Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Call from Verizon

I have an unlimited phone plan, but that doesn't include any international calls. Yesterday I had to interview someone in Scotland and spoke for about an hour. I was prepared for a hefty bill for this call (which I will be reimbursed for), but Verizon just called all official and judicial telling me that yesterday "someone" made a call to Scotland from my phone number and the bill is $97. Was I aware this call was made? I said yes, and it sort of took the wind out of her sails. So then she tries to sell me an international plan.

Today I've been writing this story. I was so far off my spelling of Edinburgh... who knew it was spelled that way?

New Digital Camera

This morning, while making coffee, I was patting myself on the black for my frugal living -- hadn't spent anything on "wants" in weeks, no clothes, no books, no extras. I had that thought for about 10 seconds when I notice my digital camera was on the floor. It was on a sideboard, and evidently I somehow knocked it off, and it fell about 3-4 feet. Of course, it didn't survive. When I turned it on, the screen was cracked.

I both need and want a camera. I am traveling next week and so I decided to just go to Amazon. I am not a shopper, not a comparer, not a researcher when I buy. I feel as if it's the luck of the draw. Well, of course there are dozens of digital camera... none were rated five stars, but I looked at the ones where there were four plus a fractional of the fifth star. Read the reviews including one by the most obsessive tester who tested this camera against all these other models and it finally got so boring that I started to skim and decided, that's good enough for me. Skimmed a few other reviews.

Then I did the bundle. I bought the camera, a memory card and a case. Then I got free shipping. I leave on Tuesday, in the confirmation it said that the camera would arrive on Monday. This is the angst I hate. I get (ahem) economical in not wanting to pay, knowing that in all likelihood, it would arrive before Monday, and then thought I am not this broke. I can afford overnight shipping so I went back and changed it.

I ended up spending more time on the color than the camera. Almost went with "violet" thinking that it would personalize the camera and no one would pick it up thinking it was theirs, but I decided on silver.

So here's what I got, and if you think this camera sucks, don't tell me. Elapsed time of purchase: 180 seconds.

"Panasonic DMC-FH25 16.1MP Digital Camera with 8X Wide Angle Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD - Silver"

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Things I've Never Done

Michael Moore ‏Tweeted this today which got me thinking:
Things I've never done: Skydiving, eaten lamb, worn loafers, sewn, laid linoleum, had a manicure, met Obama, voted for a Republican.

So let's look at his first and I'll reply.  No, I have never gone skydiving and never, even when I was young, had a desire to.

Yes, I've eaten lamb and enjoy it. As a young girl, I was always fascinated with mint jelly and didn't quite get why it didn't work on a peanut butter sandwich.

I spent the majority of my junior high and high school years in loafers.

Of course, I've sewn, having been a victim of the now ancient "Home Economics" where we learned to sew and had to make a skirt and then wear it to school for "skirt day" -- it was pitiful, and after the one wearing, my was thrown away. I used to mend stuff, but now rarely do so.

I have not laid linoleum, but I have done some limited tile work.

I have dozens of manicures, and pedicures, and parafin manicures, and spa pedicures and any and all mani/pedi known to humankind.

Never met Obama, but I did see Bill Clinton once.

I cast one vote for a Republican  in my life, and that's when I voted the first time for Rudy Guiliani for mayor. Can't believe it now that I did that, but he was actually a good mayor at first. I was saying to someone just the other day that during 9/11 and the days that followed, he was actually a comforting presence until he got weird and took a real hard turn to the right.

Michael Moore listed eight things he's never done and so I'll try for eight myself.

I have never eaten trout.
I have never run in a marathon. (Hey, that's a big surprise to all, right?)
I have never been arrested.
I have never been to South America. (yes to Asia, Africa, Europe)
I have never been married.
Hmmmm... this is harder than I thought.
I have never driven cross country -- I've been a passenger as a child cross country, but never actually driven.
I have never been on television. (Radio, yes)
I have never had stitches anywhere but my mouth.

