Say Goodnight and Go

Wow, this is overdue…

I think it’s time I officially close shop here people.  You knew this was coming…I don’t stop by as often as I used to, I hardly tweet anymore…the signs have been there for a while. The truth is, I’ve started my own consulting company and it’s taking off – which is something of a miracle in this crap hole of an economy.  Plus I’ve got the whole happy fam/cool kids groove rolling along now.  Point is, I’m lucky and busy. 

I want to thank you for making Mix Tape Therapy what it was – and for trusting me with your questions and allowing me to subject my strange musical tastes on you.  In the end, I think you helped save my sanity much more than I ever did yours.

Drama Free and Humor Filled,

Ms. Mix & Bitch

10 Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2010 (and Some from 2009 too)

 

Yeah, yeah…I know I usually do these type of lists at the end of the year, but truth is kittens, mama missed doing the Top Ten Worst Celebrity Baby Names last year, and there are some real doozeys already for 2010.  So let’s get started, shall we?

10.  Mars Merkaba (child of Erykah Badu  and Jay Electronica)

Neo soul/R&B artist Erykah Badu has always been an original creation of her own making.  A little wackadoo, but worth the trouble nonetheless.  And I loved when she named her first son, Seven, because – as she said – “Seven as a number and a force cannot be divided.”  How fuckin’ cool is that?

But I take issue with naming your baby Mars, after the Red Planet.  Maybe the name stands for something else, but to this white Jewish matzoh cracker, it just looks random and stupid.  ‘Nuff said.

9. Kaydnz Koda (child of  T Pain)

Y’all know I do not really keep up with rap artists, and this includes T Pain. But I do know the African-American community likes names with a  (how do you say it…)  um…unique sound. 

Kedisha

Tameeka

Uniqua (that one’s from The Backyardigans, doncha know)

You get the idea.  So you tell me this…is the latest trend amongst the rap artist community to adopt names with more consonants than a Polish province?  This name’s just a hot mess, and it goes perfectly with his daddy’s mouth grill. Yeah, I said it.

8. Ikhyd Edgar Arular (child of M.I.A)

Okay, I stand corrected. Maybe it’s not just African-American rappers who are all consonant-crazy cuz M.I.A. hit her son up with a mouthful as well. She showed me there boy.

7. Sparrow James Midnight (child of Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden)

Well thank GOD for Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden because without them coming up with the pussy of a choice name – Sparrow - for their son, then I would’ve thought all the crazy was relegated to the rappers.

I adored the name they picked for their daughter (Harlow) – so much so, I wished I would’ve thought of it.  But naming your boy Sparrow is just asking for an ass whoopin’.  Although I guess it’s better than naming him(gulp) Swallow, but who am I kidding? Either choice makes him sound like a gay pirate.

6. Atlas Heche Tupper  (child of Anne Heche James Tupper)

Ok, speaking of wackadoo celebrities, few have anything over Anne Heche.  Jesus, she’s a whole carton of crazy town, so I should probably thank her for only naming her kid after a book of maps and not after one of her hallucinatory characters she ‘heard’ when she snapped and went off the grid after Ellen dumped her sorry ass way back when. So Atlas, consider yourself…um….lucky?

P.S.  I can’t WAIT ’til that kid grows up and writes the tell-all about growing up in that household.

5. Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver – Jools and Jamie Oliver

I like Jamie Oliver. I really do.  I think what he’s trying to do for our kids, by making school lunches healthier, is admirable and desperately needed.

But the name of his latest creation reads like something you make up while tripping on Ecstasy at a bad 1990s rave revival. It just sucks weinis.

I’m sure Petal Blossom Rainbow will end up in some crunchy granola West London preschool co-op with other unfortunately labeled celeb spawns like Apple and Moses Martin, or some other self-important Brit.

4. Bandit Lee (child of Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance)

I’m sure Gerald Way and his pretty baby mama are too young to catch this cultural reference, but sorry…everytime I hear the name ‘Bandit’, I can’t help but think of that Baaaad 70s movie, ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’

Which makes me think of Burt Reynolds.

