Monthly Archives: February 2011

Girl Scouts vs. Campfire Girls

The other day I was in Alameda, on my way to the Hobnob for brunch with a friend who is designing my writing website. Since it was a Sunday and the downtown Alameda area is very crowded I had to park in Fresno and walk. As I was passing a corner Starbucks I saw them. The cookie crack dealers. Girl Scouts. The picture of Thin Mints stockpiled in my freezer was just too much. I was lured onto the rocks by their siren song and left with my purse full of two boxes of the addictive confections.

This started me thinking about my own childhood. Let’s go back in time shall we? When I was little I was a Bluebird and then a Campfire Girl. We had Brownies and Girl Scouts at our school as well. Why did I choose one organization over the other? Was it for social outreach reasons? Not really, I was 7, we made macaroni pictures! Was it the mints vs. the cookies? Partly but not really. It was fashion.

Totally. Even at a young age I chose the Campfire Girl organization because their uniforms were cuter. Period. End of story. For those of you unfamiliar, Bluebirds and Brownies are the “junior” levels to what will eventually be Campfire Girls and Girl Scouts. I’m sure there is a similar thing for boys but I honestly don’t care.

You see, the Bluebird and Campfire outfits were blue and tailored and smart-looking with a cute little cap. The Brownies were dressed in .. well, brown. Girl Scouts were in Kelly Green. I thought they looked like refuges from basic training. Years later when the movie “Camp Beverly Hills” came out, I totally got Shelly Long’s character wanting to tailor and overhaul the Wilderness Girl’s uniform.

Here is a Bluebirds uniform and a Brownies uniform to prove my point:

I tried looking on-line for a Campfire girls uniform from my youth. I was unable to find images of anything I wore as a child. Suffice it to say it was all blue with a white blouse, tailored vest and a blue cap. It looked cute. The Girl Scout green dress still looked like a sack. They also had berets which are not cool. Here is what a Girl Scout uniform in my day looked like:

Girl Scouts do NOT look like this (except during the new slut parade that use to be Halloween):

So what does this have to do with cookies? Absolutely nothing. It just makes me glad some organizations from my childhood are still going strong. I’m glad the uniforms have improved a little, ecstatic to see girls and their parents out peddling cookies instead of acid or guns and a bit sad that I haven’t seen a Campfire girl in a coon’s age. How long do raccoons live anyway? Five – seven years? That’s about right. It had to be at least seven years ago that I saw a few lone Campfire girls at the Embarcadero BART station selling Campfire Girl mints. I love those things! I hoarded them like they were gold. I have never seen them again. Perhaps they were sent by a kindly God who heard my inner yearnings for the sugar treats of my childhood? Then again, it seems like you can find them on-line: I have no idea if they taste the same.

It appears Campfire Girls are a dying breed while Girl Scouts flourish by the millions. I wonder if there was a deeper plan?

That looks like the answer. Just play it safe. Buy the cookies. Don’t go the way of the Campfire Girls. Eat those Thin Mints and live to fight another day.

Vaginas – Do I Really Need One Hanging Around My Neck?

So today while I was working on book editing, I came across something that screamed “MORNING BLOG” because what goes better with your coffee, bagel and schmear than vagina jewelry? Yup, it seems that someone out in cyber space, was amusing themselves with Sculpy for fun and profit. They crafted a Va Jay Jay ring to sell. Here is the ad:

Okay, let me get this straight. $23 for a discreet ring of a Yoni? I don’t know about you but nothing says inconspicuous like a rainbow-colored pussy on your finger!

Now there are others who go for the neckwear version of giant sex organs to wear while grocery or shoe shopping.

I just don’t understand this kind of “wymin power” fashion statement. I know men can do some really strange things but I have yet to see a single one wearing a giant penis as a ring or a necklace. Penis jewelry seems to be mainly relegated to “joke” charms, candy necklaces for bachelorette parties and Mardi Gras beads. I don’t see men proclaiming “male power” by wearing junk jewelry. If they were that proud of their junk, they would just whip it out and show it off. Especially if they’re drunk.

I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. Do women actually buy these things? Do they wear vagina jewelry voluntarily and not because they lost a bet? Just for the record, I wouldn’t wear a necklace of my big toe either. It’s creepy. You know what else is creepy? Vagina cupcakes.

