And I thought MY friends caused drama . . . .

You think your life has drama, and then you pick up the paper or find a story on the internet that changes your mind.  I love it when I run across these kinds of stories.  It makes the fact that I think my life is hard seem positively normal by comparison.  Take this guy for instance.  He was filmed getting freaky with a chicken on the New York subway.  They don’t know yet if it’s a hoax or for real, but I’m kinda hoping it’s real.  I mean, I love the guys over at Improv Everywhere, and at lest they have style.  For example, if you’re going to pull a subway prank, make it one with 5,000 people not wearing pants.  Go big or go home, you know?

So once again I started having fun finding weird stuff online.  Here are some of the good ones! Continue reading

President Obama’s Schoolkids speech, part two

This from a post in USAToday entitled What if President Obama comes over like Mr. Rogers.  (It’s the last few lines that I am quoting here.):

What if Obama, no matter how innocuous his text, conveys Rogers'”Be my friend” aura?

What if he delivers a vaguely positive empowerment message like mega-church pastor Rev. Joel “never-say-sin” Osteen?

WHAT IF … your kids just like their president?

And that, my friends, is the real problem.  Heaven help you if you are one of them.

I don’t understand what the uproar was about

President Obama and Secretary Duncan talk with 9th graders at Wakefield High School. White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/8/09

President Obama and Secretary Duncan talk with 9th graders at Wakefield High School. White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/8/09

For weeks people have been going nuts about President Obama’s speech to all schoolchildren on September 8.  For many, they had been in school for a few weeks.  Where I live, it was the first day.  I don’t understand the uproar.  Carter did it, Clinton did it, Reagan did it . . . now Obama is doing it.  Big deal.  When I was a kid if the President came on the TV, you listened.  The teachers were annoyed that they had to stop teaching and interrupt their curriculum, but they did so because it was the President of the United States.  You respect the President of the United States, and gosh darn it you would shut up and pay attention in class and listen to what he says.  Those sadistic teachers would even give you a quiz on it at the end of the week.

The county in which I live chose not to air the speech on Tuesday but instead aired it today, Friday.  Still the first week of school.  The President made the text of his speech available ahead of time because of the parental uproar, which personally I think is absurd but hey it actually changed the mind of a few people in favor of letting their children watch the speech.  I love this quote from Steve Benen, a journalist for the Washington MonthlyHe said, quoting Michelle Cottle, “Obama is the leader of this entire nation. It doesn’t matter if you voted for him — or even if your head threatens to explode every time you think about him. He is the president, and, as such, it’s a big deal that he’s speaking directly to students about the importance of education.”  That, in a nutshell, cracked me up.  So appropriate to the truth of what is going on.

When the speech aired on Tuesday, my local stations only carried the first few minutes of it.  During those first few minutes I was impressed.  The president talked about his schooling, how he didn’t like it much either and his mom made him get up early for extra lessons because the education where he lived was sub-par.  Encouraged people to stay in school because they might discover they have a talent for writing or for science which could lead to a Pulitzer Prize or a cure for AIDS.

Honestly, people, what is the problem with such a statement??? Continue reading

Ripped from the Headlines . . . Copied from the Internet–Same Thing

Here’s part two of the tabs I’ve had open for a week or more sharing bizarre and weird information that passes for noteworthy in today’s society. (I suppose I’m a part of that, seeing as how I actually READ this stuff, but there you go….)

  • Evidently the key to winning Rock, Paper, Scissors is to not know which of the three you’re going to throw until the final nanosecond, as subtle arm cues can let your opponent know which of the three you are about to play. That philosophy is what led this guy to win a $20,000 scholarship to Syracuse.  And for the record, paper won.  My question, does the same hold for Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock?
  • When I was in college there was a guy named Lee that I knew from BSU that got two speeding tickets in one day, at the same location, from the same cop, while driving to and from home to see his father on Father’s Day.  I think this lady finally has him beat.   Continue reading

You’re kidding, right? This actually made news?

