December 31, 2012

Getting The Best Start

When 2010 was such a terrible year in every facet I made the decision that 2011 would not be the same. It didn't happen all at once, but I eventually got a job that wasn't great but gave me abilities and skills I didn't have before (which led to the great job I have now), started the most wonderful relationship, and ran 3 half-marathons. When 2012 started (by the way, how is it that you can tell so much from a new year's kiss?) I was confident it would be as good as 2011 was, and it only got better. Now it's ending and I have an amazing job at a fantastic company, my relationship with the boyfriend has gotten stronger and I love where I live and how I live.

Going over my predictions for 2012 from last year, I'm a little disappointed. The Mayan End of Times was no big deal. People seemed to treat it like I've treated all of the past end of times... with a party. The last day of the world was the night my company's holiday party and the group next to us was an End of Times dinner party. Awesome, but there wasn't as much fear mongering as there used to be. I suppose people are becoming more rational. Sigh.

2012 has been the year of Apple. In June I bought myself a new shiny, and in October the boyfriend got me a mini shiny, helping me finally join the world of iPhone (yay!). I bought a heavy duty case for it, mostly because the boyfriend is convinced I'm going to drop it in the toilet or something (to his credit, just the other day I was holding it while standing perfectly still and somehow it leaped out of my hand, but my hyper-aware iPhone reflexes helped me catch it, so there), but I want a thinner case to show off the sexy profile. Cause let's be real: a big part of the reason I wanted this phone was because of the slim, sexy design, and my case lets everyone know that I'm a clumsy fool. Or that I have a toddler.

This month my car and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary and I can proudly say I'm a full-fledged stick driver. Plus, I taught the boyfriend to drive so whose car we take doesn't turn into a who has to drive situation. We took my car on a 2,00+ mile road trip up to Oregon in August and he gave it a couple of sexy photo shoots. 

There were a few sort-of disappointments this year. The main disappointment being I did not beat the 2 hour mark on my half marathon in 2012, and in fact did not even come close. I ran the worst race of my life, coming at barely under 3 hours. Embarrassing. But here's to making 2013 better.

I also took out the piercing I got in 2011, finally admitting that it was infected and just not worth the pain and hassle (and money). Rather than working towards 7 piercings, I'll just stick with the 5 healthy ones I already have and be satisfied with that odd number. Maybe that's me being a little bit of an adult... other people, some of whom are younger than me, are removing piercings because they aren't "adult" so maybe it's not so bad that I do, too. 

This year has been a pain in the ass for birth control. I still had no insurance so had to rely on Planned Parenthood even though I was working full time for all of the year, and it's been really frustrating having to give up so much just to stay un-pregnant. I'm not one of those women who has to take hormonal birth control for medical reasons, so for me it's just to be able to have a normal relationship with my boyfriend and not have children neither of us want. Which seems simple enough, doesn't it?

Also, the fish I got in 2011 died. 

I'm ending the year with almost as much debt as I paid off in 2011, which is OK because I have the money to pay it off, but have been saving it for an apartment deposit. Once I have my moving situation settled it'll be paid off in no time. Making pretty good money helps.

So what's going to happen in 2013? One of the first things will probably be moving. This will be a terrific milestone for me because I haven't moved since late 2010, a feat I never really thought I'd do (one thing that stayed the same from 2011 to 2012 was not moving). Now that I'm working 4 blocks from my current apartment I have no reason to leave - especially since I love the neighborhood. So finding a place that likes dogs will be one of my first tasks. My second task will be to start training for my 5th half marathon - the 3rd annual Safari Park Half. This time it's for rhinos! I'm so excited to run for the guys I love. My third event will be my first time as a bridesmaid! All of those activities will take place before June, so I have no idea what the second half of the year will hold, but I'm really excited. If the first 6 months tell me anything, 2013 is going to be another great year.

My resolution will be to redesign this blog, host it myself, and write 10 posts a month. I want a new name, a new home, and a new look. I would also like to do some of the same things for the food blog, even though that's still relatively new... Also take that blog a little more seriously and write a lot more. 

I would like to write about some of the other things that happened in 2012, things not directly related to me, but when I think about what the world was focused on this year (rape, shady politics, genocide, taxes) it mostly depresses me.

So here's to a fantastic 2013, to all of those in my life old and new, to those who had a great year and those who had a not so great year. May 2013 be one of the greatest years. Cheers!

December 26, 2012

Another Word On Gun Control

Since I am a writer and I have a blog, and since I am American and human and disgusted at the violence against children we value so highly, I'm going to weigh in on the gun control debate that is consuming our country. (Spoiler alert: gun nuts may want to stop reading right about now.)

The gun control debate is a distraction.

That we're even arguing about gun control and gun rights in the wake of 20 dead children and 8 dead adults is ridiculous. I've been reading about guns and gun rights and gun ownership and gun violence every day for a week and have heard the full range of opinion from all sides. In the end, I've decided "gun rights" is an oxymoron. Americans should not have the right to own a gun. No one should have the right to own something designed exclusively to kill.

But what about protection? While guns may be purchased under the assumption that they will only be used in cases of self defense (for example, in a home invasion or robbery), guns are not typically used for protection. Guns settle escalating arguments (hardly a noble motive), guns provide a means for letting out anger against another person, guns are used against friends and family members, and guns are fired accidentally during play or cleaning or "empty" threats. But guns are not used - widely, at least - to protect their owners. Sure, there are some people who are able to defend their lives and property against someone else with a gun because they have a gun, but those people are in the extreme minority.

But what about hunters? I don't know many hunters, but the ones I do know use more traditional weapons - single bullet rifles (or bird shot), knives, single line fishing rods, etc. I do not know of a hunter who uses or claims to need an automatic weapon for hunting. Nor have I ever heard of a hunter who claims to rely on an automatic weapon. In fact, hunters widely take pride in their skill at killing a fleeing animal with a single shot (or maybe two). Blindly shooting into a forest to kill a deer and anything else in your path is not a skill, and is not the point of hunting (any hunters out there are welcome to correct me). There are rules, regulations, and etiquette that hunters follow, and those who deviate are fined, banned and/or ridiculed by their fellow hunters. A "hunter" who shoots up a deer half a dozen times and uses absolutely no stealth, strength or aim to kill is not the same as a hunter who tracks and cleanly kills a deer causing almost no disruption to the rest of the forest. A hunting rifle will have 5 or 6 bullets in the magazine, while a military style automatic weapon (of similar structure) will have a magazine that can hold dozens, if not hundreds, of bullets.

