Monthly Archives: December 2009

5 awesome things about this decade

Now that we are officially just hours from 2010, I thought I’d take a moment to recall the five most awesome things about the past 10 years. These are not necessarily the top 5 things just for me (because that would be so boring — a picture of Kayla and Nancy, a picture of my parents and siblings, a picture of Jim, a picture of Hank, and a picture of George — yawn). Just things that I think we should all be able to seriously appreciate. Good, good stuff.

#5 – New Orleans

If you don’t love the city of New Orleans, then you have never been there. If you have been there and you still don’t love it, you are a fool (sorry to any fools who read this, but seriously, wake up, you are a fool). New Orleans is awesome. Let’s make a list:

  • French Quarter
  • Mississippi River
  • Street Car
  • French Market
  • Lake Ponchartrain
  • Coffee & Chicory
  • Boobie flashing for cheap beads
  • Big Ass Beers
  • Daquiris to Go
  • Drinking in the street
  • Insanely good Cajun food
  • Brass bands
  • Zydeco
  • Gator on a Stick
  • Ernst’s Cafe
  • Kermit Ruffins
  • LeMadeline
  • Superior Grill
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Shopping on Royal Street
  • St. Louis Cathedral & Jackson Square
  • Awesome trannys partying in the street
  • LaFitte’s Landing
  • Adult shops next to antique shops
  • Strip bars galore
  • Mardi Gras

Yeah, if you cannot find even ONE thing on that list (which is seriously lacking, by the way, it’s a fraction of what’s available), then you suck. If you weren’t heartsick when Katrina hit, and full of hope when the city started to come back, then you suck even more. If you don’t take time to visit New Orleans at some point in your life, you will have died lacking in a major life experience. And that’s just a fact. 

#4 – Tony Romo cries

That’s just entertainment. You know at that moment, as Tony was bawling his beautiful, hunky eyes out, Nick Lachey was thinking, “Thank GOD Jessica and I broke up!” Seriously, that’s more embarrassing than being a member of 98 Degrees, and Nick Lachey knows it.

#3 – Justin Timberlake

Speaking of boy bands — oh Justin Timberlake, you’ve touched us all in so many ways these past ten years. From curly-haired N’Sync heartthrob (just typing that put the song “I want it that way” in my head, and that’s not even N’Sync, that’s the Backstreet Boys! Look at Justin’s powers!) to the guy who outed Britney as not really being a virgin (like we didn’t know) to the man who wardrobe-malfunctioned Janet Jackson’s boobie all over national TV to the man who proved that the best gift of all is a di*k in a box, Justin really did bring sexy back. Keep it up dude. Just one piece of advice though — drop Jessica Biel. She’s lame.When the highlights of your weak career include playing the virginal daughter Mary on “7th Heaven” and complaining that you are “too beautiful” to get good roles, you are not good enough for Justin Timberlake.

#2 – Stepbrothers

Ok, now, I can see how this movie might not appeal to everyone. After all, I don’t think I loved it the first time I saw it. But now that it appears on Starz about 15 times a week, I can say, it’s freaking hysterical. And the more we watch it, the more we notice things we didn’t notice earlier. And while we know the comedy is completely juvenile, that’s kind of the point. I mean, who decided that at a certain age we should cast aside fart jokes and instead embrace more sophisticated humor? Because that person is a major douche.

For example:

“Your voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.”

“Suppose Nancy sees me coming out of the shower and decides to come on to me. I’m looking good, got a luscious v of hair going through my chest pubes down to my ball fro. She takes one look at me and goes ” Oh my god, I’ve had the old bull now I want the young calf” and she grabs me by the weiner…”

“I swear, I’m so pissed off at my mom. As soon as she’s of age, I’m putting her in a home.”

“Hey Derek, you know what’s good for shoulder pain? If you lick my butt hole.”

I’m sorry, that is all funny. Every last childish piece of it.

