Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Designed By Me

I made this earring and bracelet set at Polka Dots in Lansing. I designed it and strung it up, but got some help with the final assembly. One of my favorite jewelry sets to date. Crafting something yourself makes it that much more special.

If You Could See Me Now

Today I'm breaking in my new shoes. I thought they were so cute, and the Husband thought they were cool too. I typically don't get a response from the Husband on the coolness of shoes, so these must be special. My feet say "the jury is still out on that one."

By 10:00 this morning I had my shoes off underneath my desk. I'm not sure why a three and a half inch heel is really necessary. The slant of the shoe alone makes my ankles feel like they just walked 12 miles, but then add in where the shoe has rubbed against my feet making them raw in two spots? Mmm, ever so delightful.

So here I am sitting in my cubicle with a tissue stuffed into the left shoe protecting the side of my foot from more chaffing. If anyone has a tearful moment, I can bend down, pull a tissue out and go "There, there. Everything is going to be alright." while getting the look of disgust from the person in distress. Now that I'm thinking about it, that tissue might be better served for myself though. Anymore raw skin, and I will be the one crying.

The right foot has a piece of tissue scotch taped to the outside of my big toe. It's not quite a cast in the sense that it's wrapped around my toe, more like a fluffy, protective layer keeping my skin from touching the inside of the shoe. As you probably guessed, I have to make due with what supplies I have at my desk because I don't have any Band Aids. Nothing but class over on this end.

I haven't given up just yet though. With a little breaking in and possibly some trouser socks, we'll be golden.

Yeah, golden.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Black Bean Tostadas With Corn Relish

I found another fabulous black bean recipe. This one came from Everyday Food Magazine. Aside from the cheese (which you could easily omit), this is a great vegetarian meal. I'll definitely be making this one again. Even the Husband liked it, although he thought it could use a little salt, so he topped his with Cholula Hot Sauce.

The recipe:

1-package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
3-tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1-jalapeno chile
1-pint grape tomatoes
8-ounces monterrey jack cheese, not sliced
4-flour tortillas
1-can (15 oz) black beans
reduced-fat sour cream, for serving (optional)

1. Start corn relish: Squeeze limes into a medium bowl. Thinly slice scallions, and add to bowl along with corn. Add 1-tbsp of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate.*

2. Prep vegetables: Halve jalapeno (remove ribs and seeds for less heat if desired), mince. Halve tomatoes. Combine in an airtight container, cover and refrigerate.**

3. Shred Cheese, place into plastic bag, and refrigerate.***

4. Make tostadas: Preheat oven to 475-degrees****. Arrange tortillas on two baking sheets; brush both sides with remaining 2-tbsp of olive oil. Rinse and drain beans; sprinkle over tortillas. Top with tomatoes, jalapeno, and cheese. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10-minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

5. Finish with corn relish: While tostadas are baking, pit and peel avocado; dice. Toss with corn mixture to combine.*****

6. For serving, top tostadas with corn relish, and if desired, sour cream.

Now, for MY way of making the tostadas.

*I did not refrigerate the corn relish after putting it together, because I had no intention of serving it cold.

**I didn't refrigerate the jalapeno and tomatoes either.

***I used shredded cheese instead of buying a block of cheese and shredding it myself. The el lazy-o route.

****I used hard shell tortillas that I had on hand, so I didn't have to oil up the soft shells. I topped the tortillas with everything except for the avocado. I wasn't all that crazy about putting cold relish on my tostada. I wanted everything the same temperature.

*****I added the avocado to the tostadas after they came out of the oven.

Incredibly deliciously!!! Definitely a keeper.

Stock photo...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Favorite Political Shows

Here's a list of my favorite political shows. I catch at least one of them every night.

1. The Colbert Report. Stephen Colbert puts one of the funniest spins on current events. It's great political and media satire. Catch this show on Comedy Central. Ahh, if we both weren't married...

2. Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Keith is quite funny, but the political issues are heavier and discussed more in depth. Keith is also quite opinionated, which I appreciate as well. If you like Colbert, I think you'll like this one. Check it out on MSNBC.

