Friday, February 26, 2010

A modest proposal. Literally.

Is it me, or do the figure skater outfits look like they were created by costume designers for La Cage and Cirque de Soleil who were smoking crack?

A modest proposal follows. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

This woman's work.

Maybe it’s the snow.

Maybe it’s the relentless snow. And although it’s pretty and sort of fascinating in a way; and although things like a gorgeous and perfect winter snow help confirm my belief in God, this latest bit feels sad to me somehow.

Maybe my annual “it’s the new year and time to brood about my life” feeling has arrived a little later than usual this year. Typically, I spend the better part of January retracing my life and trying to figure out where certain aspects of it seem to have gone so far astray. Not every part – just some. But some – at least when it comes to life - is quite enough.

And as if I needed this, I came across something else gorgeous and perfect tonight, Kate Bush’s lovely and haunting song, “This Woman’s Work.” I heard it for the first time many years ago and connected it to a romantic relationship. Maybe that’s right; maybe it’s where you are in life the first time you hear it; maybe it’s what you make of it every time you hear it.

But tonight, in my snowy melancholy, I connected it to my sons. (They’re the part of my life that went exactly right.) They’re not perfect and neither is their mother, but together, it feels like we make each other better.

So what is it with the song?

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can't let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can't stop thinking of all the things I should've said, that I never said.
All the things we should've done, that we never did.
All the things I should've given, but I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go, make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

Of all the things we should've said, that were never said.
All the things we should've done, that we never did.
All the things that you needed from me. All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should've given, but I didn't.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

The boys are all out of the house, even if only as college students, not independent adults. As they make their way into lives of their own, away from the home we had together, I do feel like crying but don’t want to let it show. When I try to stop thinking of all the things I should’ve said that I never said and all the things we should’ve done that we never did. And mostly, I think of all the things I should’ve given but I didn’t.

And then I think: give them back. Give me one more chance and I’ll do better. Give me your tiny little boy hand again and a tiny little kiss on my cheek.

Honestly, I don’t begrudge time and its inevitable march into tomorrow. I really don’t. But I do think about the things the boys needed from me. Like the nights they needed me to listen. Or ask. Or be available just in case they wanted a moment of clarity or truth. But maybe I was too tired to listen. Maybe I was too distracted and entirely absorbed in something that I can’t even remember today.

They all count as the things I should’ve given but didn’t. And in a moment of wishful thinking, I want to say, “Make it go away.” Just make those bad choices and missteps go away now.

I was (am?) one of those mothers who sat in awe of other women who were organized, efficient, accommodating, available, and familiar with every single aspect of their children’s lives. They knew every teacher, every coach, every club, team, and youth group. They knew about summer programs, camps, and art lessons. They turned in permission slips on time and never once got a call from the school nurse asking for health records that were five months overdue.

But all of that’s history. I knew who I was and who I wasn’t. I was never going to be the mom who “knew.” It came as surprise, though. My organization and efficiency elsewhere in life barely translated to motherhood. Was this not meant to be? In my worst moments, I think: no wonder the boys turned out okay. I interfered as little as possible.

So why am I stuck in this “give these moments back” mode? Nothing would change. I don’t think I would do anything any better or different. But maybe I’d try to hang onto that little hand just a little tighter. And make sure I leaned down for those kisses a little more often. That would count for something, right?

It’s here, very faintly in the background, but it’s here. That inevitable and relentless whisper that says, “Let go. Go ahead. Let them go.” Kate Bush knows. Here’s another bit of the song:

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman's work,
This woman's world.

I do sort of stand outside now, watching my sons grow and move and be – away from me. And do pray God they can cope. And that they know that while there may have been some words left unsaid, and some things left undone, we all came through with a little life in us, (and ahead of us); with a lot strength left in us, too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Keeping it clean. In whatever way you choose. Fine by me.

Quietly, without much fanfare, a new era for men seems to be emerging. Drumroll, please: According to an article in Advertising Age, body wash outsold bar soap in 2009. This is the first time this has ever happened in the history of body wash vs. bar soap statistics. The reason? Marketers have discovered that more men buy body wash than cakes of soap. Market leaders like Proctor & Gamble and Unilever are among the industry leaders in the category, with brands that include Old Spice (P&G) and Axe (Unilever.)

One of the newer entries in the category is Dove, introduced during the Superbowl and endorsed by winning quarterback Drew Brees. Yes, Dove. For men. This is quite a departure for the Dove brand that up until now has been marketed specifically to women only. But have no illusions or fear of metrosexuality (remember metrosexuals?) creeping in: their commercial makes it clear that you can still be a man and use Dove.

