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Serenity Now!

I feel like yelling this out loud, once in a while. 

Serenity Now! from Seinfeld

*Love the last line…

Sanity later.

So true.

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People in Germany need to have more sex. Or keep their clunkers. According to the Economist. Well, kind of.

Birth People in Germany need to have more sex. Or keep their clunkers. According to the Economist. Well, kind of.

People in Germany really need to start having more sex.
Otherwise they are really going to need Death Panel for Grandmas, you know, when there are no more young people to take care of the old people.


That was my first thought when I saw this chart.

On second thought, sex does not necessarily lead to pregnancy, unless you are having it in the back of your parents’ car. Or your very first beat-up old clunker. Better if you are drunk.

So my revised word of advice:

Germans need to have more drunken sex in the back of their parents’ car, or get more clunkers.

Then I saw this other chart, comparing government sponsored “Cash for Clunkers” programs in several countries:



Cars People in Germany need to have more sex. Or keep their clunkers. According to the Economist. Well, kind of.
Hold on a second, while I take a mental note…

Note to self: Great cocktail conversation tidbit – “Do you know the U.S. is not the only one, and definitely not the first one, to come up with the ‘Cash for Clunkers’ program?”

Note to self, again: Scratch that. Someone is bound to say, “Exactly. Those are all socialist, or Facist, countries, or whatever, European! countries. That’s why we should object to it loudly. Preferrably bring a loaded handgun with you to town hall meetings.” And then the cocktail party, if I were ever invited to one, would go downhill from there… So, NOT A GOOD IDEA! Ok. Fine! Scratch the entire Note to Self 1.

When I saw this second chart about Cash for Clunkers program in other countries,

Eureka! I thought.

See how the government in Germany spent $7.1 billion on their “Get Rid of Clunker” program?
There you go, my friend. That is why the birth rate in Germany remains the lowest.





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Live squid is not part of the standard diet in China, or Asia for that matter

Once in a while I get all riled up with my mouth foaming like a rabid dog. My irrational anger especially loves a good target of Stereotype Mongers and Exoticism Panderers. This is that kind of moment.

PMS. Whatever.

The target of my rant today is this book:

Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation, or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid

Look at that title, and please tell me it is not being deliberately sensationalizing.

Mind you, I have a great sense of humor. Like all great Jewish comedians (by the way, I am neither) I have perfected self-deprecating humor. I can make fun of myself, ourselves, my people, my race.

BUT I was not impressed with the passages my husband quoted me from the book. My “stereotype police” and “pandering to exoticism” antenna immediately went up when the author starts the book by talking about a restaurant menu full of internal organs of a goat. He claimed that was the first restaurant he walked in when he landed in China. Just picked it out of the random. His good luck then. I would not even know where to find one myself.

Let me emphasize this again:


They are probably sold in some specialty restaurants. But NOT part of the standard diet. Can people just please get over it already?! Besides, you eat moldy cheese which is pretty sickening if you ask me. So there, we are even.

And seriously, I HAVE A QUESTION:

How come it is all chi chi, high class, cultured, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan to eat raw fish and octopus in a Japanese restaurant? And live squid is now, YEW. How disgusting. How barbarian.


After browsing through the reviews and seeing a high percentage of the people say that they knew NOTHING or little about the country and the culture before they read the book,


I am becoming more and more agitated by the existence of this book.

TTYL. Now I need to go find a book about how white people can’t jump.

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“Raw information will become not just a commodity, it will be a nuisance”

Chris and Malcolm are both wrong…

The title says.

Once in a while I come across smart people (online only, since you know, we moms are notoriously boring and mundane in real life, and many may even suspect that we have few braincells left so we don’t get engaged in intelligent conversations, in real life – AND that, my friend, was said with a sarcastic tone through gritted teeth, so don’t you mommy police out there flame me!) who I really really want to meet in real life. I found one today

Brad Burnham at Union Square Ventures.

His latest post on the Union Square Ventures blog, Chris and Malcolm are both wrong, is the most elucidating, thought-provoking, argument against both Chris Anderson’s glossy, wrapped-nicely-in-a-package theory of “Freeconomics” and Malcolm Gladwell’s critique of Anderson’s book, Free, in which the theory was mapped out, supported with anecdotal examples (a la Gladwell’s own books?!), packaged, and sold, NOT for free, not any more.

I enjoyed reading Gladwell’s books, but am always wary that easy reading and interesting stories that make you go “A-Ha” do not rigorous research/theorization made. Although I have not had a chance to read Anderson’s book, Free, I have read enough articles summarizing the thesis, AND his previous book, The Long Tail, to also be wary of the same thing.

So, thank you indeed to Mr. Burnham for the article in which his critique of both is summarized in this, ok, granted, nicely-packaged and highly quotable, paragraph

My frustration with the debate about Free is that it seems like a last ditch effort to fit the internet economy into the familiar framework of the industrial economy. That isn’t going to work. Free is not a pricing strategy, a marketing strategy, or the inevitable consequence of a market with low variable costs. It’s a symptom of a much more fundamental economic shift. Until we agree on what resources are scarce and have a framework for how they will be allocated in the future we are not just talking past each other, we are talking about the wrong things.

