Friday, May 11, 2012

Warning twinges

Knowing my love of Madison Avenue's attempt to explain Women to ourselves, Carol sent this:

Long before couples were setting up bathtubs on hillsides, and cautioning us that Trizominex is not for everyone, but do (DO) ask your doctor... And long before Madison Avenue stopped making us READ so much COPY...
Li'l Pharma promised us everything and delivered .....

Let's break it down. 
Not even your mother has heard of this.

So what the hell was it?
So you're suffering from "periodical indisposition," and you were supposed to meet this other couple and their stag friend inside a Thurber cartoon, but you just have these depressing pains.

And this is a...drug?

I know what that is.  What's KAMNIA?   
An excellent play!  Circle gets to open...
The Antikamnia chemical company claimed their name meant "opposed to pain."  In what language, is anyone's guess.  I can not find a word origin.  The Google translator detected it as Filipino.  Possibly because I used the word Filipino in yesterday's post, and Google is highly impressionable.

In fact, it is difficult to break past Google's insistence that you mean KAMINA, which will take you down some anime/plushy path that is hard to back out of.  This is K-A-M-N-I-A.  But then "thousands of women just ask for A-K."

How many should I take?
One.  or Two.   We're not doctors.

What's in it?
I am so glad you asked.  May I approach the bench?

Citing the case of  United States v. Antikamnia Chemical Co., 231 U.S. 654 (1914), the plaintiff claimed the defendant had violated the Food and Drug by failing to specify the product contained acetanilid,

I swear your answers just beg more questions.
It's true.  The Internet is like that.  I started this post 2 years ago.
Acetanilid is what we used to take before aspirin, and before it was found to be more beneficial as photographic developer.  If you want more than that, you'll have to ask someone who took high school chemistry.

What about "always sure - always safe"?

Sometimes they're wrong.  Did your headache go away, though?

I do hate to give up all idea of a party.
Then Get Liberated, Sister.  Put on your white shorties and ride your bicycle over there.  You've got some well-earned relaxation due.

 (You may also forget what season it is, and wear a sweater and a hat with your shorties)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Push me, poll you

The trouble with the Don't Call list is that "political outreach" is exempt

I was just Push Polled by some mysterious operation called "Topical Marketing" asking me to respond to some "theoretical" rumors about our senatorial candidates, then respond whether that information made me more or less likely to vote for that person.

Ex:  "Which party do you have more concerns about, Democrat or Republican?"
I challenged the pollster to clarify her terms.

I said, "What kind of concerns?"
"Yes, that's right."
"You didn't answer my question.  What do you mean by concerns?"
"Which one concerns you more?"

After going through the usual non-question/questions ("do you think things are going in the right direction?" )she dragged me through a bunch of "Have you ever heard" about both Warren and Brown.  I was supposed to say whether I had heard that accusation (her word) and whether it was very, somewhat, blah-blah likely to change my opinion (the one I hadn't given about whom I would vote for).

There were FIVE of these.

"Are you more or less likely to vote for [this candidate]?"
"Than what," I said.
"More or less."  
"Than the other candidate?  I just told you I do not have a leaning."
"But based on these statements --- "
"Your choices don't make sense."

Frankly, it doesn't surprise me that Elizabeth Warren now presents herself as a Native American.  She used to present herself as having brown hair and glasses.
It doesn't surprise me that Scott Brown's house is valued at $1M.  We live in Massachusetts.  All that means is his house has 10 rooms.

The pollster says, " I am now going to read you some theoretical statements about [the other candidate]..."  I said, "Let me stop you.  I am going to give you the same answers as before.  I have not heard these statements, and they have not changed my mind.  If you want to write those down now and end the survey, we can.  or we can end the survey.  Your choice is A or B."

Then I stopped talking, so she thought I hung up.  She disconnected.

And America....
She called me back.

