Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nice guys finish last?!?

GG and I went out for lunch today to a nice Indian buffet restaurant. There were only a few people there, but at the table next to us was occupied by three people, two men and one women. I wasn't really paying attention to them and their conversation, but the one male was at times a bit louder and so I could hear bits and pieces of what he was saying. At one point, he said "Men want only attractive women. There is nothing you or I can do about that." GG leaned over to me and said, "the Fat Princess controversy is taking over." Later on, the one guy continued about his dating life, how he is a nice guy and yet he can't find a date. He also commented that he was 37 and still looking. I couldn't hear all of what he was saying, but based upon what I could hear and the body language of the women at the table he obviously was being a misogynistic asshole. Just FYI the other guy was seemed to be quiet the whole time and really didn't seem to want to get anywhere near the conversation. I think I even heard him try to steer the conversation in other ways, but to no avail the "nice guy" really wanted to talk about how he was a nice guy and that women just didn't seem to get this. Now I want to go back to the first statement I heard him say about men wanting attractive women, he is absolutely 100% correct about this. The issue is that what I find attractive is not necessarily what you find attractive and what you find attractive is not necessarily what I find attractive. All humans, male and female, are trying to find mates that they find attractive, I mean no one goes out thinking wow that person is really unattractive, I want to be in a relationship with them. We try to find what we find attractive in people and for those of us who are not asshats, it is more than just their physical appearance. So, yes, he is right, we do want to find partners who are attractive to us, but the issue is when someone tries to define what should be attractive to everyone.

The other issue I have with this guy and any man who has to argue that he is a "nice guy" is if you are a nice guy, why are you arguing about this? I know plenty of men who are nice, who are not asshats, who are sensitive and caring and you know what, not one of them has to argue with someone else about being a nice guy. Hell most of them do not brag about being a "nice guy". So if you have to proclaim your niceness to others to convince them of it, than you are not a nice guy.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Coming soon to a theater near you

I was watching The Colbert Roport yesterday and he was interviewing Toby Keith about his new movie. Yep, Toby Keith has a new movie out called , Beer for my Horses.This looks to be this year's winner for the Razzies. It was written by Toby Keith and Rodney Carrington and the cast stars Keith and Carrington, Ted Nugent, Willie Nelson and Tom Skerrit. Keith, Carrington, Nugent and Nelson are not known as actors, hell three of them are county singers and Rodney Carrington is a comedian. Well, at least he is supposed to be a comedian of the southern Redneck variety. Did someone not learn with the Larry the Cable Guy movies and apparently Toby Keith put out another movie at some point that these southern comedy movies suck? The previous Toby Keith movie lasted apparently like two weeks in the theater and then went straight to CMT for airing. Now I know that the Blue Collar Comedy Tours are popular, but really a movie with non-writers and non-actors just seems destined to fail. And why the hell would you put this out during the summer months when it has no shot against the big blockbuster action films, why not try to put it out before or after the summer months when maybe your target audience of idjits will at least sort of pay attention to it being put out and not ignore you for the big action films or the latest Will Ferrell stupidity.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Disney musicals: a good thing or a bad thing

Since I have been in at least two different childcare centers over the past few months I have noticed something. The new musicals like High School Musical, High School Musical 2 and most recently Camp Rock that the Disney Channel has been producing over the past few years are immensely popular with kids. These kids range from the 4 year olds that were in my class in North Carolina to the 8,9, and 10 year-olds that were in the camp-esque setting that I will in over the past month or so since I moved to Illinois. Now these shows seem to be geared toward the pre-teen and teenage set, but since they are on The Disney Channel and have catchy pop tunes the range of kids that they appeal to seems to cover a wider range of ages of children. Now I have never seen any of these movies, but have now heard the music for all of them several times especially recently here in IL where the kids seem to play one of the three CDs for these three different musicals everyday and sometimes more than on CD a day.

So a few weeks back I started to think that maybe this is a good thing, that these kids are so into musicals. The whole idea of people breaking out in song during a movie is a bit unique and is not something that seems to be real popular in most genres. It seems most movies or even plays are pretty music free or the music is not incorporated into the action at all. Sure there are musicals that have become popular among adults over the past ten or so years, Rent and Mama Mia! that were so popular they were turned into movies then there are musicals like Jekyll, Avenue Q, Wicked among many others, but these are all geared toward adults so maybe it is good that children are being exposed to musicals that are geared toward them. It would seem to be a good thing that they are being exposed to a new genre of movie and maybe one that will make them want to become more involved in theater as they are in high school or college. Also, does this help to potentially revitalize the stage theater genre. High School Musical transitioned from the TV to what seems to be a very popular stage production that is sold out everywhere it goes.

So this is a good thing, right. Right?? Having never seen any of these movies and only seeing the impact they have on kids, I wonder if they do not continue to add to the increasing pressure on children to look a certain way or act a certain way. I have seen children who want to act out their favorite characters from these movies, but other children have said you can't sing, only I can sing good enough for that person. Now this can easily be blamed on the fact that the children in question were pre-teen girls who have been catty and obnoxious on other occasions about other things. It also seems to be a phenomenon that is more prevalent in girls than in boys. All of these shows have both male and female actors and actresses and yet only the girls are interested in the shows. Is this another fault of the overall society saying that boys who are interested in theater are less manly or worse yet gay?

I have no answers to any of the questions I have posed, but it is another instance where observing children and societies impact on them has proven interesting and even somewhat worrisome to me.


So my life has taken a bit of a twist which mean I can be back to blogging earlier than I thought. It turns out that the daycare corporation that I worked for has this policy where if the director feels that it would be best for the center or the employee that they can do what is called "pay in lieu of notice", where the employee is paid for two weeks of work without actually having to be at work. It turns out that since I have given my two weeks notice at my former job, the director called the human resources department and found out that she could let me go on Monday (I gave notice on last Friday) and they would continue to pay me till August 8th which was my last day. This allows her to not have to send people home since they are so overstaffed and can give my hours to others. She asked me if this was OK and after seeing it in writing that I will continue to get paid for working at the center for the next two weeks and not have to actually put up with the bullshit that is going on there, I did it. So now I have a little over two weeks till my next job starts to just do things around the house. I will do some baking, lawn work, spending time with our new kitty, going to some farmer's market that were during the week that I wanted to go to, but wasn't sure I was going to be abel to with working, making dinner for GG and I, doing the paperwork and any other necessary things for the new job with the public schools, taking Logan to the vet to have this lump on his leg checked out, reading, watching movies, and various other things that will need to get done around here. I am also going to try and convince GG to take some time off and go on some day trips with me, but shhhhh she doesn't know this yet. I will also be back and blogging again, yay.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm taking a break

I know I have not been around here a lot lately and so I figure I might as well make this an official break. I will not be around here for about two weeks or so till I have finally left this job that I don't like. Then I will have some time to get back here I hope.

Monday, July 21, 2008

If only I won the lottery

The one aspect of my move to here in Illinois that I have not talked about is work. I had a few interviews before I moved here and really only got one job offer. Many of the jobs seemed to not want to wait till I moved here or I just never heard from them after one interview. I did have one interview that I set-up for after I moved here staying with the same daycare corporation that I was with in NC and another interview kind of thing with another daycare corporation that I had done two different phone interviews with. So, I moved here and went into the daycare that I had worked with in NC. This was a great center, it had a great location in Chicago and I really liked all of the staff that I interacted with and the kids were great too. The only problem was that this would have meant an hour and a half commute by public transportation and even longer if I wanted to do it by car each way every day, so three hours on public transportation ended up being too long for me. I would have basically gotten home, then maybe been up for like an hour and eaten and then gone to bed to get up the next morning and do the same thing. This did not seem like a good idea to me. So I took the job at the other corporate daycare which is only ten minutes away. The issues with this place are that one, I am being paid like 85 cents an hour less than I was making in NC, it is mostly working with a summer camp for the summer and then I will be a pre-kindergarten teacher in the fall, but for now I am working with 5-12 year olds and I don't like working with kids over 5. This experience has not changed this for me. The boss and organization are not very organized and the pay structure is really messed up with me with a masters degree making less than some guy with only a high school degree, but who was friends with the director. Yeah this is really fucked up. So obviously I hated this job from day one. I started to look for a new job the first night I came home with Goddess Gourmet's help, of course. I had applied for jobs in many of the local public schools as a preschool teacher as many public schools nationwide have begun to create and grow preschool programs especially surrounding children with special needs and/or children from low income families. In this endeavor, Illinois and Waukegan specifically, where I live, have created a public school preschool program. I applied again or renewed my application or something, I am not sure exactly which, within public school preschools. I got an interview last week and then got a job offer on Friday for a preschool teacher in the public school system. YAY!! So now I have a job that I expect to like better with better benefits and better pay.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Book Review- In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

