Yesterday somebody actually asked me how I, as a vegetarian, could eat tacos. In the spirit of Olympic diving, this merited the rare double-barrel-and-a-half-turn eyeroll.

I saw that Mitt Romney tapped his veep today, and it was Paul Ryan, an upright and likable Wisconsin Congressman. Although I know some fans of small government who swooned over this pick, it doesn't sway me any. The problems at the top of the ticket are never healed by a veep pick, and there are some quizzical things about this one. Firstly, all signs were that Romney was going to wait another week or more before announcing this choice. Pushing it up, apparently in response to falling poll numbers, shows weakness -- as does, to some extent, the selection of a red meat fiscal and social conservative, a necessary sop to a GOP base which unsettlingly still mistrusts the candidate who just managed to scale to the tip of the ticket after six years of continuously running for it. On the other hand, this likely inches Wisconsin towards contention, and may help some in neighboring states as well , Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and maybe even Indiana and Ohio. Perhaps the more interesting angle here is that the selection of a Catholic veep means that for the first time ever, the GOP ticket will have no traditional Protestant on it. And, depending what you believe about Barack Obama and his church (or affiliation with one), that may well mean that neither major party ticket has a traditional Protestant, ironically leaving that role to Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.


In auditing news:

Jack is done!! As for the rest:

artman2003 -- on page 7 of 10
Jet-Poop -- on page 4 of (slightly smaller gasp!!) 27!!
Dannye -- on page 3 of 20. Well, that's not so bad.

etouffee is in the queueueue.

Blessings, all!!

Dreams where you find yourself in a quasi-medical environment as a part-time patient and sometimes employee: I don't remember much of the dream although I have some images of people that I was with and some of the events that transpired. Everything was an institutional brown beige, there were few other colors in the dream. Sometimes it seemed as if I was caring for others with physical disabilities, but as the dream progressed, it became apparent that there were some mentally disturbed people in the building as well. I had no sense of freedom during the dream. At no point in time was I free to leave, a woman that I had worked with before was there. Her hair was different, I made a point of saying hi to her several times. She greeted me back, but there was a tension that I didn't understand in her voice. Key highlights in the dream were: helping someone who was vomiting, having an IV stuck in my arm, and feeling as if I had something to be guilty or ashamed of when I spoke with the woman I had worked with at another dream job.

Days where you make a plan the night before and nothing goes the way you think it will: My plan to get up early, ride our bikes into the farmer's market and enjoy gluten free muffins and smoothies did not materialize. The girls slept in, they had cereal for breakfast, by the time everyone was dressed and on their respective bikes, it was almost eleven-thirty. I'm a morning person, if I don't capitalize on the first few productive hours of my day, it goes to hell, and I have no one to blame but myself. The farmer's market was closing down as we arrived. We had smoothies at a small store downtown, and when I was riding past the old grocery store, I saw a sign for $7 haircuts. I really like my hairdresser, except I saw a money saving opportunity, and wasn't sure if she could get me in before my Tuesday interview. The result: a haircut that took about a third of the time it normally would. Sub-par, but good enough for a $10 experience which is what the cut cost after tip.

The girls had gone ahead to hit the beach while I was getting my hair cut. On my way home, I saw my husband driving. He said that the girls wanted to go to Oconomowoc days, I rode my bike to the park, met the girls, and we ate insane quantities of fair like food. On our way home, we stopped at American Aquatics which is a very small swimwear store not far from our house. It's tucked back on the edge of the woods, the dead end street has almost no traffic, and I'm surprised the place has managed to stay in business despite some good swim teams in our area. At the store, we found suits for everyone. There are two schools of thought for women's swimwear sizes: one goes according to the 'traditional' clothing sizes, while the other goes by torso/chest size. There are pros and cons to both. Your best bet is to try things on regardless of what the tag says as different lines may be larger or smaller in varying areas.

