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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Housecleaning... with a Vengeance.

Published by cck at 3:58 PM

K-Cali and I snorted with laughter over this last night... It even made USA Today.
Durn - and I always liked vacuuming.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sorry y'all...

Published by cck at 1:15 PM

I can't think of much to write. My Grami is sick.

This woman ALWAYS has Diet Coke when I visit. And she's really sick.
I've never done an all out prayer request in this medium, but if you'll just take a moment - her name is Carol (where my middle "C" comes from) and she's my favorite 77 year old.
My family and I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

KATRINA, Katrina, katrina...

Published by cck at 9:47 AM

I remember sitting at Salty Nut, watching the swirling colors the day before Katrina hit. I don't watch much TV and I hadn't really paid much attention to the catastrophe-waiting-to-happen. But that night, as I drank a beer and ate a grilled chicken wrap in the comfort of a wooden shack on Greene Street, I (think I) could sense what was to happen. I (think I) knew it was going to be bad. However, I had no idea that our government would have no idea how to handle the problem. In fact I'll go as far as saying, our government made it worse.

In today's NYT editorial, "A Deadly Vacuum" makes a case against Michael Chertoff.

These are the people charged with protecting us and, failing that, rescuing us. This department was put together based on the belief that everyone would be safer with every facet of preparedness, protection and response under one umbrella. The first time this new system was tested, it failed. And it failed on Mr. Chertoff's watch.

The 520 page report on Hurricane Katrina is a clear indication that the current Administration did not do what they were supposed to do. I don't know if it was a race thing (yes) or a class thing (yes) or an incompetence thing (yes!), but the Bush Administration did not help matters at all. Homeland Security, perhaps, is not the place to stick FEMA.
I realize that Hurricane Katrina was a Natural Disaster of epic proportions. I realize that Natural Disasters can't always be planned for or administrated. But, relief efforts can.
After Hurricane Charlie hit Punta Gorda, Florida in 2004 - my grandmother's little town - the relief effort was amazing. I was there and lemme tell you - things were coordinated. Our senior citizens were taken care of - to the best abilities of relief workers working in a ravaged area. Why wasn't that scenario repeated in the Gulf Coast?
We can debate what happened for years to come - the heart-breaking moments and the heroes and the mistakes... But what we have a chance to do NOW is what matters:

Right now, almost six months after Katrina hit, families are being forced to leave hotels and are moving into shelters in Louisiana. If that is not a disaster, we do not know what is. This crisis isn't over, but officials aren't behaving as if they are on a crisis footing. There is no sense of urgency in the White House or in Congress to ensure that people get the help they need.
Many people died. Many more can yet be saved.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My favorites ones are...

Published by cck at 2:09 PM

Shortbread - gotta be shortbread, followed by a close tie for caramel delites and thin mints. (Who can deny a frozen thin mint???). I adore, love and devour Girl Scout Cookies. I hide from the cute little girls in their brown and green uniforms, standing outside of the Big Lots - those cute little girls just hoping that I'll succomb to their surprisingly adept sales skills.

Nope, but I will admit that after reading about Sally Key in The State, and Fowler Cary's idea about sending boxes to troops - I might be more inclined to send a couple of boxes up to MSS!

Some people.

Published by cck at 1:57 PM

I like Aubrey Jenkins and her column, "Single in the City." Yesterday, she posted a year-in-review. One of the ten things she had learned and experienced struck me... Not as odd, but more like, "Wow. Yes, I think that too."

Some people are meant to stay in your life forever. Some are only supposed to be around for awhile. The older you get, the easier it is to know the difference.

Last night, my dear father (who took me out for the best Valentine's I have EVER had), looked at me and said, "My, you're looking older." Thanks. But I hope that I am getting older - old enough to realize how to say goodbye - and, old enough to start saying hello.

I had a friend who told me that she had many different types of friends - each one fulfilled a need she had. Not that it was as simplistic as, say, "Jane is a drinking buddy" or "Penelope and I knit." It was more that she had emotional needs and had found different people that matched up with her. I understood her, nodded my head in agreement. But, there are some friends, no matter what, will be there with you - to wallow and wail, swim through the fountain in Five Points, rejoice and sing... And some friends that just don't have that capacity.
It is getting easier to know the difference.
(Good, I've got something on my list that's good about being 25 - besides being freely able to rent a car).

