Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Recommendations - January 2018

1. Urvigor anti-fatigue mats for your kitchen - I got two, one for where I do my food prep/making and one for in front of the sink. I use the dishwasher but I hand wash a lot too...it's one of my thinking spots. These provide a lot of comfort for cheaper than many of the gel mats. 

2.  The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - It's unusual for me to recommend one book in my monthly recommendations because I tend to do that in Show Us Your Books (two weeks from today) but I ripped through this and it feels like a book that would have broad appeal and might be liked even by people who don't love to read. 

3. This is for you PA folks: Please check out John Fetterman who is running for Lt. Governor in the May primary. I voted for him in his run for Senate a few years back, and wholeheartedly support his run for this office. We saw him speak in person Saturday night and I cannot say enough about him. He's down to earth and knows what public service means. This is the kind of person I want in all government offices - someone smart, articulate, and humble, who realizes that very often the circumstances of birth are what put us on the path we're on, and if inequality was not a thing, we'd be living in a very different world. He's willing to do the work not just talk the talk but when he does talk he sounds like a real person. I love following him and his wife Gisele (a fierce and intelligent woman, an immigrant, and founder of several food and clothing nonprofits to benefit the community) on Instagram. 

He shows up as he is - in a button down short sleeve shirt and jeans. If elected as Lt. Gov, he will not live in the mansion because it's inconsistent with his beliefs. He's progressive and real. His life is a story of realizations based on what he's seen, then figuring out how to turn that into service. He left a six figure job to join AmeriCorps in its second year, tutoring high school dropouts for their GED in Pittsburgh before moving to Braddock, PA - a small, forgotten, run down steel town - to continue that work. He won his first election for Mayor of that town by ONE vote.

As Mayor he's revitalized the community - bringing jobs and businesses back and reducing gun violence. He has the zip code tattoed on one arm and the dates of every murder that have happened on his watch as Mayor on the other. Braddock has not lost a life to violence in over five years. He lives in the forgotten communities we talk about constantly - and knows how to make a difference there. I want him to have the opportunity to do that across this state. Please check his page out and if he's speaking at an event near you, go see him in person.

Anything you care to recommend?

Linking up with Lauren & Bre

Monday, January 29, 2018

TWTW - the one bebopping around

Friday night sushi at Ota-Ya in Newtown, Stephen & Aubrey's place, to celebrate Carol's retirement. Finally! She retired at the end of December. Baby Stephen was an angel and slept right through and Lola Jean kept us all entertained and was so good.

Saturday I was in the car by 5 am to head to the shore. I mean if you have to drop lighting off but be back by 10, you might as well arrive in time for the sunrise, right? Awesome treasure hunting too. 
We did a clean up organized by Friends of Poquessing Watershed of Philadelphia & Bucks County in Morrell Park. It was nice to have a neighborhood cleanup happen when we did not have something else to do. Holy shit, litter drives me nuts.
I rushed off to acupuncture at the Won Institute in Glenside for a 1 pm appointment. No pics, I was a chicken with my head cut off by this point in the day so I borrowed a free one from the Internets. While I was waiting for the student acupuncturist to come back in with the instructor, I finished my book. My neck is still jacked up but I can turn my head all the way to the right with no resistance for the first time since June. I will obviously continue to go back to address the remaining pinched nerve shit but what a freaking relief. Thanks to Aub for the info about this place, I was desperate to get in somewhere on Saturday.
I dashed back home to get in the shower and MFD pulled up soon to pick me up. We went to a gathering of friends for John Fetterman. This man is the real deal - more on him tomorrow but his site is accessible through the link. He's running for Lt. Governor of PA and is the kind of person I want in all offices. The hostesses, food, and company were all great. I did not wear my Fetterman shirt to the event, but I wore it earlier for the clean up. Yes, that's dog hair all over it. I have dogs.
We got home a little before 9 and I was fucking beat. These are three of the five pairs of shoes I wore doing all the things Saturday.
I slept in Sunday and it was glorious. Then I set about setting the house to rights because last week was like a tornado. I changed the sheets, did four loads of laundry and put it away, ran and emptied the dishwasher, unpacked all of my deliveries (here we have the housing for dog food, treats, cleaning products, laundry powder, green string lights because the senior ladies in the neighborhood rallied the neighborhood facebook page to decorate outside of our houses and you listen to the seniors, coffee, butt wipes, and a new Roku to replace the one that crapped out on us). I also made plenty of time for the dogs since we were out most of Saturday. I also painted my nails (OPI Back to the Beach Peach) and scheduled out my week. I didn't do that last week and it was a disaster.

