Delaware Top Blogs

Saturday, March 31, 2007

What a relief!

I'm blocked at Great Wall of China! I thought I was too unimportant to be banned, but I guess I'm playing with the big guys.

Are American school children safe?

We have to consider the possibility that they are not.

The example of Beslan cannot be ignored.

On the first day of school in September of 2004 in the Russian town of Beslan, approximately 100 pro-Chechan Islamic terrorists - many embedded as school workers -- seized over 1,200 children and adults in School Number One. While the details of the siege are quite disturbing, they must be absorbed in order to properly understand the threat before us.

Men, women, and children (including babies) were herded into an unventilated gym, where temperatures rose to 115 degrees. Hostages were given no food or water and women (and some children) were repeatedly raped. Adult and stronger male students were forced to help fortify the building; then shot without mercy; their bodies tossed out a second story window into the courtyard.

Hostiles warned Russian Security Forces that if stormed, they would detonate the building and that for every one in their ranks killed, 50 hostages would be butchered. Armed guards stood amongst prisoners on "deadman switches" which were wired to explosives. Others wore "black widow" suicide vests, which could be triggered by remote control at the whim of their sadistic leaders. Doorways and stairways were booby-trapped and children were forced to sit on windowsills as human shields from snipers.

Could it happen here?

Of all the "soft" targets the United States has to offer these madmen, it's hard to find any more vulnerable than a school.

And, as al-Qaeda has a history of plotting spectacular and awe-inspiring attacks, you'd be equally challenged to find a more inviting one.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bad dating karma

Rachel has a link to an article about unacceptable dates.

How that article brings back memories of dates, bad, worse and unbelievable. I only remember the unbelievably bad. It was a long time ago, after all.

1. The guy who kept letting out rebel yells when drunk, and who was often drunk. That stuff didn't go over real big in central Ohio.
2. The fellow who kept calling and explaining where he was and why he wasn't where he was supposed to be, namely at my house.
3. The chap who took me out to dinner and ate fried chicken with his hands and had dirty fingernails.
4. The man who didn't change his sheets all semester. Or his socks.
5. The one with an Italian Mother. You know the kind --the mom who thinks no girl is good enough for her son. And she buys all his shirts.

Oh how I hated dating! In Mr Charm's favor, I have to say, he Took Me Away from All That. My condolences to the girls who are still in the game.

Bush gives an older colleague a helping hand

I had forgotten about Bush's basic decency and good manners.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I took civics in the eighth grade

and I seem to remember learning about something called "the separation of powers." Was Senator Hagel out sick the day his class learned about this?

With his go-it-alone approach on Iraq, President Bush is flouting Congress and the public, so angering lawmakers that some consider impeachment an option over his war policy, a senator from Bush’s own party said Sunday.

That senator would be Hagel.

In related news, another Chuck, Senator Schumer, announced in the hearing about the totally manufactured crisis of the eight prosecutors who were fired that the burden of proof was on the Attorney General's staff who were being grilled. I don't have a link, but I heard it with my own ears on the evening news. In other words, they would be guilty until proven innocent. Silly me! I thought it was the other way around!

Is no-one in charge? Where are the grownups?

A beautiful legacy

left to the British nation.

Carbon offsets

A new form of indulgence for energy gluttons who want to feel good about themselves. So what are they exactly?

Nothing more than buying a tree in return for your ability to still emit massive amounts of CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Read this "Carbon Exchange" sale on Ebay.

CARBON EXCHANGE (Carbon Offsett) - Help stop global warming, we have a 200+ acre property on the pacific coast north of San Francisco California. For every customer who sends $50 we will plant a baby redwood tree in their name. Each year you send an additional $50 to assure that the tree grows and is taken care off properly, we have been planting redwood trees for many years.

We will continue to maintain the property and preserve it for future generations to assure the health and longevity of our children, and our childrens children for many generations to come.

The earth is our gift but it does not come without a price. We could develope our property into a Discount super store, or a Lumber mill but we choose to take the option of environmental preservation and offer to our fellow Americans the opportunity to give something back to the land which has given so much to us. Each year you will recieve a newsletter (Written on recycled paper) explaining the state of our venture and how you can continue your support. Let's do something positive for our children and stop the destruction of our enviorment today. Together we can make this country the world leader in enviormental preservation.

