Friday, January 29, 2010

A New Super Bowl Drinking Game Is Born

Did I ever tell you I was an advertising major in college? Well, I was, for like a minute. Then I moved my focus to journalism. But for a brief moment in my life I thought I would really like to be in advertising. Why? Because I love commercials.

I think my love of commercials is what brought me to football. Because, of course the super bowl of commercials is well, the Super Bowl. I remember sitting in our family room with Ivan watching the Super Bowl. He was watching because he loved football, I was watching because I loved laughing at all the funny commercials. Of course in between all those funny sixty-second spots, I couldn’t help but pick up a few pointers on the game. Especially with Ivan as a tutor.

And once I saw how cute some of those quarterbacks were, a fan was born.

Now, for those of you that follow me on Twitter, you know a couple of weeks ago I was up in arms about a Carl Jr.’s advertisement that seemed to me a blatant rip-off of last year’s PETA ad that was banned from the Super Bowl for being too sexy. Was the PETA ad a bit racy? Yes. Was it too racy for the Super Bowl? Umm, I don’t think so. Not when you consider the GoDaddy ads that have women losing their tops -- of which, what the heck is GoDaddy?

Still, I didn’t raise too much of a stink about it. Mostly because I wondered if my affront wasn’t because it was PETA that was being banned -- as opposed the Carl Jr’s whose ad I’m sure will appear on the West Coast with little to no fanfare.

But I can’t keep quiet about the recent controversy surrounding the Tim Tebow and ManCrush ads.

For those of you that don’t know, Tim Tebow is the University of Florida quarterback who became famous when he was caught crying after his team’s loss to Alabama; a loss that prevented them from playing for a national championship. Apparently, it is also a miracle that he is even with us today, because, according to an ad that will air during the Super Bowl, his mother was told to terminate her pregnancy for health reasons. Obviously she didn’t and now the world has Tim Tebow.

That’s great. Good for you, Tim and Mrs. Tebow. Seriously. I don’t have a problem with this ad running.

My problem is that CBS is (or was as of this writing) refusing to run an ad by ManCrush, a dating site for gay men. The ad has two men watching football when their hands brush against each others while reaching for dip and then they start making out (oh if only it were that easy!).

What does the ManCrush spot have to do with Tim Tebow? Well, the organization that is paying for the Tebow ad is obviously pro-life, but they are also anti-gay. So why do they get to get their message out there, but ManCrush can’t?

CBS officials said it was because they were out of ad space but that turned out to be not true. Now they are saying it just isn’t appropriate for the small children that could be watching the Super Bowl to see two men kissing.

Of course this wasn’t a concern last year (or was it the year before) when Snickers showed two men kissing (thank you Miami New Times for reminding me about this ad). Of course an onlooker in that commercial was disgusted by the sight, so I guess that is what made it okay -- it is okay for two men to kiss as long as it is gross. It is also okay for two women (so long as they are hot) to kiss (or almost kiss) because that obviously doesn’t raise any questions for small children.

You know what else doesn’t make small children wonder, apparently? The words four-hour erection. I think we should all take a drink on Super Bowl Sunday for every time we hear those words at the end of Cialis and Viagra commercials. You know, to celebrate all the awkward conversations that are not taking place in families with small children.

Now some stink has been made that the Tebow ad will create just as many unnecessary conversations between children and their parents. This I totally disagree with. But maybe that is because I forced my mom to have this same conversation when I was just eight. See, wearing buttons on your jean jacket was the coolest-thing-ever back then and one day my best friend came in with a big, new button she took from her mom that said, “My Body! My Choice!” Of course we all pretended to know what that meant, but since I didn’t have a clue, when I got home I asked my mom. And my mom being a no-nonsense kinda woman and a nurse, sat me down and summed up the great abortion debate in a language a third-grader could understand.

Still, I’m sure there are parents out there that would like to avoid this conversation for as long as possible. Just as I am sure there are plenty of families out there that don’t want to have to explain homosexuality to their eight-year-olds. However, I am just as sure that there are a number of families, oh like those with two daddies, that would appreciate seeing their lifestyle acted out during a great American tradition as if there was nothing wrong with it.

Because here’s the thing, CBS, there’s not.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

To Friend or Not To Friend

Bosley sent me a friend request on Facebook.

