Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A. My Town, USA
B. Youngstown, OH (layover!)
C. Alexandria, VA (that's where the house we're renting is)
D. Gettysubrg, PA (side trip)
E. Washington, DC (final destination)
F. Alexandria, PA (have to figure out driving times from actual departure place)
G. Milan, OH (layover)
H. My Town, USA
I figured out the mileage and such, and then for fun, I started clicking icons. When I clicked on "walk" it says "21 days, 14 hours or drive in 1 day and 6 hours" (the subtext here is clearly "Are you INSANE!! Do you know how many miles that is?? Oh? You don't? Here let me show you, it's 1654 miles!!!! Drive your car, dummy!!"). When I clicked on "public transit" it says "Walk 1 minutes from [my address] to [my address]". Nice job Google, maybe I wanted you to figure out a train schedule for me!! Hello! You always offer to do way more for me than I asked, except apparently when I want you to!
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
For spring break 2008 I refused to attend the typical drunken Florida party of some of my peers. Instead my friend Andrea and I went on a whirlwind tour of some of America’s greatest history. We had five days to travel in, but since we were driving the first day was taken up in driving from Chicago to Chambersburg, PA (just outside of Gettysburg). Since I had never seen the mountains, Andrea kept laughing at me as we were driving, I would point and say “Is that a mountain?” “My dear Padawan,” she would laugh “That is a hill.”
It was a whirlwind trip, and I will try to convey that in the following pictures.
(Not much time for sightseeig is not the same as not seeing anything AWESOME)
Day 3- Washington DC
For real, that protestor is protesting nuclear war. And the guy on the roof? Yeah, that's a sniper on the roof of the White House!
The National Archives house our Constitution (which I think would be better off posted where every congressperson has to see it at the beginning of every day, but that’s beside the point). I did not take pictures there, in that most revered of rooms, but someone else did take a flash photo, and was promptly escorted out of the room by one of the FIVE guards in the small room.
After that Andrea was exhausted, but I was determined to see the Supreme Court which is located just on the other side of the Capitol Building. When I was there I saw a small group protesting Roe V. Wade on the court steps, which was pretty much on of the biggest highlights of my trip. I asked if I could take a picture.
Day four- Philadelphia, the city Andrea had been raised in. Yet, she had never seen the Liberty Bell. First thing in the morning, we rectified that oversight.
Next up was Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Our trip ended with some antiquing (wow the East coast has way better antiques than the Midwest!) and a thirteen hour drive home, but it left me with a mind set on returning.
All that was to say, the time has come to plan this year’s vacation. Kristin and I are headed to DC in September!! Her brother Eric is going with, and we have nine days this time. Five for DC, one for Gettysburg, and one for Philadelphia (and two for driving). I can’t wait!!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
I think in some regards this is accurate. I know, especially during the “holy” holiday seasons (Advent and Lent/Christmas and Easter) I wish I believed. I really enjoy teaching those things to my students. I look forward to attending Christmas Eve and Easter morning services (the only two times I can be counted on to go to church all year). I’ve often said I would probably attend church (or would have given it up less readily) if there was a good, full Sunday morning service style service, but offered in the evening (maybe during the week- like a Thursday night would be good). Not the Bible study style service my old church offered for evening service or Wednesday night, but a real full on service. But do all those things mean that I believe?
I have a hard time thinking that someone who is powerful enough to CREATE the entire universe, would also care about the little dramas of MY life. Why would any all-powerful being want a relationship with me? Or really with any of us? If the Bible truly is the infallible word of God, then there are some ridiculous things that God went through just to have relationships with us. Even taken as the highest form of creation, as a species we are not all that amazing.
I have a hard time believing that there is a God who would give people the power to think, and who controls the laws of nature, who would then create a world where those very laws of nature can be used to make it hard to believe. What about all the evidence for evolution?
I have a hard time with any group that looks at what their God has called wrong (homosexuality), declares that God doesn’t make mistakes, therefore he didn’t make those people that way, but he did make babies that are so sick they never take a breath on their own.
All that doesn’t mean that I couldn’t believe or that I don’t believe, it just means that it’s hard for me to believe. So, is my friend’s husband right? Could I believe, if I’d let myself? Maybe. But I’m selfish, and I like my own little sins and I don’t want to give them up. Perhaps I’m giving up greater blessings by refusing to give up my secret sins, and perhaps as I mature and think more about this, I’ll change my mind. For now all I know is that I’m possibly open to persuasion. But, dear friend who started all this, don’t take that as an invitation to gang-witness to me. You’re better off approaching it as gently as if I were a wild deer, because although I’m thinking about it, I’m skittish about the whole subject!
Friday, March 18, 2011
People, my two year olds bully. Why can’t we step in and teach them right now, that it’s not okay so that by the time they get to middle and high school, it’s not an issue? Why do we wait until it’s an engrained behavior? We can’t just tell ourselves that it’s okay because we were bullied in school and we turned out okay, so our kids will get through it too. Bullying has progressed so much even in the ten years since I was in high school. Now people live their lives anonymously on sites like Facebook. And anonymity breeds stupidity. Kids seem to think there are no consequences to what they say online, so kids who used to be able to come home and get away from bullies encounter it even more online. There is no refuge. No one should be singled out and teased, threatened, or bullied. We are the responsible adults now, and we need to teach our children that this is not okay. Whether it’s because of sexual orientation, weight, skill set, whatever, we need to be aware of this and we need to be working to stop it.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I ate cake for dinner. Good thing I was suddenly struck with the urge to buy it while I was grocery shopping last night but then not the urge to eat it when I got home yesterday!
