Thursday, July 26, 2007

my very favorite harry potter story

A few days after my boys finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, I turned the final page. All three of them started the book around 12:30 am on Saturday (the day it went on sale) and the last one to finish it closed it about 12 hours later. Which put me about three days behind them.

I finished it last night (Wednesday) at about 11:30 pm. Each of the boys was hovering around in the kitchen as I closed in on the end and I shooed them away - telling them they couldn't talk to me, they couldn't interrupt until I was finished reading it.

When I closed the book, I headed upstairs and found two of them in a room and called their brother in to talk about the book. And ask all the questions about the dozens of things that confused me as I read the story.

So here it is: my very favorite Harry Potter moment. After years of reading aloud, years of watching them strike out on their own and race through the books by themselves, years of anticipating this final chapter to the story: this was my very favorite moment of the whole thing. The night I finished the book, we sat in Cameron's room and talked about it for an hour or more. Everything we loved, everything that scared us. Everything that we wondered about, and our favorite moments.

I cherished every second of it. They sort of looked like they were little boys again, excited to talk about a child's story about a wizard. They were older though, and their remarks were not those of children. They were smart, thoughtful, inquisitive, enthusiastic and amazing. I can't even really explain how I felt about the experience.

Lucky, I think. Lucky to know them, to feel like they're friends of mine. I won't forget it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

they amaze me

Okay, so tonight we're sitting around the dinner table, anticipating the Harry Potter book coming out on Saturday (at midnight on Friday, actually), and my boys start to list the first chapters of every book. From memory. Many years after reading them.
Then they start to list their favorite chapters ever...and each one of them not only remembers what happened in that particular chapter, they remember the book it appeared in as well.
I was floored. I can't remember where I left my car keys and they remember the title to the first chapter of the fourth Harry Potter book.

So then answer me this: why can't they remember to start the dishwasher?
Why can't they remember to feed the dog?
Why can't they remember to pick up the mail from the mailbox?

I know why. None of these tasks - or any of the other four dozen I could name in one minute's time capture their imagination and their interest as powerfully as do the stories they found on the pages of each Harry Potter book. I'd love to believe they would accomplish these small duties simply for the sake of doing them; for the sake of pitching in; for the sake of scraps of sanity I'm trying desperately to hold onto.

Then I remember: oh, yeah. They're teenagers. And they're pretty normal. One day, they'll wonder why their own kids can't seem to remember to cap the toothpaste or put the milk away. I hope they won't be too hard on them. I hope they remember the night they sat around naming Harry Potter chapters, and recall the kinds of things that captured their minds and attention as teenagers. It certainly wasn't mowing the lawn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Let's all buy one rose in her honor

God bless Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.

This prolific author had three decades of bestsellers to her credit before passing away in early July in Minnesota. Her final work will be published this fall. The numbers vary, but total sales of her body of work total upwards of 25 or 30 million copies.

Never heard of her? Check your chromosomes and get back to me. Woodiwiss basically invented the genre of the historical romance novel, and women haven't been the same ever since. I haven't read her books in many years, but I do remember them fondly and with no little sense of romance. Sure, maybe the heroine was originally kidnapped and possibly even raped by the man who ultimately becomes her lover and partner. Maybe it was unlikely the captain of the pirate ship would tuck away a wench for his personal pleasure on a ship packed with less than savory male companions.'re thinking about this w-a-y too much. The novels were pieces of candy women could devour, guilt free. They were a respite from the reality of daily life, where the most romantic thing a woman might encounter is an exchange between Kermit and Miss Piggy as her toddlers watched Sesame Street. They were a vacation you took in your own living room.

Romance novels are the unseen workhorses of publishing. There may be showier steeds out in front of the parade, but these hardworking books keep the business chugging along. They don't need promotion; or endless praise, or cover blurbs or author chats with Diane Sawyer to boost their sales. They just work, day in and day out to make bottom lines look better at publishers the world over and make daily lives that much more fun for women the world over.

