East Point, NJ Wednesday, Feb 22 2006 

Summer 2005 Wednesday, Feb 22 2006 

In the Basement Tuesday, Feb 21 2006 

Knowledge = THE CRAZIES Tuesday, Feb 21 2006 

Sometimes I wonder if I really am as offensive as everyone else thinks I am. I’m very, very opinionated but I also like to think that I am one of the most open-minded individuals anyone could meet. It’s all about just thinking (and sticking to it) that people are just people. Everyone has different tastes and more than likely, their tastes and hobbies and personality are like something you may have never seen or will see again. By being accepting of everything that’s different than what you may be used to, opens so many more doors than being close-minded and swinging in the same circles for long periods of time. You learn so much more and I personally believe that through life experience, knowledge that far surpasses anything taught in school or in a book can be attained. Intelligence is a quality that every person longs for and searches for their entire lives. But I digress (as I most often do), yesterday was idiot day and I didn’t get the memo.

- A Passing Customer, after observing me reading a book: “You couldn’t pay me to read! Why you doing that girl?”
– Me, after raising an eyebrow and looking up very, very confused and sort of insulted
: “Knowledge is power? I don’t know, I like to read.”
- The customer, now giving me a funny look like I’m the crazy one: “Why not watch a movie? They got the pictures there!”
Me, disappointed and very sad: “I watch movies, I just like to read much more.”
The customer, with the most disgusted look on her face ever and now walking away, turns to her friend: “Damn girl, she thinks she better than me.”

And I just went back to reading.

Vacation Countdown: 8 days! Monday, Feb 20 2006 

In 8 days, I’m leaving the “fabulous” state of New Jersey and heading down south a bit to Virginia — somewhere really close to North Carolina. For five days I’ll be away from family, work, and most of my friends. My dear comrade Debi & I are the travellers and everyone has to stay here. Now, the trip does have a purpose, a couple actually. Debi’s “cool” sister lives there, so we’re visiting and all that, and, Debi and I are photography enthusiasts, so you know what that means. Goodbye New Jersey flatness, hello mountainous Virginia!

I do have a few very generalized fears though. I briefly lived in Virginia back in 2004 (March – June, basically) and when I moved out of the house I was sharing (with 2 other women, slash wrists … NOW) we didn’t exactly part on the best of terms (oh really now!). Most roommate situations end badly though, I suppose. Then again, I’ve only witnessed roommates parting on good terms, except on the ol’ idiot box of course. But I digress, now, where we’re going to be in Virginia is not really at all close to where I used to live, but still. We still have to take some of the same general highways and I may just get a little brave and crave some of the delicious vegan food served at this quaint little restaurant I used to live 3 minutes away from. Shut up, everyone loves and run-on sentence.

I suppose I’m just looking far to into things. I still can’t get over the fact that my boss actually let me take off 6 whole days. However, my hours over the next 8 days seem to be much lower than normal.

I can be terribly boring. Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

I’m unnaturally exhausted. Today is Saturday and finally, I do not have to go to work. It has been months since I have had a Saturday night off (even if I still have to open the store tomorrow morning; sleep is for the WEAK) and I am determined to enjoy it. I’m just glad that I get to clean the ages of dust around the house.

Usually when people I know try to set me up on a date and they say “Oh Elaine, you’re going to ‘loooove’ him blah blah blah he’s tall, has long hair, etc” and I sit back and think about the last time someone said that to me and the dude was tall & had long hair, only, it was unwashed and he had a really awful BO problem. Not to mention the fact that his teeth were DEFINITELY unpresentable. Ew, I still get the willies from that one.

Today I’ve decided that the word of the day is “mundane”. Cheers!

CNN likes to report deaths! Estimated death toll: 1,815
1,800 feared dead in mudslide
Four killed, thousands without power in winter storm
In Libya, 11 reportedly die in cartoon protests

Death, elsewhere
Crews in African crash accounted for; no word on survivors (source: USA Today)

Do four articles constitute as a lot of death in the news? I think so, that’s why I’m going to wear black today.

All in the Family (Part II) Wednesday, Feb 15 2006 

This is the continuation of a previous entry where I get a tiny bit belittling and slightly belligerent to my overwhelmingly Republican family. It all started when I got a letter published in my local newspaper (woo-hoo). My cousin Carmine came across it and decided to email answers to my 10 Questions to my grandmother. She in turn emailed it to me and although my cousin Carmine had some very good points, I still think there’s a little more to it than that. So, I decided to compose a few responses to his responses (am I confusing you yet?) and bing, bang, boom, long story short, I’m awesomely witty & brilliant and my family can’t handle it. No, really, out of a huge family with excessive breeding tendencies, I’m one of 3 liberals floating among a sea of tightly clenched-cheeked Republicans. Can you just imagine the family gatherings?

And once again, his responses are italicized.

Why, in your first year in office, did you add billions of dollars to the deficit, which was greatly reduced under former President Bill Clinton?

Check the figures, especially check them after he was in office for less than nine months to September 11, 2001. Other than Pearl Harbor there has been no single life changing event as far reaching as 9/11. If one were to somehow extract the costs associated with the response to 9/11 (even prior to the war in Iraq) it would be interesting to see how the federal budget would have fared. Look back at the political pages of the news papers in August and September of 2000. There is a famous political cartoon which shows two prize fighters in the ring, They are depicted as George Bush and Al Gore and waiting outside the ring is a much larger, dark hooded boxer and on the back of his robe, it read “The Economy”, the implication meaning that after this fight the economy was next.

