Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I made myself a halter top this weekend. I’m not sure what possessed me, considering that I’ve never been able to wear one. But I went on faith that the advanced bra technology I’ve been hearing about on the teevee had created a convertible bra that doesn’t suck.
Hallelujah and God bless Lilyette. This is a great bra.
Hurry and buy one. I like it so much, it's sure to be discontinued any minute.
guys n guitars
Sunday, July 27, 2008
The most mild-mannered guys are transformed into sexy things the moment they strap on guitars.
Maybe it’s just me, but judging by the bevy of birthday party girls who were climbing all over Tom at Black & Blue’s gig in Fort Worth Friday night, I think not.
The night started unpromising. By 10:30, there were maybe 15 people in the club, including me and a few friends. But an appreciative crowd grew over the course of the first set and during the break, the girls arrived—a whole flock of ‘em in short-shorts and high heels and glitter everywhere. One wore a tiara. This was good news.
“Those are the girls that are going to dance to Honky-Tonk Women,” I told a friend.
I was right, of course. Honky-Tonk Women was the second song of the second set and that’s when the party really began.
It was, we learned, Kaitlin’s 22nd birthday and she was out in a white sequin tank top, white short-shorts, disco ball earrings and tiara, partying with her posse at the Moon bar. It was a mass of writhing, squealing girls, pressed up to the low stage, wiggling for attention. Kaitlin draped a scarf around Tom’s neck and another girl put a tiara on Steve. The girls would drift off for a minute, to get drinks or take cell phone photos of each other, then return, arms in the air, nipples aimed at the band, shaking their bottoms and shrieking.
This display attracted throngs of beefy frat boys and the dance floor grew increasingly crowded. By Satisfaction and Jumping Jack Flash, the room was a hallucinogenic bacchanalia of dancing. It was a notably rhythmless orgy but heartfelt and enthusiastic.
I’d pay money for copies of the photos taken at the end of the show of Tom, looking sweaty, pleased and bewildered, flanked by young girls, pressing in and posing. It was a MySpace moment in the making.
After the last shutter clicked, the girls wandered off and the club began clearing out.
“What was that about?” Tom asked.
Guitars, baby. They do something to us.
Electric guitars properly wielded instill authority, power, mystery and blatant sex appeal. It works for women too, but they become sexy in a masculine way.
I am first of all awed by the ability to stand on a stage and sing, play a guitar and interact with an audience. The skill alone is a turn-on. I am attracted to competence.
But guitars on men are like stiletto heels on women: an automatic come-on.
Guitarist wield their instruments differently. Tom is low-slung and solid and wears his guitar at groin level. He wears t-shirts or his sleeves rolled up, flashing forearms. When he solos, he plants himself even more firmly and works his instrument. (So to speak.) His playing is crunchy and assertive.
Black & Blue’s other guitarist, Steve, is tall, slender and androgynous. He wears his guitar high. He moves on the stage less than Tom but his connection with his guitar is palpable and his solos are complex conversations.
Both different, both hot.
My first major real life rock-and-roll crush was on a bass player. Bass is hot. It vibrates. Bass players don’t need center stage but can be a band’s backbone. Joel, Black & Blue’s bassist, mostly hangs back on stage. He hasn’t started working the crowd yet or maybe he’s going for mystery. Drummers have to work hard for attention, tucked way back the way they are. Chuck seems to like it. He works his ass off behind his drums and enjoys watching the dramas in front of him.
Girls who chase bands know that dating a bass player is different from dating, say, a lead singer. (What do you call a lead singer without a girlfriend? Homeless. That’s my favorite musician joke.) The ego needs are different. You have to be prepared to do an awful lot of ego-feeding to run with rock stars. Rhythm guitarists have lesser ego needs than lead guitarists. Drummers have low-maintenance egos but are infamously flaky. (What do you call a guy who hangs around with musicans? A drummer. Another good one.)
Here’s my favorite rock-and-roll wife story. It was our first wedding anniversary and Tom’s band du jour, Tex Edwards and the Swingin’ Cornflake Killers, was playing at Taco Land in San Antonio. (BTW, big Cornflake Killers reunion on Aug. 8 at Reno’s in Deep Ellum.) Before the show, as the many bands that day milled around and set up, MsKrit, Tex’s girlfriend, and I were, as always, sitting off to one side watching the scene and entertaining ourselves with caustic narrative. At one point, the wife of some other musician in some other band stood before us.
“You wives and girlfriends of the band?” she demanded.
