Friday, May 30, 2008

Four for Friday

The "chef" behind the usual Friday's Feast meme is on vacation, so I've found another meme to help me waste a few minutes. ;o)

Four for Friday:

Q1 - Cookies: The Oreo cookie is an American favorite, whether drenched in milk chocolate, loaded with extra creamy filling or dipped in a glass of milk. Now the Oreo is headed overseas to Britain where it's manufacturer, Nabisco, hopes to please the British palate (can you say "Oreos and Tea"). In any event, what is your favorite type and/or brand of cookie?

Even though I don't usually eat that many cookies, these days-- or rather, because I do eat them right up when they're in the house, I rarely buy or bake them-- I can't limit myself to a single favorite. So here are a few favorites: "my" glazed sugar cookies (sometimes flavored vanilla, sometimes almond, sometimes both), Thin Mints (and similar cookies), and Voortman Almond Krunch cookies. I tried to find a photo of the Almond Krunch cookies, but I had no luck. Anyway, they're absolutely delicious, if you like almond. And I do. :o)

Q2 - Music: Helping to alleviate pain and stress in premature babies could be as simple as offering them a few verses of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" -- at least that's what a new study conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children shows... that music could help premature babies get out of intensive care units sooner. What role or impact if any does music play in your life or in the life of your friends and family?

These days, it plays less of a role in my life than it did when I was in Band (middle and part of high school). My father always really enjoyed listening to music. I'd say it's one of his main hobbies. My maternal grandfather, who has always been fond of "picking" on the guitar, has been more heavily involved in music for the past several years, even joining groups. (You can listen to one of those groups-- called Southern Sounds-- here and here.) Donald (my husband) also plays guitar, though he does it less these days than he once did.

When I do take the time to put on some music-- maybe even sing or hum along-- I always feel better for it. It helps me let go (a little) of whatever might be bothering me. I can certainly see how it would soothe premature babies. It seems obvious to me that it would help. It's one of those "why did they even waste time and money studying that?" type of things. I do wonder how it helps, though-- and why. Why does music have such calming power?

Q3 - You: What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

This isn't something I've thought about much, recently.

Maybe they think I'm smarter-- or more knowledgeable on certain subjects-- than I actually am. It seems that a lot of people assume you're smart if you happen to wear glasses. I mean, I think I'm intelligent enough, but every day I learn more about what I don't know.

For every possibility that comes to mind, I begin wondering if people are thinking the opposite. (g) For example-- maybe they think I'm happier than I am (because they don't know all of my personal doubts and issues). But then again, because I grumble about things here, maybe they get the impression that I'm less satisfied with life than I am!

Q4 - Spending Your Own Money: Jared Polis, a 30-something Internet generation entrepreneur--who together with his parents founded and then sold an online greeting card website ( for $780 million back in 1998--is now running for a seat in the United States Congress (2nd Congressional District--Colorado). According to recent reports, Polis, who legally changed his last name in the late-90s from Schutz to Polis, is said to have already self-funded his campaign to the tune of nearly $3.7 Million, which according to the Boulder Daily Camera is three times as much money as he has raised from contributors, and dramatically more than any of his opponents have been able to raise or contribute themselves to their own campaigns. Do you think it's okay for people to self-fund their race for public office in such large amounts--like Jared Polis and other wealthy American politicians have done over the years--or, should limits be placed on the amount of money people are allowed to pour into their own campaigns?

This is another subject that I haven't given much thought. Maybe I'm missing something, but here's my gut reaction:

Candidates should be allowed to spend as much as they like of their own money. From what I can remember, spending lots of your own money on a campaign doesn't guarantee success. Unless the voters like the message, it doesn't matter how many times a politician flashes it across the TV screen.

Besides, if they don't pay their own way, they "have to" get money from other sources, and when they get that money in large chunks from campaign contributors, people suspect them of making shady deals and back-room promises. Which is worse-- someone you know is (or was!) fabulously wealthy or someone you suspect of being in someone else's back pocket? (Or both! And for the record, shadiness is not restricted to the fabulously wealthy. There are plenty of poor and middle class shadesters out there. (g))

On a bit of a tangent, what do they spend it all on, anyway? TV ads? Most of those are pointless. They all have a website, these days, but that needn't cost so much. Just buy a domain and get a few geeky supporters to get it up and running. ;o) I guess they have to pay for all the people who work for them, doing who-knows-what. . . And they fund their "campaign trail" expenses, I suppose, as they rush to make speeches, shake hands, and kiss babies in the crucial days and weeks before elections.

Ideally, it shouldn't matter how much money a candidate has to spend. The media should cover all sides fairly and equally. Debates should be the voter's window into the mysterious workings of those politicians' brains. We should be able to form opinions without the aid of catchy slogans emblazoned across so many posters and backdrops. Unfortunately, the world is not an ideal place, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the political arena.

And on that cheerful note ;o) I wish you all a pleasant Friday and a relaxing weekend! :o)