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Advice Goddess: November 2015
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 14:48

High ... I really think I love you


Special to the Daily Planet

Q: Two friends of mine are in “love at first sight” relationships. (One went from chills at seeing the guy to moving in with him weeks later.) Each has said to me, “When it’s right, you just know.” Well, as I get to know this new guy I’m seeing, I like him more and more. It’s just not the instant love of the century like they have, and that makes me feel a little bad.
— Lacking Thunderbolts

A: Just like women, men often verbalize complex emotions — for example, “I want sausage and pepperoni on that.”

The truth is, men have feelings; they just don’t hang them out to dry on the balcony railing like big cotton granny panties. Developmental psychologist Joyce Benenson, who studies sex differences, notes in “Warriors and Worriers” that men, who evolved to be the warriors of the species, typically express emotions less often and with less intensity than women.

Men are especially likely to put a lid on fear and sadness, emotions that reflect vulnerability — though it’s also the rare man you’ll hear chirp to his buddy, “OMG, those are, like, the cutest wingtips!”

Men’s emotional coolness is an evolved survival tactic, Benenson explains. “Emotions communicate feelings to others. They also affect our own behavior.” In battle, “a person who loses control of his emotions cannot think clearly about what is happening around him. Revealing to the enemy that one feels scared or sad would be even worse.”

Women, on the other hand, bond through sharing “personal vulnerabilities,” Benenson notes. Men and women do have numerous similarities — like having the adrenaline-infused fight-or-flight reaction as our primary physiological response to stress. However, psychologist Shelley Taylor finds that women also have an alternate stress response, which she named “tend-and-befriend.”

“Tending” involves self-soothing through caring for others, and “befriending” describes “the creation of and maintenance of social networks” to turn to for comforting. (And no, she isn’t talking about Facebook or Instagram.)

So, as a woman, you may long to snuggle up to somebody for a restorative boohoo, but for a man, opening up about his feelings can make him feel worse — and even threatened.

The problem is we have a tendency to assume other people are emotionally wired just like us. Being mindful of that and of the evolutionary reasons a guy might need to go off in a corner to lick his wounds might help you avoid taking it personally: “I’m upset about how you’re upset!” (Great! And now his problem has a problem.)

It would be helpful if an upset man would hang a “Do not disturb” sign on his face when he just wants to drink a beer (or four) and watch “South Park.”

You could try to read his body language — like crossed arms and stiff posture saying “go away.” But if his body isn’t speaking up all that clearly, you could say, “I’m here if you wanna talk — or if you don’t.”

If it’s the latter, stock the fridge; make him a sandwich; make him some sex. In other words, comfort him in the way a clammed-up guy needs to be comforted.

It beats being the girlfriend version of the enthusiastic good Samaritan who, on a slow day, forces little old ladies across the street at gunpoint.
(c.) 2015, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail ( 

Tony Bennett left his heart in Cherokee
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 14:01
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CHEROKEE —  He might be 89 years old, but jazz-pop singing icon Tony Bennett can still belt out classics from the American songbook by accentuating the positive — and reaching deep inside to exude soulful feeling with pizazz for the music he so obviously adores.

Performing for 75 minutes in just one set at his Oct. 23 concert, Bennett drew an adoring crowd that filled an estimated 2,700 of the 3,000 seats at the Event Center at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.

Bennett is known as a singer of traditional pop standards, show tunes and jazz, but his Cherokee show was decidedly jazz-focused, much to the obvious delight of the audience.

He sang most of his many major hits, most notably his signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” triggering a woman in the crowd to shout, “I love you, Tony!” as the crowd cheered in agreement. Bennett also performed a few songs by acclaimed artists of the jazz-swing genre, including Frank Sinatra and Duke Ellington.

Bennett opened with a bang, with “Watch What Happens,” “They All Laughed,” “Autumn Leaves” — and a very jazzed-up version of “I Got Rhythm,” which he finished with red-hot scat-singing.

With the crowd on its feet, he concluded the concert on a happy note with “Smile” and “When You’re Smiling.” His fans merrily clapped along to the last song of the night.

Before leaving the stage, a smiling Bennett told the crowd, “Thank you for being so wonderful tonight!”

With the crowd standing, cheering and begging for an encore, Bennett soon returned to the stage and — several times — put his hand to his ear, signaling that he was gauging if the applause was loud enough to merit an encore. Each time, he walked away, as if leaving the stage because the response was inadequate for an encore. But each time he stopped and then repeated the give-and-take with his fans.

After a few minutes, Bennett, still smiling, waved goodbye, leaving without giving an encore. It was unusual, to say the least.

Bennett’s song catalog is huge, but his most savvy fans probably sorely missed hearing two of his greatest songs — “Blue Velvet” and “A Stranger in Paradise.” But overall, the song selection for Bennett’s concert was superb.

Besides Bennett’s superb vocal artistry, poise and charisma, enabling him to connect with the crowd, the strongest aspect of the show was his four-piece band’s performance. Bennett’s band, feauturing a pianist, guitarist, bassist and drummer, helped to add zest and dynamism that blended perfectly with — and complemented  the aging singer’s performance.

Another highlight was Bennett’s occasional graceful dance moves, along with twists and twirls — remarkable at any age, but especially at 89.

His performance was preceded by 15 minutes of singing by his daughter Antonia, who showed promise, but will benefit from touring with her father by getting some much-needed seasoning for her vocals, stage presence and choreography. She also returned midway through Bennet’s performance to sing “Hey, Old Friend” with him as a duet.

Just before Bennett’s appearance on stage, a recording Sinatra praising Bennett’s singing (was played over the sound system), as Sintatra was quoted on a 1965 Tony Bennett album. “For my money, Tony Bennett is the best singer in the business,” Sinatra had stated.

The crowd rose to its feet, cheering and clapping, as Bennett strode onto the stage, wearing a black suit and tie, with a white shirt and a bright-red folded handkerchief jauntily extending above his jacket’s vest pocket. 

He noted that it would have been the late Duke Ellington’s 116th birthday this year, so he wanted to honor him with a rendition of “(In My) Solitude.” Bennett’s soulful performance showed an outpouring of respect and appreciation for Ellington.

Among other standout songs that Bennett sang included “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Just in Time,” “The Good Life,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” 

At one point toward the end of the concert, Bennett quipped in reference to the gaming crowd in attendance, “I could keep going, but I don’t want anyone to lose money.” The audience laughed, appreciatively.



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