Tuesday, 20 October 2009

[Love Is What You Mean To Me]

Sonja Stone, [19th & Park Avenue, Soho, New York City, NY]

I sat inside my car silently, watching her, almost certain she had no idea that I was here, looking at her, wondering what she would do next. A small voice in the back of my mind told me that all of this was a step too far, that maybe it wouldn't all be worth it after all. But, I knew that somewhere in all of this, there was a catch 22 - and I was determined to find it. I took my eyes off her for a minute or two and let my mind trail off, before gazing down at my left hand to find the small, platinum band staring back up at me, nothing but a small token to remind me of him, but all the sentiment and affection that I had received from it had also managed to fade away to nothing. My fingers played around distractedly with the band on my finger as I started to think what my life might have been like if things had worked out the way they should have - the way I had wanted them to. The answer would have been simple - my life would have been fulfilled, complete, in need of nothing else, and certainly not having to have the need for anybody else in my life.
I had spent the best part of two years being a personal assistant to Daniel Thomas. Helping him with anything and everything that he needed, and being involved with almost every aspect of his life - and I fulfilled my job role and more to the best of my ability. I had been a perfectionist in every sense, and therefore as time went on and the bigger his media persona became, he had always found an excuse to keep me close by and at hand, even when there had been no need. Because of all of this, I had managed to fall in love with Daniel, harder and faster than ever before, but instead of being told the same thing by him, I became the recipient of the cruelest kind of love - the one that is full of heartbreak, unrequieted love. The more I fell in love with him, the more women I found myself dealing with on an everyday basis, countless numbers that would appear on and off for weeks at a time, but never long enough to acquire much more than a first name, and never long enough to try to read their characteristics and personality traits.
My first thoughts about Stacie Anderson were nothing special. She was insanely attractive, with excellent dancing skills to match, but apart from these factors, everything else seemed to be severely lacking. Her personality seemed dull and boring, and she seemed to be a workaholic, completely uninterested in everything else. Daniel had undoubtedly noticed her, and although I thought he would show, or usually feign, interest for a couple of weeks and then suddenly blow cold - his usual routine as the word 'relationship' was a million miles away from his vocabulary.
Weeks turned into months, and months turned into 6 months, and then a year, and yet Stacie had still managed to captivate him and hold his attention. The seductive glances were still never ending, the secret smiles were often and highly annoying, and I found myself clearing days at a time in Daniel's schedule so he could fit time in to see the new woman in his life. Before long, Daniel's eyes began to shine when anybody mentioned Stacie's name, a smile slowly pulling at his lips, and he seemed to be happier than ever, which pleased me as always, but frustratingly, it was for all the wrong reasons. Soon, Daniel began to use the term 'girlfriend' and I knew it was all over. I could tell Daniel the truth, and wait for his response, which would cause me to either be filled with feelings of happiness or humiliation. But seeing the way he looked at Stacie, the way she looked at him, the way they looked at each other, and most importantly, the way he looked at me, I knew that I would never be able to get the response I wanted.
Even now, I refuse to believe that it's all over for me. I had managed to have one night of passion with the person I had loved from the very moment I saw him, and I wasn't about to give up on that, or the reasons behind why it had even happened in the first place. He was everything I expected him to be, and more, and I was determined that if I could show him my loyalty and my love, he would find a way to get back to me.
2 weeks ago, everything changed. Daniel had always confided in me, having proven to him that I could be trustworthy, and told me he was going to propose to Stacie after managing to get her back. He didn't care if he loved her more than she loved him, he just wanted to be with her. My mind had started to race - and as if on autopilot, I started to reel off a hundred reasons why marriage was the wrong step, my wild hopes for Daniel's confession of love for me quickly being blown to the wind, but my attempts proved futile. Working late into the night wreaked havoc on my thoughts, and I found myself unable to focus on anything else, promising myself I would not surrender myself to having to nod my head good naturedly on their wedding day as the man of my dreams passed me by, wrapped forever and always into the arms of someone else, and not me.
I went into his office to say goodnight, and before I could stop myself, I planted my body in his arms and could feel my lips on his own, soft but still, as my mouth crushed down on his, despite feeling every part of him pull back from me in shock and confusion. I had proceeded to tell him everything, everything that I had kept locked away inside of me for 2 years came spilling out of me, and more. Daniel's voice turned from shock, to sympathy, and then finally, to anger as he bluntly assured me that there would be no hope for us, not now, not ever.
I was no longer with Daniel - he had conveniently found someone else for my replacement, forcing me to agree to settling on a six figure sum which would ensure that I wouldn't be involved in his life again. But now, sitting here inside my car, with nothing, watching the love of his life as she walked towards the dance studio, I didn't feel resentment or sadness, but I was filled with anger and pain. If I couldn't have him, then nobody else would - or could. Whatever happened, I would finally get what I wanted. That was one thing that would not be out of my control.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sugababes Premiere: 'About A Girl'