Jewish people have something similar, only it doesn't do anything about your guilty feelings. Worse luck. It's called planting a tree in Israel to honor or memorialize someone.

Former principal cat, Tobermory

I love this picture, but I'm not sure it reproduced very well. This was our favorite cat. We had him for years.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

One of James Webb's supporters weighs in

Voters voted for him because he is crazy?

I voted for Jim Webb--just exactly because of the very obvious fact that he is, without doubt, absolutely mental. Nutters. Teched in the head, as they used to say. Advanced syphilis insane.

And thus, I knew, and dearly hoped, for six long, entertaining years of Jim Webb being, well, Jim Webb. And so far, he has not disappointed me in the least.

By the end of the current session, I fully expect him to show up on the Senate floor in an all-white, antebellum Planter's suit. With a hardwood cane. Which he will use to brain some other senator whom he deems to have insulted him.

And after that, the first duel between public officials in over a century.

It's just freakin' inevitable. And I cannot wait.



This commentor is being unfair to the rest of the herd. There are plenty of crazy senators who can provide good solid entertainment value. We didn't need another.

Of course, a duel on the Senate floor might provide a refreshing change of pace.

Vote early and often

How to do it if you're in Egypt.

Liar, liar! pants on fire!

the newspaper of record.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Can we try it this way?

Putting people in categories on the basis of race doesn't seem to be working.

Perhaps 'we' ought to consign this whole 19th Century notion of 'race' to the dustbin of history. Dividing people up for the superficial differences of skin tone and feature doesn't seem to have worked, does it?

When the left adopted ‘race’ as one of its causes, naturally it saw it as a collectivist problem with a collective solution. But, rather than wasting away – just as the state was supposed to do under communism - we find that race and race ‘differences’ become accented and entrenched through the systems set up for it like the whole race relations 'industry' we now have – just as the state apparatus became stronger and stronger under communism.

Read the whole thing.

Is Al Gore consuming an unfair share of the world's resources?

On the evidence, I would have to say yes. I mean, look at him.

Do you realize that somewhere in Africa there is a small village whose inhabitants are starving because Al Gore is consuming enough calories every day to sustain them for a week?

It's quite a small village, but still....

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rethinking my blogroll

I don't have any real philosophy concerning my blogroll: it's been pretty much a matter of chance. If I follow a link and like what the blogger has to say, I link to his blog. Or not. Same if anyone comments. And there are some blogs I visit regularly that I haven't gotten around to adding to my blogroll. I really haven't cleaned it up for ages.

This is going to change. I am going to visit every link on my blogroll, and if you haven't posted anything since 2006, unless you have a good reason, it is sayonara. If you're dead, ditto.

I am also going to try to add some of my frequent visitors, or even infrequent visitors--if you want to be linked. If you do, send me a comment with your url and I will add you to the blogroll.

No bad language or naughty stuff. For instance, if your blog is called "girls hot girls" don't bother. This is a family blog.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What Winston Churchill would have said

if he were a Democrat today.

That's to say, a gutless coward.

We shall go on until it is declared an unwinnable quagmire, we shall fight in Turtle Bay, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, which are rising because the Earth has a Fever, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, unless we choke on all the man made Carbon Dioxide, we shall defend our Island, unless it costs too much or the “International Community” disapproves, we shall fight on the eroding beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, as long as no one fights back, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills, as long as no one gets killed or even injured; we shall never surrender, because we’ll call it a phased redeployment, and even if, which is most likely considering that this war is and always had been unwinnable,due to the fact that that liberal democracies place restrictions on the actions of their militaries, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, unarmed and guarded by the United Nations, would issue sternly worded resolutions, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, succombs to global warming.”

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What you can do to prevent climate change

Some great suggestions:

--Plug in your clocks only when you absolutely have to know what time it is. If you need the alarm, get up five minutes early to set it.

---Down more Slurpees, or better yet, nice frosty margaritas. See, this isn't so bad.

---Lower the thermostat in your Gulfstream jet, and make the help wear sweaters.