“Me too,” the woman replied. “Makes ya mean, don’t it?”
That night went on to be an epic rock-and-roll night to remember.
But I digress...
Skill counts in guitar-lust, of course. The first time I saw Kenny Vaughan, a successful studio player in Nashville, was at a small-ish club where we very fortuitously stumbled into a show of Nashville notables playing together for fun. I knew of Kim Richey, Jim Lauderdale and Mandy Barnett, who were part of the group, but I’d never heard of the geeky-cute gangly guy with dark hair and big plastic glasses.
But when he started playing I got flustered. He didn’t have a lot of guitar god moves and wore his guitar on the high side, which is interesting but less sexually explicit than all that groin-level diddling. But Vaughan’s playing had shades of George Harrison, my childhood guitarist crush. His chords and progressions hit notes in me I blush to speak of. I shook his hand after the show and my knees trembled.
Guys and guitars. It just works.
name that craft
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Ruth said this about that:
I'm pretty sure you're on to an interesting new market, Sophie -- passive-aggressive versions of stuffed animals that will scare kids or undermine their self-esteem. Now all you have to do is come up with an appropriate name for it.
meditation, color and energy
I had a great yoga class last night. It was more challenging than usual and I was pleased with how my body responded. Very satisfying.
But here’s the interesting part.
As I mentioned earlier, in meditating with color, I am drawn to orange. It’s long been my favorite color. It feels rich, nourishing and alive.
When we lay down for savasana last night (a k a corpse pose or, as I like to think of it, lying like a lox), I decided to use the color meditation as well, to maximize the quiet time. (Multitasking in yoga. Is that legal?)
To my surprise, when I closed my eyes, the color that struck me most powerfully was blue. A rich, pure, deep blue. A little bit indigo.
Hm. Is that the color of relaxation for me? If so, it must be the color I want to aim for when I am trying to settle myself down.
It makes sense, if you look at a color wheel and its opposites. Red is a little bit stimulating while orange revs me up pleasantly and yellow feels like a loud bell ringing in my ear. Green—which is my second favorite color—has an effect similar to orange but more muted. Blue/indigo appears to be my alert but quiet place. Purple is erotic to me, which makes sense since it combines the relaxation of blue with the energy of red—the formula for good sex.
I’m all over this energy stuff. I’ve long known what drains energy from me but never gave any thought to actually managing my energy. I’m not sure what, exactly, clicked for me last week but suddenly I understand that personal energy is a resource I must understand in order to be effective in the world.
when cute crafts go bad
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
My friend Jenna sent me the pattern for Huug the Hug Monster and I loved it immediately. I wanted to try something different for the face, though. I decided to wing it and invent something else, take a completely different approach.
And that’s when things went horribly wrong.
The basic shape of this little fella is cute and huggable.
And the little face I embroidered is sweet, isn’t it? Happy, loving and unthreatening.
But put them together and the result, I’m sure you’ll agree, is deeply disturbing.
Jenna says, "It's like an Aztec god is trying to burst out of a statue..." Which is interesting but not huggable.
I'm going to rip that face off and invent a new one. I knew it was too small when I was making it, but I didn't know how creepy it would look. The next one will be stitched directly onto the body.
taming my monkey mind
Monday, July 21, 2008
I can do that. And it will help me build my meditation muscle to work up to longer stretches.
Donna has done the whole strict Zen thing, but what she teaches is something looser and more adaptable to the less disciplined among us and that’s what made the meditation lesson so insightful for me.
Donna understood my anxiety over trying to tame my monkey mind and helped me accept that trying to force it into meditative silence is like trying to get a rambunctious toddler to sit quietly through a symphony. This is why whenever I try to meditate, I end up fleeing myself, feeling annoyed, discouraged and hopeless.
Quickly realizing how visual I am, Donna suggested visualizations to help me find a quiet center within myself even as my monkey mind swings from trees. For example, she suggested imagining myself sitting on a park bench watching children running wild in a playground. Or imagining myself in a TV engineer’s seat in front of a bank of televisions, sitting quietly while all those monkey mind thoughts flicker on the sets in front of me.
Yes, yes I can do that, too. And every time my mind starts spinning off into too much thinking, I just bring my focus back to myself on a park bench or I let those thoughts fade to flickering TV sets. The thoughts are still running around in the background, but my focus is on my quiet center.
