Thursday, February 28, 2008

Looooong winters

Ella, I am warning you...there is Runway talk in the next paragraph...skip ahead if you didn't watch...

Human hair?!?!? What the fuck? I don't wanna wear clothes with someone else's hair as a trim! And I don't know anyone that would!!! It actually looked OK, though:-) I liked the way this season worked, with the "playoff" match of sorts, and I think they should incorporate that into future seasons. And I am glad Rami won, although I am not nuts about his line, and I feel like one of the others will win. Jillian's looked really promising, but kinda drab...

OK Ella, it is safe to read again:-D

Today is really kind of a foul day. It is cold and windy, and there is a nasty snow squall kicking around. It was not a very pleasant walk to work this morning. And...apparently the T is running slow, so tons of people are late. Where is Green Line Boy when we need a report on the status of the Green Line?!?!?!

This is, without a doubt, the worst time of year for weather around here. It gets cold in a lot of places in December, and lots of places get snow, but the real misery of living in the Northeast or the Upper Midwest (or, I guess, Canada) is that spring comes SOOO late. I am sure that Aaron and Ally can chime in on how there are already plenty of signs of spring down south (even though Ally's last post was about snow...lol). I talked to The Body yesterday and she reports that it is just divine in Phoenix. And e.b. is totally and completely banned from this conversation.

But here, and for Jessie and So Midwestern, and LPEG and Brandy, winter is still firmly entrenched. And will be for quite a while now. By the end of next month we will probably start to see some warmer weather, but it was still snow well into April, and most of May and the first half of June usually include lots of very cold rain.

The upside is that we get beautiful summers and wonderful falls. And the first half of winter can be really pretty and delightful. But this second half of winter (or, "spring" as it is called in many other places) is really miserable. Ahh well, there was a time when I had more to complain about than the weather, and that is a good thing.

Chicken fingers tonight! And I am out of the office tomorrow, and probably Monday, and have a really busy weekend, so this could be the last you hear from me until Tuesday. But, no catastrophes, I promise:-) I may write something over the weekend if I get a chance, but I can't promise it.

Munchkin has a basketball tournament on Saturday that is going to take up most of my day. I could skip it, but I don't want to:-P. I have a date with The Boy Saturday night...this is a make-up from being snowed out last weekend. Munchkin is staying at her friend's house...hee hee. On Sunday morning I am going to a brunch with The Boy's family for a great aunt's birthday that they have every year...Munchkin is a "maybe" for that. And then I have a million errands to run Sunday afternoon, and plans to meet some friends for dinner. So, nothing terribly exciting, just kinda busy.

Somehow, you will all have to manage without me:-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Politics on Wednesday

Quick post today...very busy morning.

Who watched the debate? What a snooze. He came off as non-committal, clueless and arrogant, and she came off as snippy and whiny. John McCain won that debate by a landslide. Seriously, they spent the first 16 minutes arguing over whose health care plan had the most or fewest mandates. Never mind that both plans suck and are 95% identical...they nitpicked over the other 5%. And that was their FIRST impression.

And she complained about getting the first question all the time? Is she kidding? But I want to take her to task for one thing in particular...her plan to create 5 million jobs in 10 years. Let's do some math here.

The "civilian labor force" is about 140 million workers. Unemployment is currently about 5%, or about 7 million people. The population (and the workforce) grows at about .8% per year. Therefore, the workforce will grow by about 12 million over the next ten years. She wants to create five million jobs.

Which means she would like unemployment to double. I really like the idea of "setting low expectations", but that is a little bit extreme. As a reference, the economy has created about 7.8 million new jobs in the last five years. So, in her own words, she is aiming to grow jobs by 1/3 of the "failed economic policies of the Bush administration".

But I digress...they both missed chances and avoided giving straight answers to questions. The last question was an open invitation to highlight the shortcomings of the other, and they both answered totally different questions.

Having no time limits hurts them. I think politicians love to hear themselves talk, and if you give them the chance, they will just continue talking until they run out of air. There were three or four times that I felt like they started a good answer, and then rambled on for like five minutes about other subjects entirely.

Really a bad show from both of them. Given the current state of the campaigns, that favors him.

Project Runway tonight!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Birthday Boy

Sorry for not writing yesterday...I was kinda busy all day, and figured that my Sunday post could hold you over. Also, my not writing hardly qualifies as a catastrophe, despite my own inflated opinion of myself.

Today, however, is a very special post:-). Because today is The Boy's 30th Birthday!!! I will lay off on the "old" jokes, because he is at least a little itty bit skittish about the whole thing:-). Not that he is totally freaked by turning 30, just maybe a little bothered...but clearly, he must recognize that I keep him young, right?

I had a big long thing written, but it seemed sort of cliched and a little too sappy, so I am not gonna post it. Instead, I am going to tell you a story that I didn't tell you when it happened last year. Why? I dunno...it sort of gets to the things that I love about him so much. I am also not sure why I never told you this, other than just kinda wanting to keep it private. I told some of you offline, but not in this forum.

The Boy is an investment manager...he works for a firm that manages equity investments for various institutions and wealthy investors. In the course of this, they work a lot with firms that are similar to theirs, but just with slightly different specialities. One of these firms that he works with a lot is based in San Francisco, and last January, they offered him a job. A really good one.

It was a promotion over his current position, and one which his current firm couldn't offer him at the time. He loves the people he works with, but it is a smallish firm, and they didn't have that role available at the time, or in the immediate future. It would likely take the better part of a year before he could have moved into the same role at the current firm (in the end, it was about 7 months..he got promoted at the end of September).

