Tuesday, October 31, 2006
It's Halloween, once again. And sadly, I'm too old to trick-or-treat. As a kid, Halloween was possibly my favorite holiday. I didn't much like dressing up, and still don't - it was all about the candy.
My worst Halloween costume ever was a pumpkin leaf bag. I cut holes in the bottom for my legs, filled it with who knows what, and tied the top around my neck. Not a bad costume, for a kid...very, very bad for a teenager.
It embodied everything about me as a teen. I wanted to go out and have fun without putting forth much effort. Wait, that's about right for me now, too. I wanted to go trick-or-treating, but didn't know what to be. So I waited until the last minute and threw together whatever I could find. Not only was it so completely not fire resistant at all (that could have been a burning plastic disaster), but I took a ton of heat from the other kids. I think at one point firecrackers were thrown at me.
The pillowcase full of candy was so worth it. I think my dentist thinks so too.
Monday, October 30, 2006
All I can say is wow. Friday night was amazing! We had so much fun in spite of the freezing, drizzly weather. I'm not sure I'll ever get the chance to be at the final game of the World Series ever again, much less one for the Cardinals. We totally lucked into these tickets. Not only did we luck into them, but it happened to be raining on Wednesday night, the original night of that game, and it happened to get rescheduled for Friday. Had MLB decided to scoot game 4 to Thursday and game 5 to Friday, we'd have been out of luck.
I'd add some pictures, but they're too big, and I don't know how to shrink them. We stayed in the park probably an hour after the end of the game, watching the ceremonies and taking pictures. Then we walked around a very crowded downtown, high-fiving everyone. It was like a gigantic frat party. But tons of fun!
Friday, October 27, 2006
I am not going to make it through this day. Q and I have tickets to see the Cards win the World Series tonight (fingers crossed!!!), and I can barely contain myself. The only good thing about it is that my boss is going as well, so he's just as excited as I am. Seriously, it's all I can do to not leap up and shout to the world that I'M GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!
I'm sad Kenny Rogers won't be pitching tonight. I'd love the opportunity to hurl insults and talk trash to that guy...not that he'd hear me from the fourth tier, third row from the back...no matter. At least we'll be under cover. Now, if I can only figure out how to maneuver up there with my big, puffy coat, umbrella, and gigantic beer(s)...
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Anyway, I was at the humungous table of panties today deciding which pair I wanted. Not which color, mind you - they limit that. But which cut. I was checking out the sizes of the hiphuggers, my favorites, when I was approached by a rather large employee. Of course there wasn't an employee to be found when I needed one earlier except for the extremely gay male behind the register ringing out a line of people. That was a first. The only men I've previously see in Victoria's Secret are very awkwardly following their woman around or picking out a gift, which is hilarious.
But I digress. Back to the table of panties. The large employee approaches me as I'm inspecting the hiphuggers and asks me, with a huge smile, what kind of bra I'm looking for. I stopped, looked at her with what can only be described as utter confusion, and told her I wasn't looking for a bra at all, but for underwear. She proceeded to explain the underwear (as though that was necessary), then finally left. I'm surprised she stuck around, as I'm pretty sure I sounded condescending, which isn't unusual for me when someone does something horrendously stupid. I can't help it. I know it's bad.
I couldn't help but laugh as I left the store. The vulture-like nature of sales in the small boutique has gotten outrageous lately, but this was too much. She couldn't even take the time to see what I was looking at before spilling some ridiculous question meant to trap me into buying a bra. Please. What a crock.
I later allowed myself to get roped into applying for an Express card. Those dirty bastards and their stinking 15%.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I'm pretty strong-headed about this. I'll vote no matter what. But I swear, if I even wavered a little bit, these damn political ads would be enough to make me abhor elections all together. They're out of control!
Plus, living in St. Louis, we get ads for Missouri candidates/issues AND Illinois. And with the Talent/McCaskill ticket here in MO, we're getting all sorts of national attention, as well as tons of money flowing into the campaigns, which equals more ads. They're god awful. If I have to hear 'Judy Baar Topinka - what was she thinking???' one more time, I'll puke.
