Monday, December 24, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
This struck fear into my very heart. If you make it to the very end, I promise you, you will be completely horrified/amused.
This post is dedicated to all my adorable Asian-loving friends and to the ones obsessed with poo (you know who you are). Merry Christmas. Now don't ever ask me to support your values ever again.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
By David Alberts
(Thanks for the tip, Broek.)
People are so impatient nowadays. Everyone's rushing to find someone, get married, settle down, and have kids. Call me old- fashioned, but I believe in taking things slow. That's why I never talk on the first date. Or on the second or third date, if I can help it.
I know women want it. I can tell by the way they look at me and ask all kinds of questions about where I grew up, what I do for a living, and what books I've read lately. Hell, most women these days expect us to talk on the first date. They think they deserve it, just because I'm dressed a certain way and sitting across from them while they ask me personal questions.
Well excuse me, but I'm just not that kind of guy. You know the type—talkative. Sure, some people can just move from one conversation to the next, or engage in three-way chats on a whim, but I'm not one of them. I can't just dive into an intimate discussion with a complete stranger. I mean, my God, can't we get to know each other a bit before we go straight into the heavy discussion?
I know what you're thinking, but I'm not a prude. I'm not above nodding on a first date, and if I really like someone, giving one-word answers to a variety of questions. On a second date, after a few drinks, I might tell a quick story. But that's where I draw the line. I have standards, and I'm not going to debase myself by flapping my gums for any woman who agrees to go to my office Christmas party at the last minute.
It's not even like I'm saving my talking for marriage. I just don't want to give away all my anecdotes to the wrong person. I respect myself too much to be bullied into talking to a woman before we've gotten the chance to see if we really connect.
I guess that's just how I was raised.
Besides, when you start off a date right away by saying "Hello" and immediately giving her 10 minutes of back-and-forth that shows that you're both intelligent and entertaining, that's all you're ever going to be in her mind: a great talk. A guy she could just call up whenever she feels like it for some no-strings-attached conversation. It's like my father always said: Why buy the cow when you can talk to the cow for free?
Unfortunately, I had to learn my lesson the hard way. There was this girl I really liked a while back, and I wanted to impress her so badly I ended up opening my mouth before we even got our appetizer. I think I had a little too much wine, because I don't even remember what I said, really.
She kept me around for a few months, but she just used me for my intellect and emotions. She wanted to talk all the time, day and night, without any consideration for whether I wanted to or not. Sometimes she wanted to do it as soon as I woke up in the morning. And when I told her I had had enough and that I never wanted to talk to her again, she stopped calling me altogether. Women.
But I'm not going to give up on my dream. Isn't there anyone out there who doesn't have a one-track mind about interpersonal communication? Are there no women left who will love a guy for who he is, and not just because they've grown to respect him as a human being? Can't I find a nice girl who wants to just sit around at my apartment in complete silence?
I really don't think that's too much to non-verbally ask for.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Want your own family portrait? Go to: The Digital Orange
And have yourself a merry little Christmas.
None of them are gay and most of them are available. See me for details...
Friday, December 14, 2007
But now, Columbia University and New York state researchers say waiting too long to have sex may carry its own risks, according to an ABCnews.com report.
People who lose their virginity between the ages of 21 to 23 are more likely to suffer sexual dysfunction problems later in life, according to a study from Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute's HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies.
Click here for the ABCnews.com story
The study, which is will appear in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, found that men who lose their virginity in their 20's seemed more likely to have problems becoming sexually aroused and reaching orgasm.
But the researchers pointed out that men who started having sex early were also at an increased risk for sexual dysfunction and said further research is needed to determine if a causal interpretation can be made.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Any other suggestions for a good morning are welcome here! I usually wish I could watch the opening scene from Billy Elliot. I couldn't find the trampoline scene, but I did find this, and it made me smile. A lot.
Almost as much as waking up next to:
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
You wanted relationship issues. And I don't have them, so now I'm asking for yours.
- Breaking up and remaining friends- Do it or don't it?
- Dating for a prolonged period of time- when is so long just TOO long?
- The Lurker- when do you fish or cut bait- and what keeps them coming around?
- Getting stood up: Proper etiquette post-standing.
- He's Just Not That Into You- but...Really?
- He cries, he begs, he doesn't want you to move on- but he's not moving forward, either.
- Selfishness is not a curable disease.
- Hooking up: The Reverb.
Those are my ideas. What are yours? Aaaand- GO!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
You know those little carts designed to carry princesses around in? Get the idea?
My new boyfriend...
Later that night, in Paris:
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I am grateful.
If you only knew how many women tell me that I liberate them through food, either by out-consuming them (thus obliterating guilt), or by my outstanding capacity for marathon-eating (freeing them up to enjoy their own meal), or by my outward appreciation of all edible delights (thus, teaching women to always take dessert), I am a free'r of women! A champion of food! At the very least, I am always dependable as a trash-compactor, freeing my lady-friends of any temptations or leftovers.
TRUST ME. This is my role. I do it well. And I serve with honour.
I eat because I can. It's available to me, and I am in a small portion of the world that has more than an adequate portion; unlike most of the world, we have the potential to over-consume. Isn't that a decadent thing to know? How can we throw out perfectly good food, when we know that merely yards away, there are people who have nothing but the clothes on their back, let alone a meal in their belly.
