Sunday, March 28, 2010

songs I love this month!

“If you have lost heart in the Path of Love,
Flee to me without delay
I am a fortress; invincible”
 - Rumi

1. Nada Surf- do it again
2. Patty Griffin- Rain
2. Arcade Fire- Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeah's cover)
3. Coldplay- Kingdom Come
4. Journey- Don't Stop Believin'
5. Grizzly Bear- I live with you
6. Louis Armstrong- A Kiss to Build a Dream On
7. Jimmy Eat World- Futures
8. Band of Horses- Part One
9. Devendra Banhart- Baby
10. Stone Roses- This is the One
11. yeah yeah yeah's- Hysteric (acoustic)  (<3, for real.)
12. Avett Brothers- I and love and you
13. Bridge Over Troubled Water- Simon and Garfunkel
14. You Still Believe In Me - M. Ward
15. Dance Me to the End of Love - Leonard Cohen (the live version)
16. Must I Paint You a Picture? - Billy Bragg
17. When U Love Somebody - Fruit Bats
18. Lucky You- The National

I have always believed in futures.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Album to write to award 2009: Geneva, Russian Circles (2009)

Last year, apparently like many other like minded people in their mid-twenties, I decided it was high time I went back to school. After work I spent between 5pm and 11pm working on graduate school applications. As you might imagine, I listened to many albums and spend hour upon hour using Pandora and Grooveshark. Pandora for when I didn't want to choose/wanted to be suprised, and Grooveshark in order to create my own graduate school application play list. (side note: if any of you aren't yet Pandora AND Grooveshark users, get on it now)

After hours of listening, writing, and deliberating....I am ready to crown the album Geneva by Russian Circles the Album to Write to in 2009.

This albums is a post-rock picnic-- but what other bands don't even achieve with 20 people, Circles does with 3 permanent members. The trio from Chicago has released what is doubtless its best album yet-- gritty, beautiful, urgent, melodic, overcast, gusty, and harsh. Listening to this album makes me want to call up Mike Sullivan, Brian Cook, and Dave Turncrantz myself to thank them for getting through the unusually chilly autumn we had in Florida last year.

My favorite song on the album is Malko. Click to listen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

earrings- shrink plastic stravaganza.

Craft Offering: Turning a used book and two altoid tins into a jewelry box

Here it is! After the crafty ladies potluck, I had to wait a month or so to post this because it was a gift for my sister, who lives in Washington D.C.

two Altoids tins
paint, and/or any decorative paper or images you like
two dresser knobs
Mod Podge
box cutter
old book
spray polyurethane
hot glue


1. First make sure the book you have is thick enough for the tins to fit.

2. Paint the drawers and/or line them with fabric. Paint your knobs if they look a little boring, and hot glue them to the tins.

3. Measure the book and make a mark at the midpoint Mark the mid-points of the left half and the right half. Now mark the mid-points on your tins (I used a silver Sharpie). Take a look at where they are situated and make sure that's where you want them to end up.

4. You'll make two pockets in the book using your box cutter. Trace around the tins and mark how deep you want the drawers to go (the length of the tin, plus about a quarter-inch). Draw a line straight across the book so that both drawers will stop at the same place.

5. Start slicing the pages, using your ruler to guide your knife. Cut a little outside what you traced to allow the drawers to slide in and out smoothly. Keep cutting until you have two rectangular notches. You don't need to go all the way to the back cover.

6. Try it out and make sure it sits inside nicely. Carve away any more pages as needed.

7. I used decorative hand-made paper I like and Modge Podge to decorate the cover and painted the pages. There are lots of possibilities for decorating the cover using paint, clay, glitter, silk flowers, etc. I even used the name of the book on its side because it was meaningful in this situation. I cut it out of the title page in the book and modge podged it to the spine.

8. Next, clamp your book firmly and spray the whole thing with polyurethane. It may need two coats to keep it completely sealed and the cover attached.

TIPS:• Follow the directions on the polyurethane can (I actually used liquid polyurethane)• I prefer using a box cutter as opposed to an X-acto because the dull blades can be snapped off• Sit the book at the edge of the table to avoid nicking the table when cutting the pages• Watch your fingers!• When spraying your book, clamping is a must for it to stay sealed. I ended up piling heavy things on top of it, and it definitely wasn't nearly as sealed as it would have been.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Featured Web Resource: This Emotional Life

A reminder:
I know I'm not writing as much about "SEXY" topics such as feminism, animal rights, and the politics of pop culture as I did on the old blog. It'll happen. For now, though I need to keep things "POSI" and relatively neutral for reasons relating to a new job, major changes, new family members, etc. Once I feel more comfortable in this e-space, I'll go for it. I'm still me, y'all.

Today's goodie:

Today, I wanted to write about PBS's project "This Emotional Life." I learned about This Emotional Life at a conference for Family Home Child Care providers in Tallahassee. Of course, the speaker only covered early learning/early education, but I have spent considerable time since looking over myriad parts of this website. It is absolutely fantastic.

The project was initially a three-part documentary about relationships and the human experience. It's classic PBS- scholarly, multidisciplinary, methodical, and takes a considerable shot at being humorous. The documentary was shown in three parts on PBS, and is "good." The web resource, however, is dynamic, helpful, careful, interesting, engaging and covers more than 1000 topics related to health, well-being, and human relationships.

