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Social Media has been alive with me, too comments (and non-comments) regarding the toppling of Hollywood heavyweight producer Harvey Weinstein, by his “outing” as a long time sexual predator.

I’m blogging my two cents’ worth instead of Facebooking it because there are several issues I want to address. Please note this is all Life According to Marti, and not intended to be any sort of universal truth. This week I’ve learned that there are no universal truths on this topic. We all see it differently.  I’ll get to Harvey, specifically, in a minute.  But for now, I want to talk about several concepts:

  • Sexual Harassment
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sex Discrimination

“Back in the day” when the idea of sexual harassment in the workplace first became worthy of being illegal, it was defined  as anything for which a quid pro quo arrangement was expected, or anything that created a hostile work environment.  Okay, let’s look at that.  The first part is fairly easy to define and to recognize.  Quid pro quo: if you do ______ then I’ll do _______.  The first half of the sentence could be anything from having sex to going on a date to giving a back rub to a little peck on the cheek or a bunch of other things along the way.  The second half could be a promote you, give you a raise, let you keep your job, put in a good word for you with the big boss, give you those days off that you want, not beat your head in, etc.  You get the idea.  Fairly black and white.

But that SECOND part “…anything that creates a hostile work environment” is the grayest of areas. In addition to supplying attorneys with luxury cars for the past couple of decades, the interpretation of  hostile work environment varies wildly from person to person.  For some people, it could be a pin up calendar in the break room.  For others, it would be to have a co-worker expose himself as a joke.  And there are a billion scenarios in between.

For me personally, a lot of behavior didn’t bother me.  I am not a delicate flower and a certain level of behavior simply doesn’t affect me.  Might affect my opinion of the ‘behaver’ but it doesn’t touch me.  An example from my mid-twenties, as a new manager in a food and beverage department: I walked in to a room full of male managers and told the boss that Mr. Jones asked if he could get a sandwich for his flight home.  That unleashed a 60 second riff on whether I would be the meat, who would get to be the bread, don’t use too much mayo because it would get too slippery, etc.  My reaction was to tell them they were a bunch of post adolescent idiots and if they wanted to take care of the VIP, then handle it.  And I left.  But truly?  That most certainly could have been considered sexual harassment.  And if I had to listen to that sort of thing constantly, I probably would have filed a complaint.  But it was the exception, not the norm, so it may have been irritating, but nothing more. 

That attitude served me well at the time.  When confronted with a situation where a man would push the hostile work environment limits a bit, I seemed to find the distance to evaluate the degree of his power over me (or my career, or whatever) vs. the degree of his yuckiness.  In other words, how tactful did I have to be?  Was I walking on eggshells, or could I just be honest and say, “hey, look, this is how it is …”?  And I was lucky.  Everything I personally encountered were things I could handle myself.  But this is not necessarily true for others. I never felt like a victim then, I don’t feel like it, looking back now. But that’s my personal experience.

Years later when I became a Human Resources Director, I had to change a bit.  If an employee came to me with an issue, I couldn’t shrug it off.  If it was important to her, it was important. Period. And yes, I would have given a male employee the same respect, had one ever come to me with a harassment issue.

Sexual assault – physically or verbally – is something I’ve never encountered, thank goodness.  In my opinion, that is when the idea of predator/victim comes in to the picture.  I am so sorry that others have had to endure this.  Even though I personally fight against the concept of “victim” I understand that I don’t really understand. And I’ll leave it at that.

Okay, now let’s talk about Harvey Weinstein.  What’s different about him and other accused harassers/predators in Hollywood, such Bill Cosby, Woody Allen or Roman Polanski?  When predatory scandals hit the news about them, many loyal supporters came to their defense.  Not true!  Unfair!  This person is a great artist!  But for Harvey, there was only … silence.  No one came to his defense.  And now we have all the “this sort of behavior is not acceptable” tweets from both women AND men.  Why?  Changing times?  Uh, I don’t think so.  The difference between Harvey Weinstein and the others mentioned in this paragraph is simple:  In addition to being a sexual predator, he is also a bully.  He intimidated, fought, berated, threatened …

…men.

So for once, the fear of intimidation in Hollywood was experienced by both genders.  So hopefully, now EVERYONE will know what it’s like.

And that’s all I have to say about this topic.

Oh, and did you notice I slipped the concept of ‘sex discrimination’ in there? It’s not part of this discussion, but man … don’t even get me started.  lol

 

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Tried really hard not to write about this yet again, but ….

May 4, 1970. Forty-seven years ago today, I was a sophomore in high school, just beginning to think about colleges. Being an Ohio girl, the first school that caught my attention was Kent State. Not too far, state school, beautiful campus and a GREAT theatre department.

