Archive for May, 2011

Maine Teaser

May 30, 2011

I am up in Maine for a while.  Here are some opening photos just to give you a flavor of what’s to come.  I never cease to be amazed at how behind in nature’s seasonal progression these north woods are compared to the more temperate landscape of Virginia.  Today, Memorial Day, Maine looks like it is in the midst of early Spring, versus full-fledged summer in Virginia.  I feel as if I entered a time warp  and am now going back in time about eight weeks to experience Spring all over again, this time in Maine.  How lucky can a person be?

 

The Dowager Princess, making the trip to Maine.

Horsin' around.

Not bad for our first night.

Stick around.  Lots more to come!

I Love My Camper Colibri Shoes

May 29, 2011

I am a shoe whore.  No question about it.

No matter if one has gained weight or lost weight, shoes (and purses) always fit.  Also, know that wearing a size 5 shoe is not an easy load to bear and finding such small shoes is not an easy task.  Whenever I see a pair of shoes in that size, I will usually buy it in a few different colors.  So I did with my Camper Colibris: red, black and white.  If I am feeling daring and a bit funky, I might wear two shoes of different colors.

Besides being the cutest shoes you ever saw (mind you, ANYTHING in size 5 is going to be “cute”), these shoes are like wearing heaven on your feet.  I was at my dentist the other day, and she complimented me on these shoes and asked who made them.  When I told her it was Camper, the Colibri model, she thought for a moment and then told me that the word “colibri” means “hummingbird” in Spanish.  Sure enough, I took a shoe off and looked at the bottom.  There, as plain as day, was a beautiful, rubber cutout of a hummingbird!

Just wanted to share these shoes with you.  By the way, they are over half off the original price at Zappo’s or Amazon, if there are any left.

Our $arah

May 27, 2011

Our $arah is back, in a fashion.  I am firm in my belief that she will not run for the Presidency in 2012.  Why?  Simply because the money she is hauling in and the accompanying acclaim is exactly what she was after in the first place.  Our $arah is golden!

Would anyone doubt that theory, after observing her abdication of the Alaska governorship?  She chose to roll with the public momentum to fill her own personal coffers.  Trust me: there is no way she is going to forfeit those advantages in favor of serving the public.  Not a chance.  Moreover, the requirements for running for the highest office in the land would entail serious study of domestic and international policy, an exercise in rigorous education for which our $arah has not an iota of aptitude or interest.  The benefits of political education are just not lucrative enough for her.

Recently, $arah just purchased a home in Arizona.  Have a look at the spread and the financial history of the property.  As Andrew Sullivan writes, $arah did nothing illegal.  Agree.  It is my opinion that once again, she was just stupid.  The price she paid was double the short sale price of one year ago.  Thank the heavens and stars that her life decisions are just affecting her, and not the entire country.

To add to her parade of acclaim, our $arah has announced a new bus tour in the northeast.  Go for it, $arah!  I wish you tons of money and buckets of public adoration.  Just stay out of public service, because really, you have no conception of what that entails.  Deal?

Likewise, months ago I told you that once President Obama released his birth certificate, misanthropes like Donald Rump (I like this typo.  Do you?) would still not be satisfied, and would escalate the birther debate by upholding that the birth certificate was falsified.  Voila!  Trump is resurrecting the birther issue in an attempt to refresh his own public attention.  After all, he has been off the front pages for two weeks  now and he needs a a booster, a shot in his arm, a fix, to advance himself.

Such media whores as $arah and Trump have no intention of serving the public.  Rather, they are on the face of the earth to serve only themselves.  I say, “Go for it.”  Just don’t run for public office and pretend to be a representative of the people.    Both $arah and the Donald represent no one except themselves.  This fact is an unintended gift and we should enjoy the show and be grateful that these non-starters are well, non-starting!

