I saw this on Facebook this morning and my first reaction was a chuckle which was followed quickly by “wait a goddamn minute.”
I get that graphics like these are meant to be funny, and a part of me does think it’s funny. But the larger part of me really gets pissed off at this kind of stuff. This graphic implies that men cannot be close without there being some sort of sexual element to it, which I think really hurts men in the long run. Most, not all, but most men are very lonely because we have been taught that cultivating relationships with people other than our partners is not important. Fortunately, I have a spouse that recognizes that and encourages it. There is little more satisfying to me than a good friend that I can talk with who sees me, flaws and all, and still chooses to be around me. I am fortunate to have a few of those in my life. My life is infinitely richer for their presence, and there’s no hint of sexual in any of those relationships.
Implying that there is a sexual component cheapens the entire thing. Even gay men have close male friends with whom they are not sexual, so even when it IS gay, it’s not.
I know it’s just a stupid Facebook picture, and I should just chill the fuck out. But this really hit a nerve for me and is indicative of the toxic masculinity that is pervasive in our society, a type of masculinity that is only emboldened by the current political environment.
So should I lighten up and take it in the spirit it was meant? The person who posted it certainly meant no harm in it as I know they are very pro-LGBT and they tagged their current boyfriend in it, saying it was him and all his friends. In that respect, I should lighten up. But I will never stop fighting the perception that men can’t be close without there being a sexual component. Regardless of orientation, it’s simply NOT TRUE.
Recently, my wife and I both backed the Kickstarter for the Gravity blanket, the weighted blanket that is alleged to help treat, among other things, PTSD, OCD, and anxiety related disorders. I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first, but what won me over was the science behind it. Well, just watch the video.
I am actually quite excited to be getting a 25 pound blanket, even though I suspect at first it might feel like one of those lead lined smocks they put over you at the dentist when they X-ray your mouth.
I feel very overstimulated these days and I’m taking whatever I can get to help ease the anxiety in my life. Also, I’m trying to become more mindful and if this involves any sort of meditation, I think the blanket will come in very handy. Unrelated to Gravity, I’ve also decided that I’m going to try to keep up my yard a little more and practice mindfulness that way as well. The yard is such a beast but even a small amount of taming will do it (and me) some good I think.
You can back this Kickstarter for the next 50+ hours and get your very own Gravity in late September/early October 2017. The cheapest level is the $189 level (the $169 level is sold out) but I think this is a small price to pay to have another weapon in my armamentarium for my ongoing attempts to quell anxiety and stress in my life.
A friend of mine who lives in Northern Ireland messaged me through Facebook earlier this week asking if I had heard about the white vinyl release of Kylie Minogue’s 2001 album Fever. Re-released in a limited edition run available exclusively at the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, he said he was willing to pick one up for me, much like he had the limited edition blue and red vinyl releases of Madonna’s True Blue and Like A Prayer.
Since it was the first time it had ever been available on vinyl, especially in this special edition white vinyl, we both expected it to fly off of shelves. And that’s exactly what’s happened – it has disappeared from Sainsbury’s in no time, but a large number of those have found their way to eBay. And in the transfer to eBay, inflated to what to what I would consider extortion level pricing. Here’s a small sampling.
I love Kylie, and I love the Fever album, but I have better things to do with my $60-100 than pay exorbitant prices for something like this on eBay. Although my mantra is “buy the colored vinyl, you’ll regret it later if you don’t”, I am just going to wait and see if my friend can come through for me. If not, oh well.
Breaking news from the “water is wet” department – the secondary market sucks. From concert tickets to limited edition vinyl, it is not in the spirit in which I’m sure Kylie meant for the record to be enjoyed. It sucks that people are basically buying up the record with the only intention being to sell it to fans that are willing to pay an arm and a leg for it. To paraphrase Christina Crawford – I am not one of those fans.
Now if it were Madonna…that might be a different story!
Sometimes I wish that I was one of those people with depression that when they were depressed, they had no appetite and ate nothing at all. I’m quite the opposite, eating everything in sight trying to fill a void that can’t possibly be filled. I just stepped on the scale and I know it’s the end of the day and you should never do that but I am at an all time high for weight. This has got to stop.
The trouble is that when I’m struggling, like I am now, I think that eating things that taste good will make me feel better. It’s not true and never has been true. It’s just a self fulfilling prophecy really. I eat a lot to try to feel better, then I end up gaining weight which gives me more ammunition to feel bad about myself. It’s so bad right now I don’t even pretend like I’m being good because I’m totally not.
