12/17/09

Unhappy Feet

if you have a foot fetish....just stop now.
(i guarantee after seeing this you will think i am the nastiest person that ever walked the face of the earth.)

this is what happens when your feet get cold and wet and you ignore them:
(and just in case you are interested, it itches like the dickens)

this is what happens when you have weird shaped feet that you cram into cross country ski boots that are a little on the small side. (it was totally worth it though. j'adore le ski nordique.)

between the blisters and the swollen toes i can barely walk. i have been complaining for three days nonstop about my aliments. michael is sick of hearing about it. posting pictures is my shameless attempt to garner more sympathy.

dearest feet: i get it. i won't ignore you anymore. as a reward for your long-suffering, michael promises to treat you to many pedicures in 2010.

12/16/09

Haute Pizza (ie not frozen)

it is no secret, we like our frozen pizza. we probably eat it 3 times a week (and we will probably die of preservative overload by age 35). in an effort to actually make food (what a novel idea) and to try something a bit healthier, i decided to make my own pizza.
i call it...

blue moon
roasted butternut squash puree
caramelized onions
spinach
mozzarella
blue cheese

i couldn't keep my paws of this thing. michael is lucky he even got a piece.

so here is what i want to know:
what are your favorite ingredients to put on a pizza?

12/4/09

Cry Baby

maybe it was a bad case of pms...
maybe it was the full moon...
or maybe i am deeply emotionally disturbed person...

but on tuesday night i came home from work, made love to a bowl (or two) of parsley parmesan pasta and proceeded to cry my way through:
biggest loser
(i hate working out. 400 pounders freak me out. that jillian lady is SCARY. but, come elimination i was bawling along with everyone else. i am a cliche).

a sportscenter special
(about a kid who is obsessed with the USC football team and recently became blind).

25 pages of people of the book by geraldine brooks.
(tolstoy, she's ain't, but i've have a firm policy of being and equal opportunity crier when it comes to stories of unrequited love.)

viva la vida
(ya it's by coldplay. i know by admitting this i am going to lose my music street cred, but who am i to argue with tears...)

and then i fell asleep which is usually the best solution for the mad blues or the mean reds or whatever it is i have.

of course, a trip to tiffany's might help too....

11/23/09

Michael Makes Pie

i've been humming tunes from sweeney todd all week. ever since michael told me he wanted to make mincemeat pies for thanksgiving, i can't get "worst pies in london" out of my head (mincemeat really is the WORST kind of pie).

michael had never eaten mincemeat pie before he attempted making it. i am sure if he had, he wouldn't have tried. my first encounter with mincemeat (at age 10) had me running for the washroom as faster than you can say "seconds". indeed so disgusted was i with the idea of mincemeat that the very mention of it made my stomach turn for years.

michael was not to be deterred by the prospect of me loosing my cookies over his creation. he slaved away on his mincemeat for the better part of a week, tasting, tweeking, heating and reheating until he got just what he was looking for.

so in the spirit of sweeny todd:


michael carey's meat pies.....


and they are pretty good!

what kind of pie did you eat for thanksgiving?

Poker Face

i'm not sure how we got the idea, but last night michael and i ended up playing online poker (at the nickel and dime tables) until 2 am. we were up. we were down. in the end we lost all of our money, all five dollars of it.

how we figured we could beat the odds and win big last night is beyond me. maybe it was the fact that real salt lake beat the LA galaxy in the major league soccer championships in a shootout.
(utah guy in red. gross hair right?!?)
or maybe it was the fact that our favorite chef won the next iron chef competition.
(we are food network junkies. i like chef garces because he is ecuadorian)good things are supposed to come in threes right?

we were destined to win....

evidently, just not last night.

we are a good poker pair. i am prone to addiction and michael seems immune. i have a good hunches and he knows how to do the math. we may end up in a debtors prison as we dig ourselves into a whole, five dollars at a time....

or who knows, maybe we'll win big and go pro.

good things do come in threes after all.

wish us luck in our quest for easy money.

(who else plays....we should have a game night online...alan benson i'm talking to you!).

