My Hollow Head

A view of the world from my perspective.

Almost 9 years and a Supreme Court ruling later, my partner and I are finally getting married. That still sounds so weird to actually write/say…”we’re getting married.” Those just aren’t words I ever expected to use – at least not in a truly legal sense.

Nonetheless, we’re putting a ring on it and threatening each other with genital mutilation should somehow these rings and marriage certificate begin to change things, which seems to happen in many relationships these days. Considering the fact that I want to live forever and my genitals are still fairly important to me (they have at least 20 good years left to them) we’re willing to work through whatever issues arise regardless of how serious they may get.

The whole marriage ceremony process was never really important to us. Meaning, we never had grand dreams of a Cinderella-like evening, surrounded by hundreds of people gazing at and enamored by our intense love as we danced under the stars to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” In all honesty, neither of us expected it to be an option in our lifetime. Neither of us has thousands of dollars just sitting around without a purpose nor did either of us enter this relationship with rich parents who have been saving up our entire lives for the opportunity to drop the cost of a new car on an elaborate wedding for us. The decision was obvious – we are going to the courthouse and “gettin’ hitched.”

It was also pretty easy for us to decide not to have any sort of formal reception. Unless we wanted to tell our friends to meet us at the park for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and tap water our ability to offer our friends and family a fancy meal, decent liquor and a righteous party to celebrate our courthouse nuptials just wasn’t going to be in the cards.

So, a momentous event that normally costs a couple and their families more than a blonde hair/blue-eyed child on the black market is only going to cost us $100 and a half day off work. From our perspective, we’re doing our friends and family a huge favor. We’re eliminating the need for them to get dressed up on a weekend night and spend an evening around a bunch of people they don’t know (or care to know) for  some forgettable food, cheap liquor and a DJ stuck in the 90’s. We’re eliminating the need for our families to drive hundreds of miles, find babysitters, pay for hotel rooms and interact with each other. We’re eliminating anyone feeling obligated to host bachelor parties and/or groom showers (not that anyone has offered or suggested). We’re eliminating any need to rent a tux, buy clothes they will never wear again or spend money on getting their hair “did” – because while that dress may be two sizes too small and look like two pigs fighting under a blanket can’t nobody say that hair wasn’t teased up/out and sprayed stiff for days. We’re eliminating any work inconveniences – no one has to make a decision on their own for more than 4 hours on the day we get married, which should calm the hearts and minds of many people at the office. And, most importantly, we’re eliminating any worry about embarrassing wedding photos or videos popping up on Facebook or SnapChat because there won’t be any.

It seems to us that everyone in our lives should be thanking us since we’ve eliminated any expectation of or any responsibility on them. How very considerate and gallant of us.

This leads me to my question for all of you.

Considering all of the above, would it be rude and/or inappropriate for us to send out a post-wedding announcement sharing the news and include at the bottom in fine print a statement saying something like, “For those wishing to send a gift, while certainly not necessary or expected, we are registered at the following locations _________________________.

I’ve already been well-versed on how Emily Post would respond to this question. For all my proper, mannered friends, Ms. Post feels that the provision of a wedding gift really isn’t a “gift.” Instead, the wedding gift is more like an exchange of goods with similar value. Better stated – I invite you to my wedding and you expect to attend a reception with food, drink and entertainment. Your wedding gift to me is in exchange for the cost I absorbed to feed you, get you drunk, show you a good time and allow you to get as sloppy/messy as you like, thereby providing me with a lifetime of horrible memories associated with one of my most important days. In fact, Ms. Post believes that if you don’t attend the wedding you’re not obligated to send a gift, because why would you? You weren’t there and you have no reason to “pay me back” for anything I’ve made available to my guests. I suppose I’m not as cultured as I thought I was, because I never understood this to be the rules associated with purchasing wedding gifts. I’ve clearly been robbed of thousands of dollars over the last 20+ years for gifts I sent to friends/family getting married when I wasn’t able to attend the actual event.