Then sit down quietly. Moving, talking and breathing should be kept to the absolute minimum. Human life is eco-unfriendly, and should be lived as little as possible. It's the moral thing to do.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More about Passover

When I was a child seders seemed to last for eons. All my mother's family, my parents, my two uncles and their wives and children were always present, because anything bubbe hosted was a command performance. The good linens, china, and silver made the table gleam under the light of bubbe's two candelabras.

We children were excited beyond hysteria until the ceremony began, and we were forced to come to the table and stop hanging upside down from the sofa, climbing the walls, and knocking down the furniture. I particularly enjoyed the presence of my cousins because I was an only child at the time, and lonely. My eldest cousin, three and a half years older than me, was a goddess of sophistication to me; her brothers were rowdy playmates. Uncle Doc's little girls were too young to play with but they were mighty cute and dressed to the nines.

Once the youngest child present had recited the four questions the prayer competition began. Both my uncles and my cousin Bernie read the haggadah aloud --individually--in Hebrew as quickly as they could. The conversation went like this:

Uncle I: It's time for the first (or second, third, or fourth) cup of wine.
Uncle II: I haven't gotten there yet. You read too fast.
Uncle I: It's a long service.
Uncle II: All right, all right. Come on everybody. Drink the fourth (or third, or second) cup. Where's the bottle? Pass me the wine, somebody.

They raced through the prayers and then had to stop and wait impatiently for the others to catch up. It was rather like riding in a car that alternately speeded up and stopped dead, causing you to lurch forward and back.

Meanwhile, my cousin Sam and sometimes one or two of the other children would drink too much wine and slip quietly to the floor. It taught me the meaning of drinking yourself under the table. After a brief nap the culprit would re-appear, refreshed.

The two little girls were too small to read, so they raced around the table fighting with each other until Uncle Doc started yelling at them and threatening to spank them. My aunt, his wife, would burst into tears because he had shouted at the girls. She would threaten to leave. They would yell some more until he calmed down and apologized to the girls and gave them some candy or gum he just happened to have in his pocket. The girls, of course, would stuff themselves with sweets and would not eat the festive meal when it appeared.

The festive meal! Chicken soup with matzoh balls. We called bubbe's matzoh balls cannon balls. They were heavy but nourishing. Then we had chicken. With the chicken came potato kugel and chopped liver. Gefilte fish. Someone probably slipped a green vegetable in there somewhere, but I don't remember it. Bubbe didn't hold with all this greenery anyway. Her idea of a salad was: take one cucumber; add pint of sour cream; eat. And we couldn't have that, this was a fleisheke meal.

Bubbe would heap each of the children's plates with massive portions of food and then bawl them out for not eating it all. We were starved and ate voraciously. If someone had thrown one of us into the river we would have plummeted to the bottom and sunk without a trace.

Dessert featured, but was not limited to, Manischevitz macaroons, served in the can. The featured wine was Mogen David.

After eating, there was a timeout while the children searched for the afikomen and the adults sat still and burped.

Since I was not used to staying up late, the remainder of the seder was one big blur to me, except for opening the door for Eliyahu hanovi. Then came Chad Gadya, which meant the end of the service and blessed release.

And then we did it again the next night.

Women's seder

I attended a women's seder last night. It was all about Women, not women, but Women. Who've made a Difference. That kind.

They placed a cup of water in the center of the table, for Miriam. Not me, but the priestess, Moses' sister. Also an orange, to symbolize gay and lesbian Jews. Or something. I think. The connection was not quite clear.

A group of singers presided. As singers, they were pretty good. As celebrants, not so much. A lot of carry-on about abortions, abused women, etc. At one point they called for names of women who are Change Agents, and one woman called out Nancy Pelosi.

When I found out the name of the caterers, my heart sank. The last time I attended a function they had catered, the food was miserable. I asked why they are always hired to cater kosher events, and was told they are reliable. I suppose it makes some kind of sense; it probably would have been worse if they hadn't shown up with the food.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Al Gore does it again

I'm not just referring to his testifying in Congress.

It's that hectoring tone of his: the way he speaks slowly, with exasperation, as if everyone were stupid, retarded, or enrolled in kindergarten. A perfect example of his attitude is the way he rolled his eyes during his debates with Bush in 2000. This Harvard C student obviously fancies himself the smartest man in the room, any room.

