Tag Archives: Boomerism

Hiding in Plain Sight

If you haven’t seen this bit from John Oliver’s new show, you should.  You should watch it before Tuesday’s election, and then again periodically, just so you remember what I keep telling you.  That elections matter.  And that it is important to pay attention to not just Federal elections, but to the ones lower down the food chain.

Apparently it takes someone from England, from the country from which we declared our independence, to explain to us just how we are letting our own government get away from us.

Because we don’t pay attention to “the unimportant levels of government.”

Ummm, it is at the state level that we’re really getting screwed.  I can attest to this as a resident of “Virginia is For Ultra-sounds.”    Yup, it is the folks whose names we don’t even know, who get to decide these issues that most impact your life and mine.

They are also the ones gerrymandering the US Congressional districts.  They are eliminating access to abortion, to birth control and screwing us in a hundred different ways.  And the state legislatures are the breeding ground, where the Not Ready For Prime Time Players go until they become the Michelle Bachmann’s and the Louie Gomert’s who end up framing our national debate.

[I read recently that John Oliver has been proclaimed the best journalist currently working.  I don’t recall who said it, but I think they are right.]

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Campaigning, Cancer, Climate Change, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Family, Global Warming, GOP, Gun control, Health and Medicine, History, Huh?, Hypocrisy, Law, Mental Health, Politics, Science, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Taxes, Voting, Wild Beasts

Some Things Do Change With Age

Before 1986 there were two things in life I was certain about.  Things I never got wrong on a pop quiz.  Things that I could recite in my sleep.

First my name.  Elyse Ellen E….

When I got married I didn’t have to change my name.  That was until the woman I worked for at the time announced that I absolutely could not change my name.  So naturally the decision was made and I changed it.

Besides, nobody ever pronounced my maiden name correctly;  it drove me crazy.  Nobody pronounces my married name right either, but it’s John’s name not mine, so I don’t care.  Butcher away, folks.

The second thing I always got right was my birthday.  January 18, 1957.  Simple.  Easy.  I had a document from the State of Connecticut with a raised seal to prove that I was born on that date around 3 a.m. in the morning (sorry Mom and Dad).  But I didn’t know that I would end up changing my birthday when I got married too.

Actually, I can blame this one on the same boss.  It was Anna’s fault.  Yup.

The summer before we got married, I was working as a high level lobbyist and John was a lowly government employee.  OK, actually, I was a lowly lobbying flunky and John was pretty high up in the U.S. government.  But still.

One afternoon when I was supposed to meet John for some wedding prep stuff, something earth-shatteringly important happened involving my job.  It was so vitally important to the rest of the history of the world that I can’t at this moment quite put my finger on just exactly what it was.

Anyway, we were supposed to go to the DC City Office and get our marriage license.  Now stop it, readers.  This event was nothing like you see in those old movies, with movie stars in great hats.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Really, there was nothing romantic about it at all.  I don’t think.  Not so I’ve heard, anyway.

So anyway, John got our marriage license, and we got married a month or so later in a lovely church service in the church where John’s parents had been married 40 years earlier.  Family and friends were in attendance.

All was good until my birthday rolled around, when John made a major confession.

“Ummm, Lease,” he said quietly.  “When I got the marriage license, I mistakenly put down January 17th  not 18th as your birthday.”

“You what?”

“Yeah.  Oops.  I guess that means that either your birthday is January 17th or we’re not married.”

“No, I’m pretty sure it just means that I married an idiot.”

We would have happily left it at that if it hadn’t been for my family.  They betrayed me.  Each and every one of them called me on the 17th to wish me a Happy Birthday that year — thinking my new husband would be taking me out to dinner on my actual birthday January 18th.

I have a large family.  Even distant cousins nine times removed called on the 17th.

“See,” John said proudly, “I was right.  Your birthday is obviously on the 17th because everybody is calling to wish you a happy birthday!”

This scene has been replayed every blippin’ year for 25 years.  This year it will be an even 26 birthdays.  And never a call on the 18th.

To make matters worse, though, I put the final nail in my own coffin myself last year.  You see, I wanted to let all my bloggin’ buddies know it was my birthday.  Plus I needed to address the glaring issue of my stupid blog name.  And so I wrote this post:  People My Age.

And because I didn’t know how to schedule posts in those days, and because a lot of my readers were from Europe and Asia, well, I posted it on January bloody 17th.

