|Posted by Tina Jensen on September 15, 2012 at 9:25 PM||comments (2)|
The days are long here. I find myself self medicating. Pocketing my Brother's old Vicodin from a previous MMA injury while fighting in the cage, my Mother's prescription anxiety medication, and throwing back whatever cheap beer my Father has collected. This month's special is a 24 pack of Red Dog for $8.99. I am thirsty and it tastes like water. I shake off the day's psychosis and fall asleep with no problem.
I wake up earlier in Minnesota than in New York. I feel heavy and the possibilities of the day's adventure taunt me. Words, sounds, and anticipation prick my skin with irritability. Prick. Poke. Prod. Push. Peel.
Tensions are high in the Jensen Family. Grandma Katie and Grandpa David have arrived to Minnesota to escape the Florida hurricane season. My Father always to the rescue flew to Florida and drove the 1,657.30 miles within three days truck driving style. Grandma Katie thinks they will be back after the season. Grandpa David and the rest of us know he will never see Florida again. Grandpa David is Dying. Grandma Katie is in love and losing him. Well, that's the root of the root, the bud of the bud. She is stubborn, controlling, and diagnoses help as condescension.
In another lifetime she was a sixteen year old beaten wife in Kentucky with two young boys on the way, later a little girl to follow. She fled to Florida as a single mother with the change she collected from her abuser's pockets. A single mother with two wild boys following in their father's footsteps and abusing their little sister.
A mother should never lose a child, but Grandma Katie has lost both her boys. One murdered by a bullet in a park and the other later in life to heart disease. These men were not my uncles, just faceless cautionary tales. My Mother, the once little sister, has made peace with her brothers. Forgiving, saying goodbye, releasing, and letting go of the baggage that weighed her down for so many years. A Daughter and Mother remain and I watch.
The daughter too escaped. Books, theatre, and the knowledge of a world outside her small tortured life rescued her. She followed her dreams to New York City. With a train ticket in hand and nine-hundred-and-ninety-two saved dollars she was free. Her Mother, now with the love of her life David, believed in her enough to let her go, but made sure to let her Daughter know she would fail. The Daughter knew this was her chance. Her Mother had David and she no longer had to take care of her single mother Mother. The Daughter's stardom was found not on the stage, but rather in a truck driver and her future children for whom she would vow a life of love, honor, support, and strength promising the past would not repeat itself. And so the years went by. The Daughter now a Mother and the Mother now a Grandmother. The Mother living with her Daughter and the Daughter living with her Mother and I watch.
Prick. Poke. Prod. Push. Peel. The Mother has made false idols out of her sons, questions mortality, and tells her Daughter that she knew she would fail. The Daughter pricks, pokes, prods, pushes, and peels back only grazing the surface of her feelings. With her Mother she has no voice. Too much time has gone by to rehash the past and who knows how much time is left anyhow. What's the point. The Daughter and Mother have yet to make peace. Their bags are packed, overflowing, too heavy a load for any one Daughter or Mother to carry. I watch. Prick. Poke. Prod. Push. Peel. The root of the root, the bud of the bud. The Daughter relives her childhood's agonizing memories she never knew she repressed. The Mother relives her past and sees her future as having lost everything. Everyone. Do you think we sometimes push away and cast spiteful words to those we care as to not accept our own failure? Perhaps the Mother already feels like she has lost her Daughter, realizes she failed her. Now the love of her life will soon be lost, so what else is their to live for? She is in survival mode. I watch. My Mother is just a little Daughter trying to make her Mother happy seeking approval and perhaps understanding. My Grandmother is pissed as hell at the world for the cards she has been dealt. That's all she can see. And 'round and 'round it goes. The truck driver, my Father, the Daughter's Husband keeps everyone on the road trying not to crash. It's all a heavy load to carry.
Somewhere in the mix I am still watching. The air is thick and I wonder why the fuck my fat ass is such an important topic when all this crazy shit is airing out in this three bedroom one story house in Hopkins, Minnesota. Maybe my fat ass is a buffer. Like, hey, my life kinda sucked balls, I am demented, my Daughter hates me, my Husband can't remember my name, he's probably going to die and I don't want to live without him let's change the subject and focus on your fat ass and how you can make your life better and maybe one day you will thank me. I don't see the logic. But let's face it-I don't really see any logic in pointing out one's flaws for your own enjoyment.
I am relieved to find only my Grandpa David and Father at the kitchen table when Joel and I arrive. It was too early to nod and smile at my fierce Grandmother and try to emotionally stabilize my Mother. I idolize my Mother, but sometimes I just don't know how to handle today's feelings about yesterday's years of shit.
I am wearing a new pair of Target brand peach cuffed shorts I found at the local Goodwill with a black empire waist blouse. I always feel self conscious in shorts worrying that a saddlebag may slip into focus here and there, but damn it's hot and chunky people deserve to feel the breeze on their legs too. As long as my boobs stick out farther from my gut I figure I am safe and hope people won't focus on the backs of my legs.
Like a little kid Grandpa David excitedly greets me. His eyes look tired, still dark, but focus with a little more sparkle knowing he has a bigger audience to shoot the shit with. I sit opposite from him, my Father on the right, and Joel stabilizing me on the left. Suddenly Grandpa David commands me to stand up. We all go silent and I do as I am ordered. He tells me to spin around. I immediately kick myself for wearing these peach cuffed shorts and sheepishly turn in a slow circle pushing my hands tightly under my ribs to squeeze in my waist.
I make it full circle and meet Grandpa David's eyes. He nods slowly, thinking. The seconds covered in molasses pass. He confirms, "You need to lose a couple pounds, just a couple, but you are one helluva beauty!"
He congratulates my Father for raising a good looking girl and Joel for snagging such a catch.
His childlike honesty relieves me and I am thankful for the bountiful giggles he has given me over the years.
Later, I run into Grandma Katie on the front patio not facing the garden, but the house where her love David sits inside. She flatly states, "You seem happy."
She smiles with only one side of her mouth rising through the wrinkles, coyly, sadly, as if she expected me to fail in the big city, but finally came to terms with my life's dreams and decisions. Possibly my fat ass.