Thanks, Kathleen. You made a lot of us very happy to know you.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Abstract from the journal Science: italics my own -

Human-dominated marine ecosystems are experiencing accelerating loss of populations and species, with largely unknown consequences. We analyzed local experiments, long-term regional time series, and global fisheries data to test how biodiversity loss affects marine ecosystem services across temporal and spatial scales. Overall, rates of resource collapse increased and recovery potential, stability, and water quality decreased exponentially with declining diversity. Restoration of biodiversity, in contrast, increased productivity fourfold and decreased variability by 21%, on average. We conclude that marine biodiversity loss is increasingly impairing the ocean's capacity to provide food, maintain water quality, and recover from perturbations. Yet available data suggest that at this point, these trends are still reversible.

Got that? Everybody clear on the message found in the journal Science? Let's move on.

If you read the home page of MSN, and take note of the list of earth-friendly things you can do to make your "carbon footprint" smaller, you'll read that:

"The world's seafood will be entirely depleted by 2048, according to an early November report in the journal Science."

Got that? "...entirely depleted by 2048..." I must have missed that critical point that was somehow left out of the abstract, which, last I heard, summarizes the salient points of a study or a paper.

This is the problem I have with most major "news" stories that reach our collective consciousness. We accept everything we read, hear or google, or nearly everything we read, hear, or google, as the absolute truth, when in fact, it is neither. It took me about six minutes to find the article that was being used to engender fear on the MSN homepage and compare what the two documents stated.

The larger problem is that someone will begin spouting off about not be able to have shrimp scampi in 2008 and everyone around them will nod in horror as they denigrate and deride all the eco-rats who are destroying our planet (i.e. everyone who cares enough to voice a syllable of doubt about the "news" we're fed.)

Do I want the oceans to be healthier? Yes. Do I want to encourage bio-diversity so all aquatic life will flouish in this century and the next several dozen centuries? Yes. Does that mean to do that, I have to embrace a climate (you'll pardon the word) of fear and destruction in order to effect some change? No.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wow, that was quite a message.

The news on the Gore front isn't so great today. At least from the West Coast. The arrest of Al Gore III, for speeding, possession of prescription narcotics sans the prescriptions and the scent of pot lingering in his car during an early morning driving citation doesn't do much to start the Live Earth weekend off with a big hug to daddy.

Quite the opposite if you think about it. I don't care what anyone says, the timing of this matters. Here stands Al Gore, former almost leader of the free world about to launch his weekend of worldwide attention on climate change (aka global warming) and mingle with some of the coolest people on the planet (rock stars of several generations, playing at his request around the world) and what happens? His son drives his hybrid vehicle about 100 MPH on a California highwway and gets pulled over, then runs into all kinds of extra trouble about what he's carrying in his car (and perhaps his system.) To the tune of an arrest and $20,000 bail.

Jeez, if that isn't a "Daddy notice me" cry, I don't know what is.

My favorite part of the story is the "help" Al III is going to get for his problems. It's funny to me. The regular schlubs who get pulled over for speeding and possible narcotics possession just go to court and possibly to jail. If they manage to avoid serving time, they have to figure out how they'll get the money to pay a fine, get themselves to their jobs and conduct their lives while living with suspended licenses.

The famous ones pay the fine, and "get help" for their problems. I appreciate the idea of family supporting family during troubling times but I'm not convinced that this is the first sign of trouble with young Al. In fact, it isn't. He has run afoul of the law in the past as well.

The timing on this one, however, says it all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

it almost worked for me

Because my children know me very well, they know they can not go wrong by giving me anything with a connection to Hugh Grant. They're right about that. There's almost never anything not to like about Hugh Grant if you ask me.

Which is why, when they gave me his movie, Words and Music, for Mother's Day, I appreciated their thoughtfulness. With my usual glacial speed, I finally watched the movie the other night and it almost worked for me. Almost.

Hugh was, of course, brilliant and adorable, and even Drew Barrymore seemed to work as his soulmate-to-be. The story unwound just a little too quickly for me - there weren't nearly enough near misses or "what if's" for a typical romantic comedy but that was okay. There were plenty of amusing lines and repartee to keep me interested.

