Random Thoughts

I realized that I was talking to someone on her cell while she was in the office bathroom.  I heard people talking and flushing.  I need to sterilize my ear.

I am for universal health care coverage, but I will not pay for hearing aids or ocular implants for people who blast music in their ears.  Especially on my subway car.

I saw a man standing just outside the employees entrance at a funeral home looking at the traffic going by.  Was he waiting for something to happen?

My partner promised to handle a matter but left my cell phone number.  Lesbian merger or dumping it back into my court?

How nice do I really have to be?

Would I get away with driving a person off a bridge if I promise to devote my life to public service (even though that wasn’t the quid pro quo for Teddy)?

If a bald, portly nerdy guy doesn’t see that he is lucky to have the girlfriend he has, will a baseball bat knock sense into him?

How come men think they are way better looking and way more desirable than they really are?

If you are blasting Karla Bonoff or The Pousette Dart Band and dancing around thinking you are cool, should you be entitled to social security benefits out of pity?

Did Sarah Palin drop off the face of the earth or was that just a fantasy I had?

Does Dick Cheney sometimes crawl back into his secret bunker for old time’s sake?

Do I have to go to the gym or can I imagine just how gross it is?

Craig T. Nelson, I wish you had stuck to acting

Craig T. Nelson, someone whose acting work I had previously enjoyed, was opposed to the notion of universal health care coverage because no one helped him out when he was down and out and living on welfare and food stamps. 

Dude, dude, dude: news flash — welfare and food stamps are government subsidies.  Without the government, you would have starved to death. 

But those programs are ok, because you received a direct benefit.  Ok, great.  Now, that you are a big time actor, you don’t want government taking more out of your income or intruding in your life.  But long ago, you invited government to pay to keep you alive while you were following your acting muse.

I will never again pay to see something in which you act.  Actually, I won’t watch it if it is free.

Dick Cheney, AGAIN?

Dick Cheney never went to war.  Dick Cheney was never interrogated.  Dick Cheney has been a bureaucrat and desk jockey his whole life.  Dick Cheney is not a member — trained or otherwise — of the military.  In short, Dick Cheney doesn’t know anything about war, prisoners of war or interrogations, except what he has read from the Gestapo and Maoist rule books.  I bet he really likes war games.

I don’t know anything about war either.  But I know that only a sadistic fool rushes into war where young people die and lives of so many are forever destroyed.  And I believe that only a sadistic fool goes straight to torture — yes, torture, and NO, there are not “enhanced interrogation techniques” — when there is at least a preponderance of credible information and analyses that show that a person subjected to these techniques will say anything to make the torture stop.  So, the information is no more value than a coin flip.

Cheney’s unprincipled approach to all of this is appalling, but not surprising.  Under the Bush Administration, his venal attacks on the government’s readiness to safeguard our nation would make him “unpatriotic,” “unAmerican,” and might subject him or his loved ones to attack in planted articles and leaks.  (Valerie Plame comes to mind.) 

He showed his true colors when he said that Bush would not bend to Cheney’s will in the second administration and that Bush showed an independent streak.  Dick, no one elected you president.  Ever.

Blogcation Day 8

Last night I noticed as I parked the rental car that the outer casing of the driver’s side rear view mirror was missing.  Oh, great, I thought.  Did some aggressive Escalade driver nicked me in an East Hampton parking lot? Or was it some Hummer dude (because one’s driveway is technically off-road driving) who couldn’t fit his tank into four parking spaces and tapped my ultra-safe, unpretentious and family-like Volvo sedan?  I was still a little wrecked about it even though I realized that buying all of that rental insurance paid off big time.  That, and the GPS and the EZ Pass are all worth it, because family vacation drives are epic enough without the added excitement of not knowing where to go or scrounging for cash and change at the toll booth.  I am sure Suze Orman would say that these are unnecessary add-ons that cost me money which, if properly invested, would pay for my son’s education.  Well, I will figure out another way.

