Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Aging Nest Syndrome: Parents Living With Children [Isn't my mom cute?]

A (reluctant) star is born.

Breaking news

House votes down $700 billion dollar bailout bill.

Economy doesn't come to screeching halt.

Monday, September 29, 2008

40% of House Democrats and 66% of House Republicans vote bailout down

So, 95 Democrats and 135 Republicans voted against the $700 billion bail out bill. A lot of folks are blaming Nancy Pelosi's pre-vote speech for firing up the Rs to bring the bill down. In the speech she called out President Bush and by extension Republicans in congress for an "anything goes" economic policy that she said ultimately caused the financial meltdown. Never mind the fact that Bush and his team tried several times (seven at least) to pass reforms to hold Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in check, but were voted down by both Ds and Rs who were either too short-sighted or too in the tank for political donations from Fannie and/or Freddie to care about what could and has happened.

40% of the Democrats in the House and 66% of the Republicans said "no, not so fast" to Madame Speaker. This could have been Nancy's day in the sun. But since she couldn't keep her mouth shut and show real leadership in a real crisis...the deal fell apart. Putting it all in perspective...another $1.1 trillion was lost in the stock market today after Pelosi couldn't get the deal done with her Democratic majority. Term limits are looking better all the time.

BTW. Why is Barack-star MIA on this issue? Is he for the bailout? Against? Present? Absent? Doesn't he realize this is the biggest financial crisis to hit the United States (and the world markets) in our lifetime? Truth of the matter is, if/when the deal is done and if Barack-star's elected he'll be relegated to signing checks just to pay the interest on the loans. Yep. No health care. No education assistance. No rebuilding the infrastructure. No revamping social security. No support for small businesses. No early childhood programs. No job training. No alternative energy. No living wage. No lock box. No moon shots. No investment in all the social programs he's talked about for two years. No change. No nothing. Just grab the national checkbook once a month and a ballpoint pen and sign on the dotted line.

Related posts:
A picture's worth a thousand words...or why I'm not sold on the bailout bill yet
Nancy and Harry running for cover

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A picture's worth a thousand words...or why I'm not sold on the bailout bill yet

Don't these folks look a little too happy for just adding $750 billion to the taxpayers' tab?

Year by year

If you've ever wondered what you'd look like if you lived in a different decade...go to Yearbookyourself.com.

Tell me, which Kathryn do you like best? I think I look really good with the afro, which revives the whole Jesse Jackson controversy from earlier this month.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My favorite line from the debate

Barack-star: "I've got a bracelet, too."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Weekend!

sweater weather; lazy Saturday; dinner with friends; go big red; fried green tomatoes; qt with family

Question for you

Reports are that up to 70 million people are expected to watch the debate between John McCain and Barack-Star tonight. That sounds high to me. Only about 15 million people watched the premiere of House last week.

I'm curious. Will you be watching?

Nancy and Harry running for cover

If Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to pass the bailout bill, why don't they do it already? Aren't they the leaders of the majority party? Why do they need Republicans to go along with anything?

Is it because Democrats don't want their fingerprints on their proposed plan? Republicans are skittish over a line in the bill that skims money off repayment of the $700 billion loan from taxpayers and sends it to support advocacy groups like ACORN, the National Urban League and even environmental groups. The fight is whether all repayments go back to the taxpayers' treasury department (who is making the loan) or a significant portion is funneled to special interest political advocacy groups.

Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
Function: noun

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

Pronunciation: \di-ˈmä-krə-sē\
Function: noun

1 a: government by the people; especially rule of the majority b: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
2: a political unit that has a democratic government
3capitalized : the principles and policies of the Democratic party in the United States
4: the common people especially when constituting the source of political authority
5: the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bill Clinton defends McCain & Bush, attacks Democrats

Yesterday, Bill Clinton said he's waiting until after the Jewish holidays to start campaigning for Barack-Star.

Today, Bill Clinton defended McCain's request to postpone the first debate. Clinton said it obviously wasn't a maneuver by John McCain to get out of debating since he's the candidate who's been pressing for more debates.

Bill also praised Bush's speech about the financial meltdown, "I thought it was the clearest statement of why we're in the fix we're in, at least what the nature of it is and why some national action is needed."

He also went on to blame the Democrats for the current debacle, "Democrats for years have been resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Who's this guy campaigning for, anyway?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaking news

McCain has suspended campaigning until action is taken to address the current financial crisis. Says he's directed his staff to delay Friday's debate. Check. Your move, Barack-star.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Now that's what friends are for

I was in desperate need of some chocolate. Then I remembered someone brought me a big package of these when we had our last dinner party:

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


$700 billion dollars?? I don't have to understand it to know I don't like it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Anyone else think this was weird?