Don't Worry, It's Already Broke.

Published by cck at 1:49 PM

A delightful gal mentioned this phrase to me today - "Don't worry, it's already broke." I was near tears in her office because I'd somehow managed to crash our email system. Wowsahs. Concerned about how much you depend on email? Try going without it... since yesterday afternoon. Disaster!

However, listening to her words of advice was a calming experience. Don't worry, it's already broke. I mean - how much can you apply that to? Like, everything?
It's not an excuse; it's not a device to avoid blame. Instead, it's just a phrase to remember that life (and all the stuff in it) ain't perfect.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Heart Day: Why I have the best parents in the world.

Published by cck at 11:14 AM

I adore Valentine's Day. Today, I'm wearing a fluffy pink sweater that brings back memories of Elle Woods.
I realize that I am a single chick in a sea of roses and heart-shaped balloons, but that will not cause my brow to crease. Not today.
Today is a day for heart-shaped biscuits from Bojangles (I didn't get one, I'm just sayin') and candy hearts and duh, chocolate! Roses and tulips and pretty things. I bought roses last night, just for me. Bright red and beautiful. I know I can buy roses any day of the week, and often do, but buying them the night before Valentine's Day was a sweet enterprise.

My parents are the best in the world. I've previously mentioned how holidays are big times in our household. From heart shaped pepperoni to (I swear) green colored milk on St. Pat's - my mom has always gone above and beyond Party City. She gets creative. So, when I whined about being all alone on Valentine's Day - she decided that my Dad needed to come down and take me out to dinner.
I know, sweet!
I got some goodies to have at the house and a bottle Australian red (Dad thinks they take something out of Californian wines. It's a conspiracy). While it was difficult to get a reservation the DAY BEFORE Valentine's, I managed it. And tonight - we're getting dressed up and I'm going out with my Dad. Thanks parents. I needed it this week.
I hope all of y'all have a lovely Tuesday too!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Health Care & Health Savings Plans

Published by cck at 9:09 AM

Y'know, I had a health savings plan. It was a "cafeteria plan" and part of my paycheck - my pre-tax gross income - went into this savings account. I had a credit card with a MasterCard logo and I could use it on everything from band-aids to doctor's visits As long as it was a pharmaceutical item (and the list was long), I could use this magic card to buy it.
As a single gal, it was a life saver. Worried about that high deductible? Don't. Use your Health Savings card. Worried about affording that medicine that's on the preferred list? Don't. Use your Health Savings card. You get the picture. It was great for those weeks when you got the flu but had already been, um, shoe shopping.

However, after reading Sebastian Mallaby in today's Washington Post ("Ownership Society Redux"), I'm not so sure that the Health Savings Plans should be the next great hope. I didn't even realize it was being pegged as the next great hope.

Health care - affordable, decent health care - is one of my issues. I think everyone should have it. And not in that way that all hacks talk about "improving education" (I mean, who is against improving education?);I really believe that every American should have affordable access to being cared for by a health care professional. I wrote about it a little here.
"If the administration's goal were merely to remove the tax bias against out-of-pocket health payments, it could simply make these tax-deductible. No need for health savings accounts to accomplish that -- just tell people to count out-of-pocket payments against taxable income," writes Mallaby. That makes a ton of sense, and isn't regressive.
Furthermore, Mallaby points out from a Jason Furman paper for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "No other savings vehicle enjoys so many privileges. And then there's the size of these accounts. If the aim is to discipline health spending below the deductible, why subsidize savings up to $5,250 a year -- five times more than the deductible?"
Plus, an interesting point I didn't think of (surprise), is that healthy people will flock to this new plan - leaving insurance companies with a sucking vacuum. Healthy people subsidize sick people in insurance plans. If they leave, what will we do to help the folks that regularly use health insurance?
I'm not sure about Health Savings Plans - I thought they were great - but I think, if anything, they should be an additional component of health care.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Coveting is a sin.

Published by cck at 11:01 AM

And, I can't help it. As many of my friends and acquaintances prepare to take the plunge (marriage), I am drawn to their Registries like a moth to light. I love looking at what people want to start their married lives with... And, I'll be honest, coveting their choices.