The real scene stealer I think though is Mary Steenburgen. She isn’t just funny, she’s gorgeous. Seriously, see this movie. Without children in the room, preferably, or they will quote the most inappropriate parts back to you.

#1 – Lady Gaga:

Dude, do I really need to expalin this one? Oh Lady Gaga! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Actually, there’s just two of them, “The Fame,” and “The Fame Monster,” her only two albums. But I love them LOTS!

On Christmas Eve, I sat next to my father and handed him a small package, then tried to hide my pure glee as he ripped it open to discover “The Fame Monster” sitting inside. For some reason, many family members thought it was bizarre that I would give my father a Lady Gaga CD. I ask, why the hell would they think that? I only gush about the woman like she’s the second coming of Mozart. Why would I not want to share that with my Pops?

Dad, I say that when they questioned me, it was really an insult aimed at YOU, like you are too old and cranky to enjoy the musical genius that is Lady Gaga. PROVE THEM WRONG! Pop that CD in the player of your extremely youthful Chrysler Seabring and TURN IT UP! Even better, make sure you do it in the summer time with the top down while cruising through the senior living community. That’s making a statement!

So, there you go, 5 awesome things about this decade. I realize that not all of you will agree with me. If that’s the story for you, well, it’s not my fault you’re wrong. I tried.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

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Happy Anniversary to ME!

Everyone, gather around and get ready to wish me a good old fashioned HOORAY!

It was 10 years ago today, Dec. 29, 1999, that I sat at the bar at a neighborhood pub in New Orleans called “The 19th Hole,” lit up a cigarette, smoked it, crushed it out, and left the bar. And I haven’t had another smoke since.

Smoking was a pretty big part of my life back then. While friends like Kayla and Nancy and Jen from New Orleans and college roomie Missy might find it difficult to believe that I ever quit (Missy was there when I was smoking two packs of Marlboro Reds a day, but by the time the late 90’s came around, I was down to a mere pack and a half of Marlboro Lights a day), but a lot of people are sometimes surprised to learn that I was a smoker. And man did I SMOKE. Like a chimney.

My sophomore year in college, you could smoke in your dorm room. Missy and I were the only roommates who BOTH smoked, so EVERYONE gathered in our room at 1218 Wetzel Hall at Western Illinois University to smoke. We didn’t always realize it at the time, but we smelled like a speakeasy. Not a tavern or a pub, but literally, a speakeasy. A basement bar with no windows or ventilation. Yummy. I sometimes wonder if the girls who currently live there can still smell it.

In December of 1995, I smoked a few cigarettes on my way home from college, but I was home for a month for the holiday and didn’t feel like stepping on the porch in sub-zero temperatures for a smoke. After a month, I didn’t feel like smoking again, and thought I had quit. The following June, I started again.

When I lived in Rockford, I worked really hard to burn off those college pounds, and I did a good job. At that time, I didn’t quit smoking all together, but I did not smoke regularly. I would take a week to go through a whole pack, go out and buy another, smoke it all in one night, get another pack, and have that one laying around for a good two weeks — and the cycle would repeat. I did manage to lose a lot of weight (a predicament I find myself in ONCE again, but one vice at a time here), but I never actually stopped smoking.

