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Friday, May 25, 2012

The One with Some Food

I was going to talk about this article, about how Obama's swing states don't like Biden, and that could be a problem, and as I was typing, I was like, "This. . .is. . .boring." 

The blog, not the article.

So I told my cousin, Carrie, about my issue, and she was all, "I'd personally like to see more food recipes and things with food, since I know that's what you're interested in.  If you're interested in it, your readers will be interested."


I've tended to avoid food talk, because I'd started another blog with the express purpose of talking about food, you know, in case someone around here doesn't. . .like food?  Or wasn't interested.  I wanted my "personal" blog and my "food" blog.

Well, seeing as to how I let this blog sit for months at a time with no use and my poor food blog hasn't gotten any love since. . .um. . .December 8, 2012, I think I'll allow the use of food here.  And I'll cross-post with my other blog, so if you're JUST into food, you can follow that one, and if you can go either way, you can follow this one.  Or whatever. I may post stuff over there that I don't post here (Menu Plan Monday, anyone?)

I'm trying to get back into blogging regularly, and talking about food may be just the way to do it.

So while I'm not sharing any recipes at the moment, I just wanted to let people know what to expect.

I'm sure I'll still have my boringish articles, but, you know, we have to eat!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

The One with the Questionable Campaign

So, I have a Morally Ambiguous Situation™ here, and I wonder the general opinion of my. . .2 readers.

This happened.  The gist of it is that this pastor said that all gays (and lesbians!) should be rounded up and locked electric fence-style, men seperate from women, so that the gay gene would die out.

Never mind this doesn't make any sense, as I believe (but don't quote me on this) that most gay people are spawned from hetero parents.  I believe that the pastor in question is a horrible representation of Christianity, and is one of the worst kinds of people.

But. . .I don't know if the article's suggestion of retribution is the best way to go.  He suggests that everyone send a donation to some gay-friendly organization in the pastor's name so the pastor will be innundated with thank you letters from the organizations.  The author provided the pastor's address, phone number, and e-mail with which to do the signing up.

Now. . .at last count, I saw 190 people who had said they were doing this, sending some donation to a group in the pastor's name.

This is where it gets a little sketchy for me.  Is this pastor dead wrong?  Absolutely.  Does he need to be prevented from speaking in public ever again?  Yes.  Yes he does.  Is he the reason so many people hate Christianity?  For sure.

But this seems. . .over-reaching to me.  I don't know.  I can't reconcile it in my head.  What, exactly, are these people hoping to accomplish?  It's awesome that all these organizations are getting donations, but. . .why does it have to be done this way?  I can't decide if someone as douchey as this pastor is also giving up his right to privacy and not wanting to receive literature from these organizations by being douchey.

And then there were a couple of comments left on this article that REALLY bothered me.

One lady ". . .did this for a 'Pro-Life' neighbor, made a donation to Planned Parenthood in his honor. They sent him a letter of acknowledgement. I never heard another word from him about the sinful pro-choice people;-)."

Like. . .it's the guy's right to be anti-abortion, and he's being sort of harassed about it.  What if the guy had sent pro-life literature to this lady?  Would that have been OK, too?  Granted, I don't know if he made a big deal about it or if he was a jerk or whatever, but I don't. . .think it should matter.

Then. . .

"This is an idea I did 30+ years ago to a preacher at a liberal arts college I was going to. Being Southern Baptist and feeling I needed to experience his god...got a postcard from the LDS church out of a magazine and filled in his information. Four years later...he was still wondering why he was getting twice yearly visits from LDS missionaries in the dorm. Last I heard...he had at least two copies of the Book of Mormon and one of the gigantic tome with all the writings in it."

This seems invasive, too.

But it was this one that really raised my hackles:

"I had a similar neighbor and he had a pro-choice bumper sticker on his car. I went over one veeery early morning and overlaid it with a pro-choice bumper sticker. It was weeks before he discovered it."

I feel like this one, if you want to be dramatic, borders on tresspassing and destruction of someone else's property.  At the very least, it made her even more douchey than the pro-life neighbor.  Why do people feel (on both sides of the fence) that if someone disagrees with them, they have the right to mess with the other person?

So what do you think?  Is it good to harass people through the mail?  Are you in the right?  Is the only opinion that matters yours?

This whole thing really bugged me, so I want to know what other people think.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The One with the Diabetes Sisters Conference

I went to a conference this weekend with Diabetes Sisters, a non-profit that works with women with diabetes.  I came across it accidentally, and it sounded pretty awesome, so on a whim, I signed up.  I also signed D up for a new program they did called Partner's Perspective, which was for the boyfriends/fiances/husbands of the women with the 'betes.


It was epic in its epicness.  I have not, since my days of diabetes camp, been in the same room with so many people with malfunctioning pancreases (pancreaii?).

