Friday, January 29, 2010

Fashion Friday

Popular historian Doris Kearns Goodwin is wearing the same jacket on "Morning Joe" that she wore on "Jon Stewart" last night. I like that about her, and I like the jacket. That's why I noticed its repeat appearance. The jacket is reddish and tweedy and fitted and kind of short.

It's not only the jacket that is making a repeat appearance, though. So are Professor Goodwin's remarks about the delaying tactic known as "filibuster": (paraphrased) "They can't even go to the bathroom... Strom Thurmond took a steam bath to get rid of liquids, but he finally had to end his filibuster by going to the bathroom." I guess there's not a lot of entertaining material about the filibuster, although the word itself has an interesting history. I'm kind of not listening to her anymore anyway because I'm trying to get a better look at the jacket. Maybe it's a suit? I hope I'm not going to feel driven to watch Jon Stewart on line to see whether there's a shot of her there that gives me more information about the jacket. Aha! She is standing, and I see that the jacket is just a jacket, not as short as I thought, and that Professor Goodwin is wearing it over a black top and black pants. A very attractive look: practical, stylish but not too stylish, colorful for tv. What's not to like?

Somehow the word "filibuster" reminds me of the character "Phineas T Bluster" who was one of Howdy Doody's Doodyville TX friends on Buffalo Bob Smith's tv show from the 1950's, my formative years. In those days, my fashion interest was expressed through paper dolls, but that's another blog.

Coming up on The View, the real place for "Fashion Friday" is Oscar de la Renta and his fabulous, feminine creations. I'm more of a Professor-Goodwin's-jacket type, but that's just a matter of lifestyle. Fashion! Friday! Yea!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

In the Unlikely Event

In the unlikely event that someone in the vast universe stumbles upon this blog, may I say right now that I am in no way affiliated with, a supporter of, or more than an occasional (one hour per week on Sunday) viewer of Fox News. I make that disclaimer because the way search engines work, it is possible that a query about Fox could bring an unsuspecting soul to this blog, probably bazillionth on any list of results, but heck, a hasty click could happen. Reading further will only reinforce my lack of association with Fox News anyway, but I am in a "let me make this perfectly clear" soap box mood.

That wordy statement made, I wish to make known my dismay about Fox's lack of participation in Friday night's Hope for Haiti TV Global Telethon two-hour telethon. Dozens of media outlets and networks, including CBS, ABC, NBC, CW, FOX, TNT, Weather Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, HBO, Showtime, Major League Baseball Network, Style Network, E! Entertainment Network, ReelzChannel, TNT, Comedy Central, Oxygen, Soap Opera channel, Bravo, National Geographic Channel, Sleuth, G4, CMT, TV1, BET, MTV, MTV2, VH1, GMC,FUSE, Current, PBS. And there was live streaming on and IMDb, Hulu and YouTube and lots of other sites. All these corporations showed their human concern by pre-empting their regular programming to air a show that included music and on-the-scene-in-Haiti reports.

Stars like Alicia Keyes and Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen and Anderson Cooper performed and pleaded, and IMO it would be a cold, cold heart that was not moved. Some of those cold, cold hearts were watching Bill O'Reilly anyway and absorbing even more of his crowing that Fox News Channel is a premier news source, based on high ratings and compared with the collapse of Air America.

Personally, I'm glad I watched the telethon. Because I believe that on a spiritual level we are all connected, I am grateful to all those who give of themselves and their wealth to reach out to those in need. Whether outreach should be personal or civic is another discussion, but destruction that takes more than 100,000 lives and leaves people dehydrated and starving for days is worth at least two hours of attention.

So Fox News, you can take your high ratings and your profits and spend them in hell.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cold enough for ya?

Coldish weather. Mostly, I like it. Maybe thirteen days in a row of sub-freezing temps is not exactly what I've come to expect of winter in lowcountry of SC, but mostly, I prefer it to August heat. I love the dry, fresh air. And the winter light. And the thinner foliage. And the sparsely populated windswept beach, where the low tides reveal all kinds of interesting stuff and lots of space to see it. This week there has been an abundance of live sand dollars and starfish.

On the other hand, what puts me off every single winter is that soon after the holidays, my fingernails go all to hell. Lotion, olive oil, rubber gloves for doesn't matter, my nails still go all to hell: drying, splitting, breaking, tearing. I specifically recall gluing on some fakes last March to help me through some social thing or another, but by Thanksgiving I once again had ten lovely naturally long nails of my own.

