Friday, September 30, 2011

Banks, grrrrrrr

Screwing the people again.  Really?  Chase announced that they will charge their debit card holders $5.00 a month to have the honor of using the card with their name on it. Other banks are taking a look at it.  Probably they want to see what the fall out will be to BofA.  I really can't stand it.  

The government, paid for by the taxpayers, saved all the Banks asses from complete and utter collapse and when given the choice to do the right thing or stick it to their customers...well, you know the choice they make each and every time.  Maybe the banks are pissed off because the great, smart, and Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren, created the Bureau of Consumer Protection.  It was created to help consumers become more empowered with clear, precise information.  More information creates a more active marketplace, bank to bank.   

Who do you think is most affected?  You betcha, it is the middle, lower, poor, blue collar people of America.  Rich people don't use debit cards.  They use credit cards and cash. Okay, before you write me and say, my friend who makes tons of money uses a debit card, it is the exception.  It is the young people learning how to budget their money. It is shoppers at the grocery stores. Why isn't there a huge cry from the people?  Why aren't the elected officials crying foul?  

The people have decimated Netflix.  If only we could use that kind of power for a more important issue.  We do have power; we just don't know how to use it effectively. Netflix made it so easy.  Our elected officials don't.  Not really.  We can email them, but if you aren't in their district, they don't care.  They are only worried about the next election. 

So as the banks get richer and find new ways to make money off the backs of their customers, the customers are getting bilked out of more of their own money.  Remember how we hated and got over ATM charges, the banks remember too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

3D or not

I am not a 3D lover.  I never was. I don't like wearing the glasses over my eyeglasses.  It isn't comfortable and I do indeed worry about the germs.  The only 3D experience I had was at Disneyworld.  It was 10 minutes of beauty and excitement coming at you.  Sometimes creepy and sometimes scary but fun and over.  Then James Cameron created a "new" 3D filming method and Avatar was born.  Though hugely successful, I didn't appreciate it.  Nothing came at you. It was a gimmick. It was a gimmick that worked but did it enhance the story at all?  For me, it was a distraction.  Since Avatar, everyone wants in on the money action. I hate the trend. HATE it!  

I hate when they do the box office weekend grosses for top spot and they only count the money.  It isn't real. It isn't correct.  They have to count tickets sold, not money collected.  When the ticket prices for 3D movies are an obscene $17.00 and a "regular" movie is $13.00, it is an inflated total.  It is manipulating facts.  In today's market, they should count the number of tickets sold.  That is the real gauge of success.  

This applies to family movies where many children are in attendance.  There tickets are cheaper than adult tickets and that should be denoted in the tabulations.  There are great Disney and Pixar films that are seen multiple times by kids and there is no way that the numbers reflect that.  

I am anti-3D movies from the get go. I feel that the studios are just looking to make more money, not better movies.  I feel that they are selling the consumer a bill of goods.  I am not going to say that I will never go, but it will have to be something that the masses thinks enhances the story not the box office.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Congress is off this week.  Made me chuckle. How many Jews in Congress?  Weren't they just off in August?  Don't they have things to do?  I wonder how many days off they get in a year?  I am not talking about fundraising days in their districts, I mean how many days do they not work.  Oh, that's right, since President Obama took office, they are off every day. It's unfathomable to me that members of Congress are so dismissive of ideas.  When they sit around not governing but obstructing, do they get their government salaries paid for by taxpayer dollars?  When they vote against healthcare for all, do they each get complete healthcare coverage including dental?  When the idea began about universal healthcare, not one member of Congress ever said, they'd fall on their sword for their constituents.  The gall of the members of Congress to act so cavalierly about the American people when their exposure is minimal.  And it is cavalier to vote for government shut downs, against raising the debt ceiling, against universal healthcare, when they each sit in D.C. cushy and paid for in full. 
When Congressman Boehner said that in order to get the money to the catastrophically effected areas from Hurricane Irene, there needed to be equal spending cuts. Are you kidding me??? Areas in desperate need of disaster relief have to wait for Washington bickering to do something?  Really???  Since when did the government toy with helping the American people?  I know. Since Obama became President of the United States of America.  That has driven Republicans and Blur Dog Democrats nuts.  

