Wednesday, January 28, 2009

UPDATED- mercury in your corn syrup?!

I sometimes read Grist, the funny environmental news site (it's a good niche!). Yesterday I saw something I had to share:

Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup

This is very bad news for all you Pop Tart/Nabisco/Packaged Food lovers. And who among us doesn't consume crap at least occasionally? Weren't we all raised on it? Isn't it our American duty, nay, privilege to consume it?

You might think so, the way corn is so freaking subsidized in the U.S. No one ever calls it welfare corn, but maybe we should. Anyhoo-- this was published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health. A former FDA scientist did the research, but the FDA just sat on it. Hmmm....

Well, if diabetes and all the many, many diseases associated with HFCS haven't convinced you to avoid it, the heavy metals will. Wordydoodles is just looking out for your health. Smooches.

UPDATE: A day later, this has exploded all over the mainstream media as well. Check it out.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Oh. It reminds me of two high school sweethearts on the way to the car after the dance. Sweet.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At Last, indeed

Could it be any more perfect, sigh? Beyonce sang "At Last" at one of the inaugural balls, and for all the world I really felt like a guest at a grand and beautiful wedding. Maybe because that was the song I walked down the aisle to! And it helped that Michelle was wearing that gorgeous winter white gown. SIGH. It brought back such wonderful memories of Derek's and my wedding, and of course it was the perfect song to usher in a new political era. And the look on Beyonce's gorgeous face at the end was so emotional.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Joy, joy, joy!

On NPR right now: "it's like being in church, a sense of challenge and comfort at the same time."

"You catch someone's eye, and they want to smile at you, they want to hug you. I've never seen anything like it."

This is heaven to me. Humanity, we did it! For one moment, we have come together peacefully and people are happy, people are glad to be alive, glad to be together. I am so grateful to be alive to see this.

This is our family at an inauguration party, at IBEW Hall in Dublin CA.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Cannot WAIT


I couldn't help yelling, I'm sorry. But I haven't felt this happy about politics *ever.* I have seriously had to keep myself from screaming WOO HOOOOOOOOOO down the suburban street we live on. I have allowed myself a few WOO HOOOOs inside while CNN was on.

For the first time since I left (fled) DC after law school, after those disastrous years of 2000 to 2003, when everything was falling apart-- for the first time since then, I feel like I want to go back. I want to see it again. I want to join the crowds and just be a part of The Massive Happiness.

I totally plan on doing this right here where I live. In fact, tomorrow morning I'm dragging D, my mom and the kids to an inauguration viewing party nearby, organized by MoveOn. You can too!

I will tweet and FB it and take pictures for posterity. DC friends, I want to hear everything from you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Living Sea

We just renewed our membership at Chabot Space and Science Center, and I'm so glad we did. For one thing, they have a planetarium and a "megadome" IMAX theater, and you get free admission to a show with your entrance. It's the first time in FOREVER we've been to a movie. I am totally counting this as a movie even though it's a 45 minute educational film. It counts! And they let kids in! And babies! And they don't mind if your kid says "Poo poo! Change girl's diaper!" in the middle of the film.

I love Chabot Space and Science Center.

We obviously didn't care what movie was playing as long as it was at the right time for P's dinner, so we saw the imax film "Mysteries of Egypt" with Omar Sharif at 6 PM. People, I was so happy I almost cried. Sabrina did well, pretty much nursing in the dark the whole time, and Paloma sat on D's lap pretty quietly almost the whole time (minus the poo poo comment, which came at, of course, a silent, ponderous moment in the movie).

Next week, we are going to see this magical imax film, "The Living Sea" narrated by Meryl Streep and soundtracked by Sting. (Even though I'm not sure there are dolphins in this trailer, I'm including it for the dolphin and ocean lovers out there. You know who you are.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

scaring new parents

My sister pointed me to this great blog post at the NYT Blog by Lisa Belkin. The reader wrote to ask why so many people feel it's necessary to jump in and overshare about horror stories of parenting when they hear she's pregnant. Belkin suggests that it's maybe more of an "initiation" or "welcome to the club" sentiment driving that kind of thing.

I agree with the blog reader as well as with Belkin. It's *more* than wearisome to have people say some variation of the tired old "You'll never sleep again!" or some such other encouraging tidbit. Especially when you're already pregnant (maybe even happy about it!), or seriously considering parenting, or on your way to pick up your adopted child. Why are people so tone deaf to their own rudeness sometimes? But Belkin might be right too, in suggesting that perhaps they're just trying to reach out in their own way.

