Monday, March 30, 2009

funny things i took pictures of

Some random pictures!

First, my giant bottle of gummi vitamins. Yes, I do in fact take children's gummy bear vitamins, because I hate the smell of the "real" ones. Right after I bought this giant one, they came out with an adult version. Sigh. But for some reason, the size of this one is terribly amusing to me.

Look how big it is next to that tiny normal-sized bottle!

My little girl rockstar gloves, $2 at the grocery store. These were to make myself feel better after losing my nice glove after breaking my viola. I wore the guitars on my palms and smiled everytime I flashed myself with them for a few weeks. Also, note the sushi blanket in the background.

A birdhouse hanging over the sidewalk on my walk to work. I need to take pictures of the many bizarre landmarks on that walk. (Like the 70's feminist-inspired park bench and the weird architectural landmark house. Awesome.)

And finally: The panty coat.

I bought this coat at a thrift store on a chilly day where I was (through bad chance and laziness) without a jacket. I spotted it from across the store--how could you not? it's neon--and when I went to examine it ($15, JC Penny's vintage ski was what the tag said) I found a pair of panties in the pocket. Ah ha! I thought. A funny jacket and a funny story! So I bought it. After I checked out, I put it on and immediately found a $20 bill in the interior pocket. I gleefully left the store, put my hands in the pockets and felt something in lining. Through a rip in the pocket I withdrew... Another pair of panties. I can see why you might have one, but two? In your coat pocket? Which you then, without checking, turned in to a thrift store? The world is mysterious. I've been told I look like Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future, but for some reason that makes me incredibly happy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

if we get our full threescore and ten/we won't pass this way again

It's been a while since I've written, and that because in all honesty today is the first time I've stopped moving in at least four days and maybe longer. I've done an awful lot of things in these days, some of them good and some of them less good, but that's how it goes. Anyway, I'd like to note this: after the mini-breakdown that prompted my last post, I looked hard at my calender and spied today, an open day with nothing on it. I took my pen, and I wrote in big capital letters the words DON'T DO ANYTHING. I underlined them a few times, taking up the rest of the lined space for today and leaving myself no room to pencil anybody in. This morning I set my alarm for an unprecedented 9:30 (I usually wake up around 7 as a preventative insomnia measure) and took my time getting up and making tea. I did have a friend over for lunch, an eggplant parmesan that I prepared with a minimum of fuss, but she came to my house and it was a breeze. I mailed some long-overdue Christmas presents and decided not to go to Trader Joe's (even though I should) until later, and now I'm eating ice cream in my underwear. I feel relatively calm and centered and human again, and it feels wonderful. I'm going to start pencilling in free time more often.
On Monday, when I was still busy, I left my apartment at 7 AM to drive south with my friend Jared for a new music residency at a university two hours from here. Jared and I have amazingly known each other since middle school; we played in youth orchestra together, then at UofA, then Northwestern, then Civic and now dal niente. We reminisced and talked relationships and other things as we passed out of the city and into cornfields, and Jared reminded me how awesome the first Weezer cd is, especially for road trips. We arrived at the university around 10, an hour before the student composition reading that comprised the first part of the day. Their music building is seriously shaped like a castle. Sadly, we played not at the castle but at a small hall farther on.
The reading session consisted of us playing student works in various combinations while their teacher and ART (abbreviated to thwart embarrassing googling incidents), a fairly famous Chicago-based composer, watched and gave comments. ART made us nervous; reading new works is always iffy, and having somebody you really respect watch you (especially if you are a sleep-deprived and rather zonked me) is a whole other level. But things went fairly smoothly, and I generally like playing for students. I always feel like performers are able to help new composers bridge the sometimes overwhelming gap between theory and practice, and I like being a part of that. Sometimes something that theoretically might work (or works if you play it on your computer, anyway) is either unrealistically awkward or impossible on an actual instrument, and it can be hard to tell the difference without years of experience. The collaboration helps everyone. ART also gave pretty great feedback, showing students concrete examples of how small changes in compositional style can make a piece much more textured and interesting.
After that there was a big break until our dress that night. We were playing a concert of music by women composers, including a piece by ART that we had played in a rather lackluster manner (to her irritation) the year before. The green room conversation ranged from techniques for not being as sore after marathons to the idea of stuffed squirrel head slippers (ew). The dress went well, and ART told us that she was much happier with our interpretation of her piece, which was a giant relief. The concert went well; our iffy piece didn't fall apart, and the ART piece went well enough that we're planning to make a recording next month. The last note of that piece (the final note of the concert) was a unison A that had been fine up until the dress, where it was horribly out of tune. But at the concert, that note was freaking perfect. It was a good ending.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

