in a perfect world of yancies: January 2009

31 January 2009

Our sister, changing the world one pair of pants at a time!

Thanks for the title, Marisa!

Recently people gathered in Missoula for Project Homeless Connect, a day of volunteer work.

Here's some video:

Full coverage on the Missoulian's website.

Here's one nice bit of the story:

The "community response to problems is what drew volunteer Gina Sandon.
'I just like the fact that everybody pitches in together on this,' she said as she ironed clothes."

Way to go!

Also, thanks for reminding me to get serious about thinking about maybe doing some volunteer work at some point in the future. Anyone want to maybe consider joining me?

There's a helpful list of local options over on CHS, so maybe that's a place to start? Guess I'll think about it . . .

30 January 2009

Take A(nother) Break with Sandy

An oldie (?) but a goodie, which I see Chris just posted online:

Don't remember Sandy? Try these posts.

Happy Weekend!

28 January 2009


Emily & Wendy
Emily with our friend Wendy

Okay, sorry. Still not ready with that newspaper post (keep getting behind the news, ironically. Just today, before I'd even gotten out of bed to get today's Times, someone emailed me an op-ed piece about how to best save newspapers . . .)

While you wait, then, how about some photos from a friend's birthday party, and some things you may not know about Emily?

Shockingly good timing, if I do say so myself:
Happy Birthday Dave!
Dave, blowing out his candles.

We spent most of our evening talking to Wendy and Roman, a great couple we met through the KU alumni group.

In the meantime, for those of you not on Facebook (Mom): this chain-letter-ish thing has been making the rounds. The idea is to write 25 random things about yourself, and then ask 25 friends to do the same.

I thought you might enjoy Emily's 25 things:

1. My first job was as a waitress at Mel’s Diner in Geneva

2. I’ve had a fear of talking on the phone for as long as I can remember so avoid it when I can

3. I have a very fast walking pace causing me to be a less than ideal walking partner

4. I was under the impression that I was great at math and almost became a math major in college but it dawned on me that I was only great compared to my immediate family

5. My nickname is Mimi and was given to me by my sister when she couldn’t pronounce Emily

6. I don’t own a car or a microwave or a television

7. I sleep as long as possible on weekdays against my best interest of being on time, but I compensate by getting dressed and out the door really quickly—my record time is 7 minutes…but I still tend to run late

8. I’d like to think that my love of college basketball and knitting is my grandmother’s legacy to me even though I didn’t really embrace either until after her death several years ago

9. I do 20-30 push-ups every night since reading this article in the New York Times:

10. I work for a religious organization but I am not religious

11. I am terrible at remembering lyrics to songs but can remember most of the lyrics to several songs from a musical I was in when I was in 5th grade

12. I like commercial jingles and theme songs to TV shows (Golden Girls, Gilmore Girls, Greatest American Hero, Charles in Charge, Weeds, etc.)

13. I blush easily

14. I have a dollhouse from 6th grade that I have never finished assembling

15. Growing up we didn’t have a dryer so we hung our clothes on a line in the basement

16. I became a history major in college partially (mostly?) because I realized that I didn’t know anything about history

17. I am not good at small talk

18. I think of 4th grade as a watershed year in my life

19. I wish I was good at dancing

20. I like making cocktails

21. I was named after my great-grandmother—Nancy Emily Jane Hughes—who lived to be 99

22. I like to have goals

23. I am most happy thinking about the future instead of the present but I spend a lot of time thinking about the past

24. I can’t multitask successfully

25. Someday I’d like to own a store or a café or a bar

23 January 2009

My Food and My President

Okay, I really need to run--I have a reading group this morning, and I haven't done the reading yet! And it's Plato, so, you know, people are going to expect that I read it!

Before I go, I'll just let you know that I am still working (?) on a post about newspapers, those wonderful, troubled things . . .

But for today, how about a shot of the best paper's crossword puzzle from Tuesday:
Inaugural crossword
Isn't it fun? I included the key clue, but if you look around you'll see other relevant answers . . .

(Oh, and sorry about spoiling this one for you, Mom; maybe by the time it's in the Herald you'll have forgotten?)

