Leslie's Omnibus

Big Honkin' Grin

Leslie

Drive-Bys

Post Title of the Day:
I Can See Clearly Now The Brain Is Gone
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Which, of course, prompted the Ear Worm of the Day:


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My love affair with William A. Jacobson continues with this little gem of truth:
Conspiracy theorists know no single political party or political philosophy.
Too right. By golly, I love a sensible man!
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If you live in the state of Illinois and have a parent of an age who may need a nursing home, or heading in that direction age-wise yourself, you need to know the following and do your homework now.
More than any other state, Illinois relies heavily on nursing homes to house mentally ill patients, including those who have committed crimes. But a Tribune investigation found that government, law enforcement and the industry have failed to adequately manage the resulting influx of younger residents who shuttle into nursing facilities from jail cells, shelters and psychiatric wards.

Mentally ill patients now constitute more than 15 percent of the state's total nursing home population of 92,225, government records show, and the number of residents convicted of serious felonies has increased to 3,000. Among them are 82 convicted murderers, 179 sex offenders and 185 armed robbers.

Yet the state's background checks on new residents are riddled with errors and omissions that understate their criminal records, the Tribune found, and homes with the most felons are among those with the lowest nursing staff levels.
The statistics are frightening and the failure to protect is staggering.

So how do you pick a decent nursing home in this state? Law Elderlaw is a great resource for issues pertaining to protecting the rights of Illinois' aging. And this dandy chart should be in your permanent links, as it shows ratings for nursing homes across the state. The Chicago Tribune also has a dandy link here where you can plug in the name of a specific nursing home, or an address or town and get information not reportable anywhere else.

I'm telling you, if you live in this state, you need this information.
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Stumbling upon this would do more trauma to TMBCITW than Godzilla, flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West.
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Leslie

Drive-Bys

Giggle of the Day, Part I:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Giggle of the Day, Part II:
(334): I thought he was joking about bailing you out until I saw the picture of you and the sheep in the morning paper. Were those my boots you had on it
Wonder if that one's from Sammy to V-Man? It certainly sounds like something you'd hear when Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodgers get together!
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Sounds like a lefty band, huh?

(Found via Matt G. Fabulous!)
Leslie

Quick Stop

Ear Worm of the Day:



Just try and keep your toes from tapping!
Leslie

Say What?

A new study, published today in Psychology and Health, reveals that if you use your willpower to do one task, it depletes you of the willpower to do an entirely different task.
Well, if you choose to sit on your butt and do nothing, I suppose that's a great excuse. Try explaining that to your employer.

And tell it to this guy, who's just trying to make a buck and isn't lacking in willpower.

Willpower is a muscle, and, just like any other muscle, gets flabby when you don't exercise it and gets powerful when you do.

Isn't that where tea parties started? And how they've grown and multiplied?
Leslie

Huh

american flag
see more Political Pictures

Yah huhn.

Let's not forget this:
"I cannot believe you cocksuckers would stick up for some corporation before your own government. According to you teabagging faggots we should just privatize the military right? The military is government run and so are Veterans benefits. OH GOD THATS SOCIALISM. The roads you drive on, the schools your children go to. OH GOD ITS SOCIALISM. Fucking ignorant pieces of shit. Not all of us liberals hate guns. BRING IT ON BITCHES. Shoot to kill racist conservative pigs."
Nope. Not by the government.
Leslie

The Bus Driver is ALWAYS Right

Okay, frequently. Mostly. Sometimes. But this time, anyway.

I told you so. President Chicken Little is going to Copenhagen.

If he had time to haul his ass onto every network except Fox and onto Letterman FOR THE WHOLE SHOW, he had time to go to Copenhagen.
Was the president's late-breaking decision to travel prompted by any hint that his appearance in Copenhagen will help?
That's just disingenuous. He planned it all along.

He needs a win somewhere.

Oh, by the way; how's that health care legislation that was too important to walkd away from working out for you?
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Epic lust:


Found here. Damn! I should really, really, really stay away from Etsy!
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Word of the Day:

vehiculate
Ve*hic"u*late\, v. t. & i. To convey by means of a vehicle; to ride in a vehicle. --Carlyle.
Heh.
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Squick Out of the Day:
It feels smooth and silky, it’s semi soft and flexible, and it’s smell is like perfume to me.
Eew. Just... Eew!
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Why do I love Mark A. Rayner? This is why.
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Cute of the Day (to balance out the squick):

cute pictures of puppies with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures
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I'm outta here. After all those kids yesterday, I'm ready for a cocktail!
Leslie

Quick Stop

Three quick giggles, which I needed after wrangling all those kids...


Brought to you compliments of the lovely Maeve.
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From my darling Donald Mills:

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And from the good folks at I Can Has Cheezburger?:


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Thanks! I needed that...
Leslie

At the Wheel

There are many reasons why I chose "Omnibus Driver" as my blog "handle," one of which is I'm a bit of a control freak.

