It's Over Already?

Ah, the first annual Ndel's What the Heck Year Was That?

The Year of the Earth Ox evokes stability and dependability. The Ox is a practical work animal, while the Earth element is steady and firm. Together, they create a kind of plodding energy that can be exasperating. Still, progress will be made in 2009; it will occur in slow, barely perceptible increments. If you stay patient and keep your nose to the grindstone, you will make the most of this ponderous energy.

Oxen place great emphasis on authority and tradition. Therefore, 2009 will lay an especially heavy burden on world leaders. Government officials, CEOs and community organizers will be expected to correct society's ills. If they slack off, they'll be thrown by the wayside. Substance is
always favored over style in the Year of the Ox.

My thoughts are stream of consciousness, so please forgive. And rant. Agree or disagree. Just be, okay?

The World

There is a black man in the White House and he ain't guarding nobody but the people of the United States. Barack Obama is da man. I still think this. Totally understand the Nobel Peace Prize. He is freakin' awesome and I give him an A-. I give him the minus for not totally dismantling some of those Bush era big brother tactics. I am guessing we will have to demand that from him. Let's do it.

What's up with Netanyahu? I think he's a bit jealous of Barack, his wife is hotter.

Was it a conspiracy that both Putin and Obama had shirtless pics published?

Hilary is doing a great job as Secretary of State.

Bill has behaved himself. I'm surprised.

The Idiot Box

Reality peeps really should be considered challenged. I am sick of OctoMom, Jon and Kate, assholes who kill their ex-wives, super duper assholes who put their kids up to lying to the entire nation, as well as big bootied, no talent beauties that parlay that beauty into weekly tell alls. I don't care that Bill and Guiliana are married. Or that there are survivors or dinks travelling the world. I'm okay with dangerous jobs and pet rescuers, but please, spare us the psychopaths, er, I mean attention whores.

What? NCIS is the most watched TV series? How the heck did that happen? It's not interesting, the stories are simple minded. What's the big deal? And don't get me started on why aren't uniformed people investigating Navy crimes... No matter how cute I think LL and Chris are, that show is stupid too.

I am a Gleek. I love Glee. Jane Lynch is a national treasure. I haven't even seen the debut episode that
everyone says is much better than the episodes I have seen. I highly recommend it. And don't ask me if it's like High School Musical. I have no idea.

Mercy on NBC is underrated. It's smart, funny, realistic with just enough soap opera to keep you guessing. Try checking it out. I also like HawthoRNe. I know that the critics are trashing it, but Michael Vartan is almost always worth tuning in for.

I can't wait for the last season of Lost. Technically, I know this is a 2010 item, but I just wanted to prepare you for my obsession.

I am so over Grey's Anatomy. I might be over Fringe; I haven't decided.

True Blood is still great. I still don't get Entourage. I am mad I no longer get Showtime so I did not see the last season of Dexter or Weeds.

I love my DVR; it's the only way I can keep up with all this drivel.

The Big Screen

My movie going dropped off significantly since Cam came on the scene, but I got out to a few flicks this year and my favorite was:

Star Trek. Yup, most fun I had this year at the movies. And I am no fangirl. Although I'm still not happy with the casting of Zoe Saldana as Uhura. However, on the flip side, I am very happy with the casting of Chris Pine.

I also enjoyed The Proposal, District 9, The Soloist, Precious and The Princess & the Frog.

I have yet to see Up in the Air and Avatar. The little, independent films will have to wait for viewing on cable.

While I am on the subject of movies, why do they keep putting Miley Cyrus in movies? She can't act and she can't sing. For that matter, why do I keep seeing Amy Adams in films? I don't see anything special about her either. I have yet to see a Nancy Meyers film that I like (It's Complicated), but I think that the NY & LA cognoscenti like to see themselves in her films (upper middle class to rich, urbane white folk). And no matter what anyone says, Wolverine was possibly the worst movie ever made. With Hugh Jackman. With Ryan Reynolds. With Liev Schreiber. How can a movie with so many hotties fail so utterly and completely?


I listen to stuff from 20 years ago, so I have no comment. Darn kids' music these days sounds like noise to me.

Popular Culture

If Tiger was married to a black woman and his mistresses were black, we wouldn't have heard shit about it.

Twitter really is a good thing. I get a lot of my news from it, as well as tweets from people I don't know, like Ari Melber or Hal Sparks.

Facebook is probably a bad thing, but I like it. Best Facebook crossover tweet ever - "I'm gonna grow pot on my Farmville patch and sell it on Mafia Wars" - unknown.

It's probably not a good thing that Comcast is buying NBC/Universal. This trend in media consolidation has to stop somewhere.

When is the Ugg boot fad gonna be over? For that matter, when did the huge shoulders from the 80s come back?

I miss Paul Newman.
He made me feel good about the world. Especially when I was eating his Raspberry-Walnut dressing.

The food truck trend in LA is most satisfying; especially for my belly. Keep 'em coming. The good ones will stay in business and thrive. Side note, if you haven't tried Kogi yet, do, it's darn good.

The burger trend in LA is a close second. Yum. It's kind of unbelievable how many great burgers can be had in LA these days. Guess I won't be becoming a vegetarian anytime soon.

Molecular gastronomy is here to stay. And a good thing. That shit tastes great.

At least with the economy in the tank, and prices low, I could afford to take a vacation for the first time in seven years.

In closing, in spite of everything, 2009 was a pretty good year. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go, but I am really looking forward to next year. Perhaps Mr. Right will become Mr. Right Now. Let's wish on it.


The Prudent Gal - Shopping til Dropping

One of my favorite days of the year is the day after Christmas. It's traditionally the day that I spend with my girls with an early start, bagels and coffee at the fresh market at Neiman Marcus. Then we shop. That's when some of the best sales of the year can be had. Oh, and on one day in January, the sales are good too. But you have to be careful to not wait too long so that the selection is still good. I generally find that sweet spot is somewhere between the January 6th & the 14th. I really like beautiful things and that requires shopping, although it (the shopping) gets me in trouble (credit cards anyone?), so I haven't been doing much of it this year. However, with the whole holiday season, I've been getting out more and I've come to realize that I have a few shopping tips I can pass along as my gift to you, Dear Reader.

1. Keep all your coupons, gift cards and such in your car so you'll always have them with you. Actually, keep the gift cards in your wallet. And another important point on gift cards, if your balance falls below $10, in California, the retailer can give you the change back in cash (check your state for their laws, but then again, I do live in an awesome, if not broke, state). Of course, most cashiers don't know this, so you have to ask. I do this without fail, because I refuse to leave cash on the table for the retailer or spend more than I want to in order to "eat up" the balance. Skinny Gal thinks that you should be able to consolidate different gift card balances onto one card. And I have to say I agree. Retailers & credit card issuers, are you listening?

