Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bossy & I know it, not afraid to show it.

Helllloooo there readers…any of them I have left, after all this erratic posting! I’m sorry. I just really don’t like writing just to put something up. I have to find something really moving or inspiring or something that fires me up to write. I know- so dramatic of me. I would just rather write about stuff that I think is cool or interesting, or think I would like to know/read about- rather than just tell you what I did over the weekend (no disrespect to any bloggers that like to do that, just not my cup of proverbial tea).

Anyways, I got something for you today. Cause it’s Friday, it’s going to be 60 today and well, I found something to annoy me enough to write about it.


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Now we will play a short round of Mad libs (with my own personal twist) to introduce today’s topic. Just pick one of the words in the parenthesis to fill in the blanks.
THIS DAMN BAN BOSSY ________ (campaign, load of crap) IS ________ (really really great, annoying) AND I’M GLAD IT DIDN’T (come off as whining, totally came off as whining and didn’t catch on too much). 

Let’s start with this. I know I’m a little late on the whole topic- everyone wore their shirts and tweeted their tweets last week sometime. But it just took  me a while to marinate before I decided how absolutely pathetic and useless this really was. If you haven’t read up on it, look here or here.

Ok- so Sheryl Sandberg (Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, went to Harvard, and was once the Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury) is all up in arms because one of her teachers in high school called her “bossy” and it hurt her feelings. I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that- but what it comes down to is she is, and probably always has been an empowered woman who got shit done. I don’t think there’s a need to apologize, be ashamed of it, or let critics call you a name because of it that hurts your feelings so deeply. Apparently someone stepped on her toes and she got mad and started a campaign. Because that’s what powerful people do. They campaign. Or at least that’s what it seems like from House of Cards.

I think there is a huge misconception here. I think people are forgetting a small detail. You know, that fact that there is a huge difference between being a leader and being bossy. Leaders motivate, inspire, and energize their team. And they look at their “workers” as that, a team. Bossy people suck the life out of people, demand, and are rarely satisfied. And look at their “workers” as peons. It’s the concept of micro-management, versus giving someone a job and letting them figure out how to get it done.

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Another flaw I find in this campaign is it’s posed as if the word “bossy” is gender specific. That boys are never, or can never be called “bossy”- instead they are viewed as leaders. Most people who have “Bosses” instead of “Leaders” (male or female) working over them-think their bosses are exactly that- bossy, jerks, arrogant, etc. And rightfully, so. The flaw is in the leadership, not the word.

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Overall, I just think this makes women as a whole look weak, whiny, and pathetic. Like we have such hurt feelings over what people say about us. Or that it truly attacks the foundation of our equality or something. I think there are two thoughts that should flow through our minds if we are referred to as “bossy”.
1) What am I doing wrong?
2) What am I doing right?
‘Cuz #hatersgunnahate- amiright?

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But instead Sheryl’s tactic is to start a campaign and get the Girl Scouts involved (And don’t tell me those Girl Scouts aren’t a little pushy when they’re peddling those Tagalongs outside the grocery store which you’re so desperately trying not to buy because you’ll eat the whole box in one sitting) anyways this campaign is centered around hurt feelings and how degrading a word is. A word that I (like most people) probably haven’t used since I was in the sandbox- and for those of us who haven’t caught up yet- it’s time to leave the sandbox. As for the young girls and future leaders she’s trying to impact- A) They don’t even care enough, and first chance some girl in middle school is mean to her- she’s going to call her bossy, or something worse. B) it’s part of growing up, you get picked on (note: getting picked on is different than being bullied) and it teaches you to have a thicker skin C) Lead by example. Don’t teach girls to complain over a word- teach them the essence of a better word so they won’t be called the negative word you dislike. AKA- RISE ABOVE IT.

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I mean, I’m not saying words don’t hurt or are never degrading- but come on…”bossy”? What gets me most is she’s quoted having said; “I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade,” Sandberg recalled. “My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”

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I would bet you ten bucks and a beer/shot combo that the teacher that said this- was a woman. And here in lies the biggest problem. I think more often than we’d like to admit- women are the ones playing the victim, and holding ourselves/each other back or pushing each other down. While I don’t neglect that women make 77¢ to a man’s dollar, and that women make up only 4.6% of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company CEO positions either. However, as unfortunate as it is, big things take big time- and I think women have just as much to learn about empowerment and empowering one another, as men do.

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I think equality is important, rather- imperative in our society, I just don’t think stomping out a word is how we achieve that. Women, fist-to-hip, tapping our toes, finger wagging, demanding people not call us bossy is the exact picture of bossy we are “fighting”.