For instance: "

The planet has a fever," Gore said. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action."

You see, he has to explain it all to us in words of one syllable. So we can understand. So our limited little minds can grasp the concept. We simple people are just ruining the planet for Al and his ilk, the Hollywood millionaires. He would like us better if we knew our place, if we practiced sustainable living. That means we should live in mud huts, grow our own food, and travel on foot or by bicycle. For entertainment, we could read by moonlight. Gore and company could have all the SUVs and jet planes to themselves. Being so superior to us plebes, they would make use of these things to make our little lives better.

Does he believe this codswollop? Could anyone?

Meanwhile, he goes about his business, jetting around bringing global coldening wherever he goes and glorying in his intellectual and moral superiority to the plebes.

Sitting shiva, yahrzeit, and other memories

My mother died a long, long time ago, over twenty years ago in fact but her yahrzeit was on Monday, and of course I have been thinking of her. Her passing left a great big hole in my life. You never get over it, you just go on.

I can barely remember the funeral, arranged by my cousin B, of course. He is the designated funeral arranger for that side of the family. My family and I were living 600 miles away, and we had to fly in. I remember going to her house, and seeing all the medicine bottles and throwing them away. I remember seeing her slippers, and how they almost broke my heart--such little slippers. They were so sad.

The woman who had taken care of her during her last illness started to regale me with details of her death, details I cannot bear to think of to this day. My daughter saw how this distressed me, and shut her up, the old crow.

When we got back to the house, women from the congregation had prepared a meal for us. We sat down, me and my husband and two daughters, my uncle and his wife, and my brother and his wife, and a strange man. I was in shock, but the kindness of the ladies who had prepared the meal was like a balm to my spirits. They came like elves, they did not intrude, but the food was there. We could no more have arranged a meal for ourselves than we could have climbed Mount Everest, we were so exhausted.

Later, I remembered the strange man who sat at the table with us. Who was he? Oh, someone said, he always comes to funerals and eats.

Then we sat shiva. Oh, it was a long, long ordeal. Every morning, a minyan showed up at the house to pray. After that, people dropped by from time to time. I made fresh coffee over and over. Cookies were put out, and eaten, and more were put out.

Some of my mother's friends sat down and reminisced about their friendships with her. They made me remember lots of things I had forgotten: how we took walks together when I was a child, the way she would always dig up flowers from vacant lots and take them home and plant them, her little quirks that were hers and hers alone.

Every night, someone would send over dinner. Every day, letters would come, sympathy cards, charitable donations in her name. During the times when there were no visitors, I tried to pack up and dispose of her things. She had many things. She kept everything. Her drawers were filled with presents I had given her, wrapped in the tissue paper in which they were presented; they were too good to use. It's ironic how things survive their owners, isn't it?

In a cedar chest in her upstairs hall, I found skirts and sweaters I had worn in college. Some of my grandmother's clothes were there too--she had been dead ten years. I found my grandmother's silver. And dishes, many many dishes. All observant Jews have lots of dishes, but she had her own and her mother's too. Sets and sets.

By the end of the third day, I was just chucking things into garbage bags, right, left, and center. My husband and daughters had gone home, back to their lives, and I was alone there with the shiva visitors, the other mourners, and the stuff. I swore to myself I would never leave all that stuff for my kids to go through. I haven't exactly kept my promise, though.

I went on with my life, too, of course. It would be odd if I didn't. But I find myself missing her at odd times. Yom Kippur is hard, yizkor is hard. Passover brings back memories, because we always spent that holiday with her. But mostly they are good memories.

I was very lucky to have her, and I cherish her memory.

I'm scanning old photos

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy birthday to me

My neighbor's cars

My neighbor and his wife have four (4) vehicles between them. The only other occupant of that house is two years old. A big wheel is his answer to the transportation problem.

Okay, my neighbor's vehicles: reading from left to right, she has a Toyota, he has a Toyota; he has a truck; he has another truck. The old truck has all sorts of ladders, etc, and he uses it for business. His new truck is a 2006 model which he never uses. He explained to me one time that the old truck has 255,000 miles on it, and he is waiting for it to fall apart. He can't sell it, it is worthless, except for the fact that is still in good running order. Eventually, it will die, and he can use the new truck.

