Thursday, July 14

Obama Tryna Tweet

President Barack Obama held a Twitter town hall Wednesday July 6th, moderated by Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter. A small number of Twitter users were selected to participate in the town hall. Any Twitter user could send a question to the president via the Twitter town hall participants. The town hall participants determined which questions were finally tweeted to the president.
I was not among the selected town hall twitterers. I am incensed. How could I have been so grossly overlooked? I want to know the criteria used to determine the elite Twitter town hall participants. If you read my tweets you would understand my fury at this particular injustice. My best description of my own tweets is literary genius.
Twitter limits each post to 140 characters. The tweet therefore, must communicate a lot in very few words. In other words, it is really just a contest to see who can write the best haiku. Obama was excused from the 140 character limitation. I think that’s like saying we are going to play checkers, but the President can move anywhere on the board whenever he feels like it. Normally I would beat this point to death, but I am so impressed that he ventured into the Twitter arena that I am willing to overlook his Twitter double-dealing.
The brilliance of Twitter is its instant accessibility to a widespread audience. One misworded tweet is proliferated across the globe like a pandemic. One ridiculous statement (think Weiner) has immediate impact that simply didn’t exist four years ago. It takes a certain amount of courage to step up to the plate and engage in a dynamic political conversation under the eyes of millions. One loss at the game of Twitter has grave consequences.
It has been confirmed that the Fox news account was hacked on July 4. Disturbing tweets were posted under the Fox news Twitter account inaccurately stating that Obama had been shot and killed. Twitter accounts are hacked with significant consequences. Then there are those Twitter users who only wish that their accounts were hacked. Contrary to his public statement, Anthony Weiner’s Twitter account was not hacked. However, after reading his tweets, they certainly appear hacked. If I were responsible for Weiner’s public relations I would have recommended long ago that he claim his account had been hacked.
One of Weiner’s tweet gems, “On with Rachel tonight. Gonna talk about Trump eating pizza with a fork!”
Weiner would have been better off avoiding Twitter altogether. Even users who grew up with Twitter are challenged by reasonable tweet composition. Asher Roth, a young rapper tweeted, “hanging out with nappy headed hoes.” He followed up with an apology “sorry scoot, not tryna be offensive.”
Ultimately I think waiving the 140 character limitation for Obama was a good idea. It would have been painful to read a presidential tweet, “potus tryna fix econ & defcit – what’s ur q?” I for one am relieved that our president is not the source of another Twitter controversy.
link to Asher Roth's idiocy

Monday, July 11

A review of Bristol Palin’s fruit-flavored book

I recently bought frozen, chocolate chip cookies, baked and served them to my guests as if they were “homemade”. Similarly, Bristol Palin has “written” a book and it is now available in bookstores across America. It is titled, Not Afraid of Life, My Journey So Far. If Bristol at age 20 is already on a book-worthy journey, I must be nearing the end of an epic-long trek.
You probably don’t need to read the book as the made-for-TV movie is sure to be out soon. Depending on who is cast as Bristol, you may want to watch even if TV is not your thing since the book begins with a sex scene.
According to Bristol, the sex scene and resulting pregnancy was the consequence of too many sweet wine coolers. Bristol admits of the evil wine coolers, “I slowly surrendered to their woozy charms.” I’ve known it all along but now I have documented proof. Wine coolers are the magician’s muse and the devil’s dessert.
Bristol writes, “I never drank. In fact, I knew nothing about anything bad really….especially the differences between vodka, beer and whiskey. I didn’t know that the girly flavored wine coolers were just as likely to get you drunk as the hard stuff.” I’ve only read the first chapter and I’ve already learned so much from Bristol’s journey. I now know that when I tell my children “It’s illegal to drink alcohol under the age of 21” I will also need to say, “That includes wine coolers, even the girly flavors.”
I contacted the wine cooler manufacturer to discuss the serious implications of their fruity flavors. They seemed unconcerned and said they would “get back to me.” I then decided to test the dangerous girly-flavored wine coolers to determine for myself how many it takes to become completely intoxicated, pass out and wake up pregnant. Since wine coolers have low alcohol content I figured I would need to drink them as fast as possible to get to the point of semi-consciousness.
The only remarkable thing I can say about my first drink is that it was refreshing. After I finished my third drink in 30 minutes I felt like a fruit salad floating out to sea. There was no chance I could drink enough wine coolers to get totally sloshed and hit the pavement face down. I can’t explain how Bristol got pregnant, but I don’t think it was the charming wine coolers.
“Why am I telling you-and my family for the first time-this personal information?” Bristol shares with the reader. I wondered the same thing and continued reading, hoping to find some reasonable answer.
I have reached page 16 in Not Afraid of Life, My Journey So Far and I feel like I’m pretty much done. I think I have the general gist of her life and journey thus far. Technically, Bristol has included many polysyllabic words and handily used her thesaurus.
More than ever I appreciate the importance of a good editor. With that in mind, I have baked homemade, not frozen, chocolate chip cookies which I am delivering to my editor today.

