My Soapbox Rant

I have been preparing this rant in my head for awhile and I tend to just get so aggravated that I never seem to be able to spit it all out. Because this is my blog, I don’t plan on keeping this neutral, because I am not a neutral sort of person. So I’m sorry if this ruffles your feathers, deal.

I am a proud Democrat. I am a liberal.

I like knowing that I have the option to choose what goes on with my body and that I care about education and health care and domestic issues.

I think supporting our troops means bringing them home. I believe in diplomacy and that we aren’t the only country on this fine earth.

I believe in global warming and that polar bears are endangered.

I don’t think we should drill in Alaska or off shore or any where we aren’t currently doing so.

I think that there are enough means for innovation that we shouldn’t have to.

I believe in welfare, and medicare, and Medicaid, and social security. Do I think they are perfect? No, but I think they are important aspects to our country.

I think Democrats want the economy to grow just as much as Republicans. But when your family doesn’t have jobs it’s ok to turn to them for help.

I believe that gays should get married and should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples.

I believe our country should help finance higher education so that it’s accessible to every one. I think those of us that make enough money should help pay for it.

I think Russia is still making bombs for bio-chemical warfare and that North Korea can’t be trusted. I also think Iran and Ahmadinejad is capable of some pretty crazy shit.

I think we should have gun control in our country and not just every one should be allowed access to them.

I think unions are ok when they are doing what they are meant to do.

I think we’re in an economic downturn and no matter who is in the White House it would be this way.

Because I believe these things it does not mean I’m an idiot, uneducated, not well read or up for a debate. It does not mean that you have to think the same thing. It does not give you a right to make me feel inferior to you. I seem to run into this latter problem quite a bit. Most of the people I work with seem to be on the other side of the fence. Fine, great, what ever. But, DON’T talk to me like “oh, you stupid Democrat” because I’m not a Republican. It does not give you the right to hope that one day I will “see the light” and come to the dark side.  It does give you the right to talk to me, see what I think, understand it, and then give me the opportunity to do the same to you. I’m not up to getting berated, so if you’re going to argue with me, forget it.

It does not give you the right to think I am LESS of an American because I don’t think the same thing as you. Or that I am unworhty of being an American because I understand when Michelle Obama has not been a proud American. You know when I wasn’t a proud American? When we marched our asses into Iraq and just said “Fuck you” to the rest of the world. So yes, I think she has the right to not be a proud American until now. Most of the time I cringe to be an American, but I know I’m lucky to be one.  Who is to say that is right or wrong?

I think McCain is an idiot. I think Bush is the greatest idiot that ever lived. Sarah Palin is scary and the only reason Hillary supporters might vote for her is because she has a vagina. Do I think Obama is the most experienced politician out there? No, but I’m ok with that. There are plenty out there that he can surround him self with and make sound decisions with. Look, I was a Howard Dean supporter. I’m liberal. I get it. What I think is missing in American politics is a fire, a passion a DRIVE to change the things that are broken. I don’t think McCain has that. I know Obama talks it, but I’m not sure if he’ll come through. That’s what campaigns are for: promises. Office makes those promises come crashing down. I have faith though.

I got in a bit of a spat last week that left me quite upset. It in a sense ruined the election for me. I will vote. I will watch the news, but I have decided I’m done talking about it. I don’t need any one to pass their judgements on me any more. So, think of this as my signing off letter. I’m hurt that so many Republicans out there can’t seem to respect me because I think differently. That sucks. I thought the point of being an American was the opportunity to think differently then your neighbor and it’s ok. I guess not in an election year.

P.S. This is not directed at any one, this is just me being angry with American politics. It’s a long time coming and if I’ve talked politics with you recently, I promise it’s ok. I may have to break the I’m done talking about politics rule thing I stated above.

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Labor Day Weekend and Such

This weekend was fairly lovely. I worked my second job (yay retail! Boo on my real job for not paying me enough to live!) both Saturday and Sunday. Which didn’t suck too bad. Then after work on Sunday Mr. Fresh came over and we had the classic taco dinner. It was yummy. A good Sunday dinner. Then I made breakfast for the next morning.

A few weeks ago my old roommate B called me said he was coming to Chi-town for a wedding and wanted to see me. Well, since I work all the time that wasn’t going to happen until Monday. So I said “come to my house for breakfast, it’ll be great.” So I made this French Toast Casserole. I also cut some strawberries and blueberries with some sugar. Put on top. Oh god. So. Good. I had some very happy customers.

(And look! My camera actually works! Even though the screen is broken. It’s like using a 35mm…you don’t know what you took until you get them “developed.”)

Then, as if that wasn’t a good enough way to celebrate Labor day, I went to my first Cubs game at Wrigley Field! Although, I’m pretty Chicago baseball neutral, it was so fun! There was just an energy in Wrigley that is unbeatable. The Cubs lost but it’s ok, Mr. Fresh got to have cotton candy, so it made up for it.

