Christina Aguilera’s New Song “Not Myself Tonight”

Christina Aguilera debuted her new song “Not Myself Tonight” from her new album ‘Bionic’ due out in June 2010. My thoughts … it’s okay. Some are saying it’s like a modern-day ‘Dirrty’. Sorry, this is NOT ‘Dirrty’. It’s something in between that and the nice-and-pleasant ‘Back to Basics’ era. I get that she’s trying to be a bit edgier after going soft and old-school on her last album but something about this keeps me from fully connecting to the song. Maybe a few remixes will take this tepid track to some truly pop and raunchy grounds.

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‘Run’ Your Errands: An Easy Workout Plan

Excuses abound when it comes to people trying to explain why they can’t workout: they have no time, their schedule’s are too busy, they have kids, exercising doesn’t do anything for them. However, people will break their necks to catch their favorite show on television, to re-arrange their schedule every time Apple releases a new gadget and for anything else that doesn’t involve exercise or working out. These are the people who also say they wish they could be skinnier, they wish they looked like this or that celebrity, they wish they had time to workout. I wish these people would stop making excuses and start working out!

We’ve become a very lazy and excuse-riddled society. We want to point fingers, place the blame on someone else, blame our shortcomings on things out of our control. When it comes to getting a workout into your schedule, believe me, it’s not really all that hard. One simple cardio workout that many people enjoy because it has the potential to burn calories: running! All you need are some comfortable clothes, some good athletic/sport shoes and a pinch of will-power and you can go from being a couch sloth to a runner in no time.

Here’s my suggestion for those who claim they have no time to workout or run: literally RUN your errands! Think of your day and all of the things you have to do. You have to go to work, sometimes you drive long distances just to get your coffee or not-so-good-for-you breakfast from a fast food joint; you have to pay bills, pick up the kids, meet your gal or beau for lunch or dinner … there’s a lot of things that you have to get done each day. Why aren’t you literally running your errands? A lot of people are afraid of running and like to use the excuse that it destroys your knees. If you stretch, workout often and do leg exercises and actually learn what proper running form is, you won’t ‘destroy’ your knees.

Here’s why I’m a fan of “running” errands. First, you aren’t subjecting yourself to run, grueling sessions of non-stop running. It’s like running relays or stations in elementary school gym class: you park your car a distance away from where you need to go, strap on your shoes, run your errand and run back. Just with that action you’ve burned through some calories and have done it in a short period of time. Running in short spurts (termed interval training) has been researched and said to be better for you than long running sessions. People often think they must run one hour or 45 minutes straight to see any results. Not the case. Run in spurts and shorter periods and you’ll shed weight and blast through fat quicker!

The summer is approaching which means gas prices will sky rocket. Can you really afford to drive everywhere you go? Do you even need to drive everywhere you go? If your destination is a mile away, and it’s daylight … walk. There’s no reason why you need to start-up your car, waste the gas and skip the potential to run and burn some calories just to drive down the street. Going grocery shopping? Run with a little backpack and some reusable bags. The run there will get you a good workout and walking back with a few bags will add in some resistance training, again, speeding the weight loss, fat burning and muscle building process. Carrying heavy weights a distance (as you would with carrying bags from shopping) is a modified, everyman’s version of the muscle-builder move ‘the farmer’s walk’ and will definitely build your arms and work your entire body.

Running your errands also keeps your entire lifestyle moving and busy. Run to and from lunch; you’ve just slashed the calories of whatever you’ve ate. During your break at lunch, run a little and you’ve combated all the sugar and cream you’ve used in your coffee this morning. Run to pick-up your kids from school or sports practice and you’ve just gained an opportunity to walk them back home and you can actually TALK to them rather than driving and escorting them home in a car. If they’re older then hey, you both can run home together and it’ll encourage them to take your lead and never pass on an opportunity to workout. If you’re in a relationship, incorporate a run together into your daily ritual and you’re ensuring that you and your partner are staying healthy, looking good and you’ve earned the opportunity to work up a sweat and perhaps shower together later on! Running errands can definitely prove to be worth your while.

