Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to Get Rid of the Kardashians

Oh my God.  How much do I hate hearing about this family?

Has there ever been any point in history where we've heard so much about a bunch of people who have no discernible talent, no skills, nothing....?  All they apparently do is buy properties, go to restaurants, and attend fashion shows.  They are famous merely because they are famous.  Because the eldest sister, working on the name of her father (deceased) spread her legs with her then boyfriend, and spewed out a reality television show.  What?  Who are all of these millions of people who are following these sisters on Instagram and Twitter?  Why?  Why are you following women who have nothing to contribute to the world, to our society, other than selfies of themself?  Oh, look how pretty I am!  Look where I am!  Oh!  Look how big my lips are today?

I mean...really?  Really?  It's actually embarrassing for the world that these Kardashian women who have NO TALENT at all have tens of millions of followers.  Maybe the young girls of today should try following women who are actually intelligent, who have made something of themselves, and who have talent. 

And you can't escape the Kardashians even by not being on Instagram or Twitter.  They are right there on the cover of the newstands.  On the cover of People, Style, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, etc.  Why? 

Why?  Why am I seeing these totally untalented women everywhere I go?  Why? Why can't I see Marissa Mayer, Carly Fiorni, Meg Whitman?  Why can't I see women who might actually be role models?  Why is it all about how big your butt is, or how big your lips are, or how pretty you are?  Why can't we try to encourage brains?  Can't we?  Aren't brains important?

Can every news magazine, gossip magazine, and gossip website just agree to stop telling us about this family?  Because I honestly think most people don't care about them.  And maybe we could focus on people who have talent.  People who matter.  People in technology, politics, business.  People who actually make a difference.  Not people who just show up for photo ops.

Please, please, please.  Stop covering these nontalented, nothing to offer women.  Surely you can find an actress or model to photograph instead of these talentless realty television stars.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Private Conversations on the Train

On the train ride in this morning, a Very Important Businessman felt it necessary to conduct a Very Important Business Deal on his phone.  The entire train car was silent except for this guy’s incessant chatter.    

“I’ll circle back with you tomorrow…”

“I’ll make the introduction to the proper investment banker…”

“We can find a solution to fit your needs…”

“I’m an ex-employer, and one of my former employees came to me with that exact issue…”

He was loud.  I felt like he wanted us all to know how Important he was.

Although the train is a public place, so there was technically nothing wrong with him having this conversation, I’m beginning to resent having to listen to people’s private phone conversations everywhere I go.  This man is no exception; it is happening everywhere.  Walking down the street, in the stores, on the trains, on the buses, at the airport.  Everyone is having a conversation with someone who isn’t physically present – often loudly.  People are ending relationships (often tearfully), attending meetings, gossiping, making business deals, catching up with friends and making plans in front of a live audience.

It wouldn’t bother me if Mr. Businessman had been having the conversation in person.  We expect people to have conversations when they are sitting right next to each other.  However, something about the entire conversation being conducted on the phone in front of a train full of people felt so…smug, a clamor to “Look at me, look at me…”  I’m so Important I’m attending a meeting on my way to work; it can’t even wait until I get to the office.  

I suppose people don’t feel embarrassed or awkward to have private conversations in public anymore.  Maybe they should.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm Really Bad, Aren't I?

I can't even believe it's been since March that I posted.


I'm terrible.  Truly awful.

Please forgive me.  Please.  And let me update you!  Living together is going great, even though it never really occurs to him to unload the dishwasher.  I'm also still waiting for him to finish unpacking his office stuff.  But, whatever, right?  We are still due to get married in March of next year, and we are eloping to Hawaii!  Yay.  We are making the arrangements, but it is going to be an epic trip. 

More importantly, I have the most phenomenal, best fantasy football team of all time.  I'm not even kidding.  The league I am in is run through CBS Sports and after we did the draft, I got this canned e-mail from them that advised me I had drafted the worst team ever and I was going to come in dead last.  Well, guess what CBS Sports?  I'm about to be 3-0, unless Matt Forte can score 75 points tomorrow night.  And on top of that, I haven't won by slim margins.  I'm blowing every other team out of the water.  So, thank you Andrew Luck, DeMarco Murray, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Jeremy Maclin, Rob Gronkowski, Marques Colston, Justin Tucker, et. al.  On what planet is this a losing team, CBS? 

