3/31/14

Here We Go. Again . . .

Dear Readers -

I, Sean Amore, am a fat man. I have always been a fat man. There is no "power" in the word "fat" (this really is true - it does not apply to racial slurs or hate speech but - in this case, it IS true) but there is power in accepting and self-labeling when one is fat (the negative, dark, undesired side of "obesity" or "big-boneded-ness" or "curvy" or "voluptuous" (you ladies get all the euphemisms)). I'm fat. In the old school Disney villain way.

I have became physically lazy since last-October. I've run a grand total of 28 times (vs. 20x/month while training) since my half marathon. I have not been consistently happy at work. I have not been a good friend to the handful of friends I still have in this world (this is not a "poor me" statement, I am very stingy with the word "friend" and who I slap it on). I dipped a toe in the dating pool and it was way harder and less fulfilling than I thought it might be.

Seven years after my gastric bypass, I am the WRONG statistic. I am not as heavy or heavier than I was (no where near it, thank you very much) but I'm one of the people that didn't get the mental component right and didn't get the long-term, life long benefits of the procedure.

Now, I have to do the work - again - and I'm starting. Again. Having made great progress on eliminating social media and smart phone reliance for social engagement in my life, the following are my new commitments (that I post here since it seems to be the only space in my life that I'm 100% honest all the time).

THE TEN RULES OF GET LESS FAT SEAN. . .

1) No more soda. (True story - I am more uneasy about this vow than you can imagine.)
2) Four work-outs (running, walking, swimming, yoga, or other) per week every week. Period.
3) No foods that come in to the prepping/cooking process with more than five ingredients. Period.
4) Two bananas per day. Everyday.
5) Counseling once a week, every week.
6) One book read every two weeks.
7) One phone call with an old friend every week.
8) Cut out the clutter in my life in terms of people, commitments, and engagements that don't help me.
9) Add more positive noise to my life in terms of people, commitments, and engagements that help me.
10) Commit myself to loving and being loved. (Sorry if that made you throw up in your mouth.)

I'm going to invest in more fitness gear, books on diet and health, and positive distractions than you might have ever dreamed (first step . . . I am buying kettlebells, protein powders, and marital aids (no, not really on that last one (I already own several (no, not really (I own one (no, not really)))) and I am going to become one of "those assh*les" that takes his commitments to physical and mental well being seriously.

Yes. I'm deadly serious. The April Fool's Day post will come out tomorrow.

3/28/14

50 Things Every Woman Should Realize About Men . . .

One of my FAVORITE (all caps generally equals sarcasm, especially in this context) things about the proliferation of digital media and our click-crazy culture is the endless polls and surveys for "What _____ Are You?" (insert NPR Host, Care Bear, My Little Pony, Porn Genre, etc.). ANOTHER is the lists and the endless recaps and summaries of things that are constructed . . . if only to stir conversation and shares.

To that end . . . I give you this steaming pile of absurdity. Yes. THE (definitive and sarcastic) list of the 50 things all you uterusonauseses (not a real word) need to just realize (Accept? Know? Understand? See?) about us peniserians (not a real word).

Let's go point for point on the points where I disagree with the list or the elaboration of the point (and if you want to see the complete list and Chuck's super-comfortable-with-being-a-dude explanations, the link above will get you there) . . .

4) He Will Choose His Friends Over You
Both genders should be equally bemused by this point. We should ALL have healthy, scattered, and multi-tiered social lives. No basket should hold all the eggs. Ever. That goes for women or men.

8) You Can't Bombard Him the Second He Walks in the Door
Again. This one should be pretty mutual at the end of the day. But that I need a "beer and to stare at the TV for 30 minutes" makes me seem like a complete jerk. How about you give me four minutes to put my shoes away, maybe change my clothes, sort through the mail, and get a glass of water or diet soda? Then . . . SHOOT.

9) Withholding Sex is a Dangerous Game
If you are using sex as a bargaining chip, token, reward, or punishment in your relationship . . . get out NOW.

10) He's Jealous of Your Straight Guy Friends
No. He's not. He's jealous that SOME of your straight friends will hit on you, ogle you, and be inappropriate with you. Tell your secrets to whomever you want. As long as you are keeping him in the loop and are open and honest with him and don't allow your friends to do things you would not let his bosomy friend Amy do - life is good.

11) He Wants to Try Anal
Um NO! This is not even a homophobic thing but I can't figure out for the LIFE of me why anyone (regardless of gender or orientation) wants to do that. It is unhealthy, unsanitary, and dangerous. I'll say this - if he WANTS to try anal what he really wants to do is humiliate, dominate, and invade you. So - yeah - happy birthday.

13) You Should Learn to Play Pool
I can think of 8,764,293 things "hotter than a woman who can beat (me) in pool" without even trying. Seriously, fella?

15) He Notices When You Don't Wear the Jewelry He Bought You
Only that one ring he got you with the big diamond on it and the complimenting band you were given at the ceremony OR the stuff you swore you loved (versus telling him what you didn't like about it so he could get better with his next effort) and never wore again. I would say "He WILL notice when you DO wear the _____ (jewelry, shoes, lingerie, purse, perfume, etc.) he bought you" is way more accurate.

16) He Wants You to Need Him
No. No he does not. He wants to feel useful (to the author's point) and needed and respected. "Needy" is a trait no one ever wants to be on the other end of.

17) You've Got to Watch Your Weight
Are? You? F*cking? Serious? How about this - you (man or woman) can't be a hypocrite if their (man or woman) weight goes up. Also - just because you decide to lose weight doesn't mean your partner does, too. But be healthy. Respect your body. Stay sex-ready (ticker healthy vs. belly size).

22) He Wants You to Like What He Likes
He wants you to be open to the things that he likes. He hopes you will learn to accept and enjoy some of them. He wants to be open minded and embrace your stuff, too. I once had a friend who would change just about everything about her "likes" based on the men she was dating (like Julia Roberts and eggs in Runaway Bride (screw you - that is a GOOD movie)). She's still single. And "evolving".

23/24) He Doesn't Care About Your Outfit or Shoes
I'll go shopping with ANY woman, ANY time. Shop for purses, dresses, shoes, etc. I like the process and it helps me understand how various things look on various bodies, etc. I am a GREAT co-shopper. Also . . . I LOVE shoes (penny loafers, specifically).

34) Save the Big Piece of Chicken For Him
There are not enough keys on my keyboard to type enough words to respond this level of absurdity. Also - where are his house shoes, newspaper, and dinner in general? Get those shoes off and get in the kitchen, woman. Ugh.

42) (Read it For Yourself)
No. This is where the guy officially lost me. Between the statement and the elaboration. Is he serious at all?