If just one member of Congress had the integrity, courage, and righteousness to say "until we help the American people, I will not take vacation, healthcare, or salary.  I don't want to be a hypocrite and vote for or against a bill that doesn't effect me at all.  I will stand tall and do the right thing not just be an obstructionist. I will come to the table and try to come to an agreement for all people, not just the people that donate to my re-election campaign."  It is a pipe dream. Never going to happen, but the gall of any elected official to stand in the way of any deal and not negotiate for the betterment of all, is just unconscionable.  

That is unpatriotic.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Once a Rarity

 Something has happened to the English language.  Words that weren't up for debate over pronunciation are all of a sudden shifting all over.  The prime candidate is the word o-f-t-e-n.  The majority of American speaking people pronounced the word o-f-f-e-n.  The only people that pronounced the "t" were people from the Boston area and people that thought that they sounded more educated.  In fact, they sound less educated and "put on."  Even the British don't pronounce the "t." What was once a very rarely heard pronunciation is getting more airplay than Taylor Swift.  All over television newscasters, actors, interviewers, sportscasters, have decided to pronounce the "t."  

I find it totally jarring but no where more appalling than in a lyric to a song.  Twice in one week on two separate shows, the singers sang o-f-t-e-n.  Lyrics are poetry and there is a natural rhythm to it.  When you change the sound, the entire line changes and is disturbing to the ear. On Glee, a group of young people sang a mash up of Anything Goes/Anything you can Do I can Do Better.
The female singer sang the incomparable Cole Porter:

                                                                Times have changed,
                                  And we've often ( she prounounced the 'T") rewound the clock,
                                                       Since the Puritans got a shock,
                                                        they landed on Plymouth Rock.
                                                                   If today,
                                                     Any shock they should try to stem,
                                                     'Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock,
                                                      Plymouth Rock would land on them. 

It's Cole Porter. He didn't pronounce it that way. Ethel Merman didn't, Patti LuPone, Sutton Foster, Elaine Page or any other singer that ever performed the great songs of Cole Porter didn't.  Why now?  

I think that it shows the power of TV.  The more often you hear something, the more it becomes true/common/"real."  There are other words that are cropping up on TV shows.  Have you heard the gerund "conversating?"  No, really, as if it is too difficult to say conversing.  Also, the new word that I have heard at least 5 times by 5 different people on TV.  Are you ready?  I's, as in hers and I's.  Is there a problem with the word mine?  Clearly, the more people hear it, the more people will think it's right and say those words.

I will never forget when I was serving on jury duty and the A.D.A. said ax instead of ask.  It blew my mind.  She went to high school, college, passed the bar and got a job with the New York District Attorney and no one told her?  No one said that the correct pronunciation is ask?  Mind boggling.  

I am my mother's daughter. I am a stickler for English. I am a stickler for grammar, spelling, and pronunciation. I may not always get it correct but I certainly would want to be told.  I certainly wouldn't want to go around saying o-f-t-e-n when I was born and raised in Palo Alto, California and now in my 50's decide o-f-t-e-n with the "t" would be better.  It is people wanting to sound more educated when it is actually the reverse.  

What scares me is that English is always evolving, but there are things in English that I don't want changed.  I like the purity of the language not messed up by slang and bastardization.  That may make me unyielding, but the language of Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Hemingway and others needs to be treasured!

Two Side Notes:

Is it just that I watch Covert Affairs that I think that the freed Americans from Iran are spies?  Why would you be hiking through Iraq and step into Iran?  A dicey part of the world.  What happened to their Garmins?  Grateful that they are freed, no matter what.  Hope they live long and happy lives.

Dancing With the Stars is on again tonight. Don't forget to vote for Chaz Bono.  Let's keep him in for awhile. He actually was pretty good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

TV tidbits

I love Ann Curry.  I have always enjoyed her when she pinch hit for Meredith Vieira.  When they announced her permanent position as Meredith's permanent replacement, I thought, "okay, great. She's paid her dues."  Kind of like when the understudy on Broadway gets the replacement, it always feels fair.  

