Archive for the 'truth' Category

the other kind of social disease

The Meriam Webster Dictionary defines the term “social disease” as the following:

Main Entry:  social disease

Function: noun

Date: 1891

1: venereal disease.

I’d like to respectfully submit a second meaning:

2:any disease or condition that significantly impacts ones social life, friendships, relationships, and general interaction with society…

I was recently diagnosed with CFIDS or Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  I have seen doctor after doctor after doctor.  I take medication for anxiety disorder and an inability to manufacture enough GABA (the stuff your brain makes that allows you to physically relax) and have for more than ten years.  These are realities I’ve come to deal with and are, for me, not terribly debilitating.  Sure, I don’t sleep well, but I’m I don’t have agoraphobia or claustrophobia or any other phobia that keeps me from fully enjoying my life- having several large circles of friends, enjoying the blessing of living in NYC and all that it brings, traveling the world over for business and pleasure, finding absolute nirvana being a stranger in a strange land.

I have been sick and tired over the years, suffering bouts of exhaustion and increased pain that left me cranky, sleepless and with an intense desire to hibernate.  Some attributed this to a latent depression or the aftermath of being hit by a van whilst crossing the street almost 20 years ago.  The accident did a good bit of damage to my body, the effects of which are felt more intensely and impact my life more acutely at times.  Spoken or not, most people assume the former, not having been in my life for the accident and all that followed. 

By people, I mean my friends and acquaintances.

I’m not going to lie.  I found this to be frustrating.  I have seen internists, orthopedists, physiatrists, therapists (physical and emotional), psychiatrists, neurologists, accupuncturists, every kind of “-ist” one can think of.  I’m very proactive about my health.  I don’t despair.  I have rare moments of sadness over the some of the tougher aspects of my childhood/ young adulthood.  I always pull through and I’m always OK. 

The last six months, however, have been out of control.  I was out of work for months, for what I thought was some crazy-mutant evil sinus infection.  I’ve had surgery, taken steroids, exhausted supplies of anti-biotics, changed my diet, everything.  I just couldn’t get better.  And I didn’t know what to do.  Staying home all the time because I was too tired or dizzy or fuzzy to go out didn’t leave me with much to talk about other than what was wrong with me.   Naturally, this affected my relationships with people.  I mean, how many times can a person listen to someone complain about the awful smell or electric mucus or fatigue or headaches, or whatever.  It’s a drag. 

You see, just because you’re anxious or tired doesn’t mean you’re depressed.  And even if one IS depressed, it doesn’t mean you’re not physically ill.  My affect has always been positive, regardless of my circumstances, and I’ve yet to meet any one of the “ists” that felt differently.

Continue reading ‘the other kind of social disease’

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brass tacks

With all that’s been happening lately with the DNC, the delegates, the debates, the endless op-eds and platitudes, I wanted to bring up something of which, apparently, many of my peers are unaware.

4 amendments and 50 years separate the right for women’s suffrage and that of all men, regardless of race, to vote.

The fourteenth amendment was ratified by congress on 3rd February, 1870.

The nineteenth amendment was ratified by congress on 18th August, 1920.

One reads:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation 

 

the other:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

 

In between those two came the amendment to allow direct election of two senators from each state, unapportioned federal taxes on income (non-discriminatory), and prohibition.

Continue reading ‘brass tacks’

bitch is the new black.

SNL last night was amazing- finally someone calls out the press for lobbing softballs to Barack and his decidedly humorless persona.  I have been worshipping Tina Fey for years, but last night’s Weekend Update was the jewel in the crown.

stop being fooled, people.  Obama’s “change we can believe in” is rhetoric, too.  Who do Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kaiser Permanente, “christian” conservatives and Antonin Scalia all fear more? 

Ask yourself that question, and ask yourself what it will mean.

Hillary 08.

i’d like to have something entered into the record, your honor.

i am not a slut. 

good jesus, i was just re-reading this fine collection of nonsense i call a blog and i come off as such a promiscuous ho-bag.  not so, friends, not so.  i can understand how you might get that impression, but there is definitely something you should know:

1.  this recent outpouring of encounters is a huge blip on my radar- i spent the previous five and half years being faithful to someone i wasn’t even technically in a relationship with, and just plain old sexless for the.. oh, forever before that, and

2.  i only record the interesting events.  most friday nights are spent watching forensic files and doing crossword puzzles.

i also have no idea why i feel the need to justify myself to anyone, much less everyone, but i’m a sucker for the truth. 

