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Friday, March 07, 2008

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! They Said It, And I Talk About It! (What Could Be Better?)


In this modern, plugged-in world, information moves at breakneck speeds. News travels around the globe at the click of a keystroke, the flicker of a fiber-optic cable. No one knows when a microphone or camera is nearby, and then it's too late. Words and images are captured for posterity, such as it is, on film, tape, digital media, or HTML code for at least the near future.

Here at Dept. of Nance, I'm just trying to do my part. In case you missed them, I've gathered a few of the most memorable quotes spoken over the last few weeks that I've found newsworthy. Naturally, I can't help but add a bit of commentary, and I hope you'll be moved to do the same.

"We don't have much. What we have in excess is women. So if you want them we can give a few of those to you, some tens of thousands."--Mao Zedong Mao said this in 1973, according to some documents recently released by the US State Dept.'s historian. The occasion? Trade talks. I can only imagine what he wanted in return. What did we have in excess in 1973, do you think, that Richard Nixon would have traded in order to gain tens of thousands of Chinese women? Skylab? Perhaps, in hindsight, Mark Felt.

"I'm standing on the roof of Parliament because the democratic process has been corrupted."--Richard George This man was one of five people who climbed out onto the Houses of Parliament to protest the expansion of Heathrow. Can you possibly imagine what the Capitol might look like if Congress protested the fact that the United States' democratic process has been corrupted in just this fashion? How many people do you think would be perched on the roof? I'm hoping plenty.

"I'm not sure why it's going to take them three hours to learn how to press a button."--Mike Perry, owner of a small, locally owned coffee shop on Starbucks' three-hour closure to " retrain employees and improve coffee quality." Exactly, Mike Perry. Call bullshit exactly what it is when you smell it. Hey, Starbucks! Everyone knows what your three-hour session was: a corporate panic attack. And you're doing exactly what all big businesses do when the bottom line goes red, and that's blame the employees. I live near Cedar Point, a major amusement park. When it started losing money because it jacked up ticket prices, guess what it did. Did it say, hey! People around here don't have that kinda cash to lay out for a day at a rollercoaster place? No. They berated their workers (my sister-in-law was one at the time) and said that the Number One Reason park attendance was down was...Employee Rudeness. So, Starbucks, keep charging exorbitant rates for a cup of basically highly-sugared, overly-creamed, super-caloric java and I'll keep patronizing my second-floor lounge at The Rock.

"We're not gonna change. I'm too country."--Tonya Harris This woman is the winner of $275 million dollars in the Mega Millions lottery. Oh, that silly, silly woman. Of course she will change. I saw her and her husband, a very Georgia country singer looking guy with silvery hair and Colonel Sanders moustache, on television. They were still in shock. They lived in a little trailer-looking house and were talking about giving money to their grandkids and all that. I do believe that part, about giving money to the grandkids, but trust me, Tonya. You'll be shoe shopping and going on cruises and dropping the phrases "Manolo Blahnik" and "Marc Jacobs" in no time. No time.

"Last year, after Virginia Tech, I thought, 'I'm not going to be a victim.' "--Nick, senior at University of Utah. This student carries a gun now to his classes on campus in the only state to allow weapons at all public universities. I don't know whether to cry or throw up. I hate that Nick feels he must do this. I'm sickened that he can.

"The problem is time. There just isn't enough time. Men won't spend a whole day away from their family anymore."--Walter Hurney, a real estate developer on the decline of golf. Hey, Walter, here's a news flash for ya: golf is boring! And it promotes bad fashion. Remember what Mark Twain said, "Golf is a good walk spoiled." I think golf is too time-consuming and it's basically a downer. Rick and I have a rule, and this is it: he isn't allowed to tell me his score if it's more than 40, and that's for 9 holes. Really, any more than that and he should be embarrassed anyway. The only good thing about golf is that it gave me a husband. I met Rick in college phys. ed. golf class.

Finally, here's one that made me miss "The West Wing", which was one of the best television shows ever. I used to love when Rob Lowe's character and Bradley Whitford's character would suddenly crow "He got The Question!" And The Question would be something that would make that candidate or whomever become totally undone. Like when Poppy/Bush 41 got "How much is a gallon of milk?" and he had no idea. Well, get this: "That's interesting. I hadn't heard that. "--Angel of Death, unaware of predictions that gasoline would reach $4 in the coming months. "Interesting"?! That doesn't even begin to cover it, buster.

22 comments:

  1. Amen, Nance! When I heard Bush say that last line, I almost choked on my Captain Crunch. Although I shouldn't be surprised at anything he says or does anymore. Why, oh why does he still have a double-digit approval rating?