Ann Curry has had this position for a couple of months now and she isn't Meredith.  Not even close.  She seems phony and two dimensional.  Fawning over every interviewee.  What happened to the hard hitting newscaster?  Maybe the cringe inducing title "newsreader" fit.  Previously, the only time I ever felt she was fawning was when she interviewed Brad Pitt and she went positively girlie.  I think that the Today Show may be in trouble.  It's not like I can come up with a better replacement. This show for the past 20 years has had huge shoes to fill and this is the first one that I think may tank the show.  I know that the ratings are down.  I can't put my finger on what the problem is with Ann.  Maybe she is too serious or not able to ad lib easily.  I am sorry for her, the show, and the audience.  It isn't her fault.  Something isn't gelling.

Moving on to a very difficult topic that I have really tried to ignore is the conclusion of All My Children.  I have watched that show since the day the book opened in 1970.  I haven't watched it much in the past 10 years or so.  I guess life got too busy and it was too difficult to keep up.  It's not as if it is the same show as it was 40 years ago.  In its day, AMC was a revelation. Agnes Nixon always tackled taboo subjects head on: abortion, domestic violence, homosexuality, aids, etc.  There wasn't a topic that she wouldn't put her spin on and it was very affecting. The cast over the years was incredible. The fabulous Ruth Warrick, the gorgeous Susan Lucci, the incomparable Eileen Herlie, the comforting Frances Heflin and Mary Fickett.  The women were stellar on this show.  The men had their day too: Larry Keith, Ray McDonnell, David Canary, Michael Knight, Larkin Malloy, Nicolas Surovy and Walt Willey.  I really can't adequately put into words how important All My Children has been in my life.  It's been an incredible ride and the book closes today, Friday, September 23rd, 2011. RIP

One tiny little sidebar:  there is a huge media campaign for the new and last season of Desperate Housewives.  I am not a fan but do know who's in the cast.  So, I saw this campaign and recognized Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Eva Longoria. There is a woman on the left. The 4th housewife.  For the life of me, I couldn't place her or recall her name. I thought there was a new addition to the cast of characters.  I IMDB'd the show today.  I can't tell you how completely shocked I am that it is Teri Hatcher.  What happened there? Did they photoshop her to death or is there something else going on....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Timing off

Facebook is driving me to distraction.  I hate change for change sake.  So far the recent "improvements" to Facebook, just seem dumb. Maybe the good people of Facebook are bored and this is their answer to boredom.  "Let's shake things up and confuse everyone."  And really, who is reading the tutorials.  The Facebook users just want to read things from friends, play games, and see which of their friends are self promoters.  I find it so interesting what people post and what people think other's will find interesting.  If FB would just block all the side bar ads, I'd be so happy.  Have you ever clicked on any of those and they give you 7 choices to tell them why you want to block the ad. The one choice they don't give you is "don't care" or  "don't want to see."  It is so annoying. No, Facebook brains want to keep changing our "walls."  They now have lists and rate your friends.  I hate that too.  Just something else that mucks up the page.  Really, Facebook people, if you are bored, re-decorate your offices don't re-decorate our walls. 

Another and much greater disaster are the brains behind the changes at Netflix.  Can you imagine sitting around the conference room table and brainstorming?  Someone says, "Hey, I have an idea, let's raise the cost for streaming and DVD monthly rentals by 60%."  Now, I was an avid Netflix fan for many years. Hopped on the bandwagon early on and as of August 31, hopped off.  A million other people hopped off too.  Netflix stock plummeted last week and has continued to take a hit.  When I say plummeted, I mean it went down 50%.  Makes me laugh, a little, that this is where we, the people, can make our voices heard.  I actually can't remember such a huge corporate misstep. I am sure there have been, but the higher ups really miscalculated the strength of their market position.  The outrage on the internet when Netflix announced the price hike was palpable.  There was an uproar. Maybe Netflix is taking the heat for all the companies that have been screwing the public. To quote Peter Finch in Network, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." It was the easy protest. Hit the cancel button on the Netflix website.  They make it so easy. Don't have to speak to anyone. Just move the cursor over "cancel my subscription."  Done.  So, shouldn't someone get fired for this corporate cataclysmic misstep?  You'd think so, wouldn't you?  It doesn't seem to work like that anymore. And, if someone does get fired, they get the largest golden parachute so it's more like "woohoo!" The average person not high up in corporate America, doesn't get it.  If you do a crappy job, you should get fired, and don't let the door hit you on the way out, but in today's CEO a bad job for the company, get fired, and get stinking rich.  

