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Thursday, November 30, 2006

To Cruise or Not to Cruise?

Published by cck at 8:03 PM

Any of you people ever been on a cruise? I have not.
Not a cruise that lasted more than a few hours or left the sight of the shore.

I'm considering it. Experiences - advice - horror stories?

I am grown up!

Published by cck at 7:37 PM

One of the most condescending things a Republican can say to me is, "You'll be a Republican when you grow up." When I was fifteen and adamantly defending Mr. Close to Thurmond supporters, I didn't really mind. The phrase I'll show them would cross my mind; I would quickly smile and then respect my elders.

I still respect my elders. But now it irks me when a conservative tells me that I will change my party when I grow up. What will change when I reach grown up status? I'm twenty-five, about a month from being twenty-six. I pay taxes in a higher tax bracket than I can quite frankly believe. I pay taxes almost every day when I "stimulate the economy." I own things. I have muddled through government red tape, health care and the daunting choices of Old Navy. I have graduated from college and will be in the process of paying that achievement back for the next fifteen years. I am about to be married.

My goodness! What do I have to do to be considered adult?

The thing is - as I grow up (a skill I hope to hone and finally perfect by the time I leave this earth) - I have only become more of a Democrat. I have been filled with hope and compassion and a desire to make this a better America.

Yes, the first time I realized exactly how much of my paycheck was going to the Feds I flinched a little bit. Heck, I had a seizure on the floor. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss it or didn't wish it was deposited in my bank account, but I realized that our government needs things that I can't do by myself. If my government left it up to me to help those less fortunate, they would be out of luck. At the end of every week when I should be taking a basket of food over to the family who needs it, I would be found at Kick's or Handpicked. And forget me helping to pave a road in said new wedges and/or fighting a fire while wearing my new cocktail ring and/or defending freedom without my Aveda Sap Moss.

I don't trust myself. And, no offense, I don't trust you either. I am not a Democrat because I am young or immature, I am a Democrat because I am hopeful and still a little idealistic. Well that, and I know I alone am not enough to fix it.

Did I forget to metion?

Published by cck at 10:31 AM


We were watching two games on Saturday - FSU and Carolina. We Tivo'd both games and kept flipping back and forth. I must admit, watching Carolina play a better game than Clemson was sweet.

I like Laurin's picture of the new field....

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Have I told you...

Published by cck at 8:43 AM

That I despise Dr. Phil? There's just something about him - perhaps it's because he actually thinks he can solve folks' deep and dark problems within the confines of a television show. It irks me.

How did I miss this growing up?

Published by cck at 8:30 AM

It's still November, right? Despite the fact that there is a Christmas Tree up and glowing in my living room I am pretty sure I haven't changed my calendar. And yet, it feels like Christmas. Well, after last night it feels like Christmas.

I had a friend in South Carolina who always had a Charlie Brown Christmas Party. I never went, for various reasons. Mostly because I have trouble getting into the Christmas Spirit. Yes, me - the girl who delights in holidays with various and random decorations and traditions; I had trouble embracing the tinsel so to speak.

Last night, with a glass of port, we watched a Charlie Brown Christmas. I have no idea how I missed this as a kid (or as an adult). I'm not quite sure who to blame. Because, sitting under a blanket, snuggling with my guy, and watching a cartoon put me in the Christmas Spirit in a whole new way. Wa-hoo. Let the festivities begin.

Christmas party anyone? I'm in the mood for some Sparkling Shiraz!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Geezus, Christmas already?

Published by cck at 11:36 AM

I find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit when today's temperatures are likely to peak somewhere around 81 degrees.

Regardless, last night we opened a bottle of port and pulled out decorations for our tree. My small little artificial tree looks rather festive with its silver and red ornaments. We've put a wreath on the door and lights around the banister outside.

I cannot believe it's already Christmas. Another year. Goodness, we are so lucky.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey Y'all!

Published by cck at 9:22 AM

I have said it once, I will say it again -- South Carolina is God's Country. It was amazing to be back home this past week. Gorgeous. Reviving. It smelled good. There were leaves on the ground that crunched. I didn't realize I would miss the sound of leaves - both on the ground and the ones left on trees.

