Tuesday, May 25, 2010

15 Ways to Predict Divorce


Another guest post by Dana


After last week's tirade discussion on open relationships, I thought I'd give equal time to "traditional" relationships.

I was reading [THIS] article titled 15 Ways to Predict Divorce. I'm a big fan of statistics ... and George Burgy's definition of statistics:

Statistics: A bunch of numbers running around looking for an argument.

That said, if you look at statistics as an indicator rather than as fact, there is usually at least some value in the data. So what are the some of the indicators your marriage will end in divorce?

*NOTE* If you are interested, the original article gives sources for all data.

1. If you're a married American, your marriage is between 40 and 50 percent likely to end in divorce.

I think we are all pretty familiar with this statistic, yet we are a persistent bunch. The good news? Divorces peaked in the 1980's and has steadily dropped since that time.

2. If you live in a red state, you're 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you live in a blue state.

I'm just a "red" person living in a blue state. Wonder what that means for me??

3. If you argue with your spouse about finances once a week, your marriage is 30 percent more likely to end in divorce than if you argue with your spouse about finances less frequently.

Keep those arguments about the bank account to two or less per week!

4. If your parents were divorced, you're at least 40 percent more likely to get divorced than if they weren't. If your parents married others after divorcing, you're 91 percent more likely to get divorced.

This statistic surprised me - really surprised me.

5. If only one partner in your marriage is a smoker, you're 75 percent to 91 percent more likely to divorce than smokers who are married to fellow smokers.

I'd guess this is true of any bad habit/behavior. Remember, sharing bad habits/behaviors leads to successful marriages!

6. If you have a daughter, you're nearly 5 percent more likely to divorce than if you have a son.

Interesting ...

7. If you're an evangelical Christian adult who has been married, there's a 26 percent likelihood that you've been divorced—compared to a 28 percent chance for Catholics and a 38 percent chance for non-Christians.

Of course they don't mention that 67 percent of those evangelical Christian marriages are miserable ...

8. If you live in Wayne County, Indiana, and are over 15 years old, there's a 19.2 percent chance that you've been divorced.

Apparently Wayne County Indiana has the highest divorce rate of any county in the country. Who knew?

9. If both you and your partner have had previous marriages, you're 90 percent more likely to get divorced than if this had been the first marriage for both of you.

The article indicates this number is skewed by what they call "serial marriers." I think this number likely has more to do with the fact that second (or third or fourth) marriages often require there be relationships with ex's and "shared" children.

10. If you're a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.

If you are going to be a cougar, just use him as a play-toy!

11. If you're of "below average" intelligence, you're 50 percent more likely to be divorced than those of "above average" intelligence.

According to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's controversial 1994 bestseller The Bell Curve, those with IQs of 100 face a 28 percent probability of divorce in the first five years of marriage, compared to just a 9 percent probability for those with IQs of 130.

Marry smart!

12. If you've been diagnosed with cervical cancer, your likelihood of getting divorced is 40 percent higher than standard rates; it's 20 percent higher if you've been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Hmmm ...

13. If you have twins or triplets, your marriage is 17 percent more likely to end in divorce than if your children are not multiple births.

I'm actually surprised this percentage isn't higher.

14. If you're a female serial cohabiter—a woman who has lived with more than one partner before your first marriage—then you're 40 percent more likely to get divorced than women who have never done so.

Serial cohabiter ... *gigglesnort*

15. If you're in a male same-sex marriage, it's 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than a heterosexual marriage. If you're in a female same-sex marriage, this figure soars to 167 percent.

Makes me wonder why divorce attorneys haven't spearheaded legislation to make same-sex marriages legal all across the country!

If those numbers weren't depressing enough, feel free to tempt fate further by visiting economist Betsey Stevenson's Divorce Calculator. It allows you to input personal demographic information to determine the probable failure success of your marriage.

I'm thinking 87 percent of people who share the results of the Divorce Calculator with their spouse will likely find themselves in divorce court!


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Lesbian Cowboy from SkyDad

Brought to you by one of my favorite bloggers, Skyler's Dad.

If you're ever having a hard day and need a laugh, you'll always find something great over at his house! Guaranteed. Poke around over there.
You'll be blown away by this man.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'll Say Hello To Santa For You!

I'm totally going to fly right there! Right by the North Pole! From Newark to Beijing. Don't forget to sign up down there if you want to be in the drawing for the "thing" that I bring back for my peeps!