Is it just me or is this what Muppet Va Jay Jay’s look like? Come on, you’ve seen Avenue Q. Those puppets aren’t just for public television anymore.

Bottom line, if you want to be proud of your bits (male or female), I think that’s great. Be proud of them in the privacy of your own home. Please.

The Amazing World Of Icebergs & San Francisco Snow

No, not in San Francisco Bay or even off the large expanses of tawny Newport sand, these are from Michigan. Yeah, Lake Michigan. As in Green Bay Packers, cheese heads, won the Super Bowl, Michigan. Stupid Michigan. Anyway, it seems there are icebergs in Lake Michigan. It’s THAT cold up there. Not only are there icebergs but some of the coolest looking icebergs I’ve ever seen. So I figured I would share before I went back to setting up my writing/publishing business and trying to discover new ways to get Alan Rickman to marry me but that’s another story.

I’ve seen Lake Michigan. It looks like the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of San Francisco, on a lowering day. Yeah, I know it’s a lake but from the shore it looks like an ocean, it’s that big. It’s cold, it’s dangerous and I wouldn’t want to have to ply its waters on a regular basis. But did it get cold enough for icebergs? I mean, icebergs have to break off from a huge chunk of ice somewhere.

Well, the reports of the amazing striped icebergs are true:

The only problem is, they aren’t in Lake Michigan or anywhere near Lake Michigan. In fact these natural beauties were found and photographed by Oyvind Tangen, a Norwegian sailor while on a research ship 660 miles north of the Antarctic a few years ago. That doesn’t make them less impressive but makes me think that some people will believe anything if it’s sent to you in an email.

So I say disregard the Michigan angle and enjoy these amazing images for what they are. Artistic works of nature, water and sediment, just waiting to be admired for their crystalline beauty.

This is what Lake Michigan does look like in the winter during a freeze:

Still very pretty but not the impressive colors of the icebergs. So as you start your day, remember there are natural examples of beauty out there for us to enjoy if we just look for them. Try not to litter or spill oil on the ice.

By the way, my mother just called. She asked “how’s the snow?” What snow? She informed me it snowed in San Francisco last night for the first time in forever. Ummm, I’m looking across the bay right now and I don’t see snow. If there was snow, it couldn’t have been measurable snow. I mean, I’m right across the bay. There is a park outside my window and a marina. I don’t see snow. Hell, I didn’t even see frost this morning. I guess I’ll have to find out if there was snow now. This day is getting stranger and stranger.

Some Days You Just Need A Rest

I know, I have been lax and remiss and a bunch of other fifty dollar words I can’t think of right now. These are the things I have learned since Wednesday:
* When you nick yourself shaving, don’t wear tight pants the next day.
* When you are getting up at 5:30 in the morning to drive to LA, don’t stay out partying in The City, going to Sushi A Go Go and having tiki drinks in a sunken pirate ship hidden in a building that looks like it hosts raves.
* When you do go into The City and do those things anyway because you like your friends and had a great time, make sure to get chai first thing in the morning when you drive.
* Traffic in Los Angeles sucks ass.
* Diving into Irish Car Bombs, Dogs Bollocks and a rum & tequilla drink the size of your head is always better with friends.
* Blisters are NOT your friend.
* Bacon always makes everything better.
* Cocoa cakes made with Jack Daniel’s is always the right way to end a night.
* Purple carrots taste better than orange ones.
* Everything looks better by candlelight.
* Home Improvement shows are cool.
* Concept cars are cool. VW Bugs with small plastic animals and Barbies glued all over them, aren’t.
* Alan Rickman really needs to marry me. I’ve already picked out three houses he can buy me.
* The Pacific Ocean looks better in Southern California than Northern California.
* Newport has beaches. San Francisco has coastline.
* Beaches are better.
* It’s hard to write when you don’t have a computer and you can’t find a pen.
* Don’t try too hard to figure out the mysterious lights that appear out in the middle of nowhere on I-5.
* Realize the want of a crab sandwich doesn’t translate into the instant having of one.
* Coming to the realization that loud, shrieking drunk girls are annoying no matter how much money they have, where they live or what they wear.

Well, that is all for now. I am off to write for the rest of the week, travel to places exotic and unknown and return with tales to amaze (or at least find out if they have Twilight freaks in the Gold Country.

