Review – “America, You Sexy Bitch” by: Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain

Earlier this summer, @SnarkyAtLaw tweeted about a giveaway that Mandy at the Well Read Wife was doing. Mandy was giving away 47 46 copies of America, You Sexy Bitch (published by Da Capo) by Michael Ian Black and Meghan McCain. To participate, the rules were simple: read the book and post an honest review (and, ideally, participate in Mandy’s discussion).

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon:

She is a single, twentysomething, gun-loving, Christian, Republican writer and blogger, the daughter of a Senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee. He is a married, forty-year-old, gun-fearing, atheist, Democrat comedian, the son of a lesbian former Social Security employee. Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black barely know each other. But they are about to change the way politics is discussed in America.

Or at least the way politics are discussed in their crappy RV.

In America, You Sexy Bitch, Meghan and Michael embark on a balls-out, cross-country tour starting in California, the heart of liberal America, and ending in the state of Connecticut, the home of blue-blood Wall Street billionaires. Along the way, they visit such cultural touchstones as Graceland and Branson, party in Las Vegas and New Orleans, pretend to be Mormon in Salt Lake City (only for a second), and go to a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan. They tour the nation’s capital; they fire semiautomatic weapons. But mostly Meghan McCain and Michael Ian Black talk to each other: about their differences, their similarities, and how American politics has gotten so divided.

I loved this book for what it did discuss. And I hated this book for what it did not discuss. I felt myself wanting more a lot of the time, not just a gloss over.

I’m a political newbie. I vote in the presidential elections and I know where I stand when it comes to major issues. However, and without getting all political on you, there are a lot of issues that I don’t know much about. And without that knowledge, I can’t really formulate a position or my own opinion.

This book helped me learn a little more about some of those things and figure out which viewpoint is typically the Republican one versus Democrat. I just wish the book went a little more in-depth on some of the authors’ viewpoints and why they felt the way they did. A lot of the focus seemed to be on how Meghan and Michael didn’t know each other, travelling in a RV, sight-seeing… and not on the current political issues weighing on our nation.

Surprisingly (to me, at least), I really kinda liked Meghan McCain. She helped me see that you can side with a political party and yet still have conflicting viewpoints on certain issues. That really helps me during this election where I find myself siding with both main candidates but on entirely different issues, making it particularly difficult to decide who to vote for.

That said, it’s not a bad book to read. I wasn’t left raving about it but had enough of an attention span to finish it. I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.

And now I leave you with some quotes du jour:

As they tour the Senate and House of Representatives, their tour guide points out the status of Lady Freedom:

“If you notice, her eyes are facing off into the east because the sun never sets on freedom,” he says.  We all look up at her and I sort of say under my breath, “That’s because America is one sexy bitch.”

Final chapter, as they drive from Washington, DC to Redding, CT where Michael lives:

There might not be a worse drive in the United States than the I-95 Northeastern Corridor.  Traffic is always horrible and the view sucks, particularly after you cross the Delaware Water Gap and inch your way up the New Jersey Turnpike.

There was a third page I flagged for some apparent reason but going back to it now, for the life of me, I cannot figure out why I bookmarked it. So instead you’re just left with the above two!

Thanks to Mandy’s Blogger Book Club (#MBBCWRW on Twitter) for providing a hardcover copy of “America, You Sexy Bitch.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thankful Thursday – #1

Last summer, Dave Matthews Band went on their Caravan tour – they played 3 day shows at 4 different venues. As you might remember, the weekend they were scheduled to come to Governor’s Island, Hurricane Irene was also scheduled for a visit. By the Thursday before, we already knew that the Saturday and Sunday shows were postponed. As it got later in the day on Thursday, people were all over Twitter talking about Friday’s show – if they were going to travel into town, if it would go forth, would it rain, etc. Somewhere along the way, I ended up exchanging tweets with Liz and, in turn, Erica. I can’t remember if I first ran into them during the one show at Governor’s Island or the rescheduled ones at Randall’s Island. Either way, I got to meet them albeit briefly. Erica will be at The Gorge Labor Day weekend too so I’m hoping for some tailgating! 😉

Anyways, Erica blogs over at No Cheez Pleez and started up a little Thankful Thursday link up recently! After the week I’ve been having, there’s a lot to be thankful for…

  • The world’s most patient husband. I’ve had one hell of a week dealing with communication and personality issues at work. I’m trying my best not to bring these problems home all the time because it gets exhausting. But, when I do, my wonderful husband listens (over and over), gives advice, lets me cry – whatever is needed! And for that I am extremely thankful.
  • Having a job. As much as I complain sometimes, I need to look at the bigger picture and simply be thankful that I have a job.
  • That it’s almost Friday! I’m so in need of the weekend!

