I listened to Monica Crowley this morning in response to Bush's speech. Her big point was that this is one of Bush's big defining moments. Yes, it's about N. Korea cooperating with talks, accepting our incentives, dismantling their nuclear program. But more so it is a warning shot to Iran. Iran, who won't cooperate, who continually blows the U.S. off. Well, as she put it, "all bets are off." U.S. diplomacy is working with N. Korea. What will Iran do now?
What a great, timely article by Glenn Beck on what conservatives believe.
In case you don't want to read the whole thing, here's the best part:
A conservative believes that our inalienable rights do not include housing, healthcare or Hummers.
A conservative believes that our inalienable rights DO include the pursuit of happiness. That means it is guaranteed to no one.
A conservative believes that those who pursue happiness and find it have a right to not be penalized for that success.
A conservative believes that there are no protections against the hardship and heartache of failure. We believe that the right to fail is just as important as the chance to succeed and that those who do fail learn essential lessons that will help them the next time around.
A conservative believes in personal responsibility and accepts the consequences for his or her words and actions.
A conservative believes that real compassion can't be found in any government program.
A conservative believes that each of us has a duty to take care of our neighbors. It was private individuals, companies and congregations that sent water, blankets and supplies to New Orleans far before the government ever set foot there.
A conservative believes that family is the cornerstone of our society and that people have a right to manage their family any way they see fit, so long as it's not criminal. We are far more attuned to our family's needs than some faceless, soulless government program.
A conservative believes that people have a right to worship the God of their understanding. We also believe that people do not have the right to jam their version of God (or no God) down anybody else's throat.
A conservative believes that people go to the movies to be entertained and to church to be preached to, not the other way around.
A conservative believes that debt creates unhealthy relationships. Everyone, from the government on down, should live within their means and strive for financial independence.
A conservative believes that a child's education is the responsibility of the parents, not the government.
A conservative believes that every human being has a right to life, from conception to death.
A conservative believes in the smallest government you can get without anarchy. We know our history: The larger a government gets, the harder it will fall.
Last week, when I was really down about running, I had a spark of inspiration. I was running the Pi Mile at GT, and out of nowhere, I saw someone who has inspired me since my 2nd year of college. Walt Smith was there at the corner of Brittain and 4th! I had to stop and talk =) And after our talk, I definitely had an extra spring in my step and smile on my face.
Walt is the trainer for the GT baseball team, and he's worked with them for a verrrry long time. I would always stand next to him in the dugout when I was a bat/ball girl, and we'd talk about the game, etc. My favorite story is my very last game I was working, I bought Walt a big bag of M&Ms, his favorite. He eats them every game. Just as he started to open them, 2 players ran into each other in the outfield. The M&Ms exploded everywhere into the dugout. I was so bummed, my parting gift to him and it went on the ground. But he had a job to do, and his instinct and speedy getting out on the field was crazy!
We had a good talk, about what I was up to these days, about how maybe next year will be they year for Tech baseball, and how he saw me at the one GT game I went to this yr at Russ Chandler. Good talk...miss those college days.
When I made my life goal list last December, I also made a deal with myself that once I reached 10 miles, that would be the time to put the money down on the Marathon. So, I guess it's time to do that now!
This time around, I did things much, much differently!
For starters, I was in Augusta, where the air is much better. I ran a course that was actually a bit hilly, and I started the run around 7. I think the conditions are comparable to what the Peachtree 10k will be like (or at least I hope they are, since I handled them ok!). My course was 5 loops, each loop was 2 miles long. I ran the loop forwards, back, forwards, back, back. At the end of each loop, I took a quick water break. At the end of loop 3 (6 mile mark), I slurped down an energy gel.
I can't believe I actually made it this far. By the time I was on mile 9 I started smiling really big, because I knew I had it done. It's such a great feeling, getting out of the discouragement and reaching for something I've never done. Thanks for everyone who has encouraged me this week!
Basically, it was a reeeeally hot morning. I donned my Turner Volunteer shirt since it was a Turner event, but that meant I was not wearing my usual cooling running gear. No sweat wicking this time. I had a hat b/c it was so bright out, but maybe that was a bad idea because it too was a heat absorber. The course wasn't too bad until somewhere along mile 2. A nice big hill. Ugh. So I didn't make good time, but it was fun! Cool to do something with co-workers. Free tshirt, fruit, drinks, etc.
Sportin my number and my ridiculously hot (as in retaining huge amounts of heat close to my body) Turner volunteer t-shirt.
Group shot of our Turner volunteer team
And we're off...
There we go!
Coming around the final bend...really hot & really not happy
Crossing the finish line
Much happier face, no hot shirt on, no hot hat on, and I'm sitting by Thomas Jefferson. Woohoo!