The Tide of Social Media: I’m Facebooking Tweets on FourSquare

Today we are buried under a mountain of social media. Instant ways to connect to each other, keep from being bored in bars and just to share with the world that fact that you just ate a cheese sandwich. People have asked me what the differences are so I’m going to break it down for you:

Facebook: This is the giant, multi-use, Borg-like program that connects you with friends, frenemies and total strangers. You can share pictures, links, your relationship status, where you live, which teams you support, and beg people to work on your farm. Yes, you can play games where you waste hours a day digging for treasure, growing food, homesteading or rising to the top of a Mafia family.

On the up side you can keep in touch with people you actually like, share pictures, and see what your other friends are doing even if you could care less that they are eating a cheese sandwich. You can also keep your settings locked down to “Friends Only” (which I HIGHLY recommend). This helps to keep stalkers, your ex, your parole officer and potential employers of seeing the picture of you with the inflatable sheep. Please note this doesn’t help if one of your frenemies posts that picture in a public forum or in their pictures and they make the permissions “public”. Lesson: don’t be in a position to have those pictures taken in the first place.

On the down side, you have to deal with annoying ads calling you fat or lonely (which you may be if you are on Facebook 24/7 but that really isn’t anyone else’s business), people spamming you with products and services you will never use or wanting you to join their hamsters fan page. You also deal with a parade of posts called a News Feed that you have to sift through. There are informative, cool posts from friends and there are whiny self-serving posts that fish for sympathy in the wide electronic ocean at least four times a day. They post things like “sniff” or “My life is tragic” or “Perhaps the other world has better cheese sandwiches.”. People, if you are that depressed that you send these missives into the ether on a regular basis, get off Facebook and hie thee to a mental health professional and get yourself some real help. I’m here to tell you, that behaviour is not normal.

Twitter: The younger set is all about Tweets. Twitter is faster paced and a different breed of social media. It’s not there to whine about your day or how many bowls of mac & cheese you ate unless it was at a new Mac & Cheese only eatery – like Homeroom that just opened in Oakland – and here is a link so you can check it out!

Twitter is about small bites of information. It’s also very open and very searchable on the net. This is NOT the forum to be writing inane drivel or posting snapshots from your latest hate rally unless you never want to work again for a respectable company. While you can lock your account to only people you approve, the point of Twitter is to be followed by a horde of lemmings who hang on your every hip word. You only get 140 characters per tweet so make them count, make them clever, make them informative. There is nothing I hate more than someone who tweets nonstop, clogging up my feed with constant whining or boring things like “took the lint out of the dryer”. I will unfollow you. Don’t post stuff like that unless you can make it interesting like “Took the lint out of the dryer and it had Andy Dick’s face in it” – then post a link to a picture.

Twitter is a good tool for business. You can use it to drive people to your blog, keep up with the latest facts and media gossip. While these two social media programs are similar, they are used in different ways. Learn them, use them correctly, don’t be a douche and don’t be boring.

Conversation Hearts: The First Sign Of The Apocalypse

Well, another stupid Valentine’s Day and I have run out of topics. I’ve covered horrible Valentine’s dates I have had, what not to do, and having to give cards to every kid in class. So today I’m going to talk about the iconic Valentine candy. It’s what bad fruitcake is to Christmas – the Conversation Heart. You know what I’m talking about. Those little candies shaped like hearts, with little sayings on them, that taste like chalk.

It appears that NECCO started this trend of conversation candies in 1866. They designed a machine that was able to press words into their wafer-shaped candy. This allowed for longer sayings. Some of the humdingers made for weddings were: “Married in pink, he will take a drink”, “Married in White, you have chosen right”, and “Married in Satin, Love will not be lasting”. Wow, how nice! You insult my color and fabric choices on my wedding day but hey, you have to remember, that was back in the 1800’s. It was funny to mock women! After all, you weren’t as smart as a man. It made sense to have a candy heart inform you that your pink wedding dress would turn your husband into an alcoholic.

These wafer candies morphed into shapes such as watches, baseballs and postcards for your standard Valentine sentiments. I have no idea what I would think if some guy who gave me a candy wafer, shaped like a baseball. How thoughtful? How odd? I suppose back then I wouldn’t be allowed to gift him in return with a candy-shaped broom or baby because God knows we ladies didn’t play sports. We just cleaned the house and repopulated the Earth.

In 1902 the little bits of chalky candy love started production. Yes boys and girls, those hearts have been around for nearly 110 years and they taste like it too. I don’t know anyone who actually sits down and polishes off a box of those things.

