Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Full "House"

USA Network had a mini-marathon of "House" this weekend, so I was able to get caught up on this medical mystery drama.

So now I can enjoy this MadTV parody because I understand what they're making fun of.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Okay, So...

Even if you want the Democrats to win in November, you don't want them to win just because Wall Street is tanking. That would be horrible and dishonest and unleash some sort of lasting karma in its wake, right?


You are saying that maybe the economy collapsing will result in Ann Taylor Loft having a lot of sales and then you can get a new suit so that you look good and get to keep your job or get a new job even though there won't be any jobs left. That wouldn't make you a bad person, right?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Good Problem

After watching the debates last night and reading the spin on the debates this morning, I've come to the conclusion that I have more integrity than either of the candidates, so I'm going to spend the weekend concentrating on me.

I have a good problem right now. I've lost 18 pounds since May. I tried on my non-hot-weather clothes the other day and they're swimming on me. So now I have to divide them into "Get them altered," "give them away" and "put them in a box in the closet for when I put the weight back on and then some." Because despite the fact that I lost the weight by learning to eat sensibly for the first time in my life, deep down inside I'm certain it will come back and when it does, I will need pants.

So off I go to the cleaner, the tailor, the Gap, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Filene's Basement and Club Monaco. Because no matter who's in charge of this crazy country, I will need clothes to wear to work, assuming I still have a job, or the inevitable year of job interviewing in case I don't.

Meanwhile, if I don't, here's an idea to keep the cash flow coming in.

Friday, September 26, 2008

"I Can See Russia From My House" II

"...it’s very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America..."

Also made me think of this.

(No, I didn't Photoshop either of those, but I wish I had!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hey, I'm Putting My Country First!

I'm supposed to be doing a report. I hate doing reports. So I'm procrastinating and reading election articles.

P.S.: Ooooh, this is sad but true! I was wondering if there was too much tryptophan in my turkey sandwich last night when I was watching that interview, but I got the same impression.

I have a meeting coming up where I have to give the report I don't want to write. Can I get away with sounding like that too?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Okay, If Things Get REALLY Tough...

I'll have to try this:

Can you imagine creating three nutritious meals a day? Can you imagine doing that with a budget of $3...for all three meals? To highlight how difficult it is for those who have to make ends meet on food stamps, the San Francisco Food Bank launched The Hunger Challenge this week.

My family got food stamps once when my father's union was on strike. I got them for a month during the recession of 1990. I'm with Bubba Clinton about public assistance being "a hand up, not a handout." (Although most people will remember Clinton for a hand...well, you know.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

So Now I'm The Banality of Evil

According to two commenters on Althouse who I have never even seen before in my entire life, I enjoyed an evil sketch on Saturday Night Live the other night.

This worries me, because I didn't even realize the sketch was evil. It was making fun of elitist reporters at The New York Times and I laughed because I worked at another effete snob paper once upon a time and I love it when somebody ranks on those people.

So the fact that I enjoyed the sketch and it was evil and I didn't realize it was evil makes me worry about myself, because what if I do some kind of harm now to myself and others? How can I ever trust myself again?

The answer as soon as I remember how to breathe again. Oh wait, am I whining?

Update: Fox News thinks I'm evil, too. Hey Mister Nixon, I'm one of the good kids!

P.S.: Believe it or not, I actually liked myself up until a few minutes ago. Hoo boy! Glad somebody put a stop to that!

By the way, the most dangerous echo chamber is the one inside one's own head.

For those of you who didn't see the sketch, the whole point is that The New York Times is so desperate to find dirt on Sarah Palin that they will run an unsubstantiated rumor that there's incest going on in the family. "Come on, it's Alaska!" The whole point was to show just how sleazy the media's being. Am I the only one who gets the point? Am I some kind of autistic Martian or something?

I mean, I've often said that no matter who's in the Big White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, I'm not moving from my own house. I'm not going to France to be an expatriot, feu feu feu feu feu. But if...I Googled this...a ton of conservative bloggers were outraged over this sketch, one even moved to tears, for cryin' out loud...yes, I have too much time on my hands this afternoon...

Anyway, long story short, forget about being an expatriot. Apparently, I'm an unhinged moonbat and should consider life on another planet.

Some Ways In Which I Won't Be Making Money

...and a few in which I will.

(Oh boy, another excuse to not write!)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rise To The Occasion

So who's responsible for the mess the markets are in? I can tell you for a fact who isn't: Me.

Four and a half years ago I attended a seminar on real estate and mortgages sponsored by my credit union. One of the speakers was a broker who was encouraging me to look at a tremendously overpriced one-bedroom in a remote part of Brooklyn.

"I don't think I can afford that," I told her. "It's more than twice as much as I'm paying now."

"Well," she replied, "I've found that when you really want something, you rise to the occasion."

What am I, yeast?

The next morning I asked myself, "If it weren't for the lack of space in this apartment, would you want to move anywhere else?" No. So make more space where you can, rent office space when you need the privacy, but don't over-extend yourself on a place you'd have to take two extra jobs to afford.

