Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Husband!

Happy Birthday to Gavin!

I'm an incredibly lucky lady. There is no one like Gavin, and I get to grow up with him! I love you, Gavin! Happy Birthday!

AND a special 1st Birthday to Gavin's Birthday twin, Emily!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

America's Women by Gail Collins

I recently completed a book called America's Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins.

I decided to read this book after greatly enjoying That's Not in My American History Book by Thomas Ayres, to my very great surprise. I was unaware that there existed writers talented enough to make history interesting (without turning it into fiction or course). I mostly expected to be disappointed, or insulted, or something negative. I have spent a significant amount of time considering the role of women, particularly in American society.

I was pleasantly surprised when the history didn't bore me and the authors personal views didn't alienate me. The historical stories are interesting and in depth, starting with the first settlers to the New World, to the 'bra burners', to, well, basically me. While I didn't do any fact checking myself, it seems to be a very well researched and well written novel. I will fault the author, although only a little, for seeming to whisk past, with only passing mention, some of the less honorable moments of the feminist movement as I understand it and have to wonder if this bias exists for periods with which I am less familiar.

I really enjoyed placing my female relatives in the context of the woman's right movement. My great grandmother was born in 1919 and I enjoyed traveling through the era's and contextualizing what I know of her life, as told by her (although to a very small child), with what was going on with woman's role in the family and society at the time. I did the same for my grandmother and mother and even myself!

I spend most of my current 'feminist' energy on debates about women in poker and women in engineering. This is not surprising, as I spend most of my life in poker or engineering. However, I was surprised by some of the debates I had forgotten are still going on or never knew about in the first place. I had no idea why the Equal Rights Amendment was not passed, and especially that some were still pushing for it's ratification.

**** (this might be a rant, read on at your own risk) ***

I bristled a bit during her discussion of a group of women advocating the rights of housewives (particularly the right of women to be housewives) who revolted against NOW activities by forming an organization called HOW (whose meaning currently escapes me, although I recently finished the book). The basis of the argument is that women had the right to stay at home and be housewives. On the surface this has always been my view. "Woman can do and be anything they want, be it a doctor, a fire fighter, a lawyer, a housewife, an engineer, a laborer, a soldier, etc." Although after thinking about it some more, I suppose my actual view is that "Women can try to be or achieve anything they want to be." A woman can try to be a doctor, but if she fails biology, she'll need to find something else. The same goes for every person and every profession. What I really believe, I think, is better described as Everyone should be able to try to be or achieve anything they want to be. I believe equality should mean that a man should have just as much right to be a househusband as a woman to be a housewife (even our current language usage agrees and we most often use the word homemaker). Perhaps I misunderstood their purpose, but the understanding I had regarding the HOW organization is that women needed to be protected from this scenario. I suppose that if everyone were to carefully choose a life partner (or even if they want a life partner!) based on mutual goals and respect, this would never be an issue as each couple and family could independently chose the lines of dividing domestic and professional responsibilities.

****(end rant)****

Hmm, despite an agreement with myself not to rant, I seem to have started one. While I won't dissect the issue any further, I will punish myself by adding the label rant and denoting it with the ***'s. :) In summary, read the book. And if you wanna discuss womens rights, lets get coffee, or better yet a glass of wine!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's for dinner?

Monday: Loving Hut Spicy Cha Cha Vegan fast food in Ladera Ranch with Alyssa. Good food considering it's owned by a crazy cult. (not joking!)

: Mushroom Risotto by William Sonoma Healthful Cooking. I'd made this recipe before by myself and it came out great, although for the work I swore I'd never do it again. Unfortunately, I bought too much risotto and it tasted SO good... so we decided to make it again. It wasn't as good as last time, but still good. And fresh tomatoes for an appetizer.

Wednesday: Dinner with Jen at a new Sushi Restaurant in Huntington Beach. Was too busy gossiping to take any pictures.

Thursday: Chicken Sandwiches with Arugula and Pears from Rachel Ray and Carrot and Orange Soup from Simple Vegetarian. Gavin was really happy with this recipe. It's something I probably wouldn't make again. The soup, however, is something we've made before that I really like. It's pretty simple and very flavorful. Gavin preferred the last time we made the soup when we strained it. I preferred it this way, it was more substantial.

Friday: Throwback Egg Sandwich from the kitchen of my mom. I love egg sandwiches, in fact Gavin makes one for me almost every morning. This is the nighttime version. The difference is that I mix the eggs with milk and put mayonnaise on the bread. I'm not as good as my mom. not even close. But it was edible.