It works for me. My bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy mind needs something concrete to rein it in, and the visualizations help immeasurably. This is similar to the technique of using a mantra, giving the mind something to focus on. Real mantras are assigned by a guru but I am waiting until a personal mantra, something that resonates, occurs to me and then I will use that.
We also did some visualizations with color, imagining breathing in each color of the rainbow. This has already become my favorite meditation. Sometimes I inhale and exhale in one color at a time in rainbow order, sometimes I breathe in the whole rainbow. Different colors have different effects on me. Orange feels warm and rich, purple feels sensual and yellow is electric with nervous energy. I am not comfortable with yellow. Maybe that will change with time. I suspect it will.
Donna also suggested that someone who puts out as much energy as I do might need to discharge some before I start meditating, by jumping around or twitching or dancing or screaming—anything to get some of the fidgets out. And she stresses a moment of transition before closing your eyes to meditate—a moment of just sitting quietly, eyes open but switching gears.
Donna gave me a copy of her book The Vibrant Life: Simple Meditations to Use Your Energy Effectively and I have continued learning from that.
I think … I can’t swear to it, but I think…that what I learned last week at Sunrise Springs is enough to alter the way I approach the world and my place in it. How cool is that?
santa fe recap
Saturday, July 19, 2008
So, the trip was good. A quick recap for my favorite readers.
The hiking and mountain biking with Santa Fe Mountain Adventures were great and the outdoor cooking class with Santa Fe School of Cooking was a highlight of a highlightful trip.
Chef Rocky Durham is charming and entertaining. He’s been on the teevee and everything.
Mmm, paella and homemade tortillas.
We got recipe books from the class. Tom made the paella tonight on our grill and it's fanfriggingtastic. I got a paella pan for my wedding and never realized you could put it on the grill. I thought it was just for serving. The angels sang over that pan tonight.
This was a very convivial event. Those are two of our guides. Laura's full-time job is as a jewelry designer for a shop she has with her dad. Nice stuff. The other guide's name is Georges and he's French. Yeah, I know.
The food rocked very hard and the rain held out for us. We had glorious, drenching storms every night all week. Locals were equal parts delighted and confused.
Check out that peach cobbler in the Dutch oven. Man oh man. I’ll be trying that recipe soon.
I also had a deluxe treatment at Absolute Nirvana spa. It was absolute nirvana. The treatment room is small and sunny and perfectly spare with sensual touches of rich color. I was oiled and rubbed and sprinkled with spices like a warm donut and gently scrubbed and then left to shower. It ended with a soak in a hot tub thickly strewn with rose petals. This was accompanied by a pot of spicy ginger tea, sweetened with honey, and nibbles of fresh fruit and chocolate.
The proper response to that description is, “Rough life.”
Yup. Take note: I do a lot of spa treatments. I’m very fortunate that way. And this one was exceptional. Expensive and exceptional. If it’s the kind of thing you can afford, it is worth the dough.
I spent some time at the very excellent International Folk Art Museum looking at chairs. Loved it. This is one of my favorite museums anywhere and definitely in Santa Fe.
And then I went to Sunrise Springs resort. I’ve been before and wanted to return. I took classes in various meditative arts. I want to calm my monkey mind. It's all about calming my monkey mind.
I did a yoga class, of course. Always yoga, and it was a very good class, better than the average resort.
Then I had a session of private coaching in meditation that was so profound, I have to think about it before I write about it. The coach, Donna Thomson, suggested a number of visualizations to help me accept my bizzy buzzy mind and still find a peaceful center.
I took a class in Asian brushwork, learning how to paint pictures of bamboo. For this, you have to find a balance between fluidity and intention. The strokes look like they are done quickly, but you can’t get too loose or they lose their grace. The teacher gave me an example to copy and I did it over and over, then picked my favorite to mount.
Each of these classes, plus a strange combo spa treatment, Sound Healing (with tuning forks) and Polarity Therapy require turning energy inwards. Both treatments were soothing and incomprehensible.
Yeah, by the end of the weekend, I’d gone all airy-fairy and was talking about energy a lot.
The spa director at Sunrise Springs pointed out that I put out a lot of energy. Especially last week. I was on all week—lots of being charming for strangers, talking to people who want for me to write about whatever it is they do, trying new things and keeping my mind and senses open.
Between the physical activity at the beginning of the week and the psychic activity at the end, I spent all my energy. And I became aware of that in a new way this weekend while thinking about all this meditation stuff.
