Sunday, January 29, 2006

From the "Be Careful What You Wish For" File

So Hammas has won in democratic Palestinian elections . . .
I wonder if Bush II will try to get that overturned?
But, then again, isn't Bush II the one who wants to spread the democratic process across the Middle East - beginning with Iraqui elections and on to the Palestinian elections?
Could it be that the people voting are voting with an eye towards the American government's relationship with them?
I won't even mention Bolivia.

Democratic elections do not always mean Bush will get the government he wants in a country - it's the government of THAT country's people - not his administration.

We Don't Know What We Don't Know

I know that's cryptic but click on the title of this blog - that should give you an explanation.

We can set back and be complacent or we can call for an accounting. I'm calling for for an accounting. The Preamble to the Constitution (can George W. recite it like I can) mentions ideas like assuring "the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Liberty don't mean nothing if you ain't got a viable planet on which to live.

But the short-sightedness of Bush II Administration is only concerned with the moment and not the future.

Below is an excerpt from the NY Times article.

And when will it end? Not in a mushroom cloud (sorry, Condi) but in the slow decline of our world.

The fight between Dr. Hansen and administration officials echoes other recent disputes. At climate laboratories of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for example, many scientists who routinely took calls from reporters five years ago can now do so only if the interview is approved by administration officials in Washington, and then only if a public affairs officer is present or on the phone.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

When Humiliation Pays - but to the wrong people

I have never seen one of the biggest shows of the last five years - "American Idol" - nor will I ever watch it. I have no idea how Kelly Clarkson or Clay Aiken sound - nor do I care. I have seen several small segments and they were enough to turn me completely off this game of humiliation. This morning the New York Times published an editorial that expresses my feelings about this show so much better than I could ever have done. Click on the title of this post to get the full editorial. Below is an excerpt.

Most of them are extremely young, naïve and deluded. Many appear terribly vulnerable and some seem to border on mentally impaired. The fun is supposed to come from seeing the celebrity judges roll their eyes, laugh, and tell them that they are tone-deaf, fat, funny-looking or, in the case of one young man, "atrocious" and "confused." (The cameras followed him out of the audition room, the better to make sport of him crying with his family.) The producers so treasured the comment of one judge, Simon Cowell, who said an overweight woman would require a bigger stage in Hollywood, that they used it to promote the segment.

Throughout my fifty years of fighting with my weight, I have been subjected to such terrible humiliation. Luckily for me it was usually done in front of ten or twenty people - not millions. I won't be on the giving end of such cruelty by watching.

One can say that the contestants, by the very act of auditioning, (in the words of John Edward)draw "that big old bulls-eye on their butt." However, the editorial states that the way the show progresses gives the less-than-talented room for hope - false hope. It seems humiliation makes for more viewers and higher ratings and therefore, more money. I guess "we" can laugh at the poor untalented and unbeautiful in the privacy of our homes, thankful that it was not us on that stage getting hit with the barbs of has-been judges.

But a more disturbing thought comes to mind. Are the children who watch "American Idol" getting the message that bullying,taunting and nasty comments are okay? Are their parents telling them something different?

The likes of Simon Cowell may have a difficult time getting into heaven. Even more so for the people who make money on this program.

I just don't get it. Thank you. Goddess.
I am so happy that I just don't get it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Good Feeling

Another load of stuff to the SPCA today - things that the animals need like food, litter, toys and old bedding that can be used in their kennels.

The people at the shelter were so happy to get the stuff. I met a lovely dog and of course, went into "cat heaven" - the room where "everyone" is fixed and healthy and they roam outside their cages. There was a family looking for another kitty. I made a point of mentioning sweet Kit-Kat - the loving big brown tabby boy. I hope they take him. I would but I have my quota.

I'll just keep collecting stuff - ya never know, St Peter may be a tabby or a shepard.

Life IS goooooooood.

