Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Not Perfect, But Positive

Scrolling through twitter this morning, I spotted a question posed by fellow blogger LJ Williams: “Why do we make our online selves seem so perfect?”
The answer to that is simple: we aren’t perfect; the internet is a place where we can think and edit before we put ourselves where others can see. We can control the awkward pauses and the blemishes and the dorky laugh and only present what we wish others would see in real life: a cool, hilarious person who’s fun to be with. As Abby Howard once said on Strip Search: “I don’t want the internet to think I’m an idiot.”
There are people who don’t mind what the internet thinks. They are the people who tweet when they’re tired, rant on facebook when they’re angry, or post nothing on their blog but derogatory comments about their co-workers, friends, and family.
Though the internet is a place where we are able to put forward the best things about ourselves, it doesn’t mean that we should go overboard with it. Otherwise, when you meet an internet friend in real life, they are going to look at you and say, “why aren’t you as awesome as you were online?”
By all means, think about how to make that reply better before you post it. But don’t mistake my meaning; I’m not advocating “Keeping up with the Joneses” style internet use. It doesn’t do anyone any good to brag about your personal life if you aren’t really happy. And the only person you’re gratifying by taking a selfie on the balcony of your hotel in Cancun (with the tagline “don’t you wish you were here?”) is yourself.
It’s okay to be real online. But it seems to me that we focus too often on the negative things in life. My policy is that if you don’t have anything nice (or uplifting, or positive) to say, then you shouldn’t say anything at all. If you must respond to someone rude, make it as polite as possible.
Everyone has triumphs and defeats, good days and bad days, ups and downs. It’s your choice how and when to share those things with the internet, and how to respond to people who choose to respond or interact negatively.
You’re not helping anyone by when you have a bad day and decide to spew your hatred all over the internet. You can be positive online and still be true to yourself. The internet won't think you're an idiot.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Technological Disaster

Disaster has struck.
On Saturday I forgot to charge my phone, so that night while I was at work, it ran out of battery and shut down. Ever since then, it thinks that running out of battery and shutting down is a thing it has to do every night. As much as I hate to admit it, it... might be time.
It’s always a terrible choice, deciding whether to put down a pet. But you know it’s time when they’re so old they can’t get up to play with a ball, or so sick they can’t roll over anymore. That time between their obvious discomfort and your unwillingness to part with their company is the worst. But at least there’s nothing forcing you to get a new ferret after your old ferret has departed this world. Unless you have an absolute need to have your toes gnawed affectionately.
In today’s technology saturated world, our need for portable communication devices continues to increase. It seems like everybody’s got a phone, an MP3 player, a camera, and a tablet. And then they need a portable wifi hub to connect all of those things to the cloud. We feel like we need these things to be connected to the world.
Twenty years ago, you didn’t need any of those things. A computer was something people primarily used for work, and those people were usually computer scientists or engineers. Teenagers had walkmans to play their favorite audio tapes while they went rollerblading. Cameras used film. And if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere at night, you were stuck sleeping in the backseat or walking to the nearest farmhouse to call a tow truck. The world has changed. Now, one device can do all the things that four used to. And we rely on it. No sense in disturbing the folks half a mile up the road when you can call a tow truck from the driver’s seat of your car.
I guess I could always get a "new" version
of my phone, the Alias 2 from
Overseas Electronics.
I got my phone in February of 2010, so it’s 410 years old, in phone years. (That’s a decade per month.) I have known people who have barely gotten used to their old phone before tossing it away and getting a newer model. I could never understand that. If it works, why not use it until you have to get a new one? Tossing out a perfectly good phone always seemed like a waste to me.
Aside from the fact that I’m used to my phone’s quirky ways and don’t want a change, I got my phone right on the edge of the industry switching to touch screens. Mine is one of the last without one. Today, the industry is right on the edge of switching to full touch screens and nothing else. If I want a phone with buttons, I’ve pretty much got to get one today or resign myself to using T9 word to text in the future.
I know that whatever phone I decide to get, I will get used to. I will learn its ways and it will learn mine, and we will be a perfect fit.
Until disaster strikes in three years and I have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the new era of technology... again.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Would You Rather...?

