Thursday, October 16, 2008


I've been a pretty slacking blogger recently - apologies, dear readers (all three of you). Since I'm not posting as regularly anymore, I'm going to add a subscription bit to the right-hand column; you'll be able to enter your email address, hit subscribe, and get the most recent post in your inbox. Woo hoo.

I've still been enjoying the financial meltdown - enjoy might not be the best word choice. It's rather like watching Godzilla rampage through the world economy instead of Tokyo. And I'm pretty sure most people outside of Japan would rather Godzilla were rampaging Tokyo. Soon enough my mutual fund will be worth so little that I won't be able to by a newspaper with it, even a weekday edition. It was a gift, though, so it's rather like free money - all I can end up with is nothing, which is what I had before it was given.

I do have an extremely simplistic question about the market. It seems to me that if everyone quits selling, the stocks will quit going down. Right? I realize that there are occasions where that strategy doesn't pay off in the end, for example, if you had stock in WaMu or Lehman Bros (were they actually a publicly traded company?). I do understand that not tanking the stock market won't resolve the bigger issues of banks holding paper that's losing value at a depressing rate, or the credit freeze that bollixed up commercial paper, etc. But if you've already lost 30-50% of your worth in stocks, why does rushing to sell the rest of it off seem like a good idea? If any of you send me an explanation I can understand, I'll post it.

Then there's the fun of playing the unemployment game. Quel surprise, I screwed up my application and had to call the Unemployment Insurance (UI) office. The woman on the other end was exceedingly helpful, and we got everything straightened out. In fact, I was able to report that fact to a friend of mine just yesterday...but I spoke too soon. I checked my mail and found that their system did not like something, so I have to complete some paperwork and send it in. Feh.

Speaking of fun, the Presidential/Vice Presidential debates are over. I must say, Barack Obama seems to have gotten his act down, and I mean that in the performative sense of the word. One of my friends and occasional readers compared McCain's performance in the previous debate as remniscent of Grampa Simpson, an analysis with which I agreed. Last night, he still reminded me of ol' Abe Simpson, and I fully expected John McCain to say, "I'll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missouri," or some other such nonsense as we usually hear from Grampa. In fact, I had summarized the first three debates (Prez & VP) thusly:

See! Sarah Palin act like a Barbie Doll! Hear! Joe Biden try not to say something studip! Watch! John McCain wheeze his way around the stage, talking to all his friends! Enjoy! The immaculate hang of Barack Obama's silk suit!

I spent a couple of days with The Mater last week. The most exciting aspect of that was going to a book sale where, for $15, I brought home many more books than I should have been allowed to buy all year. Bad Viviana!

I spent Saturday evening in the company of a poet. Previous experiences with poets were less than inspiring, part of that due to the fact that they weren't very good poets, and thus were tedious companions. This poet, however, is exactly to my taste - no crappy love poems, no bad beat poet imitations, but his own voice and a love of words that I'm sure surpasses my own. So there was plenty of conversation, some reading of poetry...and single malt double wood 16 yr old Oban. Now, I have to admit, I'm just a wee bit fonder of the Lagavulin; it's the peat. I love the scent and taste of the peat smoke in such a smooth and delightful delivery system as the 16 yr old Lagavulin. However, were I stuck on a desert island for the rest of my life with 20 crates of 16 yr old double wood Oban, I wouldn't shed a tear for my lost Lagavulin. I've always enjoyed the 12 yr old Oban, but the 16 yr old was delightful, smooth as anything. So please let me recommend - Oban 16 yr old double matured (as it is officially named). Super tasty stuff.

And finally - wheels. I bought me some wheels. A Diamondback bicycle. She's a nice little bike; I had to get the shrimpy sized frame (14 or 15). And panniers, helmet, gloves, dayglo jacket. It's not the lightest frame in the world, and I think it will be a few weeks before I can safely lift her high enough to get her on a bus bike rack (don't want to destroy my back), but I'll have enormous biceps once I reach that point.

Tell me, did y'all think I'd bought meself a car? Huh? Huh? I'm unemployed. I can't afford a car. Honestly, I'm not sure I can afford anything more expensive than a pair of discount running shoes, but I bought a bicycle anyway.

My social calendar is a little full the next four days - damn, how'd I get so popular? Anyhoo, I'll update y'all early next week.


Anonymous said...

You betcha, my friend, the world is in an economic meltdown that looks like the seesaw at the playground during school recess. But there is hope on the horizon. How is your Mandarin? " A Master Plan for China to Bail Out America"
Are you comforted that "Perhaps most important, it would seal China's status as a responsible superpower willing to deploy its economic resources for the sake of protecting the world economy. And if the means for achieving that are by providing the current hegemony with the largest aid package the world has ever seen with a healthy dose of sensible conditionality, well, what could be more statesmanlike than that?"
(Looking forward to a picture of your booties on you. :) )
Goat Hostage Under Siege by Feral Cats

Blue Llama said...

HA! Hahahahaha. My how the mighty have fallen. Stalin, Lenin, Mao and the rest would be turning over in their graves with a great deal of pleasure and a little bit of anger for even though China and Russia were odd bedfellows, it seems we have turned to a barely "non-communist" country to help us out of our Capitolistic pit of financial dispair. And now most of what you walk on is not American, but Chinese! A very perverse change in scenery. GOat Hostage is correct to tell us all to learn more Chinese than what's on the restaurant menu.

Viviana said...

My understanding is that the bicycle is still a popular form of transportation in China - so there you go, folks, I have a bicycle and I can use chopsticks, even when I'm really drunk.

In truth, I'm hoping that the Japanese will end up with our corner of the country, since they too carry a large portion of US IOUs. My Japanese, while minimal, is much better than my Chinese.