"We just completed this survey," I said.
"If you would let me read the statements, I can enter your answers."
"Why is that important?"  I said.
"It's important that we finish."  (in the Milgrim experiment, this is pronounced “The experiment requires that you go on”)

I almost said... "Are they holding you there against your will?"  but instead I said, "Who is sponsoring this survey?"
"Topical Marketing, she says.

"Topical marketing is conducting the survey.  for whom are you conducting this survey?"

Oh, don't make me whoooom your ass, girlie.... I am home allll daaaay.

She stammered and admitted that she wasn't made aware of that.  I said, "Your questions are not based in fact, you won't cite who these 'supporters' and 'opponents' are, the answers don't match the questions, and you won't tell me how the data will be used.  Why is it so valuable?"

I am so sorry to say that in the end she won.  I let her read the questions so she would never call me again, but I banged a lot of dishes while she did it.  Very mature.

Demographically... my options were single, married, living with someone, divorced, widowed , or never married.
Let's review.
"Single, divorced, widowed AND never married?"  You know how I love to be called unmarried.

How's this for the ethnicity question:
"Is anyone in your family Native American, Asian, Spanish-speaking, or African-American."   
Spanish speaking?  Yes, my Filipino cousin is Asian Spanish-speaking, and my Nipmuc sister-in-law is African/Native American.  I said, "Any of those?  Yes."
"Can you be specific?"

Because f**k her.  She doesn't even know who she works for.  What is the frequency, Kenneth?

In the end, she apologized for calling me back.  I said, "I am sorry they made you do that."
And reminded myself to answer the phone more vigilantly in the future.

Countdown to "this finally stops":   181 days

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lord, help this poor film

I found I had more to say about The Raven than my usual Facebook movie review capsule could contain.

Having started this post, I discovered that more legitimate reviewers and scholars than myself had already made many of the points I would have made, so I will direct you to them below and save my breath for how I received the film.
I enjoy the little scuffles that arrive in the space of an FB review, often over the stars themselves, which I always have to clarify are not an expression of how "good" the film is (or skilled, or important, or what have you).  They are Netflix stars, which have always been a measuring of "liking" the film, and if Facebook understands anything, isn't it LIKING? 

So, in Netflix parlance, 3 is "liked it," 4 is "really liked it" (no, really) and 5 is "loved it."  (in case you are curious, 2 is "didn't like it" and 1 is...)

And I can Really Like/Love a terrible film (see everything in the juvenile delinquent genre, and most of the Jodie Foster oeuvre).  And I can just hate things that I recognize are the best of their kind (Harry Potter, I assume, though I really wouldn't know...)

The Raven... I'm going to go with 4 Netflix stars.  I did "really like" it, though there was a lot just...not good about it.

I will not quibble with historical facts.  This is fan fiction, and it is entitled to its full fantasy.  You want the facts, explore below.

Reel Facts
The Reynolds Legend
Unrequited Lurv

What the opening titles report is true:  we don't not know why Poe was in Baltimore in October of 1849, how he came to be in the condition he was found, or even what condition that was.  There are not even enough medical notes to take a modern review of vital signs and symptoms.  (oh...for an EHR... don't click that; it's boring.)  So have at, America.  Here is one speculation.

John Cusack is younger than I am, and we are both too old to play Poe, but that doesn't bother me either because... it's John Cusack.  I actually enjoyed him -- intense, but not morose, a little flirty, a little bitchy, a lot drunk... He could get his mouth around the language without sounding like Maurice Evans, and he still made me want to spend the summer with him and learn the sport of kickboxing.

When the language isn't working, it is distracting.  Watch the Internet forums soon for the complaints of linguistic anachronism (just for the fun of saying it) as "serial killer," "gun-toting" and "OK," are bandied about.  I looked into "OK," which is older than we ever think, but not likely in the vernacular of a society maiden, even when she is trying to keep it together buried inside a box.

I never say SPOILER ALERT.