So I eat for the good of society.
I eat for the good of the world.
I eat for the benefit of others.
It's charity, really.
Go for it. For the good of those around you. Liberate yourself and liberate us all. Lie about your weight- in the excess. It's ridiculous that thinness and self-esteem have become interdependent of each other. And who is holding up this standard of starvation as desirable? I'll give you a hint; it isn't in the scriptures. So I say, give the world the finger and do what you want to do. Go for seconds. It isn't everybody who gets to be a part of the world of excess. Be thankful for what you've have. And to those of you who look at you with abhorrence, smile back with brownies in your teeth.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I have so much to live up to.
Monday, November 19, 2007
What if that one-night stand was offered with frequent one-night stands as friends?
Since when did commitment become such a big deal to me?
Does this mean I'm growing up? Or just that I'm no interested?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
As in, "We broke up, but he still texts, emails and calls all the time because our friendship is really important to him and he cares about me." Sorry, sister. Even if he's doing all that without malicious intent (and if he's a good guy, he probably really DOES mean all those things), you know what else he is? He's selfish. He wants you in his life when it's convenient for him, but without the obligations of being responsible for your feelings. Meanwhile, he's out on date, while you're still texting your ex-boyfriend about your day and when you find out, you're going to spend the next month or two trying to figure out what the hell happened. If he were thoughtful, he'd let the relationship die a natural death and think kind thoughts of you from afar. Better yet, if he REALLY cared about your well-being and really DID think you were that great of a girl, he'd set you up with someone you COULD have a future with.
Or how about, "I really like him and I feel chemistry and he calls all the time and he always wants to hang out with me- we're such good friends, but now he has a girlfriend. I don't get it!" Get this; to men, being friends means simply that: being a friend. As for the chemistry, it must be there or neither of you would bother having a second conversation. But if that chemistry isn't strong enough to push him over the plate, that boy's never gonna hit what you're pitching. He's just gonna keep catching whatever you throw to him. So, ladies, quit sending out one-way pitches and get out to catch in the field for once. It may mean hanging out in the green a little bit more and you might see less action out in the field, but when that home run comes your way, you KNOW it's your ball to catch.
My girlfriends love getting my "guy version" of perspective on why they might be doing what they're doing and how YOU should start taking responsibility for your own behavior. If there's anything you can take away from this brief interlude, let it be this:
ACT. Don't guage your behavior according to a REaction from some guy's mixed signals. Make sure your actions are the actions of who YOU want to be; see that you are behaving in a way that makes YOU happy. If some man doesn't jive with that, he can go somewhere else. Because somewhere out there is someone who likes your overreacting or underreacting, your drama or lack thereof, your outrageously outgoing behaviour or your solitary ways.
There are a million scenarios like this and you know it. Go ahead. Send them my way. And, gentlemen readers, while I may be gifted with an oversimplified mind, you ARE still The Man. Go ahead and throw in your two cents. I'm sure the ladies will appreciate it.
*You are going to want to watch the entire instructional video, as the ending has useful applications for sending clear signals as illustrated.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
One of the worst parts of my job is that I spend approximately 4-8 hours a day in traffic. One of the best parts of my day is that I can listen to Nic Harcourt as I sit in traffic. And I hear interviews of fascinating people and artists I like play live in the studio. Artists like STARS:
They're really good. But I've always been partial to Canadians. "Take me to the Riot" is a great song- one I found myself singing along to at the top of my lungs in the car, but the video isn't nearly as good as the one I posted (the title of "Your Ex-Lover is Dead" is better anyway).
Any other suggestions for new bands we probably aren't listening to yet?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Now, most of you may know I've been wanting and dreaming and HOPING to go to India for my birthday/Thanksgiving holiday, but guess what? This year, India is coming to US! So, if you aren't joining me for the Guat, I hope you'll let me take you to India on Saturday, November 18th. The India-fest will be hitting the OC this weekend! Wouldn't that just be the best? Let's all go to India together!!! Maybe later some of us can hit Paris and have dinner at Le Creperie in Long Beach and then I'll hook up with you rock stars to hit the Kareoke bars of Japan at Elvis Kareoke in Costa Mesa. It's the INTERNATIONAL birthday- and I want YOU by my side to celebrate it in style.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Later tonight, the LA Santa Monica ward is having a kareoke party- food and all will be there, too.
I submit we hit that on the way home~What do you think?
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Here's the thing with dating older men.
I just always end up thinking, "What if he'd rather be with my mom?"
She's superhot, and she's pretty young...I mean, that's not far-fetched, really. So I always take the precaution to date men who are at least several years younger than myself. And, of course, none of them are ever over the age of 25.
Don't even ask me about the 55 year-old man my mom tried setting me up with. When I asked her why SHE didn't just date him, she responded, "Well- he's just so much more your type! He's really smart and he's very cultured- he's just not really my style. But he'd be perfect for you!" um, thanks, Mom. And the sad part is, when he kept calling me, my actual thought process was as follows:
"Well, I'm not dating anyone right now...And he DOES like the international cinema (I can never seem to get anyone to read subtitles with me). And I DO like a good lecture (he was a professor for awhile and still attends certain lecture nights, which sounded fabulous). And he IS really intelligent...."