But what about the second amendment? Bullshit. In all likeliness, the 2nd amendment was not created so that all citizens can freely carry automatic weapons, hidden in coats in public places armed with bullet proof vests and military armor, it was created to ensure a prepared military. Which we have. In fact, we have the most highly trained military in the world, full of fucking volunteers, who want to do nothing but be in the military. Our country spends more money arming and preparing the several branches of our military to respond to any situation imaginable. There's no chance that many millions of people, most of whom probably join the military to protect the American people, would go along with a government take-over that the seemingly paranoid NRA believes could happen.

But what about my freedom and right to own a gun? If your freedom to own a gun - something that's sole purpose is to kill - means that my freedom and right to live is at risk, I'm going to argue that your freedom is less important than mine. Because by law it is. The NRA saying that we need more civilians to be armed with guns to prevent murders from happening means I need to rely on others to protect me. Since no one is saying every American should have and carry a gun those who are uncomfortable with that prospect don't have to carry one. But it also means that we can't stop certain people from having and carrying guns, if it's a right bestowed on all Americans, which means I'm at the mercy of all those potentially unstable gun toting citizens. But hey, that's their right, right?

So what if it's unlikely that I'll actually use the gun I bought for the reasons I said I bought it, I still have the right and still want the opportunity to use a gun for those reasons. Again, I have to call bullshit. If you know that a gun at home is far more likely to kill a family member (or yourself) than an intruder and you still want one, you're not thinking clearly. And anyone who is not thinking clearly should not have a gun. Let's, for argument's sake, say you buy a handgun for protection against home robbery. Let's say you wake up in the middle of the night because you  hear someone coming into your home (and let's assume it's not your kid coming back late, the dog making a racket, or someone you know doing something completely innocent) and you have your handgun at hand. Because you're worried about protecting yourself, you don't keep your gun in a safe, and it's always loaded. After arming yourself, you creep down the hall to where you hear the intruder. It's dark, but you obviously can't turn on any lights. You find the suspect in the living room, snooping around. Fortunately, he hasn't noticed you yet, so you have the advantage. You shoot. What are the odds you hit? Perhaps the gun had more of a kickback than you remembered the last time you used it. Perhaps it was darker than you thought and the suspect was the easy chair, which now has a nice hole in it. Perhaps your hand was shaking at the prospect of killing a person (even an intruder) and you missed entirely. Perhaps you hit the person but didn't kill him or her. What now? You're in your PJs, the intruder has every advantage now. Chances are the intruder will now fire at you, and because he or she is more accustomed to holding and firing a gun and because he or she has grown accustomed to the darkness, you're hit. You may not die, but now the intruder is gone and you need an ambulance. And that's the scenario if all goes well. If the "intruder" is your kid or your dog or someone you don't want to kill you're totally fucked if that bullet finds its target. If, because you want easy access to it in case of an intruder you don't keep your gun in a safe, someone else finds the gun and accidentally kills themselves or someone else, will you still advocate owning a gun for protection? No one can answer this until it happens. You absolutely cannot speculate how you would feel until your kid or your parent or your spouse, or even your dog, is dead because you had a gun.

Yes, people will still kill people even if no one has a gun. But it'll be a lot, lot harder. Kids won't accidentally die after finding a gun kept for protection, arguments won't escalate to the point that someone grabs his gun, 20 children won't die in 15 minutes because someone had a gun. Yes, we'll still have cars and knives and bombs and cross bows and even airplanes that will kill mass people. But not more than 8 thousand people in one year. And that's the point. No one is saying that we will eliminate murders or suicides if we eliminate guns.  But there will be far, far, far fewer.

December 17, 2012

Teaching For The Money

Because I wanted to post a cat picture, and this was highly relevant.

How many teachers do you know? How many teachers do you know who got into teaching because it paid well? How many teachers do you know who got into teaching because making a difference in kids lives and doing something worthwhile was important to them?

I know several teachers and not one of them got into it because it would make them rich. Sure, regular vacations was appealing, especially to those who want kids (making it easier to have a career and kids). But my teacher friends figured they'd have about enough to get by - maybe their spouses would have higher earning careers so they could afford the kids they wanted.

My teacher friends paid their own money to go through a credential program in order to teach the children of their communities. And they do it while paying down the loans they took to get their Bachelors and their credentials (and some their masters), making just enough money do do so and pretend to be middle class, and if they put in enough time they'll get a nice teaching position in a school close to their homes and have their loans paid off and be able to lead nice, modest lives.

But what is the first thing on the chopping block every time we have budget issues? Teachers. School supplies. Even the number of days our kids are in school. And how does this help? It gives teachers fewer earning days a year, lessening their salaries by hundreds or thousands, which means they have less money to spend on their kids or their classrooms (a lot of teachers use their own money to buy classroom supplies), less money to spend improving our economy. It also means parents of kids have to spend more money on daycare or more time bribing others to watch their kids or take more time off work (days they don't earn money) to keep their kids occupied. Each day a parent doesn't earn money is less money the family has to spend on the economy, and each paycheck that goes to daycare is less money on other things. How this will help our economy in the long run is something that I've yet to understand.

Politicians have all but accused teachers of not being altruistic enough when they protested budget cuts. Every year hundreds of teachers (whole school systems) receive layoff notices, putting hundreds of people out of work. Many of these teachers regain their jobs or find new jobs in other districts, but the stress that ensues means they stash away any extra cash they might have, stopping it from reentering the economy. Politicians stop just short of saying our kids' education isn't important, teachers should just be happy to be influencing the next generation, and there are more important things than school. 

But what happens when these same teachers lay down their lives - literally - for their students? What happens when teachers hide their kids from a gunman, saving them, and lose their lives for their efforts? All we can do is call them heroes. But in 6 months when we're still having budget issues these teacher's colleagues will be on the chopping block. Again. Because we have no other way to thank them. 

Perhaps it's time to start rethinking our values as a country. Maybe the second amendment isn't as important as the value we place on education from a young age. Maybe a defense budget isn't as important as widespread physical and mental health care. Maybe we should commit to short term sacrifices for the long term good. Or maybe I'm just a liberal woman who doesn't know anything.

December 16, 2012

Just Another School Shooting

I heard the reports that there was a gunman on an elementary school campus in Connecticut Friday morning around 8:30, right when I got into work to start Twittering and Facebooking for my clients. At that time the Tweets weren't saying there were any deaths, so I kept scrolling, looking for something relevant to post or retweet.

Had I clicked on any of the links in those tweets I might have learned far earlier what happened. It wasn't until after 11am Pacific time when a coworker asked  if we'd heard about the 27 dead in the school shooting.

Wait... what?

Twenty seven. Dead. Most of them children.

Throughout the day I paid close attention to Twitter, waiting to see the latest as the story unfolded. My office was quiet for a long time - like the rest of the country we were shocked, horrified and saddened that such a thing would happen to 6 and 7 year old kids. The shooter was barely an adult himself at just 20. Why would he target classrooms of little kids?

There was the range of typical emotions I felt on Friday (anger, frustration, sadness, shock), but one I did not feel was surprise. When I saw that first tweet my thought was just another school shooting. I hoped no one was injured, and assumed that if anyone was it would be just 1 or 2 people, like what had happened just two goddamned days earlier in Oregon. The point was this had happened so many times just in the last 6 months that I very nearly brushed it off completely. It seems like there's always someone with a gun  going crazy and not caring if they die. For a long time, Columbine was a word everyone knew. Then so was Virginia Tech. These places were where innocent kids (and young adults) died because a crazy classmate wanted to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible. Now I'm honestly having a hard time remembering the names of the schools and towns where massacres took place over the last two years. This year was that place in Arizona where the state representative was shot in the head but survived, there was the midnight movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, a few people killed in a mall in Oregon, and now there's Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, a place I'm sure to forget after the next few mass shootings. 

There's not enough time in between shootings now to really commemorate each location. We all knew Columbine and Virginia Tech like we knew 9/11. There are kids alive right now who know nothing of what it was like before we killed each other on a regular basis and endured being killed by extremists. Taking off their shoes, being touched by strangers in an airport security line and being scanned for explosives is just how we fly planes now. I remember when the building in Oklahoma City was bombed: that was heavy news for a good week that caused my mom to cry for days. I remember feeling for the kids in that building, there only because one company provided daycare for its employees, and wondering why that man would do such a thing.  Now a school shooting (as horrible as an elementary school massacre is) is just one more tragedy.*

A second thought: there was a lot of misinformation reported on Friday. Other than me thinking no one had died, it was reported that the shooter was targeting his mother, a teacher at Sandy Hook, and her classroom. It was also reported that the shooter's dad's body was found at his house later in the afternoon. It was also reported that there were two shooters, brothers, and one had escaped to the woods nearby. All of these things (and possibly more things) are false. There was one shooter, and his father is still alive. His mother, not a teacher at that school, was found shot to death in her bed in the home she shared with the shooter (it was her guns the shooter stole and used). The shooter acted entirely alone, and his brother was unfairly arrested and questioned. The Huffington Post also had to edit a report that "misidentified" a Facebook profile as that of the shooter (major oops).

What's with journalists? Are they so excited to be the first to report something that they won't check to make sure it's correct? Does accuracy not matter anymore? Just because one cop or paramedic makes a remark or comments on something does not mean it's true. Plus, the reporters were going around to the surviving 7 year olds and asking them what they heard, what they felt, and how they got out alive. Fucking 7 year old little kids are being interviewed and asked what it was like to survive one of the worst school shootings in the country's history. I wonder how that's going to make them feel when they're old enough to understand what happened. Reporters should have laid off the kids. Talk to adults in the school, or parents after they found out their kids were safe... but leave the traumatized kids alone.

*Aside: Up until the first week of November of this year the there was a lot of debate between the presidential candidates, their VPs, and various other congress members and senators about who will keep us safer from extremists who hate our way of life and want Americans dead. Maybe it's time to focus less on outside forces and more on those within our ranks who want us dead (or at least some of us). 

December 12, 2012

Feeling Like A Child

Childhood relics at your parent's house can set a person back.

There's an article in Cosmo magazine (I know, I know, but my littlest sister pointed it out [who is their demographic, after all] and it wasn't awful) offering advice for those with emotional distress when home for the holidays. It was targeted at the young adults who are newly into their adult lives: out of college, in big kid jobs with big kid responsibilities and lives, who suddenly feel like children as soon as they're back in their teenage rooms and being chauffeured in the back seat of mom and dad's car. 

This article was pointed out to us because it's my sister's way of telling us that she feels like we treat her like a child, and not like the young adult with responsibilities that she is. She's never been one to openly discuss her feelings, so just showing us an article in a magazine is an invitation to talk about it. 

So we talked about it. Not with her, of course, because we're a normal dysfunctional family. Amongst ourselves, though, yes. We discussed what she might be feeling, what she might want us to do, what we might be doing that is causing her to feel like we see her as a child. And we pointed a lot of fingers. OK, I did a lot of the finger pointing.

I haven't felt like a child when visiting back home in a few years. But I did feel like that when I was my sister's age. And I do feel like that at my boyfriend's parents' house. Not because they treat me like a kid, or treat him like a kid, not at all. In fact they treat us both like adults. And not because of the way they talk to either of us. But I do feel like a kid when we have to sleep in different rooms. 

To be perfectly fair, I fully understand that this is a their-house-their-rules type of situation and I would never, ever say a word (hope they don't find this); and it's not like we're married or engaged or even living together (though I seriously hope one of those things would cause the room situation to change). But my boyfriend, their son, is 30. We're in a serious enough relationship that we're taking each other to our respective families for the holidays. And I'm pretty sure they're both aware we spend the majority of our nights together. But I sleep in the room next to the master and he sleeps in a room on the other side of the house. And I feel like I'm 17 who needs to be stopped from doing naughty things with her boyfriend rather than an adult in a totally normal adult relationship.

The Cosmo article also touched on dealing with family opinions and beliefs that may be different from yours, giving changes in religious and political beliefs as an example. Having to sleep in a different room is conforming to a belief that I don't share. While this is a more extreme example from the annoying-but-harmless dinner table discussions about who voted for who the magazine was hinting at, the feeling is there. You don't want to say anything and start something (especially in my family...), but the article pointed out that if you don't speak up your family won't learn who you are as a new young adult. This is easily my sister's largest issue: blame it on the divorce, but both of my sisters are massive people pleasers who will do anything to avoid a fight and anything to make everyone else happy. This  means repressing a lot of their own feelings and emotions, which is also not healthy. 

If the holidays make you stressed out (and I think most people feel some stress during this time), do what you can for yourself. Take a step back, distance yourself if you have to, and remember that you can't control how other people react or feel. I was reminded that these situations are a two way street, and that each person has to give a little to get somewhere. Myself included.