Tonight as a favor to Brother Dear, I sat for eight, count 'em eight kids between the ages of three and nine and belonging to five different families so he could take Sainted SIL and a group of their friends out to celebrate her big 4-0 in style... and sans kids.





This was taken just before moms and dads came to pick 'em up.

Am I good or am I good?

(A huge tip of the cap to the folks at YMCA Camp MacLean for the training and experience I received there. I couldn't have done this without it!)
Leslie

Quick Stop

Giggle of the Day, Canadian Style:



Nope. We'll never see that on U.S. television!

(A huge tip of the cap to Ken Levine. I fell off my chair laughing, dude!)
Leslie

Dead End

So... the Buckaroo called. I suppose this is what he was hoping for:



Instead, he got this:



I hate to say it, but that felt GOOD.
Leslie

Quick Stop

JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" This week's theme is Asian delicacies. I offer up Notorious MSG and Dim Sum Girl:



Shake it, y'all.
Leslie

In The Headlights

Man, I sure wish Sheriff Tom Dart would consider running for governor of this state. He's the one politician (other than Matty O'Blackfive) who I could vote for with confidence.
Leslie

In Memorium

Even though it was two years ago, I just learned of this yesterday. This one is for Woodsprite's DiamondsRfurever and Chanel -- beloved companions of my old friend.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Ear Worm of the Day:


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Is it any wonder little Milton has never learned to behave himself? His mama takes up for him every time, instead of telling him to man up and admit he did it to himself.

And, Ms. Rector? We don't want him back. He doesn't play well with others.
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Remember me telling you my buddy Barb's blog got hacked? Here's more on problems with hacked WordPress blogs and how to fix them. If you've got a WordPress blog, you might want to print this out and tuck it away, just in case...

P.S. -- I met Liz at BlogHer, and she totally rocks.
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Why do I love William A. Jacobson so?
The debate over the mandate is a debate we need to have. It goes to the very heart of who and what we are as a nation. If we can mandate health insurance under threat of taxation, then there is no limit to what else can be mandated under the threat of taxes.
See?
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Yup. I'm definitely holding out for WiMax... The very thought makes my little heart go pitty-pat.
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Elisson, one of the best of the bloggers in my personal sphere, has a request... and it won't cost you anything but a few clicks of your mouse. Just go there. Many thanks!
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Quote of the Day:
“Sorry, I just had visions of sugarplums dancing in my head…”
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Leslie

Drive-Bys

Just what we needed -- Bobby Rush drafting a bill for federal oversight of cemetaries before waiting to see what the State of Illinois legislature does.

This is a state issue, not a federal one. The last thing in the world we need right now is another layer of federal government interference and bureaucracy. Enough already!
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And the good folks in Washington wonder why we don't trust them with our healthcare?

Let us count the pork.

I know power brokers on both sides of the aisle are doing this.

Stop it. Just stop it. You people can't "fix" anything without larding on another layer of pork.
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Another reason why I'm disgusted by those in power in DC?
When it comes to greenhouse-gas emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu sees Americans as unruly teenagers and the Administration as the parent that will have to teach them a few lessons.
Yah huhn. That'll get my cooperation in a hurry.

I've got news for you, Bubba -- my parents did a fine job already. I don't need the nannying now.
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On the other hand, here's a mom who could clearly have used some parenting lessons, as she's done nothing but raise a big CRYBABY. And she's still making excuses for the idiot.
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It's a good thing I've tucked my credit card away for the day, as I could easily drop a small fortune there today:
  1. If I could, I'd send my favorite witch a belated birthday present.
  2. I'd find a place for this gorgeous desk in my own home.
  3. I'd send this cool t-shirt to Grau and Contagion.
I'm telling you, ladies -- the Awesomer is not just for guys.
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Here's a really awesome bit of musical birdie coolness.
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Because I really needed something to smile about -- Bacon-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake. Yum! Sounds like a great combination of savory and sweet. [Link fixed. Sorry about that!]
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Cool Pool:


Smart Dog Can Shoot Pool - Watch more Crazy Pet Tricks
Leslie

Familiar Crossroad

Wow. My karma lately seems to have a lot to do with people from my past and unresolved relationships. The Swoon -- that one's tabled for the moment. The best buddy of my youth -- that one's rekindled. Buckroo Bonsai -- gonna have to kick some butt and close that door for good.

And now? The best buddy of my re-singlehood -- the one who showed me Chicago, dragged me out to singles dances and talked me into running a personal ad. The one I shared theater tickets with. The one whose weekend home I spent a lot of time in. The one who I haven't talked to in over ten years.

We had a falling out some time ago, probably linked to the fact that both of us were dealing with personal and family issues simultaneously, and neither one of us was able to prop the other up at the time, as had been our previous pattern.

Somehow over time I lost her address and phone number. In the last year or two, I've googled her, but couldn't find a listing for her anywhere.

Recently I saw an article in the local paper that mentioned a former mutual friend of ours, and it had an email address for him. I sent him a note and told him I'd like to contact our friend. I asked him to forward on my phone number and email address, rather than asking for hers.

