Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

randomness

  • Oh my god, Michael Jackson is 50. Shit. That's crazy.

  • Random, impersonal gifts are so silly. Really. I appreciate the time and effort, but I'd rather you took the money used and gave it to someone who needs it.

  • Sometimes something as simple as a face makes my stomach turn. Especially when it's the face of the biggest douchebag in the company. I can't help it. Rein in the douchebaggery a hair, would ya?

  • I saw a guy sitting alone at a bar (I was buying a gift card) having a beer last Saturday afternoon while I was running like mad to finish up Christmas shopping. I was insanely jealous.

  • Babies aren't always fussy because they're hungry. They're fussy for lots of reasons. Just because I have a fussy baby (imagine that) doesn't mean she's not getting enough to eat.

  • I really like those iridescent blue Christmas lights. They're dull yet blinding at the same time.

  • I miss my best friend and so wish she lived here.

  • I have no self control when it comes to sweets. So far today (it's 9:30 am) I've eaten a cookie, a piece of candy, and a rice crispy treat (in addition to my morning cup of oatmeal). And there's no sign of it stopping.

  • A little bit of snow or ice every day is stupid. Just dump it out on us and get it over with. Snow my ass in the house. Because anything less is just a hassle.

  • I made fun of my sister for getting a new cell phone with a keyboard just so she could text easier. Now I want one.

  • My daughter is the cutest kid in the whole world. Just so you know.

  • I keep getting the music from my kid's toys stuck in my head. It's not good.

Okay, that's all for today. Merry Xmas --

  • Oh wait, that reminds me - why Xmas? That doesn't make sense. What does 'X' stand for? A cross? Merry Cross-mas? That doesn't work either. Please enlighten me.

-- (or whatever you celebrate) to all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'c' is for cookie...


I love my co-worker. She brought in homemade chocolate chip cookie dough (and believe me she makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world) and baked it at work, and just brought me a warm cookie fresh from the oven. Ah, pure bliss.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

mornings suck

Most days I hate leaving my little Beezer and going to work. It's easier because she's with my parents all day and they're great with her, but it's still hard. Especially now that she's getting to be so much fun - giggly, very vocal, playing with toys. It's hard to believe how much she changes week to week, sometimes even day to day.

That said, it's mornings like this one that make it a little easier. The Beezer decided to wake up at 5:40 while I was getting ready (we usually leave at 6). Hubby had to entertain her (more like keep her from screaming) until I was ready to go, and of course, by this time she's starving, and you'd think we hadn't fed her for weeks. Girl wants what she wants when she wants it, that's for sure. So normally if she's a bit fussy she's out the minute we get in the car and get going. Not this morning. She cried the whole way to my parents' (a 20 minute drive). And it was rainy and gross, not fun on a busy interstate.

Of course she fell asleep the minute we turned on to their street. Just my luck. Once she eats she's fine - giggly, smiley, her old self. I guess she's just not a morning person. She's my child after all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

oh my

These people have way too much time on their hands. And money, for that matter. Wake me when Christmas is over, please.

Monday, December 01, 2008

one year ago

Exactly a year ago yesterday (November 30) I took a pregnancy test and it came out positive. I took it even though I knew already that I was pregnant, but after a few false alarms I didn't think Hubby would believe me without proof. Okay so I used to have too much time on my hands at work and my imagination works overtime.

After a year full of ups and downs our little Beezer is here and will be four months old on Wednesday. Oh, how time flies. I kept a journal during my pregnancy so I'd remember every bit of it (since most likely it won't be happening again unless Hubby and I go off the deep end) and read some of it today (like I mentioned above way too much time on my hands at work) to try and remember what it was like to feel her moving inside of me. It's amazing, and kind of sad, that even though it was only a few short months ago it's hard to remember what it felt like.

Every time I look at my sweet (and oh so fiery) little Beezer I'm thankful she's here with us. After almost losing her halfway through each day with her is very special. Sometimes I think about missing out on a 'normal' pregnancy and feel sad that I didn't get to live every day without fear and anxiety and the timing of contractions, but then I see her big old slobbery gummy smile and everything is forgotten.