So this year I’ve given up.  My birthday is January 17th from now on.  Or the 18th.  Whenever.  Gifts will be gracefully received all month long, however.

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Humor, Stupidity

Blowin’ in the Wind

I take war pretty darn seriously when it comes, so I try to pay attention to the rumblings and rumors of yet another conflict.  That way, I can be sure to make my feelings known.

That probably comes from the fact that when I was in 9th grade everybody in my entire school got on a bus and drove down to Washington DC to that huge rally on the Mall.  Me and John C were the only two kids left behind.  Spending a day with John C was NOT my idea of a good time, but my parents wouldn’t let me go.  I’ve never gotten over it.

I DID make up for it though.  In 2003 I saw Peter Paul & Mary live on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, singing Blowin’ in the Wind and Give Peace A Chance, just like they had back in 1971.  We were all there to protest the impending invasion of Iraq the next day.  George W Bush flew overhead in Marine 1 on his way back from Camp David.  He hovered over us, just long enough for the assembled protesters to flip him the finger.  I’m sure he returned the gesture.

For this new war?  I got no warning, no notice, nothing from MoveOn.Org or Code Pink or anybody else.  How could that happen?  I’m on every single political email that goes out to special people like me.  And you know what a news junkie I am – I read everything.  Still I missed it.  Damn.  Because this war might be in my living room before long.  And yours.  Or maybe it will snake its way upstairs, into our bedrooms.

It’s The War on Men.

Yup.  At least according to Phyllis Schlafly’s niece, anyway.  Oh you remember Phyllis, don’t you?  She was one of the main spokespeople behind the anti Equal Rights for Women movement.

Why didn’t she just stay home and bake?

So, in keeping with having a family full of non-feminist women who stay home and bake cookies, Phil’s niece, Suzanne Venker works outside of the home.  She “stumbled” upon a bunch of men who are unhappy with women and who say that they aren’t going to get married.  Not no way, not no how.

Why?

Because “Women aren’t Women anymore.”

Well, I’ll be.  Excuse me while I check on my lady parts.

Now Suzie wrote about it (well sort of, it’s an article on Fox).  She claims that men haven’t changed.  Apparently they still have all the same instincts that they had back in the day.  But women?  They’ve changed.  And not for the better according to Suzie.

They’ve gotten uppity.  They want to work.  They want to get paid for working.  They want to use their hearts and their minds.  (And I bet they still want Equal Rights.)  THE NERVE!

Suzie also says that this whole attitude on the part of women, well

“[It] has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.

It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.

It’s the women who lose. [Sniff]  Not only are they saddled with the consequences of sex, by dismissing male nature they’re forever seeking a balanced life. The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek.

So if men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.  [Emphasis mine all mine.]

Perhaps it is the fact that in the decades that most of us have lived in [and I think we can assume that Suzie has been stuck in a perpetual space-time continuum] well, we’ve been able to make our own choices about when to have children, and a whole mess of other economic issues that earlier generations of women couldn’t because they were barefoot and pregnant.

But fortunately, Suzie tells me not to worry about this war.  You see, I can actually do something about this one.  And actually, you can too.  I’m relieved.  Aren’t you?

Women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Family, History, Humor, Hypocrisy, Mental Health, Politics, Stupidity

FiftyFourAndAHalf.Com’s Secret to Increasing Your Stats

I hope by now you have all come down from your virtual sugar high after celebrating my Blirthday yesterday, because serious work is at hand.

In a comment on that post, Frank of A Frank Angle asked me to divulge my secret for having reached 24k hits during my first year of blogging.   Naturally, I ignored him.  I planned to take my secret to the grave.  Or to the crematorium.  Or into space with Scotty from Star Trek.  There are some things you just don’t want made public.

And then I got an email here at my office that made me shout “Curses, foiled again!”  That is a phrase not heard happily by medical researchers, as even those working in offices expect to hear a loud noise next.

No colleagues were injured in the copying of this Google Image

Yes, my nephew, Clinton, had sent me this article:  Avoid these words to prevent Homeland Security from spying on your social networks.

Now, I should tell you that I have known about this for years.  I figured it out, in fact, before I even started my blog, that all I had to get attention was to include some special terms.  And I do!  That way, hundreds of thousands of government workers click on my blog every day leading to, umm, 24K hits in a year.

Wait.  Does the math work here?  Shouldn’t I have millions of hits by now?  Billions?  Centrillions?  Pishaw!  Word Press is probably lying to me about my stats.  Just like when it tells me that today I have ZERO links to my blog using search terms.