Ah, America.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The party of no or know

Really am having trouble grasping the thought processes of our lawmakers.  Wasn't being a Senator or Congressman a public service job? A noble profession?  Did it change or have I just been completely Disneyfied by movie portrayals.  Was there ever a real Mr. Smith?  Is having integrity and speaking the truth just the fanciful notion of The American President?  I refuse to believe it was never  an honorable profession.  The great men who risked their lives to create this country, were they not all that great? Is it just built up over centuries?  The magnificent prose and ideas of our founding fathers is unparalleled but now get bastardized. What is happening? When did the job of serving in the Congress become a career?  When did that crossover happen?  When did it happen that it is all about self and not all.  I really don't know.  I read a book that was assigned to my kids this summer that purports it was the 60's.  Hard for me to agree because that means that throughout my whole life there was never a true public servant.  This historian does make a pretty good case, but I am still ruminating on that.

When the politicians just say "no," it is stunning.  When it's "our way or the highway," I am flabbergasted. Why don't all the Congressmen and Senators consider all the people in this country?  When did us or them become the way of legislating?  This isn't a football game.  This is our way of life. This is our country, land that I love. It isn't legislating to just say "no." It isn't helping anyone. Trying to just screw the sitting President until the next election is screwing the people of this country.  When did disrespecting the office of the Presidency become chic or middle of the road?  As much damage as the past President did, I don't recall (and correct me if I am wrong) that one elected official boycotted speeches or shouted out during President Bush's speeches. Those that missed President Obama's speech about jobs, bragged about it. Wore it like a badge of honor.  Does that help solve the many problems facing this country? Is that how  we want our elected officials to operate? It all feels so petty and juvenile and yet, people's quality of lives are at stake. 

Do the Republicans actually know something that I don't?  If so, lay it out. Make it work. Make it happen.  It is unconscionable if this is all for personal gain and not the greater good.  I really don't care whose ideas are passed as long as they are good for the majority of Americans. If all the politicians are just treading water in Congress to get re-elected, then we have a cataclysmic problem with two year terms. Maybe it should be one two year term so pandering is kept to a minimum.  How much more dysfunctional can it be?

Maybe politicians need to pass the citizenship test before they can run for office.  Maybe it should be just as important to be born in this country as to know the history and facts of this country.  Historians always profess that history repeats itself so wouldn't it behoove our leaders to know the history? This theme will keep repeating because the lack of knowledge seems to be applauded and admired. 

So are the Republicans going to continue to be the party of "No" or can they become the party of "Know?"  

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's my birthday and I'll _________ if I want to....

Honestly, birthdays are so confusing.  Once you are too old for miniature golf birthday parties or slumber parties, what to do?  It's always a quandary.  I am always grateful that I am here and alive so there is no dread for that reason, ever.  The dread comes from how to mark the day.  Do I make a big deal about it?  Do I scream it from the top of the mountains?  When the day falls on a weekday, it's always problematic.  If it's just another birthday and not a "big" one, how many celebrations can you have?  

I have friends that are very pro-active about their birthdays and let everyone know way in advance. My former business partner always made a big deal about birthdays (not her own, ever).  We used to joke that the surprise in the "surprise" party was who would show up to celebrate.  Some years were nearest and dearest; other years, who are you? 

