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A Rant About My Generation

Recently someone I love, who has kids my age, posted a video called something like “What’s Wrong with Millenials.” In it, the speaker talks about how we, as Millenials, cannot help but be entitled little brats. It’s our parent’s fault, the fault of technology and more. He said that all we want in the workplace are beanbag chairs and laptops.

About a week earlier, I was watching the Daily Show and Trevor Noah made a crack about how there should be another economic collapse because every generation deserves to know what it feels like to try and fail in a crap economy. (I’m paraphrasing.) He then went on to name Millenials as the generation that deserves this lovely opportunity.

REALLY?!?!?! Seriously guys – do you know how OLD Millenials are now??? I am a 31-year-old first-time mom who is a Millenial. I am technically not even a mom yet – I’m having my first baby at 31. You know when my parents and their parents before them had babies? MUCH EARLIER! My husband and I made a conscious decision to wait until we could kind of squeeze by and sort of afford having a child. More and more people in my generation are waiting for similar reasons.

I’m sorry, but these recent jabs at my generation are the last straw for me. I cannot believe that people are still Millenial bashing. Give me a goddamn break.

Instead of all this idiotic supposition about bean bag chairs, tech addiction, and how we just need a good economic crisis for us to get ourselves together – let me give you some facts:

  1. According to Genhq.com, Millennials were born between 1977 and 1995. According to TheAtlantic.com, Millennials were born between 1982 and 2004. So, let’s get our facts straight here. You mean no one has actually defined who is in this generation? What a shocker. Also, according to that Atlantic article we are “the worst.” Thanks.
  2. If we take this ridiculously extreme date range as our entire generation, the oldest Millennials are those tech-addicted, bean bag chair loving 40-year-olds lazing about with their entitled ways. If we take “the worst” generation article, the oldest in our number is one of those latte-loving, selfie taking 35-year-olds. Apparently, people over thirty don’t want money or respect or to rise through the ranks in their career trajectories, they want unearned accolades and fake prizes!
  3. According to Complex.com and PewResearch.org, Millennials are the best-educated generation to date – with some of the worst prospects for the future. To top that off, the cost of college is on the rise.  Perhaps that’s why we aren’t big diamond and home buyers?
  4. Guess what, Trevor Noah – first of all, YOU’RE a Millenial. Second, Millenials already lived through the 2007/2008 economic crisis. I was working a job in real estate at the time. Then I ended up working two jobs so that I could pay rent – and even then I barely squeezed through the last economic collapse by the skin of my teeth. I had friends who had to drop out of college to work so they could manage. They JUST got their degrees THIS YEAR. Others graduated college to the prospect of a job at Chilis. So, no, we don’t need another one, thank you very much. BTW, I get that he was making a joke, but it was an irritating one.
  5. I’m going to go with the GenHQ age range, because according to this article the New York Times, Newsweek, and a consumer research firm called Iconoclast generally agrees with the years, give or take. Let’s see what we entitled jerks have accomplished since, oh, 20 years after they were born – so 1997 to present day:

1997- Broadband comes out / the first Harry Potter book hits the shelves / Tiger Woods wins the Masters / Princess Diana dies / There’s a global economic crisis scare / the Prius is invented

1998 – Google is formed / Bill Clinton is impeached / Viagra hits the market

1999 – We get Wi fi and Blackberries / Panama gets its canal back / Columbine happens / Dow Jones closes about the 10K mark for the first time

2000 –  The dot-com bubble bursts / George Bush becomes president

2001 – 9/11 happens / Enron closes its doors / The Patriot Act is passed / No Child Left Behind Act is passed / We invade Afghanistan in a never-ending war / the iPod comes out/ Wikipedia is launched / The Buddhas in Afghanistan are destroyed

2002 – The euro is adopted / Guantanamo Bay accepts its first prisoners / Halle Berry is the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar

2003 – Electronic payments outnumber paper checks / Iraq is invaded / Saddam Hussein is captured / NASA launches the Mars Rover / the Human Genome Project is completed / Myspace is launched / China launches its first manned mission to space

2004 – Facebook is launched / Podcasts are invented / The groundbreaking for the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero occurs / We find out there was once water on the Moon / Bush is reelected

2005 – The space shuttle Discovery goes into orbit and returns safely / Images of Titan’s surface come from the Huygens probe / Flash drives replace floppy disks / Suicide bombers in London / Angela Merkel become first female German Chancellor / YouTube is launched

