Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legislative oversight...of Facebook?

Four senators pen an angry letter to the CEO of Facebook.

If you're waiting for the punchline, there isn't one.

That's right, from the same people who brought you national health care...interference in our social networking sites. Rather than a punchline, perhaps this story has a moral. The moral of the story may be similar to Pandora's inability to get the evil back into the box. The nannyist mentality of our elected Congress has extended into such frivolities as social networking.

I don't know whether to be angry or amused.

Don't mistake me. I think there is space for oversight and higher law in our daily lives, when existing laws of public safety are being breached or are under direct threat. Human trafficking, child welfare, and terrorist threats warrant government intervention. But Facebook "privacy"...come on! No one is forcing you to partake in this site, to post your phone number, to make public your personal life. And while many users would probably prefer an "opt in" rather than "opt out" system, it most certainly is not a matter in which the government should be involved.

Trivial, perhaps. But when we let our government start to dictate and regulate something as trivial as social networking, you have to wonder: in what other business do they intend to stick there noses?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A break in the chaos

At some point in the last two weeks I've realized that I'm in over my head. Aside from working full time, going to school part time, planning two events, and attending miscellaneous other events, I am pseudo-mom while my mom continues to heal from foot surgery (on the one foot) and a fractured foot (on the other hand, well...foot).

So those precious few moments I steal away from the grind have become infinitely blissful.

Yesterday it meant a grown-up night out. Not flip-flops, beer, and bar food--which certainly has it's place!

My manager (who has become a sort of role-model and mentor) and the former manager (who has a very spirited stubbornness which resonates with me) and I met for an evening out. Things are getting busier at the store and we are waiting, with baited breath, for the owner's television show premier next week. So it was nice to get out of the shop and indulge in food, wine, and conversation. The makings of a perfect evening.

The best meal is not about complexity but about execution. Depth and dimension with an air of effortlessness. Our meal certainly was.

A glass of full-bodied red wine, a hint of spice and bittersweetness, for me. Forgetting, for a minute, the rules of wine pairing: white with seafood, red with pasta; I maintain that dining should, particularly on these kind of nights, be about what you like. So I chose red.

Cliche though it may be, some much needed "girl talk ensued."

The decedent scent of the dinner preceded the plate. Garlicky, buttery, milky, brothy, with just a hint of herbs and tomatoes. PEI Mussels in a creamy broth. The flesh of the mussels glinted a tantalizing pale against the bold, dark shells.

On the other side of the table: shrimp. Growing up I hated shrimp. They are still never my first choice and I will always turn down the cocktail variety. But I have grown to appreciate a warm, perfectly cooked shrimp-particularly if it is served with a delicious sauce. These shrimp were less than a bite, shrimpy shrimp. Lightly breaded, fried, and floating in a spicy yet creamy sauce. If I were ever to call shrimp "perfect" these shrimp may have been.

After that, the dessert was almost an afterthought. They chose a coconut cake, that appeared to be 98% coconut and only 2% cake. Not for me. I picked key lime pie. The lime filling was perfectly tangy with a lovely pile of whipped cream sitting prettily on top. But the crust! Nuts, chopped finely and mixed into the graham cracker crust, cut the tart lime with a rich and buttery crumble.

A few last sips of wine and we were off into the night.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Life. Property.

Any student of political science knows property matters. To believe this, to feel this, is something different.

I'm not a small business owner, though I am employed by one. So while the property isn't mine, I rely on it for my income.

"My" store was vandalized at 2:00 this morning. A large, heavy, urn sitting next door had been hurled through the plate glass door. No one had set foot inside. Nothing was out of place. Nothing had been stolen. The owners, naturally, were the ones to get the call; the ones to come in, clean up, temporarily remedy the damage. Perhaps because it was a lovely spring morning, perhaps I wasn't fully awake, perhaps because it had been cleaned up the damage didn't strike me as immediately. I wasn't enraged. Disappointed, maybe.

My feelings simmered through the morning.

All day the ugly, albeit functional, slab of wood stared at me. The large bolts had been covered with bubble wrap and packing tape, to protect the general public. Where light should be, there was dark. And by the time I left work, my anger boiled over. How dare they! Regardless of whether the perpetrator was a drunken louse, a disgruntled former employee, or a random hoodlum, there is no excuse for stealing someone's security, their property. Even an impersonal act becomes personal when it has a negative impact on the property or liberty of an individual.

An attack on property should be no less offensive and is certainly no less violent than an attack on a person. An attack on property is an attack on a person.

Perhaps that is what is so repugnant about the corpulence of the federal government: the very idea that they can violate our liberty, our property, without thought or apology.