Friday, May 28, 2010

DP May 27 All-in-one

Read the original letters HERE.

Dear Prudence,

After my daughter grew up and left home, I found myself at loose ends, and ended up fostering several children. I even ended up adopting one of them, a particularly difficult boy who is now 16. He's doing better, largely thanks to sport, which I have him practice intensively to learn self control and to burn off excess energy that he would otherwisse devote to vandalism and petty crime.

I have recently been diagnosed with an incurable cancer. I have informed social services that they'll need to find new homes for the foster kids, but I need someone to take on my adopted son. The logical choice was my daughter, but I'm having second thoughts about that.

You see, I finally managed to nag her to get Randy a summer job in her office, and am somewhat disturbed by what he tells me goes on there with her. He says that she's always having him replace the 5-gallon water jug on the cooler (located just in front of her desk), sometimes twice a day. Every so often he finds that the seal on the new bottle is loose, resulting in water pouring out and getting him soaked. He's even taken to bringing a spare tshirt just in case he needs to change!

Can my daughter really be interested in Randy that way? After all, she's his sister, and she's a whole six years older than him. Such an enormous age difference, let alone the family relationship, should preclude romantic thoughts, shouldn't it?

My question to you, Prudie, is: if in fact it's OK for an older to lust after a younger relative, how do I get myself a piece of this stud before I croak?


Chemo Hasn't Killed My Sex Drive

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DP May 27 One-by-one: Other people's choices

Before getting to Prudie, a homage to Jalousie, who I had put to sleep yesterday after 18 lovely years. Thanks to the BF for this drawing which will probably always make me cry.

Letter 1 is from a woman whose mother is herself a bit handicapped, but has taken on duties as a foster mother, and who has adopted one of her former foster children. This adoptee is violent, yet mother wants LW to take care of her during mother's three-week trip to Europe. LW's husband says no way, but LW feels guilty. Prudie says mother needs to find a stable solution for the adoptee, and it can't be LW. Also says LW should narc mom as an unfit foster mother to social services.
My take: Tell mom to fuck off.

Video letter is from a guy whose obese GP keeps telling him to lose weight. He's OK with his weight, and can't take the hypocrisy. Prudie tells him to tell her that her advice is not going to change anything, and that she should herself know how hard it is to lose weight sustainably.
My take: As a fat person myself, I can confirm that I know I'm fat, I know it's not healthy, and I really don't need to hear it from you.

Letter 2 is from a grad student with a thing for an undergrad she used to TA. Prudie says LW has a choice to make, and since she knows it will be bad for her career to go out with a former student, she should choose not to. And is the guy even interested?
My take: She is -- gasp -- six whole years older than this adult. Stop obsessing, see what happens, and take your lumps. Make up your mind one way or the other. I am pretty sure in any case that you are not the girl this 19-year-old will be together with till his dying day, but why not have some fun in the meantime?

Letter 3 is from a woman who has been treated for cancer, but whose life expectancy isn't so hot. She is finding it difficult to make the most of the time she may have, since she's so anxious about dying and leaving her husband and young children. Prudie says get help and get drugs to deal with the anxiety. And the life expectancy she has been told is just a number. It reminded me of the Stephen J. Gould essay. Here's something from Wikipedia:

In July 1982, Gould was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer affecting the abdominal lining and frequently found in people who have been exposed to asbestos. After a difficult two-year recovery, Gould published a column for Discover magazine, titled "The Median Isn't the Message", which discusses his reaction to discovering that mesothelioma patients had a median lifespan of only eight months after diagnosis.[9] He then describes the true significance behind this number, and his relief upon realizing that statistical averages are just useful abstractions, and do not encompass the full range of variation.

The median is the halfway point, which means that 50% of patients will die before 8 months, but the other half will live longer, potentially much longer. He then needed to determine where his personal characteristics placed him within this range. Considering that the cancer was detected early, the fact he was young, optimistic, and had the best treatments available, Gould figured that he should be in the favorable half of the upper statistical range. After an experimental treatment of radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery, Gould made a full recovery, and his column became a source of comfort for many cancer patients.

Gould lived for twenty more years before dying of an unrelated cancer. Do some research to figure out what your personal chances of beating your cancer are.

Letter 4 is from a pussy whiner who hates having to change the water bottle at work just because he is the only young healthy man in the office. Prudie tells him to shut the fuck up.
My take: So do I. And what's with this "I usually bring my own bottle of water from home, so I shouldn't be obliged to change the water bottle at work." How much water are you bringing with you? Are you carting a liter of your own water with you each day? That's pretty dumb, if you can get if for free at work. And you do admit sometimes using the office water. And even if you were a vampire and never drank water at all, you can still step up to the plate and help out your colleagues. What a putz you are.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Solidarity with the aged scam

Marc explains the news from France. The story HERE.

A French economically wasteful, socially destructive, punitive tax turns out to be a scam? Who'd have thunk it?

Created during the guilt trip the UMP laid on the French after public authorities failed to react during the 2003 heatwave that took the lives of 15,000 elderly people, the Day of Solidarity was supposed to fund a "fifth branch" of welfare, specifically for the dependent, mainly the aged.

The principle was a bit odd. The French were made to feel guilty for having paid public holidays (not all do, in fact... there's only one day that legally must be a paid day off each year, ie Labor Day on May 1) and told they were lazy and needed to work more. So Pentecost Monday was eliminated as a public holiday, and workers were made to work that day for free. In exchange for this free labor, employers were taxed the value of that labor. So basically, to pay for care for the elderly, the government imposed a special payroll tax... just the thing to boost employment figures.

