Monday, October 14, 2013

One More Princess!!

Let it be known, I am not a curmudgeon, I am just operating on Disney over load. That being said, this morning I had a revelation. If I had to see one more little Princess skipping happily down the street, if I had to give one more high four when I left the hotel or if I needed to get on one more bus that took me to another bus that took me to a boat, I was going to stand in the middle of the street and scream ENOUGH! Loud enough to get arrested. OK, that is out of my system. Now I can blob about almost anything.

How about politics?  It is impossible to watch CNN or MSNBC, without wondering how the talking heads got so smart. They seem to know everything. And if they present questionable information, no one seems to care.  It's too bad that my "political time" has passed, because I am such a good story teller, it would be great not to feel compromised by the facts  -- some might even call it the truth.

Anyway, over 40 cities have immigration demonstrations this week. (Am i sure it was 40? No, but who cares.) One of the demonstrations was in DC, which I found curious since the Government is closed.  There they were, our Congress and their friends arm in arm, marching for truth? Justice? And the American way?  That's without question what Superman, or rather the voice over said, for Superman, on the Old television series.

Think about it. Then think about the shut down, then think about how to define those three question marked elements. If definitions don't roll off your tongue, I might be able to give you some assistance. Let's skip over the first two because truth is defined by how something is perceived. Justice mostly doesn't exist unless you can buy it.   But the American way is obvious. it's when a crazy person is allowed to go into a school, a bank, a grocery store or any public venue, with a machine gun, and shoot as many people as possible.  It's when some courageous person speaks out against a law that is so heinous, the majority of a constituency support common sense, but one maniac in a senior government position can just override good sense.  Probably I should have said, some maniac who wants to make war on women, is allowed to come at us (women) with guns blazing.  Do I sound cynical? Choose one answer:    Yes, No, or I meant to.

This blob is too depressing. I need to tell a funny story. OK here goes.  When we arrived at the airport this morning, some little kid, not in a Princess outfit threw up.  Not funny yet? Just wait.  It reminded me of every time we took a wee Jordan on an airplane and she threw up. Usually just before landing, but there was always a chance that mid flight she would connect.  We learned to pack three or four sets of clothes. The last time it happened, she was about 6 and we were coming back from Disney. When we landed at Dulles she had made it the whole way without an accident.  We were giving one another high fours (it was Disney) and celebrating a new day in the Burnett household. We took one step onto the Dulles people mover and voila, she threw up all the way to the terminal.  Not funny enough for you?  Sorry, it's the best I can do today.

Here's the good news, (you knew there would be some since I am normally an upbeat person),  my puppy awaits my arrival. It's been so long since I have seen him that I'm not sure he will remember me. But I am as hopeful about that as I am that some day my Prince will come.... Probably straight from an airport.  On a bus.   We’re just sayin’…Iris

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Magicalist Place on Earth

Let me say upfront, there is no way and place where 5 gazillion people gather in one limited space that can be considered “magical”.  Last night as I walked to the buses with all 5 gazillion, was my worst nightmare. That being said, Walt Disney World has  become a remarkable kind of vacation for people from all over the world.

The decision makers in the company, realizing how their customer base has changed, transitioned to policies that made good business sense. Without Walt, who was homophobic and I think a little bit of a racist, Disney World has opened it’s arms to people who are different colors, sizes, ethnicities  Gay, Lesbian,  and whatever I forgot.  We are at Disney World for a most joyous occasion. Our friends, Tevy and Scott, wonderful young men are getting married.  They couldn’t officially get married in Florida, because they are not allowed, (what a sadness), but they took their vows at the Wedding Plaza, and celebrated them in the park.  Cinderella transportation included.  The grooms looked gorgeous.

It is a month of weddings for us.  Last week we went to a family wedding in Miami. The bride and groom looked gorgeous, (yes they all did). The ceremony was outdoors on a balmy Florida evening, and then the party began.  We all danced and danced and danced -- the younger people danced til dawn. We didn’t dance til the sun came up, but we held our own. The sun was coming up somewhere, probably Ankara or Ibiza, but dance we did.

