Saturday, June 20, 2009

Back from a long hiatus

The funny thing about blogs....are that you have to keep writing things on them....man, go figure!

Thinking back, what did I do since April when I last posted?

-Visited family in San Diego
-Visited family in Fresno
-Went to New Zealand
-Helped my company fire people
-Um...and probably more stuff that I can't remember....

Anyway, I think I'm back and ready to write some more.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Directions from a 3rd Grader

I recalled a great memory today. On the bus home, the bus driver was unfamiliar with the route and asked us which way he had to turn. We gladly told him (not so altruistically as we really just wanted him to get us home at a reasonable hour) and then it made me remember my childhood on the bus. I remembered how when we were kids on the school bus, we'd deftly guide our substitute bus driver as to which street to turn on and what house to stop at to ensure that each and every kid got picked up on the route to school and that each and every kid got dropped off safely to their homes. We were sure lucky kids, as ours was the first stop on the way to school (6:10am pickup time) and the last off the bus (4pm drop off). 

So essentially the adult bus driver was taking directions from a 3rd grader (OK sometimes it'd be a 5th grader). It's such an interesting idea that the kids would pay enough attention to memorize the complete route. I remember that when some eager kid would accidentally give the wrong direction, the whole bus would be in an uproar, yelling that they needed to turn left instead of right.  Sigh, those times were simpler then.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Money vs. Your Enviroment

Doesn't it suck when saving money pits you directly against helping your environment? In this "current economic climate" (god I hate that phrase!!) our lives all suck and we want to save as much money as possible... because our lives could start to suck a whole lot more if we, those that still have our jobs, end up losing them, or something else really bad could happen, like our loved ones could get really sick (wait, that's already happened!). 

However our now squirrel-like mentality runs smack dab into some very green (I hate this adjective now too!) habits that we've been trying to cultivate: like buying organic produce and fair trade coffee, taking the bus instead of driving our car to the commuter train, and taking Amtrak instead of driving. With food prices rising (somebody explain this one to me...) and gas prices falling some of our basics of life - food and transportation- are being re-evaluated by applying the "what is the cheapest" rule and then running with it. 

I'm all for a big fat tax that factors in the negative impact of the energy, pollution, child labor, inhumane conditions, and general harm to the whole damn planet that everything we buy and every choice we have contributes to.  Then taking that bus will never be more expensive than driving my car 2 miles and parking in a lot. Organic food will never be more expensive than one sprayed to hell with poison and then shipped half across the world. And keeping children out of harm's way will always be the best and cheapest option. 

We shouldn't have to pit our wallets against our hearts ever again!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why'd I Marry a Republican?

Good question. 

Because he's a good man and I love him.  He loves kids, is extremely kind hearted, and has a crazy sense of humor. We just can't discuss politics.  For some people, like my Dad, that eliminates about 90% of life right there (just kidding Dad).  But how many married people really have political discussions all the time anyway? We seem to at least somewhat agree on the things that really matter and everything else, well, we just agree to disagree. Well kinda...I like to think I'm a bit more accepting than he is. I'm more easy going and can "ignore" things that frustrate me. My husband however can get very upset with the liberal beasty that I am and wishes that he could transform me into a conservative princess (or at least someone who won't argue against him). But I realize that I can get equally frustrated and pissed off when I'm surrounded with overtly Republican/Conservative/(CRAZY!) opinions. 

Anyway, opposites attract right? I think the two of us together is the best of both worlds, we even each other out and create balance where there might be extremes otherwise.  We get along and focus on the things we love about each other, instead of the things we want to change about each other. That's called a marriage.

I Cancelled Cable

Cable was becoming a real drag; a waste of cash and time. My husband had bought us both new computers. Mine just so happens to be set up close to our TV so naturally we hooked up my new video card to the TV via an HDMI cable and we were set! We can now watch instant Netflix, Hulu, tons of shows with Chinese subtitles, and more! I must say that the variety of instant movies on Netflix leaves something to be desired, but I'm very happy with the site I read about:  http://tv.blinkx.com/  It has made watching Battlestar Galactica from Season 1 to present a reality.

Battlestar Galactica....that's an interesting idea all in itself. I'm not sure what the writers are trying to get at with this one. I know that the majority of them must be super nerds as the hot blond chick "Six" and her antics are pretty laughable. I actually think the series puts men in a pretty pathetic light, so maybe most of the writers are women feminists? And the whole multiple gods vs. the "one true god" thing....is this overt Christianity or are we trying to be funny? And who says that getting to Earth is going to be so freaking awesome anyway?

Anyway, I'm happy without cable.

Chorizo Makes Me Happy

I love eating chorizo. Especially my homemade chorizo. It's spicy and savory, with just enough fat. I make beef chorizo as I'm trying to use up the pounds and pounds of organic grass fed beef we bought about a month and a half ago. (Best investment in the world I'd like to say.)  Cooked up with potatoes, onions, and scrambled eggs....heavenly! 

Here's my recipe. I warn you though, just like all of my recipes the quantities are not exact, you'll have to work it out on your own. 

Monica's Beef Chorizo

1lb ground beef
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
healthy doses of chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, and chili flakes (color is key here, you're shooting for red/reddish)
salt and pepper
minced garlic (I like 2-3 cloves)

Mix with your hands and place covered in the fridge at least overnight before using. Yum!!