Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Costumes

As I was going to work this morning, I took a little extra time. It is Halloween, and most of my co-workers have school-aged children. Which means, when Halloween falls on a weekday, people are late to work. They are picking up fruit trays, shuffling their kiddos in costumes to their schools, arriving at work late. So I took my time going to work this morning.

On some morning show, they were talking about costumes. Apparently girl costumes are sexier than ever. And when I say girl, I am talking little girl. The only costumes they showed that were sold out were of the sexy variety. They were interviewing:

parents – women saying that they were looking for more "age appropriate" costumes;
store owners – describing arguments between daughters and mothers, and how fathers shrink to the back of the room, knowing not to get involved;
concerned citizens – saying girls are growing up too fast but costume designers are just giving the customer what they want.

When I was little, I was a cat. A lot of my girlfriends were cats. We were cats because we wanted to be pretty. You could be a witch – I can't remember a sexy witch at the time – but being a witch was to be an ugly creature. You could be a princess. Princess has a lot of plusses, but in the state of Georgia, it is normally a little warm for that costume. Being a perspiring princess sort of kills the effect you want on Halloween. Or you could be a cat. All you need is a black leotard, a set of ears, a pin-on tail, and a bit of makeup. Piece of cake. To feel pretty at relatively low design costs. Sort of a no-brainer, and probably why there were a lot of cats in the world in the last 1970s, early 1980s.

Now, I really don't know too many non-adults. I hate to sound like the type of person that says "kids these days." What I don't know is how our cat costumes were viewed. Were these costumes viewed as sexy at that time? Being a kid at the time, I have not a clue.

Me, I will be handing out candy. No black leotard. No tail. No clip-on ears. Well, I have to gear up for tomorrow, being November and all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I like secrets. I like to keep secrets. I have lots of them.

I keep my identity here a mystery. Part of me wanting to keep secrets, I guess. But more than that, I enjoy knowing things that other people don't know. Now, I don't know the names of people in Terrorist Cells in Montana, or even if there are terrorist cells in Montana, but I know some secrets.

I know secrets about my family, and sometimes I wonder how many people know these secrets. When I was younger, I told secrets to my brother and sister, but since college, I am not sure I have shared any secrets with them. And I guess I have not shared too many secrets with them since college.

They don't know about any of my affairs, but I am relatively sure that my mother suspects. My father, well, not so much. He sees the best in people – a true gift. They don't know that my husband and I got so close to getting a divorce. Some at work do, but not my family.

I am on the brink of November, and every November, I think about Grant and the NaNo. You know, the National Novel Writing Month.

I have a secret desire to write a novel, and it is still a secret because if I tell somebody, somebody in the real world knew about my secret desire, I may feel more compelled to act on it. No all secrets are dirty, are ugly, are embarrassing. Well, dirty, ugly embarrassing secrets are the type of secrets we like to hear, not the type of secrets we like to harbor.

I have not convinced myself to write my rough draft this month, but every November, I think about it. That's my little secret.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The "S" Curve

Chocolate Letter SEvery time I go to the bathroom, I think of Oprah. Let me explain.

About one year ago, I was sick. Staying home from work (I heard "school" in my head, not work), I watched, among other daytime shows, an episode of Oprah. There was a physician on the show, and apparently it was a recurrent role.

Anyway, they were talking about poop. The shape (it should be S-shaped, though Oprah's C-shaped poop was perfectly fine. It's color. Some people with diseases poop white. Anyway, it was completely gross, aired in the US, and I could not shield my eyes from the episode.

So after that airing, I started looking long and hard at my poop. I became an amateur scatologist. I did not keep a poop notebook, but I looked at my poop. Its color, its shape, and its consistency. I think the doctor would say that I had good poop. And I am completely grossed out and fascinated with my own poop since the show.

A couple of years ago, my husband brought me to a very fine restaurant in Savannah. The food was wonderful, the atmosphere was great, and I got a case of food poisoning. Okay, I could not prove it was that restaurant, but I had some weird, half-cooked food, and I felt really bad that night. I spent three days on the potty, basically excreting anything inside of my body. Lovely imagery, I know.

Now I would not encourage you to go out and get food poisoning, but afterwards - to be fair, ten days later - I felt really good. When John Wayne died, there were like 40 pounds of stuff in his intestines. Undigested meat, mostly. At that point in time, I had nothing in my colon, and I felt great.

I sort of think getting food poisoning every once in a while cleanses the body. Or kills you.

Me, I don't have 40 Billion Dollars like Oprah, but my poop is like hers. To Mastercard®, that would be priceless.

How the heck do I delete this blog entry. Is this button delete or submit?

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Holy crap.

I was answering my few comments this morning and found the following box below my name: "Email follow-up comments to" and my email address.

And I thought to myself, "holy crap." Did I say that? Did I?

