Wednesday, April 7, 2010


My thoughts on Twilight...

I have never seen the movies. I read the first book a couple of years ago. At the time, it seemed like the type of story I would have liked at that age and that made it kind of comforting. I read the second book more recently. Now, that the storyline is coming back to me, I'm having mixed feelings.

Romanticizing vampires is nothing new. They have always been an outlet for humans' psychosexual issues. Especially in more sexually repressive times (like the one Dracula was written in).

Humanizing vampires and making them sympathetic is a little newer. I remember it as far back as Anne Rice and FCC's Dracula. It makes for an interesting story, but I can also understand the criticisms that Twilight promotes some very unhealthy relationship dynamics. It does worry me a little to see that marketed toward teenage girls (and some adults) who are still figuring these things out.

Girls, if he tells you you're not safe with him, believe him and run screaming. Don't just bat your doe eyes and say, "I trust you." I know women tend to be raised to give unconditionally, but trusting him will not automatically transform him into someone worthy of that trust. At best, you will just enable him.

I-love-you-but-I-want-to-kill-you is not my relationship ideal.

But, on the other hand, I can also understand the reasons why vampire stories remain so popular.

When you have intense passion for someone, there is that feeling like you want to completely consume their essence. And at the same time, there's the need to surrender to the other person, to give up everything...even if it's life and death. The best (and sometimes worst) feeling is when it seems like you really just couldn't help yourself. Who would want to tame passion, anyway?

When you turn it into an actual life or death situation, that raises the stakes and gives a greater emotional carthasis. While most of us wouldn't want these things to literally come true, a story is a safe place to live it out.

And yes. For teens, everything is melodrama. Roll your eyes about it if you want, but we've all been there. Everything does feel like a life or death situation. So, it's understandable that they would like fiction that allows them to process those feelings.

Which is why I remain on the fence.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Random Confession

This happened...oh, about a year or two ago.

The waiter had just brought us drinks. As I sipped a Cosmopolitan, I felt the need to confess something.

I lean in and say, "I have to admit I really did start drinking these when Carrie Bradshaw made them popular."

He says, "Should we say, 'Baaa...'?"

I say, "But, I have an excuse. I was just out of college, at the time, and it was my first grown-up drink."

I explained that that night we were at a former-gay-club-turned-straight. On their Goth Night, no less. True to stereotype, they were the best dance club in town. There was also something that was a novelty for a Lansing bar, a martini list. It was actually one of my friends who got the first Cosmopolitan. I tried a sip of hers and soon, we were drinking them all the time.

He listened and nodded with understanding. Then, he motioned to me and said, "Come closer. I need to tell you something."

So, I did and he whispers, "Your cleavage looks nice, right now."

I protest, "I just bared my soul to you!"

He just innocently shrugs and says, "Well, I had to whisper that. I didn't want every guy in here to casually stroll by to check."

Oh well. What can you do?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Everything you need to know about me

I felt respectable because I was going out with a guy I met in a bookstore.

I was having fun, but at a point in the night it occured to me that I was dealing with a different mentality than I'm used to. I've been used to men who are creative in some way. They make or build things. Or maybe they study things. Or run experiments. This one was a businessman.

He had mentioned before that he was also a former cop (a homicide detective in NJ).

But now, he told me something that really got my attention. One of his jobs when he was a cop was to analyze handwriting, something he was trained in by the FBI.

I asked him, "You really know how to do that?"

He invited me to sign my name the way I usually do and allow him to demonstrate.

He said if I was being investigated for a crime, one thing that would work in my favor is that the way I cross my t shows that I have a high sense of self and can't easily be convinced to do something I don't believe in. However, if I did ever commit a crime, I would never tell a soul about it. I'm very good at keeping secrets. He pointed out how low the lower loops go. Apparently, I have this in common with the Oklahoma bomber (who he says was caught by handwriting analysis).

He also tells me that I have a this-is-me-just-take-it personality. But, though I seem to have a very open, high-energy personality, the next moment, I'll just clam up.

Oh yeah, and I have a personality that's easily bored. So, if I was a bank robber, the more I got away with it, the more I'd want to do. I guess it's a good thing I'm not a bank robber.

He told me that I could try to change it, but it's like my DNA. It would never really work.

So, though I had only just met this man, he already knew everything about me.

Friday, August 8, 2008


Early on in a baby's life, it truly doesn't know that reality doesn't revolve around it. When it can't see something, it believes it no longer exists. It's not until several months old that it will start to look for a toy if you hide it. Of course, even then, it's a slow process to find where you really fit in the scheme of things.