Ok, someone add something to their own list.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Remembering Mimi

Angela's grandma passed away/passed on/passed over last week, and she and I were talking about her life. Mimi was 104, and had not been herself for several years. But look at how beautiful she was on her wedding day. Really, the haircut is so chic that it belongs in a fashion magazine today. And grandpa was handsome too. Love his bowtie.

Angela says: The names are Alfred DeWayne and Una Juanita (Baxter) Booth (1908-1912). I just verified they were married April 3, 1926 in St. Joseph, MO. My grandfather passed away in 1970 at 63 years old. So even at that time they had been married for 44 years. That is the only photo that we know of that was taken on their wedding day.

So here's to Mimi and her fashion-stylin' self!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What I'm Reading

I don't know much about John Brown -- lots of conflicting stories about him. However I got this book because Tony Horwitz is one of my favorite historical writers and it's been very well-reviewed. Intriguing insights to follow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Thinking about Prices of Things

When I went out on Thursday for lunch, I did some errands and then just went to my corner pizza place which was having a lunch special of two slices of pizza and a medium soda for $5. I thought that was a pretty good deal until I started thinking about when I first moved to New York, you could get one slice of pizza and a can of soda for $1.

The more I thought of this, and thinking about how I keep reading that food prices have been raised the least, I thought OK, considering I got two slices, not one, that the price had just slightly doubled in just under 40 years which isn't bad.

When I moved to New York in 1974, I had a studio apartment whose rent was $167.50. Funny how we remember those amounts. (I also remember that my first office job provided me a whopping net paycheck of $96.50 a week.) There's no way you could find an apartment for double of what I paid. I would guess that my original New York apartment probably rents for about $1500 a month. It was small, had half a kitchen, but now the area it's in is far hipper than when I lived there.

But back to my $96.50 paycheck. When I made that, I had a new car and lived in a townhouse on Capitol Hill where the total rent for the house was $330. (Do you remember that amount, Mary?) I have no idea how much that entire house would rent for now -- $4000 or $5000? I don't know.

Finally, I was thinking about the first expensive dress I ever bought. I was a junior in college and there was this man who was from India and preyed on young college girls. Many of us fell for it, not for him romantically, but we were overly polite to him, overly respectful to him for the most part when all he wanted was to get his hands on our young American breasts.

He had invited me (as was his routine) to a party at the Indian embassy and I thought the excitement of going to an embassy party was worth having to somehow be aligned with him. Just the thought of an embassy party made me feel so cosmopolitan and sophisticated.

Of course, I had to dress the part so I went to Lord & Taylor which was in walking distance of school and tried on various dresses, but the one I fell in love with was $52. In those days, a "regular" dress would be in the neighborhood of $20.

I went back and forth, and finally decided to buy it. Hey, after all, I was going to an embassy party! This creep told me he would meet me at the party, which was fine with me. He also had led us all to believe that he was somehow a big deal with the embassy.

So I get all dolled up and present myself at the embassy door. Ok, here's where I start to cringe. I announced that I was a guest of [name of creep] only to be asked, "Who?" I repeated his name. If this happened on a reality tv show, they'd cue that crickets sound. I guess they took pity on me and let me in and I don't even remember how long I stayed. I felt like an idiot, and as I recall, I stayed about 15 minutes. Creep never showed up and of course later when I saw him and confronted him that the embassy people had no idea who he was -- that was some sort of misunderstanding, he was sure.

However, I still had that dress which I loved. Every time I wore it. It still gives me pleasure to think about it. I remember how sad I felt when it was finally worn out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Progress at World Trade Center

When I was driving home on Saturday, I was thinking, as always, that even after 10 years, when I see that first glimpse of the New York skyline, I still miss the World Trade Center. Driving across the George Washington Bridge, I always look to the left to see how beautiful the New Jersey palisades look in whatever season and then I look to the right and miss the World Trade Center.

I'd sort of lost track, fed up with all the politics, of what was happening at the site. Today I saw this photo on Twitter -- it's the official photo of progress with ten stories to go. I think it will be great to have something reborn there.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Home Again

Safe and sound. I had a cheap thrill this morning in the hotel room. I had not set the alarm and so when I was roused out of sleep by the sound of a tinny, staticky clock radio, I sort of sighed and thought it was time to get up. I looked at the clock at it said 5:55. Then I woke up a bit more and thought, "Why am I getting up at 5:55?"

