Bully, Y’all.

I saw a headline today about it being the first truly snowless January in New York City in 75 years. That’s bizarre. I think every year I’ve lived here, it has snowed in January. Does anyone remember that one day last January it was 70 degrees? For those of you who call NYC Babylon, maybe the end of the world will take a little bit longer, because it looks like hell won’t freeze over anytime soon.

I wish the political parties would get over themselves. I think the top 4 would do okay serving in the Cabinet together, or at least the non-nominees being the runningmates for the nominees. I seriously just want to see what Obama can do. Why? Underdog loyalties, kind of. The other three have experience in this or that, and they have varying degrees of pull in their parties. I want to see if that powerful rhetoric can really effect change. How much inspiration will transfer to action, that kind of thing, because the experienced haven’t done all that much.It’s all been a standstill. Stalemate. I have a lot more rambling to do on this, but right now I’m going to say I’m ignoring pundits until after Super Tuesday.

Objectively: Hybridize Romney’s economic background and McCain’s security and defense experience and Hillary’s chutzpah and Obama’s idealism, and get the parties out from hiding behind their parties’ smokescreens, and everybody will feel democracy working the way it should. Or not. Maybe that’s just the daydream I was having at work today. Not all that exciting. I mean, it’s not exactly school walls with pictures of people doing yoga…

Dreams. Never quite as it seems. Impossible to ignore.

Did you know??

I didn’t know what hummus was until I came to New York City.

It was during the summer, 2003. Almost 5 years ago. An old college acquaintance invited me to Opera in the Park.
If you review the list of ingredients for that picnic, you might agree that’s the best picnic I’ve ever attended. When I tasted the hummus, I couldn’t get enough of it. I was merely a guest, though, and I wasn’t about to pig out on somebody else’s food. The Lauren from BYU and the David I had a crush on (he was actually her ex-boyfriend; I was mistaken about Dan) are now married. Last I heard, they were living in Brooklyn. He was finishing up architecture school and she’s practicing law. 

Hummus is simple. Who knew smashed chickpeas could be so tasty? Add a little olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, a little salt, tahini if it’s handy. I had no idea what tahini was, either. Add sun-dried tomatoes or olives or pine nuts, whatever you want. The possibilities are endless. Spread it on anything. Bread, crackers, pitas. I’ve been eating it on toast, and that makes me feel better because it’s not butter.

I put 11 miles on the stationary bike tonight. It was crazy-windy tonight. (Thanks for passing that along, Ray.) I didn’t feel like pushing against the wind. People, the stationary bike is harder than being out on the road. Sweat was dripping from my temples, which I thought was pretty cool, until the thought occurred to me I’d have to clean it up. Boo.

Fortunately, it won’t get bitter cold. A coworker told me yesterday Chicago’s office closed early because the city was 2 degrees. That’s no fun, people. Make sure you layer up.

It’s fun reading other people’s blogs. It’s kind of like my hummus. Once I found out what it was, I can’t stop. It’s a whole other side of writing. It’s a revolution that I almost felt hostile about, because it turned everyone into a writer, but it’s here to stay, and I’m actually okay with that. Before clicking toward the outskirts of the blogiverse, I always, always check my friends’ blogs first. It’s your lives I’m more emotionally invested in, and reading your truth and creation makes me feel that we’re not thousands of miles apart after all. I love hummus. I love you.

What’s a good title, people?

Distance: 5.75M
Course: to 29th Street and 1st Avenue, to that hospital; cross town to 9th Avenue
Weaving between 8th and 9th Aves from 30th to 38th
Back across town to 5th Ave
Up to 42nd Street
East to Madison
Up to 53rd Street
Back to 5th Avenue
Down to 45th Street
Weather: clear, 43 degrees
Time: 58 minutes

I wore clothes perfect for a 30 degree run. As I crossed town the first town, I had to shed my gloves, my headband which was around my neck, and my earmuffs. My original plan was to go all the way to 11th Avenue, but I got a bad feeling about that, so 9th was the farthest west I felt I should go. I figured there’d be enough people, but I wasn’t sure there would be enough witnesses. Better safe than sorry.

