Monday, March 23, 2009

Once upon a time, there was a little girl, whose parents told her when she grew up she could be anything she wanted to be.

Today, she sits in front of a computer monitor all day long and types things that are not all that interesting to her. She doesn't get paid very well for that either.

As she sits there, she wonders, how all those years of education could lead her to that very spot. Doing really meaningless stuff. And then she looked out of the window and thinks about all those other people, sitting in front of their computers, and wondered if they were bored too. She wondered how many people wondered the same thing. And if they did, why they were like her, and just sitting there and wondering.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore

It's official. Western Culture has finally gone through the looking glass. I'm calling it now.

I am still obsessed with market economics. Reading, reeling...

And of course I have been following the Daily Show, and his smack down of MSNBC. Basically, he blames the network for being complicit in the crisis. Basically, instead of investigative reporting, "fair and balanced", the network became cheerleaders towards the irresponsible and out of control greed that has lead to the situation we are all in now. The reporters would have had enough expertise to say "Having a Debt/Capital in excess of 8/1 is dangerous. AIG had a ratio of 35/1. Simply put, for ever dollar they had in cash, they had 35 dollars in loans. (or is it debt/liquidity...still have not learned the language)

Okay, so the other night John Stewart basically lectured on the Daily Show about the networks responsibility to Joe/Jane Public.

I was reading my new source for market news The Market Ticker
and I find this comment in the forums:

"I sent a copy to info-at-thedailyshow-dot-com for you. "
"Send Jon Stewart a copy - he may be the only media figure to air it. He might even make a special show just around the most talked about topic of these days. "

(referring to THIS post)

Since when did the Daily Show become the voice for justice for the everyday bloke?

Does anyone find that really really weird?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Oops she started a rant

I'm still flat lining - with regards to inspiration or motivation. But I thought I would give this a whirl, an injection of atropine so to speak. And thus I have proven that you can learn something by watching ER.

I'll let you in on what I have been obsessing about lately, and thus reveal how utterly odd and geeky I am. First, in order to appreciate how odd, I need you to know this. I cannot balance a chequebook. I don't really budget, I just have this intuition about what I can spend and what needs to get paid. I don't invest. I don't contribute to a pension plan. (I don't have an investment plan with my work - cos they are lame). I don't have a savings account. I basically live pay cheque to pay cheque.

I have debt, which I slowly pay off. I do understand the racket of making minimum only payments. I'd also like to take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to Eric, who makes this family viable economically. I have just proven in 7 lines (in this editor!) how utterly incapable I am.

When I lived in Korea I used to keep my money on a shelf. Stacks of money. Eric can attest to that. I was happy with that arrangement.

So, for the past 2 weeks, I have been inhaling economics 101. This whole business of economic crisis and bail-outs. Are we in a recession or depression? And does anyone really know? How did we get here in the first place? I mean, do people on the trading floor just up and decide I am going to sell off and create a mess? Why did everyone's investments loose 40% of their value?

That's what I have been figuring out. And guess what everyone! The old saying is true. Greed does make you stupid. Securitization is like the marijuana of economic collapses. A gateway drug. Initially, pretty innocuous, but that leads you down the road to the hard core, collateralized debt obligations (CDOS) and Credit default Swaps (CDS). By 2006, most bankers and financiers were hardcore addicts.
Today, the entire system is going through an intense detox. We are now experiencing the wonderful spasms of the dts.

Did you know that AIG basically mortgaged its own entire capital base...twice. And in the States, there are no checks and balances to keep that from shitting all over the floor. Imagine mortgaging the value of your home...twice. Eventually, your payments will be unbearable, and of course, at some point, what you would be required to pay out, will far exceed your income. In a word, you'd be fucked. At some point, pushing a shopping cart down alleyways and drinking pinesol.
In AIG's case, exces will be paid in the millions, be giving millions of American taxpayer dollars to their fatcat friends at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.

So, my rant is going to turn into a preach.

