sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

September 9, 2014

Things I Learned This Summer

1. The reassuring wisdom of Darling Husband is immense. Darling Daughter won a coloring contest this summer. She’s not without an artistic streak, but in the case of this particular project, she dialed it in. When we turned in her work, we thought she would learn a lesson when she finds out that she blew it because she didn’t do her best. Imagine our surprise when DH received a message that she got first place in her age category. Oh no, is she going to rest on her laurels now?
We congratulated her, but then told her that she needs to consider that not enough kids entered the contest, and that she needs to try harder next time if she wants to keep winning. I guess I have my issues. After a few days DH told me to chill: She learned an important life lesson, that, as Woody Allen said, 90% of success is showing up.
“Although,” DH quickly added, “Woody Allen tried to take his words back and made an entire documentary to repudiate it. Not to repudiate that he slept with his daughter or anything like that, but to repudiate that he believes that 90% of success is showing up.”
2. To further quote my husband, if open concept homes are such a good idea, how come nobody thought of it before? These days flippers try to demolish every wall in the house, save bedroom walls. Open concept houses look nice and zen, and they sell like hot cakes because buyers find it easy to imagine themselves living in spacious, light-filled homes.
The reality of living in them is different, and once moved in, owners begin carving out rooms of their own, mancaves, and other areas to escape family members. Also, open concept homes are not good when it comes to containing mess.
3. Who is Joel Gott?
4. Local governments can be pretty darn ridiculous. We decided to remove an old chimney on our roof, and the contractor told us that because it’s visible from the street, he’s not comfortable working without a permit. So I went to the City Hall and payed a hefty fee. The clerk told me about the paperwork I’m required to submit.
“Do you know Photoshop?” She inquired. She asked me to take pictures of the roof from various vantage points and submit them for review together with the pictures where the chimney is photoshopped out.
After I turned in my paperwork, they sent letters to our neighbors asking if they don’t mind if we remove the chimney. Next they told me to post the permit application in front of our house and mail them the picture of the posted permit.
Finally, the City Hall also wants to know if I plan to close the gaping hole in my roof and how.
5. Who is Joel Gott?
6. нет пророка в своем отечестве. I’m Putin’s troll. Or so say some of my compatriots when I point out certain… Problems with their understanding of the place where I happen to be born and raised. The place happened to be eastern Ukraine.
Everything Ukraine is pretty much inside baseball. What I hear again and again that there once was a country called Ukraine that Russia took over, starved a whole bunch of Ukrainians and brought Russians in their place, and that’s how Russians ended up in Ukraine. It’s true about Holodomor.
I do believe that we should had dispatched Kissinger to negotiate unified unaligned Ukraine and to assure Russia’s assistance in the Middle East. To risk a nuclear war (or even an economic downturn) over strongly Russian-leaning regions in a country with intractable corruption and social problem and no unifying national identity does seem a bit excessive to this blogger — and that’s why I’m Putin’s troll.
DH, again, quips that he’s still waiting for his paycheck from ZOG, and now where is his paycheck from FSB?
7. We have a new neighborhood school now. It the old one was Tijuana meets Hanoi, the new one is Portlandia. I have to say I prefer the latter because something like education does take place in it.
8. My children got in trouble this summer for simulating a gun with their hands and saying “Poof!” Daddy explained that when he was young, he had a holster with two guns in it and he played World War Two with his brother. Ah, the good old days!
9. Encouraging an ostensibly independent 7-year-old to walk down the block on her own can be a challenge these days. At first DD like the idea, but after some consideration she said “who’s going to watch me?” I told her that when I was her age and I wanted to play, I didn’t pester (ok, I used different language) my mom about my availability (her language) for play dates, I just went outside.
Next thing I know, she rolled on her scooter out of the park. That’s more like it.
…we are not fully moved in and unpacked. My desktop is not configured yet, and I hate typing on my mini, so I can’t say I’m back to blogging.

