Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Civics Lesson

There's nothing like a good dose of censorship at 7am to get my blood boiling. Apparently, the First Amendment is truly dead. First, a study of high school students, teachers, and administrators earlier this year revealed that a high percentage believe that the First Amendment goes too far in protecting our rights. And now, in a high school in Tennessee, student editors have had an edition of the school newspaper seized because the administration wants to see them "re-write" certain sections so as not to offend anyone (see CNN story here).

I was the editor of our high school newspaper. I guess the First Amendment was different then. I was given the same rights as the local journalists for the various area newspapers. I even got to interview President Reagan when he visited the area right after he was elected for his first term, just like every other adult journalist. It was an honor. While, I may not have agreed with his politics and even wrote an editorial for the same issue my interview was published in which I lambasted Reagan on his position on several issues. Not once was any piece ever censored by my school administration. No matter how much they disagreed with the paper's position on a subject. It just wasn't acceptable besides being illegal.

Too bad today's students and administrators alike don't have a good grasp of the Constitution. Sadder still is they don’t seem to care…

Thursday, November 24, 2005


One of the toughest things to do when you are in a long-term relationship is to meld your family holiday traditions with those of your mate. Family holiday traditions provide insight into your mate's upbringing: does the family open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve or wait until Christmas morning, do you have ham or standing rib roast at Easter, is Thanksgiving dinner early right after the Macy's Parade or late after the Detroit Lions football game. Messing with those traditions will assuredly cause at the least a small tiff and at the most lead to a full blown, "I'm sleeping on the couch", knock out, dragged out fight.

Thanksgiving is MBH's favorite holiday and I messed with his family Thanksgiving tradition of not eating until almost 7pm. I plead ignorance but none the less there you have it. I contributed to MBH not enjoying Thanksgiving as much as usual for the past four years. MBH's father worked as a golf pro in the south, which meant that while all of us north of the Mason/Dixon line had put our clubs away in September, people at MBH's father's course were still out there getting in 18 holes on Thanksgiving day. His family didn't typically have the big formal meal until after 7pm. My family, on the other hand, eats early so that the men folk can go watch the Detroit Lions lose to whomever they are playing.

This year, while planning our meal, I laid out the day's dining/cooking schedule based around my family timetable and found myself mired in a little "disagreement". One of those that leave you wondering, "what did I say" and your mate wondering, "What are you upset about". MBH finally told me about his family tradition of eating late but "sneaking" bits of turkey through the day because his mother always fixed the turkey early. He explained to me why it is his favorite holiday and now I understand why he always comes into the kitchen while I’m cooking turkey asking like a little kid "Is it done yet?” This year, I woke up early, put the turkey in so that it would be done by noon. MBH was like a kid in a candy store. Picking at the browned bits of the breast and sharing parts of a drumstick with LB. I have my grandmother's recipe for scalloped corn, a good New England dish, in the refrigerator ready to be popped in the oven at 6:30 and my mother's cranberry relish is defrosting on the counter. MBH's family green beans are in the slow cooker perfectly timed to be finished in time to carve the turkey for our sit-down part of the meal sometime after 7pm.

And you know what, it is kind of nice to leisurely pick at the bird and sneak a black olive or two out of the bowl through out the afternoon while we sit and enjoy each other's company. The bird will keep.

MBH's Southern Green Beans

5lbs Green Beans
1lb Salt Pork
1 Cup of water

Break the greenbeans and remove ends and strings. Parboil and place in slow cooker. Cut Saltpork into 4 even sized pieces. Place into slowcooker with bean and add 1 cup of water. Cook on low temperature for 12 to 15 hours. Better next day, so make up day ahead.

My Mother's Cranberry Relish
(this is more like a chutney)

1/2lb Cranberries
2 Oranges (peeled, sectioned, remove seeds)
1/4 Cup Orange Peel
2 Apples (Granny Smith or Macon)
1/2 Cup Celery (chopped)
1/2 Cup Walnuts (chopped)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Pkg Cherry flavored Gelatin
1/2 Cup Boiling Water

Put cranberries, apples, orange sections, and orange peel into a food mill/grinder or food processor. Grind coursely. Put in large bowl. Mix walnuts and sugar. Disolve cherry gelatin into boiling water and add to mixture.
Stir thoroughly to make sure sugar and gelatin are mixed into fruit/nuts. Put in refrigerator until set. May be frozen after set.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Random Music for Friday

Ok, where did this week go? And what do you mean next Thursday is Thanksgiving?? Good thing MBH and I are going cat food shopping tonight. I will have to throw the turkey in the cart next to LB's cans of sole, sardine, and cod filet in gravy.

