Yet another reason I’m not so proud to be an American:
The Most Depressing E-Mail EVER 27 October 2007
I got a forward last night that actually made me want to forward it on to people, but not for the reason in the e-mail. I wanted to forward it to people that would be just as shocked as I was at how incredibly narrow-minded some citizens of this country are.
The e-mail contains this picture:
This is, of course, a beautiful stamp that the US Postal Service released for Ramadan this year. It was originally issued in 2001 and has now been re-issued. The text of the email says, “REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa! REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE! REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001! REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks! Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class Holiday postage stamp. Bull! To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors. REMEMBER to pass this along to every patriotic AMERICAN you know!!!”
I immediately e-mailed my co-worker that sent this to me and said I would pretend that she hadn’t.
I did a little digging and found some other pictures of Holiday Stamps:
I think I’ll start an e-mail warning people against buying these, with slogans like, “REMEMBER the killing of tens of thousands over the last bazillion years in the name of God!”
Come on, people. Give me a break. Do you want to live in your own little bubbles where nothing but Toby Keith and your Southern Baptist preacher can tell you the truth about the world? Fine with me. Just think about who you’re sending that forward to next time and leave my name off it.
The Regulars 23 October 2007
I have a couple of dueling ideas and desires in my life right now. One of them is this idea of settling in versus traveling. For the last couple of weeks I’ve had this awful travel bug and need to go somewhere or I’m afraid I’ll go completely insane. Being on the road, being in a different place, seeing different people than I usually see – these are things I crave. Especially if I were to take a trip to somewhere completely different, and see new sights and meet new people. I’ve always loved to travel and somehow, being stagnant in Saginaw has made this desire more prevalent.
I think people in general these days get the itch to get going every now and again. Some, I know, are more content to stay put, especially if they don’t have the money to travel or have a family that ties them down to where they are. At one point I’m sure I wanted to be one of these people. I’m sure at some point I will want to be one of these people. But right now I want to be moving, constantly exploring, constantly learning. Families these days are scattered around the country and everyone is so mobile, whether it be via technology or physically. I want to be a part of this ever changing, ever more mobile society.
However, there’s this other part of me that wants familiarity. I like seeing familiar faces, knowing how to get around, and knowing where the best places are to eat, shop, and hang out. I like being a regular. In the town I grew up in in Illinois I barely saw anyone I knew when I was out because it was a bigger place. When I moved to Wooster for high school I saw everyone I knew everywhere, and there was quite a bit of comfort in this. Even now, I go back to visit Wooster and I see people I went to high school with, or their families. Even if they don’t recognize me or I don’t remember their names, it makes me feel like a part of something. Now it’s nice, here, to walk into our coffee shop and have the girls know exactly what I want to drink. It’s fun to be a regular.
I don’t know if my settled side and my restless side will every quite come to an agreement. I’m afraid that no matter where I ultimately settle I will constantly be wanting to go somewhere else. Does this same conflict exist in everyone? Or are some people just completely content to either stay put or keep moving?
A Mini-Adventure! 14 October 2007
Tom took me down “south” yesterday, to Ann Arbor, where I’ve wanted to go for some time but always seem to be doing other things when the opportunity arises. Despite it being U of M’s homecoming weekend, we chose to explore downtown when the game was being played, which worked out perfectly because we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
After driving through by the stadium and holding back the urge to hang out the window and yell, “OHIO STATE RULES!”, we stopped by Trader Joe’s for some vittles. I had actually never been to a T.J.s and was pleasantly surprised. There is a store down in Cinci called Jungle Jim’s and it is a huuuuge warehouse-like store. I thought this would be similar. But it actually reminded me more of Wild Oats in that it was smaller and had more of a farmer’s market feel to it. Sadly, we had to skip the cheeses and meats since we were to be in town all day and didn’t bring a cooler. But we did check out some three cheese pomodoro sauce, salsa, and a Spanish lentils mix. And wine. Glorious, glorious wine.
After Trader Joe’s we headed downtown and found a cheap parking garage with no problem. We wandered around and bought a couple Christmas presents, visited two amazing used bookstores, and picked around in a home and garden warehouse, where I drooled over two $125 paintings and a platter that looked like a leaf and would match our new leaf placemats perfectly. Oh, well. Maybe next year.
