Thursday, November 10, 2011

Downtown, everything's waiting for you.....

Whenever I get a chance, I like to go people watching on my lunch break.  My office is in the middle of downtown Portland, and lately I have been able to see some pretty good stuff.  Yesterday's adventure brought us:

The 300 Pound Lady in a Wheelchair Smoking a Cigarette - because you can never really have too many health issues at a time....

Occupy Portland "Protesters" Sitting Under a Tarp MASSIVELY Toking Out - the press and the public take political protests MUCH more seriously from under a cloud of pot smoke.

Guy Sneaking Up on an Intersection - I don't really know what to say to this one....

Pretty Sure He's Homeless Guy Wrapped in a Blanket That Could Probably Walk Down the Street on It's Own - telling me to eff off and he's going to shove "it" right up my arse.......I guess I can't really get along with all kinds of people.....

As soon as I figure out how to sneak pics of all my new friends, I will share the visuals.  In the mean time, trust me - it's good to work downtown! 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Political identity crisis....

I have called myself a liberal for as long as I can remember - ever since I figured out that labels in politics are like a jacket and tie at a fancy restaurant - required. Sometimes I even spice it up a bit and call myself a "conservative liberal" - even though my Dad says there is no such thing! Up until about a week or so ago, I was sure I knew what being a liberal meant. As such, I believe:

  • No one is better than anyone else.  
  • My body is mine. 
  • Love is love. 
  • Although environmental stewardship is important it should be balanced with economic realities.
  • Religion and government don't mix, but I don't really care if there is a creche at City Hall and I won't complain until my beliefs are represented there too. 
  • As long as you don't physically hurt or take anything away from others, you can live your life the way you see fit.  
  • What's fair is sometimes the right choice over what the market will bear. 
  • "Takes too long" or "costs too much" are not valid excuses for ignoring the process to US citizenship. "I was born here" or "my parents brought me here when I was a kid" are. 
  • I believe in a flat income tax - for individuals and companies - no loopholes, and no inheritance taxes.
 The list goes on, but I think you get the idea. Big on personal freedom and fairness, not so big on government regulating "morality".

So imagine my surprise when I received a blog via email from my Dad that espoused an entirely different definition of "liberal"! The author had the gall to claim liberals are more close-minded than conservatives. As I huffed and puffed my indignance to my fellow cube-dwellers, I was met by a quiet yet firm voice of dissent that said "oh yes they are!".

The ensuing conversation with my "office Dad" - as I will call him (protecting his identity and the fact that he is not nearly old enough for a forty-something to call him that) - went on for about 30 minutes. The most surprising thing is that it didn't result in my walking away, shaking my head and mumbling about how out of touch this guy is. It resulted in me smacking my forehead and asking myself if maybe I am the one that is out of touch!

Am I so enamored with my own definition of what I think it means to be a liberal that I have ignored what everyone else thinks it means?  Is there a larger group of liberals that represent all sorts of other crap that I don't believe in/care about/support?  This certainly called for some research and a blog post.  So I fired up my bff Mr. Google to see what the rest of the world thinks I think -  and HOLY CRAP if it's not all effed up!! 

According to,  I: "reject logical and biblical standards, often for self-centered reasons",  support "income redistribution, usually through progressive taxation" and teach "acceptance of promiscuity through sexual "education" rather than teaching abstinence from sex".

At, I found out I believe "violence in the media does not really have a deleterious impact upon how children behave"

Over at, I discovered that I "believe that undocumented immigrants have a right to all educational and health benefits that citizens receive (financial aid, welfare, social security and medicaid), regardless of legal status" and in general, all "the same rights as American citizens".

Um, no - I'm just not feeling it.  These are not the things I believe in, they are not the ideals I support.  So where does that leave me?  Am I destined to the ambiguity of "independent"?  Is there such a thing as a liberal independent?  What's the party of common sense and individual freedom without persecution called?  Really - somebody help me out here, because it's glaringly apparent that - at the very least - I have on the wrong tie.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Everything you learned in kindergarten doesn't apply in Washington DC.

OMG people! My kids can't stand each other and yet when one has something the other one wants, they STILL manage to get along better than you! What happened to share, play nice and take turns? Can't we all just get along?? Apparently we can't, now that the party of "I Get What I Want or I Will Take My Ball and Go Home" has moved in to the beltway. (BTW, when one person or person attempts to exert control with a my-way-or-the-highway standard policy, I'm pretty sure that's called blackmail, or maybe extortion - I get the two mixed up......I'm just saying. )

Basically there are two schools of thought in Washington right now: either cut back on spending (only) or cut back on spending and raise revenue. MILLIONS of households are in a similiar situation, albeit on a smaller scale. Ask any of them how they have managed during this recession and I bet all of them will tell you it has been with the combo-plan: lose the movie channels, take public transit; get a part time job, ask for that promotion....why is it that the average people can balance thier budgets better than the people we pay to do the same thing for the nation? Is it really that hard?

