Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Subway Oddities



I've written about the New York City underground rail system here before, most notably in my Subway Survival Guide series. Growing up in this city, you can't help but bear witness to a lot of strange and crazy things going on down in the deep depths below under this great city. Still, even after 38 years of it, I am still amazed by the dumbest things New Yorkers do when riding the trains. Stuff that can, and often does, drive their fellow straphangers batty!

The following are all cases I've experienced first hand recently, presented below in no particular order:

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Someone on the platform calls out a friend's name who is standing farther down on the same platform. Several people turn at the same time to see the originator of that call, even though they can't all be named "Janet." Why do people do this? If I hear a name called out that is obviously not my own, I ignore it and keep doing what I'm doing. Hell, even when my name is called I don't immediately turn. Not if I don't recognize the voice calling my name. There *are* other Davids in this great big city of 8 million people, after all. And I'm not wasting energy on something that obviously doesn't concern me.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


I was on the D train this morning and we pulled into this one station. As the passengers were let out and the doors started to close once more, an F train pulled in right across from us. Several passengers leaped out of their seats and rushed headlong into the closing doors, almost causing severe bodily harm to themselves. Just to catch that F train. Here's the thing: if they needed that F train so badly, why didn't they get off at the station when the doors first opened like everyone else? Here's the other thing: The D and F trains meet up at the very next station, and the station after that as well. Seeing as how the D train was just about to pull out of the present station when the F train arrived, why not just wait until the very next stop to get off and catch the F train there? Did you really need to half break your neck tackling the closing doors for a train you could catch again merely 2 minutes later? Think, people. THINK!!!!


You waste all that energy, just for this to happen.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why do very large people (read: fat!) always try to squeeze in between two seated passengers when the space is obviously not wide enough for them? Do you need a seat soooo badly that you are willing to inconvenience and bodily assault other passengers just so that you can be seated? Or are you really that unaware of your bulk? Don't be delusional: you are FAT!!! You know it, your kids know it, your co-workers know it, your dog knows it -- we ALL know it! How about we try and not impose our fatness on others, m'kay? Also: exercise some restraint and STOP OVEREATING!!! And we wonder why so many fights break out on the subway.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Look. I'm sorry I knocked you down, little kid in high school. I was riding the 4 train and we had just pulled into my home station. Yes, I saw you standing out there in the cold on the platform as my train pulled in. You who were so eager to get onboard; I didn't miss that point. So eager, that even before the doors opened to let passengers off (like yours truly), you positioned yourself right at the front of the doors, ready to dash on in as soon as they opened. Thing is, you can't simultaneously have people exiting and entering a doorway at the same time. And what your brilliant little plan did not provide for, however, was the factor of the solidly built grown man--who outweighed you by about 50 pounds--blocking your way. So when the doors opened and you immediately tried rushing onboard, I could see why you were so perturbed when that one guy (moi) leading the exodus out shoulder checked your dumb ass and sent you literally sprawling back out onto the platform. Consider this a real world refresher on bodies in motion. Your physics teacher can thank me later.


I don't think we're ever getting off this Death Star!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


When you ride the New York City subways for even a short amount of time, one thing becomes quickly obvious: there are constant service changes being announced, like, ALL THE TIME! Not rarely, those announcements can mean the difference between you arriving safely at your desired destination, or you ending up at the ass end of Brooklyn on the bad side of a Russian mob turf war (as opposed to the good side of a Russian mob turf war). So do yourself a favor: take off the fucking headphones!!! At least once in a while, yeah? Here's a hint: when you start noticing the people around you looking suddenly pissed off for no apparent reason, or when there is an abrupt and spontaneous mass migration of passengers off of the heretofore express train you're riding ... yeah, you might want to know what that's all about. Just a hunch.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .


Why do people look for trains that they are waiting for? Does this somehow make them arrive any faster? Does a watched kettle boil slower? I guess no one can answer the latter, but as for the former: NO! Plain and simple. So what are you doing? Seems to me that worrying about something you have absolutely no control over is a recipe for a stress attack. Chill out. The train will arrive when it arrives. If it is late, and you are late as a result ... that's just the way it will be. You constantly walking to the edge of the platform and sticking your head out to peer down the tunnel will not change that. Really, it won't have any effect whatsoever! You should all be like me: I simply lean back and lose myself in my own thoughts for a while. As far as I'm concerned, my train will arrive suddenly out of the blue like a dewey-eyed unicorn ridden by a mermaid wearing a necklace of four-leaf clovers. Yes, like a pre-ordained miracle! You should try it sometime, it's amazing!