When I moved down to Baton Rouge, I started smoking more again. I was quickly back up to a pack and a half a day, or more. I managed to quit for a short three month period, but found myself one night again watching smoke swirl into the air as it exited my lungs, and I was back to a pack and a half a day just like that. This went on until I left Baton Rouge (when they asked me to) and continued as I moved to New Orleans, until December 1999 rolled around. I was working for WGNO, which at the time was located on the 28th and 29th floors of the World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street. The building actually had a smokers lounge on the 18th floor, which was small and stinky and disgusting and we visited it about once an hour. When we would hang out at Ernst’s Cafe later in the evening, I would easily put four crisp dollars in the vending machine (that was terribly expensive then, I can only imagine what it costs now) and smoke that entire pack that night. Sometimes, girls scantily clad in some type of referee uniform would come to the bar, get us to sign up for t-shirts and stuff, and in return, hand us a few packs of Camels — and I even smoked THOSE (eewwwwweee). Then, one day, I was headed out to my car, which was parked on the third floor of the parking garage. Since the parking levels were staggered, the third floor was truly just a flight and a half up. And when I hit the landing, I was completely winded. I was a just about a week from my 26th birthday, and a flight and a half of stairs was killing me. I decided then and there that I would quit for good. I went out and bought one more pack, swearing it was my last. I swore I would be finished with that pack before the new year rolled around, so that I would be able to say that I never smoked in the new millennium. Good thing that Y2K thing never happened, because I certainly would have fired one up for that!

I ended up smoking my last three cigarettes — including the lucky skag — at the pub down the street from my house, walked home, and went to bed. The next day, on my way in to work, I stopped at Walgreens and got some nicotine patches. And let me tell you, DO NOT sleep with one of those things on, it will whack out your dreams!

It’s a hard thing, quitting smoking. There is not a single smoker out there who doesn’t know that smoking is bad for them. Every smoker knows that smoking contributes to or all together causes cancer/emphysema/COPD. Smokers know they stink. Smokers know they are social outcasts, forced to go outside and brave the elements to enjoy their vice, while their non-smoking friends remain content in their seats at work/a restaurant/the bar/the party/the game/anything that is taking place indoors. Smokers know that smoking does not LOOK good. Smokers know that other drivers are giving them the stink eye when they smoke in the car, especially if there are others in the car, even more so if those others are children. Smokers know their breath is not always minty fresh. But there is one good reason why they continue to smoke, and I don’t mean to make light of it when I say this:

SMOKING.IS.SO.GOOD.

Honestly. I loved smoking. I sometimes joke that I am going to start smoking again at 66, my reward for 40 years of not smoking. Sometimes, I up that to 56 and 30 years. And the sad part is, I kinda mean it. I think that when reformed smokers like me get on current smokers about how important it is that they quit, it’s not because we wish them better health. It is because we are jonsing for a cigarette and the jealousy of watching them smoke is killing us. I’ve actually found myself watching a smoker, and as he puts the cigarette to his lips and takes a drag, I inhale myself, as if I can somehow recapture the feeling of smoking. And I know that is gross. But it’s also true. I want a cigarette!

I don’t know if this desire will ever leave me. I believe that in my case, being a smoker is very much like being an alcoholic. I cannot ever touch a cigarette again, lest I be back to a pack and a half a day after the very first puff. I’m not a former smoker. I’m a recovering addict. My drug just happens to be nicotine.

I have managed to resist this urge for ten years now. Here’s to another ten, and 20 more on top of that, and a few more to boot.

Happy Anniversary to ME!

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In case I wasn’t clear…

Holy Santa Claus Crap.

TOO. MUCH. EXCESS.

This first photo is the best one to demonstrate just how overboard we went on Christmas. The photo turned out fuzzy… kind of like our sense of reality about how much children actually need on Christmas:

At one point, it appeared even George was embarassed by all the gift-giving.

And I am starting to wonder, is this actually abusive?

Not to worry — George got one too. Now the whole family has one! We can now talk on the phone and hold a baby and change the TV channels and turn our children into social pariahs! Thanks Santa!

The gluttony didn’t stop there either. We ate everything in site while we were at it. And if it weren’t for that fact — and the tremendous belly ache that I had the following day — we would have hit the stores again for the after Christmas sales.

Sweet Jiminy Crickets!

So to sum up, this year, we taught our kids that whoever said “It is better to give than to receive” was a total moron. It’s WAY better to receive, especially when you are receiving Legos and Snuggies!

Happy Holidays everyone!

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Christmas – a time for obscene spending habits and tagging my garage

Yep, that about sums it up this Christmas Eve.

