Archive for the ‘observations’ Category

How to Improve American Idol

May 24, 2009

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As Simon Cowell reiterated throughout Season 8, this is a talent competition. Yet the American public has all sorts of reasons for voting for their candidate, often having nothing to do with talent. The judges are professionals who recognize it when they see it, yet their professional opinions are not factored into the voting  results. This is not fair to the contestants.

For the first time in Season 8 we saw the show give the judges a little more clout in the results by giving them a “save” to use one time to help a losing contestant, Matt Giraud,  who they deemed to have promise.  Whey not give them more influence on the results, to balance politics vs a true talent search? 

These professional judges should be part of the voting process. They would have to unanimously agree on their candidate, just like they did with the pass. Then a formula should be created where their vote factors in with the public vote…Say 50%? 

This would at least help to prevent travesties such as we witnessed in the Lambert/Allen fiasco.

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Adam Lambert Didn’t Win????

May 21, 2009

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I have never understood the emotional investment people have about their favorite sports teams. I don’t know which team is in which league and I don’t care who wins.  People behave as if their team is their family. Better not say anything bad about the team, and don’t go near the fans the day after the team loses.  You might lose your head, or at least your hearing, about the unfairness of it all.

Now, tonight, I get it. As an ardent American Idol viewer, I’ve been wowed by Lambert since his first performance. He’s been the team I’ve been cheering for. I mean really cheering. He took the stage by storm with a range of notes I’ve never even heard and he did it consistently, week after week. He had charisma that I think has not been seen since Elvis Presley. He had confidence, presence, amazing good looks, polish, professionalism,  and sex appeal. He does not have talent. He has a gift. He made all the other contestants, including the winner, look like amateurs.

And he didn’t win. I feel as sad as my son would feel if the NY Yankees lost. I felt so sick about it I had to turn off the TV while the winner sang his song.

And so I wonder…why didn’t he win? I did not know until I fell upon it by chance today that he may be gay. That apparently there was a photo circulating the web showing him kissing another guy. When asked he said, “I am what I am.”   I so respect him for that. Yet also circulating the web were speculations that his questionable sexual orientation would bring him down in the end. Bad boy vs right wing boy next door.   If that’s why he lost, I’m not sad. I’m angry. So angry. As Cowell reiterated throughout the season, its supposed to be a talent show. 

Was this a witch hunt?

Psychscribe Quote #58

April 19, 2009

 

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.” Sigmund Freud

Do You Think She Needs Counseling?

February 3, 2009

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Mental Health Day: True Confession

December 4, 2008

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I’m taking one today. I mean, everyone else gets them. Why shouldn’t I? Even shrinks need mental health days once in a while. I need to relax and not HAVE to get in my car and go anywhere, be anywhere. No pressure…Mmmm…..

So lets see….I think I will dust today since I have an allergy to the stuff and its a real pain to walk around choking all the time….and do more Christmas shopping ONLINE (I don’t do malls anymore)..and finalize my choice of photos from the wedding for my “parent album”…oh…and i guess it would be a good idea to search again for my very expensive, lost wedding rings, I know they’re in this house someplace…and i need to get started on the jewelry I’m making for Christmas gifts….and call my mother which is never, ever less than a one hour conversation (that’s another whole post  in itself)…and I have several, repeat SEVERAL baskets of ironing that I’ve been avoiding like the bubonic plague…and for that matter there’s probably at least the same amount of  wash to be done…

Ok, so this is not what I’d advise a client to do on a mental health day. I would suggest to a client that she do something fun, relaxing, no chores allowed! But then again, for some people, getting chores done on a day when they would be going to work  is good for their mental health because all that stuff is no longer waiting for them…hovering.stalking them…

I guess I should call this my housework health day.

Tell us the truth. What do YOU do on your mental health days?

So WHERE was the nearest mall…?

November 30, 2008


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by Franz von Rohden

German artist 
born 1817 – died 1903

When Alpha Males Get Sick

November 23, 2008

hallsbalsamLord help me. He only gets sick once a year, but when he does my hero turns into my worst nightmare.  I truly appreciate that he patiently takes care of me all the rest of the year above and beyond the call of duty, with my lupus and all, but BOY…paybacks are a bitch! He won’t let me take care of him… he wants me to take care of him…. he doesn’t need help…he does need help. I am trying not to get too close physically so I don’t catch his germs. He finds this to be insulting. When I tell him  that I miss his hugs, he looks accusingly at me like its all my fault. I’m also supposed to be a mindreader. When I ask him if he’s hungry, he’s not. Five minutes later I find him cooking himself some soup and sneezing into it. Mmmm….yummy…He then graciously offers me some, which I graciously decline.. And, worst of all, he’s a VERY cranky patient who isn’t a patient.

And just so you know, Alpha Males don’t marry Florence Nightingales. Truthfully, I HATE being a nurse. 

