production maven

pro•duc'tion n. 1, act of bringing forward. 2, a product of physical or mental labor; esp., a theatrical presentation. ma'ven n. an expert. Also, ma'vin.

Monday, May 24, 2004

MORE outrage

OK, I should have copped to the fact that I did not write that brilliant bulleted list - it slipped my mind in a non-Jayson Blair way. It was e-mailed to my by my friend Maddy and I had to share. I wish I could write that concisely and nicely though. I think I can, then everything gets all blurry and it comes out in a mess.

This infuriates me. First of all, why is this news? OK, so the man needs to get back on his trike. But really: why is it ok for our President to get 100 weeks (ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the gist) of vacation a year when the working class MAYBE gets a handful of paid holidays? Yes, he is the "President" and works hard - when he's in the White House the 10 minutes a year that he's there. Mr. G. and I worked for a tyrant once (by the way, everyone needs on in their lives; they're hard to manage but they teach the best lessons) who was the biggest bastard when it came to vacation time. He told me, when I interviewed, that since Mr. G. and I were married, he would make a special concession to let us take a vacation together. Then, as soon as I was hired, he made it company policy to never allow more than one person at a time to be away on vacation. Vacations had to be scheduled months in advance, and carefully coordinated. And god forbid if you were sick. But I digress.

Back to the Presidential slamming.

Why does Bush get so many holidays? I don't. My father doesn't. My boss doesn't. My neighbor doesn't. We all have to work, to keep the wheels of capitalism turning. If my neighbor doesn't get to work, then your favorite Pepperidge Farm treats doesn't get to the grocery store for your purchase. Your grocery bills go down, the grocery store has problems paying their staff, they downsize and then close all together. If the gas dude doesn't open up his gas station, then I can't fork over $2.03 per gallon for regular unleaded fuel. Ergo, Halliburton hits the skids (as if!). If my other neighbor doesn't go to work, then the cows don't get milked, the milk co-op can't get the milk, the cows get sick because they're backed up with milk, Ben & Jerry's doesn't get their milk, ice cream production plummets, Cabot cheese can't make their wares and the Vermont agricultural community goes belly-up. If my OTHER neighbor doesn't go to work, then the UPS packages sit in the warehouse, moldering. Industry in the central-Vermont wanes, because we can't get overnight deliveries from our clients and vendors across the globe. What I'm saying here is: we all, as members of the working class, have a responsibility to get up every morning - excepting, of course, the scant holidays and small vacations we get paid for - and do our jobs. Don't you think that being the leader of the free world is maybe just as important as milking cows or delivering cookies or UPS packages, in terms of making sure that the job's getting done RIGHT??

And please don't try and appease me by saying that Dick Cheney is holding down the fort. Let me remind you: that does not comfort me!!

Let me close this rant by asking, again, why does Bush get to spend our tax dollars winging back and forth all over the country, on our Nation's Airplane, Air Force One? Wouldn't it be nice for all parents of twins who have commencement on the same day to have the nation pay for them to go to one ceremony, then get on a plane and get to the other one in time? Better yet, wouldn't it be nice for all parents to have a nation who supports them by providing a solid daycare and educational system, free of cost? We would all benefit from that. Every Single One of Us. And wouldn't it also be nice, for everyone: parents and non-parents alike, to have the nation pay for their healthcare, and their retirement, and even a week or two of vacation, so that everyone could maintain their health, their lifestyle, and their sanity? Who's with me??

Anyway. Sorry for the major outrage lately. There's a lot going on. And now, I have to get back to work.

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Friday, May 21, 2004

If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention

I've always loved that phrase, I think I had a bumper sticker of it when I was back in the bumper-stickers-holding-my-car-together days.

But now, seriously folks.

If you're not, you're NOT. Please see below (and yes, I realize this is a very liberal take on Our Feckless Leader. But I think we need something to balance out all the bullshit that we've been getting from everywhere else). Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today :

1. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

2. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

3. Government should relax regulation of Big Business and Big Money but crack down on individuals who use marijuana to relieve the pain of illness.

4. "Standing Tall for America'" means firing your workers and moving their jobs to India.

5. A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.

6. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

7. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

8. Group sex and drug use are degenerate sins unless you someday run for governor of California as a Republican.

9. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

10. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

11. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

12. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

13. Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

14. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion

15. A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

16. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

17. The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

18. You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have a right to adopt.

19. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

20. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

Feel free to pass these on. If you don't send them to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with Bush for 4 more years.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Wow....

I don't post for a week (ok, you caught me in a lie... it's been more like two weeks... ok, more THAN two weeks. Whatever. Sticklers) and blogger goes and changes their interface. I'm all confused and stuff now.
How do I work this? The world is suddenly a scary place. I want to go back to bed. *whimper*

OK... I know you're dying to know what's been keeping me from blogging my exciting life on a daily basis and the truth is.... nothing. No trips to Paris on a whim, no climbing a mountain peak on the weekend, no hob-nobbing with Brad & Jen... not yet, anyway. No, I've just been boring and lame. I did go, with my mom, to see my cousins two weekends ago, both heavily pregnant. And it's a good thing we went when we did, because they both had their babies last week. Anna Jane A. made her way into the world on the 13th and Ryan Patrick K. made his way in on the 15th. Very exciting. I haven't had a chance to call either one of my cousins yet. I'm imagining they're both a little occupied. I guess Ryan's mom had to have a c-section, because she spiked a fever and he was in fetal distress. Poor little guy. I can't wait to see pictures of them, though.