But, ultimately, unless it's this guy- I really don't care:
OR this one:
Any others with fleeting thoughts of desperation? I'm dying to know. That way I'm not the only one with family members who have a perversity for selling out their daughters to wildly inappropriate men. Being single isn't so bad. And your options can always get worse. There's a bit of consolation in knowing that...I'd rather be alone and have my dignity and practice the fine art of patience and faith, then sell out for a man who drives a nice car and has a daughter older than me.
* That's not entirely true...I have dated someone older once and one time I went out with someone older a couple of times, but that's a whole new story of hilarity to be shared at another date. I mean, time.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm not one to give my heart freely. In fact I feel like I have so much internal damage from loving relationships that not even a new loving relationship can help, and that's two years after the fact. I can't live my life in fear of loving again just to not be able to love completely. What do I do?
Here's my real opinion, my dear Locked Out of Love. I want you to know I wrote a very eloquent, thoughtful piece for you in response, but my computer shut down and erased all 7 paragraphs, and now I feel (much as you must) like anything I try to re-create will just never be as good as the first one which I had invested so much time and energy and heart into. But I cannot leave you hanging, so...Take 2:
Dear Locked Out of Love,
Please let me begin by saying that I wish we lived closer, because I just want to have you over for a nice cup of tea and the biggest hug ever!!! It really does pain my heart to hear your plight, and it pains me even more to know that you have had several relationships fall apart because you have not been able to overcome this immense fear and mistrust. Not only because you are keeping yourself from loving someone else, but because you're preventing that someone else the immense gift of being able to love and appreciate you. And that just doesn't seem fair.
First, I was not kidding when I said, "get therapy." The fact remains: You're being tormented by something that finished over two years ago, and all the thinking and praying and venting and dating has not helped you to overcome this past situation. If you have been working this hard for all this time, why would the suggestion of professional help be anything to scoff at? If you want your situation to change, something in you is going to have to be willing to make a change. Therapy isn't going to dictate what you should do or magically tell you how to fix all your problems or make you dwell unnecessarily on the past. A therapist will serve as an impartial party who is trained to professionally help you sort things out to recognize and adjust the unhealthy patterns you've ingrained into yourself. Because as much as your friends, your mom, your bishop, your roommates, your friends, your ward, and your coworkers may love you, if they haven't come up with the answer to get over this guy after two years of tears and heartache and more ruined relationships, that therapist sure sounds like the most time-effective way to go about modifying the patterns that you may be slipping into. Friends on Blogg who are therapists can probably go about explaining the true methodology behind therapy better than I can, so I'll let them take the floor from here.
Now I'd like you to take a minute and assess your life. Are you happy with who you are? Are you happy with your life right now? Romantic relationships aside, are you satisfied with your friendships, your social circles, your education level, your career, your goals, your spiritual activity? And if not, what can you do right now to inspire yourself again? Take guitar lessons! Go back to school, or sign up for a grad class! Throw a mocktail party with your most fabulous friends! Give a toast to yourself and recognize all the progress you've made and take the time to acknowledge within yourself all the things which you HAVE accomplished! Romance is great, but no romantic relationship is going to fill the void that comes from being unsatisfied with who you are on your own. No man should be expected to fix you.
What's difficult about your situation is that you're saying subsequent relationships have been damaged because of a damaging relationship from the past. Again, I say, unfair. Unfair to you, unfair to those who love you. And unfair to the ones who are going to love you in the future. What's even more aggravating is that, by not moving forward, you're also giving an incredible amount of power and control to the very man who tried to take that from you in the first place! Don't let him do take that from you. He's already taken up enough of your time! Besides, Karma doesn't just happen as vindication to tritely brush off someone else's bad behavior; it's that those who treat others with disrespect and disregard for the well-being of those around them tend to create disharmony around themselves. And since the way we treat others is generally a good reflection of how we feel about ourselves, you can bet your bottom dollar that man was never the man who was going to make you truly happy. And yes, you want to be with the man who will be truly happy- with you and beside you, because together you make each other better individuals.
Finally, I'm going to share what a very wise friend once warned me: At some point, you are going to need to swallow that hard, cold pill and admit that there is something you are getting out of harbouring this resentment and blaming your fears on the past. If you weren't getting some kind of satisfaction, you would not need to hold onto this pain. Whether it provides you with an excuse for not growing up and moving forward, or allows you to feel morally superior to the man who hurt you, or allows you to say, "I had love once," in order to feel better about not having it now; there is something you are hanging onto that needs to be resolved so you can have the freedom to move on. Once you find the courage to let go, accepting the love of someone who deserves yours in kind will be a natural effect of opening yourself to the possibility that you deserve love and you deserve the freedom to love someone else, openly, honestly and completely.
Here's to gaining the courage and confidence and faith it requires to unlock that door. Big hugs to you.
1. These kids are from Ohio, so I already feel sorry for them.
2. They clearly have had enough experience with this form of juvinille torment to actually INVENT a "solution," which makes me even sadder for them.
3. They will not only grow up to be "those weird twins who invented the underpants," but they will do said growing up with the remains of their underpants around their knees.