"I am. I am, Grandma," I reply without a second for thought.
Epilogue (If You Will)
I say goodbye to Grandma Katie and Grandpa David. The pressure behind my swollen eyes finally releases as tears swallow my face. I hold my breath choking back words of "I love you's". Grandpa David tells Joel to take care of me and Grandma Katie invites us to visit their home in Florida anytime we want. As I drive away Joel tells me I can pull over if I need. He rubs my back as I steer through cloudy eyes. I tell him no, I just want to drive. I cry East on Highway Seven out of Hopkins, Minnesota. I cry for Grandpa David, our final goodbye. I cry for Grandma Katie, I know I will never visit them both in Florida, for losing the love of her life, and the pains from her past that may never be resolved. I cry for my Mother, just a daughter like me. I cry for my Father, always to the rescue. I cry for my Husband, how lucky I am. And I cry for my fat ass, thank God I can laugh at this.
Grandma just said,"Tina...I think this photo is from your wedding day, right?" Although no one ever told her, she was right. And just like my wedding filled with effortless perfect moments it was then, after a year and five months, I showed my grandparents our wedding album. She may still call him "Julio" but she now knows and loves him as my husband. I didn't think I cared, but yes, a weight has been lifted. It was perfect.
|Posted by Tina Jensen on September 2, 2012 at 6:15 PM||comments (1)|
Out of breath, my carry on is dragging behind twisting and bumping into my heels. I see the gate about a New York City block away with people gathered. My hopes are naively high that I will not miss this 6:30AM flight from LGA to MSP. Minneapolis, MN. Hopkins, a suburb of Minneapolis. Four square miles of small town, my Mother, "vacationing" Grandmother, and Grandfather. That's all I can think about as I make it to the gate in a huff. That and I really wish I would have rethought this ensemble I am wearing. It took me an hour to assemble, but as my inner thighs rub back and forth sticky with sting I realize how self conscious I will feel greeting my filterless family on Thirteenth Avenue. Hopkins, Minnesota. Raspberry Capitol Of The World. Home sweet home.
I snap to reality as I see the gate door is closed and no, I will not be boarding this plane anytime soon. I am sweating, uncomfortable, tired, and pissed the fuck off. Why did I decide to wear this outfit?! Joel, my soft spoken husband calms me and I am somehow comforted by the fact that we were not the only people to miss this flight. Also with our now four hour delay in travel plans I will be able to sift through my carry on and reassess my fashion choices for my homecoming.
Nevertheless this trip is not going according to plan.
I see my Grandfather for the first time in almost four years. Maybe it's three and half? I have never been good with remembering exact years, times and places. His skin, although tethered from eighty eight years of age, is smooth and moisturized. He looks like my good old Grandpa David. The tall, lanky, silver haired man with stories for days with a rich lilting accent not quite southern, not quite midwestern. Oh, but his eyes. They are not his. Familiar, yes, but something is missing. They are too black...not in focus behind his thin square wired glasses. I look for recognition as we hug and kiss each other like we are old friends, but as if he is meeting me for the first time. Trusting his instincts he settles into his chair at the kitchen table. A tall chair with an extra pad and towel draped over it for better comfort and added protection. Small talk carries on when Grandpa says, "Wait, who are you?"
I get the giggles not sure if he is serious or not. When I see him staring at me with those dark wavy eyes I respond, "My name is Bertina Kathleen Jensen, but you can call me Tina!"
"She is your GRANdaughter," my mother says in a voice a little too dumbed down and high pitched for my liking.
Joel, made in Mexico, slips into focus. "Hola, mi amigo? Que Paso?" asks my Grandfather.
I had no idea Grandpa David hablas espanol.
My Grandmother is unchanged. Her striking platinum hair waves in a bun loosely collected at the back of her neck. She wears a leopard print kaftan, Mrs. Claus glasses at the tip of her nose, house slippers, and no make-up, but complete with her Sebastian, Florida Southern accent. Breathy as if every word has double the amount of syllables it actually has. In her younger years, in her sixties, she would still wear a face full of department store make-up asserting that, "Well, Tina, you never know who you might run into." In those days, really all that I can remember her as, she was a chemically altered movie star blonde. Now she has let nature do it's thing and her hair is miraculously devoid of any pigment, only darkest around the ends that she tucks into her loose bun. I tell her, "Now you really are a natural blonde!" She smiles and asks, "What's more expensive than gold?" We say together, "Platinum."
The last time I saw Grandma and Grandpa, what three and half-four years ago, I was about forty-fifty pounds heavier. Give or take. I had short blonde hair that was cut at an angle. My attempt at the once stylish Katie Holmes, Posh Spice, I'm an anorexic movie star, tabloid star, I can work a bob 'cuz I weigh seventy five pounds situations. I wore empire waist dresses, oversized cardigans that were longer in the front than in the back, giant earrings to distract from my belly, and three quarter length sleeves no matter the weather.
Today I am lighter. I feel taller. My hair passes my one size smaller breasts, it's natural color of honey light brown, sometimes auburn in the sun. I wear skinny tight black pants and an over sized lace top blouse that I continuously cinch in with my hands pushing my waist closer and closer under my ribs to accentuate my slimmer figure. Still the little girl inside me is waiting. Waiting for the attack. I am on edge. Gearing up for battle. Three and a half-four years ago I would have been hurt in battle. Cried. This time I am armed. I feel myself unraveling though. Making it a point to stand my tallest, bevel my legs, suck in my gut, push my hands closer and closer into my waist. Damn, I'm sore. I know I am not skinny enough. This time instead of crying in battle I feel more lax. I will still be hurt. But not afraid to just say fuck off. Or fuck it. Or just laugh because I realize worrying about being thin for your family's sake is fuckin' retarded. And having someone point out your flaws is never something that should outweigh your happiness, love, or strength.
Dinner. Supper. We sit around the table. I never did that as a kid. Maybe that's why I was such a fat ass. Tonight it's Me. Joel. Grandma. Grandpa. Mom. And Dad. I hate this. This is where I am most vulnerable for an attack. All of us eating. Chewing. Talking. Too much room for error. I collect small portions of food not making any grand gestures so I can go unnoticed. Some Minnesota hot dish, one small scoop of potatoes, skip the bread, maybe a diet soda, and oh yes a big portion of salad. My favorite. If I were really so confident I wouldn't give a fuck. The problem is I do care.