Last weekend, Mr. G. and I were grownups and we bought a push mower and some fabulous new patio furniture. It's not all that exciting, and we'll only be able to use it during the times when the bugs aren't in force enough to carry us away. It will be nice to eat outside though, especially when we entertain. And we got it for less at Home Depot than at Sears. Lately, Sears SUCKS. It seems as though they just don't care if people come back there and shop or not. I don't know if it's the surly bastard employees at the store in Rut-Vegas or what. I was ready to drop about $600+ on a bunch of stuff, and wanted to use a 10% coupon that I have, because I'm a "preferred customer" or some such crap. But, ha, ha! read the fine print and it says that it's only on non-sale items and the items that I wanted to buy were both on sale. I say, do you want my $600+ on my 18% credit card? Cause if you do, you honor this coupon. But the dumb-ass working stiff didn't care enough to earn my business, so off Mr. G. and I went.

You must know that I have a horrible tendency to overreact in a retail situation and I do scream and even *gasp* swear when I don't get my way. One time I got yelled at by a little sales manager at a car place because I cussed on their sales floor when I learned that the "absolute" price for the car that I wanted to buy and had confirmed on two separate occassions with the OTHER sales manager that happened to be on vacation that day - and couldn't be bothered even though he knew I was coming in on that day to take care of business - wasn't actually the price - it was higher. And then the sales manager that was berating me in his office because I had swore outloud (ok, shouting) actually had the balls to tell me that "he was doing me a favor by orchestrating the purchase of my car through them when I could have done it through the leasing company." Excuse me? You're doing me a favor, me who has a bank check IN HER HAND for $13,000+ dollars made out to you? And I could do it through the leasing company and not have to deal with your little man-ness? And it will SAVE ME MONEY if I do it the other way? See Ya! By the way, he was standing over me, shouting at me about my behavior, while I was sitting in a chair. So then I stood up while he was yelling, and I towered over him (I am 5' 11"). He promptly retreated to behind his desk, like the weasel he is. So we walked out, with our check. And I will NEVER go back there, not even for service.

So anyway. We left Sears and decided to check out Home Depot, since we had seen some furniture there that we liked. And they still had what we had seen and liked before, so we bought it, and a better mower... and the cost was $370 - I SAVED money on that purchase!

Rockin.

So now I have patio furniture, like a real grownup. And I bought a honeysuckle bush, and I hope it doesn't die. I do love a good smell of honeysuckle. And we got to watch the gypsy moth caterpillars rappelling down from their newly blow-torched nest (thank you, Mr. G.) and then we threw them into the citronella candle or squashed them directly. I hate those things. I do have an interesting story about them though. Another time.

Now I have to go back to my boring life... but there will be some excitement coming a little later. Got to keep a lid-on for another little while. Stay tuned.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Abba Dabba Do!

This morning, while I was driving to Boston, once the news had gotten too repetitive and the radio stations too few and far between, I put in an Abba cd. Now, before you all tell me how crappy Abba is (and they are NOT!), hear me out. I am a child of the 70s. My mother was no disco hopping hussy - I don't even know if there were any discos in Vermont, come to think of it - but I was raised on this music and it holds a very very dear place in my heart.

In fact, if you must know, the song Dancing Queen brings tears to my eyes. Every damn time I hear that song, I cry like a baby. What runs through my mind, any or all of these scenarios, is:
- me and my best friend when we would dress up in my mom's fancy outfits and play Abba as loud as we could stand it. I was always the dark haired singer, she was the blonde. Carefree, responsibility-free times. Now that I think back, we also liked to listen to the Grease soundtrack... and The Wall... no wonder I'm so confused.
- my freshman year college roommates and I, in London, blasting and singing along with Dancing Queen. We loved that song so much that we made a mixed tape (remember those?) for the roommate who was only going to be in London for the first semester: the rest of us (two others and me) were going to be there for the entire year. We all got copies of the tape. There is a section where we - the makers of the tape - are singing Dancing Queen and we recorded it then sped it up and re-recorded it so we sound like Alvin & the Chipmunks on helium. Turns out none of us went back for the second semester, due to the strong anti-American sentiment overseas during the first Gulf War. I listen to that tape and remember how it felt to be young, strong, funny, and totally aligned with my roommates. Sure we fought. Put four teenagers in a studio apartment with no shower (a tub, but not enough water pressure for a shower) and you tell me how hunky-dory it is 100% of the time. But we also knew how to have one hell of a good time. There was a lot of dancing, a lot of screaming, and a lot of singing.
- the totally triumphant encore scene for Mama Mia where they sing a whole medley - a MEDLEY, I tell you! - of Abba songs... and I think they start out with D.Q. If you have not yet seen Mama Mia, get your butt there. See it on Broadway, I beg you. I was unsure of an entire Broadway musical with just Abba tunes, but it made me into a REAL believer. There is glitter. There is a lot of spotlight and platform shoes. There is almost too much music - the head may just explode. But it is a wonderful moment of hedonism. I guarantee - you WILL cry.

So, there was me on the highway crying. Drivin' and cryin'. No reason. Just sentimental indulgence, something I don't think grownups let themselves have enough healthy doses of. I'm not advocating that you stay in bed and wallow in your own filth or make someone wait on you hand and foot. I'm just saying, if you feel the urge to cry, out of happiness, because of a sentimental memory, or because something touches your heart, then by all means, go for it.

And, tell me: what songs do you have an uncontrolled, visceral, crying reaction to?

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