Haven’t done one of these in awhile, so I figured it would be fun to do.  And what a wealth of information to choose from.  As usual, I’ll try to keep it to no more than ten news articles per post, but there might be multiple posts.  There are quite a lot of stupid people in this world, and I’m sure I’m one of them, but at least I haven’t made the headlines.  Yet.

  • Ah, the cost of beauty–especially in California.  This woman was unhappy with her personal appearance, so she visited a plastic surgeon and had a breast augmentation and liposuction.  It wasn’t until her $12,000+ bill went unpaid that the authorities were looking for her.  She turned herself into the authorities, and was released on a $20,000 bail.  The charges of grand theft, commercial burglary, and identity theft are pending, yet my question is this–wouldn’t it have been easier to take the $20K, pay your $12K bill, and still have money left over?
  • Remember in the early 1980s the uproar over RU486, Continue reading

Observations from Today’s Presidential Inauguration

Today was the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States.  This year, more than any in my memory, people have very passionate feelings over what is to come for the next four years.  My mother alone is driving me crazy with her cracks on the now-President and the disaster that his administration is going to bring.  Others in places all over the world are crying with joy at how far this country has come.

My feeling (which I have expressed numerous times) on the matter is this: I don’t care who you voted for, as long as you voted.  If you didn’t vote, then shut your yap.  This afternoon summed it up perfectly: V called me and said “doesn’t today just make you proud to be an American and to be able to witness today?” then there was my mother who called me five minutes after and said “well we’re screwed for the next four years, today is just the beginning of the end.”  Look, if you did vote, and you voted for the other party, then I’m sorry you lost.  Even though you didn’t vote for him, however, Barack Obama is now the leader of this country.  For no other reason than the fact that it is what the founders of this country demanded, the man deserves your respect and your support now that he is in office.  I not saying I voted for him, I’m not saying I voted against him–in fact, my friend V and I made sure we each cancelled out the vote of the other as there were things about both candidates that we did/did not like.  I wasn’t a big fan of George W., but he was my President and for that reason I respected him.  I’ve been fairly careful to not come out with a soapbox and preach my political standings to the masses.  Or the smaller crowds either, for that matter.  Well, okay, maybe to just the dog.  Truth of the matter is I think that Ronald McDonald could have won this as long as he was on the Democratic ticket, since the Republicans have been in the lead for the last eight years.

Enough of me blabbering about semantics.  There were a few things thought that I thought were a riot, some thing that I thought were memorable (well, okay, all was memorable, but certain points), and I wanted to write about them so I didn’t forget them all. Continue reading

The Perils of Black Friday

I realize that there are bargains to be had in retail establishments the day after Thanksgiving.  I realize that there are sometimes people that are obnoxious about camping out to get the best deals.  Personally, I feel that anything that requires me to wake up at 3am to stand outside for a few hours better have naked men or a championship bowl title attached to it.  For the most part, though, people seemed to be cordial in the crowded aisles today.  I had to go grocery shopping so I tried to hit Target at lunch, but it was a no-go.  They need to a)open up all shopping lanes, and b)designate lines for Black Friday specials and the rest for the day-to-day ordinary shopper.  What a mess.  Thankfully, WalMart at 1130pm had no lines–just the night stockers to deal with.

But nothing excuses the behavior in these two examples.  In Long Island, people were so anxious to get into a WalMart in the wee hours of morning that they trampled down the door and several people along with it.  An eight month pregnant woman is in the hospital, and a WalMart employee died from wounds sustained in the event.  He was 34 years old, and all he was doing was trying to open the doors for business.  People ran right on top of him and refused to leave the store when told someone had died.

Not to be outdone, two men were killed at a Palm Desert, California, Toys-R-Us later this morning.  I don’t know what kind of parent is carrying a gun into a toy store, much less what would provoke shots to be fired.  But for two people to die?  Over something like a Dora the Explorer doll or some other such nonsense?  I don’t understand.

As for me, I’ll brave the crowds when absolutely necessary.  In the meantime, I’m sticking to Amazon.  Delivers straight to the house and someone else has to deal with the traffic.  Works for me! In the meantime, my thoughts are with the Black Friday tragedy families.  What a way to remember the holiday.

