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how to declare your independence
Parenting, Pop Culture

How to Declare Your Independence Without Screwing Everyone Else

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Last week I attended Politicon, a non-partisan, “unconventional political convention,” which had panels, discussions, a marketplace, movie screenings, live podcasting, an art gallery and something really interesting: the actual coming together of people from polar opposite sides of the aisle to discuss what the $^#%%@ is going on with this crazy world of ours.

That the convention, planned ages ago but never more timely, was on the heels of Brexit was both prescient and foreboding at the same time.

The main panel I attended pitted liberal activist and pundit Van Jones against conservative author and personality Ann Coulter. I was ready for a crazy smack down, but actually, it was a pretty levelheaded discussion about a variety of topics where both parties often agreed to disagree as civil folk tend to do.

Not to got all doomsday on you, but I’m pretty sure the pair were at least half the Horsemen (Horsepeople?) of the Apocalypse when they started the discussion by coming together on the same point: people are pissed because they’re suddenly in touch with feeling like their needs and desires aren’t being remotely addressed — never mind represented — by the people in charge. They question the process, reject authority and are pretty positive if they could just grab the wheel from the elites, they’d steer this party bus back on track and headed to a much brighter future.

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prince tribute
My Bitches, Pop Culture

So This is What It Sounds Like When Doves Cry: Remembering Prince

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Oh my bitches, we’ve gotta broken heart again — don’t we?

First Bowie, now Prince. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that it’s been a devastating few months for humankind.

These artists changed the landscape, the style, the conversation, the sentiment and the funk.

Permanently, and hallefuckingluyah for that.

I could spout a ton of information about Prince Rogers Nelson, aka Prince, aka The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, but of course we can get detailed bios and intimate details of the storied life of the legendary performer elsewhere.

Here on Bitch’in Suburbia, as we gather together to get through this thing called life, I’m going to share a few memories of and thoughts about Prince in hopes that you’ll do the same in the comments.

Those of us GenXers that were in high school or college got turnt on by Price through Purple Rain — the movie and the soundtrack.

For me, the film came out the summer between my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. Of life’s many transitions, that one was a real doozy. Knowing I wasn’t a child anymore, but not necessarily ready to stand on my own two feet, I could TOTALLY relate to Prince’s character, “The Kid,” who was also a crazy jumble of angst and drama as he attempted to break free of his familial bonds, while also trying to be a star and score a hot bae to boot.

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ashes to ashes
Parenting, Pop Culture

Ashes to Ashes: Remembering David Bowie

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I’ve had Bowie on the brain for days now, ever since I caught my son listening to the Thin White Duke:

bowie_fb

Not that I didn’t pretty much always have Bowie on the brain: he had me trembling like a flower as a kid… back when that kind of thing happened on a regular basis.

Considering a slew of Tweets woke me from deep slumber last night to the shocking news of Bowie’s demise is just more evidence of how he spoke to so many generations of people with that otherworldly, unmistakable bombastic groove that fills your soul and makes you wish you knew life on Mars even one iota as much as Ziggy did.

There are so many songs in his repertoire that resonate, but one random tune in particular always stood out to me — “Kooks,” from the Hunky Dory album that also brought us the seminal, ground-zero Bowie anthem, “Changes.”

I loved it in my youth, but it was when I had started my path as a breeder that “Kooks” really kicked in:

“Will you stay in our lovers’ story
If you stay you won’t be sorry
‘Cause we believe in you
Soon you’ll grow so take a chance
With a couple of Kooks
Hung up on romancing…

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why I'm proud of Justin bieber
Pop Culture

Why I’m Proud of Justin Bieber (And You Should Be, Too)

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The other day when I arrived at my Bastard in Suburbia’s office — where I write and work a couple of times a week — I heard the most curious thing:

The catchy intro that hooks you right out the gates on Justin Bieber’s latest smash hit, “What Do You Mean?”

“What do you mean? Oh, oh
When you nod your head yes
But you wanna say no
What do you mean? Hey-ey
When you don’t want me to move
But you tell me to go
What do you mean?
Oh, what do you mean?
Said you’re running out of time, what do you mean?
Oh, oh, oh, what do you mean?
Better make up your mind
What do you mean?”

You know what? The kid asks some good questions here! He’s confused, dammit — and who isn’t perplexed by the opposite sex? Or beyond — your kids, your dogs, your boss, whoever. Mixed messages are some of the more confounding things we humans deal with all the time.

And the Biebs gets it. He just suddenly, crazily does.

When I gave my Bastard — who is a man’s man with a wife, two kids, and a love of mountain biking, off-roading, and generally kicking ass like a boss — a little jibe about being a Belieber, he said, “I’m a musician, and I appreciate what he’s doing.”

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creative discomfort
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Pop Culture

6 Things Dave Grohl Teaches Us About Creative Discomfort

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I adore the Foo Fighters, so a few months ago when my husband told me we could check them out at a corporate event in NorCal, I jumped at the offer. I’ve loved these cats, and particularly lead singer Dave Grohl, for twenty years now.

Then Dave fell off the stage in Sweden, dislocating his ankle and breaking his leg, then famously finished the concert before heading off to surgery. Talk about there goes my hero…!

I wasn’t too worried that they wouldn’t play the gig — hell, Dave wrote an open letter to fans immediately afterward promising to “… do everything I can to come back and give you a night to remember for the rest of your lives AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.” But having seen the Foos earlier this year perform for Dave’s birthday in an epic, nearly four-hour concert with incredible guests as diverse as Paul Stanley, Perry Farrell, Alice Cooper, Lemmy Kilmister, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Trombone Shorty and David Lee Roth(!), I figured it would be hard to top.