4. Didn't strippers think of this stuff first? Sorry guys. I don't think you're going to win. But I do think you might find some friendly cowhands who understand their plight here.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Ryan Gosling deserves an award for the subtle, completely believable portrayal of a man so isolated from society that the very touch of another human being causes him physical pain. The emotions he cannot figure out how to express just seethe and boil underneath his gentle and kind face and you feel for him as he struggles to reach out and allow others to reach out to him. While the plotline seems unrealistic, the brilliance of Lars and the Real Girl is how utterly real every single character's actions are. The amount of love and genuine concern that the community shows to support Lars is touching and the most honestly caring film I've seen in a long time. It may be pitched as another one of those "indie- offbeat comedies with heart," but while that genre has grown in popularity, a lot of those films are noticably trying too hard to BE "offbeat and indie" feeling, whereas everything about Lars is genuine and humble. We're simply lucky enough to be invited into town.
You've heard me say before how I wish there were more films that had characters we could like; that there is a lack of goodness in media. Lars and the Real Girl have it in spades. You love every single person in this film, and it's okay to. You don't feel like it's a cop-out, rather, the personal growth of every individual in the community can be felt as the film develops, and that is the true plot. When each person is allowed to express themselves through this "girl," Bianca, they are allowed to reach out in ways that might not normally be socially acceptable, but they reach out and thereby grow- and it's all done out of love.
Truly hilarious, brilliantly written, and flawless acting make this film a must see.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
So, a lot of you have been wondering where the f*bomb came from. It may be because my name starts with an "f." It might be because my roommate thinks I'm the bomb.com. But this is where it REALLY originates:
Who says men's figure skating isn't masculine? If the Olympics were like THIS, I'd watch them more often.
Tom Jones, you are a class act. Why my generation doesn't appreciate you more, I will never understand. You have my heart and my pants. And, apparently, now you have his, too.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Halloween should be freed of adults who use it as an excuse to dress up like hookers.
- Joel Stien
Holidays are for children and conservatives. And the one holiday that is still just for kids -- free of campaigns to replace Santa with creches, painted eggs with crucifixes, fireworks with flag lapel pins -- has been ruined by the rest of the adults. This year, I was invited to six Halloween parties, which would not be strange if it weren't for the fact that I'm older than 12. Meanwhile, I was invited to zero New Year's Eve parties last year. People vastly prefer Halloween parties because New Year's Eve involves dressing up like an adult, whereas Halloween involves dressing up like a slut.
I understand that the masquerade ball is a classic that faded away, and that people need an opportunity to hide behind a mask in order to safely express their hidden selves. It makes sense that once a year I get to peek into your psyche and find out whether you think of yourself as a whore nurse, a whore pirate, a whore angel or a whore whore.
That's fine. But not on the kids' favorite day. It's transforming formerly child-friendly costume shops from fun-creepy into Chris Hansen-creepy.
There's no chance that harrumphing will return Halloween to the innocent and carefree days of threatening neighbors who don't give you candy and vandalizing trees with toilet paper. So we need to invent a separate holiday when adults can get drunk and finally wear that pair of boots that seemed OK in the store but it turns out go up a little higher than you thought.
That's why, after much research and consultation, I have founded our nation's newest holiday: Slut Day.
It will take place the first Saturday of every August, a time both barren of holidays and plenty hot enough for really degrading costumes. Slut Day festivities include costume parties with themed drinks such as the Lindsay Lohan (just whatever in a giant glass) and, if possible, flat-screen TVs showing the latest celebrity sex tapes and select parts of "Meerkat Manor." Or anything else. Flat-screen TVs are just sexy.
In addition to fixing the Halloween problem, Slut Day also can replace the "Pimps N Hos" parties scattered across the calendar, which are racist and sexist, with an event that is only sexist. That's a 50% reduction in offensiveness.
Slut Day rights the wrong that dates to the late '80s, when San Francisco's Exotic Erotic Ball, which takes place on Halloween, went mainstream. Even at liberal-yet-uptight Stanford University, I was dragged with my freshman dorm mates to an Exotic Erotic party, where I wore a red clip-on bow tie and a plastic bag from the campus bookstore that I had punctured for leg holes. It was neither exotic nor erotic. But it did make a point that society has since learned: Neither gender wants men to try to be sexy. Slut Day will embrace that fact by having all men dress like Hef: silk pajamas or bathrobes only. No, those aren't sexy either, but women feel uncomfortable if they're wearing a fishnet bodysuit and their date is wearing chinos and a blue Oxford. Or a bow tie and a bookstore bag.
Conflating sexiness with scariness never made sense to me: It's too Freudian and Puritan and 1980s movie. Now sexiness will be unfettered. We as a nation need one day to vent our nationalism, one to be thankful and one to focus our love of arbors, and it is way past time to give an equal outlet to our incredible sluttiness.
Let the Japanese hide their perversions in creepy clubs; we shall have a day when CBS will broadcast a parade where the grand marshals are Tila Tequila, the Pussycat Dolls and whoever is dating Brandon Davis.