. . . . . . . . . . . . .



However, despite all of the above, I still love this city. You have to take the good with the bad, you know? Most transplants can't hack it here for long like natives can. Hell, even natives end up leaving for greener pastures eventually. But while we're all here, together we do make for a helluva interesting place to live which is unlike any other on this planet of ours. You may all be crazy, but you're my kind of crazy!

Mwah! (that's the sound of a big, ol sloppy kiss, btw)


Love or hate it, sometimes you join in the crazy.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Miss Crush 2014

This is rather late, I know. I usually post my Miss Crush winner mid-year, and not well into the next year. I guess it's because I got busy doing those Model Spotlight entries, so sue me. But, while similar in theme, I do try to keep my Miss Crushes separate from my Model Spotlights.

Plus, I was finding it hard to narrow down my choices. A year and a half ago, I crowned the lovely Eva Green as my Miss Crush 2013 winner. A decision that apparently was met with mixed enthusiasm if you read the comments section in that entry. For 2014, I had to decide between several lovely ladies on whom to garner the crown. The runners up were:


4th Place:  MILA KUNIS





3rd Place:  ZOE SALDANA





2nd Place:  KEIRA KNIGHTLEY




As you can see, it was a very tough decision to make indeed. But in the end, I had to go with honesty. Or maybe ... with freshness! I love all the women listed above, but they've been high on my list for several years now. Over a decade, even, when speaking about Ms. Knightley in particular. And while a part of me wanted to award last year's title on one of these actresses out of respect for the longevity of my crush on them, I just couldn't ignore this relative newcomer to the celebrity scene. And while I'm sure a lot of readers will skewer me with hate comments over this decision, she truly is who I was crushing on the most back in 2014. And still am, in fact.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's Been Settled - AKA: Yes, I *Do* Drink Coffee!



It was a little over a year ago that I wrote about that now infamous Great Coffee Experiment of mine here on the blog, and I thought I'd give you all a little bit of an update on that front.

So, just to refresh your memory, I left that experiment not too enamored with the idea of drinking coffee. I gave it the ol' college try, you see, but it just didn't appear as if my body was responding to caffeine in the same way it seemed to affect most people. For me, an "average" cup o' joe did nothing more than make me even more sleepy than before. I suspected it was the warmth of the drink which brought about this contrary effect. Either that, or my body processed caffeine so well that it flushed it right out of my system before I could even begin to feel its power. There are tests I can take to determine the latter, if I cared enough to get them done (I don't).

Turns out the key word here is average, though. See, your regular cup of drip-brewed, watered-down American coffee doesn't do much for me. But give me something stronger and preferably espresso-based, and apparently that makes all the difference in the world!

Because of its ubiquity here in the greater NYC area, as well as its general good standards across the board, I decided to stick with Starbucks as my go-to java establishment of choice in order to continue this experiment. Plus, I liked that they offered a LOT of choices. If I were going to narrow down my preferences, I would need a varied menu of beverages from which to determine. My darling Cin disagrees, though. She thinks I've become a "Starbucks snob," in her words. See, she swears by Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. Which, if you've read my coffee experiment post, you would know I hate with a deep-seated passion!


This American does NOT!


So, despite Cin's adorable protestations to the contrary, I remained steadfast in my loyalty to that Seattle-based company. I started out with a cappuccino from them, but that was too weak for me. I then tried a latte. Better, but too bland. So I had vanilla added to it. Oh man -- so much better! It quickly became my favorite drink. And by adding an extra shot of espresso to the mix, it made it plenty strong and potent enough for even my body to sit up and take notice. I was surprised to find out, in fact, that my productivity in the office actually did pick up a few paces. Extraordinary!

But just to be sure, I next tried straight up espresso. First a single shot (called a "solo" in SB's lingo) served in a tiny little cup, then a double (or, "doppio"). I felt like a little old Italian man sipping on my tiny little dollhouse cup. It was good, but just not enough beverage for my buck. So I tried a macchiato next. This one seemed a bit stronger than a latte, even though it pretty much is a latte made in reverse. At least, this is the way a macchiato is made at Starbucks. I'm sure there are differences if one actually went to Italy.