Hey Everyone!
To kick start your week, here's the 26th video from the brand new Sugababes for their new single 'About A Girl.' This is the first one without Keisha, and the very first with newbie Jade Ewen, and it's very different! Since Keisha has featured prominently in all of Sugababes' 25 videos to date as a founding member, its very weird to see a Sugababes video without her, so throughout the video I kept on saying to myself 'Wow... Keisha's not in this one!' All the same, I love the video, especially the context and storyline of the video, which is a first for the 'babes as they usually just go straight into song, so its nice to see them move away from their comfort zone. Their album 'Sweet 7' is still due for release at the end of the month, so hopefully their Seventh studio album will be just as good as all the ones I've brought before!!
If you feel like you need something else a little bit different than the Sugababes to kick start your Sunday and start to the week, then please head over to http://www.acousticdreamshardcorescreams.blogspot.com where this week's choice of 'Sunday Syndrome Song' is bound to make you feel better!
Here's the video, enjoy, remember to comment and let me know what you think!!! xoxo C

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Natalie and Kristen are Interesting Interviews

Two of my favourite Actresses of the moment have made the September and October covers of Interview Magazine. Interview is an off beat magazine that is best known for, well, their interviews... and their cover art... famously showing Disney poster boy and pinup Zac Efron shedding his HSM alter ego by rolling around in the dirt semi naked with a scantily clad model... and nope, the model in question wasn't Vanessa Hudgens!
Efron aside, the September issue of Interview features the smart and beautiful Natalie Portman revealing all to co-star Jake Gyllenhaal about her favourite ice cream, her philanthropic thoughts, and her affection for dirty rap music, a favourite of hers being 'the whisper song' by the Ying Yang twins.
[I’ve mostly been listening to dirty rap lately. That’s sort of my scene. Really, really obscene hip-hop. I love it so much. It makes me laugh and then it makes me want to dance. Those are like my two favorite things, so combined . . . I’ve been listening a lot lately to “Wait (The Whisper Song)” by the Ying Yang Twins, where the lyrics are like, “Wait ’til you see my d—”—which is just amazing because it’s whispered. [whispers] “Wait ’til you see my d— . . . ” [laughs] Crazy. So I just listen to it like I’m a five-year-old, like, “Oh my god! I can’t believe he just said that!”]

Next up is Kristen Stewart, or her alter-ego Bella Swan, responsible for her rise and rise to stratopheric proportions in a little under two years, thanks to The Twilight franchise and Stephenie Meyer. Having completed 'Twilight' and 'New Moon', Stewart is now under the direction of David Slade for the third film 'Eclipse.' Before this, she completed her role in indie film 'The Runaways' as Joan Jett, ditching her red hair in favour of a shorter, darker, mullet styled look, which somehow only she has the power to actually make it look good,demonstrated by her appearance at the VMAs and an onslaught of red carpet appearances. Kristen discusses interviews, the effects of being Bella Swan, Twilight, and reading between the lines when trying to appeal to 11 year olds as well as on a more deeper level. What I like most about her is her attitude, it seems like however many levels of fame and elements of the ridiculous she goes through, she still keeps a level headed, blaze attitude to it all, and that in itself, is something that transcends as adding to her being edgy and cool, although I have a feeling she wouldn't care if you thought she was cool or not. When asked about her upcoming film 'Welcome to the Rileys' where she plays a stripper, she says; "People are going to be like, let's go see Bella Swan strip!"
The interview is very good, and is conducted by Dennis Hooper [the bad-ass from Speed:-)] including a tiny part where Kristen speaks to his six year old daughter, Galen. Its extremely cute!

