Just another Monday…

Today is the 9th annual “Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day”
and I couldn’t be happier to participate. If you look at my archives I’ve not been much of a blogger –as it turns out I’m a “talker” not a “writer”…maybe I should be doing a vlog?!

So in the spirit of today I’ll blog about my L (of LGBTQ) family and our day thus far.

It’s Monday morning and our older son has managed to wake up before my alarm and climbs into Mommy & Mama’s bed…I love this cuddle time –he’ll be 8 soon and I cherish the time that he’s still allowing us to love him as a little boy. Of course this blissful moment in time is cut short as he complains about my stubble –“Mom -your leg is poking me”. Time to get up…

I’m up and showered (and clean shaved legs) making lunch, repacking a book-bag and getting  ready for school while my wife is getting a much needed sleep-in (she worked all weekend) now joined by our preschooler.  Sometime between the cat’s relentless meowing, in need of her morning dose of insulin, (lesbian moms with a diabetic cat –can we get more cliche) and arguing about pants vs shorts -we missed the bus.  I quickly wrote out a check for the PTA, dosed the cat and we jumped in the car off to school!

Dropping off students at an elementary school in the morning rush should be an Olympic event. Between dodging buses, corralling loose children and weaving between other parents’ giant SUVs … I am adamantly stating “I will make the bus tomorrow”.

This morning quiet time is perfect to return the overdue books/DVDs/Wii games to the library…it doesn’t open for another 40 minutes as I sit in the parking lot. Change of plans, I decided to get bagels –I love fresh NY bagels.

I’m home with bagels, make 2 cups of coffee and pour a sipping cup of OJ…all on a breakfast tray that I carry upstairs. The little one is so excited “we’re having a picnic in bed?!” So as I sip my coffee and listen to Power Rangers in the background I started to write this blog…

I hope your day is a simple and sweet as my morning was -today and everyday.

 

Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day
Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day
Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day
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When the fandom implodes…

Ok, so I took the summer to recover from the May finale night Shondaland shows –this week marks the return of Greys Anatomy & we’ll begin by rubbing salt in the wound that is Calzona.

I’ve seen arguments get started on Twitter over the dumbest things… last night point + case went to Scott Foley starting a Scandal Twitter riot with his attempted comedic tweet about Kerry Washington loosing the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (I too think she was robbed, but Claire Danes’ performances are outstanding). People went bat shit crazy on him for no other reason than they too were upset by her loss. I have often commented that the anonymity of twitter tends to make people more negative…but evidently it also leads to down right nastiness. The insults and general hatred that were sent to him (and that he patiently responded to) were atrocious; behavior that makes me want to close my account and go happily back to living in my techno-free pink bubble.

We know this nasty behavior isn’t new to the Calzona fandom; when kind-hearted Jessica Capshaw was blasted by “fans” (I use the term loosely here) as her character Arizona cheated on her wife during the season 9 finale.  A little over 4 months ago I got to meet JCap briefly on a street corner of New York, and she was as sweet and lovely as can be…and it saddens me that since then she’s gotten such hated mail for playing a character that did a stupid thing. This fandom now reignited with the premiere of season 10 of Greys Anatomy only days away has dissected itself in to #TeamCallie and #TeamArizona.  I truly hope that all the people with hate in their heart can find a way to resolve that this is just a television show..but in the larger sense of reality >>things are not always so black and white = it’s grey. How many times have you heard someone say “you’ve done a bad thing but it doesn’t make you a bad person” before you understand? Marriage is complicated, life is messy and if you’re so quick to judge people & be reactionary with a tv show I feel sorry for the REAL people in your life.

Stop tearing each other down, it doesn’t build you up.

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Behind closed doors

Some of my “feelz” from last night…Imageit got real, I mean REALLY real. **Which is weird to say, since this is ALL made up**  For those who aren’t not fans of Greys Anatomy..this blog is not for you. Last night’s episode (a week before the season 9 finale) fans were heartbroken by a 1 minute scene that was half in the dark.

