Friday, April 29, 2011

What I Read This Week

Apologies for going MIA there for a hot minute. Three work events in a week's time made finding time to put posts together a bit of a challenge. At least I was able to keep up with (most) current events, mostly thanks to trusty Twitter.

Not included here, but all over the news elsewhere, were stories of the tornadoes that tore through a lot of the deep South, particularly Alabama. I'm sending lots of thoughts and prayers in their direction and am feeling particularly thankful that my younger cousin, a freshman first-year at 'Bama, is safe, sound, and on her way home.

Anyway, here's just a sampling of what I came across this past week.

CBS Reporter Recounts a 'Merciless' Assault by Brian Stetler

Poor Jane's Almanac by Jill Lepore -Interesting read contrasting the lives of Benjamin Franklin and his younger sister, Jane.

The Culture of Greener Grass by Amber Leab (via Feministing) -On why saying things like, 'Oh! You're so skinny. I'm jealous,' aren't really appropriate.

Why the Fat Guy Should Lose His Privilege by David Sirota

Will.I.Am Gives the Wrong Message on Safe Sex by Sophia, Abortion Gang

Federal Court Condemns Shackling, Vindicates Women by Rachel Roth

More Pregnant Women Dying in CA, Says Study by Jen Phillips -A particularly frightening stat from this study? In 2004, 82% of women in CAhad insurance that covered maternity services. Today, only 22% do.

The New Anti-Abortion Math by Gail Collins

Illinois Legislature Takes Steps to Prevent a Rapist From Being Your Gyno by Alex DiBranco

Common Cause, Different Perspective: The Generational Divide of the Pro-Choice Movement by Eleanor Hinton Hoytt

Caitlin Flanagan Calls For the End of Fraternities by Chloe Angyal

The FBI's Definition of Rape: Older Than a Lot of Things by Annie Shields -It hasn't changed in 82 years. For real.

Newsflash: Indiana Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood by Dahlia Grossman-Heinze -In related news, the North Carolina House Appropriations Committee approved a budget that included a special provision doing the same thing. It's moving on to the full House for a vote, likely next week.

Would You Like a Keepsake Photo with That Abortion? by Tim Murphy

Long Island Murders: Sex Trafficking Ring Involved? by Caroline Heldman

No Injunction Issued for Threatened Abortion Doc by Barbara Leonard

Delusional Congressman Says Planned Parenthood is 'Neutering' Men by Irin Carmon 

Vigil Held Monday for Md. Trans Beating Victim by Amanda Hess

Robertson: Left Backs Abortion Rights to Make Straight Women More Like Lesbians by Brian, Right Wing Watch -This and the next one could really go in either category (hooray, intersectionality!), but I've stuck them here

I Support Abortion Rights... Because I'm a Lesbian! by Michele Kort

Kate Middleton: Donate to Anti-Bullying Org in Lieu of Wedding Gifts by Hannah Clay Wareham

PR's 'Gay Guru' Helps Celebrities Come Out by Alex Cohen

New York Grants Inmates Same-Sex Conjugal Visits by Clarknt67, Pam's House Blend

Sally Kern: Minorities Earn Less Because They Don't Work As Hard via The Huffington Post -Anyone else find it terrifying that this woman used to be a teacher?

Picking at the Scab by Paul Waldman -Alternate title? 'Surprise! Rush Limbaugh is Pretty Racist'

CAM Raleigh Opens This Weekend in the Warehouse District by Jedidiah, New Raleigh -I can't wait to check this out!

After 40 Semesters, a Part-Time Student Sees the Finish Line by Eric Hoover

Have a fantastic weekend, y'all! I'm looking forward to fantastic weather, dressing up for a royal wedding viewing party, and catching up on lots and lots of sleep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

From the Farmers' Market

It seems that the theme of this Saturday's market was greens, which makes sense, as it is spring time and all.

I guess I'd forgotten how bountiful the market becomes this time of year through the summer, as well as how crowded it gets, since I was surprised at how busy it was around 8:30am.

Last year I'll admit that I became a bit competitive about getting to the market at the crack of dawn (ours opens at 7am during the spring and summer) to make sure that I wouldn't miss out on anything that was in short supply. This time around I'm trying to take it a bit easier, mainly because I'm starting to value sleep more and consider being able to sleep in past 7 on the weekends a minor miracle. We'll see how this strategy goes as the season progresses.