You know what? This is really great! Dinner is almost over and there has not been one bit of diabetes, obesity, or death talk. I guess I was wrong. I look better than I thought! They must just see me as their tiny Tina. No need to worry about Me! Finally I feel safe. I take a deep breath, have another bite of mashed potatoes, and let my guard down. Why was I so intoxicated with anxiety over this anyway?
A lull in the conversation. "You know what? She-" Grandpa David points at me with his fork. His mouth sloshing around hot sauce covered mashed potatoes. Not necessarily chewing because he lost his bottom set of dentures, but more like alternating between the sides of his mouth until he feels ready to swallow.
Silence. Sweat immediately springs to my forehead. A cold sweat. The hairs on my arm stick up with chills and flashes of flop sweat drip down my lower back and collect on my waist band moistening the crack of my ass. This is it. Front lines, my friends.
"Needs to lose weight," my Grandfather finishes his sentence. I mean attack. I mean sentence. I mean observation.
Laughter. We all start laughing. I got the giggles. Joel grabs my thigh, squeezes, laughs. My Father blushes holding back tears of laughter. My Mother squealing with her eyes wide open. Grandma Katie doesn't laugh. She looks around confused wondering why we could think this serious matter was so funny. Or maybe she just didn't hear. Pop another battery in your hearing aid Granny. My Dad jumps up cursing why he wasn't videotaping and grabs the camera propping it on the kitchen island towards us red light blinking. Grandpa David still dead pan locking eyes with me. Finally I respond, "Well, you know..." Still got the gigs. "The last time I saw you guys I was forty pounds heavier! So I'm workin' on it!"
My Mother reassures, "Don't worry, Tina. They said the same thing to me. He told me I was round!" More laughter, but for some reason that doesn't make me feel better.
Expecting my Grandmother to say something congratulatory, she opens her mouth and continues, "Well, I can't image you being THAT large."
We are all in hysterics. Joel slips in, "Cherry on top the cake!"
All we can do is laugh. That's it. How can you not? Joel pets my leg and I look at him. "I'm sorry and I love you," he mouths.
I couldn't ask for anything more.
But then, just for good measure, my Grandpa whips out the finale, "Well, thank God you have one helluva personality!"
End of Part One.
(3 Generations Of
Crazy Exceptional Women)
Daughter, Mother, Grandmother, Mother, Daughter, Grandaughter, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Mother, Mother, Daughter, Child, Wife, Sister, round and round we go...
|Posted by Tina Jensen on September 2, 2012 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Check out this link my modeling is featured in!
"WHAT A CUTE TOP CAN MEAN TO A PLUS SIZE WOMAN"
|Posted by Tina Jensen on April 9, 2012 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Tina Jensen on April 7, 2012 at 2:50 AM||comments (1)|
|Posted by Tina Jensen on March 25, 2012 at 8:55 PM||comments (0)|
When I caught up with off-Broadway actress Tina Jensen in her cozy apartment to chat about life in the theater, she admitted it isn’t exactly glamorous. But like her neighborhood in Queens, Jensen prefers to keep her outlook for the future firmly on the sunny side.
Jensen, whose given name is Bertina, after her great-grandmother, is twenty-seven years old and has lived and worked in NYC since 2003. She grew interested in theater at the age of ten, and began performing in local productions in suburbs around Minneapolis. Her mother was also an actress, but she retired early in order to focus on her family.
“In a sense I grew up with a stage mother; all the things she wanted to do, and never got to do, she made sure I was able to do. One of the reasons I want to succeed is so that my mother can succeed. That sounds twisted, but I don’t believe my success only belongs to me. I think I’ve been given gifts, and that I do have something special to offer. Talent shouldn’t be wasted.”
Her mother is not Jensen’s only inspiration. She idolizes Bette Midler, and points to her struggle to succeed in the seventies as motivational. “She never gave less than 100 percent.” Midler is also the star of the movie version of Jensen’s favorite musical, Gypsy. She’d love to play Mama Rose one day, but in the meantime she says that performing anywhere makes her happy. In addition to her off-Broadway role in Girl’s Night, the Musical, Jensen has sung in cabaret shows all over New York, and put in her time touring the country in van and truck productions of A Christmas Carol and Girl Talk.
Despite the success she’s had, the weakened economy has put an even greater strain on struggling artists like Jensen. Fewer theaters are operating, and those that do offer a significantly lower paycheck than in years past. Jensen is a non-union performer, which means she is not a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, and receives no benefits such as health insurance or auditions by appointment. With less available work, even seasoned, well-known talents are fighting for roles with few perks and little clout. I questioned Jensen about what keeps her motivated to stay in this industry, when every day it seems, more and more doors are slammed in her face.
“You have to remember that it’s a numbers game. You have to hustle, pound the payment. It’s difficult, because it’s all about who you know. I have no current representation, so I feel like I’m in this alone. But I can’t see myself giving up to have babies and be a housewife. The idea of struggling the rest of my life is more appealing than throwing in the towel. I’m extremely stubborn.”
Jensen claims that actors she knows who do have agents got them via inside union connections. Being non-union also prevents her from being seen at hundreds of auditions, which she finds extremely frustrating. “I can’t even get seen for a show in the middle of nowhere that pays two hundred bucks a week? Really?”
There may be another reason Jensen has not achieved the success she dreams of, and it’s a sensitive and highly personal factor: her weight. Though she’s a beautiful, healthy, sexy woman, who recently lost over forty pounds with Weight Watchers, she’ll be the first to admit she’s not the typical anorexic ingénue. Her blog, The Life of a Future Former Fatass, chronicles the hilarious up and downs (literal and figurative) of trying to lose weight in an effort to conform to industry standards. At the present moment, Jensen does feel her physical size may be standing in the way of her much weightier talent.
