performing improv professionally in New York City. All the signs seemed to indicate that I was on the right path. Despite the somewhat elusive and unpredictable nature of the business I was poised for a good strong go of it. I threw down the gauntlet and moved to Los Angeles, ready to become the town’s next big star. And that is when it all went to pot.

Life happened. Being broke happened. Office jobs with fun people doing fun things at night and on the weekends happened. And I joined their party. I moved around a lot, with each move taking me further and further, both literally and figuratively, away from the dream. I took a lot of crap jobs because I wanted to have less responsibility and more time to pursue acting. But the pursuit never came. I quit a lot of crap jobs because they were “killing my soul”, my precious little soul that needed freedom to pursue the dream. But the pursuit STILL never came. WHY?!?! Why was I deferring my OWN dream?!?!

With all due respect to the amazing words of Mr. Hughes, whose poem is a searing condemnation of a society where entire communities are stripped of their dreams by mere fact of their race, with all due respect to the amazing Lorraine Hansberry, who drew inspiration from Mr. Hughes’ amazing imagery to create one of the most important (and one of my favorite) pieces of modern American theater. With ALL due respect to this amazing duo, for I mean in no way to lessen the impact of their message by humbly borrowing it for a minute to help illustrate my point, which is thus - I know what happens to a dream deferred - it DOES explode! It explodes again and again, a thousand tiny sharp pains to remind you that you are not living the life you wanted and, what is worse, you never really tried.

For the better part of a decade, this has been my constant struggle, Easy enough to fix, right? Just go out there and do it. Get up, get over it and put yourself out there. For the better part of a decade, I have told myself these very words. Over and over and over again. And every time a crippling fear would settle into every crevice of my body, so my mind would try to simply think of something else.

For the better part of a decade, I have been engaged in a full tilt battle of wills…with myself. And it has been exhausting!

Recently, it seems a victor of this battle may have emerged. With the Professor’s encouragement and support (and patience!!) I have quietly made some pretty serious changes. This summer I began the process of looking for representation. Less than a month ago I signed with an agency!! They have already sent me on three auditions and each has been fun and interesting and I walk away each time feeling like I learned something. I plan on taking some acting classes very soon, and I am thrilled at the idea of being a student again. Many of my friends and former classmates are doing some incredible work right now and I ache to be right there with them. But I must remind myself that they have been at this for a while, pounding the pavement and putting in the time training and growing. I am ready to do that part, too!

It isn’t always easy. This week in particular has been a really emotional, difficult one. It is hard to be forty and starting over. It is really effing hard! My confidence is weak from years of neglect, but it’ll get there. The crippling fear is still present, but all of my forward motion has basically rendered it mute.

So kids…this is me. This is me and my dream (no longer deferred). You will forgive me, but this week there is no Hot Manspiration. Instead, this week is only inspiration. You ALL inspire me! I see your hard work and ambition and passion for life and I am inspired. I see your successes and your failures and your perseverance through it all and I am inspired. I see your kindness and your open hearts and I am honored to know you all. Thank you for reading. Thank you for caring. Let’s do this!!

Oct 17

Week 6: down 6.2 pounds (-11.6 pounds total)

I know what you’re thinking. You’re like, oh look who decided to grace us with her presence FINALLY, and you’re like, um, excuse me missy but what had happened to last week’s entry and then you’re all like, don’t think that just because you’re coming back with a pretty badass weekly loss that all is forgiven, we’re not THAT easy, we want more than just Hotness, we want reliability and dependability and someone who keeps their promises and doesn’t leave us hanging, because that’s what you did, you just completely left us hanging!

And right about now you take a second look at the numbers, and while you are impressed again about my badass weekly loss you do some quick addition in your head and you realize that something doesn’t quite add up…wait a minute, at the end of Week 4, aka the last time this hussy took time out of her oh so busy schedule to write us, there was a total loss of 6.8 pounds…so if she’s lost 6.2 this week how is she only down 11.6 and not 13?

FINE! I admit it! I admit it, here in front of the 20 or so of you still putting up with my shenanigans - my weigh in last Friday showed that I gained 1.4 pounds. And THAT is why I didn’t post anything, because the entire entry would have consisted of WHY, GOD, WHY and THIS IS RIDICULOUS, DOES MY BODY REALIZE THAT I GO TO THE GYM EVERYDAY AND CONSTANTLY HURT, CONSTANTLY FREAKING HURT and SOMEONE BRING ME CAKE NOW and THIS IS SO UNFAIR, SERIOUSLY EVERYTHING HURTS and TO HELL WITH THIS, I’M DROWNING MY SORROWS IN MARGARITAS TONIGHT, TOMORROW NIGHT AND EVERY OTHER NIGHT EVER and lots of other similar outbursts. None of it would have been positive, and so I decided to spare you all the drama. I kept this mini-breakdown to myself (although the Professor had to deal with it by proxy of living with my unhinged, crazy self. Poor fella.)

