Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for January, 2010


Posted by Lissa on January 16, 2010

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to be severely myopic.  If you have myopia, you get it; if you’ve always had perfect vision, you might not understand.  They do say a picture is worth a thousand words; let me show you how I saw without contacts/glasses:

Vision-challenged people know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you’ve never needed glasses, you wouldn’t need a spare set of contacts and/or glasses when going overnight (because if you lost a contact you’d need a spare to drive home).  I remember the horror of swimming class, in junior high — awful enough on its own, believe me — but you can’t swim with contacts in (they float away) so I’d have to stumble out to the pool almost blind.

Here’s what my living room looks like now, without contacts/glasses:

As of this morning’s appointment, I have 20/20 in my left eye and 20/25 in my right eye, both of which should continue to improve over the next couple days.  I AM SO PLEASED.

That being said . . .yeah, the surgery was pretty unpleasant, and the recovery period directly afterward was seriously uncomfortable, but totally worth it.

I’ll put more details for interested folks under the fold, but for now — thank you so much everyone who sent good wishes my way, I’m sure it helped 🙂

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 13 Comments »


Posted by Lissa on January 15, 2010

Lasik surgery is scheduled for 10:30 AM, both eyes.

I’m very much looking forward to the results.

I’m really not looking forward to the surgery.  Sarah didn’t have much fun with hers.

I’ll probably take a few days off the blog to let my eyes recover.  Look for me Monday or Tuesday.

And wish me luck!! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

“This bush is brown. This Brown is BUSH.”

Posted by Lissa on January 14, 2010

This actually made me laugh out loud when it showed up in my mailbox:

MIKE:  “Seriously?  Really?  They think this will work?”

LISSA:  “You don’t get it.  Booooooosh!  Boooooosh evil!!!!”

And check out the back side:

I would like to rain scorn all over this mailing lacking humor, artistry or a point, but . . . it’s probably pretty effective.  For “typical MA voters” who aren’t already following the race, for anyone who didn’t see the debate, for anyone who hasn’t hit his website, all they will see is that

1) Scott Brown is a Republican (and that’s enough for most voters around here, demographically speaking)

2) Scott Brown is Bush.  The mailing said so.

You may have thought the Democrats would be tired of running against (and ranting against) a person who has been out of office for almost a year now.

You would be wrong.

(I’m not quite sure WHY this mailing kicked over my gigglebox so hard, but it most definitely did!)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 10 Comments »

Stick a fork in her, “Great” Britain’s done.

Posted by Lissa on January 13, 2010

I saw this a few days ago but was too flabbergasted to mention it:

A wealthy businessman was arrested at home in front of his wife and young son over an email which council officials deemed ‘offensive’ to gipsies – but which he had not even written.

The email, concerning a planning appeal by a gipsy, included the phrase: ‘It’s the ‘do as you likey’ attitude that I am against.’

Council staff believed the email was offensive because ‘likey’ rhymes with the derogatory term ‘pikey’.

The 45-year-old IT boss was held in a police cell for four hours until it was established he had nothing to do with the email, which had been sent by one of his then workers, Paul Osmond.

But police had taken his DNA and later confirmed they would be holding it indefinitely.

Got that??  The word “likey” — and the newspaper actually has to explain why it MIGHT be offensive — sends the police over to nab the wrong guy.  And now they have his DNA forever’n’ever.

Sussex Police said they had arrested the businessman over ‘suspicion of committing a racial or religious-aggravated offence’.

After consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided to take no further action against Mr Osmond.

Chief Inspector Heather Keating said: ‘Sussex Police have a legal duty to promote community cohesion and tackle unlawful discrimination.

‘We are satisfied we acted appropriately in identifying the owner of the computer used and through this, the identity of the writer of the offending line.’

Police said they would hold the innocent men’s DNA indefinitely, which they said was in line with national policy.

A council spokesman said: ‘As far as we were concerned it was an offensive comment, so we got in touch with the police.’