I hope I don’t get sick for Thanksgiving 😦

Psychscribe Quote #44

November 2, 2008

 

 

 

HARRIET BEECHER STOWE:

“So much has been said and sung of beautiful young girls, why don’t somebody wake up to the beauty of old women?”

Jennifer Hudson “Domestic Issues”

October 25, 2008

By now we all know that Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother were recently murdered. The media, noting that there is a male suspect,  reports a history of “domestic issues”. 

That phrase, or its twin “domestic dispute” is a  terribly  insidious euphemism. It suggests an issue or dispute over who left the socks on the floor or disagreements over household operations. When you hear it often enough in the news, the real meaning becomes so diluted that its impact upon society  becomes diluted.

For purposes of my post this morning, let me give you the exact definition I found at good old dictionary.com: 

euphemism – the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

Of course domestic violence is what’s really being substituted here.  Bland domestic disputes don’t result in a woman calling the police for help. Bland domestic disputes don’t invoke public outrage or action.  I worked for two years in an agency for battered women. Speaking from first hand experience, here are what “domestic disputes” and “domestic issues” look like. And yes, these images are offensive, harsh, and blunt.  Just like the domestic violence that was committed against women such as these. 

 

One out of every four women is assaulted by an intimate partner every day. We need more public awareness, education, advocacy and funds to help a cause much closer to home than we might think. Domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic lines.  It could happen to you, your sister, your mother, your daughter. It’s about time the legal system stopped protecting the public from offensive, harsh reality and started protecting the victims of the offensive, harsh reality.
If you need help, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
        

To Be or Not to Be a Hero

October 24, 2008

Someone recently brought up what I thought was an interesting perspective on being a hero. We all wonder what we would do to save a stranger. Would we jump in front of a Mack truck to push a child out of harm’s way? Would we step into a vicious group attack on a single person in a rescue effort? I think we all hope our finest instinct would propel us toward risking our lives for the sake of another human being. Our highest selves. There is no thought in such a situation. One acts. 

But here’s the thing that was called to my attention. If you save the life of another human being by losing your own, then that person’s  family is spared the trauma and loss of the death of their loved one, but the hero’s family suffers it instead. The hero trades his/her life for the life of the original victim…Is that fair to the hero’s family?

I don’t know where I’m going with this… Any thoughts, anyone?

Alpha, Beta & Omega Males

October 2, 2008

First let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those  people who thinks that individuals can be neatly categorized into labeled boxes. But behavioral tendencies are fun and interesting to think about.   

My previous posts on alpha males have received so much interest that I decided to look up more about the other males…the rest of the story.  Here’s what wikipedia has to say (hardly a definitive or professional guide, IMO, but a jumping off place for thought and discussion).

“In social animals, the alpha male is the individual in the community to whom the others follow and defer. Where one male and one female fulfill this role, they are referred to as the alpha pair. In some groups, the alpha males and females are overrepresented in the genetics of a population if they are the only ones who breed successfully.

Chimpanzees show deference to the alpha of the community by ritualised gestures such as bowing, allowing the alpha to walk first in a procession, or standing aside when the alpha challenges. Canines also show deference to the alpha pair in their pack, by allowing them to be the first to eat and, usually, the only pair to mate; wolves are a good example of this. The status of the alpha is generally achieved by means of superior physical prowess; however, in certain highly social species such as the bonobo and humans, a contender can use more indirect methods, such as political alliances, to oust the ruling alpha and take his place.

Beta and omega

In the power hierarchy of the human group, two other roles also are defined and named. First, the beta male, which is the contender, subservient to the alpha male, but only after testing. The betas act as second-in-command and can either be dethroned alpha males or future alphas if they persist in challenging the regnant alpha male. The term omega (ω) is an antonym often used in a deprecating or self-deprecating manner to refer to member at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The omega is subservient to all members.”

So…are you a beta or omega male? Do you typically befriend or fall in love with one? What’s that like for you?

Flickr banned from my blog

June 24, 2008

I had it on here because I thought that random photos appearing on my blog would add an element of interest.  And until today it did. But I just saw one that is truly evil looking – a black and white photo of a woman with what appears to be a plastic bag over her face. That’s not art, in my blog. Its objectification of women to the degree of horror.

Alpha Seal???!

May 13, 2008

What can I tell you? I find these weird things to be interesting. Scientists discovered a seal trying to have sex with a penguin, quite aggressively, I might add…

From Live Science:

“One summer morning, scientists observing elephant seals on a beach on Marion Island near the Antarctic spotted a young male Antarctic fur seal subduing a king penguin. “

“At first we thought it was hunting the penguin, but then it became clear that his intentions were rather more amorous,” de Bruyn recalled today via email.

In this article, scientists make the connection that aggression is closely linked to the mating urge in animals, and speculate it is the same in humans…. Read the full story…if these were humans it would be attempted rape for sure…

 

Couples Clue Phone #5

April 2, 2008

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Artist: Dante Gabriel Rosetti

I hate when I hear clients or professionals talking about having to “work at” a sexual relationship. That sounds about as exciting as cleaning the bathroom. Maintaining (or resurrecting) the sexual chemistry in a relationship is an art. Repeat: art. Its about flirting and seduction. 

