Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, TIGER!

Oh man, have you stepped in s&*#!

OK, for starters, I don't care who you've slept with other than your wife. I don't care that almost all of these alleged "other" women are exactly the types that end up telling all your business on the Today show. I don't care that your wife probably beat your a$$ and will still get $5 million once this all blows over...

Not too many people are on your side, save for a few columnists like Jason Whitlock, whose latest column about your troubles I read at the urging of the husband. He made some interesting points (some of which, I had already expressed to the husband privately)... Like how this would not really be news if your wife had been black (although I am starting to rethink that position because if your wife had been black, the story would have been that you were killed in that car accident outside of your house). This story would not be news if there were more serious things going on in the world, say like a war in Afghanistan. Or if Barack Obama had done something extraordinary like win the Nobel Peace Prize...

OK, well one out of three...nah, bruh you're screwed.

Right now, the Patron Saint of Extraordinary Humanity (Michael Jackson) is looking down on you and shaking his head because in life, he dealt with the some of the same madness. Because when you reach the heights of fame, there is an inevitably long and hard fall from grace. Michael fell so hard it created a chasm in the earth so deep that it only began to refill with his untimely death. Tiger, while you are certainly no Michael Jackson, your fall fits the pattern.

And your redemption will come, thankfully, without someone having to die (although your marriage could become the casualty in all of this). The public will forget about this as soon as the next big scandal occurs. Even all of those self-righeous pricks in the sports world who knew all about your unchecked libido and kept your dirty little secrets--they will be back in your corner as soon as you win your next tournament. Even my father, one of your biggest fans (the only man I know who would rather watch you play golf than to get out on a course and hit a few balls himself), the Catholic church deacon, will forgive you and root for you as if nothing ever happened.

That is just how fame is. One day you are up, and the next day you are the punchline of late-night jokes (and the object of an upcoming porno). But something more salacious will happen and the world can obsess about someone else's hubris. Just click your heels three times and repeat, "This too shall pass, this too shall pass" (and hope that the Salahis or the balloon boy parents get indicted).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sweet Release

I am at a crossroads. To continue on the chaotic path I've been traveling for the last few years or to make a change and go into the unknown...As of today, I have made the choice to change course. It is a painful decision, fraught with uncertainty, but I have to do it. To continue the way that I have been going feels suicidal.

To recap: since 2003, I have been on my own. I have been working from the spare bedroom in my house as a solo proprietor/independent contractor/perpetual volunteer with mixed results. It was never a question of ability, because I have been pretty good at the various projects I have undertaken, but it has become an issue of stamina and more importantly, one of boundaries. Right now there is no difference between my work life and my home life and it has been killing me. There is no such thing as a movie night with my husband, a lazy Sunday or even a vacation away from it all. It is all one big blur.

I don't know what to do and what will happen next. As of the end of this month, I will still have a part-time job, but I also have another birthday coming. I think it is about time that I have plans to do something special to celebrate me for a change. I don't want a party, but I want to go out and enjoy myself and then come home with my husband and fall asleep without thinking about the pile of things to do in my office or around the house. I want to let go of family drama, bills that may never get paid, stress, and everything else that brought me to the brink of thinking that I would be better off if I drove my car off a cliff.


Friday, November 13, 2009

I Don't Mean Any Harm...

My grandmother used to say that right before delivering a polite insult. To the targets of her zingers, it was the bit of sugar that helped the medicine go down. To everyone else within earshot, it was a left hook to the jaw with a smiley face on the front of the glove.

Gosh I miss her.