How Saying “No!” Can Improve Your Health

Of all of my memories of the 1980s, I firmly remember the massive Saturday morning cartoon event titled ‘Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue’ which was about drugs and featured all of the popular cartoon characters of the day (Muppet Babies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Smurfs, Duck Tales, Alf, Looney Tunes … just to name a few) and a cartoon Nancy Reagan all leading the good fight against drugs. Most of the ’80s featured anti-drug messages and campaigns and a slogan that really was simple but resonates into today:

“Just say no!”

Funny, but the older I get, the more I find this Nancy Reagan advice ringing true about many things in adulthood. How many of us really are comfortable with saying no? I’m not talking about when offered drugs or alcohol, I’m talking about whenever we’re faced with anything we know isn’t good for us such as being over burdened at work, taking on too much at home, in trying to please others and putting ourselves last. Why the heck are we not saying ‘no’?

When talking about health, I often expand on the subject. We’ve gotten to the point of simplifying health and well-being far too much. No longer is being healthy just about eating right and exercising. We know that being healthy has a lot to do with our lifestyle and all that goes with it. Many people, despite valiant efforts, are unhealthy because they are unable to say ‘no’. We’ve become a society of guilt and blame: we can’t do anything for ourselves because we must think about others; because your neighbor’s life sucks, even if you’ve done your best, you’re still to blame; stock market crash? – your fault, global warming – your fault because you can’t convince everyone in your family to go green. Do you see the point? People become overweight and unhealthy due to the burdens they carry and consume and it’s not always about the food you eat – it’s also about the emotional baggage you take on.

Over the past few years, it’s become very clear that people have a hard time doing one very healthy thing: taking it easy. We don’t relax anymore, we don’t take our full lunch breaks, we don’t travel for fun, we don’t even use all of our vacation time! Why not? Usually it’s because we’re afraid to just say NO. Now, I know – people think saying no at work is dangerous in this economy. I disagree. If you’re a good worker, someone who has his or her hands in every area of your office, you’re essential. Especially in this economy, you may be performing the duties and work that 2-3 people used to years (or even months) ago. We’re all working harder in these days which is why we need to take the time out to recuperate, regenerate and relax. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ sometimes – you need to. Saying yes doesn’t always lead to great things at work these days. Remember when people would get raises, earn bonuses, other perks? These days it seems like the only bonus or perks people earn is having a job to come back to each day and health care. So, do your job to the best of your abilities and reward yourself with vacations, down-time or time off to either rest or do something that you really want or need to do. Haven’t you heard that other well-spoken phrase of you’ve only got “one life to live?”

Saying no goes beyond work. At home people are afraid to say no. Spouses either expect their opposite to agree to everything they ask of them, leading to issues, or are on the receiving end of being expected to do everything without argument. For your sanity and the health of your relationship, know when it’s appropriate to say no. Otherwise, you’re never going to put yourself first and your health is bound to suffer.

Saying ‘no’ of course applies to fitness and exercise. At times you have to decline offers to hang out or refuse to spend countless hours behind a desk for the sake of your health. You make the excuse that work gets in the way of you getting out to run, or that you’re just too busy to hit the gym. Really, is that true? Maybe you just haven’t learned to say ‘no’ for the sake of your health.

“Just say no” is something we need to start re-applying to our lives today. We can’t continue on this ‘yes i can; yes I will’ path out of fear of what will happen if we dare speak up for ourselves. Saying no is something I learned to do at the start of my health and fitness kick. I learned to say no to junk food, even when I was surrounded by it or offered it at no charge by an event or family. I learned to say no to meat or dairy when I wanted to go vegetarian and vegan. I learned to silence my conscious and say ‘no’ when I didn’t feel like working out but got out and did a run or some other form of exercise. What have I learned over the year? Saying no opens a lot more doors than saying yes! It’s empowering when you simply spit out the words – it prevents you from being someone else’s doormat and usually helps you figure out what’s really important to you and where all the stress of your life comes from. So take a tip from America’s former First Lady and learn to “just say ‘no!'”