Now don’t you feel bad? Don’t you?!

Well, you shouldn’t. Nor should I feel bad for taking a week off when I knew that nothing good would come of posting my vitriol for all the world to see. And here I am a week later, all back on the wagon and kicking butt and taking names. And SUPER EXCITED about my double digit loss!!

Hot Manspiration of the Week: Both the Professor and I are obsessed with The Voice. OBSESSED. And so it is only fitting that this week, this week that started off overflowing with negativity, it is only fitting that this week my Hot Manspiration is Pharrell. If you have not yet watched him on The Voice get thee to a tv STAT! He is freaking fountain of positivity! He is a Zen master! When he talks to you the heavens open up and birds land on your shoulder and sing to you…beyond the talent, which seems immeasurable, beyond his Blasian good looks, there is just something so…spiritually perfect about this man. The Professor and I joke that we want daily Pharrell-firmations, because everything that comes out of his mouth seems true and pure and just so gosh darn positive!! Keep blessing us with your wisdom, Mr. Williams. You’re why I’m Happy.

Pharrell

Oct 03
TGIF!!!! Posted by Leah

Week 4 (continued): down 4.2 pounds (-6.8 lbs total)

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. It worked. Like, it worked!! Friday is my day, kids. My Monday morning weigh in got all screwed up what with my lady monthliness running slipshod around my nether region AND my mimosa fueled Sunday Funday wrecking a week’s worth of workouts…but I’ll be durned if a few days of relative calm and appropriate choices and continued body sculpture (aka torture) didn’t even the scale…literally. I have lost all that I gained plus an additional 0.8 lbs. Word. I will take it.

And now I have the added delight of going into the weekend on a victorious high! Go me! Despite the fact that my entire body hurts (and it does, my lovely HMD’ers, it hurts so freaking much!!! Everywhere hurts! Parts I didn’t know could hurt very much hurt!! I have been strength training and cycling and running and just pushing myself so hard that yesterday I fell into a small state of physical catatonia. Luckily there was baseball on tv - you know how Her Hotness loves her baseball!! - and the sight of many muscular men - truly baseball players have the best athlete bodies, tall and toned all over and crazy strong arms, LOVE arms! - helped ease my weary limbs through the day) I feel inspired enough to tackle any weekend challenges that come my way. Change is good. This change is good. My body is changing, my professional life is really changing (more on that good news later!!) and I’m feeling good.

Ya’ll have a spectacular, fabulous weekend!! But wait! Before you go I have something for you…

Hot Manspiration of the Week: Went to see This Is Where I Leave You last weekend and while the movie itself was only meh I did enjoy the Hotness that is one Mr. Jason Bateman. Holy cow, has this man aged well!! Even the Professor had to agree that he has done nothing but improve with age. All those years I spent watching Silver Spoons and super-crushing on Ricky Schroeder were a waste!! Who knew the real Hotness was the smart aleck brat on the other side of the screen?! Me likey. Me likey a lot.

Bateman

Oh, and if you’re watching the baseball playoffs (and you SHOULD be! This is America’s favorite pastime…don’t let the terrorists win!) here’s a bit of Hotness to keep your eye on - Huston Street, bullpen pitcher for the Anaheim Angels (I’m going old school - I KNOW that stadium is nowhere near Los Angeles!!!) Yes, he IS the same Huston Street who made Her Hotness’ 2007 Hotness All-Star Team. But this week is a salute to men who are only getting better with age and this Hot Man definitely fits that bill. Word.

Street

(I will keep my eye open for some more baseball Hotness for you kids. I’m an American League gal but I’ll keep my eyes peeled for some fresh National League Mancandy. This is what I do for you kids. This is how much I love you.)

See you all next FRIDAY!!!