Let's see... What all did we do? We drove, a lot. It was cold. Well, it was cold to the Florida Person I have become. We walked Cleveland Park with George and he growled at anything that moved including an adorable toddler named Nathan. We visited my Grami every time we could. We laughed with family. Kramps shot skeet and took aim at various targets. I was rather impressed with my man; he had good aim. We ate a lot. And drove in our car a lot. We walked on Main Street and drank pumpkin beer at Barley's. I saw old friends from high school. We roasted marshmallows over a fire. And, my favorite morning - I dragged him out of bed before six am and we watched the sun rise over Pretty Place.

Adventures? Driving to Athens, Georgia in order find wine or beer or malt liquor in dry Northern Georgia. Running out of gas on top of a mountain and driving clear to another state in order to find a BP. James Bond evasive maneuvers when we saw a certain silver Ford.

Oh, did I mention we went to see Casino Royale? It was amazing. Really good. Best movie I've seen in quite some time -- and Daniel Craig is smokin' hot. I've watched the Bond series -- who could resist Connery? Casino Royal has an actual plot that revolves around more than the swell of the hottie's breasts. The stunts are spectacular and the twists are even better. Go see it.

Anyway, good thing we're home. I was starting to get the shakes from not having readily accessible internet.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thankfulness, Hallelujah, Praise God.

Published by cck at 7:42 AM

Today, the Infamous MSS called me rather early in the morning. He called to let me know that he was done. Done.

Save for a brief stint at a base in North Carolina, my little brother is finished with his South Carolina Army National Guard activation. He is coming home, finishing school within the next year and continuing with his civilian life.

Well played Stauffer, well played.
Congratulations to you and the 263rd.
Welcome home.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Will the laundry never stop?

Published by cck at 11:31 PM

I won't be around much Thanksgiving week. Internet access is sketchy at best up in the mountains of South Carolina. (And, yes, South Carolina has mountains!).

If I get a chance I'll let you know a seven hour trip in a car went.... Till then, happy gobbling!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Cakes made of spite...

Published by cck at 8:46 AM

It's early-ish on Saturday morning. It's Homecoming at Florida State University and I am (obviously) hard at work making pig candy and pecan pound cake and spinach dip. Well, truth be told, the spinach dip was made yesterday morning which is how this whole thing got started.

I am a Carolina girl (go ahead, you know you want to hum, "best in the world"). And in being a Carolina girl who not only graduated from Carolina, but also spent some time in the small world of Ole Miss, I hold certain things in high esteem. Some of them being the fashion that is Pearls with Jeans, I will not drink a beer out of a can without a koozie - and most importantly, Tailgate is a precious, precious occasion that only comes at certain points in the year. Tailgate must be cherished.

So, last night, a fellow tailgater mentioned that she was bringing spinach dip. Whoop-de-freakin'-do. First, if you know me, you know that I can be extraordinarily bitchy. Shocking, I know. And I shouldn't have been. There's more than enough people for two bowls of spinach dip to go around. Heh, I bet hers has water chestnuts in it. (I don't particularly like water chestnuts). Regardless, I was bent and determined to out do her this morning.

Not that my pig candy doesn't have a following. I hear there's already a Facebook group about the stuff... But, I don't know - it's the last Tailgate of the season for me --- we'll be in South Carolina next weekend, and I wanted it to be special. Insert pout here.

So, I started to make the said pound cake last night. I pulled it out of the oven looking golden, smelling good enough to tempt the Olsen twins. However, this morning, when I started to slice it for Tailgate, it crumbled. K., seeing the destruction of my hard work and culinary efforts, simply said, "Cakes made of spite always crumble."

See above for my response. Yes, that's spinach dip. On his face.

He's right though. But, that - even me being spiteful and bitchy at seven something this morning... That's Tailgate too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Since it's been a week.

Published by cck at 8:46 AM

Sorry kiddos. For some reason, I haven't felt much like writing. There's been much going on in the national and state scenes that I should probably have an opinion on. And on the very very local scene, there's even been more going on.

Like, for instance, I went to see One Night with the King. Relearned all about one of the strongest women in the Bible. Even wiki'd the whole thing -- I had no idea Madonna changed her name to Esther in 2004. Where was I?

