Mingbin, Gaga and Me

I do not want to get on this plane.  I want to stay in this state of airport gate-waiting for eternity.

I’m not afraid to fly. I don’t particularly like it, and usually I feel a little ill when I fly, but it’s only an hour flight and I have good music and a book about George Harrison (my travel buddy) so I should be set.

No, I want to stay here because this is the first time I’ve felt a sense of calm in the past several days. I got a tea, put on a travel playlist my friend made me, and set up to write this blog. It’s nice to stop, to breathe, to pause this state of existential dread.

I want to stay here and think about how adorable my Lyft driver, Mingbin, was. He was a tiny Asian man, probably 70 years old, driving a Mazda with a dancing flower attached to the dash. After a few minutes of pleasantries, he switched on a CD and suddenly I was back in my sophomore year of high school listening to Just Dance by Lady Gaga.

I have so many questions.

Did he make the CD for himself or was it given to him? It’s clearly a mix of Gaga songs spanning several records, and some are remixes. Is he playing it because he thinks I will like it? Or is Mingbin a Little Monster himself? One can only hope.

I watched the little plastic dash flower dance along to Born This Way as we passed an IKEA and I remember thinking about how much I’d rather re-live the 24 hours of travel to India (turbulence and airplane food-induced diarrhea included) than set foot in an IKEA for an hour. That place is like a maze, set up to destroy and feast on the souls of new homeowners.

I miss Mingbin. He didn’t try to make small talk, which is good since I didn’t really want to talk and also couldn’t understand him very well. He drove like a little old man,  thankfully, because I’ve clung on for dear life in the back seat of many a car in my day. He just played a ridiculous amount of Lady Gaga while I alternated between giggling and singing along.

So Merry Christmas everyone! Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year, congratulations on your new baby, have a nice time at the gym today, happy winter. I hope we can all be just as adorable as Mingbin this holiday season, or as he described it “this long weekend.”



Born This Way Video: A Review

Gaga, you’ve outdone yourself.

There’s a lot to say about this particular video. If you thought Gaga had gone crazy in her Alejandro or Bad Romance videos, you thought wrong. This is Gaga gone crazy. Before I go on, you should probably watch:

Okay, now that you’ve got it fresh in your mind, here we go. This is the manifesto of Mother Monster. And it is. It’s the birth of someone, and though not completely new, she’s put out there in an entirely different way. It’s put out there, through a really creepy music video, to make us think.

You can go really in depth on this video. It may sound strange, but I think this thing’s pretty deep. It’s full of ideas we really need to think about. It’s abstract, and I don’t get a lot of it, but I think the most truthful thing I’ve heard all week was this line: It seems easy, you imagine, to gravitate instantly and unwaveringly towards good. But, she wondered, how can I protect something so perfect without evil? It’s so true. This woman, young and half naked, thought crazy by half the world, could teach us all a few things. The battle between what is good and what is bad will always be prevalent in our society. And while I don’t completely understand the connection between that statement and this video (I see a few threads, but not enough that I feel comfortable stating them as fact), I think it’s an important thing to remember: it’s never gonna be easy to know what to do.

While I could’ve done without the creepy birthing scenes and the goo in the beginning, I think that video conveyed the point she was trying to make. No matter what we may say about Gaga (that she’s way too out there, that she needs to put some clothes on, that she’s an attention hog, that she is a bad example for our youth), you have to admit: the chick has a point. We are who we are, we were born this way, we’re all out to do great things and nobody can stop us. We all want to be comfortable enough in our own skin to sing this and mean it; we all want to be comfortable enough to dance around in a bra and panties in front of a camera. And while many people may say that’s sinful, inappropriate, whatever, they’re missing the point. We need to celebrate the beauty inside of ourselves. We need to celebrate ourselves, naked (whether figuratively or literally) and organic, before we can go out and accomplish anything. This isn’t to say that you’d better be skinny and wear no clothing or you’re not worth anything. It’s the symbolism: think of your true self as what you need to bear, fully and truly, to the world. Your true self needs to come out in all its naked glory.