Then I realized that I did NOT have to get up, couldn't figure out (using the braille method) how to make the clock radio stop -- so I just turned down the volume. That was a treat to be able to roll back over and go to sleep.

I swear, though, not 15 seconds had passed when I opened my eyes and it was 8:36. It was like someone snapped their fingers and time fast forwarded. So I got up, showered, packed, looked at email, edited something and was on my way around 10:30 -- back in NY in two hours, home at 1pm.

Started some laundry, went through mail, semi-unpacked and watched a Netflix. Nice to be able to just relax.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Almost Home

I could have made it home today, but I like this stop in Allentown, PA, which is about two hours (tops) from NYC. I have a Red Roof Inn which I stay in which is cheap, but really clean and nice -- well "nice" is a relative term. I'm lying on the bed, watching a flat screen TV that has HBO so what more could a girl want? The place is clean and appears safe so it's a good stop.

Of course, today was not without incident. I was about 15 miles from the hotel... Had about 7 miles to an exit, then 8 miles on another highway where the hotel is literally at the end of the exit ramp. I see this sign that says, "Road closed; all traffic must exit at next exit" and I'm so good at being the Queen of Denial that I thought... oh, it's a mistake; they don't mean THIS road; they don't mean now. Ignore the sign. Then, of course, I go a little more distance and traffic is stopped. Yes, it was this road; it was now and traffic was being rerouted off of the main highway, all of it.

The good thing was the detour exit was actually my exit which was a small blessing because if it had been the next one up I would have no idea how to get to the hotel.

So, of course, traffic crawled and crawled -- I would say it added about 90 minutes, but I made it. The hotel clerk asked if I got stuck in it, and when I said yes, she apologized for it which was sort of odd but appreciated.

Home tomorrow.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I win for STUPID on Thursday

Did something today I've never done. I thought by this age, I'd made all the dumb mistakes. But today I had left my client, drove for about 90 minutes, stopped for gas. I had the driver door open, my purse and coat on the passenger seat, the car off and the keys in the ignition. It was very windy.

I finished the gas, then went to take some trash out of the car and just as I did a wind blew the door closed. Yes, locked the car keys in the car. That horrible feeling that you can't undo it. This gas station was part of a convenience store so I went in, told the clerk what had happened. She waved it off and said "that happens all the time" and she asked if she should call the police and ask them to come open the door. I said sure; she did and I waited.

For 45 minutes.

I couldn't even buy a soda or snack as my purse was in the car. At that point, I asked her if she would call again. She really didn't want to, and I don't blame her, but she did. This time they claimed they were on their way, and sure enough two minutes later the cop car pulls up and I went outside.

I introduced myself by saying "I'm the big dummy." He gave me a form to fill out which was a permission release that I had the right to ask him to unlock the door, my name, address, that it was legally my car, etc.

He had the door open in under a minute, using some sort of long white plastic -- oh hell, I don't know what it was, but it had something on the end. And I loved when the door popped.

I asked him if he needed anything from me, and he wanted my license which he called in -- "should come back to Patricia Loo-bek" he spoke into the mike on his shoulder. Hey, I have no outstanding warrants. He handed me back my license and I stood there. I said, "May I leave?" and he looked at me slightly disgusted/bemused like "What is wrong with you?" So I thanked him sincerely and he said "Have a safe trip" and that was it.

A few minutes later, a client phoned me and I told him what had happened. As a non-car owner or rather a car non-owner, I said, "Do you take your keys out when you gas up?" And he said, "No, but I will now." So I don't know if I learned the lesson or even if there is a lesson to learn. The good part is that all this cost me was 45 minutes of time. I was imagining a big bill from a locksmith or broken into window. So thanks to my man in blue in Ohio who protected and served ME.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday in Ohio

A colleague brought me this special coffee this morning, and I realized that the coffee sleeve had an ad on it for a bail bondsman. Yesterday, another colleague was telling me about someone and said, "She raises chickens recreationally." Hey, I'm Dorothy not in NewYork City any more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Yes, I've been asked. Someone here at my client whose wife died during the past year asked me to be his Valentine, and I said yes. Best offer I've had in months.