I ask you, does this lovely lady look like she’s working?

Couples Clue Phone #4

March 11, 2008

Marriage or a committed relationship is not about “what am I going to get from my partner”. Rather, its about mutual stretching into “what can I do to fulfill my partner’s needs?” Its about mutual giving, not getting. The more you give, the more you get…. But I stress the word mutual. Otherwise its just a whole codependent thing going on, which ultimately brings happiness to no one.

This is the philosophy of Imago Therapy. If you haven’t read about it, you can google Imago Relationship Institute or buy “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix. I highly recommend it as a Certified Imago Therapist.

Do you think its ok to outgrow friends?

February 26, 2008

I see  so many women in their 20’s and 30’s struggling with the time management of  careers, relationships, friends  and family. And so often when we look at their stress, it becomes apparent that they are spending  what little free time they do have with people  they no longer have anything in common except fond memories of the past. 

Often there is conflict between the friends. One may want more frequency in the time spent together.  Or they have chosen to follow very different paths in life and can no longer understand where the other is coming  from….or where she’s going…  And I can see that way too much negative energy is going into this relationship.

It reminds me of an old saying, or was it a song, that “its better to part while we’re still friends”.   I do believe that sometimes friends do need to break up, sometimes for a while, sometimes permanently…..  What do you think?

Has Anyone Ever Heard of SOUL murder???

February 22, 2008

I heard today about a pedophile priest, who admitted to using many child prostitutes. If that isn’t SOUL MURDER I don’t know what is. He was sentenced to 5 years. FIVE years.

Bad enough he used these poor children, working either as slaves, or to make a living on the streets, or to feed their parents, but he also passed up an opportunity to RESCUE them from their plight.

SOUL MURDER . And for that he got five years.

Therapist murderer got clean exam days before attack

February 21, 2008

This news article  raises serious questions about both the mental health system and the legal system.  Mental health? Obviously unconscionably poor record keeping which, had all the facts been included, might have kept the man inpatient until he was stabilized.  A patient’s prior history is always included in the decision making. But some psychiatric disorders statistically include non-compliance with medications and one can’t legally hold someone based upon statistics.  Which also merges with other legal issues. Way back when (the 70’s?)  the mentally ill were released in droves from insitutions to the streets in the name of patients’ rights…unfortunately they were left with no rights to  shelter, aftercare, or treatment. Which actually merges with economic issues in terms of provider decision making…who’s paying for care, and how much is being paid?

Psychscribe Quote #16

February 20, 2008

“Much Madness is divinest Sense-

To a discerning eye-

Much Sense-the starkest Madness-

‘Tis the Majority

In this, as All,  prevail-

Assent-and you are sane-

Demur-and you’re straightaway dangerous-

And handled with a Chain-“

                             Emily Dickinson

WHY do “crimes of passion” have less legal consequences?????

February 18, 2008

amberfireinus‘s sympathetic response to my most recent post about the NY therapist murder prompted me to write a post on an issue which has always infuriated me, rather than commenting on her comment as we bloggers do…

 In most of these United States, for some reason a “crime of passion” gets less legal consequences than one which is premeditated. The legal system drops the heinous act of taking someone’s life down a few degrees .So apparently if someone goes ballistic with jealous rage its more ok…understandable legally …. than someone who commits cold blooded, pre-meditated murder.  And I’m sorry but that is usually a male who commits the crime of passion, so I can’t help but wonder about the sympathy of the predominately male legal system which makes these laws…(Did you know that police officers have one of the highest rates of perpetrating domestic violence?)

A “crime of passion”  usually translates into someone walking in on their loved one in bed with somebody else and killing her and the lover. I don’t know, call me nuts, but people are still dead, aren’t they? And ragers usually have had rage problems long before they kill in “passion”. Did anyone ever hear of …uh…dare I say therapy….or   anger management????

Do you have fish for pets?

February 16, 2008

Why? I really am curious about this….they’re not particularly responsive….I mean, its not like they greet you at the door a the end of a hard day…

Is it ok to spy on your partner’s email, cell, etc.?

February 14, 2008

This is often how one partner finds out that another has been having an affair, at least in my office. What do you think about boundary issues here?

More on Alpha Females

February 7, 2008

Khaki sent me a post that is so interesting on this topic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frans-de-waal/alpha-females-i-have-know_b_63400.html 

Online Friendships

January 31, 2008

As a novice to the blogosphere, I have been surprised to find real friendships developing with people I have never met in person, and probably never will.  I worry about them. I confide in them.  I feel connected…. I’m wondering what your experience of online friendships has been?

Psychscribe Quote # 14

January 30, 2008

“I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts our sleep so much as the fear…that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived.”
HAROLD KUSHNER