it's hard enough even trying to be civil to myself

When I went to the other night's Civic Orchestra concert--Strauss' Dance of the Seven Veils from the opera Salome (RIP Oscar Wilde), a new piece that I was too tired for and so allowed myself to drift away from completely, and Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta that they carried off quite admirably--I experienced an emotion that I always feel when watching Civic perform: extreme jealously. It's very difficult for me to watch that orchestra perform, because the whole time I'm thinking I wish I was down there, playing Bartok like a giant accordion of shifting parallel pitches, I should be there, I've been there before and I want to feel like a participant instead of a listener and on and on. It's tiring and distracting, and I always leave the concert hall feeling just the slightest bit bitter. For me, playing will always be better than listening, I think.
I bring this up not so much to talk about my jealousy issues as I do to meditate on something that's been taking up some headspace lately. I've mentioned that I have a tendency to overbook myself, but recently I've started wondering if there isn't more to this than meets the eye. I stack my entire week full of lunches and dinners and coffees and yoga classes and rehearsals and work and then spend all of my free time at home cooking unnecessarily complicated snack food (you should see my planner, omg), and I'm starting to wonder why. I realized the other day that virtually the only time I'm sitting still and just being is when I'm on the bus.
Ever since I moved into my own place, focus has become an issue for me for basically the first time in my life. I can't sit through movies by myself. (Netflix is robbing me blind.) I check my email waaaay too often. And this is the worst part: It's hard for me to read. I just finished a book two days ago, and I swear it was the first full book I've read in maybe two months, and that terrifies me. I, who love to read, love books beyond all things, can't sit still for long enough to get through a book.
Partially, I think I'm just truly participating in my life for the first time in a while. After graduation, it was relatively easy to become a passive observer, to let life drift by and spend my evenings drinking beer on the porch with my neighbors and ignore the fact that I wasn't doing anything much most of the time. But I'm going overboard. I have a tendancy to be an all-or-nothing sort of person, and right now I've been going full on for weeks. This week and next week are my weeks off from orchestra, and instead of savoring the days where I have nothing at all to do (something that occurs roughly once a month or less when orchestra is happening) I've been running harder than ever before. I'm exhausted, and cranky, and depressed, and having a hard time coping with much of anything, honestly. Nothing I'm doing is irritating or bad (I'm mostly just meeting friends, things like that), but it's overwhelming.
So today, I cancelled a plan. At the last minute, I told star in a paper cup that I wasn't feeling well and I couldn't handle even something as enjoyable as vegan chocolate chip cookies and walking in the sun. I explained (although not in so many words) that it wasn't a physical ill, just a feeling that if I did one more thing I was going to have a complete breakdown. She, because she is awesome (thankyouthankyouthankyou), kindly told me that it was fine, and we'll meet up next week instead to watch a movie. As soon as I cancelled my plan, a huge weight lifted from my brain. I was able to laugh again, and look forward to dinner with friends tonight with anticipation instead of anxiety. I can't even describe how much better I felt.
I'm going to try hard to be better to myself. When the thought of meeting a friend causes that degree of stress , it's time to take a step back. Now I will do my dishes, pet my cats, fold a few cookbooks, and listen to good music and feel happy with these simple necessary things.


