Monday, January 24, 2011

Chatting Around the Virtual Table

by Jennifer AlLee

On this, our Current Events Monday, I thought it might be fun to see what all of you have on your minds. What's new in your neck of the woods? What's been the topic of conversation in your household lately? Grab a cup of coffee (whatever floats your boat) and pull up a chair at the virtual table. I'll throw out a few things to get us started...

Weather - It may surprise you to learn that I spent a good part of last week working in my yard. Not shoveling snow, but pulling weeds, clearing flower beds, and planting flowering kale and bushes. This is one of the nifty things about living in the desert... 65 degree days in winter. What about you? Have you been weathering winter storms, or basking in the sun?

The Economy - As I heard yet another editorial about how the government isn't doing enough about unemployment, it struck me... what do people expect the "government" to do? With the exception of hiring folks in their own offices, politicians can't create jobs. What the government can do is create an atmosphere that encourages and stimulates business growth, thereby affecting hiring practices. So what's the solution? Heck if I know. I do know that people in all careers are going to have to broaden their scope of what a typical job looks like. Have you noticed how many jobs have become automated? If you're like me, you're old enough to remember a time when human beings pumped your gas for you. Then, the stations gave you a choice of self-serve or full-service. It wasn't long before there was no choice... self-service became king. All those jobs went away and they're not coming back. Look for the same thing to happen in grocery stores. This doesn't mean there won't be jobs in the future, they'll just be different jobs. What about you? Have you had to re-evaluate your career path, or are you holding firm?

Entertainment - Today, I came across the remake of the movie The Parent Trap on TV. As I watched the credits, this caught my eye: Introducing Lindsay Lohan. It was so odd to see a fresh-faced Lindsay in her first role. She was so sweet, so innocent. So talented. And now, she's in such a bad place. I'd love to see her turn things around and reclaim that early promise. Let's all pray for Lindsay! What about you? What entertainer are you rooting for?


  1. Hi Jen!
    hey, this is fun! I have my coffee and I'm giving myself 5 mins to play before going to work.

    The only thing I can chat about on a monday morning is 'currently' Downton Abbey. I am really enjoying it on Masterpiece Theater. Maggie Smith. Oh my gosh.

    Politics? I'm seriously considering the Independent Party. I think it's good that strong opinions to the left and right help us make our choices (closer to center, I suppose) but my disillusionment is growing.

    Other current events: It's way too cold here outside. -5 when I got up. No wonder the house is so cold inside! I have to leave my water drip so the pipes don't freeze.

  2. The weather here has obviously been God laughing at the whole global warming idea. Usually we're in the fifties this time of year, and we've spent most of the last two months in the thirties.

    Big talk in my neck of the woods is football. I am biologically mandated to be a Steelers fan, and if you aren't following the news, Steelers will be playing the Green Bay Packers in the superbowl this year. One of the funnest things in the world is watching my dad watch the Steelers in the Superbowl. He gets more than a little crazy.

    Maybe that's why my sister and I ended up marrying guys from foreign countries. No room for more football teams.

  3. Deb, you've got us beat. We're going through a heat wave. It's already 15 degrees today and supposed to get even warmer.

    I have largely divorced myself from politics because no matter who's in power, it makes me too crazy.

    I'm just glad I'm part of God's economy where he's promised to meet my needs, if not my wants.

    As for entertainers, I would love it if Jennifer Aniston could find a good guy who would be faithful.

  4. Thanks Dina, I would have no way to know who's going to the super bowl. Unfortunately I use that special day to eat junk food while I'm watching a chick flick instead!

    Lisa - funny...I think of that myself when I see Jennifer Aniston on those grocery store rags. Proves that beauty and talent and popularity are no magic key to happiness. I suppose her money brings her some comfort. Ahem...

  5. Deb, when it comes to football I'm the equivalent of a Christmas and Easter Christian. I watch the Superbowl (talking the whole time) and maybe a play off game or two only if the Steelers make it that far.

  6. I'm a 4th generation Packers fan married to a football fanatic from Western PA. At one time, we said that if there was ever a Packers-Steelers Superbowl, we were going to break the bank and go. Except we decided a couple years back that an interantional adoption might be fun, and now there's nothing left in the bank.

    But as DH (the optimist) says, you see more of the game on TV than you do in the stands anyway, what will all those closeups and instant replays.

  7. CJ, we know another couple where the wife is a fanatic Steeler fan and the husband is a Packers fan. They have the opposite take. They said if they ever played each other in the superbowl they would watch the game seperately and then never speak of it.

  8. Jen, what a fun idea. I'm enjoying Downton Abbey as well. Unfortunately, I fell asleep last night before it was over. I don't follow politics any more because it contributes to my stress level. I don't watch football but I am a huge baseball fan. I read two books by Tess Gerritsen, one by Susan May Warren, and on by Lynette Eason while I was sick in bed for four days. Oh, and I started a new manuscript.

  9. Hmm. Fun, Jen!

    Weather: I'll talk about it again in May, or June. When the ground thaws. (shooting virtual icicles in Jen's general warm direction.)

    Local: Our 2-town county had a nasty murder last summer, so the trial has been big news. SIL is on the jury. Why can't they hire unemployed people for jury duty, anyway?

    Super bowl: Broncos aren't going, so no one in the state of Colo. cares. I am SO not a sports fan. I know, I know... it's practically un-American.