However, now I am once again sporting an assortment of lengths, all short, some shorter, and it may be time to do the gluing thing again. The problem about the gluing thing is that the chemicals make my fingernails dry out even more and so it's a dilemma and a vicious cycle. What cures the whole thing is summer, where I end up worrying more about my toenails than my fingernails and beach sand becomes an automatic smoothing treatment.

But I still like coldish weather.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thoughts on a line

The last day for payment without penalty of Beaufort County SC property taxes for 2009 is tomorrow, January 15, 2010, and in typical procrastinator fashion, I presented myself at the Treasurer's office yesterday, check in hand. There were six people in the line ahead of me, not counting the two who were being served by the lone clerk. The complaining began almost immediately, with the woman in front of me getting out of line to see whether there wasn't a drop box or some option besides waiting. She and the woman ahead of her discussed the inefficiency of the situation. The word "terrible" was used. Maybe five minutes had passed since I arrived.


As the wait continued while it seemed that the first two were accomplishing multiple transactions, the complaining continued too, and the two women ahead of me decided to leave and submit their payments electronically. But by now a man had joined the line and stood behind me, humming nervously before he too found his complaining voice. I think I had been there about ten minutes by then.


Two people who were not complaining were the young Latina now directly in front of me and the infant she carried in her arms, along with a huge tote bag. They cooed and clucked to each other, although I would imagine the woman's arms were tired and maybe her high heeled boots were painful, and just waited.

And a third person who said nothing was the bowlegged African-American in front of her. Again, he just waited. Of course, I don't really know what the quiet ones were thinking, but I do know that I was thinking I'd rather be with them than the spoiled, privileged people who were more likely in my demographic and who definitely had different expectations about the procrastinator payment experience.

So often we hear people describe Hilton Head Island and its environs as "paradise". That would be when we are not complaining about something petty yet "terrible".


Friday, January 8, 2010

"Less space, less things, more life"

Maybe I will move to Denmark...if I ever get shed of all the stuff I have accumulated. I don't need it, and I don't really want it any more. At least that's what I tell myself. However...there is a certain comfort that comes from knowing that if I feel like reading, I have books, tons of books, and magazines too. If I want to cook, I have plenty of food and equipment and dishes and utensils to do a lovely meal. If I want to wear red or purple or black or white or almost any color, I have clothes that will work for me. And shoes. And handbags. And costume jewelry. Ditto so many possible "wants" that can easily be accommodated with material goods.

But one "want" that is incompatible with all that stuff is the one that envies the near sterile order of Scandinavian homes. On a recent show, Oprah presented a view of life in Copenhagen, and was embarrassingly wowed by the lack of space that is the norm in Danish life. The husband and father in one of the homes she visited responded "Less space, less things, more life."

The American way of life is undoubtedly wasteful. We waste space, we waste natural resources, we waste people and we waste a lot of time. It is highly unlikely that succeeding generations will be able to consume and waste as much. But maybe there is an upside to being forced to rethink and relearn. After all, the Danes are considered by some to be the happiest people on earth.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

"Mr Jalopy"!

"Mr Jalopy"! Now this is a man I could love and admire. This is a man who could save the world. Quietly, without a whole lot of public acclaim, he fights a system of consumption that is filling local dumps as it empties personal coffers.

Mr Jalopy, whose real name is Peter "Something" repurposes things and makes things. A central tenet of the "Maker Movement" he leads is that if you can't open something, you don't own it. I take that to mean that if an object you purchase is sealed and/or needs special tools to examine its innards, IT owns YOU because it has control of the situation.

Now it's pretty well known that I have some kind of a VCR fixation. I bought my first VHS player/recorder when the price came down to $400, somewhere in the 1980s I think. It had a remote, but the remote was actually on a cord that plugged into the main box. In the past twenty years or so I've worn out a bunch of VCRs, but haven't given up on any of them without taking them apart and making a decent repair effort. I've also taken apart a couple of sewing machines, and yesterday I fixed a broken screen door latch. My most impressive fix-it of late has been an appropriate jiggle and wiggle of my vehicle hatch back lock after my son-in-law, an accomplished fixer, had given up on it. But there are a whole bunch of "new and improved" things around my house that I guess I do not own because I can't open them to fix them, and yet I'm somehow not willing to take them to the "convenience center" landfill.

I wish Mr Jalopy didn't live in California.