The one that drives me craziest is the Talent ad where at the end, after bashing McCaskill, the ad says 'But there's more to the story...' and that's it. What the fuck? If there's more, why wouldn't you say it? If you're going to spend time/money on a stupid ad, and you have my attention, you better take advantage of that. It makes my head spin. I can't for any reason figure out why they'd leave us hanging like that. So stupid!
The worst part is both McCaskill and Talent are complete asses. A co-worker of mine (who is, coincidentally, running for State Auditor) summed it up well - it's no longer about voting for the person who is best qualified, but about voting for the least offensive candidate, or about voting for a pawn to make either a Republican or Democratic Congress. That's such bullshit.
And all this talk about the Michael J. Fox ad supporting McCaskill and stem cell research - it's hilarious. People are accusing Michael J. Fox of not taking his medicine so he looks worse during the commercial to rally more support for McCaskill and play on the sympathy vote. Please - how can anyone be shocked by this? Even if it's true, like this is the first time someone was manipulative to further their political agenda. Wake up, people!
The stem cell research opponents drive me crazy, too. The campaign against it uses www.nocloning.com as their website. The amendment has nothing to do with cloning. Way to mislead! I just don't get how anyone could be against the research. In my opinion, it boils down to this - these embryos exist. They're either going to get used for research, or be thrown away. So whether you believe they're a human life or not doesn't really matter. They're already being destroyed. Why not use them for research? Plus, I'd hate to be someone who voted against the research then had a family member or god forbid myself be diagnosed with something that could hugely benefit from it. That's for sure. I can't help but think they'd change their tune real quick.
Alright, that's enough spouting off about this stupid election. I cannot wait until it's over.
Friday, October 20, 2006
If someone would have told me in the beginning of the season that the Birds would win game 7 and the league championship due mostly in part to Yadier Molina, Jeff Suppan, and Adam Wainwright, I'd have told them to get the hell out of here.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I don't want to choose between 'short', 'regular', and 'tall', either. I want to have the same options as guys - they get to be very specific about the length. Why is that? It's so annoying. Most guys don't give a rat's ass about the length of their jeans. Why do I have to suffer?
And I don't want to spend a fortune, either. I'm talking $50-$60 max. I know, that's just about impossible nowadays.
Aargh. Sometimes being a woman sucks.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
We pricelined a hotel and rental car - if you haven't tried this, definitely do. You don't get to pick the exact hotel, but you get to pick the are of the city as well as the star rating, which is all we cared about. We ended up at the Red Lion in downtown Salt Lake. The hotel wasn't in the best of areas, but there aren't any really bad areas in SLC. It was very nice. A little loud (the sliding glass door facing the street was very thin), but otherwise great.
We flew in late Saturday morning, got our car (upgrade to a Malibu), and drove out to the lake. It's not like a normal lake - you can't just drive up to it from anywhere. First, this time of year it's super low, so normal shorelines are pushed way back. Second, it's like a ghost lake. People don't live on the shore, nor were there any boats in sight whatsoever. We're used to the Ozarks, or the less crowded Bull Shoals. Seeing an empty lake was very odd. In fact, we didn't even see any marinas other than a very small one on Antelope Island (a nature reserve in the lake accessible by a small causeway).
Saltair, an old resort area that burned in the 60s. We had no idea what it was until entering the gift shop. It also serves as a concert venue which we figured out after seeing numerous Insane Clown Posse folks bandying about. ICP folks are scary - they paint their faces like mean clowns and wear shirts that say 'fuck' and other nice things. At one point some were wandering around outside, and two older ladies exiting the gift shop saw them, covered their mouths, pointed, and laughed. It was hilarious.
Anyway, we ended up at the
Then we checked into the hotel and walked around downtown and the Mormon Temple Square. We were accosted by two Mormons almost immediately (they swarm the place) - a blonde and a girl straight from Africa. I didn't know there were Mormons in Africa. Apparently I was wrong. Anyway, we managed to escape with two postcards picturing the temple, which we held up as we walked around as a sign to the others that we'd been approached. It worked. It's beautiful, but almost not worth being accosted. I thought later that I should have asked them if they knew any polygamists. Or if they wore magic underwear (it exists!).
