Friday, March 30, 2007

I got your mean right here

Today I had lunch with my friend JR. We have been friends since our freshman year of college at William and Mary. Those were the days. He was as depressed as my fashion sense. I mean, I used to wear men's jeans from Wa-Mart, people. But that is not the point. The point is that he and I always have a great time together because we think the same way. We are both out-spoken liberals, mock each other's relative dorkiness, and enjoy ragging on European culture. Why DO their toilets use so much water?

During lunch, JR told me about a blog he had read where someone described liberals as "mean." This made for some interesting discussion. And by interesting, I mean that neither of us really disagreed with this assessment. Yes, liberals can be mean. But there is a reason. To explain further, I will turn things over to JR and reproduce his response to the blogger that he wrote in her comments.

"yes, we are unhappy.

we are unhappy for a myriad of reasons. we are unhappy because we do not want to blind ourselves to the individual stories of the millions of suffering people in the world, to do that would accept their lot as fate, and to accept their lot as fate is to deny the possibility of change, progress, and growth. It is the American liberal's belief that we as a society have to provide some sort of capacity to let people prove that possibility. Contenting yourself with not thinking about other people or society as a whole may make you a happier person, but it makes morally corrupt.

we are unhappy because the president lied and lied and lied in order to line his friends' pockets.

we are unhappy because the dissonance between the goals of the american promise and the reality of everyday life in america is so great, that it is absurd. absurd not as in "silly", absurd as in "mind-blowingly beyond the capabilities of comprehension or common sense." You may think that billions of dollars of debt to pay for a military-industrial complex that will eventually fail due to unsustainability may make sense, but generally taxes PAID fund governments, not trillion dollar credit card please, go on and on and on about how being liberal was a fancy of your youth. good. i'm glad that at some point you cared about something other than yourself.

too bad that part of you got lost when you entered williams sonoma."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's a wedding! Run for your life!

Alright it’s official. My brother is engaged to Amanda, one of my good high school friends. Yay? No, really, yay! Having a friend and your brother marry brings with it many benefits. 1) You already know the chick; 2) she already knows your family so we can cut down on that awkward, “so what do you do, Amanda? A minister? How nice!” conversation; 3) visiting and talking with both of them is fun. There are some downsides, but I am trying to work through those without being dumb, so we’ll skip it.

The impending nuptials (October 6, mark your calendar!) means that the family has entered wedding-mode. Anyone who has had a wedding in their immediate family knows what this means. Where conversations once focused on what happened that day during work or some interesting sight glimpsed from the metro train window, they now turn to matters such as which hotel are we staying at, which shoes would best match my bridesmaid dress without making my legs look stumpy, should we book the 35 seater limo coach van thingy for the ceremony ( I am totally serious about that one), and which one of the 500 dresses my mom has looked at would work best for the mother of the groom. And I’m not saying this is a bad thing, it’s just…weird. In my experience when one thing consumes your life (such as a hellish roommate re: junior year college, or the bar exam), when you are done with that thing often a big gaping hole left in your possible conversations. My point is that once my brother is done and married, the family will then want to continue talking about weddings, and that leaves me.

Yes, the worst thing about having a sibling get married is that it forces you to confront your own single-ness. My mother actually said to me, “you should start saving money for your wedding.” Uh, what? Ok, so I haven’t actually had in date in like forever and she is telling me to start saving for a wedding? Jesus. I think society put enough pressure on women to partner off, and now my mother starts. Although, to be fair, most girls get this kind of pressure way before I have. Hi, Selvi! And it’s not even real pressure, it’s my mom just having one of her stream of consciousness talking spells.

Maybe I am really the one putting pressure on myself because everyone I know seems to be either married, getting married, or has been dating someone for years. Weddings are always bittersweet because they bring you face-to-face with your singledom. I don’t think it’s unusual to feel very happy for someone else for having fallen in love with someone, and feel regretful that you yourself have not. Yet. Because I am, if nothing else, an optimist. So I will help plan and produce the Great Wedding of 07 and I will have fun doing it. And I will not feel sorry for myself. At least not a lot.

Mom Quote of the Day:

Mom: So Bill said he is going to get baptized in Amanda’s church and go to services. But he’s not going to participate a lot like your typical minister’s wife would.
Me: Wow. He’s going to go to church? Yikes.
Mom: I know. But I guess it’s not too big a deal. I mean, it can’t hurt him that much, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Suck it, daylight savings

Let me get this straight. Moving daylight savings up three weeks was supposed to save us energy, right? Because we would have to use fewer lights at night or something. The problem is, at least for me, by the time I get to work now the sun hasn’t even come up, so I am using more lights in the morning. And for the past two weeks I have been getting at least one email per day from our IT guys about making sure the Daylight Savings patches for the computers work and all your calendars are updated and blah blah blah is it really that hard to remember to move yourself forward an hour? Have Americans really become so dumb? I suppose the answer is yes. I mean, look at the success of Two and a Half Men. As much as I love Ducky, that show blows.

In an unrelated topic, I have decided it is time to get serious about getting healthy. Bad knees run in my family, and I have noticed that mine have begun to noticeably creak as I go up stairs. They don’t hurt yet, but I figure it is only a matter of time. Also, with all this talk of heart disease and other weight-related issues, I figure it’s time to get my act together. Now, I’m not talking about going on Adkins or cutting myself down to 500 calories a day or anything. I just want to be healthier. Which means more fruits and veggies, less fatty foods, and going the gym at least 4 times a week. I have been aided thus far by Chris and Kent moving in across the street from me and providing me with a keyless entry code for their building so I can get in and use the facilities whenever I want. Mwahahahaha! Mooching has never been so healthy.

Currently Reading: “The Crimes that Haunt Us,” a really interesting book by the former head of the FBI profiling unit looking back at some of the most notorious unsolved/mysterious crimes. Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, the Zodiac Killer, Jon Benet Ramsey…really a good read!

Currently Listening To: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” just named the top rock album of all time, and I have had When I’m 64 in my head for the past week. Damn you, McCartney!