3.31.2011



My childhood love of the 50's and 60's has never really gone away. It's the best music to grow up on, I think. (The white people, super dressed up, standing in the background not moving kill me....I wish they were allowed (?) to dance!)
From The Crunk Feminist Collective: How Chris Brown is Effing Up My Sex Life: A B-Side to Dating While Feminist

Good interview: Cornel West and the fight against injustice: "The provocative US intellectual discusses issues of race, civil liberties and Barack Obama's leadership."

Image: source. So true.

"Secure Communities" is bad for everyone. "Many state and local governments have sought to blur the lines between regular law enforcement and immigration enforcement. The consequence of this has been that immigrant domestic violence victims have become fearful of law enforcement, making all of our communities less safe. Enlace Communitario, an Albuquerque-based non-profit, has developed this video designed to raise awareness of how these policies are imjuring innocent women and children."

A great article from a parent on children's books and talking to your kids about gender. (Thanks, MDR!)

"Self-love is not for slackers. Self-love is a constant journey that takes mindfulness, grit, and to be honest, hard work. Truthfully? It’s not for the lazy or the faint of heart. It takes real courage, perseverance, and a healthy amount of stubbornness against the too-easy-to-swallow messages from conformity, from people who don’t deserve to be in your life… and especially, from the messages you’ve accepted and told yourself. The fear." source.

Sí se puede! Happy birthday, César Estrada Chávez!

‎"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours."

"Make a solemn promise: to enjoy our rightful part of the riches of this land, to throw off the yoke of being considered as agricultural implements or slaves. We are free men and we demand justice."

The struggle for farmworkers' rights continues to this day...

Image: source.

3.30.2011













































Image: source.
On making your own tater tots - yes, please! As soon as I saw this all I could think about was having a cozy weekend with my (co-comfort food loving) friend Lauren, watching movies, and making every tater tot variation we could think of.

This week is brutal. I don't know how but I hurt my shoulder/back yesterday and can't move my head all the way to the right. After a fitful night of sleep, it only seems to be worse. And I have a busy day of work ahead of me. It also means I skipped bootcamp this morning. Aarg.

Image: source. I want to be there.

From Southern California Public Radio, "the story of Ruben Vives, a boy who was almost sent away as an illegal immigrant, but managed to stay in the U.S., get an education, and is now contending for a Pulitzer Prize."

These "wings" for a little kid are some of the most magical things I've seen in a while. So awesome.

Today I had to admit a mistake at work, to a client. It was, needless to say, unpleasant. However, it did lead me to reflect on the fact that I have learned a bit about admitting mistakes in the last year, and it can be boiled down to this: do it as soon as possible, stay calm, make eye contact, and keep your own guilt out of it. I think that last point is important: remember that it's not about you and demonstrating your pain and guilt at what you've done, or failed to do. That doesn't help the person you are apologizing to and is selfish. Save that for processing with your friends. You can best help the person you are telling about the mistake by being honest, forthright, and clear. (At least in my opinion and experience.)

"Many people need desperately to receive this message: 'I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone." - Kurt Vonnegut

3.29.2011

Love this "letter to my 12 year old self" from a wonderful lady, my favorite scientist Phoebe Cohen.

Image: source.

From Feminsting: On Charlie Sheen, Chris Brown, and the disparity in their treatment in the media: "I don’t think there’s a conscious decision being made to view Brown and Sheen in these disparate ways. The mix up of race and sexual violence is embedded in the US’s shared subconscious, especially that of white Americans. This means gender and abuse easily rise to the top when we think about Brown, as they should. But the image of the black man as rapist served a dual purpose, excusing white men of their own crimes. It buried the role of rape in slavery and made a white male acquaintance seem a much less likely abuser than a black male stranger. And now it’s letting Sheen’s behavior go unpunished and almost completely un-commented on."

A really good, useful intro on mastering grains from Big Girls, Small Kitchens.


Yay! "The Tuition Equity bill that will allow children of undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Oregon universities just passed the Senate at noon today with a vote of 18-11....Senator Frank Morse, who opposed a similar bill when it came to the legislature several years ago but became a chief sponsor this time around, told the Senate that our founding fathers did not want children to be held accountable for the "crimes of their parents." "Who would stand with us today and say, 'Deport these children'?" he asked. Senator Suzanne Bonamici echoed a similar point: 'I'm not willing to deny these kids education because of a decision their parents made.'"
I'll definitely be staying tuned to see how this works out. I love the idea of a car-less city. EU to ban cars from cities by 2050: "Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years."

Image: LOVE this.

Training: today a great, hard hour-long spinning class, then 15 min of laps in the pool.


Last night I was reading one of the many "health" magazines I get (Self, Fitness, Healthy, Shape - what can I say, they motivate me, plus I love getting mail) and I was thinking about how all the tips and articles are so complicated and sometimes extreme - eat this specific meal, this specific calorie count, do these exercises, take these supplements etc - and yet when I tell people that I cut out sugar for a few months, or caffeine, etc people act like it's so wild. It's just funny what we think of as being "normal" at this point. So many people are more willing to deprive themselves of calories, or do painful things, rather than, even temporarily, give up something like refined flour or sugar in favor of whole foods. I 100% get it - I have a lifetime of unhealthy dieting in my past (and hopefully it will stay there). But nothing has made me feel as good or as healthy or as beautiful as really listening to what my body wants and what makes it feel good. It may not be cool to be alcohol and caffeine free (it certainly seems to borderline horrify most people), but those two changes have helped my health (mental and physical) more than almost anything else that I've tried in the last 3 decades. So continues the path of figuring out what health means, and feels like, to me.

