Saturday, September 04, 2004

The Price of Greed

I found this article in the New York Times today. It talks about how Americans are over-worked and how stressing the economy is. My first thought was, really? I thought we had created new jobs: the job ads are expanding to more than 10 pages in my hometown paper - back when the economy was "bad" they were down to 3 pages; ecomonic reports say that the jobless numbers are declining. Wonder where the New York Times got that? It couldn't be that they are harping on this because of the upcoming election and this is one of Kerry's topics to bash Bush with, could it? My second thought is the only reason that we are working so hard - for many of us anyway - is because we are determined to live at a certain level that may or may not fall within our salary range. Drive by a new development in your town - one that has big, new houses in it. Look first for these monstrous houses to be covered in either all vinyl, or with a brick front, and vinyl on the rest of the structure. Then look at the cars. They will probably be low level new cars. These houses strap these people. They live to the end of their income - go figure that they stress over their jobs and work long hours. Not to mention, two-income families are on the rise as daycares fill up with small children. When both spouses work, that leaves them coming home exhausted at the end of the night, and the house still needs cleaned, the kids looked after, the dinner made, and if you want a social life, good luck. You are beat by the end of the week. Rather than shoot for the stars, why not settle for a smaller house, one that allows you to save some money at the end of the month? Or at least allows you to pay cash for everything rather than run up charge cards! I hear more and more couples saying there is no way the wife (or husband) could stay home and take care of the kids because they need both incomes. Yes, there is a way. Scale down! Live smaller. Stop spending so much money to look good, and start enjoying life. Learn to live within your means. Your stress level will go down and life will be much more enjoyable. Otherwise, just learn to enjoy being stressed, letting other people raise your children, and find your thrill in impressing the rare bit of company you have time to have over with your big, spacious house. At least they'll have time to enjoy it, even if you don't.

Liberals Beware

Roger L. Simon is being converted to the conservative mindset. Today's post seems sincere and searching. I am going to copy it in its entirety here.
September 03, 2004: Nervous Time at the Kerry Corral I remember when I was a kid the Village Voice used to have a regular political column... or was it just a generic headline... called "Runnin' Scared." Kerry sounds a bit that way already, jumping on Bush and calling him 'unfit to lead this nation' minutes after the balloons had barely fallen on Madison Square Garden. It's clear we're going to see a new "Fighting Kerry," at least for the next few days. Who knows what next? Bush is the opposite, the original WYSIWYG candidate - for good or nil. He knows that too and that's the best part of him. He said as much at the end of his speech last night, acknowledging many of us don't agree with him on everything, but still soliciting our votes. I appreciated that candor because I certainly don't. Of course it's hard for me to imagine a candidate I would agree with on everything, but I admit I wince particularly when he addresses the social issues. Still, that was hardly a surprise and that is the pill I will have to swallow when I vote for him. Of course that is also why I enjoyed the stomping War on Terror speeches... Giuliani, Miller, McCain... more than I did the others. I didn't want to be reminded of the parts of Bush's program with which I disagree. Such is life in the Big Tent. At least they had balloons. But I am pleased to say I am feeling better this morning now that it is all over. Even New York is looking better to me as I stare out the kitchen window of my sister and brother-in-laws apartment at the north end of Central Park, a view I grew up with. People have said I seemed uncomfortable at the Republican Convention. I'm sure I would have been more uncomfortable at the Democratic Convention, getting into screaming fights with old friends. I'd like to think I'm good at compromise, but maybe I'm not. Maybe I'm too idealistic for that... or too bullheaded. I don't think I could be a good party guy for any party, not that I ever was. You remember Groucho's famous line: "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member." That's me. Does this mean I am grudgingly voting for Bush? Not at all. The man said 'I will never relent in defending America' and I believe him. That's more than enough for me in these times of suicide bombers in school houses. No wonder he's way ahead in the polling in households with children. He damn well should be. Meanwhile, though, some very good personal news. In part due to this blog, I will be writing my first non-fcition book, a kind of political memoir of the Hollywood left. I will announce more of the publishing details on here next week as they are finalized. See you tomorrow... from LA>
I really respect this man. He thought it through, looked at the facts, and realizes how important our national security is. You don't need to agree on all the little stuff - I certainly don't agree with Republicans on many things, much less the a-bit-too-centrist Bush - but our security and standing as a nation is more important than fiscal issues. When we are back to feeling secure, then we can nitpick over the little things. Until then, we need to stay strong and elect the leader who has proven his strength in war - and his support for it.