A Starbucks latte.


Still, at the end of the day I decided to stick with my vanilla latte with extra shots added for strength. It was strong, it was flavorful, and it actually kept me awake and energized throughout the morning. Wow, imagine that?

Now, I don't drink this every day, mind you. Not even every other day. I only hit up Starbucks maybe twice a week, if that. Especially now that we're in full blown winter mode here in the city, I find that a nice tall vanilla latte really hits the spot when it is freezing outside. Sometimes I even go all out and splurge on SB's 16-ounce size option, called a "grande." That's when I'm feeling especially indulgent.

And this is how it's gone for the past year or so. That is, until last week when my good friend and author, Cindy Pon (different Cin, no relation), recommended something different. A beverage she herself orders from Starbucks on the regular. Behold, the Americano:


Add a little more steamed milk for that "misto" effect!


An "Americano" in Starbucks' terms is espresso coffee like the Italians enjoy, but with a lot of hot water strained through it in the American drip-brewed fashion. So in other words, it's espresso with a whole lot more hot water added to it. You would think this would taste awful, but it's actually not bad. And that espresso kick is still quite strong. Stronger than regular American coffee, at least. Cindy actually recommend that I order it "misto," which is to say with steamed milk added. An Americano Misto is basically a fuller-bodied latte -- just less milky, and more of that special caffeine kick. And it's just about perfect. Add a couple of pumps of vanilla syrup for yours truly, and it really is perfection!

This. This is my preferred drink all of a sudden. I just love it!

What's yours?

Friday, January 9, 2015

You Probably Never Saw This Coming . . .



Yes, I have a confession: I like watching Friends.

I could just end on that statement right there, drop the mic and walk off the stage. But I guess I can spare a few more words to explain. Ha!--A few? *ahem* Anyway ...

So, you see, recently Netflix decided to put all 10 seasons of the hit NBC show, Friends, up for streaming. And it's weird because I never actually liked the show at first. Nor did I have any friends who liked it, either. It was never really targeted for my demographic, appealing instead to the naive, vanilla-white college students where I went to school and whom all thought that they would move to the big city after graduation and live like these characters do. Only, I came from that big city -- and it looked nothing liked the one depicted on the show!





Friends is about six 20-somethings living in New York ('though filmed on a back lot in L.A., naturally), who stumble through every-day and often comedic encounters as they filter through life's ups and downs, break-ups, promotions, firings, relationships, etc. You know: the basic sitcom formula, but with very adult themes considering that the show was not centered around a core family in the traditional sense, but rather the familial bond made between friends living far from home in a large metropolis.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Bimillennial Man's Top 10 Posts of 2014



So it's that time of year again . . . the start of a new year, that is! Historically, with my mother's passing on this date 29 years ago, New Year's Day has never been a time for celebration on my part. There have been years where I've tried to go out and have fun, sure, but usually this is a somber time for me in which I hole up at home and play things very down key.

And yet, the New Year is always a time of hope and renewal. I'm not immune to the changeover, and can honestly say that I'm very much looking forward to a brand new year. 2014 was not really the best of years, but it was not the worst. And it was definitely a step up from the previous three years before it, which were terrificly shitty years in my life. Probably the worst ever!

But with 2015 upon us, I thought I would continue with this little tradition at The Bimillennial Man of reflecting on the blog posts of the previous year. I started this tradition last year, as some of you may recall, in which I listed the Top 10 most successful posts of 2013. And by "successful," I mean the threads which had received the most views. So let us see how 2014 faired, shall we?

To set the scene, I just want to briefly mention that 2014 saw a huge explosion of new visitors and traffic to the site. I don't have the exact numbers on hand, but by my estimation this site had FOUR TIMES as many visitors as the previous year, despite the fact that I only published half as many posts in 2014 as compared to 2013. It's true I didn't have much to say this past year, apparently, but I'm happy that this hasn't stopped the site from becoming even more popular and very searchable on Google---which is still the number one search engine being used to find this blog. Thanks a bunch, Google!!!

