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October 20, 2009

Is your glass half bull?

Filed under: Psychology, books — posted by Rose @ 10:43 pm

If you’re one of those suckers who buys into all that “power of positive thinking” hooey, then it just might be, posits author Barbara Ehrenreich in her latest take-society-to-task tome, Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America.

By Ehrenreich’s theory, Oprah, Chopra and “The Secret” are just a few of the must-be-upbeat forces persuading Americans to believe in, well, believing. Which, ironically, has led to such less-than-positive sitches as the recent mortgage crisis and… breast-cancer awareness ribbons? Seems that Ehrenreich’s own ordeal with breast cancer — and its attendant “Pink Ribbon Culture” — was what sparked the subject for her latest book.

I have never had breast cancer and I have never read Ehrenreich’s book. Am I still allowed to say that its premise feels like an icky slippery slope? Over on YourTango.com, Ehrenreich’s contentions were interpreted by one writer thusly:

“As Ehrenreich sees it, the positive attitude movement can lead to disasterous results—partly because it is so intent on seeing ‘the glass half full, even when it is shattered on the floor.’ Thus, it might lead you to believe that if you just change your attitude, you can go from being hurt and bothered by your husband’s abuse and cheating to being grateful for the fact that you even have a husband.”

With all due respect to loving my fellow bloggers and all, do we really want to put forth the assumption that women in abusive relationships are that unintelligent? That they can’t distinguish between being your own cheerleader and being stuck in a physically dangerous environment?

September 24, 2009

Love and Lycanthropy

Filed under: books — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:29 am

Sure vampires are big now, but once New Moon comes out, Breakup Girl is going to be flooded with questions about dating WEREWOLVES. As a public service, we thought we’d head off some of these inquiries by asking the REAL professors of lycanthropy, Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers, authors of The Werewolf’s Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten.

1. What’s the best way to tell your boy/girlfriend you’re a werewolf?

Short answer?
Don’t.
At least not right away. The newly bitten werewolf already has “a significant other” to deal with, and it’s the savage killing machine they are going to be turning into every month. You know how when people break up with you they say “I need some space?” Well, if you’re a werewolf, the “space” you’re going to need is inside a cage made of re-enforced steel, which isn’t going to build itself. You’re gonna be pretty busy, and the month leading up to your first transformation simply isn’t the time for casual dating.

This isn’t to say that you can’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, it’s just that right now, time is of the essence, and you should take a break from any relationship you aren’t positive will last to come to grips with your condition in as much secrecy as possible. You are going through some serious changes, and like any relationship, it’s not a good idea to stay involved in it unless you are confident about who YOU are. Figure that out first, and keep your secret well. Marriage, of course- is a different story.

(more…)

September 15, 2009

We need to talk…before the full moon

Filed under: Comedy, books — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:30 am

“Honey, there’s something I need to tell you. I’m a lycanthrope.”
“Wait. A what? Is that that word that means you’re stingy? Or no, isn’t that something you do in Cirque de Soleil?”
“Not exactly … ”

How to break the news to your partner that you’re a werewolf? Consult The Werewolf’s Guide to Life: A Manual for the Newly Bitten
by FOBGs Ritch Duncan and Bob Powers, out today!

Watch this space for a forthcoming Q&A with the authors — but meanwhile, some tips for The Talk:

September 9, 2009

Love makes author go ’round world

Filed under: News, books, pop culture — posted by Rose @ 12:12 pm

Lemons: Being dumped at altar. Taking honeymoon with brother.

Lemonade: Penning NYT bestseller Honeymoon With My Brother.

For his next trick, self-described “professional dumpee” Franz Wisner, author of the above, is releasing his followup work, How the World Makes Love: . . . And What It Taught a Jilted Groom.
This time, the brothers Wisner trekked to seven different countries — Brazil, New Zealand, Egypt, India, the Czech Republic, Nicaragua and Botswana; not a mix that’ll help you win Risk — to see what love looks like ’round the world. We welcome Wisner back from his second honeymoon!

July 27, 2009

Tipsy texting

Filed under: Advice, books — posted by Maria @ 5:15 pm

I have a confession to make. I am a text-holic. And now that I have unlimited  messaging on my iPhone, I have made it my mission to get my money’s worth. I use it to send quick messages to people I don’t really want to talk to. I use it to convey important information when talking on the phone isn’t practical. (i.e. “Movie starts @ 7:15. See u there,” from staff meeting) And I use it to flirt.

Clearly I’m not alone. At least, you know, not in one sense. Text-flirting is sufficiently popular — and landmine-laden — to have spawned not only the unseemly neologism “flirtexting,” but also the book Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way to His Heart and more Web sites than you can shake a rotary phone at.

But of all the tips available — including these new ones from Your Tango — the most important is this: Do not text while under the influence. I have sent out more mortifying texts than I care to remember.