December 9, 2012

Letting A Piercing Close Up

Right after I got my 6th piercing

Over a year ago I went with my sisters to get our ears pierced, me taking the next step towards having 7 piercings. I chose to pierce the middle of my left ear which only had the lobe pierced from when I was 11, sorta evening out my ears in a very uneven way. 

At the time I was really excited about it (even though the shop itself was a bit too shady...) and it didn't feel any worse than any other piercing I'd ever gotten. But it ended up getting a slight infection and I had to use saline solution for a lot longer than usual, but then it got better.

The earring was a bit bigger than the other cartilage piercing I have, something I didn't notice at the time. So a month ago, when my newest piercing got suddenly swollen and painful, I took out the earring and put in my smaller one. It felt great and the hole started to close around the smaller earring. Success!

And then yesterday it swelled up again and was immensely painful. Goddammit. 

It throbbed and itched and huuuuuurt to touch. The boyfriend's advice was to stop poking holes in my ears and they wouldn't hurt. My mom's advice was to stop getting piercings. I started to think they might be right, so I took out the earring. 

It was disgusting. I won't go into detail here but it was super gross. On the upside, after taking the earring out and cleaning the piercing it felt way better. So I've decided to let it close up. I'll settle for 5 good, healthy piercings and not worry about having 7 like I originally wanted. And when it comes down to it that piercing was not my favorite anyway, so it's better to sacrifice that one and keep the ones I love.

And,  you know, keep a healthy ear.

December 7, 2012

To Die Young And Unhappy

(Or, how misleadingly titled "studies" create sensationalism.)

Two flawed studies today revealed that if I keep to my way of life I will die young and unhappy. Or at least younger and less happy than others.

No, not because I have a crazy wild lifestyle and party hard and make risky choices, but because I am childless and non-religious. Apparently, not having children causes a death rate of two to four times as high as those who have children and not being religious robs me of happiness.

The first study: The one that says the childless have a higher death rate than the child-bearing looked at couples in Denmark treated for infertility, and collected data from birth and death registries, IVF records, hospital admissions, psychiatric services, and labor market statistics. During the 14 year study, a large number of women and larger number of men died and a very large number of women and slightly less large number of men were diagnosed with a mental illness. "Having a child cut the risk of early death, particularly among women." Childless men and women are 2 and 4 times more likely to die from circulatory disease, cancer, or accidents than those who conceive or adopt. To their credit, the study does end by saying correlation is not causation, so I guess there's that.

The flaws: First and foremost, the title of the study is quite misleading. Death is not 2-4 times more likely for childless couples because everyone dies. Obviously that wasn't the point, but I will still point out a second flaw in the title, which is acknowledged in the study itself: there is no differentiation between voluntarily childless couples and involuntarily childless couples. It also points out a glaring problem with the whole having children quest some people are on: if mental illness (depression) and a risk of an earlier than normal death is so prevalent among the involuntarily childless, why not adopt? The study recorded that only 1,500 of 21,000 couples treated for infertility adopted (15,000 conceived). This means there were 4,500 couples who were unable to conceive a child and chose not to adopt... I'm guessing these were the couples that were diagnosed with depression and died earlier than the others. The study showed that couples that adopted could halve their risk of mental illness, which makes sense: if you spend your whole adult life lamenting your infertility but don't adopt one of the very needy children in foster care because it's not your blood? I can see how you'd get depressed. And there was the awesome inclusion of "rates of mental ill health were similar between couples with and without children of their own, with the exception of those with drug and alcohol problems." Seems a little unnecessary to include that tidbit... 

The second study: The one that says religious people are happier than non-religious people looked at why this is found to be true ("considerable" research has been done on the topic). Turns out religion gives people a sense of purpose, is a resource for coping with life and fears, and provides them with a social network. Religion is a social activity and since social connectedness is a major contributor to individual happiness it stands to reason that the religious are happier. It's not just having a social circle, though, it's having the support of that social circle. Like the previous study, they do note that correlation is not causation and religion does not predict happiness by itself. (There was also mention of a separate study that looked at the repeal of blue laws, or laws that made it illegal for stores to be open on Sunday, and it found that women were happier when blue laws existed. In an almost funny manner, the writer of the study suggested that church makes women happier than shopping does.)

The flaws: The study points out that religion is only associated with greater happiness in countries where most of the people are religious, like in the United States (we also have the great fortune of equating Christianity with patriotism). The study is based on the premise that if most people form social ties through their religion, and you're not religious, you will have a hard time finding social support and will be less happy because of it. This also assumes that religious people won't want to befriend a non-religious person. The study does end by saying that it's not religion that makes people happy, it's the social ties religion facilitates that makes people happy, but I guarantee you a lot of people don't get past that goddamn sensationalist title.

My bottom line: Taking these titles to heart, I'll have a 4 times higher risk of death by cancer, an accident or circulatory disease if I remain childless and I'll waste away my remaining days unhappy with my life due to lack of social support. Which actually kind of makes sense: religious people have more kids than average, so if I'm childless I'm already kind of out of the loop, and if I'm childless and non-religious I'm pretty much just screwed.

December 6, 2012

Dividing The Holidays

The boyfriend and I wanted to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together this year, which meant dividing the holidays between our two families. It's not the first time I didn't spend both holidays with my family (I worked Thanksgiving and Christmas a couple years ago, seeing my family beforehand), but it is the first time I chose to spend one of the holidays with a boyfriend's family. 

We decided to spend Thanksgiving with his family and Christmas with mine. I'd met his parents before so that wouldn't be new, but it would be my first time meeting any other relatives. The plan was to go to his aunt and uncle's place in a nearby town, where I'd meet aunts, uncles and cousins from his dad's side. 

When we got there I was introduced to a flood of people and of course I don't remember most of their names. But I did end up sitting next to the funniest aunts, one of whom was laughing so hard (and at her own stories!) that she had to wipe tears from her eyes. They told stories of the jokes they played on their kids, of the unbelievable mishaps (a fake leg falling off while on a bicycle, no joke), of Thanksgivings past, and stories of relatives who weren't there and couldn't defend themselves. It was hilarious. They had me laughing so hard along with them that, along with several sarcastic comments, made me feel like I fit in.

Talking with some people a few days later I was asked if there were any foods at their Thanksgiving that weren't foods I was used to or anything I always had that they didn't have, and I realized there was no pumpkin pie. No pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving... I was surprised I didn't realize it at the time considering how pumpkin anything is pretty much my favorite. The boyfriend shrugged it off when I brought it up. They just don't really do pumpkin pie. Goddamn travesty.