The early 70’s were turbulent times. Campus protests against the Vietnam War, a younger generation resisting the status quo more forcibly than ever in our history…. Five years after the Watts riots, a mere two years after the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther KIng. We were a county experiencing some pretty sharp growing pains.

Nevertheless, in our relatively easy middle class lives, we never imagined …

A couple of very intense days/nights around the town of Kent – including the burning of the ROTC building – all came to a tragic climax when a large portion of the National Guard soldiers called in to -well, I’m not sure what was expected of them – fired directly into the crowd of students on the green. Let me write that again: They fired directly into the crowd. Sixty-seven rounds in thirteen seconds.

The National Guard fire tear gas to disperse the crowd of studen

Nine were injured, four students were killed. None were armed.

Wounded Kent State student John Cleary is attended to by other s

Now here’s the thing …

I don’t believe in burning ROTC buildings (even though no one was ever charged), I don’t believe in violent protests.
But shooting into a crowd of people who were simply part of the same group (students) who may or may not have been responsible for violent protests? Uh, no. Don’t believe in that, either.

At least one of the students killed had been part of the non-armed, vocal protest. But others were simply walking by, or observing from a distance.

It was an ugly moment in our history, and certainly a moment to shock my friends and me into a new level of awareness. A person experiences many instances of “loss of innocence” during a lifetime, and this was one of ours.

So now, when I hear that police officers have shot yet another unarmed “person of color,” my point of reference isn’t black and white. It’s knowing what happens when an individual’s bias against a particular group (black? immigrants? students? those against what I believe?) stirs up unwarranted fear towards others and a deadly knee jerk reaction takes place, simply because of that bias. Lives are lost. That’s what happens.

And apparently, we haven’t figured that out yet.

Please don’t respond with political stuff. This is a highly personal issue for me and frankly – whether you agree or disagree with me is fine. I simply had a need to tell you what May 4 will always mean to me. Thank you for reading.

“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Well, it’s been exactly one year since Glenn Frey, co-founder of Eagles and artist in his own right died at the age of 67.  This was the beginning of a year in which we lost so many talented artists, that a tongue-in-cheek campaign to “keep Betty White safe” popped up in December.

Some losses were more difficult than others.  The passing of David Bowie, for example, knocked me for a loop.

But for some reason, two “celebrity” deaths that bookended the year – Glenn Frey and Carrie Fisher – affected me the most.  The loss of Fisher was straightforward and easier to understand.  As I mentioned elsewhere on social media, while talking about her as an author: “She is so candid, funny, clever and SO relatable, reading her is like reminiscing with an old friend.”

But why I reacted so strongly to the passing of Glenn Frey was a little harder to understand.

A large part of it had to do simply with the Eagles’ body of work, both the span and where it fell in my own lifeline.  While watching the documentary History of the Eagles (for the fourth time, I might add), I realized: they supplied the theme songs of my entire twenties.  So it’s not just the great music, but also the memories.

In addition to that, both Glenn Frey and Don Henley had very successful solo careers for a number of years in there.  How many remember Frey from Miami Vice?  Too long ago? How about from Jerry McGuire?

And it’s not only a nostalgia thing.  Okay, FINE.  Nostalgia does have a role here.  You know … faded youth and all that.  But seriously, there’s more than that.  About four years ago I had the pleasure of attending a Glenn Frey concert on Maui and it was pure Glenn – playing what he wanted to play – from Tin Pan Alley to contemporary and back again.  He was joyful, right on the mark and obviously having a blast.  And adding to the mix, I was with new friends.  So memories have continued to be added to my subconsciously stored Glenn Frey Handbook.

Earlier I mentioned the documentary “History of the Eagles, Part 2” and that figures into it as well.  In the doc, everyone was pretty honest, sort of telling it like it was, from their perspective.  Nevertheless,  I noticed that Don Henley (who I also admire) was honest, yet more measured in his words.  More aware of the effect.  Frey, on the other hand, let it all hang out [notice the 70’s phrases dropped into this paragraph].  Imperfect but real.  And I think THAT is a big factor in where my simpactico is coming from.  In this crazy ‘through the looking glass’ mirror of the celebrity/fan world, I most appreciate those who allow us to glimpse who they really are.

If you’re still reading this, then you might enjoy the clip that I’ve linked below.  It’s a series of very short samples of Frey songs over the years, a musical amuse-bouche of sorts. But what struck me is the chronology of it – over 40 years of Glenn Frey in seven minutes.