What I am tired of, I realize, is this notion that madmen have all the time and energy in the world (in between baiting and disemboweling the passersby) to leave clues all over the place like it's Christmas morning at Pee Wee's Playhouse.  But that is the nature of these stories, so have patience through the numerous climaxes, the red herrings, the solving of Sudokus and Rebuses, and (no, seriously) longitudinal charts just to get to the next clue station.  The lat/long clue sequence is the stupidest nonsense in any detective story -- any time, any author.  Stop it.  that was dumb.  I won't write it all down for you, but after you see the film, try to backtrack from the clue outcome to its origin, and tell me if you don't take a tincture of your own just now.

But it is scary.  And bloody.  And gloomy.  The sets are crammed full of antebellum sootiness and everyone has cravat and muttonchops and whalebone just so.  Which I enjoy.  The murders are crazier than Se7en -- you won't believe them for a second -- but then, if you have ever read any Poe, you don't expect to.  If a film like this is expected to revive Poe in the mass-market, let me give you a hint:

This process, however, afforded me no means of ascertaining the dimensions of my dungeon; as I might make its circuit, and return to the point whence I set out, without being aware of the fact, so perfectly uniform seemed the wall. I therefore sought the knife which had been in my pocket when led into the inquisitorial chamber, but it was gone; my clothes had been exchanged for a wrapper of coarse serge.
No it won't.

But if you do like your Poe references, and the stories more than the poetry -- and if you like a wild ride even if it brings you right back to the starting line -- and if you are not too claustrophobic or squeamish -- and if you like your Poe taller and less Boothy --- you might agree to 3 or 4 stars.

The narrative makes no sense, and the closing credits belong to a completely different film.  But you may get shut out of The Avengers this week, so consider it a fallback.


I don't know why I stress about coming up with topics.  They are just lying around waiting to be noticed.

I have never doubted the power of the white coat to make us swallow just about anything.  Behold, Future World - the Pill Cam.  

More boringly known as video capsule endoscopy, this is exactly what it looks like it is.  And I expect that given time, you too will decide that "they must know what they're doing."

The floor is now open for questions.

Ok, well, I just want to know how big that is.
This is like that weird hamburger pinky-hold you see in commercials, which disguise the size of what's on the value meal.  The capsule looks big enough already... girth-wise... but you can't see the end of it.  Another way to obfuscate is to use metrics:  " Both PillCam SB and ESO video capsules are 11 mm x 26 mm and weigh less than 4 grams."

So... how big?
I have no idea.  I'm American.  This big:

And it does what, now?
"The smooth plastic capsule contains a miniature video camera and is equipped with a light source on one end, batteries, a radio transmitter and antenna. After it is swallowed, the PillCam SB capsule transmits approximately 50,000 images over the course of an 8-hour period (about 2 images per second) to a data recording device attached to a belt worn around the patient’s waist. The small bowel images are then downloaded into a Given® Workstation computer where a physician can review the images in order to make a diagnosis."

Oh, but why?
I believe you are familiar with the alternative method. 

How come I can't swallow a watch battery, but I can swallow this?
"PillCam SB was initially cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2001."
That's not an answer.
It is to them. 

Ok, so I swallow a camera, and... what is it again?
From what I can make out in this video, it  is a microchip, a... ball bearing?, 2 button batteries, some kind of copper coil, encased in plastic, like a toy from a gumball machine. 

yuh-hunnh.... go ahead....
"PillCam capsule endoscopy offers a simple, safe and non-invasive alternative to traditional imaging procedures."

It's an interesting use of "non-invasive" that you have. 
Then look at this! 

I am always amazed how much our innards look like pasta.
Make sure you pause that first frame to learn that this V2 is not yet approved in the US.  But by all means "ask your doctor."

I suppose I know how this ends.
"Both the PillCam SB and PillCam ESO disposable capsules make their way through the rest of the gastrointestinal tract and then are passed naturally and painlessly from the body, usually within 24 hours."