Weekly food prep: Breakfast is Kodiak cake waffles with maple syrup. Snacks are hard boiled eggs, bananas, bell peppers with hummus. Lunch is quinoa with goat cheese, roasted red peppers, banana peppers, olive oil, and kalamata and green olives - it sounds like a cleaning out the pantry lunch and it is but damn if the weird combination is not extremely delicious. Dinners are what we were supposed to have last week and never did:  MFD's mom's lasagna from the freezer and ham chowder from the freezer. I also made homemade bread and power breakfast muffins to freeze.
Reading and watching episode one of the Waco miniseries and that's all she wrote. 

Happy birthday to my cousin Tiffany today, and I think I forgot to wish our Derwood a happy birthday on here (he was 1/11), my fab sister in law Aubrey (she was 1/13), and my girl AEB (she was 1/21). I have been the worst lately. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, January 26, 2018

Petty annoyances

Today it was a toss up between a quick list of things I love and a quick list of things that annoy me. And here we are.

Don't get me wrong - I use the adjective petty in the title, but some of the below can really piss me off given the correct combination of lack of sleep/caffeine/food/general good spirits. Ask MFD. However in the grand scheme of life, eh. Infinitely survivable.

Petty annoyances. Let us begin. I'll go first.

-When memes or ecards are awesome but have spelling or grammatical errors. Come on. I can't share that.

-Hearing the phone conversations of others

-Dog owners who don't clean up after their dog on walks

-Forgetting to do something

-When the puppy absconds with the gloves out of my jacket pockets and I keep forgetting to find them and put them back in so I freeze my ass off on the train platform and carrying my iced coffee into work

-The 24 hour news cycle

-Tangled necklaces

-Needing to put gas in the car on the coldest day in weeks

-Excess packaging on something I buy

-Made up abbreviations like inspo for inspiration. Why are magazines doing this? Technically, it would be inspi - we don't abbreviate Instagram to Insto instead of Insta, do we? No. We do not.

-The people who are all I'm sick but then go out to eat and to various other public places because they are sick of being stuck in the house damnit, which really translates into "sick of keeping my germs to myself, now you can all touch what I touch and breathe my air and suffer and die too."

-Calling every garden variety cold or illness you can still function through the flu. That's not what the flu is.

-Inefficient use of time so that it becomes a problem for other people

-Explaining something more than once

-Adult zits. I paid my dues, acne.

-Shitty wifi

Now you.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - if I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me

1. All I have eaten this week is bread and pasta. No regrets, but for the sake of transparency this is what I look and feel like today.

2. Wednesday morning I woke up tired. I got a shower and was toweling off when I realized I hadn’t used soap. Not an auspicious start to the day.

3. I haven't watched the NFL in a long time for a variety of reasons, but it is exciting to have your hometown team in the Super Bowl. Not exciting: watching everyone pull their dick out like they are the biggest fan ever and scoffing at people who are simply caught up in the excitement. Sorry, there is no award for biggest fan. Please take several seats on your couch. ANYWAY if you are looking for Eagles gear, because, like me, you have none and need to wear it to work the Friday before the Super Bowl for a staff photo opp, please consider shopping Lane Johnson's collection - all proceeds are donated to the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. You can also buy underdog shirts through the NFL because at first those greedy dicks were not giving ANY money to charity but they were shamed into it and now 100% of the proceeds will go to the Fund for the SDofP. There are always your street corner peeps and your local t-shirt jawns too - their proceeds don't go to charity, but we've all got to eat. If you've gotta have that underdog mask, you can get it at Oldiescom - stock was expected in yesterday - and 65% of the profit goes to the fund for the Philly School District. If you never watch football or if you don't regularly root for the Eagles but are going to in the Super Bowl - have at it. Don't let any crotchedy super fan ruin your fun.

4. I have the worst neck pain and it's been going on for months, radiating down my back and arm and up over my head. The chiro, massages, and daily stretches haven’t even touched it. I ordered a water based pillow that's supposed to arrive today. I finally went to the doctor yesterday and she thinks it's a pinched nerve. I should have gone sooner. Acupuncture, here I finally come.