But I have to try to find a way to, as Cher would say, snap out of it. It’s not good for my physical health or mental health. I can feel my pants not fitting right, all of my T-shirts are just a little too tight. I guess I’ll have to up my exercise game, but I don’t feel well enough to do that.
Excuses, excuses I guess.
Ben Rector’s “Brand New” made my best-of 2016 compilation and has been a favorite of mine ever since. I discovered it back in January of 2016 and found out about it only because Bandsintown app was recommending his Des Moines concert to me. I tossed around the idea of going to the concert, but I couldn’t really justify it because I didn’t know that many songs and it was general admission and even though I go to a lot of general admission shows, I really don’t care for them all that much. At nearly 45, give me my damn seat.
Today I got another notification from Bandsintown that Ben Rector had announced a concert nearby – and when I say nearby, I mean EXTREMELY nearby. He’ll be at Iowa State University on August 23rd, which is about a mile from my house. Hell, I could walk there, but it’ll probably be so hot that I won’t want to.
Since he’ll be so close, I decided that I’m going to go this time. Based on the timing, it looks like it’s part of a “welcome back students” type thing, but who cares? I still don’t know many more of his songs than the Brand New album, but I have some time to change that.
I’ve been on a bit of an 80s Aretha Franklin kick tonight. Am I the only person on the face of planet Earth that remembers this song?
Released in 1986, it seemed weird to me that Aretha Franklin was still having pop hits. She seemed to be someone of a different time, but really, she was only in her 40s at the time this song was released. How ageist was 14 year-old Dan?!?
Still, I kinda liked this song in spite of myself. It didn’t fare too well on the charts, missing the top 20 and I’m kinda surprised they don’t have a 7″ edit which takes out the slow beginning, but whatever. A little searching at Discogs shows that the version on the single was the same length as the album version. They did see fit to give it an extended remix which clocks in at almost 8 minutes and is a bit beyond my comprehension.
80s Aretha is actually pretty capable in hindsight. I mean, there was the smash duet with George Michael (which I naively thought was a the only way that Aretha could get a hit in the 80s.) But there was also the very good “Freeway of Love” from 1985’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who that holds up much better than you might expect, thanks in large part to Clarence Clemons’ saxophone contribution.
I actually bought “Jimmy Lee” from iTunes tonight – how quaint! – and I’m thinking of ordering the 7″ but I like the UK artwork better than the US artwork and getting singles from the UK is always so bittersweet because you pay more for shipping than you do for the actual record. I may get crazy and actually download the extended version of “Jimmy Lee.” (ETA: It totally takes out the slow beginning so it’s being purchased immediately.)
PS – I’m back bitches. And who knew it’d be with a post about Aretha Franklin? Certainly not me.
I’m anxious about lots of things tonight. It’s been one of those kinds of days.
The only trouble is I’ve had more of those days lately than I’d really like to have. I know that I’m always going to be an anxious person. There’s no changing that. What I can change is how I react to those anxious thoughts and feelings. For lots of reasons, the strategies that I usually use to keep those thoughts and feelings under control have not worked as well as they usually do.
In many ways, I’d rather be depressed than anxious. They’re usually inseparable from each other, so I suppose I can’t have one without the other. I really can’t say that I have been depressed lately so much as I have had a lot of negative self-talk. Even earlier tonight I was working on this antimicrobial stewardship thing I’m trying to get certified in and I kept missing questions on the test at the end of one of the sections and I would say to myself “I am so stupid!” which is patently untrue but nevertheless, was the automatic response I had.
So it’s no wonder I’m drinking tonight. Liver enzyme test results be damned.
So in an attempt to keep anxiety at bay, here’s a list of some fun things.
- Madonna’s “Gang Bang” and Jermaine Stewart’s “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off” have aged better than you would expect.
- I get new glasses this week. They have shipped from Texas and are supposed to be here Saturday but I really want them to be here on Friday because I have that day off and I can’t wait to start wearing them. New glasses, new Dan so to speak.
- Deborah Harry is going to be 72 and she still sounds as good as ever.
Something that is not so good is that I have a raft of journals from my college years that are password protected and I thought I knew the passwords but apparently for some of them I don’t. Maybe on a night that I’m not drunk on the Valentine’s Day wine that Heidi bought for me, I’ll be able to remember them. Although a part of me thinks that perhaps they are better off forever sealed.