Friday, March 14, 2008

The Next 28 Minutes

There's a great pizza commercial where the wife says, "They'll be here in 30 minutes." The husband dashes into the bedroom and comes out in a smoking jacket and a flower between his teeth. The wife says, "That's nice, Honey, but what will we do for the other 28 minutes?"

That was kind of Hubs' reaction to hearing about Governor Spitzer's dalliance at the Emperor's Club. At $4K an hour, what did they do for the other 58 minutes? Okay, maybe it took a little bit longer, but still...

I was impressed by the money. $4K an hour? Who can afford that?!

Hubs and I both agreed I was in the wrong business. And what does the former Governor say to his young daughters when they ask him for career advice? Are there any legitimate careers where a young woman can make $4K/hour? (Does Julia Roberts earn $4K/hour now?)

What made this particular woman--or any in the Emperor's "stable" worth that kind of money? What talents did they possess that couldn't be found elsewhere?

I imagine Mrs. Spitzer is feeling particularly undervalued. Although I'm reminded of a scene in Analyze This! Billy Crystal, the psychiatrist to Robert DeNiro's Mafia Don, asked DeNiro why he had a mistress. DeNiro explained that his mistress performed certain sexual acts that he enjoyed. Crystal asks why DeNiro doesn't simply ask his wife to perform those acts.

DeNiro responds, "Are you crazy? She kisses my children with that mouth!"

Perhaps Gov. Spitzer felt the same way.

Racism, Redefined

One bonus to being chauffeured everywhere is that I'm spending a lot more time with DD#1. Her car is small and, because she is the driver, she controls the radio station we listen to (family rule). So one of the morning DJs brings up Geraldine Ferraro's comment about Barack Obama.

Now DD#1 is too young to remember Ms. Ferraro and her place in history. And she doesn't particularly care for Ms. Clinton, either. So she hadn't paid attention to the fuss. I had and I commented that Ms. Ferraro's comment was probably, in essense, correct.

"But that's a racist comment," DD#1 said.

"Really? Pointing out that Mr. Obama's credentials are light and that if he were white he wouldn't be considered for the Presidency is racist? But she didn't say anything negative about his being black," I pointed out.

"She brought up his race. Any time you mention a person's race, you're racist."

"That's right, Mom," chimed in DS#2.

"Even if it's positive?"

"Yes."

"Being racist isn't always negative or about negative things," DD#1 elaborated. "You're just commenting on their race."

"What if I refer to your red hair..." I began.

"You're being racist," she stated. "I consider redheads a race."

Wow.

I couldn't think of any argument. According to two of my children (DD#2 was in the car but refused to be drawn into the discussion), any mention at all of anyone's race or physical attributes makes you a racist. Which doesn't necessarily carry the same negative connotation I thought it did. It's kind of the opposite of Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of a color-blind society. This new society recognizes that, yes, races exist and we notice them. How can we not? But our judgements about a person's ability isn't determined by those physical characteristics.

Somehow, I don't think the MSM or the rest of the world has adopted this particular outlook quite yet.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dexter: TV Series & Book Review

My review of Dexter, the TV series and book series, is up at Catholic Media Review.

Breaking News...

Well, not really. The news is that my arm is healing nicely. I don't have to wear the sling anymore and I can drive "if you feel you can do so safely." Hey, I didn't feel I could drive safely before my arm was broken! Drivers around here are nuts. And my car is a stick.

DD#1 is anxious to not have to chauffeur me around, especially in the early morning when she drops her two younger sibs and myself at BART.

Both daughters were very happy when I could dress myself without help. That was my goal for the end of February because there was a conference in Long Beach I was scheduled to attend. It's the only conference I get to go to and I didn't want to miss it. I did take advantage of early boarding on my flight, however. There was no way I could sling my suitcase into the overhead bin.

Last Sunday was DS#2's Eagle Court of Honor. Lots of people came--family, friends, fellow Scouters, members of the troop. I babied my arm, not hauling tables, chairs, or platters of food. By Monday night, though, my arm was really sore. When I thought about it, I had hugged around 100 people on Sunday and most of them were taller than me! DS#1 made it up and said wonderful things about his younger brother. In fact, he was so complimentary, I was waiting for the punch line.

Every day gets a little bit better. I try to move my arm a little bit more, a bit further. I'm back at the office, skirts, blouse, nylons, makeup, and all. But the test will be when I go back to the gym and walk through the shower room on my way to the pool. I'm a bit nervous, still, about that!