Meanwhile, when it snows, he has to move all these vehicles into the street and clean the driveway. Then he moves them all back into the driveway. The new truck goes in front, because he never uses it.

Winter wonderland

Spring is here in Delaware, crocuses are up, daffodils are showing signs of life, birds singing, etc. Except for my driveway, which is a frozen hell, a little patch of Winter in the midst of all this vernal splendor.

The problem is that the ice from the last storm melted in the driveway, then congealed into a sheet of solid ice more suitable for skating than walking. We did nothing about the ice because it's practically spring, dammit, and we were waiting for solar power to restore the driveway.

This morning I walked out the door and immediately slid under my car. I grabbed the door handle and managed to lever myself into the driver's seat and took off. The driveway is in the front, or west side of the house, and the sun had not yet hit it. I was hoping that by the time I got back, the ice would have melted. Fat chance.

Speaking of the west side of the house, every time I open the front door I am practically blown back into the house by the wind. The prevailing winds in the United States are westerly. Anyone who has flown from the east to the west coast knows that. But why are they so fierce in Delaware?

I keep thinking the winds are going to blow the house away, as in the wizard of Oz. What is this, Kansas?

And horror of horrors, my birthday is tomorrow and Mr Charm is supposed to take me to a fancy, expensive restaurant. If we are still marooned inside the house, I am going to find out who's responsible.

I demand that Spring start immediately.

Who deals with pain better?

Men or women?

[C]ompared to women, it's my experience that while men deal worse with illness, they deal better with *injuries*. Chicks will fight off their colds, the flu, and their hemorrhaging periods without great complaint, but heaven forbid they stub a toe. Guys, on the other hand, will walk around for a couple of years with a blown-out knee and a broken arm, thinking that Tylenol will cure them.

Your thoughts?

Warning to taxpayers

or those who don't want to pay:

No frivolous excuses.

Courtesy of Mike.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Begorrah, it 's here again!

Notice in old movies, from the 30s and 40s, there will be an Irish lass saying "Begorra" every other word to prove her authenticity? No? Go along with ye now! Sure and you're pulling me leg. Begorra!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Man gets too finicky, dies horrible, lingering death

Just kidding.

However, sometimes Mr Charm pushes me just too far. If I were not a law-abiding woman....

When he complained that the shrimp cocktail sauce had a phony taste, I merely smiled. Then there was the day he claimed the coffee was too weak and accused me of using two filters: "It tastes over-filtered," said the discerning one. I laughed out loud.

Last week I saw hot cross buns in the supermarket and brought some home. Said I: "I bought you some hot cross buns. I know you like them." He examined the package.

"I only like the little ones," said he. Then he caught sight of my face and added: "But thanks anyway."

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another happy family story

Since my readers seem to like them (I know who you are), I've dredged up another heartwarming tale of family ill-feeling.

When my Uncle Doc got out of medical school and finally had two pennies to rub together, he bought his mother a fancy watch. I believe it was a Patek Philippe. None of us ever saw her wearing or consulting the watch, which really didn't go with Bubbe's style, which was that she didn't have any.

Bubbe was of the old school which believed that when a woman got old she was, for all ornamental purposes, dead. She had long grey hair parted in the middle and pulled into a bun in back. Her closet contained three dresses, one black and two navy blue. One of the navy ones had little flowers on it.

She had a couple of housedresses for daily wear. Housedresses are to dresses as paper plates are to bone china. She owned a cardigan sweater, navy blue. Sturdy shoes with one inch heels that laced up completed the ensemble, along with some industrial strength underwear. Her stockings were made of something called lisle. With this wardrobe, Bubbe was good to go to anything from a bar mitzvah to a coronation.

So anyway, she had this fancy Swiss watch, which no one knew about but Uncle Doc. It was too good to use.

Picture a calendar with pages falling from it, indicating that thirty years have passed. Bubbe dies. My mother, who owned her mother's house, was in no hurry to clean it out, sort everything, etc. So eventually Aunt Rose decided to go over there and see what was what.