Josh Groban's Emmy performance:

[Who knew the Baywatch theme had lyrics?]

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"Real luxury is time and opportunity to read for pleasure” ...Jane Brody

Just finished book #40...The Shack. Well on my way to reaching my goal of 50 by year's end.

Not funny

All may be fair in politics, but I'm not sure it's prudent. Here's a copy of a Pat Oliphant/Washington Post political cartoon that takes on Sarah Palin and John McCain (fair), but also God (not smart).

I've distorted the cartoon, because I think some people might find it offensive. Click here to see it.
In my opinion, only a foolish person mocks God.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This Week's Headline Review

* Joe Biden told us it's patriotic to pay taxes. Question, are you more patriotic if you pay more taxes?
* The lead in the polls has shifted back to Barack-star.
* The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett was proven right again. He warned folks about Freddie Mac (and other things) way back in 2004.
* Ike wreaked havoc as far north as St. Louis.
* The bottom fell out of the stock market, then rallied to its best two-day surge since 2000.
* Oprah picked the 62nd book for her bookclub...The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
* The National Enquirer reported that Jimmy Smits stabbed a fellow actor in the chest several times. Smits says he thought he was using a prop knife. Wasn't this an episode of Murder, She Wrote?
* Jennifer Hudson of American Idol and Oscar fame got engaged.
* Barack-star's economic policies are naive according to business mogul Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch claims Barack-star's policies would ruin our relationships with the rest of the world.
* Bush = Truman? Time will tell.
* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid admitted he doesn't have a clue what to do about the economy.
* And, in yet another Jesus sighting, a man sees Jesus in his drywall.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

At least you'll look smart

"Your library is your portrait.” Holbrook Jackson (English Journalist, Editor and Author. 1874-1948)

Book Decor is an on-line site where you can order books by the foot to populate your shelves for decorating purposes. You can choose the color, the patina, even a `look' (eg. `Harry Potter Look', antique, or the sun-bleached Zen collection). Don't worry, no reading skills necessary. None of the books are in English.

My verdict? Excessive and more than slightly pretentious. What next, faux family photos?

Yep. They're just like us.

Yesterday Gwyneth Paltrow was on Oprah. She talked about how Madonna had helped her cope with post-partum depression. This is a quote: "She really sort of reorganized my molecules in that situation.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I get by with a little help from my friends

I'm so thankful to have good friends who are there when I need them. Thanks girls, you look mah-vuh-lous.

Let them eat soup

Rising gas prices, plummeting stock market, banks going belly up, government bailouts, layoffs, recession, threats of higher taxes. Now may be the time to put this recipe on your weekly menu:

Poverty Soup

2 T. olive oil
2 chopped onions
1 chopped garlic clove
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
6-8 florets of cauliflower
Chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the potatoes, cauliflower and a cup or so of stock. Allow to simmer gently until the potatoes are soft, then add a little more stock until the consistency is soup-like. Serve with a few shavings of parmesan. You can add some diced tomatoes if you can afford it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Day

I guess they all can't be good.

Monday, September 15, 2008

INFJ...how about you?

Are you familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? Basically, it's a test that tells you what your personality type is. Here are the four areas of measurement:

* Either Extroversion or Introversion (How a person focuses their attention or gets their energy.)
* Either Sensing or iNtuition (How a person perceives or takes in information.)
* Either Thinking or Feeling (How a person prefers to make decisions.)
* Either Judging or Perceiving (How a person orients themselves to the outside world.)

There are 16 different combinations of the letters that correspond to your personality. I am an INFJ (a "protector"). I found that out years ago, and every time I've taken the test since then the result has been the same. A couple of amazing things about this is 1) only about 1% of the population are INFJs, but 2) it turns out one of my best buddies in the office is an INFJ! My pal Joey has this on his blog and it describes me (and Joey) exactly:

For INFJs the dominant quality in their lives is their attention to the inner world of possibilities, ideas, and symbols. Knowing by way of insight is paramount for them, and they often manifest a deep concern for people and relationships as well. INFJs often have deep interests in creative expression as well as issues of spirituality and human development. While their energy and attention are naturally drawn to the inner world of ideas and insights, what people often first encounter with INFJs is their drive for closure and for the application of their ideas to people's concerns.
Now for some famous INFJs:

Eleanor Roosevelt
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Shirley Temple Black
Fred McMurray (My Three Sons)
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Shirley MacLaine
Michael Landon
Tom Selleck
Nelson Mandela
Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury)
Mel Gibson
Carrie Fisher
Nicole Kidman
Jerry Seinfeld
Jamie Foxx
Sela Ward (Sisters)
Mark Harmon
Gary Dourdan (C.S.I.)
Marg Helgenberger (C.S.I.)

