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Showing posts from November, 2009

Your Holiday Survival Manifesto and Mantras

The holidays are coming, and they usually entail spending a great deal of time with family members you may not see on a regular basis, perhaps because you choose not to. For some, holiday time with the fam is a blessing; for others, a curse. For those of you feeling cursed right about now, BWB's got your Holiday Survival Manifesto and accompanying mantras to get you through the holidays without your having to ask someone to post bail on your behalf.

First, the Manifesto. There are some simple realities of family life that we all need to remember around this time of year. In the words of my sister, The Writing Diva, I'd like to think of each of them as a holiday "slap upside da hed." Here goes:

1. To borrow from Donald Rumsfeld, you don't go into the holidays with the family you want; you go into the holidays with the family you have. Spending countless hours huddled around a large table over a perfectly (or imperfectly) roasted dead bird and cholesterol-enhancing s…

"Girlcotting" the 2010 Winter Olympics

Some boys take an athletic girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world . . .
Girls wanna be the ones to jump at the sun
Oh girls, they wanna ski jump
Oh girls just wanna ski jump . . .

- a parody of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," with apologies to Cyndi Lauper

The person with the record for the longest ski jump at the Vancouver Olympic facility will not be competing in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Women aren't allowed to compete in the ski jump, one event that has been in the Winter Olympics since its inception. And according to the Christian Science Monitor, the person who holds the ski jump record for that facility, Lindsey Van, an American, will not be competing. Because she's a woman.

So, let me get this straight: Women can lead nations, die in combat, compete in Olympic boxing -- but they can't ski jump? The IOC says there aren't enough nations and competitors to justify including women ski jumpers.

But they still include curling not only as an event, but…

The Greatest Concert That Never Was

Something very, very good came out of something very, very bad.

The very, very bad thing? That would be the movie "Couples Retreat." BMNB and I don't always agree on which movies to see. I wanted to see "This Is It," but he wanted comedy on the same plane as "The Hangover." Despite the bad movie reviews, he wanted to see "Couples Retreat." I agreed.

It is the only time I have ever not only walked out on a movie, but demanded my money back. It is the first time BMNB and I did this as a couple.

The movie is produced, co-written and starring Vince Vaughn. It starts with a scene in which one of Vaughn's buddies, an overweight brother who has just gone through a painful divorce and has taken up with a twenty-something year-old, is in a motorcycle dealership trying to convince Vaughn's character over the phone to co-sign a loan for him to buy a motorcycle to please his girlfriend since his divorce has wrecked his credit. To persuade V…

Not of God

The shooting at Fort Hood is sad, puzzling, and disconcerting. What's also sad is that leaders of Muslim communities around the United States had to immediately speak out and distance themselves from the acts of the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and clarify that his alleged acts did not represent the Muslim community or the Muslim faith.

Was there ever any doubt?

Why is it that when someone of a "marginalized" group goes batshit crazy and does something tragic and fatal, Americans tend to go all Pearl Harbor on the group the crazy person is part of -- whether it's race (Japanese) or religion (in this case, Islam). Don't we know better by now? Don't we know that - or at least I believe that -- there is no faith that would call for or condone the mass slaughter of innocent people? It pains me to know that Muslim places of worship received threatening phone calls within hours of the Fort Hood massacre. Don't we know better by now?

What Major Ha…

Witnesses and Accomplices

I haven't written about the gang rape of the young girl at a high school in Richmond, California that was not only witnessed by many, but was recorded on cell phones but not reported. Words fail me. In my mind, these "witnesses" are also "accomplices." Words fail me. What kind of animals could watch someone be brutalized and not hit even three buttons on a cell phone -- "911" --that might have stopped it?

My friend and protege, The Outraged Citizen, has provided some extremely thoughtful and well-written commentary on this tragedy. You should read it.

Say a prayer for the girl, her family, and for the souls of those who watched, recorded, and failed to act. Their souls are in need of healing.

Reminds me of that Stevie Wonder song, "Love's In Need of Love Today" . . . .