Compliments of Fran, here's her interpretive Valentine's Day hearts:

Ok, so what are our favorite love songs? I have a few, but the one that comes to mind is "Here, There ande Everywhere." There a commercial for something -- can't remember what -- where 99% of it is this lovely male singing the Beatles' song "There are places I remember" which I also love.

Hope all our lives are full of love today.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday in Cincinnati

No snow today -- sunny and dry roads all the way. Nothing too much to report other than about 3:00 I started getting sleepy while driving  and I did the right thing and didn't fool around with it, even though I was only about an hour away from my destination. I did tell myself I don't have to be there at any particular time; in fact, I dont have to show up until tomorrow morning so I got off the highway, pulled into a McDonalds parking lot, took a back space, put the electronic seat way back and slept for about 20 minutes. When I awoke, these two charming little old ladies pulled right next to me, both of them eating ice cream cones which was weird since it is in the low 20s.

But the cones looked so good that I decided to get one. Went to the drive thru, ordered a cone, and that was all I got, no tax and so the total was 99 cents, the price of the cone. I went to the first window, handed him a dollar bill and he shut the window. Didn't know if he was going to bring the cone, so when he opened the window, he was digging through his own wallet for a penny. I said to him, "I don't want you to take it out of your own wallet" and he said something like "Well, I have three of them" so I took the penny but then felt sort of stupid about it. I was thinking that there are plenty of people who just hand the dollar, don't wait and go to the second window for the cone.

I didn't like taking a penny from a 15-year old, but I did.

I have to say that I have a bit of a superstitious nature about this -- that as long as I mind my pennies I won't ever need a penny. There's something more at work here than being cheap because I would not characterize myself that way. So I got my cone and drove on. And I don't think I've ever had a soft-serve cone from McDonalds, but it was good.

So then I get to the hotel and drive up to the front door. I had already decided that I was going to pull up to the front door and check in to see where my room was as I have often parked, lugged my suitcase, only to be told to go park somewhere else. The hotel clerk was standing outside smoking, and when he saw me, he went back in and so when I went in, I apologized to him for intruding on his smoke break. Which I meant genuinely, but that led to a discussion of how he's trying to stop and trying those electronic cigarettes, which I have to say fascinate me.

On another trip, I saw them at the cashier of this truck stop place, and I was tempted, but really thought better of it. He was saying it does fulfill the "hand stuff" -- the way your fingers stay busy smoking. I didn't know that it does have nicotine in it, but he says using them has made him cut back and save money. He says that he'll smoke the electronic ones in restaurants, anywhere. I don't think I've seen anybody use one in NY, but I did read you can't use them on airplanes. I asked him if he would smoke one at work and he laughed and he said he did it once just to tease his boss.

We had a nice little chat, and he was calling me Miss Pat which I sort of find endearing and respectful.

So I get in my room and there are two beds in it, and I realize I always take the same bed -- the one nearest the window. I think it's because I've lived in dark apartments for so long that I love the sunlight. If I were sharing the room, it wouldn't bother me to have the other one -- not at all -- but given a choice, I'll take the one closer to the window, farther from the door. Maybe it's just habit.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snowy Clarion, Pennsylvania

Despite weather reports to the contrary, the clear day in NY turned to a cloudy day which turned into light snow showers for most of the way -- not even enough to turn on the windshield wipers, but then it was fairly heavy snow for the last hour or so. It wasn't so much the snow that made for bad visibility, but how dirty the windshield gets with muddy misting water. And no one slows down which makes me feel like old Granny driving slowly.

This is the view from my window. Got here around 5:30 and it stopped snowing around 7 and the weather for tomorrow is supposedly clear. Onward to Cincinnati.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Non-Stop News

First, I have to say how very sad Houston Whitney's death is. I still remember her remarkable performance singing the National Anthem whatever year that was at Super Bowl -- being blown away by her voice and how incredibly beautiful she was that day.