When I was more active in blogging, this improvement would have been pretty cool.

You know, I sort of assumed that Google stopped supporting Blogger, focusing its efforts on YouTube. With the networks talking about YouTube "celebrities", it sort of makes sense. But just when you think Google is just keeping Blogger around without improvements, they go ahead and make tweaks.

Similarly, or perhaps not similarly, the US Government has "improved" Daylight Savings Time. Now, the United States has been doing the same thing concerning Daylight Savings Time for a heck of a long time. I did not want to look it up, so let's say that DST has not changed much since the invention of electricity.

Until last year. Then MS Outlook burped on the change, and people could not get to their meetings for a couple of weeks. Oh, and afterwards, the reason for making the change (saving electricity, energy) actually did not materialize. Turns out the change actually cost us money. And this year, we are doing it again. Wasting more electricity, heating oil and whatever, and we are getting ready to miss more meetings.

I sort of like having the time change in early October. And I am a bit afraid of that "Email follow-up comments to" box.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Unplug and Think

I was reading ~Deb's post the other day and my response to it was "Unplug and think." Her post, much more intellectual, was on letting people be who they really are, you know, accepting people. I am going to explore, in this post, the importance of unplugging from the technology of everyday life.

We have iPods, so we have music bouncing around in our brains all of the time. We have phones, strapped to our hips, in our purses and pockets, so that bosses, spouses, children and friends can talk to us all of the time. We are on email, can't turn it off. We have blackberries – crackberries – so named because of their addictive ability. We have televisions in our bathrooms, our kitchens, on our desktops, in the airports, everywhere.

Every once in a while, we all need to unplug. To be alone with our thoughts. To ponder.

When I was growing up, I would go on family vacations – and frequently we would go to a house that had no phone, no television, no outside stimulation. We would go and vacation. It really helped us as a family. We played board games, we went on walks alone or with a group. We really got back to who we were. Of course, this was before all of the pop psych crap that was on daytime television. And I can tell you my parents were not vacationing in this way because of psychological benefits.

Now, it is a rainy Wednesday in Savannah, and it seems to me to be a wonderful time to unplug from the world and get closer to who we really are.

I <3 Nerds

I love nerds, or I (heart) Nerds t-shirt.I almost did a very bad thing the other day.

I was clothes shopping the other day, and I nearly bought a t-shirt. It was a "I <3 Nerds" t-shirt. But I got to thinking, "Er, I like the sentiment, but my husband is not a nerd." This could be a real mistake.

This would have been a real mistake.

When I was in school, nerds were not loved. Well, they were loved by their mothers and sometimes fathers, but not by girls. Popular girls would not be found near nerds. Now, nerds are cool.

I don't know exactly what it is. Perhaps Bill Gates, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin tipped the scale, and others found out that these guys are winners. Maybe it is because even cool people take advantage of technology. Flash drives, iPods, TiVos®.

I think geeks and nerds going from outcasts to the center of attention was a gradual thing.

And I did not even see the change coming. Well, I did not notice the change, but perhaps I did see it. You see, when I was in college, I remember the Computer Science geeks. Computer science was a 30- or 40-year discipline, and I remember seeing them on campus. Many of them were typical nerds, the type of person who thought it was cool to write a computer program, type it out on computer cards (punch cards), and get the program to run correctly the first time through. Yeah, before tape, before floppies, before hard disks there were computer cards. I have never used them; I was not a computer nerd. But it seems impressive that holes punched in pieces of paper are lines of code. It does not get me going, so to speak, but it is impressive.

I understand being attracted to bad boys. And I understand to being attracted to nerds. The difference is that when you settle down with a nerd, you have a better chance of not having your car repossessed. Oh, I can understand the attraction to nerds.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Economics of Prostitution

When I was in school, in high school English class, we had to do public speaking. I thought it was just because English teachers were sadistic grownups. I mean, they make you diagram sentences, do public speaking, and read Sherwood Anderson.1

Well, in one such round of public speaking, someone did a speech on the costs of prostitution. Really. In high school. In Georgia. The guy that spoke was not really good. The subject matter was something that made him more nervous, and it was not a very well-chosen subject because of this.

Afterwards, we normally critiqued the speech. Even in high school, we were acutely aware that if you gave a really harsh critique, you would really get blasted when it was your turn. So we were normally very complimentary when giving critiques. And the sadistic grownup we called the English teacher was probably aware of that as well.

Anyway, after he gave the speech, instead of normal critiquing, the teacher said that we were to discuss the issue. And at the point, I was thinking to myself, "I don't really want to talk about prostitution."

Now, I don't remember the speech. And I don't remember most of the discussion, aside from not wanting to say anything. But I do remember one comment that a guy made, "If girls had more sex, there would be no need for prostitution." Well, that comment got a laugh, and at the time, I laughed too. But I did not believe the comment – just some jock wanting to be the class clown.

