Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fool Me Once, Shame On You. Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me: Thoughts On Anthony Weiner And Human Abedin

There is an old saying: fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

After six years, one child and being humiliated for the final time by her husband’s public sexting, Huma Abedin has finally separated from her husband, ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner.

Girl, what took you so long?

I get it, truly I do. Sexual addiction is a real disease. Does Anthony Weiner have a real addiction or he simply making up for something else that is missing in his life? I don’t know that.

I see it this way. We are all human, we all make mistakes and we all have our failings. That is perfectly normal. However, a line has to be drawn somewhere. If the mistake is made once, it could possibly be forgiven. If the same mistake is made over and over, something is not right.

Whether the separation was initiated by Huma or by someone in Hillary Clinton’s camp (she has been an aide to Hillary Clinton for two decades and if things go as hoped, she could become one of the most powerful women in America), only those on the inside know.

Human Abedin is educated, very smart and obviously very capable of standing on her own two feet. The problem is that despite our accomplishments, women are still being told that the end goal in life is marriage. Women like Huma Abedin don’t need a partner to prop them up or make them feel accomplished. But they told that they still a man.

At the end of the day, the person I feel sorry for is her little boy. He may need a heavy dose of therapy in the future.

Enjoy the rest of your night.

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Filed under Feminism, New York City, Politics

RIP Gene Wilder

Last night, the world lost Gene Wilder, one of the greats of the comedy world.

Born to an Eastern European Jewish family who found a new home in Milwaukee, Gene Wilder (birth name Jerome Silberman) was known for playing characters that were slightly off base, a little manic and not all there sometimes.

His most famous roles range from the very 1970’s Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971) to his most famous collaborations with Mel Brooks: The Producers (1967) Young Frankenstein (1974).



In recent years, he took a step back from the spotlight, but did return to the small screen for a minor recurring role in Will And Grace in 2002 and 2003.

Off screen, colleagues and friends remembered him for being a gentle, caring human being. Married four times, his third marriage was to the late Gilda Radner, a comedy giant in her own right.

RIP Gene. Thanks for the laughs.

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Filed under Movies, Television

DISRUPTED: MY MISADVENTURE IN THE START-UP BUBBLE BOOK REVIEW

Startups are the latest craze in the business world. Creating new technologies and new industries, startup companies are leading the way to the future in the arenas of business and technology. But all that glitters is not gold and for all of the shiny new-ness of startups, there is a downside.

Author and journalist Dan Lyons has been writing about the technology sector for nearly three decades. Like many traditional industries, journalism has been changed, mostly by the internet. That means for many, including Mr. Lyons, the loss of his job.

In his early fifties and married with two growing children at home, he had to find employment. After loosing his job at Newsweek, he was offered a job at the Hubspot, a startup marketing firm. It seemed like the ideal position for a man with his background and experience. What he found was a company filled with employees who were half his age, colleagues who acted more like fraternity brothers than adults working in a professional office and company owners whose business philosophy was akin to throwing caution to the wind and hoping it would add to the bottom line.

I found this book to be fascinating. It was fascinating because it revealed the true state of not just business, but the economy in America. Employees over a certain age (and in Mr. Lyon’s age bracket more specifically), regardless of the years of experience they have, often face job discrimination. Companies are opened with lofty goals and products and rely on investors to keep the doors open, but rarely see a decent profit. Unlike decades ago, when employees were guaranteed decent salary and benefits in return for their loyalty and hard work, employees are fired at the turn of a dime.

I recommend it.

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A Royal Night Out Movie Review

No one goes through life without at least one youthful rebellion to call their own. Not even royalty.

In the 2015 film, A Royal Night Out, World War II has just ended. The British people have taken to the streets, elated that the war is over.

Inside Buckingham Palace, Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) are eager to join in the celebration. But their parents, the King and Queen of England (Rupert Everett and Emily Watson) would prefer that their daughters celebrate within the castle walls. With a little bit of coaxing from the girls, permission is granted by the King And Queen. But there are a few caveats: the girls must stay with the soldiers who have been assigned to chaperone them, attend only approved events and be home by a certain time.

The exact opposite occurs. Combining the elements of adventure, the potential of young romance and a little youthful rebellion, this film introduces audiences of a certain age to a new side of Queen Elizabeth II: young, eager for adventure and willing to take a few risks.

What I like about this film is that it speaks to all us. We have all, in own unique ways, rebelled against the constrictions placed upon by our elders. There is a danger and an excitement to that rebellion, regardless of the details of the rebellion.

I recommend it.

A Royal Night Out is on DVD.

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Filed under History, Life, Movie Review, Movies

Women’s Equality Day

Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day.

Ratified in 1971 by Congress, the idea of the Women’s Equality Day was started by the late, great Bella Abzug.

American women and women around the world have come very far, compared to where we were only two generations ago.

But the fight must continue. For every battle we have won, there are many more that must be won. There are still parts of the world where women are second class citizens who are denied the right to vote, to work, to marry whom they want to, etc.

Thanks Bella, wherever you are. You got the ball rolling, it is up to us to keep it rolling.

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Flashback Friday-Real Women Have Curves (2002)

The average American women is a size 12. Most of us look more like Marilyn Monroe than the waif-thin model walking the runway. But that does not mean that the pressure to look a certain way or wear a certain size does not affect us.

In the 2002 movie, Real Women Have Curves, Ana Garcia (American Ferrera) is caught between a rock and a hard place. The daughter of Mexican immigrants living in Los Angeles, Ana is the lucky recipient of a full scholarship to attend Columbia University in New York City. The problem is that her parents feel that their daughter should stay in California and earn a living first. Can Ana reconcile her dreams with her parent’s wishes and the traditional life that is expected of her?

