Highlights of the Week that Was January 31

Comedian John Mulaney was investigated by Secret Service after he told a joke that some considered threatening to then President Trump. Does a joke by a comedia

PercentVote

Maybe. It would depend on the circumstances surrounding the telling of the joke

42.86%

Yes. Any time a threat of violence is made by anyone about anyone else it must be be given credence

28.57%

No. It was a joke.

14.29%

Maybe. It would depend on what the joke actually said

14.29%

Not sure

0.00%

No. Anything like this should be considered art and therefore protected

0.00%

Yes. Every threat against an elected official must be investigated

0.00%

In a recent interview, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that his aim is to solve the most important problems in the world. Do you think that is good?

PercentVote

No. How does he determine what the greatest problems are?

28.57%

Yes. Everyone should be responsible in solving the worlds problems

28.57%

No. We must be very careful about those in the private sector deciding what should be done in the public sector

14.29%

No. There is a clear conflict of interest considering what Apple has access to

14.29%

Maybe. I’m not sure he is qualified to solve problems outside of his domain

14.29%

No. He is not an elected official and therefore does not have someone checking over what he is doing ensuring fairness and impartiality

0.00%

Maybe. I worry about a conflict of interest with a company that has access to as much data as Apple does

0.00%

Yes because he is rich and his company makes a lot of money

0.00%

Yes because he is highly intelligent and probably has great solutions and ideas

0.00%

Today’s Poll is about whether or not smokers should have access to vaccine first. Please go directly to my site if you would like to participate. FYI- the lovely Claudette is now on the mission to have polls appear in reader…Go Claudette!

Gratitude Saturday January 30

You know what I love? I love it when a company comes up with a solution to a problem that has plagued us all.

So…

I am grateful that they have come up with a template for helping people address their envelopes…

Finally I will not have anxiety when I need to send out a letter or such…

Huzzah

My Month in Books

At the end of 2020, I wrote a blog where I talked about the influencer book club picks, and which ones I liked the best. One of my blog friends said that she shied away from what influencers pick because she thinks they recommend books based on an outside agenda- and that she prefers recommendations based on “real people.”

Ok- I admit I’ve never been overly impressed with books that real people have recommended- but maybe this was something worth looking at…

So…

I am instituting a new monthly feature- on the last Friday of each month I am going to look over the books that I read. I am going to rate them in the order that I liked them, and if I remember, I’m going to say where I got the recommendation to read it. (going forward I am making it my business to note where I heard about the book- but expect a lot of ‘I don’t remember’.

Now when I say the books I liked, this does not mean the books that would be considered best-this means the books that I liked the most. Also, when I say “like” it does not mean that it’s a feel good, happy book. When I say that I liked a book it means it made me feel something- love, anger, sadness, happiness etc…

Having said that, I present to you my month in books:

TitleAuthorHow I heard of bookRating
The PushAshley AudrainGood Morning America Book Club1
Black BuckMateo AskaripourJenna Book Club (Today Show)2
The Lemonade Life: How to Fuel Success, Create Happiness, and Conquer AnythingZack FriedmanIn store browse at Barnes and Noble3
Three Single WivesGina LaMannaIn store browse at Barnes and Noble4
All the Devils are HereLouise PennyNot Sure5
Better Luck Next TimeJulia Claiborne JohnsonBarnes & Noble Book Club6
Little WishesMichelle AdamsIn store browse at Barnes &Noble7
The Answer is…Reflections on My LifeAlex TrebekIn store browse at Barnes & Noble8
OutlawedAnna NorthReese’s book club9
The WeekendCharlotte WoodIn store Browse B&N10
Palms and PomegranatesL.S. CsidaIRL book club selection by person I know11
Influencers take the lead

Because I know you want more…http://rathertoofondofbooks.com does a year end book bingo sheet. I thought this was a fun idea, so I decided to do a monthly bingo card wrap up of the books I read during the month. This months BINGO sheet is from www.bookshopsantacruz.com

As you can see, I did not make BINGO this month. Also, almost all these books were a “New to me Author, but I forgot to highlight that box

The blame goes to…

My daughter starts a virtual internship this coming Monday.

Hold the applause.

She applied to thirty internships for this coming spring semester.

She got one interview.