Super Heroes

May 25, 2011

Some midweek levity is in order to get us over the hump.  Enjoy!

http://guyswithbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/bin-ladin.jpg


http://www.emailvariety.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Dalmatian.jpeg

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1371091/Swansea-house-looks-like-Hitler-complete-naff-parting.html

Anger Management

A husband told his wife, “Whenever I get mad at you, you never seem to get upset. How do you manage to control your temper?”

“I just go and clean the toilet,” was the response.

“How does that help?” he asked.

Wait for it…

“I use your toothbrush.”


Change: Rejected by All Parties

May 24, 2011

Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Tea Partier —- whatever.  With all the candidates and non-candidates, all of this party loyalty is a bunch of hooey.  Our political parties are much more alike than different from each other.

In a nutshell, what with all of this horse trading, taking immoveable ideological stances, then sacrificing such party lines in the end, is really all about maintaining the political status quo.  Our House representatives, senators, governors, et cetera ad nauseum, are first and foremost out to save their own positions in a governmental bureaucracy so tangled and rife with special rights and benefits, not to mention the “extras” that come with positions of persuasion and power.  Period.  The efforts to save  Medicare and Social Security, raise the debt ceiling, create jobs, regulate the financial industry, repair our infrastructure, make inroads to cleaning up our environment and make and abide by new immigration policies, is truly just the side-show.  These issues are the “teasers”, but when push comes to shove and a vote is taken in Congress, these issues often fall to the wayside in the hopes of preserving the richly rewarding status and material benefits of being an elected official.

Surely the need to please the electorate also has a role in consummating specific legislation.  This is a given in the type of elective democracy we have in our country.  The voters are equally torn as their leaders are: it is a real dilemma to decide whether or not to make substantial, necessary changes or hold fast to the old system and the entitlements therein.  Nevertheless, time and time again I have observed the top guns come out vociferously and unflaggingly for their own specific ideology, only to fall to compromise and deal-making in order to eventually pass a watered down version of the initial law.  That too is due to the preferences of the voting public and also a result of a country ideologically split right down the middle.

Some examples are in order.  In today’s political arena, one main topic of discussion is drastically cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits.  The objective is to reduce our debt, a much-needed strategy.  Paul Ryan’s plan to overhaul Medicare is considered rash.   Yet the GOP wants to present a united front for Ryan’s plan specifically and a united party front generally, even though there has been dissension among their own ranks, not to mention their voting constituents.  Last weekend, Newt Gingrich dared to criticize Ryan’s plan as “right-wing social engineering” and was summarily called on the carpet by his fellow Republicans to tow the party line.  He promptly apologized.  Yesterday, Senator Scott Brown also had some negative comments about Ryan’s Medicare plan and has been lambasted by his party colleagues.  Whether we designate this lack of party unity as Republicans eating their own or just objecting to change, the mission is clear: keep the status quo.  Also, it is obvious that the GOP voting public does not want their Medicare and retirement benefits tampered with.

All of this party infighting sounds quite familiar.  This is pretty much what President Obama had to contend with to get health care reform enacted.  Same story for avoiding a government shutdown, DADT, and many of the other hot-button political issues of the day.  Just like today’s infighting of the GOP on budgetary matters, the President had to cede some of the more liberal policies of health care to the more conservative demands of the Blue Dog Democrats.  Even this bastion of change, Barack Obama, had to back off and reconcile his “radical” ideas closer to the status quo.

It is ironic that the Republican party is now going through this same process of division regarding deficit reduction.  Their old-timers, a la John Boehner, are going to have to make some room for the brash freshman class, who want deeper change.  This article explains concisely the divide in the GOP.  If you choose only one link of mine to read, this is it.  It is hard to miss the irony of this party division that the GOP is currently experiencing which mirrors the same discord within the Democratic party when faced with enacting legislation.  Regarding the raising of the debt ceiling and deficit reduction, the pendulum will settle somewhere in the middle.  Both the Republicans and Democrats are playing chicken with domestic policy, each one waiting to see who will make the first move and how severe that move will actually be.

