05 January 2008


I guess I struck a nerve with that talk about TV news.

Anyone want to comment on how bad mainstream radio is?

04 January 2008

One small change, okay?

Since it is The Month of Resolutions, I want to ask you to consider making one small change that will benefit your life immeasurably.

Quit watching the TV news.


Yes, quit that crap. The national news is bad enough, but the local TV news is pure, unadulterated poison that I am surprised that anyone allows into the sanctity of their home.

If you don't believe me, sit down with a stopwatch and a notebook for just one day and time the newscast. How much news do they provide in one half-hour segment?

I estimate it will go something like this:
Commercials 9 minutes
Weather 3 minutes
Mindless chitchat 1 minute
Sports 3 to 5 minutes
Something that looks like a news story but is a carefully crafted press release about a new product or service, probably something medical 3 minutes (you can tell because no newsperson will appear and the subjects will not be identified by title or where they are from)
A car chase or bank robbery 2 minutes
Some celebrity and/or animal story 3 minutes
Blatant fearmongering 3 minutes
Traffic 2 minutes
Actual News 1 minute

Especially do not watch MORNING news (I include the Today show, GMA etc in this group). It is bad enough when you are fully awake and conscious, but when you are just beginning your day, do you really want to pour murder, mayhem, abuse and gossip into your tender mind?

If you can't break your news habit, just do me this one tiny favor: whenever they begin a new segment, ask yourself: Is this news? Why is this news? What do they want me to believe/think/feel?

This all came to me tonight when I was at the folks' house and the news said for the thousandth time: "After the break, a frightening new study..." and I started shouting "Be afraid! Be very afraid! Something is going to kill you! It is DANGEROUS!!"

Question: why do they want you to be so afraid all the time?

03 January 2008

Politics as unusual

Barack Hussein Obama. Dang me. I don't know exactly why I burst into tears when I heard he won Iowa, but I did.

Is it that he is biracial?
Is it that he is so damned smart?
Is it that he isn't Hillary?
Is it that he has a wife who is strong and opinionated and not at all run-of-the-mill? (Maybe. Michelle Obama has more conviction in her left ear than Hillary Clinton has, period.)

I know John Edwards would make a great president. Chris Dodd is a fine man, too. Bill Richardson is pretty cool and has a lot of diplomatic experience.

But Obama - he can talk hope. And hope is what I need right now. I just want to curl up and listen to him tell me things can be better.

If the president is largely a figurehead, then give me a figurehead who makes me feel good for a change.

02 January 2008

No time to write

But there are a lot of newly scanned photos from Suebobian history up at my Flickr account.

The sets of me and my family crack me up the most, I think. We had some good hairstyles!

01 January 2008

Kind of a reverse polar bear

One of my most fun and memorable New Years Days was spent at the Carlen Soulé Memorial Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos, California back in 2001.

Mind you, a Polar Bear Dip in California is not quite as polar as those in the Midwest where you have to chop ice before you plunge. But the water is still a brisk, refreshing temperature, about 54 degrees or so.

Something about running into the cold green sea on the first day of the year with a couple hundred other loonies makes it seem like a real turning point, a time for to wash that old year right out of your hair.

Today I did a slightly different version. I have a shower outside in the back yard that the landlord set up for dog washing after a prior tenant clogged the drain with massive amounts of golden retriever hair.

I was dyeing my hair outside, so I decided to take it to its logical end and rinse outside too.

I thought about putting on my swimsuit but it was still cold and clammy from yesterday's water aerobics class, so I took a nice, fully naykid shower outside.

My yard is set up so that you would have to be an acrobat or at least very, very nosy to see back there - which is good because I would not want any of my neighbors to suffer cardiac arrest on the very first day of the year.

It was a little breezy and I surprised the hell out of Goldie, but it felt like a fun way to begin a new year - doing something I had never done before. And the water was a lot warmer than the Pacific Ocean.

31 December 2007

Secret Shame Revealed

You know how it is when you remember as you walk into your doctor's office that the staff is going to see your bra and THEN you realize that you have your OMG-last-day-before-laundry faded, stained, stretched-out, frayed-elastic "I really should have thrown this out 3 years ago" bra on?

I had a similar experience at the car wash today. I went to a new car wash and didn't realize that my car would be parked so that all 50 people waiting on this incredibly busy car washing day were going to see inside the back of it.

The photo doesn't do it justice, but I assure you that in real life, in the cold light of a noontime winter sun, you can clearly see the half-inch thick dog fur coating the back seat and the dog drool slime coating the back door.

Yes, glamor is my middle name.

Here's something I do because I am too lazy to keep a real journal:

I buy a desk calendar each year when they are 50 percent off.

I get the kind with plenty of art or photo pages interspersed. Then I tape little mementos on the photo pages closest to the dates when things happened - airline tickets, movie ticket stubs, art opening announcements, memorial service cards - I even saved my visitor's badge from when Dad was in the hospital with his stroke.

I can look back for years and have little tangible reminders of what I was doing on certain dates. It's a fun way to preserve memories and less fussy (and expensive) than scrapbooking.


Happy New Year everyone. I hope it is happy and healthy for you and yours.

30 December 2007

Angry Public Service Announcement

I am pretty sure I did this one last winter, too.

Public Service Announcement

If you have a cold, STAY HOME.

If you have to get groceries or diapers, I understand.
If you absolutely have to go to work because your germ-ridden progeny have sucked all the sick days out of your account already, God bless you. I'm sorry you have to go to work sick.

But for the rest of you creeps -
You do not need to go to church when you are sick.
You do not need to go to the movies when you are sick.
You do not need to go to the mall when you are sick.
Or the gym.
Or the library.
Or especially family events where everyone from the very elderly to infants are crowded into one overheated room with doors and windows tightly shut, snacking on the same bowl of chips and dip and mistakenly drinking each other's Diet Pepsis.

Stay home, you infectious jerkwads. For heaven's sake, this is 2007/08. You have plenty of stupid stuff to entertain you at home. God does not require your presence in church. Your muscles will not wither if you skip a week at the gym.

Face it, snotty-face. You are NOT THAT IMPORTANT. Take a day off and lie on the couch clutching wadded-up Kleenex. That is what your body wants, and that is what the rest of us want for you, too.

The world will still be here when you get over your illness.

Thank you.

Movie Rec: Dan in Real Life

I saw Dan in Real Life at the $3 movie matinee this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised.

It was well-written, well-acted, funny and cute. I don't know why it disappeared from theaters so quickly - maybe it got lost in the glut of other Steve Carell movies.

The premise is fun - it is about an advice columnist who really doesn't have a clue. His is nothing but an annoyance to his teen daughters (what dad isn't?), his family is worried about him, and he hasn't had a date in so long that his parents set him up with the neighbors' daughter whose childhood nickname was "Pigface."

I'm not going to spoil it by revealing plot details. It might be kind of a chick-flick but Carell is entertaining enough that guys might enjoy it too. I saw it with a male and female friend and they both liked it as much as I did.

I just give it a thumbs-up for when it comes out on DVD.
Back to top