August 30, 2014

Such a Rip-Off

Filed under: music, politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 11:19 pm

The President got a tan suit?  At least it’s not a burgundy beard! [With a false start]:

In other news, I’m moving and have no time to post anything else.  Marc Bolan recorded some good packing and cleaning music.

August 21, 2014

In Honor of Media Instigators of #Ferguson Riots

Filed under: music, politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:57 pm

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ‘ho right by my side
I am a suburban homeboy and I say yo dog to my pool cleaning guy
I hope I’m baggy enough for them
I play my Shaggy enough for them
I’ll pop a cap up some fool at the Gap
‘Cause I’m a suburban homeboy

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ho right by my side
I am a suburban homeboy and I say yo’ dog to my detailing guy
I bought me cornrows on Amazon
I started listening to Farrakhan
My caddy and me he looks just like Jay-Z
And I’m a suburban homeboy

I am a suburban homeboy with a suburban ho right by my side
She’s known as Miss Missy Tannenbaum and she’s one freak bitch, ain’t no lie
She’s from the projects in St. Tropez
She looks like Iverson in a way
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy
She yo yo’s me and I yo yo her back
And I’m a suburban homeboy

We are suburban homeboys
With our suburban ho’s right by our sides
We are suburban homeboys and we say yo dog and we mean it, by God
We’ve got an old school mentality
Oxford and Cambridge mentality
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys
Props to our peeps and please keep your receipts
And we are suburban homeboys

August 19, 2014

Existential Feminist

Filed under: feminism — Tags: — edge of the sandbox @ 9:39 am

Career women in New York City are submitting themselves to hormonal treatments:

Fashionable New York professional women gathered at a first-of-its-kind “egg-freezing party” this week — where they sipped champagne while learning how to scientifically put off motherhood until they decide that they’re fully ready.

Dubbed “Let’s Chill,” the event was sponsored by a company called EggBanxx, which is cutting the cost of egg freezing and marketing it to young go-getters who want to be ready for kids later in life.

“I don’t have a significant other . . . but I hope to one day and have kids,” said attendee, Donna Kanze, 35, of Manhattan, who has a career in the technology sector. She’s already signed up for egg freezing.

“I want to take my fertility into my own hands, rather than put pressure on the person I have my next relationship with,” she said.

“I don’t want to be in the position when I’m in my late 30s and panicking because I haven’t found the right man and I’d compromise and take anyone off the street!”

Does she want to be in a position of having a baby alone at 50?

One day Donna Kanze will die, and before then she’ll get old, and a decline in fertility is a part of aging.  With age her looks will fade, and so will her chances of finding an attractive partner.  Cutting edge medicine and top of the line beauty products can help her retain her looks and fertility longer, but they can’t make them last forever, and sooner rather than later these New York professional women will find themselves running against the same biological clock.  The time to panic is not 35, but 26.

I hear that single, professional, straight women outnumber men in NYC.  These women made a choice to build their careers before starting families, and they built their careers in the most exiting place in the world.  They are making a choice to continue to work and  live there even though they know that their chances of pairing up in the City are not so good.  If they hadn’t met anyone yet, what makes them think that they will in the next few years? If family is important to these women (as I suspect it is because they are shooting up hormones), they should try a different approach to finding love rather than buying up a little time to do more of the same.

Egg-freezing can temporarily relieve the angst, but it doesn’t eliminate the basic career versus family choice they are facing.

When EggBanxx’s marketing director Leahjane Lavin, 34, announced that she just underwent two cycles of egg freezing herself, the crowed whooped with approval.

“The pressure is off, and I feel so empowered,” she said of her feelings after she socked away her eggs for a later date. “I can now concentrate on my career and becoming who I want to be before having children!”

Refusing to face one’s own mortality does not a powerful woman make.

August 16, 2014

March for Federalization of Siberia

Filed under: Russia — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 3:23 pm

Read my post about March for Federalization of Siberia at Legal Insurrection blog.  Considering the time differences, the march is probably not happening as I type.

