The Oprah-ing of Obama

What’s a Skirt to do? Torn between my allegiance to Senator Dreamboat – and the belief that he is the best hope we have for climbing out of our eight-year abyss – and my equally devout belief that Oprah stands for almost everything that is wrong with American women today, (jesus this sentence is spiraling out of control), I am left at a crossroads. Do I embrace the undeniable power she holds and hope that it will finally translate into something meaningful for this country? Do I heap scorn upon those who allow egotistical talk-show hosts to dictate their voting (and reading and buying) habits? Do I heap more scorn on his campaign manager for calling her “transcendent“? Do I just shut the hell up and cross my fingers? I’m thinking it’s the latter. Comments welcome.

All I Want for Christmas is Green, Green, and Green

Isn’t this countertop compost pail on everyone’s wish list this Christmas? With Tofurkey leftovers and almond cranberry cookies within reach, I used Black Friday to map out a Christmas strategy that’s green, fun, and relatively simple.

It all started with Treehugger’s 2007 Gift Guide

The green switch had me dreaming of a more energy efficient Christmas at home. Who doesn’t need a kill switch to squelch unnecessary kilowatts while you’re out of town? For my less obsessive colleagues, I’ll be giving the Lazy Environmentalist. It’s the perfect gift for those who are green at the edges but a little hesitant to step into the Birkenstocks. Remember, I said this would be easy.

For friends and family, I’m looking at holiday gift bags of Method soaps and other biodegradable, non-toxic products for the home. I was afraid a much neglected garden bathtub was gong to drag me back to toxic products but Method’s soap scum remover handled the crisis with the refreshing scent of mint and eucalyptus. Target carries a reasonable selection of the Method products and makes this a very easy gift to give. The reusable tote Method is currently offering with a $20 purchase will make the perfect gift bag too!

Did I mention reusable bags? Your Christmas shopping doesn’t have to cost the world a single plastic bag. Many stores are now offering their own reusable bags and making it so much easier to bring your own. I carry two ACME bags with me everywhere I go and fewer cashiers are surprised by it. Another green opportunity that’s very easy to share is setting up family members with GreenDimes. They claim to have stopped over 2 million pounds of junk mail and some of it was mine!

That’s just one way to avoid bags and boxes completely! Suggestions for avoiding the conspicuous consumption that fuels the season include giving experiences rather than gifts. Read the rest of this entry »

In the News: Oh the Humanity

**Dennis Kucinich, or, as I like to call him, the Li’l Engine That Couldn’t, has received the endorsement of… wait for it… Larry Flynt. I’m not sure which part of this story deserves the most ridicule: the fact that the Hustler helmer has been friends with Kucinich “for 40 years” (??) or the fact that Flynt hosted a fundraiser with Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn and Melissa Etheridge. That’s either the world’s most fascinating or most frightening dinner table. Possibly both.

**Osama bin Laden is a whiz at manipulating the Interwebs, at least according to an Israeli professor. It seems that terrorist Web sites are becoming adept at targeting niche groups, including children, with comic books and contests, and women, with pink suicide-bombing manuals (Jesus Mary, do I have to fight gender stereotypes with Al Qaeda now too?) No word yet on his messaging for the gay community.

**Have you heard the story yet of Megan Meier, the Missouri teen who killed herself after being cruelly spurned by a boy she liked on MySpace? The “boy” turned out to be the parents of one of Megan’s classmates, with whom she’d had a falling-out the year before. “His” last message to Megan was, “The world would be a better place without you.”

**Julia Roberts parks in handicapped spaces.

**After all that, you need a drink. Gird yourself for the familial onslaught this week with hangover-free vodka. You’re welcome.

The Joy of Techs

I work in technology because I love it and I especially love little gadgets and whizmos that make my life easier. Of course my “easier” may be someone else’s “what a headache” but that’s the beauty of it. We each get out of a product exactly what we need and no more. A site like Facebook does nothing but perplex some of my friends. (“What the hell is the point?” they ask me and to that I reply, “Would you just play your move in Scrabulous?”) but I happen to think it’s the cat’s pajamas.

Or perhaps they have a “Jesus that’s creepy” reaction to my latest obsession, RescueTime, a little program that sits on my computer and tracks how much time I spend on Web sites and in applications. It has no idea what I’m doing in those applications, which removes the creep factor for me. But it does tell me that I’ve spent six hours working in Outlook this week or, ahem, 30 minutes in the aforementioned Scrabulous. As someone who spends the majority of their day on the computer, a tool like this is invaluable in helping me see where and how I’m using my time.

Web Worker Daily tipped me off to the handy-dandy Firefox add-on Morning Coffee. It opens up multiple sites at once with the click of a button. So if the first thing you do every morning is go to iGoogle, then CNN, then (say it with me now) Scrabulous, load all those sites into your Morning Coffee instead of clicking around like a chump.

Have time-saving, life-easing tech tools you couldn’t live without? Tell us about them in the comments.

Whither Goest My Snark?

Pakistan is on the verge of total collapse but I won’t be able to make heads or tails of it because DEAR GOD THE DAILY SHOW ISN’T AIRING TONIGHT. I didn’t think the writer’s strike would affect me too harshly, as I’m so far behind in my Tivo that I’ll be watching Halloween episodes at Christmas. But apparently Jon Stewart isn’t the sole creative force behind my favorite news outlet. My illusions are shattered on so many levels.

Left with nothing to watch at 10pm each night, I’ll be forced to continuously ask myself “Is it Christmas?” No. No it isn’t.

He Pushed Me!

Hillary Clinton’s recent debate performance in Philadelphia has resulted in her first real campaign downturn. Her waffling on the issue of whether to give NY driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants drew fire from opponents, chiefly Fred Thompson who saw an opportunity and wisely went for it. (Perhaps Fred’s not as lazy as we thought.) So how did she respond? By playing the chick card, of course. Though she hasn’t come right out and said it, her mention of the “all-boy’s club of presidential politics” in a speech at alma mater Wellesley and ‘The Politics of Pile-On’ press release on her Web site should get the point across. Ruth Marcus hits the nail on the head in ‘Damsel in the Debate.’

Please. The Philadelphia debate was not exactly a mob moment to trigger the Violence Against Women Act; if anything, this has been an overly (pardon the phrase) gentlemanly campaign to date. Those other guys were beating up on Clinton, if you can call that beating up, because she is the strong front-runner, not because she is a weak woman.

Regular readers know I’m a supporter of Senator Dreamboat. One of the reasons? He hasn’t played the race card when attacked. (Please Senator, don’t make me eat my words.) Hey Hillary, schoolyard whining (“The boys are throwing rocks at me!”) is the lazy woman’s defense. Rub some dirt on it and get back to the policy wonking you do best.