It was also a lot more money: they offered him about a $75,000 raise. Again, the current firm couldn't quite match it (although they did give him a big chunk of it right away, and then made up for it later on). Obviously, that is a pretty big difference. In addition, he went to school out there (Berkeley), lived there for a bit after graduation, and I know he would like to move back out there at some point. So, it was a pretty compelling offer.

The downside, of course, is that his family is around here. And me, too:-). If it were just me, I would have moved out there with him in a heartbeat. I love San Francisco and would love to live there (along with New York and Chicago, it is one of the only other places I would consider moving to). Munchkin, however, is another story...and I have no desire to pick her up and move her again. I already did that to her once, and part of that deal (which I made with myself) was that she was gonna be in one place for good.

After some discussion, mostly around just confirming what "we" were, he decided against taking the job. Honestly, I felt really bad about that. He was much less broken up about it than I was...he saw it as basically just accelerating his career by a year or so, and was willing to wait. I never asked him not to take it, and I was willing to live apart, but I was selfishly glad that he stayed.

And they really tried to convince him! When he told them why he was staying, they offered to let him work from Boston about one week every other month, and had some plans for a second office in several years which might let him come back full time, but none of it was really enough to make him want to move. Finally, the CEO told him "Can I talk to your girlfriend before you say no?" Seemed like a pretty reasonable request, so I told The Boy to have him call me at work (also, Papa Bear knows him a little bit...because, well, he knows everyone.)

So, I got a call from the CEO. And his wife. And they were really giving me the hard sell on San Francisco:-). His wife suggested that Munchkin and I come out for a couple of days to visit and offered to set up visits to some schools that she knew were outstanding. There were two other people at the firm with kids about the same age as Munchkin, and she wanted to involve them as well. As recruiting efforts go, it was pretty impressive...lol...and I can see why The Boy liked these people so much.

But it just wasn't gonna work. It wouldn't be fair to Munchkin, and it would have been harder on both of us to move away from the support system we have here. I suppose I could have taken the free trip:-) but it would have been disingenuous, and I didn't want to burn any of The Boy's bridges. And again, I know The Boy would have loved the job, and I was feeling really bad about being the reason he didn't take it.

This all wrapped up right before we left for skiing last year (so, just over a year ago) and I was sorta bummed about the whole thing. But when I told him that, he shrugged and told me "There will be plenty of other jobs, but I would never find another girl like you." I don't know if I cried, but it sure made me feel warm inside:-D

So, what's the point of that story? I dunno...just that he is super awesome, and that he has been better to me than I could have ever expected. It may sound kinda cheesy, but I think at least once a day about how fortunate I am to have found him. He makes me very, very happy.

I would consider it an accomplishment to make him half as happy as he makes me:-) But I am certainly going to try my hardest!

Happy Birthday:-)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Surprise!

I have been keeping a secret for a while now, and I did a really good job with it:-). As I have mentioned, The Boy turns 30 on Tuesday (long post coming about that, I promise). Not surprisingly, his Twin Sister turns 30 as well...hee hee. And what do two 30th birthdays require? Well, a party of course!

So we had a huge surprise party for the two of them last night, and managed to completely surprise both of them. Originally the party was supposed to be on Friday, but the snow caused a one-day delay. And that "dinner with his parents" was a cover for the party...we are all so devious.

Twin Sister's wife did the majority of the planning, and Big Sis was the super-sexy hostess. Honestly, she has like the best house for entertaining that I have ever seen...the entire house just screams "party". She was kind enough to let everyone take over her place for the night, so she gets a special e-hug.

It was tons of fun. Lots of friends and family and a really good time was had by all! Their brother and sister couldn't make it up, so they weren't there...but pretty much everyone else who matters was there. It was also the first time I had seen a lot of his family since we got engaged, so it was nice to see a whole lot of them in one place.

And they were both totally caught off guard! It is very hard to pull off a good surprise completely unexpected, but this one went off perfectly. They definitely thought that we were just going to dinner...and were not at all suspicious about having to "drop Munchkin off at Big Sis's for the night."

So, a successful effort all around! Both of them were really excited about the whole idea, and very happy to see everyone. I would like to take credit for helping, but I didn't have to do a whole lot other than to play into the deception...really Twin Sister's wife gets the credit for organizing the whole thing. I have had to push back my gift to him until next weekend because it was supposed to be Saturday, but that is no problem at all...well worth it.

That's all I have for you today...I know, kinda boring...but that is what Sundays get you:-P.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Friday with little content

So, turns out all I needed to bring some lurkers out of hiding was some good trashy TV talk...

Who watched the debate last night? Kind of a snooze, I thought they both looked tired. I feel like she probably won, as she usually does in these debates, but she didn't really do what she needed to do to slow his momentum. I think Donna Brazile (who is usually kind of a moron) said it very well on CNN (or MSNBC)...(paraphrasing) "She beats him on the content of her answers and on her grasp of the issues, but he connects with voters in a way she simply doesn't." That about sums it up.

I am still lukewarm on him. I question how much substance is really there. And, his cheeks puff out really weird whenever he says a word with a hard 'P' in it...lol.

Anyway, that is enough for serious stuff for a Friday. Big news out of Aaron's blog today. That sounds really exciting! I am probably not alone in saying that I have never been to Bosnia...and it is a really interesting place to take a first overseas trip.

