Wednesday, December 17, 2008
It all started on the first day of Christmas. I came home from work and found a pear tree in front of my door. Since I live in an apartment building on the top floor, my neighbors bitterly complained. So did the fire department for blocking the emergency exit. Hence the fine, which boyfriend didn’t pay of course – and that in these economic times, really! After auctioning off the arbor in question on eBay, I found the remains of a partridge in the corner. No wonder my fat cat was not hungry! Ah well, at least he is a happy cat.
After this disaster, b-f surprised me with two turtle doves. Well, anyone who knows me is mucho aware of the fact that I don’t have a romantic bone in my body. All that coo, coo went on my nerves, and the fat cat was happy to help out. At least I saved again on cat food (Royal Canin is expensive, you know!) so I killed two birds with one stone (literally).
Naively enough, I thought that would be the end of it, but no -on the third day I got three French hens. They resembled Sarkozy and were loudly arguing (in French) while flapping their wings. After they polished off a bottle of my favorite red wine, I decided that coq au vin would be a Good Thing to have for dinner. Lover boy seemed a bit miffed that I turned his gift into a gourmet meal. Ah bon, c’est la vie!
You would think that he would by now have realized that those livestock gifts are not exactly my cup of (Earl Grey, no milk) tea. Hence my surprise, when Mr. “I have an IQ of 160 and I am member of Mensa” showed up with four calling birds. They escaped from their cage and were chased bylover boy and my cat all around my living room. Neither was successful in catching them, so I opened the window and out they flew. That was a Very Good Thing indeed, since one of those PETA fanatics claimed that they are “protected”. Whatever – those bleeding hearts are more than welcome to them (cooked or fried, heh, heh).
The next day, I received five rings, which I naively thought were gold. I considered that adequate compensation for all that poultry mayhem, until I found out that the rings were not made out of gold (I had them appraised for insurance). Trust that cheapskate to give me gold plated junk – I bet my finger would have turned green wearing them. I gave them to “dentists without borders” to be turned into fillings.
My mood didn’t improve when I found six geese waiting for me next day after work. I don’t know if you ever had any dealings with geese, but they stink and are aggressive buggers. The cat freaked out and went into hiding – unfortunately for me in my clothes closet. I wonder if I ever get that pee smell out of my evening gowns. I wanted to kill the brutes, but they are Canadian geese and therefore protected. Animal Welfare took them away – I kept the eggs. Made a damn good omelet I must say!
The next day, mon amour took me out for dinner in the park, on the lakeside. So far so good, it was all tres romantique, until he gave me my next gift – seven swans. What the Hackensack is a city girl like me to do with those ducks on steroids, I ask you! In a stroke of genius, I donated them to the city – to grace the lake. The municipality was grateful, boyfriend upset. But at least the bird-gifts stopped – to be replaced by worse gifts!
Yes, the next present I had the honor to receive consisted of eight maids milking a cow. Turned out the cow was rather bad tempered (small wonder with 16 hands pulling her udder) and the maids were illegal immigrants from Mexico. At least B-F has to deal with the authorities and not little me. If he thinks I am going to post bail or visit him in the slammer – forget it! I am still burning cented candles to get rid of the manure smell.
The next gift turned out to be OK – nine ladies dancing. Since I love to dance, it was a great gift; and once I get the hang of this hip hop…..move over Beyonce!
My favorite was the next present I got – ten lords a-leaping. I am still blurry-eyed and have muscle-aches, but boy, was it worthwhile! I think I got a bit over enthusiastic – boyfriend was verrrrrry annoyed! That will teach him to be a couch potato! I never knew that guys could be so, well, athletic and flexible!
To make sure I would not exercise with those ten hunks again (I think he shipped them back to Australia) he bestowed eleven pipers. Since they were playing bagpipes in kilts, it brought back fond memories of the time I studied criminology in Edinburgh. Turns out that I still know how to have a highland fling.
The last gift was fine as well – twelve drummers. I am currently outsourcing them to the blue man group – to our mutual benefit, I might add. No need to grant b-f a kickback; he is enjoying Her Majesty’s hospitality as we speak and therefore enjoys free room & board.
So know you understand, why I am single again…..and don’t celebrate Christmas!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It all started when Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher, who works as a plumber, told Obama during his campaign in Ohio that his tax plan would keep him from buying the business that currently employs him.
It would have ended there, if both presidential hopefuls would not have started referring to “Joe the Plumber” every opportunity they got. Maria Gavrilovic of CBS news counted that both candidates mentioned his name more than 25 times during their 90-minute debate, compared to the 16 times they mentioned Iraq. Needless to say, Saturday Night Life spoofed it brilliantly.