It's been a week or so since that happend and I hadn't heard anything, so I figured that was a road I wouldn't be going down again. Sad? Sure... but the only person you can control is yourself.

And then the phone rang today. I heard my friend's voice. We may never be as close as we once were, but that door is still open.

Leslie

Caution Light

Well, that was interesting.

Just got off the phone with Buckaroo Bonsai, who I haven't spoken to in over three years. (You go searching through my archives. It's more energy than I'm willing to expend on the guy at this point.)

Yes, he called. (You don't think I would, do you?)

Here's the really hysterical part -- he said he was thinking of me because a really historic thing was happening tonight -- OBAMA is going to be on Letterman for the whole show!

Clearly he never listened to a damned thing I ever said, and he never reads this blog, or he'd know how little I cared about that.

Fortunately, I'm out of the house, and not in a place where I can or would hold a telephone conversation. The language wouldn't be pretty.

He's calling me on Saturday, and I'm going to firmly shut that door and put the deadbolt on. I left for good reasons, and I'm not going down that road again.

Oh, sure -- I want to know what in the world he's thinking... and then again, I don't. You don't pack up all your stuff and move out in less than 24 hours, start and settle into a new life, make new friends and move on, just to rip the scar off that old wound again.

Nope.

Healed. Got smarter. Moved on.

Grrrrrrrr!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Ear Worm of the Day:


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Blogthings!




Your Name is Yellow



Your name tells people that you are welcoming and cheerful. You are open to all the love in the world.

You are a warm person who can't help but make others feel comforted. You are truly radiant.

People see you as someone who has figured out the secrets to life. While that's not true, you do try to remain positive in the face of adversity.

You are the sunshine in other people's lives. You make more of a difference than you realize.




And...




You Are Curious and Questioning



You're the type of person who can sit all day and listen to someone's life story.

You take a genuine interest in other people. You are a bit of a voyeur. The lives of others fascinate you.

You give a first impression of being passive and simple. In truth, you are very active and analytical.

You are an armchair psychologist. You find human interaction to be incredibly fascinating.




Because I know you missed them.
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Quote of the Day:
"The last few days became too much for me to tolerate," Hendry said. "I'm certainly not going to let our great fans become an excuse. I'm not going to tolerate not being able to answer questions from the media respectfully. Whether you feel like talking or not, it's part of all of our jobs.

"There's a right way to do it and a wrong way. I'm not going to allow disrespect to other people in that locker room and uniformed personnel, and I'm certainly not going to let a player, as was mentioned in the article today, (talk about) negativity of the organization."
What took you so freaking long, Jim??? He's been like this all damned season long!
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Leslie

Signs



Once again The Lipstick Mystic (via the RedEye) has interesting plans for yours truly:
Leo
July 23-Aug. 22


Career issues are driving you bonkers, thanks to Jupiter. You need a trip to a spa if you can afford one. Or visit a therapist and vent a little. Of course, there's always sexual therapy -- if you can find someone hot to indulge you.
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Want your weekly horror-scope? Drop me a note in the comments and I'll post your sign's for you.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

So Obama thinks he's having trouble "breaking through" with his message on healthcare reform?

I think he's having problems with his message because he's saying the same things over and over, and not listening to what a large portion of the public is saying.

It's not that we don't want healthcare reform, it's that we don't trust throwing vast piles of money at an undefined problem that he's created a lot of false urgency around.

What do most of us want?

In simple, non-beligerant language:
  1. Fix Medicare and Medicaid first. Show us it can be done.
  2. Make health insurance portable.
  3. Allow businesses and individuals to shop for new health insurance across state lines.
  4. Allow for insurance pools for individuals seeking health insurance.
  5. Tort reform for medical malpractice cases.
  6. Stop the denial of insurance claims for manufactured "preexisting conditions."
  7. Streamline and standardize insurance claim paperwork.
Make these a priority, and take the time to get it right. Let's see how this works before creating more big government agencies and red tape.

See?
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Speaking of Obama, that he "may be" heading to Copehagen should be a surprise to no one... and I don't believe there's any "may be" about it -- he is.
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Oh, dear. It seems Madam Speaker's warnings about political rhetoric leading to violence may be coming true... but I don't think this was what she had in mind:
"Not all of us liberals hate guns. BRING IT ON BITCHES. Shoot to kill racist conservative pigs."
Alrighty then.
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It seems South African runner Caster Semanya is on suicide watch. Here's a long, well thought-out piece asking the question, "What if she were your child?"

The saddest part? South Africa's athletics chief was aware of and lied about gender tests, and lied to protect her "privacy," of which she now has none.

This is just sad any way you look at it. Please say a prayer or two for Caster and her family.
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I can think of at least one blogger who'd kill to own the Lego house, if she could figure out a way to get it over here intact!