Long car trips are no fun. There are lots of games you can play while driving: I Spy, 20 Questions, or Slug Bug. For a road trip veteran like me, license plate spotting is the way to go. I have also had success with Would You Rather, which is very fun but also reveals way too much about your fellow roadtrippers. For instance, as a result of a game I played once on a road trip to a family Thanksgiving celebration, I now know way too much about my brother-in-law’s preferences regarding women’s shoes.
For more ideas for road trip fun, go to
That first game was played with an actual licensed Zoemondo! deck specifically for road tripping. You can find tons of lists of questions online, but when my brother texted me quite soon after he started a two hour drive yesterday, requesting that I “text me some would you rathers,” I shunned google in favor of my imagination.
“Would you rather eat cake or go hiking in Arizona?” This highly penetrating question was met with an ungrateful answer: “give me some that were not made up in 0.4 seconds.” They must not have understood that the question was situational. If I’m at a wedding reception, I want cake; hiking holds no interest for me. If I’m vacationing in the desert, then yes, let me put on some boots and grab some water and let’s go. Then when we get back we can have cake.
My next question, “Would you rather wear cowboy boots on the wrong feet every day or high heels every day?” was met with approval: “good one.” Obviously he and his friend revealed their inner feelings about footwear to one another and had a bonding experience.
I’m not sure how the probing question “Would you rather only eat bacon for the rest of your life or never eat bacon again?” was taken. They probably needed to do some soul searching, and so asked me for “some sexy ones,” so I provided this whopper: “Would you rather be a dog surrounded by hot ladies or a dude with no hot ladies at all?” and I was rewarded with the uplifting, “that was quite good, quite good.”
The only answer I got to my next question, “Would you rather high five everyone always and FOREVER or NEVER HIGH FIVE AGAIN???” was “yes,” so I’m sure my brother was trying to cheat the game and go for the happy medium, as high fives are a subject close to his heart.
“Would you rather dance in a helicopter or dance in a submarine?” was answered with, “do one about swimming pools.” So I complied with the disturbing,“Would you rather chill in a swimming pool or be hot in a swimming pool?”
After that I got a barrage of requests.
“Witches” were demanded. “Would you rather be a good witch with a puffy pink dress or a bad witch with awesome shoes?”
“Crane elevators” inspired, “Would you rather eat a crane elevator or pay for one?”
“Tar” led to the slightly biased, “Would you rather die in a tar pit or excavate a tar pit and study all the stuff that died there??? (Answer: history is fun!!)”
“Fish bones” produced, “Would you rather paint on fish bones or use them for cleaning your house?” and led my brother to finally give me some more feedback in the form of, “you’re a fish bone!”
The final request was “spaceships,” so I tempted their thirst for fame and pitted it against their curiosity and adventurous side: “Would you rather find a spaceship on land or find yourself spontaneously on a spaceship in space?”
Even though I didn’t get any answers to the questions I asked, I giggled myself silly writing them in the first place. I’m sure this is how the creators of the game felt.  My brother’s final text of the day was, “Thanks, we are almost there. You are the best sister I’ve ever had.” Even though I’m his only sister, I was touched. I dare the original games’ creators to get that kind of positive review.
I guess what I’ve learned from this experience is that I should design my own road trip game. Or at least they should hire me before I steal all their business.
Would you rather be on the road trip or entertaining everyone who is taking it?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Boogaloo Bag Count: 84

Last night I dreamed that I was working on Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo. When I looked down, I had added another seven rows to the bag. Dream-me freaked out because it knew as well as awake-me that I’m supposed to be working on the handles. It looked nice, though.
I’ve finished one outside handle and have started working on the inside handle for the same side. I’m using the same size, same kind of bags for the handles this time, so I know how many it takes. Apparently, it’s 9 bags per handle..
I had to stop working this week to cut more bags, and I experienced my first major plarn snarl. You know what I mean by “snarl.” No, not a growling sound; a “snarl” in yarn crafter jargon is when the material you’re working with gets tangled and you have to work out the kinks before you can continue with your project. Yarn snarls can get fairly complicated, depending on how many different kinds of yarn there are involved or how much yarn there is.
Plarn doesn’t roll into balls or skeins easily, and the more tamed you keep it, the easier it is to work with when you’re ready for it. I keep all my plarn wound around ends of pencils. The annoying part about that is that in order to keep it there, I have to put it there, so I end up doing a lot of cutting and taping cut up bags to pencils and a lot of winding. Yesterday during this process, one rather large bag that had already been wound up slipped off the other end of a pencil I was using to wind up a newly cut bag.
Mayhem ensued. (I don’t have a picture of the mayhem because I was too annoyed to take one.) By the time I finished untangling everything and putting it back where it belonged, I wasn’t in the mood to continue taming any plarn. It was a good thing that it happened while I was taming the last bag, otherwise my kids would be rolling around in a pile of plarn today.