More on INFJs from Dolphin Cove (an organization devoted to all things INFJ):
* Value personal integrity and "being true to yourself"
* Are on a lifelong search for a unique identity and meaning; spirituality is important to us
* Can be hard to get to know, depending on the other person (reciprocity)
* Are sometimes seen by others as cold and hard on the outside
* Can be difficult to "peg"; sometimes INFJs may not even recognise fellow members of their own type
* May find it easier to express their deepest feelings and sentiments non-verbally or in writing
* Abhor evil or injustice, especially that directed towards the innocent or helpless
* Are sometimes looked upon by others as naive, mostly due to our idealism
* Can be quite gullible; many INFJs build up a protective armour over the years to protect against this and being "used" by others
* Enjoy thoughtful discussion but dislike arguing for argument's sake, as this often degenerates into ugly conflict
* Are bookworms, love bookstores and libraries
* Are affiliative; get stressed and cannot survive for extended periods without company
* Rarely get into conflict, but when it erupts, can be very bitter
* Aren't terribly career-minded
* Love personality tests and other self-improvement tools
* Love quotes/quotations and are often "philosophers" or "theologists"
* Need to confide in others and express opinions and feelings about others
* Are "Directors" who give advice, though usually more subtly than most other Directors.
* Are interested in ESP, paranormal, "new age," or psychic experiences
* "Mute withdrawal is a major INFJ defense."
* Often have "oceanic" memories where details are recalled through intuitive leaps and thought association

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Beautiful Amalfi Coast

I have never been anywhere as beautiful as the Amalfi Coast or the towns of Positano and Sorrento, just south of Naples, Italy. As much as I love the midwest, and I do, there is something magical about this part of the world. Steep and rocky cliffs edge right up to the bluest sea you'll ever see. Clusters of fishing villages dot the coast. The winding roads are lined with lemon trees, grape and olive vines. Now I know why John Steinbeck (one of my favorite authors) wrote the book Positano [click on the link for his essay on the city]. I hope you enjoy these photos.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Whatever, Martha

My season pass for Whatever, Martha is set on the TIVO. Two episodes are scheduled for Tuesday night.

Must See TV!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Must See TV!!!

I cannot...repeat...cannot wait for this show to start!!!!

Whatever, Martha, premieres next Tuesday on the Fine Living Network. Whatever, Martha features Martha Stewart's daughter, Alexis, and her best friend Jennifer Koppelman Hutt kibbutzing about all things Martha and giving their irreverent take on some of Martha's vintage shows.

Watch the video, it's hilarious. [Then go set your TIVO, right now, Tuesday, September 16 at 8 pm (CST) on the Fine Living Network]

How about a tour of Rhodes, Greece?

Rhodes, Greece is one of the most popular tourist islands in Greece. Its nickname is "Sun Island". Aptly named, in my opinion, it was the hottest place we visited on our cruise. Over one hundred degrees the day we were there. (Not the place for my friend Ann).

Rhodes is located just 11 miles west of Turkey, right between mainland Greece and Cyprus.

The Colossus of Rhodes is one of The Seven Wonders of the World. It only lasted for 56 years, but it was a giant statue of the god Helios, located at the entrance of the harbor of Rhodes. The statue was built between 292 BC and 280 BC. There's still talk of rebuilding the Colossus. But, like most things, it all comes down to Euros.

“The Old Town” or The Medieval Town of Rhodes has been designated by UNESCO as a world monument of architectural heritage (I'm not sure I know what that means, but it sounds impressive).

We spent a lot of time in The Old Town. In The Old Town you can see the Byzantine Museum, the Mosque of Suleiman, Simis square, Ippokratous square, The Palace of The Grand Masters, The Minaret of the old city & The Great Hamam, The Archaeological Museum, The clock tower and the street of Knights (Ippoton street).

Yes, we did most of that. But also...John got another beard trim. His barber is a professional soccer referee in addition to his barbering gig. We also watched a woman weaving a rug. Stopped into a bakery and bought some baklava. And, I bought some jewelry and a handmade tablerunner.