My aunt wants a red silk scarf. I might bring you one of those. Or maybe some seaweed? Tea anyone? Pearls? Jade? It might not be extravagantly expensive, but I can assure you, you won't already have one!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pack Your Suitcase!

....and then take half of all of your clothes out. That's the advice that my uncle gave to us all. I might be the only one that believes him. I don't want to be lugging a bunch of crap that I'm not going to wear all over China like I did in South America.

But honestly, it makes me nervous.

I'm a Libra. I like choices. What if I'm not in the mood for the green shirt with the brown capris? I guess I'll get in the mood. Now I need some packing material to stuff in there to take up the room. We can't have Jack rolling around!

Who wants to go? I have room for ONE of you...as long as you're small and don't mind whiskey!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pray for Jack

Because he's in my luggage. I've packed a Collector's Edition bottle of Old No. 7 for our guide. Here's hoping he stays in one piece. Otherwise, I'm going to smell like I've been marinating the entire trip!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is It Just a Peanut Buster Parfait?


Another guest post by Dana


Can we talk? I have had a very ... well ... let's call it a creative and diverse sexual past. I admit to having been involved in a handful of open relationships in my life, but interestingly enough, not when I was married. No, my involvement in open relationships has always been as the third person coming into an open marriage.

In the past, I've been an advocate of non-monogamous, polyamorous relationships. I've touted the idea that expecting one person to meet all of your needs for the rest of your life is nothing short of insanity. But ... but ...

Is it possible that the cons of an open relationship agreement outweigh its pros? I mean, cheating - deceiving someone you love - feels horrible no matter if you are the one cheating or the one being cheated on, so could creating a system of rules for cheating actually prove to be helpful? Does transparency in cheating lessen the stress of an affair? Is the true immorality of cheating the act of dishonesty rather than the act of sex itself?

The goal of an open relationship is to never have to lie. Those involved in this lifestyle insist that this atmosphere creates an opportunity for incredible communication, deeper intimacy and the opportunity to thrive as your fullest self.

In a nutshell, the idea is that if you truly love your partner, you want them to live their fullest life, flings and all. In open relationships, flings are nothing more than superficial sensory delights. There's no difference between your partner enjoying a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait without you and your partner enjoying a blond with blue eyes without you.

And what about jealousy? Most open relationships make strong distinctions between sex with others and romance with others. Couples who practice open relationships typically agree to keep their primary partner first at heart no matter who else they mingle with.

But what then is the point of a committed relationship? For me, the whole point is to show your love and commitment by protecting your union with fidelity. There's a great deal of calm and security that comes from knowing your partner is directing his or her love and attention to you and you alone.

For me, a healthy relationship requires you both to bring out your best selves. Sure, it might take a shit load little willpower to resist the lure of extracurricular sex, but this discipline is for the greater good. Calm and security may not sound as exciting as sex, sex and more sex, but I believe it brings far more happiness in the long run. This security brings with it the confidence of knowing your partner is committed to you "till death do you part" rather than until their next Wednesday evening date.

In my opinion, an open relationship is pretty much the opposite of a committed relationship. It seems to be about avoiding commitment, one of the cornerstones of a happy and successful relationship. You may be able to agree on the "rules for cheating" in an intellectual way, but doesn't the emotional nature of love always get in the way?

Looking back on things, I firmly believed that open relationships are merely an excuse for getting away with behaving self-indulgently and recklessly.

Dating is for making the most of your options. Commitment is for nurturing the one wonderful union you've been lucky enough to find so it grows into something incredibly wonderful.

Finding statistics on the success of open relationships is surprisingly difficult. It seems that open relationships aren't something we talk about all that openly ... unless you happen to be an anonymous infidelity or "lifestyle" blogger.

So what do you think? Are open relationships something that work? Are proponents of open relationships the ones that really have it figured out? Is being "kind-of" committed enough?


Monday, May 17, 2010

Ni Hao Friday and Who Wants a Trinket?

Friday morning at 5am, I'll be on my way to Newark, NJ. I'll get to stay for 3 hours. Then from 12:10pm until thirteen hours later, I'll be on a plane. It really hit home last weekend when I saw A Chorus Line and had to sit still for two hours.

It reminds me of the hellish bus trip from Peru to Bolivia that I took two years ago. And I suppose it's time to relearn that lesson.

Shut up and suck it up.

I'll see you all in about 18 days!

P.S. I'll bring you something back. But you only get in the drawing if you leave a comment or give me 60,000 Continental Airlines points. Then you'll zoom right to the top of my list 'cuz I'll be in First Class!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chely Wright, Welcome to the Outside of the Closet

I had a crush on her back when I thought she was straight. She positively sizzles. And she's a lesbian. Rowr!