The problem may be the indecisiveness.  Friends and family will ask what do you want to do?  I don't know.  Not being a martyr, just really don't know.  Uncomfortable, maybe, in making it into something big.  Uncomfortable, maybe, not making it into anything. "What do you want for your birthday?" Oh my.  As the years go on, who cares?  If I really want something, I will get it when I need/want it. And yet, getting nothing doesn't work, either.  It's not the same when you are a kid and you want things: Barbies, roller skates, basketballs, Monopoly.  That is a piece of cake (pun intended). As we get older, what can you really want?  A night alone away? Alone with your spouse? Breakfast in bed? 
Facebook has definitely changed the way birthdays get noticed because any "friend" gets an alert that it is a birthday.  It actually makes it easier for everyone.  Gone are the days of cards in the mail.  Emails and FB birthday wishes abound.

When I was younger, there were definitely people in my life that I felt needed to/should remember my birthday.  Not a long list. When my paternal grandmother died, I realized so did the birthday wishes and gifts.  I never imagined that my grandfather didn't know the day.  He only had two grandchildren.  Just not on his list of priorities.  That was his wife's job.  The realization was a touch surprising.  

So as another birthday is upon me, I am going to root for my daughter's volleyball team and am thankful for every year and every day that I get to appreciate my children, husband, family and friends.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ideas too few and too many

As I sit here in my apartment with the never ending sound of drilling outside my window. Each tap, drill, movement reverberates in my head.  It's part of New York City living. Still love this city.

Honestly, I don't have any answers. I wish that I did. The older that I get, the less I am certain. What I am certain of is that the system is broken. Everyday there are more announcements of job losses. Everyday the politicians come up with nothing.  I just can't bear, no matter which side of the aisle they sit, they can't do something better for the whole, the long term.  There is too much pandering not enough governing.  What has happened?  

I will say one thing for the Republicans, they are totally loyal.  They never criticized President Bush no matter what. The Democrats criticize their own. The Republicans create fabulous phrases that actually catch on the more they use them: death panels, death tax. The Democrats don't create much but disappointment. As a group they seem weak. The Republicans are bullies and the Democrats are the 98 pound weaklings.  It is disheartening at best.  No one wants to step up to the plate and stay committed to what is good for the entire country. No one.  

Obama folded like a house of cards in every hand dealt. He made deals with the prescription drug companies which hampered a comprehensive healthcare act. He caved to the Republicans on the Bush tax cuts. And don't get me started on the debt ceiling.  
Remember when Obama was running, he said he'd end both wars and close Gitmo.  He was elected to the Presidency, inaugurated, and realized it's not that simple. Or is it? When are candidates going to stop making promises during campaigns that they can't keep. What's wrong with honesty?  Why can't candidates say if I were President I would like to do such and such, but when I actually get into office I will have to see how things work. Remember Clinton?  He said he'd allow gays in the military.  Loved him for it.  Got into office and week 3, he was like woops, can't do that.  I can do "Don't ask don't tell." Cop out.  

Okay, really, I could go on and on, which is why I am grateful to have this outlet.  I am always mulling it over.  How can it be different? How can I help? As I said, I don't have answers, but maybe someday....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Mish Mash

It is Thursday in NYC.  The unthinkable happened here politically. The Congressional seat vacated by the hugely disappointing Anthony Weiner, went Republican for the first time since 1920.  1920!  The papers are saying they didn't like the Democratic candidate because he voted for gay marriage.  Do elections really come down to that?  Really?  Why don't elections and campaigns focus on things that truly matter? Why is it that social issues become so divisive people can't see straight.  

This may be a controversial stance but I believe that President Obama didn't have a chance in hell to be a successful President of the United States. When the "black" man was elected to the highest office in the land, people went crazy. They had a visceral reaction to the idea that there was a black man that was above them.  Racism raised its ugly head under the code words birthers, tea partiers, etc. From the moment that Obama was inaugurated, politicians on the right said that no matter what policies he presented, they would say no.  Blue Dog Democrats couched their objections more coyly. Here we are almost 3 years later. The country is working at a shockingly dysfunctional way.  