Because if she were still here, there are a bunch of folks I would line up in front of her so that she could let them have it. As her granddaughter and I think she would approve if I borrowed her phrase to use on a few deserving people:

I don't mean any harm, but maybe you shouldn't try to run an institution by remote control.
I don't mean any harm, but you remind me of the Wizard of Oz--just a man hiding behind a curtain with a microphone.
I don't mean any harm, but if you don't want to be treated like a whore try wearing clothes.
I don't mean any harm, but if you really want to know how she is doing, just knock on her door and ask.
I don't mean any harm, but you are not perfect.
I don't mean any harm, but you could stand to be more forgiving.
I don't mean any harm, but you might be certifiable.
I don't mean any harm, but when you say that you are sorry for doing something, you prove that you mean it by not repeating the same bad behavior.
I don't mean any harm, but telling everyone your business won't solve your problem.
I don't mean any harm, but church should not be treated like an escape from reality.
I don't mean any harm, but you married a bitch.
I don't mean any harm, but you are an asshole.
I don't mean any harm, but if you can't think of a decent name for your child then do all of us a favor and name him/her after the doctor. I'm sure the doctor wasn't named after a jello flavor.
I don't mean any harm, but if you are that in love with the sound of your own voice then maybe you should get a job in radio instead of talking me to death.
I don't mean any harm, but I am pretty sure that I meant no when I said it the first time.
I don't mean any harm, but if the man really wanted to take away your guns/freedoms/etc. he would have done so by now. After all, he is the President.
I don't mean any harm, but what do you expect from a news network that is named after a type of dog?
I don't mean any harm, but what were you thinking?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Half and Half: A Metaphor

OK, so my latest rerun obsession is a little-known sitcom called "Half & Half" (H&H) which originally aired on UPN a few years ago. I liked this show a lot when it was on, but only vaguely recall that it was a casualty of the UPN-WB merger. So, I find myself in a must-see TV mode similar to my past obsessions with "As Time Goes By" on PBS, "Dharma and Greg" on WE, "Charmed" on TNT, and "Homicide: Life on the Streets" on WGN (all in reruns).

Unfortunately there were only four seasons of H&H, and since I missed the entire fourth season due to my teaching schedule, I cheated and looked online to see how things ended. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much better the show has gotten near the end, so my question to the network: why cancel a solid show just as it hit its stride?

I could call my suspicion a name, but instead I will simply describe the symptoms: (1) a sitcom starring blacks characters; (2) gets scheduled on the one throwaway night of TV; (3) where it becomes highly rated among black viewers; (4) so the network moves it around on the programming schedule; (5) and ultimately it gets cancelled after a couple of seasons. The official word often is that the show was in decline; yet in the case of H&H, the show had been among the highest rated on the network before the merger.

So I will call it a name--Show Business as Usual (OK, that is a phrase :), but how else should I describe the phenomenon in which a country as diverse as America only has room in primetime for one person of color at a time--who at the moment appears to be President Obama? Sure that might be an exaggeration, but aside from all those people of color who have recurring roles on the nightly news as criminals, terrorists, lunatic dictators and ball-players, where is the rest of America?

Consider the fact that I have never seen an all-Asian sitcom, and that most of the Latinos on TV other than those tagged as 'aliens' by Lou Dobbs are on the Spanish-language TV networks. While individual black, Asian and Latino actors appear on scripted dramas like The Closer, Law & Order, Grey's Anatomy and CSI, there is no Asian or Latino equivalent to the Cosby Show (save for the Obamas, who are the 21st Century Huxtables).

Since I am only raising this issue after the CW just cancelled its last two 'black' sitcoms, I am behind the ball (especially since H&H was cancelled back in 2006). But why hasn't there been more diversity beyond the programming ghetto of the now-defunct UPN, the Atlanta Housewives and whichever spin-off of Flavor of Love is airing at the moment? Why can't mediocre shows starring people of color get a shot on the major networks? Clearly it makes no difference how long a show airs since most new shows get cancelled anyway. (I am purposely ignoring Tyler Perry for another rant later).

Are you hearing me President Obama? How are you going to solve this problem?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Dr. King's Nightmare Pt. 1

Last month, I started a piece on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. At the time, I was pretty peeved that she was being maligned for a clumsy statement about race. This occurred before her Senate hearings earlier this month, so this is rather dated, but as I am about to unleash about some of the other racial boogeymen on the national radar, I thought to publish this first as my prologue, if you will:

OK, I have been patient, tolerant quiet so far because I assumed that with the election last Fall, we had finally come to a truce in our so-called culture war. But now it appears that the battle lines have been redrawn over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. According to Rush Limbaugh, the most tolerant and unprejudiced man in America, she is an unqualified racist.

