Or Option #4, Benevolent Aliens Land on the Planet and Take Us Back To Their Outer Space Eden and We Live Forever Happily and in Peace

I almost broke up with my boyfriend, Andrew Sullivan, last week after he was on Bill Maher* because he was being kind of bitchy.  Then again, so was Bill Maher.  I’ve decided to forgive him, though, because he posted the link to this article by Ross Douthat explaining his perspective on the possible outcomes of the economic shitstorm in which we now find ourselves.  I’m not remotely smart enough to be able to comment on whether or not his proposed scenarios are likely or feasible or astute, but they are interesting to read.  Plus, option #3 tides me over for at least the next 3 1/2 years.  I wish that I didn’t feel so sick about this whole mess that I could gloat a bit more about the fact that even someone as obtuse as George W. Bush has to realize how harshly history will judge him and his failed policies.

Three Scenarios

29 Sep 2008 03:00 pm

The best case: This is an example of America’s democratic institutions reasserting themselves in the face of the attempt by a panicked technocratic elite to prop up reckless institutions that richly deserve to fail.

The worst case:
You know what.

The most likely scenario, as of 3 PM this afternoon: The stock market continues to drop. Some version of the bailout passes in the next week. The American economy staggers into a recession, but passes through the storm without 1930s-style suffering; the Republican Party is not so fortunate. Even though most Americans claim to oppose the bailout [update: not anymore], the House GOP’s obstructionism is widely viewed as having worsened the economic situation; the fact that these are contradictory positions does not faze an electorate that wraps all of the country’s current troubles up, ties them with a bow, and lays them at the feet of the Bush-led GOP. John McCain loses by a landslide in November. The Democratic Party regains years or even decades worth of ground among the white working class, consolidates the Hispanic vote, and locks up a large chunk of
highly-educated voters who might otherwise lean conservative. The much-discussed liberal realignment happens. And a politician running on a Ron Paul-style economic platform does very, very well in the GOP primaries of 2012.

Bill Maher is getting on my nerves.  His New Rules are funny and incisive, but he is kind of mean to his guests.  Plus I think he hates women.  Except Playboy Bunnies.

Full Frontal Fall Fashion

It’s that time of year, the leaves are turning, the air is getting brisk, and thoughts turn to apple picking and family celebrations.

Actually, it’s been really muggy, raining cats and dogs, and I still haven’t managed to pack away the beach stuff from our trip to North Carolina in August.

My inability to get with the autumnal program, however, has not deterred the fashion magazines from issuing their annual “Here’s what you will want to be wearing now” directives.

Let’s see what we’ve got to work with, shall we?

This kind of nonsense needs to stop immediately.  This shoe, and all other bootie-ish, strappy, high on the foot, hooker-high heels are ugly and will always be ugly.  I don’t care who wears them and with what, you cannot put lipstick on THIS particular pig. 

On the other hand, the bag pictured above is the kind of accessory you should be selecting this season.  And if you pick one up for yourself, get one for me, too.  This one is from
Banana Republic, whose products are otherwise better suited for six foot tall glamazons weighing 78 pounds. 

I don’t really know what to say about this, other than I’m guessing somebody doesn’t have a mirror.  I’m pretty certain that I detect actual zippers on those shoes.  And, oh look.  The shoes are booty-ish in nature and have mile-high hooker heels.  Nice socks, by the way.  Please pay particular attention to the quantity of mesh involved, as this will be a motif throughout the Full Frontal Fall Fashion Extravaganza.

Interesting phenomenon here:  after viewing the picture directly preceding it, this outfit looks almost sane.  Trust me, though, if you hadn’t seen the exhibitionist clown get-up first, you would be appalled by this.  As if the dress isn’t sufficiently dreadful, the Rambo style headband that appears to have been cut from a section of the hem of the “dress” really does add a whole new layer of WTF.

If red is your thing, and you don’t want to go with the Red Carpet Crime Against Humanity, you might go with this ensemble from Ann Taylor.  I’m not a big fan of the bracelet over high leather gloves look, which is a little too dominatrix hurts so good for me, and that belt looks like it might actually inhibit deep breathing.  Nevertheless, I like the red as a coat – sans belt – and the rest of it is classic and tidy.