We had been warned about the potential of Arizona cheating on Callie by several sources…but the fandom refused to believe that this super couple could have such a dark moment…until it happened.  Callie and Arizona have had their many, many, many ups & downs as a couple. We all know their history..the fairytale that came from a single kiss in a dirty bar bathroom. But that fairytale relationship came to a crashing halt last night when the brutal reality of life crept into our televisions…and Lauren (aka McHomewrecker) crawled into Arizona’s pants.

So many fans have thrown their hands in the air and said that this is so out of character for Arizona they can’t believe this…well it’s true, it IS out of character for Arizona…but she’s changed. The devastation of the plane crash is still effecting their lives, and obviously her decision making skills have been damaged… to cheat on her wife, Callie, the one who has been by her side through all of this… I don’t know the realities of living with PTSD, which Arizona is clearly suffering from,  (the woman also experienced phantom limb pain) but they are complicated.  And this is what this story comes down to…it’s complicated.

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Nothing in life is black and white, there are all shades of Greys…For every story there are two sides and two truthes, each to their own perspective. Now don’t get me wrong, I am SO saddened and dissappointed in Arizona for cheating with Lauren… but she’s not herself. And honestly I am holding onto the 2% chance that hopes she doesn’t “go all the way” and Callie busts in on them and takes her prosthetic and beats Lauren over the head with it… but that’s not a Shonda-type story, I don’t think. I tweeted last night “you can’t judge someone’s actions if you haven’t been in their shoes (or prosthetic leg)” But in this case its really, true. I don’t think Arizona intened to cheat, but it “just kinda happened”…which sounds just as lame and pathetic  as when you hear it in real life.

I also have issues with the double standard..men cheat on women and they are labelled “dogs” etc…but when a woman does it…the whole world implodes? So my opinion of Lauren was that she wanted to be friendly to earn her trust…but she’s a total player! The Fleetwood Mac song “Players only love you when their playing” is on repeat in my head! She knew what she was going after (married mom) but it didn’t stop her and I find those type of McHomewreckers appauling…On Greys we saw Owen cheated, and while he and Cristina didn’t have children…(don’t get me started on the Sofia situation) it was still an infidelity. People have moved on, regained trust… even Bailey told him that “good people do bad things”. And the same is true for Arizona, she screwed up…she REALLY screwed up… but it’s part of her life (STORY **remember it’s fictional)  and she’ll have to deal with the consequences…I really hope/think that she will regret her actions before they are through with the season. As a member of the LGBT community I can’t help but applaud this brave new storyline that depicts one more facet of our lives that is as genuine and real as everyone elses.

“There’s only one things that cuts through all our realities and that’s LOVE, the bridge between all our differences” -Kit from The L Word

If people believe that others are “meant to be” then hold the faith and ride the waves…#CalzonaStrong. They haven’t given up with everything else that they have been through… and that is marriage.

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Parting is such sweet sorrow

As my Twitter experience continues I am learning life lessons… even in my mid-30’s I can learn from others, and about myself. What I think is most important about learning is taking the information and using it in a meaningful and productive way.

People have often said that life is just like a continuation of high school, I tend to agree.  There will always be cliques, and they are observed in EVERY age group.  In my life it has served me well to be in the middle of social circles…I’m never the “leader of the pack” nor the “underdog”. I have always gotten along with everyone because I feel it is important to listen to both sides and not to make judgements. As I have stated before, I try to tweet as I would speak –with kindness.

You may wonder why I am writing this blog… I became part of a social circle, that even before my joining was starting to fracture.  I don’t follow a lot of people on Twitter, because as a whole, I hadn’t planned on making friends… so it has come as a surprise to me that I have invested myself (emotionally, physically and financially) in people who I only hear from in 140 characters or less. But at my core I cannot stand to see people hurt one another…and I’ve seen it happening within this group. In the effort to stay as non-partisan as possible I have adopted the 3 Musketeer’s motto of “All for one, and one for all”.  As this nucleus divides I wish not to be on a side nor caught in the middle, I choose to remove myself from the equation completely.