This revelation was not derived from any rational scrutiny of any jobs she held prior to being nominated, but from one controversial statement and one difficult employment discrimination case.

Since the current Supreme Court has yet to announce a decision in the employment discrimination case at issue, I will reserve comment until later.* And whether her statement about a wise Latina versus a white male jurist was really that offensive is a matter of interpretation, but out of respect for those who do find it insulting, I will denounce it and say that she should have known better. However, I would point out that in addition to hundreds of judicial opinions rendered and countless other public statements made over the course of her professional life, if this is the best her detractors have uncovered after an evaluation of every single word she has ever uttered or written...

Whereas, Rush Windbag, who has no distinguishable career accomplishments and has made numerous statements that teeter on the edge of outright racism (and many that go all the way there) certainly must be an authority on the issue since it takes a qualified racist to identify the unqualified ones.

Calling anyone a racist is provocative enough, but branding Judge Sotomayor as one is just a smokescreen for the real issue which is that America’s most endangered species is the disappearing white man from positions of power. Of course there are plenty of white men still in power (just look at the U.S. Senate and the corner offices on Wall Street), but in the alternative universe inhabited by Mr. Limbaugh and his ilk, they are the new American buffalo. Just look at what happened to the Democratic Party: for the first time in more than 200 years, there is a black president! And now that a Puerto Rican woman has been nominated for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, it means that we are one step closer to eventual white male disenfranchisement.

Conventional wisdom had been that since our country mended its sexist and racist ways in the 60s, only the hardest working and most deserving individuals excel. Gender and skin color are no longer impediments to advancement, and as such, Sonia Sotomayor, who was raised in a Bronx housing project by a widowed mother, educated at Princeton and Yale Law School should be the embodiment of everything they say is possible in America.

Except now that Rush and Co. have embraced neo-victimhood, Sotomayor’s hard work and merit are neither admirable nor praiseworthy. Instead, she represents the new millennial dynamic where a high-achieving woman with an opinion is a femi-nazi, and a similarly accomplished person of color not in prison is the beneficiary of some residual historic guilt. Thus, her success is not really hers since in order to get to this point she had to displace somebody…

And chances are that somebody resembles the type of person who has taken for granted that his skin color, family name, and gender have opened far more doors than have been closed due to political correctness and unbridled affirmative action.

Which is why Rush has his tightie-whities all in a bunch…it has been tough ceding power to those who were once deemed inferior. It upsets the natural order of things when women and people of color forget our place—the kitchen, the bedroom, the ghetto, or some Third World country—and many of us have become too ambitious. And those white guys who seemingly deny their oppression by aligning with us are either suffering from Stockholm’s syndrome or are just outright traitors (and are probably all still Democrats).

Thus, once Sotomayor is confirmed, the battle will only have just begun. Her fitness for the high court will barely register as a disqualifier, although I’d like to see her detractors try to prove that a former NY city prosecutor lacks respect for the rule of law. Her hearings will be used as a platform to scare people about this New World Order where people of color take too much obvious pride in themselves. (By the way, now that Latinos are the largest minority group in the country, Brown is the new Black…so things will really get interesting soon enough.)

* As expected, the Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit panel in the firefighter case and have effectively upended the remedial impact of Title VII. Sotomayor will be lambashed for lacking empathy for the aggrieved firefighters...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Michael

Of course I had to weigh in on this...after I had completed my six stages of grief. RIP Michael!

Twenty five years ago, I came downstairs for breakfast and was met by the grim faces of my parents. “Kids, we have something to tell you,” my mother said as we took our seats around the table. A few moments later while my brothers and I ate our cereal, my father disclosed “Marvin Gaye died yesterday.” And although I am unsure that this is exactly what happened next, my father’s scratchy clock radio began playing a Marvin Gaye medley.

For my parents, news of Marvin Gaye’s death stirred up emotions that I, as a child, could not comprehend. He was a DC native whose rise and fall in the music business had been well-known among his fans, and because I was a faithful Jet magazine reader, I knew that he had been in the mist of a career comeback. However, I had no frame of reference for appreciating his earlier career, so Marvin Gaye was just another old R&B singer. While discussing his death among my friends at school that day, we naively disparaged our parents’ grief. As one friend put it, “It isn’t like he was Michael Jackson.”

