Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm off to Tanglewood



Music under the stars--heavenly!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carnival of the Insanities is up

Give it a looksee. Good stuff.

Report from communist cell I, Eastern division

also known as my family. They are smart people, truly. And nice. So how can they parrot "Bush lied"? Typical exchange:

Beloved relative I: Capitalism is inherently corrupt.

BR II: (Pained look) But what is there that's better?

BR I: Communism!

BR II: But--I mean, look at Russia...it didn't work for them, surely?

BR I: It's never been tried.

BR II: ? (Silence, look of disbelief)

This sort of thing is what I had to contend with, when the discussion turned to politics. In the hopes that other topics would be explored, I walked as through a minefield.

Some tenets of the creed:
Drug companies are greedy and bad. Big corporations are greedy and bad. Anyone with more money than me is greedy and bad, and probably stole the money anyway.

The un-health-insured are many, all of them sick with potentially fatal diseases, and are being turned away daily from the life-saving treatment they need by hard-hearted capitalists, mainly George Bush.

More money is needed for public transportation, whether anyone wants it or not.

The environment is in imminent danger. We might wake up tomorrow to find we have been globally warmed to death. Or frozen by nuclear winter. Bad either way.

If the environment doesn't get us, the pollutants currently being poured into the rivers out of sheer spite by evil manufacturers will poison us all.

The Christian right has taken over the country. Our civil rights have been trampled. Anyone who speaks his mind will probably disappear into a secret prison, never to be heard from again.

Bush should be impeached, censured, or at least sent to his room until he learns to behave.

The Iraqis were happier under good old Saddam Hussein.

My worst employees

Is your boss cranky, mean, or incompetent? Everyone sympathizes. Try being the employer of a problem employee. Here are some of the people I had to deal with:

Fred, the janitor, who used to come in at closing time, to lock up the library, and ostensibly to clean. By the time we had circled the block, he was out the back door and headed to the bars on Main Street. Fred was subtle; he would leave a rag or broom in a conspicuous place so we would know he had dusted. Fred also had a proprietary attitude toward the trash--he didn't like it if you put anything sizable in the trash can. The staff would hardly ever put anything bigger than a staple in the trash can, so as not to incur the wrath of Fred. When it snowed, Fred was nowhere to be found; neither was our snowblower. Fred was out cleaning other people's walks with our snowblower. For extra money. We had to wait our turn. He was a civil servant, so I couldn't get rid of him. But I could eliminate his job and hire a cleaning service.

Maureen, who used to come in at eight, sign in, and to have her coffee with the other staff, who came in at eight but signed in at nine. She would then skip her lunch and breaks and leave at three o'clock, just when the schoolkids came in and the library was busy. When I called Maureen in to my office to ask why she had not done something, she informed me that I couldn't just tell her what to do; I had to earn her loyalty. Maureen earned her library degree on our dime. She set her schedule to conform with her classes and did her homework at her desk. If by any chance she had to get up to help someone, she heaved an exasperated sigh and cast her eyes heavenward. Then she would oh-so-slowly rise from her chair. It seemed to take several minutes for her to achieve a standing position. Fortunately, someone hired her away from us. She was subsequently fired. But never mind. Shes now a library director with, I hope, problem employees of her own.

Kris, who came from some persecuted ethnic group like Latka Gravis. The trouble was, because she used Latka Gravatian at home and hung out with fellow Gravatians, her English was a little rusty when she did her job, which was reference librarian, for God's sake. K would work if I held a gun to her head, but if I put the gun down she would stop. She sat at her desk reading romance novels and telling anyone who asked her for anything that we didn't have it in the library. She spent her book budget on reference books about Latka Gravistan. As awful as she was, she was a warm body and when she took an impromptu vacation I had to take her Saturday! Her theory evidently was that she got paid for showing up at work, doing anything was extra. She finally decided to retire, after 28 years of not doing anything.

Then there was Eddie, the head of circulation who never got to work on time and used to disappear. He was also a terrific ass-licker and back-stabber. He told his fellow employees that I would never fire him because he was a man and a minority. He was wrong: by the grace of New Jersey's civil service laws, Eddie was still provisional, and could be fired at will. It is never fun to fire anyone, but it wasn't too hard in Eddie's case.