The new trend in weddings, which is to do whatever the happy couple want to do, is most refreshing.  I remember at my first wedding, which was incredibly stressful, we did whatever our parents wanted us to do -- making it their wedding not ours.  For example,  an orthodox Rabbi conducted the service. It was a service not a ceremony, that went on and on  and on. At one point,  the Rabbi was saying some blessing, holding a glass of red wine  and he was not paying attention.  It was aimed directly at my dress.  As he spoke the wine came closer and closer. Every time it came closer my mother pulled me back, until finally, by the end of the service, I was at least three big steps away from the groom.  The guest list was constructed by the parents. And the food -- well as my friend Mark said, “I think this was the roast beef I left from the wedding last week.” 

The wedding was not without it’s memorable moments.  My cousin, in whose car all my luggage for the honeymoon resided, got a little tipsy. He fell in the pool, lost the keys, and they had to break into the trunk. Then my uncle, at whose apartment we were staying in Miami, decided that we would have more fun if he went on the honeymoon with us.... and he was right. 

Anyway, I got over it and married the right person on the second try.  That wedding deserves it’s own blob.

Next week we are driving to Maryland for another wedding and we are sure it will be grand.  A few days ago I was trying to explain how I felt about all this and I decided I can only be described as this:  Mother Slut has become a Wedding Slut. I always wanted to be a slut and, at least this way, I can be one happily every after.  It’s Magical.  We’re just sayin’…Iris

Monday, October 07, 2013

The Woman in the Car

The woman who was shot, after a harrowing chase, was nuts. Post-Partum depression makes a person nuts. In searching through her past you find that she recently lost her job as a dental assistant because she was too rough.  That is horrible when, if you are a coward like me, you need laughing gas to get your teeth cleaned.  Agreed, she tried to crash the White House gates.  You can’t crash through those barriers even if you have a tank.  But she tried.  Just the fact that she tried should give us pause or give us someone to root for.  The White House, often referred to as the People’s House, hasn’t been the People’s anytime except when Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton were in charge of White House touring policy. Although it’s unlikely, maybe she wanted to talk to the President? That wasn’t going to happen. He was too busy dealing with a Congress that has shut down the government.  Perhaps that was what was upsetting to her.  Based on her erratic behavior, she was confused and wanting to escape. 

Some of you may think that’s absolutely ridiculous. She was surrounded by police, it would have been impossible for her to escape the mighty clutches of the Capital Police, (the biggest bunch of bullies you can ever encounter.) It is true however, that when you are in a panic you don’t realize what you are doing.  You could feel a story coming, Right?

In 1963, my parents left on their yearly vacation to the Catskill Mountains with their friends.  They usually went to the Fallsview Hotel in Ellenville N.Y.  That year, instead of my grandmother coming to stay with us, my parents decided that I was old enough to stay alone, and even take care of my baby brother.  They were incorrect.  I was a kid who could not be trusted because I would always find a way to do something that I was not allowed to do.  It was thrilling to be on my own and I wanted to share the joy with as many friends as possible.  My parents decided to let my Uncle Phil drive, which meant their tangerine Dodge was left behind in the garage.

First I called my friend Judy Botfeld, who lived in Dover N.J. (about a half hour away) and invite her over.  Judy was a bit older and had a driver’s license.  She agreed to come but she had to take a bus because her parents car was unavailable.  Next we called my friend Beth Anne Cohen, who lived about an hour away in Newburgh, N.Y. (Where we live now).  I told Beth that Judy and a few friends were going to take my parents car and drive up to see her.    And so we set off  on our adventure.

We had to be careful not to run into any of my aunts or cousins who lived in Newburgh, because we were not supposed to be there and certainly not with that car and a driver they didn’t know.  It was a wonderful day.  We went out to eat. Went shopping. Hung out at Beth’s house. And tracked down cute boys.  Things that girls like to do. Late in the afternoon we realized we needed to get back to Boonton and Judy had to catch another bus back to Dover.  We knew we needed to do that before the sun went down.