What the hell kind of cowardly, cowering, craven children are they raising over in England??

Since when it is the job of the POLICE to tackle unlawful discrimination?

Merry Olde Englande, indeed.  Where a man can get arrested for a silly word in an email he didn’t write but whose DNA will be held indefinitely anyway.

And as far as The Law is concerned, the system worked.

Helluva world, y’all.  Helluva time.

UPDATE: And there goes trial by jury.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Semi-live blogging: Coakley vs. Brown

Posted by Lissa on January 11, 2010

Refresh and scroll for updates . . .

Semi-live blogging is like semi-homemade cooking — it’s a bit of cheating.  In my case, it’s on the Tivo — I’m free to pause it and type my thoughts.  Or nonsense.  Or to quit altogether — I’m chronically allergic to politicians speaking, and I may develop a severe case of avoidance.  No promises!

Oh, it’s three candidates!  Independent Joe Kennedy, not related to Those Kennedys.  I wonder if that was a reason Coakley agreed to the debate – the more people who realize that Joe Kennedy is not one of the “Camelot” Kennedys, the fewer automatically-vote-for-anything-named-Kennedy she’ll lose.

0:02 — “Legendary” seat such as Teddy and John Kennedy, Daniel Webster, John Quincy Adams.  Blah blah blah, old guy talking with marbles in his mouth.

Brown introduced first as State Senator, Coakley second as AG, and Kennedy “no relation to the late Senator” as an independent Libertarian candidate. Questions are known only by the mediator, and the order was determined by lot.

0:04: National Health Care Bill — do you want voters to see this vote as a referendum on this bill?

Brown: Washington is broken, back-room deals — Nebraska, etc., we already have a state-wide health care deal in MA, we don’t need a national one pushed in on us cutting half a trillion from Medicare, we need to reform pricing, a one-size fits all plan will hurt what we have, I would propose allowing the states to do things individually.  Export what MA has done — show them how to do it.

[And MA health care is doing so well? Last I checked it was running a huge deficit and forcing people to buy insurance they didn’t necessarily want. — Lissa]

Coakley:  Thank you, thank you, I’d be proud to pass the bill, we’ve taken the lead in MA, and now we are attacking costs, we spend 1.6 trillion a year on health care, we need more transparency and competition.  As Senator Kennedy said, health care should be a right, not a privilege.  We will provide coverage for those who can’t get coverage now, for pre-existing injuries, and make sure we keep costs down, so people can keep the costs they have.

[The hell with the laws of economics, supply and demand, or the government bureaucracy, the health care bill will work because we want it to.  Still, I think she’s a smoother speaker than Brown.]

Kennedy: The health care bill is a travesty; as much as I would like to be the 41st vote against it, we are seeing votes bought.  The issue today is not who’s going to vote against health care, the issue is who’s going to work against it once it’s passed.  The issue is that government is too big.

[Damn, I like what this guy is saying.  Wish he had a shot.]

This bill will cost $1.2 trillion.  Income tax for every single person in America is $1.1 trillion.

Brown, follow-up:  We have insurance in MA, great doctors, etc., that’s why people come here.  We will be subsidizing what other people do.

Coakley:  I spoke to a woman on the campaign trail and doctors in MA can’t help her.

Brown: It’s a bad plan because it’s going to hurt jobs.  Because we have a competing plan.  We shouldn’t have to go to Washington to get handouts, we should be able to fix the problems on our own.

0:09: Mediator asks if Coakley is promising to vote for the health care regardless on how it changes, including abortion.

Coakley: I would not vote for a plan with Stupak in it.

Mediator: So then you would become the 41st against?

Coakley: I don’t believe that’s going to be the choice.

Says she’ll vote only for the Senate bill or some reasonable facsimile of it.

[I’d like to pin her down on this, but the sad thing is, I’m pretty sure she’s completely right.]

Brown points out again that the plan will cost us jobs.

