Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The" Get the Girl Now" Game

Call me a softy or a romantic but I still feel very much that when a man pays attention to me there is an attraction and I should pay attention to his overtures. I feel I'm rather unique because women are now encouraged to be very aggressive and they are generally not shy about approaching men boldly with lines as bad as were used on women by pick-up artists in bars only a decade or two ago. There's nothing particularly dishonest about it and they are obviously as desperate as the Desperate Housewives of TV fame. However, I find it distasteful and unnatural to be quite honest.

Recently while I was looking through the curriculum of a community college newsletter I came across one titled "Get the Girl Now". The description was as follows:

If you freeze when you approach women, spoil them but they still want the jerks, never play games but women leave you for players or banish you to being 'just friends', this class is for you. Learn three quick ways to connect with women, one sure way to know if she's interested, two ways to get a date without asking, and more. Dating coach KP will share how you can become the man women want, while staying true to your own individuality. Neil Strauss, author of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, calls KP "a bright guy". One of KP's students commented, "Thank you, I've used the exercises and noticed a big difference in the way women respond to me. Great confidence builders!"

While I can appreciate that an extremely shy man could use a boost to his confidence I 'm not sure I would want to see anybody try to build their self-esteem on whether they can properly attact the opposite sex or not. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that teaching this guy to be something he is not?
I sometimes feel as though I may be making myself unapproachable but I assume the right man is going to recognize the kind of person I am and decide for himself whether there is any chemistry. (Now, there's something you can't figure out easily over the internet!)
Here' what I think should happen.
I think the really aggressive women should stop going after the obvious types who are as bold as they are and give some of these shy ones a chance. It would certainly get the pressure off these poor guys for awhile and maybe the association will help them come out of their shells.
Now, I'm not a shy woman but I just don't go chasing after men and you won't make me change my mind. I spent too many years trying to outrun and outsmart the jerks so I hedge a little if I catch even a whiff of jerky behavior. Most of my married friends insist that they married a jerk so I guess that's why I never was married.I often wonder if I was born on the right planet.
That being said I would like to put forth a little of my own advice for those men who feel that they aren't getting a fair chance with single women they have their eye on. I am single after all and I think I know how I would like to be approached by eligible men.
The three quickest ways to connect with a women are:
1. Open up your mouth and talk to her. We're human just like you. Most of us can converse quite well.
2. Ask if we'd like to make a date for coffee or a drink or even a meal. (Do have a restaurant in mind when you ask, as having a favorite restaurant will get you instant respect.)
3. If she gives you a phone number, call her. If she didn't give you her phone number there's a good reason why, which she didn't want to tell you. Don't take it personal and don't assume she doesn't have a boyfriend. She probably does. She also may not be interested in which case it's best to move on.
One thing is for sure though, if you don't ask for a date, you won't get a date. You may get several other things but you won't get a date. My parting advice is if you want to keep your individuality then just be yourself. You may be more interesting than you can imagine. As a man you don't have outposts in any woman's head so you are always friend material (at the worst) but a friend with the potential to be a whole lot more so be friendly! Hostility and criticism will get you no where with a good women. Trust me.

With affectionate praise,

The Castle Lady

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Hollywood Writer's Strike

and other scribe's struggles!

If publishers, newspapers, magazines, movie and television production companies had to start paying writers a wage they deserve they'd have to cut their other budgets infinitesimally. When I think budgets~ in an indirect way ~ I'm specifically saying allotments toward various people on their payrolls. If you actually eyeballed such a thing~ their payroll that is~ you'd see a very uneven and unfair distribution of funds. I don't know how much hype the numbers are for actors and actresses but it's quite apparent that they are garnering more than the " lion's share" of pay while the writers take in unbelievably low amounts.

When I think of how much work goes into writing- research, travel, paperwork, rough drafts and all the various draft stages plus rewrites- and sometimes photography- in scripts, books, newspapers, cereal boxes, anthologies, biographies etc. it makes me cringe to think how little I might make- if anything (for a freelance writer!) In short, no one will ever work so hard for so little money like they will as a writer. Best-selling authors are rare, despite what the media would have you believe but they also have their stories of hardship for anyone willing to listen to how long it took for them to get taken seriously and start making money.

I've heard a lot of snide references to the writer's strike in Hollywood on TV by people other than the top echelon money makers. They don't mince any words when they talk about them but how many know what it takes just to get where they are and who would be willing to take the paltry pay they get- comparatively speaking. In my own case, a couple of woodpeckers outside my window are doing better than I am eating up what's left of my grapes. I'm not kidding.

I would like to see writers make the kind of money that entrepreneurs, professional athletes and (ahem!) Hollywood stars rake in! Let's face it, they've d!@# well earned it, wouldn't you say?

The Castle Lady with bestselling hugs!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Do Children Still Play?

