Friday, September 26, 2008

Brought to You by the Color Yellow.

There's a debate tonight. In a few hours the two Presidential Candidates will take the stage and convince us that one of them is fit to untangle the mess that the current administration has gotten us into.

And I know that it's early for me to be telling you to Vote, but I am.

Does it matter to me who you vote for? Not really. I have my opinions, but for the sake of this post, I'm going to suspend them. Just make sure that you register, you PAY ATTENTION, you research both candidates regarding the issues that matter the most to you, and you show up and vote. It's the first Tuesday in November.

Where can you register, you ask? Here, at Rock The Vote. And here, at the League of Women Voters. (I'm not sure about the former, but the latter is a non-partisan organization dedicated to allowing you (and they're not biased, you can be a man) to make the most informed vote possible. Rock on, Sista Suffragette.)

Where do some research?

Well, there are so many many places, but the most logical place is to start at the candidates sites:


And then you can go to what I've found to be the best non-partisan resource: Fact Check. This is great. These guys take all of the ads, speeches, etc from all candidates/camps and say "Yes, this is correct" or "no, this is incorrect and here's why..." It's fabulous.

For the funny, I like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. What I like about Jon Stewart is that they're a "day late" news program so they have time to gather up news clips and whatnot from previous years and play them with the current clips. What I like about Stephen Colbert is that he's more conservative than I am and he calls the audience "Nation." Also both shows are streamed free - but not ad free - on the above links. It makes me laugh over breakfast.

If you want to skip their non-political bits, then go straight here: to Indecision 2008 and watch clips. For example (chose this one because it has the distinction of being "most viewed.")

Ah..and why yellow, you ask? Because lately I'm feeling rather like people should be responsible for themselves.

Posters courtesy of Get Out The Vote 08

Monday, September 22, 2008

What to Do With a Pomegranate

First, buy one:

Scratch that. Buy two. These bad boys are only in season from September through late December, so enjoyment must be optimized.

Every time I say that I've purchased one of these lovelies, someone asks me what to do with it. They seem to be intimidating fruits... which is a shame, really, because they're yummy. But first things first - before you can eat them, you must get the 600 or so seeds out of the rind. You'll need a paring knife, a bowl of water, and a bowl for the rind.

Step one: Score the fruit. I cut the nubby bit off the top and then scored down so I've made 4 sections. Then you can easily break apart each section, thusly:

Step two, in the bowl of water, turn the section inside out and push the seeds away from the flesh.(My first section is floating in the water in the above picture.) The seeds will come easily, but you're definitely going to burst some. The juice stains, but the water will help prevent this. Something about physics.

Repeat for each section and voila! You'll have a bowl full of seeds, and another full of compost.

Now for the good part: the eating. I make a salad with prosciutto and a warm balsamic vinaigrette that always benefits from Pom seeds. A quick and search reveals that compotes, molasses, sauces...all good with pom.

My favorite, though, is this little recipe:

1) Champagne Split
2) Pama/Cosmo mix
3) Pomegranate Seeds

Pour the above into a flute (one split will give you two glasses) to taste and enjoy! This is especially festive when wrapping Christmas presents.

Doing a bit around the house...check out the embrita blog for updates! Also updated my weardrobe account. Link at right.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A little Fashion Distraction

In my Neiman Marcus book today:

Which is pimping this book.

Of course I answered it.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

They Say That Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fungus

Anyway. Lots been happening. Mostly having to do with both my boss and my husband giving me a rather gnarly cold. I'm all better now, and it was nice to have *just* a cold.

So while I was laid up reading and watching Halloween movies (it's never too early!) I dug into my Yoga Journal..and had some realizations.