Who needs Hollywood when the real world is this entertaining? (Part 2)

The continuation of last night’s posting:

  • There are some sick, sick people out there.  Now, I know that there are those that greatly support plastic surgery and sing its praises for whatever purpose they chose while going under the knife.  Then you have people like the catlady or Joan Rivers who are obviously obsessed.  Neither one of them can top this woman, however, who was so addicted to face lifts that over the past 20 years she had dozens and dozens of surgeries.  When they wouldn’t operate any longer, she injected her own face with cooking oil.  Aside from the fact that she could be her own fondue source, let me just say . . . ewww.  Gross.
  • Can we chalk this one up to senility?  Dementia?  There has to be some sort of external explanation. Continue reading

Who needs Hollywood when the real world is this entertaining? (Part 1)

I haven’t posted at all in awhile, things have been nuts.  I got a job, one that I can stay at until something better comes along, and I’m just exhausted.  Unfortunately I keep seeing stuff that looks hysterical so when I open my browser I have two dozen tabs waiting to be dismissed.  So I’ll fill y’all in on my personal life later, in the meantime here is some of the more entertaining news that I’ve seen lately.

  • It’s almost Thanksgiving. I don’t know how to explain how I feel about the holiday except to say that as much as I enjoy and love the 4th of July is how much I could do without Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong, I truly appreciate the meaning of the holiday, but the rest of it–the disastrous family scheduling, the elaborate preparations for a dinner that is eaten at 3pm, and so on–drives me crazy.  I don’t eat turkey, cranberry sauce, or stuffing which also makes things difficult.  For Pete’s sake, it is just a meal.  I would rather have a ham sandwich and be done with it.  Sorry, soapbox is away now.  That being said, I found that this was the perfect illustration of what you can do with the turkey.  Who knew that Cincinnati was the town that had the best perspective on the holiday, even if it originated in a WKRP episode.  Turkey bowling.  Even if you throw a gutter bird, at least you’ve tenderized the meat!!!
  • I love fish.  I love to eat fish, I love to watch fish, I love to go fish, I even just had raw fish for dinner.  Yet I have never seen a fish do this.  Evidently Otto the Octopus was annoyed by the fluorescent lighting above his tank.  The aquarium workers couldn’t figure out why the light kept going out.  Turns out Otto was bored during the off season, and had been using the bars as a jungle gym of sorts to hoist himself up and then shoot a jet of water at the light to make it short circuit.  This is, of course, after he had learned how to juggle hermit crabs to keep himself entertained.  That’s something I’d love to see in person.  Besides, squid doesn’t make great sushi.  Calamari, on the other hand . . . .
  • A cat that was missing for thirteen years was reunited with its owners thanks to the microchip that was implanted.  Now I’m no expert on the pet-finder chip, but it seems to me that is not an acceptable turn-around time.  And here’s another thing.  THIRTEEN YEARS!  I know that cats can live for a long time, but I would think that after 13 years it’s not quite the same cat.  Totally different animal!
  • Here’s a candidate for the stupidest 911 caller of the year.  A man reported a burglary in his own home. Upon arrival, the police noticed that there was something lying in plain view in the bedroom–a pot pipe.  Oh yeah, and ‘herbal accessories’ were in the living room.  Not only was the guy burgled, he was also arrested himself.
  • I realize that the economy currently means times are tough.  However, stealing communion wafers is a bit much for me.  And injuring an 82 and 61 year old, in my opinion, means that he should have to say quite a few Hail Marys.
  • Simultaneously, there is sometimes a point where your job can interfere with your personal life–like with this man, who arrested 48 of his relatives.  Talk about having issues at a family reunion!  I don’t know what their crimes were: minor, major, indiscreet, public drunkenness, who knows.  Still, that’s pretty drastic to send four dozen relatives to the clink at once.  Other family members were also upset: “The policeman’s sense of duty had inflamed his relatives, some of whom had taken turns threatening his parents, and had ‘even secretly cut off the tails and slashed the legs of their cows,’ the report said.”
  • (And this will be my only political one, I promise) VP elect Joe Biden has called Dick Chaney “the most dangerous vice president we’ve had probably in American history”.  Poor syntax aside, well, hee!  Cracked me up.  Interesting article about how he wants to make sure he has an active role in the administration, continuing the tradition of the last two VPs by keeping weekly meetings with POTUS to make sure that he is in the loop.  But he called Chaney out!  What a riot.  I’m anxious to see how he performs.