At that point, Patek Philippe re-entered our lives. Seems Aunt Rose discovered the watch and gave it to her daughter, Esther. Without even consulting Uncle Doc!

Esther even took the watch back to Pittsburgh, where she was living. And when burglars broke into her house and stole the watch, Esther put in a claim to the insurance company.

Uncle Doc told me this story in a tone of high dudgeon. Apparently he felt a bond to this timepiece which not even death could sever. He considered the watch a permanent loan. You know, like when a rich person gives something to a museum to display but keeps title to it. Apparently he thought the watch should have reverted to him and felt ill used.

When he told me this story, I suggested he should have told Rose, or Esther, that he wanted the watch. He was unwilling to come off his high horse, but started treating Esther with cold formality whenever he ran into her, which was often, since this branch of the family are in each other's pockets and scarcely a day goes by when they are not communicating with each other.

So Esther innocently started to wonder what she had done to make him mad. But she wouldn't ask, and he wouldn't have told her anyway. And so it went, until Alzheimer's took over Uncle Doc's memory and he mercifully forgot all about the watch, along with a lot of other things.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Orson Scott Card hates a book

and gives reasons.

Read the whole thing. Card carefully recounts the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict since the inception of Israel. He gives a closely reasoned analysis of the author's sloppy thinking and outright lies. Any impartial reader would agree with his argument.

So what?

I have had this discussion many, many times with individuals who had bought into the whole system of lies, and never succeeded in changing anyone's mind. No matter how persuasive, Card's argument falls on deaf ears. People like me understand what he is talking about. But leftists don't want to, can't, believe it.

Extreme leftism is a religion, a religion in which the Palis play Christ and the Israelis anti-Christ. To further muddy the waters, lefties (including the Arabists in the US State Department, have a real admiration for Arabs, who have the appeal of the Other: they are so exotic! They dress in robes! They carry weaponry! They're third-worldly as hell! How romantic!

Leftism is the civil religion of the upper middle classes. And these are the people who write books, report the news, and teach in our universities.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

An example of compassionate, caring government medical care

Remind me, why do we want the government to take over health care for the rest of us?

How many times do I have to tell you?

Check out Carnival of the Insanities! Pure bloggy goodness.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Curse blogger!

I was trying out new templates, and all my comments were wiped out. My blogroll was wiped out. My little icons were wiped out! My blog has had a surgical personality removal! I can't tell what kind of animal I am! I can't access my statistics! I am powerless!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

More snow

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More illegals?

We report, you decide.

Bait and switch

A nice article on Henry Purcell reminded me of a concert experience I had with Mr Charm.

We had signed up for a series of concerts called something like "Three evenings with Purcell," or "Music of Purcell and his contemporaries." It was a lousy night to make the trip from New Jersey to New York, but Mr C and I both love the music of Purcell and his contemporaries as well. So we dragged our sorry selves into the city.

Imagine our surprise when the concert began and a chap called Wuorinen took the stage and proceeded to bore everyone in the audience silly with his pedantic remarks and ugly, non-harmonious songs. It seemed he thought his music bore a strong resemblance to that of Purcell.

Well, I'm here to tell you he was wrong. We kept waiting for the Purcell part of the evening to start. It never did.

At the intermission, nine-tenths of the audience rose to their feet and headed for the egress. Once we reached the lobby, there was a lot of loud bitching from the dissatisfied music lovers.

On the way home we hit a pothole which blew out one of our tires, which Mr Charm had to change in the sleet and snow. He did not do so silently.

I am reminded of this stellar evening by reading the proposed program for Tanglewood, posted on the web. One of the concerts features Wuorinen. I can't believe it.

Since then I have made it a fixed rule never to listen to music by living composers, and I've never regretted it. Needless to say, I am going to give the Wuorenen concert the miss in balk.

For those who want to sample the music of this ass***, I am supplying a link.

Does anyone read newspapers?

Ken Layne complains.

In my own experience, people don't read newspapers, they read the ads, and cut out the supermarket coupons.