Anyway, here's what I picked up this weekend:

turnips, ranunculus, arugula, strawberries, broccoli, lettuce x2, basil, asparagus

such beautiful lettuce (from Whitted Bowers Farm)

amazingly vibrant strawberries (also from Whitted Bowers)

Oh! And I almost forgot that our CSA pick-up starts tomorrow. I'll keep you posted as to what we receive (knowing my luck, it will be more greens- not that I'd be complaining!).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Music Monday: Adele

Yesterday I spent more time than I should admit listening to Adele's newest album. It was definitely time well spent.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What I Read This Week

So much news this week and, unsurprisingly, most of it is sad, depressing, and/or enraging. Feel free to read the last article first (on why people don't believe in science/facts) to gain more insight on the thought process behind some of these stories... 

Gender-Related Things:
Roe v. Wade: Is It Still the Law of the Land? by Dahlia Lithwick

Getting Away with Murder on Long Island: The Press, The Police, and the Killer(s) Who Dump Bodies Along Ocean Parkway by Nancy Goldstein

Who Is the "Mystery Group" Who Wants a Direct and Immediate Roe v. Wade Challenge? by Robin Marty

Behind the Backlash: What's So Scary About Deconstructing the Gender Binary? by Jos Truitt

Jocelyn Elders Puts Congress on Blast by Cynthia Gordy

After 67 Years, Ala. Lawmakers Apologize to Woman by Associated Press

Nervous Nellies: Girls Don't Start Out More Anxious Than Boys, But They Usually End Up That Way by Taylor Clark (via Feministe)

Vibrators Carry the Conversation by Hilary Howard

Female Writers in Late Night by the Numbers by Statette

LGBT Links:
The Social Environment and Suicide Attempts in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Youth by Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Ph.D. (via Equality NC)

Gay Suicide in the U.S., By Region by Jeffrey Fishberger, M.D.

Gay Students Fight for Acceptance at Religious Colleges by Margaret Hartmann

Meet the Same-Sex Parents Next Door by Patty Onderko

Chart of the Day: Gay Marriage Goes Mainstream by Kevin Drum

Roommate Indicted in Rutgers Student Suicide by Aman Ali

Remember the Asshat Legislator Who Tried to Repeal LGBT Rights in Montana? by Joe Jervis, Joe. My. God

Poor Who Lost All in NC Tornadoes Face Hard Future by Brock Vergakis and Mitch Weiss

Only Little People Pay Taxes by Dave Gilson

Dreaming in the U.S.A. by Kristina Rizga

Legislating Because They Can? by Laura Leslie

Swarming Bees Kill Elderly Texas Couple by Brad Lendon (which led to me spending far too much time reading about Africanized honey bees)

The Science of Why We Don't Believe In Science by Chris Mooney

What about y'all? Any favorite stories, posts, etc. from this week?

Kate and I are off at a music festival today (ah, the beauty of scheduled posts!), which is pretty much my idea of what heaven might be like (well, minus the weird, long jam-band songs, that is), and then I plan on spending the rest of the weekend relaxing, exploring thrift stores, and hitting up church for Easter. Since we're UU, I'm continually fascinated to see how our minister addresses Christian holidays, since only some of our congregation identifies as such.

Anyway, I hope that you have a most stellar weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Hate Crimes, Real or Otherwise

So, last week, this happened. People (myself included) were shocked, saddened, outraged. People rallied support around this student and events, both in real life and on Facebook, were planned.

And then, almost as quickly as we heard that a hate crime had occurred in our community we found out that, well, it hadn't.

It feels strange to say this, but to be honest, I wasn't really upset. Of course I understand why folks might feel duped, but personally I just feel concern for this student. I hope that he's able to get the help that he needs to be in a better place. I also still feel, very strongly, that dialogue about hate crimes and how they are addressed on college campuses is much-needed and should still occur. The fact that this particular event wasn't a hate crime doesn't change any of that.

Having worked for an organization that focused on sexual violence prevention and education, I am a big proponent of believing people when they come forward about having experienced violence or abuse of any kind. It's common to hear people who work in this field use the phrase "you will be believed," and that is completely true. Because really, when someone experiences something terrible and traumatic, that's really what they need to hear.