That’s all for tonight, stay tuned for tomorrow where there will be no more than one political posting and who knows–there might be an addition to the family!

Shocking news!

This just in from the Associated Press:  Barack Obama’s race might be a deciding factor in this November’s election.

Ya’ think?! Cracked me up.  Like it has never been noticed until now.  It’s a new discovery!  Barack Obama is not 100% Caucasian male!

When I first saw the article title I thought it was going to be a Dave Barry-esque slam on today’s voters and how something so trivial serves as the deciding factor rather than the actual politics.  But now, it’s legit.  Here is the article in its entirety, just so I can go back and laugh whenever I want a chuckle over the intellectual shortcomings of American voters:

Continue reading

Seven Years Ago Today

I was sitting at my desk, working like it was a normal Tuesday.  Two days prior I had returned from a trip to San Francisco and Carmel Valley, where my cousin and I flew to visit my brother while he was training.  I was still trying to play catch up for the week, and was swamped with paperwork.

The phone rang, and it was my boss’s son.  He asked if we were ‘watching this on TV’.  Not knowing what ‘this’ was, I said no.  He explained that the first plane had crashed into the WTC.  In between the time the phone rang and the time we found a TV, the second plane crashed.  All work, in essence, stopped for the day. I had a boss who had a sister and a cousin that worked in those buildings, he was freaked out.  Another boss had a sister that worked on the 45th floor of the first tower struck.  She had a doctor’s appointment that morning, and had not gone to work yet.  I had a sister (stepsister) that, until September 1, had lived in lower Manhattan and had extensive contacts with those that worked in those buildings.

Then the news that a plane hit the Pentagon.  With a brother in the military and many friends in government work, I was freaked out.  That one bothered me a bit more.  I have friends that live on the Hill.  I have friends that live across the river and could see the building smoking. Finally, the news of a plane diverted by heroic passengers to crash in Pennsylvania.

It was a trying day for everyone.  Nobody wanted to be alone, and everyone wanted to know what on earth was going on.

At the time, my friend Plenipotentiary was a single mother to a seven month old boy.  She, much more so than I, had many friends and family in the DC area and was equally in shock.  We knew the President was going to speak that evening and while neither one of us liked his politics or agreed with a thing he had done since the day he arrived in office, we wanted to hear what he had to say.

We went to a local Irish pub down the street from where I lived at the time.  I remember sitting there, with the baby, all of us having dinner watching the replay over and over and over again on the giant TV screen in the corner.  When George Bush came on, the entire restaurant went silent.  The kitchen staff came out to hear what was said, the waiters quit trying to hustle tables, the college students quit trying to hustle women, and we all–for a single moment–just listened.

I don’t remember what the President said that night, I don’t remember what we talked about at the table.  I can’t say that I became a supporter of George Bush after the events of September 11, 2001 or that I even fully comprehended at the time exactly what had motivated these happenings.  I just remember that in the evening of an event that has turned into a ‘where were you when’ moment, I was with family–both familiar and strangers.  I was with those that were as confused as I, those that were as baffled as I, and those that were as needy as I was that night.  I was with a pseudo-sister, and we drew comfort from just being in the presence of one another.  And most of all, I remember looking at her baby boy, thinking about the world that this beautiful child was going to grow up in and wondering if it had changed forever.

Thank heavens I can get some work done now! (aka Olympics week two recap)

I think it’s a sign of bad things to come.  I kept the TV off for two weeks, then the Olympics started.  I, of course, had to watch every minute possible.  I had to clean space off my Tivo (!) to allow recordings to occur.  I had to sit and watch all of it.