Lileks analyzes expressions of horror and disgust

He prioritizes them:

I think the order of things is this:

Augh > oy > feh > meh

I respectfully disagree. Augh=eeewww, the feeling you get when you find a dog turd on your shoe; oy expresses the tragic condition of man;* feh is the proper locution when you avoid stepping on the dog turd; and meh=amused rejection.

*Often oy vey or oy, veyzmir.

Picking up a few things in WalMart

Basil goes shopping.

I don't have a local WalMart, but am unable to leave Target with under $100 in merchandise. Though those who know me would find it risible, I can't pass up a new cleaning product guaranteed to make some previously abhorrent task a breeze. The house is full of gizmos which supposedly make toilet cleaning or floor mopping a cinch. However, there is no such thing as a cinchy household task. Even straightening my sock drawer is an all-day task.

In fact, the only thing domestic about me is that I live in a house, and that's only because I am unable to find a forest clearing with central heating and an internet connection.

My other weakness is beauty products. I have so many potions, lotions, creams and cremes that my skin should be as smooth as glass. I can't figure out the proper combination of wrinkle removers and skin brighteners for optimum effect, so I keep buying more, seeking the holy grail of age reversal, using my face as a test tube. Judging by the number of products on my bathroom shelves, I should look about 12 any day now. And the house should be spotless.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A sketch of my daughters as little girls

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Butter kills

The real stuff contains evil, wicked transfats.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Carnival of the Vanities is up!

Go. Read.

How New York City are you?

You Are 36% NYC

Okay, so maybe you've been to NYC. But you probably really live in Connecticut.

I used to be more New York City. But now I am really, really attached to my car, which earns me NYC demerits.

If I had to make a choice, I would sell my house and live in my car, no question.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Can England survive?

An appeal to Britain to abandon multiculturalism:

I am an anglophile .... British culture at its best is, in my view, the pinnacle of culture in the Western World. Unfortunately, I also recognize quite clearly that the U.K. is in serious trouble, and at the top of the list of those troubles is the question of whether the U.K. can integrate its Muslim population, and if not, can Britain survive the coming storm with its Anglo-Saxon ethos intact?

Read the whole thing.

My life as a geezerette

Confession: I don't feel any geezerier than anyone else. In my mind I am maybe 28 years old. The calendar says different, though.

Life in geezerdom is full of minor shocks. One of them is discovering that all the doctors and dentists are younger than you.

So I go to a new, specialist dentist, supposedly a whiz at really serious root canal problems like mine. I expect a learned, grizzled, serious person, with years of victorious dental battles behind him. I'm sitting in the chair with a bib around my neck--not the most dignified position, but I can think of worse--and in bounces this--this boy! I look around for a grown-up, but the youth is the only other person in evidence.

It takes an effort not to demand to see his diploma.

My family doctor has his diploma framed upon the wall. He graduated from college the same year as my oldest daughter.

But the worst--the absolute worst--was having someone offer me a seat in the London Underground. It was a woman, too. And not a very young one.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A really, really REALLY secret agency

so secret no-one has heard of it, till now.

I wonder if the New York Times will reveal its secrets.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Save time

Discuss books you haven't actually read:

"How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read" has become a best seller here [in France], with translation rights snapped up across Europe and under negotiation in Britain and the United States.

"I am surprised because I hadn't imagined how guilty nonreaders feel," Bayard, 52, said in an interview. "With this book, they can shake off their guilt without psychoanalysis, so it's much cheaper."

Here, then, Bayard reassures them that there is no obligation to read. He boasts of getting away with lecturing to students on books that he has either not read or has merely skimmed. And he recalls passionate exchanges with people who also have not read the book under discussion.

Bayard then offers tips on how to cover up ignorance of a "must read" book.

Courtesy of Donald Sensing.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Remind me not to go crazy in Switzerland

or maybe I'll just skip my visit there.

I'm a literary type

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Cleaning the toilet makes you beautiful

Don't spend your money on skin creams:

"Cleaning the toilet to attract luck" published this month is the latest in a series of books advising readers on how to attract good fortune using a brush and an array of cleaning fluids.[]

The idea that a clean toilet can bring good fortune, or even make you more beautiful, has existed in Japan for many years, according to Yuka Soma of Makino Publishing in Tokyo, editor of one of the toilet books.