2. Shop early. Try to make the week night preview days for sales. Lunch hour excursions work too. And park at the not so popular side of the mall and walk to your destination. Finding a place to park can be a time sucker.

3. Figure out what your style is, what color schemes you like. Once you do that, you'll be able to zero in on groups of what pleases you on a rack and skip over the stuff that you know you won't like. Also, pick out the lines and designers that you like (I like Burberry, Alfani, INC, Jones New York, Missoni, Faconnable) and that fit your body type and taste. Look for those lines on sale.

4. Go larger. It's better to get a really good piece of clothing larger and have it altered down rather than buy smaller hoping you'll lose those pesky 15 pounds. Besides, you'll look slimmer in the larger size. Smaller sizes just make you look like a stuffed sausage.

5. Shopping the really good sales at department stores (think 50% off lowest marked price) is better than starting off at cheap stores. Have you seen the clothing prices at Sears? They are ripping off poor people! They oughta be ashamed! Tip: TJ Maxx, Marshalls & Ross are great places to shop for kids clothing and toys.

6. Look for the no interest, no payment deals for big ticket items. Divide the total cost in whatever the free term (12, 24 months) and pay that amount each month. Credit for free. It's like cash and well...

7. Develop your peripheral vision, then you can spot items, racks, and interesting stores that you might not see otherwise. I saw three stores, a stairwell, one dress and one restaurant that my sister and niece just did not see at all.

8. Don't be afraid to spend for sturdy, timeless pieces. And jewelry is almost always a good buy, especially when marked down.

9. If you are drawn to something, get it. Easier to return it, then go back and find it gone.

10. If you like it a pair of shoes, shirt or sweater, get it in multiple colors. Especially if the fit is good.

11. Do a little research before (The Google!) to figure out where the item you want is and about how much it costs. Better yet, the item just might be cheaper online. Although, I am one of those people that likes to see check out the quality of an item before I buy and that's impossible online.

12. If you come across something that you think would be perfect for a friend or family member, get it, no matter the time of year. Oh, and give it to them right then. If it's perfect for them, they'll forgive you not getting them gifts at other times. This one comes via the Best Friend, Amber. We never get each other birthday or Christmas gifts, but when we see something we think is perfect for the other, we give it.

13. You can't take it with you; money or things. So enjoy life. Besides, love is free to give and receive. Well, sometimes.


And Precious It Is

Took my lazy ass out of the house for the first time in several weekends and saw "Precious". It was a must-see and I'm so glad I did. I read the book the film is based on, Push, back in the 90s. But I have to admit that I didn't really care for it and had forgotten almost all of the details. What I did take into the theatre was an awareness of the casting brought to my attention by one of my favorite bloggers Los Angelista. Her point on the casting of light skinned actors to play the inspiration roles was well taken. The caring teacher (and her lesbian lover), social worker and nurse are all played by mixed race actors (Paula Patton, Mariah Carey & Lenny Kravitz respectively). I would have been happier if the director had mixed up his cast a little more, but... well, hindsight is 20/20 right?

The film itself makes up for it. The performances (melanin issues notwithstanding) are excellent all around and I expect to see nominations for both Mo'Nique & Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe.

However, one can't tiptoe around the subject matter of the film. Yes, there's the incest, violence, language, not subjects that American audiences are eager to see in their films. But there's an even bigger turn off - pig's feet! Roomie & I decided to go the Landmark Theatres instead of down the street to Magic Johnson's Theaters. So, instead of screams of "yuck" during the scenes regarding the lesbians, we got gasps at the sight of pig's feet! Now, I've never eaten pig feet's and I'm not planning on it, but really, was that reaction necessary? Perhaps the audience was skewered Jewish, it was the Westside...

Anyhow, the movie one gets my vote, I mean, if I had one for the Academy Awards. It's nothing like Slumdog Millionaire. TV does play a big role in Precious, but trust me, not in quite the same way.

My Dad's Driving Rules

Traffic is crazy, especially in my hometown. We practically live in our cars, so it's no surprise that we also yell, scream and curse at some boneheaded drivers. We run into plenty of 'em and in LA, those encounters are plentiful. I think I'm a pretty good driver and it's because of my Dad's rules. The list is short and simple but covers almost every situation.

Driving is 10% skill, 90% nerve. Think about it, most maneuvers we make are those we think can and knowing this is the secret.

Don't make anyone else have to hit their brakes. Merge & turn properly, keep a safe distance - all simple things that if were followed consistently, would result in the avoidance of most traffic accidents.

Gauge your speed. Sometimes you should go faster, sometimes you should go slower. Don't drive in the pack.

Pass on the left. Does that really need explanation?

Add these four simple rules to the traffic rules of your state and you're set. You can drive and do it well.

Thanks Dad!


We Don't Need No Stinkin' Rainbows! For White People Who Have Considered Suicide

Now you know I just have to weigh on on all of the race talk - or as I think of it, lack of candor in the discussion on race that is barely taking place in the public sphere these days. Look, let's face it, as a country, we do a lousy job of talking, thinking or even acknowledging race as a major issue in our society. One of the reasons that BHO's "A More Perfect Union" speech last year is so admired, is because he dared to be fair and even handed in discussing one of the most, explosive, misunderstood and just plain frustrating facets of human, but especially US society.

I am black. I do not capitalize the term nor do I like to be called African-American. I'm a black woman in a now dominate, but fading, white culture. I see that the status quo is slowly changing and I think, "well good, that's what this country is all about - mixing and making it better!" Unfortunately, a great swath of that once, and still dominate white culture is not so happy. I suppose that if I were white, I might feel the same way. After all, it's hard to give up being the king, right? But being black, a person of color, and considered (albeit probably unconsciously) an outsider, I see things quite differently. And I understand that most white people can't see it the way I do, cause, well, alert the media, they're white.

About 15 years ago (oh, how I shutter to think that I can now say "15 years ago" and not be referring to elementary school), I got into a heated discussion with my sister and mother about how aware white people are about prejudice. I maintained that I thought most white people had no idea it was (and surprise, still is) an ever present reality for black, brown, red & yellow peoples. I thought, and well, still think, that most white people actually believe that there is a level playing field, that everyone has the same opportunities and is judged, hired, loved, schooled, sentenced & thought of more or less the same. It's a very logical position for people who don't think much. And let's be honest, most people do not think. We as humans, find it difficult to think in terms that are not wholly dictated by our own experience. It takes intelligence to put yourself in someone else's shoes without having directly experienced their circumstance. And if those teabaggers prove anything, it's that you can get a gaggle of assholes who don't think to think they can.

