random thoughts for halloween

1. dogs don't like halloween costumes. ours won't move when we put the costume on.

2. high school girls dressing up for halloween as school girls is a bit redundant, no?

3. tastefully simple beer bread made with bud light lime is rather excellent.

4. it's even better served with tastefully simple spinach and herb dip.

5. spritz cookies shaped like pumpkins are buttery yumgoodness.

6. always have a halloween t-shirt for your daughter to wear.

7. workplaces on halloween can actually be kind of fun.

8. fun but kind of slow. is it 5:00 yet? please???

9. halloween is a dieters worst nightmare.

10. happy halloween everyone!!!!!!!!!


the future of health care?

is anyone else a little bit alarmed about john mccain's health care proposal?

here is a little tidbit from business week describing his plan: if you don't want to read the whole thing, the highlights are this:

McCain wants to do away with the tax exemption on employer-provided insurance. Instead, he would give a $2,500 annual tax credit to individuals, and $5,000 to families, to purchase their own coverage.

McCain's plan is meant to encourage individuals to purchase their insurance and free companies from the heavy cost of providing coverage. His theory is that employees would take their tax credit and flock to the open market, where they could shop around for the plan that best meets their needs. Insurance companies would have to become more competitive to win their business.

A Kaiser Family Foundation survey released last year found the average annual premium of an employer-based insurance policy is $12,000, of which employees pay about one-third.

so let me get this straight...my current individual health care plan is paid partially by myself and partially thorough my employer. under mccain's plan, my employer would probably not cover employees anymore due to loss of the tax credit. and then i'm supposed to go out and shop for private insurance with a measely $2,500? what the? has anyone seen the prices for private health care insurance? do you think $2,500 is going to cover it? did you see the survey they quoted where the average policy is $12,000? not sure if that is family or individual, but either way mccain's tax credits aren't even close to that number.

insurance companies are NOT going to lower their premiums that much just because you let people loose on the market. gah! i don't understand how anyone can think this is a good idea? if i'm missing something here please feel free to comment. but i have a hard time believing mccain's plan isn't going to cost families MORE in the long run, not less. in fact, if you look at the example from the article, insurance costs about $12,000 per year. currently employees pay about $4,000 of that if the figure of 1/3 is accurate. under mccain's plan, if the cost of insurance is $12,000 and you apply the mccain tax credit of $5,000, you are now paying $7,000 per year out of pocket instead of $4,000. That's actually $3,000 MORE! hello????????


things overheard at my 7 year old's birthday party

why didn't you invite any other boys? (from the lone boy invited who had only my son and to ally with.)

this is the WORST party ever!! (from a very bratty girl, upon learning she could only choose a wacky bear in a certain price range.)

hey, i thought we were having cake! (from an ungrateful child upon learning we were having cupCAKES instead of a traditional cake.)

this is so unfair! (from yet another child, upon learning that the birthday girl got her choice of animals instead of being limited to the same price range as the rest.)

ky, you can't cut in line! (a child yelling at the birthday girl choosing a place in the game line.)

hey, how come she gets to go first?!? (complaining that the birthday girl was invited to stuff her wacky bear first.)

oddly enough, most of the complaining came from just a couple of the TEN kids invited. there were others that were really quite sweet. there is one girl in particular (the one with the "this is the worst party ever" comment), that will never be invited to another party for my child. i realize she is just a kid, but in my opinion there is just no excuse for that huge of a lack of manners. if i ever learned my daughter had said something so bratty at a friend's party i would skin her hide and never allow her to attend another birthday party.

i was sweating for the entire two hours of the party trying to keep ten children under control with the occasional assistance of the wacky bear staff. the party was deemed a success overall and i am sooooo glad it is over until next year. note to self: cut guest list in half for the next party. ; )


guest blogger and he doesn't even know it...

the bf sent out an interesting email today. it sounds to me like he's getting kind of pissy with some of his uber conservative friends. i'm not sure i agree with every point he makes here, but i'm proud of him for expressing his views anyway. (p.s. though he is quite liberal in his politics, please know that because he is asian i think he sometimes goes a little too far where race is concerned and is definitely not very p.c. at times.)

here is his email:

So I’ve gotten tons of emails lately about Palin and McCain and all the military stuff and crap. Here is my response.

In the early 1980’s the United States government supported the Taliban in their efforts to wage war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. By 1987, it is reported that the United States was exporting 65,000 tons of US made weapons to help in the war. In 1984, the United States allowed the networking of recruiting offices here in the US by Osama Bin Laden and his contributors. A special agent of the FBI, Ali Mohamed, is actually considered Osama Bin Laden’s first trainer.