Well, in case you are just joining us, on Fridays a few of my fellow bloggers set their Ipods on Shuffle and then embarass ourselves publicly by letting you, the reader, see what bad disco or 70's Supergroup music we secretly listen to while cleaning the house.

So, here we go!!! (Links for you to play along)

My Friday Random 10

1. I Love You for Sentimental Reasons - Linda Ronstadt
2. Mon Menage A Moi - Edith Pilaf
3. Baby Mine - Bonnie Raitt
4. Come Sail Away - Styx
5. Under the Milky Way - The Church
6. Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
7. Ain't Talkin' Bout Love - Van Halen
8. The 8:29 - Flim & The BB's
9. Winter - Tori Amos
10. Somewhere over the Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

I did say embarassing remember...

And, if you don't know who Isreal Kamakawiwo'ole is, you owe it to yourself to go to the link and listen to him. He had one of the sweetest voices and will make you forget Tiny Tim in regards to the ukelele. Read the reviews and then get thyself to ITunes! RIP IZ.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Looks like an eternity doesn't it?

Not sure where I found this link but re-discovered the site while cleaning up some old bookmarks (check out the countdown clock on the sidebar!). They offer a great stuffing stocker for those of us counting the seconds as well.

MBH will tell you one of my liberal, "communist" friends sent it to me. He is probably right.

But, consider this the first post of a few rants of the day.

Oh, and pray that time flies...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Finally Friday

It has been a very long and arduous week filled with strife at work and on the homefront. Seems that my team at work and my team at home have all been on different wavelengths.

I hate it when that happens. I hate that when I wake up planning on having a great day with MBH something seems to be out of sync and we end up at cross purposes. This just seems to float right over to work where some uncertainity with the direction of the business has added a whole new element of budget planning and the operational plan I need to create by next Wednesday for the final budget meetings next Friday. So, I am most thankful that today is Friday. The end of the week.

Things are looking up for the weekend though. MBH and I have a tentative "date" for afterwork drinks and tomorrow is suppose to be one of those gorgeous Indian Summer days in New England. We will strap the bikes on the car and head over the ocean for one last hurrah on Nantucket. Here's to Friday!!!

You know the game, Andrea's Ipod Game. You know the rules by now, so let's put the Ipod on shuffle (no cheating now!) and see what the Shuffle Genie has for our listening pleasure. As usual, links for you to listen along.

Friday's Random 10

1. I'll Back You Up - Dave Matthews Band
2. Crossroads - Jim Brickman
3. Guilty - Yann Tiersen from the Amelie Soundtrack
4. Message in a Bottle - Gabriel Yared from the Message in a Bottle Soundtrack
5. Don't Think of Me - Dido
6. Come Undone - Duran Duran
7. I Can't Make You Love Me - Bonnie Raitt
8. Euphoria (Firefly) - Delerium
9. A Common Disaster - Cowboy Junkies
10. Instumental version of Natalie Merchant's Ophelia

The instrumental version of Natalie Merchant's Ophelia is a hidden track on the CD by the same name. I first heard it while doing sound for the National Figure Skating Championships that were held in Boston in 2001 (No, I can't remember who skated to it). It was my first download from the then illegal Napster (Don't worry, I own the album now). The perfect melancholy ending to a melancholy week.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Kettle Calling the Pot Black

We don't do sports here in our little house off Harvard Square because politics are sports. Basically, I live in a "Mary Matalin/James Carville" house (I'm not her!). MBH and I have agreed to disagree about fiscal policy, and in the name of peace and sanity, have agreed to only send half barbs across the dinner table for the next three years. Besides, like a good liberal that can see both sides of the same coin, I sympathize with MBH; because with the exception of Mitt Romney, he is probably the only Republican in the most liberal state of Massachusetts. So, I've tried to keep this blog politically neutral. I have other outlets for my political bent.

However, this morning, I read this article about releasing 500 Iraqi prisoners from Abu Ghraib in time to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan. This was part of an earlier release of 1,000 prisoners at the beginning of the month to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan. Didn't we berate the dictator we overthrew for doing the same type of gestures? Didn't we say we would be a benevolent helper while Iraq found it's way to democracy and show the Iraqi people that they had spent 30+ years under the thumb of a cruel, evil man? Why is it that every step of this administration I feel like I'm being told one thing and the diametrically opposed thing is actually happening? I think I hear my kettle whistling...