So I give white people a pass on this for the most part. Ya'll are ignorant and don't know it. Okay. The problem comes when someone points out either statistics, anecdotes, articles, people or whatever, that support the actual truth that something is out there and it ain't Mulder & Scully. It's the ugly cancer of racism and you just might be infected. That problem gets bigger when WP cannot see at all how their behavior is informed by their own privilege and anger ensues. The enemy isn't the things that keep us apart, it becomes people who point out the truth. To combat this malady, I highly recommend Tim Wise, a white guy, who, according to my philosophy, is highly intelligent because he is able to see beyond his experience and articulate it beautifully. He brings up shit I never thought of to explain why the black experience in the US is fucked up on so many levels.

Yeah, it's hard to face up to the fact that your (that's you white people) actions, thoughts and lives are shaped by race. And, on the face of it, that is admirable. You want the field to be level. You want to think that your success and that of your family is based purely on talent, hard work and perseverance. But it isn't. Never was. We all got a hand helping us or one swatting us down. Your hand? It was a helper. Don't be ashamed of that fact, own it. And once owned, it will be much easier for you to see those around you who did not have those same advantages and perhaps, just perhaps, you can understand that the playing field is not level and never was and will never be unless you do some leveling yourself. I know that's is a difficult thing to do, because it's easy to think initially, you will be handicapping yourself. But really, you won't be, you'll be lifting up the generations that come after you. And isn't that a legacy to be proud of?

Legacies to not be so proud of? Well, I got a few those.

Case #1 - Addison Graves. I, like many citizens, watched BHO, POTUS that is, give his health care reform address to Congress. I watched many on the right side of the aisle behave like high school kids in an assembly right before summer break. They were rude (Eric Cantor, put down your fucking Blackberry!!) and boo-hooed many of the President's statements. Alas, I literally did a double take when I heard either, "liar" or "you lie" come from somewhere on the floor. Like others, I was sure it was some loser in the gallery and not a member of Congress. Imagine my surprise (and yours too, admit it) when I heard that it was a Congressman, one from South Carolina. Side note: what is up with pols from the SC? Is it something in the water down there?

Back to Addison. Okay, I'm not one to think that free speech oughta be stifled, but I was bothered by the lack of decorum and, let's face it, downright rudeness. I did not like George W Bush or many, if any of his policies. I think he pissed on the Constitution almost every day he held office. I think he made one of the worst foreign policy blunders in the history of the world. I think he lied on numerous occasions to the Public and thousands of people have died as a result. And in spite of all of those things, and that's just the tip of the iceberg folks, I think that he deserved respect, at the very least, when he was in front of the House of Congress. They can talk bad about him all they want on the House floor, but when he was addressing them, they should give him the courtesy of saying his peace. And really, he deserved a bit of respect from the People as long as we were unable or unwilling to call him out. That might be a bit too much deference - he's the President so we can't prosecute/impeach/throw out, arrest, disown, denounce him! But that is our problem, not his. As long as he held office, he gets a bit of respect.

Guess Republicans can't say the same, can they? I am fine with a little laughing, booing or other such broad display of disagreement with statements in an address to Congress. What I could and cannot get over, is the very specific words of "you lie!" It's really impossible not to conclude that this outburst was racism and xenophobia wrapped up in one rude comment. Don't think so? Lemme tell you why. Two things - actual words interrupting POTUS tell you that the interrupter does not have respect for the interruptee. Why would that be the case? BHO has been president for about 9 months. He really hasn't done more less than, I think anyone else would have done in his position. You can not like his policies, but there is really no reason to not have respect for him and allow him to say his peace. I gotta conclude that Rep. Graves really has a problem with POTUS that doesn't have a lot to do with he does or doesn't do, it is about him personally. And since we all know he's a cool dude, it's probably because he's a cool black dude.

Next point, what was POTUS talking about when interrupted? Brown people. Graves claims, his emotions got the best of him; he was swept up in anger and just blurted it out. Uh huh. His outburst and display of anger was because that he thinks illegal immigrants (read: brown people or "mexicans" - not that these guys choose to make distinctions between Canadians, Mexicans, Central Americans, South Americans, Irish, Africans, Islanders...) might get health insurance. Not that thousands of people die in the this country every year for lack of health insurance and therefore, lack of health care. Not because we lose talented minds to drugs and prison. Not because we have an epidemic of sexual diseases in this country. Not because we don't have a cure for cancer yet. No, he got angry because people might stay well or get healed when sick? He got so mad that his anger boiled over thinking about the possibility of some brown people getting basic human care? Is he insane? Get mad over people dying, losing their homes for no good reason, having their dignity shat upon aimlessly, but getting that angry over a theoretical possibility that Kaiser Permanente might do a prostate test for Jose? Are you fucking kidding me?

Take a moment to donate to Rob Miller, Graves' Democratic opponent in 2010. I know I will. Plus, he's kinda cute (you know I couldn't resist). Oh, and please don't call Addison Joe Wilson. Joe Wilson is a patriot. Joe Wilson was an ambassador. Joe Wilson's name is really Joseph Wilson. Graves' name is Addison Graves.

Case #2 - The Chatterati Class' unwillingness to admit race has a lot to do with the vehemence currently being outwardly displayed against POTUS is a bit startling. Take people showing up to Presidential events with weapons. This has never happened in modern history. Even when Bill Clinton signed the Brady Bill, people did not show up to his events with guns. Why is it happening now? Well, low and behold, some white people don't like the fact that an uppity nigra in the White House you know. Bringing those guns? That is showing him who is really boss. Blacks know this well, "don't get too big for your britches nigger, we'll shoot you right down!" Literally. This is racism/prejudice/race hatred all wrapped up in an assault riffle, just to remind BHO (and all of us other uppity negroes) that not all that long ago, Emmett Till has killed for whistling at a white woman. You know that saying, "never forget"? Well we don't. The Media does. But that just goes back to my initial premise; the Media is largely white. And alas, that means they don't know any better. But they are supposed to be intelligent. Actually, extremely intelligent, so I'm going to guess that part of their shocking lack of candor and powers of observation is because of two things. One, they have made the calculation that to speak truth would upset some imaginary apple cart. And two, their own whiteness gets in the way of seeing and interpreting racist actions for what they are: racist.

Advice to the Media? Grow a pair!

Case #3 - Serena Williams. I have not watched the rant on purpose. I think she was wrong. If she said half of what I have heard reported, poor child was madder than I can think of anyone being. But at least she was mad about something that involves her directly - her well being, her money, her life, her career. Not some ideology or philosophy that she was afraid is losing ground. I suppose I could work up quite the vulgar rant if my financial well-being was being directly threatened.