[6. Love Is What You Mean To Me]

Stacie Anderson, [Hillside Villas, West Manhattan, New York City, NY]

Ever since I had reunited with Daniel two weeks ago, we had not yet made love to each other. For many, making love is the most natural thing in the world; a physically expressive way of representing the way in which you love a person, uniting the feelings of passion, desire, lust, and love. Since we had been together, I found myself connecting with Daniel in deeper ways than I ever thought possible, and the adrenaline we both got from these new found feelings towards each other was more than enough to push our physical wants and needs further and further to the back of both of our minds. I had been able to achieve all encompassing perspectives in my new, revisited relationship with Daniel. I was able to find beauty and symmetry in just being with him, evoking feelings of passion and clarity that were even beyond my own understanding. I didn't know exactly why I was feeling these types of emotions, but I wouldn't ruin a good thing by destroying it with questions and over analysis, yet somewhere, in the back of my mind, I was starting to wonder if I could handle going back and forth between such extreme feelings of happiness and sadness. Instead of recurring, unrelenting nightmares that would haunt my thoughts from daybreak until dawn, my dreams were now filled with images of me and Daniel together on lazy days; sitting in endless fields and meadows, playing around and chasing each other in the cool summer rain; Daniel chasing me down, lifting me high up towards the clouds on his shoulder before dropping my body back into his arms, enveloping me in soft, dewy blankets of grass where he would let his fingers run through my hair, trace over my face, and steal sweet kisses from my lips, both of us ecstatic with pure happiness and laughter. I found my reality was not much far removed from my dreaming state, and Daniel would be asleep next to me, his hand wrapped in mine, or looking at my face, as if committing every part of it to memory, waiting patiently for my eyelids to stir and wake up slowly from my saccharine slumber to find his face staring back at mine. He had become exactly what I needed right now, and most of what I needed was careless, carefree fun, and as always, Daniel never came short of making sure he could satisfy me each and every time. I squeezed his hand softly as we both lay in my bedroom, and he looked up at me, from where he had rested his head against my breasts, both being full of elation, sans penetration. Since we had got back together, in my constant need for fun, our lives had taken more of a bohemian feel.
"Do you believe in the philosophy of Gaia? You know, that we're all one... you, me, the rocks, the sand, the moon, nature.... all one big organism? That everything's connected?" I said, more thinking out loud than posing this as a specific question towards Daniel. I knew that for him, articulate as he was, and more than capable of holding down an in depth conversation about various topics, this kind of discussion topic was just too early in the morning.
'Hmmmmmm......" Daniel replied, his head nuzzling my chest, as he kissed the curve running between my shoulder to my neck.
As the taste of his lips lingered on my skin, he looked up at me again from slightly below me on the bed, and my eyelashes lowered before focusing on the view outside, where the natural light hit me.
"You look so happy, baby." He said, his tone genuine and sincere. I looked into his face and even now, on a very rare occasion when he looked at me, I could still see that he harbored painful memories from our past and what had happened over the past year. When I looked at his face again a second later, the look had vanished and I was now getting steadily accustomed to his look of smug satisfaction, taking pride in the fact that he could wrap his arms around me whenever he wanted to, and I would even welcome this from him.
I looked down at him again and kissed him softly on the mouth. "I am happy. Plaisir D'Amour." I whispered softly.
I pushed some of the duvet covers back away from my body and sat up a little straighter on the bed, propping a mixture of cushions and pillowcases behind me. I raised my legs up and tucked them under my knees, then reached over to my dressing table beside the bed, and grabbed Daniel's shirt from where it had been thrown over the table the night before, and wrapped it around me, my body entirely covered and a couple of degrees warmer now, the only thing visible were the sight of my legs poking out underneath the hem of the shirt.
Daniel looked up at me and sat beside me, looking at me intently. "You know that I want to build a life with you, right? I want us to be forever."
I smiled and looked at him, my hand cupping his face as I grazed the outline of his firm jaw with my finger. "I know."
"I love you. I'm not afraid to say it. I love you, Stacie Anderson." He said, in a mock drawling tone, tinged with a Southern accent.
"Say it again." I said, as I whispered playfully in his ear, my breath hot and wet.
"I love you." Daniel mouthed wordlessly back at me. I smiled and looked down until he couldn't help himself for pressing for my reaction, and I rewarded him with a long, lustful kiss, still avoiding the 3 words he wanted me to say to him - again. Instead of talking about love, we made love, as if we were coming together for the first time, and able to see in a new light, with brand new eyes, as if this morning, was the union of our two worlds coming together, with an unbreakable and an untouchable bond forming between us that couldn't be tainted or destroyed by anyone or anything, least of all each other.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

"To be [skinny] or Not to be....That Is The Question!"