For instance, one of my dearest friends (and my favorite Bridesmaid Dress picker-outer) has registered for this. I want it bad. She's so getting it. Of course, I asked her if that's what she really wanted, as she doesn't cook. Like, at all. Her response? She's big on presentation. Hard to argue with that.

He's just not that into you.... on the web!

Published by cck at 9:47 AM

Since Miranda's shocking discovery of the "He's Just Not that INTO YOU" theory on SATC and then Oprah's bringing the book into the limelight - women everywhere have stopped wondering why he didn't call, email or show that additional ounce of attention.
(My favorite is the follow up to the original - "Be Honest -- You're Not that into Him Either").

Now, you too can receive real time advice from the internet, via Fabulous. Women (and I'm sure a few men) will now give you advice on what you know - deep down - you should do.
Just what I need - more people telling me I'm making (or have made) a mistake!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Another favorite thing...

Published by cck at 10:18 PM

I know I write a lot about makeup. I like it. It's fun. As much as I like to color my hair, I like to play with makeup. (And I like to color my hair... a lot).

So, my latest thing to share is Benefit's Benetint. It looks like runny nailpolish, in a color usually worn by six year old girls... But it's awesome stuff. It's sheer and blends well; can be mixed with other products like Estee Lauder's Spotlight or Benefit's Moonbeam. And, it lasts forever!

Movies with M&D

Published by cck at 9:56 PM

This afternoon M&D took me to the movies. I love going to the movies with my parents. They firmly believe in the large popcorn theory. No butter - I mean, we (they) have limits - but there's usually candy involved.
So, this afternoon we left GM and headed to Hollywood 20. The problem was, however, when I hopped out of the car to look at movie times, I had no idea what movie was what. I hadn't seen any of the coming attractions on TV. Titles meant nothing. I did see the Chronicles of Narnia. Dad had been lobbying for it - Mom and I kindly followed. We contemplated letting him go to the movie alone and us catching The Pink Panther, but as a family we took our seats in the already darkened theater.

It was fabulous. Seriously - greatest movie I've seen in quite a while. I usually despise movies with animal characters - but Mr. & Mrs. Beaver almost stole the show. The scenery was magical. And, of course, the story is more than moving. I loved it!

I can't believe I didn't...

Published by cck at 11:48 AM

Mention that yesterday the University of South Carolina opened its baseball season! I'm sure you didn't know that I love South Carolina Baseball. Love it.

There's something lazy about the whole thing (being lazy = one of my favorite pasttimes), but it's also mathematically challenging and addictive. True, the attraction of the game arrived when I dated its manager... But really, that's just when I began to understand the game - the rules, the ins-and-outs... I can now almost tell a slider from a curve. I might be a little rusty, which just goes to show why I need to catch a few games this season.
I am so proud of the Gamecocks for taking down Elon in the 11th inning! Today's game has been pushed back to 2:30 pm because of the nasty weather. I can't go - but I'll be listening!

Friday, February 10, 2006

I Heart Pets, Inc.

Published by cck at 11:47 AM

Pets, Inc. is a horrible place to spend time in. It smells like sewage and the couple of times I've been there it has not been a pleasant experience.

Except once.
When I brought home Campbell... The cutest cat that has ever lived. (That's her giant head in my Christmas Tree). I'll admit, she's a devil of the worst kind. She bites - well, she started off nibbling, and now she bites. But she is just precious when she brings me a toy in the morning. I can't believe how much an animal changes your life - responsibility and all that good stuff.

I love Pets, Inc. I was saddened to see in The State this morning that their trailor has been closed. Wait, I was glad the trailor was closed - upset that Pets, Inc. had to bring animals to their Thrift Store. Pets, Inc. is a worthy nonprofit that deserves support from this community - the thousands of animals saved is enough of a reason.
You know, I've been thinking that it's almost time for Campbell to get a little brother or sister... Save me!

“I haven’t worked 9 to 5 since I was 12."

Published by cck at 11:40 AM

Isn't that against the law? I mean, I thought there were some kind of statutes to protect children from working nine to five (what a way to make a livin'!) - and I would think that at age twelve the new, all-but-confirmed Secretary of Commerce would fall within those statues.