Here's where it fell apart for me. When they were finally going to have their moment - the memorable first kiss that usually indicates the high point of the movie as it draws to a close (see Pride and Prejudice for the best one of all time - I don't care what version you watch but the latest one works pretty well to illustrate that point) - or the point at which the story takes a turn into confusion and miscommunication, which is always resolved in hour two.

In this case, it was the latter. There was plenty of movie yet to come so I knew there was conflict ahead. But the fact is, I couldn't really get past the kiss itself. How can I put this? It just wasn't sweet enough. It was a little too fierce. I don't mind fierce but this wasn't the place for it. We're not talking about the elevator scene in Fatal Attraction for god's sake. We're talking about two adorable people who have discovered they just may be falling in love.

I wish I had been on the set. I'm convinced this is the reason the movie didn't do better at the box office. All the other elements were there. But if you get the kiss wrong - you're doomed.

Next time, I hope Hugh's people call me. I'd be delighted to help.

great moments that didn't happen in judicial history

If only.

In an unprecendented break from my vow to write not so much as one word about one Paris Hilton, I'm taking this opportunity to make a plea to every judge sitting on a bench today to impose severe sentences where appropriate, particularly if he or she serves in a particularly upscale district filled with particularly upscale clients who can't seem to stay on the right side of the law.

The judge who sentenced Paris Hilton to a meaningless fourteen days in jail - or whatever it was - would have made judicial history with the following pronouncement. Instead of having her serve out her remaining days, and then subject all of us to a relentless rehash of her ordeal and then have to endure the nonstop news cycle that will surround her every move for god knows how long to come, what if he had said this to her:

Miss Hilton. In the name of everything that is holy, I sentence you to the following:
You will not serve any more time in jail. In lieu of serving time, you must become immediately and completely absent from the media that surrounds you. For the next ten years, I don't want to read an inch of type about you, see your image on any existing or on any not yet developed piece of electronic equipment. I don't want to hear your voice, see your photo or
read one word written by you for any medium. You don't need to do anything except disappear from our collective consciousness.

If you do re-appear prior to July, 2017, you will immediately be detained and made to serve a full six months before you come before me again.

How great would that have been? We all get the break we deserve from this vacant woman, she gets to stay out of jail, and we never have to hear from her again until she's ten years older. At that point, maybe even she will have grown up.

In anther world perhaps. But I can dream.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Just in time for Father's Day

Earlier this week, I was delighted to read a short blurb in the newspaper giving me an update of exactly what's on Yoko Ono's mind these days.

Turns out, just in time for Father's Day, she revealed that on the fateful night of John Lennon's death, he could have possibly avoided the bullets that were waiting for him outside the Dakota, courtesy of Mark Chapman. According to her story, when given a choice between grabbing a bite to eat and heading home after they finished their recording session that evening, John Lennon chose to skip the meal so he wouldn't miss seeing his son, Sean, before he went to sleep. And that made the difference in whether he would live or die if you believe her story. Perhaps Chapman would have given up his watch had Lennon and Ono been detained by a prolonged dinner, and the evening would have passed without incident.

As if that weren't enough to make Sean Lennon want to regret being alive, she had more to share. After a two-year separation, Ono and Lennon reconciled in 1975. Shortly after that, she became pregnant with Sean. As a future mother of the year, she turned to Lennon and asked him if he wanted the baby. Apparently, it made no difference to her whether or not she carried the child to term or aborted it. As she put it, "I thought I should let John decide whether to keep it or not. We'd just got back together and I became pregnant very soon, and I didn't know if it was the right moment to have a child. I didn't want to burden him with something he didn't want."

It's immaterial to me that she was conflicted about the pregnancy or that she wasn't sure she wanted to "burden" Lennon with a child. None of that is the point, really.

What is amazing and disturbing to me about her latest appearance in the news is that she very publically told her only son two things:

1.) you're the reason your father was killed that night; he was coming home at that hour only because of you; to make sure he could help tuck you in.