Now that Michael Jackson has died, I can only imagine that if I had children, our dinner conversation about his death would have been eerily similar to that breakfast conversation my parents attempted with my brothers and me so many years ago. Although Michael had recently announced that he was embarking on a major comeback, my children probably would have shrugged and kept eating while the endless medley of Michael Jackson songs played on the radio (or the iPod). They would have dismissed the incessant news coverage of an old pop singer as misplaced; it isn’t like he was Miley Cyrus or one of the Jonas Brothers…

Michael Jackson. He is so important that my computer recognizes his name as a complete sentence. Michael Jackson. His success was so enormous that Dick Clark hailed him “Entertainer of the Millennium”, and that moniker is likely to endure unchallenged for the next thousand years. Michael Jackson. His talent and influence were so out of this world that if there is intelligent life anywhere else in the universe, there are aliens millions of light years away still dancing to his music right now (my apologies for the nerdy space-time continuum reference).

That only begins to explain the impact of Michael Jackson the Entertainment Phenomenon; alas, there is also the human tragedy of Michael Jackson the man—Wacko Jacko of Neverland, his alter ego. While Michael Jackson the Entertainer enthralled us, the self-indulgent Wacko Jacko repulsed us with an endless sideshow of bizarre behavior. If I had children, I could never begin to explain that.

In death, Michael Jackson joins Elvis Pressley, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon and maybe even Marvin Gaye in that exclusive club of gone-too-soon musical talents. Like much of the world, I am in shock, but I cannot say that I am totally surprised that he died young. Old age is the consolation prize granted to those of us who are lucky enough to be average. Michael Jackson the Phenomenon was nothing less than a musical genius—he was Off the Wall, a Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, and perhaps even Invincible. But genius operates on borrowed time, and Wacko Jacko was ultimately consumed by the demons that possessed him.

Wacko Jacko’s ignoble passing does not absolve any of his inexplicable actions in life, but perhaps the blessing in his death is the immortality it ensures to the persona that touched the world, Michael Jackson the child prodigy, humanitarian, musical trailblazer, and icon. Twenty five years from now, fans will make pilgrimages to the family homestead at 2300 Jackson Street in Gary, Indiana; the Apollo Theatre in New York City; and even to a reclaimed Neverland Museum and Ranch in California. They will gather to celebrate the music that enchanted us, not the sideshow that perplexed us…which perhaps is how it should be.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Wine is Fine

It looks like I'm back to blogging because my life is in shambles again. Not that it wasn't being held together by duct tape anyway, but now I realize that things are much easier when I am writing and sharing my pain with an anonymous internet audience of one (or two).

I write, I drink a little wine, and then I write some more. I see things that make me want to comment or I experience a temporary set-back that makes me want to spill my guts...To anyone who follows this blog, the gut-spilling pieces flow much easier because they are fueled by generous glasses of wine :) Tonight's post has been brought to you by nothing in particular except for the fact that Riesling pairs well with salmon.

Although I do have some commentary on the day's events (which I only learned of about two hours ago because my computer came to a virtual halt earlier in the day and I have been comparing and downloading virus protection software all day to give it a jump start. It is still moving slower than molasses, so I guess the next step is to buy more RAM. If that doesn't work, it may mean that I'll have to switch to my laptop that crashes more often than my antiquated desk top because of the dreaded Vista OS).

Anyhoo, self-destruction thy name is the Republican Party of 2009! I am not cocky, and I totally get the notion of hubris. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone (yadda, yadda yadda)...but is there a decent Republican left in public office? Is everyone a philanderer or a dim-witted prom queen? I mean, WTF??!! Sen. Ensign (R-NV) disses fellow Senators for their moral indiscretions while he is boinking a married staffer (and employing her kid on the government payroll)! Gov. Sanford (R-SC) disses President Obama for wasteful government spending while he is flying off to Argentina to spend a weekend with his mistress (and over Father's Day weekend, no less)!