Now, some twenty years later, I thought about the comment, and if an economist made the same statement, I would think the statement was better thought-out and I would give their opinion more credence.

If you thought that prostitution was a really bad thing and wanted to eliminate it, you could by incentivizing women to be open to sex when men want sex. I am not saying that a man opens a door for you and you reward him by giving him a quick hand job. I am saying that if women were extremely open to sex, there would be no market for sex-for-money, and prostitution would completely dry up.

Me, I don't want to sacrifice sex with random men for cleaning up prostitution. Since we have more English teachers than prostitutes, perhaps we should just make the English teachers be more open to sex. Of course, I have a suspicion that they might actually enjoy it. It would beat reading Sherwood Anderson.

1I read Sherwood Anderson's The Egg when I was in 11th grade.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Fake Justine Bateman

Have you ever known someone famous? Me, not really.

When I was in high school, however, I knew a girl who looked remarkably like Justine Bateman. Justine Bateman was a young actress on Family Ties, the middle sibling Malory Keeton.

I have not seen the show since it went off the air – I am guessing that the show was a little dated. It dealt with the roaring '80s, and it was one of the most popular shows when I was in high school. Anyway, I can remember talking with fake Malory, and it was interesting. She would go to the mall, and people would ask her if she was the actress. She would be at the pool in the summer and people would take pictures of her. And every once in a while, she would pretend to be Justine Bateman.

I mean, if you think about it, having a "famous double" is something that many schools probably have. Especially in the '80s, when there were fewer hairstyles, fewer popular clothing choices.

If I could have a celebrity double (when in high school) I would have chosen Dana Plato– but I guess I confused her role on Diff'rent Strokes with her real life role. She had all sorts of problems, and killed herself in 1999. I just liked her Kimberly role – she had a rich daddy, was clever and liked by most. She was also extremely tolerant and did well in school. Again, I wanted to be her character, not her person. She was a tragic character in real life.

When I was googling Justine Bateman just now, I saw a recent picture of her. Er, she has not aged gracefully. It sort of makes me want to look up my old classmate and see if she has similar wrinkles.

Maybe I don't want to be like a celebrity.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Grey Sweatshirts

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets SweatshirtOkay, I am sort of pissed at the weather. New, I really don't like really cold weather, but I like the fall, you know autumn weather. Brisk days and cold nights. Not snow, but autumn weather.

I have a favorite sweatshirt, and when it is cold outside, I wear this sweatshirt at least once per week. It is unflattering, it is rather ugly, but it is the most comfortable piece of clothing I own.

I don't know why some sweatshirts, over time, become more comfortable, don't look worn, or whatever, but that's what happened to this sweatshirt. Actually, now that I think about it, some clothing does improve with age. Perhaps there is some sort of clothing fairy who decides which clothing to bless with a unique property of improving with age. I don't know.

Back to my sweatshirt. I am a bit pissed because I have not worn the shirt since the last season, and I blame La Niña.1 I don't really understand the weather, but I know the net results: I don't get to wear my sweatshirt as much, and it pisses me off.

Actually, the weather is a bit more complicated – I tried reading about different climate thingies, and it occurs to me that weathermen and weather girls sort of get the raw deal. They are perceived as these idiots, but to truly understand weather, you have to be smart. Maybe really smart.

So we have these people on television talking about the weather, a really complex area of study, and we assume that they have the job because they are cute or handsome.

Me, I am going to just curse La Niña. And the pisser? La Niña means "little girl." What a bitch.

1La Niña winters are warmer than normal in the Southeast and colder than normal in the Northwest.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Environmental Activism and Recycled Urine

I don't understand why some people (most notably Republicans) are so anti-environmental. I mean, I have heard some, not all, Republicans say basically if they can afford to pollute the environment, by golly, they should be able to pollute the environment.

Were I Republican, I think my stance would be, "Hey, I like clean air, clean rivers, a healthier Earth, just like everybody else. I just don't want to waste my time putting money on environmental issues that don't have decent pay-offs." To me, that sounds like a reasonable Republican.

When I was in college, I was an environmentalist. That was back when most environmentalists were either putting paint on furs or ramming boats into whaling vessels. And the early environmentalists, including me, were a little bit on the fringe.

Early environmentalist: "We need to save water by taking three minute showers."

Modern day environmentalist: "Don't take baths regularly."

It is not about not using any natural resources – it is about minimizing our footprint.

I have a friend who is an environmentalist. But get this, he and his wife have four cars (two drivers, four cars, none of them are used for anything besides transportation – I sort of get collecting cars, if you have a lot of money and garage space), two of which are hybrids, one SUV and one minivan. Now purchasing additional cars that are more environmentally safe really doesn't help the environment too much. The additional cars cost energy and materials to make, and some even don't have very good gas mileage, as odd as that seems.

