Sunday, July 28, 2013


It’s hard to believe that it is almost August 2013, and I haven’t written anything fantabulous for the blob in a few weeks.  There are no excuses, July just sucked for inspiration.  But this morning there was inspiring news.  Zimmerman the murderer, was lauded because he stopped at an accident (some months ago) and helped the people who were stuck in their car – out of the car.  Zimmerman’s father says, “that’s who he is.”  Blah Blah Blah.  Kidding, Zimmerman was not the inspiring news, I was just kidding.

But then there was the news that  Anthony Weiner, had not stopped sexting after he resigned from Congress.  Uh, despite the cries of mea culpa (instead of me an idiot), were all for naught.  And, here comes the inspiring.  His hubris is inspiring.  He doesn’t get that he did anything wrong, that his behavior might have offended some women, or that his lack of ability to tell the truth is certainly not a reason for him to withdraw his candidacy. 
Alec Baldwin, ( the new political reporter for the Huffington Post) wrote this:

 I’ll bet that both he and Eliot Spitzer are really pissed that they didn’t run for mayor.

The mayors race in NYC is complicated—at least for those of us who are political novices.  There’s one candidate who never smiles.  She appears to be totally without humor.  You have to have a sense of humor – at least about yourself, especially when it is something that important.  There is also a former comptroller (good with numbers, I believe). Then there is a candidate who is a former public advocate.  Personally, someone who has the ability to talk to people as well as understands their problems is where I am leaning.  But my little voice remains silent because I don’t vote in NYC.

There was other inspiration this week.  We bought a puppy to share with my young cousin.  He appears to be part puppy and part fur ball.  He does however manifest the family ability to pile up  all his toys and spread himself over them so as not to lose even one. This wouldn’t be as funny if Tyrone weighed ten pounds.  He only ways about three. So in order to protect his belongings he has to stretch himself pretty thin.  It’s inspiring to watch that little cupcake, so determined, so focused. And the other inspiring event is to watch Madison (his other mother) hold him, look at him and love him.

It’s so much nicer to find beauty in the love of a pet than it is to find malfeasance, masquerading as a political aspirant. 
Were just sayin… Iris

Monday, July 15, 2013

Perry and Della and Perry and Della...

Well Hallelujah, the President celebrated the 5000th Point of Light with the George Bush we all love.  And it was Open press.  No way the former President was going to allow this opportunity to help those points of light go unnoticed and uncovered – by the media.  So good for him and good for them both.  The picture they release is not so good, but at least you can see more than the White House photo if you want.  Tomorrow there is  a press briefing with Jay Carney, big whoop, and the President is being interviewed by a Hispanic TV show – I wonder if they’ll let the anchor in with his crew.  Needless to say, no one else will be there. We’re just sayin'…. Staff.

Two things:  First I am lighting 2 yahrzeit candles tonight, (also it’s a Jewish holiday called Tish’a Bav – which I always thought was a make –up holiday), so thanks for all the advice and suggestions.  Only this morning David asked if it was my mom who said, “I once asked my children if they had a happy childhood” in the documentary.  Yes it was,  but she never asked us if we were happy.  It was just assumed we were happy unless we were obnoxious in school. David got stung by two hornets tonight,  so we asked mom and dad to bless our  antihistamine.  My brother lit candles this morning, so we have the day pretty much covered. 

Second, and having nothing to do with anything…  it is always disturbing when I remember my dreams.  And lately that’s what has been happening.  Last night was a doozey. 

Perry Mason and Della Street were living together. It was before anyone knew Perry was gay.   Tipper Gore was visiting Barbara Stanwick  and she died. Everyone went to the funeral, which was somewhere out West in the 1800’s. I was invited and I went but somehow I found myself with three joints, which since I don’t smoke, I was going to use to trade for transportation. All of a sudden,  I was at a party and the police came and raided it,  but the dogs were happy to be with people and  didn’t find the joints.  Someone at the party said he would drive  me to the airport in my rental car, (I have no idea where I was going) but it didn’t matter since   he dropped me in the middle of nowhere and took the dope and the car.   So I started to walk in high heels (which I can neither walk nor balance in.) I had to get to the SF airport so somehow found a cab, which broke down and I started walking again, across some bridge. It was then that I got on a bus (I guess it picked me up on the side of the road).  I was carrying three suitcases.  They dropped me off at United Airlines, and I raced in carrying the luggage. It was well overweight, but the plane was about to leave and I had to run down three flights of stairs, having been able to skip paying the excess charge.  But on the stairwell a guy tried to rob me and I started to scream—and I woke up… Still screaming, David tells me.  I won’t even get into last night, although it involved cooking and shooting.  But it was not as memorable.