So then here is my list, in chronological order, of popular posts for the year, followed by tally numbers of total unique visitors to each post as of this date:


My Top 10 Threads of 2014

1.  State of the Batista Union.   (114 views)

2.  Top 10 Crushes From Hollywood's Golden Age.   (356 views)

3.  Game of Thrones: Season 4 Anticipation Begins . . . NOW!   (154 views)

4.  Living Single.   (1,370 views)

5.  What Girls Don't Know We Know They Know.   (205 views)

6.  Dream Come True -- I'm An Actor Born!!!   (140 views)

7.  This Kid Is A'iight!   (134 views)

8.  Dear Dad: A Letter To My Father.   (149 views)

9.  Model Spotlight: "Nazneen Contractor".   (234 views)

10. My Quick(ish) iPhone 6-Plus Impression.   (167 views)


Click on any link above if you're curious to see why a particular post proved to be as popular as it was. Hint: the ones with lots of pics are usually the most viewed. Hmmm, I wonder why?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Model Spotlight: DEEPIKA PADUKONE



Okay, by now it should come as no surprise that I'm a fan of Bollywood movies. I mean, I'm a HUGE fan! Some of you may recall my post on favorite Bollywood music a few years ago (click here), as well of course as this here Model Spotlight series, in which more often than not I'm posting up some famous Indian beauty from the movie scene. And it's really a good thing I watch Bollywood, too, otherwise I would be missing out on so many hotties from the sub-continent. DAYUMMM! Case in point, today's entry.


Name:  Deepika Padukone
Age:  28
Profession:  Model/Actress
Hometown:  Bangalore, India
Accolades:  2005 "Model of the Year" - Kingfisher Fashion Awards; Filmfare award for "Best Female Debut" on the 2007 film, Om Shanti Om; and Filmfare award for "Best Actress" on the 2013 film, Goliyon Ki Raasleela: Ram-Leela.
Best Known:  As Veronica in the hit Indian romantic comedy-drama, Cocktail (2012).
Current:  Finalized filming on Piku, a comedy-drama starring alongside her childhood idol and legendary Bollywood actor, Amitabh Bachchan.


Born in Copenhagen in 1986, Deepika's parents returned home and settled in Bangalore just a year later to raise their daughter and, eventually, her little sister, Anisha, as well. Her mother was a travel agent, and her father the famous Indian pro badminton player, Prakash Padukone. And for a while there it looked as if Deepika would follow in her daddy's footsteps, becoming quite proficient at the sport of badminton, even to the point of competing on the national level. But in high school she realized her true dream was to become an actress, and so she dropped out of sports to focus on a career in modeling and movies.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I Don't Know, It's Just The Way I Am!

You know what I get the most tired of people asking me? "Why are you so quiet all the time?" Seriously, I wish some of you would stop asking me this nonsense. Barring that, I wish you would just understand. If my silence makes you uncomfortable, look to your own reasons for why this is so. Don't blame me for your discomfort.

I came across this pin on Pinterest earlier today, and it's basically the motto of my life. I wish more people would follow this advice:




How true is this? Everyone has a different story, a different reason for why they are the way they are. The reasons for why I'm usually more content to listen in a group rather than be the center of one is many fold. I had a harsh and disciplined childhood. I had some really shitty things happen to me at a young age. I was always the youngest kid in class. I had a physical disability very early on (extremely poor eyesight) which made me the butt of schoolyard ridicule and made me retreat within myself even more. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

But the truth is: I was born an introvert. And society acts as if this is a bad thing. It's not! More people are introverts than are extraverts. Did you know that? Other countries do. America is one of the few that caters to the extravert, and it's damn annoying! In our society, the person with the biggest mouth is usually the one that everyone listens to. No matter the fact that such people are often brash, immature, judgemental, intolerant, and best of all -- usually wrong!

And just to clear things up: I am NOT shy! There is a world of difference between being shy and being an introvert. The two are not the same. I can speak before a large crowd when I need to, and I can look you directly in the eye when conversing individually. I can answer you perfectly well when asked a question, and I don't stutter or mumble my words. I'm not afraid of you ... I just sometimes wish you would cut out the small talk and only engage me when you have something interesting to say and worth my time hearing. Seriously, that's it in a nutshell.

Interesting enough, I was just reading this article on The Huffington Post the other day which covered pretty much exactly how I feel on the subject of introverts--i.e., people just like me. It lists the 10 ways that introverts interact differently with the world. To read the whole article and truly understand what makes me tick, click on this link for the full text. One passage in particular I want to highlight here:

"Shyness is about fear of social judgment," Cain said. "Introversion is more about how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extraverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched on and their most capable when they are in quieter, more low-key environments."

