Archive for July, 2009

I’m a Believer

July 31, 2009

The AIMI Project and the NDI did it again last night with Imagine: A Celebration of the Life of John Lennon. In fact it was the best performance I’ve seen so far – full of energy, life, love and loads o’ talent, starting with the creative musical arrangements of the prologue.

The alphabet soup of names stands for Arts Integration & Multiple Intelligences and the National Dance Institute. They come together every year at St. Joseph College in West Hartford to rehearse and perform a song and dance tribute in less than two weeks (down one week from last year’s rehearsal period). The cast consists of tiny tykes to professional adult members of the institute, plus one extremely cute pug named Finbar whose participation seems to expand each year. Last year’s show told the story of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. See “Singing and Dancing with Frida and Diego

This year’s tribute featured various dancers, including a couple of girls,  playing John Lennon. The show started with a bang to “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band,” as an acrobatic young blond version of Lennon did multiple cartwheels and handsprings across the floor. Soon, the Fab Four came together (and were nearly torn apart by the hysterical crowd) to “I Saw Her Standing There.” It was right about then that the audience began to clap along to the beat.

The energy of these productions is always sky high, but this year’s was in the stratosphere because of the music, which most of the audience knew by heart. Among the highlights was “Yellow Submarine,” with its marine fauna and flora setting and various sea creatures floating across the stage, the Fab Four managing to dance across the stage with their heads sticking out of the portholes in the cardboard yellow submarine. Of course Finbar stole the scene in his role as the Octopus.

The most moving scene featured “Oh My Love,” Lennon’s song to Yoko with the talented Talia Clarke and Konstantin Mushkatin evoking the pathos of the song.

The only misstep: The house lights came up before the final curtain call so that a good chunk of the audience had left the building before all the stars took their bows.

In keeping with the John and Yoko’s desire for peace in the world, the AIMI created a Wish Tree Project. We did not have a chance to leave a leave a message on AIMI’s tree, but I’m making my wish at Imagine Peace.

Thanks for the memories, folks!


Electrifying Distraction

July 30, 2009

Today is a day of distraction. The electrician will be here to seek out the gremlins in the circuit breakers. It all started about two weeks ago when two outlets in the bedroom stopped working. Of course they were the ones with the clock radio, bedside lamp. The other one has the cat’s bed, which isn’t as crucial when the weather turns hot and sticky. They stopped working in the late afternoon. The next a.m. two utility outlets, one on the porch, one outside that controls the retractable awning stopped, too. We thought that was a dead battery for the remote and so went and replaced it. Of course nothing happened.

I had called my regular electrician. No call back. Called another electrician. They called back several hours later and said they couldn’t help but provided the name of someone who could. In the meantime I had called a third company, which promised to let me know if they could do the job. Never heard a word from them, either.

In the meantime, Larry did something to the breaker box and the outlets started working again. Then the upstairs stopped working again Monday morning, followed by the outside ones in the afternoon. I called my original guy again and this time he called back right away.

And he arrived at 8:10 – said that the house may have been hit by lightning because the ground fault was “a little funky.” Of course what we have isn’t made any more, but he’s installing something that’ll take care of the problem. Just as he was leaving, I checked and the upstairs still wasn’t working. He checked the two dead sockets and the lines buried in the closet. He had to go up in the attic to fix stuff. Said the attic fan made the place nice and cool. Usually he dreads going into attics at this time of year because they are broiling. Of course it didn’t hurt that the sun wasn’t shining.

A half hour later he was done and we have lights all around.

Of course I’m still two hours behind on my usual stuff.

Redux, Redux II

July 29, 2009

It’s time for another update, the last one having been back in March.

Globalpost (See March 17) is still going strong. Today’s gems include serious accounts on electric cars from Portugal, where the government is allocating funds for 1,300 charging stations, and from Italy on whether the new ambassador can improve the U.S.  image abroad. There is also a lighter piece on the World Games 2009 that just ended in Taiwan. Competitions included “ultimate frisbee,” korfball (Dutch basketball), kayak polo, and tug-of-war. The games had a serious side, of course, since there was some friction between the People’s Republic and Taiwan.

