Apparently, I hate America

I am a Republican, and I most definitely do not support any economic “recovery” bill that, in the words of our great Senator Jim Inhofe, ” is 97% spending, and 7% stimulation.”

The current government leads you to believe that all this pork-laden, interest-group-fed spending will become the next New Deal.  If government officials had an actual education in economics, they would understand that the reverse of this bill would be a better process. Money should be flooded to banks, where it should be strictly used as loans, gauranteed by the Federal Government, and given to people, who in turn will do what ought to be done with it: build homes and buy cars. And that’s just the layman’s version of what should be done. Milton Friedman could write novels on how this is the most terrible idea in the world. If you want financial confidence to return to America, spending all of our taxes on pet projects is not the way to gain my faith. Some examples?

  • Television is a privilege, not a right, everyone: $650 Million for digital TV coupons…and another $90 Million to educate “vulnerable populations.” What – wait a second – who and what is a vulnerable population? I’m paying taxes to help someone who probably can’t afford to watch TV to get a converter box to continue to watch it? For the cost of the box you could almost purchase a new, compatible TV.
  • I love the arts, but giving the National Endowment for the Arts $50 Million will not stimulate the economy. In fact, it hits such a small portion of the population it won’t have much of an effect. If we’re going in the direction of the redistribution of wealth, why don’t we try to hit on projects that effect everyone! Socialism wouldn’t play favorites.
  • As a debt-ridden college graduate, I love this one: $6 Billion for University Building projects. Really? How about you first mandate a decrease in the overall cost of tuition to even make it a viable option for students who want an education and be able to afford a decent living once they are through with college. Universities have plenty of money – tell them to stop paying for cars and houses for their presidents. Cut the fat from the pork before you hand over more.
  • Obama’s “Making Work Pay” tax credits come back as a REBATE CHECK. Did no one learn from last year’s rebate check, which did absolutely nothing to boost consumption? You know what I used my rebate check for? I paid bills. I didn’t use it to purchase a car or a home or something mighty-fine from the mall. Neither did the rest of America! CUT RATES, not CHECKS. Those low income folks that do not pay taxes could probably use another one of my paychecks.
  • Ever ride Amtrak? No? Really? I’m surprised then that the US government finds it necessary to dump $850 Million into a project that has never, ever turned a profit once in its existence. What incentive do people have to ride a train – except for the people that live around Washington, DC as they are the only ones I have ever seen on an Amtrak – that takes forever to get to any destination. Maybe if we had the TGV or the super trains of Japan, but we do not. We are spending hundreds of million to improve a network that no one will continue to use.

It angers me that someone would insinuate that because someone doesn’t support this “recovery” bill, that I must be a Republican that hates America, and I will now need to explain that to the general public.  I do not call it hate, I call it due diligence and caution. Flooding government projects with money is a typical Democratic way of fixing a problem that ultimately never gets fixed. All I hear from the left-wing is to hurry! Hurry! Hurry! If we don’t start spending all this tax payer money (that we’ll all have to pay back eventually) now, we’re on the brink of destruction. Our lives will end, and guess who you get to blame? Republicans, of course. When a government decides it wants to spend $780 billion dollars, I think it warrants a discussion that lasts a little longer than a few weeks. Do you know what happens when discussions become meaningful and intuitive? The more this package is discussed, the more disgusted people become with the rampant spending and pork. 

I guess when someone makes the blanket statement that Republicans must hate America if they do not pass this bill it really means that I hate Mob Musuems and water parks in Florida. Yes, shame on me. I’m a bad person for expecting diligence and care to something that will impact us not just today and tomorrow, but for years (possibly decades) to come. I think I can live with myself for that.

 

P.S. Take a look at what has already been cut: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/07/stimulus.cuts/index.html

I must really hate America for not wanting to $98 million on school nutrition. I bet that would have made up for the 80,000 jobs we lost the other day!

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I Hate Running

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This is my running shoe! Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8. I have another to match for the other foot.

But it is so damn good for my weight loss goal. The funny thing is my legs hurt more when I run slower than when I crank up the treadmill and start to wobble all over the place. Okay, I have some control of my arms when running (unlike when burning food) because I tend to look more awkward than Forrest Gump racing across America if I do not attempt to keep them still, but geez, I cannot control the bobble head that begins when I start to bonk.