The media jumped all over poor Joe, digging into his private life. In a time where you worry about the loyalties and ties of your neighbors (especially if they have "Middle Eastern-sounding names), the relentless US newshounds tried to find any piece of dirt they could on our hardworking plumber. They claimed that Joe does not have a license to operate as a plumber, is behind on his taxes, and would actually enjoy a tax cut of about $500 under the Democrat's plans, because his real income is much lower than he claimed. Whatever.
It for sure didn’t stop Republican Senator John McCain to turn our Joseph into the ultimate Average Joe or Joe Six-pack symbol, in an attempt to gain the upper hand over rival Obama. Up till now, the only clear winner is Joe himself.
He got coverage (without any sponsors or funding!) that many celebrities (or wannebees) would dream of. For starters, the prestigious Times Online wrote a 2-page profile on him. Wurzelbacher was also interviewed by Katie Couric of CBS Evening News, Neil Cavuto of Fox News and Diana Sawyer of Good Morning America. The only one who didn’t show any interest in him was Oprah – no wonder since she is a staunch Obama supporter.
Not everyone is happy with our Joe. Female plumbers, construction workers, pipefitters and other skilled tradeswomen are peeved, since no one has bothered to try to court their interests. As Lauren Sugerman, executive director of Chicago Women in Trades points out, real women like “Sarah the plumber” “Yvette the electrician” and “Meghan the carpenter” are facing pressing issues of their own. Personally, I am not quite sure what these are, since working in those professions raise the same concerns for men and women: payment, regulations and safety issues. But maybe I am missing the point here, being a high-tech nerdette. Feel free to leave your comment on this blog to that effect (please note that any comments of current and/or ex-lovers will be promptly purged unless they are extremely positive and make sense). Anyway, we always refer to “your average Joe”; we never talk about “your average Sarah”, sorry! I am sure you don’t want to be referred to as “Jane Doe”, do you?
In an eerie blur of reality and fantasy, Joe is being quoted on the left and on the right (pun intended) with the authority of a Bill Clinton. His (Joe's not Bill's) latest view on Obama and Israel promptly made it to the leading Israeli media. When asked by a retired Florida lawyer if he also believed that a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel, he answered "I'll go ahead and agree with you on that." In contrast to Condi Rice et al, our favorite Joe loves plain talk! Is he a new Secretary of State in the making?
With Halloween around the corner, guess which outfits are the bestsellers this year?
Correct: Sarah Palin wigs, greedy banker outfits and….. Joe the Plumber plungers!
No matter who will win next month – our Joe for sure spiced up the 2008 elections!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The 2,000+ eggheads at CERN (French acronym for European Organization for Nuclear Research) had the day of their lives – watching a collision of particles. Sounds like boys playing with toys to me…….do you guys ever outgrow this fascination with banging objects together with full force?
The particles were not up to speed yesterday, which is pretty shoddy if you ask me, and it also took all the fun out of it. Needless to say, the lack of speed was my main concern in life - way before potential terror attacks, the US and local elections, and the state of the economy. So it’s good to know that those two beamy things will still crash into one another at high-speed pretty soon. Nascar and Red Bull race fans (and other speed devils) will be relieved.
I am a lawyer (don’t hold that against me), not a physicist, so the famous CERN institute was only known to me from one of those wishy-washy Dan Brown’s novels. (Don’t ask me which one, they all read the same – I just vaguely remember a super plane flying to CERN. I was mainly wondering at the time if the passengers on it got more frequent flyers miles and better airplane food than I do on my European flights).
CERN describes its collider thingy as “a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 m underground. (Area 51 anyone?) It is a particle accelerator (just in case you want to know) used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionize our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.”
Well, that’s just dandy. The majority of us are still trying to understand the meaning of our own little lives. For the Mysteries of the Universe, I refer to my beloved SF series - characters like the Vulcans, Ferengi and Minbari make a heck more sense than many of the carbon-based life forms (especially homo sapiens) populating this planet.
Our dear scientists are looking for the Higgs boson, a theoretical particle dubbed "the God particle". OK, so we are spending millions on finding a particle that only exists in theory. Guys, newsflash, Lara Croft in the "Cradle of Life" already beat you to it!
What the technies at CERN try to do is to have two beams of 'hadrons' (not be confused with the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who had a Wall named after him) traveling in opposite directions inside a circular accelerator. You get it: the result is “boom”. This is supposed to represent the Big Bang. Clever citizens remarked that this would create a black hole, and were we all not taught (by the same eggheads) that black holes are Bad? However, don’t worry or check your insurance policy yet - we were assured that such a black hole will be:
2) only last a nano-nano-nano-second
Mmmm, are these the same guys that told us in the past that nuclear energy is really, really, really safe?
