Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cynic's Day Off

Short and sweet today. I'm actually quite happy and can't tap into my inner cynic! This isn't to say that while writing every other blog post I'm not happy; because I'm always happy. It's just sometimes my faith in my fellow man is, well, depleted.

I even had to go into downtown LA yesterday, as I sometimes do. Generally this evokes 42 blog topics, and I run them through the brain, having trouble choosing one. After days like that the inner city traffic, my stress because I'm always running late, and the exposure to the idiots who slow down the seminars, are more than enough to elicit my satirical prose.


Today is all relaxation (and bliss) for me.

Relaxation, part 1: So I caught up on Jersey Shore this morning. I know, I know. No self respecting person actually watches that show, say the sophisticated souls who have never watched it! In defense of those of us who do tune in, it's more that we (and by "we" I mean "I") can't turn away. It's a mess.

Relaxation, part 2: Finish reading "The 48 Laws of Power." I've been hooked on this book for so long, and I took a break to read a few other books. I think I'm ready to jump back into my take-no-prisoners mentality. The book is flat out amazing, and maybe I wouldn't find anything to relate it to if I didn't work in the corporate jungle. But one has to know how to kill and defend themselves in such an environment. I love the candid and apathetic manner in which it was written. This always gets me pumped for the following week...

Relaxation, part 3: Hello wine. Ooh, I'm getting excited just thinking about it. Nothing is more relaxing than a clean house, my favorite candles lit (sugar cookie, and baked apple pie), good music, wine and my family. Times like these remind me of what I work so hard for.

I know, I'm not very interesting today. Is anyone else relaxing today? If so, what do you do?

Note: I reserve the right to blog later if I happen to be outraged by something. The cynic's day of rest is completely revocable.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot crazy like mine?

One of the most amazing women I've ever known, my great grandmother, passed away this Christmas. Yesterday while cleaning her house out, I was reminded of so many great memories with her.

I even came across some vintage newspapers, and I realized that we have the same struggles/worries/trends, that they did back then. There were "miracle med" ads for turning ugly legs into sexy ones. There were innovative experts proclaiming that the way your child scribbles indicates his future personality. And of course, there were outraged citizens protesting the direction their society had taken, and condemning the future. Life today may be different, but we humans don't change much.

However, it does seem as if dating has changed. I often think of how sorry I feel for the single ladies in today's world. It seems like there are more crazy men in 2011, than there ever were. I hear horror story after horror story from my single girlfriends. Please note- I'm not implying ALL men are defected, I have an amazing husband, so I know good guys exist. I'm just wondering if maybe girls like me snatched them all up.

Is it just me, or were men expected to be more gentleman-like back in the day? Now, it's "cool" to be a 40 year old self proclaimed playboy, who hasn't paid a dollar of child support for kids he never sees, but conveniently has tons of cash to drop on drinks for the washed up lady regulars at the bar every weekend.

Ok, back to my point....Women of today are wasting time with guys they think have it all together, only to find out years later that they have been sleeping with the enemy (or the delusional or the cheater) so to speak. I've heard many a comedienne joke about this issue over the years. They have suggested that maybe men should wear signs around their necks and/or on their foreheads. In the perfect world, you could walk into a club and within minutes, spot the "angry," "lazy," "jealous" and "deranged."

That would be great, but I think we can assume no guy is going to offer that information up willingly. And furthermore, he may not even know it. How common is denial now days?

How does this tie into my Grandma's story, and the retro publications I came across, you ask?

Well, I think greeting card makers in the 1960's had it down. They would plant disturbing cards in with all the rest of them, and the sociopath who stopped in before a first date to grab you a card, would immediately be drawn to them. Of course, not realizing that this card may be the biggest red flag and that it may make his girl (or guy) of interest privy to his mental issues.

I came across this 1962 Valentine's Day card yesterday while at Grandma's house, and I had to get a pic:

I immediately thought, how creepy!!! The person who picked this card out of all of them, was obviously controlling, to say the least. It could be argued that he was also confused about his sexuality...but that's not the point of my post.

I think they had it right back then...and I kind of want them to start doing this again. It may help the women of today avoid years of having the wool pulled over their eyes (or duct tape over their mouth). Upon receipt of a card like this you can make like Julia Roberts in "Sleeping with the Enemy" and get your big hair and big teeth outta there.