 Also, I'm 40 now.  Holy smokes!  I don't feel 40.  Hopefully I don't look 40. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Living Together

For the first time in my life, I am now living with a man.  Only took 39 and a half years.

I never thought I would live with someone without getting married, but it make sense.  We’re engaged and have a wedding date set for next year.  It will make things easier for us.  No more shuttling back and forth between places and having to pack a bag.  (We only lived around 2 miles apart, so this wasn’t a huge hassle, but still.)  Plus, we will save a lot of money now that we do not have to pay double rent and utilities.  He moved in to my place over the weekend.

I’m only slightly terrified.  This has a sense of permanence about it now, as I inventory our kitchen supplies to determine where we have duplicates.  Some things will be given away; it makes no sense to keep two…unless we plan to split up again at some point.  How odd, right, to think that way?  Should I keep this in case we have to split everything up someday?  No.  I’m not going to think that way.  For now, I’m going to assume that this is it.  From now on, we are a unit, even though I’ve lined up his glasses on one side of the cupboard and mine on the other.  It’s hard to let go of that “mine” mindset.

He’s being almost annoyingly wishy washy in some ways, asking me “Do we need this or that?” And I ask him…”Do you use it?  Are you attached to it?  Do you want to keep it?”  He doesn’t seem very attached to anything.  That is one thing I like about him, actually, but I wish he would put his foot down and tell me that he wants to use his alarm clock.  I really don’t care whose alarm clock we use.  I tell him to make himself at home and to feel free to put things wherever he wants since he lives here now, but he still feels the need to clear it with me.  I had to tell him it was okay to put his own pillows on the bed, for example.  It will take time for him to feel at home, I know.  I’m no help because I have my place decorated just so, and it is hard for me to let go of that, even though I know I have to do it.  He wants us to use his red entryway rug that matches nothing in my condo.  He doesn’t understand colors and home d├ęcor.  To him, since the rug is still in fine shape we might as well use it.  I will likely cave on this issue, because who cares?  He will smile when he sees it laid out when he gets home from work.  It makes me happy when he’s happy, so I suppose I can live with a red rug. 

Why Is Kim Kardashian on the Cover of Vogue?

I’ve been contemplating why Kim Kardashian’s Vogue magazine cover upsets me so much.  After all, who cares?  It doesn’t affect me personally.  I don’t watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians, I don’t buy tabloid magazines, I don’t buy any of the Kardashian clothing line at Sears.  (Sears!  Classy!)  I do not contribute to the Kardashian fortune at all.  Occasionally I laugh at Kim Kardashian’s clothing choices, but that is about it.  Instead, I try to ignore the Kardashians, to hope that their fifteen minutes of fame will end soon.  It has to, right?  After all, they are nothing more than reality television personalities.  These types of careers are notoriously short-lived.  It wasn’t so long ago that Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt were all over the place, and now they are nowhere to be found.

Over the past year, Vogue has featured the following women on its U.S. cover:  Rihanna (actress), Lena Dunham (actress and writer), Cate Blanchett (actress), Jessica Chastain (actress), Kate Winslet (actress), Sandra Bullock (actress), Jennifer Lawrence (actress), Claire Danes (actress), Katy Perry (singer), Kate Upton (model), Carey Mulligan (actress), Michelle Obama (First Lady), and Beyonce (singer).  And then…Kim Kardashian!  One of these things is not like the other, is it? 
Has Anna Wintour lost her mind?  One wonders what Kim Kardashian has done to merit the cover of Vogue.  Vogue!  The Fashion Bible.  A Vogue cover seems to give an air of legitimacy to Kim Kardashian’s “career.”  But what has Kim Kardashian ever done to deserve a Vogue cover?   Unlike the women who have graced the cover before her, she is not an actress, singer, model, writer, or the First Lady.  What does Kim Kardashian actually do?  We know she goes shopping, dates athletes and other celebrities, had a very large and expensive wedding paid for by TLC, which was rendered moot within days.  She goes to yogurt shops, restaurants, and clubs.  Cameras follow her around.  The paparazzi takes her picture.  She follows Kanye West around like a puppy dog and seems to have lost what little fashion sense she had once he got into the picture.  