We went back out to Long Island to visit with friends who are just wonderful people.  Our son swam in the pool, while the adults just kept eating and talking (someone was always watching him and poised to save him).  Seriously, there was food to feed an army, which worked out well because people actually dropped by.  In New York City, if someone dropped by unannounced, the person would be labeled a stalker and a restraining order issued.

I had to stop eating because, well, I didn’t wear loose enough clothing.  Our son didn’t want to leave — why would he, when he got to swim, explore the nooks and crannies of a big house, and he was lovingly plied with cupcakes and given huge goody bag (big like a serious Halloween trick or treating night score) from the “candy drawer”.

We didn’t stay long enough (I was concerned about the Sunday afternoon traffic back into the city) and we love seeing them.   And it was nice that we had the rental car so we did not to have to ask them to schlep to us in the City. (One of these days, I will recount the crazy story about how we met this couple and what we have lived through together — but no names and not now.)

I was very apologetic and self-conscious about checking my blackberry for texts from potential sitters for our son and constant phone messages from the owner of our beach house rental.  My partner said she would speak to the owner and I was scared for the guy.  She will put an end to his hysteria — either with (i) a charming and gentle touch or (ii) a verbal dressing-down that would be grammatically correct with poly-syllabic words for which he would need the OED (Oxford English Dictionary — when we were dating, my partner had to tell me what the acronym meant and she didn’t break it off — see, she DOES suffer some fools).  All depends on his approach.   Be afraid.

We just finished a rousing game of FDF (Fresh Direct Football).  I stand in the foyer and throw the unbreakables to my son in the pantry who then runs them to my partner in the kitchen.  No spillage and no bruised fruit (although I am worried about the orange bell pepper).

Our son is now reading his encyclopedia of trains (a gift from our friends some months ago).  Recently, he said to me, “I am not angry at you, [Mom], but I just get very frustrated that you don’t remember the names and types of trains.”  Oh, sweetie, if only I could remember most things I once knew.  If only I were young with a sponge-like brain.  If we were really smart, we would take you to the gambling tables and you would win because you would remember all the card that were played.  Then I would need a faster car than the Volvo family sedan because I would have to out-run child protective services agents.

The irony of Dominick Dunne’s and Ted Kennedy’s contemporaneous deaths

Dominick Dunne was a writer of some repute early in his career. A career which careened out of control from drugs and alcohol, if I remember correctly.  A person of power and privilege was the main suspect in his daughter’s murder and the suspect eluded conviction, as Mr. Dunne maintained, precisely because of his power and privilege.  He then became a TV personality doing exposés on the “unsolved” crimes committed by the rich and powerful.

Dominick Dunne’s death has gone relatively unnoticed, more unnoticed probably because Ted Kennedy died hours earlier.  What a strange juxtaposition.  One man, a TV personality driven by never having gotten justice for his daughter; the other, a child of our American aristocracy and leader of a political dynasty who was responsible for a woman’s death and at the scene of another’s rape. 

In these last few days, our leaders have gently referred to Ted Kennedy’s “transgressions” as they eulogize the liberal lion of the Senate.  I keep thinking of Dominick Dunne.

I loved Ted Kennedy’s politics, but I am still working through my issues with all of these days of mourning.  Was the nation better served by his service in the Senate or would his being held to account for his behavior have made us the more perfect union we desire?  I keep thinking about the pledge of allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation [under G-d] with liberty and justice for all.” 

I just don’t know.

Blogcation Day 7

We decided to leave the rented beach house a day early and beat the horrendous weather. 

The owner of the house has been in a constant freaked out state that people would ruin his “expensive” stuff (not to be a snob, but it was IKEA and CB2 stuff; if it were Design Within Reach I would understand it), so I took pictures of every stain we saw on his self-assembled finery.  I also took pictures of the garbage piled up. 