    Sigh. Only a couple hundred more days...

    Fortune Cookie

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  2. Did you type this eighth period.

    Fantastic post, especially as I try to dig myself out and venture out onto the frozen tundra.

    Kill the groundhog.

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  3. cactus flower/fortune cookie--welcome back! it's been a while. nothing that moron says surprises me. what surprises me is that no one really hammers at him.

    andoak--welcome to "brainstorms!" actually, i researched this during testing. i should have credited my source, so i'll do so now:
    http://www.time.com/time/quotes

    and hell--you know that on fridays, i usually scoot 8th period.

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  4. Slick and sharp. (DoN, not the quotes.) Still laughin'

    The Starbucks thing rang true because I noticed that when I stopped in at my local for a rare SB coffee, I was asked my name. I figured that meant I would have to wait. But then I hadn't ordered anything fancy. And sure enough, within seconds of ordering my coffee, the coffee dispenser (person) sang out my praises so I would know it was sitting on the counter in front of me. Literally before the cashier had time to ring it up. "Here's your coffee, Ortizzle, and have a great day." Gee, that is SO making me want to drop another couple of bucks soon at StarBIGBUCKS. :-)

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  5. It's pretty pointless to hammer Bush ... he'd just say something else equally inane. At least with Bill Clinton (then and now), you can count on him getting riled up and responding in a way that usually amuses. Sadly, I don't think we'll ever have presidents who are up on the costs of every day living, unless it's fed to them in a morning brief. Yes, we are all biding our time left with Bush, Fortune Cookie. Sometimes time passing quickly can be a good thing!

    Hmmm, somehow I can't see that woman in GA going for Manola Blahnicks, Nance ... maybe Ettienne Aigner (high dollar for someone who lives in a trailer and considered the ultimate for some lower/middle income folks in the south and always mispronounced as Agna).

    I don't think carrying weapons on campus is the answer either. I wish there were an answer. I know we are all looking for one (or several), especially those of us who have sons and daughters in college.

    I loved West Wing. In the early episodes, before I caught the rhythm of the interactions between the characters I felt pretty stupid trying to keep up. Soon, I picked up on it though and enjoyed it tremendously. At the end of each episode, I felt like my brain had been exercised and sometimes overtaxed frankly, LOL. Although it was fictional, I felt like I learned more about how the Oval Office and Congress really work ... all the little tits for tats that equate to real politics. Jeb Bartlett was a president you could respect. If only real life imitated art. Let's hope we'll see that next time around.

    Ortizzle-Even the Linksys Tech Support folks ask for your first name. It doesn't make me feel any more kindly to them when they say, "Shirley" this or "Shirley" that, after I've been on the phone for hours trying to get a problem resolved though. They are very pleasant people, but they walk you through scripted instruction after scripted instruction and you always just wish you could get to the fix more directly.

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  6. Shirley: LOL. I guess my irony was too subtle. What I meant was, "I don't give a crap if you call me by my name, it just takes me back to kindergarten and makes me feel like you are my teacher so just give me the dang coffee and forget about have-a-nice-day because that's going to send me into another tail spin." In other words, it not only did not impress me, it made me feel like I was in another corporate America business meeting where we all have to write our feelings down on post-its and stick 'em on The Corporate Opinion Wall. :-)

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  7. Ortizzle-I understood. I just wasn't clear in my response. I should have added an "Ugh" after my first sentence. Most of the time I find being called by my name condescending--just another attempt to get my money, recommendation, or the like. Another UGH. Currently, I am trying to get my retirement from my former company. The CSR calls me every 5 days to give me a status. At the end of each call, he asks "Shirley, would you like me to call you again in 5 days and give you the status?" Each time, I want to scream into the phone, but I don't. I do raise my voice a bit and show my utmost irritaions when I say, "No, I want you to resolve the issue so you don't have to call me in 5 days with the status." He starts mumbling and gets tongue tied. I ask for a manager who blames the delay on someone else, tells me the matter will be expedited, and the pattern repeats. Customer service is so often a contradiction in terms. LOL

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  8. I hate the idea of being able to carry guns on campus. What was more depressing about that story was that other states are considering it!

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  9. I don't know what's worse golf clothes or golf shoes. argh! There are many times I rip tennis shoes OFF my feet due to a vision of golfing.

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  10. Shirley: Funny you should say that about Customer Service. I just posted on that, lol. Good luck with the "status every 5 days." I am not nearly that patient. After a few phone calls like that I would probably be in the office of that guy's boss pulling a temper tantrum. :-)

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  11. I don't believe that student really feels that he needs to have a gun with him on campus. He just wants to look cool when he gets interviewed. Regardless, it's absurd that one is allowed to bring a gun with them to school. ABSURD!