Shortly after that, Jim was diagnosed with the illness that would kill him, and I had greater things to have to rise to. And now I have to wonder how many people, corporations and government organizations talked themselves into rising far beyond their limits, only to be slammed as flat as a pancake.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Day, Another Follow-Up

The tech was arranging the ex-ray plates for my follow-up mammogram. I asked her, "If the thing they found six months ago was benign, how come I have to come back for a recheck? Did it turn evil in six months?"

"You have to have a six-month follow-up because you didn't have a biopsy. It looked benign on the scans, so if it's stable you don't have to come back for a year."

And if it's not...

After I was finished being stretched and posed like Silly Putty, I sat in the waiting area while she brought the films to the doctor. And for ten minutes, every time a human being passed by I looked at them with puppy-dog eyes. I reminded myself to breathe. I wondered what part of my breast would need to be cut and how much time I'd have to take off work.

"Okay!" And it was the tech again.

"Okay, I can go?"

"Yeah, see you in a year."

My exact words were "Yahoo!" And then I felt bad, because there were other people sitting in the waiting area and maybe they were getting bad news. I know the name of that tune.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So even if Wall Street doesn't collapse completely and I keep my job, I could still be in trouble with the McCain-Palin Health Plan:
“It means your employer is going to have to make an estimate on how much the employer is paying for health insurance on your behalf, and you are going to have to pay taxes on that money,” said Sherry Glied, an economist who chairs the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

You'd be free to shop around for another health plan, or I could join an HMO. Or:

According to the study: “The McCain plan will force millions of Americans into the weakest segment of the private insurance system—the nongroup market—where cost-sharing is high, covered services are limited and people will lose access to benefits they have now.”

I've been in all of those situations before, which is why ultimately I opted for a staff job and company loyalty. But I wonder how loyal even the most stable employees would be if you taxed the value of their benefits.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"...And I Can See Russia From My House!"

The best line in the only really good sketch of the season premiere of SNL.

You think this is going to be what the presidential debates look like in 2012? That wouldn't bother me. I went to an all-girls' school for a few years and never thought girls couldn't be anything, including diametrically opposed to just about everything.

Ambivablog posted a piece by "Vagina Monologues" author Eve Ensler that's been making the rounds lately, including my e-mail. She prefaces it with a point of view that could have been mine when I first opened the e-mail:
I also disagree with Sarah Palin on several of the issues detailed in this e-mail. It's political orthodoxies, cast like prefab slugs of type with sets of ideas predictably welded together, that are my bête noire.
Coincidentally, as she was posting this, I was on the subway to Brooklyn sitting in the middle of a group of yuppies and their preschool kids. The guys were whiny, the kids were smart but whiny. In all fairness, it was a hot day and maybe they all needed a nap.

When the dads gave the kids a choice of healthy snacks and bottled water, one little boy said "Why can't we just drink the water from the river?" Which prompted one mother to say in a schoolteacher's tone, "Maybe one day we can drink the water from the river, but for now," followed by a lecture on "the environment."

Hey thanks, folks, I thought, for being the kind of liberals that make conservatives beat me up on blogs.

I'm not gonna vote for McCain/Palin. I think the Republicans deserve a trip to the woodshed, not another trip to the White House. I'm not sure I'll vote at all, but if I do, it will more likely be for Obama. Does that mean that if McCain/Palin wins I'm going to renounce my citizenship, give all my money to NARAL and flee the country with a baby seal under each arm? Heck no.

For one thing, I think the current occupants have gotten everything so bollixed up it's gonna take five more presidents to make a difference one way or the other.

For another thing, both sides have been predicting Armageddon for as long as I can remember, and it hasn't happened yet.

The republic will survive, and so will feminism. Case in point? Last night you had two strong women comics playing two strong women politicians. Amy Poehler looks so pregnant she'll probably deliver before election day. Maybe she'll go on maternity leave, like Maya Rudolph did. You didn't see that happening in 1975 when SNL first went on the air.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The September 9th World

Four years ago today, a doctor told me my husband was going to die.

Of course, this sentence would have a lot more power if my husband were still alive. It would be more accurate, but less dramatic, to say: “Four years ago today a doctor told me my husband was going to die within a year, and he lived for over another three years.” But even that’s not the truth.

The truth is, four years ago today I dragged the truth from a doctor hemming and hawing and giving “yes” and “no” answers and saying “that’s not my responsibility.” And then I had to break the news to my husband, who greeted it with, “Then why am I even bothering?” That question became harder and harder for me to answer over the next three years. The day I was able to say “I don’t know. You have to answer that for yourself,” was a milestone for me. But even then I got him a rabbi because I figured maybe she’d know. Everything is my responsibility.

Up A Creek

This weekend the weather forecasters were telling everybody, "Stay indoors! Batten down the hatches! Run for your lives!" So I went kayaking out on Fire Island.