OK, so back to me--I am feeling pretty light right about now. I looked in the mirror today and determined that I might have actually lost some weight! I am making it to yoga class every week, so that appears to keep me calm and centered. I am back in my Thursday ballet class, and that makes me happy too. And I am writing again...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Very Special Episodes" Pt. II

OK, I never made it back to finish commenting on the "very special" episode of Little House the other day, but the developments of the last couple of days have led me to an epiphany of sorts--reality programs are the 21st Century version of the "very special episode".

I came to this conclusion after it was revealed that Jon and Kate Gosselin are separating. Like, yeah...And of course, they made this announcement on a "very special" episode of their show to about 10 million of their closest friends!

In the old days, heady social issues like divorce, rape, drugs, racism, etc. were explored on one of the top-rated family-oriented sitcoms or dramatic series (hence, my Little House flashback). Usually, the set up was that an obscure minor character or a guest star would take center stage for the purpose of explaining the ways of the world to impressionable TV-watching youngsters in 30 to 60 minute intervals. Some notable examples:

  • Very special "Diff'rent Strokes" when Arnold's friend Dudley is molested by the candy store owner
  • Very special "Facts of Life" when Natalie decides to sleep with her boyfriend Snake
  • Very special "Cosby Show" when a colleague of Cliff's reveals his daughter's drug use
  • Very special "Different World" when the basketball star tries to date rape Freddie
  • Very special "Good Times" when JJ's prom date is a dope fiend
  • Very special "Fresh Prince" when the Banks family joins old friends in rebuilding LA after the riots
  • Very special "Happy Days" when the only black kid in town joins Richie's band
On some rare occasions, there was the very, very special episode, wherein the central characters experienced various life-altering transitions:

  • Very special "Golden Girls" when Blanche realizes she is going through menopause
  • Very special "Roseanne" when Roseanne gets a breast reduction
  • Very special "Blossom" when Blossom gets her period
  • Very special "Full House" when DJ has her first kiss
(Yep, I watched that much TV growing up).

Unfortunately, there are very few sitcoms these days, so reality TV has had to pick up the slack. In lieu of laugh-tracks, dramatic music cues, and special commentary by the cast, we have the real-life train wreck of the Gosselins (or the Hogans, Danny Bonaduce, or any of the early episodes of MTV's The Real World). If you favor celebrity or political dysfunction, there is always Vh1, E! True Hollywood Story, or 24-hour cable news.

As much as I enjoy mocking the melodramatic very special" episodes of my youth, I have to admit that I miss them because as reality TV has proven, real life is stranger than fiction. Make-believe drama requires no emotional investment because the people are just characters, the situations are contrived, and between the reactions of the studio audience and the guest-star credits, we get reminded that this is just a TV show. The following week, Arnold will have hatched a new scheme to avoid the Gooch; Tootie will have created that ridiculous paper mache bust of Jermaine Jackson; Rudy will imagine her family as two-dimensional fairy tale characters; Freddie will continue to be a hippie flake; JJ will declare something "Dynomite"; Carlton will still dance awkwardly to Tom Jones; the Fonz will jump the shark; Blanche will continue to be an old slut; the Connors will still be poor; Joey will respond to everything with 'woah'; and Uncle Jesse will still have his mullet.

However in real life, the Gosselins might actually get divorced and ten people will be directly impacted. Of course real people get divorced everyday, but we usually do not get to see the uncoupling in living color. There is already speculation that this could lead to a post-divorce spin-off show.


Which just makes me long for the drawn-out soap operatic disintegration of fictional marriages made in hell such as Ross and Emily on a very special "Friends"; Grace and Leo on a very special "Will & Grace"; Frazier and Lillith on a very special "Cheers"; Niles and Maris on a very special "Frazier"; etc.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Very Special "Blossom"

So, I am supposed to be heading off to yoga class, but I really needed to post this...

While I was flipping channels, I caught the summary of an upcoming episode of "Little House on the Prairie." I used to love this show as a kid, but unfortunately, I have been (until now) totally uninterested in revisiting it at this stage in my life. However, the summary of today's episodes was a two-parter that I clearly remembered watching years ago, so I decided to take a chance.