Boogaloo Bag Count: 84 (Body: 71; Handles: 9+4)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday in History: Ciudades de Santiago

Cali is the third largest city in the South American country of Colombia. It is southwest of the capitol, Bogotá, and was founded in 1536 by Sebastián de Belalcázar, a Spanish conquistador.
Another Spanish conquistador, Francisco de Orellana, founded Guayaquil, which is now the most heavily populated city in Ecuador, in 1538. Guayaquil is located on the coast, southwest of Ecuador’s capitol, Quito.
Venezuela’s capitol, Caracas, was founded in 1567. Don Diego de Losada laid its foundations, and the words he said over those first stones were “I take possession of this land in the name of God and King.”
It is obvious what all of these places have in common: they are all in former Spanish colonies, all of them founded by conquistadores. There’s something else that binds them. Cali is Santiago de Cali. Guayaquil’s formal name is Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayauil. Santiago de León de Caracas is the full name of Venezuela’s capitol.
On this day in history in 1536, 1538, and 1567, major cities were founded in the New World by the men who were conquering it. They were all named after the patron saint of Spain, Saint James, whose feast day was being celebrated on the day they were established.
Happy St. James day, everyone. And happy birthday, ciudades de Santiago.

All images from Google Maps.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Writing Prompt: A Comfortable Ending

It was an impossible situation. He couldn’t go back, but there was no way he was going forward. He couldn’t bear to hurt her feelings. She seemed so excited and happy that he was taking her advice, and making a different choice for once. If he told her how he really felt, it would probably break her heart. On the other hand, if he didn’t, how could he look at himself in the mirror? What would the neighbors, his ex-wife, his co-workers say?
He had to step up. Take charge of his own life. He couldn’t let her control him. There was no reason to put it off any longer. He had to tell her.
She returned from the other room, flashed him a smile, flipped her hair, and said, “Are you ready to go?”
He looked down at his feet, cleared his throat, and steeled his resolve. “I... don’t think so. They’re not... right... for me.”
“Oh.” She looked a little disappointed, but there were no tears, which was better than he’d expected. “That’s too bad,” she continued. “I really felt like those lime green high tops really... matched your spirit.”
“Well, I...” he began, feeling as though he had lost her forever.
“Sorry about that, sir,” she interrupted, giving him another smile. “Did you want me to grab you that pair of loafers that you were looking at when you came in? Size eleven, right?”
He nodded, breathing a sigh of relief, and reflected that sometimes uncomfortable conversations can have very comfortable endings.

Writing Prompt #753

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dress for the Occasion

"One Free Chocolate Thunder from Down Under for everyone
who comes directly from a wedding ceremony, whether it was
7 years ago or 7 minutes ago." -Outback Steakhouse
So it turns out that if you go to Outback Steakhouse in a wedding dress, you get free dessert.
I usually put on my wedding dress at least once on our wedding anniversary, but usually it’s just me, by myself, slipping it on without fighting to zip it up, maybe looking at myself in the mirror and giggling and admiring the train because it’s so pretty.
Wedding dresses are expensive. They’re special. If we wore them every day, they’d cost the same as an everyday dress, and we’d feel the same wearing them. A wedding dress reminds you of that special event, that happiest day of your life.
I do not consider the act of putting on my wedding dress on my anniversary to defraud the specialness of the dress. It’s not like I break it out for Halloween. And as I told the server, “It’s my dress, why shouldn’t I wear it?”
Everybody wins. I got to feel special and look pretty, my husband and daughters ate our free dessert, and the servers get to add our story to that long list of food service anecdotes. I can just hear them: “Yeah, well that’s nothing. One time I had a lady in a wedding dress come in...”
Lookin' good.

