it wasn’t me….

If anyone asks where I’ve been, I wasn’t shopping for things I don’t need.

jan-025

3 guys from the Auto Industry

Yeah, I’m not gonna call them “the big 3”. To me, that seems like a self-appointed title, like Michael Jackson’s “King of Pop”. Only Michael worked tirelessly in the 80’s to build that up.

For the last 10 years, the 3 automakers in Detroit have been told to try to make more fuel-efficient cars, & they just flat out refused to.

Instead, they came out w/ the Durango, & the Durango XXL, which is actually larger than my kitchen! Yes, I know that some ppl need big trucks. You know, the construction workers, contractors, ppl who flip houses, Mormons w/ 76 kids. But not the mass public.

I have a friend who’s 5’3″. She wanted a Hummer for the longest time. Then, the Avalanche came out, & she wanted that. Not b/c she needs a big truck for any reason. She just wanted “to be wrapped in something big”, to feel the power of that. This was 5 years ago that she made that statement, & she still feels the same today!

I think it’s insane. The 3 CEOs of GM, Ford, & Daimler-Chrysler want $ from the bailout. But you know what? Why have you never even tried to be more creative about your cars & their fuel consumption?

I know Chevrolet tried, w/ the Flex-Fuel. But dude, my car gets 41 miles to the gallon. You won’t convince me to get a car that only gets 26, esp if I don’t even like the look of it.

Why this tirade? B/c here in Cleveland, one of the local dealerships has been airing commercials that tell me that if I’m pro-American, I’m gonna spend over $20,000 on an inferior product, when I can get a better one for thousands less:

Ok, so my Corolla was made in Tennessee. That’s beside the point. I don’t care if it was made in the Honduras.

The point is that I do believe in Capitalism. Say it w/ me, folks…. CAP – I – TA – LISM. If I remember right, capitalism is driven by competition. Karl Marx was my dude when I was in college, so I know he would NOT be likin the commercials these ppl are airing.

I don’t want the American Automakers to crumble. But 10 years ago, when fuel efficiency or alternative fuel was brought up to them, they had no interest in developing any “hippie cars”.

Here’s the other thing about Hummers that pisses me off. Our troops overseas don’t get the adequate protection or equipment or technology that they need, yet we’re over here buying a vehicle that was made for military duty? What?!?!

I think that if someone wants to buy a vehicle that uses up an extraordinary amount of our energy resources, they should be required to pay an energy tax. Now, if you buy such a vehicle, but have a very good reason, there would be an exemption for you. You would just claim why you need the exemption (your occupation, or that you’re a Mormon w/ dozens of children), or maybe that you use it sparingly (submit your yearly mileage).

Ok, seriously gonna stop now, cause I can feel the crow’s feet & frown lines setting in.

hummer-military
– 12/2004 cartoon by Dwane Powell

wazzup vs. wassup

You know I wasn’t born in this country.  I was born in Gujarat, India.  We moved here when I was 4 years old, so Cleveland’s really where I grew up & learned everything (school & street).

My b-day’s in May, & 1 month after my 18th birthday, my sister & I got naturalized. The only reason we got naturalized was so that we could vote. Seriously, we had no other benefit from it at the time. We just thought that we should have a say in the country that had become our home. And I’ve voted in every election since then & every primary except for one. The very 1st time I voted, I took my (then) 5 yr old brother in w/ me so he could see what the excitement was all about. And I was full of excitement that very 1st time.

I guess this year, I’ve just been so shocked/surprised by how many ppl over 30 have never registered or voted. I’ve heard ppl say that this is the 1st election they will vote in, & they are 40 years old. I was just appalled the 1st few times I heard that.

I really don’t care* who you or anybody votes for, I just think everybody should cast a ballot.

Anyway, enough of my self-righteousness…..

You remember those wazzzzzup commercials? Well, this is for you, then.

*That’s not really true, I do care. I’m not that open-minded. I believe what I believe & would love to make ppl vote the same way I do. But that’s not kosher, & you’re not really supposed to say that outside of your own head.

it’s all about the loopholes, baby.

You know how sometimes you pay a diff price for gas depending on if you pay in cash or use yo plastic?