On the shuttle bus to the Albuquerque airport, my fellow passengers--all strangers--got into deep conversation about religion and politics. One woman was a cantor from Buffalo. Another young man was born in Iran, lived in Sweden and spoke five languages. One woman, who spoke only occasionally, was a tax attorney.
I listened--the conversation was interesting--but just sat silently, looking out the window. It felt strange and selfish not to contribute, like I was whithholding. But one of the good things I learned about energy is that I am not obligated to give it away.
I got home yesterday afternoon. Tom had band rehearsal last night. Mad Men is on On Demand TV and I watched six consecutive episodes. That’s six hours of lying around watching TV.
And today, I am full of energy. I still don’t have energy for other people but I have been purging my office and rearranging and clean sweeping.
I was simultaneously exhausted and recharged in Santa Fe. It was an excellent trip.
in which i don't know my own strength
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I’m in Santa Fe this week doing a soft adventure trip. Except it’s only soft if you let it be soft and cain’t say no.
Yesterday was soft. We took a trail ride at Bishop’s Lodge-- long pleasant plod--then I had a two hour and spa treatment at Absolute Nirvana (and it was that—truly exceptional) then dinner. Easy cheesy.
Today, started with mountain biking. I’m not a big fan of mountain biking but I do what I’m told. We were supposed to bike for about three hours but because of our own dilly-dallying, we ended up short on time. We managed to bike from the parking lot to the beginning of the main trail, do a couple of roller-coaster hills on the proper trail, then bike back.
The trail leading to the proper trail was all loose, rutted gravel and the ride was tough for me, especially with my sea-level lungs. Oy, was I tired. It’s sad, because once we hit the good, hard-packed hilly trail, it was lots of fun—-much more fun than I expected since I’m a nervous biker. But alas, alas, most of our biking was on the gravel. At least going back was easier than going out. We didn’t even realize that the ride out was a long, slow climb until we headed back and it was a long, pleasant coast.
But oy, was I tired.
Then, we went to Bandolier National Monument, spectacular ruins of ancient Pueblo dwellings. (See here.)
It was an hour drive there, we hiked of maybe 30-40 minutes to see some of the ruins and climb up into some of the cave dwellings, then an hour drive back. Worth the effort, must go back with more time. Make a note…
The day ended with a hike and outdoor cooking class (a nifty joint production of the Santa Fe School of Cooking and Santa Fe Mountain Adventures).
The hike, in the Santa Fe National Forest was lovely but long after a long day. And then, when much of the group decided they were tired and wanted to turn back, my machisma kicked in and I decided I would stick with the self-described Type A woman and her lovely teenage daughter (and a guide) who wanted to speed walk to the end of the trail and back.
Big, big mistake. When I say I don’t know my own strength, I mean I’m not as strong as I think. Especially at altitude. The hike down to the end of the trail was easy enough and ended at a pretty river.
The hike back…
Oy, am I tired.
I fell far behind, which irked the crap out of me. And every time I saw the other three take a switchback and continue climbing, I cursed my own ego. I had to stop frequently and gasp for air. My heart was pounding so hard I suspect my head was visibly throbbing. Every time the others stopped to wait for me, I felt ashamed. (Shame. It’s what’s for dinner.)
I was never so glad to see a trail’s end in my life.
Why didn’t I just turn around with the rest of them? Why was I compelled to keep going? What did I have to prove?
It’s like a canoeing trip I took in Canada a few years ago. We canoed about seven miles a day, for three days. I got all tough-bitch about and kept up, feeling like a big-ass studette. Then I got home and my shoulder locked into a painful spasm for weeks. I was on painkillers and muscle relaxants and it still woke me up in the middle of the night. Finally I went to a masseuse, the talented Laura Heubner, who found one small knot and pressed down on it until every hair on my body was standing on end and I was shrieking in pain. And then I was better.
You would think that would have taught me a lesson. Today, when I heard myself say, “I’ll keep going.” I should have slapped myself. But no.
Oh well. I did make it--gasping and sweating and hurting. The outdoor cooking class was a blast. I made a tortilla. Dinner was paella, grilled shrimp and peach cobbler cooked in a Dutch over. Outstanding.
And now, I’ve had a hot shower and I’m in bed, listening to rain on the roof. (We lucked out there—we were on the road just as the rain moved in.)
I’m so happy not to still be on that trail, watching those other three women climb while I fight for breath.
I’m probably going to hurt tomorrow.
little girls and gang signs
Monday, July 14, 2008
That's a relief.
my sunday newspaper
Sunday, July 13, 2008
For example, this ad...