Why does any of this history matter? Ronald Regan was President for two terms during the 80’s and during his time, he proceeded to evoke the Soviet Union in an Nuclear Arms race that eventually lead to the INF Treaty in which both countries stated that they would reduce the number of nuclear weapons. Instead of using education and understanding and listening, Mr. Regan used his military background to oversee the military aid to Afghanistan, Grenada, and the bombing of Libya.

I have nothing but the highest amount of respect to those who serve in the military. Anyone who is willing to put their life on the line to save the lives of someone else deserves at the least our respect and undying gratitude. Saving our assess is what they go out and do every single day and they do it because they believe in us and our country. Having said that though, having military background or being in the military does not automatically put you in position to be trusted or in a position to be a leader of any kind. Being in the middle of a war does not teach you how to handle a crisis situation, it teaches you how to shoot before getting killed. Ever wonder how terrorists get all that information to make bombs and create nuclear weapons? They get them from traitors in our own military. Agents of our CIA and FBI have been known to sell high level secure information to the highest bidder. So, it’s great that the Governor of Alaska has one of the “highest” security positions in the US. But then again, so has every other Governor of Alaska and none of them were close to being qualified to run for VP. Matter of fact, every person who is in the running for Vice President is sworn to secrecy or they will not even have the opportunity to become the running mate of any Presidential hopeful.

The United States did not come into being because we decided to wage war on other nations. We won because we defended our country on our own land. Ever since then, we have done nothing but put our big assess into conflicts that have nothing to do with us. We don’t help wage war because it helps protect our nation, we do it for only one reason and one reason only, to gain in our own interests. If we really wanted to stop Osama we could have. If we really were worried about the safety of people at home, we would have killed him already. In reality, our government uses catch phrases such as “war on terrorism” to make us feel good. If it really was a war on terrorism, why are the terrorists still out there running around?

Why is it so hard for Regan backers to see that someone with a Havard degree, the ability to listen, and someone who has an expanded mind about how the world works, could not make a great leader? Should all prisoners of war that have charming good looks run for some type of office? Are we supposed to send all our children off to war so they can become someone someday?

If we want a safer America, get rid of all the f’n terrorist here on our own soil. Get rid of all the rednecks who believe that their way is the only way and that people shouldn’t think for themselves. Get rid of all the Blacks who hate being here and blame everyone else for their shitty situation. Get rid of all the gun-toting arse-holes who shoot things because it’s fun and its’ their God given right (even though most of those effers don’t even go to church). Get rid of all of the humongous turds that call themselves “Christens” and then think that their belief is the only belief because when you think about it, the terrorists have the same way of thinking.

I don’t give two craps if our President is a Muslim or a former Prisoner of War. What really matters is are they smart enough to run the country with respect and honor, are they smart enough to make sure that they take care of the majority of the citizens who are middle income or less, are they willing to look forward and realize that we need to save this weird planet that we live on so we don’t piss it off and it ends up taking us all out, are they smart enough to understand economics and do what it takes to keeps jobs here in America and not send jobs oversees or to effing Mexico, and is that person smart enough to realize that it’s not all about how big our dick is but more about how we present ourselves in a manner that allows communication with those who disagree with us?

-The BF

I'll have to find out tonight what it was that pushed him over the edge today. ; )


quotes from the birthday girl

"if i were a dog mom, i wouldn't lick my butt, would you?"

...to be continued


i. hate. laundry.

there, i said it. i HATE doing the laundry. what i hate most about the laundry is putting it away. because of this, clean clothes hang out in baskets way longer than they should, and that sometimes causes a backup in the washer, which can cause that lovely "musty" smell and sometimes mean re-washing a load. not exactly a "green" practice.

laundry also gets backed up due to time constraints. by the time i get home at 6:00, make dinner, do dishes, clean up, get kids bathed, read to and down to bed, it is after 8:00. which means i have been going, going, going for well over 13 hours. at this point i like to sit down and enjoy me some facebook, check email and possibly read some blogs. after this i often do homework. homework lasts till 11:00 or 12:00.

i am sick of hearing about how someone has no socks or underwear. i am sooo tired of the overactive nose of the bf whining over clothes that sometimes smell less than fresh. (perhaps a load that sat too long in the washer and wasn't re-washed.)

today an IM conversation went like this:

the bf: did you start using a new type of softener or something?
me: no, same as always, why?
the bf: my sweatshirt that i got out of the dryer smells like wet dog.

eff eff eff eff eff!!!!! do your own effing laundry!!!

but the bf has this complex where he thinks i don't do shit. and he is SOOOOO busy all the time and working SOOOOO hard. which is why he knows the ins and outs of the social life of every one of his co-workers and ends up working past 10:00 on a regular basis to make up for the fact that he chatted and web surfed too much during the work day. gah!!!! just because he is AT work until 10:00 doesn't mean he is WORKING that whole time. i'm smarter than that, bucko.

