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Wow, what a week, eh?  McCain shocks us all with an announcement this “in-the-know” gal never saw coming.  Experts murmurred and people much more knowledgable than I speculated.  But I’ll admit, I had to do some serious goggling when the official word finally broke.  Truth be told, I’m lazy and I wasn’t about to waste my time seeking out info on the half-dozen or so GOP’ers on the short list til a clearer picture was available.  I mean, who needs a bunch of politicians cloggin up your neurons needlessly, right?  So for me and many obviously, this choice was out of left-field (pardon the pun). 

Today Momocrats challenged readers to look at the issues that set Palin apart.  Apart progressives and apart from the person McCain might be delusional enough to think Palin can replace – Hillary Clinton.  I would have to do some research obviously to take on such an assignment. 

When I come across an unfamiliar name in politics, like many, I go to On The Issues.Org.  It gives me a jumping off point:  Is she pro-choice?  Ah, no.  Is she for gun control?  Ah, no.  Is she progressive on energy issues and environmental concerns?  Ah, no.  Is she for equal treatment of all citizens?  Ah, no. 

Not all too surprising, she is a Republican afterall and that certainly is the flawed party line.  But the startle comes when you go to the issues that are unknown.  It’s rare to see a politician with so little listed for those little things like:  IMMIGRATION!  TECHNOLOGY!  FREE TRADE!  FOREIGN AFFAIRS!

A Vice Presidential candidate with no declared background in Foreign Affairs?  While we are engaged in two wars?  Facing heated tensions in a handful of other global locations?  With a 72 year old wanna-be President? (Oh, Happy Birthday McCain, I was gonna send you a present, but what do you get a guy with more houses than he can count?  Gingkoba?) 

It was at this moment that I was convinced Ashton Kutcher was to blame and we (the American people) were being punked.  I mean McCain is the candidate that for the last eight months (even before Obama won the nod) sang a rousing chorus of “Obama has no experience!  With a capital E and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool…where’s my pet press pool?”

Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t much chance I was going to vote for McCain, short of Jesus being his running mate and all.  But shouldn’t it at least be a reasonably fair fight?  After the GOP ended up with the candidate NO ONE really wanted, didn’t my red friends (hi friends) deserve a decent running mate?  Sure they did.  And as much as I would like to celebrate his choice and take pride as a woman and a mother that someone who looks like me will jockey for the second highest office in the land, I simply can’t. 

You can take all the other pieces out of the equation.  Forget she’s not pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-civil rights for all people.  She’s simply not qualified to take command of this nation should the need arise.  And that need is a very real possibility, like it or not. 

McCain, you’re either stupid or you think we are.  Did you actually think any pair of breasts would do?  Democrats who voted for Hillary didn’t do it just because she’s a woman Johnny – they support her positions on issues, they admire her character and ethics, they AGREE with her on the basic fundamentals of how to govern this nation we all love so dearly.  You’re a fool to think that any ol’ woman would do to fill those shoes. 

So you’re right McCain (oh, how it pains me to type that), experience does matter.  And I’ll take Obama’s and Biden’s, every day and twice on Sunday over your’s and Sarah Palin’s. 

You’re a maverick alright, question is, what are you smokin’?

Go to Momocrats & read as other voters cover the Palin Comparison-all day Monday (9/1).

 

 

 

How wonderful it must be to live in a world where things are absolute – black and white – no grey. Meghan, A Mom Two Boys, twittered this article and drew my attention to the comments left by folks regarding the Democratic Party. Gems like this:

“Although I’m pro-life as a conservative, I must admit that abortion does serve a useful purpose. Most of the people who have abortions are Democrats. If their children were allowed to be born, they would be raised as Democrats and the woods would be full of ’em. We Republicans wouldn’t have a chance. By killing them off, the natural balance is maintained.”

“The liberals do kill many of thier unborn, but they also spread a lot of STD’s by behaving like animals.”

“So, after everything is said and done the Dems have nominated one young inexperienced naive black man and one bitter old hate filled white man. About the only thing they have in common is they are both baby killers. Sad.”

I pretty much stopped there for fear of an aneurysm.

