Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best Show Gems, my new favorite podcast

Just sharing...

My old favorite podcast was the Phil Hendrie Show, but after a few years of his post-September 11 Bush ass-licking (and his mindless attacks on anyone who dared criticized Bush-Cheney policies, because Phil knew best because he'd taken an aeroplane from LA to NYC and gone and seen the hole in the ground, so he "got it"), I gave up.

There are plenty of podcasts I like, but the latest and best is from WFMU's the Best Show, which was endorsed by Mike Pesca on Slate's Culture Gabfest. It's nice to see comedy that takes its time, that builds on the horror of call-in shows to do something a bit subtle...

Listen at WMFU or visit the show page HERE.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DP March 25 All-in-one

Dear Prudie,

I'm writing because I'm very upset with my sister. I've recently been blessed by two wonderful events: I've given birth to my first child, and I've been honored with a very prestigious award. I'll be heading to Stockholm soon with my husband and child (I'm breastfeeding), and feel that it would really be wisest to break up the trip with a stopover in London. The award comes with a substantial stipend, but until I get it, money is tight. I thought the perfect solution was staying a night with my sister, a former showgirl who married an English Lord and lives in a large townhouse in London. Not only would I get to see my sister, who rarely deigns to slum it in the US with her family, but I would save some money (hotels in London are very pricey -- see penuriousness above), and would give her a chance to meet her new niece, who bears my sister's name. I had even expected to ask my sister to be my daughter's godmother, and had some hopes that she could find a way for us to squeeze in a christening on either leg of the trip.

Well, imagine my surprise when, after refusing to take my hints, my sister refused an outright reequest for hospitality, saying that she couldn't bear the thought of being kept awake by my screaming baby (as if she would even hear anything with the baby tucked away in the nursery under the eaves). I told her how disappointed I was that she was being so unsisterly, and she replied that she didn't really feel much like a sister to me since she found out from our grandmother that my father is not the man who raised me, but instead, our milkman (I mean, my biological father is the milkman, not that I was raised by the milkman)!

As you can imagine, I was stunned by this news. My sister explained that our (well, her) grandmother announced this to her when our grandfather (well, her grandfather) died. He was afflicted with a rare genetic disease, so grandmother thought it best to tell my sister that she should have herself screened for it. My sister asked our grandmother if she had told me yet, and our grandmother told her that there was no need for me to know, since I couldn't be carrying the gene. My sister quickly got our grandmother to spill the full can of dairy-fresh beans, and has been ruminating on this news for months. I think she was only too happy to have this incredible news as a pretext for selfishly protecting her own comfort.

Having learned this, I better understand a recent bit of unpleasantness involving my ex-husband, a total creep whose violence during our divorce led to me getting a restraining order, the non-respect of which led to him doing hard time. I now understand what he was referring to when, upon learning I was to remarry, he started a slanderous campaign of posters in my neighborhood accusing me of being a bastard. Obviously my blabbermouth grandmother had decided to share her secret with her favorite ex-grandson-in-law.

I would like to keep this news about my parentage a secret, but I'm wondering whether that's the best plan. I happen to work at an educational institution where my father worked for many years of his distinguished career. People are always insinuating that I benefited from preferential treatment as his daughter, so I'm now inclined to throw back in their faces that I'm not really his daughter.

My question, Prudie, is whether I should let the cat out of the bag by an email blast or some good old-fashioned mimeographers flyers stapled onto telephone poles around campus. Which has the best effectiveness/environmental impact ratio?


Nobelesse oblige

DP March 25 One-by-one: Family values

LW1's grandfather's dying of Alzheimer's. Grandmother tells LW that she doesn't have to worry about inheriting the disease, since LW's father isn't LW's grandfather's son. Whatever that means. LW wants to know how best to find out what that means. Like maybe ask her dad now? Wait til granny dies? Prudie says that there is not medical reason to worry about this. LW has to decide if her curiosity will allow her to let it go. In any case, if she does want to learn more, don't wait til granny dies. Duh.
My take: I guess Prudie's right. I think Grandma might have a touch of senility going on too, though. I don't know what this knowledge gets you other than trouble, so in your shoes I'd try to forget it.

Video letter is from a guy who accidentally fed a vegetarian friend something meat-based. Prudie says let it go.
My take: What's the veggie friend supposed to do now? Purge the carnitoxins from her body? Keep your mouth shut.