3. Hardball With Chris Matthews. Chris knows his stuff. I love watching this guy because he is not afraid to call a bullshitter out, which can lead to some awkward confrontations. The format of the show has Chris playing a moderator between guests. This is also on MSNBC.

4.) Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough hosts this one. I have to admit, the husband watches this one a lot more than I do. Joe is a Republican. He also served in the Unite States House of Reps, so he knows his stuff, and he's entertaining. It's interesting to hear about the events from this perspective. Another MSNBC show.

5.) Real Time With Bill Maher. Ahh, now this one I really like. Serious sarcasm and swear words. My kind of show. Bill is a raging liberal. His New Rules segment usually has me rolling on the floor laughing. It's shown on HBO.

Glass Bottom Boat Ride, Cabo

We took a glass bottom boat ride out to see the arch, Lover's Beach and Divorce Beach. Very beautiful. We left from Medano Beach, which is the only swimmable beach in Cabo. On the trip we were able to see all sorts of tropical fish (hence the glass bottom), and we even saw string ray jumping out of the water! That was pretty cool.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for 'The Vagina Monologues', wrote the following about Sarah Palin.

Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice> > count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, 'It was a task from God.'

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States . She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S. , but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, 'Drill Drill Drill.' I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

So Much For A Group Photo

Sushi and Sunsets

The evening that the husband and I went on the sunset cruise, we stopped for sushi first. We went to Tsuki Sushi and Tepan Grill in the marina. What makes this place unique is that the chef uses local fish for traditional Japanese specialties and adds a flare of Mexico to the dish. So heavenly!

We ordered the Sashimi Tuna, which is fine slices of tuna and avocado with a cilantro, avocado, wasabi, and sesame seed sauce. Nom, nom, nom.

Our second dish was tempura shrimp (tempura means that either the seafood or vegetable is battered and deep fried - so if you're afraid of raw fish, give this one a go!), crab and salmon rolls. This was served with the same cilantro sauce. I can not rave about the sauce enough. I'm not much of a soy sauce girl. I feel like soy masks the flavor of what you're eating, and if I'm eating sushi, I want to taste all of the wonderful flavors! This cilantro sauce was a great pairing. You'll notice the neon colored wraps. They are soy bean wraps instead of the traditional seaweed. It was a nice alternative to the sticky seaweed wraps. I thought that was cool, since I've never had that before.

I think Tsuki Sushi was one of the best places I've gone for sushi in my life, followed second by a place in San Luis Obispo, California. Of course, being from Michigan, we really miss out on the freshness of being able to catch fish in the morning and serve it up that evening.

Here we are on the sunset cruise. We had to cruise around to the other side of Cabo, the Pacific side, to see it. The cruise ended up being a lot of fun. My parents got it for us.

Back in the marina after the cruise.

Here are some sunset shots from the resort later in the week. We were on the Sea of Cortez side, so we didn't get to see the sun disappear into the water like on the cruise. It was still pretty though.

Mama and me during one of our dinners at Tomatoes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The Husband and I went with my parents to beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Mexico over the Labor Day holiday. Needless to say, it was amazing. We stayed at the fabulous five star Hacienda del Mar. It's outside of downtown Cabo, only a ten to fifteen minute cab ride away. The grounds were breathtaking, and it was like it was its own little village. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone thinking of traveling to Cabo. The photos speak for themselves.

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Gorgeous views of the Sea of Cortez from the infinity pool.

The saying goes "Don't drink the water in Mexico", also equally important, don't swim in it! The undertow is like nothing I have ever experienced. Once those waves crashed and hit my shins, I'd have to fight to keep standing. The force drawing me back with it was frightening. Cabo is on a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. The Sea of Cortez is not swimmable. We were told that three people drowned the week we were in Cabo. The undertow pulled them out to sea. A force to be reckoned with. It's like nothing else to sit with a cocktail and watch the waves coming crashing in, one after another though.

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup in a deli...

Stay tuned. More to come.