11/22/09

SuperNanny

michael and i used to joke that we weren't going to have kids until we could afford to pay someone else to take care of them (at the rate we are going, we'll be ready that financial obligation about the time i hit menopause). i have always anticipated working outside the home and raising a family, but i wonder sometimes about what it would be like to raise children full-time.

this week i did a trial run when i babysat my niece stella.* stella is the perfect baby: she doesn't cry, she doesn't fuss, and to top it all off, if there were such a thing as america's next top model baby edition, i'm pretty sure she'd would clean up.

so there i was, with the perfect baby. the only problem is that i was bored out of my tree.

don't tell her mom this, but i probably let her nap longer than she should, just because i didn't know what to do with her when she woke up. what do you do with a one year old?

according to my mom, you should read books to one year olds to help develop their language skills. i looked through stella's books and decided that i'd let her nap a little longer because i'd rather read my book of short stories by anton chekhov than her book of stories about a little pony (ponies freak me out).

if stella has delayed language skills, i accept partial responsibility. the idiots who write books for babies (that make adults want to chew glass) are also culpable.

my adventures in babysitting tell me a couple of things about myself:

1. i might not be up for the riggers of full-time motherhood.
2. i might not really be a baby person.
3. i am selfish as all get out

people say it is different when they are your own kids. it might be, but it might not, which is why we diligently put money into a nanny fund every month.

i have all the time in the world for women who stay home and raise their children....but are there people like me out there? people who maybe just aren't that into babies, or who don't want to look after their kids full time, or who think ponies are weird?!? tell me i'm not alone!

*oh and in the interest of full disclosure, i only watched her for four hours. it was enough.

11/16/09

Let's Play Balderdash!

excuses for failing to post:

1. in the last week i have consumed appropriately 75 cookies and subsequently gained 30 pounds rendering me completely immobile. my newly acquired canadian tire and relief society arms make it impossible for me to reach for my computer (not to mention get up).

(in my defense they were vegan cookies!)

2. i had h1n1. i had a fever of 106F. i was certain that if i put my laptop on my lap, the heat from my body would fry my precious apple.

(what makes me so mad about all of this is the fact that i spent 60 bucks on the nasty flu mist! 60 bucks goes a long way in utah, were milk only costs like 3 dollars! boston and nyc have totally wharped my perception of how much things should cost).

3. i've spent every spare moment during the last few days playing world of warcraft. yes, mercedes white plays world of warcraft (and she likes it). i have a level 60 warlock named bloodcurdle. be jealous.

4. i don' have a good excuse.

so friends, what is it that has been keeping my from my blogity blog?

10/25/09

lately

reading:
we are renovating. it seems that paint fumes have gone to my head because i have the attention span of a gnat. needless to say i won't be reading war and peace this year. blog posts are more my speed these days. i read this one on health and diet (and life) last week and have been thinking about it ever since. i don't know if i agree with the thesis, but it is thought provoking and worth reading. in fact, all the posts are

listening: i'm not the one who is going to typically introduce you to new good songs. i don't know who is cool or hip or innovative. i do, however, know what i like; stuff that you want to sing along to, stuff that makes you feel happy, and stuff that makes you want to dance. i have been listening to firefly by owl city on repeat for about two weeks. so your self a favor and listen to it now and then write me back and tell me how you think this song sounds like love (because it totally does).

watching:if your idea of a good time is watching a masterpiece theater mini-series, you will love this new HBO mini-series about john adams. michael and i started watching it last night so far my opinion is: john adams is cool and thomas jefferson drools.

eating:romesco dip. lots of it. i've had garlic breath (etc) for two weeks. so does michael. it is worth it.

what are you reading, listening, watching and eating?

10/23/09

Tour du Plate

we had a lovely canadian thanksgiving and i thought i'd better post about it before american thanksgiving rolls around. i'm going to go out on a limb and say this was the best canadian thanksgiving dinner i have ever made (admittedly not saying much).

the menu included:
chicken
we cooked the whole bird in the crockpot as recommended by julie of dinner with julie fame. it was perfection.
sweet potato fries tossed in truffle oil and parmesan cheese
hazlenut mushroom stuffing
prepared by michaela, the carey family executive chef. if you want to try something new this year TRY THIS!
roasted beet salad with arugula, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and a red wine vinaigrette.
i am obsessed with beets.romesco dip prepared with roasted sweet red peppers, olive oil, and ground almonds
so easy and so good. we served it with fresh baked multigrain bread (the nutty chewy kind).
jarlesburg and gouda cheese, almond stuffed olives, fresh strawberries

cranberry blueberry sauce infused with lemon and nutmeg
if you use blueberries you need less sugar in the sauce

butter tarts and michael's special pumpkin cheesecake
made without a recipe but this dish is proof that when starting with cream and sugar, it it pretty hard to go wrong


now i am obsessing about what to have for american thanksgiving.

what do you usually have? what new recipe are you going to try? what do you consider your "best" thanksgiving dish? we need some inspiration here!!