While the "leaders of the free world" shackle themselves with assinine promises to never compromise (which sounds like a great excuse to do nothing), and glorious phrases like "now is our chance to do something big" the rest of us wait for them to get the country's fiscal house in order. You know why businesses aren't hiring, why home builders aren't building, why high school graduates aren't heading off to college just yet? One word: uncertainty. No one knows what to expect and no one wants to be the lead lemming. So we wait.

Dear Washington,

Give us something we can count on. Sometimes you have to give a little to get a little. If you need advice, you can call my kids.



Saturday, July 16, 2011

Well, I did comb my hair.....

You know, I love the summer sun as much as the next guy, but I can also dig an excuse to stay in and just veg. So not too bummed about the clouds. B left at 715 for an all-day training at the union; S & I dropped J off for a 25 mile bike ride with the scouts....then we came home and put our pjs back on (well, I did - S never got out of hers!).....Now it's getting ready for the grand-parental units to come over tomorrow, movies, Spongebob, Smurfs, laundry and chillin' like villians!
A few upcoming topics: banning Captain Underpants books (I know, right??); apparently the art of compromise is lost on EVERYONE in politics; why does every song on the top 40 station have to include swearing and references to sex? Yeah, sing THAT, 8 yr old girls....
Whatever you are up to today, enjoy! (And get your hand out of your pants!!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

That would be a great slogan for a shoe company...

One of the reasons I started this blog was to kind of force some personal accountabilty......put some external pressure on following through on commitments I had made to myself - not to some one else, but ME. We make a big deal out of teaching our kids to do what they tell other people they are going to do....what about the stuff we tell ourselves we are going to do, hmmmm?

Some of you know that I had been thinking about making a blog for a long time. But I just couldn't get started. I was plagued by "What will I write about? Will people think I am funny or uninformed? What if no one reads it?" What if, what if, what if...... finally one day I just told myself to stop "what-if-ing" and sh*& or get off the pot ...ten minutes later I had pizzaisnolongermyfriend....and it was totally easy! So easy in fact, that I really wonder what took me so long!

(Does that mean I sh*&? eww. I need a different analogy. That's just gross.)

Since blogging worked out so well (at least the getting started part), now I'm thinking about other things I have "always wanted to do", and I've started the ball rolling on a couple projects: a) write a kids book and b) run a half marathon. I've started an outline for the book, and already have an illustrator lined up (thanks Mom!!). And yes, I have started getting fit so I can run again. (Contrary to popular belief, you should get fit to run, and then run to stay fit...Can I get an amen?)

There are a lot of other things I want to do - here are a few:
Audition for the Singing Christmas Tree
Join Mensa
Visit the desert in Maine
See the ruins of the Lindsay castle on The Isle of Man
Volunteer at the library

I guess this is kind of a bucket list - but not things that I want to do before I die, just stuff I want to what should I call it? LOL - how 'bout an STD list (Sh&^ To Do)..... I LIKE IT!

So, what's on your STD list? Post it below, and we can help keep eachother motivated....what is it they say? Oh yeah - just do it!! :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Things that make you go "hmmmmm"...or WTF..

As usual, I was listening to NPR on the way home Tuesday night. Their Texas correspondent, Wade Goodwyn, was reporting about a Mexican National named Humberto Leal Garcia that had been sentenced to death in Texas for the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 16 year old girl named Adria Sauceda in 1994.

The story is that Adria was massively wasted at a party and ended up getting gang raped in the back yard. Leal's testimony said that when he arrived at the party and heard about the rape, he became visibly upset (corroberated by witnesses), found the girl and offered her a ride home. At some point on the drive, Adria got out of the car and as he was trying to convince her to get back in, Leal says they struggled, he pushed her and she hit her head. No rape, no kidnapping.

The details of the case, as presented by Goodwyn, include the fact that Leal was never informed of his right to contact his embassy (which violates an international treaty); additionally, Goodwyn stated there was little to no evidence that he raped her or kidnapped her:

"There's little question Leal killed her, either intentionally or unintentionally. But there was no DNA evidence that he raped her, and the evidence that he kidnapped her appeared even thinner."

Without the kidnapping and rape charges, Leal’s case would not have been eligible for the death penalty. (Huh - "eligible", like it's a prize or something.....)

The Obama administration, the United Nations and Amnesty International, among others, petitioned the office of Texas Governor Rick Perry to postpone the execution and review the case, proposing that the lack of access to the Mexican consulate set a precedent risking the rights and possibly the lives of Americans abroad.

The Governor’s office declined to review the case, arguing that the states are not bound to comply with the Vienna convention, because there is no law defining enforcement. Yep, that’s right – laws are just words on paper unless you EXPLICITLY define who has to abide by it and the consequences of non-compliance. Good to know, right?

