Taking Notes: The Glamour Edition

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My editor forwarded to me a survey which ranked Los Angeles as the second most glamorous city in the nation. New York crushed all cities and was understandably number one while Knoxville, where I am moving to soon, finished 52nd on a list of 200 cities. The wealthier the city in terms of millionaires per capita was a factor as were lesser things like nice restaurants. Still, I find Los Angeles a lot of things, glamorous is not one.

Let’s face it, to my generation, glamour is a female thing. Men will control the television for about 360 nights a year. The five nights they don’t involve shows like the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and the finals of “Dancing with the Stars.” Americans love celebrities and see them as glamorous. The rest of the world sees Americans as loud and boorish. Glamour is not found in a nation as young as ours when you compare it to those that have been around hundreds of years longer.

People like the Kardashians, Beyoncé, and pick your list of female movie stars are not glamorous. If they were, they would not go out of their way to post photos of themselves dressed as slobs while out and about in Los Angeles. Glamorous people have stores come to them rather than be seen with us minions.

Lady Diana was glamorous. However, just having a title like Lady does not make a person glamorous. If so, whoever that redhead sister in-law she had would have been glamorous and a slob like me would still be able to recall her name.

The last American woman I can recall who was glamorous was Cher. However, that was the Cher of the 1970’s. Once she straddled that ship’s cannon in a video, she became something entirely different. Still, in the 70’s, even a teenager like me knew who Bob Mackie was, Cher’s favorite designer.

Our nation is filled with beautiful women. It’s also filled with countless delusional women who insist on being seen as beautiful in the Cher sense when in reality they are just, well, delusional. And yes, I know there are just as many men who are delusional as well, but that is for another article.

Physical beauty takes constant effort. It doesn’t just mean having your hair and makeup done perfectly, it means covering your skin with endless amounts of moisturizer which I happen to think is why Southern California is in such a bad state of drought. I’d much rather water my lawns than moisturize my hairy legs.

Beauty also requires physically being nicer to look at than the average person. In fact, it is almost impossible to take your eyes off a glamorous woman. The last time someone gave me a second look was when my ex-wife and I were walking in Hollywood and two gay men passed by and made a comment about me. I thought it was funny, not because of the look they gave me, but because my wife was upset that two men did not notice her.

Lizzo is not glamorous and I do not care how much hate mail I receive. Looking like her is easy for any woman. She is basically a modern day version of Totie Fields. She proudly made a career knowing men and women thought she was horrendous looking. The same for Phyllis Diller, Rosanne Barr, and Cass Elliott. Lizzo may be entertaining, she may have a wonderful message, and she may get invited to glamorous events, but that doesn’t make her glamorous. It just makes her popular for the moment.

Glamour is no different than pornography. I know what both are when I see them even if I cannot explain either one If a person has to explain how or why they are glamorous, they ain’t.

What the hell is wrong with me? Here it is Super Bowl Sunday, the game is about to begin, and I am writing about glamour. Maybe I need my testosterone level checked.

It is not possible for men to be glamorous. I do not care how suave and sophisticated a man like George Clooney appears, it won’t stop him from farting. I can’t even imagine Audrey Hepburn passing wind. Just the name Whoopie Goldberg makes me think of farts because of whoopie cushions. I think we can all agree that glamour and farting do not go together.

Republicans are warning, measures need to be taken to protect social security and Medicare. Their ideas are to raise the age when eligibility kicks in or scrapping both altogether. Considering workers pay for them in advance by having money removed from their wages by the federal government, how about trying a new approach? Let’s see, what could the GOP do to ensure both programs remain secured for generations to come? I suppose asking them to stop getting us involved in wars that linger for decades is a start.

I made it to my recliner in time to watch the Philadelphia Eagles score their first touchdown and watched the rest of the Super Bowl. I did not realize just how much I dislike Philly teams until I found myself instantly wanting to see KC win. Philly might be right behind L.A. in terms of my disliking their sports franchises.

Eagles fans clearly do not know how to read. If they did, they would shut up about a holding penalty toward the end of the game. The guilty player even admitted after the game he was holding but Eagles fans insist the officials screwed them.

I think we already know who the next GOAT is when it comes to quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes is not just an amazing quarterback, but he is also an equally great leader. He is the E.F. Hutton of quarterbacks; when he speaks, players listen.

Leave it to Andy Reid, who we all know could stand to lose 100 pounds, to call a play that fooled the Eagles defense twice for touchdowns, “Corn dog.”

Chiefs HC Andy Reid — Super Bowl LVII (Claudia Gestro)

As far as commercials go, too much is made about them. Seriously, did we need to see the talking babies again? There was one commercial I watched that when it ended I said to my wife, “What the f&^k was that about?, and she replied, “I have no idea.” Great marketing ploy; a commercial about nothing.