(P.S. -- Barb had a problem with jihad against her blog this weekend. Go read about it and learn what to do about it if it happens to you.)
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Quote of the Day:
"If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they'll miss lots of special offers."
Heh.
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Kudos to Mark Fast for featuring normal sized models in his London Fashion Week show.
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Ear Worm of the Day:




Again, I have no idea why.
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Oh, goodie. Here's another stupid policy that will be next to impossible to police:
Americans who slap $1 pricetags on their used possessions at garage sales or bazaar events risk being slapped with fines of up to $15 million, thanks to a new government campaign.
Seriously?
"Those who resell recalled children's products are not only breaking the law, they are putting children's lives at risk,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "Resale stores should make safety their business and check for recalled products and hazards to children."

In order to comply, stores, flea markets, charities and individuals selling used goods — in person or online — are expected to consult the commission's 24-page Handbook for Resale Stores and Product Resellers (pdf) and its Web site for a breakdown of what they can't sell.

Violators caught selling anything on the enormous list face fines of up to $100,000 per infraction and up to $15 million for a related series of infractions.
The law is meant to apply mainly to large manufacturers, but it doesn't make any distinctions between them and the average soccer mom who's just trying to clear out the basement.
"It is scary to think that there could be such hefty fines imposed on unsuspecting households," another garage sale organizer, Patti Lombardi, told FOXNews.com. "I think I speak for many people when I say that the government spends too much time interfering in the individual citizen's personal life and this is almost bordering on the ridiculous ... what if it opens up a Pandora's box of litigation brought by the purchasers of items at garage sales?"
Too right.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Remember how I said those of us disgusted by the rank and file of either party should be looking to the tea parties for new leaders?

One has popped up here in the Chicagoland area -- one who I've met and admire greatly: Matt Burden of Blackfive fame.

If you live in Riverside, Brookfield, La Grange Park, Westchester, Oak Brook, Oak Brook Terrace, Lombard, Elmhurst, Villa Park or Berkeley, give him a good, hard look, and go meet him if you get the opportunity. I promise you'll be impressed.

I only wish he were in my district. (Now if we could only persuade Marathon Pundit to run in my district, I'd be a happy, happy girl.)
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Just ordered this insanely cool looking book. Can't wait to put it to good use!
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Remember when I asked about MiFi? Good thing I haven't rushed into getting one, because it looks like a superduper version is coming out right around the first of the year, and for a cheaper monthly rate.
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Remember that Marathon Pundit guy I just pointed out to you? He's been all over this story for months now right here in Illinois (check out that impressive list of links). Nice to see Big Media is catching up with him.

(And Judd Gregg is one of the few things I miss about living in NH, friends aside, of course!)
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Think your neighbor is a little nuts? Think again. Go here, here and here for proof positive.
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Right. And leisure suits cause cancer in lab rats, too:



Fernwood Tonight was way ahead of its time.
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance for KEV in Iraq!" Okay:


Drop your own dance party entry into Gene's comments, 'mkay?
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Happy weekend!
Leslie

My Cuppa Tea

Nice to know I'm a zero, even though I own no credit cards, have the smallest carbon footprint of anyone I know (my utility bill clocks in at less than $30.00 a month and I travel by public transportation), I have money in the bank, investments, a good job, willingly pay for health, dental and vision insurance, happily and willingly make donations to charities of my own choice, and am still pissed off with our current government, from the president on down because of the fiscal mess they're making in Washington.

Madam Speaker talks of fear of political violence, but the only political violence I've seen so far is black activists threatening voters (still unprosecuted -- WHY?) and a SEIU worker beating a black man who doesn't agree with the current administration. Tea party demonstrations have been vocal -- but peaceful, and while there is clearly some organization, it is nothing on the large scale that the left has shown in paying for and busing in Democrat-friendly seat fillers for Obama town hall meetings, shoving out local opponents in the process.

The folks attending tea party demonstrations aren't just Republicans -- they're also Independents, libertarians, Libertarians (yes, there's a difference) and disillusioned Democrats -- just ask my buddy Barrie, who makes me look like a piker when it comes to demonstrating outrage (and she voted for Obama; I didn't).

Are those of us working class voters who are not being listened to by our elected officials angry? You bet... and with good reason.

That doesn't make me nuts for wanting our government to live within a budget, just like I do. Or for wanting someone more fiscally conservative than I am in place to make measured choices, taking a long view of just how it will impact the citizens of this country instead of turning every problem into a panic-induced and ineffective knee-jerk tossing of massive piles of money, with no oversight or accountability.

What I find extraordinary is that average Americans are finally turning off their televisions, getting up off their couches, and demanding that their voices be heard. Maybe their language is extreme, but the extreme indifference that our elected representatives are showing us demands a heightened demonstration of passion to get the attention of the people we put in power... and to counteract the alternative vitriol and disdain that is shown us. Our current elected officials should remember we can and will take them out of power the next time elections roll around if they fail to heed our concerns.

Mark my words, this will go down as a remarkable time in the history of this country because educated, moderate people finally found their voices.

It's not unreasonable to ask our governing bodies to fix what's already broken before they create more government bodies more interested in sustaining themselves than in serving the public.

