Monday, July 30, 2007

Trend Alert, Part III

Summer camp for rich kids, with a twist: these camps teach the campers how to handle their inheritances. Yet another crutch for wealthy parents who shirk their duties. Here's a thought: teach your children the value of money the old fashioned way, and make them get a job. Case and point: Ivanka Trump. Good parenting can trump the trappings of wealth. (No pun intended.)

Campers are asked questions like, what would you do if you won $10 million? To which one camper responded with the money quote:

"If that's pretax, $10 million isn't that much."

Ha! Spoken like a true trust fund brat. The article goes on to conclude that:

...these kids wouldn't be tomorrow's chief executives and billionaire entrepreneurs. Most would probably drift through life spending their parents' money and hoping it would last. Tomorrow's economic superstars will more likely come from the striving middle class, just as they have for much of American history. And all that inherited wealth will wind up going to people who actually earned it -- an encouraging sign for those of us worried about the wealth gap.
I'm supposed to be encouraged that trust fund brats are so stupid they're likely to piss away their fortune? Well okay. But what about the fact that it's easy to make money when you already have money, e.g. through investing and business ventures. These kids are so dumb that they don't know how to hire advisors? But hey, if all else fails, heiresses-to-be can follow the footsteps of the mother of heiresses and release a sex tape.

Trend Alert, Part II

Add a flavor cartridge to your water filtration system. Comes in strawberry, peach and raspberry. It contains sucralose (the sweetener found in Splenda), so it's calorie-free. Hey, at least you know where it comes from and it doesn't leave behind plastic waste.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Trend Alert, Part I

The giftless birthday party is gaining popularity. That's right. Parents request that guests donate to a charity in lieu of giving a present.

I can understand why a parent would adopt this approach. Birthday parties have clearly become excessive. And beyond that, society itself is wealthy compared to when I grew up. The cars and houses are bigger; there are more toys and baby gear; there are hundreds of television channels; children are expected to own a cell phone, etc. My unsupported theory is that extreme material wealth distracts from spirituality and things that really matter. Compare todays younger generation to that of the 60s. Where's the rebellion? Does the younger generation even care about the war in Iraq? And what's happened to rock music? It's become watered down and meaningless. It's like today's younger generation is missing a soul. Perhaps, they're in a videogame-induced malaise or something.

On the other hand, birthday gifts themselves are not per se excessive. I'm personally inclined to reject the giftless birthday party for that reason. But I will look for other ways of rejecting extreme materialism and imparting spirituality and a strong sense of values onto my children.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Book Rec

Not exactly beach reading, but I recommend Uncommon Arrangements, by Katie Roiphe. It follows the real life marriages of 7 couples living in England from in the early 1900s. For those unfamiliar with Roiphe, she's widely regarded as anti-feminist because of her views on date rape on campus, which she regards as hysteria. See: The Morning After.

Although the book itself is an examination of the institution of marriage, it's relevant to anyone struggling with the "juggle". The women in Uncommon Arrangements are torn between the tradition of domesticity which characterized woman's role in the Victorian era, and the modern role of a woman as a writer or an artist. These progressive women try to import their modern values into human relations and romantic love, with varying results.

Uncommon Arrangements is thought-provoking and serious, but it's hardly a chore to read. Roiphe makes it dishy and compelling. Again, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No surprise here.

Americans aren't taking vacation. Reports CNN:

"Our sense is that people are busier than ever with their lives, their family activities, their kids," said Jeanenne Diefendorf of Orbitz. "So they find it difficult to take an extended vacation and easier to balance if they're only gone a couple of days."

I've long believed that Americans are drowning in extreme work hours. But, because it's the norm, few are riled by it. Vacation isn't a priority; it's an afterthought. People don't want to go away because they're afraid of how far behind they will be at work when they come back.

Enjoy summer while you can.

Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, thinks we're going to be under attack. Based on what intell? None. It's just a "gut feeling." Well my gut is saying, "Chertoff is a douchebag." And at least my gut feeling is supported by fact.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Daylight savings time is kicking my ass.

My three year old can't be convinced to go back to bed when it's light out. This means I'm up at 5:30 lately. *yawn* If only three year old toddlers could be configured like a 1950 alarm clock. Nine more minutes please.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The customer is NOT always right.

Sprint/Nextel fired 1,000 of its customers...for bitching too much. I love it! Maybe this is cathartic for me because I am a service provider, by occupation.

Bitch, bitch,'re fired! That'll never get old. Never.

Be a dear...

...and hand Momma a smoke.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Alarmist Headline of the Day

Afternoon naps could harm children. Yes "harm." And people wonder why modern-day parents are neurotic.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Hotter than a designer handbag.

Presenting: the kidcessory.

Ever hear of Mariska Hargitay? I hadn't, until she became a celebrity mom. Now she shows up at every event on the celebrity mom endorsement circuit. New Finding Nemo ride at Disneyland? She's there. Hot Mom Soiree, hosted by Suave? She's hosting it. Interview with Cookie Magazine? Check. And, alas, she's milking it in the literal sense, participating in the Got Milk campaign with her kidcessory in tow.

Hargitay's little kidcessory turned one this month. Where does she host his first birthday party? At her house? Somewhere private? Not so much. Try Central Park. Desparate for press, much?

Happy birthday, August! Say "papparazzo"!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Why do business magazines insult women?

Forbes published an article entitled "Don't Marry a Career Women." Well that's Forbes, and everyone knows it's a conservative rag anyway.

Now my beloved Money Magazine is counseling its female readers on how to marry a billionaire. It includes such nuggets as "be a status faker", "be into what he's into" and get a job in one of the following industries in order to snag your man: real estate (with a specialty in mansions); luxury-car, private-jet or yacht sales; work at museums, galleries or high-end antique shops; interior design or architecture; and race-horse training. Not that a woman would have her own independent career goals.

Although the article purports to be gender neutral, it counsels male readers to target widows because

...for all of the strides women have made in the workplace, most superrich gals do acquire their wealth through their relationships with men.

Really? I guess Martha Stewart didn't get that memo. Why, Money, why must you insult me?

Don't miss Jean Chatzky puttin in her two cents worth. ps she sucks too.

Not so fast.

Having children passengers who need to pee doesn't excuse speeding violation.


I don't believe it.

Nicole Richie is pregnant. No way girlfriend menstruates naturally with negative 5 bmi. She's either lying or taking fertility drugs.

As an aside, the fertility g-ds are not fair, are they? People like Anna Nicole Smith and Nicole Richie who abuse their bodies get PG, while some one like Jennifer Lopez struggles with infertility. No justice to it.