2.) giving birth to you was something I felt ambivilent about; and if your father hadn't wanted me to go one with the pregnancy, I was ready to end it.

If this weren't so sad I'd be amused by it. Why are we still reading about Yoko Ono anyway? Why hasn't she faded from our view? I don't get it. And especially this particular story. It uplifts no one as near as I could tell.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Meth is only one of their problems.

One of the big news stories around here is the arrest of middle school principal for alleged drug activity. I'll leave that to the investigators and courts to decide. But after I read the latest update on the story, I realized that methadone may be the least of school district's problems.

Turns out many of the teachers suspected and reported some of the questionable behavior by the principal. Some came forward and made their suspicions known to administrators.

Last week, independent investigators planned to question some of the teachers and faced some obstacles. Quote: "None of us is going to our interviews," one teacher said Tuesday, a day when several scheduled interviews never happened.

"None of us IS going. NONE of us...."

I'm ready to cry. Let's try this together, shall we?
None of us ARE going...
Not ONE of us IS going...

What is going on here?

I don't know why I'm surprised. A post or two ago I lamented the illiteracy of a reporter for the NYT; now I'm reading the same sort of regrettable grammar ignorance, this time in a quote from a teacher of all people.

As long as the district is considering random drug testing for everyone interacting with students, perhaps they should also institute random grammar testing for anyone speaking to students.
Or at least random grammar tests for the teachers. I don't care if you're teaching participles or molecules or multiples, shouldn't you be responsible enough to speak to children using proper English?

Once they clear up that methadone problem, they should turn to the grammar problem uncovered by this investigation as well.

Still incredulous -

Sunday, March 11, 2007

waiting for the other shoe...or feather-trimmed drop

I'm pretty sure I have a good sense of humor. Really, I think I do. So why wasn't I laughing at the shampoo commercial I watched the other night? And then watched a second time just to make sure I understood it?

It shows two pretty blonde women talking about the merits of some new shampoo developed especially for their very particular hair needs. (I've written about this hair-color based shampoo phenomenon before so this wasn't new to me.) But here's the thing: at the end of the commercial, they speak rather disdainfully to all their brunette sisters who are watching them in sadness, mourning their own plight as non- blondes. They deliver a line that sounds something like this: "Sorry brunettes. At least your moms think you're pretty."


I think it's hilarious that these women appear to value their own looks above all else and have no compunction about sharing that world view.

I also think it's hilarious that they think everyone shares their view. Not looking pretty is clearly a tragedy in their world. And unless you're a blonde, you can't be pretty.

More than one woman I shared this with had the same reaction: is there an equvilant commercial for brunette shampoo where the tagline at the ends sounds like this: "Sorry blondes. At least your moms think you're smart."

If there is, I haven't seen it. But I did see products for brunettes by this company when I was shopping on Saturday.

Are they kidding me? They just dissed more than half the women on the planet with their we're bonde, we're pretty and we're proud of it in your face televison commerical and then they want to sell us shampoo? Then again, if this is all a really big joke, it's a good one. Just not that funny to all the non-blondes out there. And I have to believe there is at least one blonde who is annoyed that the commercial keeps the idea of blonde, pretty and vacant alive and well during network television commericals.

More soon....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Calling Lynne Truss....

Lynne Truss is my hero. In case you missed her marvelous book, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, Truss is a British writer who does her best to encourage us to maintain some semblance of rules and order when it comes to grammar and using our language properly, whether writing it or speaking it. I happen to be one of those people who admires those who use language correctly and can't help but feel a little less kindly toward those who don't, especially those who should know better.

I'm by no means an expert on language but I'd like to think that writers who get their bylines published in The New York Times are. I'll go you one better than that and say that even if the writers themselves aren't perfect grammarians, certainly the copy editors and people who literally make a living correcting the grammar and spelling of others should be perfect.