“If I were to go on a TV show at the weight I’m at, I’d have to be the comedic relief. I’d have to make fun of my weight, or allow others to do it. That can be fun. I do it in my life. But it does make me sad that you can’t just be who you are, with no strings attached.”
Jensen also believes that, despite a few efforts to portray “real” women’s bodies as attractive, such as the Dove “Real Beauty” campaign, or TLC’s cancelled reality show Big Sexy, the industry does not think consumers are ready to accept a larger woman who is also beautiful, and these standards prevent many gifted performers from taking their well-deserved place in the spotlight.
“It’s a game of luck. There are thousands of extremely talented people that we will never know. More talented than Whitney Houston. They can’t get work because of their looks. I’ve had people tell me I’m not big enough for a role, or that I’m too pretty. I think ingénues are boring, and I wouldn’t want to be one, but I feel stuck. People want to put you in a package. If she’s bigger she has to be this. If she’s pretty she has to be this. But what if you’re both?”
Her frustration stems from the mixed feedback she receives from casting directors, agents, and other industry professionals.
“I go into an audition and I sing my face off, and the casting director says, ‘Wow, thank you so much! That was amazing! You’d think that meant you had a good chance to be cast, right? But then I don’t. So what is the problem? I get discouraged. How can you not? I’m in a profession that rejects me almost every day. The only way to survive is to embrace your imperfections and have a sense of humor. I think that’s how most people discover that this career is not really for them. And there is nothing wrong with that. My life might be easier if I felt that way.” She laughs. “I’d probably make more money.”
Yet Jensen is adamant that the rewards of working in entertainment far outweigh the frustration and hard work that go into booking the job. “Office politics” aside, she believes live theater still has power to change lives.
“I work for a company, Entertainment Events Incorporated. They do two shows: Girl’s Night, the Musical, and Girl Talk, the Musical. Similar? Yes. Working with a company for so long has made me a little jaded. I was so excited to get their offer, but like any job, there are business components that bring the morale down. The shows also lack artistic integrity. But once you’re there, in costume, on stage, and the audience is going crazy…that makes it all worth it. I’ll get letters or emails to my blog about how my little performance in this little musical in this little town changed some woman’s life. That is why I do it. If Girl’s Night, the Musical, a karaoke musical, with a script half a centimeter thin, can change people’s lives, it means a lot.”
Even after years in the industry, Jensen herself is still affected by live theater. She thinks it’s amazing that when she’s in the audience for a play, or even a movie, and knows the story is scripted and the people are actors, she still gets completely wrapped up in their story. “Every time I see a production of Romeo and Juliet, I believe the ending will be different.”
Thousands of aspiring performers flood NYC every year with big dreams of success. The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, Jensen’s alma mater, alone accepts roughly four hundred new students each semester. Jensen has some sage advice for these starry-eyed hopefuls. She recommends taking advantage of the time you have when you’re young, and not being afraid to go to any audition, or sing anywhere. Networking is also the name of the game, and she admits it’s her biggest weakness. “I find it insincere, but you really have to be your own biggest fan. You can’t be too shy or humble to say, ‘Hi, I’m Tina Jensen. I’m an amazing singer.’ If you throw enough balls in the air, sooner or later someone will catch one.”
From her sofa in Queens, Jensen is carefully strategizing the future of her career. This includes deciding whether or not she should take a job offer to perform in Xanadu in Colorado, or stay in NYC to audition for a better paying gig. She and her husband are approaching their first wedding anniversary, and though it’s hard to think of leaving him for three months, she says she’s leaning toward Colorado. “I have to be grateful for the offers I get. Sure, they’re not always dream offers. But some people don’t get any offers. Do I want to wait tables or sing? I choose sing.”
|Posted by Tina Jensen on February 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM||comments (2)|
I sang my song
I read my sides
And what did I get?
Another thank you and goodbye
I am not a pebble
I am not a pebble
I am not a pebble
Head is throbbing
Need some food
One more stop
I'm not in the mood
One more avenue, three more blocks,
Two flights down, four stops in, one transfer over
Three more stops, 4 more flights,
One more block, just five stories higher
I am not a pebble
Dear Ginger Dicce,
[ C / O Ginger Dicce Talent Agency, Inc.
56 West 45th Street #1100
New York, NY 10036
P: (212)869-9650 ]
I am not a fuckin' pebble
I am not a fuckin' pebble
How dare you make me think twice
How dare you make me feel less
I was just trying to be
But I turned out a hot mess
So please excuse me...
Oh, just fuck it!
If I had a dick-
You could suck it
I know you're a tough broad
So you'll probably use teeth
But jokes on you
Cuz I'm not beneath
Shit on me
(Who knows maybe you'll even call me)
But I will never be
Thank you for reminding me.
Hugs and Kisses, Tina
|Posted by Tina Jensen on November 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM||comments (7)|
Well, hello there my future and/or former fatties!
Below are a series of photos that were recently taken of me in honor of this classy dog and pony blog. In celebration of this magical time of year I decided to let it all hang out. It's what Santa really wanted after all. For the integrity of this fine piece of work I like to call "The Life Of A Future Former Fat Ass", all bodily imperfections were maintained. Yep, that's right...jelly rolls, marks of the stretch, cottage cheese dimples, dub chins, back fat and all. The only airbrushing that took place was to a pimple on my upper lip (due to waxing the good old mustache), a bruise on my arm (I swear he doesn't beat me), and some scary upper thigh spider veins (I am deathly afraid of spiders...I saw Arachnophobia.).
I have chosen, in random order, some of my favorite shots, but please check out the video I posted even further below. Included in said video, you will get more stills, out takes, bananas-a-plenty, a feel good MIKA soundtrack, private e-mails, and a dog.
Be sure to send it to your Grandma for an early Holiday salutation!
PRESS PLAY FOR VIDEO MONTAGE! SHARE, SUBSCRIBE, COMMENT, GIGGLE, VOMIT, OR TOUCH
|Posted by Tina Jensen on October 23, 2011 at 7:40 PM||comments (1)|
It’s been a while. I’ve missed you. So, let’s talk.
Here I am after a long mother fucking brunch shift working at The Cowgirl Seahorse down by South Street Seaport. Have you tried my famous fish taco yet? You’re in luck, Taco Tuesday is right around the corner.