Yes, exactly! I really take this to heart. When I am surrounded by large amounts of stimulation--crowds of people all trying to talk over one another are the worst!--I can figuratively feel the lifeforce slowly draining from me. I start to feel sluggish and numb, and all I want to do is get the hell home and crawl into a good book or Netflix documentary! Or work on one of my fiction stories. These activities rejuvenate me, make me feel whole again. I didn't really know how to express this all until reading that article. I mean, wow!

So this is who I am. I'm old enough now to no longer care what anyone else thinks about my peculiar traits. I don't need to fight it anymore. I am what I am, and this is just the way I am!

And, yes, the title of this post is an Eminem reference to one of my favorite of his rap tracks off the original Marshall Mathers LP. Take a listen why don't you? Warning for offensive language, but of course.




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The 12 Nights of Christmas-Not Flims



Now then, this is the time of year I look forward to the most! No, not so much because of the holidays, although those are nice. No, the real cause for my excitement is the fact that I usually take the last two weeks off from work, thus commencing a long stretch of doing absolutely NOTHING! Call it a harken back to the days when I was just a school kid and we used to get 3-week recesses, I suppose. My brain is just hard-wired to taking half the month of December off after having done it for most of my life. You know how it is.

For the most part I tend to use this time off to relax. In addition to shunning the office job, I also take a break from my daily workouts and refrain from the pursuit of any task or situation that will cause me stress. So in other words, I basically watch a lot of tv, play a lot of video games, eat a lot of (bad) food I don't normally allow myself to eat during the rest of the year -- and devise movie marathons. 

Oh yeah!!!

This is probably what I associate most with this time of year, watching movies. And not just movies that are out in theaters at the end of the year, although I do make it a point to catch all the Oscar-bait films currently out. I'm talking about home theater viewing, you see? One year I had a Lord of the Rings marathon that took all day and into the wee hours of morning to slog through. But it was so much fun! Another staycation, I binged on Spaghetti Westerns. See what I mean? Oh what fun!

This year, however, I had a different idea for the season's movie marathon. This year I decided to screen, every night of Christmas, a single movie which was released in theaters on or near the holidays. More accurately, these would be movies that I personally saw during the holidays in past years. I stress this part because, as with some of the movies on the list I'm about to provide below, a few titles were released back in October or November of their associated years, but which I didn't get around to catching in theaters until--yup, you guessed it!--my annual end-of-year staycation. In addition to said criteria, these are also movies that were considered really big box office draws at the time. Some of them were even the holiday centerpieces of the year, if you will. The biggest grossing movies ever! And, then, some were only modest successes, but which played big in both my memory and in my heart. Regardless, they all had a hand in capturing the holiday season for me, resonating with me in a major way, and representing some of the best carefree movie "escape" experiences of the season. And for that, I am forever beholden to them.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Status Update

Have no fear, all is fine here. I didn't even realize it's been nearly 2 months since I last blogged. Wow. Somehow I'm proud of that achievement. It means I've been busy living life! :)

And yet, despite the absence, my blog's daily tracker has exploded with new visitors in that time. Seriously! I used to get around 150 to 250 visitors per day a few months ago (twice that back when I was posting Game of Thrones reviews), but ever since the summer this site has been receiving anywhere between 900 and 1,500 unique visits per day! I guess when you've been posting since 2008, eventually you have something for everyone on your site. The majority of the visits are through Google searches, though, and around 75% of those are for various pics I post here. Especially pics about famous people or models. Go figure.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Quick(ish) iPhone 6-Plus Impression



(Insert stand-up routine here).

No, not that kind of impression.

What I'm holding up there is my newest phone, Apple's iPhone 6-Plus, which just came in the mail last Wednesday. Which is around 5 days after the phones first went on sale at stores nationwide. This was the usual upgrade after my 2-year contract commitment expired with AT&T, at which time I became eligible to replace my existing phone -- Apple's 2012 iteration, the iPhone 5.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Do You Remember . . .?

A typical September day in New York's Central Park.


. . . SEPTEMBER!!!

Yup, it's that time of year again. My favorite of them all, in fact . . . the month to beat all months. Yes, friends, my favorite time is finally here! I love September, and now I'm very happy. Happy not just because I was born in this month, but because it marks the end of that most hated season of all -- Summer!