Ethel told all the patrons that I was throwing out the Christian books and buying Jewish books in their stead. She was also mean to the patrons, particularly the children. I attempted to criticize her about something, and she had a hissy fit and ran out of the library, thus ending her career.

Most of the people I worked with were sweethearts who worked hard and were devoted to the patrons and the library. I thanked my lucky stars for them. Unfortunately, 80 percent of your time is devoted to the problem workers and only 20 percent to everything else.

(Recycled from 2006.)

A brief Yiddish lesson

I have been reliably informed that there are people in this country who don't know what oy vey means.

True story: when I was in the hospital right after knee surgery, the woman in the next bed kept up a constant moaning of oy vey, or sometimes just oy the lite version. When I mentioned this to my father, who came to visit me, he protested, "But she's black."

Nevertheless, I heard her say oy vey for about 18 hours. The other six of the 24 were given over to exhortations to Jesus.

My Swedish-Scotch-Irish-possibly German son-in-law says it in a midwestern accent.

Oy vey is the international language of woe. In fact, I believe it can be translated roughly as "Woe is me." It expresses misery, pain, dismay, the whole tragic view of life. Saying oy vey over and over is called "kvetching." But lets not get into that.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Does anyone want to hear more about Michael Vick and the dogs?

I don't.

I know there are worse things than being mean to dogs. You could be mean to children, for instance.

But the graphic description of Vick's treatment of dogs frankly makes me sick. I don't want to hear anything more about it. I don't need to know anything more about it.

When I hear about stuff like that, sometimes the gory description sticks in my mind and I can't stop thinking about it. Since my being miserable about Vick's treatment of dogs doesn't help me and doesn't do the dogs any good either, why not spare us the gory details?

Edna, Part Deux

Remember Edna? The restaurant yenta who wanted to split the check? When all I had was a cup of coffee?

Well, there's more.

I liked to go into New York to see concerts, foreign movies, the New York Philharmonic, eat at foreign restaurants that don't feature baked ziti on the menu, or just to hang around the old metrop. Edna also liked to visit New York--before dark, and in somebody else's car.

You see, Edna was a therapist, and all the other therapists drove brand-new Lincolns, which I guess was the car of choice for the therapist community. So Edna drove a brand-new Lincoln, with all the bells and whistles, while I drove a Taurus, period. You know what I mean by a Taurus, period? It's a nice, reliable, middle-aged car, suitable for a middle-aged clergyman or librarian--in a word, me.

So who should drive into New York--before dark, of course? Well, me, of course, in my TP. Her car was much too good to drive into New York. It might get stolen, or get a dent, or something. Anyway, I did the driving, and Edna paid the tolls. When it came to parking, I was on my own. Edna believed that there must be a parking space somewhere, and we usually did find one. Not necessarily close to where we were going, but undeniably a parking space. So we parked for free and got some aerobic exercise, to boot. What's not to like?

These daytime New York trips continued until the time I got two tickets to a show which had been written by one of our library patrons, who was a professional writer. We got a special price, but still, it wasn't free. Anyway, I got the tickets, we saw the show, it was enjoyable, and we had dinner.

On the way home, I reminded her that I had paid for the tickets. As I recall, they cost $50--a non-negligible amount. She didn't have the cash on her and had forgotten her checkbook, but would be happy to send me a check.

I drove her home and insisted on going into her house and waiting while she wrote me a check for the $50.

I believe that was our last New York visit.

Blogger reflection award

Wyatt Earp has been kind enough to nominate me for the blogger reflection award.

Like every other honor, this has work attached to it. I have to name five other bloggers. OK, here's a list of a few (but by no means all) of my favorites:

Johnny Virgil at 15-minute lunch. JV lives near the Canadian border. The cold air keeps his wits sharp. He's a master of septic tank humor, which is better than it sounds, but it would have to be, wouldn't it? If you have a pulse, you'll find him highly entertaining.