The political atmosphere is clear.  Although the people and loyal members of both major political parties are tempted by  the need for drastic change, the factions within each party are going to deliver a much more benign agenda.  That is the only way they can somewhat please the American voters and placate their own ambition to maintain their jobs and perquisites of public office.  We, the people and their leaders, are faced with a tug of war where different factions within the same party (both of them) must choose between caving in to the new class of politicians or submitting to the old accoutrements of “gubmint.”  Americans’ hairs stand on end when they are faced with not receiving the Medicare and Social Security benefits for which they have paid for dearly over many decades.  Changes in these programs will ensue, but very gradually.  It is fascinating that both parties not only have their more aggressive, change-seeking elements, but they both also have their reactionary camps that want above all, to keep the status quo.

Plus ca change, plus c’est meme chose.  C’est la vie, non?

The Garden of Renewal: Photos

May 20, 2011

Such color and not a blossom in sight.

Ditto.

Depth perception.

Always eager and "impatien" to multiply.

Equal beauty in individual pots.

My very own snail's shell.

A marigold welcome at the front door.

Come visit!

Dahling dahlias.

True titans of nature.

Mesmerized by the awesome view.

Thanks for visiting my garden with me.  It is so much work to plant every year, but the rewards are endless.  My haven, my refuge.

Roseanne Barr the Pathfinder

May 19, 2011

How ludicrous that the person doing an in-depth report on the actions of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn is none other than the illustrious Eliot Spitzer.  No way is fiction more provocative than real life.

When Ah-nold made his public apology, requesting that “I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.”, he should have considered his family more seriously thirteen years ago when he fathered a son outside of wedlock.  How dare he now pretend to have concern for the welfare of his wife and children.   Where the hell was that love, respect and care for his family when he made that irresponsible decision in the first place?  He has no more contemplation for his family now than he did back then.  His role modeling for his children was dead thirteen years ago and is dead today.

Rather than continue with my rant of our morally bankrupt public figures, allow me to present you with a saga of a public figure who took the time and fought the fight for her beliefs and contributions.  Remember: our best defense in outing and punishing the scum of this earth is to concentrate our attention on the good guys.

A short history of Roseanne Barr, an entertainer who truly entertained, is in order.   Although faced with much criticism for her aggressive ownership of her plentiful comedic talent, Roseanne truly was a model for women asserting themselves in the field of entertainment.  Roseanne did what Tina Fey is doing today, only she did it 20 years ago.  You might admit that Roseanne was the bridge between the Joan Rivers of 40 years ago and our Tina Fey of today.  These three women are vastly talented comedians.  Joan made Roseanne’s venture possible and Roseanne widened the path for Tina’s success.

I adored the “Roseanne” sitcom.  It was true to life, gritty and above all, hysterical.  Enough fanfare; read all about it here.**

**Much gratitude goes to my son Chuck for his habit of being well and widely read.  He keeps me up-to-date on all issues.  His curiosity spans many decades; he does not limit his interest to only the years of his life.  He is my  true “Renaissance Man.”

Titans of Redemption

May 17, 2011

Such titans of the world!   Such stanchions of politics, industry and public role models!  The Schwarzeneggers, Strauss-Kahns, Ensigns, Gingriches, Madoffs, and so many other dirt bags who aspire and fill our leadership positions are truly no such titans at all.  Lest you think I am totally partisan in my criticism, let me also cite the moral incursions of Bill Clinton and those of John Edwards, whose acts of betrayal hit me the deepest.  The great American need is to be redeemed.  But in order to be redeemed, we must commit morally unacceptable acts.  That is the inherent catch-22  of our society.  That is the driving factor that permits people to act in violation of their morality and the law.  It could be our eventual downfall.

Stupid Arnold: having been unable to stay faithful to his wife and four children, he had to engage in an affair with one of his “household help” and make a baby over a decade ago.  It is appalling to me that he refers to the mother of his fifth child as a “member of his household staff.”  That grates on me the most.  Just like this prince of international monetary policy, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who attacked a hotel maid.  What is it with these guys?  Besides their base, unfaithful ways, why do they hit on those women in subservient positions?