What are you thankful for this Thursday? Visit Erica and link up!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Commuting with Tourists

Starting this post the same way I did the last one… Creative, I know.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (if not, you should! – @LindsayInNYC), you know I have a lengthy commute to work. On average, it takes me about an hour and a half one way. I take three different forms of transit – PATH, Subway and Metro North. In addition, not only is it long, it takes me through two of New York City’s top travelled areas: World Trade Center and Grand Central Station. You know what that means – LOTS and LOTS of people. Especially tourists. Some days I avoid them based on the time I’m commuting but some days I’m not so lucky.

Wouldn’t this be nice?!

(Source)

I’ve been trying to tweet happy, positive things lately and not let the daily grind affect me as much. I have a bad habit of taking things home with me and I’m trying to stop.

But, today, when I opened my Google Reader and saw this post from Blair’s Head Band, I just had to share. Because she honestly read my mind and took the words right out of my mouth.

So, here, fellow readers and commuters in metropolitan areas, please go read her latest post: NYC Summer Tourists (the gifs make it that much better!). You won’t regret it, I promise.

(Source)

A couple to add?:

– Large groups (I’m looking at you schools, day cares, camps, any sort of field trips), if your day is going to start or end in the middle of rush hour (particularly in a high traffic area like Grand Central), move out of the flow of traffic. Anywhere else really. Especially don’t stand in front of the turnstiles or Metrocard machines.

– This is a complicated one, bear with me. Stand on the right, walk on the left. Get it? Told ya it was complicated.

(Source)

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Winston’s Weekend Series

For those of you who follow me on Twitter (if not, you should! – @LindsayInNYC), you may have seen my weekend series of pictures…

It started with the “Winston Under a Bench” series – my personal favorite 😉

Waiting in Woods Hole for the ferry. Mind you, all these photos were taken upside down so he was basically under the bench below my butt.

Sitting outside on the top deck of the ferry. If you ever plan on owning a pug, they do NOT do well in the heat! I think they will adapt to it over time but since Winston is primarily inside, he has not. To be fair, it was a steamy 90+ degrees out that day.

 This is the same picture as above but the view I had when I turned around and looked over the seat back. The guy sitting behind us enjoyed it.

Outside eating breakfast. Creeper.

This was the view I had below me – basically between my legs.

Heading back on the ferry. We decided to sit inside this time. For his sake.

Yes?

Since Winston previously decided to pee on our bed (and the feather bed on top of it) more than once, he’s not allowed on it anymore. We make an exception when we’re travelling though.

Passed out in a Wee ball.

Chillin like a villain.

Life is rough

And there you have it – how Winston spent his time on Martha’s Vineyard (plus a few too many treats from Good Dog Goods!).

13 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Top 5 Tuesday: Celebrity Crushes

Just Peachy

She’s back with “Top 5 Tuesday” – yay! Join and link up with Rachel at Just Peachy!

This Tuesday’s topic? Celebrity Crushes. Mmm.

1. My “Bad Boy” Celebrity Crush – I don’t know what it is about Eminem aside from that “bad boy” appeal. But I’ve been in love with him since I was about 15. Yes, it’s been that long…

2. My “You’re Almost So Young It’s Illegal” Celebrity Crush – Taylor Lautner. Clearly I’m all “Team Jacob” here. Aside from the fact he was born in 1992 (seriously!), I drool. (This picture might have something to do with it too…)

3. My “Athletic” Celebrity Crush – I’m obviously a die-hard Red Sox fan and like to joke that Jacoby Ellsbury is my boyfriend (J is not a fan of those comments…). Now if only he’d get healthy and start playing again! I kinda met him once too. Back in December of 2007, he came to one of the Boston FYE stores (remember that place?) to sign copies of the 2007 World Series DVD. I was working around the corner and decided to stop by to get a DVD signed as part of J’s Christmas gift. I sat outside in the cold, slushy weather for nearly 2 hours. But to see him – oh man. I wish I had the pictures from my old camera phone…

4. My “You Could Maybe Be My Dad” Crush – Again, I think it stems from the whole Jack Bauer, “bad boy” appeal… Especially because he’s apparently a bit of a jerk in real life.

