Voca Teria Que Ser Un Genio

1. I Am An Idiot

Topaz disappeared one night about ten days after we moved into this house. We were a little nervous. In the middle of the night, a cat meowed loudly. Drusy often meows in the middle of the night. I called Drusy over and over. She usually jumps on my chest, keeeesses me and that’s that, but not that night. Around 4:30 a.m., Pete mumbled, “What’s wrong with her?” I said I didn’t know but I’d call the vet. At 6:05, the alarm rang. I got up, opened the bathroom door and found Topaz crocheting an escape ladder out of toilet paper. “Moron!” she hissed as she ran past me, stopped suddenly and licked her paw. I promised her when she called I’d come running. And I’d mop the floor.

2. I Am A Genius

I forget Drusy follows me everywhere and I whirl through the house like a dervish. Two days after our mutual sleepless night, I heard a cat meowing urgently. At first, I thought, ‘Oy, I’m working here’ but then I remembered: I promised. At the top of the stairs, I found Topaz facing a closed door. “It’s about time, duh!” she meowed. Under the door, I saw a shadow. Drusy! Topaz led me to poor Drusy, shut into one of the rooms! I opened the door, scritched the distressed pussycat and ran to tell Pete, who was not at all surprised. “Topaz is all ‘C’mere, c’mere, Drusy’s stuck down the well,’ but let Topaz need help and Drusy’s like, ‘Who?'”

3. I Am An Idiot

Topaz is an escape artist. When we were at the apartment, if the door opened, Topaz was off like a shot: out the door and into the hallway, sometimes up the stairs, so before we moved over here, Pete screened off the back porch. Don’t get excited. A little lumber, some screen, a few screws, a latch and – bingo! – a temporary Cat Containment Facility. Topaz sits at the kitchen door and mews, “Mama, I want to go out and play, Mama.” If the latch is latched, I let her out onto the porch, where there are millions of new things to sniff. Yesterday, I let her out and forgot she was out there. Finally, I heard a bit of plaintive mewing. As I walked toward the kitchen, I could see Topaz about halfway up the screen storm door, and I have no idea how long she was hanging there, hissing, “Moron! Oh…moron!”

4. I Am A – Oh, Forget It…

Get a load of this shit:

It’s election time and your vote counts! So get into the spirit of 1776 with 15 fun and classic songs that celebrate everything that makes our country great in SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK! THE ELECTION COLLECTION! Plus, keep track of the actual voting results in all 50 states with the exclusive Election Tracking Kit with stickers and experience the new to DVD song “Presidential Minute” – with two surprise endings! A generation of young Americans learned that American history and government could be fun with the award-winning animated series SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK. Now a whole new generation of patriots can be inspired by memorable songs that explain how our government is set up in “I’m Just A Bill” and “Three-Ring Government”, how the electoral process works in “I’m Gonna Send Your Vote To College”, and more! Your house – and the White House – are gonna rock this year!

Rock the White House? The only thing we’re gonna rock this year is the poor house.

Lies And Deceit Gained A Little More Power

Pete and I just came back from the feared, loathed and loved Somerset Diner, where Sixty Minutes was on five or six giant flat screen TVs, muted, with closed captioning scrolling down the page at an energetic clip. Thing was: the transcriptonist must’ve been Welsh or Israeli or something where vowels were optional and word breaks were created with delicious whimsy. The result was – and I hope you saw this at home – gibberish. I looked up a few times and came within inches of inhaling french fries, which would have made me miserable because those french fries were really good. In any case, Wall Street is melting down, and anyone still advocating deregulation and socialized losses for the rich deserves not a promotion but a turn at public humiliation.

Fortunately – did I mention it? – Sixty Minutes was on, Scott Pelley’s an absolute moron, and there was public humiliation for viewer, interviewer and candidate alike.

Cannot Rest, We Cannot Rest

I love Quakers. They’re full of interesting ideas about non-violent interaction with the world, which is much tougher than it seems, especially if you drive and would like nothing better than to knock that MADD Mother in the noggin.

Big Guy: Ta, how can non-violence be tough? Tough guys are tough! It’s tough to put on tights and crack someone’s coconut!
Tata: No, I’m sorry. You’ve mistaken tough for sexually repressed.
Big Guy: Come on! I want pointed missiles and hard targets and men in uniform.
Tata: My friend, you are gay as Christmas.

Speaking of stocking stuffers: topping my list is a gift that gives and gives, and it came to me through the Quaker ladies’ grapevine. Yes, there is one. They do too drink wine, I’ve seen ’em, duh!

Dear Friends:

They call each other that, and they seem to mean it. I KNOW! What’s wrong with them?

We may have thought we wanted a woman on a national political ticket, but the joke has really been on us, hasn’t it? Are you as sick in your stomach as I am at the thought of Sarah Palin as Vice President of the United States ?

Since Palin gave her speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Vice Presidency, Barack Obama’s campaign has raised over $10 million dollars. Some of you may already be supporting the Obama campaign financially; others of you may still be a little honked off over the primaries. None of you, however, can be happy with Palin’s selection, especially on her positions on women’s issues. So, if you feel you can’t support the Obama campaign financially, may I suggest the following fiendishly brilliant alternative?

