Archive | December, 2009

Final Funnies from 2009: Why I Love Biz

30 Dec

The first time I heard my two-year-old beat-boxing, I must admit that it pretty much stopped me in my tracks.  When I asked him where he’d learned such an “interesting” musical talent, he told me in his broken toddler speak, “Biddz-Beat-ta-ta-day” (translation: Biz’s Beat of The Day).  After a little Q&A with his grandmother on all that he is exposed to during the day when I am at work, she told me that Biz is a staple on my baby’s favorite children’s program, Yo Gabba Gabba.

 Any 80’s baby can tell you that the iconic Biz Markie is considered (even today) one of the pioneers of hip-hop and rap music, applying crafty vernacular and heavy natural beats to his music in a funky and fun, yet non-threatening way.  Even as a party DJ, Biz utilizes a keen ear for music and high energy selections to make any function a premiere event. 

 Knowing this, the confusion must have shown all over my face in trying to figure out how and why Biz parlayed his beat-boxing craft into a children’s programming tool.  Don’t get me wrong, after watching Yo Gabba, Gabba, I can certainly see the appeal.  Although deliberately corny (I hope), the show uses loud colors and imagery, exaggerated characters (that can shake a tail-feather too…watch out Backyardigans), and trendy music to teach children an array of life lessons from the ills associated with eating food from off the ground to the importance of not biting their friends.  AND, with A-List stars like Tony Hawk, Jack Black, The Roots, Andy Samberg and Amare Stoudemire who come to visit the Gabbaverse, there is no wonder why the show is such a hit.

 Back to Biz though…even with the show’s creativity, appeal and superstar “can we make an appearance” waiting list, I still wonder what drove Biz to relocate his mic and pipes to 123 Gabba Lane.  Every time his segment comes on, my little one runs to the television as if he’d been awaiting the arrival of an old friend, so the casting of Biz clearly works, but…I don’t know guys. I see Biz on the show and immediately forget his legendary status and instead think “Surreal Life”. 

 But costume (and rope chain) wearing, microphone-wetting, and quirky faces notwithstanding, this eccentric musician will always be able to “Make The Music With [His] Mouth.”  In a final attempt at humor for the year, perhaps the above clip will explain what I mean.

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Weak and Wack: A Potent-less Vaccine Gets The Boot

29 Dec

Wouldn’t you know it?  Two day left in the year, yet we couldn’t close out 2009 without more Piggy Flu talk!  In lieu of a reported 11,500 Swine flu related deaths since its pandemic-type outbreak earlier this year, the World Health Organization continues to stress the importance of vaccination against this deadly flu strain.

 I understand their angst, really I do.  11-some-odd-thousand people is a staggering number of folks to succumb to this mutant virus, BUT you all already know how I feel about injecting myself with somebody’s dormant caca virus, when hand washing, regular orange juice intake and some Vitamin D supplements will work just as well to keep me healthy this flu season.  Oh yeah, and going the whole cleanly and natural route would likely lesson my concerns about potentially sustaining nervous system damage from said caca vaccine.

But before you vaccined-ones start shooting me the eye-roll, let’s discuss the latest swine flu vaccine development, shall we?  Medimmune, the developer of the nasal swine flu vaccine is recalling roughly 5 million doses of the preventative treatment after it was discovered that the nasal spray seemed to lose strength over time.  The FDA remains steadfast in their claim that the vaccine itself is still safe and that those who’ve already been vaccinated should not seek an H1N1 vaccine chaser, as they are still protected from the virus.

So…when tested, packaged and distributed back in October and November, the nasal vaccines met FDA potency specifications, right?  Now, just a month or so later, the vaccine is less potent and requires a recall…a 5 million unit recall?  And, although the vaccine has a slight decrease in potency, that reduction isn’t expected to have any effect on the protective effect against H1N1 for those who’ve already taken it (says the FDA)?

Yet. It. Was. Recalled.

Am I the only one waiting for the other shoe to drop here?  Now listen, I don’t claim to be a scientist, so the FDA’s assurances that the nasal vaccine (now in Less Potent Strength ®) should still protect against the Swine Flu may very well be true, but I just feel that by already living in Leary Land due to the fact that the original vaccine has mercury in it and now learning that it perhaps cannot sustain its potency longer than a month, I am more convinced than ever (and I was pretty convinced before) that I will be maintaining my “thanks, but no thanks” position on not being vaccinated this, next or any year.  I know, I know; conspiracy theorist, hype monger, worrywart, I’ve heard ‘em all.  But just know that I’ll have an “I-told-you-so” reserved on the tip of my tongue for all those naysayers when Medimmune and the FDA reveal in the next six months or so that yet another side affect to the nasal vaccine is rapidly growing, braid-able nose hair!