Akaky at the Passing Parade. An amusing, witty, well-read librarian. I strongly suspect Akaky is not his real name, at least I've never met an Irishman with a name like that. Wouldn't you know it, he also hails from the Land of Eliot Spitzer. Must be something in the air in the Empire State.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Neilochka is amusing and flirts shamelessly with the lady bloggers. Neil is a twofer. His penis often shares its wisdom. I wonder if his mother reads his blog.

BibliOdyssey features beautiful illustrations. Enough said. Go there and look.

Last but not least, the Nose on Your Face, inventors of Islamic Rage Boy.

The power of positive thinking

Someone has sent my husband a subscription to a magazine called Positive Thinking (it came with a bill, so it is not a gift). The idea of my husband inhabiting the same universe as Positive Thinking is hilarious to anyone who knows him. You could say he has a Tragic View of Life. Lugubriousness is Him. If a light bulb burns out, he thinks it is the end of electricity as we know it. One drop of rain is enough to rain on his parade. List all the cliches about doom and gloom and woe is me, triple them, and you have his outlook on life. Life's a bitch and then you die more or less sums it up.

I, however, am willing to give Positive Thinking a shot, especially since it is sitting on the coffee table and I have nothing else to read. It is full of helpful hints and cheery advice. One particularly helpful hint:

...[W]alking your dog for 20 minutes five times a week helps you lose more weight than the leading diet plans.



Wow! Sounds good. I am always willing to utilize Positive Thinking to improve my daily life. Unfortunately, I don't have a dog.

Suppose I took a houseplant for a walk? Would that work?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Healthy breast care?

I saw this article title on the cover of a magazine. I have two of the items mentioned, side by side on the front of my chest, but I wasn't aware they needed anything special, besides washing and putting a bra on so they don't jiggle. I have mammograms and gyn exams. Other than that, they don't bother me, and I don't bother them. There they are, and here I am.

Now I learn I have to take care of them, doing what? Taking them for a walk? Buy them special treats?

Everything our ancestors seemed to take more or less in their stride, we have to take special care of. When my house was carpeted, I was left with instructions on how to take care of your carpeting. It looked pretty much like a full time job. The newly refinished wood floors, ditto. And don't get me started about grout!

The hell with them. I have enough to do, what with carpets, wood floors and grout. And brushing my teeth. And flossing. Putting on night cream at night. Sunscreen in the morning. Cutting my nails.

My breasts can damn well take care of themselves.

(Recycled.)

A friend I don't see much of any more

I'll call her Edna.

We used to go out to eat. The waiter shows us to a table.
E: Oh, not that one, it's too cold (hot, near the window, near the door). Shows us to another table.
E: Could you turn the music down? It's too loud.
Astonishingly, the music gets turned down. Waiter comes to take our order.
E: Is the pasta made with eggs? I don't eat eggs. I have high cholesterol.
Waiter, who speaks little or no English, disappears into the kitchen. Comes back. The answer is no.
E: I'll have cranberry juice, very cold, but no ice. Waiter brings cranberry juice.
E: This has ice in it. Waiter takes it away. Brings another, sans ice.
E. It's not very cold.
E orders an appetizer, main course, and tira misu.
Me: I thought you were watching the fats--cholesterol, you know?
E: Oh, I always do that.
I have a cup of cappucino. Nothing else. The bill comes.
E: It's $45--Should we just split it?

(Another recycled post.)

Good grief!



You're Thailand!

Calmer and more staunchly independent than almost all those around you,
you have a long history of rising above adversity.  Recent adversity has led to
questions about your sexual promiscuity and the threat of disease, but you still manage
to attract a number of tourists and admirers.  And despite any setbacks, you can
really cook a good meal whenever it's called for.  Good enough to make people
cry.



Take the Country Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid



I'm Thailand!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The government provides health care

to some people. Sometimes.

A case in point:


Campaigners will hear next month whether their court attempt to overturn a ban on giving people in England and Wales with mild or late-stage Alzheimer's a new class of drugs has been successful.