Pro Life? Yeah, right...

Read the Saturday, October 11th post from Green Tea MN.

More political hypocrisy.



...brown chicken brown cow...brown chicken brown cow...

(it's a VERY rare night of durrrrnkeeedddnesss.) tee hee!


return to sender

please no more mccain palin propaganda, people! nothing you send me is going to sway my mind, it will only serve to annoy me immensely. i promise not to send you politically motivated material (unless i know you are on MY side) if you refrain from sending me yours.

politics is a touchy subject for many of us, and i know many of us are very set in our beliefs. i will sometimes use this blog as a forum for my political thoughts, and if i do so in this very public manner you are more than welcome to comment in any way you choose. please just don't email me your crap. if you do, it's a waste of time, because i probably won't open it/view the material.

thank you.


Bailout Wisdom a la Michael Moore

Love him or hate him, this makes a hell of a lot of sense to me!

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE. Before any new money is expended, Congress must commit, by resolution, to criminally prosecute anyone who had anything to do with the attempted sacking of our economy. This means that anyone who committed insider trading, securities fraud or any action that helped bring about this collapse must go to jail. This Congress must call for a Special Prosecutor who will vigorously go after everyone who created the mess, and anyone else who attempts to scam the public in the future.

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT. They may have to live in 5 houses instead of 7. They may have to drive 9 cars instead of 13. The chef for their mini-terriers may have to be reassigned. But there is no way in hell, after forcing family incomes to go down more than $2,000 dollars during the Bush years, that working people and the middle class are going to fork over one dime to underwrite the next yacht purchase.

If they truly need the $700 billion they say they need, well, here is an easy way they can raise it:

a) Every couple who makes over a million dollars a year and every single taxpayer who makes over $500,000 a year will pay a 10% surcharge tax for five years. (It's the Senator Sanders plan. He's like Colonel Sanders, only he's out to fry the right chickens.) That means the rich will still be paying less income tax than when Carter was president. This will raise a total of $300 billion.

b) Like nearly every other democracy, charge a 0.25% tax on every stock transaction. This will raise more than $200 billion in a year.

c) Because every stockholder is a patriotic American, stockholders will forgo receiving a dividend check for one quarter and instead this money will go the treasury to help pay for the bailout.

d) 25% of major U.S. corporations currently pay NO federal income tax. Federal corporate tax revenues currently amount to 1.7% of the GDP compared to 5% in the 1950s. If we raise the corporate income tax back to the level of the 1950s, that gives us an extra $500 billion.

All of this combined should be enough to end the calamity. The rich will get to keep their mansions and their servants, and our United States government ("COUNTRY FIRST!") will have a little leftover to repair some roads, bridges and schools.

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME. There are 1.3 million homes in foreclosure right now. That is what is at the heart of this problem. So instead of giving the money to the banks as a gift, pay down each of these mortgages by $100,000. Force the banks to renegotiate the mortgage so the homeowner can pay on its current value. To insure that this help does no go to speculators and those who have tried to make money by flipping houses, this bailout is only for people's primary residence. And in return for the $100K paydown on the existing mortgage, the government gets to share in the holding of the mortgage so that it can get some of its money back. Thus, the total initial cost of fixing the mortgage crisis at its roots (instead of with the greedy lenders) is $150 billion, not $700 billion.

And let's set the record straight. People who have defaulted on their mortgages are not "bad risks." They are our fellow Americans, and all they wanted was what we all want and most of us still get: a home to call their own. But during the Bush years, millions of them lost the decent paying jobs they had. Six million fell into poverty. Seven million lost their health insurance. And every one of them saw their real wages go down by $2,000. Those who dare to look down on these Americans who got hit with one bad break after another should be ashamed. We are a better, stronger, safer and happier society when all of our citizens can afford to live in a home that they own.

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A "BAILOUT," THEN WE OWN YOU. Sorry, that's how it's done. If the bank gives me money so I can buy a house, the bank "owns" that house until I pay it all back -- with interest. Same deal for Wall Street. Whatever money you need to stay afloat, if our government considers you a safe risk -- and necessary for the good of the country -- then you can get a loan, but we will own you. If you default, we will sell you. This is how the Swedish government did it and it worked.

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD. This catastrophe happened because we let the fox have the keys to the henhouse. In 1999, Phil Gramm authored a bill to remove all the regulations that governed Wall Street and our banking system. The bill passed and Clinton signed it. Here's what Sen. Phil Gramm, McCain's chief economic advisor, said at the bill signing:

"In the 1930s ... it was believed that government was the answer. It was believed that stability and growth came from government overriding the functioning of free markets.

