Monday, July 25, 2011

I'm Going To Become "Interesting"

Oh people, I’ve discovered the best plan for a weekend away. In Ohio there is a place called The Wilds. It is as close to a real safari as one can get without going to Africa (way outside my budget for now). I want to go. There’s no hotels nearby, but I’ve planned out an amazing stay for when I get the money together (maybe early next spring?). I’ll go on a Saturday and I’ll start with a zip line across the park, followed by a sunset safari, which is a guided safari in an open transport. That night I’ll stay in a yurt. In the morning I’ll get the transport pass and check it out at my own speed. It won’t be cheap. Probably close to $500 since the people I usually share vacation costs with aren’t interested. But, it’s going to be so worth it. Check out my life list- item 18 is “zip line (preferably over something awesome)”, item 24 is “go on a (photo) safari”.
Maybe, if all works according to plan I’ll call next year, the year I really got to work on my life list.
3. Visit the White House, Supreme Court, and Capitol Building (planned for Sept. 2012)
5. Go to all fifty states (trip to Minnesota rescheduled for spring 2012)
10. See Gettysburg (planned for Sept. 2012)
16. Weigh what my doctor’s height/weight chart says I should weigh (working on it)
17. Become fluent in another language (working on it)
18. Zipline (preferably over something awesome) (spring 2012?)
24. Go on a (photo) safari (spring 2012?)
43. Make a pilgrimage (to me, my trip to DC counts- so planned for Sept. 2012)
44. Learn to swim well (working on it)
47. Be present at a birth (planned for Feb 2012)
48. Be able to intelligently, knowledgeably discuss the top five world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam) (working on it)
53. Go rock climbing (not on a wall) (looking into learning on a wall so I can get off one)

That’s more items in one year than I’ve scratched off in the 29 years before- assuming I get them all done. Plus, a lot of those things were written to make me a better/happier person, so hopefully I’ll be happier. Because the last post I wrote (but didn’t post) was about being sad most of the time.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

August 2, 2011

It’s coming. It’s coming faster than many people realize and it scares me. On August 2 we as a country default on our loans. We’ll drop 14 (I think) credit ratings. We’ll be on par with Zambia. "Failing to raise the debt ceiling would do irreparable harm to our credit standing, would undermine our ability to lead on global economic issues and would damage our economy," former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
I’m not going into the politics here. However, the very moment we had to break into emergency reserves someone should have thrown the lock on the Capitol Building door and refused to allow a single congress-person out until this was figured out. It is unacceptable to me that with less than two weeks left (in fact barely over one week), the House would be on break this weekend. It is incomprehensible to me that the people who are elected by Americans and paid to represent America’s best interest would decide that when America’s future is at stake is an acceptable time to take a break.
On top of the House breaking this weekend, talks between the Speaker and the President have fallen apart.
“Boehner said he had withdrawn from the talks because the president wanted to raise taxes and was reluctant to agree to cuts in benefit programs.” -MSNBC Yet despite his “reluctance” to cut benefits, it’s done. The agreement made between the two men includes at least some cuts. But as of now, it includes only rollbacks of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, no new taxes. Those new taxes are at the heart of Boehner’s walk out, at least according to him. “Obama has offered more cuts than any other democrat would in an effort to strike a deal, yet the republicans still are playing games. Remember, the sign of a fair deal is one in which neither side gets everything they want. The democrats have offered a deal like that but the party of no (hope) just doesn't get it.” (comment)
Here’s the part that makes me angriest. Not only is the House taking a break this weekend, but Boehner is playing games with the President. “A White House official told NBC News that the president called Boehner on Thursday night, but did not hear back. Then, Friday afternoon, the speaker's office reportedly emailed the White House to say Boehner would be available to talk at 5:30 p.m. ET. The White House called the speaker's office after that email was received to ask if they just talk right then, but his aides reiterated that Boehner would be availabe at 5:30 p.m. ET. It was during that call that the speaker walked away from the talks.” -MSNBC Boehner, we didn’t have time for you to waste a day for your pride. It’s your job, that the American people elected you to, and pay you for, to get this done.
Is this the time to walk away because you don’t agree? Gentlemen, man up and figure it out. No one walks away until this is done.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things That Made Me Laugh

From Cakewrecks () with the caption “There is about to be some SERIOUS nerd rage going on in here.”