Animals? Baby Killers? I always love it when those with limited vocabulary and lack of ability to debate issues start name calling. I wear the label of “Socialist” proudly as it is often handed to me by people who have no idea what a socialist actually is.

In the simple world where these folks live, a place where black is black and white is white and you are wrong and they are right, Democrats = Baby Killers. And they place their heads gently on their pillow each night and haven’t a care about the bigger picture.

So for all you “conservatives” (again another term you might not be familiar with as you elected GWB twice leading this great land of ours with no fiscal responsibility and record spending. GWB is no conservative my wayward little friends, and here’s a newsflash: NEITHER IS McCAIN – but a discussion for another day), this “baby-killer” would like to give you her take on this issue that you base all of your political decisions on.

I don’t speak for all Democrats here as I don’t live in the absolute world some do. But from my years of reading, discussion and debate, I have come to these conclusions:

Some Democrats who find themselves Pro-Choice are not Pro-Abortion. We are simply unwilling to let the government dictate what a women should do with her body. You know how hot and heavy you are for smaller government? Well Connie (can I call you Connie?), we are too – we think the last place government should erect themselves is in our decision making when it comes to something happening to us and us alone. Period.

Some Democrats hate the idea of abortion. They hate the idea that a woman faced with an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy has to make a choice like this. It can be devastating and not one of us who value the right of a woman to choose her own path ever lose sight of this fact.

Some Democrats want programs in place – in schools, in society – that would eliminate the need for this choice. We want to live in a country where no one finds themselves pregnant and scared and without resources to welcome a child into their lives. We want to live in a country where every child is wanted. We see the enormous benefit of supplying the knowledge to those most vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies.

Some Democrats think that if a child is brought into this world, they should be afforded a base level of love, acceptance, education…a chance to succeed, no matter their race or gender or economic status. We believe that if they are equipped with the tools they need to prosper, they are that much more likely NOT to face the consequences of poverty and under-education lived by the generations proceeding them.

So that’s where this “baby-killer” stands.

The sad part of all of this is that I know everyone knows all of this already and at the end of the day, no one is going to read these words and say Wow! I totally get where they are coming from now. No more than I’m going to have a zen moment reading the shit Ann Coultier or Michelle Malkin put out there.

Again, this is just where some Democrats find themselves. For this Democrat this issue is not THE decision maker in who I choose to vote for. The wars (yes folks it is plural), the economy, the general state of affairs in this country far outweigh the abortion issue for me. It’s not to say that it is not an important one. I firmly believe that if we manage to fix many of the other ills plaguing our country, the need for abortions will decline. And that is something all of us should find agreement on.

Ninety-six seems to be a lucky number – once again I’ve lost 1.2 pounds. If I could spice up my exercise plan (you know, the non-existent one?), I could take off like gang-busters and finance a small, third-world nation with these quarters.

Still no word on the sugar daddy (or momma – you know I’m a free love kinda gal) to pay me to lose weight. So I’ve decided to up the ante on this one. I will tattoo the name of my generous benefactor on my buttocks (I retain the right to determine exact location as there is plenty of land to work with). Then when I lose the weight, it will gradually get smaller and eventually fall through the crack. So call me. Can you imagine the pics from that field trip. Oy.

In other news…

My friend Katie goes in for another biopsy today. You remember her from last week’s “you have my permission to touch yourself” post. Think good thoughts for her at 2:30 pm (EST), will you? She’d appreciate it. And if you want to show her some comment love, I know it would mean the world to her.

I’m beginning to hit burn-out over the election brought on by the stress at the thought of losing. I must breathe and remain positive. I am crafting a post on the DNC Convention, but every time I think I’ve got a handle on what I want to say, other thoughts drift in and it feels incomplete and misleading. So it’s a work in progress and will hopefully see the light of day this week. I think maybe I’m just waiting for crazy Bill to perform (Lord, help us?) and then I’ll have my thoughts collected. In the mean time GOBAMA!

As always, Momocrats is doing an excellent job, some from the Convention and some from home, covering this. Check out their websites for the latest on what is happening.