***************************************************************************************************

a completely disparate note:

i’m a complete and total a-hole.  i’m so fucking set on being self sufficient that i lugged home a ten foot spruce on my shoulder after work today.  forget the fact that i’ve been in bed all weekend due to pain and bodily malfunctions, forget the fact that i have many friends who live nearby, some with cars, forget the fact that the guy i’m seeing moves things for a living and is coming over tomorrow night and wouldn’t mind at all, that i could have it delivered, that i could wait for the weekend, that i just had my neck put back in place, i thought this was a good idea. 

i’ll be paying for it tomorrow, and possibly longer.

a. hole.

the back-handed compliment vs. the behind-the-back insult

i got my first writing assignment this weekend when a friend of mine, genghis khannie, a fellow blogger, put up an entry on the butterface phenomenon.  she and i discussed the situation that caused her to write this post, and the fact that she had gone quite some time on this earth without ever hearing the term.  i believe her introduction to it (the term, not the manifestation) was this summer. 

after getting over her shock that a) this idea existed and b) that everyone else knows about it, we discussed the seeming preference for the “butterface” vs. the “shehassuchapretty face.” 

genghis and i are nice, fun, interesting gals.  we’re funny, we kick back and know how to drink, discuss the virtues of doc gooden’s curve ball and barry sanders agility, cook, are independent, but not cold, and, as she so eloquently put, “have lovely visages.”  it must also be noted that neither she nor i are heifers.  far from it.  we’ve got a few extra pounds on us, to be sure, but there are no rolls or extra chins nor cankles to be found.  in fact, if we’re being honest (and we’re always honest with each other, aren’t we, internet?) i could give an hourglass some lessons on curves.*

this led me to think about the pretty face vs. the pretty body and how the latter is definitely the more popular, at least amongst the male members of our vast urban tribes.

this is not going to be a post bemoaning the lack of gentleman callers we have (though, for reals, we should be beating them off).  rather, i want to talk about the back-handed compliment that i’ve been getting for years, and why, it is, that people feel no compunction about paying it.

would you, whilst discussing some one’s physical attributes, tell them that they have a lovely personality?  no?  i didn’t think so.  not even crazy great aunts do that.  then why would you say “oh, you have such a pretty face?”  saying “you’re pretty” in our culture implies that you are discussing the person’s face, and, possibly, hair.  “you’re hot” implies the whole package.  “you have a pretty face” implies exclusion.  by inserting that one word -face- you are implying that the rest of her is not.

now, now, i am not being unreasonable.  think of someone saying “you look nice today.”  nearly everyone i know backpedals immediately after saying that, insisting, in fact, that it’s not that you don’t look nice every day, you just look especially nice this 24 hour period. 

there is no need for the addition of ‘today’ or ‘face’ or whatever other qualifying word you want to add to a compliment.  why do it?  if you want to issue a compliment, do so only when you are sincere.  and if you sincere, there is no need to mitigate it.  let’s spread the love, people, the pure love.

all that being said, i’d rather have the back-handed compliment than have people use a positive-tinged-insult (is that the opposite?) behind my back.

* please know that i am not as conceited as this post implies.  by necessity, the subject matter dictate that i put aside my normal humility (which annoys us all anyway, doesn’t it?) and be as truthful as possible. 

post script: i wanted a visual to accompany this post, and i started thinking of famous icons of women with pretty faces, but possibly not the greatest bodies.  i went to botticelli first, but then called my sister, herself an artist, and asked her for a good renaissance artist that painted women as i described above.  she asked why i wanted renaissance- that was about painting women as they are- real faces, real bodies.  even better, said i, because that’s what i was getting at.  she directed me to michelangelo.  his works are things of beauty, but there is an underlying reality there- boobs, curves, muscles, bones, the whole shebang- and the opposite of our airbrushed rib-less, plastic doll model culture.  so, i bring you the delphic sybil.  the perfect embodiment of an archetype- the woman with “a pretty face.”

the face

* incidentally, while searching google images for an icon of a “butterface,” fergie came up quite often (the singer, not the duchess.  i mean not the english royal family duchess).  i’m just the messenger, people.

the original post

greenpoint, thy fate is sealed

edward scissorhands lives on and from the evidence i´ve seen in the past week, he´s located somewhere in the english midlands, perhaps pumping some water out of his personal salon at this very moment.

i will write more about the vortex of insanity that is the isla de tenerife, but i just wanted to let you all know that edward is alive, well, and apparently doing a bustling trade in england. 

that is the only logical and possible explanation for the haircuts we see daily.

there is much more to tell you, things that are sure to make all anglophiles throw up in their mouths just a little bit, but it will have to wait.  the kids disco starts in thirty minutes and i fully intend to get a good seat.

no.  i´m not kidding.