All of this reminds me of Apartheid – it was sort of big when I was in school as well. And if you did not want to deal with companies that prospered because of South American exports (Apartheid), you had to exclude many companies. We are talking oil companies, pears, pineapples, puffins (yes, canned birds that are sort of like penguins), all sorts of exports. But if you boycott oil companies, perhaps you should boycott companies that deal directly with oil companies – drilling companies, for instance. And you can see this goes on and on.

The same thing with the environment.

First, you are just forced to purchase low flow toilets – which I sometimes call "two flush toilets." Before you know it, some environmentalist is telling you to recycle your own urine because it is 90% water, after all.

Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. I actually saw Al Gore give a speech when he was vice president. He reminded me of a goofball. Completely different than the current VP, who will be more likely to shoot you than make you laugh. When I think of the Nobel Peace Prize, I think of Albert Einstein, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer. People of substance. Al Gore just does not seem to be in the same class, and his contribution to help disseminate global warming information does not seem to impact world peace. There, I said it. Environmentalist that I am.

I don't know if Al Gore recycles his own urine in his 10,000 square foot house. But I wonder if his private plane is a hybrid.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My God, Your God, and Ann Coulter's God

When host Donny Deutsch (of MSNBC's The Big Idea) asks Ann Coulter a question regarding what her idea of the perfect world would be, she responded with some stuff about how more perfect the word would be if everybody was Christian.

I have embedded the clip because it is sort of shocking.

I have not listened to it in a day or two, so pardon me if I don't get the wording exactly right. Something she said really infuriated me. She said that Christians are on the "fast track" program – that Jews need to be perfected. She said that Jews have to obey laws (and need to be perfected), and she sort of implied that Christians don't need to follow rules. Any rules.

Part of me just wants to quote Rodney King and ask, "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?"

I have heard other Christians say things similar to Ann Coulter. I get that some religious people know in their hearts that what they believe is the truth. The thing is that no one is really sure that their version of religion is the only version, the one version, the true version. I think these people are arrogant.

But lets move away from who is right and wrong. Ann Coulter believes that it would be a better world if we are all Christians. I guess she believes there would be less fighting, less war, more agreement.

Here is a thought. Thousands of years ago, before Christ, Jews did not work on their Sabbath (Saturday). Christians came along and declared Sunday the Sabbath (oh, and by the way, to a little Catholic girl reading the Old Testament, this is so confusing – the Saturday, Sunday, which day are they talking about thing.

So a long time ago, primary Christian communities worked 6 days per week, taking Sunday off, and primary Jewish communities worked 6 days per week, taking Saturday off. Later on, okay I am sort of making this up, sort of suggesting it, when there was a work week in a more integrated community, some people had Saturday off, some Sunday off because of where they worshiped.

My guess is that managers started getting confused, forgetting who was the Christian, who was the Jew.

"Hey, wait a minute, Tevye, I thought you took last Saturday off."

Then managers, who are not as smart as the rest of us, decided that instead of setting up a spreadsheet to distinguish Christian from Jew, managers gave people two days off in a row, Saturday and Sunday.

So Ann Coulter would rather have a six-day work week. That's why she is such a miniskirt-clad, Republican bitch. She would steal a day from all of us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sports are for the Guys

Two extremely sexy Olympic Volleyball Players: Ana Paula Connelly and Sandra Pires.I remember in the 2004 – perhaps it was another Olympics, forgive me but they tend to blend together with the Cold War being over and all1 – the coverage tried to include more women in the audience, and it didn't work all that well. Today, I want to write about sports coverage and why it is only for the guys.

Print Coverage
Have you ever noticed how a sports story is written? The structure suits men, not women. Again, I have not read a sports story in a while, but they usually start out telling you what happened in the final minutes, the forth quarter, the final inning. They tell you the teams, the score, and possibly what comes next (if it is a tournament situation).

Sort of wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am. You have everything you need to know in that one paragraph or two. Now I have a hypothesis on this, and no, it is not that men can only read a paragraph or two. The hypothesis is this: men reading the story, probably watched the game. So they are reading the article, savoring or crying over the result.

So, anyway, I can picture a guy, grunting and pounding his hand in the air, in victory over whatever sports event he is reading. "Oh, yeah, baby, walk off homer in the ninth. Sweet."

Then the next paragraph might talk about some record that was set. Or some bizarre fact – like that the entire secondary was injured before the game. Something of interest.

Then the story usually talks about the third quarter, or the first quarter. Maybe even the second quarter. Honestly, if you wrote an article from beginning to end, then took the paragraphs and cut them up, and then rearranged them in no particular order.

For men, I am guessing, it does not matter the organization of the article. If you already saw the game, you know the outcome, then each paragraph has you relive that particular part of the game.

Men can understand this, I cannot.