    Economy: Trying to stay in this mindset ... as a citizen of heaven, I am subject to heaven's economy, not the world's, and there's no lack in heaven. God will provide.

    Government: Wondering why the new Speaker of the House cries every time he speaks.

    Entertainment: Saw "Black Swan" last night. Natalie Portman deserved the Golden Globe. Movie was creepy-good, with the exception of the titillating sex scene (included, IMO, to get men to go watch a ballet movie.)

  10. Weather:: As long as the temperature is below 75, I'm cold. And if it'a above 80, I'm cold too because our air conditioner would come on. *sigh*

    Politics:: I'm a liberterian. And I think Glenn Beck is hot.

    And related to politics and weather:: Hubby took the youth group skiing this past weekend. Two kids got concussions. So he said, "Maybe I ought to require they rent helmets." My first thought was yes. Then I did more thinking. The church isn't liable for their injuries because they sign a waver and have to provide proof of insurance. So I told him that his job wasn't to infringe on their liberties. Wisdom says wear a helmet. Nanny-state mentality says "You aren't smart enough to protect yourself so we'll do it for you."

    Instead I said you ought to encourage them to wear helments next time, especially since there were two concussions this year, but the end choice is theirs (and their parents.)

    Super Bowl:: I have no one to cheer for, but we're having a party at our house anyway.

    Economy:: It's tanking. Every month I buy a little extra to have on hand becuase grocery prices keep inching upward. I blame BOTH political parties.

    Entertainment:: On Saturday while I spent all day in bed, I did research for a book proposal I'm working on. Came across an article in the Virginia Medical Journal of late 1880s-ish. Gulp. It's so gross I won't share the details, but it would make the basis of a fabulous episode of HOUSE.

    Lisa, I agree about Jennifer Anniston. Why is it she can't find the right guy? So sad.

  11. Great idea, Jen.

    Weather: It was 0c (freezing point) yesterday - or would that be melting point? One of those glass half-empty/half-full things. But the wind was horrid and the blowing snow completely obliterated the horizon so it was much colder than the thermometer showed.

    Local: Whether I would attend RWA national in New York this June. Did a heap of praying. As of this morning I can say, YES, I'll be there.

    Politics: My guy is in power so that's great. However, DH made the mistake of sending a cheque to the 'party' once and now we're bombarded with requests for more. We've received personal Christmas cards, calendars and an autographed (xeroxed signature) 8x10 wall photo from the Prime Minister's office. DH's mom was very impressed when she saw that hanging on our wall. We tease DH that his buddy the PM is trying to get hold of him whenever the 'party' phones or sends mail in their fundraising efforts. LOL

    Sports: My Riders lost the Grey Cup in Nov. 'Nuff said.

    Entertainment: I love how Drew Barrymore has turned her life around. Will pray for LL.

    Coffee's good. Great conversation. :)

    Anita Mae.

  12. Fun post, Jen! I love it! I'm eating lunch with y'all.

    Gina: I'm with you and temperatures. I like it warm, but then the a/c's get turned on way too low, IMO. I think it's ridiculous to have to take a sweater with me in the summer so I don't freeze in a restaurant.

    Yay Steelers! My other team (alas) didn't make it, but the Steelers are always my #2 choice.

    Oh, Lindsay Lohan. My daughter loves her early Disney movies and I hated telling her that Lindsay grew up and made poor choices...

    Politics: I went to a party Saturday night, and our local US representative was in attendance. Along with his bodyguards, which are new for him since the shootings in Tucson, AZ. Weird to be at a party with guys with earpieces.

    Weather: I'm sick of fog and drizzle and cold! Waiting for spring.

    Have a good day, everyone!

  13. Here's how things look from my perch.

    Weather:Cold and somewhat slippery. My lab loves it-especially when neighbors don't shovel their sidewalks!
    Oh... we didn't either...

    Economy: Painful (investments tanked; four kids in college)

    Politics: My husband is a lobbyist- boo-hiss- we like people from both sides of the aisle. :)
    Glenn Beck is something!! Hubby also went to law school with Gov. Bob McDonnell. Good guy!!

    Entertainment: I'm going through a Scottish phase- Love Amy MacDonald's cd "This is the Life".

    Prayer for: The characters on House- even though they're fictional...

  14. Cheryl, another House fan? The extent of my Hugh Laurie fandom is two other snarky roles: A bad guy in the 101 Dalmations movie (great dialect there) and as the very unhappy Mr. Palmer in Sense and Sensibility.

    Okay -here's a strange thing. I can understand American actors doing an English accent. I mean, look at Gwyneth Paltrow. BUT I am so much more impressed when an British or Australian actor does an American/Canadian accent. I mean we DON'T REALLY have accents, do we?? (okay I'm not including regional dialects)

    To me that's like removing something, like an Un-Accent. How Ameri-centric of me!

    Anita Mae. NYC! How cool. I would love love love to try and come for the book-signing and maybe some sightseeing but I can't pay for the conference or even the dues this year. If I come into some money (ha!) I'll dream up a way to meet you. Any one else going?

  15. Anita Mae -- I haven't made a decision about NYC yet. I suspect if I go, I'll be invited to present at the awards ceremony (usually the previous year's winners are the presenters). It's kind of like Miss America's last walk before she hands over her crown. But the cost ... I really keep going back and forth on that, so I've put off making the decision for a few more months.

  16. Here she is...Miss America. (Must here theme music in background.)


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