And finally, go show my weight loss buddies some affection, won’t you? A new post goes up everyday. If you just can’t get enough of me here, you can take a peek at yesterday’s insights on why I love brownies. Trust me, there is more to it than the fact that they taste f-ing delicious!

All of us have all hit the pavement running this week and are doing a great job. It is wonderful to do this with such terrific women. They keep me motivated and make me laugh. I highly recommend ‘dem losers of mine!

Or at least they’re gonna be.

An amazing group of Cincinnati gals found themselves Twittering yesterday afternoon. This is certainly not a rare phenomenon, one which normally just leads to decreased work production and poor performance reviews (sorry bossman). But yesterday an inspired idea was hatched. Seven women, unhappy with the numbers they were seeing on the scale rallied to make a life change and committed to helping each other along the way.

I’m very proud to be amongst these women:

Julie – Wine Me Dine Me

Shannan – Mommy Bits

Laura – Laura’s Carbon Footprint

Monika – I need yours!

Michelle – My Wine Education

Kate – Kate’s Random Musings

We’re gonna pull our collective efforts and girl power to recreate ourselves. And lucky you – you get to follow us each step of the way. Warning: seven women cutting back on their favorite foods? The ride might get bumpy from time to time.

So, please head over (and subscribe) to our new venture: Losing it in Cincinnati. And join us or just root us on. There are seven of us, each approaching this from a different perspective (I think I’m the only one doing Weight Watchers), so there is going to be plenty of material for all shapes, sizes, and plans of attack.

Some of us have a little to lose (Laura wants to be her best and lose ten pounds for her wedding in October), some of us have a lot to lose (as you know, I need to knock off another fifty or so pounds to return to my fighting weight), and everything in between.

Each of us will post once a week on our day (mine is Tuesday’s – so mark your calendars) and update you on our progress; offer tips that work for us – or ones that didn’t; recipes; you know, the nuts and bolts of weight loss.

Wish us luck!

Everyone was so impressed by my mad-math skills with last week’s quarter business, I’ve decided to keep it going: I lost over three rolls of quarters last week (or 1.6 lbs). You know what would be swell? If some magical sponsor could appear and pay me in rolls of quarters as each pound comes off. So if you’re rich and philanthropic, give me a ring, won’t you?

I weighed in on Tuesday. I’ll admit I wasn’t as diehard as I should have been with point counting and getting the dairy and water in each day. I almost didn’t go to weigh-in for fear of the scale.

While I was very relieved and very happy, I know there is a long road ahead of me. Another fifty pounds of road to be exact. Luckily, so many of you are rooting me on and it makes the baby steps that much easier. The first thought that ran through my head when the new number appeared was “yippee, I can’t wait to tell my blog buddies!”.

More good news, my friend Shannan has decided to join the weight-losing ranks. She’s adorable and I don’t know what she’s thinking (as a pudge, you have no idea what I’d do for her figure). But she’s not happy and she’s decided to work on it and I welcome her to the scale!

The biggest thing for me to make it work and stick this time is to change my view on food. I love food. I love how it brings people together. I love to try new things and introduce new things to friends and family. (For whatever reason trying new exercises has never brought me the same kinda joy, go figure.) Food was a big part of growing up – it was the key to celebration as well as the crutch through low times. More than anything, food, and lots of it, represented family and love and safety for me.

Even now, when I’m happy or sad (see I’m screwed both ways) I turn to food. There have been many times when I don’t even realize I’ve grab something. I’ll be half way through a can of Pringles before I’m thinking of the consequences. Once realized, I feel guilty and more often then not continuing eating to ease the guilt. What a vicious cycle.

I know what I need to do (and what I need not do) in order to lose weight. But as Weight Watchers reminds me: Knowing what to do to lose weight and applying that knowledge to daily life are two very different things.

So that is where I am today. Just trying, slowly but surely to retrain my brain. To still enjoy food and make it a healthy part of my life, but not the end all it has been to date.

