Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What has this world come to?

Now the recession has officially started to hit me where it hurts. The U.S. Postal Service is considering reducing mail delivery to only 5 days a week! There is less mail being sent, while the cost of delivering mail continues to increase. I try and do my part by sending out lots of cards, ordering from and even mailing a few of my bills the old fashioned way (I don't trust the utilities to do online billing right). Out of all my daily errands, the Post Office is my favorite. I think it goes back to watching Mister Rogers every morning and waiting for Mr. McFeely to deliver the mail. Recently, the randomest piece of mail I received was a letter from #43 thanking me for my service to his administration. I had no idea that interns were even considered worthy of a letter! I really hope we can avoid this travesty. The mail is one of the coolest things we have, because for 42 cents you can send something clear across the country. So get out there and write some letters, the USPS and I thank you. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hail to the Chief!

So I'm sure we've all had our fill of Inauguration related news and excitement this week, but there were a few things I thought might be worth a look.

First, from the creators of, Kevin & Bean produced a nice audio montage to #43 (George II). For those of us, who remember Boys II Men End of the Road being played at our junior high and high school graduations it will bring back fond memories of having to say goodbye.

Second, I personally thought Obama's speech was definitely more practical than I had expected, but that was not at all felt by my favorite economist Paul Krugman. After thinking about it a bit I wonder if tightening our belts, greater government oversight, and making tough choices about how we spend money is really the answer. I guess it didn't work out for Hoover. :(

Finally, for those of you who are Californians, I think we should all take a moment to recognize the fact that our state's credit rating may be downgraded again by Moody's. We are now tied for last with hurricane damaged Louisiana. Pretty sad when one of the world's largest economies can't borrow money, because it's considered a bad investment. I'm afraid to wonder how much farther we can sink this state in budget woes.

In sports news, Manny is almost definitely headed to the Angels, and Jeff Kent says goodbye for good. I'll miss you Kent, especially when you'd run your mouth at the umps over strikes and balls.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hamachi vs. Winston

Being a SoCal native my relationship with my cars have been a decade-long love-hate relationship. My first vehicle, a Toyota Corolla, was named the Love Bus by one of my high school friends (for reason unbeknown to me) and survived a little over 2 years under my helm. Unfortunately, it was totaled on the way to school when another driver decided to place her car squarely in the middle of the two oncoming lanes of traffic. After that it was a variety of vehicles including the Volvo and Love Bus No. 2 which was a Chevy Prizm (but for all intents and purposes a Corolla).

In December of 2004, I bought my first car, Winston or Winnie the Mini. He was a beaut, in classic black and I loved him more than anyone should probably love a vehicle. I had such a good time driving him for those 60k plus miles, even though I know most of my passengers were not sorry to see him go. Unfortunately, Winston came with many manufacturer problems (don't ever buy a car the 2nd year it is made). I had so much replaced on him, from the window motors, steering wheel, steering fuel pump, batteries, tires, struts, etc., that by the time he decided his transmission wasn't going to be functioning for much longer I realized it was time to say goodbye. After four years of motoring across L.A., I kissed Winston goodbye and said hello to Hamachi.
Now, Hamachi is Japanese and practical, being a Subaru Impreza with All-Wheel Drive and has excellent safety ratings. He doesn't often turn heads, and I don't get a million questions about how fun is it to drive, but he's a good piece of gear. I've learned slowly to love Hamachi (very similar to how I learned to love sushi) and am now proud to say that I bought a car from a company that has managed to brave the economic turmoil of the past year. (Note: Mini also did very well last year.)

I may not fit the description of the average Scooby Doo driver, and definitely miss my greatest fashion accessory Winston, but at least I won't have to worry about Hamachi going kamikaze on me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Madness All Day

I have found a new tv obsession- Mad Men. I waded through the 2nd season, without watching the first and was pleasantly amused. But for those of you who haven't discovered it, I do recommend starting at the beginning with Season 1. You'll appreciate the characters so much more. But here's a quick breakdown of why I love this show.

1. There are 3 main activities- drinking, smoking and sex. Not necessarily in that order, and all take place at the office. I can't imagine that the 60s were really that risque, but who knows. Either way, it makes going to the office look like a soap opera, but of course with a little bit more style.

2. The clothes are awesome. All the women wear tight, yet flattering dresses to work, accentuating their most sought after assets. The men with their suits and skinny ties, don't look so bad. And Don Draper looks good in just about anything.

3. Everyone on the show is just a little crazy. From the perfect housewife Betty, who decides to use a shotgun on the neighbor's pets, to the very proper Pete Campbell having a rendezvous the night before his wedding; all the characters seem about one episode away from a mental hospital.

4. It is also a history lesson. Although Sterling Cooper is a made-up ad agency, the businesses they represent are real including Dr. Scholl's, Nixon's campaign versus Kennedy and my favorite, Heineken. I've learned a lot more about what was going on in this decade then in most of my American history classes.

5. You'll look at ads differently forever. This was the beginning of the ad-crazed world we know today. TV was still a luxury item and the ads were a lot more straightforward, but the ways they get you to buy things are amazing.

So next time you head to Netflix, add Mad Men to the queue. And not just because I say so, but because Don does...