Many companies have now jumped on the conversation heart bandwagon. In recent times, they have tried to update them with messages such as “text me” or “email me”, giving them more dynamic colors and flavors. For some reason they have never caught on. The chalk eating lemmings have risen up to protest the modernization of their stale ass candy. Now I think that just about anything you do to these things is an improvement.

I give gold stars to these “naughty hearts” because the sentiments seem more genuine to me:

I also found these Twilight hearts in a candy store around Halloween:

I bought them as a joke gift for a friend. I had higher hopes in the taste department for these since they are made by Sweet Tarts and who doesn’t like Sweet Tarts? Then I realized I read the package wrong. It said “Sweethearts”, not “Sweet Tarts”. They are the same NECCO product. They have phrases like “Bite Me”, “Live 4 Ever” and “Soul Mate” on them. A few of the advertised flavors are “Orange Obsession” and “Tempting Apple”. Who doesn’t like apple or orange even with the obsessive, stalker overtones?

Yeah, these hearts suck. They are even worse than the original chalky hearts. Why? It’s the ground up vampires they add to the candy mix. It seems these candies “sparkle”. Yes, the douchy sparkle was one of the reasons I bought them but adding whatever semi-edible glitter substance you have to satisfy your sparkle claim, makes them taste horrid. These are worse than chalk. Though on the upside you can really taste the dead vampire. It tastes a lot like despair.

So today in San Francisco, a storm has rolled in. The heavens weep for chalky candy hearts everywhere. I think I’m going back to bed.

Pulp Fashion: An Excellent Slice of Time

So Tuesday, I grabbed my friend Kristin and we went to the museum. One of the advantages of being out of work is that you can take off in the middle of the day to see an exhibit and what an exhibit it was. Pulp Fashion: The Art of Isabelle de Borchgrave is really not to be missed.

Please note that although the exhibit is listed on the De Young Museum website, it’s not at the De Young. It’s at the Legion of Honor and linked via the De Young as they are sister museums. This was a good thing and a bad thing. A bad thing because we parked at the De Young in the garage, were greeted by a snooty employee who told us we were in the wrong place and was generally unpleasant. It’s a shame because I had wanted to see the new refurbishment on the De Young and this woman really didn’t make me want to come back any time soon. She gave us no direction other than “It’s at the Legion of Honor”. That’s nice. You know, I was born here but that doesn’t mean I know where anything is in this city. I haven’t lived here since I was four. Fortunately we were there for only 10 minutes so we weren’t charged for parking. The parking attendant told us where to go and gave us directions. THANK YOU! Hey! Museum people! You need to can the woman upstairs and give her money to the parking guy.

So we were off to the Legion of Honor. I’ve never been there before and let me tell you, it’s beautiful. It’s right on the water, the views are amazing and there is free parking in the small lot and by the side of the road. Free Parking alone is a pearl without price here in The City. The admission to the museum and the exhibit was $15. Hell, when movies are $12, this is a bargain.

We managed to avoid the groups of school kids and wandered through this amazing exhibit. Yes, all of these items are made of paper. The gowns, the jewelry, the shoes, the beads, the lace, everything.

There are times you need to do a double take to make sure what you are seeing isn’t fabric. They even have a yard of cut silk velvet with gold thread under glass. The docent said a similar piece came up for auction at Sotheby’s and sold for over a million dollars.

After the exhibit, we took in the rest of the museum. The have a huge collection of Rodin. I never saw any kind of high tech security system but since these items weigh a ton I doubt you could get them out without many people and the correct kind of transportation equipment.

I highly recommend you visit this museum. The exhibit will be here until June 5th. If you are really short of cash, the first Tuesday of each month, all museums are free.

Pants Under Your Pits – A Gentleman’s Guide To Dressing

I think we are all aware of the “pants on the ground” prison “fashion” adopted by so many losers over the past decade. Even with the societal mocking, the videos of criminals caught because they tripped on their overlong long pants (it’s hard to hold your loot and your pants at the same time) and having an old man mock them in a song he made up for American Idol, they still don’t get it. In case you were one of the five people on the planet that missed the song, here it is:

Well today for Whack-A-Doodle Wednesday, I want to talk about the polar opposite problem – Pit Pants. Ah, yes, this has been a phenom since the concept of “nerds” hit modern culture. Poor, clueless souls have been dressing in this unfortunate manner for at least fifty years and it really needs to stop.