My very first yoga class was in Tucson, with erica. I was scared and self-conscious, and afterwards I was surprised at how difficult it was. I feel like yoga rocketed into the public consciousness fairly recently (this might just be because I was young and not paying attention before), and prior to that a lot of people maybe viewed it as a lot of breathing and easy stretching, and I was one of those people. It kicked my ass, but in a good way, and I went with erica and even a few times by myself (which is difficult for me) somewhat regularly over the course of the next year and a half. When I moved to Evanston, I spent two quarters doing a lot of yoga at the student gym, and then I ran out of time and money and stopped just when my shoulder muscles were getting nice and I could wrap my hand around the bottom of my foot (also difficult for me).
This week I went twice. And it was great. Even between the first and second classes, I could tell that I'd stretched; my downward-facing dog was better, I could reach farther, I managed to do things I hadn't done in years and that I frequently feel too old for. It's been a hard in-my-head sort of week, and getting out of that and into a space where my body was literally all I had the energy to think about was amazingly good for me.
The first class was at a place down the street from my house, and it was... interesting. I showed up ten or fifteen minutes early, and was the only person there for a kind of uncomfortably long amount of time. I started to wonder if I would be there only person there, and that made me highly uncomfortable, especially given my four years of not practicing. I sat on my mat, looking around the room, and noticed that all of the paintings had red dots placed on the foreheads of the person pictured. These were all Indian people or people wearing robes or otherwise people that were unsurprising to see dots on, but one near the altar at the front was a dollar store-type picture of Jesus.
Thankfully, some other people showed up just before class started. We spent about half an hour just doing breathing, which I appreciated, and then we did a whole bunch of sun salutations. The instructor was an Indian lady who took almost no time between statements. "Breathinarmsupfoldhandsdownjumpback..." It was hard to keep up at first. After the sun salutations we did a few seated positions and variations, and suddenly she said "Okay, headstand!" And goddamn, every person in the room popped right up into a freestanding headstand on their mats! I didn't even try, I just looked bewildered at all the legs suddenly up in the air.
But it was a decent class (and cheap! even I can sometimes do twelve dollars), and the next day I went to a donation class that Anna's gf Ellie was teaching at a much swankier yoga place across town. It kicked my ass. I'm sore. But happy, and it was good for me. At one point, I was doing this pose where you put your feet together in front of your sit bones (like a butterfly) and stretch your chest toward the front of the room, and Ellie came up behind me and pushed me down at least six inches farther than I had any idea I could go. Bodies are amazing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

the inquisition

by Marge Piercy, from The Moon is Always Female

Did you love him? you stab the old
photographs. And him? And him? And her?
Oh, you shrug then. What does it mean?
Your love comes round regularly as the truck
that sweeps the streets, welcome but
hardly monumental. It stirs up the dust,
it goes on its way, doing some kind
of temporary good, busy, truculent.

You were only eight years old then, I say,
how could I love you if I'd been mean
and proper, if I'd rationed myself
like some prescription drug, if I'd frozen
on grit at the core waiting for the perfect
sun to melt me. I'm a survivor, a scavenger
and I make the best I can out of the daily
disaster, I mold my icons out of newspaper mache.

How could you make love to him in an elevator
you say. But it was a freight elevator
I say, it went up very slowly, you could lock
it between floors. Besides that was a decade
ago, I was more adventurist then. Oh, you say,
so you wouldn't fuck me in an elevator, I see.
I like my comfort better now, I say, but you
are my only comfort. Have you an elevator in mind?

Look at this book, you say, you wrote him
twenty-two love poems. How could you? And publish
them. They weren't all to him, I say, I was busy
that year. And they're good, aren't they? Still?
Oh, so it's just literature, the ones you write
me. Words. But I write the truth out of my life
and if some truths are truer than others in
the long run, the short sprint makes poems too.

Listen, you idiot, we're crawling up the far
slope of our third year and still sometimes
I weep after we make love. It is love we make
and it feeds me daily like a good cow.
I'm an old tart and you come late and I have
loyalties scattered over the landscape like lots
I bought and pay taxes on still, but it's you
and Robert I live with, live in, live by.