Mr. Burnham’s argument is that the new currency is ATTENTION (and participation), and it does not come free. Hence the “fundamental shift of economy”.

There is an exchange of value between users, the creators of the raw material – data, content, and meta-data, and the network where that data is converted into insight. This exchange is still governed by the basic laws of economics but the currency is not dollars, it’s attention. The network that takes attention and converts it into insight is also quite different than a traditional firm.

Once again, per my usual excitable nature, I would quote the entire post if I could. Probably better if you take the time and check out the entire post on the Union Square Ventures blog.

AND the last but the not the least, at least in my book

NEVER once did he mention “paradigm shift”. THANK YOU MY GOOD SIR!

***Another great, and very useful, quote, that is absolutely t-Shirt Worthy!***

“Raw information will become not just a commodity, it will be a nuisance.”

(Thanks to @leftunderbooks)

Goodies! A debate!! Timeline of the chain of debate between He said, He said:

Chris Anderson finally published his book, after he pre-released it to reviewers, Free: The Future of a Radical Price, this summer. (It costs $26.99 on Amazon! WTH?!)

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a review for New Yorker, debunking Mr. Anderson’s entire thesis, using, for example, YouTube’s failure to make a profit as fodder, titled: “Price to Sell: Is Free the Future?” Mr. Gladwell’s answer is not surprisingly, NO.

The Business Insider immediately posted a long article, praising Mr. Gladwell’s critique of the hole-ly thesis, “It’s about time.”

Finally, a smart person who is widely considered cool calls b.s. on Chris Anderson’s popular argument that everything should be free.

The glee, oh, the glee.

Mr. Anderson also started engaging Mr. Gladwell in a friendly intellectual debate on his blog: “Dear Malcolm, Why So Threatened?” (If you ask me: the title itself is not very friendly at all…)

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Armageddon is here: Twitter is down and Fail Whale is not even there?!

twitterdown 610x381 Armageddon is here: Twitter is down and Fail Whale is not even there?!
fail whale Armageddon is here: Twitter is down and Fail Whale is not even there?!
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I wish Fail Whale will come back soon!

We miss you, Fail Whale! We will never been mean to you and call you names again! Just come back!! You are so much better than a lot of other scenarios, we have now realized!

So… by now you have heard, or tweeted, oh, no, NOT tweeted, but left frantic comments on or or other websites where Social Media lovers hang out, after they have tweeted and Facebooked their hearts out, but still have something more to say.

Mashable is keeping a tab on the impending doom of humanity through this post:

Facebook Down. Twitter Down. Social Media Meltdown.

Thanks to our friend with the impossibly high cheekbones (I will need to write a blog about these cheekbones one day. I wonder whether it can cut through a piece of tissue? And what’s up with the oh-so-appropriate and I-wish-my-dad-had-the-same last name, CASHMORE? Luck of the draw, I guess. But isn’t illegal in the cosmic sense to be lucky in both the departments of Cheekbones and Family Names?), we have been kept abreast with the development of Armageddon in the making:

Twitter Down Due to Denial of Service Attack (DDoS)

Now, my friend, is the time to panic!!!!!!! The sky is falling. The sky is falling!!

The sudden influx of Twitter refugees to Facebook site, wherelse are we going to post constant updates and complain about our frustrations that Twitter is DOWN, and also to strive to be the first ones to announce the DDoS attack on Twitter? has caused Facebook to go down as well.

The cyber terrorists could not have planned it better.

So now people, with their usual outlets having disappeared, have flocked to Mashable and Techcrunch to share their glib comments. On the one Techcrunch post, there are now more than 400 comments. And several Mashable posts dedicated to “Twitter Down!” have also received hundreds of comments. Most of them are like this:

“Yup. Still down.”

(Thank you very much. Otherwise I would not have been able to find out on my own!!!!)

It has also become a fun sport to ponder who the Cyber attacker(s) may be:

Hugo Chavez? Iran? The Vatican?

My bet is on The Birthers, who are mad as hell because we all made fun of them mercilessly on Twitter. (Even Ann Coulter made fun of them, which made me feel kind of sorry for Birthers…)

But without Twitter as the forum, AND without the appropriate HASHTAGS #TwitterDown #DOS #WHOISBEHINDTHIS #TWITTERDDOS, the “Who Done It” game is just NOT the same…

By now some of us have gotten a rude awakening: Just how much YOU ARE obsessed with Twitter. Like the required cup of morning coffee.


Speaking of coffee, I think I am heading downstairs to Starbucks so I can talk to random strangers about this new social phenomenon called “Life Without Twitter”… And also get myself a cup of coffee while I am at it.

p.s. F*ck it! I knew it! As soon as I clicked on “Publish Post”, Twitter came back. Great. Now I just seem more a dweeb than I actually already am by publishing this AFTER THE EFFECT. Stupid Twitter…

p.p.s. I take it back. I love you Twitter. Don’t ever leave me like that again, ok?

p.p.p.s. Ooops. No. Twitter is STILL down. Yes! … Oh. No. *sobs* Come back!

