Friday, June 29, 2012

The Dumbest Thing About Fox News's Reaction to the Healthcare Decision

People have diverse political opinions, and most of them are good people.  I'm pretty much cool with whatever you think as long as you're not an asshole about it.  I don't dislike Fox News because they cover most things conservatively.  If they were just honest about doing that, it'd be fine.  I hate Fox News because their slogan is "Fair and Balanced" and they are neither.  Just be straight with us, alright?

But by far the stupidest thing they are saying about the healthcare bill is that they're pissed off that much of it was upheld because it was determined the penalty for not buying health insurance is a tax.  They didn't like it when it was said it wasn't a tax either, but do the semantics really matter to the masses?  No.  It doesn't matter to us if it's a tax or a penalty, it's something we have to pay.  The only difference is that one is constitutional and one is not, and because the language was ambiguous enough, it's being called a tax. 

If you don't like that it was upheld as constitutional, just say that.  Don't get all butthurt that it's not called what you want it to be called.  It's just a word, it means the same thing either way. 

Now.  Argue your points, minions.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recipe time! Apple cranberry chicken salad

I created this recipe after I tried some similar chicken salad by accident at a potluck once.  It's really simple and really yummy.  I serve it wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla.


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped (I use yellow because they're cheapest,  but any onion will do)`
1/2 cup dried, sweetened cranberries
1 crisp apple (granny smith, pink lady or fuji are good choices), chopped (leave the skin on, it's full of nutrients)
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup lite mayo (you can use regular, but I think it tastes gross if you do)


Boil the chicken just until done.  Don't overcook it or it will be dry and tough.  You can also pan fry, bake, broil... whatever you like, just make sure you can chop or shred it easily.  After it's cooked, chop or shred it.  Like I just said.  Pieces should be small enough that you don't get a huge bite of bland chicken.

Put the chicken into a large bowl and add the poultry seasoning,  Stir it up so that you don't have big chunks of spice without anything to season.  Add the rest of the ingredients and and stir until it comes together.  I don't like a super goopy chicken salad, but if you do, add more mayo.

Voila.  I'll add pictures when I can find my damn camera.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When Teenagers Wed

A close family friend of mine just got engaged, and hearing her story reminded me of my own engagement stories.  Yes.  Plural.  Prepare yourselves for a good laugh, because this is ridiculous.

I met my husband when I was 15, discussing books (and everything else teenagers are wont to discuss) on an online forum hosted by an author we both liked.  It's a good thing we met so young, because now that we're adults, we no longer enjoy reading Goodkind's work through the poor prose. 

Anyway, after a week-long visit, and some teenager-y family drama on his part, Max decided to move out of New York (where he lived) to Colorado (where I lived).  We had known each other for 6 months, spent 7 days together, and he came 2000 miles with a backpack, a rolling bag with "I PWN" written in duct tape on the back and an XBOX in the mail to himself.  It's funny that out of all of the possessions he had to his name, his gaming console was the most important, too important to leave behind when moving across the country.  That should have tipped me off as to how he would want to spend most of his time, but love is blind.  The plan was for him to find an apartment and stay with my family in the mean time.

Two whole days later (so a grand total of nine days together), I asked him to marry me at 6:00 in the morning while we were watching Winnie the Pooh.  I got up 30 minutes early for school so that I could watch with him and have a little bit of time without my mother or siblings being annoying and telling us to chill with the PDA.  I was only 16 and he was only 18, so we decided not to tell anyone we planned to get married until much later to avoid the freak-outs.

Making the engagement official was a little different.  A year and a few months later, on a really, really cold November morning while I was driving him to work, he asked me to marry him.  In a gas station parking lot.  He had bought a cheap ring at Walmart (which turned my finger black and has since been replaced), and I had said I wanted to be surprised.  The fact that he thought "least opportune moment" = "surprise!" should have tipped me off to how sweepingly romantic he could be.  But, alas, again, love is blind.

I said yes.  We announced it.  People still freaked out.  One of my uncles told me I needed to be with at least a dozen guys before I had any idea who I wanted to spend my life with.  My peers in high school told me we'd never last.  We got married when I was 18 (almost 19) and he was 21, 3 years after becoming a pair.

This kiss lasted so long (in retribution for me claiming that Max would be embarrassed to kiss me in public) the good Reverend Simmons told us to cut it out

And despite the hilarious ineptitude of the whole thing, 5 1/2 years after the hilariously disastrous wedding (where my mother got a speeding ticket in sight of the ceremony location and Max and I both had to suppress coughing to take our vows), I wouldn't take it back.  We are (read: he is) still romantically inept, still awkward, still learning to accommodate each other and live together peacefully.  There are ups and downs, but I think I speak for us both when I say we're not sorry, and we told you so, Uncle Bob.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Split Topic: Music/My Daughter Hates Pants

(Readers, pretend there's a picture of me in concert dress with my trumpet here, please, thanks *wink*)