Besides eating two fills of pumpkin pie over Christmas, I'm really excited to bring the boyfriend. And he's really excited, too! Having sisters makes holidays and special occasions so much fun and this year I get to share that with the person I love. As an only child he never spent Christmas morning with brothers, and though his extended family always got together cousins just aren't the same. This year he'll get to spend Christmas with my siblings, which I realize still isn't the same but he'll see how it is with us and be included in that.

November 27, 2012

What Thanksgiving Used To Mean

For a client, I wrote a blog post on fatty Thanksgiving foods after being inspired by one of the most disgusting food videos I've ever seen. (Blog post is here. :) )

I thought it'd be a great topic for the week before Thanksgiving, but when I was doing my research on the fattiest Thanksgiving foods, the only things showing up in search was low-cal Thanksgiving recipes. My searches for "fattiest Thanksgiving recipes" and "high calorie Thanksgiving foods" turned up articles on a lighter Thanksgiving, a low-cal Thanksgiving, and advice on how to not overdo it during the holiday. 

What happened? Why are we now obsessed with making lighter dishes on Thanksgiving, the one day of the year we celebrate our abundance of food? It's because Thanksgiving is no longer the one day of the year we have more food than we know what to do with. We regularly over-indulge, regularly eat beyond being full, and regularly feel sick from too much food. 

Now, the internet is full of Thanksgiving recipes that teach cooks how to make the same dishes with fewer calories. Now, we're told to not put marshmallows on our sweet potatoes, skip the cream of mushroom and fried onions on the green beans, bake potatoes rather than mash them with butter and cream, and skip the bread and rolls. 

I know I'm being a bit of a hypocrite when I say this, especially since running a blog called We Should Be Fat, but I wouldn't mind going back to when giant meals were a special occasion. I wouldn't mind us, as a country, enjoying our meals for what they are, and knowing what they are. We should put some butter and cream in our mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving and enjoy them without worrying about how many miles we'll have to run to work it off, but we should be far more sensible about how we eat on a more regular basis. 

Louis C.K. says the meal is not over when he's full, it's over when he hates himself. And it's funny because it's true for a lot of us. (He also says he runs 5 miles every other day to keep up "this shitty body.") We eat, and then we keep eating until our bodies tell us we're full, and then we feel like absolute shit 20 minutes later, when those last few helpings have settled in. And it's not like we're shoveling in vegetables... we're eating meat at every meal, often with bread, followed up with sweets. And we wonder why there's an obesity crisis.

I was a supporter of Prop 37 that would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods because I saw it as a step in the right direction. We have no idea what we're eating, partially because we don't read the nutrition labels to know what actually comprises those frozen chicken nuggets and partially because a simple ingredient like corn (which is in fucking everything - go look) is comprised of a number of new chemicals that aren't listed. We're eating more, enjoying food less, and suffering because of our over abundance. Our farm animals get the vast, vast majority of our antibiotics (not because they're sick, either), we're polluting our country and other countries laugh at us because of our food habits.

If we don't go full steam ahead with every meal and regret the vast majority of what we eat, we can enjoy what we eat more and worry about it less. We can let Thanksgiving go back to what it used to be - a day to be thankful for what we have, which in this country is more often than not an abundance.

November 26, 2012

Living Alone... Kinda

I seem to end up in the 4th apartment...

About a month ago my roommate moved out. Well, kind of. Her bed is still here, as is her dresser and shelf, and a lot of bathroom stuff, and her fiance's table is in the kitchen. But other than that, I'm pretty much living by myself. Well, with the cat.

Back in August, my roommate got engaged. (Yay!) They'd already talked about moving in together and decided she'd move to Fullerton, so I knew it was coming (actually, she even knew the proposal was coming because he'd let something slip a few months earlier). While all this was happening, my roommate was also trying to buy a place.

So, we talked about it and came up with one of the strangest agreements. My roommate placed an offer on a condo in August, which was approved by the owners  in October. But it would have to gain the approval of the bank (short sale), which could take time. My roommate would still stick to her plan to move out to start her new job in November. I agreed to pay a little bit more rent and we'd keep our apartment while she waited to hear if she got the condo. If she gets the condo, I tentatively agreed to move in and be her tenant, leaving one room open for them to visit. If she doesn't get the condo, I offered to find another, smaller, cheaper 2 bedroom and she'd rent out the small room.

Why? Even though she moved to Fullerton, she still has lots of connections in San Diego to bring her (and her fiance) back on a regular basis. So far she's been here almost every weekend since moving out, and if we didn't have our place still they'd have had already spend a good amount on a hotel. So having a place in San Diego that they can come to makes sense for them, especially while they're planning their wedding. And she's been wanting to buy a place since I met her (and as much as she denies it I'm convinced they'll eventually move to San Diego permanently).

What's in it for me? The potential ability to live "alone" for a lot less money than I'd have to pay otherwise. The upside is a pretty significant savings and the potential ability to live in a nicely remodeled condo, have a dedicated parking space and laundry room, and it'd be a few miles closer to the boyfriend. The downside is it's not in my neighborhood, which means no more walk to work, walk to bars, walk to restaurants, walk to grocery stores. And it's not in the safest of neighborhoods so I wouldn't feel comfortable going for a run, which would mean either a lot more gym time or a lot more driving to a better place to run (or changing at work and running from the office). 

So I'm undecided. There are appealing parts and there are things I wouldn't like about it. I won't have to decide until we know if she gets the place, and I'm really hoping we know this week so we can give our 30 day notice in December... not having to pay for another month in our current apartment would be awesome.

November 25, 2012

Farewell, Foundry

One of my most favorite places in North Park, The Foundry, closed its doors this week. It's the closest bar to my house, and one I really loved walking to. They had amazingly delicious hot pho, which I ordered every single time I went there. Unless they were out. Then I got super sad.

It turns out the owner had to make a decision between participating in and touring with his band and running a bar. And he picked the band. He sold The Foundry to someone who wants to open a sports bar. *shudder*

The last bowl of shrimp pho ever.

Not a fan of sports bars. But I'll more than likely at least stop by and check it out, at least to see what they did with it and what kind of beers they have. Who knows, maybe it really will be the less-douchey sports bar in North Park.

Farewell, Foundry. I did enjoy thee.

November 12, 2012

Growing Up

Divorce at 1:10

To the surprise of exactly everyone, two of the boyfriend's friends announced they're getting a divorce. And just like that, this stuff is in my generation.

