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Monday, March 31, 2014

The Far-Sighted and Short-Sighted of Happiness

I tend to be a big picture person.  While that is helpful in some ways, in other ways it’s problematic.  So used to trying to forecast the future, I frequently can’t recognize what’s happening in the moment known as ‘now’.   That kind of far-sightedness can rob one of a whole lot of happy.

Me and mine celebrated our five-month anniversary this weekend.  We had a great time: dinner out, a visit to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a long walk along the greenway, a couple of trips to the gym, among other things. 

I’ve come to see the time I spend at the boyfriend’s as my version of ‘getting away to the cabin for the weekend’.  It’s definitely down time and frequently it’s ‘my time’.  Sure, I still struggle with quite a bit of guilt – mostly having to do with not being at the beck and call of others – and we don’t always get to do everything we want, though we do come pretty close.

We remain in the learning phase with each other, discovering all the nooks and crannies of the other’s psyches; exposing parts of our past experiences as a means of revealing what it is that makes us tick.

He makes it all very easy.  I’ve never been in such a maintenance-free relationship before.  In fact, we have yet to have a real argument.  And, yes, I worry about such things – for I am used to such things. 

Problems?  Problems need solving and that’s something I’m used to doing.  But joy?  Oh, my… you got me stumped there. 

I have to constantly remind myself to stay in the moment.  But more than that, I have to remind myself that I deserve to be happy and that I have a lot to be happy about. 

It’s funny how being unhappy is the thing that has become second nature for me.  This kind of joy?  Free from all the angst and anxiety associated with what used to pass for ‘happy’ in my life?  Well, that’s rather foreign to me.  It always catches me off –balance as I struggle to recognize it for what it is: happiness.

And I don’t even need the help of a gin martini to achieve that state (though, it’s always a welcome addition).

The other thing that throws me for a loop?  How quiet happiness can be.

I want to rush in and fill up all the gentle lulls that occur while enjoying casually intimate, everyday moments.  That’s fear in the driver’s seat; I’m terrified he will come to the conclusion that I am boring – you know, because I am not doing nearly enough.  So, again, I have to remind myself to shut up and simply enjoy the moment. 

It doesn’t all need to be analyzed and dissected.

It’s hard to do.  I am so programmed to work at relationships, I find myself having to put on the brakes all the time.  There’s nothing more annoying than someone who insists that there is something wrong when there is nothing wrong. 

And there really isn’t.

Yes, we’re both human, both flawed, both possessing behaviors and habits that we could work on.  The great thing?  We are both mature enough to view those things as intriguing points of interest and not a reason to head to the nearest exit. 

And while we can help one another grow, both of us realize that those behaviors and habits are not the other person’s to fix. In some instances it’s more a matter of adjustment than actual repair or replacement.   And fixing things that aren’t broken?  Well, that would be inviting problems and conflict.

So, we continue to get more comfortable with one another, still learning how to occupy the same couch.  That learning curve is all a part of the journey, and to think for a moment that it has a shelf life or an end point – a time when we won’t be learning how to co-occupy this life? 

Well, that would be rather short-sighted on our parts, wouldn’t it?

Friday, March 28, 2014

March Blandness Part II: More Pop Music Round Up

Okay, so even though it may seem like I hate everything this month, there are actually a couple of songs that I am excited about.  So, not all is lost.  Male Rap / Hip-Hop may be at a loss to come up with anything new or original to mic about and modern country might as well stop booking expensive studio time and go to Kinkos instead , but there is still hope for the Top 40 overall. 

And summer is coming, so a couple of fun jams should be on the way soon.  Hang in there, kittens. 

#SELFIE - The Chainsmokers
This is silly.  Harmless.  And sort of fun, but, like all novelty songs, it gets old real fast. Eh, this one is already past its shelf life date. Consume with caution.

We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow - Soko
Sung from the depths of a long-term coma, this debuted at #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100 (and immediately fell off the charts the next week).  Why?  It is barely a song.  It is, however, a video; a gross young lesbian French New Wave indie featuring a pair of nubile barely-legal things getting all cute and macking the crap out of each other. I watched it and it kind of turned my stomach. Oh, and the song?  Umm… mumbly poser bullshit, for sure.  Thanks, Lorde.

My Hitta - YG Featuring Jeezy & Rich Homie Quan
A farting synth grounds this by-the-numbers, blunt-influenced crap-rap number. YG hits all the necessary hip-hop topics (bitches, cars, clubs, thugs, drugs) and manages to say ‘My Hittas’ a billion times (in fact, it is the ‘rhyme’ part of the entire song – just tack that on the end of any phrase).  Extremely dumb, a tad boring, and nothing to waste $1.29 on, unless you want to encourage this sort of thing (you don’t want to encourage this sort of thing).