So enjoy your last Slutoween. I've put some calls in to Playboy, asking it to spearhead this movement and drop its yearly Halloween party, its second-biggest annual event. I also beseeched Playboy to channel all its party-planning energy into its biggest annual event: the Midsummer Night's Dream Party, which, it turns out, takes place the first weekend of August. And needs a better name.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Somehow it seems easy to believe that, when a relationship ends in a horribly painful disappointing way, we can close that part of our heart up, lock it up in a box and shove it in a corner to forget about it. Why worry about a bad relationship when you should be thankful that the train wreck it was came to it's inevitable conclusion and things are over? NEXT! Pick yourself up, be thankful for what you have, for who you are, and be grateful that you dodged a bullet. Why shed a tear over someone who did not care enough about you to be decent? Why waste time or energy on someone who has clearly not given the same kind of consideration to you? Many times have I breezed by with a grateful smile, knowing I am better off and declaring, "He does not deserve the air time," "If that's how the relationship was going to be I'm better off without it," "Better to find out what he's made of now than 5 years and 3 kids later!" and always my favourite: "He does not deserve my tears."
The problem is, even if we are in a car wreck, and the metal is burning and the glass is shattered and the sound is ringing and the smell is sickening but you can walk away with no broken bones; you were still in a car wreck. It would be foolish to assume that when the bruises fade, so will the damage from the accident. Because the last thing you want to find out when you're cruising on a brand new street in your favourite new car that you love being in because it is so good to you, is that you have to go to the hospital for internal bleeding that started from a lousy accident you had two years ago.
Many times I feel that it would be ungrateful of me to feel sadness over such a wreck. I should be glad that it's over. I should be glad the timing was now and not later, when things were deeper, when stakes were higher...What I've found is that a lot of us are walking around feeling this way. As a consequence, we are surrounded by the injured, and it would break my heart to find that, when we are most happy with our someone new that those old hurts that were simply shoved into a corner, only resurface later and hurt someone who wasn't even at the scene of the crime.
I admire those of you who can express your feelings so freely, with no fear of the consequences. I look to your example and hope for the bravery and courage it requires to trust someone else so completely that I no longer have "always one foot on the ground." If only all of us could fall so completely, so openly, with the immense faith it takes to know that you will fall in order to be caught.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"Pete, I heard that Violet is having dinner with Allen and I just don't think I can handle that!"
And, like, omigosh! Mary totally said that Johnny said that Alex was holding hands with Jennifer behind the bleachers after 3rd period! But don't tell Jack that Sally told ME!!!
It's an insult to my intelligence to have crappy writing like this drowning our airwaves, when legitimately entertaining and interesting characters and storylines NOT involving promiscuity and infidelity and too much eye-makeup are getting cancelled left and right. I'm just sad for these actors who probably fall asleep before they can even finish reading their own script.
Shows that are GOOD right now:
People who want to look cool will say the British one is better because that indicates they knew about The Office before the rest of North America, but quite frankly, I don't care. I love/cringe for every single character on this show and love every minute of it! Isn't it nice to know there's a show where everyone is nice? Even when they're being pranksters?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
As frustrating and as painful as inequality may be to recognize, it is the recognition that something needs to change which gives us the opportunity to make a difference. If you are sensitive to something, act on that feeling. Recognize that we are have various levels of awareness when it comes to social need- some gravitate toward justice, others to domestic violence, alcoholism, health care, homes, physical needs, spiritual needs, psychological needs, education...Then there are some who are completely unaware altogether.
We wonder why there's so much unhappiness in our world. What I find interesting is much of this unhappiness is expressed by those of us who have more than enough. While it's easy to look at those less fortunate and pity them or get angry for the inequality of the world, in speaking with people who have survived great hardship, you'll find that many of them are individuals built of incredible strength. I was shocked at how strong the women I met through the Violence Against Women Program at BYU were. These were no longer victims of domestic abuse or rape; they were survivors, and they were speaking out as a force to be reckoned with. These women were strong, they were safe now, and they were not about to let one more woman feel as trapped, insecure, afraid, or helpless in their presence. When asked about her experiences, one woman essentially said, "It has made me stronger, I am sad that it happened like this, but I know what I'm made of now." The bravery, strength and wisdom of these women was an inspiration to me and many others. They were courageous survivors, and they were taking their horrific experiences and using their recovery to help others by educating, speaking out, and living lives as survivors- not victims- thus helping other individuals experiencing the same kind of abuse to recognize that a life in fear was not the only outcome. These survivors serve as an example and inspiration to me and I thank them for their newfound confidence and strength.
When we were in Africa, surrounded by disease and the inescapable weight of poverty, one thing became clear: As horrific as their circumstances were- AIDS, disease, pestilence, death, abandonment, children without parents or homes- the people we worked with and saw on the street found happiness. They found faith. They found joy in one another's success. It was overwhelming to realize that, as Carol said, “How is it that, in a place where they have nothing, everyone believes in God, but yet, in America, where we have everything, people question if God even exists?” I've been in a lot of impoverished countries, but what made Kenya so completely overwhelming was the realization that the culture itself was based on giving. If someone knew the alphabet, she was teaching it to anyone who would listen. If someone had a hut, that hut would inevitably hold as many street children as they could. We saw a people with nothing; they saw every thing they had as a gift they could share.