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Instead- why not focus on building up and encouraging women who lead with strength, grace, tenacity, and energy. Instead of women who feel they have something to compensate for, who are everything you would both dread and expect them to be.

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Or, maybe for a minute- be proud someone called you bossy at all. Maybe you know what’s going on ahead of everyone else, and have the voice and courage to call it out- and make things happen. I don’t think bossy is always bad. It’s all in the delivery.

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d4302e51eb3bf26a3fa4de21ed6a6cef                             (I would just like to had three words to the end of this quote “or are becoming”)
Also, for a way better/longer version of this post- read Bossypants by Tina Fey. You can thank me later.

Spring is coming!!!

So it was great last week when it was 50 degrees and sunny and we were all happy- and then we got that fun little snow dusting a day later. I think winter is just trying to hold on for dear life and remind us that technically it’s still her reign for another week. #RUDE

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BUT just because the weather is absolutely bi-polar, let’s not let that stop us from enjoying some (maybe premature) excitement about it warming up, because Spring is coming, and so is something else- by the same name.

Spring is a new rewards program which keeps track of your rewards through your credit/debit card instead of having to print or remember to use your vouchers. Not to mention you won’t be that friend who is always whipping out the discount voucher when it’s time to pay, it’s a new more discreet way to get the discount you want, without looking like the crazy coupon lady in front of you at Jewel. If you have a reward for a certain place and you use the credit or debit card you have hooked up to your Spring account it will automatically give you the reward credit to your chosen debit/credit account. They have a pretty big list of participating retailers which I’m sure will keep expanding as it catches on as well.

My first reward with them is a $10 gift to Taverna 750 which I am very excited to use. I’ll be sure to do a follow up post with my review of Taverna and the Spring system. If you are curious about trying Spring out for yourself, the perfect time would be their March 20th pop up events around the city. If you’d like to see the list of participating vendors click here.

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And a big thanks to Chicago Blogger Network for setting this up!

 

Cuz what else would a blogger do at 3AM?!

You know when you wake up wide awake in the middle of the night you suddenly have the clearest train of thought ever: did I switch the laundry? Did I pay that bill? I should check my passport…I think it’s expired. You think of all the things your brain won’t let you remember during waking hours but seems to find extraordinarily important at 3 AM. Your to do list is steadily growing, and you might as well start on it now since you can’t sleep. Except that everyone else is tucked in and cozily dreaming like you should be.

Speaking of 3 AM- I’m not a very superstitious person, but when you wake up anywhere from 2:59:59-3:59:59 AM- it is automatically 25% more creepy. I mean come on, witching hour- have you ever watched any horror movie, ever? Next thing you know your mind wants to remind you of all things haunted/demon possessed, Chucky and his creepy ass laugh, the murderer that’s inevitably hiding in your shower- and why is that shadow over there moving towards me? Or how you can’t quite remember if you locked the front door. You break out in a cold sweat and start singing lullabies to yourself; “Jesus loves me…this I..”
Suddenly your spidey sense hearing kicks in- ‘What was that? Just the heat kicking on? No- it’s never that loud. Maybe just the wind? Right, ok- the wind.’ 45 seconds pass- “Ok, no but seriously-what was THAT?!’

Smash your eyes shut determined to sleep- after all the alarm is going to go off in what will feel like an hour. Then you’re sweating- literally, so off the blankets go- except for on your feet, those can’t be uncovered-the ghosts like drag you out of bed by your feet and if they’re covered they can’t (clearly- it’s like a rule or something). Then, .37 seconds later your leg is freezing. Back under the covers. And why does the cold side of the pillow not stay cold for as long as it takes to get cold again?

And now you’re realizing you’re uncomfortable so you roll over- but that’s not working either. Back the other way, eyes shut. Starting counting sheep, thinking about something boring and will yourself to fall asleep. Eventually, you get so annoyed you find yourself lowering the brightness on your iPhone screen because its about as bright as staring into the sun, and start writing a blog post- because what else should you do at 4:19 AM when you can’t sleep and there’s a murder in your shower, a ghost in the corner, and damn it- you know your passport’s expired.

To understand more of my predicament check this Buzzfeed article out. Or just be honest with yourself (and me) and tell me what lurks in your shower at 3 AM!

Or these:

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{Sweet Dreams tonight kiddos!}

And the Award Goes to…

Warning: This post is real long, anything in italics are transcripts of speeches which have the videos linked so you can watch them instead of read them, or read instead of watch. Your call.


Happy Day After the Oscars Day! While I thought most of the fashion was a total snooze fest (could there be any more nude/tan/cream beaded dresses in one place ever? Probably not, but a close second would be the “Misses” department at Lord & Taylor. I vote P!nk, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron, and Lupita Nyong’o (sans the headband) as best dressed. Honorary mention to Jlaw and Kate Hudson also.