My Jeopardy! girl is winning after the first night, I am pretty excited about that. If I recall, she has like $26,000 and the other two have like $18,000 or so. Hopefully she can bring home the victory and win this one for adorable little blond girls everywhere!

Yay! They fixed spellcheck in Blogger...I don't have to cut and paste in Word to make sure I had things spelled right:-)

It's snowing here, and we are supposed to get a pretty decent storm. The Boy and I are planning to have dinner with his parents tonight, but I am not sure whether or not that is still on. His birthday is next Tuesday, so this is kind of a birthday dinner for him and his sister:-) I am taking him out for his birthday tomorrow and I have an interesting present for him, but I can't tell you what it is! (Mostly because he reads this, and that would kinda spoil it...Hi Honey:-)).

I have a longer, marriage-related topic, but I am gonna hold it until Monday. The topic is name changes, and I have some thoughts...so you can get ready for that, and chime in ahead of time if you wish:-) I will get into more detail next week.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This...is...Jeopardy!!!

Mostly TV topics today...

Have I ever admitted that my favorite television show is Jeopardy? Well...it is. I love useless trivia, and that is where all useless trivia buffs aspire to be. The last two weeks have been the Teen Tournament, which makes me feel smart. Other than the kids tournament and Celebrity Jeopardy, it is the easiest one, and I always know like 80% of the answers.

Why do I bring this up? Well...tonight is day one of the two-day finals, and I am totally in love with one of the girls who made the finals. Her name is Rachel Horn, and she is just about the most adorable thing I have ever seen...and she is super smart, too! Yes, I just admitted to having a crush on a high-school aged Jeopardy contestant...you have a problem with that?

Project Runway reunion show last night, which is just barely enough of a fix to feed my habit until next week. Can anyone tell me if next week is just going to be Chris and Rami, or is it part one of the final episodes? In years past, the final has been a two part episode, and I am trying to figure out if this is episode one of the finals, or if the entire finals will be after this little "play-off" game.

I think I have identified what I love about Heidi Klum so much...she does not use contractions when she speaks. Seriously, pay attention when you hear her talk.

I caught some of American Idol the last two nights...I felt like the guys were better than the girls this year. I like Michael the Australian guy, although his whole hipster-rocker deal may wear thin. I absolutely HATED the 17 year old boy that the judges all loved (David, I think?). On the girls side, I like Brooke for her super, incredibly cool hair. There were a couple others that were pretty good, too. But it is too early to have real favorites.

Lost...I have kinda tried getting into this show, and the recap shows with notes provided are helpful:-) But I get the feeling that they are really big on teasing things that never come. How many times can "All of your questions will be answered!" be promised?

Top Model was back, and I watched a little bit, but not a whole lot. The girls seemed...um...how do I put this nicely...UGLY. I feel like that show has completely run its course and needs to be glue-factoried. I guess the fact that they have had like 10 winners, and have not turned out ONE model that shows up anywhere other than on VH1 shows doesn't speak highly for the premise of the show.

I am a big fan of Rock of Love, while we are on the subject of VH1. Brett Michaels is creepy, but he is kinda funny, and the overall level of crazy-trash in the house is outstanding. I think I am rooting for Megan, who is absolutely GORGEOUS and really funny, too. At least, I think she is...I am assuming that she is always being really sarcastic, but maybe she is just nuts. Also, she was the season two champion on Beauty and the Geek, so she is a game show veteran. I have grown to like Ambre a lot, I think she is pretty normal. And I am intrigued by Kristie Joe, who is really stunning, and seems very articulate and put-together...but is, in reality, bat-shit crazy!!!

The Office is back sometime in April...very excited about that.

I guess that is about all for today's TV roundup. What am I missing?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Let's not put him on currency just yet

I think I am falling off of the Obama bandwagon a little bit...at least as much as I was ever really on it. I know this will break Brandy's heart, and possibly lead to an intense lobbying effort on her part, but I am liking him less and less these days.

What are the problems? Well, first, the speech plagiarism is really horrible, and it should be a MUCH bigger issue than it is. It speaks to the way the media is completely in his pocket that it has been glossed over like it has. Imagine if a lesser-loved person did the same thing…Joe Biden got KILLED for this last year, and he was never a legitimate contender to be President like Obama is.

It bothers me on a couple of levels, at least one of which is that he is stealing passages from our complete idiot of a Governor. Seriously, I don’t know a single person, including life-long, committed and loyal Democrats, who thinks that Deval Patrick is not WAAY over his head.

The content of the passage makes it worse. If you are going to discuss the power of words, I feel like the words should be your own. If you are justifying your candidacy by saying that the content and ideas are enough to make you a good President, the ideas should be your own. If you have no legislative track record, little experience, and now you don’t even have your own ideas…well, what are you bringing to the table?

Second, I am not sure he has any really groundbreaking ideas. I still believe that he is more temperamentally prepared to be a true leader instead of a partisan fighter like the last two guys…but I wonder about his depth. I don’t think he has any plan for Iraq, and frankly I don’t care if he was for or against it in 2003. How you felt then (and, he never had to actually commit that feeling to a vote, either) is really pretty irrelevant, and doesn’t change the situation today.

Expanding on that, I feel like he is kind of na├»ve. Seriously…he is just gonna call up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and offer to chat, and that is gonna solved our problems? There are people that can be reasoned with, and people that can’t. Remember when Bill Clinton decided that the solution to North Korea was a dialogue? If you don’t…the North Koreans took all of the concessions given, and then began violating their half of the agreement before the meetings were even over!

I am not going to knock him on his amateurish discussion of all things economic, because he is no better or worse than the rest of them. Whole other subject.

And finally, I don’t like to beat people up for things others say or do about them…but if Hillary Clinton is going to be taken to task for Bill’s actions, then we have to recognize how horribly offensive Michelle Obama’s comments this week have been. I like her a lot, and many people do, but that was a load of crap and she should be skewered for it. Our country is far from perfect and there are a million ways we can improve it…but to say that she has never been proud of her country is, frankly, offensive to me and a lot of others.

And finally, this nugget. I don’t hold him responsible for the things that hang in every campaign office. BUT…when it came to his attention, he should have reacted. Could it be that he doesn’t know who Che Guevarra really was? I hope not, but the only alternatives are that a) he knows, and just doesn’t think he was that bad a guy, or b) is that much of a leftist that he thinks Che is super cool. None of those speak really highly of the Senator from my original home state.

So, I am down on Obama this week. I could change my mind, and Hillary Clinton’s speech last night sure hurt any chance of me changing my mind on her…but I am disappointed in Obama.

Sorry, this is kind of a long post, and a little overly serious. I will be cooler tomorrow, I promise:-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The phrase "my ass hurts" just amuses me

I hope no one missed me too much while I was gone:-) I did keep up with my blog reading, and even commented on a few...but I never got the urge to write, so I didn't. I did, however, get the urge to go snowboarding, more on that later.

Big Sis couldn't eschew her weekend commitments, so it was just me, Smoking Hot Roommate and five pre-teen girls. Not sure how much experience you all have with girls that age, but they can be loud, giggly, hormonal and kind of a handful... (I am exaggerating, the girls were actually great all weekend.) We borrowed the van that the girl's parents generally use to shuffle people back and forth so we all fit in one car, which was actually kinda fun on its own. No traffic or any other difficulties on the way up, thankfully!

Everyone else skiied on Saturday, and I stayed home and enjoyed the fire and the solitude. I also baked cookies and brownies, and made chili and pizza. Very domestic of me! The pizza was ok...I had a hard time getting the dough to spread thinly, and made a giant mess of the kitchen:-) The chili was better!

The girls actually crashed on Saturday night pretty early. They had a LONG day skiing, and by the time they ate, giggled nonstop for three hours, and piled into their massive pile of blankets, sleeping bags and pillows in the living room, they were all out pretty quickly. Oh, the brownies sundays were outstanding! SHR and I enjoyed a couple of margaritas in the hot tub, which was just about heaven!

They talked me into going snowboarding on Sunday, which I have done previously, without much success. I have confessed previously that one of my goals in life is to be a super-cute, mega-cool snowboarder chick...and that dream required some effort this weekend. Basically, this girl is my hero.

The problem, as I see it, is that I really kinda suck at it. I spend a whole lot of time falling on my ass. And I have no patience for the whole "go slow and safe" idea...I want to go as fast as I can and see if I can not crash into a tree. So, by the end of the day, my ass was pretty well bruised, and my stomach hurt from laughing at myself so much. The hot tub felt extra good that night! And I think I sprained my wrist...its kind of swollen.

Unfortunately, it rained on Monday, so everyone skipped skiing or snowboarding. Too bad, because it was really warm and would have been a great day for it. It did allow us to get back earlier, though...and I think we did a better job of cleaning the house than I think we would have done if we were rushing to get the girls ready to go.

All in all, it was really fun. It was great to have a goofy girls weekend, and I always love going away with Munchkin. She gets to do a lot of things that I never got to do as a kid, and that most kids don't get to do. I like that she gets opportunities to do fun stuff, and that she genuinely appreciates them when they arrive...her friends are basically really good kids, but I don't think they have the same appreciation for weeklong Caribbean sailing trips or European tours or great ski getaways.

I feel good that she gets to do these things, and that she understands how fortunate she is to do them. I don't think any kid who loses both parents by age 10 really counts as "lucky", but I am glad they she gets to do a lot of neat things. She deserves it:-)

There, I got all sappy and never even got to today's primary in Wisconsin. Brandy is gonna be pissed!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Skiing, Year 2

I am not going to be in the office tomorrow, and won't have a chance to post, and I want to cover the weekend before I go away. So that means you get a post tonight:-)

Chicken fingers were awesome. The Boy is a totally trooper for wanting to spend Valentine's with me and my other little Valentine. Well, "trooper" is maybe the wrong word...he and Munchkin genuinely enjoy each other's company...but I will reiterate how fortunate I am that he likes me and all of my baggage:-). And he sent me beautiful flowers at work, and brought me chocolate at home, so he is on my good boy list. He should expect to be adequately rewarded later on this evening...grrr.

Anyway, I am going skiing this weekend. Exactly as it was on President's Day last year, Munchkin and several of her friends are going up to one of their family's houses in Vermont to ski for the weekend. Last year I went along to hang out, help out and just sort of be an extra pair of hands. And I was invited to do the same this year.

But...the parents who own the house are really great to Munchkin. She stays at their house a lot, and they have taken her on vacation...so, as a means of thanks, I offered to take the girls up and let them have the weekend of peace and quiet for themselves at home. I also offered to watch their daughter some weekend so they could go up to the house on their own.

And then I recruited Smoking Hot Roommate (who, unlike me, will actually ski:-)) to come with as well. The result is a lovely girls weekend that should be loads of fun, and full of all kinds of stupid girl stuff. There is a long-shot chance that Big Sis is gonna come, too...but that looks to be a no-go at this point.

So, we are leaving this evening, right after the traffic peters out...maybe around 7:00 or so. Hopefully we will get there in good time. Maybe I will even dust off my ski bunny skills:-)

And with that...I will see you Tuesday;-) I will have Internet, and I will blog if the mood strikes. But maybe not:-) Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Valentine's Day

Ah...Valentine's Day. No other day, ostensibly dedicated to love, creates the kind of vitriolic hatred that this one does. The intensity of emotions always amazes me...all you are supposed to do is admire love for the day, but for some reason it has become a day about reminding girls that they don't have boyfriends.

And not the other way around...this is one more in a long series of cultural traditions that demean women by forcing them to be identified not by their talents, skills and positive traits, but by their relationships with men. Seriously, being "approved" by a boyfriend does not really increase your value as a human being. Sure, you get laid more, but it doesn't make you better than all of my super-fabulous friends who are totally single.

OK, that rant is done with. I kinda like Valentine's Day...mostly because it is a reason for people to buy me flowers:-D. I don't feel the need to go out and do something, but I do like getting cards and doing nice things for people I love. The Boy was such a big fan of his cookie delivery last year that he is getting more this year. Hopefully they deliver them before he reads this:-D. Our romantic Valentine's Day dinner is gonna be chicken fingers with Munchkin...I can think of nothing better!

Hopefully he got me something, too, or else he will seriously be in the doghouse!!! And it is not too late...flowers will do just fine:-). I checked with Munchkin's brother to see if he sent her flowers again, and he did. If he hadn't, I would have, just so long as she gets something. So she will get her flowers delivered to her at school today, which she just thinks is the greatest thing ever. I know I pick on her brother a lot, and we have clearly had our issues, but he is absolutely crazy about his little sister, and he does some really sweet things for her. So, he is not all bad.

So, I guess my message is...lay off the hatred of Valentine's Day. As long as you don't feel the pressure to have a teary, dramatic moment straight out of a cheesy romantic comedy...it should be a pretty nice day. If you don't wanna love someone else, love yourself:-).

(Wait...that sounds really dirty...hmm...but I am OK with that...both meaning are totally acceptable...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Today's random subject...Mormons

Relevant to nothing...did anyone watch the two-part PBS special on Mormons this week? It was really interesting. I watched most of both parts, and there was a lot of stuff I hadn't heard before. If you come across it and you have any interest in religion, history and/or American culture, I would highly recommend you spend the time.

I should preface this by saying a couple of things. First, I am no huge fan of organized religion. I believe in what I believe in, and I don't generally find it useful to discuss it publicly. Religious teachings and traditions serve as a good historical record in many instances, and there are unquestionably valuable lessons in those teachings. Faith-based principles form the foundation of our moral landscape, and that is basically a good thing.

But I think people lose sight of the fact that, often, religious texts are not the un-biased words of the almighty, but are the interpretation of one or more humans of those words. To put it another way...The Gospel Truth is, very often, not quite the gospel truth. Religion gets off course when it loses sight of the forest for the trees, and gets mired in the details of its texts rather than focusing on the larger lessons. I won't say that any religion is any more or less guilty of this than any others, and I don't pretend to be studied enough to apply that universally...it is just an observation.

I have a certain respect for people of great faith, regardless of what faith that happens to be. I guess there is a part of me that wished I was so moved by a set of ideas that I could follow it with complete confidence that it was the "right path". It would be nice to think less logically at time. To apply that to an example from the Mormons...I wish there was something I believed in so completely that I would suffer organized extermination efforts, and then decide to trek 1,000 miles across a frigid, snowy plain to start a brand new society from scratch in the middle of nowhere (which the Mormons did in 1847).

The show spent a lot of time on Polygamy, which is so often associated with Mormonism. I think it is fair to say that, as it relates to the popular perception, plural marriage is inseparable from the outside view of the religion. And clearly, since the day it was added to church dogma, it has been an issue that the church has struggled to explain, to rationalize, and then eventually to eliminate. It is a practice that has left a very important legacy within the church, and has very much guided the relationship between the Mormons, the state of Utah and the United States.

I think the overall theme that I find most interesting relates to the youth of the movement. One of the historians referred to it as something like a "lack of useful mysticism". Dan Brown loves to write about conspiracies relating to the founding of Christianity and the Catholic Church. But in reality, is there really some magic document proving that Jesus was married? It is pretty unlikely that something like that could surface that had survived in hiding for 2,000 years. Martin Luther died nearly 500 years ago...there are not likely to be any skeletons in his closet that magically show up tomorrow and reveal him to be a fraud. Most of Muhamed's life was only formally documented after he died, and while many scholars consider the Quran and other texts to be basically historically accurate, no one would purport that it is 100% factually correct...too much time and too many re-tellings of his lessons had taken place. And again...it is not like there are old newspapers laying around from Medina in 631 that could refute any of this.

But Joseph Smith lived 150 years ago, in a time when a lot of things were written down...and even photographed. Both he and Brigham Young were born after the American Revolution. Therefore, there exists the real possibility that a more tangible proof exists that casts doubt on their veracity. That naturally leads to a kind of paranoia about the basic foundations of the church...no other religions that I know of have nearly the possibility that their basic tenets are proven to be false. That is not a judgment on their validity, just on the historical clarity of the times.

