I know, it's been almost two weeks since President Obama was inaugurated, and I haven't spoken a word here! Well, he's still got that new president smell, anyway. There's a lot of money going out, which makes me a bit nervous. But there was a lot of money going out under GWB, too. I think Obama was right when he said in his inaugural speech that it wasn't about big versus small government, it was about government that worked versus government that didn't. We had a huge government that didn't work for anyone but the richest among us. Obama's trying to change that. I have to respect it.
I rather liked this Mad magazine cover, and have it temporarily displayed over our desk at home. It's a shame that Mad's being forced to go quarterly. Maybe this cover will convince people how valuable it really is.
Of course, many shelter magazines are folding, too. Domino was the latest casualty this week. Between that and the closings of Home Depot's Expo stores, I'm feeling like my interior decorating certification is sort of worthless right now. Of course, the lack of jobs and a cursory glimpse of the news also reinforces that feeling.
There is so much bad news. The economy is shrinking. Emperor penguins might be extinct by the end of this century. L'Ailee and I are grateful for every week we remain employed. Rudy Giuliani said that Wall Street bonuses help keep NYC afloat, and we can sort of see what he means, though we think it's irresponsible beyond words to reward the people who caused such problems for everyone else.
We're glad that the Ron Blagojevich circus has finally folded up its tents, and we are glad that Caroline Kennedy will not be our senator. It makes me a bit unpopular here at the moment to think that Kirsten Gillibrand was actually a better choice. I still identify as a redneck woman, and I have libertarian roots despite my feeling that we can't afford to try for a smaller government right now, and I think she errs on the side of freedom, something we desperately need. I even think it's a good thing to have some representation from upstate. People forget that the woman she's replacing, Hillary "I've Always Been a Yankees Fan" Clinton, had only the loosest of NYC ties.
Then again, if I cared that much about being popular with other New Yorkers, I wouldn't be a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. And I wouldn't have hummed Queen's "We Are the Champions" yesterday to the other hockey fans at my office, who overwhelmingly prefer the New York Rangers. And I certainly would not have laughed about the Godard/Orr fight or bragged about Sidney Crosby's awesome backhanded goal! In my defense, I've put up with a lot of shit because of my Penguins fandom this year.
Speaking of hockey, L'Ailee and her best friend finally get their Solstice/New Year's present tomorrow. We're driving to DC to see their Capitols get beaten (I'm hoping, for once) by the Detroit Red Wings. It usually means good things for me when the Red Wings win, so I will put aside the fact that I hate them and think they are boring and overhyped. It'll be fun for me just to see the expressions on L'Ailee's face when she sees her Red Wings up close and personal. I was going to wear my Penguins jersey (Crosby, of course) to the game, but have been informed that wearing one from a team that isn't even involved in the game is an egregious jersey fail. I still have much to learn, it seems. So now I don't know what I'm wearing, except that it needs to be warm and shrug off beer and nacho cheese sauce. We'll be missing the Idiotarod race, but that's all right. We're grateful we can do this.
There's another game coming up on Sunday, too. I will watch for the commercials, in anticipation of the new Office episode that comes on right afterwards.
Nancy Cartwright, a/k/a the voice of Bart Simpson, recorded a robocall to promote a Scientology event in Bart's voice.
Remember Dan Savage's tribute to Rick Santorum? Well, now he and his readers have a worthy one for Rick Warren's Saddleback Church. Check out his definition of "saddlebacking"!
Really great new-to-America novel, if you like satire and alternative histories: Blonde Roots, by Bernardine Evaristo It basically imagines the intercontinental slave trade in reverse--that is, white people being kidnapped from Europe to work in rich, glittering Africa. It's told mostly from the perspective of Doris Scagglethorpe, a rare literate "whyte" slave. Some readers might lose patience--like my wife, who pronounced it "unreadable" after 20-some pages. But it's basically a thought experiment, and I love those. I count Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" and Kim Stanley Robinson's "The Years of Rice and Salt" among my favorites.
One silver lining about the economy: it's killing "tough love" teen programs, the kind that are all tough and no love.
Finally, what will save the Bank of England in these trying times? How about an insulting new dress code for the female employees? Check out how the men in charge are dressed.