my jaundiced eye

the absurdities of life

Month: December, 2016

MJE’s persian carpet

persian-rug

So another year come and gone without much to show for it. Fortunately, I have such very low expectations for myself that merely being awake for a time, then being asleep for a time and repeating that every 24 hours or so is enough. It’s great, I am never disappointed. Although I did just read the phantom tollbooth (which was hilarious and thought provoking, but not sure that in this day and age when language is limited to 140 characters it would be understood by most children, or some adults, SAD) and it gave me a momentary twinge about being such a physical and intellectual sloth. But nothing came of it.

As I write, the OB&C is on the phone relating to yet another person the tragic tale of his stolen truck. I would have thought that by now everyone on the planet must have heard about it, but apparently mike in mumbai didn’t yet get the news so is being subjected to the extra long version. He made the fatal mistake of begging the question “how may I help.” If mike’s paid by the call he just blew a whole night’s worth of rupees.

The other day MJE was reading an article from the new york times to the OB&C about melanoma trump’s new cause: cyber-bullying. He looked puzzled. After a long minute or so he turned and asked what exactly is “cyber-bullion.” That my friends, is a question only the gods can answer.

We’ve had the atl circus in town for a bit. Decibelle has made terrific strides and has become a creative and engaging child at long last. And just as forrest gump was always running, she is always skipping, which is a pretty nice thing in and of itself. Anywho, last night she was sitting at the kitchen table with her chin in her hands, musing about something or other and asked me if my mother was alive and I said no (I think knot and alhambra refer to death as being in heaven with the angels, which is surely not where my mother is, that I can tell you), then she asked if my father was alive and I said no. She digested that for a bit and piped up  “you don’t have a mommy and you don’t have a daddy so I guess that’s why you have a husband.” Out of the mouths of babes. Except she has it backwards, that’s why men have wives.

In the spirit of a new year, I thought MJE should try to move beyond a silly blog toward something more substantial . But then I remembered the article in the recent new yorker about ruth draper who wrote and performed short vignettes in the early twentieth century. Later in life she met henry james and asked him if he thought she should go to drama school and pursue a conventional career as an actress. She recalled that “He took a long time to answer,” then lowered his voice and said “no — my dear child. You –– you have woven your own — you have woven your own beautiful — beautiful little persian carpet. Stand on it!” And so I shall.

MJE wishes all of her loyal followers a better than average new year but short of that may the end of 2017 find us no worse off than we are today.

Low expectations.

 

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all in the family

all-in-the-family

Okay so MJE was going to give p.e.t. a pass this week on his cabinet choices, but how can I pass up ben carson’s touting his having once lived in public housing as a child as qualifying him to head up the department of housing and urban development. Well with that low bar of skill sets as a template MJE puts forth for consideration the following candidates to round out the conald’s cabinet.

Let’s start with secretary of state. The conald is looking for someone who will minimize diplomacy and establish more “transactional” ties to other countries. On its face that seems to indicate that he would approach every alliance with an eye to cost vs benefit and winners vs losers. Even if that means that we disengage from nato because, in his mind, there are members whom he feels do not pay their fair share. The fact that this policy might well lead to the proliferation of nuclear capabilities by  countries to protect themselves from aggressive neighbors doesn’t not seem to be of concern. In fact, the conald says have at it and may the best arsenal win. Respectful cooperation is for losers.

So with that in mind MJE puts forth decibelle for the position. Her weaponry consists of just one extremely powerful weapon: her vocal chords. With one diamond-shattering howl she can bring an entire household (or grocery store, school room or if necessary, an american adversary) to its knees without a drop of blood being shed or a dollar spent. Talk about cost effective! She, like p.e.t. never concedes defeat and does not stop until she bends others to her will. Putin, abbas, kim jung il…run for cover and a pair of earplugs. You are doomed.

Now, let’s take a look at commerce. I hesitate to be so bold as to put my name forward, but frankly I am totally qualified. MJE spends an inordinate amount of time engaged in it, amazon, ebay, etsy…I know them all better than anyone else. I endure their unrelenting onslaught of advertising algorithms and emails without submission and in fairness, do buy locally whenever possible. That is when the price is lower, availability is better and ease of purchase is superior, which unfortunately means not much.

Secretary of the interior is a slam dunk: daughter albatross, If anyone cares more about the interior, that is her own, then no one does. She is dedicated to that cause to the exclusion of everything else.

Secretary of defense, see above re: decibelle.

National security advisor: ditto.

Secretary of transportation, alhambra our lsd (long suffering daughter in law) would be an excellent choice. She spends hours every day on our country’s crumbling roads and bridges toting her offspring hither and thither. A battle tested road warrior, she will insure that the infrastructure improvements required to make her carpools easier and drive times shorter will be given top priority.

Head of the faa: Son knot seems a good pick, he travels for business a lot and not on some tricked out private jet. He feels the pain of american flyers, the ridiculous hub and spoke system, the inflated flight times to cover delays and enable airlines to crow about their on-time records, the seemingly endless array of surcharges, the cramped seating and surly service, not to mention the disgusting flying public who dress as though they are either headed to bed or just woke up and haven’t had a chance to shower. The last bit is probably out of the purview of the federal government but MJE thought she’d throw that in because something really needs to be done about it.

Small business administration obviously goes to the OB&C. He has managed to assiduously keep our business small through outmoded product lines, inflated salaries, inadequate employee oversight, understaffing and inertia. A perfect fit for running a governmental agency.