1st) A woman who has trouble conceiving talks about her journey. There were a lot of parallels: she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a mom, she has a regular yoga practice (she's actually a teacher), she eagerly babysat, she had a lot of childcare knowledge...and she didn't get pregnant when she wanted. She adjusted her yoga practice, went through frustrating IUI, and finally unloaded on a friend after a night out. The friend, after hearing her out, said: "Have you considered that the timing of your conception isn't only up to you? Perhaps there's the spirit of the baby to consider. Who is to say that he or she doesn't have some say in all of this?"

I realized that this need (it's a need by now) of mine is completely selfish. I want a child. I want to be a mom. I want to teach my children how to cook and climb and practice yoga. I want to share all of the great books and music and movies with them. I want to have the house that all of the kids hang out at...I...I...I.

Of course Steve factors in. He'll be an amazing father. If his caliber as a husband is any kind of yardstick...he'll be an amazing father. We waited until he was ready and we're approaching the whole thing together.

But I never took into account the spirit of the child. Yes, I have answered overly nosy questions with "some things are worth waiting for." And yes, I was more relieved than I ever thought I would be when every single test last fall turned up negative. No one needs drastically high fevers, a swollen brain, AND a fetus. But I always thought of it as my time.

That sentence. "Perhaps there's the spirit of the baby to consider." Perhaps there is. No, scratch that. I'm quite certain that our children are having something to say about their birth. My nephew certainly did (three weeks late and would probably still be in the womb if he could.)

There was another article on meditating on the Sacral Chakra, which is the seat of creativity. What I took from that is that the root chakra is dangerously close to where I'm healing. Still healing. And that maybe some Root-centered meditation wouldn't be harmful. It might even help. So I've done a bit of research.

(image from wiki)

The Root Chakra is that bottom one. There's a lot of info on Chakras out there (follow the above wiki link) and I won't bore you with all of the details. Except to say that there are those who believe that the Chakras line up with certain organs in the endocrine/lymph do with that knowledge what you will.

Anyway. For whatever reason, today the blogger isn't letting me embed video. Sigh.

Follow this link for the SNL funny that you should see if you haven't already. (And yes, it's work appropriate :-) )

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bringing Up Baby

It's no secret that I'm chomping at the bit to be a mom. (The term is "Baby Fever") I've got the nursery somewhat planned, I've got the pre-school picked out...I've even got *GASP* names. I've employed the Military's tactic here, though: Don't ask. Don't tell. I like them, husband likes them. Your opinion is Moo. Unless you think they're cute, at which point you can gush all you like.

I did the math a little while ago and I've been actively taking care of other people's children (more than one at a time, most often) for the past 18 years. I've got a minor in Early Childcare Development....which makes me a bitch to hang out with when your child is involved. I can't help it. I'm sorry.

Anyway, saw this in the new Psychology Today:

Add this to the fact that anything a child learns by the age of 6 is hardwired into their brains..for LIFE...and I'm even more determined to polish up at least two more languages (Swiss-German and either French or Spanish) before I start popping out kids.

Since it's tiny, I'll give you the bullets.

* Languages learned before the age of 5 are represented differently in the brain than are later languages. For example, they trigger sensory associations more actively. Researchers can detect the native tongues among highly proficient bilinguals simply by monitoring neural activity as subject read.

* Learning a second language can help you out decades down the road. On average, lifelong bilinguals incur dementia four years later than others, adding to the evidence that lifestyle can be more neuroprotective than drugs.

* Don't worry if Johnny (NOT on Emily's name list) loses some English vocab on his trip to France. New research finds that it's not from atrophy of the old tongue; the new one is running interference. To better learn new labels for things, the brain suppresses previously learned terms.

* Infants as young as 4 months can tell when a speaker switches languages just by watching the mouth - a marker of how important visual cues are to language learning. But by 8 months only babies raised in bilingual households have this ability; without continued exposure some perceptual abilities wane.

* Cultural cues such as national flags can trigger different values and even different elements of your personality. Language acts as one cue: researchers find that Spanish-English bilinguals are more assertive and achievement-oriented when using English, which seems in line with American culture.

