Little Ms. Polymath

aka the know-it-all

luxury. July 16, 2010

Filed under: shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 5:34 pm

I just finished Martha McPhee’s novel Dear Money, which chronicles the life of an author as she transitions into a high-earning mortgage trader during the early 2000s. India Palmer has a charmed life, living in a rent-controlled Manhattan apartment with her artist husband and two girls. She teaches at a university, sends her daughters to private school and intermingles with New York’s best and brightest. On the verge of publishing her fifth novel, Palmer is also on the verge of a financial meltdown – keeping up with the Joneses has put her in the poorhouse. So, on a bet and a whim, she becomes the protegé of a mortgage trader, gives up her writer’s life and begins to earn.

The novel made me think about my ideas of luxury – things worth scrimping and saving for, things worth going into debt for. There’s no doubt about it, life is nicer with finer things – who wouldn’t rather curl up in soft cotton bedlinens rather than pilly polyester sheets? Food tastes better when presented on lovely dishes, and winter is more bearable with a cashmere scarf. Or is it? Sometimes it’s so easy to start confusing wants and needs.

I’m trying to figure out where to draw the line when it comes to the idea of worth. First off, I have way too much stuff. Too many clothes I’ll never wear. Far too many shoes that I’ll never set foot in. I’ve got glasses and dishes and bric a brac that means nothing to me, collecting dust. I’ve got cds and records that haven’t seen the light of day in years. And so on and so forth. Stuff. Things. Items I once didn’t think I could live without, and now I don’t even realize I’m living with – because they’re packed away, out of sight.

Still, there are some things I know I’ll always splurge on, if I can. A good, reliable car with heated seats. Massages. Decent shampoo. Cable (totally, totally worthless). Food. Travel. And while I certainly can’t afford the top of the line with most things, I do try to get the best I can.

What about you? What will you splurge on? What is worth it to you? And what can you live without?

Dear Money is very good, fyi, if you're looking for a summer read. Books are definitely one item I could never live without, but thanks to the library I can indulge without affecting my budget.


tv land. May 13, 2010

Filed under: shower thoughts,TV — mspolymath @ 1:55 pm
Tags: , , , ,

It’s been a busy, interesting week. I’ve been writing a lot for profit so I don’t really feel like writing for free during my downtime. I am, however, watching some television.

Tuesday’s episode of Lost has my mind spinning – I really, really want to know the name of The Man in Black. Not sure why that’s so important right now, but for some reason it’s driving me crazy. Also, I found the episode to truly be a can of worms. Like Allison Janney’s character said to the twins’ mom, the answers are only leading to new questions. And now there’s only three hours left and I don’t think I’m going to get the information I want.

The skanky, filthy NJ housewives provide Schadenfreude at its finest. Seriously, I have never felt so upstanding and decent as I feel when I watch those women…breathe. Nasty doesn’t begin to cover it.

Also, am I the only person who was sad when the cowboys didn’t win the Amazing Race? And who hopes Russell wins Survivor?

TV's nastiest little imp.


question of the day. December 7, 2009

Filed under: life,shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 9:45 am

What do you wish you could get someone else to do for you?

For me, that list changes from day-to-day, but with blizzards and whiteouts coming this week I think it’d be nice to have a chauffeur to drive me to and from work while I relaxed. I’ve never made any bones about wanting a housekeeper. I am not good at cleaning, and I don’t really enjoy it. I’d happily pay a pro to make my kitchen sparkle.

I think there are other things in life it’d be nice to have a stand-in for, too. Like going to the DMV or the bank. Anywhere I’d have to wait on line amongst the hoi polloi. Also, functions where small talk and chit chat are required. My stand-in could attend the event, and I could nap or read or do whatever and get the scoop later.

Ideally I’m looking for someone who will work for pennies as a combination personal assistant/understudy. Someone who can take back my library books and put gas in the car and clean the tub, and also sub for me during webinars, conference calls, and any required HR training event. Maybe I should post an ad on Craigslist.


thursday tidbits. December 3, 2009

Filed under: life,shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 9:57 am

I don’t eat chocolate in the morning very often. I think that needs to change.

There are far too many really, really bad songs out there to which I know the lyrics. Examples: Gregg Allman’s I’m No Angel, Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx, and She’s Like the Wind, Patrick Swayze’s hit from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. I have never listened to any of these songs on purpose, but if they come on the radio I can confidently sing along without pause. And these three tracks? Just a toe in the ocean of drivel that occupies my brainscape.

I really, really don’t care who Tiger Woods sleeps with and I can’t believe anyone else does, either. Well, unless one is sleeping with him. Then maybe I can understand the interest.

I recently read Tracy Morgan’s I Am the New Black. I was disappointed, because it’s just kind of boring. I think Tracy comes across much better in person than on the page. And I’m okay with that.

It's okay, Tracy Morgan. I forgive you for your boring, unfunny book. I got it from the library.

Speaking of books, I just started Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker prize this year. It’s the story of Henry VIII and all of his nonsense as told through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell. It is fascinating and witty and so engaging. I’ve read a zillion books on this topic but Cromwell’s (fictional) perspective is really fresh and I can’t wait to dive into my Kindle every night.

I’m meeting up with a friend this weekend to discuss an idea we’ve been percolating (shhh). It’s scary-exciting to think of what the future might have in store for us.


grace. December 2, 2009

Filed under: life,shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 12:13 pm

If I’m wearing a white (or close to white) shirt and I come within five feet of a pen, I will get ink on the shirt. There are many reasons I don’t wear white pants, but I guarantee you that if I did, I would spontaneously get my period.

