30 Day Challenge: Day 26 – If you had a Million dollars to spend, how would you spend it?

I can’t write this without thinking about this song.

I once had to write an essay in my Spanish class my sophomore year in college about this very essay and being very uncreative, just quoted this song.  My Spanish professor had no idea what I was talking about and I didn’t get a very good grade on it.

I don’t even know if I could afford to pay the taxes on a million dollars, but let’s say theoretically I had an actual million dollars to spend, free and clear…this is what I would do with it.

-Pay off my house (finish the basement, landscape to my heart’s content)
-Pay off in-law’s house as a small way to pay them back for all they’ve done for our family
-Send my MiL and FiL on a dream vacay cruise to Alaska
-Make my Dad let me help him with whatever he needs, also to pay him back for all he’s done for our family
-Set up college funds for my children
-Donate to charity – Women for Women International, Tharce-Gulu, Red Cross, The United Way, Planned Parenthood, and some local charities we like to support
-Buy my hubby and I our dream car – a 1964 Ford Mustang

-Take vacations all over the world with my family
– Buy some beachfront property somewhere
-Do I even need to say it?  SHOES!

What would you do with a million dollars?


The Death of Handsome

(Taken from this article, I switched some words around to see a completely different meaning)

The Death of Handsome

This post is intended as a lament of sorts, a lament for something in the culture that is dying and may never been seen again.  Sigh.

Handsome, handsome is dying.
People will define “handsome” differently.  For the purposes of this piece, I define handsome as a mutually enriching balanced combination of beauty and projected innocence.
Once upon a time, men wanted to project an innocence.  I am not idealizing another age and I have no illusions about the virtues of our grandparents, concupiscence being what it is.  But some things were different in the back then.  First and foremost, many handsome men, whatever the state of their souls, still wished to project a public innocence and virtue.  And that combination of beauty and innocence is what I define as handsome.
By nature, generally when women see this combination in men it brings out their better qualities, their best in fact.  That special combination of beauty and innocence, the handsome inspires women to protect and defend it.
Young men today do not seem to aspire to handsome, they prefer to be regarded as hot. Hotness is something altogether different.  When men want to be hot instead of handsome, they must view themselves in a certain way and consequently women view them differently as well.
As I said, handsome inspires women’s nobler instincts to protect and defend.  Handsome is cherished. Hotness, on the other hand, is a commodity.  Its value is temporary and must be used.  It is a consumable.
Nowhere is this handsome deficit more obvious than in our “stars,” the people we elevate as the “ideal.”  The stars of the fifties surely suffered from the same sin as do stars of today.  Stars of the fifties weren’t ideal but they pursued a public ideal different from today.
The merits of hotness over handsome is easy enough to understand, they made an entire episode of Freaks and Geeks about it.  Who can forget how handsome John Francis Daley’s character of Sam Weir was at the beginning of Freaks and Geeks.  Beautiful and innocent if somewhat of a geek.  But his desire to be desired by cheerleader Cindy Sanders leads him to throw away all that is valuable in himself by wearing a sparkly jumpsuit in the vain hope of getting the attention of a girl.  In the process, he destroys her innocence and thus destroys the handsome.  What we are left with is hotness, and a little bit of awkwardness.
Hotness is a consumable.  A consumable that consumes as it is consumed but brings no warmth.
Most men don’t want to be handsome anymore even if they understand what it is.  It is ironic that billions of years of men’s complete dominance and control of the culture has succeeded only in turning men into a commodity.  Something to be used up and thrown out.
Of course women play a role in this as well, but men should know better and they once did.  Once upon a time you would hear boys talk about kind of men women date and the kind they marry.  You don’t hear things like that anymore.
But here is the real truth.  Most women prefer handsome over hot.  Even back in 1999 grade I hated the “hot” Same Weir and felt sorry for him that he had to debase himself in such a way.  Still do.
Our problem is that society doesn’t value innocence anymore, real or imagined.  Nobody aspires to innocence anymore.  Nobody wants to be thought of as innocent, the good boy.  They want to be hot, not handsome.  And when I say “nobody” I really just mean men.
I still hope that handsome comes back, although I think it not likely any time soon.  For every Justin Beiber, there are a hundred The Situations, or Taylor Lautners, or David Beckhams etc.
Boys, please, bring back the handsome.

30 Day Challenge: Day 25 – Someone who fascinates you and why

Fascinating is an interesting word.  It’s defined as, “of great interest or attraction; enchanting; charming; captivating.”  I believe you can find someone fascinating without really liking the person they are.  For instance, some of the greatest villains in the world (Hannibal, Stalin, Trump) are fascinating without being particularly likable.

So it’s been very hard for me knowing that I have to write this about a fascinating person and not coming up with a single one person I find fascinating.  Is it a cop out to say I find people in general to be fascinating?  If I wasn’t fascinated by human behavior I wouldn’t have majored in a social science.  One of the most fascinating things I ever studied in college were the Stanley Milgram experiments because the way the participants reacted and performed was just incredibly fascinating to me.

Studying human behavior, emotions, and psyche will endlessly be fascinating.  So congratulations world, ya’ll are fascinating to me.