Yes, this may mean that in situations like this week's that it turns out that I believed something that ended up not being true. But, a majority of the time, it means that people who have experienced something horrible will end up getting the help and resources that they need. While I'm not trying to say that sexual violence is necessarily the same thing as a hate crime (although sexual violence can certainly be part of a hate crime), I do think that both of these experiences may involve a lot of guilt, shame, and fear that could influence someone not wanting to report what happened to them.

Sure, there will probably be some people who will point to this incident and say "oh, this person lied about a hate crime, so therefore they don't happen or I don't need to believe it when I hear about another one." Now, I'm not going to make a blanket statement here and could also be wrong in saying this, but I can't help but think that the people that would say something like this are likely insensitive idiots who would have thought this anyway. People will believe what they want, regardless of any facts or evidence to the contrary.

I applaud Quinn's friends who believed his story and encouraged him to seek help. I hope that UNC-Chapel Hill (as well as lots of other colleges and universities) continue to have conversations about how to respond to hate crimes and other bias incidents on their campuses. Most of all, though, I hope that Quinn and other people in similar situations get whatever help they need and are treated with compassion along the way.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I'd Wear: Work Event

Tomorrow we have a big fundraiser for work. It's just after 5, though, so lots of people will be coming straight from the office, which means I need to look dressed up but not too formal.

While I'll definitely be relying on items already in my closet, if I had the time and $$$ to go shopping in real life (as opposed to internet perusing and posting the things I love on my latest obsession, Pinterest), this is totally what I'd wear.

A fun statement necklace adds interest. This one is DIY, but I've seen similar ones recently at several stores.

This dress is so cute but also completely work appropriate (well, as long as the hemline isn't scandalously short, that is). The parakeets are my favorite part (did I mention that some are wearing little glasses and bowler hats?) .

Although I've shied away from heels in recent years, since I 1) am already plenty tall, 2) am admittedly a complete klutz, and 3) haven't found many that are even remotely comfortable, I've recently found myself lusting after shoes with wedges. These look like they'd be sturdy enough for all of the mingling, as well as the running around, I'll be sure to be doing at the event. Plus, I think that these totally elevate (pun intended) the rest of the outfit to make it a bit more dressy than would flats or sandals.

Source: via Hillary on Pinterest

Now I just need to find an outfit in my own closet that is even half as cute as this one...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From the Farmers' Market


I was doubtful that we'd be able to make a stop at the farmers' market this Saturday, since my main focus was running that 5k I'd mentioned. It was a pleasant surprise that the nasty weather from yesterday's post managed to stay away until a few hours after the race ended. It was cloudy, windy, overcast, and humid as all get out, but definitely better than torrential downpours or a tornado! We finished in 38 minutes (my goal was just to make it in 40 minutes, especially after I saw how many hills were on the course!) and ran the entire time, so I was a very happy camper.

On the way home, I remembered that it was still early enough for the market to be open, so we swung by (Kate came with me, even though I'm the one that typically does the food shopping in our house) to pick up a few items for the week ahead.

kale, asiago cheese, turnips, spinach, strawberries, garlic greens, and Swiss chard

Kate loves making Indian food and volunteered to make chana palak (basically, lots of greens with garbanzo beans, which we serve over rice) this week, so we took full advantage of all the different greens available. We also picked up some turnips to add even more veggies to the meal.

For a treat, we also picked up some asiago cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery. It is so incredibly good (as are all of their cheeses, really). I'm enjoying adding it to salads along with tempeh to make them a bit more substantial.

As a side note, isn't the Swiss chard so pretty? I love the vibrant colors of their stems a whole bunch (ba-dum-ching).

Monday, April 18, 2011

On Tornadoes

So this past weekend, as seen above, the weather got more than a little crazy down here in North Carolina.

Thankfully where we live (near Chapel Hill) was spared of anything more than some strong winds and loud thunderstorms, but severe damage happened in plenty of other areas, including Raleigh, our capital city. It was strange to be sitting at home, constantly checking my phone to see if we needed to take cover and then waiting to hear reports from folks in other areas.

All told, there were about 62 tornadoes that touched down across the state, and over 20 lives that were lost.  Shaw University, a historically black college/university (HBCU) in the downtown area, sustained so much damage that it has closed for the remainder of the semester. Raleigh City Cemetery, a historic landmark that contained lots of very old oak trees, didn't fare well either, as shown in this video. More pictures of the storm and damage across the state can be seen here.