2006 – iTunes gets its one billionth download / the Louisiana Superdome reopens after Katrina / Tesla Motors opens its doors / Twitter is founded / Pluto gets a demotion

2007 – The first female speaker is sworn to office in the House / the Steroids Scandal in baseball happens / Virginia Tech happens / Economic downturn happens just in time for Christmas / Apple iPhone comes out

2008 – The first black man is elected president of the US / eBook sales skyrocket and print book sales decline / Michael Phelps wins his 8th Gold medal  / US oil prices hit an all-time high

2009 – The Tea Party begins protests / Google starts its driverless car project / Michael Jackson dies / Non-oil-based plastic is invented

2010 – We see a reverse in the economic downturn / ACA is passed / BP rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

2011 – Osama Bin Ladan is killed / The first Occupy Wallstreet protest occurs / The war in Iraq is declared over

2012  –  Driverless cars are licensed in Nevada / Obama is reelected / Aurora, CO theater shooting happens / Sandy Hook happens

2013 – Cornell scientists grow the first living ear / the Boston Marathon tragedy happens

2014 –  ACA goes into effect / Russia annexes Crimea

2015 – Baltimore riots for Freddie Gray happen / Diplomatic relations are opened with Cuba / San Bernadino terror attacks occur / Same-sex marriage is legalized nationally

2016 –  Pulse nightclub attacks happen / the Cubs with the world series / D. Trump becomes president


(See sources for all of this at the end of the post)

Yep, it seems like we Millenials have been sitting around on our entitled asses, not doing anything, weathering no storms, and refusing to participate in society. I hope you hate Google, Twitter, Facebook, iPhones, hybrid cars, and women in government. Because this is what I found in a quick Google search. I bet that, if you actually took a look at what Millenials have gone through and participated in accomplishing – you’d find even more goodies.

Now, I’m not saying that Millenials accomplished everything alone. In fact, I think my Boomer parents would agree that I needed their help to get my life going – heck, I wouldn’t be alive without them! But I think it’s time to stop saying things like “Millennials are the worst” or “Millennials are entitled assholes” or “All Millennials want are bean bag chairs” or “Millennials are delicate snowflakes that want to be rewarded for coming in last place.”

Guess what, we want what you want. We want to be paid fair wages, we want our work to mean something, we want families and a house and the American dream. We want to take responsibility for our past and for our future. We want to make this world a better place for our children.

So, the next time you hear someone bashing Millenials, or you have the impulse to bash Millenials, stop and think. If you were born in the last forty years, guess what? You’re one of us.












The Wonder and Struggle of Being a Girl at a Concert

*Warning: I don’t hold back on my language here.

Last night I went to a Dropkick Murphys show, which was amazing.  My experience at the show reminded me of a number of things I’ve noted over the years, but have never thought about except as a way to improve my own concert-going behavior.

Let me preface my thoughts by saying that women are trained throughout life to be quiet, not pushy, not “bossy,” etc.  I guess the expectation is that we will grow into a delicate little flower who doesn’t want her petals mussed. This behavior might be successful – I wouldn’t know as I tend to try to balance my native outspokenness with my equally native shyness and I’m sure polite behavior enters in there somewhere, since I don’t seem to offend an inordinate amount of people. However, staying in the background does NOT work in a concert.

Correction – it doesn’t work if you’re on the floor of a concert.  It works in the mezzanine because you have a seat and you don’t have to be pushy or anything.

Dropkick Murphys tearing it up!

Dropkick Murphys tearing it up!

Anyway, I was on the floor of the Roseland Theater.  The opening act was rocking our socks and I noticed something very interesting.  Girls were hanging back, letting larger guys or girls with guys leading them into the crowd go ahead.  Not only that, the girls hanging back would take a step away from people who jostled them.  I say this is the wrong way to approach a concert when you’re on the main floor.  So, here’s how I attend a concert – along with the pros/cons of each step:

1. Wear comfy shoes.  This is pre-concert prep, but it’s important.  I don’t care if you’re going on a date, trying to pick up guys, or just want to look sexy – you can’t wear heals to a show – even if you’re sitting in the mezzanine.

Pros: Comfort during the show and not limping all the following day.