Which then makes me think of Burt Reynolds in ‘Boogie Nights’.

When always make me think of porn. Bad 70s porn.

Which mean when I hear of Bandit Lee Way, I think this child was born to act in porn. And I can’t imagine any parent wants people to relate their offspring to anything porno-related. 

Oh and the band, My Chemical Romance, is worse than 70s porn… and won’t last as long.

3. Dexter Lloyd (child of Charlotte Church)

When did Chalotte Church grow up, btw? Last I saw her, she was this precocious child star with this amazing operatic voice.  Now she’s popping out babies!

And in classic British fashion, she has given her child a name guaranteed to prevent him from getting laid for a long, long time.  Good job there Char…oh and don’t forget to forgo all basic dental care…another British classic worthy of repetition.

2. Bob (child of Charlie Sheen)

Let’s see if I can stop laughing long enough to write about this gem.

Jesus, what’s NOT wrong with Charlie Sheen? Well, the fact that he named one of his twins the most boring name, like, EVER, is a start.  OR maybe we should blame the baby mama for not only allowing Charlie to name a child he’ll never be around long enough to raise, but for believing the age old lie every woman has told herself at least once,  “He’ll be different with ME this time. I can change him.”

We never learn.

Anyway, for all my bitchin’ about the strange tongue twisting names many celebrities come up with, at least they’re not boring like Bob. There’s just no excuse for such right-brain laziness in Tinseltown.

1. Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa (child of actress Lisa Bonet and actor Jason Momoa)

I swear, I didn’t make up this name just so I could end on a high note.  Just let me know who should call Child Protective Services first, you or me, because this name is just pure, unadulterated abuse.

I didn’t think it could get worse than the last time I wrote this list, but shut my mouth.  I’ve been proven wrong again.

Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriends Were Hot Like Mine

A brief snapshot from my 40th birthday party.  And oh yeah, my friends are hot and my man (who threw me the party) rocks.

Best time of my life. Thanks everyone :-)

Dog Gone It

So the big talk over here at Camp Mix & Bitch is if and/or when we’re going to adopt a shelter dog.  It’s either a dog or a third kid, believe it or not. 

One of the strange side effects of turning 40 has been this overwhelmingly strong urge to nurture something small.  It’s like my body realizes it just made a hard right turn down mid-life crisis highway and is desperate to propagate the species one…last…(cough)…time. 

Biology’s a bitch my fine furless  friends.

Good thing for me and Mr. Mix that I tied up the internal plumbing years ago, otherwise I may let that toxic drug known as estrogen overrule my common sense and get myself knocked up on purpose.  Mr. Mix is an infinitely patient and selfless man, but even I know I’d be pushing it too far with another one.

Between you and me (ahem), if I had my way, I’d be high tailing it over to China or Vietnam in a heartbeat and grab me one of those beyond adorable and precious little Asian babies.  Hey, if they’re stupid enough not to want their girls, I’ll take ‘em.

AsianBaby2.jpg Asian Baby 2 image by arthur-o_O

C’mon, how cute is she?

Don’t you just want to bite those little cheeks?

Btw, I am not implying that a dog replaces a human child.  I’m just saying that I can handle an adult dog…a baby (even a beyond gorgeous Asian girl baby) is beyond my emotional and financial resources at this point in my life. And I’m pretty sure Mr. Mix would leave me if there was a third baby to contend with around here.

So as long as I don’t get a puppy, I think he’s cool with abating my aching womb syndrome.

Anyhoo, so I’ve been doing lots of research, on breeds, on shelters, on what to expect when you’re expecting something furry, etc. etc.  And while I’d like something of a scrappy variety like this little guy…

Drama Queen and Sweet Pea long for a dog more along the lines of this…

I know, I know…it’s not a dog, it’s a duster. But they want something small and cuddly that they can pick up and hold. I get it.

