Category Archives: Commentary

Hatelists: Everyone Should Make One

Don’t you sometimes just want to write a list of all the things/people you hate, piss you off or just plain annoy you? I do.

But then I’m all “Oh, but that’s so negative. I don’t want to be THAT person…all I HATE THIS and I HATE THAT!”

And then I hate myself for being so wimpy and spineless because seriously, why should I care? I’m feeling the hate and I want to vent and sharing is good—or at least that’s what they tell you in kindergarten and kindergarten teachers don’t lie, right? Because I would really hate them if they did.

So yeah, I’m gonna share the hate. And if  you start feeling the urge to lecture me about it, you should probably just not—or I’ll add you to my list.

The short list (because I’d hate to blow my whole hatewad in one shot):

• I hate when people walk away when you’re still talking to them. It makes me want to roundhouse kick them in their kidneys. Why? Because it’s just rude. Let’s roleplay for a sec… You be talking to me about something, anything, and I’ll just meander away while you’re talking. Makes ya wanna kick me, right? I knew it. You’re my kind of people.

• I hate when people send me an email or use the contact form on one of my other sites and try to convince me of how wrong I am about something BY INSULTING ME and then they link to their site which is, presumably, being left as a point of reference to my supposed wrongness and THEN? They throw in a little PR blurb about themselves. It makes me all “Dude. Do you seriously think I’m going listen to you or feature your product/service after you just talked a bunch of smack to me? You’re a social moron and if I cared about you at all, I’d send you a copy of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and try to save you from your own stupidity but since I hate you? I won’t.

• People who work in stores and know NOTHING about what the store sells and are completely unapologetic about their ignorance. EXAMPLE: I go to Office Depot to buy some ink for this Kodak behemoth of a printer/scanner/copier because while I don’t need to print at this moment, I do need to scan stuff and this stupid piece of crap won’t let you SCAN until you buy more ink. Scanning is a completely inkless process and yet I’m held hostage until I throw down for ink. How am I going to put all those old pix that showcase the fact that I used to be hot and cellulite-free on Facebook without a scanner? Note to self: I also hate Kodak. Anyway, I search the ink section only to find there is ONE pack of Kodak ink and it’s for some other Kodak device. So I ask some Office Depot dude zipping around on one of those old people scooters if they carry Kodak ink and he doesn’t know. Whatever they have out is “probably” all they have, he says. He waves in the general direction of the aisle I just came from and zips away. Must be nice to get paid for being lazy, stupid and useless. I’m certain there’s a cubicle at AIG with his name on it. So yeah, I hate Kodak, I hate Office Depot and I hate that jerk on the scooter.

• I hate people that see you heading toward a certain register at a store and haul ass to get there first, even though you were closer. I hate them and if I thought I could get away with it, I’d totally set their hair on fire without a second thought. This also applies to people who pull this same shit with parking spaces. They get extra hate points if they’re one tiny little woman driving alone in a Hummer, Suburban or Excursion.

Wow…that felt really good. I can feel the clouds of hate dispersing already. I highly recommend making a hatelist, if only to make you feel less hateful and more tolerant of the things you hate.

Wait! Do I feel a brainstorm coming on? YESSSS!!!! Seminars, books-on-tape, infomercials, Home Shopping Network—an entire empire built on getting people to recognize their hate, vent their hate and eventually be at peace with their hate. I’m gonna be a zillionaire.

HA! Wrongcards rule.

Save Your Outrage for Something Outrageous

Like many of you, I watched Obama on Leno last night. Unlike many of you, I fail to see what the big fuss is about. The media-generated moral outrage at President Obama’s Special Olympics remark is just that…media-generated. Additionally, it’s somewhat ironic that the same party of people who think it’s hilarious to mass email jokes and comics regarding black stereotypes in reference to Obama are suddenly all up in arms because he dared to utter the words ‘Special Olympics’ on a comedy talk show.

I watched Obama on Leno. In fact, I watched it twice and Obama’s remark about the Special Olympics was clearly in reference Leno praising Obama’s bowling score in a patronizing way (jokingly, of course). It was so obvious to me that the remark was directed at Leno—how anyone could have interpreted it as a slur against those who particpate in the Special Olympics is beyond me.

Edited to add:

Leno joking praised Obama’s bowling scores and then Obama said  “That was like the Special Olympics or something” while gesturing to Leno with his left hand, indicating that he was addressing Leno’s mocking praise.

You can see this exchange at 22 seconds into the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE0yAEvVsUo

I know Obama has issued an apology but that’s to be expected. Even though he didn’t do anything wrong, IMO, he knows how the media works and he knew, probably as soon as the words came out of his mouth, that a shitstorm was going to ensue, warranted or not.

I could understand why people would be outraged if Obama had truly made some kind of hurtful remark about the Special Olympics. My own son is in a special ed preschool program for a speech delay and I worked with developmentally delayed and autistic adults for over five years so it’s not as though I don’t understand or that I’m not empathetic because I am.  And believe me, if I really felt like Obama had insulted those with special needs or those who participate in the Special Olympics, I would be upset, as well.

