Archive for December, 2008

Cherished Wishes

December 31, 2008

It is almost here.  2009.  We have lost our power due to high winds so it appears that I will be barbecuing New Year’s dinner.  Also, no vacuuming today.  Uh-oh.

I want to wish you all:

My oldest and dearest:  ERG, Rosie, Ms. Wish, Lilley Hope, Ms. Seven-Striper, the Good Banker;

My family, especially Chuck and Maribel, who never cease to amaze and educate me, and who are my biggest hope for sanity, hope and change;

My newer friends, not one bit less dear, especially The Brownies, who fill me with awe in their devotion to humor and bettering our world;

much happiness, peace in your time and a rip-roaring 2009.  I would be willing to trade a little less drama for a bit more stability.  Silly me.

So Happy, happy New year!  Have a blast tonight, but watch yourselves.  You are still needed to carry the message forward.  As my friend Barack said:  “We are what we have been waiting for.”  Go forth, have fun, but you better be ready to haul ass in 2009.

Much love and thanks,

Yo Mama

As If

December 31, 2008

As if this year hadn’t provided a plethora of media events to satisfy any curious person.  As if this year hadn’t produced enough fodder for those who appreciate irony and humor.  The last few days have kept the ball rolling even further.

As if the greatest love story of a Holocaust survivor and his life-saving angel who gave him food every day, and then they met up again on a blind date years later in this country,  was true.  Oprah even fell for it, hook, line and sinker.  As if.

As if Sarah Palin’s new 2009 calendar is appropriate and relevant for her future political career.  As if Obama, though politically incorrect (as if I care), was absolutely correct in his statement that hard economic times breed exaggerated loyalty to God, guns and religion.  Sarah Palin became a grandma of a beloved baby boy named Tripp.  Bristol out-Palined her mother.  Need I say more?  As if.

Rod Blagojevich, on the verge of being impeached as Illinois governor (I question as to whether or not the accusations will actually turn into an impeachment), named a successor to Senator Obama’s seat in the Congress.   Defying the allegations being thrown at him, Rod selected an African American as if to say, “I dare you to impeach my choice.  As if you can touch this choice, which may or may not be the only control I have left.”  So far, Rod has not been deemed guilty of anything.  As if his hair is attractive.

As if the new Israeli-Hamas conflict will amount to anything good.  Except maybe dead children.  As if it matters who launched the first missiles.

There is one more day left in this year.  As if it might be a quiet day.  As if you won’t hear from me.

As if.

More Auld Lang Syne

December 30, 2008

As 2008 draws yet nearer to its end, 2009 looms in front of us.  Batter up!

I thought 2008 was a fantastic year:  lots of good stuff, plenty of bad, but whatever the events may have been, they were always interesting, history-making, hysterically funny because what you saw was what you got, unbelievable yet true, and at last, not boring.

http://www.bofunk.com/video/7977/funny_2008_year_in_review.html

My favorite word of the year was “ta-tas”.  Please read Molly’s blog for a rip-roaring rendition and perfect use of this word.  Her website, The New Kid On Tha Blog, is a very entertaining site all about a young person’s adventures in life.  It is very illuminating for me.  I need to read it to keep up to date on the world.  However, the humor will entrance you, no matter what your age may be.

http://newkidonthablog.blogspot.com/2008/06/night-girls-showed-up-at-tonys.html

Sadness, stupidity, and greed also defined this year.  The irony of it all is that even our downside was so “American”.  Just as our ideals of freedom, equality, prosperity and independence have shaped our nation from its beginning over 200 years ago, so too will this year’s events go down in the history books as a defining era:

In the end though, we have humor to soften the blow of the bad times:

And of course, we have hope that the New Year will be more honorable, more inspiring and bring us all goodwill.  We have taken the first step in accomplishing that hope by electing Barack Obama to be our next President.  He will need help from every one of us.

Step up to the plate.  It is your turn at bat.

Happy New Year!

Mazel Tov

December 30, 2008

Bristol Palin has given birth to a baby boy.  The chosen name is Tripp.  Glory be!

New Year Greetings

December 29, 2008

Let the festivities begin.

What a year 2008 has been!  The standout event of the year, for me, was the election, which pretty much went on for the whole year.  This was an election for the ages.  I am thrilled that my children and their contemporaries got to experience a decent, honest and transformative candidate like Barack Obama.

Of course, all the other players were quite colorful also.  Who could have possibly even invented a character like Sarah Palin?  Who would have ever predicted that Hillary and the Clinton Machine would fall prey to the neophyte Obama?  Was there ever the thought that our financial institutions would crumble, that our auto industry would waver on the brink of extinction, or that a New York Ponzi artist would fess up to the largest scam of the emperor’s new clothes?  The humor, the gravitas, the sequence of world events made 2008 a year to remember.