10/10/09

New "Job"

i pretty much thought my life would be over when we moved to utah. to be honest, for the first few weeks we were here, i was kind of lost at sea. luckily, a few therapeutic shopping trips to nordstrom rack, some hiking in southern utah, and a new "job" seem to have revived my spirits.

so let me tell you about the "job"*

i am a research assistant at the center for documentary arts in slc. i do things like hunt down news stories on immigration, read up on minorities in utah, and chat (a lot) with the fascinating people i work with. currently the center is doing research for an exhibit for the leonardo on the civil rights movement in utah.

i'm so excited about this because for months i've wanted to do something that will help me with my long term goals. this opportunity exposes me to the documentary arts which will help me develop the skills, contacts, and technical know how to begin work on my own project (soon).

moving forward is so much fun (even if it is in utah).

and in honour of the new "job" i got bangs. wow. bangs. i'm a real wild woman.

yikes.

brows need HELP.

i better get off here before i pick my whole face apart and spend the rest of the night looking into botox/lasers/peels.

*i say "job" because i work for free. i am sure my boss thinks i am both insane and desperate. (not far off the mark actually).

9/30/09

this weekend:

katie did, so i did too:
(if anyone says these look like clown costumes i will jump out of the computer and give you a piece of my mind--which is that maybe they are a little clownish....and certainly as i child i would have flat out REFUSED to wear something like this, but they were fun to make! michael's poor nieces are the victims of my need for creative outlets.)

9/17/09

My Youtube Debut.

things you should know before watching:

1. i don't sing. at 12 i took voice lessons for 4 months. i quit after my teacher would not let me move on from a song called little lamb (worst song ever). here you will notice me laughing mid song, forgetting lyrics and going terribly off key.

2. my last name is "white" which pretty much sums up my rhythm. please enjoy my oafish attempts at choreography (in particular around 1:01).

3. michael is completely responsible for the lyrics, and he "made" me sing it. in retaliation i am composing a song about health care to the tune of little mermaid's part of their world (ie something along the lines of: up where they have free medication, health care for me, if i could be canadian). if the irony of michael singing a song about longing for socialized medicine is lost on you, check out his blog.

and now

presenting

"nucular!"

to the tune of popular from the musical Wicked.

9/15/09

A Reason to Shop at Gap

remember when the gap was cool? when we just couldn't seem to get enough? when khaki's swung? when even madonna was wearing gap jeans?

when the gap fell off the cool wagon, i can't say for sure, but what i do know is that circa 2000 you wouldn't catch me dead in the gap. the jeans looked like "mom" jeans. the shirts looked frumpy. the place was just blah.

around that time i jumped on the designer jean bandwagon. the fact that most styles didn't really fit, didn't look that great, and buying them meant i'd be eating kraft dinner for the rest of the month never seemed to phase me.

i 've needed new jeans for months and given my very strong feelings about the gap being the home of frump, it was with some skepticism that agreed to try some gap jeans on during a mother daughter shopping trip.
i knew before i even looked in the mirror that i'd found a winner in the gap's new 1969 sexy boot jean. i'm not exagerating when i say that these jeans look better than my seven for all mankind, rock and republic, or james jeans. at the fraction of the cost of premium denim, all of a sudden the gap is looking kind of cool again.

who knew.

go try them on now.....sexy boot. seriously. sexy.

8/31/09

Cafe Rio Abuse Problem


3 days in utah, 3 nights at cafe rio.


i crave the salad.
(which i can eat entirely on my own in one sitting)
i like the soup too.

after three days of eating the same thing at the same establishment i could probably stand for some variety, but cafe rio is too cheap and too good and still completely novel, so maybe i should just get something besides my usual.

what do you recommend?

8/17/09

Martha's Vineyard

ferry rides, lunch with friends, long walks, a lemonade stand just when we needed it, cooling off in the ocean, rides on a lazy river, ice cream, good conversation, lots of sunscreen.

it was a good weekend.