It is the first-ever court challenge of a decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

Nice ruled that only those in the moderate stages of the disease should be prescribed Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl and Ebixa, despite agreeing that they were effective. The drugs, at a cost £2.50 per person per day, were "too expensive".

Looking for light

to study by.

It's official

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.
Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

EU compares with poorest states in the US

Only four states have standards of living lower than the EU.

However, the EU countries do compare favorably with West Virginia, a state so poor mentally and financially that it sends a doddering old idiot to the US Senate.

I am indebted to Pencader Days for the link.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How about those melons?

The latest news from Little Frigging in the Wold.

Sally Doyle, our local green grocer, has become – by nature of her intimate acquaintanceship with all manner of fruit and vegetables – something of the village expert in the erotic possibilities inherent in fruit and vegetables. Her melons have – in fact – become the talking point of the whole village for their firmness, ripeness and size, always attracting a large crowd whenever she displays them to their full advantage.

Support the surge

I've signed up for a website which supports the surge. Obviously I'm not a vet, but I think it is important to have these voices heard, so I joined to the extent of donating a couple of bucks.

The bigmouths of the left are showing up in Washington, making noise and brandishing their oh-so-clever signs. Are we going to abandon the field to them? Or are we going to make our numbers, and our opinions, felt?


Vets for Freedom expresses disappointment that veterans were not able to meet with Congressional leadership from both sides of the aisle in Congress today [July 17]. While many Republican Senators, including leadership, made themselves available for questions and input, interaction from Democratic leadership was noticeably absent. In spite of that, Vets for Freedom members remain committed to speaking with elected leaders on both sides of the aisle.


Don't the Democrats owe these veterans the courtesy of a meeting? Of course they do. But the Democratic leadership has decided that it is safe for them to disregard the opinions of men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They appear to believe that wars are settled by opinion polls, and that politically they have nothing to lose by embracing defeat, because this is the will of "the American people." These "leaders" don't understand the first thing about leadership. Leaders are supposed to lead. To persuade people to follow them. To study the facts and use their best judgment to make decisions, even if these decisions are unpopular and contrary to "the will of the people."

If they had wanted government by plebiscite, no doubt the founding fathers would have enshrined this in the Constitution.

Minority report


I'm one of the few people you'll ever meet who didn't love Florence. Why? Well, it didn't look like the above sunny picture.

On the two days I spent there, it was rainy and miserable, but thronged with tourists and street vendors selling umbrellas. The museums were hideously overcrowded (no wonder, it was pouring outside). The thing I liked best was Santa Croce, where lots of famous people were buried and the rain did not come in.

A day or two later, we were in sunny Sorrento, and thought we had died and gone to heaven. That's what sunshine does for me.

Everywhere I go I bring good weather. I encountered beautiful, balmy weather in Chicago in March and again in November. Everyone else says the climate in Chicago is awful. You can't prove it by me.

I was in Ireland--Ireland!--for eight days and it didn't rain once. Some friends went there to play golf and damn near drowned.

London? Beautiful weather. Ditto the south of France. Barcelona was warm and sunny when I visited there. California? A no-brainer.

I went to Columbus, OH this spring and the sun came out and stayed out. The week before had been rainy.

And so it goes. I am open to offers to visit places cursed with unfortunate weather, all expenses paid, of course.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Interior decoration?

 


Four of these large vases containing bamboo poles were placed at different places in the villa we were renting in Hawaii. I can't imagine why, as the villa was chock full of stuff and they just took up space.

I guess they are supposed to be ornamental. Well, they certainly don't serve any other purpose.
Posted by Picasa

Jews don't want to run the world

We've been running the world long enough, and we're tired.

Debbie Hirschberg says her Hadassah group are weary of all the work involved in running the world's financial system: "Frankly, our group would like to get back to fund-raising for our Purim Carnival. No-one appreciates the work we've put in anyway."

Irv Selnick of Beverly Hills has had enough of the military-industrial complex. "What a bunch of goyeshe kops," he said. "My dental practice is definitely suffering. I'd rather fill cavities."

