Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I was speaking with a platonic friend of mine who was being very explicit about his sex life with his girlfriend. Because I have known him for so long, it did not occur to me to be uncomfortable until he asked me if I was, at which point I felt a little bit guilty.

Would the woman being discussed be offended if she knew that I was privy to the sordid details of her most intimate pastime? I really do not know. She and I are somewhat close, though not as close as I am with her boyfriend, since he was a good childhood friend. Does it matter that I am a woman? Should he even be talking about this to friends, or is it no one's business?

In an age when morals are flexible and relationships take varying forms, what boundaries are to be implemented in these situations? Especially since professionals all have different opinions about what constitutes healthy levels of openness.

If I had a boyfriend who talked openly with friends about how much sex we had, what type, etc, I would be really irritated, because it distributes something that I thought just belonged to me, cheapens it, and I would, of course, feel exposed. Though, I talk about sex with my girlfriends till the cows come home, so I would probably turn a blind eye. The thing I would find unacceptable is my significant other talking about sex with female friends, I'd like to think it wouldn't bother me, but I think in heterosexual relationships, these things really do matter. It puts the subject of sex on the table, and while I personally have never allowed to lead to unfaithfulness, one could imagine the possibilities.

With all that said, my feelings in this instance aren't necessarily mirrored by every woman on the planet, and certainly not every man. However, to keep the slate as clean as possible, I told me? No, but from here on out I will steer the conversation to more considerate territory.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I've talked a lot about vices on this blog, especially in regard to ones that affect our health, but today I am focusing on societal perceptions of addiction, and the kind of AA culture we currently live in.

This probably applies most directly to alcohol, and maybe pot, than anything else.

If someone regularly uses, say, crack cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, the compulsion to use and the effects of this use are so consistently bad with practically one hundred percent of users, that it's ridiculous to suggest that people who become addicted to it could ever develop a healthy relationship with that particular substance. You cannot expect to be successful, professionally or personally, while under the influence of one of those things.

However, do the same rules apply to marijuana, and alcohol? I think those can be measured by the impact they have on your life. I think people can be heavy drinkers or smokers without being addicts. While neither of those things are especially "good" for you, I think the attitude toward them can be adjusted if a person is found to be addicted.

While alcohol has addictive properties,  the draw to smoke weed and drink is much more emotional than that of the harder drugs listed above, which do comfort you emotionally, but with those, the need to use has less to do with circumstances and more to do with impulse. Alcohol, I suppose, can be dependent on either, but that's my point, many people could probably reorient the way they respond to life and their emotional triggers, and, I think, contrary to what a lot of addiction specialists say,  redefine the relationship to softer drugs, and thus how one uses them.

It's worth it to think of food or sex addiction for comparison. Many of us feel that we have an addiction to certain kinds of foods, for some it's sex with random people, yet we do not implement the same sets of rules, we acknowledge that after treatment people will continue to eat and have sex.

Why can't we format the way we think about alcohol in the same way? After writing this it has occurred to me that weed doesn't get the same wrap as a life ruining substance, but i'm pretty sure its excessive use has cost some people jobs. . . Comment and subscribe please.

Monday, October 29, 2012


While I understand that how a person comes to understand ethics is likely to change throughout his or her lifetime, I seem to be especially confused when it comes to how I should center my own life.

Our local cultures, our widespread media, our beautiful entertainers, our powerful politicians and other  bewilderingly impressive leaders send the most confusing messages on this topic.

Selflessness is often considered the highest of virtues in that it enables us to remove the pressures our ego allows us to enjoy life by experiencing it through  the joy we give to other people. Plus, it's just plain nice.

But, our modern way of thinking, particularly in America, which focuses heavily on individual rights and general individuality, completely opposes the previously mentioned system of morality. We have all heard "you have to do what's right for you," "just worry about yourself," and a whole host of attempts to beat down  co dependence. In hand with this often comes selfishness with a healthy helping of hedonism, at least it has in my own life.

Still, if I were to be totally selfless, I could be taken advantage of, in fact, my good will has been abused pretty extensively in the recent past.

So, what is to be done? How do we orient our lives in a way that is balanced?

Today is not about my wanting to make a specific argument, it is a genuine question. It could go in all sorts of directions: from very simple thoughts, to sharing personal experiences, to an argument on the interpretation of Jeremy Bentham's writing.

Your thoughts and experiences are always appreciated.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I hate hipsterism. I have said it once and I will say it again.

I know most people "hate" hipsters, but they don't seem to be going away, so someone is producing them. And by someone, I mean small radio stations, record stores, galleries, and other places meant for optimum smuggery.

Originality for the sake of originality can be so damn obnoxious, it becomes just another way to stratify society and ostracize certain groups.

One thing I hate about hipsters is the fact that they hate labels.

This hatred only applies to certain labels, however. They don't like terms like "bisexual,"nor do they want to be identified by race, ethnicity, or even gender. But hipsters do like telling you about how vegan they are. They also would also fuckin' love to tell you about psychological profiling, and they will repeatedly tell you how much you embody a  particular Briggs/ Meyers type.

They will also freely identify religious affiliation, so long as it isn't Christianity.

They prefer to use words no one else has heard of, in order to gain intellectual superiority, if only they themselves perceive it.

The spirit of sharing knowledge can be so hard to find among these kinds of young people. Knowledge becomes a weapon to use against others. It is hideous.

