Opinion Poisoning

You know what really grinds my gears?  Celebrities who pipe up about their political beliefs when the basis for their stardom has nothing to do with the ridiculous crap they spout from their mouths.

When Brad Pitt declared that he and Angelina Jolie would not marry until everyone in the U.S. who wanted to had the right to, it rang a bit hollow for me.  Why?  Because he’d gotten divorced less than a year prior to saying that.  Not exactly a bastion of marital excellence, so why in the world would anyone listen to his opinions on it?

A metric ton of celebrities rallied to help get Barack Obama elected president* and, while it really ticked me off, I neglected to blog about it.  I was reminded of this pet peeve while driving home this afternoon.  A Green Day song came onto the radio and I remembered how Billie Joe Armstrong was really vocal and obnoxious during election season.

And how his band came out with a subtle-as-a-chainsaw album called American Idiot.

And how he’s wearing eye-liner like an emotionally angsty 13 year old girl and coming out with rock operas, which means he’s tortured and reputable now.

And then I got annoyed all over again.

For a guy who made his fame and fortune writing songs about getting high and whacking off, he’s sure got a lot to say about how our government should be run.  Because he’s smart and stuff.

Look, if I take leave of my sense and want to learn how to smoke a bong, I know exactly who to call.  If I’m interested in titling my book after feces, they’ll be a fine example to learn from.  But, if I want an educated opinion about the way our government works, about how the intricate systems of commerce and law affect our economy and about our role as a country in the world-wide sandbox, the last person I will ever listen to is that guy.

Billie Joe?  Just because you’re wearing eye-liner and singing about politics doesn’t mean anyone should ever listen to you.

It’s not that I’m against celebrities setting a good example by educating themselves and encouraging people to vote.  I just think they should all shut their traps about what they think concerning politics.  If Angelina Jolie wants to talk to me about how she takes care of her hair, I’m all ears.  If Oprah wants to share some investment strategies with me, I’d be happy to take some notes.

But please don’t tell us who you’re voting for.  The rest of America manages not to discuss their political beliefs publicly (because no one wants to listen to it unless they’re genuinely curious or just itching for a fight, and most people are neither) so I don’t see why they can’t shut up too.

*Please note that this has nothing to do with whether or not I support Barack Obama.  I would be annoyed regardless of which politician the celebrities were endorsing.

Simply Voltaire-ible

There’s not a whole lot to complain about in my life right now.  I’m heading to California in a little over two months, my husband is clattering away downstairs making a delicious dinner for us, and the puppy is gnawing on a bone right next to me.  Life’s pretty nice right now, as a matter of fact.

Sure, there are some things that are in flux right now that are driving me a bit nuts.  We’re getting our home loan modified, which is about as much fun to wait for as a tsunami.  We’re waiting for our accountant to file our taxes and send us a nice refund check.  We’re waiting for a tiny little person to take up residence in my uterus.  None of these things are inherently bad, there’s just a lot of waiting going on.

To distract ourselves, Wes and I have each turned to our creative pursuits.  I finished the second chapter of novel numero dos and Wes started recording and producing a song riff he’s been working out in his head.  We’re losing ourselves in yard work, home improvement projects that can be done for free, and little social gatherings to help break up the monotony of waiting/living la vida cheapo (I’m not sure what’s with all the Spanish in this post either).

Doc sure is helping to break up the monotony.  He and I were outside yesterday afternoon so he could do his business before it was bath time.  He was helping me bring some sticks and branches out to the yard waste bin (he helps me carry light things in his mouth because when a pup’s got a job to do, he tends to stick around long enough to do it) when we walked over a puddle.  A big, seductive, muddy puddle.

All you dog owners out there know what comes next.

Down go all the sticks he was carrying and in goes Doc, straight onto his back, paws flying up in the air like he just didn’t care.  One horrified shriek from me and two vigorous shake-offs later and I had a newly widened muddy patch and a chocolate Lab, or at least a Lab with a really shoddy dye-job.

It looked a lot like this, only he was bigger.

It looked a lot like this, only he was bigger.

I finished bringing the sticks out to the yard waste bin and went about deciding what to do with this muck-raking puppy.  I briefly considered hosing him off, but for some reason Doc smells really funky if you bathe him with hose water.  I settled for rinsing off his paws, drying them all as best I could, and draping the stairs with bath towels so that he could get to the bathtub without touching carpet.