43) He Will Never Stop Trying for a Threesome
I know a handful of men that will openly admit to wanting one of these to begin with (and my friends are pretty open, frank, and unconventional in their fleshy desires). They have maybe asked a partner or two. They've always accepted "no". I also know a few people that had (past tense) threesomes in old relationships (ended). I've never wanted one. Never will. I'm so ashamed of my body I can barely show it to one person at a time. And if a woman suggested one to me - I'd end it with her. I'm pretty keen on (serial) monogamy.

45) You Should Compliment Him More
I disagree with the premise that EITHER person in a couple need to dole out praise on a quantity basis. Let's focus on QUALITY. If I tell you every time I see you that you're beautiful or that I like your eyes or that your laugh makes me happy or you look good in that dress you will start, over time, to not put the weight in it. I'm not saying "One nice thing per year." I'm saying ONLY say it when you meant it - when it occurs to you to say it organically. And if you compliment me . . . I will make it uncomfortable for both of us so - just don't.

48/49) (Paraphrased - You're Not Each Others Parents)
If you need these rules - you should not be in a relationship AT ALL. You should be in counseling. Several hours a week and then straight home to your cats, action figures, etc.

50) He's Not As Complicated As You Are
Ha. My shrink PITIES (she won't say so but I know it is true) any woman that would even try to have a relationship with me. I'm a mental/emotional disaster. This one made me giggle. Also - did the author imply emotional complexity might dictate intelligence? Wow.

That's it. Nothing too serious. MOST of the list is fine (if not juvenile or simple in intent) but there are a few things about the stereotyping (on both sides of the gender coin) that I just think we need to get past. I wonder if Sheryl Sandberg has read this list?  Gwenyth Paltrow? My mother?

3/27/14

Psych . . .


Well, friends . . . we lost a great one last night. After eight (unlikely) seasons Psych has hidden its final pineapple, given its last alias to Shawn's partner, and given Carlton Lassiter nothing left to want to shoot.

It is not hyperbole to say that I've cried over the end of this show a few times in the recent past. First when it was confirmed what was long feared - the show would end this season, then when the musical aired (I loved it for what it was but hated it for not doing anything to extend the plot lines of the show or to even connect in with the season before it in a compelling way). I did so again yesterday morning knowing tonight would be the last new delicious flavor USA would serve. Finally, last night as the episode ended and the live fan/cast/creators/etc. program began.

WHY do I get so upset about Psych ending? I sorta hate pop culture lovers (I know, I know) and luckily a good chunk of pop culture lovers hated Psych. The ratings were never great. People who loved Arrested Development and Big Bang Theory and Mike and Molly made no time for a show that rapid fired dialogue jokes, stocked the shelves with visual jokes, and gave nods to just about everything (the few things, frankly) that made the 80s great (including cameos, guest spots, and character names that paid due homage). The show was not afraid to take risks and be out there (a Psycho episode, a Clue episode, a musical, etc.) and there was only enough drama and tension between characters to keep a comedy interesting.

I could watch Psych and see the cast having a great time making the show. I follow the (Tweeting) entire cast, the writers, the show itself, and a few creators on Twitter. They all banter back and forth and support each other in their endeavors. They seem to really love each other - something I doubt is as real as I want it to be and something I am sure is very rare in the entertainment business today.

Finally, the FANS of Psych (Psych-Os) are what made the show truly wonderful. Hashtags and parody accounts and blogs and spoiler pages and Wikipedia homages oh my! There was never any lack of fun to be had, year round, in the community of Psych fans (it is worth nothing that social media passion likely kept the show on the air as long as it did - the ratings didn't really justify it there toward the end).

The first thing I did with my Roku on Christmas Day, 2011 was binge on Seaons 1 and 2 of Psych. The ONLY reason I considered getting cable in August 2012 was to keep up with Psych (why bother - the show is available (for about $20/season) on Google Play and can be streamed, gratis (in limited batches) on USA's website).

Was Psych for everyone? No. It is only for people who love delicious flavor. WHAT?

3/25/14

Muppets Most Wanted . . .

Well . . . I can honestly tell you that I have an early entry for my favorite movie of 2014 - Muppets Most Wanted.

No. I'm not kidding. Why would I actually argue that this is the best movie of the year? I'm not. I'm arguing it is the best movie I've seen so far this year (and also the third - Saving Mr. Banks in January (I loved every frame of it and every tear it yanked from my eyes) and Monuments Men a week or so ago (beautiful and well casted/acted but the story construction and character development were weak, candidly - but I'm going to read the book so . . . yeah). BUT I don't know how easy it will be to dethrone this one, frankly.

My taste in movies has changed a lot over the years. When I was a kid I wanted movies that excited me and made me laugh. As a teen I wanted movies that showed me boobs and sexual situations. As a younger adult I wanted movies that made me seem deep, smart, or edgy (and that showed me boobs). As a mid-20s something I liked documentaries and foreign/art house films almost exclusively. As my 30s began I liked any movie my then-wife liked. By a few years later I liked any movie she did not (I kid, I kid). Now I am back to having my own taste and, frankly, I like the stuff I liked as a kid. It might be because I'm a parent but I think this reversion speaks to the first thing cinemas were meant to provide - escape.

And Muppets Most Wanted has escape galore. Literally and figuratively for the characters and certainly for the audience.

Here's the premise . . . picking up exactly where the fantastic Muppets reboot of 2011 that Jason Segel (a lifelong lover of the puppets - who is not in this movie at all but his writing partner on the first one wrote and directed this one so . . . there is similar love given) breathed such joy, love, and humor in to left off. The gang learns that "popular demand" has forced a sequel and a World Tour is the best plot line the group can come up with (suggestions made musically, of course). A new agent (played wonderfully by the talented Ricky Gervais) offers to manage the tour and we soon learn that his motives are less than pure. He is the world's Number 2 criminal to his boss - and Kermit doppelganger - Constantine's, Number 1 and he wants The Muppets to tour the great cities of Europe while playing venues adjacent to some of the continent's biggest treasures. Of course for the movie to "work" Kermit must go to prison for the escaped Constantine and the evil frog must "lead" the often only-half-listening Muppets through their disastrous shows.

Yes. I know. That sounds absurd and silly and vaguely horrible but - cynical tough guy - we're talking about puppets and a musical here. Andrew Lloyd Weber should be so lucky in the year 2014.

The joy this movie put in me is hard to compare (and I've been excited since the closing credits three years ago so I had expectations that would be hard to meet) and is worth noting. The movie was just short of perfect.