Although I don't argue with the importance of adhering to an international treaty, I was laser focused on the reporter's comment about the evidence (or lack thereof).

Of course I couldn't help mentally comparing this to Casey Anthony being (IMHO) stone.cold.guilty. and you could say I was pretty effing pissed when I heard that the execution of Humburto Leal Garcia was carried out Wednesday. How could Ms. Anthony do what she did, and be set free, while this guy – who, based on the NPR report was at least plausibly innocent - was sentenced to death?? I was outraged. Instantly I started writing blog posts in my head telling Rick Perry what I thought about his ego and his presidential ambitions.

Then I got home and decided to do some more research before posting something I might regret.

And you know what I found? NOTHING. Nothing, that is, supporting Mr. Goodwyn's statement about the details of the case - remember the no-DNA-evidence thing? Yeah, nothing about that. And you would think that if there was a chance that the guy didn't do the horrible stuff he is accused of, then it would be all over the place, right? Nada. All everyone wanted to talk about what the treaty violation. That's all well and good, and an important detail. Who hasn't gotten drunk and arrested in Tijuana and been glad to contact their consulate? Well, I haven't, but that's beside the point......Where were the righteously indignant, the heroes of the common man? From what I was reading, it appeared that everyone was ignoring the fact that Leal very likely just accidentally killed that poor girl.

<..........heavy sigh........

Then I stumbled on to the two websites I found that actually talked details. I was suddenly very glad that I took the time to research my topic. And at the same time, I felt like blowing chunks. It was bad:

When Adria was found on the side of the road the next morning, it was obvious that she had been violated with a STICK - maybe the reason why there was no DNA evidence that Leal raped her? (Oh, and by the way - the gang rape from earlier in the evening? Yeah, NO ONE was ever prosecuted for that......)And there was a huge chunk of concrete found next to her head. And it had her blood under it. And there was a smaller rock at the scene that had her blood on it.....and one webpage said she was strangled. And and and and and........

<....................heavy sigh.................

So I went from what I was sure was the high ground of "don't execute an innocent man" to "why the HELL did NPR say what they did"? Then I started to wonder how many other people heard that story Tuesday night and felt the same way I did - but didn't take the time to research what they heard. Just took what the guy said and ran with it. Of course, that led to asking how much more innacurate information do I have rattling around in my head? I have always thought of NPR as unbiased and accurate. Does this mean they suck as much as FOX and their "newstainment"? How can I ever trust anyone again? Do I have enough time in the day to fact check everything I hear? No, I don't - you probably don't either.

I just that what they are counting on?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Really Long Distance Phone Call

So the other day my sister, who lives in Boston, came home from work to find her phone ringing as she was walking in the door. She took a quick look at the caller ID, saw that it was our Grama Fran, and she picked up. There seemed to be no one there, sort of an emptiness but no sound. Then a dial tone.

The thing is, Grama Fran died this Spring........

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Random Thoughts & a Book Review...Sort Of...

I have been reading a TON of teenager fiction lately. Most of it about vampires, faeries and werewolves. (Thank you, Stephenie Meyer.)

Teen fiction, or "juvenile fiction" as Madame Librarian calls it, is great because it's not too deep (or deep at all), it doesn't try to teach life lessons or make a statement about societal mores. In other words, these books are just plain entertainment. And frankly, I am far too lazy to think very hard so I love me some teen angst and paranormal drama!

Right now, I am on book seven of the House of Night series by the mother/daughter team of P.C. and Kristen Cast (don't ask me what P.C. stands for. It must be bad if she goes by the initials). Titled "Burned", this book is really focused on the characters actively making the choice to be good or evil, despite their origins. As usual, my brain went off on a tangent and wants to know the answer to this sort-of-related-but-not-quite question:

If good is the opposite of bad, how can it still qualify as the opposite of evil? Assuming evil is an elevated level of bad, shouldn't there be an elevated level of good? Is there, and I just don't know? Gasp - Lil Miss Big Brain Vocabulary doesn't know a word!!??? (That was for you Allan!)

Check out the books here, and enlighten me, People!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

In With Both Feet

Good morning, and Welcome to pizzaisnolongermyfriend, where you can expect a no-holds barred perspective on all the hot topics of the day - like politics, world peace, wine, coffee, kids, family, work and Dwayne Johnson!!

As the date of my inaugural post happens to be a national holiday, I'll keep it short and sweet (just like me!) so you all can get back to your BBQs and lighting shizz on fire......

Happy Independence Day!

May (insert your personal diety here) Bless the United States of America!

May he/she/it Guide you and Strengthen you.

May he/she/it give you Wisdom, Compassion and Patience, free Starbucks on Monday mornings, free vodka on Friday nights and mandatory nap times at work!!

Rock on, Croutons!