August 15, 2014

Ukraine: Finally a Conflict Worthy of New York Times Coverage

Filed under: politics, Russia, Ukraine — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:40 pm

Given how they are too post-modern for the conflict between good and evil,the New York Times doesn’t do well with moral clarity.  Israel fighting HAMAS is too much for them.  But here comes Ukraine’s Donbas region, with war full of no good guys, and voila– they get it!

LUHANSK, Ukraine — Every night, as darkness falls over Luhansk, the focus now of intense humanitarian concern and geopolitical intrigue, a cat-and-mouse artillery duel begins.

In a neighborhood of high-rise apartments, residents can readily identify the hollow pops of mortars as they echo among the buildings. After that, rebel fighters can be seen hastily dismantling the weapons and hauling them away.

An hour or so later, the Ukrainian military’s response comes: the whistle and boom of incoming artillery shells, fired from guns outside the city, in a fruitless attempt at silencing the rebel gunners.

You mean, it’s not Russian terrorists executing multiple large-scale false flag operations bombing Ukrainian cities?  While Putin’s fingerprints are all over the whole separatist business and some of his special forces are fighting in Ukraine, let me assure you, as a person who reads both Russian and Ukrainian, and knows people in Eastern Ukraine, few in Ukraine* believe the fairytale that Russian terrorists are slaughtering loyal Ukrainians.  And that it’s not a widespread opinion presents a problem for Kiev — the kind of problem that requires a radical solution.  Many Donbas residents are so convinced that it’s Ukrainian armed forces shell their towns, that they flee to Russia en mass, while others move westward into Ukraine where they don’t register as refugees for the fear of being drafted into Ukrainian army, but busy themselves with defacing Ukrainian flags.

NYT collected the following sample of popular opinion in Luhansk:

Polina Ivanova, a resident of one ravaged area, was sympathetic to the rebel mortar crew. “Look how many civilians are dying,” she said. “They are trying to protect us, and they have nowhere else to fire from. We are surrounded.”

She stood on a stoop in the predawn with Ekaterina Vladimirova, a neighbor who had a different opinion. “Both sides don’t care about us,” Ms. Vladimirova said. “For them, it’s a game. One shoots that way, the other shoots this way, and simple people suffer.”

Oleg Romanov, 29, said he huddled in terror with his wife and 1-year-old son in an apartment while “it booms all night long, and plaster falls from the ceiling.” He then rises at 4 a.m. to take his place in a line for water, and make the rounds of stores to hunt for groceries.

“The rebels fire Grads and leave, and then, of course, the answer comes back to that spot,” he said. “The rebels are long gone by then, but people are still around.”

That’s a pretty representative spread.

The only thing NYT missed in their story is that the utilities in Luhansk, Slavyansk and other Eastern Ukrainian cities were turned off by Kiev.  All in all, the paper of record should stop covering Israel and refocus on Ukraine, which they are infinitely more adept to cover.

It’s not just Ukrainians who question the official account.  Human Rights Watch checked out what’s going on in Donbas, and came up with a report confirming the use of Grad rockets by Ukrainian Army.  Yes, I know it’s HRW.

July 30, 2014

Illegals and Refugees

Filed under: politics — Tags: , — edge of the sandbox @ 8:21 pm

Dear readers, any attempts to describe the new way of illegals as “refugees” is a manipulation. What else can it be? By the US law, a refugee applies for protected status outside the United States.  Those applying already in the US, get asylum status and a slower path to citizenship.  This is done to discourage foreigners from first coming to the US and *then* asking for protection — duh!  I was a refugee once, and my family spent a half a year in Italy waiting for papers (no, I’m not complaining).

Speaking of refugees…

For the purposes of discussing illegal immigration, the place of referral for status is key.  How would all these undocumented illegals like to go to some place outside of US and prove that they “have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion”?

I suspect none of the “baby Jesuses” that madam Pelosi is so anxious to adopt fit the definition.  They are illegals.

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