[Dude.  You’re not pointing out any clear linkage between ObamaCare and MA jobs.  Government regulations stifling innovation, the number of doctors who have come out in opposition, privacy of medical records — and all you can come up with is, “This bill will cost us jobs” over and over? (later update)  Or just the fact that Congress is forcing a plan on us that they have explicitly excused themselves from?  This shouldn’t be that hard.]

0:10: BOO-YAH!!!  Mediator asks if Brown is willing to “sit in Teddy Kennedy’s seat” and block health care reform for another fifteen years.  Brown shoots right back:

“With all due respect, it’s not the Kennedys’ seat, it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat.”

[I wonder if he slipped the mediator ten bucks to phrase it that way.]

0:11: Mediator says head of AFL-CIO said this morning it would be a disaster if the bill included a tax on high-end plans, that Obama has said he wanted it.

Coakley: The President said he would have a lot of room to determine what a Cadillac plan was.

[Nicely dodged.  “I don’t approve of taxing those plans, but I’m sure we can figure out a tricksy enough definition of those plans to have it both ways.”]

Kennedy: It’s not about cars, it’s about health care.  It is going to affect good union members who fought so hard through good-faith bargaining.

[It is just me, or is it really fun listening to a libertarian talk about good union members?]

I’m only at 0:12, I’ve got to stop transcribing and be more selective . . .

Ack, mediator asks a jobs questions — calls it a “lost decade” for the country.

[Um, what??  He’s saying there’s no statistical improvement from 1999.  That makes it sound like we’re Japan.  The way I remember it, we were doing pretty well in the oughts, until the recent kasplosion.  A long steady up followed by a short disastrous down.]

Coakley just said in ten years the health care plan will be revenue-neutral.  Go on, ma’am, pull the other one — it’s got bells on it.  Oh yeah, and Scott Brown is Bush/Cheney.

Kennedy: Government is expensive.  Oh, and wars are very expensive.  Yay isolationism!

[Anyone think we’ll get a question on the Christmas Day bomber?  I think that would be fun.]

Brown:  I’m not Bush/Cheney, and you want to raise taxes $2.1 trillion per the Congressional Budget Office.

Coakley: He’s lying about $2.1 trillion, because I want to support these wonderful ideas, which will cancel out all the costs.  Plus, you voted for $6 billion in the Commonwealth as a State Senator.  I brought home bacon, dammit!

[Gleg.  Nausea setting in here.]

0:18: [Scott Brown please stop repeating yourself!  He needs some work on public speaking.]

Brown: You’re in favor of the Cap-and-Trade tax.

Coakley: Not a tax!

Brown: It’s a tax.

Coakley: Not a tax!

Good lord, it’s like watching small children.  Or worse yet — politicians speaking!  :-p

0:21:  Kennedy: Cutting taxes is not what creates jobs.  Cutting spending creates jobs.

[The isolationism is unappealing, but the small government talk sure is nice.]

Coakley just said we need to get tax revenues up.  [I’m not sure that’s a well-crafted soundbyte.]

Coakley: BushCheney wrecked this economy, so that’s why it will take a while to fix!  Boooooosh!  Boooooosh evil!

Brown just invoked JFK for the second time.

[The Republican has approvingly cited the Kennedys more than the Democrat has, I think.  Up is now down, cats are now dogs.]

0:25: Mediator seems like he’s asking tough questions, not fluffball questions.  [I’m kind of shocked.]

Brown:  “Stop blaming!  Stop blaming!  Solve problems!  Solve problems!”

[That’s how it sounded in my head, anyway.]

0:28:  Oooo!  Christmas Day Bomber!  How do we win this war?

Brown: The war is here — remember those men who tried to kill the kids at the mall?  Martha thinks people like the Crotch Bomber [my phrasing] should get constitutional rights and lawyers, I think we should treat them like enemy combatants.

[I’m sorry, but he just doesn’t sound good here.  She sounds much more polished.]

