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Ask Weezy Highlights – Cross Dressing

by Louise Palanker

Title Art by Humbugle

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to 15-20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1
Is there anything wrong with a guy wearing women’s clothes in the privacy of his own room?

No. None at all. However, this may be one of the last lifestyle biases to topple. We don’t see cross dressing much, unless it’s in a comedy sketch. But there are entire subcultures of men who cross dress. Many of them are straight men. They just enjoy women’s clothing and the idea of going out in public and passing as a woman is very exciting to them.

I do not know a ton about it but I had a friend who cross dressed. (he has since passed away) So what I know is based on what he told me. (he was straight) and also on a documentary I watched. It may have been this one:

The straight men who cross dress have a difficult time finding a woman who understands this activity. In some countries it is more accepted. For example there are two British, male comedians who cross dress in their acts and they are widely loved and respected. They are Eddie Izard and Dame Edna. Here is a clip of Eddie Izard:

and here is Dame Edna:

There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. Love yourself and know that the world is rapidly evolving in terms of who and what we accept and embrace.  You will get to be a part of changing hearts and views.

Question 2
Hi weezy. A week ago, an old elementary school friend decided to friend me on Facebook.He started messaging and it was all friendly,  and then he started saying I still look cute and I said thank u and brushed it off.

At this point I told my boyfriend of 5 years.  Honestly, my boyfriend is the best and trusts me so he doesn’t mind me talking to the guy. But lately the guy’s been calling me cutie a lot and now he has my number. It’s starting to get a tad awkward because I like talking to him but I know that as soon as I say I have a boyfriend he will stop.

My boyfriend’s advice is to continue being friends if that’s what I want and if it ever comes up, say I do have a boyfriend. But I don’t like the feeling of some other guy calling me flirty names. How do I go about this situation without being mean? And what should I do in your opinion? Thank u so much.

I think it is always wise to have your relationship status listed on Facebook. Social networking is often used to look up old friends and see if they are single. It is an easy way to reach out to a past crush. So, if you do not want this, list your status on your profile.

Being truthful, you are inviting this guy to continue and you need to be honest with yourself about that.  Why does he now have your phone number?  Your boyfriend is a gem.  If you love him, be very careful.

Anytime you meet someone who begins to flirt and you are not available, it is your responsibility to mention the words, “My boyfriend,” in your next sentence.

I know that you know that those words will wound. But it needs to sting now or it will hurt more later. You don’t have to announce, “Please don’t call me Cutie,” yet.  You can simply say, “Oh, gotta run. BF and I are making dinner.” That should do it.

Yes, you may loose this friendship.  But to keep this guy in the dark about your availability because you enjoy the conversations is frankly selfish and it is harmful to three people.  Your boyfriend, this guy and you.

If the guy continues flirting with you, say, “I like that we found each other again, but please don’t call me flirty names because I am in a relationship.”

Every friendship must be based on truth.

Question 3
Dear weezy, Yesterday I was supposed to go to a theme park with my boyfriend. We ended up not going because we got there late and the park would soon be closing. My boyfriend’s apartment was in that area so we decided to just go there instead.

I had fun because I never get to visit his home.  We stayed there  until about 10pm. The problem is that I had to lie to my parents about it because they would have made” negative” assumptions.

But when I got home they were questioning me a lot about why I wasn’t wet from the pool and why I got home so late. I am almost 21 and they still don’t fully trust me and they would think badly of me if I said I hung out at my boyfriend’s apt. all day by ourselves till 10.

It is, frankly, none of their business. The more they press you for personal information, as you continue your journey through life, the less they will receive. I hope that you are thinking about moving out and gaining more independence soon.  Lying is a very bad habit to acquire.

While you still live at home, you can say things like this to your folks: “You two have raised me beautifully with excellent morals, values and judgement. I have a boyfriend. He is a wonderful guy and we respect each other. I hope that I have earned your trust. Can you maybe just ask me if I had a good time and leave the rest to me? The less you ask and judge, the more I am likely to share.”

Question 4
There is this girl I like and I can’t get over her. She says she loves me as a friend.  But I want to be more than friends. I think we are meant for each other and we have a special connection. But she doesn’t want to date. I want to, though and I don’t want to make her mad/upset. What do I say! Please help!

You need to hear what she said to you. She wants to be your friend only. Since you would like to date, there is an imbalance in your expectations. You each want different things. Staying close and hoping the other person will change to your liking is going to place undue pressure and anxiety on both of you.

If you can totally accept that she is just your friend and you are able to look elsewhere for love, then you can remain friends. That, however, is a tough putt.  My advice is that you pull away so that you can give your heart a chance to mend.

Question 5

I’m a boy and I have two younger sisters. I have always wished for an older brother because all of my friends have brothers. This year I followed a friend of a friend on Instagram. He’s 20 and I’m 15. We started chatting and when I told my parents they got mad and shouted at me.

Three months later, my friend introduced me to one of his friends who is 17. I told my parents about him and they didn’t have a problem. Then recently, I wanted to go hang with this guy and they shouted at me because I didn’t tell them.

They said I disappointed them and that they lost trust in me. They don’t want me to be friends with anyone. I think they are overprotective, I’m starting to hate them and i don’t trust them any more and I don’t tell them anything because they don’t understand me. It’s like they were never teenagers!

They were teenagers in a time before the personal technology that we all enjoy.

Let’s cut to the core of the problem: They worry about your safety.

When you say they yelled at you, I need to ask you, what words were they yelling?  Volume does not help a kid get the true message.