I'd be wrong about that, too. I read this just today and had to reread the first paragraph three times to figure out who on earth wrote the letter being discussed. Turns out it was Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father. Except that's not what the article indicated. Here's the opening paragraph. My notes and questions follow:

"On April 30, 1941, just days after a Gestapo courier may have threatened to denounce Anne Frank’s father, Otto, to the Nazis, he wrote to his close college friend Nathan Straus Jr. begging for help in getting his family out of Amsterdam and into America."

What? A Gestapo courier wrote a letter to a close college friend about escaping Amsterdam? Why would a Nazi officer want to...wait a minute, I think I read that wrong....[re-read], it definitely states that the Gestapo officer wrote a letter to a friend just days after he possibly threatened Otto Frank....wait a minute; let me see this....[re-read again]...Oh, I get it. Otto Frank wrote the letter to his college friend looking for help for his escape to America. Except it doesn't say that.

Here's how I think the opening paragraph of this interesting story should read:

On April 30, 1941, just days after a Gestapo courier may have threatened to denounce him to the Nazis, Anne Frank’s father, Otto, wrote to his close college friend Nathan Straus Jr. begging for help in getting his family out of Amsterdam and into America.

Or even better:
On April 30, 1941, just days after a Gestapo courier may have threatened to denounce him to the Nazis, Otto Frank, Anne Frank’s father, wrote to his close college friend Nathan Straus Jr. begging for help in getting his family out of Amsterdam and into America.

Again, I'm not some kind of grammar freak or grammar goddess but this is just wrong and it appears in what is arguably the number one newspaper in the country, if not the world. Any misused grammar bugs me but it bugs me even more that it appears on the front page of the NYT.

In this particular case, the problem stems from using antecedents and making them represent the correct noun (or something like that.) I told you I wasn't an expert. According to the Guide to Grammar and Writing website,

"Generally (but not always) pronouns stand for (pro + noun) or refer to a noun, an individual or individuals or thing or things (the pronoun's antecedent) whose identity is made clear earlier in the text." This particular antecedent was about as far from 'made clear' as you can get.

I ask you: Where does it leave us if The New York Times publishes incorrect grammar? I know this isn't nearly the first time this has happened and sadly, it won't be the last. Yes, I'm accustomed to having to read through stories to ferret out the "spin," the agenda, the bias behind a particular story. But having to read the same sentence more than twice to understand the content is asking just a little too much, even for me.

Soon -

Thursday, February 08, 2007

And another thing....

We have another day or two before the wacky crazy female astronaut story leaves our national consciousness. Before it does, her's one more comment on one of the most predictable aspects of this (or any) news story.

According to reporters, Lisa Nowak's neighbors were stunned and shocked to learn of her behavior. That's always the case when it becomes evident that someone in your daily life turns out to be quite different than you imagine them to be. I'm not surprised that this was the reaction of her neighbors.

But here's my larger question, totally separate from the headline du jour: what does anyone really know about the people living up the street? What do any of us really know about each other? Here's the answer, in case you're thinking up a list of things you know. You ready? Nothing. You really don't know anything of substance. People are tricky animals and can hide much much more than we ever give each other credit for.

I'm not saying that we don't open up, we don't trust, we don't tell those closest to us our deepest thoughts. I'm just saying that even at that, there are some things in each one of us that will never be expressed to anyone. Even to a therapist, a priest or a rabbi. And if we have secrets from each other, why in the world would we ever expect our neighbors would know more about us?

I'm guessing if the press spoke to Nowak's husband, he'd agree that there were signs that something wasn't quite right these days. In fact, the couple had recently separated. But I'm guessing even he wouldn't have said it was so she could take her cross-state drive to destiny and the national headlines.

See? Even her husband for god's sake had no idea what she was thinking. And we think it's interesting or newsworthy that her neighbors didn't know?


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Well, she was no rocket scientist...except she was.

What on God's green earth was she thinking? How do you make a living as a rocket scientist for god's sake and then develop some kind of maniacal plan to murder someone because of a love triangle?