Friday night, we got checked in and did "networking activities," which closely resembled "speed dating," and where we discovered that there were people there from 20 states (as far away as California and Washington) and also Canada, and then afterward, a bunch of people went to the hotel bar, where there was space reserved. 

Since I'd never been to a bar with diabetic people, I waited to see if they were going to be Good Diabetics and just order a Diet Coke, or if they'd be bad normal diabetics and get a drink.  Luckily, we were all normal diabetics there, and had a couple drinks.  (D did come to my table with a low-sugar drink for me, which was awesome -- it was a less sugary margarita, and it was awesome.)


Saturday, the conference started bright and early with yoga and zumba which I skipped, because 7 a.m. is too early for yoga and zumba.  Then we had a full day of sessions about diabetes, living with diabetes, pregnancy and diabetes, eating and diabetes. . .all diabetes-related stuff that will obviously be useful for. . .ever.

A group of four of us skipped out on the last sessions of the day and went out to downtown Raleigh's Artsposure!  Neither of the two sessions really applied to me, so I decided to be sociable (surprising, right?) and it was actually a really good time, walking around and checking out the art and weirdness.

(If you wonder, and I know you do, the two sessions I had to choose from were "Is CGM right for me?" and "Is it time to start on insulin?"  I don't really have an interest in CGM until the new version of my pump comes out and I've been on insulin since I was 4, so neither one really applied.  I'm guessing that the insulin one was mainly for the Type 2's that were there, so it definitely didn't really apply.)

Saturday night, we had a dinner and recognition ceremony where we were all given little picture frames with a group picture in it and it was announced how long we'd all been living with the 'betes, and then it was back to the bar.

Sunday morning, we had a 1-mile walk-a-thon around downtown Raleigh, and then breakfast and two more sessions (I went to the exercise one and the one about sex and diabetes.)


It was an awesome time, because I felt like. . .I don't KNOW anyone else with Type 1 diabetes, except the people I went to summer camp with, and we aren't friends anymore.  It's lonely, really lonely to have support from people on the outside (D is literally the greatest husband I could have asked for, in all aspects, but especially when it comes to supporting me and my damn brokwn pancreas.) but if someone doesn't literally know what you're talking about, if they don't do it themselves every day, there's just no way to know.

I made some great acquaintences that I hope to turn into friends, and I'm definitely going to take part next year.

D also told me that he learned a lot from his sessions, and that it was good for him getting the perspective of other husbands who have had to deal with this crap. . .because it's not just the diabetic that has to deal with it.  It's the people around them, too.

So thanks, Diabetes Sisters, for a a full, awesome, learning weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The One with the Produce Box

I love food.

I think if you know me, even marginally, you know how I feel about food.  I like eating it, cooking it, looking at it, talking about it. . .food has so much potential.

The problem, though, is that a lot of food, especially food you don't cook at home or that you do cook at home, but that somes pre-packaged, isn't food at all.  It's a "food product." 

I drove to D's hometown last week and listened to an audio book I'd picked up sort of arbitrarily.  It's called "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto" by Michael Pollan.  Sometimes, when I'm listening to audio books on the way to the mountains, a 4-hour drive, I get restless and bored.  This book, though, kept my attention the entire way, and I wanted to keep getting in the car to listen to it further.

He talks about how much extra crap is put into food, how the "Western Diet" is most likely causing "Western Diseases" like Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease, and how people can eat the way they're meant to.  (The whole book is based on seven words:  "Eat food.  Not too much.  Mostly plants."

One of the examples he used involved Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread (which. . .I don't even know how that's a thing.)  One of his points is that people should try to eat things made with 5 ingredients or less.  Bread, at its core, has 4 ingredients:  flour, water, yeast, and salt.  Some people add a little sugar, others a little butter, but you really only need 4 things to make a loaf of bread.

The Sara Lee Whole Grain White Bread, however, has (according to this website):

Enriched Bleached Flour [Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid], Water, Whole Grain [Whole Wheat Flour, Brown Rice Flour (Rice Flour, Rice Bran)], Wheat Gluten, Skim Milk, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, Yeast, Butter (Cream, Salt), Contains 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Dough Conditioners (May Contain One or More of the Following: Mono- and Diglycerides, Ethoxylated Mono- and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Calcium Peroxide, Datem, Ascorbic Acid, Azodicarbonamide, Enzymes), Guar Gum, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Distilled Vinegar, Yeast Nutrients (Monocalcium Phosphate, Calcium Sulfate, Ammonium Sulfate and /or Calcium Carbonate), Corn Starch, Vitamin D3, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour.

Wait.  What?  Why is there both high fructose corn syrup AND sugar in BREAD?

So the point was. . .watch what you eat, because you're eating a lot of crap, even in things that should seem healthy.

This is why I prefer cooking at home.

I came across theproducebox.com, which is a CSA sort of thing.  You sign up and pay weekly, so if there's a week nothing appeals to you, you don't have to buy a box, and you get a big box of locally-grown fruits and vegetables and other assorted goodies.  (One week, we got homemade bread.  Best bread ever.)