5. Full steam ahead on shore house booking. I only have three weeks left to rent: one in mid-June, one in early July, and the last week of August, as well as Memorial Day Weekend. We're going down to check on the house this weekend and drop off new lights that are getting installed on Monday. That quick visit will only intensify my desire to be back down there every weekend. Soon. Soon.
6. Based on what I see online, people are still uninformed about who exactly these Dreamers are and what they can and can't do or get in this country. Please read below and call your rep to demand a Clean Dream Act NOW. If you read the below you will see there is no harm in having them here, there are actual GAINS. If you read below and still want them kicked out back to countries they have no knowledge of because of a misguided notion that they’re taking something from Americans, man... Based on what I saw in person Monday night at a town council meeting about a local police force in Bensalem, PA, (the town next to me) wanting to be part of ICE's 287g program, people hate brown immigrants but are okay with white immigrants. What I personally encountered there literally made my hair stand on end. I felt like it was 1950 and I was standing at a water fountain in the south next to a hateful white lady only she was wearing a Build the Wall pin instead of standing under a No Coloreds sign. It’s racism. When will people see that?
7. MFD is running for state rep of our district, the 170th. You know I can't share something here without being authentic and that won’t change now. I am not stepping behind the campaign glass. It’s been easy for me to urge people to run for office my entire life, but it was not easy to accept that my husband was going to do it. Not because I don't believe in or support him and not because I don't think he will be great and truly work hard to make his community a better place - he does that now as a regular guy - but because as a spouse this is an exposed and vulnerable place to be. I remember looking at a piece of mail from the current representative's supporters before Election Day that was a personal attack against the last democrat who ran for the position and I felt absolutely sick to my stomach. That's the shit I hate, you know? And everyone says well that's politics. Bullshit. If you can't beat someone on merit and resort to personally attacking them and their families, you shouldn't be in the race and you sure as shit do not belong in government. That sentiment times 1000 in this current political climate. Don't worry, me being me - and a condition of him running was that I would still be out here being me and not propped up as the candidate's wife who smiles and shuts her mouth (can you imagine?) - I will not be shy about discussing anything like that. We are regular people living regular lives-the kind of people I want in government. I think people fear getting involved in politics because there's this idea that you have to go behind a wall and do and say everything perfectly. Hey world, that's fucking impossible because no one is perfect. Maybe we got where we are because we bought in too much to the polished person with the right sound bite instead of expecting them to roll up their sleeves and work alongside of us to make this world a place that’s good for all of us. If you're so inclined, please like Mike Doyle for PA Representative on FB and follow Mike Doyle for PA on Twitter. Don't worry, Shit MFD Said will still be happening. We're still here, the regular people we've always been, involved in our own personal thermostat and toilet paper wars with MFD telling me at 10:12 pm Tuesday night that he is announcing a candidacy live from the living room the next night at 7. This is us. Here we are, just like you. Put regular people back in politics. Let’s make that a thing.

8. Wins: This week there was a big PA Gerrymandering win - this will fix the districts this time around, but not the overall process, so if you are a PA resident please urge your representatives to enact Senate Bill 22 and House Bill 722 to ensure fair districts going forward. If you don't know who your rep is or the difference between State House and State Senate, contact me and I will help. This benefits all voters across the political spectrum-not politicians. Voters. Also. The Larry Nassar trial. WARRIOR WOMEN facing this shitstain on humanity. Judge actually giving justice. Men crying about her being mean. STFU he sexually abused over 160 young girls.

9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week:

What's cooking with you?

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Be you. The world will adjust.

I could write forever about the value of being yourself in all of your imperfect, messy glory. I have in the past (you can search be yourself in the search bar on your right and a bunch of old posts will pop up) and I'm sure I will again. 

But this bag says it all, doesn't it? No expounding.  No bullshit. 

Be you. The world will adjust. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

TWTW - the one with the women

The quest for an acceptable pizza place near our house continued Friday night. We tried a new to us pizza place (Originals). Pickup only but if we want pizza without traveling to Penndel Pizza or Brothers, we'll probably get it from there going forward. I painted my nails (OPI Black Tie Optional). We were asleep on the couch by 9 pm and it was literally a struggle to get upstairs and into bed. Wild Friday nights, man.
Saturday morning we were on a 9:18 train headed downtown. We stopped at my daily DD and the library - Debbie even got a library card - so I could pick up books and go to the bathroom since the library was conveniently at the start of the Women's March.
Estimates have the crowd at 60,000 people in Philadelphia and much more in cities all over - media coverage of the anniversary marches have been largely absent. I was upset that the Philly organizers initially agreed to checkpoints and searches for entry, which is essentially permission to stop and frisk at will. I was then upset with fellow white women who were all who cares? We need to care - we don't ever think about being stopped and searched just based on how we appear. We need to listen to and understand the concerns of women of color and the trans community and not dismiss things as not a big deal because they have never been a big deal to us personally. ANYWAY the crowd was strong but tired. I'm tired. But, onward.

There's work to do: get people registered to vote, get out the vote for candidates who support your values, and make a difference in your communities in the meantime. Keep showing up, keep speaking out, and keep taking care of yourself so you can be in it for the long haul.

That's all, right?