Crush on Cambridge

i've spent large portions of my life being HATING the place i lived. when i'd complain about it, people would say well intentioned things like "mercedes bloom where you are planted."

stuff like that makes me want to chew glass. now i get that a person should try to make the best of their situation, but any gardener knows some seeds just do better in some kinds of ground. i just happen to be one of those fussy kinds of seeds...

luckily, at present, i like the ground i am in. and before we leave cambridge*, i think it is high time for me to publicly admit** that i have a big fat crush on my hood.

here are just a few reasons:

(and pardon my lame amateur photography...i didn't start playing with cameras until about two weeks ago).

1. picket fences

2. fresh pond (our answer to central park's reservoir)
i can't decide if the best part is that it is a stone's throw from our house or if it is the amazing doggie swimming hole. is watching strangers dogs play in a park as creepy watching strangers kids play in the park? if so we both ought to be classified as dog predators.

3. amazing flower gardens

4. Formagio Italian Market:
the beloved cheese and oil section. chez mc^2 we love our fats.

5. Mari Mekko:i like to go in this store and oggle this textile designer's amazing fabric prints. at $50 a yard i have yet to buy any because you know i prefer to do things like eat this week.

6. and i walk everywhere.

What is your favorite part about your 'hood?

*on friday we leave cambridge for utah. i haven't cried about it this week. this is progress.
**the first time i came to boston i thought it was the most miserable, dreary place with the rudest people.during my nyc years i'd often proclaim that i'd rather live in "deadmonton" than boston. luckily first impressions aren't always the lasting impressions.

8/8/09

Good Morning Nectarine


the fruit season has been good to me

8/5/09

Feeling Crusty

we've all read those "cute" letters to things like feet and waistlines on the shi shi blogs. i am not knocking them. i actually love them and the bloggers who write them, people like her and her....

i thought about writing some letters too.....except every time i sit down to write a letter i come out sounding more like hunter s. thompson in the fear and loathing letters than the nice, sweet, thoughtful blogger i aspire to be...

but the truth is that lately i've been feeling a little crusty. if catharsis works will getting my grievances off my chest make me feel better? here goes nothing.

dear michael: i have no idea what you put in that hamburger meat but now our house smells like a third world country. this is to put you on notice: you no longer have unsupervised seasoning privileges. also i am really glad right now that you insisted we buy febreeze in bulk.

dear utah: it isn't you, it's me. i can't handle your dry climate, or your funky culture, or how your people name their children things like Alivyiah, Tridger or Kaegrin. i'm sure you have some redeeming qualities, i'd just prefer not to be the one who has to look for them. (it is you).

dear jason chaffetz: i know you are trying to make a name for yourself in washington, but taking a page out of hilter's political play book isn't the way to win friends and influence people.

dear humidity: enough is enough. 4/4 mornings this week i've woken up soaking wet. i feel gross (and trust me it is your fault. it has nothing to do with the inordinate amount of fried food i've eaten this week...nothing at all).

dear really bad waiter at cambridge common: we have eaten at cambridge common twice in the last 7 days. both times you screwed orders up. you seem like a nice kid, but if you seriously don't know the difference between chicken fingers and chicken wings it might be time to consider a new line of work.

xo mercedes

i need to know i'm not the only one out there who feels crusty sometimes. leave your grievences in my comments....and i sort of feel better. thanks for asking.



8/4/09

A desk of your own

virgina woolf wrote that if women are going to write they need money and a room of their own. this quote is one of the reasons i like vw; she is about as practical as they come. working on our projects is so much easier when we have a room dedicated to work. a room that is wholly our own. a room where we can work on realizing our goals. (and seriously hunching over the coffee table is starting to do damage to my back....)

but since rooms these little east coast apartments don't come cheap, i think i'd settle for "space" to do my work which is why i'd really love to win this lovely desk my friend whitney is giving away: if you or a lady in your life need some work space enter her contest here before Aug 8!