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

With Liberty and Health Care for All

28 Dec

Even with President Obama’s recent efforts to work with the Senate to make some significant headway in the latest saga that is Health Care Reform before the holidays, it seems that there are those legislators that are just intent upon unraveling any real progress made toward a comprehensive health plan that would benefit the millions of uninsured and under-insured citizens in this nation.

The Republican Senator from Kentucky and Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell indirectly implied to Jake Tapper on ABC’s This Week’s Sunday broadcast that Republicans preparing to campaign for office in the coming year would be making preparations to undo the current health care legislation, should it become law. When asked specifically about seeking a health care repeal, McConnell sidestepped the question, only saying that health care reform would be a major issue in 2010.

By taking this vague approach and tossing out innuendoes as opposed to a concrete stance, what is it really that McConnell is trying to say or wants his constituency to believe about his position on Health Care?  Now don’t get me wrong, it is painstakingly obvious to just about anyone who’s been following the daily reports, jargon, disputes and developments related to health care reform over the past year that the debates (for the most part) run down party lines and center specifically on whether Americans have a fundamental right to health care and if the government should foot the bill and administer it or not.  So, if as a Republican McConnell is opposed to the requirement of Universal Health Care, or a public option overseen by the government (because it would infringe on the freedoms of Americans to facilitate their own health care options), then why not say so? Why the cautious and guarded wordplay in the media?

I think that a lot of the eggshell walking (on both sides of the partisan line) has to do with the fact that although one group’s one-sided survey might indicate that the American people are overwhelming opposed to the efforts to have the government take over their health care, and another poll might reveal that the majority of Americans believe that only a national public option can grant billions in subsidies to assist uninsured Americans in purchasing insurance, force insurance companies to cooperate with the insured, eliminate the use of pre-existing conditions as a way to deny coverage and ultimately reduce costs, the sad reality remains that far too many Americans simply cannot afford to be ill because health care is just not a realistic and affordable option for them. 

Both sides of the spectrum argue regularly over the costs associated with health care reform (Republicans believe that government spending on healthcare will significantly increase national spending and the national debt while Democrats contend that the direct and indirect cost to taxpayers will continue to rise when uninsured Americans fall ill and seek medical attention they cannot pay for), but I believe the argument ought to focus on how to make this nation’s health care services competitive among the world’s other developed countries. 

To me, it is pretty sad that with all the advances in economics, weaponry, medicine and science, The United States consistently ranks last amongst the G6 nations and other industrialized countries having universal coverage on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and outcomes in health care.  While the U.S. does have better access to advanced medical treatments and technologies and shorter waiting times for specialists treatment than most other countries, we still have a shorter life expectancy than all of the nations in the European Union.  It is also important to note that according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all its citizens have health coverage.

So as this nation contends with the likes of North Korea and Iran for the battle over nuclear arms and continues its global war on terrorism, I hope that someone is keeping track of which lawmakers are working to ensure that the American people actually live to see the days of global peace and stability.  It is imperative that politicians forget partisanship and think of the people if a functional and effective health care system in this country is to be realized.

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

Will He? Won’t He? : Urban Meyer Calls an Indefinite Timeout

27 Dec

The sports world was all abuzz yesterday when Urban Meyer, The University of Florida’s most winning head coach announced his plans to resign as The Gator’s football coach, amid health concerns.  Addressing the fact that his anxiety over his health initially began some 4 years ago, Meyer revealed that he’d had significant chest pains for the past two years; pains that ultimately led to his admittance to the hospital after the Gator’s heartbreaking (no pun intended) SEC Championship loss (and subsequent rankings plunge) to Alabama on December 5th.  But anyone familiar with Gator football and the perfectionist that is Urban Meyer knows that the commitment to his career and student-athletes, coupled with the stress and nature of running a football program…an immensely successful football program could indeed lead to considerable health complications if left unchecked.

 In Orlando, visiting family for the holiday break, my honey couldn’t get over how so much of the local conversation, whether at the grocery store or the neighborhood Brazilian Steakhouse seemed to surround Urban’s decision and the fate of the Gators.  Personally, I was surprised that my honey was so taken aback by people’s disquieted reactions to Meyer’s resignation (considering that we both were accepted to UF although chose to attend college elsewhere).  He of all people should understand the bond that is GATOR NATION, being a card carrying member and all.

