Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ah, tuesday. what shall i do with you?

Twice a week the cafeteria at work serves up black beans and rice. I think it's a concession both to the vegetarians and to the large Latino population we serve. It's inexpensive (less than $2.00) and yummy, if you like black beans and rice--some guy in the elevator turned up his nose at my lunch. As most people who are aware of such things know, inexpensive food tends to be processed, fried, or otherwise devoid of all nutritional value. I'm not saying my beans and rice lunch is the well-balanced diet i'm striving for, but its better than endless grilled cheese (read: butter, bread and velveeta).

Speaking of grilled cheese, until i was in my teens and due to the southern accent that i so wisely hide, i thought it was girled cheese, because little girls ate them. i can't remember when the lightbulb moment was exactly, but i do remember the feeling, of OH GOD---Seriously? have i gotten that wrong this WHOLE time??

Anyways, back to the beans and rice thing...i'm attempting to learn to budget better. Since my other half doesn't budget at all, i'm mostly doing it for the two of us. I bought this book:
and am working on using coupons and planning meals in advance. If you have cheap dinner suggestions we can make at home, let me know. I did discover today that i can go to safeway's web site and upload coupons onto my club card...i was wondering how coupons worked now a days. I remember, back in the girled cheese days, that we would sit around the table on sunday's with my mom cutting coupons out of the circulars from the Sunday paper. I don't get a Sunday paper now, being a grownup in the electronic age...so this load the coupons electronically thing sounds pretty sweet.

Also, now that the weather is better, it will be easier to go to the farmer's markets around town to pick up fresh inexpensive produce to go with the things that are easy to buy in bulk and freeze/stockpile form the grocery store. YAY.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gloria Steinem and the relationship between women's rights and racism

Part of my job that i love is that during a couple seasons--affectionately referred to as lunch seasons--i attend a lot of fundraising lunches for organizations that have missions or partnerships supported by the hospital. Today was the YWCA King County lunch. First, before i get to Ms. Steinem--who really is a force unto herself--i want to mention that the YWCA served 57,000 people in our county last year with services. A lot of the work they do involves women escaping domestic violence--which is certainly a cause i can get behind.

At each lunch, they bring in a speaker. I talked a while back about having the pleasure of hearing Geoffery Canada from Harlem Children's Zone and Tavis Smiley speak at lunches i've been honored to attend. Today, me and 2500 of my closest Seattleite buddies all got to her the lovely Ms. Gloria. I jacked this next paragraph from wikipedia in case you didn't know who she is:

Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feminist, journalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the Women's Liberation Movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. A prominent writer and political figure, Steinem is today considered one of American history's most important women and one of the most transformative figures of the twentieth century.
First, she ephasized that the YWCA provides a few things the country really needs:
1. Foundational work--ie the strengthening of healthy families/healthy women/mothers
2. A recognition that empowerment must start with the least powerful among us
3. That leadership should create independance rather than dependance upon a single leader. She gave the example of Wilma Mankiller who was the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

She talked about what would be different if the YWCA ran the world. She talked about how schools would have the miliary's budget, that we would know that beauty is about individualism and authenticness, not collective identity and conformist ritual, that aesthetics are subject to the winds of politics and behavior--our standard of beauty in this country changes with the times and political goals. For example, when after the war they wanted the Baby Boomers to boom mini-humans, the standard of beauty was Marilyn Monroe and her curvacious self....and when we were done with that, we looked to skinny super models. Gloria focused on the intertwined nature of racism and sexism...that were you find racism you will undoubtedly also find the oppression of women...and that these start in the home, where we learn our behaviors. Thus we must all fight both.