"Look up; there’s a rock gushing with refreshment for you somewhere in your life. Your past only sounds good because you can’t see the future. There is a rock gushing somewhere in your life. That’s just the truth. Look for it." [Valerie Bridgeman Davis, Africana Worship book]
NYTimes: The Future of Manufacturing Is Local

I blog a lot about awesome things going on nationally (and sometimes internationally) but there is a lot of great working being done in my small community as well. Just yesterday, both of these projects were featured in the local paper, both inspiring: a veterinarian helps homeless care for pets, and a Talent woman plans to create walking map.

Image: source.


Fund Our Schools, Not Prisons! from Media Mobilizing Project TV on Vimeo: "Philadelphia's Campaign for Nonviolent Schools has been actively promoting nonviolent student leaders by using the traditions of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ghandi as models."

"let yourself be silently / drawn by the stronger pull / of what you truly love" - Rumi

3.28.2011

"won't you celebrate with me" by Lucille Clifton

won't you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

for all the strong, amazing women in my life
Donald Trump is now, apparently, a Birther. I didn't have much respect for him to begin with and this certainly doesn't increase it....


I can't totally relate to this, because I wasn't a long-distance runner in high school (far from it, actually), but I get the whole "distance running is inherently solitary and sort of geeky" thing. "...to make running about winning is to betray the sport, and to become a jerk in the process. To the extent that running is about the self, it is the self nourished by solitude, not the self glorifying in narcissism."

Image: source.

"To take what there is in life and use it, without waiting forever in vain for the preconceived, to dig deep into the actual and get something out of that; this, doubtless, is the right way to live." - Henry James

The Bicycle City. Trailer from Greg Sucharew on Vimeo.

Love this. Good idea, sustainable, simple but impactful: "What happens to an impoverished developing nation town when you flood it with 20,000 bicycles? You lift three times that number of people out of poverty. Pedals for Progress and founder David Schweidenback have been shipping used American bicycles to Rivas, Nicaragua for the last two decades and the transformation has been incredible." They need donations to complete the film, here's where to give, if you're so inclined.
Awesome: "Glennor Shirley, head librarian for Md. prisons, believes in books behind bars"

Not all of these applied to me but I thought it was a cool interactive tool/excercize: NYTimes: 31 Steps to a Financial Tuneup.

From NPR: How Western Diets Are Making The World Sick

Oh, I'd love to do the Cayuga Lake Triathlon some year! I lived in Ithaca for 3 years and still count it as one of my favorite places ever.

Image: source.

Training: 1 hour alternating running and walking on a steep incline this morning.

"Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well charted, its vagaries form the staple of music and literature, it is socially accepted and celebrated. The second - the story of our quest for love from the world - is a more secret and shameful tale. If mentioned, it tends to be in caustic, mocking terms, as something of interest chiefly to envious or deficient souls, or else the drive for status is interpreted in an economic sense alone. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first, it is no less complicated, important or universal, and its setbacks are no less painful. There is heartbreak here too." - Alain de Botton

3.27.2011

NYTimes love for the beautiful (and much loved by me) Humboldt County.

I finished The Hunger Games and enjoyed the whole thing. The second volume of the series is waiting for me at the library, and, even though it's gotten mixed reviews, I'm really looking forward to it.

Image: source.

Training: I ran my longest distance yet yesterday - 16 miles. It was painful and cold but I made it. Today I swam for 30 min at the gym (my max so far), and I'm heading to Bikram in a few hours.

"Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library." - Haruki Murakami
This portion of Mary Oliver's "Morning Poem" popped into my head this morning and has been there ever since:

And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging ---

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted ---

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

3.25.2011

Seriously?? "If you pay taxes at all, even one penny, then you paid more to Uncle Sam than a multi-billion company...General Electric, what the Times calls America's largest corporation, paid no taxes at all in 2010 despite global pre-tax income of more than $14 billion...This is the second year in a row they've managed to completely avoid taxes. But get this, not only did GE pay absolutely no taxes in 2010, but they actually pocketed more than $3 billion in government tax credits."

The no-sugar thing is going well. I think it's been almost a month since I had any candy, cookies, cake, or muffins etc. I do occasionally have something with honey in it (these tahini-sunflower seed balls from the local co-op) but they don't trigger me like other sugary foods (i.e. I can stop at one a day). While it's an ongoing process, I think it's safe to say that it has helped my skin and also today I realized that I no longer have the 3pm slump I used to have. Sure, I still get tired, but I used to have these times when I would literally almost nod-off at my desk (which I would "fix" by going to get very sugary sweets). Not having those is awesome and I hope to see the no-sugar benefits continue! I might even cut out the honey as well, just to maximize the benefits....at least for a month or so.

Image: source.


"All revolutions are the sheerest fantasy until they happen; then they become historical inevitabilities" - David Mitchell
Local Southern Oregon seed growers Siskiyou Seeds featured in this interesting NYT story about heirloom seeds: “Our vision is to connect seed growers, gardeners and farmers in a mutually beneficial relationship to support small-scale agriculture with superior genetics selected for the Pacific Northwest.” Love it!

Another town I love featured in the NYTimes: my mom's hometown of Rockport, MA gets some love.

Image: source.

What's Got John Darnielle's Goat? Mountain Goats' front man on abortion rights, horror flicks, and feminists' treatment of Sarah Palin.

Are any of you lovely readers residents of Tennesee? If so, please think about contacting your reps to ask them to support the Birth Certificate Bill (the hearing is March 29). One of my awesome friends is a trans person born in TN, and is not allowed to make any changes to his birth certificate. This seemingly small thing can have huge consequences. Please encourage your reps to support the bill.

"Ring the bells that can still ring, / Forget your perfect offering, / There is a crack in everything, / That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

3.24.2011

Very cool. Thanks to my wonderful friend Jeremiah, for the link: "‘Steam Iron’ is part of a conceptual product range called ‘Repair-Ware’ which comprises of a series of domestic products redesigned with the affordance of repair. The brand and range of appliances aim to create a culture of repair amongst their users. This brings together not only the manufacturers knowledge of the product but also that of the user."