So I start finding dogs on Petfinder and submitting applications to different shelters. Holy Friggin’ Shitballs Batman! These applications were ridiculous.  I think I could’ve adopted me some Angelina orphans for less hassle than to get me a goddamn dog in this town.

Long story a bit shorter, I finally chucked the idea of the smaller rescue outfits in favor of the good ‘ol Humane Society of Fairfax County.  Within 24 hours, they called me after I filled out only a 2 page application (versus the 4-6 pages monsters with the other rescues, each asking for, like 5 references, my mother’s maiden name, how large is my husband’s left nut, and will I promise to wipe the dog’s ass after every poop for the rest of my life, so help me God?).  They told me they’ll line up the kinds of dogs we’re looking for, gave me the address, and made an appointment for next weekend.

Done. Capeesh. Finite.

So once we get the precious mutt, I promise to post some pictures. Wish me luck people!

Rehearsals for Departures

Gotta admit folks.  I’m feeling the pensive these days.  I’ve been trying to figure out where these clouds of melancholy are coming from.  You know the one… the kind which lodges inside your chest cavity and won’t let go?  So, I’ve been going through my mental checklist, of things which usually would or should bother me.  And the truth is, none of the usuals are cranking my chain. Mr. Mix and I are cruising in the happy convertible.  Sweet Pea and Drama Queen are enhancing the fine street art of sibling rivalry, but otherwise hunky dory.  I love my work, I have wonderful friends…

So why am I feeling…lonely? Yep, that’s it.  I feel disconnected, even in the midst of all this good.

And to answer the question I KNOW some of you are thinking, uh NO, I did NOT stop taking my meds.  And I’m NOT depressed about turning 40.

Now that I’m all free associating and all, I think I’m still mourning the loss of a friend of mine…you see, I’m an only child, which means friends are, like, heavily layered and meaningful for me and shit.  Once I love you, I mean REALLY love you as a friend, that’s it. You’re usually in for life.

Um, I guess until you’re not.

This friend is not a bad or malicious person.  And in very different ways, this person was one of the best hangs around.  But I made a promise to myself when turning the big 4-0 that I’d only have cheerleader-type friends in my life from now on (see previous post).  And I’m sticking to it. 

I am sure that this person feels I let them down as well…and I’m sure on some level, that’s true.  But if s/he takes a moment, s/he knows full well that I loved them dearly, and even though I’m not the easiest person to deal with, all I ever wanted for them was to find out what made them happy.

But that happy can’t come at my expense. I can’t put up with someone always living glass-half-empty or with thinly veiled, passive aggressive jabs.  You got a problem with me, then spill it like a big kid or shut the fuck up. You can’t find the happy, then get your own therapist and get on some meds already. 

So I’ve been cleaning house.  And while it’s necessary, it doesn’t mean it’s easy for me either. So there.

10. “Circle,” (Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians) Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars.

09. “Don’t Panic,” (Coldplay) Parachutes.

08. “Phantom Mountain,” (Laura Veirs) Wrecking.

07. “Unraveling,” (Deb Talen) A Bird Flies Out.

06. “The Funeral,” (Band of Horses) Everything All the Time.

05. “Last Goodbye,” (Jeff Buckley) Grace.

04. “Lonely,” (Tom Waits) Closing Time.

03. “Pitseleh,” (Elliott Smith) XO.

02. “Rehearsals for Departure,” (Damien Jurado) Rehearsals for Departures.

01. “Revelation Big Sur,” (Red House) Songs for a Blues Guitar.

What Kind of Friends Do YOU Have? Cheerleaders, Competitors, or Vampires?

Sorry I haven’t been around recently.  In addition to the usual rumble and tumble of everyday life, I also took some time out  to visit one of my best friends for her surprise 40th birthday.  It is ironically fitting that I start this post talking about my friend Lisa because she was the first friend who really taught me how to be a friend.  Of course, I had other friends before her, but much of those experiences were highly conditional upon social rankings or what resources I had to give (not necessarily material goods, but precious resources nonetheless).  Lisa unconditionally loved me, probably even more than some of my family members.  She genuinely cheered for me when I succeeded and gently but firmly scolded me when I acted inappropriately.  She helped me grow up, and did a fine job, if I may say so myself.