For those of you that have never, ever done anything remotely athletic or are one of those people to claim to be some sort of athlete, like a cheerleader for instance, and you never were, let me clarify “bonk.” I’m slightly worried your minds fell into the gutter. Bonk sounds dirty. However! This is a clean place of literacy, wash your foul eyes with soap (or saline solution). 

Bonk: the condition when an athlete suddenly loses energy and becomes fatigued, the result of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles becoming depleted. One could also refer to this as “hitting the wall,” but the word “bonk” is so much more fun to say aloud. You know you just felt compelled to do so.

Anyway, when the bonking begins, my head suddenly feels as though there is no neck. Instead, I feel as though there is a small spring between the cranium and my spinal cord, allowing my head to freely move all over the place. You think that looks awkward? Add ear buds attached to a bright white cord slashing through the air in the same motion and I look like an 80s hair band concert reject. Especially since my hair is neither teased nor bleached to death. I am an Aveda salon snob, which I think runs in my family. 

Dude, I tangent so much it is not funny. I feel like someone should hold a carrot over my face in front of the laptop in order for me to have any direction. And by carrot I mean Godiva chocolates. That is motivation for a girl on a mission to get fit! And utterly, sinfully counterproductive.

Back to running (another segue to return to topic): it sucks. But I find that every person I meet that is passionate about something actually hates him/herself or something about that sport which they claim to be diehard, hopelessly in love with…and that makes absolutely no sense to rational people that eat food when they feel emotional. How can one be passionate about something and hate it?

Easy: while you suffer through it and your inability to be exceptionally awesome at the sport is soooo embarrassing you wish you could wear a mask while attempting it, it feels so amazingly awesome to have done it at the end. When all is said and done and I am finished with dispensing too many cliches and metaphors in a paragraph, you just feel good. Sweaty, pink-faced, and good. And that is what makes it worth it for me to run. That is what makes me begrudgingly smoosh my finger on the up-tempo button to get my bobblehead going faster. 

So, while I have not fallen head-over-heels in love with the rubber mat of the treadmill and stinky smell of gym rats, I have to admit that I maybe do not hate it as much as I once did. Maybe I actually like a masochism. Isn’t that what being an athlete is at the very root of the whole idea?

An Apology to my Kitchen

From my perch at the dining room table, I can see the pot of doom. Filled with vegetable oil, this dastardly pot ruined the smell of my apartment this evening. And it is all Dave’s fault because he jinxed me when he said that I had not destroyed any of our meals yet.

There it was: yet. The harbinger of all terrible things to come. He said, “yet,” and the walls of the kitchen shook so hard every spice, sweetener, and can of unsalted mushroom pieces (very good in pastas) tumbled from their once coveted shelf space and ran from the kitchen. Some product would soon experience an untimely, very hot (scalding, I would say) death.

Our story begins with my removal of samosas from the freezer, preceded only by the placement of vegetable oil in a large pot. Dave, confused as to how I planned to cook the samosas, asked why I did not plan to bake them. “Because,” said I, “the bag says deep frying them is the preferred method and I want to try it that way” A simple shrug of resignation ensued, and so began the rest of my prep work in the kitchen.

At this point, the oil is warming up. My apartment stove (not stove in the apartment; I need to express the utter horror of cooking with shoddy appliances by calling it what it is, as I see it) has several heat setting ranging from low to high with two through nine in between. The oil rested on the heating coil at setting four, also known as “not real hot, y’all.” Since the samosas were the final item to cook, I left the oil to warm while I finished the rice, curry sauce, and chicken in vindaloo paste. We like Indian food in this household, and I can tolerate the smell of curried apartment better than most.

When it was finally time to prepare the samosas, I grabbed my handy plastic strainer spoon, and delicately lowered the samosas into the oil. From all appearances, the process moved with ease. I individually lowered all four samosas into the oil, stirred them a moment so they would not stick, and lifted the spoon from the oil. And guess what happened?

Half of the spoon melted into the oil! Smoke began to billow from the pot! All of a sudden, the food smelled like burning chemicals. Still somewhat stricken by the fact I was now missing half of a five-inch diameter spoon, I ran to the living room through a growing, smelly haze, and stared at Dave, who usually recognizes when something on this scale has gone awry. There he was amidst pillows and couch cushions, chatting with his friend, oblivious to all the smoke now billowing into the room from the kitchen with gale force winds of my flailing body.

“Hello!” I yelled. He turned to face me, his expression caught in a smile listening to his friend tell a humorous story.

“What’s wrong,” he paused in his conversation, noticing the panic drawn across my face.