Monday, July 22, 2013

7 Years is Volkswagen Golf Year

Recently I was on my way to work, driving my 2003 Volkswagen Golf, with a co-worker in the passenger’s seat. We were stopped at a red light on 14th & Q.
I remembered the first time I’d been in that car at that location: I was leaving work, and had borrowed the car from my boyfriend while he was visiting. It belonged to his parents, and I scuffed the front bumper on another car in the parking lot, leaving a red smudge on its white paint.
Today, that car looks a lot different. It’s still reliable and gets good gas mileage, but it’s got a few more dents and bumps. The paint on its back bumper is cracking away, because once it rolled backwards into a Lexus when the emergency brake was left off. It’s got tons more miles on it, since my husband drives it to work. Sometimes, especially on long trips, it has two car seats in it to transport our daughters.
Our lives have changed a lot in the last decade. We’ve gotten married. We’ve become adults. We’ve graduated from college. We’ve become parents.
We’ll always be growing and changing, but we won’t forget who we are. We might have a few more dents and bumps, but we’re still reliable and get good gas mileage. (Well, maybe not that last bit.)
Happy Anniversary, Husband. I love you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Boogaloo Bag Count: 77

Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo is as tall as it’s gonna get. Although it’s not exactly the same height as the reusable grocery bag I was measuring it against, it’s close enough. and looks nice the way it is.
Very respectable looking.
I’m using translucent bags for the handles. I had hoped that since they were a bit see through, the handles would be too, and none of the weird prettiness of Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo would be covered up. It doesn’t look like that will be the case at the moment, but that could change when I stretch it out to fasten it to the side of the bag.
Making the handles is really tedious. With Bag the Bag, I was in a weird place materials-wise, in that I was scrounging bags that happened to be white with blue writing and kind of using them wherever I could. So the Bag, in that stage, was never very pretty to look at. I am resolved, with Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo, to start one handle and finish it completely before moving on to the next. I might even fasten down one side before starting to crochet the handles on the other side. Trailing plarn all over the place made the original Bag the Bag so hard to keep track of once I started working on the handles, even when I was finished with both sides of one handle and was working on fastening them down. I am going to keep Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo as simple and non-crazy as possible.
The handle so far, using 6 bags. It's the length of 2 2/3 butter knives.
I really should buy a yardstick or a ruler or something.
This is, of course, the point in the project when I let my mind wander and allow it to start thinking about other projects. I think about how long it’s been since I worked with yarn. I think about when the last time was that I used something other than a single crochet. This daydreaming phase is inevitable in a Bag the Bag project, because the handles are such a chore. They’re not as fun to make as the bag part because it’s hard to gauge your progress, and when you’re finished crocheting them you have to fasten them to the bag, which is the crocheting equivalent of needlework, and takes several days. The nice thing about that is when you’re finished with the fastening phase, you’re done, and you feel like you’ve worked really hard (because you have). It would be nice, though, if when I was finished with one of these things I was able to do a victory lap or something, or if someone asked if they could throw me a triumphal parade.

This is the Arco dei Gavi in Verona.
Just imagine it covered in yarn, and me riding through it
on a yarn covered chariot, while adoring masses cheer
and throw balls of yarn like ticker tape.
Photo by Jo Scaligero
Boogaloo Bag Count: 77 (Body: 71; Handles: 6)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday in History: Il Campanile

I’ve always wanted to go to Italy. I love looking at architecture, marveling at the grandeur of buildings constructed centuries ago that still exist today. I always thought I’d like to visit Venice, because of its romantic allure.
The first time I saw a picture of the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore I was sitting in Art History class, and knew that if I ever got to visit Europe, the first place in Italy I wanted to go was Florence.
Il Duomo, captured by Marcus Obal

Il Duomo, as it is called by the inhabitants, was begun in 1296 and finished in 1469. The facade was not completed until 1887. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is visited by millions of tourists each year, who come to admire its beauty and worship; mass is held four times per day, every day, with extra gatherings on Sundays and Holy Days.
I haven’t visited Florence yet, but I have “been there.” The main character of the video game Assassin’s Creed II is a young Florentine, who looks for justice for his murdered family, saves the life of Lorenzo de’ Medici at the very doors of Il Duomo, and climbs everything.
Ezio Auditore, considering the best way to get to the top
AC II Screenshot © Stack Exchange
One of the great things about the Assassin’s Creed series is that they inject their story into history. The people the main character meets actually lived, and the places the main character goes are as accurate as the game developers could get them. In addition, every historically significant site has a paragraph or two for the player to read to learn about the building or city that they’re about to scale. And one of the coolest things I learned by playing AC II was about the Campanile.
Il Campanile, the top three floors
photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto
Every church needs a bell. How else are people going to know what time to come and worship? On this day in history in 1334, the bishop of Florence blessed the foundation for Il Campanile, the bell tower beside the church, designed by a 67 year old artist named Giotto di Bondone. The top three floors get successively larger, so that from below, they look exactly the same size as the rest.
Our world has some breathtaking architecture, the most famous of which are used in many forms of entertainment: books, movies, and video games. I’ve read the books. I’’ve seen the pictures. I’ve even climbed up the side of a good number of famous Italian cathedrals while playing a video game. Now all that’s left is to go there myself.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writing Prompt: Personality House

