All posts tagged: Labels

TueNight Labels Nancy Gonzales

The Unapologetic Soccer Mom. Got a Problem?

Nancy Gonzalez (circled), Soccer Mom (Photo: Courtesy Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) You’ve probably seen the Soccer Mom video that explains the three different types of soccer moms: the one that sits and reads a magazine or book and has no concept of the game; the overprotective mom slathering sunscreen on her kids, with orange slices at the ready during half time; and the one that knows every detail and every player in the game. The last, while well-intentioned, is probably the most annoying of the three. And that’s me. I am a Soccer Mom of the highest degree. I didn’t start out that way, hell, I didn’t even know much about the game. I’m a creative type, a graphic designer who would spend more time making elaborate birthday cards for my kids or sifting through estate sales for fantastic, bizarre finds. When my daughter was in the second grade, my husband was our daughter’s coach and I’d just stand on the sidelines yelling, “Go Purple People Eaters!” or “Go [insert team name].” But after a few years of …

gossip tuenight music

The Kids Are Alright (And So Is Their Music)

L to R: The Avett Brothers, Sia, The Decemberists (Photos: Courtesy Americansongwriter.com, Stagedoor.fm, Cracked.com ) This piece is a response to Margit Detweiler’s essay about contemporary music, “The New Pop, Pop, Pop Music (And Why I Don’t Like It).” First, let me say that I don’t entirely disagree with Margit. I, too, am underwhelmed by a lot of what I hear on the radio, and my son went through a Psy phase that almost made me lose the will to live. But I’m more optimistic about the current state of music than she is, and even though my ears are old, I’m not ready to cover them just yet. Full disclosure: I was a Top 40’s kid in the 1970s and 80s. My only exposure to New Wave came from MTV, and the underground and alternative scene was completely alien to me and my suburban boom box. I owned a pair of Madonna-esque fingerless lace gloves, and I spent angst-filled hours listening to Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” on my tape deck. Oh, and my favorite …

An Outsider on the Inside (Sometimes)

My first swear word was “shit.” I used it in a very specific and, I might add, sophisticated way. I was three years old, sitting in the back seat of a car. My grandmother and another adult were in the front. They were talking about my mom, clearly assuming that a toddler wouldn’t understand. Much to their shock and amusement, I cut off their gossiping with: “Don’t be talking about my momma! Sheeee-it.” Yes, reportedly I delivered it with that precise, very adult, multi-syllabic and sassy intonation: “Sheeee-it.” It was my first time witnessing a conversation that upset my sense of loyalty. It wasn’t my last. As a Mash-Up, I often get an up-close view of bigotry, because people don’t know their bigotry applies to the person standing right next to them — me. People can be completely reprehensible in their attitude towards “others” when they think no one outside the fold is listening. I’m not alone. My mixed friends have heard their own family members say racially or ethnically derogatory things in front of …

The New Pop, Pop, Pop Music (And Why I Don’t Like It)

L to R: Lana Del Rey, Perfume Genius, Run the Jewels, Perfect Pussy (Graphic: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) I’m so out of it. Even when I think I’m kind of into it, I’m so out of it. And I can’t believe I’ve become this person. Thumbing through the December 15 year-end wrap up edition of New York magazine, I flipped my way to “The 10 Best Pop Albums of The Year” and got excited by the list of names I didn’t know. A few, I did: Lana Del Rey, St. Vincent, Aphex Twin (Aphex Twin? Hello 1990) and Perfume Genius, whose sinister and sinewy “Queen” popped up on Pandora. No Swift, no Mars in the top 10 (they did make the longer online list), this was a more high-minded, artful interpretation of pop by critic Lindsay Zoladz. Fair enough. I decided to sample some of it on Spotify: Frankie Cosmos, Run the Jewels, Angel Olsen, Todd Terje, Jesse Ware and Perfect Pussy. We’re in a new zone, led by a generation waiting for the bass to drop …

TueNight Labels Kathleen Warner

When Being “The Good One” Isn’t So Great

The good one. The smart one. The athlete. The artist. The drama queen. The baby. The rebel. The sensitive one. The brat. The loudmouth. The playwright. Being the eldest of five children, with only eight years between me and my youngest brother, my beleaguered and exhausted parents often used shortcuts to keep us all straight. As the “good” and “smart” one, I had it easy, at least for a while. I was diligent and studious, I got good grades and my teachers sang my praises. What could be bad about that? Seemingly nothing, when operating in the outside world of teachers, other adults and the like. The hardest part was to re-write the narrative of who I was based on what I had internalized from other people’s expectations. But within my family, my sibling relationships suffered, particularly with my brothers. I was only one year apart from one of my brothers and, as little kids, we were inseparable. He was creative and smart, played soccer and the guitar, and had a broad and sophisticated taste …

TueNight Labels Wendy Goldman Scherer

I’m Sensitive about Labels. And Not The Kind You Think

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight.com) I’m a sensitive person. Well, at least that’s what my mom always said. As a kid, I’d cry at the drop of a hat. And in college. And maybe even for a while longer than that. Though I’ve toughened up a bit, I still tear up at some of the oddest things, and admittedly, not that infrequently. I feel a lot. If I even think I might have hurt someone’s feelings, I get physically ill and find it nearly impossible to shake off. I am not saying this to impress you; it’s a horrific handicap. I just can’t help it. And when someone raises a voice to me – even if it’s not directed at me – I fall to pieces. It’s genetic. My mom is super sensitive, too. I remember watching her when I was little. If anyone had a harsh word, the tears would well up in her eyes. On the (very few) times that my father got angry and raised his voice, she and I both would shrink into …

TueNight Amy Barr Labels

Retiring the “R” Word

(Photo: National Archives, Flip Schulke) Once upon a time in a mid-sized accounting firm in suburban New Jersey, a teenage girl sat in a windowless conference room performing a mind-numbing task. This task entailed removing outdated pages from a massive set of tax code binders (about 40 volumes, each weighing five pounds) and replacing those pages with updated versions. The sheets were tissue-thin, impossible to separate without tearing and capable of inflicting the wickedest of paper cuts. That was my first paying job and the first time I could officially be labeled a “working person.” Now, nearly four decades and a few career changes later, a new label might better describe my status as a working person: Retired. If I’m not between projects and I’m not retired, what am I?  Ugh. I don’t like that word and I’m not the only one I know struggling with it. Several contemporaries have recently bid goodbye to long-term careers on their way to the unknown next chapter in their working life. They seem as confused as I am …

Margit’s Note: Get Your Label Off My Table

(Photo: Ruby Gonzalez) It’s hard to imagine a life without labels; it’s human nature’s lazy way to put our beautiful, complex and messy lives into a tidy box. Nerd, jock, punk, artsy, flirt, oldest, youngest, black, white, weirdo, asshole… Hey, “I’ve been called worse things by better people.” When we’re short on time, when our reflexes kick in, labels help us write our fables. But what happens when you know the backstory? When you know how the wicked witch became so wicked? Your label is no longer enough to tell a really juicy story. Whether we’re talking about the stereotyped kind or that little Polo character on your chest that represents a life of mint juleps and charity balls (it wishes), we’re looking at monikers and monograms this week. The ones we’re okay with and the ones you’d better not say unless you want a sock in the jaw. This week: Nancy Gonzalez won’t apologize for being a “soccer mom.” Amy Barr wonders if she’s “retired.” Sharda Sehkaran juggles dual ethnicities as an “inside outsider.” Wendy Goldman …