Monthly Archives: November 2011

As political as we’ll get

Everyone who knows me knows I abhor all political partisanship. The sad truth is that there is corruption, greed and sanctimonious doubletalk in all parties. I am a raging Independent — disillusioned, frustrated, yet hopeful, just like my Democrat, Republican, and *insert favorite beverage here* Party friends.

Politics is basically a discussion no-no here at RtB, simply because I subscribe to the belief that most often, partisan minds are rarely moved, so all discussing/arguing brings about is acrimony, anger and hurt feelings, while no minds are changed. (Anyone who says politics are not fiercely idealized and romanticized hasn’t been paying attention.) I’m not saying that civilized political discourse cannot take place; rather, I’m saying that doing so is not the general rule. :-) So we will not go there, today or any day. But just for this morning, I will express my distinctly non-partisan incredulity at the Big Budget Powwow people’s inability to reach an agreement, as they are sharply divided across party lines.

Perhaps our politicians are just not skilled enough in the “art,” you know? They need to go somewhere and hone their craft first. In a thought-provoking article at Cato by Boudreaux and Lee (yes, I’ve no life and I’ve been up since 4:00), it’s apparent that being a politician requires definite savvy in several areas, and sometimes it’s a case of getting caught coming and going:

What’s a politician to do? On one hand, voters demand that their elected officials be men and women of principle. On the other hand, the reality of interest-group politics means that politicians must strike numerous unprincipled compromises–both directly with interest groups wielding political influence, as well as indirectly with other representatives beholden to different voters and different interest groups. Appearing to be an uncompromising champion of principle while simultaneously being virtuoso at the art of compromise is a daunting task.

Daunting indeed. But when does it become clear that we must choose between compromising our party principles and compromising our national solvency? I dunno. Maybe I’m looking at the issue with too simple a mind. But it does make me wonder if our elected officials are too vested in the reelection game. From the above article:

Politicians professing no ideology and unreservedly admitting that their highest skill and calling is to compromise with other politicians do not have long-lived political careers.

Ya think?? This “super committee” was likely doomed before it began. Compromise — the bane of every ideologue’s existence — was an option on paper, not in reality. Therefore, to the quotes by politicians on the Committee regarding their resolve to “hammer out a compromise,” I add: “…and by ‘hammer out a compromise,’ I mean ‘they will concede everything on my list or I’ll walk.'”


Short week, anyone?

As much as I love my job, I’m incredibly grateful to have this little break.

Mavis’s birthday feast was a grand time last night; yay for leftover chicken pot pie — packing lunch was easy today! :-) Now it’s the push to Thanksgiving, which, this year, is going to be a snap. All the kids go every which way for Thanksgiving week, hitting several in-laws’ and grandparents’ homes, while we host the evening meal. This year, we’re just having ham and mashed potatoes, as opposed to decking out a huge turkeybird that some members of the family will eat for the third time in two days. We’re planning to be just a bit different.

And I don’t mind telling you that not having to get the fowl, dress it, make stuffing and gravy, make sure we have the necessary trimmings, and have the Thriller spend 15 minutes carving the carcass doesn’t bother us in the least. We sprang the idea on everyone last night at the feast, and all were A-OK with it, so…yippy. A largely stress-free Thanksgiving. Mavis and I will have it easy, which makes me all the more thumbs-up for my short school week.

I’m enjoying it while it lasts, because after Thanksgiving….oi.

Looks like most of us (at least in the states — sorry Suzanne! :-( ) have a short week of some flavor or another. Enjoy!


Start a food blog, don’t start a food blog. Start a food blog, don’t start a food blog. What do you think, fiends?

Here’s the thing. I don’t have a particular cooking/baking style. It’s pretty eclectic, and ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime. I just have to decide whether it’s all worth sharing (I am also going to need some extra income when I grow up and retire). Behold the skeleton premise:

  1. There are many recipes our mother used that I would love to share. She was raised on a farm, the eldest of nine children, and learned a lot about cooking — by necessity, because she did most of it for the family. She then grew up to be an amazing cook, and passed a lot of her knowledge down to us. I want to keep that alive.
  2. I’m no legitimate foodie. In fact, I’m an illegitimate foodie. I cook and bake for comfort and nostalgia, and for the joy factor, which I hope is reflected in the stuff I make. I would share that.
  3. The concentration would be on easy, fun and filling Midwestern fare, with shortcuts and other ideas along the way. There’d be a definite concentration on cake baking.
  4. Now that the Thriller has his lovely new toy, I would concentrate on honing my skills with food photography as well.
  5. Then, of course, there’s my irascible wit.………..*cricket, cricket*
For several weeks now, I’ve been secretly researching the prospect of food blogging, and how I might create an income stream (however modest) from it. That’s the Fink. Alllllways thinkin’. Hm. Food for thought. And speaking of food…it’s time to start assembling those chicken pot pies for Mavis’s birthday feast tonight. Yay!
Is it the end of the weekend already? Yipes.

Review: Women Who Rock

What an awesome evening.

Wednesday night, BFF Kay and I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the world premiere of Women Who Rock, a PBS documentary chronicling the influence of women rockers from the pre-Delta blues juke-joint days to the present. Excellent montage. The show coincides in great part with the exhibit at the Rock Hall, dealing with the same subject. After the presentation, we got exclusive, after-hours access to the exhibit, which features the actual boots Michelle Phillips wore in the Ms & Ps bathtub album cover, Aretha Franklin’s 1981 appointment book, Mother Maybelle Carter’s guitar, Madonna’s hand-written notes and lyrics, and hundreds of other items. So incredibly interesting.

The docu premieres tonight, Friday, 18 November on PBS, and it’s worth watching. Possibly the most amazing fact about the 52-minute show is how they narrowed down the choices (there are no Canadian, European or Latina women in the movie), but time prohibits me this morning. The two filmmakers were there for the premiere Wednesday, and held a very informative panel discussion and Q & A session, along with the CEO of PBS. So interesting and fun. We both loved it. And yes, I was a total dork and bought a coffee mug from the gift shop.

But of course, the best part was spending some much-needed time with Kay. Starting at around 4:15 when I arrived, through dinner at Macaroni Grill, to finally getting back to her house around 11 p.m., it was the longest we’d spent together in, sadly, many months. Can’t have that.

On the Rat-O-Meter scale of five cheeses, I give Women Who Rock:

So today is Finkday, and all secondary music teachers are thinking about the big push awaiting them after Thanksgiving. Yippy. And away we go…enjoy your weekend!

Keep sniffing

A little over two years ago, in this very room in this very chair, I reminded myself that I need to make it a point to smell the roses as often as possible.

Since I’ve been up (3:30 a.m.) today, I’ve read a lot of negativity on Facebook posts, mostly from people a lot younger than my creaky self. And that started to bother me. You’re 20 and posting how worn out from life and work you are, and how much people in general are bothering you? Seriously?

I went off on a tangent to my 7th and 8th graders yesterday, telling them that I wish they’d care more about stuff because I was staring at the future leaders of our country. What if we had a country full of civic leaders and business people who didn’t care about anything? Here I am, puppeting what my parents felt and said 35 years ago. I’ve become my mother — something I swore in 1977 I’d never do. Whaddya make of that? A hat, a brooch, a pterodactyl?

Anyway, I’m off on another tangent, so back to the subject: rose sniffing. Today I am grateful for the same things I was grateful for in the original 2009 post: family, friends, a job I love, a small but cozy home. Oh, and Johnny Depp movies, the Beatles, and cake. (Not necessarily in that order.)

How about you? Are you grateful for anything specific this year? Do you have a rose-sniffing to share? As always, I covet your thoughts.