Debbie and I were on our own a lot running into MFD here and there, as well as Angie plus Jennifer and Joanna from high school and some of MFD's activist peeps.
When Debbie and I were walking back to the train station, I loved how everyone was threading their signs through the sidewalk barriers. Then I freaking ran into my friend Laura from college on the train platform, which is nuts. It was awesome to see her in person even for a few minutes.
I picked Bruce up at Camp Bow Wow, then retired to the couch to chill for an hour before heading back to the train station to get MFD - he stayed in town to attend the Poor People's Campaign event at the Friends Center, a continuation of Dr. King's work.
Less than an hour later we were back in the city on South Street for a beef & beer to benefit a friend's dad. It was nice to see everyone. I didn't have the flash on my camera so, blurry. I both got MFD to sing along to the Indigo Girls on the way home and to listen to my lecture on Bruce Springsteen and the working man. Winning.
Sunday morning I picked up flowers (shitty selection this week) and veggies and got gas and other not fun shit. Bruce attempted to drag his dog bed upstairs and I watched that and laughed for a good while.
I was worn out but nevertheless I persisted to get my ass to the Women to the Front Doylestown Rally. I like how a lot of things progressives are doing in Doylestown include a youth element, this rally included. I decided to go with no sign since my shoulders and neck were killing me from Saturday, plus I was bringing Bruce Springsteen to get him out in a crowd. Well I ended up holding him in the crowd, but he was a big hit and it wore him the hell out.
Running and emptying the dishwasher, laundry, blah blah blah and a dog walk rounded out Sunday. And the Eagles game. I stopped watching the NFL years ago but even I watched that.

Weekly food prep: Breakfast is breakfast burritos from the freezer. Snacks are pineapple, apples, or noosa yogurt. Lunch is frozen turchicken burgers over rice. Dinners are pasta with broccoli/leftover chicken/sauteed mushrooms/capers and MFD's mom's lasagna from the freezer. Busy weekends like this one are why I always have shit in the freezer that's ready to go.

Being that I am mostly introverted, I need about a week to recover from all of the social interaction. How was yours?

Friday, January 19, 2018

Uncelebrated successes

I'm not talking about the big promotion or the big race or the big win - I'm talking about the small fry stuff - the unsung hero happenings that build a good day.  

For me:

Seeing three dryer balls in the dryer, which means no rogue wool ball is hiding in a sleeve or pant leg

Getting Gus outside before he walks and poops excitedly throughout the house

A night in my living room without Game of Thrones 

Going into a store or to a website to purchase a specific item and finding out it’s on sale 

Changing the sheets without having to shoo a dog or three off the bed

Sailing through every light because they’re all coming up green

Stepping onto the train 10 seconds before the doors close

Making the right call on the beach when it starts to rain - to stay thinking it will be a quickly passing shower or leave thinking it will be a downpour and have those things happen

Finding a new pizza place close to home

A big chore taking less time than I thought it would 

Plucking a book off the shelf without reading anything about it and loving the hell out of it

No unmatched socks after laundry is put away

Trying a new product and loving it

Using all the fresh food before it starts to turn with no waste

Happy Friday! What are your quiet fist pump moments?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thursday Thoughts - from the churches to the jails tonight all is silence in the world

1. I listen to the Clarence Clemons sax solo on Jungleland once a day and I think to myself hot damn. I say hot damn. 

2. Things I don’t get this week: the appeal of matte cars, why you would walk down the street with your phone in front of your face on speaker and yell into it, why my phone needs me to tell it to always capitalize I, how two of us use so many dishes. 

3. A lesson: I called for a massage appointment and my regular lady was off but I was insistent on getting my ass in there Tuesday. Tuesday night I got a massage where the nice woman rubbed me down very lightly with a vat of oil for 50 minutes despite me requesting an increase in pressure twice. I am not sliding down a slip n slide sans water so who the hell needs to be rubbed down in a vat of oil? If my impatient ass could have waited another day... 

4. Reese’s peanut butter eggs (the best shape) and Cadbury creme eggs are in stores for Easter. It’s January. I know this because I bought a Cadbury egg after my massage disappointment and ate it like a hungry wildebeest.

5. Bruce has his Camp Bow Wow interview today so I'm working from home to take him to that on my lunch hour.

6. Sara from Journey of Doing is in Philly for work so I was happy to meet up with her yesterday at Bluestone Lane attached to the Warwick, my favorite hotel lobby in Philly.
7. I read a non-fiction book this week. I know. Me. Nonfiction. This year it feels more important than ever for me to understand how we got here, what I have actively or passively done to contribute to that, and what I can do going forward to help dismantle the systems like the one discussed in The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. I learn by reading so back to the school of mind expanding books I go.

8. Super pumped for the Women's Marches this weekend. Let one motherfucker ask why people feel the need to gather together in our streets. Just one. Info on the Philly March here and the Doylestown Women to the Front Rally here. Both sponsored by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Find an anniversary March near you here.
9. Reminder:

10. E-card of the week:

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