Coakley:  We’ve been at war since 9/11, no one is disputing that.

[Yup, that’s the one that has bells on it.]

Kennedy: We need to stop saying, “Why are we at war with Al-Queda, we need to start saying, “why is Al-Queda at war with us”?

[Sorry sir, not that I was going to vote for you anyway, but “Why do they hate us?” in a discussion of how to treat the Crotch Bomber crosses you off the list for me.]

[Brown’s long discussion on how he supports the President in his bid to finish the job in Afghanistan made my tummy roil.  I think the idea was good — link himself to Pres. Obama in one area where he still has decent numbers and Republicans support him — but the execution was just BAD.]

0:35:  Coakley: We don’t need to send soldiers anywhere, we need to find out who the bad people are and just get them — holla holla, CIA!

0:36: Oooo, the candidates get to ask each OTHER questions.

Coakley asks Brown — You’ve supported legislation that would allow hospitals employees to deny emergency care to rape victims if they want, and you’ve received the endorsement of Right to Life.  Do you accept their support?

[Oo — wise question.]

Brown says he’s got a big-tent, is sure she does too, and sneaks in a nasty dig about special-interest groups rallying around her as part of the machine.

Brown: We agree Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, but I don’t like partial birth abortion, and you do.


Brown: No really, you wrote an editorial criticizing that partial-birth abortion isn’t allowed.

[Dude, really?  Hmmm . . . ]

[Wow, that web team is on top of things, aren’t they?  I’m impressed.  UPDATE: Oops, that link is from last year.  I thought they were doing it live, like I was.  They still get credit but not as much.]

[Quick pause for observations — Coakley is a very smooth speaker, she doesn’t get rattled, and she seems serious and poised.  Brown is more excited (excitable?), more prone to repeating himself, and looks like he’s trying to cram too many talking points into too small a space.  They’re both treating Kennedy like the outlier he is — statistically insignificant.]

Coakley is trying to hammer his bill as “turning away women who have been raped,” and “denying them emergency contraceptive care”, Brown is trying to define it as allowing religiously-affiliated institutions not to provide abortions.

[Dude — I’m with Brown on this one.  It’s one thing to approve of the possibility of abortion as a medical procedure.  It’s another to require Catholic hospitals and nurses to perform a procedure they find morally and ethically abhorrent.]

Brown: We’re both good people, but I happen to think you’re wrong on terror. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, if he’s found guilty and gets the death penalty, will you support that?

Coakley says she doesn’t support the death penalty personally, she won’t vote for it, but accepts that it will happen if he’s found guilty.

[I think this was a loser for Brown.  Coakley came off sounding very reasonable, personally opposed to the penalty but willing to uphold the law of the land.  This one went to Coakley.]

0:44: Mediator hitting Brown on being a conservative.  [Fair questions, especially in this area.]  Asks if he would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Brown: It’s never been an issue that I support Roe v. Wade.

[I think the Right to Life might find that an issue.]

Mediator asks if Brown thinks that climate change is a big fraud, reads off a quote, which Brown says was inaccurate.

[Um.  It’s here.  Bad move to flat-out accuse the mediator or the paper of lying.]

0:46: Mediator asks Coakley if she regrets insisting that all three be there with debates.

[Okay, that doesn’t seem fair.  Mediator questioned Brown on fundamental views that MA voters are particularly historically antithetical to, and questions Coakley on one tactical decision in the campaign.]

0:48: Mediator asks Kennedy — You’re probably not going to win [my phrasing], if you’re not to win, do you have a preference between these two candidates?

[I laughed.  Audience did too.]

Kennedy gives reluctant nod to Scott Brown.  And then spends a minute railing on him as a big spender.  [With friends like these . . . ]

0:50: Awww, Ted Kennedy question!

Oh, nope, it was just a Ted Kennedy introduction.  Mediator basically invites them to give us warm-and-fuzzy stories about themselves.  [I think I’m going to throw up now.]

