Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gail Collins in The NYT Had This to Say

I could not sum this week up any better than this.

Department of Good News

Well, I just don’t see how things can get better than this when it comes to current affairs. Prince William is about to get married and President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate.

Earl Wilson/The New York Times

Gail Collins

All we need now is for the House speaker, John Boehner, to follow through on his call for the oil companies to pay their fair share of taxes. Then, really, I think we could go into the weekend with a true feeling of closure.

Boehner, you may remember, told ABC News that big oil companies don’t need the oil depletion allowance and that Congress “certainly ought to take a look at” the tax breaks our energy mega-firms enjoy.

What a great guy John Boehner is! You may not remember, but there was a time when Democrats hatedhatedhated him. That was before the House Tea Party Republicans started giving him so much misery. Now you have Howard Dean calling him a “reasonable person” and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, offering to him “a bouquet.” Everyone loves a winner, except in Washington where losers are so much more attractive.

However, as soon as the Democrats started applauding the oil-company interview, a Boehner spokesman issued a clarification, which said that the House speaker “is opposed to raising taxes.” Obviously, when he said that we should look at things like the oil depletion allowance, he meant “look” in the same way that we are going to look at the royal wedding. It was not an invitation to join the buffet line.

Unlike the John Boehner Oil Tax Loophole Closing Bill, the wedding is definitely coming off, allowing the entire planet to bask in the aura of a fairy-tale moment before moving on to pregnancy rumors. And about time. The world cannot keep generating more than 100 million William/Kate-related blog postings a day for all that much longer.

I got that figure from Trendrr, which also reported that 40 percent of the English-language wedding Twitter messages originated in the United States as opposed to only 31 percent in the United Kingdom.

To which we can only respond: Well, there are a whole lot more of us. Also, as a nation, we pride ourselves on our Twittering. America intends to be the world leader in all things twit-related. Soon, there will be a ninth-grade proficiency test on it, and teachers whose classes perform badly will be fired.

Meanwhile, on behalf of all of us Yanks, let me say: Good luck, Kate and William!

Most of us have only been paying attention to you for a week or so, but, still, we have come to know you well. “Kate oozes refinement — her friends wear pearls while hunting,” Time magazine reported. That tidbit alone has kept me engrossed all day. Do you think Time meant fox hunting? A lot of bouncing around in fox hunting, and if the pearls broke I guarantee you that you would never, ever find them. Perhaps the Friends of Kate hunt ducks. Or squirrels. Nothing like a tasty squirrel stew, served to people sporting really expensive neckwear.

Estimates of the cost of the upcoming nuptials range from $34 million to more than $7 billion, depending on whether you factor in the bill for giving an entire nation a day off work. Either way, this is Kate’s special day and you cannot possibly put a price on that. Plus, there is nothing like a wedding to raise the national spirits. Who among us can ever forget the way the national psyche soared when Tricia Nixon tied the knot?

But I digress. In the other important, chapter-closing news of the moment, President Obama has released the long-form version of his birth certificate in an attempt to quell the unflaggable “birther” movement and get the news media to notice when he names a new secretary of defense.

Donald Trump immediately took credit. “Today I am very proud of myself,” he said. This is in contrast to normal days, when Trump is continually walking around in an existential funk, asking himself why he was ever born.

Our next question is how far the closure extends. Will the birthers who have been demanding to see that long-form certificate since 2008 now throw in the towel and move on to other important issues, such as whether the rapture will occur on May 21?

Emily Ramshaw of The Texas Tribune quickly tracked down the state representative who’s sponsoring the Texas version of the birther bill and found him — surprise! — unconvinced. Among other things, she reported, Representative Leo Berman wants to know why the hospital where the president was allegedly born doesn’t have a “plaque on the door” commemorating the event.

The more things close, the more they open

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's My Life - #1

He is not really that special but people seem to be drawn to him. He has a lot of friends but is pretty much a loner. He loves to be alone and yet he is a social animal. He is really shy and awkward in social situations but everyone knows he is in the room and he often dominates small group settings.

When he was 7 years old he overcame his lisp but it was replaced with a pretty strong stutter (he blames his younger brother’s near death and a brutal second grade teacher) and yet he has stood before thousands of people to give speeches.

He tried really hard to be the best little boy in the world and yet he exhausted his parents because he was a difficult, stubborn, emotional and opinionated child.

He is scared of success and terrified of failure.

He has dreams but never really committed to chasing them.

His is well versed and knowledgeable about the bible and yet he thinks most of it is myth. He believes in the historic bible but doubts G-D had anything to do with it. He does not spell out G-D because people cannot really know the name of G-D and yet he wonders if G-D created people or leaders created G-D to control people.

He is personally very conservative and yet he is a hell cat in bed.

He is a feminist and yet he stands up when a woman enters the room, opens the car door, always walks to left in public (protects a woman from street cars), cannot sit if there is a woman standing in the room, always allows the woman to enter first by holding the door and says yes ma’am more often than a black maid in the 1940’s.

He wishes he was kept but would never be willing to give up his independence.

As much as he loves to be alone he knows that his life is made complete by his guy.

He knew he was gay in fourth grade but needed to do a lot more research so he did not hook up with another guy until he was in his early twenties.

He is awkward and clumsy when it comes to sports that involve other people or a ball but he could probably replace Joe Paterno at PSU, manage the Yankees or sit on the bench with the Duke Basketball team.

