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Archive for January, 2007

[No, it's not "legalise it" day on my blog.]

David Mills at Undercover Black Man has a two-part interview with Wire creator David Simon up at his place.

Part 1
Part 2

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Let me start off by saying that I do believe God is taking care of us during this whole job-search thing. I know that eventually things will work out the way God deems best.

Now that I’ve got that disclaimer out of the way, allow me to say how much this ticks me off.

The Bush administration plans to ask Congress for $10.6 billion for Afghanistan, a major increase aimed at rebuilding the country and strengthening government security forces still fighting the Taliban five years after the U.S.-led invasion. … The new U.S. money would be on top of $14.2 billion in aid the United States has already given to Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban government.

The half of my brain that houses a rudimentary knowledge of global economic interdependence and global impact of national defence gets the principle behind this move.

But right now, as I wade through the red tape of my current circumstances I’m less than thrilled. From where I sit, it appears that the United States has this policy whereby we fight expensive wars in other countries and then pay as much–or more than–the cost of prosecuting the war in order to put back together a country we participated in tearing asunder. This is a very expensive policy that comes out of my pocket. And your pocket.

So we have this War on Drugs which makes the price of drugs go up. Which makes countries like Afghanistan–a major poppy grower–home to drug cartels swimming in wealth. So we spend more money to go over and wipe out the cartels, wipe out the poppies and set up what amounts to an Afghan welfare state. How screwed up is this?

I’ll be honest. I grew up sheltered and can be naive about a lot of things. So perhaps I am living in an ivory tower on this, but I don’t understand why some drugs are legal and others aren’t. I’ve had relatives who are drug addicts and relatives who are alcoholics. Obviously there are just some people with weaknessess for chemical addiction, regardless of the legality of the chemical. I’ve known people who are sex addicts and food addicts too. They’ll either screw or dine themselves into grave physical harm but last time I looked neither sex nor food was illegal. The Feds don’t take your mama’s house and car if you are growing carrots in a room in her basement. So why have we decided to prosecute the unwinnable war on drugs in order to make bad men the world over wealthy? So we can spend more of my hard earned money to go after those bad men and destroy their drugs making the drugs the other bad men have even more expensive and so on and so forth?

It’s common knowledge that terrorists are funded in large part by drug money. Drug money we’ve created a demand for. None of it makes sense to me anymore.

And here I sit, a good law-abiding citizen without so much as a traffic ticket. All I want is to live in peace with my family. Maybe order a pizza every now and again. Unlike governments and drug-runners I haven’t got an abundance of earthly wealth at my fingertips. So WHY ON EARTH do I have to keep throwing my money down this rabbit hole? Why?

Thank heaven it’s Friday. I think I need a weekend.

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Via NiT I see that a person called Reverend Jerry Maynard is running for something. Metro Council, I believe.

In Maynard’s official annoucement, he calls himself simply “Jerry Maynard”. Others, it seems, are referring to him as Reverand Maynard, because he’s a pastor at a church. Now, I’m not meaning to pick on this man; unfortunately he happens to just be an example of something that has bugged me for, oh, twenty years now.

I don’t think ministers should expect to be called “Reverend” outside of their church body. Unlike “Doctor”, the term “Reverend” is a church-based honoriffic in certain denominations. It is not an earned degree. Many Reverends do have doctorates, but there is also a whole spate of men who style themselves “Reverend” who do nothing more than read their Bibles and speak well.

Of course, I come from a church tradition that eschews the use of the word “Reverend” for any human being. That’s probably part of my bristling. But in my Anabaptist background we don’t believe in the lifting up of one person over another. The term Reverend actually means deserving of reverence. Folks like me–picky folks from Germany and Switzerland who would die for God but not for the earthly institutional church–think that the only being truly deserving of Reverence is Jesus Christ. So we don’t call our pastors ‘reverend’. And I certainly don’t think we should be expected to refer to someone else’s pastor as a Reverend.

