I don’t like politics, and I like to stay as far away from them as possible. So, last night, when the President came on the TV, I was watching the Bachelorette. I was kind of annoyed that Constantine and Ashley’s dramatic breakup was being interrupted by something I could not care less about. So I huffed with annoyance and Drew was like, “Everyone in the country should care about this.” And, well, you know, he’s right. So I listened to Obama and Boehner each give their speeches and tell us why their plan to get America out of the debt crisis was better than the other. Basically, it boils down to the following:

1. Obama advocated for a “balanced approach” of cutting spending while lifting the tax breaks for people that make more than $250,000 to generate additional income. We would raise the ceiling today, and potentially again down the road.

2. Boehner advocated for a “cap, cut, and balance approach” where we would cap government spending, cut programs to get under the cap, and *I think* add to the Constitution that the budget should always remain balanced. We would raise the debt ceiling so that we don’t default on our debts in the short term, but this would run out in 6 months.

Thoughts on the speeches:

1. Obama is a good speaker. At the same time he seems intelligent, sincere, and conciliatory.

2. But he makes my skin crawl when in one sentence he says he wants to get this done, and in the next sentence blasphemes Republicans for sticking to their plan. OK, you’re sticking to your plan too and said you’d veto the Boehner plan before seeing it, so it’s kinda misconstruing things to say your way is getting things done, and the other way is just being petulant. Cue why I hate politics?

3. Boehner gets on and, boy, does he need a new speech writer. It was like shoot from the hip, country George again and really is that the image you wanted to portray there?

4. Huh I didn’t know he was a small business owner, okay.

5. Just as combative as Obama, but speech-wise got into his stride and it felt more sincere as it went on.

So, then we cut back to the Bachelorette and I forget about the nonsense in Washington. Drew had gone to take the dog out during Boehner’s speech and I felt like there was tension slowly oozing out of the room. I cover Goliath in blankets and we laugh at his helpless face peeking out of the covers. I read a little of my book, and then tried to go to bed. But I was feeling anxious and couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up reading until I dozed off.

I didn’t sleep too well last night and this morning I find myself wanted to blog about politics of all things instead of getting a shower and starting my day. And I guess here’s where I landed: I don’t make $250,000 a year, but I don’t think it’s fair for those people to foot the bill for the country’s debt. I don’t think it’s fair to make anyone pay for actions that aren’t there own, like to government bailing out failing organizations during an economic crisis, or the sibling bailing a brother/sister out of reckless credit card debt. It’s very simple math: if you spend more than you can afford, you’re going to rack up debt. And to pay for that debt, you don’t go ask Mom or Dad for the money, you don’t go get another credit card and spend more. You put your head down, eliminate all the unnecessary spending in your budget so that you can put money aside every month to pay down your debts. It’s not easy, and it’s not fun, but that’s what you do. So, similarly, when the government racks up debt, the solution shouldn’t be to find more cash to lessen their responsibility of making hard cuts. Yes, I know Obama said that even under his plan they would be making historic cuts to the budget. OK, well we just came out of a huge war, so there kinda SHOULD be some pretty historic cuts. That still doesn’t make it okay to add extra burden to a sliver of the population. Last night I was mildly wondering about the feasibility of surveying the 2% of the population that make more than 250k. Obama said last night that most people favored his approach, and that the very rich were willing to make this sacrifice. Okay, let’s ask them. Perhaps I’m completely wrong and these people really WOULD say, hey, I have enough to go around and here’s my excess. But perhaps I’m right and those people are saying to themselves, hey, I already pay more than my fair share in real dollars and percent of my income. Why should I pay more for the government’s spendy habits? Sorry, this a debt that Washington got us into, and it’s a debt that Washington should get us out of.

Oh, one last thing: I don’t know that mandating a forever balanced budget (if that’s what Boehner was advocating) is a good idea. Debt is useful for accomplishing more than you could do on your own, like buying a house, or starting a business. These are (or should be) net positive activities, and debt gives you the ability to make those things happen. But eventually you have to repay those debts. So, while I realize that the government is set up in such a way that the current administration will always be accountable for its predecessors’ actions (whether budget-related or not), that’s the reality. Government is not there to raise the Democrat or Republic Rah Rah flag and prove how they did so much more right than the other. It’s about taking responsibility for the situation we’re in, and doing what any red-blooded American would be expected to do–put your head down, and cut spending to the point that we can live within our means. I’ve never in MY LIFE wrote to my Congressman or the President, and I certainly don’t intend to live and breathe this stuff like so many do. I really respect those people, even more if they can apply a consistent framework to analyzing different issues and scenarios without the haze of politics diluting their judgment. For me, I feel strongly enough to write in today to make my voice heard, and then will slip back out of this politics world, back to my real life where I only have to deal with the question, “What’s for dinner?” as my biggest trial for the day.