This Is How We Roll - Florida Georgia Line Feat. Luke Bryan
So… this is country hip-hop?  Ugh.  This is how my eyes roll…
I get that country needs to reach out and be more inclusive / relevant and  that it wants to appeal to those high school kids and spring breakers, but this feels calculated, unnatural, and void of any human emotion.  In fact, something tells me they have a machine in Nashville that churns this crap out like a blender at a TGIF’s; you stick shit people probably like in it, mix it all up and pour it out for consumption in the form of brightly-colored syrupy / sweet pop-sludge like this.  Rim the glass with salt and you got yourself something that will appeal to the masses who have no need to think, no desire to become self-aware, no need to develop any sense of taste, and shop at Walmart.  Yay, America?

Bottoms Up - Brantley Gilbert
This is pretty much the country equivalent of “My Hitta”.  In a relaxed, pleasant twang, Gilbert hits all the necessary modern topics (girl, pick-up truck, radio, nostalgic outlaw imagery) in this little tale of objectification.   Yep, turns out country boys like butt sex, too.  Yay, America.  This stuff must play well in stadiums and the like, but it all sounds vaguely the same.  Modern country needs to find some new formulas.

Loyal - Chris Brown Featuring Lil Wayne & French Montana Or Too $hort
This is a waste of everybody’s talents.  Oh, those damn bitches
and ho’s.  They are nothing but problems and the absolute scourge of all those rich, rich black men.  That’s the delusion that fuels 75% of all male hip-hop songs – damn bitches.  At this point, the story is more tired than use of that oddly uncomfortable term of endearment that begins with an ‘N’ they throw around as filler.  And yet the machine keeps coming up with more gruel.  Yeah, folks, this…. This is America, too; where unrepentant women beaters are celebrated and protected because ‘they so talented’.  Chris Brown is not a bad person… he, like most of hip-hop, is simply misunderstood. 

Partition - Beyonce
B-bouncy does the nasty in the back of her limo on the way to the club.  And damn, she just spent 45 minutes getting dressed.  Poor b-bouncy.  Apparently she just wants to be the kind of girl the he likes.  Hmmm.  So glad she is all done with that women running the world nonsense.  B-bouncy now has her priorities straight.  And knows her place… which is apparently on her knees.  Oh, the music?  Ummm… occasional bass, lots of finger snaps.  Yep, this is one to be proud of, gurl. Oh, well, at least she doesn’t bleat like a goat.

Doin' What She Likes - Blake Shelton
Hmmm.  Driving real fast with the radio on.  I think that’s in every single country song I have reviewed this week.  Well, in this case, I will forgive that bit of boilerplate writing and compliment Mr. Shelton.  He sings an adult country song with an adult country voice.  Yes, it’s homogenized, but there’s something genuine in the mix, too, enough so that this one gets a passing grade.  Oh, and extra points for the wah-wah guitar thing – annoying, but fresh.

Cop Car - Keith Urban
This made me laugh.  It’s a really bad fit.  Apparently 46 (wink, wink) year old Keith Urban is still dating girls where he needs to
be concerned about what their Daddy thinks.  Oh, wait, this is country music, so you can sing any old thing, whether it has anything to do with you or not.  I forgot.  Anyhoo… the song is a by-the-numbers affair; I think this is categorized as Modern Cosmopolitan Country.  At any rate, it’s a total snooze fest.  But I bet it made Taylor Swift a bit envious, wishing she’d thought of the scenario first.

The Worst  - Jhene Aiko
Wow.  Hallelujah, there is reason to hope.  This one is haunting and lovely.  Sung in a gentle voice that cracks and pops, ‘The Worst’ would seem to be the best, as in possibly one of the
best of year.  Yes, I could do without the spoken word middle which goes on a bit long, but other than that, this is a stellar track, one where vocal performance and song combine to create a true moment.  In regards to this woman, I’m all ears. 

La La La  - Naughty Boy Feat. Sam Smith
Okay, yeah, the ‘la la la la la la na na na na’ part is annoying as hell (and the reason everyone will give this one at least one listen), but the rest of it is pretty damn good.  I love the lyrics and find the chorus compelling.  No, I don’t really understand the need to block things out, though I think this might be a break-up song.  If it is, it’s an awful fine one.  It has a drive to it, an inertia
that feels fun and exciting.  I so wanted to not like it, but I do, I do.  Though I have a feeling I, too, will be eventually looking for a way to block it out.

Ain't It Fun  - Paramore
I have no idea what this song is about.  Are we happy to be independent?  Is the singer being sardonic?  The lyrics make no sense.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a jangly, beat-driven, poppy delight of a song; one that I think might be aimed at college freshmen enjoying those first few years of heady, horribly wobbly independence. At this point I also have no idea what Hayley Williams wants this supposed ‘group’ to be, for, like the lyrics of
the song, she’s all over the road these days and it’s confusing as hell.  Oh, I got it… she’s the female Adam Levine and Paramore is now Maroon 5.  Yeah.  Nailed it.

