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Archive for the ‘My Ideal Woman’ Category

So another great season of Mad Men is in the books.  This season has been an interesting ride, with some rather strange twists and turns, and some stuff that almost feels hallucinogenic – which, given the time frame (1968) is apropos.  I’m not going to go into details too deeply here, and the spoilers will be light… however, I’ll put the rest under the cut just in case you want to remain spoiler free.  But I think the questions raised in this season of Mad Men deserve some consideration and thought, so I’m doing that here.  And how is that relevant to the theme of My Ideal Woman?  Well, for starters, My Ideal Woman would watch great television like Mad Men and enjoy pondering the meaning, the issues raised, and engage in discussion about what they thought about the episodes.  Also, I think this season of Mad Men in particular reflects on a flawed man trying to connect to people – especially his children – and while I’m certainly not nearly as fucked up as Don Draper, I can relate to some extent not only as a father trying to raise his children well but also as the son of a fucked up father.

mad-men-season-6-finale-sally-gene-bobby-don

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See the tabs at the top of my blog?  One is my “About” page and one is called “Best Of.”  I created the Best Of page to make it easier for readers to find some of the posts that I or others consider some of my best writing here without having to wade through the blog month by month, searching for keywords, or clicking tags.  It occurred to me that I haven’t updated my Best Of page in over a year… so I have corrected it.

Enjoy!

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I haven’t done a “…She’d Love My iPod” post in a long while, so long that I wasn’t sure where to pick up from.  There have been quite a few songs added to my iTunes since the last update…

But a month ago was my BFF‘s birthday, and when we got together for lunch I brought her a CD I’d burned for her with songs I recently downloaded that I thought she’d like… and that seems like a good frame for sharing some recent additions to my catalog.  Let me know if you like any of these too, especially if you’ve never heard them before, I always love turning people on to new music!!

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So after I loaded and posted my rather poor, poor pitiful me blog yesterday, WordPress congratulates me on my 2 Year Blogiversary (back on May 26th)… making me feel rather guilty about spoiling such an occasion with such a downer!  So let me remedy the situation with a proper bit of retrospect and introspect…

May 26th, 2011 I put up my very first blog post (…She’d Be Creative).  I’d been separated for over a year and was beginning to try and figure out what the next phase of my life would look like.  One thing I knew was that didn’t want to spend it alone, and I’d been doing a lot of thinking about things I’d learned from my failed marriage, and what sort of person I’d like to share my life with in the future.  Since there are a lot of single people out there, and a lot of divorced people out there, I thought writing my blog through that perspective would give it focus and a narrative that people could relate to and hopefully find interesting.

I go into more depths about the origin of this blog in the retrospective I wrote one year ago today (My Ideal Woman — One Year and Counting!).

I have to say, I’ve found it harder and harder of late to find stuff to write about here.  While I’ve been around the block a few times in my years, my experiences with the opposite sex is rather limited compared to many people my age and gender, especially given my self-imposed moratorium in writing much about my ex.  She and I had a very long and tangled story over the years, and given that we share children who are still very young I don’t feel comfortable airing too many details here in a public space.  She has certainly inspired quite a few thoughts and musings on this blog, but mostly I’ve kept it anonymous who and what specifically I was talking about.

Of course, when I started this blog I’d hoped that I’d have been able to get out there and meet people — women specifically — as friends and maybe more, and figured this blog would build on my musings of my past and hopes of the future with reflections on the present.  Obviously, that hasn’t happened, and so my updates to this blog have seriously floundered of late.  For that, dear readers, I apologize!  Because I write this blog not only for the good it does me to gather my thoughts in an orderly way, but also for the great feedback I get from so many of you.  WordPress tells me I’ve gotten 1,095 comments from you these past two years, and that there are 103 followers of my blog.  That’s both mind-blowing and humbling.  Your words have sustained me these past two years– you’ve brought me smiles when I’m feeling down, you’ve made me laugh, you’ve made me think, and you’ve brought me changes in perspective.  You’ve given me confirmation that while I might sometimes be lonely, I’m not really alone– that my words aren’t just flashes of electrons in the silent darkness, but that there are some really awesome people out there who read me, who care what I think, and are moved by what I’ve written enough to share their own thoughts and reactions.

