Busy Hands Generation. Are You One of Them?

My Dad brought up a good point recently. He said, “When you go to a bar, what do you see? A drink and a cellphone in front of every person at the bar.” We’ve sat at various pubs since and noticed that he was right. And if a little LED blinks? Forget it. It’s like a gravitational pull that the phone owner cannot avoid. The world might deconstruct if the blinking light is not appeased.

“Must touch phone. Red light needs my fumbling hands. Please note, I’m no longer listening.  The pull is too strong and I am too weak.”

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Feminists Are Going to Hate Me

First, let me say, I am not ungrateful, Susan B. Anthony and all the bra burning women out there.  I am very aware of what women in history have suffered through and accomplished to allow me to live life freely today.  This is not meant to be disrespectful.

That being said, where is the middle ground?  Sure, I yearn to be more than a grocery shopper and dishwasher but being a good wife is no longer enough.  Since women have been allowed to enter the workplace and do as the men do, the option to do so has instead become the expectation.  Women today are still expected by many men to keep the house clean, cook and keep order but also to bear children and still work to support the family.  When did being a wife and mother stop being enough?  Is it because Americans live more lavishly that we can no longer depend on one income, or have we as women pushed for our right to choose so hard that the option to find happiness in being a wife and mother is oudated, unexpected and resented?

Of course I am glad I have the opportunity to pursue my dreams and work at any position I choose, but I also get looked down upon by society if I quit being a 50/50 contributor to our household income.  I can’t tell you how many women I know that basically work to offset child care, because it is expected.  How is it beneficial to work full-time to pay someone else to raise your children?  If you need to get out of the house and enjoy working, that’s one thing but many of them seem perplexed about it themselves.

Every family has their reasons and I am certainly in no place to judge how people manage their lives, but there are times that I wish I could stay home and bake my husband a pie, or get all the laundry done before it gets out of control.  That is the old fashioned part of me.  Being a career woman is a blessing and a curse because it is hard to contribute our best to both sometimes, though I want to.  I’m not asking to lay on the couch eating bon-bons.  (Did people actually do that anyway?)  I suppose I like the romantic concept of being taken care of and having the option to rely soley on a husband, but without guilt because that is so rare these days.  Then again, when it comes down to it, who cares what people think?  As long as it is not my husband that resents my choices and we find happiness in the way our dynamic works, I think I can be ok.

An Ode to Past Presidents

In remembrance of past and important Presidents in our US history, I had a beer. Ok, I had a couple beers, but I didn’t celebrate with John’s cousin Sam Adams.

Yards Brewing Company in Philadelphia makes a fine selection of beer, but my favorites are amongst the Ales of the Revolution. We first tried these at City Tavern in the Old City section of Philadelphia, where a replica of a past tavern now stands. Our Founding Fathers sought an ale and political banter at the old City Tavern before and during the country’s quest for Independence and they have appropriately served original and historic recipes brewed and re-mastered down the road by the Yards Brewery

Though I could’ve sworn I remembered an Alexander Hamilton brew in years past, the current selections of Revolutionary choices are as follows:

    The Poor Richard’s obviously represents traditional ale by Benjamin Franklin, who was not a President, but a Founding Father none the less.  This is my personal favorite. There is no doubt that his mind led to the formation of not only the United States, and thus American Presidents but also many of the institutions that still hold functional and historic places in our lives today.

    In addition to keeping the recipes traditional, Yards even finds their location to be relatively close to actual historic precedence: Our new brewery is located just blocks away from the site of Robert Hare’s brewery, where Washington’s favorite Philadelphia Porter was crafted.

    These are not your standard and typical beer selections.  Beer connoisseurs will appreciate not only the original recipes and unique ingredients that are traditional to the late 1700’s, but the flavors that rival consistent micro-brews. You’ll also find flavors that you would never find in the watered-down light beers, but this is true with all of Yard’s selections.

    If you’re in the Tri-State area and have a chance to either stop by City Tavern for a sampler or find the variety pack option at one of the local liquor shops, I highly suggest liberating yourself.

     

    Tattoos Are Permanent

    The title is an obvious statement and one which people often don’t keep in mind when getting a tattoo.  The worst is seeing “trendy” tattoos and waiting for an entire generation to have a less than appealing version of it as we age.  As someone with two tattoos, both small but one in an obvious place, getting more is something that makes me both very cautious and very eager.

    One of the biggest parts of being a creative writer is expressing who you are.  It is very easy to perfect our niche and allow details to shine through our written works that tell who we are.  People like labeling things, and even ourselves, though many try to dismiss that notion.  Tattoos are a version of that, like putting a permanent sticker on your car, but knowing it’s the car you drive for life.  Also don’t forget that you’re never getting out of that car.  People will judge you on your “decorations” and often decide where to fit you in terms of opportunities that arise.