I’m starting to discern a few trends in the Fall lineup.  Very feminine, to be sure.  Perhaps, excessively so.  Belts, not my thing, but OK.  Perhaps Tiffany blue wasn’t the color to go with here;  I’d have chosen something more, I don’t know, matching?  Also, the visible underwear seems to be happening with alarming frequency.  Maybe some lingerie that doesn’t look my grandmother’s Playtex Cross Your Heart 18 hour jobbie might have been a little more stylish in this case?  Just sayin’.

Another trend I’m picking up on here is the intentional use of lace as the primary material for an article of clothing, as opposed to just trim or accent.  Yet another trend:  looking like you’ve accidentally left the house in a nightie you bought at the Vegas Bunny Ranch as a gag gift for your best girlfriend.   Visible underwear in this case would actually be a little reassuring.   I’m assuming the child is her own and not an accessory, but I’m not going to count on it. 

Did you notice that the pictures of cute things are tiny and the heinous things are huge?  What’s up with that?  So here’s a dress.  I like the dress.  I’ve been seeing a lot of dresses.  I think I should buy a dress.  I can’t tell what’s happening with the shoes but they look suspiciously booty-like or beribboned a la Red Carpet Hot Mess.

Fall Fashion Check List:

lace – check

visible underwear – check

dress – check

ugly booties – check

My work here is done. 


Non Filch Filch

It’s Filch It Friday, and I’m fried.  I’m about to head off into the woods for the weekend for work…but wait, you ask.  Aren’t you a teacher?  What do you mean you’re going into the woods for the weekend for work?  Answer:  I’m not really clear on this myself.  I’ll get back to you if I don’t drown or am not devoured by crazed badgers.

So I’m copping out on the filch (again) by being a non-specific filcher.  I am sure that there are many wonderful travel-related blogs out there on the Interwebs, but I haven’t encountered any specifically.  The few I peeked at via a 2 second google search were pretty uninspired and uninspiring, so I’m not referencing them.

If, however, you had a travel blog and it was witty and pretty and useful and well-written, I would be filching from you.  (And if you actually are someone who operates such an enterprise, let me know.)

If I were filching from your hypothetical travel blog or not-a-blog, I would be imitating your recommendation for a terrific vacation spot.

I don’t usually talk about this first place I’m going to mention because I’m a selfish witch.  I read somewhere that one of the hallmarks of being a decent, giving person is to not keep anything wonderful secret, so I reluctantly release this information from my selfish, witchy clutches.

Staniel Cay  is a non-luxurious, yet quite comfortable, spot in the Exumas in the Bahamas.  The Staniel Cay Yacht Club is not exactly a resort.  In fact, it’s mostly a marina for yachts sailing around in the Caribbean.  And the term “club” is misleading — it’s open to the public.  They’ve got a few small cottages, bare bones, no kitchens on the water.  The cottages are clean, quiet, air-conditioned and comfortable.  Meals are taken in the bar, which is wonderful.  The food is plentiful and good, but don’t go expecting soufflés and delicately arranged stacks of rare delicacies.  You’ve got a choice each day for dinner of about six things — all of them good — and that list of six things doesn’t change.  Breakfast is huge and breakfasty, with lots of options.  The lunch menu is what you’d expect for lunch in a bar, although everything is very fresh and servings are generous.  In all honesty, though, I don’t think we ate lunch in the bar/restaurant once.  Here’s why.  With your cottage you get a boat, a small whaler.  The daily routine is something like this:  wake up, eat huge breakfast, pick up the lunch order you placed the night before from the kitchen (cold drinks, giant sandwiches, fruit, chips, dessert in a cooler packed with ice), get in your boat, drive around until you find a tiny island with nobody else on it, anchor your boat, do whatever you want – fish, read, swim, snorkel*, eat, and other things one might think of doing on a deserted and beautiful tropical island.  But make sure you apply sunscreen.


There is not much else on Staniel Cay other than the Yacht club.  There is a tiny store, but you don’t really need anything in it.  There is a nurse, who accepts donations of basic supplies and if you go, you should consider bringing some for her.  There are the houses of the residents of Staniel Cay, and there is an airstrip. 

Speaking of the airstrip.  To get to Staniel Cay you fly to Fort Lauderdale or Nassau and take a puddle-jumper (think four people crammed in a sardine can – bring valium if you are a nervous flyer) to the island. 

As far as island vacations go, it’s pretty reasonable priced.  You should go. 

*One of the places to snorkel is Thunderball, a swim-through cave featured in the James Bond movie appropriately named…Thunderball.