Ok, now looking at the clock, I realize that it will take me a lot longer to write this than I have time, so this will be a two-parter post.

Part I - The quick and dirty summary of this "very special" episode of Little House: Albert, the kid adopted into the Engalls family, falls in love with some puberty-stricken girl who gets raped and impregnated by a masked stranger. I think the girl's mother is dead, so she is being raised by her ultra-strict father, who assumes the worst when her condition is discovered. Because he is in love, Albert offers to marry her, which sets Mrs. Olsen's tongue wagging about Albert being the baby daddy.

Drama...drama...obligatory confrontations, outrage and misunderstandings follow...

(By the way, I really didn't watch too closely, so a lot of this is based on my 20+ year memory).

At some point, the girl either runs away and gets kidnapped by her rapist, or she runs away and gets discovered by her rapist while asleep in an abandoned shack. Masked rapist attacks again, she tries to escape, Albert comes just in time to try to save her but gets knocked on his ass, Mr. Engalls and the girl's father arrive in time to shoot the rapist...but in the excitement the girl falls off an old ladder.

Commercial break...

Albert, Daddy Engalls, and widowed father are sitting around the Engalls' kitchen table. Doctor emerges from the room stone-faced and informs Albert that the girl wants to see him. She and Albert declare their love, share a final kiss, and then she kicks the bucket. Dream sequence ending with another kiss between them.

Cue the closing credits and theme music...

And, you'll just have to wait for my reaction in Part II.

Friday, May 29, 2009

When the Freaks Come Out

I've been thinking about reality shows a lot lately (not because I want to star on one, but just because the scandals that attach to the so-called stars are unavoidable). Specifically I have given considerable thought to both the Gosselin family soap opera and the rumors about Susan Boyle that unveiled themselves earlier this week.

First, I want to address Susan Boyle, since it is relatively easy to determine why she finally had a public meltdown. Some people are not supposed to become famous and clearly this woman is one of them. Sure, she is very talented and maybe it seemed like a nice idea at the time--get her to compete on a talent show so that she could share her gift with the world. But this poor lady has gone from obscurity to infamy in less than the time it took Michael Jackson to go from black to whatever the heck he is now...

And actually, that is an apt comparison--Michael wanted fame and fortune, so he worked for it, got it, enjoyed it and then squandered it. Most people who seek fame understand the downside to their quest. Failure is a part of the bargain. It isn't clear that Ms. Boyle wanted to be famous. She simply wanted to sing a duet with some famous British singer. But when it got to the point that she was doing interviews with Oprah, someone should have considered what would happen if this woman really unleashed all of the stuff she's kept buried all these years in her little Scottish village. Did anyone ever ask themselves why this 48 year old woman lived by herself and had never been kissed? If you consider that it might be because she is unstable, it isn't as heart-warming as it might seem.

So as much as I like Cinderella stories, this one is more likely to end up with her as the subject of a True Hollywood Story than her living in some Hollywood mansion with Prince Charming. (And surely Simon Cowell is no one's idea of a Prince Charming!) How can she win and not be affected? Could she lose and return to a relatively normal life? Perhaps. I think a better question is to inquire whether she still hasn't been kissed even after all of this attention...

Then there is the Gosselin family train wreck brought to us courtesy of TLC.

I really cannot call myself a fan of this show, but when I have seen it, I cringed whenever Kate ordered Jon to do something as if he was one of the kids. I laughed whenever The Soup lampooned Jon's apathy because, frankly, I thought he deserved it. Anyone who would willingly expose themselves this way was simply asking for the ridicule that resulted.

However, this week, I began to wonder if something more sinister was at work. These people became tabloid fodder in the last six weeks because Jon supposedly stepped out on his wife. It just so happens that the season premier of their 5th season was this week...and these two idiots agreed to continue filming while in the midst of an obvious marital crisis? Are we supposed to feel sorry for them?