Interestingly, towards the end she talked about how women are most likely to be killed in a domestic violence situtation when they are leaving or have just left, because the power and control center is uprooted from its previous base. She likened it to the rise of hate rhetoric in this country, increase in gun ownership, and the murders or abortion doctors...our country is trying to set itself free and those who have previously help power are becoming collectively loud about their displeasure with the transition from anglo-centric to anglo-minority. The means, she says, define the ends. How you conduct the means will tell-tale the way the ends are received.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

engagement pictures outtakes

We have an awesome phtotographer for the wedding---Daniel Sheehan. http://www.danielsheehan.com/ . He's a Pulitzer prize winning photojournalist, fabulous artist, and nicest guy ever. We went and shot some engagement photos a week and a half or so ago at the Ballard locks. I'm posting some of the outtakes for fun. Essentially, its proof that i've always wanted to be a vampire and Adam is the patientest person ever.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DYI (aka DIY) is only for the truly creative genius or the wealthy

So, (for some reason i seem to start any discussion of the wedding with Adam with "so", kinda like a warning--details needed!) because Adam is moving along with half our worldly possession to Anchorage in mid-May, I got a little neurotic about wedding planning as I really don't want to do most of this myself.  As it turns out, Adam is more opinionated about wedding stuff than he liked to pretend at the start. Anyways, by the time we told most of the universe about the engagement just about everything was already done. I'm going to string it out for a few months here talking about general details :)

I also made a critical error early on. it was back during the Fast--we went to a paper store here in Seattle to look and get ideas. Unfortunately, the paper store is located across the street from Krispy Kreme. While i was busily mulling over strategic ways to get but not eat doughnuts (thus defeating the purpose of fasting), Adam started mixing and matching the envelopments---very pretty things with smooth surfaces. By the time he put together the dream invitation--it was about $7/invite. I felt pretty bummed i couldn't afford to do something that awesome and grumpily steerred us off to find the save the date paper rueing having come in there in the first place. When we got home, we promptly ordered simple but nice invites online---i bid farewell to my letterpress illusions--and that was that.

I had a dream of being a do-it-yourself kinda bride. And i'm making a mostly good stab at it (in large part by forcing others to do pieces of it for me)...but being as how craftiness costs lots of money, i've had to be "practical crafty." We decided to make save the dates because for most of my friends, this involves a plane trip--and i wanted them to have time to plan. Adam decided he wanted the save the dates to be oval. sounds fun enough....but he decided he wanted to draw them himself. 2 hours and more football shaped drawings than we knew what to do with later, we decided using the computer was probably okay. After a couple of days of tweaking the design around, there were ovals galore--in squares--that needed to be cut out. Adam cut out a wobbly oval and that was the end of that. Who knew you could practically get blisters from cutting things out!! I realize this probably has something to do with the smallness of my hands compared to normal people, but still.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 Census.

I was trying to be a good little American. Read: Adam kept pestering me to fill out the damn form. So, i filled out the 2010 Census, put in it all the required information and send that sucker in. I'm giving you the abbreviated version....where most of the real idioticness is left out. Today, the Census called. Ok, i thought to myself--this is weird.
C: Have i reached the Tansik/Barnhart residence?
Me: Sure you got my cell phone at work.
C: this is the census...who am i speaking with.
Me: the only female on that census form.
C: your name?
Me: (this is going to suck) Martha
C: (really long list of code references giving them authorization to conduct a census and call me.)
Me: (interrupting really long list of code) do you call everyone?
C: continuing with really long list
Me: Excuse me, do you call everyone? and why are you calling me?
C: i don't know. I just need to ask you these questions. Does anyone live in the house other than the two people listed?
Me: no, that's why there's no one else listed
C: any babies?
Me: No, i just told you there was no one else.
C: how about foster kids
Me: (starting to get angry) No, i just told you there was no one else.
C: How about short stay visits?
Me: What part of No, there's no one else are you having trouble with?
C: How about people who didn't have anywhere else to go?
Me: Seriously? I just told you it was only the two of us!!!
C: I know i'm just required by law to ask all these questions
Me: I really doubt that, give me the code citation again.
C; (gives code cite--incorrectly) ok, but if i don't finish they will keep calling you until you do finish.
Me: you are wasting my time at work...hurry.
C: has anyone lived somewhere else in the last two months
Me: nope.
C: how about school?
Me: i just told you no.
C: how about worked away and lived elsewhere.
Me: (now very irritated) No. i already told you this.
C: Has anyone stayed away from the house in an institution?
Me: NO.
C: How about jail.
Me: Seriously, what part of this are you not getting. i already told you no.We have only lived here. no where else. no one else. what do you want!
C: Temporary treatment facility?
Me: NO!!
C: how about a mental institution?
Me: get me your supervisor.

