272 articles found by Gloria Diaz
||Canadian nutjobs captivate columnist
I’m in grad school for a few reasons, and trying to adjust to being in school again. However, as much as I’d like to moan about the WTF moments I’ve had sitting in class, I’d rather talk about the fact that I get a chance to write an “engaged research paper” about one of my favorite crime cases from the last 25 years.
||Cosby, Mama June, and the "Teflon Touch"
Some celebrities can survive scandal because they have what I call the “Teflon Touch.” No matter what they do, they survive and forge on.
||Subscription remorse — or, who are these people anyway?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the time I subscribed to People magazine. Or tried to. It was back at the beginning of the year when I thought I sent them a check for my subscription
||They had it all, but sometimes it isn't enough
I was shocked (as the rest of the world was) when I heard about Robin Williams’s death. And the next day, Lauren Bacall died. Bad things happen in threes, so when Joan River’s was off life support, I figured she’d be next.
||Catholic crotch shots not cool
When I went online to check my email recently, AOL had thoughtfully selected some news stories for its homepage.
|| Vice is Nice
I broke down and subscribed to People magazine, probably the first subscription to anything I've had in about 10 years.
||Buzzfeed is Her New Addiction
I spend too much time online these days, thanks to my Samsung Galaxy 3. I can do Facebook updates away from home, and snap interesting pictures (I saw my first spent bullet in Target's parking lot the other night, and uploaded photos of it with a witty comment) but when I want pure entertainment, I go to Buzzfeed.com.
||Tell me who’s the “weaker” sex again?
When I went online to check my email recently, AOL had thoughtfully selected some news stories for its homepage…
||Deal With Your Issues — Without the Bullets
Hopefully the school shootings will calm down a bit since school's out now. I guess that means the mall and public place shootings will pick up.
||The shaker and the damage done
I'm an addict. I'm addicted to white powder. It's a common white powder. Everyone's heard of it.
||Take me to Rivertown
If necessity is the mother of invention, frustration is the food. Four years ago, Robert Enders wanted to do sketch comedy. Lacking a stable schedule and actors who also had compatible schedules, he decided to create a comic and draw his actors
||Neon Vibe Has Both Good and Bad Vibes
I rarely have “one of those days” but on this particular Saturday, it all came to a head.
||She'd Rather Be Rich, Not Famous
Every time I think I want to be famous, I think of Miley Cyrus. Or Lindsay Lohan. Or Kirstie Alley. Now mind you, I wouldn't mind being rich. But the fame part could get a little embarrassing.
||Happy and she knows it
I've been pretty happy recently (alert the media!) and I'm not exactly sure why. But I'm liking this feeling.
||Just Plane Gone
I'm too young to have experienced the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. I know what happened. She went on a top-secret mission and was never heard from again.
||Men Beware: It's a SATC Column
In honor of Women's History Month, I'm going to write about that great television program of stunning feminism called Sex and the City. Just kidding (about the feminist part, that is).
||This Winter Could Have Been So Much Worse
It's a Thursday night, and rumor has it there's another snow storm scheduled to arrive…
||The Perils of Possessing a Provocative Pen
I'm trying to figure men out, but it's proving to be depressing and a little scary. Recently I discovered if you are courteous, kind, and helpful, they assume you think they are hot and you want to sleep with them.
||At Least Her Literature Grades Were Good
Because my life is not chaotic enough, I've decided to go to grad school. I'm scared to death, even though more than one person has told me I'm going to love it.
||Small Town Values Are Pretty Damn Cool
I'm grateful that I don't live in a small town, but there's something to be said for small town values. I had an experience that has me sold on them.
||“Teach a woman to fish…”
The old saying, “give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man to fish, and he eats for a lifetime,” gets a new twist from Lorelei VerLee, executive director of Creative Women of the World.
||Junk food and shorts: here comes the snowstorm!
It's January 5, 2014 as I write this, 2:41 a.m. According to the forecast, we're supposed to get hit with a ton of snow and incredibly cold temperatures.
||Wholesome Christians Need Freaky Love Too
File this under the “WTF? Department”: Christian swingers. Yes, I said Christian swingers. I saw this somewhere on FB, and I had to shake my head, or SMH, as they say on the 'book.
||Today: Black Thursday. Tomorrow: "ShoppingMas"
I spent what is probably my last Thanksgiving off (until I get a non-retail job) home, stuffing my face, watching season six of The Office, and just relaxing.
||Rate My Professors? How About Ratemystudents.com?
Because nothing is sacred and everyone's a critic, I've discovered a website called Ratemyprofessor.com.
||Grumpy Cat: she looks how we feel
Cats are a perfect mascot for the Internet. They are aloof and unsympathetic, much like the world wide web itself.
||One page at a time…
If you've ever had an image of writers as being reclusive, hunching over their keyboards, typing their little hearts out, you'd probably be right. Writing is one of those things people usually do by themselves.
||Just a Perfect Day ...
A few weeks ago, I had a really good day. No, I didn't carpetbomb my enemies or win the lottery. It was just a really good day. A working day, if you can dig that.
||She's Got the Whole World in Her Hands
I love technology, but I also hate it. It bothers me to see people staring into their cellphones like it's a drug.
||One Person's Ear Candy is Another Person's "Crap"
I've been depressed lately, which is not too unusual, but I've also been feeling lonely for my parents. I wish I could tell them I get it. I understand now why my dad liked big band music, and opera, and Broadway musicals and Latin Jazz
||Cover Song Comparison Part 2
Time for another cover song comparison!
||Jesus Would NOT Call Me A Piece of Garbage
I had a Christian call me a piece of garbage on a website a few weeks ago. I was surprised at how angry he was, but not really.
||What's In YOUR Medical Savings Account? Probably Not Enough
Health care is still a hot topic in the United States because of ObamaCare, or the Affordable Care Act. Some people call it Satan's Plan to Ruin America…
||Not her bag
I never realized the reach of Vera Bradley until I was in Puerto Rico in 2005. My father's cousin and I were at a restaurant in the mountains. Her handbag was on the table, and the pattern seemed familiar. I continued to stare at it, and there it was, in tiny script near the bottom of the bag: Vera Bradley.
||More from "Gloria's Book Club"
Yes, it's another round of Gloria's Book Club! I read a bunch of books while I was recovering from surgery, and I'm going to tell you about some of them.
||Hey! It's Gloria's Book Club!
I confess I was looking forward to having to recover from my surgery. After I got through the terror of waiting, and waiting, and worrying and finally getting it over with (I was doing so well, I was released a day early) it was really nice knowing I had an entire month to get better.
||An exercise in exhaustion and gas
So I've had another major surgery (the second one in four years, unless you count the shoulder surgery and my recent colonoscopy, then it's four surgeries, two of them major, in four years) and I'm lying around at home.
||Wearable High Heels? Yes, She Finally Found Them
A while back, I wrote about not being able to walk in high heeled shoes. For decades, I'd buy pairs I thought I could walk in, only to realize I couldn't. I resolved to find out why. A check on the Internet showed that I was an extreme supinator, or extreme under-pronator.
||Complaining is futile
A few days ago, a couple of people were complaining—one about a co-worker, the other about her health. A few minutes into their complaints, they apologized for complaining.
||I'm Really Going to Miss The Office
I have a bad habit of not paying attention to pop cultural events as they are unfolding. In 2006, my kickboxing trainer told me about “The Office,” and said I'd probably enjoy it…
||Control Freak Author Meets Stunt Double
One of my many flaws is that I am a control freak. I also have trust issues, so mix them together, and you get someone who is neurotic and also convinced that if she tells someone to do something, it won't get done right.
||Hollywood got what it wanted — but won't admit it
I haven't watched commercial television at home for several months now. I don't have Internet access at home any more either, and I find myself reading more.
||What size am I? Fat
As I continue to struggle with my weight, I’m wondering if someone isn’t screwing with the numbers when it comes to sizes. I remember being a very skinny teenager, yet I was a size 12.
||The Digital Medium is a Mess
Back when I had more time, I was way into photography. I recently posted some photos I'd taken years ago in a Facebook photo album, and tagged faces.
