Tue 4 Nov 2008
Thu 9 Oct 2008
The little KeyBank down the street was robbed. The men’s locker room during a football game at the high school a few blocks away was robbed. (Update: the day I wrote this post the cash box was stolen at the salon I visited for a haircut). With times this tight, every little bit counts. When folks feel the squeeze, some go all Oprah and start cutting their coupons…others, plain and simple, steal.
Sure, there are those with a propensity to swindle regardless of economic strain. I’m sure I could point out that I live in the least wealthiest part of town, where already stressed budgets and tight money belts cause folks to feel a constant ache in their financial bellies. Add the overall threatening tone of our country–no WORLD–affairs and you could see why someone might feel like knocking off a bank for a few marked bills. Is this is why all sorts of terrible neighborhood news keep appearing? Instead of drawing our friends and families closer as a way to embrace non-financial joy, are the dark sides of certain individuals growing darker? This has to be a time for community, a time for greater communication and a constant excuse to get social. Gone are the days when we could spend freely on electronics that isolated us even further from our tangible community, when we bought fancy cars on credit that we could sit silently idle on the freeway in, and when cheap airfare allowed us constant escape from our neighborhoods.
Times like last night: When we found escape with a simple cup of tea flavored with real half and half and a few late night friends.
Tue 29 Jul 2008
By now we’ve all heard the song “I Kissed A Girl.” I can only imagine the throngs of adolescent boys casually slipping this song into their ipod for their girlfriend to listen to in desperate hope: “See, SHE kissed a girl and she LIKED it.” It has to be a sign of progress (?) in this country when the majority of responses to this song are the following “this song is so awesome, i love it, i mean, come on, half the chicks here have to have kissed a girl once, even if it was just on the cheek or whatever… so yea, its pretty cool” –Courtesy of the youtube comment feed.
Remember when the first same sex kiss appeared on Melrose place? It was May 18, 1994, edgy gay character, Matt, shared an intimate moment through a kiss near the pool with guest-star boyfriend Rob — except it was only implied because a threatened advertiser boycott forced Fox to shy away from the actual lip lock. Wading into same sex kissing waters in the 90’s was quickly picked up on by recently outed “Ellen” (liplock between Ellen and best friend Paige ), the super square “Party of Five” (Julia Salinger engages in a short-lived lesbian affair with a professor ), and most hideously: “Ally McBeal” ( In a much-watched episode in 1999, Ally McBeal and fellow lawyer and co-worker Ling Woo (Lucy Liu btw) engage in a 21-second-long kiss). By the way, did ANYONE like Ally McBeal? I HATED that show.
I merely bring up television because, well, one has greater chance of seeing a same sex kiss by accident in the convenience of their own home versus screening themselves away from it via movies. For example: Don’t wanna see hunky Heath Ledger (R.I.P.) get all gay in Brokeback Mountain? Don’t go to the movie. Television, however, is so accessible that when it comes to truly liberating same sex kissing, you can thank the boob tube. And, luckily, there have been some really legitimate same sex kissing on TV, you know, for political and personal reasons (not just voyeuristic). In “Will & Grace “: An episode in the 2002-2003 season featured Will liplocking with his best friend Jack while “The Today Show’s” Al Roker and the rest of the New York crowd and TV audience look on. While researching the pop culture same sex kiss phenomenon I also learned about the controversial “Dawson’s Creek” smooch in 2000 — It’s considered the first romantic gay kiss between two men on TV. After a season of teenage angst and longing, Jack McPhee, who came out the previous season after briefly dating Joey Potter (a nubial young Katie Holmes), shares an on-screen kiss with former friend now turned boyfriend Ethan.
It’s been over 15 years since “Melrose Place” introduced an openly gay character to their cast of angsty, twenty-something, beautiful people–AND let him join in on the action (because really, “Melrose Place” ended up being so trampy, why get all huffy over a little same sex lovin?) Now we have same sex SNL characters dressed up in drag smooching each other in semblance of hetero love. We have entire sitcoms based on gay characters (thank you very much, “Will and Grace”). So getting back to my point: How in the world is the song “I Kissed A Girl” even relevant? And can I say for the record: Who hasn’t? I mean, really…ladies if you haven’t gone out and smooched your best friend drunkenly at a party then please go out and do so before you die. This is such a small measure of edginess these days, a valuable part of coming of age, and, thankfully, it’s become an acceptable part of our society. Oh sure, there are conservative Christians out there who shudder at the thought, but c’mon…most women I know have lapsed into same sex curiosity somewhere a long the line. Some of them were just ‘tri in college” (I’ll ‘tri’ anything), some of them were lost and looking for answers, and other’s were legitimately gay.