Anyway, I am not real sure about the point of this post;-). I certainly came away with some feelings, but I am not going to bore you with my opinions right now (I'd be happy to share if anyone wants to know...email me, or leave a comment...it is probably an interesting discussion.)

But, this is what I am thinking about today, and I don't really have anything else for you:-P. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, and then skiing this weekend:-) More on those tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cuddling

I have a super-excited shout-out congrats to Anne on her big news. She is one of my favorite bloggers, and I am glad that she got over the disappointment of losing out on her free earrings with some even more sparkly things! There seems to be a lot of that about in the blogosphere these days...

She and I also hatched a brilliant plan for a new TV show...starring me:-). The idea comes from the fact that I spent most of Sunday either naked of in my underwear, had a whole lot of sex in several different manners and locations...and also cooked a roast! Multi-tasking! What the world really needs is a much cuter, much more adult Martha Stewart.

Who can look super cute with her clothes off, put a Turkey in the oven, and then go and get laid while it is cooking? Why me, of course! Just think of the possibilities...episode titles like "Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip cookies and Oral Sex", or "Licking cake batter off of my stomach"...I think this is a winner!!!

In more serious news...it is fucking cold outside. Like, really fucking cold. So cold that the mayor has basically ordered that all of the homeless people who won't go to shelters be arrested and held until Thursday so that they aren't outside all night. Tinkerbelle reports that it is absurdly cold in Chicago, and I hear that further north is even worse. Not a good day to be in Minnesota...(OC might be in Minnesota this week, now that I think of it...)

Last night was so cold that I made Munchkin sleep in my bed to stay warmer:-D. I am not gonna lie, when I look back in 30 years on my time as a fill-in "Mom", sleeping with her when it is cold is gonna be one of the things I think fondly of. With anyone else, including The Boy, I am most definitely NOT a cuddler. After about five minutes, I get hot and fidgety and I need my space. But I have no problem with her...she and I just fit well, I guess.

One more reason I am glad that I am not a boy...boys are way too confused with their sexuality to cuddle with each other:-) But girls can...we win!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hmm...What did I do this weekend...

Looks like our nice little warm spell of last week is gone, replaced by a really cold and really windy new front. It was a VERY uncomfortable walk to work this morning.

The weekend was fun, although I totally overdid it on Friday and spent Saturday nursing a mother of a hangover. Smoking Hot Roommate and I went out with some girlfriends and drank too much. There were shots involved, and that is always bad for me. Three drinks is usually enough to get me really, really drunk (I weigh 98 pounds, what the hell do you want from me?!?!) and the second the shots come out, things generally turn bad quickly. And Friday was no exception.

I ended up staying at SHR's place (The Rocket Scientist was away for the weekend), and Munchkin woke me up with a phone call at like 10:00 to come and get her at her friend's house. Then she made fun of me for being such a mess all day. I did drag myself out of the house for her basketball game, which made me feel a little better. Then The Boy and I went out and that made me feel even better, and then we came back home and he made me feel a LOT better:-D

Didn't do much of anything yesterday. It was a really weird day...windy, rainy, sort of warm, then sunny, then snowy, then windy and cold...then REALLY windy. Munchkin stayed at SHR's place on Saturday night (they had a date:-)) and was there pretty much all day Sunday, too. So The Boy and I ended up staying in bed for much of the day. Which is just fine by me:-D.

So, to recap...fun with my girls on Friday, some quality Mom time with Munchkin and Saturday, and then lots of naked time with The Boy. Pretty darn good weekend:-)

Friday, February 08, 2008

This barely even counts as a post

Very busy today, with little time to post and little time to anything else other than finish a presentation and get it printed and bound. Crap. Stupid work...stupid non-long Friday lunch.

Awesome chicken fingers last night:-) I teased Munchkin a bit about her "boyfriend" and she got a little flushed, which means that maybe there is something there...I dunno, we'll see. Totally adorable boy, and a really sweet kid.

Smoking Hot Roommate and I are going out with some girls tonight for a night of heavy duty dancing, drinking and carousing. Trouble will most certainly be caused! I am not sure if I will meet up with The Boy later on or not, plans are kind of in the air. And Munchkin is sleeping over at her friend's, so I may end up alone in the apartment tonight:-(. Or maybe I will sleep at SHR's place so I don't get scared...:-D.

Nothing huge planned for the weekend, just some hanging around and some little errands to run. It should be nice to have a couple of days without much of a schedule!

Sorry I don't have anything more interesting today, but that is all that is going on in my world at the moment!

Anybody have anything interesting on tap for the weekend?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Thursday Ramblings

Short post today...stupid work to do. I am a little irritated with the weather people this morning. They promised a really messy, icy, snowy morning that would justify my "working from home" on account of Munchkin's school being cancelled. And what do we get this morning? Nothing!

No ice, a couple snow flakes, a little rain, and more importantly...school and work. I was gonna bake stuff!!! Cookies and brownies and maybe a pie! Heck, I was thinking that maybe I would make a roast to make the house smell good all day! I feel like I should hold the weather people responsible for this...do they have any legal liability? E.b., Billy, Ally...I call on my legal team to tell me what I can do about this!!!

Glad to see Ricky got bounced from Project Runway last night...he was really awful. In fact, I can not think of a worse designer who made it this far in the history of the show. I am liking Jillian more and more as time goes along...even her coat that they hated last week had some redeeming qualities. I still love Rami, too. Christian will probably be the third finalist, and he has a really distinct style and a lot of vision...I just don't like his clothes as much. And he irritates the crap out of me. He can be really funny, but his constant Paris Hilton impersonation is hideous.

