Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hold the lime

Tequila Hang on tight, folks. Guess what today is?

It’s National Tequila Day.

Uh oh.

I find tequila to be one of those insidious drinks. So tasty, especially in margaritas, but oh, so very, very dangerous!

I’ve learned that my limit is two. Two margaritas, two shots (although that’s venturing into a dangerous area), or two whatevers. Any more than two, and I’m in trouble. Oh, I don’t mean out of control, or projectile vomiting, or dancing on the tables, or anything like that. (I do recall falling asleep in Chi Chi’s bathroom in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but that was years ago and long before I learned my limit.)

I’ve also learned about the difference between good and bad tequila, and that genuine tequila is only made in certain areas of Mexico, primarily the state of Jalisco. True tequila is made from the blue agave plant, and must be made that way in ordered to be called tequila.

Primo tequilas carry none of the burn of cheaper brands, and are best sipped like brandy. When in Mexico, forget the lime and salt. Such shots are called “training wheels,” and although the lime and salt helps cut the burn when it comes to crappy tequila, you’ll find it’s not necessary with good tequilas. They’re smooooooth.

I’ve got a bottle of Cabo Wabo Blanco that I might have to crack open to celebrate National Tequila Day. It would be a shame not to, wouldn’t it?

If you prefer your tequila in margarita form (I love margaritas!), have you ever tried making a real one, not using a mix? Sometimes simple is best, and the basic margarita is simple indeed.

3 parts tequila
2 parts triple sec
1 part lime juice
Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a salt-rimmed glass. Tasty!

If you like frozen margaritas, try them on the rocks instead. I can’t remember the last time a frozen margarita passed my lips. On the rocks, with salt. It’s the only way to fly.

If you choose to indulge, be safe. If you need some extra inspiration to get you going, watch this. Mas tequila!Tequila shots

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An unwelcome solicitation

Walorski I’ve made it quite clear that I am no supporter of Jackie Walorski (that’s her over there… gahhhh!), the Republican nominee for my Congressional district seat. I couldn’t stand her when she was a state legislator, and I dislike her even more now that she is running against my Congressman, Joe Donnelly. I would like Joe to be a little more liberal, but all in all, he’s a good guy who his working hard for his constituents. He has helped bring jobs to our area, and has done plenty to help Indiana’s veterans.

Walorski, on the other hand, is all about bombast and talking points. She is antagonistic rather than problem-solving, and during the primaries, spewed nonsense about how she, personally, was going to make sure that Nancy Pelosi was sent home to California. One of her opponents dryly (and correctly) pointed out that only the people in Speaker Pelosi’s district can do that. Walorski is playing to the teabaggers, trying to build upon their irrational fears of government takeover and the “loss of their country and their freedoms,” although they can’t quite seem to articulate just how that is taking place.

In short, I am against everything she stands for. I abhor her personality and tactics and do not subscribe to her religion (she’s very vocal about that, too). So it was quite a surprise to find a letter from the Walorski campaign in the mailbox yesterday. She was asking for support and money. Talk about barking up the wrong tree! The contents of that letter don’t really matter. It was the usual talking points blather about vague fears and big spending and blahbitty blah blah. I did not react well (in fact, I was quite offended to have my mailbox sullied with her name), and I wrote this letter, which I will enclose when I return the pledge form with big fat zeros all over it. That will be worth the price of a stamp. Walorski needs to get the fuck out of my face, and if her campaign ever calls here, they’re in for an earful.

To the Walorski Campaign:

I received your mailing dated July 16th, a letter opening with the line “The liberals just don’t get it!”

As one of those liberals, I can tell you that I do get it. I get that you’re a reactionary fundamentalist who would have everyone believe exactly as you do. I haven’t forgotten that you attempted (and failed) to shut down the entire state’s Planned Parenthood clinics because of the transgressions of one clinic.

I do not support your agenda; I believe it is the same ludicrous behavior that got us into trouble under eight years of President Bush. I am a proud supporter of President Obama, I believe that the richest among us should be taxed more, and I am certainly willing to pay a little more in taxes in order to benefit my fellow human beings who are less well off. I am also a proud supporter of Congressman Donnelly, including his vote for health care reform, and will be doing what I can in order to help him get re-elected—and to defeat you and your corporate ideals.

Great job on the endorsements from National Right to Life (I support a woman’s right to choose), Gun Owners of America (I support gun ownership, but feel that our regulations are far too lax...when someone can buy a gun at a garage sale, we’ve got a major problem), Mitt Romney (a belief in magic underwear sort of spoils a candidate’s rationality in my book), and Mike Huckabee (a rejection of evolution makes me question a candidate’s intelligence). None of these endorsements make me want to support you. Quite the opposite.

In your letter, you mention the liberals’ “liberty-robbing policies.” I am really curious as to what you mean by that. Which liberties have been taken away from you by any “liberal” policies? I would love a reply detailing the liberties of which you have been robbed.