The casting was wonderful - Tina Fey as the head mistress of Russia's toughest Gulag made me an even bigger fan of the funny (but not great as an actress) woman. Ty Burrell as a hapless, stereo-typed European "Inspector" made me want to give Modern Family a try. Gervais, as mentioned, was wonderful and made me want to get skinny again (if only to wear his costumes) and was so funny and subtle in his role. I won't even get in to all the cameos and how terrific they were - as always - but they were terrific.

What really did it for me with this Muppet movie was what I loved about the old ones . . . the music. The soundtrack is toe-tapping good and the lyrics are so funny and sly in some of their composition. Exhibit A (and my favorite song from the movie - don't worry - the guy is not visible in the movie) . . .



I don't care if you have kids or not. I don't care if you like The Muppets or not. I am willing to bet you will enjoy this movie. If NOT - your ticket to Fast Furious 7 (on APRIL 10, 2015 (release date just announced)) is on me (Restrictions apply.).

3/24/14

Boat Shoes . . .

Let me keep this sorta simple and vaguely to the point (for once) . . . the picture to the right is a boat shoe, Specifically it is a chocolate brown, Sperry Top-Sider (the original boat shoe in color and manufacturer).

Do you like it? Sure you do. It is not footwear for the elite. It is not the shoe of the rich/elite/preppy/pretentious. You do not need to own a boat or even like being on the open sea to wear or enjoy a pair.

Fact is - noting that the soles are made to resist slipping on water vs. gripping any surface or being good on ice - these shoes can be worn just about anywhere at just about any time. Sure, sure, I would SKIP THEM for parole hearings and funerals but you can put them with jeans, chinos, seersucker, COTTON suits (not wool, fellas, come on!), and even dress pants (the right pants, the right pair, an oxford shirt up top). I've seen women pull them off with skirts and even dresses. You can wear them to a casual (Friday?) office, on date night, to the game, to the shore, to the mall, to the buffet, or to run errands. They are super comfortable, easy to mix in to any outfit, etc.

Don't like chocolate brown? NO problem. You can find boat shoes in hundreds of colors, dozens of materials, various combinations of slip-ons, lace-ups, and hybrids, pre-aged or shiny-new, etc. and you can find them from $19 - +$900 depending on your budget and preferences.

Granted . . . these shoes are not TECHNICALLY intended for year round wear (nor, I should clarify, are bluchers/derby shoes despite the fact that I wear mine in the winter anyway) but as long as you're not blaming mother nature or any one but you when you're slipping, sliding, and falling down on ice - I say lace 'em up and be gone with you.

WHY am I telling you this?

You look like an assh*le in your flip flips and sandals. It is MARCH. You are an adult and at work (or at a parole hearing). Put some actual shoes on. Grow up. And get me a pair of these. No, not really . . . I already bought a pair.

But seriously - enough with the flip flops and sandals.

3/23/14

Sunday Funday . . .

Strangers kissing! So amazingly awkward. And yet, let's be honest, MOST first kisses are only slightly better than these anyway (unless I'm involved (I kid, I kid)).

http://www.vice.com/shorties/we-got-twenty-british-strangers-who-arent-models-to-kiss-each-other

(Sorry to have you click away - Blogger would not let me embed the video code for this one.)



3/21/14

Hello, Daniel . . .

I stopped by my friendly, neighborhood Kwik Shop (as I do just about every morning) for 52 ounces of ice cold caffeine and the following happened . . .

Man 1 (we'll call him George) was in the store when I entered. He is in his late-40s. Married (or at least wears a gold band on his left hand). He is ghostly white, balding, wearing a flannel shirt and dungarees (we call them jeans - I'd bet all the soda in my vat that he calls 'em dungarees) and work boots. He has a bible tucked under his left arm (KJV, I presume) for NO apparent reason. He's getting coffee and eating his Krispy Kreme donut at the same time.  Yes. I really notice all these things on total strangers - if you're not trying to observe and read people, you're not really playing the game of life.

Man 2 (we'll call him Daniel) is in his early-20s. He enters the store rather hastily. He has long hair tucked behind his ears. He wears a Shocker t-shirt, torn jeans, canvas tenny-runners, and an unzipped fleece vest. He is clearly in a hurry and is ignoring a phone ringing in his pocket.

George looks over his shoulder and says, somewhat loudly and with a false tone of friendliness "Well! Good morning, Daniel."

The kid makes bemused eye contact but says nothing and b-lines to the soda coolers.

George follows half-way and yells - false friendliness gone and his pale facial skin suddenly flush with annoyance "Good MORNING, Daniel."

Daniel looks, again, but says nothing. He selects a Cherry Coke Zero and a blue Powerade Zero (my kind of fella - you know what I mean) and immediately opens the soda and starts drinking.

George irately booms "You know, Daniel, you can knock my daughter Amy up and take no responsibility and you can move on with your life and ignore your child while we raise her but you can't ignore a courteous 'hello' in the gas station - I'm trying here. We're ALL trying here."

Daniel (who is now full on freaked out and yet humored) smiles from ear to ear and looks George in the eye and simply says "Good morning, sir. I am sorry you perceived me as rude. But you should know I'm Scott, not Daniel. I know a few Amys but have never had sex with any of them. I have no children and would never deny them if I did. Also - your second 'hello" was far, far from courteous. Let me buy you your donut and coffee on Daniel's behalf."

George . . . . crickets.

Annnnnnnnd scene!

3/19/14

Turn Ons . . .

No. Crying doesn't do anything for me. Nor do blondes.
 But that wallpaper? Ohhhhhh yeah!
This is a blog post that has been percolating in my head for a very, very long time (probably five or six years - going all the way back to my old/former blog).

I have drafted it and thrown it away and even one night, high on Cheez-It Brand Snack Crackers and Diet Dr. Pepper, I even made the post live for one, glorious hour.

Anywho since I'm no longer married and since allllll you ladies clearly want a slice of The Sean (that's not a real thing) - the time has finally come for me to share with you the 40 things in this world that turn me on the most. In (sorta reverse) ORDER (the Blogger platform puts them 1 - 40 but know they are, in my heart, 40 - 1).