As if the cotton candy and Wrigley weren’t enough, we met up with another old roommate of mine, J and his fiance, S. (Which mind you I set up. I’ve also set up B, and he even got engaged, but the rest of that story is best left untold. So I’m 2 for 2 for the roommates I’ve set up getting engaged! Let’s see if this one goes all the way!) We had dinner with them and enjoyed telling stories about the people we all knew from BU. We completely felt like adults after that. Considering we were out with another couple and it’s usually just us. Then we managed to make our way back on a different El line and get to the line we were going for! We were even pretty adventurous suburbanites and took the El in the whole way from Wilmette. Way less stressful and totally worth it.

So, my weekend was nice. We actually did something which was also nice. I have other rants, but I think I’ll reserve a post for that all by it’s self. It’s one of those soap box sort of events.

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Meh…it’s Tuesday.

I have lots of things I feel I could write about, but I can’t seem to muster up the energy. I took photos of a cooking experiment, hopefuly when I get home from corporate land i can get them on my computer and write a worthwhile entry. For now, I’m sulking in how much I don’t like my job.

Only and hour and 14 minutes until I can go home.

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More from the intertubes.

Imperfect

Imperfect

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Cake Wrecks

Friggin. Hilarious.

Just go read. Find the cake that says “Good Luck in China” with the firefighter. I laughed so hard I cried in my office today. People asked me if I was ok.

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Pasta bake = Success!

I made quite a yummy pasta bake thing yesterday. It was like lasagna deconstructed and mushed up. The contents:

1 1/2 tubs (10 oz?) of Part Skim Ricotta ( you could use less, but I didn’t have enough from the first one and I didn’t want to have leftovers)

1 box of rigatoni

3 mild Italian sausage browned with out the casings

Pasta sauce (I’m not sure how much I used. I basically put like 5 or 6 ladles in until it made the cheese sort of pinky-orange and a good consistency)

Italian blend shredded cheese.

I basically put it all together in a pot, put it in a baking dish with more sauce and cheese on top and baked it for like 25 minutes. So. Good. It’s been cool-ish at night here too, so it was nice to have a bit of a fall dish. I was worried it wasn’t going to be that good, but I was wrong. So yay me! I’m excited, I have it for lunch today too!

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It’s 74 outside and it’s August!

This is why I live in the Midwest and not in Florida with my parents. It’s August, and I don’t have to shower three times a day to feel clean! How crazy. I also am I glad that I didn’t have to get drenched by Fay. And by default no power, considering my parents live in a city that has big beautiful oak trees. And terrible intermittent power service when it rains because of them. I win.

So I’ve been rather adventurous in the kitchen lately. I’ve also discovered I’m terrible at following directions to a t. But, everything I’ve made has been pretty good. I made the empanadas I wanted to make. They were good. I wish I had made the pastry a little sweeter and that I had a food processor so I could play with it less, but oh well. Also, for the filling I used only 8 ounces of goat cheese and made up the difference with ricotta. I left off the almonds and the sugar on the top and I used semi-sweet chocolate and hazelnuts. I got rave reviews. Although, I think Mr. Fresh and his dad are jaded, but I’ll take it. Next time: bigger rounds, more goat cheese. I also want to make a savory version of empanadas, as I am a slight empanada-a-holic.

I also made Lemon Basil Pasta Salad which was ok. I used cherry tomatoes and cut them in half instead of dicing tomatoes. I would also say, more lemon juice, less oil. Salt and pepper are also essential. It turned out pretty good and left me with lunch for 3 days, so it worked out ok.

That was last Friday, along with pesto salmon. Mr. Fresh uses the term “ridiculous” which in his mind/world means amazing. I wowed him again on Thursday with an attempt to use up the ricotta I had left. I had some ricotta and fresh basil left from the last cooking adventure that I needed to use up and some chicken breasts that were begging me to use them. So, I butterflied the chicken, pounded it thin and filled it with the ricotta (with chopped garlic, salt and pepper), basil, sun dried tomatoes and some shredded mozzarella. Rolled it up, put it in the oven and 30 minutes later, we had an awesome chicken dish. I also made pan fried eggplant “sticks.” Again, I win. It was all really good and I had lunch for the next day. Mr. Fresh called me “ridiculous” and I think “the bestest” was in there too.

My next challenge: using up the ricotta…I think I’m going to do a pasta bake. Ricotta with the basil and my home made tomato sauce put in the oven with bread crumbs and mozzarella. We’ll see how it goes.

That’s my cooking update. My life update. I’ve actually been working at work. It’s crazy, I know. I have 1 order on the board and 5 more in the works. Hopefully I can get some filled so I can actually make some moolah. I’ve crunched numbers and figured out how I can get out of some of my college debt if I do. So, I’m working hard. I’m enjoying having my first day off in 14 days. Me and my couch are having personal time. My new goal is to try and make it to the gym more and attempt to take photos when I cook. I know I enjoy photos when I read about food, so we’ll see if I can manage to pull it off.

I can’t believe how fast August has gone…before I know it the holidays will be here. Oh dear…

P.S. I gave in and bought the BlackJack…I’m on the road to “crackberry” addiction. Let’s hope I don’t need an intervention.

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