26 April 2009

Some PSAs

First, the American Family Association has started a boycott against Pepsi.

Their flyer reads:

Boycott Pepsi
Company becomes major backer of homosexual agenda with $1,000,000 in gifts to gay groups

• American Family Association asked Pepsi to be neutral in the culture war and not support the homosexual agenda. Pepsi refused and plans to continue giving major financial support to homosexual organizations. In the last two years, Pepsi has given $500,000 to Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and another $500,000 to the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). The total of $1,000,000 was used to help promote homosexuality in the workplace.

• HRC and PFLAG were major supporters of efforts to defeat Proposition 8 in California, which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. HRC gave $2.3 million to the effort to defeat Prop 8.

• Pepsi forces all employees to attend sexual orientation and gender identity diversity training where they are taught to accept homosexuality.

• Pepsi’s products include Pepsi soft drinks (914-253-2000 or 1-800-433-2652), Frito-Lay chips (800-352-4477), Quaker Oatmeal (800-367-6287), Tropicana (800-237-7799) and Gatorade (800-884-2867).

It's my personal plan to start buying and consuming as much PepsiCo product as possible, as soon as possible.


For you "Survivor" fans, you know that Brendan is working on his newest project, Evol Burritos. Go here to get a coupon for a free Evol Burrito. This offer is good until the current season of Survivor ends, or until Coach gets voted off.

22 April 2009

General life update

I was going to post tonight about a few things: Sara's recent visit, getting to meet Ria, potential travel next month (friends getting married in Connecticut), and work crap.

But after getting up at 5:00 a.m. to shower (because I FORGOT to last night when I got home from my trig mid-term), then working a 10.5-hour day... I found myself almost too tired to eat supper when I got home.

So I'll leave you with these random thoughts: (1) Please fill out the questionnaire from yesterday if you haven't already done so; (2) Really? No one wants to join the Marketplace? It's actually pretty groovy - restaurant gift cards for CHEAP, discounts on electronics, and weekly bargains. According to the email we got on Monday, employees are saving an average of $102 per month using the Marketplace. This week ONLY, I have ten invitations I can give away free. You know you want to!

P.S. I love the SEPTA (that's Philly's mass transit system) guy at the 40th Street Portal today. When I got on at the City Hall transfer point, the trolley driver said she was only going to 40th Street. While I would have walked the seven blocks to my house, I wasn't looking forward to it since I was tired (see above) and the sky was getting ready to open up any minute. But I got on anyway, not wanting to wait for the next one, which would be crowded. So I rode to 40th. When we got there, the guy supervising gave our driver a "WTF?" look. She said, "I kept telling them I was only going to 40th!" He said, "I told you to not to take any riders!" She said, "I'm supposed to be off at 6:25." He said, "I'm not putting riders off. Go to 61st (the turn-around point for that route) and come back - WITHOUT RIDERS." LOVE that guy.

21 April 2009


My employer has a special deal with a lot of different vendors. One can go to a central Marketplace to access these deals, and some of them are QUITE good.

As an employee, I get access to the Marketplace free. For this week, ten of our friends/family members can get Marketplace accounts.

So... who wants one? First come, first served.


Okay, so I know all of you fairly well, but hey, I love learning new stuff, and some of this info could be very helpful. So please comment with your responses to these questions.

1. name:
2. birthday:
3. place of residence:
4. what makes you happy:
5. what are you listening to now/have listened to last:
6. if you do, what is particularly good/bad about my blog:
7. an interesting fact about you that I don't already know:
8. are you in love/do you have a crush at the moment:
9. favorite place to be:
10. favorite lyric:
11. best time of the year:

1. a film:
2. a book:
3. a band, a song and an album:

1. one thing you like about me:
2. two things you like about yourself:
3. put this in your blog so i can tell you what i think of you

12 April 2009

Now this is more like it

Your Chocolate Easter Bunny Personality

You know what you want in life and how to get it.

You're not going to waste time or let yourself be meek

Whether it's chocolate, money, or power...