Blogging Maniac

I've been blogging up a storm here tonight. Either I'm on a roll, or I am too damn tired and should get some sleep. I just saw the AnalPhilosopher's mention of my post on men and Assumptions, and he referred to it as "Ally in Wonderland." I think I like it. I may have to start naming such wonderings about men, women, and relationships, under that title, by volumn. Chalk one up for the professor.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Odd Experience

I had an odd experience today. I fell backwards, onto the macadam outside my townhouse. I was pulled by my dog, who suddenly ran behind me and kept going. It was so quick, I did not have time to react, and when she pulled I was just taking a step. She caught me on one foot and down I went. It was an incredibly odd sensation, and each second felt as though it was an hour. I remember looking at the sky above and thinking, but wait, my head isn't tilted upward....why am I on eye-level with the clouds? And landing was strange. It was hard, painful, and jarring - but I didn't realize that until I got up. I think I was so fascinated by the sensations I was having, I forgot I'd landed. Perhaps it is simply because I haven't whacked the earth with my head recently. I've been thrown from horses, tripped on the steps ("Grace" is not any part of my descriptor terms), and tossed around in Judo. But to actually be pulled from my feet, be airborne, and then land onto the hard earth....that has definitely been awhile. Perhaps I have never done it before. I am thankful I only ended up with one wickedly scraped elbow, a bruised backside and hip, and a clunk on the head. Lord knows, I could have broken something. It was just one of those rare moments that time seemed to actually slow down. I wouldn't recommend falling as I did, but if you ever go through an odd experience, be sure to review it with yourself. One, it makes you forget how much it hurt, and two, it is fascinating. Yes, I know, get out the straight-jacket.

No Surprise

While it comes as no surprise, I still shake my head at the callousness and crude behavior of the left. See Amy Ridenour's blog post today regarding Joe Roche and how the left has reacted to President Bush quoting one of his letters to the National Center. I'm sorry, be as partisan as you want to be, but for God's sake, do we need to be rude to a man who wears our country's uniform and would give his life to save ours? What a heartless, cruel cult leftism has become. It is to the point when someone calls themselves a liberal, I immediately get suspicious of their character.

Election Ties

I saw a blurb today in a newspaper (I can't remember which one) about the last election and was it possible this election could lead to a tie? Now I admit, I could not imagine who the heck voted for Gore in the last election, if only because he was never a strong candidate. He tended to be a boring speaker, and the media searched for moments of alacrity in his speeches in hopes of having something positive to report. However, given the Kerry/Edwards idiocy on display, I am truly baffled who the heck would vote for them. Neither can remember the truth, Edwards can barely gather a coherent point when asked a question and instead just spouts rhetoric, and Kerry has enough strikes on his past record to make one question anything he says. A tie? In this election? Somehow I very much doubt it. The media can try to promote that all they want - reality is, one candidate stands for something, whether or not you agree with it. The other is still trying to figure out what anyone would agree with so he can stand for something.

Wacko Females

I subscribe to the NOW newsletter, if only to see their inane behavior at work. Here are the juicy tidbits in this weeks letter.
"With little progress to note from the previous four years, Bush and his cheerleaders at the convention did what they do best—turning on the macho 'swagger' and bullying anyone who disagrees with them," said NOW President Kim Gandy. Demand that the presidential candidates and Congressional leaders support initiatives that promote health, safety and opportunity for our nation's girls, women and families. The NOW Action Center sent a delegation to New York City this week to march in solidarity with allies participating in demonstrations near the Republican National Convention site. Despite the Bush administration's rhetoric that an economic recovery is underway, the number of people living below the poverty line has increased throughout the Bush administration.
Did you see a call to vote for Kerry in that entire load of crap? It is all about not voting for Bush. You have to wonder what kind of hatred these women teach to their children....supposing their children ever make it out of the birth canal.