LW2's ex wife is a nut case who vandalized his house and car. She violated restraining order. She lives in the same neighborhood as LW's new GF, and has been slipping letters accusing GF of being a home-wrecking whore. LW claims no legal action is possible, and now he and GF think all the neighbors are giving them the stink-eye (like people care). Prudie says to avoid a letter-writing campaign in response, and to slip a word to a few neighborhood gossips about his crazy jealous ex.
My take: Boy, would I want to get this bitch. Her actions may not violate the order of protection, but they certainly seem to constitute defamation of character of both you and your GF. See a lawyer, sue the bitch and get a lien on her house for the damages she'll owe.

LW3 has two sisters, Eileen and Karen. Eileen has a newborn and needs to go to an event with husband and child. Karen's house is an ideal place for an overnight stopover, but Karen has refused because she doesn't want to risk losing a minute's sleep because of a crying baby. Should Eileen be upset? Prudie says that it's Karen who needs to get an earful and grow up and be a sister and show a modicum of family hospitality.
My take: What Prudie said. Karen can't bear the thought of risking the loss of one night's sleep to help her sister???? This is crazy. I might have a tiny bit of sympathy for Karen's position if she were being asked to care for the baby (and even then, no, not really), but she's only being expected to offer a modicum of hospitality for her own damn sister. (Just a thought: maybe LW1 is involved, and Karen knows that Eileen isn't really her sister... this may inspire an All-in-One!)

LW4 is much younger than her coworkers, who always go on about how old they are, and how she shouldn't get old (right). Second part of this two-parter is that LW's mom works in the company, and coworkers are always assuming her mom got her the job. Prudie gives some stock responses to the jerks.
My take: Two-part question, one-part answer: just tilt your head to the side and smile. Expression should be: "You're so quaint, aren't you?". Say nothing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

While Paris burns, Sarkozy plays cards

Marc explains the news from France.

Nicolas Sarkozy took a big hit in yesterday's second round of regional elections. In continental France, he saved only Alsace for his party, the rest of the country giving a comfortable majority to the left.

And as is typical, normal, expected in France when the President loses an election, there will be a remaniement ministériel, a cabinet reshuffle. A few of the ministers that lost (and they all lost) will be sacked. Others will move from one ministry to another, in one of the regular games of musical chairs that so delight the French political press. Some government departments will be moved from one ministry to another. Ministries will change names. Millions will be spend changing the signage on government buildings, on business cards, on letterhead.

And nothing will really change. And that's how it's supposed to be in France.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The mistakes, they is gonna kill me

What's irking me today? Some writing on FB:

"inciteful" for "insightful"
"site" for "sight"

And there can never be enough hate for using "I" for "me". Grrr...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dear Prudence, March 18, One-by-one: Grow up!

Letter writer 1 is a college student who was sexually abused as a child. Now the grandson of the abuser has enrolled at his university. Prudie says it's nothing to do with the grandson, and LW needs help.
My take: Well, this does sound tough. Prudie gave good advice, I think. I do wonder what the result of the legal action was if the family seem to know nothing about it. Grandpa deserves to spend the rest of his days in jail, and just how does Gram explain that one?

Video Letter is from a woman whose friend's baby likes to kiss on the lip.
My take: How about this for advice: Grow up! You don't want to kiss baby on the lips? Kiss baby on the cheek. You don't want baby to kiss you on the lips? Turn your cheek to him. Was that so hard? Baby's mother insists? Say no. A good way is "I'd really prefer not to." Think Bartleby.

LW2 is a woman who was having "private time" with her husband when her young son entered the bedroom. Is son traumatized? Prudie says no.
My take: How about this for advice: Grow up! If you have to write "private time" rather than "bonking" or how about... "sex", or even "making love", your delightful kid is going to have problems. As to your letter, what Prudie said.

LW3 has moved in with boyfriend whose mother is too present in his life, doing his laundry, making his dentist appointments, etc. Prudie says to dump him.
My take: How about this for advice: Grow up! If fiancé doesn't see an issue, and you persist in seeing one, then DTMLA (that would be "dump the mother-lover already). It sounds to me, however, that you've got some issues. Do you want him to be autonomous, or do you want to be doing the mothering? (I would not mind having someone make my dentist appointments and hold my hand in the waiting room. If someone was making my dentist appointments for me, I would see the dentist a lot more often. And volunteers for laundry duty are welcome to report. I might actually wear some ironed clothing once in a while.)

LW4 has been invited to the wedding of the doctor who works on the same floor as her. How should she respond?
My take: How about this for advice: Grow up! You don't want to go to this stranger's wedding? Decline the invitation when it comes.