I do think it is a good thing for the Secretary of Commerce to be a full time job. However, I doubt seriously that any of the previous men filling the post thought of it as any different. If a high pay band is indicative of worth, why don't we increase the pay band for teachers?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Approaching V-Day.

Published by cck at 3:13 PM

It's quickly approaching Valentine's Day. There are many things I love about Valentine's day - my mom used to make pizza and she would cut the pepperoni into the shape of hearts. (Explains so much!). In college, my friends and I would make a pilgrimage to Monterray's, drink fishbowl margaritas and hit the town. Last year, I stood on a stage and reclaimed an offensive term in USC's production of the Vagina Monologues.

It was my second performance in the Monologues at USC and I'll admit, I loved every minute of it. I'm not an actress; I get irrationally nervous on stage; I rarely like to be in the limelight... But give me a copy of Eve Ensler's play and a voice comes outta nowhere and I am transformed.
My senior year of college I was "My Short Skirt" and I actually made (sewed and stitched) the *shortest* skirt I could, replete with a sequined American flag on the back. I was a hit.

This year, the Monologues aren't until March, which eliminates my great idea of what to do next Tuesday night. I am still considering an alternate plan - devised and/or planned, I believe, from someone who did the Monologues as well - the Anti-Valentine's Day Party. Anyone got any ideas?

Oh, and...

Published by cck at 2:26 PM

Thanks to FaithintheSound for the amazingly flattering comments yesterday.
I truly appreciate the shout out. Unexpected, surprising and a little bit scary... But thanks all the same!

Insurance: Basic Right.

Published by cck at 10:06 AM

I was reading the papers this morning, seeing what's going on in the state of South Carolina, and I ran across this. Frank Knapp Jr. of the Greenville News writes that there is one legislative mission that would begin to solve all the other problems in this state - affordable health care for our citizens.
He says that the General Assembly - if they could find a way to provide the opportunity for health insurance to every citizen - would reward the state by: "attracting millions of out-of-state dollars into our economy, creating hundreds of high-paying jobs, increasing our per capita income, reducing the overhead costs for small businesses, preparing our children to learn, increasing the productivity of our work force, enabling small businesses to compete for skilled workers, making business recruitment easier and improving the overall health of our citizens."

I couldn't agree more.

Property tax, important. Cameras at red lights to catch lawbreakers, I get it. But health care - health care is basic. Health care - affordable, responsible health care - bleeds into every aspect of life in this State. From providing dental care to our children so their teeth don't hurt while they're trying to learn, to giving parity for mental health coverage so folks can get better and go back to work, we're beginning to address the crisis. We're making strides, I won't say we aren't. But we are clearly not doing enough when 850,000 South Carolinians have no health insurance. And no way to get it.

These are working people. Hard working South Carolinians who are taking one of the greatest risks a person can take - living without health insurance. Forget getting hit by a bus - think of getting the flu. It's expensive to see a doctor without insurance - if the doctor will even accept you a patient. Having no health insurance often puts working families into a spiral of debt from which they can barely recover.

It is my opinion, for what that's worth, that the state has a responsibility to care of its citizens. To protect us against things that we cannot protect against ourselves. Providing health insurance - a way to recieve benefits that would keep folks safe, keep them working, keep them from falling down on their way to the American Dream - that's what this state's responsibility is.

850,000 without health coverage. We would never allow that many uninsured motorists on the road - why are we keeping basic coverage on cars, but not bodies?


Published by cck at 9:53 AM

Yesterday, someone pointed out to me a particularly fascinating obit... Ms. Jewel Flowers Evans. Like many obituaries, Jewel's featured a picture. Instead of showing a beautiful, if elderly woman, the picture displayed was one from her pinup days. I love it!

Imagine my surprise to see an article on the front page of The State this morning showing Ms. Jewel Flowers Evans in all her glory! Again, I love it! What an exciting life she must've had. And while others might think it tacky to display a forties pinup picture, I think it's absolutely fabulous. Don't you worry Miz Jewel, they're just jealous!

I can't believe it. I forgot my DC this morning!

Published by cck at 9:25 AM

Oh goodness. I woke up late - with a start - and realized that the alarm was going off. Ahem, had been going off for about an hour. Lovely. Twenty-two minutes later, I was sitting at my desk realizing that yesterday had been quite a day. (In my new shoes, no less).

