Oct 15 2007

Sometimes The Old Toys Are The Best Toys.

Can you tell what Cole got for his birthday? His birthday that isn’t until the 25th?

Look Mom- it levitates!

I really did try to wait until his actual birthday to give this to him (I’m notorious for not being able to stand it and giving presents a few minutes after I’ve purchased them), but he caught a glimpse of its eyes as it was riding in the front seat of the car (where I was SURE it was hidden from his view) and he promptly declared it to be Melmo. He was so insistent that I show him Melmo that I had to give it to him and show him that it was not, in fact, Melmo, Mr. Smartypants, but this guy.

I guess I could have then put it away when we got home, but what’s the point? He might as well get lots of use out of it while he still wants to.

Of course, he also wants help, which somewhat negates its usefulness as “a toy that might buy me even a couple of minutes by myself to start dinner.”

“Mo-ooom! Heeeeellllllp!

I was possibly less than actually helpful.

But we still had fun!HAAAAAAAAAAA!
Oct 15 2007

The Second Thing.

Today is Blog Action Day, where bloggers around the world are all thinking and writing about one thing: the environment. Though I’m all for this idea, I’m not really sure what to write about.

I don’t really have a pet-peeve when it comes to the environment. In general, I just try to be conscious of what I’m consuming and why, which I have found to be the best way that I can contribute. I don’t normally bag my produce in separate plastic baggies. I like to use reusable storage containers. I recycle. I re-use paper towels when possible. I bought a car with good emissions and gas mileage. I try not to use more water than necessary. I try not to buy bottled water and, when I do, I buy a big bottle instead of lots of little ones. I try to remember to take my re-usable bags to the store. When I do get plastic grocery bags, I re-use them. I don’t take more napkins than I need. I rarely use disposable dishes or utensils.

There are so many little things that we can do to reduce and reuse. I try to do as much as I can. But what do you think? Do these things help? Do they make a difference? What else could I do (and please note- the above is not a comprehensive list!)? What do you do?

Oct 15 2007

The First Thing.

I have two things to write about today, and both seem a little heavy for this early on a Monday morning.

The first is this whole health care for children issue (the State Children’s Health Insurance Program) for which Bush just vetoed the funding. Read about it here. If you’re not pissed off about this, why not? I think you can probably guess my feelings, but I’ll give you the tiniest glimpse anyway.

I find it to be TOTALLY reprehensible that we continue to spend money on this dumb-shit war, and are considering expanding to Iran (when we can’t even take care of the soldiers who are there now or the veterans from every war we’ve been in in the past(that would still be living, of course)), but we can’t spend a little money at home to take care of KIDS. Why are we out there “protecting American freedom” when our AMERICAN CITIZENS are living in poverty without proper food, housing, or medical care. Let’s look to our own country and our own citizens before we start trying to “solve” the problems of other countries. I’m all for being a world citizen, but not at the expense of our own.

I know first hand how scary it is to not have money but need to see a doctor, and I certainly have had it easy. I remember being 25, in a new city, with no job, and realizing that something was happening to me (which turned out to be shingles) and I needed to see a doctor. The only one I could find that would even accept me without insurance charged me $75 to look at me for a second, say “yah- that’s probably shingles”, and give me a prescription for something that , had I been pregnant like I thought I was, would have caused me to miscarry or for my baby to have been born with serious defects. He didn’t give a shit.

Now imagine if it was you, or your child, who didn’t have insurance. Your son falls from the bars at school and breaks his arm. Your baby daughter is up all night wailing and you have NO IDEA what’s wrong. But taking them to the doctor is not an option because you have no insurance and the doctor’s visit will cost more than you actually have and you’d rather be able to feed them this month.

And you work, so you don’t qualify for the need-based aid, yet you don’t make nearly enough to cover insurance or paying out of pocket.

This happens, and more often than I think many people realize. And it’s revolting and shameful that our president could veto money that would help these people. These children.

Even with insurance, we pay $30 every time we step foot in a doctor’s office. That’s after the $217 per month that we pay just to have Cole in the program. And we’re the lucky ones, because John and I both work here and both have our premiums paid by the company. We’re insanely lucky.

I’m so riled up about this that I can’t really structure this post any more. I’ll just end with this: Bush doesn’t just hate black people, as Kanye West informed us; he hates children. Let’s hope that House Democrats and Republicans care about Americans and children a little more than the President, who I’d say is the Devil himself, except I don’t think he’s smart enough.