Little girls and gang signs? Or just a confused Hook 'em Horns?
Please, help this poor boy on the left. His compression top appears to be cranked up a few notches too high.
Here's a perfectly sweet letter that careens right off the road in the last sentence.
And finally, you think I'm cranky? "Freelance writer" Bill Ames almost hurts himself here. SmartCars, Al Gore, his neighbors, illegal immigrants--he spews venom in all directions. Sure, I'd be annoyed at the letter his neighbor left, it's completely idiotic, but take a chill pill, Bill. And for the record, I used to ride DART (local rapid transit) late at night a couple of times a week and was never mugged.
I'm leaving town in a couple of hours but will do my best to entertain you from the road.
i annoint myself a tastemaker
Friday, July 11, 2008
I have some capris and naturally felt dissed. And then, instead of beating them up about it (in my mind), I decided it would be more fun to join ‘em and declare myself an arbiter of all that is acceptable and all that is not.
I’ll take a page from Tom’s book. He long ago declared shorts on stage (on male musicians, that is) are unacceptable, period. He has insisted on this for so long that I must agree. You cannot rock and roll with your hairy legs showing. Don’t do it. If you can’t deal with sweating in jeans, you're too sissy to rock.
In that spirit, I have decided that big, plastic earrings are unacceptable. No, don’t argue, there is nothing to discuss. So it is said and so it shall be.
Big white plastic earrings with a bathing suit? Beneath discussion.
I’ll be back with more proclamations as they occur to me.
dr phil divorce?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
A lot of people are coming here because I mention Dr. Phil’s divorce in a previous post, so I guess I’ll do them a favor and tell them everything I know that might be relevant to the speculation.
I don’t know if Dr. Phil and Robin are getting a divorce but I would not be surprised.
My book about Dr. Phil was released in 2004, so a lot has happened since then, but the best prophet of the future is the past. Dr. Phil has alienated a whole lot of people who once were close to him in his life. (Have you heard Oprah mention him recently? Not in years, although Harpo still produces the show.)
Here’s a fun story: When the Dr. Phil Show debuted, after he’d already reached fame on Oprah, my co-author, Lisa Gutierrez, a reporter with the Kansas City Star, wrote a little item about it. A reader called and said, “Did you know he has local ties?” In fact, he’d graduated high school there. So Lisa found a copy of the yearbook from his graduating class and in that, found a photo of Phil dancing at the senior prom with a blonde girl. Like the good reporter she is, Lisa found that girl (by that time a woman, of course) and called her up.
The woman said, “I knew someone would find me someday.”
This was Debbie McCall, Dr. Phil’s first wife, whom he never, ever, ever mentioned—on Oprah, on Larry King, on his own show. Maybe he was closed-mouthed because, she said, he was a shit to her—bringing other women to their apartment, for example.
Their marriage was annulled in 1973. Lisa and I ran out of time on our book deadline before we could find out how they managed an annulment rather than divorce. And unfortunately, after that first interview, Debbie would no longer speak with us, insisting that she would be writing her own book.
In the course of researching the book, I heard one story after another of Dr. Phil using and abusing people. I started the book thinking he was pretty cool and finished thinking otherwise. Very otherwise.
Phil and Robin met a week after she’d graduated high school—Phil may still have been married at that point although they were probably separated. But Robin was young, young, young and Phil had already been married and separated, started a health club business, fleeced a bunch of people out of money and filed for bankruptcy. He’d been around, she was a kid.
Dr. Phil is an ego with legs and it’s possible that as her star has risen, Robin started losing interest in being his little woman. Is she still there in the audience to walk out hand in hand with him at the end of every show? What a beating that must be.
Maybe Robin’s popularity started bothering Phil.
Maybe Phil looks at son Jay’s Playboy model wife and thinks maybe he, too, could find a young hottie instead of his age-appropriate wife.
Maybe they’ve just gone Hollywood and part of the rite of initiation is a divorce.
Maybe none of the above and they just grew apart, as so often happens.
Or maybe, of course, it’s an unfounded rumor and they’re still a happy couple.
But if there’s one Life Lesson Dr. Phil must have learned by now, it's that when you treat people poorly, they might later take pleasure in your pain.
(Click here to read my mediabistro essay about writing The Making of Dr. Phil.)
Labels: dr. phil
food, fitness and related
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
My new obsession, however, is my online food diary. And by obsession, I mean since yesterday morning. We’ll see if it lasts until Friday. I signed up at FitDay after seeing this article about how keeping a food diary aids weight loss.