But now, the cable news stations have kicked in with their idiotic prattling -- made worse by the available so-called experts called suddenly in to give ridiculous commentary. One self-proclaimed "popular culture expert" just said that Whitney's death is a "travesty." No it isn't. He needs to check that word in a dictionary. Another guy said, "I'm still shocked by the news." Really? They don't even know the cause of death yet; the news has been public for one hour now, and you're "still" shocked?? Within an hour, we'll be hearing about how we all need to start "healing."

And the thing I hate the most is the robotic building of memorials. Let's lash those teddy bears to the chain link fences, bring flowers, candles and photos with handwritten notes. It's like we don't know how to grieve so we repetitively mimic what we see on television. Maybe it makes people feel better to lash a teddy bear to a fence, but I don't get it. Within the hour, there will be candles burning on the sidewalk outside the Beverly Hils Hotel.

I gotta turn off the TV. The idiotic news anchor just asked another "pop culture expert:" Do you think Whitney Houston will be remembered for her voice?

Hmmmm... Yeah, I think so.

Friday, February 10, 2012

JFK and the Intern

Some of you may have seen this woman who has now written a book about her experience with JFK when she was a college intern in the White House under JFK. She is very explicit about what went on -- a relationship of 18 months where some fairly despicable things went on.

Today she was on The View and I have to say I sort of changed my position from neutral -- seeing both sides of it --- from "it's her story to tell" versus "oh shut up with all these tell all books" to being on this woman's side.

Barbara Walters was so mean to her -- took her to task because the book could hurt Caroline Kennedy. The woman calmly replied that it's her story and her truth and she has the right to tell it. But Barbara's attitude was more "hey, little person, you could hurt someone important." The woman persisted in a very dignified way, saying how this had impacted her entire life and she felt at last she had to tell her story.

Oh, and Barbara also took her to task for not coming out in support of Monica Lewinsky. The woman replied that at the time she was just afraid that the focus on Monica would make people dig deeper and discover her secret. Barbara ended it by condescendingly saying that she'd seen this woman on various shows and telling her that she has conducted herself well. Hey, thanks Barbara.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"White Girl Wasted"

In my office/utility room, I have a loveseat that became the dumping ground for all things that had no home. Every so often I'd pick something up and stare at it, not knowing what to do with it. For example, I was completely flummoxed by a bookmark. Yeah, one little bookmark. I read. I read a lot. I use bookmarks, but how many do you need? Ok, so I decide to get rid of it... it's too good to just throw away, but can you put one little bookmark in the thrift shop bag? That's what I ended up doing.

Today, when Marilyn, my helper, came, we tackled that loveseat. I sat in a chair like Queen Poobah and she brought me 5 articles at a time. I told her don't overwhelm me and don't bring more until I've made a decision on each item. My fear, of course, is that I put some items aside and so when she leaves I'm left with a dozen or so things I STILL dont know what to do with. Naturally, some were easy -- an old rental car map, some old loose photographs, a brand-new decorative candle. We had garbage, recycling and thrift as possibilities -- and, of course, a proper place for a few things.

Having watched "Hoarders" more times that I care to admit, I recognize that hoarding behavior. For example, one item was 1/2 empty (1/2 full??) little bottle of hotel shampoo. I so dearly want to hold on to that -- what the heck, there's one more hair washing in that bottle. But I chucked it -- you can tell I'm still thinking about it, though, but the garbage is taken out (thanks, Marilyn) and it's gone.

Just as I was eyeing the clock and deciding we'd work on this for 20 more minutes, Marilyn announces, "That's it." I was dumbfounded. Really? Nothing left? I wish sometimes I could take back all the energy that I expended thinking about the crap on that bench and how I need to deal with it and put that energy to some useful purpose. In all, it took about 15 minutes.

