Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tupac Is the New Elvis

Yet another sign that the boomer generation's reign as trend leader and opinion maker has expired: Tupac Shakur sightings.

Tupac, of course, was the 25-year-old photogenic, talented rapper/poet who was gunned down in his prime in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996. He lingered for six days before indisputably dying of cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.

Used to be Elvis sightings. But rare, now, is the under-50 music aficionado who mourns the lost potential of the "King of Rock 'n Roll," who died at age 42 in (believe it or not) 1977. Thirty-two long years ago!

Hard to imagine that many boomers have even heard of Tupac...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Craigslist Killer and Men with Secret Lives

Megan McAllister, fiance of the alleged Craigslist killer, Philip Markoff, is a lucky woman today. The stars of good fortune are shining on her.

She doesn't feel gratitude yet, though. Probably still rues it as the worst day of her life when her beloved ("a beautiful man inside and out... He would not hurt a fly!") was wrongly accused and arrested in a terrible case of mistaken identity.

Of course, Megan could be proven correct. But the circumstantial evidence is extremely strong: emails traced to his IP address, security cameras and cell phone pings placing him at several of the crimes, corroborating evidence at his apartment.

At minimum, Philip has been leading a dangerous double life... one living up to everyone's expectations of a perfect guy ("He is intelligent, loyal, and the best fiance a woman could ask for.); the other, a cold, hostile misogynist who thrives on the angry acts of a powerless little boy.

I know. I've known two such men: my ex-husband and a young pastor.

Similar to Philip, both led double lives:
  • one life as the perfect guy, loved by his wife, adored by his children, admired by the world as a golden boy-man, beaming with promise and good looks, intelligence and charm.

  • a second, secret life crammed with repeated rebellions tailored to shock and hurt the people who love them.

These men break the hearts of the people who love them... people who never truly grasp the reasons for the golden man's painful, often heinous, betrayal.

Harsh reality reveals that we never really knew these men, Megan. Reality reveals that they craved an audience who believed in their goodness, but these men are incapable of returning mature love. Or of truth.

Move on, Megan. For your sake, forgive Philip, release your pain, and move on. Chalk your romance up to a close-call and a cautionary lesson well-learned.

You don't realize it yet, but this is the best day of your young life. Trust me on this.

(Photo of fiances Philip Markoff and Megan McAllister in happier times.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Adam Lambert: David Bowie with Fantastic Singing Skills

I'm crazy about Adam Lambert, the front-runner to win this season's American Idol competition. I'm crazy about his music, his persona, his theatricality, and especially about his joyously spontaneous creativity.

Adam Lambert will be a big, big star, most likely in musical theater, but his appeal won't be limited to, or even include many, young, edgy music aficionados. Here's why...

He's a joyously Disney-fied version of glammed-up punk rock. He's David Bowie, but with fantastic singing skills. He's Elton John, but with style and fashion sense. He's Elvis but without the snarl and the fried peanut butter sandwiches.

He's a mannered young man with a choir boy's face from middle-class San Diego suburbs. He's the son, the nephew, the brother, who had talent too out-sized for desk-bound college study and proclivities too exotic for his confused, loving family.

He's the wanderer who arrives home for Thanksgiving with a black shock of hair, two new tattoos, Revlon eyeshadow, and armed with pumpkin pie and sweet hugs for all.

What I find refreshing about Adam Lambert is his openness and comfort with his identity. He's part of the new generation of young gay man who lack an angry chip on their shoulder and a desperate need to taunt with their sexuality.

Indeed, his 21st-century androgynous charisma is blend of the new and the moderately old, but his creative vibrancy as a musical performer is an American tradition that dates back to vaudeville.

Adam Lambert as the lead in "Jesus Christ, Superstar," anyone?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dust-Catcher and Recumbent: A Tale of Two Bikes

This my new gym-caliber recumbent bike, a Schwinn 230.
I bought it to replace my 30-year-old dust-catcher of a stationary bike which I purchased from Sears to drop weight after my first child... now 32 years old... was born.

I rode Dust-Catcher about 600 miles a year since 2003, so I did see use it... but turns out it was half-broken. And half-effective.

A couple months ago, to avoid eventual knee surgery, I embarked on a physical therapy regimen, and it's not been easy. But WOW...I feel better. Exercise has already made a huge difference in my health, and I'm just getting started.

My new recumbent bike is professional caliber... more so than I imagined, since I bought it via Amazon. I've been using it for two weeks, and have discovered that it's light years more effective... and tougher... than Dust-Catcher.

Gleaming, sturdy, computerized... Recumbent challenges me. Stares at me. Sometimes overwhelms me.Occasionally frustrates me. Frequently wears me out.

But Recumbent will never defeat me. Instead, I will work my way up to 30 minutes daily.

I refuse to be defeated.
Or to succumb to knee, or perhaps hip, surgery until doctors believe there is no better way. And that may be never, given that I'm motivated.