Friday, September 26, 2008

Just around the bend

Let’s just jump into the whole menopause thing.

I was not thrilled to get my period the first time. I was a tomboy and the monthly visit just really put a crimp in my style. I had other girlfriends who were thrilled. They probably grew up to be women who enjoy being pregnant. I just considered the whole thing very inconvenient, and more than a little gross. And adding cramps just put the insult cherry on the pain in the ass sundae.

But you get used to it. It takes awhile to get the hang of menstruation. You learn your cycle. You keep feminine hygiene products handy, even if your period shouldn’t be for another 3 days, because god knows it likes to surprise you every once in awhile. But eventually, you can handle your business. I kind of started to look at it as a sign that life was on a pretty even keel. If I was stressed out and not taking care of my body, periods became irregular and painful. If I was living right, it just kind of came and went, on time and in an orderly fashion. But the teenager in me still just kind of wished the whole thing would go away.

But as you get older, older women feel like they can let you in on the secrets more. You get the picture that menopause isn’t just childhood 2.0. You’re not just off the hook. You get a whole new set of things to deal with. Hot flashes, heart disease, hair in weird places, collagen goes south, sexuality goes haywire, you start to gain weight in places you never gained weight before. And there’s the whole do I go on hormone replacement therapy, or do I just ride it out?

And there are still those women who enjoy all the developments of womanhood. They think they’ve become a tribal elder. And they can enjoy moving into this new stage. Bless their hearts.

So, now I’m bumping up against 40. I know peri-menopause could already be here. There’s some sort of stick test you can get at the grocery store that will tell you if you’re pre-menopausal. Kind of like a whacked out pregnancy test – “You’re NOT pregnant, forever!” I don’t think I want to know. Of course, every time my period is a day late, or starts slower than usual, I think – is this it? But so far, it just goes straight back to normal. One grandmother went into menopause really early, and one went really late. So I’m not sure what to expect. I don’t know if it will make me totally nuts, or just be a non-event. But it’s always there now. The good and the bad. And it’s just going to happen. The way everything about being a woman seems to.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dear President Bush:

Dub, hi! How are ya? Good to see you last night. Loved the speech. Because I can’t tell you what a kick I get when people tell me crap I already know. Knew 6 months ago. Knew a year ago. Started to suspect 4 years ago. The magic fairy dust feeling of being right. Ahhh.

I know you’re all concerned about getting the bail out passed. I would be too. Watching your “legacy” circle the drain has to be a, well, “empty?” feeling. Sucks, dude. And trying to get congress people all moving in the same direction has to be like herding cats. And going straight to the voters was a good idea. You need us behind you.

Here's the thing. This whole rush. Not good. Not feeling it. Because, frankly, it feels like you’re pulling a fast one. One Texan to another, that dog won't hunt. Anytime someone doesn’t give you time to think out what’s going on, it’s not a good sign. In fact it scares the crap out of people. I know something has to be done. But yelling at me that it’s got to be quick, just do it, don’t think, feels like I’m getting worked over by a gypsy. And I’m going to walk outside and find out the new drive way I just bought is going to wash away in the first rain.

So that’s it. I feel like you guys are playing 3-card monte with my money. Give me time to think. Show me where the queen is. I’m not a finance wizard, but if you can explain this to me so that I even have a glimmer of understanding, I’ll get behind it. Because, I don’t have any confidence that there’s any way to save us from this mess. But if you make me a part of the process, and don’t make me feel like I’m getting screwed, I’m willing to help. I'm willing to try. I’m an American. Pitching in is what we do best.

Hope it all goes well. Say “Hey” to Laura and the girls for me.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's up to you to heed the call up

I’m not a big fan of military draft. If we’re in a war that can’t be supported by the levels of volunteer forces, I think it’s a good indication that we probably shouldn’t be there.

But here’s a draft I’d be totally behind – a big brain draft. Why does it never seems like the smartest people available are making the decisions? The Big Brains are off in academia or major companies. Not working for the government. Granted, working in the federal government is its own kind of special. And you aren’t going to make tons of money. And there wouldn’t be a lot of theoretical stuff going on.

But, frankly, boo hooey for youey. Too freakin’ bad. This is war! Well, actually, it’s a financial crisis. But why is the threat to the American way of life posed by a financial crash any different than evil doers on foreign soil? The SEC is a mess. The Treasury is a mess. Social Security is a mess. Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac. The Federal Reserve. The list goes on. We’re up to our asses in alligators. Something has to be done.

So I say, we walk into the major universities and companies of this company. “You. You. You. Come with me. You’re 1A.” All the people who right books and speak at conferences. All the finance professors and CEOs who haven’t managed to crash a company. “Grab your calculator and let’s go. You work for Uncle Sam now.” Then they all have to go to Washington, sit at desks set up in RFK stadium, drinking bad coffee and eating egg salad sandwiches until they get this thing back on the rails.

For once, it wouldn’t be some 18-year old kid being asked to sacrifice for his country. It would be some crusty old guy. And for once, it would be fair. It was the crusty old guys who got us in this mess.

