March 27, 2009
But was there no-one else they could call?
The Republicans say we really shouldn't spend more right now (a little late to get on that train guys, but you go, ya big galoots) when we're already so deep in debt. I actually agree on an emotional level. Borrowing and spending more now seems like a "Go to bankruptcy court free" card in this big monopoly game. Also, the few who deeply connect with Adam Smith mutter about the invisible hand and still (still!) decry regulation, as is deregulation wasn't part of the problem, but that's another rant.
The administration professes deep faith in Keynesian stimulus spending. At some level, that makes sense too, except when the mess is this bad does it work? It didn't really in the Depression. I think World War II and the massive expenditures there were what picked the global economy out of the doldrums. So, several completely devastated countries, beautiful old cities flattened, and oh, in excess of 30 million dead (way in excess -- that many died in the USSR alone -- but I don't have the time to double-check before work today, so I'm picking a deliberately low number in the interest of not exaggerating), and happy days will be here again.
Listening to economic "experts", by which I actually mean economic theorists, with little or know experimentation and evidence to back up their theories talk, it becomes increasingly clear: believe in the economy, in capitalism, in Schumpeter, in Keynes, in Friedman, heck, even in Krugman, is like belief in a god. It's an article of faith. There's a creed, a mantra, a set of professed known facts, some of which are actually based in reality (kind of like not killing people as an article of faith of most religions: killing people is actually bad).
So here I am, just like I am with religion, not believing, but hoping for hopes sake that someone really does know what is going on and what the rules are.
And then I think about the economy and the environment and the world we live in and the idea that capitalism bears the roots of its own destruction. I'm not a Marxist, and never will be, but that statement rings a bill even though I don't want it to do so.
All our measures of economic health are measures of growth. Is the economy expanding, is a company growing, are sales increasing as though the market for consumption of necessities and luxuries alike has no bounds.
But of course, we are surrounded by boundaries. There are limits to how much petroleum, coal, and natural gas we can use before we run out of petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Probably before we run out of the resource, a large number of us (say, the populations of low-lying countries like the Netherlands and Bangladesh) will be wiped out or vastly reduced by rising seas caused by global warming (maybe not, I hope not, I hope this sentence is hyperbole). And kids in the Southern Hemisphere who don't wear their hats and sunscreen will definitely result in a variety of skin ailments (hole in the ozone layer, doncha know?). And pollution in China and anywhere else will definitely kill a bunch of people off. And hey, Canada will be the next superpower (Go Canada!) with its abundant fresh water supplies when the rest of us are close to dying of thirst.*
So to get the economy moving again we need to spend, spend, spend, using up resources that are not always replaceable and that may cause real deterioration in our and other people's quality of life or even help cut short others' (and potentially our) life itself. Great.
No answers here. Just a grumpy woman with a head cold realizing that any break I get in my paycheck will directly stimulate the economy because my budget is so tight. But that's not necessarily a good thing. Now, if I could breathe, I might feel a bit less apocalyptic. But there you are.
*Actually, at that point, if I were Canadian, I'd be worrying more than a little bit about its southern neighbor.
March 25, 2009
Of course, on top of that, DG, in her current breast-function-awareness-mode has been asking to drink milk from my breasts. I called her bluff. She poked me, asking for a drink (it's been three years since she has nursed at either of my breasts) and I said: do you remember drinking from Mama? "Yes," she said in her Betty Boop voice. "Okay." She neared an approached, then poked me again, and then declared "Disgustiong!" I feel so rejected, but totally relieved that a child of mine who has grown teeth will not be trying to nurse and thus requiring me to reject her. I don't know what I would have done if I had had to decide to nurse her (at four years old!) or not. Oh well.
March 21, 2009
DG is fascinated with breasts in a way that TG never was. TG wants to know: is that going to happen to me? (Yeah, it is honey. Sorry about that. Hope it doesn't get in the way of playing tennis, karate, golf, whatever. -- That's pretty much TG's concern.) DG thinks breasts are just great. She used to latch on with vigor and even after she stopped nursing, she would often grab and pat. Now she just contents herself with a good snuggle. She still sometimes pats, of course, and it can be a bit embarrassing at times.