Let me start by saying that Hank has been gone with a certain red-headed tool for the past six days, and I am fairly miserable about it. I have missed him horribly. The worst part was when he left, and just when I thought I could control myself from turning into a blubbering idiot, I turned around and Jim was turning into a blubbering idiot. We are going to have serious issues when the child goes to college. But he’ll be back tonight, so we’re looking forward to it!

In the meantime, we apparently decided to pass the time by blowing a few months worth of house payments on our childrens’ Christmas presents. Ok, maybe not THAT much, but seriously…. a lot.

Yesterday, I was speaking to my sister Amy on the phone, and she told me that her kids each get three presents for Christmas — one from Santa, one from Jesus, and one from Mom and Dad. And I have to admit, when she told me that, I actually felt shame. I mean, Amy does have three times as many children as I do, so she needs to be a little more frugal. But seriously, if I used that reasoning for how I arranged Christmas this year, then my kids got like, 18 presents from Santa and a baker’s dozen from Jesus and another handful from Mom and Dad. The best way to explain it is this: OMG.

It’s not like we set out to spoil the children rotten. Jim went out the morning after Thanksgiving and got some awesome deals. We also found cheap but still kinda cool stuff at the Dollar Tree. Then we hit Toys R Us just to check out a sale, and they had all sorts of really good stuff for half off. When you walk out of Toys R Us with a cart completely packed with toys, and a receipt for $100, you’ve done really, really well.

Last night I wrapped all this nonsense, and it took me FOREVER. My back still hurts from sitting on the floor.

Honestly. What were we thinking? We considered for a moment holding on to some of these toys for the boys’ birthdays, but you know what? I don’t wanna. I’m going to spoil my kids rotten. After all, Jim bought me a house this year. Might as well let the kids get everything they want too, right?

Speaking of my awesome present of a house — Merry Christmas to US! We got a great present when someone took permanent marker to our garage last night and painted what I can only assume is a teenage’s girl’s attempt at trying to make some sort of gang symbol. Note to teen girls — real gangs don’t tag with drawings resembling those flower print letters that you put on signs for the boys football team. Note to parents of teen girls — watch your damn kids.

Jim stormed out the door to clean it, but I stopped him and called the police first. It was pretty clear that they “targeted” our house, since there was no random damage to other homes. Which makes us (and the nice officer who responded) think that the suburban graffiti was clearly meant for one of the homes around us that contains teenagers in it. They just hit the wrong house.

Ugh.

Whatever happened to a little TP and tossing an egg or two at the house in question?

Not the best Christmas present, I admit. But it won’t dampen my spirits this year. I’ll wait until I get my credit card bill before I get really upset.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Mary Kate meets Kansas

My sister Laura often tells people that she looks like everyone they’ve ever met. It’s her explanation for why she is constantly asked, “Don’t I know you?” Now, despite Laura’s witty personality (she gets it from me), she never uses my reply: “Did I sleep with you in college?” I use that reply each and every time someone asks if they know me, male, female, young, old, makes no difference. If the response flusters them a bit, I like to go into detail: “Because I was like the campus bicycle back then! Everyone took a ride. I have a birth mark….” They usually interrupt by then.

But Laura has a point. She does look like everyone you’ve ever met. And so do the rest of those of us who call ourselves Pat and Tom’s kids. Despite a last name that is 10-letters long and impossible to pronounce, we are John Q. Public and family. We are the most average looking people in America. You have looked at us at WalMart a million times and never even noticed. B.O.R.I.N.G. It’s probably why we are so loud, we are over-compensating. Good thing we are also the most hysterical group of people you will ever meet as well.

Case in point, though  — Jim and I had a date last weekend. We went to the fabulous Rialto Square Theater in Joliet to see the one and only Kansas. Jim and I got married at the Rialto, so we like going to shows there. And yes, I know Peter Brady got married there, but we did it FIRST. When someone tells me that, I usually think, “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha STFU, asshat. The Rialto is MINE!” But aside from our love for that particular theater, Kansas is cool (though it is starting to dawn on me that I have a very bizarre musical sense).