While we work, we always enjoy each other's company and today I learned about black women's hair -- the new trend is this woman on You Tube who is suggesting to black women that their hair may be breaking and difficult to grow because of all the harsh chemicals women have used and on You Tube she gives all this advice and recipes to make natural products for your hair. It makes sense and Marilyn is trying the techniques. She patiently answered all my questions -- such as "When you see the hairdresser sewing in a weave, what is he sewing to?" As it turns out, the hairdresser first does a braid across the back of your head and then the weave is sewn into that braid.

We also had a laugh when Marilyn spontaneously used the term "white girl wasted" to describe someone and saw the puzzled look on my face... like "do white girls get drunk different than black girls?" So she was explaining what it means, and we checked with and here's what it says:

To get completely drunk, wasted or sloshed to the point where you can no longer control yourself physically or mentally. Term originally given to younger white girls, mainly college freshman, after they consume way too much alcohol. This commonly results in overall incoherency, and brief "skankyness" before a quick emotional breakdown. Which are all followed up by the process of destroying the party through multiple drunken slurs and complete trashyness and finally passing out in an upstairs bedroom because they are too drunk to make it home.

I love slang because there's such subtlety to it -- it's not just very drunk; it's a particular brand of being very drunk. I don't think I've ever been white girl wasted. Not even in college. Back then, Mary and I had a roommate who would get white girl wasted. You know the loud drunkeness with the runny mascara tracks down her face after her crying breakdown over some man who done her wrong.

Oh, and here's how to use it in a sentence:

Yo, does Brian have a lampshade on his head? He is white girl wasted.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My New Favorite Word: Whinosaurs

A whinosaur is an old person who is rigid and set in their ways and then whines about it. Unlike us who are lithe and adventurous and open to all life has to offer. Ok. Most days we are.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Trust Issues

OK, so I have trust issues. I came upon them honestly. Over the weekend, while working with a volunteer writer for the work project, I was emailing her, probably going into more detail than necessary, about what I was asking her to do.

I stopped and reminded myself that she is working on a PhD and could probably sort it out for herself.

It reminded me of when Amy was coming to stay with me, and I was putting coffee stuff out for the morning. The thought crossed my mind that maybe I should write out directions for the coffee maker -- was tempted to do that until I stopped and reminded myself that Amy can fly an airplane so she could probably figure out how to work a coffee maker. (And she could since it turned out her daughter has the same machine!)

Just now, I got an email from a client. I had sent him an invoice from another company to pay. I mailed it on Monday, and he hadn't gotten it on Wednesday. He was taking Thursday and Friday off. I told him to look for it on Monday and call me if he didn't get it. So now I get this email:

I found the [company] invoice, but I can not remember what I am supposed to do with it.
Should I throw it away?

Very funny.

My self-defense is that I am being reliable and helpful. (Do I hear a sputtering from the peanut gallery?) I'm a work in progress. I replied:

Please have your day nurse contact me. I need to talk to her about something.

Just now, writing this, I had an insight. I was (again self-defensively thinking) that there are people who would give up on the coffee maker, write the wrong article, and ignore the invoice. But I need to use better judgment to differentiate those people who can be trusted from those who can't. Not so easy for me.

Laugh for Monday

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Netflix Recommendation: Limitless

Of course I was drawn to Limitless when I read the Netflix description:

With his writing career dragging and his girlfriend casting him off, Eddie Morra's life turns around when he takes a drug that provides astonishing mental focus -- but its deadly side effects threaten his future.

I watched it last night -- put it in at 11, and it's just under two hours, and it held my attention and awakeness even though I was in bed with the lights off. It's a good psychological thriller.

When the movie opens, the star, Bradley Cooper (in the picture) is a writer with a book contract and he can't focus, his apartment looks like it's from "Hoarders" and his girlfriend breaks up with him. He hasn't written a word for three months and he's broke too. Then he bumps into his ex-brother in law on the street who gives him this pill he claims will let him access 100% of his brain (as opposed to the 20% we supposedly use) and give him total focus. He thinks it's BS but he tries it. Within 30 seconds, he's running home, scrubs his apartment and writes 90 pages of his book which his editor loves.

