Monday, August 31, 2009

well done, sister suffragette

it was 89 years ago on august the 26th that women in these united states of america were granted the right to vote.

and it was last week on august the 26th that we celebrated this most important of milestones.

first came sashes for everyone. (crepe paper was as classy as i could make it. better luck next time.)

then came a sing-along to this classic suffrage anthem.

and then a viewing of "iron jawed angels," a film, and more importantly a story, i love with all my heart.

a few thoughts.

1. the right to vote is one for which we should be grateful every single day. it is a right won just a few short generations ago. there are people living and walking on this earth today who were born before women could vote in the u.s. i can hardly believe that that is true. the fight is still so near, and it makes me want to take the greatest advantage of this privilege possible.

2. justice for one is justice for all. no group, in the majority or the minority, gains anything by denying someone else's rights. and if i believe in rights for my minority, whatever minority that might be, i have to believe in rights for your minority, too. a win for one of us is a win for all of us.

3. sometimes we have to be bold. there is certainly a time for tact and patience, but there is also a time to say what is unpopular and do what is risky. it seems almost ridiculous now that women had to go so far as to put their lives on the line to win the right to vote, but it is true. what boldness do we need now?

4. our daughters' daughters will adore us. suffrage is, to me at least, an enduring and precious legacy. and one that i feel responsible to protect and propagate. i am reminded of hillary clinton's speech at last year's democratic national convention in which she said, "my mother was born before women could vote. my daughter got to vote for her mother for president. this is the story of america."

i love that story.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


it's restaurant week in this, the district of columbia, which means fancy food for cheap and there is nothing to argue about there. i tagged along with katie and her crew for dinner at hook, a high-end georgetown seafood joint.

the big news was the rachel had not eaten seafood in 11 years. she decided to go big to break the trend and ordered oysters for her starter.

she didn't puke, so i think it went pretty well.

really the only other pertinent detail is that we had three courses of some of the best food i had ever eaten. my dinner went like this: gazpacho with jumbo lump crab, artic char with basmati rice, peas and carrot curry, and lemon cake with lavendar buttercream frosting and honey ice cream.

i ate every single bite and then promptly died and went to heaven.

other people's dinners went like this:

katie and i are already plotting a return trip for lunch.

you might say we're, well, hooked.

Monday, August 24, 2009

all's fair

i was driving to target on saturday morning when i saw a BMW with a bumper sticker that said, "rednecks for obama."

and that's when i knew it was going to be a good day.

it was pretty much already destined to be a great day because, for one, i had target coupons! and, for two, it was the last weekend of the montgomery county fair!

as it happens, you can find pretty much anything your heart desires at the montgomery county fair.

por ejemplo:

wise environmental stewardship...

... religion...

... an earlier end to your life by way of delicious fried foods...

{i may or may not have eaten my whole corn dog and half of scott's.}

... true love...

... prizes to die for (maybe literally)...

...pigs on the run...

... and an education...

... about all kinds of things.

{yes, this poor bunny rabbit was disqualified for being the wrong sex.}

you can also find a big old rainstorm...

... which sadly led to the cancellation of the demolition derby, the planned highlight of our county fair excursion. luckily, we heard about another fair and demolition derby in september, and i am totally there.

if that fried oreo doesn't kill me first.

Friday, August 21, 2009


guys, it is so hot here.

like walk out the door and your face melts off hot.

like move a muscle and the humidity sticks to you like a blanket of sweat hot.

like wear anything but underwear whenever possible or you might die of heat stroke hot.

but then, just a little bit ago, dark and sinister clouds came racing across the sky, bringing a few glorious moments of horizontal rain, and now it doesn't feel quite so bad.

though i am about to heat it right up again, because i just found this in my mailbox, courtesy of netflix:

oh, edward cullen. i wish i knew how to quit you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

if you're happy and you know it

last night i went out with the sister missionaries to teach jeff, who recently joined the church. i had not been out with the missionaries since i was myself a missionary, so it was about time. as they say.

the topic of discussion was the plan of salvation. the plan of happiness. god's plan for us.

the plan whereby we left the safe bosom of heavenly parents, gained bodies and came to earth. earth where we would learn and grow through trial, triumph, hardship, sin, repenting, overcoming, failure and success. learn and grow so we can become more like god and return to live with him some day.

the plan of salvation promises us ultimate happiness. but to get there, we have to do and experience things that are hard.

and last night i wondered. why?

why, sometimes, does it have to be so hard?

because without the bitter we cannot know the sweet? without falling down we cannot know the joy of getting up again?

yes. yes, i think that is part of it. but that is not always a great comfort in the thick of adversity.

and then, i thought of something else.

maybe it doesn't have to be that hard after all.

