I gotta tell y'all, watching the Senate Banking Committee's hearings with a cup of (not-so)-Fantastic Foods' bean soup and a baggie of carrot sticks balanced on your lap as the stocks go down-down-down is not a pleasant way to spend lunch. I gave up my resolve to eat healthfully and went right for a Reeses' from the vending machine for dessert. That didn't help much. Everything's all churning in my stomach right now. Regardless of what, exactly, happens with the bailout--and I think there will be a bailout--the real winners will probably be the drug stores near Capitol Hill and NYC's financial district. They're probably selling lots of headache tablets, antacids, etc. I don't understand half of the particulars, if that, but I understand "We're in trouble" when I hear it. My mind has changed since moving to NYC. I'd be dead set against the bailout, probably, if I still lived in Orlando. But as I said in my last post, my job and L'Ailee's and so many of our friends' depends on Wall Street's health. Now I'm tired of this false dichotomy between "Main Street" and "Wall Street." Now I want to scream, "Don't you see that this is *your* bank, *your* insurance policy, *your* job?!" to all of America. It's all a matter of perspective.
That said, I don't want a single one of the people responsible for this mess to profit. Not one. I'd really love to see the executives responsible for the "exotic" mortgages (and I have learned that "exotic" and "creative" are horrible terms for financial products) dragged out into Times Square or Central Park and put into the stocks for 12 hours or so, just enough to let a few thousand people hurl produce and epithets at them. We're going to have to settle for something less, of course.
Last weekend was good. The "Gothic: Dark Fashion" exhibit is well worth seeing. Of course, what looked like past and present Goths predominated in the FIT museum, but those of us who love them were also around. It showed the historical influences on current Goth-wear. I had a good laugh at a Victorian "mourning" gown for widows who obviously were ready to re-enter the world of relationships--black, but with matte sequins (Victorian women couldn't have shiny in mourning), sleeves off the shoulders, and a neckline practically to the navel! The beach cleanup made me feel like I could accomplish something. I can't do a damned thing about the market, but I can clear away soda cans and chip wrappers and make the beach look better for a few minutes. It's the same impulse that has made L'Ailee and I really keep our house squeaky-clean, brought out into the larger world.
On Sunday, sixteen of us went to the Dover Speedway, including a 7-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl. The rule was that absolutely nobody was to use words like "market" or "bailout," or else they would have to walk home. "And we all know the economy's going to affect the drivers' sponsorships," said my good friend Mona. "No talk about *that*, either." We included LGBT people, Hispanics, Asians, Russians, atheists, Pagans, and people with piercings. We thought it was good to have each other around, just in case anyone gave any of us any shit. But we really didn't need to worry. While I was, indeed, asked if I was Jewish because of my pentacle, a couple of people smiled and said, "Blessed be!" We met a lot of drivers, and they were so nice. I made Tony Stewart laugh! He liked my sign for Speed TV, the one that said "A fence climb is better than a backflip"! I'd added a figure that was supposed to be him from a Christmas ornament and glued it to a piece of fishnet--it was supposed to be him climbing the fence. He signed my poster right near the ornament. I will never throw it away now. He also signed my T-shirt. "I can't wear this much longer," I told him.
"Why not?" he asked with his famous devil grin.
"People will think I like [Joey] Logano next year."
The 7-year-old girl with me piped up, "I like Logano!" I whispered to Tony that she intended to marry Joey Logano and that she thought he wasn't too old for her. He laughed out loud! He then asked the girl if she'd settle for an autograph "from an old man." She would. Then he got swept away by more fans like me. "Thank you, Mr. Stewart!" she exclaimed, and he looked back to smile at us again. Bliss! I was so glad that he at least held steady in the points. I should probably also mention that Stewart's eyes are, like, intoxicating in person, in a way that can make a woman forget for just a few seconds that she's married, and I was relieved when he put his sunglasses on!
We teased L'Ailee by telling her that she jinxed Kyle Busch. You see, she was actually nice to him. He actually looked kind of shocked when she told him she respected him. (That was the word she used, "respect.") Then she was one of the few people who cheered instead of booed when he was introduced to the fans. He seems to thrive on being the black hat. Someone being nice to him made him finish 43rd out of 43! His second bad finish in as many weeks! I thought it was inevitable that he was going to be champion, and now he's gone from first to twelfth place in the points. "He went down fast," I said. "Almost like the stock market," I wanted to say, but didn't, because I wasn't going to hitchhike. We loved seeing Greg Biffle win another week, since none of our drivers could. Several of us instigated a shout-along of "Stick with the Biff!," a slogan started by a Speed TV commentator, as he took the checkered flag.
Most everyone at our work was amazed that we chose to watch a race instead of watching the last game (boo hoo) at Yankee Stadium. "Saved more room for y'all," my work husband said. This isn't the time to tell them how deadly boring we think baseball is. We all need our diversions.
A breakdown of personality traits by state New York and West Virginia are neurotic, Florida is conscientious, and North Dakota is very extroverted. Don't know how true this is, but it's fun.
Transsexual wins lawsuit against the Library of Congress. Yeehaw!
Gardasil is being forced on immigrants who want to become citizens!
The connection between witch hunts and bad economies. Eek!
Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and elitism I like the name of his column--"When Atheists Attack".
How the vaccine/autism scare got started.
Finally, a moment of silence for Thomas Doerflein. The name may not ring any bells, but remember Knut, the polar bear cub in Berlin who was rejected by his mother? Whose baby cuteness was so wonderful to watch? Doerflein was the keeper who hand-raised him, the smiling bearded man who played with baby Knut and tolerated a myriad of cuts and bruises. He leaves a great legacy behind.