Thanks for coming out, Chely. And she's right, the quiet haters are the worst.

Read more in the LA Times article here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuneage Tutelage Band Bio - The Young Rascals

Today, I get to take over here and share with y'all a bio of a band that was huge for me as a teen.

This Tutelage will be archived on my blog TUNEAGE TUTELAGE.

It was the early 1960’s and a young Felix Cavaliere (keyboards and vocals) was a student at Syracuse University and playing in a band called Felix & The Escorts. One day a call came asking if he would join the band Joey Dee and The Starliters (they of “Peppermint Twist” fame) for a European Tour.

This proved to be momentous, as Felix met two other members of the band, Eddie Brigati (vocals) and Gene Cornish (guitar) on this tour. As they made their way through Europe it soon became apparent to all three that this is not what they wanted for their musical lives – being back-up to a front man.

After a few months the three left the Starliters and recruited drummer Dino Danelli to join them in Felix’s basement.

Quickly the four realized they had hit gold…As told by Gene Cornish, "All of a sudden we hit magic in Felix's Lodi, NJ basement. We'd all been in bands before and we just looked at each other and went, 'woah!' It was just amazing; I can't explain it. That day literally changed my whole life. I think we blasted through 30 or 40 songs at that rehearsal. We knew we belonged together."

The band found a believer in one Sid Bernstein, who signed on as their manager. This was another huge move for the band as Bernstein was the promoter who would bring The Beatles to Shea Stadium in 1965.

Ahmet Ertegun saw the band playing in a club in Westhampton, NY on Long Island and offered them a contract that night, but before they could move on, one problem had to be addressed. Borrah Minnevitch's and Johnny Puleo's Harmonica Rascals, objected to their release of records under the name Rascals. So, Sid suggested the name the Young Rascals and history was made.

In the member’s own words, the band was about “Marvin Gaye's voice, Ray Charles' piano, Jimmy Smith's organ, Phil Spector's production and The Beatles' writing -- put them all together and you've got what I wanted to do." Says Felix.

On February 27, 1965, The Young Rascals appeared on the TV program “Hullabaloo” where they performed their debut single, "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore".

The song went to #52 on the US Charts and reached #23 in Canada. An even bigger break came when Bernstein put The Young Rascals in the lineup of August 23, 1995 concert when The Beatles took over Shea Stadium.

On March 28, 1966 the debut album THE YOUNG RASCALS was released. It was a collection of covers with only one original song “Do You Feel It” included.

The band was on the rise now and followed up their debut single with “Good Lovin’” from the first album, which rocketed to the #1 in both the US and Canada and earned the boys their first gold record.

The song writing team of Cavaliere and Brigati (Cavaliere wrote alone much of the time in actuality), began cranking out hits. Six of the 11 songs on their second album were penned by band members.

“You Better Run” (covered by Pat Benetar some 14 years later) reached #20, “Come On Up” topped off at #43 and “I’ve Been Lonely Too Long” went to #16.

These songs were included on the second album COLLECTIONS released on January 9, 1967 and the third album GROOVIN’ released on July 31, 1967.

In those days, singles were released prior to the album to build up popularity for the album. The song “Groovin’” was released on April 10, 1967 and jumped to the #1 spot on the charts and spent four weeks on top. Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, it also reached number 3 on the Billboard Black Songs Chart.

It was around this time that the band decided to drop the word “Young” from their name and became simply “The Rascals”.

In 1968, The Rascals had their biggest hit and their last #1 song with the political “People Get Ready”. Written in reaction to the Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy assassinations, there was some initial resistance to the song, but the fact that it was a damn good song it took hold.

"That the song was #1 in places like Berlin and South Africa meant a lot to me," said Felix.

In the next year the band took a different musical direction that resulted in less than enthusiastic support from the record label. PEACEFUL WORLD and THE ISLAND OF REAL were both more jazz-tinged and the commercial success balloon was punctured.

Cavaliere believed that THE ISLAND OF REAL was the best record he ever made, but the public did not agree.

With little support from Atlantic Records, the band moved to the Columbia label in 1971 but that did not cure the ills. Then personal frictions began to build and Brigati and Cornish left the band being replaced by Buzzy Feiten (from the Paul Butterfiled Blues Band) and Ann Sutton who had been singing with various soul and jazz groups in the Philadelphia area.

It did not help matters and the following year The Rascals were no more.

