magnolia

trust yourself. you're really all you have.


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gifts and sacrifices

happy day 5 of atheist-lent.

yes, as always, the atheist observes lent. i grew up in a former french/spanish colony, in which catholic and high-liturgical protestant traditions are baked into the way of life. so when all my friends growing up gave something up, i did too. not for spiritual reasons, but to support them and to test my own willpower. there’s nothing more rewarding than completing a hard challenge.

so this year, i’ve come at this a little differently. in years past, all i’ve done is give something up: fast food, red meat, hard liquor, etc. that’s a fine way to test your mettle: go without something you like for 40 days to prove to yourself you’re a little tougher than you think you are. but that’s a pretty self-focused way to go about this. i wondered if there was a better tactic to use, and lo and behold, there is.

being a heathen, i was unaware that lent in the catholic tradition takes a three-fold approach: prayer, “fasting,” and “alms-giving.” obviously, prayer is a non-starter with me. i’ve got the sacrifice piece in good order: i’m giving up my evening laziness to dedicate 30 minutes every day to the exercise bike the man bought me. but alms-giving, or charitable donation, is a new facet for me. it’s a great way to take your focused dedication and use it for something good.

so this year, i’m giving as much as i can. every 5 days of the 40-day lenten cycle (you don’t count sundays in lent; they’re sort of built-in skip days), i will give at least $25 to a different charity. if i skip an exercise session for any reason, i will add a $5 fine to the charity piece. today is the first giving day, and i’m going with a group doing vital, amazing work: trans lifeline. what could be more important than saving the lives of trans people, who are so much more vulnerable to suicide (as well as other violence) than cis folks? and i won’t lie; the fact that the pope compared trans people’s existence to the danger of nuclear weapons may have inspired this donation.

i’ll pick a new group doing something important each giving day during lent. i have some groups in mind; others i’ll need to research. it’s literally the least i can do during a season of focus, discipline and being mindful.

mindful. that’s become a really loaded term in the age of the internet self-help complex. there are tons of sparkly infographics and pumped-up polished blogs swearing that drinking kale juice and running marathons will make you more “mindful.” but really, what the internet life-coach industry tends to offer is a kind of comfort masquerading as thoughtfulness. yes, you can make yourself feel healthier by watching what you eat and exercising. but bragging about “clean eating” (which is a LIE, by the way, and a really judgmentally caustic thing to say that shames others) and running marathons isn’t really being mindful. using yoga or belly-dancing to be “spiritual” usually just results in co-opting eastern religious traditions while erasing the brown folks who brought you the practice.

the trick in 2015 is to find a way to care about others without making it all about yourself. one of my biggest pet peeves is when people go on and on and on about how much they give to charity or how many good works they do. i knew a guy who, after spending high school being a seething pile of self-aggrandizing arrogant jerk-ery, went on to work in the nonprofit industry after college. i lost touch with him (on purpose) before this, but he resurfaced in our lives when a coworker of a friend randomly ended up on a match.com date with him. she told us he spent the entire night talking about all the great work he did – HE gave this money and HE did this project and HE raised this much and blah blah blah.

that’s not charity. that’s making yourself look good. and the motivation matters. do you really care about the world outside yourself, or are you just trying to use their gratitude to pump your own self-image?

so i’m not going to sit here and brag. that’s not the spirit of atheist-lent. the idea is to make a sacrifice and make a gift – go outside yourself and center others in the service of making things better. i’ll check in from time to time, if only to share a particularly awesome charity with y’all. but when you give, you have to give with the right frame of mind. even jesus, that awesome guy who christians never seem to actually listen to, said this was a good idea. “when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men.” [matthew 6:2]

there’s nothing wrong with being happy that you’re doing good work. just make your sacrifices and give your gifts humbly, modestly, and with an actual spirit of generosity. make it about the people you want to help, not about you. that’s what atheist-lent is all about, right?