You take what you can get, and you act quickly.

You have a lot of energy, and people sometimes scared by your determination.

Not that you care what other people think. You're not going to apologize for who you are.

Not sure I agree with this

You Are a Snow Leopard

You have learned that you must rely on yourself, and yourself alone, to live a happy life.

You are understand the world better than most people you know. You are very perceptive and intuitive.

You need lots of space to think. If you don't get the space you need, you're likely to bite someone's head off.

Because you are so thoughtful and solitary, people find you to be intense and mysterious. You're even seen as intimidating.

09 April 2009

"Let the Wind Chase You"

A couple of you will know why this is in my head and what it means to me right now in this phase of my life. Others of you are invited to enjoy the beauty of the song.

"Let the Wind Chase You"

Sung by Trisha Yearwood and Keith Urban
Written by Karyn Rochelle and Sallie Barris

Like a wildwood flower
Doesn’t have to reach for the sun
And when it needs a drop of water
It doesn’t have to ask the rain to come
I don’t wanna work for your love
I don’t wanna try to be
Something that you’re looking for
You’re never gonna find in me

So let the wind chase you
I can’t do it anymore
Let the road run after you
Like I always did before
Let the stars catch your eye
‘Cause I’ve tried and tried and tried
And I won’t do
So let the wind chase you

No one says a diamond ain’t precious
Just because it hasn’t yet been found
And no one blames the moon for not shining
Just because it’s hidden by a cloud
I don’t wanna blame myself
Thinking that I’m not enough
And wonder what’s wrong with me
Because I couldn’t win your love

So let the wind chase you
I can’t do it anymore
Let the road run after you
Like I always did before
Let the stars catch your eye
‘Cause I’ve tried and tried and tried
And I won’t do
So let the wind chase you

I don’t wanna work for your love
I don’t wanna try to be
Something that you’re looking for
You’re never gonna find in me

So let the wind chase you
I can’t do it anymore
Let the road run after you
Like I always did before
Let the stars catch your eye
‘Cause I’ve tried and tried and tried
And I won’t do
So let the wind chase you, mmhmm
Let the wind (let the wind)
Chase you

08 April 2009

National Public Health Week

The APHA (American Public Health Association) launched their “Healthiest Nation in One Generation” campaign this week (National Public Health Week) by introducing this video.

Watch it, love it, pass it along.

07 April 2009

RIP President Papadakis

I am sitting here shocked and saddened. Having not read or watched the news yesterday, I just found out this morning that the president of Drexel University, Constantine "Taki" Papadakis passed away on Sunday, from complications of lung cancer. Part of what makes this so stunning is that it was just LAST WEEK that he announced a six-month medical leave of absence.

I never met Taki, but I have some excellent pics of him from graduation.

Here's Taki speaking to us about the responsibility of being a Drexel alum:

And here's Taki with our commencement speaker, Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven Galson. Note Taki's commencement bling:

I have attended two other colleges, and to save my life, I couldn't tell you who the president of either college was. And those colleges COMBINED aren't as large as Drexel.

Never before have I received an email from a university president telling me to email him at any time with ideas or concerns. Never before have I heard of the university president holding town hall meetings with the students.

Taki saved Drexel. Within two years of his taking the helm, Drexel went from being $2 million in the red to being $2 million in the black. At his first faculty meeting at Drexel, he told professors that if they continued to take summer Fridays off, they could expect to see a 20% salary reduction.

Under Taki, Drexel acquired a med school, a law school, a school of public health, and an expanded school of education. Drexel's co-op programme grew and flourished and currently places approximately 4,000 undergrad student in paid internships in 1,400 community organisations and businesses.

He was dedicated to academics and to ensuring that one could say with pride that one graduated from Drexel University.

He will be profoundly missed.

06 April 2009

More evidence that I am mean

This post will make a little more sense to those of you on Rav and or those of you who are NASCAR fans.