Oct 12 2007

How Can This Be Possible?

I was going to write a post, but then I read this, and… oh hell… I just can’t think of anything else. Don’t read it unless you’re okay with being sad and outraged. If you’re not saddened and outraged by it? You probably don’t need to bother coming around here anymore.

With all of the unbelievable and obvious child abuse and neglect that I’ve seen in my life, I absolutely can’t believe how a caring family who HASN’T BEEN ABUSING THEIR CHILD can be targeted like this. How can my husband have lived through how he was treated as a child without being taken away, but this baby is no longer with his parents? He’s 12 weeks old! Who is going to be better for him than his NON-ABUSIVE PARENTS?

I’m just sick about it.

Oct 11 2007

Book Game!

I got this from Zoot (Thanks!). I feel pretty okay with the books on the list that I haven’t read. I know what they are (for the most part) and really have no interest (and REALLY not enough time!). There’s a chance that I’ve read some of them and just don’t remember. I’m bad about that. I’ve put multiple asterisks beside the ones I’ve read more than once- approximately as many asterisks as times I’ve read them!

Bold those you’ve read.
Italicize books you have started but couldn’t finish.
Add an asterisk* to those you have read more than once.
Underline those on your To Be Read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: A Novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre

A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West*
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath*
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay****
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present

A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon**
Oryx and Crake

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership Down*
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Oct 10 2007

Am Easily Amused.

I came upon this in the supply room today and it made me laugh, so I had to take a picture of it:

What? You can’t see what’s funny about a chair in a box from Staples? A closer look then:


Oct 10 2007

The answer to your burning question!

Cole is going to be a dragon for Halloween this year. Despite originally wanting to sew his costume myself, I decided to actually LEARN from the past for once and save my sanity (as well as keep my neck from being constantly cramped and contorted) by just buying the damn thing. And really, I think that’s worth $17.

Unfortunately for you all, I’m going to make you wait until Halloween to see his complete preciousness when he’s in his costume. He totally digs it. I’m telling you, you CAN NOT wait.

Oct 09 2007

Do You Want Them?

There is something wrong with a world where someone can’t GIVE away 2 working washers and 2 working dryers. Maybe charities don’t really need the help, after all?

Oct 09 2007

I do like ‘em…

You Are Big Black Boots!

You can be best described as: attitude

You’ve got lots of it – and you love to give it

A guy has to be pretty gusty to hit on you

But if he’s your type, you’ll warm up… a little

Oct 08 2007

Wherein I Teach a Master Chef a Thing Or Two

Or not. In fact, I’m pretty sure Naomi knows everything already. That’s why I love her.

The crust? Yes- I think it would make an awesome poople pie. I happen to know that it also makes a kickass pecan pie. Especially when you flavor the pecan filling with rum. Lots of it. Ahem.

Anyway- it’s the Joy of Cooking butter crust (that link is to the version I own. I had no idea it was worth so much now. I also didn’t realize that there was already a newer version). I have other cookbooks- really good ones, too. But I always fall back on my Joy. Love that book.

(From memory*) Butter Crust

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter (8 tbs) softened very slightly
2 to 3 tbs heavy cream

Whisk together flour and salt. Cut in butter (food processor, pastry cutter, or two forks. I use the pastry cutter) until mixture is like small crumbs. Drizzle cream over and mix just until it holds together when pinched. (I sometimes use more than 3 tbs, but the crust does get a bit denser. However, I am lazy and drizzling more cream over is easier than cutting in the butter finer and it still works well enough.)

Bake at 400 for about 18 minutes (though I am also very impatient and usually don’t wait this long). Brush with egg yolk and bake a couple minutes more (I NEVER do this. See above: Lazy.)

If I’m making something savory (like Quiche)(I can’t stop capitalizing Quiche.) I use salted butter. If I’m making something sweet (like delicious rum pecan pie) I use unsalted. Sometimes I make my own rules and use salted for everything. I kind of enjoy the extra salty to cut the super sweet stuff. I always use a nicer butter because the flavor is prominent. And buttery. Which equals delicious.

*Which means not my fault if you make this and it’s all kinds of fucked up because I told you 1.5 c of flour instead of what it really is. But I’m pretty sure this is right.