I just finished reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I found it to be an interesting continuation of Botany of Desire and Ominove's Dilemma. The book In Defense of food, continues Pollan's views on eating more plants and looking at the ways in which the Western diet is reflected by the food we eat. This book is more of a rant and is a culmination of the other two books. Where as Omnivore's Dilemma and Botany of Desire were more books of him exploring and issue and then talking about what he had learned, Eater's Manifesto is him talking about the issues with our diet and ways to change the way we eat. He begins with a section on nutritionism which is the focus by Americans on single nutrients such as protein or vitamin b12 or fat rather than on the whole foods. He discusses that we have become so focused on what we should not eat such as fats or carbohydrates and that the "bad foods" have changed over time as science has changed. We have gone from margarine being the perfect alternative to butter to realizing that butter is much better for us than margarine because of the trans-fats in margarine. Pollan also goes into the science of nutrionism and how we are still not sure how all of the vitamins and chemicals in our food interact and how they in combination work to make us healthier. The next section is where he defines food. As he says, we should not have to define food, but unfortunately we do at this point. He is trying to define food as anything that your great grandmother would recognize as food, so things like twinkies are not food, all the chemicals we add to bread among other things then negates them as food, high fructose corn syrup which seems to be in everything these days is not food and should not be treated as such. Pollan seems to be trying to redefine food as more "natural", he wants to get away from chemical additives as being allowed to be called food. The final section is then on how to eat.

Because I agree with his views on things that we as Americans eat too much food that is processed, I really liked this book. I liked his thoughts that things like bread have been so altered now it is hard to still see them as bread. At one point he lists all of the ingredients in bread, there is a long list of them. Bread should be simply flour, yeast, and water. He also looks at the fact that we have so processed foods like flour that we now have to add nutrients back into the bread or other final product to replace what we have taken out. He is also honest that we need to change our eating habits. We need to eat less, less snacking and less on our plates when we eat our main meals. We need to eat more plants and less meat. We need to recognize that the interactions between us and our food have evolved over a long period of time and that in processing these foods we have changed these relationships.

Eater's Manifesto was an interesting book with ideas that have been proposed and discussed in many other places, but it is nice to see them put together in one book that is easily accessible to all who wish to change their eating habits and to be more aware of the issues in our current food system.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My life by the movies

I am stealing this idea from Dr. Monkey. It sounded like a fun idea. I am going to list my favorite movies for every year that I have been alive.