Where I think the race issue comes in, is how black women are largely perceived by the white world. If we display mad, sarcastic or some other behavior observed in white folk all the time, all of the sudden, we're "threatening". Hell, it sounds like Serena was threatening. However, I'm still most disappointed in her. Black women are burdened with the perception of being hard and mean and bitchy and threatening everyday in every way. Conventional wisdom is that we are meaner, louder, bullier, nastier, fouler, angrier than other women. We can't keep our mouths shut. We can't just be nice. We can't keep our voices down or our men out of trouble (that's another post). We are not loving, caring, soft or nurturing. That is what a lot of people think of black woman and Serena just confirmed it for a hell of a lot of them. Man, if there were white guys thinking of asking black women out, I think they're reconsidering now...

I know the call was hard one to take. I know there have been questionable ones in the past. I know that she's a fierce competitor. But I wish she hadn't gone quite so far. Not that I think she would have escaped criticism altogether if she had been less vulgar, but I wish that she could have remembered that the field is not level. And won't be for a while, not until we blend. Not until we have erased years of some of the most insidious treatment people have endured in history. I wish she would have had some class. I wish she hadn't done it.

Case #4 - ACORN. Details are not important here. Whether or not some staffers did unwise things are not at issue. What is at issue is that ACORN has become a boogie man for the right wing. ACORN has become a defacto code word for blacks & browns, you know, the poor people. I have no thoughts that the entire ACORN organization is the worst thing that ever happened to government grants. But I do wonder why these zealots spend their time trying to bury a mere $6 million a year group, that, as far as I can tell, never killed or raped people, humiliated groups or terrified regions, or did so at our behest of our government for the humble sum of $240 million a year.

But then again, Z (formerly Blackwater) is a white organization. And it doesn't help poor people. It helps white people. It helps some white people become rich, very rich. It doesn't seem to do much to help anyone outside its own sphere. It does seem to be about screwing the people for the benefit of a few. Yeah, I said it. Take that and put in your damned teabags. And while you're at, define socialism and fascism as well as communism and capitalism.

Didn't think so.


No, racism is not gone. It is very much alive and on display. The days of white dominance are dying. It's a creeping feeling, confirmed everyday by the election of brown people to positions of power; by the hiring of minorities at companies; by the influence of hip hop, salsa and other ethnic forms of music into the mainstream. It's Oprah. It's Telemundo. It's Jet Li. It's a thousand and one things that white people feel are taking over their country. The problem is, they're right and they're wrong. Our culture is changing. But it's not their country; it's all of our country. The brains trusts are slowing migrating from WASP to many walks of life, schools of thought and prisms of experience. But it will be alright, I promise. As long as we hold this truth to be evident, all men & women are created equal, we will have a society that is vibrant and diverse. It doesn't have to be white to be good. It just has to be good.


Fione Man of the Moment

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY)

It's a HPA - and no, that's not some new strain of STD. HPA stands for Hot Pol Alert. And boy is Anthony Weiner hot! He's all over the place as an eloquent voice for the public option in the healthcare debate, an accomplished politician and so young - at 45, he's one handsome man. While not married (yea!), he is engaged (boo!). Regardless, he can defend my health and healthcare anytime! Here's to a fione man with an even fioner mission! Thanks for caring Rep. Weiner!

In Defense of Doing Nothing

Since I’ve not found the energy to do much today, other than get up to get food, I suppose I should give some defense to the notion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing nothing. I heart doing nothing. Nothing makes me rest; nothing gives me stamina to do something. Nothing is quite wonderful and should be done more often. My only worry is that I’ve grown so accustomed to doing nothing that doing something seems almost a downright betrayal.

But on the other hand, it’s not like I’ve been a shut in; almost, but not quite a shut in. I have visited friends, gone to parties, museums, dinners… But bring me a lovely Sunday like today and I’m much more comfortable laying in my bed, the center of my universe, watching the Sunday shows, reading the political columns and playing mah jong on Facebook.

But then, I start thinking.

Now that’s not doing nothing, is it? I watch the political shows discussing 9/12, as if it weren’t some construct of Faux News & a few right wing lobbying firms (coupled with some seriously delusional everyday folk who should practice doing nothing). And I think to myself, “I should do something!” And then I roll over and think about how wrong they are and right I am, and that doing something would require actually talking to some of these freak jobs. How quickly does doing nothing appeal after head splitting exchanges with those who will not heed to logic or facts? I’ll give you three guesses...

I could write a check for other people to talk to the wackos for me, those with stronger wills and untapped reservoirs or patience, but I’m broke. Maybe I could write a diary on Daily Kos. But for that, I’d have to muster more energy than it takes me to write an entry for my own blog. No, just better for me to lay here, thinking about how stupid those people are, than actually doing something about it. I mean, what you can do about peoples’ willful ignorance anyway?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way advocating ceding ground to the nut cases, but I already read the political columns and what do they tell me? They tell me that there are a lot of white people really mad that a black man is in charge. Who, by the way, deny that’s the real reason why they’re being so irrational on completely unrelated issues. I don’t think anything I could do could change those attitudes, other than living my life as I do. But, I do know that I can add my voice (the Web makes that so easy), but signing petitions and writing a letter or two to my elected officials stating that I support one position over another. I notice I tend to do these types of things Monday through Friday for some reason. Make no mistake, laziness can give the impression that the patients have taken over the asylum and that only their concerns need be met.

I think of all of this, while I luxuriate in nothingness. Some nothing that is, right? I wish that my house could be cleaned by all my ruminating, worrying and pontificating (to no one but the cats). But then, cleaning would be doing something. And we all know how I feel about that.


Two Months?

Has it really been that long? My, the time flies when you're lazy and broke, like me. August sucked anyways. Too many town halls with people with not a lot of brains. I think I must promise to write again once I am over this fever. Not another excuse.

Okay, another excuse, but a good one, nonetheless. More later. What to ruminate on? Politics? Food? Celebrity? Kids? Social media? The list is endless, which is why I should not have any excuse.

A blog post. Soon.


Shining, New City on the Hill - Bring It!

A few years back, I had a wonderful boss, which whom I am still very friendly. She is a tall Latina and since I am of, at least, better than median height for a woman, she would sometimes refer to the bland, boring bureaucrats that we sometimes dealt with as “weenie men”. And she would look down when she said it. She would also say, quite frequently, “step aside white men; the brown people are coming!”

So, I say to the Republicans on the US Senate Judiciary Committee, “step aside white men, we are here!”

The jig is up; your party is over; the fat lady (who is probably brown) has sung. Your ship has sailed; the chicken is out of the coop; you are so over. Or, in other, less polite terms, shut the fuck up.