ASSumptions

I had an interesting discussion with a date yesterday. Yes, believe it or not, some men actually get up the guts to go out with me....they rarely last, so my chastity is safe and sound. He asked me one of those questions that start with, "Why do women....?" I always get nervous at these generalizations, as I rarely fit into the category. Half the time, I agree with the men on these topics. Yesterday's question of the day was, "Why do women wear such tight fitting clothing? Are they using their breasts as tools to get men?" Needless to say, I nearly checked if he had gonads (I don't know him well enough for that, though, so I decided to take it on faith). I try not to generalize about either gender, but typically, men are very visual and look for two things that have been boiled down to T & A (watch some prime time TV if the acronym is foreign to you). Not every man, but in my experience, most of them are a bit one track minded - look at the success of Hooters. I don't have a problem with this, because I think it is normal and instinctual. A woman with good hips, plump rear, and full bosom is more motherly in her appearance and appeals to the inner desire to have a healthy mate with whom to bear children. However, this gentleman is really struggling with the reason behind the form-fitting, barely-there look that has invaded the malls and schools. My answer was simple. This is what society tells women they should look like. Look at your magazines, your TV shows, your movies, your clothing models. The more skin you show, the less imagination you demand, the better. I think it is directly related to the fact that women think men are stupid and have no imagination, but I digress. The way you get men is too attract them sexually - use your brain, and he's bound to start sprinting in the opposite direction. In addition, I believe that the breakdown of the family and home has caused women to feel very insecure in themselves, leading them to look even more towards sexual attention to substitute for the love and attention they are not getting from healthier outlets, like family. You could also add that because society has turned so solitary - many of us (who me?) spending hours at home in from the computer, the TV, or video games, rather than being out with others and conversing - it has led sexual activity to become a nameless, faceless activity. Nature calls, and we are too into ourselves to actually have a conversation with someone. We rarely know the people we sleep with any more. Too often, we don't know their core beliefs, their stands on politics, religion, morality, but by God, we know what sexual fetish they are into. My date thought about this, and then returned, "But I don't look for that [T & A]!" (Yes, my eyebrow went up and my interest in him compounded.) His theory is that attraction is part of it, but you need other factors, such as personality and shared beliefs. I certainly agree, however he asserts that he is not someone to go around looking for a bit of T & A before finding interest in a woman. She has to be interesting before he will really take an interest in her physically. While I know there are many different theories on attraction, depending on the individual, I was impressed to hear a man talking this way. No, I don't think y'all are sexual misfits - just go with me here. Typically, women assume men want to see their bodies, and then they hope that they might possibly be interested in something more cerebral. Perhaps it is simply that men don't voice their thoughts on how to find a mate. I think it relates directly to the fact that all we here from are the jerks. The nice guys are just that: nice guys. They tend to not make a big show, and are probably not always the center of sexual attention. Unfortunately, just like in the media, the loudest gets the credit. So, to you nice guys out there, start talking about it a bit more. Too many women only hear from the jerks, and many just want to be with a nice guy and be appreciated. And for goodness sakes, will the nice guys stop ending up with the bitches? Oy. I am starting to think I need to disguise myself as a bitch to get a decent guy. Don't make me resort to this, ok?

Missed

Everytime I have weeks like this past one, I end up missing out on all the good stuff! So here is my notables from some of my favorite blogs: The AnalPhilosopher is doin' his stuff - and it's good. Check out his latest post on the Democrats, Kerry, and the RNC. Of course, Peg Kaplan is finding the hard-hitting news. See this article she found about the Middle Eastern view of Bush's speech at the RNC. That some Americans have no pride in our President shows both their ignorance and stupidity. While you are there, check out Peg's post regarding diversity in the Republican party. This is what it is all about - being judged by who you are, not your category. The more we move towards this goal, the more we will win the war against discrimination of any kind. With all the linkage and touting, I was anxious to read Steve Rugg's piece on lack of conviction in today's politics. I was NOT disappointed. It is an excellent piece, and very well written. Enjoy. Kim Du Toit is reporting from Europe this week....he has an interesting post regarding the European TV, the RNC, and porn. Definitely worth a read, and you'll probably get a chuckle out of it as well. Eskimo's Igloo (or is it Igloo's Eskimo) is investigating the hatred of the protestors and the convictions still left in politics. It is a good compliment to Steve Rugg's piece. These are only a paltry few, but I am still catching up. I should come up with a few posts later, but let this get you started. Of course, if you've been a good blog reader, this will be a review....but if you are like me and have had a crazy week, take a gander, nod your head, and feel renewed. Given the news, this is about the only place you'll find that.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I Guess She's Just Girlie

With all my running the past couple of days, blogging has been light. I have been keeping up with the RNC Convention via the radio and the reviews. I was able to hear snipets of Arnold Schwartzenegger's speech, with which I was impressed. It was heartfelt, it was honest, and it was direct. What more could you ask for? Of course, the Democrats are looking for any opportunity to slam him they can get, especially since he is an actor....we might be the land of possibilities, but don't think about politics unless your a blue blood - at least, to be a democrat. This editorial is yet someone else taking crack shots. Mind you, she can't say anything about his speech....because it was a good one. And she obviously finds it hard to believe that Republicans can be anything but right wing kooks. And they say Republicans are narrow-minded.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Newfound Blogger