I have the coolest kid in the world, even if she is headstrong and is partial to 'squawking' and upsetting her cousin. I do feel however that she may be my just dues for being such a difficult teenager, we shall see. She's going to be fun and full of surprises, that's for sure.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

observations on the current state of affairs

I was putting my latest gas purchase in my checkbook today and just for kicks looked back in June to see how much it cost me to fill up then. $52. Today? $19. Wow. It's been a long time.

Isn't that great? Being able to fill up for less than $20? Sure is. Up until I look at my 401(k) and see a total reversal of fate - it's worth about half what it was worth in June. Well that's kind of a lie, it's only down 30% in the last 3 months, 40% over the last year. I feel I've fared OK through all of this poopoo, I know most haven't. And thank goodness I don't have to retire anytime soon, I can sit back and buy into these funds at rock-bottom prices and will be able to see everything come back. It will come back. Who knows when, but it will.

It's interesting how things work. One turn of good fortune cannot be enjoyed quite as much because you're getting kicked in the ass somewhere else.

Monday, November 24, 2008

eek!

There is a mouse currently residing somewhere in my kitchen. Hubby saw it a while ago and told me about it, and I determined that he was crazy because weeks went by without so much as a peep from the critter. He even thought he was crazy and imagined it.

No such luck. I was coming up from the basement and saw it scurry across the counter top (the very one we use for cooking! Ick!). It ran behind the TV we have in the corner (yes we are junkies) and disappeared. Then last night my lovely daughter woke up at 12:45 to eat and as I sat down with her on the couch I saw it make a u-turn at the threshold of the kitchen and the living room and beeline back into the kitchen *shudder*.

I woke hubby up and told him he was to go to the store after work and buy a trap. A humane one, of course, not a glue trap - he'll never make that mistake again. In college his roommate bought a glue trap and got the mouse - problem solved! Oh, until he realized it's feet are permanently stuck to the trap and it's alive and was faced with the decision of letting it gnaw its own feet off or killing it (which he did with a rock).

There hasn't been any confrontation between my greyhound and the mouse that I know about, and I'm hoping it stays this way. I do not want to come home to a bloody pulp in the guest bed (aka greyhound's bed) (aka her kitchen). I do not, however, worry much about this because 1. the mouse is small and fast and can hide and 2. my hound is getting old and extremely unmotivated unless cheese is involved.

We need to strategically place the trap however in a place unseen by the hound. I have visions of her finding the mouse in a trap 1. being bothered all day by it and 2. doing unsavory things to the trap in order to get at said mouse.

It took plenty of courage for me to go into the kitchen this morning to get my lunch ready and use the neti pot (cannot go a day without this miracle worker). I could see myself leaning over the sink with water (and snot) running out of my nose and being scared half to death by a mouse that I rationally know won't bother me and is more scared of me than I am of it but of which I am irrationally scared shitless.

Oh joy, the wonders of home ownership. Why can't I have a dog that will catch small animals and dispose of them properly instead of wounding them enough to put them out of commission and die a slow, painful death?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

breastfeeding is messy

When I signed up for breastfeeding (in my head anyway) no one told me it's not such a great idea to do it when you work in a dry-clean-only type of environment. I'm wearing a really cute heather gray pencil skirt and have managed to spill milk on it twice now. It's not cool having to walk around the office with big old wet spots on a heather grey skirt - I either look like my bladder control is non-existant or like a messy slob, or both. I suppose from now on I should wear lots of black (which is not a problem).

Do they make bibs for this purpose? They really should. Perhaps this is my calling, my cash cow - developer of the pumping bib. Look out Bill Gates, here I come! Or I could just go and get a kitchen apron and save the world from yet another useless product.

Seriously though, it takes an acrobat to hold one pump on while gently removing the other and simultaneously rushing in with a paper towel to clean up any drippings. It's a miracle I haven't lost it and spilled everything all over myself (my sister cannot say the same thing, poor girl - at least her pants weren't dry clean only).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

no freaking way

A man named Milton Betts has had the hiccups for a year. A year! I'm a mess if I have them for more than a few minutes! Hiccups are the most irritating things in the whole world. I get super pissy whenever I get them (ask hubby - he finds it hilarious). I know I couldn't deal with them for a year. Poor, poor man. Seriously, I'm horrified at the thought. Ugh.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

i.am.a.mother

That is so weird. The other day a girl at work called me 'mama' - as in 'What's going on, Mama?' Then yesterday someone asked me how motherhood is treating me. I guess it's sort of like saying 'my husband' after you're married - it takes a while for it to sink in and start sounding normal.

