Friday, February 28, 2014

A theory about bathrooms and icy windshields

I have a theory that may change the lives of working adults throughout the world. Potentially I have made a great discovery.  For years every morning I have walked to my car in the winter not knowing whether I'll have to scrape ice off of my windshield. Although the likelihood increases as the temperature decreases, it is not always the case that low temperatures mean icy windshields. This morning, for instance, it was below 10 degrees outside but there was no ice on my windshield. 

Other mornings it can be 34 degrees out and I have to spend five minutes getting the car so I can see well enough to drive. The fact is that it is not just the cold it is also the humidity that causes this condition. 
I have a theory that you can tell what the status of your car's windows will be when you take a shower. If everything is steamed up after a shower and it is below 35 degrees out you will need your trusty ice scraper. However if you can look at your mirror in the bathroom and there is no steam, you can have an extra cup of coffee because you won't need to scrape any ice off of your car. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A modern day Anna Karenina

The story of the Ukraine is a modern retelling of Anna Karenina. Married to staid old Count Karenin, Anna gets natural gas at a discount, a place to sell her goods, limited freedoms yes but security and comfort. Alas she is unhappy. She wants to be part of the West and live with Count Vronsky. She wants to sing, be free, swim with the swans, and travel to Paris and eat oysters and drink Cabernet. Count Vronsky loves Anna but cannot afford to support her extravagant lifestyle. Should Anna go to  Count Vronsky or stay with Count Karenin?

Editor's note: Looks like Count Karenin is playing a little rough.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Women's Olympic sports

This past week we have all been watching (or in my case grazing) through the Sochi Winter Olympics. We have watched women do the skeleton, the luge, curl, ski jump, and ski downhill. We have even seen the biathlon where they cross country ski, take a few pot shots at the crowd with a rifle, and then go back to skiing.

Curling I haven't figured out yet. Two women hover over what looks like an old model of a portable cd player and blow on it and scrape ice off in front of it. Some sports are best viewed in a bar.

Luge looks like a fun if dangerous sport. The Americans were cute when they waved at the cameras.

I'd like to see a few Olympic sports celebrating domestic life. In my view, women should engage in the Olympics to showcase their domestic skills. The sort of skills that would be useful for a future husband. Cooking competitions, baking contests, dish washing competitions would fill the bill. I envision stains on a huge arena floor. Contestants from each country would go out with mops and cleaners and compete over who could clean the stains first. Perhaps an ironing competition or a folding competition. Life affirming skills that would celebrate women's contributions to family life.

I guess I'm low on blood sugar from too much snow shoveling and ice scraping this morning. Happy Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beatles 50 years later

There's a lot of hoopla over the 50 year anniversary of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. Here's what I wrote a few years ago. Every once in a while they thaw out Ringo and put him on tv.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pussy Riot falls apart

A few weeks ago I wrote about Pussy Riot. Now freed, I envisioned them doing a world tour, being on Saturday Night Live, opening for the Stones. From criminals to stars, soon millionaires going about in their Rolls Royces singing protest songs. Now, however there is a new wrinkle. The two most prominent members of the group, freed from the dungeons of Siberia, now have been expelled from, well, Pussy Riot. Apparently the more idealistic of the group back home want nothing to do with the commercialism afoot in the twosome and their recent public appearances.

The old battle among liberals returns. Like Trotsky and Lenin. Or Pete Seeger and Joan Baez on one hand and Bob Dylan after he plugged in his guitar. Pete and Joan saw music as a tool for a wider goal. Music was there to instruct the audience on liberal causes, the unions, the civil rights movements, the opposition to the Vietnam war. Bob Dylan and most of the stars that followed him saw music as a way to have a few laughs, make some money and maybe one day do a car commercial on the Super Bowl.

I remember once seeing Utah Phillips in Philadelphia and he commented that John Lennon was an s-o-b for not speaking out for union causes. It is the old schism that hinders liberals. Idealism vs. wealth and fame. Now the two lassies will have to tour as the artists formerly known as members of Pussy Riot. It's a god darn shame.

Update: Now they were arrested and released apparantly in Sochi. I guess some people seek out trouble.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Gap years

Recently I was listening to a podcast that discussed the current trend for young people to have gap years between high school and college. Apparently the idea is that the parents pay $20,000 to a non profit agency and their young scholars get to volunteer in a third world country and apparently, learn about life. When I was in college I heard about classmates who spent a few months in a kibbutz, or for the more politically active, a time helping Cuba with the sugar crop. It seemed like fun and I suppose it taught my acquaintances about life.

I guess I took a gap year after college, albeit involuntarily. After college I was supposed to get a creative and interesting job in New York but with the recession and all, I ended up selling hot dogs at Two Guys and working as a paraprofessional at a library thanks to CETA and family connections. I guess it was good, although it didn't seem so at the time. I also took a trip by car to California where I found my identity.

After I couldn't find a librarian job post librarian degree I again drove out west where I  worked for a data processing company in Denver. I guess you could say I had a gap decade before entering my exalted profession.

I suppose volunteering in Ethiopia is more interesting than selling hot dogs but both experiences can teach one about life. Even college teaches one about life, if you think about it. As Dick Cavett once said, "college teaches a man how to drink". So I suppose gap years are okay but some of us are probably too immature to take one on at the tender age of seventeen.