Because we work together we are obscurely
joined deep in the soil, deep in the water
table where the pure vulnerable stream
flows in the dark sustaining all life. In dreams
you walk in my head arguing, we gallop
on thornapple quests, we lie in each other's
arms. What a richly colored strong warm coat
is woven when love is the warp and work is the woof.

Friday, March 13, 2009

and take your money

Just briefly: I have a paypal button on the sidebar now. Obviously (hopefully) the "w/shipping" option is for people who I don't personally hand a cookbook too. If it doesn't work, let me know! I'm for some reason intimidated by the fact that setting up a gadget to take people's money is so easy. Also, it ended up being six dollars, because shipping was more than I expected. I write too much, it's confirmed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Today's lesson: Listen to your friends. Especially Rose-Anne, when she makes concerned faces while looking at a recipe.
What happened was this: A month or so ago, I went to a work potluck. One of the girls I work with, L2, is a notoriously innovative cook, with somewhat mixed but occasionally stunning results. (I hear that we don't even see half of what she makes, which I would almost believe.) For this potluck, she brought coconut crepes and a sweet tomato sauce. And boy, were they ever delicious! I was slightly smitten. So I bugged her for a few days to at least roughly tell me what she had done, and eventually she did and it sounded okay so I pulled a crepe recipe off the internet and without trying it printed it up for my cookbook.
Warning bells should be going off now. I a) took a recipe from a knowingly haphazard cook, b) modified it using an internet recipe, c) never made it myself, and d) put it in a goddamn cookbook. I'm smart sometimes like that. When I showed Rose-Anne my master copy on Saturday she made a dubious face as I explained what had happened, as I tried to explain how good and different and awesome this recipe was, or could be.
Today, after shipping out ten cookbooks, I came home and finally finally had time to make the recipe. It wasn't that bad, I suppose... I had to tweak the recipe (adding a cornstarch slurry to the sauce to thicken it and adding more coconut milk to the batter to thin it out) and it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be, but it also wasn't a total failure. However, it needs work. I'm going to give it a few more shots, modify the recipe so that it actually is what it could be, and send out revision sheets to everybody who already got a cookbook. So be warned: if you make the coconut crepes with sweet tomato sauce, it probably isn't going to be the best ever. Give me a few weeks, and I'll repent my sins and have you all over for brunch.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the good, the bad, the tasty

Sometimes, when I'm really hungry and I don't have much "quick" food around, I eat strange and possibly gross things. It's not that uncommon for me to eat what is essentially a tuna fish sandwich sans bread. Yes, tuna in a bowl, with mayonnaise and salt and pepper. (Although, to my credit, that usually a meal I eat in case of extremity, when my body is clamoring and I have no time and no leftovers. Usually.) And Erica once called me and asked me what I was doing and I guiltily replied "Eating cold instant mashed potatoes from my fridge..." While I love food and cooking, sometimes my body and its strange and somewhat unfortunate metabolism remind me that food is not solely for comfort, it is for fuel.
This week hasn't been quite that bad, but I have had opera every night and it's been cutting into my cooking schedule. I rarely cook except at night, because I never know how long it will take and I'm loath to risk spending a whole day on something I thought would be quick. (Apparently, I'd rather eat dinner at 11 PM.) So this week has been a careful rationing of leftovers and quick food like Trader Joe's pre-packaged simmer sauces. Last night, spurred on by hunger and the fact that I had one pot clean and no real veggies, I made the following, which was not half bad:

Cheesy Rice

1/2 cup white rice
dried tart cherries
mozzarella cheese

Cook the rice. Halfway through, add a handful of cherries. When it's cooked, add a bunch of shredded cheese.

Not really a recipe even, but not my worst "throw together what I have in the fridge" meal, not by a long shot. But this afternoon, I decided that a sweet potato that I had sitting in a bag on the floor had to go into this recipe over at Smitten Kitchen. And that was, admittedly, better than my cheesy rice. Here's my (very slightly) adapted version, which I am eating as I write. Good for lunch for one.

