Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carrboro Farmer's Market

Today after work I met some friends at the Farmer's Market in downtown Carrboro. Carrboro is Chapel Hill's progressive next-door hippie town, known for it's flavorful night life, live music, bike trails, thrift stores, and Farmer's Market.

As far as narrative about the excursion, my words are few: it was a market, and there were farmers. But the produce, ohhh how beautiful... When I went through my photos after my visit, it looked like someone had clicked the "saturation" button too many times, because the freshness of the produce makes for such radiant pictures. Not only are market vegetables healthier and much tastier than store-bought veggies, but they are more beautiful too...

Finishing Projects: Pros and Cons

Today as my professor taught us about threats to internal validity in my research class, I stitched the last stitches of the baby quilt I have been making for my friend Kokoro. Because tonight was the big night for her baby shower, I have been working hard to finish the blanket so that I could give it to her as a gift.

But I came home tonight from the shower and immediately felt a slight sense of loss. Where was my project? And what would I now do to avoid having to do my school work? The following is my personal take on the pros and cons of finishing projects.

Pros: 1) You can move on with life. 2) You (or somebody else) can enjoy the finished product. 3) It is satisfying to complete projects. 4) Creating things is therapeutic.

Cons: 1) You have to move on with life. 2) There's no sense of urgency about completing the project anymore since it's DONE, so you may have to actually do the other things you've been dreading...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Talent (or Un-talent) Show

Every Monday night we have Family Home Evening with a group of our friends. Most of us are young couples without kids and are fairly new to the area, so we morphed it into a happenin' social event and I think it's pretty safe to say that it's become a highlight of the week for all of us.

Our group started out small (three couples), and it was manageable to rotate through the assignments of preparing lessons, activities and refreshments for afterwards. At our last tally however, we were up to 14 people. Hmmm... is it time to do some social engineering and split the group? Very sad thought.

Happy thought again: this week we did a talent show. It was per my request, and with the response of groans it was only right to make it a talent/un-talent show. For example, I demonstrated (decked out in a pink boa) how to fold a fitted sheet. Marcos juggled and shared his monkey face. Actually, I was really impressed that everyone came with something to share, and it was funny, impressive, and overall really enjoyable!

Nick was a rock star in high school. He was very cool then, and he is still very cool. He sang a song he wrote, and rapped for us.

Nicole did the Jiggly Puff song. For people like me who grew up in a Waldorf School and wouldn't know the Jiggly Puff song if it hit me in the ear, I loved it for what it was, but all of the knowledgable people said that she sounded just like the real Jiggly Puff.

Jason's talent was coaching Kinsey as she counted to ten. At some point she caught stage fright and we had to bust out the cookies as incentive, but she reached "four" before grinding to a halt. Apparently, he's also taught her to count to ten in Spanish!

Kokoro made black ink and demonstrated her skill in Japanese calligraphy. After doing the character pictured here (which means moon, or month), she showed us the character for her son's name when he's born, which is "Ren", or "purified by fire".

My boyfriend is really handsome. It's amazing to me that when I first met him I didn't have that impression at all. Love really does great things; either he's getting handsomer and handsomer every day, or my eyes keep readjusting. Here he is with the Whittier's baby Corvin, looking like a natural...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Men in the Kitchen (aka how to please women)

Last weekend I was busy doing a trillion things, and with two potlucks and minimal time, I recruited Marcos' help with the food prep. Lately I have been staying current with a foodie blog that my friend Damaris owns, and I have been raving about how some of her photography looks so delicious that I want to nibble at the monitor.

Now, if you know Marcos, you know that he is a very conscientious man. Since we have been married, he has worked hard to develop an eye for design, fashion, and a knack for cooking. It tickles me to have him participate and try to care about the traditionally "feminine" things, even if some of his ideas make me wince. I have to hand it to him: I have put in much less effort to be brilliant in areas that he excels in, such as computers.

To put these thoughts together: here is Marcos' work in the kitchen while I was gone. As a tribute to his awesome Aztec Couscous salad and his idea to take a picture of his process, here is a photo of his work, which he appropriately labeled.

Caption: Lime juice, cilantro, red onion and chicken sausage ready to be mixed with the couscous, corn and beans.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

What do I do on a Saturday?

I know, I know... I need to add more pictures to my blog. I took one today of my activities, just for your viewing pleasure.

This afternoon I met with some friends, and we played drums in a parking lot in preparation for an upcoming multi-cultural event at the School of Social Work. Alejandro (on the left) is Puerto Rican, and is really passionate about a festive dance called the "bomba", so Kelly and I volunteered to learn his magic so that he would have a complete group of players for Harambee. It took a while to get used to the beat and learn enough steps that we can improvise the dance, but digging into the culture was great. Kelly is Cuban, so maybe next time we will... smoke cigars?

Fatigued by the Palin-drone...

For someone as politically "moderate" as I am on many issues, Sarah Palin's recent acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention successfully pushed me farther away from the McCain/Palin vote. Listening to her speech was one of the most painful things I have done this year.

A few months ago when Hillary and Barak were debating for the place of Democratic Presidential nominee, Marcos and I watched in awe as Hillary used all of the Washington-esque political darts on Barak and he refused to play her games. At that time Marcos and I would just look at each other and cringe at how embarrassing it was to watch her continue to play cheap games, while Barak would basically just stand by and give her that "can-we-get-on-to-the-real-issues?" look.

But that did not prepare us for Sarah Palin's speech a few days ago. I never would have imagined that a vice-presidential nominee would use as much sarcasm and negative focus on the opponent as a way of uniting a party, rather than building up her own platform and vying for change. Sadly, it reminded me of petty women without confidence who put other people down in the attempt to lift themselves up. After all that, I walked away from her speech without any clear picture of what sort of change she wants to make in the whitehouse. As a woman, I must say that at first I was intrigued by McCain's choice in running mate, but now I am simply disappointed.

And for all those who laughed at Palin's jokes about Barak being just a "community organizer" and then secretly wondered what a community organizer was, I found a very interesting response to her speech. It is a blog that community organizers created, in order to explain what they do and the importance of their job. Click here to read about the job of a community organizer, and some of the interesting comments that were left in response to their statement. It sheds light on the profession, and puts Barak's approach to the presidential candidacy in perspective.

To quote one of the comments on the Community Organizer page, "Jesus was a community organizer, and Pilate was a governor..."