Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Holiday Gift Ads

Just a little rant here about how much I loathe most of the holiday gift ads that crop up on TV every year around this time... You know the ones I'm talking about, where the woman only wants jewelry and the man only wants a car. And of course only straight couples or "traditional" families engage in these holiday gift exchanges - no same-gender couples or single folks out there at all, right?

For example, let's take a moment to analyze that ad I saw the other evening for Jared Galleria of Jewelry. It goes something like this: A couple enters a home and joins some other guests (young couple & old couple) in the living room. The woman in the new couple exclaims, "He went to Jared!" in a delighted tone of voice. The woman from the other young couple glares at her man (oh who are we kidding here - of course he's supposed to be her husband) and says accusingly, "He went to Jared!" with the implication that her man did not do so and is thus both inferior and contemptible. The husband says forlonly, "He went to Jared," in a tone of deep regret, indicating that he made a mistake in judgement by neglecting this oh-so-important part of the holiday ritual. The ad then cuts to images of gemstones and jewelry with a voiceover extolling the virtues of Jared. Finally we return to the living room where the old gentlemen praises the "good" husband by saying reverently, "You went to Jared!", to which the blessed husband proudly responds, "I went to Jared." as his wife looks on admiringly.


So many things are wrong with this image and this message that I don't even know where to begin, so I'll be brief and focus on the most obvious trio. First of all, the ad assumes that all women want jewelry as a gift (not!). Then the ad suggests that not just any jewelry will do but that said jewelry must come from Jared as no other store is worthy. Finally, the ad implies that the mark of a good man/husband is to know how to spend money and where to spend money and that any man who doesn't do so appropriately must be disdained and mocked. Hmm. Now that's a message that's just full of peace, love, and holiday cheer, don't you think?

Personally, I much prefer the mutual gift of a couples massage package that E & I will be sharing a day or so after the big Giftmas (props to LNJ for that term). So much better to spend some quality relaxation time together than to waste money on shiny metal and sparkly rocks...


WALD Rocks!

A recent incident that went a long way towards restoring my faith in the existence of honorable and decent companies:

We have Working Assets Long Distance, and last month I made several calls to my girl A in Spain. The bill arrived, as bills are wont to do, and the amount was a wee bit higher than normal due to these overseas calls. Not unexpected, but we decided we really ought to investigate the WALD international plan possibilities before I make any more of those across-the-seas phone calls. My fabulous E took responsibility for contacting WALD and learned of the very reasonable option for $.10/minute international calls with an additional flat fee of $3.99/month for the international plan. Fabulous. Now here comes the even more fabulous, restored-my-faith-in-humanity part...

WALD switched us to this plan retroactively! Yes, folks, a long-distance phone company willingly credited us over $100 by applying our new plan to our old phone bill. Take that, you nasty SBC folks! Now that's the way a company should operate. That's the kind of customer service that makes the world a better place.

So if y'all haven't switched to Working Assets yet, I highly recommend you do so. It'll make you feel warm and fuzzy all over!


"Hall of Shame"

So I made the "Hall of Shame" page on the Sanctity of Human Life Network's web page. The photos are actually quite attractive, and I may even print some of them. Of course, I didn't sign a release form or give permission to publish my image on this site, and the PPMM legal folks are looking into potential courses of action to take against SOHL. I figure at the very least we should all be getting paid royalties for the use of our photos, right?! :)


Trivial Irritations, Take 2

So yesterday morning I composed a long entry about a cluster of recent trivial irritations that are taking up more time and energy than they should. Fittingly, Blogger decided to eat that post, simply adding yet another trivial irritation to the list.



Renouncing My Country of Birth

Today, it's clear to me that I'm not of this country, that I don't really belong here at all.

From all reports, Bush will be in the White House for another four long years, and the majority of my supposed "fellow" Americans are responsible for putting him there, not to mention for banning gay marriage in 11 of these "United States." What a misnomer. There's nothing "united" about this country at all, especially not right now.

I feel sick.

I can't even express what I'm thinking and feeling right now except for this knot in the pit of my stomach and this wild desire to flee. When I think about how the country has changed over the past four years, how the Bush administration has damaged so much that I held/hold dear, how our international relations have soured, how the economy has suffered, how my civil liberties and rights as a woman have been degraded, how people whom I love (i.e. LGBTQ) have been devalued and disenfranchised - it just makes me shake my head in frustration and anger and fear and sorrow.

I feel sick.

My country has betrayed me.

Today, I'm ashamed of being an American.


Busy Month

So my blogging will likely be more infrequent in November since I've got lots and lots and lots of commitments this month. Here's a brief rundown:

1. New job @ PPMM = M 10:30am-3:30pm, T/W 10am-3pm
2. Kaplan tutoring = M 4-5:30pm, W 3:30-5:30pm
3. Kaplan teaching = W 6-8:30pm (and 1 T 6-9pm)
4. Kaplan training = M 6-9:30pm
5. Chandelle touring = away Th-Sa 11/4-11/6 & 11/11-13 + Th-Fri 11/18-11/19
6. Thanksgiving vacation = gone to Midwest for a week
7. PPMM escorting = T 8-10am
8. Volleyball (when possible) = T 7-9pm
9. Pilates (when possible) = W 6:15-7am
10. Other working out = 6:45-7:30am (and this is SO necessary for my sanity & health!)

Phew! So y'all will understand if I don't update too much this month, right?!