Grover Norquist, the unelected Wizard of the Right, has almost singlehandedly taken down the country. When I was an agent negotiating contracts, the operative word in that sentence is negotiating, a good deal was when both sides weren't 100% happy. In the world of Grover Norquist, no matter what is happening in the country, raising taxes is the worst possible outcome.  Granted, no one wants to pay taxes, but if we are a society that cares about the other, we need our schools, fireman, police officers, etc. We may not be that country anymore.  It may just be "me, me, me." It's not the world that I want to live in and raise my children in but I may not have a choice. 

I am sure that I will re-visit this. This topic is vast and far greater than my brain can fix.  My heart, however, may be able to if we can go back to a time when the good of others was the good of all. 

Making a 180 degree turn, two reality shows concluded last night on television.  Big Brother, that must make CBS a ton of money and pays out the least, concluded with a tough to like woman going through it for the second time and happens to play the game well.  The second show that ended was the throwback amateur hour show, America's Got Talent.  This year the top four acts all had something to offer.  The over used phrase "the best finals we've ever had," may have actually been true.  All had tons of talent and heartfelt backgrounds.  The winner was Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. a 30 something, married with 3 kids, black, car washer at a Toyota dealership. He is tall with dreads and has a voice like Sinatra.  All the finalists really are winners with shows booked in Vegas  as opening acts for the new headliner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.  Do you think his name will fit on a marquis? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pet Peeves #1

Pet Peeves.  There are many.  Probably my biggest pet peeve is spatial awareness. Maybe I should rephrase that to lack of spatial awareness.  Could it be that it is living in New York City and walking the streets with millions?  Maybe, but I have always been hyper-sensitive to this. 

Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine that you are walking down the sidewalk and someone is walking towards you. As you and the other get closer, one of you has to move or you will collide.  Why is it always me?  No, really. 

If it's raining and umbrellas are involved...forget about it. It's the only time that I am grateful that I wear eyeglasses.  The "dance" of umbrellas on the sidewalks and streets is stunning.  If you are walking unaware, you will get poked. I am so keenly observant of all the people that aren't.  Is it that the others don't see anyone but themselves on the sidewalk?  Is it self-centered?  Narcissistic? 

Let's move inside shall we?  What about the movies? Theatre? People with backpacks, purses, bags trying to squeeze through a row. Not only do the people making way for the person have to watch their feet, the people in the row in front have to protect their heads from attack.  It boggles my mind the lack of awareness. What about having to share the arm of the chair....My life experience is that it's mostly men that own both arms of the chair, though we both paid the same amount of money for our seat. Is it entitlement?  What the hell is it?  Pay attention the next time you are sitting in a theatre.

Let's stay inside. Let's go onto the very narrow aisle of an airplane.  It has always been a problem, but with the advent of luggage charges, flyers are schlepping more and more. That doesn't mean the schleppers are aware that they are hitting people in the head, arm, shoulder.  If you are sitting waiting for the plane to load all the passengers and luggage, don't nod out. Don't start reading.  Watch all the people swinging left and right, pulling and pushing, herding kids, it is a nightmare.  Of course, unlike many venues, you can find safety on a plane...the window seat. What about the boors that push their seats back in your face?  I know it's their "right," but really? Does their seat have to be in my face? I actually think that seats shouldn't ever go back in coach. There just isn't enough space. Comfort is relative.

I have tried to instill spatial awareness in my children.  It isn't easy. Is  it nature or nurture.  Does anyone know? If it's nature, I have expended a lot of energy that I can't get back. If it's nurture, I will stay at it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My 9/11 Memory

It is ten years when the world changed irrevocably. I keep hearing snippets of people's recollections of that day. Many speak of the clear, beautiful sunny day.  I don't have that at all.

