At some point, I decided I was only going to buy American cars. As a kid I remember reading the twine bundles as I loaded them into the hay baler on my uncles farm, "Buy American." I asked my grandfather what that meant. He said buying American made goods meant that I was supporting our economy and maintaining American jobs. Seemed easy enough. American cars were cool, fast, cushy, powerful and gas was 35 cents a gallon.
By the time I could afford a car, gas was 90 cents a gallon. Eight years had passed. American cars were awful boxes that were horrifically underpowered, used marginal technology, and handled like horse sledges on ice. I bought a Toyota pick up truck. Parts were more expensive, but it rarely needed parts. It had a slick, fuel efficient engine matched with a 5-speed gearbox. It was a blast to drive; a sports car that could handle a payload.
I watched as American manufacturing slumped, witnessed first hand the shift to a service economy. Sixteen years had passed. I bought a Chevy pick up truck. Awesome truck. Base vehicle with a V-8, throttle body fuel injection, automatic transmission. Of course, it was a first model year GM so it had a number of manufacturing defects. I tried not to let that bug me. It worked for me and I was supporting our economy. Gas was $1.82 a gallon.
Now I own a 12 year old Ford pick up truck, and an 11 year old Cadillac. Both substantial vehicles that have been remarkably reliable. Gas is $3.95 a gallon. Forty years have passed since my "Buy American" discussion with my grandfather.
But I'm getting geared up to buy again and I find myself in a quandry. I'm due for a mid-life crisis and I think it's going to be difficult to fulfill if I buy American. I need something impractical, without a roof, to truly accentuate my fat, American middle agedness. I'm not sure a Mustang convertible is going to do it. I may have to hold out a couple more years until Alfa Romeo returns to America.
Note from the administrator: Grizzled, you left out Blue Lou and the E.coli, aka, No-Class... not to mention that beater Malibu you had that Scott and I killed by ignoring the oil light.
Note to the rest of you... I am not a car person. Sure, there are ones I think are breathtakingly beautiful, fun, or cool... I would take a Shelby Cobra, I would die and go to heaven if I had an 60's VW Bug, I would love many, many that I see, but I really don't care. The running joke around here is that if someone asks me what kind of car just went by, I'll tell them the color. :-P I had no need for a car for the longest time, and when I did have the need... I have more or less driven what's shown up in my driveway, most not being my first choice, but being more than adequate for what I needed at the time, which is usually to get around, and have enough room for 4 people and two dogs. At some point in my life though, I think I need to actually purchase one... and one I want... if I can figure out what that is.
EL just told me that 2012 will officially be the year that does not suck. How she knows this, I'm not sure, but I'm going with it. While I'm fond of odd numbers, and held out much hope for 2011... it was trying on many levels, most of which won't be discussed here. I'm ready for an upswing.
Happy Almost 2012 to everyone! May we all enjoy the year that does not suck!
I had Christmas music on while the lamblets were decorating cookies... while playing "ZRM's 2007 Cookie Contest Christmas Mix Bribe CD", I noticed a bizarre cookie on the table. I asked the youngest lamblet what it was... She said it was a zombie! YL did not know the provenance of this latest CD so no suggestions have been made. We can only assume the worst... ZRM embeds sekrit messages in his music...
And speaking of his music, when I finally told the lambets what CD this was, EL said, "It's a heck of a lot better than that holiday crap they've been playing on the radio!"
Oh, she doesn't know from crap!!! She has not yet been introduced to 3B Rahdio!!! HA!
Happy, Merry, Happy whatever it is you do or do not celebrate!! Be nice to those you love. Be even nicer to those you don't.
Around this time of year, Grizzled receives various goodies from business people. Some come to the house, some he brings home from work, some never make it home from work... the liquid variety is usually kept there to placate his staff and calm his ever-at-the-ready explaining voice.
One that also doesn't often make it home are the Carol's Cookies. We hope, we cross our fingers... we hope Grizzled will get out of the building with the tin still sealed, but more than not, he doesn't... which has led me to ordering them for ourselves... just one tin with the most popular varieties in it. I want to say it holds a dozen.
I know what you're thinking, 12 cookies is not a huge tin, but these cookies are different. These cookies weigh in at 8oz per cookie. Yes, half a pound of cookie. No one ever takes one thinking they'll eat the whole thing. No, you start by breaking off a third and think you can't even possibly finish that, and then somewhere later in the day, you seem to remember a remnant of a cookie that was left, and think you'll go back to break off just one or two more bites, but all you see is a napkin and crumbs. Somehow, you've eaten the whole cookie... suddenly sampling a second one doesn't sound like a bad idea. Yeah, they're rich. Yeah, you know they're loaded with butter, but it's a cookie! Just a cookie!!
