Thursday, July 30, 2009

Battle of the Dead Bands

What do you do when every morning your downstairs neighbor blasts Michael Jackson so loudly your floors shimmy? Easy, dust off your Nirvana albums and crank up your own stereo.

If turns out my neighbor is actually related to MJ I'll apologize for my passive agressive tactics, but otherwise. Enough. The King of Pop died nearly a month ago let's all move on. If this person living below me really cared about Michael Jackson and his legacy he wouldn't over play his songs making the once enjoyable Billy Jean unlistenable.

Or maybe I'm just too sensitive. Everytime MJ is played I think back to 1995 when Kurt Cobain died and all I can do to keep myself from crying is head bang to Smells Like Teen Spirit over and over again.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Curse of Julius Caesar

Funny, a couple of days ago I mentioned that NJ is known for it's political corruption and then, Bam! Two NJ mayors have been arrested on corruption charges yesterday. Why?

Well, it's what I have decided is the curse of Julius Caesar. Since the assassination of Julius Caesar the Italians haven't had a competent long lasting government. And let's face it that curse has traversed the Atlantic Ocean. A bunch of Italian immigrants settled in NJ and ever since the garden state has had dead people voting multiple times. Perhaps if some country trades a great baseball player to the Italians for relative pennies the curse can be broken and we no longer will have money laundering mayors or Goldman Sachs alum governors.

Or maybe if we trade pizza for moral integrity. That's never going to happen. Pizza is too good.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Votey Vote

Remember back in October when the banks of the world were about to collapse? We were told we needed to give the banks billions of dollars in order to save ourselves. "If Wall Street goes belly up, soon too will fall Main Street." Many of us said, "No, this sounds like a bad idea." And then congress gave Wall Street our money. So a bunch of Americans lost their jobs. Now, the banks are in good shape reporting a good deal of profits. That should mean we are all back to work. Hmmm. How come what's bad for Wall Street is bad for Main street but not what's good for Wall Street is good for Main Street?

I don't know the answer to that. What I do know is that the people of NJ can take a stand. NJ has the chance to vote for governor this coming November. It will be Corzine vs, Christie. I say vote for a third party. But none of you will do that, so my second choice is Christie. He has a history in NJ politics which means he's probably corrupt somehow, maybe even mobbed up--it is NJ after all. As a New York Times op-ed piece once wrote, "NJ is a petri dish of corruption." However, the man he is running against, incumbent John Corzine, worked for Goldman Sachs. The mob could only dream of pulling off the scams that Goldman Sachs has pulled off. 200 years of NJ politics has not stolen as much money as Goldman Sachs has in 10 months.

Let me put it to you this way, Good Fellas was a way better movie than the Boiler Room. If you're not going to vote third party vote for the least compotent criminal running.

God Bless America!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Aging Process

As a child I never understood why adults thought getting older was a sad affair. But now that I am technically an adult I finally see what all the fuss is about.

The birthday is just an annual reminder of how unpopular I am. I am not saying I should be popular. I'm not some complimentary, positivety-espousing gal. I'm just saying I'm not so evil that I need a yearly reminder. Even when I try to avoid the whole thing by not planning anything or inviting anyone anywhere there are still the post birthday questions from people I know (notice the distinction between people knowing you and people liking you) "What did you do for you birthday?" As if I am supposed to do something for it.

However, depressing the pressure to celebrate with a bunch of friends a person is expected to have that is not why growing older is a sad affair. It is of course about the gifts. At some point in time birthday gifts just dry up. Once upon a time relatives and family friends would buy gifts or better yet would send cards with money in them. Now, no one does that. It's over. The problem lies in the lack of warning. No one tells you that one day you won't be getting gifts anymore for your birthday. No one explains that birthday gifts from relatives are like Trix cereal, for kids. If society is going to teach this lesson in school the least people could do is warn you the year before in a birthday card.

"Happy 21st birthday. Here's $20 have a drink on me. Enjoy it because this last birthday gift you'll receive from me."


"Happy 25th birthday you're old enough to rent a car which means next year you're too old for a birthday check."


"Wow you've made it to 30 years old. Well, I guess, you're lucky enough you don’t need my money anymore. "

The crazy irony in all this is that when I was a kid I didn't really need gifts. I had no bills, no rent to pay, and as far as toys go I could amuse myself with a yardstick for hours a day. But now forget it. There are bills, and rent, and a great need for toys to help distract me from the fact that birthdays are an unpopularity contest. If I had been warned I would have saved all the gifts from my youth and started unwrapping them now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pinching Pennies. But Still Having fun.

Summer weather has finally arrived here in the Northeast, so get out there and have some fun. "But, Rachael I'm part of the 10% unemployed in the country. I don't have the money for summer fun."

There are plenty of free things to do in the summer. Many communities sponsor free movies in parks. Or if you're looking for something free to do this summer that's a little more adventurous but just as community oriented as free movies in the park may a suggest protesting. As many of you know Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, and Morgan Stanley have stolen the all our money. You might remember last year their oil speculation caused oil prices to spike. Those prices spiked so high you couldn't afford to take a summer vacation last year and that's when you had a job. All the while they were selling your bad debt back to you in the form of AAA bonds for your retirement plan. Then they stole our tax money.