If you're not into sightseeing, getting a haircut, eating, or shopping you can enjoy the beautiful beaches. It is the Greek Isles after all. We didn't have time to visit, but I also heard the nearby fishing villages are beautiful. White houses, narrow stone roads, etc.

Here are some photos from our day in Rhodes:

John loves baklava...and baklava bakers...


Barber/Soccer Referee

Clock Tower


Hookah Bar/Internet Cafe



Rug Weaving


View of Rhodes

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Say What???

It's amazing to me that someone as renowned and universally applauded for his oratory skills as Barack-Star would be so incredulous that his reference to lipsticked pigs would be linked to the only female candidate in the race (a self-described pitbull with lipstick) and his reference to wrapping an old fish in a newspaper would be linked to the oldest candidate in the race. Watch the video. The audience clearly knew who/what Barack-Star was referring to. Hmmmm...this from the same candidate whose surrogates find racial slurs in bringing up Barack-Star's experience as a community organizer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Gender gap

If you're trying to get women to vote for you, this probably isn't the best analogy to use: "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig."

2nd Tuesday of the month

Yipee! Yipee! Yipee! It's book club night at the library with my mom. We were traveling last month, so we missed our August book club.

Tonight we're discussing A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseni.

The background of the book is three decades of turmoil and civil war in Afghanistan. Most of the book is set in Kabul--a once vibrant, cosmopolitan city and Afghanistan's center of learning and culture. Foreign invaders and internal civil wars have since turned Kabul into rubble. The Soviets, the mujahadeen, the Taliban, the U.S.--all share blame in what has happened to Kabul. Hosseni's book is a vivid portrayal of that history and the repressed and often brutalized Afghanis...particularly the women.

A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of two women, Mariam and Laila, who forge a mother-daughter type relationship after being forced to marry the same abusive man, all told within the historical context of the changing Afghanistan.

This is a beautiful book...a must-read if only because it reminds us of the continuing abuses of women, the realities of war, and the power of unconditional love.

5 stars

Setting the record straight

The internet hasn't been kind to Sarah Palin. Newsweek has an article "Sliming Palin" that takes on the rumors. Here are the highlights:

1. SP didn't cut funding for special needs children by 62%. In fact, didn't cut funding at all.
2. SP didn't demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Many of the books on the list that's been circulated weren't even in print at the time.
3. SP was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party.
4. SP never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president.
5. SP didn't push for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools.

Read the whole article.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Since January 2007 eight of our great state's 197 lawmakers have been arrested. Crimes they've been charged with run the gamut from drunk driving, leaving the scene of an accident, bank fraud, deviate sexual assault, even using false identification at a casino.

For some reason, the media has been reporting this today with a strange twist. I keep hearing/seeing/reading reports that even though all these elected officials have been arrested, `members of Missouri's legislature are arrested about 60 percent less frequently than the rest of us living in the state.'

What a pathetic rationalization for bad behavior.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Observations from the fairway...

Today we went to the BMW Championship golf tournament. It was my first PGA event. Here are my observations:

* Eric Axley is the flashiest dresser. Orange pants, orange shoes. Either an early nod to Halloween or in honor of his hometown, Knoxville, TN. Go Vols.
* Phil Mickelson is the chattiest player on the course. Talk, talk, talk to the caddies. Talk, talk, talk to the other players.
* Vijay Singh is the most elegant player. He glides across the fairway, he floats across the green. Are you listening ABC?? Vijay would be perfect for Dancing With the Stars.
* Camilo Villegas gives off an Andre Agassi vibe (when he was young and winning and had that long hair). He's also the best dresser. Tres adorable.
* There is a "Boo", a "Bubba", and a "Briny" in the tournament.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Celebrity Lookalikes

My Heritage has on-line face scanning software that analyzes your face and tells you which celebrities you look like.

I'm posting my celebrity lookalikes. Personally I don't think I look a thing like Jesse Jackson, but whatever.

P.S. Take the poll on the sidebar.

I'd give them money just to stop running this commercial

From an online poll

Rate Sarah Palin's Speech Last Night

Grandslam 83% (4943 votes)
Homerun 13% (778 votes)
Triple 2% (107 votes)
Double 1% (41 votes)
Single 0% (14 votes)
Walk 0% (14 votes)
Sacrifice 0% (11 votes)
Strikeout 1% (72 votes)

Total votes: 5980

Hurricane Sarah Hits Minneapolis

Category 5. Enough said.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

America's Mayor

Rudy is still hot. I love him.

More to the story

There's more to the story. Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone, owns Us magazine. Wenner is also a big-time donor to Barack Obama.