I like this movie for two reasons: the first is that anyone who is a first generation American can relate to Ana’s struggle. The children of immigrants are often caught between the old world that their families still cling to and their own desires that does not always mesh well with the old world traditions and the old world rules. The other reason I like this movie is because Ana is a young woman who is not only trying to find her own way in the world, but also dealing with the pressure to be a certain size.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Feminism, Flashback Friday, Movie Review, Movies, New York City

RIP Aaliyah

Yesterday marked the 15th anniversary of the death of Aaliyah.

She died at the young age of 22 in a plane crash, returning from filming a music video.

Some people are destined to live to see their golden years. Aaliyah was not among them.

A gifted performer, her breakthrough album, Age Aint Nothing But A Number, hit the charts in 1994. She released two more albums before hitting the big screen. Starring in two movies, Romeo Must Die (2000) and Queen Of The Damned (2002), Aaliyah’s star was on the rise when she was tragically killed.

I remember when I heard about her passing. It the beginning of my junior year of college, I had just moved into my dorm and the news was all over the internet.

Unlike other performers, she was humble and down to earth. She was ambitious without being greedy or manipulative. She knew she had talent, but also knew that talent will only get you so far.

In honor of her memory, I present to you a brief retrospective of her career.





RIP Aaliyah. Your body may be gone, but your spirit, your work and the impression you left on family, friends, colleagues and fans will forever live on.

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Filed under Books, Life, Movies, Music, William Shakespeare

Throwback Thursday-Jawbreaker (1999)

Movies set in high school can be pretty cliché sometimes. Those films can get really boring really fast. Then there are the ones that are not so boring.

Jawbreaker (1999) is one of them.

The prom queen is dead. She was killed by her “best friends”, Courtney (Rose McGowan), Julie (Rebecca Gayheart) and Marcie (Julie Benz) during a kidnapping gone wrong. The only witness to the crime is Fern (Judy Greer), who basically fades in the social background in school. To make sure that Fern never spills the means, Courtney transforms her into Vylette, the new girl in school. With Fern is re-introduced to her classmates as Vylette, Julie is having second thoughts and the detectives closing in, will the truth be brought to light?

The best thing about this movie is its biting satire. It has all of the hallmarks of a high school movie in terms of narrative and plot, but ups the ante with a surreal view of high school and the true to life reveal of the social pecking order in high school.

I recommend it.

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A Noble Masquerade Book Review

Society often forces us to act in ways that goes against our innate sense of self. As hard as it is, it is sometimes easier to go with the flow than rebel and deal with the consequences.

In the new Regency romance novel, A Nobel Masquerade, by Kristi Ann Hunter, Lady Miranda Hawthorne lives like the daughter and a sister of a Duke should live, at least externally. But internally, she is screaming to rebel. Her only release from the internal tension are letters that she writes (which are never to be mailed), to an old friend of her brother whom she knows by name only.

At the same time, a new servant has entered the servant’s wing. Marlow is the new valet to Miranda’s brother. Despite the wide social gulf between them, Miranda finds herself starts to fall in love with Marlow. Then Miranda receives a letter from the man who she has been writing privately to for years. But Marlow is not what he seems to be. Neither is the man who is responding to Miranda’s letters. The only thing that is clear in this mess is that Miranda’s future is not the only one at stake, especially when secrets are brought into the light.

I thought the concept of this story was interesting. However, I’ve read enough of the genre to know that this particular story was merely mediocre. Neither the hero or the heroine were particularly inspiring or thrilling and the narrative could have used some punching up. Adding to that was the use of modern language which felt out-of-place in the Regency era. I understand that this is Ms. Hunter’s first novel and the use of modern linguistic terms could be dismissed as a rookie mistake. However, I will say that when writing and researching a historical novel, it is important to get all of the details right about the period that the story takes place in. That detail includes language.

Do I recommend it? I think I am leaning toward no.

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Viking Warrior Rising Book Review

The romance genre used to consist of a standard narrative: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gains girl. It is standard but boring. Thankfully, a new genre of romance novels have elevated this very standard narrative. The niche genre of paranormal romance brings in new characters and new narratives to what is a very tried and true, but cliché story.

In Asa Maria Bradley’s new paranormal romance, Viking Warrior Rising, Naya Brisbane is a fugitive super soldier. Her one goal is to not only keep her brother safe, but return him to full health.

That plan gets derailed when Naya saves Leif Skarsganger, the leader of a band of immortal Viking g-ds. After Naya saves Leif, Leif’s warrior spirit is not shy about wanting Naya. The problem is that Naya has a past and that past is catching up with her. She does not want or need a relationship, but the more time Naya spends with Leif, the more she starts to see a future with him.

This book is very interesting for a number of reasons. First is that the author has woven in Nordic myth, pseudo-scientific language, and every day modern life. The second is that Naya and all of the female characters are not the standard “someday my prince will come” heroine that is usually specific to the genre. Naya is a badass who, when we meet her, is not looking for a relationship. She just saves a guy who she sees in trouble.

That being said, I have three problems with this narrative: the first is that the climax of the story is not really the climax and the villain of the story is a no-show. He is spoken of and certain sends his minions to do his dirty work, but he is not seen or heard. The second problem is outside of the building relationship between Naya and Leif, I really was not interested in any of the other characters. The third and final problem is that the dialogue was a bit dry for my taste.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism