Archive | May 2014

Things to Ponder

Within the space of two weeks, women, average women (average looking) have been given two news items to think about in the mixed message department of sexual politics.

Timewise, we first have the “Louie” episode, “So Did the Fat Lady.” The gist of it is that Louie is pining after the attractive waitresses at his nightclub and ignoring the energetic, smart fat girl. Here’s the clip (warning: raw language)



“So Did the Fat Lady” clip

 This is nothing new. George Costanza on “Seinfeld” was a short, pudgy, balding, largely underemployed whiny schmendrick who didn’t see why he couldn’t date models.  And that episode wasn’t the first time this dynamic was explored on a TV show. I auditioned for a “George Lopez” where his ugly little friend made a blind date and she rejected him in the bar even after he makes a “why not me” speech. I was given the audition because I had (and have) a big, unattractive body (eyes to die for and that limits me in roles because I’m not ugly enough. I’m stuck with writing) and it would be really funny for an unattractive woman to dump the unattractive guy, even though he tells her the choice is either him or nothing. Who could resist?

This is me. I was never one of the attractive, desirable girls. I look at pictures and think I looked okay (my weight was a lot lower in my 20s. Been a big issue – see what I did there? – ever since. Even when I took off 75 lbs. 3 years ago, no one showed interest). I’m 53. I can count on both hands the number of dates I’ve had and still have unused fingers.  Plenty of male friends, but… I remember some friends in my law school class approaching one of my male classmates on my behalf. Understand, this gentleman was over 250 lbs. himself. His response? “One of us in this relationship needs to be thin.”


I’m smart, funny, I can cook, earn my own keep, clean house (I can. Not saying I always do), talk baseball, politics, culture. But I’m too  (fill in the blank) or not enough (fill in another blank). It’s Mad Libs, the Dating Edition.

Of course, unwanted women are fodder for jokes. Back to the TV sitcoms, after the rejection comes the ice cream binges or adopting a bunch of cats or an awkward attempt at lesbianism.

This is one of the reasons I created Liz Gardner and Ty Hadley of “These Foolish Things.” I wanted to show one of these super alpha stud males (an alcoholic one) finding value in someone who wasn’t arm candy and/or just a goldigger. She doesn’t need him for support or social standing. He doesn’t need her to prove his status. Ty and Liz end up together because they discover they really dig each other.

The other watershed incident is Elliott Rodger and his rampage at at UC Santa Barbara. This was a guy in the “Louie” mode who got turned down by the alpha females.  I’m not including any pictures because he doesn’t deserve that much attention.

Instead of eating his feelings or getting a pet, he stabbed his roommates, got in his car and went looking for women to shoot. I started to read his 141 page tirade online and gave up. He takes NO responsibility for his life.

A friend has a daughter in her early 20s who is an attractive young woman. She is subject to a lot of unwanted attention including a strange man on the city bus playing with her hair and saying, “You’re so pretty, I just couldn’t resist” to excuse his behavior (Her mom bought her a bejeweled pepper spray dispenser).

This is the mindset behind burkas, behind blaming rape victims, behind fighting reform of handling sexual assault cases in the military. It’s why in 2012, we had a number of political candidates making stupid, stupid comments about rape like “the female body has a way of shutting that down” (Yeah, Todd Akin. You’re a douche) in order to deny women the right to control their bodies.

“We can’t be bothered to control ourselves, Ladies, so we’re leaving that responsibility up to you. Yep.” (With a big, dopey smile and some furtive “pocket pool.”)

There have been cases of fashion models in New York City disfigured by men who’d been turned down for dates (acid or knives to the face). Someone close to me revealed that she’d lost her virginity in college to date rape. And she has always been one of the alpha girls with the carefully turned-out appearance, big charming smile, flirty demeanor. This is scary shit

So, it’s acceptable for the not-so-good-looking guys to turn down the less-than-10 girls, but if THEY get turned down, it’s a denial of a right? Fuck that.

First of all: Ladies, if you want better men, START RAISING THEM. Teach your sons, your nephews, your brothers what it means to respect a woman. Trust me, they will not learn this shit from their stupid little friends and depending on the adult men in your life, maybe not from the role models around them. Try giving them a beautifully-wrapped box full of excrement to learn that the exterior doesn’t always indicate what’s inside and maybe that girl who’s a good friend may turn out to be something more and something special.

