"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Eat, drink, be merry

Each year I have to post my favorite Thanksgiving comic:

And for those who get a long weekend away from work (you probably work for the government):

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My baby's with the dingoes

My older daughter and husband arrived yesterday in Australia (or today in Australian time) for a three week vacation. Although I've never been there myself, I have viewed many Australian-made movies over the years. Here's a quick list of those I can recall (astericks indicated those I highly recommend):

Australia (2008)
The Piano (1993)*
The Castle (1997)
Dead Calm (1989)
A Cry in the Dark (1989)
Mad Max(1979)
Rabbit Proof Fence (2002)*
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Dark City (1998)*
My Brilliant Career (1979)
The Man from Snowy River (1982)*
Gallipoli (1981)*
Crocodile Dundee (1986)
Breaker Morant (1980)*
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Age of Consent (1969)
December Boys (2007)
Shine (1996)*
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Romulus, My Father (2007)*
The Tracker (2002)*
The Proposition (2005)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Three in One

Just because I am fascinated with Auto-Tune and space and two scientists:

Friday, November 20, 2009

Speaking of mirrors

Not feeling like writing today so here's a repeat of an old post from a couple years ago:

Driving back from the bigger town Sunday morning, I glanced in my rear view mirror at a car behind me and caught a glimpse of it. I wasn't sure if it was real, so I looked in the mirror again. Because the sun was brightly shining, there was no mistake about it. That line just below my right lower lip wasn't a wrinkle as I had hoped. No, it was dark, and about an inch long, and it was back.

It all started with the sustenance of a mole that developed on my lower lip in high school.

Not like this one:

Similar to this:

The mole appeared during puberty, and in adolescence it was easy to dismiss it as a "beauty mark." But in my twenties, the mole started producing hair, especially a certain dark long one that seemed to stand out among the tiny blond fuzz around it. It was just screaming to be plucked and so began the battle.

A decade of plucking my uni-brow had yielded two separate eyebrows with no further yanking necessary. So, I thought, would be the demise of this renegade mole hair. Every six weeks I would pluck it out of the mole mound and six weeks later the strand would reappear, as long and dark as ever. It never seemed to have any sort of growing cycle. It simply reappeared fully grown at that entire inch size.

After fifteen years of unrelenting plucking and regeneration, the "aha" moment occurred. If the mole is providing fodder for the follicle, get rid of the mole. A 45 minute out-patient procedure with a plastic surgeon, five stitches, $2500 out of my pocket, and I was rid of the mole and the hair forever - or so I thought. Two weeks after the six week healing process, it returned.

For almost 40 years now, the war between stubborn hair and stubborn host continues. Neither will acquiesce. We both intend to win the war, despite each losing battles along the way. Both a little more gray and withered than our youth, our uncompromising determination is never shaken, although the battles have become fewer.

The hair has now changed tactics: it doesn't reappear quite so regularly and often at unsuspecting times, especially in the car or at a movie theater. Perhaps my eyesight just doesn't catch it nearly so soon, but when it is discovered, I've gotten considerably better at jerking the thing out with just my fingernails.

We've gotten a bit more comfortable with each other, but we're still not quite friends. It is truly a love-hate relationship. If I do win the war, and I fully plan to, I admit I'll miss tugging on that hair in moments of quiet desperation far away from tweezers. But not that much.

Today's update:

Here's recent picture of my older daughter. You can see that she has a much bigger problem than I have.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I really need to look in the mirror more often.

I've been on TV three times in my life. The first time I was in the audience of the local station's afternoon kids' show with Sheriff Sid . My brother was interviewed and I got just enough face time to show my smile, as my relatives told me.

The second time I was 25 years old and on a noon chat show of a Birmingham, AL station with three elders from my then hometown promoting a weekend centennial festival. I was assigned to speak about a specific part of the festival, but the mayor (as all politicians seem to do when on camera) talked and talked and talked and talked and they ran out of time before it was my turn, but I got enough face time to show my smile, as my friends told me.