Let’s examine a few examples of what not to do:

Ah yes, The Pants. The pants should not be so high on the waist that it’s strangling your junk in a camel toe material fist of death. You should never have diagonal marks around your crotch. Your pants should not be showing your socks, especially white ones. This is why people call these pants “high waters” or “floods”. You don’t want to look like you are trying to keep the bottoms of your pants dry while you are wading through standing water.

Here is another example:

Urkel! Who watched that show? I didn’t. I was too busy having a life, working for charity and dressing up in other strange clothes but that’s another story. Don’t be Urkel. These pants are so high I can almost hear his junk screaming in protest. Unless you are wearing this look for Halloween, don’t ever go out of the house looking like this. Even if you are in your forties, people will still stuff you in a trash can. Also those suspenders where never cool. Just think about it. Robin Williams, Doug Henning…yeah. I realize we all made mistakes when we were young but you can fix that now. Just don’t do it.

And for a bit of a more modern reference:

Napoleon Dynamite. Yeah, this is someone dressed like him for Halloween but you get the idea. This was an odd indy film starring an even odder social reject with incredibly poor fashion sense. Gentlemen, please take note. If you stick your pants into boots, they are STILL floods and mock worthy. No one dresses like this unless you are mucking out a stall. Also iron-on slogan T’s went out of style when you were eight.

It should also be noted that none of the shirt styles worn with these pants are cool or attractive. If you have these in your closet, set them on fire immediately. I hope in some small way, the percentage of you that are guilty of these fashion fatalities will see the error of your ways and hie thee to a better dressed friend for advice.

Who am I kidding? Guys who have their pants stuck in their armpits are so clueless as to their horrid dress sense they will not recognize their error or the need to rectify it. I guess the good news is having their nuts in a polyester strangle hold for so long will minimize the chance of them reproducing. Hell, just dressing like this will greatly reduce the chance of them ever having sex. Perhaps the next generation will be spared the pit pants horror.

Who Made The Star Spangled Banner The National Anthem?

and who let Christina Aguilera sing it at the Super Bowl?

There are so many pressing issues that annoy me first thing in the morning, sitting in the early morning darkness without chai. However, I realize the most pressing of the day is the national anthem debacle from the Super Bowl last night. Hey! I have no life.

The Star Spangled Banner tells a stirring story of the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the war of 1812. First, I would be willing to bet that 90% of citizens out there couldn’t tell me what the War of 1812 was even about if denied any kind of search engine. Second, Francis Scott Key, the author of the poem “The Defense of Fort McHenry” had his words set to an impossible tune. Key’s brother-in-law borrowed an English drinking song for the melody. Ironic since the song is about us fighting the British. The tune is called “To Anacreon in Heaven” and while it was a popular tune of its time, on this side of the pond as well as the UK, it is notoriously difficult to sing. I suppose when you look at it like the drinking song it was, it really doesn’t matter if you can hit the high notes because, well, you’re drunk and who cares anyway? Anyone who is listening to you is also drunk. Being drunk is the optimum way to sing and listen to this song.

Who do we have to thank for this train wreck being our National Anthem? President Herbert Hoover. Ah yes, Hooverville! It all makes sense now. An unpopular President, along with an unpopular Congress, makes an unpopular song choice. No wonder the Depression sucked. Also did you know the original version of this song is twice as long? Yeah.

I say we dump this song for the prettier, more encompassing, “America The Beautiful”. It’s shorter, and easier to sing. It has four verses though we usually only sing the first and the last. I say we change it. If all the reasons I’ve given aren’t enough, how about it would help avoid train wrecks like Christina Aguilera and the Super Bowl last night? Did you know this isn’t the first time she’s screwed up this song? She’s done it before where she switched two phrases and plum made up one line. Not only that, her “singing” could only be described in the literal interpretation of the act. I think dogs all over the State of Texas were howling during that screechy rendition.

It brought to mind the infamous San Diego Padres Game with Roseanne Barr when the comic, who has never professed to be a singer, caterwalled the song to the discomfort of all. If that wasn’t enough, she tried to lighten it up by grabbing her crotch and spitting like a ball player which only incited rage among fans. Hey! This is what happens when you ask a stand up comic to sing.