In other news, I heard Mark Bittman on a local radio show the other day. So he's got a book about--for lack of a better term--conscious eating. In the spirit of that sort of thing, I've started a food journal.

And in the spirit of our weird, confessional, online culture, I've been publishing that journal on the web. Take a look, if you're interested:

So far (one day!) it's been fun and interesting, but I've already been told that my format is less than ideal.

(If you have suggestions for standardizing or otherwise improving it, feel free to share!)

[Update 17:30 24 January 2009]
What about a table?

And why push-ups? Aside from obvious answers, it's really because of an article we read in a newspaper a few months ago. Now we're both hooked on push-ups (and on newspapers).

Okay, better get back to work! Have a great weekend!

20 January 2009

President Barack Obama!

Happy Inauguration Day!



Hope you have a wonderful day, reader!


18 January 2009

These Days

Not sure how this blog has devolved into a weekly thing; hopefully once I settle into my new schedule things'll even out?

In the meantime, here's a couple weeks (!), in no particular order:
Discovery Park 3
Sun was out today! Beautiful! We spent the afternoon at Discovery Park enjoying the trails and views.

Discovery Park 4
Even views of Rainier!

(Is it just me, or is that my best photo of it from the city? It's actually visible!)

Discovery Park 1

Also hit the Capitol Hill Community Council pot-luck last week.
CHCC pot-luck
Here's president Justin Carder, with his son Bowie. Justin, in case you're keeping score, is also the brains behind, where he posts as jseattle . . . good guy.

Been chilly here (though not Chicago or Montana chilly; sorry I brought it up), so we baked some lasagna.
Emily's amazing lasagna
Emily has come up with this recipe for a vegetarian lasagna (basically a blend of three different recipes in the Joy of Cooking), and it is just amazing! I'll try to remember to help her make one next time you're in town, reader.

Saturday we met some friends at the Bus Stop, a recently re-opened, relocated, and fondly remembered bar on Capitol Hill. Cozy spot; good company too. It's been a very rewarding few months now that we've been here long enough to have started making friends. . . .

Before we met them, we watched an episode of Fantasy Island, in homage to the recently deceased Ricardo Montalbán.

Did you know that he's also famous for the Academy Award-winning song Baby It's Cold Outside? That song has been recorded too many times to count, but one of the earliest features Mr Montalbán and Esther Williams.

For me, though, he will always be best remembered for his incredible portrayal of Khan Noonien Singh on Star Trek. Wrath of Khan is still one of my favorite movies.

I can't share it with you here, but I can offer you a link to the episode where he first appears:

Space Seed, from season one of the original series.


Also had a go at meeting folks for knitting. A great idea (and a hit with waitresses), but we went to Oddfellows, where the food is (and smells) distractingly good, and where the cocktails are great, so no one got too much knitting done--but you have to start somewhere, right?

And sometimes, you just have to enjoy a lazy Saturday morning.
Saturday morning

Hope you have a great week, reader.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr Day!

And Happy Inauguration!

16 January 2009

Happy Weekend, Reader!

I'm already behind with work, it seems like, even though this is only week two of the quarter.

I am working on a post, but here's something in the meantime:

Two conveniences at once! A countdown clock, and a way for you to watch online on Tuesday.

In case, you know, you want to spend this incredible historic moment with your computer, looking at my blog . . .

10 January 2009

In the New (School) Year

So classes are going, and I'm swamped with grading (already? yes! I can't believe it either!), but we did have the chance to see some basketball before it all got started.
Waiting for tip-off
Seattle U is making the move back to Division I, and next year they'll play their home games at the Key Arena in the Seattle Center (vacant, alas, now that the Sonics have been stolen moved on). They had one game there this year, and the tickets were free . . .

They're not great, but they won (good thing--the other team was 0-14, so a loss to them would have been, um, unfortunate), and it was a good time.

In other local news, we had some snow, some buses were late, and LOTS of people complained. Or a few people complained really loudly? In any event, I got mad and wrote a letter to the editor, and it was printed! Yay for me and newspapers!