Examining White Female Privilege - a reminder.

Image: source. Trying!

In my cookbook reading list this week (I check them out of the library, copy the recipes I'm interested in, put them in the binder/cookbook my mom made me, and return them - deliciously efficient! I do love a project): Jamie's Food Revolution and Jamie's Kitchen. I've never seen any of Jamie Oliver's shows but a friend of a friend had "Food Revolution" during a weekend trip and I was totally charmed by its accessibility (and, ok, good design). It's pretty meat heavy, so there weren't a ton of recipes that appealed to me, but definitely some great basics and worth a look. Gonna check out Jamie's Kitchen this weekend.

My little garden is still chugging along - I hope it's doing ok, it's sort of hard to tell at this point. Next up: a little collection of herbs? I'd love to be able to pluck fresh herbs and cook with them!

"…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are." - Pema Chödrön
Image: source.

"Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, and don't put up with people that are reckless with yours." - Kurt Vonnegut

"Here" by Grace Paley

Here I am in the garden laughing
an old woman with heavy breasts
and a nicely mapped face

how did this happen
well that’s who I wanted to be

at last a woman
in the old style sitting
stout thighs apart under
a big skirt grandchild sliding
on off my lap a pleasant
summer perspiration

that’s my old man across the yard
he’s talking to the meter reader
he’s telling him the world’s sad story
how electricity is oil or uranium
and so forth I tell my grandson
run over to your grandpa ask him
to sit beside me for a minute I
am suddenly exhausted by my desire
to kiss his sweet explaining lips.

Image: source.
Yet another example of the complication and heartbreak resulting from our current immigration system: U.S. Returns Young Girl, a Citizen, to Guatemala: "Today, Emily is in Guatemala, her parents are struggling to bring her home, and lawyers and federal officials are arguing over parental responsibility and citizenship rights. The Ruizes find themselves on the front lines of a heated immigration debate: how to treat families in which the parents are here illegally, while their children, born in the United States, are citizens."

Image: source.

Training: Wednesday I went to bootcamp in the morning (60 min); today, it was 60 min spin class then 20 min swimming. I'm excited for the half-marathon this weekend, even though I got an email from the race planners saying they had to change the course because of flooding and that there'll be at least a dozen places where we'll have to run through standing water....

Another cool/cute cooking blog: "Big Girls, Small Kitchen is a food and recipe guide for twenty-something cooks looking for user-friendly, affordable ways to navigate their kitchens." I want to try their recent recipe for white bean and greens stew; I've been interested in all the greens & beans combos I've seen around recently - it seems like a good way to get protein and veggies at once.

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do, / we have come to our real work, / and when we no longer know which way to go, / we have begun our real journey." [Wendell Berry]

3.23.2011

"My Religion" by Anne Carson

My religion makes no sense
and does not help me
therefore I pursue it.

When we see
how simple it would have been
we will thrash ourselves.

I had a vision
of all the people in the world
who are searching for God

massed in a room
on one side
of a partition

that looks
from the other side
(God’s side)

transparent
but we are blind.
Our gestures are blind.

Our blind gestures continue
for some time until finally
from somewhere

on the other side of the partition there we are
looking back at them.
It is far too late.

We see how brokenly
how warily
how ill

our blind gestures
parodied
what God really wanted

(some simple thing)
The thought of it
(this simple thing)

is like a creature
let loose in a room
and battering

to get out.
It batters my soul
with its rifle butt.
I just finished reading Rogue Island by Bruce DeSilva, which I picked up because it was an Edgar Award winner and also reccomended by the great folks at "Murder By The Book" (a mystery-only bookstore in Portland!) It was an enjoyable enough and quick read, with decent writing and short, tight chapters, but not particularly remarkable...and not at all suspenseful. Worth a look if you like the "cranky detective/reporter who all women inexplicably want to sleep with" thing (which I sometimes do), but overall I didn't think it really lived up to all the hype (but sometimes that's more the hypes fault).

I just started reading the very popular YA book The Hunger Games, and I definitely see why it has so many fans. It took me a chapter or two to get used to being in a different culture (it takes place in the future), and to learn the different vocabulary, but the emotional pull was so strong I didn't even care if I missed a few references. It's definitely a dark book right away (the future is pretty dystopian in THG) but a really great read. A few friends said they didn't like the sequels as much, which is too bad...

Image: source.

"A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon and by moonlight." - Robertson Davies

"For the first time, the United States will call on the United Nations human rights branch to take direct action to combat discrimination against LGBT people around the world."
Yikes. "Newsweek gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship Test—38 percent failed. The country's future is imperiled by our ignorance. In this week’s issue, Andrew Romano looks at the risks involved in America’s ignorance."

Hm, interesting. I don't know that I entirely agree with the author (for instance, allowing your daughter to wear "racy" clothes isn't at all the same as saying "go get laid!"....for so many, important reasons) but the article raises some good questions: Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That? Women of a liberated generation wrestle with their eager-to-grow-up daughters—and their own pasts

Image: source.

Video from the NYTimes: Strangers in a Strange Land: "Haitians living in the United States but convicted of misdemeanors and drug offenses are now being deported to Haiti again after a one-year moratorium."

Love her: Rebecca Solnit: The Butterfly and the Boiling Point: Charting the Wild Winds of Change in 2011

3.22.2011































Image: source.

Today I Ran....



Finish-line thoughts and inspiration from the 2010 Nike Women's Marathon (needless to say, this made me cry)
I watched this last night and thought it was really well-done, interesting, powerful: American Experience: A Class Apart: "From a small-town Texas murder emerged a landmark civil rights case. The little-known story of the Mexican American lawyers who took Hernandez v. Texas to the Supreme Court, challenging Jim Crow-style discrimination." Highly recommended, whether your interest is law, civil rights, or American History.

