Monday, October 27, 2008


Still having a problem with Obama and still contemplating writing Hillary in. At the same time, I'm just awed at the sentiment of "blue" sweeping the country. It's like we've gone far enough to the right in the last eight disastrous years and people have had enough. I'm not going to take an Obama victory for granted; I've been disappointed before. But I am looking forward to election night more than usual. It'll be awesome if for the first time in 10 years, I actually vote for someone -- anyone -- who wins.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Interesting -- 10 Reasons You're Not Rich. The car one has always been obvious to me, but there are other reasons in there that I never thought about. Worth reading in these tough times. Also, all the money you've lost? Where did it go?.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

This One is voting for That One

I have decided, in the aftermath of Monday night's debate, to vote for Obama and for the first time since Hillary lost the primary, I'm 100 percent certain of my decision. I've been swaying back and forth, but I was dismayed by McCain's choice of Sarah Palin, who is way too conservative and inexperienced, and I've been stunned by McCain's recent behavior on the campaign. His decision to "suspend" his campaign to go back to Washington to push the bailout, which then failed, just seemed nothing short of a stunt and ill-advised. It didn't work for me. But the deciding moment was in the debate, when I felt McCain spent more time attacking Obama than telling me what he was going to do as president.

See, here's the deal. As far as I can tell, the economy is in shambles, we're fighting two unwinnable wars, health care is becoming more expensive, and social security needs some kind of reform. These are the issues that matter to me. I don't care that McCain was involved in the Keating scandal. I don't care that Obama attended a fund raiser held by a reformed domestic terrorist 13 years ago when said terror attacks occurred when Obama was 8. That's the past, and I don't see how either of these two "guilt by association" issues help me or any other American *today*.

I picked Obama because he seems less erratic than McCain, and unlike McCain, Obama occasionally did give a concrete answer at Monday's debate. Obama seemed to get it, unlike McCain who spent all his time (weirdly) wandering around the stage. And honestly, I'm a little horrified at some of these rallies that are going on where attendees are yelling "Kill [Obama]!" and "Down boy!" and that McCain and Palin do nothing to stifle their supporters' comments. It's really very disgusting and I can't believe we're seeing this in America, today, and that two candidates for the two highest offices in the lands are saying, by their silence, that it's okay.

I'm not saying either of these candidates are perfect, but I really though McCain would not resort to such mud-slinging.* I had a lot of respect for him just a few months ago because I did think after what happened to him in 2000 -- a definite victim of the Karl Rove attack machine -- that he would be more dignified. But no. And without concrete answers to anything, and Palin's nonsensical answers and clear lack of experience, it's impossible for me to even think anymore of voting for McCain.

Obama it is.

Not that Obama is blameless on the negative ad side, but only 34 percent of his ads last week were negative, while McCain's were nearly 100 percent. This tells me more about McCain than it does about Obama. Overall, the negative ad split is 73 percent McCain and 61 percent Obama. .
Bank bust

It's only a loss if you pull your money out of the stock market and/or mutual funds. You lock in the loss that you're seeing on paper. At some point in the future, the stock market will eventually go up. Short-term money, okay, you may want to consider locking in the loss and putting it into a CD or FDIC-insured money-market, but if you're in it for the long haul like yours truly, make no sudden moves.* What goes down will eventually go up and vice-versa. It's the way of things.

Follow advice at your own risk; I'm not a financial planner

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Lessons from a hurricane

1. If you sleep in a walk-in closet, chances are, you'll sleep through the whole thing and wonder what everyone was talking about. And then you feel a little miffed because you did indeed miss the whole thing.

2. Three days without water is a long time.

3. Twelve days without power means you learn how to fumble around in the dark really well. Even now, I can walk around my apartment without the lights on just about perfectly. And oh yeah -- you remember to move things out of the way so you don't inadvertently step on them.

4. When you're without internet or satellite television for fifteen days, you feel disconnected. There's a world out there that's functioning and somehow you're not a part of it.

5. Twenty days without functioning traffic lights is really very scary.

6. Lines for gas get really, really, really long. It's best if you top off before the hurricane. Especially since they ration it afterwards. And string yellow police tape around the gas station. Did I mention the lines are really long?

7. Lines for fresh coffee at the gas station are also really long, but oh so worth the wait.

8. It's amazing how much you don't know about the world when the only source of news is the radio and all they can tell you is what FEMA is or isn't doing. They don't tell you what you really want to know which is when is life going to be normal again?

9. People do some insanely stupid things after being cooped up for 24 hours and with no electricity, water or internet, like jump into flooded street ways from bridges, never mind that there might be snakes, alligators, downed power lines, gasoline, dead bodies and other icky stuff in that water. Don't be stupid.

10. It is possible to forget how to turn your television on.

11. Cupcakes make hurricanes better. I recommend buying cupcakes to anyone in a similar situation.

12. Rechargeable electronics are great until you realize you can't recharge them when they die.

13. There's no such thing as customer service in the aftermath. It doesn't matter if you don't want fruit with your Belgian waffle, you're going to get it. And dang it, you will enjoy that waffle because it's the first hot meal you've had in five days.

14. When the lights go out, all the people come out. They come out to sit on balconies, on doorsteps. They talk, they drink beer, they play cards, they read books, and listen to music. When the lights come back on, they all disappear.

15. Calling your land line multiple times to see if the answering machine will answer doesn't make the power come on any faster.

16. Also, stalking the electric company trucks and kidnapping the nice landman who came down from Canada to turn the lights back on for you doesn't help either.

17. I was just kidding on number 16.

18. Really.

19. It feels really good when the water comes back on. Even when it's cold. Because it means you can pull the plug on the water in the bathtub, which starts to take on a funky aroma on day 3. Even if you did clean it out with bleach beforehand. It also means you can take showers again. And believe you me, by day 3, you are smelling a wee bit funky.

20. Somehow, you get through.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thrifty Tips

You can buy special boot stretchers/standers at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $10 that will keep your knee-high boots from flopping over or cracking or creasing or you can do what I did -- take the cardboard roll from wrapping paper or paper towels and stick that in your boots. Voila. Cheap and easy fix for floppy boots!