Sara IMed me earlier this evening (okay, about 20 minutes ago) and said, "if kasey kahne is your favorite driver, don't you think it's worth knowing how to SPELL HIS NAME?" and then sent me a link. When I clicked on the link, this is what I found (you should be able to click it to see it bigger):

That last line? "P.S. Casey Kahne rules!"

The following is the IM convo that took place between Sara and I:

me: Kile Bush is AWESOME
Sara: LMAO Dael Earnhart is better
me: You're stoopid. It's spelled ERNHEART
Sara: dammit, i fail again

05 April 2009

An eye for an eye?

In November 2004, Ameneh Bahrami was the victim of an acid attack. She had rejected a guy who was into her, kept harassing her, and proposed marriage to her multiple times. One afternoon, he followed her from her place of work to a train station and threw acid on her face. As a result, her face, hands, and arms are disfigured (the acid got on her hands and arms when she put them up to her face) and she is now blind in both eyes.

Rather than accepting money from attacker Majid Movahedi (a custom known as "accepting blood money"), she requested an eye for an eye. A court ruled that she would be allowed to drop 20 drops of acid into one of Movahedi's eyes (not both - the theory that one man is equivalent to two women apparently applies to their body parts, as well). He will be restrained on a table and his eyes will be forced open as she drops the acid into his eye.

He appealed the court's ruling and recently lost that appeal.

She says she isn't doing this out of revenge. She says she wants this to be a deterrent for future potential acid attackers. She says she won't change her mind.

A lot of human rights activists are up in arms about this. Some say that it violates Movahedi's human rights; the punishment is too barbaric. Some say that since Bahrami now lives in Spain, she should abide by Western humane mores and not participate in such a vengeful, barbaric act. I will admit that the second argument doesn't hold much interest for me. Note that I did not say that I disagree with it, it just doesn't interest me as much as the basic human rights issue does. And I see this as a victim's right issue, as well.

One of the first (and most difficult) lessons I learned in law school is that law and justice seldom go hand in hand. And truth and the justice RARELY coincide (one of my professor went to law school across the street from a church, and his professor often told them that if they wanted Truth, they should go across the street). And I could really do a blog post on the whole law/justice, truth/justice issue later (and I might).

I don't see justice here. I see the law, but no justice. I see the truth (the attack DID happen, Movahedi confessed but is apparently without remorse). I've tried very much since I first heard about this story to see justice. And I just can't find it.

It's tempting to blog about my own journey from a rape/incest victim to a survivor who has forgiven her rapist. But the truth is that that journey took many years, many evolutions, and had its own prices along the way. I can't expect that every victim will feel the same way I do. It's not fair to them (or to me). And I'm not arrogant enough to say that the way I did it was the right way. Survival looks different and takes different forms.

But I wonder if participating in physical barbarism is a necessary step for Bahrami in her journey from victim to survivor. There are things that happened during my transformation that I wish I could do again, do differently, or just altogether take back and erase. While my greatest hope is that she ultimately decides to not do this, my next hope for her is that if she does do this, it does not become a regret in her life.

04 April 2009

Knitting Update

Last weekend was full of knitastrophe.

My friend Kendra had her baby a skootch early, so I wanted to finish this baby jacket I had started in December. I got a pattern from the LYS near my mom's house in Missouri for an adorable little jacket.

I had decided to make a few changes: I got rid of the pockets (what is a baby going to do with pockets besides get her fingers stuck in them?), got rid of the buttons (I'm just not a huge fan of buttons on baby garb if they aren't necessary), and I was doing the one without the hood (if they aren't using the hood, it's stuck behind baby, potentially making baby's back uncomfortable, and it's not like baby can tell mommy that the hood is hurting her back).

It's done in several pieces: back panel, front left, front right, two sleeves. I got all of the pieces finished, and had started the seaming. Then I realised that the armhole shaping on the right front was two full inches higher than the armhole shaping than the left front. However, the finished length from hem to raglan top was the same for both panels. Right here, my mathematical brain told me that something was afoot.