Craig Howard of Buffalog recently e-mailed me and let me know that he enjoyed something I wrote and linked it in his own blog. Such an unnecessary courtesy, though much appreciated, caused me to check out his blog. I haven't looked through more than the first page, but it looks as though there might be more good things to come. So stop over and see what you think. Note: Here is the post he sent me, in its entirety.
Seeing the Light Ally thinks back. "And it reminds you of the time the light went on for you and you realized that conservatism was not as dorky as it originally sounded - hell, maybe even those dumb conservatives had a point." I love reading peoples' stories of their journey from left to right, although it's one I never had to make. My grandparents and my parents alike were solid conservatives. And growing up I knew why -- it was discussed and that, I think, made all the difference for me. For my family, conservatism had nothing to do with religion, we were beyond casual about church attendance. And it had nothing to do with money, Dad had a tiny dairy farm in upstate New York and in the good years we might have risen to being considered poor. No, it was all about self-reliance: for each person, each family, and by extension, the country. If you take money from the government (or anyone for that matter), they'll be able to tell you how to lead your life. If you leave your children's care in someone else's hands, you may not like the outcome. And if we ever let ourselves become weak as a nation, we'll really be in a heap of trouble. Now I'm summarizing twenty-some years of parental (and grandparental) guidance into a few obviously simplified sentences; but it all boiled down to the obligation to responsibility for oneself. And I still think it's all true and I'm glad if Ally agrees. [UPDATE:] I just remembered hearing an interview on NPR (you actually listen to NPR, Craig? Yes, I do -- whenever Rush isn't on) a couple weeks ago with the author of a book titled, What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. The author is trying to answer the age-old question (among liberals) about why so many lower-income people don't all vote Republican. It's confusing to them because the Democrats would give them stuff, so why do they vote against their own apparent self-interest? I haven't read the book and I didn't focus on the interview, but I believe the author's theory is that the Republicans are lying to them or some such nonsense. To me it's rather obvious -- it's the old self-reliance, self-responsibility ethic that hasn't yet disappeared from much of our society.

Breatfeeding Revisited

I posted previously regarding breastfeeding in public (see here and here). Recently, on ifeminists.com, there is an editorial about it. I found an interesting statement:
Breastfeeding need not devolve into cultural warfare. The issue will yield to courtesy, common sense and a bit of respect for the other person's rights.
I think this is the kernel of the issue. With a little respect for others, we would not have many of the problems that face us today. This is just one issue of many in which a little courtesy would go a very, very long way.

What If?

Peg is taking 'em on again: Here is an excellent post on why black voters need to take another look at the candidates. Of course, while you are there, you should also take a gander at the fabulous Mr. Mollo, who can be seen here, along with one fantastic-looking chick in the background....not sure if that is Peg or not, but whoever it may be, she's got a great smile!

Dating Game

I recently posted about online dating services, to which the AnalPhilosopher responded to in his own blog - he makes an excellent point regarding where people exaggerate and why. He states, "Why can’t we all just tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may?" Truth, thou are mine enemy. Unfortunately, that is exactly the problem. We fear if we tell the truth, people won't like us. This fear is not unfounded. When was the last time you admitted to being a conservative in a public forum? I can guess the response. Admit questioning religion, in front of those who are deeply religious. Try being vegetarian in front of meat-eaters - or, for that matter, vice versa. Unfortunately, we have a hard time accepting people for who they are. Now compound that in the dating arena....the pool is limited, you want to be with someone in a world dominated by couples, and rejection is tough for most of us. So we lie. Perhaps it is just a matter of distorting the truth, being someone we are not, and/or hiding our true thoughts and feelings. Other times, it is much more overt. Either way, we think it puts us ahead in the dating game....and, of course, it frequently does. I used to be gifted at being a chameleon, so I can say from personal experience, I never had a boyfriend that did not think I was the best thing since sliced bread. Of course, he never saw who I really am. Rejection was never an issue....for me. I used to object to it being called a dating "game." Now I think it is aptly named. Unfortunately it has turned into a game. A game to see who wins, who loses, and who doesn't even get to participate. I've long since found my spots, and this leopard is here to stay....hence why I'm still single, no doubt. And if you are not willing to play, you better sit out. Does anybody have one of those bleacher-cushions? I have a feeling I'm going to be here a while.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

More Idiocy Abounds

Roger L. Simon is live in NYC, checking out the protesters surrounding the RNC. His viewpoint, having been a Vietnam protester, is very intersting to me. Check out his comments on the contrast of the two protests....see what you think.