I have certainly not been in the picture long enough to get a good idea of the type of relationship this couple had, but I have been around long enough to be completely shocked. This couple was known among the group of friends for having the most fun wedding- with a nacho bar (oh yeah, stealing that). The boyfriend has a photo of their friends' faces after they realized there was a nacho bar at the wedding. It's amazing.

And just to be a total cliche, they seemed so happy. Granted, when I did see them it was always the two of them together, and they both were upbeat, smiling and generally... happy. I didn't hang out with either of them one on one and obviously I have no idea how their private relationship was.

But all of their friends are just as surprised.

It's a really unsettling prospect. The husband is a little older but still in his thirties and his wife is just a year or two older than me. She just moved to Seattle for a better job, where he was going to follow at the end of the semester, when he dropped the ax. The super unsettling part? Apparently even she was blindsided.

Now, if that's not something to make you question relationships in general I don't know what is. When I was younger I usually assumed my relationship was about to end when couple-friends would break up. When The Ex's best friends broke up I thought for sure we were on the chopping block. As if break ups are contagious. A few months ago the boyfriend's BFF and his girlfriend broke up, and that didn't affect me or my relationship with my boyfriend at all (for one, I don't still worry that my boyfriend's friend's relationships will have much of an impact on ours, and for another the boyfriend has made me feel very secure about our relationship). But a divorce is different. A divorce isn't just a break up.

I was told that once I turned 26 it would be all weddings and babies and grown up stuff. That kind of happened - Facebook has far more weddings and babies than it did even a year ago, and my new friend requests are in long term committed relationships, if not engaged. I'm even going to be in a wedding. It's weird. People have been telling me this part would come but it's still surprising to actually see it. The other day I got my haircut and the woman asked me if I had kids. Because I look old enough.

And now people my age are getting divorced.

People are still making the same mistakes our parents made, still not talking to each other, still letting problems sit until they're ready to explode. Did we learn nothing? Am I that naive to think we actually would?

The good news for me is that I don't let things stew. If I have an issue that bugs me I bring it up -  for better or for worse. I don't like going to bed mad, really don't like waking up mad, and want things to be resolved as quickly as possible. The down side is this tendency has caused a few sleepless nights, and not in the good way.

Louis C.K. once chastised his audience for "awwww"ing when he announced his divorce, saying "no happy marriage has ever ended in divorce." The man has a good point: happy marriages last - unhappy marriages sometimes don't. I guess the only thing you can do is try to make your partner happy and hope for the best.

November 5, 2012

In Which I Kill A Fish

These guys will always be around.

I killed my pet fish.

It was a mercy kill, putting my fish out of her (pretty sure it was a girl) misery. She'd been sick, not eating, puffed up to more than twice her size, and was so bloated her scales stuck out. It was disgusting, and I imagine not comfortable for her. Possibly even painful. So I ended it for her.

Thing is, the other fish in the tank (same species, same sex), might have also been sick because she hadn't eaten in a couple of days. But the morning after I killed her companion she was as lively and hungry as ever. Could it be she hated the other fish and was finally happy to be alone? Could she have recognized what I do to fish that are dying and made a change? Probably neither, but it is a pretty big coincidence.

Because there doesn't seem to be too much information on how to actually kill a pet fish on the internet, I'm going to go through what I read and what I did, so if you don't want to know how people kill their pet fish maybe this just isn't the post for you (but seriously, do you not read titles?).

The internet thinks that the best and most humane way to euthanize a fish is to separate it into another bowl, and mix the water with drops of clove oil. The clove oil puts the fish to sleep, literally. Much like euthanizing animals, it's the overdose that's the lethal part. First, you put just a few drops of oil in to calm the fish and put it into a sleep- it'll go belly up but still be alive (don't mistake the belly up to be death...). Then, once it can't feel anything and isn't stressing, you give it the lethal overdose and in time it dies. It's supposed to take a while, but at least it doesn't feel anything, which is different from freezing it (some fish can survive in cold temperatures, so they're very much alive when they slowly die).

Since it was late on a Friday night and I did not have any clove oil on hand when I noticed my bloated fish was belly up but living, I could not use that method. There are other methods online, which fish enthusiasts use, but none seemed like a quick or sure death (Alka Seltzer being one of them, garbage disposal being another). But I did have other tools on hand, which I figured would be faster and possibly more humane anyway, if only I had the stomach for it. That... that was hard. I know it's only a fish, and I know I've had pets euthanized before due to illness, but being the hand that deliberately killed an animal was new to me.

I set up a plastic cutting board and a steak knife (meant to cut meat but not so sharp as to cut the plastic bag I wanted to use and without ridges) on the counter in the kitchen, next to the sink. I gathered my nerves and made the decision that this was the only option and I was not going to panic or hesitate. I scooped the fish into a plastic bag with just enough water to carry her through the apartment. Back in the kitchen, I emptied most of the water into the sink, sealed the bag, laid it on the cutting board, took a breath, and sliced the head off.

My fish was a platy, and other than being bloated was a very small fish. I don't know if it would have been as easy on other species, certainly not larger fish, but this fish was big enough to get a grip on but small enough to be easily decapitated by a steak knife. Once it was over, and it was very clear she was out of any pain or suffering she might have experienced, I felt relieved. I took out the trash, cleaned my tools, and put them in the dishwasher (for good measure). 

I didn't hesitate and it was all over within a minute from plastic bag to death, so the suffering at my hand was very minimal. And I felt good that I'd been able to take control and speed nature along when possible pain was being felt. But afterwards I couldn't just go to bed. I stayed up late surfing the happiest parts of Reddit to make myself feel better, or at least flood my mind with cuteness so I wouldn't go to bed with the image of my fish fresh in my mind. It helped- at least to the point that I didn't have a nightmare. 

I'm really hoping I won't have to do that again, though. The other fish is doing really well- swimming enthusiastically, eating voraciously, picking on the snails, pretty much being a happy fish. Which is good. I'm a little nervous she won't survive the move, whenever that ends up happening, but at least I'm a little more prepared now.

November 4, 2012

The Furthest Call


The US election is two days away and the media has been predicting it will be a very close call for the presidency.

I just don't buy it.

I honestly think President Obama will not only be re-elected, but possibly even by a landslide. And if not by a total landslide (like it pretty much was in 2008) but not the close call news outlets keep predicting. I don't see how that's actually true.