As for ordinary Americans who are hurting right now, both the right and the left over-reached themselves on credit cards, mortgages and lines of credit. All of us need to learn how to bail our own damned boats out, and to live with the consequences of our own actions and quit blaming anyone but ourselves for getting in that position in the first place. Help each other out? Sure, but on a micro level, not a macro level. That's how this country was built, and that's how this country will prosper.

The best lesson my parents ever taught me was if I made a mess, I needed to clean it up.

The tea party folks? Seems to me they've learned that lesson, as well.

Leslie

Drive-Bys

Read this headline and spewed my morning cuppa all over the monitor:
Todd Stroger denies there's patronage in Cook County
This from the guy whose father's imminent death was kept from the voting public at primary time so he could take his father's spot on the final ballot.

Right.
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Giggle of the Day:

political pictures of your blog
see more Political Pictures

If you've ever tried to bathe one, you'll know this isn't a stretch.
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Ooooh! Snickerdoodles! My favorite.
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Quote of the Day:
I’ve been waiting for an awfully long time for the elegance and maturity, wit and style, and all the accouterments [sic] of adulthood to become important to me. I’m still waiting. I have a horrible suspicion that they’re not coming, that they’ve all seen me and are hiding in terror behind a light pole in the parking lot of Cheeseburgers In Paradise, lest I accost them and take them home.
This is why I love me some Mamacita!
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Ear Worm of the Day:

Leslie

Smash-Up

If you take Shreve's sidebar ad for fossilized cephalopods and a spelling blooper from this op ed piece, you get a marvelous name for a Bikini Bottom rock band:

Petrified Squid and the Morays of Time

Catchy, huh?

(And, no -- I don't know why my mind works this way.)
Leslie

Drive-Bys

I think I met every single one of these guys in my video dating/personal ads forays back in the 90's:


Yes, even Fred. And this is why I'm still not nuts about the whole dating thing...

(A tip of the cap to my Barstool Blog Son.)
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Giggle of the Day, Part I:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Giggle of the Day, Part II:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

It's a mighty fine Walrilla impression, as well.
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Why, when I finally do get around to get another pet, do I want a Frenchie?


The cuteness factor, of course. They're little goofballs.
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Actually, I'm convinced it's a political form of Tourette Syndrome, and he just can't help himself. Pay no attention.
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Endless Loop:




Worse than an ear worm, I've heard "Crimson and clover, over and over" all freaking day long. Make. It. Stop!
Leslie

Quick Stop

Tammi needs a little joy in her life. Here's a little from mine:



Kids and bloggers always make me smile!
Leslie

Slaps Self on Forehead!

Once again my favorite Neanderthal wrote a post about bloggers missing from his Ogroll, and once again I was an idiot and forgot that he lists me under "Get on the Bus" instead of "Leslie" or "Leslie's Omnibus" or "Omnibus Driver" and made a chopped liver idiot of myself.

So, yeah -- I showed my ass. So the least I could do is also show off my other... um... assets. It's the least I can do to atone for my forgetfulness.

Now... do you suppose he'll return the favor and show off his much-vaunted manly bits?
Leslie

PSA

H1N1 or Swine Flu, whatever you call it, here's what you need to prepare for before it ever has the chance to hit your own home.

Forewarned is fore-armed.
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

Somebody...



... is 43 today. Go on over and wish him a happy birthday!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Three things I purchased recently, and one more that I received as part of my BlogHer swag, have really made me happy:
  1. Aquafresh iso-active whitening gel. Yippy, Skippy, this stuff works. Yes, you foam at the mouth like Cujo... but your mouth and teeth will feel really, really squeaky clean and fresh. (One caveat -- the stuff comes shooting out of the can like greased lightning. Go easy, as a little goes a long way.)

  2. ThinkBamboo bath towels. Hands down the softest, most absorbent towels I've ever used. I'll never go back to cotton!

  3. My leggiCOMODO Porta-Book. I was a little reluctant to fork over $20 bucks for a single molded piece of plastic, but I use this thing all the time. It folds flat, so it'll be going with me on my next jaunt to Ireland, and it's light as a feather, too. (Yay!) I carry it with me everywhere for use with my laptop, and it also does double-duty as a cookbook stand. I've had a ton of people stop me to ask where I got it, and are shocked to find you can get it at Walgreens right in between the Snuggies and the Slap Chops.

  4. The good folks at Suave gave me the entire "Sleek" collection -- shampoo, conditioner and anti-frizz cream. The shampoo and conditioner are good, but the anti-frizz cream totally rocks. Take it from someone who has battled the frizzies her entire life and owns or has tried just about every anti-frizz product ever manufactured -- this is my go-to styling product from here 'til eternity. I've paid more than three times as much for products that couldn't hold a candle to this one, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I won't make that mistake ever again.
Nope. Nobody prompted or paid me to do this. Every single one of these things is just that freaking good that I've gotta spread the word.
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Ditch your car for a day?
Sept. 22 is also international car-free day, so you can emulate Bilbo and Frodo, get some exercise, and cut back on air pollution by joining in car-free activities around Chicago.
Ummm... I stopped driving mine a year ago, and finally got rid of it recently. I live about three blocks from the Metra train station, less than four blocks in any given direction from dining, salon/spa services, grocery store and more. I work two blocks from the Metra station in the city. I can get close, if not all the way, to my family in Naperville, my outlaws in Wheaton and MMPC in... that secret place where she works in outer Mongolia via public transportation.

