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my, what a view from this soapbox. (this is a warning.)

19 May

Warned you.

Here we go:

I do not understand why members of the media are camped outside of the home of the “other woman” in the whole Arnold Schwarzenegger mess, waiting for her. Photos of her are already being featured everywhere, so waiting to catch a live shot of her seems leechy and ridiculous. But such is the media, isn’t it? Doesn’t matter that people in the South are losing their homes to floods. Gotta get a picture of the mistress. Frankly, her identity means nothing to me. Do I represent the masses of people who are likely curious about who she is, what she looks like, so on and so forth? Hardly. But do I think it’s wrong, egregious, and every other synonym for wrong? Absolutely.

What’s worse, however, than waiting outside of her home to catch a glimpse of her? Waiting to catch sight of her child.

There is no way, NO WAY, that the media camped outside her home will take the high road and not broadcast pictures of this young man, if he and his mother happen to come home (I sincerely hope that they’re somewhere far, far away). This morning, the “Today Show” showed a photo of the woman in question and blocked out the child’s face. I appreciated this. At least, in part, they had the decency to not reveal his identity. I don’t know about other media outlets, however. And I’m not holding my breath.

But his life is already ruined, isn’t it? Because he has friends and schoolmates and teachers and people in his life who watch television, read magazines, and go online. And photos of his mother have already blanketed these places. So they know who he is and everything else in his young life that should have remained private. Pretty sickening. And that’s the point. (I’m not naive that these public people should hardly expect private lives. But the child is not an actor, politician, or anything else. He’s a kid.)

I don’t condone the actions of this woman or Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, equally, I don’t see the use or importance of having her picture paraded around the airwaves. Ultimately, I just feel for all the children involved in the middle of this insanity.

Descending box…now.


A Wednesday Miscellaneous Pie. Mmm, pie…

16 Mar

So much on my mind today…

Glee. I try to stay away from anything too Hollywood-y or entertainment-y on this forum (save for a few things, as in Mr. Darcy winning an Oscar and so on), but I’m ascending this particular soapbox for a moment. Forgive me. The following is all opinion. There was a time in the not too distant past when this show kind of made me crazy. After the first episode, my sis and I called each other on the phone and squealed for half an hour. We were those kids in high school. We loved theater, we loved music, we burst into Barbra Streisand while walking home from school. Those initial moments of Glee took us back to the days. It was awesome. I have since purchased about a million dollars worth of Glee music, and it’s all good. However. I don’t even watch it anymore. Why? A sweet, beautiful show about embracing who you are—especially at that tender age when doing that is absolutely necessary—has turned into this weird exercise that proves that believing in your own hype can become a TV show’s downfall. It stopped being fun. It stopped being sweet. It became kind of mean and snarky. I just didn’t enjoy it anymore. So that’s that, Glee. Save for a few visits here and there to catch sights of my current TV crush (I heart you, Matthew Morrison), it’s goodbye.

Old friends. Back in Ghana (where yours truly grew up for the first 8 years of her little life), we had a neighbor named Evelyn. Evelyn was the coolest gal in the entire world to us. She wore cool clothes, she wore cool, colorful bangles, she was tall and gorgeous. We loved her. Even more: Evelyn used to have Madonna dance contests. She would play Madonna songs and have us dance around our complex and whoever won would get chocolates. Cool, or what? It may be why 1) hearing old school Madonna puts the largest, silliest smile on my face, and 2) despite my best intentions, a piece of chocolate will always win me over. Love you, Evelyn, wherever you are…

I Must be a Bear. I hibernate every winter. Specifically, shaving my legs goes into hibernation. I let nature have its way. The problem with that is when spring rears its lovely head and the cold air begins to get warmer, hibernation is over. I buy a whole bunch of extra blades for my Intution razor (love it) and get to work on those crazy legs (I’ve already discussed my issues with hair; I’m Teen Wolf’s older sister, apparently). This time, “work” took so long that the water in the shower turned completely cold. I was in there for close to an hour? Two hours? I think I went through a worm hole. Even the walls were perspiring in the bathroom. You would think, at some point, that I would learn my lesson and shave throughout the year, so as to avoid this insane routine whenever spring comes? A normal person would do that, yes. But I’ve never been normal. My legs are so smooth…and when winter comes again, they won’t be. Can’t force a bear to stop hibernating, can you?

What is it about candy? There was major eye candy on the metro this morning. It was completely insane. I mean, that level of eye candy must be illegal in the tri-state area or something. Someone should have arrested those guys for infiltrating the senses in such a manner. Yiikes…

Can’t Believe it. I love my boss. He is absolutely terrific. It’s a bit incredulous, this feeling. Having been subjected to some of the craziest employers in the past—one of whom seriously had us humming the Flying Monkeys music from “The Wizard of Oz” whenever she was on the warpath—it’s both surprising and refreshing to work with someone so fair and accommodating. Very balanced, my boss. I’m utterly grateful, really. (The job itself, on the other hand, has its moments, which I’ve discussed before. Sigh.)

On that note, I will put the fork down and leave this Miscellaneous Pie for now. Onwards…

Let’s Sip on this Maddening and Marvelous Cocktail, Shall We?

9 Mar

I am a Metro commuter.

They should have meetings and/or support groups for our little subculture (well, hardly little), for the sole purpose of me standing up in the middle of a room and making that statement, followed by people who nod and say, “yes, YES.”