8/1/09

Northanger Abbey


now i know why masterpiece theatre isn't falling all over itself to show their film adaptation of jane austen's northanger abbey: catherine morland is an idiot!

ok maybe that is harsh....

after all this is not supposed to be the story of a mature woman but a naive teenager. i should have known to adjust my expectations when austen describes her character as being "as ignorant and uninformed as the female mind at seventeen usually is." (p.12).

i shouldn't hold the fact that she isn't anne elliot against her. i mean after all, she can hardly help the fact that she is young, not particularly well educated, and inexperienced in the ways of the world.

here is the thing though. if i was going to sit down and spend some time with a friend, i probably wouldn't choose a naive polyanna type 17 year old. spending two days with catherine morland just reaffirmed my predjucides against these kinds of women.

being annoyed with people who don't take the world with a grain of salt probably says a lot more about me than it does about catherine morland or women who think like her. i'm serious. i am cynical. hmmm this isn't sounding terribly flattering.....

anyway needless to say, not my favorite austen, but it is probably better than a lot of the other drivel out there so if you haven't read it yet, it is kind of annoying but not a complete waste of your time.

7/23/09

Good Read

I just finished Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susana Clarke.

Do yourself a favour and RUN to the nearest bookstore and get yourself a copy.

This book is the kind of good that makes you want to dance around the house singing about how wonderul it is to be able to read. It is so good, you might prefer reading it to eating cupcakes (the majority of the cupcake consumption came post book completion). It is so good you will wonder why you ever thought Twilight was a book worth reading...

Trust me.

Special Delivery

last night we went to public enemies. it's ok, but then, i am generally easily entertained. we got to the theater about ten minutes before the movie started because in my opinion half the reason you go to a movie is to see the previews (who isn't dying over the julie and julia preview?)

anyway we are sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start....and all i can think about are cupcakes. a new little shop opened up around the corner from the theater and i was trying to figure out if i had enough time to make a cupcake run and get back in time for the first preview.

i didn't so we settled on a LARGE bag of popcorn (with extra butter topping--it is gross--i know-- don't judge me). by the time our movie was over the cupcake shop was closed, but i still had cupcakes on the mind.

which is why to my great surprise and delight i had a special cupcake delivery this afternoon. 12 perfect petite gateaux. they are all now gone. as you can see when i comes to cupcakes, in this house we don't mess around.


sarah you are so thoughtful, so generous, and your timing is impeccable. i'm so lucky to have a friend like you. i can't wait for a cupcake fest in person. soon!

7/19/09

And The Winner Is....

since don't have cute kids like sarah to pull names out of a hat for me, i had to resort to random.org to determine the winner.

so here we have it:


and number 29 is allison stringham!

thank you to everyone for participating. have a wonderful week. allison i'll be in touch!

7/17/09

Skin Care Giveaway! Draw this Sunday!

if you haven't had a chance to do this little skin care survey, time is a ticking! a winner will be announced on sunday, july 19th at 6:00 pm EST.

thank you to everyone who has participated. if you have friends or family who might be interested in winning $150 worth of skin care products please forward this post to them!

my best!

mrw

7/8/09

Skin Care Giveaway!

Hello Friends,

I am doing a little market research on people's skin care patterns and preferences. If you are interested in participating, you can take the short survey here.

Completing the survey automatically enters you for a draw to win a complete skin care system tailored to your personal concerns (value $150). Since only the first 100 responses are accepted, you have a great chance of winning if you participate!

Additionally, any participant who expresses interest will have the opportunity to have an individualized skin care consultation and receive free samples of products recommended for their skin care concerns.

Please feel free to forward this survey to your friends and neighbours. I am interested in everyone's opinion!

Many thanks,

Mercedes White

7/5/09

Air Show

before we met, michael was in the air force. he did a few tours of duty before starting law school, which technically makes him a veteran (and for some reason that totally cracks me up because when i think vet i think hippies from the movie born on the 4th of july and that is so-o not michael).

anyway when michael decided to go to law school they transferred him from an active duty unit to the air national guard. he goes one weekend a month to do "stuff" for the national guard. last weekend i went with him to see their annual air show.

here are some pictures....specifically for sarah who wanted to see a picture of michael in his uniform.
here i am with canada's pithy contribution to areal defense. these planes are OLD and they smell like something the dog did. oh canada, your planes leave something to be desired but your universal health care system still makes my heart go pitter patter.

michael looks mad in this picture. he isn't, but if he were it might have something to do with the fact that "someone" had been pestering him for twenty minutes to go on the airplane astro jump in the background. apparently going on an astro jump at age 31 is conduct not becoming of an officer....

oh please.