You would have thought that at least my post on Butt Burn would have alerted the authorities and resulted in multiple fear-ridden G-3s trying to figure out the terror angle in car seat warmers.

But apparently not everyone in the government clicks on my blog.  So I guess I’m going to have to expand my list.  Up the ante.  You can too — I believe in sharing.  Well, this time, anyway.  I want company when I get sent up the river because my blog “breached” “homeland security,” “threatened” a “standoff” with a “SWAT” team, causing the “lockdown” of my office and its “evacuation” because of folks who cannot distinguish between someone who is “a riot” and a real riot.  You know, one with “shots fired.”

 

Plenty of room for all of us! (Thanks, Google!)

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Filed under Gun control, Health and Medicine, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Science, Stupidity, Word Press

Spread ‘Em!

At last.  Finally.  Well, I must say it’s been years since it’s happened in front of anybody but my husband.  So I’ve decided to drive around until I get pulled over.  And then, I can be strip searched!  I am so excited.  I just can’t wait.

Really!  The Supreme Court just decided I could be.  And I don’t have to do anything at all.  I can be pulled over if I don’t signal a turn, or if I don’t stop at a stop sign, or if I ship heroin from Coast to Coast.  I can get pulled over if I didn’t do anything at all.  Yup, it doesn’t matter a bit.  It doesn’t matter whether I commit a misdemeanor or am a serial killer.  Or a terrorist.  It doesn’t matter if I haven’t done a thing!  Those handsome guys can strip search me.  And it’s OK, because I am a big CHIPS fan:

Wanna know what I’m talking about?

Apparently you didn’t hear about the Supreme Court’s latest ruling.  By a 5-4 verdict the Supreme Court decided that anyone stopped by the police for any reason can be strip searched.  Anyone at any time.  Regardless of the charges against them.  They can be hauled into the police station and told to drop ‘em and spread ‘em.

So, if you are stopped by a policeman/woman for any reason whatsoever, you can now be strip searched.  For any reason at all.  Or no reason at all.  Even if you’re not the driver of the car.  That was the situation with the subject of this ruling — he was a passenger.

Have you ever:

  • Missed a stop sign?
  • Exceeded the speed limit?
  • Forgotten a parking ticket?

Do you have:

  • A teen-age daughter?
  • A teen-age son?
  • A sense of personal privacy?
  • A fear of standing naked in front of policemen/women?

Too bad.

I am SOOOOOOOOO glad everyone is protecting my liberties.

My liberty to stand naked in a jail for forgetting my turn signal.

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Filed under Elections, Family, Hypocrisy, Law, Politics, Stupidity, Traffic

Hey Doc? What Would You Do?

My mother-in-law, Helen, just celebrated her 86th birthday!  She is the last of our parents, John’s and mine, and we feel lucky to have her around.  For her age she’s doing quite well.  She still lives independently and does pretty well with some help from us and even more from John’s sister who lives much closer.

As she ages, naturally she has more health issues.  But she is very independent and doesn’t want any of us along when she goes to the doctor.  It won’t be long before we start insisting though, because whenever she goes for a checkup or for a problem, we end up completely confused and can’t help because, well, she likes to keep things private.

In the last year, though, she’s had a few procedures that, while not too terribly invasive, still seemed over the top.  Unnecessary.   Expensive, but covered by Medicare and Medi-gap insurance.

Now remember, I am a bit of a cheerleader for doctors.  I have wonderful ones and they have improved my life immensely.  I work with doctors, I have friends who are doctors.  I am really familiar with the system and how things work.

So I have to say that I was taken aback when I read a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

Why Doctors Die Differently

Huh?

The article was written by Ken Murray.  DoctorKen Murray.  Naturally as an all-too frequent patient/medical geek, I was intrigued.  The gist of the article is summed up by this quote:

What’s unusual about doctors is not how much treatment they get compared with most Americans, but how little.  They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care that they could want. But they tend to go serenely and gently.

Oh.

No tubes.  No chemotherapy.  No machines.  Gently and serenely.  Well, whodda thunk it?

I know for a fact that doesn’t happen in the hospital.  They know for a fact that doesn’t happen in a hospital.  If it did, medical costs would not be so, well, costly.  You’ve read the stats, so I won’t go there.  You’re welcome.