But every parent (that I've met) processes the challenges of parenting differently. Not everyone sees it as some horrible thing to slog through. Some people like the work of it. Some people even think it's fun! rewarding! And even personally enriching- no martyr in sight.

I read the blog and wrote to my sister: "No one should be "afraid" of parenting, any more than they should fear trying to get a PhD, going for a CEO position, attempting to win an Olympic gold. It's hard work and completely rewarding. The only difference between parenting and those other things is that there's less compensation or rat-race recognition. :) "

And that is what I think of that.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My First Freezer Paper Stencil!

I have a kid who likes drawing, coloring. She does these great pictures on her MagnaDoodle, then Zen-like erases them. So I've learned to be fast with the camera when she does masterpieces, such as this train. (Ok wait-- she is still awake in her sleep, murmuring "chugga choo choo... chugga choo choo... chugga chugga poo poo..." She'd called me back into her room, saying she'd had a poop, but there was no poop. I'm thinking as she drifts to sleep, her subconscious is working out how a wonderful train might be related to poop.)

I couldn't draw a train like this if I tried! And I tried after I saw hers. And it didn't even come close to this wonder and magic.

I've tried to keep her artwork from getting too messy, but I also like giving her new things to try. Which means mess is inevitable, but this smile makes it all worth it.

So I thought I'd introduce her to the wonderful world of freezer paper stenciling. Yes, she's a little young for painting, but FPS seemed like a perfect step toward that.

Aaaaand... it worked great! She came up with the concept (rainbow on a white shirt) and totally rejected my fascist notions of what colors a rainbow should have. I drew the rainbow stencil, cut it out (the most painstaking part of this whole process is the Xacto'ing), ironed it on and, after initial attempts to suggest the cloud color or where red should go, let her have at it.

I thought it turned out beautifully!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

try this! kitchen beauty tip

My mom is really into that whole "kitchen beauty" thing where you use the natural products in your cupboard on your face. I get it, since skin is so absorptive that you don't want to put on your skin anything you wouldn't eat (ie, wouldn't want going through your kidneys/waste processing systems).

At the same time, I'm not into routines that take forever, and I usually don't have time to sit around with an oatmeal and honey mask or what have you. But I tried her latest thing, and it Really Really Worked.

So I thought I should blog it and share the magic with you all. This simple treatment worked WONDERS for my dry winter skin. I swear my face felt like a baby's. And I have a baby to compare it to, so I can say that's a fact. :)
  1. Take a grape. A single grape will do. Cut it in half and rub it all over your face. Let dry.
  2. Put a couple of drops of oil on your fingers. Cold pressed sesame oil is ideal, but extra virgin olive oil (or EVOO to you Rachael Ray fans) works very well too. You need the oil to dissolve the oil holding the dead skin on your face.
  3. Here is the magic step: lightly rub your fingers on your face. Choose one spot to work on and gently rub.
  4. In a few seconds, the dead skin will start to peel off (gross, I know, but also very gratifying, like popping bubble wrap). Don't rub too hard, and don't rub too large an area. Just work in small patches.
It's like a miracle in a bottle but cheaper. Half a grape, a couple of drops of oil, and a couple of minutes are all you need. Your skin will be baby soft and smooth.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year! *and knock on wood*

Welcome to 2009!!! So far things are looking positive. Paloma is easily (!) going down for a nap, and I've been using that time to take vigorous sweaty walks with Sabrina in the Beco Butterfly. It has worked for almost a whole week. Knock on wood we keep this up.

I guess you could say I have one resolution: to exercise daily. I'm happiest when I'm exerting physically. But for that resolution to happen, other things have to happen too: P's nap, other work getting done, dinner getting made. You could call this my bundled resolution.

Paloma and Sabrina are both growing so fast. S is learning to bring interesting things to her mouth. Paloma still makes up songs all the time, and today learned to dribble a soccer ball! I was impressed with how long she stayed focused on it. We went back and forth across the yard at least twelve times.

D is so busy with work. Four classes to teach this quarter, plus an NSF panel to participate on next week, plus his dossier for tenure is due the 15th. We're a little busy around here... I start back at work on the 19th. I'm excited!

Here are some photos: us at a Christmas Eve service (with P in a dress she Did NOT Want To Take Off At All Ever); smiling Sabrina; P with a picture of a train she drew herself (omg it's so good!); sisters. Yay!