I suppose I've always been sort of a detached person. Things don't hit me the way they do others. Like when a friend was killed by a drunk driver - I didn't cry until weeks later, when something reminded me of him. A lot of things just seem surreal until some sort of reality sinks in.

Also like when I almost delivered the Beezer at 19 1/2 weeks when I was leaking fluid. I knew up until that point that I was pregnant, that I was going to be a mother, but it hadn't really sunk in until I was faced with losing her.

Maybe it'll seem more real when she starts calling me mama or mommy. Not that it matters if it seems real or not, it is. I have a little Beezer.

I am a mother.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

sucked in by the man

I'm so addicted to Starbucks. I swear they put some sort of chemical in there that keeps me coming back. First it was the evil pumpkin spice latte...so delicious. Now it's the cafe misto with one sugar - regular coffee with steamed milk. Yum. So much better than the crap we have at my office:

Of course we have to be fancy and get a Keurig k-cup maker. In theory these are great - you can get tons of different varieties so everyone is happy. However, they severely lack in taste. It's kind of like drinking a cup of burnt rubber. Horrible.

I'd be perfectly happy with a freshly brewed pot of Folger's. Hell, I'd even enjoy the store brand beans - that's just fine. Instead I'm forced to drink total crap made only marginally better with a flavored creamer OR stop at Starbucks and drop $2.30 on a cup of coffee.

You see my dilemma? I don't have a ton of willpower when it comes to food/beverages anyway (note my lunch cooler stuffed with M&Ms, Lemonheads, 3 Musketeers, and Whoppers swiped from the bowl in the lunchroom), so resisting the urge to stop at Starbucks when I pass by one every day and there's only nasty coffee waiting for me at work is next to impossible.

Remember when I used to be one of those people who thought Starbucks was gross? Sure, their sugary lattes were drinkable, and who doesn't like a mocha, but the regular coffee? Nah. Not worth it.

Stupid Starbucks. Maybe the one on my route will be one of the stores that closes. Yeah right.

Monday, November 03, 2008

why I love living in SoCoMo

Friday night the hubby was outside fixating on his new truck when our alley neighbor drove through. First let me explain what I mean by 'alley neighbor'. We've lived in our house for over 5 years now. There's an alley next to our driveway. The alley is a way for people on another street to get to their garages. It's also the only way to get to one house. We're not sure how this works - the house isn't actually on a street. What is its address? I've never ventured back there, and for the longest time I thought the only thing back there was the one house - I never considered people would use the alley to access a garage.

There are people driving back there all the time. Mostly people in beat up hoosiermobiles sporting flowing mullets and smoking cigarettes. I always thought these people were going to visit the alley neighbors who surely were cooking up meth - why else would there be an ongoing stream of cars driving back there? They owners have always been pleasant towards us, I just assumed there were meth addicts. Whatever. Not my place to judge, right?

Once the weather got nice and a cute little Bosnian grocery opened up on the corner (it carries beer) odd folks started walking down the alley to the store to get beer and whatever else at all hours of the day. I'm talking a parade of freak show looking people - guys with limps, missing teeth, stringy hair, cut-off clothes - some with one or two oddities, some with many more. I don't understand fully what happens back there because I've never been - I envision a cave of some sort where unkempt folk squat and cook over an open fire. It makes no sense, it's just what happens in my head.

We've had interactions with the alley neighbors once or twice. One time he rang the doorbell at 3 am to tell us our dome light was on - thanks dude, I'd rather have a dead battery then to have the shit scared out of me in the middle of the night. But it's nice, I suppose.

Okay, back to Friday night. Alley neighbor stops his car as he's making his way back to talk to the hubby. Apparently one night he was 'shitty drunk' and decided he wanted some tomatoes from our garden, so he helped himself to a few. Hubby, amused and I think relieved, laughed it off and said he could take some any time he wanted.