UPDATE:

edward is actually a man named luis llongueras, a catalan hair cause celebre, and this is his baby. it was all over barca, too. i suspect it’s sweeping europe, though i need cs lewis to confirm. it may have made it’s way to the hipster set over here, but i haven’t been to brooklyn in over a month. in all seriousness, it wasn’t just one or two people, it was lots and lots of young girls in their teens and twenties.

EXAMPLE:

edward1.jpg

turns out the world isn’t watching

abughraib.jpg

i got through security at laguardia pretty quickly this morning and headed to gate 4 for my 9:48 flight to the cleve for another day of marathon meetings.  i grabbed a couple of bananas and water at au bon pain and settled into my seat at the gate.i looked around and noticed that it wasn’t overly crowded, which isn’t exceptional, but i did see a rather large family traveling together- about 8 to 10 people in all, clearly muslim and clearly traditional.  now, i know what you might be thinking, but that isn’t where this going. 

also at the gate?  a soccer mom-esque forty-something with her yappy, yippy lap dog.  she laid a diaper and a toy or two on the floor, put her doggy down and held the leash down with her foot to keep the dog nearby. 

now, gate 4 in the continental terminal is not that big, not that that fact should have given license to soccermom to be so oblivious.  her dog was roaming about as dogs do- exploring, sniffing, nipping.  now, i don’t like lapdogs much, but this is nothing you can fault the dog for; it’s what they do. 

what can be faulted here is that this was making the family very, very uncomfortable.  a couple of the younger women quickly got up and moved as far away as possible within the confines of the gate, while the father sat quietly, if warily, across from me.  seeing that soccermom (let’s just shorten that to “sm.”) was not taking note of the fact that her dog was causing several people genuine distress, i clicked my tongue and snapped my fingers and called the dog over to me before she could reach dad.

i leaned over and got sm’s attention, hoping she’d raise her head and take some heed of her charge, and asked the puppy’s name.  “aria” she replied.  “very cute” i said and petted her white, nappy head.

now, i love dogs, but not yippy little poodles, and certainly not before i’ve had a cup of coffee.  but i was uncomfortable and facing a ridiculous dilemma.  does sm not know that letting aria roam about is inappropriate regardless of the deep religious objection of several of her fellow passengers?  do i stay out of it as it’s none of my business?  is it really not a big deal and i’m being overly culturally sensitive? 

not wanting to be a condescending jerk and assume that sm is ignorant and needs to have the situation explained to her and convinced that the family was sincerely uncomfortable, i encouraged aria to keep chewing on my laptop.  after a couple of minutes more, i leaned over to sm and said “excuse me.  i’m not sure if you know this, but dogs make muslims uncomfortable and there are several people in this gate that would probably appreciate it greatly if you kept aria a little closer to you.” 

she said “whaaaat?”  i replied “yes, in islam dogs are considered very unclean, somewhat like pigs in judiasm and your dog is making some people very uncomfortable.  i’m not sure where you’re sitting or if it matters, but it might be a good idea to rein in the leash a bit out of courtesy.” 

sm “oh, yes.  i had no idea.  thank you.”

a beat.

she puts her head back down, goes back to the paper and does nothing about anything.  i saw aria approaching the man across from me yet again, so i hooked her collar and pulled her over to me.  the man said to me “i’m sorry, but in my religion….”  i said “i know, i’m sorry.”  he said ” i saw you trying to have a conversation.” i said “yes, i understand how you feel and i tried to explain.  i’m sorry.  i’ll do what i can to keep her over here.”  he nodded and said “thank you,” both of us completely uncomfortable and neither of us sure why we felt weird for a situation that was neither of our doing.

finally, boarding was called and “mommy” gathered her baby up to board.

i’m no cultural guru and i’ve never read the koran.  but i know that dogs are anathema to islam.  i grew up with several muslims, but didn’t know this until the disgrace that was abu ghraib.  wasn’t everyone, regardless of their hawk-like outward disposition, at least fleetingly, momentarily, humanely and humanly embarassed by the events and photos that came of that iraqi prison?  even for a second?  did that not command attention, even away from britney (sp??) and k-fed’s divorce, or whatever other sensational nonsense was absorbing the lion’s share of the nation’s consciousness at the time? 

