Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2.29 Music

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-ninth day of each month is "Music."
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My husband used to play guitar. And then he got some arthritis in his hand and he started playing the mandolin because it was easier on some of the joints he had problems with. I HATED the mandolin with all of my heart - it was a killer on my ears and pushed all of my overloaded sensory buttons.  But then his thumb started giving him trouble and he did some research and determined that the dobro was really the right instrument for him in terms of not making me crazy and not aggravating his arthritis.
So the dobro hangs out in our bedroom and the boy mostly practices it while I am out of the house.  He currently has this Gold Tone dobro, but I'm pretty sure it won't last long. He's interested in Beard dobros and I'm pretty sure that within the time of this photo project, there will be another set of photos of a different dobro. 
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2.28 Cooking - Ham, Spinach, and Potato Frittata

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-eighth day of each month is "Cooking."
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I'm fascinated by what other people consider dinnertime staples - foods that are quick and easy to prepare and are favorites when they are prepared. Sometimes people say the weirdest things and I just sit there with my mouth open. I still have not found a way to cook chicken breasts that does not lead to undercoooked poultry or incredibly dry chicken, so when people tell me that they make chicken two or three times a week, I'm incredibly perplexed.

Our staples are tacos and frittatas.  Right now this particular frittata, adapted from a recipe I found in the February 2012 Real Simple magazine, is frequently in our rotation. We buy a package of frozen spinach and unthaw in in the microwave while we whisk 10 eggs, 4-6 ounces of cheddar cheese, and another 4 - 6 ounces of some meat (we usually use deli ham, but any meat is fine, really) together. Once the spinach is unthawed, add that to the bowl with the egg mixture. Then we preheat the oven to 400, chop up one giant potato or two smaller ones, saute the potatoes on the stovetop in an eight-inch skillet, and once the potatoes are cooked, dump in the egg mixture and put it in the oven for 10-13 minutes.  Easy.

I like this frittata cold and since I teach a lot in the evenings, I can put it in my lunchbox with an ice pack and eat it right before class. The boy likes his warm, so he can heat his up in the microwave at home before he eats it.  We usually get 4 servings out of it.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2.27 Media - The Curious Case of the Newspaper Box

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-seventh day of each month is "Media."
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Earlier this week I was listening to a podcast in which the panelists decried "the youth" for not even knowing that cut and paste was a thing you physically had to do when creating a newspaper layout in the days before word processors and computers and while I rolled my eyes at the silliness of the conversation (this is your main problem with "kids today?!), I became a tiny bit nostalgic about the days of my own youth when a newspaper was delivered to my house each day and there were piles of newspapers everywhere in our house. And then I snapped out of the nostalgia because there were piles of newspapers everywhere.

I don't actually worry about the fact that physical newspapers are not as ubiquitous as they once were, but I do worry about the carelessness with which news is now released to the public.  People die in accidents and their names are found via blogs and social media before their families are told. Speculation runs rampant that a suspected terrorist is that one guy and Twitter runs wild with rumor for hours before it becomes known that he's completely innocent.  In order to get the story to the website fast (or first!), facts aren't checked and followups are few.

The 24-hour news cycle forces news organizations to create controversy where none exists. It creates a supposed political polarization in this country pitting neighbor against neighbor when actual differences in priorities and concerns are minute. It creates a feel of helplessness in the minds of every citizen who turns on the television or radio to be bombarded with important stories of huge importance that seem so overwhelming that whatever political efficacy he or she had goes out the window as they change the channel so they can listen to the next Carrie Underwood hit and forget about the sturm and drang of the news cycle.

So as I walked by these newspaper boxes today, I said a silent eulogy to a time of carefully researched news programs and an informed populace that thought members of Congress did more than campaign for reelection and had faith it its leaders to make right and moral decisions. 
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

2.26 Support - Your Local Economy (If Your Local Economy is Minneapolis)

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-sixth day of each month is "Support."
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I've been in Minneapolis this weekend and there's nothing that makes me feel better than hanging out at Minneapolis-based businesses and giving them my money.  From local bookstores to restaurants and sports franchises (? - wait? does the money stay here or just go to the national league?), I did my best to make sure I spread my money around. 