The other day, I was going to order some to send to someone else and thought I'd get us a tin as well, as none had shown up yet, and I was pretty sure the office wolves would make sure they didn't. For some reason that day I decided to see if there was any nutritional info on them... apparently the survival instinct is strong and on some level, my bod knew these would kill us... I googled for info.
And what did I find???
First of all, Carol's site says it has limited info on her cookies... and now I know why... I found this info elsewhere:
8 oz. cookie, 1109, 57g, 145g, 12g
Yeah, you read that right... 1109 calories... and 57g of fat! Holy crap! And I thought an 80 calorie Double Stuff Oreo was bad (Be quiet those of you who say you can easily eat 10 Oreos)... Of course you can't eat one and not know you're eating a stick of butter, held together with sugar, some flour and a few nuts and chocolate bits, but still... it's just a cookie! A cookie that no doubt has an entire STICK OF BUTTER IN IT!
They are oh-so good. They're better than good. You want to rub them behind your ears and dance with them. You want to buy them pretty things. But I will not. I will not even be buying them. Not even once a year. I can't. I can't go back to blissful ignorance, and I'm sad.
Not sure whether the good cause is me, or Louis CK and his experiment, but who cares! I had $5 burning a hole in my pocket, a full cup of coffee, and the house is quiet. :) Besides, I could never say no to those crinkly, smiley eyes. Yeah, I bought the thing.
“And at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind ‒ graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.
And if you are very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last ‒ and yet will remain with you for life.
Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it.” ― Jim Butcher, White Night
Those of you who were around here back in late '06 might remember this post:
I can't even begin to explain
You know how sometimes you are so deeply involved in your daily existence and are probably not smiling as much as you should or thinking enough about people you adore and then out of nowhere, one of those people, from miles and miles away, does something so silly and so unexpected that you laugh like a hyena and suddenly feel 15 years younger??? That happened to me last night when I went to bed and heard something crinkly underneath my pillow. Yes, Grizzled helped with the plan, but the plan was formulated by someone else I lahve, someone who lives thousands of miles away.
I went to bed with a big honkin' smile on my face, a silly feeling in my heart and a vow to return the favor...
Laugh, did I laugh!
Thoseof you who were around here back in late '08 might remember I returned the favor:
Some of you may recall a post I did a couple of years ago about being the target of someone's twisted, yet much appreciated, humor. I vowed to get him back as I have done so many times over the past 22 years.
I did. :)
It took 2 years of patience, but the window appeared, the plan fell into place, and with catlike stealth, I lobbed the crinkly package back in his court. He was caught totally off guard and I am now officially back on guard.
It's been three years since I lobbed that crinkly package... I even ran across an old email the other day, the one I sent to his niece, asking if I got the package to her, could she slip it under his parents' tree in Detroit since he'd be going home (he lives in LA). Yes, it had been 3 years, I wondered if maybe it was done.
Last night Grizzled and I went out to dinner with longtime friends... friends we don't get to see enough of these days. It was fun, as it always is. After drinks, and dinner, and another round of drinks, Barb pulled out a wrapped gift. Crap. I had not brought anything, thinking gift-exchanging was not happening... but she assured me it was just something they had happened upon on, perhaps I could open it and we could share it for dessert. She pressed me to open it, which I did.
It was peanut brittle... not exactly what I would have thought of Barb to bring. I glanced across at Barb, who looked like the cat that ate the canary... I scanned my brain for any missed peanut brittle jokes that might have permeated our history, but could not come up with one. I continued to open the package... the factory-sealed package. I popped the plastic shrinkwrap with my fingernail and ripped it off, lifting the lid to see...
THE CRINKLY PACKAGE!!! (It doesn't even matter what the package is anymore... but it's still factory-sealed as well, and thus... crinkly.)
The restaurant was dark. It actually took me a moment to make sure I was seeing what I actually thought I was seeing. I was. I started laughing, veering directly into laugh/crying. Fortunately there was no peeing... Grizzled spied what was in the package and started laughing. Yes, the crinkly package had found its way back to me in the sneakiest of ways... in shrinkwrap no less! That weasel actually had the decoy peanut brittle box shrinkwrapped! I was awestruck, and filled with lahve...
So, it is in my court again... I will wait. I will wait years if need be... until the perfect time and method shows itself... and I'm thinking the peanut brittle box might have to be included... In the meantime, it's going on my shelf, in my office, so I can laugh every time I see it.