{{sigh}}  Side Effects?
When will you ask this question first?  WHEN, America.
You shouldn't use it if you have a gastrointestinal obstruction.  Recreational purposes only, one would assume.     
"Capsule retention" may occur.  I expect it's on YOU to determine whether it has.

"There is a rare risk of capsule aspiration while patients are attempting to swallow a PillCam video capsule or Agile patency capsule.  There is also a low risk of skin irritation from the SensorArray sleeve adhesive or silicone exposure.
Medical, endoscopic, or surgical intervention may be necessary to address any of these complications, should they occur."

I thought you might say that.

Modern medicine is a marvel, isn't it?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Minute Clinic...Medieval Barber

Can you get enough stories of me, trying to navigate a CVS?

Somewhere between my last day in Va, and a drive back to New England, I picked up a southern woodsy tick, which I discovered in the shower, embedded in my hip.  After trying all the usual methods (and some less usual) I did manage to kill it.  May I recommend that all-purpose healing poultice toothpaste, which must burn like a mother, even to something with an exoskeleton.

So it fell off, but of course, not all in one piece.  That's how those little bastards get ya.  I poked and hacked at it long enough to risk tetanus, then I decided to find a medical paraprofessional.  At the CVS.

Has your CVS opened a clinic?  It's not as sketchy as you think, actually, but a little Bramwellian.  We have them all over eastern Mass (thanks, individual mandate!), but not everywhere.  They operate like your usual doc-in-the-box, except it is CVS, so you may see your neighbors shopping for birthday cards, or your Aunt Tillie picking up her "perscriptions." So maybe you'd prefer one in a different town. And it's not a doctor.

Follow the signs on the floor of the CVS to the back, where there are four chairs, no reception, and a computer into which you sign.  Screens, screens, screens.... but all information you know...then the screen tells you how many people are ahead of you, and you wait.

For various reasons, I have been waiting in a lot of exam and waiting rooms recently, and I can tell you for sure that they are not soundproof.  I can also tell you that the "P" in HIPAA stands for Portability, not Privacy, so in spite of all the rules of record-keeping and confidentiality, your being overheard is not a breach.  Think about that next time you are inside the exam room, because people like me don't bring a book to entertain themselves.

It is a little funny that the drugstore doesn't have magazines in its waiting area.

Let's call my NP Cherry.  I expect that Cherry Ames would be a Nurse Practitioner by now.  In her very efficient little exam room (1 desk, 2 chairs, the rolly stool, 1 sink, 1 bank of cabinets and drawers) she could not find her very efficient little tick extracting tool.  Which is not, you may be surprised to hear, tweezers coated in Crest Total.  It's this ingenious device, and I just have to blow this part up for you:

I think you know who you are

Because she can't find it, after several minutes of looking -- in a space smaller than your bathroom -- I sat down and buttoned my pants.  She looked for other implements, like hedge clippers, a long thumbnail, or a rusty saw.

With regular forceps too large for the job she went to work on the embedded head, about the size of a thorn-splinter, at the depth of a mass grave.  And I thought... this is what I was doing yesterday.  But then, I didn't have a lab coat.

Now.  Once your cadaver head, forceps, and skin are bloodied, it is just a slippery mess.  I am standing, braced against the wall to (a) avoid throwing a shadow and (b) scrawl HELP ME into the cinderblock walls of this torture chamber.

"Are you ok?" she asks, with some compassion, though not as much as your mammography tech.  "It's fine," I say, because I do have a surprisingly high pain threshold, and notice that I didn't say I was fine.  I said that it was fine for Sh***y Healthcare to pay for this rather than my Lyme disease.  I can stand it if they can.

Readership, I want you to know that when she finally extracted it, it felt like a dipstick pulling out of the oil tank.  I actually felt it retract, even though neither of us could really see it once it was out.