    Tattoos can be expressive in a “wow” way that exudes a look of glowing awe or a “wow” response that hinders more in a “what were they thinking” way.  Your body décor can be appealing and open doors that a plain person may not access or it’ll shut a door in your face.  There are simply open and closed-minded people, and that’s just the way life is.  I suppose it’s a matter of making sure your body art truly depicts who you are and allows room for the opportunities you seek.

    I’m often torn between allowing myself to be expressive and artsy or classic and conservative.  I appreciate the notions of each and I’m not quite sure what I am deep down.  Isn’t it ok to be both when the situation feels right?  Do I have to go all in, or does taking myself out of one stereotypical box make me unique?  When I’m out with friends, I don’t wear a watch.  When I’m at work I do, to avoid the distraction of people staring at the tattoo on my wrist.  I’m not ashamed of it and I still don’t regret getting it, but I’m also aware of the snickers I’ve gotten from corporate higher-ups and I don’t need my potential success sidelined by a decision I made when I was 18.

    I also worry about what time does to our bodies.  I have an inkling (get it?) to get another piece done, but I do worry that if I choose the wrong location, that time won’t be so kind.  Maybe the conservative side is hindering the artistic one and I should take more of a chance.  Or maybe like many things in life, such as buying a house or finding your spouse, it’ll come to you and you’ll just know.  Same should probably apply to finding something you want to adorn on your skin forever.  If we can’t wait for that to happen, then at least be prepared for the regret later.

    Photo courtesy of sodahead.com

    Were Colonial Politics Any Different?

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    Tonight, I watched the State of the Union Address, rather, #SOTU in the Twitter age. Hell, if Twitter will get our country talking about politics and something other than a Kardashian, I’m all for social media.

    When I watch Democrats and Republicans, so divided, I wonder what our Founding Fathers would think. They too had drastically divided ideas about what our Nation should be, but I wonder if it ever felt like this. Would the Continental Congress drag progression out so far that the Declaration of Independence would have dried and curled up without a smattering of ink?

    Did colonials speak freely or did politically correct conversation exist even then? Did they tack leaflets to their carriages condemning Democrats or the Whigs?

    We know that the relationship between Benjamin Franklin and his son, the Governor of New Jersey, was severed on the argument of Independence versus Loyalty. We know that Colonial Americans had strong feelings and aspirations; a feeling of new patriotism with dreams for a future of forward thinking.

    Today, will Americans truly voice their opinions, without fear of social slander, without ridicule for their beliefs? Will we fight for what we believe in?

    Watching tonight, both the President and the Republican response, the American political atmosphere simply feels stalled.  I’d love to be naive sometimes, jump on a bandwagon and feel giddy with optimism because this speech touted positivity and aspirations. It just doesn’t feel as though it’s a matter of the country growing and progressing any longer, but simply a halfhearted attempt to stop slipping backward. It’s like trying to grasp pedaling your bicycle as a kid; you lose your footing and the pedals just keep swinging up and smacking into your shins.

    As the wife of a Veteran and the youngest in long line of many, I wish nothing more than success and Democracy for this country, which so many fought and died for. The first step is getting people to pay attention to more than the formulated celebrity facade the politicians use to sway opinions.  It’s not a popularity contest, it’s our future. It sounds dramatic because it is.

    By the way, I take it back; I hope I’m never so naive that I stop questioning what is best for our country.

    Mae

    Mae might be my alter ego.  Or maybe she’s just a lot less shy and a lot more outgoing than life allows me to be, the true me.

    Why Mae? I grew up in South Jersey, raised by my Philadelphian parents.  I moved to Southern California after I graduated high school and a couple of years later I met the man who would be my husband.  Until I met him, I never really knew I had an accent, besides the fact that waitresses could never get my water order right.  “Root beer? What did you say?”  “I said water.”  No, apparently I was saying “wudder”.  My in-laws still giggle at this.

    Mae is one of my vocal imperfections.  That is apparently what I say instead of saying “me”.  As I got to know my future husband and his friends, we’d talk and share stories until eventually I got asked who Mae was and why I was talking about her.  Mae has stuck with me, and she’s got a devilish grin and a glimmer in her eye.  She sneaks backstage at concerts, debates passionately over a Guinness and plays in the rain.  She’s always with me and but comes out when I’m at my best, and I’m probably the luckiest girl in the world because she gets to visit pretty often, when responsibility doesn’t wear her down.

    Mae loves history, ancestry, Ireland, Philadelphia sports, Superheroes, Red Hot Chili Peppers (even when Kiedis is trying to rock that porno ‘stach), dorky science, tea parties, whiskey, playing guitar, oil paintings, culture, debating, photography, Los Angeles after a rainstorm (no smog), U2 (for both music and humanitarianism) and hates that she hasn’t found a way to make a profitable career out of the passion she has for life…yet.  Mae and I co-exist, never straying too far from loving life but being responsible.  Oscar my pug begs to differ…he’d rather I take him on a walk then write you.

    It is beautiful out tonight…Mae, you up for an adventure?  Oscar, grab your leash!