  1. The smell of cinnamon.
  2. The incredibly detailed written "sex scene" in Atonement (not - it was not rape - didn't you stick around for the WHOLE book (screw the movie . . . seriously)). 
  3. The taste of red wine on a woman's lips.
  4. Volvo Station Wagons
  5. Just about anything on this website
  6. Candor. 
  7. Laughter.
  8. Or anything on this website
  9. Ear play. The right one, specifically.
  10. People Tweeting about the weather. 
  11. Land's End clothing for women and the women that wear them. 
  12. ANYTHING composed by this man
  13. The fact that, by the year 2014, there is not a single age, gender, color, creed, status, income bracket, or disposition that is entirely above taking and sharing nude "selfies" (not sure WHY they do it but alllll the people do it).
  14. Kitten heels (the shoes - not the actual backs of the feet of baby cats).
  15. Washing dishes. 
  16. This
  17. Middle-aged women.
  18. This.
  19. And this
  20. Well scented women. Lotions, oils, perfumes, whatever . . . 
  21. Autumn leaves. Just not raking them. 
  22. Oral hygiene. 
  23. Running.
  24. Librarians but ONLY if they wear their hair up and have glasses on at the start of the scene and take their glasses off and let the bun down to reveal themselves to be stunningly beautiful by the end.
  25. 50 Shades of Grey (paint swatches, not those horrible books - what's wrong with you ladies?)
  26. The music of Jodeci. Specifically "Diary of a Mad Band".
  27. Soup. Seriously. Get in my belly. 
  28. The yarn store.
  29. This stuff in any color, hue, or level of shininess. 
  30. Glasses. 
  31. Penny loafers. Cordovan. Leather soles. Hand-stitched uppers. Yeah. Is it getting warm in here
  32. Patterned textiles and papers. 
  33. The Merkel Diamond
  34. Literacy. Nothing sexier than a well read woman.
  35. The Tea Store
  36. The teacher sex scene in Porky's Revenge/Porky's 3 but ONLY with the dubbing on the YouTube clip I just linked to.
  37. Well, I mean . . . (this one is so obvious
  38. Yiddish
  39. Scented candles. 
  40. Confidence. 

What gets your motor running?

3/18/14

Biggest Fans . . .

Photo used with OUT permission. But I love you, Eagle!
So you may or may not have heard that the NCAA tournament starts tonight. No, really, it does. I know tonight's games and tomorrow's games don't really matter or count but they are happening.

MOST of Kansas doesn't care about anything bracket-related until Friday. WHY? Because ALL THREE of our Men's Division I Basketball teams play on Friday. That means that just about EVERY Kansas cares about at least one game on Friday.

I will admit - I am a wagon-jumper for the Wichita State University Shockers. About four years ago my friend Nathan took me to my first game and I've been hooked ever since. The noise and passion and craziness of Koch Arena is something you should experience at least once. Preferably MANY times. I have been to dozens of games since (the kid and I even hand season's tickets for the 2011 - 2012 season). WSU has something special about it . . . the mascot, the hand gesture, the clueless older fans that throw the hand gesture right in front of their grandchildren. That friggin' shade of yellow that I love so bad.

I TRIED (when we first moved here) to be a Jayhawks fan. KU had a certain regal tone about it that appealed to my snooty side. I just could not do it. Between the way they dismissed their football coach and blamed it on personality issues to the way they make every regular season conference championship somehow important, the fans just drive me nuts. Also - red, blue, yellow, and white are too many colors. Cut it out, Lawrence, KS. Cut. It. Out.

I FEAR I might eventually become a sorta K-State fan . . . long story . . .  so I'll probably buy a purple sweatshirt and head to a football game later this calendar year. I don't want to talk about it. I said I don't want to talk about it. I don't know ANYTHING about K-State. I don't know their coaches, players, reputations, or anything other than there is a magical place called Aggie-ville and I will be heading there at some point to pay homage (and $60 for said sweatshirt). K-State fans, of all the Kansas fans, are my favorite because they never really seem to have need for you to support their team. They could care less. More purple fan gear for them, frankly.

I don't care which sports team you care about this weekend, Kansans (heck - cheer for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, or friggin' Duke if they are all playing and you must) but I like that Kansas has some pride going for it in mid-March. We are not making apologies for jets landing at the wrong airport. We are not embarrassed that a late night talk show host called us out as lame. We're not staring downward and kicking the dirt over our HORRIBLE Governor. We're ignoring Fred Phelps. We are not going out of our way to defend ourselves against any or all of the above because . . . for at least ONE DAY later this week WE will be the our own biggest fans.

WE will believe in Kansas as a state. WE will cheer for Kansas as a breeding ground for collegiate talent. WE will nod our heads proudly as we take down teams that are not statistically better than us. WE will utter "Damned right" at those outside the Sunflower State who take two or three of our teams deep in to their brackets. WE will wear some of the worst color combinations imaginable. WE will watch basketball like it matters in ANY way. WE will be our own biggest fans.

And ALL THAT will make me proud because there is MUCH inside the four walls of our state to celebrate and cheer.

Also PURPLE SWEATSHIRTS, yo!

3/17/14

St. Patrick's Day . . .

Today is St. Patrick's Day. That means that by the time this posts (7:30 AM CT) there will already be people drunk. Literally. Intoxicated.

I'm not talking about the tried-and-true, self-destructive drunks of your cliches and, in very unfortunate cases, your own home life. Nope. I'm talking about people "celebrating" a holiday that I really don't get.

I'm Irish, technically (my Maternal Grandmother and Paternal Grandfather are both from the land of leprechauns and jigs). I was raised Catholic. Between those two things - I should LOVE St. Patrick's Day. And yet . . . I don't get it.

Do I hate people celebrating? Nope. Do I  have a problem with a holiday that touts the return of the isles above France of an ENGLISH son (Patrick) and - with him - the arrival of Catholicism in Ireland? Not really. Do I have an issue with a holiday that celebrates pride, confidence, and joy in "who someone is" (the Irish)? No. Does it irk me that MOST people here in the US don't know that the holiday is only about boozing and whooping it up here in the US and in Canada (many towns in Ireland CLOSE their pubs today so that people can be home with family)? Nah. We Americans have a tendency to do what we want, when we want, with what we want (look at Christmas). Do I have an issue with a holiday that is so closely aligned with the Catholic church's small-mindedness and refusal to accept pride, confidence, and joy in who someone is because it doesn't align with a church or theology being so widely celebrated? Yeah - a little.

What is my real issue with St. Patrick's Day? Hypocrisy. Is there precedent for holidays that celebrate one particular culture, religion, point of view, or desire over those that might disagree? Yep. It is called every friggin' holiday in the history of organized celebration OTHER THAN Earth Day, Arbor Day, and other holidays that people who don't celebrate openly mock anyway. Like friggin' St. Valentine's Day (don't even get me started). But the question has to be asked WHY do so many enjoy and partake in the day without realizing what the holiday is about or some of the pride challenges the day is built around. More over - you can't make fun of the Irish for being "drunks" and then assimilate this behavior you see so mock-worth and, yet, be intoxicated by the time this post goes live at 7:30 AM CT on a Monday.

Greg Fitzsimmons illustrates this far, far better than I do . . .



I truly do NOT care how you do or do not celebrate today (my daughter is dressed in green and did some arts and crafts projects around the holiday this weekend) but please at least take a minute to think about the day and what it was, is, and might be.

Erin go Bragh/Sliante, drunks.