Sonia Sotomayor is imminently qualified to be an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court. Who confirmed you ninnies? The voters? Half of can’t keep our noses clean (and I mean that literally). These questions are bordering on the ridiculous now. The bias shown to white maledom is astonishing. And I know you don’t understand, because frankly, you’re not that smart. Bright, learned, schooled and educated you might be. But smart? That’s a whole ‘nother level my friends. Let me see if I can try to break it down for you. Try to follow along.

Because white maledom’s views, thoughts and opinions have been the (imposed) standard for most of this country’s history, it is the de facto view, philosophy, outlook that the power structure naturally thinks how people should think, act and feel. That view started to change in the 60s with the basic acknowledgment of blacks, browns, Jews, reds, women Catholics and homosexuals. White folk (as I will call “regular” white people collectively) aren’t very keen on this, because they fear that they will lose standing (dominance). The white power structure (that’s you Senators) flames these fears in order, not so much to maintain this standing for the people you claim to represent, but mostly to retain personal power for yourselves.

Regardless of the motivations of the WPS, it has run headlong into something called demographics. The WPS, along with WF, are under the illusion that the United States of America can be like other countries with one dominant culture and group of people. But see, that’s not reality. See, cause BP procreate at a higher rate, as well as immigrate from other countries. Now, this is mostly because people in traditionally white countries (i.e., Europe), kinda like where they’re at (ya figure? universal health care?) and don’t immigrate here; except for those pesky Irish. Suppose now that their “miracle” economy is in the shitter, they’ll once again be gracing our shores in large numbers. However, they are the okay illegals, right? Nobody calls La Migra over the surname of O’Shaunessy.

Back to demographics – reality is that brown, black, red & yellow folk will out number SF within the next 30 years. That kind of shift means that the cultures of said folk becomes our culture. Yes, you read that correctly. I said that the “values” that you grew up with may not be the ascendant values in, say 10 years.

So I understand why you are so afraid of my sister, Sonia Sotomayor. Ya’ll played nice, with a little affirmative action that enabled her to gain entrance to Princeton. But she didn’t follow the program and simply do a’right, get a cushy public or private sector job and blend in. Nope, she stayed Latina. She stayed Puerto Rican. She kicked white boy butt and graduated summa cum laude. And went on to be exemplary in everything she did. So she is the magic Latina, in much the same way that Thurgood Marshall was the magic Negro. I’m not sure who the magic Native American or Asian is or will be, but trust me, they are coming.

She has met the tests and passed with flying colors. She is worthy. Yes, she means that your definition of mainstream will change; actually should change. However, she should not be feared – nor others like her, with ideas, thoughts, beliefs and philosophies different from your own. She should be hailed, as she represents all that is good with the American Way. She is smart, accomplished, educated and fair. What more must she be? I know that it will be difficult for you, but think of your future brown great grandchildren, laughing, eating tortillas, pasta & collard greens. It is nothing to be frightened of. All culture shifts, mutates, changes. It would not be culture if it didn’t; it would be history.

So, I know you’re all sitting up on the dais, but a new United States of America is birthing. It’s been a very long labor, but it’s almost here. Don’t stand in the way.


Love is All There Is?

Yeah, love is all there is. It's all there should be and probably all I want. Love from my son, family and friends. A measure of love from my colleagues. Love, in leave me alone those of you I don't know (and probably wouldn't care to). Love is all around us, isn't it?

I imagine that's all Michael Jackson wanted; he just thought that more of us would love him if he looked white, maybe was white. Such a shame. I'm sad for his children, whatever race they are. I hope that their mother is seeking them because she loves them and not the money that will come with them.

And what about that Mark Sanford? Oh, he's in love and it sounds like somebody loves him back. I think he should chuck it all, head down to Argentina and be with her. I'd respect that. I don't respect the disrespect of his wife. She should love him and let him go. Love is letting him go. I will not speculate on the love of their children. I'm sure they both love them deeply. More reason for them to part.

Oh, and Sarah Palin? I think it's clear that she loves herself more than anyone or anything. What I don't understand is why anyone would love her, especially a thinking voter. Love in this case, would be love of self - she can love herself and we can love ourselves by letting her go far, far away and never bother us again.

If love were that simple...

It all about love; walking to the corner or applying some makeup. Even flirting online. But I'm sure Prudent Gal will have something to say about that. Eventually.


What I Do For World Peace

Today is, hands down, the best day of the last month!

Today, Ndel had an actual, real life, genuine response directly from a Fione Man of the Month! Dontcha love it? I do!

Oh, bless you Twitter! What the social media networking gods hath wrought!

The other day, I was thinking about all of the negative press regarding Obama's Middle East initiatives and the reaction by (some) Israelis. The rhetoric was getting to me as a Black Chick was has lived in Israel and loves it. What I don't love is the sometimes attempts to paint anyone who questions Israel as anti-Semitic. And I especially don't like anyone messing with the Black-Jew love I've had going for 25 years or so. So, I tweeted that I wanted to marry an Israeli man, preferably with some Arab to end this whole thing. What I offer to do! Oh the sacrifice. I offered up Ari Melber (October Fione Man of the Month) as a possibility, even though he's not Israeli. My gal pals from Israel might contend that it's written in the stars for me to marry, at the least, a Jewish man, but talk to them about the German I ended up marrying, and they'll throw up their hands. That marriage, they'll contend, was not supposed to be. I got confused and they forgive me. Back to Ari-gate. Turns out, his father is Israeli. Score!

To make a short story even shorter, the related tweets are below, start at the bottom:

So, I got a tweet from Ari. Ha ha ha ha ha! I'm in tweaven!
Of course, I'll still have to take back that earlier offer to marry Matt Taibbi. I'm sure he'll understand. I can't spell his name.


Ndel's Cruise Fashion Laws

So many things wrong with this picture.
I’ve come to terms with who I am. I may not like some things, such as my weight. But I’m self aware and I know that I could lose weight. I also know enough about myself to know that starvation, even if it meant Mr. Casablanca on a silver platter, would only be this ---- satisfying, cause I’d be miserable not enjoying my gourmet (as well as junk) food, champagne and chocolates. I can rant about my weight and how my clothes don’t fit or whatever… Rant away, I tell myself. In the end, Ndel, you gotta love yourself and accept you – warts, cellulite and all. Now, I’m not trying to say that one shouldn’t better themselves; not at all. I believe that we have to make the best of what we’ve got. You know, play up the strengths, cover-up the flaws and camouflage when you can. That’s simple, right? We all wear black. Why? ‘Cause it makes us look thinner, that’s why. You know that.

So, why on this green earth, do women insist on wearing decidedly unflattering things?

Especially on cruise ships? My cruise ships to be exact.