Coakley: I’m funny, I downhill ski, and my husband loves me.

Kennedy: When I told my father he was running, the words out of his mouth were:  “Oh no.  I’m very proud of you.”

[Ha!  That was an actual quote, because I liked that one.]

Brown: I don’t eat babies like the Globe said I do.  Actually, I’m Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton.

(Why won’t my GIF animate?  It animates in Draft mode!  Hmph.  Click the link for animation.)

UPDATE: You can’t resize a gif, that’s why.  So y’all get the big, full, pukey glory.  Enjoy!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 6 Comments »

How is this okay?

Posted by Lissa on January 11, 2010

So, truthfully, I don’t think Scott Brown has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this election.  This is Massachusetts, y’all; it’s just not gonna happen.  That being said, apparently if he DOES win, the Democrats are prepared:

The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Friday, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 – well after the president’s address.

Since the U.S. Senate doesn’t meet again in formal session until Jan. 20, Bay State voters will have made their decision before a vote on health-care reform could be held. But Kirk and Galvin’s office said Friday a victorious Brown would be left in limbo.

In contrast, Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Lowell) was sworn in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Oct. 18, 2007, just two days after winning a special election to replace Martin Meehan. In that case, Tsongas made it to Capitol Hill in time to override a presidential veto of the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Friday, Brown, who has been closing the gap with Coakley in polls and fund raising, blasted the political double standard.

“This is a stunning admission by Paul Kirk and the Beacon Hill political machine,” said Brown in a statement. “Paul Kirk appears to be suggesting that he, Deval Patrick, and (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid intend to stall the election certification until the health care bill is rammed through Congress, even if that means defying the will of the people of Massachusetts. As we’ve already seen from the backroom deals and kickbacks cut by the Democrats in Washington, they intend to do anything and everything to pass their controversial health care plan. But threatening to ignore the results of a free election and steal this Senate vote from the people of Massachusetts takes their schemes to a whole new level. Martha Coakley should immediately disavow this threat from one of her campaign’s leading supporters.” A spokeswoman for Coakley’s campaign declined to comment Friday.

This is only one article, though it’s been widely quoted; however, I’ve seen no evidence that it was wrong or the quotes were fabricated.  Remember also that Kirk’s seat by special appointment required MA to change a state law about special elections.  A law that was enacted in 2004 to keep (Republican) Mitt Romney from appointing senators, and now changed back because (Democrat) Deval Patrick is in charge.

And yet — and yet — around here, everyone knows that Republicans are powermongering hypocritical cold-blooded political hacks, and Democrats just want to serve the will of the people.

How is that even possible?

Seriously, I don’t get it.  Do Republicans carry on like this in deep-red states?  Am I too young to remember similar political machinations from the Freshman days of 1994?

Can someone explain this to me, please?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

What my ad for Scott Brown would look like

Posted by Lissa on January 8, 2010

Fade in to young woman wearing snazzy well-cut pinstriped skirt suit over a shell of deep red.  She sits at a small cherrywood table, legs crossed, showing a glimpse of black stilettos.

“Hi, my name is Lissa Michaels, and I’m supporting Scott Brown for US Senate.  Now, there are a number of reasons why I’d like him as my next Senator, but here’s the really important one: He can stop the health care monstrosity that’s being jammed down our throats.”

Slow zoom in; focus on dark eyes, wide with earnestness.

“Look, you know, and I know, that most people don’t want this health care bill to pass.  Voting on bills at 1 and 2 AM, writing the bill in secret, bribing senators from Nebraska and Louisiana — that’s not the American way!  I want better health care, definitely — and I’m 100% convinced this is NOT the way to get it.  All the efficiency of FEMA with all the compassion of the IRS — does that sound good to you?”

Short montage of Scott Brown shaking hands with voters outside of Fenway during this next part.

