Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not a dirty word

Every time I hear or read about some Republican's beef with Obama's reference to "spread[ing] the wealth around," I wonder all over again what is wrong with this idea.

"What's wrong with a little socialism every now and then?" I ask myself.

"Oh, right," I answer myself. "I'm a socialist!"

You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(8% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A matter of opinion

I present a pair of guide words from our phone book:

I suppose it's all in the ear of the beholder.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Proctered and Gambled

I have fierce brand loyalty where toiletries are concerned. Though Mrs. Gerbil thinks I am unnecessarily finicky about such things, I simply will not settle for store-brand skin care, dental care, or feminine hygiene products. But for all my desire to cut costs wherever and whenever possible, I am a creature of habit, and a lot of times the store brand just isn't the same.

A lot of my favorite toiletries are made by Procter and Gamble, and I've been using the same P&G products since high school (i.e., half my life). Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but for me it's a source of warmth and fuzziness. So if my beloved products aren't up to snuff, you bet your bippy I'll be upset. And what do I do when I'm upset? I rectify stuff.

Many moons ago, I called P&G about cat food cans that wouldn't open, and for my troubles I (or rather, the cat) was rewarded with eighteen vouchers, each good for one free case of cat food. That is a whole freaking lot of cat food.

Several weeks ago I restocked our supply of nice, lotiony Puffs tissues. Tissues with lotion in them aren't good for wiping up spills or cleaning one's glasses, but they sure are good for protecting my sensitive little schnozz. Imagine my unpleasant surprise when I discovered that one of the boxes was full of coarse tissues! The P&G representative asked whether the tissues contained the proper amount of lotion, "because sometimes the lotion doesn't get on them." Oh, they were lotiony, all right. And mysteriously scratchy. For my troubles, P&G sent me a voucher for three replacement boxes of Puffs.

Recently I bought some more of my favorite unscented Secret deodorant. At about the same time, I noticed the smell of tropical fruit every time I went to nurse Tovah. None of us uses any products that smell like tropical fruit, so I was completely at a loss for whence this smell was coming. Then one morning I figured it out: it was my supposedly unscented Secret. WTF? (At least it wasn't phantom chai.) My sensitive little schnozz did not appreciate the bait and switch, but I feared I might get myself blacklisted with P&G's customer service. I know I'm in their computer system, because despite my careful spelling-out of my name each time I call, they always address mail to me with the same misspelling.

Not surprisingly, my need to rectify things won out, and I called P&G about my disturbingly fruity unscented deodorant. The representative was all apologetic, especially when I alluded to my sensitive little schnozz.

Well, today I received my replacement vouchers, with a predictably misspelled address label. I'm pretty certain I've been blacklisted. P&G thanked me for being a valued customer by enclosing a sample of heavily scented laundry detergent.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mel Gibson is stalking me

...and he's not doing it very effectively.

Cases in point:

1) In 2002, M. Night Shyamalan's rather disappointing Mel-Gibson-vs.-aliens flick Signs was filmed in and around my charming old historical hometown. But I'd moved from my parents' house to Cleveland a little more than a year prior. Sorry you missed me, Mel.

2) Last week, scenes from the new movie Edge of Darkness were filmed at the book depository of my alma mater, a location also known as the Bunker because it is, well, an old military bunker. I've never actually been to the Bunker, but it's about five miles from our house and I drive past it several times a week. Sorry you missed me again, Mel.

3) Tomorrow, more scenes from Edge of Darkness will be filmed at the old county courthouse, in downtown Northampton. I go to Northampton frequently. In fact, Tovah and I drove through Northampton yesterday and today, and we saw all sorts of cinematic equipment being hung on the courthouse. We also saw throngs of people standing around and watching said equipment-hanging, and police standing around and watching said throngs of people. Partly on account of the filming (and the concomitant traffic delays and even more pronounced lack of parking), and partly on account of lack of need to go to Northampton, I won't be going by the courthouse tomorrow. Mel! Your timing sucks.

Monday, October 06, 2008

It's what's inside that counts

As part of my policy of getting out of the house at least once a day, Tovah and I make regular trips to Big Y. By "regular," I mean "at least six times a week." Sometimes we go more than once a day, but this is because we live across the street (translation: no wasting of gas) and Tovah goes in the stroller (translation: I can't fit that much in a basket).

The parking lot is not very pedestrian-friendly. The crosswalks are in weird places, drivers don't look where they're going, and there aren't a lot of curb cuts. (Side note: the more we've gone out with the stroller, the more aware I've become of accessibility issues. Like wheelchairs, strollers aren't designed to hop curbs.) We try to use the sidewalk in front of some of the stores, but we can't always get around the bags of Quik-Krete in front of the hardware store or the cigarette-smoking men in fatigues in front of the military recruitment office. Thus, we frequently end up walking amongst the parked cars.

Every weekday afternoon, the parking lot is chock-full of junior high students. Most kids around here walk or ride their bikes to school, and on their way home they all converge at Friendly's for ice cream and french fries. Let me tell you, I feel really old when I'm pushing a stroller through a pubescent crowd.

The other day we walked by a young fellow on a bike. "Casey, my little African-American friend!" he called to a friend of his who was several yards away.

Both Casey and his buddy were decidedly Nordic in appearance.

I will never understand the early adolescent male.