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Not surprisingly, Ellen was incredible- I mean the woman got pizza delivered. You automatically win my vote if you get pizza involved in the situation. 

Best speeches hair speeches were Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Both of which have been criticized.

Which leads me to my whole shebang here (brace yourselves- I just jump right in).
We blame Hollywood for so much. For being fake, cynical, shallow and scandalous. And we love it (no matter how much we say we don’t we do- that’s why it is a multi-billion dollar industry). We subscribe to fashion magazines, follow our favorite celebrities on any and all social media outlets, and watch every second of footage on them- be it the in films, on the news, etc. Hollywood ends up as our scape-goat for our low self-esteem, our poor body image, for giving us false expectations about just about every aspect of life. For dehumanizing people, for manipulating situations or ideas, and working away at our moral fiber as a society.

But does art imitate life or vice versa (Oscar Wilde said:”Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”- I like that). As grown  adults can we honestly say that a stranger, which is just merely playing a role, and doing their job has affected us and our behavior? That someone we have never met has put such a mark on our lives that we will conduct ourselves differently from that moment forward?

I think the answer, whether we’d like to admit it or not is- yes.

We pick up trends- habits even, we start saying phrases (i.e. Yolo, “That’s what she said…” for example), and every once in a while our opinions can be swayed by a celebrity in or out of character. They sneak in ever so subtly and eventually shape a part of our sense of humor, turn of phase, and the way we respond to things.

Do I think this is all bad? No. I think art saves us, shapes us, and refreshes us. I think we desire to see other human experiences brought to life by strangers to know we aren’t alone. I think we liked to be moved by things that are outside of ourselves, and yet still so close.

And this is where I want to talk about Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech from last night. It.was.awesome.  Here’s the video and below is the text of it.

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“Thank you. Thank you to the academy for this — all 6000 members. Thank you to the other nominees. All these performances were impeccable, in my opinion; I didn’t see a false note anywhere. I want to thank [‘Dallas Buyers Club’ director] Jean-Marc Vallee, [co-stars] Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.”There are three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, ‘When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you.'”To my family, that’s who I look forward to, to my father, who I know is up there with a big pot of gumbo, and a lemon meringue pie, and he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing. To you, dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother, who is here tonight, who taught me and my two brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves, and what we in turn learned is then we were better able to respect others. To my wife, Camilla, and my kids, Levi, Vita, and Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud.”And to my hero, that’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life ask me who was my hero, and I said ‘I don’t know. I gotta think about that, give me a few weeks.’ And I come back two weeks later, and they said ‘Who’s your hero?’ and I said, ‘You know, I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years. So I turn 25 ten years later, and that same person asked me ‘Are you your hero?’ and I was like, ‘Not even close.’ And she said ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘My hero is me at 35.’ So every day, every week, every month, every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to attain that, I know I’m not. That keeps me the somebody to keep on chasing.

“So to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasin’, to that I say Amen. To that I say, all right, all right, all right. To that I say just keep livin’.”

I literally jumped off my couch with the “Alright, alright, alright”. And I loved this speech. I love the genuineness, the candor, and the humility he demonstrated. I’ve read a few articles criticizing him, saying his speech was rambling, confusing, self-centered, or arrogant. A number of people were angry he “brought God into it”. And to this I say- “I think you watched a different speech” or “You’re nuts”. Some people criticized how he “called himself is own hero”. I think there was an immense amount of wisdom to that sentiment- aren’t we all striving to be a better version of who we are?

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ONCE in a while, when the veneer of Hollywood’s glamour and glitz starts to crack it is incredibly refreshing to see the humanness below the surface. If Mr. McSexy McConaughey wants to thank/mention God, his family, and his deceased father in his speech- well I’ll be damned, have at it. Because everyone- even Celebs are allowed to be, and should be much more welcomed to be human for a minute. If at the pinnacle of his career- he wants to spend three minutes thanking those who have got him where he is, I think he should. A la Richard Sherman and his championship post-game freak out- which everyone heavily criticized (including myself, until I read up on it a little more).

Overall, I think we spend so long idolizing these people as “stars” and rob them of the humanness they deserve (PS- this is not a “I feel sorry for famous people” post, just hear me out). Like all the people who criticized J-Law’s [second] Oscars fall as a publicity stunt or play to get attention. And to those people I say- “Why so cynical?”. So what she has two left feet?  I.love.it.

I love Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the Teen Choice Awards from late last year.

“Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t getta do any of the things I getta do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

(PS- why is he saying “getta”- must be an Iowa thing)

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life. 
So first opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
Number two. Being sexy. The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

Thank God for a man in Hollywood addressing sex appeal (and it has nothing to do with appearance), hard work, and humility.

I love Seth Rogen for his speech at a Congressional Hearing earlier last week about Alzheimers- which is incredibly personal and hilarious.

SETH ROGEN: “Thank you very much for having me, Mr. Chairman, ranking member [Jerry] Moran and the members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity for me to be called an expert in something, ’cause that’s cool. I don’t know if you know who I am at all — you told me you never saw ‘Knocked Up,’ Chairman, so [spectators laugh] it’s a little insulting.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know …”
SETH ROGEN: “It’s very important, guys.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know, this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words ‘Knocked Up’ have ever been used.”
SETH ROGEN: [Laughs] “Oy. You’re not gonna like the rest of this, then. [Senators laugh] First, I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking — yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”
“I started dating my wife Lauren nine years ago when her mother was almost 54 years old. The first time I met her parents, being the mensch (Yiddish word for “person of integrity) that I am, I was excited to spend time with them and make Lauren thing I was the type of guy she should continue dating. It was this trip, the first time I met my now-mother-in-law, that Lauren first admitted to herself and then to me that something was off with her mother.”
“I guess the clues were, unfortunately, easy to spot since both of Lauren’s mother’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease. Soon after this trip, at 55 years old, Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.”
“Now, at this point, my impression of Alzheimer’s was probably was I assume most people’s impression is — I thought it was something only, like, really, really old people got and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over. This period, which was the only way I’d seen Alzheimer’s displayed in movies or television, lasted a few years for Lauren’s mom. After that, however, is when I saw the real, ugly truth of the disease.”
“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself — all by the age of 60. Lauren’s father and a team of caregivers dedicate their lives to letting my mother-in-law be as comfortable as she can be. They would love to do more but can’t because, as you’ve heard, unlike any of the other top 10 causes of death in America, there’s no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Another thing I didn’t realize until I was personally affected was the shame and stigma associated with the disease. It was before I was born, but I’m told of a time when cancer had a stigma that people were ashamed by. Celebrities and other public figures that were stricken would hide, rather than be voices of hope for people in similar situations, and although it’s turning, this is currently where we are largely at with Alzheimer’s disease, it seems like.”
“And it’s because of this lack of hope and shameful stigma that my wife, some friends and myself decided to actually try and do something to change the situation.”
“We started Hilarity For Charity. Hilarity For Charity is a fund we have, as a part of the Alzheimer’s Association, to raise money to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s and support cutting-edge research. That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization.”
“It was through this that we felt we weren’t just complaining there was nothing to be done, but actively taking steps to do something. Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality of the disease, we’ve started to educate them. We recently started a college program that allows university students to hold their own Hilary For Charity events, and in the months since it started, 18 schools nationwide had signed up to hold events.”
“The fact that we actually got college students to stop playing video games and volunteer their time is a huge accomplishment, especially considering both Xbox One and Playstation 4 came out this year — I’m sure these people know what I’m talking about [laughs].”
“I came here today for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge ‘House of Cards’ fan. [Senators laugh] Just marathoned the whole thing. Had to be here. Two, is to say people need more help. I’ve personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. Please don’t.”
“Therefore, I can’t begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. As you’ve also heard, studies show that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is the most costly condition in the United States. Yes, it’s more costly than heart disease in a country where, for $1.29, you can get a taco made out of Doritos. They’re delicious but they’re not healthy.”
“While deaths from other major diseases, like heart disease, HIV and strokes continue to decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased almost 70 percent in the last 15 years. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and at this rate, in 35 years, as many as 16 million will have the disease.”
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they’re not alone. So few people share their personal story, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone.”
“Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ and although a whisper is better than silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be. People look to their government for hope and I ask that when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, you continue to take more steps to provide some more. I would like to thank the committee again for the opportunity to share my story and to voice my whole-hearted support for the continuing work that pursues a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you very much.” [Applause]
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): [Clapping] “Thank you Mr. Rogen, that was great. That was very, very good. Thank you, thank you.”

 

And while I know there are so many celebs that do great humanitarian things- I love watching them in the limelight taking those moments to be human, to show support for causes, and to call people/organizations onto the red carpet.

And to answer your questions- no, I do not like Angelina Jolie- I don’t care how many starving babies she adopts. #homewrecker

And Bono gets on my nerves too. #takeyoursunglassesoff #youreinside

All of this to say- cheers to the shreds of beauty we find in Hollywood, celebrity, and fame.

And the award goes to…. calling it like it is.