Thank You For Being A Friend
Dear Estelle Getty, any child of the 80s is deeply saddened today by the word of your passing. My sisters and I spent our Saturday nights watching Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Nurses.
Thank you for Sophia's stories, which always started with the classic, "Picture it... Sicily."
And thanks for sharing Sophia's brilliant wisdom, "Let me tell you girls the three most important things I learned about life: number one, hold fast to your friends; number two, there's no such thing as security; and number three, don't go see "Ishtar." Woof."
May you enjoy your time at that Shady Pines in the sky.
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I am having a lunch appointment at a certain restaurant tomorrow, and this meeting involves a work-related project connected to Marvin Lewis. For those of you who aren't from Cincinnati or follow NFL football, ML is the head coach for the Cincinnati Bengals. I've been led to believe he will participate in tomorrow's meeting, and while I am usually not impressed with celebrity, my few brushes with fame have led to some good cocktail party anecdotes.
My only concern for tomorrow's meeting is this: what the hell should I wear? Coincidentally I had planned on wearing this cute, summery orange skirt, but now I'm thinking that would a little too coincidental and a lot too cheesy.
I guess I'll stick with my mainstay, that classic black (skirt? dress? slacks?)
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Not Quite Time For Change
I never have cash on hand.
Society has become embroiled in the culture of plastic, and I must admit I rely on my debit card as a crutch - I use it to buy beer at the ballpark, I use it to book plane tickets. I cannot live without my plastic. So imagine, if you can, the sheer frustration I battled as I lived sans-debit card for two weeks.
I absent mindedly left my card in the ATM at a local bank, and remembered it minutes later - well after my plastic key to consumerism was chewed and shredded to bits by the mechanical teeth deep inside the ATM.
I exhaled a massive sigh of relief upon getting my replacement card today.
This long, superfluous story leads me to a point: I never have change or cash on hand to give to the homeless/panhandlers/little kids hawking candy bars.
Today at Kroger, I was clued in that the world is apparently celebrating Christmas in July because I heard the instantly recognizable ringing of the Salvation Army bell and noticed the bright red, shiny kettle at the entrance. The lady was persistent in asking for a donation, and though I might have been inclined at another place in time, I politely declined as I currently choose to make my financial contributions elsewhere.
Hours later, my doorbell chimed, startling me from the loathsome satisfying chore of dish washing. I cracked the door open and found a little girl asking me to contribute a dollar to her church in exchange for a Kit Kat bar.
I used my classic Sorry, I don't have any cash excuse.
My feeling is this: If I wanted to contribute to a church, then I would make a donation to my own place of worship I'm sure the nuns at St. Mary's are waiting by the mailbox. Furthermore, if I had wanted to buy a Kit Kat bar (by far, one of the more sub-par candy bars on the market), then I would have picked one up at the grocery store in the first place.
Sorry, little girl. My mama told me I shouldn't take candy from strangers, and I guess that includes YOU.
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Speaking Of Change...
Like most Americans, I am waiting to hear about the presidential candidates' firm plans to improve the nation. I hear a lot of tongues wagging, but I've yet to hear some detailed information as to how Senators Obama and McCain want to turn this nation around. I'd like to offer some expectations and hopes for the next administration:
I want a president who ensures cars do not become a luxury. While I think it's high time to dump some of those colossal land shark SUVs creeping on the pavement, I don't think we should let the cost of gas swell to a price point that's out of reach for Average Joe. That said, we also need a leader who will make significant investments and offer worthy incentives to develop and encourage the use of public transportation in communities across the U.S. Public transportation thrives in nations around the world, and yet ours somehow fails to foster a culture that encourages bus ridership and the development of local streetcar/subway systems.
I want a president who will guarantee we will have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink for generations to come. Our environment needs to become a priority for the next president, whomever he may be.
Health care - it is not a luxury, and yet many Americans are slipping into bankruptcy while fighting cancer, heart disease and other grave maladies. My immediate family has had two significant brushes with health care, most recently involving my very ill niece. My niece was in the hospital for eight weeks before she died, and the cost of her care snowballed to the tune of more than two million dollars. We are very, very lucky that my brother-in-law's health insurance plan did not involve a cap.
What is a parent supposed to choose - their child's health or their financial stability?
We need a president who will guarantee that people across the United States will have access to affordable, quality health care.
I credit much of my success in life with the excellent education I was exposed to over the years. My path to learning started at a Montessori school in Minneapolis and finished at the fine University of Kentucky. Receiving my bachelor's degree is one of my proudest accomplishments - and I fully believe we need a president who will ensure more people go to college and complete the courses required for graduation. These days, a B.A. or a B.S. is commonplace in the workplace, and now an applicant must buckle down and get a Master's degree to compete for the best jobs.
We need a president who will dedicate more funds for kindergarten preparedness, putting children on the right path to a solid education. We need a leader who will follow that support with more earmarks that foster solid educational opportunities, ultimately leading to an increase in college enrollment and graduation across the country.
I'm waiting, gentlemen.