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Just a quick note to say that I’ve been writing more (in my Penzu) lately and starting to get the itch to write a novel again. A real one. With like a beginning, middle, and an end. It’s always the end part that messes me up lol 🙂 Have a few ideas, just need time to get them all on paper!

Also, I cleaned up our patio over the weekend and now it’s really nice–just need some flowers and we’ll be set to relax outside in this nice weather.

Also, it’s zumba tonight. I’m making quesadillas and we’re going to DQ afterward to celebrate Gloria’s thesis getting passed by her advisers. Yay! My favorite night of the week.

Also, I accidentally bought a $30 lottery ticket last week, but alas, I did not win. For a few hours I was really hoping my stupidity would somehow win me $250 million. Apparently God does not share my fancy for irony.

That’s it! Hope everyone has a great day today! Go find yourself some pink peonies and throw them in a blue and white speckled pitcher and enjoy 🙂

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1. So I woke up and Drew had put up a post-it on the bathroom door that read, “Confirmed: U.S. Kills Osama Bin Laden.” What? I must have dreamed that…I’ve been having really strange dreams lately.

2. It’s a rather divine moment when cramps disappear with 3 advil. Instead of writhing in pain I suddenly realize that my stomach has a glowing, sore feeling to it which makes me fall asleep easily and be thankful for a comfy bed and 1.5 more hours of sleep. This is honestly one of my favorite feelings in the world.

3. I am wearing a rather ridiculous outfit to work today. I blame it on the fact that I haven’t done laundry in weeks and I didn’t want to do my hair cuz I felt kinda crappy and so my messy bun of damp hair didn’t really mesh with my button up DVF printed top, so I threw on a tunic over top to grunge it down a little. I have mixed feelings about the results.

4. After thinking about it for a couple hours, I still don’t know how to feel about #OBL (do you see what I did there? I think I am getting a little too obsessed with Twitter). I read about crowds showing up at the White House to party, fans chanting “USA! USA! USA!” at the Phillies game, students at my alma mater rolling the quad in celebration, and yet…I can’t share in that joy. I don’t think I could ever feel happy about someone dying, and I think this brings to light a fundamental difference in how people view the military. Don’t get me wrong–I am very thankful that the military protects me and my family and my country, that they risk their lives for our freedom and safety. And I totally get and respect that killing Bin Laden is a big win for them, and they should be happy and proud and accomplished. And I guess I do feel RELIEVED that someone who terrorized the world has been stopped. But I can’t get past the fact that he’s dead, and we killed him…that the army kills people. I know, it’s ridiculous that I’m surprised, and it’s ridiculous and naive to think that the army would ever NOT be in a position of fighting and killing others. But there it is, that’s how I feel.

I realize it’s a fault of mine, too, to not be confrontational, to not stick up for myself, to not fight back. I don’t know when this came about really, because I certainly can be explosive in arguments with Drew sometimes, and I definitely had what my mother refers to as my “dark period” from the ages of 13 to 16. And so maybe this way of being, to just take the criticisms or sit there silently whenever I’m thrown under the bus is impacting how I view the military in a more negative light, while many others view it as a higher calling. And then again perhaps it is all confounded by the fact that we’re watching The Wire right now (if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it) and at the end of every episode I am devastated that there are kids out there being forced into selling drugs to fund their parents’ addictions, being beaten to death every day, being failed by our school system and the police who should be there to protect them. It’s a hard enough world as it is, and I don’t like anything that seems to add to that pain. And I know, opposing militaries are a far cry from rival drug gangs, and that it’s idealistic to think that we can all just get along–but I guess that’s where I still end up every night, wishing that it were possible. So if ridding the world of Osama Bin Laden brings us closer to that ideal, then I guess I am glad. But my heart also breaks as I look back at what it has cost us, and as I look forward and realize there are so many more casualties yet to be paid.

