As you all know, I’m a Midwesterner, and nothing in the world warms a Midwesterner’s heart like using up leftovers. Last night, I opened the fridge and noticed we had a) lots of eggs; b) a box of Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts, a.k.a. mommy’s dirty little secret; c) some broccoli that was about to go around the bend; and d) an odd lot of cheddar. Fifteen minutes later, I had quiche in the oven. That’s the sort of meal that feeds you twice — in your stomach, and in your frugal little spirit, too.
Then I hit the New York magazine website and said, revolucion!:
…even though year-end bonuses are expected to be (relatively) small across Wall Street, Goldman employees are expected to rake in an average of $600,000 each.
We’re living in a new Gilded Age, which is not news. I’m just wondering how to make a little fairy dust trickle down on me. The reason Goldman Sachs is riding so high, we’re told, is they “bet against the subprime market and won.” Well, hey, I could have give them that advice. “Those people who are getting enormous mortgages based on oral declarations that they make $6,000 a week with no verification? Those are a bad bet. Get out now.” Maybe I could have sold them that information for, say, $50 million. But what is my tiny, non-entrepreneurial mind concerned with? Using up 75 cents worth of broccoli. I just don’t dream big enough.
Elsewhere in the news, I see that Britney Spears’ heretofore-believed-to-be-somewhat-smarter younger sister, 16-year-old Jamie Lynn, is expecting a little bundle of out-of-wedlock joy. Terrific. This is what happens when you let your child watch supposedly wholesome tween-targeted TV shows like “Zoey 101.” You duck the Vanessa what’s-her-name nude-picture missile and get smacked between the eyes by a teen pregnancy. I wonder how long before Kate hears about it, and whether she’ll ask me about it, and what I should say. Might as well start rehearsing a speech now. Would it be wrong to introduce an 11-year-old to the concept of trailer trash, or should I go with Lance Mannion’s oft-stated opinion that all actresses are promiscuous? One seems overly judgmental, the other too much adult-stained reality for a pre-teen. And yet, the naked truth — “Mrs. Spears lived out her dream of showbiz success through her daughters, who now stand before the world, 26 and 16, old before their years and destined for a long, slow slide into a sort of purgatory that will end in drug addiction, early death and where-are-they-now features on VH1” — seems even worse.
Note that “Zoey 101” is a Nickelodeon show. I’d like to think Disney keeps their young moneymakers on a tighter leash, or at least locked in chastity belts, but naked Vanessa proved otherwise. I guess the stupid show is history. Mom Lynne’s “parenting” book has been back-burnered, too. Do we still run people out of town on a rail? Can it be done to this nest of skanks? Bring back the studio system, with its morals clauses, and its pleasing tissue of lies!
(As it relates to our discussion of names below, here are a few character names on “Zoey 101:” Dustin, Quinn, Logan, Chase. Boy, girl, boy, boy.)
Micki Maynard and Nick Bunkley at the NYT examine a local paradox — the flowering of downtown Detroit at the same time the auto industry continues to decline, statewide unemployment stands just short of 8 percent and finding a deeply discounted house to buy is as easy as walking out your front door.
I don’t know why, either. My instinct is to say: What the hell, let’s party. Most amusing passage:
And in the eyes of some, the new casinos, which include the 17-story Motor City Hotel and Casino that opened on Nov. 28, may be doing as much harm as good.
Some of the casino’s patrons include Detroit’s homeless. They used to buy food with the nickels and dimes they received for collecting returnable beverage containers, said Chad Audi, director of the rescue mission, which sits on a side street a few blocks from the Motor City.
Instead, these gamblers are spending their change in slot machines. “It’s turning into a very bad, negative impact on us,” he said.
I wonder if they have this problem in Vegas.
Off to work. Great days for all.