Now, here's where it gets good. He tried to tell me he was required by law to ask each of these questions....at which point i said, i don't think the code authorizes that. FASTEST RETRACTION EVER: i meant, its part of our job, not its the law. Good, i started yelling, because this is *(#)$&) i filled out your form, you are now asking me every single question i answered properly the first time again, you won't tell me what the problem with the form is and you are not taking my answers and applying them. so i will not be finishing this. CLICK.

Monday, April 12, 2010

law school quotes

remember i told you about "martha's jackass doctine"??  here's today's conversation:

prof "my ex-wife is awesome and what am i, martha?"

mar: "you are jackass."

prof: "yup, and even if i'm a recovering jackass, after attending martha's jackass anonymous program, i still don't get to modify the parenting plan in a major way."
five minutes later:
Prof: so she's a great parent and i'm...martha?

mar: still a jackass?

prof: but a fit parent right?

mar: sure

prof: what's your exam number again?

mar: haha....but my doctrine gets me bonus points!!

prof: i'll take that into account. so jackass i may be, i'm still fit and its my constitutional right to make decisions for my child.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

engagement evolution

Today was official proposal day---following fake proposal day a week or so ago. My ring was taking forever to come...so Adam, being the angel he is made me a paper one and propsed with this ring first: It wasn't so much a proposal as he told me we were getting married. i was busy throwing a temper tantrum about the real ring not being here..once calmed down enough, he asked and we did the first round of announcements to friends and family.

alas, although i tried to laminate it with tape at work (note computer keyboard behind picture) when i did dishes a couple days later, it got damp and the "sapphire" leaked.  So on easter the following day i was presented with my engagement sheep, which i have rocked for the last week shamelessly. To be honest, i think this is Lissa's favorite of the three.
And then, finally, today in sunny Kerry Park overlooking Seattle and the Sound, my angel asked me to marry him, i said yes, and he slid the dopest ring on my finger. It is a tension set sapphire (yes, the first of its kind i've seen anywhere) which means there's no setting under it...it just holds in place between the white gold.
I am the luckiest girl in the world.

oh....and yes, bob, lissa, dale and linda all gave consent--like a month ago :)

Friday, April 9, 2010


I really really wanted to come up with something epically brilliant to post about. That didn't happen. So instead i'm going to write little happy news tidbits.
  1. My best friend's unborn spawn--currently named Tiger for when it will appear in the Chinese Zodiac--seems to be a very active but modest little thing and crossed its legs while they were looking at it on the ultrasound.
  2. Johanna sent out a fabulous email this morning with details about a post regarding her engagement to Judge--it started my day off right :) SOO happy for you.
  3. Golriz posted some super cute pics of her and Devon that can be seen here: http://www.cozyhunter.com/ along with a list of things that would warm even Scrooge's heart.
  4. Adam and I are going to brunch with my lovely boss Suzanne and her awesome husband Terry tomorrow. See right.
  5. It dumped another 6+ inches of snow in the mountains....so today i'm driving a little black Tiburon as my jeep fled at 730 am to lay some fresh tracks.
  6. There's a rumor that Ducky might come from South Africa in december for a visit.
  7. Blackberry scones with lemon frosting. i would have taken a picture...but its in my tummy now.
  8. We found movers who will let us pack our own stuff into a trailer (then filled with commercial goods) that will be shipped to the new place in Anchorage (to be found while Adam is in AK in two weeks) for over a grand less than everyone else. I'm queen packer. Bring it on.
  9. My parents will be here in  month. here's a picture of one of the reasons i love them. there's just no way to not be happy looking at this picture!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