The natural disaster franchise has been a disappointment for the Thursday Night Bridge Club at the Jewish Center. "We did our best, but Hurricane Katrina on top of the tsunami has worn us out. Let the Arabs take care of it. They have a real gift (for disasters."

Sam and Ida Kraus of Kansas City, MO, would like someone else to run Big Media. They believe the job needs to be handled by a larger group. "I'd hate to tell you how much work I've done just on the New York Times, never mind the rest of them. And what about Dan Rather? Have rachmonis! It's time for a change!"

Managing the entertainment industry has proved a real headache for the B'nai Brith of Greater Minneapolis. They feel that a separate organization should be formed just to cope with Barbra Streisand. Susan Sarandon has been a real headache too. "We're the ones who get blamed when box office revenues are down. It's a thankless job. Maybe Bob Mugabe would like to take it on. He has lots of big ideas."

Mrs. Sadie Cohen, of Bexley, OH, has to give up direction of the sports world because she is moving into assisted living. "I really loved doing it. But something's got to give. After all, I'm 85. Genug gekacken."

Ed Finklestein and his brother Irwin want to give up running the Worldwide Communist Conspiracy. Ed, contacted at his Baltimore, MD home, had this to say: "Why are we giving this up? You have to ask? Have you ever had to listen to one of Fidel Castro's speeches? A choleryah auf im."

World, you're on your own. Try the Unitarians.

(Another recycled post.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

The old days--how good were they?

We didn't even have PMS in my day. It had not been invented, so no-one had it. We had cramps, but took aspirin and carried on.

Midlife crises had not been discovered either, so if some middle aged fool bought himself a sports car, combed his hair over his bald spot, and started dating chicks half his age, we called him a jerk and had no sympathy or understanding for him.

Those were the dark ages.

(This is a recycled post.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Iowahawk for President '08

He is the man.

I know I'm being inconsistent, having first declared for Scott Ott, but I can be bought. If Dave Burge will make me Secretary of Education, I'll support him to the max.

I think it would be a good job for me, because: 1) I know everything, and 2) could it be worse?

If I get the job, I will make this promise: I will take the Internet out of all public libraries. Yes! With all the sickos gone, the quality of these institutions will improve 500 percent. A person could even read a book there without getting sick to their stomach. And the librarians will all support me, because they sincerely hate everyone who wants to use the Internet in the library, and with good cause.

Squirrelly

Iranians discover unusual spies.

Ht to the Asian badger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

So what will it be...

global warming or an energy shortage?

futurepundit points to analysis that makes a good point: If fossil fuels are running out (which may be true of coal as well as oil), then global warming scenarios that assume drastic rises in fossil fuel emissions over the next hundred years are likely to be overstated. Even so, you often see someone complaining both about global warming and about peak oil in the same breath (e.g., Bill Clinton).

What's a little treason among friends?

If you're a government agent and don't agree with a secret policy, disclose it to someone who can embarrass the government you work for and have sworn loyalty to.

That ought to cause your superiors endless problems and get you a reputation for real courage.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Words and music

Do you remember the words to songs out of your past?

I do. I sometimes say I remember the words to every song ever written in the 20th century. I attribute this to the fact that I used to listen to the radio in secret every night when I was supposed to be asleep. That's probably why I have insomnia too.

I'm pretty good at remembering snatches of poetry as well. Every once in a while the words of a poem drift through my mind. Sometimes they don't drift, but stay in the forefront of my memory until I think I will go nuts.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Finally--they are rebuilding the World Trade Center

This site shows the progress they are making on redeveloping the site. Better late than never.

In Israel, any venue destroyed by suicide bombers is rebuilt ASAP. Of course, this is not possible with a mammoth project like the World Trade Center; with the further complication that every interest group made its opinion felt and every objection had to be thrashed out. But at last, they have started.

What brought this to mind was a description of the city of Bristol, England, after World War II. Piles of rubble remained for years, resulting in a shortage of housing and in dispiriting the citizens who had to ply their business among the ruins. I am sure something similar is affecting the citizens of lower Manhattan.

Not all building projects are good ideas, but building projects are nevertheless a positive sign. New buildings are a symbol of hope for the future.