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gender fluidity
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Pop Culture

Gender Fluidity for the Rest of Us

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This is the summer of what Time magazine called, “The Transgender Tipping Point.”

I for one am relieved. When Caitlyn Jenner received her ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award and at the outset said — “Picking out this outfit — okay, girls, I get it! You got to get the shoes, the hair, the makeup, the whole process. It was exhausting. And next, the fashion police — please be kind on me. I’m new at this.” — it’s like Yaass Caitlyn! Sing it, sister!

Let me just say for the record that Cait looks amazing and is so well put together that I’m both in awe and also jealous. Picking out killer ensembles, rocking, and then walking around in heels, and staying coiffed with perfect makeup is totally overwhelming to me and something I’ve never quite been able to master.

But have always appreciated.

This sentiment is echoed by Jill Soloway, the brilliant creator of Transparent — which if you haven’t watched it yet, don’t walk; run (hopefully not in a pair of stilettos!) and binge on the 11-Emmy-Award-nominee immediately. In an interview with Elle, Soloway said, “How do you figure out what to wear every day? Do you go through feelings of, like, I don’t know how butch to dress, or how femme, or how ladylike, or how much makeup to wear, or how to be fancy?”

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magic mike xxl
My Bitches, Pop Culture

I Saw Magic Mike XXL So You Don’t Have To

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If you went to see the first Magic Mike, you know how torturous the whole experience was.

All that sitting through Matthew McConaughey’s (“Dallas”) hilarious, oily MC’ing, Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike, the stripper with a heart of gold, Joe Manganiello’s “Big Dick” Richie and his penis pump… all that bumping, grinding, greased up abs, screaming women, unlikely romance, guys in g-strings, etc., etc.

Ugh, so tedious.

So when Magic Mike XXL was released, I figured it was my duty to watch the movie for you as your Bitch’in Suburbia and also as a “straight” vagina totin’  American AND as a fag hag who can spot a good scene for her gay boyfriends a mile away.

In a nut-shell: the filmmakers (99% male) thought that injecting a lot more dialog to show us that men are just like women — sharing feelings, gabbing about probiotic fro-yo, yapping about waxing, and then waxing poetic about marriage — was going “big.”

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use your illusion
Pop Culture

How to Use Your Illusion

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This past week was a banner one in terms of pulling back the curtain of popular culture, and being able to truly see the driving forces behind a couple of gods — one Olympian (Bruce Jenner) and one rock (Kurt Cobain).

Well, at least get a closer look at how mere mortals can use their illusions to not just mask, but also fuel, pretty grand ambitions.

Bruce Jenner’s magic trick was convincing the whole world he was the epitome of manhood when he won Olympic gold for his Decathlon performance in 1976. For a while, he was even able to convince himself that the urge to express himself as a female that started from a very young age could be tamped down and ignored.

While his athletic career clearly wasn’t solely formed by a painful secret, it was, according to Bruce, the driving force that pushed him harder than anyone else and propelled him to become a world champion.

That he pretty much concealed such a gigantic revelation through 425 episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians — “The one true story in the family was the one I was hiding and nobody knew about it,” he told Diane Sawyer — was a feat perhaps even more spectacular than his earlier athletic achievements.

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Breakfast club
Best o’ the Bitch, Bitch’in Life, Parenting, Pop Culture

Are We Still in The Breakfast Club?

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Remember The Breakfast Club?

Thirty years later, and the question remains: which high school trope were you — the princess? The athlete? The brain? The basket case? Or the criminal?

Better question: which high school trope are you still?

Sometimes when I am writing my blog, I troll Facebook looking for inspiration. What I love about social media is it shows me that no matter how disparate the groups of friends I am looking at — peeps from childhood, high school, camp, college, post-college, early mommy group, parenting buds, or “other” — we have so much in common.

And not just the urge to take and share pictures of frosty cocktails, our feet at the beach, our kids/pets/significant other (not in that order — pets usually come first =), cooking/baking gone good/bad, and/or inspirational/funny quotes.

The human experience has a lot of overlap, especially the emotional components. The exteriors may look different, but the interior impulses are all the same. We’re just looking for connection to soothe the rough spots and know that we’re not alone in our suffering. (#Buddha, #tbt)

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get_hard
Parenting, Pop Culture

Stunt Penises & Other Things I Wish I Hadn’t Shown My Kids

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Ever feel like you needed a parenting do-over?

I took my kids (14 and 15-years-old) to see the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart movie, Get Hard, and even though it had an R rating, I figured, how bad could it be?

Answer: When you have to ask, how bad could it be?, employ the Sandler Rule of Abysmal One-Step-Beyond-Humor, and make an educated guess that you’re better off playing Cards Against Humanity with the kiddies instead.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet (and I wouldn’t recommend it), heres’ the premise: a wealthy Wall Street prick, James King (Will Ferrell), is convicted for fraud and sentenced to ten years in San Quentin; to help prepare himself for his time inside, he enlists the only black man he apparently knows — his car wash guy, Darnell Lewis (Kevin Hart) — whom James pompously states that “statistically speaking” he’s clearly been to prison and therefore can get him ready for his stint in the can. Trouble is, Darnell is no con, although he happily cons James to get $30,000 out of him to use as a down payment on a new house.

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