The Housekeeper was a formidable woman. She ran the household with frugality and matchless efficiency. Because of her, things were kept in order. She knew just when to delegate a task and when it would be foolish to let anyone else handle it, and she never stopped working until the job was done. Her mere presence kept the rest of the inhabitants in line.
Except for the Young Man, that is.
The Young Man was lazy and selfish. He put off anything that needed doing for as long as possible, and only grudgingly and sloppily completed tasks that could no longer be avoided. He liked to stay out late and party, and was an amateur stand-up comedian, telling raunchy jokes for the amusement of his peers. Though the other members of the household considered him a spendthrift who happily shirked his responsibilities, he was fully aware of his actions every time they caused pain and disappointment. He had no plans to change, but every hurt he inflicted was the source of ten times as much guilt.
Especially when it came to the Young Lady.
The Young Lady was a dreamer, a reader, and a learner. She loved to sit and read for hours, mostly she preferred romantic works of great adventure and heroism. Occasionally she would accept a recommendation from the housekeeper of an interesting historical book, and after becoming a master of its contents, she would consider herself an expert on the subject and lecture to anyone she met about it. Secretly, she was a writer herself, but didn’t think she was any good and so shared her work with no one. She had once made an exception for the Young Man, but he had only callous, mocking words for her, and so she hid her ambition further away.
This was a mistake; if she had ever shown her stories to the housekeeper, she could have become a celebrated author.
Writing Prompt #751
In choosing this writing prompt, I have most likely revealed tons of stuff about my personality (and how I view my personality). I didn’t want to think about it too much, though, and just give the idea of different parts of myself as unstudied as I could. Instead of possibly overthinking it, I just wanted to get it down.
I feel like The Housekeeper a lot. This part of my personality often finds itself changing old sayings, especially “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” (She changes the “something” to “anything” and leaves out “right.”) She’s the reason stuff gets done around my house, and the reason money gets saved when buying the groceries.
The Young Man part of my personality doesn’t come up often (except for his procrastination), and when it does it gets checked by The Housekeeper. “Don’t say that, it would be rude!” It depends on the situation whether her advice is taken or not.
The younger version of myself will always be with me, no matter how old I get, and so will her self-doubt. It’s not something I think about constantly, but when I do, I always struggle with it. The Young Man “helps” by telling me that I suck compared to other people (but then he always feels guilty about it).
This was an interesting exercise, and I’d encourage you to think about, if not write about, the three people in your Personality House.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hair Day

Today my hair looks like a Disney Princess.
No, it isn’t in the shape of Cinderella. It looks like a hairstyle drawn by someone who is working on a Disney Princess movie. A little flip here, a little body there, and one or two random hairs sticking up sassily for character. My hair looks adorable today.
And what am I doing today? Running errands, working around the house, and making sure my kids don’t eat things off the kitchen counter that they’re not supposed to.
Why is it that whenever I’m allowed to look scruffy, my hair looks like it’s been designed by a professional animator, but whenever I need to look my best, my hair pretends that it’s been days since I’ve showered (even when I’ve just hopped out of the shower)?
It’s not that I don’t like it when my hair looks nice, but I’d appreciate it if it looked amazing when I wanted it to look amazing, and not when I didn’t care one way or the other.
C’mon, hair, gimme a break.
I guess I should head outside and spin around in the grass while spontaneously singing a song of my own creation while being accompanied by small animals.
This is not me. But it could be.
from the Disney wiki