Who hasn't lingered at a building site, watching workers as they make something out of nothing? I felt my spirits rise in Hawaii, when I saw building cranes all over Maui, and the workers in the air, putting together new buildings.

Good luck to the rebuilding of the trade center site. I can't wait to see it completed, at last.

This just in...

butterfat is good for you.

First chocolate, now whole milk--what next? Thick, fat, juicy steak?

Obviously I am not a political mastermind

Jack is angry about the Al Queda situation.
Me too.

Why don't we just bomb Bin Laden's mountain redoubt to smithereens--turn these mountains into valleys? We could apologize later.

Obviously I don't understand the first thing about politics. I watch the evening news and scratch my head. Among the things I don't understand:

1. What did Scooter Libby do? No, honestly, please explain. While we're at it, what did Martha Stewart do?
2. About those 8 prosecutors--who doesn't the administration tell Congress to go shit in their collective hats? A simple "none of your business" would have sufficed. Remember, now--I don't know anything about politics.
3. About the "Bush lied, etc" thing; why didn't Bush say that he acted on the info he had at the time, instead of apologizing and groveling?
4. Why didn't Bush talk to the American people about the war, what his war aims were, and how he saw the situation before we came to this?
5. Why didn't the Lebanese army just carpet bomb that refugee camp, instead of allowing 400 terrorists to make a monkey out of them? It would surely have gotten their attention.
6. Why is William Jefferson still in Congress?
7. The Dems keep saying the Republicans are trying to scare us about terrorists. Why aren't they scared? I am.

You can see how hopeless I am about politics.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The world's ugliest Mother's Day present

 


My son-in-law bought this for my daughter. She was not amused. God knows what it is.
Posted by Picasa

Caesar Rodney

 


I made up my mind to photograph interesting statues in and around Wilmington. So far, I have photographed two. This is Caesar Rodney, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Even though July 4 has come and gone, I thought it was a striking picture.
Posted by Picasa

An old post from my archives

for your entertainment.

To the Pattersons:

I hope you read this. Your phone number must be very similar to ours, because we have been receiving your calls for quite a while. When I am home, I can set them straight, but sometimes my voicemail kicks in. SO, in case you are a blog aficionado, I have some messages for you:

1. Your contractor called with the estimate you requested for the addition to your home;
2. Eleanor (Ruth's sister) says she will be there Saturday night, thanks you for inviting her, and reminds you she is Ruth's sister;
3. Your glasses are ready;
4. Your prescription is ready;
5. It's time for your six-months dental check-up;
6. Your Aunt Mary is upset that you never return her calls. She's left three messages and is very angry--she can easily change her will, you know;
7. You need a new phone number.

Scott Ott for President Announcement

I've chosen my candidate for President.

Yum!

Meat cake.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm right, you're wrong, so there!

Fir puts it succinctly:

I’m always hearing people say how, “I disagree with your opinion but I respect your right to have a different opinion than I do.” That just makes me sick.

If you disagree with me, then you’re wrong.

[]
No! I don’t respect your opinion, we can’t all just get along, and I don’t respect your right to be wrong. If you don’t agree with me, you’re Un-American, and a traitor. That’s the definition of Unpatriotic. It’s disagreeing with anything I say.

If you don’t agree, then I just need to ask why it is that you hate your country so much. Huh? Why do you hate America, traitor?


As my bubbe would have said, "Gut gesogt."

No ideas?

Rachel complains about having run dry and having nothing to blog about.

I have to confess that having nothing to blog about doesn't hold me back a whit. I keep posting innocuous drivel--or noxious drivel, depending on your point of view, until my muse reappears.

One of Rachel's commentors advises reviewing books or movies. That doesn't work for me, even though I have been reviewing books for years. Every time I have to write a review, because the book has been sitting on my desk for three months and the editor is e-mailing me, I dread it.

