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Posts Tagged ‘Society and Culture’

Making Adultery Pay — Jenny Sanford Cashes In On Mark's Deceit

In Media, women on November 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 24: (EDITOR'S NOTE: ALTERN...

Cry, baby, cry. Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There’s even a TV series now about a wronged political wife, The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies. Now Jenny Sanford, independently wealthy — how handy is that? — is writing a memoir about her lying dog of a husband, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. Why do we care?

When you’ve got bags of your own money and can kick your adulterer quite literally to the curb, how much do you have in common with your readers?

Millions of women are “forgiving” if not forgetting their hound-dog husbands these days — as they have for decades — because one or both is stuck in a crappy recession, can’t keep or find a job paying enough money to allow them to separate, and/or may own a house that’s underwater and they can’t refinance. So the lying loser wearing their ring is still in the house. For many women right now, divorce is simply too damn complicated and expensive an option. Very few, like Jenny Sanford, have a whole extra beach house where they can go sit and commune with their thoughts, a big New York City publisher awaiting their manuscript.

Silda Spitzer kept a lid on it, and more power to her for doing so.

Spare us.

What's On Your Desk? Where Do You Work?

In design on November 6, 2009 at 8:11 am

ckdesk There’s a funny TV ad campaign for Capital One, “What’s In Your Wallet?” As someone who works alone at home, whose “desk” is a fabric-covered table in the living-room, I’m always curious where and how other people do their work. I need the space to spread out my papers, including the floor, and I have a huge picture window to my left offering lots of north light and a view straight up the Hudson River. Sometimes a hawk swoops by and geese routinely honk past in a big V.

Here’s my workspace:

1) the photo above the desk is a fun image taken by the Hartford Courant about five or six years ago of my sweetie and me for a story I wrote for them about us

2) the little black and white bear, all 1 and 3/4 inches of him, has been a tiny and comforting companion since boarding school when he used to sit in the hymnal rack and stave off the boredom of yet another church service

3) the photos on the computer are a ticket to the Ex, a Toronto summer institution, a photo of a beaver and a great pic of Julie Payette, a Canadian astronuat who recently was the only woman working in the space station. I love her thick braid tucked into her spacesuit. Women go everywhere!

4) an old-fashioned girl who loves paper and good stationery, my pink leather Filofax keeps me organized;

5) water. I get cranky if I get dehydrated;

6) bills. Ugh!;

7) a book whose author I hope to interview;

8) an 80-year-old ceramic jam jar from Paris I use for flowers — I always need Paris and flowers somewhere near me;

9) notes for story ideas;

10) a pile of places I plan to pitch those ideas to;

11) Oremi, by Angelique Kidjo, the CD popping out of the Mac.

I wonder about my fellow True Slanters’ workspaces — PJ in Kabul, Emily in Hong Kong, Lisa in NJ.

Tell me about yours…

Something Different: Three Of My Fall Photos

In nature, photography on October 13, 2009 at 11:57 am

I began my career as a photographer, and have sold my images to Time, The New York Times, and Washington Post. I shot these last weekend at the Rockefeller Preserve, a 750-acre park donated to the state of New York by the Rockefellers, who live nearby. I took these with the Canon G7 digital camera.

I hope you enjoy them — a break from all those words!

fall 2

fall 3

fall 1

Memo To Kate Gosselin: Please, Shut Up!

In entertainment, parenting, women on October 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm
GLENDALE, CA - APRIL 14:  Television personali...

Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I normally stay far away from pop culture. I hate the endless coverage of this appalling woman and her brood of kids.

Now — nooooooooo! — there’s some idea she may get her own talk show. (Get her a freaking hairdresser, wouldja?)

“I’ve been given the gift of gab,” she told a North Carolina newspaper, reports today’s New York Times. “Why not use it?”

Because you’re insufferable, narcissistic, whiny, fighting with your spouse via cable. You are, however, blond and Caucasian, the sort of self-righteous Mom-from-Hell people just can’t get enough of. Sorta like Pringles, the potato chip which bears almost no resemblance to a vegetable.

“They’re like magnets,” talk show co-host Joy Behar told the Times. Yeah, maybe in that horror-movie-where-the-super-powerful-magnet-pulls-you-to-your-bloody-death-into-the-whirring-table-saw.

If I had kids–  (I have none, and certainly not her photogenic eight) — I’d give this one a time-out. Forever.

Bird Beats Broadband and South Africa's A-Twitter

In business, culture, Technology, world on September 13, 2009 at 9:40 pm
Rock Dove

Image via Wikipedia

Messages were once carried by pigeon — and a test in South Africa pitting a pigeon named Winston against a local broadband provider found the bird was faster.

A Durban IT company this week, fed up with glacial speeds of data transmission, pitted an 11-month-old bird armed with a 4GB memory stick against the ADSL service from the country’s biggest web firm, Telkom.

Winston the pigeon took two hours to carry the data 60 miles – in the same time the ADSL had sent 4% of the data.

Telkom said it was not responsible for the firm’s slow internet speeds. South Africa is hoping the installation of fiber optic networks on the continent will soon speed things up a little.

The bird was said to be “over the moon” at his feat.

Seven Years Of Life in Baghdad — Amal Salman's Diary

In culture, women on September 10, 2009 at 6:44 am
The location of Baghdad within Iraq.

Image via Wikipedia

When the U.S. invaded Iraq, she was 13, and she began keeping a diary, then living with her family in Karrada, a working-class district. Amal Salman has since moved with them twice, one of eight children of a widowed mother. Her oldest brother, Ali, was arrested last year after a raid on a local cafe and has been in prison for eight months so far.

Here’s some of her diary, and a story about her life since she began keeping it, written by Washington Post Middle East correspondent Anthony Shadid, which ran recently. Like teens elsewhere, Amal sleeps in a bedroom filled with posters of her idols, including the soccer team Real Madrid, soccer star David Beckham and actor Brad Pitt.

Salman tells Shadid she writes at night when “the noise subsides and I hear only the frequent roar of the helicopters roaming back and forth, to which I have grown accustomed.” That’s my kind of reporting.

Her sister Fatima says she loves Dr. Phil and Oprah; says Amal, “We already have enough disasters in Iraq. Why do we need to hear about other people’s?”

It’s rare and valuable to hear from a young woman abroad, her words unmediated. I’m glad Shadid asked her, she trusted him and she agreed. That’s also my kind of reporting.

T/S Quiz: How Well Do You Speak Canadian?

In culture on September 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm
A hiker poses at Canadian Flag Viewpoint above...

Image via Wikipedia

In honor of a long, and I hope lazy weekend, a little light mental labor…

While some Americans insist Canada is really the 51st state (not!), Canadians continue to use a variety of words and phrases that many Americans have never heard. If you ever venture north of the 49th parallel, i.e. the border, here are some you’ll likely hear.

Whoever gets all of these right (no Googling!) will get one of my most precious belongings, a Canadian candy bar, i.e. God’s gift to confectionery. (A clue, eight of these are food items.)

tuque…loonie…toonie…pogey…two-fer…LCBO…depanneur…poutine…chesterfield…to deke…bangbelly…bannock…pemmican…catskinner…Nanaimo bar…Group of Seven…tourtiere…Timbit…222s…shinny…PMO…dog’s breakfast…RRSP…riding (not a verb)…QC…butter tart

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