We then found Beaner’s Cafe, a coffee chain, and despite being a little disappointed that we hadn’t decided to stop for coffee when we saw the sign that said, “Best Hot Chocolate in Town,” it was pretty good. I got something caramel-y and we passed a few pleasant moments resting our feet.
Then it was out to the street again to a new bookstore, Shaman Drum on State Street. What a delightful independent bookstore! I loved checking out their displays and recommendations – you know, this is really what makes an independent stand out for me. They probably will have a lot of the same books for sale, but their staff personally recommends their favorites. Picked up a book of poetry (odd for me, poetry) and Tom and I wandered around until we were hungry.
Finally made it back to across from our parking garage to the Arbor Brewing Company, which came highly recommended for their handcrafted beer. We got a sampler and agreed our favorites were Red Snapper Amber Ale, Brasserie Blonde, and Espresso Love, which is made with real cold-brewed coffee from an indie coffee shop in Ypsilanti. Also had the roasted garlic app, which came with pesto and grilled peppers and onions to accompany the soft, spreadable garlic cloves. Tom got a standard burger for dinner with their famous garlic fries. I got their Sacred Cow IPA-soaked chicken sandwich, served with pesto and goatcheese, and their homemade pub fries. Nothing disappointed me.
Next time we head down there I really want to try the Greek restaurant we passed. Really, you could just go down there and stuff yourself all day, between the awesome local spots and BD’s Mongolian BBQ, ice cream, “The Best Hot Chocolate in Town,” and multiple chocolate shops. I’ll remember to skip the $3 Swedish meatball meal at Ikea next time so I can have a more empty tummy!
Girl’s Night – Guy’s Night 7 October 2007
I had forgotten how fun and refreshing a good, fun girl’s night can be. I’ve had very few since leaving college and my sorority sisters (enter your own sexual fantasy here…go ahead, I’ll wait. You done? Okay I’ll continue.) I’ve indulged myself in probably less than two a month, and less now that my friend Nancy moved away. This is not to say I haven’t had a lot of fun lunches, shopping trips, and events with my girlfriends this summer. But there have been very few times I call my husband and say, straight out, “Find your own dinner, make your own plans, I’m going out with (insert name here) tonight.” So last night was like that. And, in turn, it forced him to have a guy’s night. Which he has very few of. Which I have a few things to say about.
I talked a little bit about girl-guy friendships here, but there is also a stigma about same sex friendships while one is involved in a relationship. Why, in movies and TV shows anyway, that when girls go out on their shopping trips with their girlfriends their men are always relieved for the time apart, but when she is sitting at home and has no plans, and he wants to go out with his guys and do something, is there such a resistance? I understand if he is ignoring her for big chunks of time and uses what time they can spend together out with his friends, but traditionally guys talk about going to poker night and getting in trouble for it. Why, ladies, can’t we let our men have a fun time with their friends without getting snippy about when they’ll be home and what shape they’ll be in?
Neither Tom nor I really took a lot of time for ourselves and our respective friends when we lived in Maine, mostly because neither of us really had any respective friends outside of work (other than the blissful couple of months Brian and Kela lived there). We would come home and have dinner together. Go out on the weekends together. Sit and surf the internet together. Go to Bed Bath and Beyond together. And to tell you the truth, even though I loved it when he was home with me and missed him terribly when he was gone, the lack of our individual social lives really affected our relationship. I can’t imagine not allowing my man to explore his male social relationships freely, as long as he’s not gambling away our paychecks or drinking himself into an oblivion.
So last night, I forced him into a guy’s night. And as much as he grumbles about how it was “okay,” I think he really had a good time. Which was awesome, because I got to be girlie and go to the fabric store, watch a good movie, eat Chinese buffet and ooh and aah over baby clothes. The kind of chick things I need to do more often.
So girls that are reading this, please, even if you don’t have any plans for yourself, let your man have his fun with his friends every now and again. And guys, don’t be afraid to suggest your wife/girlfriend/whatever do the same. She’ll appreciate it without even knowing it, I think, but would miss it if it wasn’t there.