Regardless of Ms. Post’s 1910 views on wedding gift etiquette would it be wrong, tacky and classless for us to register anywhere and allow our friends and family who “may” want to give us a gift without any strings attached know where to go and what to buy — should they so choose? This “special” event has already been diluted to a utilitarian task for a plethora of reasons including, but not solely limited to, financial. Is it out of the question to expect some form of “give a damn” about something very emotionally important for me and my partner from friends and family even if that expression is via a purchased gift?

Perhaps it is and if so, my sincere apologies for the offensive, Emily Post dissing question. I defer to my readers advice and guidance. Thanks, in advance, for your honest feedback.

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If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a million times, “no one likes change.”
What’s so wrong with change?
If you’re not s total filth monger or someone with a fetish for smelly, sweaty, stinky, sticky, musky, pungent, sour, rancid god-awful, horrible odors then you probably change your clothes each day. You probably change your sheets at least once in a while to wash the funk off . But, most importantly, you change your mind. You throw the cookies back in the pantry to have some chips instead. You decide not to go to the dry cleaners because the traffic is terrible and you think you can wear your suit one more time because no one will notice the small greasy spot on the butt of your pants from accidentally sitting on that french fry (news break – everyone notices the greasy spot on the butt of your pants and thinks you either sharted or have a leaky suppository). You decide to dump someone via text message after a pretty good first date simply because they said the word “like” 147 times over a 2 hour period and anyway, even though you’re in your mid-40’s and looking a little long in the tooth, you can clearly do better.

We’re finicky. We’re humans. We’re tragically flawed. Truthfully, we only think we know what we want, but feel entitled enough to expect forgiveness for changing our minds, actions, behaviors, etc. for whatever reason we want without any repercussions. That’s the privilege of being a free bitch in the USA, right?

So, if regular change in our personal lives is our prerogative and totally acceptable at any time and for any reason, then why is change so impossible and/or challenging in our professional lives?

The modern day work place is igniting rapid change. The days of Don Draper are over. The Brady kids have all grown up. Gilligan and the crew were rescued. Even the cast of Friends decided that they could live apart from one another, found neurotic partners and moved out of the city into the land of mini vans and soccer games. The world has changed and the only way to keep up is to change with it.

No one may “like” change, but what’s the big deal? There was nothing was wrong with the typewriter, but the computer made life easier. There was nothing wrong with the telegraph, but the telephone made conversations much easier. There was nothing wrong with walking, but driving a car sure made the trip a lot faster.  Initial change may feel uncomfortable, but instead of working harder to make it fail, give it a chance and perhaps your life will be easier.

Look at the porn industry…at first, gentlemen only had what looked like a viewfinder and photo cards with semi-naked women on them that they had to change in and out. Then came moving pictures in adult cinemas. A bit more risqué and increased embarrassment of being caught, but at least it freed up the hands. The 1970’s introduced porno magazines delivered directly to your home followed by the VCR in the 1980’s, DVDs in the 1990’s and now you have sex dolls, an Internet filled with any kind of porn you can imagine and FaceTime to watch each other without shame or possibility of being arrested. Without the influence of change, many men would still be figuring out how to juggle those viewfinders and photos with one hand while the other…well, while the other is otherwise occupied.

Embrace change. Create your own change. Create change that works the way you want it to work. Create change that simplifies your life and offers you a free hand. If you can’t get with the change being introduced, if it is just that painful for you then do everyone a favor and just quit your job. Move to the country. Live in a house with no air conditioning. Walk everywhere you need to go. Milk cows for a living (there’s not much that can change in that profession) and just stay out of the way. For those of us who want to make things better, faster, easier and more efficient you people who cry and bitch about change just get in our way and make things far more difficult than they need to be. So, thanks for taking your bad attitude and whiny ass out of my way and allowing the rest of us the ability to use our free hand for much more enjoyable things.

