Archive for October, 2006

Contending With Time

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Unless you live on another planet, there are never enough hours in the day. But if you use these efficiency techniques, you can win that battle with time:

1. Always do at least two things at once. While showering, write a screenplay. While sorting laundry, invent a handy appliance for the home. While chatting on the phone with a dull acquaintance, take a nap.

2. Consolidate self-improvement routines. Exercise to learn-a-language tapes while watching watercolor videos. Not only will you save time, but you’ll have thin thighs for that trip to Le Musée du Louvre.

3. Buy a speaker-phone for your kitchen. You’ll be able to cook, vacuum, and knit dog-hair booties while you talk on the phone.

4. When you’re in the kitchen, post reminder notes on the fridge. (“It’s the laundry, stupid.”)

5. Group chores alphabetically. If you have to go to the pharmacy, combine your trip with errands beginning with the letter ‘P.’ …”  (Contending With Time is continued here.)

Linky Love

Monday, October 30th, 2006

For your reading pleasure:

(All links removed because obsolete.)

A Squirrely Lesson

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

Being a feminist, even a moderate feminist like me, can make it tough to dodge duties unsuited to the squeamish. In my case, squirrel removal.

Like most people, I prefer my squirrels outdoors. So I wasn’t exactly pleased when a squirrel decided to invade my turf. One morning last winter, when I was barely awake and shuffling down our basement stairs, something with a bushy tail flashed past me, mere inches from my toes. So I ask you, what’s a feminist to do? Yell hysterically? Scream for help? Well, … yes. I also scrambled up the steps, slammed the door, and told myself the squirrel would find its own way out.

For the next few hours I wondered what my squirrel was up to. I even tried to talk myself into marching downstairs and facing him down. Or creeping downstairs and checking things out. Or opening the cellar door just a crack, peering down the steps, and shutting the door fast before the squirrel became suspicious.

What kind of feminist was I, I asked myself, as I paced a floor above the intruder. Surely Gloria Steinem would stand her ground against a tiny rodent. Thank goodness I wasn’t famous enough to be a Rush Limbaugh target. “Femi-Nazi hypocritical wimp Madeleine Begun Kane is ascared of a wee little squirrel,” he’d surely say if he knew I existed. … (A Squirrely Lesson is continued here.)

UPDATE: Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day, January 21st!

UPDATE: How To Get Rid Of Squirrels

Wine Tasting Robots, Oh My!

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Would you trust a wine tasting robot? What about a robot that thinks humans taste like bacon? (Via Majikthise)

Wine Tasting Robots, Oh My! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane 

Wine tasting robots, oh my!
It’s a concept that some might not buy.
Yet men oft opine
Quite ineptly on wine.
So perhaps I shall give one a try.

What Do People Taste Like?
By Madeleine Begun Kane 

What do people taste like?
I surely do not know.
A cannibal might tell you,
Or the artist Vin Van Gogh.

Maybe we’re like chicken,
Or tuna in a can.
No, it’s “bacon,” says one robot.
Did it taste a Jewish man?

(You can find my food and drink humor here.)

Linky Love

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

For your reading pleasure:
Ask Patty – Automotive Advice for Women Blog Carnival
Carnival of Economics and Social Policy

Attention Wal-Mart … Patients? (Limerick)

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Attention, Wal-Mart … Patients?
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Wal-Mart is marketing health care
Via clinics in stores. Near the hardware?
You can call me a cynic,
But Wal-Mart based clinics?
My prescription is “Patients Beware.”

Linky Love

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

For your reading pleasure:
Amusing TV reviews by Ken Levine
Carnival of Animals

Secret Shopper

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

“I’m not going in there. No way. Forget it.”

My seventy-something mother’s stance was as rigid as her words; arms folded across her chest, unyielding legs pointed away from the shop I’d just suggested.

She and I had spent the entire afternoon combing through three department stores for the definitive pair of panties. Or at least my mom’s idea of same. This illusive undergarment had to be loose, comfortable, 100% cotton, and totally devoid of lace. And that was just for starters. It also had to completely cover my mother’s hips and come in a large size, the exact number of which she resolutely refused to disclose. … (Secret Shopper is continued here.)

Linky Love

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

For your reading pleasure:
Carnival of the Cats
Carnival of the Mundane
Carnival of Travel
Carnival Of Healing

Ode To Genetically Altered Cats (Limerick)

Monday, October 9th, 2006

If you’re a feline fan who’s very allergic to cats (as I am) and you’re very rich (as I’m not,) scientists have come to your rescue with genetically altered cats:

Ode To Genetically Altered Cats
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Do cats make you suffer and wheeze?
There’s a cure for some real hefty fees:
A kitty whose genes
Are swept allergen clean.
You can kiss and it won’t make you sneeze.

Linky Love (Updated)

Monday, October 9th, 2006

For your reading pleasure:
The Ringing of the Bards

False Alarm

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

My husband Mark and I have a weekend hideaway, a respite from the pace of New York City life. Our country haven is smaller than most; it was once optimistically measured at 400 square feet. In fact, it’s so petite that the very act of staying there more than a day without a single quarrel is persuasive proof of a sound relationship.

On a recent weekend there we were happily hiding out, luxuriating in nature, listening to the birds, and breathing in the fragrant non-New York City air. Suddenly, we were assaulted by a distinctly unpacific sound. No, not sundry talking heads screaming about Iraq. It was even worse than that. … (False Alarm is continued here.)

Linky Love

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

For your reading pleasure:
Blawg Review #77
Carnival of Real Estate
Carnival of Travel