I miss the sense of omnipotence I had as a small child. When I heard that my mom was pregnant for the second time, I told her to make it a girl. I wanted a sister. Boys had cooties. That was all. Thank you. And, in my mind it was decided.

So, when people would ask me, "But, what if it's a boy?", I would look at them like they were idiots and gently inform them that that was not possible.

Call it luck or sheer force of will, but I got my way.

I clearly remember my 4th birthday. I remember the pink dress I wore. I remember telling people that 4 was my new favorite number. I got excited when NBC, channel 4 displayed their neon 4 on the tv screen. I noted that my hand would have 4 fingers if it wasn't for that odd-looking thumb. I can't remember any of my other birthdays being built up so much.

And yet, I have no memory of the major national event that happened locally that day. I know all the adults would have been talking about it. It's especially strange considering that my dad obsessively watched the news and had the habit of talking about politics like we were old enough to understand it.

I've wracked my brain, but I can't find the slightest memory of The Republican National Convention being held in downtown Detroit where Ronald Reagan accepted his party's nomination and would then go on to be president. I would like to say I remember something like that, but apparently nothing else could happen on Earth the day I turned 4.

He was the first president I can actually remember. I remember most of the important moments. I remember the crazy who shot him to impress Jodie Foster. But, I don't remember him being nominated in my hometown. Why?

BECAUSE I WAS 4! That was MY day, bitches! (Okay, I may have not known how to verbalize that sentiment, yet, but trust me, the feeling was there.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


The details matter. It makes a difference to me whether I see a couple hold hands across the table or not.

The last time I saw him, his hand held mine against the tabletop and the waitress had stopped by several times to see if we were ready to order.

I told him, "She's probably getting annoyed with us."

I tried to sound concerned, but I just giggled.

As we were on our way out, the waitress came out to the lobby to remind us that we ordered dessert. I lifted my cheek from his chest when I heard her voice. I never even saw her follow us out there.

Is it enough to look happy? Others can see it in the smallest gestures. I have a tendency to pick apart happy moments in my mind, to kill them with dissection. It's nice when for an evening I forget to do that.

Afterwards, he asked me if I wanted to go across the street for a drink. It's one of the bars I like to write in. I laughed and told him they wouldn't recognize me without my notebook.

That's the same place where I am, right now. I'm looking for the subtext in a story.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

No Boobs for Oil

I don't know how things like this keep ending up in my inbox.

It seems the most frequent solicitors of the female flesh these days are not trying to make a quick buck. No. They have a higher calling to "protest". And, what horribly selfish person could say no to that?

In recent years, I've been asked to participate in a number of projects. There was the Iraq War protest where groups of women were photographed with their naked bodies spelling the word "peace". There was the protest against the Taliban where women were expected to walk naked around the block while the men watched with a six-pack of beer (fully clothed, I presume).

I will state, once and for all, where I stand on this. No, I'm not interested in getting naked to protest. I don't see how naked women make a good protest. All closet gay Republicans aside, I assume most of these protests will be reaching heterosexual men. Last I heard, they like looking at naked women. I don't plan to reward them for an unjustified war or anything else. No thank you.

Every time someone suggests a naked protest, their male sympathizers add their encouragement, eager to be "supportive" and volunteer the services of every woman they know. Yet, they never volunteer their own.

I would like to know why? If anything is likely to strike fear and disgust into the hearts of those in power, it would probably be pictures of naked men, "artfully" arranged. Now, I'm not discounting the buff young Adonises, because bringing out the latent homosexual impulses is sure to make them uncomfortable....but, let's get creative here. If you could be better served by a weedwacker than a razor, then this is especially for you.

If you have a third nipple, a vestigial tale, or anything else that can't be explained by science....well then, I'm definitely talking to you! It's time to stand up and do your duty for your country. If you believe in your cause as much as you say, this shouldn't be a problem, right?

I will save my naked flesh for worthier causes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Puppy Love

Once upon a time, my sister had the perfect man. What ever happened with them? Well, she passed him on to me.

This is Bebe.

When she couldn't keep him, she made sure he would live with his favorite aunt.

He's made me realize something about myself. I really would rather be nice than be mean. I'm sad to say that finding this out surprised me a little. But, you don't have to worry about being "too nice" to a dog. He'll never start to take you for granted or deep down want to be mistreated. It's also okay to spoil and pamper him because he doesn't have to grow up to be an independent adult. I've found that I like having someone I can do that with. Human relationships are more complicated, but it's good to have him always there.

At the moment, he's chasing his tail. I won't burst his bubble by telling him he'll never catch it. Oh well....

Here's to Bebe, stealing socks and hearts in Bloomfield Hills, MI since 2006.