I want hippies back. Real hippies, not the ones that judge you for not being alternative enough. Just nice, peaceable, unshaven hippies.  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm not a super political person. I do have opinions, but I don't typically become this angry rage monkey about politics.

However, most people in my life, and these people can be categorized on all ends of the conservative to liberal spectrum, are very, very emotionally charged when it comes to these things.

I have spoken briefly about this before, but how wonderful would it be if we actually listened to the candidates that don't represent the party we normally vote for? When Mitt Romney comes to a podium, every democrat I know tenses up like someone just tried to put a stick or something in their butt. The same goes for Republicans with Obama. How can people who speak the same language interpret what one person says so differently? I know this is where human nature and selective hearing comes in, but seriously?  

Just listen, put predisposition aside for a while and really consider what is being said, and don't take it personally, law and politics are meant to be participated in by people who are capable of being objective, and we fail at this daily.

 Also, why do we pay such careful attention to what the wives have to say? I'm not so oblivious that I don't know why people care, older generations like familial people, people who implement values in both their professional and personal lives. But ultimately, they are a mere figurehead, they will not be interacting with congress or big businesses, bringing in a cabinet, or overriding the supreme court.

This is where our focus needs to be, on the individual being elected who will participate in the processes, we don't need lectures on what it means to be a moral person in a marriage...this detracts from the morality of single individuals, and their recognition as contributors...but that's for a whole 'nother post.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How we deal with death

There is this idea in Buddhism (well, at least it pertains to certain sects of Buddhism), that we should not avoid thinking about death, because when it does hit, it is more of a shock to the system.

I do not agree with this principle.

On one hand, death is inevitable, and we must, to a certain extent, accept it.

However, in the many years that we as humans live, our death is a very small part of those years, it does not merit as much focus as does our actual body of life does.

There is a contradictory ideal within Buddhist thought that suggests that rather than lending attention to thoughts that bother us for the purpose of letting go of those fears and worries, we should channel energy into meditation on other more positive things in the world.

I'm not saying you should never seek catharsis by sharing a concern with those you trust, or never think about dying, I am saying that when it comes to the depth of our analysis, we would do better to think of the wonderful aspects of life and be present in those wonders. That action begets positiveness in one's individual experience, as well as interpersonal experiences.

Regardless of how well you mentally prepare for death, whether it is your own or that of someone you love, it will be a bit of a shock, so investing too much time in that kind of preparation really seems unnecessary. I can understand a level of acknowledgement, acceptance, but we must prevent a phobic obsession from taking hold.

As a tangent to this topic, it should be noted that death in western culture is seen as a very dreary event. We would do well to look to the East and to Mesoamerican traditions which, when the time comes, embrace death, and appreciate this very natural transition.

This Halloween and All Souls Day, strive for an appreciation for the whole life cycle, do not let your ego take over, simply be a vessel of experience that seeks to marvel at both your individual life and the life of the universe as a whole.

I am not one of those f*cking gurus. I just thought I would share, since all Saints Day is coming up and I was thinking about it.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

New Age Spirituality

I've blogged about religion before and my opinions about it, and had made it clear that I am not religious nor am I irreligious. But I am a spiritual person, and yes, people effing HATE that word, but I don't care.

One thing that frustrates me are all these gurus, they pop all the time, and Oprah endorses 3/4 of them. These people have good intentions for the most part, but they are so convinced of these seemingly random, romantic, but esoteric theories of life happiness and the soul. And all of their philosophies deviate from others' in their field.

I don't think that these people, nor the Joel Osteens of the world are trying to pull a fast one on us, I think the sleep well at night because they genuinely believe what they are selling. But so much this just seems contrived, this odd form of wishful thinking that gets more and more creative as they go along.

The frustrating part I guess, isn't that each spiritual leader is different or even that they are thinking wishfully and avoiding logic, it's that they profess their beliefs with such conviction that it is both compelling and offensive.

Never ever have I heard of a guru whose teachings align perfectly with my own, and I rarely encounter everyday people who do either. So when these people who sound so sure of what they are saying get my attention, and they would not agree with my thoughts, I naturally question their legitimacy.

There isn't really a solution, this isn't necessarily a problem, it's just a frustration; having to agree to disagree on the really big questions of life. My one wish is that people would not force their beliefs on others, at least not at the dogmatic level. We can appreciate one another's intuition without analysis, and continue towards a more respectful society.

Vices parte deux

I'm watching "Super Size Me" and wondering if fast food is really so bad, or if it's just made bad by the portions in which it is served.

We all know it's low quality, and not the best for you, but is really any better than what you would find in a grocery store? It feels like the difference between a lean cuisine and a fast food meal, really are the portions.
I also wonder if the way we collect information about bad habits as far as health is concerned, is really accurate.

Alcohol has long been considered "bad for us" bad for our livers, and our brain cells. But alcohol, while it can be dehydrating, is also a blood thinner, just like the baby aspirin we are told to take to limit our chances of blocked arteries, strokes and heart attacks.  So, is it possible that we both drink and smoke, or drank and eat foods rich in saturated fats, would something get canceled out?