Very cool: "Pro-immigration group working on encouraging supporters to post talking points to offer counterpoints to negative comments on news stories"

Image: source.

I've been thinking about the little things I've done in the last year to save money (and time), and realized this was a big one: unsubscribe from all store and product emails, newsletters, and list serves. Really, I'm sure the money I saved on sales paled in comparison to what I spent because I was tempted by a deal. Also, it's one less time to see models or engage with consumer culture. (For similar reasons, I'm also "unfollowing" a lot of the fashion blogs in my GoogleReader. Except for ones that I think are fun or genuinely creative, which usually means personal ones.)
I finally feel like my training is starting to get on track, post- winter blahs and ankle injury and general malaise. Saturday was my epic 15 mi (flat) run; Sunday was a steep 5 mi walk/run and then 90 min Bikram; yesterday was a rest day; today I did 45 min running at the gym then 30 min biking, and I'm headed back to Bikram after work. Now that my one month intro to Bikram has ended, I can't really afford to do it more than once a week, and yet it is SO good for my flexibility (on Sunday I touched my toes with my legs straight for the first time ever!) and for injury prevention....and for my mental health. So I'm trying to fit it in, schedule-wise and financially.

Image: source.

From The Chronile of Higher Education: Commemorating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire

Amazing! Watch this! The Most Aggressive Defense Of Teachers You'll Hear This Year: "The guy who asked teacher Taylor Mali, “What do you make?” at a dinner party certainly never thought he’d get this answer." What do YOU make?

Immigrant Youth Movement Takes a Civil Rights Lesson: "Recently, commentators and congressional witnesses have debated whether the immigrant rights movement is today’s civil rights movement. Some contend that immigrant activists, leading arguably the largest U.S. grassroots movement since the 1960s, carry Dr. King’s torch. Others respond that the civil rights movement, which emerged from slavery and segregation, was a different animal. But, whatever your position, it’s really the wrong question."

My newfound embrace of all things un-cool and un-ironic has manifested itself as choking up at nearly everything in the last 24 hours (ok, also I might be PMS-ing), including that cheesy Dar song I posted, the sight of people out playing softball this morning (physical activity! I love it!), and hearing my Citizenship Class students read "Tengo Un Sueno" last night in class. I'm officially a softy (guess I always have been).

"What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?" - Tennessee Williams

3.21.2011

















































Image: source.

"How Things Work" by Gary Soto

Today it’s going to cost us twenty dollars
To live. Five for a softball. Four for a book,
A handful of ones for coffee and two sweet rolls,
Bus fare, rosin for your mother’s violin.
We’re completing our task. The tip I left
For the waitress filters down
Like rain, wetting the new roots of a child
Perhaps, a belligerent cat that won’t let go
Of a balled sock until there’s chicken to eat.
As far as I can tell, daughter, it works like this:
You buy bread from a grocery, a bag of apples
From a fruit stand, and what coins
Are passed on helps others buy pencils, glue,
Tickets to a movie in which laughter
Is thrown into their faces.
If we buy goldfish, someone tries on a hat.
If we buy crayons, someone walks home with a broom.
A tip, a small purchase here and there,
And things just keep going. I guess.

source.

Music from my college years...

Bostonites, listen up!

My insanely talented BFF has two films screening soon! "Ino" (her 2009 stop-motion animation) screens at WAM! Women, Action & the Media Film Festival at 3pm on March 26th, 2011 in MIT's Strata Center as part of their "Short Stories, New Approaches" screening. Bonus!: she, and her awesome collaborater and my beloved friend Stud, will be speaking after the screening about their frequent collaboration and experience as female film makers.

She also directed "Systyr Act: Under the Habit," the JP Rambler's mockumentary & music video about the world's most beloved nun cover band. The Systyr's video will screen twice at the Boston Underground Film Festival: March 27th at 12pm and March 29th at 3:30pm

Check them out, and support awesome independent female artists!


Marathon, one of my favorite early 2000's bands (and some of the best concerts I've ever been to)
This weekend I thought a lot about how I feel like I'm becoming less "cool" every day....and loving it. Living in a small town instead of a city really seems to allow me to be my real dorky self. People here don't care about clothing labels; no hip and under-the-radar bands come through so you can't brag about knowing them; there isn't a freakin' charcuterie/tapas joint/themed restaurant on every corner (sometimes a bummer); most everyones jobs don't have to do so much with selling things and engaging with pop culture; and, its just...quieter. It's sort of great. Sometimes it makes me feel awkward - people aren't scared to share their woo-woo feelings or be really genuine - but I am coming to love that openness, that lack of facade.

Yesterday, I had a near perfect Sunday doing the things that I love: running with a friend, going to church (where I'm becoming more comfortable socializing, not just running in and out), stopping by to say hi to my mom and stepdad, cooking healthy meals for the week, going to hot yoga, reading, and singing along to the totally un-ironic and heartfelt music of my teens (Ani, Indigo Girls, Social D, Bad Religion). There is something I miss so much about the 90s - not just the flannel (oh, the flannel!) but something about how un-ironic the music and pop culture was. Bands didn't seem to mind expressing actual care for things (for other people, or for politics - RATM, Nirvana, etc etc), and things just seemed less...produced. I'm sure some of this is the nostalgia everyone has for the music of their youth but....I'm feelin' it and I'm lovin' it. (And also, you've been warned: lot's of 90's music videos coming your way this week)

Image: source.