||Believable Sci-Fi an oxymoron
Science fiction is not one of my favorite genres. For me, it has to be believable, or else I can't get into it…
||Using Time Wisely (Sort Of)
I had another big chunk of time off, and I took advantage of it to clean and paint and assemble a shelf. I reported my progress on Facebook, where a couple of friends commented on my domestic activity, and wished they had my motivation.
||Bargain Prices Spoil Columnist
Yesterday, I had an urge to check out a thrift store. I usually don't ignore this urge, because it seems like when I've gone, I've scored some pretty great stuff.
||It's obvious I don't go to movies much…
I rarely do movie recaps, because I hardly ever go to the movies, but here are a few films I saw this year and what I have to say about them. In no particular order.
||Sometimes the song gets worse
I've noticed that certain versions of songs affect me in certain ways. If I've heard one particular version of a song first even if it's a cover of the original, there's a chance I may not like the actual original.
||The End of Thanksgiving as We Know It
I read the news just a few minutes ago. Both Wal-mart and Sears will be open on Thanksgiving, at 8 p.m. And next year, it will be earlier, and the year after that it will be earlier…
||Motivate With Care
A few weeks ago, I had to attend a meeting at work. The hideous hour of 6 a.m. didn't help any, nor did the free breakfast which was provided.
||Meet the Author
I suffer through iPhones at work, and the fragile structure of the server at my other job sometimes sends my lesson plans into a death spiral. But technology, at least as it applies to writing, is really amazing right now.
Fort Wayne has received a lot of negative attention over the years—we're fat; we're dumb (according to Men's Health magazine, that hotbed of academia) and thanks to city officials putting the kibosh on naming the new government building the Harry Baals Government Center, we have no sense of humor…
||This may be YOU, someday
I know how old people get on your nerves: they do everything way too slowly, and they are not exactly fast learners when it comes to technology.
||America's Future: Fat Beauty Queens on Red Bull and Mountain Dew
I recently stopped at the grocery store and flipped through an issue of People. I’ve got a magazine connection, so I don’t have to spend money to indulge my printed word fetish.
||Letting go and looking forward
Even though I’ve made huge strides this summer with getting rid of stuff in the house, I still kind of look around and feel like I haven’t made much progress.
||On the Campaign Trail with Gina Burgess
If it seems like Allen County Council candidate Gina Burgess is everywhere this campaign season, it’s because she tries to be. She really does.
||Some of My Favorite Things: Part 2
So last column, I wrote about some of the things that make me happy. I actually need more space! Isn’t that great? So here are some more things that make me happy.
||These are Just Some of Her Favorite Things
Occasionally, I get grief for being too negative.
||50 Shades of Oh yes, it kept me interested
I’m usually way behind or out of the loop when it comes to pop culture.
||I Just Want Some Decent Looking Shoes
Years ago, I knew someone who couldn’t understand why women had so many shoes.
||For a Happy, Fun Time Gloria, Just Add Steroids
Because I’ve adjusted my working schedule to where I’m not working all the time, I’m slowly regaining motivation to do things that haven’t been done in years, such as attack the jungles known as my front and back yards.
||Some Song I Can't Get Out of My Head
I’m not a huge fan of what’s going on in music right now, but even I can’t escape the phenomenon (or scourge) of “Somebody That I Used to Know.” I have very mixed feelings about this song.
||Birthday Nicer than Last Year's
My birthday was better this year than it was last year, probably because I spent the majority of it out of town…
||But I'm ENTITLED to it!
There’s no shortage of huge people in the Midwest. I myself am fat, and I’m tired of seeing the fat rolls.
||*#!t Happens... to Gloria
I’ve been feeling particularly poor lately. I’m operating without credit cards and trying to take care of whatever problem arises.
||Hungry For More
Over the last decade, I’ve felt a little left out when it came to movies. I am not into wizards or vampires, so the whole “Harry Potter” thing and “Twilight” phenomenon meant I didn’t know what anyone was talking about.
||George Carlin Was Right
I posted a comment on my Facebook page wondering if Republicans were trying to alienate women in the United States by declaring war on birth control, abortions, and women’s reproductive systems. A Facebook friend said no, but I have to wonder.
||And the Grammy Goes to...Who?
I think I’ve reached old age. Not “old” old age, but the beginning of old age.
||Gloria's Day Off
I’ve spent most of the last three and a half years working three jobs. While I’m grateful to have employment, there’s been a stunning lack of work/life balance.
||Won't Get Fooled Again?
Because I have a new schedule which I am very happy with, I'm able to watch more television. So I caught the recent Standing Ovation Address (oh, sorry, I meant State of the Union Address) and it made me wish there wasn't a studio audience, so to speak.
||The Computer and the Damage Done
I haven't had a computer at home for a couple of weeks now, and I'm astonished at how much time I spend online.
||Weeping for the manchildren
If you are an older woman with an adult daughter, and wondering why she isn’t married, you might want to keep reading. “What the hell is wrong?” you ask. “She’s attractive, articulate, intelligent, and a little bit ambitious…"
||Videos She Actually Liked
So last column I bitched about music videos that I felt were disappointing; this column I’ll comment on the ones that deliver. These aren’t in any particular order.
||I didn't want my MTV
Years ago, when MTV was new and showed videos, a friend of mine was jealous because I had cable and she didn’t.
||Maybe we don't deserve health care
I’ve been thinking about health lately, probably because a friend of mine died in early September. He was a year younger than I was, and anytime someone close to your age dies, it makes you stop and think a little.
||Those heels weren't a deal
This is a warning to the guys out there: this is a “girly” column. But come to think of it, you might want to keep on reading. It’s about shoes.
||Protesting the loss of the American Dream
Even if nothing comes from the Occupy Wall Street protests, it’s nice to realize not everyone in America is asleep. People are realizing that this isn’t our grandparents’ America anymore…
||If I had a hammer ... my buttcrack would be showing
I get a kick out of advertising, because it’s creatively sleazy. You’re convincing people to spend their hard-earned moola on crap they don’t need.
||We Hate Kids, Yes We Do…
One of my students did a brief report on a news article about a mother who abused her young child (who was crying) by blowing marijuana smoke into her mouth. That’s one way to calm an infant down, I guess, but I’m sure Dr. Spock wouldn’t approve.
||What Gloria Did on Her Summer "Vacation"
I’ve always had a low opinion of people who don’t believe in taking time off.
||Why older folks look the way they do
I’ve always wondered about elderly people and the outrageous clothing combinations they come up with. You wonder if the men are colorblind (which isn’t limited to age) and don’t have any female companions to ask for fashion help.
||Make it by 18, or else
I saw a story recently about a 14-year-old female singing sensation here in Fort Wayne. Someone interviewed for the story suggested she go to college in four years if the singing career didn’t work out.
||New Haven, take a bow
One of the few pleasures I have in the summer is going swimming. Until I get that Endless Pool installed in my backyard, I’ll have to settle for public swimming.
||Weiners and Terminators and Jackasses, Oh My!
I used to think men have it made, and in a lot of ways, they do, but after some recent events, I’m thinking being a woman is a blessing. For one thing, we’re smarter.
||My Catfish love affair
I saw the movie Catfish several months ago, but I was thinking about it again, and picked it up at the library
||Confronting an old nemesis
Bullying has been in the news quite a bit. As someone who’s been bullied, I can tell you this is not pleasant.
||No, the car is not for sale
I’ve always had a problem with clutter. I remember in elementary school my desk was always stuffed full of paper until it reached crisis mode, and my room was the same way.
||That ‘Box of Chocolates’ sometimes has those awful jelly ones
Can I say something about being “realistic” here? I guess what I really mean to say, is I’d like to talk about positive thinking, and its opposite, pessimistic thinking.
||Sure we're connected ...to fat
Sometimes I wonder about the media. I saw an article about how Fort Wayne (according to Men’s Health magazine, that journal of accurate, pertinent information) is one of the least socially connected cities around. Really?
||Queen of Crap Jobs Speaks Out on Unions
As someone who has worked under some lousy conditions, I would have to say I totally understand people who are in a union. But what I don’t understand is why Americans have become so masochistic when it comes to work.
||Matchmaker, Matchmaker, STFU!