In fact, they protest a little too much if you listen to their commercials. Yes, they’re sort of entertaining but still. One of them basically runs through a man’s life in a matter of seconds, from birth until he reaches adulthood, with a family of his own. It’s accompanied by a soundtrack featuring the most famous movement of The William Tell Overture, a.k.a. The Lone Ranger theme. Can you get more manly?

There’s another spot that focuses mainly on the requisite adorable, ripped guy in the shower, who appears to be having a cleansing experience like no other since he’s discovered Dove Body Wash. The voiceover mentions something called micro-moisture that activates on contact. Activating on contact sounds like a guy thing, right?

The narration in both commercials contains some variation on the following theme: “You’ve reached a stage where you’re comfortable with who you are. Shouldn’t your skin be just as comfortable?” “Now that you’re comfortable with who you are, isn’t it time for comfortable skin? At last, there’s Dove for men.” The tagline gets repeated: be comfortable in your own skin.

I get it. For God’s sake, we all get it. Indigenous people in the Australian Outback would get it if they saw it. Buying Dove doesn’t make you less of a man. It celebrates your very comfortable nature and the fact that you’re comfortable with who you are because you feel comfortable. In your own skin. With exactly who you are. And that feels very comfortable. Or something like that.

On the other end of the spectrum – focusing on the idea that not all men feel quite as comfortable in their own skin as the Dove buyers – we find the Old Spice commercial. This one is unapologetically directed toward women and features another adorable ripped guy, this time talking directly to us, as he stands outside his shower with a towel wrapped around his waist. Without naming Dove, it clearly refers to it by calling out guys who use “ladies scented body wash.”

The scene dissolves to him standing on a boat, still shirtless, this time walking across the deck in his terrific white pants with a shirt draped casually over his shoulder. Still talking to the women in the audience, he’s opening an oyster shell that holds tickets to same unnamed event “that you love” and then like magic, the oyster is dripping with diamonds. The shot pulls back to reveal him now sitting atop a white horse as he makes his final point: “Anything is possible when your old man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.”

I get this one, too. Hilarious, by the way. If you’re a man who finds himself in the market for body wash, you can’t really go wrong with a reliable, macho, unmistakable guy scent like Old Spice.

According to emarketer, mothers control 80% of a household’s discretionary spending so what the men think may be very nearly irrelevant. But let’s just say that at least some men shop for their own body wash and make their own purchase decisions. (They tipped the sales ratios, didn't they?) They’re the mavericks who disdain the traditional bar soap route and blaze their own trail to cleanliness. They’re the titans of the personal care aisle, who break all the rules.

So what’s the better choice? Do women want a man who is so comfortable he’ll buy and use Dove or a man who is so cautious and entrenched in 1954 that he will buy and use only the safe and familiar Old Spice?

For God’s sake, it’s soap. Liquid soap. Choosing a type of body wash is not exactly a revered, long-practiced ritual of manhood. Creating a commercial about a man who spends time calculating his self-worth, or worse, his masculinity, based on a type of soap sums up our culture just perfectly, doesn’t it?

But maybe this will help even things out a little, in an effort to reach equilibrium. I mean, finally, it’s not just women who think about this nonsense.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Twix bar is not a crack pipe.

In the spirit of moderation in all things, here is today's column in The Daily Caller.

As always, comments welcome!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Trademark this, why doncha?

Not one bit of the following piece of news could portend anything good.

I can’t remember where I read this, but apparently ‘Snooki’ is in the process of trademarking her name. (She's following a trail blazed by a castmate, someone who calls himself ‘The Situation,’ whom no one could ever - in about a billion years - confuse with the eminently cool someone who calls himself ‘The Edge.’)

If you don’t know who Snooki and The Situation are, good for you and go with God.

Full disclosure: I once tuned in to about seven minutes of Jersey Shore on MTV before I’d had my fill. The scene depicted a bar, people getting hammered, and young women fighting with each other, to the point of punches and slaps. We’ve come a long way, baby. I was never so proud to be a liberated woman! We can now get wasted in public and brawl exactly like only idiotic men used to do.

Here’s why this is horrible news. Once Snooki has her trademark registered, you know what we’re going to be subjected to, don’t you? Snooki lingerie. Snooki jewelry. Snooki fragrances. And God help us - Snooki vodka. It’s inevitable. You won’t be able to swing an empty keg without hitting Snooki merchandise.