And what are we to do then? I can volunteer to rescue dogs, build houses for the poor, give money to charities I believe in, mentor at-risk kids…but you can’t save them all, and there will always be more, and more, that need help. As an individual my influence is infinitesimal. And while I believe strongly that each person should be free to decide how he/she spends his/her time, money, and intellect, and that it should not be institutionalized or forced in any way even if it’s meant for good, I can’t help but wonder, what if we all did just get along? What if we didn’t have to worry about the lives of our soldiers, of men and women who are taken too soon, fighting for what they believe in and what’s right? I’m not going to be depressed that Bin Laden is dead, as that’s ridiculous since he did much more harm than good while he was on this Earth. And I refuse to dwell on the strong possibility that the concept of military will exist forever, that fighting will exist forever, and instead I’ll focus on what I can do to help, to move the needle even infinitesimally closer to good. So thank you to all of those that were fought this war on my behalf, that aided in the capture and killing of a horrible terrorist. I could never do what you do every day, and most days I can’t even think about it or watch some distant portrayal on television without feeling sick. And while I can’t understand how you do it or can find the glory in it, I am thankful for your service to keep us all safe. I just naively hope it won’t always be necessary. That’s all!


Okay, since my last post on original artwork I’ve been doing some research and came across Michelle Armas, and am now completely obsessed. You can find all of her work here, and she also has a blog! I am in LOVE with her style and may have bought “Acrylic Painting for Dummies” on Amazon last night so I could shamelessly and I’m sure piteously try to copy her on a few cheap canvases. Here are my favorites (and believe you me–this is the edited list!! I seriously love everything she’s ever done).

This one is my absolute fave and NEED in our back bedroom. The colors are PERFECT and I could paint the walls a light blue with gray undertones (top righthand corner) and then have some green curtains the same color as our living room up on the windows (the bedding is blues and white)…seriously I am in love with this painting!

But then there’s this one and it’s like…well maybe THESE colors are perfect! Actually even now I’m changing my mind, maybe this one is my favorite. 🙂

But they are all beautiful…

Could you imagine having this in your office? So inspiring!


Okay this is possibly the best thing I’ve ever seen over a mantle. Yes, I’m sure it is.

I mean seriously, is she not amazing? I am totally in love. Perhaps I need to save up some monies to buy that second one…hmmm…anyway until then I’m going to try my hand at it. I’m sure they’ll be nowhere near as good, but I like painting and I’ve always wanted to do a larger work, and something more abstract. Also, since doing my vintage woman a couple years ago, I’ve learned the value of having a polyurathane top coat. It is a little scuffed up and I may have to redo it. Which would be fine, because I really needed a bigger canvas so I could stretch out more of her body. In mine she looks quite short and plump lol 🙂

When I told Drew that I bought my new painting book he was like, “Oh, is this the new fad for Jessica?” LOL guess so! BUT I am keeping up with my Penzu! If you didn’t see on Twitter, it’s a private blogging platform that sends you a reminder email every day so you can’t skip out on writing. I’ve been getting up early every day to write and I’m loving it! It makes me start the day happier and more relaxed, so a win-win. Also I emailed their support team and they are super responsive and releasing the feature I requested (ability to page through entries as opposed to looking at them individually or in a big long list) really soon, so I am excited for that! Yay 🙂 Still planning to blog over here, don’t worry! I know you weren’t. 😉 Anyway, hope everyone has a fantastic day today–I better get going and take a shower so I’m not completely late to work, gah!!

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I’ve been on a long search for some artwork for over our living room fireplace. At first I was thinking of a gigantic print of Goliath, in Andy Warhol-style bright orange and white. I still might do that, but lately I’ve been digging more muted, abstract oil paintings like the ones below. But man…the prices! Perhaps I missed my calling as an artist? 😉 But seriously I might try my hand at a large canvas that we could put up in the back bedroom because $1000+ minimum is just not in my budget. So for now I’ll have to just admire these from afar, and perhaps use them as inspiration for my own project!

Here are several by Robert Rea, found via Elements of Style.

Aren’t they fantastic? I just love the colors and how soothing they are.

The next few are from UGallery, which in general I really like for discovering student and emerging artists. The first one is by Janet Hamilton. Reminds me a bit of Gerhard Richter with the scraping and many layers of paint.