“UH, LOOK!” My arms swung in all unnatural directions around the room as the haze grew into a smelly monster invading my personal space, snarling as it seeped into the cloth of the furniture and the curtains. It wafted in silence, invading the air like an unwanted guest after three days.

“Holy shit!” Dave responded, “What did you do?!”

“What the hell does it look like?!” I raced back into the kitchen, grabbed the pot by its handle, ran to the patio door, flung it open, and held the pot outside. From a previous experience where I set an extraordinarily hot pot down on a plastic piece of patio furniture, I knew not to set this onto the wooden deck below. Nothing like picking up a pot and finding a ring of plastic below it, and a fresh hole in the patio furniture. Sheer genius out of this one.

Dave finally sauntered out of the living room, poking fun at me on the phone with his friend (who tried to tell the the panicking person with the burning food and plastic in the pot to “chill out”), and took ahold of the pot in order to take over my duty. When the lightbulb finally clicked on in my head, I grabbed an aluminum sheet from the pantry and set it on the deck for Dave to place the STILL BOILING, BURNING, and SMELLY pot onto, instead of continually encroaching the rest of the apartment and my now screaming eyeballs and nostrils.

I have performed some awesome feats in the kitchen. Feats that would amaze and astound normal people when it comes to the ability to burn macaroni noodles and cookies because I wanted to take a shower while cooking. However, this one truly takes the cake. I am still not sure the pot is salvagable as it sits soaking with an exorbitant amount of dish soap in the water. All of this…because of “yet.”

Karma.

Paula, you might want to stop reading here. I think this may be too much for you to handle. You might cry. For realz.

 

So, I laughed (internally) at a crazy person. I was nice to him in person when he asked me what “Oxford University Publishing” was when written in a book he was pretending to read (I know it was pretend because he napped on it a few minutes later). I told him it was a university in England, which was not a good enough answer because he repeated it and follow up with “what do they do?” Explaining that they printed books meant nothing. I could have said they ate babies and it wouldn’t have mattered. He just did not understand.

And now to the relevant part of this story:

This morning, Dave and I both had a glass of V8. We usually drink V8; this is not a new occurence in our lives. Dave finished his glass of V8 and left for the day for work. After he went on his way, I decided to pour a glass of the juice for me. I grabbed a rocks glass we use for real drinks. I had to; all the rest – all sixteen glasses – were in the dishwasher. We clearly don’t understand the meaning of “reuse” in this household.

Please note: there was nothing in the bottom of the glass. It was sparkling clean. Pristine, I would even say.

I returned to the office with juice in hand, sipping lightly. About fifteen minutes later, after completing a few work tasks, I needed to leave to make an appointment.  I took a quick, big sip of the juice, and suddenly, everything was WRONG. Wrong taste, wrong texture, wrong difference in juice-to-hard substance ratio. A ratio that typically should NOT occur when drinking juice. 

I quickly spit out what was in my mouth onto my desk: a hard, V8-encrusted CENTIPEDE. 

GRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSS! Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. 

I cannot think about it without shuddering. The bug  – a truly ugly, disgusting bug that freaks me out when alive – was in my mouth. I could not spit enough over the sink. I still cannot deal with it completely. It was simply the grossest thing that has ever happened to me. Worse than peeing my pants in elementary school and being smelly all day. More personally mortifying than being hit in the head with a discus in middle school, the worst of a teenager’s years. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Did I call Campbell’s? You bet your sweet little ass I did! And you know what? They promised to send me COUPONS to make up for it, as if I now want to go out and buy cases of V8 to ingest. Mmm…when can I find the next humungous bug in my juice?

I’m going to hell for this.

I’m sitting in a library, using my laptop, trying to do some work in between client calls, and this short Asian man walks up to me and says, “nice TV!” Then he said something that sounded like “Toshiba!” but I couldn’t be sure.

He then proceeds to march around the library talking to himself, and I’m not sure if it is English, Mandarin, Cantonese, or any semblance of any Asian language.

He then walked right up to me and started loudly mumbling. What did I do? I smiled politely and continued to work.

Inside, I fought back some ferocious giggles.

Conversation: Football

This conversation occured after I explained to Dave that One-A-Day vitamins are taken once a day. Uh…duh.

Me, reading a magazine: Did they just say his last name was “flying saucer?”

Dave: What? Are you kidding me?

Me: It sounded like flying saucer!

Dave: They said, “Kleinsasser.”

Me: Oh. 

Dave: It’s okay, I thought they said flying saucer at first, too.