Sep 29
Revenge! Posted by Leah

Week 4: up 3.4 pounds (-2.6 pounds total)

Damn. Damn!! I tried to warn myself. I tried to prepare for the possibility. But holy crap I fell smack dab into one of THE WORST Revenge Weeks EVER!! I mean, I was Manspired as all get out what with Jeter and that ridiculous ending to that ridiculous game (that will NEVER be erased from my DVR!) I worked out six days in a row, began my running program so that I can be all prepped and ready for my Thanksgiving Day 5k AND cut not one but two nights short so that I would not continue to drink more calories into the wee hours of the morning. Alas, I was also dealing with my lady monthliness and the Questionable Food Judgement that always seems to come in her hormone crazed wake. Yes, I went to Coolhaus last Monday and got an ice cream sandwich the size of my hand. Yes, I took that sucker out. Yes, I am still dealing with the aftermath of said sucker. Would I do it all over again? No.

Who am I kidding?!??!? HELLLSS YEAH!!! This is life and life is living and sometimes all you can do is try to make more good decisions than bad. This week the scale tipped in favor of the bad. My job now is to simply right the wrong.

Also, I’m making a change. If one third of my Trifecta of Hotness can retire (DON’T GO JETE!!!!) and another third get married (CLOONEY - WTF??????) then Her Hotness can also make a major life change. Kids - I am moving to Fridays. Yup. You heard me. We’re getting all TGIF up in here! Why? To give myself the best chance at success. Let’s face it, weekends are hard. Weekends are challenging! And while I need to face the challenge head on I can also be kind and give myself a few days of weekday normalcy before I step back on the scale. What this means for you, my lovely HMD’ers, is that you get me TWICE this week! Twice the Hotness in your life!! Because I will be back on Friday and I will be getting on that scale and so help me God I will be reporting some good news!! Woo hoo!!!

So this is just a minor setback. A bump in the road. A glitch in the matrix. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. Come this Friday it will instead be a dish best served HOT!!

Hot Manspiration of the Week: George, how could you?!?!?!? How could you break your own self-imposed bachelorhood and get MARRIED?!?!?!?!? How could you?!?!?!? You promised me! You promised all of us!! Lifetime bachelor George is gone! He’s gone! He went to Venice and got married and broke my heart! Lucky for you, I’ve still got the love of a good Professor to keep me warm. So I’ll forgive you…this time…

Clooney

(Daniel Craig - please don’t change! I know you’re married to Rachel Weisz and that itself is new since last I wrote HMD. But she’s kinda badass so I’m totally cool with that. Beyond that - don’t change! I can’t take it! Derek Jeter has left baseball and George Clooney has left serial dating and I need one member of my Original Trifecta of Hotnes to stay the same!! I am counting on you, Mr. Bond.)

Sep 23
Operation Manspiration Posted by Leah

Week 3: down 3 pounds (-6 pounds total!)

Hola people!!!! Were you worried about me?! Fear not and fret not for here I am! And three pounds lighter - HOLLA!!! While I completely understand that I will not lose such a large amount every week I have to admit that seeing those numbers felt gooood. Nice to see my hard work (and it has been hard!) paying off. Now I must focus to make sure I don’t have Revenge Week. (You know Revenge Week, don’t you my lovely HMD’ers? It’s when you follow up a fantastic week with a disappointing, craptacular one. It sucks. And I’m gonna try to avoid it. Word.)

DJ1

But enough about me. Ya’ll know what we need right now. We NEEEEEED it. We WAAAAAAAANT it. We gots to HAAAAAAVVVVVEEE it! How do you avoid Revenge Week? Man up, kiddies! HOT MAN UP!!!!! Woo hoo!!!!!!!!!!

DJ2

As I write this, my television is tuned to ESPN and the glory that is Derek Jeter, one-third of my Original Trifecta of Hotness. Unless you have been living under a rock you have probably heard that this Titan of Baseball is retiring at the end of the 2014 baseball season. And the end of the 2014 baseball season is Sunday! Most years we would probably have an additional few weeks to soak up all the glory that is Mr. November. Sadly, this does not figure to be one of those years. So I have less than a week. Less than a week left to enjoy this. And this. And this, for the love of God!

DJ3

So what to do when one of your top people, your top person really, retires? You CELEBRATE THE HELL out of him!!!! Oh Captain, my Captain - THANK YOU!!! Thank you for turning this once sports ignorant gal into one rip roaring, stats knowing, sabermetrics debating, Evil Empire loving, loud and proud Yankee Mama!! You are the best man I will never know, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a diplomat of this sport I now ADORE. You will always be one of my first, best, and greatest Manspirations!! Holy Hotness alive, I thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!

DJ4

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