With that said, I understand dreams are a reflection of your inner thoughts and your fears.  If so, then I am clearly afraid of the wild west and carrying my own luggage.  We’re just sayin’… Iris

Sunday, July 14, 2013

About That Candle

It's the weekend so the " We're just sayin" staff will give the President a break:  he has no public events. What exactly does that mean? Does it mean he is doing nothing, or that he might be doing something, like playing golf, but no one is allowed to see it? (Oh, speaking of golf, today would have been President Ford’s 100th birthday and we think of him fondly.) But  we can wonder. With whom is the President  playing golf, and like with most corporate executives, will it further his career? 

 President Ford on the 18th, Rancho Mirage
It is also the 14th of July. Rosie Groman died on the 16th of July three years ago and I am in the yearly quandary. Do I light the yahrzeit candle on the 15th or 16th,  or on the day of her death according to the Jewish calendar?  Last year I lit it on the 13th because dad died on the 10th and I thought that since they always wanted to share everything, they should share a yahrzeit candle. Really, I didn't do it to save money. The candle only costs $1.29. But I did do it because two yahrzeits within a week is just too painful for any one merely mortal child to suffer.

Two years ago, I went to the cemetery where they are buried and we had the same conversation we had when my dad had his leg removed, and mom had it buried in the plot they owned, all the way out in Long Island. It went something like this:
Mom & me...
Me:  "Mom, remember when you told me you were going to buy new plots in Newburgh and be buried with all your sisters. Well, you didn't fool us. We knew once the leg was buried, daddy had to go with it, and that eventually, if we wanted to have this conversation, it would mean we had to schlep all the way out in Long Island.  Yes, it is true that we, your children, could just speak to you in the Temple, or the kitchen, or maybe even the frozen food section at Shoprite, but then who would put a stone on your tombstone (as Aunt Peppy called it?) I always liked the idea of you having something that reminded me of a "gun slinger."  Anyway, you are not around to bless me with any guilt trip, but you are always in my head, reminding me that if I don't do it who will?” 

Mom:  “Jeffrey would like to,” you would say.  “But he lives all the way across the country. It's too far and too expensive to expect him to do it.  And I know you loved your father enough that once a year, you could go a little out of your way to say hello. As long as you are that close you might as well say hello to me. (We are, after all, under the same headstone!)   And your grandparents are only, you should pardon the joke, a stone’s throw away. While you are standing around, there is a little something I wanted to talk to you about. I was never good with plants. You know I killed anything green that was expected to flourish in my house. It’s why I liked plastic fruit and vegetables. 

And yes, I do forgive you for hanging my plastic onions on a tree in your yard to keep the deer away. As long as we are on the subject of green, is that why you decided not to sign up for perpetual grave care?   Daddy has it and when I look over, he's got bushes, but me, not so much.  Don't get me wrong I do like what you wrote on the stone, so you kids did something very nice, but could you get Els to clean up the green?  There is only one more thing I wanted to say until next year or whenever you do a stop by on the way to the airport -- which as long as you come -- is OK.  It's about the kids.  Since I am not around, you need to take special care not to hover. They need to grow strong and find their own direction. That's what I let you and Jeffrey do, maybe by situation, maybe because I was busy with your father or my sisters, but for whatever the reason, you both did all right. So, I won't say goodbye, because it's never goodbye. Stay well and remember, if you have your health....

One other thing.  You know, I never had duck; I am sorry for that, but don't worry, it's not your fault.  Love, Mom.”

We’re just sayin’… Iris

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Best Kind of Coverage of All: "Closed Press"

Well, well, well. It seems that the White House has decided that there is no need to have any Open Press events.  This is certainly a change from previous Presidential administrations  (where there was at least pool coverage)  but if you want to control the message, both visually and on paper, then you use White House photos, and Press advisories.  Here’s what the staff of “We’re just Sayin …” thinks: 

It would be fun to see how a photographer would  cover a Closed Press event IF  they were allowed in.  That’s a pretty big IF.   This will be an ongoing and pithy commentary,  entertaining for all, especially for those who no longer have to race to the White House to actually cover an event.  And so we begin with the President’s schedule for July 11th  where every event was Closed Press.  (Incidently, the term “Closed Press” was coined by the Nixon White House.)



In the morning, the President and the Vice President will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office. This meeting is closed press.

