Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Margaret and Helen

Thank you Pam (from Compuserve Books & Writers Community) for introducing me to the funniest blog EVER. Margaret and Helen are in their early 80's, and have been best friends for over 60 years. From breastfeeding to healthcare reform to Britney Spears underwear mishaps...there's plenty of food for thought. Most rants revolve around politics though, and Helen does most of the posting. I'm telling you, I haven't laughed that hard in Lord knows how long. They're sarcastic, smart, witty, and just plain hilarious.
Their commentary is funny enough on its own, and then you remember their age, which makes it even funnier. You just don't think of women from that generation cursing, and making fun of politicians. Not what I'm used to, at least from my grandmothers. My mother, on the other hand, will be just like this in another 25 years.

So check out these wonderful ladies, you'll be glad you did. Unless your a Republican, and then you'll just be pissed off.

p.s. I highly recommend reading the Thanksgiving letters. Priceless.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eidolons Lost

This is a photo of a painting I bought today, though it really doesn't do it justice. The artist is Shana Kohstamm. I work with her husband (one of our Pulmonary Fellows). Thank the Gods/Goddesses for Facebook, because I never would have seen this without it. Let this be a lesson to all artists (music, writing, painting, etc.) ... online networking works!
After looking at it obsessively (yes, this word comes up a lot in my's a theme) for days, until one night I laid in bed thinking about it instead of sleeping. All right, I said to myself, just buy the damn thing since you like it so much.
The thing that struck me so hard about it is it's resemblance to a circle of standing stones. I can find any number of ways to relate things to my Outlander obsession (here it is again ). In Outlander, Claire Randall, gets taken back 200 years through a group of standing stones called Craigh na Dun.
This painting reminded me of it, and the almost blurry effect makes me feel like someone has just "gone through." I asked Shana what her inspiration for the painting was and this is her description. "Eidolons can either be defined as 1. an idealized person or thing, or 2. a specter or phantom. This painting is about what is left behind when we make choices. Paths not taken, people not loved, dreams abandoned."
Also a theme in Outlander is the question of whether you can change the future, from the past, or is it predestined. Every action we take or don't take has an effect on the future. But do our inactions leave behind a ghost as well?
Whether you see stones or ghosts of the paths not taken, it's captivating. And I love it.

Here's a link to Shana's Facebook page.
Support the arts people!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Today's Edition of "My Soapbox"

The title eludes that I've had other editions of "My Soapbox." I haven't, but given the plethora of things that get me going, I think I'll make this a regular blog entry. Kind of like Peter Griffin's news bit "What Really Grinds My Gears." So for today's edition, I have two subjects; annoying news and annoying neighbors. Let's get right to it.

Sarah Palin is a Ritard
I consider myself to be an open minded person who's sensitive to the feelings of others. That being said, I also have a sense of humor. It's a dark one perhaps, but it exists. For those who haven't heard, Sarah Palin is angry with Family Guy. I won't waste precious blog space
with the story, but you can read this article from the New York Times which does a great job of summing it up. The short version is an episode had a minor character who has Down's Syndrome, and her mother was the former Governor of Alaska. I think Sarah Palin needs to take a Xanax and call it a night.
This is funny. If you don't think it's funny, you probably shouldn't be watching Family Guy. Did I take offense to this scene in "The Hangover" where they call Rainman a 'ritard/retard' just because my son has Autism? No, I didn't. I thought it was hilarious; one of the funniest parts in the movie. And, stirring up all this shit is just giving them more attention, and probably increasing their ratings. As someone who is a public figure, you know you're going to be made fun of. This is most likely the tamest thing Seth MacFarlane & Co. have come up with. So brace yourself, it will get worse; and I look forward to it. My verdict: hilarious, even more so since the actress doing the voice of the character has Down's and intentionally makes fun of Palin. Lovely :)

Age of Autism
No segue, just gonna jump right on the next item of news. I am a fan of The Onion. They make fun of things that are completely made up, and I like it. Now many in the Autism community are furious over this article where two parents blame their Autistic son for being unable to save their marriage. I don't hear the pit bull folks screaming discrimination from the mountain tops (they get a little jab here too). In my oh-so-humble opinion, this article is taking shots at people who have kids for the wrong reasons, not the fictional Autistic child. The only thing that bothered me in the slightest was naming the child Evan (presumably after Jenny McCarthy's son who has Autism). My verdict: not hilarious, but funny.

Yoda Cuts Grass
Some of you may have heard my tales of the grass cutting senior citizen who lives next door to me (AKA Yoda, AKA Father Time, AKA Mr. Gill). If not, he is at least 80 years old and he religiously mows his yard every Saturday, twelve months a year. The only exceptions are heavy rain/snow, below freezing temps, and possible medical emergencies. The last one is in question though. The man loves his yard.
This morning I took Bronwen and Ian outside to play while John ate his breakfast. This is the first day it's been warm enough. And I shit you not, three minutes into our outing, and Yoda is out in full force riding his new mower, cutting the grass.
I understand that old habits die hard. But COME ON! The grass is dead, brown, crunches under your feet. It hasn't grown a millimeter in at least four months! He doesn't just cut the grass either. He covers every square inch at least four times. I'm not exaggerating. He really does. One day he spent twenty minutes mowing the patch of grass right outside my bedroom window. Not even my earplugs can drown out the sound of a mower.
My verdict: NOT funny. Highly frustrating. He's either so senile he can't remember it doesn't need cutting OR his wife is so damn annoying he has to mow to get away from her.

Thanks for reading/listening. I feel better now.