I’ve been watching a lot of House Hunters lately — mostly International — and I’m noticing a growing trend among American men. Lately, it seems that men are increasingly requesting — if not insisting on — “man caves“.
I hate that term — how Neaderthal-ish. Do you intend to go out and club dinner and drag your wife around by her hair? Man cave. Give me a break.
I appreciate that everyone has a right to privacy. Everyone needs some personal time without their significant other — or even a roommate — around. You need space, I get that. I cherish my time alone because ultimately, I was always really content living alone and while I’m happy, it is an adjustment living with another person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The standard argument I’ve heard is, “The wife/woman/girlfriend/significant other gets the rest of the house to decorate and do with what they want, I just want my own space that’s mine to put up my action figures/sports crap/ugly leather recliners so I can watch the game/play Magic the Gathering/jerk off in peace.”
While I can appreciate the desire for said space — what makes men think “the woman” gets the rest of the house, especially if they have kids? Does the woman get her own “lady hut”, too? Why do the men get to escape to a “man cave” that’s just for them when the woman is stuck with the messy living room or the kitchen and potentially screaming children? Where does “the woman” go to read her magazines/watch her programs/use her vibrator without interruption? Why do only the men get to ‘escape’?
Now, I actually DO have my own space — my office is my domain. But it is for work — I don’t hang out in here. But, I decorate it how I want — it’s pink and girlie and I have all my crap up that I probably, for aesthetic reasons, wouldn’t display in the rest of the home. Just as I wouldn’t love it if mikey hung a Fathead of DarthVader on the living room wall, I refrain from hanging hot pink velvet curtains in the living room.
I know most men aren’t into home decor, so they figure “the woman” gets that honor and therefore “controls” the rest of the house, but that is simply untrue. My opinion is that couples should decorate mutually. And while mikey trusts me with my design choices, I do usually ask for his opinion if I’m choosing a statement piece for the living room – like a rug or a piece of furniture. And fortunately, we both have somewhat quirky tastes, so it works out. Not always – I’m not saying I love having 20 Domos in the living room, but I don’t hate it (I love Domo, too) and it makes him happy, so we have 20 Domos in the living room. It’s mikey’s space, too.
So, I don’t totally understand this sudden surge for the “man cave”? Is it because they feel like their wife takes over? Do they feel emasculated in their own home? Why do a growing number of men feel they need to escape from their spouse and family into their own domain when they get home from work or on the weekends? Isn’t that when they’re supposed to spend time with their family? And when do women get their own space, away from their husband who doesn’t listen to them talk anyway, away from their kids? You’d need a house with 2 extra bedrooms just to accommodate everyone’s “personal space”, but doesn’t that defeat the whole point of living together?
The only way I can abide a true man cave is if the woman has one, too, or the guy’s wife decorates with country ducks and dried flowers and has her scrapbooking crap spread out across the living room. Then he has my permission to set up a compound in the backyard for all I care.
If you follow my Twitter stream, you probably saw that I went to see Ben Folds live on Friday night at The Cosmopolitan on the Strip. I got a little overzealous with my fangirl tweeting, but I couldn’t help it. I love me some Ben Folds. A snippet for your viewing pleasure (there’s more here on my YouTube channel). I apologize for the rough start… and my background singing.
The Boulevard Pool is amazing by day, but at night it becomes this incredible concert venue. I can’t wait to attend a show there again. It was intimate and yet incredibly open. It wasn’t totally packed and we sat with our feet in the pool overlooking the lights of the Bellagio, Paris, Planet Hollywood and more on the Strip below. We weren’t more than 60 feet from the stage, if that, and could have easily walked right up to it, but we’re old folks who were perfectly happy with our feet in the pool. It also helped that the massive LED screen that overlooks the Strip was also visible to us. So the action on stage was projected up there, too. The overall experience was fabulous. read more >
I really, really, really hate it when I get Asian take-out and I forget (or they forget) to include chopsticks. In fact, I hate that you have to specify that you want chopsticks. I’m eating sushi or Thai or chowmein or whatever and I want to eat it with chopsticks. I appreciate that there are people in this world that aren’t skilled with them — hell, I drop half my rice in my lap, but I still prefer to eat Asian food with chopsticks.
While popping into a Japanese market (Mitsuwa for SoCal, Jersey and Chicago people) to satisfy Mike’s craving for Pocky (I like Men’s and Coconut the best), I impulse-bought this huge bag of chopsticks by the checkout so I’d never have to be chopstick-less again.
Cut to 6 months later when I still have 300 sets of wooden chopsticks taking up space in my kitchen drawer. So, I started thinking of different thing I could do with my surplus chopsticks. These are just some of the things I’ve come up with:
I don’t know about you, but I go through spoons like crazy. It was worse before I started using chopsticks to stir my coffee. One set can last you for a while — you can use them stuck together, like one big stir or you can break them apart and use them individually. If you set the stick out on a spoon rest or something to dry in between stirrings, you can get away with using the same chopsticks for a couple days — or more if you’re in a dry climate like me.
My toaster is a beast. I gobbles up everything I put in there — such as the case with many wide-slot toasters when you don’t intend to toast anything wide. My little sandwich thins get lost down there and over the years, the spring-load on the pop-up part of the toaster has gotten a bit tired. Sometimes, I have to fish my toast out, but hate sticking utensils down there, even when the toaster is unplugged. Since my “coffee stirs” are near my toaster, I once grabbed a chopstick, dug out my toast and never looked back.
Aquarium Habitat Adjustment
I have fish — several, actually, all with unique bowls. More than once I’ve positioned the plants and marbles, but after adding the water and moving the bowl, things shift and start to float up or just otherwise need adjusting. You don’t want to dump out the water or shove your hand in there — you might disrupt the pH or stress out your fish. A stuck-together set of chopsticks makes a nice tool to insert rather unobtrusively and tuck those plants back where you’d like them.