A tip of the hat to you card makers of the '60's.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Summer Rain

I bet when you saw the title of this post, you thought you were going to read a beautiful story. "Summer rain" has a romantic connotation. At least for me. I'm picturing a tropical place, where the Summer heat and rain drops coalesce to form a picture perfect paradise. A ridiculously gorgeous baywatch-esque babe prances about in the rain (but in true romantic fashion, her makeup doesn't run). Her "prince charming" then runs to her in slow motion and extends his arms to embrace her as she eagerly plunges into his arms...just as he flexes his unnaturally large biceps, as luck (and Hollywood) would have it.

Well I'm not a novelist, nor am I Nicholas Sparks. So this is about me. My god given name is Summer (yes, my mother's name is God). Nice to meet you...put 'er there.

If your name is not Summer, than you probably don't understand that the name continually exposes its beneficiaries to many an irritating happenstance.

A few quick examples of questions we Summers face on a daily basis (Of course, by "we" I mean "I"):

1. "Did your mom name you Summer because you're so hot?" This is always asked by the most repulsive of potential suitors. This is not only the most common of puns, it's also the most bothersome. I flat out resent the implication that my mom is the kind of person who would think her newborn is "hot."

2. "Hey Summer, where's Winter?" Followed by the kind of laugh that can be heard at any country club around the world. Not funny guy. Please try and be a tad more original. Winter is probably hanging out with your wit, which could be anywhere. But I think we can both agree that neither are here.

3. "Awww, you are Summery, aren't you?" Accompanied by the "chin pinch." I'm undecided every time I attempt to interpret this one. I get stuck somewhere between feeling insulted and being creeped out. This is so nebulous because I can only guess what your Summers were like as a child. If you spent them working as much as the pre-teen chinese garment laborers, I'm wondering what I did to make you so miserable. Yet, if you had the most gratifying of Summers in your youth, I'm disturbed that upon our introduction, you are reminded of some pleasurable experience. Jerk vs. perv, that's a toss-up. I prefer neither.

The name Summer is rare, and there are none in the corporate environment in which I work. There are however "Summers" in "business." Sure, they don't wear the same kind of suits that I do, but birthday suits seem to be generating some hefty revenue. And you thought there was no point to this post...

So I was at a strip club one night, and I was chastised by four scantily clad women who were using the alias, "Summer." I was threatened and consequently given the following ultimatum: find a new name or some go-go boots. There was no in between. Apparently, since the name is so rare, strip-club patrons will "make it rain" (thank you Lil Wayne) for anyone named Summer. This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "Summer rain." Because the name pays huge dividends, the majority share is just simply not acceptable to them...the strippers want exclusive rights to the name.

Whether it's men in their pursuit of delivering a clever line, or the conquest of the half dressed hard-knocks, life as a Summer is hard. I'm thinking of founding the American Society for Summers (ASS), in an effort to raise awareness and eliminate discrimination.


Ok, Obviously, the stripper threat and the American Society for Summers, are fake. I'm sorry to say the rest is true. :) Special shout-out to my amazing dad, who told me to answer the "Where's Winter?" question with "in the retarded bin like you." I did by the way, throughout 3rd and 4th grade.

Please don't judge my dad, where he's from it's common to keep retarded people in bins.

Night, night bloggers. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mommy Don't Play That

Given the plethora of bad parenting advice available as of late, I've decided to write my own book. Trust me- the priceless parenting tips and tricks are plentiful. See below for a sneak peak.

Chapter 1: Acclaimed Child Rearing Tactics
Tactic #2: Mommy Don't Play That

It's so important to understand the fine line between friend and parent with your kids. Don't distress diligent mommies, just remember Mommy don't play that. This is an imperative component of any mother's arsenal. It's the perfect way to show your kids that you are hip, while simultaneously conveying your disapproval.

For example, you walk in the room and find your child watching some new show that's "all the rage" but it's completely tasteless. If, before you shut off the TV or change the channel you say "ohhhh helllls nah. Mommy don't play that." (while doing the Z snap*) it softens the blow.

If you really mean business, pucker your lips and roll your neck. Your child will walk away from the situation, not upset, but in awe of the contemporary nature of his/her mother's parental devices. This works at least 20% of the time.

*How to properly execute a Z Snap: take your finger and snap 3 times as you make a Z in the air

Chapter 16: Wisdom for Generations of the Future
Societal Misconceptions and the profound truths of life.

Myth #1: Diamonds are Forever.
Truth: Diamonds are by no means forever. Sex tapes however, are.