Having lived and worked in this area (including right near where the video was taken), it's a bit surreal to see photos of the devastation posted online from places with which I'm familiar. It seems as if these things are supposed to only happen 'somewhere else,' not to one's own community. Intellectually I know that this isn't the case, and that tragedies can happen anywhere, to anyone, and at any time, but deep down it seems there's a little part of me that feels otherwise.

Clearly I'm still paying attention to reports on this and will be sending thoughts and prayers to those impacted. I'm also searching for ways to help, at least in some small way. This Twitter feed has posted some great opportunities, so if you're local definitely check it out.

That's all for now, except to say that I'm feeling extremely fortunate that Kate and I, as well as all the friends we've heard from, are safe and sound. It easily could have been otherwise.

Music Monday: The Weepies

I love The Weepies. A whole bunch. Kate and I took a trip down to Atlanta last fall to see them in concert along with Beth Amsel and it was definitely worth the drive. This is one of my favorite songs off of their newest album, and the video is even more adorable than I would have imagined (it even includes a little cartoon lesbian couple!). What a perfect way to start off the week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What I Read This Week

It's been a whirlwind week, but I still managed to squeeze in a few articles here and there.

Here are some of the highlights!

Gender-Related Things:

The Best of Anthony Weiner Being Awesome by Dorsey Shaw (Oh, how I wish this site would let me embed the video but trust me, it's awesome)

Planned Parenthood Fight Comes to N.C. by Michael Biesecker

New Line of Tween Panties Promotes... Abstinence? by Annie Shields

Jailing Women Who Try to Commit Suicide by Jill Filipovic

A World Without Abortion by Kaitlyn Huegel

Half the Sky: How China's Gender Imbalance Threatens Its Future by Mara Hvistendahl

Now the GOP Is Going After Sexual Health and the Pill-- And the Battle is Just Beginning by Amanda Marcotte

Without This Ring, I Thee Wed: Reactions to Prince William's Ringless Wedding by Eric V. Copage

The Evangelical Sex Disconnect by Sarah Posner

LGBT Links:

Brazil Stadium Turns Pink After "F*ggot" Chants Shock Community by Matt Algren

A Gay Former N.B.A. Player Responds to Kobe Bryant by John Amaechi

There's also a local story that got national attention, which I followed more than I probably should have, but I'm saving that for a post of its own, which will be up when I get my act together and have the time to finish it.

And on that note, I hope you have a most blissful, relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

From the Farmers' Market

My visit to the market this past weekend wasn't quite as fun as the week prior, mainly because it was super chilly and raining. The weather here has been seriously erratic this spring!

Anyway, I ended up with some great, seasonal finds...

lettuce x3, green onions, asparagus, tulips, strawberries, turnips, spinach

While I'm not typically the hugest salad fan, as they can feel a bit too much like 'diet food', I can't get enough of them during the spring when the lettuce is so fresh and crisp. We've been rinsing the leaves, throwing them all in the salad spinner, chopping them up, and then storing them in the spinner for the week to ensure quick and easy meals. I've also been keeping one or two varieties of tempeh on hand to sautee up quickly and add in, which has made my salads much more satiating!

I'm also loving these tulips, which I just trimmed a bit from what's shown in this picture and kept in the container. I've felt a special kinship with the farmer I bought these from since last year, when I was short on cash and he sold a lovely bouquet of flowers to me at a big discount, just because he knew I loved them. Clearly he was a smart business man, since I've gone back countless times, both because of his beautiful flowers and the kindness he showed me. I also like him because he sells flowers in random containers. It's often empty tennis ball cans (which leads me to wonder where all the balls go), but this past weekend it was Voss sparkling water bottles. I just like that he uses these random things and actually lets customers take the flowers home in water.

In terms of what we're making this week with our finds, I've covered the lettuce and, once again, the strawberries have dutifully served as delicious snacks and are long gone. We made lunches for the week that included whole wheat pasta and marinara sauce with the turnips, spinach, and asparagus (such a treat!), along with the last bits of basil and kale from last week. I've also been adding green onions and some of last week's tomatoes to our salads for some extra flavor.

