Monday, August 19, 2013

Who Belongs In Politics The Hotties? The Babies? The Kitties? Or Old, White Men?

In case you are like me and are going through your Generation Millennial crisis and wondering where your life is going and feeling you just haven't accomplished enough, let me help you by introducing you to a four year old young man who just got RE-elected (as in he was three when he was first elected) as the Mayor of Dorset, Minnesota.
Oh and in his little vest and dapper hat he's a got good style and clothes too. Great. I'm wearing yoga pants today.
So, meet Mayor Robert "Bobby" Tufts. He was recently interviewed on MSNBC because of his political aspirations and he is starting pre-school this fall.
Sure, he's only mayor of a town that has no formal government because when it was incorporated as part of the nearby town of Park Rapids when zip codes were created. And sure this town only has 28 people who are technically residents in it. And yes, the election is held at the annual food festival, because obviously this bizarre little hamlet with its 4 restaurants declares itself to be the "Restaurant Capital of The World." And we'll overlook that people pay $1 to vote and can vote as many times at this food festival as they are willing to pay-making this the least democratic and legitimate town in the United States. But the bottom line is that this sharp dressed little man seems to have it more together than me, at least he's on a track.....
Now it becomes obvious when you watch the MSNBC interview, that his brains may not be the conductor chugging him along on that track. Despite the fact that during the interview, he calls himself "the boss," you get the distinct vibe that his mom-whose deep Minnesota accent makes her sound like the mom from Bobby's World-is the one doing the plotting here. Not unlike the human puppet-masters behind all those animals that have run for (and in some cases won) office.
But still, you've got to love America where anyone can truly have a chance to be part of politics. Anyone. Your cat, your dog, your toddler, Sarah Palin, Carlos Danger.....anyone.
That is the democratic utopian privilege that other countries are working towards. Take for example that also in the news today was the story of 27 year old Nina Siahkali Moradi of Iran who won a seat in the Qazvin, Iran city council elections but was then disqualified by her colleagues in the council because she’s “too attractive” to join them. Their reasoning mostly cited that her campaign posters, in which she is wearing a full hijab, were too sexy and made them feel that she was in "non-observance of Islamic codes."
Nina Siahkali Moradi's Campaign Poster
Iran has made claims that it is working to bring women into politics, and the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani nominated a woman as vice president in his new cabinet who will take office only pending the approval of lawmakers. But, based on what happened to young Moradi, I'm not sure we should hold our breath on Elham Aminzadeh getting to take office as Vice President either.
In the US, women have only been able to vote since 1920 amendment to the Constitution, and now, not even 100 years later, we have so many wonderful women involved in politics in local, state, and national level. But let's consider Hilary Clinton-you know I had to work Hilary Clinton into this. Hilary has been greatly scrutinized for her looks, and has gone through apparent make-overs to up her appeal, to make her more attractive. So here in the US, we prefer our female politicians to be more attractive. Just think, if Sarah Palin was homely, would she ever had made it so far? And she certainly wouldn't have made it to the cover of Newsweek in her running shorts. But the US isn't the only country with some hotties leading them. Check out this list of The 10 Most Galmorous Women Politicians of The World. And beside them all being beautiful, what is even more important is that most of them are absolutely inspiring groundbreakers. (Because I'm in no way saying that the defining characteristic of a woman-or any person for that matter- should be appearance.)
So while Iran is worried about a woman being too attractive for city council, here in America we have pre-schoolers and cats taking offices. Whose government is more messed up? Is the fact that we have tots and pets in office a disrespectful slap to the freedom our country stands for and abuse of the system that other countries are striving to achieve?

Conclusion from all this-go out there, take a chance, and make a difference. Especially if you are a woman. If a four year old can do it, so can and should you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Selfies And Healthies

I read about a study today that found that posting too many selfies on your social media can ruin relationships, alienating your friends, family and co-workers.
Well, first of all, I can't believe that a scientific study was conducted to conclude this. And, yes, the abundance of selfies are horrible. People who post them daily make me want to punch them in the duck face.
But then I read another article about an even more narcissistic nonsense, the "healthie," which is apparently when someone takes a selfie to show off how fit they are or even just brag about the fact that they are in a gym-even if it's the first time they've been there since getting the membership in a hungover daze at New Year's.
Technology is really making the world a better place.