Saturday: Red Velvet Cake from the kitchen of Courtney's sister and Kelly. I did eat some other dinner, but it was just as unhealthy and not so pretty so I've left it out! :)

Sunday: Amy's Special. In other words, we didn't feel like grocery shopping after last nights fun so I literally took all the vegetables in our house and cooked them! The sauce was garlic, onions, red pepper, jalapenos, spices and home grown tomatoes. I thought it was very good, but it was a bit spicy for Gavin.

Friday, August 20, 2010


The wedding was overwhelming. I started and quit several books because I simply didn't have the energy to put into really getting into them. Gavin and I had grand plans to read books together while he was in Vegas and also on our honeymoon, but none of them really worked out. However, since I've been back, I've been very excited to get back to some of the books I've been looking forward to.

One of them was Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach.

I enjoyed both of her other books and had put off reading this one because it's the last book currently available. Her books are basically a comical summary of all of the bizarre science research on several fringe subjects. The reader for this book got a bit overdone with the accents, but I still enjoyed it and finished it in three days. I noticed she has another book due out this year, so at least I have something to look forward to!.

In other disappointing literary news, I started the Fire and Ice Series by George R. R. Martin. The series itself is not disappointing at all. It's disappointing because the series isn't compete! I very much wish I had waited before starting the books. The worst part is there seems to be little progress towards completing the seven book series. I blame Jerrod almost entirely for beginning the books in the first place!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What's for dinner?

First, sorry about the radio silence. It was insanely hectic around my house for a few weeks and then we just refused to come out of Honeymoon mode. So, on second thought, no apologies for the radio silence. It's been an awesome few weeks better experienced in full than broken up to recap.

Two weeks ago yesterday, I married my best friend. I currently can't think of any way life could be better. The wedding was beautiful, and fun, and wonderful in every way. I will post all about it after I get the pictures, but suffice to say, if I could do it all over, I'd be happy if it played out exactly the same way. That's not to say everything went completely smoothly, but where's the excitement in life without the bumps??? I came away with two major thoughts:

1)I'm married to the most incredibly compassionate, loving, and interesting man I've ever meet. I never thought I could love him more, but everyday I learn something new or see something in him that both reaffirms my love for him and convinces me that I've snagged the jackpot and the rest of the world is missing out (sorry world).

2) I've managed to surround myself with the most incredible group of people. I remember having the same sensation at the shower that Cori and Gavin's mom were so kind to have for us earlier this year, but it was even stronger at the wedding. In one room, were people who had gone through great expense and inconvenience to travel from literally all over the world, from all walks of lives from writers to house mommies, to Math geniuses, to CHP officers to teachers to... etc etc etc. People with one thing in common: they love me and Gavin. It was humbling and uplifting at the same time. I can't explain how overwhelming that feeling is. It was amazing.

Again, I promise to post ALL about the wedding, but until I get the photos ready to go, I've a new topic I'm going to start blogging about! Dinner!

Okay, it's not technically new, I post about cooking most often on my blog, from my tagging log, but this will be slightly different for the next few weeks. Gavin and I were quite sad to realize we had made something we both liked and could no longer remember what it was. So, from now on (or until I get bored, o/u 3 weeks?) I'm going to post our dinners once a week. This week is short because I decided on this halfway through (and I spent the first half of the week honeymooning with my husband in the Jamaica [sick brag])

So what was for dinner?

Wednesday: Salad. After eating and drinking waaaaaaaay to much for a week, we needed to jump headfirst into healthy eating rehab. The salad prongs were a gift from my parents from their cruise to Alaska. I made my own dressing for the salad using miso paste, wasabi, rice vinegar and honey. I also used my own tomatoes.

Thursday: Shrimp Stir fry from William Sonoma Healthful Cooking. Pretty easy for a WS recipe and no weird ingredients. Also, Gavin used our new Soda Stream soda maker to make some homemade tasty rootbeer.

Friday: Lettuce Wrapped Tacos from Rachel Ray. This recipe has two parts and we'd already made the other part once. I like using lettuce for the shell. We substituted turkey for beef and the recipe made WAY too much food.

Saturday: Spaghetti Nests with Pesto from Rachel Ray (basically regular spaghetti, but still good) Making nests was not so easy.

Sunday: Vegetarian Chili and Chilled Melon Soup from William Sonoma Healthful Cooking. I was a bit skeptical of the soup, but it was excellent. The Chili was good, but needed to be cooked a bit longer which we resolved for leftovers!

So, week 1 back on the wagon is completed successfully. Wish us luck next week!