But before I could rationalize the idea of a Meyer-less Gator’s sideline, Urban announced today that instead of the resignation that he’d announced a bit prematurely, he now intends to take an indefinite leave of absence from The University of Florida.  Admitting that his return (or in this case, his resignation recantation) had a lot to do with his love for the players, he plans to get himself “fixed” before any plans to return to coaching, but hinted that he believed he’d be ready for work come opening day of the 2010.  As much as this excites me though, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to still being concerned about Urban Meyer’s health.  In addition to his admitted chest pains, Urban also copes with debilitating headaches due to a cyst on his brain. 

 So is Urban’s decision to stay at the university one made of pure emotion instead of one made with regard to his well being?  Does getting “fixed” require any extensive surgical procedures?  Considerable recovery downtime?  A significantly lighter workload?  He currently plans to delegate the head coaching role to UF Offensive Coordinator Steve Addazio, but will Meyer be willing to continue delegating other important coaching roles and duties upon his return?

 Now, I’d be remiss if I did not mention Urban Meyer’s extensively decorated coaching career; the best winning percentage among major college coaches with a minimum of five seasons (.841, 95-18 in nine season), the highest winning percentage in Florida history (.848, 56-10 in five seasons), and leading the Gators to two of their three national titles, all of which makes Meyer a forced to be reckoned with as a superior football strategist and scheme executor.  He was also recently named “Coach of the Decade by both Sports Illustrated and Sporting News.

 And although I’d love to see him coaching at UF for the next ten years, the issues with his health certainly seem like a lot to contend with while still being expected to maintain the demanding and fast-paced lifestyle of a collegiate head coach.  My hope however, is that regardless of what Meyer decides, he remains successful in all his endeavors, and won’t be afraid to let go when the time is right!

 I am a member of the Gator Nation, and I approve this message.

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff

What I’m Wearing: Christmas Goodies

26 Dec

Giacca Fitted Leather Jacket and Franco Fortini Boots

I must admit, it is simply wonderful to have someone in your life who gets you; someone who listens, instructs when need be, and who picks up on those subtle (and not so) hints about the things that you truly adore.  Such is the case with my honey.  He does everything in his power to make my life a seamless and pleasurable existence, however he isn’t afraid to rein me in on occasion when I am “out of pocket” or being “extra” (his adjectives for my little antics).

 A few weeks ago, he asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  In true “Simply Red” fashion (If you don’t know me by now…), I told him that I hadn’t really given much thought to any gifts for myself this year, knowing full well that I’d had my eyes glued to a tres chic pair of Franco Fortini boots and my heart set on a new Giacca leather jacket (I know fellas; I’ll blog in the very near future on why women play demure and coy around gift time).

 Well little did I know, he’d been diligently logging and documenting all those times when I’d liked this or thought that was just too cute.  Come Christmas morn, my eyes were as glossy as my children’s as I lavished in and put on my fabulous presents!  I can say with total honesty that his gift-giving efforts this year resulted in a job WELL DONE!

 Have a peak at my Christmas Booty!

 

I’m Packing Up,

~Tiff 

Giacca Custom Ruffled Leather Jacket

Franco Fortini Shin Boots (rolled down) with Embellished Buckle

Merry Christmas From The Fanny Pack

25 Dec

 

I pray that the desires of your heart and the warmth of family, hearth and home have resonated with you all on this special Christmas Day!  Never forget the reason…

 

~Tiff

The Night Before Christmas…A Packers Wish List

24 Dec

T’was the night before Christmas and can you believe that The Packer forgot to mail her Christmas List to Santa?  Thank goodness for the World Wide Web. Since I know that Santa is a loyal Fanny Pack subscriber, I will go ahead and post my hearts desires for Christmas 2009 here, as I know he will be multitasking tonight; and in no particular order:

 

  1. Diplomatic Immunity
  2. Marc Jacobs Crimson Leather Fanny Pack
  3. M.A.C. 48 eyelashes
  4. Christian Louboutin Gray Metallika Booty
  5. Linden Street Basswood Vertical Blinds
  6. All inclusive vacation to Europe (England, France, Italy)
  7. Solid Insulated Thermal Black-out curtains for my master-suite
  8. Christian Louboutin Multi-Greissimo Pinup w/ Red Sole
  9. A realistic and comprehensive Healthcare Reform Bill
  10. An unlimited supply of Yves Rocher Long Wear Lipstick in Pistil Beige

 

 

Feliz Navidad!

~Tiff

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