That message is probably something like this: “We don’t want you to talk to older kids you do not know in real life. Here is why… Those kids may have alcohol or drugs or fast cars with fast girls in those fast cars or guns or gangs or grenades (or whatever fills your parents’ worst nightmares) and we do not want you off on some wild spree and in way over your head.”

That’s it. When your parents yell, you can keep your voice calm and say, “Please explain the rules so that I can make sure I understand. Was it OK for me to chat with that 17 year old kid but just not OK to make plans with him when I haven’t met him in real life and you guys don’t know him? Is that it?”

You just need more clarity. Your parents are actually not being over-protective. It would just be great if they could remain more calm when they speak to you about their expectations.

A good way to start a really productive conversation is to find a quiet moment and ask them to tell you what they were like when they were your age.

Richard Cowsill

Goodbye, Richard Cowsill

By Louise Palanker

I spent about eight years of my life documenting The Cowsills. Who are The Cowsills? They are the real life family band that inspired The Partridge Family. That is the most efficient means of explaining this group.  Yes, they are a real family.  Yes, their mom was in the band.  But their actual story is a lot darker than a sit com and it is far more twisted. For example, can you imagine if there were a Partridge kid who was not allowed into the band? The Cowsills can. Their brother, Dick was not all that interested in music as a young kid.  He surfed and built forts.  But as his family became more about music, he tried to find a spot for himself in the group. He could dance. He certainly had more rhythm than Tracy Partridge. But his father, Bud Cowsill, boxed him out.

Bud exercised some sort of personal vendetta and Dickie was the lone Cowsill kid who was not ever allowed to join his siblings on stage. He watched from backstage as the rest of his family performed on all the top network TV variety shows like Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, etc. The Cowsills became teen idols and entertained before stadiums full of screaming kids. 

The Cowsills
The Cowsills in 1967. Front: Barry, Bob, Dick. Back: Paul Susan, Barbara, Bud, Billy, John

Dickie loaded gear and then stood, quite literally on the sidelines. But why? Why would one kid be singled out and excluded from the primary family activity? There are a few theories. Chief among these are:

Dick reminded Bud of himself and Bud did not like himself.

Dick was ADHD and too much of a hothead to comply with a “Bud’s way or the highway” dictate.

It’s still a mystery.

Adding further intrigue and heartbreak to a disturbing scenario is this detail. Dick was Bob Cowsill’s twin brother. Bob was as bright a star as any in The Cowsill constellation. Perfect grades.  A good athlete and a born musician.

Bud Cowsill may have felt that he was helping the family band remain focussed by keeping his troubled son out of their way, but the price has been steep.

Ultimately, as the kids’ hit records were topping the charts in 1968, Dick and Bud came to blows and Dick, at age 18, was taken directly to the recruiting office and ultimately, sent off to Viet Nam. The guilt and the sense of responsibility for their brother probably did not hit his siblings until their pop idol star came crashing back down to earth and Dick returned from Viet Nam, a heroin addict.

I had been a huge fan as a kid. In fact, The Cowsills play a key role in my childhood memories. I would allow their happy harmonies to fill a room while staring into an album cover and attempting to wish myself into the photograph.

We fans were told that Dick had chosen the military.  This little factoid felt especially confusing since my dreams found me born into this musical family and adding my voice to their gorgeous blend. Why would anybody turn away from it? That never quite added up, but I quickly dismissed the doubt and turned up the next track.

Right around the time I was naturally outgrowing my teen band crush, The Cowsills disappeared from view. By age 16, I would only occasionally give them a passing wonder.

That is until we all stumbled into cyberspace and started daring each other to google childhood crushes, teachers and pop bands.  I fired up my AOL browser and found myself on a site called They had a guest book and I began typing.

My entry included something like: “Thank you for helping me grow up.” I had just lit a match to the kindling of a big adventure.

I received an email from a fellow Los Angeles area fan, Caren Oldfield. She invited me to The Pickwick Pub in Woodland Hills, CA, where Bob performed, thus launching an odyssey which led to a documentary I made called Family Band: The Cowsills Story.

Richard, Susan, Paul and Bob Cowsill
Richard, Susan, Paul and Bob Cowsill

What I discovered in The Cowsills is an an intricate, multi-layered, compelling and captivating story within which Dickie factors prominently. And so, for the first time in his life, Dick’s voice is added to the mix.

Richard Cowsill likes to talk. He had a lot to say. He was starving to be heard. To the point where it could be overwhelming. But if you stopped listening, you missed something.

I know this well because the filmmaker does not just hear something once. She pours over footage and she hears that something  repeatedly. Much of what Richard said was all about his need to talk. But often, I mean really often, he nailed a point just so solid.

The guy had genuine insight. And he was brutally smart. He saw layers and nuances and intricacies. But he could be so loopy on government prescribed meds that not everybody got how much he actually got.

Very sadly, we have reached the end of Richard Cowsill’s life. He died last week of lung cancer.

That loss is requiring me to hold myself accountable for the role I played. Did I do OK by him? Did I hear him?  Did I help him tell his story?  Did I fully get him? I’m not sure I  did.

Here is what Richard got that I didn’t get until after he died. When he would compare his experience to that of his siblings, he would say that they had music to connect them to each other and that this made their childhoods easier.

They would disagree and tell him that he has no idea how hard it was for them to grow up in the public eye, pretending that everything was OK when it wasn’t.  They each made valid points.