I want a story to start at the beginning, perhaps have a little bit of back story sprinkled throughout the article and ending with the final score. I don't mind the final score at the beginning occasionally, but not every single time. This, however, must be how sports writers are trained.

And, you know, sports writers are, in general, pretty good writers. I mean, sometimes better than other writers of the paper. Not all other writers, but some of them. And I am not sure that was the case a long time ago.

Running Out of Room
Okay, I try and only write one page per day. And I wanted to explore other avenues of men and sports on other days. Could this be a multi-day post? That sort of would make this a woman's view of sports (men want one, women multiple, er . . . cough).

1It was not just the Cold War that made the Olympics. It was the amateur athletes. Today's Olympic athletes, while highly gifted, are not amateurs in any sense of the word.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Blogger Blahs - Random Friday #14 (Not So Random)

Blogger Blues
Okay, I have been sick for nearly a week, and I think I need some autumn holiday. I am not big into October holidays - I don't like scary stuff, so Halloween doesn't thrill me. I don't drink beer so Oktoberfest seems like without the beer it is just bad music. I don't get into Columbus Day - I feel no need to spread syphilis or conquer people I don't really understand.

Well, since I have been sick lately, I have been watching television. You know, I am not a big TV person, but when I can't sleep and need to be upright to breath, I revert to television.

Here is what I don't understand.

Everybody is sleeping with everybody, but the most disturbing part is that the head detective is sleeping with someone on his staff. This is an FBI job, and I am pretty sure there are rules against sleeping with one of your employees.

Grisham, the boss, is sleeping with Sara, one of his employees. Now I don't know what CSI's employment rules are, but I am guessing they frown on bosses sleeping with their employees.

Detective Mac Taylor, the head of the crime lab, is sleeping with Dr. Peyton Driscoll, a medical examiner at CSI. Now I don't know if they are in the same lab, but it again looks like boss-employee hanky-panky.

Okay, okay, I know it is just television, but what is sad is that no one seems to care or even notice. Bosses that sleep with their employees sometimes lack good judgement.

The Exorcist was a movie released in 1973. Although I have never seen it, it usually makes the list of ten scariest movies ever. It does not rely on special effects. It relies on the subject matter – the possession of a girl.

Well, I don't really believe in exorcism or possession. Not really. But I have read some things that make me wonder. M. Scott Peck wrote a book called "People of the Lie." Most of you will remember him for another book he wrote: "The Road Less Traveled." Apparently he has a new book out, Glimpses of the Devil. Christianity Today gave it a good review – but I just don't know about possessions. Some say postal workers and IRS employees are possessed. Others consider them condemned.

Taking My Medicine
Me, I heard of some type of recipe to cure myself. It has a lot of rum in the concoction. Not sure I want to take it at lunch today. But if it helps . . . .

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Waiting in Line

The other day, I was waiting in line at a "quickie mart" that was not in my usual area. Actually it was across the border, in South Carolina. What can I say, I am a world traveler.

I normally would not have gone into this particular quickie mart – not that it did not look nice. It was just that there were more cars there then I would have expected. I am somewhat logical – not "Prata logical" but logical nonetheless. More patrons mean longer wait times at the counter.

I picked up my drink, a snack, and then waited in line.

Now I was a bit tired, not in my element, and so I was sort of zoning in line.

I moved my items to the check-out girl, she smiled, and said, "Hey, toots. I have not seen you in here before. You are a cutie."

Her statement sort of woke me out of my reverie.

"Excuse me," was the surprised reply I could muster.

"Sorry," she answers, "you are probably not a lesbian."

The rest of the conversation was not noteworthy, but she surprised me with her statement.

As I was leaving, the guy behind me was going to jump from her line to the other person's line.

She tells him, "Oh, no, you were not going to leave me for him. You stay right here."

I was out the door, so I don't know how the next conversation ended.

Not sure there is a point to this, but it was the most bizarre part of my day. Well, for days, it was the most bizarre experience.

I heard something the other day – that completely unlikely things happen to each person about once per month. I have a feeling this is my completely unlikely thing happening.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sick Day

Guys and girls are different. Men and women are different. We just are.

Case-in-point: when we are sick. I know, it is like 100 degrees1 outside right now. But even though it seems so hot, hubbie and I got some type of upper respiratory infections. Yeah, I know, I know, outside temperature has little to do with getting infections.

Anyway, I don't want to talk about bacteria and virus.

I don't think that married couples who are both sick at the same time should be allowed to recover in the same house.

Okay, one might think this is because my husband is a big baby when he gets sick. Well, that is only the half of it. I have the same illness, and I am supposed to take care of him because a uterus makes me better able to take care of him than he of himself when we are both sick.

Yeah, we both stayed home Monday. And it really sucked. Well, it sucked for me but not for him. He was waited on hand and foot by my sniveling, sick self. And now that we are both feeling a little better, I am kicking myself on the butt for taking care of him.

