Recession Holidays

A provocative glimpse at those in need , along with tips for having a smart holiday season

An online magazine for smart people. December 8, 2008 Issue 1

Special Debut Issue Monday, December 8, 2008 Its a beginning.
All content inside Dissed Weekly is the copyright of the original author. Published by Szabo Media. Publisher: JT szabo Feature Article & Cover Photo by: Erin Haight Poetry by: Lt T Short Stories by: Karyn Polewaczyk Film Review by: Bonnie Priever

Dissed Weekly is now accepting high-quality original works for future issue consideration. Send your materials to

Thoughts From The Publisher
I was driving home from broadcasting a hockey game in Dayton, Ohio recently when, interrupting the bevy of soothing tones coming from my truck’s speakers, came a short commercial for the national star naming registry. “give your loved one a gift that will last a lifetime” noted the announcer, inferring that for just $50, naming a star after Aunt Bertha is both a savvy and unique gift that will not be forgotten. Thanks to the commercial, several minutes of intense pondering had left me drifting out of lane before I finally came back to my senses. By now, my station had resumed its prior programming, but the thought of having dead peoples names as future vacation destinations struck me, and did it hard.

About the time I got back to my apartment, a similarity struck me with regards to Dissed Boy. That sounds great doesn’t it? Weekly. Of course, this magazine is not named after anyone in particular, yet like the Now I must say that since childhood, I have seemingly innocent and novel idea of naming been fascinated and passionate about Star heavenly bodies with surnames, this Trek. While my elementary school classmates magazine had its roots in a small idea that played with their G.I. Joes while wearing their has, over time, begun to develop into favorite faded Jerry Rice jersey on the something bigger. With any luck, there will be playground, I was the kid walking around with a “Kirk” flying throughout the galaxy sometime in the future, making discoveries and allies a plastic “tricorder” scanning the swings for along the way; and in much the same way life forms. (but in a vastly smaller scale) Dissed Weekly becomes a global resource and icon So, about halfway through the star registry sometime in the future. commercial, it hit me: if Gene Roddenberry was right, and in three-hundred or so years from now Earth is a member of a federation of Lofty connection I know, but for a Trek dork intergalactic planets…will we have an official like myself, not to mention a last minute shopper, giving my loved ones immortality for delegate from the “Bertha E. Milldredson” only $50 isn’t such a bad deal. system? Think about it; the commercial summed itself up by saying that the name of your loved one will be recorded in “book form” That’s how I see it. How about you? (oh boy!) with the U.S. Copyright offices. Send me your thoughts at Technically, this means that your old aunt could represent an entire alien civilization someday.

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By Lt T THIS IS WHY I WRITE Writing makes me feel happy and writing makes me feel free; When I pickup a pen and paper, expressing myself is all I like to be. Whether it be an article or a nice poem, when I focus, the words just seem to flow; It's like a time machine, going back in time, I just relax and let the thoughts go. Sometimes I like to write about happy times, but mostly I just like to write; The visions & memories that I write about, simply reminds me that life is alright. I can travel on a fantastic adventure, and I can venture through memory lane; As I visualize about creative journeys, I see a beautiful world that is still untamed. Escaping this crazy world, if even just for a short while; Feelings I haven't seen in a long time, not since I was a child. Oh what a wonderful feeling I have when I write, so many stories to share; It reminds me how good life can be, what others think, I really don't care. When I get lost in my words, I feel like I can conquer the world; Even if you think you can't write, just try it and give it a whirl.