But there is a major difference: When they spoke of their childhood anguish, they got to say, “We…” Richard had to say, “I…” For that, I ache. I am sorry I didn’t hear you better, Dickie. You taught me so much. It was an honor to know you.

Ask Weezy Highlights – Bullies Beware

by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by Payero01

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1
How do I deal with people saying negative comments about my appearance? Please don’t tell me “oh you’re beautiful.” You don’t know what I look like, and I already believe I am.

I just get frustrated because it’s not just what people say, it’s how they say it over and over and over… What do I say to make the bullies  stop? I’ve tried being mean, ignoring it, and getting other people on my side, but nothing works. Please help? Thank you so much.

Almost everybody is picked on about their looks at some point along the road of life.

I don’t know what they are singling out regarding you, but generally speaking, what happens is that one kid notices something specific about your appearance and then everybody jumps on that bandwagon.

So, let’s say you have big feet. Oh well. You have big feet. I am not trying to dismiss the pain it causes you when somebody mentions your feet. Rather, I am encouraging YOU to take on that “Oh, well,” attitude.

My nephew Jake has great advice on this. He says that if somebody were, for example, to call him a geek, he would say, “And your point is…?”

I love this because it completely diffuses the intended impact of the insult. They are trying to get to you. If you simply agree and then ask why they have raised this point, the wind drops from their sails.

You say that you have tried everything and I completely believe you, but now try agreeing with them and asking them to clarify why they have time in their day to bring the obvious to your attention.

Question 2
Hey, weezy I live in a city that has no place to walk around. It sucks. The places it does have I’ve been to 100s of times. I’m not old enough to drive yet, but i want to do new things. Places to hang out and go. How do I find places in my area?

Try googling, “teen activities” plus your area. You may be surprised to see how many churches, synagogues, mosques and non-religious organizations have events and clubs for teens.

Remember, that you do not have to join a religion to take part in a youth activity.

Also, try: Boys and Girls Clubs, The YMCA, The YWCA, Kiwanas, Elks and other service organizations.

For example, every Monday, I teach a free teen comedy class at the Jewish Community Center in Santa Barbara, CA. You would not know about it if you were not looking for teen activities in Santa Barbara.

So, do some hunting and let us know what you find.

Question 3
So last time i had a girlfriend was in 5th grade. I am now 17. I just moved to ****, Ga about 7 months ago and have been looking for a girlfriend but nobody seems to stick.

I’m always very quiet around people I don’t know. More so around girls. And when I do talk to a girl, I tend to overthink things, and think of everything that could go wrong. How can I become more confident? Plz help!

You just need more practice talking to girls. Get this practice by conversing with many different girls. Exercise that muscle. Tell yourself that almost every girl with whom you speak will not become your girlfriend. They are mostly just friends.

Getting to know them enriches your life and theirs. Girls need practice talking to boys too, so these conversations are fun and helpful to all concerned.

The more you talk, the easier it gets and eventually, a connection will begin to form between you and somebody special. Don’t force it. Wait for it, be open to it and allow it to happen.

A relationship is not just something that you need. It is also something that you offer. You will be a gift to someone wonderful.

Question 4
I look like a guy and I’m shaped like one. What to do? Well I have broad shoulders and long arms that stop to my knees, seriously… I cross my arms so ppl wont notice it. I wear a sweatshirt so people wont notice my shoulders either and for summer I wear thin baggy sweaters. I was told about 2 times that look like a guy and told a million times I was ugly.  What should i do?

You are not ugly and unless you want to look like a guy, you don’t look like a guy. You look like YOU, during your awkward, teenage years.

Dress in clothes that YOU like. Carry your arms in a way that feels comfortable and let Mother Nature take care of the rest. You are going to be just fine.

Question 5
Hi weezy! So today I got my period (not for the first time) and now it’s getting heavy.

I am a counselor at a camp this summer and am in the lake and water most of the day. When I have been inserting a tampon, I don’t feel it at all but my period still leaks. I don’t know what to do about it because I can’t wear a pad in the water! I don’t want my period to leak on my bathing suit that I am in most of the day! What should I do?

Thanks so much and sorry if this was a little gross 🙂 Weezy

Your period will only be heavy enough to leak through a tampon for about a day. Most girls just figure out how to get through that day and yes, it can be tricky if it’s a day spent on the water.

Some girls say, “I can’t swim today. Personal reasons.” Everybody just gets that. No more explanation is needed.

Some, may put a mini pad in their bathing suit. Sure it gets soaked with water, but it also sort of blocks leakage while you go from the water to the ladies room to swap out your tampon.

You will figure out what works for you. Always remember that every female gets her period. Don’t be shy about asking older counselors how they handle these situations.

Every month, you get a little bit better at strategizing around your period.