My sister Beth, who was a nurse, had suffered a stroke that, among other things, led to acute kidney failure requiring years of dialysis.  Beth had been having problems for a couple of months when she suddenly took a severe turn for the worse, and she was in terrible pain.  Her sons were unable to help her and took her, against her will, to the hospital, where she lapsed into a coma.  But not before she was placed on all kinds of machines, respirators, monitors, dialysis machines, the works.  But she had really already gone.  None of that expensive equipment was really necessary.  None of it changed the outcome. Only the drugs made her more comfortable.

Selfishly, part of me is glad they put her on those machines, because it gave me enough time to get to her bedside and be there at the end.  She would have been glad to know I was there, but not glad of the expensive and hopeless treatment she received.  That is not at all what she would have wanted.  Would you?

So when I read this article I realized it was time to add an important question to the list I ask all doctors whenever I go, or whenever I go with someone I am trying to help:

“Hey, Doc?  What would you do if you were the patient?”

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Filed under Family, Hey Doc?, Science, Stupidity, Technology

Making a Difference

All my life, I’ve wanted to make a difference in the world.  I have sought ways to do it.  At last, in today’s mail, I found just how to do it my way.

I guess it’s not really a new idea.  Folks have been improving the world by spreading the wealth for centuries.  That, I’m sure, was behind George Bush’s terrorism-busting shopping suggestion.  The idea is, of course, to spread the wealth and spend money.  So I’m gonna.  I’m gonna spend lots.

Curious?

Well today I got the most fabulous catalog in the mail.  And it changed my life.

Now, I get loads of catalogs.  Truth be told, I buy a lot of stuff out of them.  Clothes, gifts, stuff no one likes or wants.  You know, just like everyone.

But this catalog was different, and not just because it was laminated.  This one told me that I could make a difference and have a blast at the same time.  All the time, not having to mix with the little people.

What was this catalog, you ask.  Was it the Harriet Carter catalog, filled with stuff you can normally only buy on late-night cable TV (like this Skin Tag Remover) along with a generous assortment of vibrators?

Harriet Carter.com

Nope.  Better.

Was it the Heiffer, International catalog?  Could I order some goats and chickens and ducks (alas no coots) for folks so that they can raise livestock and have a better life?

Heiffer International, a wonderful organization, for real

Nope. Way Better.

Was it a Williams Sonoma catalog full of pricey pots and pans in which I can make gourmet treats for the homeless?

Catalog Cover

Nope.  It was beyond my wildest dreams.

It was the TCS and Starquest Expeditions Catalog, The World Leader in Private Jet Travel.  And they invited me along on a Cultures and Cuisines tour!  Can you believe it?  Me!  Here’s the trip:

 

Cuisines and Cultures Itinerary

 

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it.  But when I went to the website I found that there are other possibilities.  Endless possibilities.  I can, according to the website, Enjoy the Ultimate In Service, Learn While You Explore, AND Follow Your Passion.

Wow.  What’s not to like?

Now, the cuisine and culture tour looks really good.  But the Around the World tour looks, even better.  I can go here:

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

And Here

Moais, Easter Island, Chile

And here

Luxor Egypt

In fact, I can go to all these places!

Around the World Itinerary

Best of all, there will be no shoe removal at the airport because I’ll get to do it on this:

My Wings

 

But best of all, I will be able to save the world while I do it.  I’m pretty sure that George W and Laura Bush will be along for this one because lookee here at just how the website tells me we’re going to save the world:

Make a Difference in the World
By joining this expedition, you support efforts to enhance the conditions of peoples and places we visit. At each destination on the itinerary, TCS & Starquest Expeditions purchases traditional handicrafts made by local artisans, provides supplies for medical centers or schools, or donates funds for essential programs.  (Impressive, no?)

Or

Make a Difference in the World
By joining an Around the World expedition, you will automatically support efforts to enhance the conditions of the places and peoples we visit—there is no further commitment necessary on your part. Our expedition will provide supplies to medical clinics and schools, as well as contribute funds for essential projects that many people depend on. (Nope, I don’t want to have to do extra to save the world.  Trust me, paying for this trip will suffice.)

Which way I save the world is dependent entirely on which tour I choose.  Decisions, decisions.

Damn, it’s wonderful being in the top 1% of the top 1%.  With TCS and Starquest Expeditions you can see the world guilt free.  All this for about $60,000.  Each.  And there is no need to mingle.

******

Travel photos all courtesy of TCS and Starquest Expeditions Catalog.  Saving the world lingo is theirs too.

 

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Filed under Conspicuous consumption, Humor, Hypocrisy