Hearing hubby tell the story was of course hilarious, as he was able to do the hoosier drawl perfectly. I also found it hilarious that our 'shitty drunk' neighbor couldn't live without tomatoes of all things while drunk. White Castle, I get. Greasy pizza, awesome. But tomatoes? Not what I reach for when I have the drunken munchies. If he wants tomatoes that bad, have at it. As long as I don't come home to another boat motor on my back porch I'm good (that's a story for another time).

Only in SoCoMo, my friends.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i'm baaaaaaaaack!

Hello world! I'm back. I decided to return for a couple of reasons:

1. I'm back at work after having my wonderful daughter, the Beatle. Life got crazy there for a while what with my pregnancy issues, and being at home all day every day means a serious lack of motivation. And being at work means I need things to fill up a boring day.

2. Some crazy shit is happening in the world as well as in our little hoosier neighborhood. The other day we saw a sign advertising 'Shit - tsu' puppies - hilarious. Who wants shih-tzu puppies anyway, much less from a moron who can't spell the name of the dogs he's breeding.

3. A very kind reader left a comment on my last post, I'll reprint it here:

Nomad said:
http://nomadicjoe.blogspot.com/

Oh what a shame that you havent written more. I like your style, very natural and conversational. One of the problem with reading blogs is just about the time you start to understand the whole life condition the writer stops adding. And the problem writing blogs is that it is very much like having a conversation in the dark.. you dont know if anybody is out there. Well, please add updates more regularly, a person with talent has a responsibility! Take care and I'll be watching you.. (your blog actually)

What a kind fellow! I am a good writer, aren't I? That leads me to number 4...

4. My writing group is back together after our break up earlier this year and I need to get on the ball. This isn't exactly fiction, but it is output of some sort, which is better than nothing.

Prepare yourselves!

Friday, April 04, 2008

omg!

NKOTB was on the Today Show today! What a way to wake up on a dreary Friday morning. Wow, talk about taking me back to the good ol' days...of an obsessesd sixth grader, that is.

Contrary to the above picture, they're actually all very good looking guys. But I have to claim sweet justice - my favorite back in the day, Jonathan, a choice that brought me so much grief (I was all about picking the underdog, folks), is now the cutest, I do believe. Ha! I sure can pick 'em.

Apparently they're going to reunite for a performance on the show in May. I'm actually finding myself a little excited. I know I'm not the only one, judging from the screaming crowd on the Plaza. Then again, most of those kids can't possibly remember NKOTB in all of their glory, but that's okay. I'm just a kid at heart, right?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

puzzler

We have a garage at work. It's small, but big enough to house all of our cars. It does suck to park way in back, which is all that's left if you get here late enough, because you have to walk a bit to get to the building. It's also on the ground floor, so you have to either take 2 flights of stairs up or use the elevator.

I normally park in the side lot which is a floor above the garage. It allows my car to warm in the sun (when it exists 'round these parts, that is), and also allows for a bit of a speedier get away in the afternoons.

What I don't get - why anyone would park in the uncovered side lot when they're forecasting 6-10 inches of snow during the work hours. I know forecasting the weather in St. Louis is essentially grasping straws, so we could end up with anywhere from an inch to a foot. But sheesh, the storm was ALL OVER the news yesterday and this morning. You'd have to not watch TV, listen to the radio, or use the internet to not have heard about it. And even then, it iced a bit last night, and was icing on the commute in.

I'm guessing those folk are just a glutton for punishment. Because even if it snows just a little they're going to have to brush it off, so any time saved by parking on the 1st floor as opposed to the ground floor will be negated.

It happens every time. I don't get it. One person in particular makes a practice of parking on the side lot during inclement weather and pulling up the wipers so they don't get stuck to the windshield. She obviously knows there's going to be scraping to do, but would rather do it than park in the garage.

I guess I've spent enough time in my life scraping my car and will do just about anything to avoid this.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

simply staggering

This report says that at least 1% of US adults are incarcerated, the highest number ever. Wow. That's eye-opening.

But even scarier is the fact that the 50 states spent $49 billion - yes, BILLION - on corrections last year.

Scariest of all, that $49 billion is six times greater - yes, SIX - than what was spent on higher education.

I picture those two stats skipping hand in hand, down the well-worn path of American mediocrity. When will The Man get a clue?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

snake eats family dog as kids watch

In Australia an 18 foot python ate a chihuahua at a family's home. Apparently it had been stalking the dog for days, and had even been in the dog's bed.