I don't think I've really talked about how much I love Diet Coke. I know, I know - every sorority girl south of Bethesda has a love affair with the dark liquid, but I find it almost spiritual. If I don't consume enough fluid ounces of the stuff before I even begin to dry my hair in the morning, all is not right in the world.
I've cut back - I'll be honest - I'm down to about four cans a day (and one fountain beverage). I also drink a lot of water, but it's Diet Coke that I crave when I wake up. Not coffee, not tea, not orange juice... I crave Diet Coke.

Needless to say, today I did not get to consume enough DC to make me awake - so I've been croaking at people rather groggily all morning. I'm off to find a HUGE fountain drink.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Who we are and what we're about to do.

Published by cck at 7:27 AM

It's time for mid-year elections to start heating up. Exciting, yeah? It's time to start talking about platforms and who wants it bad. It's time to start thinking about who is going to shape our state and nation for the next couple of years.

But I think Sen. Bayh said it really well when he told the NYTimes, "As Democrats, we have a patriotic duty and political imperative to lay out our ideas for protecting America. Frankly, our fellow citizens have doubts about us. We have work to do." Sen. Barbara Boxer was forthright when she said, "We have a strategy. First is to convince the American people that what's happening in Washington is not working. We have achieved that. Now we have to, at this stage, convince people that we are the ones to bring positive change."

That's a large task. Rep. Nancy Pelosi commented that "You can't beat something with nothing," - and she's right. Where's our agenda? Where's our solution? The public is beginning to express outrage over a President who's stepping on civil rights; the public is beginning to understand that a hands-off Governor isn't ideal for creating new jobs.

I do think we need to be moderate and sensible - moderation, I believe, is the key to just about everything in life. But moderate doesn't mean boring or vague. I think we should advocate for strong education - and I think we should find a way to put our money where our mouth is. I think we should fight for health care. And not settle for the empty promise of "portable benefits," but find a way to provide adequate health care for every American. I think we should entice new industry to our state to replace the dying textile manufacturers. I think we need new leadership.

I know we're losing out on security issues and the general perception is that we won't be tough enough on terrorism. Where did that come from? I know we didn't (and still, generally don't) support the war in Iraq - but I don't know one Democrat who was against the War on Terror... unless it means illegal wiretapping and more transgressions by the Patriot Act. When did we become wimps? I believe that there are as many Dems out there sporting magnetic yellow ribbons on their cars as Republicans. ('Specially in this state). Let's show America we're the party who will bring their soldiers home without destroying the fragile peace in Iraq.

I want more for America, not less. More for South Carolina, not less. As the elections heat up and candidates start talking about what the want for this great place where we live - I hope my party picks up the pace.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

BEEP! Beep! Beep.

Published by cck at 7:31 PM

I hate when people beep. I think it's rude. If it's life threatening - a car careening towards you - then yes, beep away. But at a stop light when people aren't moving *quite* fast enough? No ma'am.
Tonight, on the corner of Kilbourne and Rosewood - a car beeped out of the blue. I looked around, the driver next to me looked around. We were puzzled.It wasn't an accidental beep - even, I do that - but, no one was waving, looking sheepish. Why beep? It's 7 pm on a Tuesday! What's the hurry?

My Dilemma on a Tuesday Afternoon.

Published by cck at 3:04 PM

Tomorrow, I have a big day - meetings, the board, and some after work events. I'm excited about a day that promises to give me scant time to check my sitemeter. (Yes, I'm obsessed. No, I haven't gotten over it. Helsinki. There was someone from Helsinki.).
Over the weekend, Daddio bought me two pairs of shoes - one shown here. (The other ones have black sequins onthe wedge and are green and black). They are fabulous. Fabulous shoes. But, where can I wear them? When can I wear them? Perhaps not a day when the high is supposed to be 53 degrees cold?
Regardless, I badly want to wear these shoes tomorrow. They are suede, after all. And isn't, after all, suede a winter material?
This, this I am pondering on a Tuesday afternoon.

Holland, not Hollings.

Published by cck at 8:58 AM

As if you could get the two confused...
Former Congressman Ken Holland has decided to throw his hat in the ring (what does that mean, exactly? Is it a circus reference?) for the Governor's race in South Carolina.
Apparently, John Land thinks it will make for a more interesting race. According to Bandy, his "wit will lend levity" to the race.
Just proof that citizens see the current Governor as failing.