These health problems seem to be distinctly, though admittedly not exclusively, American. We overdo things. We overdo work mostly, that seems to be the biggest problem with health. Stress is directly linked to premature death and a myriad of diseases: heart diseases, cancer, and addictions. Everything is about productivity and as a result not only are we ridiculously stressed, but the products and services we provide in our businesses get cheapened, so that they are made more profitable. Soda, something as American as Coca Cola isn't even made with sugar anymore, not in this country at least, it's made with Corn Syrup.

The solution: This really isn't about dieting or limiting your tobacco and alcohol consumption, those things would become more moderate if our attitudes were better. We need to lessen our emphasis on work. Life is about life, it should be enjoyable, it's not about some achievement you can put on paper. Things like money and title are awesome, but they are not everything.

Body Odor

I was thinking about the way people smell and how that seems to translate, depending on the culture. Generally I think it's pretty gross (with a few notable exceptions, both male and female) If I can smell someone's armpit, or that greasy hair smell, it makes me want to gag. But, I have to wonder how much of that is societal.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it would make sense that we like the smell of other people, particularly people of the opposite sex. That usually isn't the case - why? Our sweat and sebum could be compared to the savory smells of cheese which wet our appetite. And why is it preferable that we smell like a flower and not like a human being?

Perhaps our repulsion is in line with evolution, maybe the things we smell under others' arms are the result or residual bacteria, or the the expulsion of toxins, neither of which are sexy or appetizing, they can be downright hazardous. It could be a territorial thing, we are often put off more by other peoples' stench than by our own- the same goes for other peoples' poop and fart smells. Don't act like you don't know.

Like many digressive thoughts, this could be pointless, I fail to see how exploring this would propel the scientific community into a series of studies which would objectively better the standard of living for mankind. UNLESS we discover that we can train our brain to like the smell of other peoples' unwashed skin, and find that is boosts the immune system, reduces insulin resistance, prevents the re-uptake of serotonin, and kills cancer cells...but I find that very unlikely - actually I don't know, how common is cancer, diabetes and depression in the middle east?

Until that discovery is made however, I will continue to launder wash and deodorize. I hope y'all will do the same.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Things I hate about being a girl

 Something I don't like: when people refer to my bag as a "purse". My grandmother carried a purse, purses have prescriptions, off-brand candy, old receipts and silverware stolen from restaurants. More than that, I think what I don't like about that word  is that it is distinctly feminine, and there are often times when I feel extremely uncomfortable with being womanly. The thing I carry might be pink leopard print with ruffles and I would still call it a bag because the gender neutrality names me comfortable.

Now, there are a couple different directions we could go with this, it could be that I resent society for making women seem weak, it could be a subconscious gender identity crisis (doubtful) or it could be that I am not comfortable with the kind of attention women typically get. Realistically, as much as I try to avoid thinking about it, it is the latter much more than either of the former.

This rule fluctuates though, for instance, I like flirting, I really do, but there always reaches this threshold point where I will pull away. This is by no means an uncommon phenomenon, but girls, why do we do this? I'm not talking about creepiness, just put that aside. If a guy asks for my phone number, I may or may not give it to him, if I like him, I will, but the chances of me letting me pick me up in his car, and go through the normal dating rituals are very slim, so I just don't call him back. This isn't digression I promise, because it's more than just dating and insecurities thereof, it's the pressure of filing a specific niche well.  I have dated a few guys, but never had a serious boyfriend, and this is why. I feel like if I don't look a certain way and act perfectly I have failed at being a girl. Does this make sense? This has caused an enormous amount of stress in my life.

What does it mean to be successfully female? Is this a healthy conversation for me to be having? Should I not be thinking of myself in terms of my gender, and characterize myself more individually? There are things about me that are incredibly girly; I'm emotionally a girl, my tastes in literature and film can be super girly, I like the company of other women in book clubs and stuff, but I am afraid that there is something in the way that I present myself that just comes up short. Whatever the shoulds are, I know that I feel pressure to be pretty, graceful, and just generally feminine, and I feel like I suck at it. If I were good at those things, I would be able to call my bag a purse.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Things I love

I love to write. I love how, not only words, but entire story lines, can flow through you onto a page or screen with fully fleshed out characters that your own subconscious has developed. Sometimes these characters are drawn from people we know, other times they are total stranger to us.

I love smells. I often wonder if people perceive aromas and colors the same way I do. Some of my favorites are jasmine, rose, gasoline, marinara sauce, coffee, pine needles, beer, freshly cut grass, cigars, laundry soap, firewood, the ocean, and body odor, depending on the person its coming from.

I love quiet babies. except the ugly ones.

I love music, all kinds really. There was a time when I hated elevator-type jazz, but even that I can associate with fond memories of working in an office. I like the sounds on tracks you aren't supposed to hear like fingernails on a guitar bridge, or a small burp under the microphone. Those things make a recording human and add to the actual composition.

I love when embarrassing things happen to other people. You might think this is mean spirited, and it is, but I also think it's funny when embarrassing things happen to me, though slightly less so.

Jalapeno poppers, and most savory junk food. This can easily be extended to Cheese-its and hot Cheetos. They are awful for you but, I don't care. It washes down best with a coke slushy or a Hansen's cream soda, f.y.i.

I love having people draw on my back and play with my hair, the best part of getting your hair done at a salon is the shampoo they give you, hands DOWN. I think I'm just one of those creepy people that really like being touched.

I love my friends and having heart-to-hearts, and the idea that I will make more of them before my life is over.