Things have been looking good for the president the last couple of months and even more so this last week, the time when the most Americans pay attention to the election. And perhaps more to the point, the contender has been looking pretty sorry during that same time period. Hurricane Sandy hasn't done much to help that image, either. 

Obviously, those who hate President Obama for one reason or another and want anyone else in will vote for Romney. As will probably most of the people in the country to have loads of money (an itty bitty percentage of the country). But it baffles my mind that any pre-menopausal woman would vote Republican this year and I'm sure the Republican party has already written off anyone of color.

There are less publicized predictions of Obama winning the presidency by a massive landslide, attributing a 6% chance that Romney will win the Electoral College vote. If that's the case, I can't see how Romney would win either the Electoral College or the popular vote. (However, if either candidate wins the Electoral College but not the popular vote, that will not be good for the country.)

There are only two things I could see getting in the way of an Obama landslide: complacent or cocky Obama supporters not voting and voter fraud/rigged polls. The Obama supporters not voting is not something I see happening because of their nature. They came out in droves last time around because they believed they could make a difference, and they did - Obama finished his acceptance speech before the polls even closed in California. The voter fraud/rigged machines may be an issue, but I hope they aren't wide spread enough to matter, and if they can be found out it will just cast a nasty shadow on the falsely elected president.

Two days away, I'm gonna go ahead and say it'll happen that way again. I seriously don't think all the worry over it being too close to call and all the absentee and undocumented votes actually come into play. So there. And if I eat my words Tuesday night (or whenever the final tally is agreed upon) so be it.

November 3, 2012

I Haz An iPhone

Pretty much my face on my birthday.

I finally joined the iPhone club. I've been a part of the Mac club for many a year, starting out with the pride and joy that was my very first, plastic-encased PowerBook (I loved that thing), and part of the iPod club a few times over with my iPod Nano (Christmas present), iPod touch (freebie) and now my iPod shuffle (for running). And now I have an Apple phone. 


I've wanted one of these almost since it first came out (the first one was ex-pen-sive, and an unnecessarily high price tag makes things less attractive). When I found out that the iPhone 5 was only $200 I was sold. (For clarification, yes, $200 is still a ton of money for a phone, but the cheapest phone I wanted was $150, so "only" is accurate.) I was interested in the iPhone 4 but by then 4G had already come out and I wasn't willing to invest in a phone system that was already on its way out. And I'd just bought a phone I thought wasn't going to be as shitty as it turned out to be.

And because the boyfriend is awesome and has a paycheck that makes him want to spoil the girlfriend, he got me the shiniest, newest phone for my birthday. Eeeee!

It comes, however, with somewhat of a caveat: AT&T. I swore up and down when I left AT&T/Cingular that I'd never go back. But you do things for love. I didn't want the iPhone 5 badly enough to leave T-Mobile on my own, but getting a family plan with the boyfriend did the trick. We agreed that at the end of two years if AT&T sucked we'd look into other carriers, an agreement that works for us both. And T-Mobile was kind of pissing me off.

My shiny new phone did come with a little hiccup: like I do any time I get a new electronic, I let the battery run out completely the first use. It took more than two days, a very impressive feat. But when I went to plug the thing in to give it a good, full, first charge, nothing. I left it plugged in overnight and it got about a 15% charge, and leaving it plugged in at work kept that charge but didn't seem to do much in the way of adding to it.  A quick trip to the Apple Store (as quick as a trip to Fashion Valley can be) fixed it and I walked out a few minutes later with a working cable. Yay! Gotta hand it to those guys: no paperwork, didn't have to sign anything, didn't have to "check out" or verify the registration of my phone. That's nice.

I'm obviously still learning my new phone, but there are some clear differences I already see between the iPhone and my old Android. The camera, for one, is fantastic. Not only does it have a flash, but it has a front facing camera, which is a pretty sweet little tool. Not surprisingly, the first photo I took was of food and my first two Instagram photos (yep, on there now) were pets. Being able to talk to my phone and tell it to dial a number is also a cool trick. It synching with my computer and my Google account to keep everything up to date? Convenient. The 4G LTE is worlds faster than my shitty phone on a 3G network, and checking Facebook isn't a pain in the ass anymore.

The keyboard is spot on, though auto-correct isn't as intuitive, but that may be because it doesn't know my style yet. It's also a hell of a lot larger than my old phone, but still a hell of a lot smaller than the boyfriend's new phone (HTC One X, partially because he can't rely on a shitty maps app), and way smaller than the other phone I was considering, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which might as well be a tablet as far as my little fingers are concerned. I have yet to use the maps app, but I'm not really concerned about it: I don't use maps very often and we jokingly decided that he'll be the navigator since I'm usually the driver. 

All in all, I'm really happy to have an Apple phone to go with my Apple computer, and to have a phone that I can still fit in my hand. Not to mention, I'm the only one I know with this phone, the only one with the newest phone on the block, something that's never happened. I feel so hip. Plus, I got it a pretty orange case, so it's extra hip and less prone to damage from the accidents I seem to have and to prevent the soft aluminum from scratching (did it need to be so light that you swapped steel for aluminum?). Even so, it feels really sturdy, like it'd live if I drop it. Not that I intend on dropping it... but it's something I do.

October 17, 2012

Being A Feminist In A Relationship

The other day on Pinterest (because I'm a woman in my late twenties) I saw a quote that said "You're the type of guy I'd make a sandwich for." As a born feminist, it spoke to me. The boyfriend and I were discussing a very religious wedding he'd recently worked, where the priest told the bride that she needed to submit to her husband, and joked to the groom that a happy wife means a happy life. We both thought that was a ridiculous thing to say to two people about to commit their lives together: why not just politely advise the couple to do what they can to make each other happy?

I've been a feminist since before I knew what that word meant, but there are some stereotypically feminine things I really enjoy doing. I love cooking, cooking for others, I care about animals more than most people and love taking care of animals (and plants, though I have greater successes with animals), I enjoy being in an educational position, I'm a neat freak and am constantly cleaning or tidying up. And recently, I've developed an interest in home decorating (rather, discovered that I have a style). While there was a time in my life I thought my future held children and motherhood, I still never wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, never wanted to be wholly financially dependent on my husband, never desired the traditional housewife role. As I grew up and realized it was never my dream to have children, just me mentally fulfilling the expectation that came along with my gender and dating guys who also made those assumptions, I inched closer towards being a modern feminist.