I like walking. I hate driving, because Chicago area drivers are nuts. I can catch a cab or rent a car for a day or two if I need it; I choose not to, not because I'm one of those rabid greenies, but because it suits me personally.

But if you really do want to make a difference, don't just ditch the car for one day; make the commitment to ditch it entirely. It's doable in the Chicago area, anyway.
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How did this industry, which serves a very vulnerable public, escape any real regulation for this long???
Crooks demanding cash payments from grieving families in their weakest, most confused moments. Whistle-blowers ignored or treated as "cranks" by public officials unwilling or unable to act. Untrained cemetery workers employed without even the most basic background checks.
Unbelievable. Go, Governor Quinn.
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NNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

(Yes, I'm hoarse as can be today. Why do you ask?)
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I'd ask how any educated person could fall for these Nigerian scams, but I have one idiot acquaintance who actually deposited a check he received in one of these letter scams (typos and gawd-awful grammar throughout the entire letter), and another gal who I commute with recently fell for a phishing scam through her email.

Jeeze.

If you're reasonably conversant in the interwebs and computers and you fall for stuff like this, you deserve every bit of misery that you get.
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Giggle of the Day, Part I:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more dog and puppy pictures

Giggle of the Day, Part II:

One of the ways the Hippie Crunchy Chick Club was trying to draw attention to their display was by hanging signs all over campus, and walking around with sandwich boards. The following slogans were bandied about:

The prize-winner, as far as I was concerned, was the massive banner that read: “REDUCE YOUR CARBON VAGPRINT!”

crankylitprof is my go-to girl when I'm in need of a good giggle.
Leslie

Signs

Interstate Highway Signs Leave Drivers Guessing
My weekly horror-scope leaves me guessing as to what fresh hell I'm in for this week.



Once again The Lipstick Mystic (via the RedEye) has interesting plans for yours truly:
Leo
July 23-Aug 22


You know you're supposed to be good. But being bad is much more fun. You're in the mood to ditch your long-term, faithful partner in favor of that hot chick you met at that bar or that gorgeous dude you bumped into in your apartment building.
You know, if even ten percent of these darned things came true, I'd spend all my time bewitched, bothered, bowlegged or bewildered (and probably all four simultaneously).
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P.S. -- If you want your own horror-scope for the week, drop me a note in the comments and I'll add for you!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Ear Worm of the Day:



Can't wait till her debut album comes out!

(A tip of the cap to my Barstool Blog Son.)
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Giggles of the Day:

Part I:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Part II

Part III:
(814): Where's the Hot Mess Express headed tonight?
(1-814): I hope that's not the new nickname for my friends and me.
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Happy Sunday everyone!



Leslie

An Open Letter...

... to Oprah Winfrey:

Dear Ms. Winfrey --

I am appalled at your pursuit of an interview with Jaycee Dugard.
That young woman has already been exploited for other people's needs and wants for over half her life. I have tremendous respect for the fact that her family has shielded and protected her and kept her and her children away from the prying eyes of the media so that she can begin the long road to healing.

I, for one, don't want to know all the salacious details of her sad life as a kidnap victim, and I find your interest in dragging her onto your show like a sideshow freak prurient at best and abusive at worst. The only way you could make it worse would be to drag out Dr. Phil to pry into her psyche and Doctors Katz and Oz to opine on her health and well being.

If you feel empathy for her, then send the family an anonymous donation to use towards the years of therapy she will most certainly need... then step the hell back, and leave her alone.

One would think that as a victim of abuse yourself, you'd have more common sense and decency. It's clear your fame and fortune have completely gotten in the way of your humanity.

Sincerely,

Leslie Spiller

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Update: If you agree, please cross-post or write your own post and link. This just makes me sick at heart.
Leslie

Quick Stop

This is why you NEVER drunk text:
(434): I want to see you every morning in the kitchen ass naykid on roller blades making pancakes.
(1-434): Stop sending me these texts. This is your mom, not your girlfriend.
Fell off the couch laughing!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Bacon. Be still my beating heart! (And if my heart was beating after ingesting all that cholesterol, yay for me!)
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Just saw that Larry Gelbart has passed away. An incredibly talented writer, my very favorite of all his work made me a dyed-in-the-wool M*A*S*H-ophile, and this is devastating news.

Yes, I was and am a huge fan. My ex was still a military recruiter when the last M*A*S*H aired. We threw a party where we decked out our friends in his olive drabs and I served bone dry martinis and spam hors d'oevres.

Yes, I was that big of a geek. So shoot me.

Mr. Gelbart, God speed to a really good place in heaven. And thanks for the lovely memories of Hawkeye, Trapper, B.J. Hunicutt, Col. Potter, Col. Blake, Hot Lips Hoolihan, Frank Burns, Radar O'Reilly, Father Mulcahy, Charles Emerson Winchester III and the rest of the regulars.