How about this idea? We (a) change the song and (b) stop asking pathetic pop stars/celebrities to sing at these events. How about you pick a “real person”. I’m sure there is a fan, a kid from the local high school, someone out there who could do a fantastic job without screwing up the words, hitting bad notes or giving a scenery-chewing rendition with notes so drawn out I think I’m listening to a filibuster. Can we do that? Thank you.

For you people who have forgotten what “America The Beautiful” sounds like, here is the first stanza.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Anatomy of a Rich Person

Do you know people who can’t manage their money? Rich people or I should say, people who use to be rich? Allow me to explain. I have found in my experience there are three kinds of rich people.
– The Responsible Rich
– The Irresponsible, Thieving Rich
– The Newly Poor Rich

The Responsible Rich are either people who grew up with money but had parents that didn’t hand them everything or they earned their money through hard work. If their family had money, they had to work on the family business and didn’t get a trust fund dumped on them when they were eighteen. They know the value of a dollar, work hard for their money and treat people as they wish to be treated. The other version of the Responsible Rich are rich people who use to be poor. They know what it’s like to live on pasta and potatoes. They save for a rainy day, don’t blow all their money on cocaine, hookers and giant initial pendants covered in diamonds. They are generous but mindful of fiscal responsibility. This is how I wish all people would be regardless of their financial circumstances. They live within their means, save for a rainy day and don’t look down on people because they provide you a service (like cutting your grass or cleaning your house).

Then there are the Irresponsible Thieving Rich. These are the ones who make the tabloids. They usually run large corporations, screw people out of their life savings so they can get a seven figure year-end bonus and have no souls. We hear about them in the news and I wonder why more of them aren’t in jail instead of some idiot who was busted for growing pot in his basement. Then I realize – “Oh yeah, they’re rich!” The worst offenders in this category are the Irresponsible Hollywood Rich. When they aren’t flashing their mini-skirted “cash and prizes” in public, running people down with their SUVs or crying crocodile tears for breaking parole and not wanting to go to jail, they are stealing. It’s how the rich stay rich. How do I know? I’ve seen it.

Years ago when I was working for AIDS Project Los Angeles, we had a fashion show fundraiser with Gianni Versace. There were many “names” at that event. Not one, not two but at least two dozen of them that I saw were stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down. Ladies would walk in with tiny, thin handbags and would walk out with those same purses looking like chipmunk cheeks stuffed full of nuts. They had expensive gift bags for crying out loud but nooooo, they needed to take the hotels silverware, the Versace patterned napkins, mini-lamp shades and even a TABLE CLOTH! Yes, these are people you know and they are scum. Stealing from people with AIDS and to what end? Since Gianni needed these for his next show in Milan, our company would have to pay to replace them. Good going glitterati!

Who came to my rescue? Steven Seagal! I love that man more than words can say. I knew he was a friend of Gianni’s so I went up to him, told him what was happening and pointed out the worst offender as he was making his get away. I took great pleasure in seeing that very tall Mr. Seagal putting him up against a wall and literally shaking the stolen merchandise out from under his suit. He is exactly like he is in his movies. It was like watching “Under Siege” for real only without all the guns.

The last type of rich person to look at is the Newly Poor Rich. These are people who were raised rich or became rich and then lost their money. It can be through the crash or bad investments but usually through no direct fault of their own. Their problem is they have no idea how to be poor. I don’t mean how to beg for money with a cardboard sign. I mean, economize, budget, live within their means. They’ve never had an issue with spending money and don’t understand why you shouldn’t be buying lattes every day, why you should eat at home instead of eating out, why you should bring a sandwich to work, etc. They just don’t get it and are driving themselves more and more into debt in a desperate attempt to maintain a lifestyle they can no longer afford. Sad really.

So what can we do, besides print money for ourselves and wait for the day our Skynet overlords decide to take over the planet? I say we live by example. Be frugal, live within your means. You want a treat, fine! You want five treats? Think about that. When at all possible buy locally. I know it’s hard to restart the economy by buying American-made goods since we make so little now but supporting your local Mom and Pop stores is the next best thing. Discover the joys and cost savings of cooking at home instead of eating out. And let’s not forget the most important thing of all, remember the people who behave badly and use their behaviour as object lessons. There is nothing wrong with working hard, having nice things and spending that money. It’s all on the choices you make, either rich or poor. In the words of the immortal Stan Lee, “With great power comes great responsibility.”