I tailgated with some seriously fun folks last weekend. Despite the heavy rain (which the Kramps and I danced around in like children or goofy to-be-weds) and the depressing loss, the day was pretty awesome. Durkin was there and that just about always makes me happy. We met some new people too -- like the impressive and gracious Ms. Gen. Woman can make some seven-layer dip. Not to mention that she reads my humble writings, which makes her rather special - she didn't even make a big deal about my horrible use of commas.

Calling All Flats.

Published by cck at 8:30 AM

I'm beginning to really like Tallahassee. I've started to find shortcuts. I now cherish the view of Doak Stadium. I even like the Capitol (ahem, The Giant Wang).

The thing I cannot get over is the shopping. I went to the mall yesterday to procure stockings and possibly find a pair of shoes. I have a dinner thing on Friday night with my boyfriend. I say "boyfriend," clearly meaning "love of my life."

I know I've written about my new need for flat shoes in the past. I'm not sure if I let y'all know that my best pair of dress flats were eaten by the ravenous dogs that happen to live in my house, (although after that I was tempted to let them live in the road). So, now, I have no flats. Nothing close to flats. I have plenty of sandals. And considering that it's mid-November I will give credit where credit is due: the sandals have served me well. I, however, am not one of those girls you will see wearing stockings with open toe shoes. I remember, in college for some sorority something or other, when I wore the stockings that were like flip flop thongs - they were toeless. Awesome. However, since my last pedicure was heaven knows when, I am seriously out of luck.

Oh, and did I mention that when I traveled to the mall yesterday to find the right color of hose, every store (EVERY STORE) was out of the only color I like to wear. Travel Buff. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Durnit, He's not George W.

Published by cck at 9:56 AM

'Specially after Tuesday. But he is doing better - he played fetch this morning and can be seen here lolling about in the sun with his favorite carrot. Dude, I had no idea I liked this little guy so much.

And Dude, Election Night. I've spent time with Republicans - even at some Republican shindigs -- but, going to a Republican Election Night Victory Party took every ounce of self-control I possessed. It's not that I was rude -- it's just that as Election Night return rolled in (and as the double VodkaSodas I was slurping) I became more and more excited.

Returning home to see final counts for South Carolina was a totally different story. I'm only a little bit ashamed to say that I cried when I realized the Democratic Party was dead in South Carolina. I know, I know - all things are cyclical. But, ti's going to take a heck of a lot to bring us back from the grave. It's going to take a Charlestonian Bill Clinton. I'm just not quite sure she's been born yet. (And yes, I think it might take a woman).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Despite the fact

Published by cck at 4:58 PM

that the nation's future hangs in the balance, let us not forget to take the time for gossip.

Thank Goodness! Brit and K-Fed are splitting up. Britany files for divorce.

Equally entertaining...

Published by cck at 12:59 PM

Poor Marky Mark... I suppose if the election is tight he might have some sort appeal? Prob. not.

My favorite is the quote at the end of the article... "The governor says this is his last campaign - win or lose."

We can only hope.

More Hope

Published by cck at 12:42 PM

We only elect four statewide officers in Florida: Governor, Attorney General, CFO & Commissioner of Agriculture. The Lt Guv runs on the same ticket as the Governor. We also have a Senate race up and various constitutional amendments and judicial reviews on this ballot.

Yesterday, the Leader of the Free World was in Pensacola - about four hours from where I live. George Bush drew a crowd of about 10,000. Not surprising -- the panhandle of Florida is distinctly more conservative than the southernmost parts of Florida. (Seriously, before I moved here I thought Tallahassee would be Miami-Lite. I was very wrong).

What was surprising is that none of the statewide candidates were present at this rally. Charlie Crist tried to squash speculation about their absences saying all the candidates were trying to encourage and excite as many voters as possible -- across the state. Um, yeah - and while I think that is a plausible excuse, it still doesn't make a lot of sense. Krazy Katherine was there, but she was relegated to a back seat, was only mentioned twice and was never looked at by the Prez. I would think, as a Republican candidate for Governor of a very important state, I would want to stand next to the President. Of course, I'm not a Republican, so I could be wrong. Read the story from the St. Pete Times here.