Anyway, as a Metro commuter, I have moments where I scratch my head out of the confusion and frustration of it all, and I have moments when I smile at seeing the most intriguing and interesting slices of life and the human experience. As a rider, it can be thoroughly stinky. As a writer, it can be completely inspiring. A veritable cocktail of madness and marvel.

The Madness

  • Unfortunately, riding on the Metro has proven something I sadly knew but didn’t want to see evidenced almost every day: chivalry is, indeed, largely dead. Never have I seen more men lacking in courtesy to women, especially those with special circumstances, such as pregnant women or the elderly. I once watched, horrified, as a hugely pregnant woman stood and lurched backward and forward with each movement of the train while men sat all around her. (Once a seat became available, I nearly pushed her into it, I was so desperate to see her off her feet. There is no way, anywhere, that a pregnant woman should be mashed between people on a train.) Anyway, I’m not generalizing, by any means. It’s not all men, but some. Nonetheless, scenes smiliar to the above happen more often than not, and I find it incredibly sad and infurating. And utterly maddening.
  • Let’s be equal opportunity here: I’ve seen some women show their discourtesy to other riders, as well. Blind individuals; people with special needs; OTHER pregnant women; the elderly—the list goes on and on. What’s worse is when they’re sitting in the seats reserved for those with special needs and then someone walks onto the train and requires those seats…and they pretend to be oblivious.
  • The Metro doors are monstrous. They aren’t like elevator doors with sensors. No, if you wave your arm between Metro doors to keep them open, bid farewell to that precious arm. The doors will close. Everyone who rides the Metro is aware of this. Even tourists pick up on it fairly quickly. That said, I cannot understand, for the life of me, why people race to those doors to try to beat them. I don’t get it. I don’t get potentially risking your limbs to get on the train. The doors will not release their hold on the Jansport bag belonging to Mr./Ms. I Don’t Care About My Limbs, which is stuck between the doors. (I’ve seen an entire group of people trying to help one person remove their object from the doors. Quite a sight.) Some doors will malfunction completely, causing an off-boarding (removing all of us from the now defunct train) and trapping us at a station until the next train comes, which invalidates the crazy attempt to get on the train in the first place. Ugh. Ugh!
  • Um, stinkiness. Enough said.
  •  At times cramped, uncomfortable, having to look up at the ceiling to avoid staring at the person standing inches, micro inches, from your face…
  • Public displays of affection from plenty of amorous couples. Unfortunately, escape is impossible, so my eyes return back toward the ceiling…
  • The Metro is by no means the library. Silence is not a requirement. However, the morning commute is traditionally not loud. People are reading their newspapers, still trying to wake up (yours truly), etc. So a raucous conversation with your friend about the crazy night you had the night before…it’s just not cool.

But…sometimes, amid all of the above, we have…

The Marvelous

  • Alternatively, people do help each other. People give up their seats. People steady other riders who nearly fall over. People attempt to hold the door for mothers with strollers or others who need to get on the train, despite the danger and risk. People stand aside and clear a path for those coming off the train. When the Metro endured a terrible collision last year, I read about the most beautiful acts of heroism and just pure decency. So it exists.
  • I watch families smile and laugh with one another. I watch loving, non-crazy PDA couples (thank you) tend to each other; whisper and hold hands; and generally behave in a manner that kind of touches my little cynical heart.
  • The men/women in fatigues and camouflage? On their way to the Pentagon? They stand on the train like armed guards. I feel protected.
  • Lots of people do say “thank you” and “excuse me.”
  • I have a part-time job as a people-watcher. The Metro is a grand employer, as far as that’s concerned. I see all kinds of gems and fascinating moments in human nature, all of which can be creative perks.
  • When we’re above ground, I sometimes see the traffic on the street, where a million cars snail towards their respective destinations…and I’m super grateful. By and large, we keeps it moving on the Metro.
  • Once in a while, despite all those strangers, someone I actually know sits next to me! Totally and completely awesome when that happens. It’s definitely nice to share the ride with a friend.

Smiles or frowns, such is life. And such is life as a Metro commuter.

RE: Mr. Darcy. I mean, Colin Firth. Same person.

28 Feb

  1. I choose to believe that Mr. Firth, to the far right, won his Academy Award for his role as Fitzwilliam Darcy on the A&E presentation of Pride and Prejudice. Never mind that the miniseries was for television and not for film. Never mind all of that. It’s all about perspective.
  2. The show itself was predictable, super boring, and not very well-hosted by Hathaway and Franco. Next time, instead of appealing to the younger set, I think choosing a tried and true entertainer as host is the best way to go. (And cutting out all the silly animation spots and silly filler and silly banter would be terrific.) That’s if I watch next time. The end of a long era may be soon coming, at least for me. It’s just not the same anymore…
  3. Please see #1. After 3-plus hours, Dreamy Firth’s win was pretty much the only highlight. To celebrate, I intend to watch a certain miniseries this coming weekend…

I’m Trapped in a Candy Store and I Love It!

25 Apr

So let’s say you have loads of candy sitting in your purse. Don’t go on and on about it. You never know if persons within earshot and in the vicinity attend support groups for candy lovers. Or whether a particular person has sworn off chocolate for the rest of their natural life. Or whether someone in the area is on a massive diet, and, upon hearing your candy-loving monologue, goes on some kind of eating spree throughout the tri-state area.

Yes, I have a specific reason for the diatribe above.

Yes, the diatribe is racked with symbolism.

Yes, it just happened, and I am severely annoyed.

Yes, still quite annoyed.

Yes, I will commence with getting over it.



Sincerely, Taj

Dear World, I have stuff to say, so get cozy. Here, I've got cupcakes.

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