Rise of the Machines: Aguilera goes ‘Bionic’

"Bionic" by Christina Aguilera, June 8

It’s coming! Christina Aguilera is finally emerging from her creative hide-out with a new album, “Bionic” coming out on June 8. I have to say … it’s about time! What I like about Aguilera, besides her amazing voice, is that this is one artist who obviously doesn’t feel the need to rush the creative process. Look at her contemporaries: Spears, Madonna, GaGa – all have stuck to releasing a new album every 2-3 years. The results are mixed: we get some really good tracks and then some rather tired, dull ones. However, Aguilera is just prepping for her fourth album. Each album tends to have a theme and concept, something else a lot of artists these days are lacking in. Her new track “Not Myself Tonight” is debuting next week; she has a movie coming out at some point soon titled ‘Burlesque’ that features Cher. It’s  about time we’re getting some new, exciting music this year. Thus far 2010 has felt rather dull and lackluster considering most artists released material within the last quarter of 2009. Here’s a press release from Aguilera’s creative team about what we can expect:

Aguilera’s been hard at work in the studio for the past year and is pleased to announce the release of her highly anticipated 4th studio album Bionic (RCA Records) this summer. The first single from “Bionic” is the fiercely energetic anthem “Not Myself Tonight”, produced by Polow Da Don. The song will premiere on at 6pm EDT on 3/30, impacts radio on 4/5 and will be available on iTunes on 4/13.

Bionic features songs co-written by Aguilera along with her much buzzed about collaborations including Sia, Tricky Stewart, Polow Da Don, Le Tigre, Hill & Switch, and Ladytron among others. Aguilera notes, “Working on this album with so many talented artists and producers that I admire was really an amazing experience. The artists I chose to work with added so many unique sonic layers to Bionic. My intention was to step into their world and what they do combined with my own vision and sound. The results were magic.”

Aguilera describes the album as a unique mix of many genres and styles of music, “I was able to explore and create a fresh, sexy feel using both electronic and organic elements with subject matter ranging from playful to introspective. I am so excited for my fans to hear the new sound. It is something I don’t think anyone will expect.”

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Lady Gaga ‘Telephone’ Parody Video: ‘What Does It Have To Do With a Telephone?!’

Look … before all the Little Monsters and Beyoncé fans jump all over this post I have to say that I liked the video for ‘Telephone’. BUT … with all the hype and the proclamation by GaGa that it was going to be far better and superior to ‘Bad Romance’, I was expecting a heck of a lot more from the video. ‘Bad Romance’ was short and epic – ‘Telephone’ is bloated and just takes too long to explain and seems manic. This video came out today and it’s a parody of ‘Telephone’. It’s shorter, to the point and I actually get the concept and agree with what it has to say!

Sue Sylvester’s Tirade Against ‘Sneaky Gays’

As mean spirited and biting as Sue Sylvester can be you have to admit, what she has to say sometimes is amusing just by how ridiculously, unapologetic and truthful her candid opinions can be.

Better Get To Livin’: Getting The Most Out of Life

As Dolly Parton suggests in one of her modern songs, you better get to livin’. I Tweet and blog a lot about being healthy: I talk about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t; what exercises to try, how much time to spend doing them; how to get your finances in order because it’ll make you more relaxed and mentally fit. Well, there’s something a lot of health gurus, fitness trainers and exercises enthusiasts fail to encourage their clients: live! It seems like a simple idea but when people set out to get healthy, the best of them go full-on and they’ll spend hours exercising, tons of time at work and spending what little time that’s left at home or watching television. A healthy person, someone who really gets the most out of life, is the one who’s enjoying and experiencing it.

I feel about life as I feel about running: you need a destination. How can you run without having an idea of where you’re going? Sure, you CAN do it and many folks do but you’ll get so much out of your run if have a goal in mind: “I want to run a mile today”; “I want to run to the grocery store and back instead of driving there for a loaf of bread”; “I want to run and build up endurance so that I can make it through my first marathon.” You see, that’s having a goal and destination and you’ll run and work harder than ever knowing you’re running with a purpose and for a reason. The same can be said of life: you can be the most physically fit person and spend all of your time getting your body fit but … for what?