In 1974, Cavaliere began his solo career with the release of the album "Felix Cavaliere". Eddie Brigati recorded a solo album with his brother David in 1976. Cornish and Danelli started a new band called Bullfrog and later teamed up with former Raspberries guitarist, Wally Bryson in Fotomaker. In April, 1980, Felix Cavaliere released a solo single called "Only A Lonely Heart Sees", which climbed to # 36 on the Billboard chart. In 1982, Danelli joined Steve Van Zandt's Little Steven.

Danelli, Cornish and Cavaliere reunited in 1988 for a US tour, but split soon after and were involved in a nasty law suit over the use of the band's name. Cavaliere continued as a solo artist and a producer, releasing a new album in 1994 as well as playing keyboards for Ringo Starr's All-Star Band.

In 1997, The Young Rascals were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, but even here, the tensions that tore the band apart, rose again. All four former members of the band appeared for the ceremony, but Eddie Brigatti refused to join the others, accepting his award from The E Street Band's Steven Van Zandt on the opposite side of the stage.

It wasn't until April 24th, 2010, that all four original Rascals gathered again at the Kristen Ann Carr Fund gala in New York after being invited by Steven Van Zandt. Van Zandt and his wife Maureen were honored by the charity for all of the work they've done for the fund, which was founded in 1993 by Bruce Springsteen's co-manager Barbara Carr and her husband Dave Marsh to honor their daughter, who died from sarcoma. Hopes for a more permanent reunion were dashed by Gene Cornish, who said: "I speak on behalf of the band when I say all the money offers in the world could not entice the Rascals to reunite."

A short run for a band with so much talent. Their songs still stand up today and have a special place in my memories…The Young Rascals.

I selected a mix of familiar and maybe not so familiar for TRAVIS' "Five On Friday", where you post five songs - your choice of subject matter, the set can be as random as - I love these five songs - I thought it would work well with this post, especially my doing the five songs inspired me to share their tale. Just hit the play button and all five will stream.

"It's A Beautiful Morning"
"If You Knew"
"People Got To Be Free"
"Island Of Love"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Who Wants To Be A Lesbian for a Day?

I've been wound kinda tight lately. But I just took one of my new sleeping pills and am feeling quite fine! It's a TEST, if you will, for my China trip. I'm about 18 minutes into it and it's going really well so far.

Here's the deal. I'm leaving next Thursday. (Damn, that totally crept up on me!) And this is going to be one really boring place if some of you with really good lesbian stories don't step up to the plate. I'll be back on June 6th. About 2 1/2 weeks with Dana (who's already taking up my slack on Tuesdays) and three boys (SkyDad, Jay and Vinny if they so choose) who like to take over.

I need some stories. Real Lesbians. Men Lesbians. Wannabe Lesbians. Half Lesbians. In College Lesbians. That One Time Lesbians. Only With This Girl Lesbians. Drunk Lesbians. Fashionably Bi Lesbians. Fact is, I'm kinda desperate.

If you have a good story, shoot it over to my via email and I'll put it in the cue to come up while I'm gone and of course, I'll link back to your site. Oh but not too dirty, mkai? Smutty, yes...definitely YES!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Queen of the Hill


Another guest post by Dana


There's a new bully in town, and she looks a lot different than the bullies I grew up with.

Cyber bullying is nothing new. We've heard the stories of teen drama that goes too far. Although physical bullying is alive and well, it's the unrelenting online attacks that become emotionally overwhelming.

If you are thinking this is limited to teens, you haven't been blogging long enough you might be surprised to learn that it is a growing trend among adult women.

Blogging is a wonderful platform. It can be a creative outlet, a cathartic purge of unresolved conflict, or anything in between. Blogging invites conversation and differing opinions. It also allows a relatively anonymous platform for cyber-bullies to harass, humiliate and threaten others.

I've seen it happen far too many times on my own blog. Let me share a personal relationship story, or relay a challenge I am facing in parenting, and they'll come out of the woodwork - those anonymous (or those with a limited blogger profile) commenters making judgments and snide, hurtful personal attacks.

I believe that all bullying is based on insecurity. Bullies bully because making someone feel bad about themselves somehow makes them feel like a better person. There is power in control in words, and bullies don't care if they are getting negative attention - they thrive on the perceived control and power their words give.

And women? Moms? These are people who have traditionally not had a voice and have, unfortunately, chosen to use their new-found voice in a damaging, destructive way against those very people they should have empathy and understanding for.

