Corporate Songs (along the theme of the "Glaucoma" website we all love so much)
Think what you want about the death penalty—all I know is that, if they have to use an extra shot of potassium chloride to kill you, that doesn’t seem fair. If you live through the first shot and it doesn’t stop your heart, you should be able to walk out of that jail. You got the death penalty and survived, dude. That whole “extra shot” thing just seems like overkill (no pun intended). Besides, the guy was blind and deaf. How is he dangerous anymore? Is he going to order a hit with Braille?
Last Thursday afternoon I got on the 1:15 flight from New York to Los Angeles (a flight I
take all the time). The plane was filling up, but there were two empty seats next to me.
Finally, two Orthodox Jews (men) came to stand next to me. One of them said I'd need to move.
"I paid for this seat," I said. "Is there some problem?"
He explained that it was against their religion to be seated next to a woman, and that I'd need
to swap with a man so that they could sit down. I kept questioning this until a flight
attendant came up, ascertained the problem, and ASKED ME TO MOVE. Then a guy two rows back
said "Why don't you just move.....I'll switch with you." Finally I switched.
This is the part of the story where everyone says: "You shouldn't have moved." I totally
agree, and you all know me to be mouthy, but I didn't want to start a big fight on an airplane,
and also, the flight was delayed as it was, and I didn't want to become the bad guy by holding
it up even more. So, that's why I didn't.
I'm saving up my "mad" for when the flight lands, so when it does, I go up and talk to the
gate agent. I tell her what happened, and she says "some people just have different
beliefs," but doesn't offer an apology. Then I chase the two Orthodox Jews down and yell at
them for awhile about how they should be ashamed of themselves, this is not what God wants them
to do, etc. They refused to acknowledge me at all, saying only "we're sorry for you," and then
returning to their conversation in Hebrew. Obviously, I didn't get their names.
The bottom line: I really think that if it's against their religion to sit next to a woman, then they should have bought three seats on the airplane (thereby guaranteeing that they wouldn't have this problem). Having to move to another seat because you're a woman is archiac, humiliating, and should not be advocated by the airline. This is tantamount to me belonging to some "white power" religion, and refusing to sit next to someone of a different race. I think this might be something that airlines do on a regular basis, since both of the representatives were so blase about it. Neither of them even THOUGHT to mention to the men that it might be inappropriate to ask me to move, or suggest that they be the ones to re-seat themselves.
I filed a complaint with the airline, as well as calling the National Organization for Women and
Gloria Allred's office.
I wasn't even mad or anything- really!
So, my friend Daniel works for Richard Foreman’s theater company the Ontological in New York, and we went to see the new show a few weeks ago when we were there. The show is called “Zomboid!” and it’s actually pretty good, but a more thorough analysis must come later. What I must share now is an evolving phenomenon called “Lou Reed is Cozy."
Lou Reed, as you may know, used to be in the Velvet Underground…you know “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” “Pale Blue Eyes,” and a lot of other songs about being a junkie and living in seedy New York City in the 1970’s. I guess in my mind, in person this guy would be so grizzled and edgy, dressed all in black, covered in tats, and hiding all the secrets of his rock and roll past in his wrinkled, leathery face. Also, he’s either married to or in a long, long term relationship with performance artist, Laurie Anderson, which in my mind makes him even cooler. What do they talk about when they go home? Fascinating.
Anyhow, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson were seated right in back of us in the theater. This time they were in a place where I could actually turn around and get a good look, so I did. And, lo and behold, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson were dressed in what looked to be Old Navy Performance Fleece.
I’m contemplating whether this can be one of those things where they’re so cool they can get away with looking frumpy, because they simply don’t care what you think, when Stephan leans over and says “The King and Queen of the New York Avant Garde are cozy.” This pushes me over the edge.
Also, this is the third time in a row that Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson have been seated behind us at a New York Brooklyn Brooklyn
Such a clever response that for a moment I forgot that The King and Queen of the New York Avant Garde looked like they could be my parents.
It's absurd and unitentionally funny, all in one package (and with a song!)
The website for the Association of International Glaucoma Studies....check out the little pop-up people. Crazy!
Because I'm a big techno nerd, I sometimes look at the referrals to my site, to see who's reading my blog.
I've just learned that someone in Germany found my site by doing a Google search for "Monica pegleg." Now I have to write about how weird that is. It's meta funny strange.
Monica Peg Leg? Anyone?
REAL PRODUCTS FROM THE SKYMALL CATALOG
New! iJoy ZipConnect massage chair features awesome built-in alumunum-cone stereo speakers and subwoofer for your iPod or MP3!
The Telescoping Duster removes distant cobwebs
This personal alcohol breath-screening device is approved by the NHTSA!
THE WORLD'S LARGEST CROSSWORD PUZZLE.
Holding a Guinness record for its size, this crossword hangs on a full 7' by 7' of wall space and has 28,000 clues for over 91,000 squares.
POP-UP HOT DOG COOKER.