So last night, at a press conference, I was around TV cameras again, this time in a pan of the speakers' table and milling around in the background. I've never actually seen myself on TV so I turned on the news when I got home and watched for the story. We were watching the coverage of the event, and my husband asked me who I was talking to. Who? "There, you're there on the left hand side." What? And it was over.

I saw that woman with long silver hair on the left hand side of the screen talking to some guy I know. It didn't register that that woman was me. I didn't recognize myself. But I got enough face time to show my smile, as my husband told me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Censoring can change perception

Bleeping one innocent word gives a whole new meaning to this muppet song:

Thanks to my lovely daughter for sharing this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This week in review

I wrote three posts on Monday, then disappeared most of the week. Perhaps someone in this world has missed me, so here's some of the things occupying my time this week:

Tuesday I had a board meeting at which I volunteered to fill all the huge empty planters downtown with evergreen boughs as part of the holiday decorations. The Christmas Parade (sorry, we are politically incorrect in this town) is in two weeks. Wednesday I drove 40 miles over to my daughter's farm and clipped a truck load of long-needle pine and cedar branches and filled the pots. I only had enough to complete half, so today it's back for another truckload. The entire project should be finished this weekend after I put in some ribbon and berry accents.
Next week I'm giving a program at the local Chamber of Commerce luncheon about "How businesses and communities can adapt to a changing economy." I've been organizing everything into a power-point presentation because I think people absorb information so much easier when they see it, especially with full stomachs.
I've also been working on a statement for a press conference that same day. We'll be announcing a huge project that our local task force has been working on for over a year. I'm so excited about the facility and the technology that is involved, plus it will be creating new jobs that everyone so desperately needs. I'll blog more about that next week.
The First Time Homebuyers Credit is popular. I've completed several amended 2008 tax returns this week alone, and many more previously, so the $8000 refunds will get here before the end of the year. As you may be aware, there is now a $6500 homebuyer credit for existing homeowners, as long as they have lived in their homes 5 consecutive years out of the last 8. There are income restrictions too. Get your "free" money while supplies last.

Between episodes of "V", "The Biggest Loser", and "The Office," I've been sorting through piles of magazines from the past three years. Because of all my previous business ventures, I receive many offers of $10 or less subscription rates to some of the best magazines, and who can refuse at those prices?

Alas, some of the home/cooking magazines are now gone for good, so I needn't worry about collecting them in the future: Gourmet, Cottage Living, Southern Accents to name a few. Much of the information in them I can get on the Internet, but how I love the photography!
Considering the value of my time, and the time and gas spent hauling them to the recycling center now, I am certain they've cost me more than had I subscribed at the regular rate (which I would never have done in the first place). I've torn out pages that I may refer to at some point in the next few years (at which time I'll be culling from that pile).

The rest of my time was occupied with the daily hum-drum of office work, fixing dinners, and sleeping. That's my boring week so far. No encounters with finger-lickin' clerks or bitter feminists. It's actually been rather nice, but I hope the weekend will bring better blog fodder.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Plug for a Friend

Kind Eyes. Now available. The first novel by an old friend, a successful attorney in Little Rock, (and a heckuva nice guy, too) who grew up in Central Illinois.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Now your news, now

One area TV station's tag line is "Your news leader." It should be "Your news now." They continuously over-use the word now. Just tonight, their Springfield reporter used the word now 7 times in a 60 second news story.

The beginning of this post was also mocking them. Their promos always include "one area school" or "one area town" or "one area business."

It hasn't gotten better since I wrote my rant last year.

Just more Cook County politics?

Northwestern University professor David Protess, founder of the Medill Innocence Project, has been subponaed by the Cook County state's attorney's office seeking his students' grades, his syllabus and their private e-mails.

Protess and his group have been featured numerous times on TV and their efforts have sucessully resulted in the release of eleven people from wrongful imprisonment. They have previously discovered coercion by police in many of those cases.

Bitter Feminist #1

My previous post stirred up some debate about the definition of feminist and the use of the word bitter in describing some of them. Therefore I will now occasionally post real-life incidents I have observed or read about of self-described feminists whom I consider (my opinion only) to be bitter.