What they are charging Sh***y : $79 .  To bore me out with an apple corer, which the local crone could have done, plus serve tea and read the bumps on my head.  Throw in an antibiotic and we're all happy.

What a racket.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Is it too late to talk about Portland?

I do still carry a travel diary; I just don't write in it anymore. 

My 2nd visit to Oregon was much longer than my first.  It occurred this past February, as part of my farewell tour.  Just before the Company instituted an upsell quota, I packed up my sample cases and got the heck out of Dodge.  But not before they paid for a week in Portland.

For the record... I never saw Portland.  So don't ask me if what Fred and Carrie say about it is true.  I'll assume it is.  I did not go to VooDoo Donuts.  (But now they will come to me.)  I did not ride a bike.

In fact, I was put-up in Gresham, (aka Portland East, which is Portland like the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is Boston) -- near the airport because I don't like to drive too much farther in a rental after I have already flown 3000 miles.  And because maps of other people's towns never make much sense.  This is how I ended up renting my first Boston apartment in Newton, when I did not own a car.  The itinerary was client dinner Monday, client lunch Tuesday, client workday followed by college-pal drinks on Wednesday, attention to the other 10 clients on Thursday, out on Friday.  One thing the fledging Road Warrior learns is to work some weekends in there.  They owe you.

What I thought I was reserving:  1 bedroom suite with kitchen
What I got: 1 King with mini-fridge and microwave.

I like the suite if I am going to live somewhere for a week because it feels so civilized. The complimentary breakfast at these joints can either resemble a Carnival Cruise at 1am or a box of Little Debbie cakes.  You should check those things out before you stop at the Safeway.  But it has been a long trip out, and I didn't want to leave the room once I was in it, so I made a grocery stop before check in.  Fortunately... I wasn't planning on a turkey dinner.  I was planning on dishes and glasses.  So back to The Dollar Store I went (conveniently located next to the Safeway) for $6 worth of hobo bridal setting.  Oh, and some razors because I forgot mine.  The razors you can get at a Dollar Store are horrible, but you get 20!

The other thing the Company owes you is a bottle of wine to live for a week next to Michael's Furniture.  Because it is always next to Michael's.

photo from - might be his; certainly isn't mine.
A Mt. Hood sighting is more rare than images on the Internet would have you believe.  Like most of the big western peaks, Hood has its own atmosphere that it hides behind.  Sunday was also a rare sunny day, and I was treated to a rear-view glimpse sort of like this, though the sky was much cloudier.  Still breath-taking -- I am not made of stone, after all.  Instead, I was up to the Columbia Gorge on the advice of the hotel manager when asked to meet my criteria of (a) close, (b) outdoors, and (c) quintessentially Oregonian.

But I had done some of my own homework.

Been following this blog long?   Beverly Cleary Elementary School stands near Klickitat Street, where it ought to be, and in sight of an unassuming sculpture garden (playground) dedicated to Henry, Ribsy, and Ramona.  Three life-sized statues -- something to do, and take pictures of, and it is true that anywhere you go in Oregon, you'll be more mesmerized by the trees than anything else around them, so you might as well start here.

I had also seen on the map a site simply called The Grotto -- and who doesn't love a grotto?  That's rhetorical, of course (and rather cliched).  I don't care who doesn't love a grotto.  Or Sara Lee.  I was all-in for The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother.  NATIONAL..  How National?  It scored "" as a URL. 

Things to do on your grotto visit:  all of it.  Do it all like Disneyland.  It is a beautiful piece of land, with stunning views, Stations through the woods, a sweet giftshop (grandma-sweet, not skateboard dude-sweet), and a life-sized Pieta in a 100 foot cliff.  I had nearly walked myself ragged, and I hadn't left town yet.