Sunday, July 10

Ice Hockey Doesn’t Require a Fork

I don’t follow sports, sports follows me. The sports page is everywhere, the kitchen counter, the bathroom floor and ESPN is a permanent fixture. My life is infiltrated by the sports drama du jour and currently it’s the Stanly Cup Playoffs.

Bruins center, Patrice Bergeron

Normally I would feign interest in ice hockey but this year the playoff games have been unavoidably riveting, like a bad train wreck. In game one, the Vancouver Canuck’s forward Alex Burrows bit the finger of Boston Bruin’s center, Patrice Bergeron. Who does that? There were visible bite marks on Bergeron’s finger. The brawl was a channel changer for me. Stanley Cup or not, I can’t watch cannibalism disguised as ice hockey.

I would like to point out that a grown man gnawed on another man’s finger and wasn’t even suspended from the game. I knew a little boy who was permanently excused from preschool for biting. My son bit my daughter exactly one time. I put him in a very long timeout and took away his favorite toy – forever. Burrows didn’t even get a timeout in the penalty box. I assumed it was universally understood that biting, hitting and kicking was unacceptable. I thought as a responsible parent it was my duty to insure that my son never bit again or he would surely be suspended from preschool. Little did I know that this skill would actually serve him well as a professional ice hockey player?
I wish I could say that the biting incident was the only moment of gore during these playoff games but the players continuously slammed each other into the boards like barbarians. Bruins player, Nathan Horton left the ice in a horizontal position, strapped to a stretcher in game three after Canucks player Aaron Rome knocked him onto the ice with an illegal hit. Now Horton can’t say “who” and thankfully Rome has been suspended for four games (I would have taken his car keys for a year). Why can’t the players leave their extra-curricular aggression out back in the parking lot and play hockey on the ice?

The on-ice violence has been so unappetizing that I’ve actually lost weight over the course of the playoff games. Who could possibly drink beer and eat wings when players are trying to inflict permanent wounds and eat each other’s fingers? What is going on in the world of ice hockey? Are the players having problems at home? I simply can’t believe that all of these men were improperly reared by irresponsible parents.
I would suggest anger management training but I think at this stage they all need to go back to kindergarten. Lesson one: don’t run with scissors. Lesson two: clean up your toys. Lesson three: don’t hit, kick or bite.
Sports may have taken up residence in my home, but ice hockey has been permanently ejected.
Boston Globe article does justice to Patrice

Saturday, July 9

The Father’s Day gift that keeps on giving

The challenge of yet another gift giving holiday – the present. What is an appropriate present on father’s day? I’ve already given the tie, the tie rack, the picture frame, the mug – you name it’s been wrapped and offered up as the gift above all others. This father’s day, beyond the heartfelt, thoughtfully crafted card made by the children in less than 90 seconds, I was stumped for ideas.

And then I landed on an idea so brilliant, so original, even I was impressed with myself. I spared no cost and gave the gift of life. Yes, you guessed it – kittens. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. The trusting relationship between an animal and owner is priceless. Pet owners will tell you that the memory of a loved pet lives on in the annals of the family history forever. Pets punctuate the passage of time. Many families have a story that begins with “Do you remember when we got our cat fluffy?” What father wouldn’t want kittens on Father’s Day?