Men with stubble and unkempt brows

Thai food.

This could be a long ass list. more to come.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Halloween is awesome. I love the history associated with it, I love dressing up, and I love that being scared can be torturous fun. One thing I hate about holidays like Halloween is the pressure to have fun just because of the day it is on the calendar. When looking back at the past few years I can't help but be disappointed with what I ended up doing - there ends up being so much pressure to have a good time at one particular time that almost anything you do doesn't meet the expectations, especially because things like Halloween involve preparation, costumes and whatnot. Don't you hate that? This gets distributed to all matter of fun Holidays - N.Y.E. Independence Days, Summertime in general, Birthdays, and of course the most obnoxious to singletons V.Day.  Christmas and thanksgiving usually have the cushioning of family time, they're not those "get out there, dress up and party" type things.

This got me thinking about how there are so many things I have found difficult about the last few years, and while I am most certainly not alone in experiencing hardship, it makes me resent the idea that one's twenties are supposed to be the best time of their life. So far for me, it's just been one big impoverished and heartbroken identity crisis, if this life's best, we're in trouble.

 Hopefully our attitudes as a culture are changing, because, your whole life should be the best part of your life, there is fun to be had at every age, and there are inevitably ups and downs in each season. And, of course, the undo pressure of what "fun" is, often ends up sucking joy out of that which is supposed to be enjoyed and out of the things that are unexpectedly delightful.

Case in point: I love just talking, I could just talk for days. I don't have to be doing anything active, I don't have to be drunk, I would be perfectly contented on a Saturday night talking to a stranger at a coffee shop, or a friend in my living room. That is genuinely fun to me. But when I explained this to someone, they looked puzzled, "you're a young person, you should be out having a good time." That made my heart sink. Somehow my standard for an enjoyable time was beneath those that stood in bars trying to have sex. Make no mistake, I do like drinking and socializing, but I don't think it's any better than any other activity that one might partake  in to relax.

This is annoying for a couple reasons. One, because it presumes that there is only a few respectable ways to enjoy one's self, and that those ways, especially those specific to my age range, involve risk, brain damage and general irresponsibility. The second reason: I was made to feel bad about myself for that, that I had failed in the way I choose to spend my leisure time because my weekends don't always involve high heels and bar tabs. And what did this person know about me? Would they have said something different if I had been in AA or had trouble with drugs in high school? It's a dangerous norm we have set for young singles.

I guess my hope for this post is just that people would be less concerned with appearance in this way and more focused on the way an activity makes them feel. Stay in and play with a Dreide on Halloween if that's what lifts your spirits most. Knit by a fire in your twenties and party at clubs in your fifties if that suits you. So long as you're not harming anyone, who cares how you have fun, or with whom?


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: Bossypants

Today I am running through a list of books I have read in the last year, and since I can't have the book club I always dreamed of, I thought I might as well confer my opinions on this sad little blog. If by some miracle you have a comment, please leave it. If you haven't read this book, maybe this post will help you decide to.

Bossypants is a good starting point because I adore Tina Fey. And the book is hilarious, even if you're a man (you might not believe me).

What exactly makes it good? Like most memoirs, it's honest, and self deprecating. It offers period jokes at the beginning and things about towards Alec Baldwin at the end.

One problem I had with this book is that it seemed like the beginning really packed all the punch and as the story went on she got more and more matter-of-fact about her life - this is the opposite of most autobiographies I have read - usually childhood is the lull, it might include a bit about abuse and why that person is so fabulous now, but generally things get more exciting as the story progresses, I didn't necessarily feel that way about Bossypants. The strongest parts are her awkwardness growing up.

In her defense, if she hadn't included the bits about being exhausted on SNL, from trying to appeal to Lorne Michaels, and the launch of  30 Rock, her fans would not have been happy at all. And it is useful, she offers concrete advice to people entering showbiz, particularly girls who are ready to sabotage one another Mean Girls style.

I think you will enjoy this book the most if you go in thinking it's not meant to be funny, which is hard, considering the author. But really, towards the end, it kind of becomes a to-do manual, okay, maybe not that dry. Again, this could be because of my age, I can't relate to a lot of the things later in the book.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

smoking n stuff

I was thinking today about all the vices we have that may or may not take a toll on one's health. We eat poorly and drink heavily, those are extremely common ones, but why is it okay to chastise smokers? I'm not so sure it's worse for you, if done in moderation, than drinking daily or being obese. The difference has to be the number of lobbyists who get funding to work against big tobacco.

I suppose there is a culture around cigarettes that makes them unhealthy. They can be enjoyed at anytime during the day without affecting your productivity. They are smoked in conjunction with coffee, cocktails, meals, or just conversation.  If we took the attitude we had towards cigarettes and replaced it with the one we take with alcohol, things would be different.