"And Lot's wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes." - Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse-Five)

3.20.2011

"Snakeskin" by Liz Beasely

Clouds thin into form: a hawk
pulling a tail of rings—beads
of an abacus, the mathematics
of light—a lengthening spine,
snakeskin no longer inhabited.
All day I’m giving a name
for what isn’t there. Yet somewhere
we’ve left our likeness, the hollow
shapes of us. Even though the snake
has slipped into the shade,
the shed skin, deceptively whole,
hidden in the sun-flecked grass,
remembers what it once held.

source.
Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home: "[W]hile Bolivians have lived off it for centuries, quinoa remained little more than a curiosity outside the Andes for years, found in health food shops and studied by researchers — until recently."

For a small town, the town I live in (Ashland, OR) has an amazing plethora of activities and events. One of it's most recent additions is the Ashland Independent Film Festival. Since it started after I moved away, I've never been, and this will be the first year I can attend (it's in early April) and I'm thrilled. Thanks to my parents, who are members, I'm seeing a variety of awesome looking flicks, including Sin Pais (Without Country), Barber of Birmingham, Better This World, and Hood to Coast.

"Puddling is a minimalistic white photographic tumblog... featuring ordinary scenes as framed by pools of standing water on city streets and sidewalks." source.

From Outside: "Different types of happiness have different levels of importance, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. Eudaimonic well-being, caused by engaging in meaningful activity, is more important to physical health than short-term pleasure or positive feelings. In other words, people who live with a sense of purpose will likely live longer and enjoy better mental health than people who focus on immediate happiness."

Image: source.

"Historically, the most terrible things - war, genocide, and slavery - have resulted not from disobedience, but from obedience." - Howard Zinn


















































Image: source.
I saw The Adjustment Bureau with a friend on Friday. The plot was laughably bad (Literally. We laughed.) and it's one of those stupid movies that purports to be pondering big issues like Free Will, but really is just....a stupid movie. However, the leads - Matt Damon and Emily Blunt - were both SO charming (and had adorable chemistry) that I barely minded watching!

Image: source.


I'm about 80% of the way through How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley. I liked Crosley's first book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, so I was looking forward to reading this but have been let down. I found it to be sorta boring and self-involved. Also, memo to New Yorkers from the rest of the world: no one really cares about your experiences with real estate. Seriously, if I read one more personal essay about some young persons hunt for an apartment in NYC...

“Around us, life bursts with miracles—a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colors, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life’s daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there.” - Thich Nhat Hahn

Yum! Polenta and Vegetable Bake

My friend Lauren sent me this recipe for Polenta and Vegetable Bake a few weeks ago, promising that it was both easy to make and yummy - she was right on both fronts! I made a few changes, but it turned out great and I'm looking forward to eating it for lunch all week. Thanks Lauren!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup water
10 ounces baby spinach (I used kale, and more than they called for, and it was great)
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce, preferably lower-sodium (I ended up using about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
14 ounces prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin slices (I used the already-prepared roll of polenta you can get at the store and it worked just fine)
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided (I had a leftover blend of mozarella and other cheese and used that....and added an extra 1/2 cup of cheese cause, hell, cheese is good)
I also added 1 chopped up red pepper to the mix and thought it was a great addition.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450 degree F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water and spinach; cover and cook until wilted, stirring once, about 3 minutes. Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in basil.

Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish, trimming to fit if necessary. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese.

Top with the eggplant mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup cheese. Bake until bubbling and the cheese has just melted, 12 to 15 minutes. (I cooked for the full 15 min because there seemed to be a lot of liquid). Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

3.19.2011

A new movie, Runner: "Would you run in the Olympics for the country that occupied your birth country and refused to acknowledge its right to independence? The subject of a forthcoming documentary on his contested homeland, the Western Sahara."

Fingers crossed that we get some much needed reform! Married Lesbian Couple To Argue Against Deportation Proceedings Using Obama Administration's New Position On DOMA

Image: source.

"Secure Communities" isn't just a bad idea rights-wise, it's also a risk and a burden for law enforcement officers. San Jose: Chief says local cops shouldn't be involved in immigration enforcement.

"There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea." - Gary Snyder
Watching Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral On A Moving Train. Zinn is definitely one of my heros.

Another story of a U Visa recipient: "Carlos Olivas, 21, was granted the visa Friday...Olivas' brother, Jorge Olivas, was shot and killed after a dance in [...] 2004. Carlos and Jorge Olivas were walking home when several gang members ambushed them...he died the next day. Four years later, Frankie Telles was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting. 'In this case, the victim was his brother and he was present when it happened.'"

Image: source.

This morning I ran 15 miles - my longest distance yet...and I feel great! A friend ran the first 8 with me, and then I was on my own for the rest. My goal was 12, but I wanted to push myself to go to 14. Once I got to 14 I knew I had one more miles left in me....and so I pushed it to 15 and I'm so glad I did!

A Talent for Sloth, an essay by Philip Connors about being a fire lookout.

Oh, love this idea for a polenta "pizza"!

3.18.2011

"The Sciences Sing A Lullaby" by Albert Goldbarth

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.
New American Media: Abused and Deported: Immigrant Women Face Double Disgrace

Bill McKibben on Embattled Public Radio: "What’s almost as disturbing than the persistent right-wing attacks on an institution respected and relied upon by the broad public is NPR’s seeming unwillingness to stand up for itself."


An infographic measuring the relationship between sunshine and happiness.

Image: source.

Running For My Life: "Since Childhood, I'd Struggled With Crippling Depression. When Drugs and Therapy Failed to Help, I Took Other Steps" (Thanks PC!)

Immigrant Detentions Draw International Fire: "Immigration enforcement in the United States is plagued by unjust treatment of detainees, including inadequate access to lawyers and insufficient medical care, and by the excessive use of prison-style detention, the human rights arm of the Organization of American States said Thursday."