I am not a scientist, but one thing I can tell you for sure – LHC itself is a black hole of the worse kind – the one where budgets and funding keep on disappearing into ….The only positive outcome I foresee in the near future is a bunch of Nobel Prize winners. Yes, those guys who are able to prevent us all from being sucked into a black hole of their making will for sure be winners.
Isn’t life deliciously ironic? And I didn’t even need a hadron or Higgs boson to figure that one out!.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
It all started with the gossipy gawker.com publishing an article with picture of a creature washed ashore.
The pig-like creature got the kind of free media exposure that many celebs (including our battling presidential hopefuls) crave for. It appeared on TV channels such as FOX news, CNN and was covered in broad sheets like The Telegraph and The New York Times as well as on a strew of blogs.
The critter also got international exposure in France, Germany , The Netherlands, Spain and Latin America, Italy, Australia, South Africa, and featured in a strew of blogs.
Like most urban legends, the origin of the story is murky. It all started with Anna Holmes, the managing editor at Jezebel, receiving the pic of the pig by email from an Alanna Navitski, an employee at Evolutionary Media Group, in Los Angeles. Navitski got the gross image from her friend at Harris Publications, who got it from her sister who was there with her friends and one of them took the picture.
You are still with me?
A number of eye witnessed popped up, including the illusive sister, who didn’t want to be interviewed.
A local who wanted to remain anonymous (what, again?!) claimed that she saw it on people's phones and that she also knows people who saw it on Ditch Plains and other people who saw it at the person's house that they took it to. Yeah, right.
The remains of the mammal have conveniently disappeared. It's no longer at the beach where it was supposedly found. According to our “witness” Navitski, an old guy came and carted it away. That would only make sense if it would have popped up on ebay, where it is conspicuously absent.
And thus, my friends, urban legends are made.
The theories about the identity of the ugly beast are plentiful.
- Pitbull dog – this theory was coupled with concerned dog owners worrying that it was their beloved pooch washed up on these fancy shores. Don’t worry canine lovers; the creature was not a dog, just read on….
- Sea turtle – the poor creature lost its shell and died homeless. That’s the American real estate crisis for you.
- Satan – I really like this one; I don’t think it could be Satan itself, being it so small and mortal, but may be one of its favorite pets? Did anyone check if it smelled of fire and brimstone?
- An escaped experiment - from the government animal-disease research facility on Plum Island, just offshore from Montauk. This doesn’t make any sense at all, since they have an impeccable safety record and are supervised by the Department of Homeland Security.
- It’s photoshopped – which, if it is, would make if part of the next theory:
- It’s a hoax – similar to the sea serpent in Long Pond (Ironically enough, the Montauk finding spouted a hoax press release allegedly from the well-know PR company Ketchum).
- Part of the Montauk Project – which consisted of a series of experiments (mainly in stealth technology) that took place at the Montauk Air Force Station. Since it closed down in 1987, it is highly unlikely that the creature came from there. Unless you believe in time travel….….X-files anyone?
- Your favorite enemy – ranging from mother-in-law, ex-girlfriend to Lizzie Grubman and Marya Carey.
So what/who is our ugly beachgoer?
Larry Penny, the environmental-protection director of East Hampton stated that it is a raccoon with a broken jaw (hence the beak-like appearance). The long fingers and size (it’s about the size of a cat) are further indications that our furless friend is indeed a very dead raccoon.
Makes sense to me…..
Personally, I like the Gawker’s theory that "it's viral marketing for something.”
In that case, prime candidates would be “Cryptids Are Real," an upcoming Cartoon Network show about mysterious, scientifically undocumented animals such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and the Chupacabra, closely followed by Cloverfield 2, an upcoming Paramount monster movie. Considering the “source” of the urban legend, my money would be on the first.
The most likely explanation however, is that since the poor creature washed up at the end of July, and August is a notoriously slow month in PR, the story got the exposure it did – call it being at the right time at the right place. Just a damn shame the poor thing itself cannot cash in on it……
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The presidential hopeful is depicted as a Muslim while his wife-unit is dressed in army fatigues with an AK-47 slung over her shoulder, bearing a fleeting resemblance to Angela Davis.
OBL looks down at the fist-greeting couple from his portrait on the wall.
In conservative America, it created a media storm of tsunami proportions. In a time of economic recession and Iran’s war games, the US media and bloggers alike pounced on the story like a cat on mouse. Go figure.