30 Day Challenge: Day 24 – Your favorite movie and what it is about

High Society is my all-time favorite movie.  This was the last Hollywood movie Grace Kelly ever made before she went off and married Prince Ranier of Monaco.  This was the first time uber mega stars of the time Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra sang a duet.  I just love this movie.  It makes my heart happy every time I see it.  I even have the musical soundtrack on my iPod and one song from it can instantly change my mood from dark to light.

So what’s this movie about?  It’s about millionaires in Newport, Rhode Island.  It’s about true love.  It’s about falling from pedestals.  It’s about Grace Kelly as Tracy Samantha Lord on the eve of her wedding to her second husband, George.  The only problem is her ex-husband, played by Crosby, is still in love with her.  He comes back to town for the Newport Jazz festival, but it soon becomes clear he’s come back to win his true love’s heart before it’s too late.  Tracy becomes upset when the local tabloid blackmails her into having two reporters, played by Sinatra and Celeste Holm, cover her wedding.  After a drunken bachelorette party, Tracy falls off her high horse and realizes she’s not as perfect as she expects herself and everyone else to be.

Throw in beautiful music written by Cole Porter and great one-liners and this is a musical classic.  This is a musical adaptation of the movie Philadelphia Story and some may say it is its less superior predecessor, but I disagree.  This movie sparkles and shines.  My favorite scene from the whole movie is when Tracy remembers her honeymoon with Dexter on their boat, The True Love, and they sing the duet, “True Love.”

Some people might not like old movies (and this one is 56 years old) but I think this is rather fast paced for it’s time.  It’s an enjoyable story line, witty, gorgeous, and the songs will have you singing out loud for days.  And Kelly wore her real engagement ring from Prince Ranier in the movie.

Quite a sparkler, amiright?

Okay, the truth is I’m a huge movie buff and while High Society will always and forever in the history of everdom be my favorite movie, these are my top 10ish.

Top 10
1. High Society
2. The Princess Bride
3. Steel Magnolias
4.  I am Sam
5. Easy A
6. The Wedding Singer
7. Tommy Boy
8.  Corrina Corrina
9.  Finding Nemo
10. Dirty Dancing
11.  Better off Dead
12. Music and Lyrics
13. O Brother, Where art Thou?

Just a taste of the movie for you…

30 Day Challenge: Day 23 – Post pictures of 5 famous people you find attractive

Christian Bale

Oh yeah, baby…I’ve had a crush on him since “Newsies” came out 20 years ago.

Joel McHale

I love him on The Soup and on Community.  An attractive man who’s funny?  Golden.

Adam Levine

I don’t know why….this boy  just does it for me and has ever since Maroon 5’s first album, “Songs about Jane.”

Blair Underwood

Ever since he played one of Miranda’s boyfriends on “Sex and the City,” I have had a crush on this man.  His voice is to die for.

Jason Segal during his Freak and Geek days

Okay, he’s still cute

Honorable Mention:  Christina Hendricks

It’s just nice to see a curvy, voluptuous woman on TV.  And hot dang, she’s pretty.

Book Review – The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards

The Memory Keeper's DaughterThe Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter opens with Dr. David Henry and his wife, Norah, about to have their first child.  They encounter a freak snow storm in the middle of March and Norah delivers at David’s clinic instead of the hospital, with a nurse, who’s in love with David, there to assist him.  This is 1964 and in those days they used to knock a mother out while she delivered.  Norah first delivers a healthy baby boy, and then unexpectedly she delivers his twin sister.  When David turns the baby over he realizes that she has Down Syndrome.  In that instant, and with Norah passed out, he makes a rash decision and tells the nurse to take her to an institution.  The nurse, Caroline, takes the baby to the institution, is horrified and refuses to institutionalize the girl named Phoebe.  Instead she disappears and starts a new life in a new town and raises Phoebe as her own.  David, trying to spare his wife the grief of having to raise a mentally disabled child, tells her that their baby girl died at birth. The book follows the two families for 25 years until the secret is resolved.

I wanted to like this book more than I did.  While I thought it was beautifully written and no one can describe a scene in more vivid detail than Edwards, I just found it a bit depressing.   None of the characters were very likable.  The most likable was Caroline who fights for Phoebe’s right to a public school education and access to the resources that will make her an autonomous adult.  The secret of Phoebe is a wedge that firmly implants itself into David and Norah’s marriage and also their relationship with their “living” child, Paul.

Reading it, however was a good exercise in thinking about family secrets.  I was so frustrated with David for not sharing his life history with Norah.  She had no idea the poverty he grew up and why he was so driven to succeed.  His “protection” of Norah was actually not protection at all.  She was never given a choice to know her daughter and instead lived in the grief of a lie for 25 years.  He saw his own mother grieve for his sister when she died early from a heart condition and wanted to spare Norah that.  But, it begged me to ask the question, why tell Norah a daughter was born at all?  She was knocked out during the delivery and would have never known and therefore could have been spared from any grief at all, if that was his real intent.  I was so frustrated with him throughout the book that I just wanted to shake him right through the pages.

For a book about secrets and lies it was a very honest look into what was acceptable to do to those with disabilities in the 1960s and the fall out that comes from those “acceptable” decisions.  I thought it was exceptionally well-written, definitely a page turner since I couldn’t put it down, and would recommend it to anyone who isn’t prone to let the mood of a book take over their own.

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