Eliminating the holiday was unpopular and unworkable. As an example of the mess it created, schools were open, but food service workers employed by outside firms might still have the day off. Local festivals, like the Feria in Nimes, we badly damaged by losing the traditional long weekend. Eventually many firms found a way around the measure, for example by telling workers that they were officially working a few minutes more each day. Many big firms simply paid the tax and kept the day as a holiday. Other firms took advantage of the allotment of paid days off negotiated in the context of the "35-hour" week to keep Pentecost Monday as a paid holiday for their staff.

As if this BS weren't bad enough, it turns out that the money raised by the tax has not all been going to the elderly. Just as was the case of an earlier tax for the elderly, the annual car license fee, which soon became just another source of tax revenue, the billions of euros raised by the Day of Solidarity tax are too tempting to resist using to plug a deficit here and there.

Yes, French people, you once again got screwed. And of course, you'll do nothing about it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Let's get us some real problems, people!

Read the story in English HERE.

Zoé Renault told Le Parisien that she did not want her identity to be reduced to the image of a car or to be associated all her life with a vehicle. "It would be unbearable for me to hear 'the Zoé has broken down', 'we have to get the Zoé overhauled' or 'so and so killed themselves in a Zoé,'" she said.

It's better in French:
« Je ne veux pas que mon identité renvoit à l'image d'une voiture et être associée toute mon existence à une auto. C'est blessant, juste invivable ».

"It's hurtful, I simply cannot live with this."

People live without sight, hearing, arms, legs. You can live with a car having your name, bitch.

DP May 20 One-by-one: The whole story

Letter 1 is from a woman who got knocked up by a "registered sex offender" who is just out of prison. Her son has been raised by her current husband, who wants to adopt the kid. Biodad wants to be part of son's life. Prudie says to go through with the adoption and keep the kid away from biodad as long as possible.
My take: Well, I have a problem with the words "registered sex offender". You see, that doesn't mean much. It could be something like statutory rape when he was 22 and the girl was 17. Americans are so paranoid about pedophilia that they have created all sorts of ways of "protecting" children which give a false sense of security to parents, while keeping them properl roiling. So I'm not prepared to say that biodad is a threat to the child without more info.

And ladies: if you don't want unpleasant men sticking around in your life, don't let them get you pregnant. (Exception for rape there.) Use that birth control, and if it doesn't work, ou still have a last chance to keep him out of your (and your child's) life.

Video letter is so dumb I can barely recap it. There's this guy who thinks the LW is his daughter. Mom says it's not true, but there's a lot of pressure to make the guy happy since someone is terminal. Prudie says something.
My take: pseudo-biodad and his family can shove it. But if you want, there's an easy way to find out the truth: do a paternity test.

Letter 2 is from a person who has been unemployed for a while and gets annoyed when recruiters ask why she's been jobless so long. Prudie gives a good answer for her to give. My take: Duh. Getting peeved is not a way to get the job. Maybe your testiness has something to do with your joblessness.

Letter 3 is from a woman whose... oh, you'll have to read it for yourself HERE. Prudie says that whatever happens, it's not LW's problem, but her husband's (it's his family, you see).
My take: Let's all grow up a bit.

Letter 4 is from a woman whose BF is going out of town for a conference, where he'll meet an old college friend of the female variety who lives in the area. Friend will be spending the night in BF's hotel room, on a couch or rollaway. LW doesn't like the look of this, and wants her to get her own room. Prudie says her jealousy is most unattractive, and that if BF was planning some hanky panky, he wouldn't be telling her about the meeting, let alone the plans for the slumber party.
My take: Prudie is right, but I am puzzled. If she lives nearby, why does she need to sleep over? And if the room is big enough for a sofa or a second bed, couldn't he downgrade to a cheaper room and pay for a second cheap room for the friend? But in the end, LW says she wants the friend to pay for the second room, and that's where the problem is for me. If LW wants her in another room, LW needs to cough up the cash.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DP May 13 One-by-one: Ascension

It's the Feast of the Ascension, so I'm above it all today.

The letters are mostly from women at work, and I have the day off, so hah!

Letter 1's from a woman (?) whose new colleague is having a sex thing with a coworker. Should LW tell the wife?. Prudie doesn't encourage, but can't disapprove either. Prudie makes a stupid pun on "discharging his duties/attending to urgent discharges". My take: It's not really their private life, is it? They are making it about your professional life, they are wasting people's time with their antics, and they aren't doing their work. So tell the boss, not the wife.

The video letter is from a young woman has a coworker who keeps tabs on her as if she were her mom. Prudie says to kindly tell coworker to butt out. My take: Yeah, whatever. Nothing more to say about this one.

Letter 2 is from a young woman who's predecessor in her position has been a big help in doing her new job. Until, at least, predecessor went behind LW's back to submit a (better) project before her. Prudie says to have a sincere and open talk. My take: I guess you could have a talk. But maybe LW hasn't been very good at crediting the Other Worker for her help these six months?

Letter 3 is from a young woman whose fiancé of four years won't bonk her. She thinks it's just a bad habit and wants advice on breaking it. Prudie tells her the truth, that her fiancé has bid problems, they need help, and she should contemplate leavin him, and certainly not get married. My take: What she said. Except I would be a bit more directive: deal with your shit now or I'm leaving you now.

Letter 4 is from a young woman who dreads her college graduation because her horrible mooching relatives have all invited themselves, including her dreadful grandmother, who said that if LW is fat at graduation, she will throw a hissy fit. Prudie gives all sorts of advice about dealing with the insults, and ignores the mooching of the uninvited guests. My take: You're a grown-up. Tell them they're not welcome.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Vivement que Le Parisien embauche des journalistes !

Dans le numéro de ce dimanche 2 mai 2010, dans un article sur l'exportation du cinéma français :

Le promo-real (NDLR : une bande-annonce de quatre minutes)a suscité un vrai engouement.

Promo REEL. Reel = bobine. C'est la bobine de promotion.