Strauss-Kahn, former head of the IMF and (formerly) close contender for the French Presidency, has been arrested and charged in NYC after allegations of sexual assault by a maid in the hotel at which he had been staying.  Nobody is better than the NYC police department and they hauled his ass off the plane right before it was scheduled to leave the country.  Additionally, the judge has denied bail.

This world leader, this socialist political punk, this hypocrite working for the IMF, found himself living off the fat of the IMF, whose mission statement is:

The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation and exchange rate stability, facilitates the balanced growth of international trade, and provides resources to help members in balance of payments difficulties or to assist with poverty reduction.

How could the chief of the IMF, having dedicated itself to the betterment of economic conditions worldwide, find the wherewithal to stay at hotel rooms that cost $4000 per night during his travels?  How does that further fair and just global economic principles?

As an aside, here’s a funny story.  I will never forget when David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam killer, was arrested in New York.  My mother, permanently scarred by the Nazi hatred of Jews, whispered, “Oh God.  He’s Jewish.”  It was as if the world would once again come down on the entire Jewish population and the ugly, stereotypical prejudice would rear its ugly head.  I imagined her, in her hushed tone, repeating that sentiment when Bernard Madoff was caught.  And today, I giggle a bit because she would have said the same thing about Strauss-Kahn: “Oy, he’s Jewish.”  Dear mother of mine, that is the least of our worries in today’s corrupt, devil-may-care, narcissistic world.

The worst thing, to me, about these crooks is that they say one thing and then do the opposite.  Then we have the next level of scum who, while adhering to societal mores such as marriage first and childbearing afterwards, still play their own moral game of having numerous families a la Trump and Gingrich, of altering the strict behavioral codes they supposedly support all the while designing their own special moral code for their own lives.  Newt Gingrich, with his three wives, is now the epitome of morality itself.  He claims that his current wife Calista, with whom he was having an affair while still married to his second wife, has made him see the light and that his conversion to her religion of Catholicism has made all the difference.  I do not believe that for a minute.  His newfound religion is awfully convenient for a run for the Presidency.

Likewise Schwarzenegger has apologized to his wife, his children and the world about his dalliance ten years ago.  Puh-lease: words are simply lip service.  Where was his moral backbone?  The trouble is that he does not have any spine.  This is the new strategy, of course only put into action if the scoundrel has been caught: fess up, apologize and hopefully, continue on one’s ambitious, personal crusade.  John Ensign tried to play the game but got his ass kicked pretty badly.

Similarly, I find it laughable that Bristol and Sarah Palin are now the face for teenage sexual abstinence.  Once again, America has a penchant for that good old-fashioned redemption.  Life is not worth living if we stick to the straight and narrow from the get-go.  Oh no: in order for us to be forgiven and redeemed we must commit some atrocious act.  I guess the Devil made them do it.  Now let’s get on with the redemption and forgiveness.  There.  How’s that for a blueprint to act unethically?

Perhaps the only real retaliation to these gluttons of pleasure, greed and hypocrisy is to focus on the good guys.  Such family men as Joe Biden and Barack Obama should get the acclaim and attention for their family loyalty and ethical behavior.  Such captains of industry, like Warren Buffett, who has never paid himself more than $100,000 in annual salary, earmarked most of his vast fortune to the Gates Foundation and during his business trips stays at hotels that are very modest.

The worst offenders should be wiped off the face of our earth, or at least off of our front pages.  If punishment is called for, as in the cases of Madoff and Strauss-Kahn, it should be meted out and then we should co-opt their media attention with news of the good guys.  Most regular Americans are more upset by these leaders’ lies than with their  sexual peccadilloes, financial corruption and abuse of public funds.  Perhaps that is the crux of the matter: the actual unethical deeds have become acceptable to the public, or at least they are interpreted as being unstoppable.  Therefore, the anger of the people is directed at the duplicity of these rats.  It is as if the corrupt acts cannot be halted so our only alternative is to harp on the lies.  No my dear Americans: first it is necessary to disallow the initial deeds.  Those should not be forgotten or minimized.