I was not at all prepared to be driving right past Multnomah Falls, familiar to us pencil-necked easterners as the print from The Pottery Barn Catalog.  Imagine you are just driving some scenic byway in your Chevy Malibu and this is what is on the other side of the guardrail.  Of course you would stop.  And if you fancy yourself a skilled hiker, you'll even shrug at the 1.5 miles to the top -- even if you are wearing the wrong kind of coat and shoes, and have no water.
You'll curse all 11 switchbacks, but imagine the climb if they weren't there.
I still intended to get to the Gorge.  Sadly, after the morning I'd had, the gorge was a little anti-climactic.  I do want to plug The Interpretive Center Museum, though, which is a little like a mini-Smithsonian of the Northwest.  By that I mean, that in one small space you'll get pre-European history, town folklore, Lewis and Clark, an actual fishwheel, a steam engine, a lesson in conservation and our fragile environment, and the requisite cheesy museum experience film that sounds loud and moves fast, but never really tells you much you remember the second it's over.  And the world's largest rosary collection.


So, yes, if you're keeping score, I have made it to Washington, but not downtown Portland.   And this post may already be too long to read.  Let's talk about what we ATE tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Watch this space

I hadn't forgotten about you.
I was cleaning out my desk.

I have been writing this next sentence for the next ten minutes, so I'll just keep plowing through and you'll take whatever comes out.  We haven't raised our ticket price in the past 6 years, and no one has ever used the donate button.

Stop looking.  There is no Donate button.

12 years, 3 companies, 6 jobs, and a couple blogs later, and I am tapping out of the high-tech Octagon. If you have to change positions every 2 years, it's probably not them, it's you.  And it is most definitely me.  I like to think I served with honor.  I loved you all (I mean, I didn't love everyone, but I don't talk to the ones I didn't....) but turn, turn, turn, etc.  So my mixed metaphors of high-tech Mill Girl/overdressed corporate stooge is replaced by starving graduate student/over-degreed do-gooder, spending the endowment that those 12 years built.

But in either scene, I am your squint-eyed Spinster, and I know you'll still tune in for that.  Blogger teased me with some new templates, and I tried them out, but I kept the old one after all.  You're welcome.

Did I really quit my job in a recession?  Yes, I did.  The secret is to find what they need and provide that.  And they do not need anymore project weenies.  There are plenty to go around.
Any I really getting another Masters?  Yes, I am.  Maybe I'll use this one.  You never know.
Is it really online?  Mostly, yes.  It's worth the price of admission just to see how in the world they teach sighted  But I'm all in.
Am I really unemployed?  Not really.  But yes, really.  I will declare the income I am making on these projects I bid too low, and in the will have been for no good reason.
So how's that all gonna work?  aaaahhhh..... got you hooked now, don't I?

So here's what's happening right now.
--  making a comparison study of the local town libraries, and tracking them by spreadsheet.  Shrewsbury - not enough outlets!  Lancaster - pretty, but small!  Bolton - nice rebuild!  I really miss my Newton Free, and oh, you, Lexington, but I no longer go that way.

-- speaking of rationing, the bourbon is low and there is no payday ahead.  But it is a lovely replacement for running the heat in April.  (another reason I am at the library all day).

-- back at the fitness room of Del Boca Vista, and that ought to be material enough for once a week.

The gym membership expired this month, and it is 15 miles from here. The "fitness" room consists of 1 marginally-adjustable circuit cluster, some treadmills, a Stairmaster that works and a Gravitron that doesn't, a rowing apparatus that seems to be from the 1920s, and would pair nicely with some of those juggling pins, an Ellpitical machine, a balance ball, scattered free weights with all the increments between 5 and 20 missing, and that weird hump-bike that Long Duk Dong rode in 16 Candles.

-- Maybe blogging again.  This is a start.  If I can possibly find a place to put it in my busy schedule.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

That much money

In a "down economy," someone had the means to give $10M to the Gingrich campaign.

