Models and role models

    November 18th, 2009

    If you watched the finale of “America’s Next Top (Petite) Model,” I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    Of all the seasons, Cycle 13 got it right. The panel of judges did away with the vapid, conceited and cut-throat personalities and chose two women who displayed beauty, compassion and substance — not to mention a genuine camaraderie and concern for each other.

    Does this mean short women are nicer than short men? Hmmm…. But I digress.

    Though the victory of drop-dead gorgeous redhead Nicole wasn’t a shocker, Ben and I were rooting for “Kentucky” — better known as Laura — whose innocence, infectious optimism and irresistible Kentucky twang made for a girl as sweet as apple pie. With that said, I was still happy for the winner, who herself was painfully shy and awkward growing up.

    At last, the spotlight was cast on pretty women who were also undeniably beautiful on the inside, despite whatever personal or socioeconomic challenges the two have faced in their lives. Thank you, Tyra.

    Friday Funnies – 4

    November 13th, 2009

    Three guys stranded on a desert island find a magic lantern containing a genie, who grants each of them one wish.

    The first guy wishes he was off the island and back home.

    The second guy wishes the same.

    The third guy says “I’m lonely. I wish my friends were back here.”

    Analyze this

    November 13th, 2009

    I have seven more days to sign up for 2010 health benefits at work. I’ve been putting off this very big responsibility because I’m not in the mood to decode legalese.

    While poring over 50-page Summary Plan Descriptions for each option, comparing the costs versus benefits, I stopped to surmise, “This is outrageous.”

    Then one of my coworkers came to my aid. She told me that once upon a time, before our company lost its identity due to mergers and acquisitions, she was charged with taking the HR benefits documents and simplifying them with the use of plain English for the masses to understand. What a concept!

    Toward the end of our session, my coworker had summarized scores of pages in less than 10 bullet points. She is a god.

    So it got me thinking: Why must our corporations, our courts and our congress — entities that essentially serve the people — communicate to us in Pig Latin? Pages and pages of Pig Latin! Case in point: the House of Representatives’ version of the health care reform bill, which comes in at 1,990 pages and includes paragraphs like this one, according to Poltico.com:

    “(a) Outpatient Hospitals – (1) In General – Section 1833(t)(3)(C)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(t)(3)(C)(iv)) is amended – (A) in the first sentence – (i) by inserting “(which is subject to the productivity adjustment described in subclause (II) of such section)” after “1886(b)(3)(B)(iii); and (ii) by inserting “(but not below 0)” after “reduced”; and (B) in the second sentence, by inserting “and which is subject, beginning with 2010 to the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(iii)(II)”.

    What. The. Fuck. This kind of shit infuriates me. It’s inexplicable and oppressive. It makes me almost thankful that my benefits materials are as coherent as they are.

    But the fact still remains that policies and laws that affect laymen are rarely communicated in laymen’s terms. Which makes for more blind, deaf and dumb Americans than we’d ever imagine.


    November 11th, 2009

    To mark Veterans Day, my husband’s company gave its employees the day off.

    I still had to go to work, even though my company has promised to grant me and other workerbees a floating holiday to use by year’s end. We’ll see about that.

    Anyway, this situation made for a very jealous Minal this morning, as I dragged ass to clothe and groom myself while Ben stayed in bed all cozy and warm.

    He did get up to help me pack my lunch — a very husbandly nicety.

    He was so husbandly, in fact, that as I pulled out of the garage and onto our street, still grouchy, Ben was standing outside our front door, with a paper or magazine in one hand and a coffee mug (empty, because he doesn’t drink coffee) in another. He looked at me, grinned and raised the mug à la Ward Cleaver.

    His hokeyness made me laugh so loud through my open window I worried the entire cul-de-sac heard.

    “He’s totally the man for me,” I thought.

    Slow season

    November 10th, 2009

    This is about the time of year that I begin to experience burnout.

    The weather is colder and the days are shorter, and because of this I speed home after work on weekdays so I could salvage the few minutes of daylight that are left. But once home, the cats are in a frenzy to go out, which is not allowed when it’s dark because, well, would you enjoy searching for your sly black cat at night? So while the cats are revolting over lost play time — swatting at each other, hissing, meowing incessantly wherever I stand — I am losing my damn mind, thinking “Cat soup for dinner.”

    Yes, once the sky dims, my day and its potential come to an end. Motivation suffers. The minutes, hours and days blend together into one remarkably uneventful blob.

    To add to the problem: I am out of vacation days, and the holidays are still weeks away. Soon, work will slow down to an intolerable pace and I will be the lone ranger in the office while the other, smarter folks who hoarded their PTO throughout the year are enjoying time off and avoiding this very real burnout.

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