Just a glance at the home page will give you a good idea of the scope of this project:intimate relationships, autism, having a spouse with bipolar disorder, meditation, happiness, attachment in early childhood, how relationships affect cancer, etc.

Each topic contains articles, videos and something that I feel makes this project revolutionary:PBS hooks users up with local resources they call "locate mental health and well-being support organizations" that can provide information, action, or support.

That's right.
Worried about a friend's eating habits?
Concerned about patterns in your relationships?
Wondering what the most important factor in your child's reading development is at her/his age? love or infatuation? does my child have autism? how would I know?
how do I help a family member with a drug addiction?

PBS will hook you up with organizations (like my current employer) that can help you find the resources that you need.

Pretty fucking cool. Thanks, PBS. That's much cooler than showing a program, leaning back in your thrifted desk chair and saying, "the information is out there on the airwaves, we've done our part." Connecting people with resources. amen.

This Emotional Life

check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In memory of Donald Charles Marks Sr. on his birthday

Today is my father's birthday. Friday is mine. This is the first year I've had March without him. In a way it feels like both of our birthdays are gone, forever. The way we've always celebrated is, so I decided to start a new tradition. We were going to dig a bonfire pit and light a fire. We were also going to go and pick a plant and plant it in the yard for him. I wanted something I could visit, tend to, look at.

Then today, it hit me. I may move, and it is hard to share the joy and peace to be found in bonfires with loved ones that also miss him. So...

I named a star after him. Donald Charles Marks Sr. I know one cannot really and seriously own a star. I know we are all in our totality connected to every bit of the universe, in its totality (or rather, I believe). It just felt like it would honor him. He would think it's really badass, which is central to this plot. Secondly, I can readily see his constellation (pisces) from where I live this time of year. That's his sign, also.
Most imporantly, there will be something out there in the universe I can concretely connect with him at all times. Sometimes I need that. I'm not always so "zen" with people telling me my dad is out there, he is still aware of me at some level. This will be easier to think about. The company is also going to have a telescope take a photograph of the star and mail it to me. I will hang that in my house, near my bed or desk. I will send it to anyone who wants a copy.
A link to the certificate can be found here:
way cooler than a peace lily or rosebush, and for everyone.
thanks for 24.6 years of awesomeness.

Visual Magnitude Indicator: 10.1
Catalog Number: TYC 4667-166-1
Declination: -3° 15' 56"
Right Ascension: 0h 17m 8s

Constellation: Pisces

Monday, March 8, 2010

Harbinger Hummus recipe: hummus is a a grrl's (or corgi's) best friend.

Chickpeas truly are a grrl's, corgi's, boy's, vegetarian's, vegan's, meat eater's, fire fighter's, sky diver's, writer's, academic's, land scape architect's, person's best friend.

In this blog entry, I will discuss some of the benefits of this amazing legume and post a recipe for some amazing, zesty, and mildly spicy hummus that absolutely blows my mind.

Rethinking the chickpea (garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, Bengal gram). Did you know that chickpeas are among the earliest cultivated vegetables? In addition to being low fat, they are also chock full of protein and dietary fiber. They also contain molybdenum, folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. They can help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar levels. This makes them a great food for diabetics and insulin resistant individuals. When served with high quality grains (quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread), they can be a complete protein food.

One way chickpeas help you GET AWESOME: The molybdenum in chickpeas helps you to detox after eating those sulfite rich foods (you can find those nasty sulfites in anything from wine to lunch meat). Without sufficient molybdenum, sulfite can give you headaches, a racing heart, and less healthy skin. ick.

Hummus, to me, is by far the most delicious and scandalous way to enjoy this amazing legume. This hummus recipe is one I have adapted from How it all Vegan (vegan cook book STAPLE for the veggie beginner or vegan cooking sorceress).

It makes two cups, and will knock the mittens off of anyone you know who likes chickpeas.

You need
1 small onion, chopped
a bunch of minced garlic! as much as you can handle!
a splash of olive oil
2 1/2 cups cooked OR canned chickpeas
3/4 cup tahini (about 200 grams)
1 1/2 tbsp Bragg's OR soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1.5 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt

VARIATIONS: use roasted garlic, buy canned jalapenos in their own spicy delicious vinegar and add not only the jalapenos, but also some of the sauce. Serve with a jalapeno slice on top.

In a small saucepan, saute onions and garlic in a splash of oil on medium heat until onions are translucent. In a blender or food processor, blend the sauteed onions, chickpeas, tahini, Bragg's/soy sauce, lemon juice, cumin, cayenne and salt until you reach desired consistency.

Serve it in a cute bowl, with some cut veggies, pita etc.

NUTRITION BONUS! The Tahini is a great source of calcium! If you use Bragg's, it contains 16 healthy and important amino acids! Lemon juice has got that vitamin C, yo!

We use it for: vegan burger topping, mixing in with pasta when it doesn't seem zesty enough, eating it by itself, eating on half of a vegan bagel for breakfast, impressing people at potlucks, trying not to feed it to the corgi.

Caution: Garbanzo beans can cause an allergic reaction in those who are sensitive to them. Always consult a physician before deciding to make significant changes to your diet.