I know Australia is 'the ouback' and all, and there are apparently wild creatures everywhere, but seriously. If I knew an 18 foot python was stalking my hound, I probably wouldn't let her out of my sight. In fact, I'd probably barricade us all in the house until someone could come and remove the seriously huge thing (which was done, by the way, after it ate the dog).

Obviously it was an outside dog, as it had a bed outside near the snake. That's great. But don't claim to be horrified when the snake eats your annoying little yappy dog (who could blame it, really) after STALKING IT FOR 3 DAYS. Don't act all surprised.

Outside dog + 18 foot python on the hunt = bring the dog inside and alert authorities.

It's not rocket science.

Nice picture, by the way, AP. Mmmmmm, delicious.

Monday, February 18, 2008

cletus the fetus

Today I took my 12 year old 'little brother' out for lunch since he was off school (but I'm not off work - boo). After I dropped him off I told him the news - that I'm having a baby in August (y'all knew that by now, right? All 3 of my readers?).

His first response: 'What?'

I repeated myself.

His second response: 'Are you kidding?'

I laughed.

His third response: 'So I'm gonna have a little sister too?'

I told him yes, or maybe a little brother, we don't know yet.

He was so excited! I walked him to the door because he had leftovers and couldn't hold it all, and it was the first thing he said to his Granny - 'Hey Granny - I'm gonna be a big brother!'

What a cutie.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Australia apologizes to Aborigines

Too little too late, but at least it's something. Perhaps the US of A should take a page from their book.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

yay for google

I love search engines and web trackers. They're an endless source of entertainment. Here's some of the latest ways folks have ended up on my blog via search engines:

ameren ue sucks
velcro shoe poor people
ikea caskets
miley cyrus in st. louis throwing up
kathleen england sucks

and possibly the best of all time:
pictures of vaginas throwing up

Not sure that one can be topped, but seems like I'm surprised every time I check this. So who knows. There's surely an endless amount of morons out there.

Monday, February 04, 2008

it's finally over

So the dreaded day is finally over - I went on Saturday to see the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus 3D movie, 'The Best of Both Worlds' with my 'little' bro. To sum things up - it most certainly is not the best of both worlds, or any world, for that matter.

Miley Cyrus is a cute girl, she's got a good voice, and I believe she even writes some, if not all, of her own music. And she's 15 - that's something to be able to perform in front of a massive crowd at that age. And her music isn't that bad. It isn't that good, but hey, even I liked crap as a young tot - NKOTB, anyone? I was slightly obsessed. Props to my parents for suffering through a concert with me and my dorky big-button wearing friends.

Anyway, I know she lip synched, at least part of the time. I was so bored I actually paid attention. I get that if you're dancing a lot, it's hard to sing. No big deal. Plenty of performers do that. I know she can sing. The most hilarious part was the Jonas Brothers. They might play instruments in real life, and on the album and whatnot, but they totally didn't play them in concert. At one point one of the kids is strumming away on the guitar then stops, hands it to some joe from offstage, and starts singing and dancing, yet the guitar playing doesn't stop. It doesn't take a detective. Then another time the camera pans to one of them playing the piano, and literally, his hands are resting on the keys - not moving at all. Miraculously, however, the piano keeps on playing.

And the clothes. Man, do kids really dress like that? If I had severe amnesia, and this movie was the first thing I saw, I'd think we were back in the heyday of the 80s. Acid wash jeans, black high tops (like Reeboks), leggings, hot pink everywhere - frightening. I swear, the Jonas Brothers were wearing leggings made to look like jeans, that's how tight they were. I get the tight-ish jeans thing with All Stars, but seriously, I could see the outline of their thighs. No, not their thingys - get your head out of the gutter. I did look, though, because theoretically they should have been there. GROSS. And again, I was unbelievably bored.

The 3D was evident, it was kind of neat, but overall a waste of 3D technology. There were previews of 2 3D movies before it started, and those short previews were way cooler than the entire Hannah Montana 3D concert experience.

The kids did seem to like it, and my bro certainly did. He made me listen to the Disney Channel on AM on the car ride to and from the mills, and believe me, I was on teenie-bopper overload. As soon as he got out of the car I felt the urge to listen to something extremely heavy and screamy IE Dimmu Borgir - alas all I had was Dustin Kensrue's solo album (from Thrice), which sufficed as it's a great album.