i think the only reason a loving heavenly father could send us away from him to learn and grow and experience on our own was because he had the power to make our journey easy, and our burdens light. we just have to ask, trust, believe. leap.

easy does not mean simple. and easy does not mean that we will not struggle, face challenges. fall down. but i was reminded last night that i believe in a loving god who wants us to succeed, who is ready, willing, and able to make our way as easy as he possibly can.

easy means that we do not fight our battles alone.

and that means it doesn't always have to be so hard.

that is my salvation, and my happiness.

that, my friends, is a plan i can stick to.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

(white) house call

the bad news: i have come down with some sort of fever-y, ache-y illness that i am praying to the high heavens is not of the swine variety.

the good news: emily brought over four seasons of the "the west wing" to help me through my convalescence.

the question: where is my sam seaborn?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


let me just cut to the chase and say that i love the beach.

or, perhaps to be more specific, i love all the parts that make up the whole of the beach: the ocean, the sun, sitting still, judging people wearing bathing suits they shouldn't be, swimming, my toes in the sand, reading lots of books.

and, the most critical part of the whole: the mulhauser beach house! it might be the awesomest beach house in the world, as it is situated on the charmingly named little assawoman bay. (no joke there.)

the final (delicious) piece of the (delicious) weekend was: crabs! like the kind you dig out of the shell and stuff yourself with and lick your fingers when you're done.

{dana and elbert, who is sadly allergic to crab}

{lee. and a claw.}

{alex very seriously approaching the task at hand.}

{paul and heather}


{the whole gang. crustaceans included}

all by the glow of the sun setting over the water.

{dana, the hostess with the most-est}

dear summer, please never leave.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


remember how i am hip and urban and i go out on weeknights to places called rock and roll hotel, where they give you stamps on your hand and you listen to wickedly soulful british bands?

and remember how today i bought a snuggie?

either the second cancels out the first, or my awesomeness has doubled.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

mormon america

media coverage of mormons and mormonism can be kind of a mixed bag. we win some points on steve young, for example, but lose some on polygamists and gay rights. and i would say the osmonds are basically a wash.

generally speaking, i am usually a little bit infuriated when i read something about mormons in the news because i typically find it unfairly critical or downright non-factual. so i think you can imagine my pleasant surprise when i came across this this slate article about how mormons will save america.

the series as a whole is an examination of the things that could undo these united states as we know them. (as it happens, facism and global warming are both bad news.) it's captivating and terrifying all at the same time. but i am happy to report, what with our belief in america as a promised land, our family values, our love of capitalism and our food storage, we mormons stand ready to preserve the country and culture you love so well. rest easy, friends.

you can thank us later.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

cheese with that whine?

i feel as though i might owe you all a cyber-apology.

i am sorry if i've been a blog-whiner lately.

do you accept my apology?

the truth of the matter is that rebuilding your life can be a sad and frustrating experience.

but the other truth of the matter is that rebuilding your life can be an exciting and instructive adventure.

and i certainly didn't mean to discount all the good things and good people i've come across so far in this new chapter.

so, without further ado (adieu, to you and you and you), bye-bye whining. and hello awesome weekend recap!

friday night lauren and i paid our respects to the dearly departed john hughes with a picnic and an outdoor screening of "pretty in pink."

we were slightly amused by the three girls sitting in front of us, who clearly had not even been born before the end of the 1980s. lauren admitted she has a t-shirt that says, "you can't be old school if you're still in high school." i sort of wish she had been wearing it.

saturday we hit up the neighborhood farmer's market, where i was baptized (quite literally) by the purveyor of "holy grail" sorbet. he squirted me with a spray bottle right after i took my first bite. i sound more holy, don't you think? we also bought bread from one of the most beautiful men i have ever seen up close (i can only hope he is as romantically tortured as nicolas cage's bread maker in "moonstruck"), and rounded out the morning with flowers and blackberries as big as my nose.

then it was time for part one of the massive fridge cleaning project, the details of which, with which, i will not bore you. with. (how would that go?)

the weekend's capstone event was a little jaunt to waldorf, maryland, a charming hamlet that is home to two very important things:

1. little caesar's pizza.

2. the south maryland blue crabs single a baseball team.

little caesar's pizza is a rare commodity here in the east, but emily spotted a little caesar's semi-truck not long ago and the magical secret of the waldorf little caesar's was revealed. it was a little slice of heaven.

and, as approximately 97 percent of the town came in while we enjoyed our ultimate supreme, we are obviously not the only ones who think so.

then it was off to the most charming baseball diamond you have ever seen, where every seat is a good seat and every person in those seats knows everyone else. where the scoreboard is still manual, and little boys in the row in front of you debate whether watching baseball or going fishing is a better way to spend a summer night.

sadly, the home team lost to the camden riversharks, but it was nothing a post-game fireworks show couldn't fix.

nothing to whine about there.