Two phrases I’m very obnoxious about saying. It has become a habit, and I don’t know how to stop.

“I [insert any verb] that SO MUCH!” I say this at the television constantly. I say this at church. I say this to myself at work. I say this at restaurants. Stores. It doesn’t matter what it is, really. I love curtains SO MUCH! I abhor the recession SO MUCH! I can eat pickles SO MUCH! I want to scuba dive SO MUCH! 

“Your mom …” This is so ridiculous. It said a la Napoleon Dynamite. “Your mom is a Democrat.” “Your mom makes omelets.” “Your mom stands in toe shoes.” I’ll interject this into any part of a conversation. This usually happens at home, with my roommate. If I’m in a public or social setting, I’ll mutter it under my breath.

I hate that habit SO MUCH. Your mom is a habit. …

See, Hear, Sing

Just wanted to post this. I’ve never absolutely hated the Dixie Chicks, regardless of their readiness to make nice. Natalie does a great job harmonizing, though it would have been better if she backed off just a smidge for a more blended sound. You can tell both ladies really enjoy the song, and they seem to click well, as evidenced by Patty’s occasional grins. For someone who has mastered the sad song, her face sure does light up when she smiles. As most people’s. 

Vodpod videos no longer available. My mom thinks this is a weird obsession.

Ooh!  I have another photo to post from New Years:

At one of the best Italian restaurants in the city, in my opinion.

The restaurant gave us those awesome hats. 

And January is almost over already. Which is fine, because it was a long month. And that means I’m that much closer to visiting Austin. And perhaps Jenny visiting. And Sarah coming in 67? (2+31+31+3) days.

Yep.

Space Holder

When I got to work, I listened to the last five General Conference talks by President Hinckley.

The man left an amazing legacy. I read a few news tributes to him, and it really touched me how deeply he affected everyone. He taught us all how to try to leave the world a better place.

Then I came home and worked on seminary stuff and watched and made little bit of fun of the State of the Union address.

I totally wasn’t in the mood to exercise, though I know it would have done me some good. I’d rather have a hug.

To bed instead. Good night.

June 23,1910 – January 27, 2008

You think he’s going to live forever, and you tend to forget that dying comes before that. 97 years. 97 full years.

I was on the BYU campus when I heard President Hunter passed away in March, 1995, and President Hinckley would be replacing him.
And now, it’s time for him to be replaced.

I remember when he came to New York City, and the youth and single adults of the area performed for him in Radio City Music Hall.

He did say he was in the sunset of his life. Nobody ever knows how long that sunset will last.

I am in my apartment right now. My roommate’s mom called and told her, and then my roommate told me. And I’m trying to document my feelings. Oh, my heavy heart.

He’s grateful to see his beloved wife again. How he missed her.

Everyone loves him. We’ll miss you, President Hinckley. Your testimony has strengthened us all.

Until we meet again.

An exercise in purity/-ification.

My mom and I talked on the phone today, as I was on my way home from church. It was a fun conversation. It was during this discussion she informed me she reads this – my – blog. “That’s okay, isn’t it?” She asked. Of course it’s okay. When she told me, I got really excited. Read on, I say. Read on. My feelings are all over this website. Four and a half years of A Little Thinking. I’m not embarrassed about anything I’ve written, especially the snotting and farting entries, because, hello? My mother raised me. She already knows I do those things. Why would I have stopped when I moved away from home?

I’m listening to Obama’s victory speech again. This was an excellent delivery. This very well could not only sway me, but anchor me to a candidate to support. I guess it is the idealist in me. Patient idealist, though. Plus? a lot of points I made in yesterday’s rant he addressed in his speech. I feel we’re on the same page. Yes, we can!

Heard talks today about clean language. Conversation, books, music, movies. I decided to go through my running playlist and omit certain songs and give the reasons for doing so. Let’s pretend I have children, and I’d be blasting the music in our home. Children should be allowed to be children. They shouldn’t have to see or hear or experience certain things. I want to be able to protect my children for as long as possible. Is that naive? Maybe so, but this is how I’ll love them; this is how we’ll keep our home pure and a place of peace.

