You say you believe in it, but you really don't

So there's this follow-up article in Newsweek about the article they ran 20 years ago about how unlikely it was that women over 35 will ever get married -- nigh unto impossible if you waited 'til you were 40, etc. Interesting piece, especially where they've tracked down the original 29-to-40 year old women and re-interviewed them both about what they now think of what they said then and about where they are in their interpersonal lives, but a quote from one of the dudes interviewed 20 years ago just hit me like a brick, and I thought I'd share it because of its refreshingly clue-free perspective on "equality":
Behind the mutual recriminations is a good deal of uncertainty over how to proceed without the old rules in place. In principle, postfeminist men say they admire professional women. But when it comes down to it, many men don't want to put up with the hassles of a two-career family. "I believe in equality but I want a more traditional relationship," says Rick Kurson, 33, a stockbroker in Boston. "I want to come home to a dinner, not to an empty house."

Really, Rick? Then why don't you get your happy ass home at a reasonable hour (the markets close at 4:30, dear, plenty of time to get that marketing done and still be home by 6) and cook dinner with that special someone, hm? Otherwise, it sure as hell sounds to me like you're casting yourself in the Ward Cleaver role, striding manfully into a well-kept house where June's got a pot roast in the oven and the kids are scrubbed up to be presentable for Dear Ol' Dad. Honey, that's not equality. That means you've spent the day at the office, doing deals, talking on the phone, going out for lunch and a shoeshine, and reading the paper while you take your morning crap, while the Mrs. has been home all day doing every damned thing that needs doing around there, OR, if you really are a believer in equality, it means that she's out working for a living and STILL has to come home and fetch your fucking slippers and cook your dinner and probably do 70% or more of the housework. That's bullshit, is what that is, my backward friend, but what it isn't is equality, by any damned stretch of what is obviously your limited imagination.


What's Namibian for "Give me a fucking break!!!"?

This story just made me want to puke. Yet another Hollywood couple is having a baby out of wedlock -- a baby conceived, mind you, while its adulterous father was still married, no less -- and the child (as well as its glamorous parents) is being all-but deified?! What kind of a world is this?? Especially, not for nothing, in AFRICA, which last time I checked had some pretty damned important things to actually care about, rather than this Brangelina bullshit. AIDS, anyone? Congolese militia, soldiers and police raping women with knives and anything they can lay their hands on, to ensure they can't have children? Darfur ring any bells? Famine? Crime? Poverty, illiteracy, disease? I could just tear my hair out. Don't get me wrong: I read People, and I'm sure in some way that contributes to the global inexhaustible thirst for celebrity gossip, but national holiday?!!?!!?!! COME ON!!!!!

LANGSTRAND, Namibia (Reuters) -
Half of Namibians voting in an informal radio survey believe the day Angelina Jolie gives birth should be declared a national holiday, an honor usually reserved for kings, queens and national heroes.
"We have a tie, it's 50-50," the DJ for popular local radio station Radio Wave announced on
Tuesday after listeners were asked whether the "Brangelina" baby should be accorded the honor. She said voting was still going on.

Hollywood stars Jolie and Brad Pitt sparked an international media frenzy when they arrived in Namibia with her two adopted children to have their first child. But while residents of the southern African country have so far been unfazed by the visit, local media is now getting into the act, with the daily Namib Times speculating that the baby might arrive at the weekend or early next week.
The couple have remained almost invisible in their beach resort in the tiny village of Langstrand on the country's desert coastline, shielded by tight security.


Monday funny

A businessman boarded a plane to find, sitting next to him, an elegant woman wearing the largest, most stunning diamond ring he had ever seen. He asked her about it.

"This is the Klopman diamond," she said. "It is beautiful, but there is a terrible curse that goes with it."

"What's the curse?" the man asked.

"Mr. Klopman."


Shouldn't that be "714*"?

Blah blah blah, [the insufferable] Barry Bonds purportedly ties Babe Ruth's second-place all-time home run record, and is "poised" to catch up to the incomparable Hank Aaron's 755, they say. First of all, Babe Ruth hit 714 career home runs fueled by fried chicken and bathtub gin, so far from the "protein shakes", "B-12 shots" and steroids that have enhanced Bonds' career, it's an insult to the Babe's memory to discuss Barry in the same breath. Second, don't the record books have an asterisk designation when records are tainted just as Bonds' is, by the aforementioned performance enhancers or whatnot?

"It's a pretty unbelievable thing," Astros reliever Brad Lidge said in Houston, "No matter what kind of controversy surrounds him and no matter what side of the fence you are on as far as what he did or didn't do with performance-enhancing drugs, you've got to admit that it's a pretty impressive number."