30 resumes and cover letters and applications= 1 job interview

1 interview = 1 internship

Let’s think of all the reasons why my daughter was granted only one interview: the reasons why she was rejected outright for a job with any of the organizations she applied to.

  1. She’s a woman
  2. She’s white
  3. She’s short
  4. She has brown hair
  5. She is not thin
  6. She is not fat
  7. Her last name sounds Jewish
  8. Her father is Jewish
  9. Her mother is Catholic
  10. She doesn’t consider herself to be part of any religion
  11. Some of her ancestors are Eastern European
  12. Some of her ancestors are Mediterranean
  13. She was born in America
  14. She was born in New York
  15. She was born in New York City.
  16. She grew up in New York City
  17. She sounds like she’s from NYC
  18. She went to public school
  19. She went to an elite public high school
  20. Her college is too elite
  21. Her college is not quite elite enough
  22. Her resume is too narrowly focused
  23. Her resume isn’t narrowly focused enough
  24. Having a double major is a waste of time
  25. She’s not triple majoring
  26. She’s a history major
  27. She’s an American studies major
  28. She’s not a business major
  29. She’s not a computer science major (or whatever they call that nowadays)
  30. She has too many extracurriculars
  31. She doesn’t have enough extracurriculars
  32. Her GPA isn’t high enough
  33. Her GPA is too high
  34. She didn’t know anyone at the firms where she was applying

I could go on and on about why she did not get an interview.

Or

We could narrow it down to:

  1. There were candidates with better resumes
  2. There were candidates with better qualifications
  3. Even though she has tried her hardest, unfortunately, she just wasn’t good enough for these opportunities
  4. She was just not impressive enough to garner an interview

I have no doubt that there are people who have been unfairly treated in the job market. In fact, though I have no actual proof, I’d say it was a certainty. That is horrible and we should be doing everything we can to correct that so that every candidate has a fair shot at every job.

However…

Sometimes we have to accept that we are just not good enough…

Sometimes we have to stop blaming everything and everyone

Sometimes you have to look at yourself and see what you could do better…

Maybe these jobs just weren’t right for you, you might not be qualified, there might be better candidates…

But…you have to keep trying…

I have no doubt that my daughter would have sent out a hundred more resumes in hopes of scoring an internship…

Because you have to keep trying sometimes…

My daughter has begun her search for summer internships…and I have no doubt that there will be even more resumes sent with less interviews granted…

Because sometimes you have to be self aware and accept that you might not be the best, that there are others that are better than you, but that doesn’t take away from you as a person.

There can only be ONE best…

The rest of us are just strivers…

Sex and Emily and Paris and City

Darren Star created “Emily in Paris” and “Sex and the City”.

Both shows feature gorgeous clothes and are a love letter to New York City and Paris.

Ok. I had no idea how to start this post out so I went with obvious and boring…

I recently watched “Emily in Paris”. Apart from the mentioned clothes and scenery, the show was trite and ordinary. The reviews said as much, though it did garner just enough tweets to get a second season…Emily herself is na├»ve, but a generally nice person. The people surrounding her- let’s just say there is some tension in the sandbox..

SATC was wildly popular in its day- and the talk of an updated show (sans Kim Cattrall) has been the hot topic of late.

I didn’t love the show “Sex and the City”. This little tidbit makes me an outlier in certain circles. I was not glued to my TV waiting to see if Carrie ever found love- I would occasionally tune in to see shots of my city, and the clothes…but no. I was not a fan.

Why was I not a fan?

Because the women were mean to one another.

None of them were actually nice people.

So, now we have a few directions this post could go:

  1. Do we have to like characters in a show?
  2. Am I stating that “women” are supposed to be “nice” and therefore I’m stereotyping or I’m a hypocrite or something like that?
  3. Compounding on the post from yesterday, were the women bullies and therefore did they deserve the bad things that happened to them?
  4. Am I overthinking the show?

I’m not sure where I want to go with this post- So maybe today I am not doing such a good job of flirting with you- especially as I mentioned two shows that did make flirting an art…

I guess I’ll tell you about my least favorite episode- the episode that annoys me the most:

Carrie has thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of shoes. Every pair is designer.

There’s nothing wrong with this except that she’s a writer, and not a particularly well paid one.

