Saturday, July 10, 2010


Reading comments on news stories posted online is almost always a mistake.  To spare all of my readers the agony of actually doing this, I am going to simulate a news story and the comments that follow.  (The following news story and comments that follow are simulated.)

NEW YORK: Lady Gaga arrived for a meeting at the United Nations today wearing nothing but two strategically placed live squirrels.  Fifteen minutes later, in what she called a "shocking coincidence," Christina Aguilera entered the United Airlines terminal at LaGuardia Airport wearing fourteen drugged hamsters.  Animal rights groups have called for a boycott of both artists in the name of decency to all animals.  When contacted for a comment, Madonna gently pointed out in a semi-British accent that she has been wearing rodents on various parts of her person since 1987.  Lady Gaga has since apologized for the incident, which she calls a "misstep," and promises that, with help from her fans, she will get through this.  Christina Aguilera has repeatedly contacted us to give a response, but, frankly, we didn't want to call her back.

Feel free to leave a comment!  (Comments that are offensive to Shirley, our receptionist, will be deleted, but since she leaves at 3:00 on Fridays, it might take a while.)

Alice_Cullen_Is_Me says:   First!!!!

RonaldMcD says: lady gaga u rok i luv u

Helen1934 says: In my day, these women would have been shot and stuffed to teach other young girls a lesson.  This country is headed for disaster.  Obama wasn't even born here.

TwiHard73 says: First!!!

MickeyMousePants says: @Helen1934: Please stop spreading such ignorance. Obama was born in the US, he is our president, get over it.

RushIsRight says: Yet another example of how the liberal culture of this country is destroying the moral fiber of our families.  You didn't see this kind of stuff when Bush was president.

LadyHaHa says: I love Lady Gaga, but she shouldn't of done that.  That was straight up nasty.

Helen1934 says: This is America.  I have freedom of speech.  I can say that Obama was born on the moon in a secret communist cave if I want.  Liberals always talk about freedom of speech unless you say something they disagree with.  Hypocrites.

Tool_Fan says: What does Obama have to do with ths at all?  Christina Aguilera is pathetic.

RushIsRight says: Lady Gaga is a weapon the Obama administration has unleashed upon all of us to turn our children in to hedonistic secular liberals.

MickeyMousePants says: @Helen1934: Of course you have freedom of speech.  It doesn't mean what you are saying is true, and I am free to point that out.  How is that hypocritical?  @RushIsRight: I'm pretty sure Lady Gaga isn't working for the government.


DimitriIsMyName says: How would you even wear a hamster?

StephenieMeyerFan23 says: First!!!!

ShaBoom says: Who cares about this?  Why do newspapers even cover celebrities like this?  There is real news in the world, and anyone who cares about junk like this is part of the problem.

Perezey2101 says: So why are you reading it and commenting on it, @ShaBoom?

Helen1934 says: Hypocrite!

RushIsRight says: Seriously, either get in the debate or get out.

NOBAMA says: Sarah Palin 2012!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Technology and the Fast Pace and Loud Volume of Living

When I was a kid, a very little kid, I remember silence.

Momz was a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom).  This was the late 1970's, when such arrangements were a little more common.  We had two TV's, in those days: a luxurious, 19-inch color TV with a state-of-the-art antenna in the living room, and a 13-inch portable black-and-white with rabbit ears in my parents' room.  In  that far-off time, there were no remote controls: the television set had two dials that had to be changed by someone getting up, walking to the TV, changing the channel, adjusting the antenna, stepping back, frowning thoughtfully, adjusting the antenna again, being told to stop, adjusting the antenna again, then returning to the couch with an expression of remorse and anger.  This process would be repeated until we found something "on."  Commercials, in those days, were something we endured patiently.  No one "surfed" channels back then.  If we had even had the concept, we wouldn't have called it "surfing."  "Channel trudging," maybe, or "channel snow-shoeing," but not something as fluid and sporty as surfing.

In those golden times, we watched a little TV in the morning, then turned off the television.  Sometimes, we would listen to the record player (you heard me).  The Carpenters were a favorite, as was the Sound of Music soundtrack.  Neil Diamond was something to be saved until we were older and emotionally mature enough to handle the powerhouse that is Neil, but John Denver was deemed an acceptable, though daring, replacement.

Regardless of our activities, every day at noon, the music was silenced, the TV's were off, and we had "quiet time" for about 2 hours.  My sister and I were allowed to play quietly, or read, but we had to stay in our room and be quiet for two hours.

And we did it.  Almost every day, in fact.

What happened?  My kids do okay, but two hours of near silence in the middle of the day?  No, that's not happening, and it's not them, it's me.

I've always got something to do, it seems.  I've got dishes to wash, or laundry to fold, or a floor to vacuum.  I've got friends to chat with on Facebook, or an e-mail to reply to, or a voice mail to act upon.  If I've got a story to write or a book to read, I always think it can wait until later, but later never comes.  I have at least 4 DVD's that I haven't even taken out of the wrapper, two of which are over 2 years old.  I've got books I've never read.

This technology that we have, that can be such a blessing, has made things so complicated, I'm not even sure it's worth it anymore.  Imagine a time when, if you were unreachable, you were truly unreachable.  When some SAHM's didn't even have a car because it was okay to just stay at home all day and keep your house clean and spend time with your kids.  When you eagerly awaited seeing a movie in the theater because that was the only place you could see movies.  When there were times when there was nothing on TV.

I'm all for progress, and I love technology.  I just wish our ability to manage our time had grown as fast.