Most people don't know this about me, but I played the trumpet for 5 years.  Yep.  5th grade to 10th grade.  I got a standing ovation one year at the Christmas concert after pulling it out of the toilet with my solo (which I was required to write by myself).  That's not saying as much as you think, our band was 5 kids (no joke), myself (I played the trumpet, french horn and baritone, depending on the need of the song, but mostly trumpet), a clarinet/saxophone player, a clarinet/bass clarinet player, another trumpet/horn player and a drummer.  I was just having an on day when everyone else was having an off day.  I gave it up because when we moved to Colorado from Wyoming and I changed schools, I learned that not every school is as awesome as my old one was and provides instruments for free to musical kids.  I would have to either purchase my own (impossible, where does a 15 year old kid come up with $300-600?) or ask my mother to rent one for me (she worked at Walmart, I mean, need I say more?).  I have regretted not finding a way to continue with music ever since.

Lately, I've been very much feeling the pull to get back into it.  I don't know how, but I imagine some day I will find a way.  Classes, lessons, teaching myself another instrument (I've always wanted to learn a string...), I'll find a way.  Whatever happens, I must admit that I am impressed with the shift I've seen in popular music lately.  There are still the artists who are not really artists... or talent.  Other people write all their songs, and they then use autotune to both sound trendy and decent, because otherwise they blow, but there is also quite a bit of legitimate talent.  It's not as mainstream as Lady Gooballs and Keener (my pet name for Ke$ha, because I'm pretty sure keening is about the only sound she's capable of making with autotune), but it's there and it's being played on the radio, on VH1 (sometimes), and it's making it's rounds on YouTube, in the form of covers of pop songs.

Yesterday I heard one of my neighbors trying to perfect his version of this cover:

He screeched on the chorus several times and didn't even try to moderate it, but I was just so glad to hear someone singing a pop song covered by someone with actual talent instead of the crappy original.

So thank you, Gods of Music, whoever you are, for rescuing us from the generation that was Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and the Backseat Girls (er... Backstreet Babes?  BACKSTREET BOYS!  That's it.)

Now.  Topic 2. 

Rhapsody takes after her mother, I think.  I remember once, my mother insisting I put on some pants my grandmother had gotten me in great condition from a yard sale.  I wanted to like them.  They were red, and I liked red.  I didn't want to put them on, though.  I was a dress girl and I was used to having my legs completely free, unhindered by anything.  Running was easier, jumping, climbing.  I got my knees scraped more often when I fell, but it was worth it.  I did as I was bid, and put on the pants.  They dug into my belly when I sat, I couldn't move my legs like I wanted.  I squatted down, my face hot with fury and screamed "LOOK WHAT THEY MAKE ME DO!"

Rhapsody is just like that.  Pants are the bane of her existence.  Every time someone sends her clothes, they send 90% dresses.  The only time I can get her to wear pants without a huge fight is when it's freezing outside, and then I have to plead to her sense of compassion for me, telling her that I have to do my job, and my job is to keep her safe, healthy and warm. 

Every picture I have of her is in a dress.  For at least the last two years.

And now she's singing along to Walk Off the Earth's cover of "Somebody That I Used To Know" by Gotye (which is better than the original, like all the covers coming out these days).  Hell.  Yes.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Learning Not to Take Things so Flippin' Seriously

By now, if you haven't heard about the Florida bath salts zombie attack where a man high on a particularly potent form of LSD affectionately dubbed "bath salts" ate 80% of another man's face, you've probably been under a rock without WiFi.  It must have been hard to find a rock without WiFi signal, so good for you.

Anyway, I came across this graphic while surfing the web one afternoon during nap time and I haven't stopped laughing about it ever since.  It has everything.  Pop culture (that song is terrible, by the way), zombies, and inappropriate humor.

Why is it blog worthy?  Because it's absolutely, completely un-okay to be making fun of this.  Isn't the rule 22.3 years?  I'm pretty sure that's what the prophets Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman said.  But I laugh every time I think of this picture with those words canted to the rhythm of that awful song.

Obviously, I'm not alone in thinking this is hilarious, because it's been re-blogged about 40 million times by now.  But decent people everywhere are snickering behind their hands to hide the fact that they are amused.  Some pretend not to find any humor in it at all and even fewer truly don't find it funny, and think those of us who do are terrible people. 

Here's the thing, though.  In a life that's often peppered with absurdity (this story, for instance), pain, tribulation and difficulty, don't those of us who CAN find humor in situations like this deserve to have a laugh?  We're not laughing at the poor man who was attacked.  Just at the ludicrous circumstances.  I mean... right in the middle of the uptick in undead popularity with shows like Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead (all of which I watch and love), this happens.  And some of us cope with awful stuff by laughing.

This brings to mind all the trials of being a parent for me.  I can't even tell you how many times something scary has happened to my family and my husband and I started cracking jokes about it on the way to the emergency room.  In the middle of a panic, sometimes that's all you can do.

So.  I'm going to stop feeling bad about thinking this is hilarious.

What are your thoughts on laughing at tragic, terrible things?