Yeah, Bible-thumpers, I know about "in sickness and in health". But the Bible just does not want me to strangle him in his sleep. It does not say anything about getting him juice, making sure he takes his medicine, fixing him toast. Actually, restraining myself from strangling him from my point-of-view seems extremely compassionate.

I sometimes rally to men's defense, especially when people are trying to use some out-of-date stereotypical tripe. Well, we have all heard jokes about how men are terrible patients. I just want to curl-up-and-die when I am a patient. I don't want someone looking after me – perhaps because I remember my mother taking care of us, even when she was sick. She looked so tired when she took care of us. So when I get sick, I think about my mother.

Well, I knew this blog entry has an end, but it just escaped me. Oh, and I went to work one day early so that I could get some rest. That's messed up.

1For our Canadian or European friends, that would be 37 degrees. Not as prosaic, but there you have it.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


In the United States, perhaps in other countries, each day of the week has a personality.

Monday: People hate Mondays. You see them, lining up at the coffee stand, trying to kick-start their weeks. People, after a weekend of rest, relaxation, prayer, sex, golfing, watching professional football, whatever, need to get back to work. Back to the grindstone. Me, I am a bit different. I rather enjoy going back to work.

Tuesday: This seems be the most misunderstood day of the week. Not as brutal as Monday. Not as noteworthy as Thursday or Friday. It is the least distinct of the days. And for me, sometimes Tuesday feels like a Wednesday.

Wednesday: Humpday. The middle day of the week. This is the middle of the week, not close enough to Friday to feel like it is close to the weekend, not anything but the doldrums of the middle of the week.

Thursday: When I was in college, this was my favorite day of the week. The clubs had the best live bands on Thursdays, and I often went out that night. It was even more fun than a Friday night.

Friday: The party night. The old Loverboy song was written for the day.

As we grow older, however, perhaps the days of the week change a bit. For me, I love to work, or at least go to work, and so I look forward for Mondays.

When I was growing up, I watched more television than I currently watch. And I don't even remember what day shows were on. I guess the weekdays the shows were on gave the days character as well. But that's when there were only three networks, when people watched the same shows. Now I don't know what people watch, other than Monday Night Football.

Me, I am going to work today. But it feels like Humpday.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Husband Crushes

I don't know if it is called a crush, but I can tell when my husband finds an actress attractive. Some of the crushes don't bother me at all. Farrah Fawcett, for instance. She was way before he met me, and, after that poster of her, most boys fell in love with her. Well, I think my husband's most recent crush is Julia Stiles. I mean, the other day, we were at a Blockbuster (I hate the store, I really do, but they are convenient), and he wanted to rent "The Prince and Me." We actually rented it, and after the first couple of scenes, the movie really lost momentum. His little crush on her bothers me – she is significantly younger than I am, she is blond, and she is hot.

You know, I guess I should start over and make some order of this post. It was originally meant to be added to a Random Friday post, but I have more to say.

The first series of women who I don't really want my husband to have a crush on are the trampy women. You know, Paris Hilton. I don't really know a lot about Ms. Hilton, but I do know that from the limited amount of information, she is not smart, brags about not being smart, and we would not even know her name if her father was not an extremely rich man.

I don't want my husband to lust for tramps because I want him to have better taste. Really. Obviously, I want him to only think of me sexually, but, well, that is probably never going to happen. In light of that, I just want him to have better taste than to think of tramps.

Funny thing is that most of us can name the tramps. I don't think that is a coincidence.

Women Who Resemble Me
Now, when we were going out, I could tell my husband liked me physically. And he like other shortish, brunette, cute women. Unfortunately for me, there are a lot of us out here, so his eyes constantly are wandering. Well, not constantly, but wandering a little bit too much for my taste.

I have gone back and forth about being pissed when hubbie looks at women who resemble me. I used to be pissed because, hello, he has me, but I have grown more tolerant in my years. Well, sometimes I still get pissed.

Women Who I Wonder About
Occasionally, very occasionally, my husband will find someone attractive that I just have to scratch my head about. Most recently there is Patricia Heaton, who played Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. I am sort of assuming Everybody Loves Raymond has ended because she is now in the new sit-com Back to You (I get my information about TV shows from ads).

I am not really upset at these crushes. More bewildered than anything.

Then there are the movies where both a female and a male character strikes a chord with both of us. Finding Forester is such a movie. When we were watching it, I could tell that my husband was attracted to Anna Paquin, who plays Claire Spence in the movie. I was a bit more lucky, as I was attracted to the main character, Jamal Wallace (played by Rob Brown). Now I don't know anything else these two have played, and I suppose the story has a lot to do to the attraction – the main characted was a young, brilliant, writer. Yum.