Local businesses I love include Cliche, a boutique in Uptown that focuses on fashion-forward women's clothes, and Wild Rumpus, a bookstore located in the Linden Hills neighborhood that has three (3!!) Manx shop cats and a great selection of books for kids that makes me happy.  Both businesses have excellent service and make me a repeat customer even though I do live in another state.

More on food and where to stay later, but for now, I give you downtown in all its glory. There's nothing quite like a city skyline to make this girl's heart go pitter patter.

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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2.25 Courage - Parenthood

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fifth day of each month is "Courage."
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A family riding around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis this morning.
I think that people who have kids are brave.  I also kind of think they're selfish idiots, too, but that's a whole different topic.  I can't imagine the pressure it is to be handed a miniature human and know that you are in charge of everything about them.  Beyond the concept of whether or not I am a good enough physical caretaker (I'm not entirely sure I'm responsible enough for my cat, let alone a child), I'm not entirely sure I am a good enough human being with enough moral rectitude to raise a  non-sociopath.

Parents are brave. They take on whatever special needs their child has. They take on a lack of sleep, an industry of parental judgment, and years of underappreciation and overemotionality.

We sometimes debate "the kid question" and pretty soon it's not even going to be an option.  I think there is no way to make a choice that doesn't lead to regret, so it is easiest for us to take the path of least resistance and remain childless.  But for those of you brave enough to take on the burden of parenthood with a grace and equanimity I could never have, I salute you.
Baby birds!
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

2.24 Pain - Doing Errands

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-fourth day of each month is "Pain."
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We’re going out of town this weekend. I’m a bit tired of the not sleeping in my own bed for longer than three nights at a stretch, but this is all the traveling we’re doing until Labor Day (I think), so this is the last time I will have a morning like the morning I just had for a while. I dropped off the boy at work for “office hours” that absolutely no one will attend, so he will get a nice three quiet hours to himself and I ran around like a damn chicken with my head cut off doing errands. 

Normally I don’t really mind doing errands, but because of the STUPID CONSTRUCTION, it takes me 394872394 minutes longer to get where I’m going.  I find this frustrating.  And maybe I complain about it more than I should. Anyway, that’s the entire story. Errands do suck and I’m not telling you anything you didn’t already know. Pick up the CSA box early because we want to leave early this afternoon, go to Walgreens to pick up more contact solution, stop at the library (because, duh, I’m going to be in the car for hours), drop off an Amazon return at the UPS store, get cat food and cat treats because otherwise we’d have a pissy Zellybeaner, and buy some granola for the boy to eat on the trip. But don’t worry.


I got myself a reward at the end of it all.

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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2.23 Writing – Amazing True Story

Bestest Friend and I are in the middle of a blog project. Each day of the month we will post a picture on a pre-determined theme and write a little something about it. The theme for the twenty-third day of each month is "Writing."
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Trying to find actual handwriting is harder than I thought it would be. We drove up to Milwaukee today so Dr. BB could go to the hipster barbershop for a beard trim and I was absolutely convinced we would find some graffiti I could take a picture of, but the hipster area of Milwaukee where we went was so free of city-like things like graffiti and trash on the ground, I could barely believe we were actually in the city limits.

By the time I met with my student at a local library, I was fairly convinced I was going to have to use some of our scratch paper from our session together for my “writing,” but then I saw this happy display of art and knew that it would fit the bill. I love libraries, I love librarians, and I love that library resources go towards projects that involve kids in thinking creatively, writing down ideas with actual handwriting, and making art.  Thank you, local libraries!
 
Text from the poster: In an inspiration story the bond between animals and humans, a boy named Sawyer discovers an injured dolphin, who is brought to a marine hospital and named Winter. Unfortunately, her injuries cost Winder her tail, without wich she may not survive. But with Sawyer’s devotion, a marine biologist’s experste and the brilliance of a protheist charged with creating a new tail, Winder may receive a seconde chance at life.
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To see what Bestest Friend wrote about the theme of the day, check out her blog, Too Legit to Quit.  
 
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