Among people in my age bracket, it is much more socially acceptable to smoke weed than it is to have a cigarette. I cannot figure out why. There seems to be this myth that marijuana and mushrooms are 'natural' and tobacco isn't. You know what else occurs naturally? hurricanes. earthquakes. mean people.  The likelihood of getting any of the mentioned substances without any additives is slim. The effect on your lungs is going to be the same or worse with weed, and the altering of your brain chemistry is much more significant with weed than with nicotine or even alcohol.(

One argument I have heard is that cigarettes don't offer up any high, and thus they are a waste of bodily harm. Well, I think they offer about the same high as a cup of coffee, and I can say that from experience. Again, coffee isn't really bad for you...point is let everyone pick their own poisons. Our liberties are getting fewer and fewer in the political forum, let's maintain a little more acceptance in the cultural forum. I would like to be able to enjoy an occasional cigarette without a sneer, it is your prerogative to sneer if you chose to, but remember that what you're suckin' out of that bong with three four times the frequency, is just as bad if not worse.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Do you actually know anyone who has a functional relationship with a step parent? Because I really don't. I suspect there is an evolutionary device that prevents people from bonding with their partner's children if said children are not, in fact, their own.  I only bring this up because I really, REALLY, cannot stand mine. He is desperate to assert authority in whatever way he can, though he often fails; he was a main source of grief in my adolescence...and is to this day, he belongs in the category of infantile men.

Anyway, enough of that rant. Can we please talk about how hard it is to lose weight? I really feel like the ingredients in food are tainted, because the amount of work i have been doing should have done something by now. Stress doesn't help either, I am sure. I have a few gray hairs too, it's freaking me out. I sound so insecure right now.

Did you know earlier this week ( I believe it was yesterday) was one hit wonder day? Isn't that awesome?? I think my favorite one hit wonder is ... that is actually an excellent question. Nothing is coming to mind. I keep thinking o singers from the 80s, but none of them are technically one-hitters. Meatloaf, Toni Basil, Frankie goes to Hollywood...they all had actual albums didn't they? Maybe not Toni Basil.

Ooh, something irritating: this girl I was talking to today used the phrase "inspiring actor" but based on the context clues I tried to convince her that it was actually "aspiring actor" which she did not believe. It should not have annoyed my as much as it did...but it did. Other people's perception of things really bother me if they are not correct.

I really hope I find a job or win the lottery tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

voting and other things

Issue #1 Voting

I was recently watching Rachel Maddows. And when I say recently I mean a few weeks ago. She was acknowledging the decision many Americans make not to vote, and mentioned that it is the intention of many higher-ups to shrink the number of voters, thus making a single vote count as more. She implicitly convinced us to vote saying that if we choose not to it would be gratifying to these manipulative politicians.
I have to wonder though, if you really don't give a damn, you like or dislike all candidates equally, should you be pressured into voting? Why not leave it to those of us who actively care about issues dependent upon an election. It seems like letting those who care would be more effective at determining a president that the simple "because I can" attitude we have in place now. I love Rachel Maddows, and exercising one's rights is important, but at what price?

Other things: Yesterday I shadowed a door-to-door salesman. it was one of the most exhausting, disheartening things I have ever seen in my life. Many people were superficially nice and smiley. But you could see straight through their thin veil of kindness the urgency to shut the door and go back about their business. Others just slammed the door in our faces. I hate what this says about our culture.
I am guilty of similar behavior, in person, on the phone and everywhere else.
We are so protective of our material (assets we don't always need) that we are willing to forgo basic courtesy to other humans to maintain them. Suspicion is not a bad trait, but I  so wish we could use it sparingly.
We never know if the guy begging for change really is on his last leg and just needs a sandwich, or if he is about to die of heroin withdrawals, either way he needs cash. Maybe the person at the door really can get you a good deal...we don't know because none of us are willing to listen. We may humor one of these people per day, and label it our "good deed" and move on to be an asshole the rest of the time. Those people who slammed the door in my face don't know that I am an aspiring author who will likely write an eerily familiar description of them and their house into my book, similar address and everything.

Let's give being genuinely nice a try, not superficial, saccharin-y sweet gestures that makes us feel better momentarily. Ok? Thanks.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Infantile Men

My most current pet peeve is based upon the number of men I encounter in both the professional world and in my personal life who seem to think it perfectly acceptable to act like a child - I prefer the adjective infantile, as it implies that not only did these men not bother to grow up all the way - they have demonstrated that they have not grown up at all. This has nothing to do with living at home or being semi dependent on your family, to me there is nothing dishonorable about that. This is about being rude, and being okay with being rude. I find that this manifests in two major ways:

First way is in lacking common courtesy. Circumventing pleases, thank yous and excuse mes does not make you appear more authoritative and manly. It makes you look like an awkward asshole who never went to kindergarten. Instead, let's try being polite to everyone, whether or not they are attractive or can make you money, it will get you laid and make everyone less prone to road rage. Got it? Great.

Second display of male childishness - short tempers. This is the big one. Allowing yourself to snap - verbally or physically - is the single most unattractive trait in a man. Making someone feel threatened - particularly a woman or child to whom you are related, is absolutely disgusting. Part of this I understand is cyclic testosterone, and I get that. But most of it is this societal acceptance of a really effed up idea of masculinity. Even though contemporary America is pretty aware of the damages of domestic violence, there still is this permission granted to men to be bossy, to wear the pants, to show anger, rather than be bossed around (dare I suggest that equal negotiation might be best?) Doing this at home and at work - and directing this metaphorical pronouncement of testicular ownership toward women - is definitely a theme I have picked up on in the past few years. This does not apply to all men, to be fair. There are plenty who manage their anger and perceived authority with grace and dignity. But, there a a notable few who ruin it by being totally insecure with themselves.