Jeeze. I'll have to buy Spam this weekend, a bottle of cocktail olives and a bottle of gin. It's only fitting. Now if only I could locate Mr. Kwok to make me a veritable dustbowl of a martini...
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If The Awesomer is a site for guys, how come I love it so much??? I call bullshit. It's a site for geeks, goobers, gamers and grrls with good taste (lust, need, want!!!)!
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God bless Bonnie Hunt. It's good to know that there's at least one celebrity out there that doesn't think Blago's cute... or funny... or unaccountable for his sins against this state.
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Giggle of the Day:


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Ear Worm of the Day (and a reminder on a day when we've lost so much, what is important to remember):

Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

There is one good thing to remember on 9/11 -- It's my BlogDaddy's birthday.

C'mon! Sing along:



Happiest of birthdays, Kevin!
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Speaking of whom, I'd swear this was him, but it took place in London instead of Pittsburgh.
Leslie

A Solemn Moment

As I was walking to the train station this morning, I did my usual duck in between City Hall the the DPPD station... and came to an abrupt halt at the sight of local law enforcement, fire protection and other municipal personnel gathered with bowed heads surrounding the flag pole. I stayed for the prayer, but had to leave before the end of the ceremony... as much because of the tears in my eyes as my need to catch the train.



I will never forget.
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Update: Here's a story that I'd never heard before, and an important one.
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Update 2: A chilling tale from a survivor.

My heart began to sink and I became heavy with guilt as the “rescue workers” (as is now apparently the polite euphemism) went up the stairs to do whatever they possibly could. Not knowing what that even might be. A part of me, a big part of me, wishes I could remember more if not all of those faces. I didn’t know it at the time; that they were climbing to their deaths. It was a couple days before I had another thought about that… That they may have known full well.

See, I’ve waited too long to pen this account. But it is only now I can keep my head clear and eyes dry enough to get a significant amount of words out on paper.

(A tip of the cap to Joan of Argghh! for the pointer to this not-to-be-missed post.)
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Ear Worm of the Day:



I never know what sets these off, but they rattle around in my head for at least eight hours when they start.
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Quote of the Day:
It's not a hairdo, it's an entity.
And no, it's not referring to this guy, who's farookin' fabulous hair makes Blago's look wimpy.
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If you've got a child heading off to college this fall and you're counting on Illinois' Bright Start program to pay the tuition, think again:
Once again, in print, I ask all of these executives, lawyers and elected officials how they can sleep at night knowing that the delay will directly affect the lives of many students -- either those who will not be able to start college this fall, or those who may not be able to return to class.

This is the worst case of bureaucratic denial that I have ever seen. First they LOST the bucks -- $85 million of them. And now they keep "passing the buck." But it does not appear they will pass the bucks to the families who trusted them with college accounts in time to pay tuition this fall. And that's the sad, Savage Truth.
Just freaking wonderful.
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I can always use a new minion.
Leslie

Driving Solo

There's an interesting post here about being an adult orphan. I joined that particular/peculiar fraternity last September.

Unlike people for whom it happened suddenly and/or unexpectedly, I had time in both cases to prepare for it.

Most of the time, I'm okay with it, as I know that neither of my parents are in pain any more. And I had plenty of time to say the things that needed saying, ask the questions that needed asking, and say the words "I love you" over and over again.

Still, there are moments when the not having my parents hollows me out entirely. Grief hits when you least expect it, and think you are doing okay. The first birthday without a telephone call from the Princess Mom hit me like a ton of bricks. I'd cleared the hurdles of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentines Day, her birthday, their anniversary, Mother's Day and Father's Day. Then, BLAMMO, was the one day she'd always called me, and there was no call.

It helps to know that I've begun to acquire the Princess Mom's finely-tuned bullshit meter. And I have running conversations, out loud, with Darling Daddy when I have a difficult decision to make. I may not hear his voice out loud, but, in my heart, he never steers me wrong.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Camille Paglia has dusted off the cluebat for a particularly fine game of whack-a-mole:

Whap! to the left:
Why did it take so long for Democrats to realize that this year's tea party and town hall uprisings were a genuine barometer of widespread public discontent and not simply a staged scenario by kooks and conspirators? First of all, too many political analysts still think that network and cable TV chat shows are the central forums of national debate. But the truly transformative political energy is coming from talk radio and the Web -- both of which Democrat-sponsored proposals have threatened to stifle, in defiance of freedom of speech guarantees in the Bill of Rights. I rarely watch TV anymore except for cooking shows, history and science documentaries, old movies and football. Hence I was blissfully free from the retching overkill that followed the deaths of Michael Jackson and Ted Kennedy -- I never saw a single minute of any of it. It was on talk radio, which I have resumed monitoring around the clock because of the healthcare fiasco, that I heard the passionate voices of callers coming directly from the town hall meetings. Hence I was alerted to the depth and intensity of national sentiment long before others who were simply watching staged, manipulated TV shows.

Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.
Whap! to the right:
Having said all that about the failures of my own party, I am not about to let Republicans off the hook. What a backbiting mess the GOP is! It lacks even one credible voice of traditional moral values on the national stage and is addicted to sonorous pieties of pharisaical emptiness. Republican politicians sermonize about the sanctity of marriage while racking up divorces and sexual escapades by the truckload. They assail government overreach and yet support interference in women's control of their own bodies. Advanced whack-a-mole is clearly needed for that yammering smarty-pants Newt Gingrich, who is always so very, very pleased with himself but has yet to produce a single enduring thought. The still inexplicably revered George W. Bush ballooned our national deficits like a drunken sailor and clumsily exacerbated the illegal immigration debate. And bizarrely, the hallucinatory Dick Cheney, a fake-testosterone addict who spooked Bush into a pointless war, continues to be lauded as presidential material.
If she were a man, I'd totally do her.
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Hierarchy of Digital Distractions -- spot on!

(A tip of the cap to Mark A. Rayner for that particular giggle. BTW, dude -- Marvellous Hairy is teed up for this week. Review to follow.)
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A buddy made at Camp Blownstar this summer has taken to blogging. (I told her we'd get her.)

Meet Harper, who I may have to shoot for introducing me to Texts From Last Night....

I'm loving this one:
(403): i really wish my pants would only unzip when im sober
Oh, honey!
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Well of course he is, silly. (Then again, I'm more than a little bit prejudiced.)
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If Shari was in Pittsburgh instead of the west coast, I'd swear that second ad was written by my BlogDaddy!
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Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Dunno about you, but I almost fell of the chair laughing.
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Why this one has been ping-ponging around the back of my brain all day I have no idea.
Leslie

Headed Home

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Ear Worm of the Day:


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Home sweet home!
Leslie

Quick Stop

There's a reason why I've never been interested in online dating... best summarized here.

Yep. That's the kind of crazies I usually attract. Ugh.
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I am a huge fan of the Smitten Kitchen, but for once I think the Princess Mom has her beat.

Chocolate Pudding Pie vs. Chocolate Velvet Pie.

Try 'em both and let me know who wins, okay?
Leslie

Signs



Once again The Lipstick Mystic (via the RedEye) has interesting plans for yours truly in the coming week:
Leo
July 23-Aug 22

You'll want to turn off the TV* and the phone, and schedule a 24-hour sexual marathon with your partner. If you're single, you'll be tempted to hook up with someone just to blow off some steam.
Yowza.
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*Easily accomplished as it's still sitting in the cube next to mine. It's been 9 months. You'd think I'd take the darned thing home and hook it up, wouldn't you?
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P.S. -- You want to see what she has in store for you? Drop me a comment or send me an email and I'll leave your very own horrorscope in the comments!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Seems everyone on the right or left of the blogosphere has their panties in a wad about Obama's upcoming broadcast to school children. This is where I show my true libertarian colors (and probably cause my BlogDaddy to keel over in a dead faint): Obama is not the first president to do this, and won't be the last. Let your kids see the broadcast and use it as a springboard for discussion. If you're shielding them because you don't like his politics, you're also taking away an opportunity for open discussion with your kids and exercise of their (and your own) critical thinking skills.

Back in 1968, my grade school held a straw poll in the presidential election race. Neither of my parents saw this as intrusive. In fact, discussion about that election brought lively discussion around the dinner table, as Darling Daddy was a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, and the Princess Mom disliked and distrusted Richard Nixon intensely and had decided to cast her vote for Hubert Humphrey, for once voting for the man, and not the party.

None of this warped my psyche, but instead gave me an early interest in the mechanics of government, politics and the beginnings of an inner barometer for my own political views.

I love my conservative friends, but the same people who yelled bloody murder about liberals dragging their kids out to campaign against Chimpy McBushHitler Halliburton are the ones taking their own kids to Tea Party rallies to protest against the policies of The One.

Politics do begin at home, but they're everywhere. Do you want a sheltered kid or a savvy and engaged kid?

Let 'em watch, and then talk about it openly. Trust me, your child will thank you for this later in life.

Update: The full text of the speech is here. No real politics that I can see, but plenty to discuss over the dinner table.

Update 2: Mike's got more on the classroom activity materials and other info surrounding The One's speech to students. Read it all. Discuss it with your kids.
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This Neil Steinberg column got me hankering for Lezza spumoni. Fabulous, fabulous stuff. Guess I'll have to force myself to go to Guiseppe's for some of their marvelous lasagna and then force myself to stick around for dessert! (Yes -- they carry Lezza's!)
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The old Des Plaines Theater has finally quit showing nothing but Bollywood films, and trying something different -- Vaudeville. Campy? Sure. $14 bucks ($12 with downloadable coupon) for live entertainment? That's a deal. There are shows September 12th and 29th. I'm there!
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Question for my readers: Have any of you tried the Sprint or Verizon MiFi? Do you like it? What's the monthly cost?
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Happy Labor Day!
Leslie