I Don't Know....

....Whether to be scared or to feel pity. Peg over at What If? posted this link. If hatred were fuel, we would be independent from all foreign oil sources.

Simple Men

Okay, it's been awhile. Time to hit my favorite subject....and quite honestly, in my mind, one of the most important topics I cover. As a single woman, I date (men, lest I need to specify) and try to learn more about men. I am naturally curious, so I ask questions, learn backgrounds, and generally try to get to know people. Whether or not they are available, or someone I would be remotely interested is besides the point, as people fascinate me. I have dated two decent men, both divorced with children. There are several similarities in their situations. *Both moved out of their houses at their (ex-)wives request. Both continued to pay the expenses and mortgages until the mothers of their children could find suitable employment and help out. *Both wanted to attend counseling for their marriages. Both wives refused any counseling. *Both love and are dedicated to their children. They make attempts to see their children whenever possible, even outside of regular visitation. They have agreed to their visitation schedules outside of courtroom arguments. *Both continue to assist their ex-wives in home repairs, personal situations, and take on the difficulties of parenting. *Neither is abusive, addicted to an unhealthy substance (unless over-eating counts!), or a cheater. Both are laid-back, easy-tempered, and attractive. Plainly put, these guys are workable. These are not some difficult, stubborn creeps that demand their own way (only) and refuse to hold up their end of the partnership. Mind you, they have their flaws, such as having difficulties making decisions, getting walk-over by those around them, and just generally being a little too people-pleasing, but these are hardly crimes. I have met several other men who are in similar situations, either still married or divorced. Good, decent men who, despite their efforts, cannot please their women. What is the problem here? Honestly, I think it is because too many women think their vows equal entitlement. Entitlement to a nice house, staying at home with the kids or working at what they want to, being able to shop when they want and spend what they want, and putting their marital relationship second to every other relationship in their lives. Certainly not all women feel this way, and there are situations where the men they are with really are jerks. But there are just as many situations where the men are just trying to do their best, and it is never good enough. I'm the first person to admit, I'm a demanding partner. But I make my demands prior to the wedding vows. If the man can't handle them, I move on. I don't try to force him into a mold he was not cut out to fit. I just look for someone who better suits what I desire in a relationship. Too many people (I find this behavior dominant in women) are trying to change a person to what they want. Mind you, feminists would have the head of any man who attempted to get a woman to change for him....those male chauvinist pigs. But women who do so....they are just trying to improve these violent, senseless, primitive apes with whom they are stuck. What a woman must do to have a family....ah, the sacrifices she must make. I am starting to think men should really start volunteering in droves for sperm banks. It is a hell of a lot easier on you, trust me. You can live as you want, without anyone nagging at you, get paid and have more sexual activity than you will if you're married, and women can have the children they want. It would save you mountains in child support, alimony, emotional trauma, and you can avoid getting attached to children whom you will rarely get to see anyway, once the divorce is final - after all, children need mothers, not fathers. I repeat: there are jerks out there in both genders. Men, however, are the ones who have the most strikes against them in the media and in conversation among women. Women must "put up with" male antics, while men are fortunate to be able to trod the ground on which a woman walks. If men are as simple as women make them out to be, and we are really that complicated (trust me, guys, that is also a load of BS - we just make it look that way), then women should have no problem keeping their men happy and twisting them around their little finger. After all, the poor, simple beasts need our complex guidance. So why are we women having such difficulty? It couldn't be that we are wrong, could it?

Take Off Their Heads

Flamberge
Flamberge, smart and deadly. A very complicated
attacking weapon, mainly used for throwing down
horse men or cutting pike heads off. (Please
Vote)

What sword would you use (info and pics on swords as well)
brought to you by Quizilla I am with Bill....this is a fun test!

Losing Support

If you don't check out Roger L. Simon on a regular basis, you are really missing very interesting commentary from a liberal-morphing-conservative. Today's post (1 & 2) on Kerry and the RNC, respectively, is definitely thought-provoking. And it reminds you of the time the light went on for you and you relized that conservatism was not as dorky as it originally sounded - hell, maybe even those dumb conservatives had a point. You can hear (read) it in his posts - he is starting to see the light.