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I’ve tried to be good. Tried to hold my tongue and keep my opinions to myself. But, I just can’t anymore. There’s too much stupidity going on in the world and I owe it to everyone to tell it like it is and hopefully spark some sense back into people.

So, go find your big girl panties and put them on because beginning tomorrow I’m opening the lock, removing the gloves and God help us all — I may not be able to close my mouth again.

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After reviewing the stats of this blog and comparing those stats against the number of followers on both my blog and personal Facebook pages I can’t help but ask myself the question, “why bother?”

I started sharing my personal insights and experiences because numerous friends (many of whom have no problem commenting on my personal Facebook page) encouraged me to share my thoughts with others. They felt I had something worthwhile to say and for others to hear. It seemed like a good idea at the time and voila, my blog was born. 

However, the stats on this blog say something different. The stats say that less than 10% of my Facebook friends take the time to read this blog and based on the names of individuals who actually follow the blog only 2 of the more than 30 people who encouraged me to write the blog actually follow it – either here on the actual site or via the Facebook page.

So, if no one cares what I have to say then why take the time to continue it? I admit there are therapeutic benefits — but the same effect can be achieved offline or likely transferred to another hobby.

More importantly, this has led me to a bigger question. What do other blogs have that this one does not? I’ve checked out A LOT of blogs with hundreds, even thousands of followers…and followers who comment, share additional ideas, spark conversation, etc. on blogs that are absolutely terrible, say absolutely nothing and other than offering a platform for someone to rant about their idiot boss or slutty co-workers they literally serve no purpose. Yet, they maintain a loyal following and win blogging awards.

Perhaps my posts aren’t controversial or provocative enough to encourage a reader to engage? Figuring it out is a futile exercise…apparently one similar to writing this blog.

I’ll give this some additional thought and see what happens. This may be my last post and if it is then I want to thank each of you who chose to read what I’ve had to say. I hope it has in some way either helped you or made you laugh – that’s all I’ve wanted.

So, at least for now, I bid you adieu. Maybe there will be more…maybe it will be different….who knows what will happen. Time will tell.

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Believe it or not, I do honestly try to always find the bright side in every situation. I live by the phrase, “everything happens for a reason.” Whether it does or does not is something none of us will ever know with any certainty and personally, for me, those words give me comfort, provide reason for the illogical and hope that something greater and smarter than me has an end game prepared that is in some way meaningful – even if not directly meaningful to or for me.

Don’t mistake what I just wrote as a confession to martyrdom. I didn’t suffer through some fiendish childhood trauma or lack a specific level of love or appreciation by a parent that now triggers an emotional need to throw myself on every sword in order for someone else to be happy while I wallow in the pain, inconvenience and loneliness originally meant for them. Screw that. I’ll never understand why anyone chooses to allow themselves to become a human toilet. We don’t “thank” our toilets for flushing our crap out to sea so why would we thank the human toilet/martyr in our life for choosing to carry our crap? Of course we’re thankful that we didn’t have to do whatever it was we didn’t want to do, but can you truly respect someone (even someone you love) if they always create that situation where they will accept all your crap because in return they just want your love and/or approval? Anyway, I digress.

Back to my philosophical view of life…life is like going to the movies. When I get to the ticket window there are multiple movies I want to see playing at the same time. “Free will” allows me the ability to choose which movie ticket I purchase. Free will allows me to decide which theater I enter once inside – I could see the movie for which I hold a ticket or I could change my mind and sneak into the movie across the hall. For either choice I make there already exists a predetermined outcome. Sometimes those outcomes are amazing and sometimes those outcomes are disabling, but either way I learned something I had to learn in order to be a better person.