I vote no because all of these "take a look inside my family" reality shows are nothing more than freakshows anyway. The average family of two kids, a dog and a Volvo are unlikely to be featured. Little people like the Roloff family, families with more than 10 kids like the Duggar family, celebrity couples and has-beens get reality shows. I do not want to imply that the Roloffs, the Duggars or even the Gosselins are freaks like the fictional Addams or Munster families. But our fascination with them has very little to do with the mundane day-to-day stuff their shows highlight in each episode.

Of course the photogenic Gosselins are intriguing, despite the fact that Kate is a deeply insecure woman and Jon is an apathetic and emotionally detached man. For all of its pretense, this show has never been about the well-being of their eight children--it has been about these two incompatible people who were trying not to kill each other. Face it, we watched because we knew it was abnormal to have eight children and not go bonkers. The show that aired on Monday was simply the payoff JK8 fans had been waiting for...they finally cracked!

So onto the next season of freaks...

Feeling My Age

I just watched a performance by New Edition on the Tom Joyner Sky Show, and it occurred to me that I am getting old. Duh...but really, I just had a flashback to the days when just the notice of a performance by this group would cause me to reschedule my entire life. It wasn't that long ago that pictures of Ralph, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike (but not Johnnie, not yet) were plastered on the interior of my classmates lockers.

Now, these guys are on the Tom Joyner Morning Show--and I hate to say this, but that is fogey heaven. The audience is full of grandparents still trying to be cool, so I have to believe that when a singer goes on the TJMS, it must mean that they need a gig. And judging from Ralph's thinning hair line, their Temptationesque dance moves, and the fact that they are performing songs that are older than my 20-year old cousin...

When I was 20, New Edition was still semi-relevant because they were the pioneers of the boy band movement in pop music. They revived the format that begat the New Kids on the Block, Jodeci, Shai, Guy, 98 Degrees, the Backstreet Boys, N'Sync and now the Jonas Brothers. If not for them, Justin Timberlake and Nick Lachey would have paid their dues as background singers before being able to strike out on a solo career.

Getting older sucks because it happens without much warning. As I sit here reminiscing, I am reminded of the fact that I graduated from college (at the age of 20) 15 years ago. Back then, being young was the thing I had going for me. I was one of the youngest members of my graduating class which then made me one of the youngest members of my incoming law school class. It made me proud to be so young and to be thought of as so smart.

Now, I am 35 and don't have much to show for it. I am no longer a young lawyer (I think this is the year I get kicked out of that group), so now I transition into that nebulous status between youth and retirement. Fifteen years ago I thought that I would be famous, rich, and still skinny. Well, I am obscure, struggling from paycheck to paycheck, and I have gained 15+ pounds. So I can't really make fun of New Edition for aging when it happens to all of us.

Oh well, they are singing one of my favorites (Is This the End), so I'm signing off.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

As the World Turns

So in the time since I last wrote, Barack Obama was elected, inaugurated, feted, and damn near crowned King of the World. His life has changed.

Mine, alas, has not.

I am here because I had no where else to turn. I had a big fight with someone close to me and it has been days since we last spoke. I was okay until today when the reality of everything hit me like a ton of bricks. In my initial anger, I assumed that I would simply take a time out for a few weeks and then slowly work things out. Now in my despair, I am beginning to realize that I must not be even worth the effort to this person, that it might be just fine never to speak to me again. And that upsets me because I would like to think that I am not that disposable.

(By the way, I am being vague on purpose. I know that no one reads this blog, but in an abundance of caution it is best to keep things as generic as possible).

I thought to write about my feelings after I saw a blog post by someone else who seemed to be writing from inside my head. Certain relationships are complicated, and apparently I am not alone. Inside my heart though, I am alone and it hurts worse than anything I have ever felt. To make a long story short, I will say that I am not at fault, it is over something very silly, and I could just take a dive on this one to make everybody happy again. Well, maybe not happy, but civil.

But then nothing ever gets resolved when one person always throws in the towel. (I can't even come up with an appropriate metaphor to explain this...I am just so tired and demoralized.)

So now for the dramatic cliffhanger: This only makes the depression I've been suffering from even worse. If I don't fix my life soon...

Feel free to write your own conclusion.