Most of you should know, either because you followed me over from my old blog or because you found me after TLo blogged about me, that I didn’t work for a glamorous private investigators firm. You know that I worked for a law firm. But, because this is a brand new blog and for the sake of continuity, I will continue to use the old-new code names for everyone.

To refresh your memory, Bosley used to be my boss.

And I used to consider him a friend.

Okay, so now you know that I worked for a law firm, but you may not know what I did. I worked in the firm’s marketing department. How did I get such a fine gig? Bosley was a fan of my old blog.

Yes, the very same blog he would one day ask me to stop writing.

See, before I worked for Bosley, I worked for Old-boss as his assistant. Old-boss was an administrative partner at a firm here in Philadelphia and as his assistant, I got to see the shady (and sometimes funny) side of the legal industry. And because I always wanted to grow up and be a writer, I started writing a column (and eventually a blog) for the legal newspaper. This is how Bosley found me. He thought I was funny and talented and hired me away from Old-boss to be a writer in Bosley’s marketing department.

Then, one day, I wrote a blog about a bunch of male lawyers that worked for us that stood out from the pack because of their attention to grooming. Somehow, this group of PYTs figured out I was talking about them and were pissed. They cried to their boss, their boss screamed at Charlie and Charlie called me in for a teta-a-tete during which he told me not to call anyone pretty ever again.

I remember having lunch with Old-boss right around this time and telling him about the uproar I caused. He laughed so hard he snorted margarita through his nose. See, when I worked for him I used to write about our revolving-door policy with new associates, how I pimped out a summer associate to one of our partners and one time when a partner asked me to rearrange his office so he didn’t have to look at his secretary. I even quoted Old-boss in one blog saying “we already have enough assholes working here.” In other words, things an administrative partner wouldn’t want anyone to know about his law firm. I think Old-boss would have celebrated a blog about how good looking our associates were.

But back to Bosley. After my face-to-face with Charlie, Bosley asked me to stop by. I told him about my conversation with Charlie and my concern about the big fat target that was now on my back. I figured, at the minimum, he would tell me not to worry about it, that he and Charlie had my back and as long as I didn’t poke or feed the metrosexuals, I would be fine.

But that’s not what happened. Instead, Bosley pointed out that Charlie really went to bat for me and that it would be nice if in turn I just stopped writing the blog. After all, he said, “You have to grow up some day.”

Wow. I had no idea blogging was something only children did. Which is what I am sure my face expressed. That or, “how dare you?” Either way, Bosley went on to tell me a story about a guy that worked at a factory in Dallas who was fired during the NFL playoffs when he wore an opposing team’s jersey to work. His point? Maybe they wouldn’t fire me for writing my blog. Maybe they would fire me for having Peyton Manning’s photo framed and on my desk because they could.


So, I decided to stop writing my blog. However, the very freakin’ week I was preparing to publish my big good-bye, Philebrity wrote a blog naming me their blog crush. I almost cried at the timing of it all and, thinking Boz was still my friend, I walked into his office with a print out of the blurb so we could both laugh and curse stupid eyeliner-wearing attorneys with no senses of humor.

The thing is, Bosley didn’t laugh or cry or even commiserate. Instead he looked up at me and asked, “What? Did you write this?”

Now, in my life I have made a couple of people cry, though almost always unintentionally. At that moment, though, I wanted to make Bosley cry. I wanted to punch him in his throat or spit in his stupid face or call him every mean and nasty name I could. Instead, I clenched my fists, opened my eyes real wide, snatched the page from his grubby grasp and said, “No, I didn’t.” I stared to leave but turned back, “You know, some people think I’m a talented writer. You used to be one of them.”

I also decided to punish Bosley the best way I knew how -- by taking away my friendship.

So when I got Bosley’s friend request, I shouldn’t have been torn. I should have hit ignore and laughed and laughed and then continue writing my novel. Bu the thing is, back in the day, when I was a columnist and blogger, I warned my readers about burning bridges. Which is why part of me thinks I should just let bygones be bygones and accept his friend request. After all, I’m not really “friends” with every one of my Facebook friends.