And for me, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Random Friday #10

Jump Her Bones
When I was in college, I first heard of the phrase "jumping her bones." Intuitively I knew what it meant, but I also was unsure that I liked the phrase. It seemed so violent, to reduce one of flesh to one of bones. And, originally, I thought the phrase was ill-fitting. Men seem to have more to do with bones, in the vulgar sense, and the phrase has a slightly vulgar meaning. The following year, a girlfriend used the same phrase to describe jumping her boyfriend's bones. Equal opportunity vulgarity? Makes me want to burn a bra.

Burning bras makes me think of the woman's movement of the 1960s and 1970s. I have two immediate thoughts, not profound, but random: (1) I wonder if we would have chosen burning bras if the movement started now? Bras are damn expensive, and let's face it, some do without for non-noble causes. (2) Were bras supposed to represent men, who were "constrictive" at the time? Because bras are supportive as well, and a little bit of support can be a beautiful thing. Supporting a child, learning to read. Supporting a parent, who gave you so much. Supporting a co-worker, who just needs a shoulder, an ear and a smile.

And if feminism was more economic than anything else, we may have come along way, baby, but we have a ways to go.

In the state of Georgia, there is one football team that most people love. Yeah, I am talking about the University of Georgia. Well, people just call the university "Georgia." Now I don't have anything bad to say about Georgia. Well, actually I do, but I will leave that to some other time. What I don't like is for people who went to school elsewhere and pretend to be Georgia alumni. Well, they don't say they are from Georgia, but they have the bulldog paraphernalia and they went to school in someplace like Nebraska. I just want them to root for their school. It is not like they went to SCAD and are rooting for Georgia because SCAD does not have a team. What is even worse is when someone from let's say, "Georgia Tech", one of the finest schools in the country, jumps ship and then starts rooting for the Bulldogs.

Husband Crushes
I don't know if it is called a crush, but I can tell when my husband finds an actress attractive. Some of the crushes don't bother me at all. Farrah Fawcett, for instance. She was way before he met me, and, after that poster of her, most boys fell in love with her. Well, I think my husband's most recent crush is Julia Stiles. I mean, the other day, we were at a Blockbuster (I hate the store, I really do, but they are convenient), and he wanted to rent "The Prince and Me." We actually rented it, and after the first couple of scenes, the movie really lost momentum. His little crush on her bothers me – she is significantly younger than I am, she is blond, and she is hot.

You know, maybe Monday, I will finish these thoughts – at least the thoughts on husband crushes. It could make an interesting post.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Customer Service

A few years ago, I remember hearing about self-service grocery store check out lines. It was in an article in Money Magazine, I think, and the experts were saying that it would take care of some of the people purchasing ten items or less – but that's about it. And the companies were saying something about how they were employing technology to make it harder for shoplifters.

I was shopping yesterday, and it seemed that several of us were using the check-out area with a basketful of groceries. Well, small basketfuls.

And it occurred to me: the industry probably did not think it would catch on for larger shopping trips because of the wonderful customer service grocery stores provide. For me, I would like my eggs to arrive home in one piece – well, 12 pieces. But you get the idea.

I remember as a little girl going shopping with Dad. He had a way with the cashiers, always complimenting them, always chatting about this or that. And in return, they gave him wonderful customer service. Either that, or grocery store checkers were different. I don't know if that was the case – because I paid more attention to Saturday morning cartoons than to wondering about grown-ups.

I enjoy scanning my own groceries. Putting in the codes for plums, grapes, and cantaloupes. And the grocery store has a non-paid employee for five minutes or so. A win-win situation for both of us.

You know, customers are doing some things that employees used to do – not just scanning groceries. An early shift from employee to customer was in pumping our own gas. And, over the past several years, the IRS has us entering our own information into computers for them (electronic filing).

Me, I am not helping the IRS out by electronically filing. I figure that's what part of my tax dollars are for. But I will help out my grocery by scanning groceries. I even bag all of the cold items together and tip myself well.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What the SCHIP is going on, here?

The New York Times and The Boston Globe reported the following the other day:

A coalition of states (New Jersey, Maryland, Arizona, California, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington) is challenging the Bush administration over new CMS rules that make it more difficult to extend State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) coverage to children in families with incomes at or above 250% of the federal poverty level. The states are mounting the challenge as Bush threatens to veto a compromise bill that would reauthorize and expand SCHIP and relax some of the recently imposed coverage limits.

CMS has the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines on its website, as follows:

Family Poverty 250% of
Size Level Poverty Level
1 10,210.00 25,525.00
2 13,690.00 34,225.00
3 17,170.00 42,925.00
4 20,650.00 51,625.00
5 24,130.00 60,325.00
6 27,610.00 69,025.00
7 31,090.00 77,725.00
8 34,570.00 86,425.00

Sorry if everything is not lined up – I used spaces and HTML will probably render them a mess.

