Archive for February, 2009

Limbaugh & Coulter

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

If Limbaugh and Coulter remain the speaking heads for the Republican Party I think it is safe to say any effort by Conservatives to regain political strength is essentially a lost cause.

What FDR Didn’t Know

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

When FDR uttered those famous inaugural words “we have nothing to fear but fear itself,” he clearly had not experienced a house with two tots and an unaccounted for Crayola crayon.

You Know Those Commercials

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

You know those commercials for exotic vacation islands where beautiful couples are frolicking in sand and water?  Yeah, makes me not want to go.  Seriously.  How many women do you know who want to spend buckets of money to relax on a beach with women who could double as models for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition?  Not me.  I’m smart enough to realize I’m not magically going to transform into a bathing goddess when I don a swimsuit on one of these beaches.  To the contrary.  The bright natural light will likely wash me out, expose cellulite I’ve been in denial over and negate whatever slimming effect my suit has on my post baby belly.  Based on the commercials, it is fair for the real person to assume they’d stick out like a sore thumb.  Not exactly my idea of blending into the scenery while on vacation.

More advertisements than ever are parading uber flawless people in front of the general consumer.  Many have been bronzed, airbrushed and tweaked beyond any possible reality.  Those of us who are, how should I say it, normal, are left feeling like shabby disgraces to humanity.  Lord help us that we need publications like the Enquirer, a tabloid known for fabrication, in order to see real photos of people’s dimpled buns, mashed potato upper arms and dark circled eyes.  There has been some push back to get advertisers to promote realistic images.  A few are bending.  Not enough though.  Maybe to get more on board those of us who don’t look like the people in the ads should sit on our wallets and wait.  Advertisers may not like how we look at the moment, but I know they like the look of our cash.

It’s NOT Mean

Friday, February 6th, 2009

It’s not mean to offer sincere constructive feedback.  To the contrary, blowing smoke up the orifices of others is probably more cruel than giving an honest take on what they could and should have done differently.  How kind is it to contribute to someone’s impression they are on top of things or doing a good job when the opposite is true?  Are we to smile, say great job and then avoid the person down the line because it’s just easier that way?  Would a person rather go through life with people secretly biting their lips and rolling their eyes over them than hear they may have come up short in some way?

In no way do I support people with the habit of delivering criticism full of acid and absent any objectivity.  When someone takes the time to tell you you’ve missed the mark in a nice way and with supportive commentary mixed in, that person should be thanked.  They are more your friend than most people walking this planet.

But I Don’t Want A Cherry On Top!

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

My 2 1/2 year old daughter is painfully literal and it frequently gives us a giggle.  Olivia is going through a phase of barking out orders.  “I want my milk” she announced not long ago.  Her father and I are both working on curbing her habit to demand.  “You don’t ask your mother for milk that way,” my darling husband corrects.  “You need to say may I have some milk mom…pretty please with a cherry on top.”  Instantly Olivia was in hysterics. “But I don’t want a CHERRY on top,” she wailed.  Her literal mind was sure her father was suggesting she request a cherry on top of her milk.

Our communication missteps remind me of a kindergarten teacher I once knew who remarked how often adults fail to say what they really mean.  They think they’ve been clear and that their point has been received as intended, and yet they’ve botched the message severely.  It’s funny when we do it with kids because we are willing to laugh when we’ve been misunderstood.  We don’t really blame it on ourselves, but on the fact our kids’ sense of language is still developing.  We think it’s cute.  When it happens with other adults we are less gracious.

It’s not rare to see ‘situations’ develop as a result of poor word choices or expressions.  When called on it, adults will often argue “well, that’s just semantics!”  As if using the more accurate word(s) isn’t necessary because “well, you know what I meant.”  The thing is though, people often really don’t know what the person meant.  I know I get the eye roll often for clarifying what someone is attempting to say.  This is especially true during intense exchanges.  It’s not to be annoying.  I’ve just ridden the drama train enough times in life to realize the wisdom in verifying the need to be pissed off before handing my ticket to the conductor.

Oh Come On!

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Yet another Obama nominee is haunted by a substantial tax error.  Good grief.  Now it’s Daschle.  He made several errors that led to him underpaying by over $100K.  That’s some mistake.  Granted, the United States has a complicated tax code.  Legislators are largely to blame for that.  Still, when you have assets and reportable transactions that are significant enough where you managed to underpay 6 figures in taxes, you should have an expert working on your return.  And what about that “gee, turns out I owe much less than I expected” moment?  Come on!

Obama is standing by his nominees and saying the errors were not intentional.  Fine.  Don’t send them to jail for tax evasion.  It should affect their nominations though.  We need people with an eye for detail, a sense when something doesn’t look right and the smarts to call in more knowledgable people to handle things that may be over their heads.