So where is my solution to the emptiness, the frustration, and the pain of this world? Part of the problem is we've developed into a society that is filled with "things." Even those who are "Christians" have fallen into the culture of consumerism and we've become distracted by things- objects designed to fulfill us and make us feel good. We've hazed into a culture that expects validation and acceptance through consumption of material goods or climbing a ladder to get a title, when really, everything we have to give is already within us. Being self-aware enough to find it through our sensitivities and then finding the inspiration to act on that awareness is a start. The more we give of ourselves, the more we realize that our experiences- even our pain- can make us stronger. Strong enough to help another in need. Recognize this and you will recognize that your life can make a difference- if you are brave enough to give of yourself.
Monday, October 22, 2007
While that attitude of "girls rule, boys drool," served me well in the high-school cafeteria, it seems a bit different as an adult. No offense, Manolo, giant floral accessories, or Vogue (I worship your pages, too), but I don't WANT to have a life where the thing I look forward to most is "girls night out." I don't WANT to discuss the intimate details of my relationship with my sassy smart girlfriends. I don't WANT my relationship to serve as the fodder for cocktail hour. It's PERSONAL. And even if we're all women, there is no reason why my girlfriends need to serve as a soundboard for every little shift in my personal life. Where did all that self-sufficient, independence go, girls? O, that's right. When we said we wanted our independence, we only meant "from men."
Now, I'm really not the sort to go blaming the media for our societal degradation, however, I do think it's worth examining when our 20-somethings are behaving like 40-somethings and our 40-somethings are behaving like teens with an American Express. With all this investing in appearances and investing in status, is it any wonder that investing in one another has fallen by the wayside? How many times do we hear people complain of their unhappiness as they attempt to fill the void with more's, more clothes, more shoes, more social events? At some point, we've all done it. Immersion in a capitalistic culture will train you to believe that the upgrade equals success and success equals fulfillment. And for women, when we're finally at a point where we don't need to be dependant upon a man for economic support, stability or prosperity (women of the world, raise your right hand?) It's a brilliant campaign, really; why wait for a man when you can do everything for yourself? Buy your own ring! As for the man, let him be a side-effect, a bonus- if you will- of YOUR successful living! The sad commentary in all of this is that we've fallen for it; brilliant marketing schemes that compliment our strengths by trivializing our partners. Another example of poor form on the playground.
Marriage isn't a solution, it isn't an answer to all of life's problems, and you will be sorely disappointed if you expect a spouse to fulfill all of your needs (so help me if I actually find myself attracted to a man who enjoys musicals and dressing up as much as I do- then I really WILL be Sara Jessica Parker!) Marriage IS however, one of the greatest acts of faith performed in this life. It is the one opportunity for us to put our faith and our future and the lives of our children into the hands of another human being. An Eternal Relationship isn't a side-effect; it is a goal. A goal that cannot be reached alone, no matter how pretty the shoes we're walking toward it may be.
*For the record, I'll be running a full-on sprint for the man who pops out THIS bad boy:
Monday, October 15, 2007
For those of you who haven't been to an Isaac Hayden show yet, I'd describe his music as beautiful, thoughtful, well-crafted lyrics paired with a gritty, soulful, raw vocal sound. I hear many people compare him to Jack Johnson, but I'm more apt to say James Taylor, Sting, Donovan Frankenreiter, or Matt Nathanson. Let's just say...He's totally worth the $7.
Our good friend, Isaac Hayden, has been invited to play Johnny Depp's Viper Room this Tuesday.
Please spread the word and show your support!
The show is at 9 and tickets are only $7.
Here's my qeerie: 25 women fighting for the attention of one man in the desperate attempt at matrimony? How is that a tv show? Have these producers even seen what my ward's Linger Longer sessions are? Or FHE? Or an HB party? Or ANY LDS party, for that matter? How is this any different from REAL life, besides the over-processed hair, excess of plastic surgery, runny mascara, and ill-fitting bikinis? PS- I live in Orange County, so...NOTHING. NOTHING is different here.
What's even more alarming is this: I can see myself in one of these girls. Shocking, I know. In the commercial clip, I rolled my eyes in embarrassment at the girl who hopped up and started dancing in front of "The Bachelor" during a party. But then in the full clip, I saw her- a perky little cheerleader who smiles like an idiot, can't stop giggling, and (when asked to) hops up and performs part of her dance routine for him. I hate to admit it. It shames my soul to know the truth, but...I would totally be That Girl. Do I smile constantly? Yes. Giggle at EVERYTHING...Well- when it's funny. And let's face it. That situation of 25 women showing off their "tricks" (like webbed toes) in order to get attention from a man? Hilarious. And sad. But also- hilarious. And if someone asked me to hop up and dance during a party, well...They don't pay me the big bucks for nothin'.
But please. To pass this off as entertainment? Hits a little close to home, people. And when your real reality becomes akin to a reality tv show, that has got to indicate some serious moral values are in the toilet. Along with self-respect, dignity, and self-esteem. And then when a girl has him use her body as wetbar, following up with a very serious, "I'm a Christian and I believe in old-fashioned moral values," followed up by a lapdance and taking her top off...well...I wish I could say I didn't know anyone like that. But the desperation reeks of reality. Of women who cry because they think the man they've met is the ONLY one they want, or who are convinced this is their last shot (when they're 26), or those who are so desperate for attention that they will do anything to get it- even if that means backbiting, stripping down, making a pass too early in the game, or (fill in the blank).
