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THE EMPIRE OF ALEX:     HOME  :  ALL COLUMNS

ALL COLUMNS BY ALEX B

1 to 10 of 66 columns
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1. cutting the financial umbilical cord
getting money from mom and dad as a grownup
general - criticism
6.11.12 : feature column!

At the moment, my bank account balance is low. Depleted from this month's rent and an obnoxious cable charge I plan to cut in favor of Hulu (take THAT, Time Warner), the remainder is an amount that would pay for a great night in the Third World, or comfortably support a Jane Austen character for a year. In New York, it's an amount I pray to stretch like taffy till my next pay period. Luckily, I'm not totally alone. Thankfully, my parents provide a small amount of regular support for me in th...
2. does this make me a mistress?
the socially gray place of being close friends with a childhood sweetheart
writing - discussion
3.21.12 : feature column!

It's 2007. You're on the New York subway with your mother, and straining for a conversation topic that won't result in any telenovela-style fights. You write off money (those unpaid student loans), and also know mentioning God is a no-no unless you'd like to discuss going to Mass again. Therefore, you blurt out your childhood sweetheart's first name. Surely, your mom would be okay at hearing how he's doing, and the train ride to Little Italy won't feel so claustrophobic. No such luck. To you...
3. forgiveness from the designated poster child?
a struggle to understand rihanna
pop culture - criticism
2.20.12 : feature column!

At any given moment, I remember. Though it's been three years since Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna to the horrific extent no one saw coming, the story remains alive. Details of the police report stay available on the Internet, where Brown's recent Grammy appearance and subsequent win continue to provoke both impassioned anti-domestic violence stances and vehement defense well past the disturbing line. Since 2009, I've made no secret of disliking Chris Brown. Choosing my stance is as easy now ...
4. kicking off operation 2012
mapping out my own set of great expectations
general - improvement
1.16.12 : feature column!

Semantics. Sometimes, it's just a question of semantics. For this year, I've decided to actually take some time to plan a set of goals to achieve. Some can call these resolutions, but I refuse to call my objectives such. Like a fusspot who never grows to like eating cauliflower (but is okay with having it in mashed form), I simply don't like the word resolution. It seems too serious, too Model United Nations, even pretentious. Above all, I have the mutant ability to disregard it (and anything...
5. oh oh, here they come
of parents, holidays, and finding a place to reconcile
writing - lifestyle
12.19.11 : feature column!

At this present time, I am petrified. There's a growing knot of dread in my stomach, a feeling of knowing my life will turn topsy-turvy. Nothing in the upcoming Christmas holiday is setting off my anxiety; this year, I've been reveling in the arrival of the season by singing along to "Last Christmas" and watching Charlie Brown specials. I've been thrilled to decorate with the usual garlands, and for once, I've even liked hanging ornaments. Having done my shopping on a schedule (for once), no i...
6. excuse me, can you please stop surfing for porn?
what's the appropriate measure for xxx?
general - discussion
11.14.11 : feature column!

A memory haunts me, one from eight years back. I'm 27, and sitting in the dark with a 45-year-old guy. Much as I'd like to recall it as a lovely instance, it's the last civil date we have with one another. Knowing our end is imminent, we behave pretty well. We're at the movies, watching Auto Focus with Greg Kinnear. I had chosen it on the basis of looking seemingly light-hearted; as Bob Crane's sordid life is revealed onscreen, I figure out otherwise. And, so does my date. The deeper the fi...
7. words to a stubborn alcoholic
a necessary dose of tough love
general - lifestyle
9.19.11 : feature column!

Tough love. After-school specials, Nancy Reagan, and a selection of lovely leather goods are among what come to mind when I hear the phrase. Tuff love, shmuff love. I've heard the phrase tossed around so often that its meaning is dwarfed, and hardly feels serious. But lately, where a friend is concerned, life is teaching me otherwise. The friend in question is, in fact, my longtime best friend. He's a brother from another dysfunctional mother, the person I think to list for an emergency cont...
8. as long as it isn't babysitting
deciphering a surprise attraction for the younger guy
humor - discussion
8.16.11 : feature column!

This past month, I turned 36. Though my age change isn't earth-shattering news, it feels significant to me because when the date fell, I swore to appreciate myself and not feel too self-critical. I didn't go around putting myself down with dynamite-fishing-for-compliment wails of, "I'm old!" Instead of throwing a John McEnroe-like meltdown at my local CVS, I simply decided to embrace my progression into the latter half of my thirties with, "I'm getting older." Surely, by owning my age with t...
9. life sans an iphone
a strangely positive end to my apple snobbery
humor - lifestyle
7.20.11 : feature column!

For the last two years, I've been a smartphone user. I've been a satisfied user of an Apple iPhone 3G, and considered it pretty important on a day-to-day basis to have an Internet connection. I've loved having immediate email access with the ability to check into Facebook or Twitter whenever I wanted to. All that came to a screeching halt two weeks back, when my iPhone refused to boot. At all. As I slowly comprehended that not all Apple phones are the totally perfect products their commercia...
10. the extra notch on the cheating curve
factoring weiner's impact on fidelity
news - discussion
6.20.11 : feature column!

These days, everyone knows Anthony Weiner's name. Thanks to Twitter, Andrew Breitbart, and Opie & Anthony, any news-savvy person has their very own two-cent penile crack to make about the newly resigned Congressman. Is he hard-pressed for answers? Maybe he's not meant to last more than his near-twenty years in political life, and can try again in half an hour. Everyone's had a laugh at Weiner's expense, even as the jokes are wearing thinner than luxury brand lambskin condoms. Everyone except ...
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RAVES

re: does this make me a mistress?

Very well written. And insightful.

re: oh oh, here they come

This is so raw and genuine, it's fantastic.

re: as long as it isn't babysitting

A subject many of us thirty-something women can relate to, and it's a fantastic feeling to know that we're not alone or weird for having such thoughts and leanings. Great piece!

re: life sans an iphone

This is excellent. Paced well and makes some great points along the way.

re: life sans an iphone

Strong voice. Really captures all the emotions around being an iphone user, and the silly snobbery, too.

re: life sans an iphone

A genuinely different perspective, written from experience and individual opinion. I like that!

re: how do i mourn a villain?

Raw and real.

re: how do i mourn a villain?

There is no sin in ambivalence with people like your aunt. I had an aunt who was very nearly just like her.

re: the unsuperior chinese mother

Nice connection between your own experience and the book as an entry point to the larger story.

re: the passion of the mel

Nice way to criticize someone who has proven to be not so nice.

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