Another chapter is unfolding on the Chris Dodd/Countrywide saga (see “Noted With Curiosity,” March 20). Turns out he did know he was getting special treatment. I can be convinced that he needs to stick around till he gets his buddy Ted Kennedy’s health bill through the Senate, but after that he should be history. Let someone with less baggage tackle Rob Simmons or whatever the GOP decides to throw up.

There was a Tour de Lance (see March 25) this year, and the old man did better than expected. Plus the French don’t hate him any more, and there was not even a whiff of suggestion that he was doping. Go, Lance!

It looks like John Hope Franklin’s goal is still a long way off. “End of an Era” (March 26) quoted him as saying that he wanted to reveal “the long, tragic history of the continuing black-white conflict compelled me to focus on the struggle that has affected the lives of the vast majority of people in the United States.” Recent events involving Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the Cambridge police seem to indicate that the continuing conflict still affects the lives of a majority of Americans and that class may compound race in this case.

In the “Things Left Undone” category on April 1, I did manage one evil-level Sudoku without erasing. I remember marking it in red ink afterward. Can’t find it now, of course, not having achieved another goal, which was to stay organized for more than two days. The rest are still dreams, as well.

This is my first visit to Double X since I wrote about it in May. The pages took forever to load. Not sure that glitch was my fault or theirs. The mix of fluff and substance tilts sharply toward the former – movie reviews, pie baking, men falling in love with animated characters vs. early puberty for girls and forty-year-olds choosing sperm donors. Heavy on the sex and romance, light on political analysis. And I really don’t care what President Obama thinks about the AKAs.

Still feeling ambivalent about Newsweek (June 11), still having difficulty telling the ads from the copy. It still gets a C+.

After wasting taxpayer money and their own time, New York’s legislators did settle down. (“Civil War in Albany,” June 11) The defection and re-defection of two Dems looked like a game of middle school musical chairs. Didn’t bother to check whether those guys are still under their own special legal clouds.

Here’s another variation on the scam in “Spread the Word!” (July 18). A woman on my book authors listserve says to remove information on your birthday from social networking sites. Scammers were able to convince a friend of the woman’s, based on the info on Facebook, to send money to Britain, and they cleared the friend’s bank account. And on Monday, the tech reporter on Slate wrote about foiling programs that can guess most passwords.

My June 18 “Wacky Weather” entry could have been repeated almost every day since then. We’ve had downpours, hail, thunderstorms, and of course the tornado that hit Wethersfield at the end of June. Hot weather hs arrived, but we’re also on deck for thunderstorms every day this week. I talked to my cousin in Colorado last night, and she said it was raining so hard that she couldn’t get out of her car. (I told her that if she cleared out one side of her attached garage, she would not have that problem.) Folks there are puzzled but not complaining because she lives in a part of the country that is normally in severe drought and at risk for forest fires at this time of year. Looks like they are in for several more days of T-storms, too. But Seattle and Portland, Oregon, have abnormally high temps. The forecast said 103 for Portland for Tuesday and Wednesday, and folks out there are terrified that the old-growth forests will erupt into flames. In that case it probably pays to pray for rain.

The MegaCard bill arrived yesterday (see “Generosity? Doubtful,” July 23), and the EVPCE was right. The due date is a week later than it has been, which makes no difference since it was for a grand total of $3.63 for my long distance bill, representing about an hour’s worth of conversation.

And to end on a happy, upbeat note, again breaking the no politics rule: New Jersey has to beat Connecticut in corruption now. (See, “What, Only Twelfth?” December 18, 2008.) The various stories about the corruption arrests last week sound like the beginning of a bad joke: three mayors, two state legislators, five rabbis, and a box of Apple Jacks stuffed with $47,000. These one-liners are followed by resignations, firings, suspensions, etc., etc. Back in the Middle Ages when I was in law school, one of my professors explained the high national ranking of the New Jersey Supreme Court by saying that every few years the N.J. government became so corrupt the voters swept in a huge new crop of reformers who appointed bright, honest judges. These folks managed to hang in between corruption scandals and actually create some good law. (As opposed to the elected members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which was at the time a national embarrassment.) Hope NJ pulls it off again, but I predict this imbroglio will have staying power.