I have this very funny friend.

Published by cck at 8:35 AM

He doesn't like Valentine's Day. In fact, what did he call it (checks email communication), oh yes, "Boys, your nuts are ours" Day." Yup, yup, yup. Isn't that happy and sweet!?
It's about time for Valentine's Day - six days and a wake up. Wahoo! I actually like Valentine's Day - it's pretty. Pink and red, cupids and hearts - all sweet stuff. Up until last year, I still made Valentine's - my favorite being my senior year in college when I spent an inordinate amount of time putting bows on miniature bottles of tabasco (that I had stolen from my brothers MREs)... But I digress.
I love certain things about Valentine's Day - sending Valentines for one. I got the *cutest* ones for this year. (I said that to another friend and he promptly vomited). Regardless, I can't wait to address them tonight.
I adore Valentine's peeps - the oversized marshmallow confection that absolutely makes me smile. Socratic once asked if they were made of tears of bitterness and longing, but I refuse to get bogged down in that. I love Conversation Hearts - especially the yellow ones. White and green are my second and third favorites respectively.
I love that I get funny, if occasionally bitter, cards from friends. Now that everyone I seem to know is either about to be involved, involved or engaged, I imagine it will change.
Yes, it's a manufactured holiday, but no - it's not awful. And that's from a girl who hasn't been on a Valentine's date since high school.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Catching up on TiVo.

Published by cck at 9:34 AM

I don't have cable. It's a saving device: I save some money and even more time. I don't even have bunny ears. I really haven't missed it, except on Sundays. Sundays are my favorite TV day. Great stuff in the morning: MTP, Sunday Morning, George... Fabulous stuff at night: Desperate Housewives, West Wing and my favorite, Grey's Anatomy. I could watch a week's worth of TV in one day.

Thank goodness for parents who TiVo your favorite shows. I love TiVo.

"For a Majority that Matters." (Gag.)

Published by cck at 9:19 AM

MTP this morning is featuring the new House Majority Leader, John A. Boehner.

Some interesting points or things I didn't know about the new Majority Leader:
1) He's taken a lot of trips to resorts.
Shock! A legislator taking trips on the government's dime? Whoa! But, really - his excuse almost works... That's where people in power are - that's where the conferences take place - that's where the legislator needs to be. At a place like this. Yeah, I'm not so sure about that, Johnny.

2) He doesn't think he's taken anything from Abramoff.
If I was making my first appearance - my first live interview so to speak - I would make pretty darn sure that I had checked my FEC report thoroughly enough to ensure the American public that I had accepted nothing from Abramoff. Not even a postage stamp to mail a postcard from the swanky hotels I had been staying in.

3) He passed out moola on the floor of the House in 1995.
Even I think that's tacky. And, the money was from tobacco companies! Tacky, tacky, tacky. I don't care if it was a long time practice of the House. So was spitting in spittoons at one point. Not good enough.

This is the best the Republicans can come up with? Are they so wounded that they couldn't find someone a little more, shall I say it, astute at coming up with excuses?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Best in Four Years

Published by cck at 4:35 PM

The NYTimes wrote yesterday that unemployment was at a four year low. It's the best (ahem) that it's been since 2001. Like most Americans, I am excited. I did a little dance, I'm not gonna lie. But...

If the nation's industries can increase hires - almost every industry reported hiring increases - then where are all these jobs? If in three months, this nation can prod industry to create 229,000 new jobs, than what are we doing wrong in South Carolina?

What are our leaders doing?
We need a new Governor. A Governor who will work with small businesses, manufacturers, new industry to provide quality jobs for South Carolinians. It doesn't make sense for a state with as many natural resources as ours to be faltering in the job fight. We have technical schools, we have colleges and universities and we have an amazing workforce - folks in South Carolina are dedicated and loyal, hardworking... We need a Governor who will work just as hard as the people who elect him.
We need a Governor who will dig in and get the work done.

Big Love

Published by cck at 4:21 PM

Last night - Mom was questioning big network's choices. Apparently, "Cruci-fixin's" is a cooking show hosted by Brittany Spears on an upcoming episode of Will & Grace and it's too much for her sensibilities. I don't disagree. I think it's pretty tasteless (it airs right before Easter)- but then again, I'm not a big fan of Will & Grace in general.

