Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Rose By Any Other Name, Part II

I have just been made aware of a startling reality: not everyone in the world is reading my posts.

I know, hard to believe.

Well, there's at least one guy who isn't at the very least paying attention to the wisdom I am throwing down: Goddanit420.

When I was notified that he had sent me a message through one of the dating sites I loiter, the handler name alone made me groan. His age--26--made me think will I ever attract someone over the age of 30? 
Maybe I Should Audition
But, in the name of open-mindedness (or desperation) I read his email.  To my surprise, his writing has an eloquence to it. He mentions being surprised to "have not made my acquaintance" seeing how we live in the same city and that I have a "pretty face."

Hey, "pretty face" is pretty damn eloquent in comparison to other complements about my appearance that I've gotten through this site.

Still, my experience with these south-of-thirty gentlemen has not been fruitful and my enthusiasm for dating is at dead point.

I send a nice, congenial reply indicating that I am flattered by his interest but that I think he is just too young for me.

It takes 30 seconds to get the response I always get when I kindly try to dodge a cub: age doesn't matter; I need to be open-minded.
Well, it worked out for Demi and Ashton, right?

But Goddanit420 adds that he "doesn't think [I] read his profile."

Well, of course I didn't. "Goddanit420" didn't exactly draw me in. I don't have issue with marijuana, nor those that smoke it, but that name screams stoner, which is not what I am looking for. I love, love, love wine but 2BuckChuck ain't my handler name.

Calling me on my quick judgement did motivate me to read the profile. Okay buddy, let's see you prove me wrong.

I scroll through the pictures: one of his sitting at the beach, one of him showing off some tattoo work on his lower arm, one of him fishing.

One of him wearing the cardboard case to a 12-pack of Budweiser as a helmet.

Under his list of interests: THC.  He claims that he's not an alcoholic but that he can't drink anywhere "without being Judged" [sic].  Also, he has a car, but no license because of too many unpaid tickets.

But his money would be my money.

Good thing I read that profile, because a rose by any other name . . .

Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet

Monday, September 24, 2012

Why I Am the Worst Blogger in the History of the Universe

Well, aside from my hyperbolic titles, there are various other reasons.

One reason is because I don't update very frequently, which is key to keeping hold of a blog audience. Another reason is because that my posts are usually quite lengthy, which is not what the blogging genre seems to call for.

The reason I don't update frequently is because blogging in hard. Well, it is for me. Why? Because I am a perfectionist. I often don't trust my natural voice, you know, that one that dominates the first draft? The one that is goofy and goes on tangents? The one we writers really like writing in, but don't quite feel comfortable enough to put out for the public eye?

The one that doesn't give a shit if she just ended a sentence with a preposition.

So for every blog post, I draft, revise, revise, revise. And because I am always trying to keep my organic voice under control, even the drafting part is difficult. In fact, first drafts are my biggest challenge. Most of the time, blogging isn't fun and easy--it's a pain in the ass.

But, I always look back at my posts and think: Damn, that's good.

The other problem--the length issue--is an all-around writing problem for me. It takes me 250 words just to clear my goddamn throat. I am an over-explainer, which I justify as being "thorough" when really it's because I think everyone's an idiot.

So I am going to try something new: I am going to just bang out posts in my first draft, not worries voice that I seldom, if never, let out. No revisions. No focus on focus. Hell, I may even not worry about typos and spelling.

Well, maybe I will watch that.

And, I'm going to try to get to the point sooner.

Hmmmm, didn't do so well on that second goal.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

To Quote My Grandmother: "Why Are Teenagers So Stupid?": YOLO

Traditionally, New Year's Eve is the official reboot-your-life day. But for me, that feeling of renewal comes in September when the school year begins.  All students march onto campus with their shiny new folders; backpacks clean of tagging; fully stocked with college-ruled notebook paper, pens, and pencils. Hell, some even have highlighters. Young, pimple-ridden faces are lifted to the sky with the resolve to keep up with work and earn better grades.  Even the students who have never earned higher than a 'D' in their lives claim that this year they are going to stop screwing around and focus on school because they have realized a fateful truth . . .


They doodle it on my class syllabus; they shout it in the halls.


Now, YOLO may be a new word, but it's not a new concept. When I inquired what the hell they were saying to one another--who knows what kind of underground revolution my students are capable of--I learned that it is an acronym for "You only live once."

"Oh Captain, my captain."
"YOLO" is the descendant of "carpe diem" which was most often translated as "seize the day," until today's youth gave it just one more revision. Oxford English Dictionary defines "Carpe Diem" as the Latin term for "enjoy the day; pluck the day when it is ripe."

In high school, "living" would mean dodging all of their parents' and teachers' expectations in order to drink, screw, and do drugs. (That's true for many adults as well, but I'd like to say it's not as popular of an approach as it is to teens.) I mean this without disdain or condescension; I was no different at that age. The only thing different is that I YOLOed to the soundtrack of Whitesnake and Motley Crew instead of Kayne West and Katy Perry.

Living life to the fullest--or YOLO-- is not just the mantra of today's youth. The name's just changed. Lord Byron, a master of deviance in the early 1800s (google him, you'll see what I mean) would have tagged "carpe diem" on his backpack. Those hippies of the 60s, would be content to say "seize the day" to their classmates as they trudged from class to class. 

But don't be too hard on this wave of language revisionists. Just as constant as adolescent culture is the need to anchor oneself to a particular era with slang.

Back when "capre diem" led the charge for the nonconformists, a man might go to a lushery to enjoy a few gatters. As he became kanurd, he might start looking for a buor because more than likely only a dollymop would be in such an establishment. If he could get enough mecks down her gullet, she might let him feel her heaving bubbies. But, before she allows him to play with her charms, she would make sure he hadn't spent all his chink. There's no way she'd allow him to put nebuchadnezzar out to grass for free.

In the 1960s, "seizing the day" shredded the propriety of the previous century. A man (or woman) would no longer have to grouse around in the underworld of violence and crime in order to enjoy the spoils of alcohol, drugs and sex; one would merely have the desire to mock The Man. Instead of a seedy bar, one could attend a jam. After a few brews and maybe a little boom (shit, in the 60s they might have also indulged in some beast and girl), the hunks will start interacting with the skirts in the room, but unlike the buors at lusheries, these guys can't assume they are all pigs. They may have to settle for copping a feel, and if they get lucky, swapping spit. Otherwise, that stone fox might just flip a lid and call the fuzz. Then everyone would have to beat feet and ruin the jam altogether.
Today, teens have plenty of kickbacks to choose from when they are looking to YOLO on a Friday night, but they prefer house-parties. Finding alcohol and bud is easy enough at any social event, but if a guy is not Facebook official with anyone, house-parties provide more sluts to hook up with. If a guy is crazy horny, even a skank will do. But, if he truly wants his bros to think he's hooker, he'll find a kickback where the hotties will be more gucci. They gotta roll it sick, yo.

No longer a teenager, when I YOLO, it doesn't involve lusheries, boom, or skanks. In fact, sitting here, typing up this post, sipping my morning cup of Jo while I enjoy the fresh beach air and watch my kittens frolick-- that's yoloing to me.

Okay, there might be Bailey's in my coffee.