Well, of course, this goodness can't continue and all sorts of complications arise. Especially since the effects of the pill wear off in 24 hours so he has to get more. I am not a science fiction fan, but I like science fiction that could possibly be true. This is not a great movie, but it's an entertaining one. I'd give it a solid B, but if you feel like lying on the sofa watching a decent movie where your mind won't wander, this one will do it. Also Robert DeNiro is in it as a Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas in Wall Street character) type since, of course, the Bradley Cooper character works out all sorts of algorithms to make money in the stock market.

Even the ending of this movie is pretty good. It made me smirk and go Hmmmmm...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Difference Between Men and Women

I was watching "What Would You Do?" tonight, which is a reality program of Candid Camera-style ethical dilemmas where they watch to see what bystanders to ethical situations do. Tonight one of the situations was a "rich guy" (actor) getting out of his limo in front of a coffee truck, loudly saying he was in a hurry, had to get to a meeting, don't you take credit cards? No.

So there is a "homeless guy"(actor) sitting nearby with a box of his panhandled money and the "rich guy" goes over to the "homeless guy's" money and grabs a dollar bill, mumbling he'll pay him back later.

To a man, the male bystanders all spoke up, got aggressive with the rich guy. To a woman, the female bystanders said nothing, did not confront, but all replenished the homeless guy's money and gave the homeless guy a dollar. They showed three of each gender, but said they were all like that.

This reminded me of a time where I was meeting three married couples for a business dinnner. I had gotten directions to the restaurant from Mapquest, and got within 2 or 3 minutes of the place and got lost. At a light, I rolled down my window to ask this man directions and I said, "Mapquest let me down."

He replied with a cool smile, "I won't let you down." It was flirty and I liked it.

When I got to the restaurant, I related my story. To a man, the men all groaned like "oh geez, that's a pitiful line" while all the women simultaneously said, "Awwwww" impressed with the line. Don't know what to make of that.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Stuff about Me You Don't Really Care About

My guilty pleasure is a reality show I was watching last night called Bait Car. Basically, the cops have this car that lhey leave in a crime-y neighborhood with the keys in it and then wait to entrap some sucker which usually takes about 30 seconds. What I like is it takes me to a place I've never been -- inside a car that's being stolen since the thief is often accompanied by friends so you hear and see inside the car. The cops are able to lock the doors and make the car stop. So after a minute or so, they disable the car, have a cop car pull them over, and often times the thief/thieves try to run but they can't get out and will kick and pound on the windows/doors.

What else I enjoy, guiltily, is the absolute lies they tell the cops -- long involved stories, swearing to God, their mother's grave and their kids' heads -- about how it's their friend's car or some such nonsense. Then the cops tell them that it's Bait Car, and they sort of just say "Oh."

The household task I hate the most is folding sheets.  I hate it because I'm so bad at it and don't have the patience for it. I would rather fold three loads of other stuff than fold a set of sheets.

The household task I find somewhat pleasant is taking out the garbage. Which I did today. Not so much the taking out, but the walking back in and being done with it. Makes me feel efficient.

The bad habit which I pondered today is not getting up from work immediately the first time I realize I have to go to the toilet. I tend to want to "just finish this page" or something and then I get used to the feeling so by the time I realize you MUST get up NOW I'm doing a dance to the bathroom. I tell myself, "How would you like to have a boss who forbade you from getting up?"

What I learned today: Reading my Grover Cleveland book, the author was talking about the development of surgery, prior to Pasteur and Lister identifying germs. Typically the mortality rate after surgery was 100%. Surgeons prided themselves in the many coatings of blood their surgical gowns had because they thought it showed they were experienced.  I didn't really know much about Joseph Lister, but I learned he was a real evangelist about spreading the word about germs in hospitals and medical schools.

The surgeon who performed the surgery on Cleveland met Lister and put his germ theory into practice at his hospital in Philadelphia and mortality rates dropped immediately. So this was all quite interesting until I learned that Listerine was not invented by Lister -- I don't know -- just assumed there was a connection, but there is no connection and the company just stole the use of his name.