I love having all the calorie calculations made for me, although FitDay seems to be telling me I have to give up half and half in my coffee which makes me :(. Maybe I should keep the half and half and give up the oatmeal cookies instead.
Then I started looking at the information on activities. An hour and fifteen minutes of hatha yoga burns just 211 calories? Dang. I need to step it up. Today is a DVD day. I’m suited up, I have the garage a/c cooling the room, now all that’s left is the showing up part.
For inspiration, I enjoy checking in on this blog, by a woman who lost 100 pounds and is still going. She’s a good, thoughtful writer and she looks great.
Speaking of yoga …
I hate it when my Tuesday night yoga teacher tells us to do a series at our own pace—especially when it’s the bow (we don’t include the tongue) to locust series.
Both poses are difficult and unfun for me. Usually, the first time through them, Marilyn tells us when to change poses and when to relax. But then she has us do them again at our own pace, telling us that when our bodies tire, we should rest.
Such a predicament! These poses make me tired almost immediately. I want to do each one for about two seconds and rest. But I am both too competitive and too determined for that and so I hold them as long as I can. But since my body doesn’t enjoy the poses (or is it my mind? These mind-body practices get me confused) it tells me to rest long before I think it truly needs rest and my mind and body end up in a power struggle.
When I finally give up and let myself down, I can’t resist sneaking a peek at my classmates to see who has out-locusted me. There’s always at least one. Damn.
I’ll never be a yogi. No, not because I can't keep up, but because I care that I can't. So un-Zen.
mind if i'm an asshole?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
As outspoken as I am, I also bite my tongue a lot. Most of us do, no doubt. But don’t you wish, sometimes, you could just let it rip? Speak all those unspokens, loud and proud?
I know, I know. If you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. Are there really people who don’t ever have a negative thought? What’s that like?
Now and then, all those unspoken, snide, critical totally assholic comments back up in my brain until I can’t believe that they aren’t making my skull bulge. Tom and I sometimes vent those wish-I-coulda-saids to each other, just to get them out of our systems so our heads don’t explode. That helps a little.
Some people don’t worry about stuff like that. They say whatever they want. We hate those people and call them total assholes. I don’t want people to hate me, most of the time. Sometimes, I think it wouldn’t be a big deal. Go ahead, hate me. At least my head didn’t explode.
rock on marriage
Monday, July 7, 2008
Tom and I caught the last 40 minutes or so—and since we celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary on Sunday, we felt justified in laughing our asses off at his riffs about marriage. “Married people are disgusting!” Rock said and we howled at our own disgustingness. “You ever been to dinner with six neutered adults?”
Yeah, we’re boring.
“Married and bored or single and looooonely,” Rock said.
“All good relationships are boring,” he said. “The only exciting relationships are the bad ones.”
We laughed hardest at the “grown man playdate”—wives putting their husbands together in a room so they can make friends. “He likes baseball, just like you…”
Oh god, the grown man playdate. We have so been there and will be there again. I’ve had a few close friends whose husbands were such a bad match for Tom, the playdate was painful to witness. We gave up ever trying to make it work and settled for socializing only sans boys.
I have other friends with husbands Tom can make nice with (and vice versa) now and then, but it’s a stretch. By the end of a long evening, Tom is worn out and retreats to his happy place. I can see it happen and it’s time to go home.
We have some couples friends we can hang with easily, although we wouldn’t necessarily choose to hang with our same-sex counterparts one-on-one. As a foursome it works, as twosomes, not so much.
From time to time, in the perpetual quest for new couples friends, we go on couples dates, which are every bit as awkward and stressful as date-dates. Sometimes couples first dates end with everyone getting way too drunk—just like date-dates. Sometimes second dates occur, sometimes everyone slinks off and pretends the whole thing never happened. Sometimes these first dates feel like we have found our soulmates but more often than not, it was just a deceiving first-date glow.
The quest for couples friends is one of the difficulties of marriage that no one tells you about. Are you old enough to remember the show Thirtysomething? What a big lie that show was. Once past their 20s, few people have a gang to run with anymore. It’s the couples-friends version of all the rosy romantic bullshit that is shoved down our throats our whole lives. Just like romance fades into boring (if comforting and no less valuable) marriage, friendships get more peripheral and less vital—and I don’t mean less important, but they pulse with less juice. If you have one or two decent friendships on top of your marriage, you’re ahead of a lot of people.