Now that I’m not in a relationship anymore, I’ve had at least one friend ask me if I’ve been on any dating sites.
||It's Snowing… Must.Go.Shopping.
As I write this, supposedly we are in for another huge snowstorm. I never pay attention to the weather reports, because by the time I hear them, they become corrupted. Two inches turns into 12 inches, with gale force winds. Frequently, the “storm of the century” is two inches of snow plus some freezing rain.
||We've Got Baals, Yes We Do!
Fort Wayne is in the news again, thanks to a mayor with a chuckle-worthy name.
||When I was YOUR Age...Part 1
I can’t help think that by today’s standards, my childhood positively sucked. No iPhone, no television in my room (although I did have a pink princess phone) no Internet—hell, no computer! But here’s the real kicker…
||You're being paid too much. Really.
Kevin Hassett wrote something a while ago that appeared in the morning paper. It didn’t go unnoticed by other people, especially pro-labor types. He wrote that the reason things were so bad is that workers were being paid too much. Yes, too much.
||Model Television: Shallow as a Petri Dish
The fashion industry is bizarre. They champion individuality, but lord help you if you’re fat. So why am I watching America’s Next Top Model? Because I love watching drama, ramped up to the nth degree.
||Difficulty Maintaining an Election
Despite reconnecting with some old friends (Hi Lorie!) and feeling more comfortable at work with my funny, nice co-workers, the recent election has me feeling more depressed about the future than ever.
||Strip Clubs as Therapy
I’ve been thinking about self-esteem and body issues lately. Men never seem to get it, but it’s a bigger deal for women to be concerned about their bodies. That’s because men are judged on what they’ve done, whereas women are judged as to what we look like.
||We Don't Need No Education
I’d like to say something about education in Northeast Indiana — we hate it. We really, really hate it.
||One Ikea, Two Ikea, Three Ikea, MORE!
As much as I bitch about Walmart, I’m afraid I have an addiction to a retailer that is just as bad. Or, seems just as bad. That addiction is Ikea.
||We're not as fabulous as we think we are
When did we all get so fabulous? By the looks of things, you’d think we all came up with a cure for cancer and alcoholism.
||My Vacation from Facebook
A friend and former co-worker told me about Facebook a little over a year ago, and I compare her telling me to getting someone hooked on crack.
||I'll Bet Beck Never Drove an Ice Cream Truck!
Why is it that Republicans are the only people who think they have “good, traditional values”? The last time I heard a Republican spouting off about behaving oneself, he resigned because he had an affair. Wow. What values.
||Getting Something Off My Chest
I don’t think about my breasts very often. I’m due for a mammogram, but like going to the gynecologist, it’s not pleasant.
||Another Hooters, but in Plaid
I saw in the paper recently that another sports bar is coming to town. Great, just what we need. Bring on another wings and beer joint.
||Be prepared… or else
Some people who know me tell me I’m negative and pessimistic, but I prefer to see myself as being more of a realist.
||Do You Recognize Yourself in this Column?
Back in the mid-90s, I discovered a great ‘zine called Answer Me!. Chock full of hate, it was also well-written. It was notorious in the ‘zine community; you either loved it or hated it. What impressed me about the publication is that it put most other DIY rags to shame.
||Why Sugar Daddies are Needed
After my financial meltdown in 2008, I realized it’s expensive being a woman.
||Next Time, Bring the Nametags
I always said I wouldn’t come to any of my high school class reunions unless I had a loaded AK-47 with me, but I wound up going to one a few weeks ago.
||We Didn't See it Coming...Or Did We?
Just when I was trying to get used to saying, “Congressman for life, Mark Souder,” I get a voice mail from Robert…
||Our Lazy Society
A co-worker (Hi Sarah!) suggested this column’s topic, something I haven’t written about but snippets of it have floated around in my mind; I just needed a focus. The subject is laziness…
||Not Buying It: I Should Not Have Bought It
I’ve been trying to cut back on my spending and focus more on the joys of saving money. So when I came across Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping at Goodwill, I bought it (it was only a dollar.)
||Dr Gloria is in the House
Doctors sometimes think they’re God. But they aren’t. God wouldn’t cure my heartburn with a pill. And he wouldn’t charge me a co-pay either.
||The Doctor Might See You Now
So they’ve passed the health care reform bill. And depending which side of the fence you are on, you’re either enraged or elated.
||Walk a mile in our shoes
I know health care reform is important, but a law that needs to be put into effect NOW is “Everyone needs to work retail or in a restaurant as a server for six months.” You think I’m kidding? This is extremely important stuff…
||Tattoo Couture Too Too Much
I don’t like tattoos. I know there are plenty of people reading this who do have tattoos, and that is your choice.
||YouTube: Feeding the Obsessions
I recently got high-speed Internet (wireless!) so now I can feed an obsession in my own home. And that obsession is YouTube.
||They Don't Write 'Em Like They Used To
Since I teach writing part-time, I pay more attention to words than most people would. Misspelled signs, typos in brochures, and directions poorly translated from Mandarin Chinese to English always grab my attention.
||Take This Rose ... and Shove It!
For some reason, I’m watching The Bachelor and even though this is “reality” television, I know it’s as fake as a porn star’s boobs. This show HAD to have been dreamed up by a man…
||In Which Gloria Self-Delivers a Tumor
Those of you regular readers know I’ve been dealing with a fibroid tumor and a procedure to make it shrink, since the doctors informed me removing it would be dangerous. Firstly, because it was growing right in a muscle, and secondly, I would probably lose a lot of blood. Both physicians declared me too young for a hysterectomy, so I chose a less invasive procedure. All seemed well—at the beginning.
||One Dollar, No Holler
I’ve got a great idea! With the economy the way it is, why not declare 2009 the year of the Dollar Store present? We’d still be spending money to help the economy; only restricting our shopping to one of these shrines to the greenback wouldn’t bust the budget.
||Fan is Short For Fanatic
I just saw on the news how the Komets have more “enforcers” (a.k.a fighters) because the IHL has changed some rule; the organization is encouraging fighting.
||The Real Reason She Never Made It To Talk Radio
I don’t listen to talk radio. I don’t read the books radio hosts publish. I wondered why this was, and then I did a little research.
||Gloria Couldn't Feed 'Em, So She Didn't Breed 'Em
It seems like the harder things are economically, the more we as a nation point fingers and become cold-hearted.
||Starting the School Year in September? Yes, We Can!
I usually don’t see good news in the paper these days, but a recent headline caught my attention. Apparently, parents and others are pushing to start the school year later. It’s about time someone said something.
||Technology is Great — When it Works
Earlier this year, I bought a digital video camera. Due to computer problems (several viruses infected my laptop, which even amazed my computer repair guy, who’s been in the business for seven years) it has taken me forever to get anything done.
||Gloria's Surgery Saga
Since all three of you are breathlessly awaiting my surgery saga, I’ll say right off the bat there were no complications. Everything went as planned. The REAL drama happened the day before the surgery.
||Eight is MORE than enough
I’ve never watched Jon and Kate Plus Eight (the title alone sounds like something a restaurant host would hear in his worst nightmare) but I have to wonder if any old-school Catholics do. When I say, “old-school,” I’m talking about those folks in their 70s, 80s, and 90s who cranked out at least eight kids (sometimes more) and didn’t think that much about it. Certainly, they probably never dreamed that while they enjoyed their golden years, reality television would spotlight out-of-the-ordinary people and/or publicity hogs.
||The Customer is always right, and certifiably insane, as well
Due to the nature of my job, I encounter more people on a daily basis than I care to. I find it ironic that I became a truck driver to get away from it all, and wound up in the middle of people, merchandise and the disquieting feeling that the harder I try, the further away my dreams get.
||Down the Tube
Medical technology is really cool, if you can pay for it. Because I have a little white card in my purse that designates me as one of the chosen ones, I recently had an MRI to check the fibroid tumor I’ve been growing in my uterus for probably the last five years. I knew it was big, but didn’t really know how big. I’d had several ultrasounds, but those seem rather vague. No ultrasound is as impressive as an MRI.
||Rose Hille is sick of the…
Rose Hille is sick of the s**t.