The Shoes Off My Feet

My friend and co-worker, Verna, was going to Egypt.
Verna's friend Phyllis was going, too.
Phyllis, who wears a size 11M, was having a hard time finding comfortable walking shoes.
The day before their trip, Verna was at work and saw my new Sketchers - cute, black, Mary-Jane types with a great sneaker-sole. They happened to be 11M. "Those would be perfect for Phyllis," she said. But I had got them from and there was no time - they were flying out the next day.
Verna called Phyllis to tell her about my shoes. "A kingdom for her shoes" was her remark. Nothing's worse than a vacation in uncomfortable shoes.
"Weeeellll," I said to Verna, "I love these shoes - so if I can order another pair from Zappos - well, then, she can have this pair."
I made the order. I put on my sneakers (luckily they were in my car).
Verna took "my" shoes to Phyllis.
And now my Sketchers are walking through the ancient sands of Egpyt.

I just got a thank-you card and a check in the mail from Phyllis.
Life is gooooooood.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Upon Seeing a List of My Weights

Sometimes there are things you just don’t need to know. Like what you weighed when you first met the boyfriend who dumped you after five years.

I was at my doctor’s recently – check-up and some out of whack bloodwork (well, I AM almost 60 and it stands to reason.. . .). Since I’m a nurse, my doctor and I look at my chart together – reviewed bloodwork history, the good and the bad, against my weight history – the mostly bad. There didn’t seem to be much of a correlation – weight down, cholesterol and blood sugar up. Weight up – cholesterol and blood sugar down.

“I eat high fiber, low-fat and drink soy,” I had whined to poor Dr. Mehta. He looked at the numbers again. “Your genetics just may be catching up to you” was his professional opinion. Hmmmm? Whaaaa? I was busy thinking something else all together.

While looking at the weight sheet lining up the worse number in my life (as it has been for 50 of my 58 years), I noticed that during the months of the first blush of attraction with last (and maybe “last” in more ways than one) gentleman, I was 20 pounds lighter than I am now. Was I this weight upon break-up? Don’t know – maybe. Did I add pounds after break-up – probably. Is weight-gain a sign of “settling in” or “feeling secure”? Again – maybe. Or is it secondary to being upset? For me, the emotional eater: a big YES!

Does any of this mean diddly-squat? No. Just an interesting take on breaking up over 50.

Still – I gotta get the weight down. Not to attract another man. Why would I want a "Shallow Hal"? Just don’t wanna go on a statin or hypoglycemic. Just don’t want anymore pills in the cabinet.

Really just don’t wanna admit that I need pills.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Dear George W.

A king can stand people fighting but he can't last long if people start
thinking. -Will Rogers, humorist (1879-1935)

Frey's Lies

I have personally disliked the overblown memoirs of people who have been bad, then redeem themselves by writing about their badness; therefore, making millions of dollars indirectly (or directly) from that "badness". For this reason I did not buy or read James Frey's book, "A Million Little Pieces."

Now from what I've been reading on The Smoking Gun and now in today's edition of the New York Times, I may have been right to save my money and time.

The Smoking Gun, an investigative website, broke the story first on Monday:

And not without contacting Frey - several times - and conducting interviews with him. The website's extensive investigative piece seems to show that sections, if not all, of Frey's "memories" were embellished to the point of being fiction. And then there's the realization that Frey had originally submitted the manuscript to publishers as just that - fiction. Hmmmmm? Can you say fraud? If this were any other industry, The Smoking Gun would be considered a "whistleblower" and subject to receiving a percentage of the money that was obtained fraudulently. However, that won't happen.

If all of this is true, every reader who bought Frey's book on the assumption (along with the recommendation by none-other-than Oprah herself) that this was a true story of how extreme addiction leads to extreme crime to final rehabilitation and redemption - every one of Frey's readers has been a victim of fraud and every one deserves their money back. Oprah deserves an explanation and apology, if nothing else, since her endorsement skyrocketed a badly written (from the excerpts I've read online) book to the bestseller list, dumping millions into the pockets of the author and publisher.

As for me, I will continue to ignore books by those who profess to have gone through addiction and/or committed terrible deeds and have survived to become a "good" person.

I've been a "good" person all my life - I've been an RN for almost forty years, cared for my mother-in-law, my parents, my fiance, my ex-husband - raised a daughter alone - have loving family and friends. I've done good deeds all my life - like most of the people around me. That's the "sensationalism" of our lives. No major redemption ncessary.

But I guess Oprah wouldn't want to read our memoirs.