Make a donation to Planned Parenthood or NARAL- Pro Choice In Sarah Palin’s name. And here’s the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her name, they’ll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor. Here’s the link to the Planned Parenthood and NARAL websites

Planned Parenthood

You’ll need to fill in the address to let PP/NARAL know where to send the ‘in Sarah Palin’s honor’ card. I suggest you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington , VA 22202

I haven’t felt this kind of fiery, wicked desire to Do Good since the first time I zipped up a red sequinned dress to emcee a benefit show, but don’t think mad advocacy is solely the province of women. Sometimes a bunch of insomniac boys can jack up a double-parked bandwagon.

Tata: That thing the town did with the bags was absolute genius.
Committee Lady: What bags? The town didn’t do anything with bags.
Tata: It wasn’t the town?
Committee Lady: The town didn’t do what?
Tata: On the South side a few months ago we all found tote bags hanging from our doorknobs. Not a word, nothing. People just picked them up and started taking them to the grocery store. If you give them a better way to do something people adapt.
Committee Lady: That wasn’t the town.
Tata: Huh. You’d think the town that positively gibbers about being green would have.

Turns out these guys sat up all night in the terrifying Somerset Diner with monstrous piles of french fries and dreamed up a scheme. I’m sure they meant to or mean to play other eco-pranks on the small town but I haven’t seen any. In any case, it’s genius.

Friends – I know, but why not? – it’s time to pull up a chair and lay out the funny. But, you know, all peaceful-like.

Trouble Is A Temporary Thing

Fuck you, Jillian. My mother can catch a football, I can catch a football, and my sister Daria would kick your ass for thinking about reaching for the ball.

Dissing other women is NOT a great way to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do.

P.S. Wikipedia – indulge me, Poor Impulsives:

The enactment of Title IX has helped increase participation opportunities for girls and women in sports. Female high school athletic participation has increased by 904% and female collegiate athletic participation has increased by 456%.[21] An analysis of NCAA data shows that since the passage of Title IX, participation opportunites for collegiate female athletes of color have increased 955% (2,137 in 1971 to 22,541 participants in 2000).

A 2008 study of intercollegiate athletics showed that women’s collegiate sports has grown to 9,101 teams, or 8.65 per school. The five most frequently offered college sports for women are, in order: (1) Basketball, 98.8% of schools have a team, (2) Volleyball, 95.7%, (3)Soccer, 92.0%, (4) Cross Country, 90.8%, and (5) Softball, 89.2%.

In answer to the question “How many girls can do that?” where girls = female human beings under the age of 18, the answer is “A whole lot, more every year and fuck you, Jillian.”

Know When Or Where To Go

Jill breaks out some very exciting numbers that should make every person earning a paycheck sweat. Get ready to dab:

Many of us pay the employee share of our medical premiums with pre-tax dollars so that our taxable income is lowered by the amount of our premiums. If McCain wanted to stop this practice alone, that would be bad enough. But it goes beyond that. His “health care plan” would also treat the employer share of your health insurance premium as income on which you would pay taxes.

I just received my COBRA statement from my previous employer. The premium on my health plan from said employer is just over $1100/month for family coverage. When I was employed, I paid about $300 of that per month. Under John McCain’s plan, that approximately $13,000 cost of the health insurance plan would become taxable income.

Let’s say you are single, and your taxable income after deductions and exemptions is $32,000/year — not an unreasonable assumption for many working Americans who do not live in major metropolitan areas. Under John McCain’s “health plan”, your taxable income, if you had this insurance plan, would now be $45,000. So instead of paying about $4400 in Federal income tax in the 15% bracket (10% of the first $8025 and 15% of the rest, so his actual tax percentage is 13.75%), you would now be in the 25% bracket, and your Federal income tax liability would be $7594 (25% of the amount over $32,550 plus $4,481.25).

Now let’s take a higher-paid worker with the same plan; say, someone with a taxable income of $150,000/year. He’s currently paying $35,978 in Federal income tax (24% as an actual tax percentage. Under John McCain’s “health plan”, his taxable income is now $163,000. He just manages to squeak in under the $164,550 limit to the 28% bracket, so he isn’t bumped into a higher tax bracket. His Federal income tax is now $39,618 — a jump of $3640.

McCain’s “health plan” proposes giving these workers a $2500 tax credit to “help pay for the cost of health care”, which drops the tax increase on the $32,000 worker to $694. But that worker is still paying 2.1% more in taxes because the cost of the plan is now counted as part of income. For the $150,000 worker, this credit drops the tax increase to $1140 – an 0.7% tax increase.

So John McCain’s “health plan” is really nothing more than a huge tax increase on the middle class. The higher your income, the less of a tax bite you receive from having your health insurance premiums counted as income.

And that’s assuming your employer decides to keep providing health insurance.

This is about as important as an issue gets. I’m in a relatively secure situation and for me, this would mean choosing between health insurance and eating. I can’t imagine what it would mean to retirees on fixed incomes – or worse: I can imagine. We cannot allow this to happen.

Please read the whole thing.

And Antiquated Notions

I have no idea – zero – if this is a good idea or if somewhere, a bottle of tequila wonders what just happened. I will say that when I pestered Cablevision in vain to give me the NASA Channel a few years ago, I would have watched this all day every day just for the backup dancers.

h/t: MEW.

Burn My Shadow Away

Faster than I can hope to respond come things requiring responses. Some of these things are political, some not. I can’t write letters fast enough to suit myself, and sometimes I stop. Friday morning, I lay down on the couch and couldn’t get up until just about lunchtime. That’s okay, I was just watching Drusy stand on three legs and scratch the back of her head and I couldn’t do that, either.

It’s Sunday night. I believe the fever’s passed. What’d I miss?