Wouldn’t our world be a better place if we just did away with this urge to be redeemed?  Our society would be a much better place if we adhered to an ethical code and laws on the books in the first place.  This need to act badly would disappear.  Redemption can get so complicated; why not skip it entirely?  That would describe a true titan.

Trump Takes His Trick

May 16, 2011

Donald Trump announced today that he will not be running for the Presidency.  He used the “I can benefit the private sector better” excuse.

Here is my take on his decision.  His poll numbers tanked and he does not have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning the GOP nomination, much less the Presidency.  Moreover, “The Apprentice” was renewed for another year.  That was his true motivation for toying with the presidency.  The focus is always on himself and the gains that he can amass.  Plus, a run by Trump for the highest office in the land was sure looking like a losing proposition.  His narcissism would never allow him to enter a contest that was a total loss from the get-go.

I am not surprised by Trump’s decision and I am pleased.  But darn it, imagine the fun we could have had if he doubled down and ran.  Now all that fun is kaput.  Or is it?  Some of the other characters, like Newt and Bachmann and Palin, would surely keep us entertained aplenty.  Let the games begin!

More Weekend Funnies

May 13, 2011

If you want to experience some real nostalgia, visit the summer camp site on Facebook of  Camp Rhoda-Barrington.  We campers have reconnected and the memories just keep flowing.  All of this happened 45 years ago.  Yet, our recovered reminisces are as clear as if they happened yesterday.  That is the power of friendship, camaraderie, competition and yes, a yearning for times gone by.

Here is some entertainment for your weekend:

The  Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any  word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one  letter, and supply a new definition.
    Here are the  winners:

1..  Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2.  Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3.  Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until
you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation :  Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The  substance surrounding stupid people that stops
bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows
little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6.  Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of
getting laid.

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8.. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte  : To take coffee intravenously when you are running
late.

10.  Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra
credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s
like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.):  The grueling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.

13.. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when
they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit  (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into
your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in
the fruit you’re eating.

The   Washington  Post has also published the winning submissions to
its  yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate
meanings for common words.

And the winners are:

1.  Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2.  Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one
has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6.  Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing
only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8.  Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n.  Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has
been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n.. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by
proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

And a little jokey from one of my best buds from camp:
  Once upon a time there lived a king.
The king had a beautiful daughter,
   
The PRINCESS..
But there was a problem. Everything the princess touched would melt.

No matter what;


Metal,

Wood,

Stone,

Anything she touched would melt..

Because of this, men were afraid of her. Nobody would dare marry her.

The king despaired. What could he do to help his daughter?


He consulted his wizards and magicians. One wizard told the king,

‘If your daughter touches one thing that does not melt in her hands, she will be cured.’

The king was overjoyed and came up with a plan.

The next day, he held a competition. Any man that could bring his daughter an object that would not melt would marry her and inherit the king’s wealth..
 
THREE YOUNG PRINCES TOOK UP THE CHALLENGE.
 
The first brought a sword of the finest steel.


But alas, when the princess touched it, it melted.
The prince went away sadly
.

The second prince brought diamonds.

He thought diamonds are the hardest substance in the world and would not melt.
But alas, once the princess touched them, they melted.


 
He too was sent away disappointed. 
 


 
The third prince approached. He told the princess,
‘Put your hand in my pocket and feel what is in there.’
 
The princess did as she was told, though she turned red
.. 
 
She felt something hard. She held it in her hand.

 
And it did not melt!!!

 
The king was overjoyed. Everybody in the kingdom was overjoyed. ! 
 
And the third prince married the princess and they both lived happily ever after.

Question: What was in the prince’s pants?
 



 

&M’s of course…

They melt in your mouth, not in your hand.What were you thinking??