According to reports I've read recently about children's learning development in the digital age many former learning advantages- without technology- may be irreversibly lost. With all the devices children manipulate in a given day it may appear that real intellectual stimulation is almost constant. It can appear that way but one study got my attention recently with an opposing message.
Gloria DeGaetano, founder of the Parent Coaching Inst. in Bellevue, WA work with parents on raising children effectively in the current technological environment. She is suspicious of the videos and electronic games as being insufficient as preschool teaching products.
"There's an important theory in early childhood education called the 'theory of loose parts', which means that children need to manipulate objects in a three-dimensional environment to grow their brain ( s ), " she says.
"These video games and electronic toys are replacing the loose parts that kids need, and it's not the same."
Basically this means that children won't develop their brains to manipulate in the real world. The artificially created (and one dimensional) world of digital interaction is not conducive to the brain learning to create and function in the child's actual environment. My personal belief is that children, by interacting solely with P.C.s and digital devices, will be discouraged in a regular learning environment because it cannot be so easily manipulated or controlled.
There is evidence that respected videos such as Baby Einstein and Baby Genius actually slowed children's language development. Part of the reason for this is the actual interaction. Even if verbal communication is elicited by the software in question, the responses are elementary requiring no deductive reasoning or even sustained thought processes from the child. Progressive learning requires both while all that is required, often, (in video gaming especially) is rapid-fire limited choices at a hectic pace. An educational psychologist, Jane Healey, author of "Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds- and What We Can Do About It" , says she is convinced that this hectic pace of 'responses on a sensory level' can be tied to the epidemic increases in the diagnosis of ADD and feels most children should be kept away from computer screens until age 7, after their brains have had time to develop.
Much of the software is very uneven for "mind-building" so getting educated about what's out there is essential if you want to keep your kids brains developing properly. Remember that not all software is created equal- quite the contrary.
A good checklist is as follows:
1. Check to match the rating system to your child's age level.
2. Check to see if the actual content is exposing your child to elements of your choosing.
3. Decide if this is mind-building or simply a waste of time.
4. Is the game, device, MP3 or DL appropriate for your child?

Many gaming devices, such as Wii, are now physically interactive but certainly not to the point of keeping children physically fit. Your biggest challenge for developing a normal life style for your child will be getting them involved in activity which is optimal to keep them healthy and yet intellectually stimulated. If they are not involved in Jr League team sports, they should be but your child will lead the way. Moderate physical activity is the best choice- bicycling, skating, skate or snowboarding are the most popular. Competitive sports for children is so rich in choices that there should be no difficulty in finding exercise that your child will prefer and enjoy.
Whatever the choice- make sure your child gets at least thirty minutes of physical exertion everyday. Don't assume the school they attend is doing their part. Most likely they are not getting sufficient physical activity- there or off-grounds.
Ultimately the parent leads the way in this area. your sports or fitness passions will most likely get their attention and their choices will follow suit. As in everything else, let them decide but don't let them deny this area of development altogether. If you don't insist on some form of physical activity they'll suffer for it, eventually.
Making sure your child has equal amounts of physical and mental stimulation will teach them to live well-rounded lifestyles which will be retained throughout their life. Their physical and mental health will depend on it.
For more help:

The Castle Lady, with dependable kisses !

Monday, January 07, 2008

Stress Case? Pas moi!

I found this in a magazine the other day. It was written by one of their readers.
"I'm pretty easygoing but the one thing that irritates the H#&% out of me is when people tell me to 'relax', 'calm down', or 'take it easy.' It's just so condescending and always puts me in a worse mood, no matter what" - Hila , 21

What does Hila, along with thousands upon thousands of other "easygoing" people, not seem to understand? For one, they don't really listen to anybody- least of all themselves. The suggestion of anger management to any of them would only start WWIII and hedging away from people like this is a fine art if you don't want to be affected by their ways. The toughest job for any friend of theirs is to show them how their behavior is the problem- not every one else on the planet. Their spouses have all my sympathy. If they're not married (usually they're divorced !) I hope their BFs , GFs or significant others have wings on their feet, because they'll certainly need to get away in the end.
Modern comedy tries to justify people with these attitudes that I find not to be funny and rather dangerous in a way. Many people have, by now, forgotten the "kids" movie that came out back in the 80s called "Gremlins". I believe there was even a "Gremlins 2" for those who could not get enough of this dark slapstick fantasy which ~displayed as behavior for kids~ is a nanny's or caregiver's worst nightmare. Years later we have shows on TV (such as America's Funniest Home Videos) which shows people doing downright stupid things and getting badly hurt in the process at which we are expected to laugh like hyenas. If this is entertainment I'm living on the wrong planet.
It may seem like I just went way off subject. Hear me out.
Other comedy shows and a general attitude of youths seem to be slanted toward destructive, psychotic behavior and treated as a joke therefore being justifiable. "If it's funny~ if we add a laugh track~ it's okay." Anger shows up in the little things and the big things as well. What do I mean? Being constantly slapdash about the way one handles everything is a small indication of a big anger problem. So is being abusive to a sibling- no matter how much of it goes on. Learning to dodge blows is not a part of growing up; Hello MOM !
My feeling is that the movie "Gremlins" brought out a latent or repressed anger in children that continued to proliferate through playground and other interactions to the point that now even girls wrestle and pummel each other like boys in the middle of a game of touch football- only meaner ! Anger and all it's various milder or stronger forms of expression are nearly encouraged. Jerry Springer really turned life into a pot-boiler and for what good I ask you? So that kids with camera phones can video a staged fight at school and put it on YouTube after school?
This nonsense is now considered a part of our culture but no one is really speaking out against the root of it. What we tolerate we have to learn to live with. I, for one, would rather be a hermit than put up with this behavior which fails to amuse me. Actually, it concerns me deeply. It should concern you, too. Somehow our ancestors expressed anger most of the time without pulling out a gun or convenient weapon. They spoke out without fear of retaliation. People listened to others concerns without prejudging and most of time they wanted to be reasonable not just react. People today are nearly surprised by good manners. Maybe we should start there.
Telling someone who's angry to "calm down", "take it easy" or "relax" might be their way (and is the right way ) to help someone deal with an anger problem. If you hear those words a lot you might want to consider joining an anger management group. Just a thought.
The Castle Lady with loving care, concern and many hugs !