UNEXPLAINABLE JOURNEY On one very special day, my Mother brought me into this world; She only wished for a healthy baby, no matter if boy or girl. Learning so much from my upbringing, education was in session; I was taught life's twists & turns, I received so many lessons. In no time at all, I quickly sprouted up like a tree; I received the toughest discipline, because I needed to be the best I could be. When I completed my real life schooling, it was time to branch out on my own; I needed to take my life to the next level, I needed to prove I could make it and demonstrate what I was shown. It was no easy voyage, there were lots of bumps in the road; But remembering what I was taught, I took on some heavy loads. There were many many rough days and I may have been down, but I was never out; Figuring out and correcting my mistakes, now that's what it's all about. Never give up and never quit, that is the motto that I live; I may not immediately reach my goals, but my best step forward is what I give. Life is a big journey, and sometimes the trip can be a real drag; But one thing is for certain, I shall never raise the white flag.

By Lt T WINTER IS NO FRIEND OF MINE It's the changing of seasons and here comes the snow; No more birds are singing, I wonder where they all go. I miss the butterflies and even the bees; The grass is turning brown and there are no fruit in the trees. The days are short and the nights are just too long; I miss the sunshine, oh I wish the snow was all gone. Going to miss the wind in my face, can't let my rag top down; I love car drives, but until Summer, there is no cruising around town. Oh it's a very frosty morning, I hate putting on gloves; Wish I could wear my shorts, but I see a snow storm brewing above. So much for a picnic in the park, I'll have to wait awhile; Until Spring is in the air, the beaches will be deserted for miles. Ice cycles on my window panes, the sight alone makes me shiver; If I don't light up the furnace, a chilly night is what Winter will deliver. Eggnog may be a good touch, but I rather be sipping on ice tea; Cold weather doesn't appeal to me, year long summers are for me. From Rollerblades on the boardwalks, to people walking their dogs; You can't do this on icy afternoons, but you can count on a dense fog. Until it's Summer time again, I will be inside by eight; Just like bears, Winter makes me want to hibernate.

GOOD FOR THE SOUL When I write a poem, I feel as though I am on a never ending adventure; I can do anything that my heart desires, going to distant lands that is for sure. Venturing through the solar system, yet my feet never leave the ground; I shot a missile on Jupiter, didn't even make a sound. Last week I saw Napolean, he was much shorter than I thought; I met Mark Anthony, he told me about all the battles he fought. I discovered a cure for cancer, oh what a dream; When I write a poem, nothing is impossible it seems. I saw my grandfather, when he was just a boy; That experience was breath taking, just the sight gave me so much joy. I even saw myself as I was writing this poem, that was an amazing thing; Imagine seeing yourself doing something, before the idea from your mind could bring. The ideas from writing a poem is unlimited, yet never enough; I can't wait for the next idea, that is going to be some exciting stuff.