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kindness

[soundtrack]

there are two stories to tell today: the one i meant to tell, and the one that happened yesterday. both of them dovetail nicely with my intended point.

story #1: the dumbest fight in recorded marital history
the man and i were discussing dinner the other night. we had bought options for 2 meals: steak and baked potatoes; burgers and fries. however, due to exhaustion and general “wow, is this not relevant”-ness, we ended up cooking burgers and baked potatoes. i said something like, aw man, i wanted fries tonight, but the potatoes are 2/3 done, so it’s too late. the man said, oh, i’m sorry, i’ll make you fries, and i’ll run get potatoes for the steak so we can have them then.

from this two-sentence exchange came a back-and-forth conflagration. i am really not proud of this. we argued for a slap hour about whether or not it was excessive for the man to make a special grocery trip to buy baked potatoes because we cooked the wrong thing for dinner one night. i held that i didn’t want him to make such a fuss; he held that he just wanted to do something nice for me. at the end of the hour-long argument, we looked at each other like, we are probably the dumbest people alive. we just fought about potatoes for one. solid. hour.

story #2: i did not ask you to chime in
yesterday, a new visitor came to comment on my last post, and this person is a perfect example of why i moderate comments. instead of chiming in with something interesting, whether agreeing or disagreeing, this person just decided to call me a whiny kid. yesterday was not the day to try it with me: i was snowed in on mardi gras day, 1,000 miles away from home, miserable and homesick. so this person got an email from me asking them to never comment here again. it was snide, don’t get me wrong, but i used this person’s exact words to show how rude this person had been.

the person responded as follows: “grow up kid. you put out a whining post like that and expect everyone will just whimper over you with tears?”

heh. kid, eh? so i wrote back one more time. in this message, the person was told that i am a grown woman with three law degrees. further, i told this person: “you started a fight on the internet with a random stranger for reasons i still cannot comprehend, yet you claim to be the mature one. you were not forced to read my writing. many people on the internet suffer from the grand delusion that other people care what they think. i write for myself and my friends. you have committed the equivalent act of running up to a table in a coffee shop and screaming at someone that her opinion is inadequate. you are a stranger here. your comments are not welcome, nor are they appropriate. find another outlet for whatever impulse makes you believe that you have the right to attack others.”

the thread: kindness
so what do these instances have in common, besides showing that i can be a prickly little beast when i want to be? they are opposite poles on the kindness continuum. my husband is built around the near-pathological need to be kind to the people who matter to him. once, early in our romantic relationship, when we were really fighting for probably the first time since we met, he yelled to me you will never understand how important it is for me to be kind. his choice of the word “kind” was striking to me. it’s not a common word in this winter of our discontent, the 21st century. it’s almost retro in its classic connotation. a lot of people stress being “nice,” but no one is “kind.” the wiki page for kindness talks about ethics, virtues, values, and concern for others.

and friends, it is abundantly clear that next to no one is interested in kindness in 2015. for every observation you make – “i think this is fun,” “this is a tasty food,” “i feel like this today” – there is a veritable CHORUS of people who swing in and dismantle you for it. HOW DARE YOU THINK/LIKE/DO THIS THING THAT I DON’T LIKE YOU ARE SO DUMB AND I HATE YOU. it’s caustic as hell. that person found it overwhelmingly important to inject themselves into my discussion with y’all, unbidden and unwanted, and attack ME. then, when called on it, they doubled down. this is the way of the modern world.

this is not one of those calls for civility that hand-wringing serious people love to unleash when the so-called -wrong- people get upset about how they’re being treated. jonathan chait specializes in things like this: telling black feminists not to be so angry, telling social-justice twitter that they’re making it uncomfortable to be a white man, whining about how “political correctness” is ruining everything. well-placed anger is necessary and vital, not to mention a totally natural reaction to horrific mistreatment.

