Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Fond – or Not So Fond – Farewell to 2010

Yesterday was the first workday after a deliciously long weekend, which meant I was well rested and ready to go when my alarm went off at 5:30 am.

OK, I lied a bit. I wasn’t exactly jumping with enthusiasm, but at least I still did manage to drag myself out of bed, do my exercises, get ready for the day and fit in 45 minutes of reading my newest non-fiction study: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristoff and Sheryl DuWonn.

If I might be allowed a brief bunny trail, it’s a heart-wrenching book, even if I don’t agree with all of the conclusions the liberal-leaning authors come to. For instance, the chance of saving 15 female infants from death by neglect does not justify aborting 100 females while still in the womb.

But otherwise, the real-life stories the couple documents are both horrifying and inspiring, though sadly more of the latter. For now, I’ll sum up my brief book review by saying that it’s disgusting and inexcusable what men and women can do to their fellow human beings when given the chance.

I hope to have the time in a later blog to explore the book’s themes and points further.

Still, those weighty subjects are best left to another time… since I don’t have Half the Sky readily available to quote and discuss properly, not because the subject matter is any less important than what I’m about to segue into. In fact, the light-hearted commentary you may or may not go on to read definitely falls second in line… if not much, much further back.

But for the previously-explained reason, let’s try to drift on back to a less weighty topic all the same.

Snuggly Pillows Are the Devil’s Tools

As I said above, I was able to go through my normal weekday morning routine without too much difficulty. Yesterday, that is. This morning, not so much. I dutifully set my alarm for 5:30 am last night but was seduced from productivity by my very warm comforter and my very snuggly pillows.

Stupid warm comforter and snuggly pillows. And stupid me for not fending them off appropriately. Alas, I am weak, it would appear. Very, very weak.

So far, the score this year is Jeannette: 1, Comforter/Pillows: 1. We’ll have a rematch tomorrow, and no, I wouldn’t necessarily bet on me winning.

The point of me recounting all of this to you is that I suspect I’m not the only disgruntled would-be sleeper who got roused way too early for their liking this morning… or who just doesn’t feel like doing anything productive.

If you can identify, I’m recommending you read something that should at least make you snicker, if not flat-out giggle over your first, second or third cup of coffee as you sit at your desk, staring blankly at your computer screen and vowing to buy several dozen lottery tickets as soon as you get off of work.

Dave Barry spares nobody in his review of what he terms “the worst year ever.” Iran, Jersey Shore, Obamacare, the Vancouver Winter Olympics – which I completely forgot happened before now – Charlie Sheen… if it made an appearance last year, Barry mocks it.

Sure, that means the Tea Party got a few slaps too, but hey, what’s life if you can’t laugh at yourself every once in a while, right? Besides, it’s much easier to do so when the other side is getting lambasted even worse. (If this weren’t such a professional and sophisticated blog, I’d put a smiley face right here: the kind that has its little tongue sticking out.)

Oh Snap!

For instance, here’s what he says about the Tea Party: “But opposition is ‘brewing’ in the form of the Tea Party movement, consisting of regular Americans who are fed up with costly big-government programs except for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They are determined to elect a new breed of representatives who are not career politicians, or even necessarily sane.”

So what that I’m not sure what he’s talking about when he says we’re not against Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Personally, as a member of the Tea Party, I say let’s start phasing ourselves out of all three! All the same, I still had to roll my eyes good-naturedly at his “sanity” comment. The rest of his writing is just too enjoyable to take offense at one little snippet.

For example, here’s just a sample of what he says about liberal causes and icons:

“On a more hopeful note, on March 27 people in more than 4,000 cities around the world turn off their lights in observance of Earth Hour, saving an estimated 45 million megawatts of electricity – enough to power one of Al Gore’s houses for nearly three days.”

“…Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull (literally, ‘many syllables’) volcano erupts, sending huge clouds of ash into the atmosphere and forcing airlines throughout northern Europe to ground all flights. Greece, although not directly affected, announced that it will take six months off, just in case; France, as an added precaution, surrenders.”

(I know I caught you cracking a smile there. Don’t even say you weren’t.)

“On the terror front, New York City police, alerted by Times Square street vendors, discover a smoking SUV packed with explosives – a violation of many city ordinances, including the ban on smocking. Fortunately, the car bomb is disarmed, and a suspect is later captured at Kennedy Airport by sharp-eyed TSA officers trained to spot suspicious behavior.

“Ha ha! Just kidding, of course. The suspect is captured by U.S. Customs agents at the last minute after boarding a Dubai-bound plane filled with passengers who, like the suspect, had all been carefully screened by the TSA to make sure they were not carrying more than three ounces of shampoo.”

“In legal news, Elena Kagan is sworn in as the newest Supreme Court justice, having established, in three days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, that she went to either Harvard or Yale. Elsewhere, a federal jury deadlocks on 22 of 24 charges against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, convicting him only of, quote ‘being some kind of enormous rodent.’ Outside the courtroom, Blagojevich tearfully thanks his supporters, then robs a convenience store.”

With all of that quoted, I defy you not to read the entire four pages. Especially considering the third to last paragraph, which is most definitely the most hysterical thing I’ve read all year!

Here’s hoping the workday flies by as quickly as 2010 did!

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