"People get into a heavy-duty sin and guilt trip, feeling that if things are going wrong, that means that they did something bad and they are being punished. That's not the idea at all. The idea of karma is that you continually get the teachings that you need to open your heart. To the degree that you didn't understand in the past how to stop protecting your soft spot, how to stop armoring your heart, you're given this gift of teachings in the form of your life, to give you everything you need to open further." - Pema Chödrön
Really beautiful Cherry Blossom paper model set (just look).

Image: source.

One of my most guilty pleasures is shopping at Forever21. I only shop online (their stores are horrible and overwhelming - plus they add new stuff online EVERY DAY), but I always feel guilty about it. They are a shitty international cheap labor machine, and they rip off other designers right and left. They aren't great quality. But they are cheap and their stuff is soft and cute and gosh darn it I love that place. And today they are donating all sales to relief efforts in Japan. Sigh. Oh F21, our complicated relationship rages onward...

Since last weekend's lunch cooking was a bust (undercooked carrots and onions, too little seasoning - blech), I'm looking forward to giving it another go this weekend. I've been poring over cookbooks from the library (who can afford cookbooks, and do you really ever want all the recipes in them anyways? Check out and photocopy, my friends!), but I think I'm gonna try some recipes from favorites I have at home. First up, one of my all time favorites, How It All Vegan - can you believe that the 10 year anniversary copy just came out?? HIAV was the go-to cookbook when I lived at a veggie co-op in college (heck yes I did) and it holds up all these years later. I may also try some stuff from How To Cook Everything, which my dad gave me for Christmas a few years ago - if you only buy a few cookbooks, these two would be at the top of the list in my opinion.

This sounds super cool: "FoodCorps is seeking food, agriculture, community organizing, education, health, and public service interested folks for the inaugural term. Starts on August 15, in Eugene, Portland, Tillamook, Corvallis & Salem. Once stationed, FoodCorps members will build Farm to School supply chains, expand food system and nutrition education, and build and tend school gardens."

“If you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate to do anything in your life. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote; you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue.” - Margaret Cho

3.17.2011

"God's Work" by Anne Carson

Moonlight in the kitchen is a sign of God.
The kind of sadness that is a black suction pipe extracting you
from your own navel and which the Buddhists call

"no mindcover" is a sign of God.
The blind alleys that run alongside human conversation
like lashes are a sign of God.

God's own calmness is a sign of God.
The surprisingly cold smell of potatoes or money.
Solid pieces of silence.

From these diverse signs you can see how much work remains to do.
Put away your sadness, it is a mantle of work.
I added another race to my roster - the Granite Man Triathlon in June. It's at Applegate Lake, one of my favorite places here in Oregon, and it should be good prep for the "big one" (as my friend is calling our half Ironman). It's a .75 mi swim, a 13 mi bike, and a 5 mi run. I'm a little nervous because it's mountain biking, which I'm not used to, but I think it'll be a great event, and I can use all the open water swimming practice I can get.

Image: source.

On that note, I ordered these triathlon shorts today. Triathlon shorts, supposedly, have a little less padding than bike shorts, so they are comfortable to wear under a wet suit and also while running. While it's stressful to spend more money on my athletic endeavors, I'm excited to get them and I do think it's a good investment - what could be more important than my health (mental and physical)? I have one pair of bike shorts already, so this should be ideal for alternating, and especially for the summer when I'm sweating buckets. That said, there is no more dough in the shoe budget till after the marathon. I think my two pairs of Mizunos will hold up ok till then - I'm alternating the pairs, which apparently helps you get a few more months out of them.
The last two days I've run (slowly) for an hour in the morning and then biked on my bike indoor at night. When I bike on my own, however, it's hard for me to really push myself (I basically stare at Bones or CSI on my computer and try to ignore the fact I'm in a garage. Although last night I did hop of my bike during commercial breaks to do burpies, which was a great way to keep my heart rate up and get less bored). I love having a bike stand in the garage (it takes away any excuses!) but tend to get a little lax and the time drags. Today, I finally got myself to the 6am spin class at the Y and it was great - definitely a work out. I hopped on the treadmill and ran for 10 min afterwards, to start getting my legs used to running after biking (and to get used to running in bike shorts - sorta awkward).

As I was leaving the Y I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and the negative thoughts started and then I stopped myself - like, really, dude, you woke up at 5:15am to drag yourself to a new, hard class, and then voluntarily hopped on the treadmill and now you're gonna criticize the body that did all that? I don't think so.

Image: source.

Speaking of things I've been avoiding, I finally went ahead and signed up for Spanish classes at the local community college. My Spanish has gotten better since starting my job but it's still way worse than I want it to be. I kept feeling like a weekly class would be useless, that the only really helpful thing would be full immersion, but last night I bit the bullet and signed up - it's gotta be better than nothing, and will hopefully make any immersion that I do (the soonest possible date is looking like sometime in 2012) even more worthwhile.

3.16.2011

selection from "Anna Liffey" by Eavan Boland

In the end
It will not matter
That I was a woman. I am sure of it.
The body is a source. Nothing more.
There is a time for it. There is a certainty
About the way it seeks it own dissolution.
Consider rivers.
They are always en route to
Their own nothingness. From the first moment
They are going home. And so
when language cannot do it for us,
cannot make us know love will not diminish us,
there are these phrases
of the ocean
to console us.
Particular and unafraid of their completion.
In the end
everything that burdened and distinguished me
will be lost in this:
I was a voice.
I admit to still eating meat occationally...and never quite feeling ok aout it, as I shouldn't. I've tried to cut out all industrially raised meat, which pretty much means never eating meat at restaurants unless they are fancy restaurants that provide locally-raised meat. So, no more cheap mexican food for lunch, no more burgers at bars, etc. Mark Bittman, as always, raises some excellent points: Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others: "It’s time to take a look at the line between “pet” and “animal.” When the ASPCA sends an agent to the home of a Brooklyn family to arrest one of its members for allegedly killing a hamster, something is wrong. That “something” is this: we protect “companion animals” like hamsters while largely ignoring what amounts to the torture of chickens and cows and pigs. In short, if I keep a pig as a pet, I can’t kick it. If I keep a pig I intend to sell for food, I can pretty much torture it."