I forgot my camera, so all I have is this:

You get the point. That fiddle player, by the way, has the most awesome arms this side of Michelle Obama. Honestly. I normally wouldn’t recommend a vest with no shirt, but that dude is pulling it off! And considering Kansas had their debut in 1974, the year I was born, and I am not exactly considered “young” anymore, I have to say, that man was working it. Four of the members of Kansas have formed a new band called Native Window, and they opened for Kansas, featuring themselves. No really. It was a trip. How long to the point of “know” return, indeed. They are seriously one of the best bands (well, technically, two of the best bands) I have ever heard live, they are really, really good.

At the concert, we were by far the youngest people there by choice. All of the young folk were actually teens, and they were in the company of their PTA moms dancing about with one finger of each hand pointed directly in the air while their balding dads kept the beat with sophisticated air drums. But before we headed to the event, we decided to catch some dinner in mystical downtown Joliet. If you’ve never been there, Joliet is a fairly large area, with a downtown several blocks long and a Harrah’s casino. The Will County courthouse is also there, so there are several bars and restaurants which cater to the young lawyer crowd.

The first place we walked into was packed. But before we even made it in the door, I noticed a group of what I would describe as middle-aged women at a table by the window. I noticed them because every last one of them was glued to the window, staring at me. As we walked in the door, they shouted.

“Mary Kate! Mary Kate! Hey, there’s Mary Kate! Mary Kate!”

We walked right past. As we came to the bar, the shouting continued, and I knew they were talking to me, but I refused to turn (for no good reason really). A brief gloss over of the place showed that it was really too packed for us, no available tables and no empty seats at the bar.

“Wanna go somewhere else?” Jim asks.

“Those women are screaming at me,” I reply.

“I know,” Jim says.

We decide to clear out and find a less crowded place. As we turn, my eyes pass over the women but I do not make eye contact or indicate that I have noticed them. I hope now that they have seen my face, they will see that I am not Mary Kate, and just sit back and enjoy their adult beverages. But no.

“Mary Kate!” one of them shouts while standing and waving her arms.

Now, there’s no reason for me not to just stop and look at them, let them see I am not Mary Kate, then be on my way. But for some reason, I choose not to. I walk past them and out the door, their shouts of “Mary Kate” replaced with the sounds of the street. They remain in the window, looking at me as we walk away. For added drama, Jim pretended to yell at me in an animated manner as we left, you know, to heighten the mystery.

Jim and I find this whole thing hysterical. He calls me Mary Kate for the rest of the night. But, I have one question for him:

“How old do I look?” I say, crushed. “I mean, I don’t think I look younger than my age, but I don’t think I look older than it either.”

Why? Because not a single one of these women was under the age of 55. Did they think I was… one of them? How old am I anyway? I mean, we were going to a Kansas concert, afterall. Am I kidding myself? Am I… OLD? Of course, since none of them has any real idea what Mary Kate looks like anyway, how close could they be to her? Maybe Mary Kate was the daughter of a someone they knew? Or an old co-worker? Please, be the daughter, be the daughter…..

But truthfully, it probably has nothing to do with that whatsoever. The fact is, I look like everyone you’ve ever met. Including Mary Kate.

We did joke later about what they must have said when we left. I mean, there was NO WAY I didn’t notice them. They practically pounced on me. Can you imagine the conversation?

Lady 1 – “Who was that man with Mary Kate?”

Lady 2 – “Mary Kate is such a bitch for ignoring us.”

Lady 3 – “Mary Kate got fat!”

Lady 4 – “I’m going to give Mary Kate a piece of my mind the next time I see her.”

Lady 5 – “I’m worried about Mary Kate’s hearing and vision!”