No, actually, Brad, it's not such an impressive number, when you in fact take into account what he did do with performance-enhancing drugs. It's not like that aspect of his athletic performance is either insignificant or immaterial. What feats would he have performed without BalCo's help? We have no way of knowing, although I think we can guess he'd have been a better-than-average but not-nearly-so-spectacular baseball player, and likely one whose career would have ended 5 years sooner.

It's just not the same, people, any way you look at it. Barry's "achievement" is one of chemistry over sweat, because who knows what he would have done had he not spent the better part of 7 or 8 years amped up on
human growth hormone (hGH), Depo-Testosterone, insulin, Clomid, or whatever made his muscles (and ego) so big and his numbers so high. He should be ashamed to see his name up with the greats, his godfather included.

"I still remember Barry Bonds as a great player, regardless of steroids or what," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "How many home runs would he have hit without whatever people are saying is going on? I don't know. I know one thing: That player-wise, he's pretty good."

Yeah, Joe, but "pretty good" sure as hell isn't in the same league as Babe Ruth or Hank Aaron, is it? On the other hand, I guess you'll want Jason Giambi accorded the same degree of respect should he ever attain a similar pinnacle, so maybe you really don't care about the cheating. Ick.


Stop the presses!

At the risk of losing whatever liberal cred I have left, I am astonished to report that I am, for the only time in memory and perhaps the only time ever, in accord with el Presidente in this sentiment, as expressed by the cute cutie Tony Snow (now known as the President's Press Secretary, but known in this house from his days as the host of the once-avidly watched Fox News Sunday -- I was not the avid watcher, but I'm guessing you knew that. Nevertheless, Tony Snow has always seemed like a good guy to me, and I haven't changed my mind just 'cause he's gone to work in the Fun House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.):

"What the president has said all along is that he wants to make sure that people who become American citizens have a command of the English language," Snow said. "It's as simple as that."

I do think it's as simple as that, myself. Now, look here: I'm not one of these "English-only" freaks, but the simple fact is that if you or I wanted to move to any country in the world whose primary language was not English, we'd have to learn that language if we wanted to live there, study there, work there (despite what we're led to believe about how desirable English-speaking employees are in Western Europe, for instance, it's bilingual or trilingual speakers of English plus the local language of commerce that they're looking for, of course), etc., much less if we wanted to establish citizenship. I see nothing wrong with that standard as long as it's applied universally.

I've been fortunate enough to spend time in France and Italy in the last couple of years, and let me tell you right now, my dears, good luck to you while you're traveling if you only speak English. You might (might) be able to get by right in Paris and right in Rome, but otherwise, bust out your French and Italian. I am roughly (reasonably) fluent in French, and gesticulate passionately enough while speaking to pass for a pidgin Italian speaker, and I was sooooo glad for that facility in language, because it was the rare person indeed that could communicate as well in English as I'd have needed them to if I were solely an English speaker. I took up Spanish in early 2005 in part because I'm feeling that the more polyglot you are, the better. (One of these days I'm thinking of getting hypnotized to see if any of my Hebrew is still there, but that's a post for another day.) At any rate, you could certainly not move to another country and not learn the language, nor should you expect to be able to, honestly.

I'm not saying I think that if your native language is something other than English you can't speak it at home, and I absolutely think you should teach it to your kids, but at the end of the day, if you want to be a citizen of the United States, right now, at least, until the English speakers are no longer the majority and we adopt a second language on par with English, you must learn it as a condition of citizenship, in my opinion. You must speak and read it well enough to take the citizenship exam and pass a driver's licensing exam, and read the damned questions up on posterboard in the jury assembly room!!! (That last one's just a bete noire of mine after spending 15 years in San Francisco, called up for jury duty every 18 months or so, watching with disbelief as people resident in California for 25 or more years purport not to understand such simple inquiries as "name," "age," "marital status," "number and ages of children," "profession," and "address," particularly if everyone else in the room has given these demographic details -- at a minimum, you'd think people would catch on just by emulating their fellow sufferers! Hogwash, I say. Unreal!! But I digress...)