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There’s apparently a great deal of controversy at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Generally I ignore the Sundance Film Festival, as it seems to be the movies’ version of an uptight Vassar grad who stops shaving her armpits, smokes clove cigarettes and changes her name to Blix. Too much hippie-art pretension for my taste.

But this year there is a new controversy that has sucked me into a vortex.

Parker Posey is back.

I have no earthly idea why people keep putting her in their pictures. I really wish they wouldn’t, because she just freaks me out with her witchiness. The only film where it worked in her favour was Dazed and Confused. After that she just sort of struts around every film like a praying mantis on meth–all scrawny and twitchy.

Anyway, this year is apparently her Sundance Comeback.

Woo hoo.

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(Hat Tip: Mighty Illusions)

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SOTU

No, I didn’t watch it. You can now revoke my ‘serious adult’ card if you like. It just seems that with everything going on in my personal life, professional life and my husband’s professional life I don’t need the added stress that comes with the SOTU address. No matter what side of the issues you’re on, there’s bound to be somebody to aggravate you. Could be the president, could be a commentator, could be an anchor person. It never fails, though. The SOTU is like chocolate-coated bacon fried in trans fat. It’s guaranteed to get your blood pressure up. So I skipped it.

Don’t worry, though. Life served up enough tasty punishment to pay me back. NCIS featured enough mushy stuff to make my inner ten-year old wince her way to a headache.

“You want me to kiss you.”

Honestly. That was an actual line.

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This is a post for those of you who opened my blog this morning, saw “Aquinas”, thought “it is too darned early for this krep” and decided to go read something else. FWIW, I don’t blame you. That post was borne out of caffeine, insomnia and that long-dormant college rumination gene.

So, on to lighter fare. Literally.

I’m not officially dieting, but I’ve–as of today–lost 36 pounds. I was talking about this with some friends of mine at church, and decided that I’d do a brief post on my non-diet diet tips.

I am 36 years old. The first diet I went on was when I was 11. I’ve been on any number of diets since then, but last July I decided I’d never diet again.

I still wanted to lose weight if possible, but more than that I wanted to be healthy. The drawback to this gig is that I don’t have the dramatic “Hey! I lost 8 lbs. this week!” types of victories, but I do finally feel as though I’ve internalised healthy thinking. In other words, I can live my life like this.

So here, in a nutshell, are the few things I have done over the course of the last 6 months.

1. Cut out caffeine

I went from about 6 cokes a day to none. Since they were regular Cokes, this also helped with the calories in a big way.

2. “Tithe” my food.

No, I don’t offer it to idols, so there’s not that danger. But I figured that if we’re supposed to give 10% of everything to God, it might help me shape up if I left at least 10% of my food on my plate. Some meals this goes up to 50%, but I generally don’t clean my plate anymore.

3. Go to the bathroom on a different floor.

I counted one day and realised that this burned an EXTRA 200 CALORIES each day. Of course, I have a kidney disease so I go to the bathroom a lot. But whatever. It’s still a good idea.

4. Do ONE healthy thing each day.

I’ve been on enough diets to know that they tell you to eat the pyramid, get an hour’s intense exercise, cut out caffeine and basically forego all of life’s minor pleasures in pursuit of some nebulous goal called “health”. Unlike the good people in this world, I have no desire to be ‘healthy’ if it means I’ve spent my entire life enslaved to a treadmill and a pile of carrots. So I decided to just do ONE healthy thing each day. Eat an extra serving of vegetables. Skip dessert. Exercise. I pick one. Some days I pick two or do all three. But I don’t force myself to be ruled by my health regimen. I know me. I’d never stick to it otherwise.

5. No carbs before 3:00pm unless eaten with protein.

6. Rules were made to be broken

I will have the very occasional coke, or spend a day now and then not doing anything healthy. If you put the world’s best lasagne in front of me, I’ll eat it all and forego the 10% rule. But it’s only occasionally. I figure that’s the price to pay for staying on track.

This is the most fun I’ve ever had, and the best I’ve ever done on any weight control/health control thing. I highly recommend inventing your own thing.

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