So, I just found out that Visa and MasterCard explicitly prohibit merchants from charging consumers extra for paying with a credit card. (American Express & Discover don’t.)

But all the cards do allow the station to offer a discount for using cash.

So, all they need to do is increase their regular price & give the discount to the ppl who carry green. Sneaky.

lower gas prices feel like blood money in my pocket

Do any of you feel the same way?

Few weeks ago, over $4.00.
Last week, $3.77.
Yesterday, $3.55.
My mom said it’s supposed to go down to $3.41 soon.

I feel like this is the gov’t.’s way of giving me blood money. My heart sinks everytime I see the prices go down. The lower we fall, I know the more we’re going to pay for it later. It’s gonna hit us in the gut & I’m afraid some of us won’t be able to rise back up.

I knew this would happen. I wanted to blog about this on July 14th. The day Bush overturned that ban on offshore drilling, I felt punched in the stomach. I just felt so sick to my stomach. Like seriously nauseous. I just hoped that we’ve elected a Congress smart enough to not make his executive order come to fruition.

The very next day, the price of oil per barrel dropped. It’s been dropping since. I know it’s only dropping cause ppl think that we’re gonna be drowning in all the crude oil our lil hearts can take real soon. But that ain’t happenin, Charlie.

What’s gonna happen when ppl realize that this isn’t the solution? It’s just gonna skyrocket way past what we thought was high before. The truth is, this country’s been spoiled as far as gas prices go for decades now. If ppl think they can’t afford gas now, they’re gonna be in for a rude awakening when it hits over $8.00 a gallon. That’s what I think will happen when ppl realize that offshore drilling’s not the end-all to this prob.

Please don’t let this congress let us down.

Here’s the long & short of it (mostly long, cause c’mon, you know I ramble):

– if (if) there’s oil to be found, it will be decades (decades) before we actually got that oil & the price drop from it would be minimal. It would come out to a 2¢ drop, 20 years from now.

– 80% of US produced oil (from US reserves) is from 4 states: LA, TX, AK, & CA. If we wanted to find more, our best best would be the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

– Um… do you know what “National Wildlife Refuge” even means? It means, you told those animals that you weren’t going to destroy their home for your own evil means.

– If they spent a decade looking/finding/drilling for oil, there’s only realistically a year’s worth up there. You’re gonna destroy the sanctuary for that? Really? Really?

– It is very (very) likely that any oil drilled from ANWR will never be sold in the US. It will be sold off to the highest International bidder (most likely China). (C’mon, ppl, didja forget we’re a capitalist society?)

– Currently, we have 500 oil spills in Alaska every year. Yeah, they don’t exactly advertise that. You don’t think that’s gonna decrease when they have more new drilling monstrosities?

– Seismic testing to locate oil creates decibel levels of 260 – twice as loud as an ambulance – underwater. Exposure to these levels of noise underwater can cause disorientation, brain hemorrhaging, or even beaching for whales and dolphins. Only last week over 100 melon-head whales beached off of Madagascar close to where ExxonMobil was conducting seismic testing. (6/19/2008, from Greenpeace website)

Here’s a video of a guy who spent 3 months hiking across Alaska, & spent a LOT of time in the ANWR (it’s 3½ mins ppl):

What we need is an alternate solution. My main concern is that we will lose track of what’s imp: trying to develop alternative renewable energies.

Like this Pickens Plan that this guy T. Boone has.

Here be the plan:
(click pic to go to site)

noooooo…….

I’m a good person. I don’t turn right on red (like some miscreants). I don’t speed (anymore- mainly b/c of gas consumption*). I haven’t killed or maimed anyone.

I wanna be economically stimulated. I neeeed to be economically stimulated.

And I swear in return, I’ll stimulate the economy. Seriously. I’m good for it. I mean, I’ve already been stimulating the economy w/out being economically stimulated, so think how much more I can once I am!

*you end up reducing gas consumption by like 33% if you drive at a decent, steady pace. That averages most ppl a savings of like $500 a year! For realsies!

killin any chance of me on Amer. Idol

Ok, so… not exactly thrilled about this one. But here’s another Conversations in Real life involving my dad.

