Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Anecdotal Woman

Even though I’m between assignments at the moment I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been. When I’m working full-time I do nothing but work, and everything else falls apart. Laundry and dishes pile up; dog and cat hair turn into furry tumbleweed on the floor; resumes, books, magazines, and receipts are strewn everywhere and cover every flat surface.

Now that I have the luxury to decompress, I find a gazillion things to do. I often wonder how women ever get anything done. It boggles my mind to see women juggle work, family, household chores, and all the other things women do.

Sometimes when I see a mom at the supermarket with an infant strapped on her chest, a kid in tow, a toddler on a stroller, bags of groceries hanging from both arms and stroller handles, bags piled on top of the toddler, I shake my head in wonderment. And Sarah Palin thinks she can do all that and be VP? Well, I guess if you a have a staff that you can fire at will, then anything is possible.

I’m starting a series of posts that I’m calling Anecdotal Woman about women I’ve met along the way who have left an impression on me (good, bad or indifferent). They will all be called Maya because Maya means illusion. The illusion is that of separation. But the truth is there is only One of us. Your triumph is my triumph. Your failure is mine. Your joy is my joy; your sorrow, mine.

There but for the Grace of God go I.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\,
noun (German): A malicious satisfaction
obtained from the misfortunes of others.

Forgive me, God. I thought I was above all this. I thought my heart was filled with nothing but compassion. Last Friday I watched The McLaughlin Group (like I always do), and the pugnacious host John McLaughlin ticked off the declining fortunes of some famous billionaires and fallen CEO’s. I could not help but chuckle with guilt-free glee.

From the transcript:

Henry Paulson, former CEO, Goldman Sachs, current secretary of the Treasury, from $809 million to $523 million.

Daniel Mudd, former CEO, Fannie Mae, $26 million to $476,000.

Richard Syron, former CEO, Freddie Mac, $11 million to

Martin Sullivan, AIG, $3.2 million to $173,000.

John Thain, Merrill Lynch, $28 million to $16 million.

Richard Fuld Jr., Lehman Brothers, $827 million to $2.3

John Mack, Morgan Stanley, $225 million to $80 million.

Charles Prince, Citigroup, $89 million to $33 million.

And get this -- James Cayne, Bear Stearns, $1.1 billion --
that's "b" as in "boy," billion -- to $61 million.

And get this -- Maurice Greenberg, AIG, $1.25 billion -- that's
"b" as in "boy," billion -- to $50 million.

How ticklishly delicious to imagine the misfortune of those greedy assholes! How fun it is to type "greedy assholes" without moral misgivings!

As the German proverb goes:

“To feel envy is human;

to savor schadenfreude is devilish!”

Cartoons courtesy of The New Yorker