I know that female on female action is widely more accepted then male same sex kissing (despite the “Melrose Place” debut). If Katy Perry was, say, a man, I doubt her song would have the same ring. The fact that she’s writhing around with a tube of cherry chap stick in her music video certainly lends to the sexual exploitation of the whole sensationalizing of a pretty accepted behavior.
Is Katy encouraging social experimentation? Is she merely perpetuating a sexist, female on female, porno-type expectation? Is she opening the hearts and minds of a new generation with her encouraging bisexual lyrics? Will she dwindle into the One Hit Wonder category? Perhaps we’ll simply associate Katy Perry with other goofy songs that resulted in silly outrage. Like Joan Osbourne when she sang “What If God Was One of Us” (What?! How dare she say that God is a slob!) or the “Thong Song” by Sisqó (What?! Thong undies are so uncomfortable, why would anyone sing about them?!). Either way, I’m not impressed.
Tue 27 May 2008
Observations of a former service worker:
People don’t say please anymore. We drill and drill this into children when growing up: say ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’ It’s certainly not instinctual or ingrained to use those niceties. It wasn’t until I was in the service industry that I realized how important it is to hear the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ When leaving the industry of tips, aprons, and customers I made a mental note to always treat service people fairly and with the same degree of politeness I expected when I was behind the counter. This means not starting a phrase with “I want” or “Get me a” unless I plan on tacking a ‘please’ to the end.
The spice store I buy my curry blend from has their customers write what they want on little note pads. The other day I wrote “2 oz Traditional Curry, please” on my note pad and turned it in. The guy behind the counter was really impressed that I had written ‘please’ down along with my order. He mentioned it repeatedly. It’s sort of the same thing with bagging groceries at TJ’s. You don’t have to do it, but if you remember your own days ripping your cuticles on paper bags you certainly feel the the urge to help the checker out.
Wed 21 May 2008
You can’t change someone (with a few exceptions):
Perhaps you’ve told yourself: One day he or she will change…haven’t we heard this before? Isn’t this the reason for most relationship failures? To be fair, people can change depending on taste, age, and whim. For example: After nine years Josh will now eat tomatoes. However, he will not, can not, seem to give up his couch sleeping habit. Perhaps in the back of my mind I had always hoped this would change, that one day he would simply go to bed instead of passing out on the sofa at 9pm. I’m realizing now that this may never change, that he is biologically wired to sleep on the couch, and that there is nothing I can truly do about it.
Mon 19 May 2008
Fighting Over Money
Whether you remain financially independent for years or dump both of your funds into a big joint account a week after meeting, money is always a reason for a fight. Perhaps one of you is a spender (impulsive, passionate, liberal gift-giver, your credit card weighs heavy with debt) and the other is a saver (tight fisted, guilt-ridden, penny pinching, paper bag lunch packing). Maybe one of you grew up in a household where you were rewarded with money ($100 for an ‘A’, anyone?) or maybe you never got an allowance and resorted to trolling the couch for loose change. Perhaps you agonize for days over an expensive pair of shoes, waiting until you actually dream about them before deciding they’re worth the expense. Maybe you celebrate when your decrepit toaster breaks because this means you can go out and buy the most expensive replacement on the market. (Ex. I ask Josh to buy me a simple egg timer and he in return buys a digital clock with 13 different timer settings). Either way, it’s doubtful you and your spouse are going to see completely eye to eye when you view your finances. I could write a small novella about fighting over funds, but really it comes down to what my Grandma Peggy used to say: “It’s only money.”
Thu 15 May 2008
In the spirit of several marriages that will be taking place soon I’ve taken it upon myself to act as a couples counselor, marital adviser, wisdom provider. As of Memorial Day I will have docked 9 years with my significant other…a significant amount of time in deed. Therefore I believe I have a little bit of insight on marriage and all that goes with it. Even if you’re not married, I think this advice is pretty standard:
Partnership Advice #1:
Don’t Go To Bed Mad
This is one that old folks will always tell you. I think it should be reworded: don’t talk about anything serious, touchy, issue-y, or naggy after 10pm. This will help you avoid going to bed angry because, let’s face it, no one is really any good after 10pm. The sleepier you are the harder it is to hold your end of an argument. The more tired you feel the shorter your fuse. After 10pm is the wrong time to bring up your partner’s faults, who forgot to feed the cat, or your deep rooted insecurities. Save it…because things always look better in the morning.