But I just don’t think he did. If anything he was referencing how Leno was speaking to him and drawing a parallel with how people treat folks with developmental disabilities, which is, per my observations, very patronizingly. I fail to see how that would be hurtful or insulting. It’s certainly not untrue.

There’s simply nothing to be angry about—there was NO disparaging remark—and more than anything, this whole brouhaha is a distraction from the real issues at hand (although you can’t blame the media for wanting something else to beat to death. The nonstop 24-7 news coverage of AIG and Bernie Madoff IS getting pretty tiresome)

Can we move on now?

It CAN Happen to You

After reading an article in the Washington Post questioning whether accidentally leaving a child in a car (resulting in the child’s death) is a crime, my heart ached and I felt kind of sick. I always do when I think about a baby or toddler strapped into their car seat either baking or freezing to death, alone, in the backseat of a car. I really can’t even begin to articulate the sadness that ripples through me for those children and if I really think about it, for the parent(s), too.

Of course, you hear plenty of stories where people left their child in a vehicle so they could go into a bar or a casino or some other venue to engage in some activity that was purely for their own pleasure or enjoyment. They made a conscious choice to leave their baby or toddler helpless and alone and they bear total responsibility for the all too common unhappy endings that usually accompany these stories.

Those people, in my opinion, should go to prison. Not because they’re a menace to society (just to their own children) but because they deserve to be punished for the selfishness that resulted in the untold suffering and ultimate death of a child. I have no mercy for people like that. When you have a child, their safety and well-being needs to be a priority over pretty much everything else in your life. Period. If you intended to leave that child in your car, you are guilty in my eyes.

But there are other cases where people simply forgot their child was in the car with them. I know, your first instinct is to say “HOW could you forget your child?” But it happens time and again. David Diamond, a memory expert, explains why it could happen to any of us:

“Memory is a machine, and it is not flawless. Our conscious mind prioritizes things by importance, but on a cellular level, our memory does not. If you’re capable of forgetting your cellphone, you are potentially capable of forgetting your child.”

Gene Weingarten, author of the Washington Post piece interviewed 13 parents who had accidentally left their children in a car, resulting in the death of their child. The common theme in their stories was a break in their routines resulting in unusual distractions. Adding stress and lack of sleep to the interruption of a routine and it’s very possible to make such a fatal error. I won’t go into all the details of how such things happen. You can read the article yourself here. My point is that those parents had no intention of harming their children. They made a mistake.

On what kind of people forget their children in a car, from the Washington Post article:

The wealthy do, it turns out. And the poor, and the middle class. Parents of all ages and ethnicities do it. Mothers are just as likely to do it as fathers. It happens to the chronically absent-minded and to the fanatically organized, to the college-educated and to the marginally literate. In the last 10 years, it has happened to a dentist. A postal clerk. A social worker. A police officer. An accountant. A soldier. A paralegal. An electrician. A Protestant clergyman. A rabbinical student. A nurse. A construction worker. An assistant principal. It happened to a mental health counselor, a college professor and a pizza chef. It happened to a pediatrician. It happened to a rocket scientist.

I know this is true because it happened to me.

On one end of the spectrum, there have been many times when I was driving alone, which was a change of routine for me, and had a moment of panic where I feared I’d forgotten my baby because the car was so quiet and the carseat frighteningly empty. For a split-second, I’d actually forgotten that my baby was safe at home with my husband and had to think about her (and his) whereabouts. Of course, when you realize you have NOT forgotten your baby somewhere, the relief that washes over you is comforting; a feeling of decompression and release after a momentary rush of adrenalin. All is well. Your baby is in good and capable hands at home. Breathe.

On the other end of the spectrum, once when my son was a baby, he had been quietly sleeping in his carseat on the way to pick up his sister from preschool, an uncommon occurrence. I went to park in my usual spot right near the back gate but as soon as I’d parked, some men doing some kind of work in front of the building gestured that I needed to move. This annoyed me as I knew it would take another five minutes to wait for another spot to open up and get inside. It would make me late to pick up daughter and that was a cardinal sin at her preschool. I finally got a spot and dashed out of the car, my mind specifically focused on getting to my daughter’s classroom quickly as the teacher’s disapproving look could make even the most formidable parent wither in her presence.

Thanks to the break in my daily routine with the parking, my son’s falling asleep, which was unusual, and the stress of trying to get to the classroom on time, I had completely forgotten my baby in the car. I only got about thirty yards away before I realized something was missing (the frillion pound baby carrier) but as you can see, all it took was a certain combination of circumstances for me to forget, even if only for 20 seconds, that I had a baby in my car.

I hate that story. It makes me feel horrible. And until it happened to me, I could NOT understand how people could put their baby in the carseat and then forget about them. I’m sure I thought they were self-absorbed idiots who didn’t care about their kids. Now, however, I see exactly how it can happen and I have nothing but sympathy for those parents. They lost a child that was in their care and custody and they will have to live with that forever. It’s a punishment that will never end for them. No early release. No parole. Treating them like criminals and putting them in jail will never bring that child back or undo their mistake.