Chicago Trip

chicago made quite the impression on me: architecture, clean streets, museums, friendly cab drivers (with an endless repertoire of dirty jokes). surprise surprise, the thing that made the biggest impression on me was the food (also the reason i currently have to lay down to do up my jeans). in particular i fell in love with the pizza pot pie at chicago pizza and oven grinder.


i know it sounds gross. it even kind of looks gross...but it is heaven on a plate and I NEED MORE. i used to think people who have food items delivered across the country are nut jobs....but then i guess it takes one to know one because guess who just looked into pizza pot pie delivery???

6/27/09

Wedding

some of my friends spent a good chunk of our adolescence planning their weddings. they knew what their dress would look like, what they would use as guest favors, what colors they would decorate with and so on.

i hated men until about 24--and so i didn't think a lot about what i wanted my wedding to be like. assuming i got over my all consuming hatred of men and tied the knot, i did have a small list of things i wanted. back in those days my ultra romantic wedding wish list looked something like this:
  • elopement (which fulfills the "ultra romantic" requirement on my list. clearly, i read too many cheesy novels as a kid)
  • white pantsuit in lieu of wedding dress (NOT like ellen, LIKE christy brinkley circa 1994)
  • delicious post ceremony dinner (because nothing says celebration like an opportunity to eat my emotions).
michael and i were married on Friday. here is how i did on my oldie wedding wish list:
  • i think, technically, if you invite your parents it doesn't count as an elopement (but i am so glad we did invite our parents--i mean seriously a wedding without parents?!?).
  • the white pantsuit turns out to be one of those good in theory, bad in practice things. wedding dress shopping is hard. i gave up and bought a purple dress (accented with beautiful peonies picked out for me by my lovely mother.)
  • we had the most amazing dinner at oceanaire (i'm still full and it is sunday).

so even though i basically bombed my wedding wish list (1/3 is kinda bad)....i am so happy with how things worked out. Isn't it just the best when something works out better than you'd imagined it!

Paging Mango Itchybald to customer service...

your "mother" left this message for you:

DON'T move to san francisco....

(please)
lauren leaves tomorrow. i think i am going to have a mental breakdown. thank goodness for g-chat. laureny even though i am so sad you are leaving--i hope sf is perfect, warm, and swarming with eligible gentlemen. i can't wait to come and visit!

and seriously let's DO this cooking blog thing. it will help us keep in touch.

6/19/09

Dare to Dream

Today I have a post on Dare to Dream. Dare to Dream is a blog started by Whitney Johnson. Whitney's dream is to help other women pursue their dreams. She uses her blog as a tool to help connect, encourage, and support women as they work towards their goals. If you are interested, please feel free to read through the articles and leave a comment.

(I think leaving a comment entitles you to be entered into a draw for a $75 spa gift certificate)

6/17/09

By Popular Request...


Levian Knockoffs:

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 1/3 cup flour
2 cups chocolate chips
chopped walnuts to taste.

that's right no vanilla.

mix ingredients. chill dough overnight (i have NO idea why but it makes a huge difference in how the cookies turn out). shape dough into 12 "patties" (yes it only makes 12 but they are big so instead of eating a dozen cookies like i normally do, i just eat four). bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes. this temp/time combo will give you a cookie that is slightly crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle. They should look something like this:

(picture poached from lauren's blog)

oh and by the way....i totally won the cookie eat off...and i have the love handles to prove it.

6/14/09

Help Your Self to an Opinion

sometimes forming an opinion about issues is difficult. i'd like to say i have an opinion about the financial crisis, or the auto bailouts, or obama's economic stimulus plans, but based on the media coverage i've seen and read, i'm just confused. it is hard to find analysis that isn't overly emotional or ideological, analysis that is based on research and facts instead of just public opinion, analysis that presents both sides of an issue. intelligence squared is here to make opinion forming easier, one debate at a time. using oxford style debating (one motion, one moderator, two groups of experts facing off), intelligence squared helps inform the public about policy debates by putting experts on each side of an issue into conversation with each other. if you are looking to form an opinion on anything from is it ok to pay for sex to should illegal immigrants be allowed to stay in the usa, chances are they have debated it over at intelligence squared.

you can buy tickets and watch the debates live in nyc or if you are cheap like me you can listen on npr.

what issue do you want to form an opinion about?