I'm trying to understand this. Astronaut Lisa Nowak drives some 900 + miles (say from here to South Carolina) to catch up with her rival, Air Force Captain Colleen Shipman. She wasn't looking for a friendly chat about their mutual friend, astronaut Bill Oefelein. It doesn't appear she was, anyway, since she carried pepper spray, a knife, a mallet and a BB gun with her. But the truth is, I don't want to get into the details of the case against Nowak or the state of her marriage or her disintegrating romance.

The case itself - your classic love triangle - isn't all that surprising. People have battled romantic rivals for thousands of years, often with tragic results. I guess the astonishing part of this story for me is the fact that Nowak is without a doubt one very intelligent woman. She is the cliche: she's a rocket scientist!!! How could she ever imagine this was a good plan, worth following through, and possibly risking the rest of her life as a free woman should she get caught? How could she imagine causing harm to Captain Shipman was a reasonable idea, that would ultimately gain the affection her lover? Hasn't she ever seen an episode of CSI? You can't get away with anything if you're a criminal. The CSI team would find just a single blade of grass indiginous to Texas underneath Shipman's unconscious body and one hour later someone would be knocking on Nowak's door. Plus, she was no career criminal, just a woman with (sick, twisted) love in her heart.

Most of all, here's a question that's bothering me: is this the kind of person we're sending into space? I mean, if this story were about a banker from Baltimore or an accountant from Albany, we'd think it was strange and erratic and that she was evidently disturbed, but Nowak isn't any of those things. She's a rocket scientist!! NASA claims her state of mind showed no signs that she was "troubled" and perhaps contemplating an attempt on another woman's life that would require her to drive almost one thousand miles to accost her, and wear adult diapers during the entire trip so she didn't have to stop for bathroom breaks. Then again, I don't know what kinds of signs one would exhibit to indicate this behavior was in the offing. Clipping coupons for Depends? Choosing "quickest" when given a choice of routes from Houston to Orlando on Mapquest?

But what exactly was NASA going to say? "We knew she was a whack job but boy, could she manipulate that robotic arm. All in all, we thought she was worth the risk." Doubt it. What's going on up there in all that weightlessness? Is it party party party? The ultimate out of town trip for the married astronauts?

Now of course, NASA is going to review all of their policies regarding personnel and screening and how they can keep knife-carrying, pepper-spraying, diaper-wearing astronauts on the second or third tier lists for the next shuttle flight. Good idea. The problem is, your can't write HR rules when it comes to passion. Passion is passion is passion. And if NASA can figure out how to regulate their hiring practices to account for passion among the ranks, I want to read that report.

Certainly Nowak has some problems. But despite her status as an elite scientist, a shuttle astronaut and an employee of NASA, she is still a human being. A flawed human being who went way beyond the pale in terms of saving her romance and her relationship.

The only thing that will complete this story for me is when the press somehow links it all back to President Bush and how some policy he put into place contributed somehow to NASA's shame. It's coming.

More soon -

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I'm in the wrong business

Just the other day, I read an article about something called "life coaches" and at the end of it, I hadn't learned one blessed thing about managing my life better or figuring out my next move toward greatness. I did, however, find it enormously entertaining.

Apparently, as a society of needy people seeking help, guidance, counseling, assistance, and encouragement every minute of every day of our lives, we have moved beyond the idea of a counselor, or a therapist or even a mentor to help us achieve our potential. Any of the above mentioned people may in fact be able to help but jeez, they can be so negative sometimes, can't they? I mean, who wants to spend three years with a licensed therapist only to learn that you still haven't confronted your anger issues and you have spent no time at all listening and learning some new habits that may help you control your temper? Who needs to hear that without you either making some significant changes to your everyday activity or in fact seeking a new place of employment, your job simply isn't going to change like magic into the dream position you imagine you deserve?

Yes, therapists can deliver some tough messages from time to time, and ask you some very tough questions. This is why anyone with any sense at all is turning to a life coach to help them figure out how to make their dreams come true.