Across the nation, I hope...

Published by cck at 12:28 PM

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don't wanna, hear nothin' else, about killin'
And that it's God's will
Cuz our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
So let's learn from our history
And do it differently

I hope
For more love, more joy and laughter
I hope
We'll have more than we'll ever need
I hope
We'll have more happy ever afters
I hope
We can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

Oh Rosie, her man he gets too rough
And all she can say, is he's a good man
He don't mean no harm
He was just brought up that way
But our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
It's okay for us to disagree
We can work it out lovingly

For I hope
For more love, more joy and laughter
I hope
You'll have more than you'll ever need
I hope
You'll have more happy ever afters
I hope
And you can all live more fearlessly
And you can lose all your pain and misery
I hope, I hope

There must be a way to change what's going on
No, I don't have all the answers

I hope
For more love, more joy and laughter
I hope
you'll have more than you'll ever need
I hope
There'll be more happy ever afters
I hope
We can all live more fearlessly
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope

I hope
I hope
I hope


And yes, it is the Dixie Chicks. I happen to like people who stand up to our government leaders. It wasn't arbitrary - they weren't picking on George W's socks or even his former coke habit (not the carbonated beverage kind that I suffer from). And, it wasn't like they were the first celebrities to stand up and scream about injustice. They were just the first ones who didn't fit the liberal, Hollywood, I wear-too-much-gel-in-my-hair mold.
Furthermore, I really like it when people who disagree with me tell me why. When it's smart or funny or bright -- I like hearing a different opinion. Heck, if I didn't - I sure wouldn't be getting married to a Republican.

The Pooper.

Published by cck at 8:06 AM

Re: the Georgester. The little puppy will be okay. We brought him home last night. He's got soft tissue damage and he's still wheezing a little bit, but with some steroids and antibiotics and serious rest he'll be okay.

We'll know by the end of the week if he's healing enough to skip surgery, so keep your fingers crossed. He's got a bandage on his leg from where the IV was located - he looks like a poodle. If I can find the durn camera, I promise, pictures will be posted.

Rain. It's raining.

Published by cck at 8:05 AM

I woke up this morning, early - very early. It's been so lovely and cool, we've been sleeping with the windows open. I woke up hearing the rain hit the roof. Hard rain. Lots of rain. Big rain.

Rain is not a good thing on Election Day. I'm just saying. Not a good thing.
Glad I voted last week.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Georgie Update...

Published by cck at 9:29 AM

My little puppy is spending some time receiving the excellent in-patient care of Oakwood Animal Hospital.

We'll get an update in a little while... after the x-rays and stuff. I had no idea how difficult leaving the little guy in the hospital would be...

Ongoing Commentary.

Published by cck at 7:46 AM

I was upset on Saturday night. I wanted SNL to be live. It was a Best of... episode -- and while I happen to love showcases of talent (much like Cheryl Footman, or so I would assume), I wanted the show to make fun of the election. I suppose they're saving it all up for the Saturday after.

Tomorrow is election day. And you can listen to George S. or Bob S. or Tim R. or Bob O'R. or Chris M ---> there's a lot of opinions floating around. I have a really good feeling that people want change. Heck, Liddy Dole even said as much on Sunday morning.

I think the war is going to make a great impact. And I just almost swear, if it doesn't, I'm really going to start questioning the patriotism of my fellow Americans.

It's supposed to rain in the Panhandle tomorrow. Which is a bad thing for Democrats. Leon County is the Richland equivalent (as are many of the surrounding counties) and I hope the weather is crisp and lovely so people will come out in droves.

I've got some "endorsements" I'm working on -- we'll be back after the Vet visit.

The Big Weekend.

Published by cck at 7:36 AM

In addition to all the puppy drama in our house, it was a big weekend period. It was Parent's Weekend at FSU which means that parents and grandparents were visiting. CGK didn't understand why I was nervous...
1) First time future in-laws visited our house.
2) First time I've cooked for all in-laws.
3) Ahhhhhh! First time in-laws visited our house!
I never ever ever thought I would say this out loud, let alone write it in my blog, but there's a certain part of me that wanted to prove that I could take care of my family. It hit me as I was making a cake with candied orange peels; it hit me that I could be both a feminist and strongly desire to care for my family. The two really aren't that different or far apart - not that I thought they were. I just didn't realize that the two ideals could co-exist so peacefully.