but the chorus of OMFG DON’T EVER PUT KETCHUP ON A HOT DOG or OMFG DON’T LIKE THAT FAMOUS PERSON is the same chorus that loves to trot out OMFG SHUT UP ABOUT POLITICS OFFENDED TWITTER IS SO STUPID DON’T BE SO BUTTHURT. [digression: we already had this argument in my corner of twitter about that word. i prefer “assruffled,” which one of our compatriots came up with as a joke. i don’t want to rehash it; suffice it to say i am not a fan of the term and i think it says something about the user, rather than the target.] actual social problems are met with eyerolling and dismissal; small, personal preferences are decried as mortal sins. so many people are interested in viciously demonizing the mundane, ignoring the serious and impactful, and savagely turning their backs on what rep. john lewis calls the “beloved community” or what charlie pierce calls the “commonwealth.” we don’t give a tinker’s damn about each other in the aggregate. we really do not. some blame the internet for it, and i think that’s the most facile fake reason ever. the internet just gives people a chance to show who they really are.

no one cares about kindness except my husband, it seems. everyone cares about rightness, about the sanctity of their opinions, and the right to demonize everyone who stands in the way of spraying that opinion on anyone chosen as the target. anti-vaxxers. those video game people whose “movement” shall not be named, lest those jerkoffs show up in my mentions. climate-change deniers. chris kyle defenders, who like to call women the c-word and wish beheading on all who dare to mention that chris kyle was a terrible person. all of these are symptoms of the most modern of diseases: the overwhelming lack of kindness. the same instinct that drives people to randomly crawl into someone else’s social media space to demonize them for no reason drives so many other problems with this country.

kindness matters. it doesn’t ask for much but an open mind. it’s such an important part of a society that really has each other’s back and cares about mutual success. and it’s really not something we have in america anymore. i appreciate it so much in my home life that i miss its presence in external life that much more. the loud casual cruelty of 21st-century america and the fierce demand for individual accommodation has choked out any sense of “we’re in this together” like a rogue invasive species. if we ever want to get over a lot of our troubles, we’ll quit screaming at each other about our food preferences and individual emotional states and start focusing on the ways we can be kinder – more ethical, more concerned about one another. no self-serving “allyship” that elevates the actor rather than the group being hurt. no self-righteous lording of MY WAY IS BETTER over others. just a genuine concern for the well-being of one another.

are you feeling kind?


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itch

so apparently it takes a windchill of -10 or so to shake me out of my writing doldrums, but there ya go.

i’ve been away for awhile, it’s true. a lot of the blog-cohort i came up with either just doesn’t do it anymore or has moved into a more professionalized mode of writing. in my case, i just… don’t have much to say anymore that’s new or different. my life is comfortable, within its constraints: marriage and home life, contrary to what the psychochristians will have you believe, is not interesting to others. the man and i do not live a jet-set life. it’s small, cozy, nice, and completely boring to anyone who isn’t us. y’all do not want to know about our inside jokes and silly little daily things. you also do not want to know about how much outrageous acts of science and how it’s made we watch. the man built us a spreadsheet to track our progress towards watching all 302 episodes of how it’s made. that’s how real it is, and that’s how thoroughly uninspiring comfortable married life is. great for the soul; hideous for your audience.

well, if i haven’t bored you beyond reason yet, thanks for sticking around on this.

i get itchy every winter i live here in dubai-on-the-potomac, both literally and figuratively. the winters get drier and colder each year, which is wreaking a hundred shades of unholy havoc on my mid-30s skin. the humidity this morning in my corner of the metro area was 29%. by contrast, it is 89% humidity at home in mobile. i am dessicating from the inside out up here. but the figurative itching kicks into high gear when it’s cold.

i moved to DC for the first time during the old life, in august 2002, and was here for five years. i felt the pinch of being too broke to actually live here even then, but we were young and stupid and it somehow didn’t matter. then we left, went to louisiana, and the fully-formed adult me hatched, pecked the old life to death and flew away. i crash-landed back here in DC in the summer of 2010 with no plan beyond the $70,000 price tag on the year of school i was about to start. and somehow, about 85.6% of things have straightened themselves out. love? check. job? check.