Later in the morning, the President and the Vice President will meet with Senator McCain and Senator Schumer to discuss commonsense immigration reform. This meeting in the Oval Office is closed press.

 LBJ meets with Everett Dirksen and Mike Mansfield

In the afternoon, the President will meet with the 1963 Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers championship basketball team in the Oval Office to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Ramblers championship title and acknowledge the key role the Ramblers played in breaking down racial barriers. This meeting in the Oval Office is closed press.

President Reagan and soccer star Pele with young athletes

Later in the afternoon, the President and the Vice President will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi on the margins of the U.S. – China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. This meeting in the Oval Office is closed press.

 Presidents Nixon and Carter meet with Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiao Ping

In the evening, the President will take part in a DNC event at the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC. This event is closed press.

President George HW Bush reads to his grandkids, a "kind" of an RNC event

Going forward, we’ll try highlight some of the other fascinating and illustrative White House  “Closed Press” events, since it rather looks like there be more of them in the future.  We’re Just Sayin’… Staff

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


A few years back, when I was living and teaching in Waltham, Mass., I happened to look in the mirror and discovered that I had a rash all over my chest.  It looked angry, like it was supposed to say, “that’s what you get for using that baby powder.”  It was late in the evening and I was in a panic.  It was not the first time I was in a panic. Over the years, I had some moments that can only be described as “total meltdown.” Like the time I ate munster cheese and my throat closed.  Doctors would describe it as an allergic reaction. I could only say, it was frightening not to be able to breathe or swallow, and additionally to think you are going to die. I drove myself to the hospital and when the resident looked at me (there were no real doctors available), she said, “Wow that’s really ugly.” 

It happened again when I was having some testing for an eye infection and they gave me a shot which had some kind of iodine dye as its base.  Hives, all over my body.  Big ones, like the size that bees would use for a vacation hotel.  And speaking of hives, it happened again when I put on a pair of nylons that must have had some foreign substance woven in the stocking.  Yep, hives, and not limited to my legs – they were all over my arms and chest, with a few on my face.

In addition to the hives and throat closing, my legs were pins and needles for about a year.  I knew my legs were there because I could see them, but as for feeling them – they felt like they were asleep. For a while I figured it would simply go away.  But after the first 6 months, I figured I would never have a normal relationship with my feet.  It did eventually go away. But not before I had some fluid injected in my spine, which must have had some iodine.  When the nurse saw my face she started to yell for me to get up. When you have this kind of test, if you raise your head – even a little, you get a debilitating headache. So, on top of the hives, I had a headache and legs I couldn’t feel in order to actually stand on them.  Not to worry, I know most of what I am allergic too and I can feel my legs.

However, once when I was teaching at American University, I tried to duplicate the hair color my cousin Honey discovered.  Don’t worry, it had no iodine and I did not have an allergic reaction.  But my hair was purple.  It was way before having different colors in you hair was fashionable. Cindy Lauper, take note.  I tried to remain calm. When that didn’t work I called the emergency number on the carton of the dye. Have you ever wondered about those emergency numbers?  Well, here is how the conversation went. I’ll skip the hellos.

Me:  Please help me, my hair is purple.
Them:  Purple huh.  What color did you use.
Me:  Richest Brown.
Them: Oh yes, sometimes that turns purple.  But don’t worry it will fade in 6 to 8 weeks.
Me: But I have to go to work tomorrow at a major American university. I cannot go with purple hair.
Them:  Well, you can try coloring over it – but that sometimes makes it worse.
Me:  So your answer is, no you can’t help me.
Them:  I never said that.

I hung up and called my friend’s beautician who gave me some suggestions, among which was, have a professional color your hair next time.
This blob is not a whine or a kvetch.  I went to the doctor yesterday, and when I opened my shirt, the intern working for her said, “Wow, that’s really ugly.” I don’t get hives and I am careful about hair coloring – my husband does mine.  But ugly is still ugly.  Some things just never change.  We’re just sayin’…Iris

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Whats the Point?

We have decided to create a new category to our blog called, “whats the point?”  It was inspired by the White House denial of John Kerry ( our wealthy, yet industrious Secretary of State) being on his yacht in Nantucket during the crisis in Egypt.  At first the White House insisted he was not on his yacht.  Even after the White House was shown pictures of him on the yacht, they said he wasn’t. (Wouldn’t you love a transcript of THAT “image crisis meeting?”   Finally, the spokesperson said, yes he was, and she’d been misinformed. 