At a point in time, she needs to buy her apartment or she will not be able to live there anymore. Rent is a real issue in this city and if you lose a sweet deal on a rent controlled apartment because the building is going co-op, you are in serious trouble. Your rent could triple or quadruple- (pre-pandemic of course…)

Carrie asks Charlotte to sell her engagement ring so that she can use the cash as a down payment on the apartment.

When Charlotte balks at the idea, Carrie gets mad at her.

So let’s think about this:

Women spends all money she has on shoes. She is left with no savings. Then she gets mad because her friend won’t lend her the money…

Do you want to be like Carrie?

Do you want to be friends with Carrie?

These are all the things I think about when I think about SATC. I don’t want to be like any of the characters. I wouldn’t want to be friends with any of the characters…

Yet I wonder how lifelike are these fictional characters, considering that one of the Actors has chosen not to appear in the new version…

So…

Are women often mean to one another?

Do we expect our friends to help us out “no matter what”?

Is this show a real representation of female friendship? (If so- I have clearly been doing the friend thing wrong because my female friendships are awesome and life affirming and we may occasionally annoy each other but the love is evident in every text)

Emily (Paris) is basically a nice person- she screws up, but in a lighthearted oops sort of way. Carrie is a bit more calculated…

Which heroine would you rather see?

Is there allure to a character who is not so nice?

What kind of hero/heroine do you want to watch on TV or read about in a book?

Do you want things that echo your life, or do you want things that show you something far different than how you live?

Do you want to be like one of these characters? Or do you just want the wardrobe?

Bullying and Punishment

Say there are two thirteen year old boys.

One boy bullies the other.

The incident does not take place during school or an organized event such as town provided youth sports.

Should the bully be allowed to participate in youth sports provided by the town/county?

What other information do you need to make a decision?

Here are some possible “what if’s”

  1. The bully has recently suffered a tragedy in his life
  2. The bully has been bullied by someone else in real life
  3. The bully has been bullied by someone else on line
  4. The bully is a victim of child abuse
  5. The bully is a victim of sexual abuse by someone he knows
  6. The bully is a victim of sexual abuse by someone he doesn’t know
  7. The bully’s parents are getting divorced
  8. The bully has a diagnosed disorder
  9. The bully has learning issues

Do any of the above scenarios, or any that you have thought of, affect the lens with which you view this question?

Here are some possible options for the Bully:

  1. Bully formally apologizes to the victim using a letter or a video
  2. Bully attends anger management classes
  3. Bully attends counseling
  4. Bully agrees to do community service
  5. Family of Bully monetarily compensates the victim of bullying

Now let’s switch back to the original question:

Should someone who has bullied someone else be allowed to play town/county sponsored youth sports?

Is this a hard YES?

Is it a hard NO?

What are the pros and cons of allowing the boy/bully to play youth sports? Or not allowing him?

If someone has made a mistake in the past, do we deny them the right to move on, or do we take a chance that they have amended their ways?

What do you think?

How do you make the decision? What do you consider important information?

Discuss

Flirty Words

Don’t get all excited.

I’m not going to flirt with you…

Or…

Am I?

Do good writers flirt with readers? (for the moment we will suspend the notion of whether or not I am a good writer)

What makes a book go from good to great?

There’s the old adage that there are only four stories to tell:

  1. Person vs Nature
  2. Person vs Person
  3. Person vs Themselves
  4. Person vs Technology

For the most part you have the protagonist battling one of these things. The thing that changes is how the writer tells a story, the individual take that someone brings to the ideas.

If we consider a book to be good, does it mean that the writer is better at seducing us?

I read two books recently: “Palms and Pomegranates” and “A Woman is No Man”. Both books deal with how women are treated by men due to a particular interpretation of the Quran. One book was great, the other quite possibly the worst book I’ve read in awhile.

Subject matter similar: story telling different.

One book used words creatively, used words to draw you into the world the characters were inhabiting. The descriptions heightened your senses. The other book tried to be too much of everything. Once you have compared someone to the tabula rasa and tried to make this how people talk in their everyday lives with their families, you’ve lost me…

One writer seduced with turn of phrase- the other made me close my eyes to rid myself of the awful imagery. It’s like meeting two men. Though they might share certain attributes, I only want to date one of them. I only wanted to date one of these books.