Do you think that poor Mary Kate has had to defend herself against these women since then? Swearing to God that she was no where near downtown Joliet on Friday night?

All I do know is this: Mary Kate had a rocking time at the Kansas concert last Friday. Carry on my wayward son. Carry on.

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Where have you gone, JD?

There are a lot of bad things happening in this world today. War. A faltering economy. Climate change. Unemployment. Health care crisis. People are suffering. People are unhappy. Life is hard. But let’s talk about a real monstrosity. This is so bad, I would argue that some of you might not be able to handle it:

What the hell, Brad Pitt? What the hell? I mean, honsetly, I think at this point, Angelina is thinking about joining Team Aniston just to get away from that scraggly nonsense. Are those TAILS coming off your beard? Seriously, dude, you are the sexiest man in America. Not Johnny Depp (sorry Amy), not Matt Damon (sorry people who like big, toothy dudes), not one of those New Moon Twightly werewolf-vampire dudes (sorry every teenaged girl in the nation). YOU. BRAD PITT.

Remember when we first met you?

Oh JD, you criminal cowboy! You stole our hearts and all of Thelma and Louise’s money! Remember when you walked away?

Thelma: “There he goes. I love watching him go.”

WE LOVED WATCHING YOU GO TOO!!!

Remember when you had a romantic tryst with Thelma in the hotel room, where you taught her how to be the world’s most polite armed robber?

Thelma: “I finally know what all the fuss is about!”

Louise: “Oh, you finally got laid properly.”

Brad, what have you done with JD? Sure, you cannot stay young forever, but not since Cary Grant has a Hollywood heart throb shown us that growing older and growing sexier are one in the same. I mean, LOOK AT YOU:

Sexy young Brad Pitt — Check!

Sexier older Brad Pitt — Double check!

Look at the path you were taking! Hollywood royalty. A DILF, perhaps? To quote the Indigo Girls, “With every lesson learned a line upon your beautiful face.” Then, for reasons unknown, you decided to take this as your inspiration:

Or maybe this:

Or this:

Oops. Hey there, Lady Gaga! Where did you come from?

Back to Brad.

Why why why why why why why did you steal my sexy Brad? And don’t tell me it’s for a movie. You are a multi-gozillionaire. You don’t need the money! It. Is. Not. Worth. It.

 To further quote the Indigo Girls, get out the map, Brad. Get out the map and find a way out of crazy town and point your car in that direction. You don’t have to be JD again. You cannot reverse the hands of time. But  I want to go HERE:

Do it for Angie. Do it for your kids. For the love of God, Brad Pitt, DO IT FOR ME.

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Save the Earth? Bah, humbug!

Because I have an affection for all things political, especially politically scandalous, I throughly enjoyed the movie Frost/Nixon. And one of the best lines out of the movie, in my opinion, came at the end, where it is noted that one of Nixon’s biggest legacies is having the suffix “-gate” attached to any scandal. It’s so very very true. My very favorite was Nipplegate, the name given to that wardrobe malfunction involving Justin Timberlake, a boobie, the Superbowl and Janet (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty).

The newest of these -gates is a scandal involving the alleged manipulation of scientific data regarding global warming, aka, Climategate.

The insane people at the Fox Nation have dedicated thousands of posts to this subject, all declaring that global warming is a HOAX! A hoax I tell you!

The story, in short: Someone hacked into e-mail accounts at the University of East Anglia and stole a whole lotta e-mails containing information about global warming theory that indicate that numbers and information may have been faked, altered or thrown out all together in an effort to boost the credibility of the theory itself. Depending on who you pick as your news provider, the media is either saturated with this story, or it’s rarely mentioned. There is no in between.