What I can’t quite figure out here is this: when did becoming a ‘celebrity’ (and I use that word in the most casual sense when it comes to the Jersey Shore cast) mean you could bankroll that moment into a cottage industry? Seems like this is a fairly recent phenomenon. Think about it.

All things being equal – meaning you have achieved at least a modicum of fame from a television show and have collected legions of fans – someone please explain to me why we weren’t treated to the following trademarked items over the years:

Lisa Douglas lingerie – no one wore chiffon and silk negligees in a cuter, sweeter way than Eva Gabor in Green acres.

Marcia Brady lip gloss – a no brainer. What was Maureen McCormick – or more correctly, her agent – thinking?

Ann Marie mascara – no one – before or since – wore mascara and eyelashes as brilliantly as Marlo Thomas in That Girl.

Vinnie Barbarino jeans – John Travolta and his jeans burst into our living rooms in the late ‘70s like few have since when he became the breakout star in Welcome Back, Kotter.

Cliff Huxtable sweaters – made a part of the 80’s culture by Bill Cosby in The Cosby Show.

One could make a reasonable argument that any one of these actors had more of a trademark opportunity in his or her day than Snooki whatever her name is will have in her lifetime. Which is why her trademark effort is so annoying.

Even more annoying will be the thousands of fans who line up to buy her merchandise. I hate to fall back on a familiar line but it's served me well in the past and it may serve me well now: We're doomed.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The perfect spokesperson at the perfect time for the perfect promotion.

This is one of those times when things just seem to line up for my own amusement.

Not 24 hours after I read the news about Tiger’s upcoming press conference – in the loosest sense of the word since he will confer with no one at no time about not one thing – I found a story lurking in my in box that amused me no end.

The Center for Biological Diversity distributed 100,000 condoms just in time for Valentine’s Day, in an effort for many of us to love carefully and care for our planet at the same time. I didn’t know that human overpopulation has a devastating effect on endangered species but I suppose that should have been kind of obvious. The more of us there are, the fewer American Burying Beetles we have room for, right? Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate, puts it this way: “Human overpopulation is destroying the wildlife habitat at an unprecedented rate.”

Back to the condoms. They’re called Endangered Species Condoms and while that may sound kind of somber, don’t let anyone tell you the folks at the Center for Biological Diversity aren’t a fun bunch. Buyers can choose from the six varieties offered: polar bear, jaguar, snail darter, coqui guajon rock frog, spotted owl, and the aforementioned American burying beetle. The fun begins with the slogans attached to each:

Polar bear: wrap with care, save the polar bear

Jaguar: wear a jimmy hat (a jimmy hat??), save the big cat

Snail darter: hump smarter, save the snail darter – sounds romantic, right?

Coqui guajon rock frog: use a stopper (a stopper??), save a hopper

Spotted owl: wear a condom now, save a spotted owl

American burying beetle: cover your tweedle, save the burying beetle (Can we agree if you call it a tweedle you're not old enough for a condom?)

Free condoms were distributed in any number of expected venues, including in bars and at parties, as well as other places like supermarkets and concerts, by everyone from grandmothers to rock musicians. Demand was high, and more than 3,000 people volunteered to give out the samples.

Best of all – and this was my favorite part – five lucky people who entered the contest will win a lifetime supply of condoms. I’m wondering how the contest rule-makers come up with the number that works for each winner. If you’re 25 and unmarried, you get X amount. If you’re 45 and married, you get four. That should be enough to last you for the rest of your life. If you’re 80 years old and you win, go with God. But I really do want to know what a “lifetime” supply is and who figures that out.

Let’s get back to Randy and his words of good cheer for a minute. With a population projection of 9 billion by 2050, we should all be concerned about the lack of biological diversity that will result from that many of us on the planet. And – surprise! - Americans carry the most blame for this situation. According to Randy in the press release, the United States has the “highest population growth of any developed nation and extremely high consumption levels….We should be taking the lead in promoting policies that will stabilize global population.”

Super. One more thing American’s are ruining up for the rest of the world. Actually, more than one thing since we’re debilitating several species and upending the eco-balance for the rest of the world in the process.

But here’s the kismet that I just love about these two stories – Tiger and the endangered species condoms. It’s not enough that his nickname is Tiger and there’s a condom with a jaguar pictured on the package. Okay – they’re not the same but they are both predatory cats, right?