1978- Grease- Olivia Newton-John is so great in the film.
1979- The Muppet Movie- I love the muppets and the fist muppets movie was just so great.
1980- The Empire Strikes Back- Yoda is my favorite Star Wars character ever, so his first movie has to be my favorite.
1981-History of the World, Part 1- Any movie that can make a musical out of the Spanish Inquisition is tops with me.
1982- The Dark Crystal- This is a great film by Jim Henson and Company.
1983-WarGames- Matthew Broderick is great in this film and the early use of the internet is just awesome.
1984- Dune- Although I just saw this film recently, it definitely is now one of my favorites. The combinations of religion, philosophy, ecology and action combine to make a really interesting and engaging film.
1985- The Breakfast Club- Even though this film is over 20 years old, I still think that it reflects high schools and the cliques that exist better than any other film.
1986- Labyrinth-Another Jim Henson film with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly. I have always loved this film.
1987- The Princess Bride- "I am Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die" Need I say anymore.
1988- Beetlejuice- Such a great cast of people, Michale Keaton, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, how can you go wrong.
1989- Heathers- Another Winona Ryder film, this is a great little film about revenge against the "in-crowd".
1990- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead- A bit of an obscure film, but such a great take off on two bit part characters from Hamlet.
1991- The Silence of the Lambs- Anthony Hopkins is incredible as Hannibal Hector and Jodie Foster is also amazing in this film.
1992- El Mariachi- Robert Rodriguez's first major film. It is an amazing film about a case of mistaken identity.
1993- So I Married an Axe Murderer- One of Mike Myers lesser known film. This is a really great offbeat comedy.
1994- The Shawshank Redemption- Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins is amazing in this great film adaptation of a Stephen King short story.
1995-The Usual Suspects- Another great cast, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro, Gabriel Byrnes, Kevin Pollack and a great performance by Kevin Spacey in a heist film with a twist.
1996- Primal Fear- One of the great performances by Edward Norton as a split personality killer.
1997-Waiting for Guffman- A great comedy by Christopher Guest and probably my favorite movie by him.
1998- American History X- This is another great performance by Edward Norton.
1999- The Matrix- One of, if not my favorite movie of all time. I know that is a bit hokey, but the combination of ways in which this film can be interpreted from a metaphysical story to an action film make me love it. Plus it altered special effects for many more films.
2000- Memento- Guy Pearce is amazing in this Christopher Nolan film about a man with amnesia. The out of chronological order storytelling, makes this film one of a kind.
2001- Hedwig and the Angry Inch- One great soundtrack and an offbeat story.
2002- In America- An interesting story of an Irish family in New York City that was based upon the writers own experiences growing up with their own parents.
2003- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl- Johnny Depp and the emergence of Captain Jack Sparrow make this film one of my favorites. It is the best of the Pirates trilogy.
2004- Born into Brothels- A spectacular documentary about life on the streets of Calcutta.
2005- Batman Begins- Another Christopher Nolan film, that I love.
2006- Little Miss Sunshine- An odd little comedy that makes me laugh every time I watch it.
2007- Bug- One of the few films that really take you inside paranoia and allows you to see as people hold on reality is shattered.
2008- This year is not over yet, so I reserve judgement till later in the year.

Two interesting little notes on my working through this. One, I used wikipedia to figure out what movies came out when so if the years are off I am sorry and I am sure there were films that I really liked from a certain year that just were not listed on wikipedia. Two, it was really hard to do the early years of my life as I just couldn't find that many films that I really could say I had seen enough or recently enough to really know that I liked. It then was hard for about a ten year gap of the mid-1980s to the mid-1990 or so when  there were so many films that I liked, I had a bit of a struggle to figure out what film was my favorite. It then became easy as it seems that the quality of the films that are now being made are going downhill especially, it seems to me, as we entered the 2000s.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maybe he should sue God instead

This article is a few days old, but I really wanted to blog about it. This man is suing a church when he says he experienced God and fell and hurt himself. He is now suing Lakewind Church for $2.5 million for lost wages and for medical bills. I am not sure how this is the church's fault that this guy fell. I would say you should blame God. The church did not make you fall, God did. And I am sure God has more money than this church, isn't the phrase, "more money than God." Does the church have more money than God? I thought this was the purpose of church to help you feel the presence of God. So this guy felt God and then fell. I think he is just looking for money, but going after a church is a bit low to me. GG tells me that someone once tried to sue God already, so why not try it again. Maybe he can win and then have more money than God.

It is finally time for this

Yay for Governor Rod Blagojevich of my now home state of Illinois. He rewrote a bill on medical coverage to now include $36,000 a year for autism coverage. He and other opponents of this plan want insurance companies to be required to cover treatments for autism. Autism is so misunderstood at this point. Science is still trying to figure out how exactly inidviduals develop autism let alone how to treat it to allow those individuals to be more successful. According to this article,"The legislation would force insurance companies to cover up to $36,000 a year in occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapies in addition to psychiatric and psychological services. Children would be covered until they turned 21." The early diagnosis and treatment of autism is crucial to many children to allow them to learn to speak and have social interactions with others. This bill would allow more families to be able to get the services their children need. I know that $36,000 may not be a lot overall when it comes to treatments for autism, one of the families in the article had spent over $80,000 a year for treatment, but if insurance has to cover some of that, this can only be a positive thing. This bill now has to go back to the house for their approval.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cooking together