Recessionista. By Karyn Polewaczyk

unraveling hem. I'd point out a pair of super comfortable no-name flats I scored for $5 at While browsing through the New York Times over Goodwill last fall, as well as the Cole Haan my morning coffee, I zeroed in on the Style section Collection python peep toe pumps that make my (it's why I live for Thursdays), and came across this. heart swoon every time I slip a self-pedicured foot into their very soles, which, themselves, have been While I don't always agree with the couture-centric polished, mended and brought back to life several pieces I discover in the nook of my favorite cranny, times by my neighborhood cobbler. I'd motion this particular article weighed heavy on my heart. towards a rack in my closet on which hangs a When will our generation get 'it'? Fashion does not pebbled pleather hobo from H&M, a vintage beaded equal an astronomical price tag. Style does not equal clutch from 1940 that belonged to my grandmother, fly-by-night trends. And class doesn't equal and a handmade silk and Swarovski clutch from a suppressing your individuality. I couldn't care less little-known designer who distributes only to a few that Vera Wang, whom I respect very much as a boutiques in the Boston area. luxury bridal designer, has a discounted line at Kohl's, where shoppers in search of Cuisanart are My point in this hypothetical demonstration is instead surrounded with manequined displays of simple. I've said it before — before this financial overpleated mini skirts, polyester peasant blouses crisis and economic meltdown, before everyone with sleeves so wide that they could double as street charged "affordable luxury" to their maxed out sweepers and ill-fitting tweed vests tossed with a MasterCards, before it was cool to consignment strand of obnoxiously faux pearls – all trends that shop — and I'll say it again: I'm acutely aware of the are going to slink away come Fall 2009. value of what I buy, and I know what works for my body. Go ahead, put a $200 price tag on a pair of "So," you might be asking yourself, one eyebrow "designer" jeans: It means nothing to me unless my arched and one eye narrowed at the frumpy bathrobe ass looks absolutely fantastic, the seam aligned I'm presently sporting (along with a serious case of perfectly with my thigh and the hem adjustable by a bedhead, flannel pants and a pilled sweatshirt), tailor accordingly. "what's YOUR opinion on fashion, Karyn?" And I'd answer, with a wink of my sleep-crusted eye, "I'm Case in point? The skinny jean. Dear readers, I can honestly say I tried to make this trend work for me glad you asked!" last fall. Instead, my rump looked like a locomotive. Said jeans were returned to Lucky Brand after a I wouldn't toss open my closet to showcase my wardrobe. I wouldn't open Vogue's thick September blurry Saturday night involving the constant refolding of their slender denim cuffs akin to my issue, pointing to a glossy spread of models and velvet sandals and far too much Ketel One. I will, mink. I wouldn't even turn my nose up at wherever however, gesture wildly towards a pair of old school you tell me you shop in defense of my attack on bargain-centric clothiers. Rather, I would show you bootcut AG's I've owned for years that have been paired with a blazer and heels for work, a sparkly a single Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress purchased two years ago and worn at least 200 times tank and hoops for booty-shaking nights out, and a sweater and flats for relaxing on the weekends. One since, still in perfect condition with nary an

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Recessionista. By Karyn Polewaczyk Continued...
should duly note that these jeans never tucked their way into the Ugg boots I never owned during last December's blizzard. My ROI lies within knowing where to spend, where to save and when to tiptoe quietly by, contentedly reveling in that which I already have. And on that note, be happy with what you have. Refuse to buy haphazardly created fall lines — demand reform for your fabric! And if all else fails, throw a skinny snakeskin belt around your waist and call it a day. More Orignial Thoughts from Karyn Polewaczyk Dear Whole Foods: nice f%^&ing try. Correct me if I'm wrong, but a grocery cashier has two general functions: 1. to scan one's items Dressed accordingly as a girl chilled to the bone and accept funds as an exchange for these should (mid-calf camel coat; wool trousers; faux items, and 2. to package said items and send Ugg boots and a pleather tote stuffed to the brim one on her merry way. And, if you're at Costco, to with mittens, scarf, hat and notebooks and intent ask if you'd like double coupons for your next to knock the occasional can of organic, unsalted purchase of Hillshire turkey kielbasa. So, why, I ask, after spending a disgusting amount of hardItalian tomatoes to the floor amidst the scurry of other environmentally-consciou$ shoppers), I earned money on organic consumer products and sustainance, would the cashier start ringing plowed my way through Whole Foods with one the next customer, leaving my goods to wilt mission: to refill my multivitamins. Oh, and against the blasts of cold that entered with the perhaps stock up on Vitamin B complex (on sale!). Wait - did someone say Vitamin C serum? revolving doors? For ONLY $30? My sunspots know I'm worth it! "Excuse me?" I politely proded, "Am I all set?" (Case in point: don't leave me alone in Whole Foods. Or Sephora.) This was my Freudian attempt to subliminally message the cashier that she had forgotten to Many missions in my hand basket later, I was pack my things. She eyed me over: I was not greeted by a disgruntled cashier who seemed sporting a re-usable "I used to be a plastic bottle" feel good tote or baby stroller (classified in itself plagued by the line of late-night shoppers as another feel good 'tote' in my neck of the awaiting her glorified presence. That, or the excess liquid eyeliner that caked her lashline was woods, especially if it's an off-roader and comes accessorized with Baby's First Birkenstocks and causing her lids to droop to unprecedented a Toyota Prius). In essence, I was a Fascist. drops. I watched my 3-pack of bananas, aforementioned serum and other single girl "Uh, don't you HAVE a bag?," she retorted, necessities go flying down the conveyor belt, motioning with her chin toward H&M's finest smarting against the stainless steel barrier attempt at knocking off Mulberry's slouchy sack, protecting my delicate produce from the harsh linoleum floor. I won't share the figure that glared slung haphazardly over my shoulder, ready to burst at the slightest movement. on the screen as 'total due,' as I have enough surefire instances that cause others to question my sanity and judgment in existence already, but "Ah, well," I laughed, as the Asian man behind me grew increasingly impatient that he had to humbly swiped my AmEx down the gravy train deal with this posthumous bullshit, "my bag is slide and quietly awaited my purchases. kind of full, so, um, well, I was hoping that, um... that I could have a paper bag?" I shifted my sack

