Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More odds & ends...

I realize I haven't been posting much lately, & I owe some of you questions (and Irish Girl some answers). I've been coping with a severe case of the February blahs combined with the busy-at-work blues, & while I've been trying to keep up with my blog reading, I haven't been doing much writing or commenting lately. My company's annual meeting is next week, & I do a lot of work related to that -- so things have been hectic, but hopefully they will calm down a bit after that's over.

Re: the February blahs: It's still friggin' cold outside… but the days are slowly getting longer, & the added hours of daylight are a welcome sign that February (my absolute least favourite month of the year) is ALMOST over…!

The bright light in my week thus far was staying up late to watch the Oscars on Monday night (even though I was soooo tired the next morning). As I wrote last year around this time, I am an Oscarphile from way, way back. The icing on my Oscar cake (and a definite day-brightener) was winning the office Oscar pool! -- I got 17 out of 24 categories correct. (Two of them that I missed, I went with who I thought would win vs who I thought should win -- and I should have listened to my gut!). I even got to give an "acceptance speech" via e-mail. ; ) It's not an Oscar but it was $57 and a lot of fun. I'll take it. ; )

I haven't written about "Octomom" yet (so many other bloggers are saying it so much better than I can…!) but I did find this column by Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal last week that I thought had an interesting perspective to share on the situation (within the context of the overall mood of anxiety that's gripping not only America but so much of the world these days). Although Noonan's politics are more conservative than mine, I find her to be a thoughtful & well-spoken writer and commentator, and I enjoy hearing her perspective on various political talk shows. As a sometime speechwriter, I absolutely loved her 1990 memoir of working as a speechwriter for both Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., What I Saw at the Revolution.

This is the part about Octomom that I liked (you can read the entire column here):

And there's something else, not only in Manhattan but throughout the country. A major reason people are blue about the future is not the stores, not the Treasury secretary, not everyone digging in. It is those things, but it's more than that, and deeper.

It's Sully and Suleman, the pilot and "Octomom," the two great stories that are twinned with the era. Sully, the airline captain who saved 155 lives by landing that plane just right—level wings, nose up, tail down, plant that baby, get everyone out, get them counted, and then, at night, wonder what you could have done better. You know the reaction of the people of our country to Chesley B. Sullenberger III: They shake their heads, and tears come to their eyes. He is cool, modest, competent, tough in the good way. He's the only one who doesn't applaud Sully. He was just doing his job.

This is why people are so moved: We're still making Sullys. We're still making those mythic Americans, those steely-eyed rocket men. Like Alan Shepard in the Mercury
rocket: "Come on and light this candle."

But Sully, 58, Air Force Academy '73, was shaped and formed by the old America, and educated in an ethos in which a certain style of manhood—of personhood—was held high. What we fear we're making more of these days is Nadya Suleman. The dizzy, selfish, self-dramatizing 33-year-old mother who had six small children and then a week ago eight more because, well, she always wanted a big family. "Suley" doubletalks with the best of them, she doubletalks with profound ease. She is like Blago without the charm. She had needs and took proactive steps to meet them, and those who don't approve are limited, which must be sad for them. She leaves anchorwomen slack-jawed: How do you rough up a woman who's still lactating? She seems aware of their predicament.

Any great nation would worry at closed-up shops and a professional governing class that doesn't have a clue what to do. But a great nation that fears, deep down, that it may be becoming more Suley than Sully—that nation will enter a true depression.

10 comments:

  1. I love it. And I`m on the February sucks bandwagon - by far the longest month in Canada.

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  2. I have the february blahs too.

    And the octomom drives me insane. Like why is she getting manicures and buying M.A.C. makeup (according to .US. Week.ly) yet she is on foodstamps and her mom's house is in foreclosure?
    Maybe she should skimp a little and go buy some rev.lon nail polish to do herself and buy makeup at the drugstore.

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  3. Said it before - will say it again, you always find some of the most interesting and unique articles. The Noonan article was great.

    I've refrained from writing any more about the topic. Almost like a trainwreck really - can't seem to turn away and the more and more unbelievable it becomes. I truly hope that it is not too late for our future to become more "Sully" and less "Suley". Both stories still make me cry - though for completely different reasons.

    Congrats on winning the Oscar Pool!

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  4. Sharing a state with both Sully and Suley I am especially touched and angered by each, and you can guess who deserves which emotion. I hate that my family will be supporting her and her doctors reckless creation of life. And I hate that the media took so long to report this story the eay it should have been from the start. With so many wanting and deserving families waiting for 'A' child to give a fine, decent and stable home to, it pains me to no end that she will be allowed for many years to destroy the 14 she has gotten at my expense(my state taxes pay her state bennies). It's infuriating.
    Ick.
    I hope March brings you the Luck of the Irish:), rainbows and pots of gold and a good Guiness of course:)

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  5. And we don't even get "family" day here either. And February, the month of a couple of failed IVFs, is now the successful IVF of my best friend. Which for the record, I'm truly happy about Swell, when is this f******* month over?

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  6. Hope you're feeling better...Feb is almost over! Then March will come in like a lion and go out like lamb (or so I was told when I lived in Michigan).

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  7. You're right. This winter is getting old ... add to it the seemingly never-ending stream of bad news we're bombarded with and, well, yikes.

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  8. I'm not usually a fan of Noonan, but I did like that essay.

    My brother is a pilot and he quickly got tired of answering questions about the Hudson River accident ("he did his job, and he got damn lucky," he says of the pilot - same thing the pilot has said). And I'm tired of answering questions about Ms. Suleman.

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  9. I heard after the fact (of course!) that AMC theaters were showing all five movies nominated for best pic last Sat. You could watch them all AND get a never ending bucket of popcorn. That would have been a dream Saturday for me!

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  10. You always find the *best* articles. I totally agree. I saw a part of an interview where Suley both said that she could not, in fact raise all these kids alone, and that others SHOULD be helping her, and then in the next breath say that it is none of anyone's business what she did with her embryos. Hmmm...

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