And finally these last two are from Lana Williams…I love her technique! I’m obsessed with the yellow one!!

Well, what do you think? Any favorite artists you want to share? I love learning about new ones!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Drew and I are watching the Masters and Goliath is sleeping like a log after a fun time at the dog park. 🙂 I feel bad for McIlroy…he was doing so well there and then he just had a terrible time of it on that one hole. Also–I totes didn’t know that you could get more than a 6 in real golf. Drew looked at me incredulously and said, “This ain’t no putt putt!” Guess not. 😦 lol

p.s. I’m rooting for Charl Schwartzel since he’s Ernie Els’s protege and now that McIlroy is out of the running, but p.p.s I’m naming my next dog Rory, could be for a boy or a girl since there’s the Gilmore Girls connection as well. 🙂

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With the threat of spring in the air, I find myself looking online for a few new dresses or frilly skirts. And after all–I just got my tax refund so why not treat myself a bit? (don’t worry, most of it is going into savings…boring). Here are a few that I found.

From Anthropologie, I am in love with this dress. It is perfect for work because of the length and the print and sleeves make it wearable all year long. And I really just can’t say no to that smocked waist.

And these skirts! More smocking and yellow! and cuteness! And I think the dark one would look so cute with a poppy button-up and fancy jewelry.

From Madewell, there is this dress (shown in two different prints) that I am gaga over. Never bought a dress from them before (although I received a sweater for Christmas and it is really nice quality) so I’m not sure, but both of the prints are beautiful and I LOVE the thick black straps!

Which one(s) do you like best? I’m having trouble deciding. I thought I had bought the first dress already, but my computer died right before I could confirm my order I guess, so of course now I’m rethinking…help!

Also, some cute pictures of the puppies. Goliath went up to my mom’s for a week while Drew and I were in the Bahamas, and then Wrigley came down to spend the weekend with us while Mom, Todd, and Michael were at a soccer tournament in Williamsburg. They are the cutest buddies, aren’t they?

Somebody got a little jealous when Wrigley snuggled up to me for a nap (ahem, Goliath–he’s the one on top)

Goliath after a very muddy time at the dog park.

Chillin at Mom’s house.

Drew and Wrigley get close.

That’s all for today. After playing a little Dance Central, I think I’m going to indulge in some chic lit reading and then go pick up Drew from his guy’s night in. Yay weekend!

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Time for a little update! Drew and I recently got back from our trip to the Bahamas and I’ve been meaning to blog about it but it’s taken a little while 🙂 All in all we had a great time.

It’s funny…we’ve been together for five years and it was our first big trip together, just the two of us. It was really nice, definitely needed. The day-to-day stuff, at least for me, can get really draining after a while, and it honestly took me a day or two to just RELAX!

But after that it was great, goofing around and acting like a kid, unabashedly falling into the mode of lovestruck teenagers as we wandered around our fancy resort.

It was nice waking up in the morning to just giggle and tumble around in the sheets, browse real estate online and plan where we might be in a year or two, dress up like it’s our first date and walk everywhere with our arms wrapped around each other, converse with slightly tipsy strangers about how awesome it is the number of times you can have sex on vacation compared to at home… It was everything I hoped it would be and more–fun, romantic, and now I can’t wait to plan our next trip!

I’ll be honest, some of the “magic” definitely started to fade after the first two years of us dating, and sometimes you wonder if you can get it back, even just for a second, when you’re having the same old conversation about what’s for dinner, or waking up before dawn to take out the dog, or looking at the clock at work and realizing you’re going to be home late again. I guess if it’s the right person you can, and that was the best part of our vacation (although the weather, the beaches, and the Bahamian people were so nice as well!).

We’d already made it part of our plan to take a trip around our birthdays (late Aug/early Sept) as gifts to each other, and I think we’re even more committed now to taking a trip just the two of us at least once a year.

I never really understood when people would say it was an investment in your relationship, but I totally get it now. So even though vacation is freaking expensive (honestly I don’t think we had a meal under $40! When we got back to DC we immediately went to Chipotle and sighed a breath of relief that we were back under $20), it’s so so worth it to relax and enjoy each other. Who knows where we’ll go next–maybe California this summer, and we’re thinking Portland/Seattle in the fall. Woo!

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