However, the other two-thirds of me is screaming -- ignore. You don’t get to hurt me, not apologize for it and remain in my life. Even if it is just my online life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sweet Dreams Are Made of He

In the last month I have had three very explicit dreams about my high school crush whom I haven’t seen since our reunion three years ago.

The first two happened while I was home working on grad school applications and so I just shrugged them off as being some sort of dream memory brought on by sleeping in the same bed I did when I was in high school.

After all, I had plenty of dirty dreams about this guy in that bed. It seemed fitting that when I return to that bed, he should return as the star of those dreams.

But the most recent dream happened the other night. In my own bed in my own home in Philadelphia. A bed where I should be dreaming of Stewart Bradley or Andy Roddick (what do you want from me? I was in the middle of a tennis memoir), not my high school crush.

What makes these dreams stand out even more is that they are the only dirty dreams I have had since losing my job. All my other dreams have been anxiety induced. Like being chased around my old high school by lions or a new favorite -- discovering a hellmouth under my dresser so that every time I pass it to go to the bathroom creatures from the unknown rise up and try to pull me down with them. Worse than that, because it is directly under my dresser and blocking the entrance to my closet, I am forced to wear the same clothes until I figure out how to close the damned thing.

Now, I'm not the sort to believe there are hidden messages in our dreams. I'm from the school of thought that dreams are merely tools to protect one’s sleep. Which explains my anxiety dreams. I am worried about a number of things at the moment, but instead of keeping me up at night (okay, so sometimes it does keep me up at night), my subconscious is dealing with using lions, tigers and dismembered arms.

So, what then, is my subconscious protecting me from by sending me my high school crush to get me all hot and bothered?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Text Revenge

The Republican still occasionally sends me texts messages despite my making it very clear to him I could no longer be his text-girlfriend. And by occasionally, I mean every month or so, typically on a Saturday night at around two in the morning.

It’s not that these messages are a great annoyance. If I still slept with my BlackBerry on the pillow next to me, I might get bothered when the alert woke me up, but because my iPhone sleeps in a whole other room than me, I can’t even hear it. Still, once, when I was at my parents’ home he sent me a really important and esoteric message like “whatsup?” (yep, all one word -- told you he was a catch) and my mom, who was on her way to bed, heard it, looked at it, took note of the time and mentioned it the next day at breakfast.

Awesome. Now my mom thinks I am an even bigger whore than she previously thought.

I keep hoping that he will grow bored with my lack of response and eventually stop, but so far, not so good.

Then the other night I was out with Salty, PTH and the Duchess when the Duchess starts telling us a story about some crazy girl they all grew up with. In the middle of the story, we learn that she is seeing one of our friend’s exes and that ex sent a midnight text to our friend. Our friend new her ex was seeing someone and was really annoyed by the late night interruption (she still sleeps with her BlackBerry). So the next day, instead of responding via text, she responded via Facebook. Something similar to, “Hey, got your text last night. I was actually asleep. Sorry. I’m fine, my trip was great. Good hearing from you.”

You know that little post on his wall did not sit well with his crazy girlfriend.

Aren’t my friends clever?

Anyway, I am not sure if I am going to use this with the Republican, mostly because I am not sure he is seeing anyone that this would drive crazy. But, as I am sure this is not just a me problem, I figured I would pass along this plan of action in case any of you have some late night callers you would like to rid from your life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Just Say No

I stepped out of my apartment yesterday and paused a moment to take in such a lovely day for the middle of January in Philadelphia. I took a deep breath and started down the stairs when I saw a large poster of a discarded fetus.

I breathed out, hard. Oh, cripes.

In addition to several row homes converted into apartments, I share my block with a credit union, a seminary, an Italian restaurant (and soon an Italian sandwich shop opened by the same owners) a weight-loss management clinic, an MRI center, a dentist and the office of a U.S. Congressman. My guess was this guy, and yes, it was only one guy, was protesting either me, the liberal feminist blogger, or the congressman.

I then noticed the word choice with a question mark sprawled across the top of the poster and realized he must be there for me.

I took another deep breath and finished walking down my steps.