As I was doing the dishes today, I started to think about the ways in which GG and I have begun to mesh together in the kitchen and cooking. We have begun to make a menu for the week so that we know what we are making most nights of the week and also to help with grocery shopping so that we make sure we have what we need, but also so that neither of us goes too crazy in buying stuff we wouldn't use or that we don't need. She had made this next week's list and while we were cleaning out the fridge today (we did a lot of cleaning today, my mom is coming for a visit next weekend and GG wants to put her best foot forward) we found some salmon and other items that I didn't know we had or that we had forgotten that we had in the fridge and the freezer so I did the menu for the week after too, so now we have the next two weeks worth of food planning done. I noticed that we tend to have different styles and ways of finding recipes to make. I see myself doing simpler, more basic recipes, while GG does more complex recipes with more spices and flavorings. As an eater, I like both ways of cooking, but as a cook I find myself more comfortable with simpler recipes. I also have not yet really started to branch out into her cookbook collection which is vast and wanted to do some recipes out of a new vegetarian cookbook that I had just gotten before I moved here and hadn't gotten a chance to use much yet.

GG also tends to do more of the cooking which means I tend to do more of the cleaning up and washing dishes because of course whoever cooks, the other cleans up. But it is interesting that we both like to cook, but I tend to defer to her skills in the kitchen. I see her as being more skilled in the kitchen. I also see our kitchen as being too small for us to cook together which is something that for quite a while we had talked about online before I moved here. But alas the kitchen is too small to easily accommodate both of us in there together, we have on a few occasions had times where I have chopped up the vegetables and she has cooked them or something along those lines, but this happens rather rarely. There is the fact that she really likes to cook and does not seem to be comfortable not cooking or feeling like she is not helping, if I am cooking she will offer to see what she can do whereas I tend to offer to help, but if she does not need my help I just walk away. I am not as good at really getting in there and really helping her, which is something I should do more of, but it is also nice to allow her to do her thing in the kitchen. It is therapy for her and it also seems to be the time in which we take a break at the end of the day and unwind. She cooks, I read blogs or watch some TV.

The other main difference is where our strengths lie in the kitchen. I am better and more comfortable making breakfast. I make the eggs, or this morning I made waffles for breakfast, for the two of us on the weekends if we want breakfast. GG has said that this is not really her strength, but she can make toast really well, so I do the eggs and such and she makes toast. I also really like to bake and this is one thing she does not seem to do as much in the kitchen. I am sure she can bake, but in the relationship that is the one thing that I have found I really like to do. I really like to mix and knead the bread. I like to have a longer project in the kitchen as baking tends to take longer than cooking at least for bread if you include the rise time for the dough. My maternal grandparents had a similar relationship. I can remember my Papa baking a lot, challahs and rolls. My Nana did more of the cooking it seems and they both made jelly together. I guess we have begun to replicate that relationship in many ways except for my grandparents the garden was my papa's and for GG and I, the garden is more hers.

It is interesting to look at the relationships and how two people who like to cook both create a flow around cooking. It is so important to both of us and we are both so connected to food. We both love going to the farmers market and looking at and buying produce and breads. We both love getting vegetables from the garden and cooking and eating them. It is more her garden, I think, but the produce that comes from it seems more ours as we cook and eat with it. I guess at some point we may no longer go grocery shopping together, but it seems like that has become just our Saturday routine. We get up early, go to a farmers market (we are still trying to find one that we really like and we may end up liking more than one and so rotating) then going food shopping at a regular grocery store or fish store or ethnic grocery or bakery depending on what we need for the week and what kind of food exploration we want to do. I know this may change, we may lose these "dates" if we have kids or when we get far enough into the relationship where we really want some separation from each other, but I am not sure that food shopping will ever totally become the the domain of one of us over the other one. We may end of rotating whose week it is to food shop, but to think that one of us will always do this seems to be beyond me, at least right now.