Secondly: VOTE. We. Women,  are the MAJORITY in the US. It is goddamn time we elected representatives to our state legislatures and and Federal government who actually fucking represented OUR interests and not those of Super PACs, the “Christian Right,” or those people who want to push the nation’s power dynamic back to the 1950s when white men were the undisputed kings. That needs to be stopped.




Gemini Blog Post: Two Items Rolled Into One

2014 has been the year of chaos reigning* so far. Things have stabilized on the personal front (No, I’m not going into details, but the wild horses have been reined in** and the wagon is headed in the right direction. For those who have grumbled at me about not publishing anything recently; Look, survival mode takes a lot of attention and resources. Writing fiction isn’t high on the priority list when you don’t know where you’re going to live, whether you have enough gas in your car to get to work, or how you’re going to stretch that $5 in your pocket for food until payday at the end of the week. Hawthorne may have been filed from his job as a customs clerk (He sucked. So does “The Scarlet Letter.” I read that thing 3 times, once voluntarily and twice as part of literature courses), but he had a wife. I’m a solo act. If I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. I digress.

*This is the correct usage for “reigning.” With a “g”, it refers to ruling. Most people mistakenly (and stubbornly) insist on using it as “reigning in,” which should properly be spelled** r-e-i-n-i-n-g, as the term refers to controlling a horse. Should you be close enough to such people, please explain the difference, then beat the ever-lovin’ stuffin’ out of them for not having mastered 5th grade level vocabulary).

Reading on the Beach

Mark your calendars: June 21, 2014 from 12 PM (High Noon) to 5 PM  at 100 Pacific Ave, Long Beach, CA, I will be selling and signing books at  Reading By the Sea along with the other authors listed. I met some of these great folks at Authors Under the Lights in March and I’m looking forward to seeing their happy little faces again. I will have a game going to win a set of signed books (Mine) and if you buy a set of signed books, you’ll be entered to win a raffle (as well as the raffles they’ll have). We’re not talking Publisher’s Clearing House here, but it’ll be cute.  You get stuff. Stuff related to MY books.

Go Fund Me!

(Well, that didn’t turn out as snazzily as I had hoped)

Since I have not had a great paying job since October (thus the survival mode) and I need promotional materials for the above mentioned Reading By the Sea event…that’s given me some gray hairs (which should delight my sisters. They’ve been waiting for almost 25 years now). If you click on the link, it’ll take you to a page that shows you what I want for this endeavor and how much the various items cost. I’m over halfway to my goal of $300 and I have an offer for super donors: $100 gets a minor character named after you or given the (reasonable) name of your choice in my current Work in Progress “The Baldie Chronicles.” (Prequel to “These Foolish Things”) The character will either be a group therapy participant or an oncological nurse (male or female), but will have a couple of lines (No, you don’t get to write those). So, click the link and GO FUND ME.

Back in 2011, I was going to the gym 6 days a week (3 days of weight lifting, 2 yoga classes, a Pilates class, and 5-6 days of cardio). I haven’t been in a while (try since October when the good-paying job went bye-bye, probably to Bangalore), so it would be foolish for me to walk in and just try to pick up where I left off. A walk around the block is a good place to restart.  Same thing with writing; if you’ve fallen out of the habit and rhythm of daily writing (something other than email or Facebook), it’s foolish to think you can just dive back in and pick it up again where you left off. But, I’m getting there.

I will get caught up on blogging, writing, etc. I will get back to talking about things like the “Louie” episode on fat women dating, gratitude and manifesting things in life, that kind of stuff. Right now, though, I just needed to “go for a walk around the block.”

Oh, and on a final note, let me leave you with this review:

Let me start by saying, I read a LOT of books, so you can imagine how you can get a lot of the ‘sameness’ throughout certain genres right?

I love a good romance sometimes to break up the books I read, ones that I don’t have to put my mind set in gear and just read with my eyes and enjoy.

So I picked up this one!

I was hoping it wasn’t going to be [what I call] a soppy romance. It wasn’t.

I hoped that it had some ups and downs in it [and not just in the bedroom!] It didn’t.

I hoped that there was going to be a storyline to it unlike some romances that can get quite irritating at times [if you know what I mean] It didn’t.

I really hoped this was not going to be the “perfect Alpha Male” type read that is all so popular at the moment. It wasn’t!

This couple were flawed, they were imperfect, it was GREAT. There were all kinds of emotions in this book. I really liked it, yes it was a romance, but a lovely romance.”

A lovely romance…