Ask Weezy Highlights – Divorcing Parents

by Louise Palanker
Cover Image by Sailer-MidnightStar
I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.
Question 1
My parents sometime fight. One time my dad was drunk {sorry if this is a little inappropriate } and came home and almost killed my mom. My sister had to go through this and she’s six. They sometimes fight and my mom cries and I feel bad for them.
My mom told me if they divorce I have to live with the one of them and I feel pressure because I love both of them but if they divorce I would have to choose between them.
The children of divorcing parents should never have to choose where they will live or with whom.  The adults must be the adults. It is their job (sometimes with help from the courts) to make decisions based around what is in the best interests of the child.
Joint Custody is often the best option. This means you would spend an equal amount of time with both parents. The child’s opinion and experiences are often taken into account while these decisions are being made. In other words, should the child express a concern that one parent is dangerous, the judge will listen to that.
So, if for example, your father is often drunk and violent. It may be better for your mom to have legal custody and for your dad to have supervised visitations. Nothing is set in stone. Arrangements can change as you grow older and/or if your father were to receive help for his alcohol problem.
Remember that you did not ask to be put in this satiation.  This is your childhood.  It matters and it must come first.  The grown ups need to figure out how to put their differences aside and put YOU, first.
If your parents are asking you to choose. You can say, “I need to spend time with both of you. Please figure out a schedule that works for everyone. I will not choose between my parents. I love you too much to do that.”
Question 2
I have a crush on my cousin and he is way older than me. Every time I see him it’s really awkward. Any advice?
Cousin Crushing is pretty common. But cousins are off limits, as are way older guys.  So you will go ahead and place this crush in its proper category. It is a crush. It is meant to inform your romantic instincts. What type of man do you find attractive? This type. That’s all.
Enjoy your time with him. Develop a special bond. If he is a man of character, look for this type of man as you continue down your path toward love.
Question 3
Dear weezy, It is just a few more weeks until I’m leaving my parents for my studies and this scares me. The thought of it makes me unable to sleep at night, because things will never be the same again after I leave my parents. I’ll finish my studies and then get a job. Eventually, I’ll have my own family and live elsewhere. I still think I’m too young to leave them and I don’t want to, but I have to and I’m scared. What should I do? 🙁
Many kids feel this way. Other kids can not wait to leave. Here is the good news for you. Not wanting to leave means that you enjoy a wonderful relationship with your parents. This is a blessing.
Sometimes, life moves on when we are absolutely ready. Other times, we need to give ourselves a little push. Don’t think too far down the road. Concentrate on the next task that lays before you and do it well. You will still be home for holidays and summers. Your room and your parents will be there waiting for you and it will stay that way until you no longer need these comforts of home quite so often.
The only thing that never changes is that everything changes. We are in constant motion. That is what makes life so interesting and exciting. Go greet your next adventure.
Question 4
Hey weezy! So my mom recently went through my phone. She read text messages between me and my girlfriend. My mom doesn’t know I’m bisexual but she made a snide comment referring to, “your girlfriend.” I was kinda freaked out because my mom did not know about my girlfriend before she went through my texts. She hasn’t brought it up or said anything besides that one comment.
But my dad said she was yelling to him about it. But I don’t think my mom told my dad everything. Does this mean she doesn’t care? That she supports me? She calls me a lesbian and a dyke all the time. Only because I don’t wear a bathing suit and seldom go swimming. I just wish she didn’t call me those things. And I wish she could just talk to me.
I do not think it is wise or kind for your mother to call you derogatory names, but here is the thing when it comes to parents suspecting that their child may be gay or bi… they rarely will come right out and ask you. They will wait for you to come out.
That’s why it’s called coming out. It’s up to you to decide if you have something to say about your sexuality or sexual preference. Since maybe 90% of people are straight, the straight kids never have to go through this. It is assumed, by parents, that a child is straight unless or until he or she says otherwise.
Your mom seems to think that dropping a lot of hints or even teasing you will force the conversation. She does not get that she may be encouraging you to stay silent.
So, break the silence and say something to your mom that puts this on the table. Say, “OK, so I guess you know that I like girls, right?” It won’t come as a shock. You know that she knows. But it will be much healthier if the two of you can just talk about it. That way, you can say, “And please don’t call me a dyke. It’s not funny and it hurts my feelings.”
Question 5
I hate taking my shirt off in front of other people. I’ve never liked my body and everyone always looks better than I do. I know they say looks aren’t everything and that it’s what’s inside that counts, but that really doesn’t seem to be true. I don’t have abs, I have Bacne and I’m pretty short for my age. I can’t change my body even though I wish I could just have a new one.
The good news is that you ARE getting a new body.  A boy may continue growing until he is about 21.  Your body is not what it will be once you are a man. Don’t judge yourself so harshly.
Most girls are not looking for abs. In fact, I believe that the more interesting the girl, the LESS she cares about muscly men.  Smart, sweet, funny girls are are looking for a smart, sweet, funny guy who cares about the things in life that actually matter.
There are a lot of girls who are insecure about their bodies too. Especially during the summer time. So, be nice to people, have fun and remember that just about anyone you will meet at the pool or the beach is not all that thrilled with his or her body either.
So, when you see friends and acquaintances gingerly taking off a top or a tee and timidly stepping toward the water, remember that this is an insecure moment for EVERYONE. Offer a big smile and join them.

Ask Weezy – Race Bullying

Ask Weezy
by Louise Palanker

Photo by Gazayel

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place.  Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1

Our Place Post: I am a muslim and started wearing a hijab ( scarf ) only a few months ago and it made me feel better about myself. On the bus for the past few months, people started talking about MY RACE and how we are ugly and my RELIGION… how we would bomb something down if we aren’t happy. I always cry in my seat and try to draw no attention to myself . Now I really want to rip my scarf off of my head and never wear it again!

You are being subjected to prejudice and hate speech. This is race bullying.  You can report it to your school principal, speak to your parents about it or you can handle it yourself. It will help if you have backup. A friend who is in your corner.

This will take a lot of courage, but it can be done with a little bit of practice. You turn to these bullies and you say, “Muslims believe in peace. Extremists and terrorists come in every religion, shape and color. I am not one. What is sad here is that YOU are behaving more like terrorists than am I. Please respect me here on this bus and I will respect you.”