I think what scares people most about Gaga is not that she puts on costumes and meat dresses, not that she sometimes wears nothing but caution tape, not that she sings about sex, not that she came to the Grammys in an egg. I think what scares us most is that she’s not afraid to do all of that. She’s not afraid to just be who she is.
Personally, Lady Gaga is an inspiration to me. And she doesn’t have to be an inspiration to you, but she means a lot to many people in my generation. She gives us hope, she lets us dance, she says we can be anyone and anything we want. And though we have been told that halfheartedly by everyone else since our youth, when she says it, we believe it. Because she lives that statement. She was born this way.

Chocolate Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

There’s something rotten here, and I think I know what it is. Flowers. And chocolate.
True, the flowers are pretty fresh and I don’t actually know if chocolate can rot, but it’s the symbolism that counts here, people. Don’t let yourselves be blinded by Valentine’s Day and love and all the sugar you’ve no doubt been eating.
Here’s the deal: If you really love someone, every day should feel like Valentine’s Day. Not to mention the fact that if you REALLY loved her, you wouldn’t give her chocolate. She’s already self-conscious of her thighs.
So listen to me, the girl who has never had a Valentine and is therefore the expert on this holiday: put down the roses and back away slowly.

I think Valentine’s Day can be wonderful. Really. But does coupling up really matter? So I’ve come up with a new holiday: Saint Cappy’s Day. After all, I’m practically a saint for all I put up with from you people. I was going to make it named after a true-blue saint, but I figured 1) I’m not Catholic and the Episcopal church only has as many saints as were around when we split from the Catholic church and…basically I didn’t feel like figuring out whether there was a saint of single people and whether or not he/she was recognized by the church I don’t even attend very often. And 2) I’m cuter than most of the saints anyway.

Here’s how it goes: all my single ladies (and men…and anyone else, if you’re a little gender confused), put your hands up. Okay, there are a few of you. Kid in the back, pay attention. Every September 14, we are going to have an international day for singles in which we give ourselves chocolate (but only if we’re not dieting, and even then it has to be dark chocolate cuz that’s better for you. Anti-oxidants, people!) and flowers (any flower typical at funerals is permitted, so go crazy with your easter lilies). Then, we’re gonna take ourselves out for a coffee and/or lunch, celebrating the love we have for ourselves.
And I’m not kidding. Here’s where I get serious. Now.
I have grown to love myself so much. Who I am and what I do, they’re all mine. So let’s take a day to celebrate ourselves! Because, as Ke$ha would say, we are who we are. And as Lady Gaga (my homegirl) would say, I was born this way. It’s too dang true.


Saint Cappy.

Going Gaga

The first time I ever heard Lady Gaga was in a car at 2 in the morning driving home from the midnight premier of Bruno (which, incidentally, was the most horrifying movie I have ever been forced to view). I was grumpy. I was tired. Some crazy lady on the radio was yelling “Boys Boys Boys!” and talking about eggs. It was Gaga.
I can’t remember where I was when I heard Lady Gaga for the second time. I’m pretty sure I can credit my friend Cameron for turning me on to her. Where I was and what I was doing is completely irrelevant. I’m now completely hooked.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t go around talking about people’s disco sticks. I don’t dance in high heels and a thong. I listen to Peter, Paul, and Mary, for goodness sake. But I feel this empowerment when I listen to Lady Gaga’s songs that I can’t get many other places. I feel good to be a woman. I understand that other people hate guys sometimes too. I dance like mad to every single song (except, ironically, Just Dance, which was overplayed and I cannot stand hearing anymore). And I understand that its ok to be who I am, even if that’s a super crazy girl. I feel like I’m covered in sequins when I hear her songs. I think that’s just fine.

In an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga explained that she felt like a freak in high school and that her purpose was to make her young fans feel like they could let their inner freaks out.

 High school is a really weird place. Everyone thinks they know the right way to live life when really nobody actually understands what life is. So when everyone else is telling you who to be and why, its good to have a symbol of why you can tell them to shut up. Lady Gaga is a talented woman who got her fame by being who she is.
And you’ve got to admit, her albums are great to listen to while putting on makeup.