but then there’s that pesky little problem of house, kid (?), and economic security. and that’s where the itch becomes unbearable. i do not believe that we can be secure and comfortable here. i think we can maintain a nice set of living activities in this place, but we are simply not wealthy enough to get settled, solid and secure. we saw a financial advisor the other day, just to get an idea of some of the things we need to work on to get our goals in sight. that man actually looked at me and said, “can you get a second job? can you change careers? you’re a lawyer, right – can’t you get a better-paying job than… this?”

i know two people here who own their own homes. one of them, haha, is my ex-husband, who got a great deal on a 1-bedroom condo and qualifies for all those sweet first-time homebuyer programs. the other one out-earns the man and me combined on his own by a factor of 1.5, and also has wealthy parents who helped with his down and helped pay off his schooling.

if we want to be comfortable, we need to leave. but we can’t leave. i could take my job and my salary anywhere in the country with the blessings of my bosses, no issue. but the man’s job doesn’t move, and his niche is so specialized that it would be impossible for him to make even 60% of what he makes here anywhere else. he also has this really nasty habit of actually liking this godforsaken place. he’s lived here since 1998. even though he generally dislikes most people in the unknown aggregate, he says he loves all the things there are to do in this town. he has lived in DC almost as long has he’s lived everywhere else combined. so he is comfortable here.

and the itch goes on. i look at real estate listings far and wide, in warmer, smaller, better places than this. we could do so much more if we weren’t here. but unless we could get the man a job somewhere else, it wouldn’t work. and he wouldn’t go anyway. he would rather watch outrageous acts of science in a $2,500 a month apartment here than a $1,000 a month house in a smaller city. and he’s not wrong. the only way for us to earn enough money to prepare us to manage the consequences of my school loans is to stay here and earn like we do.

at this point, i think it’s apparent that i will never like this place. i am not a fan of hyper-gentrification; i dislike the heartless wealth-wielders who have knocked down most of the area and rebuilt it all with granite countertops and a snide middle finger for anyone who can’t pay $2,000 for a studio apartment. in the aggregate, the population of this place is loud, rude, self-important, ill-mannered, and thoughtless. i can’t tell you how many concerts, movies and sporting events that the people here have wrecked for me with their boorish, hideous behavior. one screeching group of jerkoffs chased us around the general-admission balcony of a jason isbell concert loudly screaming at each other and not giving a tinker’s damn whose night they ruined. so many people here care solely and exclusively about themselves. i hate it so much.

but you can’t always get what you want, and you can’t always escape what you hate. i would love to be warm again. i would love to live somewhere else, somewhere that isn’t so drunk on its own destructive ambition that it destroys everyone who isn’t rich enough to buy a way around it. i would love to have a home of my own with a little yard and a tree. but people like us don’t get space and privacy in dubai-on-the-potomac. you get what we give you, and you’re happy to get it, because it’s an honor to live here, so recognize it as such. and if i hadn’t spent so much money on law school on the promise that it was still a smart decision to get a law degree, maybe i’d be able to escape a little easier.

i’ve made my frozen bed. i married a man who’s married to DC. i bought too much schooling to afford anything resembling security, and i won’t be free until i pay at least five figures (probably six) in tax on cancelled debt in 20 years. i don’t have the cash for the $50,000 or more in child care bills i would have to pay if we had a kid. so as the temperature sits at 10 degrees, with a windchill of -2, i itch. i know that scratching this itch will only hurt me in the end; if you scratch too hard, you bruise up. and right now, there is no balm. i don’t know if there ever will be.

i may feel better when the summer comes. things may look better when it’s warm out. but as the deep freeze sets in, it’s hard to feel anything else but this itch. the sooner i learn to live with this, the better off i will be.