Here's the connection. Isn’t Tiger at least kind of worried about the endorsements that are now in his rear view mirror as a result of his back door activities? Problem solved! The endangered species condoms could probably use a spokesperson to take their campaign to the next level and Tiger can use a new endorsement deal. Having him promote condoms and wear a little condom decal on his golf shirts would be just about perfect, right? At the very least, he'd probably earn an A+ from the 'save our endangered species' advocates. It's a start, anyway. Plus, I keep thinking about that line from ‘Meet the Parents’…something like “keep your tiger in its cage” or something like that. And as a bonus, tigers are, in fact, also on the endangered species list. Even more perfect.

You can’t make this stuff up. But you can enjoy it when it happens.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tiger again. Really? Still?

Help me understand something, please.

Just read an “alert” letting me know that Tiger Woods will hold a press conference on Friday, February 19. At the event, Tiger will break the three months of silence he has maintained with the press since his unfortunate run in with an obstruction in his driveway.

Well, thank you God. Our long national nightmare is over. Tiger will speak.

Question: Does anyone care what he has to say? Hasn’t he said it all by now? Didn’t he already apologize and tell us that he had to give up golf to become a better man and a better husband and a better father? Perhaps he’s going to tell us all about how he has been rehabilitated and can now be trusted to travel the world and have his zipper remain intact, something new for him.

I’m wondering why he doesn’t just show up on a course at a PGA event and begin to play the game that brought him his fortune, his fame and his dates. Say it with your clubs, Tiger. Finish at 8 under par; remind us of why we know who you are and what you do really, really well. Save the speeches about your tawdry affairs. It’s boring and distasteful. We don’t care how sorry you are, how much you’ve learned about yourself, and how important your wife and children are to you.

Maybe that’s just me. Because there is at least one group who does hope we care – a lot. The folks at DeCapo Press hope that at least a million of us to care when they publish the first ever biography of Woods in May. Promising “exclusive interviews and new details,” the book will no doubt hit the bestseller list immediately.

But wouldn’t it be so great if it didn’t? If it just sort of sat there on front tables in bookstores across the country. If the end caps went untouched, if the sales rank on or never broke into the top 100 titles, even just the top 100 sports titles, or the top 100 golf titles. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if Oprah decided not to book him; if Larry King and 60 Minutes and The View also passed on a Tiger appearance? If not one morning show gushed over his revelations?

I don’t wish failure on any publisher or writer these days, given the tough economic times. But I do wish that collectively, as readers and the people who supply readers with content, we could elevate ourselves beyond this kind of “train wreck” mentality and teach ourselves to look away more quickly whenever stories like this capture the headlines and the airwaves.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Not everything gets on my nerves.

And here's a column to prove it.

And yes, I know that each of these men is much more than his leading man looks but that's another column.

Happy Valentine's Day weekend to all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Too close to call.

Today’s quiz: which life is the least horrible?

Let’s say you had to choose to be one of the following people. (No backing out – you HAVE to pick one.)

Jenny Sanford.

Rielle Hunter.

Rachel Uchitel.

I know. It’s a very tough choice.

Life choice 1: Jenny Sanford

By law, still South Carolina’s first lady, Ms. Sanford has just released her book, Staying True. I’m not sure when we passed law that said someone must write a book – or more likely, hire someone to write a book – after suffering some of life’s harshest lessons, but apparently we have. Then again, this yet another reason to admire Silda Spitzer’s reserve and quiet resolve. At least she didn’t write a book and hit the airwaves to talk about Elliott and his Ashley.) Otherwise, there is just no reason why, a scant seven months after the story of Mark Sanford’s affair with his soul mate hit our national consciousness, we get treated to the whole story of their marriage, courtesy of Mrs. Sanford.

As near as I can tell, Jenny is the classic “woman scorned.” What remains to be seen is if indeed, hell hath no fury like her. The book feels kind of benign as these things go, at least according to review on Slate magazine. The governor himself comes off as cheap, ego-centric and depressing. Despite that set of circumstances, Jenny seems to have achieved the life she was seeking there in Columbia. Maybe she had resolved to trade a happier, more rewarding life for one that afforded her a certain lifestyle as the wife of a successful politician.

So choose Jenny. The upside: You didn’t do anything wrong, except possibly stick with the governor for way too long. And you will probably live a financially comfortable life. The downside: Mark Sanford, and his frugal tendencies, his depressing outlook and possibly his Argentinean soul mate, will be part of that life forever.