Like a pop-up toaster, this unique kitchen appliance prepares two hot dogs and buns in minutes.
THE LIGHTWEIGHT PET STROLLER.
For walks, trips to the vet, or travel, this lightweight stroller is as easy to push as a baby carriage, and keeps pets safe, ventilated, and shaded.
Aerating your lawn is as easy as taking a walk!
Aerating your lawn revitalizes hard, compacted soil, and helps prevent thatch buildup, but lawn services charge a mint for this service. Why not do it yourself? Just strap these "sandals" over your shoes and take a walk over your lawn.
Realistic "Boulder" Disguises Yard Problems
Hide unsightly or dangerous problem areas in your yard or garden with our multiplepurpose Mock Rocks.
Professional-quality chocolate fountain tops the rest.
Similar chocolate fountains are making the party circuit, but they simply cannot compare to this elegant stainless steel version. It works as beautifully as it looks, carrying melted chocolate from the base to the top of its tower to gracefully flow over each tier.
BASHO THE SUMO WRESTLER
"Basho, The Sumo Wrestler" Sculpture
Add a touch of the Far East with Basho, a traditional Sumo practitioner of one of the world's oldest martial arts.
DOG SUCTION CUP
Break your dog's annoying jumping habit by attaching his collar to this large suction cup and harness.
"Palm-Frond" Fan Blades create a more uniform air flow throughout the room.
They're designed to look and act as real palm-frond fans, evenly distributing air from the ends of the blades, rather than directly down, so there's no annoying downdraft.
BOOM BAG! Boom box in a bag lets you carry your music wherever you go!
When I finally get to the “Defcon 5” department of the DMV, I’d told that it’s not as easy as you might think to get an elderly driver’s license revoked. “Just because someone’s old, doesn’t mean we can just take her license away,” says the voice on the other end of the line.
“It doesn’t?” I say, absolutely incredulous. These are the people who keep sending her the license renewal—I thought they just did this until someone pointed it out. Apparently not. When I suggest that maybe it would be a good idea to test the old folks every year after they turn 90 and no longer have all their motor skills, she also balks. “That would take a lot of paperwork, you know.”
Should I be scared that the DMV doesn’t have a sophisticated enough computer system to ALOER them when a person it over the age of 90? We go back and forth in this manner until I ask point blank what it’s going to take to get them to retest my Nana. “Well,” says the clerk after some thought (and what sounds like a Cheeto). “You could send a letter to the Department of Safety, saying that you think she’s an unsafe driver and that you think we should re-test her. For this, we’ll need her name, address, and driver’s license number. You can do this all anonymously.”But, how am I supposed to get her driver’s license number anonymously? I feel like I’m trapped inside a Dostoevsky novel. “Don’t you have a database for this?” I ask. She chortles, eats another Cheeto. “Oh, we can’t give that out. That’s private information.”
Now I’m not just the granddaughter that called the DMV. I’m about to become the granddaughter that snuck into her grandma’s purse to look at her driver’s license number in order to rat her out to the DMV. Good times.
I drive to her house like I’m some catburglar. She’s making me tuna salad on wheat toast at exactly 1:30pm (the time when she eats her supper every day). I see her purse on her bed and walk toward it. Slowly, I take out the wallet. If she sees me, what am I going to say? On the other hand, if I don’t do this, she’s going to keep driving until they take her license away, which at this rate is going to be when she’s 100 years old. I think back to all the people who’ve been telling me I have to “deal with it,” and how they would feel if they had to go into their grandma’s handbag to get the driver’s license number in order to rat her out. I quickly memorize the number, noting the irony inherent in the fact that it actually does note on the license that she was born in 1901. This makes me start thinking about the fact that when she was born, nobody even had a car. I cannot sink any lower. I am about to ruin my Nana’s life.
The letter is short and sweet. It contains the number. It says what the DMV told me to say. I slowly type “Anonymous” at the end. Anonymous, apparently, is code for “I don’t have the balls.” That’s fine. I don’t need the balls. I seal it, put it in it's envelope. I put it on the piano, which is where outgoing mail goes in my house. Somehow, it stays there for a week, then two. Apparently the mental hurdle wasn't overcome with the phonecall to the DMV. The actual life ruining action is something that needs follow through.
I cannot send the letter. After the whole process, it’s too much to set the wheels in motion for a old woman who lost her husband and her daughter, all in the span of five years. The letter sits on the piano. It’s no longer just a letter. Now it’s a symbol—of too much responsibility, of a decision, once made, that cannot be unmade. An action, both outcomes of which just suck.
Finally, mercifully, my grandma agrees to move to a small, senior-type apartment that is closer to my uncle, meaning there is no longer any reason for her to drive. She keeps the license, but agrees to limit her car use to “rarely.” My family sees this as a great improvement. I’m not 100% satisfied, since I suspect she will use “rarely” as an excuse to drive herself to the casino as long as she still has a license, but at least I can take the letter off the piano and throw it away.
I still say they should implement an “Old Person’s Hotline.” I mean, really.