3/16/14

3/14/14

Purim . . .


While this is not my FIRST Purim, this is the first Purim where I find myself in a Purim mood (last year's falling of this particular holiday was a rough spell for me) so I thought I might follow a now time-honored, and largely in the past, tradition and share with you a casual list of my ten favorite things about the occasion.

This year (5774)'s Purim starts Saturday (3/15) and sundown and rages until Sunday (3/16) at sundown.

I have no plans to go crazy for this Purim and did not last year. I will HOPEFULLY fix this failure in 5775!

Without any additional delays . . . PURIM!

1) Purim is, at its root, the joyful, fun, upbeat celebration (as perhaps too few Jewish holidays are) of a foiled plot to destroy all the Persian Jews in the 4th century BCE. While not the only time Jews have survived a plan to wipe us from the face of the earth this one was particularly complicated.

2) It has a great story behind it . . . Taken from the book of the beautiful Esther. Esther, you see, was born a Jew but was raised (her Jewish roots a secret) by her cousin/uncle (I am actually not sure which) Mordecai. Esther eventually joined Persian King Ahasuerus' harem (hate the game, not the playa') but - because of her beauty, passion, and spirit was made Ahasuerus' Queen. Enter Haman . . . an evil little man who had the King's ear and who had a very uncomfortable relationship with Mordecai. Mordecai, frankly, was "on to" Haman and didn't respect him and refused to bow down before him - something that was interpreted to be based on Jewish arrogance so because one Jew didn't bow to Haman, Haman decided all Jews should die - I'm paraphrasing but not by much). Haman convinced the King that it was in Persia's best interest to do this and it was to be ordered in writing. A single day was set aside when/where all Jews would be killed. Mordecai talked to Esther and convinced her to go see the King something NO ONE (not even a favorite harem member/wife/Queen) could do without being summoned under penalty of death - add in that Esther was to tell her King that she was, herself, a Jew and it was dicey but it WORKED. The written decree that the King passed down was actually to hang Haman and his sons and the Jews were spared. Let's party, yo!

3) I love Purim because . . . well . . . we-be-noshin' hamantaschen and I have a no sugar added recipe that bakes up triangular delights so good I want to cry and/or eat them ALL.

4) Purim is sorta' like the Jewish Mardi Gras and/or Halloween. Costumes and masks (for hidden identities), a MANDATE to eat, drink (specifically booze unless alcoholism, health, or a fear of getting drunk and breaking a commandment might result at which point, grape juice is Diet Mtn Dew is good for you), and be merry.

5) Groggers for everyone! And just yell "Chag Sameach" (KHAHG sah-MEHY-ahkh) to anyone you see. It means "Joyous Festival" so they should appreciate it.

6) Oh, yes. There IS a movie about Purim. "One Night with the King".

7) This song is about Esther and, by extension, Purim. It really is. I promise. Also - admit it, you ALSO love Mariah Carey's old stuff.

8) The book of Esther is the ONLY book in the Torah where G-d is not named by name. He is only alluded to. when Mordecai tries to convince the Jews that their salvation will come from someone - if not through Esther.

9) Many Talmudic scholars have argued that this is G-d's way of saying that he's always at work, that there is a plan that often involves one many moving pieces, etc. and that might even appear to be coincidence or luck and that not everything is about miracles and G-d's doings, etc. But maybe all that luck is really fate and fate is really the work of G-d and maybe everything happens for a reason. Or maybe people can and do affect change. Also, women are our saving graces (my own interpretation).

10) Maccabeats, yo!

)

3/13/14

Awkward Seeing You Here . . .

Rectangles of HEAVEN, yo!
Sooooooo, if I'm being totally honest with you - I've been out on a handful of dates with a handful of women since my marriage was officially absolved.

They have all been lovely times with lovely dames (I call them dames because it is the stupidest thing you could ever call a female). I can't complain. I won't complain. I will not kiss and tell. I WILL be an idiot and tell.

Why? Because the Internet. While I don't exactly talk about my (healthy, positive, endearing) relationships here on the ol' blogophone, I have a CLEAR track record of talking about my (unbecoming, awkward, self-deprecating) relationships here in cyberspace.

You got a minute? Because if you do - I have an awkward moment to share.

I figured you might stick around . . .

Let me set the scene . . . I'm nestled deep in to the bosom of the happiest place on earth (that is not an actual bosom) ZIGGY'S PIZZA on Monday night, minding my own business, sharing a rectangular pizza named in honor of WSU great Cheese Johnson and enjoying some casual conversation when - out of the corner of my eye - I see a woman I might have a "dating history" with.

If candor is appropriate - a woman that I think very highly of, find warm, funny, bright, well read, and sweet. I very much enjoy her but, for many reasons, she is not someone I can really spend time with at this point in my life. More on that if I ever start drinking again . . . I digress.

So I see her and she sees me at about the same time and I do the CLASSIEST thing I could do . . . I immediately JERK my hand up to cover the side of my face closest to her (she's 20 feet away at this point) and mouth to my dinner mate "You will NOT believe who just walked in!"

Now. If you have never been to Ziggy's you won't understand why this would be panic inducing . . . the place is SMALL. Seven-tables-and-maybe-ten-stools-at-the-bar-type small. There is a large patio but it was packed on Monday because the weather was, dare I say, STUNNING (most abused adjective of the years 2012 and 2013). They are opening a larger dining room at some point, I've been told . . . but clearly not soon enough for this angsty fat man.

The table I was at was in a tight space separating the bar from the seating area so there was no way this woman and for all I knew she was with a date or a friend or her boxing instructor or her life coach (she doesn't have one of those - I would never get messed up with a woman that had a life coach). There was literally (used correctly, here) she/they could come in and have a seat and eat and NOT have to at least shoot daggers at me (which she was doing from the door as it was) as they smelled my fantastic blend of essential oils as they walked by, practically brushing my back.

I finished my stupid, awkward hand gesture and did the only thing my brain would let me do - physically slid under the table. I'm kidding. I ran to the bathroom. I'm kidding. I jumped out the window. I'm kidding. I had an actual stroke. I'm kidding.

I jumped up and walked over to greet her. No. I'm not kidding. (Please remember my romantic life is not exactly long, deep, or storied so I have no idea how anyone but fictional characters handle these situations (and my blinking three times didn't make her disappear sooooooo . . . )).

Well - needless to say - this did NOT go over well. There was physical awkwardness (for future and advisory reference you should never just lick the face of a person that makes you uncomfortable in public - NO, I didn't actually do that) including an elbow grab, a tossed elbow to break said grab, and a 180 degree turn that was executed with such speed and grace that it would make an NBA forward blush.