Why am I posting something with such a limited niche appeal?  I guess I really wanted to talk about this, and the twenty-something students at my Ed Center are not likely to care or even know who I’d be talking about.  So if you’ve made it this far, then I thank you.

Here’s the link and btw – yes, I’ve also had a 45 year crush on him but I SWEAR, that’s beside the point.

 

 

When I was a little kid, my mom subscribed to Photoplay magazine, which is difficult to describe in today’s terms.  Photoplay was definitely all about Hollywood and movie stars, but not mean spirited or gossipy, like today’s tabloid mags.  It’s an overused term, but the late 50s and early 60s were a “simpler time,” I guess.

Anyway … I started first grade in 1960, so Photoplay was my at-home reading primer.  I read it cover to cover.  Knew the stars, knew their lives, knew their families.

One of the first “other little girls” I ever related to was Carrie Fisher.  I was only a couple years older than her (give or take a few months), so I could really relate to her.

Time passed, Princess Leia eclipsed Carrie, marriages/divorces/lifestyle stories eclipsed that, and – joyfully – Carrie-as-an-author eclipsed it all.  She was smart, brutally honest and just terrific. Acerbic, honest, clever, funny, totally told it like it was.  I loved her writing, loved her on talk shows. She had a no holds barred delivery, no matter who or what the subject was.  Yet her level of willingness to poke fun at herself and her own issues was like the club soda that cut the sting of the whiskey.  And the recent Star Wars reboots? Wonderful.  She was so very many things.

But today, I will miss my one-way through the looking glass childhood “friend” Carrie.Eddie Fisher     and    Debbie Reynolds

Eddie Fisher, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds.

 

 

Ok, yes, I’m a lousy housekeeper, not overly organized and a bit of a packrat. This combination of traits can lead to a perfect storm of “omg, where IS that thing??” On the other hand,  it may give rise to a joyful reunion between myself and a piece of stuff from a distant part of my life.  For example, last month I found my stepson’s 1996 school photo in my Organizional Behavior (MGT 122) file from two semesters ago, and a small box of handmade Fimo miniatures that have apparently been in a three tiered stuff holder, in a back corner of my desk for a number of years.

But last Thursday was the best.  While looking for an insurance form, I found a printed sheet of playlists for various moods, that I started to write in Hana, probably a decade and a half ago.  It was dog eared, scribbled on and incomplete, but most importantly it is … FOUND!  The best part?  I can now actually CREATE the playlists.  Back in 2002 I would have had to physically track down the music via CDs, iTunes (which I still don’t understand) or hire the original artists to come play for me.  Okay, here are my playlists in progress.  Would LOVE to hear suggestions of what to add.  You can even tell me about songs from this millennium.  Speaking of which, here’s a caveat:

Please understand that I was living in a secluded town that only received one radio station, so that’s my excuse for the music being so … ancient.  [Thinking of Michael and Harold’s Big Chill conversation about music from this century.  But I digress]

Comments?  Please add suggestions to any of the categories. I didn’t edit, so a few of the category names were never really intended for the outside world. [blushes]

Okay, I’m off to “Spotify” them, so here ya go…

To Clean the House
Nutcracker Suite
Tough Enough (Fabulous Thunderbirds)
Katchi Katchi Music (Willie K)
Turn the Beat Around (Vicki Sue Robinson or Gloria Estafan)
Twist and Shout (Isleys OR Beatles)
Love Shack (B-52s)

I Got the Music in Me
Sir Duke (The one and only Stevie Wonder)
Drift Away (Dobie Gray)
Walkin’ in Memphis (Mark Cohn)
Bell Bottom Blues (Eric, of course)
I Love Music (Tavares)
Creeque Alley (Mamas & Papas)
Do You Believe in Magic (Lovin’ Spoonful)

Hear Me Roar
What I Am (Edie Brickell)
Respect (who else could possibly sing it?)
It’s Too Late (Carole, of course)
Shining Star (EW&F)
In My Life (B’s)
Greatest Love (George Benson)

Through to the Soul
The River (Talking Heads)
Into the Mystic (Van da Man)
Over the Rainbow (Iz)
What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye)
Limbo (Jimmy Cliff or John Cruz)
Jesus Children of America (Stevie W)
Layla
A Day in the Life (B’s)

In the Mood
Moon Dance
At Last (Etta.  Only Etta)
Sea of Love (Phil Phillips or Honeydrippers)
Crazy Little Thing (Queen)
Popsicle Toes (Michael Franks)

Mushy Stuff
Help Me (Joni)
Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)
That Sunday, That Summer (Nat or Natalie)
Beginnings (Chicago)
Fallin’ (Keahiwai)
This Could Be Real (Richard Elliot)
Your Smiling Face (James Taylor)