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  12. I never knew that's how you met your husband! I read that article about golf too and thought it was kind of odd.

    And the Starbucks thing. Well, I love their stuff, but I think that the closure was a big PR campaign that worked and they didn't have to pay for. It worked! Everyone is talking about them.

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  13. anali--i guess it IS true that there's no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right!

    i.h.--isn't Utah full of Mormons? why should they, of all people, need to pack heat? at least Mitt struck me as a fairly non-violent kind of guy. LOL.

    simplypink--i've always thought that even bowling attire had more cache than golf attire!!

    jenomena--the day that OH became a concealed carry state, i didn't feel any safer. on the contrary, it made me feel way LESS safe, especially on the roads. you never know which road-rager is packing.

    shirley--i loved the high-speed banter and "walk and talk" on WW. like you, i felt my brain being exercised and love shows that make me feel smart. btw--my favorite spring purse is a little pink leather Etienne Aigner that i stole for only $29, marked down from $150. love his non-logo bags.

    ortizzle--thanks for the compliment. i also hate being called by my first name by "instant friends", like baristas. i don't "do starbucks", but not on principle--we just don't have one nearby. we have a couple smaller local houses and chains, but i only have coffee in the morning, then have to swear off the caffeine or else.

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  14. I went to Starbucks exactly once. (well twice, if you count a giftcard I got for Christmas this year) The bill, for four people, was 24.9something for 4 hot drinks. Drinks hot enough to leave me without taste buds for 4 days.

    Also, on rudeness at Cedar Point, what the? We often went there when I was a child and I took my kids there in October for Halloweekends. I have to say that that is the only park outside of Disney that is clean and staffed with decent people. It always has been.

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  15. I totally agree about feeling less safe with OH allowing concealed carry :-(

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  16. VERY interesting read Nance!!! "Golf is boring! And it promotes bad fashion." Love. Love. LOVE it!!! LOL!

    I don't know which makes me more ill...the story about Nick or the "copycat" murders in Illinois...sickening people in this world we live in.

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  17. tera--thanks, tera. it had been a while since i'd done a newsy post.

    laura--i haven't been to Cedar Point since I was pregnant with Jared, and that's been about 24 years now. Employee rudeness has NOT been the reason. I've outgrown it, and the price is so prohibitive now that it's one flat fee regardless of what you'll do in the park. my amusement park days are long gone, i'm afraid, now that i'm so very easily (and cheaply!) amused.

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  18. Can hardly dignify Mao's shocking comment with an answer, but, in 1973, maybe the trade could have been boatloads of explosive Ford Pintos and whatever Chevy Corvairs were left over after Ralph Nader. Oh, and state mandated castration for people like Mao.

    Starbucks--they need a lot more than a three hour stunt to get their act together! The problem is neither customer service or employees, it's a drastic quality decline. It used to be a treat I gave myself a couple times a year, but I quit. I can make it better at home and control the hazelnut.

    "Too country"--maybe a shiny new trailer and a new pair o'teeth?

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  19. I've never been a big fan of golf, Starbucks or Mao so I'm all good with this post.

    Oh, and you KNOW how I feel about Dubya.

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  20. Ortizzle--Just wanted to clarify on the customer service issue. I am not a patient woman in such matters, but this is from one of the top (think BIG) companies in the country and there's nobody's office nearby I can go to in order to throw a temper tantrum. And, because I am now a former employee, the company could care less. I am convinced it's because the longer they wait, the less of a pension package they'll have to pay me due to the declining market. I think I need to submit a written complaint now and I will ... thanks for the indirect push!

    Nance-I never got to comment on your endorsements a while back, but OMG, bunnies are my fave. The "medicinal" bunny is incredibly adorable. I am a bunny lover from forever. My son had Peter Rabbit as his nursery theme. I have cross stitch pictures of bunnies, photos of bunnies, and stuffed bunnies. Keep those cute bunnies coming!

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  21. China still thinks it has an excess of women, which is why every infertile middle to upper class couple in America has a Chinese daughter rescued from an orphanage overseas.

    The next generation of Chinese men are going to have to come here looking for Chinese brides. How crazy is that?

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  22. v-grrrl--China has decided to stick with its one-child policy also. Which is aka The High Amnio/Female Fetus Abortion Rate policy.

    Shirley--I'm glad someone else is enjoying the bunnies. Sometimes, I think parts of my blog are just that...'mine.' LOL.

    gina--glad to get another Gina Stamp of Approval!

    Sputnik--I forgot about Pintos. But I always was fascinated by those Pacers. I still think they're cute. Sort of like bloated Mini Coopers.

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Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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