Latch - Disclosure Feat. Sam Smith
Oh, here’s that Sam Smith dude again, the same one featured on Naughty Boy’s ‘La La La’.  He’s quite the singer. Makes me think of Haddaway and, even more so, Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals, for some reason.  Is that a fair comparison?  Disclosure got a lot of critic buzz with its most recent release and it’s nice to see they have a shot at hit.  This is likable and
percolating with a 1990 kind of soul vibe that I find intriguing.

Stoner  - Young Thug
As lazy and uninspiring as you expect it to be.  Women be bitches!  For sure!  Is this a joke?  Like a novelty record, or something?  You know, like a parody of modern day hip-hop or is this for reals?  You know like a black Ray Stevens thing?  Is Young Thug the new Ray Stevens?  Is that it?  Huh?  Oh, man… you had me going, you really did. 

Classic  - MKTO
Oh, boy is this some ‘classic’ boy band bullshit.  Bright, punchy,
upbeat, and void of substance.  Switch out the R&B references for country artists and this could have easily been a country single.  So, that said, this is an absolute piece of shit that will overstay its welcome on the airwaves. Those tweeners raised on Nickelodeon are going to insist on it.  Sigh.

Who Do You Love?  - YG Featuring Drake
Another YG song?  Real title: Bitch, Who Do You Love?  Puts in perspective, huh?  There’s a whole lotta that self-identifying term of endearment that starts with an ‘N’He doesn’t trust the police, is richer than y’all, and has an issue with bitches when they think they run this game. In other words, he has the same problems as 75% of all hip-hop males.  Damn.  Can’t a man get a break?  Oh… and he actually says ‘Wassup’ at the end of one of the verses.  Seriously.  Seriously bankrupt.  What Drake is doing on here I have no idea.  Thought he was smarter than this shit.  Wake me up when these dudes figure out something else to mic about.

Headlights  - Eminem Feat. Nate Ruess
John Doe – B.o.B feat. Priscilla
God save us from psychobabble tripe like this.  Okay, Eminem, we get it – you have ISSUES.  But, hey, how old are you dude?  Don’t you think it’s time to let go of it?  Now, not only does he have Mommy issues, he’s got Daddy ones, too.  And shouldn’t we feel sorry for poor Eminem – it is SO HARD being him.  It just makes me want to take away all his money and fame and soothe the man’s pain. Everytime I hear this one I laugh my ass off.  Dude can’t go but a few lines into the damn thing without GETTING REALLY ANGRY.  In other words, it sounds exactly like everything else Eminem has ever done.  If you get an invitation to this pity
party, do yourself a favor and decline.

The only thing more laughable?  B.o.B.’s rather simplistic approach to alcoholism.  This song makes Dr. Phil seem like Dr. Freud.  Truly cringe worthy; I had to check the calendar to see what year it was, for this kind of weeper hasn’t been popular since the days of Charlene’s ‘I’ve Never Been To Me’.

The Walker - Fitz And The Tantrums
Oh, what’s not to like?  Cheerful whistling, pseudo Mersey beat soul sound, upbeat self-empowerment lyrics, pseudo Hammond organ solo, bright harmonies, chants and shout outs? So simple.  So fun.  How is this not a bigger hit?  And they’re snappy dressers to boot! 

Damn, now I can’t get that whistling out of my head.  Thanks, Sean.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TMI Question: Let Me See Your True Colors

Understanding color involves work.  In order to wear color well you really must be smart, pretty and/or in excellent shape. 

Then you can get away with just about anything. 

Or, just don’t give a rat’s ass.  Then you can get away with just about anything, too.  Which helps explain all those ‘Walmart’ types. 

And much of the south.


Black, on the other hand, is the friend of lazy, misshapen people everywhere.    

It is our friend.

Especially at night. 

(You will never see us coming…)

Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information


TMI Question: Let Me See Your True Colors

What is your favorite color?

I don’t have one.  Honest.

I like them all.  I like some less than others, but I could not pick a single color.  That would be like getting a packet of Skittles and only eating the red ones.

Eat the rainbow!

(I hate Skittles.)

What color are your eyes?

Long answer: Depends on the sky, the color of the walls around me, what I’m wearing, and, I think, my mood.  They range from blue to green to grey and everything in between.   I have been told they are my best feature.  I have been told that they are quite fascinating.

But then, I’ve been told a lot of things…

Also – that doesn’t fit on a driver’s license (or at least that’s what the crabby lady at the DMV told me).  So…

Short answer: Blue

What color is your hair?

