Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Casey Anthony Trial: A City Divided

Casey Anthony
I live in Orlando, and we are a city obsessed, or at least 50% of us are.  The other half--my kind--continue on with our regular lives, surfing the channels, sweating in the heat, complaining there's not enough rain, and even reading real pages of books.

"You don't know what you're missing," the others tell me.
"Yeah, yeah," I tell them back.  "A mother kills her child, goes partying for an entire month, and then claims she's innocent."

Except Casey's not that smart, and I resent this murderess--yes, I already convicted her in my head--of taking up all the daytime TV.  I really don't watch that much, but when I'm doing my my elliptical and trying to get my heart pumping good, I want something to keep my mind active too.  So I watch movie stars on The Today Show or the ladies on The View.

Is that asking too much out of life?

So you can imagine my surprise when both my shows were gone, and all the others ones too.  Poof!  They disappeared and all we got is this fake looking Casey.   Couldn't the networks get together and pick just one of them to broadcast the proceedings, or were they all too frightened about losing the ratings' war?  

Guess they were shaking in their shoes, which left half the people happy and the other half depressed.

I changed the channel.  Maybe CNN  was running something decent.  No, they were analyzing the Anthony case.  Some guy was  yakking about maggots feeding off the baby, or did he say they didn't?  Did those buggers crawl in the trunk or not? 
Hey!  Is anybody listening?  It's morning, and I'm trying to burn some excess belly fat but I can't concentrate 'cause this guy's talking too much, and every time the camera passes Casey's face, I see those crocodile tears streaming down her cheeks.

I wonder if there's an Oscar for Best Actress Committing Premeditated Murder.
You mean everyone acts this way in court?  Gee, Hollywood misses its most authentic casting crew.
But let's get back to the problem at hand.  There are urgent problems going on in this world, and we need to address them immediately.   
Arnold and son, Christopher from Maria

Come on, people.  Is Arnold still screwing his maid or did he hire a new one?   Is Dominique Strauss-Khan sticking to his story that his maid is a serial rapist?  And how about poor Anthony Wiener?  Maybe if he got a decent nose job, he'd look better in his pornographic photos.  There's so much to worry about without this Anthony thing hanging over our heads.
So let's be sensible.  Let one station cover the court proceedings and reinstate the remaining shows so the rest of us can receive our daily dose of ongoing do-do.
Anthony Wiener

Monday, June 13, 2011

What Would Columbus Do?

Us in Hudson Valley, NY
Steve Ricks
My husband and I get around a lot, and people compare us to travel expert Steve Ricks, Agent 007, and even Christopher Columbus.  Bags always packed, we're ready to leave on a moment’s notice.
That's what they think, but get real.
It takes time to pick up prescriptions, grab those small cans of hair spray, mousse, miniature bottles of shampoo, conditioner, facial cleanser, and the list keeps growing.  Would a quarter tube of toothpaste last for both of us over 17 days?  I throw it in, and then worry, and buy another.  Did I forget any makeup, some of my creams, or toner?
Jesus, the list used to be short because I used to need nothing, but now I need everything, or I might just need everything 'cause you never know.   I stare at the shoes I packed--hiking, tennis, Tevas, water sandals, flipflops, slippers, and a little something for evening.  
Christopher Columbus
 What did I forget?                                                                 
Columbus made it over to America and what did he bring?  And what did Lewis and Clark pack along?  Nobody invented polyester back then, or Goretex or microfiber, or half the other stuff that “wicks away sweat.”  But how often did their mothers tell them to change underwear, every third new moon or All Saints Day?
Thankfully, I always bring my own bottle of Woolite and skip TV—too busy watching my clothes drip-dry in front of me.
“It's all on how you organize," I tell strangers, trying to keep the myth alive to those who don't know me.
Good thing our new travel group didn’t see us a few hours earlier when I went ballistic at airport security because my husband walked off with my purse, and I thought somebody took it, and he thought somebody took it because he forgot he was carrying it!   It wasn’t until a guard pointed to the bag securely wrapped around my husband's shoulder that we both stopped and stared. 
Lewis and Clark
But all that’s forgotten.    
We’re settled now, looking relaxed, or pretending to, and morphed this past week into Lewis and Clark, hop-scotching to Puerto Rico as guests of a destination wedding.  Wedding done, we were off to explore the rain forest.
Before breakfast I dropped my cellphone into my husband’s backpack to make sure I wouldn’t forget it. (Course nobody ever called me there).  When we returned, I added insect repellent and granola bars to the bag.  Bob slipped on the backpack and started to the door. 
I stopped.  “Wait.  Where’s my phone?”   
Bob immediately called my number from his.  Everywhere he walked the phone rang.  “Gotta be in the bathroom,” he said, until he stepped back into the bedroom and it continued to sound.  We searched everywhere—the bed, the dresser, the mirror, the lamp.   The phone was omnipotent.
“The backpack,” I finally remembered.  (Today I blame it on haste--or I hate to admit, those damn senior moments).  He retrieved it from his shoulders, and I clipped it onto my belt.
We were too embarrassed to laugh.
But at the moment I'm composed, ready to wrangle with Columbus.  Did his wife pack him only one set of underwear?   Fine with me.  It's a personal challenge.  I’m skipping Walgreens but keeping my bottle of Woolite. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Where Did All the Bankers Go?

Thomas H. Bailey
Remember when John Travolta played that tough urban cowboy riding that mind-numbing mechanical bull?  Guys stared, wanting to be cool like him, yet today you study the same scene and wonder how a modern man can achieve anything going nowhere.  Too staid for this generation.  Gotta jump off and get something done.
Even retired Wall Street titans are demanding more.

When 73 year old Thomas H. Bailey, the chief executive of Janus Capital Group, left his job in 2002, he didn’t even know how to mount a horse.  Today he’s become a star in the cowboy sport of cutting.

Cutting?  You need a scissors or two?

Nope.  It’s an Old West competition that measures the ability to handle horses and cows.  The idea is to cut the cow from the rest of the pack and then anticipate where the cow will turn next to keep him separated from the others.
Sounds easy?  Like a breeze, unless you have an unresponsive horse or a cow that darts in the opposite direction.  During an event last month in Kansas City, MO,  Bailey “cut” a steer from the group, and then dashed from side to side to prevent the cow from rejoining the herd.  He stayed balanced in the saddle showing why he’s earned almost $90,000 in this sport.

According to Kevin Helliker of The Wall Street Journal, these old business leaders have shown that if they work hard they can succeed in this money sport. 
But they got their critics.
Some old timers complain that technology has created a super breed of cutting horse that is so talented that cowboy skills matter less than the money needed to buy a particular animal.  Jon Winkelried, 49, just resigned from Goldman Sachs where he made as much as $53 million a year and purchased a $460,000 cutting-horse stallion to his stable.  To date his winning's totaled $50,000.  But this is just the start.
Other old time cowboys believe that the competition’s only gotten better with the newcomers' riches and that the money has raised the I.Q. of the sport.  Some recent events have increased the purse to more that $40 million, a 50% jump over the past decade.
Cutting Clinic
Yes, things have changed.

In one gathering regular cowboys competed against a house builder, a shopping mall magnate, a heavy construction tycoon, several lawyers, and small-business owners—most all of them late-life cowboys.

 If you don’t go broke from the cut-throat ticker tapes of Wall Street and can keep your ass in the saddle while breaking a single cow away from the pack, you'll win.
And this gamble can make you rich.