Myth #2: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Truth: Beauty is in the eye and sometimes in the blood alcohol content level of the beholder

Myth #3: Laughter is the Best Medicine

Truth: Prozac Laughter is the best medicine.

Myth #4: Love is Blind

Truth: Love is not blind. It's just quiet. Love still sees cellulite and beer guts.

Myth #5: Money is the Root of All Evil

Democrats money are the root of all evil.

Rest assured this blog post is complete fiction and nonsense. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pipe Down Asian Lady; the Chant of the Primate Mommies

So if you haven't come across the book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," don't. I feel bad even giving this woman any PR, but the Wall Street Journal did it. Something tells me that sharing my opinion with my 1 follower will not increase the author's exposure all that much.

The book is written by Amy Chua, an Asian professor of law at Yale. Among other things, it claims Chinese mothers are better parents than Western mothers. Chua defines superior parenting as "denying your children individuality and shaming them when needed (in order to motivate)." New York Magazine included this short list of things that Amy's two children are NOT allowed to do:

Get any grade less than an A, not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama, play any instrument other than the piano or violin, not play the piano or violin, choose their own extracurricular activities.

Heeding this woman's parenting advice will result in one of two things IF effective:

Scenario 1) You raise Hitler (or Hitlet) incarnate. Sure, it's unlikely that Ms. Chua is raising crazed antisemitic dictators, but a sociopath? No doubt.

Scenario 2) This child star/stage mom parenting style will result in hellish rebellion and/or serious mental issues. Best case scenario is Nicole Richie. Worst case is Michael Jackson (in which case the rebellion and mental issues are accompanied by continued and relentless rhinoplasty).

The 3rd (and best) alternative is that the child grows up to be normal in spite of the whack jobs who will take credit for their offspring's success and well adjustment.

Bottom line is, Chua is ill-equipped. She is quoted in her article as saying "The truth is I'm not good at enjoying life." Ohhh perfect. Because "enjoying life" is low on the reason-for-our-existence totem pole. It's the last thing I'd want for my child. Riiiiiight. I'd sooner buy "the Lindsay Lohan Guide to Sobriety." At least she's aware of, and working on her deficiencies.

Chua is highly educated, but specializes in global sustainability and international business affairs. Why she has any credibility as a parental expert, I do not know. What disturbs me is the fact that there will be idiots all over who will readily be guided by these words of (non) wisdom. Without the slightest bit of hesitancy, upon completion of the book, mindless mothers all over the nation will voraciously snatch the cheeseburgers from their children's hands, and jump in the family wagon. Off to use the visa to purchase a violin.

God forbid we raise critical and independent thinkers. We're really striving for wealthy, Chopin-like, pseudo nazi's.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Wagon Without Springs

I am impressed by almost every person I meet. Sometimes I'm impressed by an individual's strength, or good nature, or intelligence. Other times I'm just impressed by the fact that one made it this far in life without having been hit by a car or drowning in the bathtub.

The latter group, comprised of individuals whom I am continually frustrated by, would actually command some respect from me if they would just stay at home and sulk in solitude. Nothing is more repulsive to me than a helpless victim who is offended and put off by the daily happenings of life.

I've been "blessed" enough to have one of these people work closely with me everyday. We'll call her Noreen the Martyr. I'm certain Noreen wakes up each and everyday and asks herself "how can I possibly elicit the most sympathy and be the least productive today?"

And darn that Noreen, she's actually a goal achieving machine...maybe I should take notes. I am, due to some predestined unfortunate curse, the only one who sees her calculated efforts. Everyone else is continually taken by her.

I often daydream about re-creating that scene in the movie "Office Space," and moving her desk to a 5'x5' basement closet and slamming the door. Ohhh the satisfaction and relief. How liberating it would be NOT hearing about Noreen's problems, and NOT seeing her in her cubicle, seemingly trying to imitate a wounded deer.

So here's the question: Is a complete incapability to handle one's life not a good enough reason to fire an employee? I find nothing inappropriate about my turning to her and saying "hey lady, I'm here to work. What I'm not here to do is give you the attention you are seeking because you weren't held enough as a child."

Now, I'm not an evil person. Someone can give her that attention...just not me. I'm not paid enough for that.

Henry Ward Beecher once said "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble in the road." I think that saying transcends people without a sense of humor (although Noreen lacks that as well). The wagon without springs metaphor applies to people who are overly sensitive, period.

Since it's apparent that the acquisition of springs is unlikely, I can only hope that one day the wagon will hit a boulder and just stop traveling altogether.