So I pose the question, what was the point of the denials and, in fact, lies?  There was no point. They only look inept and foolish, or worse.  Why not just say, “Yes, he was on his boat, but in ongoing communication with the White House.”  End of Issue. 

And what is the point of Paula Deen’s continued apologies and explanations.  She admitted she called someone the N word in a desposition.  In her truthful response, did it add to her credibility? Assuming that your pain would make it better only underlines how foolish she was.   Take a lesson from “Avenue Q”.  (   Everyone’s an unintentional  racist at some point, and so we recognize it and move on. A few Mia Culpas and put it behind you. 

The Middle East and is in chaos.  They can’t seem to find a direction and head in it.  The military in Egypt insists there will be a democratically elected Government. But what’s the point of sharing that information, when no one thinks it’s true.  The demonstrations in the streets of Cairo looked like the fireworks on the Hudson. Only they were shooting bullets instead of starbursts.   And yesterday the Boko Haram (a radical Islamic group in Nigeria) killed almost three dozen students and teachers in a school in Northern Nigeria.   What’s the point of thinking you should be recognized as a religion of peace, when you cannot function without a violence so horrible, that it serves only to illustrate that you cannot be trusted with power of any kind.  The absence of outrage by moderate Islamic groups just illustrates  (CAIR??), there are no moderate Islamist groups. What’s the point of the people being angry when it’s easier to be happy.  And happy takes no energy and makes you feel so much better.  What’s the point? We’re just sayin’… Iris

Friday, July 05, 2013

Too Much To Ask?

It seems to me and I assume most right thinking people, that there are people who spend an inordinate amount of time pursuing ways to prevent other people from choosing the way they want to live their lives.  Take Rick Perry, (please take him anywhere away from the power of the elected official), he wants to decide whether or not women in Texas can have an abortion.  In order to achieve this, he launched personal attacks on his opposition like, ‘if her mother had had an abortion, where would she be today?’  I’ll bet everyone asked the same question knows the answer. But there are very few of us who would stoop low enough to ask that question.  He’s really such a horse’s ass. 

Whether it’s abortion, immigration, or gun control, there are so many people who are not forward thinking. Illegal immigrants are not going anywhere. They will be illegal  whether they have been here for one or twenty five years, unless there is a change in the law. The immigrants who want to stay, have their children and live a whole productive life, much like the immigrants of the pogroms in Russia, Jews from Germany, Irish from the potato famine, or Italians from the 20’s, are trying to pursue the American dream. Many of us, who are not immigrants, (OK we are all immigrants, but go with this), don’t understand the concept of the American Dream.  We have become cynical and jaded, and probably overpaid and overindulged.  Our parents and grandparents got it. They had dreams for their kids that were based on their belief that if you worked hard and were a productive individual, your kids would have opportunity beyond their wildest dream.

And speaking of wildest dreams, today, was July 4th,  always one of my favorite holidays.  Well, not always but certainly when I moved to DC. The first year we were there, the Carters invited the staff and families to watch the fireworks from the “backyard” of the White House. Yes, it was thrilling.  And so it was for the next four years.  After which, we were invited to the Capitol, to watch from the Speaker’s office.  It was cool, but you couldn’t really see anything because the smoke was so thick when the fireworks were launched. It didn’t matter, it was still a trip.  When we no longer had access to the White House Lawn, or the Capitol, we would go to the rehearsal of the fireworks and the show on the lawn of the Capital. Anyone could go, but not a great many people knew about it, so there was no crowd or traffic but you got to see the acts, and could watch the fireworks from any number of places in the area.  We watched them from a hill near our house in Arlington and that was fun as well. Everything was fun when you were surrounded by people having a good time.

Ho hum, wildest dreams, making sense, having hopes and dreams.  What makes people who can only be described as narrow minded busy bodies,  think that they can insert themselves in lives, which they have no business being in?  Forgive me for ending my sentence in a preposition, but when I am trying to be articulate, it’s hard to do it and at the same time, think about perfect grammar. Too many things to think about, so little time to think at all. Here’s the truth – this blob is disjointed and may not make any sense.  That is the way I would describe most of my writing. However, every once in a while I make a point, that is quite pithy.  Like today, my point is, that people who have nothing to add to the conversation should sit down and shut up. They should watch fireworks, go home, lock themselves in a room, and never come out without taking a few courses in history and the humanities (which ought to include ‘humility’), or maybe in creating hysteria and in behaving like a human beings.   Is it too much to ask?  We’re just sayin’..Iris.