But I still want to get married, weird as that may sound. I still want to give up my name, have a wedding, be ridiculously in love, and adopt all the pets. I want to make one man feel like the luckiest man alive, and I'll want to make him a sandwich, if only because it would make him happy in that moment*. I would do that because making my spouse happy would be incredibly important to me, just as making me happy would be incredibly important to him. 

This idea - of mutual happiness - at first seemed out of line with traditional feminism; some women refuse to cook, or never bother learning how to be good at it, because it's "anti-feminist." These women might have children but only because they physically have to be the ones to do so  if they want them (we still haven't advanced that far in modern medicine) but will refuse to do anything but the most basic of childcare duties, throwing themselves into their jobs instead. But doing something for the sake of doing it is as bad as not doing something for the sake of not doing it.

In addition to being a feminist, I've also been a cynic pretty much since puberty and my adult years have only solidified those views. After watching marriages fall apart, see couples stay together for the wrong reasons, and see people be so sure they'll end up happily ever after only to see their relationships crumble (always painfully), my cynicism grew. I consoled women who saw their relationships completely fail when they were so sure they wouldn't. I thought maybe I'd marry my high school boyfriend only because he was so sure we were soul mates. I thought I'd probably end up marrying The Ex only because we'd been together so long. It was only after those relationships ended that I realized how wrong I'd been. But I was never so sure. I was never even sure. The very idea of being sure, much less so sure, is terrifying.

I started to realize I didn't really want kids when I was in college. I grew up the oldest of three in a home daycare house. There were always kids around. Always. And I helped. When I came home from school I popped a bag of popcorn and sat at the kitchen table to start my homework, and our regular daycare kid would come and sit with me and share my popcorn. Because I grew up with kids literally always around I knew what to do with them at a very young age. By the time I got old enough to start thinking about my own future I knew what work kids were, and knew that I wasn't very eager to get on that. The people I admired were childless: my uncle, who married in his 50s, never had kids and was able to spoil my sisters and I. The Director of HR at my first post-college job married in her late 30s, got herself snipped, and was able to buy lovely clothes, a sporty car and spend the night in a hotel with her husband, just because. Once I realized I could easily not worry about money, have leisure time, experience a marriage and spoil my nieces and nephews I was hooked.

This idea of modern feminism is sort of a blend of traditional female roles and the super feminist ideals. While we may not want children, we still want to experience the love and acceptance that comes with being married. We watched our parents do all the wrong things with us and each other, make the wrong kind of sacrifices, and we've learned. We'll get married for the right reasons, and if we have kids we'll remember why, and we'll teach them how to be good people. I think we'll see stronger families and relationships because of this.

*Should that man not eat sandwiches very often I would happily make him something else. Preferably something I also want to eat, so we can eat it together.

October 8, 2012

Why I Can Never Be Republican

I don't affiliate myself with any of the political parties and every time I've taken a political party test I've ended up very near the middle. I agree with some Democrat issues and some Republican issues (and green party and libertarian) and have never felt comfortable siding with one side or the other.

My leaning.

That being said, I can never call myself Republican.

There are too many causes I support that get no support from major Republicans. Women's issues, climate change, the environment, gay rights, and energy are all things that I feel very passionate about and major Republicans don't agree with, don't believe in, don't support and won't pursue. In fact, some of these causes are openly mocked, called wrong or called unimportant.

Republicans think women's issues are silly girl complaints. We already work, we already vote, we already drive, we already hold major positions at major companies... what more do we want? Wanting better access to birth control just makes us sluts and wanting to keep abortion legal makes us all future murderers. If we're raped it's because we dressed provocatively, had been drinking, had flirted, had been out late at night, had not fought off hard enough, had basically asked for it, and if it was traumatic enough we won't get pregnant (or, if we get pregnant it was because we secretly enjoyed it and wanted a baby). Even though 95% of Americans have sex before they're married (if they get married at all), half the country believes sex should only be for procreating in between married couples, which means almost half the country are hypocrites.

Republicans don't believe climate change is real. The ones that do admit the science and data behind climate change is legitimate deny that we have anything to do with it. All those coal plants in the 40s that we shut down and cleaned up? If that were to happen today Republicans would lament all those coal jobs and ignore the improvements to the environment and human health. In fact, it kind of is happening today: Republicans are working hard to save the coal industry, claiming those few thousand jobs are critical to the health of the economy, while completely ignoring that people who work with coal all end up very sick, often with cancer. But those jobs, man, those jobs are all they got. (Which is true... people in coal mines don't know how to do anything else...)

Republicans think the environment is something we should care about only when times are good and we have the time and resources to devise ways of living that do not involve destroying the only place we can live. Since the planet will live far longer than any generation conceivable now, they kind of have a point. We will all die long before the planet starts to really hurt. So it kind of doesn't matter to us as a species. But for some generations it will matter, for the other groups of people and species that share out planet it already matters, and the things we're doing now will play a major role in the destruction of the environment.

Republicans think that giving gays more rights, namely the right to marry, is an "assault on the foundations of our society." To Republicans, gays are all that is wrong with our great country. Since God says their actions are punishable by death Republicans can't fathom why we'd want to condone their behavior. They've said we should round them up and put them in cages until they die off (since they can't reproduce the gays will stop existing). One even said the government should kill them all, an idea certain idealists took to heart. So at the very least, Republicans are saying they should just be happy that we aren't doing that to them and accept the separate-but-equal "registered domestic partnership" status, where we more or less arbitrarily decide whether or not that means a gay person's partner gets to be included on end of life decisions, get to visit in the hospital, and gets custody of the children.

Republicans do believe that we should be energy independent (or they're at least publicly saying so), but all that means is more drilling on our lands. Wind energy and solar energy are scams that don't create jobs and don't create energy, and since the environment isn't something they're concerned with they see no downside to drilling in Alaska or the Gulf (even though the poor Gulf is just barely hanging on as it is). Fuck the polar bears, the tuna, the shrimp, the moose, the ground water. We don't need them anyway.*

I'm a big supporter of all those things and say so publicly any chance I get (still waiting for my Human Rights Campaign equality sticker to come...), so identifying with a party that is vehemently against all those things means I can never side with that party. I don't see myself identifying with any of the other parties, either, but hell would pretty much have to freeze over before I called myself Republican.

PS- If I've made too many generalizations in this post and the links don't satisfy you, please leave a comment with some of your own links or other support for why I'm wrong. I'd really love to not believe that there are people in positions of such great power (one of whom is trying real hard to be the leader of the country), but I so far haven't heard anything to the contrary.

*Incidentally, during my research I clicked on a link that took me to the energy website and got a 404 error. Telling.