Dear Whole Foods: Continued...
higher up my shoulder to alleviate the burn that had set in from weighing a 50 pound object on my relatively petite limb, and with that shift, a tampon, which I presumed was cleverly tucked between my iPod and lipgloss, escaped and landed on the conveyor belt. Why was I apologizing? What was causing me to stammer like a 14 year-old boy about to get his first blow job in the back of his mom's Ford Taurus? And since when did I buy Playtex tampons? The cashier sighed and sharply opened a paper bag, violently throwing my things to the bottom with total disregard for their fate. "Here," curtly passing on the torch to me, "take it." Friends, as you may well know, I am not shy. I'm the girl who called Lucky Brand's corporate office after their bitch of Newbury Street manager refused to take back an unrelenting pair of skinny jeans that not only created a harrowing ill-fit that still haunts my mind, but leaked dye all over my car. Voicing my opinion to the big boss secured not only a return (in cash), but victory over gay men everywhere who think they can get away with telling women what does and doesn't work for their bodies. I'm also the girl who clearly and perfunctorily describes male anatomy with friends whilst traipsing down the sidewalk as open-mouthed passerby gasp in the wake of their own "weewees." Jeez, man; life is short - get what you want, or sit back and let me take it for you. That said, my retaliation will come not in the form of a call to Whole Foods' corporate office (which would likely garner me a coupon for $1 off a gallon of hormone-free milk), but with design of my OWN reusable tote: "I used to be the plastic weave that sat atop Paula Abdul's scalp during Season 2 of American Idol." which I will carry, loudly and proudly, on my next retreat for vegan brownies to the Central Square Whole Foods.