However, only being a three-year-old knitter, I bravely forged on, figuring that I needed to trust the pattern. I thought that maybe, just maybe, if I re-did it, it would work out correctly. After a consultation with Sara, I decided to frog the panel until the armhole shaping matched the back armhole shaping (and thus the left front armhole shaping), then start the armhole shaping from there.

Once that was done, I realised that, although the armhole shaping matched now, the two front panels were, indeed, of different lengths. Again, my mathematical brain told me that what I now had were two similar triangles (or "tree-ahngles," as my Ukranian pre-calc professor says), and that no amount of re-doing would fix this situation. However, I once again bravely soldiered on, deciding to trust my pattern. It couldn't be the pattern that was wrong - I'd examined the pattern closely several times and it was the exact same except for the direction of the shaping. So maybe it was my knitting or my tension, maybe the yarn on one side was mysteriously puffier than on the other.

Making a very long knitting weekend short, I frogged and re-knitted the front panels for a total of five times. Yep, FIVE times. Maybe one panel was too tall, maybe one panel was too short, maybe if I did it while watching a race instead of while watching Law & Order: SVU... maybe while Fe sat on my lap instead of Ocs.... I was the epitome of the maybe baby.

After the FIFTH time, I was in tears. I consulted with Sara and Kirsten. Kirsten even stopped by to look at it. It was decided that this pattern sucks ass, and I should do something else. Sara, Kirsten, and I worked on finding a new pattern. After deciding that a pullover wasn't the best idea for a baby, and trying three times to get gauge on one pattern that I really liked, I finally chose to work on the Daisy cardigan by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Once again, I was doing this without the hood, and I decided to do it plain - no snakes and no daisies.

I never once had to frog. This pattern was brilliant - it was super-easy, Stephanie's directions were sublimely easy to understand, AND they included the eating of chocolate! That's right, one is DIRECTED to eat chocolate at certain intervals in making this pattern.

I am happy to say that I now have a baby cardigan done. Unfortunately, you can't see it because my camera is off being repaired. I'm trying to figure out how to take a pic with my built-in web-cam, so maybe you'll get to see a pic before the weekend is out.

AND, one more baby project was resurrected from the UFO pile. I had started the Wrap Top about two years ago, but ran out of heart for it when I realised I was out of yarn just several rows shy of being done. And, of course, I'd chosen a colourway (a light tan called "toast") that was discontinued. When I was in North Carolina last fall, Sara and Mish helped me pick out a colourway that was complimentary (a sage) to what I'd started with. The plan (based on my incorrect recollection of how the pattern was worked) was for me to undo the bottom of the wrap and do the bottom portion in the sage.

But, of course, since this was the weekend of knitastrophe, when I pulled the wrap out of the UFO bin, I realised My Grave Error. I couldn't practically undo the bottom, and (of course) just taking up the bottom of one front panel in a different colour would look exactly as if I'd run out of yarn and needed to use a second colour. Not the best option. So Kirsten and I discussed it, and I decided to completely frog one of the front panels and do it in the sage.

I present to you the completed Wrap Top!

Special thanks to Kirsten, Sara, and Mish for their mad knitting, searching, colour-matching, brainstorming, and talk-off-the-ledge skillz.

01 April 2009

A random pet peeve

I hate it when I ask someone something online and they respond by giving me a Wikipedia link. Yes, I could have Googled it or Wikipediaed it just as well as you did. But I was trying to start a conversation, or I wanted the facts along with your perspective on it.

If I ask "what are glumpkes?" I don't just want a recipe that you found online. I want to know if you like them or you don't like them. I want to know that you use the recipe your great-grandmother brought with her from Poland. I want to know this was the first thing you ever taught your son to cook.

Admittedly, there ARE times when I'll respond by giving a link, but then I'll FOLLOW IT UP with my thoughts on the subject. Because this is what I'd like you to do. I mean, almost any question I'd want to ask these days I could just look up. I'm asking YOU for a reason.