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buffer zone

[for background reading, hit up the fine folks at SCOTUSblog. #teamlyle all the way.]

in a unanimous decision, the nine justices of the united states supreme court struck a blow for that oh-so-endangered concept: the right of angry despicable anti-science bastards to scream at women who have the unmitigated temerity to exercise their constitutionally-protected right to medical care.

and i am angry. i am so, so angry.

i do not believe that human life begins at conception. let’s start there. i do not believe that because that comes from religion. religion is an optional belief structure that people choose to follow because they like it. that does not make it true. but somehow, we’ve allowed people who have chosen an optional set of beliefs to define our reality. we grant an immense amount of respect in this culture to stories told in books that have no provable basis in fact. and that mythology drives what happened today.

the startling naivete of the supreme court in characterizing anti-choice protestors as kind counselors is APPALLING. if you’ve ever gone to a planned parenthood clinic, regardless of what you’ve gone for, you’ve seen their faces. even here in DC, women are set upon by loud shouting: DON’T KILL YOUR BABY! their male companions: REAL MEN DON’T MURDER THEIR CHILDREN! there are gory, blood-spattered images – which have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REALITY OF ABORTION – meant to shock. people drag their children out with duct-tape on their mouths and yell LOOK AT THE LIFE YOU’RE ENDING!

they call you slut. whore. murderer. sinner. kind counseling, that. and that’s if you’re lucky. it can be far, far worse.

and by god, that’s okay with the supremes, it seems. those people’s rights to terrorize are more important than my right to medical care.

we hate the westboro baptist church, as a collective society. we hate those horrible, dour people who yell GOD HATES [other f-word]S and tell people that their kids are going to hell for being killed in war. we decided as a nation that it’s not ok for them to yell things like that at people. but where’s the same respect for women? where are our patriot guard riders, who block out the screams of the despicable, twisted zealots?

nowhere, that’s where. the puritans “founded” north america (read: stole it from the folks who were already here, but you get it), and it shows to this day. no one really wants to stand for sexually active women. no one speaks for us. sexually active women have to follow rules, to be hush-hush about it. we have to deal with the fact that STILL, in 2014, we are living under the shame complex of repressive religious fervor that’s imbedded in america’s DNA so deep i doubt we’ll ever be able to root it out.

and because of that, women who spread their legs will never be fully human, unless those legs are spread in the context of procreative marriage. how dare you demand to utilize science and facts to take charge of your own bodily autonomy, woman? nope. women like us, society says, earn whatever ills befall us in the context of sex.

  • if you get raped, you deserve it.
  • if you get pregnant, you deserve it.
  • if he leaves you, it’s your fault.

and of course, those “kind counselors” are there to point out the error of your ways, daughter of eve.

it really, seriously makes me wonder if women will ever attain full humanity in the eyes of our government. it’s corrosive to wake up in this environment, to know how fully your personhood, to borrow a term from the “kind counselors,” is stolen from you every day under the laws of your own nation. WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUYS. we denounce islamist regimes for their hideous anti-woman practices, but we do a lot of the same thing with a prettier face on it. we use religion to deny women full humanity. if men could get pregnant, said george carlin, abortion would be a SACRAMENT. he was right.

my own government puts more value in the rights of the zealot to terrorize me under the auspices of his own mythology than it does in my right to control my body. it makes me wonder what part of “the land of the free” actually applies to me. if i wanted to live by the rules of the bible, i’d be a christian. but the separation of church and state is supposed to make it possible for me not to have to live my life under the diktat of a religion that isn’t mine.

not today. not in 2014. maybe not ever.

where’s my protection? where are my rights? when do i matter?


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disaster

[soundtrack]

ok, lana, you win – i’m listening to your music. i mentioned lana del rey, the music glitterati’s favorite new love-hate obsession, yesterday. i’ve always got the sense that her whole trip is a performance-art character study on how young women seem to love playing at disaster-tragic-violent-sexy.

i am a grown-ass woman, as i remind y’all often. i am basically in my mid-30s at this point, with a managerial position in a professional services firm that earns a half-billion in revenue every year. i am a lawyer, which pretty much makes me the textbook definition of THE ESTABLISHMENT.

but i passed an accident scene on the way home from work today. the cop directing traffic was standing in my lane, so i slowly merged over and rolled past. he snippily tweeted his whistle at me, pointed and yelled COME ON, YOU’RE TOO SLOW. and as soon as i was out of earshot, i unleashed a torrent of invective that would’ve made NWA blush.

why? because I’M A REBEL, MAN. at least, i was when i was a kid. and i still feel like that same person. i will loudly and proudly sing “baby, i’m an anarchist” (even though i’m really a spineless liberal, when you get right down to it). i hate authority, even as i hold a number of professional affiliations that make me authority. and i know full well that i am not alone in this feeling. most people i know my age and older feel most at home with themselves when they’re talking about the things they loved as teenagers.