We had a great time: tailgating at nine am, watching TV, having brunch on Sunday and even the requisite parental trip to Lowe's to pick up the random home improvement device. I heart these people. I had no idea I would fit in with another family so well. It's pretty darn nifty.

ps. The cake was a-mazing. Dark Chocolate cake with a dark chocolate Grand Marnier ganache. And even the bittersweet orange peels on top were tasty. Sometimes, I surprise even myself. :)

Wowsahs, what a weekend.

Published by cck at 7:27 AM

Our puppy is sick. My little pooper, George, was playing with his cousin dog, Bailey. Bailey's teeth got caught in George's collar. Georgie went limp and then starting coughing up blood.

We weren't home when it happened. We were headed out to dinner, giggling about how grown-up we were. A dinner: with other couples! It was still sort of new for us. And then we got a call... I can only imagine that it was like getting a call from the babysitter that our child was sick.

After rushing the little man to the Animal Hospital, we were charged to keep an eye on him and watch the hacking. We have an appointment with his Vet in an hour. I didn't sleep much last night. It's pretty amazing - the role pets take in our lives. Heck, George has a MySpace page. And while my little six month old MaltyPoo doesn't have 349 friends yet, one of his buddies is another gorgeous lady named Matilda.

Lesson - windpipes are fragile things. I'm not sure I will ever put another collar on George. And, furthermore, I have realized that I will probably be one of those rather overprotective mothers.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Simply the best...

Published by cck at 12:57 PM

While I might not be able to train the guy to put dirty clothes in the appropriate hamper, I have to admit - he is simply the best.

He is calm and strong and amazingly supportive. With all that is crazy in my life, my fiance manages to keep a smile and remind me to laugh. I never, ever thought I would say this, but without him I'm not sure I would be able to do the things I am supposed to do, nor would I do them as well.

All that said, however, does not mean that I voted for Charlie Crist.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quality: My dad would be so proud.

Published by cck at 11:08 AM

I've been reading a lot about education over on the LaurinLine. It's important. It's big stuff - that education stuff.

And I was reading some comments - there was one about "pulling" kids out of private school. I have no idea really what the comment meant; I'm not using it to prove a point (sort of). What I think is that there are problems in schools whether you go to North Florida Christian or Leon High, whether you go to Christ Church or Wren or whether you go to East Clarendon or Robert E. Lee.

School is completely subjective. Money helps - money helps every situation from bad landscaping to the ability to procure quality healthcare so it's no big surprise that money in education helps. It helps because, like landscaping and medicine, your future is dependent on someone else. Money helps.

Now, I consider landscaping to be not so important and medical care to be tantamount to education, but the fact that our teachers do not receive the respect, consideration, wages or support that they need in order to teach is reason enough not to expect quality in every situation. Most of us have only spent time in schools as students; few of us have been part of the behind the scenes crew - the teachers and staff.

A school is a strange microcosm of society. Morale is important. In some schools, the GroupThink mentality is so strong it's confounding. Red Tape, regulations and school district procedures keep educators hands tied -- eliminating the very ingenuity and enthusiasm that makes teaching what it is ---> a gift.

The problem goes beyond a golden ticket voucher. Private school does not mean that administrators won't be letches or that coaches will be good or that the english teacher understands the implications of Beowulf. Public school doesn't ensure quality either. The issue isn't public or private -- it's quality. Period.

That's where the debate should be -- not where does quality exist, but how do we ensure that all of our kids - ALL OF OUR KIDS - get that quality education that provides them with the opportunity and skills to have a full life. Where's the quality?

From a MySpace Bulletin, no less...

Published by cck at 9:12 AM

One of the items on SC voting this year is about making marriage defined as 1 man and 1 woman (Amendment #1), so here's....

10 reasons why gay marriage is wrong:

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage would be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

And for all those folks (read: the man who called me a bigot), this is sarcasm. Irony. Humor.