In need of book suggestions

I read alot. I read law school books because i have to--and while those are like reading millions of stories, generally the moral of the story makes no sense and has more to do with who's policy goals and politics are winning out than some greater commentary on the universe. Mostly i like non-fiction or historical fiction. Biographies are always good. Please use the comments for suggestions because re-reading Harry Potter for like the eighth time is not what i want to do with my summer.

In exchange, here are a few books i've read lately that i liked lots. I'm including the B&N summaries for you. the second one led Adam to declare last night that he wants to be composted. Great.

1. Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. One of today's most admired and controversial political figures, Ayaan Hirsi Ali burst into international headlines following an Islamist's murder of her colleague, Theo van Gogh, with whom she made the movie Submission. Hirsi Ali recounts the evolution of her beliefs, her ironclad will, and her extraordinary resolve to fight injustice done in the name of religion. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. In her early twenties, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science,  and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament.

2. Stiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
In the twelfth century, the bazaars of Arabia were known to offer an exotic and allegedly salutary concoction called "mellified man" -- essentially human remains steeped in honey. Mellified man was also known as "human mummy confection," and one recipe for it called specifically for "a young, lusty man" as the main ingredient. This strange footnote in the history of death and decay is recalled by Mary Roach in her surprisingly lively Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. "Cadavers," Roach writes, "are our superheroes: They brave fire without flinching, withstand falls from tall buildings and head-on car crashes into walls. "We learn, among other notable macabre facts, that a detached human head is about the size and weight of a roaster chicken, that King Ptolemy I of Egypt first green-lighted autopsies in 300 B.C., that embalming-fluid companies once sponsored best-preserved-body contests, and that the French at the time of the Revolution were obsessed with discovering how long guillotined heads remained aware of their surroundings.  Roach reports that the next big thing on the mortuary horizon is something called the "tissue digestor," which replaces the outmoded options of burial or cremation with, essentially, a big tub of lye. In Rest in Peace, the historian Gary Laderman looks into the culture of funeral homes in America, noting that embalming took off after the Lincoln assassination and became a booming business in the twentieth century, nudged along by the popularity of mummy films and a burgeoning class of undertakers leafing through Casket & Sunnyside magazine. As Roach puts it: "Death. It doesn't have to be boring." (Mark Rozzo)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

4 eyes, 2 eyes with lenses, grrrr.

I think my eye doctor is my new best friend.

So i got irritated enough on Sunday (library day) because i couldn't see close up with the contacts that i stopped wearing them. I again donned my dope glasses and decided that perhaps me and contacts just weren't going to get along. I secretly worried that my glasses weren't strong enough because we had checked my vison with the bad contacts in we had to up the strength alot.

As it turns out, that was because we had to correct the amount the bad contacts were screwing up my vision, not my eye balls at all. Here's the thing, i have near perfect vision--its just that if you stand 20 feet away from me and i have to stare at you, i'm going to squint a little. If you are my computer screen, no problemo. I can read the 15 (ie better than 20 line) no problem at closer distances. I have vision correction n the first place because i don't like squinting at street signs driving or my professors faces. So, the contacts which were sort of correcting the long vision were totally wrecking the close vision and more or less making EVERYTHING bad.

today, we rechecked...lo and behold (hahaha) my vision is not getting worse. hence, the epiphany above. now, i am test driving the fourth pair of contacts--the low prescripton in the good material. the other three were low prescrip bad material, high prescript bad material, and high prescript good material. Finally, I can see the computer screen and i can see faces. this seems like progress!!

I am, of course, quite jealous of Leila who just goes in, gets a new pair and whala she can see. But, at least i know there is hope!

Month and ten days till Bob and Lissa get here!