We continue to cook in more often – we’ve only eaten out for our cooking series this week and I’m loving it. Who knew such wonders could come out of MY kitchen? Tonight’s dish: Rocco’s Gnocchi Shepherd’s Pie. We’re trying it for the first time. But it’s Rocco, so it’ll be doable and delicious – just like him.  And it gives me an excuse to post this:

You’re welcome.

The recipe we’re using is from the cookbook (“Rocco’s Real Life Recipes”) he gave me when we had lunch together in San Fransisco last month. Yes, I AM that cool. Okay, it wasn’t just me and Rocco. It was me and Rocco and a hundred or so other bloggers at Blogher. But he clearly liked me best. Don’t believe those bitches anyone if they tell you different.

By the way, for a novice cook (like me) this is a great cookbook and I highly recommend it. It’s very detailed and you don’t have to come with a lot of base know-how to find success. Thanks Rocco.

And thanks to all of you for thinking of me as I knocked off another 128 quarters. Can’t wait til Tuesday – wish me luck!

When I was in high school my Grandma, in her seventies, fell and broke her hip. It was the kiss of death back in those days. I remember my Mom telling people, friends of Grandma or the older folks at church, what had happened and they’d reply with an “Oh, I’m so sorry”, which loosely translated into “She ain’t gonna make it”. Grandma struggled to recover, but did succumb to complications and general fatigue a few months later.

Losing her was devastating. I had live with her for a good portion of my life – my mother was a single mom until she married my father (who later adopted me). Then when teenage angst turned into teenager rage, I lived with her for a long time until family relations improved. Even when I wasn’t living there, I was spending the night on weekends, going to the bingo and helping her shop, as often as possible. She was the most important person in my life.

I found out later that one of the complications she had was breast cancer. Though that is probably not what finally laid her to rest, it certainly didn’t aid in any chance she might have had for recovery. Odds are she had been walking around with breast cancer for a decade, undetected because she hadn’t done any self-screenings and certainly hadn’t had a mammogram.

Maybe back then (we’re talking what, twenty years ago?) they didn’t do mammograms on a woman of her age? I find it hard to believe, but maybe. The more likely scenario is that she just didn’t have one done. A woman, a heavy, lifetime smoker no less, in her seventies has far better things to talk about when making the monthly stop at her physician’s office I imagine. Had it not been for the broken hip, breast cancer would have likely taken her life in the end.

That was my frame of reference for breast cancer: something far, far away; something that happened to much older people; way, way down the road.

Until now.

In the last four months, two people close to me have discovered they have breast cancer – my boss and my friend. Today, I was informed P’s preschool teacher has breast cancer. She was in remission for a long time following a double mastectomy, but now the cancer is back.

Three amazing women close to my heart are now battling this disease. It has stopped me in my tracks. This is no longer a disease affecting nameless, faceless people , people decades older than me, people so far removed from me. This is effecting women just like me – mothers and wives and friends. My friends.

To be honest, it is scaring the shit out of me. Things like this have an easy way of making you think of your own health and question the choices you’ve made to date. It’s probably the only good thing to come out of this trauma my loved ones are going through. Their struggle becomes a glaring reminder to take care of myself, to get the check-ups, to eat right, to self-screen, to stop putting things off that I know I should be doing.

This is the point of this post: to make each of you think and remember to prioritize your health and well-being. To remind you that too many people count on you everyday not to.

The reality is that of the one-hundred or so people who will read this, someone is going to get breast cancer, someone likely already has it. But that’s hardly where the game ends. Early detection and treatment saves lives. It’s as simple as that. So do those self-examinations, get the mammograms that are recommended. Know the signs and listen to your body. Respond just like you would if your child or loved one was sick: DON’T HESITATE IF YOU THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG.

And never forget, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Drop the extra pounds, stop smoking, eat better, know your family history and your personal risk factors. Do what you need to do to live the best and longest life possible.

Yearly, we recognize October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But for women EVERY month needs to be. Every month we need to check in with ourselves, take a moment and do what needs to be done. We must be aware that WE are our number one defense against this enemy. Are YOU due for a mammogram? When was the last time you felt yourself up? Do it today – schedule it, grope it, think about it. Remind someone you love to do the same. It’s up to you and me sister.

