Wednesday, July 30, 2008

44-pound cat found in New Jersey

I'm glad this giant beastie wasn't found wandering in north Jersey, because if it was, my mother, the cat lady, would have found a way to take it in.

I have to say, though, this is a bit hard to believe. A 44-pound housecat? Really? If the story is true, this animal weighs more than the Peanut.


When the hacks who have a stranglehold on our broken, oh so broken media call Obama "presumptuous," what they mean is "uppity." As in, "uppity negro." And don't think they're above doctoring quotes for their own purposes, as the consistently-sharp Bob Cesca shows here. The Washington Post is happy to use half-quotes from Barack Obama to make him sound arrogant. That's just standard operating procedure.

But meanwhile, does anyone care to place bets on whether the Post will find time to report on the salt-of-the-earth, very non-elitist John McCain's choice of footwear (as they would do in about three seconds if Obama went around wearing $500+ shoes)? I suspect not. They need to devote those column inches to making sure black politicians know their proper place.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Not dead, just insanely busy

This poor blog has been shamefully neglected lately...I actually have a whole running list of things I want to write about if I ever manage to find the time. I'm a list maker. Always have been. The problem is that most of the time instead of getting accomplished, the items on my list languish there for months as it (the list) sits crumpled at the bottom of my purse. How sad is that?

Meanwhile there is the Peanut's lively social schedule, which Mr. Fraulein and I spend much of our weekends attending to. I've lost count of how many children's birthday parties we've gone to so far this summer. If you need information about any kids' party venue and/or birthday cake baker in the greater Boston area, I'm your girl, as I am now intimately acquainted with all of them. It's by turns touching and hilarious how excited a 3- or 4-year-old kid can get about another kid's birthday. (It would be nice if this sense of empathy could stay with them when they grow up. ) Today for example one of the kids at the Peanut's preschool is having an after-school birthday party at his house, complete with backyard water slide, pizza and cake. The teachers are driving the kids to these people's house in the school mini-bus. This will be the first time the Peanut has ever ridden in a school-bus type vehicle. She's been talking about it for days.

"I'm going to sit next to C. on the bus and we can talk on the ride," she said this morning, her voice quivering with excitement. I had an immediate vision of the Peanut at age 17, decked out in a floor-length gown, waiting for C. (her best buddy) to arrive to take her to the prom. She seemed so much like a teenager in love at that moment, I had to grip the bathroom sink for support. (She is, mind you, 3 years old.)

And even aside from the parties, just the sheer number of activities this kid packs into a single weekend, continues to astound me. The tricycle riding with the neighbors' kids in front of the house! The multiple trips to the playground! The production of highly elaborate marker and crayon drawings on her easel, often signed in her preschool hand, with the E's in our last name carefully marked with about five little horizontal lines. The doll and teddy bear tea parties in the living room. Etc. There are very few moments of simply vegging in front of the TV, even when the TV is on, which we feel is a good sign. She often uses the TV as background noise for whatever make-believe she is cooking up on the living room rug. And the things that come out of her mouth are still hilarious.

"I love you and Daddy more than chocolate milk," she said this weekend. That's a lot!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rising from the ashes

Remember that woman whose car I saw go up in flames in front of the Brookline Gap store? The one who I and everyone else on the scene of that horrible car accident thought for sure was dead? According to our local weekly paper, in spite of the car being destroyed, only 17 percent of her body was burned.

“Had they not doused the woman with all those fire extinguishers … she would have perished,” said Gropman. “It was the only part of the car that wasn’t absolutely charred.”
The two guys who turned the fire extinguishers on the burning car (one of whom was definitely just some random shopper in that Gap store, not a store owner, as this article says --I saw the whole thing) have never been identified in any of the news stories I've read on the accident. I hope they have seen the stories and realize that they are responsible for saving a life. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen, and they're heroes of mine even though I suspect I will never know their names.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Random observation Thursday

Things have been so insanely busy since we came back from the first two of our three planned vacations this summer (and how did THAT happen, by the way? This is the first time we've ever taken this many trips in so short a time frame) that I still have had no time to write about several things:

-- London, and how immensely cool it was to be back in the U.K. again and to finally meet the two children of a great friend

-- Our visit to Knole House for an awesome Virginia Woolf-related historical tour

-- Our sixth wedding anniversary, which we celebrated in London

-- The Peanut's accelerating precociousness and looming 4th birthday.

So in lieu of an actual substantive post I thought I would provide a list of random observations. To wit:

-- When you go off Weight Watchers to save the $39 a month, figuring you know the system well enough and will be capable of staying "On Plan" (as the WW people say) on your own, you pretty much immediately start gaining weight again.

-- Arrested Development is my new favorite TV show even though it no longer exists. (Thank you, Netflix!) I can't decide whether my favorite character is GOB or Tobias, though. Will Arnett's voice alone is so unbelievably hilarious. Although I have to say, I'm also loving the bits where Buster goes off to "Army."

-- Having weird foot bone structure that has caused bunions is a drag, in that it causes me to have sudden attacks of stabbing foot pain (and in that I had to spend over $400 -- not covered by insurance -- on orthotic shoe inserts) but the upside is that I have been forced to shop for new shoes.

-- I cannot wait to see WALL-E!

Monday, July 07, 2008

What politics is really about

MONEY. Whether the rich end up with all of it, or whether the rest of us can have a piece of the pie. This is why politics matters:

An objective outsider who laid fresh eyes on America's economic scene, a twenty-first century Tocqueville, would probably think that the federal government would be eager to use tax policy to offset these widening disparities.But the tax cuts that President Bush and Congress enacted since 2000 have in many ways aggravated the disparities, according to statistics from the Tax Policy Center, a respected, nonpartisan research group. Those tax cuts gave $20 on average to the bottom 20 percent of American households, $744 on average to the middle fifth, and $118,477 to those with income or more than $1 million annually.

One can see the economic divide widen in another way. The average income for the top 1 percent of households was ten times that for the middle fifth in 1979. By 2005, those in the top 1 percent earned 21 times as much as those in the middle. Income for the top 1 percent of households averaged 70 times that of households in the bottom fifth, the greatest gap on record, up from 23 times as much in 1979.

At the pinnacle of the inequality pyramid are the nation's CEOs. American corporations may be tightfisted about raises for most workers, but they paid their chief executives $10.5 million on average in 2005, including salary, bonuses and stock options. That was quadruple their pay a dozen years earlier. This means the typical CEO earns 369 times as much as the average worker, up from 131 times in 1993 and 36 times in 1976.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Things to read

In case it's not clear that few in the "mommy blogging" business do this thing better than Antique Mommy, check out these posts about what happens when a Pull-up ends up in the dryer, a beloved old toy car, and seeing yourself in your kid's face. Just amazing stuff.

London calling

I've been out of blogging mode lately because I've been out of the country--we are just back from a family trip to London. Work, etc., are conspiring to keep me from doing much blogging at the moment but a trip update is coming soon! In the meantime here's a bit of what we saw in my beautiful England (the London Eye, Wimbledon park, and Knole House in Kent.)