So after I ran 8 miles, I felt pretty good about myself & my running. The next week I was supposed to reach the 10 mile mark.
Well...that didn't happen.
I think my biggest mistake was that I had successfully run 8 miles without stopping and without a water break during the run. I think I gave myself an invincibility complex. Like...I can run 8 miles, I can run 10 miles without any help! Cuz I'm awesome & on a roll!!!
Then Sunday rolls around and I go for a run, and it's not all shady, and actually quite hot! I got around to the 3 mile mark and started feeling incredibly parched. I got towards the 5 mile mark and felt incrediby weak. I looked ahead and saw a neverending hill.
And then I did the one thing I have not done since starting my training way back in January. I stopped. I walked. I walked all the way home, and didn't finish the 10 mile loop I had mapped out for myself.
I'm pretty down & discouraged right now. I feel like if I can just reach the 10 mile mark, that's a big step! I can really do a marathon in 6 months. But I just couldn't do it this weekend =( I feel like such a loser!
I just thought I could do too much. Maybe if I had brought water with me, or maybe if I had broken up the route better into down & back segments rather than one huge overwhelming 10 mile loop. Maybe I just psyched myself out because I couldn't stop thinking about the run all week long, overthought things. Who knows...
So this week I am just repeating last week's training, and hopefully reaching 10 miles this weekend. It's a big step, because I keep telling myself that once I reach 10 miles, I'm putting the money down for Disney.
Yeah...it's been a while. I went to Home about a month ago, to celebrate a promotion, and then totally got swamped and never wrote about it. But it is definitely one of the best restaurants in Atlanta now, and that's not just because of the star power of Top Chef finalist Richard Blais. Ok...it is.
We opted for the tasting menu that night, which meant Chef Blais would take items off the regular menu and put his own little spin on them. I highly recommend doing this if you go to Home and the option is available (apparently he's not there every night).
Amuse Bouche - oyster with tabasco pearls I'm not any oyster person, but i slurped this one down. The tabasco pearls were really, really cool. He used liquid nitrogen to make them, and they were similar to dippin dots.
Course 1 - raw fluke with duck skin I didn't even know what fluke was. It's fish. Raw fish with crispy duck skin. Doesn't sound like it would be good, but it was delicious. The fish was very delicate, the duck skin was a perfect contrast in texture. And tasted just like bacon!
Course 2 - shrimp & grits Notice "shrimp." Just one shrimp. But it was the best cooked shrimp I've ever had. I'm not sure how he cooked it, but I need to learn. The grits accompanying the shrimp were also good, and also some dehydrated pineapple, foie gras, and some kind of smokey sauce. The flavors were all distinct & different but still managed to complement each other.
Course 3 - pork short rib Ah yes, a dish I was waiting to see! It had peaches :) Which made me love Richard in the first episode of Top Chef this season, when he made peach pizza. Nothing like a Georgia homeboy representing the South! (ironically I think he's originally from NY, haha). Anyway! Pretty much the most tender rib I've had (until I got to course 4), and the peaches & coffee bbq sauce were great!
Course 4 - beef short rib This is the most tender, juicy, flavorful rib I have ever had. It was cooked for 48 hours and served with a horseradish foam (foam!!), creamed potatoes, and beets. Beets? Ew right? No...these were good beets. If you hadn't told me they were beets, I would have never known. They were delicious, and again brought out the earthy flavors of the beef rib. Yummmm
Dessert - pecan cake & sweet tea milkshake I am just blown away by his creativity. Sweet tea milkshake! Another thing I need to learn...and make every day...especially in the summer...
So Home, amazing food, amazing chef. My only complaint is the music in the dining room. It just doesn't go along with the menu & the restaurant decor. And really they might want to rethink the decor. It's a little stuffy. But the service was good!
You know what is sad? That I file this under "politics." The Supreme Court shouldn't be involved with politics at all. Yet this is where we are today, and it stinks. Just uphold the letter of the law, quit with the judicial activism already!
Sometimes I read the headlines on CNN and they make me nauseous.
But then I remember that more people watch Fox News in the morning, and that CNN isn't that far ahead in primetime, and I feel better.
Case in point...today in CNN's Political Ticker we have the lovely headline "Poll shows Obama with economy edge." Obama leads McCain in a poll (like polls even matter right now) over who would be better leading the economy by 6% lead, with +/-3%.
5 paragraphs, count 'em, 5 paragraphs extolling Obama and using words like "troublesome" and "warning sign" for McCain. And then you get to Paragraph 6 and we read "The new poll doesn't offer McCain all bad news however." Where we read that McCain leads the poll in regards to foreign policy by a much bigger margin - 11%. I'd say that's better than "not bad news". I'd say that's probably good news?
