Monday, June 21, 2010

The disaster in the Gulf just gets more and more ridiculous every day.

The president of BP decides he needs a break and decides to go yachting. And now Larry King is hosting a telethon for clean up efforts.

The Nature Conservatory has set up a fund for cleaning up the mess. I'm sure their intentions are good, and I don't begrudge them that at all. The thing is, why are donations being solicited by anyone in the first place?

BP is 100% liable for this mess and they should be the responsible party for cleaning up 100% of the mess. They are a multi-billion dollar corporation whose negligent actions led to this in the first place. I'm sure they have insurance in place to cover this, however, it is evident that their first priority is to their stockholders, not those directly affected by their mistakes.

T. Boone Pickens is making more sense every day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Part III

So after breaking up with the self-checkouts, Map Quest and The Today Show, I am breaking up with Wal-Mart.

This story appeared on my FaceBook feed today. I haven't had the chance to research the complaint, but I'm pretty certain the allegations are true. After all, this is the company who put out a 26-page memo regarding its "benefits strategy," that encouraged turnover so that Wal-Mart would not have to pay long-term benefits to its employees. Wal-Mart has a long history of violating employees' rights that I'm sure would have Sam Walton spinning in his grave.

I work for a law firm that specializes in employees' rights. I have learned in the short time I've worked here, there is no such thing as employees' rights. And with the economy going the way it is, employers are taking that to full advantage.

So I'll be shopping at Target from now on.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My 15 Minutes of Fame

I sent the link to my post about breaking up with The Today show to Lenore of Free Range Kids. She liked it enough to post it to her blog.

I had about 65 comments, some positive, some negative and some WTF? Apparently, I need to work on my writing skills (duh, isn't that the main reason for ALL blogs?) because not everyone is as fluent in sarcasm as I am. One chided me for using the term "Neo-nazi." Hey, my ancestors were moved from their homelands in the South to Oklahoma by forced march. Don't call me insensitive regarding ethnic cleansing. I can beat you by about 100 years.

Plus, most missed out some important details:
1. The recital was OVER. I repeat OVER.
2. I was a participant in said recital, and in fact, still in costume when I came to pick up the kids when the recital was OVER.
3. I was not the only parent picking up their child at that point, because the recital was OVER.

The whole point of the article was that I was sick and tired of the sensationalism-driven stories on my morning show. First thing in the morning, I want to learn the best way to mow my lawn and how to make good icing.

And mark my words - they haven't found what happened to that little boy in Oregon yet, but I'll bet you a Coke someone in his school's administration was involved. Someone he knew.

I really love Lenore's message about looking at the facts and not always assuming that your child will be abducted if they're out of your sight for more than 2 minutes. I am, of course, careful about my girls' safety, but want them to be independent. In fact, one walked to the park on her own today to meet with some friends. I know she's smart enough to be safe on her own.

It just seems that those with the uber-levels of paranoia could be using that energy in much more productive fashions. I know, how about getting outside with their families and actually getting to know their neighbors, so they won't live in fear of them?

And did I mention, the recital was OVER?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oil Spills for Dummies

OK, I get it.

The BP mess in the Gulf is awful. I do not dispute that. It will probably take years and years to clean up the mess. I get that.

What I do not get is the fact that, according to current estimates, the oil well is spewing out about 20,000 barrels a day. America's daily oil consumption is somewhere between 20 and 21 million barrels a day.

I'm no math wizard, but even I can figure out that's about 19,980,000 MORE barrels every day than what's getting dumped into the Gulf.

Misplaced outrage, anyone?

More Neo-Nazis at the Door

The dance school where the girls and I take dance classes runs their annual recital over three nights. There are so many students, that if they did all the classes in one night, it would run until about 4 in the morning.

All three of us performed the first night, The Little One all three nights and The Little One and I last night. After my experience with the "security" at the door the first night (see post below)I had my note in hand the following evenings so that I could take my OWN daughter home with me before the performance was over.

Little did I know that I would have to have a note to get myself out.

Actually, I didn't, but may as well have.