Facebook Friend Request FAIL

Why do people turn into such buttheads when they become famous? Someone I knew fairly well years ago went on to become a big fish in his particular pond and on more than one occasion, I have been standing within feet of him, within HEY-I-TOTALLY-KNOW-YOU distance and not a single word of acknowledgment from him.

Of course, I must seem like an asshole to famous people because I won’t fawn all over them—but why should I? If you sit on a toilet every day and take a crap, you’re no better than anyone else. End of story. So I guess being ignored was supposed to be some sort of punishment for my refusal to pee myself over being in his presence?

Whatevs. It was a long time ago. Amongst other things, I now raise children, the future of America—you know, the people who will be wiping our collective asses when we’re old and demented? I just can’t bring myself to care all that much about fame and celebrity.

Anyway, it so happens this person friend-requested me the other day on Facebook. I’m truly dumbfounded because what? NOW you want to be my friend? NOW you want to acknowledge my existence? Seriously?

Well, from what I’ve heard, you’re still a big doucher.

Friend request FAIL!

My Ingenius Plan to Revive the Economy

Okay, first let me preface the forthcoming genius with a disclaimer: I’m not some kind of economics expert, nor do I have any kind of background in banking, finance or government policy.

You know, I have nothing at all against President Obama or his ideas. I don’t think he’s trying to turn our country into a socialist nation (we kind of already ARE socialist—minus all the perks, of course, like decent healthcare, paid maternity leave and an assurance that we WILL be able to retire at some point without having to eat cat food and forgo medication) and I support his plans to shore up our infrastructure and create green jobs because those are things that need to happen anyway.

I do, however, have a big problem with “throwing good money after bad” where the big banks on Wall Street are concerned. If what I read every day in the news is any indication, they’re still partying like it’s 1999 and spending the bailout money (aka our tax dollars) like it’s 2004.

And exactly what part of those billions of dollars have freed up credit markets? Well, according to NPR yesterday, not much at all, if any.  So why keep giving them money when it’s clearly not working? DUH. My second grader could have figured that one out.

If your personal bank was failing due to bad practices and reckless judgment, would you continue to keep your money there? Only if you’re an idiot…

So have you ever gotten the email (probably in the last 3-4 months) that says if they distributed the bank bailout money to American citizens instead, it would be much more effective and yield far more positive results than giving it to banks?

My idea is similar… Give every American taxpayer, age 21 and up, a BIG chunk of  money on a debit card and then, instead of taxing it as income (which really just means you’re getting 30% less money), enact a national sales tax, which we currently don’t have, of say 3-5% so every time one of those dollars changes hands in the retail sector, it gets taxed.

The money would, in theory, continue to generate income for the government over and over and over. Don’t ask me to figure out the math ’cause I don’t have nearly enough fingers. Just know it would be a LOT of money.

Of course, this will also stimulate the retail and industrial sectors (OMG JOBS!!!) and would, hopefully, allow them to build up cash reserves so they’re not completely dependent on bank-issued credit which is non-existent right now anyway.

It’s a win-win. Businesses and banks get a much needed shot in the arm, the government gets their slice back in spades and the American people get to do what they do best…spend money like there’s no tomorrow!

Could it really be any worse a plan than giving money to a bunch of ginormous banks that have demonstrated repeatedly that they’re irresponsible and unethical?

If you had proven to be fiscally irresponsible, untrustworthy and unethical, do you think any of those banks would just hand you a bunch of money? NEVER! They wouldn’t even LOAN you the money. Hell, they’d probably throw you right out of their fancy building for even THINKING of asking.

So yeah…waste a bunch of money on people who really need it (because HELLO? Not EVERY American has a giant flat-screen yet, which is simply unconscionable) instead of sleazy corporations that suck. That’s the plan!

I told you it was genius :)

Did Motherhood Steal Your Mojo?

There are lots of ways to spice up your sex life but I’m pretty sure that the video below is not the tool upon which you should be basing your strategy…unless you find that laughter is an aphrodisiac—in which case, grab the object of your affection and watch it together. Hell, you may even learn something in between snickers and snorts…

The Video Guide to Successful Seduction

Best line: “In Detroit, you need a dollar, a 12 pack of beer, a gram of coke and a whip”  I wonder if that’s still true? Heh.

Sadly, trying to spice up one’s marriage after the rigors of birthing and raising little people was not covered at all in this “guide” which is too bad because as I recall, being newly maternal was akin to someone dropping an atom bomb on my physical self-esteem.

Did motherhood steal your mojo? Did you ever get it back? Discuss!

Can We Play Security Checkpoint Again, Mommy?

Just in case your family can’t get enough of the good times had at American airports these days, PlayMobil has two new toys that will allow your kids to relive those super fun airport security searches whenever they want. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the most ridiculous toys of the year thus far…

Playmobil Security Checkpoint (ages 4-7) and Playmobil Police Checkpoint (ages 10 and up and only ONE left in stock at Amazon.com right now…HURRY!!!!)