There was no way to avoid the 197-year-old man that I could now see was also handing out bright red fliers. He was standing in the middle of the sidewalk that leads to my coffeeshop. And while part of me realized in his own perverted way he was just trying to save my soul, and I have a general rule about being nice to people that are trying to save my soul -- there are a couple of women that typically stand on the other corner handing out WatchTowers and other reading material, and I always smile at them and say “no thank you” when they try to pass something to me. But those ladies, and occasionally a gentleman, never make me look at a discarded fetus before I have had my coffee and so I decided all bets were off as I set my jaw and narrowed my eyes (though, I was wearing sunglasses so I doubt he picked up on my menacing gaze).

As I approached I could see he was also passing out rosaries. He reached out to hand me a flier and a rosary and I looked him in the face, with my jaw set and said no. I didn’t spit on him or kick his cane out from under him, nor did launch into a tirade as to what business it was of a 197-year old man if a woman chose to terminate her unwanted pregnancy.

Instead, with my one word and hard look I let him know that I respected his right to free speech and peacefully assemble. Just as he should respect my right to choose. Neither of us has to like it, but we should respect it. And I’m pretty sure he got the message because by the time I came back, not a half hour later, he was gone.

That or the congressman’s office called the cops and had him removed.

Monday, January 18, 2010

When Push Comes to Shove

I recently finished Push and had hoped to see Precious before the Golden Globes, but that didn’t happen. Hopefully I catch it before the Academy Awards.

Push was a short read, but a really hard read -- for those of you that read it or saw it or know anything about it, you know what I am talking about. And it took awhile to get used to the dialect. But by the end, I was just overwhelmed by the strength of the main character Precious.

In my many years of arguing with idiots I have heard time and time again that poor people don’t have it any harder than rich people when it comes to opportunities to enrich themselves.

That and people on welfare are just lazy.

And while I know that this wasn’t a true story, given Sapphire’s background, as a reading and writing teacher in Harlem, I can’t help but wonder how much of this story isn’t true. Even if only 50 percent of it is based on reality then I think it makes one heck of an argument against the poor-people-are-poor-because-they-want-to-be argument.

Now, since it is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and a day of service is expected of us all, I think I am going to take a play out of Tina Marina’s book and head down to a corner in Center City and throw copies of this book at men I find attractive. Because you know if I think they are good looking they are probably Republican.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ahh, James Dean

While in Allentown I was at my old stomping ground, the South Mall, looking for an Eagles jersey for my mom when I paused at a calendar kiosk set up outside the sporting goods store. I browsed for a bit. Truth be told, I have a strange fascination with calendars and for a moment, I thought about getting another French phrase-a-day calendar. Sure, I didn’t resolve to learn French this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still practice.

Somehow I found myself in the heartthrob section, staring down at a black and white picture of James Dean.

Big sigh. James Dean.

I smiled, remembering how every year for Christmas my father would get me a James Dean Calendar. I turned it over to look at the back, at all the pictures I have seen a dozen or so times before.

I bent down to return the calendar to the rack when I noticed in the rack above my former beloved were calendars featuring none other than Edward and Jacob.

My initial reaction was one of disgust until I remembered the calender I was just swooning over.

Then I remembered that I own all three of James Dean’s movies on VHS and obsessively watched them as a teenager.

I remembered how I saved my paper route money to buy the limited edition James Dean watch that I loved so much (and still have somewhere).

I then shook my head. It was different. I didn't have t-shirts with his face silk screened on it. I didn't have a blog talking about how much my life is like one of his movies. Also, James Dean was dead, so I couldn’t follow him around Comic-Con screaming his name and swooning when he looked my way which is when it hit me. Oh my god, James Dean is dead.

He’s dead.

Just like Edward.

A while back I was at a happy hour with former co-workers, including an ol’ favorite of mine that we will rename here Brad. Brad and I get to talking about Twilight. He mentioned that he read an interview with Anne Rice and some other given vampire expert (or an expert on teenage girls) about why the sudden vampire craze. According to Brad, Anne said something about women are drawn to vampires because they represent exactly what women are looking for in a man, an older, more experienced man, in a body that will never get fat and go bald. Young women in particular are drawn to Edward’s character because he's wise and mature, from another time when men were respectful of women. So unlike the immature guys that are in their homerooms and classrooms and hallways.