Break Up Songs
You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me (Smoky)
Shes Gone (Hall & Oates)
Yesterday
This Ol’ Heart of Mine (Isleys or even Rod Stewart, oddly)
I Can’t Tell You Why (Eagles)
Crazy (Patsy Cline)
Masquerade (Leon Russell)
The Thrill is Gone (BB King)

Life Sucks
Eighteen (Alice Cooper)
Fire and Rain (James Taylor)
Manhattan Island Serenade (Leon Russell)

Crusin’ 
Chill Factor (Richard Elliot)
Street Life (Crusaders)
The Calling (Santana)

Singing a Portrait
Vincent (Don McLean)
Raised on Robbery (Joni Mitchell)
When Sunny Gets Blue (Kenny Rankin)
Jamaica, Say You Will (prefer Joe Cocker version)
Levon (Elton)

 

 

So in this take out, eat out, thaw it out life of mine, I sometimes forget that – not only do I know how to cook, but I’m also pretty good.  I’ll go for months without using my kitchen for anything more than making coffee, heating water for tea or boiling some fresh ravioli and pretending I “made” it.  Then – for a day or two – I buy fresh ingredients, break out the olive oil, cut some fresh herbs and voila!  I actually MAKE SOMETHING. And I love it.  For a while at least.  Then my short attention span kicks in, life gets in the way and it’s back to Costco prepackaged stuff and Foodland’s poke bowl.

 

This week I had some extra time so I made stuffed red peppers one day, and – one of my favorites – ratatouille – the next.

 

Here’s the thing about ratatouille …Normally I like bold flavors and spices, but this dish is different.  It consists of simmering a variety of fresh vegetables – tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, onions and garlic – until they mix and marry and become a quiet little stew-like symphony of compatible yet distinct flavors. It’s subtle, so you have to really PAY ATTENTION.

 

Normally I just chop it all up and throw it together and let the alchemy happen.  But yesterday I decided to  follow a recipe (somewhat).  This one, in fact.  The prep took longer, but I liked the way it evened out the degree of “cookedness” of the various veggies.  I was pleased.

 

But that’s not why I’m writing.  At the very last minute I did something that sent my tastebuds into orgasmic delight.  Before I brought my bowl to the table, I sprinkled some crumbled Feta cheese over it, along with some fresh basil.  OMG, it was great.

 

And for breakfast?  I simmered a healthy portion in a saucepan and then broke an egg into it and poached it in that beautiful broth.

 

And those two improvisations is why I’m blogging it. I am a taste crusader and am urging you all to try it.

 

2016-07-24 19.54.19 (2)

Here it is!  Think: hot, bubbly, tasty …

So I’m about seven chapters in to Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography, “Reckless: My Life as a Pretender” and two things have made a big impression, one positive, one not.  I’ll get the “not” out of the way first.  I chose the audiobook version and really wish I hadn’t.  Rosanna Arquette – who I like very much – reads it.  As a book narrator, she’s fine.  But having Hynde’s wry, honest words come at me in a higher pitched girly voice is driving me nuts.    When the author is someone whose voice is so familiar to me, I really want to “hear” it in their voice.  Literally as well as figuratively.  But that’s just my little whine.

But what truly strikes me is the detailed accuracy of growing up in blue collar-ish Ohio in the sixties.  Born in 1951, Hynde is only three years older than I am.  So from having to “red up the house” to the phenomenon of underground music hitting us rust belt teens smack in the middle of our musical awareness, she really gets it right.  It’s in the throwaway details that someone not from the era or area will probably miss.  So far – at least until the point where she becomes a word famous rocker – it’s as though she’s writing OUR autobiography.

I’m familiar enough with her life to know that some difficult times are coming up, such as 5/4/1970 (she actually was a Kent State student at the time) or a horrific experience probably not made easier by Quaaludes.  But really – I want to read it all.

It would be interesting to hear what someone who is NOT from my age or geographic demographic thinks of it.  Feel free to add your two cents’ worth.   And incidentally … I don’t think there was a ghost writer. It’s all Chrissie.

chrissie

 



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  • ronmitchelladventure: Truth be told, I wanted to ask, "Can we touch with anything we want?" Decided not to ask, as sometimes a sick sense of humor falls flat. Plus, I was c
  • martiwrites: On one hand, I actually facilitated those training classes for years. On the other hand, I'm a Serb living in the land of aloha. Double whammy and h
  • ronmitchelladventure: As a manager, I refrained from my cultural hug and kiss on the cheek greeting after attending sexual harassment training for managers. We learned that