This was through the Appalachian Mountain Club, which has cabins in a quiet, remote section of the island. They have these different theme weekends at the cabins. This past weekend was kayaking. There's a chocolate weekend in October. It's booked solid.

The kayak lessons were in the Bay, led by Brant and Betsy, a couple who've been kayaking for decades. Betsy even had this full kayaking gear with a canvas helmet and goggles that made her look like a martian beekeeper. This time I wore a bathing suit, which was a damn good thing, because when I pulled the kayak out of the water it slipped and I fell smack on my behind in the marsh grass.

We got a few good hours in on Saturday morning before the storm hit. Then everybody stayed in the bunkhouse dining room and had food and wine and played board games. Oh yeah...and the bathrooms are outdoors. I don't mean you go in the woods and a bear bites your ass; the toilets are indoors but in a separate cabin. So having to pee or to change your clothes or brush your teeth means grabbing an umbrella and making a run for it. And stepping on wet mats going into and out of every door. Everything I stepped on squished. It took until Sunday afternoon for everybody to get dry.

There's a new little separate building there, too, where they have indoor classes and a little library. If I'd been out there longer, or if the storm hadn't forced everybody into the dining area, I would have spent more time in that building. There's a yoga weekend that's very popular. Maybe I'll go to that one. When you think about it, it's fun to learn how to use a kayak correctly but if you're not going to pursue it on a regular basis, it's not very useful. I can do yoga in my living room. If you're kayaking in your living room, you need to call a plumber.

So maybe next time, chocolate. Or yoga. Or something. Or maybe boating around the shoreline to see all the little communities on Fire Island, because there are no connecting roads and the only way to walk from one place to another is on the ocean side, on the sand. You figure, "that's good exercise," then after a couple of miles you feel like Lawrence of Arabia dragging his butt boys to Cairo.

Oh by the way, swans? Mean, vicious birds. Very territorial when you paddle a kayak into them. You've been warned.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pit Bulls With Lipstick

I watched the Sarah Palin speech last night. She did about as well as I'd figured she would do, which is to say, really well. She was fiesty, spunky and all of those other words they apply to spirited women. She got in some good jabs at Obama.

I don't agree with her on political issues, but I'm not one of the 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling that McCain needs to siphon off a couple million of, because I'm not registered as a Democrat and didn't vote for Hillary. But the more women there are in the game, the less it looks like a novelty, so I'm glad she did well.

Do you think she swayed other swing voters? I don't know, but she probably re-energized Republican and Democratic voters. Republicans are saying "Hey, let's get out and vote...We could win!" Democrats are saying, "Hey, let's get out and vote...They could win!"

Tonight I'll watch McCain give his Medal of Honor Acceptance...I mean, his nomination acceptance, and then I'll clear my head of politics for the weekend.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Bye Bye Bikey

I realized the other day that I hadn't been riding the bike as much as I'd thought I would: It's raining, the traffic is too heavy, it's too hot, I'm too tired, etc.

My conscience plagued me. "Why did you spend good money on that bike? Why do you never ride that bike? Why do you keep coming up with one excuse after another...Don't go away! I'm not done plaguing you yet!"

I asked myself, "Self, when you do ride that bike, do you think to yourself, 'Hey, this is fun! I should do this more often.'" No. It's more like: "Oh man, there's trucks parked in the bike lane again...Dammit, why is that moron darting out in front of me talking on his cell phone? Hey, Oblivious! Oh sh*t, that cab is opening its door. There's a crosstown bus ten yards behind me beeping at me like I'm the anti-Christ. There's...F*ck you, pal! I do too know how to ride!"

I bought the bike to get some cardio, but let's face it: The only cardio I'm getting is my heart in my mouth because I'm afraid I'm going to run over someone or something or they're gonna run over me.

And it's a lovely old bike, as you can see from the picture. I felt bad for it sitting in the backyard, and realized I'd feel even worse for it when it was covered with leaves and snow and turning into a pile of rust.

I put on ad on craiglist yesterday morning and by late afternoon, an NYU student pedaled happily away.

Run free, little bikey!

Where's the number of that gym?

The Pubs Have A Stadium, Too

I'm watching NY1 News and they're showing the stadium where McCain's going to give his acceptance speech.

The fact that the Republicans are using a stadium too is calming my thoughts from last Thursday of "Oh, they need a stadium because Obama has this huge cult of personality and I'm having these Leni Riefenstahl flashes and now I'm afraid to vote for him."

It's not the Cult of Personality. It's Acromegaly of the Convention.

However, in the words of the Two Thousand Year Old Man, "There's something bigger than Phil" (Gramm) and Hurricane Gustav is adding a solemn, subdued tone to this week's festivities, curtailing them in time and tone. If the administration's critics whaled on Condi Rice for buying a pair of Jimmy Choo's in the middle of Katrina, imagine the horror of a split screen with Americans drowning on one side and Republicans partying on the other.

Sometimes common sense and human decency outweigh politics, thank Phil.

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