You can make that speech your own. These kids are ignorant. You can try to take them on or you can report the behavior. You DO NOT deserve to be treated this way. A little bit of understanding goes a long way. Teach them some of it.

Question 2
I have a friend I like and she’s always in a relationship.  Every time she breaks up she goes straight on to the next one.  It just keeps repeating and she just gets hurt in the end.  Is there anything I can do to help her?

You can tell her that when we repeat an unhealthy pattern this means that we need to stop and do some work on ourselves.

Unless she changes, the boys she chooses won’t change either. Nor will they ever fix the problem. Tell her how much you care about her and that you want her to be happy. And then you just have to remember that you can not walk her path for her. She has to do that.

Question 3
How do I find my own personal fashion style?

Don’t feel a pressing need to find one. The most important aspect of choosing “a style” is selecting clothes that make you feel like you. Clothes in which you feel comfortable.

If you buy something just because someone else told you it was cool or cute, it will sit in your closet and every time you look at it, something in you will reject it.

You can shop with your mom or with a friend and ask them for their opinions. But you must also feel good about the clothes. Finding your look is a process and you do not have to pick one specific look. One day may be a jeans and sneakers day. The next may be a little vintage/a little sassy.

There are no rules when it comes to fashion, because every year, the rules change. Why not be the one who changes them?

Question 4

How do I prepare for periods at school? I know its still summer but I NEED to be prepared. Anyway , I started my period a couple weeks ago and I want to know what should I do when I’m at school and I need to change my pad? Like where should I put my pad? I know in the trash but I don’t want it to be noticeable that I’m on my period when other girls walk in the bathroom. And how can I make it quieter when I’m opening my pad? I’m VERY embarrassed about having periods. and what should I do if I have a spot on my pants cause at my school we wear khaki pants and white shirts…


Every girl gets her period, so I know this feels embarrassing (because it is happening in your private area) but it is also part of being a woman and being alive. You are actually pretty lucky that you get to spend your summer adjusting to your period. This will all seem less intimidating when school gets here. If you are embarrassed by the sound of opening the pad, open it before you get to school and roll it up in a paper towel or something. On your heavy flow days, wear a second pair of underwear over the one that is holding the pad in place. This helps prevent accidents.

You can check on your pad between every class.  Even if you see that it is not time to change it, that will give you peace of mind. If you see a spot, pull up your pants, go to the sink, put soap and water on a paper towel.  Go back into a stall and scrub it out.  This will dry within the next half hour.

There should be a little container which serves as a receptacle for used pads and tampons in each stall. If there is not, then you roll the used pad in toilet paper and tuck it into your hand. As you come out to wash your hands, subtly toss that into the wastebasket. You are not the only girl doing this. These are just the little tips and tricks that all women learn to use during that time of the month.


Ever since my brother got a girlfriend (Rose) I feel like it’s my job to keep them together. My brother is four years older than me, but I feel like if I do anything or say anything Rose will be disgusted by it and end their relationship. I know that they’re relationship has nothing to do with me. This is my brothers first serious relationship so I don’t know how to act around his girlfriend. We get along fine but what if Rose all of a sudden gets so annoyed with me about something that she breaks up with my brother!?! He would never forgive me! I know I’m just being paranoid but I need advice!

I wouldn’t use the word “paranoid,” but I would ask you what may have led you to believe that Rose’s love for your brother is contingent upon your behavior? Have you been made to feel, in your household, that what you say and do has an effect on love? Does love feel conditional to you? If that has been happening, then I am so sorry. It’s not fair and it’s not realistic.

Flip it around. If you loved a boy and his sister was a wild, little hellion, would you love the boy less? With no offense intended, you are giving yourself far too much power in your brother’s life.  He and his girlfriend are fully capable of loving or not loving each other based on a billion factors that do not include you.

Get to know Rose and be kind to her, just because it’s the right thing to do and because she will enrich your life, but you are neither their glue nor their dissolvent. You have no power to either pull them apart or hold them together.

Uncertain Relationship

Ask Weezy Highlights – Friends With Benefits?

Ask Weezy Teen Advice
by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by Elenja

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1
Im scared of having sex, I’ve been friends with benefits with my best guy friend and we are both virgins and he thinks we should take things to the next level. But I’m scared.

Do not do this. It’s a mistake. Your friend wants to have sex. That is not enough of a reason for YOU to have sex. This is not playing tennis. It is something very special that should be shared by two people in love.

My guess is that you care for him very deeply but the “friends with benefits” deal is not one which works out well for the girl. We women tend to love very deeply. We agree to that deal because we hope that it will lead to love. It rarely does. Let a guy love you before he gets to share your body with you. It’s you’re body. Tell him, no.

Question 2
Help! I don’t know what to do! My Best friend shares everything in common with me, we tell secrets and agree on everything, but this summer she left me for someone else and I don’t know what to do. There is nobody that is as much like me as her! What should I do?

You do not know that there is nobody else like you. There are a ton of people in this world who are a lot like you. If your friend is off on her own path this summer, then take that as a message that you too are supposed to go find your adventure.

We can get too comfortable with our usual routine. Your friend just shook things up for you. Go see what and who is out there waiting to be discovered.

Question 3
What does it mean when a guy says he loves talking to you? I have been talking to this one guy 24/7 this whole week legit.. We have talked about my past relationships and we flirt text! And I he said that I was his “woman crush” Wednesday. Does he like me??