Armed with these arguments, the children and I trooped down to the Humane Society for a look-see. The Humane Society is cleaner and nicer than my daughter’s old daycare. The volunteers are some of the nicest people in the world and should really be assigned to the Naples visitor center to greet tourists. People would be moving here in droves if the Humane Society staff was represented as the average Naples citizen. How could we not adopt two kittens from Dottie, the lovely volunteer? If I could have adopted Dottie as my Aunt, I would have taken her home as well.
There was no way my children could keep two kittens a secret so we didn’t bother to wait until the actual date of father’s day to present our gift. The secret lasted exactly two hours as we waited impatiently for him to come home from work. My husband innocently opened the door, walked across the threshold and was greeted with shrieks of delight. “Happy Father’s Day Daddy, we got you kittens!” He stood stunned and motionless as the children pushed a box of kittens across the floor towards his feet. He walked into the never used living room, slumped down on the sofa and stared up at the ceiling. I have never seen that look on his face before and I have known him for over twenty years. I chose to interpret his expression as extreme glee and behaved as if we had just given him a Rolex watch.
I recently read an advertisement for a DVD that could change my whole life for only $19.99. The ad said “if you believe it will happen, you can make it come true.” I didn’t pay $19.99 but I decided to try the philosophy anyway. I believed that my husband was thrilled with his gift, knowing that it would soon be true. The children enthusiastically detailed the litany of kitten names under consideration, “Doodads, Pop Tart, Sprinkles, Fluffy” and finally agreed upon “Cupcakes” and “Pickles.”  My daughter plopped Pickles, a black fluffy kitten in my husband’s lap and said “look Daddy, she loves you!” My husband stared blankly at all of us and said “Do we have kittens? Are we keeping these kittens?” All of us squealed “yes” and I said “Aren’t they adorable? Don’t you just want to snuggle them?” His silence was deafening. 
How could he possibly dampen the happiness of his hopeful wife and excited children with his true response which I suspect wasn’t extreme glee. Finally he said, “Yes, they are adorable, I love my present.” A father’s love is the gift that keeps on giving. Happy Father’s Day.

Thursday, July 7

Public Relations

It is an unwritten rule that friendly chit chat is acceptable in any public space from the grocery store to the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Let’s all agree however, on one place where social interaction is not allowed under any circumstances – the Hospital emergency room. It is public space, but no one goes there voluntarily. Everyone, even the kid with the broken arm looks contagious. All form of contact between should be avoided, the more buffer space between each patient the better.

I was recently, involuntarily at the emergency room when who should walk in but my husband’s boss. I slumped down in my chair so low that my body was parallel to my seat. I needed a magazine to cover my face and as luck would have it, there were none in the vicinity. I covered my eyes with my hands as if I was in extreme pain and the woman two seats away from me loudly said “Oh look at that.” I ignored her. Then she stood up, walked over to the window, turned directly to me and said “look at this, you have to come see this, a helicopter has landed.” As quiet as a church mouse I said, “oh really?” in hopes that this would assuage her desire to engage in idle chit chat. I quickly grabbed my mobile phone and called my husband. He wasn’t there so I left a voicemail, hung up and then continued to talk as if I was in a very serious private discussion. The woman stopped talking to me and from the corner of my eye it appeared that my husband’s boss didn’t notice me. Then, my phone rang. Yes, the very same phone on which I was having the pretend conversation. Every head in the waiting room turned as a nurse pointed to a sign and loudly said “do not use your cell phone in the patient area.” I was so red in the face I probably looked like I had a high fever or at the very least a life threatening rash. There was no avoiding his boss. I looked directly at him and said “Hi, I have a really bad rash.”

All of this could have been avoided if the universal law of no communication in the emergency room were in place. I would hereby like to introduce the emergency room involuntary patient anti-socialization law. If a person as social as me supports this law, then surely it will pass through congress without contest.