Here is my first example.

A self-described feminist in an office setting tells co-workers that she is leaving to get a cup of coffee. A male co-worker in the office asks politely, "Would you mind bringing me back a cup of black coffee?"

Her reply : "I didn't get a PhD to serve as somebody's waitress."

This incident was told directly to me by the feminist at a dinner party. I asked her if the man was sarcastic in his request. She indicated no. I commented that perhaps he simply wanted a cup of coffee and since she was going to the break room... It made no difference to her, she thought the request was degrading.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Finger Lickin Not So Good

There are people who lick their fingers when eating ribs. There are people who lick their fingers when eating fried chicken. Some establishments even encourage the habit.

But some people lick their fingers at other times. Like the sales clerk I encountered yesterday. I purchased a dozen ornaments for a Christmas tree. As she was explaining to me that she likes to wrap things very carefully because she herself had a bad experience with a clerk poorly wrapping a purchase (blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ... TMI and I'm in a hurry), she licked her fingers, picked up a sheet of tissue paper and wrapped an ornament.

I had to watch this 12 times. Then she promptly licked her fingers again to open the plastic bag wherein she placed my purchase.

Of course, I was in total shock, so I was speechless and just stood there watching her again and again and again, thinking about flu pandemics and Orbit "Dirty Mouth" commercials.

I walked out holding the bag on the opposite side of where she touched it, dangling it like a dirty diaper.

Here's a tip: To open a plastic bag, rub the bag (near the top) between the palms of both hands for a few seconds, and voila, it opens. No spit required.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be careful what you Tweet

Helping protestors in real time can result in searches and confiscations, at least in the USA.

"When protesters in Iran similarly used Twitter to organize anti-government rallies, the U.S. State Department hailed the micro-blogging service as a boon to democracy."

Secrets for a youthful middleage

Someone told me it was hard to tell how old the picture was in my recent Halloween post. When I said it was taken nearly 20 years ago, she said I really hadn't changed that much and asked how I do it.

Here are my secrets:

1. Pick the right DNA. My maternal grandmother died in her 90's and looked 75. My mother is 84 and has few wrinkles. I was always carded well into my 30's.

2. Have very, very thick hair as a youth. As your hair thins when you age, you'll still have much more hair on your head than there is on the bathroom floor.3. Stay out of the sun (and tanning booths) and don't smoke. Especially don't do both. Of course when you're young you think it doesn't matter, but one day you'll look in the mirror and see a dried up, brown reptile coughing up green stuff staring back at you.

4. Don't grow very tall. People always think short people are younger than they really are. Maybe because they can buy clothes in the kids' department. Who looks youngest in this picture?

5. Unless you're already a dried up, brown lizard, you don't need to be rubbing all kinds of junk into your face. The more rubbing that's done, the more wrinkles you get because you're stretching the skin. Just wash with a good soap, splash water to remove it and pat dry.
6. Don't dye your hair. You're not fooling anyone. We all know that no person over 50 has naturally golden blond or jet black hair. Even Barbie.

7. Avoid botox, plastic surgery, and any of the other hot eternal youth solutions, unless you want to look like all the other androids.

8. Dress your age. Nothing says old lady skank or old man pervert than wearing something more appropriate for a 20 year old.

9. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

10. Get plenty of sleep. She not called Sleeping Beauty for nothing. It's always the ugly old witches who are flying around at night.

11. Keep moving. Notice I didn't say exercise. Run amuck.
12. Have a sense of humor. If you want a long life, it's inevitable you'll get old so you might as well enjoy the trip. And it will be so much easier to find someone to change your adult diaper if you can laugh about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shaking bitter women back to reality

Here's an excellent essay that very well sums up my feelings about the modern feminist movement:

" If you weren’t so bitter about the broken promises of Feminism, you would be able to see the difference between Feminism and Women’s Rights."

The real reason Republicans won in New Jersey

In the modern world of an over-weight population, you'll never gain popularity during election time by mocking a chubby opponent, especially when Christmas is just six weeks away.