You get to ask the guy what it means. He says that he loves talking with you and the two of you have been texting 24/7, (which in my opinion is not healthy) but it is a significant chunk of your life and if you would like it to mean something, then you need to ask for that.

Texting a person all day long eats away at your day, pulls you out of your real life relationships and it still leaves you wondering what it all means. That’s because this is empty communication. There is no substance.  It gets both of your hearts racing but we don’t know to what end.

So, say something meaningful to the boy, like “When can we hang out?” “I think I like you as more than a friend.” That type of thing. He’s getting this much of your time. He needs to give you an answer.

Question 4
Weezy…I’m starting to hate guys and not trust trust anyone. This boy named Josh started giving me hugs but then also touching my breast.

So, I started texting him saying that I did not like what he was doing. He kept asking me if I like him and I said, “I don’t know. So today he gave me hugs but then touched my butt. People saw us in the hallway thinking that we go out but we don’t.

My friend said not to go out with him because he is a hoe. Then my friends starting running their mouths to each other about me and him. I do not want them talking about me!!

One friend told me that Josh has a girlfriend and he’s touching me like we go out.

AND WHAT MADE ME SO MAD WAS WHEN JOSH SAID I HAVE A FLAT BUTT. I was like don’t f*** with me no more because he’s a hoe! I’m sorry for my language. But that pissed me off, I know I have no butt and he pointed that out. I was about to burst into tears, because I have no butt. Is there a way to get a butt? And a way to gain weight because I’m really skinny.

Wow, your question is all over the road. Let’s start by focussing on what matters. You deserve to be treated with respect. You must ask people to treat you with respect. Don’t text a request for respect. Say it. And say it in a way that allows you to respect yourself. “Excuse me. Take your hand off of me.” Then you stop hugging this boy. He has shown you who he is. Believe it. He does not get to know you or be around you.

It should not matter if you tell a friend and she tells a friend that this boy has no respect for girls and women. That is the truth. That is what happened. Do not call him names. There is no need for that. But you can say, “He’s not a gentleman.” That is it. Then move on.

Now, since we have established that he is not a gentleman and that he does not deserve your time, please tell me why his opinion should matter to you? I do not know how to change the shape of your body. I do know that you are beautiful as you are. Believe that and walk through the world with the confidence of a woman who loves herself. You have been created and therefore, you have a right to a voice and to your dignity. Ask for it and make no apologies for being your own true self.

Question 5
My boyfriend wants to see five movies with his ex , he says they’re just friends and that she has moved on. He says he is with me so nothing will happen but I can’t help but be jealous. I want him to be happy and spend time with his friends but it’s hard for me not to get jealous. What should I do? (also he still has little feelings for her)

My view is that he does not get to do this if he wants to remain in a relationship with you. He can maybe go to the movies in a group of people but it is a really fine line.

If there is one activity that is considered “a date,” it is taking a girl to the movies. He can take a walk or go to Starbucks or sit on swings in the park and talk, but no movies. For that, he needs to be single.

And you should figure out where his head is at and what you want, because if he still has feelings for her and has the nerve to specifically ask to see FIVE movies with her, then that means that he is undecided. Therefore, you must determine if he is the person you want to be dating.

Barry Gibb Mythology Tour - Hollywood Bowl

Barry Gibb at The Hollywood Bowl

Barry Gibb is the greatest songwriter to ever live on earth.

Sure I could add, “in my opinion,” or “since Cole Porter,” or “next to Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach,” but I don’t want to, and this is my blog.

So, as a huge melody/harmony/Bee Gees freak, I pumped thick cash into our Hollywood Bowl tickets to see The Mythology Tour.  My darling and amenable husband and I parked down by Fountain and walked up to The Bowl (Come on.  I wasn’t going to also pay for parking.)

Anyway, it was a big adventure and we love to walk.

I had been following the tour on Facebook and YouTube and watching the posted videos. I began to solidify a scheme.  If I could get my equipment past security, I may actually find myself close enough to (unbeknownst to Barry Gibb) sing a duet with him.

That was the plan. But which song?  What about the mix? Would I be able to hear my own voice?  Would I disturb those around me? How dare I?   Those were some of the big questions.  The other fairly obvious one being, “Why don’t I just shut the F up and listen to Barry Gibb?”

Well, my Canon G15, Gorilla Pod and top mounted shotgun mic raised not an eyebrow as my purse was inspected and we passed through the gates of the bowl.

My strategy was now launched into full effect.  But as daylight slipped behind the hills of The Bowl, I met with obstacles.

We were about ten rows from the stage. Barry Gibb was well lit and wearing black, so my camera was opening wide to drink in light, thereby turning Barry Gibb’s face into a glowy cloud.

This did not deter me from singing.

I won’t apologize. Mission accomplished.  And please know that as my voice  rose into the night air to meet with Barry Gibb’s, I was tapped on the shoulder by an usher and asked to pull down my camera.

Yes, I faced humiliation.  No, I didn’t always just enjoy the moment.   But I was (in my mind) a Barry Gibb backup singer. 920 Feet From Stardom!

And, I was able to fire off a load of great photos:

Barry Gibb at the Hollywood Bowl
Barry Gibb at The Hollywood Bowl. Mythology Tour

This concert was extraordinarily magical.  Barry Gibb owned the night while gracefully and achingly giving honor to his brothers. The loneliness of the last Bee Gee was quieted by the sound of Barry’s son, Stephen and Maurice’s daughter, Samantha, plus a sensational band and backup singers, Beth Cohen, Leesa Richards and Charlotte Mckinnon.