So in honor of you, and the time and energy you’ve invested in My Ideal Woman over these past two years, I pledge to do better.  Sure, life isn’t really unfolding as I’d thought it might, but honestly, when does it ever?  I’ve got some ideas for things to write about that will hopefully bring up the level of new content here, and hopefully you’ll find it worthy of your time and your comments going forward.

Now damn it, where’s that football?

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Okay, so my new healthy eating plan has been going really well, and I’ve got a pretty good routine going with foods that I like… but most of it are things that are easy to prepare and things I can prepare ahead of time and warm up later in the microwave.  And that’s all fine and good…

…But sometimes you’re in the grocery store and see a package of scallops and your mouth starts salivating and your heart speeds up a little faster.  It probably didn’t help that I was a rather hungry at the time (rule of thumb – never go to the grocery store hungry).

I love seafood… I mean really love it.  Shrimp is probably my all-time favorite, but scallops are right up there too, and since they’re a bit more expensive I rarely have scallops.  It’s been so long I can’t even recall when the last time I had scallops was.

Suddenly, I found a package of scallops in my basket.  I recalled that I had some rainbow Swiss chard and broccoli at home (ingredients for my Green Smoothies) that were getting a little wilted, and figured I could toss them in my big fry pan as I saute the scallops.  I then ran across a package of sliced mushrooms, “exotic blend” which had Shiitake, Oyster, and Porcini mushrooms… and I knew my dish was complete.

I would dub thee… Scallops Delight!

So I added a little olive oil to my fry pan, tossed in the mushrooms, broccoli and chard to get them started, added the scallops, tossed in a little garlic powder, pepper, and Italian seasonings, and after about 10-15 minutes it was ready for my plate.  I added a sweet potato and looked at my dinner.

I just had to take a picture…

Yep, I made this

Yep, I made this

Looks good, huh?  I plugged the recipe into Calorie Count and it wasn’t bad at all, just 560 calories and fit right in with my plan.

I could have easily split this in two and had a side salad to round out the meal.  I had a brief moment of thinking “damn shame I don’t have a special lady to share this with!”  But then I dug in and just delighted in satisfying my seafood craving.

Do you like seafood?  It was easy to make, go indulge yourself 🙂

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pinkett smith

My friend Molly put up a meme on Facebook that was taken from Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Facebook page that I thought was pretty powerful.  I’ve always liked Pinkett-Smith, she’s always struck me as a very strong and smart woman (in addition to being beautiful).  Even though she’s physically so small, especially compared to her hunky husband Will Smith, I’ve never gotten the impression that she takes the back seat in their relationship.  They seem like they have a partnership of equals.

Here’s what she wrote:

“How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eye’s of an incomplete woman? The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only. The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes.

I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection.  There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status.  It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer.

He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize.

He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him 4 four children.

When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.

Power and control will NEVER out weigh love.

May we all find our way.”

~ Jada Pinkett-Smith

Now, for as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawn to strong women.  My mom is strong, my sister is strong, so I grew up admiring strength in women.  I’ve never quite understood the attraction to a woman who’s subservient to her man, but I just figured, at some level, I wasn’t really manly-man or macho enough to have that swagger and urge to dominate.  I didn’t really see it as a weakness within myself, rather just as being a bit different from the archetypical male.

But Pinkett-Smith’s words here make me think that perhaps it’s that swagger, that urge to dominate, that can be a real weakness, especially when it pushes men to put women “in their place,” to be quiet, submissive.  How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eye’s of an incomplete woman?  These men tear women down to cover their own weakness, and end up diminishing themselves in the process.  And perhaps being drawn to strong women, that finding their strength attractive, is in fact a real strength within myself.

My muse Rachel touched on a similar theme in her recent blogpost “Head for business, bod for sin.”  She was reflecting on the struggles that women were going through in the countries of the Arab Spring, how there’s been a back-lash against women, pushing them to cover up and hush up.  She goes on to reflect on women’s struggles here in the States, and her own struggle as a smart woman in a body that’s stereotypically not taken as serious as she deserves.  It’s a good read, you should check it out.

Rachel concludes with:

“Well, I am upending this story.   I am about to conquer the world in my short, round, curvy, fat-assed, curly-headed body.   If no one lets me have a seat at the table cause I don’t seem to portray certain things-  well, watch me build my own table.”