**Somewhat related: I've actually been feeling nostalgic lately for that excited feeling of waiting the hour to pick up the developed pictures from your disposable camera as well as the era before Netflix and On Demand when you would meander through the video store for possibly an hour. Ah, good times......

Living Single

I am recently coping with the fact that I now live alone-for the first time in a long time. I had been co-habitating Will and Grace style with a gay best friend for years, and he has moved out leaving me to cook, clean, dress myself, arrange flowers, do my own make up, obviously pay all the bills-pretty much be a functioning adult which, up until now, I clearly had not been doing.
And since he has moved out, I have had a small kitchen fire (started by a pop tart that I was making for dinner) which took the toaster oven as a victim. I also slipped coming out of the shower, ripped the shower curtain off its hooks and cut my knee up pretty badly with the fall. And, inspired by this new found sense of independence, I decided to convert the extra bedroom into my office, but ironically discovered that the shelf and desk I purchased suggested two people were needed to assemble them. And worst of all, I have found myself coming home at night and talking to my cat. Just to have someone to talk to. I am beginning to worry, not only that I probably need a Life Alert button, but that I am on the threshold of becoming the epitome of doom for a single woman-a crazy cat lady.
So while I had begun my descent into this lowly fate, accepting the possibility that my fate may just be to pick up knitting so that my furry babies always have sweaters, I saw this in Huffington Post today and immediately decided that I will sooner move into a convent than end up old and alone with just cats.
It's quite tragic and grim really and I don't mean to make light of it, but the article reported on a 56 year old "reclusive" British woman, Janet Veal, who had pulmonary health issues which most likely resulted in her death at home. But by the time her body was discovered, she was being eaten by her pet cats and dogs. It becomes even more heartbreaking when the article goes on to say that some of her pets also had died of starvation and the poor conditions that were caused after her death.
I suppose in addition to the horror of this tragic situation, I felt pained to think of the solitary life of this woman who felt the need to surround herself with so many animals to fill the voids. And it made me think of how, just this evening, I was so excited to get home and sit on my couch with my cat and watch TV together, hearing her soothing purr in the background while Abby Lee Miller yells as tweens.
And of course I started to research singledom, and found propaganda including an article from UK's DailyMail that reported on a study that said "Women living alone were at increased risk from alcohol-related deaths." (Ok, no more drinking of bottles of wine while indulging in Netflix marathons.) And an article from Huffington Post that reported on a study that suggests that people younger than age 65 who live alone have a 21 percent higher risk of death. Great.
Now while I'm confident that I have enough wonderful friends and people in my life-including the Director of the show I'm currently in-who would come looking for me if I was gone for more than 12 hours, I couldn't help but relate to the tragic report about this woman and become even more panic-stricken about living alone following reading those other articles. But I'm sure I'll be fine........I'll just chew carefully, watch my step getting out of the tub, and look into Life Alert.

My cat would never try to eat me. Is this the face of a cat who would try to hurt you? ;-)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

And The Speedo Senator From Maine Has The Floor

I was just thinking how a part of me was missing national election season. The foibbles of madcap politicians make for such wonderful fodder. Well lucky for me and you, thanks to the constant internet news feed of scandals, even local elections are subject to discussion. Most recently we have Eric Brakey from quaint New England Maine who is running for a seat in state Senate and a video has surfaced of him dancing in his speedo.

The video has been called "embarrassing" and "scandalous" but its not like it's some kinky personal youtube video or vine, it is footage from a national commercial for Vita Coco that he, and several other men doing a samba in their speedos, were in two years ago back when he was living in NYC trying to be an professional actor.
Oh god! If commercials are an embarrassing scandal, I should just go ahead and rule out a career in politics.
Yep that's me "acting" in one of the dozens of crappy commercials I've done. I guess at least I'm clothed in that argile sweater and not sporting a speedo......
Anyway, Brakey, who is currently the chairman of the Defense of Liberty PAC, doesn't think this should affect his political ambitions. He said, "that's my background.....when I was working professionally in New York City this was a real fun, wonderful opportunity doing a commercial for a national brand." And despite working on a campaign, he still has found the time to continue his passion for acting and prancing as he has been in several community theatre productions. Honestly, the world needs more tap dancing senators singing show tunes.
I was surprised though to learn that Brakey is a conservative Republican-something you just don't find in the theatre world too often. And now it makes sense why this video of the commercial was unleashed by Mike Hein, a former employee of the Christian Civic League in Maine with the snarky commentary "Well, well, well. If it isn't Mr. "Family Values Matter" state Senate candidate himself flamboyantly prancing around in his underwear."
Oh those Christian conservatives.........sigh. I'm too tired to even engage on that.
But basically, what we have here is a Republican actor turned politician

