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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rahm Emanuel wins this month's Mommy Brain prize

...for finally treating oil companies like the spoiled, naughty children they are. Objecting to George Bush's effort to open offshore drilling, the NY congressman pointed out that they have 68 million acres of onshore permits that they haven't used. "It's just like I tell my kids," Emanuel said, with wonderful wisdom, "You're not going to get dessert until you finish what's on your plate."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

distracted again

I found the time last night -- not sure how -- to watch "Distracted" author Maggie Jackson being interviewed by a Business Week editor. She was terrific! I went back to the book, on my overloaded nightstand, and read it with new focus. Jackson offers some very important reflections on the nutty, fractured way most of us are living our lives, and particularly the way most of us relate to our friends. Our chronic split focus has become a cliche: the two dear friends meeting for lunch and talking to other people on their cellphones, or the teenager talking to two people at a time with a split screen and instant messaging. And as Jackson rightly points out, it is robbing us all of emotional nourishment. And we need to work to cultivate awareness to stop.
Earlier this year I made a pledge: with the exceptions of my siblings and a few longtime friends I adore who all live far away, I'm not conducting my emotional life by email. I figure if I have time to message someone local several times a week, I have time to meet them for a hike or coffee once a month -- that is, if they're worth the investment to begin with. It was hard at first to be tough about it, but it was soon liberating. I think we tend to fool ourselves about just how much of our lives can be "virtual" without doing damage that we only realize down the line...

Monday, June 09, 2008

not hot enough?

CNN today broadcast a list of the top issues on Americans' minds. The economy, Iraq, health care, and education were all high on the list, and, to an extent, rightly so. But quite unfortunately, there was no mention at all of energy or the environment, which eventually, if ignored, will surely trump the rest. In my inbox today is a message from a new organization called 1Sky, which is bravely moving ahead to draw more attention to this issue. The email says that now that the "Climate Security Act" -- deeply flawed, primarily because it doesn't move nearly fast enough -- has failed in Congress, it's time to focus on a truly science-based approach. For our kids' sakes, I hope that sometime soon Americans start connecting the dots between, say, the disastrous recent weather in the midwest, the skyrocketing gas prices, and the need to rapidly overhaul our increasingly dangerous energy habits....

Monday, June 02, 2008

porn, porn, porn

Ok, just one more post for this week, and then I'm putting on the virtual handcuffs -- I went to see Sex & the City last night, joining the biggest movie mob scene I can remember since the early Star Trek openings, and, yep, there was a lotta, lotta porn -- heavy doses of the traditional kind, about which I'll say no more than "Dante," combined with fashion-porn, and even closet-porn -- but underlying it all, and of course the reason both the TV show (which I never really watched much) (honest!) and this film have been so popular, is what boils down to friendship porn. Like who among us these days has anywhere near the kind of relationship portrayed in that wonderful scene where Carrie Bradshaw traipses across a snowy Manhattan on New Year's Eve to share Chinese food with her lonely single friend? It made me blue -- until I realized, with deep gratitude, that I was sitting with a group of seven increasingly exceptional friends, members of my writing group, North 24th, who thanks to a series of small miracles (we numbered 7 mothers and 1 doctor in the middle of a 12-day grueling schedule) honored a pledge to each other to stay out late on a Sunday night, even without the blue jeweled Manolos...

continuing saga of the TV lock

So just a quick post to warn that I'm returning the plug locks I ordered from "Family Safe Media" because they lasted less than 5 minutes, alas! Not kid-proof! At least not in my determined household.
I called them today and they were great about taking them back and told me that they expect to have a stronger model sometime this week. I will keep you, literally, posted.
I googled some more this morning and found a cheaper lock that looks a bit more sturdy -- I like the description -- that it will "prevent a dangerous machine from being plugged in" -- but am giving this Family Safe Media group one more chance...will keep you posted...