I found Rock’s Married People schtick on YouTube and I’m laughing at it again. I won’t post it here, what with the whole copyright thing, but go find it yourself. If you’re married, you can laugh at yourself. If you’re single, feel free to laugh at me.
speaking out on Dr Phil divorce rumors
Saturday, July 5, 2008
The story itself is not available on the Web site, but I read all the comments, just for the helluvit and oh my .... What's with the spelling? What's with the random capitalizations? What's with the hate? Even I don't hate Dr. Phil that much and I know more about him than most people. No, I don't know if the rumors are true. I wouldn't be surprised. (Reason No. 4.) I don't keep close tabs on the doc these days. I've moved on. Mostly.
Still, I was equal parts entertained and appalled. For example:
He is a big Hippocrates he writes books about weight loss, but yet he is over weight, he talks about divorce and yet he is getting on. Practice what you preach please!
Did you mean a big Hippopotamus?
I always saw thru him and Oprah, both phonies!!Once a loser always a loser! This goes to show you that Psychology is NOT such an exact science after all! Its better to have some common sense than know psychology, because psychology does not always work, all it does is lead many innocent people into taking drugs and their life when they get messed up by following the advcie of them. These so called Perfectionist are nto so eprfect afetr all!! Man I love it when I see such Fools fall off their high horses! May theya ll fall down! What I ahet it that they got so amny lives emssed up before they mesed up their own lives. Why couldnt they mess up their own lives first? Many end up in a worst state than they were before they went to see "shrinks" May G*D judge all these fools that rely on man for such advice!!!
Wow, this guy is so worked up about Psychology his typing fingers went apeshit.
Who cares if they get a divorce ~ Robin thinks she is perfect, well guess what? you are NOT
Who cares, they are all Hollywood loosers anyway!!!!
Take my wife Dr. Phil, she loves you!
alot of the people i know and spoke to always though he was a fake
Experts on the subject, no doubt.
Dr. Phil is just a guy trying to make as much money as he can. If this is true it will be great for him. He can pay off Robin and still be rich. He can now marry a hot younger which he will be much more happy with and attracted to. This is great for him, it is what all men wish they could do if they just had the money or the courage.
OK, guys, 'fess up. Is that true?
honestly , doctor phil deserves a better wife!
Who cares!!! He's a fraud! What has Dr. Phil ever said that was more than common sence? Nothing! He's a jerk on the show, so he's probly a jerk to his wife. It's no Shock to me
I need some advice on male pattern baldness. Can you help me Dr Phil?
Not suprised!!! He who giveth advice shall some day seek adavice!!!
Did you mean Ativan?
Guess no marriage is safe, god only knows the situation of that marriage, you never know what happens between close doors of a couple.
Anyway I lost respective on Dr. Phil when he bailed that girl out of jail, he actually just wants more viewers guess hes loosing hes touch anyway by him doing that he lost mine and many others......I have no intention of watching hes show any longer he uses other people tragedy for hes own wealth that to me is not a human that cares to help others just hes pocket laughing to the bank.
Good!!! I hope his wife takes him to the cleaners!!! I can't stand him sitting up there like is the almighty!! Good for you Robin.........Call me!! :)
Dr.Phil is a very good man-and his wife is a very stupid woman.No offence...
None taken, I'm sure.
wel, people i really do think there marrige is in trouble cause they seem to have such a perfect marrige an i think its all fony act for tv an i think robin loks a lil retarded or something is wrong with her she is a strange lady wearing those big boots there are bigger than her omg robin you need help try an be yourself not a fony
Dr. Phil and Robin are serious goof Balls.
I was absolutely shocked when I heard this, as much as he gets on TV and preaches to people about divorce and what they are doing wrong....Dr. Phil I'm here if u need someone!!!!!!!!!!!
Good, I hope they get divorced.
Robin isn't a good companion.
Phillip needs a better wife.
Labels: dr. phil
must we say good-bye to the road trip?
Friday, July 4, 2008
No, really. I know that’s what they were because I saw miniature asses races at the State Fair of Texas one year. They’re cute little donkeys, they look like plush Eeyores, only happier. They were grazing in a big field under a blue, blue sky studded with cartoon clouds.