Squatters. Great beer, and great food. Q and I love beer, so we decided, when we go out of town, to find good local breweries. We had a hell of a time afterwards finding liquor, but finally found a state store, which is the only place to buy it. Odd. But not bad prices, surprisingly.
We found a great microbrewery downtown near our hotel called
Wasatch. They have a beer called the Polygamy Porter - hilarious. We then went to a tourist-y area, where we got to toboggan down a mountain, simulating the luge or bobsled, as well as ride a roller-coaster thingy. It was a lot of fun.
The next day we headed to Park City, which was an hour away in the mountains. It's a ski resort, and the place where the winter Olympics were held in 2002, I think. It was really cool. There was a great downtown area, with good food and shops. We visited another microbrewery -
Then we visited Olympic Park, which was a blast. We got to zipline, do another toboggan ride, and watch freestyle skiers do tricks off ramps into a pool. Very cool. We also got to go to the top of the ski jumps, and see the track where the luge, bobsled, and skeleton are done. Apparently during the games there was a deer who jumped on the track about 3/4 of the way down, and slid to the bottom. They got him off the track and back on the ground, when he proceeded to run back up and do the exact same thing. What a punk.
Antelope Island for a while before flying home. The island is really beautiful, and we got to see roaming bison (same thing as a buffalo - who knew) and gorgeous scenery.
We went to Squatters that night to eat and watch the Cards game (yay - they won!). The next day we went to
Coming home sucked, as usual. Going back to work was even worse. But we had a blast in SLC. It's so beautiful there, nestled in the mountains and next to the Salt Lake. I'd definitely go back. In fact, we want to go again so we can camp at Antelope Island, right on the water. Then maybe go from there into Wyoming, which is also gorgeous.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
NEW YORK (CNN) -- I don't know about you, but I can't take seriously anyone who takes either the Republican Party or Democratic Party seriously -- in part because neither party takes you and me seriously; in part because both are bought and paid for by corporate America and special interests. And neither party gives a damn about the middle class.
Our country's middle class is not just collateral damage in what has become all-out class warfare. Political, business and academic elites are waging an outright war on working men and women and their families, and there is no chance the American middle class will survive this assault if the dominant forces unleashed over the past five years continue unchecked.
They've accomplished this through large campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists that have swamped Washington, and control of political and economic think tanks and media. Lobbyists, in fact, are the arms dealers in the war on the middle class, brokering money, influence and information between their clients our elected officials.
Yet in my entire career, I've literally never heard anyone in Congress argue that lobbyists are bad for America. In 1968 there were only 63 lobbyists in Washington. Today, there are more than 34,000, and lobbyists now outnumber our elected representatives and their staffs by a 2-to-1 margin.
According to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, from 1998 through 2004, lobbyists spent nearly $12 billion to not only influence legislation, but in many cases to write the language of the laws and regulations.
Individual firms, corporations and national organizations spent a record $2.14 billion on lobbying members of Congress and 220 other federal agencies in 2004, according to PoliticalMoneyLine. That's nearly $6 million a day spent to influence our leaders. We really do have the best government money can buy.
But as I discuss in my new book, "War on the Middle Class," what if we all resolved that we would not permit either the Republicans or Democrats to waste their time and ours with wedge issues? Both parties love to excite their bases by focusing on wedge issues like gay marriage, the pledge of allegiance, school prayer, judicial appointments, gun control, stem cell research and welfare reform.
Each of these wedge issues is important in varying degrees to large numbers of us, but none of them rises to the level of urgency or the requirement of immediate change in public policy.
These issues are raised by both political parties to distract and divert public attention from the profound issues -- like educating our youth, economic inequality and the war against radical Islamic terrorists -- that affect our daily lives and the American way of life. Imagine the consternation in Washington if both parties had to contend with a national electorate whose political affiliation had dramatically changed within a matter of weeks or months.
