I have come to realize that within the context of my family, I was as close to nasal perfection as anyone could get. I may have a Jewish nose, but it is not a caricature of a Jewish nose, like my brother, or his equally large-honkered wife. My father used to say he would take my brother's nose full of nickles for his next week's allowance. (My father also used to say my tuchis could be used as a table for 6 pinochle players plus two kibbitzers. I told you I didn't have an easy childhood.) I had not, fortunately, inherited the nose from the Albert side of my family, and thus escaped the fate of my Uncles Irving (Red) and Max. As best I can tell, I got either the Nathan nose or the Sarif nose (even noses keep secrets in my family). I can live with that. Heck, I have lived with that. I wouldn't be me without the nose, and now as I approach my twilight years, I am damn glad I never even thought about tinkering with it.
As promised, a progress picture on my pi shawl. I am thinking of naming it "Pine Island", but we'll see how that works out. Right now, there isn't all that much of the pine tree pattern in there, not that you can see it anyway because of the colors. But all will be revealed in the truth of time ...
At the top of the news - it's all about the budget. Quite a lot of drama in Washington, and I don't pretend to understand financial matters. I do know that spending more than you have is a bad idea, and that while it is okay to have a few credit cards and debts such as a mortgage on your home, you must be able to pay those bills when they come through. I'm not sure why we are borrowing money from China, or why we give away money to countries like Brazil to do offshore drilling so we can buy oil from them. I am a simple soul, and none of that makes sense to me. John Stossel, who must have a portrait in a closet somewhere because I think I've been watching him for 40 years and he never gets any older, has put together a list of suggested cuts to the budget designed not only to balance that sucker, but to render us a surplus. Read it and make up your own minds. Mine is reeling.
One thing I would like to do, which is not mentioned on Stossel's Chainsaw Massacre List, is gut Congressional expenses.
The current salary (2011) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. And then for the Big Bosses:
Majority Party Leader - $193,400
Minority Party Leader - $193,400
Speakier of the House - $223,500
Majority Leader - $193,400
Minority Leader - $193,400
A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it.
Apparently there has been no raise in Congressional salaries since 2009, which is a damn fine thing. Now, let's do some cutting, as was done to the salaries of Florida state employees, who haven't received a raise in over seven years, and then saw salaries virtually cut another 3 percent to pay for benefits. Let's start cutting some of the benefits and retirement expectations of members of Congress. Health insurance, what can I say? I am sure that somewhere on the Internet, someone a lot smarter than me has worked up those numbers. I'm betting we can save a boatload of money by simply treating members of Congress as (badly as) other public employees have been treated. Either that or allow us to vote on whether or not we want to accept an annual COLA. A fair exchange is no robbery. Let's do it!
AND LEST WE FORGET, THIS IS STILL A BLOG ABOUT FOOD ... Rob and I have some shopping to do, both at Publix and BJ's warehouse. I'll be seeking inspiration in those two meccas, although both of my refrigerators are well-stocked with cooked foods. Which I may tuck into the freezer to clear the way for brand new cooking frenzies. One thing I know I want is chicken, and I have been leaning heavily towards chicken paprikas. And then, because it has been so brutally hot the last few days, even for Florida, a nice cool salad. Maybe a chopped salad.
This was not High Noon ... this was at 5:30 pm as I was leaving the office. It was so hot that my interior rear view mirror fell from it's glued-on perch.
Definitely, a salad.
I am disappointed, but understanding, that the Yarn Harlot has not been blogging during Sock Summit 2011, which is held in Portland, Oregon. And I am trying not to take this personally, but they could not have chosen a spot further from my home unless they left the continental United States. Something else to put on my bucket list ...