Sadly I don't think I'll be able to make it to the market this weekend, since I'm running my very first 5k race bright and early Saturday morning. So, unless it's rained out, I won't have an update for this weekend, but I may sneak over to the Wednesday market, which starts up this week, to grab a few goodies either this week or next. Whenever I make it there next, I'll let you know!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Music Monday: Good Old War

In high school, I was pretty in love with Guster. I found out recently that one of my work colleagues was, too. She mentioned that they're currently touring with this here band, which led to some serious music video watching on Youtube. Here's one of my fave songs of theirs.

Also, considering that the month of April has turned into crazytown, I appreciate this song's sentiment even more than usual.

Friday, April 8, 2011

What I Read This Week

Over the course of the week I come across so many great, interesting, and random articles, mainly via Twitter, Facebook, and the blogs I frequent. I decided this could be a good place to simultaneously archive and share some of my favorites.

With all the talk about the government shutting down due to failure to pass a budget, I couldn't help but share this clip from The West Wing, which I've seen floating around the interwebs over the past few days.

Goodness I miss this show.

Anyway, without further adieu I present to you What I Read This Week.

Gay Things
Married Gay Couples "Refuse to Lie" on Tax Forms by Tara Siegel Bernard

We've Come a Long Way, Baby? Same-Sex Marriage and the Responsibilitization of Sex by Ann Pellegrini

Searching for Harm: Same-Sex Marriage and the Well-Being of Children by Courtney G. Joslin

Traditional marriage is dead. Let's celebrate. by Jill Filipovic

Lady-Related Things
IOC to Allow Women's Ski Jumping in 2014 Olympics by The Associated Press

Confronting Life by Aaron Guoveia

How the "U-Word" Exposes the Anti-Choice Movement by Amanda Marcotte

Women Sue Virginia Tech for Pay Inequality by Anna North

Terrorizing Abortion Providers: The "Other Abortion War" Quietly Continues by Carole Joffe

Averting a Government Shutdown? GOP Says Over Your Dead Body. And They Mean It. by Jodi Jacobson

The Sleepless Elite by Melinda Beck

Have a lovely weekend! I'll be keeping my eyes glued to news of the impending government shutdown and scheming ways to become part of the 'sleepless elite.' Oh, and getting our engagement photos taken!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Southland in the Springtime

One of my favorite seasons has officially arrived in North Carolina. Granted, it's been a bit more temperamental than usual, vacillating between 85 degree temps and a morning filled with sleet and snow flakes, but I'm confident that it's finally here to stay (because saying something with conviction makes it true, right?).

Anyway, one of my absolutely favorite parts of this season are all of the cheerful flowers popping up at nearly every turn. I've definitely contemplated pulling my car over on more than one occasion to capture particularly pretty gardens and flower beds, which I decided probably wasn't the safest option. Instead, here are a few of my favorite shots (via iPhone) from my adventures so far.

a pot of grape hyacinths brightening up our front porch

 the dogwood tree in front of our house in full bloom

beautiful tulips (and some pansies) outside the NC governor's mansion

And yes, for anyone potentially wondering, the title is from an Indigo Girls song. Every once in awhile I like to live the stereotype.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From the Farmers' Market

Let me start off by saying that I'm mildly obsessed with our local farmers' market. It's right around the corner from our house, which is such a dream.

Ours is open year-round on Saturdays and then twice a week from mid-April through the end of October. We're so, so lucky to live in a place that is surrounded with farms, which makes the goods at our local market even better.

Since I never really realized how easy it was to find great produce at the farmers' market until the last few years, I figured I'd share my weekly finds to 1) motivate me to go on a weekly basis and 2) to make everyone jealous of the long growing season here in the south (sort of kidding about that one).

We also do a CSA that will start up later this month that I might post photos of, too.

So, without further adieu, this week's finds:

 Basil, lettuce x 2, strawberries, radishes, tomatoes, kale, and eggs

Some things we're planning to make with this week's food: pasta w/ sauteed kale, tomatoes, and basil (plus some more veggies left over from last week); gigantic salads w/ lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, tempeh, and cheddar; and egg sandwiches for breakfast (well, just for me, since Kate hates eggs a whole lot). Oh, and the strawberries? Those have already been devoured! I can't wait for even more produce to be in season soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Music Monday: Lykke Li and Bon Iver

A fun little tune to start your week off right. This makes me wish that 1) I had any semblance of musical talent and 2) that I was having a jam session in the park right now. You know, instead of sitting at my desk. Oh well, c'est la vie. Happy Monday, y'all!