Going forward, I relish moving from darkness into light as we  progress (you betcha’, Sarah Palin) from 2008 into 2009.

YE Bush Obama

Doesn’t this picture say it all?  The past is in shadow, the future is in light.  Looking back over Obama’s life, especially his political life of the last two years, I find that his belief that the time for change is now and he is the one to deliver it, despite his brief tenure in elective politics, is apt.  Obama is simply corroborating the facts when he demonstrates his qualities of a cool intellect, a sensitivity to the needs of our people, and above all, the practice of unifying our nation.  He has shown over and over again, sometimes much to our dismay, that consensus, getting the job done, has precedence over emphasizing differences.  The goal is cooperation to ensure change and progress; personal feelings and political vendettas be damned.

My first link is the year in review by the humorist Dave Barry.  I know it is lengthy, but do take the time to read it because your sides will ache with laughter and your brain will acknowledge just how right as rain Barry is in his comments.  This is a “MUST -READ”:

http://www.post-trib.com/lifestyles/1346034,barryyearend.article

A few more posts will follow this one before the year- end because 2008 was a year for the history books.  There is so much more to see and say.  If any of you have definitive or funny photos/ videos from this year’s events, please send them along  to me and I will post them.

It really was quite a ride this year, wasn’t it?

Kill The Kids

December 28, 2008

Israel and Hamas are at it again in Gaza.  Oh!  But the Arabs started this series with missiles and bombs.  So the Israelis answered back with an onslaught ten times bigger.

This is just so messy.  Why don’t both sides just line up all of their children and shoot them dead at point blank range?  It would be quicker, less expensive and there would be no future generation to continue this insanity.  Imagine:  schools would no longer need to be paid for, the mouths to feed would decline in number, and no one would have to live in fear of losing their children to war.  Houses, municipal buildings and those hallowed places of worship, their underlying principles of which are the impetus for all the killing, would remain intact.  There would be no more huge burn and trauma medical bills and no more physical and psychological scars that last a lifetime.  Why prolong the misery and suffering any further?  There just won’t be any more children.  Problem solved.   Furthermore, once they kill all the kids, both sides can revel in their feud with no guilty afterthoughts.

This problem will NOT be solved until both sides decide that enough of their children have been maimed or killed.  Apparently, the children’s fear from this 60 year war has no influence on their parents’ actions.  Ancient texts declaring this area to be the homeland of either or both groups have precedence over a viable childhood.

So have at it.  Stop wasting time and money.  It will be so much more tidy to get this over with in one fell swoop.  The fix is so simple.

Kill the kids.

Stupid-EST

December 27, 2008

Bob Herbert of The New York Times got it almost right today:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/opinion/27herbert.html?hp

Stupidity, from the level of each individual on up to corporations and government, is wrecking our country.  Furthermore, it is my belief that the nature of the American persona is to seek the best, i.e. attain the superlative by any means possible (see my post from 10/08/08 “The Superlative Syndrome”).  The combination of our stupidity and destructive competitiveness spells out only bad consequences for us.

One of America’s founding principles was to provide our new country with the basic principles of freedom so that as individual citizens and as a nation, we could be all that we could be.  The definition of the United States came to include being the biggest, best, strongest, the wealthiest.  Our pioneer “can-do” spirit served us well in the settling of this country, in our industrial development and in producing wealth and prosperity.  However, along the way, we have faltered many times when this independence turned into blind, selfish  ambition.  A premier example is the financial meltdown and accompanying epidemic of fraud and corruption apparent within our borders today.  It is well and good to aspire to higher planes of success.  What is not acceptable is to destroy individuals, society, codes of morality and reason to attain those ends.

On the level of the individual, being the best, having the best, is at first very cute.  This attitude is viewed as an adorable personality quirk.  After a few years, it gets a little annoying.  After many years, it gets downright destructive.  The person striving to be the best can not reach that level because, by constantly raising his own standards to an ultimately dangerous, unattainable level, he places himself in jeopardy of destruction.  So instead, he attacks other people.  It is not enough to be the best; at this point, another person has to be diminished.  This is the major pitfall of  aspiring to be the best.  If you are on the receiving end of a superlative-seeking person, and do not relish being destroyed, the only antidote is to extricate yourself from that situation.