I was driving by on Texas highway 281, en route from Austin home. I was taking the back roads because Willy Nelson was having a big blowout at Carl’s Corner, on I-35, the main highway. So instead of coping with mind-numbing traffic, I was meandering through small towns, past "hay for sale--square or round bales" signs and roadside fireworks stands and occasionally someone selling peaches and watermelons from the back of a truck. (I should have stopped but that’s tough for me when I get moving.)
I had my mouth set on a Whataburger, but couldn’t find any on this highway so I finally opted for Dairy Queen and was enjoying a Hungr-Buster Junior and Raul Malo on the iPod when I passed those cute little miniature asses.
I don’t care what anyone says, nothing beats a road trip.
I understand that the road trip might lose favor as we become more cognizant of the damage our fuel guzzling ways have wrought, and as gas gets increasingly dear. (I was pleased to have filled up a $3.93 9/10 a gallon, the cheapest gas I saw all the way home, except for the $1.83 sign still up at a long-abandoned gas station. Funny how pennies differences matter to us in this context and no other.)
So I was bummed by this cranky op-ed Michael Paterniti. The New York Times asked several writers to reflect on the consequences, good and bad, of gas prices and a diatribe against the road trip was what Paterniti came up with.
It made me sad and annoyed because I don’t understand dichotomous thinking that says if the stay trip is good then the road trip is bad. I like them both. I have two favorite ways to vacation. One is a long road trip fueled by gummy bears, beef jerky and tunes. The other is a rental cottage or apartment, where I can settle in, learn a place in microcosm and pretend to be a local.
But the road trip is my true love. My first real trip was across the United States with two girlfriends in a baby blue Plymouth Duster. I then moved on to the Greyhound bus, an alternate form of road trip. Then, I got a car. (Yeah—I didn’t learn to drive until I was 19 years old and didn’t own a car until I was 22.)
Nothing, nothing, nothing is better than seeing the country in large scale and small (Texas plains and miniature asses) through a windshield, than singing along with the radio, than road food and road thoughts and, if you have companionship, road conversations. As the body wanders so does the mind.
My alternate route yesterday took two hours longer than the usual route (five hours instead of three) and admittedly, I was a crispy critter when I finally reached my own driveway. The drive also drank half a tank of gas, about $25 worth in my car. And it gave me a Yeti-sized carbon footprint for that one day.
So I understand that the road trip may be an American icon to be relegated to history. I understand that and I hate it and if I must give it up, will do so with deep sadness. When I am old—really old—I will sit in a rocking chair and reminisce about the days when I could just get in my car and go—looking for America and finding it.
Do you like my new business card?
addictive fun for all
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Tip: Click the letters on the side for music.
Labels: fun shit
why celebrity marriages fail
The Yahoo blog post was pretty thin, though. I swear, she just made it all up off the top of her head.
I’ve given my theories a lot more thought.
Reason No. 1: They’re just too damn hot
We all tend to end up with mates who are roughly as attractive as ourselves. So, imagine if your dating pool included George Clooney, Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Vanessa Williams—not to mention all those lingerie models and back-up dancers running around looking all hot n shit.
If you’ve ever been to a buffet and ended up with a plate loaded down with enough to feed a small developing nation because everything looks so yummy, then you understand the trouble celebrities must have in settling for just one super-hot spouse.
Reason No. 2: They fall in love on movie sets
Rather than falling in love with each other, they fall in love with the characters they’re playing, then fall out of love once the last vestiges of whoever they were pretending to be drops off and they turn back into regular super-hot, super-rich shmoes.
Reason No. 3: They’re actor-shmactors
Not all of them of course, sometimes they’re rock stars. But movie stars are paid large sums of money to be the characters other people want them to be. Can you turn off that tendency in real life? Will Katie Holmes suddenly one day realize she’s just been playing The Little Woman in a movie called Tom Cruise’s Life and want a new role?
Reason No. 4: Celebrity nurtures narcissism
For people who are even slightly narcissistic to begin with—and I’d argue that anyone who seeks the limelight must have a bit of that—celebrity is like gasoline on a red ember. And that’s not great for relationships. If they find another celebrity (narcissist) mate, they won’t get the attention and adulation they feel is their due. If they find a non-celebrity mate, then they’re probably pretty sure they deserve better.
Reason No. 5: They don’t need the paycheck
Marriage remains an economic arrangement. If you don’t need the money, if you can pay well-trained child care professionals to help with the kids, if you never have to fill the refrigerator or make the bed, if your paycheck is enough to cover your own needs and the needs of your entire extended family, why bother working through the rough patches in a marriage when you can just move on without a blip in your quality of life? What's your motivation?
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