He is a blue collar boy who has spent his life running away from it. Not because he is embarrassed by it or feels any shame but blue color boys don’t enjoy drinks at the King Cole Bar and he does.

He has really bad self esteem and self confidence and yet he carries himself like he walks on water. He is his own worst critic but if someone else offers criticism he/she better be prepared to defend his/her opinion with shock and awe. When doing self evaluations at work his boss’s are always amazed how hard he is on himself and yet he has never had a bad review (through 3 companies). His humor is often self-depreciating but he does not accept others not taking him seriously.

He is intolerant of intolerance.

He can’t tell a joke to save his life but he loves to tell funny stories. He really does know only one joke and it has to do with Sarah Jessica Parker.

He holds very strong political and social views but is always willing to hear what the other side as to say and desires to seek a common ground.

He has a very strong moral center and does not accept his own failings but will look beyond others peoples long after he should have moved on or demanded change.

He can be a human punching bag but don’t wrong one of his friends. He bends and bends like a willow tree in a hurricane but G-D help you when the wind stops blowing. He has a high tolerance but when enough is enough it is enough. And, to the best his memory allows he has really only held one long term grudge. Trust me this bastard truly deserves it and not that he really did anything to him but this man hurt so many people he liked this man does not deserve forgiveness.

He does not offend easily unless of course you are stupid, ignorant, intolerant, a racist, a bigot, a homophobe or you are a man who hits a woman.

He really does not like kids/children but once offered to take a January dip in the Atlantic if his co-workers would raise $3000 in two weeks for Autism. If they raised $5000 he’d take the dip in a Speedo. The President of the company stopped this effort but to keep our guy happy he personally donated $1000 on the spot. Some of the people he admired the most at his company had Autistic sons.

He is the biggest procrastinator he knows but when focused he is like a bullet train traveling across the Japanese country side.

He is pretty much afraid of everything but he will try it anyway.

He may not remember your name, the title of a movie or what he had for dinner last night but he remembers every childhood hurt.

No does not mean no it means there has to be a way.

He is pro choice on abortion and vehemently opposed to the death penalty. Really he thinks if we just stopped killing we would be better off.

He thinks being a vegetarian is the healthiest way to live but every time he tries it he just craves a steak and he does not like beef all that much.

He has the attention span of a flea but his focus on the details is frightening.

He knows that no one is perfect but he is so frustrated by his own flaws that it sometimes paralyzes him.

So this is what I have to work with – Do you think I will have enough to write about?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's My Life

So…. I took another break. I have even stopped reading the NY Times and don’t feel compelled to devour Maureen Dowd (hopefully this will pass soon); the only reason I keep up with Joan Walsh is her Twitter feed makes it so easy.

I’m tired of defending the President, I am tired of criticizing the conservative extremists, Sarah Palin bores me, the wacko talkers need to be ignored, Donald Trump is a fool, Charlie Dent will never be a leader and I am just sick of all them. Do I still care? Yes. Will I stay engaged in the world around me? Yes. Will I continue to speak out when the truth needs to be told? Yes.

I take my hat off to Jon of Lehigh Valley Independent – he is thoughtful, cutting edge and writes about the big and little issues that we should all be thinking about. I salute Bernie O’Hare of Lehigh Valley Ramblings – his coverage of local issues and the local movers and shakers is often better than the mainstream media. Yes, Bernie is a wack job and I question his choice of politicians to support but he has his pulse on what is going on in the Lehigh Valley. George of Lehigh Valley With Love writes about the silly underside of the area. He tells the stories that are often missed and it never ceases to amaze me how many loons really live here in the conservative Lehigh Valley. George is also one of the best writers I have ever read and I am often left in tears from laughing by the time I am done reading George’s insightful reporting. These guys write everyday and everyday they are interesting, I don’t know how they do it, and all I know is that I can’t.

There are so many folks worth reading both locally and nationally – Please check them out on my side bar.

So what is going to happen with my little piece of the interwebs? I still want to write, I still like to write but what am I going to write about? Me. I can think of nothing more interesting for my readers than me.

Palimpsest – according to Merriam-Webster’s

1 technical: a very old document on which the original writing has been erased and replaced with new writing
2 formal: something that has changed over time and shows evidence of that change

When he finally sat down to write his memories Gore Vidal called them his Palimpsest because what he was writing was what he remembered. Others may have a different remembrance of the same event but the only memories that matter were the author’s.

I going to tell my story; it will be what I remember the way I remember it. I will exaggerate some of the details and I will downplay others. I will condense multiple people into one in order to move the story along and some of it may be wholly made up just to keep things interesting, even when the fiction dominates the facts there will be some truths in the fiction or maybe it is something that I wanted to happen or dreamed about or wished for. I will try to note when mystical thinking takes over for the facts. I will try very hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings, especially my families. I will not be writing in chronological order but I will write the stories as I remember them. Current events often inspire a memory so I am just going to go with the flow.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Will See You On Monday!

Live United: Greater Lehigh Valley United Way

United Way of the Greater L

Allentown Explosion Family Fund Benefit

Monday, April 11


Starfish Brasserie

51 West Broad St, Bethlehem, 18018

Professional musicians, singers and dancers from throughout the Lehigh Valley will entertain.

Guest Bartenders: Donald Flad Jr & a couple of other guys

$15 Donation includes tasty hors D’ oeuvres

A Tricky Tray will be held

Bins to collect non-perishable food items for Second Harvest