How does an author flirt with you?

Perhaps it’s the way that they hand out information: a little bit at a time, only letting you know certain things, and expounding when they are ready.

Maybe it’s with the descriptions: just lush enough to wet your appetite, yet leaving you wanting more, making you turn the page to see whatever else is going to delight your senses…making you want to see and hear and touch and taste…is there anything more seductive than sensuality…

I think a great book doesn’t try to impress you with all it’s got right up front. I think a great book sets the pace very deliberately. It knows when. to. slow. down. Itknowswhentospeedup…

A great book has a little mystery to it, a little allure. We want to turn the page to see what the moment is that will startle us, will wake us up, will make us wonder how we never thought about that before…we beg for more little tiny moments like this…

A great book knows how to close the deal…

It knows how to leave us wanting more…

So…

Do good writers flirt with readers?

Highlights of the Week that Was January 24

Not exactly what I had in mind when I told Betty to go to her crate
Prime Rib sandwich from Eataly

On this blog I stated that we should reconsider how we view private corporations if they constitute a monopoly or are responsible for how information is dissemi

PercentVote Count

Important going forward

63.64%

Highest priority- these is nothing more important than allowing every voice to be heard

36.36%

Absolutely ridiculous waste of time

0.00%

What?

0.00%

I’ve never really thought about this and I don’t plan to

0.00%

I’ve never really thought about this but it’s worth considering

0.00%

Neither life changing or life threatening

0.00%

It has recently been discussed that in the halls of Congress, we should eliminate the words Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Son and Daughter and replace them w

PercentVote Count

Absolutely ridiculous waste of time

37.50%

I’ve never really thought about this and I don’t plan to

25.00%

Neither life changing or life threatening

25.00%

Important going forward

12.50%

What?

0.00%

I’ve never really thought about this but it’s worth considering

0.00%

Highest priority. We should use neutral language in all situations, especially government

0.00%

It has been discussed that if we choose to say “Amen” we should also say “Awomen”. How important is this topic?

PercentVote Count

Absolutely ridiculous waste of time

63.64%

What?

9.09%

I’ve never really thought about this and don’t plan to

9.09%

I’ve never really thought about this but worth considering

9.09%

Neither life changing or life threatening

9.09%

Important going forward

0.00%

Highest priority- this will be the great equalizer amongst the sexes

0.00%

This weeks polls concern John Mulaney being investigated and Tim Cook solving the problems of the world. Go to my site if you want to participate:

Gratitude Saturday January 23

As some of you know, I used to work in a field that was dominated by men. Maybe 1% of the people I worked for/with were women. Maybe….

The things I endured…the grief I received…the names I was called…

So when I watched Kamala Harris take the oath of office- become Madame Vice President…

I thought about all the women I’ve known, including myself, who have been told what they can and can’t, should and shouldn’t, wouldn’t be able to do…

I am grateful for the woman who blazed the trail, who took the reigns and began to prove that women belonged anywhere they want to be…who showed the world that women can do anything…

I am grateful to the women who just kept fighting…

I am grateful to the women, like my daughter, who are keeping up the fight…

I am grateful to be strong

I am grateful to be resilliant

I am grateful to not care what others said or thought

I am grateful to be a woman

Anything Can Happen Friday: Parenting

Back in March I bought myself a new water bottle…

Then pandemic struck and I never used it.

My daughter found it in June and claimed it as her own.

I don’t know how vigorously my daughter cleaned this water bottle though…

When I saw it the other day I decided it could be classified as hazardous material, I donned a protective suit and I sanitized the bottle…

I cleaned it against my daughter’s objections- she said it was fine

I said “EWWWWWWWW”…

I know as a parent we are supposed to let our kids fail. I have stated that on this very blog.

However…

Do we let them possibly get sick because of choices they make?

I know as a Mother attempting to raise a child that can survive on their own, I am not supposed to interfere…

But at what cost the lesson?

As a parent of an adult child- what are the lines?

What do we tell them or not tell them?

What lessons do we let them learn the hard way?

While we are speaking about parenting- I watched possibly the worst TV show about parental relationships: “Call Your Mother”. It is so bad mere words can not describe how I needed a shower to cleanse myself of its bad dialogue and situations.