There are several other parts of this "article" that upset me, but I don't think something so minor deserves my time to pick it apart and just get more angry. The point is that from the get go, there is a positive Obama slant, and a not so positive McCain slant.
Let me fill you in on the preceding posts to the Ticker for today (and my comments of course!):
McCaskill interested in VP? VP for Obama...the media is all over this! I've only heard one thing about McCain's VP...that he had 3 candidates out to Arizona. I've heard nothing since. Have you? Yet every day I hear of another new possible candidate for Obama. Where is the balance? Blitzer: Next president will dictate court's future Yeah, this is scary. Please please please we need judges who practice restraint!!! That is not gonna happen if Obama wins. Cafferty: Why won’t Congress consider impeaching Pres. Bush? Um, what? Really? I don't even have a comment for this. McCain goes after second Obama VP vetter yeah, and I don't blame him. But I love the language "goes after" like McCain is being vicious or something without cause. Obama reminds voters of McCain's '100 years' comment And now we thank you, CNN, for reminding us too. I would also like to remind you that he didn't mean literally a 100 years! Duh. Clinton advisor blames strategy disagreements, money for loss Is this even news? Polls: Obama extending lead over McCain Another meaningless poll. It's only June people!! Nicholson the kiss of death for prez candidates? Again...is this even news? Who cares what Nicholson thinks or does? What makes him a political expert, or anyone in Hollywood for that matter? Obama confronts Internet rumors with new Web site I think this is funny, he's trying to police the internet. Freedom of speech anyone? I heard on the radio that the reason they're doing this isn't even Obama...it's his wife Michelle! They're afraid of all the foot in mouth comments she makes. haha. Paul: 'People will have a chance' with Barr Ok. Analysis: Democrats woo disaffected evangelicals hmmm Carville: Gore would make a great vice president…again This one made me laugh. ...again. Please no Gore, no energy czar. This is the same guy that has a huge mansion that eats up more energy in a day than I do in one year. McCain 'pleasantly surprised' by Iraqi leader Sounds like CNN is surprised.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matt. 11:28
As Memorial Day approached, I found myself with no plans. I longed to go to the beach, which for me is the place I find the most refreshing and the most honesty. Then I get a phone call from a friend...want to go to the beach? And bonus, it's a group of about 50 people who are going with the specific desire to rest in the Lord. Didn't take much convincing for me to say yes. The only "worry" I had was not knowing more than 2 people out of the 50 going. But how could I not go, when God so obviously put this opportunity in my path?
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Heb 10:25
I went, and God did amazing things. Most amazing to me is that this trip was planned by a bunch of friends, who then invited their friends, and invited their friends, etc etc. til it grew to a group of 50 or so people all united in one vision of taking time to build community and focus on God. All through my life, I've gone on organized retreats or conferences...but this was a trip organized by a small group with a purpose. It was so refreshing to be around so many people my age who had this kind of focus and direction. Community. Meeting together. Gathering together. Community is something that we all crave. Everyone I met was so nice, and so clearly in love with Jesus. I don't surround myself enough with this kind of community. And I'm so excited about the connections I made there, how many of these relationships continue to build even though we're so far from the beach now.
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Eph 5:19-20
Every morning, we had devotions, prayer, and singing. Totally optional, but the house was standing room only at this time. How cool! And then my favorite moment of the weekend, Sunday night worship on the beach. So dark that you couldn't really see anything but outlines of people, white crests of waves, and stars in the sky. We sang for 2 hours, song after song in praise to God for His creation, for His work on the cross, for His work in us. After worship, I walked down to the shoreline and took in how vast the world is, how small we are, and yet how amazing our God is to actually love each one of us so much, so much that He died so that we could live...so much that He knows the exact number of hairs on our head...so much that He hides us in the palm of His hand. And then I thought of creation and how His Spirit moved over the waters. And there I was at the waters, meeting God, praying & singing. It was a really powerful time of reflection, and of honesty. I say honesty because every time I am at the beach, I'm humbled by the beauty and the vastness. It makes me take a good long hard look at myself and where I am, and helps me think about where I'm going. I would live at the beach if I could. But then maybe I'd get overwhelmed thinking too much! hehe.
"And they think we won't turn around and vote for McCain. Well I've got news for you, John McCain will be the next President of the United States."
I have to say, I feel bad for her and for Democrats everywhere. I heard on the radio this morning that when you do the math of how the Dems split the delegates from Michigan & Florida, each person's vote only counted as half a vote. Now where is the democracy in that? What's the point of voting if you only get half a say, and some elitist party rulers get the other half of the say? Why are Dems so enamored with Obama when obviously there are many in the party who still really want Hillary Clinton?