For $132 my family came home with four performance suits, two pairs of goggles, and some free water based tattoos. My daughter really wanted a swim cap, it's going to be way too large for her small head, but we told her that she could get it if she biked down to the store on Monday. For once, the girls jumped right into the pool, and started swimming their laps. The new suits fit really well. The girl behind the counter gave us a 10% nice family discount which I really appreciated. My new suit is a navy and red reversible TYR, and I stuck with the A3 goggles as I've had good luck with them in the past. We were all starving when we got out of the pool so we stopped at the grocery store. My family bought several pounds of fruit, I bought a big salad, and I made the girls eat some baby carrots with peanut butter before starting in on the fruit to try and counter some of the junk they had consumed earlier.

We had planned to attend a baseball game with my niece and brother-in-law. The game started at 6:35 and my sister said that we would be the only people at the diamond if we arrived at 6:00. I knew that wasn't true, but didn't argue. The parking lot was full, we had to park across the street at a local grocery store and walk to the game. Fortunately we saw the first pitch, that's important to me for whatever reason, and the rest of the night was pretty much our family eating crazy amounts of ballpark food. The pulled pork was fabulous, brats were okay, my youngest had a hot dog that she thought was very good, and the lemonade had real pulp in it. I scored a free bag of cotton candy from a concession guy near the end of the game. The Mallards put on a great show, a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth brought in the winning run, and it was pretty cool that the players were willing to stand in line and sign autographs even though they had to be roasting in their uniforms.

After the game, my oldest daughter wanted to meet the catcher. I got a great shot of the two of them standing next to each other along with some Twitter handles that I collected from other players. The crowd was a madhouse. Lots of screaming girls, sweating guys, and general lack of organization. There was some poor calling on the part of the umpires, but the game went to the Mallards anyways. Watching college ball, and minor league games, you really get to see the game up close without parting with a lot of money. A couple of cool game highlights: a broken bat flying across the infield, almost hitting the pitcher. The Woodchucks reliever getting called on a balk which gave the Mallards an opportunity to score. The amazing diving catch by Mallards center fielder, and the stellar pitching of Mallards starter Foss. It was also fun watching with other baseball fans, although the guy in front of me was a heckler, which I did not care for.

We didn't get home until very late. The family slept in this morning, and I'm glad that people had fun. I don't mind being spontaneous, but it does bother me that the girls ate garbage pretty much the entire day. They did get a fair amount of activity, but I wish the day had been a little heavier on the fresh fruits and vegetables. We met my daughter's former assistant soccer coach, and several other people we knew around town. Next summer, I want to be part of a sand volleyball team. I'm not the greatest, but I was watching some matches, and I think I'm at least as good as the worst players on some of the teams I saw. Swimming is still going well. Now I can do the tumble turn at the end of the lane, I just have to work on being more fluid and less flustered. Having a performamce suit helps, I'm not distracted by water tugging at my halter ties, and it is a much more comfortable swim.

Performance suits tend to last longer, fit better, and glide through the water without drag which is something I appreciate. Looking back, I wish I would have saved my money when we were in Florida, but I'm also happy with the way that I look in traditional swimwear, and I don't want to discount the confidence factor either. I can wear one of my new tops as a workout piece, and I have a pair of black workout shorts that can double as a swimwear bottom, those have come in so handy this past summer, I'm going to keep watching for them to go on sale so I can pick up another pair. Still on my wish list: a pair of bike shorts, a couple of three quarter length shirts, and long sleeved tees that fit. The last time I was at Target, I bought two $6 camis, they run longer than the Ann Taylor tops, but the fit isn't quite as good as the $20 ones, they are also not available in petite extra-small which is why I tend to shop at Ann Taylor.

Moving forward: the girls are getting ready to go back to school. Depending on how this job interview goes, and I hope I am offered the position, I am going to do some things differently this year. First: have the girls pick out clothes the night before. Secondly: refuse to bail them out of situations. If they have a clarinet at home that they need at school, too bad. Ditto for lunches and footwear. Third: the girls can pack their own lunches, but I want to see them before they walk out the door to make sure there is a balance of real food as well as the junk. Fourth: if you can't get up in the morning, you have to to bed when mom thinks you are ready. The girls have gotten into a bad habit of sleeping in and being really crabby when they get up. I don't have to deal with their attitudes, and I'm not going to. I hope this year starts out on a more positive note than past school years. So far we're behind on supplies, but still have the rest of the week to pick them up. Yesterday was a much needed family day, which was a great way to officially start our week.

Until next time,


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