I think there’s more to being healthy and fit than muscle and nutrition. We’ve really stripped the life and living aspect out of being a healthy person. Too often we encourage people to basically devote their entire lives to basically working out, devoting hours in a gym, packing on muscle and developing abs. I think being healthy is more than that. Being healthy is all about getting to a point where you’re enjoying and living your life to the fullest! Think about it- when you’re overweight, what are you doing? You’re spending time feeling bad and ashamed of your outward appearance, denying yourself experiences and things you’d like to try and do. You’re eating, you aren’t doing that marathon you so desperately wanting to run, or walking out on a beach shirtless  without feeling the least bit intimidated or unnerved by those around you. Basically, to be unhealthy is all about being held back, unhappy, inhibited and depressed.

To be healthy means there are no limits – you’re capable of rising to any new occasion, to facing any obstacle, taking on new challenges. Being healthy means you’re aware of YOU – you know your body; you have control and discipline when it comes to what you eat, how your workout, how often you exercise; you know what makes you happy and what bad behaviors arise when you’re unhappy (smoking, eating too much, depression). So being healthy means you also are aware of your needs and desires and you’re willing to put yourself first and foremost and see to it that you indulge in some of your wishes.

It’ll sound morbid, but I think you should plan on dying. Yeah, people say live life to the fullest, or live each day like it’s your last. But really, are you living as if you’re going to die tomorrow? If you got hit by a bus and were unable to walk for the rest of your life, what’d you regret not being able to do? If you died tomorrow, what’d you wish you had done today? If you’re completely satisfied with your life and have done EVERYTHING you’ve EVER wanted to … good for you! But most people have at least one thing they’ve always wanted to do and never set out to mark that thing off their list. I’m 25 but I’ve already started a bucket list. Is it full and complete? No. But I’ve already listed a number of things I’d like to do before I keel over. It’s everything from big items like taking a trip to Australia to something small like running through winter. Every so often, I’ll look back at the list. I don’t see it as something dreary and depressing: yeah, these are things I’d like to do before I die, but they’re also things that if I do now, I’ll feel like it improved my life in some way.

We live in a very work-dominated world. We spend 8 or more hours out of each day pushing a pen or behind a desk; we spend more hours working out to try to get physically fit; we spend the last remaining hours out of each day passed out on a couch in front of the t.v., reading a book, listening to family and friends complaining about what’s lacking and missing from their lives and then we sleep for a couple hours. If we’re lucky, we have the weekend ‘off’ but many of us really even take the weekend to relax now? The weekends are when we do chores around the house, run errands, spend time with our friends or catch up with family. We volunteer, exercise, visit family, go to church … and then it’s back to the grind. That’s not living, that’s running in a wheel. What are you doing for YOU?

Earlier this week I posted about indulging. I’ve said this about being healthy: you need to be a tad bit selfish when you’re trying to get fit. Figure out what you want to do in your lifetime, write it down, paste it somewhere that you’ll constantly see it and let others know about your wishes and desires. Your goal, like losing weight or devoting X amount of hours to working out each week, needs to be marking off things from your bucket list. Get out of credit card debt so that you can afford that new car you’ve been eying; take that vacation you’ve always wanted to take; save up for that expensive coat. I think if you don’t indulge a little and do things just for you, you’re going to be unhappy. I know this from experience! It’s easy to get caught up in the vicious cycle of work: you work 9 to 5, you workout, you’re healthy but you’re still unhappy. You feel like something’s missing; usually, it’s YOU. Where do you fit in with everything? Where are you factoring into this grand equation?