Spicy Crispy Sweet Potatoes

1 sweet potato
1/2 heaping teaspoon coriander (ground or seeds)
1/2 heaping teaspoon fennel (ground or seeds)
1/2 scant teaspoon dried oregano
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the sweet potato into wedges, not too large or too thick. (I cut off the ends, sliced my sweet potato in half hamburger-style, and wedged from there.) Mix the spices in a bowl and mash around with a glass for a finer grind. (This is important especially if any of your spices are still in seed form. Also, of course you can use a mortar and pestle or a clean coffee grinder instead.) Toss the sweet potatoes, spices, and some olive oil in a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, then 20 more minutes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

self-publishing is a bitch

Also, did I mention that the cookbook is FINISHED?!? Clove-Minded: A Valentine Cookbook is only a month late, but there are about twenty folded and stapled completed copies in a bag at my feet right now. I think Kinkos screwed me over as I seem to be missing 4 1/2 copies, which is like $25 worth of cookbook that I just can't find and don't know what happened to. And no receipt, so I think I'm out of luck. But anyway... Letting it go. There are recipes for such things I've written about on here, like Creme Andalous, a creamy spanish soup, or basil-feta-pine nut muffins, or--for the adventurous--Habas verdes con queso (lima beans with cheese). There are also things I've never written about here, like tilapia with french cream sauce and sweet potato-ginger-cilantro patties. Good stuff. I have to admit, I've made a lot from this ever since I started making copies because looking through it was making me hungry.
Anyway, the point of this: If you want a copy I made a paypal link in the right sidebar; just send me an email at with your address. (Or, you know, contact me at whichever of my far-too-numerous internet contact possibilities you care to use.) This includes people I don't know; I know from statcounter that there are a few of you out there, and this is a perfect time to 'fess up and introduce yourselves. Donations are accepted (it's costing me about $5 for copies and shipping per copy), as are trades, I suppose. I figure this is what credit cards are for (copying all of my favorite recipes and giving them to my friends, apparently), but the print run is turning out to be a bit larger than expected and I can't afford to make many more pro bono copies.
So let me know! I love you all, and I want to make sure everybody can make soy chorizo-potato pastries if they have the desire.

Oh, and thanks to Anna for the cookbook title. She's my resident font of puns :)

Monday, March 09, 2009

saving graces

Yesterday was International Women's Day! Exciting. I spent the day working at the flower shop (it was raining and therefore slow), and then making a zillion copies and starting the lengthy creasing process so that I can start getting cookbooks in the mail soon. But anyway, IWD. Did you know that IWD actually has a flower? That's right. It's a flower called mimosa or acacia and there are historical reasons for the choice, although I still think it's kind of a weird thing to formalize. Last year, I was the only person on staff who even knew that there was an International Women's Day, which I explained (somewhat stupidly) by saying that I hung out with a bunch of women's studies people in college. Which was kind of true, but puts the day automatically into something those crazy feminists thought up. It's been going on since 1911, long before the current generation of crazy feminists were twinkles in various people's eyes.
This is what our mimosa looks like:

We have many categories of customers in the shop: curt and surly single men, bickering gay couples, slightly strange characters (Veronica Boy, I'm looking at you), and possibly my least favorite, the high-maintenance people. These are the people who pick out flowers, one at a time, staring intently at the table and rejecting suggestion after suggestion, looking for the one flower that will apparently tie their collection of single stems together. It's snarky of me to say that, and I feel bad because in some ways these people represent some of the best aspects of my job: the fact that we work with customers interactively, the fact that our flowers aren't protected in a cooler behind glass but are instead accessible and personable, the fact that I have regular customers at all regardless of the silly internal categorization I put them through. But it's incredibly frustrating to me to follow somebody for twenty minutes, having suggestion after suggestion rejected, itching to just grab the flowers out of the customer's hands and make it coherent and balanced. I bite my tongue because a) I believe in artistic vision, regardless of the perceived "worth" of the outcome, and b) I know it's just the flower snob in me talking. In truth, I'd rather have somebody give an incoherent bouquet that they carefully picked out themselves than to grab the reins and give them my vision instead. But that doesn't make the experience less frustrating.
Yesterday one of my least favorite high-maintenance customers came in. He seems nice enough, but he's rather taciturn and takes a really, really long time to pick out his flowers. Yesterday I didn't even try, I just let him loose and watched from the counter because I knew he would end up doing whatever he wanted anyway. But anyway... In some ways he's one of my least favorite customers to help, but I have a soft spot for him as a person because of this: every year on IWD, he comes in and buys flowers for his neighbor. He tells me that she's from Bosnia, and that she's always nice to him and does things like folding his laundry when he forgets it in the dryer (which apparently happens a lot?), and so every day on International Women's Day he brings her flowers. (Last year he even knew about the mimosa, although we were out this year.) He told me that she must look older than she actually is, because when he gave her flowers last year she jumped up and down like a girl. The possibly weird undertones of this are not lost on me: she folds his laundry and can't be old if she jumps up and down? But still, it's a little bit adorable when he tells me about it, and I like him a little better for it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

a completely self-centered biscotti-inspired kitchen rant

Tonight I had one of the most frustrating nights in the kitchen I've had in a long time. I am someone who chronically overbooks all of my time (Sure, I can meet you for coffee after I have brunch with Z and tea with F and play two rehearsals! No problem!), and the kitchen is not an exception to that rule although in here it's more often accidental. I can look at a recipe and think I can bang that sucker out in forty-five minutes, and three hours later I'm sweaty and exhausted and not even hungry anymore. And tonight is so one of those nights.
The plan was to make spaghetti squash, which requires a minimum prep time (maybe, maybe ten minutes all told) and, while that was baking (30-45 minutes), to mix up the batter for these delicious-sounding parmesan black pepper biscotti that I wanted to take to dal niente's wine tasting fundraiser on Saturday. When the squash came out, I said to myself, I would set it aside, roll out the biscotti dough, tuck it into the oven, and eat dinner while the biscotti went through it's first bake.
The first problem: heat. It was warm today, in the forties, and whenever it gets warm outside my apartment becomes a furnace because my landlords not only don't turn the heat down, they seem to crank it up. (I shouldn't complain, I know, but at this point my oven has been on for more than three hours and I smell like a college locker room.) The second problem: space. I don't know if I've ever described my kitchen, but it's... tiny. My major appliances (stove and refrigerator) are both roughly three-quarters size, and I have a patch of counter space that is maybe 12x18. This means that a) anything requiring more than one bowl or pan or anything ends with me balancing the extras on the fridge or my desk or my dresser or etc., and b) I have small baking sheets, because nothing else will fit in my tiny damn stove.
So the squash went okay, and I got the dough mixed together, but I was realizing that this was going to take longer than I'd hoped. I already knew that the stove was going to be on for a long time (biscotti have to bake 65-75 minutes at around 300 degrees), and that I was going to have to spend some time slicing the loaves into biscotti-shaped lengths before the second bake. I was irritated, but resigned. But when I started slicing the biscotti, I realized something: a loaf of dough takes up much less space than that same dough sliced into lengths and placed, cut side down, back on the (remember: tiny) baking sheet. It was a struggle to get all of the pieces back onto the sheets, but I didn't lose my temper until the sheets were back in the oven and I looked at the recipe again and read these words: "Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, 35 to 45 minutes total." (My emphasis.)
"Turn over? Fuck!" is approximately what I said. Turn over those puzzle-piece biscotti pieces, now heated to 300 degrees, and re-fit them back into their also-300-degree pans? This is where I made myself a half-assed homemade whiskey sour using lemon juice, sugar and water (and whiskey, of course). And it was when I burned myself (thank god, for the first and only time) that I started whimpering, "Nightmare recipe..."
But really, now that I'm done it wasn't that bad, and now that I've written it all out I can laugh a little bit. I just turned the oven off, and I have two sheets packed full of--judging from my initial tastes at the halfway point--fairly yummy biscotti. At least I ended up with something decent. I don't even usually like biscotti that much (a cookie so hard you can't eat it alone is something I don't understand), but I'm a sucker for recipes that flip taste expectations. I don't know if I'll make these again, but... Now I know? What a shitty moral. Fucking biscotti.