I spill on myself four out of five times while eating or drinking, no matter how careful I am.

Most of the time, while washing my hands or dishes, I will figure out a way to spray water all over my shirt, and sometimes my pants. It doesn’t matter what sink I’m at or how hard the stream of water is.

Today I looked down at my sweater and found a small hole where I snagged it on something. I’ve lost more than one good sweater by snagging it on a zipper. It’s hard for me to keep mittens or gloves because they usually end up with a hole in them within a few weeks. Unless they are very cheap fleece gloves from Walgreens. Then they last forever.

I inherited a trait from my mother and grandmother (nothing to do with aging – it started when I was a kid) which causes me to momentarily forget the name(s) of anyone I’m talking to. And call people by the wrong name(s) even though I know who they are. And then stumble over their name(s) until we’re both embarrassed. Then I’ll get the name(s) right, but have the same problem a few minutes later. And so on.

I almost always have to belch and/or fart when sequestered in a healthcare professional’s office. Or on a job interview.

I have been known to fall down while crossing a dry, clean street in the middle of the day (yes, more than once). Completely sober. Sadly, this was even captured on video during a trip to Amsterdam.

BUT – I have never, ever lost my car keys. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.


monday tangents. November 16, 2009

Filed under: life,shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 11:52 am

I’ve got a lot going on right now, many proverbial balls in the air, and I’m not doing the best job of juggling them. So that’s why today’s post is just a sort of brain dump. Sorry.

First off, I woke up this morning and my hair looked like Jackie Earle Haley’s when he starred in the The Bad News Bears. I started laughing when I saw myself in the mirror. At least it didn’t look like his platinum permed mullet from The Zoo Gang. Sadly, I couldn’t find any photos to give you a better idea of how truly hideous his hair was in that film. You’ll just have to take my word for it.


Anyone who knows me understands there's nothing I like more in film than a rag-tag group of kids coming together. That, plus a workout montage. This film has both AND Ben Vereen!

I’m also off today because I forgot to wear my watch. Oh, I know – crisis of infinite proportions. It fouls up my whole day, though. And for years I’ve known that taking vitamins and/or supplements and my stomach do not mix. They just don’t. I always feel like I’m going to vomit for hours after I ingest them. And yes, I’ve tried with food, without food, with milk, with applesauce, on an empty stomach, under a bridge, etc. It doesn’t work. Today I thought I’d try a new regimen and right now I feel like I could hurl chunks everywhere. Pleasant image, no?
Yeah, so I’m feeling scattered  and pukey and now I’m thinking about the Zoo Gang and wondering why it’s not on DVD. Life can be so cruel.

v for very much a nerd November 2, 2009

Filed under: life,shower thoughts — mspolymath @ 11:44 am

I’ll admit it – I am somewhat of a sci fi (not to be confused with syfy) nerd.  I grew up in the first era of Star Wars, and am proud to say I had the Death Star at an early age. Yes, I had Barbies, too, not that the two worlds ever interacted. Something to do with proportions, I guess – Barbie is so much bigger than Boba Fett, and it just didn’t seem right for them to play together. I guess I still have the proportion issue to this day, which is why you’ll never see any toddlers at my world-famous dinner parties.

While I no longer play with action figures or Barbies, I still have love for the sci fi genre in my heart. I read all the Harry Potter books and have seen all the movies, and I’ve planned my own Lord of the Rings, Alien, and Star Wars movie marathons. And I probably got a little too happy when I saw the trailer for James Cameron’s Avatar over the weekend.

But what I’m really excited about premieres tomorrow night – the updated, reimagined telling of the landmark miniseries, then series, V.


Oooh, Diana, you fork-tongued bitch!

When V was on in the ’80s, my brother and I forced my parents to watch it every week. I remember it being coupled with the A-Team (currently undergoing a re-imagining for the silver screen) which may or may not be accurate. I also remember us eating KFC ; you can only imagine what a party those Thursday nights were  two hours of amazing television coupled with a bucket of chicken. Marty was always a fan of the chocolate Little Bucket Parfaits, but not me.  I was all about the original recipe dark meat and some tasty biscuits and gravy.

Years later, I bought the two V miniseries as well as the short-lived series on DVD. And yes, I’ve watched them, albeit without the joy of KFC as it’s banned in our household along with all things that contain partially hydrogenated oils. 
But back to the new V I’ll admit, I haven’t geeked out and read much about it as I prefer to be surprised (which is truly unlike me). I know that the basic premise is the same, which means aliens come to earth pretending to be our friends (and looking falsely human-ish) but they’re truly cold-blooded lizards who want to take over the planet. In this incarnation the Visitors have cured many human illnesses, and infiltrated human society in stages, making their coup all the easier. 

The first time around Beastmaster Marc Singer led the resistance to send the Visitors home. This time Lost veteran Elizabeth Mitchell plays Erica Evans, a FBI agent who smells something fishy. To make matters more complicated, her son has been recruited as a spy. Oh, and head lizard Diana is now called Anna.

new v

The cast of ABC's V.

ABC intends to air four episodes of V in November, then return to the series in March 2010. I’m really, really not a fan of splitting up seasons, but I’m sure this show is expensive to produce and I’ve heard the writers have been sent back to the drawing board more than once for upcoming episodes. Perhaps ABC wants to see how the show does during November sweeps before committing to a full 13 or 26 episode order.  V premieres Tuesday, November 3 (7:00 p.m., CST) on ABC.