Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Love Liz, Josh & Batman

Thursday, October 30, 2008


These last few weeks have not been my proudest. My little experiment in "up with people" is a dismal, dismal failure. The stress of the election, coupled with a two-year-old who thinks that an ear-shattering tantrum is the answer to every request, and the endless conjecture about the economy has brought out the very worst in me.

This morning I flipped off a 12-year-old boy holding a "Yes on 8" sign. I wish I could say it was an accident, that I didn't see him. But I did. The finger was intended for his father, who was holding an identical sign, but when the kid stepped in front of his dad I locked eyes with him and kept my finger up. Truly shameful.

Shameful obviously because, dude, I gave the finger to a little kid. But also because: what the fuck am I flipping people off for anyway? Did I think that my gesture would somehow convince them that, hey, maybe they're wrong? Did I think that perhaps this was an appropriate alternative to intelligent discourse? I know for certain that all I actually did was convince them further that people who support basic civil rights for all people are assholes who flip off little kids.

But just for the record, here's what I should have said (and what I hope Dash will say when confronted with people who want to eliminate civil rights for anyone):

You, sir, are on the wrong side of this issue. Standing against the right to marriage for gays and lesbians is exactly like standing against interracial marriage in the '60s (hey, you know who else had laws against interracial marriage? The Nazis. And South Africa under apartheid. And us, before 1967.) That you would picket so that your neighbors--who want nothing but to love who they love and be protected by the same laws that you enjoy--would be denied those rights is cruel and not even slightly in accordance with what your Jesus Christ would do.

I pray that we can defeat your hateful proposition on Tuesday. And I pray that when your grandchildren ask you where you stood on this historic issue of basic civil rights for all people that you are ashamed to have to tell them the truth.

That's what I should have said.

But I didn't. Instead, I let the smallest, most hateful part of me take over and I likely upset a kid and enraged (rightly) his dad. And I'm ashamed of myself for it. But what I'm not ashamed of is where I stand on this issue. I am proud to know that when Dash is older and learning about the very last group to be granted basic civil rights in this country, I will be able to tell him that we were supporters. That we, in our small way--with our votes and with our voices--helped.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Dear Dash,

When you're old enough to read this, I'm sure you'll have learned all about the historic 2008 presidential election in school. God-willing, we will have elected America's first Black president. But that's not the important thing about this election. The important thing here is the return to hope.

by Robert Indiana

In the past eight years this country and its politicians have embraced a policy of greed, cynicism, aggressive stupidity and anti-intellectualism. We have shamed ourselves in the eyes of the world and we have plunged our citizens into what promises to be a deep and chaotic economic crisis. We pretended that global warming wasn't real and we lied when the facts proved otherwise. We started a war for no reason that any sane person can justify. We made millions of complicated and unfair home loans to people least able to afford them. We became the thing that the people who hate us always said we were.

by Johnathan Hoefler

The 2000s were bleak, hard, ugly years. Many, myself included, had given up hope that America would ever resume its place as the leader of the free world. That we could ever win back the respect of other nations. That we could ever get our own self respect back.

by Scott Hansen

But then something amazing happened. A leader stepped forward who was not any of the things that we had grown used to. He wasn't cynical and he wasn't manipulative and he was most certainly not anti-intellectual. He was not self-conscious about being inspiring. He did not pretend to be everyman. He told us in no uncertain terms that we were good and fucked and that we would have to sacrifice to get through hard times ahead. He admitted--in a tough economic climate--that yes, those who have the most will have to shoulder a bit more of the burden so that those who have the least can survive.

by Shepard Fairey

This man has inspired the people of this nation in a way that I don't think anyone has seen before. College students are registering in record numbers. Artists are creating iconic images for the campaign. Volunteers from all over the country are sacrificing every available moment in order to get out the vote. It is truly an amazing thing to watch.

In six days your daddy & I will wake you up early so we can bring you with us to cast our votes for Barack Obama. It will, God-willing, be a historic day for America. One that will change our course and remind the world (and us) why we were once considered the greatest nation on Earth.


p.s. I heard something on the radio yesterday that I can't forget. It was recited by an African American man, and no doubt he was talking about the children in his community. But I think it applies to you, and your children, too:
Rosa sat so Martin could walk.
Martin walked so Obama could run.
Obama is running so our children can fly.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

We had pretty much decided not to do any campaigning for this election on our lawn. We live in a conservative area and are just starting to make friends around here, so I think Josh & I just didn't want to antagonize the neighbors with our leftist-leanings.


Until Josh noticed a "Yes on Prop 8" yard sign just a few houses away (for non-locals, Prop 8 strives to take away the newly-granted right to marriage for gays & lesbians in California). And you know, that's just unacceptable. I can not for the life of me wrap my mind around the idea that gay and lesbian couples have any fewer rights than any of the rest of us. And I think that we have a responsibility to make our feelings known. If the neighbors hadn't started spouting their bigotry, we could have kept our mouths shut. But keeping quiet in the face of injustice is not right and not what we want to teach Dash.

