Author: winter b

Midday Matinee – Is my kid being stalked?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I’m honestly not sure.  I just know it creeped her out when her coworkers told her what had been happening, and I know when I got the final tidbit all the rest snapped into place. But what do you do?  I can’t prove anything, nothing has really happened yet.  So let me tell you about it.  Maybe you can tell me I’m not crazy to worry.  Or maybe you’ll tell me otherwise. My daughter worked nearly full-time at a coffee shop over the summer, then went to one day a week when her college semester started (she has two jobs so one had to give a bit). So for the last two weeks she’s been in the coffee shop only once.  A regular customer noticed her missing.  But it didn’t stop there. He started asking when she would be working again.  They told him they couldn’t tell him that.  He asked where she was.  They answered, “She’s going to school these days.” He called four times asking for her by name, and asking when she was scheduled to work again.  They told him it was against the law for them to tell him. Then he topped it all off with the thing that made my heart sink: he went...

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Noontime News Roundup – September 14, 2010

Noontime News is a snapshot of our RSS feeds from the noon (Eastern time) hour. U.S. pledges millions to end child labor in cocoa harvests “WASHINGTON — The U.S. government and the chocolate industry pledged $17 million on Monday to help end child labor — some of it forced and dangerous — in two African countries where much of the world’s cocoa is grown. “ ∞ Rock the Casbah “First Secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles requests political asylum in the United States after Saudi officials discover he’s gay.” ∞ Rubio Flips: ‘I’m Not’ Open To Social Security Privatization, ‘I Don’t Think That’s The Solution’ “In recent months, a number of Republican leaders have endorsed various schemes to once again attempt what President Bush failed to do — privatize all or part of Social Security. Former House Speaker and likely presidential candidate Newt Gingrich recently endorsed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to privatize Social Security and Medicare; Reps. Dan Lungren (R-CA), Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have all touted personal accounts; and, Alaska GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller has suggested that the social safety net programs are unconstitutional.But in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto today, Florida GOP Senate nominee Marco Rubio made a stark break with those in his party who want privatize the social safety net, saying explicitly that he is not...

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Midday Matinee – Why do people run?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. My youngest daughter was in a car accident this morning. She’s okay, so let me start with that so no one wonders or worries. Shaken, but fine. And so, apparently, is the car. Mostly. But you can imagine what I felt when the phone rang this morning while she was on her way to college and her first words weren’t “I’m here,” but “I was hit.” Man, you can pack a lot of panic, fear and terror into a split second. Then, “I’m okay, the car seems to be okay. But the lady who rear-ended me just drove off.” She did? What the hell are some people thinking? More worried about an insurance claim than whether the person in the car they just hit is okay? Okay, maybe she panicked and ran. But she left my baby on the road, shaken, unsure about whether she was okay, whether her car was okay, and not sure what to do next. Years ago when I backed into a car in a parking lot, the first words out of my mouth as I leapt out of my car were, “Are you okay?” Seems to me to be the most important thing. You’d think. Instead a scared 18-year-old was left to drive her car...

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Midday Matinee – Infinite possibility?

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. For a professional writer, there’s nothing quite like looking at a blank page, whether it be a piece of paper or an empty document on your computer screen. It is at once and immediately a troubled love affair. It’s blank, it calls to you. It cries, “Fill me up!” And you answer, “With what?” Your hands itch, your mind spins, casting out ideas like a nervous fly fisherman trying to make exactly the right strike. You must write. The impulse won’t leave you alone. And that’s when the real trouble begins. You’re incapable of just staring at a blank page, but it daunts you. Something needs to go there, but every time you try to type a sentence, you delete it because it’s not right. You try not to think (if you’re a novelist like me) that that first page is just the first of another 300-400 you must write. Sure you wrote a synopsis weeks ago, and sold it, but that synopsis is not what wants to pour out of your mind and your fingers right now. Where to begin? Perhaps the most daunting question of all. If you don’t start in the right place, in the right way, you’ll wind up throwing out dozens of no-longer blank...

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Midday Matinee – The DMV shuffle

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I’m appalled beyond words after an hour at the DMV yesterday.  The new rules aren’t the fault of the clerks at the DMV, but it’s almost impossible for some folks to get or renew a driver’s license these days. I sat there watching one person after another turned away.  In an hour, that was an awful lot of people. These days you need: your old driver’s license, a social security card, a birth certificate or passport, and two utility bills mailed directly to you in your name (spouse’s name won’t work) to prove who you are.  Oh, and if you changed your name, i.e. got married or divorced, you better have proof of that, too. One woman I talked to was on her third trip to renew her license.  Everything was back in her maiden name as a result of a divorce, but her license had her married name.  She had long since lost the papers (these rules were instituted only this January, and most people get auto-renewed once, for a total of twelve years) and she was living with her father, which complicated providing enough utility bills etc in her own name.  And despite the divorce decree, they wanted proof that she had gotten married in the first...

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