I am not a liberal or a conservative. Well, not really. I guess for me, with a family size of 2, $13,690 seems like a pittance. It really does. But at 250% of poverty level, that sort of seems like it is either two people with minimal incomes, or someone in Georgia with about my income. Looking at the states involved, and it appears that most of them are in the "high cost" states. Well, I am not sure if I would have lumped Arizona, or Illinois (outside of Chicago), in those high cost states. But maybe they are.

Part of me is thinking that the government should not subsidize healthcare for people earning two-and-a-half times the poverty level. Seems to be a step towards socialized medicine. Not that I would turn it down.

I guess the way of looking at it is if I were a single parent making what I make, what would I do. I would of course take the benefit. But I would be an average single parent of one – and I am not sure the government should step in.

Crap, am I becoming libertarian? Oh, SCHIP, I hope not.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

French, Anyone?

The other day, I was watching a movie. At the beginning of the movie, there was the international copyright notice, both in English and in French, the two international languages. Then I got to thinking, why English and French1? I looked to see what the most common spoken languages are, and got this list (see below). I figure, if you are going to have two international languages, they might as well be popular languages.

 1. Chinese, Mandarin
 2. English
 3. Spanish
 4. Arabic
 5. Bengali
 6. Hindi
 7. Russian
 8. Portuguese
 9. Japanese
 10. German
11. Chinese, Wu
12. Javanese
13. Korean
14. French
15. Turkish
16. Vietnamese
17. Telugu
18. Chinese, Yue(Cantonese)
19. Marathi
20. Tamil

Look at the list real closely. Okay, I knew Mandarin was #1, and guessed that English was #2. French was #14, and there were lots of languages above French, including Javanese. Not Japanese, Javanese (as on the island of Java, part of Indonesia).

I guess I am wondering why we hear English and French during the Olympics. We should probably be hearing Mandarin and English. It would reach more people – especially since the next Olympics are in China.

For those of you going, I would bring many small (3 oz or less) tubes of toothpaste. Not sure I trust the flavoring of toothpaste in China. You go to Mexico and are warned about the water. I guess you go to China and they warn you about manufactured goods.

Still, in the dawn of the twenty-first century, I don't understand why we have French as an official language. Perhaps it is only because of the following popular French phrase2:

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?

1Yeah, I know, hundreds of years ago, the English, French and Spanish carved up the Americas and Africa.

2And if this is the reason for using French as the language, I guess we know which head the decision-makers were thinking with.

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Power of 10 Marriage

In the Power of 10, a new prime time game show, Drew Carey asked the following question: "What percentage of married Americans said they do not currently love their spouse at least as much as they did on their wedding day?" This was the $1,000 question (the first question), and the contestant said between 15 and 55% (they are given a 41 point range, though the show producers say it is a 40 point range). The answer was 9%.

Before I continue with this, I just wanted to say that I found out about Antenna Web, a site for the few of us who do not have cable or satellite television. It tells you what stations are in your are by zip code, and it tells you about angles. Okay, I have not clue about the angles, but it seems like a cool site.

Back to the Power of 10. Oh, and I heard it online instead of with rabbit ears. But I digress again. I guess I digress a lot.

When I listen to the show (while I am doing other things), I often guess on the percentages. And in this example, I knew the percentages were less than 50% (about the divorce rate). But of the other 50%, I figured half would have said that they loved their spouse at least as much. The figure I came up with was 23%. And I would have been wrong. Well, I would have placed the range between 3 and 43%, so I would have gotten the question right, but I would have been very wrong.

9% is pretty a skimpy number.

I was pretty happy with my hubbie on our wedding day – most people are, I suppose. Now, I don't know a way of measuring, in any quantifiable way, one's love for another. It is not like getting a blood pressure, or figuring out the pH of your soil. Actually, I know some girlfriends who wouldn't mind driving an aluminum testing meter through their husband's heart.

But if I could quantify my love for my husband, I would hope that the love was more than on the day I married him. Actually, I remember not being too pleased on the honeymoon, wondering if I had made a mistake. I had not noticed that he doesn't ask for directions (we were lost for hours because of this). I also recognized that we really didn't know how to fight at the time.

But our love grew after that. And I know I loved him more afterwards. Several years later, I can confidently say I loved him more. Of course, I loved him more then than I do now. Not that I don't love him. I would be in the 9% - in that lonely demographic, but I do wish that our love did not wane. Because it was better than it is now.

I guess infidelity does that to a couple. I trusted him completely, and, you know, he trusted me as well. I guess we did not deserve to be trusted. Not that simple, of course, but that's what I was thinking about now.

I want to love my husband more now than ever. I mean, that's what is supposed to happen. I wonder if the questions were as follows: "What percentage of married Americans said they currently love their spouse as much as they ever did?" I want to be one of those people. Yeah, I know we all control our own thoughts, but darned it, I want to be one of those rare ones. I want my marriage to be extraordinary.