Trace and I took a little jaunt on Carnival this past weekend. I know last year I wrote that I’d never take Carnival again (the trailer park of all the cruise lines), but the price was so good, I spent three times it at the spa! Don’t care what you say; I’m doing my part for the economy! Last year’s trip was quite the nightmare. But, I have to say, they redeemed themselves this time around. Not only was the crew friendly and actually offered to do some serving, but the ship was clean and the class of folk most improved. We skipped on the show (ship entertainers doing gospel just doesn’t sound right, does it?), but we did make the art auction (free champagne, need I say more?) and hit the dance floor on multiple nights.

One thing we didn’t do was take pictures of some truly clueless women. Since Cam killed my camera a couple of months ago, I’ve been debating what to do. Buy a new one with greatly improved zoom or live with the two cameras in my smart phones, neither of which is very good and one doesn’t have zoom or flash (Apple, that was a BIG mistake). So, to make a long story short – we just don’t have any pictures of this what not to wear cruise. It’s not like we take a lot of pictures anyway, but man, I sure was puzzled by the number of women I saw this weekend who really seemed to have no clue as to best play up their assets and downplay their flaws.

For instance, Ndel’s bathing suits law #1: only 10% of us look good in two pieces, otherwise known as a bikini. Yes, I know you just lost that 20 pounds (and I seem to have conveniently found them on my tummy), but really, have you looked at your stomach lately? No? Let me get you reacquainted with it, and it’s stretch marks (those 20 pounds left you a little present!), it’s dimples that only a million sit ups a day will ever make go away and that bulge the kid left ya with. That’s right – you may be thinner but your stomach – the thing you’re showing off in that two-piece is not the prettiest it’s ever looked. Believe me, I’m looking at it. I sincerely wish I wasn’t. And I’m not even picking on the muffin top bikini wears, cause that’s a sin I was saving for the blue jean portion of this manifesto.
Ndel’s bathing suits law #2? Ladies, there are companies out there that make suits with lift. As in up. Lift up them puppies. Heck, I have tatas that must weight 10 lbs each and I found something to give me a bit of foundation. Avoid sagging at all costs! If you’re ass sags, get one of those fashionable skirt suits. Please do not wear a strapless, high thigh cut suit. I beg of you. Do not wear one of those one piece backless numbers to try to get out of this rule. That is a two piece suit masquerading as a one piece. If only 10% of women can safely wear bikinis, only 10% of the 10% can wear those man eaters. And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that’s probably not you. So just go with me on this one and spend a little time and maybe a little money (Loehmann’s carries all kinds of suits at great prices) to play up your strengths ladies!

As a matter of fact, my current suit (by MiracleSuit) plays up my twin assets (considering I have no ass) quite nicely, while helping me reign in this belly of mine. I still have my hips, so I achieve an hourglass shape – which is what women should want to do. Curves, ladies, curves! Two piece suits just don’t give you curves if you don’t naturally have them. And let’s face it; most of us don’t. Do not fall into the trap that two-pieces are sexier or make you look younger. They do not. Leave them for the 10 percenters who need as much oxygen to their brains as possible. Go with dignity. Go with camouflage. Go with color. Besides, leaving a little to the imagination is inherently sexier than letting it all hang out. Right guys?

Ndel’s bathing suit law #3? Bring a cover up. A sarong. A sheer, long shirt. A sheer skirt. Linen pants. Anything. Oh, and a hat. Cover up when necessary. I don’t want to see your sagging tits, stretch marked stomach and bleached out hair over the buffet; it’s already not that good. Your presence looking like that makes it downright upchuckable.

So, now it’s dinner time. And you’re wearing… What are you wearing? Those princess cut dresses only look good on a very thin frame. One you don’t have. Oh, and the long sundress with plunging necklines? Fine for smaller breasted women – or women who know where to find strapless bras. What’s up with you? Nothing, and that’s the problem. Never heard of strapless? And those clear straps don’t count. And for those of you, who wear your clubbing outfit to dinner, just make sure it’s appropriate for both, okay? If you are wearing a tight, short dress – that’s fine, but can you sit at the table and not show your stuff? Or when you’re dancing, does it ride up? Listen, can you not show your stuff? That’s the question. I know your man might want to see it (might not, never know), but I’m pretty sure he’s not down with all the other guys seeing it too. If you have to pull at something constantly, pass. Really, throw it out. It’ll do you no good.

And at the club, please, please, do not wear your short negligee with a slit up to the top of your thigh. I don’t care if you are wearing a g-string. You look like an inflated kewpie doll with an attention problem. Scandalous is the adjective; tacky is the verb. Or those hip hugger jeans when you are not leaner than Kate Moss (see muffin top above). Don’t have an ass (like me)? Stay away from low-slung jeans. They are not your friend. Who told you they were????? And even if you do have the body, please do not wear a cut-off shirt with half your fake boobies hanging out, k? It makes the rest of us feel deficient and fearful that a fight will break out amongst the men. Spare us the drama. Besides, you’re pulling it down all the time, so it fits squarely in the throw it out category. Unless you’re not pulling it down, which means you’re a slut and you wear what you want. Just don’t come crying to the rest of us when the rest of you sags, but your breasts are still perky.

And let me close by reminding my sisters that weaves need maintenance. If you’re not going to do it, you might want to rethink that hairstyle. And just remember, a woman with a nappy weave is never envied; only laughed at. Trust me; I do it all the time. You do not have to have long hair (at least not surgically attached to your scalp). Short hair is an option. People ask me all the time why I cut my hair and potentially scared off my soul mate, cause as we all know, men love long, luxurious locks. Well, it’s cheaper, very little maintenance and I can always wear a wig. When I had long hair, I could never have short hair. But now that I have short hair, I can have long hair as long as there’s a Korean wig shop in the neighborhood. I find it liberating and inexpensive. Plus, I can hide from the bill collector when I need to. I realize it takes a strong man to love a woman with shorter hair than he. Obviously, I need a strong man and that’s okay.

In short, we all have flaws. I have flaws. You have flaws. It’s okay; no one is perfect. We’ve got to accept them and go about a deliberate campaign to erase, hide or camouflage them when we can. When we have a zit, we medicate and cover. We should have the same philosophy when it comes to leisure fashion. Medicate with champagne, play up your strengths and be the life of the party without trying too hard. You’ll have fun, meet cooler people and feel better about yourself.

I promise.

Next time? The online dating profile pictures women should never respond to


Appreciating the Downside

This is a post of two movies. One movie rooted in confusion and not very interesting fantasy and the other rooted in filthy squalor along side waves of metallic shine less than five miles from my home. Both movies star hunky men whom I admit I find attractive. Admittedly, the two more attractive in the mess of a movie Wolverine. The other two attractive stars starring in a movie I think captures my home city in a way that no other has in many a year, The Soloist.

