Monday, March 21, 2011

Credit default swaps

We finished watching the documentary, Inside Job on Sunday morning. It took us a while to get through it only because we are financial idiots and the inherent representational fallacies of the current markets is very confusing for old school, fiscally conservative, money-in-a-cigar-box-under-the-mattress types like us. So we'd have to keep stopping the movie to rewind the bit about credit default swaps and how Morgan Stanley was selling these crappy CDOs to investors while at the same time betting against their failure. It's galling. People are so GREEDY. And for what? I really don't get it. Cocaine is expensive and it sucks. Those prostitutes look terrible and it's stupid to pay $1000 for something you can get any Friday night at Brant House on King Street West for the cost of a couple of Grey Goose cranberry cocktails. Why do people want giant houses in the Hamptons? I get anxiety just thinking about trying to fill, never mind clean a place that size. And yes, I know they have an armada of brown-skinned cleaning staff to do the cleaning for them, but still! It's so sad and lonely to be rattling around a giant mansion - pathetic, really. Also, I hate hate hate those shirts with the white collars and cuffs (contrast collar shirts, I believe they're called), they make anyone wearing them look like an a**face:

Ugh. The documentary is really well done, up until the final rallying cry at the very very very end, which is maudlin and hokey. I'm like, guys, seriously? You couldn't have capitalized or channeled the deserved audience indignation at giant bonuses and lack of accountability and lobbying into something a little more potent? You'll have to see it to see what I'm talking about. Leading up to that moment though, it's one breath-taking revelation of greed and unscrupulous behavior after another. I wish we could send those jerks to clean up the nuclear reactors in Japan. That's what **I** would do. I'd highly recommend it. Inspired by this film and leading up to Hot Docs at the end of April, we've got a heady slate of documentaries lined up: Restrepo, Client No. 9, No End in Sight, Autumn Gold, Gasland. I'm ready!

Nany gave us an awesome new waffle maker so we had an inauguration breakfast featuring Belgian style liege waffles (yeasted waffles with chunks of pearl sugar) in them yesterday and Bob Evans sausage:

For anyone who has ever been to Belgium, that is a real-deal Belgian waffle. Somewhere across the Atlantic, the meaning of a Belgian waffle got bastardized to include basically any waffle. Not so! A Belgian waffle is a yeasted, sweet, almost cake-like confection that is sturdy and is frequently studded with pearl sugar, which I received as a gift from my colleague LD.
Here is a slightly blurry photo of the Big Yam wearing the new hat that Nany bought for him and trying to eat/give kisses to the Easter bunny stuffy she got him:

That hat is HILARIOUS. He looks like he's ready to hit the links in Sarasota or something.
In other Big Yam news: he's working on dem teef! I felt the jagged little edge of a bottom tooth poking out last night. I'm a little sadface about it. It seems like a big milestone and soon he won't be nursing as much and it's all happening so darned fast. JUST LOOK AT THAT BIG YAM FACE! We felt really bad on Saturday night/Sunday morning. We stayed really late at B&G's house and the Big Yam was such a trooper. We ate a late dinner, midway through, we changed him into his sleeper, gave him a bottle, and put him in the car seat, rocked him for a bit and he fell asleep. We didn't end up leaving their house until 1am, and because we had walked, we had to walk the poor snoozy bastard all the way home in the cold, feeling guilty the whole time that this well behaved, awesome kid was being trucked out in the chilly early spring damp for 20 minutes while all he wanted to do and deserved for being such an awesome dinner guest was the comfort of his own bed, not to be strolled through Leslieville at an ungodly hour. Poor guy. We felt so bad, as we whizzed past the bar scene at the Curzon, and the shuttered, darkened windows of all the restos on Queen East, we kept saying, "HE IS SUCH A GOOD BABY!" He's making it so easy on us to enjoy our lives. What a mensch.
Last night's dinner was delicious. I made a roasted turkey, chestnut-herb stuffing, champ, creamed spinach, and sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. Of course I made way too much of everything, but we're having round two tonight. A proper turkey dinner is so good and so labour intensive, you really should get 2 meals out of it. I did notice that the Dotytron's family left a lot of skin on their plates. You gotta pick your battles. Dessert was a rich, egg-bread based pecan bread pudding with a bourbon toffee sauce. Hotcha!

We're all kind of sad that March Break is done around these parts and today is a grey, gloomy day - the kind that makes you want to hunker down and sleep. Because I was consumed with interview prep and family drama all last week, I've got to start/finish my assignment on the role of the Supreme Court in shaping public policy this week and get that done. I'm supposed to find out about the job in the next two weeks. I'm not optimistic, but the important thing is that I did it and that I currently have a job I love. That's a pretty good spot to be in.


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