One great cookbook

Recently GG bought me a great cookbook, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains. I had seen and really like this cookbook when looking at it at a bookstore. She was with me and really liked it too or at least what I would show her of it, I was kind of engrossed in it at the time. She then ordered it and surprised me with it. I have had lots of fun looking through this book and getting ideas all of these things I want to make, I have yet to make anything yet, but soon. The book covers all kinds of baked goods using whole grains from pancakes and biscuits to breads, cakes, doughnuts and pies. Yeah, I know that just because I would be using whole grains does not automatically make a doughnut or pie healthier and mean I should eat a whole pie in one sitting, but it does mean that I can use whole grains to make items that I already like and take out some of the elements of over-processed flour. There are also all kinds of recipes for things that I would not have thought of from different types of breads to kinds of pancakes and waffles for me to try out. I do love to bake and love bread type products so this was a very day for me when i got this book. This book also stands out from another whole grains cookbook that was put out by another flour company by not trying to pimp only their type of flour. It does not say King Arthur flour for this and for that instead it says use a whole grain flour or use an all-purpose flour, it is nice to see them not trying to blatantly sell only their own product. The book gives a lot of information about whole grains and techniques to use while baking. The book is not just a cookbook, but a reference on baking and using whole grains, always a bonus. So if you are looking for a book on whole grain baking, this is the one I would say to check out.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Movie Review- Wanted

I saw Wanted last night with GG. As she commented it was our first date like thing that we had done except for dinners, of course, which was very cool for us. Wanted is the story of a man who is stuck in an office job that he hates and a life that he is dissatisfied with and one day discovers that his father, that he never knew, was an assassin for a secret organization. This is obviously a high action film with plot holes, events that defy logic and physics and much violence. It is a film in the post-Matrix era where special effects are paramount and amazing at times. The film also hearkens back to some Greek and Norse mythology which from looking on, some people are not getting at all. It is a popcorn flick, not a movie that requires a lot of thought, but one that is very enjoyable.

Timur Bekmambetov directed this film. Bekmambetov also directed Night Watch and Day Watch, two films that I really really like. If you have seen either in the Night Watch/Day Watch series this film is very reminiscent of those films. The secret organization was formed a thousand years ago and was developed to fight evil. There are also nods at mythology as I have mentioned and as with the really great subtitles in Night Watch, demonstrate at times, he has objects that have words on them as a way of reinforcing or adding to the effect. One of the best examples of this from Wanted is that toward the beginning of the movie, Wes Gibson, the protagonist, played by James McAvoy hits someone with a key board and as the pieces of the keyboard are flying around at one point the words Fuck You are spelled out by keys from the key board and a tooth. I found the film to be really interesting and engaging. Yes, there are plot holes and jumps in logic at times and yes it does remind me, at times, of other films like Night Watch, Day Watch, and The Matrix, but it is an action film. I don't go to see those to really have to think a lot or to expect to see an entirely new concept. As has been said before, there are only so many good ideas in the world and they have all been used by now.

If you like action films and the films of Bekmambetov, I would recommend this film. If you have never seen Night Watch of Day Watch, I even more highly recommend you see those films.

YouTube Fridays (late edition)

I was watching some amateur comedians on TV a few nights ago and I heard this guy who sounded just like Mitch Hedberg. His voice and delivery were very similar to Hedberg's and it made me think about that I really like some of the jokes of Hedberg and so wanted to share them with y'all. He died young of a heart attack, but I am sure that is at least partly linked to his usage of drugs.

I also like Steven Wright in the same kind of monotone odd comedy that Hedberg does, so here is my favorite Steven Wright joke.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Not all Southerners are ignorant

The fact that not all southerners are ignorant and not all of them are racist is a fact that many of us who have lived in the south know very well, but it is nice to see someone get noticed for this exact fact. According to this article, the director of North Carolina's Standards Laboratory retired rather than honoring Jesse Helms. When the Governor asked all state employees to lower the flags to half mast for all state agencies, L.F. Eason III emailed his employees and told them to disregard this request from the governor. "I don't see how anybody could celebrate his career," the 51-year-old said in an interview, noting Helms' opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the filibuster to stall the effort to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday. "Everything he did was such a disservice to this state." When his supervisor overruled him, he requested the ability to retire rather than have to honor Jesse Helms. Eason deserves congratulations for recognizing that just because you have worked as a Congressperson does not make you worthy of being honored with flags being lowered to half mast. If you are an asshole in life, you don't deserve to be honored in death. Eason also deserves congratulations for standing by his principles and taking retirement, since he had the option, over compromising his own beliefs.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Some people have too much time on their hands

While I was in the great state of Wisconsin with GG and visiting her family I was privileged to see a wonderful marvel to man's ingenuity that or this man had too much time and beer on his hands when Fred Smith decided to make this monument. In Philips, Wisconsin is the Wisconsin Concrete Park, since most of you will never have the honor of seeing these great pieces of art, I decided to take pictures so that you could enjoy them as much as I did.

