Saturday, September 11, 2010


America2 It's nine years later, and all the appropriate tributes and memorials are going on around the country and on the Web. I won't bore you with my story of where I was that morning--we all have our own stories, and some are more harrowing than others. Although we've lost some very important things, chief among them being hundreds of loved ones, I'd rather talk about what we still have.

We might have to take our shoes off at the airport, but many of us still have the wherewithal and the means to travel anywhere in the world. We have the freedom to worship who, where, and when we want...or not at all. We are able to speak out against our government without fear of reprisals. We have the freedom to gather together and protest policies, and our voice is heard. We can contact our government officials and let them know our opinions (hopefully in a respectful way). We have unlimited access to information with little to no censorship. Although it's getting more difficult, we still have a pathway to a good education for ourselves or for our kids. We can learn about cultures around the world, rather than not be allowed to because they might corrupt our thinking. As a woman, I can go to school, work, drive a car, and have an opinion (which I sometimes do). We can go about our daily business without the constant fear of being shot or raped or kidnapped. If we choose, we can make a difference by casting our ballots in elections (and why on earth would anyone not exercise that right?).

I could go on, but you get the idea. Although I always feel sad today, and remember the horror of that day when I see the pictures and videos, I also feel defiant. They may have knocked us for a loop for a few days, and made us change the way we do certain things, but we still have all the freedoms that they can only dream of. They have not broken us...they have not even bowed us. We also have a duty to not let them change who we are as a nation, change what made us great. We had a few bad years there in which we lost our way (We do not torture. Period.), but I believe we're back on the right track. We cannot compromise our integrity because of the mistaken belief that we need to resort to their tactics. We do not, and we must not.

We're still here, and we're still kickin'. We, like the Dude, abide. Fuck yeah, America! (By the way, that picture is more than a little tongue-in-cheek!)

Zucchini Just to show that life does go on....

I paid a trip to my little Victory Garden yesterday and hauled in a few things. I was a little startled when I saw this mutant alien zucchini hiding under a leaf. What a monster! I know you're supposed to pick them smaller than this, but even when they get this big, they're great for making stuffed zucchini or zucchini bread. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it's as long as my forearm and hand, and bigger around. I've got another one growing out there, as well as a couple of yellow zucchini. I think there should be enough nice weather yet that they'll get bigger.

Serranos I also picked the serrano peppers. Holy capsaicin, Batman, what a haul! I planted four plants, and there have to be at least three dozen peppers here. My tomatoes may have crapped out (again, dammit...stupid Verticillium Wilt), but there is no pepper problem! I think I can probably chop some up and freeze them to use in the next few weeks. I'm pretty sure I've grown serranos before. I got those plants because they didn't have any jalapenos. Serranos are supposed to be hotter than jalapenos, but I don't recall them being that much hotter. I'll be brave and taste one, just so I have an idea of how hot they are. I think they'll be good in chili.

Black and blue earrings I hadn't made any earrings for a while, and I had some findings that I was looking forward to using. I think these are my favorites that I've made so far. I used black and blue beads (maybe I can call this style Punch in the Face earrings), and I think they're nicely dangly. I wear a lot of black clothes, with a fair amount of blue, so I think these will go nicely with many of my things. I might have to work on another pair today, because I'm so pleased with how these turned out. I like dangly earrings. I don't know why, but I've always liked big earrings.

At long last, I got my Sharpie Liquid Pencils! As many of you already know, I'm kind of an office supply whore. I inherited it from my Dad, who had a cabinet full of pads of paper, pens, pencils, and other such things. As hard as it was to clean some of that stuff out--my Mom will never use all of it--I had to grin knowing that I am so very like him in that regard! Anyway, as soon as I saw that Sharpie was coming out with a liquid graphite pencil, I had to have one. I'm more of a pen person than a pencil person, but it seemed to me that a pencil that eventually becomes permanent would be a pretty nifty thing. I was a little sad to see the initial bad reviews, but was still excited to try it out for myself.

Sharpie pencil I got a sketch pad out, because I figured that would give the best results of how a liquid pencil would behave.

My high hopes were quickly dashed upon the rocks of harsh reality. The reviews I'd read were right: it wrote like a pen running out of ink, with skips and faint lines. Perhaps as I use it more, it will flow better, and maybe I need to exert more pressure. But after years of working in the lab and being on the verge of carpal tunnel syndrome because of it (my wrists and grip are finally getting back to normal), I don't want to have to exert a lot of pressure when I write. The less the better, which is why I love my Jimnie gel pens. The words flow easily and smoothly, with a minimum of pressure.

I am so disappointed with my Sharpie Liquid Pencils, but there is no time for despair, since today is the day that Notre Dame plays Michigan here at home! I'm happy to be watching from home today, as it's a cool and damp day (although I think the rain might be out of here). This is a huge interstate rivalry, since we're just a few miles from the Michigan border, and this is always a big game. It's considered to be mostly a tossup, but with the home field advantage, I think the Irish will prevail. GO IRISH!

ND football


  1. Good, sweet, funny, sad, sharp-tongued...I love a good mixed blog post. Meta, macro, micro. Lovely earrings and helluva zucchini!

    We ARE still here and still functioning, no thanks to Bush/Cheney or the terrorists. Gotta realize that if that bookended abuse didn't totally wreck us; if we can mobilize rational voices; if we can isolate and dilute the toxic Kochs; if we can relocate some hope and some good, healthy will...we can prevail.

    In addition to recognizing all the ways we haven't changed, we need to change the way see ourselves. We're not necessarily the good guys we prefer to be. History doesn't mean just the history of Western development. Nothing good will come of only patting ourselves on the back; we've got to see ourselves as others see us, too.

  2. Usually when you get a zucchini that big, you leave it, and let it ripen, and use it for seeds for next year.

  3. Hi Beth,
    Wow ... that's some zucchini. Should keep you in Zucchini bread for a month!

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  5. Beth thanks again.

    Love the graphic and the yellow car looks way better than the Pussy Wagon, LOL.
    I am so hundred percent with you that nothing underestimates more an enemy than the fact that we moved on, to the point that we can even obsess about the markings of a liquid pencil sharpie, which I do not buy because I prefer real drawing pencils.

    I had used them and the result has been ok, but not great. I prefer the disposable graphite pencils better, especially because of the same reasons you noted, they’re easy to erase. But yet there is nothing better than the real wooded pencil; a set of pencils that ranges from 6h all of way up to 6b. I hate the lost of wood though, but I am optimistic that we will find a solution on that part.

    And those earrings are wholesome. Your craftsmanship is superb.

  6. Effective reminder of what we have and how we are as a country. Thanks!

  7. Love the earrings! I think the bog analys website was full of shit!

  8. Looking forward to the stuffed succhini :o) Nice almost Colt earrings.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?