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Inspiration

On Mondays I usually do chores that didn’t get done on the weekend, catch up on the internet that happened while I was ignoring it (it’s pretty surprising how much news you miss when your news-gathering source is off), and try to think of something to write for my blog.
The problem is that I’m so busy chasing my kids around and doing the dishes and consuming the entirety of my twitter and facebook news feeds that I don’t really have a moment to think about something worth writing.
And I know that’s the equivalent of a kid sitting in the middle of a mountain of toys saying, “I’m bored!”
One of the things I like to do sometimes is let the internet inspire me. Unfortunately, the only things that the internet was super interested in this weekend were generally politically charged, had to do with death... or both. But the purpose of this blog is not to serve as a soapbox for my feelings on political issues or death or political issues involving death. I have feelings on political issues and death and political issues involving death, but they’re not really good material for something that I want to be either heartwarming or slightly amusing.
Usually, an idea for something to write comes to me and I ponder it while doing something else until I can at least craft a good intro. Then I hit the computer and get it all out, while distracting myself with social media. Finally, I look for a good photo or video to bring everything together, although sometimes, it starts with a photo or video.
Today, I was inspired to write about how the internet inspires me when I stumbled over this image.
Image property of Gemma Correll
I’m sure it’s an oversimplification of the tons of work that artists do, but it seems like it’s easier than what I do. I can’t just... write about how I like cats.
Or maybe I can. I’ll try it someday... some Monday, maybe.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Boogaloo Bag Count: 66

It's getting prettier!
Bag the Bag Part 2: the Electric Boogaloo is about to enter the last phase of its creation: the one in which I get frustrated with making the handles and ignore it for long periods of time. It’s almost tall enough to start working on the handles, so I decided to pause earlier this week and begin Bag the Bag Part 3: the Sequel to the Sequel.
Bag the Bag Part 3: the Sequel to the Sequel
Bag Count: 10
The Sequel to the Sequel is going to be made of one kind of bag only, with no exceptions, and I’m sure I have enough bags currently in my possession to accomplish it. If not, I’m sure I’ll acquire more along the way, since my husband and I have a terrible habit of completely forgetting the reusable bags at home every time we go shopping.
The great thing about making these bags is that they’re useful (as long as you remember to take them with you when you leave the house). One big problem that many crafters have is that they are full of drive to make something all the time, but then have no use for whatever it is they’ve made. Their friends and family receive endless presents of scarves, socks, and hats, sometimes to the point that they begin to ask to be given nothing at Christmas and birthdays. Not only do these bags keep me busy making something that my friends won’t fake a smile and a thank you when given, but they also use up something that people normally throw away. And it keeps me from spending money on yarn. I haven’t bought any yarn for nine months. As long as I have the materials, I may as well keep crafting. And as long as I’m crafting, I’m not buying materials to craft.
Saving money, saving the earth: bag the bag.

Boogaloo Bag Count: 66

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday in History: Got Milk?

It’s a good thing that it isn’t fashionable to duel anymore. Every little argument on the internet would turn into “How dare you impugn my honor, sir! I demand satisfaction! Pistols! At dawn!” But I guess there would be a lot less ridiculous arguing on the internet if that were the case.
Duels were fought during a time when no one wanted to interfere with a disagreement to the point that they just gave weapons to the aggressors and shoved them at one another and whoever was alive at the end was in the right.
On this day in history in 1804, dueling was illegal in many states, including New York and New Jersey, though New Jersey was much more laid back about prosecuting the crime. That is why both the Vice President of the United States and a former Secretary of the Treasury boarded a boat and sailed separately across the river to Weehawken, bound for a popular dueling ground below the picturesque Palisades.
Looks like a nice place to get shot. Or to shoot someone.
photo by Seidenstud, via wikipedia
The pistols
via wikipedia
Their political animosity had been broiling for several years, with rude comments and backstabbing and political victories on either side. The last straw came in the form of a letter which was published in a newspaper. This letter included several remarks made to someone in confidence, which expressed the former Secretary of the Treasury’s opinion that the Vice President was a dangerous man who should not hold political office. The Vice President demanded satisfaction, and so the two men faced each other in a duel.
Neither man intended to kill the other. The former Secretary of the Treasury did not even intend to fire at his opponent, and instead was planning to face him merely to show that he was not a coward, since he did not agree with the practice. The Vice President was a horrible shot, and even if he had gone there that morning planning to kill someone, he would never have expected to.
It's all about the Hamiltons, baby
via wikipedia
Alexander Hamilton died the next day at the home of a friend. Aaron Burr fled to South Carolina, and was later charged with the murder in two states, but both cases were dismissed before they went to trial. You might recognize Hamilton’s name from the ten dollar bill, but you probably don’t recognize Burr’s name, unless you watched television during the 90s.