I unfollowed people who I have had conversations with, exchanged Christmas cards with, sent letters & packages too…and I can tell you –I shed tears. I didn’t expect to cry, even now as I type this my eyes are welling up, but it’s again with a heavy heart that I do this for my own sanity and self-preservation. Publicly I apologize to Anna, Zara, Donna, Becky, Margarida and Amelie… I don’t want to pick sides and I don’t want to watch any of you do it either. I think you are all lovely, and if you are ever in NY I will totally buy you a drink.

Doing what you know to be true for you is more important than everyone loving or agreeing with you.

— Yehuda Berg (@yehudaberg)

Whether people follow or don’t follow me..I speak my truth. I am honest with myself, and because of that I can be honest with you.

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Scandal takes over Twitter

Every week there is a scandal on Twitter…of course I mean this in two different ways. There is the scandal -the damage done to Twitter, caused by the show Scandal and the show itself. If you haven’t turned on ABC on a Thursday night in the last year…you are living under a rock. I honestly can’t say why you haven’t seen Scandal, it’s on right after Greys Anatomy (and if you don’t watch that you can stop reading now, we’re done here), but this post isn’t going to be a love-fest about how great the show is (which it is)…but how it consumes Twitter.

Scandal is an incredibly thrilling drama that follows the life and work of Olivia Pope (a Washington DC political fixer) played by Kerry Washington. But the show that is full of twists and turns is simultaneously being tweeted by millions of fans and cast & crew alike. It was rumored that Shonda Rhimes told her leading lady and cast that she wanted them to tweet during the episodes, obviously to generate publicity…but I don’t think anyone knew how much #AskScandal was going to take off. The hashtag has it’s own feed page on Twitter that I can barely keep up with the traffic.

Regardless of whether it is a new episode or not, #AskScandal becomes a trending topic on Twitter on Thursday nights starting at 10pm EST and continues past 11pm PST.  There is always lots going on with multiple story lines so there are several choices for a trending topic.

2013-04-04_23-35-03Here in “NY trends”, my pic from last night, was missing Fitz and Mellie, (2 more characters from the show) that were below the screen capture. So that’s a total of 6 out of 10 trending topics…not to bad considering that pic was taken 35 minutes after the show finished airing on the East coast. **Note the following morning both #Scandal and #AskScandal were still trending in NY, nearly 12 hours later.  There are staggering statistics that Scandal receives over 2,200 tweets per minute.  A show that earns a 2.7 market share with 18-49 yrs, that’s roughly 8.11 million views, and takes over Twitter is a force to be reckoned with.

The marketing genius that started as #AskScandal is phenomenal because the fans are so connected to the show and the actors truly respond to this excitement and love for their #Gladiators. Coined from season one, the characters consider themselves “Gladiators in suits” fighting the good fight of Olivia Pope and Assoc. The fans have adopted this nickname as our own identifier.  The cast is so genuinely in love with each other as an extension of the show that they are even seen tweeting together on set on a Thursday night with their fans.

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Social media (namely Twitter) has been on fire with this show and it’s because of this connection to it’s fans that we see Scandal on the cover of  TV Guide, and released today- Entertainment Weekly. Everyone that is involved is wholly invested in this show and its that personal connection that generates even more buzz.

It’s fitting that this post be put up today as it is the 1 year anniversary of the show’s original air date. Happy Birthday Scandal –here’s to many more.

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The thrill of the chase

Sometimes I think Twitter is the greatest collector’s forum. As people tweet their favorite stars and hope to be noticed with a reply, a RT (re-tweet), being “favorited”, or the supposed ultimate a “follow”…the acknowledgement of what you said to an idol is surprisingly gratifying.