If I really like a book, I have nothing to say, except that it is good. I immediately forget all the details. If I don't like it, it's easier. I can be witty and malicious with the best of them, until:

The author of a book I'd reviewed called me up, crying. I was a bit upset myself. This poor person went to all the trouble of writing the damn thing, struggling to find the mot juste, re-arranging the chapters, proof-reading, etc., only to have some smart-ass librarian dump on the damn thing.

You see how easy it is to blog about nothing?

How to lose weight

Some pictures of me taken in California revealed the awful truth: I am fat. In these photos I look the way a sack of doorknobs would look if you could stack the doorknobs so the sack is fuller in the middle. Rather globular, in fact. My waistline has committed a vanishing act to be replaced by a cushion of very firm blubber. I look like I have a life jacket on, but I don't. Since I am not ready for the life jacket look, and plan never to be ready until my dying day, clearly I am going to have to lose weight.

So: I have consulted the experts and have boiled all the expertise down to a few essential points. Eat less. Eat non-fattening foods. Exercise.

So far, so good. For instance, when I walk into a diner and the waitress asks us if we want milkshakes, I have to say no. When the bread basket appears on the table, I have to ignore it. So, what to order?

Let's ignore all the good stuff: sliders with fries, tacos (yum!), in fact, fried anything. I decide to be virtuous and order a salad. A Cobb salad? No, no, that would be evil. So I order Ruby's Special Salad. When it arrives, here's what this consists of:

Dried cranberries, 500 calories;
Dried raisins, 500 calories;
Pecans, about a quarter cup, let's say 500 calories;
Blue cheese--or is it bleu cheese? another 500 calories;
Copious salad dressing, maybe 200 calories;
One apple, cut up, 100 calories.
Some lettuce, under all the other stuff.

Clearly, I have now consumed my daily ration of calories, and then some. I am all the way through Wednesday and Thursday and have started eating my Friday allotment of calories.

I totally understand why people adopted those liquid diets which were popular a few years ago. They are so simple. You might feel hunger pangs, but you know where you stand. You don't have to torture yourself over whether an apple or a handful of cherries will put you over your quota.

I'll have to give the matter some more thought.

Hawaii for the Hawaiians?

A relative of mine defended the practice of having certain Hawaiian islands off-limits to non-Hawaiians.

Me: Hawaii is a state. Could we limit Central Park to Jews?
Relative: They value their culture and don't want to lose it.
Me: The Irish value their culture and have Irish dancing classes to prove it. The Greeks have...
R: (offended) Some Hawaiians don't want to be part of the United States.
Me: Good luck with that. It didn't work last time it was tried.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Another glorious day for American dentistry

I'm still in the middle of my dental adventures. I made a pledge to myself when this horror started that I was not going to go anywhere until my dental work was concluded, but I broke that pledge, because I never would have gone anywhere for the rest of my life.

So I am on the way to the airport to fly to California en route to Hawaii when a temporary bridge falls out, leaving me with no front teeth. I decided if I couldn't get someone to re-cement the bridge I was going home. Fortunately, this wasn't necessary. A dentist cemented the bridge very securely and I proceeded to the land of the lei, and home again.

Today I spent 2 1/2 hours in the dentist's chair. First he hacked out the bridge that the California dentist had so painstakingly installed; other horrors ensued. But the worst of all was my left foot, which started twitching. The foot started to take on a life of its own. It was all I could do to keep it from kicking wildly. The right foot was fine. I hope I'm not coming down with some little known disease which starts with tremors in one foot and soon, but not too soon, ends in a ghastly and painful death.

Last night Mr Charm and I watched the Sea Hawks, an Errol Flynn film which Mr C confided was his favorite film of all time when he was ten years old. We liked it. A-list actors, including Claude Rains and Raymond Massey, and a cast of thousands. Lots of swordplay, and it was great fun to see Errol swanking around in his cape.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Librarians go wild

Girls just want to have fun.

Thanks to Pillage idiot for bringing this to my attention.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A very special offer

I don't know whether I will have time to keep up this mad pace of blogging much longer. You see, I have been the recipient of a special offer, to wit:

I am Robert Heurtaux; I have just secured a major contract with the ministry of transports and Agriculture in my country for the supply of Trucks/Trailers and other heavy duty machines spare parts. To this end, I would require the services of a foreign company/partner that I can really on for the supply of original spare parts and the Trucks/Trailers through the duration of the contract with my government.