“Learning To Fly” by Tom Petty plays from my computer’s Pandora and I decide to Google myself.
Tina Jensen. Enter.
What have we got here…
Oh, look handmade shabby chic and vintage inspired etsy goods by tinybearstudio…not me.
Oh! More from TinyBear and her shabby chic blog. She’s from Denmark. What a bitch.
We’ve got Tina Jensen on Twitter who is “loving to live and living to love!” Bitch, please. A FOX and ABC reporter in Boise, Idaho.
We’ve got Confessions From A Supermom. Word is she had a beautiful girl named Hope and she was born alive and well. Her birthday is February 9th. So, let’s all wish her a happy fucking birthday. I’ll send her an E-card.
Then we have some more Tina Jensen’s on Facebook who I can apparently connect with which will give me the power to share.
Also, there is a Tina Jensen “baby wearer” in Rapid City. I don’t get it either. Feel free to Google if you need more information.
Finally, we have another Tina Jensen working for Bear Pile, UK’s Number 1 low cost shelving, and a journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism.
Somewhere between the Bear Piles, Tiny Bears, baby wearers, low cost shelving units, cerebral blood flow, supermoms, and strangers, there is me.
“My name is Tina Jensen. And I am a future former fat ass.”
That’s me I guess, huh?
I know I am a woman of a great many things inspired by everything that surrounds me. The patrons I serve, the people I love, the strangers I ride the subway with, the sights and sounds from plane to plane, and the audiences I perform for. I tell myself it’s an art to be a great waitress, I tell myself to fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke, I tell myself to not grind the gears, take baby steps, it’s only one day at a time, patience is a virtue, and cleanliness is next to godliness. Some of my mental advice proves more difficult than others, but if nothing else, I always wear deodorant.
So, when a customer of mine that I so graciously served today called me a cow, I couldn’t help but collect his words as gems and polish as I see fit.
This man was old. This man was Asian. This man was with a French tourist group, a party of 25. With his annoying as shit wife he asked me if this was the Cowgirl Seahorse restaurant.
“Why yes, sir it is!” I replied with a smile.
“You’re a cowgirl!” His old Asian French wife shouted to me.
“Yeah, why not!” I played along.
“You cow!” Laughingly exclaimed William Hung’s French Grandpa.
A moment of silence.
“Did you just call me…a cow?” Shooting daggers I asked him before I took the rest of the table’s order. Did you want French fries with that?
Later the man apologized to me, saying that I am a nice girl and can laugh at something like that.
First of all, that’s an apology? Second of all, because I am nice I can laugh at something like that?
Can I? You sure about that? Okay, I’ll laugh. But will you laugh when I tell you I rubbed your fucking blackened chicken sandwich all over my infected urethra? Oh, yeah that’s right. I am working a 9 hour shift while I have a urinary tract infection. Sounds tasty, right? It burns. Enjoy your sandwich.
It’s an art.
Listen, people. Once a fat ass. Always a fat ass.
From The Soundtrack Of My Life:
|Posted by Tina Jensen on October 3, 2011 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
Hello. My name is Tina Jensen. And I am a future former fat ass. I have been an over-eater non-anonymous hogging the teet since birth. Born a fat ass. Raised a fat ass.
"Mom, Dad....you made me fat."
A declaration made this summer as I visited the fam in Minnesota.
My father, "Why yes, yes we did."
Five months working with Jennifer Hudson had proved successful with a weight loss of forty pounds. Jennifer and I had a bit of a falling out this summer. She never returned my calls. "Too busy" her publicist excused.
Well, listen bitch. This new day bullshit is getting old, okay?
The summer proved difficult hitting a plateau, but the promise of Spring harvests a burning desire. That burning sensation from deep within. Like a Urinary Tract Infection just waiting to be antibiotically cleansed the fuck out of me. That skinny girl inside me I am dying to meet itches within. Like a yeast infection that even maximum strength Monistat overnight suppositories cannot relieve.
In about eight months I have successfully lost forty pounds and kept it off. The funny thing is: I am still a fat ass. That skinny girl inside me is getting a little closer. I inch towards her pound by pound, but she is a fucking bitch. Seriously. Why is she so hard to get a hold of? Who the fuck does she think she is? Uppity bitch. I leave her messages, dream about her, feed her, hydrate her, take her on walks, wipe her butt, is it never enough?
But really folks. The healthier I get, the better I feel and the harder I am on myself.
I was talking to my girlfriend Alanis and she agreed it was slightly ironic. Who would have thought? It figures.
Well, the good advice that I did take was this, "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
So here I go fatties. An ounce, a pound, a step, a poop, a day at a time I start.
A YEAR AGO
For the first time ever, someone compared me to a celebrity other than Rosie O’Donnell after the show. Christie Brinkley. Although I question the comparison as much as Rosie-----Step, ball-change, I will take it!
Don't worry Rosie---you will always have a place in my heart. Just like a clogged artery .
|Posted by Tina Jensen on July 15, 2011 at 9:05 PM||comments (2)|
Well, all in a day, right?
As I walked to a “Girl Talk” rehearsal this morning with my venti soy iced cappuccino, I overheard a gaggle of local hoodlums behind me.
“Oh, that girl’s got cake!”
“Damn, boy. She’s got some swagger, too!”
Wondering where the cake is, I look back and realize it is me in fact they are referring to.
Local hoodlum #1 asks, “Hey girl, I could go to your birthday party?”
Never to shy away from attention, I shoot #1 a gap toothed smile, giggle and carry on to the 7-11 to get my zero point apple, banana, and orange.
Who’s cake? What’s cake? My cake? And what about the birthday party? I’m not carrying birthday balloons. No comprendo.
Upon a quick reference to Urban Dictionary.com, here’s what I gather:
Well, From What Snoop Dogg Says, It Means butt, booty. cakes ass cake booty butt cupcakes baby lol rofl sex baking food thick hot vagina cheeks pancakes shit babycakes fat pie noob nub poop sweet beat pussy girl
poised, sassiness that can't be touched. It may be in the walk or it may be in the talk, but there is no doubt it means you own the room and you have that natural charisma. Basically, one with swagger dominates at life
"did you see marlene and ashley?"