It turns out, as the rest of you already know, it is NOT okay to just approach someone you have an awkward "romantic" history with and had an awkward cleave from in public and make a joke to them about them not being allowed in your part of town (even when they started mumbling "Don't worry, I'm leaving" first). It is also, for the good of those of you who've never been on any dates before (ahem), not okay to try to make chit chat with that person in general - stick with the daggers and shout "CHECK PLEASE!" to the waitress, instead.

Finally, and most important, it is not okay to follow them out the door and on to the crowded patio (sensing you have upset them) because that is where the raised voices and actual fits of discomfort set in. And then (and only then) will you look to see you know two sets of people on said patio and they seem confused now, too.

Long story long . . . this is why I don't pretend to be good at those stupid things the rest of you call "relationships" and - while I am more than honest about me deciding my own personal threshold for comfortable, funny, safe, normal, and okay are the UNIVERSAL thresholds for all of those things - I am realizing this decision on my part is stupid. It ain't so.

This is also why I will never again try to chat this woman up if I bump in to her in public (I sense she will be just fine with this decision - she probably owns pepper spray and/or a muzzle by now) and it is why I will go back to my normal M.O. which is to get my Ziggy's pizza to go so that the ONLY discomfort the greatest pizza this side of the Hudson river might cause me will be when I eat too much of it.

3/12/14

Scat Humor . . .

As a general rule of thumb I am "anti" scatological humor . . . that is jokes and light-hearted discussion of waste products. This covers all your broad categories . . . pee, poop, vomit, etc. and it covers the bases on other "comedic" pursuits that start or end on these subject matters.

Do I think scat humor CAN be funny? Sure, sure. Humor can be found ANYWHERE (except Mindy Kaling, of course). And who am I to judge anyway? I laugh at jokes and humor targeted directly at pubescent boys and I also laugh at jokes made on Prairie Home Companion.

The four people in this world I find funniest at this exact moment are David Sedaris, the writers for Psych (one person for the sake of this argument - also ONLY THREE MORE EPISODES - (what is left of) my heart breaks), Patton Oswalt, and Paula Pell. ALL of them make poop jokes - on the REG!

So why am I opposed to scat humor? I have no idea. Why am I blogging about it? I have even less (of an) idea. Why are you still reading this? You have no idea.

That's it. That's the whole post. Poop humor = Not for me.

3/11/14

Ban Bossy . . .

"Eh! If I'm being honest - some of the backlash is deserved on this one."
Oh no. No. No. No.No. Sheryl Sandberg, you may be a brilliant business thinker and the "change agent" du jour and I really didn't mind your wildly stereotyping, callously simple, and male/female/self-minimizing "Lean In" (seriously an amazing read - if you've not read it, check it out immediately) even though I disagree with the core of your argument that ALL women are one person and ALL men are the other person (yes, defenders, that IS what her book says) but you've gone too far with this #BanBossy thing.

Why? It's divisive garbage. And. You. Know. It.

Why? Let's look at the core of you and your buddies over at the Girl Scouts of America came up with in the ban bossy movement . . . that little boys that establish themselves and that can motivate themselves and their peers and that can get other children to do their proverbial bidding are "leaders" (that is the only term we call them - all of us - all boys . . . just one word "leader") and girls that do the same are "bossy" (that is the only term we can collectively use to describe the collective them).

Ge-dafugouddaheeeeeah!

A) We call those girls bitches. I kid. I KID. (That was a horrible joke - I'm not even sure why I made it.)
B) You are boiling back childhood in era, tone, content, direction, and intent.

I happen to have a daughter. She happens to have a brain in her head. She is being encouraged to be confident and engaged and to be a good person and to live, act, and interact the right way for the right reasons. To be respectful. To be kind. To help. To figure the world out. If someone calls her "bossy" - oh well. Sticks. And. Stones. If someone calls her a "leader" - WHAT? She is SEVEN! Seven year olds don't lead . . . they just don't FOLLOW!

Want to ban words? Pound sand.

Want to ban mindsets and behaviors? I'm with you, Ms. Sandberg.

Here are some personas, that start with the letter B, I hope my kid never is . . .

Bully
Boring
Backstabbing
Bed-bound-because-of-depression
Bitchy

Here are some B words I hope my kid never puts too much weight in or value on . . .

Beautiful (unless it is on the inside)
Bitchy
Bad
Blithe
Broken
Bosomy

Here are some B words that I hope she aspires to fit the definition of . . .

Blessed
Beloved
Believable
Brave
Broadminded
BOISTEROUS

I hope that WHEN referred to as "bossy", my daughter just ignores them or the potentially negative intent - or gives them an even less exciting job within her fiefdom (I kid, I kid.). If she's living life right - it won't matter anyway. (SIDEBAR - I think you should be a little more concerned about your employer's policies on cyber-bullying, hate speech, and censorship than what the kids are saying to each other in the second grade.)

I get the Girl Scouts/Sandberg's intent with this campaign. I vaguely applaud it. She wants to end the gender discrepancies that might set kids on diverging paths at an age too young for them to part ways. I don't even know that I really blame Sandberg for how angry this stupid "Ban Bossy" thing makes me.

If I'm being honest - I blame myself and my ilk . . . the marketers. The ones that decided a decade ago (or a thousand years sooner) that for an idea to stick it had to be short, succinct, and unique. More over I blame the rise of social media where everything has to have a FRIGGIN HASHTAG TIED TO IT!

Ge-dafugouddaheeeeeah!

By boiling this movement down to three syllables and nine characters (leaving plenty of characters for your own deep thoughts on the matter) you are just repeating the same mistakes you made with establishing the program on the presumption that all kids were so delicate that a word like "bossy" could harm them and with your book "Lean In" where all men are booming, confident, grabbers/takers, etc. and all women are anything but the prior traits. More over you are simply repeating the same false echo that your own success and clout and achievement shows that "girls" and "boys" have changed a lot over the years and we can all rise above any gender stereotype or adjective or presumed response to any of the above to be INDIVIDUALS that know, value, love, and respect themselves. ADULTS that survived childhood's slings and arrows and gentle hugs and crust-less sandwiches.

PEOPLE that live life the right way for the right reasons.

3/10/14

Call My Mother . . .

My two favorite women in the whole, wide world.
My brothers and I got a somewhat alarming e-mail from our mother on Friday afternoon. That we got a somewhat alarming e-mail is not that odd. That it came during normal waking hours is what made it odd (for clarification my mother's LAST somewhat alarming e-mail came at about 2:45 AM CT (3:45 AM her time) on a Tuesday . . . yes, my mother is frequently still on her way to bed at 4 AM - no, she does not go clubbin' anymore (or ever)).

Now I know what you thinking/asking aloud "What makes an e-mail from your mother somewhat alarming, Sean?" Well. I'll tell you the key points . . .