Let me 1st say that I haven’t been completely there this past week. Starting last Tues, I’ve been super-spinny. Yeah, that’s not exactly a technical term, eh? Well, I’ve been so dizzy that I actually got out of bed last Tues, & just fell to the ground!!! Like, couldn’t even stand up.

It was like Bambi, but on an acid trip. The whole room just spinning around. That was all day last Tues. I didn’t go to work that day or the next (last Wed.).

Then, Thursday, I kinda had to go to work, so I did. But I called my ppl (uh, that’s Kaiser, they have these 24-hour advice nurses to take calls) to see what they thought. They wanted me to come in to get looked at.

Of course they did; that’s their racket, ya know?! They just wanna get you through the door, just like every other corporation. I told them “no way, no how!”

My sister was having a HUMONGO party on Sat in Detroit, & there was no way I was missing it.

The advice-nurse kept insisting, saying it would only be a quick 30-min diagnosis. They thought I prob had Vertigo. I explained to her that the last time they told me to come in for a quick 30-min diagnosis (for a migraine), I ended up getting admitted for 5 days (for viral meningitis). So, I wasn’t coming in until I got back from this party, & we could set up an appointment for next week.

Which we did, & I went to it yesterday, & I do have Vertigo, & they gave me a prescription. And as I’m typing this, I am SOOOO dizzy & light-headed; & feel like I should go lay down.

Ok, back to the post. When I’m not feeling well, I like to stay at my mom’s house. Yes, clichéd. But that’s me. My mom treats me well, & I can watch Ellen with her during the day.

So, to set the scene, I was at my parent’s last night watching American Idol. And they were naming all the things the American Idol winner gets.

Pappa: Whoa, If only D could sing! Then, we could put her up in American Idol & she could try to win it. It’s too bad she isn’t that talented.

My mom: It doesn’t matter anyway, she could NEVER go to American Idol, even if she could sing!

Pappa: Why not?

Ma: Cause she’s way too old. They have an age limit to that, you know.

Pappa: Oh.

Uh…. WAHAT!! I’m sitting right here ppl! While they’re discussing my inability to sing & how old I’ve become.

So, long story coming to an end (can’t really say “long story, short”, eh?), I’m sleeping at my own house tonight. For the 1st time in over a week.

heehee…. he said huckleberry

Now for another installment of conversations in real-life:

My dad talkin to my sister on speaker-phone w/ my mom & me. He’s trying to describe an actress to her.

pappa: She looks like that woman… you know… from the James Bond movie…… Huckleberry.

my sis: huh? Huckleberry?

mom: HALLE BERRY!!!

hee hee. Yeah, not much, but it kinda cracked me up. Cause we all know my history w/ Halle Berry.

Batman vs. The Dark Knight

Whoa…. have you guys seen this? My girl emailed it to me earlier this week, but of course I can’t watch video at work, so I just saw it now.

It’s the Trailer from Batman ’89 playin simultaneously w/ the new Dark Knight Trailer.

Pretty cool…. although it could just be that I can’t get enough Batman stuff. I CANNOT WAIT for this movie to come out!

me & my cultured self

Ah, yes…. What have I been up to? Well, being the east-sider that I am now, last week I went to an orchestra concert AND the opera.

Yeah, ya heard me.

The orch concert was amazing; there’s nothing quite like hearing a full orchestra live in a great hall. That was Wed night. Then, Sat night, I went to see La Bohème at Playhouse Square downtown. Just us gals went; there were supposed to be 6 ladies, but 2 had to back out.

By the time the lights went up for the 2nd intermission, I was just bawling. We had to go out to get tissues b/c 2 of us were just in tears. Thank goodness for waterproof mascara, no?

Tomorrow night, one of my fabulous friends arranged for all of us to go see John Caparulo at Playhouse Square. My friends are really the best! We are going to be in the 2nd row for a show that’s being taped to dvd for Comedy Central?!?!!? Are you kiddin me? I just love my friends.

Not for that, per se, but b/c they really are great. I’ve been a Ms. Cranky-Pissy-pants lately, & they’ve dealt with me accordingly.

I’m also excited that we’re going to Bricco before the show. They just opened it up here, across the street from Playhouse Square, & I was there just last Sat after the girls & I left the opera. It’s totally fab, so I can’t wait!