Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cringing for My Hometown

When I was growing up in Providence, RI, Raymond Patriarca ruled the town and Buddy Cianci was mayor. Then Buddy Cianci went to jail. Then he was mayor again. It's that kind of town. But the kind of town it's not is the kind of town that should have to live through a candidate proposing to his girlfriend during a mayor debate. No place should have to suffer that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wash Hands Don't Touch!

While we were away, my kids watched TV with commercials and one of the commercials we all saw was promoting a "no touch" soap dispenser. Why do you need a no touch soap dispenser at home? Because that pump on the soap dispenser, the one you touch just before you wash your hands? It's covered in germs. Germs are everywhere on that bit of plastic, all over it, and the last thing you want on your hands just before you wash them? You got it: Germs. It's comforting to know that you can wash your hands without getting excess germs all over them three seconds before they hid the water.

Our food chain is corrupt and unsafe, the Gulf of Mexico is full of oil, our weather is whacked by climate change, but don't you worry about those icky germs on your plastic soap dispenser that's going to end up in a landfill for the next million years (assuming we don't blow up this great blue marble well before then), because you can stop them! Hands free!

Sometimes, vacation is very stressful.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Mosque

I'm tired of hearing about how bad it is to build a mosque and community center at Ground Zero. Really tired. I was really glad to read this over on the Daily Dish for some smart history and perspective on some of the whole brouhaha.

Friday, August 6, 2010


On Sunday, we're taking off for a two week jaunt that will include a few days at the beach (in RI), a trip to Old Sturbridge Village (which reminds me that I need to look up where it is exactly we're staying there), and a week in a town in the Catskills famous for poor Blackberry reception and very good pancakes (both of which matter to my husband in very different ways). While we're away, our apartment will be painted, which means the amount of putting away and throwing away that has to happen between now and Sunday is -- what's the word? -- staggering. It's not that I left everything to the last minute. I've been shedding for weeks now. It's just that, even in a small apartment, the stuff piles up. It's embarrassing, and vaguely ridiculous (I don't know why it's "vaguely" ridiculous except that I like how that sounds.) Plus, what do I do with the bottom of the very pretty basket I bought in Aswan, Egypt twenty one years ago? And more important, what do I bring to read on vacation? I can't decide how light or heavy to go, and meanwhile, I just noticed a whole new pile on the file cabinet.

Have a wonderful few weeks everyone!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Beauty of the Lobster

Over on Daily Dish I found a link to a list of the "Best Magazine Articles Ever!" The second best is Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace which ran in Gourmet in 2003. The number on spot goes to Federer As Religious Experience, also by DFW. Reading the lobster essay, well, it is an amazing piece of work and while I'm not yet finished with it, it is making me sad all over again, both for Wallace and for our loss of his particular gift.

On a separate note, I'm sorry I've been unusually absent recently. Between the theft of my wallet, the end of camp, and a sore hip that's making me extremely grumpy, blogging has been hard.