We were laughing and singing as we rounded the corner to put the car back in the garage. And as merrily we road along, I saw my cousins and my aunts out on the lawn frantically waving their arms.  “Caught like a Rat in a Trap.” I yelled for Judy to turn the car around! I was sitting right next to her so it shook her up more than I could have imagined. She did not turn around.  That was too complicated but she started to back up. Fast!

Anyway, the stories are not comparable but the reactions and the panic are so similar.  Miriam was a mixed up woman riding around with a child in the back seat. Why didn’t the police simply shoot her tires to halt the vehicles?  Why, seeing that there was a kid in the backseat did they need to look for a direct hit?  She was unarmed and she was frightened. They closed off and locked down the White House and the Capital.  By the time they shot her no one in any of those buildings was in harms way. I guess if you have Tactical weapons you will find a way to use them.  And they did.  One dead, baby is fine, I’m sure another lunatic will avail themselves to well armed, furloughed, police of some kind.  I simply can’t wait for the next episode.  We’re just sayin’.. Iris

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Oh, So Essential

Knock, Knock. Who’s there? No one!     Well  --  no one but Essential personnel.

The government is closed. There is no one to do any work. Except, that is,  Essential personnel.

What exactly does that mean?  For some of us, who were Essential personnel during the Clinton government shut down, oh so many years ago. It meant that a senior level person had to be in the office without pay or, during those years, the benefit of Words With Friends on line.  If you worked in an international Agency, or an Agency that dealt with private organizations all over the country, it meant that you had no time to do anything but answer the phones.  The government  was closed, but everyone else in the rest of the world  was doing business.  So there was no one in the office to answer calls.  Well, you say, what about volunteers?  It is against the law to volunteer for a government job.  I wonder who’s working in the Congressional offices.  Or did they all just go home.  Let’s be honest, there is no one on Capital Hill who is essential. In fact, maybe if the Congress people would answer their own phones, they would find out just how unhappy everyone else outside of the government really is. (Sorry about ending with a preposition – or is it a verb - but there was no need to go on and on!)

Shutting  down the government is disgraceful and probably dangerous. No probablies about it.  Air traffic controllers are forced to work and they do not know if they will be compensated for the days that the government is on hold.  I wonder if the Congress gets paid for these days.  Why would they care, they can use campaign funding to buy their cigars and alcohol.  I yearn for those back room years. When you had to make a deal or you would be persona non grata with the Congressional leadership. Actually, I yearn for the days when there was Congressional leadership.  It, like common sense, is non existent in the government we elected. 

And what’s the point?  ObamaCare goes into effect today.  It’s not going away.  It’s done.  The Supreme Court agreed.  Obama is not going away either. At least not for a few more years.  And the Postal Service is not a government Agency so they can stay open.  That transition from Obama to the Post Office was a non-sequiter, but since no government checks will get cut, it truly doesn’t matter. …Unless you are waiting for you Publishers Clearing House million dollar notification.  (I know, it still doesn’t make sense). 

Turning on the television, listening to the radio or reading the news on line, does not help in understanding what is going on.  One of the great scenes was at the WWII Monument.  All the Monuments were closed.  They have to be closed, it’s part of the shut down.  But an Honor flight group of WWII Vets came anyway.  And they forced the barriers to open.  The Republican Senator from Mississippi was with them and thought the closing was outrageous and an Obama decision. How stupid can the good Senator be.  They should have cancelled the Honor flight.  But he wanted to make a point.  You cannot pick and chose what should remain open. The President didn’t shut down the government, the Congress did – the Senator from Mississippi did.

Here’s the truth.  When it is all over, people will get paid, nothing will have changed, except our credit rating and the stock market.  People who want to think of themselves as Senior or Essential will be answering phone.  Inevitably, Children, Women, Seniors, poor people, and the infirmed will take a hit – they always do.  And the 5 Tea Party people who wreaked havoc on this great nation, will give thumbs up and “We’re number one” buttons…. It’s hard to believe they will get any stupider, but they will find a way.  We’re just sayin’…Iris