Exercise in Balance

July 28, 2009

This entry (and probably all future entries) comes to you from a fitness ball. I’ve traded in my desk chair for one of those exercise balls, a suggestion that my cousin Ashley’s wife Kathryn made.

The first thing I learned was that the balls have sizes. One selects the right size based on one’s height. The second thing I learned, after I opened the box, was to keep it away from pets. My bet is that Isis will find the vinyl smell offensive and stay well away. So much for her morning and afternoon naps on my lap unless I adjourn to the upstairs reading chair. She doesn’t lap sit so much in the hot weather anyway, and we’ll figure out something else in the fall. I’m not crazy about the smell either, but I imagine it’ll dissipate after a bit,

The thing provided a workout even before I got to sit on it. The ball comes with a little hand pump, and I had to take breaks from inflating it because my arms got tired. I started at 4 p.m. and finished about an hour later with time out to make tea. Sore muscles set in about 7 a.m. on Sunday.

After that it was pretty much fun, though I’m sitting several inches lower than before – can’t reach the window shades without getting up. Have to remind myself to sit straight. My sister-in-law Deb said, “Think of a piece of string running from the top of your head down your spine.” That’s a crucial piece of info for me because I tend to hunch over when I work and then wonder why my upper back is sore. Kathryn was right about the temptation to bounce up and down when one is not actually typing. I’ve also found that I tend to roll around some without realizing I’m doing it.

Otherwise I’m happy with the results because I’m exercising while I’m sitting still. Each  time I move a bit, I have to compensate for the roll of the ball. And, no, I haven’t fallen off yet!

Before I spent $ for the ball, I went on line to see what other folks had to say. 10 Reasons was the best. It was a bit scary to find this report on recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. I don’t see how it would be possible to overinflate with that wimpy little pump. I probably won’t use it to work out exercises, but TC Palm offers the best advice.

Typing is still iffy – I’m missing more letters than normal but I’m sure I’ll adjust.

Later in the day I had to switch back to my chair because the ball put me too far away from the light to read. But I’ll spend at least part of each day on it. It’s still fun.

Addendum: I had already written most of this entry when the news came over that Merce Cunningham had died. He’s another genius whose contributions the world of the arts will no doubt be assessing well into this century. He drew on everything from Native American ceremonies to wildlife to Zen Buddhism. His signature was combining the best of modern dance and ballet into an ineffable whole. He is also an example of how regular aerobic workouts can keep one healthy well into old age. He danced a duet with Mikhail Baryshnikov when he was 80 and continued to choreograph until a few months before his death at age 90. “Exercise in Balance” applies to him too.

Addendum2: A Virginia Tech study has answered my question about the reaction time of drivers who text: It hikes crash risk 23 times. Yipe! That’s definitely not exercising balance.

Cats Rule, I Mean Cat Rules

July 24, 2009

It’s Friday, and after a week of DUI, death, profiling, and the like, it’s time for something more lighthearted. Actually, this is downright hysterical if you like cats and have spent any time watching them. The first time I read these, I laughed so hard I cried. Went back and reread them and decided Isis helped write them. The list is of course quite long, so I’ll run them in segments every so often.

Cat’s Basic Rules for Running a Household

Doors: Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on hind legs and hammer with forepaws. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an “outside” door opened, stand halfway in and out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.

Chairs and Rugs: If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the human’s bare foot.

Bathrooms: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything – just sit and stare.

Hampering: If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called “helping,” otherwise known as “hampering.” Following are the rules for “hampering”:

When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.

For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.

For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work or at least the most important part.  Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.

For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim – to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.

When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.

Skip vs. The Cambridge P.D.