So we made this sign (there are no "No on 8" yard signs to be found locally, and ordering online would take too long for delivery). It may alienate us from the neighborhood. But honestly, we don't really want to be friends with bigots anyway.

If you want to make one, too, you can find the pdf here. If you want to make a big one like we did, email me & I'll send you the enlarged jpeg files.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

3rd, Possibly 4th, to Last Halloween Post for Sure

We finally finished tarting up outside. I am so into it this year!

Oh! Oh! And I made the treat bags for Dash's teachers (I did smaller ones for the kids but didn't photograph them).

Each bag had two double chocolate brownies, a homemade caramel apple (that I had to make twice since the first batch stuck to the wax paper--grr) and a giant Hershey bar that I wrapped with a picture of our little Batman.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Grill

I got a really, really great coupon from the place that did our Christmas pictures of Dash last year (buy one get two free! whee!), so we decided to do another batch for our cards this year. The appointment was for Saturday morning.

Thursday night Josh & I came home to discover that someone had replaced our perfect, beautiful child with a hillbilly--both his front teeth were broken into jagged little points. Apparently he had fallen off the play structure at school and chipped them. No one there noticed (which is a whole other conversation).

Anyway, we kept the appointment for the photos, thinking the chipped teeth wouldn't be obvious. Ahem.

Hai! Mai parents don't hold no truck with them fancy teef doc-turrs!

Changing my name to Cletus

So, if you're on our Christmas card list just know that we won't be offended if our 2008 card doesn't appear on your mantle.

(Ok, so yeah, we got them fixed on Monday. But it's still funny.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Painting Pumpkins

We had our newest friends over for some grilled dogs and pumpkin painting this weekend. Dash had absolutely refused to take his nap or even endure a little quiet time before their arrival, so I wasn't optimistic about how things would go. Turns out Dash can totes hold his shit together, nap-free, until about 7pm.

I bought some small pumpkins for the kids to decorate. I figured the big ones would just be too unwieldy for them to maneuver.

I never cease to be amazed at how quickly and completely kids can cover themselves in paint.

I also bought some Mr. Potato Head-inspired pumpkin decorations. They're simultaneously cheesy and awesome.


Oh, and I made cupcakes. The picks came from here. I think the hatchet is an inspired touch.

Cupcakes are a little bit of trouble to make so I took a lot of pictures.

You know, to show off.

The kids ate the frosting off of about three cupcakes apiece.

Then they ran their asses off.

Then, this.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

He Can Has Razberries?

Yeah, he's covered in marker & still has the remains of the skull face paint from the day before. What?

Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Build a Better Chocolate Chip Cookie

I am not a baker. I am lazy and unwilling to make things from scratch. My last attempt at non-mix cupcakes resulted in little yellow hockey pucks that were somehow oily & dry at once. But for some reason I can't explain (I think probably because fall air acts like a drug on me and I feel invincible) I decided to make some cookies from scratch this weekend. And hey, not just from scratch: these fuckers required me to grind rolled oats into flour. And then to use whole wheat flour in addition. TWO TYPES OF FLOUR!

Anyway, I did it and they were, if I may say so myself, delish. Hearty but not "whole wheat-y." They're puffier than regular chocolate chip cookies, but not in a bad way. Anyway, if you're ever up early on a Sunday morning and feel motivated to grind your own rolled oats, I highly recommend these.

Ultimate Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from here)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup natural brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Place oats in a blender and process until it turns into a powder.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered oats, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars for 3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Add chocolate chips.
  5. Roll or scoop dough into 2-inch sized balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
After I made these I was so inspired that I proceeded to bake a loaf of pumpkin bread.

Then I made the marinade for Char Siu Pork Roast which is in my Crockpot, filling the house with the scent of pork and hoisin sauce (they really should bottle it) at right this very moment.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We met some new friends at our local pumpkin farm this weekend. God I love fall. And making new friends. And cute blond babies who hug.

It was so windy I was fairly certain one of them would blow off the top of the haystack pyramid.

When I asked Dash if he would take a picture with me like this was all, "nope."

He enjoyed the pony ride MUCH more than last time.

His horse's name was Dan wich amuses me to no end.

Here's when I passed out from all the cute.

They revived me in time to see this and then I died.

Cute baby jail.

The petting zoo was pretty much goats & sheep.

He refused to touch any animals in the petting zoo and eventually also refused to stand.

There's a bunny in there.

Dash kept trying to get Lis Ana to catch him & Lis Ana kept trying to get Dash to dance.

Lis Ana won.

This is good parenting, right? Instead of trying to keep him out of the path of the train we took pictures. See, it's funny because he can't read.

It took us about 10 minutes to talk him out of getting a rainbow and then a dolphin. Not that there would have been anything wrong with that.

He sat unbelievably still, but looked pretty unhappy the whole time.


There was a country band & Lis Ana spun and danced and all the little boys fell in love and started chasing her around.

Dash was pretty chill, though. 'Cause he knew she was leaving with him.


Same as last year, we came home with not a single pumpkin. See you soon, Trader Joe's pumpkin bin.

[edited to add]

The photographer father of Lis Ana just sent these! Squee!