California Love – mom, what’s “hoochies”? what’s “clocked”?
Girlfriend – don’t want to encourage jealousy
Get Me Bodied – it doesn’t have to be about sex, but it could be.
The Mating Game – kind of a dirty song, duh – the title?
Lose Yourself – marginal; bad language.
Mr. Brightside – the opening scene is too suggestive
Hey Ya! – I could blank out that one line, but is that the point?
Every Little Bit – aww, man; morning-after regret isn’t the most positive message
Don’t Cha – too skanky
Losing My Religion – don’t know if I could handle my 3-year old repeating this
Fly – Sugar Ray. The unwholesome thoughts I have are enough of a reason
Falls Apart – see above
The Freshman – not for superyoung ones
The World Has Turned – too angry
No Diggity – too something I can’t put my finger on
Toxic – I can’t imagine her posters being on my children’s walls
Baby One More Time – see above
Come on Over- see above
Wind It Up – see above
Beautiful Stranger – slightly suggestive
Like a Prayer – I don’t think I could explain this song
I Will Not Forget You – about a forbidden relationship
Head Over Feet – lyrics
Ironic – lyrics
You Oughta Know – language
Hand in My Pocket – meh, the line about the cigarette

So, 26 out of 80 songs isn’t horrible. I guess it could be much worse. I’m still going to teach my children to make good choices and follow their consciences. I love observing the sensibilities children have, especially those I’ve read and heard about here, in LJ. You know who you are, parents.

Hmm. Remember the Barack Obama sticker I gave my roommate? She thought it was funny. However, she came home with a big, obnoxious Hillary Clinton ’08 sticker, and stuck it right above the Obama sticker, which found its way to the kitchen door. So before I went to bed, I put the Obama sticker above Hillary’s and called it a night.

I need a nap.

Okay then “gas”tronomy

I can’t bring myself to get creative with titles right now. I meant to run 10 miles tonight, but it turns out I ran 9 instead. That’s slightly irritating. Anyway. 32 degrees, clear. It was a slow 9, because I thought I was running 10, and I wanted to be able to finish. I stopped once to stretch my calves, but the rest of it was relatively continuous. Ugh, how frustrating. I wanted to peak at 11 or 12 miles next Saturday and use the last two weeks to lolligag. Oh well. No big deal. Mileage for the week: 19.

One thing I have to admit. “Training” turns me off. I remember back when I used to run a lot a couple of years ago, I did it for fun. It was fun. I was enjoying myself, and I happened to be able to run for a couple of hours. It’s definitely different. Maybe it’s just that my body is still adjusting, and I’m racking up the miles a little more quickly this time; I’ve never exceeded 15 miles/week before two weeks ago, I think, and so my body probably perceives this as some sort of torture. 

Last night, I went to a friend’s up in Washington Heights for a little party. We had pizza and watched Harry Potter. They also had Oreos and donut holes. I helped myself to a little bit of everything. I stopped at two slices of pizza, even though I wanted more.

This morning I helped clean the church, then I went to brunch with another friend. We went to a cute place, and it was pretty good. I had an omelet with spinach and mushrooms and a mild cheese. My friend was still a little bit hungry, and I felt the same, so we headed to a crazy-cute coffee cafe for hot cocoa and a pastry. We had a great conversation.

Four hours passed from the time I stopped eating to when I started running. I hoped that was enough time for digestion. Along Central Park West, my stomach was feeling full and gurgly. I couldn’t believe it. Let’s just say I now know the value of jet propulsion. It was about as loud as a jet, too.

Why are my entries so crude lately?

Last week, I spotted two lookalike celebrities. One guy looked like Daniel Radcliffe. His eyebrows were better groomed than I’ve seen the actor’s. I doubted it was him, because he looked too short. The other was a spooky resemblance of John McEnroe. I ran very quickly and quietly as I passed him. I didn’t want him unleashing his wrath on me. In case it was him.

Today’s actual celebrity sighting was Chris March from Project Runway. He was waiting to cross 14th Street at 6th Avenue. I had just crossed 6th Avenue and was on the same corner where he stood. I almost called out his name, but I thought better of it. Pretty cool, though.