“The fact that they were both already soaking wet FROM THE OCEAN in no way detracted from the insult of being splashed on by a sibling.” –Motherhood in NYC

“Our research for this article has informed us of the existence of sauerkraut pie. Will you stop at nothing, Germany?” –Karl Smallwood

"Don't try to pass a 2,700 page bill—even they didn't read it! You and I didn't have time to read it. We're too busy trying to live—send our kids to school. That's why I am only going to allow small bills—three pages. You'll have time to read that one over the dinner table.” –Presidential Nominee Herman Cain

This picture with the caption, “The empty middle is where you taste irony and things that are so close you can taste them.”
-Karl Smallwood

“Obesity is still worse for your health than trying to ride a bear that is riding shark.” –

“Let’s say you’re a governor of Illinois in a room with a former governor of Illinois on your right, and a former governor of Illinois on your left, chances are the room you’re in is jail.” –John Stewart on The Daily Show (6/28)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Last Good One

I just read an archived post over at Motherhood In NYC about a play she saw. The premise of the play is that there’s this lady Mimi waiting for a blind date who doesn’t show. When he doesn’t show, she picks a random audience member to have the date with (it’s improv). It sounds like a good show, that’s not the problem. The problem is she tells a little bit about the guy Mimi picked that night-
“…Here was a man who, if first appearances mean anything, was a real catch- and he’s out there. HE IS OUT THERE, ladies. And he believes in kindness.”
And my only thought was, “Umm…yeah that nice and all- but you’ve found the last one Marinka. And he lives in NYC so how does that help me, in Chicago?”
Perhaps I should start looking harder for better dates huh?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feel The Burn

I started a new workout regime this week. It’s hard. Way harder than I expected it to be. And it’s hard to keep going. I would like to know why all the pain-y bits start right away, but the reward-y bits take weeks to show up. I would like at least a little instant gratification to encourage me to continue. Otherwise (as has happened many times in the past), in about a week when my muscles protest the simple act of turning on DVD player in anticipation of putting in my exercise DVD, I will probably quit. I sort of hate working out. It’s boring, I feel stupid, and I simply can’t do a lot of what the TV people can. Plus, it seems over whelming. The sheer amount of weight I need to lose is intimidating. If I wanted to lose five pounds, it would seem pointless. If I wanted to lose ten-thirty pounds, it seem probable. If it was even thirty-fifty pounds it would seem possible. But I want to lose a hundred pounds. And it’s not like this is the weight I’ve always been. At some point it was just ten pounds, twenty, forty, but now…it’s not. And if I didn’t succeed then, why should I even try now? But…try I will. Try I will. Because I will look cuter NEXT time I’m in a wedding.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I know this young man who I very much respect. He happens to be an EXTEMELY private guy. His family apparently assumes that I’m fascinated by a recent…issue (which I won’t go into detail about because he’s a very private guy), because I have now been privy to every detail his family has about it, including some rumor mongering by more extended family members. One member of his family talked about it at some length with me today, going into some detail wondering about the why's and how's of the situation, speculating on the consequences (complete with some suppositions and assumptions based on what time he gets home from work), and otherwise discussing with me information I don’t think he would want me to have. He and I are by no means close, really more like nodding acquaintances than anything else, but I love his family. So, how do I handle it when I know I’m receiving information he wouldn’t want me to have? Do I cut off his family (who again, I love), and just say “I don’t think he would want me to know this”? Do I walk away, even when I’m being spoken directly to? Do I try to change the subject and never share what they’ve just told me? Do I pull him aside one day and tell him that this is going on (which would be SUPER awkward)? Do I tell another family member that this is going on without sharing the details and let her tell him if she needs to (she would understand why I’m flummoxed by the situation and would probably not ask what the gossip is)? Do I send her a link to this blog so she can read my question and answer it for me (effectively the previous choice, but without having to see her face to face)? Do I just ignore it? Is there another choice I haven’t thought of? Seriously, what does one do when one wants to avoid hearing gossip about someone? Especially when you’re secretly interested?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things That Made Me Laugh

"And so, in conclusion, I'm sorry I couldn't find a Barenaked Ladies/Nathan Fillion mash-up cake, since I'm told that many of you believe a Barenaked Fillion would make your entire year." (ummm...true story!) -cakewrecks

Yeah, I can't post the whole thing, and the whole thing is funny. Just go read this epbot post.