Please, take some time to find out what is happening to the economy. We all contribute to it. This system is human created, and we have the power to make it better, make it more equitable and just. (Having 1% own 90% of the wealth, is not, in my opinion, just). You don't need to read the Wall Street Journal. Read whatever interests you, but get engaged. I think if enough people were aware of the level of theft, dishonesty, greed and incompetence that contributed to the situation we are in today, we could put enough pressure to make it stop. So learn. And share what you have learned to your friend.

We all take time away from the people we love, to give it to companies big and small, so we can purchase food, education and save to make our lives comfortable when we get old and sick. That money has been borrowed away and spent. The largest corporations and multinationals are broke. Think about the word bailout. When you are bailing a boat, you are not addressing the root of the problem.

If you don't know where to start, and frankly not all that interested in learning about the economy (its fucking boring!) - start with PBS

(Someone take this soapbox, please!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Brain Dead

Must be the winter-blahs. Have not felt like writing much. I get in these moods.

Please be patient

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family night

I'm going to give Monday at the Movies a little vacation. I like to share a documentary that has recently challenged me to flex my thought muscle, or at least a topic that is somewhat relevant to my circumstances. This week, bah, nothing. So instead of faking it, I thought I'd like say fuck it. I mean, it is my website after all.

So picture this. A small futon-sofa. On it you can see a 41 year old man, an 8 yr old, a 6 yr old a 10 year old and a 38 yr old woman wielding a joystick. Oh yeah, the cat was there too. Imagine an orange fluffy cat there too. Everyone is staring at a flat screen tv. Except for maybe the cat. The cat is licking his ass or something.

Now listen closely, this is what you will be able to hear

"Go South! Look in that vase! Probe it!"
"No no no no! Don't cast shadow, he has better magic than that!"
"Why do all the women have such big boobs? And why don't they jiggle?"
"Just press the button when the two circles meet! No not like that!"
"Did you check over there? What about in that place?"
"I don't want to put Cooke in the formation, Ming has composite magic"

Hey! Monday at the movies!

Of course we all read Japanese. That's how amazingly cool we are. And yes, that is my nose growing...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Evil thoughts.

Aidan and I were strolling down the mall, on our way out, when I heard it.
"Sounds like some kind of animal", I said to him.
Then the crowd parted and the source of the guttural screaming was revealed. A toddler, stiffened, arms and legs out straight and in the throes of a primal scream session. Wow. I remember those days. I was that mother. I summoned some compassion, since I remember that feeling of wanting to disappear, or at the very least having the ill tempered child disappear. Oh I remember it well.

And the worst of all. I felt joy. That it wasn't me.

There is a special space in the nine realms of hell for me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did the Buddha care about dust bunnies?

I have come to the conclusion that being diligent with housework, is an inherited trait. Suffice to say, I am just a carrier. My grandmother was what you call a neat-freak. The smell of Javex reminds me of her. She ironed her underwear, she ironed her facecloths and bras! I always wondered why she kept dogs, because she was forever muttering about their hair. But man, could she wield a vacuum cleaner. My mother inherited this gene too. Childhood was marked with frequent naggings. Eventually I came to an age where I was allowed to keep my mess contained in my room. I did not mind mess and untidiness. I guess by virtue of osmosis, I could not much tolerate rotting food or garbage. If I wanted to go visit (or worse) sleepover at a friends house, my mother always wanted to know how clean the house was. If you were 13 years old, how would you find out? Even at that age, its a tough issue to field out. How was I supposed to find out without totally offending the other person?

And that promise, when you're growing up, "When you get old enough to own your own place you can be as messy as you want". Well, that's a total lie. Whatever you do, never say this to your children, for they will live in utter disappointment.

I resist my nature at all times. For one thing, linking housekeeping habits with core morality has been driven deep within my psyche. I could not let my kids live in a dump. That would be wrong. I'm not a freak. I can leave dishes in the sink for over 24 hours before I get the motivation to put them in the dishwasher. I can step over a glop on the floor more than 10 times before I get the inclination to clean it up. What is the motivator? Guilt. Dirt = Bad person. Who the fuck came up with that? I mean, at one point in time, you could smell Paris on approach. When did we get freaky about this.

Good lord

Do you have a shame cycle when it comes to housework?