Literally. The economy is only partially to blame in Hille’s decision to close Retroactive…
||The More the Merrier
One of our daily papers wrote an editorial about the addition of five best picture nominees to the Best Picture Category of the Oscars. They generally thought it was a good thing. They slammed independent films and lauded pictures “most of us see.” The editorial felt that expanding the category would include more popular pictures. I assume by this they mean blockbusters and kids’ films.
||In Which Gloria Reaches For Her Calculator
At a family gathering a couple of months ago, I found out there’s another member of my family who is as bad at math as I am. Welcome to the club, Alex. You have my condolences.
||Online shopping takes away the thrill of the hunt
There are some people who don’t enjoy leaving the house. They love being able to do everything from home, including shop, online. There’s a reason some of these people are morbidly obese.
||In Which Gloria Admits Her Addiction
I’m a word junkie. I’m serious. Some people go through nicotine withdrawal if they go without cigarettes, but if I’m stuck in traffic, I read. If I’m at the doctor’s office, I read. Once, my boyfriend and I went to Barnes and Noble, and stopped for a snack at a nearby restaurant. Did we chat? Did he whisper sweet nothings into my ear? Not on your life. He pulled one of his books out and started reading. I did the same.
||Buying Songs Not The Same
I don’t really jump on new technology all that quickly. I had my computer for two months before I realized I could burn CDs on it.
||Gloria's Gift Card of Guilt
I got gift cards for Christmas this year, probably the most I’ve ever received in my life. Bookstores, bowling alleys, and grocery/general merchandise stores. And Walmart.
||Dear Mr. President: Where's MY Bailout?
Dear Mr. President: I’m writing to you about the bailout. Frankly, I’m pissed off. If someone rewarded me for performing poorly on the job and mismanaging my money, I’d be laughing my ass off right now. Instead, I’ve got bill collectors bugging me. So where’s MY bailout?
||Buy Now, Pay Later, Eventually Declare Bankruptcy
I went through my own financial meltdown a few months ago, so I look at the bailouts and stimulus packages with some mixed feelings. I don’t think CEO’s should be rewarded with bailouts. I’m sorry, but if you make five million a year and get a million dollars as a “bonus,” and you’re still broke, you are too dumb to deserve that kind of money
When I got an email from Paul Allen, director of Stages Theater Company, about a play his group was doing called Faith County I was intrigued. It was described as “a white trash romantic comedy…” A white trash romantic comedy? I am SOOOO there…
||Barking Up the Pet Peeve Tree.
Someone at work (Hi Sarah!) asked me if I’d ever done a column on pet peeves. There’s plenty of stuff that makes me mad, but I guess I’ve never done a list of them. Until now.
||At Least “Wifeswap” Makes Your Family Look Normal
I’m watching “Wifeswap” right now and I’m chuckling at the domestic train wreck they’ve put together for this week. It’s a highly educated, worldly, driven California family vs. a paintball playing, junk food eating Missouri clan. It’s always amusing to watch these freaks clash. Whoever the producers of this show are, they manage to pick some seriously weird families to mix it up.
||The Song Doesn't Remain The Same
I’ve reached the age where current music doesn’t mean very much to me. The occasional song, like “Sexyback” breaks through and I say, “hey, I like this,” but for the most part, I don’t have a current favorite group that’s still intact. I like the Beatles, but I knew a long time ago a reunion was out of the question.
||Cable TV, the Circus and the Crap
I’m one of the few people I know who don’t have cable. One of my managers at work asked me why I don’t have cable, and I said it was because I could either eat out, or watch TV.
||Gloria goes to the movies
I can’t afford to go to many movies, and to be honest, it seems like few of them are worth going to. However, I’ll give you reviews of the movies I did see this year, in chronological order (or close to it):
My boss inspired me to write this column. Or rather, he said it was something I could write about. So blame him.
||YouTube: Sorta Cool, Sorta Not
Because I’m not too computer literate, I couldn’t watch YouTube videos on my laptop until several months after I bought it. I finally figured out how to install Flash Player and right after I found out the installation was successful, I went right back to YouTube and started searching.
||The feline thing
I am not a cat person. I’ve had a couple cats over the years, and they either sprayed the walls with their special, toxic cat liquid, or peed on my parents’ bed. One cat we adopted when my father was in the hospital had to leave after my dad got home. He said it was either him or the cat. Dad wasn’t a cat person.
||Some of Gloria's favorite things
I’ve been a little introspective lately, and my usual pessimistic self, so I’m going to try and get out of my funk by focusing on things that I like. These aren’t in any particular order (like you care) and they include a wide, strange spectrum, so consider yourself warned.
||Hard times in Fort Wayne
It’s no secret — times are tough. As of this writing, gas prices have dropped, but that followed months where the cost of fuel climbed past $4 per gallon. Add to that a credit crisis, rampant foreclosures, bank closings, general Wall Street mayhem…
||Poor Fat Woman magazine promises to "keep it real"
Since I’m trying to watch my money (and doing a poor job of it, thank you very much) I’ve restricted my magazine reading to the checkout lines at the grocery store and places where I have to sit and wait, such as car-care places and doctor’s offices. I exhausted the supply of Newsweek and skimmed through the Woman’s Day at a local tire repair joint, so I reluctantly picked up the November issue of Money magazine. It proved to me that I live in an alternate universe, but then, so does everyone else who lives in Fort Wayne.
||But of COURSE she's pretty!
I called a trucking friend of mine in Pennsylvania to see how her job search was going and what she thought about McCain picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. Her answer was interesting. I’ll have to paraphrase it, but she basically said the Republican Party knows middle-class America better than middle-class Americans do.
||The Best of Times, the Worst of Times
It seems fitting that last year, the best year of my life, would be followed by the worst year of my life. Since I love contrasts, it’s almost as if it was designed this way. To be honest though, I don’t really like it. It has certainly been a learning experience, and hopefully the bad times will slowly ebb away, but my sharply reduced income has made me realize I appreciate the simple things in life.
||My So-Called Hispanic Life
Hispanics have gotten a lot of press recently, both favorable and unfavorable. More Americans are aware of this group, and thankfully for me, Cameron Diaz became famous, so more people know how to pronounce my last name. It’s a good thing too, because I thought I’d have to get married to an Anglo in order to get a surname that was easy to pronounce.
||You Know Times Are Tough When ...
It’s no secret that times are tough. However, just how tough are they? Read on!
You know times are tough when …
||Unemployed? Lots of Luck, Pal
I spent most of the summer looking for a job, and I can tell you I’d rather have a root canal on a daily basis than look for work. It’s humiliating; you’re a college graduate and you are clawing your way through hundreds of other applicants, hoping your application will stand out. That is, if your application ever gets through to the right people.
||One isn’t necessarily the loneliest number
I don’t consider myself a very daring or brave person, but one thing I do on a regular basis that amazes people is travel. Invariably, whenever I say to someone, “yeah, I just got back from (exciting big city) and I had a blast,” they ask, “who’d you go with?” I reply, “nobody. I went by myself.” Those five words inspire horror and disbelief. “You went by YOURSELF!?
||You have your fantasy, I have mine…
If you are a guy and you’re reading this, stop. Hand it over to your significant other, and go watch NASCAR. However, if you’re a curious guy with an open mind (yeah, I’m sure there are lots of those in Fort Wayne) and want to learn a little bit more about women, read on.
||Gloria’s Trucking Saga: Part 5
Mid-January, I score a great trucking gig; great, that is, for someone just out of training. I was assigned a route where I was out and back every night. I mostly ended up in either Ohio or Michigan. I had a brand-new truck and was eager to get started on my job. I had visions of working steadily, saving up a few bucks, and making headway on some bills. Unfortunately, the best-laid plans…
||Returning soldier hopes tour of duty will give him stronger voice at home
People are familiar with the phrase, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” One soldier returning from Iraq hopes that “Acting Globally” will also help him act locally.