Why, she asked, are networks so keen to poke fun at Christians? I personally think it's more fundamentalists that networks like to portray in a negative, if hysterical, light. And I think it's pretty general fundamentalism. Anything that is too far right or left or dramatic in any way is going to draw attention.

Hence, the newest series on HBO. Big Love. It's about a polygamist, and not just a goodtime polygamist - but more polygamy for religious reasons. The story, I think, takes place in Utah. Fights between Wife #1 and Wife #2 (and Wife #3), seven children - three houses connected on a cul-de-sac. You get the picture. How this is funny or entertaining? Well, I can see how it would be both...

Something about it is wrong. I'm just not sure I can put my finger on it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Does anyone remember...

Published by cck at 2:55 PM

The old Palmetto Journal?

Bipolarism... from The State.

Published by cck at 1:09 PM

Yesterday, I was reading through some of Brad Warthen's blog and he mentioned that reporters do not make good journalists when they write about health matters. He was right.
What is that exactly? According to today's State newspaper, it's "also called bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness." Oh THAT. Yeah, Bipolarism. I'm glad The State has coined a new phrase to further stigmatize individuals that have an uphill battle. Bipolarism.
When describing its symptoms, Bipolarism "causes dramatic mood swings." Yes, that is technically and clinically true. The State goes on to say, that mania episodes (or, manic episodes) can "include the abuse of drugs." Is The State saying that mania causes people to use and/or abuse drugs? Because it "particularly" says that cocaine, alcohol and sleeping medications are abused. Last time I checked the DSM-IV, that's not what mania is.

For mania to be diagnosed, the DSM-IV says that three or more of the following conditions must be presented by a patient:
1) inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
2) decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
3) more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
4) flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
5) distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
6) increase in goal-directed activity (at work, at school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
7) excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

One of the reasons I love

Published by cck at 9:49 AM

From Dooce:
Wednesday, 01 February 2006
Jon’s interview with Leahpeah:
“For quite awhile during Leta’s first few months, I wasn’t sure what I would be coming home to at the end of a work day. The summer of 2004 was pretty bad, and I tried to be positive and upbeat, but ultimately I learned I couldn’t fix her. I think this is the biggest male-who-is-a-significant-other delusion; that we can somehow fix it. Learning this is fundamental to dealing with a person who suffers from a mental illness. I had to learn to accept and support. This was difficult and something I’m still working on.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Published by cck at 7:22 PM

As if it's not enough that I'm totally intimidated by the thin chick casually racing through sets on the machine - or the buff dude sweating on the stairmaster... No, my thighs are not the issue tonight.
No, it's more than all that.
They all have IPods. All of them. Even the six year old in the day care - I swear, I've seen it. That certain little white (or silver or pink or lime green) bulge that shows that they, not I, are totally cool. They have their pick of tunes. They are excercising to a familiar beat. They are optimizing their workout.
Ha! Ha! (crazy laugh, induced by a hot dog dinner with a paper sack full of fries).
I now will be one among them! I have purchased an IPod! Now my account at Itunes will really, well, become more expensive. I am psyched. Ten thousand songs, here I come!


Published by cck at 6:44 PM

Tonight I went shopping for towels. My mom is coming to visit on Friday and I am embarrassed as to the state of my towels.
Shopping for towels is a tricky proposition. Some are too thin, some are too small. I wanted the "bath sheet" type of towel. Difficult to find, lemme tell you. Eventually found it at JCPenney's. Thank goodness. Lynda Ann will not be shocked and appalled at the condition of my towels.

On my way back from BFE aka Sandhill's, I realized the only thing I'd eaten was a mis-ordered beef burrito. (I had ordered BEAN!). Yuck. I hate beef burritos. So, I was about to chew off my arm. I stopped at Five Guys - OMG. OMG. OMG. I heard about it from friends and family (Hat-tip Laurin & Lynda Ann). I got a hot dog. Glorious. K-Cali, they'll even put sauteed (okay, they call them fried) onions on top of your hot dog for you. French fries - okay, get this: you order the small and the nice people behind the counter still fill the fabulous paper sack with more french fries. I have died and gone to french fry heaven.