I don’t recommend indulging in dangerous things or going overboard but I think it’s easy to burn out in today’s society. We’re all too busy, occupied and worried with everything going on in our lives that we forget about living the one life we have. It’s such a waste to spend all of your time working on how you look on the outside when beauty, muscles and abs fade with time and age. What lasts is memories and those feelings that come with accomplishing what YOU really want to do. You’re going to be more fit and healthy knowing that at the end of a busy day or life, you took the time to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Regret, sadness and depression all come with the realization or belief we’ve come short of glory and fulfillment, that we missed the mark, we forgot to stop and live in the moment or spent our entire life living and doing what other want and forgot all about the most important person in our life: Me, Myself and I!

If you want to get healthy, realize and put down in writing your goals, dreams and desires. Seeing what you want to accomplish in life is going to help give all the work you do, sacrifices and time spent working toward those goals more meaning and reason. You only have one life to live so you had better get to livin’ it up to the fullest.

Follow me on Twitter @Decaptain

Indulge A Little: Treat Yourself To Lose Weight

It’s something people rarely think about or consider when they’re trying to lose weight: indulging. Sure, you may consider it but it’s all “I’ve indulged too much so I must now deny myself of anything enjoyable.” This leads to real ‘die-ting’. Dieting is no fun; it’s all about denying yourself to the point where you feel as if you truly are dying. Diets don’t work because they’re often all about extremes rather than variety and at some point, you being human is going to lead to a breakdown where you’re going to be prone to indulging … and you’ll go overboard. You’ll indulge so much in your breakdown period that you’ll feel ashamed and you’ll probably quit the diet.

Don’t diet. Indulge a little. It’s advice that you probably don’t hear often but it works. You see, you don’t need a diet; if you want to lose weight, you need a change in lifestyle. You need to eat, and you need to eat all day. We’re talking 6 or so meals a day, a mix of the standard 3 meals with healthy snacks mixed in. You need to eat breakfast every morning, even if it’s just whole wheat toast and some tea; you need to practice portion control; you need to start reading labels and avoiding anything with ‘hydrogenated oil’ which should simply read as trans fat, ditch anything processed with enriched flour, limit your consumption of too much sugar and salt. These aren’t at all things that are ‘dieting’ it’s just a change in your eating habits. A healthy eating lifestyle is all about indulging! For example, you can eat all of the vegetables you want as long as they aren’t fried or breaded and really don’t have to worry about counting calories or consider fat. You can include some fats in your meals, including olive oils and nuts, because there are some good fats that include omega-3 fats (brain boosting, good for your heart). There are even recipes out there that strip the fat and calories from your favorite comfort foods like mac n’ cheese and chocolate chip cookies.

I’m not a fan of extremes in the context of food or dieting. There’s research out there that’s examined this whole idea of indulging. Those who deny themselves of certain foods while practicing some diet end up in a very bad position because they always indulge but end up going overboard when they do so. It doesn’t help you to deny yourself of something you’re craving and then suddenly you go overboard and ruin all of your hard work. That’s where many make their mistake. You also shouldn’t indulge everyday to the point where you’re working against yourself. They key is to indulge but to do so in a healthy manner. Craving a late night snack? Instead of gorging on Cheetos or chips, have some air-popped corn. Just stick some pop corn kernels in a brown back, nuke it in the microwave on high for a minute or so. No oil needed. Poof, you’ve indulged and haven’t blown your diet. Have a sweet tooth? Well, that bowl of ice cream isn’t going to do your hips and waistline any favors unless it’s vegan and dairy free, which doesn’t seem worth the effort. So always have fruit on hand – it’s sweet, a bowl can really fill you you up. An hour after dinner as I’m sitting down to indulge in some prime time television, instead of stuffing myself with cookies or cake I enjoy a nice, sweet fruit salad – strawberries, bananas, cantaloupe and some grapes or apples makes for a very fulfilling healthy snack. If you like milkshakes then switch to smoothies full of fruit, flax seeds and get a little crazy and experimental and blend in a little spinach and yogurt with it. You won’t taste the spinach but you’ll benefit from the added iron you’ll get from it.