And after you tend to your own health, maybe you could send a few prayers to my boss, my friend and my daughter’s teacher? They are brilliant, brave women. They are not statistics or culminations of risk factors. They are facing the odds we fear.

Someday, they will call themselves breast cancer survivors.

If you don’t count the hot dogs and soft pretzels at Friday’s Florence Freedom game, our little Ohio clan has not eaten out for over a week. This is a new record – the restaurant business in Cincinnati is surely feeling the pinch.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day (da-da-da-da-dum). I’m feeling okay about it, but some of the dishes we’ve been whipping up have not been good for my self control. It’s probably not a good thing that since re-joining Weight Watchers nearly all of my posts have focused on food in one form or another. Whatdayagonnado?

There were plenty of leftover supplies from last weekend’s pizza making extravaganza, so this time around we let P do a little of the work and she had so much fun and because *SHE* made it, she was more than willing to eat it – DOUBLE BONUS. Having a two year old in the kitchen presents both joy and hazard – but definitely worth it. And when she’s rich and famous, with her own cooking show and empire ala Rachel Ray, Mommy can retire early. Which, as you know, is my main motivation for motherhood – the eventual sponging off my offspring.

We cooked in all weekend – I love it when you have time to really do things well and enjoy the task at hand. And for the first time ever, I’m enjoying the act of cooking. I was very willing to let D handle that part of our domesticity up until now. This was a combination of laziness and lack of know-how. Surprisingly, when you have an inkling of what you’re doing, it can be quite a good time. We also got the benefit of spending together as we worked on the dishes and with the exception of a couple moments when “you’re not the boss of me” was uttered, it was nearly painless.

We decided to recreate Jean Strasser’s menu from Thursday’s Quickie Lunch,

if you recall I head to The Party Source on Thursdays now because the Wednesday fix wasn’t getting me through. (Yes, I clearly have an addictive personality and should be in some type of group therapy.)

Halibut Kebabs with Red Pepper and Sweet Onions

Topped with Fresh Cucumber Mint Salsa

Zucchini Spaghetti with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Peach & Blueberry Crostini

Just know that the food was much better than the blurry photos would have you believe. I don’t think there is enough light in my kitchen for food photos.

But this photo is quite clear, even if blurry:

Yes that is my daughter ingesting healthy vegetables NOT wrapped in some form of carbohydrate and without the threat of bodily harm promise of a Dora marathon. If you squint, you can even see a little toddler thumbs-up. Or maybe she’s just impersonating Bob Dole, who knows?

Jean, have I told you lately what a genius you are?

And just so you don’t think it’s a fly-by-night thing, I’ve MARINATED (overnight no less) tonight’s dinner: Korean Marinated Sirloin and an array of vegetables – another menu from Jean. I’m sorta becoming a little single-white-female with Jean, huh?

Well, I’ve been in denial for a few months now. I’d heard rumors, scuttlebutt if you will, about Chris Noth’s (Detective Mike Logan’s alter-ego) impending departure from Law & Order: Criminal Intent. But now reality is knocking at the door and if the countless commercials on USA Network are to be believed, the rumors are true and the departure is imminent (read: next week).

Before I cry endlessly over the end of Detective Mike Logan, let me explain what a Law & Order, or as I call it L&O (pronounced “lo”), junkie fan I am. I’ve watched from the beginning, but L&O didn’t make me high resonate in my soul til Jack McCoy came on the scene. When people ask how long I’ve been using viewing, I tell them since that salt & pepper charmer came to New York in 1994. He’s a little more salt than pepper now, but he’s still got it.

Was it hard to fill the other six nights of the week? Sure, but eventually there were re-runs as syndication marks were achieved. Those kept me warm for awhile, but like any addict will tell you, the more you get, the more you won’t.

Ah, but Dick Wolf, dealer extraordinaire, sensed the hollowness that was my remote, took pity and gave me more to OD on.

There have been many L&O spin-offs, but out of respect for your time, I’ll only hit on the ones currently in production. You’re welcome.