Let's start with the fantasy, mostly because I fantasize that one day I'll meet Hugh Jackman, he'll fall instantly in love with me and I'll become Mrs. Jackman (no offense to the current Mrs. Jackman meant). Well, maybe that's not exactly how my particular fantasy goes, but it'll do for now; I'm sure little eyes are prying. Okay, Wolverine. Where do I start? By now, you've got the picture that I love Hugh Jackman; adore him; think he's hot; think he's supremely talented; loved his Oscar hosting abilities... I love me some Hugh Jackman. I love him enough to say that this movie has got to be the absolute worst I've seen in years.

Now that's tough love.

The official title is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The problem is that the origins are never explained. Even comic books have rules; they have back stories - why did such & such become whatever???? Right? Wolverine's mutant origins are far from clear; he just has them one day. The movie starts when he and his brother are young boys, but they stop aging when, what 35? Why? No explanation for this is given. They hop from war to war, wearing the same hairstyles - even when in the armies for the Civil War, WWI, WWII & Vietnam? Dude, it's hot there, why would you want longish hair or a beard? And get this - what I've just relayed all happens during the opening credits. As you can tell, by this time, I was really looking forward to the actual movie.

I would tell you the story, but there wasn't one. Something about a special band of mutants - I'm not into comic books, so there might have been some characters that I should have known, but didn't. I can say that Ryan Reynolds is underused in this sequence. He has a few lines to clue us to his identity at the end as the super dooper X dude or something (I know it's some other Marvel character - but by that time, I really didn't care to listen). These dudes go into do a job to find something that the villain (Col. Stryker) wants and it's clear that Wolverine's bro, likes to get his gun off. Why Wolfy didn't figure this out in the preceding 100 years he's spent IN WAR with the boob is beyond me. He's had enough; he won't kill just cause commanding officer says so.

He leaves, falls in love, girl dies, he emotes. Oh, gawd, I don't know why I'm telling you this non-sensical plot. Because even though there's a sequence of events, a plot they do not make.

Suffice to say Origins sucks, kinda like in the Star Wars first episode movies were far inferior to the original ones that told of later escapades. The X-Men franchise really is one that had a very good track record. With this movie, I think they've damaged that meme. A smart movie with a good director could have delivered a returning fan for movies to come. Alas, that is not to be for me any longer. They can continue the struggle without me.

As for Hugh. Call me. Or Tweet. I'll be looking out for ya.

Now, The Soloist, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, is a gem of a movie. Neither of these very virile and handsome men are at their appearance best here - quite on purpose. RDJ plays my favorite LA columnist, Steve Lopez or SLo, as he called himself in a series of columns about JLo a few years back. He's funny, smart, sarcastic and a joy to read. He's one of the reasons I continue to subscribe to the LA Times, besides the fact that reading my daily paper makes me feel smart and informed - but that's another blog post. Jamie Foxx plays Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill homeless man, with a love and talent for music living at Pershing Square, five blocks from the gorgeous Disney Hall, the home of the LA Phil (go Esa-Pekka!).

The movie tells the story of how they meet; SLo sees columns and Mr. Ayers sees, well, who knows? I, like many other Angelenos, read the original columns when they were published, so I felt like I knew the players here. I remembered large details, like how Mr. Ayers had a special stick to beat back the rats when he slept on the street, that the movie left out. I was disappointed, but understood the filmmakers had their reasons. Just like they had their reason to show LA in it's beauty, the backdrop of the Disney Hall is breathtaking, as well as to show it's squalor - like depicting the people, including families, who live(d) in the porta potties, on Skid Row to have just a little shelter for the night. SLo, in his columns, wrote about that too, he wrote columns about the other denizens of Skid Row, that the movie does not really touch upon, but rather, depicts a vague essence of their plight. It gives us a few moments to reflect upon those less fortunate than ourselves; those without eyes or health or beauty or faculties. It gives us just a moment's dose of reality. How they live; that they find a way to live in filth, violence, degradation and humiliation; they live. They smile and stop when music, beautiful music is played. They can appreciate talent. They do appreciate humanity when given the chance.

Now that I write this and reflect upon the film, the message, the story, I am humbled. I didn't realize that it touched me so. I told everyone that The Soloist showed my Los Angeles, the ole we don't get to see on the big screen often, even though we see the backdrop of LA all the time. And while others may be embarrassed by our homeless problem (and it is a problem) being unfurled for the world to see, I am proud. For I see people. Alive people.


On My Mind

These last couple of weeks have been kind of interesting.

Dinner at Cut with Skinny Gal & Trace was pretty awesome. In the dining room was the drummer from Rush and that mixed kid from High School Musical. The food was really good - if you go, stick with the meat and the pumpernickel bread. Oh, and the desserts. Do NOT forget your wallet.

Umami Burger has made their menu revolving; meaning they took the mideast burger off. I'm bummed. But I still love the place. Also, Milk has a soft spot in my heart. Stuff seems real good.

Pho is one of my favorite foods and if you haven't had the beef soup, you must try it soon. I just learned that East Garvey Avenue in South El Monte, where I just did three days of flood school, is ground zero for pho in LA County (in the OC - it's Westminster or Little Saigon).

I'm on Twitter and I love it. I get almost all of my news from Tweeters there (Time, Politico, NY/LA Times, Newsweek, The Nation). You can follow me if you like and I'll follow you back. I really like it, especially since I got an iPhone. It's ridiculously expensive, but I LOVE it. The only thing I think must be fixed is that the flash less camera sucks, which is why I am not posting any pictures from it. I am urging Trace to at least get the new Palm Pre when it comes out sometime this month, but she's resisting. I don't know why. I have no problem being connected - maybe that's because I don't have that many people connected to me, so it's not a problem. Pointless maybe, but not a problem.

I'm also, super addicted to Mafia Wars on FaceBook. I'm at level 10, but can't go further until more of my friends join my family. And you know how difficult it is to get someone to join family events...

Like me, who did not want to go to a function that my sister organized for the mentors and teachers for her autistic son, who is graduating from high school next month. Boy was I wrong. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen - teachers being honored by a student and his family. It really needs to happen more often. I think this needs to be a new permanent trend. Much better than those extravagant party for spoiled brats that MTV celebrates, doncha think?

Oh, and I'm getting fatter. Must be all those Umami burgers. No lovers in sight. Need new clothes. Lost is almost over for the season, boo hoo. The swine flu concerns, but does not scare me. Isn't that Obama amazing? And Cam says that he loves me every day.

I'm blessed.


CUT it In

Tonight, I have the honor of taking Skinny Gal to Cut for her birthday. Trace is going to join us and we're very excited. Trace & I got the chance to try CUT in Vegas and it was heavenly. I'm really looking forward to their brussel sprouts with speck (thick bacon), it's the most awesome brussel sprout dish ever. With a bottle of prosecco, who can go wrong? Not us. I'm thinking a New York cut. And dessert; most definitely dessert. We'll be sure to post pictures!