Life choice 2: Rielle Hunter

And speaking of being connected to the father of your offspring, we come to Ms. Rielle Hunter. This videographer / mistress of former Senator / Presidential candidate John Edwards gave birth to a daughter a few years ago. After much confusion and conflicting stories about the child, and in the spirit of being a southern gentleman, Edwards proposed marriage to Ms. Hunter just a few weeks ago, the exact same day he also acknowledged that he was the father of her child. In the meantime, he and his cancer-stricken, outspoken, “alienation of affection” lawsuit-wielding wife, Elizabeth have separated, which makes the idea of John and Rielle being engaged that much more palatable for the rest of us.

At this point, you have to wonder: is it worse to be the woman who cheated with John Edwards and broke up his marriage, or the woman who ends up with John Edwards after he cheated on his wife? In Rielle’s case, she’s both; so either way, she wins. Or loses.

So choose Rielle. The upside: you and John will move into a $2.5 million beach house to raise your little girl. The downside: well, the guy you’re moving in with cheated on his wife and asked someone else to claim to be the father of your child. But once you settle in, maybe you’ll just move on, watch the waves, and quietly exit the national stage. We can only hope.

Life Choice 3: Rachel Uchitel

Jumping onto the national stage in a more prominent way, we find Tiger mistress # 1, Rachel Uchitel. Apparently, she gave such a fabulous interview to Mario Lopez about her life and the difficulties she has endured that “Extra” snatched her up and hired her to do a weekend report on what’s “hot” in Hollywood. She brings a certain unique expertise to the subject of nightspots and the celebrities who spend time in them. I, for one, am grateful to know I can count on her commentary and insight.

I have a question here. Was she not mortified at having been identified as one of Tiger’s many mistresses? Why did that feeling go away? I think I liked Rachel better when she was hiding behind Gloria Allred in LAX and calling off press conferences.

So choose Rachel. The upside: you probably have a couple of great gifts from Tiger tucked away somewhere. I hope so. Otherwise, you were just one of more than a dozen mistresses he had tucked away all over the country. The downside: your gig on “Extra” notwithstanding, your affair with Tiger Woods is the defining moment of your life and will remain so forever. And if that sounds dramatic, call Monica and see what she has to say.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Why Old Spice just may reinvent relationships.

Just wait - it's not really that much of a leap when you consider the following.

Here's a link to today's Daily Caller column.

Enjoy -

Friday, February 05, 2010

My 'beautiful' Mommy: no, this isn't a sentimental story.

Here'a link to my piece in The Daily Caller this morning.

Once again, you can't make this stuff up. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Sheltering = protecting. But what's too much?

Just reading about this made me want to weep. I want to cry for the lack of good sense and “live and let live” philosophy that seems to have abandoned our society. It also makes me want to send cheerful little “hang in there” cards to some of the parents living in the North Kansas City School District.

But first, let’s review the truth behind the headlines, shall we? Several years ago, Zookeepers at New York’s Central Park Zoo observed Silo and Roy, two male chinstrap penguins, trying to hatch a rock in order to begin their family. When another penguin family rejected one of their eggs, Silo and Roy took it in. The two males adopted the egg, hatched it and raised the chick, called Tango, as their own. According to a senior keeper at the zoo, the male penguins behaved exactly as the male/female set of parents when caring for a chick. (Except they didn’t abandon their egg.)

That’s the “live and let live” part of this story. Honest to God, stuff like this is interesting to me but only marginally so. I’m not prone to what some might call histrionics. In other words, I’m not horrified and appalled at the prospect of two male penguins raising a chick, nor am I simply delighted and entranced with the news. It just “is” if you know what I mean.

That didn’t stop children’s book authors Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, along with illustrator Henry Cole from creating And Tango Makes Three, which tells the story of Silo, Roy and Tango. Since its publication, it has caused parents scattered around the country undue angst. They don’t welcome a “children’s” book (for ages 4 – 8) that discusses or espouses a point of view about what they see as a controversial subject, including the idea of same sex couples raising a child.

There are all kinds of people in the world and we all don’t agree. But for me, I don’t have the energy required to get all charged up about gay couples (penguin or human) raising a child together if they choose to do so. God bless and good luck to you. I know lots of straight people who seem like they’re good parents (but may not be) and gay people who seem like they’d make good parents (but may not be). Who can say?

Point is, the book was written, and people loved it or hated it. Dozens of protests later, not to mention after seeing it listed on the 'most banned books' lists for several years, can’t we leave it alone?

