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Imaginary conversation with George W. Bush

Me: So, George, how ya doin?

George: Never better. Just won my second election (ha-ha, Dad, who's laughing now?) and I'm on top of the world. I've gotten the go-ahead from the voters to push my conservative agenda - who could ask for a better vote of confidence than that? Now we're going to clean out the mess those liberals have made, and make this a country that fears God. People are going to raise better kids, have better marriages, and they're going to do it with lower taxes and less intereference from the government in their personal lives. And the Patriot Act will be looking over their shoulders the entire times, so nobody will dare screw up - Big Brother will be watching!

Me: Big Brother in this case being Jeb?

George: No, no... I mean Jesus. God's red right hand.

Me: That sounds a little crazy, George, don't you think?

George: Well, God told me to run for president, and God helped me to win. He thinks I'm the best thing that's ever happened to this country. He wants me to convert the entire world to Christianity.

Me: Isn't that a bit drastic? Considering that Christianity is only an offshoot of Judaism, just like Islam?

George: Only? Sure, there's other religions. But the Christian heaven is so much nicer than the Muslim or Jewish heaven. In Jewish heaven you get matzoh ball soup and have to sit on chintzy chairs, and in the Muslim religion they still haven't gotten over the left-hand thing. Over in Christian heaven you get to drive a gold-plated Buick to church every day, and dead chicken dinners at every meal. If you want. Or steak. None of that weird furren food. (Ed: We assume that he means foreign food.)

Me: So, moving on... The U.S. government has finally given up its search for weapons of mass destruction. They've found nothing. Are you willing to admit that you made a mistake in invading Iraq?

George: Mistake? Heck, no. Saddam was evil and he had to be punished. Now, some people might say that God does his own wet work. But that's what we're here on earth for - to punish the ungodly. It's America's mission to make the world a better place. So, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, all you other non-Christian nations - watch out! We're coming to get rid of your centuries-old governments and install a shaky democracy that will fail as soon as the U.S. military presence is removed, which will be after I'm out of office.

Me: Whatever happened to the Christian principles of humility and turning the other cheek?

George: Are you one of those liberal tree-hugging Christians that actually reads the bible?

Me: No, sir, I'm an agnostic.

George: Well, then, you're definitely going to hell. Say hello to Saddam for me.

Discuss this Journal entry [8]

Latest reply: Jan 13, 2005

Stress sucks.

It seems like the holidays are the worst time of year for finances, because all the normal expenses of daily life go on, but then there's the enforced holiday spending that everybody feels like they *have* to do. This year it's been especially hard. Lots of unexpected expenses.

R. had minor surgery (would implanting a stent be minor surgery? Anything that involves my darling being in a hospital bed for a day and looking all pale and yellow, I qualify as major. Even though the actual hole was very small, and healed almost immediately.) Those bills have already rolled in, and while we didn't have to pay the hospital $14,000, we still had our little co-pays and deductibles to cough up.

Then we had to go to the dentist. $700 for a root canal for R. and $200 for deep perio cleanings for me and R. Ouch! All necessary stuff, that we can't put off, but ow, we don't need this right now.

Just took my car to the shop, and it turns out my radiator fan has gone bust. How can I drive a car without a radiator fan, I ask? As long as the weather stays cool, no problem. So that means in Jan I have to get a radiator fan installed. And, oh yeah, cv boots for the dang car, because they're cracking - and if all the oil leaks out, the bearings seize up, and then we've got major problems. That'll be an easy $700 for the two repairs. And that's not including fixing the dimmer switch so I have dash lights, or the shift switch indicator so I can get the key out while it's in park.

As if things weren't bad enough, R. has a ding in his guitar that we have to fix before things get worse. And the amp is broken too... So who knows how much that's going to be.

My Planned Parenthood appointment has rolled around, so that's another $70 bucks...

All that and we still have mortgage, gas and electric and other such bills to pay. And I haven't even done my Christmas shopping yet. Ack! All expenses together, it comes out to approximately $2874.30. The estimated amount of money coming in for Dec. and Jan. is only $2400. So we're not in trouble, but things will be very tight.

Sigh... Maybe I can donate a kidney.

Discuss this Journal entry [1]

Latest reply: Dec 17, 2004


Just some recipes I'm putting online... with a cookbook in the works, I'd like to put my favorites together.

Cream of Tomato Soup
from America's Test Kitchen
Serves 4

Make sure to use canned whole tomatoes packed in juice. Use the packing juice as well as the liquid that falls from the tomatoes when they are seeded to obtain 3 cups of juice.