Chicken fingers tonight, and Munchkin is bringing a boy:-). He is not a boyfriend, just a very good friend of hers. I think I have mentioned him before...he is like the cutest, nicest kid ever, and I secretly want them to grow up, get married and have adorable babies. I also think he has a monster crush on her, although she either doesn't think so or just chooses to kind of ignore it. I am not really sure. Either way, they are buddies and he is gonna have chicken fingers with us tonight and then they have a school project to work on after that at our place.

That's about it for today...back to work. Congrats to Billy and Muchosfe on their big news:-)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Anticlimax!!!

Anyone else's Blogger spellcheck not working? Mine hasn't for a week now or so...

Today is...quite simply...miserable. It is cold and pouring rain. I sincerely thought about taking a mental health day, calling in sick for both me and Munchkin, and curling up on the couch to watch movies with her all day. I am not really sure why I didn't, now that I think about it.

Fortunately, there is a big meeting in here today, so there will be great food in the conference room that I can poach at lunchtime and not have to leave the building (or spend any money:-D). I am hoping they have the grilled salmon that they have a lot of times...I am feeling like that today. And some cookies:-D.

So, big news out of the primaries last night. And also, kind of, no news at the same time. McCain is just as much or a frontrunner as everyone expected. Huckabee's performance was better than expected, and Romney's probably worse...but the overall results just reinforced what was expected. Unless he does something stupid, McCain is gonna be the guy.

The Democrats are basically tied. Somehow, the commentary this morning is managing to paint that as somewhat hopeful for her, but I am not seeing it. The basis of that seems to be..."Well, two weeks ago she had massive leads in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Missouri and Tennessee. Yesterday it looked like she could lose any of them, but she only lost Connecticut and Missouri." That doesn't change the fact that she had 15-30 point leads in a whole lot of places that became really competitive, and she lost two important ones. By my count, he got more votes than her, more delegates and more states yesterday...that has to be good news for him.

But it is pretty clear that the race is far from over. He now has a stretch of 7 primaries in a row that he should do well in, and then there are a couple of big ones, mostly Texas, that she should win. So, it looks like this is gonna last another month at least. I love it!!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Duper!

Well, Brandy is preparing for a sleepless, Anderson Cooper-filled night tonight, because today is Super Tuesday! For those of us that are civics geeks, this is better than Sunday was for football fans. And with fewer expensive commercials... (Actually, Brandy has a job interview, wish her luck...:-))

Massachusetts is one of the 21 states that votes today, and because we have an open primary and I am unenrolled ("Independent" here is an actual party...), I can vote for whoever I want. And since you are all just dying to know who I am going to vote for, I will get to that in a bit. First, a little bit of what I think might happen.

First, today looks to be McCain's day to pretty much wrap this up. He won't mathematically clinch it, but he can do so for all practical purposes. He seems to have big leads in a lot of places, including a bunch where the winner gets all of the delegates (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, for example).

Romney is hanging by a thread. He will do well in some places, but outside of a surprising win in California, he is probably done. He and McCain are pretty close in the polls out there, and if he were to win by 4-5 points and pick up most of the delegates (they award them weirdly out there), it may save him for another week or so. And if Huckabee gets out of the race in that time, he may stand a better chance.

I also have a feeling that today is going to resolve a lot on the Democratic side. The two of them are so close in so many places, I just have a feeling that one of them is going to win a whole bunch of states by just a little bit and really grab the race by the throat. They will both (barring something really wacky) be around at this time next week, but I feel like today is going to be really good for one and really bad for another. The polls show a clear momentum for him, and today will either confirm or deny that.

So...who am I gonna vote for? I know a lot of people hold this very private, and there is good reason for that. I, however, do not:-) I think these things through, feel good about who I vote for and am happy to detail the reasons I have done so. Reasonable people are welcome to disagree.

First, I am voting in the Democratic primary, and not just because both candidates are from Chicago... although that clearly speaks to their character:-D. Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts for four years, and has lived here for a long time. While the Boston Globd and the Democratic machine up here hates him, he should still win the Republican side easily. McCain was campaigning here yesterday, and I don't know why...Romney should win by 15 points or so.

The Democratic race, however, is a total toss-up. Clinton has the support of some Congressman, the Mayor of Boston and a lot of the institutional Democrats that were very loyal to Bill Clinton (who rewarded their money and campaign efforts with loads of Federal jobs and other carrots). Obama has both Senators (Kerry and Kennedy) and the Governor. Polls show the two in a dead heat...and in a state that is so symbolic of all things Democrat, the race carries some signifigance even beyond its delegate count.

And for me, the choice between the two is not terribly hard. Obama is young, inexperienced and could well be in over his head were he to be elected President. He is also very bright, inspirational and...this is important to me...not nearly as negative as the politicians older than he is. I never get the impression that he "hates" Republicans, or that he automatically thinks all of their ideas are evil. I think some of his policy specifics are a little simplistic (pay-as-you-go, for one) and his economic ideas are way too liberal. I think he is far from a perfect candidate, but I would like to see more from him, and I would like to see how he evolves under the lights of a longer campaign for President.