"We are here today to repeal [that] because we have learned that government is not the answer. We have learned that freedom and competition are the answers. We have learned that we promote economic growth and we promote stability by having competition and freedom.

"I am proud to be here because this is an important bill; it is a deregulatory bill. I believe that that is the wave of the future, and I am awfully proud to have been a part of making it a reality."

This bill must be repealed. Bill Clinton can help by leading the effort for the repeal of the Gramm bill and the reinstating of even tougher regulations regarding our financial institutions. And when they're done with that, they can restore the regulations for the airlines, the inspection of our food, the oil industry, OSHA, and every other entity that affects our daily lives. All oversight provisions for any "bailout" must have enforcement monies attached to them and criminal penalties for all offenders.

6. IF IT'S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT'S TOO BIG TO EXIST. Allowing the creation of these mega-mergers and not enforcing the monopoly and anti-trust laws has allowed a number of financial institutions and corporations to become so large, the very thought of their collapse means an even bigger collapse across the entire economy. No one or two companies should have this kind of power. The so-called "economic Pearl Harbor" can't happen when you have hundreds -- thousands -- of institutions where people have their money. When you have a dozen auto companies, if one goes belly-up, we don't face a national disaster. If you have three separately-owned daily newspapers in your town, then one media company can't call all the shots (I know... What am I thinking?! Who reads a paper anymore? Sure glad all those mergers and buyouts left us with a strong and free press!). Laws must be enacted to prevent companies from being so large and dominant that with one slingshot to the eye, the giant falls and dies. And no institution should be allowed to set up money schemes that no one can understand. If you can't explain it in two sentences, you shouldn't be taking anyone's money.

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF "PARACHUTE" OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY. In 1980, the average American CEO made 45 times what their employees made. By 2003, they were making 254 times what their workers made. After 8 years of Bush, they now make over 400 times what their average employee makes. How this can happen at publicly held companies is beyond reason. In Britain, the average CEO makes 28 times what their average employee makes. In Japan, it's only 17 times! The last I heard, the CEO of Toyota was living the high life in Tokyo. How does he do it on so little money? Seriously, this is an outrage. We have created the mess we're in by letting the people at the top become bloated beyond belief with millions of dollars. This has to stop. Not only should no executive who receives help out of this mess profit from it, but any executive who was in charge of running his company into the ground should be fired before the company receives any help.

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE'S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES. Obama was correct yesterday to propose expanding FDIC protection of people's savings in their banks to $250,000. But this same sort of government insurance must be given to our nation's pension funds. People should never have to worry about whether or not the money they've put away for their old age will be there. This will mean strict government oversight of companies who manage their employees' funds -- or perhaps it means that the companies will have to turn over those funds and their management to the government. People's private retirement funds must also be protected, but perhaps it's time to consider not having one's retirement invested in the casino known as the stock market. Our government should have a solemn duty to guarantee that no one who grows old in this country has to worry about ending up destitute.

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY. Turn off the TV! We are not in the Second Great Depression. The sky is not falling. Pundits and politicians are lying to us so fast and furious it's hard not to be affected by all the fear mongering. Even I, yesterday, wrote to you and repeated what I heard on the news, that the Dow had the biggest one day drop in its history. Well, that's true in terms of points, but its 7% drop came nowhere close to Black Monday in 1987 when the stock market in one day lost 23% of its value. In the '80s, 3,000 banks closed, but America didn't go out of business. These institutions have always had their ups and downs and eventually it works out. It has to, because the rich do not like their wealth being disrupted! They have a vested interest in calming things down and getting back into the Jacuzzi.

As crazy as things are right now, tens of thousands of people got a car loan this week. Thousands went to the bank and got a mortgage to buy a home. Students just back to college found banks more than happy to put them into hock for the next 15 years with a student loan. Life has gone on. Not a single person has lost any of their money if it's in a bank or a treasury note or a CD. And the most amazing thing is that the American public hasn't bought the scare campaign. The citizens didn't blink, and instead told Congress to take that bailout and shove it. THAT was impressive. Why didn't the population succumb to the fright-filled warnings from their president and his cronies? Well, you can only say 'Saddam has da bomb' so many times before the people realize you're a lying sack of shite. After eight long years, the nation is worn out and simply can't take it any longer.

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A "PEOPLE'S BANK." If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don't we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people's bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country's largest insurance company, let's take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone. Medicare for all. It will save us so much money in the long run. And we won't be 12th on the life expectancy list. We'll be able to have a longer life, enjoying our government-protected pension, and living to see the day when the corporate criminals who caused so much misery are let out of prison so that we can help reacclimate them to civilian life -- a life with one nice home and a gas-free car that was invented with help from the People's Bank.

(Copied from an email created by Michael Moore.)