2 (28 oz) cans of whole tomatoes packed in juice, drained, 3 cups reserved
1.5 tb dark brown sugar
4 tb unsalted butter
4 large shallots, minced (1/2 cup)
1 tb tomato paste
Pinch of allspice
2 tb all-purpose flour
1.75 cups homemade chicken stock, or low-sodium canned chick broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tb brandy or dry sherry
Salt and cayenne pepper

1) Adjust oven rack to upper-middle posiiton and heat oven to 450°. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil. With fingers, carefully open whole tomatoes over strainer set in bowl and push out seeds, allowing juices to fall through strainer into bowl. Spread seeded tomatoes in single layer over foil. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake until all liquidhas evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30- minutes. Let tomatoes cool slightly, then peel them off foil, transfer to small bowl and set aside.

2) Heat butter over medium heat in large saucepan until foaming. Add shallots, tomato paste, and allspice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined, 30 seconds. Gradually add chicken stick, whisking constantly to combine; stir in reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.

3) Pour mixture through strainer and into medium bowl, rinse out saucepan. Transfer tomatoes and solids in strainer to blender; add 1 cup strained liquid and puree until smooth. Place pureed mixture and remaining strained liquid in saucepan. Add cream and warm over low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in brandy and season with salt and cayenne. Serve immediately. (Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm over low heat until hot, do not boil.)

Catfish Court Bouillion (Pronounced koo-bi-yawn)
Serves 4

Salt & pepper
1 28 oz. can tomatoes
2 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 catfish - cleaned
Lots of garlic cloves, crushed
1 chopped onion
Tabasco to taste
Cook all ingredients together in large pot. Fish will cook quickly - carefully remove bones.
Serve with garlic bread.

I think you could use catfish filets instead of a whole catfish. While you wouldn't get the rich flavor of a catfish cooked off the bone, it'd be easier to prepare the soup. Try throwing in shrimp or pieces of chicken for variety.

Pumpkin Bread
My grandmother's recipe

3 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking soda

Mix all dry ingredients together (except for sugar), and set aside. Mix sugar, eggs, oil, pumpkin together, then add dry ingredients slowly to the mixture.

You'll need either 4 1 lb. coffee cans, or 2 loaf pans. Pour the batter into the containers, and bake at 325 for 55 minutes. In my oven, it took 1 hour and 15 minutes.

I replaced the pumpkin with 16 oz. of sweet potato (baked in the oven) and it came out just scrumptious. Nice crust on the top, and good flavor too. I also left out the nutmeg, and never noticed a thing.

Discuss this Journal entry [1]

Latest reply: Dec 2, 2004

Thirty-five is way too young for heart surgery!

For a month or so, my hubby's been complaining about chest pains. On Monday, he went to the hospital for a heart-cath procedure to determine whether there was a blockage in one of the arteries of his heart. It turns out that there was one - in the left anterior descending artery. The nurse came to the waiting room to tell me that they had found a blockage; twenty minutes later, the doctor was giving me the good news. They inserted a stent, and now he's feeling fine. After the first day we were home from the hospital, he was a lot more alert and energetic than I expected from a heart patient. He was tired, but that wasn't surprising.

I asked the doctor for pictures of the procedure. I expected to get several printed photographs, but what I got was a CD with digital movies of the procedure. Somehow, seeing what they had done made me feel better about it.

We're both extremely freaked about it being his heart. I know he's feeling a little depressed, and I'll do all I can to keep him cheerful and active. Now I'm anxious all the time... I know that continually checking to make sure he's still breathing is a little neurotic, so I'm trying to avoid that. I'm also trying to avoid the constant nagging, because it won't help him, and he certainly doesn't need the stress. He knows what to do, anyway - I'm not going to police his every move.

Discuss this Journal entry [18]

Latest reply: Jun 18, 2004

Quotes from the Saddam/Bush Forum

"Ever notice all the times GW was come out and said that he is fighting the war on terror because his god told him to? That he believes that god himself has led him to the office of president so he could fight this war. Makes you wonder what he thinks in private if these are things he is saying publicly.
This war is not about oil, it is about simple insanity. "

- Sargeant Flipper

"Personally, I think Shrub just wanted to be a Knight of Malta, or a Hospitaller, or (even better, since he likes things secretive) a Templar. Of course, living 800 years after the Crusades, he couldn't, so he created his own. Oh, wait, that would mean he would actually have to know something about the Crusades. Never mind."

- Montana Redhead

" In invading iraq George W. Bush REALLY wanted to:
1) Get "the man who tried to kill my daddy"
2) Provide an object lesson to any other nation that challenged the will of the United States
3) turf out Saddam and install a puppet government friendly to Haliburton, Bechtel and other U.S. corporations
4) Expand the turf of American Empire
5) Suck up to his pals at the Center for a New American Century"

- Rev. Paperboy (I think)

Discuss this Journal entry [4]

Latest reply: Jan 27, 2004

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Lentilla (Keeper of Non-Sequiturs)

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