Please I will like you to give me your stock for trucks and trailers and also the price list. I will forward the list of spare parts as soon as receive it from the Ministry. Please confirm the receipt of my mail So that we can commence all legalities and reach an agreement as soon as possible.


So now I will have to assemble my stock of trucks and trailers and also my price list to take advantage of Robert's great opportunity. Gosh! I'm so excited!

Sayonara for now.

You've got to give him credit...

for a novel disguise.

Back from Hawaii



I'm back. More later.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

I just don't get it

First of all: I don't understand why British makeover experts Trinny and Susannah staged a "sex-change" operation on the Long Man of Wilmington. What was the larger point of this exercise? Sure it brought publicity to their TV show, but they could have done that by trying to set the world record for goldfish swallowing. Or kidnapping a fashion transgressor, stripping her naked and putting a video up on YouTube.

Second: Am I to take seriously the concerns of "a Druid battle chieftain" named Arthur Pendragon? What battles, I wonder, has the nomadic Pendragon fought and against whom?

Third: Judging by this picture, Trinny and Susannah (that's Trinny on the left) are one-trick ponies--or in the pay of the leggings industry.

Hell hath no fury

Like a hair dresser scorned. Joseph Torrenueva, the man who cut John Edwards' hair for as much as $1,250 is talking.

In the days after the $400 haircut first caused a stir, Torrenueva did not give many details about his client to reporters who called or came by his Beverly Hills salon. But Torrenueva says he was hurt by Edwards's response to all the flap.

"I'm disappointed and I do feel bad. If I know someone, I'm not going to say I don't know them," he said. "When he called me 'that guy,' that hit my ears. It hurt." He paused and then added, "I still like him. . . . I don't want to hurt him."

Torrenueva said he normally charges men $175 when they come to his salon for a haircut. But the cost for Edwards went up because the stylist had to leave his shop and go on the road to do his haircuts.
I'm not sure the haircut issue would have been as big a problem if Edwards had paid for the cuts himself, rather than having his campaign pick up the tab. And this didn't help either:

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Monday, July 02, 2007

Beauty is in the hand of the surgeon

Introducing the Beauty Enhancement Awards, which celebrate the best in plastic surgery.

More than just an entertaining event, the mission of the Beauty Enhancement Awards is to shine a light on the science and art of cosmetic surgery. The Beauty Enhancement Awards aims to educate the public about how to make informed decisions about these important life choices and to empower people with information and resources about everything from how to choose the right physician, what procedure options are available, to what are the best of today's techniques, and how one should prepare and best recover from a procedure. The event will not be a parade of unattainable beauty, but rather a display of real people who have had great results which can be realistically achieved if one educates themselves and makes the right decisions and moves with respect to having cosmetic surgery. By putting a spotlight on people who were voted to have excellent cosmetic surgery results, the Beauty Enhancement Awards hopes to help and be of service to the public and the cosmetic surgery industry by setting some "standards" for excellent and natural-looking aesthetic results.

It is also the goal of the Beauty Enhancement Awards to demonstrate how plastic surgery can have a positive impact on people's lives beyond the physical -- on the inside. To underscore this intent, contestants will have an opportunity to get personable and intimate by discussing how their makeover may have had an effect (small or large) on them from personal, social, career respects, and other ways in which making this life decision bettered their lives. The Beauty Enhancement Awards does not advocate life changes through cosmetic enhancement, but it does celebrate people and beautiful aesthetic results along with the self-improvement that resulted in the experience. We don't condone self-improvement through plastic surgery but we want to showcase people who have had positive experiences and educate the public about how they can also take the right steps to get a satisfying result that they're happy with.

Categories include best female (and male) liposuction, best tummy tuck and best rhinoplasty.

Anyone can enter--provided, of course, that you've undergone the requisite procedures. And anyone can vote. My vote goes to the first photograph here for the most improbable breasts on a live human being.

Via Metafilter.