OK, so maybe I filmed just a wee bit too much.  (Sorry, people behind me.) Barry Gibb at The Hollywood Bowl YouTube Playlist

But, in my defense, it’s Barry Gibb.

And, in closing, if you, like me, are a big Bee Gees Nut, please enjoy these interviews I did with Maurice and Barry Gibb in 1988.  

and with Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb in 1993.

Thank You, Bee Gees.

teen advice

Ask Weezy Highlights: Teen Advice – Sexting

Ask Weezy

Teen Advice by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by  KeeraKeera

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1

Ok. My best friend and I recently told each other that we like each other. We know that we feel the same way about each other. The slight problem is that if we date and we end up having a bad break up, it might mess up our friendship. And our friendship is so good. Is there a way we can work it out?


No. There are no shortcuts around tough issues. With great risk comes great reward. What also comes is risk. But here is the way I look at it. In life, we must pay attention to the truth. Let it surface and look at. Say, “Hey truth. I see you. I acknowledge you and I will deal with you, come what may. Whenever you try to stuff down that truth, it festers and does all kinds of damage.

Let’s lay out some predicted outcomes based on your truth: The truth is that you like each other. So,

Scenario Number 1)

Ignoring that you like each other as more than friends in an effort to maintain your friendship. Well, it’s a lie that asks you to pretend something is not happening. So, in an effort to maintain your “friendship” you will both probably want to date others at some point. Those others will not tolerate this “friendship.” You will have now involved innocent people. You will not be with the one you truly love and you will be hurting each other and the people you are trying to date.

Taking this a step further, if one or both of you marry these other people, this will compound the problem and the number of innocents involved. Attempting to remain “just friends” may result in your loosing both the friendship and the romance and living your entire lives longing for each other and regretting your decision to remain “friends.” (Goggle Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles)

Scenario number 2)

You accept that you like each other as more than friends. You are both terrified, but you take this friendship up a notch to dating. It may work out. It may not But you will both get to experience a romantic adventure with a loving partner and for as long as it lasts, you will be learning from and growing with each other. This person may be the great love of your lifetime. Who is to say? If it does not last romantically and you loose the friendship, well, you lived your truths and you left an indelible mark on each other’s hearts. I vote for choice number 2. Live your truth.

Question 2

How do I ask my friend’s mom for feminine products? For the summer I’m staying over my friend’s house while my parents are out of town. Today I just started my period , I always kept a pad with me just in case it started cause I was told by my mom that I would start soon. Anyway, I only had one pad and I need more. IM SOO SCARED. I don’t know why, but it’s embarrassing friend started hers so did her sister but I’m scared to ask any of them. btw its all girls in my friend’s household..


The only embarrassment should be the embarrassment of riches in feminine products which inhabit that house. Ask your friend to ask her mom. There are loads of pads in any house full of females. The supplies you need are just a couple of steps away.

I know it feels embarrassing but it is actually very expected. Turn to your friend right this moment and say, “Aunt Flo just arrived and I need supplies.” Do it right now. Before you finish reading this post. Just look up and say that sentence, out loud…. OK, go ahead and whisper it….

Good for you. Now that’s done and somebody is going to get you pads. Have a great summer.

Question 3

I talk to a pervert and I regret everything. He asked me where I live. I said a state that’s far away from where I actually live. I told him a fake age, and my real first name. I also sent him a picture of me and my older sister. I made youtube videos then he messaged me on kik and we became closer. He complimented me and then asked for naked pictures. I sent him one but I wasn’t naked it was just my bum.

Our conversations usually always tend to have sexual stuff in them.. I don’t reply back sexually. I’ll try to change the subject.. He sent me a picture of him and he told me he was 26 but he looks older. I told him he looks like a rapist. He said, “I always point out the best in you, and you always point out the worst in me.” Please don’t tell me to tell my parents or the police.


Respectfully, please don’t tell me what to tell you. This guy has an unhealthy, sexual interest in children, meaning, he is a pedophile. In speaking with you sexually online and requesting photos, he is breaking the law and he is dangerous.

Any child who posts content online and enters into a private conversations with a stranger is likely to run into somebody like this guy. The communication will begin with compliments and sharing how much you have in common. As he earns your trust and draws you in, he will begin to turn the conversation sexual. By this point, it is hard for the child to pull away because you may even believe that you are a little bit in love with him and that he values and understands you fully and completely.

This is how he operates. This is what he does. He’s been doing it for a long time and to a lot of children. He is probably not in his 20s and he probably is lying to you about any number of facts. He is probably speaking to a lot of girls and the moment he has enough information about you, he will be arranging to meet you. If you are too wise to allow for that rendezvous, another lonely girl somewhere is not. She will fall into his trap. You need to cease all contact with him. He is manipulating your mind.

STOP TALKING TO HIM. Tell your parents, call a helpline and call the police.

Question 4

Hi Weezy! This boy that I really like asked me for a picture of my boobs. I said no. He said he understood. Should I back away from him or is it ok for me to still like him? I told him I thought we had something together and he didn’t answer. He must have left because it made him uncomfortable… I just dunno.


No. He left because you did not give him what he wanted. The only thing you have that he wants is your body. If anything else were the case he would be treating you with respect and trying to learn more about the person that is you. He would not be disrespecting you by

a) asking you to do something crass and humiliating and

b) asking you to do something that lives on the internet forever.