Image: one of my favorite people in the world gave me this deck of cards - so awesome.

Listening to: Dr. Dog sessions on Daytrotter.

Looking forward to trying this recipe soon: Spiced Rice with Chickpeas and Almonds

More converage of U Visas in the press, this time the SF Weekly: U-Visa: Illegal Immigrants Become Legal Residents Via Crime Victimization. The headline is somewhat misleading - U Visa recipients don't get permenant residence status, rather they get a visa (good for 4 years) that allows them to apply to become a LPR (Legal Permanent Resident) in 3 years. Approval of their LPR application is not guaranteed. However, overall the author does a good job of investigating the wide variety of opinions on U Visas and the complications. I particularly appreciated the authors acknowledgement that there isn't much standardization when it comes to law enforcement certifying petitions (some will certify many petitions, others will certify very few).
Listening to: Brazos session on Daytrotter.

My friend PC just sent me this blog by a yoga instructor turned UCC minister, and I've enjoyed it so far: Liminal Preacher.

Image: source.

"Bicycle City, a 160-acre community now in the works in the rolling hills outside Columbia, South Carolina, has dreams of growing up to be ... a village. As a prototype for a planned network of car-free burgs, the first pedal-powered, mixed-use hamlet in the nation will start small and stay that way."

The Low Anthem Cover 20 Folk Songs Live

"On the day of the historic 'March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom' (August 28, 1963), known today as The Great March on Washington (watch it on YouTube in three parts), CBS aired a 30-minute roundtable discussion featuring James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Harry Belafonte, Charlton Heston, Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sidney Poitier."


More on the high costs of incarceration. Despite medical parole law, hospitalized prisoners are costing California taxpayers millions: "With California mired in a budget crisis, guarding incapacitated prisoners at outside hospitals continues to cost taxpayers millions as the state figures out how to implement a new medical parole law."

A film by Human Rights Watch: Living with HIV in Mississippi: "Mississippi invests little in HIV programs. The state's policies also promote stigma and criminalize the transmission of the disease."

3.15.2011

A History of Sexual Preference by Robin Becker

We are walking our very public attraction
through eighteenth-century Philadelphia.
I am simultaneously butch girlfriend
and suburban child on a school trip,
Independence Hall, 1775, home
to the Second Continental Congress.
Although she is wearing her leather jacket,
although we have made love for the first time
in a hotel room on Rittenhouse Square,
I am preparing my teenage escape from Philadelphia,
from Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously occupied
residential street in the nation,
from Carpenters’ Hall, from Congress Hall,
from Graff House where the young Thomas
Jefferson lived, summer of 1776. In my starched shirt
and waistcoat, in my leggings and buckled shoes,
in postmodern drag, as a young eighteenth-century statesman,
I am seventeen and tired of fighting for freedom
and the rights of men. I am already dreaming of Boston—
city of women, demonstrations, and revolution
on a grand and personal scale.

Then the maître d’
is pulling out our chairs for brunch, we have the
surprised look of people who have been kissing
and now find themselves dressed and dining
in a Locust Street townhouse turned café,
who do not know one another very well, who continue
with optimism to pursue relationship. Eternity
may simply be our mortal default mechanism
set on hope despite all evidence. In this mood,
I roll up my shirtsleeves and she touches my elbow.
I refuse the seedy view from the hotel window.
I picture instead their silver inkstands,
the hoopskirt factory on Arch Street,
the Wireworks, their eighteenth-century herb gardens,
their nineteenth-century row houses restored
with period door knockers.
Step outside.
We have been deeded the largest landscaped space
within a city anywhere in the world. In Fairmount Park,
on horseback, among the ancient ginkgoes, oaks, persimmons,
and magnolias, we are seventeen and imperishable, cutting classes
May of our senior year. And I am happy as the young
Tom Jefferson, unbuttoning my collar, imagining his power,
considering my healthy body, how I might use it in the service
of the country of my pleasure.
Hidden America: A Queer Gardening Homestead in Rural Tennessee.

Really interesting: Let Kids Rule the School: "I recently followed a group of eight public high school students, aged 15 to 17, in western Massachusetts as they designed and ran their own school within a school."

I semi-randomly decided to reread one of my all time favorite books, The Portrait Of A Lady. With so many books, I find myself skimming through the description in order to get to the dialogue, but with James, and with this book in particular, I find almost every sentence to be so beautifully crafted and to convey so much, I savor each one. James' writing is so fully of wit and beauty and intelligence and close observation, it never ceases to amaze me. How could you not be pulled in by even the first sentence? "Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."

Image: source.

It's hard not to love/hate Brooklyn: Brooklyn Is Hardcover Book Country: "A recent Friday expedition on an uptown F train found not a single Kindle, iPad or knickety-knack Nook in sight. Two young ladies, one clutching her canvas shopping bag, the other with a smart pageboy haircut, were instead reading the ultimate fuck you to the e-reader, the original ambiguous literary doodad: a jacketless hardcover book. 'Feel it.'"
My high school friend Ross is not only one of those amazingly brilliant people who can actually talk to non-geniuses about their work (he explained string theory to me!) but is also husband to an equally brilliant wife and father to an insanely charming daughter. Also, they are all tall. Anyways, in honor of his daughters first birthday Ross made and posted this (7 foot tall!) growth chart, complete with some familiar faces (er, outlines). Coolest family ever.