You could go to Six Flags this summer, but if you're going to stand in lines all day you might as well stand in front of the Corporate Headquarters to a MegaBank and block the entrance. It costs nothing to stand on a sidewalk while it costs $45 or so to go to Six Flags. If you want to get extravagant at your summer protest you could invest in poster board and magic markers. Maybe buy a dozen eggs. And since you're not eating them you can get the cheap non-organic small eggs.

"That's great for the unemployed, Rachael. But what about those of us who still have a job, but are broke nonetheless? We don't have the time off to go down to Citicorp and disallow those bastards from working. We're too busy staying late at our jobs and not getting overtime."

I hear you. Well, simple enough. Enjoy you're summer nights going to bars that have outdoor seating a begin to villify the profession of investment banker. For years we've kept our disdain for professions such as IRS auditor (but who is making enough to pay taxes anymore) or Actors. Granted actors are pretty self-involved and many are little nuts, but actors are pretty helpful people. They take your food orders, mix your drinks, bring your luggage up to your hotel room. Instead of shunning the actor the the IRS guy shun an investment banker every chance you get. While you're drinking your PBR at the outside bar start telling Polish jokes, but replace the word "Polish" for "investment banker" or "sociopath CEO."

It would go something like this, "Did you hear about the Investment Banker flashlight? It's solar powered." Or "How do you get a one armed Bank CEO out of a tree? Throw rocks at him until he's unconcious and falls."

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Love in the Modern Age

In Medieval times knights in shining armor would defend the women they loved by slaying dragons, decapitating witches, and fending off men of ill repute. Today, I hope that my man in dull, cargo shorts could defend me from the pestering mosquitoes that present themselves each summer.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What The Natural History Museum Missed

In New York City everything is a competition. Nothing fun can be had without sacrifice. Last Thursday looked like a lost day. I had arrived at Central Park to wait for "free" Shakespeare in the Park tickets at 9:30am. The Public Theater releases the tickets at 1pm. By 9:30 in the morning the line for tickets was at capacity. I woke up at 7:40am on my day off for nothing. According to the Public Theater Line monitor the line was basically full up by 7:00am. For free tickets to a show by a playwright most Americans loathed to read in high school.

What to do with my day? A smart person would have gone home and worked on her many artistic/career projects. As proved by my Shakespeare in the Park experience just minutes earlier, NYC is one competitive place and if I want to succeed I better get to work. But if we learned anything about me from the Shakespeare in the Park experience I lack a real competitive drive. So my friends and I went to the Museum of Natural History and took in the "EXTREME MAMMALS" exhibit. I saw a toe fossil from a four legged mastodon/elephant type creature that was as big as half my body. I saw a land walking whale. I saw the shell of the giant predecessor of the armadillo. The shell was big enough for small children to crawl through. CRAZY! EXTREME.

I learned that one of the most extreme mammals was the homo-sapien, aka the human. We are one of the only mammals to walk on two legs without hopping and we have a huge brain relative to our body size. But the museum missed something. We are the only mammals to video tape cats and post the videos on youtube.

I also learned that no matter how hard a species competes it will one day become extinct. In fact sometimes being so good at competing winds up being a species demise. If you hunt all the prey you have nothing to eat. If you get to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 3am you'll probably catch a cold.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Women Can Stand Around Too

I think it's time we liberated baseball. It's not like football where the size differential between the genders matters. All one has to do to play baseball is have the ability to stand on dirt or grass. A person doesn't need any kind of super human strength to throw a baseball across the field. All it takes is good reflexes to hit a base ball with a bat. Granted, home run hitters are somewhat strong relative regular people and so perhaps women wouldn't be league leading home run hitters, but most men aren't either.

All I'm saying is that women stand around as well as men do and why shouldn't they do it for big bucks?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Secret Truth About Grandchildren

Here I explain the inexplicable. The age old question of why parents pressure their adult children to have children of their own. In short--The Grandchild question.

It's simple. You, the adult child, will one day be old and decrepit. When that day arrives you'll need someone to look after you. If you've made millions upon millions you can be as baron as the moon. But most people are poorish. And so they need adult children to lean on. Of course the bringing a child into the world does create some emotional attachment. The elderly though, not yet decrepit feel a little guilty about what they are about to put you through in a few years and think you, too should have that safety blanket. A person can't come out and say that. That sounds awful, so, instead, they just say, "Have kids. I want grandkids." Without any real reason to do so. Usually, given as a reason when pressed is, "Children are a joy." We all know that's not true. They're needy and time consuming and make you put your dreams and life on hold. But all that work and sacrifice is in an investment in your future. You're future of not being able to walk or see, or maybe even remember anything.

People may criticize this theory in the fact that the grandchild was something people were pressured to give to the older generation prior to us living until we fell apart. Yes, but back then children were needed for farm labor. Again you can't just come out and say, "You need to birth your own slaves."

In conclusion I leave you with this question that I'll answer. Why do you think gay people are pushing so hard for the legalization of gay marriage? Married people have a better shot at adopting a child. And don't gay people need someone to take care of their decrepit asses too?