Fair Warning: A Slacker Draws a Line

I don’t really know if I’m a slacker by birth. I was a little achiever as a kid. Good grades, good behavior, good girl. Then somewhere around 14 I decided, “Fuck it.”* Then I just kind of started doing my own thing, my own way, and took it as a fact that with slacking comes consequences. I will never be a titan of industry. I will never be rich. I will never rule the world. I’m cool with that. There are others more temperamentally adapted to steering the ship of destiny. I’m pretty happy back in steerage.

But part of the deal would seem to me to be that if I’m not going to rock the boat, the prime movers of our universe need to keep our little Ship of Destiny in calmer waters. Because when we move into rough waters, stock markets crash, wars drag on and the seas start to boil, then the Ship lists back and forth, and all the passengers get queasy and whoopsie over the rail. And at this point, none of is sure that we aren’t heading full steam for an iceberg.

To put it more plainly, and abandon a metaphor that I was having a little too much fun with, aren’t Republicans supposed to be the ones that are good with money? Aren’t they supposed to be the ones that “get it” when it comes to things like capitalism and free market economies? Then how come all this crap has happened on their watch? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I miss the good old days when Republicans were just money-grubbing bastards. They started thinking that morality was their business, instead of BUSINESS being their business, and they just took their eye off the ball. If Republicans are in office, I expect there to be a chicken in every pot, and plenty of jobs to go around. Republicans started worrying about prayer in schools, intelligent design, gay people and what all, and it all just went to hell. And, frankly, Republicans, the fact that we didn’t have two separate, count ‘em – TWO, economic bubbles while Clinton was in office isn’t exactly helping your case. And Democrats, don’t think you’re getting off scott free – you were supposed to be watching them.

What I’m saying is, for the people who are running this place, please straighten your crap out. I don’t want to have to get up off the couch and get involved. Again: slacker – ill-equipped. You don’t want me messing around in government. Politically, I’d be like the mis-begotten intellectual spawn of a very freaky night involving Bob Barr, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich and some magic mushrooms. Oh, yeah. Scary. So, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Get this mess cleaned up. Or you see what happens when all hell really breaks loose.

* Pardon the profanity, but that’s a direct quote in the interest of verisimilitude. Slackerhood occurred around the same time as the potty mouth. I think not coincidentally.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't Drink the Water

I sit here, sipping water, feeling incredibly stupid. Why? The tap water. It’s fine. Perfectly fine. Fine, fine, fine. Not the best water I’ve ever had. Not the water that flows from glacial run off into the chalices of the gods. It’s just water. And it’s just fine.

It makes me feel incredibly stupid, because I’ve been in this office building 5 years and been drinking bottled water. And feeling really horrible about the bottles for about 3 years. But like I had no recourse, unless I wanted to drink stinky/yucky tap water. Because the tap water at my house is indeed stinky/yucky. It comes out of the tap water looking like milk. And makes your glass look like a recently shaken snow globe. And it has a distinct pong to it. It’s so bad that I opt to skip the rinse with water after brushing my teeth and go straight to the Listerine. I rarely have to drink it straight, because the first thing I purchased when I bought my home was a filter pitcher.

But did I ever think to try the water at the office? Nope. Miss Magoo just swilled bottled water without ever actually trying the tap. And felt really, really bad about it. Plastic bottles piling up like nails in the planet's coffin. Yet. Why would downtown city water be any better than suburb city water? Why even try? Well, it is. A lot. Perfectly potable. Fine! I never even tried.

This just speaks to a personal trait that I’m most annoyed at in myself. Obliviousness. Just tripping through life with a hum-dee and a la-dee-da, and not bothering to test a hypothesis. When I think of all those water bottles . . . ugh. It makes me ill. It’s going to take a while before I’m finished flogging myself over this one.

Venal Sins on Parade,0,4567942.story

Okay, I give up on humanity. We have turned a corner as a species. Give up. Buy a cabin in the Rockies. Stock it with powdered milk, soy beans and shotgun shells. Sit on the porch and drink tequila until the Apocalypse comes. It won't be long.

How do I know? It isn't just that this person felt the need to ask an advice columnist whether they should give back money that didn't belong to them, or if it was better to make a minimum-wage worker suffer for a petty mistake. Yes, give it back, you moral simpleton. And go see if they'll let you sit with the kidergarteners at remedial Sunday school. Obviously you missed a day.

The sign that the Four Horsemen are saddling up is that this person felt it was OKAY to even ASK this question in the first place. The writer didn't even bother to hide the craven, greedy, vindictive, evil little id that crawls around the base of his or her skull. Not that we don't all have a craven, greedy, vindictive, evil little id. We do. And some people spend there whole lives trying to beat that little bastard down and to never let it take the reins or make a command decision in our lives. Or barring that, the rest of us at the very least try to hide the nasty, twisted face of our lesser selves from public view, rather than trot it out for the neighbors to see in a nationally syndicated advice column. You're supposed to hide that you even think that crap, you ethical cretin.

I'm going to buy a bottle of tequila and read the real estate ads for Boulder.

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