Becoming Aleppo

Every time I’ve fretted about something, Dr. Husband has reminded me that “at least we’re not in Aleppo”.  It usually shocks me out of a silly mood. Because of course. We’ve had little to complain about.

And now. Many neighborhoods and communities around us in America are much worse off. Needing food & water. With no safety nets at all.

Although we still don’t live in Syria with bombs going off. Can maybe look at those suddenly smart-seeming burqa-wearing women and think. Hmmm. How the world has changed.

Dogs Are the New Kids

It’s official. Dogs are the new kids. In San Francisco they literally outnumber children according to this article.  Overrunning everything including the workplace. On the Upper West Side, it’s getting close to the tipping point, too. Lots of strollers. Some have little people in them. More often, pet pups.

Don’t even think about giving someone’s “fur-baby” an askance glance in a restaurant or store. You’ll get the evil eye. Like you said their toddler was ugly. So. Yeah. Dander-allergy-sufferers. We’re screwed.

Not wanting to discriminate. What was with the black cat on the field at the Giants-Cowboys game? Wooooooo.

The Case for Capitalism

Ken Langone, Home Depot financier and billionaire. Put his name and money behind NYU’s Med School. And. Now has made it tuition free for all students. Something political gridlock could never get done.

Howard Schultz’ Starbucks gives tuition and health care coverage to all including even part-time employees. Better than Obama-care.

What the hell has the government done about mass shootings? Don’t wait for Congress to love its children more than its NRA money. So. The parents of the Sandy Hook victims are bringing legal suits against gun manufacturers for wrongful deaths by their assault products. Like successful litigation of the tobacco industry changed smoking laws.

Jimmy Kimmel 4/21

Yesterday was 4/20. Hashtag hash day. Jimmy Kimmel’s Pot Quiz. Learned new brands. Purple Haze. Blue Dream. Pineapple Kush.

IMG_0049Today is 4/21. Aetna anti-smoking cigarettes day. mAdBen has been hanging with Jimmy’s sidekick Guillermo in the heart of Hollywood to shoot a spot for Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight. Check it out at 11:35pm ABC

When Pigs Fly

Have we finally reached the pets v. people tipping point? When do the rights of the one trump the rights of the many? Bradley International down the highway had vocal local residents incredulous as they saw a woman with a pig boarding their Thanksgiving flight. Her “support animal” was allowed by U.S. Airways. What? Stunk up the whole plane. Finally they got kicked off.

In the same article, a tiny mention of a woman who is allergic to cats saying she couldn’t breathe and realized it was because her seat mate was holding a kitty. Get it. You love your pets. But, now they have more rights than people. Peanuts and cigarettes are verboten in restaurants, hotels and airplanes. So, why is it the new trend to welcome pets everywhere? Tabby-poo nuzzles up to you on your pillow at the Hilton. I am next to sleep on that bed. Without warning, I could be anaphylactically dead. Publish pet policy at the very least.

E Trades

Emotional trade-offs. Ian McEwan’s The Children Act is packed full of them. An English family law judge struggles with making the best of lousy situations. She is a detached woman, necessary for her work yet it spills over into her marriage. A study of rigid religious and social constructs so easily shattered. One simple word or gesture can change everything. The novel is ultimately unsettling.

Ebola trades. Science vs. psychology. Quarantines overly constrain. Self-monitoring causes strange side effects like having a hankering to get on a cruise ship, airplane, or subway train. The major issue is resources. Hospital staff, law enforcement to track down potential contacts, proper facilities. Exponentially expensive. In the meantime, stay away from those e-bowling shoes.

Shocking Strands

Pope Francis made an earth-shattering revelation. He actually took a page from the Good Book. God loves all those who love each other. Now Catholics can, too.

Doctors should not be spokespersons for Ebola messaging. Medical speak can be both inflammatory and misunderstood. Panic ensues. And speaking of shocks. Pauley Perrette, an actress on NCIS had a severe allergic reaction to her black hair dye. It can be deadly. Ring. Ring.

If you believe your Master Card debt is held at the savings & loan around the corner, read Jake Halpern’s new book Bad Paper. Even small community banks are bundling and selling off assets. So, don’t expect your nice neighbor at the customer service desk to call you when your payment is late.

Side Trek Thoughts

IMG_0776The Judge movie produced by and starring Robert Downey is finally hitting the screens. Filmed in SideTrek Falls locations around Western Massachusetts. Just follow the road over that red bridge. Speaking of which, Jennifer Garner’s production company has sold a sitcom to Fox about a young couple wanting to move to New York City but get pregnant and are stuck in Agawam. Down 91.

Michelle O finally got through to Barack. Man up! Fire that blankedy blank woman. Then there’s Zeke Emanuel who advises President on medical issues. Don’t worry. Ebola won’t come to our shores. It’s not good to listen to a physician who has announced that people should only live to 75 anyway.

I don’t dwell. Much. That often. Bon weekend.

Hampshire Life

RomneyCare working in the BayState. Not nationally. Obama made the case for small government last week. Bloated bureaucracy of federal agencies cannot handle complex programs. Should have gone to private sector tech at the outset. Oops. Merry Christmas, Republicans.

Had dinner in newly renovated Lord Jeffrey Inn on the Amherst Green. Outdoor areas with fireplaces. Chic interior. Fun evening with great friends. Martin Sandler’s new book is an epistolary compilation which tells JFK’s story better than any bio. Sandler taught history at both Smith College and UMass.

Lady Gaga has talent. Too bad she squanders it with copycat twerky SNL stint. Homeland looks to be taking a more interesting turn tonight. Finally. Bon week.

Spring Board

King Abdullah of Jordan gives a controversially candid interview to Jeffrey Goldberg in April’s the Atlantic. As he trashes his neighbors’ response to the Arab Spring, Abdullah pines for his days at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He has even built a school in Jordan modeled on his happy boarding phase.

Spring edition of MSKCC’s Bridges newsletter compares cancer survivors’ resiliency and the long journey of recovery to the plight of Sandy victims.

New York Magazine’s cover RetroWife captures the current phenomenon. Women choosing to be the modern version of a 50’s wife. I get it. They were brought up by absent moms, the feminists who tried to have it all. It’s a nostalgic nod to June Cleaver and Donna Reed. The ideal misses the reality of women who stay home all day. Mother’s “little helpers” are also back in vogue.

I’ll say it again. Richard Engel’s spellbinding account of his kidnapping in Syria is a must read. VanityFair, April 2013.

Il Papa Francesco will celebrate Holy Thursday at a juvenile prison in Rome. He may be the real deal. Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon comes to mind.