The question of immigration is far more thorny for me, as it clearly is for everyone in the political arena, and I suspect for most thinking people. While I don't countenance illegal immigration (although I have heard and read, as have we all, especially in CA, that farm economics is dependent on migrant or occasional labor, what I don't get is why a visiting laborer program wouldn't work, if properly administered. Let me note here that I have not read the President's proposed guest-worker program, and probably should. Maybe it's the proper administration part that's unworkable... Hm...), obviously, I have to say that our porous borders bother me less on account of the folks from Central America and Mexico coming into TX, NM and CA than on account of people from places where they're being trained to do harm here coming through or across those same porous borders. You know where I'm talking about -- and don't think the irony is lost on me that the murderers of 9/11, almost without exception, were here legally -- and the ones who were here illegally were pretty much just here on expired visas, which were originally obtained (together now) legally. I'm sort of at the point now where I think all foreign visits need to be closely monitored, wherever the visitors are from. I'm sort of paranoically isolationist (although, is it still paranoid when you've got good reasons for feeling standoffish??), in a way, not least because I feel like Americans' travel all over the world is pretty closely monitored; why not adopt similar protections right here at home? Again, back to the linguistic reasoning: what's sauce for the goose, etc.


Happy Mothers' Day

That's right, I put the apostrophe where I think it belongs. It's a day for all mothers, is it not? Therefore, plural possessive. Hmph. Plus which: my blog, my conventions in punctuation, grammar, spelling, you name it. Don't like it? Start your own blog!!

I'm reading this article over on the ABC news site, by Scott Haltzman, the author of a book about creating and sustaining a successful marriage (here are some tips, by the way), and I come across this little scientific fact:

The male brain is 10% larger in mass than the female brain. Much of that larger mass is white matter — the stuff that surrounds the nerve cells. In contrast to men, women have a higher percentage of gray matter the actual source of brain activity.

Really, my work here is done. Happy Mothers' Day, ladies!!


Attractive nuisance!

That's actually what I call the huz, frequently, when he parades his irresistible self in front of me and then has the audacity to complain when I grab his ass. Please. Save it for someone else, brother! You know you're my sweet sweet candy, honey bunny, and I gotta grab ya!

However, the huz is not the attractive nuisance about which I write today, still recuperating at a glacial pace from the strep throat and sinus infection that felled me Monday night. As you may recall, I was "the cookie lady" at Gabriela's party on Saturday, and the place was crawling (as might be expected at a 2-year-old's birthday) with little kids. I love kids! I love babies, I love toddlers, I love little kids, big kids, even teenagers (although they admittedly work your last nerve like it's a hobby, don't they?!?!). And kids like me, which is good. They swarm around, even when I'm not the cookie lady, really. Well, there's a downside: One of more of those little cuties was a germ-infested time bomb whose virulent output I caught. Ugh.

I haven't had strep throat since high school, people!!! OMG, my throat feels like I'm swallowing a mouthful of razorblades and glass splinters even when I'm only drinking water, for Gawd's sake. Not nice. The antibiotics are working their slow magic, but I'm still running quite a nice little fever for myself, and sound like a cartoon character. Waaaaah! Hey. Maybe I'm the attractive nuisance....

What the hell am I doing here?!! Ellen is on!!!



Want to drive 15 pre-schoolers out of their minds? Rent a giant bouncy house for your next backyard birthday party. Ohhhh, yeah!!! Gabriela turned two on May Day, but her party was yesterday, and it was a huge hit. Adriana picked ladybug/butterfly theme, and decorated and did favors all in line, and I volunteered to be The Cookie Lady. I baked butterfly and caterpillar shaped sugar cookies, and frosted them with (hand-colored) frosting in pink, peach, yellow, lavender and green, then we had the kids each decorate his or her own. We had an array of colored sugars, candy confetti, sprinkles, jimmies, etc and the kids went WILD -- ages 2 to 12, girls and boys alike, all joined in, and it was sooooo cute. Gabby turned out to be the only one who tried to grab more than one cookie, but hey, man, it's her birthday, she can try if she wants to.... Heh. Super cute.

Ok, I'm going home; gotta leave for the airport. Peace out.


What the FRIZZLE?!!

Gawd Almighty! I think we can all agree that Keri Russell is a lovely, lovely woman. And the dress, while perhaps in need of either slightly larger girls or perhaps those chicken cutlet thingies (or even, may I say, something resembling a gel-padded bra?), is nevertheless darling as well. But what the .... is goin' on with the 'do?!?!! Keri. Honey. Red carpet, sweetie. Dressed up, darling. Go the whole way and do the hair, ok? Let's not allow our beautiful selves to be photographed and immortalized looking as though we'd just rolled out of bed or come rushing over from our second job as a windsock at Teterboro!

Yeesh. Y'all just know she saw those pix this morning (on the Fashion Wear Daily site) and fired some stylist.