Image: such a cute idea! Maybe this years holiday presents?

Absolutely awesome rooftop garden (from the always too-cool-for-school The Selby).

I'm gonna start posting my workouts on here again. I know it's sort of boring but it helps me motivate to report them so....I'm gonna do it! My ankle is still smarting from when I re-twisted it in Portland last weekend, but I'm trying not to use that as an excuse. It does mean I have to lay off the swimming for a while (the injury is the tendons/ligaments on the outside of my ankle), but I can still run and walk and bike so....no excuses! My recent workouts: Saturday (5 mi), Sunday (8 mi), Monday (rest), Tuesday (5 mi). Planning on hopping on the bike tonight. As with most things in life, I've found that if I think "Ugh, you suck, you gotta go excercize," I'm not going to do it. But if I imagine myself running the marathon, if I imagine myself as healthy and outside running in the sun, I'm more motivated. Power of positive thinking, and what not....
"Japanese photographer, Sohei Nishino, walks around cities taking pictures and pasting and arranging the results to create layered icons of a city from his memory...Last year, Nishino spent a month walking the streets of London. He took over 10,000 photographs, which he edited down to 4,000. He cut them up and pasted them together into a composite photographic map of the city of London measuring 7.5ft × 4ft."

Listening to: the Dawes sessions (1, 2, 3) on Daytrotter.

Left: Benjamin Franklin's daily schedule. A huge fan of schedules myself, I'm totally smitten with this. Via the always wonderful Maira Kalman.


The ACLU calls for a halt to deportations to Haiti (which were recently resumed).

Beautiful and powerful portraits from Haiti's tent cities.

On the "tiny spaces" front, check out these $200 RelaxShacks.

Sounds disgustingly hip but still dreamy: "Graphic USA, an alternative guidebook to 25 American cities written and illustrated by graphic designers. Graphic USA gives you an insider’s view of the best (and occasionally weird) restaurants, hotels, galleries, bars and coffee shops, all with quirky illustrations/graphics by the artists that live in each city."

3.14.2011


Image: source.

Wish I could've been at the Gender, Sexuality and Urban Spaces Conference at MIT, but, since I couldn't, was grateful for the live blogging here.

From the NYTimes, Itinerant Life Weighs on Farmworkers’ Children: "Schools in migrant communities struggle against mobility, violence and low academic expectations."

“[Patti] Smith was 29 when she recorded Horses. Joan Didion was 29 when she wrote her first novel. Tina Fey was 29 when she was named head writer of SNL. bell hooks was 29 when she published her first major work. Oprah had just turned 30 when she got her first local TV talk show. There is a reason “boy genius” rolls off the tongue more naturally than “girl genius.” By the time most of us accept the fact that we have earned this label for ourselves, we are most decidedly no longer girls.” - In Which We Can Feel The Horses Long Before Horses Enter the Scene, This Recording

"Modern Girl" Sleater-Kinney



Just because.
Reading The Body Electric, and discovering lots of wonderful poets I didn't know about. Stay tuned for lots of poetry.

Image: source.

Love love love it: The Beatles, "Hide Your Love Away"


From an awesome college classmate, 360 MONTHS: collected thoughts on turning 30: "This is a space for sharing experiences and feelings around turning 30. From people who are approaching this milestone with anticipation and uncertainty to those who have recently passed the 3 decade mark with a warm embrace, 360 Months is an opportunity to challenge dominant social expectations of this marker of adulthood. It is also a chance to ignite new conversations amongst peers in the struggle to make sense of, and even embrace, growing older." Check it out and think about submitting! I'm considering it...(Oh, and on that note, check out this post "30 and angry and fabulous, darling" from the always awesome Natalie at definatalie.com)

3.13.2011

Check out Honest Fare, a beautiful website with gorgeous food photography and interesting articles.


Image: source.


From Boston.com: The power of lonely: "What we do better without other people around"

Have compassion for everyone you meet
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.

- Miller Williams
This weekend was exactly what I needed after a few days away. Even though I love Portland and love traveling, I'm a homebody at heart and am always happy to get back to my routine. Yesterday, with the help of my farming-skilled roommate, I planted my first garden! We had an unused raised bed in our backyard, now home to carrots, chard, kale, broccoli, and onions. I'm very excited. I've never eaten food that I've grown before, and I think it's gonna be awesome.

I finished reading Mystic River, which I was really impressed by. It pulled me in quickly, and enveloped me in the sense of stagnation and frustration and anger felt by the characters in the story, and maintained that feeling all the way through. Even though it wasn't necessarily a pleasant book to read, it was thoroughly engaging and incredibly well done (IMHO, of course).

Image: source.

Mmmm, can't wait till it's grilling weather again: Zucchini with Parmesan and Garlic Chili Oil. Everything is better when eaten outside, fresh off the grill.

3.11.2011

Amazing lunch today! I read about Just Thai at Stumptown Vegans and was happy to find it located on one of the food cart (I was corrected, they are called food CARTS not food TRUCKS - apologies, adorable Portland) rows close to where the conference is being held. Per SV's recommendation I had the Vegan Pad See Ew and it was awesome! So much more flavorful than the "traditional" (and more expensive) Thai food I had last night - and for only $6! The people working there were friendly, the service was fast - it was an ideal lunch experience. (Note: it was so spicy (I asked for spicy but not the hottest) that I drank the water at the 5 place settings around me at the conference lunch table, so if you're not into spicy make that clear.)

Image: source.


The King hearings are a shameful embarrassment.

From the WaPo: The 'Utah Way' toward immigration reform: "Utah, where Republicans outnumber Democrats by better than three to one in the state legislature, has passed the nation's most liberal - and most reality-based - policy on illegal immigration. And the Republican governor is expected to sign it."