You know that saying, "If I could just win the Lottery...."?
I am about to leave my job.  I wasn't surprised how openly people will ask me "what are you going to do for money?"  One of the answers I am considering is "I won the lottery."  Said quietly, out of the corner of my mouth, to give it veracity.   The closest I have come is a WASPy, "I have some means."

We all have some means.  It's like having "a temperature."  Some of us have more than others.
Like you, I have tried to figure out how little of a windfall I really needed to feel set for life.  Ten Mill would be just about right.  Five would get me into my 90s. 

The 4 "poorest" Billionaires only have $1B each.  (they sell their suits, but keep their sock garters)

Sheldon Adelson says he'll give 100 Million if necessary.   
Don't be shy.  We all have questions.

Who is he?
According to Forbes, he is the 8th wealthiest man in America, at $ 21.5B.  I can say "man," because thems are the facts.  The wealthiest woman is Alice Walton, and I have been meaning to write more about her, I just don't have help around the house.

What's that in normal-people figures?
I measure these things against the Harvard endowment, which does have more than Mr Adelson, but then he pays taxes, doesn't he?  (doesn't he?)

Where did it come from?
Ironically... gambling. That is to say, other people's gambling.  He bought The Sands in 1988. he's "connected"?  Are you trying to get me killed?

I thought he was one of the good guys -- schools, and youth development, medical research -- Yad Vashem?!  All true.  We are judged by the company we keep.  And if you gave to the the Adelson Foundation to support those things, you got what you paid for.  Get your good night's sleep believing that your check went right into those funds.  This is one good reason to insist on Designated Giving.

So what about Gingrich? 
They disdain Palestine together. On the other hand, if you start trying to break down which ethnicities and which nations are "invented," you end up on an Escher staircase pretty quickly.

Well, that's the end of my Foundation support, then.
That's your prerogative.  Understand, though, that it is separate money.  Adelson's Super PAC "Winning Our Future" is the source of the $10-100M (chump-change interest from this Jed Clampett).  I won't link to them; it's bad enough I just clicked on it. 

"Winning."  Gambling pun, right?  If I understood more about gambling, I could do a long frontrunner/dark horse metaphor here.  But I'm at a loss.  (rim shot)
WOF identifies our President as "statist and un-American."  I was not sure how you could be both.  I had to look some things up.  "Statism" is a French concept -- FRENCH!, the people cried.  Boy, I tell ya, if those damn French had been in our Revolution, they would have --- what's that?  Oh. 

Plus, she's topless.
Anyway, Statism asserts that the government should control economic policy.
Minarchy is the idea of the most minimal legislated protection.
Menarche is getting your period.

but not today
Often, people who oppose Statism are called Anarchists.  -->
They might even shut the government down.  for example.

Winning also says that Mr Former Speaker can reverse the "heavy-handed socialist leaning" of the current administration.  (Heavy-handed Leaning.  That one's yours for the taking.)
" America will not survive another four years of Barack Obama..." says the website.  What could it mean?  Barrels for everyone?  I predict we would outsource the barrel making, too.

The blog Rooted Cosmopolitan discusses the rising costs of political campaigns in a recent post.  (Of course, you can see by their banner ad what they're all about.)  I found this, too, which is an interesting read.

It is French-leaning of me to assume that $10M could fund 166 $60K salaries for 1 year.  That is not a lot of people, and they still require health benefits.  We could fund over 4000 of those for a year with $10M.  Or, he could do as he likes with the money earned from the promise of instant wealth at impossible odds.  That is as it should be, and $10M can purchase about a week's pre-primary expenses for his candidate.  Even Mr. Romney might consider that "much money."

I have no conclusions.  I have become hooked on reading Politifact, and have spent much too much time on this post.  I have to spend more time on paying the Taxes.  Speaking of my modest means.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar...Oscar, Oscar

forget the Scorcese game, drink when you see Angi's groin

I don’t usually red carpet.  The interviewers get on my nerves, and it is about as easy to hear as the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl.  The fashion chat sort of bores me, but I do like seeing who arrives with whoooom.  Nowadays, though, the carpet creepers are reading Twitter posts to me.  Do they think we don’t HAVE Twitter?  Or do they think that we are more likely to tweet if we think they might read our post?  That’s the case, I suppose.