Now I have 'The Best of Both Worlds' song in my head. Not good. Feeling the urge to strangle myself. Once, fine. Repeatedly, very bad, especially when the only words I know are 'The Best of Both Worlds'. Arrrrrrggggghhhhhhh.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

want a hamburger?

This is an example of where your meat comes from. Watch the video. This particular slaughterhouse provides meat for our schools as well as many other places. Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

wishful thinking

Remember that band The Presidents of the United States of America? Probably not, they weren't that memorable other than a few songs. We had the hubby's 15 year old brother in town last weekend and he's hilarious when it comes to messing up song lyrics. We think it may be a small hearing deficiency due to the fact that he hasn't cleaned his ears out in months - or his fingernails, for that matter.

Anyway, the hubby made him a mixed disc with a bunch of stuff on it he thought the bro might like. One of these was 'Lump' by The Presidents (not sure why - in fact I didn't even realize we had this CD, but when you have over a thousand, these things tend to slip through the cracks).

Here's one of the lines:
Mud flowed up into lump's pajamas
she totally confused all the passing piranhas

Clever, no? Anyway, my brother-in-law thought they said 'vaginas' instead of 'pajamas'. Hilarious. Is he an adolescent male, or what???

To clarify, it's not as though the word 'pajamas' is slurred, or anything - it sounds exactly like 'pajamas' and nothing like 'vaginas'.

Monday, January 28, 2008

dreams

I had a dream about Shorty Saturday night. I dreamed that I was at a party and overheard someone talking about her being there. I ran frantically around the house, my mind racing a million miles an hour. I finally found her laying on a bed. I immediately confronted her. What the hell was happening? She said that her whole family had rigged the entire situation, that she'd fallen madly in love shortly after her divorce and needed to escape for a while to get herself together and start a new life with this guy.

I was dumbfounded. Visions from her funeral flashed through my mind, images of her family, devastated, crying, angry, her brother's eulogy. I demanded answers. Her whole family had made up the suicide story? The entire funeral was faked, even the open casket (which incidentally isn't that hard to believe since I've only looked in an open casket once, at Shorty, and no part of it looked real)? They'd even made up the suicide note. Didn't I wonder why there wasn't an obituary in the newspaper?

She looked so sheepish and guilty, yet happy and content at the same time. I was angry. But then I was glad she was alive, glad she was happy, an unusual emotion for her. I had to leave the room, take a minute to process this.

That's all I remember, and I didn't remember it until well into the day on Sunday. I don't know what reminded me of it, but I'm glad it came back. It's amazing how one tiny dream (they last like a couple of seconds, right?) can awaken feelings I've shelved for a while. Honestly I haven't thought of Shorty in some time, and the triggers that cause me to remember her come less and less.

If only she had faked the whole thing. There are so many things I want to tell her, to share with her. What's so strange is that we probably wouldn't even be friends now if she hadn't done this and life went on like normal. So weird to think about.

Friday, January 25, 2008

no whammy!

What's up with game shows nowadays? We watched The Moment of Truth the other night, and man, is it long and drawn out. It took forever for the dumb computer (or whatever) to say if the person was telling the truth or lying. Sheesh. They could have squeezed so many more contestants in if the dumb thing would hurry up a little bit. I'm only slightly impatient - ha.

I get it. It's all about the tension, the anticipation. It worked at first, I suppose, when it started with Millionaire. But now it's just old. Get on with it already.


I miss the good old days when game shows lasted a half hour, and were funny. Remember Press Your Luck? NoWhammyNoWhammyNoWhammy!



And the 100,000 Pyramid? And who could forget the Newlywed Game with Bob Eubanks? That was quality television. They didn't have to rely on lighting tricks or long pauses to hold your attention. I used to love watching those shows.

Now when I see a game show on TV other than Wheel of Fortune (yes, I'm 30 going on 75) I immediately turn it off. Unless it's The Price is Right, of course. Even with Drew Carey (who cannot hold a candle to Bob Barker, sadly).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

sicko

The hub and I watched Sicko last night, finally. My first observation - we're both so lucky to have good health insurance. Or let me rephrase - we're both so lucky to never have had major health problems and consequently haven't ever had to do battle with our insurance companies.