||Gloria’s Trucking Saga: Part Four
My first trainer was upset that I decided to get off her truck. For the first time all week, I was happy. I even did a decent job of backing up the truck to our final delivery point, but as usual, my trainer finished the job. I didn’t care, though. I was going home.
||On the bus
I’ll be honest—before I did research for this article, the last time I rode a bus was in December, when I was in Boston. When I ride public transportation, it usually happens in larger cities. Taking a bus or trolley (Hello, Toronto!) is a cheap, stress-free way to see the city. You can rubberneck all you want and not have to worry about accidents.
||Gloria’s Trucking Saga: Part Three
July 2007: I’d told “The Man” to shove it mere hours after I’d passed my CDL and was planning to take some time off before starting training. I called the trucking company that had hired me and told them when I wanted to start. Thankfully, they didn’t make a big deal out of me passing the test six months after I’d graduated from my second trucking school. So I bum around the house for a few weeks, enjoying home life before heading out. I had no idea what would happen once I completed training…
||The Fort Wayne Derby Girls: Looking for a few good women
Empowerment. Entertainment. Exercise. Celebrity. Computer experience. These aren’t words you would normally associate with roller derby…
||Gloria's Trucking Saga: Part Two
February 2007: I’ve lost the first battle, so I retreated. It was obvious I couldn’t go on any longer without working, so I went back to the temp agency which originally got me work the year before. I expected it to be the usual temp nonsense, and it was. However, a few of my co-workers were so much fun, there were nights that I actually looked forward to going to work. The place was a sweatshop, but I consoled myself with the fact that it was only temporary. I planned to leave as soon as I passed my commercial driver’s license test.
||Gloria's Trucking Saga: Part One
One thing I’ve learned in the past year is that you really can’t count on a timeline when you’re trying to achieve something. I once worked with a woman who was sure that her house would be finished on time. She ended up moving into a house where the floors were pressed wood board because, not surprisingly, the house wasn’t finished when the builders said it would be.
||Not the 'A' list
As much as I fantasize about winning the lottery and never having to work again, I know that I would probably be lost without my lists. I am one of those people who need some sort of structure in her life. Even if I never had to work again, I’d keep busy in some capacity. I’d probably take horseback riding and piano lessons again; I’d schedule regular trips both here and abroad, and work on my writing and photography.
||“Game Over” For This Gen Xer
I don’t feel my age, and I don’t think I look my age, but one thing for sure: I’m totally ancient when it comes to video games. Robert has been trying to get me interested in the “shoot the bad guys” kind of video games, but I’m struggling with them.
||Sicko: The Sequel
I confess—in the past I’ve complained about people who don’t dress well for winter; who bitch about it being miserable here from December through March—but now, I’ve joined your ranks. I’m sick of winter and can’t wait for it to be over. What’s caused my change of mind? Pneumonia.
||Truck stops: a shrine to unhealthy eating
Several weeks ago, I went bowling with some friends. One of them was surprised that there wasn’t a haze of cigarette smoke lingering over the bowlers, until I reminded him of the smoking ban that went into effect last year.
||My Superbowl Saga
The first spectator sport I ever watched growing up was hockey. I liked hockey when hockey wasn’t cool. From the age of three through part of college, dad and I would attend Komet hockey games. I remember the 1980 Olympic hockey team’s victory over the Soviets and the gold medal game. The Stanley Cup Playoffs were observed in our home, until the networks stopped broadcasting the games. Our dog, Ruffles, would chase the players on the screen.
I was talking to my elderly neighbor about my recent pursuit in getting a better life. We had some good laughs. But one thing she said that I thought was telling was that she was glad she lived in the era that she did. It’s not like when she and her husband were of working age. Long gone are the days when you got into a company when you graduated high school, and stayed there until you retired.
||It was a very good year
December 20th I was sitting at Au Bon Pain in the Boston Design Center feeling melancholy. And it was Judy Garland’s fault. The P.A. system was playing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and for some reason, that is the one holiday tune that can bring me to tears. I didn’t bust out crying, but I came awfully close. I don’t know if it was because my job training is about to be over, or thinking about future plans that I’ve had and wondering if a different path might be in store, or what.
||Radio sounds better when you have to pay for it
This isn’t intended to be an ad for Sirius Satellite Radio, but I’ve had a chance to listen to it a lot recently, and I like what I’m hearing. I’m in a period of my life where the past seems like a better place than the present, and my taste in music is reflecting that. Which is why I’ve been tuning the radio to Sirius channel seven, “Totally 70’s”.
||If I Ever Get Rich, I Promise Not To Change
I have a lottery fantasy. I think everyone does. I don’t play the lottery very often, only when the jackpot is $50 million plus or so.
||But if I had been elected…
If you are reading this and voted for me, thank you. I never expected to get the number of votes I ended up with and I’m willing to bet the majority of them came from FWR readers who live in the third district. However, I want you all to know, you dodged a bullet…
||So Much For A Relaxing Walk
I decided to go for a walk on a recent Friday night. I’d spent two weeks waiting for a trainer for my new job. While waiting, I heard several horror stories about bad trainers, smelly trainers, mean trainers, dangerous circumstances.
||Darth Vader Banks, Watches, Televisions and Foam
The late summer installment of our twice yearly association garage sale was coming up, and since I hadn’t met my quota of moving heavy, awkward furniture in over a year, I decided it was time for not just a little extra money, but a hernia as well.
||Things That Make You Go Hmmm
At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, (whom I adore) have you ever wondered about certain things, objects and why we do things the way we do? I do. And here’s a list of things that make me say “hmmm.”
||Savoring the remnants of summer
I felt like I didn’t have much of a summer. I know a lot of people say that, but because of my job, I felt like I didn’t even have time after work to do stuff. So when I passed my commercial driver’s license test, I decided to take advantage of the last weeks of summer to be a bum before I started work.
||What's in a Name?
I recently saw something on the Internet where a Chinese couple wanted to give their baby the name “at”, or to be more specific, the @ sign. If the baby grows up to be a rap star, the name of his or her rap album (this being China, it would probably be his, since female babies are seen as being the wrath of Satan and are disposed of as quickly as possible) would no doubt be, “Where It’s At,” or “Where It’s @!”
||All You Need Is Cash
I went to Beatlefe…er The Fest For Beatles Fans for the first time in two years. If you've never been, I highly recommend attending one. There are three a year, one in Vegas, one in the New York metro area and the one in Chicago. It's not quite like going to Liverpool, but anything Beatle-related can be found there. Not that it's affordable, but if you want to order a Beatle-themed jukebox, you can.
||Faster, Higher, Stronger: Steroids To The Rescue!
As you read this, Barry Bonds will have probably broken Hank Aaron’s homerun record. A lot of people seem upset about this, because they think Bonds used steroids to get to where he his now. Bonds himself has never publicly admitted to taking steroids. However, his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, is in prison for refusing to testify against him during the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) grand jury investigation.
||Accentuate the Positive...And Pay the Price
I saw a classified ad in a local paper for a dating coach. I had to smile. As someone who worked with a life coach for the past few months, I need to warn people about paying for such services.
||It's Just Not My Bag
I like purses. I’m a purse junkie. I’m a jacket junkie too. My dad was a camera, radio and stereo equipment junkie. We all have our “thing.” I’ve been a purse junkie since I was a little girl. Sometimes, instead of toys, I just wanted purses. A few years ago, I was in an antique shop and came across the exact same style of a purse that my dad got me when he was in Mexico. I had to buy it. No matter that I had that same style purse at home. My dad had been dead for a few years, and I figured seeing that purse in the shop was his way of saying, “hi there!” It was an omen.
||Working third shift not for wimps
People can make or break a workplace, and I’m not just talking about the jackasses at Enron, who played fast and loose with their employees’ money. If you have a great job, but your co-workers drive you nuts, that’s a problem.
||Oh, The Debt That You'll Pay!