I was working upstairs on an expense report (for the 2nd time, mind you.  Thanks Oracle.  Bitch.) but I couldn’t prove what time the awards were going to actually start.  ABC keeps saying the show starts at 7, and I know they are lying – that it is probably 8-THIRTY even, but I  came down anyway.  I can’t afford to be distracted by that expense report again.   

So of course, I was right and we are calling to seats at 8:30.  That’s how they get ya.

This is the only night I would Twitter.  But it's not a list even I want to read, so I’ll try to have something more meaningful to say than running commentary.  After all, when my comple-at papers are collected by some well-meaning graduate student, we need my cultural/film commentary to stand on its own.

24 awards.  Count ‘em 24.

The theme I notice is convincing us that we do love the movies, we do!  Or perhaps that we should help our children understand why they should.  And I had a sudden awareness/panic that the movies won’t  always be with us, which had never occurred to me before.  I am as guilty as anyone of watching on a tiny player resting on my belly, on the company laptop in a hotel room, on somebody’s Wii… but I can not imagine a world that has no picture show in it.  It gave me the same Bell Jar as realizing that Niagara Walls would never stop running.  Then think of a day when maybe it did. 

I am also painfully aware that my television is now the wrong shape.  Even the awards shows have outgrown the square ratio.  The top of everyone’s head is cut off, and these split screens of nominees and their films has everyone peering out of one right eye.  As we used to say when reading Cinemascope credits on the small screen.. “Klahom!”

Where is the award for these sea salt caramels I’m eating?

Nice work, Coca-Cola, on the “not all stars” commercial.  I would like you to show that before the films I arrive too early for.  If you are going to show commercials in the sacred hall, they might as well be about the movies.  I remember a Loews pre-show that was all movie clips of characters talking about the movies.  Sort of like the open of this year’s Awards show.  The “no talking” rule could feature DiNiro in Cape Fear, and “no smoking” could be the screening room of Citizen Kane.  Has this been done?  It feels like it’s been done.

When the Emmy noms come around, please remember that the directors of the Oscar broadcast could not figure out how to shoot that Cirque d’Soleil piece.  Some things are too big for any screen. 

The night is really flying by so quickly, I find I have very little to say by way of commentary other than the technical glitches of the production itself.  I have reset my audio to mono because the music and announcer were out of balance.  And just now during Christopher Plummer’s speech there is a strange applause feedback in his microphone, as if it were mounted on a slinky.

This is not a good sign in a eyar devoted to silent films.

Will I sit through Titanic again, and is that far too much 3-D?  I tried to sit out some of the 3-D in Hugo, but the film was unwatchable without the glasses.  Was I supposed to keep the glasses?  I doubted I would get a ticket price break if I brought them to the next 3-D, like a reusable grocery sack.  And there was that big recycle box right outside the door.  So recycle I did.  Lord knows what they’ll charge to see Titanic.  In 1996 I saw it free about 6 times.  And it didn’t even have an iceberg in it.

I have to stomp around the room over Woody Allen winning an Academy Award for writing his same movie again just because he had Wikipedia open in the other browser.  And then not show up.  Do you know that you do not have to submit for a nomination?  Did you not hear Ludovic Bource just thank Hans Zimmer for doing that very thing?  Of course, Bource  also acknowledged John Williams on his way up the aisle, and thanked Sheila E. from the stage.  He’ll remember this moment forever.  Woody will shoot another movie through doorways (scored by clarinet) and fetishize his typeface. 

At night's end, it is 2 movies about movie making that take home all the prizes.  Academy voters needs their jobs to have meaning, too, just like the rest of us.  Good luck with yours this week.