An all out war for the economy broke out in 2000 when Dubya & Gore went head-to-head for the Presidency. The nation watched in awe as it happened — I know I was glued to CNN as much in 2000 (when I wasn’t even legal to vote yet) as much as I was in 2004 when Kerry almost had it and then “oh well, I give up!”. I knew Kerry wouldn’t win before I even made my trip to the polls that day, but I had to have a little hope that the nation would Carter out Dubya. But alas, my faith in humanity dwindled away when Bush took office for a second term. And we were so close. Now, I would not have interpreted the political cartoon you’re talking about the same way. Is that because of our political differences? Or perhaps the age difference? Or is it because everyones’ opinion is different, even if they agree on the same topic? I think it’s a little bit of both, I would see such a cartoon and say that it was merely a representation of the bitter “battle” it was for both Dubya & Gore. The economy is bound to suffer a little bit after every President is shuffled out and a new one ushered in. That’s an adjustment process, but, how do you explain the massive depression to the national budget even before the 9/11 attacks? One may often neglect the almost 8 month period between Bush taking office in January 2001 and the attacks on September 11.

It has been reported that the government has borrowed $1.7 trillion from the Social Security trust fund. What has this money been used for and how will it affect my [future] Social Security benefits?

Money was also borrowed from the trust fund during the Clinton Administration in that the excess FICA taxes generated to put in the Social security trust fund where set against the budget deficit there by showing a surplus. This has been done for many administrations. Social security was never meant to be the sole support of one retirement. Unfortunately it has been a political football for a generation now. We are wise to save for our own retirement as well as choose employers who contributed to retirement funds (like 401ks) that are managed by the employee.

Touche. I am aware of past administrations borrowing against the Social Security trust fund and though it is wise for one to not rely soley on Social Security and to have a solid self-earned retirement fund, many Americans just aren’t that smart. But even then, is it really a matter of smarts? Not everyone has a benefit of a 401k or even the means to save for retirement. Not everyone has a bank account. It’s true that some Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and when they age and become eligible for Social Security, they might not have anything else to fall back on. What about them? Isn’t this just another example of the rich “triumphing” over the poor?

Do you have any comments for those who adamantly oppose your term in office?

In a democracy the manner to get another point of view is by the vote. The democrats have not been able to put a candidate in front of the American people who can convince them that they have a better idea. Given the wide shift in political opinion, that will probably change in the next election. However, is Hillary the best the democrats can come up with?

Why should I have to wait every four years for one single day to make a difference in the way I, as an American citizen, to get another point of view — a second opinion, if you will? This office has been so secretive and so insistent on turning a deaf ear to the people they were chosen to represent. This office has been so dead-set on it’s own agenda rather than dealing with the at-hand problems. Unfortunately, Democrats have been guilty of this in the past as well. And besides the fact that I’m not a Democrat at all, I’m not rooting for Hillary. Sure, she may have been “the woman behind the man” per se, but I don’t think she’ll have a chance in hell. The feminist-action part of me wants to be screaming “YESSSS! GO HILLARY, KICK THEM IN THE NUTS!” but I like to think of myself as more of a realist. I personally believe that there will not be a woman in the Presidency until woman are truly treated as equals amongst men.

Mr. President, have you ever heard the phrase, “the love of money is the root of all evil?” Or, “absolute power corrupts absolutely?”

I would love to ask that question of our former president as well. I don’t disagree with the point, it is pervasive through many part our society.

Honestly, I would love to ask every President that question.

How has your father, former President George H.W. Bush, influenced your positions on issues?

I think there are similarities in their views just like their were similarities in the views of John Kennedy and his father. There are examples of that throughout history. I do not think having similar views as his father is necessarily a bad thing unless of course if you disagree with both of them. Just like I would like to know what are the similar view of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Besides being a lawyer and married to Bill what makes her a viable candidate for president?

Being that I’m neither Republican or Democrat, I must say, I tend to disagree with most points that HW, Dubya, and Hillary make. Still, I do believe that Hillary would make any Republican look awful in comparison because I sincerely think that she was “the woman behind the man”. The kind of vibe I got from Clinton was that he was more interested in the benefits of his term in office than in actually running the country. That was his downfall and also the reason he was elected in the first place. He was just a regular guy. The same has been said about Dubya, but I think that’s a little off. He reminds me of just some dumb rich boy who fell into daddy’s shoes because he felt he had to. He had always been an average student (more like a C student) and was pretty much handed everything to him because of his father, the big shot Texan oil tycoon. The future of the Beverly Hillbillies, had Jethro stayed in the south.

What were your true intentions in imposing a war on the people of Iraq? Were they of your own accord or the unfinished business of your father?

The tyranny of Saddam Hussein spanned several decades >> Thousands of people in Iraq lost their lives and their freedom during his reign. Most importantly he provided safe harbor for those who would cause harm to our country and those of similar views. Is the world a safer place without Saddam Hussein in power? Certainly no exchange for the loss of human lives but how many would have been lost without the terrorist harbored in that region and his reign over Iraq.

Dictatorship = Tyranny. Yes, the terrorists that Hussein harbored in Iraq could have posed a threat to our great country, but, they only could have. We stopped em good didn’t we? Went after them without solid evidence, didn’t we? We sure know how to bag our criminals. Isn’t it kind of funny now that Iran is the one closer to a nuclear weapon and North Korea has already gone and threatened us with a nuclear attack? Yet, Iraq, who turned out to merely have a leader full of himself & all talk, we go charging into, making Iraq a police state. It’s now an entire country with their religion being bastardized, the way of life their used to and not really too much opposed to now in crumbles. We didn’t give them freedom, we’re trying to force the people of Iraq to become America. Is that what they want? Or is it something that Dubya had to finish for senior because HW didn’t get the chance at a second term?

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