How is it that, after all these years of progress in the Women's Movement and with Women's Rights, we have come full-circle (albeit with degenerative moral values)? How did it happen that women are still made to feel like they are "competition," desperate for the attention of a man they barely even know more of a profile of? I'd almost love the opportunity to be on a show like this, if only to stand up and say, "No. I cannot, in good faith, accept that rose. Because I think you are a white-bread statue with a lot of money and very little character or personality. And I refuse to be put into a competition for your affection with strippers, alcoholics, and desperate gold-diggers. Thanks for the shrimp cocktail."
What would happen to our LDS social scene if every woman stood up and did much the same? If we all said, "I'm sorry- I refuse to take part in this social madness you call a party (or linger longer, or ward activity, etc.) and respectfully request that, if you'd like to get to know me and become REAL friends, spend some one-on-one time with me. Don't facebook/myspace/linkup friend me; forge a real, honest-to-goodness rapport with me through conversation and short-term adventures, as you would devote to any friend you find interesting."
Last night I refused to "stop by and hang out" at a guy's house; when the surrounding 6 women expressed shock that I "don't hang out anymore," one of them laughed and said, "So what? You just date?" And I thought for about 1.2 seconds and answered, "Yes. Yes I do. I date ALL my friends now," explaining that, male and female alike, every actual friend of mine gets exclusive time and attention. Why? Because it shows them they matter to me, that I care about their lives, and that they are special individuals. That time alone together- even when it's a 30 minute jog along PCH or a quick trip to the grocery store together- allows me to get to know them better and then, yes- we really ARE friends. And when we go to parties and see each other, we know better. We're don't feel devalued or desperate for attention. We've already elimiated the competition.
Friday, October 12, 2007
It's a mystery.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Why is it "regular people" videos assume that regular people are ugly? I know lots of non-famous people, and they are all attractive. Some are disturbingly photogenic. And those who are regular-looking...well, they're still not this fugly.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I'm slightly uncomfortable with the amount of personal information available online. People posting "I'm in a relationship," or, "My relationship is complicated," or "I'm single again;"it never fails to shock me that people are broadcasting such personal status- possibly because I'm hardly willing to discuss it even within the relationship itself, let alone to everyone in the e-world. It seems a bit extreme.
With all this TMI floating around, it seems like some people are using it to their advantage. Whether it's self-promotion, validation or desperation...I'm never really quite sure. Either way, it seems unnatural and rather unsatisfying. I've had situations where someone perfectly friendly and fascinating online (even ACTUAL friends) seem almost happier to run home in order to continue our discussion via IM or text, and it confuses me. Since when is constant electronic contact more impressive than actual physical contact?
Call me old fashioned, but I'd rather hold your hand before I exchange e-profiles any day.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
We're here to stay.
You wonder where I get such a sleek physique? Well, clearly it's genetic. My people have mastered The Pong for centuries. Through focus, dedication, and a fashion-forward attitude, you too, can achieve excellence.
* Soundtrack from OkGo! Don't worry. There's more to come. Much, much more...
The next logical conclusion for my 16-year old self was to share the beauty of poetry with someone- but who? Well, the nicest guy EVER, of course! The one I had not spoken to for 3 years! I came up with the brilliantly, wildly romantic idea of sending him one poem a day for two weeks, leading up to Valentine's Day. Between Lovelace, Wordsworth and The Beatles, I had plenty of great material. I can still remember some of those poems now (they're good. Really, REALLY good.) What's even better about this story is that when our mutual friend discovered I was the secret admirer, she told me that he was in knots trying to figure out who could be sending him song lyrics and poetry. At the end of the two weeks, he somehow discovered that it was me. I had been utterly convinced that he wouldn't even remember who I was, but when he realized his secret admirer was me, he was- to put it mildly- excited. I can barely remember our telephone conversation that day- only feeling embarrassed at finally being discovered and also thrilled that he was so excited to know I remembered him. I promptly lost all interest afterward (he was on the other side of the country, after all!), but have never lost the thrill of lyricism of great poetry OR the thrill of romancing someone else.
Today, I find that I'm less willing to do something that will make me look vulnerable. Why would I put my soul, or heck! even my Tuesday night on the line, and risk giving a hint that I might be interested in someone before he proves that he's interested in me? What happened? When did romantic gestures become silly, impractical, and risky? Why aren't we more expressive, impulsive, and honest about our feelings? Would it be so terrible if people knew we liked them? Appreciated them? Admired them? And maybe even found them kissable? What are we so afraid of? And don't tell me "rejection;" because really, what's the difference between rejection and being ignored or suffering in silence? Either way, you end up without your paramour. At least by acting on your feelings you can share the thrill of potential magic. Magic. Chemistry. Poetry. It all transforms simple elements into something inspiring, uplifting, and beautiful. Maybe the process is more important than the end result. I still remember the thrill of marking my poetry books and finding the best lyrics far more than the thrill of actually talking to the boy I had used as my standard for romance for 3 years. At the risk of appearing reckless, maybe we should simply throw our romantic gestures out there a little more often and see what magic sticks. Because if chemistry can create a really, really bad smell sometimes, at some point, it's bound to make an amazing explosion. And hopefully, one day, we'll create a spark that lasts a lifetime.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
The statistics have shown me; there are (on average) over 100 readers from various parts of the country (a few overseas) who check in every day to read Blogg. I am so completely flattered. If you feel even a twinge of what I felt on Fridays when Herb Cain columns were published, you may get some inkling of how excited I am to have other people interested in my writing. You've given me a teeny dream come true, my lovelies. Thank you. Thank you.