The Obama camp shouted foul and McCain, who needs to be PC even if it kills him, pompously announced (via his spokesman Tucker Bounds by e-mail) that “we completely agree with the Obama campaign, it’s tasteless and offensive.”
Well, he could hardly say anything else, could he?
In the cartoon, various concerns about Obama’s background are shown.
- About 10 per cent of US voters believe Mr O. to be Muslim because of his childhood ties to the religion through his Kenyan father and Indonesian stepfather.
Having Hussein as a middle name doesn’t help, nor did the crazy remarks of his connections Rev. Jeremiah Wright and former terrorist William Ayers.
- Michelle O. has made some anti-patriotic remarks (or remarks perceived as critical of her native country) about the US in the past. The fact that she comes across as a hard-nosed career woman and not as nearly as empathic as media darling Oprah works against her.
- The fist bump was copied from the one they shared when he got the Democratic nomination in St. Paul, Minn. Hey, if you want to be cool and go for the dap, don’t be offended when its lampooned later on – you are in politics!
Its cover depicting President Bush being flooded in the Oval Office after Hurricane Katrina was chosen by a panel of US magazine editors and designers as the best cover of the year 2006.
The illustration shows the waters rising around Mr. Bush and his top appointees as the flood from New Orleans engulfs the White House, which was criticized for failing to respond promptly and fully to the disaster.
I do not remember a big brawl about that one, do you?
New Yorker editor David Remnick is defending the cover, stating that it “satirizes the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the Presidential election to derail Barack Obama’s campaign… It is meant to bring things out into the open, to hold up a mirror to the absurd. And that's the spirit of this cover."
Makes absolute sense to me!
As The Independent pointed out, The New Yorker seems to have "winkled out an essential truth about Barack Obama – he doesn't do satire".
And the same goes for gaggles of American commentators and bloggers who are outraged.
In my opinion, they are missing some important aspects.
- The cover reflects public concerns about Obama that he better address –fast.
He wants to be elected, non? So inform your constituency (and the rest of the world) who you are and what you stand for!
- Being lampooned is part of political life, as Bush 2.0 and other world leaders can vouch for. So is you want to stay in the political kitchen, learn to take the heat.
Talk to Bill Clinton – he turned it into an art.
- Every American will proudly proclaim to the world how great his/her country’s freedom of the press is.
(Not to be confused with freedom from the press - this entails celebrities being protected from pesky paparazzi).
But as soon as it impacts our American’s personal sensibilities, it seems to be a different story.
Please, be more European and lighten up.
To get some practice: watch Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld at least 3 times a week. His stay in the UK obviously did him a world of good.
In a time when the printed media are under tremendous pressure, the circulation of this issue must have gone trough the roof.
My advice to Obama: shrug it off with a smile - it will only ad to your appeal....
You will need a good sense of humor once you go head-to-head with McCaim - trust me, it's going to get ugly before you (providing you beat your senior citizen opponent) are sworn in.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
With the right kind of promotion, droves of them could be heading for the surgery – demanding lifts, tucks, and anything else the clinic offers.
And what better angle than doing that via their beloved offspring?
Hence the birth of “My Beautiful Mommy”, a book written by Dr. Michael Salzhauer, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Bal Harbour, Fla.
(I wonder if our enterprising MD will pen a sequel “My Dashing Daddy” to attract male patients.)
Our enterprising medicus claims that his liber is the first book that explains plastic surgery to kids, an issue he says many of his patients are struggling with. Funny, I would expect them struggling to pay our dear doctor’s bill.
Just to avoid any misunderstanding, the book relates to Mommy’s beauty operation, and not to reconstructive surgery due to accidents or cancer (which IMHO would make a hell of a lot more sense!)
The book is a self-publishing or vanity press one. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept: you pay for it yourself, including printing, and hope to get your costs covered and some profit from sales. No agent or publisher is involved. Since bookshops don’t carry self-publishing books, you will not find “My beautiful Mommy” in any Borders or WHSmith near you.
(According to my calculation, our medical author paid less than $ 4,000 to get started with 50 copies for sale – cheaper than a lot of marketing and PR campaigns).
Each book must have a hero – in this case Dr. Michael, who looks like a pumped-up superhero. In real life, our dear doctor looks far less glamorous as can be seen here.
The storyline is as follows: mommy gets a “mommy makeover” + nose job.
She justifies this to her little girl with “You see, as I got older, my body stretched and I couldn't fit into my clothes anymore. Dr. Michael is going to help fix that and make me feel better." She assures the apple of her eye that her nose will appear "different, my dear—prettier!"