[though i admit i may have taken this further than most by marrying my high-school best friend. but i digress.]

and of course, the decade of one’s twenties is that teenage impulsiveness wedded with, in most cases, full autonomy and some disposable income. you can make biblically huge mistakes with (in most cases again) plenty of ability to recover from them without severely ruining your life. i spent my twenties in a first marriage, but i even had a streak of fuck-it-let’s-party in me. my favorite picture of me and my ex-husband was taken in the parking lot of my dad’s hotel right after our wedding. daddy was in a “you can’t smile in pictures, i use black-and-white film” art-photography phase then. i can’t find the actual shot, but it’s me with my arm over my ex’s shoulders. he’s dead-on facing the camera, i’m looking over my right shoulder. neither of us is smiling – we look VERY MATURE AND GLAMOROUS.

i look like, honestly, every picture of lana del rey i’ve ever seen.

del rey, and a lot of pop artists i’ve been introduced to as an adult, are interesting to me in ways i didn’t expect them to be. when you run across art that revels in glamorized tragedy/violence/louche misery as a teenager, all you see is the glamour. i loved tarantino movies as a teenager in part because of the dirty, stylized outlaw feel going on.

but when you look at the same kind of art after you’ve grown up, lived life and seen tragedy, you see beyond the glamour. you can see lana del rey playing at sadness. you can hear the utter exhaustion in kanye west’s voice in “no church in the wild.” yeah, last night was mad real, but as a thirty-something, you hear the unspoken “and i have no idea why the hell i’m doing this anymore” behind all the sex and money. [“watch the throne” is, to a great extent, a perfect example of glamour-tragedy that reveals its fatigue with itself as you age.]

i will bet solid money that every woman who reads this post has had, at one point in her life, a fantasy life of being a rich, strung-out, tragic disaster of a skinny glamour girl (skinny because beauty standards are a bitch). i’m sure there’s a similar thought process for guys; i can’t write it because i don’t know it. all i know is that i’ve been the anti-heroine of my own mental film noir before in my life. if you’ve ever been clinically depressed to any extent, you recognize the seductive power of misery, too. that’s all tied up in this analysis. when you’re down, pain becomes alluring.

i think lana del rey gets all the scrutiny she does for two reasons. a) she’s not that great a live performer, from the clips out there, so she’s a total studio creation; b) she is one of the most up-front performers i’ve seen in awhile about being a fully-created character with no real humanity underneath it. and in 2014, with our obsession with honesty/authenticity/BEING REAL WITH EACH OTHER, that doesn’t play as well as it may have back in the day when every performer was a little bit fake. i mean, every damn tom waits song on the planet stars him being a total shabby drunken wino mess, one hair’s-breadth away from being homeless under a bridge. but he’s considered a legend (for good damn reason, too). if he was pulling that in 2014 for the first time instead of 1974, i wonder if it’d play as well.

in a way, it’s like the punk hyper-obsession with not being a sellout has infected everything. that’s my least favorite part of the punk scene, besides the groping-girls-in-the-pit thing. and that’s why i find lana del rey enjoyable. she’s performing a fantasy that most people understand. disaster-tragic is not that far from most of us, even as grown people. she lets us crawl back into that dirty cocktail gown in the back of our imaginations, try it on for old time’s sake, and remember when it was easier to be a mess. but it’s also a reminder of how exhausting disaster is. that sun-coming-up-5:00AM, wonder-if-they-got-cabs-still feeling is fun for a minute, but it’s also soul-drainingly fatiguing.

every once in awhile, you just want to be the strung-out girl in the back of the car, lost and tragic. it’s best that this happen in the confines of a pop fantasy.