FILM REVIEW: “Nothing Like The Holidays”
With such a big ensemble of "big personalities," all naturally funny people, the film is a laugh a minute, yet intertwined with There's nothing like a good old fashioned melodramatic family film, in the style of "Terms deep emotional, dramatic scenes as well. Since people want to escape, laugh, and be of Endearment" to get into the holiday spirit. With the economy down, lifted from troubles, this movie is like a magic retail sales in flux, and an ongoing war, what elixir, creating a lot of memories and moments within this particular family, symbolically America needs most is a good escape. representing most American families. "Nothing like the Holidays" does just this, as it brings together the Rodriguez clan to celebrate Although it is specifically the Puerto Rican culture, customs and traditions portrayed, it Xmas, complete with secrets revealed, family holds universal appeal, and is more generally a bonds reconciled, and the magic of holiday traditions rediscovered. story about Christmas - a pretty hopeful story of family and friends reuniting and bringing out Director Alfredo de Villa (Tony winning, Washington Heights) tells the heartwarming the best in each other. story of one unforgettable holiday reunion, Rick Najera, and Alison Swan (screenwriters) sharing memorable, beautiful Puerto Rican describe the diverse, collaborative pool of "Navidad" traditions, such as cherished "parrandas," the ritual neighborhood Christmas talent, as analogous to a "stew," everyone adds a little of their own spice, whether by carols. The film's outstanding cast include patriarch, Alfred Molina (Tevye on Broadway); improv or creative dialogue, and as they stir talented actor, John Leguizamo; and comedic, the pot, conversations and family dynamics build. They hope that people will see the film, beautiful Debra Messing. Freddy Rodriguez and will recognize themselves and other (Emmy nominee, Six Feet Under) gives a relatives, similar to the characters on screen. brilliant performance as the youngest son, safely returning from war, now running the The film offers a special message (as it was family's bodega. filmed "pre-Barack") , that America is getting An unexpected crisis brings the family back to basics; and despite economic and together, in loyalty, love, and holiday warmth. world tension, it's truly the friends and family, The filming took place in the coldest winter that and coming home for the holidays, that brings a more hopeful, secure, joyful approach to life. Chicago has seen; the cast endured many outside scene shoots, in 25 below zero De Villa states, "ultimately, it's about love, weather! Also, De Villa, called for intense rehearsals, in preparation for the film, in order friendship, and the people who will always stand by us- we crave that...." It's a healing to create a realistic family bond and movie, and as we are about to embrace a new comraderie among cast members. President and leadership, as we sit around the holiday dinner table, and by the tree, we get Freddy Rodriguez, a Chicago native himself, something from above, as an inspiration, but reflects on the true experience of his work on this film: "there's a certain power knowing that also something moving and uplifting, from the you can make people happy, and move them inspiring film, "Nothing Like the Holidays." emotionally, that's what's most gratifying to me... If people see it and get their 10 bucks worth, I did my job!" By Bonnie Priever

Feature By Erin Haight

How to have a very savvy Christmas By: Erin Haight So by now you have succumbed to the realization that we as a country are in the midst of a highly volatile and extremely deflated economy. You are more than likely reluctant to spend you’re hard earned, and let’s face it, hard to come by cash on gifts for other people. The holidays and all that come with it can cost you a small fortune if you are not careful. Here are some tips and ideas that will leave you with satisfaction on a job well done and with some money still left in your faux Louis Vuitton (yes they are in!) pocket book: * Stop before you start. In other words, before you head out to the sea of strip malls and department stores, take a minute or two to sit down and make a list of all the people you need(key word here) to buy for and what exactly you would like to get them. Not only does it allow for a much more thoughtful gift, but it saves you from having “buyer’s remorse” and potentially spending too much money on a mediocre gift. * Carry your list with you everywhere you go. You never know when the mood might hit you to shop (it hits me all the time but whatever) and you are always ready. I often find things at little boutiques or antique shops that I just happened upon during my lunch hour, and then you cross that person right off your list. * Don’t count out big wholesale stores because they often carry big ticket items like HD televisions and other electronic products for drastically less than the department stores. Again keep these stores high on your radar when out shopping for people on your list! * Cash, cash, cash! Why rack up your credit card debt on little things, like sweaters, and ketch for your Grandma Thelma, when you can pay for it in cash and save yourself a world of hurt in the pocketbook later? Financial experts preach the use of cash around the holidays because statistics show that consumers in large part ruin their credit during the holiday season buying all their gifts with plastic, and in fact spend more than 40% more on their credit cards rather than cold hard cash. Instead, save your credit cards for big items, and save the green for YOU!!! Finally, even though we are headed for even harder times in the economy, stop and remember what Christmas is really about, family and friends. It always will be about the thought behind the gift, not the price tag. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…

Joel Rothe, youth minister at Faith Lutheran serving coffee to a homeless man at Cesar Chavez park

Faith Lutheran serving the homeless

salvation Army volunteers and a donor in fromT of Macy's at Westfield Mall

Reila Thompson(girl) and her brother Robert Thompson the 5th throwing pennies into the fountain, when asked what they were doing, they responded, "we are wishing for a merry Christmas".

Feature & Photography by Erin Haight

Next Issue Published on Monday, December 15, 2008

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