(After hearing this, I am sure that the little one immediately scurried to a mirror to check out her own honker).
The book is aimed at kids ages 4 to 7. It’s funny that the kid portrayed is a girl – are sons less traumatized? Or did they already talk to Daddy who explained that Mommy must look really good; otherwise Daddy will move in with his g-f?
Or maybe little boys don’t pay that much attention to their mother’s appearance anyway – as the blogger shayknows remarked on SheKnows Daily Dish: “I could show up with a third breast and I don’t think my kids would even notice”.
When explaining your upcoming upgrade to Mommy 2.0, please take the time to:
- Point out that the sacking breasts and floppy belly are the kid’s fault to begin with.
Before getting pregnant, Mommy looked like Jennifer Aniston, now she looks like Brigitte Bardot.
- Make sure that your child still recognizes you after surgery.
Don’t forget, you cannot solely depend on your 401(k) plan, so it’s wise to stay on the good side of Junior who will take care of you in your golden years. I am sure Bill Gates’ mother agrees.
- Explain that your child’s old, fat and tired Mommy will be transformed into Daddy’s glamorous PA, but still will nag you to do chores and homework.
- Make a before/after chart that explains Mommy’s new facial expressions.
Yes, Mommy is surprised/upset; you just cannot see that due to Mommy’s Botox face (show image of your frozen face).
- No, Dr. Michael didn’t hit Mommy on the mouth, Daddy likes kissing bee-stung lips (and maybe Dr. Michael does too between pushups in the gym).
- No, you cannot hug Mommy really close anymore – her new breasts are in the way.
- Make sure to point out that they too, can get rid of their Windsor Flapper ears or Habsburg chin, just look at New Mommy!
After reading Dr. S tantalizing tale, your little darling has now learned the true values in life.
To prepare her for her own future stint with Dr. Salzhauer (his wife is pregnant with child #5, so quite likely one of his heirs will follow in Daddy’s footsteps), make sure she gets practice.
The best source is the online fashion show Miss Bimbo where she can buy plastic surgery for her own virtual characters.
Trust me; it’s a great way to shape her to be one of the coolest hotties around. Let’s face it – who needs a Nobel Prize winner as a child?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
For now, we less high-profiled women have to keep the delicate balance at work between excelling at our job while dressing as we please.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
One: Eliot Spitzer was having consenting sex with an adult woman. To boost the local economy, he paid her – which is a Good Thing. Not sure if an invoice for sexual favors includes sales tax or VAT in the State of New York – but if so, it benefits the governmental coffers. If our Spitzer-Bub filed it on his tax form as personal and not business expenses, the IRS will be happy, so no harm done there.
In short, our Eliot kept one woman from being on the dole while keeping the bucks rolling. (I wonder if she voted for him….)
We can furthermore assume that some peripheral items were involved in this encounter, including food, drinks and protection, and may be also some recreational items – Eliot looks like a guy who is into that kind of stuff. This benefits local merchants - again, a Good Thing!
Three: It makes the best news fodder since Clinton shared a cigar with Monica.
Let’s face it, the Death Match between the she-Clinton and Obama is getting ugly, Britney Spears as an ongoing train wreck is too boring and the Hilton chick is not so hot anymore, while the War on Terror gets as much coverage as my lazy cat.
Watching Silda Spitzer (nee Wall) during the press conference – that’s entertaining!
The elegant Harvard lawyer stood by her man, abide with a hubbycidal look in her eyes. With the rest of the world, I wonder how Sildaleh will handle it. The She-Clinton not only survived her scorned wife episode but even went on to push for becoming the most powerful woman in the world (move over Oprah), with cheating hubby in the Nancy Reagan role.
At the other side of the pond, the British wives suffering from the same loose pants fallout handle it with a stiff upper lip, serving tea to the newshounds camping outside their houses.
Four: It makes the French look good. After relentlessly slamming Sarkozy, the Americans outdid themselves with this one! You can say a lot about Monsieur le President, but he at least didn’t pay for Bruni….well, maybe he will down the line in hefty alimony, but Mme Sarkozy doesn’t charge her hubby per hour…..
What can I say? Eliot makes Sarkozy look like a standup guy! Ah, the irony……
Five: It creates a golden marketing opportunity for Las Vegas – where prostitution is (sort of) legal. Can you just see the ads? Las Vegas – the city where politicians can frolic FBI-free!
It is still a mystery to me why ES didn’t hop on a plane to Sin City, hire the top floor of say, the Wynn, and have a party there with the ladies of the night…..
So you see, we should not be too hard on Eliot Spitzer – in the end, he entertains us all!
(And we don’t even have to pay for it!)