My request is this: those of you who lose your mind over little things and turn toward a woman, who you likely look at as the path of least resistance toward an emotional punching bag, need to get your shit together, because it is not okay. I hate the idea of playing the victim, but the fact is that these bullies exist in full force, and their asses need to be whipped into shape.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

debt and the toll it takes

Firstly, sorry about going AWOL, I had a really rough week.

I hope any readers I have took time to remember those lost eleven years ago today.
Down to business,
I am in debt. probably only about  $2,000 worth, but it's enough that I can't sleep at night, especially since I am unemployed, and said amount does not include impending student loan payments. 

What makes this all so interesting is that I used to be very fiscally conservative, and think that a free market economy was the moral ideal - I am not longer sure I think this way. I can't help but feel a lustful jealousy creep inside me as I read about these decadent celebrities getting paid absurd amounts of money, amounts no one could possibly need, while I am breaking my back to make ends meet.   

Now, if I were to win the lottery, would I still feel this new burning liberalism? I don't rightly know, I think it's safe to say I am not a communist, I understand different roles take different skill sets, and not all are equal. But I do think I am socialist-leaning. I cannot, for example, understand why we have a socialized military but not a socialized health care system (we'll see how obamacare fairs). 

But there needs to be higher minimum wage, and more jobs need to be created. Something has got to be done, because if I watch one more episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians and see how much money they make to be functionally retarded on camera I am going to go ballistic. 

Should there be a cap on total salary earned? I tend to think so, we cannot allow the 1% to stockpile all our resources while the rest of the world squirms for them.

I may be exaggerating a little when I say "squirms for them," this is not to say I think rich people are bad; people are successful generally because they work hard, or at least work intelligently. And there is nothing wrong with having a bit of a discrepancy between the rich and the poor, it happens, we get it. But this outrageous gap that we have right now really needs to be curbed, and fast. I'm not talking about the Bill Gateses of the world who are inventive and make their money that way. I am talking about people who are salaried- if your earnings are not based on sales, and you make millions of dollars a year, WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? What magic abilities do you have that the rest of us can't learn?  Can you maybe decide to accept ONLY  a million or two? What is it that some of these big CEOs are doing with a $25 million salary? Building a bridge to the moon? I just let my anger stew when I think about the education their children will get, the vacations they take, the clothes they wear, boats, planes, cars, the list goes on.

All this is my way of saying, once again, that life is kicking my ass, and I think others are having a hard time too.



Monday, September 3, 2012

Heartbreak and healing.

If my posts are starting to seem a little sloppy, it's because I am making an effort at leaving my thoughts unfiltered and with limited editing.

Today's theme is heartbreak. I recognize that this in not an exclusively female problem, but a lot of what I am about to say will be more relevant to a woman's perspective.

This is incredibly unoriginal, but I don't care.

I hate the way most guys think. I hate being a second-rate, convenient placeholder in their lives. They haven't found someone worthy of partnership so they use you to fulfill whatever needs he may have, part of it is my age bracket, but a lot of it is permanent douche-bagginess.
I hate to mope, but at this point is seems quite obvious that there is some flaw about me. The way I look, or my personality or both, but there is something about me that makes me secondary, excludes me from common courtesy. I could be politically correct and talk about how everyone is special, but the truth is that some people are more attractive than others, and I am not the cream of the crop and I am so tired of feeling inadequate.

I'm not sure that there is any moral to this story, I think I am just hoping someone will read this and relate to it. There have been two major heartbreaks in my life, both of which have contributed immeasurably to my spoken-about depression, and it makes me angry, and jealous of people, particularly other girls, who have never been affected by this, they exist - I know them. When I say 'contributed' I mean in a humongous, life-changing way; I have a whole new host of new insecurities, I avoid things I used to love because they provide reminders - and this was YEARS go. It's pathetic.

How do you move on? How do you decide not to care?

I have made the unwise decision to stay in touch with my ex, and it kills me. I don't like asking detailed questions about his life because I know he dates other women. It is unhealthy, and I don't know how to rebuild.

I am dying to know what your experiences are, all of my "offline friends" are tired of hearing about it, so I have stopped bringing it up.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Panic, Anxiety, Depression

Today's post touches on the topic of mental health, or lack thereof.

As always I will say my two bits and invite others to share their experiences/knowledge/opinions, if they care to.

My first experiences with anxiety occurred when I was in the first grade, I believe I had just turned seven. I began having waves of panic, often they were related to religious themes...going to hell for sin etc, other times they manifested as hypochondria - I was convinced I had AIDS and many different types of cancers at various times in my grade school career.

Puberty was also unkind to my neurotransmitters. I began having what I can now recognize as depressive episodes at age 11, crying fits and feelings of hopelessness which only got worse up through high school.
The guilt and fear of disease was not replaced, it acted in rotation with the new depression.

When I was eighteen I began dabbling with drug use, which is the worst thing you can do if you get anxious or depressed. This is when I began having legitimate panic attacks. This was no longer just feelings of preoccupation, this was me feeling like I should call the hospital.  Pounding heart, tingling limbs, and an inexplicable sense that I was removed from myself. I sought help from a doctor in the form of SSRIs,which did help, but I am still not back to where I was before.