July 24, 2009

The song goes, “You don’t step on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind, you don’t pull the mask off the ol’ Lone Ranger, and you don’t mess around with Jim.” Add to that you don’t argue with the cops no matter how much you have right on your side.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is one of the most respected scholars in America. He’s head of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard. He received a MacArthur “genius grant. He’s written, edited, and contributed to countless works that have advanced knowledge about African Americans. He was among the first to trace his roots back to Africa. He’s been at the forefront of DNA research for African Americans. He’s also almost 60 years old and was last I knew disabled from hip replacement surgery.

But he’s still a black man in America.

One of his neighbors called the cops because she thought she saw “two black males with backpacks” trying to break into a house across the street. When police arrived they found Gates inside. The officer apparently refused to give Gates his name and badge number, even after Gates handed over his driver’s license and Harvard ID, which showed that he lived at the address in question.

The other man was Gates’s driver, and the backpacks were Gates’s luggage from an overseas trip.

The officer asked Gates come outside to talk, and Gates reportedly said, “Yeah, I’ll speak with your mama outside.”

The police charged Gates with disorderly conduct because of his “loud and tumultuous behavior,” which charge was dropped the next day. Gates is contemplating suing the Cambridge P.D.

The whole scenario gets weirder and weirder: Why didn’t his neighbor recognize him? Why did the police arrest him once they verified that he was in his own house? Did they feel they had to follow through to save face? Doesn’t the Cambridge P.D. train its officers to have thicker skins than that? Is Gates still charging racism even though one of the officers was black? Why did the Boston Globe, which had posted a copy of the police report delete it? It is available here.

My guess is that this episode is going to play out like the O.J. verdict. Most black folks thought O.J. was innocent; most white folks thought he was guilty. Neither side could figure out how the other could possibly believe what it did. In this case I’m sure most black folks think that Gates was profiled. Many whites, especially in Boston with its history, are sure the police acted appropriately. Never the twain shall meet.

And a final note to President Obama: As much as you are right about being profiled outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, you should not have stepped into this particular quagmire.

Generosity? Doubtful

July 23, 2009

Yesterday’s mail brought a nice letter from a credit card company (hereinafter “MegaCard”), giving an extra five days to pay my bill. It was signed by the Executive Vice President Customer Experience.

Previous experience with MegaCard has been that the time between the arrival of the bill and the due date dropped from a decent interval to something under ten days. After that happened a year or so ago, I consigned MegaCard to a storage facility and remove it only on rare occasions.

This change takes effect in July or August. MegaCard’s EVPCE was not sure of the exact month, I guess because there wasn’t time to check billing cycles, even though there was time to put the last four digits of my card number at the top of the letter.

MegaCard isn’t expanding the payment period now out of any altruism or desire for good “customer experience.” It’s because of the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009.” It passed the House in April and the Senate in May. Among other things, it requires creditors to send statements at least 21 calendar days before the due date. Mega Card and others are also not allowed to monkey around and declare a snail-mail payment late if it arrives on the next business day after a Sunday or holiday.

Quick update: Connecticut probably won’t see any federal emergency money for the tornado damage because it wasn’t bad enough or expensive enough. My condolences to all those folks who had trees come down in their yards and on their houses. Wethersfield will never look the same.

Addendum: The Onion, “America’s Finest News Source,” will have its own blog entry at some point. In the meantime, check out its spoof of foreign takeovers with the announcement that it has been sold to the Chinese company Yu Wan Mei, “Amalgamated Salvage Fisheries and Polymer Injection Corp.” The transition was apparently painless, with the famous Onion logo now bracketed with Chinese characters and unsubtle headlines: American Consumer Masses Agree: It Fish Time!” Promotions for Yu Wan Me products such as Miscellaneous Flavor Paste and the last chance to buy discontinued Onion paraphernalia bracket headlines “Ping-Pong Champion Credits Victory to Diet of Nutritious Fish By-Products” and “Workers Protest Over-Ventilation of U.S. Factories.” Love it!


July 21, 2009

The federal agency that was supposed to be protecting us as we travel the nation’s highways weaseled out on a study because it was afraid of Congress. It seems that back in 2003 researchers at the National Transportation Safety Administration proposed to examine 10,000 drivers on the effects of distracted driving, specifically use of cell phones. But the study never came off because NTSA higher ups thought the results would upset Congress.

The former administrator of the agency gave the NY Times the confusing explanation that the agency had been warned “to stick to its mission of gathering safety data but not to lobby states.” The agency feared that it would lose funding worth billions if it pursued the study.

The researchers who made the proposal recognized that drivers were not keeping their eyes and minds on the road ahead and their hands on the wheel while they were talking on cell phones. Hands-free devices that many states sanction did not solve the problem because drivers were focusing on the conversation, the researchers believed.

Other studies show that cell phone users are four times more likely to crash than non-users, and their reaction time is the same as someone who is legally drunk. Earphones and the like reduce the risk somewhat, but the danger of crashes and near-misses are still greater than if the phone . (See “Driving While Dialing,” February 4.)

Can’t wait to see the results of the texting while driving study. Based on the story that ran on Sunday, I’d say the impact (pardon the pun) will be dreadful.

Too Much

July 21, 2009

The subject of death is arising far too often in this blog. This time it involves people whose full impact on society will probably not be known for years. While I admired them both, my own reaction to each of their deaths was vastly different. The announcement Friday that Walter Cronkite had passed came as no surprise. I had some little regret, but he had lived a long and full life and had gracefully exited the stage some time ago. It did bring back recollections of milestones in my young life, but in a good way.

The death of Frank McCourt, on the other hand, was needless and far too soon and I’m angry that he had to die the way he did.

The Most Trusted Man in America

As soon as CBS news announced the passing of “Uncle Walter,” it played the clip of his announcement that JFK had died. I cried all over again. Cronkite, far more than anyone else, influenced me to become a journalist. And he was among the best, long before the position of TV news anchor was first invented and then exalted. Edward R. Murrow hired Cronkite because he  could keep his facts straight and write clear declarative sentences. He was the managing editor for the news broadcasts. That’s the person who has final say in content, so he was reading what he wrote. He was not just another coiffed and heavily made up robot reading cue cards or whatever.

Only occasionally did he inject his views into his reporting, and when he did they were conclusions based on careful observations and thoughtful analysis. He did it twice in 1968, first when he said, “It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate.” He basically told the American people that they were being lied to about the success of the war. The result of this observation is now famous. President Johnson said, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.” It’s a shame that the most trusted man in America had retired before W. and Cheney invaded Iraq. We have no one with any credibility now to call out our leaders when they overstep their bounds.

The second time Cronkite’s observations intruded in 1968, he watched Dan Rather get punched in the stomach by a security guard at the Democratic National Convention. Cronkite’s reaction: “I think we’ve got a bunch of thugs here, Dan.”

Cronkite occasionally let his objectivity fall completely apart, most spectacularly over anything involving NASA and space flight. He became like a giddy little kid watching the rides at an amusement park and waiting for a chance to hop on board. After the moon walk, all he could say was, “Oh, boy!” Because of that unbridled enthusiasm, I always expected that he would be among the first civilians in space, but I guess he got too old.

One incident that I don’t think I knew about at the time was his meeting with the pompous, ignorant anti-Cronkite, Ted Baxter, on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.” The most trusted man in America could do comedy, too.

We’ll never see his like again.

Frank McCourt

News of McCourt’s impending death from  melanoma came across last week, and all I could think was, “Oh, my God, what a waste!” He had pretty clearly gotten his exposure in the years before the wide use of sun screens; nevertheless it seemed a terrible burden that such a talented man should lose his life to a disease that is easy to prevent and easy to cure in its early stages.

I’ll never forget sitting on a sunny beach (yeah, without sun screen) on the north side of Oahu in the spring of 1999 reading Angela’s Ashes. Every few minutes I stopped to savor the contrast between McCourt’s life and the clear blue sky, white sand, balmy breeze and 80 degree temps. Because of his brilliance, I could feel his poor bare feet as he and his brothers and sisters shivered through the icy puddles in the damp of Ireland. That’s the second time I’ve had a study in contrasts. Some years before I had read The Feminine Mystique while on a trip to Mexico. Betty Friedan just made me furious at the high-handed chauvinism of the Mexican men. It took me a couple of weeks to recover from that vacation!

McCourt did a great service to the world in writing such a powerful and very intimate account of his early life. He was properly acknowledged for it with a Pulitzer. Unfortunately Angela’s Ashes became the motivator for a whole genre which has now slithered into the half-truth sliminess of James Frey and his ilk. In this instance, the best came first.

McCourt went on to publish two more memoirs, ’Tis and Teacher Man. They are equally well written but lack the punch of the first because he had achieved at least a modicum of physical comfort. Life as a New York City schoolteacher has its exciting moments but can’t match the struggle to survive the streets of Limerick. My favorite scene from the later works is the incident where he eats a sandwich that one of his students has thrown on the floor. (Memories of poverty and starvation die hard.)

Another like McCourt won’t come along any time soon, either.

‘Extreme’ DUI Charge for DT

July 17, 2009

Sports is a category, along with politics, that this blog normally avoids. With politics it would be overkill. With sports, it’s sheer ignorance. Daddy was a devoted Giants fan, both in baseball and football. When the baseball team moved to California, he switched his allegiance to the Yankees, so I sort of pay attention. I do it mostly to annoy the Red Sox fans in the family. (There is a blog entry some time in the future about the DMZ between the sets of fans that seems to follow the I-91 corridor.) But don’t ask me about the Yankees’ record or even the names any players besides Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon.

I also feel that most professional sports are just money making operations that exploit the fans. College basketball, especially women’s college basketball, has been my one major sports passion and the star of that passion is the UConn Women Huskies, who had a perfect season last year. Not only that, but all their players graduate from college and rarely get into the trouble.

During the past few seasons, the star of the Huskies was a young woman from California by the name of Diana Taurasi, known as DT to Coach Geno, fellow players, and the news media. DT arrived with amazing credentials. She grew up playing against her brothers, and took over the job of point guard almost from her first game. Whenever the team was in trouble, DT got the ball and bailed everyone else out. Someone at another school asked Geno what made the difference in the team, and he said, “We’ve got Diana and you don’t.”

DT was always special. She was probably the only player in Huskies history who was able walk up behind Geno as he sat on the bench and ruffle his hair without getting into serious trouble.

When DT was a senior, the Huskies took the national championship for the third time during her college career. The year after she and Maria Conlon (an underrated three-point shooter) graduated, the results were so bad it’s hard to find them online. Thankfully, this year’s squad was finally out from under DT’s shadow, and the results speak for themselves.

It was inevitable that she would play professional ball and of course she was the number one draft pick. She chose the Phoenix Mercury so that she could be closer than a cross-country plane ride to her family. Before she even showed up for a practice, the media was calling her the new Lebron James, the female Jordan. She’s fulfilled her promise by being among the leading scorers in the league. She’s also the most popular player among the fans.

But now she’s in trouble. On the night of July 2, police say they saw her speeding and weaving across the yellow line. After she refused a breathalizer test, the officer administered field sobriety tests and then drew blood. She stands accused of speeding, plus three drunken driving related charges, including “extreme DUI,” based on a blood-alcohol level that was more than twice the state’s legal limit. A conviction for the latter in Arizona carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 30 days, suspended after 10 if the person completes an alcohol education program, plus fines and an ignition lock on the car. Thanks to the Connecticut Post for explaining all this stuff.

The Mercury is suspending her for two games without pay. Considering that thugs who play for the NBA get away with far more, I think that’s a fair penalty. She seems truly contrite, unlike many of her male colleagues who have no clue that they’re not supposed to beat women, shoot people, drive drunk, etc. etc.

A couple of words of advice, Diana: First when you want to get loaded (especially during the playing season), find a designated driver. And second, this is one arena where you don’t have to play like the boys.