Now, yes, we still have 3 more weeks of official Summer to go, but psychologically flipping the calendar from August is all it takes to get me in the Fall mood. For me, summer is over NOW! And thus commences one of my favorite times of the year, that stretch between Labor Day and Christmas Day. It doesn't get any better.

So where other people are starting to slow down, dress warmer, and prepare to hunker down for a long Winter ahead, my body is just waking up and starting to get the juices flowing. I'm more productive during this time of year, especially mentally. The months of July and August are just one endless foggy gap in my memory that I try to put behind me. Nothing of worth has ever happened to me in those months. Except get married, of course. And on second thought, we all know what a bad association that is for me now, so you can scratch that off the list.

So, yeah, nothing good at all happens to me in the Summer. Blech!

Although my friend Yvonne has beaten me to the punch and already put this up on Facebook -- I don't care! I have to share this video here on the blog. It's a tradition, dammit! Come celebrate with me this favorite month of mine by clicking on the video below. This song perfectly encapsulates how happy I'm feeling right now. In fact, it's seriously making me want to get up and dance:





Yes, you know you can't resist the beat, either. You just KNOW your feet are getting happy and want to move to the rhythm. So go ahead and DANCE!!! It's a joyous occasion.

Hey, hey, hey-eh ...
Ba de ya, say do you remember?
Ba de ya, dancing in September!
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy daaaaaaaaaaay . . .

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rise of the Man-Child

In a recent op piece, acclaimed fantasy author Michelle Sagara extolls the appeal of the "alpha male" in romance novels. A genre, she admits, she doesn't have much success writing for, but in which she does have some experience reading. It's not what you might think--her championing of the male paragon in this genre, that is--and makes for some great reading. I think everyone should check it out, and then come back and chime in here in the comments section to let me know your own opinions on the subject.




You can click here to read the full article, but I wanted to excerpt this particular passage to bring to light something I've been thinking about with regards to the way contemporary men behave in the real world:

". . .Let me go one step further. He is not looking for love to define his life and give it meaning. He has a life. He has a life he’s in control of. Men who read romances looking for clues on how to approach women are taking the wrong things out of the reading if they’re focused on out-of-context behaviours. The alpha has confidence in himself. He is not looking at love as a way of bolstering a (non-existent) confidence. He has proven that he can, thank you very much, be strong without a relationship to define him. But…he is aware that something is missing.
"If you’re male and reading romance to try to understand what women want, that’s what you should take out of these books: that you need to be confident, and to have a life of your own, interests of your own, direction and motivation of your own; that you can, in fact, take care of yourself and all of the details of life and living, before you look for your life-mate. You cannot expect that these things are donated simply by having a girlfriend/wife, etc. They’re not."

The bolded portion, of course, is particularly what I wanted to discuss here today. See, I personally know a few men who *THINK* they live like this, but in fact do not. Far from it. It's something that perplexes me. Quite a few of my male acquaintances like to promote this ideal that they are "manly" men who are so independent and in charge of their lives. These men are so proud of their status as "bread winners" and family men, yet somehow never fail to speak patronizingly about women and their inferiority as a gender. These are men who are married to women who work jobs, too, and yet these women are STILL expected to come home to take care of the cleaning, the cooking, the child rearing, and the paying of the bills and balancing of the accounts. These are men who talk all day and night about how they love their wives, but how--don't get it twisted!--they could leave them tomorrow and completely take care of themselves if these women don't give them the proper due respect they deserve.

Pfft! Yeah right. I have yet to see this proven or put into practice. I meant it. Zero times have I seen men of this ilk actually live up to their boasts. Not just in my circles, but in the broader population as well. Where are these men that are independent and fully secure in their own individuality? For all they talk about women being the weaker sex, in fact they are the ones themselves who are weak.

Example A: Manly man thinks he makes a pretty decent living. He thinks he has it made. He comes home from work and expects his live-in GF (who also works) to have the house clean and dinner waiting for him. Yet the minute they get into hot water, is quick to say to me in private how easy it would be to kick her out and let her fend for herself. See how she likes it then. His GF promptly leaves on her own accord, and for weeks later it is all the man can talk about how much better off he is, and how he's living the good life. And how he didn't need her anyway. But then the laundry never gets done. The dishes start to pile up; take out cartons are everywhere. Roaches and other vermin make pilgrimages to the promise land his apartment has become. And suddenly the girlfriend is back, and all is well. And you know what? Of course she came back because he "allowed" her to. That in the end HE realized that a good man is forgiving and generous, and will always leave the door open for the woman to return because he loooooves her so. Oh yes, he's such a man.

