Friday, September 24, 2004

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I ordered a fountain pen!

I've been yearning for a working fountain pen-- you can't buy the cheap old Parker cartridge pens in Staples or Office Max anymore. Apparently profits reside with the new smearing ball points. Well, I've now got a company that sells beautiful incredibly expensive pens with a handful of affordable ones, and I ordered a pen! Maybe I won't any longer hate handwriting.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Pro bono and Quid pro Quo

We were supposed to watch a DVD of On The Waterfront last night, but Andy fell asleep, so I was surfing the web and found a documentary called Dr. 90210 ?? Or something like that, on one of the cable stations I never remember, maybe health tv? Is there such a thing?

Anyhow, it was about a plastic surgeon, Dr. Rey, who works with the stars, but this segment was about some pro bono work for a Mexican American woman who lives in a small trailer behind a car wash with husband and little son. She has a condition of extra breasts that embarrasses her and hurts her, and there is lots of explicit photography of her breasts and others– although always with the nipples smeared out! Is there a word for Fear-of-Nipples?

Dr. Rey is warm (Como esta? he cries, gives lots of big hugs to his patients) and explains to the camera that his mother cleaned houses to put him through school– and he likes to give back. At the end gets tearful over “his people.” There is also an interesting moment when he shows off a beautiful Rolex watch, and then there’s his blonde Anglo wife who is appalled by the neighborhood where he used to live. Lots of stuff that could make a good, big, thick melodrama pop novel.

But afterwards, I’m thinking to myself: he was extremely kind for a surgeon, and did this extra-breast removal for free, but what about Maria the pro bono patient. Did she think the only way to get the free surgery was to allow the cameras to run? I’m sure it was never said overtly, but people can usually smell a quid pro quo a mile away, and are usually willing to trade
So maybe it's a fair trade, but it adds another layer to things that the chubby lady with the big dimples around her smile and the nipple-smeared breasts is not some wealthy starlet but the car wash lady....

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Netscape and Internet Explorer as Hood Ornaments

Conversation with a technical person at Symantec, a young woman who decided to describe to me the imporance of my Norton Internet Security: “Your operating system,” she said, “It’s like the engine of your car, and Norton Internet Security is like the oil that makes the car run and all the other programs are like hood ornaments.” The imagery takes your breath away, doesn’t it?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Compu-slowness

The computer wasn't bothering me much, except for its extremely slow start up, but Andy thinks it's terrible and has been working on it for two days, so now I'm aware of the slowness too. Essentially, Windows causes as much problems as it solves. Simplistic, but I'm tired and annoyed.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Today

They're showing pictures and pictures on t.v. of 9-11. Much of it is shocking, moving, important, but after about fifteen minutes you start to realize that something else is happening-- it isn't just the chocolate pudding of the towers collapsing (not my image) but a kind of fakery, of a message being given that more shocking is more meaningful when it's really numbing.

Most meaningful to me was one person's story at a time: Suzanne's story-- she and Gary rode bikes south to see what was happening as everyone else struggled north-- plus the teachers I worked with for the 9-11 Teachers College Press project. For me, real people's stories, verbal and in writing.

T.V. is corrupted by selling: can't distingish experience from what will make a profit for the sponsors.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Daily Show

Polls favoring Bush, but John Kerry showed up on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show last night, a little stiff, very earnest about his health plan etc., but also with a gorgeous grin and seeming honestly appreciative of Stewart’s humor (“You may be a fourth Jew, but I’m the whole thing–” and “Tell me, is it true that every time I put ketchup on my fries that your wife gets five cents?”). I've been watching the Daily Show while I exercise my bad shoulder, and I especially like the Stephen Colbert bits-- last night, he has his charming 8 year old daughter acting the part of "Big Oil," and telling her feelings!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

September 8

Raining like a sonofagun all day, and this is just the outer fringes of Hurricane Frances. We've have lights out twice, dimmed another. I keep thinking of the diaster movie we saw early in the summer, the one where hell freezes over, or at least New York. Meanwhile, 1000 Americans dead in Iraq now, and uncounted Iraqis, but only girliemen count the little brown people, right?

Monday, September 06, 2004

Summer is over!

Beautiful weather at the lake, where we closed up the house, drank wine and beer, glued in a temporary crown, commiserated that we thought the Republicans were heading for victory, but David W. says Kerry is famous for coming on strong late, and Clinton having heart surgery! Oh dear! My age cohort having heart surgery?