And just like Edward (and Jacob) James Dean will never grow old or ugly. Just like Edward, James Dean was from another era. He seemed old and wise beyond his years, but more importantly, my years. He wasn’t like the guys in my high school. He was deep and sensitive and brooding and well dressed and I just knew he would understand all my angst. I mean, once we sorted through all of his.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m sorry. And I get it. Sort of.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shoes Make The Woman, Or At Least The Outfit

It’s been said that a suit makes the man.

Well, I wonder if shoes make the woman.

They sure do make this woman.

I was stuck in Allentown these past couple of days. It was only suppose to be a short trip; a long weekend really. But then I learned that my mom had a doctor’s appointment and so she might not be able pick me up at the bus station on time on Thursday. For those of you that have never been to the Allentown bus station, believe me, it isn’t the sort of place you want to be hanging around.

So, I moved my arrival date up to Wednesday. Then, once I was home, my mom and dad talked me into staying until Monday, then Tuesday and then Wednesday.

But originally I had planned on being home Saturday night. Which is why I only had two pairs of sneakers with me; one for running, one for running errands. Once it was decided I would be staying, I planned on stopping by my place before the baby shower I had to attend and picking up my pony-hair flats to wear there. After, I figured, I would also pick up my red patent leather heels, and maybe my black booties as well as my UGGs, you know, just in case.

Then I got to my place on Saturday and realized I left my house keys in my other bag. I had been a blonde again for less than two hours and I had already reverted to airhead.

Long story short. I have been without cute shoes for almost a week.

Last night, I was getting ready to meet up with an old friend for drinks. I put on my jeans and a gray sweater which is a bit of a uniform for me when I want to look cute without looking over-done. But last night I felt fat. I did my hair, wondering if my ugly feeling had something to do with getting used to being a blonde again. I stared at myself for a few minute and decided I definitely liked my hair. I put on my make-up and decided I looked cute enough, but still felt gross.

Then I sat on my old bed and reached for my black running errands sneakers when it hit me, it is these goddamn, not cute at all sneakers that are leaving me feeling less than put together.

I decided that if your hair is the icing on the cupcake than shoes are the happy ending at the bottom of a Friendly’s happy ending sundae.

And really, what is better than finding those last couple of Reese’s Pieces after you have almost finished all your ice cream?

Monday, January 4, 2010

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year

I love making resolutions.

Now, those of you that have not been with me since my Devil days, you won’t know that every year I promise to learn French and how to play tennis. I have been making this same resolution since I was 13 years old.

Now, my Aunt Zelda, who is so old she took Moses to the prom, was left a long time ago by her no-good husband for a younger, uglier bartender. Aunt Z moved into a townhouse, got some work done and made herself a bucket list (obviously this was way before the movie ever came out and actually some speculate the movie was inspired by my Aunt Z). Because my Aunt Z is fabulous her list contained really spectacular things like taking an African safari and volunteering in a refugee camp.

She is down to the last item on her list, learn to ski, which she refuses to do because she fears that once she has, her next chairlift ride will be to the hereafter. And now that the old girl has gone blind, it seems she will never learn to ski and will outlive us all.

My point? Well, my reasons for not learning French or how to play tennis are not nearly so interesting. It’s mostly because I am too lazy and have no one to practice either skill with. The Republican offered to teach me tennis, but I think he was just trying to get in my pants (or up my skirt as the case may be) and like so many things with the Republican, it never came to be.

So this year I am resolving to do things I can actually accomplish and that will make me a better, more interesting person. I am also choosing things that I can do every day as opposed to something I can put off until the weather is warmer.

What are these resolutions, you ask? Well, since they aren’t really private and I think it will help me keep them the more people know them, I will tell you. In no particular order they are: take more risks, care less about what others thing of me and take better care of myself.

Oh, and of course, finish the novel.

Sadly, it is already January 4 and I haven’t managed to keep a single one of these resolutions; which may be a new record for me. Honestly, by the first day of the new decade I had failed on the second and third. As for taking risks, on Two Street, I did call out to Hot Bartender and he did stop and chat, but that is where that ended. And really it wasn’t much of a risk as it was more an instinct to say hello to someone I knew than a conscious choice to take a chance on that guy I have been chasing most of the last decade.

Still, I will persevere and try to implement at least one of these resolutions by the end of this week. If not, by the end of the month for sure.