No; no we can’t. I just read about the School Board in North Kansas City that voted to keep the book on library shelves but not without punishing parents. As if we don’t have enough to do, the district has now added the elementary school card catalog online, which now lists every book in the entire district’s system. So now if you don’t want your elementary school child to read And Tango Makes Three, you can hop online and create your own banned books list on his or her behalf.

My own children are beyond the public school system, but I can tell you this right now: I would not have had nearly enough interest, energy, fear or time to review every book in the district’s system, and then create a “may not check out” list for my children. If that makes me neglectful, so be it. If it makes me permissive and too hands-off, fine. I accept.

When my boys were growing up, we made a deal. Once they were old enough to choose their own reading material, they could. But for every book they chose, they agreed to read a book I recommended. And when they read a book that I knew contained language that felt more “adult” to me, I addressed it like this: The words and expressions in that book are the choice of the writer to tell his or her story, selected for specific reasons. His choice / her choice: not mine. Read them and enjoy the book, but I don’t want to hear them from you. You know how we talk to each other in this house and cursing at each other doesn’t work for me. Deal?

Seems to have worked out so far. I’m no saint but I do appreciate polite language, especially around a home with children in it. Not one of my kids has ever cursed at me or their father. I’ve never had to apologize for language they used that offended someone nearby, and for me, that feels good.

What does this have to do with penguins and online card catalogs and banned books lists? It’s really all about control and restriction. About possibly passing along prejudice from generation to generation. About not being open to unfamiliar ideas or different points of view and making sure your children aren’t either.

To me, that’s unfortunate. And ultimately pointless. After all, your kids will be thumbing through the card catalog of life before you know it.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Whispering, showers, and maybe illicit sex: must be 24

Couple of notes and general points of confusion while watching 24:

It sounds like Jack Bauer, driving near some docks or warehouses or something, somewhere outside NYC and talking on a headset with Chloe and his boss, has a signal that lets his call come through clearer than my land line at home.

Favorite quotes of the show:

"I have a 5% lag on my drone's ABS controls … I think they may be running hot."
"Okay, I’ll free up space on auxiliary servers."
Quintessential 24 geek speak!

Be there in 30 minutes tops. [This is new. Everything in LA was fifteen minutes away.]

From the Dr. treating patient: no quick fix for someone who is sick with weapons grade uranium. No kidding. But Joseph acts like his brother can get a booster shot and he’ll be cured.

"I'm sending instructions to download onto your PDA on how to wire money."

Jack whispered at least nine lines in a row as they set up the plan – the other guy said everything back to him out loud.

"Be at the parking garage in 20 minutes."

In the same setting where the whispering about the plan took place, Jack shouts "WE NEED TO MOVE NOW!!!" at the top of his lungs.

Five or six hours into the day, Dana’s hair is still perfect, draped across her shoulder.

I like how she meets her ex-boyfriend directly outside the door of CTU and doesn’t expect anyone will see her…except for her coworker who is watching her on a closed circuit camera type thing. This is the most pointless sub-plot ever.

Renee takes a shower????? In the middle of an undercover operation?? Isn’t she wearing a headset or earpiece or something???

Wet hair from shower – want to see how it looks in the next scene…What the heck is she talking on if she's showering???

And Jack’s still not there? "I'm going dark." Okay – she puts the tiny little ear bug down the drain.

Arrest a senior delegate; take him to Embassy for questions. Then - a mystery call from the Aide who arrests him to the President's daughter. Called her to tell her he couldn't talk.

Cut to a medical lesson about how to give meds to radioactive brother. Three weeks of pills plus a drip bag. Except - nope. Dr got shot. Ambushed by dad’s guys and Joseph and his brother head back home with them.

Jack finally arrives. Wearing glasses so he looks like a real counter spy. Also speaks fluent German with American accent because he traveled with his dad and went to university here.

Transfers money after speaking to Russian. An hour until he gets info about the purchase.

Opens suitcase laptop on car trunk to transfer $$. Multiple accounts so it can’t be traced. Lots of grids and globes and flashing lights indicate the money is moving.

Renee is shower-fresh and dressed again. Hair is miraculously dry but in a ponytail! Hurrah!!

Money almost done transferring...wait...wait...Swat team take out almost all the Russian guys.

Jack, whispering: "Call your man." Jack, shouting: "DO IT!!"

Dying Russian brother and Joseph home again facing Dad's wrath. Joseph going to get killed by dad. Nope – the brother got it instead. [Prediction: Joseph will end up working with Jack.]

So is the president’s traitor brother is still in another room with the two hookers? Guess so - it's only been about an hour.