I am pretty sure if Jesus were alive, he would not spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads when 33,000 people and counting are dead from an earthquake.

It’s hard to believe that for the first time in 29 years, UNLV is ranked in the top 25 of basketball. Jerry Tarkanian was light years ahead of the NCAA. He had no qualms finding ways to pay his kids for their work and for all the money and notoriety they brought to the university. His way is now what the NCAA follows.

The NFL might have done a nice job of presenting a diverse lineup of musical acts for their Super Bowl, but unfortunately, when it comes to hiring new coaches, especially first timers, their record is abysmal. Worse, the current 32 owners show no signs of changing. Then again, this should not be a surprise. They have learned to wait out the public and distract fans with year round coverage of meaningless bits about the draft, betting and fantasy leagues.

I don’t have an opinion as far as who should perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. Everyone has their preferred musical tastes and there is no way to satisfy the entire football loving nation. However, when the featured performer, in this case Rihanna, swears off having anything to ever do with the NFL until Colin Kaepernick returns to the league, it shows just how powerful the Super Bowl is. The league may have sold out Kaepernick in 2016, but in 2023, Rihanna sold him out just to show the world her baby bump.

Other than illness, I did not think there was anything that would slow down the process of packing up our home for our move next month. Then I came down with a sudden case of plantar fasciitis. It requires runners to stop running, take time off their feet, do regular ice treatments and exercises, and wear firm orthotic inserts. Other than the inserts, I am not doing so well on the other treatments as I box up stuff to move and haul out the rest to the dumpster that sits in front of our home.

Our four dogs know something is up as they watch the house empty. However, as long as they have the couches, recliners, and dog beds to sleep in, they seem fine watching my wife and I work.

The Moore dogs (James Moore)

I hate to think just how fast they mark their new home when we arrive. Worse, I hate to think how long it takes them to mark the inside of our vehicles on the drive out to Tennessee.

Next week is V Day. It is the day all four of the dogs go to the vet for their annual check-up. Peanut requires a sedative before going. I receive a reminder each year to make sure I give him one after he once tore apart an exam room and the waiting room area.

Valentine’s Day came and went and I have to admit I failed to even get on base let alone hit it out of the park this year. However, my wife hit a grand slam. Thank you.

It’s an annual challenge for me. My wife’s birthday is a couple days before Valentine’s. How do I make a big deal out of each without celebrating both at one time? Both dates are set in stone so it is not like I can move the days around.

Dianne Feinstein has announced she will not seek reelection when her current term expires. Her immediate legacy will be defined as a politician who hung around too long. In fact, she probably should have stepped down in 2018. However, in my mind, she will always be that person who rose to power under the most horrific circumstances when she became the mayor of San Francisco after George Moscone and Harvey Milk were assassinated. The manner in which she brought reassurance to a shocked city has always stuck with me. Thank you for multiple jobs well done.

California is no longer a beacon of education, at least according to a WalletHub study that ranked the state last in the nation in terms of percentage of high school students who graduate.

I have trouble with studies that rely strictly on black and white numbers while failing to consider the many aspects that go into kids being successful in school. As a retired teacher, I know there is more than providing a quality education required to get our school children through the system and ready for adulthood.

As for the rest of the findings, I am not surprised by our middling overall ranking, but how do you explain such a low graduation rate when California scored so high in the area of quality of education? It means there are either non-educational factors for our low diploma rank or this report’s findings are skewed.  I’d like to know what the average class sizes are in each state and what sort of suspension policies are followed. Also, keep in mind, education requirements are determined at the state level so not every state requires the same from its graduating seniors.

In California, it is now almost impossible for students to get suspended because our state assembly gives rights to students they do not have in other states. They see teachers and schools as a hindrance to a child’s education rather than confronting the screwed up home lives of kids who live in poverty, something schools cannot correct.

When I retired, our school district had a 1/3 turnover rate of kids. In other words, our classrooms saw 33% of the kids leave the district and be replaced by another 33 percent, many who were attending their third or fourth school of the year, whose school records had yet to arrive, and whose families were bringing a world of problems that schools are not able to fix.

Without stability outside of school, the odds of any student graduating are difficult. Complicating matters, more often than not, we lost too many good kids from good families who moved on from a troubled area rather than risk seeing their kids become victims of an over run school district.

Teachers are not the only people who deserve a better salary. The truth is, the American workforce is horribly underpaid at a time when corporate profits soar. A working couple who struggles to meet their financial needs is far more likely to have kids who struggle in school. In the long run, a well-paid workforce increases the odds of stability at home which in turn will benefit our education system and economic future. Greed is the cancer that is destroying our education system.

RIP Raquel Welch. You were my first pin up poster as a teen and showed the world a woman can prosper off of the sexuality she exudes without losing herself or her principles in the process.