A Proud American Ice Princess

While not a super power, an icy demeanor does have its perks

Salty was making sauce the other day and invited me over for some. Bored and missing human contact after a Saturday spent cleaning my apartment, I braved the sub-zero wind chill and trekked to her place.

During a commercial break from the Jersey Shore, Salty casually asked how it was for me to see DB on Friday.

Did I mention DB is best friends with Salty’s husband?

I had been at her place for at least an hour (possibly more) and I feel like we had both been circling this question. Then again, maybe it was just me. After all, I have been extra sensitive about this topic the last couple of days.

So when Salty casually asked this question, I shrugged my shoulders and said fine. It’s not that I don’t trust Salty. I do. I just hate putting my friends in awkward situations. And talking trash, even a little trash, about her husband’s best friend seems to me like a hard place to be.

She smiled and launched into a story about when she asked him the same question. Please note to fully appreciate this story, you would have to know Salty. Still, I will do my best to impersonate her rapid style story telling.
“It was funny, we were all sitting on your couch. I can’t remember who was sitting with us, but I was here (Salty indicated the corner seat) and DB was behind me, and someone was sitting right next to me and I turned to DB and asked how he was holding up and he said fine. He said that he didn’t think you minded him being there and I said that if you did he would be the last to know. He said he was sure you would tell him if you wanted him out and I said that sure you had strong opinions and you would have no problem telling him to get out of your place, but that you would never let it show that it bothered you that he was there. I told him he could dance on your table and you would act like you didn’t even notice.”

I smiled at her and said, “You know me so well.” Salty has known me for a long, long time.

She just laughed.

And I relaxed knowing that while I felt like every conflict was showing on my face (or in my shaking hands), in fact I appeared like a cool, gracious hostess.

I believe even Martha Stewart herself would be proud.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Big Moments in Break-ups

There are some really great moments in a break-up. For instance, when you are sitting at a friend’s holiday party and you learn that your ex-boyfriend has recently been wearing Crocs.

Then there are some not so wonderful moments in a break-up. Like when you are standing in the kitchen of your own holiday party and that same ex asks you, “So what happened to your job?”

Let me explain.

Every year I host a Mummer’s Day party and while it isn't the social event of the year, I do get a pretty decent turnout. Amongst the revelers are a number of DB’s friends, which would have left him without anyone to strut with on New Year’s Day and so this year he decided to tag along.

So you know, he wasn't so callous as to show up without warning me he was coming. New Year’s Eve, Salty’s husband (my part-time husband as Salty lets me borrow him when I need something heavy moved or a ride to a big box store) dropped off a couple of cases of beer and as he put the beer in my backyard he joked that DB might come join them the next day. I shrugged and said that would be fine. See, I thought this was a joke PTH and I had. In the last year and a half, there would be occasions when DB was invited somewhere, but he wouldn’t show. Presumably because I was there. PTH would tease me about it and I would give it right back to him.

But as he was leaving, PTH brought it up again and again I shrugged it off. Then he turned and said, “Is any of your family coming tomorrow?”

Suddenly I knew he wasn’t joking. See, I’m tough, but I’m nothing when compared to the rest of my family. Daddy was a marine, mommy was raised in a bar, Lana lulls you into a false sense of security with her high voice and big doe eyes before she whispers something sweetly into your ear that makes you cry and Ivan, well Ivan is a just a big kid with killer wit and sometimes a gun hidden on his person. My only weapons are my keen intellect and my icy demeanor.

The next day, when he did in fact turn up, I got to play gracious hostess, while I struggled to hide the fact that I was shaking from my internal struggle. I know he is a douche bag, and showing up at my party really only confirmed this for me and my friends, but he is still a guy I really liked. He is still the guy that I shared a lot of great moments with. A guy that I was probably the most intimate with. And while he turned out to be a jerk, his physical appearance didn’t change -- he didn’t look like a jerk. He still looked like the guy whose body I used to like to lie against while we sat on my couch watching a movie.

And it didn’t help that it was New Year’s Day when a person is already extra introspective about. I suppose I could have used this opportunity to reflect on my life but instead I chose to ignore my feelings and drink until I stopped shaking.

Which is how I found myself in my kitchen with my ex pretending everything was perfectly normal. Sometimes self-reflection is best done the next day, sober, in front of a computer.