5. My “As Long As You Keep The Cowboy Hat On” Crush – Sorry Kenny Chesney but it’s true. I promise it’s not the hair (or lack there of), you just look better with the hat on…

For more eye candy, check out Kristen at Love, Lipstick, and Pearls for her weekly “Hot Man Parade” every Friday. You won’t regret it, I promise!

Who would you pick for your Top 5?

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

30 Before 30 – Weekend Accomplishments

I tackled a couple of items off my 30 before 30 list this weekend (+ Friday!).

Friday morning started off early with a pre-work blood donation (#2 of 5) at the Court near work.  Given that it was 90 degrees that day, it might not have been the best idea but I survived. 3 more donations to complete by November of 2013. I can definitely do that!

Image

(I somehow manage to get gauze that coordinates with my outfit. – Last time = purple)

Saturday morning, we were up bright and early for a tour of the Bronx Zoo. J just became a board member for the MSU Alumni Club of Greater NY and they put together a little event at the Zoo. We had never been to the Zoo before but it was a blast!

Image

I also got a chance to (kinda) see the infamous Bronx Zoo’s Cobra who I obsessively followed on Twitter after his “escape” last year.

After we were completely exhausted, we decided to walk a little further over to Arthur Avenue, the “Little Italy” of the Bronx to fulfill part of my “Eat in all 5 NYC Boroughs”. 3 down, 2 more to go! Still have to check out Queens and Brooklyn. Any suggestions on places to eat?

First stop, we treated ourselves to some of the best iced cappuccinos EVER at De Lillo Pastry Shop.

Next stop found us at Vincent’s Meat Market where we bought some of the most amazing (and fairly inexpensive!) sausages and sopressata. We ended up buying a small styrofoam cooler to keep it all cold while we had dinner.

I’m dying to buy some fresh pasta next time! Especially when it’s 1/4 of the price as the stuff from Eataly.

Last stop was dinner at Mario’s where I was apparently too busy eating to take a picture… Mario’s is a family owned restaurant that’s been around since 1919. I can see why because the food was amazing!

This area was seriously a hidden gem and I will most definitely be back! The only downside was the neighborhood’s proximity (or rather, not so much) to the subway. It’s a bit of a walk through the Bronx to/from the area. We ate dinner slightly early and had no problem walking back to the subway around 6:30. Would I walk around that area in the dark? Probably not…

I didn’t fully complete any 30 before 30 items this weekend but I did chip away at a couple!

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Money, Money, Money

 (source)

April at A. Liz Adventures had an interesting post today about finances as a couple – you can read it here.

Finances as a couple can basically be summed up in three words: yours, mine, ours.

I have a lot of friends who go by a combination of the three. It never really occurred to me that J and I might be in the minority with just “ours”. Call us old-fashioned or traditional, I suppose. One joint account was all I knew so I never considered another option.

When we first moved in together, our landlord would only accept one check for rent. Enter: “sometimes” joint bank account. We used it for rent, bills, groceries, etc. Basically anything “joint.” We were still in school so it made sense.

One year later, we had graduated and moved across state lines. J had a job. I didn’t. Enter: “entirely” joint bank account. Mind you, we weren’t even engaged yet. Such rebels, I know.

I think what really worked for us is the fact we were both on the same page with respect to a lot of things. We both had a large amount of student loan debt (nearly equal amounts) and neither of us had significant assets (like a house). J had some retirement savings and a car. We shared a dog. That was about it.

We also have very similar spending (or lack thereof!) and saving habits. We almost never eat out at work – we bring our lunch every day, don’t buy coffee. We don’t shop a ton. We squirrel our money to one day be able to own a place in Manhattan.

With the exception of one credit card each, everything is shared jointly. We pay our credit cards out of the joint account each month since we don’t carry balances and really only keep separate cards so that birthday/holiday/anniversary gifts are a secret. Our names are jointly on every bank account – checking, savings, CD.

Those of you in relationships (or even if you’re not!), how do you split your finances? Yours, mine or ours?

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized