...we can't comprehend this sad state that we're in

A couple of years ago I was given a gift certificate for a manicure at a local nail salon by a well-to-do woman in my prayer group; I thanked her and the thing has proceeded to sit in my house for over 2 1/2 years. Why? Because I'm a nail-ripper. I don't bite my nails, but I rip at them and always have done. I hide my hands a lot. But lately I've been getting better about it and wondered if a manicure might help me even further (heck, I'm even wearing polish on my toes now, for heaven's sake, and I have major foot embarrassment for some reason.) So I tried to look the place up to see what services they offered, etc. I found a few reviews and, interestingly, two of them made a point of saying that everyone working at the salon spoke English. I guess this is sometimes a problem. A few pages into Google, I discovered that speaking English and being able to put together a few decently-written sentences is, alas, still beyond even English-speakers. Here is what I found for the salon (whose name I will not mention):

We are located in wonderful downtown Andover MA, have over 13 years of experience, and have great pride in our cleanliness. our impliments are fully sanitized after each client, our top of the line, brand new pedi bowls have no jets and are individualized for each client. our manicures and pedicures have been known to last longer than other nail salons. we do not do acrylic nail, as we are firm believers that they truely damage your natural nail. we offer an artificial nail that is alot more natural looking than acrylic, which is silk nails. The silk overlays last roughly 10 to 14 days, and do not damage your natural nail as the acrylics do.

We often do private partys in our salon for bridal, batchlorette, and birthday parties. ladies nights are also very popular and lots of fun, get a group of girls together and come get a manicure and pedicure together! Ladies nights can be booked for teusday and wednesday nights, starting at 6pm.

We hope to see you soon!

Wow. That must be some manicure/pedicure, to last longer than a nail salon... Go on; tell me how many errors are in there. Oh, the shame...


voices from the past

Local radio personality Howie Carr "talks" to Dutch about the proposed health care bill and Amercian freedom in general.

Listen to this at WRKO

/yes, obviously these are words clipped from Reagan's many fine speeches and put together.


don't ask me what I want it for

Ah, Taxachusetts. Beginning yesterday, August 1st, sales tax rose from 5% (I think it's been that all my life) to 6.25%. Great timing, when we have a record unemployment rate and recession going.

Fortunately for me, I live very close to the NH border. There is no sales tax in NH. On anything. In MA, food and clothing are exempt, but everything else is fair game. Also starting yesterday, sales tax was imposed on alcohol sales, which already have an excise tax. So that's double-taxed.

It's a sad time for my local businesses. I've been laid off and haven't managed to score a single interview, so I'm pinching pennies. I'm driving to NH to buy all my taxable items, and - to save gas - I may end up doing the grocery and clothing shopping there since, well, I'm already there. In the right-hand column of this blog you will see a running total kept: of tax money I saved by purchasing tax-free in NH, of the total of non-taxable items I bought there because it was easier (I was, after all, already there) and the sum total of money taken away from MA businesses because I went up north.

I feel sorry for businesses along the NH border, I really do. And I will try to do food shopping here for sure, but if I'm out and it's easier, I'll do it in NH. Save some gas money.

This should be interesting. I'll send the figures along to Governor Patrick after a few months, and also to my local newspaper. It won't be devastatingly high; I'm a single mom with one ten year-old son, and I'm frugal at that - but I'll bet MA businesses will wish they had my money. I'm just a representative; I'm hardly the only one along the border doing this.