Why am I sharing any of this with you? Because sometimes when we’re living in the moment of an outcome that hasn’t gone as planned and the words “WHY ME?” are curdling in our throats you have to take a step back and remember that at this particular moment you just happened to pick the wrong movie to see. But more importantly, try to figure out what you learned from the wretched movie you just watched. Maybe this moment in your life wasn’t about you (I know, it is hard to believe that everything in our lives isn’t ALL about ourselves). Maybe your bad decision made a life changing, positive impact on someone else? Because of that possibility, I can pick myself up, brush myself off and start all over again…only this time a little wiser and more likely to read more reviews before going to my next movie.

For me, the last couple of weeks have been a bad movie marathon. Then I saw a post on Facebook made by Lady Gaga (don’t judge…she’s a total train wreck that I’m compelled to watch). She said, “money can run out, but talent is forever.” And, regardless of whatever Lady Gaga is experiencing in her life that enticed her to place those words out into the universe via Facebook they were just what I needed to see to snap me back into my own reality. Although the translation isn’t a literal one for me her words helped to wash off the negativity I was feeling and reminded me that there are things no one can take away from me. I now feel stronger, ready to go back out into the lion’s den of life with a new perspective and the right tools to make it work.

You may believe in coincidence. Personally, I don’t. I think life throws me things I need when I need them. Basically, I have to see a lot of bad movies in order to appreciate the good ones. And, even when it doesn’t seem like there’s anything out there worth seeing, you can happen upon a sleeper that changes your whole life.

What’s the lesson to learn from this? Regardless of your spiritual/religious belief think of all the weird “coincidences” that have occurred in your life and consider the possibility that maybe all of it was supposed to happen just the way it has and whether or not your ending is happy is all dependent upon you.

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With the Polar Vortex quickly approaching and the predictions of snow increasing throughout the day I was pleasantly surprised to catch “Edward Scissorhands” pop up on Cinemax. Although the holidays are over, you can’t help but watch this classic and fall in love with it every time. To want something so badly and not be able to have it… hold it…love it… I think that’s a story with which at some point in our lives we’re all familiar.

If you’re an adult who is far too sophisticated, cool or even important to be bothered with highly imaginative books and/or movies originally intended for children, tweens and teens then it is likely that you aren’t familiar with writer/director Ransom Riggs. But, it isn’t too late to up your cool factor now and get to know him and his work.

Riggs’ most recent book, “Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,” was a New York Times bestseller and quickly caught the attention of the King of Strange and Unusual (and my personal hero), writer/director Tim Burton. The mere possibility that “Miss Peregrine” could potentially be a Tim Burton project was more than enough reason to entice me to read the book and when I did, I found myself enamored with a fictitious group of “children” wielding very special abilities and jumping between past and present dimensions to find a safe haven and escape the wrath of a diabolical creature. As an author who masters the art of conversational dialogue and storytelling, Riggs cleverly adds an additional layer of interest to his already engrossing tale through the inclusion of hauntingly creepy vintage photographs that by themselves could mesmerize you for hours.

Miss Peregrine” was a quick read, but one with a cliffhanger leaving me very anxious for more. Like a child before Christmas I can hardly wait for the release of Riggs’ follow-up book, “Hollow City,” to reach the shelves of local booksellers (and online phenomenon Amazon) January 14. Clearly it would be a waste of time trying to reach me that evening because I will be feverishly reading this long awaited sequel. I’ll certainly post my personal review of “Hollow City,” but why don’t you take this opportunity to let down your “grown-up” guard and unleash the imaginative whims of your inner-kid and read “Miss Peregrine” before the release of “Hollow City.” Allow Riggs’ creativity to help you escape the chains of adulthood worries and enjoy his tales of adventure, mystery and the supernatural. 

Personally, I refuse to ever grow up and I willingly rush to open the creaky and spooky doorways of imagination and wonder created by two of my favorite artists of all time – Ransom Riggs and Tim Burton.

Hollow City” will be available January14 at a bookstore, Amazon and iBooks. Pre-order your copy today.

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