Eric Brakey

Remember good ol' Ronnie Reagan? It's like what the wise Doc Brown realized in Back to the Future- "no wonder your president is an actor, he has to look good on television." And Reagan did his fair share of embarrassing acting-he co-starred with a chimp in a flick called "Bedtime for Bonzo" before becoming the leader of the free world.
So I predict some interesting things for our young samba dancing senatorial candidate.  Look, he already is gaining national attention for himself and the quiet New England hamlet of Maine. When was the last time Maine was in the news let alone for a man in a speedo? In case you haven't been, Maine ain't P-Town. So alright Brakey, you have our attention, now let's see what you do with your second act.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baby There's a Shark on the Subway

Shark Week is taking over.

That's a dead shark on a Queens bound N train here in the city early this morning as reported on Huffington Post. The MTA confirmed the incident saying there was a "shark aboard the train in car #8994" and it was disposed of. The MTA spokesman, when asked about this bizarre occurance, said that this "looks like a really good promo for Shark Week on Discovery Channel."
There's no escaping Shark Week.

Liar Liar

This is really a cautionary tale.
If you are anything like me, as soon as you see those red and blue swirling lights in your rear view mirror and hear the ominous 'whoop whoop,' your mind begins turning as you concoct your plan of defense in dealing with the officer who is about to ticket you.
Well, apparently, when spinning your web of lies, keep in mind that you are not dealing with Chief Wiggum:
Or any of these guys.
Because you certainly don't want to end up like Carley Williams of New Hampshire who lied to the state trooper who pulled her over for going 82mph in a 65mph zone. She told Trooper Christopher Cummings that she was speeding to get to her dying father's bedside in the hospital. And maybe this young woman should have considered a career in acting, because her performance was so convincing that the trooper said "She seemed pretty emotional. It made me believe this person was legitmately telling the truth." But despite this and his decision to let her go on her rushed way, Trooper Cummings must have still had some shadow of doubt about the veracity of her crocodile tears. Or maybe it is his experience from years on the force of being lied to. But whatever it was, he listened to that nagging inner voice and called the hospital she claimed she was headed to and asked if her father was there. He of course wasn't. He then found out from further investigating, that her father had died already-in 2008!
And in his background digging on this manipulative ticket evader, he discovered that her vehicle registration was suspended-a misdemeanor-so fueled by the anger of being duped and his civic duty to get justice, he headed to her house and confronted her with father's death certificate. Trapped in her lies, Carley Williams, of course lied more because if at first you don't deceive, lie, lie again. She tried saying that was her uncle who had died in 2008, but after being arrested and charged with speeding and driving with a suspended registration, she finally came clean and put an end to this ruse.
What a mess. Like I said, this is really a cautionary tale. And one that makes me miss that reality TV show Speeders-it was like Cops but just focused on driving infractions and the excuses people came up with. It was amazing. Incidentally, according to an survey published in April, these are the most common things said in the heat of the moment when pulled over for speeding:

10. My GPS said it was the right thing to do
 9. I was on my way to an emergency
8. I didn't do anything dangerous
7. I had to go to the bathroom
6. I missed my turn/exit
5. I'm having an emergency situation in my car
4. Everyone else was doing it
3. I didn't know I broke the speed limit
2. I'm lost and unfamiliar with the roads
1. I couldn't see the sign telling me not to do it

I have to say, I think I usually have gone with number 3, the classic "I didn't know I was speeding." And then I bat my eyes seductively-which doesn't work too well. The officer then asks me if I have something in my eye, and rather than taking that as a route to a good new part of the excuse, I sheepishly say no and just take my ticket.

But clearly that is better than turning to the Excuses Excuses Defense and conjuring up a sob story about a dying family member or anything that they can use their cop training to track.