Some other observations:
  1. Why in the world is our health care industry for-profit as opposed to not-for-profit? Who thought that leaving our health care (and life-or-death decisions) in the hands of greedy corporations was a good idea? Apparently Nixon. Both the hub and myself wondered what health care was like before that. I suppose it's something I shall research on the good old internets.
  2. I thought moving to Canada was a good idea when there was talk of a draft for the Iraq fiasco. Seeing this movie made it seem like an even better idea. Canada, eh? The upside - I've heard Vancouver is amazing, and it's a short distance from Seattle, which is also great. The downside - it's freezing ass up there. That would be difficult.
  3. If not Canada, perhaps England? The upside - you're living in the UK. The downside - it's so darn far away. But man, over in Europe, they've got it good. They get great vacation, maternity leave, work 35 hours a week, drink wine all the time - sounds good to me. I think the fact that they're so darn relaxed is very appealing. They don't run themselves ragged over there like we do here. Way less stress.
  4. Sometimes I'm so darn ashamed of this country. Yes, we have freedoms, blah, blah, blah. But what is 'freedom'? It certainly isn't losing your two year old daughter because you took her to the wrong hospital and your insurance company wouldn't authorize any treatment. It certainly isn't losing your husband because your insurance company wouldn't allow a life saving treatment because it was 'experimental'. Well fuck - he was dying anyway, what's a little 'experimental' treatment going to hurt? And it certainly isn't having your poor ass dropped off, still in your hospital 'gown', in front of a homeless shelter because you can't pay your hospital bill.

Anyway, you should see this movie if you haven't. It's quite eye-opening. And tear-jerking.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

you should vote for...

According to this survey, I should vote for Chris Dodd. Which is interesting, for I know little to nothing about him. Perhaps I should pay more attention? I'm still leaning towards Edwards though. Why do I always have to pick the guys who don't have a chance? Ugh, all I know is that I cannot stand Hillary. Gag. And that's saying a lot, as I would love to see a woman president.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

sickening

Wow - long time no write!

I was listening to my favorite radio program today, Fresh Air, on NPR. Terry Gross was interviewing David Cay Johnston, author of Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill). Fascinating. I only heard bits and pieces, but what I heard was enough to make me sick.

I first heard him talking about how big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Cabela's build in certain areas because of big tax breaks offered by the city. No big surprise, I knew that already. But I didn't know that a lot of times the deals involve the store keeping the sales tax paid by its customers. WhatWhatWhat? That's right. When you go to the fantastic Wally World, the amount you pay in sales tax stays right there at the store. It doesn't go, as previously thought, to support your schools, police force, firefighters, or road improvements. It goes to line the pockets of the Waltons. Nice!

I then heard him speak about how Dubya got rich by the building of a new stadium for the Texas Rangers. Yes, because of a baseball team, not oil, or the stock market. Apparently he was 2% owner of the team, and fronted $650K to get the stadium built. The city of Arlington, Texas passed a bill to add a 1/2 cent sales tax increase in order to build the stadium. It's good for the city, right? It'll bring in new business! Believe me, we here in St. Louis know all about new stadiums and all the hoopla that goes on to get them built. Anyway, the stadium cost $191 million (mind boggling, I know) - $135 million came from the sales tax hike, and $56 million from the owners. I don't know the specifics, but after it was built, the owners were allowed to buy it for a fraction of the cost. They then sold it for a big profit, and somehow or another Dubya ended up getting 10% of the profits, a cool $17 million. Quite a return on a $650K investment! I suppose one could say the people of Arlington helped make Dubya quite a fortune (and I'm sure a few select others).

To add insult to injury, that $17 million should have been reported as income on his tax return, (I don't know the particulars - I'm not a tax accountant), but was instead reported as capital gains - assessing a 15% tax instead of whatever his normal tax bracket was. Wow. Must be nice. I know many people abuse the tax system, but many people don't go on to become our fearless leader.

Man, this stuff blows my mind. I know it's perfectly legal. I get it. But it frustrates me that big-box companies go into small towns and put small, hometown companies out of business, all the while collecting our sales taxes. It's disgusting. It further enforces my decision to buy local whenever possible.