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Dear Designers and Fashion Buyers,
Please allow me to describe what MOST women are looking for in a purse. We would like it to have outside pockets, preferably two or three of them, for things like our cell phones and chapstick, etc. We would further like the inside to be divided in some way. Not just with two puny little pockets sewn to the lining along one side, but actually divided into sections to help organize everything. Women are pretty much expected to carry the following items
- Cell phone
- Pocket notebook or planner of some sort
- Paperback book (or E-reader)
- Cough drops
- Medicine bottle (usually some sort of Aspirin)
- Hair bands
- Pen or pencil
on a daily basis. On top of that list we are advised to carry transition make-up and jewelry to go from day to night “just in case” on Fridays. I don’t mind that so much, what I mind is that I am expected to carry it all in what is pretty much a fabric Target bag with few or no pockets to organize all that stuff.
There is of course an alternative available in most stores. I could buy a boxy, overly tailored purse that is simply unfashionable. This is not an either-or proposition. There is simply no reason you can’t design a purse that is both fashionable and functional. Further, when you do manage to do so, there is absolutely NO excuse for slapping a $100 price tag on it!
Thank you for considering the needs and wants of your consumers before deciding on next season’s purses. I look forward to being able to buy a purse that actually fits my needs.
Monday, March 14, 2011
1 package Lemon Pepper Pappardelle (or any other pasta you like)(mine was from Trader Joe’s)
¼ C lemon juice
2-3 T olive oil
2 T parmesan cheese
3-5 garlic cloves, grated
2 t butter
Salt and pepper to taste
10 oz can artichoke hearts
½ C mukimame (shelled, steamed soybeans, found in the freezer section) or peas
½ C roasted red peppers in olive oil*
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan cheese, garlic and salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Finely dice ½ the can of artichoke hearts (set the rest aside for another night). Place them on a foil lined cookie sheet with the mukimame (or peas). Brush with about 1 T of the lemon juice mixture and 1 t butter, cut into eight pieces. Broil on high for about four minutes or until browned, but not burned. Be very careful as the artichoke will burn quickly because it’s so small. Remove and spoon into a large bowl.
Drain some of the liquid (2-3 T) from the red peppers into the bowl with remaining lemon juice mixture. Coarsely chop the peppers. Add to the bowl. Add the artichokes and mukimame. Add remaining butter and stir until the butter melts.
Cook the pappardelle according to package directions. Drain and remove to the bowl with veggie sauce. Mix with large tongs and serve.
*If you don’t have roasted red peppers, you can chop a fresh pepper and add it with the artichokes and mukimame. Then substitute plain olive oil for the pepper liquid in the third step. The sauce won’t be quite as flavorful, but it will still be good.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Yummy! One of my co-workers is taking a cooking class on “Soups and Stocks” this month. I would love to take this class, but since I’m trying to save money, I have the next best thing. Her class meets Tuesday night and on Wednesday she brings me a sample and the recipe. This week was Roasted Pepper Corn Chowder, which I made for me and Sarah tonight. Of course I didn’t follow the recipe, but…It turned out mighty good anyway! Here’s my recipe.
Roasted Pepper Corn Chowder
6 T unsalted butter
6 shallots, peeled and diced (or ½ a medium onion)
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 T cornstarch
3 T sugar
2 bags of frozen super sweet corn (the steamable kind) (appx 6 cups of corn)
1 C half & half
2 (ish) C milk
2 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and diced*
1 ½ t flour (I used buckwheat, but any will work)
Salt to taste
Melt 3 T butter in a large stockpot, over medium-high heat. Add shallots and celery and sauté until soft. Remove from heat and grate garlic stirring with each garlic clove. Add cornstarch, sugar, 4 C corn and half & half. Mix well. Puree in a blender until thick and mostly uniform. Return to stock pot and add butter, salt and remaining corn. Heat over medium heat.
Place 1 C milk and poblano peppers in blender and blend until smooth. The poblano chunks will mostly rise to the top. Add them to the stock pot, reserving the green milk. In a bowl combine flour and a small amount of green milk and mix until the consistency of pancake batter. Add to stockpot. Heat five more minutes. Add remaining milk as needed to gain the desired consistency.
*How to Roast/Peel a poblano pepper
Remove grate from gas stove. Turn the heat as high as it will go. Grasp the pepper in a pair of metal tongs and hold it directly in the flame. It will snap and the skin will bubble and brown. Rotate until the skin is brown and peeling off of most of the pepper. Allow the pepper to cool and then grasp in a towel, rotating roughly. Most of the skin will come off, don’t worry about the remaining bits.
Also, when dicing the pepper, be sure to remove all the seeds, because they are the spiciest part of a pepper!!
Monday, March 7, 2011
"Respectfully, President Obama is a Communist, who has promised to expand rights for homosexuals. Many pastors have endorsed Obama's Presidency. It is apostasy! It is not wonderful, it is terrible. What are people being taught in churches today? Will you eagerly board the train to Auschwitz also to be killed?" (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Believer's%20Corner/dead_churches.htm)
"There is no evil today like the Communist, humanistic, sexually immoral public school system. I detest the public school system!" (http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Family/public_schools_are_evil.htm)
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I'll try not to ask such things of you often, but...If you want to help my co-worker's team raise money to fight cancer, you can donate to her here.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I wish I could post this with full video instead, but it doesn't exist easy to hear and with picture, so you'll have to make do with this much.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Always, [My Friend J]
I'm sure we will have fun, but perhaps a smidge less than if you were able to join us. See you tomorrow, and have a nice night.
[Then I found out he was blowing us off to finish our bookclub book and write questions and wrote him again]
Dude! skip the book & come play! We won't mind if you don't have questions. Or come when you finish.
I know. I totally miss you guys :( But such is my fate, that I must study and prepare alone.
Then, almost all of bookclub was tangential at best, completely off topic the rest of the time. Guess he could have skipped writing questions and come to Oscar night. Dork!