I have come to the conclusion that despite me poring over women's magazines and every single fashion page, my mind simply won't allow me to rest in the comfortable knowledge that my body will not change without some serious work on my part. For us normal people, the organic formula is pretty simple, there in black and white for us all to grab on to, which is this; eat a low calorie diet and exercise, therefore using more energy than you consume, and you WILL lose weight. Yet no matter how many times Nutritionists try to persuade us into this simple, logistic, way of thinking, something inside me still just doesn't want to accept it. I have managed to convince myself that if Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie can drop serious poundage within weeks, being prime examples of no-go gym bunnies - then so can I, I can do what they do. Yes, they are celebrities, but they are only human after all. But as much as I've tried, I can't and won't starve myself without some pretty serious consequences as a result. I've tried drastic measures - the skinny bitch diet, the vegan diet, the macrobiotic diet, the sushi diet, the raw food diet, the soup diet... I could go on. I've spent all my pay check on various forms of weight loss pills such as Adios, Natural remedies for weight loss, fat metabolisers, and hoodia. I've tried on numerous occasions to buy some Alli, the newest weight loss drug which can now be brought across the counter wit startling results, but obviously, I'm not voluptuous enough. Now whilst these are perfectly safe and can be brought at your local Holland and Barrett as opposed to some dodgy deal across a pharmacy counter, this kind of thing does exhaust you as food becomes all you think about - my calorie counter can be found permanently stuck in my handbag and I could probably give you the calorific breakdown of just about anything. Taking all of this into careful consideration, strangely enough, I'm not a size 0. I'm not even a size 6 or a size 8. My wardrobe sizes go from a size 8 -16 and quite frankly, i'm not really sure what my definitive size really is! I never try to eat above 1,200 calories a day but most of the time I fail! I think this is what most women struggle with, even myself, as when I look at magazines I look at them intensely, often forgetting so much else happens before the pictures get onto the magazines themselves.
I don't have supermodel proportions, so if you were thinking I had the height of Claudia Schiffer, Liya Kebede or Natalia Vodianova you would be wrong. I'm a normal size of 5"5 and a black woman, so some stereotypes will assume you should 'have more junk in your trunk' - and in my case, I think its true.
I am body dysmorphic but I think that so many women are just because of how the perception of 'universal beauty' is portrayed by the mass media. When the likes of the BFC and UK Vogue Editor Alexandra Shulman get hounded by their apparent dismissals of blatant causes for concern amongst models and body images, they simply refer to it a a 'storm in a teacup.'
These are some of the factors that cause a few 'complications.' Can you relate to any of them?

Half of my wardrobe being too small in the vain hope that I can 'slim to fit!'

If I concentrate a little bit harder on my willpower when it comes to 'weaknesses' and maintaning a relatively healthy diet with good portion control, maybe I can look like this..... [NB: please note I did not mention 'in this lifetime']

The problem is trying to give up my own personal weaknesses; yummy breakfast options like blueberry pancakes, and strawberries and mascarpone cheese on toast, not to mention chocolate fudge brownie ice cream......yum!

So armed with a cookbook full of lovely recipes from Sophie Dahl, and a keen need to address things properly, and in a healthy way, I'm going to attempt to change the way I think about, and relate to food! I'll keep you posted!!

Scarlett Johansson recently opened up about her own feelings on being 'skinny' to The Huffington Post recently on her own personal blog. Here's what she had to say:

While training for an upcoming film, I've come to this conclusion: chin ups are near impossible and lunges suck. There is no magic wand to wave over oneself to look good in a latex catsuit. Eating healthy and getting fit is about commitment, determination, consistency and the dedication to self-preservation. While I've never been considered a gym rat, I have, in fact, worked up a sweat in the name of cardio before, and although I enjoy a grilled cheese as much as the next person, I combine the not-so-good foods I crave with an all-around balanced diet.

People come in all shapes and sizes and everyone has the capability to meet their maximum potential. Once filming is completed, I'll no longer need to rehash the 50 ways to lift a dumbbell, but I'll commit to working out at least 30 minutes a day and eating a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and lean proteins. Pull ups, crunches, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, planks, walking, jogging and push ups are all exercises that can be performed without fancy trainers or gym memberships. I've realized through this process that no matter how busy my life may be, I feel better when I take a little time to focus on staying active. We can all pledge to have healthy bodies no matter how diverse our lifestyles may be.

Since dedicating myself to getting into "superhero shape," several articles regarding my weight have been brought to my attention. Claims have been made that I've been on a strict workout routine regulated by co-stars, whipped into shape by trainers I've never met, eating sprouted grains I can't pronounce and ultimately losing 14 pounds off my 5'3" frame. Losing 14 pounds out of necessity in order to live a healthier life is a huge victory. I'm a petite person to begin with, so the idea of my losing this amount of weight is utter lunacy. If I were to lose 14 pounds, I'd have to part with both arms. And a foot. I'm frustrated with the irresponsibility of tabloid media who sell the public ideas about what we should look like and how we should get there.

Every time I pass a newsstand, the bold yellow font of tabloid and lifestyle magazines scream out at me: "Look Who's Lost It!" "They Were Fabby and Now They're Flabby!" "They Were Flabby and Now They're Flat!" We're all aware of the sagas these glossies create: "Look Who's Still A Sea Cow After Giving Birth to Twins!" Or the equally perverse: "Slammin' Post Baby Beach Bodies Just Four Days After Crowning!"

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), as many as 10 million females and 1 million males living in the US are fighting a life and death battle with anorexia or bulimia. I'm someone who has always publicly advocated for a healthy body image and the idea that the media would maintain that I have lost an impossible amount of weight by some sort of "crash diet" or miracle workout is ludicrous. I believe it's reckless and dangerous for these publications to sell the story that these are acceptable ways to looking like a "movie star." It's great to get tips on how to lead a healthier lifestyle, but I don't want some imaginary account of "How She Did It!" I get into and stay in shape by eating a proper diet and maintaining a healthy amount of exercise. The press should be held accountable for the false ideals they sell to their readers regarding body image — that's the real weight of the issue. The NEDA goes on to say, "the media is one of our most important allies in the effort to raise awareness about the dangers of eating disorders...we strive to work with the media to produce accurate, insightful and informative pieces that will resonate with the public, while maintaining hope and avoiding glamorizing or promoting copycats." But how are we, the reader, to decipher friend from foe? How are we supposed to view articles highlighting celebrity cellulite and not sulk in the mirror, imagining a big red arrow pointing to various parts of our bodies? The media has packaged for us an unhealthy idea that one must suffer loss, be in the middle of a nervous breakdown, feel pressure from friends or coworkers, battle divorce or have a bitter dispute with an ex in order to get into acceptable bikini shape.

So why do these publications do so well? After appearing on the cover of US Weekly's "Did They or Didn't They? A Plastic Surgery Guide for Dimwits" issue and battling for a retraction, I learned that the magazine profited $1.4 million from the issue alone (money I felt should be donated to Operation Smile or an equally well-managed charity helping those in need of reconstructive surgery). The concept of 'Stars Are Just Like Us!" makes us feel connected to lifestyles that can sometime seem out of this world. Yes, celebrities are just like us. They struggle with demons and overcome obstacles and have annoying habits and battle vices. That said, I would be absolutely mortified to discover that some 15-year-old girl in Kansas City read one of these "articles" and decided she wasn't going to eat for a couple of weeks so she too could "crash diet" and look like Scarlett Johansson.

I'm not normally the type to dignify toilet paper rags with a response, but in this case I feel it's my responsibility to comment. In a way, I'm glad some dummy journalist (and I use the term "journalist" loosely) is banking on my "deflating" so that I can address the issue straight from my healthy heart.

For more information on eating disorders and/or treatment options, please visit: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scarlett-johansson/the-skinny_b_186233.html