The best part about the whole thing is that everything comes from North Carolina, and a good majority of it comes from within 60 or so miles.  It's fresh and it's local and the carrots I've had out of these boxes taste better than any supermarket carrot I've ever eaten.


This was the first box we got.  Strawberries, carrots, white sweet potatoes, kale, cilantro, cucumbers, and a type of red lettuce.  Since I like to make kale chips, I ordered two bunches of kale, thinking that one might not be enough.


This was, in fact, false.  There was so much, I ended up using one bunch of it to make kale chips and the other bunch to make kale and ricotta ravioli.

I look forward to the boxes every week, and I'm actually thrilled that I'm using fruits and vegetables that didn't come from Florida.  Or Mexico.

I would highly recommend looking to see if you can get involved in a CSA.  If not, maybe check out farmer's markets.

Because when it comes right down to it, I, personally, don't want a side of Ethoxylated Mono- and Diglycerides with my chicken salad.

The One with the Post That Got Eaten

I wrote this really awesome post about causes I feel are important, and how the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation was one that was especially important to me, and I went into this whole thing about how I support it now, etc.

And then it disappeared.

Which is sort of embarrassing, since I linked it up to a Share Your Cause blog link.  My first link up, and Blogger eats my post.

There's a comment someone left on it, so I know it WAS there, but now it says it's not available.

Anyone know why this might have happened?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The One with the Birchboxes

Two of the things I love most in life are samples and beauty products.  I have an embarrassing amount of makeup, lotions, cleansers, stuff for my hair, nailpolish. . .it's a little ridiculous.

Back in March, I got an e-mail from a website called Birchbox.com, telling me that "the wait was over!" and that I could sign up for my Birchbox subscription.

Since I'd forgotten I'd put myself on the list, I hadn't necessarily been waiting (I didn't even remember what Birchbox WAS), but when I went to the site, I remembered that you can sign up for $10 a month to get a little box of beauty product samples.

Best thing ever?  Yeah.

I got my first Birchbox in March and have subsequently gotten ones in April and May.  The one for May, I was a little disappointed with, because it was Gossip Girl themed, and I'm not into that, but I got an awesome perfume, nail polish called "Disco Nap," and a BB cream, which I keep hearing about, but had no idea what it was, that looks pretty good on me.

April's was all organic-themed, and the best thing out of that box was the salt scrub.  Apparently, some of the moisturizer out of this box smelled like a man's cologne, according to D, so I just gave it to him.

March's box, however. . .there are still a couple things I haven't tried, but I've loved everything that was in it.  It was the best inaugural box ever.

It starts with a box. . .


How freaking cute is that little box?



In it, there was a nice variety of things.  Two of them, I ended up buying in a full-sized version, one from Birchbox itself, and one from Amazon because, sadly, it was backordered on Birchbox.


This perfume smells like tiny little bunnies hopping up and down a rainbow and frollicking with unicorns.  Legitimately, it is one of the best-smelling perfumes I've smelled in life.  D's not a huge fan of it, and it costs $85 a pop. . .otherwise, I'd have bought out Birchbox's stock of it by now.


These are bits of "fashion tape."  I guess it's what celebrities use in order to wear ridiculously high- and low-cut dresses without showing all.  I haven't used these yet.


This hair elixir, I'm now obsessed with.  I bought a big bottle of it off of Amazon.  It smooths out my hair (which is prone to frizziness, especially now that I'm having it colored) and smells vaguely of vanilla.  Changed my hair life.


This is maybe the most amazing invention I've seen to date.  Stick-on-able eyeliner.  I'm a mess with eyeliner.  I rarely draw it on straight, and I can't do anything fancy with it.  Until now.  (Admittedly, I haven't tried it yet because it intimidates me, but the whole concept is awesome.)


I love how this stuff smells.  It's blemish clearer.  It clears blemishes.  What can I say?  It works.

And last but not least. . .


Stripper to go!  This is another thing I bought.  It's this little. . .finger-of-a-glove looking thing soaked in the best-smelling nail polish remover in life.  You can stick it in your purse, and if you (like me) get to work and notice your nails are looking ridiculously bad and chipped, you can take it right off. 

(Although, I'm not sure what you should do if you're like me and leave on your red polish too long so the parts of your nails it covered turn an icky shade of yellow that looks like your nails are diseased and going to fall off, but OH MY GOD, you guys, it's stain FROM THE NAIL POLISH!)

Ahem.

So that's Birchbox, and, more specifically, my March Birchbox.  I'll have another entry. . .sometime about another thing that I pay to have brought to my door through a really cool service. . .fresh, local farm-grown veggies!

*Note: I wasn't paid for this post. I pay for my own Birchbox subscription; I just legitimately love the service and the products. Birchbox doesn't know who I am. I wish they did.