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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Celebrity Fishbowls & Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is all over the media all the time no matter what she's doing. Dating someone, not dating someone, walking around, hanging out with friends, dancing, anything TSwift is doing, people take pictures and report about it. 

Of course, many of the same people also complain about how overexposed she is, how she is in every tabloid, all over the news, and her picture is everywhere. 

Taylor Swift has been all over the tabloids lately, with everyone trying to take sides, explain, or discuss her "feud" with Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, and the ever-popular Katy Perry. First, let's wonder. Do we really care what Kanye is rapping about these days? Does anyone care whether or not Swift knew about the lyrics? Do people still care about KimK? If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then hey, good for you, but you might need a hobby or something. 

I like picking up a tabloid now and then and keeping up with who's popular these days, but I know to take anything reported there with a grain of salt. Who are all these "sources close to the family" that are telling secrets? Are they real secrets, or made up ones because they get paid either way, and hey, these celebrities are going to be in the news anyway?

The celebrity culture in the US is insane and out of hand. Movie and tv actors and sports figures are making millions upon millions of dollars, and we either worship or revile them. With A-Rod, with Mel Gibson, we have the villains. With Taylor Swift and Ellen DeGeneres, we have our heroes. 

They are only heroes and villains because we make them so. As fans, and superfans, and reporters, we build these people up to practically saint status, and we relish in their inevitable fall. 

Taylor Swift has given millions of dollars in relief aid and charity, she has broken records with her studio albums, she writes her own songs, and she has long been the country-pop sweetheart of our celebrity world. She is friends with a bunch of pretty people, and she seems to genuinely love her fans, responding to many on social media, sending people presents, visiting fans in hospitals. Is she perfect? I certainly hope not, I've always held out that no one is perfect. I wouldn't want that as my goal!

What she is, is human. A young twentysomething in the public eye 100% of the time. When she was single for a couple of years, people dwelled on her dating history. They wondered if she would ever find love. When she dated as a teenager, she was mocked by the media and by people all over the world for dating for a few months, breaking up, and dating someone else. Quick question: if we were to list every person you dated or even hung out with between 16-20, what would that look like? Include the thought that every single person had their picture with you plastered on national tabloids. Not a pretty thought!

I don't understand why we expect, and demand, perfection from some celebrities and then are outraged when it isn't accurate. Yet we only have those expectations for celebrities that already have a "good" image to begin with. No one is expecting Rihanna or Lady Gaga or Kesha to be perfect. They are exactly who they are and seem to be accepted by the world for it. 

I like Taylor Swift. I don't really care about her personal life, and I enjoy her music. I don't care how much money she has, who she's dating, or where she had dinner. I do like that she seems to love her fans, that she is really really tall, and that she dances in public. I like that she seems to make fun of herself and seems like a real person. Do I know how much of that is manufactured? Nope. But I don't really care. As long as she isn't a blatant jerk to people and I continue liking her music, then I will keep listening to it. 

I don't truly understand our obsession with knowing every detail and every secret of these people's lives. Living in that kind of fishbowl sounds like my own personal version of hell. I do NOT wake up looking like that, and I don't want to. I wanted to be a singer/songwriter when I was younger, but even then I knew I had no desire to be famous. 

It's a symbiotic relationship, though. In order to be successful, singers and actors need fans and people wiling to pay to see them. In order for the fans to want to pay to see them, they want to know their music and who the person is. 

When we idolize celebrities, we aren't doing anyone any favors. You're idolizing someone you don't and can't truly know as a person, and their inevitable failings will feel like personal attacks. They feel like they are trying to live up to an impossible standard, and they're right. We want them to be whatever we think they should be.

I would not want to be held up to imaginary standards and then punished for not meeting them. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Marriage Is... (A Poem)

Your face lax, 
You snore quietly.
Your arm reaches out
To slightly whack me upside the head.

Warm and cozy
Wrapped up in the comforter
With a cat across your legs.
So handsome.

My alarm rings
And I roll over to
See if it woke you up.
It did not.

As I come out of the shower
And turn on my lamp
You make a disgruntled sound
Turning away from the light.

Your grunt is so cute
Your turn so sweet.
I could just hug you
But you'd be woken up and be morning-cranky.

I feed the cat
And brush my teeth.
I go to leave,
But kiss you first.

Good morning, sunshine!
I love you! Have a great day!
You mumble and kiss me back.
And then fart.

Marriage is...
Sometimes arguing
Being silly
Netflix and chill
Annoying each other on purpose

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ahhh, Books.

I like to read. 
No, I love to read. 
Reading is both the problem and the solution to all things. Have a question? A book somewhere has the answer. Read a book and it only presents more questions? There might be a support group for that?

My mom was an English and Reading teacher. When my brother and I were kids, we didn't really have video games...we had 2 options: Read a book or play outside (you were allowed to read outside and play inside as well. Um, 4 options?). 

I love reading. I like seeing characters develop, getting their inner monologue. I do generally see movies made from books (after reading it first, so I can complain with good examples afterwards), and the biggest thing missing in the movie format is getting the main characters' narrative. How they felt, what they thought, the reasons why they do certain things. 

I like imagining a world that isn't the one I inhabit. I read scifi and imagine the universe, and spaceships, and battles and aliens and more. I read fantasy and imagine the world of the fey. I read thrillers and imagine being hunted or hunting the bad guys. I read biographies and imagine what that person was like growing up. 

I dream in vivid colors, and sometimes I dream about the book I'm reading. It's awesome! So, in honor of my favorite hobby, here are some random lines and book memes.

Me, preparing to travel in 2007: Packs 9 books. "I'm going to read so much! Wooo vacation!"
Coming back from vacation in 2007: "How did I come back with 14 books? Did I steal books from other vacationers? Oh well, happy time!"

Me, preparing for vacation now: "I have my Kindle, I am prepared for anything. What? Pants? What are these 'pants' of which you speak??"

My husband and I just moved. He suggested maybe I should give away my books, since I read on the kindle all the time. 
UM HOW BOUT NO? I told him that I literally refuse to live in a home without books. 
The worst insult I can possibly think of or have ever heard:
"I hope your favorite book gets turned into a movie and it doesn't translate well and the characters are nothing like you imagined!"
Oh, you think I have too many books? Hold on one moment while I use my books to build a fort and then go in it and then find an old magazine and cut out letters to form a 'No Idiots Allowed' sign to hang on the front. 

But not with tape, wouldn't want to mess up a book!
I literally get teased at work for walking around with my Kindle and reading, or reading while eating lunch. 

Sorry I like awesome stories, finding new authors, using my imagination, escaping life a little, and expanding my vocabulary! #sorrynotsorry
How old is too old to be excited about new Harry Potter? Never? Oh, good.

Literally my life.