Cons: Not as cute as your cutest pair of shoes (boohoo) and if you are wearing soft toed shoes, you have to be quick on your feet.  Otherwise they will get stepped on.  They’d get stepped on in your uncomfortable shoes too…

2. Be pushy.  It’s time to follow that inner voice which says “just push that asshole out of the way.”  If you want to get through a crowd at a concert, push your way through it.  I promise you, practically noone will get offended.  After all, others push their way past you all the time.

Pros: You can get closer to the front!  Another pro is that being pushy can help you keep any creepsters away.  If someone is being gross and rubbing up against you inappropriately, just push him or her away.  They’ll get the message.

Also, GIRL POWER!!!!!

Cons: Three words: Other People’s Sweat.  You will exchange sweat with others.  It’s gonna happen with that many bodies close together. It’s gross, but not as gross as paying to see a concert and not seeing jack.

3. Stand your ground. Picture this: you’re semi close to the mosh pit and a HUGE dude comes up with his girlfriend behind you and starts pressing up against you.  You’re not going into the mosh pit – it’s not gonna happen – but the guy is making you uncomfortable.  This happened to me.  I could have yelled at my husband to do something or I could have moved and been trapped in some other uncomfortable position.  But screw that. I’m an independent woman, yo.

So I stood my ground, and maneuvered my body so I couldn’t help elbowing him occasionally, pushing into his stomach with my back, and making other contact which was uncomfortable to him.  That’s key.  I just made it super unpleasant for him to stand there.  Guess what, he moved.

Please note I’m not advocating violence.  But I also don’t feel it’s appropriate for some random dude to press his entire body up against mine.  I didn’t consent to that and I was there first.

Pros: You stay in the awesome spot that you found.

Cons: It’s counter-intuitive and might make you feel uncomfortable.  If you really don’t feel comfortable about actively pushing back, you may want to elicit the help of people around you.  Concert goers are generally pretty nice and social people.  So, if the circumstances are very uncomfortable, ask someone next to you to swap spots and/or ask the person smooshing you to back off a little.

Another note: If the person shoving against you is being sexually inappropriate, turn around, get a good picture of his face (turn on your flash if needed – it’ll blind the prick and let you get away that much faster, with a better shot of his face), and go find security.  Do it for the safety of all the women at the show.

My husband and I getting photobombed from some totally random dude at the Dropkick Murphys show

My husband and I getting photobombed from some totally random dude at the Dropkick Murphys show

4. Do Unto Others and all that. Okay, there’s a lot of pushing and shoving that happens at a show. Because of this there are people who need a breather as well as people who want to get in on the action.  If someone is just trying to get to the mosh pit or find a good spot – or if they are trying to get out of the mosh pit, help them out.  Move out of the way for the time it takes the person to pass.  Get your group to make way.  You’re in a huge crowd that is mainly self-governing.  If you are nice to others, it’ll come back to you in good ways.

True story: At the Dropkick Murphy’s show I was pretty near the mosh pit, near enough that people were diving in and diving out pretty consistently.  I helped them move in whichever way they wanted.  Then, later on all the girls were either getting on stage or crowd surfing forward.  This huge teddy bear of a man gave me a leg up without me asking and I had my first crowd surfing experience.  The whole space was really respectful (no one tried to cop a feel) and I had an amazing time.

Pros: Your experience and the experience of those around you will be bettered.

Cons: I can’t think of any.  Unless you don’t like people.  Then you probably shouldn’t go to a concert.

5. Protect yourself. No matter what, if you are uncomfortable, do what you need to do to protect yourself.  I was in a defensive stance the majority of the time, with my fists up and my arms protecting my soft bits.  This isn’t because someone was doing something bad – just I was worried I might get an elbow to the boob on accident and I wasn’t willing to risk it.  I also did a lot of fancy footwork to avoid getting my feet stepped on.

However, I was at a Sleigh Bells show where the “mosh” area was in pretty constant expansion and at one point I decided nay, I am not going to be in this press of people.  It was so tight I was practically hyperventilating.  So, I ducked through the crowd and enjoyed the show from the edge.

So, no matter what, be safe, stay comfortable, and enjoy the show!

It Has Come to This

I thought that title was pretty dramatic, and today has been a pretty low drama day – besides bathing my dog who has been itching himself like a crack addict with his medicated shampoo, and then being stopped in the street as I walked him by a lady looking for her lost dog.  Also finding out that three of my favorite podcasts need dinero right now in order to last through 2014.  Besides all that, it has not been a dramatic day.