Indulging is human; it’s easy and all about taking what you like and finding a way to treat yourself without going overboard. Here’s my advice on indulging while still losing or keeping the weight off:

1. Read the label. The reason so many people tend to get fat from snack foods is because no one reads the label. You need to look at the label for different reason. First, how much is one serving? You’d be surprised to find that the foods and drink you’re buying aren’t meant to be one serving. A small G2 Gatorade? It’s 4 servings! A pack of M&Ms is usually 2 servings, so half a bag. Chips are usually just 7-8 chips, not the entire bag. So after you’ve checked the serving size, look at everything else that label reveals about what you’re about to eat. How many calories and grams of fat does 1 serving have? Yeah, A LOT. Now multiply those numbers by the serving amount contained in the whole bag or carton. If you indulge too much and eat that whole bag in one setting, you’re eating 2 or 3 if not more times more than you’re supposed to! No wonder you’re having a problem shedding that fat.

2. Learn what not to eat. The labels reveal a lot about the food. Here’s a good rule of thumb with most snacks: if it has more than 3 ingredients or something you can’t pronounce or need a degree in chemistry to identify, you don’t really want to eat it. I know, that eliminate a lot of the yummy stuff but if you’re fixated on getting healthy, you need to stay away from overly processed foods. You don’t want anything with trans fats (that includes hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils), you don’t want saturated fat (usually a by-product of four-legged animals), no enriched flour (that means at one point it was pure and healthy and they stripped out everything good and you’re left with something that has the nutritional value of chalk or baby powder). If you want a potato chip, go for something baked. Nothing fried is good for you. It’s like eating something dipped in toilet water. Sound appetizing? Thought not.

3. Embrace ‘whole’ foods. There’s a way to snack all day without having to worry about counting calories or reading labels. Madonna once sang, “You can eat all you want and you won’t get fat; now where else can you go for a meal like that?” Easy – whole foods! Whole foods are foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. We’re talking vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole wheat. Check the label – what’s the first ingredient labeled? It should be something that’s grown in nature, not made up in a lab (ahem, high fructose corn syrup)! If the thought of eating raw veggies makes you ill, then just pair it with something like a vinaigrette (any salad dressing that contains vinegar is a good choice over the other creamy alternatives. Cream = fat).  Always have fruits on stand by – an apple is awfully sweet and full of fiber if you keep the peel on. You can pair it (or even celery) with peanut butter. Speaking of peanut butter, did you know that if you’re craving chocolate it could mean your body is deficient in and actually craving magnesium? Peanut butter (all natural) is another healthy snack to keep in stock and close by.

4. Find an alternative to your favorite snack. It’s really simple; just as you’d find a short cut to a destination where the usual path is blocked or full of obstacles, you need to find alternative routes to your cravings. You can eat all of the foods you like and love if you find a different path to them. Like french fries? Try baking them instead of deep frying them. Want to go in a different direction all together? Try making your own sweet potato fries – they’re tasty and chocked full of minerals and vitamins. Like potato chips? Make your own. There are tons of recipes out there on how to easily make your own at home. The best part of making your own chips, or any snack food for that matter? You know what’s going in there and it’ll have fewer chemicals and fat. A lot of what goes into snack foods sold in grocery stores isn’t there because it’s needed; it’s there to make the food more addictive or to give the food a longer shelf life. So have your cake … just make it out of whole wheat flour and make your own frosting. Look for low-fat recipes or even vegan (dairy-less) options. You’ll really slash the calories and fat and will be able to enjoy your foods more. Check out sources like for tons of healthy recipes or cookbooks by cooks like Rocco Dispirito who came up with 150 comfort foods that are all under 350 calories in his latest book ‘Now Eat This‘.