Now, what kind of man doesn’t want a woman like Rachel, or Pinkett-Smith, by his side?  Who doesn’t want to tap into that strength and vitality to help you conquer whatever stands in your way, to build a life worth living, sharing, and celebrating?  Because a man worthy of the love of such women is a worthy man indeed.

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“Ah, but, those are the things I miss the most.  The little idiosyncrasies that only I knew about.  That’s what made her my wife.  Oh, and she had the goods on me, too; she knew all my little peccadilloes.  People call these things imperfections, but they’re not — aw that’s the good stuff.” — Robin Williams as Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting

The other day I saw a little bit of Good Will Hunting in passing.  Such a great movie, I haven’t watched it all the way through in a long time.  Anyway, this scene was playing out where Matt Damon was talking with Robin Williams and that quote really stuck out to me and resonated with a conversation I’d had recently about women with my roommate.  He’d brought in the mail and kinda joked with me that I’d gotten a postcard offering a promotional deal on a subscription to Playboy magazine.  I find it a interesting that I’d be getting such a card– I’ve never had a subscription before, and I’ve not bought the magazine in decades, so there wouldn’t really be a record of me being a fan of Playboy on a Valued Customer card or credit card transaction.  I certainly never got the offer mailed to me when I was married.  How the hell would they know I was now a single man and might be interested in reading their articles and oh yeah, pictures of naked women?  I mean, I know everything we buy is gathered in databases, to be sliced, diced, mined and sold to people looking to find target audiences, so I wondered– what sort of buying trends had I done in the recent past that had tipped off Playboy to my change in life status?

Anyway, I’d told Chuck I wasn’t really interested in Playboy.  To me, a glossy image of another gorgeous woman is nice to glance at, but it’s not something that really gets me hot and bothered.  Attraction needs the mind involved in some way.  That’s why in the media I find actresses and singers much more attractive than models.  While actresses take on characters and are not typically showing you who they really are, I do think you can get a sense of their personality shining through, especially after you’ve watched them through various roles.  And for singers– especially those who are also songwriters– you get a sense of personality through the lyrics she’s written and the story she tells in songs.

Add physical “imperfections” to an interesting personality shining through and I can really get hot and bothered.  I really love seeing actresses and singers who fall outside the norms of “conventional beauty” because, honestly, there are no shortage of cookie-cutter generic good looking people coming out of Hollywood and the music business.  Most of them are interchangeable and not at all interesting.  I run across these “Hottest Celeb” lists and half the names and faces I don’t know or recognize.  Give me someone who’s shorter, or rounder, or has an odd shaped nose, or a goofy smile, maybe her teeth are a little crooked, maybe she’s got a bunch of freckles, funny ears, short fingers…

Which brings me around to real world women, and that quote by Robin Williams.  In my everyday life I run across all sorts of women, at work, in passing.  The ones who are perfectly coiffed, their makeup just so, their clothes perfectly tailored… they may earn a glance but are quickly forgotten.  Me, I notice those other women who aren’t trying to be some idealized version of perfection, but rather just being themselves.  It drives me nuts that women have such pressure to look more like what the media says is beautiful, and so they sometimes feel bad about what they think are imperfections in themselves that are, quite frankly, “the good stuff.”  Give me someone who’s shorter, or rounder, or has an odd shaped nose, or a goofy smile, maybe her teeth are a little crooked, maybe she’s got a bunch of freckles, funny ears, short fingers… add to that her unique and interesting mind and I just swoon.  Quirks, idiosyncrasies, so-called imperfections– that’s what makes each of us unique, and if you’re not trying to layer on someone else’s judgments or expectations, each person can offer up no end to fascination.

Among my fellow singles, I often read people talking about “instant connection” or “instant chemistry” being there or (as more often is the case) NOT being there, and that they can figure out right away whether someone has any shot at a relationship with them or not.  I can’t really relate to that because, as I wrote on my About Me page, “very few are the women I see in person, in passing, in print or on screen who don’t have something to wonder, cherish, ogle or fantasize about. ”  I mean, maybe that makes me sound desperate or sad or lonely, but I’ve always felt that way.  I’d like to think that I’m more someone who really appreciates the breadth of variety life brings us, and I know there is no end to unique experiences each woman can offer with her mind and body.  Don’t offer me perfection… offer me real, offer me weird, offer me complex, offer me surprises.

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