6/9/09

Eat Your Heart Out Mrs Field:


so it took:

6 cups of flour

4 eggs

a pound of butter

two days and two tries,

but i did it. i made a perfect chocolate chip cookie; slightly crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. a levian bakery knockoff.....actually i think they are better. sorry sarah, no chickpeas in these (i decided to master "normal" cookies before i branch off into experimental baking).

and just in case you are interested, our cookies consumed count is:

mercedes 4 michael 4 (but if you count all the dough i ate, i'm the clear winner)

6/8/09

Bennett for Senate


for most of my life i've been a liberal; a left of center pinko commie liberal. i like my socialized medicine, farm subsidies and government owned utility companies.

never in my wildest dreams did i imagine sitting down with a republican senator and actually LIKING what they had to say. funny how things work though, because that is exactly what happened this morning when michael and i had breakfast with senator bob bennett (r-utah).

so why do i like him? while answering a question about the difference between the republican party and the democratic party senator bennett said simply:

the republicans are the party of free markets and the democrats are the party of big government.

until just a few months ago i would have said that government sponsored solutions are the best way to fix america's problems, but economics 101, milton friedman, and michael carey have convinced me otherwise. i think the free market is the answer and senator bennett thinks so too

(and for bonus points with me, he supports comprehensive immigration reform).

now i have been sitting here all evening wondering if supporting a republican makes me a republican and if i am comfortable with that label, and what i actually think about each party's position on the issues i personally care about. this is confusing stuff! i like obama. i hate a lot of republicans. where does that leave me? i'm probably getting carried away here. don't you think worrying about my political affiliation is putting the cart before the horse, i mean i can't even vote yet!

6/7/09

Commencement Day

let me tell you: harvard does it right. when i graduated we sat in an auditorium for like 5 hours while they read the names of every student who graduated from the faculty of arts and sciences. it was long. it was boring. i fell asleep. for michael's graduation we got to sit outside and munch on a delicious lunch while they read the names of all the people we didn't care about. totally painless....which is the least they could do after three looooong years of law school.

here is to the class of 2009!

michael with his parents marjean and george

me and michael

5/25/09

Veggie Tales

i was blogger stalking the other night and came across a blog about a mother who is raising her children vegan. you can link to her blog here.

whenever i think of vegan parenting i think of the baby who died because his vegan parents only feed him soy milk and apple juice. according to this news article they were recently convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. i'll be honest, i approached vegan mom's blog with some (ok enough to feed a small country) cynicism about how she feeds her family.


after reading a few of her posts i guess you could say i was eating (vegan) humble pie. this seems like a smart and competent woman. her kids look healthy (i.e. not ready for leading roles in a world vision commercial). i liked her blog a lot and found myself slightly (ok massively) jealous of her glowing skin and shinny hair. it seems like this lifestyle really works for vegan blog mom and her kids.

but....

as a way of life for MOST people, i think it is problematic. to feed your children (not to mention yourself) competently, it seems like you'd have to spend all your time either preparing food or reading about preparing food. now i don't know about you, but spending all of my time doing either of these two things would land me in a mental institution faster that you can say roast beef dinner. i have better stuff do to like watch little dorrit, play axis and allies, and stalk the blogs of people i don't even know!

even for people who like cooking, want to be vegan, and spend a lot of their time reading about it---raising healthy kids on a vegan diet seems like an uphill battle. at least that is the conclusion that i reached after reading a study about the effect of a vegan diet on infants. according to the study all of the infants who participated in the study showed evidence of protein-calorie malnutrition, iron, zinc and vitamin B deficiency anemia, rickets, and experienced multiple recurrent infections. doctors also noted developmenal delays in all of the children.

(let me know if you want they study--i have it downloaded for my school library as a pdf).

so i have decided that in mercedes land the kids are going to eat frozen pizza and microwaveable hamburgers....but reading vegan mom's blog did make me think that we could stand to have a few more vegetables and legumes in our diet. i could never be full on vegan. i am from alberta for heaven's sake. telling people you don't eat meat will get you kicked out of the province. don't believe me....ask K.D. Lang. so to ease my troubled mind i threw an extra can of garbanzo beans into the white chili we had for dinner.

and after eating it....i feel so healthy. in fact i think i am glowing.

honestly though this is kind of something i am interested in. is anyone aware of studies, in peer reviewed journals, that talk about the positive effect sof a vegan diet for children and/or adults? i'd be interested to learn more. I read the McDougal Way years ago and thought it was pretty interesting....