1) My uncle has a gaping wound in his foot that started out as a small cut but grew because he has no feeling in his foot and apparently stopped checking the soles of his feet for cuts years ago (her wording, not mine).
2) There is likely GAN-F*CKING-GRENE in said wound.
3) Don't worry, they are going to treat it . . . likely with a hyperbolic chamber. If it doesn't work? They'll amputate.
4) Apparently this news has my father (it is my father's brother we discuss here) a wee upset and bummed out - what with two of his four siblings being dead and all.
5) On that note apparently my father is not doing well with depression, in general, following the death of his brother on Halloween night. No. She didn't need to clarify that he's hurting over that - but she did.
6) No, no. We're not done yet. Apparently my mother's digestive system is all sorts of jacked up. She's having probes and exploratory surgeries done (many in the past tense - but this is the first we have heard, as her children).
7) The final part . . . "Otherwise all is well here at home. The girls should get their St. Patrick's Day boxes on Tuesday or Wednesday. We love you."

UGH!

Now this is my fault - truly. I don't do a good job of calling home (or to my brothers). When I do call the family we seem to spend more time and energy on me than any one else (this is totally normal in any relationship I'm in, sadly) and my family is made of people who don't typically like to complain (to anyone but our shrinks and blog readers). But - STILL - how do I get this far out of the loop on the lunacy that is my parents?

I am making a vow to my daughter right here and now . . . no matter how technology-driven communications will be by 30 years from now she will learn of NO medical crises in our family (nuclear or extended) through digital communication NOR will she ever have all this news just unceremoniously dumped on her with the exciting news of holiday packages as a sign off.

I love my parents. I want them to be around forever. For. Ever. But no person has ever lived beyond 68 in my father's family (he'll be 67 in June) and my mother is not exactly the healthiest of those in her family. We try to encourage them. We try to help them (there is a hilarious and heartbreaking story I could tell about the first time my parents came to visit us here in Kansas and my then-wife bought hundreds of dollars of healthy groceries and lower-fat, lower-sugar, lower-sodium versions of favorites only to come home the next day to "better" groceries also in the fridge). We try to encourage them to keep us posted on the happenings in their lives. We try to keep them from sugar coating the stuff we have to hear.

New rule . . . I am going to start calling my mother way, way more often.

3/9/14

Sunday Funday . . .

I had never even heard "Let It Go" until about three weeks ago (this version is beautiful) but I am way, way over the official once for kids, co-opted by moms everywhere pop ballad of late-2013/early-2014.

3/6/14

Crimea . . .

While you were busy obsessing over Ellen's selfie, Oscar snubs, and the weather patterns of these United States, a sovereign state was invaded half way around the world. Sorry to take the needle off the record, kiddo but you should probably at least know a little something about this because it is sorta a big deal.

Why? Because the Cold War is not over. Countries are still invading and just taking over (parts of) other countries. Oh and the world, as a whole, is still shrugging its shoulders until it involves them directly.

Here is your primer on Crimea (I'll keep it short and simple)

  • The landmass known as Crimea (a peninsula that juts of Ukraine and that can also see Russia from its back porch) provides shore line for the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
  • It is NOT the only place Ukraine and Russia "meet" (the share a long, long border above the Sea of Azov
  • Crimea - because of its access to two seas and its unique land mass has been hotly contested and has "changed hands" many times in the last 2500 years or so
  • Crimea was once its own satellite of the USSR
  • The place is currently horribly, horribly anti-Semitic (specifically anti-Jewish) so Putin's claims there - while a lame excuse - have some validity. and yet is also has a rich Jewish history (you knew I was going to insert the Jewish angle here - accept it)
  • Crimea, Russia, and the Ukraine have danced their dance for a long, long time
  • The United States does not "have" to get involved in Crimea
  • The United States probably should get involved as this has been our role in the world for a long, long, time - but as we are a democracy and we have a complicated power system for our government/military, and given our economy, etc. the fact that we can't (like Russia) just snap our fingers and invade another land is probably a GOOD thing
  • Russia gives exactly ZERO f*cks about sanctions. There is pretty much nothing Russia needs that Russia doesn't have or make on its own and there are always going to be other nations to help them out
  • Vladimir Putin is not a good man or person or leader. He was a high-up in the KGB. He came to power politically and has danced from role to role to keep that power for a long time. He has a bad human rights record. He has not done much for the Russian economy or world standing. He should not have been given the Olympic games. He should not be tolerated in this act (it will probably get worse if it is allowed)

  • I don't think Americans should "do" anything about Crimea. We do not want to escalate tensions or send our soldiers in to a situation that is between Russia and the Ukraine and is a European issue (let Angela Merkel - the essential leader of Europe based on her German leadership tenure and Germany's leadership in European affairs handle it politically and otherwise) but I think Americans should be aware that we still live in a world where this stuff happens
  • This will not just take care of itself and this is not something that does not matter
  • Let's not politicize this issue. Bush "would not have invited Putin to his ranch if he were not a good guy" (I'm paraphrasing but not by much) and Obama has been clear in his disinterest in putting our military to work so this is not a weak, Democrat, President afraid of Russia vs. a strong, let's fight all the world, Republican, President. This is the world we live in in 2014 - diplomacy SHOULD be a real thing
That is it. A primer and my two cents on Crimea. I am not an expert (I am a somewhat-embarrassed Xenophobe/ethnocentrist when it comes to my politics and knowledge of world affairs) but I hate how little attention we are paying to this as a country and as a people. 

By the way - Gravity was not snubbed. It was pretty and dazzling with the special effects but not was in NO WAY the best film of 2013 (or any other year). What was? THIS! Now . . . get back to your obsession with Scarlett Johansson's pregnant belly. 

3/5/14

Abrasive . . .

In this life there are a lot of names and labels I don't want to be burdened with . . .

Dumb
Thin
Bland
Dank
Disinterested
Listless (a far harsh word than I, until recently, believed it to be)
Spiteful

And there are tons I am happy to carry the weight of and/or aspire to someday truly deserve . . .

Expert Witness for the Prosecution
Dr. (of letters, not medicine)
Confident
Empathetic
Mensch
Well Read
Father

Above all these descriptors I ENJOY there is maybe none more than . . . Abrasive.  Yes. Abrasive. As in "showing little concern for the feelings of others; harsh" and "capable of polishing or cleaning a hard surface by rubbing or grinding". Either one. Seriously. HOW can I want to be empathetic but acknowledge I AM abrasive?