Here's the thing, before these anxiety attacks happened, I had learned to cope with the other forms my depression took. I had managed to bolster myself into a pretty fearless individual; there were very few things I was afraid to do.  But, since that fateful period in my freshman year of college, I have gone through all sorts of phases with this anxiety; it has weakened me in ways I never though possible. I would panic while driving... being in a bar at night, even with trusted friends and family, made me so incredibly uncomfortable: partially because being in an unfamiliar place was more unsettling than it had been, but I had also developed the fear of being poisoned, and if you think that sounds like paranoia, I'm pretty sure you're correct. I was bordering on agoraphobia as well.

I am now 24 years old, and it has gotten better, I have learned to calm myself in most situations. I am not 100% recovered though, and I don't know if I ever will be.

I have learned my limits with substances. I do drink a bit, but everything else does not sit well with my brain chemistry. This is not a cautionary tale about drug use, I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back, but not the root cause. If you choose to use recreational drugs, that is your business.

I am terrified. Most of my friends and family know I have this problem, or at least have some vague idea. A lot of them think I am a drag because of it, which obviously hurts my feelings because I don't want to be, and I really did used to be so much fun. I wish more than anything I could go back to confident person I was before. But, I am doing my best to be optimistic, and hope for the best everyday.

I will likely do a part two to this focusing more on the depression than the anxiety.

If you have any advice, or questions or comments, please do share.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Religion (uh oh)

To be clear, my posts are never intended to hurt or ridicule anyone. When I write these blog posts, it is because I have stumbled upon a topic that interests me/has interested me. Today I am just going to state my viewpoint.

I grew up catholic. When I got into college I gave nondenominational Christianity a shot. This is not coming from someone who has never been exposed to organized religion, I have; I have been baptized, reconciled and confirmed. I know what I am talking about.  Recently it has occurred to me what Christianity actually is. Someone hands you a book and says "this is the word of god, live your life by it," you flip through it, maybe get a warm fuzzy, and just take people's word for it that that is directly from god, nothing has been lost in translation, there have been no edits, no politics, just God. I know now that that idea is pretty much crap. There are many versions of the bible for those reasons. The first testament began as oral tradition which was eventually consolidated, and the gospels were written decades after Jesus' death. The first version of the bible was not compiled until the 5th century at Nicea. People might argue that we take other ancient text with the same amount of seriousness. Aristotle, for example. And that's true, the difference is that Aristotle didn't necessarily make outrageous claims, he simply presented logical reasoning. No one is asking you to base your life on Homer and Aristotle the way they are the Bible. I am not as familiar about the history of the Qur'an, but I would take that and various Buddhist texts with the same grain of salt.    

Now, I sit in the categories of agnostic and/or religious pluralist. I know that that sounds wish-washy and annoys the shit out of people, but I don't care. My reason for this viewpoint is that I feel like there is no way, at this point in human existence, of being sure what exists and doesn't exist. You could say there is no solid proof of the existence of God, and you would be right about that, but that doesn't mean that there isn't one or several entities in the universe that embodies one or a few of the characteristics we traditionally attribute to God. There is nothing we know about the origins of the universe that can totally deny the existence of a deity, so it makes no sense to me to actively disbelieve something; atheism isn't for me.
It also happens that I think most world religions have some nugget of truth in their messages, some more than others maybe, but that doesn't matter.

I have also heard the argument many times that in order to live more fully you must discount the possibility of an afterlife. That has never been the case for me, I take the most comfort in ambiguity. It's not that I am counting on an afterlife for my second chance, but if I focus exclusively on the fact that this is my one shot, I am not inspired, I get depressed and think about death. So I just try not to obsess either way, I just say "is what it is".

As always, comments are encouraged

What are your thoughts on Spirituality and why?


Friday, August 31, 2012


Today's theme is bisexuality.

 I'm curious about how common so-called sexual fluidity is. Supposedly, it occurs somewhat frequently among women, though I know quite a few male bisexuals. Would I ever have sex with a woman? I have kissed women, and it was enjoyable. It wasn't gross or threatening, (it also wasn't mean to impress anyone). But if I am being honest, I'm pretty secure with my heterosexuality. I have no romantic inclination towards women and am not even actively attracted to them, if I see a pretty girl I am much more likely to want to exchange beauty tips and share that sisterly bond than to tongue her down. The only woman who has ever turned me on is the "Shane" character from the L Word, but I think that has to do with the fact that she was so androgynous, if not masculine. I sort of assume many female bisexuals are trying to achieve a certain amount of cache with a young, hip demographic, (or men) though I don't think this applies to all of them...but think about David Bowie in the 60s who later revealed himself to be comfortably straight, was it genuinely a period of self discovery, or a ploy for attention? You decide.

I think the male bisexual is a much more enigmatic creature. I find myself questioning their motives, for some reason. I am friends with two men who describe themselves as bisexual "with a strong preference for women". This made me think about Ancient Greeks, and the role pederasty played. This kind of sexual activity did not usually fall under romantic love, it was more of a mentoring activity between a young man and an older, more authoritative man, (who would always top). Perhaps the actual sex wasn't mentoring, that should be reiterated. As a part of that relationship, the apprentice-type younger man would service his guide. This says a lot about the connection between masculinity and sex more than it does about love or orientation.  I feel like that applies to many modern, male bisexuals. Not that it's any of my business what people choose to do with their bodies, but it is somewhat curious. One of said friends said he "prefers twinks" when he is with a man.  This, I think, would support my theory, and there is of course the stereotypes regarding what happens in a prison. I also sometimes think "bisexual" is a halfway stop for coming out as gay.