It’s the time of year where people are graduating. Everyone wishes them well and says all sorts of encouraging things, predicting great things for these new grads.
||A columnist looks at 40
By the time you read this, I’ll have turned 40. Big freaking’ deal, you say…
||Dr. Gloria, Medicine Woman
I was chatting with a friend of mine on the phone a while back and the conversation shifted to the shrinking middle class. After a few choice words about Bush, my friend said the middle class was in a difficult place: they weren’t earning much, but they earned too much to get any real help. My friend is attending school full time, but in order to get maximum financial aid, she can’t take a summer job, because that would knock her family out of the income bracket eligible for assistance.
||Well it's a dirty job…
We’ve all seen the ads. Horny Housewives. Barely legal. Just dial a number, and the woman (or man) on the other end will tell you what you want to hear, or guide you through a fantasy of their choosing, or a scenario born of your own creative juices. All from prices ranging from 99 cents to $3.99 a minute.
||Stadium Quiz: Where Will People Go In The Off Season?
There’s talk about putting a stadium downtown. I only go to maybe one Wizards game a year, so it isn’t going to be much of a draw for me. But I do respect efforts to get people downtown…
||Tax Day Brings Protesters, Procrastinators to Downtown Post Office
Huge, funny, patriotic hats, lots of signs, and a kid chained to a giant weight, which read, “I owe $60, 846.” A gentleman handing out flyers. An anti-tax rally? Close.
||Life Should Imitate Art, But Often Doesn't
I don't watch "Lost," but I saw a promo for it and it left me wondering how on earth that really fat guy manages to stay so fat on a deserted island? Is anyone else wondering about that too?
||Depressing Literature Makes One Woman's Life Not Seem So Bad
There are certain books I like to read when I want to know someone is in worse shape than I am. I've faced a very stressful last few months, and escaping into someone else's misery makes me realize, "okay, things COULD be worse." Here are a few books I turn to when I'm depressed or feeling hopeless:
||Keep Your Smoke To Yourself, and I'll Do The Same With My Salt
I'm sure a lot of people will be pissed when they read this, but I'm glad the smoking ban passed.
||Yes, It's Cold Enough For Me
On the way out of Meijer’s a week or so ago, I saw some idiot (it was a guy, naturally) wearing shorts. Downtown temperature is currently 18 degrees.
||My Big Fat Weight Column
There's a very fine line between weighing the "right" amount and being "a little chunky." You need only to look at the tabloids and celebrity-drenched rags like "Us" and "People" to realize five ounces can make or break someone's "hotness" factor. At least, it seems like as little as five ounces. I picked up an Enquirer, and was informed that Tyra Banks has packed on 40 pounds. Did she look morbidly obese? No. Fat? No. Just a little heavy in the thighs, but considering the way a lot of overweight people look, these folks would kill to look like Tyra Banks with heavy thighs. I know I would.
||Notorious Page a Pioneer Of Sorts
There are a lot of arguments on why pornography is bad: it exploits women, and supposedly leads to violent sex crimes, among other things. A stellar example of this is Linda Lovelace, whose autobiography, “Ordeal,” noted in disturbing detail of being forced to do things that horrifed her.
||Pick One You Can Keep
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore. I got enough stuff done last summer, I figure I don’t need to make any improvements this year. I’m kidding, of course. It’s just that declaring a New Year’s resolution puts you on the spot.
||Winter Storm Watch? Let's Go Krogering!
Fort Wayne has been described as the fattest city in America, and the dumbest city in America. Can we add “wimpiest” to the list?
||The Glamorous Life of a Column Writer
A long time ago, when I said I wrote a column for the Reader, someone said, “oh, just like Carrie in ‘Sex and the City.’” Yup, just like Carrie.
||What Would Erma Do?
Every so often, I walk through my house, completely amazed that at one point, five people used to live here. I’m the last one here, and so is most of my stuff. And sometimes I feel ashamed.
||For This I Went to Class?
In an ideal world, teachers would be supportive of their students; academic cheerleaders if you will. They encourage you when the going gets rough, offer some food for thought, and willing to let you do extra credit while guiding you through ancient history, or Shakespeare, or whatever.
||Waking at the Crack Of Noon
I realize summer vacation has been over for quite some time for most people. Some people only had a few days, some had a couple weeks. Some lucky people had summer vacation in the true sense; school let out and they didn’t have to be back in class until late August.
||All the leaves are brown…
And according to my calculations, when you read this, it will be gone.
I look forward to summer’s arrival each year. To me, summer is the season of hope, even though hardly anything big or good happens to me in the summer. Things seem easier. You don’t have to bundle up to go outside. There’s lots of stuff going on, from concerts to festivals to amusement parks. Then, there’s the private stuff, like hanging out in your backyard or on the porch, enjoying a summer afternoon breeze, or the pleasantness of twilight, which for us this year didn’t come until late in the day.
||Variety is Over-rated
If the economy depended on people like me, it would screech to a grinding halt. Oh sure, I buy stuff, but Rolex watches, Cadillac Escalades and Coach handbags don’t end up on my shopping lists.
||Tabloids: The Great Equalizer
I save old college textbooks because every so often they’re fun to read. I have one from one of my English classes that I still go through. It was a collection of articles, scripts, print ads and book chapters from popular fiction. In it was an article written by filmmaker John (Hairspray, Polyester, Pecker) Waters about why he loves the National Enquirer.
||“Prayers, people, and generosity”
On this Tuesday afternoon, there are a dozen people in the waiting room of Matthew 25, a full-time medical clinic offering free services. A man gets up from his chair to go outside for a cigarette. Independence Day plays on the waiting room television set. On the dental side of the waiting room, there are snatches of conversation. Those on the medical side of the room seem engrossed in the movie. Somewhere in Matthew 25, a phone is constantly ringing.
||Shipshewana: Tacky, Entertaining and Fun
There are some places I associate with summer. As a child, it was U.S. 30 Fireworks and the A&W Root Beer Stand. As I got older, I discovered the Shipshewana Flea Market. There’s all that quaint Amish stuff, and the antique auctions, but for years I completely forgot about Shipshewana, because the flea market only operates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Due to my work schedules, I didn’t think about asking for a day off to go up there. Last summer, I had a chance to go up, and realized that during Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day weekend the market has extended days and
||People Watching: the ultimate TRF vent
As I write this, Festival 38 is in its last hours. I enjoyed TRF this year, probably because I had the time to. There were events that I probably should have gone to (1964 The Tribute, the Village People) but I was in a low energy phase, and I didn’t feel like standing for three hours among people I didn’t know who were probably three sheets to the wind.
||Books Oprah Would NEVER Endorse!
It’s time for more wacky book reviews! Oprah, eat your heart out!
||Michael Moore, A Former Stripper, and A Guilt Trip
I love horses, but watching The Preakness Stakes a few weeks ago made me hate myself a little bit for being so gaga over the Triple Crown races. I hardly ever watch horse racing. Occasionally, I’ll go to Trackside and place a wager (usually on a Triple Crown race) but it’s been years since I’ve done that. May 20 made me realize that horse racing may be a little over-romanticized…
||Diaz finds marriage leads to kids, divorce, cold wet butts
My birthday is very close to Mother’s Day, and with the passing of those two dates, it makes me realize I’m a rare species. I’m a woman in her late 30s who doesn’t have kids. And I’m glad.
||Gloria talks to the kids
I’m getting more recognized because of my column, but so far no one has asked me to speak at any college graduation ceremonies. And that’s a good thing. You don’t want me there. Why? Because my speech would probably go something like this:
||Gloria Takes Off On Taking It Off
I got another free paper from the person who handles the JG route here on my street, and this time there was an article about Heather Veitch, the “Holy Hottie” who used to be a stripper, but now is an evangelist. Her shtick is she and a few female volunteer church members go to strip clubs, pay for lap dances, and when they are alone, skip the lap dance and pull out their Bibles.
||Time warp could kill us all
Every so often I reread a novel called “Lucifer’s Hammer.” It’s a sci-fi novel, which is not my favorite genre, but this one is well-written, interesting and raises questions as to how well prepared we as a nation would be if electric power, fuel and mass transportation would suddenly be gone.