The Perils of White Women Continued

On Sunday, a USC co-ed & a fellow student were hit by some lawless sons of bitches. The female died from her injuries at a local hospital and the male was carried 500 feet on the windshield of the vehicle before the assholes stopped and threw him off.

Pretty heinous, right?

Worth $135,000 reward?


The LA City Council is putting up $75k, USC is putting up $50k and LA County Supervisors is putting in another $10k. This is within three days of the incident.

How many unsolved murders are out there? How many hit and run accidents taking the lives or maiming others?


I can't help but think this kind of outrage about a dead white girl (wait, is Fox on the scene? They haven't had a WW to hang their ratings on in a while; Natalee Holloway just doesn't reel 'em like she used to) is hyped up "concern". I'm sure if I did a search of hit and run accidents where there was a fatality, I'd find plenty. I'm equally sure that I would not find such hefty rewards attached. Let's face it, as tragic as this is, and it is tragic, this young women left no children to care for. She was cut down at the beginning of her young life, this is true, but I'm failing to see where the cost analysis for the reward is coming from.

Yes, I am. She's white. The boy was white and frankly, this much money would never have been ponied up for a black or brown teenagers.
Even if the mother held a picture up and sobbed for the cameras.
Well, maybe a $5,000 reward.


The Right One – Momma Said
The Good Guy
Nice Guys Do Finish First

He’s nice. He has a good job. He brings you flowers. He is faithful. He is honest. Okay, three out of five ain’t bad. Momma said he would be a nice boy, from a good family. Hopefully, a doctor, but not a lawyer. A banker, but not a broker. In insurance, but not in assurance. A police officer, but not a security guard. Mommas want so much for their daughters. They want the best of men. They want the staunchest of men. They want the most devoted of men.

There aren’t enough to go around. Somebody’s daughter has got to get the bottom of the barrel.

So why have your mother’s nice guys who have crossed your path over the years seemed like geeks? Like losers? Like nobody you’d want to date - ever? Maybe just because your mother told you he was a “nice” guy. These good guys, these nice guys, are storied in feminine circles to be highly desirable. But guys hate being labeled, “nice” or “good”. They see it as the kiss of death. Probably because once identified, they fear they’ll never get kissed. It is the kiss of death. Probably because once we have identified them, we fear perpetual boredom.

The Wrong One – Daddy Said
The Bad Boy
When A Bad Boy Can Be Good For You

He’s dangerous. He’s fast. He runs with the wrong crowd. He’ll get you in the wrong way. He won’t be faithful. He’ll leave you, or even worse, he’ll leave you with no money. And a vaginally disfiguring disease.

You want him badly.

If Daddy knew, he’d get out his shotgun. The thought is tantalizing. To be wayward and highly sexed in the same breath. It’s almost too much to bear. The eventual pain and loss means nothing (that is, until hit with their force). You gleefully jump, feet first, into the relationship, or liaison or screw fest (whichever it may be) with the gusto and naiveté of a child. You act like you’ve never seen his slithering ways before. You overlook the blank stare when you share your thoughts. You make excuses when he breaks another date. You rationalize his pathetic behavior in front of your friends. And it’s all good. He’s worth it. Your pain is worth it. But is it?

Do you care? Should you care?

Uh huh. Most definitely. Most assuredly. Hell yes.

No one really knows why the Bad Boy holds such an ambiguously exalted position in our cultural psyche. I don’t think anyone knows when he entered it either. The vogue for the last four decades has been to describe a dark (oh, the connotations that can muster) brooding man with a cigarette. Usually dressed in black (that “dark” connotation again) with rugged good looks and sneer. He hates the world, or, at least, has one hellava grudge against it. What this grudge is, no one in recorded history has been able to adequately explain. Yet, there he is, on a corner, leaning on his motorcycle, cigarette burning, jeans tight, his sexuality calling out to yours. He is irresistible and he knows it. He exploits it. You desire it. Some women spend most of their adult lives trying to shake him.

But let’s expand the definition of Bad Boy. It really includes men with high levels of toxicity of all types – emotional and physical. Traits in men that all women are all too familiar with. Having said this, it becomes clear that almost all women have some history with a Bad Boy. The question is why. Why have women been so attracted to men clearly not good for them? And once identified, why do we keep going back to the same fork in the road, in relationship after relationship and choosing the same treacherous path?

Well, if I knew the answer to that question, most certainly, I’d be a millionaire right now.

The Power of the Eye

The last month has been filled with ER retrospectives, pieces on Entertainment Tonight as well as newspaper articles about the long running show. I used to watch it religiously, but haven't for something six years. My favorite character was Dr. Mark Greene, played by Anthony Edwards, and when he left, I left. Okay, that's not true either. I actually checked out when his character hooked up with Alex Kingston's character (I forgot her name). That was after Eric LaSalle made a big deal that his character had to be with a black woman; in spite of the fact that his character (asshole) was a better fit with AK's character. They lost me at blackmale.

Anyways, I haven't watched the show and wasn't worse for wear for it. I found other outstanding television shows, namely The Wire & Deadwood, two shows that rank right up there for me as far as excellent in entertainment. But one ER episode holds, for me, the title of the best hour of television drama that I've ever witnessed. So, it warmed my heart this morning, perusing the Sunday LA Times (yes another reason why I read the paper everyday - but that's another post), to see an ode to that very episode this morning; "
Love's Labor Lost" the only TV show episode of any show I know the title of. The only episode of a TV show that can bring tears to my eyes by just thinking of it.

What's the episode about? In short, in addition to the regular cacophony that was the general background noise (but interesting background noise, nevertheless) of ER, it's about a pregnancy gone wrong; very wrong, really, really, really wrong. Mark Greene was the center of the episode and maybe that's why he's my favorite character (I got an autographed photo from him sometime in '96; still got it too). And, as I recall, it was the first ER episode I bothered to watch. I'm not much for medical dramas, but in that first year, ER had such buzz, I decided to tune in.

And tune in, I did. For the next how many years. That one episode convinced me that ER was a great show. So during the summer, I watched to catch up on the previous episodes I'd missed. And, after I saw the premiere episode, I know that if I had watched it, I still would have been hooked. That, my friend is the mark of something good; really good. There was a point, and I don't know exactly when, that ER was givng us, the poor non-cable paying public, some of the best scripted material to watch, period.

As I said, I don't know how the story lines fared in these last few years, but I do know that ER and LLL will always hold an exalted place in my heart - the television that should be done: smart, emotional, entertaining, and sometimes not a happy ending.

Farewell ER. You were a contender. Actually, you were a winner. Thank you.

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