Thursday, May 28, 2009

More Thoughts in a Murky Stream

It's not easy coming up with a blog topic each week. Or at least settling on one good one. Every week, I leave it until Tuesday or Wednesday and then in a slight panic, get my Thursday blog written. The more panic, the better my writing. Crazy huh?

It's Tuesday night and I'm writing these words as I listen to the local 10:00 pm news. My co-author suggested that I do a blog about Supreme Court Nominee Sonya Sotomayor's reported fondness for Nancy Drew books. But I peeked at Maggie Barbieri's scheduled Wednesday blog and found she'd beaten me to the punch. (If you haven't read her blog yet, just scroll down and you'll find it below this blog entry.) Hey! I didn't mean look at it right this minute! I'm working here!

So back to my topic this week. These are my four remaining choices:

Dumpster Babies - A couple of days ago a newborn baby was found in a dumpster in Sapulpa, Oklahoma. Sapulpa is a bedroom community of Tulsa. The baby whimpered and someone cleaning up the day after a veterans' event heard the sounds. The baby was okay. A miracle. But also a tragedy. Oklahoma has a law that allows babies less than seven days old to be left at any hospital, fire department, police station etc. with no questions asked. Hard to believe any mother would put a baby in the trash instead. In this day and age even scared teens know there are other options.

My Big Office Move Part II – It will be Thursday when this blog is posted. The next day, on Friday, the moving van shows up to relocate my "day job" office to a new building. This new building is just new to us. It's an older building that has been gutted and remodeled to meet our needs. Eventually, it will be a wonderful place to spend my weekdays – but as of today it has no windows, no doors, no sheetrock, and I'm beyond panic. I think everything is going to go into storage pods and I'll be working from home or my car for the next two weeks. Sometimes I could do with less adventure in my life.

Last Two Books I Read for Fun – Over the holiday weekend I read Nevada Barr's Borderline and Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child's Cemetery Dance. Both are good, but since I'm not into Zombies, I enjoyed Nevada Barr's murderous raft trip in West Texas best.

Jon & Kate Plus Eight Season Premiere – I confess I watched. I'm not proud of myself. Those kids are absolutely being exploited for the parents' fame and fortune. My co-author has given me many good reasons why this show is a bad thing. But you know, like train wrecks, you just can't help looking. Or at least I can't. The recent tabloid reports about the couple's alleged marital infidelities, made this premiere one of those "gotta watch" episodes. I mean, just last season, the couple renewed their wedding vows in Hawaii while the kids stood behind them arguing loudly over the leis. Just goes to show that if you have eight kids, six of whom are less than five, you can't count on the trip down the aisle going smoothly. And, I'm thinking renewing those vows, was kind of like tempting fate. Monday night's new episode was full of tear-filled, lower lip trembling, angst. That was Kate. Jon was belligerent and he looked like he'd spent way too much time in the sun somewhere while wearing goggles. I swear I could see the goggles outline on his dark red face. Did Jon have an affair? Did Kate have an affair? And the most important question, will Kate have to plan all future over-scheduled, media event parties for her kids on her own, or rather without Jon? (She seems to have plenty of other people to help her, and if not, she could scale down the events. No kid really needs rented bouncy tents, a magician, and piƱatas for their fifth birthday party.)

Okay, this blog is done. I'm putting a fork in it. You have my permission now to scroll down and read Maggie's blog. And don't miss Marilyn's blog from Tuesday. She's just back from Mayhem in the Midlands. (I would have gone to that conference too – but you know – there was this office move to deal with. Sigh.)

aka The Southern Half of Evelyn David


  1. I had never seen Jon & Kate Plus 8 until this weekend, when I watched one episode. In this episode, Kate exoriated Jon for not using a coupon to buy a shower head. Apparently, they would have saved a few dollars. Then I learned that they make between $25k to
    $50k per episode (I'm still not sure what kind of behavior warrants the $50k paycheck over the $25k paycheck) and I felt sadder for Jon and those kids than I should have. But a life lesson was learned: I snapped at my own family while making dinner and immediately caught myself. I sounded like Kate, and that was a bad thing. So, thank you, Kate, mother of 8, for helping reduce the hate. (Yes, that was supposed to rhyme.)