Bob Herbert is correct in his thesis that Americans are their own worst enemy.  Yesterday, the day after Christmas, all I heard on news radio was of the fanaticism of Americans seeking more and better deals at the stores.  The issue never came up as to whether or not these items were needed.  The shopping scene yesterday was a feeding frenzy.  It appeared that bragging rights for the best, cheapest purchase were the order of the day.  The goal was to get there early and shop until you drop;  to get the BEST deal just for the sake of attaining the superlative shopping experience.  One word ran through my mind all day:  gluttony.

Similarly, on a corporate level, being the best is an end in and of itself.  The consequences of  this superlative syndrome has become more widespread, affecting more that just the individual.  Community and society have gotten dragged into the downward spiral.  For the last five years or so, I always wondered why, upon announcing quarterly earning reports, companies had to cite a better quarter than the last one or else their stock price plummeted.   Why wasn’t it acceptable to stay the same?  In light of America’s need to always be on top, greed and corruption became more prevalent.  If  better earnings were just not there, these companies were perfectly willing  to cook the books, lie, steal and cheat their way to a better quarter.  Just yesterday on the front page of  The Washington Post was an article citing  a major accounting oversight organization that changed the rules so that companies would be able to state their earnings in a positive manner, no matter what:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/26/AR2008122601715.html

Government policies and actions have been no less stupid than those of individuals and corporations.  The blind adherence of George W. Bush to his one-dimensional outlook on life, no matter the issue at hand, has been almost fairytale-like.  During his tenure, he has stripped us of our Constitutional rights, slammed the door on much needed, innovative science experimentation, and muddied the waters of the founding principle of separation of state and church.  These are merely a few issues that exemplify Bush’s stupidity.  His willful ignorance was criminal.  Above all, George W. Bush has been the number one symbol, the epitome of stupidity, of which Herbert speaks.  Actually, his ignorance is not so surprising given the electorate who put him in office.  Stupidity rules.  Sure beats taking the more difficult high road.  Stupid is as stupid does.  Easy is as easy is.

In our quest to be the best, we have tossed aside any semblance of  honesty and common sense.  Bob Herbert was actually being polite when he wrote of our stupidity.  Our behavior has been indicative not only of stupidity, but also of avarice.  Stupidity connotes a certain innocence and our stupidity of recent years has had a retributive, entitled and malevolent aspect to it.  There is nothing innocent about what we have done to ourselves and others in our  be-all and end-all contest to be the best.

We do need to re-examine and change our goals.  The times are calling for attention to less spending, a vow to pay as we go, a pledge to ethical behavior, an establishment of universal health care, and a commitment to the environment.

Stupidity plus the superlative.  The message of the day seems to be the “STUPID-EST“.

THEY WALK AMONG US

They walk among us and many work retail.

I was at the check-out at a K-Mart.  The clerk rang up a $46.64 charge.  I gave her  $50 bill.  She gave me back $46.64.  I gave the money back to her and told her she made a mistake in MY favor.  She became indignant and informed me that she was educated, knew what she was doing and returned the money again.  I gave her the money back — same scenario!  I departed the store with $46.64.

I walked into a Starbuck’s with s buy-one-get-one-free coupon for a grande latte.  I handed it to the girl and she looked over at a little chalkboard that said, “Buy-one-get-one-free.”  She said, “There is already a buy-one-get-one-free so I guess they are both free.”  She handed me my free lattes and I walked out the door.

They walk among us!

My sister has a life-saving tool in her car designed to cut through the seat belt if she gets trapped.  She keeps it in the trunk.

They walk among us!

One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when one of them shouted, “Look at that dead bird!”  Someone looked up at the sky and said, “Where?”

They walk among us!

While looking at a house my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn’t want the sun waking him up every morning.  She asked, “Does the sun rise in the north?”  When my brother explained that the sun rises in the east, and has for sometime, she shook her head and said. “Oh, I don’t keep up with all that stuff.”

They walk among us!

I couldn’t find my luggage at the airport baggage area, so I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up.  She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands.  “Now,” she asked me, “has your plane arrived yet?”

They walk among us!

While working at a pizza parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go.  He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6.  He thought about it for some time before responding.  “Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don’t think I am hungry enough to eat 6.”

They walk among us and they reproduce!

What’s Your Take On This?

December 26, 2008

This article was on the front page of the Metro Section of The Washington Post today.  Thoughts?  Comments?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/25/AR2008122500929.html?sub=AR

Santa Baby

December 24, 2008

What else should a nice Jewish girl, who CAN get any stain out of anywhere,  do on Christmas Eve than to entertain?  It is my pleasure to oblige.  This one is a classic:

Merry Merry

December 24, 2008

image

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Coulda turned out a lot worse.