This is my dog

This is my dog

This is who my dog reminds me of when he's itching the crap out of himself

This is who my dog reminds me of when he’s itching the crap out of himself

But enough.  Le’s talk words.  Let’s count said words and see what we’ve got.

As of the beginning of last week I was at 25,858 words for my young adult, dark urban fantasy novel tentatively titled “Hunting Annabelle.”  As of Sunday night, my word count was at…(drumroll) 31,939 words.  This means I wrote 6,081 words last week!  That’s almost the 7,000 words I was dreaming of writing every week.  Yay!

So, in the spirit of trying to write 1,000 or more words a day, my wordcount for today is 33,558.  This is 1,619 words written today.  Jolly good, what?

Now, because I know it’s probably pretty boring just to hear word counts and not what the words are all about, I’m going to give a little, teensy hint.  This story’s protagonist is a teenager with an eating disorder and an addiction.  Three of her best friends have recently been in a disaster.  One lost his leg while the other two are missing.  Our heroine has to overcome her own issues to find and rescue her friends.  The setting is modern-day Los Angeles, with a twist, since it’s fantasy and all.

So there you go, the sneak peak that was no peak at all.

Why are there so many love songs?

I once dated a bassist who proclaimed that he hated love songs because there were so many of them.  He didn’t understand why people still listened to them.  That question always nagged at me – and I think about it often.  Today I was driving a car without my phone – which means I had to *gasp* listen to the radio on my drive home.  And it wasn’t even Pandora!!  While flipping through channels (I don’t know the good stations in Portland because I never listen to the radio and I didn’t grow up here) I listened to all sorts of music, from Dubstep to Sublime to the Eagles and I thought about what makes music – or a book – or a movie – popular.  This is a question that niggles in the back of my mind and has done for years now.

My theory is that any popular piece, whether well done or a complete steaming pile of crap, impinges on us in a very basic level.

For example, remember when the Backstreet Boys were popular?  No?  Well, I do, and so do these guys:

While their songs are completely terrible (sorry husband o’ mine, but they are) they have one thing in common – they are about basic human emotion.  The top Backstreet Boys song (according to a website I pulled out of Google’s butt) is Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely. Which, while I’ve never been able to stand that song, is all about love and death, two very very basic human experiences.  Not only is the subject matter basic, the music itself is incredibly simple. It’s a brand – because every goddamn Backstreet Boys song I’ve ever heard has this beat – but it’s also crazy simple and easy to follow along.  The Chinese guys could do it – and so can literally everyone else in the world.

98 degrees

I think this is what people mean by “catchy“.  When the subject matter is simple and the music itself is super simple. I specifically picked Backstreet Boys because they’ve always been an enigma I didn’t understand.  I don’t get why they were so popular – but then again, I LOVED the Spice Girls, so I guess I shouldn’t hate on the Backstreet Boys too badly.

The same principles can be applied to books.  I searched the top ten best selling books of all time – and for some reason found the top 21 best selling books of all time.  Since I don’t want to get into religion, and since I haven’t actually read several of the books on this list (though I’m super happy Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None got on that list – it’s one of my favorite books), I’m going to just bring up one series that a lot of people have probably read.

Number four on the list is the Lord of the Rings.  While this is clearly a complex story with epic battles and Ents – which I wish were real – the basic story is, for the love of family and friends and a keen desire for adventure, a young hobbit goes into the greater world to destroy a plague of evil.  This is super basic.  It, like many fantastic stories, boils down to love/hate and good/evil.

Look at this guy. Don't you wish he were alive and kicking today? How can you say no to that face?

Look at this guy. Don’t you wish he were alive and kicking today? How can you say no to that face?

I will digress to make a point – the Dr. Seuss book Green Eggs and Ham is for children and seems nonsensical, but it too boils down to love/hate.  One guy is trying to make the other guy try green eggs and ham, while the other says “gross – I hate those”.  The first guy is like “No way, dude, you’re gonna love it!  Just try it.”

Jeez Sam-I-Am, what's IN those green eggs and ham any way...

Jeez Sam-I-Am, what’s IN those green eggs and ham any way…

This is a recurring theme in life.  How many trite “you never know until you try” or “there’s plenty of fish in the sea” sayings are there?  How many times have you said something like “I LOVE my job” or “I HATE my ex”?  Too many to count.  We quantify our lives in love/hate and good/evil.

And that’s why there are so many love songs.

The end.