Frankly, MJE is pretty sure I could fill the entire cabinet with members of my family and the country wouldn’t be any worse off than with the current picks. Admittedly none of us has any governmental experience or know how but that does not seem to be a prerequisite for appointment anyway.

Just like the family trump.

the conald’s cabinet of escoriosities

the-conalds-cabinet

MJE is watching in horror and despair at the conald’s cabinet choices. Big time climate change denier at EPA, minimum wage opponent at labor, and generals in every other post so far including one who traffics in fake news…does anyone smell a coup of some sort brewing, oh, right that already happened. On the bright side, and as my loyal readers know full well, MJE is nothing if not the eternal optimist, it is really, really fun to see the conald summon his former rivals and detractors to the top of his dung heap on fifth avenue, tease them with the notion that they night get a place at the table, then gleefully throw them to the wolves. But not before they they have abandoned their purported strong principles, very publicly ruined their reputations and proved themselves to be nothing more than craven, pathetic, sniveling, opportunistic politicians. How much fun do you think the conald is having watching this spectacle? For him there is nothing better than the sweet smell of revenge, except perhaps Trump Cologne for Men.

But it probably doesn’t matter whom he chooses, because as one talking head said, every one of them will simply be undersecretary to ivanka&jared inc. Good god almighty, how did the greatest nation on the planet (as we like to call ourselves) end up with a troika of a trash talking, know nothing buffoon, his spookily placid daughter (who btw talks like she is still wearing a retainer and has maxed out on xanax) and her behind the scenes puppet master husband running the show? As they say in limbo land: “How low can you go?” Well, the answer my friends, is self-evident: pretty damned low.

And I haven’t even gotten to the conflict of interest part…the conald the president is now also the conald the landlord of his d.c. hotel, as well as the boss of the boss of the irs which is currently purportedly auditing his income taxes. Also our head of state with the ability and willingness to put the profitability of his companies before the best interests of the country. He allows his daughter to sit in on a diplomatic visit from the pm of japan whilst her company is in negotiation with a major japanese distributor of her trashy wares which happens to be largely owned by the japanese government. And now it has been reported that the conald will remain as executive producer on the apprentice reality show therefore sharing in the profits. Honestly, even stanley kubrick couldn’t make up a comedy this dark.

But as the aphorism goes, you get the government you deserve. When the coal mines don’t reopen, the steel mills don’t fire back up, the mexicans are still here, the muslims aren’t banned, the country isn’t majority white, companies and jobs still leave the country for cheaper places to operate and america is not in fact any greater than it is right now, don’t look at me.

And if things maybe actually get worse for the very people who put their foolish hopes and dreams in the hands of a man who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any of them then I could go on twitter and say I told you so, if it weren’t so truly trumpian.

SAD

 

time-to-move-on

The OB&C, as my loyal readers know, has recently suffered possibly the greatest loss in his life, short of his libido, the theft of his 2001 chevy silverado truck (273,428 miles). Initially he was virtually comatose, lying face down, christ-like, in the empty driveway wallowing in the last lingering puddle of transmission fluid, his sole remaining link to his beloved v6.

This catastrophe befell him on the friday before thanksgiving which he and MJE were to enjoy a deux (for the first time in almost half a century, no parents, children, grandchildren or other troublesome family members) in south carolina. MJE was meanwhile doing yeoman’s duty in atl watching the three gk’s: decibelle, apricot and seymour for the weekend when this dastardly deed was done. I was therefore unable to help pry him off the cement, wipe his filthy face and drag him into the apartment to suffer, away from the prying eyes of the neighbors. This situation, despite my physical absence, demanded immediate action requiring feats of psychological manipulation and financial slight of hand not seen since the demise of bernie madoff. No time to stand idly by and watch this unfortunate occurrence derail the historic thanksgiving to be, not to mention render our insanely expensive budget-busting mail order “heritage” turkey undeliverable. When I heard the terrifying words “You will need to fly down here, I cannot leave.” the four horsemen of the apocalypse nipping at my ass could not have made me move any faster.

As much as MJE loathes technology, there are times of crisis when it can make the difference between success and abject failure, like when you can upload a term paper on the reformation the day before it is due. Autotrader.com. was created for times like these. In minutes I had located a perfectly suitable replacement in the nola environs, contacted the sales manager, negotiated a price and issued explicit instructions that the OB&C was to be sold this truck and no other. If he wasn’t the new owner of that truck by closing time the deal was off. Furthermore, if I were made to fly down there, I would make it my business to pay him a call and assured him that a visit from an enraged MJE was the last thing he would want. The guy seemed suitably impressed with the menacing tone of my directive that he assured me he would fully comply.

Next step was to rouse the OB&C from his immobilizing melancholia and get him to the dealership. I tantalized him with a link to the new truck, which at least got him off the pavement. As much as any man mourns the loss of his old truck, or wife for that matter, the notion of a newer model is pretty enticing. So like any small child, the possibility of getting a desired toy can overcome even the strongest resistance to a bath, or a wee wee before a long drive; the lure of the smell of new vinyl ultimately proved more powerful than the familiar stench of dirty hunting socks and bug repellent.

And so the OB&C has turned the page but has not yet fully recovered, and probably never will. That old chevy will always be part of him and the driveway cement.

In the end he and the turkey arrived in time and we had a perfectly awful thanksgiving.