    And Rhonda, your blog writing schedule sounds similar to mine. Sorry for scooping the Sotomayor story. She's a hometown girl around these parts. Maggie

  2. Here's my mini-rant on the Gosselin trainwreck.

    The bottom line is that the private lives of children aren't supposed to be entertainment fodder on television. They're entitled to the same privacy that the Gosselin parents are insisting upon for themselves. Kids aren't supposed to grow up with a camera crew in the bathroom with them or taping their meltdowns which are then discussed on television by their parents. Moms and Dads are supposed to be a child's constant advocate - not sharing on TV for big bucks how the eight-year-old has "issues" or is being "ugly." If your parents aren't your best cheerleaders - then who will be?

    Finally, there is the money, lots and lots of money - but ZERO guarantee that these kids will see even one dime. There are NO laws protecting children on reality shows. Child actors fall under the Coogan law, and while their parents may rip them off, there will be at least some money in trust for them when they reach 18. Children on reality shows - zip, nada, nothing. The Gosselin 8 have nothing to legally protect the millions they have earned for their parents, neither of which holds a job outside of hawking these kids.

    Get this show -- and for that matter all the other shows like it - off the air. Give these kids back the privacy we give to our own children.

    Whew! End of mini-rant.


  3. I too, have only seen (most of) one episode, and it was the shower head coupon kafuffle! Any time that I've been channel surfing and stopped for a minute on JK8, it's the same episode. Funny how that works: the only one you can ever catch is the one you've seen.

    That said, it seems no loss to me: JK8 is just another in a disturbing string of awful and vulgar shows that demean everyone involved. Trust me. I leaned my lesson with the Real Housewives.

    The phrase "media whores" seems to fit the two grown ups (and, yes, I use the term because it's ironic) in this. (Some of the Real Housewives are ACTUAL whores.)

    I was also taken by how that Kate is a real piece of work. And, Jon is pretty stupid and vain. What more is there? NEXT! There's a couple who should not have given into the impulse to breed further. The divorce—and there will be one—will be a nightmare, no doubt televised.

    And, personally, I have real problems with the "let's interfere with our reproductive functions and drop a litter of kids" when smushed together with the "who are we to play God and do any selective reduction when our interfering leads to too many 'MIRACLES'?" tack people like J&K take. Notice how people often credit their gods with what they want but never think that maybe what they don’t want is part of the same divinity? Why, it wasn’t all the medical science that they pressed for (the hormones, the egg retrievals, the embryonic cultures, the docs, the nurses, the lab techs), it was GOD smiling down on them! I’m sure it makes life simpler to practice ethics, faith and morality on a convenience basis.

    Of course, if they didn't do that, they couldn't pimp out their kids and pocket the cash from destroying their childhoods with this show and THEN where would everyone be?

    In Happytown, that's where.

  4. I only get to watch these follow your family around shows when I'm away from home because we don't get that channel--but I have watched them.

    Too bad they don't watch themselves, the might learn something.

    I'm sure they do it for the money though--raising that many kids is EXPENSIVE! We raised five (that did not come all at one time) and it was all we could do to pay the bills and feed and clothe everyone on a Navy paycheck--at times I went back to work to fill the gap. If anyone had offered, I might have let them follow us around with a camera for money.

    (No I wouldn't have, then they'd have filmed me throwing a flip flop at a kid who couldn't wait until I got off the phone.)


  5. I don't watch this program; what little I know about it I learn from my daughter who shares with me as she might gossip about her girlfriends (not that she does). Her opinion, which I will borrow, is that Kate had planned to sell out her family to television for a long time before she realized her dream. Not someone most of us would choose for a neighbor. And speaking they have any friends? Or just hangers-on?

  6. Ooooh, interesting points! I don't see it enough, but it's true that you NEVER hear of anyone in their lives in a positive way: no friends, no other family really, etc.

    And, I'd buy that Kate is a long-standing opportunist and plotter. She really slid into this so smoothly that it makes sense that she had that bent long before.