my thoughts on politics – don’t make me say it again (Vote for Elmo!)

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.
Gore Vidal

I hate talking about politics. Partly because the facts in each election, major or minor, get so skewed by the media that it’s hard to tell who is telling the truth at the end of the day when everyone writing has their own agenda. Partly because elections bring out the absolute worst in a candidate – I’m pretty sure that if Elmo ran for governor that I’d hate him by the time the election was over. By the time election time rolls around, the mud slinging gets so intense that the sound of a political ad on the tv or radio sickens me – the picket signs on all the lawns on my street irritate me beyond reason and the SNL parodies of political candidates become more compelling and well rounded than the candidates themselves.

I think it’s a terrible shame that politics has become show business.
Sydney Pollack

Today my state is voting for governor. For months now we’ve been bombarded with “information” about Candidate A who hates kittens, runs an illegal honey badger prostitution ring out of his billion dollar vacation home in the Bermuda Triangle and wants to take all the money from the orphans and give it to Hitler using his time machine built by Skynet ; or Candidate B who flunked out of kindergarten and can’t spell his own name, is married to his pet donkey and thinks he can solve our states financial problems by playing Bingo at the Senior Center. Or something, I wasn’t really paying attention because I was too busy changing diapers and smoking bon bons while watching a Toddlers in Tiaras marathons.
Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least.
Robert Byrne
In some elections you are lucky enough to know who you think the right candidate is. They say something in a debate that strikes a cord with you or they have a really cute butt or …something. Whatever the reason, you know without a doubt who you want to vote for. That’s awesome. Other times it feels like you are trying to decide which serial killer to give the keys to the city to. Neither candidate is remotely compelling or interesting or good looking and you are left voting for the one who either belongs to the politcal party you ascribe to at the end of the day or the one who you know probably hasn’t killed anyone. Or you like their name.
Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
Doug Larson
But the thing that irks me the most is that come election time, you cannot escape it. From the Facebook statuses of every friend and fremeny you know, to the Political Televegangelists who ring your doorbell every night at exactly the same time you are trying to put your baby down for a nap or feed your toddler dinner – to the signs on every street corner and the commercials running every fifteen minutes on the television and radio. It’s everywhere. Long after you’ve made up your mind about who to vote for (Elmo for Governor!) they continue to invade your space, making sure that you know that Candidate A wants to give you herpes and that Candidate B thinks you look fat in that dress. Awesome.
It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen.
George MacDonald
And then election day finally rolls around and you think, “Awesome – now we can all stop talking about politics already.” But that’s never the case. There is always another election, another evil dictator that we need to get rid of or The Second Coming of Politicians that we need to rally behind and shove into office. No sooner than this governor election ends, we’ll all be talking about the presidential election instead. And no matter who gets elected, somebody is going to hate the pants off said politician and never shut up about it, ever.
We would all like to vote for the best man but he is never a candidate.
Kin Hubbard
Look, all I’m trying to say… is that although a little political debate and conversation can be fun and educational and thought provoking – that too much of anything, especially politics, is just not good for you – it’s not good for your soul, it drains all the good karma right out of your day and it will probably make you gain ten pounds when you drown your angst in a chocolate sheet cake while the kids are “napping.” And nobody wants that. So can we all agree to NOT talk about politics for like ten minutes tomorrow? Please?
There ain’t no answer. There ain’t gonna be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer.
Gertrude Stein
/ rant

Momma loves shoes : Looking for chic, comfy, affordable sandals? Try Earth Spirit!

SandalsGrowing up, I wore pretty much exclusively cheap shoes. And okay, cheap clothes, too. I went with the theory that spending less meant having more – more clothes to choose from, more shoes, more handbags. It seemed like simple math.

It wasn’t until I was a grown, married woman that I started to consider the idea of quality over quantity. It happened with shoes first. After hearing the words “my feet hurt” one time too many, my husband informed me bluntly that it was because I wore cheap shoes with no arches. He assured me that if I got myself a good pair of shoes that my feet would feel a lot better – and probably my back, too. He started me out with a ridiculously heavy pair of keen hiking shoes that I hated because they were (in my opinion) ugly but loved because my feet had never felt so good. I begrudgingly chose them over my other shoes each morning because apparently comfort was winning over style. Suddenly the girl who “never wore sneakers” because they were ugly, was wearing them on a daily basis.

Eventually that old pair of Keen shoes began to give out and I started looking into a replacement. I was determined to find a pair of shoes that were as comfortable as my Keens but cuter, please! It took a bit of trial and error to find a shoe that fit within the constraints of aesthetically pleasing, comfortable good quality and also, price. I was willing to spend more, but only so much more. After conquering the world of sneakers (with an insanely comfy pair of Sketchers if you’ll believe it) , I moved onto dressier clogs, winter boots – I discovered brands like Dansko, Aerosoles, Clarks, Naturalizer, etc. – and eventually sandals.

Sandals gave me a bit of trouble. Some were so outrageously expensive that I just couldn’t stomach it, particularly after having just spent so much on my other shoes. But in the summer months and often spring and fall, too, I tend to live in a good pair of sandals so I was determined to find something that would work. I tried a pair from Lands End for not too much money, assuming that Lands End must equal good quality. They were cute and fairly comfortable but to my dismay they completely wore out after one summer. Unacceptable when the Birkenstock folk can wear their sandals for years and years.

This year I was feeling stingy and still a bit burnt after my Lands End sandals experience – I hadn’t decided whether I wanted to replace them or look into repairing them and how much would I let myself spend, when one day I was walking through my local Walmart and spotted these. Why I was even in the shoe department of a Walmart, I honestly cannot tell you. I have never had luck buying shoes there, but I spotted these sandals by Earth Spirit and several other pairs by them as well. Walmart carries several styles of Earth Spirit shoes and each cost between $20-25. Seriously. I was skeptical and assumed they were cheap and / or not as comfortable as they looked but I hesitantly tried a pair on and… oh. Not bad. I showed this pair to my husband saying something like, “Look, cute – cheap – comfortable – arches?” and he looked them over and agreed – they looked like great sandals. And for the price he agreed I should give them a shot. If they don’t work out, I can always buy something else later.

Well guys, it’s been a few months now and I can now say with confidence that I adore my Earth Spirit sandals! They were comfortable out the door for basic daily walking and after living in them for awhile I can now do fairly long walks in them, too with little complaint. My sneakers are wondering why I almost never put them on any more and the answer is Earth Spirit. Ridiculously comfortable, so cute (seriously, these might be cuter than my Lands End pair) and SO affordable. I am sold.

Have you tried Earth Spirit sandals? What did you think of them? What’s your favorite shoe brand?