First, there was Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU). Christopher Meloni. That’s all you really need to say about that show. Christopher Meloni. Sometimes I don’t even have the sound on. I’ll admit, occasionally the subject matter is tough – but the drama, I can’t get enough of it. And Christopher Meloni.

Later, Dick offered us a new hit with Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Vincent D’Onofrio sizzled in that show for years (didn’t you just love love love him in Mystic Pizza?).

Then they introduced a second team of detectives and rotated storylines back and forth. It was at this point that we saw the return of Detective Mike Logan.

See Logan had originally been on Law & Order – I believe almost from the very beginning. But then bigger fish appeared, needing to be fried, and he left the show. Bitter and betrayed, I managed to warm up to his replacement and carry on. I still had Lenny and McCoy afterall, it was rocky, but we made it work.

(Of course when I realized Noth left L&O to become Mr. Big all was forgiven. Yummy in an Armani suit? Logan, I never knew you could be so stylish.)

Life went on and L&O settled down. It wasn’t the high-grade ganja, like before, but you could still get a buzz. They had some great characters come and go, but my heart always belonged to Logan. I was over-the-moon to see him return as part of the Criminal Intent cast. He was the guacamole to D’Onofrio’s tortilla chips. And you know what a snacker I am. We were happy, really happy. Or at least I thought.

Now all is lost. Noth ends his run next week. I guess because he is a selfish bastard has other projects he wishes to pursue. That blows (and not in a good way). I should turn my back and refuse him, but we all know I don’t have it in me. I’m whipped, he knows it, I know it, you know it. He’s got me wrapped around his little finger.

The question remains, will the franchise survive this break-up? Will I? Too soon to tell, but I gotta believe that my heart will go on.

PS: Maybe this whole post was just an excuse to post a punch of pictures of cute boys? Oh, and chips.

PPS: Any impression you might have that I support or condone drug use (for the purpose of post material or otherwise), is incorrect. Drugs are expensive bad. So pull a Nancy (Reagan, not Botwin) and JUST SAY NO. Unless you can get them free. From a safe source. And you get enough to share. Do you need my address?

According to this, eighty quarters weigh exactly one pound. So I have lost approximately 96 quarters according to this week’s weigh-in. For those of you not mathematically inclined, that is 1.2 pounds of flubber off my ass. Be gone and stay gone flubber, you don’t live here no ‘mo.

This week had ups and downs. I didn’t focus on drinking enough water or getting my dairy servings in as WW recommends. But D & I made a real effort to not eat out as much – saving a lot more than 96 quarters in the process.

Remember those pizzas Chef Audax made that I raved about in my last post? Well we made them on Saturday and they were delicious. I even helped. I mise en place‘d everything and even cuisinart’d the red sauce. I’m becoming quite the little Betty. Rubble or Crocker, take your pick.

NEWSFLASH: I just went to search for a photo of Betty Crocker. SHE’S NOT A REAL PERSON? Did you know about this? Did YOU?

Now back to the celebration…

The eating at home is making a difference. So I’ll keep that up as well as hit the water more than the tea and lemonade (my summer staples) and work on the dairy. The dairy is tough – I might save that to focus on in week three.

Thanks for all the words of encouragement last week. This community is such a source of wisdom and comfort. You have no idea what your comments and tweets do for me. So what have you accomplished this week? Share and let me celebrate with you!

Like Susan (you know her from WMAG). She has a personal blog with her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Get Fit, where she chronicles her ups and downs with her weight loss efforts. I admire Susan’s ability to put it out there and inspire others to follow suit. And it is working, she had a great week and lost 3.5 pounds – that is freaking 280 quarters people! Great job Susan, we’ll be bikini-shopping swimsuits-appropriate-and-flattering-for-our-age-and- body-shape-shopping in no time.

PS: Check out today’s WTF Moment HERE (my buddy Shannan tweeted about it), where you’ll be throughly disgusted with the world and it’s priorities. But then go read this and be amazed and warmed to your very core. I adore Any Mommy Out There.

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Go ahead, GET LIPI!

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LOSING IT IN CINCINNATI

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Why get so riled by the events of the world, you ask? Because…

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate." Charlotte Gray
August 2008
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