Clinton, however, I have seen enough of. I find her to be a disengenuous, opportunistic phony. She is never out front on anything, and it is really hard to identify exactly what it is that she "stands for". She used to be a rock-solid, die-hard liberal...and she has turned herself into a wishy-washy, centrist agree-er. Also, I dislike the idea that the first woman president would be someone who rose to national prominence solely based on who she was married to. That is a historic role reserved for a historic person, and she is not that caliber of leader. Add to that the idea of Bill floating around the White House for 4-8 more years, and I am not real excited. I have had enough of the Clintons and enough of Bushes and I think it is time that we move on.

So, that is probably not really a ringing endorsement. I don't really love Obama, and I am not willing to say that I would vote for him over either of the Republicans at this point. But I do know that I won't vote for Clinton.

I would still like to see more of him, but I have already made up my mind on her.

Monday, February 04, 2008

My not so Super chili

It's super warm outside...really feels like springtime. I'm sure it will be 20 below and snowing within a couple of weeks, but I like the respite!

It actually turned into kind of an eventful weekend. I went out with some girlfriends Friday night and had a really good time. Munchkin stayed at a friend's house, so I was off the leash. We just went to a couple bars, had a few drinks and did silly stuff. The Boy was out with a couple of his friends and we ended up meeting up with them for a while, too. Then I took him home and worked him over real good:-P

Munchkin and I had a lot of shopping to do on Saturday. Some household stuff, lots of groceries and some clothes...so we were out and about for most of the day. Then we cleaned:-)

She was out with her friends again on Saturday, so The Boy and I had a date, which is always fun. Met up with a couple other friends for a drink, too, but had to bolt to go and get Munchkin. Still, I felt social getting out two nights in a row:-)

We made chili in advance of the Super Bowl all day yesterday, although it didn't turn out great. It wasn't bad, but it should have been a little more flavorful. And then everyone got bummed out by the game...well, everyone who cared more than me:-D I thought it was kind of a boring game and the commercials were not good at all. Really dissapointing!

So, that gets us back to Monday and another work week...fun fun fun. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Wedding Lineup

OK, since I don't have an actual picture yet, and since Nicole D. asked...this is what my ring looks like. No, it didn't come from Tiffany;-) but that that is the ring, basically. Center stone is about 1.25 carats, and the sidestones are about 1/2 carat each. And it is exactly what I wanted:-)

Nicole also asked when the wedding was, and I am sorry for not saying that sooner: sometime in the summer of 2009, probably July. The truth is, I knew when it would be long before we got engaged. I would like it to be during the summer, and this summer seemed kind of soon. Plus, Smoking Hot Roommate is getting married in July, and since it will be at the same place with some of the same people, I didn't want to steal her summer from her:-) Yea, you are welcome to think that is stupid, I don't really care (Ally already told me that was a dumb reason to wait another year...lol.)

I realize that makes for kind of a long engagement, but I am OK with that. The Boy is going to move in with us sometime probably late this summer or fall, so there will be at least one big milestone before then. No exact date yet, but SHR, Big Sis and Pape Bear are being kind enough to let me have it at the beach house, which will make for three straight summers with "family" weddings there. That greatly eases the planning troubles, as I don't have to reserve a date way far ahead of time. And I will probably use a lot of the same vendors they did, which will make it easier still.

And now, back to my questions of the last week...who exactly is going to be in this wedding? My guess is that I spent more time thinking about this than I will about any other part of the wedding, including the guest list and the dress! And for the most part, you guys were on the same page as me, although there are some notable exceptions, which are likely due to the fact that I write more "day to day" stuff than retrospective stuff...more on that in a second.

Anyway, Munchkin seems like the perfect Maid of Honor:-) I was a little worried that she would be too young, and thought briefly about her walking down the aisle with me, but I like this idea better. Tinkerbelle is going to be a flower girl, although I am hoping that we can find her a dress close to what the bridesmaids are wearing...she can be like a mini-bridesmaid.

SHR, Big Sis, The Body and The Mouth are going to be the other bridesmaids. This was a tough one...I feel really bad about leaving some people out, although I have spoken to everyone and noone seems to be at all upset about it. So that's good.

I fully intended that Twin Sister would be a bridesmaid, as well. I was actually sort of surprised that so many of you thought that I should leave her out. I think that I have not really portrayed enough that she is just a really good friend of mine. In addition to being The Boy's weird other-half, she is a very, very close friend of mine. However, he pulled rank and decided that she is really the only person that he wanted as his "Best Man". Best woman? Is that a role? Whatever it is...she will lead the group of people standing up for him, along with his brother, The Rocket Scientist and his two other best friends.

I also had a lot of trouble deciding who I should walk down the aisle with, and until a couple of days ago, I was convinced that I would go by myself, or with my two sisters. See, I have thought since I was about 14 that, when I got married, BFFb would give me away. That likely sounds kinda weird, and I guess it means that I have not fully described my emotional debt to him, but really he was always the person I thought of as being there with me. There is just a whole lot of stuff there, and I can't imagine what my life would have turned out like if he hadn't always been around for me.

But then, as you all noted correctly, Papa Bear is the closest thing to a father that I have ever had. And in the end, I felt like it is a very appropriate gesture to ask that he give me away. There isn't much I can do to really show my appreciation for what he and his daughters do for me, but I think this is a very meaningful gesture. So, that is where that is.

As for BFFb, well, I found a really good job for him, too. He and BFFg are going to get a one-day license to officiate a wedding, and they are going to marry us:-) So that's it...the two people that I have the longest history with, and that I have gone through so much with...well, they will literally get to be there and go through this with me as well:-)