What the hell is happening in this picture?

In case you can't see it, the drivers of this horse wagon are drinking beer. I guess it is the first instance of drinking and driving.

I am not sure who this is is supposed to look like, but GG and I think it looks like Teddy Roosevelt.

And this was Fred's very wise thoughts on Native Americans.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Change is good

So I said in my last real quick post that I was going to post about the changes in my life. Well it has been a month since I left NC and moved to IL and I keep thinking that I need to put up something about the changes in my life. Well, first and foremost the big worry was how was Pele, the cat and Logan, the dog were going to get along and if it was going to be pandemonium in the house on a regular basis. It has gone really good. We kept them separate for a while with a solid door in between them, then we moved on to a baby gate so that if Pele wanted to come out and see us she could and also so that she could escape if she wanted to get away from the dog. After a bit Pele, decided to venture over the baby gate. The two had already met with Logan on a leash and it went Ok, Logan was more interested in Pele than Pele was in the dog. After Pele decided to join us and have to deal with the dog, it was a bit funny. She would run around behind barriers that were conveniently there since GG and I hadn't put all of my junk away yet. So Pele could go from under the table, to behind some boxes to up onto the couch and not really have to deal with Logan at all. But even then, she would hiss at him, giving him a warning to stay way from her. She has also hit him several times and it seems kind of hard right on the nose when he gets too curious. He wants to sniff her and she doesn't like it, so she warns him off. After being hit a few times and hissed at, he figured out that maybe he wanted to stay away from this fury thing that was mean to him. This has continued on for the past two weeks or so even after we have gotten a lot of stuff put away and so Pele doesn't have her hiding places anymore, she hisses at him, he tries to sniff her occasionally, but generally they just stay out of each others way. They are not yet snuggling together on the floor, Pele still is not sure she likes him yet. But generally, the possible pandemonium never happened, Logan has been really pretty good about it, he has never really tried to hit her back or growl at her or lunge at her in any way. GG has staid that a few times he has boxed at her, but seems to be playing and this is immediately stopped just to make sure he knows this is not OK because even if he is just playing, he has such a weight advantage he could really hurt her. Logan has adjusted well to the new house and really loves GG, he sleeps on the floor on her side of the bed and has even barked at me when I was coming home and she was already there. He does try to protect GG at times.

As to my adjustments to the change of address and having to live with someone else, it is an adjustment. GG and I are doing really well I would say, going from having not spent more than one weekend ever together in the same geographic place to now having to be in the same house all of the time. We don't fight and don't really seem to have any major pet peeves that have driven either of us totally crazy or at least not from my side of things. But I still have to adjust to living with someone else. Adjusting to doing dishes by hand, I had a dishwasher in my old apartment, I had started to wash things more by hands even before moving here, but now that we have to it is a bit challenging at times. Also, adjusting to have other people and even a cat that I have to share the bedroom and bathroom with, waiting for someone to finish taking a shower, we only have one bathroom, or sharing the kitchen with someone else. Now this has actually been really good for me as I try to eat more vegetarian diet and GG has a lot of cookbooks for us to look for new recipes for. She also knows more about food that I do and so has really helped me find new ways of cooking lentils, rice, beans and green vegetables. We have also really gotten into going to farmers markets and getting fresh veggies and then cooking with them. It is like a modified locavore diet. We are doing really well and I am glad that I made the massive change to IL, but I miss NC at times. I know it will get really cold here in the winter and I am not looking forward to that. I miss sweet tea and biscuits. I miss the south in so many ways, but there are things that are worth leaving your comfort zone for and this was definitely one of them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It has been a long time

It has been a long time since I was over here. I still read everyone everyday, if you don't believe me ask Gourmet Goddess, she will attest to the fact that I spend a good bit of time every night reading online. Often, I get told to put the computer away for a bit. I am adjusting to living with someone else. More about this in a future post, very soon hopefully. I also have just returned from the north woods of Wisconsin where I got to meet GG's family which was an experience. I also have a great post about a wonderful monument and testament to modern art that I had the privilege to see that I intend to have up soon once I get the photos from the camera onto the computer. I really have missed being here and have lots to say, I just have to start taking from brain to posting again.