Stationary. Or is it Stationery? Whatev.

Published by cck at 11:19 AM

I love stationery. Love it. In all forms, from cheap papers to expensive embossed - I adore writing notes on pretty paper.
I found a place on my recent venture to DC. The Paper Source. Go there. I got the *cutest* Valentines there, as well as some simply delicious papers and extravagant envelopes. (All relatively cheap in the way of stationery, too). I'm sure you DC regulars know all about it, but I was excited to find a new shop to browse in, get lost in and spend too much of my grocery budget in.
Love it.

"We seek the end of tyranny in this world."

Published by cck at 6:57 AM

Disclaimer: The following comments do not reflect the attitudes or opinions of any group in which I claim allegiance. These are the innocent ramblings by a disgruntled Democrat... Obviously, I have a lot of questions without a whole lot of answers or suggestions.

I only heard him utter mass destruction once, but his efforts at energizing us about Iraq fell flat. Yes, the visual image of women holding up a blue finger is moving. And I'll admit - I didn't think we'd be where we are in Iraq by this time... But where (where!) exactly are we? To paraphrase Gov. Kaine, there has to be a better way to accomplish our goals.

Where is Burma? Oh, here. I never really thought of Burma as that much of a threat (to the United States). Guess I'm totally wrong.

"We love freedom and will fight to keep it." "No peace in retreat," and then, as almost an afterthought, Bush mumbled, "No honor in retreat." Yeah, yeah. But then came the comment that puzzled me: "We need to listen to the commanders in the field, not politicians in Washington." Now, I *totally* agree with that one. But I don't really think that's been the policy of this Administration. Especially when our Commanders in the Field have been asking for more help, more supplies, more protection, more defenses. Yeah, listen to our commanders - for the first time, Bushie.

State Shout Out - sort of... If the US has more new jobs, than what did he say? The EU and Japan combined? (correct me if I'm wrong), then what has Marky Mark and his slashed Department of Commerce been doing???

Healthcare. While portable benefits are awesome - as those of us that tend to jump to job to job will attest, the President lead his healthcare platform with electronic records? ELECTRONIC RECORDS? Are you kidding me? That's going to save the nation?
We're talking about a major crisis. And while I do kind of like the idea that I heard on George's Sunday show about health care being a civil duty like auto insurance, we have to make healthcare the affordable proposition that auto insurance has become. There has to be a way for every American to afford good health insurance. It just makes economic cents. (heh.)
And Liability Reforms for doctors? I have a novel idea, how about better doctors? This might be confusing, but here goes: If we sent our children to schools that have the same odds of educating our children as hospitals have of killing their patients (oh wait, we do send kids to schools like that), but really - if we did - this nation (maybe) would be up in arms about the state of American Schools. Why aren't we upset by the state of American Doctors and Hospitals?

Then comes my liberal arts disgust... "Let's ground our students in math & science." I would've failed high school, never made it to college, etc etc etc... The American Competitiveness Initiative is bunk. The *most* creative minds are not solely in the physical sciences, as suggested by our astute Prez. And despite USC President Sorenson marching to the President's beat, I quote VW (or Emerson, we couldn't remember), "Math and Science might rule the world, but where would we be without the humanities to shape and guide us as to the meaning of this new world?"

Tying abortion to the character of our country is horrible. As usual, the Republican has taken a private, serious, personal and painful decision and politicized it for shock value. I counter that the new statistics in reproductive choice are not due to abstinence education, but the increase in the availability of choice - from the pill to the ring -- choice prevents.

Campbell the Cat went absolutely haywire when he said that the courts should be "servants of the law, not legislators from the bench." Whatever, the Supreme Court now holds Alito and we're all in for it.

I really really really liked the line that, "All Americans are protected in justice, equal in hope and rich in opportunity." Liked it so much that I might even quote him once or twice. Of course, we all know that he really means it for his friends and not so much for the victims of Katrina.

What is the Ryan White Act? Seriously, I'm asking.

And finally, the thing I really agreed with - energy independence. Especially from an Oilman. I think it's high time we investigate alternative solutions to oil. Lord, if my SCE&G bill has anything to do with it, we should have been looking at this yesterday.