Again, none of this is my business, but it is an interesting thing to chew on.

What do any readers I might have think of bisexuality, is it offensive? Does it cheapen the gay community and make light of the choice many have made to come out? I sometimes think so. Comments are welcome as always.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Here we go again.

I know am talking to an empty theater, but I would rather at least try to get heard than sit on my ass and be sorry I never gave it a shot.

This is my second post after the Reboot of my blog. Initially, I was going to post only on Mon, Wed, Fri, but now I'm thinking I need to kick it up a notch and post every day.

I have thought of more things to rant about.

First order of business is unemployment. I am fresh off the school train and have been looking for a job with NO success (while working in publishing is my priority, I have to try and pay some of my bills while I build up my readership from scratch). What does it take to get a job nowadays? I have applied to nearly every establishment I have entered in the past four months, harassed them with phone calls daily, and still no luck. I would prefer retail, temping, or waitressing, etc, but am willing to do custodial work, fast food, seriously, any job you can sling me would be a blessing.

Now that that is off my chest, I am going to be grateful for something. (I think this is going to be the format for this blog- something to hate and something to love every day)

I love stand up comedy. The raunchier the better...well not always, but a lot of time the more sordidly sexual items can illicit a response. I love that there are so many female comediennes that have found success in the past twenty years; Ellen Degeneres, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler...and let's not forget our old school champions like Joan Rivers. There are of course men who are funny too, my personal favorites lie on opposite ends of the spectrum Eddie Izzard and Jeff Foxworthy...yes, I know, shut up. I also love Eddie Murphy in the 80s- "A goony goo goo" - shit's hilarious. I admire people who just go balls to the wall and risk it all, I was in drama in the 9th grade and I had panic attacks regularly.

I think an appropriate addition to this format would be the inclusion of questions at the end.

Today's Are:

Have you felt the brunt of unemployment, if so, how?
What do you think of Stand up Comedy? Do you find it obnoxious or genuinely funny? Who are your favorite Comics?

Well I can hear the crickets chirping...I better stop writing.

struggles of writing and readership today - a rambling

Hello anyone who may have accidentally stumbled upon this blog,

I am Penny Copper, and no, that is not my real name. Today is a special day, today I am going to rant about all the difficulties surrounding making it in the writing world. A lot of what will be said is Captain Obvious material, but I'm saying it anyway, so deal. Let's not eff around and get down to it.

1. This one is a no-brain-required one: there are people who are willing to help you, but they are so few in comparison with the people who are looking out for their own skins, it's all about competition, I guess. I don't know who I can trust to review my material before it goes to print (no one in personal life is really qualified.)
2. Reading and Writing appeals to individual taste, but people confuse this with intellectual capacity. Just because I like urban fantasy and paranormal romance does not mean that I am stupid; I can totally appreciate the importance Nietzsche, Kant and Aristotle and I get the relevance of the beat generation, but I also understand that those things are not-so recreational. For leisure, I want something a little less mentally taxing (that's not to say that fantasy and romance NEVER yield a didactic purpose), and, lets face it, less boring, if you think that's silly: I NEVER ASKED YOU. Writers and readers are constantly trying to one-up each other by calling others dumb and unoriginal, which is just unnecessary, all you have to say is "not my cup of tea". This is why I hate hipster culture. Doing something for the sake of originality and/or intellectual superiority breeds not only insincerity, but plain old hostility, ergo, childlike insecurity and lower quality writing.
3. Because of the first two, those of us who are struggling to break into the industry have a HELL of a time trying to network.
4. Most of us are broke. The end. We cannot afford to pay off our student loans, let alone for advertising.
5. A lot, if not most of us, are hyper-emotional beings. We write for catharsis. Even if it's not something we are recognized as being good at, there is something that draws us to it. That being said, when we fall, we fall hard, and it hurts. 
6. This one is shocking: Some of us are...wait for it...WOMEN. I know, but you can handle it. There seems to be this myth swirling around that sexism is dead, and um, I think that is falser than false. This is coming from someone who used to get really annoyed with raging feminists. I used to think when feminists made a lot of noise they were causing more problems that they were fixing by creating a bigger divide between professional men and women. Now that I am well into my twenties and have a little work experience, I can no longer flail my limp teenage wrist and say "boys will be boys." FUCK NO. Even if we cannot be discriminated against legally from a job, there is still an underlying message in society that states that "women's interests"...i.e their thought, opinions, beliefs, are a subset to "normal" (male) issues. Ever notice the Women's Interest section in a book store? It is almost always confined to fashion magazines, and while I do love fashion and make up and that, am I totally wrong in thinking it should be labeled "Fashion," not "Women's Interest"? And why does breast cancer research get so little funding in comparison with men's cancers even though way more women are affected by breast, ovarian and uterine cancer? Don't get me started on the wage gap. Oh, and the new favorite republican myth that women cannot get pregnant from a rape! Dear God. What does this have to do with writing and readership? Everything. The message in western, maybe even global, culture, is that women don't need to be taken as seriously, even talented writers. 

Dear everyone, please respond to this post, tell me what you think, I am dying to know.

If you have the time, go to either Smashwords of Kindle and read WANTON LANDS and tell me what you think.

Thank you, and Sorry