31 October 2008

what? no sticker?

If I had known voting early would be so anticlimactic, I probably would have braved the long lines with everyone else on November 4th. But what's done is done. And I'm glad it's done. For one thing, this has been the longest presidential campaign known to man, and it is delightful to finally glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. For two things, I'm excited about some of the choices on the ballot this year. And if you want a third thing, I'll say that it just plain feels good to vote. Even when you are denied your basic human right to wear an "I Voted" sticker as you exit the polling place.

You should vote too. But if by chance you are not excited by any of the choices presented to you during this election, I suggest you look into this guy's platform. He might make a good write-in candidate.

Because I'm pretty sure that surplus of donuts would eventually trickle down to the huddled masses.

(Edited to confirm: yes, this is an actual piece of wisdom penned by an actual 7-year-old, as seen this week at one of the schools where I work.)

21 October 2008

going out on a limb

I've neglected the blog world for a couple of weeks. Now, finally, I emerge from my blogging silence to cover this important topic: turkey legs. At every city festival and local fair there is aways some group of upstanding citizens selling smoked turkey legs. They are gigantic and meaty and they actually look yummy in a sort of medieval way. Unfortunately they are usually being sold in close proximity to the funnel cake booth, and if I have five dollars in my pocket at one of these shindigs, we all know it will end up in the hands of the funnel cake people.

This weekend at the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin, I had more than five dollars in my pocket, a rarity that needed to be celebrated. I decided to give the highly-recommended turkey legs a try. And I have this to say about them: the first few bites are delicious. But if you have ever spent time in a cadaver lab, you should probably stop after those first few bites. It does not take long for a partially-eaten turkey leg to start to resemble parts of Mrs. Raymond, the 60-something woman who graciously donated her body to the anatomy lab of your university.

And you will wish you had just ordered two funnel cakes instead.

09 October 2008

the death of a nice idea

Sorry, but someone else is going to have to take on the burden of saving the world. Carpooling, apparently, is not for me.

My commute to work takes around 30 minutes. In August, someone from work moved into my neighborhood, and asked if I'd be interested in carpooling. I clapped my hands and jumped for joy and said yes, of course I would. For the first few days, it seemed too convenient to be true. Then within two weeks, three other people had joined our carpool, and carpooling got slightly more complicated. Still it seemed worth it. Yes, there were trade-offs to be made, but carpooling was saving me an increasing amount of money and was making my environmental ego increasingly healthy.

Then one Friday, I had to drive to work alone, because I needed to make some stops after work. This is what I learned on that Friday:

(1) I pretty much hate carpooling.
(2) Those 10 extra minutes of sleep are a really great 10 minutes.
(3) I prefer not to be expected to socialize at 7 a.m.
(4) Sometimes it is nice to actually hear what I am listening to in the car.
(5) It makes me really happy to be able to leave when the workday is over, instead of a half hour after the work day is over, which turns into 45 minutes, which turns into an hour....
(6) I do not like taking the toll road like everyone else. I like taking the old two-lane highway. It has more hills and turns, and the scenery is fantastic. It makes the drive seem less like a yucky industrial commute and more like a Sunday afternoon joy ride.
(7) I love having those few minutes in the car to myself every day. It keeps me sane.

And so it happened that as I was riding along in the carpool one day last week, I blurted out at a random point in an unrelated conversation, "I'm not carpooling after this week!" I did it with a little more volume and enthusiasm than I probably meant to use, but I couldn't take it back. It was out there. And I'm undeniably glad. Today I left work 2 minutes early, and I listened to the same song 3 times in a row on the way home, and I sang along obnoxiously, and I reveled in it. Well worth the cost, I'd say.