Let’s recall why Kim Kardashian is famous in the first place.  A sex tape.  A sex tape.  Has anyone else with a sex tape ever appeared on the cover of Vogue?  Isn’t Vogue supposed to be a classy magazine?  Suddenly it’s lost all class.  Luckily, Kim’s mother was intelligent enough to parlay the sex tape into Keeping Up With the Kardashians, which created the Kardashian empire.  (I don’t understand why anyone would want to watch this show, but apparently people do.)

Kim Kardashian is nothing more than a reality television personality.    She’s Honey Boo Boo all grown up.  She has no discernible talent. She can’t act, sing, or write.  She’s not a model.   Is she pretty?  Sure.  But so are a lot of women.  She does not seem particularly intelligent when you hear her speak.  She’s in her early 30s and a mother and is taking selfies of her ass and posting them on Twitter and Instagram.       
Being on the cover of a magazine like Vogue used to mean something.  I may not like some of the other women who have been featured on the cover of Vogue, but at least they do something.  I can’t stand Lena Dunham, but she has a hit TV show.  I think Rihanna is dumber than a box of rocks based on her Twitter posts, but she sings, dancers, and performs for stadiums full of people.    

In explaining her decision to put Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue, Anna Wintour explained that “being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it. I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T.”  Have we really sunk so low as a country that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West define our culture?  Is Kim Kardashian really that popular…for doing nothing?  Or is she popular merely because the paparazzi will not let us forget about her?   

The ratings for Keeping Up With the Kardashians have been plummeting and hit an all-time low last month.  At its peak, an average of 3.39 million viewers watched.  Now ratings are around 2 million viewers per episode.  There are over 314 million people in the United States, if that shows you how few people actually watch this show.  Rumor has it that sales of the Kardashian Kollection at Sears have been less than optimal.  (Does anyone want to dress like the Kardashians?)  Although Kim’s Cosmopolitan (April 2013) cover sold well, her Allure (March 2012), Glamour (January 2012) and Marie Claire (December 2011) sold poorly.  While tabloids featuring the Kardashians sell well, is it because people like the Kardashians or because they want to laugh at the Kardashians?  Sometimes it’s difficult to tell.  

Which leads me to wonder…if the paparazzi stopped taking pictures of Kim Kardashian, would anyone notice?  If she stopped Tweeting, would anyone care?  If talk show hosts stopped interviewing her would we even miss her?  How long would it take for people to move on to the next reality show (remember how big Jersey Shore was a couple of years ago?) and the next tabloid fodder?  If the media was not constantly shoving the talentless Kardashians down our throats, wouldn’t we all find other people to read about – people who might actually contribute something to society?   

Wouldn’t it be amazing if, rather than featuring a woman who is famous for a sex tape, Anna Wintour had put Marissa Mayer (Yahoo’s CEO), Mary Barra (General Motors’ CEO), or Meg Whitman (Hewlett-Packard’s CEO) on the cover of April’s Vogue?  Wouldn’t that be a better message to send to young women today?  Instead, the message is that you can do nothing and still land the cover of Vogue.  No wonder so many young people just want to “be famous” when they grow up, without bothering to consider how they might become famous.

At any rate, I’m stunned that Anna Wintour has done this, even though she might just be crazy like a fox and counting on the publicity to sell issues.  I’ve been done with magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour for several years (who have also put various Kardashians on the cover).  Now I’m done with Vogue as well.  It’s a shame.  Their September issue used to be my fall fashion Bible.  No more.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Selfies" in the Car - Why?

I don’t understand “selfies.”  Maybe it’s because I’m not photogenic so I don’t like having my picture taken.  Or because I grew up in an age where there were no digital cameras, so it was important to take your pictures wisely because there was only so much film in the camera.  When I take a picture, I don’t need a close up of my face.  If I’m taking a picture, it is either to mark an occasion with friends or to mark a location where I happen to be.  Or of my dessert, if it is particularly memorable.  But even if traveling alone, it’s usually very easy to find another person who will gladly snap a photo of you in front of the Statute of Liberty.  

