Archive | January 2013

Yuck! Gas Leak!

Since moving to South Bethlehem, I’ve come across several stories if gas leaks. An explosion here, a leak there. Stories from an aging infrastructure in a city starving since its source of wealth has moved on.

I came to the area after witnessing a similar city in a similar situation. Scranton struggles since losing coal. Bethlehem struggles since losing steel. It’s a fact of life.

Now I witness this on a chair in my roommate’s grandparents house while the gas company digs up the street outside our home in search of failed infrastructure. Aged convenience. Disrepair. This is the capitalism we try to forget by focusing the American Dream on the next big thing.

Who remembers the uranium mines in Utah?

Sometimes history passes us by before we notice. Take a moment, absorb the world around you. There may be a day when even the Internet no longer exists.

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Missing: Palin

Sarah Palin’s nomination as VP for former Presidential Nominee John McCain was a bold move. Some would say suicidal, while others would claim revolutionary.

The only thing revolutionary about it was how quickly the Obama campaign was able to dismantle their platform on their way to the White House.

To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Saturday Night Live until Tina Fey became the anti-Palin; nor was I a big fan of Fox News until Palin was commentating. Sarah Palin made the extreme right entertaining, and mock-worthy.

Sarah Pahlin is accomplished. She was Governor of Alaska, she was almost a Presidential Nominee, and she is more successful than many of us will ever be. This isn’t meant as an assault on her character, but an assault on what she represents. We are single-serve consumers of celebrities and entertainers. We are always searching for the next big idol.

For 2008, Pahlin was our idol.

Was

Past tense.

Now SNL is a distant memory for me (outside of an Eli Manning host and his infamous courtroom scene), and Fox News is moving forward (without our heroes ::cough:: Pahlin and Glenn Beck).

The world will miss our former VP candidate.

Or is the world better off? Before you read this, did you even know she was already gone? Probably looking out her window at Russia solving our country’s foreign policy and sounding more and more like Bobby’s mother from Bobby’s World.

Have You Tried Climbing the Twitter Vine?

Recently released ‘Vine’ promises to deliver the snapshot joys of Twitter in 6 second video snaps. That’s right. Twitter is running this new venue for quick thoughts and artistic creations that will spark interest like FML.com (and will burn out just as fast).

The artist creations on the site are comical and entertaining; however, it will take a saving grace similar to the celebrity involvement on current twitter to give this predictably doomed pilot from crashing.

Where would twitter be if we weren’t able to read about Lindsay Lohan’s frivolous activity, or Lady Gaga’s shout outs?

I am enjoying Vine now, while it lasts.

Vine is currently only available on the iOS.

See Mr. Goodell? The Pro Bowl is Real

Did you catch the Pro Bowl? I did. There was real tackling, throwing, and a referee even threw a flag while telling a joke!

But all joking aside Mr. Hochuli, there were real injuries (J. J. Watt appeared to cut his pinky while it bled all over his hand), there were real points (the AFC managed 35 points, while the NFC found 62), and a Manning Bowl (did you notice Eli moving the ball all over the field while Peyton watched?).

This was a statement game. I hope you enjoyed it because if they keep playing like this, there will be more Pro Bowls. It was a good performance.

Let the Gerrymandering Begin!

Well, not quite.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the GOP had a lot of soul searching to do after giving up a second term to the ‘crazy liberal’ that they fear. Two presidential elections won decisively by Obama has led the GOP to take drastic steps to save face.

Next on the agenda: Virginia.

That’s right, Virginia.

Virginia is among several Conservative states looking to modify their electorate by splitting electoral votes based on judicial districts won. The thinking is that instead of giving 13 electoral votes to a democrat victor (such as the case of Obama in Virginia), we’ll give him 4 of 11 based on the congressional districts Obama won. That means Romney would have earned 7 electoral votes in a state he lost the popular vote.

It is common for a state to redistrict areas in order to maximize their party’s influence (Gerrymandering); both parties are guilty of it, so let the Gerrymandering continue! ::cough:: sore losers…

Women, Be Careful What You Wish For

A great story broke today. Coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s hearing about the terrorist attack in Libya has pushed the most exciting news story that came out today: today is the day the Pentagon ends the ban on women in combat.

As a self-proclaimed feminist, I can say I’m proud to be an American as our military begins to prepare for women to be in equal and similar positions as men. When it is official in 2015, women may still be excluded from certain operations or positions; however, this is a big step towards the ever elusive equal rights that minorities and women seem to near, but never reach.

There still exists a difference in pay between men and women in comparable employment. Stereotypes and sexism still exist, while sexual harassment and rape continues to be a controlling tool in many parts of our society. The United States is still far from being truly equal and free.

In 2013, we can now say that we are another step closer to changing this.

Our society isn’t perfect. Our economical and cultural standards may never truly grasp the idea of true equality, but we are getting closer and closer to perfecting true ‘equal opportunity.’

“Equal opportunity’ brings on even greater responsibility. As the years continue with new opportunities in the military for women, the conversation will come up on draft eligibility. I am against the draft. It deteriorates the quality of our military and should be unnecessary in a democratic society that makes wartime decisions based on a vote. If it were up to me, the draft would be dissolved…

…but it’s not up to me.

I hope that this move in equality isn’t used to expand the draft. A volunteer army is more efficient and effective on the battlefield. Let us find better ways in the future to prepare our citizens for war so these circumstances may never arrise.

Women equality in the military isn’t as big as earning the ability to vote, but it is this centuries biggest move towards true ‘equal opportunity.’

Amada the Beautiful

I’m not much of a foodie, but the Spanish tapas were delightful. Amada offers a wide variety of Spanish appetizers that satisfy even a picky eater such as myself.

My favorite dish was their Croquetas de Jamon, which was a light appetizer consisting of a warm blend of ham and cheese that was lightly breaded. It didn’t take our party of four long to clean this plate.

As soon as the croquetas were finished, more appetizers appeared. It didn’t take long for our party to clear the table. Next came dinner.

The main course (if you can call it that) that I enjoyed most was their beef flatbread: Costillas de Ternera Coca. It was a short rib flatbread with horseradish, parmesan, and bacon. The horseradish concerned me, so I ordered it on the side. To my amazement, it wasn’t as potent as expected and paired nicely with the short rib.

This was my first true adventure into Spanish cuisine. I’ve never been drawn to the Mediterranean taste of Greek or certain Italian foods, but the appetizers served in Amada have peaked my interest. I look forward to adventuring into some more risqué Mediterranean options in the future.

Friday is the last day of Restaurant Week in Philadelphia. If you get a chance to sample the great restaurants in the area, consider Amada for a unique Spanish Cuisine taste.