more on mormons, and important for illinois-ians

The original post is here. This is tomorrow, so email or call if you can. I don't usually do this, but god I'm tired of this shit. You can skip the part about looking up people on the official website, I posted an easier-to-read link at the bottom.

"The following official email was just sent out (via the LDS Church website) to all the members of the Nauvoo 3rd Ward, as approved by Kristy Combs, ward website administrator, and by Bishop Chris Church of the Nauvoo 3rd Ward. (Because it was sent through the LDS website, it required the authorization of a bishop or higher.)

"This message has been authorized for sending by Bishop Church.The Civil Union Bill (HB 2234) has been scheduled for a hearing in the Youth and Family Committee this week on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in Springfield. If the bill is voted out of committee, it becomes eligible for a vote before the full Illinois House of Representatives. This bill will legalize civil unions in the state of Illinois, and will treat such civil unions with the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits as are afforded within marriage. In other words, civil unions will be different in name only from marriage. As has already been seen in Massachusetts, this will empower the public schools to begin teaching this lifestyle to our young children regardless of parental requests otherwise. It will also create grounds for rewriting all social mores; the current push in Massachusetts is to recognize and legalize all transgender rights (An individual in Massachusetts can now change their drivers license to the gender they believe themselves to be, regardless of actual gender, which means that confused men and women are now legally entering one another's [sic] bathrooms and locker rooms. What kind of a safety issue is this for our children?). Furthermore, while the bill legalizes civil unions, it will be used in the courts to show discrimination and will ultimately lead to court mandated same-sex marriages.
To help defeat this bill, please call your state representative and state senator and ask that they support traditional marriage and vote against the civil unions bill. If you are unsure who your legislators are, please see the link at the end of this email.

Also, please take a moment and call the following members of the Youth and Family Committee to encourage them to vote no on this bill. We need 4 votes to keep it from passing out of the committee. And - as always, please pass this on to all who believe in protecting our families and our children. If you are interested in attending the hearing, it will be held on Thursday, March 5th at 9:00 a.m. in Springfield in Room 122B of the Capitol Building (I can give you directions to the Capitol Building if needed).

Members of the Youth and Family Committee:
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) (Greg Harris is also the sponsor of this bill, but he needs to hear your opposition to this bill) Chairperson217-782-3835

Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago)Vice-Chairperson217-782-5962

Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago)Republican Spokesperson217-782-1653

Rep. William D. Burns (D-Chicago)217-782-2023

Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe (R-Chicago)217-782-8182

Rep. Al Riley (D-Matteson)217-558-1007

Rep. Dave Winters (R-Rockford)217-782-0455

Directions for identifying your legislators:You can use the following link to identify your state legislators and their contact information: (and enter your 9digit zip code). If this link doesn't work, you can use the general link and then click on " legislator lookup" near the bottom of the page, then click on "by zip+4". Type in your zip code,and you'll see a list of your legislators. You want your state senator and state representative as they will be the ones voting on the bill.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Sister Combs"
Please do the opposite of this action alert by the church and tell your legislators you support the HB2234 the civil unions bill.
Crossposted via Chino Blanco."

This link will give you emails as well as numbers. Thanks to Anna for all the info.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Incidentally, Connie (the pregnant friend) also told me this, which I think relates to the term "pro-choice" as it was being discussed a la octuplet: When Connie found out she was pregnant, she called Planned Parenthood to inquire about getting an ultrasound, as at that point she didn't have insurance. Planned Parenthood informed her that, unless she was also getting an abortion through them, she couldn't get an ultrasound. I have no idea if this is normal for PP (their website definitely gives me the impression that it's not), but wow.