||Driving Ms. Diaz
When things get too rough, I get in my car and drive. And things were rough. A former friend has been ripping me apart on her blog, and that same week, I got into an argument with my boss over control and rebellion, and how it tied in with her husband’s health and dietary habits. Add in various other stressful situations, and it was time for a road trip. A junk food and movie marathon just wasn’t going to cut it. People could come over. The phone could ring. I needed plenty of real estate between myself and my stressful situations, so I drove to Chicago. By myself.
||I miss the "Pathetic Life"
When I was first asked to write a blog, I didn’t leap into it. I thought about it for a while. It’s flattering when someone asks you to write something in addition to the writing you already do, but the concept of a blog would be somewhat new territory for me. I’ve ranted online before, but I wasn’t sure as a blogger that I would be contributing anything new to the blogosphere. It seemed like most bloggers didn’t have anything more to say than, “the line at Starbuck’s was way long today. It was sunny. I came home, and my cat threw up.” Other people’s lives can be really interesting, if they say stuff the right way.
||Whatever Street You Live On, in Fort Wayne, It Sure Ain't Easy
A recent issue of the Fort Wayne Reader had an article about “branding the city.” It included a brief survey with questions like, “if Fort Wayne were a person, who would it be.” I’d say Rodney Dangerfield, because not only did he not get respect, he’s also dead.
||Gloria’s New Year’s Resolutions for… certain people
It’s more than a month into the new year, and like everyone else, I’ve got resolutions of my own. They are pretty mundane (watch more boxing movies, add to my barf bag collection, stay away from annoying, life-draining people) but I’ve also got resolutions for people who probably don’t even think they need resolutions. Here now, is my list of resolutions for certain people:
||Spring forward, Fall back, continue arguing
I don’t subscribe to either newspaper, but the person who delivers on my street tossed a J-G on my sidewalk the other day, and I finally got around to looking at it a couple days later. Across the top was a story about which counties will be on Central, and which will be on Eastern time. Some counties didn’t get their choice, which proves that the one thing stupider than Hoosiers is the Federal Government.
||Gloria's Book Club
I have strange tastes in literature, but the stuff I read is pretty damn interesting. Here are a few of my favorite books. I’ve read these time and again, and will continue doing so. But if you’re looking for some “Chicken Soup For the Columnist’s Soul” crap, keep looking.
||Shop 'til you snarl
It’s after Christmas, and now is the time for returning those gifts that didn’t quite work out. I pride myself on getting gifts that kick ass, so usually I don’t have to worry about returning stuff. Unless, of course, I ended up getting something for someone that someone else already purchased. But that’s rare. I also don’t make the mistake of buying clothing as gifts, because what I think is cool doesn’t mean the recipient will.
What happened to Generation X? Over a decade ago, they were in the spotlight as the generation born after the “Baby Boomers” of the post war years. They’ve been classified as being whiny, spoiled, lazy, and apathetic.
||And Now a Message From Our Savior
To: Certain members of “The Flock”
From: Jesus Christ, CEO Christianity, Incorporated
Re: Our corporate image
First of all I want to start out by wishing you all a Happy Holiday season. Wait. Let me rephrase that: what I really want to say is “Merry Christmas.” After all, I AM the reason for the season.
||70's Saturday Morning Television Really WAS Educational
A while back, I was over at a friend’s house, waiting for more friends to come over so we could go out for breakfast. It was a Saturday, and while we were waiting, we had the television on. My friend doesn’t have cable, so we surfed the local channels. We discovered Saturday morning television isn’t the same.
||Rumor Has It...
People complain about the liberal media, but I think there is something else afoot that we should be more worried about. Do you ever wonder where all the frightening crap in the world comes from? The bizarre fashion trends? The goofy urban legends? And the latest health disaster? I’m convinced there is a huge building in Southern California, where the Ministry of Health Scare, The Department of Mandatory Fashion Trends and the Disturbing Predictions Network are housed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Centers For Science in the Public Interest have an office in the same building, or at least down the street.
||The Buenos Diaz Psychic Network
There are things that happen to me every so often that make me think there’s something else going on that is bigger than all of us, a life force of some kind that we can’t understand. Some may dismiss it as coincidence, but sometimes the situation is downright spooky.
||Ms. Diaz goes to Washington
Washington D.C., along with Los Angeles and Paris, France, is on my list of “cities I should probably visit just to say I’ve been there even though I think they suck.” So when the opportunity to visit D. C. for a mere $75 round trip came up, I couldn’t resist. A bus ride with 47 strangers and one toilet would be an adventure in itself, but the journey’s end would be worth it: we would join hundreds of thousands of angry anti-war protesters for the biggest rally and march since the war began. Lots of people in a potentially volatile situation? A front row seat? I am SO there. I have the Rhett Butler attitude when it comes to chaos: I’m quite willing to watch it, as long as I have a good seat and can stay out of combat.
||Democrats and Republicans and Greens, Oh My!
On September 24, the face of America showed up at the White House.
Hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters came to Washington D. C. in what was called the biggest rally and march since the war in Iraq started. Did your stereotypical war protesters show up? Yes, the aging hippies who protested about Vietnam were there, but so were infants, grade school children,
teenagers, punk rockers, college kids, thirtysomethings, fortysomethings, fiftysomethings, librarians, Puerto Ricans, grandmothers, military families, members of the military, Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Democrats and even Republicans.
||How well do you know Gloria?
How well do you know me? Put your skills to the test by correctly answering all the questions on this test and win a dinner with me at any Fort Wayne restaurant of your choice! Please note: Unfortunately for both of us, “Fort Wayne area” does NOT include Indianapolis, or Chicago. Email your answers to the Fort Wayne Reader, ensuring that Mike Summers will get a major headache wading through all your answers. If you try bribe me or my friends for information, be sure to make it worth your while.
||The Ultimate Driving Machine
Labor Day weekend, someone offered to buy one of my cars. Let me explain. I’m not some female Jay Leno with a warehouse full of vintage vehicles needing to unload one so she can make the payment on the vacation condo in the Cayman Islands.
||Gloria's Plan For a Better USA
I’m deeply concerned about this country. It’s not my mom and dad’s America anymore. People are rude, corporations eliminate thousands of jobs at the drop of a hat, housing is unaffordable, and don’t get me started on the health insurance problem. I don’t profess to have all the answers, but let me tell you something: if I’m in charge, things are going to be different…
||Establishing FW's Image: Gloria Lends a Hand
Fort Wayne used to be known as the “City of Churches,” but not anymore. St.
Mary’s doesn’t tower over downtown quite the way it used to, and they tore
St. Paul’s down. A local blogger thinks the city needs a new nickname. So I
propose some new images/slogans for the city, keeping in tune with reality:
||Old Habits Die Hard
Soon, if they haven’t done it already, the daily newspapers will publish their annual articles about how the city’s public pools did this summer. I haven’t given any of my money to Fort Wayne public pools in years, because I’ve found a better deal.
||The Stores Remain the Same
I didn’t realize there were three Wal-marts in Fort Wayne until I drove past the northeast location on 469 a few weeks ago. I know about the proposed Wal-mart for northwest Allen County. But I completely forgot a Wal-mart is coming to the south side of Fort Wayne. If the Lima Road Wal-mart goes through, that means we’ll have five of them in the city.
||The Straight Story
Thanksgiving is a ways off, but I already know what I’m going to give thanks for come November. And that would be my Conair Thermal Shine model CS21.
||Livin' Good in the Neighborhood
I’m proud to say I live in an old school neighborhood. If you want to put up a clothes line to use the sun and wind to dry your clothes, go right ahead. If you want to have an above-ground swimming pool in your backyard, that’s great.
||Women Drivers, ViagraVision and Art Attacks
I was out of the country while the Indianapolis 500 was being run, so I didn’t know until the next day that Danica Patrick finished fourth. I was happy for her. I’m always glad when a woman takes on men in male-dominated professions or sports and is able to achieve something.
||The Last Good School Year
It’s the season for graduation, for class reunions. People make a big deal about their high school reunions, but I really couldn’t care about mine. Pay $30 to see a bunch of people who made my life miserable? No thanks.
||You say "bitch" like it's a bad thing…
Life is strange. One day, you are working at a factory, making air conditioning parts, wondering how your employer can get away with only allowing a 20-minute lunch break and one 10-minute break during an eight-hour shift; the next you are proofreading an award-winning magazine that is racing towards deadline.
||WISE TV? More like WDUM
Years ago, my parents had bank accounts at Lincoln National Bank. It was about a mile from our house, and they liked the fact it was so close.