My day started early. The kids were in nursery school but there was no school that day because it was Primary election day in NYC.  We were living in a sublet on East 57th Street because we were doing renovations, so I had to run uptown to our polling location.  I voted and returned to the apartment.  The kids were sitting in front of the TV watching Sesame Street on WLIW, channel 21 here in NYC. I was in the kitchen on the other side of the wall cleaning up breakfast. In the middle of Big Bird and Elmo, WLIW decided that it was important to break into the show for the live tragedy occurring.  I was astonished that the station manager chose to break in with live footage instead of an alert on the bottom during pre-schoolers' programming. Thank goodness I heard the sound change and ran into the room, saw what I didn't understand at the time, threw a video tape in the VCR, and ran to the bedroom TV to see what was going on.  It was absolutely surreal.  We clearly didn't have a clue of the magnitude.  I kissed everyone, shaken, and was off on my walk to work. Now, really, it was like a dream or maybe I should say a nightmare. Every block there were people parked with their radios on and their doors open. Everyone was listening to the news. Each block the news got worse. The second plane hit. The next block, Tower 1 fell.  No one even believed that report. Without pictures it just seemed absolutely impossible. Did you see the movie Radio Days? Woody Allen?  I loved it. I loved how he captured the event and the community of people.  It felt like that but then I got to the office and turned on the TV. The reality slapped me in the face. I am not even sure if reality is the right name. The horror?!  We didn't know what to do. There were just two of us at the office. I had an appointment with some "celebrity" that morning. For the life of me, I can't remember who.  I have wracked my brains and it's gone.  I called him or he called me and decided it was best to sit tight and postpone our meeting. We still didn't quite know what was going on.  This is all before 10am. Dazed and numb, we closed the office and I made the same walk back home.  It felt so eerie and odd. It was a communal experience though we weren't still sure what the experience was. Our nanny had arrived and we decided to continue on with the kids plan.  We really didn't know how to act. Did anyone?  We all walked together to a play date.  We left the kids and the nanny at their friend's place and my husband and I walked back.  Trying to piece everything together. The phone lines were down, but my internet was still working. I still was using AOL and I will never forget that because it was our only connection to my family in California.  My sister said not to shut down the computer ever. She was providing some news to us. They closed all the bridges and tunnels so we went to get the kids and our nanny began her long walk home. I will never forget the sight of people pouring over the 59th Street bridge on foot.  Masses of people trudging home.  All dazed. All fearful. All uncertain.  

The children didn't know anything. We were very lucky. We didn't know anyone personally. We were able to insulate them. We didn't obsess with the news in front of them. For that matter, I stopped watching local news. Coincidentally, Channel 11 began to show Friends and Everybody Loves Raymond at 11pm.  It saved me. Those shows saved me.  After days of terror alerts and trying to act like everything's fine, inch by inch, we all got back to our daily routines. There is comfort in routine for me.  

I do question all the focus of the anniversary. It seems very inauthentic. For those that lost a loved one, everyday is a memorial.  Heard the first responders weren't invited to the events on Sunday.  Really?  They should be the priority always. They are the heroes to be mourned and celebrated.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


So it is Day 3 on this venture that I am doing.  The terror has started to set in again. What do I have to say? So much and yet, nothing. I switched in and out of the Republican debate last night. Can I judge if I didn't watch it from beginning to end?  Yes, but do I want to go down the political path so soon?  Many people that know me label me a liberal or Democrat.  In honesty, I am a registered Democrat. I would become an independent, but I want to vote in the primary elections.  Independents don't get to vote for some reason that makes no clear sense to me.  I think that I am the party of common sense. If it makes sense, I'm in, if not....

I don't understand how science, that is fact and evidence based, is now based on beliefs.  What is that about? A year ago I gave up watching The View cold turkey because I just couldn't bear hearing Sherri Shepherd talk about creationism versus evolution. One is fact; one is religious belief. That Barbara Walters, a respected journalist for 50 years, could sit there and accept it, pushed me right over the edge. I have better things to do with my time and brain cells. 

I don't understand how global climate change is a question anymore. Look at the glaciers melting, the earthquakes, floods, fires, blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes. And if there is doubt in some people's mind, why not err on the side of caution. Yes,  throughout the milleniums, there have been different catastrophic changes that changed the earth or was it evolution? If "man" is destroying the earth, that's not evolution. That's just stupid.  I don't get the argument.