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Wanderlust, perchance?

bird+man Wanderlust, perchance?
cannibals Wanderlust, perchance?

My husband and I share one account, registered to my email, and therefore every time he buys something, I know. Most of the time, I simply ignore it like the time when he ordered a bug zapper out of nowhere. Or the book, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, presumably for our oldest child, who by the way, is 11 years old and has not read Pride and Prejudice…

His purchase from Amazon today did make my eyebrows raise:

The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters with Strangers by Eric Hansen

The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost

Together with the book he just received:

Lost on Planet China: One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation, also by J. Maarten Troost

I am thinking, WHAT IS GOING ON?


Or is this a cry for something more exotic in his life, more than say, rice?

I am more curious than anything. Not really worried about him running off to some exotic land and never to be heard from again since, thank goodness, he is a finicky eater.

p.s. I am pretty sure my husband would be quite annoyed if I blog about all his purchases from now on… LOL

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How do you know that this Ferris Wheel is not for the faint-of-heart?

IMG00462 How do you know that this Ferris Wheel is not for the faint of heart?

When there is a motion sickness bag inside each cart…

Don’t let the smiley Mickey Mouse on the Sun Wheel at California Adventure fool you. It is more like the Ferris Wheel of Doom, according to my 11 year-old boy who gladly rode California Screamin’ half a dozen times whenever we visited Disneyland. He rated Screamin’ as “Bor-ing” and the Sun Wheel as “OMG. It is the scariest thing I’ve been on!”

2039493802 a30aa9d9c9 o How do you know that this Ferris Wheel is not for the faint of heart?

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Camping turns out to be not as painful as I thought it would be

 Camping turns out to be not as painful as I thought it would beView from Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.
Just to show you the perfect weather condition required to make me NOT hate camping…

I am not against camping, provided the weather is gorgeous, not too hot and not too cold; supply of alcohol is constant; bugs are kept at minimal and away from me; fire is made and kept; smores are made to perfection and fed to me; an awning is erected over the picnic table to keep food and supply dry and in the shade; kids are entertained, NOT BY ME; modern bathroom facilities are within short walking distance, like within 1-minute walk; gourmet food is brought and prepared, NOT BY ME, including pancake, scrambled eggs, bacon, AND drip coffee for breakfast.

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Is this what Easter Bunny looks like?

41751401 Is this what Easter Bunny looks like?
I don’t know why this picture so startled me that I could not stop laughing for 10 minutes.

Oh my god! I completely lost my bearings so that my co-worker needed to tell me to “Get a hold of yourself, lady!”

This goes to prove that NO, you do not want to see Easter Bunny come true, and that my instinct was correct all along,

“Kids, now here is the thing: Easter Bunny is not real. Can you imagine a giant bunny bouncing around in our backyard, and on rainy days, inside our house, hiding candies? What? Are you more stupid than I think? Can you not imagine how gross that would be, a giant bunny?”

Now they can see it with their own eyes. Awesome!

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Do you feel guilty buying name brand products instead of the cheaper, generic, ones?

Well, I do. Especially after watching the Rosanne episode of Home-Ec where she gave Darlene’s home-ec class a field trip to the grocery store, I’ve always felt quite guilty reaching for the NAME BRAND product instead of the generic, store-brand next to it, the one that is shouting loudly from its display:

COMPARE TO NAME BRAND NEXT TO ME HERE, practically the same stuff and at 50% of the cost! Only a sucker and a snob will pick him over me!

Reaching for the name brand would BRAND myself as a snob, an irrational person easily duped by flashy marketing, a bourgeois with too much money to spare… So what if the generic brand would ONLY save me a dollar? A penny saved is a penny, how does that saying go again?

(Watch from 4:20)

Something happened recently that absolved me from the guilt associated with the Rosanne Home-ec guilt…

In my last post I made fun of the confusing instructions that came with the Walgreen ant baits. Turned out that the instructions were not the only one that did not work… The Walgreen generic ant bait cost $0.50 less than the name brand, RAID. I dutifully purchased the generic brand, esp. at this economy, I wanted to show that I was not a frivolous consumer. Well, guess what? It does not work!!!

The idea of an ant bait is that it is supposed to attract the ants to go inside the thingy. That is the most important step. In fact, that is the first step, and the ONLY step an ant bait is supposed to accomplish.

After I put on the black housing on the floor, I watched the ants walk around it. Yup. They WALKED AROUND the darn thing! I tried to nudge them with chopsticks in that direction. They kept on during around, or, walked OVER the housing. They had no interest getting into the hole.

I finally gave up and got the ones made by RAID. And they worked like a charm. Or at least, they worked the way ant baits were supposed to work: the ants swarmed the new baits I put down on the floor, while ignoring the old ones.

Hallelujah! Tide laundry detergent, I am getting you next time I am at Costco!

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