I was reading an article about a few NHL players who were playing in the UHL the same day the NHL canceled its season. Seems that a former Komet player and a few fans interviewed for the story were a bit perturbed at this development. Why come down to the UHL and take a job away from a hockey player who probably could use the cash when the NHL player is supposedly standing up for his rights by NOT playing was one of the concerns. I would have to agree with this.
||Art goes to the dogs.....and cats
On Friday, February 25, art will be going to the dogs. And cats. And other animals as well. But it’s for a good cause -- in this case, it’s the Allen County SPCA Art Auction. 2004 was the first year for the event, which raised $15,000. The amount stunned event organizers, particularly Jeanne Leita Stump.
||Fort Wayne: Prettier than Detroit, but not as Pretty as Toronto
Imagine walking around in a city, downtown, late at night. Imagine you can walk and not be afraid of being mugged. Imagine shopping late on a Sunday night, and after browsing, stop at a donut shop for a snack. Imagine riding the subway and not worry about crime. Imagine a big city full of friendly strangers who are genuinely sorry if you ask them something they don’t know the answer to.
||A trip around the rink
A few weeks ago, I returned from a trip to Toronto Ontario. It was there that I put on my sidewalk-sale hockey skates for the first time in years, and made my way shakily around Nathan Phillips Square. I didn’t fall, despite my lack of skating ability.
||Lawton Skatepark caught in Catch 22
Whatever your opinion of skateboarders, they’re here to stay. With our nation saddled with obese adults and an ever-increasing number of obese children, one would think Fort Wayne would applaud the skateboard and inline skating facility near Lawton Park.
||Wanted: A clothing line for the poor and the chunky
I was browsing one of the local dailies a few weeks ago and glanced at an article about fashions for plus-size women.
||The city with low self-esteem
While in Borders months ago, I asked a clerk if they carried the Village Voice. He went to his computer and looked it up, but it wasn’t there. I continued to browse. Later, at the counter, he asked me, “what’s someone in Fort Wayne Indiana doing reading the Village Voice?”
While on a road trip last summer, a friend expressed her resentment of Wal-mart. “It sums up everything bad about America,” she said. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Architecturally-challenged buildings full of
cheap crap not even made by fellow Americans, most of it bought in bulk so you pay the lowest price possible, always.
||Gloria's Column Commandments
I’ve been lucky enough to have space given to me by the publishers of Fort Wayne Reader to write about whatever I want. I’m both excited and scared by this as my writing is something that people seem to react strongly to, either positively or negatively.
||Sadly, into the fire
I watched a house burn down today. It’s not every day you see someone’s house go up in flames, so I pulled into a parking lot and walked closer.
||The neighbors are restless
For some reason, I get a kick out of voting. I don’t know why I get so excited about it, but maybe it’s the juvenile chance to write in a name for an office that has no chance of getting in. Like “Bart Simpson” for county council member at large, or “Mickey Mouse” for president.
||Time rushing by? Blame the retailers
I was in Walgreen’s the other night, and overheard a mother say to her son something to the effect of, “Christmas is coming soon, that’s why the Halloween stuff is out.”
||Fahrenheit 9/11: does this movie matter, or is Moore just preaching to the choir?
This summer’s blockbuster movie featured two middle-aged men, neither one of whom could be considered movie star handsome. Both are wealthy and powerful, but one more so than the other. One set out to make the other look like a buffoon. Depending on your viewpoint, he either succeeded or slandered. Of course, the movie in question is Fahrenheit 9/11, slammed as propaganda by some. Others hailed it as confirming their suspicion that the war in Iraq is a huge mistake.
||And you are ...?
During one night at the Three Rivers Festival, someone said, “Buenos Diaz!” to me twice. At first, I thought he was a friendly Mexican. However, after a few minutes of conversation, it sunk in he was referring to this column. Tom Blacketor, if you are reading this column, (and you should be) I apologize for being an airhead.
||Get 'em while they're young
During this summer, my brother was complaining that his son was doing nothing but playing video games and riding his skateboard. I’d have to agree with my brother. After all, my nephew should be working a full-time job, and doing research into what careers he’s interested in. Then, after school starts, he should look into a job-shadowing program after school. I mean, he’s 11 years old, he’s not getting any younger, you know.
||My summer Jeopardy blues
With more free time on my hands than I could imagine this summer, I decided to take aim at a goal I’ve had for years: trying to get on Jeopardy! With a few clicks of the computer mouse, I snagged an appointment at a contestant search in Chicago.
||Fort Wayne after midnight
Fort Wayne isn’t known as the city that never sleeps, but a handful of businesses operate 24/7, and that means people are hard at work making sure the emergency room is ready for your mishap, the grocery store has plenty of munchies stocked for your midnight snack, you can copy that presentation for work, even if it is 2 a.m., and that you can go downtown for a burger and actually eat it in the restaurant, not the driver’s seat of your car.
||You can't go home again: TRF isn't like it used to be
I miss the Three Rivers Festivals of my extreme youth. The contests sometimes demanded the participants show a wacky sort of ingenuity. Who remembers the great NewsPaper Airplane Championships? I do. Twenty-two years ago, my brother nearly won a 1982 Pontiac Grand Prix LJ.
||The last day's of St. Paul's
I don’t consider myself a very religious person, but when I heard St. Paul’s was being demolished I thought it was wrong.
||Stay tuned: some reality shows to improve America
I’m convinced reality television is contributing to the “white trashification” of America.
||Brother can you spare a job?
Everywhere you look, people are looking for jobs. While watching the news recently, a job fair was highlighted. Baby boomers vs. the young and hungry, willing to work for less. People thinking about returning to school. Here’s some advice from yours truly: don’t major in English. Trust me on this.
||A Twilight Zone kinda day
It was one of those Twilight Zone type of days: striking resemblances and kindred spirits in the strangest places.
||A night at the Coliseum
I went to a hockey game the other night. The contest itself was like watching a slice of someone’s life: lots of missed opportunities, stumbles, falls, hits and questionable judgments by the men in charge.
||Night Shift returns with a twist of reality
If comedy is a science, then Kevin Ferguson and his crew have it down.
||Ad nauseum — Pathetic efforts from Madison Avenue
After viewing some awful commercials recently, I’m convinced I could make it in advertising. I honestly think I couldn’t do any worse than these recent 30-second disasters I’ve seen:
||The Star Mangled Banner
It was a slow news day. The early edition of the local news ran out of stuff about Bush, Kerry, gay marriage and Martha Stewart, so they ran a segment on the national anthem and how no one knows the words. The piece started off with a young singer attempting the opening stanza, then flaming out. The crowd didn’t boo, they chuckled. After all, who really knows the words to this not-often heard tune? Me, that’s who.
As I write this, the race for gays to get married continues out in California. A very small percentage of the population is getting hitched, and by the reaction of certain people, you’d think aliens have landed, abducted our children and destroyed our SUVs. Don’t we have more important things to worry about? And please, enough with the “gays are making a mockery of the sanctity of marriage.”
||My Favorite Coaches
I hate Bob Knight. So much so that when people talk about great coaches, he doesn’t even make my list. My personal favorite is Herb Brooks. Fresh on the heels of “Salad Shooters: Knight vs. Smith,” comes Miracle, about Brooks and the 1980 U. S. Olympic hockey team.
||Single on Valentine's Day
I will be single on Valentine’s Day, but this doesn’t bother me. Sure, it means I have to buy my candy instead of having it given to me. On the other hand, not having a man on Valentine’s Day means I don’t have to put out for some schlub who forgets to put the toilet seat down. And just because you’re dating someone during Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you’ll get a Vogue magazine-style night out on the town.