Over the same weekend of Lisa’s party, I had a run-in with two other friends of mine.  I can’t get into the details, but let’s just say each of them – for different reasons – put me in a terrible position.  The kind you shouldn’t ask friends to do.  I ended up mending fences with one and cutting off the other.  It has all been incredibly eye-opening and painful for me, as I’m sure as it has been for them.  The friend I said goodbye to – and I did actually call and say goodbye – is someone I’ve known since I was 19 years old.  I never could have imagined we would be this far apart from one another, and that it would be me insisting on circumstances staying that way.  The whole weekend has had me thinking about friendships, and as I quickly approach my 40th birthday, what kind of friendships I want for the second part of my life.  Which brings me to the title of this post: What Kind of Friends Do YOU Have? Cheerleaders, Competitors, or Leeches?  Let me explain:

Cheerleaders

These are the crown jewels of friends.  They are generally positive people who root for your success and happiness.  While they’re an optimistic bunch, they don’t blow smoke up your ass when you’re wrong, and make sure to set you straight.  They’re also the kind of friends who are still happy for you, even when things are wanting in their own lives…at most, they will feel a ‘velvet envy’ – meaning, they’re excited for you and just wish the same for themselves.  If you find yourself one of these, grab onto them for dear life because they’re about as rare as a big winning lotto ticket.

Competitors

The competitor friend does really like you.  Really.  Just as long as they feel they’re one up on you in the rat race of life.  Maybe not in all areas, but in enough to make themselves feel better.   It’s a shame because otherwise, they’re a great hang.  And even more of a shame because most friends fall into this category.

Vampires

We’ve all had at least one of these – the vampire friend.  They call you constantly, to the point where you other family and friends are wondering what the hell is wrong with them (and resentful of all the energy they suck out of you).  They’re never really happy, even when things are going well for them, and when things suck, boy has the world comes to an end.  What’s even worse is that when you offer some constructive solutions, they’ll give you lip service that they’ll think about it, then just go back to complaining and sucking the life force right outta you.  Because that’s what they feed on. Get it?

Run, don’t walk, away from someone like this – not just to save yourself, but to hopefully get him or her to someday get their shit together once and for all. 

Throughout the entire debacle, my cousin Lee was counseling me.  Lee is not just my cousin, but is also the older sister I never had.  I revel in her awesomeness, and she’s not just a family member, she’s my head cheerleader.  And you know what she said to me after the whole weekend-crappy-thingy?  “Sometimes, the universe brings these kind of situations to a head all at one, in order for you to clear out the negativity from your life and start a new cycle. I think that’s what has happened here for you, honey.”

And you know what? I believe she’s right on.  Thank you Lee (and Gia, of course).  Thank you Lisa. Thank you Raina. Thank you Erin.  Thank you Michele.  Thank you Jason. Thanks to the friends who are my soul sisters (and one brother).

Just Say No to Drugs?

So I just heard that Jen McCarthy and Jim Carrey have broken up after five years.  And while I am certainly bummed that these two couldn’t work it out, it’s the reason why they broke up which I find more upsetting than anything else. 

Supposedly, Carrey is having another serious bout of depression, disappearing for days at a time, or holing himself up at his home, and not taking any calls.  Additionally, he is refusing to take any meds, despite of having a lifelong history of depression.  He has taken Prozac for short durations, but refused to be on any anti-depressant long-term,  as stated in a Larry King interview in 2008:

KING: Didn’t you suffer from depression?
CARREY: Yes, yes. I’m on a manic high right now. Can’t you tell?
KING: How did you get through that to this?
CARREY: Well, that’s another thing. You know at the risk of like opening up the whole Tom Cruise Prozac argument, you know, I don’t disagree in many ways. I think Prozac and things like that are very valuable to people for short periods of time. But I believe if you’re on them for an extended period of time, you never get to the problem. You never get to see what the problem is, because everything is just kind of OK. And so, you don’t deal. And people deal when they get desperate.
KING: So how did you do it?
CARREY: I take supplements.
KING: Vitamins?
CARREY: Yes — well, it’s not — well, it is vitamins. But it’s also certain elements of the brain like Tyrosine and hydroxytryptophan that they’re treating depression with now. It is a natural substance that’s in your brain. Instead of being a Serotonin inhibitor, which just uses the serotonin you have and Prozac and things like that — it just uses the Serotonin you have and it doesn’t allow it go back into the receptor. It metabolizes your serotonin after a while and you have to keep taking more and more to feel good. This actually creates dopamine and creates serotonin. It’s a wonderful thing. It’s amazing. I’m going to talk a lot about it in the near future.
KING: You’re going to write about it?
CARREY: Yes.

I don’t know, is it me or am I the only one who’s really getting tired of actors pretending to have medical degrees?  There’s nothing wrong with becoming an educated patient, and I believe each of us must be our own best advocate, and not solely reliant on a hierarchically organized, paternalistic medical model.  That said….um DUDE…you suffer from depression, a scientifically studied, neurologically oriented mental health disorder.  And a couple of chewable Flintstones ain’t gonna cut it. 

I also know some are going to blame his former girl Jen for his anti-drug stance, because most people believe she’s anti-vaccine when in actuality, she does believe in vaccines – just on a more delayed schedule and without unnecessary additives.  That said, she’s another one who comes off as a medical expert on the talk show circuit, and the last time I checked, you don’t get an MD from having hosted MTV. I’m just saying…

Usually, I take things that celebrities say about as seriously as I take the babblings of a toddler, but in this case, I take issue with what’s going on here.  I don’t think he doesn’t take his meds because he wants to deal with the root cause of his problems, I think Jim Carrey doesn’t take his meds because he’s uncomfortable with the stigma attached to mental illness.  Because by taking his meds – and taking them for the long-term – that means he has to put himself into the category of people who are chronically mentally ill…and I guess while it’s ok to wear your girlfriend’s thong bathing suit in front of the paparazzi, it’s not ok to have to take ‘crazy pills’ for the rest of your life.

I guess I’m taking this personally because I used to be Jim Carrey.  I too have suffered from depression on and off throughout my life, and for thirty-plus years refused to take any meds (something I wrote about here).  I get how difficult it is to accept that depression is the shadow which will haunt the corners of your house for the rest of your life.  I understand how terrifying it is to think that others think you ‘crazy’ or ‘unstable’.  I also understand that when you’re in the midst of your disorder, your normative, cognitive rationale will fail you, and while you think you’re handling your disorder just fine – without therapy, without medication – everyone around you bites their lip while watching you flaying in the ocean of your own despair.

After thirty-odd years of being so staunchly against antidepressants, you know what finally turned me around to at least giving them a try?  It was a fifteen-year-old girl. 

I was at my cousin’s bar mitzvah, and his older sister – who is beautiful and charming, smart and funny – stood in front a synagogue audience of about 500 people and talked about not only how much she loved her little brother, but how she envied him his social ease and his laissez fare attitude.  She talked about her need to take anti-depressant and anti anxiety meds, and how she wished it all came as easily for her as it did for him.  Fifteen years old. 

And I sat there in awe of her as she joked about her struggles in front of family and strangers alike.  And if it was even possible, I loved her more…which made me realize how ridiculous I had been all these years, fearing that others would judge me.  Because I certainly didn’t judge her.  In the end, by releasing my own need for control, I regain a part of myself that would have otherwise alluded me…the part that feels joy and gratitude, even in the middle of the chaos…the part that is able to distinguish real problems from distractions….the part of me others feel at ease around.

I wish that for Jim Carrey. I wish that for us all.