i hate being embarassed by my nationality.  liberal guilt is patronizing and ignorant.  but this hit something home: a lot of people are ignorant, selfish assholes. 

i like to think that’s a universal trait, rather than an arena in which america corners the market.  and deep down i know that to be so.  but some days it’s hard. really, really hard to believe. 

just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean homeland security isn’t writing all this down

LOS ANGELES, May 10 — Michael Moore, the provocative filmmaker who has made a career out of skewering automakers, gun enthusiasts and the Bush administration, is being investigated by the Treasury Department over a trip he made to Cuba for his new film, “Sicko.”

This month the department sent a letter to Mr. Moore saying it was investigating whether he had violated restrictions on travel to Cuba when he accompanied sick workers seeking free medical care as part of a documentary on America’s health care industry.

Treasury Department representatives did not return phone calls seeking comment. On Mr. Moore’s Web site, the film’s producer, Meghan O’Hara, called the department’s actions a “politically motivated investigation.”

The ailing workers shown traveling to Cuba in the film had helped clean up the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The letter from the Treasury Department asked for detailed information about the trip, including evidence that Mr. Moore was employed as a journalist. Journalists can secure permission to go to Cuba.

The government also sought the name and address of the travel agent who made the reservations, and receipts, and the names and addresses of all of those who went on the trip. News of the letter was first reported by The Associated Press.

Chris Lehane, who was press secretary to Vice President Al Gore and has been retained by the Weinstein Company, the film’s distributor, said the Treasury Department had been aware of the trip for a long time.

“We feel comfortable with the terms with which we went to Cuba,” Mr. Lehane said.

Harvey Weinstein, a co-founder of the company, said the timing of the letter suggested an attack by the Bush administration meant to discredit the film. But Mr. Weinstein said: “They are only causing more publicity. It’s so ironic. They should let sleeping dogs lie.”

He said he was concerned that the Treasury Department would try to prevent the part of the movie shot in Cuba from being shown. “We have the resources to fight,” he said.

“Sicko” is set to open at the Cannes Film Festival on May 19 and nationwide on June 29.

If past behavior portends the future, Mr. Moore and his backers will most likely use the government inquiry to the film’s advantage.

In May 2004, Mr. Moore and his agent, Ari Emanuel, went public with complaints that the Walt Disney Company was refusing to distribute the film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” causing a ruckus in Hollywood and Washington. The movie earned $220 million at the box office worldwide.

truth in advertising: when reality meets the tsa

so, on one of my many early morning jaunts to the cleve of late, i was standing in a very long security line at about, oh, five thirty in the morning.  nervous travelers abounded, anxious to catch their flights, but the line was not moving.  this gave me several long minutes to really take in the ambience of the continental terminal at lovely LaGuardia airport.

i look to my left and there’s a life size poster for the TSA or the Port Authority of NY/ NJ and their amazing dedication to customer service.  It read something like this: “We’re dedicated to your comfort and satisfaction as much as we are your safety” with a nice smiling lady assisting a customer.  Next to this was an actual, though decidedly less smiley, airport employee.

cue the really late and extremely nervous woman who runs up to said employee and asks if she (the employee) can help as she (the flyer) is definitely going to miss her flight because the line has not moved.  to which she (the employee), clearly inspired by her calling and mission responds:

“lady, that’s too bad.  ALL these people (sweeping hand gesture) gonna miss their flights.  now get back at the end of the line.  next time you might wanna get here early.”

and, scene.

aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhh

i just had to get that out.

unbelievable.  seriously. 

diogenes had nothing on me.  i would love to turn in my lantern and quit my quest, but at this point, i’d just like to prove that there is one, at least one, honest man out there.

update:

All better.  Sometimes I just need to write these things down or scream for juuuuuust a second and then it’s all better.  Gotta love that Italian passion. 

venting is healthy, people.

and boys, you’re alright by me.


truth

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

truth

Upon common theatres, indeed, the applause of the audience is of more importance to the actors than their own approbation. But upon the stage of life, while conscience claps, let the world hiss! On the contrary if conscience disapproves, the loudest applauses of the world are of little value - john adams
October 2017
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from the man who taught me everything:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

bygones