A little background for those not familiar with Twitter; I joined in May 2012, and there was definitely a learning curve for this “old dog.” The basic premise was easy enough to grasp… tweet = a 140 characters of whatever you want to say. When you added @ and someone’s handle you are directly tweeting to them (and any other person that wanted to look at it can read it as well). Then came the nuances that I am still trying to figure out. RT’ing is IMO (in my opinion) validating what the first person has already said, in essence, agreeing with them. Favorite’ing is obviously just that, marking something that you like and can refer back to at a later time.  You follow the people that you want to hear about and you gain followers who similarly, want to hear what you have to say.

That all being said…I follow a lot of celebrities. I enjoy seeing the BTS (behind the scenes) pictures from the set and reading what they are doing in La-la land. I am, admittedly a  (too a certain degree)fangirl

Getting a reply from a celebrity is really fun, I would say even addictive. And I completely understand the desire to be acknowledged by your idol, but not to the extent that some of these people go to. Some of the most disturbing attempts at getting noticed are those that use bad behavior or language…being nasty is like fly paper to some and they get the attention which then breeds more insults. Then there are the absolute “fan-girls” that just completely go off the map with “I love you” & “You’re so pretty” when the celeb simply tweeted “Look at this picture of a cashew nut.” (true story) I ask valid questions that I hope to get answers about; I send out politically & socially charged messages hoping to be RT’ed so that the message reaches a greater number of followers, AND… I have asked the designer of an outfit or jewelry…which I often then purchase 🙂 Some of my tweets are frivolous, but that’s what I use Twitter for -entertainment.

I have a life, a great life, but it is fun to tweet in this virtual reality that Twitter allows you to be part of something bigger…but it’s not reality, its fantasy. And it is the fans that can’t disassociate the actors from their characters that then tweet absurdities. One of my favorite writers has on her Twitter bio “Don’t tweet me your craziness,” and it’s true. The fandom becomes it’s own entity at times and can destroy everything in it’s path. I’ve seen fighting on Twitter over which ‘ship people like better on a show, or this celeb tweets this person more than that one, or they attack like wild animals if anyone dares to say something unflattering about their star. Seriously?

The reality is that when your tweeting celebrities, have fun…but don’t take it too seriously, because after all – they don’t.

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The beginning…

All it takes is 1 thing. 1 thing that inspires you… to make a change. Gandhi said “We have to be the change we want to see”, so here I am – making a change.

I guess introductions are in order, I’m Jenn, 35, from Long Island, NY. I have 2 sons and a wife..oh yeah, I’m gay. I was raised in upstate NY and moved to Long Island when I was 17 for college. We have cats, live in a suburban center-hall colonial, I’m on the PTA, and I was looking for something new…

10 months ago I joined Twitter…and while this, in and of itself, isn’t any great accomplishment it has opened my eyes. I’ve learned about new people, places, organizations, world cultures but also have unfortunately seen a lot of hate. The truth is I joined Twitter in a completely vapid and frivolous attempt at learning more about my favorite celebrities. I am more than a “fan girl”, although my roots define me as much sometimes. But as I tweet to television stars, Broadway hopefuls, politicians and social activists … I see the negativity they receive on a daily basis. It’s sickening. It needs to stop.

As the world we live in becomes more intertwined with social media – we see less of people in real life and more of their words in texts&tweets. My words are my own, and I try to type them as I would say them…with kindness. I have been saying since my first weeks on Twitter that it is it’s anonymity that falsely allows it’s users to tweet without filters. Would people really say to the person next to them half of the things they tweet to complete strangers? I hope not. I want to “pay it forward”; I want MY (Everyone’s) Twitter experience to be a positive one… don’t spread hate, respect yourself enough to respect others, it’s okay to butt heads, but don’t BE a butt-head. Your words have power, whether you believe it or not…someone is listening, somewhere. People want to make their mark on this world…make it for something good and meaningful.

I’m stepping off my mini soap box… My future posts will range in topics from television shows, celebrities I follow, the latest shenanigans of my sons, being a gay mom, social activism, or whatever else pisses me off enough to write about ;p

Life is a series of detours, just keep driving…and enjoy the journey.

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