Guns.  Another tragic shooting in an IHOP in Carson City, Nevada. I don't understand the NRA at all. I do understand the 2nd Amendment. I don't understand why it is all guns or no guns? I understand wanting a gun to protect your home. I understand a rifle for hunting. I am not interested in either of those things, but I get it. I do not understand the NRA fighting for automatic weapons. I don't get it. Automatic weapons are for one thing and one thing only. Killing. I don't get it.

These are just a few conversations that don't add up for me. These will be repeated themes because they really bug me. It all seems so simple to me and yet, it is not.  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

If you could live in my mind....

If you could live in my mind, you would realize that I have so many thoughts buzzing about at all times.  Organizing this blog may be impossible and it may just be a stream of consciousness as if we are in conversation late into the night. So here goes Day Two:

There are so many things going through my mind about the new cast of Dancing With the Stars. It is another incredibly motley crew with recognizable celebrities and not so recognizable. The most exciting and controversial celebrity is Chaz Bono, formerly Chastity. There are rumblings to boycott this season because "they" object to Chaz' mere existence.  For that alone, I will watch and hope that everyone will watch or vote for Chaz.  Pre-judgment is common and dangerous.  If you haven't seen the documentary, Becoming Chaz, it is well worth the time. It is a frank, painful telling of his journey to become a man. How can anyone judge?  If parents didn't over react, kids wouldn't even know. They don't know Cher; they don't know Chastity. To them he'd be the fat guy who can either dance or not dance. So any of you that are open minded and don't support close minded people, let Chaz be our Bristol Palin. Let's make a statement and let him make it far into the series.

Eddie Murphy as host of the Oscars? Well, he hasn't had an on screen hit since Dreamgirls five years ago. Before that you may have to go all the way to 2000, if you include The Nutty Professor 2. I have been a huge Eddie Murphy fan. The operative word in that sentence is "had." Everyone is touting it like it's such a great idea. I think it's an okay to dull idea. The winner in all this will be Eddie Murphy's career if he is a smashing success. It's a four hour audition in front of millions of people. The loser in all of this is the low hopes for a great broadcast for the viewer at home.

Okay, so the 49th State, Alaska, has been one of those places that seemed like a far away, rugged, freezing place to live, unless you are an eskimo. Who lives there? If you look up famous Alaskans, I never heard of any of them. The first, break out star from guessed it, you betcha herself, Sarah Palin. Now in the top ten for America's Got Talent, there are two finalists from Alaska. How is that possible?  20% of the thousands of auditioners come from the Hinterlands? If you exclude the Palin family, there are twelve people that live in Alaska and now two of them made it to the top ten on a television show.  Go figure.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

I have been thinking about writing a blog for awhile.  I couldn’t decide if it was a commitment I was willing to make or not. Then, I decided, if it’s my blog, I can make up the rules. So the ruminating has continued. What do I call it?  What would I say?  I know I have things to say, ask any of my friends. I always have an opinion or as one of my friend’s will ask, take a meter reading on an issue or event.  Will anyone care? Read it? Find it? Comment?  The name, the name. what’s in a name?  I have been thinking about Diana’s Diatribe, my sister likes alliteration.  The "name" has slowed me down. Diatribe is so aggressive sounding and I may write about Barbie Dolls, who knows? What about Musings and Rants? Streaming Soliloquy? Do I have to decide? Can I keep changing it up?  Now, if no one reads it, how will I feel? Will it matter?  As it’s been considered by philosophers for generations, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" So may be my path; I may write and get no response. A black hole. How will I feel? There is only one way to find out. So readers or non readers of whatever this may be, here we go, Day One.

Today is the first day of high school for my kids.  I can't believe it, really. Where did the time go?  My high school years, though decades ago, don't seem that long ago.  I have memories deeply ingrained in my brain. Thanks to Facebook I have been able to re-connect with so many people that I had thought about over the years. What I find boggling is how many people I didn't know. I thought I knew everyone, in my grade at least, but clearly that is not true. Faces keep popping up and I am clueless.  So as my kids begin their high school years, there isn't a face or name they won't recognize in years to come. First of all, there won't be the long gaps in time because of social networking, and second, their high school is an 1/8 the size of mine. May the adventures begin.