It's easy to hide behind the keyboard and make judgments about others, but so much more rewarding to attempt to understand and identify with those real people who show courage in sharing their personal struggles and triumphs.

What do you think? Have women gotten nastier or has the cyber platform just brought the nastiness out from the closet?


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tears for Our City

I finally broke today. You just can't imagine the devastation that we have here.

This video brought me to tears. And it doesn't come
near showing you how many places were flooded. Places that weren't even near water. Places that had never flooded before. Not even during the flood of 1979, when we thought it was bad. The Corps of Engineers declared it a 1,000 year flood. A flood that we should have never known.

Someone said yesterday that it's like a tsunami hit Nashville... and it is.

Last Saturday morning, I went to the gym. It was raining. We knew that we had a 70% chance of rain and that it was probably
going to rain on Sunday, too. I cleaned house. My Love came home and we were going to go shopping when my Mom called. A tornado was coming toward our house, so we flipped on the TV.

We ducked under the stairwell and watched as that storm passed. Then came another round, and another and another and
it just didn't stop raining.

My best friend called and said that she was on her way home from Downtown to Murfreesboro, since bad storms were coming.
She needed to get home to her dogs and let them out. She was literally 10 minutes in front of the I-24 flood that 175 cars had to be hauled away from.

This wasn't like New Orleans where we were told to GET OUT. Leave. It's coming. There was no warning. As a matter of fact,
they told us to stay home. The roads were flash flooding. If you don't have to leave, don't. That's why so many people had to be evacuated by boats from their homes. This happened to us with no warning and in a period of 36 hours.

I am very fortunate that I live on a hill near the lake, but behind the dam. We only had water coming in the windows that we didn't
know needed re-caulking.

Many lost everything. Every thing. Homes. Businesses. Lives.

Please pray, send up a hopeful thought or whatever you do. Our city is devastated and the national media has barely noticed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kindness is Big


Another guest post by Dana


Over the past couple of years, I've been making a concerted effort to be nicer. I was never one of those "the world is out to get me - let me get them first" people (although I was married to one), but there were times when I knew I could help out and instead of doing so, I left the opportunity for the proverbial "someone else."

Then I decided I wanted to be "someone else." I began wondering how my life might change if I did those little things I often left to "someone else." It was fun thinking of ways to anonymously be "someone else," but even more productive when the ways just present themselves.

For example, a couple of weeks ago my neighbor upstairs was attempting to move a rather large piece of furniture by himself. He had leaned the long section of the entertainment center on the stairs and then attempted to pull the piece up the stairs ... without help.

I watched him for a few seconds, wondering if maybe the unit wasn't as heavy as it looked. It was - he was clearly struggling. I put on my shoes and ran outside saying, "Let me give you some help with that." At first he resisted with a "No, I can get it," but I didn't listen. With both of us working on it we got it up the stairs quickly.

Not a big deal - really - but it had big impact. That neighbor has never said anything more than "Hi" in the 5 months I've lived here. Just last night we had a lengthy (30 minute) conversation about his dogs, what he does for a living, and his experiences living in this small town being a gay man. I'd say it made a difference.

The radio station I listen to - K-Love - encourages its listeners to participate in "Make a Difference Monday":

With every Make A Difference Monday at K-LOVE, we’re hoping that you’ll be looking for ways to encourage someone. The possibilities are endless! And remember… “Little things don’t mean a lot, they mean EVERYTHING!”

It might sound corny. It might bring to mind images of holding hands around the campfire and singing "Kumbaya." But you know what? I've been on the receiving end of unexpected kindness, many times when I literally felt I could not make it through the struggle of life one more minute. I know that being on the receiving end one of those little reminders that someone - anyone - cares can be life altering.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of unexpected kindness? Do you regularly practice kindness in some anonymous way?


Monday, May 3, 2010


We're dry at our house because we live on a hill, but the devastation around us is astounding.

My family's business center is underwater. My mother is devastated. All of our tenants have lost their businesses for the time being....unless they can work from another location. Last night, my Dad noticed the water coming up from Stoner Creek, which runs into the Cumberland. The Cumberland is drowning Nashville and it's backing up into the tributaries. We called everyone and told them to move everything important off of the ground or to take it home. Unfortunately, some didn't get the call.

My Dad's out there with his friends and his boat helping people rescue their businesses.

And that's the good news. So many people have lost their homes and we don't have flood insurance. It's never done anything like this here. Think a kind thought or send up a prayer for them. They are without their homes and the cleanup can't even start until the water subsides.

I am just so sad.