Life coaches come from all walks of life but my favorites are the ones who achieve their credentials through an online course of instruction in a matter of months. What kind of ego must you own if you believe that you can - in all good conscience - and with every confidence that the advice you're imparting to your clients is truly useful and achievable - become something as amorphous sounding and un-measurable as a life coach?

I have no earthly idea. But one of my favorite quotes from the article summed up the entire discipline of life coaching as follows: "If life is a ball of yarn, therapy helps you untangle it. Life coaching helps you knit a sweater."

What? If life is a ...what? A ball of yarn? Hold on a second; I'm going to give this a try:

If life is bowl of apples, therapy helps you peel them. Life coaching helps you bake the pie.

If life is a pile of socks, therapy helps you remove them from the dryer. Life coaching helps you match them in pairs.

If life is a ...oh, forget it. All I know is that some of these coaches are getting something like $225 AN HOUR to coach their clients VIA EMAIL OR VIA PHONE. From their own livings rooms. In their pajamas. They're using the cut and paste features of their email programs as they send scads of empowering, positive, life-affirming advice by the hour. They're watching Law and Order with the mute button pressed on their phone as they half-listen to the next crisis from their clients.

Think about it. They would create various categories of "life" that seem to cry out for coaching skills: employment, marriage, children, your all purpose family issues, money, home management, spirituality, health, recreation. They could then cobble together little snippets of pithy, important-sounding but vapid pieces of wisdom they could share, and little worksheets they could tweak with the stroke of six keys, so that the questions they ask you to fill out to honestly evaluate how you handle money, for example, could be easily edited to indicate how you handle your children, or your parents, or your boss, or your spouse or your exercise program.

I'm trying to figure out how I would sign off my emails at the conclusion of each session if I were a life coach who doled out my wisdom via the internet. "Have a super-empowering week!" "Go be the best you ever!" "Say yes! And keep going!" "You are powerful. You are aware. You are your own destiny."

Honest to god, I could do this for hours. And at $225 per, I wouldn't have to do it for that many hours every week. I'm thinking three clients a day, four days a week and I'd be pretty content.

I'll grant the tiniest bit of leeway here and say that maybe - just maybe there are people in the world who are very, very good at helping others see their strengths, and weaknesses, and call them on bad habits, wrong choices, and mistakes that could have been avoided. They help others make tough choices and stand by them when they do. They celebrate accomplishments and success right along side others, and help them enjoy a moment of glory.

In the old days, they were called friends and family. And they didn't charge $225 an hour.

.....Thanks for visiting......I'll try not to stay away so long next time but god forbid I make a resolution about it. The last thing I need is some life-coach voice in my head telling me to update the blog and stick with my resolution to write here several times a week. I hope you understand.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Let me be clear

I'm stating this for the record: I don't ever want to, or ever plan to, buy any drugs from anyone or from any company in Canada.

None. Ever.

Not so much as an aspirin. Or a cold pill. Or anything at all that means I have to get even one more email offering me dr%#s from Ca8ad% at half price.

There. Maybe that will help.

I've never opened even one of those 'buy your meds here' emails which is why its so hard to believe they still arrive in my inbox with alarming regularity.

I can only guess that it makes sense to keep sending stuff to someone because one day it just may pay off but dear god, is someone really making a living off of these email solitations for antibiotics from Quebec?

If universal health care is such a successful social experience, why is every Canadian drug company relentlessly looking for business south of the border? Why isn't their government keeping them in the black year after year after year? Did Michael Moore include these companies in his upcoming 'why I hate the lying, deceitful, money-grubbing, profit-grabbing drug companies and you should, too' expose? I'm no fan of MM but when will he do a scathing report about the email campaigns many of us deal with on a daily basis?

I know. In the scheme of things, this is so irrelevant. But it's the little things that can make the difference between life being a joyous ride on a gorgeous fall day or a slippery backroads experience during a February storm.

I'm going to keep track of how many days in a row I do NOT get an offer on a fantastic deal for some prescription meds from our northeern neighbors. I'll bet I don't make it to two.