When interrogated later, Doc said he did it because he wanted to make sure I wasn’t growing complacent with the status quo.  He’s recently taken to reading Voltaire and drinking absinthe in the afternoons and spends most of his waking hours imploring us to relinquish our material trappings and embrace the free life.

We’d normally turn a blind eye to this latest fad of his but, like I said, we’re stuck waiting for a bunch of stuff to happen so we’re humoring him for now.  If you’ll excuse me, I have philosophical idioms to debate with my dog.

Living in the Hood

This story is too long to tell on Twitter so I thought I’d share it here:

Scene: Wes and I are downstairs, eating dinner on the couch.  Wes has been working from home all day, so his hair is messy and he’s wearing a bathrobe because our house is freezing.  Someone knocks on the door, which only Doc notices, waits about 30 seconds, then rings the doorbell.

Wes: I’ll get it.

He walks up the stairs, walks up to the door as if to open it, then remembers he’s still wearing his bathrobe.  He walks over to the stairs, takes off his bathrobe, then walks up to the door as if to open it.  He then remembers his hair is messy, so he opens the coat closet instead and grabs his raincoat off the hanger.  He puts on the heavy raincoat, flips the hood up over his hair, then finally answers the door.  No one is there.  He walks back downstairs after hanging his coat back up again.

Wes: There was no one there.

Erika: That?  Is not exactly surprising.

Wes: Why?

Erika: Dude, you took forever to answer the door.  No one’s going to stand there waiting for that long.

Wes: Well, my hair was messy!  I had to put on my hood.

Erika: Um, I think you probably looked crazier wearing a heavy raincoat with the hood up indoors than than you would have with just crazy hair.

Wes: No way.

Erika: Wes, you’re allowed to have  messy hair in your own freaking house!  If I’d seen someone answer the door wearing a raincoat and hood, I would have thought their ceiling was busted and it was raining indoors.

Wes: No way.

Will you help us settle this debate, please?[poll id=”8″]

TTDNST: Running to Stand Still

If you were to ask me right now what I want most in the world, my answer would not be any of the following options:

  • World peace
  • Stable economy
  • Food for all the starving children in Africa

My answer would be: A fresh, still-steaming Double Double, extra large side of fries, and a strawberry milkshake from In-N-Out.  I’m a shallow, hollow person on the inside, but dang it if a hot meal from In-N-Out doesn’t sound like it would take care of all my problems right now.

I am sitting here slightly dazed from two consecutive long days at work.  I stayed an hour late on Tuesday (no big deal, really) but I didn’t leave work until almost 7 PM last night and I’m plumb exhausted (I know for certain that there’s a lawyer over on the East coast who’s snorting in derision over my namby-pamby reaction to working late).  Wes has had to cook dinner two nights in a row and I wish my conscience would allow me to ask him to cook dinner for a third night.

I’m so tired right now I can’t fix my hair.  My ponytail is rumpled, wispy, and sticking out all over the place.  How can I be expected to cook dinner if I can’t even do my hair???

In light of my fatigue, and the fact that I was so busy this week that I didn’t even have time to scour the Internets looking for promising Things That Do Not Suck candidates, I’m going a little closer to home this week.  This week’s Thing is: my work blog.

It looks exactly the same as it used to.  There are no new pictures, I haven’t changed the formatting, nothing about my work blog is different at all.  That’s why I’ve been working so hard this week: to make sure the blog didn’t change at all.

We migrated it to a different server and installed a different version of the CMS we use, which meant that all our data had to transfer over from the old blog to the new one.  As so often happens with this kind of thing, almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong and after a week of brain-intensive work it’s now exactly the same way it used to be.


If you want to see the object of my blood, sweat, and tears you’re welcome to hop over and take a look.

And now a poll, because I love them and think they’re fun:[poll id=”7″]

Arts & Crafts Day at Work

I walked face-first into a very lovely surprise this morning: The DIY wedding favor project I worked on for my job was featured on what could arguably considered the biggest blog in the wedding industry!

I bet you didn't know I could be so crafty!

I bet you didn't know I could be so crafty!

 I came up with the idea and the awesome graphic designer brought it to life!  We took approximately 3,018 pictures, assembled and re-assembled the favors, and generally had a fun time taking pictures and making arts and crafts.  We even staged a fake wedding reception:


Look at all the pretty!


We celebrated this huge accomplishment with bagels, naturally.