Before the wedding on Sunday we were taking our pictures and when all the bridesmaids lined up to get a picture with Chris he said "I kind of feel like Santa with all these pretty ladies lined up to take a picture with me." It was a good day!

"Note: Today's post contains a word that starts with "p" and rhymes with "Venus." Parents, please parent accordingly." -cakewrecks

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goodness Me, Where to Start?

So this past weekend was a little crazy, but it was so great I have to tell you about it. (Pictures to come when I'm home on my own computer)
Friday- I went to the Taste of Chicago. I go every year, but this year (like last) was a bit of a disappointment (2nd smallest on record). Since we were done early, my friend Leah and I decided to knock something off my Life List and go to the observation deck of Willis Tower. Yeah, we went on the ledges and I have the pictures to prove it (like I said, I'll post them next week!)
Saturday- almost time for Jamie's wedding!! Met some friends for brunch then got mani/pedis at this place at our mall. I'd never had one before, but I'll swear by them now! Seriously, the chair was a massage-y chair and the lady got my feet all skin colored and stuff! Plus- it was only $29 (which I was told was cheap, and it was totally worth it). Then I finally got to meet the groomsmen at the rehearsal dinner. I kind of loved the best man, he was awesome (don't get excited, he has a long-term girlfriend, whom I also loved).
Sunday- Wedding day!!! Pictures and longer post to come next week
Monday- Fourth of July is my favorite holiday, I love everything about it. Hope you enjoyed my patriotic videos and had a safe and awesome holiday!
Tuesday- It's my birthday! I turned 29, got my first massage (oh was that nice!), and got to go out with some of my best friends for tapas. Afterwards my friend J drove me home, and somehow I was concerned that we would have nothing to talk about (we've never spent any time alone, yet I count him among my closest friends!), but of course we had fun and found things to talk about.
Wednesday- BORING back to work
Thursday- Goodness! I went out for supper with Sarah, but the creperie we intended on going to was closed (sad!) and we had to go somewhere else. Which worked out in our favor when we got to sample free new muffins they won't really be releasing until next week. It pays to be a picky, regular customer apparently!

Monday, July 4, 2011

It Took To Long

It took to long for this great speech to occur. It took to long for his dream to become reality, and that great day is not yet here. Some are free, many more than when this speech was given on the steps of the Lincoln Monument, but until the day that everyone is free, that dream has not come true. Until the day that no one, the world round, has to fear for his or her life because of race, color, creed, or any other reason, this dream remains a dream. Until the day that we can cherish rather than fear our differences, this dream is not a reality. Until the day this dream is a dream no longer, the principles of freedom we celebrate today are still a dream because until we are all free, none of us are free.

Happy Independence Day everyone- here's hoping I live to see the year when I can celebrate the reality, not just the hope!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Declaration of Independence

I suppose I should have held this back until tomorrow, but I wanted to provide a quick and easy way to read it BEFORE the grills are lit, the drinking begins, and we all lose track of what we're celebrating.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Yesterday I posted one of my favorite patriotic songs, but Independence Day isn't just about "hey I love my country" it's about how we got here. I hope today's video helps you remember how you got to where you are, and reminds you of how we got here. Plus there's a bonus video because I couldn't pick!

Hope that reminds you of your childhood as strongly as it does for me!

I Want to Properly Honor the Holiday...

...But this weekend is so crazy, that you'll have to make do with some videos that remind me about what's important to me. I'll post one video a day from now until the Fourth of July (or at least I'll try). Have a safe, happy holiday!