I don't know if she can actually remember nursing from me, but she knows she did. There's some confusion, however. I was cuddling her in a moment of possessiveness ("MY Mama!") and she grabbed my breasts (two-fisted) and asked: "Did I get milk from one and juice from the other?" I went for the straightforward explanation. "Kiddo, it's not a restaurant. They just serve milk." "Well, I like milk." "There you go."
Hey, it was a straightforward, if bizarre, question. Why wouldn't breasts produce whatever a little kid wants? Feeding young, that's what they're there for, right? And my girls are prudish or squeamish, so they'll just ask.
March 17, 2009
So: clueless young dude (hereafter, CYD) walked up to me at the bus stop at the Metro station and commented on my knitting ("Hey, my Mom does that."), which disarmed me.** Someone who is asking about knitting doesn't really raise my threat level. CYD immediately awkwardly segued from knitting to his spring break. He was returning from a trip to visit his . . . girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend, in case that isn't already obvious). He gave so much more to the relationship than she did (unreliable narrator alert). He made an unannounced trip up to (nearby city) to see her (big, bad warning sign) and she wasn't thrilled to see him (dude, you're already being evicted). Then he saw things on her Facebook account that let him to believe she'd been "unfaithful."***
He said "You know, guys don't ask much of women" (let me just say here, really?), "but we do ask them to be faithful." Did you talk about this and agree on that dude? Or is that just your take? Anyway, her Facebook page, comments, whatever led to fights ,which led to CYD breaking his ex-girlfriend's laptop, which led to ex-girlfriend's family coming to campus, more fight, and finally restraining orders.
CYD didn't think any of this reflected badly on him. Guy, someone gets a restraining order against you, and you've definitely not shown yourself at your best.
*Thank you, Bella Bethesda. Yes, I gave in March of 2007. Yes, normal people's hair grows at a rate of .25" per month. Obviously, I'm not normal.
**Also, let's be honest: I make eye contact with people, which makes me a weirdo magnet. People talk to me, and it's never the Clive Owen/Sean Bean/Alan Rickman/Colin Firth/Sam Neill/Nikki Giovanni/Susan Sontag/Margaret Atwood/Anne Tyler/Guy Pearce/Jeff Bridges people who approach me. It's the not-quite-socially adept people who open their hearts and start chatting.
***Dude: one pledges fidelity in some relationships, but late-teen/early-twenties dating isn't such a situation for the most part. Also, you don't own her, you know?
March 7, 2009
I so rarely hear actual thought and wonder in conversations I overhear. I really liked the discussion and had the urge to join in, but really, they were in their own world and I was a bystander. Their conversation gave me some real pleasure.
*I really wanted to turn around and check her out, she sounded delightful, but then my listening in would be revealed, and we can't have that.
March 5, 2009
In the past few months, my employer has laid off a number of people. Fortunately, I didn't have to lay off any of my staff, but my staff has shrunk, in that a vacancy that I had now cannot be filled so the staff is now having to do all the same work with one person fewer and they were busy before.
Innana has had a lot of family headaches (aging parents, NiQ acting like a child whose mother and father don't give a hoot about her, surprise, surprise), but is dealing with everything and appropriately seeking help from DOL's neighbors, friends, FoilMormor (well, she's a bit lonely, so calling her is actually Innana doing a public service) and NiQ's school, etc. At the same time, Innana's job is quite secure (she even got something like a nine percent raise), so she and I talk and agree: life ain't bad, even if the world is quickly sinking into the crapper.
Sometime in the next few years, I need to jump start my career, but not until DG is in school full-time, so right now, it's a holding pattern.
PdeFF has declared that he should get the childcare deduction for the FoilKids (I pay for childcare). Um, no. But I'll win that fight. And everytime he pulls a stunt like that, I think PdeFF is to Foilwoman as a bicycle is to a fish. Except a bicycle isn't a bad decision a fish made.