My fellow classmates were waiting for another gal and I to go from the "holding area" (school cafeteria) to the hallway outside the backstage area so we could go onstage. We were headed down the hallway, when one of the Neo-Nazis stopped us, "If you're dancing in the show, you can't use the restroom down here."

"Um, we're not going to the restroom, we're meeting our group, RIGHT THERE." (pointing at group, clearly about 20 feet away)

"No, dancers aren't allowed down this hall."

"Well, we're meeting our group, RIGHT THERE, so we're going to have to go down this hall."

So we went down the hall.

We are so bad.

It had occurred to me that I didn't recognize any of these so-called "security" people. I've been involved with this particular dance school for over 10 years, so faces do become familiar. Besides, most of them were "older" women, so I knew they couldn't have been moms of students.

After the show last night, my class went out for well-earned drinks, and I asked my teacher about them. Turns out they are volunteers from some sorority.

Ah, that explains it. I guess the sorority mentality never leaves, no matter how old you get.

Anyway, Recital 2010 is officially over and the only hiccup was that The Big Ones costume ripped up the seat. But no one noticed except for me.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Breakin' Up is Hard to Do - Part Deux

I have watched The Today Show for over thirty years. I remember when it was hosted by Jane Pauley, her pony tail, and Tom Brokaw. I started watching it as I'd get ready for school during jr. high, through high school, college and beyond. I watch it with my girls as we get ready for school and work. It always has interesting stories and does it really get any cuter than Matt Laurer. Plus, I'm waiting for the day that NBC actually does kill Ann Curry.

But I feel it may be time to move on.

After the two lead stories were about the man who allegedly killed Natalie Holloway who is now a suspect in another murder and about a boy who disappeared while walking to his classroom in his school, it occurred to me that almost every morning, the lead story is about a child who has disappeared or been murdered.

According to the CDC, the number one cause of death in children is motor vehicle accidents. In the United States during 2005, 1,335 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 184,000 were injured. That’s an average of 4 deaths and 504 injuries each day.

Yet those 4 deaths per day are NOT the lead story on The Today Show.

Obviously, the reason is that it is not newsworthy and would not attract ratings.

The Little One performed in her dance school's recital last night. The school has a policy, that if you want to take your child home early after he or she has performed, you must have a note, signed by your child's teacher, that you are doing so. I am aware of this policy, and have complied with it every year I knew I would take my kids home early. This year, both The Big One, The Little One and I participated in the recital (more on my appearance later, if I can get video) and they were scheduled for the end of the program, so I stayed for all the performances. I went backstage to pick up my kids while the awards were being announced. As I was leaving with my girls and The Big Ones two BFFs, who stayed backstage with her during the entire show and are NOT students in this dance school, BTW, the Neo-Nazi stopped me at the door: "Where's your note?"

"I don't have one, because the recital is over."

"NO, they are still onstage, handing out awards and making announcements, you have to have your note."

"The recital is OVER."

"You cannot take them without a NOTE"

It took me a good 2-3 minutes for it to sink in how ridiculous this was. Seriously? She wasn't going to let me take my children, of whom I have LEGAL custody, home from a DANCE recital? Hmmm...wouldn't her preventing me taking them constitute kidnapping and false imprisonment?

By the time I figured this out, and was about to tell her how unreasonable she was being, several other parents came backstage to pick up their children, WITHOUT A NOTE, and were told they couldn't. So the Nazi left to see if it was OK for the parents to take their own children home, and we all left with our OWN children.

Without a note.

We are rabblerousers.

My point is, I really do appreciate the fact that the dance school is concerned for my children's well being. However, I seriously doubt if someone wanted to snatch one of mine or someone else's child, lack of a signed note would not be a deterrent. I know their argument would be "You watch the news, children get snatched every day."

Yes, children do get snatched every day. The majority being snatched by a parent or family member. Eighty-two percent, in fact, according to the Department of Justice.

The Today Show, and other news sources, are to the point where these cases are getting glorified. It feeds the misinformation of what is really dangerous to American children:

Their own parents and riding in cars. Or even worse, riding in cars with their own parents.

So, I'm breaking up with The Today Show. It may not be forever, because I do love Matt and am concerned about Ann.

But I need to start my day with reality, not sensationalism.