Simple. Not all feelings are worth the time and energy. Seriously. I recently had a person "de-friend" me on Facebook because every time she talked about RESCUE dogs I would laugh a little and make fun of her a lot. "What are they being rescued FROM?", I would ask - antagonistically. I am fine with her loving all of G-d's four legged, bad breathed, flea carrying, domesticated only for human work and comfort vs. the plan of their lineage, not going to live as long as you no matter what creatures. That is a BEAUTIFUL thing. But I don't have to appreciate, accept, or encourage it. She resents my feelings on her feelings - and I'm okay with that.

I had a colleague - just the other day - tell me, via e-mail, that I was abrasive. I typed back "Never in my life has being called 'abrasive' left me softened or remorseful." Your feelings are hurt because I don't just want to do your work? Because I won't surrender my limited support resources to do your work? Boohoo. Seriously. That and a box of facial tissue will get you nothing. But there was something in the words chosen that made me happy . . . I was labeled abrasive.

Here's the thing . . . abrasive is not something we should fear. Being an ASSH*LE is. Think they are the same? I think you need a broader, deeper, more robust vocabulary and to understand the nuance of people who don't put politeness first. I am fine with abrasive. I like abrasive. That means I'm still who I always vowed to be. That means I'm still able of challenging and resisting and not being warm and fuzzy.

Know what is abrasive? Sand. Know what sand causes? Change. Reaction. Comparisons like so many grains on the beach. Pearls. Know what else is abrasive? Wind. Water. Heat. Know what they cause? Change. Reaction. Life. Death. Pearls.

Want to insult me? Dig deeper in the thesaurus than abrasive . . . go for caustic. There are NO positive traits, silver linings, or pearls in either common definition of that word.

3/4/14

Weather Tweets . . .

I enjoyed the peace and quiet of being alone at and
not having to "share" the pool so LITTLE I had to
immediately "share" it with everyone I knew via
various social media platforms. Ugh. UGH.
There are two things I hate in this world . . .

1) Weather Tweets
2) 1,758,356 other things, to be named later

Why do I hate Weather Tweets? Because they are, singularly, all that is wrong with social media as a communication tool.

THINK ABOUT THE WEATHER TWEET . . . Someone sharing the atmospheric conditions in their immediate area with people who either share the same atmospheric condition or that are far enough away that said weather does not matter. Is that not the perfect analogy for how benign and undue so much of social media really is?

Is there ever a time where weather Tweets are important? Sure. The National Weather Service. FEMA or other agencies that might share news of impending or recent weather-related disasters. Local media outlets that people follow for whatever reason they find it important. And, uh, that is probably about it.

But every time I see a weather Tweet with their crafty hashtags and super important photos of the size of the hail at your place (You would NOT believe how big the hail is here . . . Yes. I would. My hail a mile away is the same size.) I have to dig way, way back in to my memory to the year 2007 when we didn't have Twitter.

HOW DID WE EVER KNOW what was happening outside? Oh. Yes. Windows. The Internet. Word-of-mouth. Media outlets. Our bum knees. Common Friggin' Sense. It was so, so long ago and yet - we survived. I was no more or less umbrella-ready when the big, wet drops started to drop.

I go even farther back in my memories. 1997. Internet, maybe. Radio and TV, sure. 1987, Radio and TV and MAYBE the friggin' cover of the NEWSPAPER (that was laid out 12 hours before it ever hit my front porch). No weather condition ever snuck up on me or made itself more known then vs. now.

It is weather, people. It is every day and boring. The world spins on. The flowers grow. The stems wilt. The leaves shrivel. The snow accumulates.

Stop with the weather Tweets. Seriously. Stop. I promise you the weather will not change with or without them so let's just refrain.

3/3/14

Revenge Porn . . .

These things that we keep in our pockets, purses, bags, nightstands, desk drawers, and everyplace else are going to be the end of us. These "smart" devices that let us do "dumb" things in a moment of passion (like "liking" photos of lunches) and - like any impulse we reward, there are risks.

Take, for example, the rise of the self nude. Once a grand gesture that involved hours of sitting still, oil on canvas, and dead animal fur as props - the self nude has become as difficult to take and share as a mirror and some self confidence (or the pursuit of it).

I am not "proud" of this (nor am I embarrassed, scandalized, or un-proud) but I have been sent photos of women in various states of undress (including the Birthday Suit Special) plenty of times in the last several years. A VERY true story . . . I was sent some photos of a woman's bosom within MINUTES of Tweeting that my marriage was ending . . . apparently this woman was ready to share and just needed the green light.

I get it. It is titillating. It is exciting. It is risky and rewardy. It has a certain intimacy and immediacy about it (presuming you're not taking and sending them to/of every Tom, Dick, and Harry in your contacts list (and this goes for you too, fellas . . . and by the way NO WOMAN wants to see your junk photographed at any degree of arousal so just stop. STOP!) and I get the intent and the gesture and, as already admitted, I am not opposed to being on the receiving end of these bianary coded communiques.

But I have to say . . . I miss the days of discretion. Sure, sure. I'm suddenly the prude in the room. I get it. I'm fine with that. What was once a shoot at "Glamour Shots" evolved on to a shoot at any number of photographers that specialized in "boudoir" photography that then devolved on to a "just give me three seconds here to tussle my hair just right and . . . click/send." It is almost too easy. And you know what else is too easy? SHARING these images.

I know a kind in high school that was recently sent a link a Dropbox folder where classmates were amassing a collection of every topless (or otherwise) shot they could get of their female peers. Luckily this kid understood this was nothing short of trafficking CHILD PORNOGRAPHY so he didn't sign up and share away. I remember, a few years back, sitting in a friend's living room and having a laptop slid across a coffee table for me to look at photos of a few dozen women that his then-roommate had found shots of over the years (including women I know socially). I demurred (first time for everything).

I just don't think these images are intended for SHARING. They are supposed to be just between "two consenting adults" and I know this is why things like Snapchat are popular but why are people sending these images not sure that they are safe/sacred with their intended recipient? I've never even THOUGHT about sharing these images with anyone else. It seems insane.

And yet entire websites exist (I won't give you the links - Google it, pervert!) for this new genre of "Revenge Porn" that is literally just photos and video clips of people at their most intimate - often with full names and contact information included and people will comment, mock, ridicule, and torment the people that once sent those images in a rush of sexual confidence and presumed comfort.

We need to stop this. We need to go back to a time and place where the only place you could find a naked image of another man's (ex) wife was hanging above the fireplace in the dark, dank, paneled den or a half-finished basement in the suburbs. I hate to say it but we have to go back.

And, seriously, ladies . . . stop just sending those pictures so willy-nilly. Respect yourselves until you are 100% sure the men you are sending them to respect you.

3/2/14

Sunday Funday . . .

For the record, the reaction from the Drunk Uncle at the end is almost as cool as the dance itself . . . stick around for it.