A Tumor Changed My Body Forever - But Not The Way I Thought

A Tumor Changed My Body Forever - But Not The Way I Thought

by Diana Phillips | Published by Refinery29 on November 30, 2015 | Anti-Diet Project

When I learned that I needed an open abdominal surgery to remove a melon-sized fibroid tumor from my uterus, I was devastated. It wasn't the potential impact this might have on my fertility that distressed me. It was the scar.

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Bridget McManus: On Comedy, Art, and Coming Out

Bridget McManus: On Comedy, Art, and Coming Out

by Diana Phillips, Senior Staff Writer | IgniteSA Magazine | Cover Story

Bridget McManus, a Los Angeles-based comedienne and actress known for creating and starring in her own TV shows "Bridget McManus Presents: That Time of The Month" and the popular vlog series “Brunch with Bridget” that aired on the Logo Network, first became enamored with comedy at an early age.

“I wanted to be a stand-up comedian since I was a fetus and I have the photos to prove it,” she asserts. “Well, I don’t actually have a fetus photo but I can try and track one down for you.”

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Pop Pistol: Making Music in the Digital Age

Pop Pistol: Making Music in the Digital Age

by Diana Phillips, Senior Staff Writer | IgniteSA Magazine | Cover Story

“When I first experienced music it was on old records that seemed to be magic vessels,” Alex Scheel recalls. “I would take in the artwork, read every word, look at every picture and imagine the far away places that the music came from.”

Scheel, the frontman of San Antonio-based beat-centric, atmospheric, indie electro-rock band Pop Pistol, waxes nostalgic about the vinyl experience: the artwork, the liner notes, sliding a 12-inch record out of its sleeve, placing it on the turntable and dropping the needle onto the first groove. All of this, the experience of listening in a room, holding the tangible product in your hands, the pop and sizzle of the static teasing your eardrums as the first track begins to play, this is the allure of vinyl - still cool even as ever-shifting technologies transform the music industry into a predominately digital marketplace.

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OkCreeper: Adventures in Online Dating

OkCreeper: Adventures in Online Dating

I recently dipped my toe into the online dating pool and while it’s not all bad, there are a lot of sad sacks and creepers out there. One cheese ball wrote I was “one beautiful looking woman, like a living poem, though I’m sure you get that all the time,” (nope, sure don’t,) while another clueless fellow listed his favorite book as “The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers.” Seriously. This is what I’m working with.

It didn’t take long to accumulate a thick “Creeper File” (an actual folder on my desktop) stuffed with crude, lewd, rude and moronic messages. Here are a few gems that arrived in my inbox. Enjoy!

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Booklover

Booklover

Sitting cross-legged on the floor in the living room of my parents’ house peering into a brown cardboard box filled with once-loved books from my childhood, I tell my brother’s girlfriend’s 10-year-old daughter that she should take them home with her. Handing over the cherished volumes stirs up dusty memories of my awkward youth. In school, I was the chubby girl, the one with glasses – large thick plastic frames the color of rose quartz. My hair was long, often tamed in a braided ponytail like a sandy blonde rope.  I wore my socks pulled up to my kneecaps like my father. I looked like Olive Hoover (Abigail Breslin) from Little Miss Sunshine minus the “Super Freak” dance moves.

I collected colorful semiprecious gemstones from museum gift shops, unsharpened decorative pencils, and books. I was undeniably a geek, and still am. Now I have a woman’s curves. I still wear glasses, but the rectangular black frames are sleek, sexy librarian chic. After much experimentation, I’ve settled on a hairstyle that suits me, a short blonde bob with side bangs. I still have my gemstone collection, which is displayed in an antique English soap dish on the bookshelf in my bedroom, along with my beloved books.

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Mr. Iced Tea: Traveling Abroad With My Father

Mr. Iced Tea: Traveling Abroad With My Father

On a recent trip to Spain, traveling with my family for the first time in fifteen years, I was amused watching the culture shock set in for my father, who had never been to Europe despite all of the EU stamps in my own passport. I thrive on being immersed in cultures foreign to my own. I’ve visited the ruins of ancient empires and modern city centers; I’ve trekked through deserts, rainforests and reefs. Mostly I’ve traveled alone, or sometimes with a group of strangers. You learn a lot about yourself when you just pack up and go someplace new. You learn to adapt, to be flexible and open-minded, to appreciate what you have. You learn not only about the places you visit, but also about people.

Every day we spent in Spain my father was on a quest to locate Iced Tea - that’s all he drinks, and even in a foreign country, he asked for it - in English - wherever we went.

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In Memoriam: Blue Conair® Hair Dryer (1996-2010)

In Memoriam: Blue Conair® Hair Dryer (1996-2010)

Diana Phillips’s Conair® hair dyer (Model 077B,) affectionately known as Blue, died suddenly on Friday, July 16, 2010 in her home in Studio City, California after a brief electrical episode.  She was 14 years old.

Made in China in 1996, Blue was often admired for her extraordinary beauty, quiet yet powerful airflow, and quick hair drying speed. Her mechanical inner workings were visible beneath the sleek translucent casing, a bold shade of cobalt, the inspiration for her nickname. 

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Backstage Pass: The Last Living Slut

Backstage Pass: The Last Living Slut

I recently came across a memoir whose cover dared me to pick it up - "The Last Living Slut: Born in Iran, Bred Backstage." A black and white photograph of a young girl wearing an Islamic headscarf stared back at me, her face half hidden beneath irreverent symbols of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I devoured 145 pages in-store before making my way to the cash register.

Roxana Shirazi emigrated from Iran to England at age 10 to flee the Iranian Revolution. She came from a culture where women were not allowed to show skin or express their sexuality and entered the adult playground of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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All You Need Is Love Story

All You Need Is Love Story

When I was 12 years old, my mother gave me her yellowed copy of "Love Story," a novel by Erich Segal that was published when she was a teenager. She was cleaning out the garage and saved the paperback from the yard sale pile, along with her collection of vinyl records including classic albums by Simon & Garfunkel, Carly Simon, and Carole King she thought I would enjoy. I was in love from the first page, the first paragraph, the first sentence. It's the only novel I’ve ever read more than once; I return to it again and again. 

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Book Junkie Meets Cisco Kid on Sunset Boulevard

Book Junkie Meets Cisco Kid on Sunset Boulevard

Last week I attended a literary event at the independent bookstore, Book Soup, located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Five writers whose work is included in the inaugural issue of Slake, a Los Angeles-based literary magazine, were there to read their work.

When Australian poet/novelist/essayist/screenwriter Luke Davies began reading from his personal essay, "The Cisco Kid," about his childhood obsession with America through its depiction on television and in B-movies, I could relate. I too was seduced by the alluring promise of Hollywood. Captivated by his story, I wanted to hear more.

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