"man, they have such swagger"
code for when a group of people get together at someone’s house and smoke weed
So let’s break this down.
Apparently, these fine upstanding gentlemen appreciated my cake booty (or thick hot vagina cheeks?) while I walked down the street with poised sassiness (just like Marlene and Ashley) and would love to share a night of herbal remedies to celebrate said cake swagger.
Hey, I’ll take it! A compliment is a compliment. Who cares if it’s in regards to my fat pie noob nub? Not me!
Have I mentioned I have been dealing with some gastro-irregularities as of late? Well, lucky for you, I have. I am one gassy, crampy, constipated, but then diarrheal, bloated fatty. Happy you’re reading this blog, aren’t you? With nothing to do this evening, I chug a mug full of Milk of Magnesia. That should do the trick. Before things get rolling, I decide to call my Grandma who I have been avoiding for the past two weeks.
Listen, don’t judge. Grandma, also known as Lady Katherine is quite the character and I need a good two weeks prep time in order to handle that hooker.
For the record, my husband’s name is Joel and no, she does not know that I got married. (Something tells me she does not frequent this blog.)
Of course she is ecstatic to hear from me and I brace myself for a possible one to two hour conversation laced with retold stories from my past, questions about my weight and the future diabetes I will die from, and my favorite, “You still with that boy…that Mexican…..Julio?” (Please read with a Southern accent.)
Well, all my prep work paid off, but nothing could brace me for this.
Zak. I apologize in advance.
“Well, Tina…you remember when we was down there in Minnesota and you were just a kid? Such a good kid…always helping and working and all your brother did was sleep like a lazy log? Well, you know what? He was playin’ with his pee pee! I mean, I never saw him erect or nothing’, but you know he must have been discovering himself and that’s why he was always in bed! And I was just so mad at him ‘cuz there he was just having a good old time with himself while everyone was working!”
WHAT. THE . FUCKING. FUCK. FUCK.
First of all, I must thank Lady Katherine for this golden piece of material.
Secondly? No, seriously-what the fuck.
All I could do was laugh and rock myself in the fetal position. Mind you this was only five minutes deep into our phone call.
I never thought I would have to defend my brother’s masturbatory habits, but all I could say was, “Well, hey! He was a growin’ boy and I hope it was worth it! ANYWAYS…”
Speaking of chubbies, Lady Katherine smoothly transitioned to my fat ass. Confronting my past hurt feelings over grandma’s weight put me downs, she congratulated me on my weight loss. And ever so delicately applauded herself for the good work she did inspiring me and graciously thanked me for listening to her with a loving “I told you so!”
You’re right Grandma, I owe it all to you. You have no fucking idea.
Finally, I tell her that yes indeedy do, Joel and I are still together and once more give her a lesson in his name’s pronunciation.
As my stomach gurgles from Milk of Magnesia’s dutiful work, I send Lady Katherine off with lots of love and promises of future correspondence.
Sweetly, she bids me goodbye, “I am so happy you have a gay friend and give Julio my best!”
Oh, nanna. Sweet, sweet nanna.
All I can do is smile.
Grandma Katie, you’re the best!
Post-40 lbs. lost
|Posted by Tina Jensen on June 14, 2011 at 8:29 PM||comments (1)|
Walking to the local Astoria Weight Watchers meeting I noticed the dark clouds in the distance. After the official weigh in I am overjoyed. Finally, the scale reads under 200 pounds. Something I haven’t seen since…well, fuck. Since Junior High.
The meeting rolls along.
Anonymous fat ass #1 complaining about the microwave oven Smart One’s pizza, "I might as well eat a real freakin’ slice!" She says with her life long Queens accent.
Anonymous fat ass #2, “I think it’s the zero point fruit that’s holding me back from losing weight.”
I think, “Yeah, you know, because we all got to this meeting because we ate too much fruit.”
Then, I look out the window. Completely black.
Well, that’s strange.
Oh, and here comes the torrential rain poor, flashing strikes of lightning, with thunderous booms shortly following. Ah, shit. Is this the end of the world? Really? My last moments on this earth will be spent at a Weight Watchers meeting? In Astoria? Queens? At 6:30pm on a Thursday?
Sigh. I had such dreams.
It’s a funny thing when you’ve lost 35 pounds and for the first time since pre-teens you’re fitting into size 12’s and 13’s and you still find yourself looking at the “Women’s” or “Plus Size” section at the local Marshalls. My good old stand by XXL blouse is just too big and a once tight pair of size 16 pants are falling off my ass. A good problem to have physically, but mentally? That’s another story. I’m in an obese state of mind. I think Billy Joel wrote that. I’ll have to confirm. Let me get him on speaker:
Mr. Joel: Ms. Jensen…
Tina: Billy boy! Long time. What’s thats song you wrote…..I’m in an obeesseeee stateee of miinnndddd. Good tune.
Mr. Joel: No, Tina. It’s New York. New York state of mind.
Tina: That’s what I said…. obeesseeee stateee of miinnndddd.
Mr. Joel: Bitch, you crazy.
Tina: Ah, Will. i. am. You crack me up. Can you believe Christie’s in Chicago on the Great White Way?!
Mr. Joel: I told that hooker to get to voice lessons STAT.
Tina: Uptownnnn Giiirrrlllllllll….she’s beeennnn dancin’ in a Broadwayyy shooowwwwww….
Mr. Joel: Tina. Stop singing.
Tina: CAPTAIN JACK WIILLLL GET YA HIIGHHHHHHH TONIGGGHHHTTTT! Ah, I love that song. Wish I could play the piano. Oh, Billy, sing me a song. You’re the piano man.
Mr. Joel: Well, I gotta go-
Tina: In the middle of the niiiiigghttttttt....I go walkin’ in my sleeeeppppppp!
Mr. Joel: Have fun and be good-
Tina: Only the goooodddd diieeee younggg!
Mr. Joel: Alright, I’m out!
Tina: II’’MMMM MOVIN’ OUT.
Oh, Billy. Such a tease.
