The State of Me

While President Obama was giving himself a big undeserved pat on the back during his version of the State of the Union, I was wondering how I was going to make it through the night, the week, the….because…I ran out of Ambien!

Okay.  I realize that is no great tragedy but oh man…that meant I had to stay awake all night with thoughts and aggravation constantly turning to the self-congratulatory SOTU (as the big kids like to call it) that the country had to endure earlier in the evening. Ugh!

I think the White House should have just skipped it this year.  Nobody, in my most humble opinion, would have noticed.

The only great strides the President and his team have made was to infuriate a majority of the country with his poor decisions and hubris.

Of course there are some people who actually benefitted from the President’s giant healthcare debacle.  And they should.  I am truly happy for Amanda Shelley who now has coverage and who received prominent recognition during the way too long speech.  But couldn’t the President have figured out a way not to mess up the rest of the country?

And I have yet to address the international issues…

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Anyways, just got back from visiting my parents in Los Angeles.  One day we went to the beach.  The next day we went skiing.  We ice skated in eighty degree weather and spent a day at Disneyland.

The magical kingdom is a truly magical place, but not for the reasons that you have been led to believe.

For instance, when I buy a twelve pack of Coca Cola at my grocery store it costs approximately $4.00 – give or take.  But at Disneyland one bottle goes for the same price.  That is magical.

What’s even more magical at Disneyland are the balloons.  One balloon within a balloon (that’s a mouse-ear balloon inflated inside a bigger plain balloon) will set you back  $8.00.

But magically the party supply store located outside the gates of the magical kingdom will sell you a dozen for the same price.  And even more magically, so many many people buy these $8.00 balloons.

Well, if that’s not magic then I don’t know what is.

Disneyland is no bargain joint.  I took the family there as part of a group discount – a discount that still left a considerable dent in the wallet.  Some more magic for you?  Even if you pay full price admission, drinks and balloons are not included.

And the place was packed with people.  Packed with people on a random Wednesday in January drinking $4.00 bottles of Coca Cola. And carrying $8.00 balloons.

Magical indeed.

On Turntables and Presidential Stay-cations

Driving the 101 on a beautiful sunny day in Los Angeles, me, my mom and kids were headed to the Natural History Museum In Los Angeles.

Palm trees, the Hollywood sign and the Capitol Records building were all en route to our destination.

Growing up here, the Capitol Records building never ceased to amaze me.  The simple genius in erecting a building that produced some of the greatest music ever in the shape of a stack of records on a turntable…well the sight just never got old to me.

“Kids!” I shouted to them as the iconic building was slowly (we were on the 101, after all) emerging. ” Look!  It’s the Capitol Records building.  It’s in the shape of a stack of records…[cue the crickets].”

“They are never going to know what that is,”  I resignedly told my mother sitting beside me.

My kids didn’t even bother answering me.  They just wanted to know how much longer we had to drive.  There was nothing special about a building in the shape of objects that were virtually obsolete and that they would likely never even see.

In other news and developments, apparently we’re all supposed to get excited that President Obama basically equated marijuana and alcohol – but stopped at endorsing its legalization.

That’s truly lovely, however, I’m still not past the fact that my insurance is not the sweet coverage that it used to be, courtesy of Mr. President.

Nor am I past the fact that he just got back from a seventeen day luxury Hawaiian vacation that cost a reported $4 million.  That comes out to approximately $235,000 a day.

Can you remember the last time you had a vacation that long and that expensive? Neither can I.

Is it just me or should the Presidents advisors have recommended a stay-cation?

Mall I Really I Want…

So now that holiday season is upon us, my time has come to curl up into a ball and dare not venture out until January 6.

It’s not that I don’t like this time of year…sort of…it’s just that  I hate the cold, the traffic to get to anywhere, and the long waits to purchase just about anything.

So it’s safe to say that I probably wont see the inside of a mall until sometime in January. A crazy concept for someone like myself who spent more time in malls during high school than attending class.  In fact, a few years after graduated high school, I finally admitted to my mother that it be might more accurate to say that I graduated from the Century City Shopping Center in the heart of Los Angeles.  This admission was during a visit to the aforementioned mall.

But as of last month, something changed when I visit the mall anyway.  As my fellow blogger, Larry at http://www.memyselfandkids.com noted, the mall where the recent shooting occurred was practically in his backyard.  And mine too. I regularly frequent this mall.  But what’s more, the shooter lived in my neighborhood.  In fact he lived two doors down from a close friend of mine and there is nary a day when I don’t pass by his house.

I’ve past by his house many times before the shooting and many more since.  Not out of morbid curiosity.  On the contrary.  I travel down that block because it is a street that I actually need to use all the time, for instance, to get to the mall.

I can’t help but wonder every time I walk into a crowded place, if someone is about to go postal.  Especially now, since this recent shooting hit, literally,  so close to home.

As the days go by, I keep learning that more and more people I know were in the mall at the time of the incident.

Two days after the shooting, I entered the mall shortly after it opened.  I got a cup of coffee and wondered to myself if the person preparing my drink was there that night. I had similar thoughts as I browsed through Nordstrom’s and The Gap.

About an hour after I entered, the alarm and sirens were going off and people were saying that it was the same alarm that went off the night of the shooting.  Sure some people hurriedly rushed to the nearest exit, including myself.  To be fair though, we were leaving anyway.

But remarkably, so many people made no effort at all and just went about the business.  After all, who would be stupid enough to pull off the same stunt so soon after the initial one.