I’m kind of kidding – but I think my point is made.  The reason there are so many love songs, so many books, movies, tv shows, and plays all about love/hate and good/evil is because that’s how we quantify life.  And we love black and white “that guy’s a good guy – he gets the girl” but get offended when the bad guy some how wins.  I think this is because it offends our sensibilities about real life.  In real life, the bad guy may win, but we assume that he died suffering mentally or physically somehow.  When a young person who seems like a nice, polite young man dies tragically from a drug overdose we get upset.  If it were a book, we’d somehow be able to revenge ourselves on the evil drug dealer or something.  But in real life, we can’t.  And that’s why fiction is so awesome.  We can wish fulfill and make all the things that offend our sensibilities in the real world make sense.  That’s a reason I think fiction, music, and any kind of art is so important, good or bad, happy or sad.  It may help a person make sense of the world around them – and that’s important.

And now for something completely different…. (*warning – the story linked to there will make you cry at the end. I cried in the parking lot of Office Depot. But it was worth it.)

What I Learned from Watching Murder She Wrote

I did not have a normal TV watching education as a kid.  I pretty much exclusively watched Nick at Nite, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Salute Your Shorts, cartoons, and old westerns when I was really young (like 8 years old).  This was due to a lack of cable TV, and the fact that we got about four channels via the rabbit ears on our TV, one of which was inexplicably Nickelodeon.   Later on I watched Star Trek, The Simpsons, Sliders, MTV (real music videos – especially the ones with pop-up facts) and Mystery Science Theater 3000.  When we finally got HBO I watched movies.  I never watched Buffy, Dawson’s Creek or anything considered normal for my age really.

With this background, it may be understandable why, when I was really young – I think 9? I got super into Murder She Wrote.  I’m not old enough that these were not reruns.  I was staying with my friend in Maine and her grandparents (who owned the cabin we were staying in) watched the summer reruns of Murder She Wrote religiously.   I never watched it after I left Maine, but that, warm rain, picking blueberries, and skinny dipping for the first time are the most memorable parts of that trip.

Thanks to Netflix, and the song “Murder She Wrote”, I remembered my long lost love.   Though I’m pretty sure the song has nothing to do with the tv show.  Unless I’m missing something and Jessica Fletcher changed her name to Maxine and got into reggae in a later season.

After watching several episodes in which Miss Marple… I mean Jessica Fletcher… solves more murders than a homicide detective is likely to see in one lifetime – many of which happen in a tiny town in Maine, I have come to several conclusions:

Never live in Maine.  Ever.

I had a great summer there when I was a kid, but apparently I was lucky to get away with my life.  Stephen King and Jessica Fletcher agree that people DIE in Maine ALL THE TIME.  Either by giant clown spider aliens, by rabies, or by plain ol’ murder, if you are in Maine YOU WILL DIE.  Don’t move to Maine people.  I’m getting a little freaked out that I live in a city which has the same name as a city in Maine – and I live on an entirely different coast to the fateful state.Jessica Fletcher

If you are old and single, you will get hit on

Jessica Fletcher is an older widow who writes murder mysteries.  But, everyone with a penis has a crush on her.  Even young men.  Except her relatives – obviously.

On a serious note, I think they were trying to portray her as a sexy, younger Miss Marple.  But not much younger.

People kiss a lot as a greeting on the East Coast

This must be a Northerners thing, because I have a lot of friends in Florida and they don’t kiss me to greet me.  Hug, yes, kiss, no.  Maybe it’s actually just something from the 80’s.

The obvious suspect is never the right person – especially if they are Jessica’s relative or if she really likes them

There’s like one episode where someone she really likes is the killer.  ONE.  In 12 seasons.  I have yet to watch all the seasons, but I believe the pattern holds true.

 Watch out for spazzy people

Jessica Fletcher is probably the spazziest person I’ve seen.  She is always chasing after people or clues, jogging in a flailing sort of way, forgetting appointments, having to rush to the phone as if answering that call were a matter of life and death, and more.  But, she is super observant and somehow writes one best seller after another to support her jet-setting, murder attracting life-style.

80’s clothes are coming back

Sorry. I was in denial, but after watching this show, I see the light.  80’s clothes are returning.

Writers are RICH, Bitch

Seriously. She must make BANK.  Maybe it’s just writers from Maine.  The ones that don’t die.

Jessica Fletcher’s family has a million children

She is everyone’s aunt.  But what can I say, I wish she were my aunt.  I might get arrested for a murder, but I know she’d get me acquitted in the nick of time.

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