I can think of very few instances where a “selfie” seems logical.  For instance, if you are somewhere scenic in the middle of nowhere all alone and there is no one else around to take your picture.  Or maybe if you run a blog where your clothing or make-up is part of the blog, so you take a picture of yourself to showcase what you are wearing or your eyeshadow that day.  That makes sense to me.   
Unfortunately, that is not the typical "selfie."  People seem obsessed with taking pictures of themselves.  Is it narcissism gone bad?  They are everywhere!  High school “friends” in my Facebook feed.  There is one gal in particular who posts a new "selfie" every week.  I saw a news story today about Obamacare and the picture they posted of the poor woman who can’t find a doctor to treat her was – you guessed it, a "selfie."  I mean, really?  She didn’t have another picture of herself?  (This is aside from the fact that sometimes I’m stunned at the terrible pictures of people that news stories use.  What's worse, is the news source must have gotten the pictures from the family, so I often wonder why the family would give them such a bad picture.  I saw a news story in the Daily Mail today that had a person in it with their eyes closed.  I mean…what?)  Pictures people took of themselves in the mirror are all over the Internet.  Celebrities are tweeting selfies.  And it’s kind of hilarious because the angle is always so terrible and unflattering.  So...why? 

Anyway…on to my point.  Why do people take “selfies” in the car?  In my Facebook feed, on the Internet, and even in news stories I see “selfies” of people in the car.  I don’t get it.  What motivates someone to get in the driver’s seat of their car, put on their seatbelt, and think “Damn, now is a great time to take a picture of myself!”  They always have their seatbelt on!  I don’t get it.  What am I missing? 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gaining Weight While Dating

What is it about dating that makes the weight pile on?  CTF and I love wine, craft beer, and food.  Lots and lots of food.  One of our favorite things to do is to stop in at a new place to have drinks and eats.  As a result, we have both gained weight.  I’ve put on around 10 pounds in the year and a half that we’ve been dating.  I think he’s put on close to 20 pounds.  I glanced over at his gut over the weekend and found myself thinking “Where did that come from?”  But I’m no innocent party either.  While I’m still fitting into my “skinny” jeans, another couple of pounds and I’ll be digging back into my fat clothes to find something to wear.  Squeezing into my jeans is starting to make me feel like a sausage.  
You’ll recall that I went through quite a fitness craze in the months leading up to meeting CTF.  I quit smoking, started running, did Insanity, and got myself down to a weight I hadn’t seen since college.  I felt great!  I looked great!  Life was great!  And while I have continued to work out (although without nearly the dedication) and generally eat fairly healthy during the week, the weekends have turned into a pit of gluttony.  Chicago is a bad place to live if you like to eat.  

Let’s just put it this way.  Yesterday I did Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones DVD and today I am finding out that most of my trouble zones haven’t been worked in a long time.  I can barely hobble around the hallways here at work.  But at least I worked out.  That’s the bar these days – at least I did something. 

Part of the problem has been the weather.  It has been nonstop snow and cold since November.  Not only did I lose motivation to do anything healthy, it was impossible (and miserable) to spend any time out of doors, even to go for a walk.  As a result, I’ve barely been able to run since November.  The other night it hit fifty degrees, so I went for a run and the endorphins hit hard.  I felt phenomenal.  Then two days later it snowed again.  It was frigidly cold yesterday.  Today is a little better.  Who knows when we will see true relief.  And the cold makes me want macaroni and cheese and Pequod’s pizza and a tall glass of beer.  

But CTF is a bad influence on me.  He gets me out of my workout routine.  He convinces me to go and have fun when I should be working out.  He wants to split dessert, split a bottle of wine, try that new steak place.  Oh, and Goose Island has new beers every week that we have to try.  And the pastry counter at Whole Foods calls my name.  

But I know it's my fault.  I can't really blame the weather or CTF.  I know how to say no.  I know how to lose weight.  I just need to muster up the motivation to do it.  CTF is moving in soon.  I find myself wondering if we will get better or worse.  I tend to think that once we are living together we will stop going out to eat so much, and will settle into more of a healthy routine.  I tease him that now we can both really let ourselves go.  Will we?  Tough to tell.

All I know is that I need to try to lose 5-7 pounds before summer hits.  So does he.  I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can start going for long walks again, as we did last summer and fall.