In both Republican and Democratic administrations, Congress has passed and sustained billions of dollars in royalty payments and subsidies to big oil companies; pushed through a corporate-written, consumer-crippling bankruptcy law; embraced the death of the estate tax; approved every free trade deal brought to a vote; and supported illegal immigration for the sake of cheap labor.
The party strategists and savants are telling us that fewer Americans will turn out to the polls than ever before, disgusted by a disgraced former congressman. But we don't have to wait for the midterm elections to begin to engage in our new political life.
There's something all of us could do that would have an immediate impact and send a powerful message to both corporation-dominated political parties and to our elected officials in Washington. Our so-called representatives in both parties have been working against the interests of the middle class for so long that they take our votes for granted, or they take advantage of the fact that a sizable number of us don't vote at all.
So what if a majority of us decided once and for all to walk into our town and city halls all over the country and change our party affiliation from Republican or Democrat to independent? What if that sizable number of us who don't vote at all decided to register as independents? For the first time in decades, working middle-class Americans might just get the attention of our elected officials in Washington.
Our middle class has suffered in silence for far too long, and it cannot afford to suffer or be silent much longer. Hardworking Americans have not spoken out about their increasingly marginalized role in this society, and as a consequence they're all but lost their voice.
Without that strong, clear and vibrant voice, all the major decisions about America and our future will be made by the elites of government, big business and the dominant special interests. Those elites treasure your silence, as it enables them to claim America's future for their own.
I sincerely hope that we will find the resolve to face these challenges to our way of life, and we do so soon. George Bernard Shaw said, "It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."
I'm stupid enough to be absolutely sincere in the hope that middle-class America will awake soon and take action.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The toddler became ill after having a fresh spinach smoothie, according to his mother, Robyn Allgood.
Oh my...a fresh spinach smoothie??? Could it have been the taste that killed him? If I die, I don't want it to be at the hands of a fresh spinach smoothie. I'd take alcohol of some sort, or something deliciously fried, or sugary sweet. That'd be okay with me.
Sad story. But I can't get the thought of something akin to ground up greens and yogurt out of my mind. My stomach's turning.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
We did get to go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was fantastic. I think both of us could have spent at least a week there. We got to see a lot, but definitely missed some things. There's just so much stuff there. It's mind boggling to think about what all of these things might be worth, all housed in one location. Crazy. The Beatles, Doors, and Hendrix stuff alone is probably worth a small fortune.
I especially enjoyed the exhibit on 70s-80s punk in London and New York as well as the late 80s-early 90s Seattle scene. The punk scene back then fascinates me, while the Seattle scene was an integral part of my teenage years. It probably played a huge part in fostering the love of music I have today. Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Screaming Trees, Soundgarden, Mudhoney - these bands introduced me to a new world of music. Until then I'd been hijacked by pop and boy-bands.
I was discussing the movie 'Singles' with a co-worker the other day. She'd never seen it. I was horrified. She's young, so she was just a tot when it came out, so I can't really blame her. I just can't imagine never having seen that movie. It's such a big part of my generation, I guess, along with the soundtrack. I got to see the actual apartment complex where the movie was filmed in Seattle. It was surreal. I also got to see where Layne Staley last lived before overdosing - where he died, in fact. He lived really close to Q's half brother. I just assumed it was a give-in that people knew and understood the Seattle scene. I'm so old - I work with people who were kids during the late 80s and early 90s. Shudder. I'm going to have to loan her that movie.
I still get shivers when I listen to Pearl Jam. Then I remember the freak who had a crush on one of my good friends in high school and would whisper 'nothingman' under his breath every time he saw her, thinking he was scorned like the guy in the song. I can't hear it without thinking of him. Poor creepy bastard. The tragic lives of high schoolers. I also remember asking my boyfriend at the time to go with me to see them live at the Fox. My dad got us great tickets, and it was a blast. Then, I dumped him, and he sent me a long letter, mostly about how I wronged him during our 3 month relationship. Part of my wronging him included how he went with me to the Pearl Jam show as a favor, but I couldn't listen to some music he had recommended (that sucked). Please. A favor. What a loser. He all but begged to go.