And then literally the same day it was announced that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which began (with a different name) back in 1863, is being put up for sale, and will likely be shut down by March.

So yes, I read that story after having a couple of beers with my colleagues after work on Friday, so maybe that was a factor, but I had tears in my eyes as I read it.

Just so stupid and short-sighted. Newspapers and the sort of journalism they produce are not only super cool, they're also so important. Damn it.

Let's end with something a bit lighter, eh?

On a tip from my mom (thanks!), Emily and I checked out this fun performance of a tango piece by Ástor Piazzolla, one of my favorite composers. The group is the Ridere String Quartet. Good stuff.

You can download the entire episode from iTunes, and also watch it online through the PBS website.

03 January 2009

Food & Drink (and more)

Still waiting to see if any xmas pics will come my way (ahem), so how about some random shots of things we've ingested?
salad niçoise w/tuna
Totally out of season, but we just couldn't resist making this niçoise salad with seared tuna. Delicious. Definitely worth remembering once all those veggies are in season . . .

At Spitfire restaurant on Saturday (watching a KU game that was on too early for the current watch site; we're unranked, but we beat #14 Tennessee!):
watching a stop-bombing-gaza march during the KU/Tennessee game
Gotta love Seattle: you just never know when a protest march will pass by. Protesting the bombing in Gaza, though not necessarily anti-Israel. (Saw both Palestinian Flags & Magen Davids (yes, that's really what it's called. I know!)).

Couple of recent cocktails:
Hot toddies
Hot toddies at Quinn's

Toronto cocktail
Toronto cocktail at Oddfellows

Bonus xmas in IL shot:
w/snowman in St Charles
At good old 38 W 258

[Update 20:13]
Xmas photo of the St Mary (McHenry) Choir:

Wish we could've been there for the concert!

01 January 2009

Off To a Great Start!

Had a great time in IL for the holidays.
New sweater from Emily
Got some great gifts, too, like this sweater that Emily made. Beautiful.

And a new t-shirt or two, like this one from Magen & Dave:
my hot new shirt
With the capsaicin molecule.

The what? Here's from a recent piece in the Economist:

"TASTELESS, colourless, odourless and painful, pure capsaicin is a curious substance. It does no lasting damage, but the body’s natural response to even a modest dose (such as that found in a chili pepper) is self-defence: sweat pours, the pulse quickens, the tongue flinches, tears may roll. But then something else kicks in: pain relief. The bloodstream floods with endorphins—the closest thing to morphine that the body produces. The result is a high. And the more capsaicin you ingest, the bigger and better it gets."

Interesting read, about the growing popularity of chili peppers. Huzzah for that, I say.

[Note to Magen & Dave: please don't feel that you need to track down a Dorset naga for me to try. I am intrigued by the idea of a chili pepper that dwarfs the habanero in terms of fieriness, but I'm not convinced that I need to actually taste one. But would I say no? Probably not . . . Though there is this cute sentence from the article: "For connoisseurs though, the macho hullabaloo about ever-hotter chilies is distasteful, even vulgar: rather like rating wine only according to its alcohol content."]

One bit I found particularly gratifying, given the comments about burying the flavor of my food that I've weathered:
"capsaicin excites the trigeminal nerve, increasing the body’s receptiveness to the flavour of other foods." So there!

All right, enough of that. Now I'd better get over to India Express for lunch. (Don't worry, I'll be sure to ask for extra spicy.)

Back to xmas stuff. Here's the scene up in McHenry:
Xmas in McHenry

Also went downtown to see the windows at Marshall Field's Macy's.
At the Walnut Room
And had lunch in the Walnut Room. Fun stuff.

Then we hit the recently redesigned Chicago Museum of History.

Saw some cool exhibitions, and bought myself another t-shirt:
mm hmm

Finally it was back to St Charles, where we had some delicious cassoulet.
Made with duck, lamb, Italian Sausage, and Polish sausage. Tasty.

Where can you find all of those meats? Why at Jones Country Meats, in Woodstock, IL.

Here's a fun map that you can play with (google streetview is fun!), and use to help find it next time you're in the area:

View Larger Map

Happy New Year, reader!