Fortunately, friends don’t let friends text tipsy. My roommate has actually taken to giving me her phone at the start of a girl’s night out with the admonishment, “No matter how hard I beg for this back. DO NOT GIVE IT TO ME!” It’s the same category of bad as drunk dialing, only somehow so much worse as it’s down in the written word, memorialized for all the world to see, and undeniable in the sober light of morning. And likely full of typos.

July 23, 2009

Super ex-boyfriend

Filed under: Treats, books — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:21 pm

From io9.com:

You’re dating a new girl and things are going great. Then one day she asks you to meet her ex…who just happens to be Superman. Can a mere mortal ever live up to the Boyfriend of Steel?

Jonathan Goldstein’s short story “Man Not Superman” (previously featured on This American Life) follows the man who dates Lois Lane after she breaks it off with Superman. Our comparatively ordinary narrator is head over heels for the famed reporter, and things go swimmingly at first; sick of superheroes, Lois just wants a guy who can make her laugh. But Lois and the big Kryptonian are still good chums, and the relationship hits a snag when Supes insists on taking his ex’s new beau as his sidekick.

The original text is an uproarious read, but the artwork (composed entirely on yellow sticky notes) from animator Arthur Jones perfectly captures the narrator’s insecurities and the humiliation involved in working for Superman.

In lieu of flowers…

Filed under: Treats, books — posted by Maria @ 2:02 pm

The purgative act of writing has long been balm to the agony of breakup — how else to explain 84 percent of pop music and the turgid poetry of many a 34 — er, 12-year-old girl? But when Kathleen Horan broke up with her long-time boyfriend in 2006, she penned neither love song nor journal, but rather something she felt even more fitting for her love’s grim fate: an obituary.

The idea led to relationshipobit.com — and now to a book, full of melancholy necrologies that begin like this:

Mary and Steve’s four-year on-again off-again relationship died suddenly of shock when Mary asked Steve if he had any intention of marrying her.”

(Condolences to their family and friends. Except the ones who say they’re “relieved.”)

Here’s mine:

Maria and Bobby’s love, which was born at a Chili’s in Maryland and went on to defy logic and fried food, died recently in New York. It was 10 years old.

The cause was an inability to commit, coupled with a refusal to let go of an ex-girlfriend, and lies.

The couple met when Maria worked as a waitress at the chain restaurant and Bobby came in as a customer with a friend late one weekday evening. The couple dated for about a year before distance came between them. But they stayed in touch through the years, despite several moves, failed relationships with other people and other life
problems. Then three years ago, they both wound up in New York. Both were single and a passionate love affair began. Unfortunately one half of the couple was more serious than the other, who was more emotionally damaged by his last relationship than he cared to admit.

The are survived by one set of Mr. Met salt and pepper shakers, a
shared love of Diet Pepsi in a bottle, and a cat that he hated.

In lieu of flowers, write your own here — or here.

July 16, 2009

Geeky Dreamboats

Filed under: Comedy, TV, Treats, books — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:20 am

Thank you, THANK YOU, for including Martin Starr. But where’s Zachary Levi?

More on geek love here.

June 22, 2009

Settling, schmettling

Filed under: books — posted by Breakup Girl @ 2:50 pm

In this weekend’s New York Times Book Review, we read one author’s argument that yes, ’tis better to have loved and lost.

In [the] most provocative and interesting chapters [of A Vindication of Love: Reclaiming Romance for the Twenty-first Century], Nehring argues for the value of suffering, for the importance of failure. Our idea of a contented married ending is too cozy and tame for her. We yearn for what she calls “strenuously exhibitionistic happiness” — think of family photos on Facebook — but instead we should focus on the fullness and intensity of emotion. She writes of Margaret Fuller: “Fuller’s failures are several times more sumptuous than other folks’ successes. And perhaps that is something we need to admit about failure: It can well be more sumptuous than success. . . . Somewhere in our collective unconscious we know — even now — that to have failed is to have lived.”

Nehring sees in the grandeur of feeling a kind of heroism, even if the relationship doesn’t take conventional form or endure in the conventional way. For Nehring, one senses, true failure is to drift comfortably along in a dull relationship, to spend precious years of life in a marriage that is not exciting or satisfying, to live cautiously, responsibly. Is the strength of feeling redeemed in the blaze of passion even if it does not end happily? she asks. Is contentment too soft and modest a goal? /snip/

“With our cult of success,” Nehring writes, “we have all but obliterated the memory that in pain lies grandeur.” There is a romanticism here that could look, depending on where you stand, either pure or puerile, either bracing or silly, but it is, either way, an original view, one not generally taken and defended, one most of us could probably use a little more of. Nehring takes on our complaisance, our received ideas, our sloppy assumptions about our most important connections, and for that she deserves our admiration.

What do you think ?

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