Monday, November 30, 2009

Forgot the camera…

but the phone did a decent job! Here we are at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, 2009, all bundled up. You may notice that only one significant other made it out, and this was his first year in attendance. Alicia was home sick (with Nurse Walter), but I don’t know that she would have been up for it even with out the dreaded cold virus she’s been harboring.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Desserts

I am in charge of desserts for Thanksgiving, so here is a little narrative of my Wednesday-bef0re-Thanksgiving morning and afternoon. I started early, making the peach and blueberry filling on Monday night, and the crust dough on Monday night and Tuesday morning. I assembled the first pie Wednesday morning, and it smelled amazing as it baked.

To roll out my crusts, I used the amazing sheet my mom gave me for Christmas last year. It has incredibly helpful circular measurements in the middle, and is also the right size to cover most of the area that would be dirtied by the rolling.

Here is the pumpkin pie, right out of the oven. It still looks a little fluffier than it ended up, as it hadn't cooled and relaxed yet. I had a bunch of filling that didn't fit in the pie crust so you can see that in the photo below.

Also pictured here is the baked crust for mom's mincemeat bars. This was the final Wednesday morning photo, and then I went to teach and also to buy mincemeat...

Several hours later, I finished an apple crisp to bring to Alicia's mom's, and also finished up the mincemeat pie bars, shown below.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I’ve been so good…

at posting all through this semester, but it’s getting to the exciting time now.  It’s getting to where I can actually see the end of the semester, and it’s a beautiful thing.  Thanksgiving seems late this year, and the semester seems to end early, which is a recipe for both disaster and wonderfulness all at once.  I think I’ve overcome the disaster (and feel relatively good about defending my prospectus Dec 4), and am looking forward to the wonderfulness…

Wish me happy sleeping…

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whitmore Lake Yarn Company

A couple of weeks ago, Cindy (Ash’s mom) e-mailed me to let me know that she had discovered a new yarn shop (new to us, at least) in Whitmore Lake, MI. I quickly invited myself for an excursion that took place yesterday. I think Ash is probably relieved that it’s over, as she’s been hearing from both of us how excited we were for the last few weeks. Sorry Ash!

The Whitmore Lake Yarn Company is a really lovely little shop. They are incredibly friendly, and even have a little girl who likes to greet patrons at the door. I’m under the impression that she’s not employed there, but is a regular shopper/shopper’s companion. Yesterday she was picking out blue yarn for a hat. At any rate, everyone was chatty and it seemed bustling for a Tuesday late-morning-early-afternoon. (Though it is a small shop, so it doesn’t take many people to make it feel full…) I happily found some yarn for a project that I cannot reveal here, due to the potential readership and kin of readership of this blog, but trust me that I’d been hoping to find it for a long time!

Thankfully, the shop carries more of the basic fibers and colorways I love. They had a great selection of Plymouth Galway, Brown Sheep Worsted (and Bulky, I think), Cascade 220 and 220 Superwash, as well as some other yarns I hadn’t seen before, most in lovely solids and heathers. They also stock a great array of baby and child appropriate yarns, with nice acrylic/wool blends that will wash and dry without much distress.

I think this will be a nice foil to Knit A Round, which as many of you know, does not carry the same variety of solid and heathered yarns. I’m pleased to report that this year seems to show an upswing in yarns that I like, but it is notable that almost everything I like ends up in the sale bin, suggesting that their primary clientele love other things. (Ultimately, this works well for me when I’m in a pinch, but results in me buying yarn elsewhere for lots of projects.) I’m excited to have another local option for yarn, and look forward to returning to Whitmore Lake when my yarn budget is once again replenished.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just get started?

I read a post on the Career Center’s blog about PhD candidates looking for non-academic jobs (for general interest – that’s neither a plan of mine nor something I’ll be dealing with for quite a few years), and they had an interesting post about conquering “job search apathy.” As I read it, it occurred to me that these three steps cover the best way to get going with just about anything:

1. Just start, just do something

2. Break it down into manageable pieces

3. Do something every day

This makes so much sense, and is something I’ve been doing (on and off) for a long time, but is something I think deserves constant reminding. My most recent need of a reminder was this:

A full draft of my prospectus!!! It’s been a crazy semester, with all of the teaching and travel, but I finally have at least a draft of what I’m proposing to do, which sounds like it should be written entirely in some sort of distant subjunctive tense, though I know that it will be “time to just start” on actually doing the work soon enough. And for those of you wondering, I did, in fact, take a photo (with my phone) of the finished draft printed and sitting in my advisor's mailbox...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

GLMA Press Release

It looks like the AMA is catching up to AMSA on a few things…  GLMA said it well, so I’m just going to paste it here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 10, 2009

James Beaudreau |

AMA Says Gay Marriage Bans
Contribute to Health Disparities

Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Praises AMA Policy Declaring
Same-Sex Marriage Bans to be Harmful to the Health of LGBT Families

The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA) today praised the American Medical Association’s (AMA’s) adoption of policy declaring that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities for gay couples and their children.

“We hope the newly adopted policy will inform future debates about expanding the right to marriage to gay and lesbian couples,” said GLMA Education and Policy Director James Beaudreau. “The science on this issue is clear: the health and well-being of gay couples and their families is directly affected by the right to marry, and denial of that right has many serious health related consequences.”

As part of the newly adopted policy, the AMA “supports measures providing same-sex households with the same rights and privileges to health care, health insurance, and survivor benefits, as afforded opposite-sex households.”

A 2008 report published by GLMA, Same Sex Marriage and Health, documented evidence about the affects of same-sex marriage bans on the LGBT community. The report noted that:

  • Access to health insurance through a spouse is an important component of obtaining quality healthcare;
  • Research indicates that being married can contribute to overall health and longevity;
  • Hospital visitation and decision making rights conferred by marriage are important to the quality of care; and
  • Children of LGBT parents benefit when their families are respected and accorded legal protections.

“As members of the medical community, we must bring our knowledge and understanding to the conversation about marriage equality and its positive effects upon health and wellness,” said GLMA President Rebecca Allison, MD. “We know that denying lesbians and gay men the opportunity to marry denies them multiple benefits of marriage that support relationships and promote health. As an act of discrimination, it compounds stigma against LGBT people in our society that has been linked to psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression.”

The AMA also adopted policies requesting a repeal of the U.S. military’s 'don't ask, don't-tell' law. The AMA said ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ creates an ethical dilemma for LGBT service members and the healthcare providers who treat them by putting service members in the position of having to choose between forgoing appropriate medical care by lying to their physicians or risking discharge, as well as healthcare providers in the position of having to choose between documenting the care they are providing incompletely or inaccurately or risking the service member's discharge.

– 30 –

GLMA's 2008 report, Same Sex Marriage and Health, is available at
GLMA is the world's largest association of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) healthcare professionals. Since 1981, GLMA has been working to ensure equality in healthcare for LGBT individuals and healthcare professionals through advocacy, education, research and referrals. Please visit our website at

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Before and after

Here is Walter on the couch. In all fairness, this is actually the after picture, but it also illustrates what he looked like before the other picture was taken as well.

Here is the after picture, with his cute little head sticking out of the blankets. Not pictured: horrifying gas that prompted him to stick his head out for air in the first place. Dogs are gross. But so cute...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


So I’ve discovered that when I actually do everything I’m supposed to do (instead of putting some of it off until who knows when), I’m sort of tired by Monday afternoon and exhausted by Tuesday night.  And still 2.5 more days to go before this proposal is due.  It’s mostly done, and I did the references this evening, which are by far my least favorite part, but I’m still tired and am wishing that I would magically have lots of money to support myself and my research rather than having to apply for it like this.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween Part 2: Wearing

Once the costume was finished, I was quite pleased. Overall, it came out fairly clear (I think) that I was a financial index, and I didn't get a lot of weird looks or questions...Alicia helped me to find all of the logos, so all 30 companies were represented, even on the sleeves.
There was one minor issue: I didn't realize that while I was ironing the front, I was also ironing the back onto the kitchen table. This is why a small portion of the Dow Jones logo is missing. I managed to scrape it off of the table fairly easily, and I don't think it affected the shirt terribly.
I couldn't convince Alicia that being a toxic asset was a feasible costume, so she went as Mario. She looked pretty awesome.
We were quite the pair, and overall had a nice time last night, both over at a friend's house and then out at The Bang!
Here we are (looking serious) out later in the evening.
Next year, having aquired a variety of hats, we may be the Village People...