I’m amazed at the insistence of people that global warming is a hoax. No it’s not. Even climate experts who think Al Gore is full of it don’t dispute global warming itself. The argument is not whether global warming exists, it s whether man is having an impact on it. But it’s real. It’s happening. Personally, when blowhards like Rush Limbaugh and GleN Beck and, well, Fox News, call it a hoax, they’re being misleading and neglecting some important distinctions. They’re leading people to believe that there is no such thing as global warming, when that’s not true. They never never NEVER make the distinction between global warming and man-made global warming. It’s shoddy journalism at best. You can side with the scientists who don’t think man is affecting global warming if you so choose, but when you have such a huge platform and you keep insisting that global warming does not exist, now you’re just being irresponsible.

But enough of that already. Fellow blogger Erin has a great site that is predominantly a food blog, but she also talks in detail about the environment and a process called “ethical eating,” where (correct me if I am wrong Erin) she deliberately makes carefully considered food choices that revolve on having as little a negative impact on the environment as she can, ie, shopping her local markets, buy meat from local farms, eating organic foods whenever possible, avoiding food from animals that have been treated with hormones or kept in cages and finding local food sources where the food itself was not transported long distances. Like that. I know Erin does a lot more to protect the environment than just how she eats, though I cannot speak for her and every choice she makes (go to her blog, she speaks for herself just fine!). My favorite part about Erin’s choices are that they are hers and she shares them, but she doesn’t force them on you or get all judgy if you disagree with her. But she makes really, really good points.

I deeply admire Erin’s committment, though I do not share her enthusiasm for one reason and one reason only: I AM LAZY. Dude, I have two little boys and a WalMart a mile away and a tight budget. I buy a lot of WalMart brand stuff, and frankly, I know nothing about where things like my clothes come from. My WalMart usually has signs in the produce section noting that they support local farmers, but we are in Illinois. I’m pretty sure the avocados and citrus fruit aren’t from around here, and while the zucchini is delicious, it’s not exactly in season right now. During the summer, I do make an effort to support my local farmers. Unfortunately, a trip to the farm is a good ten-mile hike. So I can either buy food that is locally grown, but have to drive far, or food that is not locally grown, but I can walk…. Dilemma! I think when you balance it out, the farm is still the better option, and their vegetables are thousands of times better than the grocery stores vegetable selection. But right now, it’s December. The farm is closed for the season.

I do make an effort to do something, most notably I use canvas bags at the store. I also recycle pretty vigilantly, and I donate old stuff rather than toss it.  I am really hoping that the garden that I intend to plant in the spring is not an enormous failure. I’ve tried once before and failed miserably, though, in my effort, I did toss a stone at a squirrel that was destroying my zucchinis and hit him. He squeaked and kept on eating.

So somewhere between those who balk at global warming all together, and those who are committed to the environment, there is a happy place where many of us fit in, where we try to do good things and not pollute and have a nice, clean earth… but we could probably try a little harder. But this brings me back to those who are excited about Climategate, and how they think it has dealt global warming a huge blow, and exposed it as a hoax! Let’s assume they are right. Let’s assume that Erin’s efforts are completely unnecessary, that she’s not having an impact at all, positive or negative. Let’s assume that there’s no difference between when I shop at the grocery store and when I shop at the farm. Let’s assume that smog just ain’t that bad. Don’t these people still want a clean earth?

I mean, think about it. Let’s assume that it doesn’t matter if there are piles of plastic in a landfill. Wouldn’t you still rather have a park than a dump? Let’s assume that there’s no negative impact from harvesting lumber for paper products. Wouldn’t you still rather have a big pretty national forest than empty, unusable land? Let’s assume that emissions from automobiles are not affecting the environment. Wouldn’t you still rather have a fuel-efficient car and save money on gas?

Green choices aren’t just about saving the earth. They’re common sense. Even if you wanted to argue that litter doesn’t impact the enviroment negatively, it’s still litter!

In our household, we’ll try to make better choices. Sometimes we will win, and other times we will fail miserably. But I wouldn’t allow my house to become a big trash bin. Why risk it with the entire world.

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