Growing up I was the truest of blondes.  All of my siblings were.  When we performed together onstage, it was blinding.   Think ‘The Partridge Family’ meets ‘Children of the Damned’ meets the Von Trapp family.

Yes.  We were delusional (and truly loved in nursing homes throughout the tri-state area). 

I began losing my hair in my late twenties, probably due to all the clueless abuse I heaped upon it and genetics. 

Now, I buzz my head almost every day.  If it has a color it is a combination of white, silver, dark grey, black, gold, and blonde.  But I will never really know because if I have anything to say about it, my head will be buzzed for the rest of my life.

No eagle’s nest for this dude.

I’m not that delusional.

What color is your bedroom?

White.  I think all walls should be white.  Any other color is an abomination.

White hides cum stains the best.

Which color do you look best in?

None, really. 

Black, maybe. 

And preferably something with a hood that covers my face and head.  I consider myself something of a humanitarian and there’s enough ugly in the world already.

Is there a color you never wear?

Pink.  Hate it. 

Real men don’t wear it. 

It never looks right.  Makes most men look like a cartoon pig.

Ble-ble-ble-ble that’s all folks!

How did you pick the color of your car?

I wanted a boring car.

I wanted something no one would steal and would blend in with the scenery. 

I wanted a car that would not make a statement, attract attention, or be a reflection of who I am.

I wanted a car that would get me from here to there and not use too much gas.

I wanted a car that would start when I wanted it to, go where I needed it to, and stop when I got where I needed to go.

I got a silver Saturn Ion.  It was the most boring dependable car I could find.

I do not regret it.

For those that see vehicles as a means of personal expression: A car is not a reflection of who you are, it is a reflection of your most prevailing neurosis and your ego.

Are your eyes ever green with envy?


Of all those people driving around in a reflection of their most prevailing neurosis and their ego.

Sometimes I envy the young gays.  But then I see how stupid, spoiled, and full of themselves they are and I secretly smile knowing that one day the fist of life is going to ram its way up their stupid butt holes and make sock puppets of them all.

Sometimes I envy the rich.  But then I realize that I am lazy and lazy people rarely become rich.  And that if being rich is what is truly important to me I’d better get on with it already.  Clock’s ticking, babe.

Sometimes I envy the powerful.  But then that looks like a lot of work, and I remind myself how lazy I am, and then I go on the net and look at some free porn.

Basically I can talk myself out of envying anything and anyone.

All that free porn helps.

Because, basically, I do like myself, enjoy the hell out of my life, and get a kick out of flying under the radar.

So, fuck you all; you young, rich, powerful things. 

Now, where’s the gin?

Do you have a signature color?


And other muted, solid colors (though the occasional horizontal stripe will sneak through).

Patterned clothing confuses and frightens me. 

Me, and that unfrozen caveman lawyer.

How much do you love Cyndi Lauper?

I ‘heart’ her so much!

She rocks.  And kicks major ass when performing live (I’ve seen her only once).  

And she still has her voice!  No small feat for someone with her vocal style.

Favorite songs:        

  • Same Old F*cking Story
  • Hat Full of Stars
  • My First Night Without You
  • Change of Heart
  • Money Changes Everything

I have enjoyed everything this woman has ever recorded.  That said… that musical she did about the cha cha heels, or whatever?  That did not speak to me on any level.  Yet.

And what a friend to the gay community!   Her work on our behalf has been absolutely amazing. 

I nominate her for gay sainthood.

Gray hair is sexy here_______, there_________ but never ________.

A full head of nicely groomed gray hair is very sexy.  Silver fox time.

A chest full of grey can be sexy, provided things are maintained.  Wiry, weird occasional one-off’s are strange to behold and never sexy.  That goes for pubes as well, only the trimming is a must here.   Same goes for beards, mustaches, and eye brows.  All can be sexy, if properly maintained, cleaned, and trimmed.

A nice ass covered in grey?  Not a bad thing, if said ass is at least reasonably toned.  Same goes for legs.

Grey hair is never sexy as follows:

  • In a ponytail
  •  In an eagles nest surrounding the back of your head
  •  In an eagles nest surrounding the back of your head that ends in  a ponytail

  • Worn long, thin and straggly on your head, face, or chin
  •  On your back
  • In your ear
  • In your nose

Note: If you are over the age of 36, do yourself and those who may find you sexually attractive a big favor: purchase a hair trimmer, learn how to use it, and then use it – daily.  Maintenance becomes a daily thing after a certain point.  Find the time and take the time. 

If you think you are getting by with that ‘casual’ look, allowing things to naturally take their course – oh, boy… are you fooling yourself.  Sure, maybe you will find some granola type with a Daddy fetish that digs that sort of thing, but you’re also repelling a lot of other types.

Why look like a homeless person unless you are, indeed, homeless?