Example B: Married manly man likes to tell me that I'm too laid back. That I give women too much respect, and that I'm living my life wrong because I take into account women's feelings and treat them as human beings owed the same respect I believe the world owes me in return. He has a lot of opinions about how I, as a single man, should be more selfish and experimental. Get out there and just try all the different fish in the sea! According to this great guy, I need to be more like him. Although he's married, he has a woman on the side. She gives him what the wife cannot. But although he's been with her on the side for 5 years, has never once used the "L" word with his mistress. She knows her place and will be thankful for it! According to this paragon of manliness, a real man never lets a woman think she is on equal footing with him. A real man never gets too attached. But when this side woman eventually tires of him and leaves, he constantly whines about how he wishes he still had her as his backup. How he can't stand his wife and wishes the side girl was still around for him to relieve all his frustrations on. But, oh yes -- I'm the one that's not being a real man for refusing to live the same way.

Is this what the modern man has become? Is it no wonder women resort to fiction to find examples of what a real man looks like?




For the record, I am proud of who I am. I don't question my manhood, because I'm not insecure about it. I don't need to put women down to prop up myself or my gender. I simply get things done. I clean for myself, cook for myself ... keep my accounts in order, my health on point, my house organized, my career on lock -- all by myself and without the need to qualify it all by the presence of a woman on my arm, or lack thereof.

I don't need a woman to appear strong next to. Or to stoke my ego and make me feel needed. I don't look for, nor do I need, a mother figure. Even when I was married I never expected to be mothered by my wife. I'm surprised by how many men do. Even those who think they don't and who later become single again are completely useless at day-to-day management of their affairs. This is not manly to me. It's actually quite pathetic. And do you know how to spot these types of baby-men out there? It's fairly easy. No, it's not just the messy bachelor pad they keep. Or the fact that they don't even know how to cook, or to put together a decent monthly personal expense plan, or to save money worth a shit!

No. You want to know how you can spot a typical man-child in the wild? It's by how quickly he needs to get right back into a relationship once he becomes single. For all his talk about manly independence and the latent submissiveness of women, he's quickly in another relationship with one before the boxes have even been unpacked at his new place.

If women are attracted to the male hero in romance novels, it's not because he's a fetishized version of the male ideal: it's because he is his own person not dependent on the women around him to bolster his ego and baby him. He's a man that has his own thing going independent of you, and as such has his own identity not built upon the foundation you laid.

I'm not a woman, but I would imagine that appears pretty damn sexy indeed. Or am I wrong?

Ladies?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dancing On A Saturday Night



So, for the first time ever I went clubbing this weekend.

Yes, you read that right. I've never been clubbing before. Correction, I did go last year with my awesome friend, Jennifer Hillier, who was in town on writerly business and brought her bestie along so we could all have a fun time out on the town together. But see, that night ended up being Queer Night--or some other similarly titled event--at the club I had chosen. So we only stayed for about 20 mins, and never danced once, before getting the hell out of there with the quickness! It was a very weird vibe there that was not in the least conducive to dancing. *shudder*

But this weekend I decided to give the same club another shot. I mean, it's normally supposed to be a cool, retro, 80's themed venue called, appropriately, the "Culture Club," located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. And if you know me, that sounds right down my alley, right? I had my misgivings. It's notoriously hard to find out any information on what's going on in this place on any given Friday or Saturday night. So I had to go and pray to both the old gods and the new that I was not walking into another awkward gay-love trap.


It's not officially the 80s if it does not have Pac-Man.


Happy to say everything went off without a hitch! Culture Club is where both genuine 80s kids and wannabes alike can go for dancing and drinking while tunes from that era blast through the speakers into the wee hours of the morning. It used to be located in a much larger venue a bit farther downtown, but the new location was adequate enough, I thought.


Drinks are stupendously expensive here, even by NYC prices.