Congressman Donnelly is listening to me. I have sent him several emails, and he has responded to all my concerns. I have found him to be incredibly responsive and a member of Congress who represents me quite well. On the other hand, I sent you an email some time ago to ask you to stop your attack on Planned Parenthood in Indiana; you responded that you had forwarded my email to my representative, Joe Niezgodski. Interestingly enough, Mr. Niezgodski’s office checked and they never received any forwarded email. I have no reason to trust you as my Congresswoman.

I suggest that you save your precious campaign funds and not send any further solicitations to my address. I will not be contributing one cent to your campaign. One “red” cent, I could say. However, I would be quite interested to get an answer to my question about exactly which freedoms have been taken away from you. It’s easy to spew talking points; quite another to say something of substance. I’m still waiting to hear anything of substance from you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Back in the saddle

Girl with pencil I’m back! Did you miss me? If so, now you gotta kiss me.

This was a ruminative vacation for me, and I won’t be writing about it or posting pictures. Suffice it to say it was enjoyable and a much-needed break from the mundane. I haven’t been pleased with myself lately, and I needed to think about why. One of the things I wanted to work on is spending less time on the computer and reading more. I did that on vacation, and it felt right. I’m not going away, by any means! And today, I haven’t stuck to that, as I’ve tried to get caught up on some things. But I think it’s a good decision to not spend as much time online and it’s always a good decision to replace some of that with reading! My blogging and Facebook friends probably noticed my conspicuous absence; Facebook posting was minimal. That was by choice, and I feel good about it. I’m still trying to find a balance between the serious and the fun. I don’t want to be consumed by politics at the expense of my sense of humor, and I don’t want to be completely frivolous in my postings, either. I want to make an effort to keep up with various blogs and feeds, but I don’t want to be beholden to having to. Can she find a balance? Will she ever come to terms with being caught up in politics but still loving to laugh? Can two such differing states of mind ever find middle ground? Tune in and find out next week, same Bat time, same Bat channel!

Today’s topic is one I visited about a month ago, the potential building of a mosque at Ground Zero. I think I expressed myself pretty well in that entry, so you can read my thoughts there. It is still in the news, because apparently the final approval has not been given, and there are many who staunchly oppose it. Many of my liberal friends oppose it. You know who else opposes it? Sarah Palin. I hope that makes my liberal friends take another look at this issue. I honestly don’t want to get into a debate with anyone about it, because I do understand why it would bother some people. Maybe I have no right to an opinion, because it wasn’t my city that was attacked; but I still think I do, because it was my country, too.

Venn conflict It looks as though Palin had to weigh in on the topic, and took Mayor Bloomberg to task for even thinking of allowing such construction. Bloomberg’s response:

Everything that the United States stands for and New York stands for is tolerance and openness and I think it's a great message for the world that unlike another place where they might actually ban people from wearing a an item or they might actually keep people from building a building, that's not what America was founded on nor is it what America should become.

I have to say, I’m with the mayor (not the Quittah from Wasilla) on this one. That has been my feeling from the beginning. We are about religious tolerance, and cannot legally discriminate on the basis of religion (or lack thereof). Palin disagreed with him and said, “This is not an issue of religious tolerance but of common moral sense” and “This is nothing close to ‘religious intolerance,’ it’s just common decency.”

This illustrates perfectly the slippery slope we’re looking at if we wish to prohibit this mosque and community center from being built merely on the basis of the religion espoused by the builders. Who defines “common moral sense” and who gets to tell others what constitutes “common decency?” Sarah Palin? Do you really want her definitions of morality and decency being implemented in our country? I know I sure don’t. The truth of the matter is that we cannot legally prohibit them from building this on a basis of their religion. I suppose officials can get around it by not issuing permits, that sort of thing, and I know that happens all the time—it wouldn’t surprise me if it happens here. But the argument that they should not be allowed to build it because of their religion is simply invalid, wrong, and unconstitutional.

As I pointed out when I wrote my previous entry about this subject, Timothy McVeigh was raised as a Catholic. Would anyone protest a Catholic church being built near the site of the Oklahoma City bombing?

Venn religion I just think we have to be really careful about how we proceed here. It’s still a raw wound for many people. I know that, and there are times that I still feel it acutely, too, when I think back to those horrible days. I believe we need to react rationally and fairly, not on the basis of emotion or hatred. We are the better for it if we can manage to do that.

One more note about Palin’s remarks. Her tweet on the subject called for peaceful Muslims to “refudiate” the project. That would be a nonsense word. I guess “refute” and “repudiate” got all mixed up in her tiny little insect brain, although neither of those would really work for what she was trying to say. Both are generally meant to be used in an debate situation, as in “I have demonstrated that your arguments in support of your position are incorrect; therefore, I have refuted your argument.” She removed the word, but defended her usage by saying that Shakespeare also made up words.

Believe me, one is ever going to confuse you with Shakespeare. There is a rhythmic beauty to his words; your tortuous and twisted cadence reminds me of the sounds made by someone running their fingertips vigorously over a fine mesh cheese grater.