So, I was thinking. For a fat ass, I am pretty comfortable with my body. And with all of this Congressman Weiner-gate shenanigans going on-it got me thinking. Like I said, I was thinking. And with so many thoughts to think about thinking, me thinks that I could cause quite a scandal. Who doesn’t love a good camera phone? And who doesn’t love a few racy photos to send to their lover? Well, I fucking do. Yeah, that’s right. Just think. Ten years from now when I’ve hit it big (from being a future former fat ass, of course), there will be dozens of lewd, suggestive, and full frontal photos and short video clips of me. Fat ass and all. And you know what? I am going to fucking own that shit. Yep, it was me. Yep, that’s my saggy titty. Yep, that’s my chubby double tummy. Yep, that’s my chunky cooter. Loose skin? Stretch marks? Affirmative. Ya damn right. It’s me, me, me. And no I didn’t get paid, hacked, or pranked. It was 100% free mother fucking will. Whatever of me naked goes around….will come back again. That’s heavy. Seriously, heavy.
The point of all of this? The end of the world is coming and I will be stuck at a weight watchers meeting carrying on about frozen yogurt and spaghetti squash lamenting over pizza and Big Macs while I dream of speed dialing Billy Joel as I think about Congressman Weiner and all the naked photos, my legacy, I left behind for future former fat asses to find in a not so distant future.
And there you have it.
The secret of life.
Go to a Weight Watchers meeting. Call Billy Joel. Give Weiner a break. And take some nasty photos of yourself.
|Posted by Tina Jensen on May 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM||comments (1)|
Well, guess what my future and former fatties? I have officially lost 30 mother fucking pounds. Yeah, that's right! God bless Weight Watchers and Jennifer Hudson. Especially Jennifer Hudson. She has really been such a good friend. Always answers my calls...we e-mail...sometimes skype.
Here's the thing. Although I am thrilled with my weight loss journey thus far, I can't help but feel overwhelmed. 30 pounds is just the tip of the iceberg for my fat ass. I have a long way to go before I hit goal. Whatever that means. According to healthy living guidelines I am still considered "obese".
Well, that's awesome.
BUT in roughly eight pounds I will be considered "overweight". Fuck. Can't wait to be overweight! Then, I have approximately 30-ish pounds to lose before I can be at the heaviest side of "normal". So let's face facts-I'll still be chunky.
Chunky. I'll never forget Carl Enzenauer (All names have been changed to protect the innocent. Not. Check him out on facebook.) calling me chunky in 3rd grade. I remember I weighed 114 pounds. God, I had such a crush on Carl. If only I maintained my 3rd grade weight....then I could have married Carl and lived happily ever after in a Minnesotan trailer park.
I sure did miss out.
Okay, so here is the other side of the coin. So, let's say I lose all this weight, right? Well, I don't want to shock anyone, but my fat ass has been this fat of an ass since I was a fat ass 1st grade fatty. You know what that means? Something tells me this skin won't be bouncing back any time soon. A lifetime supply of Palmer's cocoa butter couldn't save my ass. If you catch my stretch marks. And can we please talk about my deflated future milk pouches? What the fuck am I supposed to do with them now? Play catch? French twist them? Throw them over my shoulder and call it a day? Slap my husband in the face with them? Oh, wait I already do. Seriously, this could get dangerous. Death by way of suffocation by way of saggy titties by way of my man's face is not the way I want him to go.
911: Hello, what is your emergency?
Tina: My husband...he's not breathing!!!
911: Can you tell me what happened?
Tina: It was. Well. I was. On top. And...well, I was sitting on top of him. He was lying and well...we were playing our usual 'ride 'em cowgirl" game. You kow! Um...he...stopped breathing! Oh, God! I smothered him! He drowned in my boobies, I think. He stopped breathing. I had no idea. Oh, God. Oh, God! My titties killed him!
911: (Pause) Help is on the way, ma'am.
So, that is why Operation Lift has immediately gone into effect. All donations can be made via paypal to: [email protected]
Just like Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote: It Takes A Village. It takes a village, people.
Just like the the sun, my breasts will rise again.
Just like Elaine Stritch sang in a Stephen Sondheim musical: RISE!
(P.S. Just spent 45 minutes on the treadmill and burned a hole in my pants. The inner thigh chub rub conflict continues. The dream of inner thighs living separate, but equal lives on.
Left Inner Thigh: Peace be with you.
Right Inner Thigh: And also with you.
|Posted by Tina Jensen on April 6, 2011 at 10:58 AM||comments (1)|
Well, holy step ball change. We meet again my dear future and/or former fatties. Oh, how I have missed you. But what the fuck? Seriously, it’s 8am on a Wednesday when I have nothing to do but an aerobics class at 7:30pm and you mother fuckers are haunting me with thoughts and possible quippy one liners just begging to be blogged about. So here I am. Coffee’s brewin’…threw on my Husband’s oversized robe…and have now wrote this first paragraph.
So much has changed.
Yep. That’s right…I now brew my own coffee.
One sec…coffee’s done…’scuse me while I grab a cup.
The best part of wakin’ up, IS Folger’s in a cup. Who knew?
Alright, moving on to what’s really important.
Remember the time I mentioned an oversized robe? Well, I have officially lost over 20 pounds!
HALLE-FUCKIN’-LUJAH! (Spell Check, anyone?)
Jennifer Hudson was right and Weight Watchers is the bee’s knees. I really should call her and thank her…we haven’t spoken in months.
My next weigh in is tomorrow, so I can’t wait to see how far I have actually come. Facebook will be notifying you.
It is a rough road when 20 pounds is just a chip off the ice block when you are lugging around as much weight as I am. It is something I am extremely proud of and find motivationally inspiring, but at the same time…in anyone else’s eyes: I am still a fat ass. Catch my chub?
Now, I feel as though these next few segments may be rant filled with some possible and well, let’s face facts, definite venting. I would like to preface this with a disclaimer: As a comic never apologizes for humor, a writer for truth, and performer for dramatics take the following with a grain of salt, an ounce of fat, I graciously thank you for the material, and know that if something rings familiar, you are now blessed a dignitary and will remain forever within these walls. If These Walls Could Talk 3: The Life of a Future Former Fat Ass.
