Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fairfax Connector, you are hurting my ability to be a more virtual person

If proposed budget cuts go through this June, the commuter bus line I take to the metro will be eliminated, and I will be a far less virtuous person.

Yes, I'll go back to driving a car again and yes that's greenhouse gas emissions and whatnot.

But that's only one way this change in commuting habits will impact me.

Taking public transportation - the status quo I would like to preserve - has meant:

- I've gotten back to reading books again.

- I've gotten back to loading up my iPod with new music again.

- I'm a more productive worker because I sleep during my commute (not recommended while driving).

- I'm a more productive worker because I can actually do work during the commute (provided I'm able to move my arms enough to operate my Blackberry)

- I can start my day by catching up on the news (granted, this is TMZ more often than the Economist, but baby steps here).

- I have more to blog about, thanks to my fellow commuters.

- All the money I save from not having car payments, insurance, tags, gas expenses will no longer go to my investments and no longer contribute to the bonuses of the upper 0.0001%.

- I get some forced exercise in my day thanks to the metro station near my workplace having 1.) one of the tallest escalators, 2.) an escalator that seldom works.

Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest in the United States. Our traffic congestion is among the worst. Out of all of the things to cut, I don't think commuter bus lines should be on the chopping block.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm Sick of I'm Sorry

Those two words just seem too easy to say these days - and too much an open door to free publicity. 
First of all, I don't personally know Tiger Woods, John "Racist Penis" Mayer,
Mark Sanford, Elliot Spitzer/et al. 
They did nothing wrong to me,* and I had no vested expectations in their saintly behavior.  An apology from them to me the public feels totally unnecessary.
Secondly, even in appropriate circumstances, an apology after the fact isn't carte blanche to do whatever you want beforehand.
A modest proposal: Why not avoid acting like a complete tool in the first place?  (or, if you do, keep it in the privacy of your own home/pants)
* But for a couple egregious ballads.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fashion-blogging the Westminster Dog Show

It's that time of year again and the bitches are in the house - all very cute, but what is up with their handlers?

Is there some regulation uniform for these people that stipulates:

- Melanie Griffith-in-Working-Girl power suit

- Orthopedic ballet slippers

- Flesh-colored hose that doesn't resemble any flesh I've ever seen

- Colors not found in nature

- Fabrics not found in nature

- Drool-resistant sequins

Saturday, February 13, 2010

10 Famous Canadians Inexplicably Not Included in the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies....

10. Celine Dion (although you know she will rise like a hydra for the closing festivities)

9 and 8. Neil Peart and Geddy Lee (and that other guy)

7. Corey Hart (if you can have Bryan Adams...)

6. Alanis Morissette (if you can have KD Lang...)

5. David Cronenberg (if you can have Ann Murray...)

4. Margaret Atwood

3. Tim Horton (why are these fine donuts not represented?)

2. Mike Green (yeah, Team Canada - WTF?)

1. Shatner!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The scarlet letter "O"

"Your people are so large!"


Those are the first words out of any foreigner's mouth when they talk about the United States. 


(Frankly, it gets old – it's like saying "Your women wear veils!" in Saudi Arabia or "Look—parkas!" in Alaska.)


Now, however, the world is wondering:  Does Michelle Obama have the right to mention one long-ago incident when the family doctor cautioned "less crap, more veggies" for a too-quickly-growing daughter?


"Overweight" is a loaded word.  Even worse, "obese." These words imply more than just a health condition or physical attribute. You attack an individual's very moral fiber, intelligence, socioeconomic status, competitiveness, desirability and worth as a human being.


These words hold so much power and scorn that a mere health recommendation can send a fragile psyche into spirals of shame and self-hatred – and cause a Yahoo news article to inspire over 4,000 comments.  An unhealthy BMI – not salary, religion or political views – is the thing of which one must never speak.   


But everyone else is talking about it—from international visitors appalled by Outback's Bloomin' Onions to those ubiquitous Internet ads about belly fat.  You cannot go five minutes in this society without some kind of reminder about portion control, healthy choices, "taking care of yourself," carbs, transfats, cardio, core workouts, ad nauseum.


So why can't we welcome the voice of a woman who addresses the subject from a common-sense perspective?