I also have several, several plants — about 15 or so, mostly hibiscus, a tropical plant native to Southern California, Hawaii, Asia and other places with pleasant climates. Though they are fairly hearty plants, they do require attention (though not as much as orchids) and since moving to the desert have had to make most of them houseplants. I don’t like using gardening tools indoors or slopping soil all over, so we started using chopsticks to move the soil around, aerating and allowing the water more access to the roots. It works great, doesn’t make a big mess and we can just stick the chopsticks in the soil for the next time.
Scraping Non-Stick Coating
Sometimes, non-stick surfaces aren’t so non-stick — especially baking sheets. I’ve used the slanty backend of a stuck-together set of chopsticks to scrape baked-on stuff from baking sheets and frying pants. Works great, doesn’t scratch the surface or make that hideous metal-on-metal sound.
I have long hair. In fact, I not only have long hair, I have long wavy/curly hair, which is notorious for breakage and shedding. If you have ever met me, you likely found a long, serpentine, dark brown hair on you after we parted — to remember me by. It’s my gift to you. It’s not a gift to my shower, which constantly needs to be unclogged. I’m usually butch enough to put on a pair of latex gloves, reach in and just grab the offending clog out, but sometimes there are clumps that go beyond the grabby area or are wound so tightly, you need to wedge something in there are drag the clog up. (Isn’t this delicious?) Chopsticks, my people.
Stirring Bath Salts
As a rule, I’m not a big fan of the super oily scrubs that require you to stir them up to use them. That’s so inconvenient. I’m not sure who thought trying to manhandle a slippery, oily jar in the shower, open it, stir it up, find a place to set it down out of the water stream, find a place for the lid, apply it to your person and then, with oily hands, put it all back together again was a reasonable solution, but shower beauty engineering is not their strong suit. Anyway, I always hated that little plastic scoop they make you dig out from the bottom of the jar, all the while sloshing the oil down your feet. So I’ve just started stirring the scrub up before I get in the shower with a chopstick or I just don’t buy that kind of scrub. But sometimes you get it as a gift or don’t realize it’s one of those until you get it home, so chopsticks help a lot.
So you’re making kabobs for dinner and you forgot to buy skewers. Chopsticks will work, though they do displace a bit more food than a thinner skewer would. Just remember to soak them first!
I do still use chopsticks to eat. Sometimes I eat my salads with chopsticks. It makes it a bit more of an adventure and I take more time with my food than I might otherwise. I’m kind of a fast eater. I know it’s not like, super hot for a girl to admit that and it’s not like I’m hunkered over my food like I’m a prisoner trying not to get shanked, but I do tend to hurry through my meals and don’t always appreciate them. Chopsticks requires you to slow down if you ever want the food to actually make it to your face.
So there you go: alternate uses for that metric ton of chopsticks you may or may not have in your drawer. Mine are almost gone, but I’ll definitely be getting more. If you have alternate uses that I haven’t mentioned (and that don’t involve lubricant or adult entertainment), I’m always looking for something new to do with them!
I’ve decided to be far more selective when “friending” people on Facebook or allowing people to “friend” me from now on. What is the point of all this “friending” if you’re not actually going to be friends? I’ve made more friends via this blog and on Twitter, people I actually call friend, than I ever have on Facebook. Granted, I keep my Facebook pretty private, but still 80% of my Facebook friends are people who never engage — they just watch, which is kind of creepy, if you ask me – which you didn’t, but I’m telling you anyway. What’s a blog without unsolicited bitching?
To avoid any pot n’ kettle action, there are really nice people on my own friends list that I rarely engage with either. I do try to remember birthdays and comment or “like” occasionally, just to let them know I’m paying attention, but I have to wonder… why am I “friends” with them? Because they sat 3 seats behind me in AP English? That’s not fair to them either.
Once I was asked to add an old flame from high school to my friends list. There was no introductory message (I prefer one), but I knew him on sight, so it was fine. We dated for most of a year during my junior year of high school and well into that Summer, but eventually broke up. I don’t recall it being a bad break-up, just one of those high school things and over the years had thought of him fondly because above all else, I really liked him. I didn’t just date him, he was my friend.
So of course, I added him and sent him a note saying “hey” and “how are you?” and “what’s going on in your life’?” I commented on his beautiful children, asked about his career and wished him well.
Crickets. Nothing. No reply. No wall post. Not even a lousy “poke”.
What was the point of adding me then? I’ve felt this way before, had it happen with several “friends” from my past, but this time, it just IRKED me. Why? Why bother? Why seek me out? Why add me to your list? To what end… networking?
I have a doctor’s appointment next month in San Diego. My California insurance ends on June 1st, so I need to get all the bang my buck will allow. Plus, I love my doctor and frankly, I don’t feel like auditioning new gynocologists right now. It’s not the kind of thing you do on the fly, so to speak.
I used this as a fine excuse to take a mini vacation and spend four days in humidity above one percent. I get to drive in on Saturday morning, spend time with friends Saturday evening and Sunday (R Gang Brunch, my friends!), doctors appointments Monday afternoon, Mo’s Monday night, Tuesday to relax and do whatever, Wednesday, drive home.
I’m probably more excited about this than I should be, but I treated myself to a hotel with turn-down service and complimentary toiletries. I may as well be staying in Shangri La. I think it’s a fair trade-off if I’m spending part of my vacation having my tits smashed and parts prodded in a less-than-hospitable fashion.
So… yeah. Anyway. I have no idea where I was going with the rest of this post. I got to “tits” and like any decent American, forgot what I was talking about.