I even emailed him the picture of the joint that gave way on the IKEA futon in the downstairs living area.  I tried to explain to him that we didn’t cause it but we discovered it when I, 120 pounds sopping wet, felt it give way as I sat down so immediately got up.  First he heard: I put my sopping wet dog on the couch.  I told him we don’t have a dog.   Then he asked if he could get this straight — that we dragged the couch out into the rain so that it was sopping wet, got warped and gave way. Ok, ok, ok, ok.  I am going into an alternate universe.

So, I continued the conversation, mostly intrigued about how far down the rabbit hole we would go.  I told him that I took down the outdoor umbrella so it wouldn’t do any damage in the strong winds.  I told that the umbrella was also bent a little.  Then HE got bent out of shape.  We started down the road of the sopping wet dog and I told him that we never opened the umbrella because the outdoor table was rusted over and we, as a rule, don’t eat on rusted surfaces, especially without a doctor present to administer tetanus shots.  He couldn’t imagine how this could happen.  I have no idea what others did in his house, but we were clean and careful and frankly out doing stuff all the time.  I had to climb out of the rabbit hole before I would do irreparable damage to my mental health. My partner listened to my side of the conversation and thought I was insane.  Then I told her the other side of the conversation.  She wondered if Verizon charges extras for receiving phone calls from Mars.

Throughout the conversation, I had this image of the CSI: Miami team determining who did what damage so the cost could be properly apportioned to the appropriate security deposits.  I don’t even like Horatio Caine on my TV set let alone in my head.  eeeeeewwwww.   

And, we were such considerate renters.  Really. Not only did my partner SCRUB the slightly gross kitchen, but we left soap, toilet paper and paper towels for the next renters (no such amenities were afforded us) and I called to ask what I should do to batten down the hatches because of the crazy weather from Tropical Storm Danny.  We wiped down the bathrooms, stripped the beds, etc., even though there is a cleaning service (well, um, precisely because we experienced the “quality” of the cleaning service).

It is good to be home with our stuff and our urban wildlife.

It doesn’t get better than this

My son is watching me blog as he lies in my arms after another excellent vacation day.  A little whining over eating dinner before his creamsicle dessert, but he is a great kid.  Every day, I love him more.  And I love that he still wants to cuddle.  I hope he will always find security in my arms, even when he is a grown-up.  He is the best thing that happened in my life (after meeting my partner, his other mom). 

I yell sometimes and I make him mind his manners and I am not always popular or on his top ten list of favorite people, but I act out of love.  Sometimes I am wrong, but my heart is in the right place.  I hope that he will think of that when he has kids of his own.  Teaching right from wrong, respect and manners are never easy.  But I do it because I love him more than he will ever know.

And with my son in my arms, we end another excellent day.

the end.

If newscasters dig any deeper, all they will do is create a BIG latrine.

Where news people choose to dig deeper shows a lot about the news person, the news organization and the effect of ratings and the entertainment factor in the news reporting.

What passes for news is really news-ertainment.  Or, shmews (like schmooze, only with an air something important).  I love the “digging deeper” segments.  Stuff you never needed to know about people you don’t know and now you have that knowledge crowding your brain and visuals that could blind a person.

The shnews legitimizes Jerry Springer’s exploitation of the stupid and the ultra stupid.

And between CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, people are digging some serious shit holes but not reporting news.  (Mind you, my political leanings are toward MSNBC, but I realize that most of it is editorializing, just as Fox does.  CNN, just asks everyone to be an iReporter and tell them what we think is important on twitter.)

Generalissimo Francisco Franco and Michael Jackson

In the last few days, the news outlets keep listing as “BREAKING NEWS” that Michael Jackon’s death is ruled a homicide.  I keep hitting the refresh button, thinking that my computer is stuck in a time warp. Reminds me of the “Weekend Update” skits on Saturday Night Live with the original Not Ready For Primetime Players, when Chevy Chase would announce as a news item “Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.”