The other thing your stats have shown me; you really like what I have to say about the things I actually spend surprising little time actually thinking about. Between polls, general surveys, and responses to postings, it's clear you want to hear more about dating and relationships- and I can't blame you. My goodness, is it interesting. But here's my confession: I don't care. I don't really think much about dating relationships- probably because I'm not superkeen about dating in general and experience has taught me that I am just this side of "too logical" to really think much about "silliness with boys" (as my grandmother says). Plus- as we all are- I'm busy! It's hard coming up with new stuff every day for you to read and not comment on!
Do you know what I think about? All day? Music. Really. Seriously. All day long, I listen to it in-between NPR reports and when I'm getting ready in the morning, and when I get ready for bed at night and everything in-between, I sing to myself. I have been known to sing myself to sleep and have been caught laughing in my dreams. Probably because I'm dancing around in most of them.
So here's the thing, dear loyal, trusted readers- I give. I will give you what you want, but you gotta help me out here. I will still gratuitously post my favourite videos and songs and playlists for beloved iPod, but I want your input, too. Tell me what ails you- what questions do you wish you could ask about relationships, or what stories can you share, or what answers are you looking for? While I don't love twittering about boys in MY life, I LOVE being helpful, and I love being a voice of reason in a world full of finger-pointing and sexist "Mars and Venus" theories. Most of my close girlfriends will admit that they use me as their soundboard when male behavior mystifies me; apparently I think like a man, but thankfully, I can express it as a woman.
So now it's your turn: Tell me what you like. Tell me what you want. Knowing me, knowing you, you'll get whatever you dang well please. Feel free to do as my close friends do, which is email me material, pictures, scenarios, conversation bits, etc. Whenever, whatever. You can reach me here.
*Rhyll asked for a Hello Kitty diamond ring, and what does she get? This is called giving the people what they want. GIVING IT TO YOU EVERY DAY. xoxo, -f.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
In a world where we "put on" different faces, strive to look a certain way, shop to appear a certain style...
Are we a reflection of our culture, or is our culture a reflection on us?
What do you think?
"All this so I can finally find a man who'll love me for who I am."
Monday, September 17, 2007
As someone who works really hard and channels a lot of energy and effort into my work, most people are shocked to learn that I have absolutely no career ambitions and no interest in ladders of any kind. Granted, I like what I do, and I'm good at what I do, so I am therefore successful at what I do. I've been blessed with the energy and the time and the work ethic to do well, and I've chosen a job that offers a wise career path for the future of myself and my family. But do I want or expect my career to define who I am? Absolutely not. Just as I don't need a relationship to define myself, nor do I need a career to define myself. But, while I've got the time and the energy, it seems in everyones best interest that I work as hard and as well as I can, while I can. In fact, I've based all my career choices on what will eventually work out best for supporting my family. This translates into a high-pressure environment with high expectations, from both myself and the company.
It was only last week that I called a friend in frustration of all this pressure, asking, "What is it all for? Why are we working so hard?" To which she slyly replied, "I'm actually looking for a new job. This one's not fun." Shocked, I sputtered, "but...You're so good at what you do! You're doing so well!" And she replied, "Yeah. But I don't need to work. My husband does that. If I'm working, it's because I want to. And if I'm not having fun, why not just change jobs?" Her reasoning shattered my mind like lightning. Not once in my life has it occurred to me that I would have a husband to rely upon. Never did it cross my mind that I would not be expected to work. Not once!
In a quick survey of my girlfriends, I was startled to learn I was the ONLY one who expected to work in the future. The only one who did not expect that I would have a husband who would be responsible for supporting my family. In my mind, I suppose I've always been aware that 1) men can leave- either divorce, abandonment, or death are all realities, 2) men can be irresponsible- do I trust that I can depend so completely upon another person that I would leave all responsibility for providing on his shoulders? And then there's always the expectation that I would marry a starving artist somewhere, and I had better be prepared.
If this is the norm, this expectation for men to provide- how do men feel about this responsibility? In their mind, is it just as logical and reasonable an expectation? Is this even fair? Or is fairness irrelevant as it's such a cultural expectation? Is your career something which defines you, or is it a socialized obligation? Am I completely off in thinking that I should expect (or, at least, prepare) to shoulder some part of financial responsibility for our family? I'm not talking traditional gender role expectations. I'm talking YOU. I'm talking, is this what YOU want, as a man? And if your fantasy is holding a good job so your wife can stay home with the kids, does that dream satisfy you and does it define who you are? Or is it simply that you want to work, and women just...don't?
I am SO interested to hear what you all have to say about this...