“You are just so talented, can I please get your autograph?” The gray haired woman excitedly fumbles through her purse to find the playbill.
“Aw, thank you so much and thanks for coming!” Tina exclaims while her left foot’s second toe bleeds from a painful peep toe stiletto.
“Do you ever watch that show, Mike and Molly?”
Tina gears up, knowing that this assumed compliment is actually a slap in the mother fucking face, “Oh no…I don’t watch that show, but I sure do know what you are talking about!”
“Well”, says the old bitch, “You remind me so much of Molly!”
You know, Molly? The fucking…I am as tall as I am wide, roly poly, would qualify for The Biggest Loser, may or may not need gastric bypass…or should be on the waiting list? Really? Good thing I was across state lines…it’ll be weeks before they find that Grandma’s body.
And just like Forrest Gump…That’s all I have to say about that.
What about when you let a friend know how much weight you have lost and they eye you up and down….calculating your love handles, double chin, and saddle bags. Then in disbelief say, “You’ve lost 20 pounds?!?!?!?!” As if they don’t believe you have lost that much because why? Oh yeah, you’re still a fucking fat ass.
Or when someone kindly says you better not lose too much weight because it might affect the upcoming film you’ve been cast in. Then your Mother swiftly reminds you that even if you got yourself down to a size 10 you would still be considered fat for film. Thanks, Mom. It’s okay fatty readers…we have unconditional love-I can call that bitch out. (Please read above disclaimer)
You know who else I fucking hate?
Yeah, that’s right-venting switch on.
Oh no she didn’t.
Oh yes, I fucking did.
Now, I know 99.31411% of the people reading this here dog and pony blog are fellow actor peers of mine. So, uh….read the fucking disclaimer. The funny thing in life is that the people who usually need the schooling are the ones too oblivious to realize or care. You know why? Because they are fucking actors who don’t listen and would rather hear themselves fart than open themselves up to something new…unless of course you are a casting director, acting coach, or someone of “importance”. Then they’ll be up your ass like that gay porn I once watched. Okay, I’ve watched it more than once.
I recently found myself at a soirées filled with entertainment folk. Maybe it was the fact that I felt underdressed, or the glass of red wine that was spilled on me, or my plus one wearing a blindingly scene stealing sequined dress, or the fake conversations, or the conversations started, but rudely interrupted and never finished because some condescending actor and/or “acting coach” didn’t really give a shit about what you had to say, or getting your face pushed out of a picture by a red dressed wearing asshole, or all the God-awful name dropping, or maybe it was just the fact that I am still self-conscience about my fat ass that the whole evening put a sour taste in my mouth.
I guess the thing is…I have come so far, you know? I am an extremely talented, gifted, full of spirit and heart, kind of gal. Sure, I have been around the block and as they say, the skies the limit on where I can go, but the last thing I need is some pompous butt plug making me feel less than.
I think people need to listen. Sing it, Beyonce. To the words coming out of their mouth and the words other’s share with them. Maybe if more people listened…I wouldn’t have to rant about their ass here. Although, I do consider it a privilege. So, thank me. And you’re welcome.
The good news is, I have met some terrific people the past couple of months, started working on new and exciting creative projects, continued performing, shed some pounds, and married the love of my life. A man that thinks I’m beautiful. Thinks I’m talented. Supports me. Needs me. Takes care of me. And still wants to bang me every chance he gets.
So, it really is...a wonderful life.
|Posted by Tina Jensen on January 25, 2011 at 10:09 PM||comments (3)|
Well, here I am. Pleasantly plump and eating an apple. You know my birthday is coming up. February Second. Yep, that's right. GroundHOG's Day. Perfect, huh? Gotta love that fuckin' groundhog. It sure was fun having that birthday in elementary school. Need I say more?
So here we are in 2011 and what's new? Another year...another pound...another apple? Maybe some celery. God, I want some cake.
The show I am currently in recently got reviewed and I must say that I faired pretty well, but I couldn't help but get the giggles everytime a reviewer tried to describe my character.
"The most developed character is Tina Jensen's "Barbara". She plays a FULL-FIGURED woman..."
"Tina Jensen plays "Barbara" in an incredibly realistic fashion. A CURVY..."
"Tina Jensen plays "Barbara", a SLIGHTLY CHUNKY..."
I think the "slightly chunky" one is my favorite.
As if I am 'playing' a fat ass. I mean, you must know I packed on the pounds for this role. That character description said overweight and as God is my witness I am a professional and had to pack on the pounds to book this shit. Being slightly chunky was a deal breaker...a defining characteristic if you will...and being the Method actor that I am....I really had to dig deep.
I just booked a role in an independent movie where my character's description was as follows: "a tall lithe gorgeous Italian diva". Also mocking an overweight woman within the scene.
At my audition for this role, I just had to swallow my chub and give it my best knowing that I am not the tall and lithe type. Nor am I the type who should ever be making fun of another plus-sized gal.
Worried that the casting director would scoff at my size, I released my chub and a sigh of relief when he said, "Listen, you are such a diva, you are delusional about the actual size you are and that is why you make fun of the other extremely overweight character."
Well, needless to say, fuck all the tall and lithe bitches that came to that audition-I booked it! Yeah, that's right...a delusional slightly chunky bitch stole your role.
Oh, and guess what? I fucking did it. I. Joined. Weight. Watchers.
Hence the apple and celery...zero points my fellow future and former fatties!
I am on my fifth day and my first weigh in is quickly approaching. Of course I am hemorrhaging from my nether regions, if you catch my flow, so all I want to do is bathe in a fountain of chocolate. W.W. is like the fat kid's A.A. And it's true. My drug of choice? Alcohol? Crack? Nope. Fucking food, man. I know it's cliche as shit, but this week of W.W. has really put my overeater non-anonymous status into perspective. But so far, I am so good and sticking to the plan. It really is one day at a time. For me it's more like one point at a time now that I am apart of the weight watchers cult. I mean plan.
So, that's it. Maybe I really am on my way to becoming a future former fat ass.
Just one day...one pound...one point...one step...
...at a time...