Anyway.

Man, I am tired. I sauteed some mushrooms, then I put those between two pieces of toast spread with hummus. I love hummus.

Also? Nice rally, Barack. 55% is quite undeniable.

Absolutely Rambling

I love our government. I really do. I don’t know if I could live under a king/queen/magistrate rule and reign.
Hmm, the type of government doesn’t seem to affect the influence of power, though.

Last night, with the Republican, he talked to us about power in the Senate and House, and that staying power increases the chances of your ideas becoming reality. 

How a bill becomes a law has become a giant Gordian knot, where all the turns and confusing tauts are secondary, tertiary, even quaternary clauses to appease a party’s contingent for issues that aren’t even relevant. Before the other party will agree to the bill, the originating party will have to build more schools in x district; more police in y district, and so forth. And then when it finally gets to the president for pass or veto, it’s supposed to make sense? It should not take years and years to pass legislation in the federal government. I don’t know if anyone in Congress is willing to concede that. It’s a ridiculous standoff between the parties; they’re content with making (minimal) effort pushing/not pushing their issues; they put all of their energy into campaigning and fundraising. No actual legislation will have been passed, but at least they get to keep their office.

It should not take years and years. How long has the Senate been sitting on the healthcare issue? Why has nothing really been done about it? To date, healthcare is not a right. If it’s that important in this republic, why can’t Capitol Hill try harder to get this on the Constitution? Also, what of the country’s priorities? If the Iraq war is quiet, then healthcare no longer becomes marginal. Neither does gay marriage. Or abortion. Or education. Or crime. I’m not saying any of these issues should trump the others. It’s just that thousands of communities have very different ideas of what’s important to them, regardless of media spin, and while I’m not a fan of the current president, I have to believe he’s doing the best that he can, and I’m skeptical enough of the media to believe it won’t let us see him at his best.

Why does socialized (is it the same as universal?) healthcare work in other countries? It would have to work in countries that are thoroughly poor, who have no one to tax, that are not fundamentally capitalistic. If doctors are all getting paid the same, then it shouldn’t matter if they have 4 patients or 400. Are there regulations in these countries in this regard? The immediate ramifications of an immediate implementation of universal healthcare are not pretty. To reach a close to desirable degree of evenness among all social stati, we’re gonna get taxed. Not lightly. Countries like Denmark who get taxed 60% or so of their income don’t have at least 300 million people whose upper tier — whose help we most need — that might be exempt. Their (Denmark’s) citizens are leaving for Sweden and surrounding countries to go work for Ikea. Who stays? The abject poor. Because they have no choice.

Also? I am inclined to compare a socialized healthcare system to our country’s welfare program. See how well that is doing? There HAS to be a better way of going about this without fostering a sense of entitlement and deservedness in America’s lazy, uninspired leeches.

Any solution presented isn’t going to make everyone happy. For now, a compromise has to be made. Leaders can’t expect Americans to comply right away with pipe-dream agendas. As wonderful as they sound, it’s going to take a long, long time to become reality. So, vote for the issues you are passionate about, but then you can’t complain when all the junk gets chipped from the cracks and the dirties your shoes.

Or, your issues may not fruit at all; they may be volleyed back and forth in Congress, where no one really says anything if someone drops the ball, at least with all the lobbying and pork barrelling going on.

This is our government, folks. I know it works when all the variables happen to be favorable. It’s a brilliant system. The people running it are sometimes dorks, is all. We can’t give everything to our government; that’s not how it was set up. It would be giving up our agency. This is not tyranny; it’s democracy, but it is starting to look like a joke.

“You’re the weak one …

You’ll never know love and friendship … and I feel sorry for you.”

I watched that movie tonight with friends. I tried not to cry and look like a total goober. Bully, y’all.

I listened to a real Republican today. I thought it was quite refreshing. Made me take a step back. I can sort of understand why people are so loyal to their parties.

Well. The headache is gone. It seems it was a sinus headache. In the end, it took 4 sips of coke and two Tylenol. I held out as long as I could. All of a sudden whatever fluid that was trapped leaked out of my nose, and my headache went away. Now, it just needs to stay away.