However, another first this night was me dancing. Yes, except for my school prom and my wedding reception, I've never danced in public before. Heck, I don't dance in private, either! And I've certainly never gone to a club to dance. I suck at it. But I must say I had a damn fun time trying, at least. Seriously, it was exactly what I needed. Although it got super crowded by around 11pm, no one was being an asshole on the dance floor, and at some point the entire club joined in unison to belt out the choruses for some of the most beloved and iconic songs of that era. Shouting along to "Livin' on a Prayer!" at the top of my lungs (yes, a few drinks had been imbibed at this point) will forever be one of my most cherished memories of the night. Tubular!


Tiny main dance stage is tiny. But we made it work.


I had more fun than should have been possible, and I daresay it's made me curious to try this whole club/dancing thingy again. Preferably at another location, but maybe I'll return back here again sometime soon since I had such a good time.

And if any of you blogger friends of mine are ever in town and want to hit up Culture Club, let me know. I'm totally game! Like, totally.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Model Spotlight: NAZNEEN CONTRACTOR



Up until now, the Model Spotlight series has featured beautiful women who were known in the glamour/fashion industry first, and only in the entertainment biz second. This trend changes with today's entry, a woman who has definitely graced a few photo ops and magazine covers in her time, but who's primarily known for her strong background in theater, television, and movies. Of course, like the previous entries in this series, she would invariably have to be of either Persian or Indian descent to garner my attention. And in this case, surprisingly, the subject of today's profile is a little of both! Ah, the best of all possibilities.


Name:  Nazneen Contractor
Age:  31
Profession:  Actress
Hometown:  Toronto, Canada
Accolades:  2008 Golden Nymph Award, Montecarlo Television Festival; 2012 Best Supporting Actress, WorldFest Houston; 2014 Actor of the Year, ANOKHI Magazine.
Best Known:  As Kayla Hassan on FOX's 24.
Current:  Can be seen starring in the 5th season of the USA Network series, Covert Affairs.



Born in Mumbai, India in 1982 to parents of Gujarati-Parsi heritage, Nazneen has lived, among other places, in Nigeria, London, Toronto, and L.A., where she currently resides. At age 9 when her parents settled down in Toronto for good, she took an interest in both drama and dance, going so far as to train in classical ballet for almost a decade. But it was while majoring in both psychology and sociology at the University of Toronto that Nazneen turned her attention toward theater, and the acting bug bit her hard!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Because I'm Happppppppy!!!


*Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof*

I'm overcome with a sudden feeling of, oh, I don't know what it is: happiness, euphoria, optimism ... zest for life? Whatever you want to call it, I have it. And the weird thing is, there's no specific reason for it. In fact, I've had a pretty shitty last couple of days where one bad thing after another keeps happening to me. Small things, to be sure, but small things add up to one big, steaming pile of shit-for-feelings if you're not careful. And I'm almost at my threshold!

And yet ...

And yet, I don't know why exactly, but I'm just so happy. If I could sum it up, I seem to be overjoyed just to simply be alive. That no matter what else is happening, I am alive. And being alive is GREAT! This got me to stop and think: why am I generally so optimistic? It's a mystery to me. While others have had far shittier lives than I, and continue to have them, I've had my fair share of hard knocks throughout. Some pretty horrific ones, actually. And yet I can honestly say I've never suffered from depression. Real depression, I mean. As in clinical. No, that's just not me.

But why not? I have actual real world friends and family whom I know for a fact suffer from clinical depression. And, yes, they've had shitty lives (for the most part) to perhaps justify such depression. Although, to be honest, real depression is not caused by the simple fact of bad things happening to someone, but with that someone not having the tools to cope with those shitty happenings. And by all accounts, I suppose I *should* be in that boat. And yet, I am not.




But, again, why not? Why do I love life so much? Why, despite being knocked down so often, do I pick myself up, dust off the dirt, and keep on keeping on? I think it comes from the fact that I believe in good things around the corner. That I have ... optimism that things will always be better. It's something I strive for, and I think so long as you have that drive -- that push to reach for something bright and good, whatever it may be -- despite any and all things bad happening to you at any given moment, that this is what makes for happiness. A satisfaction with oneself that things will be all right. That's called harmony, or being at peace with oneself. If one is at peace, despite being surrounded by negative forces, then one can truly be in balance with existence.

Or am I full of it?

Who knows! In the meantime, I will do as the song below says and clap along. Because I *do* feel like happiness is the truth!


 

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