“Scott Brown wants better health care, just like I do.  And just like me, he doesn’t think bigger government is the way to get there.  He supports strengthening the existing private market system with policies that will drive down costs and make it easier for people to purchase affordable insurance.  Unlike the politicians currently in Washington, he’s listening to voters!”

Flash back to young woman, now standing outside with campaign sign.

“Vote for someone who will help you keep your health care.  Vote for Scott Brown.”

Flash to Scott Brown (warm lighting)

“I’m Scott Brown, and I approved this message.”

. . . .

Extended version:

Flash to young woman, this time dressed in jeans, boots and a long-sleeved shirt.  (And eye and ear protection.)

“And besides . . . don’t you like making Martha Coakley cry?”

She lifts a Gold Cup 1911 and quickly drills five shots into the X-ring.

“I know I do!”

The End

(Inspired by Bruce’s posted video)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

So much for privacy in the bedroom

Posted by Lissa on January 7, 2010

Hey, Mike, let’s move to France!!  That way, every time you call me silly I can call the cops on you.  Brilliant!

Under a new law, France is to become the first country in the world to ban ‘ psychological violence’ within marriage.

The law would apply to cohabiting couples and to both men and women. [snip]

You know what else can leave a woman torn up inside?  When her husband leaves her.  So let’s make a law against divorce, shall we?

No?  That wouldn’t go over so well in France?

It’s just so stupid on so many levels.  It assumes that quarreling adults can’t solve problems themselves, nor with the help of friends, family, marriage counselors, the clergy, and nude sunbathers.  Noooooo, only The Law can take care of men and women having a verbal argument!

It invites a beautiful pantheon of he-said-she-said.  “She called me a queer!”  “No I didn’t, you called me a bitch!”  Well, gracious, let’s have the court get to the bottom of this.

You know what would be easier?  Let’s install electronic surveillance inside every room of every house, so we can tell exactly who said what.  That makes sense to me.

After all, it’s not like there’s any actual crime in France that The Law should be addressing.  Nosirree, it’s all escargots and frog legs, so they might as well tackle the knotty problem of spouses squabbling.


(h/t The Corner)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Now that’s a man

Posted by Lissa on January 6, 2010

post deleted — I’ll explain later

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

A pound of bacon, two pounds of sausage, three pounds of beef

Posted by Lissa on January 5, 2010

Man, Brigid doesn’t screw around while making chili, does she?

I meant to prep all the ingredients last night and let the chili cook during the day, but I wasn’t sure how the fizziness of the Coke would hold up overnight.  Or if it would matter.  Oh, and I’d thought that I had quite a large crockpot.  Silly me!  I had to eat a bowl of the mixture last night for dinner (I browned everything, so no raw ingredients) and leave out one of the cans of tomato sauce and also throw out perhaps a half cup of ground beef and onions.  (That wasn’t the fault of my crockpot, that was the fault of my paper towel holder and the automatic soap dispenser that, well, dispensed.  I don’t think any got into the beef, but there’s no quicker way to ruin food than to taint it with soap, so I scooped out that section and threw it down the drain.)

I tasted it this morning when I took the pot out to cool it down — DELICIOUS!  Sweet, savory, smoky and spicy — all it needs is a dollop of fat-free sour cream and it’s perfect.  (Yes, fat-free sour cream, to top chili made mostly of browned meat.  I drained all the meat before adding it!  And blotted all possible fat off the bacon!  Shut up!!)

In preparation for my guests tonight — Mom and Stepdad and LilBro 2, in anticipation of LilBro2’s flight tomorrow morning — I also made “Muddy Buddies,” a.k.a. “Puppy Chow,” a.k.a. “Wow this tastes much better than I thought it would and certainly WAY better than it looks!”

Happy nomming!

P.S.  This works amazingly well on ground meat.  Thanks Mike!

P.P.S. Word to the wise:  When chopping up the Baker’s Unsweetened Dark Chocolate to go in the chili, do not — DO NOT — taste it.  Fleh!!!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | 3 Comments »