5. Get busy doing something other than eating. This is a really simple trick to curb your appetite: when you crave something, pair it with activity other than eating. Huh? When do you eat or indulge too much? Is it when you’re watching television? Then when you’re watching t.v., busy your hands with lifting weights or doing pushups. Is it when you get in from work? Then the moment you get in, take a moment to regain your composure and then head out for a walk or jog. Busying your bad habit triggers with good habits will really change your life. You’ll start realizing you’ve been lazy and laziness leads to a lot of time wasted that could be devoted to self improvement. Also, indulge some cravings with healthier habits. Need to chew something? Instead of chewing on grease-filled chips and fries, chew on gum. I keep gum around and usually have a ‘chew break’ late at night when I used to sit around and gorge on junk food. It keeps my mouth busy and is comforting and keeps me from indulging in bad food and habits. Another secret in my ammo – peppermint mints. I keep starlight mints around like a little old lady and allot out a max of 3 per day. That’s just 80 calories and I usually don’t eat 3 in one day. But, if I’m craving something and need to find a quick fix, I pop a mint. Again, it keeps your mouth busy. If you’re into alcohol and need to cut  back to spare the calories and carbs, then keep water or fruit juice nearby. So have your drink – it’s just not going to be the unhealthy one you’re used to.

Indulging is okay! If you don’t indulge from time to time, you’re going to either go crazy or you’re going to snap and regret the aftermath.  The key is to find healthier ways to indulge your cravings. This idea can be applied to many areas of your life: money, celebrations, vacation, self-improvement. You can’t spend or waste your life with denials and abstaining: enjoy your life, find a way to enjoy each day and feed all of your little cravings. The great thing about indulging your cravings is that there’s rarely one option: there’s often times a healthier option that’s better suited for your needs.

Follow me on Twitter @Decaptain

Video of the Week: ‘Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?’

This is an oldie but a goody. Every year when spring pops up and winter and the cold temps, baggy clothes and seasonal depression fade, I get spring fever. I especially feel the fever when I’m out running and looking at guys as they start shedding their pullovers and sweats and opt for the shirtless, sweat-glistening look for all to marvel at. So here’s Jane Russel’s big number from the movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, ‘Ain’t There Anyone Here For Love?’

A Kiss Is Just A Kiss

Ah, ‘Ugly Betty’. Dear drama filled, snappy, awkward, addictive ‘Ugly Betty’. ABC is doing you wrong. As with most of its canceled shows, ABC seems bent on justifying it’s decision to terminate the show by self-sabotaging what used to be one of it’s most popular shows. Since it was announced that Betty Suarez and clan wouldn’t be returning to the television screen next year, ABC (at least where I live) has pretty much stopped promoting this show. They don’t care about poor ole Betty anymore. The only time I see a promo for the last episodes of the show is at the end of the current week’s episode.

One of the things I like about ‘Ugly Betty’ and other shows that appeared on ABC around the same time it did (like ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Brothers and Sisters’) is of course it’s recognition of gay people being in existence who don’t need to be the comic relief, prissy cardboard cut outs like the ‘Queer as Folk’ or ‘Will & Grace’ crowds. You have two big ‘mos on the show: Mark and Justin. And over the past season or two it seems like these two characters have really been forming a mentor/student bond that I didn’t see coming. I like that though Mark is sort of the nemesis of the show (behind Vanessa Williams’ Wilhelmina Slater, of course) he’s been shown to have a heart and to care about Justin who seems to be finding his way in his sexuality. Justin is overly flamboyant and plays into a lot of the stereotypes but at the same time, he’s like any other teenager and a bit insecure and unsure of himself when it comes to his sexuality.

Well, Justin had his big ‘moment’ last night. It’s the most homosexual thing he’s done since his character always seems to dance and prance around the ‘is he … isn’t he …?’ question all these seasons. He kissed a boy. It was awkward, it was exciting, it was one of those moments (the scene and the scene that followed when he wandered home and listened to Hilda’s speech about not letting others define who you are that she gave to Betty) just … great. There aren’t shows like this on television and that’s a shame. Betty is like a prime time soap; it’s very funny, amusing but more than any show it can tone down the theatrics and hit you in the heart and make you sit back and think and really care about the characters and what they have to say. In words taken from MacBeth, it’s a lot of substance and less about the art. So since ABC seemed not to care to promote their own show I decided to post the clip here. The last episodes of ‘Ugly Betty’ are now airing so definitely catch it before it’s a thing of the past!