Now, the Olympics are over.  I can turn off the TV and get back to work.  Only I can’t–thus far, I have finally watched the entire season 3 of Prison Break (13 more hours on my Tivo), the first two episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (haven’t yet determined if I like it or not), the season premiere of The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency (can’t explain why, really), and a Biography special on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I have tried to turn off the TV, really I have, but it’s like a drug.  I must watch.  I must veg.  I must get cramps in my back from awkward angles on the couch.

But that being said, I am still reeling over the Olympics.  They always lead me down the path of awe and inspiration while simultaneously thinking that there needs to be some way that normal people can do that sort of thing (air rifle! It’s an Olympic sport!).  But there were, as always, moments that stood out for me.  Be it good or bad, noteworthy or inconsequential, these are the thoughts I had on the last week of the games as I was watching them. Continue reading

“Blame Canada! Blame Canada!” (aka Olympics Week One Recap)

Or in this case, “Blame Chi-i-na!  Blame Chi-i-na!”  I recently heard Robin Williams’s version of the South Park theme song, and it’s been playing in my head for the last week.  Change Canada to China, and it’s apropos.

I did really well, actually, the first two weeks I was unemployed.  Then the Olympics started.

I am an Olympics junkie.  A HUGE Olympics junkie.  The kind of girl that Tivo’s every minute she can and includes extra time so in case of exciting run over I don’t miss a minute.  And sad to say I actually watch it all.  Even if I’ve seen spoilers on the web that tells me who won the sport, I still watch it.

My friend S tells me that I have a problem.  She was living on my couch during the Athens games in 2004, and thought it was weird that I was still watching them a week after they were over.  Hey, a girl had to work, right?  It was the only time I had to catch up.  Everyone has a vice, this is mine.

So without further ado, here are the things that stood out for me, that brought tears to my eyes, that made me laugh out loud, or that had me shouting at the top of my lungs at 1 am for the athlete to “move your ass” in order to cross the finish line first. Continue reading

News of the Odd and Absurd

Sometimes I think that my life is absurd.  That things just aren’t right.  That there just couldn’t be anyone else that has this much of a soap opera of a life.

And then I read the newspapers.  I mean, good grief, my life is downright boring.  Family dysfunction, unemployment, life in general is nothing compared to how things are going around the world.  There are some truly messed up things going on out there.  The apathy and ignorance shown by society is a hoot.  Here are a few things that caught my eye.  Some are hilarious, some are sad, some are historic, some are just interesting.  I stuck to my no more than ten rule, but I’m afraid that one of them is a bit long.  Enjoy reading:

  • Roger Ebert has long been an icon in the entertainment industry.  With his original partner, Gene Siskel, the two could make or break a movie based on a simple hand movement.  With the recent revamping of their TV showAt the Movies, both Ebert and Siskel’s replacement, Richard Roeper have voluntarily decided to leave.  Ebert wrote a wonderful eulogy of sorts for the show, and you can read his bittersweet farewell here.
  • I cannot believe that Continue reading

It’s a crazy world we live in, part 2

Okay, here’s some more stuff that I just think is worth mentioning.  To continue from yesterday:

  • How is it that I have never heard of this woman before?  Irena Sendler saved 2500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942-1943.  A teacher thought that the number was actually a typo, and four high school girls–Megan Stewart, Elizabeth Cambers, and Jessica Shelton, and Sabrina Coons–did their research to see if it was correct for a school project.  Not only is the number accurate, it is probably grossly underreported.  The four girls wrote a play about it called Life in a Jar, so named because Sendler was part of a group that smuggled children out of the concentration/work camps and gave them to others to raise under a pseudonym.  In the hopes of reuniting the children with their families someday Sendler wrote their true name on a slip of paper, stuck it in a jar, and buried the jar in a neighbor’s garden.  She was captured by the Germans and imprisoned for awhile herself until a guard accepted a bribe from her partners-in-arms and helped her get free.  Continue reading