* Babies in bilingual households are slow to develop the ability to discriminate subtle differences between similar-sounding words such as "bad" and "dad." Instead, they devote attention to the meanings of words in their expanding vocabularies.

This reminds me of a joke that I heard of those Funny Because It's True ones:

A person who speaks two languages is bilingual.
A person who speaks three languages is tri-lingual.
A person who speaks more than 2 or 3 languages is a polyglot.
A person who speaks one language is...American.

Word. Time to go make myself smarter. As if I needed incentive: Mary-Louise Parker's character on the West Wing...ok MOST of the characters on the West Wing make me feel dumb. For reals, yo. So we watch. I am inspired. I do another Swiss-German lesson. And I'm considering taking some cont.ed classes in Furniture design. Because that would be rad.

And now I'm hunger. Have some sexy Swiss-German...Roger Federer:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In The Words Of Margaret Cho: "AAAAUUUGGGHGHHHHH!"

We'll start with that. Remember this blog, in which I said:

"Surely, there's something to this eating local thing - supporting local farmers when farm subsidies are drying up, etc etc. And you know where your food comes from so you've got a better chance of knowing what 's in it. No High-Fructose Corn Syrup, or, as I like to call it, Devil Spawn. And for those of you who would like to point to my Coke habit, I then point you to the fact that not only is it in a Glass bottle, but it was bottled in Mexico -using SUGAR. The only other time that occurs is at passover because HFCS is not kosher."

I saw the above commercial and...well. I was unprepared. If you watch from 1:45 - 3:45 you'll see what I was feeling as I watched. (And if you stay in that time, it's work appropriate.)

I told Husband that if we started seeing pro-PVC commercials, we're leaving the country. I hear Vancouver's nice...

I"m sure you recognize short-haired chick in the above commercial. Ironically (or not) she's played a demon on Buffy.

I'm going to leave you with another (this time not so work appropriate) clip from Margaret Cho's Revolution Tour. Ironically - both of these are from the same tour, which Steve and I saw when she came through Dallas with it. I should have heeded her warning at the time...also - it's proof that almost everything is funny if enough time has passed. And that sharing is cathartic.

PS - LOVE her outfit.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Random Sunday Stuff

1st: a warning. Persimmons = the Devil's Fruit. Oh they're tasty. They make good cookies. But, to put it in someone else's words...well, just go here. It's not a pleasant subject.

Moving on. Steve had his 10-year reunion last night. Evidence that I was off my game: no pictures. There were people he didn't remember, people he did remember, some pregnant chicks, and one girl that I'm not entirely unconvinced wasn't hired to pose as the wife of a guy who may, or may not, have had something to prove.

We had houseguests who over-loved the kitties and with whom we had an enjoyable morning.

Oh - after the previous post I had some requests (the comment from SIL and some messages from others) regarding what my camera is.

It is the Awesome. Trust me. Pools, Lakes, sprinklers. I hand it to small children on a regular basis without a worry. When I upgrade, it'll be the same one with a higher resolution. I <3 olympus.

Segueying from cameras to Photoshop...there's a movement afoot to get magazines to stop photoshopping so much. In case you've never seen what photoshop can do, this vid from Dove will open your eyes:

And finally...because I love to leave you with of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands set used with scenes from one of my favorite shows by one of my favorite writers.

You Sound Like Louis Burdett, performed by The Whitlams...with Firefly (by Joss Whedon)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Little Updates

Updated the Embrita Blog with a link to a little quiz and added design site links to the sidebar. Added non-design links to this sidebar.

Had a good long weekend. Behold:

Bubble, blowing bubbles. I love my underwater camera. For Reals.

I got video, too:

Then on Sunday there was a sleepover at Jessica's. Yes, we're 30. It's been a good 20 years since we've had a random sleepover. It was awesome. We stayed up really late and painted our nails and watched movies and ate junk food. It's going to be a regular thing.