You may be thinking, “But nobody will know they are my breasts.” YOU will know. You will know that you did this in the hope that on the other side of this exchange would lie love. You would then learn the hard way that quite the opposite is true. On the other side of this exchange lies you hurt and feeling used, vulnerable and exposed. You will never know how many people were forwarded that photo.

Has this boy stopped talking to you because he felt “uncomfortable?” I hope so, but I doubt it. He’s gone because you are a young lady with dignity and self esteem. He is off to prey upon girls who have yet to embrace these qualities. He is doing so because he has no dignity or respect for himself or others. He has a long way to go to catch up to you. Please look for love in the eyes of somebody who is not afraid to really see YOU.

Question 5

Last year this guy (my neighbor) and I hung out all summer. I began to like him and then he tells me that he’s going to my school and will be in my grade. I was really happy. He was flirting with me and making my crush bigger.

But then when school started, he talked to me less. After a month of this I decided to just stop taking to him and a week later he noticed and asked me why I wasn’t talking to him and I said I don’t know and walked away.

I have ignored him (and he has ignored me also) for like 8 months now and I miss talking to him.  How do I get him to talk to me again?


You gave him a false answer. You do know why you weren’t talking to him but you claimed that you didn’t. You had made your point. He noticed, and when he asked you why you hadn’t spoken to him, the productive answer would have been, “I know. I miss you. What’s been happening? Catch me up.”  This would have invited conversation.  Instead, you shut him down.

This sort of pattern tends to repeat itself between men and women so pay careful attention to what you did right and what you could do better.

A guy who likes you will definitely notice if you start ignoring him. And, when he notices, you may still be hurt and angry and you may be hoping that he says EVERYTHING you need to hear that will make you feel appreciated once again. Well, he won’t say everything. You need to steer that conversation.

He may say something, which is what you got. But if you make him feel badly for saying something, he’ll lick his wounds and walk away.

If, on the other hand, you say something inviting and he starts talking to you again, when the moment is right, you can then say, “Hey, I felt kind of hurt when you started school and it seemed like you were too busy for me.”

That is your truth. That is what happened. Don’t expect guys to know exactly what you are feeling. They don’t know unless you tell them. And in order to tell them, you need to pleasantly re-open conversation.

So, here we are eight months later and you now have some work to do. Walk up to him and say, “I miss talking to you. What’s been going on?” If he is open to that, then down the line, you can tell him the truth about why you shut down.

teen advice talk show, Our Place Out Loud

Our Place Out Loud – Teen Advice Podcast


Teens are Talking on Our Place Out Loud, the video podcast  launched from a teen advice and social network that would not remain silent!

In this fine episode, Teen Expert, Louise Palanker and a panel of wise and wonderful teens discuss:

Turning “Talking” into Dating
Feeling Ugly
Advice for Middle School
Too Many Friends?
Moms and Trust
and a whole lot more!

You can find Our Place in the iOS App Store.  It’s Free!

Family Band: The Cowsills Story

Family Band: The Cowsills Story – Extra Raw Features

Family Band: The Cowsills Story - Extra Raw Footage
The Cowsills in 1968

If you order the DVD of Family Band, our Cowsills documentary  on Amazon, you will receive a bonus disc with special features.  Or, in days of yore when there once was a Blockbuster Video up the street, you could maybe have rented the Family Band DVD and enjoyed those special features.  But raise your hand if the last time you attempted to pry open a DVD case was about four years ago.

Now, new fashioned trendies such as we can stream our enjoyment.  Real life has become like a prolonged hotel stay!  You get to click around and watch everything on demand without the embarrassing check outs.  (“Oh, geez, they all know I watched The Chipmunks Squeakquel… twice.)

The flood of immediate entertainment possibilities is all so guilt inducingly hypnotic.  I know I am not the only individual who is shamefully in possession of two DVDs which will never be mailed back to Netflix for fear that they will send me two more DVDs.

But still, as we bask in the afterglow of a Mad Men season well binged.  We must ask ourselves, what fate will befall the dying art of the DVD special feature!?  I don’t know.  I’ll have to google it. They are still available somewhere right?)  Like on HBO, right after Bill Maher but before Boxing?)

What I do know is that I am sitting on over 300 hours of Cowsills extra footage and I am not the only person who finds this interesting.

I have been told by many that Family Band is a movie that stays with you.  Most of you who have watched it, have re-watched it numerous times and many of you have expressed unanswered questions.  You want to know more about their Mom, more about their adult relationships with their parents, more about what may have happened to all of the money, etc. etc.

Telling a concise, streamlined, cohesively sound story is very tricky when you have seven siblings, each with his or her own truth, plus the arc of the band and a mom and dad who are no longer with us to share their perspectives.  As you pull your story together, you have to make tough choices.   We did, and some of them still haunt me a little bit.

This is where special features can be especially fulfilling.  The filmmaker gets to depart from the expected constructs of documentary story telling and offer up more free form, stream-of-reality nuggets.

But now we’re back to the part where most of you are not going to purchase or rent the DVD.  So, rather than just including the special features in that package, I worked with Create Space at Amazon to get them streaming.  They are available now.

Clicking Here or on the photo above will bring you to the Amazon link for what we are calling our Extra Raw Features.  They are 1 hour and 26 minutes, slam packed with Cowsill Goodness and they include:

On the bus with Susan

Bob with Shirley Jones

Backstage with Paul and John

Bob with Artie Kornfeld

On the Road with Richard and Barry

Going Home Again

The Anthem at Fenway

The Rain, The Park Music Video

River of Love Music Video

Click on over and let me know what you think.  Oh, and hands down.