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modern art

what the internet has taught me, vol. CXDVII: every single working musician, actor, performer, athlete, celebutante, or other category of person placed before us in the entertainment arena is the world’s worst person, worthy of at least some degree of castigation and scorn for some level of hideous behavior.

[and no, i have no idea if that’s even a real roman numeral – i made it up. but i digress.]

now that tony gwynn, who was a genuinely wonderful, genial, happy, gentle soul by all accounts, is dead, i wonder if there will ever be another entertainer/athlete who will be remembered by all as a nice person who entertained us. we are in an era of extreme polarity of opinion, it seems. if you like it, there is a chorus of people to explain to you in vitriolically passionate detail how stupidly wrong you are for thinking that way, you LOSER. if you hate it, there’s a chorus telling you how stupidly wrong you are for thinking that way, you LOSER.

it is no longer possible to, for example, think lana del rey sings some pretty songs and is kind of vapid and uninteresting as a persona. you must have a passionate opinion about not just her work product, but her as a person/character/media creation/whatever. you have to be intrinsically dismissive or defensive.

are we ever going to be able to separate a person from his or her work again?

there was an element of this in the pre-ubiquitous internet days, to be sure. when i was a little kid, my second-favorite yankee behind donnie baseball was lou piniella. i got his autograph when i was a baby (although daddy swears the autograph is for him and won’t give me the signed ball, dangit). i really dug him. then someone – my ex-husband, i think – told me that piniella was a rather large donor in the early days of operation rescue, of all things. y’know, the anti-choice terror organization that “defends life” by violently attacking and killing doctors. ever since then, i’ve never felt the same way about lou piniella. every time i see his face, i think of murdered doctors. kinda shatters the illusion of baseball grandeur, you could say. and honestly, i’d rather know something like this about someone. it helps me decide where to spend my fan-dom.

but the so and so is too egotistical/vapid/unoriginal/original/sexual/asexual etc. etc. etc. fever pitch is too much to take. artists and athletes have been jerks in their private lives since time immemorial. they’ve also been nice, boring, weird, etc. since time immemorial. it just never seemed to matter. people could separate art from artist, as it were. not possible anymore. stop yelling about every single famous person not being exactly the type/kind of person that you want them to be. if they’re not being deliberately evil (mel gibson, alec baldwin, gary oldman, that photographer guy – richardson?), let them be weird, annoying, aloof, etc. without filling the entire internet with think-pieces and screeds.

i think we all know a little too much. and i think it’s wrecking the ability of art/sport/entertainment to just be, y’know, entertaining. not everything has to be a serious debate. we don’t have to parse pop music like we should be parsing education policy. let people like what they like. wrinkle up your nose for a second if you don’t like it, then go on about your day.


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humming along nicely

when i’m basically happy, i have nothing to say. hence why this blog has been a ghost town for nigh-on two months.

i love my new gig. i’m happy in my marriage. i’m doing ok (not great, but ok) following doctor’s orders and recovering from the year of destructive work-hell. i love my new home – our townhouse is GLORIOUS.

I HAVE A DINING-ROOM TABLE, Y’ALL. i am so giddy about this i can’t stand it. but i digress.

so what the hell is there to talk about? i find the endless recounting of yep, still great! to be dull as all holy hell.

maybe this is the difference between being a writer and being a person who writes. i am a person who writes all the time. lately, i’ve been devoting my “writing” time to waking up my knowledge of french. i stopped studying french in 2000 for some reason, and i’m so rusty i don’t know where to begin. (thanks to lauren for the inspiration on that one – her #monthoflauren project totally kicked my tail into gear on picking up things i loved to do, but stopped doing for whatever reason.)

but as far as having thoughts to share? i’m kinda tapped out. when i was unhappy, or going through crazy changes in my life, or whatever, i had so much to say, so much to analyze. i needed an audience to help me figure things out, to reassure me that i wasn’t alone. happiness is a lot simpler than turmoil. it’s also dull as dirty dishwater to rehash.

so hence the radio silence. i’m doing pretty well. i hope y’all are too. and we’ll see where we all go from there. :)

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